By MAGGIE M, Editor, http://thewedge.LIVE and Host of “WHERE IN the wedge is MAGGIE M?”
On February 1st, all ‘SmithFallians’ where invited to participate in a long list of events, 150 to be exact, for the duration of 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday. At the core, it is volunteering; but, truly it is an opportunity to socialize, to create, to contribute, and enjoy the year more fully.
I was handed a long list of ‘happenings’, some already known from past years, others, impressive new starts. Now, don’t think you are being offered to fold paper or dress up as an eggplant. You will assist in the, “planning and coordinating.” This is volunteering on an exciting, active level, in your area of interest.
Music, arts, films, parades, heritage, fitness, culture, rail, water, food–what’s your pleasure? Nothing is off this ‘smorgasborg’ of choices the new, avant-garde administration is opening up to you.
I was particularly fond of two gents and their plan to ride 150 horses through Smiths Falls on Canada Day. ( Will they gallop to a musical beat?) Your ideas may help here. This expression of our anniversary is unique and as a result, it is officially an entry into thewedge150 (see below).
This writer is always captivated by the past, the events that have brought a town to this time in history. The stories of its roots, its challenges, its victories are fascinating. As you hear the stories, your mind visualizes and travels back in time. Smiths Falls is a blend of old names that endure through the ages along with a melting pot coalescing toward new growth.
O! the irony, to meet a young person representing the Heritage House Museum–enter Keely Maddock, Education and Events Program Coordinator. It is truly impressive when a millennial grasps the importance of history and learning from it. (Algonquin College in Perth is an impressive source of knowledge offering a Heritage program.)
For Canada 150, the museum is going back in time to 1867. I expect there will be a ‘Sir John A.’ presence ; but, ‘who’ was here then and ‘doing what’ is captivating. We will learn about another John, Lt. John Smyth, to be specific. Aye, there’s the rub. Why is the town’s name not Smyth Falls? Visit Maddock for answers.
A champion of all events, Bron succumbed to my question, “What is your favorite event?” Because of her Irish roots, she was fond of Irish twinning; being 50% Irish, this writer shares this interest. Bron was just as partial to the Ottawa Valley OPRY Canada Day Show, featuring Fred DuCharme, Peter Dawson, Freddy Dixon, Brad Scott, Dennis Staples, Buddy McCann, Al Braggs, Wayne Mills and special guest, Arlene Quinn. It is another leg of Canada Day events in town and it’s free.
Another notable presence and cheerleader of the town, Heather Whiting, Smiths Falls and District, Chamber of Commerce. Whiting is yet another Member of a cast of passionate builders of a town at the start of its renaissance. (This woman smiles always–not just for cameras.)
Get your dance card ready, because the Emerald Gala is coming up fast, this March 18. It’s a grand affair, with gowns and bow ties, held at Hanley Hall for the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario. To get your tickets now, visit http://RMEO.org
This is evolving coverage of a town’s commitment to getting you out and active so keep posted for updates. So many present, so little space in one story!
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Drop in at the Smiths Falls office to get a “Volunteer Application Form” or email Ingrid Bron at firstname.lastname@example.org (I muse, if you write “Volunteer” in the subject field she will answer faster than a jack-rabbit.)
NOTE: We are in the process of updating our “What’s On” page where all events will be featured. Stay-tuned !
the wedge 150 : a rural conquest
To view the wedge 150, click our logo below. In this initiative, we comb all Canada 150 expressions through the wedge: Pembroke to Kingston to Cornwall and every town, village and hamlet within. We are not stepping on Ottawa 2017’s toes, because they are doing an extraordinary job. The New York Times just published that Ottawa was the No. 1 place to visit in the world in 2017. Simply extraordinary. So we are looking after its neighbors in East Ontario. Everyone can submit–individuals, towns and businesses. What are you doing for Canada 150? We are looking for unique experiences. We aim to capture all on film, in stories and reward the top 3.