Archive for the ‘Hockley Valley’ Category.

Love Stories in Hockley Valley

The beginning of John and Kersty Franklin’s relationship didn’t exactly get off to what we’d call a “great start” – terrible is more like it.

In May of 1999, Kersty, who was 44 then, worked as a sex therapist for the prison system in Florida. She was making plans to come up to Toronto in September of that year to hold a training seminar.

John on the other hand, just retired from his job as a university professor due to his developing of Parkinson’s disease. He had just opened a bed and breakfast in the Mono region, which he advertised as close in proximity to the city.

It was then that Kersty heard about John’s place and sent an inquiry after hotels in the city were booked for the Toronto International Film Festival. John sent back a long reply about why Hockley Valley was a great place to live in, and sent detailed bits of information on the sites to see and spots to visit.

But John also wrote her about the qualities he was looking for in a woman at the bottom of his reply, something which irked Kersty. According to her, she was shocked by the nerve of John to say such a thing. She wrote John back and said that she was disgusted with what he said.

John wrote a reply and apologized, saying that he was only joking. Kersty sent an apology after a few days.

It was then that the two began to correspond a lot, with Kersty making a visit to John’s bed and breakfast. Both were smitten when they first met. They finally tied the knot in March 2001.

Jazz Musician Performs in Orangeville

Joe Sealy, a renowned Canadian jazz pianist and composer, has deep ties with Orangeville’s arts scene. In 1994, he played the inauguration of the opera house after it underwent renovation. Together with former ballet dancer and producer/director Veronica Tennant, they performed to an excited audience – it’s a memory Sealy holds dear in his heart.

Fresh from receiving the prestigious Order of Canada, Sealy took to the opera house stage once more on Friday, February 5, as part of the Orangeville Concert Association’s (OCA) 2009-2010 season.

The two hour show featured a range of musical styles, with traditional song numbers done by Gershwin and Duke Ellington. Sealy performed together with three talented songstresses, namely Julie Michels, Adi Braun, and Gillian Margot – the trio also known as the Jazzbirds. And although Margot was unable to perform in Orangeville due to a conflict of schedule, Sealy was quickly able to replace her with Alana Bridgewater, a talented performer in her own right.

The show was a good mix of everything, with Michels performing jazz standards, Alana singing songs that border on R&B, and some other numbers with a gospel influence. Sealy on the other hand, accompanied the Jazzbirds on the piano.

With the show being a success, Sealy is looking forward to make another return to the opera house stage.

Ann Mortimer and Her Umbrellas Made of Clay

Renowned sculptor Ann Mortimer will be the first ever artist to exhibit at the Aurora Cultural Centre in Ontario.

She’ll be showcasing a collection of umbrellas crafted from clay, inspired by the paper umbrella factory she visited during her time spent in China.

Mortimer said it took a lot of time and effort to construct the umbrellas. She had to go through a lot of failures and designs to make them, she added. What drew her to make her clay creations was how the paper umbrellas made in that China factory seemingly took her breath away with their bright color and eye-catching designs.

For years, Ann Mortimer has made a name for herself for creating pieces many thought would’ve been impossible.

After working for a few years as a nurse, her interest in clay was sparked after a visit to King Crafts. After the untimely passing of her husband, she put up a house with an art studio on the property she and her husband bought on the Newmarket/King Township border.

She further honed her talent by attending a 2-week workshop with Hockley Valley Fine Arts, learning more techniques on how to craft clay.

Fast forward to today; Mortimer is considered one of the country’s most creative sculptors.

Ski Advice for Families

The holidays may be officially over, but it doesn’t mean you can’t savor the remainder of the winter season by going skiing! And for parents who want to spend some quality time with their kids while hitting the slopes, here’s a word of advice: get your children into skiing as early as possible.

The old adage that goes, ‘You can’t teach an old dog, new tricks’, happens to apply to skiing, Of course, we’re not saying that those who start off a little later are bound to be inept, but the benefits of teaching kids how to ski at a young age are numerous.

There are plenty of factors as to why this is so.

  1. Kids are small and short. This means that accidents are less likely to happen as falls would only mean a short distance to drop the ground. Children are also used to slipping and falling down, unlike us adults.
  2. Kids are akin to sponges. They suck up information far faster that adults do – blame it on their excitement to learn and prove themselves. And much like riding a bike, once a child learns to ski, he/she remembers it for ages.

Hockley Valley is just one of the many areas in Ontario where families can have good and clean fun in the snow. So what’re you waiting for? Come on up to Hockley Valley, and have a taste of paradise.

Skate-a-Thon set to Raise Funds against Neuroblastoma by a Kid from Orangeville

Moved by the plight of Aidan Benoit, a 3 year old victim of a rare kind of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma, Makayla Pereira, felt she had to do something to keep Aidan’s memory alive and maybe even raise awareness against the disease that took him away at such an early age.

So, the then 10 year old from Orangeville decided to be at the frontline of the first Aidan’s walk that happened in downtown Brampton back in 2008. The event was able to raise $ 2,500 back then and this year, it raised $ 2,700. The proceeds of which all went to the James Birrell Foundation of the Sick Kids Hospital where it will be used for the fight against neuroblastoma.

For 2010, the event that Makayla started will be held on Januaray 3rd, Sunday. This time around, it will be a little more family-friendly with a 5km skate-a-thon to be held atBrampton’s Garge Park. The event will start off at 11 in the morning and everyone is encouraged to be on the venue a little bit earlier than that.

Pigeons to Mark the Finale of Orangeville’s Part in the Olympic Torch Relay

Just like in the beginning of the Olympics at Greece where pigeons where used to relay the outcome of the Olympic games from one country to another, pigeons will still take part in yet another Olympic event. This time around, the winged creatures will mark the end of the Olympic Torch’s passing in Orangeville on the 28th.

To make the event even more memorable, there everyone from the area – including residents and tourists from Hockley Valley – can expect a couple of hour’s worth of pure entertainment with performers dancing throughout the area. After which, two pairs of skydivers will then come out from the sky as 30 homing pigeons are released to commemorate the event’s finale.

The pigeons will come from Fred Byers together with his son-in-law. The birds themselves have had quite a bit of preparation to be able to participate in this event starting on the first days of this month. Byers, a bird breeder with almost 50 years of experience, has been honing the pigeons to fly to Kitchener.

So, with all these things coming down on us during the holidays, let’s all show our support for the community and enjoy ourselves!

A Christmas Story is a Must See in Orangeville for the Holidays

Theatre Orangeville’s special holiday presentation of the 1983 classic movie, A Christmas Story, is shaping up to be the theatre’s ultimate box office hit of all time with many of its scheduled performances from its opening on November 26, till it closes on December 20 of this year, being sold out days ahead of schedule. That’s right, time is indeed running out for those of you who have not seen the show yet, you better straighten up and grab a hold of those highly coveted seats the soonest.

This year’s rendition of the classic stars our very own, Theatre Orangeville Youth Singers (TOYS), together with other local acting talents like Christopher DuBois, Adam Bartley, Sam Grant, Alex Newell, Jayde Lavoie, Jacqueline Vandervaart, and Tyler Simpson are just some of the casts make up the cast of such a tremendous holiday hit.

The storyline of the show focuses on the Ralphie Parker, a 9 year old child in the 1940’s setting how only dreams of getting a hold of an authentic Red Rider BB gun as a Christmas present.  For more about the show, visit or call them to try and reserve a seat at 519-942-3423.

Hockley Valley Tree Farm is the Place for your Natural Christmas Trees

Christmas may be making its presence felt this month of December, but some people are still unsure on which kind of tree to get.

Most homeowners are usually stuck between making the choice of selecting natural or artificial trees. It’s quite understandable, each type of tree has its pros and cons after all.

For example, artificial trees are popular because their easily kept when not in use. Come the holidays, all it takes is some effort in setting it up and voila! You have a Christmas tree. However, statistics show that people hang on to these trees for only 3 to 5 years, dumping them after. Being made of plastic, it stays in the landfill for a long period of time.

Natural Christmas trees are undeniably more environmentally friendly. For every tree that is cut down to serve as your Christmas tree, another one takes its place. When you want to dispose of them, you can turn to some business that offer chipping and reduction services at a minimal cost.

Jane Blenkarn who works in the Hockley Valley Tree Farm explained that it usually takes about 6 to 12 years for a Christmas tree to grow nicely. The process however, is far from simple – it takes a lot of hard work and patience according to her.

So there you, hopefully that makes your Holiday dilemma easier for you to solve. Stay practical and smart, and you won’t go wrong.

Your Next Hockley Valley Vacation and Facebook – A Tip

In today’s society, social networking sites are taking the world by storm. If you’re thinking of going on a sick leave and take a vacation to say, the picturesque Hockley Valley, then come back to share pictures of the awesome time you had on Facebook, think again.

Social Networking vs Your Next Hockley Valley Vacation

Take the example, of Nathalie Blanchard, 29, who hails from Quebec. She lost her disability coverage after her insurance company, Manulife, found vacation pictures on her Facebook account. When Nathalie—who’s been off work for over a year—failed to receive her monthly benefits, she immediately phoned the company for an explanation.

Manulife personnel explained that the vacation pictures on her Facebook profile suggested that she was no longer disabled. Blanchard tried to explain that the vacation was suggested as a curative by her physician. Blanchard has currently filed a lawsuit against her insurer, which is set to be heard in court on the 8th of December.

Nathalie Blanchard’s problem is just one of many horror stories that have to do with social networking sites and their connection with employers, insurance companies, and the legal system in general.

A case overseas involves a British worker who was fired for posting she was “bored” on her Facebook status message while working. Another more ironic incident has a Swiss insurance worker fired, this time for using Facebook at home after calling in sick.

Defense attorney Thomas Lavin comments “If the people who are using social networks are at all vulnerable in any areas of their life, they should be very careful about what they post because whatever they post is part of the public domain.”

In other words, be mindful of posting material on sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Don’t ever think that nobody cares about what you’re posting or saying, and above all, remember that the internet never forgets so the next time you visit Hockley Valley, be mindful of who you share your experience with.

Hockley Valley’s Local Potter & Tour Guide

Al Pace, Hockley Valley’s own local potter is known for his beautiful creations, but did you know that he also moonlights as a tour guide? The potter, who is also an avid outdoorsman, likes to take tourists, Canadians and locals out to see the wilderness. He has so far done 18 canoe trips, bringing along different people of different ages up to the far north.

Hockley Valley's Local Potter & Tour Guide Al Pace

For this year, his business received a grant from the North West Territories government, enabling Pace to further expand his business, something he and his wife, Lin Ward, are very excited to do.

The couple, who own the Farmhouse Pottery studio, located on Hockley Road, first started out when they went on a trip to Yukon with their little boy, Taylor. Upon getting back, Mr. Pace decided to write about his trip on his studio newsletter which he sends to his regular clients. The response was enthusiastic.

They made a return trip to the north with family the following year, and again, Mr. Pace wrote of his experience on his newsletters. This time however, readers were not only enthusiastic, but were also interested in tagging along with them on future trips.

The family then decided to form an outdoor and adventure company, Canoe North Adventure, with the goal of organizing canoe trips for interested parties who want to explore the Great North.

Their first trip with a group of strangers was a massive success, and word soon began to spread of Mr. Pace’s canoe trips. The best part is that the company has different trips tailor made for people of different ages, ensuring that everybody has a great time.

So far, the Mr. Pace’s family business has flourished. They’ve taken some 700 people on 18 canoe trips up north. With the grant he just received, Canoe North Adventure of Hockley Valley looks to stick around for the years to come.