Chatham-Kent Events Celebrating Black History Month
February is Black History month and it is only fitting, since Chatham-Kent is steeped in Black history, that there are several local events to celebrate.
First, it is important to note that Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site in Dresden received the Harriet Tubman Award, Commitment to a purpose by the Ontario Black History Society. The award recognizes dedication to Black History preservation, programming and historical site stewardship. The society elevates the stories of African Canadians and how their lives help us to understand and appreciate their race, identity and their fight for freedom and how precious our individual freedom and that of our country is. to all of us. A plaque was presented to Beth Hanna, CEO of the Ontario Heritage Trust which owns and operates Uncle Tom's Cabin Site. The site commemorates Reverend Josiah Hensen, his tireless efforts as a abolitionist and his many contributions to The Underground Railroad and the lives of the many slaves who fled to this area fighting for their freedom.The site is an excellent source of history and one that would be a great stop to add to your adventures.
In addition to Rev. Hensen's original home,there is an Interpretive Centre, a visitors Centre and Museum with 19th century books and artifacts related to abolition and Hensen's Life. There are also educational films to view.The Underground Railway Freedom gallery features the geographic journey and history of enslaved people in the United States, from their path from Africa through slavery in the United States, and on to freedom in British North America. The gallery also exhibits the life and times of Josiah Hensen. The outbuilding include a sawmill, a smokehouse and even an 1850 pioneer church complete with Rev. Hensen's original pulpit.
The surrounding area was originally part of the 300 acres Dawn settlement where many fugitive slaves found freedom and free blacks settled. It was the largest of its kind in the 1800's. The freed slaves and their brothers made and changed history, helping to build our city and towns. Without their contributions Chatham-Kent would not be the community it is today.
Chatham-Kent Tourism hosted travel writer Heather Greenwood Davis in the fall of 2018. She wrote an article as well as an on-line tribute to Uncle Tom's Cabin which was recently released.
Uncle Tom's Cabin, Buxton National Historic Site and Museum and the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society & Black Mecca Museum are also featured in the January/February edition of Canadian Geographic.
Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site is holding a workshop on February 15 to encourage the teaching of Black History. The workshop reaches out to educators and parents to encourage them to incorporate the history of African Enslavement into Canada in their grade 3 to grade 10 History curriculum. The site is also hosting "A Chatham-Kent Tapestry: A Visual History to 1950 by Jim and Lisa Gilbert" February 18.
The Thames Art Gallery is featuring a new exhibit through March 10 by Allyson Mitchell and Madelyn Beckles which focuses on Black Feminism. The Gallery will screen a National Film Board movie called, Sisters in the Struggle at the Kiwanis Theatre on February 15. On Family Day Feb 18 the Gallery will host a poster-making workshop from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. in Studio One. The participants will take creative action by visual interpretation of an issue they feel is important to them.
Bring the family to some of these great events and celebrate Black History month and Chatham-Kent`s past.
Chatham-Kent is the Affordable Lifestyle Location with many amenities to enjoy. It is the perfect place to live, work, raise a family, retire or visit. Call me Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage for all your Real Estate needs. My Motto for Chatham-Kent is " IT IS ALL HERE ALL YEAR! "
Festival of Nations, a Welcome Addition to Canada Day Celebrations in Chatham-Kent
For many of us The Festival of Nations held at Tecumseh Park and the Armories holds fond memories. As you will recall, it was a very successful event taking place over several days and showcasing different communities, their special foods, culture and entertainment. It was always a real highlight for our family. We were boaters in those days and we used to bring the boat up to the city docks and enjoy the festivities. Each day we would wander the park and try various food delights. Former Mayor Bill Erickson chaired the event for many years and was the driving force behind its great success.There were dance troupes in their traditional costumes and the weekend always ended with great entertainment at the band shell. It was well attended and a great place to meet friends you had not seen for a while and meet new ones.
Unfortunately after Mayor Erickson passed the event was cancelled and has been absent since1998. Tracy Callaghan and Dava Robichaud will co-host the 2019 event this year in conjunctionwith the Canada Day Celebrations. The two are excited and looking forward to bringing back this successful event where we can all celebrate different cultures and traditions. Canada Day is the perfect time to highlight those cultures that have made Canada what it is and stands for today!
The chairs will be asking for volunteers to help, so lend a hand if you can. Chatham-Kent is the ideal locations to live, work, raise a family, retire or visit. My Motto for Chatham-Kent is 'IT IS ALL HERE ALL YEAR!' Call me Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Pefier Realty Inc. Brokerage for all your Real Estate needs.
The Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour in Chatham-Kent Dec 15-16/2018
If you are a NHL fan or just looking for a fun family weekend, the upcoming Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour event in Chatham-Kent is the place to be. Our own municipality has been chosen as one of the 24 community stops this year to celebrate local hockey stories and the game's great stars. The event planners have been collecting local stories regarding hockey,individuals and interesting facts and other unique qualities special to Chatham-Kent. Sportsnet hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone will be here all weekend and there will be a live outdoor broadcast of the Tampa Bay Lightning at Winnipeg Jets game from the Sportsnet Mobile Studio on Sunday Night.
The 2 day festival features free family fun with activities, live local entertainment, giveaways and NHL Alumni.The event will take place on Wellington St. between Third and Fourth St. in Downtown Chatham. Watch for street closing during the event. It is the ultimate free fun hockey themed weekend for all ages. The festival hours are from noon to 6 P.M. on Saturday the 15th and noon to 6 P.M. on Sunday the 16th. The Parade of Champions and NHL pre-game show will begin at 6 P.M. Sunday. For more info and a schedule of events visit the website.
Some NHLers will be on hand to sign autographs and there will be a Sportsnet Virtual Photo Booth giving fans an opportunity to take virtual photos with their favorite NHL stars and have them emailed directly to their devices for social sharing.There will be interactive games,and even a Scotiabank Community Hockey Rink to engage hockey fans, interact with NHL alumni Shayne Corson and play hockey. Scotiabank will donate $15,000 to the Minor Hockey Association in our community.These are just a few of the great things happening this weekend so plan to attend this special festival and enjoy all the hockey stories and related events.
Tim Hortons will give out free coffee and hot chocolate from their mobile unit and Dr. Oetker Guiseppe Pizzeria will be handing out pieces of their great pizza.
Hope to see you there. And people say there is nothing to do in Chatham-Kent. Come out and join the fun!
To celebrate their 40th anniversary season, Theatre Kent is presenting a special night of Broadway Music featuring some of the great hits of musicals the group has performed in the past. The show will include songs from over 24 of the popular Musicals Theatre Kent has presented over the past 4 decades. The evening will highlight hits from The Sound of Music which the group presented twice, Annie, Cabaret, Chicago, Spamalot, Fiddler onthe Roof and Beauty and the Beast. It promises to be a great night of entertainment.
Some of the past members who performed in these Musicals are returning for this special evening. As part of their celebration, the theatre group is hosting a Theatre Kent Alumni Afterglow party following the Saturday evening performance. All former and current member are invited.
The group of 50 talented singers and dancers is being joined by members ofthe Chatham Concert Band. Musical Director is Devon Hansen who many of us know from the popular 'Saturday's at 7' series at St. Andrew's United Church in Chatham. Choreographers for the show are Jamie Johnston and Jenny Doyle.
The show is Friday November 16/18 and Saturday November 17/18 at 7:30 at the Historic Downtown Chatham Capitol Theatre on King St. There will also be a matinee performance on Saturday November 17 at 1:30. Tickets are available by calling 519-354-8338 or online at cktickets.com Don't miss this spectacular evening right here in our own municipality. Chatham-Kent is theAffordable Lifestyle Locationto live, work raise a family and visit. See you there!
The popular series, "Saturday's at 7" is in its 6th year. Under the direction of the talented, Director of Music, Devon L. Hansen , this series has become very popular and one manyof us look forward to. If you have never attended, you have really missed out.
The 2018-2019 Series will begin on October 20th/ 2018 with the return of 'Cadence' one of the most talked about shows today, featuring the a cappella ensemble that has been wowing audiences across the country for nearly 20 years. They are back by popular demand and if you missed them last year be sure to mark your calendars. You will be glad you did!
Saturday, December 15/2018 will be the traditional Christmas Concert, Called:" Rejoice" The evening will celebrate some of the most remembered Christmas music from around the world. The concert will feature the St. Andrew's Chancel choir as well as some familiar guests. Due to the popularity of this Concert it will be presented at 2 P.M. and 7 P.M.
After the New Year, there will be 4 more fantastic performances you will not want to miss. January 19/2019 will be Duelling Keyboards: Episode 3. This show is one of the most well attended concert of the series and is fittingly named"Revenge of the Organ" The evening will feature organ and piano duets, organ duets and piano duet. Director of Music, Devon Hansen, as well as other guest musicians will perform.
February 9/2019 will commemorate Black History month with " Feel The Spirit" It will be an evening featuring the history of Negro spirituals as they relate to the Underground Railway in music and spoken dialogue. Chatham-Kent, one of the last stops on the Underground Railway, is steeped in Black History and has many historical sites in the area such as Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Buxton National Historic Site. Bryan and Shannon Prince, curators of the site will assist on that evening.
May 11/2019 will be " Ring Them Bells" This is a first for the series and the concert will feature two professional handbell ensembles from Southwestern Ontario: Bells Ablaze and Bellissima Ringers. We are in for a real treat with this evening of exceptional handbell music.
And last but not least, the series will conclude with Marty Kolls in Concert, June 8/2019 Ms. Kolls is a singer, songwriter originally from the east coast who mesmerizes her audiences with songs that speak of living from the heart. She writes her songs from experience and transports her listeners to the many places she has lived. Another fantastic evening of entertainment right here in Chatham-Kent.
All of the performances are a suggested free will offering of $10.00 per adult.
What a line-up of entertainment for Chatham-Kent. Hope to see you there! Something for everyone and something for all ages in this great community. Visit my website for Chatham-Kent events, Happenings and Choice Properties for sale in this affordable community. Call me, Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage for all your Real Estate needs today.
You may be one of those people who enjoy the cooler weather but I love the activities of summer. We seem to be getting a few last days of warm weather this week according to the weatherman, but I am told, it will come to and end on Thursday with the return of Fall temperatures. Enjoy it while it lasts! Unfortunately, our summer in this area got a late start. Most people you speak to say, `It has just gone too fast.` Our dear departed Grandma used to say `If it is Monday and then Friday, you are getting old.` Well Grandma, I think I am getting there!" But regardless of how long it lasted, I certainly enjoyed it. I will take summer weather whatever it brings, over winter snow and dreariness. That will come all too soon. We still have a couple of weekends to enjoy but school has begun and many of our Chatham-Kent summer activities are done for another year. Many individuals and organizations were busy planning events and I hope you took advantage of some of them. I thought I would do a brief recap of just a few of our great Chatham-Kent Weekends.
1)The Classic Car Events in Chatham-Kent got off to a great start with Retrofest weekend, the last weekend of May. August was the final event with Wallaceburg Wambo. Unfortunately we had a prior committment. I heard there was lots of fun to be had. That was just the beginning and the end of the series but there were great events in between.Hope you enjoyed some of them. We did!
2)Outdoor Festivals, like Art Fairs in Erieau and Tilbury and Weekly Concerts in Tecumseh Park with the Chatham Concert Band gave us lots of entertainment.
3) There were Special Museum Days and Events at Uncle Tom's Cabin in Dresden on Emancipation Day celebrating Chatham-Kent's Black History.
4) The Annual Buxton Homecoming Celebration that bring visitors to Chatham-Kent from all over the country was held Labor Day weekend.
5) There were Shows and Concerts at our own Downtown Chatham Capitol Theatre featuring Local Talent as well as visitors.
6) There were Fishing Derbys and the Annual Bass Tournament in Mitchell's Bay that brings those avid fisherman back to our great area each summer.
Hope you enjoyed some of these great events. If you missed some of them, make plans to put them on your calendar for next summer. Watch for upcoming Fall and Winter events on my Chatham-Kent Website and call me, Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage for all you Real Estate needs today!
If you do not watch the schedule for the Capitol Theatre in Historic Downtown Chatham, you are missing some great entertainment right here in our own community. Check out their website and mark your calendars for some of these great shows.
The month is starting with a bang on Friday October 12 at 7 P.M. when the Wild West comes alive in the fun-fill theatrical performance of Cirque Eloise:Saloon. An international cast of acrobats will fill the stage with infectious energy performing their great feats to a background of folk-inspired music.This is an evening for the whole family to enjoy!
Saturday October 13 is a real crowd pleaser, Abba Magic. An 11 piece all star band of world class musicians will perform the hits of this famous group of the 1970's complete with authentic costumes and choreography of that era.They will feature those popular classics like Mama Mia, Knowing me, Knowing You and of course, Dancing Queen. Put on your dancing shoes, it is interactive and you will be singing along and maybe even dancing in the aisles.
Monday October 15th at 8 P.M. Serena Ryder, the multiple Juno winner will perform. She is famous for her raspy soulful voice and her electifying stage presence. The singer/songwriter will be highlighting her latest album, Utopia and its many hits songs.
October 18 features 'Ones', Canada's most exciting Beatles shows. Hear the number one hits from 1964-1970. 'One' is performed by a fabulous 11 PC all star band of world class musicians who have shared the stage with many of the great artists of our time. Complete with an amazing screen show.You don't want to miss this night!
October 23 at 8 P.M.One night only! Brett Kissel, the CCMA Awards' reigning Male Artist of theYear, visits the Chatham Capitol on his 'We Were That Song' tour. Last month, Brett released his new single “Guitars and Gasoline” to country radio. If you like country music like we do you want to get your tickets now.
October 28 at 7 P.M. is a night for fans of that old favorite Golden Girls. It is called the Ultimate Golden Girls Experience and is a puppet show and sounds like an evening of laughs and fun!
These are just a few of the many entertaining events taking place at our own Downtown Chatham Capitol Theatre. I have heard people say there is nothing to do in Chatham-Kent. Be sure to check the weekly blogs on my website which are often about things happening in Chatham-Kent. Call me Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage for all your Real Estate needs today.
The weather co-operated and the people turned out. Congratulations to the organizers and the many volunteers who work so hard. The vehicle owners came from all over and helped to make this last Chatham-Kent Firefest a huge success. Judging from the crowds it must have been a record attendance. This is the 6th and final year if someone does not step up and take over planning the event. The founders of the event, Brent DeNure and his co-founder Keith Chinnick said planning the yearly event has been a labor of love but it was time for them and their volunteers to end their tenure. Hopefully, someone will step up and make this a bi-yearly or even a 3 year recurring event.Things change but people are always ready to view some great vintage vehicles
and take their children to learn about fire and safety practices.
My wife and I wandered King St, viewed the many vehicles from all over Canada and the US and even spoke to some of the owners. It was a beautiful sunny day and we met many friends along the way. Here are a few highlights from the day.
If you are a antique vehicle enthusiast Chatham-Kent is the place for you. It is the home of RM Restoration which is world renown for their work in restoring Classic Cars. Chatham-Kent is known as The Classic Car Capital of the World and each year in May, Classic Car owners descend on the city for a Retrofest Festival. More than 600 Classic and Vintage cars, motorcycles and trucks attended this year. The event begins with a Parade along the shores of the Thames River on Friday night. Saturday from 10-4 PM the vehicles line the streets of Historic Downtown Chatham for visitors and car buffs to enjoy, ask questions of the owners and have a great time. It is a family affair and just one of the many draws this great community of Chatham-Kent has to offer. For a list of car festivals and other attractions visit my website under Chatham-Kent.
Continuing with that theme, the Annual Firefest event and unfortunately the last one, will take place this year in Historic Downtown Chatham between Second and Fifth St. this Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 10 A.M.-3:30 P.M. This is the seventh year. The first Firefest was held in 2012, thanks to Brent Denure and a committee of dedicated citizens. Reg Denure is the proud owner of a 1948 International Firetruck which was built in Chatham. Brent says he has attends similar events throughout Canada and the United States and has looked forward to Chatham-Kent having such an event. As many as 42 vehicles were on site for the day at the first event in 2012 with a display of antique fire trucks, vintages emergency response vehicles and other fire related items. Mayor Randy Hope said the event was a great complement to the city's well established association to Vintage Automobiles. Owners came from as far as Texas with vehicles dating back to 1915. It will be missed.
This year's Firefest is bittersweet according to Brent DeNure but said he was proud to be involved over the years. Co-founder of the event, Keith Chinnick says the committee wants to go out on a high note and is putting all they can into this year's planning. The decision was made to make this the last year due to the volunteer time needed and the 12 month planning that has to go into the event.The volunteers are tired and the sponsors are tapped out. Both men stressed that it has been a labor of love for all those involved but had to come to an end for the present committee.They would welcome anyone who would step forward to take over. More than 80 fire vehicles from Canada and the United States are expected to be on display in Downtown Chatham for the event.
There is no admission fee for visitors or entry fee for those bringing their vehicle. It is an exciting family event with a safety message. I do not know any child who's eyes would not light up at a chance to talk to a real Fireman and see the various fire trucks up close. It is a dream come true for many young and old alike. I know our grandsons love it! Make plans to attend. If you have ever had any question about fire lore this is the chance to talk to the experts.In addition to the King St. display of antique fire trucks and emergency vehicles, Firefest includes fire safety demonstrations, CK Fire and Emergency Services Auto Extrication, live entertainment and even a parade a 4 P.M. Visit their website for a schedule of events.
The event has definitely gathered momentum and by 2015, the fourth annual Chatham-Kent Firefest, it was noted that it was the largest event of its kind in Canada. It would be such a shame to not have this great Chatham-Kent event each year. One of the most popular attractions at the event is the Junior FIRE Challenge Course. Children, 12 years and younger were eager to participate. The Course mimicks a real fire scene, and the junior firefighters carry hoses, shoot water and drag a rescue dummy while dressed in firefighter gear. Vintage Fire Trucks and Emergency Service Vehicles are on hand and this year promises to be bigger and better.It is expected to attract close to 100 vintage emergency vehicles and upward of 15,000 people. The event attracts hundreds of spectators of all ages.
Chatham-Kent is the Affordable Lifestyle community with so many amenities for all ages and families. 'IT IS ALL HERE ALL YEAR.' Call me,Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage and let me show you choice properties FOR SALE in this great locations. Visit my website for great properties and events and attractions in Chatham-Kent
Chatham-Kent International Plowing Match and Rural Expo Sept 18-22/2018
The date is fast approaching and the volunteers and sponsors from our community and beyond have put in countless hours to make this spectacular week a successful event. More than 1000 volunteers which includes a healthy mix of both rural and urban residents participated, noted the organizers.Through the generous support of the local and regional sponsors and hundreds of exhibitors, this massive event is possible. Not only is it an honor to host the International Plowing Match in our community but it is a chance to welcome visitors to Chatham-Kent and showcase our area.Mayor Randy Hope noted that it is important that people learn about the 74 different crops and $3 Billion economic impact that agriculture represents in Chatham-Kent.
If you have not been by the 150 acre plot of farmland on Paincourt Line, take a drive by and witness the near completion of the Tented City and RV Park which has been constructed to host the expected 80,000 visitors from across Ontario and parts of the United States. The paper posted the numbers and it is amazing if you did not read them.The site has 250 hydro poles erected, attached to approximately 20 kilometers of power lines, 28,600 feet of temporary potable waterlines, 660 RV sites, more than 200 vendor sites and even temporary Wi-Fi. This is all testimony to the collaborative efforts of landowners, sponsors and volunteers.
Several exciting events are planned including a rodeo, the Team Farmall Dancing Tractors, the Canadian Cowgirls Precision Drill Team as well as several musical performers including the Canadian Celtic Rock Band, Mudmen from Alvinston. New for this years line-up will be several competitions hoping to meet the criteria for the Guinness World Book of records. Lot of fun for the whole family. Come out and support this great event in Chatham-Kent.
For hours and more details on this event check their website. Chatham-Kent is the Affordable Lifestyle Location, located in the middle of the Great Lakes with lots to see and do. Chatham-Kent is a great place to visit, live, work and raise a family! Visit my website for Events, Happenings and Choice listings in this desirable area. Call me, Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage for all your Real Estate needs.