Arts Alive 2011 was not only alive, it was jumpin’!

The six annual Arts Alive evening in Minden was a rousing success.  A fine crowd of active bidders were on hand to take home some amazing values on work from area artists.  Jack Brezina was, as always, host for the evening and he was in his usual fine form as he steered the agenda and the silent and loonie auctions.  He’s lots of fun to be with and a great supporter of the arts in Minden Hills.

I was asked to assist Jack and be responsible for the live auction .. and boy, was it exciting!  There were some persistent bidders in the room and some of the items were fetching hundreds of dollars … with our final item well over $800 in an exciting nail-biter for the audience as well as the bidders.

I’ve included a composite photo of Jane’s amazing piece.  Unfortunately it was hard to get a good photo because the item was displayed on a table rather than hung on a wall.  The perspective is a little bit wonky but hopefully you get the idea.  The wall hanging represents hours and hours of work due to the complexity of the butterflies and the total number of glass pieces involved.  I provided some of the grunt, by prepping the wood and then mounting the elements on the driftwood.  The piece is approximately four feet high.

We shouldn’t forget to say thanks to the Grill on the Gull for a terrific meal and desserts … to Shawn and his group, thanks.

We had a great time and you can always count on a fun evening with a roomful of really nice people.  Congratulations to all the people involved in the planning and preparation of the event. We trust that it raised lotsa money in aid of the good work the foundation undertakes.

Bruce Beaton on Kids in Sport

This morning on CanoeFM I had the pleasure of chatting with Bruce Beaton from his home in Kentville, N.S.  Bruce is the coauthor of The Truth About Success, My Rules, Enduring Principles of Leadership and 38 Lessons Learned in Professional Football, and most recently, Little Athletes Big Leaders – Effective Sport Parenting

Bruce Beaton played his first ever football game at the age of twenty and went on to an outstanding academic and athletic experience at Acadia University (BA (hon) MA) and a 13 year professional football career in the CFL.

Bruce was a struggling player then an all star player and a team leader at every level of football. He played on teams that didn’t win a game for months and he won three league championships late in his career. Bruce is truly an expert on the subject of leadership and competitive greatness.

Bruce has been influenced by over 40 coaches at the professional level and by countless terrific teammates. A voracious reader, Bruce has also been influenced by the hundreds of leadership books, sports and leadership biographies, and personal and business development books he has read over the past two decades. .

Bruce’s core belief is that the skills associated with leadership are the most important you will ever learn. As a leader, you must create a vision or goal you are passionate about, and if you develop the strategic and relationship skills necessary to leverage the engagement and productivity required to bring that dream into reality, you will succeed.

Bruce believes the most effective social and community institution we have to create leaders is youth sport. Sport’s emphasis on collective goal setting, vision, teamwork, interpersonal skills, mentoring, daily action, personal excellence and mastery, perseverance and resolve, and self discipline provide the environment for a tremendous leadership education. The key is effective mentoring from parents and effective transferable skill reinforcement from coaches. We spent a good deal of time chatting about that this morning.

If you’d like to know more about Bruce, his philosophy and follow his blog, you can do so at

A Stellar Fundraiser

Last nite was the Italian Night Spaghetti supper for  the HHHS Auxialliary.  This was their 7th supper event and, like all the others, sold out months in advance.  Judy Skinner, Suzanne Sovereign and their committee worked damn hard to put on a great evening.  I was pleased to be the MC for the evening and announce all the silent auction recipients.

Young people from the Heritage Ballent, along with Julie Barban (owner and head instructor) and David Mills of the Haliburton Lions Club helped serve and clean up for all the attendees.  The youngsters work events to raise a little cash towards their trip to Russia in the next year.  Great bunch … and they worked with great diligence.

Jane’s butterflies raised lotsa dough as usual.  Just before bidding closed on the selection, there was a crowd milling around to put their final bid on their favourite butterfly.  The auction tables were filled with wonderful items donated by businesses and individuals to raise money for the hospital auxilliary.

I was delighted that we were successful in our bidding for a woodcarving by Keith Rydberg.  I admire his work and was thrilled to add
“Going to Market”  (complete with pigs in the back of the wagon) to our home.A great night, a great cause and soooo much laughter and fun.  Congratulations to the women and men of the Haliburton Highlands Health Services Auxilliary for last night and the 40 years of service to our county and our health.

Some Lucky Bidders

Saturday evening is our health services auxilliary “Spaghetti Supper.”  It’s been sold out for a few months now – it’s such a popular event.

Just as she did last year, Jane is donating a group of Stained Glass Butterflies mounted on delightful pieces of driftwood and birch for their silent auction.  By the time Jane is done I think there will be 21 or 22 pieces. Large, medium and smaller butterflies should create a lot of buzz and bidding action.  It all goes to the Auxilliary in support of Haliburton Highlands Health Service.  This year they celebrated their 40th anniversary of service and in June hit the 1 million dollar mark in donations to the health services.

Yours truly will do some MC work, but the focus will be on fun, fellowship, fund-raising and a great spaghetti supper.  If your lucky enough to be there – be sure and bid on one of Jane’s amazing pieces.

Sophie Saves A Friend

We’re very proud of our little girl today.

This morning Sophie and friends were on a pack “walk & play”.  Towards the end of the hike the four ladies realized that one of the members wasn’t with the group.  Scout, the Jack Russell was missing.  It was obvious there was a problem as she loves to be part of the team.

The search back up the ski hill, on this rather misty, drizzly morning didn’t draw forth any response despite calling and whistling.  Sophie meanwhile focused on one area of the hill – a large pile of stones. It seemed like a good idea to investigate what Sophie was signalling.

Adjacent to this mound of stones, in the midst of raspberry canes and overgrowth, the ladies discovered a large hole.  It was obviously something a gopher or medium sized animal was using as an access to an underground condominium.

Sure enough, down the hole beyond easy view, was Scout.  Stuck as good as could be.  Scout had wiggled down the hole but it was so tight she couldn’t get any purchase to back out of the hole.  Angela Bishop waded through the brambles and overgrowth and then reached down the hole to grab Scout’s tail.  With a steady pull Scout was released from the grip of this underground trap, and thankfully, no worse for wear.

If it hadn’t been for Sophie’s tracking ability and her silent communication Scout may have been there for quite a while.  She demonstrated what it is to be a good friend.

Sophie got extra cookies today.



Colourfest 2011 in Haliburton Village was a great success.  Cool winds and chilly temperatures didn’t dampen the enthusiasm last Saturday.  The features, entertainment, decorations were all excellent, and as usual the volunteers made everything tick perfectly.  The crowds were excellent and everyone appeared to have a really great time.

The day after, we were chatting about the fact that so many visitors were surprised to find the event taking place … they hadn’t heard about it.  Yesterday, in conversation with a couple of local moms, I heard again that they didn’t know it was going on.  This despite a very robust communication program that had been going on for the past few weeks.

The people coming up from the GTA and other areas tend to be focused on “their” reasons for visiting, i.e. Studio Tour, fall colours and some shopping.  Many of them don’t connect with our local media and they don’t think to check out the county website for activities.  Our local folks, particularly the young workers, are so intent on the their daily work and the press of family life that many of them don’t connect with local media.  It is a dilemma.

In the interest of the those who don’t know what’s coming up … here are some activities for the rest of October to keep in mind.  Things are hopping all over the highlands.

  Feel free to share.  And don’t say we didn’t tell you.


Haliburton County Studio Tour  Saturday October 8, 2011 to Sunday October 9, 2011
Enjoy the 24th annual Haliburton County Studio Tour featuring the work of over 28 artists and artisans featuring original and unique fine arts and crafts

Dorset Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts Show takes place on Saturday, October 8 from 10am to 3pm. This show is a wonderful celebration of all that is hand made and beautiful. A show where only hand made goods are presented by a variety of artisans from the area. Items will include paintings, hand made dolls, jewellery, puppets, knitting, stained glass, wood crafts, rock art, unique dried soup mixes and hand carved decoys to name a few.

“Leave the Cooking to Us” as the Wilberforce Agricultural Society serves their annual Thanksgiving dinner at the Lloyd Watson Community Centre in Wilberforce. A delicious turkey meal with all the trimmings and pie for dessert. Tickets sold at the door. Adults are $12, Children under 12 years are $5 and preschoolers are free. Dinner is served at 5:00 pm. Proceeds from the dinner support the 2012 Wilberforce Fair. For more information, visit the website at or call 448-2683.

Kids & Youth

Dorset Pumpkin Carving Party October 30
Kids Pumpkin Carving Party on Sunday, October 30 starting at 6pm. Come for hot dogs for dinner and join the fun – pumpkins & tools provided but feel free to bring your own!

Dorset Rec Centre … Kids Halloween Party on Monday, October 31 from 7 to 8pm. Games, activities and treat bags

Minden Hills Museum: Hallowe’en Night at the Museum   Monday October 31  While you are out trick or treating, stop by the Minden Hills Museum grounds!

Special Events

R.D. Lawrence Place: Ron Mahler’s Book Launch – My Fanatical, Regrettable Tour Of Ministry

Saturday October 8, 201
Ron Mahler’s Book Launch – “My Fanatical, Regrettable Tour Of Ministry”. Free admission and refreshments.

CFUW October Meeting  Thursday October 20, 2011
October meeting at Fleming College at 7 pm and enjoy listening to Nancy Brownsberger of SIRCH.

Saturday October 29, 2011
Arts Exposed 2011 will be held on Saturday, October 29th at 6:00 pm at the Minden Community Centre. The $40 ticket includes a gourmet meal, prepared by Grill on the Gull, and the chance to bid on the work of local artists at auction.

Rails End Gallery: Drum Circle
Wednesday October 5, 2011 to Wednesday October 26, 2011
NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED. Are you a drummer? There’s only one way to find out!

October 21st Minden Lion’s Club Spaghetti Dinners.  All You Can Eat Spaghetti with Ceasar Salad, Garlic Bread, Desert and Beverages Adults $10, kids under 12 – $5 ea. Minden Lion’s Hall – 164 Bobcaygeon Road, Minden Doors open at 5pm to 7 pm Minden Lion’s Hall

Friends Of The Haliburton County Public Library ‘s Sixth Annual Book Gala.  Author Francis Itani will be presenting her new book “Requiem” on Sunday, October 30th, 2011 at the Minden Hills Library. Silent Auction and refreshments at 1:00 pm and author’s presentation at 2:00. Cost is $15.00/person. Call Linda at 705 457-2064 for tickets

Outdoor Events

Haliburton County Farmers’ Market’s “Harvest Happening”
Friday October 7, 2011
Don’t miss the Haliburton County Farmers’ Market’s “Harvest Happening” on Friday October 7 from 1-5 at That Place in Carnarvon restaurant, corner of Hwy’s 118 and 35!

Friends of the Rail Trail invites hikers, field naturalists or anyone wanting to go for a nice long walk, to help kick off this inaugural event. 34 km in 2 days. October 14 to 16th.  The HCRT rail bed was built in 1878 through, granite, marsh and forest. Accommodation packages available at all price ranges. Hospitality Friday evening. Hike is PWYC. Visit WebsiteHaliburton County Rail Trail (HCRT) Haliburton Village – Gelert – Kinmount   Contact: Alison Curtis Tel: 888 225-1448

Performing Arts

Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion: October Events
Saturday October 1, 2011 to Monday October 31, 2011
There are lots of exciting events happening at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion in October! Call 705-457-7751 or email for more details.

Zoe Chilco sings at Thanksgiving Dinner
Saturday October 8, 2011
Zoe Chilco, vocals; John Deehan, sax; and one more TBA

Rails End Gallery: Amelia and The Mayor (of Essonville, aka Albert Saxby)  Friday October 14, 2011 Amelia is a talented young woman with an amazing voice. Albert Saxby, aka The Mayor of Essonville, is a well-known composer/musician with a large body of original work.

Haliburton Concert Series: Project Aria  Saturday October 15, 2011
Final concert of the 2011 season.

Bobcaygeon Music Council presents David Murray – Six Feet of String Bass Saturday October 15.  Bobcaygeon Music Council presents:David Murray Six feet of string bass. October 15th, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. $20 adult, $5 youth, $85 for five concert series. Trinity Church; 42 William St. Bobcaygeon, On.


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