There's a surprising lot of interesting stuff going on around here, and this space is devoted to discovering and sharing it. We'll post regular updates on merchants, activities and events. Look in often and soon you'll see why Meaford calls itself "The other Big Apple".

posted December 4th, 2015
Christmas events this weekend

You can begin to enjoy the spirit of the season this weekend. On Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m., get some Christmas shopping done at the Meaford Farmer’s Market’s annual Christmas Market. More than 30 local artisans will have a huge variety of items on display at Meaford Hall.

Gift ideas include beautiful handcrafted products and local produce, including children’s books, apples, honey and maple syrup, baking, fudge, preserves, knitted products, handmade teddy bears, doll’s clothing, jewellery, soaps, lotions, ceramics, wreaths, and much more. And a local musician will provide a suitable soundtrack for your shopping expedition.

Then, on Sunday, enjoy the gift of music while helping to support a great cause. The Goldenaires, under musical director Jennifer Potter, present their annual Songs of the Season concert at the Meaford United Church, beginning at 2:30 p.m. The Goldenaires women’s choir was formed in 1969, and ever since they’ve used the concert to raise money for community projects.

Enjoy a selection of contemporary and traditional holiday favourites, jazz pieces, and two special arrangements by A.G. “Bert” Hood – a selection that is certain to delight and set the scene for a festive holiday season.

Tickets for the Songs of the Season concert are available at Stuff to Read or from choir members. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

posted December 2nd, 2015
Children’s theatre group onstage in Meaford

Aladdin in MeafordThe kids are back in town! On Friday, Meaford Hall hosts the Kids in the Meaford Hall in their seventh annual play featuring school-age actors from local elementary and high schools. This year, they bring to life Alladin And The Wonderful Lamp, written by the late Chicago playwright Michele L. Vacca. You’ll join Aladdin on his adventures after discovering a magic lamp and befriending the genie who’s sleep he’s disrupted.

Back in 2009, Meaford businessman, politician and tireless volunteer decided to launch a theatre group to perform kids’ plays with kid actors. It took awhile. At first, adults had to be enlisted to play about half of the roles. But by last year, the production became a showcase for an all-youth cast, as kids who’d performed in earlier productions brought their experience and confidence to the group.

Every year, the ensemble performs a free show for about a thousand school kids from the local area – alternating a Christmas play with a dramatized folk tale from one year to the next.

There’s a show at 4 p.m and 7 p.m on Friday, December 4. Learn more at Meaford Hall.

posted October 29th, 2015
Meaford entrepreneurs face the Dragons

Dragons' Den MeafordThe Dragons have ruled. Once again, Meaford’s very own Dragons’ Den has tested and rewarded up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Here are the results of last night’s pitches.

Candice Ruhl Designs, owned by Candice & Michael Ruhl, hopes to open a Meaford shop and gallery to offer Candice’s unique handcrafted sterling silver jewelry. They took the dragon’s share of the bounty, with $3,950 in cash and a total of $17,525 in cash and prizes.

Zach Hannam’s Zaagi Soap Co. came away with $3,950 in cash and prizes to help expand his company’s sales – of natural, handcrafted soaps made from locally grown botanicals – within the community and online.

Brewmaster Mark Lewis was the audience favorite for his plan to establish a downtown Meaford brewery. He took home $800 in cash and a total of cash and prizes of $2,904.

Tanya Snell recently launched, a hub where businesses and consumers meet, and plans to expand its service to Meaford, and Scott Gooch builds custom wood furniture, cabinets and Windsor chairs in his rural Meaford workshop, Bayview Escarpment Fine Furniture & Cabinetry. Both Tanya and Scott took home $900 in prizes.

Thanks to the Meaford Chamber of Commerce for holding the successful event.

posted September 22nd, 2015
A new John Muir day in Meaford – events

While April 21 has been designated and celebrated as John Muir Day in many parts of the world, including California and Scotland, Meaford has dubbed this Saturday, September 26 as our own, homegrown John Muir Day.

As we’ve written before, famed naturalist, author and environmentalist, John Muir spent a productive couple of years in Meaford, working at the Trout Hollow Mill. On Saturday, the Meaford Museum will celebrate Muir and his Meaford connection with a guided tour of the Trout Hollow Trail, including a visit to the site of his cabin and information about the archeological dig that determined its location more than a decade ago. The tour begins at 10 a.m., and admission is $5, with tickets available at the museum.

With the leaves beginning to turn and the weather freshening, it’s the perfect time for a hike along the river trail, which also follows an old elevated mill race and visits the concrete ruins of one of Meaford’s early power stations.

Back at the museum at noon, an open house begins with a scavenger hunt and displays by local artisans at the newly expanded museum gift shop.

At 3 p.m., enjoy a talk on “John Muir in Canada – Contributions to a Philosophy of Nature”, by Connie Simmons, an Alberta Muir scholar who completed her dissertation on John Muir in Canada at the University of Alberta in 2007.

The day wraps up with a series of musical performances at the Harbour Pavilion, including Bambalamb on percussion, Billy Fairley on drums, the Celts, Seamus the Piper and more.

posted September 11th, 2015
September 11 memorial ceremony and Meaford’s memorial relic

This evening, at 7 p.m., the Meaford and District Fire Department’s hosting a memorial ceremony in honour of the victims and survivors of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and recognizing the efforts and bravery of first responders, such as firefighters, paramedics, police officers and Canada’s armed forces.

Three years ago today, the municipality’s fire department, which is primarily made up of volunteer firefighters, unveiled a memorial at the Stewart Street Fire Station which includes a section of steel beam from the World Trade Center. The Department applied to The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to receive and display the beam, under a program which distributed relics for memorial displays, and members of the Department raised money to build the memorial. The one-tonne piece of steel arrived in Meaford nearly a year before the official unveiling and was presented, draped in an American flag imprinted with the names of those who died, to the Department and Meaford.

Meaford Fire Department with memorial beam. (Photo by MalahatTwo7)

Meaford Fire Department with memorial beam. (Photo by MalahatTwo7)

Meaford is one of only a few (13 according to this list) communities in Canada to have been selected to receive a memorial artifact from the Port Authority, and one of only dozens outside the U.S.

“Acquiring World Trade Center steel can take several years,” explained The Atlantic in a post this morning. “Those who seek artifacts for private ownership—like the person who asked for steel for a class ring—are rejected. All applicants must agree to publicly display the steel, and Port Authority officials work with applicants to determine the best size and shape to fit their proposed designs.”

The program has less than 30 pieces of steel remaining, with more than twice as many organizations applying for a memorial, and will close once those, and some non-steel artifacts, are distributed.

posted August 17th, 2015
Bighead Hops ShinDig harvest festival


Things were hopping in Meaford this past weekend. The third annual Bighead Hops ShinDig welcomed beer lovers, food lovers and music lovers to a family friendly event showcasing 14 craft breweries and cideries, most of them from nearby. From noon to five on Saturday, August 15, visitors sampled unique, sometimes limited edition ales, lagers and ciders, along with freshly made local foods, all to a live soundtrack of local musicians, including folk favourites Moonshiner’s Daughter. And Niagara College’s brewmaster program was on hand to actually begin brewing up a batch of pale ale, using freshly picked hops.

Nicholas Schaut explains the magic of hops at the Bighead Hops ShinDig.

Nicholas Schaut explains the magic of hops at the Bighead Hops ShinDig.

The event, which kicks off hop harvest season, has grown each year, and has attracted attention from even some of the bigger brewers. “This is a craft beer event so we have in fact turned away a few breweries,” Bighead Hops owner Nicholas Schaut told the Owen Sound Sun Times“It is becoming something really that has its own life.”

hop field

posted August 6th, 2015
Meaford Film Festival hosts rare photographs of events surrounding Selma march

The screening of Selma at the Meaford International Film Festival (MIFF) will be enhanced by a rarely seen exhibition of photos taken during this pivotal period in the American civil rights movement. Lynn Ball was freelancing in the darkroom at Canadian Press Toronto in the late winter of 1965 when he heard about the upcoming third march from Selma to Montgomery. Knowing it would an historic event, the aspiring news photographer packed his gear into his car and drove to Alabama, where he took a series of astonishing photos that sat in a drawer for the next 50 years.

Ball says that some of the photos were considered too controversial or racially charged to be published at the time by American, and even Canadaian, news organizations. “AP [Associated Press] sent out the pictures and then immediately sent out a kill order on them,” he told the Kemptville Advance.

These included photographs of white demonstrators in opposition to the march – images which still have the power to shock today.

White protesters in Selma Alabama 1965

News organizations wouldn’t publish photos of white protesters in Selma, Alabama in 1965 – Photo: Lynn Ball

“These pictures [white people waving signs displaying racial slurs] weren’t picked up by anyone,” Ball told the Advance. “No one would touch them.”

Some of Ball’s film was still undeveloped in a drawer until earlier this year. The 50th anniversary of the Selma march prompted Ball to develop and organize a photo essay, which premiered in Merrickville, Ontario in March.

The exhibit, along with a recorded interview with Lynn Ball, is currently being displayed by the Emancipation Festival at the Grey Roots Museum in Owen Sound. MIFF’s special exhibit is thanks to the efforts of Blaine Courtney, Emancipation Festival Chair. MIFF will also feature an additional exhibit from the Festival and Clarksburg’s Sheffield Park Black History Museum about their efforts to preserve and explore the black experience in Grey Bruce.

posted June 30th, 2015
Canada Day, Meaford-style

Canada Day kicks off in Meaford at 9 a.m. at Market Square, the parking area beside Meaford Hall. From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., the Military Family Resource Centre will serve up the popular Canada Day breakfast of pancakes and sausages. Come early, so you’re ready for the flag raising ceremony and still have room for the Canada Day cake, at 11 a.m.

Activities continue on through the day, with a downtown yard sale, dog tricks for Beautiful Joe, a Library obstacle race, crafts and more. Beginning in the afternoon, enjoy live music from the Shane Cloutier band and Bored of Education.

Then, as dusk falls, find a spot at the waterfront to take in the spectacular Meaford tradition of fireworks over Georgian Bay.

Complete schedule of events in and around Meaford.

posted April 29th, 2015
Hike and help our local hospice

With spring seriously here, it’s time to get out and hike the local trails and byways. Here’s a hike that will do more than help your heart; the funds you raise will support the Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce.

The hospice, in Owen Sound, provides compassionate, dignified, patient-centered care to people with a progressive life-limiting illness, allowing them to live well while dying. “A few short years ago residential hospice care was not an option,” says Executive Director Scott Lovell. “This Hike sends a powerful message about how important this service is to our region.”

In Ontario, residential hospices are funded by the provincial government for only a portion of their operation – making their contribution specific to the costs associated with the salaries for nursing and personal support work at the bedside. This means all other aspects of the hospice’s operation, such as medical equipment, patient meals and other comforts, are supported by the community.

Get your pledge forms at the website above, and plan on heading out this Sunday, May 3. The Meaford hike registration begins at 1 p.m. at the St. Vincent Roman Catholic Church, at the corner of Cook and Collingwood streets. For more information, visit the site or call Wes Sparling at 519-538-3196.

posted April 21st, 2015
Bid on fun and help Meaford youth programs

Support a great cause and come away with an adventure, a night out or one of dozens of exciting auction items. The Meaford Rotary Club’s annual silent auction is sure to offer something that will pique your interest: outdoor adventures, fine dining, theatre, film festival passes, musical events, a relaxing spa day, fitness memberships, golf, and more – including Pickleball lessons. Yes, Pickleball.

The funds raised go toward Meaford Rotary youth projects in literacy, leadership, bursaries, music and sports.

Check out many of the items in RBA Financial’s window display on Sykes Street, or the Chamber of Commerce’s display on Trowbridge, then starting on Thursday, April 23, visit Meaford Hall to see more and get your bids in. Open noon to 7 p.m. Thursday April 23 and Friday April 24, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. Last bids by 2 p.m.

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