bayfield breeze issue

The Bayfield BreezeIssue 655 Week 05 Vol 13

January 25, 2022


Issue 655 Week 05 Vol 13
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PACC Group Shot

Members of the Bayfield People and Canine Community (PACC) recently met at the gazebo in Clan Gregor Square to demonstrate compliance with the leash by-law. The Bayfield PACC Executive are l-r: Janet Deline, with Bear and Lissa; Julaine Brent, with Finn; and Sean Taylor, with Dude. (Submitted photo)

Bayfield is a vibrant growing village with a strong sense of community spirit. This is evident from the many projects, fundraisers, and local activities supported by its citizens over the years. It speaks to the character of the community that so many people are willing to volunteer their time and effort.

Bayfield People and Canine Community (PACC) was formed a year ago to address an urgent need for an off-leash play area for local and visiting canines. A loose knit group of dog owners were becoming frustrated in their attempts to find suitable areas to socialize their pets and decided to form a non-profit group to address this issue. The pandemic played a role in this as well since travel was restricted and an increasing number of folks were adopting new pets. This translated to more residents coming to, or remaining, in Bayfield and resulted in an explosion of new dog owners. Clearly, Bayfield loves dogs!

As a non-profit organization, Bayfield PACC is required to designate an executive board. Their current slate of officers has Julaine Brent as President, Janet Deline as Secretary and Sean Taylor as Treasurer. The group also includes a number of enthusiastic volunteers who assist in organizing various activities throughout the year.

“Population growth in Bayfield has outpaced the rest of Bluewater and as demographics change, so do the needs of the community. Our goal, and vision, has not wavered over the course of the last year and we remain committed to working with local officials and residents to express our concerns as dog owners,” said Jeff Kish, a supporter of the Bayfield PACC.

Kish went on to say that the recent survey conducted by the Bayfeld PACC, indicates strong support for an off-leash area and provides objective information which can be relayed to various levels of local government. Coincidentally, the Municipality of Bluewater is currently conducting a Recreation Master Plan Study along with a Secondary Plan for the settlement area. Bayfield PACC will definitely be involved in this undertaking.

In addition to their primary objective, Bayfield PACC also supports the principles of responsible dog ownership. This includes initiatives such as their sign campaign urging residents to clean up after their pets.

“We also believe that it is vital for our group to participate in worthy local activities such as Earth Day cleanup, Guide Dog fundraisers, the Terry Fox run and several other projects. We believe this demonstrates our support for the community and establishes Bayfield PACC as a credible and caring organization,” said Suzan Johnson, a volunteer with Bayfield PACC.

Education and awareness also represent the core principles of the Bayfield PACC.

“In addition to our clean-up campaign, we urge residents to comply with existing municipal leash bylaws. We understand that some folks are greatly intimidated by dogs running at large in public spaces. This only underscores the need for a controlled environment where people and canines can safely enjoy the benefits of exercise and socialization,” said Johnson.

The Bayfield PACC stresses that safety for all is paramount.

“We should be mindful that dogs must be leashed in the areas of the village including Main Street, Pioneer Park, Clan Gregor Square, and all residential streets. Likewise, dogs must be on leash at all of the trails administered by the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association. The privately-owned Agricultural Park allows residents and visitors to utilize this beautiful property but only if users adhere to the leash by-laws. Respect for the usage of public and private properties is essential,” commented Johnson.

Communication is key to promoting the message of the group. To this end, Bayfield PACC hosts a Face Book page which currently numbers 332 friends who have joined the group. They also maintain an Instagram account at bayfield_pacc and a web page which can be found at They would invite all members of the community, whether dog owners or not, to be part of the solution. Anyone with suggestions, ideas, concerns, or comments is invited to please contact the group via any of these portals.

“Bayfield People and Canine Community, Inc. (Bayfield PACC) is a registered not-for-profit in Ontario with a volunteer executive management team and volunteer board of directors. Bayfield PACC is supported by an active group of responsible dog owners and volunteers in the community and by like-minded friends of Bayfield PACC on Facebook and Instagram. For more information please visit:”



The Admiral Bayfield Project has purchased, for the Bayfield Historical Society (BHS), two original maps on linen printed in 1828 from Henry Wolsey Bayfield’s 1822 survey of Lake Huron.

Roger Lewington found these maps listed on the internet by a private seller. The seller acquired the maps from Public Archives Canada years ago when they de-acquisitioned duplicate copies.

One map is of St. Joseph Island and the North Channel. The British had a fort on St. Joseph Island to defend Canada against the Americans who had a fort across the channel on Drummond Island. The north channel, north of Manitoulin Island, was the major waterway for trade and was used by the First Nations as a main travel route for possibly 7,000 years. Bayfield was a Lieutenant of the Royal Navy (R.N.) at this time, being assisted by Mr. P. E. Collins (Midshipman).

The other map is of the west coast of Lake Huron, the American side, from Thunder Bay (WI) to “Sagana Bay” which is now spelled Saginaw. Bayfield’s designation is Captain on this map. Both maps are approx. 20” x 26”.

The BHS will have them scanned for a display and a fireproof container will be purchased for storage. The BHS is also looking to have copies of the maps available for sale by June.

Anyone surfing the web, like Lewington was, is asked to please keep an eye out for relevant articles or maps honoring the village’s past. These maps done by Admiral Henry W Bayfield are beautiful treasures. The BHS doesn’t have a budget for purchasing but can discuss a tax receipt for donated items. Contact for more information


Come hiking! The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) has scheduled 26 guided hikes for 2022 as well as the Earth Day Litter Walk and the Terry Fox Run. Unless otherwise noted, all hikes are free and open to the public, with leashed dogs welcome. Please note that this schedule is subject to change!

Updates will be published each week in the Bayfield Breeze and on the BRVTA website, and Facebook page, @bayfieldtrails. For more information or updates call or email hike coordinator Ralph Blasting at 519 525-3205 or

A list of upcoming hikes and BRVTA activities for 2022:

Jan. 29, Feb. 5 and Feb. 12: Winter Hikes, 11 a.m., Varna Nature Trails
Feb. 19: “Tracks in the Snow”, Windmill Lake Wake and Eco Park
March 6: International Women’s Day Hike, 2 p.m., Woodland Trail
March 19: “All About the Morrison Reservoir” with Denise Iszczuk, Ausable-Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), 11 a.m., Morrison Dam Conservation Area
March 26: Candlelight Memorial Walk with Huron Hospice, 7 p.m., Taylor Trail (Varna)***
Apr. 9: “Agriculture and Nature in Harmony” with Farmer Wayne Cantelon and ABCA Lands Manager Nathan Schoelier, 2 p.m., Linfield Wildlife Area
Apr. 16: “The Woods are Waking Up” with environmentalist Michele Martin, 11 a.m., Woodland Trail
Apr. 22, Eighth Annual Earth Day Litter Walk, 2 p.m. Clan Gregor Square in Bayfield
Apr. 25 to May 1: Woodland Trail closed for hunting.
May 7: Wildflower Hike, with guest expert Robert Tremain, 11 a.m., Naftels Creek Conservation Area***
May 15: Birdwatching Hike, with George Ebers, 8:30 a.m., Windmill Lake Wake and Eco Park***MO
June 1: “Forest Bathing” Mindfulness Walk with Maria Detenbeck, 2 p.m., Woodland Trail
June 15: “Dogs on Leash Canine Convention” with Bayfield People and Canine Community (PACC), 2 p.m., Woodland Trail
June 25: National Indigenous Peoples Day Hike, 11 a.m., Sawmill Trail
July 9: “Admiral Bayfield Walk”, 11 a.m., Heritage Trail in Bayfield
July 23: Scavenger Hunt for Kids, 2 p.m., Varna Nature Trails
Aug. 7: Ice Cream Hike, 11 a.m., Woodland Trail
Aug. 10: Bayfield Tree Walk, 11 a.m., Heritage Trail in Bayfield
Aug. 21: Historic Cemetery Tour with Dave Gillians, 2 p.m. Bayfield Cemetery***MO
Sept. 10: Full Moon Hike, 7:30 p.m., Sawmill Trail
Sept. 18: Terry Fox Run, 9 a.m. Clan Gregor Square in Bayfield
Sept. 24: Mushroom Hike, 2 p.m., Woodland Trail***MO
Oct. 1-31: Woodland Trail closed for hunting.
Oct. 9: Fall Colors Hike with Photography Club of Bayfield, 11 a.m., Hullett Wildlife Area
Oct. 22: “Great Lakes Climate Change,” with environmentalist Michele Martin, 11 a.m., Heritage Trail and Pier
Nov. 17: National Take a Hike Day, 2 p.m., Varna Nature Trails

***No dogs please.
MO – BRVTA Members Only event with a limit of 20 people. Please pre-register by emailing

BRVTA) maintains seven recreational trails and sponsors, as is shown above, over 20 guided hikes each year,  giving residents of all ages and fitness levels the opportunity to enjoy the area’s natural beauty.

The Bayfield Trails are managed entirely by volunteers and are paid for by community donations and annual memberships.

“We are extremely grateful to those of you who are supporting the trails by taking out an annual membership,” said Helen Varekamp, membership coordinator. “If you have been enjoying the trails but have not made this contribution yet, we hope that this will be the year you will decide to do so.”

Membership contributions allow BRVTA volunteers to keep the trails open, covering expenses such as, materials and tools, programming, training, signage and insurance.
“As a member you will receive invitations to participate in all organized hikes, as well as an opportunity to join the hiking buddy program. You will also receive invitations to the Columbia Sportswear discount store and the monthly electronic newsletter. Best of all, you’ll be helping us keep the trails open for everyone, every day of the year,” said Varekamp.

Annual memberships are an affordable $20 for individuals or $30 per family. Becoming a member is easy; select whichever option works best.

Online memberships can be made at
Alternatively, payment can be sent by e-transfer to or a cheque can be mailed to Bayfield River Valley Trail Association, P.O. Box 531, Bayfield, ON, N0M 1G0.

Whichever payment is chosen members are asked to provide their contact information, so BRVTA can keep everyone informed of new events!


Volunteers with Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines are happy to announce that approximately $4,000 was raised for the Rescue on Jan. 17 as part of the #BettyWhiteChallenge. A day devoted to donating to animal rescue organizations in honor of the legendary Actress and Animal Advocate Betty White on what should have been her 100th birthday. White died just eighteen days shy of reaching this milestone.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support and the generous donations we received in memory of this iconic woman who was an advocate for animals long before it was fashionable,” said Deb Penhale, on behalf of BFF. “We received around $4,000, we have some money that is still expected, so our count is not exact! This windfall helps not only with the day to day food, litter and regular vetting but for babies like Silva, one of our featured Adopt-a BFF cats of the week, who ended up needed extra care and life saving surgeries.”

Silva and Marcus are the Adopt-a-BFF cats of the week.

Marcus and Silva are a bonded pair of siblings who came in to the Rescue when still quite young. Surprisingly enough, the volunteers were able to get the cat that they believe is their Mama several weeks later, so everyone is now safe at the Shelter.

The siblings had upper respiratory and eye infections upon arrival, and although she was treated immediately, Silva’s eye developed an ulcer and needed to be removed. She had surgery two weeks ago and has bounced back quite well. She is playful and loveable but is very bonded to her brother and he in turn is very protective of his sister. They love to cuddle together but they also love to cuddle with people and will soon be ready for their forever home!

In reality, BFF currently has two more kittens in their care that need to have eye surgery. One came in at five weeks-old with a ruptured eye and another at four weeks who was attacked and lost his eye as a result. Penhale reported that all these spunky, little monkeys are doing well and all will soon be looking for their forever homes.

“So many special people reached out during the challenge day, we are blessed to live in the community that we do. Thank you all,” said Penhale. “We think you are puurfectly pawsome!”

Please email for more information,, if you have room in your home for Silva and Marcus or Magnus or Palo..

The adoption fee is now $200. Adopted cats are vetted, shots are up-to-date and they are also spayed or neutered. Donations are also always appreciated. E-transfers can be sent to the Rescue’s email or email to arrange for a drop off or pick up of donations. Cheques can be mailed to Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines, P.O. Box 33, Bayfield, ON, N0M 1G0.


Just before 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, Huron Hospice experienced a burst water pipe which caused significant damage to the residence located just west of Clinton. Although the cause has not yet been determined, it appears that the cold temperatures may have impacted the sprinkler system water line. The local fire department arrived very quickly and assisted with the immediate cleanup.

Within 24 hours, Rotary Hospice Stratford Perth received the three residents who needed to be transferred from Huron Hospice. An assessment of the damage has begun so that reparation can be completed as soon as possible. The affected areas include a resident bedroom, kitchen, hallways and the great room. At this early stage, it is unknown when the residence will be fully functioning again, but the team at Huron Hospice is committed to a speedy repair so that they can return to providing compassionate care, close to home.

Executive Director, Willy Van Klooster said, “We wish to thank the Central Huron Fire Department, Rotary Hospice of Stratford Perth, and our dedicated team of staff and volunteers. Their immediate response in our time of need shows that we truly live in a compassionate community.”


People often ask if they can add an engraved brick to the path around the Splash Pad in Clan Gregor Square and members of the Optimist Club of Bayfield are pleased to announce that there is further opportunity to have a name added to the circle in 2022.

The engraved pavers in Clan Gregor Square are a reminder of how great area residents and visitors are when it comes to supporting such projects as the Playground and the Splash Pad.

“In Memoriam” stones for loved ones as well as “just because” stones can be ordered with the work being done on site later in 2022 using the same two brick sizes that are already installed around the Splash Pad. The cost of these engraved bricks will be medium, $90; and large, $110. The plan is to have the bricks engraved in late May just prior to opening the Slash Pad.

Anyone with an interest in adding a brick can contact Mike Dixon via email at or by calling 519 955-5254 for further information.


To inspire travel and recall memories along Ontario’s West Coast, Mandy Sinclair launched an eight-part podcast series entitled, “Postcards from Huron County” yesterday (Jan. 11). New episodes of the podcast will be released every two weeks until Apr. 19.

Host and recently-returned local, Sinclair, has created an eight-part podcast series that takes listeners on an intimate journey to Huron County, traditionally the territories of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Neutral peoples. Each episode delves into an aspect of the heritage and often lesser known history of the area as told to Sinclair in conversation with historians and community members who have a close connection to each subject.

Guests and topics featured in the series include Jenna McGuire on the Historic Saugeen Metis; board members sharing memories from their years volunteering with the Clinton Spring Fair; Sinead Cox speaking about the Home Children; David Yates on prohibition in Huron County; and a director and local who inspired characters in the Blyth Festival’s Wing Night at the Boot.

“I grew up in Huron County and, after spending time in Morocco, returned to the area in July 2020. I began exploring the region’s nature trails and cycling through its small communities. As a naturally curious person, questions about the area’s history started to emerge. By chance, I stumbled upon a sign indicating the way to the Point Farms Hotel at Point Farms Provincial Park. The hotel’s immensity and former glory days amazed me, but I left wanting to know more – who stayed there? Where did they come from? What did they do while there? What did they eat? And, so began the idea for Postcards from Huron County.”

People are invited to preview the trailer of Postcards from Huron County on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and Stitcher. One link to the trailer can be found here:

Postcards from Huron County is made possible with funding from the Huron Heritage Fund and Community Futures Huron – Community Projects Initiative and the support of Clint Mackie, Andrew Bouck, Nick Vinnicombe, and Mark Hussey at Faux Pop Media.



The Bayfield Community Centre and Arena will be closed from now through to Jan. 26 respecting the current lockdown currently in effect.

“We look forward to reopening and getting back together as a community,” said Jeff Kish, director of Marketing for the Bayfield Community Centre.

Visit www.bayfieldcommunitycentre occasionally to get new updates please.


Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the congregation of Trinity St. James Anglican Church in Bayfield has decided to move services back online for the foreseeable future.

To learn more visit


In their efforts to promote community well being, the Session of Knox Bayfield have decided to resume online-only worship services.

All are invited to join them on Sundays at 11 a.m. on ZOOM.

The Session will reassess the situation in February.

To learn more visit for a ZOOM link, a link to the Knox YouTube page or follow them on Facebook at

Rev. Lisa Dolson will be leading a new Book Study on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. starting Feb. 15th. The book discussion will be on the book, “The Women of the Bible Speak: The Wisdom of 16 Women and their Lessons for Today”, by author Shannon Bream. Please contact the minister at 519 955-2158 or, for the ZOOM link.


The Church Council of St. Andrews United Church in Bayfield has decided that the church facility will be closed to all groups and activities until the end of the month at which time ongoing closure will be re-evaluated based on public health information at that time.

This is an attempt to be pro-active, while protecting the health and well being of their congregation and their community, in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the new Omicron strain of the virus.


Member of Parliament for Huron-Bruce, Ben Lobb invites local businesses and organizations to apply for funding under the Canada Summer Jobs program. Applications close on Jan. 25th. Those interested can apply online through Service Canada:

This past year saw over 300 summer employment positions created by 224 successful applicants in Huron-Bruce. Applicants for 2022 should receive word about their funding starting in April.


This winter the Lonely No More Program’s Storytelling Club will be hosting monthly opportunities for people to learn the art of sharing their stories.

Copy of Storytelling Club

Over the last four months, a group of 20 community members have been getting together online once a month to listen to the art of storytelling. These gatherings have included opportunities to listen to talented professional storytellers from the Baden Storytellers’ Guild, Mary McCullum Baldasaro, Judy Caulfield and John Wesselson; as well as local and talented community members, Bob Montgomery, from CKNX; and Sinead Cox, from the Huron County Museum.

Building on its success, this local Storytelling Club is now moving from listening to learning the art of storytelling. These online winter sessions will include pre-recorded tales and a group discussion on how the story was created with the teller of the tale. Professional Storytellers from Baden Storytellers’ Guild, such as Kait Taylor and Brenda Byers, will be delivering these interactive sessions to help community members find their own voice and be empowered to share their stories in the upcoming “try the art of storytelling” sessions coming up this spring.

“Kait Taylor is a spirited storyteller whose energized tellings stem from her passion to connect people through story. Kait tells engaging adaptations of folktales that are full of heart and mirth. She has her roots in rural Ontario and Grey County, and is most at home with the Baden Storytellers’ Guild, creating collaborative and interactive programming, growing, and learning from her elders.”

“Brenda Byers tells tales of wit, wisdom and humor for story lovers of all ages, from folk and fairy tales to family and personal stories. Gather your memories, dust them off, spice them up, and bring them to life!”

This monthly hour of entertainment and friendship is an opportunity to share community stories through the power of storytelling, to stay connected with the community throughout the winter months, and enjoy lively discussion with neighbors. Interested in attending? Register online at or call 519 292-6862 to explore ways to connect to the sessions over the phone.


Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson is encouraging local businesses to apply for the new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program. Through the new program, the provincial government will provide eligible businesses with a rebate payment of up to 100 per cent for property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to public health restrictions.

“I know recent public health restrictions have had a negative impact on our small businesses across the riding,” Thompson said. “That’s why I believe it’s vital that we are there to support them as best we can by putting money directly into their hands and pockets.”

Eligible businesses required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 100 per cent of their costs. Those required to reduce capacity to 50 per cent, such as smaller retail stores, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50 per cent of their costs.

Businesses will be required to submit proof of costs associated with property tax and energy bills as part of the application process. All eligible businesses must apply to be considered, including those that received previous COVID-19 support payments.

“We recognize that these are challenging times for Ontario’s businesses,” said Todd Smith, minister of Energy. “We are committed to supporting businesses most impacted by the public health measures and this rebate program will provide them with the much-needed support on their energy bills.”

The government is also improving cash flows for Ontario businesses by making up to $7.5 billion available through a six-month interest and penalty-free period for Ontario businesses to make payments for most provincially administered taxes. This penalty and interest-free period started on Jan. 1. This supports businesses now and provides the flexibility they will need for long-term planning.

The government is also introducing a new COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant that will give businesses subject to closure under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen a $10,000 grant. The money will flow to eligible businesses in February.

The government’s new Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant will also help eligible small businesses that are subject to closures under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen by providing eligible small businesses with a grant payment of $10,000. Eligible businesses that qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and that are subject to closure under modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen will be pre-screened to verify eligibility and may need to provide some additional information but will not need to apply to the new program. Newly established and newly eligible small businesses will need to apply once the application portal opens in the coming weeks. Small businesses that qualify can expect to receive their payment beginning in February.

“Small businesses play a vital role in Ontario’s diverse economy,” said Vic Fedeli, minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Through the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program and other vital support programs like the new Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant, our government will continue to provide thousands of small businesses with the financial relief they need.”

To apply for the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program



Pat Heffernan and Renee Sandelowsky, of Bayfield, helped to clean out and maintain wood duck boxes on a cold, windy, winter day at Huronview Demonstration Farm near Clinton. Their work is shown in a new video recently released by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority. (Submitted photo)

Property owners in Ausable Bayfield watersheds, and people from around the world, are completing projects to protect and enhance wetlands and reduce flooding.

Pat Heffernan and Renee Sandelowsky, of Bayfield, helped to clean out and maintain wood duck boxes on a cold, windy, winter day at Huronview Demonstration Farm near Clinton. Their work is shown in a new video recently released by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority. (Submitted photo)

Every year, on Feb. 2, the world observes World Wetlands Day. The theme for World Wetlands Day in 2022 is “Wetlands Action for People and Nature”. This year’s #WorldWetlandsDay focuses on taking actions to protect and restore wetlands.

“Community members who wrote our local Conservation Strategy gave us a vision of healthy watersheds where our needs and the needs of the natural environment are in balance,” said Wetlands Specialist with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), Angela Van Niekerk. “This year’s World Wetlands Day theme of taking action for people and nature reflects that balance of human needs and the need to build and enhance our natural green infrastructure including wetlands.”

Looking ahead to World Wetlands Day, ABCA has prepared a new, short video. The video is on the ABCA YouTube channel at this link: This new video shows volunteers Pat Heffernan and Renee Sandelowsky, of Bayfield, helping to clean out and maintain wood duck boxes on a cold, windy winter day at Huronview Demonstration Farm near Clinton.

Wetlands are lands that are wet for all or some of the year. They support water-loving plants such as Cattails, Sedges, Rushes, Blue Flag Iris, Willows, and Dogwoods. Wetlands filter water and remove contaminants. Wetlands benefit water quality and also water quantity. Wetlands capture water when there’s too much water on the landscape during flooding and runoff and release water gradually when water is needed during times of low water and drought. Wetlands also capture carbon. Wetlands provide habitat for waterfowl and for more than 600 species of plants and animals. They are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems in the world.

The World Wetlands Day awareness work is organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands. The day has been celebrated since 1997, when it was first established. The day also marks the anniversary of the Convention on Wetlands which was adopted as an international treaty in 1971.

This World Wetlands Day, people might consider managing water on their property. Water running off of land during storm events contributes to downstream flooding and erosion. There are ways to manage stormwater to limit flooding and erosion. On agricultural land, owners could consider cover crops to improve filtration, pasture strips around woodlot edges, berms, and ponds or buffer strips with native plants, trees or shrubs.

If people live in a village or town they could consider soakaways, rain gardens and disconnecting downspouts. Take a look at the downspouts’ fact sheet ‘How to Get Disconnected’ (from Credit Valley Conservation, Region of Peel and Mississauga). The fact sheet is available for free download on this web page:

Individuals can also support local wetland enhancement through a donation.

To find out more about stormwater management improvements and wetlands, and projects people can do to enhance them, visit ABCA’s wetlands page, on the website, at this web page: Anyone with wet areas on their property are invited to contact ABCA staff for a site visit. To contact staff about technical expertise and grants which may be available to help with potential projects visit the staff contact page here:



Leah den Bok. (Photo by Alejandro Silva Cortes)

In communities across Perth-Huron and beyond, the issue of homelessness has become more visible as the pandemic continues to impact the lives of vulnerable people. To help raise awareness and deepen local understanding of this pressing issue, United Way Perth-Huron’s Social Research & Planning Council (SRPC) is holding a ZOOM event entitled, “Faces of Homelessness” on Jan. 27

“Homelessness is an incredibly important issue in our communities,” said SRPC Director Joelle Lamport-Lewis. “We wanted to create an event that really humanizes the issue for people and gives them the information they need to understand more about what those experiencing homelessness go through on a daily basis.”

Faces of Homelessness will feature three different components for attendees of the virtual event that will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Keynote speaker Leah den Bok will share stories and photographs of the people experiencing homelessness she has met in major cities around the world with a special emphasis on how COVID-19 has increased the struggles of already vulnerable people. A fashion, beauty and portrait photographer, den Bok’s book entitled, “Nowhere to Call Home: Photographs and Stories of People Experiencing Homelessness, Volume Four” was recently published by Europe Books. To view some of her work and learn more about the event, visit

Attendees will also get a sneak peak at the documentary, “Us & Them”, following co-director Krista Loughton’s 10-year journey exploring the worlds of four people struggling with homelessness — Dawnelda, Stan, Eddie and Karen — who she attempts to help. After the preview of Us & Them, there will be a panel discussion moderated by Beth Blowes and featuring local experts; Erin Schooley, County of Huron Social and Property Services; Grant Martin, City of Stratford; Cody Cunningham, Family Services Perth-Huron; Kate Ballagh-Steeper, Lakeshore United Church and Cheri Leyten, Huron Turning Point.

To attend, RSVP by emailing or call the United Centre in Stratford at 519 271-7730 or 1-877-818-8867.


Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson is encouraging local festival and event organizers to apply for the provincial government’s newly announced Reconnect Ontario fund.

The province is investing $20 million to provide support to municipalities and festival and event organizers that are creating innovative ways to help Ontarians reconnect with their communities once it is safe to do so.

“While we all have been impacted by the pandemic, tourism, sporting and cultural events have been especially hit hard,” Thompson said. “That’s why this program is important to help them continue to operate and celebrate together with the community.”

Funding may be used for eligible expenses such as programming and production, promotion, mobile applications and website development, and implementation of health and safety measures.

Thompson said that by providing continuing support to festivals and events through the Reconnect Ontario program, the province is delivering a much-needed boost to help maximize the growth and competitiveness of Ontario’s tourism sector as it begins to recover from the ongoing economic and societal effects of COVID-19.

The program aims to support innovative events in Ontario that will:
• offer safe experiences that encourage people to travel locally, participate and rediscover the beauty and diversity of all that Ontario communities have to offer
• draw tourists and local visitors, whether in-person or virtually, through innovative programming, and generate positive economic impact for the local community, the region and the province
• provide job opportunities for Ontarians, particularly in the tourism, culture and entertainment sectors

Continued investments through Reconnect Ontario will provide vital support to ensure the long-term success of the province’s festival and event sector, while helping organizers deliver safe, innovative experiences that allow people to reconnect with their communities, Thompson said, adding that prior to the pandemic, every $1 of provincial funding invested through Celebrate Ontario (the model for the Reconnect Ontario program) resulted in almost $21 of visitor spending.

To be eligible, an event must:
• take place between Apr. 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023.
• occur in the province of Ontario (if an in-person event) or be produced in Ontario (if a broadcast or virtual event).
• be open to the public at large without membership in a club or group.
• follow all municipal and provincial guidelines, including health and safety guidelines.

Program guidelines and application form can be found online at The 2022 application period is now open, and applications will be accepted until Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. EST.

“This is a short window to apply, that’s why I wanted to bring it to everyone’s attention,” Thompson concluded.


The Huron Perth Public Health website is updated regularly with confirmed case counts received.

“Our online case reporting is not a real-time tool but is meant to keep the community informed on trends we are seeing,” explains Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen.

For the latest statistics on COVID-19 cases in Huron and Perth Counties and also the per centage of people vaccinated please visit:


Since May of 2020, United Way Perth-Huron’s (UWPH) Urgent Needs Fund (UNF) has provided $278,801 to 1,642 vulnerable individuals and families across the region in a time of immediate, pressing need. Now, the organization is pioneering a new process by bringing together access to the UNF with the 211 help- line.

“This is a great next step for the UNF program,” said UWPH Governance & Community Impact Director, Megan Partridge. “UWPH is thankful to the City of Stratford Social Services Department and the County of Huron Social & Property Services Department for administering UNF funds since May 2020. We are pleased to expand this support now to include 211 referal.”

Available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year in over 150 languages, dialling 2-1-1 puts people in touch with a trained 211 Navigator who will assess the caller’s challenges and search for local supports and solutions. If the navigator determines the UNF would be the best way to help, they will begin the simple, non-judgemental application process to the UWPH supported fund.

“We’re proud of the positive impact 211 and the UNF have had separately on the lives of local people in need,” added UWPH Executive Director, Ryan Erb. “We also understand when people are looking for supports such as the UNF they may be facing challenges that could be better addressed by other programs and services. By bringing these services together, we’re building a more powerful resource for vulnerable people looking for help in their community.”

211 is a free and confidential service that connects people to the right information and services, strengthens local health and human services, and helps local citizens to become more engaged with their communities.


“It’s not about the avoidance of misfortune, which still affects even the most resilient people, but rather how we respond to it.” – Michael Ungar, founder and director of the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University.

On Feb. 1st, Connectedness Coaching Service Providers, in partnership with the MacKay Centre for Seniors and Seniors Action Quebec, are offering older adults, service providers and community members in Huron County an opportunity to re-discover their resilience in a three-week, online, workshop series.

Through this series, evidence-based components of resilience will be explored to help people re-discover how to navigate and negotiate for their needs. To re-discover their inner resilience together, this peer learning workshop series will explore how to recognize their strengths, how to cope well with stress, explore their limits, connect with others and provide them with an opportunity to share their learnings.

Engaged community members will be provided access to six, live webinars hosted twice a week for three weeks, a three-month subscription to an online toolkit that includes supplemental resources and self-reflection activities, a journal to capture their learning journey and access to additional resiliency training (free admission to a Connectedness Coaching Workshop Series).

The Re-Discover Your Resilience Workshop Series is part of the Reconnecting Seniors with Resilience in Huron County Project, a train-the-trainer adaptation that engages and empowers resilience through a modified version of Seniors Action Quebec’s Resilience Education and Connectedness Coaching. This project is funded by the Seniors Community Grant Program 2021-22 and includes calls to action such as becoming a Resiliency Trainer to help others re-discover their resilience.

Please visit to register. Call-in options, technology mentorship and tablets are available. For more information contact Sarah Versteeg, Connectedness Coaching’s Program Coordinator, at


An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) – Stratford General Hospital has been declared over by Huron Perth Public Health. The outbreak had been declared on the Inpatient Surgery Unit on Jan. 7 after two cases of the virus were identified.

“Upon declaring the outbreak, immediate precautions were implemented, including prevalence testing in team members and patients,” said President & CEO, Andrew Williams.

In total, three patients acquired the virus while in hospital, along with eight team members.

As there have been no further cases, the Inpatient Surgery Unit has been reopened to admissions and transfers. Family and Caregiver Presence on the Unit has also been restored. Full guidelines can be found on the HPHA website at

“While this outbreak is over, we can’t stress enough the importance of getting your COVID-19 vaccine and continuing to follow public health measures,” added Williams.

Appreciation is extended to the HPHA team and regional partners for their dedication to safe and compassionate care. Appreciation is also extended to the community for their support of outbreak measures.

People often think about wellness in terms of physical health – nutrition, exercise and weight management – but it is so much more! Overall wellness is a holistic integration of mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing.

Southwest Self Management Program and Ontario Health West are coming together to host a free, online webinar, “The Skills of Wellbeing: Fuel the Body, Engage the Mind and Nurture the Spirit” on Tuesday, Feb. 22 or Monday, March 21.

People can take part from the comfort of their own home using their favorite device. The February webinar will be offered from 1-2:30 p.m. while the March session will run from 10-11:30 a.m.

Those who join in this informative webinar will learn skills and tools to stay strong and healthy now and into the future.

To register, call 1-855-463-5692 or visit and click on the button, “Workshops for People with Health Conditions”.



This February, the Goderich Branch of the Huron County Library and the Alzheimer Society of Huron County are revisiting “Still Alice”, the now classic book about living with Alzheimer’s Disease written by Lisa Genova and published in 2007.

Participants will be gathering online at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 2 to discuss the book as well as have a brief question and answer time with Jeanette Sears, the Public Education Coordinator at the Huron County Alzheimer Society. Books and book club sets are available through the Huron County Library. Register online at

Written in first person from the point of view of Alice, Still Alice candidly describes the impact the disease is having on her brain. Initially, Alice is poignantly aware of her changing abilities in how she navigates her world, her career choices, and her relationships. As time goes on, the text of the book shows her world becoming smaller, more selective, more manageable, heartfelt – and still, enduringly, Alice. Alzheimer’s disease affects the whole family, and Still Alice realistically depicts a family grappling with tough emotions and loss. Sometimes they aspire to their best selves, sometimes their losses feel unsurmountable.

The organizers picked this story knowing that it is already a familiar one. Anyone who read the book or saw the movie fifteen years ago, may find that it resonates differently now compared to then. People’s perspectives may have changed as they, their family and friends are fifteen years older.


Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) has recognized outstanding achievements in conservation, each year since 1984, with conservation awards. Past award winners have included rural landowners and residents, agricultural producers and farms, service clubs, community organizations, companies, nature groups and municipalities.

The local conservation authority is inviting the public to nominate a person, business, farm, community group, or organization in 2022 for the Conservationist of the Year Award. People may nominate someone for the award until Feb. 24.’

To submit a nomination, visit for the nomination form at this web page link:

“There are many local stewards helping to protect and enhance our local watershed resources and this award is one way we can say ‘Thank you’ for those positive stewardship actions,” said General Manager and Secretary-Treasurer of ABCA, Brian Horner. “We have been pleased to recognize many deserving recipients over the years. We know there are many others deserving of recognition as well.”

Individuals, organizations or companies who either reside in, or have completed conservation work in, the ABCA area are eligible to win the Conservationist of the Year award. Current ABCA staff members and directors are excluded.

The Conservation Award acknowledges one individual or group per year who demonstrates positive conservation principles. The nominee must have undertaken conservation efforts over a number of years showing long-term benefits for nature and society. Examples of conservation work include: improving local water quality; conservation farming; reforestation; conservation education; providing wildlife and fish habitat; and promoting awareness and action for soil, water, and habitat.

ABCA presents the winner with a hand-crafted gift and makes a donation towards a tree and plaque at a Commemorative Woods site maintained by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation.


The Huron County Museum is home to thousands of artifacts that illustrate the history of both the rural and urban populations of the area. Space dictates what wonderful curiosities the public regularly gets to see when they visit the museum located at 110 North Street in Goderich. But where there is wifi, there is an opportunity to time-travel with over 3,000 pieces of the museum’s collection now available to view online at

“Remember This” highlights items from the collection of the Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol. Items that have shaped the fabric of the county and the people who have lived here since before the county became the county in 1835 up until more recent times.

In anticipation of the Chinese New Year, on Tuesday, Feb. 1st, we are exploring the Museum’s collection of Chinese cultural items…


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This is a model of a Chinese-style level. It was made by the Founder of the Huron County Museum, J.H. Neill.


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This is a Chinese prayer gown made of blue brocade silk with various colored designs. The full-length raglan sleeves have large turned up cuffs with the bottom portion of the sleeves made of black with gold striped material. There is a side opening on the right-hand side with five royal blue loops which fit over the blue frogs. On the left-hand side there is a large slit. On the front there is an inset of the same material. The gown is lined with royal blue satin.

This Chinese prayer gown was worn by Rev. E. Townsend, a missionary in China from 1919 to 1946, who was formerly of Londesborough (Londesboro).


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This is a folding Bamboo fan made of Chinese paper. The paper is colored in black, grey and blue. It is highlighted by designs and an image of a fox.



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A Snowy Owl peering down from a hydro wire, a hawk circling in flight, a Bald Eagle looking majestic from the top of a dying tree…Bayfield resident Elaine Coombs has been using time afforded to her by the pandemic to further develop her enjoyment of photography.

Sharing the images on Social Media is a way of hopefully brightening the days of others who are also navigating COVID-19 restrictions.

“People seem to enjoy the photos I take and often ask, where I see all of them? And I just say, keep your eyes open because they are all around us, you just have to be looking for them.”

Coombs often drives around the back roads throughout Huron County as well as in the Hullett Wildlife Area, looking for birds and wildlife to photograph.

“It’s really just a fun hobby for me when I have free time,” said Coombs. “It’s something that I took up a few years ago but once COVID hit in March 2020, it became a good opportunity for me to get out of the house for a few hours by myself. It’s a great time to listen to an audiobook or music and just unwind while driving the dirt roads.”

Editor’s Note: Coombs was kind enough to share a selection of her favorite bird captures taken across the seasons with our readers this week.

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Harbor Mouth (Jan. 16)…By Sally Leitch

Submit Your photo

Email your photo in Jpeg format to with the subject line Subscriber Photo of the Week. or…Upload your photo to Flickr.

I am looking for the Bayfield that is a delight to the eye – please share photos with a touch of whimsy, beauty, humor or a sense of fun. If you are to include people in your photos be sure to have their permission to publish their picture on-line and also send in their names and where they are from. And don’t forget to tell me who took the photo for proper credit to be issued.

submission section


A story came across my Social Media feed while I was wrapping up this week’s issue and I feel that it needs to be shared more than you need to hear about my thoughts for the week.

A note from the folks at Michael’s Pharmasave:

“We have a family in our community who could really use our support. Claire Nicholson has spent most of her young life in hospital, after being diagnosed with leukemia just days before her first birthday. Claire’s family has been selling “Clairebear 2022 Calendars” to try to raise funds and ease the financial burden as her Mom Mandy stays home to provide care.

“These calendars were selling for $20 previously, but are now selling at a reduced price of $10 in an attempt to move stock quickly. The $10 per calendar will help cover the cost of printing, raise funds for the family, and also allow a portion of the proceeds to go to London’s Child Can.

“We are now selling these calendars for the family at our three Michael’s Pharmasave locations in Bayfield, Goderich and Clinton. If you are able to purchase a calendar, any support in this way would be greatly appreciated. We have seen this community rally together many times before and this is certainly a brave little girl who could use our help.”

So here briefly are my unsolicited thoughts for the week: Even if you don’t have need of a calendar for 2020, if you are able, maybe consider dropping off $10 at a Michael’s Pharmasave in Clairebear’s name. Collectively, we can make a difference for this family. – Melody