DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: A funding announcement last week was cause for celebration for a number of upcoming community events.
On Tuesday, June 11th, Pickering-Uxbridge MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy announced at the Uxbridge Town Hall that several community events have received a financial boost through the province’s new Celebrate Ontario funding.
Through this new initiative, 105.5 FM Hits Fest on July 19th in Elgin Park will receive $3,727, the Uxbridge Scottish Festival on July 27th in Elgin Park was granted $3,183, and the new Uxbridge Holiday Festival, slated to run on weekends in November and December, received $36,056.
“Through Celebrate Ontario, our government is investing in Uxbridge’s tourism industry, supporting local jobs and highlighting our community’s unique and rich cultural heritage,” explained Bethlenfalvy.
“This funding demonstrates a clear return on investment, respect for taxpayer dollars, and a focus on increasing tourism in Uxbridge and across the province.”
According to a press release from the Province, Celebrate Ontario is intended to support programming improvements at new and existing festivals and events that attract tourists for longer stays, create great experiences for visitors and support communities across Ontario.
“We want to make our Hits Fest event bigger and better every year to draw more people to Uxbridge. That’s why we have brought in a craft beer element this year,” 105.5 FM Program Director Dan Pollard explained to The Standard. “This funding is important, because it helps us to mitigate factors like the weather. If you’re putting on an event like this, and are reliant on ticket sales, which are reliant on the weather and it doesn’t work out you can quickly find yourself in a hole and poof the event is gone. This will give us a boost and enable to us to put on a whole day of entertainment from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., promote our great local talent and bring in people to Uxbridge.”
Hits Fest Craft Beer Festival is scheduled for Saturday, July 19th in Elgin Park. The event will feature a full day of craft beer and cider, local music, foodtrucks, vendors, and live music. For additional information, please visit www.hitsfest.com.
EVE-LYNN SWAN The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Uxbridge Scottish Festival, a popular—and free—family event, returns to Elgin Park on July 27th. And so do the long-haired Highland cows. “Kids all love them,” said co-organiser Stewart Bennett.
Mr. Bennett gave Uxbridge Council a preview of the 2019 event, telling Council the children’s heavy games will return. Rick Blair will oversee the tossing of smaller cabers (logs), stones, and hammers. Two more pipe bands have agreed to perform, bringing the total to five. “We got a small grant from Tourism Ontario and we’re excited to do it again, as a no-charge event,” he said.
Co-organiser Lew Gregor stepped up to the microphone to ask Council for a few favours. Smiling, Mr. Gregor asked permission to burn the Viking ship in Elgin Park again, noting, “this year, the ship won’t be cardboard. We’re using paper so it doesn’t burn, er, quite so much.” The request was granted, as was use of the Township’s loader, if an insurance-appropriate operator was found. The big machine is required as part of a fire safety plan.
Despite Council’s disappointment, at not having a pipe band entertain them, prior to the requests, the festival was also granted use of Elgin Park for set-up on Friday, and was declared a Municipally Significant Event, needed for the sale of alcohol.
After the two men left the chamber, Mayor Dave Barton noted, event organizers ought to appear before council farther ahead of scheduled events, asking, “What if we turn down their requests? They need to allow time for making other arrangements.”
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CLAUDIA SYTSMA The Standard
DURHAM: Sam was just 13 when she thought opening up a lemonade stand would be a fun thing to do. She teamed up with her friend Megan, and together they turned a simple idea into a thriving small business. A gorgeous little stand, built by Megan’s father, was created and then decorated, and they now provide their homemade, refreshing drinks at the Uxbridge Farmers Market every weekend, and at other locations hosting special events. The girls are both loving the experience and are learning, firsthand, about the hard work and dedication it takes to meet the challenges of running a profitable enterprise, because lessons learned through small business initiatives often mirror those of a larger venture.
However, through this business, the seeds of understanding how making money isn’t just for one’s own benefit but can be used for a greater cause, has begun to impact the way Sam and her friends feel about their efforts. Sam explained, “I volunteered to go on a mission trip to Honduras with my church last February because I wanted to help the people there build a church. I needed to raise even more money for this, so I decided to start another business making bracelets. I asked my other friend Analisa to be my business partner.” When Analisa, who is just 15, heard this she told me, “I couldn’t believe it. I’d never thought of having a business before, and I said, are you serious? But then Sam just said yes, we’re doing it, and so now we are.” Sam and Analisa bought their supplies wholesale and made beautiful beaded bracelets that accent any fashion choice. By selling to family and friends, and all their teachers, they could pay back their investment in the supplies, and raise $400 that went directly to paying for the building materials for the church in Honduras. Sam said, “I believe we have to make a difference in the world. I wanted to help the people in Honduras, and I think we all have to see the bigger picture, and not just do things for ourselves.” Analisa agrees with Sam and said, “I also volunteered with my church to create packages for homeless people in our community, so we can help them. I like being able to help.”
On May 5th, Analisa and Sam also participated with McHappy Day, bringing their business, aptly named ‘Bead by Bead’, to the Uxbridge and Port Perry McDonalds. As a result of their efforts, they raised enough money to donate $425 dollars to GrandviewKids. Sam has continued to make donations, and over the last year and a half, she has donated about $1,500 to charities. Sam’s advice to other young people is, “the most important thing to remember is to not be afraid to take risks. People always think the worst thing can happen, but if you put work into it, it will pay off. Stay organized, have fun, make the sales, and be yourself. Trying something new is hard, but stay positive. We’re all here to make a difference in the world, and when you believe you can do something...you usually can!” Analisa also added, “start with a partner because you can rely on them, and that will help you stay motivated. Doing this helps build confidence, and its fun.” Both Sam and Analisa credit their success to the support given to them by their parents, who guide them and give direction and advice.
So my challenge to all the youth in our community is to put your thinking caps on, and decide on how your hobbies, interests and likes can be utilized. Talk to your parents, and your teachers, and see if you can start up a small venture to earn money for yourself, and your community so you too can truly make a difference. Then contact us at The Standard Newspaper and let us know what you are doing. We’d love to write your story too!