Thursday, 18 December 2014

Port Me Home - Getting You and Your Car Home Safely

The holiday season is filled with opportunities to celebrate! Glittering parties, delicious food and festive drinks are available in abundance but a safe ride home isn’t always as easy to find. Port Me Home is a professional designated driver service that opened in June 2014 and has cars stationed in Port Stanley, St. Thomas and London.

Owner Dawn McKinlay was operating a house cleaning business when she realized that a need existed in Elgin County for a designated driver service. Instead of calling a cab when you are out, call Port Me Home and they will get both you and your vehicle home safely. This service is perfect for Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Birthday parties as well as weddings and stag and does.

Port Me Home only charges users for the trip home and not for the distance to get to the pick-up location and is particularly affordable for a group of several people.
“We are less expensive than a hotel room and you don’t have to worry about going to pick up your car the next morning,” said McKinlay.

They are open from 5:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday nights of long weekends. The service is available 24/7 for those who call and pre-book their times 24 hours in advance.

In the future Port Me Home hopes not only to offer designated driver services but to offer services to take people to their doctor’s appointments and surgeries. Certain surgeries such as cataract surgery, laser eye surgery and wisdom tooth surgery forbid people from driving home by themselves. Instead of requiring friends and family to take time off work to drive them to and from appointments, Port Me Home will be available.

Port Me Home can be booked by phone, e-mail or text. For more information on Port Me Home’s services visit, or call/text 519-495-9858 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014 a One - Stop Location for Labour Market Information

Good quality information is essential for individuals looking to make career decisions in an ever changing economy. This information can also be very useful to employers looking to recognize key employment trends and plan for future growth and development of their organizations. In March of 2014, the Elgin Middlesex Oxford Workforce Planning and Development Board in partnership with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the London Economic Development Corporation launched in order to provide current local and regional labour market information in one convenient and easy to use online location.

The resource is designed to be useful for several different groups including students, job seekers and employers. It provides users with accessible, up-to-date and relevant data including market conditions, industry information, changes in the internal and external business environments, future hiring and employment trends, wage and salary expectations and education and training information.

Job seekers are able to see what companies are hiring by viewing an on-site list of active job boards in Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford Counties. They can research the training they will need to apply to these jobs and can get an idea of how much money they can be expected to make.

This type of information is also extremely useful to students trying to decide on a sustainable future career path. They can use the website to get an overall picture of the viability of entering certain occupations in the area, what they can expect to earn in each occupation and what education and training they will need to pursue this type of occupation. There is also a section on the website dedicated to resources for newly landed immigrants and persons with disabilities.

Employers and human resources professionals can utilize to get a better idea of what competitive wages are for a particular job or occupation, get an idea of how many qualified people in the area can fill these jobs and to determine the potential future growth in an industry. The website also has resources to teach employers how to better accommodate employees with disabilities.

The data found on comes from Stats Canada, a variety of independent data providers, government ministries and the EmployerOne Survey that is administered to local businesses each year. Data can be searched by job or by industry and results displayed compare trends from Middlesex, Elgin, London, St. Thomas and Oxford to trends at the provincial and national levels. 

Increased Connectivity and Responsiveness at the Municipality of Bayham

It was clear to new Chief Administrative Officer Paul Shipway that the Municipality of Bayham’s computer and communications technology system was in need of significant updates. The system operated on old servers, used outdated equipment and was heavily reliant on paper files located at the main municipal administration office in Straffordville.

Municipal staff was spread out over five separate locations including the main municipal administration office, fire and emergency services, water treatment facilities and public works and each of these locations used a stand-alone computer system. These five stand-alone systems had no connectivity to one another and staff requiring documents stored on other systems needed to request them by e-mail or visit the location in person.

“Municipalities are required to be fluid and responsive to the needs of citizens,” said
Shipway. “Operating in silos does not allow us to be as responsive as we would like to be.”
An organizational review identified that a modern and intuitive computer technology system was crucial to the staff’s ability to do its job in an efficient and effective manner while meeting the complex needs of the community.

Improvements to the system will include transitioning to a single terminal server environment where all municipal staff, regardless of location, can search and access the same documents quickly and easily. Additionally a fast and stable internet connection will be brought to the municipal office through the installation of fibre connections. Fibre connections are thinner and lighter than metal cables, are less susceptible to interference and have a much greater bandwidth, meaning that they can carry more data. These updates will ensure that Bayham is able to adapt and compete in an increasingly technological world.

The need for high speed internet to ensure the economic vitality and viability of rural municipalities is one that is recognized not only by the Municipality of Bayham, but by the Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus and the Southwest Economic Alliance with their joint SWIFT initiative – to bring ultra high speed fibre optic regional network to everyone in western Ontario regardless of where they live.

For more information on the Municipality of Bayham visit and to learn about the SWIFT initiative visit

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Honour Veterans in Elgin County This Remembrance Day

The following is a list of Remembrance Day Services, Ceremonies and Parades in Elgin County.

Dutton/Dunwich Evening of Remembrance
November 10, 2014
Dutton Community Centre, 1 Scotland St. Dutton

Port Burwell Armistice Day Parade
November 9, 2014
1:30 pm
Parade will start at the Port Burwell Legion, making its way westerly on Wellington St., turning left on Robinson St., then left on Pitt St. to the Cenotaph.
Contact: (519) 874-4308

Shedden War Memorial Service
November 9, 2014
9:30 am
Shedden Keystone Complex, 35921 Talbot Line, Shedden
Contact: (519) 769-2010

Rodney Remembrance Day Service
November 11, 2014
11:00 am
Rodney Library, 207 Furnival Rd., Rodney

West Lorne Remembrance Day Service
November 11, 2014
11:00 am
Cenotaph at West Lorne Arena, 171 Graham Rd. West Lorne
Contact: (519) 768-1890

Aylmer Remembrance Day Ceremony
November 11, 2014
10:30 am
Cenotaph Parkette at Aylmer Town Hall (46 Talbot St. W) and Aylmer Legion (211 John St. N)
At 10:30 am there will be a Parade of Veterans from the Aylmer Legion to the Aylmer Town Hall. At 10:45 the service will begin and will include the laying of the wreaths followed by a moment of silence at 11:00 am. A light lunch will follow back at the Aylmer Legion. 
Contact: (519) 773-5249

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Artastic Elgin Celebrates Local Arts and Culture

Elgin County is pleased to announce that Artastic Elgin will return for a second installment on September 27 and 28.

Join members of the Elgin Arts Trail for two days of interactive workshops, gallery events, speakers and more. Artastic Elgin is an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to discover their inner creativity while exploring the abundance of artistic talent in the area.

The event is held in conjunction with Culture Days a national celebration each September where artists and cultural organizations across the country come together to promote awareness, participation and engagement in arts and culture activities.

Artastic Elgin will be held at participating Elgin Arts Trail member locations on Saturday September 27 from 11 am – 4 pm and Sunday September 28 from 12 pm – 4 pm. Maps of the route can be picked up at each member location or downloaded here.

For more information about the Artastic Elgin event call (519) 631-1460 ext.168, e-mail or visit


Friday, 22 August 2014

Sport it Port - Keeping Port Stanley Active

Sport in Port began as a community organization and local running group in Port Stanley. In 2011 the group began to host events such as “Sport on the Water” a triathlon designed to bring athletes into Port Stanley. When the group’s founder Eric Salin left the corporate world in March of 2013 he decided to pursue his passion for active living by transforming Sport in Port into a business. Salin sought the expertise and support of the Ontario Self-Employment Benefits Program offered through the Elgin Business Resource Centre and was able to open Sport in Port at 204 Carlow Rd. Port Stanley in November 2013 and an additional location in Bayfield in 2014.

The Port Stanley store, located at the cross roads of four cycling trails, aims to outfit area visitors and residents with the accessories they need to stay active. The store differentiates itself from other sports outfitters by carrying unique products and apparel that can't be purchased anywhere else locally. Salin puts a great deal of effort into researching the products he carries in his store. From replacement equipment for cyclists to running gear to cottage accessories, everything in the store is tested and proven to be high quality and suited for activities in the Port Stanley area. A particularly unique and extremely popular product is the Cocoon Hammock, a tent like hammock that hangs either from a tree or on a frame and is a great place to relax on a hot summer day.

In addition to unique retail products, Sport in Port also provides several services including bike repair, running shoe fittings, coaching services, information about area trails and bike routes and equipment rentals. Salin believes that rental is a powerful way to make sport accessible for everyone. Expensive gear and limited storage space are barriers that people must overcome when trying a new sport – rentals take away this risk allowing for a low cost trial of the activity. 
This summer, for the first time, Sport in Port will be offering kayaks and stand up paddle board rentals right on the main beach in Port Stanley. These equipment rentals have been greatly anticipated and fill a long standing void in the area. Visitors to the area can also make rental reservations in advance online at

Sport and Port is not only a retail location, but an activity driver as well. The store is host to weekly running, hiking and cycling groups; frequent charity runs; and Red Cross CPR and first-aid training courses.

Salin believes that Elgin County and Port Stanley in particular, is the perfect place for his business to thrive promoting relaxation, interaction with the natural environment and healthy living.

"You can swim, run and bike here," says Salin. "Port Stanley has some of the most beautiful terrain for running and cycling and the open water swimming is great too!"

Monday, 11 August 2014

Historic Sparta - Step into the Past

Step into the past and absorb the atmosphere of Sparta, ON a village where time has stood still. Nestled in the heart of Central Elgin, this quaint historic village is one of Canada’s oldest Quaker settlements.  The village offers visitors an unspoiled glimpse of early Ontario architecture boasting many buildings dating back to the 1840s. 

The village was established in 1813 by Jonathan Doan, a Quaker who was seeking a safe settlement for himself and his family. He had originally fled the United States during the American Revolution and settled in the Niagara Region. When the Americans began to attack Niagara during the War of 1812, Doan feared losing his property.  He found Sparta to his liking and purchased 100 acres of land encouraging more Quakers to settle in the area and opening a grist mill, a saw mill and a tannery in the community.  Sparta grew and by the 1870s was a village of close to 1,500.

Today Sparta includes the studios of several artists, a traditional tearoom, hand-made artisan candles, boutique shopping, a nearby lavender farm, a local vineyard and several locations of historical importance.

Sparta Country Candles

Ye Old Forge and Anvil Museum was built in 1827 and now houses the Sparta and District Historical Society’s museum of local artifacts. This Cob building, constructed with clay and straw, was originally a blacksmith’s shop. Learn about pioneer skills as you watch weavers, spinners and others demonstrate their knowledge and skills. 

Interior of Ye Olde Forge and Anvil Museum

Sparta’s newest museum, the Sparta Church Museum and Cultural Centre, presents a series of changing exhibits from April to October. It also features special events throughout the year and is available for weddings and special celebrations. 

Sparta Church Museum

The Quaker Meeting House was the third meeting house built in 1865 in the village of Sparta. The first two were built at the Quaker Cemetery, but this colonial style meeting house was built on the current site as many Quakers began settling north of the village. Enjoy a walk through the peaceful grounds of this historic location, still in operation today on land originally donated by Jonathan Doan himself.

For more information about historic Sparta and other historical attractions in Elgin County visit 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Savour the Flavours Culinary Boot Camp on at The Arts and Cookery Bank

Savour the Flavours Boot Camp is an Outrageously Rural experience that leads to great food, lots of fun and a few good laughs! This chef-led, intensive, outrageous culinary training demands participants roll up their sleeves, dig in and take a fresh look at the foods they eat and how they are prepared.

This summer the Arts & Cookery Bank is offering this amazing opportunity for Junior students from ages 11 - 14.
Here's what's happening in the Boot Camp:

  • An opportunity to work with real professional chefs
  • An opportunity as part of a "Chef Team" to plan and cook a Celebration Event.
  • An opportunity to tell your outrageous Boot Camp stories on our Savour the Flavour blog.
To read all about the first week of the boot camp and watch videos of campers at work visit the Arts and Cookery Bank's blogcast:

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

DG Custom Cycle - A Mom and Pop Chopper Shop

Dave Green started his career at a young age as a licensed body man building award winning custom hot rods and trucks. Eventually he developed a passion for custom motorcycles and his hobby became a business in 1996. Kyle Green joined his father in the family business in 2006, bringing with him his expertise as a licensed motorcycle mechanic and a certified Harley Technician.  This self described “Mom and Pop Chopper Shop” is truly a family endeavour with Dave’s wife Kim working in the business as well.

Located at 51999 College Line just outside of Aylmer, DG Custom Cycle is home to a full-service maintenance and repair shop, a parts department, a custom paint shop and a showroom. DG Custom Cycle offers a wide range of services from oil changes to creating one-of-a-kind bikes from the ground up. They understand the importance of a regular maintenance schedule to keep a bike running smoothly and in the event of a repair, are dedicated to getting a bike back up and running quickly. Riders wanting to increase the performance of their Harley Davidson motorcycles can come to DG Custom Cycle for a variety of solutions including punched out cylinders, reworked heads and replaced cams.

The business is best known for its fabrication of custom motorcycles. With over a decade of experience, DG Custom Cycle’s Rotten Chopper brand has made a name for itself nationally and internationally. DG Custom Cycle’s work has caught the eye of several major industry magazines and their bikes have been featured in Bagger Magazine, Urban Bagger Magazine, American Iron Magazine, Chopper Builds Magazine and Hot Bike Magazine. Recently, their work was featured on the front and back covers of the Mid-West Motorcycle Supply Catalogue – the first time a Canadian bike has been given this honour. DG Custom Cycle regularly attends Daytona Bike Week where they have received several awards including second place in a show with over 200 entries.

All fabrications begin with an in-depth one-on-one consultation with the customer. Each custom bike is a work of art with radical, yet fully-functional designs that set DG Custom Cycle apart from other fabricators. Custom frames, stretch metal work and unique airbrush painting make each bike unlike any other. Recently the shop has been working to accommodate those who want the storage capacity and smooth ride of a touring bike with the look of a chopper by adding 26” and 30” wheels to touring bikes. A gallery of past builds can be seen on the DG Custom Cycle website (

DG Custom Cycle services and builds custom bikes for clients all across Canada and their ultimate goal is to ensure that these clients are satisfied with the quality of the finished product. 

*This article first appeared in the June 2014 Elgin County Economic Development Newsletter.

Bee Beard Competition at Clovermead This Friday!

The 10th Annual Clovermead Bee Beard Competition will take place this Friday July 25th, 2014 at Clovermead Apiaries. The following information about the event was provided by Clovermead:

Welcoming Competitors from across the Globe.  This year we welcome Boaz Ben Zeev, from Israel.

There are four teams of competitors. Each team includes a bee beard growing beekeeper, and a bee whisperer who grooms the bees into a stylish beard.
Each team goes into their own bee beard tent with their very own beehive to work with.  The crowd watches safely from outside the tent. After 20 minutes, the timer ends and the teams gather on the stage to be weighed. The contestants with the beards perform a dance on the catwalk in front of the crowd full of their friends and families.
Two judges determine who dances and struts their bee beard the best on the catwalk.  The Bee Beard Champion is picked by the judges, and a Crowd Favourite award chosen by the people.
$2500 is donated to the champion’s favourite charity, $2000 to the Crowd Favourite's charity of choice, and a $500 Consolation Prize to the other two contestant's chosen charities.

Afterwards, the crowd of “Admirers/Don’t Wanna-Bees" are encouraged to have their photo taken beside their favourite contestant.  

This is the first year we will try a Friday evening event, which starts at 7 pm. The Adventure farm will be open with family fun untill 9 pm if the event runs on the Friday Evening as planned.

In case of inclement weather, the competition will be postponed to 2:30 pm the following day to accommodate international guests. 

For more information please visit: 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Great Lakes Farms and Shaw’s Ice Cream Partner with Delicious Results

For a limited time Great Lakes Farms’ strawberry sauce will be available at Shaw’s Ice Cream.  
MaryAnne Van de Gevel of Great Lakes Farms met Kristine Hayes of Shaw’s Ice Cream at a local food meeting over the winter months.  The pair talked and decided it was important for local businesses to work together and cross promote.  

“At Great Lakes we are trying to come up with ways that customers can enjoy our delicious fruit longer,” states Van de Gevel.  “The strawberry fruit sauce still has the delicious fresh taste of our strawberries but with a longer shelf life.”  

Hayes is "excited to be working with MaryAnne and her family at Great Lakes Farms.  This partnership gives us an opportunity to provide our customers with local seasonal sundae sauces, and celebrate the wonderful foods grown in our community." 

The strawberry sauce is being well received by customers as they enjoy their sundaes. Both women see this new partnership as a way to further enhance their businesses by promoting each other’s products in their retail locations.

Ice Cream Fun Facts

• Around 5% of people share their ice cream with a pet!
• Approximately 13% of men and 8% of women admit to licking the bowl after eating ice cream!
• It takes approximately 50 licks to polish off a single scooped ice cream cone.
• Children between the ages of 2 -12 and adults over 45 eat the most ice cream
• Vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavour 

Strawberry Fun Facts

• Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside
• The average strawberry has 200 seeds
• Strawberries are a member of the rose family
• Belgium has a museum dedicated to strawberries
• The strawberry plant is a perennial; you plant one this year it will grow next year!

Friday, 4 July 2014

Active Living in Elgin County

Being physically active is an important part of a balanced lifestyle. It is important not only for your physical and mental well-being, but also to help you lead a long and rewarding life. 

It is easy to enjoy an active lifestyle in Elgin County.  With an abundance of recreational activities and high quality recreational facilities including: swimming pools, fitness centres, community complexes and arenas, Elgin is the ideal place to stay fit while having fun. 

Safe towns and villages, 120 km of scenic shoreline and hundreds of kilometres of trails along lush Carolinian forest paths are the ideal locations for running and hiking enthusiasts alike. Elgin County trails wind through the countryside connecting to the Trans Canada Trail, the longest recreational trail in the world. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, Elgin County's vibrant running community has an event for you! 

If you prefer to get around on two wheels, routes through Elgin County provide some of the best terrain for cycling in North America. Ride along the Lake Erie shoreline, through rolling hills, lush forests and picturesque countryside. The area boasts hundreds of kilometres of low-traffic country roads and paths that are perfect for short rides or longer day trips. In addition, Elgin County has recently become part of the Waterfront Trail, a signed cycling route that travels through 27 waterfront communities in Ontario. 

The sandy beaches and warm, shallow waters of Lake Erie are perfect for recreational swimming and other water-based activities. The temperate breezes that blow in off the lake provide the perfect conditions for wind surfing and kite boarding adventures. 

If tranquil waters are more your style, paddling your way around Springwater, Dalewood and Lake Whittaker conservation areas or up the Big Otter Creek in your canoe or kayak are perfect ways to spend a spring or summer afternoon. 

Trade in the hustle and bustle of city life for the fresh air, open roads and sun-dappled forest pathways of Elgin County.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Celebrate Canada's Birthday in Elgin County!

Celebrate our Country's 147th Birthday with these great events in Elgin County! 

Wallacetown Agriculture Society Presents Barn Dance & Silent Auction
June 28, 2014
7:00 pm
Wallacetown Fairgrounds
Tickets - $8 in advance, $10 at the door

Come out and dance the night away and help keep the Wallacetown Fair alive. Featuring DJ Derek (formerly of Cowboys). There will be some fantastic silent and live auction items up for bids as well. Age of majority required. Silent auction 7-9pm. 9pm-1am "Let the Dancing Begin". Tickets available at Investor's Group Dutton and Tall Tales Cafe, Wallacetown. 

Mennonite Community Services 14th Annual Charity Auction
June 28, 2014
7:00 am breakfast & viewing; 9:00am bidding begins; 11:00am lunch booths open
Aylmer Curling Club & Fairgrounds
Mennonite Community Services, 519-765-3020

The MCS Aylmer Charity Auction, widely known for its scrumptious Mennonite and international food booths, has become a growing annual tradition for all of Aylmer. Join the excitement of live bidding as this year’s auction promises to be bigger and better than ever. 

Association of Port Stanley Artists’ Canada Day Show
June 28 & 29, 2014
1:00 am-5:00 pm 
Royal Canadian Legion, Port Stanley Branch, Front Lawn

Annual West Lorne Optimist Club Breakfast and Antique Car Show 
June 29, 2014
8:30 am
Miller Park, West Lorne
Contact: Jeff (519) 768-2031

A great family event you won't want to miss!

Port Stanley CanFest
June 29 to July 1, 2014 

Join our Canada Day celebrations presented by the businesses in Port Stanley and organized by the Port Stanley BIA. Check the website for details, including Sunday: Firefighters / Lions Breakfast, Canfest Road Race, Antique Train Rides and Kids Treasure Hunt at GTs and Tuesday: Veteran's March, Antique Train Rides, Canada Day Cake and Fireworks on the main beach at 10pm (July 1st).  

CanFest Kids Treasure Hunt
June 29, 2014
10:45 am
GT’s Beach Bar & Grill

GTs hosts the annual CanFest kids treasure hunt. At 11am, Stinky Stanley the pirate tells the story of how he discovered Port Stanley! Then help him find his lost treasure and share in the booty. Kids 8 and under only please. 

Fingal Canada Day Celebrations
June 30, 2014
Fingal Ball Park, Fingal

Fireworks at dusk. 

Aylmer & Malahide Canada Day Celebrations
July 1, 2014
East Elgin Community Complex 

Celebrate Canada Day at the East Elgin Community Complex with actives including inflatables, carnival games, cotton candy, mini golf, buggy rides, photo booth, crafts & activities. There will also be free public skating from 5-9pm (skate rentals available for $2/pair). Fireworks at dusk.

Music & Artisan Festival for Hospice
July 1, 2014
Pinecroft Pottery Studio
Contact: Lynn Davis, 519-637-3034,

West Lorne Canada Day Celebrations
July 1, 2014
Miller Park, West Lorne

1pm Kids Country Carnival & other activities; 5pm fish fry; 7pm opening ceremonies, baseball games, Snake Lady show; 9:30pm fireworks.

Half-Price Herb Sale
July 1, 2014
Heritage Line Herbs, 53443 Heritage Line, Aylmer 

All 4" potted herbs are half-price all day. Pizza samples also available. 

Dutton Canada Day Celebrations
July 1, 2014
12:00 pm – Dusk
Sons of Scotland Park, Dutton

Enjoy fun activities throughout the day! Free swim, volunteer awards, opening ceremonies, musical entertainment, kids activities, fireworks at dusk.

Canada Day Celebrations in Port Burwell
July 1, 2014

Parade at 11:30am (Port Burwell Legion to Fred Bodsworth Public Library) followed by flag raising ceremony, music, entertainment, children’s activities, food, fun and cake cutting. Visit the Marine Museum & Historic Lighthouse.  

Port Stanley Canfest Firefighters/Lions 27km Run
July 1, 2014
8:00 am – 11:00 am 

Hey... I got hosed at Canfest! Awesome and gorgeous route, with some sirens and hoses along the way. Save the date with the Lions and Central Elgin Fire Rescue for an incredible run! There are some really special treats for this one! Stay tuned!

Canada Day in Pinafore Park
July 1, 2014
Pinafore Park, St. Thomas

Daytime festivities, vendors, entertainment and nighttime fireworks (10pm) sum up Canada at Pinafore Park. Bring the family out to these yearly celebrations.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Harbour Fest and JAMJAM Music Festival Awarded Elgin Grant

Elgin County Economic Development is pleased to announce that the Festival and Event Partnership Program grant recipients for 2014 have been chosen.

Events receiving grants for 2014 include Port Stanley Harbourfest ($3,000) and JAMJAM Music Festival ($1,000).

"We are very excited to support these two unique cultural festivals," said Tourism Development Coordinator Kathryn Russell. "This funding will help Elgin County organizations to produce quality festivals and events that will attract visitors to our community."

Applicants selected best met the program criteria, which included, but was not limited to attracting visitors to the County; retaining local spending; and enhancing the quality of place by organizing festivals and events within the community.

This is the fifth year that the County of Elgin have encouraged groups to hold festivals and events by providing contributions totaling $4,000 to community groups that take it upon themselves to organize these events.

Elgin County encourages all local festivals and events in the area and hopes to provide the Festival and Event Partnership Program again in 2015.

Photo (from left to right): Alan Smith, General Manager of Economic Development; Jaime Barash, JAMJAM Music Festival; Michelle Fournier, Harbour Fest; Janelle Barash, JAMJAM Music Festival).

Friday, 30 May 2014

Live Theatre in Elgin County

For the next two weekends Elgin County is the place to be for live theatre entertainment! Performances are on now until June 8th at  the professional theatre in Port Stanley and at  two talented community theatre groups - one in Aylmer and the other in St. Thomas. Get out there and enjoy quality live performances!
comedy tragedy masks

Port Stanley Festival Theatre
6-302 Bridge St., Port Stanley

“Country Jukebox: The Best of Country Duets”
Starring Leisa Way, Aaron Solomon,
& Randall Kempf
Featuring the Wayward Wind Band
May 27 - June 7

From traditional country harmonies to exciting crossover melodies, “Country Jukebox” bursts from the gate and hits the ground running. Starring concert veteran, Leisa Way, our opening show takes you on a high energy ride through country’s finest. A non-stop parade of all your favourites will leave you breathless and yelling for more!

Elgin Theatre Guild
40 Princess Ave, St. Thomas

"Swing Dance" 

by Lynda Maertens 

May 29 - June 8

What happens when uptown meets downtown and there is a difference of opinion on a night of "Swing"? Don't miss out on this breakthrough comedy.

38 John St. S, Aylmer 

"Mrs. Parliament's Night Out"

by Norm Foster

May 29 - June 7

The final show of the season will be a first for audiences of community theatre. Norm Foster's newest release to amateur theatre companies is "Mrs. Parliament's Night Out" and ACT is proud to be the first company to acquire the rights. Mrs. Parliament finds herself at a crossroad when her husband of 32 years forgets their anniversary. A myriad of characters, played by 4 men and 3 women, engage in a supportive community that supports and teaches Mrs. P on her journey.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Elgin County Partners with LCBO Food & Drink Magazine

In June 2014, the Savour Elgin/Elgin Arts Trail Experience Guide will be distributed to over 175,000 people as an insert in the Summer Edition of the LCBO Food & Drink magazine.

By partnering with Food & Drink magazine, Elgin County will be able to reach a wide audience that is specifically interested in culinary and cultural attractions. These promotional
efforts are supported by the Local Food Fund administered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

The guide has a new format that will encourage travel throughout the region, by packaging the members into three separate tours leading visitors on a journey to 31 of the area’s best food, drink and artistic establishments. New members in 2014 include Wildflowers Farm in Central Elgin, Simply Scoops in Port Burwell, the Aylmer Performing Arts Council and the Port Stanley Festival Theatre.

This year the guide also includes the chance to Win An Elgin Experience. Pick up a copy of the guide for your chance to win one of three exciting weekend prize packages, each valued at $700.

For a copy of the 2014 Savour Elgin/Elgin Arts Trail Experience Guide please call (519) 631-1460 ext. 164, email or visit Elgin County Economic Development at 450 Sunset Dr. St. Thomas.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Start the Summer off Right this Victoria Day Long-Weekend

After a long cold winter, get out their and celebrate the first long-weekend of summer! 

May 15 – 25
Savour the spring flavours and take advantage of the area’s restaurants, winery, specialty food shops and agri-tourism destinations at three great price points: $10, $15, or $25. Visit for participating businesses and offers.

Port Stanley Sidewalk & Community Yard Sale
May 17
8am Start Time
Village of Port Stanley
Browse the entire village for great bargains and rare finds. Live music at various times throughout the weekend.

Port Glasgow Yacht Club Community Yard & Garage Sale
May 17
Port Glasgow Yacht Club & Marina, 8536 Haven’s Lake Road, RR#3 Rodney

All are welcome. Vendors tables are $10.

West Lorne & Community Horticultural Society Annual Plant & Bake Sale
 May 17
8am Start Time
West Lorne Community Complex, 160 Main Street, West Lorne
Purchase some great plants for your garden at great prices. 

Silverthorn Landscape Seminars
 May 17 
Silverthorn Landscape Supplies, 46400 Talbot Line, St. Thomas
Build a Pond - 10am - Learn how and why the ecosystem works, how to build a pond and all the outdoor enjoyment it will bring to your landscaped yard.
Create an Inukshuk - 1pm - Learn the history and meaning of an Inukshuk and build one to take home with you.
Build a Water Feature - 1pm - Learn how to build a water feature and see how easy it is to have and maintain throughout the season

Scenic Train Rides on the PSTR 
Saturdays & Sundays from May 17th to Jun 29th, plus Mon May 19th (Victoria Day)
Port Stanley Terminal Rail, 309 Bridge Street, Port Stanley
Adults $15, Children (2-14) $9
Enjoy a scenic ride on the Port Stanley Terminal Railway. Reservations are not required, but please arrive at the station 30 minutes in advance for easy access. Regular rides are one hour in duration and run rain or shine.

Murder Mystery Train Rides
 May 17
Dinner at 6pm, train departs at 7pm
Port Stanley Terminal Rail, 309 Bridge Street, Port Stanley
Enjoy delicious dinner supplied by our caterer followed by a moving performance. October 24th & 25th dates are special Halloween edition Murder Mystery rides.

HMCS Ojibwa Season Opener
May 17
9am – 4pm
3 Pitt St., Port Burwell
Tickets for Tours: Adults/children 6-12 - Interior $18.50/$11, exterior $10/$3 (under 6 free), combo $30/$15

HMCS OJIBWA celebrates the opening of its first full season on Saturday, May 17 right beside HMCS OJIBWA in Port Burwell. In addition to tours inside and outside the submarine, a great day of fun and bargains has been planned by a local group called the Bayham SubMissions. Proceeds go to the Museum of Naval History.
Starting at 9:00 am and running until 4:00 pm, there will be a wide variety of craft and vendor booths along with a huge silent auction and face painting for all. For the first time Railway City Brewing Company will be having a beer tasting tent featuring samples of their great local beer. And if you get hungry, there will be a pork and beef BBQ right on site. 

STEPAC Exhibitions: 

Donna Andreychuk – A Perfect Storm
Dennis Kalichuk – 1000 Words of Nature
Heather Keating – Journeys
May 3 – June 7
St. Thomas – Elgin Public Art Centre, 301 Talbot St. St. Thomas

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Mother's Day in Elgin County

Treat your mom locally this Mother's Day!

Mother's Day Open House at Heritage Line Herbs
Door prizes, unique gifts for mom, mother's day gift bags and enjoy the bounty of spring around us. Stroll the grounds and sip tea.

May 10 & 11
53443 Heritage Line, Aylmer 

Sales, food samples, and fun! High Tea Lunch on Sunday (reservation required). Gifts for the first five moms each day.

Steed & Co Lavender Mother's Day Season Opening
May 11
47589 Sparta Line, Sparta

Celebrate Mother's Day at Steed & Co Lavender's season opening. Discover another exciting lavender season.

Mother's Day Breakfast at Backus-Page House
May 11
29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown

Brunch at Pinecroft's Green Frog Tea Room
May 11
8122 Rogers Rd., Aylmer

Treat Mom to a delicious homemade meal at Pinecroft's Green Frog Tea Room. Make your reservation early!

Mother's Day Open House at Wildflowers Farm
May 11
42338 Fruit Ridge Line, St. Thomas

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Easter Egg Hunts in Elgin

The Easter Bunny will be making lots of appearances around Elgin County this weekend! 

Easter Egg Train Rides on the Port Stanley Terminal Rail
Port Stanley
April 18, 19 & 20
Trains depart at 11am, 1pm & 2:30pm
Tickets: Adults $15, Children (2-12) $9 

Although the bunny doesn't speak much, he is very friendly and has lost some eggs along the station grounds at Union. Children and adults alike will enjoy the railway version of this popular tradition! 

Belmont HUB Easter Egg Hunt
Union Street Park, Belmont

April 18
11:00 a.m. 

Children are divided up into several different age groups and each group hunts for "eggs" (golf balls) in a different area of the park. The eggs that they find are exchanged for goodie bags of treats at the end of the hunt. Each child receives a candy bag regardless of how many balls they find. At the end of the hunt the Easter Bunny will be on hand to say hello to the children. There is also a BBQ at the end of the hunt. 

St. Thomas Kinsmen Club Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Pinafore Park, Main Pavilion, St. Thomas
April 19
10:30 a.m.

There will be face painting, food and refreshments available. 

Easter Bunny Visits Sparta
Sparta House Tea Room, Downtown Sparta
April 19

Kids can get a free picture with the Easter Bunny, then have it mounted for free at Robson Studio's. Draws, Easter egg hunts and specials at participating businesses. Donations to the Caring Cupboard gratefully appreciated. 

Rodney Easter Egg Hunt
Rodney Park, Rodney

April 19
Contact Number: (519) 785-0415

West Lorne Easter Egg Hunt
142 Chestnut St., West Lorne
Contact Number: (519) 768-3306