bayfield breeze issue

The Bayfield BreezeIssue 750 Week 48 Vol 15

November 22, 2023


Issue 750 Week 48 Vol 15
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Helen Varekamp has created 65 original handcrafted tote bags which she is donating to the fundraising campaign for a new pedestrian walkway at Bayfield River Flats. The tote bags are made from up-cycled fabrics and every tote bag is unique. Varekamp is delighted to donate these tote bags to this project.
(Photo by Jack Pal)

Fundraising has begun in earnest to construct a new pedestrian walkway that would connect the Bayfield River Flats to the existing walkway under the new bridge with a special event happening on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at the Bayfield Town Hall. The campaign runs from now until Dec. 15.

The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy (HTLTC) and Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) are partnering on this fundraising initiative and are looking to the community for support to make it happen.

It will cost $52,000 to complete this walkway, under the Bayfield Bridge, that will link people to the natural area on the other side.

“This way, people won’t need to walk across the busy highway to reach the Bayfield River Flats,” said Roger Lewington, HTLTC Past Chair.

The project team is grateful for all donations of any size. They also want to provide acknowledgement and permanent recognition for donors making contributions of $500 or more.

Donor Level Recognition:

  • Those who donate $500 or more are eligible to receive (while supplies last) a unique, one-of-a-kind tote bag, hand-made by Bayfield’s Helen Varekamp.
  • Those who donate $1,000 or more will receive a tote bag and lasting recognition on a sponsor acknowledgement board.
  • There is also an opportunity, on the “In Memory” section of the donor list board, to leave a legacy in memory of loved ones through a $1,000 donation in support of the project.
  • Those who donate $5,000 or more to the walkway will receive a tote bag, sponsor board recognition, and their name on armourstone (either engraved or on a nameplate).

A dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer, Varekamp was part of the BRVTA community fundraising team that helped to mobilize community support in order to purchase the 4.75-acre River Flats property which is now preserved permanently by the land trust.

“The Bayfield River Flats Natural Area is one of the most precious gems right in the middle of our village,” she said. “The walkway will make it easier for many of our residents to connect with Mother Nature on a daily basis.”

Tong Zhou and Brad Douglas of Home & Company Real Estate Corp Brokerage are the proud sponsors of the “Walkway to the Finish Line” event to be held at the Bayfield Town Hall on Dec. 13. (Photo by Jack Pal)

She has created 65 original handcrafted tote bags which she is donating to the fundraising campaign for a new pedestrian walkway at Bayfield River Flats. The tote bags are made from up-cycled fabrics and every tote bag is unique. Varekamp is delighted to donate these tote bags to this project.

“Sewing is my passion,” Varekamp added. “During the COVID-19 pandemic I got creative doing some sewing as fundraisers for several community organizations with which I have been involved. I love putting emphasis on up-cycling and keeping unwanted and leftover materials out of the landfill. Now that one-time-use shopping bags are being discouraged, it only makes sense to make reusable, sturdy tote bags that make a great fashion statement at the same time.”

These tote bags will be provided (while supplies last) to eligible donors on the Bayfield River Flats “Walkway to the Finish Line” fundraising evening, which will be held at the Bayfield Town Hall, on Wednesday, Dec. 13 from 7-9 p.m.

The BRVTA is leading the community fundraising campaign, for the Bayfield River Flats Walkway, on behalf of the HTLTC. The land trust owns and permanently protects the Bayfield River Flats Natural Area as habitat for wildlife and as a place for people to enjoy recreation and nature appreciation.

“We would like to thank all our donors,” said Lewington. “We also want to find a way to say thank you to our donors and to acknowledge the gift the donors in our community are making and the legacy they are leaving.

“I would also like to thank Helen for the donation of her talent and artistry – these one-of-a-kind, handcrafted tote bags are a wonderful way to say ‘Thank you’ to donors generously making donations of $500 or more to this community project.”

Visit Huron Land Trust and Bayfield Trails to find out more.

To learn more, or to donate, people are invited to visit: Bayfield River Flats Donation Page or to call 519235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.


Volunteers with the Bayfield Area Food Bank are filled with so much gratitude for the generosity of spirit they witnessed during Christmas in Bayfield. They collected over 500 lbs of food and $1,500 in donations during the parade. Thank you to all who helped fill the truck with goodness. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)


The front cover of the Bayfield Lions’ Calendar for 2024 features the mural painted on the side of the Bayfield Community Centre and Arena as photographed by Jack Pal. (Submitted photo)

The Bayfield Lions Club calendar team goofed!

They have all been very proud of their 2024 calendar and it has proved, once again, to be very popular. However, they have discovered an error which may have an impact for those who use the calendar to track appointments and events. The month of November, instead of being for the 2024 year, unfortunately is for the 2023 year thereby putting out all the dates by one day. The Bayfield Lions Club members sincerely apologize for this error.

The good news is they have created a simple fix for the problem. They have reprinted just the actual calendar block for the month of November making sure it is for the year 2024. The insert can be picked up at The Village Bookshop or at Bayfield Convenience and Gifts. It fits directly over the block in the calendar and can be simply attached with cello tape and be totally unnoticeable. The Lions regret the inconvenience that this has caused and are confident this will not recur in the future.

Although the Lions are running out of calendars, there are still some available at The Village Bookshop, Bayfield Convenience and Gifts and Bayfield Foodland and each will have the appropriate insert.

The Lions thank everyone for their understanding and look forward to creating the 2025 calendar nine months from now.


It has become apparent that the Municipality of Bluewater is in desperate need of daycare as well as before and after school programs. It has recently been discussed at Bluewater Council the severity of the lack of accommodation.

The Bayfield Community Center, which is operated by a not for profit organization, has heard the call and has stepped up to help.

The Bayfield Community Centre is very excited to announce that, beginning in January 2024, they will be offering a Before and After School Program at the Community Centre, Monday to Friday from 6:30-8:30 a.m. and 3:30-6 p.m. Bussing will be provided to these students enrolled and a form will be available to those parents once Registration is confirmed. This program will have 20 spaces in each program ( a.m. and p.m.) and parents can register on the Google form link on the Bayfield Arena Website located at the top of the page.

Both before and after school programs will incorporate the four foundations of learning: Expression, Well Being, Engagement and Belonging. Students will also be given a simple snack at both sessions.

The Bayfield Community Centre is excited to be offering this program to the residents of  the Village of Bayfield and surrounding areas. With limited space they are asking parents to register quickly.

Registration in a monthly link will be sent out to parents. This Google form will be filled out each month to reserve a space in the program. Bussing for students has also been arranged for this program.

Anyone who would like more information on this program is asked to please contact Emma Campbell at

To learn more or to register for the session from Jan. 8 to Feb. 2nd please go to: Bayfield’s BASP January Registration Form

Organizers are excited to meet all of the students and families in this new program.


On Sunday, Nov. 19 Knox Presbyterian Church in Bayfield will welcome musical guests Roy Price, soloist, and Lynne Price, flautist. All are invited to attend the service that will begin at 11 a.m.

Knox Church  is holding an auction as a church fundraiser, featuring a beautiful 60″ x 80″ quilt.

The pattern is called “Wind and Waves”. It was pieced by Judith Roy and long arm quilted by Teresa Jantzi. The quilt has a reserve bid of $400.

The auction also includes two bird houses: the Condo and the Cottage, both designed and created by Peter Nijp. Each birdhouse offers four nesting boxes, perches, a lovely tin roof and a real sense of community for feathered friends!

The items are on display in the church sanctuary along with sign-up bid sheets to record the bids. Alternatively, bids will be accepted via email to: The auction will close at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 and winners will be notified within 24 hours.

Also, on Dec. 16, “Our Christmas Gift” concert will be held beginning at 3 p.m. featuring Martha Lawrance’s Bluewater Harp Ensemble and “thatotherchoir”. Free will donation. All are welcome!

Prayer requests can be shared in several ways. Please contact the minister by emailing for more information.

Knox Presbyterian Church Bayfield is located at 2 Bayfield Main St. N. To learn more visit


A Christmas Kitty…or not…

On Dec. 15, Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines (BFF) will shut down adoptions until the New Year.

“But why”? people may ask. “I really wanted to give the kids a kitten for Christmas. How do I do that if I can’t pick it up closer to the day?”

Let’s take a look at what the holidays look like in most homes. People coming and going with doors opening and closing. Wrapping paper everywhere. Noise, commotion, and excitement with kids running all over with new toys.

“OK, maybe your holiday is calmer, but it is still not a good time for a cat or kitten to acclimate to their new home,” said Mary Pounder, representing BFF.  “When you bring your new furry family member into the house at the beginning of December, they have a chance to adjust to you, the new environment and their new life. The holidays can then be a fun time for everyone.”

Tarragon, Scream, Oregano and Tabbs (on top) are excited at the prospect of a home for Christmas. Adopt early or wait until the New Year to ensure a smooth transition for all involved. (Submitted photo)

Want to make that new kitten a gift for the children or another loved one? Wrap up some cat toys, beds, etc and make the experience of picking out a new kitty a future outing; maybe include lunch! This gift allows the cat to enter a home when things are calm, and they can be the focus of attention.

“Additionally, you can pick out a kitty now and BFF will provide you with pictures to wrap up with kitty toys. Your cat will be ready for you after the craziness of the season settles down and everyone is ready to welcome the new addition,” said Pounder.

BFF would also like to remind everyone with cats that the holidays can be a dangerous time for their feline companions. Many indoor plants used for holiday decor can be poisonous to cats. Glass ornaments are breaking hazards if a kitty decides to climb your tree. With all the confusion, the cat may make a run for it through an open door. Check out this website for a complete list of precautions to make this holiday a happy one for everyone: Christmas Dangers for Cats.

Thinking of gifting a cat or kitten this Christmas then be sure to contact BFF through Facebook or email

BFF now has a Facebook group dedicated to adoptions known as “Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines ADOPTION Group” so people can view even more of the fur babies ready for homes.

In addition to accepting monetary donations, BFF now has an Amazon wish list. This list contains items they need for the day-to-day care of their cats and kittens as well as some truly “wish” items. Items are marked as to their priority, number needed, and many explain what their use will be. There is a wide variety of prices and BFF appreciates whatever you can supply. Items need not be purchased through Amazon, the list is merely a guideline.

To view the items on the list please visit:  BFF Wish List.

Financial donations may also be sent via E-transfer to the email listed above or mailed to P.O. Box 33, Bayfield, ON, N0M 1G0. The adoption fee is $250. Adopted cats are vetted, shots are up-to-date and they are also spayed or neutered. Adoption inquiries may also be made to the BFF’s email address above.



Christmas in Bayfield weekend kicked off with the Lighting of the Lights in Clan Gregor Square on the evening of Nov. 17.

The Christmas in Bayfield weekend comprises numerous intricacies. The groundwork kicks off in early June, encompassing applications for municipal approvals, fundraising initiatives, and the coordination of performers and volunteers. Yet, the preparations persist beyond that, extending until the Friday night Lighting of the Lights and even further!

“We are incredibly fortunate to boast a community of dedicated business owners and citizens whose commitment bolsters the success of this 32-year tradition. With the recent inclusion of Wendy Vasco, the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce’s Marketing and Social Media Manager, her countless hours of volunteerism and fervor to not just ensure the event’s success but also facilitate its growth have enabled us to share our community with more individuals than ever before. This was vividly evident this past weekend as record numbers of guests flocked to enjoy the festivities. Her time, skills, and genuine dedication to our community are truly inspiring,” said Secretary-Treasurer of the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce, Terri Louch.

The Friday night lighting ceremony at Clan Gregor Square wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and talents of Leanne Kavanagh and Shaun Henry, coupled with the Municipality of Bluewater’s assistance in installing the lights.

“For many years, Shaun and Leanne have orchestrated this event doing everything from lining up the musical talent to  adorning the gazebo –  ensuring everyone has an enjoyable time. This year, Leanne went the extra mile, handcrafting all the bows for the gazebo herself!” said Louch.

Adding to the enchantment of the evening was the delightful performance by the St. Anne’s Catholic Secondary School Saxophone Ensemble.

Editor’s Note: To learn more about all the happenings from Christmas in Bayfield weekend scroll through this issue. There is much more in our Photo Story section. Plus be sure to check out future editions for other highlights including coverage of The Glee Sisters Children’s Concert and the Ribbon Cutting for the Two-Cow Barn – the new home of the Penhale Landau. 


Bayfield Ward Councilor Bill Whetstone will host his next Councilor’s Corner on Nov. 27 at the Bayfield Community Centre.

The public is invited to attend the session starting at 6:30 p.m.

The agenda will focus on: Strategic Plan, Heritage District Plan update, hydro box wrapping and the budget.


People are invited to take a survey to determine interest in a community garden for the village. The survey will be open for the next two weeks. (Submitted photo)

Janneke Vorsteveld, of Seeds Rooted in Youth, would like to spearhead the creation of a community garden in the village.

“I’m so excited to share this dream with others,” said Vorsteveld. “I have always believed that Bayfield is the perfect place for a community garden! We have this amazing sense of community that I believe could help bring to life something beautiful for all in a time that it is becoming more needed.”

Before advancing with the idea Vorsteveld would like to gain some insight into how much interest there is in the community for such a project and she has created a survey so people can provide their feedback.

To complete the survey please visit: Community Garden.


Trinity St. James Anglican Church Board members will be hosting an Open House on Dec. 2nd. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)

Following the Public Meeting held in July  and a Congregational Town Hall held in October, the members of the Trinity St James Anglican Church Board would like to invite interested clubs, organizations and individuals to explore the facility further during an Open House set for Saturday, Dec. 2nd.

This is the next step in reimagining Trinity St. James with the intent to create a community hub. Representatives from various clubs and organizations as well as interested individuals are now being sought to potentially form a Board to manage the facility.

The Open House will be held from 2-4 p.m. where people will be invited to take a closer look at the facility and continue the conversation.

For more information please contact John Pounder at or Godfrey Heathcote at

Trinity St. James Anglican Church is  located at 10 Keith Crescent in Bayfield.


For many years children have been invited to write a letter to Santa and drop it in a special box at the entrance to Bayfield Foodland and then patiently wait for a personalized reply. Exciting news – the box is now at the grocery store ready for the onslaught of 2023 letters!

In keeping with the digital age, Santa will accept both physical letters and emailed ones as well. However, so as not to confuse the elves Santa is requesting that children submit only one letter no matter what method they choose to communicate by.

Parents should ensure that their child’s full name and address are included with their letter. Emails may be sent to Letters will be accepted until Dec. 15.


For many years the members of the Bayfield Lions Club have arranged for Santa to visit area Octogenarians, Nonagenarians and shut-ins and bring them a small gift.

Christmas is fast approaching and once again COVID and flu rates are rising so the club will unfortunately not be sending Santa to visit to extend his good cheer in person. However, because he cares for this demographic so very much Santa has appointed Lions members as elves and he wanted the community to know that they will be sending something out in the mail very soon!

Anyone who may know of someone locally who has turned 80 in the past year, or due to ongoing health issues cannot go out into the community, or someone new to the community that falls into either category, please contact Lion Karen Scott at 226 441-2042 with details.


Bayfield Embers, Guides and Pathfinders set up their special cookie booth on the lawn of Hive in Bayfield on Saturday to sell the last of their Chocolatey Mint Cookie inventory for 2023. They averaged 36 boxes an hour during the five hours they were on site – selling out just 10 minutes before the booth was scheduled to close. Thanks to everyone who purchased cookies and extra special thanks to Jenny Wallace at Hive for hosting. Anyone who would still like a box or two can find them only at Schaefer’s Ladies Wear, located at 162 Courthouse Square in Goderich – but don’t hesitate as there is less than a case left! (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)


The Taylor Trail, one of the Varna Nature Trails, will be the location for a Candy Cane Hunt on Sunday, Dec. 3rd.

The Municipality of Bluewater and the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) are partnering together to offer this family-friendly hunt starting at 1 p.m. After the hunt all the participants are invited to warm up with some hot chocolate in the Stanley Complex.

The Taylor Trail is located behind the Complex at 38594 Mill Road in Varna.


The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Bayfield Agricultural Society (BAS) will be held in the basement of St. Andrew’s United Church as well as virtually on ZOOM on Friday, Nov. 24.

This meeting will begin at 8 p.m. and is for the purpose of receiving reports and statements required to be placed before the Annual Meeting, electing Directors and Committee Chairs, appointing someone to review the financial records and prepare a report for the BAS, and for the transaction of such other matters as may properly be brought before the meeting.

Anyone who is a current member and wishes to attend virtually through ZOOM can email to get the link for the meeting.

In addition to receiving reports and financial statements for the period that ended Oct. 31, 2023, there will be greetings from the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS) Provincial Director, Jentje Steenbeek, and OAAS awards will be presented.

Library Friends

This film from 1986 will be shown at the Bayfield Branch Library on Dec. 14. (Submitted photos)

This film from 1986 will be shown at the Bayfield Branch Library on Dec. 14. (Submitted photos)

The Bayfield Branch Library is offering plenty of crafting opportunities to look forward to in December.

“Homemade Holidays” will offer library guests the opportunity to create an adorable craft during the festive season. These sessions are open to all ages and the creations may prove to be the perfect gifts for some special people.

All the craft sessions are one hour and start at 5:45 p.m. What people can make and the session dates are as follows: Festive Garden Gnomes, Tuesday, Dec. 5; Puzzle Piece Wreaths, Thursday, Dec. 7; Evergreen Pine Cone Trees, Tuesday, Dec. 12; and Painted Plaster Ornament, Tuesday, Dec. 19.

The Bayfield Library will also offer a Family Movie Night on Thursday, Dec. 14 starting at 5:45 p.m. “The Christmas Toy” is the title of this  holiday classic by Jim Henson. The movie tells the story of Rugby the Tiger who was young Jaimie’s favorite toy last year. Those who wish to attend are also requested to register using the information above.

Participants must register to take part in the craft sessions as well as the movie night and can do so by emailing or phoning 519 565-2886.

Both the crafting evenings and the holiday movie night are generously sponsored by the Friends of the Bayfield Library.

The Bayfield Branch Library is located at 18 Main St. North.


Gentle Flow Yoga is being offered at the Bayfield Community Centre and Arena twice weekly.

Drop-ins are welcome to attend “Gentle Flow Yoga with Shannon” on Tuesday mornings starting at 9 a.m. The drop-in fee is $8 per person.

Practices are also being held on Fridays at 11 a.m. with a four class pass available for $40 per person. The drop-in fee for this session is $12 per person.

For more information please contact Shannon by calling 519 404-5199


The London Citadel Salvation Army Band is coming to town on Friday, Dec. 1st. (Photo by Jack Pal)

The Bayfield Town Hall is hosting The Salvation Army London Citadel Band for a “Magical Evening of Christmas Music” on Friday, Dec. 1st. This performance will mark their 26th appearance on the town hall stage.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. The concert will begin at 8 p.m.  This year people are invited to pay what they can with donations going to the Salvation Army.

“The Citadel Band put on a great performance of Christmas favorites that puts everyone in the holiday spirit and supports underprivileged families at Christmas,” said Diane Snell, president of the Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society. “There are very few opportunities to see a large brass band perform indoors!”


The congregation of Trinity St. James Anglican Church invites those in the community to worship with them on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Wednesday services are held starting at 10:30 a.m. while Sundays services begin at 11 a.m.

Trinity St. James is looking forward to the Christmas season and would like to extend an invitation to both visitors and local residents to join in their special services. The Lessons and Carols Service will be held on Dec. 21 at 11 a.m. And 4 p.m. is the time set for the Christmas Eve service. As Dec. 24 is a Sunday there will also be an online service offered over ZOOM starting at 10 a.m.

Rev. Mary Farmer will be leading a one-hour Advent Study by ZOOM commencing on Nov. 30. It will be held on Thursdays at 11 a.m. For more information please contact the Rector by emailing

Trinity St. James Anglican church is located at 10 Keith Crescent in Bayfield.


The “Coffee & Chat” group at the Bayfield Branch Library has reconvened following a summer break. The Friends of Bayfield Library extend a warm welcome to all who would like to join in.

Participants can enjoy a hot cup of coffee while engaging in conversation with other community members.  The conversation is neutral and inclusive with an endless list of interesting topics for discussion!

The “Coffee & Chat” group will meet in the Bayfield Library Meeting Room every Tuesday from 2-3:30 p.m. The program will extend until the end of June 2024.

This is a great way for newcomers to meet new people, learn about the village, and share ideas. Seasoned villagers are also very welcome. There is no need to register for this program. Just show up and be prepared for some lively discussion!


Mah Jongg is now being played at the Bayfield Branch Library on the first and third Wednesday of the month.

Participants are asked to arrive at 12:45 p.m.

All are welcome to take part in this Rummy type game that is played with tiles instead of cards. Instructions are always available.

For more information please email Pat Lewington at


Come and get creative with a variety of fun craft supplies on Tuesday afternoons at the Bayfield Branch Library.

“Crafternoons” will be held for one hour starting at 4:30 p.m.

This is a drop-in program with no registration required – just show up and start crafting!


Calling all Bayfield area tweens and teens! The Bayfield Public Library (Bayfield Branch)  is challenging youth ages 12 to 18 to read at least one book a month from January to December 2023 for a chance to win some amazing prizes. Are you up for the challenge?

For every book a youth reads, their name will be entered to win one of the prizes listed below.  Early bird draws will take place at the end of each month, and all entries will be entered into a grand prize draw at the end of the program. The Bayfield Branch has a tracking form which can be picked up from the branch during regular hours, or can be completed by downloading a form at: Bayfield Teen Reading Challenge Form.

Looking for ideas of what to read? Explore the Huron County Library’s online catalogue or speak with branch staff who are eager to offer reading recommendations.

Prizes for the Bayfield Branch reading challenge include, but are not limited to: $250 gift card from Forever Furniture; $25 gift card from The Village Bookshop; four, $25 gift cards to The Village Bookshop from Pioneer Park; four, Kids Kraft Workshop gift cards from Crichet Handmade Designs; a selection of graphic novels from Friends of Bayfield Library; selection of gift cards from the Bayfield Optimist Club; Hyacinth Bulb kit from Huron Ridge Greenhouses; Sherpa blanket from the Little Inn of Bayfield; selection of books from the Bayfield Agricultural Society; handmade products from the Bayfield Lavender Farm; Bayfield booklets from the Bayfield Historical Society; and swag from the Virtual High School & Bruce Power.

All completed entries must be returned to the Bayfield Branch or emailed to by the end of 2023.


The Bayfield Bridge Club is inviting new people to come out for a few friendly games of Bridge on Wednesday afternoons at the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building.

The cards are shuffled at 1 p.m. Players do not need a partner to participate in these “drop-in” sessions. The cost to join in the fun is $4.

All levels of players are welcome to take part in the games that are played year-round at the building located at 6 Municipal Road in the village.


Young Ted visiting with his family from Australia was all smiles and giggles on Saturday afternoon when he got to meet Santa Claus.


This year, the reintroduction of fire pits to complement the entertainment areas was made possible through the volunteer efforts of Rocco Vasco, Bernie Keim, and James Wells. Their dedicated vigilance ensured the fires burned bright, warding off the cold and ensuring the safety of little hands!

Santa, a pivotal part of the weekend, once again graced us with his presence. He not only participated in the parade but also delighted children by listening to their secret wishes afterward. Jillian Reinseth, Santa’s helper, joined for the first time, bringing enthusiasm and warmth to welcome the children and their families.

“This magical interaction truly embodies the spirit of the event,” said Terri Louch, Secretary-Treasurer of the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC).

Mary Hurley, returning this year, assisted the face painter, Diane McFagzen, engaging children and families while they waited their turn.

A new addition this year was Adam Lynch-Woolgar, who volunteered for 18 hours across three days during CIB. His tireless efforts in distributing event schedules and entertaining the crowd during carriage ride wait times were commendable.

“Finally, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to Mike DeCorte, Teresa McCann, Judy Stephenson, and Murray McCready for their immeasurable time and commitment,” said Louch. “Their behind-the-scenes efforts, fundraising, answering countless questions, cheerleading the event and working out in the cold and rain to ensure everything was as perfect as it could be ensured an amazing experience for our guests, contributing significantly to our success!”

The Christmas in Bayfield weekend continues to be the shining beacon heralding the onset of a splendid holiday season in the village.

Louch added, “We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the remarkable individuals and businesses whose contributions made this year’s event an immense success. We are deeply grateful for the generosity and support from shop owners, anonymous donors, and community members. Christmas in Bayfield would not be possible without each and every one of you.

“Lastly, an enormous thank you to everyone who visited us this weekend! Your presence adds meaning to our hard work. Your laughter and joy bring us immense happiness! We eagerly await the return of your smiling faces next year!”


Community volunteer Susan Riddell shows, with her smartphone, how easy it is to donate to conservation with quick response (QR) code signs. (Submitted photo)

New signs make it easier for trail users to donate to support local trails, conservation areas, and conservation programs.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), on behalf of Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF), has installed the new signs, with quick response (QR) codes, at local conservation areas and trails.

Dave Frayne is ABCF Chair. He said public support of trails and conservation areas is extremely important to be able to maintain these areas of habitat, nature and recreation.

“We rely on local donations for trails, conservation areas and other local conservation programs,” he said. “We hope people who use conservation areas and trails in the watershed will use the link on the signs to donate to a trail, conservation area or another conservation program of their choice.”

The ABCF Chair says quick response or QR codes are easy to use for people with smartphones. A QR code is similar to a bar code at a store. The code is an image made up of black and white squares and the image can be read by a machine. A smartphone can read the information and provide the user with a convenient link to a website address. People can click on the camera function of their phone, point the phone to the sign as if taking a photo, and then a link should come up to an ABCF donation page. People can visit that page and then make a donation to the Foundation and to a program of their choice.

The new signs give people one more convenient way to donate, he said. There are other ways to donate as well. People may choose to donate by phone at 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610, in person, by mail, through the website: ABCF Donate or by e-Transfer using the email address (donors should specify, in the e-Transfer message box, what the donation is going towards).

The ABCF is a community organization and corporation formed in 1974 to support conservation programs in the Ausable Bayfield watershed area. The Conservation Foundation has its own Board of Directors and is distinct from the conservation authority but shares, with its sister organization, the values of protecting water, soil, and habitat for all living things. The ABCF has a mission to foster financial partnerships supporting watersheds and a vision of active community partnerships sustaining healthy watersheds. ABCFs mandate is to raise funds, provide funds to needed community conservation programs, foster partnerships, and acquire and maintain conservation lands.

The link on the QR code signs takes people to a: Pay Pal Donation Page. On that page, people can select where they would like their donation to go. For instance, they could choose to support South Huron Trail, or a different local trail or conservation area. They could choose to support another conservation program such as tree planting; Commemorative Woods; habitat for turtles and other wildlife through wetlands; educating the next generation of land and water stewards through conservation education; Rock Glen Conservation Area and Arkona Lions Museum and Information Centre; or they could support a new pedestrian walkway at Bayfield River Flats. They could also select all programs or a conservation program of their choice.

There are signs at several conservation areas and trails throughout the Ausable Bayfield watershed area.

People can enjoy conservation areas and trails throughout the watershed, according to the ABCF Chair. “That is thanks to all the generous donors who have made these areas possible,” he said.

To learn more about nature appreciation and recreation opportunities, please visit: ABCA Parks and Recreation.


Seen in the BIA Award presentation photo left to right are Karissa Eckert, Marketing and Administration coordinator for Gateway; Dan Stringer, chair of the Gateway Board; Nancy Simpson, secretary of the Gateway Board; and Dr. Michael Beazely, Gateway Rural Health Research chair (Submitted photo)

Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) proudly announces its recognition at the prestigious 2023 Spirit of Success Awards Gala, hosted by the Huron Chamber of Commerce – Goderich, Central, and North Huron. The gala took place on Friday, Nov. 10, at the White Carnation in Holmesville, where the business community gathered to celebrate achievements and contributions to the region.

Gateway received the Goderich Downtown BIA Award, a testament to its commitment to excellence in serving the community. This recognition reflects the dedication of the Gateway team in advancing rural health initiatives and making a positive impact on the lives of residents in the community.

The sold-out event provided a unique opportunity to applaud the outstanding contributions of businesses and organizations that play a vital role in enriching the fabric of the community. Gateway extends its sincere gratitude to the Huron Chamber of Commerce for hosting this remarkable event that brings together leaders and innovators from various sectors.

“We were honored to receive the Goderich Downtown BIA Award at the Spirit of Success Awards Gala. This recognition fuels our commitment to advancing rural health and well-being. We share this achievement with the entire community and express our gratitude to the Huron Chamber of Commerce for providing a platform to celebrate the collective efforts that make Huron County an amazing place to live,” said Gwen Devereaux, President of Gateway.

Gateway also congratulates all the other nominees, acknowledging their contribution to sustaining a thriving and vibrant community. The organization remains committed to its mission of enhancing healthcare services in rural areas and looks forward to continued collaboration with the local community.


The Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) Team is excited to announce that they will be hosting a Rural Southwestern Ontario S.H.E.D. Talks launch on Friday, Dec. 1, at the Brussels Four Winds Wedding and Event Barn.

This event is the first of its kind and it will include a morning of information sessions discussing S.H.E.D. Talks and how to host one. The guest speaker will be Peter Johnson (Wheat Pete) who is a recognized leader in the agriculture community and sure to entertain with his talk on crops, better farming, and increasing production.

Peter Johnson, aka Wheat Pete, will be the guest speaker at the launch of S.H.E.D Talks in Brussels on Dec. 1st. (Submitted photo)

S.H.E.D. stands for Sustaining Healthy Farms through Empowerment and Dedication. The main objective of the S.H.E.D. Talks project is to focus on reducing social isolation and lessening the daily stressors that farmers experience. S.H.E.D. Talks aims to do this by creating a communal and collaborative space for farmers to gather, build connections and support one another. The four areas encouraged by this project are connection, collaboration, community and conversation.

Tickets for the Dec. 1st event can be purchased through Eventbrite for $20 each. With the purchase of a ticket, those who attend  will get a catered lunch from Pineridge BBQ as well as the opportunity to listen and interact with the various guest speakers.

Please visit and follow the link from the homepage to purchase tickets.


The Auxiliary of Clinton Public Hospital (CPH) is once again lighting the Gift of Lights tree.  The tree will be lit on Friday, Nov. 24 radiating its lights throughout the holiday season.

“It has always been a sincere joy to celebrate the lighting of the lights on the hospital’s special tree.  This tree lights the area across the road from the front entrance to CPH,” said Shirley Carter, chair of CPH Auxiliary Gift of Lights.

This year more lights are being added to this celebration. People can look for the new lights on CPH’s front entrance veranda.

The lights are meant to honor the many memories of individuals and families that are special to the donor or as a gift to special people in the donor’s lives.  Many of those being honored in this way have been a part of the community and the hospital for a number of years.  The donations that have been made over the past years have been a gift in another way as well. Those donations have assisted in the purchase of many new items and equipment that has been needed and used at CPH.

“We have been unable to hold a gathering to celebrate the light lighting since 2019.  This year we are happy to announce that we are once again holding a gathering to celebrate this event starting at 6:30 p.m. on  Nov. 24,” said Carter.

There will be entertainment, draw prizes and the drawing of the ticket that announces the winner of the Auxiliary’s 50/50 Draw.  The purchase of a ticket or tickets will help the tree to shine brightly with each light honoring someone special to the donor.

People are encouraged to drive up Shipley Street past CPH and see the glow from the shining lights as a happy reminder of how many people have been helped.

“We would really appreciate your continuing support,” said Carter.

Anyone who would like to make a donation towards the Gift of Lights for 2023 can mail a cheque to: Gift of Lights, CPH Auxiliary; 98 Shipley St., Clinton, ON, N0M 1L0. Any donation of $20 or more will be given a tax receipt.

Tickets can also be purchased from Auxiliary members or at the CPH Gift Shop as a way of continuing to support the tree lighting and the hospital and as a way to continue to honor those special people by gifting them a light.


The public is encouraged to take a survey, towards an updated Conservation Lands Strategy for Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority. The survey will be available online until Dec. 7 (Submitted photo)

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) is updating the plans that guide the stewardship, restoration, and visitor use of its conservation areas and other ABCA properties. A new Conservation Lands Strategy will update documents that are about 20 years old. The conservation authority would like to hear from people who visit the properties about features and facilities they use and what is needed to improve their experience.

To take the survey please visit: Conservation lands Strategy Survey.  The deadline to complete the survey is Dec. 7.

ABCA owns 3,616 hectares of land throughout its 2,400-square-kilometre watershed area. The conservation authority acquired the properties for environmental purposes such as flood control, conservation and restoration. The properties provide food, water and shelter for a vast array of plants and animals, including several species at risk. There are 30 kilometres of trails owned and/or managed by ABCA. Conservation areas have trails, pavilions, privies, boardwalks and bridges. Management areas and tracts are mostly forested and do not have facilities or formal trail systems. To learn more about ABCA properties, visit the Parks and Recreation web page: ABCA Recreation on the website.

Education and recreation are important secondary benefits on ABCAs conservation lands.

“Thousands of people visit our properties,” said Nathan Schoelier, ABCA Stewardship and Lands manager. “These areas improve physical and mental well-being.”

Property uses include hiking, nature appreciation, bird watching, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Thousands of school children visit the properties each year through ABCAs conservation education programs. Some teachers use the areas independently.

Hunting is permitted on some properties, in compliance with provincial and federal regulations, for people who have the appropriate hunting permits and who purchase the appropriate ABCA hunting permits to hunt on designated lands.

There was a huge increase in the number of visitors to ABCA properties, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of visitors has returned to pre-pandemic levels but use of these areas remains strong and provides valuable green spaces for recreation and nature appreciation.

The presence and increase of invasive species and forest pests are among the environmental issues and challenges facing conservation lands. Flooding and weather variability, as the climate continues to change, are also environmental issues and challenges.


The next movie on the docket for Livery Film Fest is “Priscilla”, a biographical film written, directed and produced by Sofia Coppola. It was almost entirely shot in Toronto.

Priscilla Beaulieu (played by Cailee Spaeny) was only 14-years-old when she met 24-year-old Elvis Presley (Jacob Elorbi) in Germany where Priscilla’s father was stationed in the U.S. Military and Elvis, at the peak of his career, was also stationed. This was 1959. They met at a house party and began casually dating.

They reconnected three years later in the U.S. and their courtship continued. The film is based on the 1985 memoir “Elvis and Me” by Priscilla and details her complicated love story with a rock-and-roll superstar who becomes someone entirely unexpected in private moments:  a thrilling crush, an ally in loneliness and a vulnerable friend.

Perfectly timed for date night during the holiday season! ‘Priscilla’ plays for one night only on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Park Theatre in Goderich. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Park Theatre is located at 30 Courthouse Square in Goderich.


On Nov. 6, Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) was the recipient of a $5,000 donation from Ian Murray of CIBC Wealth management in London, ON. Celebrating the donation were member of the Gateway team and the donors. Back row l-r: Chair of the Gateway Board Dan Stringer, Paul Van Lith and Ian Murray, both from CIBC Wealth Management; Jordan Connolly, Sage Milne and President of Gateway Gwen Devereaux. Front row l-r: Katie Sparling, Amy Sturgeon, Alexa Harrison and Becky Higgs. (Submitted photo)

On Nov. 6, Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) was the recipient of a $5,000 donation from Ian Murray of CIBC Wealth management in London, ON. With Murray to present was Paul Van Lith, also of CIBC Wealth Management in London.

Murray has been a major donor to Gateway for many years. He indicated that he appreciated Gateway’s activities in rural health research and the approach Gateway takes by employing young university students from the region to carry out much of the research and delivering projects that benefit the community.

Gateway President Gwen Devereaux said, “We are very grateful to Ian and CIBC Wealth Management for their support of the work that we do in the rural health field.”


The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation would appreciate donations on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28. (Submitted photo)

The organizers of Giving Tuesday call it “the world’s largest generosity movement.” Giving Tuesday Canada will be held on Nov. 28. Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) is one of the local charities asking for a donation this Giving Tuesday.

The Chair of Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) is Dave Frayne. Local conservation programs need support all year long, he said, but Giving Tuesday is a great time to consider a donation and to be part of this global giving movement.

“Donations from the public are needed in order to enhance local trails and natural areas and to support conservation education, to plant trees, and to enhance habitat for turtles and other species,” he said. “I would like to encourage residents of our watershed community to make a difference and donate for Giving Tuesday.”

To donate to ABCF for Giving Tuesday, visit: ABCF Giving Tuesday. On this web page, there is a private message box where donors can type, into the text field box, and let the ABCF know which program they want to support.

There are lots of local conservation programs that need financial support, according to the ABCF Chair. People can donate to all the programs of the Foundation or they can choose which program they would like to support. Programs that benefit from donations include: a new Pedestrian Walkway at Bayfield River Flats Natural Area; tree planting; Commemorative Woods; local trails and conservation areas; South Huron Trail; enhanced wetland habitat for turtles and other species; educating the stewards of tomorrow through conservation education; job experiences and scholarships for youth; and Rock Glen Conservation Area and Arkona Lions Museum and Information Centre.

To learn more about community projects of the Foundation, or how to support their work with a donation, visit: ABCF. Also, feel free to contact the ABCA by email at or by phone at 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.

Giving Tuesday is a global movement, for giving and volunteering, that takes place each year after Black Friday. Black Friday and Cyber Monday in late November are popular days for shopping and to buy things. As those retail mega-days wind down, the ABCF asks people to consider a different kind of day – Giving Tuesday. This is not a day to buy things … but a day to give a gift of a different kind, a gift to nature and to the community. Black Friday supports the economy. Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesdayCa) supports the community. To learn more about Giving Tuesday, visit: Giving Tuesday Canada .


The Goderich Laketown Band and the MacKay Choristers will once again unite for the “Sound of Goderich” on Sunday, Nov. 26. This musical showcase will also feature guest soloist Meghan DeJager.

DeJager will be accompanied by pianist Robert Blackwell.

The concert will begin at 3 p.m. at Lakeshore United Church located at 56 North Street in Goderich. Admission is by donation with a recommended amount being $20 per person.


The Alexandra Marine and General Hospital (AMGH) Foundation gratefully received an unexpected and very generous $10,000 donation on Nov. 13 from a pair of local groups. Both Compass Minerals and Unifor Local 16-0 gave $5,000 each to the AMGH Foundation to assist in purchasing new imaging equipment. Celebrating the donation were from l-r: Jeff Thomson, Stephane Lynch, Gary Erb and Lance Greer, all members of Unifor Local 16-0; Kimberley Payne, AMGH; Amy Boyce, Administrative Assistant, Compass Minerals, Goderich Mine; Craig Manz, VP Operations, Compass Minerals, Goderich Mine; and Laura Herman, AMGH. (Submitted photo)


The South Huron Community Choirs are preparing to present, “Exeter Sings – Cheers to 150 Years – A Christmas Celebration” featuring the Adult Choir, Handbells Choir and premiering the “Kidschoir” with two performances coming up in early December.

The celebration kicks off in Exeter on Friday, Dec. 1st at Exeter United Church located at 42 James Street. This concert will commence at 7 p.m. A second performance will be held in Grand Bend on Sunday, Dec. 3rd at the Oakwood Resort starting at 3:30 p.m. The resort is located at 70671 Bluewater Hwy.

Katherine Marie Neeb, the director of the children’s choir will also be a featured soloist. The Adult Chor will be directed by Conductor and Artistic Director Dr. Richard Heinzle. Accompanist is Lori Danylchuk.

Tickets for both performances are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased by emailing or by calling Ruth at 519 235-1778 or Harry at 519 235-0759.


The South Huron Walk-in Clinic is now offering hours on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays (except for Christmas Day).

Appointments are offered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration opens at 10:45 a.m. and closes at 1:45 p.m. or earlier if capacity is reached.

To book an appointment please call 519 235-3343.


Goderich Lions Club members understand that people are missing the social aspect of in-person Bingos and their volunteers have been exploring ways to bring this style of fundraiser back to the community and surrounding area.

The Park House in Goderich and the Huron Fish and Game Club in Clinton are now the settings for Goderich Lions Club Bingo on Monday and Wednesday evenings starting at 7 p.m. Please note that Bingo tickets will not be available at these new sites.  People can get their tickets at the locations listed below. For more information visit Goderich Lions on Facebook.

For those who prefer to play from the comfort of their own home Goderich Lions TV Bingo will continue also on Monday and Wednesday evenings starting at 7 p.m. They are broadcast on Eastlink Channel 10, Hurontel Channel 1 and Tuckersmith Channel 1.

Tickets for the televised games are available at Bayfield Convenience and Gifts; Clinton Foodland and Clinton Convenience; Buckey Joes, Vanastra; Hodgins Home Hardware, Lucknow; Goderich Convenience; Suncoast Variety, Goderich; and Finchers in Goderich and Kincardine. Lottery License #: M717413.

Remember This

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 6,700 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.

As the days grow darker and colder thoughts turn to light and warmth. This week we share an artifact from the Victorian era that was both practical and ornamental when used by a roaring fire…


This is a wooden Victorian fire screen that has been stained in a dark finish. It has a carved ornamental frame surrounding a beaded needlepoint insert depicting a floral scene of leaves, roses and lilies. The colors used are maroon, shades of green and grey with a cream background. This frame is standing on a tall, narrow pole with three ornamental legs. The frame can be adjusted by three metal turnscrews.

Victorian fire screens were used by women to deflect the fire’s heat from their face.



PHOTOS BY MELODY FALCONER-POUNDER AND JOHN POUNDEROne of the major components of the success of Christmas in Bayfield Weekend is the Santa Claus Parade.

“We were exceptionally fortunate to have Paul Hill step into the role of parade manager this year following Ian Matthews’ retirement after many dedicated years,” said Secretary-Treasurer of the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) Terri Louch.  “Paul, undaunted by the steep learning curve, embraced the challenge with gusto, orchestrating a fabulous parade enjoyed by both young and old alike!”

Hill extended his gratitude to the parade participants and volunteers, expressing, “On behalf of the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce, our retailers, restaurant owners, village visitors, and residents, I extend my sincere thanks for your efforts in making this year’s Christmas in Bayfield parade the best ever. The tremendous effort put into your floats and entries truly amazes me. The presence of bands playing for us remains one of the most cherished aspects of any parade. Our parade drew thousands of visitors, marking one of the biggest crowds to date, leading to packed restaurants and retail stores, largely aided by the favorable weather—a rare occurrence during CIB weekend.

Without our extensive volunteers, including our Parade Marshalls, the Lions and all participants spreading smiles, milk and candies to the kids, we wouldn’t have a parade at all. Our village stands unique with its incredible underground of willing and ready helpers – I extend my heartfelt thanks.”

Special recognition was offered to key contributors such as Ian Gordon, who played perhaps the most important role over the weekend;  Mark Edmunds, this year’s announcer; Graham Wallace, for the sound system; The Albion Hotel, and others who offered shelter and assistance for specific parade entries.

Hill also extended thanks to Terri Louch for her guidance. Louch, who in addition to being the Secretary-Treasurer of the BACC is also the Director of the Christmas in Bayfield event. He also thanked Sandy Scotchmer, the Grand Marshal of the parade this year as well as an outstanding Bayfield volunteer.




North Beach…By Sally Leitch

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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.


Image of Melody Falconer-Pounder


Melody Falconer-Pounder

What a special weekend Bayfield hosted! Congratulations to all for a marvellous event from start to finish. Now the countdown to Christmas has well and truly started. Just 34 days remain.

My nine year-old self would likely think that was a terribly unbearable length of time. My adult self begs to differ. Why? Because for my nine year-old self after the items were circled in the Sears Wish Book all you really had to do was wait and try not to get on the naughty list.

The adult me has a few more things to do in preparation. They are all things done with joy and love providing there is hope and peace to get them accomplished.

As you prepare your hearth and home for the holidays this year may you be given the greatest gift of all – time.  Time to celebrate each other, honor past traditions and make new memories all while remaining on the nice list.  – Melody

Ideas and contributions to the Bayfield Breeze are always welcome.
Deadlines for submissions are Sundays at 4 p.m.