Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tragic Decline of Galt Collegiate Amphitheatre and Tassie Hall

Arguably, the most iconic school in the City of Cambridge is Galt Collegiate. The rich history of the building and it’s impressive architectural design make it an important building to preserve for multiple reasons. It has been designated as a historic landmark by the City of Cambridge in 1983.
Unfortunately two important structures at the collegiate have had their maintenance ignored and are now in a precarious state of repair.
GCI Amphitheatre Left to Rot


The amphitheatre overlooking the river was opened in 1977. Rick McNair, a drama teacher at the school, was the driving force behind building it. He also developed the Theatre Arts Program and Curriculum at GCI, and a student performance group called the GCI Harlequin Players. He left GCI in 1977. Rick has passed on, but I wonder how sad he would be to see what has happened to this once beautiful structure.
Closed in 2010, the amphitheatre has been in a steady decline. The accessibility ramps are destroyed, the theatre is overgrown with weeds, electrical components have been ripped out, and wooden benches have been left to rot.
Tassie Hall can longer be booked by the public due to it's fragile state

Tassie Hall
Tassie Hall opened up in 1923. The Galt Little Theatre group, (now called Cambridge Community Players), started putting on plays in the hall in 1933. They would pack the hall with people in the 1940s. Restrictions put on the theatre group by the school eventually led them to find a new home.
It is hard to imagine how this important venue has been left to decay to the point where the public can no longer rent it.
When applying to the school board for a permit to rent Tassie Hall, I was told that it can no longer be rented to the public. Upon further investigation, the principal at Galt Collegiate, Beverly Woods, revealed that due to its “delicate” condition it can no longer be rented to the public who own it.
Custodians have also stated what I have long known, that Tassie Hall sits empty at night over 90% of time.
How could the people we entrust to preserve our buildings allow this to happen? The public owns these buildings and demand better from the Principals, Superintendents and Director of Educations who has allowed this to decline to occur over the years.
As Tassie Hall fades to black and the amphitheatre is overtaken by nature, I hope that someone will be held accountable for the tragic state of these facilities.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Steam Train Video through Galt Station 1956

For fans of vintage steam trains in the Cambridge area, this short video is fantastic! CN and CP steam engines going by the Galt CP station in 1956. Priceless.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hespeler Goes Beer Crazy - New Craft Brewery and 5 Bars All Within 2 Blocks! Brewmaster Wanted!

Four Fathers Brewing Company started in 2015 in Rockwood Ontario. Now they are moving into the 125 Guelph Avenue in Hespeler, Ontario.

So you think having 5 bars in one block is kinda pushing it. Now the craft brewery Four Fatherss will be just down the road (and one way is down hill!) But wait it gets better. They are hiring a brew master. Here is the JOB DESCRIPTION.

So get ready as Hespeler joins the craft beer revolution. Check out their website. http://fourfathersbrewing.ca/

Don Giovanni Receives High Praise from a Sold-Out House for Vera Causa Opera

Vera Causa Opera brought down the house after their performance of Don Giovanni at the Toyota Auditorium in the Cambridge Centre for the Arts.  The hour and a half performance had the sold-out, 100-person audience applauding and laughing throughout, thoroughly enjoying themselves. To ensure that was communicated to the performers, the cast and crew were greeted with a standing ovation at the end of the performance!

Standing Ovation for Vera Causa Opera Don Giovanni

We received overwhelmingly positive messages from the audience after the show and were thrilled to welcome 10 new members to our membership circle, and even more to our newsletter mailing list.

Additionally, we once again would like to thank our sponsors: Traces Screen Printing, Kitchener Public Library, Cambridge Centre for the Arts, Margaret Schiketanz Real Estate, and the Kiwi Gastropub.

A big thank you goes out to the cast, the orchestra, the high-school volunteers, our Stage Director Rachel Kalap, our VCO team, the VCO Board of Directors, and our Editorial Director Debra Langan.
Of course, we also would like to thank everyone that showed up to either experience opera for the first time, or see opera once again performed in Cambridge!  Without you, we could not have pulled off another enjoyable, affordable, and accessible opera.

To join our mailing list, contact vcopera@gmail.com and stay informed about all upcoming events. Be sure to keep an eye out for our Summer Show, which is to be announced this week!


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Updated List of 22 Previous Ontario High Speed Rail Studies Released

High Speed Rail Canada is releasing to the public the an updated list of the previous 22 studies that been completed relating to Ontario high speed rail.

WireService.ca Press Release (04/27/2017) - High Speed Rail Canada is Canada's only advocacy groups dedicated to promoting the modernization of passenger rail in Canada.

High Speed Rail Canada is the authority on previous high speed rail historical studies in Ontario and Alberta.

They are announcing they have updated the Ontario list and have included links to 3 more Ontario high speed rail studies that were previously not available to the public.

The studies added to the list are:
  •  1990 - Sprintor, Pre-feasibility Study, Windsor-Quebec Rail Corridor, ABB Canada Inc
  • 1990 The Canadian TGV Project - Bombardier, GEC, Alstom
  • 1991 Groupe de travail train rapide QuebecOntario Rapport Final 
High Speed Rail Canada's mandate is to educate people on the benefits of modern passenger rail. They do it through their website, Youtube channel, Facebook, Twitter ;@HSRCanada and public educational sessions.

Paul Langan, Founder of High Speed Rail Canada states," One of the original goals of the organization was to find all of the previous high speed rail studies done. Our list in Ontario has now grown to 22. We are hoping the next study due out in May 2017 (The Collenette Report) will be good news and we can start to build a high speed rail line like many other countries have enjoyed for decades."

To see the list of all the Ontario studies and download links go to our website at http://www.highspeedrailcanada.com/p/all-canadian-hsr-studies.html or call Paul Langan at 519-654-0089 or email highspeedrailcanada(at)yahoo.ca

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Pileated Woodpeckers on the Mill Pond Hespeler

Pileated Woodpeckers on the Mill Pond Hespeler
We have been living next to the Mill Pond in Hespeler, Ontario for about 24 years. Imagine our surprise in our backyard were this gorgeous pair of Pileated Woodpeckers. So I had to shoot some video. enjoy this short clip of these birds about back.