GIFTS THAT TELL A STORY AVAILABLE AT CRICHET HANDMADE DESIGNS
PHOTOS AND STORY BY MELODY FALCONER-POUNDER
Just off Bayfield Main Street at 20 Catherine Street visitors will be drawn to a unique piece of architecture that is home for a second summer to Crichet Handmade Designs.
The gift shop is located in the first concrete barn poured in the area in 1913. Over a hundred years ago it was a horse stable surrounded by pasture. Today this well-preserved building is used as a showcase for the work of 25 artists and artisans – 85 per cent of whom are local – all curated by business owner, Gabby Parejo, of Seaforth. Gabby herself is an artisan crocheting beautiful and whimsical creations.
Gabby’s creed is “our love language is gift giving” and this shows in both the product she carries and the enthusiasm she brings to her work.
“You want to give a gift that tells a story and that is what we have in this store. I, myself, am a gift giver,” she said. “You can change someone’s day by the simple gesture of giving a gift, just in that little moment you can bring joy.”
Gabby has designed the shop to feature the work of the artists and artisans she carries creating a minimalist flow and out of respect for the talents she tries not to overlap specialties. She is also quite proud that her shop does not compete with the others in the business district but rather complements what they sell.
Crichet Handmade Designs opened at an opportune time for creatives since during the height of the pandemic markets that are often used to sell their wares weren’t happening.
“I also felt I needed a career change,” said Gabby. “During COVID I gained a different perspective and decided I needed to start doing what I really wanted to do. And then my husband, George, found this property in Bayfield and so came the opportunity to do what I truly love to do.
“There is so much talent around me – everything is handmade and the artists and artisans often reuse, repurpose and recycle to create one-of-a-kind pieces which fits my philosophy.”
This summer Crichet Handmade Designs is branching out a bit offering DIY kits for those people who love to get creative themselves or give the opportunity to be creative as a gift. DIY gemstone jewellery kits can be found in the store or for those who really want to get stuck in Gabby now carries Annie Sloan products. Chalk paint, waxes and finishes, brushes and tools – everything needed to give a tired old piece a new look – and it doesn’t necessarily have to be wood furniture as the paint works on other materials as well.
It was quite an accomplishment for Gabby to be selected to carry Annie Sloan products, up until now the closest stores carrying her products were located in New Hamburg and Kincardine, ON.
“I was introduced to her products during the winter and loved them – no prep – easy to use – they meet England’s environmental standards and are all environmentally friendly,” she said. After learning more about the products and testing them out Gabby decided to apply to be a distributor. She had to do a presentation and be interviewed by the company’s Canadian representative.
“Annie herself chooses who sells her product and where. She prefers to work with small businesses and she contacted me personally once I was accepted,” Gabby said. “The fact that she took the time to reach out and welcome me was amazing.”
There is something for all ages at Crichet Handmade Designs. During August, Parejo is offering workshops for children on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9-10:30 a.m. Lanterns, pom-pom art, foil art, animal pebble art and macrame feature wall art, are all themes that youngsters aged six to 12 years can explore. The cost is $25 per guest and can be booked on the shop’s event’s page at: Workshops. These workshops will continue in the Fall on Saturdays until December.
Crichet Handmade Designs is open in Bayfield from May to December. The shop also has an online presence so that people can browse for the perfect present year round. People are able to purchase Annie Sloan’s online course and this Fall enrol in paint-your-own-piece workshops also through the site. Gabby is very much enjoying her second season in the shop on Catherine Street just around the corner from Bayfield Main Street.
“People are doing an amazing job of referring us – both locally and further afield. I have had people come in visiting from Toronto who have told me they were given a gift from our store that they loved so they just had to come and visit themselves. We may be a little off the beaten path but our artists are happy and our customers are happy.”
And that makes Gabby happy too…
Crichet Homemade Designs is currently open Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can also be found online at Crichet Handmade Designs.
DANCELAND ROAD INSPIRES NEW MUSIC
BY MELODY FALCONER-POUNDER
Jale and Joe Ferland recently released their first album, “Pink Lem” as the jam band known as “Danceland”. The group name as well as two songs on the record were locally inspired. (Photo by Kateryna Topol)
Bayfield and the surrounding countryside has proven to be the muse for a new body of music created by Jale (pronounced Ja-lay) and Joe Ferland.
“My husband, Joe, and I have a cottage here in Bayfield. We love it here and spend as much time as possible in Huron County,” said Jale. The couple hail from Toronto.
The pair may already be known to many locals as their Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia Band cover band, “Cherry Garcia Band” has played Bayfield Volkfest and at the River Road Brewery in the past. Joe can also be found sometimes busking at the Bayfield Farmers’ Market on Friday afternoons.
What may be lesser known about the couple is they also have a jam band, known as “Danceland” and recently launched their first record, “Pink Lem” at the end of July.
“We wrote and recorded this record here in Bayfield and have called ourselves Danceland after the side road located south of Bayfield off of Bluewater Highway (Hwy 21),” explained Jale.
In fact a couple of songs on the album were also inspired by the community.
“Two songs on the album are named ‘Bluewater Sky’ and ‘Danceland Road’, both of which were inspired by this beautiful area,”
Anyone interested in listening to these songs as well as others by the Ferlands is invited to explore their YouTube channel at: Danceland. The couple are currently working on a website but for now people can access their music at: Pink Lem.
PLAYHOUSE SHOWCASES MUSICAL CLASSIC AND COMEDY ON TWO STAGES
L-r: Marcia Tratt, Barbara Fulton, Karen Wood, Cara Hunter and Mary Pitt in “The Sweet Delilah Swim Club” playing on the South Huron Stage at the Huron County Playhouse from Aug. 18 to Sept. 4. (Photo by Hilary Gauld)
Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend will soon be offering two vastly different productions on both of their stages that are sure to provide entertainment to suit all tastes. “The Sweet Delilah Swim Club” is being showcased on the South Huron Stage while “The Sound of Music” is being offered on the main stage. Both productions commence mid-August and run until Labour Day Weekend and tickets are available!
The Sound of Music, will cap off a season of celebration as the Playhouse wraps up its 50th Anniversary. This timeless masterpiece will run for three weeks only, Aug. 17 to Sept. 4. (Submitted photo)
Five feisty ladies, one beach cottage, and a whole lot of laughs! Southern-fried humor abounds in the rollicking comedy The Sweet Delilah Swim Club, playing on the South Huron Stage from Aug. 18 to Sept. 4.
Set in North Carolina, The Sweet Delilah Swim Club follows the hilarious lives of five Southern women who met years ago on their college swim team. Every summer, the women set aside a long weekend to reminisce and reconnect, free from husbands, kids and jobs.
Over the years, the five friends increasingly rely on one another, through advice and boisterous banter, to get through the challenges that life flings at them – including men, sex, marriage, parenting, divorce, aging – with some hilarious and unexpected twists and turns.
“The Sweet Delilah Swim Club is smart, touching and above all else, very funny,” said Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment, Alex Mustakas. “The relatable characters and witty banter provide a fresh perspective on the journey through life, and the value of friendship.”
A remarkable crew of talented women has been assembled for this production, led by acclaimed Canadian actress Sheila McCarthy making her Drayton Entertainment directorial debut. McCarthy is one of Canada’s most celebrated entertainers as the winner of two Genie Awards, an ACTRA Award (Association of Canadian Television & Radio Artists), and two Dora Awards.
McCarthy will be joined by Set Designer Kelly Wolf, Costume Designer Julia Holbert, Lighting Designer Siobhan Sleath, Stage Manager Jasmyne Leisemer, and Assistant Stage Manager Amber Archbell.
The cast includes: Marcia Tratt plays Sheree Hollinger, a hyper-organized health nut with a fear of getting older; Barbara Fulton as Dinah Grayson, the group’s wise-cracking cynic.; Cara Hunter takes on the role of Southern Belle event planner, Lexie Richards; Karen Wood plays eager-to-please nun Jeri Neal McFeeley; and Mary Pitt is school teacher Vernadette Simms.
The Sweet Delilah Swim Club was written by the playwright team of Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, known collectively as Jones Hope Wooten. The production premiered at The Playhouse of Wilson in North Carolina in September 2007.
The Sweet Delilah Swim Club is proudly sponsored by RE/MAX Bluewater Realty. The Media Sponsors are The London Free Press and The Fox 99.9. The Design Sponsors are MicroAge Basics and CHOK 103.9. The 2022 Season Media Sponsor is CTV.
The shores of Lake Huron will soon be alive with the sound of music as one of the most popular musicals in theatre history and winner of the Tony® Award for Best Musical, The Sound of Music, will cap off a season of celebration as the Playhouse wraps up its 50th Anniversary. This timeless masterpiece will run for three weeks only, Aug. 17 to Sept. 4.
The inspirational story, based on the memoir of Maria Augusta Trapp, follows aspiring nun Maria who leaves the convent to govern the seven mischievous children of Captain von Trapp. Through her youthful vitality and purity of heart, she brings a fleeting moment of happiness to their lives as the shadows of tyranny spread over Europe.
Touching the hearts of all ages, the iconic score by Rodgers & Hammerstein brims with some of the most memorable songs ever performed on the musical stage including “My Favourite Things,” “Do Re Mi,” “Edelweiss,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” “The Lonely Goatherd” and, of course, the glorious title song.
“The Sound of Music is considered one of the most revered productions in musical theatre history,” said Mustakas. “Its classic score has become cherished by generations of theatregoers.”
The iconic production is brought to life on stage by Director and Choreographer Timothy French. Joining French are Assistant Director/Choreographer Damon Bradley Jang, Music Director Anthony Bastianon, Set Designer Brian Dudkiewicz, Costume Designer Rachel Berchtold, Lighting Designer Kevin Fraser, Stage Manager Dustyn Wales, and Assistant Stage Managers Sadie Wannamaker and Kelly Boudreau.
A remarkable cast of talented performers has been assembled for this production, including Jayme Armstrong as the free-spirited Maria. An aspiring nun, Maria leaves the convent and uses music and kindness to change the lives of the von Trapp family when she is hired as their new governess.
Stephen Sparks plays Captain Georg von Trapp, a retired naval officer who uses a stern demeanor to hide his sadness over his wife’s death.
Actors who play roles integral to the storyline include: Blythe Wilson as Baroness Elsa Schraeder; Lee MacDougall as Max Detweiler; Rebecca Poff as Mother Abbess; Annie Ramos, Karen K. Edissi, and Denise Oucharek, as Sisters from the Convent; and Evan Taylor Benyacar as Rolf Gruber.
The seven von Trapp children are played by a remarkable group of talented young performers: Annelise Forbes as Liesl, Sal Thompson as Friedrich, Zoe Brown as Louisa, August Fox as Kurt, Tevya Kurczak as Brigitta, Quinley Kurczak as Marta and Trinity Kaylani Sieling as Gretl.
Rounding out an exceptional cast are Nicola-Dawn Brook as Baroness Elberfeld, Jacob James as Franz, Mark Harapiak as Herr Zeller, Brad Rudy as Admiral von Schreiber, and Christina Gordon as Frau Schmidt, along with Ana Persijn Alarcon, Caulin Moore, and Emily Robinson.
The Sound of Music is based on “The Trapp Family Singers” a memoir by Maria Augusta Trapp. The inaugural Broadway production took place in November, 1959 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. It was nominated for nine Tony® Awards and captured five wins including Best Musical, Best Actress in a Musical and Best Scenic Design.
The play was later adapted as a landmark musical film in 1965 that starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The film won five Academy Awards and two Golden Globes including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress in a Motion Picture. In 2013, a live televised production of the musical was produced by NBC, starring Carrie Underwood as Maria and Stephen Moyer as Captain von Trapp.
The Sound of Music is proudly sponsored by the Commercial Print Management and Greens Galore. The Media Sponsors are Business London, 2Day FM, Classic Rock 98.1, and MyFM. The Design Sponsor is Darlene O’Rourke Photography. The 2022 Season Media Sponsor is CTV.
Regular performance tickets for both The Sweet Delilah Swim Club and The Sound of Music are $53 for adults, $32 for youth under 20 years of age and $43 for groups of 20 or more and select Discount Dates. HST is applicable to all ticket prices. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Box Office at 519 238-6000 or toll free at 1-855-drayton (372-9866), or online instantly at www.huroncountryplayhouse.com.