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 July 19th, 2016
Rock with Meaford’s Summer Concert Series at Market Square

This summer, enjoy songs by the setting sun and under the stars, as Meaford’s Summer Concert Series comes to Market Square on select Friday evenings. The free concerts feature local young and rising stars, and kick off off at 7 p.m. till 10. Here’s what’s coming up.

July 22, Rob Elder & The Shed Shakers, featuring some of Grey County’s best musicians playing a mix of originals and hits with a rocking, funky beat. Featuring special guest, Emma Page.

August 12, The Honeyrunners featuring special guest Victoria Yeh This Toronto band plays feel-good rock fused with soul, and at this show they’re featuring one of Canada’s premier acoustic and electric violinists.

August 26, Marshall Dane Country fuelled by rock and roll brings Marshall’s songs of hope, love and kindness home in a big way.

Bring non-perishable food items to support Golden Town Outreach, and settle down in your campchair to enjoy the sounds.

Meaford Summer Concert Series

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 November 30th, 2015
Meaford music scene and business environment add to retirement advantages

Billy and Ann Marie Fairley had found the perfect retirement location in Meaford – a beautiful, charming Ontario small town on Georgian Bay. But the couple weren’t retired yet, and beyond its location and charm, Meaford offered other advantages.

Meaford also proved to be a welcoming environment for a small business, which met another criterion. Billy operates his tailoring business, The Sewing House, from the basement in their new home at 96 Margaret Street, where he tailors and repairs all kinds of clothing – dresses, jeans, jackets and more – including replacing zippers, which is a hard-to-find service. He quickly found customers knocking on his door, and his clientele continues to grow.

To top it all off, Meaford’s musical community was a truly welcoming surprise for the accomplished rock drummer. “Music is becoming more than a sideline,” he says. “I’m busier here musically than I was down in Alliston.” From the foxtrots of Pitlochry to Meaford’s music scene, Billy “The Kid” Fairley has led an interesting and varied musical life. After three years in the hotel gig, he started a group called Just Us with Andy Roberts on guitar and Dougie Thompson on bass. (Dougie later joined Supertramp, and Andy played with a number of major artists on tour and in the studio, including a stint in the “Surrogate Band” during Pink Floyd’s 1981 The Wall tour.) Then he teamed up with an erstwhile folk trio gone folk-rock, becoming the drummer for String Driven Thing. 1973’s “The Machine that Cried”, the band’s first album recorded with the rock line-up, is “now regarded as a forgotten classic”, according to Wikipedia.

When Billy maried Canadian Ann Marie and moved with her to Canada, he initially thought he’d left his musical life behind. “I lost all my musical buddies, and I lost a lot of chances.” He returned to the UK to play a few times, “But Canada’s a place to bring up your kids, definitely,” he says.

And now his musical horizons are expanding in Meaford. He’s teamed with a number of professional and amateur musicians and songwriters and hopes to be in the studio recording soon. He also has plans to stage a revival of his musical, “Freedom”, a rock opera treatment of the Braveheart story brought to life in the movie starring Mel Gibson. “This is the true story, though”, Billy emphasizes.

Meaford’s proving to be the perfect place to retire. “It’s safe here to ride bikes, it’s safe to go on walks. You can go down to the harbour any time in five minutes. The tailoring business is getting busy. And I’m busy musically,” says Billy, who’s packed a lot into the first few months of his Meaford life. “You have to,” he says. “I’ve lost a lot of close friends in the last few years, and it’s made me think, I ain’t here for a long time. Let’s go out with a bang.”

Hear and watch a couple of Billy’s performances:

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 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 March 27th, 2015
Enjoy a night out in Meaford

Meaford, Bruce Grey Simcoe, and the Ontario government have released an ad which takes you on a night on the town. Warm gatherings, great food and exciting culture warm up this beautiful, snowy winter’s night. The video was shot at George’s on Main and Meaford Hall and Culture Centre in downtown Meaford.

Posted by Georges on Main on Thursday, March 26, 2015

posted March 24th, 2015
Around the Bay and Back Again – Stompin’ Tom visits Meaford

After 23 years in Meaford, you’d I’d’ve come across this Stompin’ Tom gem, but I only discovered it today.

From Espanola to Manitoulin
‘Cross the channel I’m bound
I heard a story in Tobermory
That my baby’s in Owen Sound
I was close behind her
But couldn’t find her
So to Meaford, I’m away
Down to Collingwood, that’s where I stood
At the bottom of the Georgian Bay

That’s the first verse of “Around the Bay and Back Again”, which appeared first on Tom’s 1969 LP, “On Tragedy Trail”. It must have been a favourite, because he released it again on “Stompin’ Tom Meets Big Joe Mufferraw” a year later.

Here’s the legend performing the song in 1973, and again, nearly 40 years later, in 2010.

Buy the song on Amazon.

posted July 19th, 2014
Outdoor Summer music in Meaford

Sun and song… what could be better. Check out these outdoor music events coming up this summer.

Next weekend, starting Friday, the King(s) come to Collingwood. The Collingwood Elvis Festival features lots of outdoor entertainment that will have you “all shook up”.

Once you’ve recovered from the retro rockin’, you might just be ready for some avant-garde audio and art. Electric Eclectics comes to the Funny Farm on Scotch Mountain for the August long weekend.

Two weeks after that on the third weekend in August, Summerfolk brings a real variety of sounds to Owen Sound’s Kelso Park.

But you don’t need to wait for the festivals. Head down to the Meaford Farmer’s Market every Friday and you’ll likely catch a little live music along with the delicious 100-mile wares on display.

And what could be better than seeing the sun set from Meaford Harbour while enjoying some great music? At 7 p.m. each Sunday till August 24, the Friends of the Library Summer Concert Series lets you do just that.

posted September 25th, 2013
Stomp your heart out in Meaford this weekend

Here’s a free event that fits right in with Culture Days this weekend – the 100 Mile Stomp. Head down to Meaford Harbour on Sunday, September 29, any time after 1 p.m., and enjoy entertainment, crafts, food and fun from local businesses. That local focus explains the 100 mile part. What about the “Stomp”.

While the artists will perform a lot of their own music, at least 50 percent of the performance will be the songs of Stompin’ Tom Conners. It’s a tremendous Stompin’ Tom Tribute festival!

Enjoy the music, buy CDs, crafts and other goods, and enjoy food from local merchants.

Visit the 100 Mile Stomp website to learn more.

posted June 1st, 2013
Meaford butcher onstage at Meaford Hall

As barbecue season swings into full force, you’ll be pleased to know that among Meaford’s many amenities is a service you won’t find in every small town. Cutting Edge Meats, on Sykes Street, offers free range chicken, beef, pork and lamb, along with seafood and smoked foods, prepared by a third-generation butcher. But this butcher cuts great country songs along with great-tasting meat.

For 20 years or so, Meaford residents enjoyed the services of Mark Young, resident butcher at The Sirloin Cellar. But when Mark and his wife, Debbie, retired and closed up shop at the end of 2009, meat lovers mourned the closing. Fortunately, they didn’t have to wait long.

At the time, Michael Ruhl operated Cutting Edge Meats in Thornbury. He had begun to think about moving his shop to Meaford, but another goal tugged at his imagination. In 2010, he headed to Nashville to launch a country music career. He recorded an EP, played around town, and shot a music video in Saskatchewan, before returning back to the area and opening his new Meaford butcher shop last summer.

Michael RuleNow, he works both careers – and sometimes combines them, as you’ll discover next Friday at the performance and pig roast supper at Meaford Hall.

The evening begins at 5 p.m with cocktails on the patio at Meaford Hall, followed by a dinner featuring slow-roasted local pork prepared on Ruhl’s 18-foot barbecue. Then, at 8 p.m. Michael Rule (transformed into his stage name), takes to the stage to perform his personal brand of fresh alt-country music.

For tickets, visit the box office online or at 12 Nelson Street East, or call 1.877.538.0463.

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