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POINTSETTIA OPEN HOUSE PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 14:23
A poinsettia can add a splash of festive colour to your home, but when thousands of poinsettias are massed in one location, it’s a breathtaking sight.
That’s what happens when Huron Ridge Acres holds its Annual Poinsettia Open House & Candlelight Event. The Zurich-area greenhouse will hold the event November 22-25 this year,  just before the poinsettias are shipped to customers across Ontario. There’s special magic in the evenings when the poinsettias are lit by candlelight.
The Steckle family, founders Dave and Carol, their son Ken and his wife Lorraine and their three children, are among a dwindling number of Ontario poinsettia growers, and they’re by no means among the largest, says Carol. Poinsettias are among a number of crops at the nursery.
By mid-July when the rush of selling spring bedding plants has died down it’s time to start planting the poinsettias. They start with 7,500-8,000 cuttings, each rooted in a small cube, which they buy from a supplier who sources them in southern climes.
As the plants grow, they need to be spaced out so the leaves can spread.
To turn colour, the plants require a natural day length. There can be no artificial light in the greenhouse at night so if they have to enter at night they don’t even turn on lights.
The plants are timed to come to their vivid red colour for the Christmas market. The Steckles sell the poinsettias through local stores, at their own nursery, and through groups from Windsor to Burlington and Mississauga who sell Huron Ridge poinsettias as part of their fundraising. The groups, from schools to clubs to marching bands,  take orders from friends and neighbours, then order plants to be delivered in time for Christmas decorating.
Before the plants get shipped out, however, the Steckles hold the Poinsettia Celebration, which has become a holiday attraction in the region.
Steckle said that she initially brought the idea away from a grower idea roundtable in Ohio, where similar business-owners gathered to exchange ideas on how to improve their businesses.
The atmosphere of celebration is helped by added attractions that hadn’t been determined at press time. Last year the Coastal Coffee Company was on hand.
Huron Ridge Acres was a traditional mixed farming operation until 1973 when Dave and Carol Steckle decided to diversify by adding a used 2,000-square-foot greenhouse to propagate bedding plants for sale at their farm. From there the business just grew and grew. As well as the large greenhouse, they have cold frames and four acres of outdoor growing area, for garden mums.
The Poinsettia Open House & Candlelight Event is open Thursday, November 22 from 5-8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, 12 noon to 4 p.m. You can also see the poinsettias during regular business hour leading up the event and afterward, in diminishing numbers, until all the poinsettias have been shipped.
For more information on the event, contact Steckle at Huron Ridge Acres at 519-565-2122 or visit the company’s website at www.huronridge.ca
MASSED POINSETTIAS ON VIEW AT POINTSETTIA OPEN HOUSE AND CANDLELIGHT EVENT
A poinsettia can add a splash of festive colour to your home, but when thousands of poinsettias are massed in one location, it’s a breathtaking sight.
That’s what happens when Huron Ridge Acres holds its Annual Poinsettia Open House & Candlelight Event. The Zurich-area greenhouse will hold the event November 22-25 this year,  just before the poinsettias are shipped to customers across Ontario. There’s special magic in the evenings when the poinsettias are lit by candlelight.
The Steckle family, founders Dave and Carol, their son Ken and his wife Lorraine and their three children, are among a dwindling number of Ontario poinsettia growers, and they’re by no means among the largest, says Carol. Poinsettias are among a number of crops at the nursery.
Read more...
 
BAYFIELD TOWN HALL PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 12:23
Bayfield’s historic Town Hall may not have a long reputation for music like Massey Hall or an impressive size like Roy Thompson Hall but it’s building a musical reputation of its own as home to Bayfield Festival of Song.
The small hall will provide an intimate setting for audiences to enjoy nine concerts by classical vocalists and pianists from June 3-12 at the fifth annual Festival.
The 2011 Festival begins Friday, June 3, at 8 p.m. wheb Colin Ainsworth, one of Canada’s finest tenors performs Schubert’s heart-achingly beautiful song-cycle, a springtime love story. It’s an opportunity to hear a masterpiece by the world’s greatest song-writer, accompanied by Stephen Ralls, piano performing Schubert: The Miller’s Lovely Daughter (Die schöne Müllerin).
Saturday morning, June 4 at 11 a.m. there’ll be a coffee concert: An English Morning – Music from the homeland of the Aldeburgh Connection which organizes the Festival, with piano-duets by Ralls and Ubukata and songs from visiting artists for the Festival’s first morning.
That evening at 8 pm there will be a Celebrity Recital with Lucia Cesaroni, soprano and Ainsworth,  with Ralls and Ubukata on their twin pianos.
The two dazzling singers, after conquering audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, have chosen their favourite songs, arias and duets for the festival, before preparing their lead roles in Vancouver Opera’s new West Side Story.
On Sunday, June 5 at 2:30 p.m., Rebecca Collett, soprano; Julia Barber, mezzo; Graham Thomson, tenor; Geoffrey Sirett, baritone; and Ralls and Ubukata piano, will perform Embraceable You! Songs of love – romantic, soulful, ecstatic, and sardonic – ­will be interpreted by these formidably talented young singers in the concert,which will be followed by an audience party with the artists.
The expertise and wisdom of one of the country’s most distinguished singers, mezzo Catherine Robbin, will be available to young students when she  conducts a singer’s masterclass, Thursday, June 9, at 4 p.m. She’ll coach and encourage young singing students preparing for their careers.
Afterwards there will be a Bistro Night at the Little Inn featuring a special three-course menu  prepared by the chef.
The Celebrity Recital on Friday, June 10 will feature Allyson McHardy mezzo with Stephen Ralls on piano. Fresh from triumphs as Rossini’s Cinderella with Glyndebourne Opera, McHardy’s “sumptuous mezzo tone” and “radiant sensitivity” have been praised across North America and Europe.
Saturday, June 11’s Schubert in the Morning,  Coffee Concert at 11 a.m. features piano-duets by Ralls and Ubukata and songs from visiting artists, celebrating one of our favourite composers.
Saturday night’s concert, Glamorous Night: The music of Ivor Novello and Noël Coward will feature Lindsay Barrett, soprano; Peter Barrett, baritone; and Ralls and Ubukata on piano at 8 p.m.
A talented young couple and rapidly rising stars, the Barretts will perform some of the best-loved and most effervescent songs of the last century.
Embraceable You! on Sunday, June 12, at  2:30 p.m. features the young artists who have spent the week performing in schools throughout Huron and Perth Counties. Now they’ll repeat their June 5 concert, followed by a party with the audience.
The Festival is the outgrowth of an association that  began back in 2004. The Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society was looking for ways to raise money for the hall’s restoration so approached pianists Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata, who are also artistic directors of the Aldeburgh Connection, to perform fundraising concerts along with their singers.
Success in 2004 led to more concerts in 2005 and 2006. Both the Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society and Aldeburgh Connection (not to mention audiences) were enthusiastic about the result. It was decided to inaugurate a festival, which took place for the first time in June 2007.
Each of the 2007 and 2008 festivals ran for one weekend, with three concerts featuring the finest young singers, together with the artistic directors, and a celebrity recital with an established star on the Saturday night.
All of the concerts sold out and with a significant number of the audience coming from such points as Stratford, London and Toronto, and the U.S.A., local hotels, inns and stores were enthusiastic to see the festival expand.
The 2009 festival stretched to two weekends and that has continued since.
The Aldeburgh Connection draws its name from the small east coast English town of Aldeburgh where,  more than 60 years ago, Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears and Eric Crozier founded the Festival of Music that flourishes to this day. Ralls and Ubukata have visited and worked there for many summers as have many of the artists who work with them. In 1982 the two founded the Aldeburgh Connection to provide recital opportunities for Canadian singers in Toronto and elsewhere. Taking their inspiration from an east coast British town they hope to create a famous music festival in a west coast Ontario village.
Tickets for the Saturday morning concerts and the Wednesday evening concert are $25. Tickets are $35 for evening and Sunday afternoon concerts. The master class tickets are $15. Tickets can be ordered at 519-565-2435 or 416-735-7982, or by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
BAYFIELD FESTIVAL OF SONG MARKS FIFTH YEAR, JUNE 3-12
Bayfield’s historic Town Hall may not have a long reputation for music like Massey Hall or an impressive size like Roy Thompson Hall but it’s building a musical reputation of its own as home to Bayfield Festival of Song.
The small hall will provide an intimate setting for audiences to enjoy nine concerts by classical vocalists and pianists from June 3-12 at the fifth annual Festival.
Read more...
 
BAYFIELD TOWN HALL PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 12:23
Bayfield’s historic Town Hall may not have a long reputation for music like Massey Hall or an impressive size like Roy Thompson Hall but it’s building a musical reputation of its own as home to Bayfield Festival of Song.
The small hall will provide an intimate setting for audiences to enjoy nine concerts by classical vocalists and pianists from June 3-12 at the fifth annual Festival.
The 2011 Festival begins Friday, June 3, at 8 p.m. wheb Colin Ainsworth, one of Canada’s finest tenors performs Schubert’s heart-achingly beautiful song-cycle, a springtime love story. It’s an opportunity to hear a masterpiece by the world’s greatest song-writer, accompanied by Stephen Ralls, piano performing Schubert: The Miller’s Lovely Daughter (Die schöne Müllerin).
Saturday morning, June 4 at 11 a.m. there’ll be a coffee concert: An English Morning – Music from the homeland of the Aldeburgh Connection which organizes the Festival, with piano-duets by Ralls and Ubukata and songs from visiting artists for the Festival’s first morning.
That evening at 8 pm there will be a Celebrity Recital with Lucia Cesaroni, soprano and Ainsworth,  with Ralls and Ubukata on their twin pianos.
The two dazzling singers, after conquering audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, have chosen their favourite songs, arias and duets for the festival, before preparing their lead roles in Vancouver Opera’s new West Side Story.
On Sunday, June 5 at 2:30 p.m., Rebecca Collett, soprano; Julia Barber, mezzo; Graham Thomson, tenor; Geoffrey Sirett, baritone; and Ralls and Ubukata piano, will perform Embraceable You! Songs of love – romantic, soulful, ecstatic, and sardonic – ­will be interpreted by these formidably talented young singers in the concert,which will be followed by an audience party with the artists.
The expertise and wisdom of one of the country’s most distinguished singers, mezzo Catherine Robbin, will be available to young students when she  conducts a singer’s masterclass, Thursday, June 9, at 4 p.m. She’ll coach and encourage young singing students preparing for their careers.
Afterwards there will be a Bistro Night at the Little Inn featuring a special three-course menu  prepared by the chef.
The Celebrity Recital on Friday, June 10 will feature Allyson McHardy mezzo with Stephen Ralls on piano. Fresh from triumphs as Rossini’s Cinderella with Glyndebourne Opera, McHardy’s “sumptuous mezzo tone” and “radiant sensitivity” have been praised across North America and Europe.
Saturday, June 11’s Schubert in the Morning,  Coffee Concert at 11 a.m. features piano-duets by Ralls and Ubukata and songs from visiting artists, celebrating one of our favourite composers.
Saturday night’s concert, Glamorous Night: The music of Ivor Novello and Noël Coward will feature Lindsay Barrett, soprano; Peter Barrett, baritone; and Ralls and Ubukata on piano at 8 p.m.
A talented young couple and rapidly rising stars, the Barretts will perform some of the best-loved and most effervescent songs of the last century.
Embraceable You! on Sunday, June 12, at  2:30 p.m. features the young artists who have spent the week performing in schools throughout Huron and Perth Counties. Now they’ll repeat their June 5 concert, followed by a party with the audience.
The Festival is the outgrowth of an association that  began back in 2004. The Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society was looking for ways to raise money for the hall’s restoration so approached pianists Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata, who are also artistic directors of the Aldeburgh Connection, to perform fundraising concerts along with their singers.
Success in 2004 led to more concerts in 2005 and 2006. Both the Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society and Aldeburgh Connection (not to mention audiences) were enthusiastic about the result. It was decided to inaugurate a festival, which took place for the first time in June 2007.
Each of the 2007 and 2008 festivals ran for one weekend, with three concerts featuring the finest young singers, together with the artistic directors, and a celebrity recital with an established star on the Saturday night.
All of the concerts sold out and with a significant number of the audience coming from such points as Stratford, London and Toronto, and the U.S.A., local hotels, inns and stores were enthusiastic to see the festival expand.
The 2009 festival stretched to two weekends and that has continued since.
The Aldeburgh Connection draws its name from the small east coast English town of Aldeburgh where,  more than 60 years ago, Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears and Eric Crozier founded the Festival of Music that flourishes to this day. Ralls and Ubukata have visited and worked there for many summers as have many of the artists who work with them. In 1982 the two founded the Aldeburgh Connection to provide recital opportunities for Canadian singers in Toronto and elsewhere. Taking their inspiration from an east coast British town they hope to create a famous music festival in a west coast Ontario village.
Tickets for the Saturday morning concerts and the Wednesday evening concert are $25. Tickets are $35 for evening and Sunday afternoon concerts. The master class tickets are $15. Tickets can be ordered at 519-565-2435 or 416-735-7982, or by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
BAYFIELD FESTIVAL OF SONG MARKS FIFTH YEAR, JUNE 3-12
Bayfield’s historic Town Hall may not have a long reputation for music like Massey Hall or an impressive size like Roy Thompson Hall but it’s building a musical reputation of its own as home to Bayfield Festival of Song.
The small hall will provide an intimate setting for audiences to enjoy nine concerts by classical vocalists and pianists from June 3-12 at the fifth annual Festival.
Read more...
 
BACH MUSIC FESTIVAL PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 12:14
BACH MUSIC FESTIVAL OF SOUTH HURON
A love of classical music brought two strangers together and the result is the Bach Festival of South Huron, debuting July 11-17.
When Friedhelm Hoffmann moved from Stuttgart, Germany to southern Huron County, he brought his love of music with him and joined the Fanshawe Chorus choir in London, led by Gerald Fagan. When Fagan heard him sing and recognized the quality of his voice, he asked him to join another of his choirs, the  24-voice chamber choir, Gerald Fagan Singers.
As time went by and they got to know each other, Fagan found out Hoffmann came from a musical family with a background in Bach. They began to talk about what they could do in the South Huron area and the idea of the Bach Festival arose.
Hoffman attends, and is warden of, Trivett Memorial Anglican Church, a magnificent church in Exeter. They approached the church’s board with the idea of a festival and received a warm response. They approached the municipality and other groups and found equal enthusiasm.
“The reception of this town and the region has been unbelieveable,”  says, Fagan artistic director of the festival.
The result is an ambitious week-long Festival that will make use of Trivitt Memorial, as well as St. Peter’s Lutheran in Zurich and will even turn Exeter’s South Huron Recreation Centre arena into a concert hall for the massive performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor which will have an orchestra, choir of 150 and soloists.
The festival begins Sunday, July 10 with a parade in Exeter and reception by South Huron Mayor George Robertson.
Monday at 8 p.m. is the first concert with Trio Alla Grande, guitarists Rémi Barrette, Julien Bisaillon and Bruno Roussel. Their concerts offer an entrancing mix of original music from diverse influences. Program music cohabits with South American rhythms and the harmonic richness of impressionist music.
On Tuesday they’ll work with talented young guitarists in a workshop/masterclass.
On Tuesday, July 12, at 8 p.m., London-born Lara St. John will perform a solo violin concert, playing Bach’s music.  She has recorded much of Bach with great success. Her “Bach: The Six Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo” was iTunes’ best-selling double album of 2007. Her previous recording, “Bach: The Concerto Album,” rose to number one in the iTunes’ classical category in 2005.
In North America, St. John has performed as a soloist with orchestras that include Cleveland, Philadelphia,  Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, the National Arts Centre, the Boston Pops and in New York’s Central Park.
In Europe, her performances have been with the NDR Symphony (Hanover), Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, the Amsterdam Symphony and with the Mendelssohn Kammerorchester at the Gewandhaus, Leipzig.
In Asia, she has made solo appearances with the Hong Kong Symphony, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra and the Shanghai Broadcasting Orchestra.
On Wednesday, July 13, St. John will perform a masterclass for talented violinists.
Wednesday there will be a noon hour concert with Thomas Dahl on the organ.
A new music festival doesn’t usually start with a big budget and Fagan called on good friends to be able to present top-flight programming with limited funds.
So, for instance, Thursday evening at 8 p.m.  at St. Peter’s Lutheran in Zurich, Thomas Paul, a friend of Fagan’s, will perform the concert The Art of the Aria. Revered as one of the great bassos of the 20th century,  Paul was chosen by Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, and Eugene Ormandy, as bass soloist in many recordings.
He comes to the Bach Festival of South Huron with an equally significant career as a teacher, particularly of the arias of J.S. Bach.  Gleaned from his experience as a valued member of The Bach Aria Group of New York, he became a valued member of the teaching staff of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
He will also work with several outstanding young singers during workshops at the festival.
Thursday evening will have an outstanding choir concert with the Gerald Fagan Singers joined by Harvesthude Kammerchor from Germany at 8 p.m.
One of the true chamber choirs in Ontario, the Gerald Fagan Singers were the first performing group from the West to travel to Lithuania. Gerald Fagan was awarded the Lithuanian Medal by President Adamkus during their concerts in Vilnius.
They were chosen to perform at Montserrat Monastery and, while in Spain, they were privileged to perform at the incomplete Gaudi Cathedral – the first choir to ever sing in this magnificent edifice.
Highlights of other tours include a performance for the International Bishops’ Conference (Canterbury), a performance for the International Trade Commission in Stuttgart and a concert in Avignon at the Pope's Palace on Bastille Day.
It was on one of their European tours that they performed as guests of Harvesthude Kammerchor in Hamburg. Now they are returning the favour, hosting the award-winning choir in Ontario.
Naturally enough, given Fagan’s background, choirs play a big part in the festival. Beginning Monday, Brenda Zadorsky, co-founder of the Amabile Youth Singers, will conduct rehearsals for the festival’s children’s and youth (unchanged voices) choir. They’ll rehearse all day, each day throughout the week leading up to a Friday evening concert at 8 p.m.
On  Saturday after rehearsals of the choirs. orchestra and soloists during the day, the gala evening concert of St. John Passion will be held at 8 p.m.
Trivitt Memorial is a fascinating venue. It’s named for Thomas Trivitt, Justice of the Peace in Huron County who had inherited a substantial estate and promised to support building a grand new Anglican Church in Exeter. The plans were based on a portion of Exeter Cathedral in England. The bell tower stands 92 feet high, and includes five floors. The fourth floor houses a chime of 20 bells, with the playing apparatus located on the second floor. The church is also renowned for its magnificent stained-glass windows.
INAUGURAL BACH MUSIC FESTIVAL OF SOUTH HURON JULY 11-17
A love of classical music brought two strangers together and the result is the Bach Festival of South Huron, debuting July 11-17.
Read more...
 
BAYFIELD COLLECTOR SHOW PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 March 2011 14:53
The Bayfield Historical Society’s 11th annual Bayfield Collector Show and Exhibition will be held on Apr. 16-17.
Historical Society member, Phil Gemeinhardt works very hard all year round at finding new and different collections and exhibitors for this event. Pedal tractors, vintage toys, rope making, museum and archive displays, sewing, dolls, china and sometimes even the weird and the un-identifiable; this show offers something of interest for everyone.
Popular aspects of the show continue to be the silent auction, appraisal corner and lunch booth.
The silent auction has a vast selection of items generously donated by area businesses and society friends. Organizers note that bidding on the items is brisk on both days but to be sure to be the winning bidder it is best to be there when the auction closes at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Tim Saunders, owner of Three Squirrels Antiques as well as a Historical Society past-president, has, for more than a decade, volunteered his time to preside over the appraisal table. With over 20 years experience in the antiques and collectables business, there is very little he cannot appraise. Those who wish to consult with him should bring no more than three items per person and pictures of furniture or other large items will suffice.
The Bayfield Historical Society is able to carry on many local projects because of the generous donations they receive at the door to this event as well as at the appraisal table. The spirited bidding that occurs on many of the silent auction items also makes this the largest annual fundraiser for the society.
The exhibition will be held at the Bayfield Community Centre and run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The official opening ceremony will take place on Saturday at 1 p.m. with several local dignitaries in attendance.
For exhibitor or show information please contact: Phil Gemeinhardt, 519 482- 9230 or Binnie Sturgeon 519 565-2376.
BAYFIELD COLLECTOR SHOW UPLCOMING APRIL 16-17
The Bayfield Historical Society’s 11th annual Bayfield Collector Show and Exhibition will be held on Apr. 16-17.
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