KATRINA OWENS The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: The Olde Gaol Museum has had quite the busy year in 2017. The Standard had a chance to chat with museum manager David Wesley, operations supervisor Lisa Hart and research co-ordinator Ian McKechnie last week and found out what is in the works for 2018.
“Right now we’re operating under our winter hours [so tours are by appointment-only] and tying up any loose ends for this season,” said Ms. Hart. “It’s much easier to work like this in the winter, because we don’t get much foot traffic and we’ve received great feedback from those who do go on tours during this time. They’ve all said it feels like quite the personal tour.”
Mr. McKechnie echoed Ms. Hart and mentioned that this time of year is when the elbow grease, so to speak, gets going on the exhibits to come in the new year. If all goes as planned, one of the larger projects will focus on Lindsay’s historical contributions to community members in need.
“Lindsay was one of three communities selected to participate in the livable wage pilot program,” said Mr. McKechnie. “We thought it would be interesting to showcase how Lindsay has always lent a helping hand to those in need.”
The exhibit will focus on three different time eras (1930s, 80s and current).
“We wanted the exhibit to run parallel to the livable wage program, which goes until 2019,” said Mr. McKechnie. “In a perfect world, I’d like to say the exhibit will be ready to launch in spring/summer, but it all depends on funding.”
According to Mr. Wesley, cattle farming and rice harvesting are two other hot topics that the museum plans to focus on in 2018.
“We will be doing a number of things, but we’re hoping to put something together on cattle farming in Victoria County,” he said. “There’s a rich history of cattle raising and it’s still very alive today. It’s a strong [merger] of past and present!”
Mr. Wesley added, “There’s also been a lot of renewal regarding rice harvesting, with the local First Nation communities, so we hope we can educate the public about the long time tradition.”
Other big news to watch out for in the upcoming year, is the partnership between the museum and the Kawartha Lakes Art Gallery.
“We’re working on the details,” said Mr. Wesley. “We’re joining forces with them to form Kawartha Museum and Art Gallery (KMAG). We are going to be able to engage more people this way, so we are currently setting up a committee to look at how to properly integrate.”
UXBRIDGE: Uxbridge’s Roxy Kids in Action have been busy doing good deeds in the community this holiday season. This year they collected coats for the foodbank, created gift bags for the Salvation Army, and assembled baskets for the Durham Basketeers.
The non-profit youth group has been in existence for 21 years, and aims to teach kids about the importance of doing good and helping others.
“[Roxy Kids in Action] motivates and mentor’s youth in giving back and volunteering in their community, and in exchange for every time they do what we call a ‘job action’ or an ‘act of kindness’ they earn a point towards going to the movies for free at the Roxy,” said Cathy Christoff, founder and chief of Roxy Kids in Action.
For every 20 good deeds, or acts of kindness done by a Roxy Kid, they receive free admission to a movie and a small combo.
Cathy said, “They are treated like royalty when they come in, by the whole staff and they congratulate them on their volunteerism.”
One of the volunteering efforts that the Roxy Kids in Action got involved with this holiday season is “Operation Warm Hearts.” Through the initiative, the Roxy Kids went out into the community, collected coats, dry cleaned them, and sold them, during a one day fundraiser for the local foodbank.
This year they exchanged over 700 coats, and donated over $600 to the Loaves and Fishes Foodbank in Uxbridge.
For larger projects, the group also collaborates with charitable organizations like the Salvation Army and Durham Basketeers.
With the Salvation Army, the Roxy Kids donated 25 “Teen Totes,” which is a gift bag, consisting of essential items, that teenagers in need will benefit from.
Each gift bag includes items like toiletries and sanitary products, as well as a nice little Christmas ornament with a bag of candies.
Another project that the Roxy Kids helped with is the Durham Basketeers. They shopped for and created several large baskets of Christmas presents, to assist women leaving emergency shelters. This year they sponsored two baskets with each of them valued at $125.
“These are giant laundry baskets filled with varying themes. This year we did kitchen, movie night, and bath night for the Moms,” said Cathy.
Some of the other good deeds the Roxy Kids do to earn points towards their free movie include, visiting seniors, raking their lawns, doing yard or garden cleanups, walking dogs, and getting the newspaper for people who are unable to do so.
Cathy said, “Two of our girls visit a senior in their neighbourhood, take him meals, and rake his lawn.”
She Added that the Roxy Kids try to help where they can and are very active in their community.
“It’s very difficult for you to run anywhere in town and not trip over a Roxy Kid volunteering or helping out,” Cathy said.
She loves running the Roxy Kids in Action and introducing the youth in Uxbridge to the wonders of volunteering.
“When I see a new member doing their first act of kindness, and you see that look on their face, where all the sudden they get it and they feel that little tug in their tummy that makes them feel good. That to me, is one of the best things,” said Cathy.
She told the Standard, when kids start volunteering at a young age, it usually carries on with them into adulthood.
“That’s really what is evident over 21 years of running this group. Once these kids are volunteers, they usually are volunteers for life,” Cathy said.
The group is open to those ages 8 to 16 and anyone interested in joining the Roxy Kids can visit: http://www.roxytheatres.com/roxy-kids-in-action/ to find out more.
SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
UXBRIDGE: A Live performance of the Christmas story will be taking over Centennial Park, from December 15th to 17th. Uxbridge Baptist Church is hosting the “Living Nativity”, where actors and actresses will depict the birth of Christ.
According to Uxbridge Baptist Church Pastor, Kathy McIntosh, the purpose of the “Living Nativity” is to help people understand the meaning of Christmas is about the birth of Christ.
Through the living nativity, Kathy said she hopes to “make a memorable space for people to come and find out who Jesus is.”
The village of Bethlehem has been recreated as the back-drop for the performance, and real animals have been loaned out by a local farmer to support the show.
Kathy said, “It’s just such a blessing to be able to do this for the community.”
The “Living Nativity” doesn’t only attract crowds from Uxbridge. People from all over the Durham Region and Kawartha Lakes will venture out to Uxbridge to witness the show.
“We have had people call from Beaverton, Bowmanville, and Omemee asking if they can come,” Kathy said.
The performance features a cast of over 125 people, acting out the events leading up to the moment of Jesus’s birth.
In the past, the “Living Nativity” has attracted crowds of around 1,000 people on any given night, adding up to over 4,000 people in total.
The event will have free hot chocolate and a little gift for everyone who comes by.
There will be two shows per day hosted in Centennial Park, starting at 7:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m., on December 15th, 16th, and 17th.
Kathy encourages everyone to come out and watch the show, she said there is a real sense of community at the “Living Nativity.”
“Don’t miss the opportunity to see what the true meaning of Christmas is, and how darkness can be turned to light,” she said.
SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
UXBRIDGE: At a recent Uxbridge council meeting, councillors voted to not give the house that was once home to Uxbridge war-hero, Sam Sharpe, a heritage designation.
50 First Avenue, has been owned by Robert Bishop and Jennifer Durkin for almost 30 years, and they strongly opposed the heritage designation for their property.
When a home receives a heritage designation, the homeowners can no longer modify anything that effects the outside of their home, without seeking council’s approval.
Any renovations to the exterior of the house, such as a changing of the windows or shingles would have to be in line with the time-period in which the house was built.
Councillor Pat Molloy, who voted against the designation, said, “With a designated house there is no negotiations, you are pretty much required to do whatever the municipality tells you to do.”
He calls the Ontario Heritage Act “extremely invasive” for homeowners. Designations can be done without the homeowner’s consent and often come in the form of a letter.
He said, “If you buy a house that is designated as a historical residence, I understand that, and you should stick within the rules. But when you’ve lived in a house for 29 years and someone comes and says, out of the blue, your house is now under our regulations, I don’t think that’s fair.”
Tamara Williamson, who is a member of Heritage Uxbridge, is upset with council’s decision to not designate 50 First Avenue.
“People have the wrong idea, they should be proud if their house gets designated, because it will always be preserved then, which is a great thing,” she said. “I live in a century home and if I sold it and drove past it in a year, and somebody had put siding on it or altered it, I would be absolutely gutted.”
Tamara told the Standard the current home owners have done a great job preserving the historical aspects of 50 First Avenue.
“Their house certainly looks like they have really cared about it, which is why it surprises me so much, that they would be so against it being designated,” she said. “I think they would be scared someone might buy it, go in, and make big alterations.”
Although, Councillor Molloy said the house is still on the Heritage Register, which protects it from demolition and significant changes.
He said, “I think it’s a great compromise, and I think we’ve sort of dealt with the historic part and also dealt with the personal rights part.”
Adding that, “Outside of the provincial legislation, I think we have a much better opportunity to work with residence to make sure their homes are well taken care of.”
The home owners are happy with council’s decision and told the Standard they feel their rights were respected.
Tamara, would have liked to have seen a heritage designation, she said, “If I walk past that house in five years and they did something terrible to it, I will remember this day, and I will be gutted because we had a chance to protect this beautiful home.”
Councillor Molloy stands with his decision.
He said, “We don’t want more government we want less government, and we certainly don’t want government in our living rooms or our front lawns. We live beside these people, they are our friends, they are our neighbours, so you have to sit back and say my God, how can you do that, to me or to them?”
Sam Odrowski The Standard
All Canadian Celtic rock band, “The Mudmen” will be making a stop at Town Hall 1873 in Port Perry on January 12th for the bands 20th Anniversary Tour.
Mudmen was first formed in 1993 as “The Campbell Brothers”, but later signed a deal with EMI Records and changed the band’s name to Mudmen in 1998.
Since it’s inception the band has played over 2600 shows to date, with more than 40 Cross Canada Tours under their belt.
Robby Campbell, co-founder of Mudmen, describes the band’s music as, “a party waiting to happen.”
The band’s Celtic rock music is sure to get attendants of the show up on their feet, for a fun filled evening of dancing.
Robby added, the music is timeless and suits all ages, so everyone from nine years old to ninety should have a fun time.
The band has big plans in 2018, celebrating their 20th anniversary, touring, working on new music, and releasing a brand-new book called “20 Years in The Mud.”
The inspiration for the book came from the band member's desires to share their life stories, the ups and downs, and all round experience with Mudmen over the last 20 years.
“If your Canadian and you like stories about Canada, bands, trials and tribulations, triumphs and regrets, then this is a must read story, in my opinion,” Robby said. “It’s a good part of Canadian history, and I don’t believe many bands are more Canadian then the Mudmen.”
According to Robby, Mudmen has been across Canada nearly 50 times and 80 per cent of their gigs have been in the Great White North.
Apart from the Canadian history aspects of the book, he added, “I think people are going to be surprised where we’ve been, what we’ve done and who we know.”
Robby is eager to get the book out onto store shelves, with 20 Years in The Mud set to release in the spring of 2018.
Any fans of the Mudmen are welcomed to meet with band members after the show, according to Robby.
He said, “We will take pictures and meet with anybody who wants to talk to us.”
Tickets for the show are available online for $28, at http://www.townhall1873.ca/.
The concert begins at 8:00 p.m., inside Town Hall 1873, located at 302 Queen Street, in Port Perry. Robby encourages everyone in the area to come out and enjoy a night of live music and entertainment.
He said, “I think it will be a fun night. You can bring out grandma and the little kids, it would be a great Christmas present.”