Author Archive for Silk Purse Productions – Page 2

Destination Durham Region

Festival season is in full swing and not even an over abundance of rain can stop it in the Durham Region. You will find at least one festival, usually more, somewhere in the Durham Region every weekend right through until Labour Day. Durham Region has already had the first Ribfest in the area, in Pickering, Food Truck Frenzy in Whitby and the Spring Fair in Brooklin. We started the season with the Artfest in Pickering.

Actually the day included three great events: Discover Your city, which gave you the opportunity to meet city staff and learn more about how your municipal government works; How-To in 10 Festival, where there were 32 booths to learn how to do stuff in 10 minutes; and then of course, Artfest. This year the City of Pickering added a Youth Arts Showcase to the event which featured Pickering Youth ages 12-25 demonstrating the theme “I am Ontario”.

There were hands on activities,

 

live on stage entertainment, food trucks, the Doodle Trailer,

and artistic creations beyond your imagination.

With over 100 booths to choose from, the Esplanade was alive with creativity. Whether you wanted to browse, buy or learn, the choices seemed endless.  There was a fantastic variety of original art which included Paintings (Oil, Acrylic, Water Colour), Photography, Pottery, Wood Carvings, Jewellery, Hand Made Rugs, Stationary, Candles and more!

 

 

Alex Lazich was on hand to create a patriotic spray paint masterpiece right in front of our eyes that is destined to rest in the Youth Art Centre.

The Brooklin Wood Carvers demonstrated their work while encouraging onlookers to join their ranks.

It was a wonderful day celebrating all that is creative. The crowds couldn’t have been more impressed, many leaving with unique treasures. Some are already talking about their next festival destination in the Durham Region.

Jane’s Walk

We can think of no better way to experience the Durham Region than to “walk it”.  There are a lot of folks who agree with us.  People who participate in the annual Jane’s Walk Festival are like-minded.  Every year, on the first weekend in May, tens of thousands of people all over the world take part.
“Jane’s Walk is a movement of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. The walks get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities and connect with neighbours.”
Jane Jacobs was considered a citizen activist and urbanist, and she was best known for her writings about cities. Her first book, (The Death and Life of Great American Cities), offered a new vision of diverse cities made for and by the people who live in them. If nothing else, you should check out this “quick primer” on some of Jacobs’ key ideas, Ten Big Ideas.
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
Jane Jacobs
Jane’s Walk was founded in 2007 with seven walks in Toronto that first year. As of last year, over 1,000 Jane’s Walks took place in 212 cities around the world, including 36 countries on six continents. This will be the first year that the entire Durham Region is participating.

You can walk or cycle through one of six area municipalities and enjoy a range of fascinating walks telling the stories of our region, its history, its characters and its challenges. Here is a list of the opportunities available:

  • Camp 30/Jury Lands Walk (former WWII POW Camp) – This tour explores Camp 30, a National Historic Site and former WWII POW camp for high-ranking German officers.
  • Werden’s Walk – A guided tour through the historic Werden’s Plan neighbourhood.
  • Walking in the Steps of the Bomb Girls: Ajax and the DIL Munitions Plant – Find out about the World War II history and connection to the birth of the Ajax community, while learning stories about the Bomb Girls.
  • Camp-X Walking Tour – It all happened right here. Spies and soldiers trained in top-secret skills, not to mention inspiration for Ian Fleming and his 007 legacy.
  • Oshawa’s Cycling “Walk” – Find out about the history and be introduced to Oshawa’s cycling network.
  • Discovering Oshawa’s historic downtown – Explore Oshawa’s historic Four Corners.
No registration is needed and it’s free! For a complete list with details please visit Jane’s Walk Festival – Durham Region.
Join the fun this weekend, May 5th to 7th, and walk Durham Region with us!

Diversify!

The Durham Region and diversification go hand in hand. Just check out our weather as of late. We’ve had Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall all show up this week.

Check out the “Feels Like” on Friday & Monday

The town of Ajax has recently embraced the Durham Region’s diverse population with its #AjaxForAll campaign featuring community members from all cultures. With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to share some Easter family traditions from the diverse Stacee-Free Team.

Judy’s Easter has always included traditions.

“I remember a story told by my father when he was a boy taking a basket of food to the church to be blessed by the priest then to be brought home for the family at Ukrainian Easter dinner. The priest told his mother that by the time he arrived almost half of the food was missing. Boys will be boys.

Growing up, we had traditional Babka (Easter bread) which was my favorite. Our mother always hid Easter eggs and over the years I continued this with my children. After a while, the fun went out of getting candied or chocolate eggs, so I decided to buy colorful plastic eggs and hide money inside. The person who collected the most money won an even bigger prize. Everyone young and old took part and had fun in the search.”

Easter brings Jo fond memories of her grandmother.
“My dad’s background is Polish and my grandma was a wonderful cook so I have lots of fond memories of Easter. All her lovely decorated wooden eggs on display that I would play with. Grandma would take palm leaves and baskets of homemade babka, kolbassa, ham and eggs to church to be blessed by the priest for us to eat. It was all very mystical and special to a young child. We also got a chocolate Easter bunny and I would promptly eat the ears. And, it was a great time to see my cousins, too.”

It’s all about family for John.

“At Easter we have always gathered the family around for a big dinner. Melanie and I like to explore what is going on in the kids’ lives and what is happening in their families and relationships. When the kids were young, we would hide candy Easter eggs around the house so the kids could have an egg hunt as soon as they got up in the morning. One year, that did not work out, however, because the dog decided to have her own egg hunt.”

Anna’s Irish roots put her faith foremost in her celebrations of Easter.

“My family’s Easter tradition growing up was attending Church for the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, then, celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.”

Kathy embraces her husband’s French heritage.

“Generations of families connect through their traditions and our family is no exception. I always remember going to my in-laws’, to Beverly and Jerome Lapointe’s home on special occasions and enjoying the fantastic French gourmet meals we had. I especially remember when Jerome made Bouillabaisse which is a typical French soup broth with saffron and loads of fish, like scallops, mussels, halibut, lobster and clams, served with crusty bread so you could sop up the heavenly tasting broth. There were always at least 14 people at the formal dining table and there were lots of laughs and good wine flowing. We would sit there past midnight catching up on what everyone was doing in their lives. Jerome was a great influence on my style of cooking. I’m sure he’s still watching me from above as I try to replicate his recipes. Easter, or any holiday, is a time to leave your worries behind and enjoy and share traditional meals that remind us of the loving memories that keep families together.”

However you celebrate Easter, it’s a good time to look around and be aware of how diversified the Durham Region is. That in itself is a good reason to celebrate.

Pancakes Anyone?

Sunnybrae Golf Club was the place to bring your appetites for pancake breakfast on Sunday, March 5th. The club, located at 1430 King Street in Port Perry,  opened its doors for the Rotary Club of Port Perry to host its Annual Pancake & Family Day in aid of Oak Ridges Hospice.

There were lots of activities to keep every one busy, but of course the star of the show was the pancakes. Sooooo, good! They were cooked to perfection by pancake experts both on the grill in the kitchen and outside on one of two giant fire breathing grills.

Photo Courtesy of Occo van Tijn, Rotary Club of Port Perry

Let’s face it, the only way to improve on the perfect pancake is to add sausages and lots of maple syrup!

It was really cold outside but unfortunately, Mother Nature did not bless us with an abundance of snow, so the sleigh rides and snow shoeing weren’t available.

Snowshoeing was a favourite last year.                                                     Photo Courtesy of The Rotary Club of Port Perry

Not too worry, Robert Gilbank was on hand with his Horse Drawn Wagon and plenty of blankets to bundle up in.

You could get to know a wee lamb or a big bunny, or just cuddle up to a warm fire outside.

Photo Courtesy of Occo van Tijn, Rotary Club of Port Perry

Just in case you would rather stay inside, the dining room was hopping with visitors and the kids had their own space upstairs for games and crafts.

Photo Courtesy of Occo van Tijn, Rotary Club of Port Perry

Photo Courtesy of Occo van Tijn, Rotary Club of Port Perry

There’s no doubt everyone left full, happy and looking forward to next year’s Pancake Family Fun Day.

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Places To Hold A Memorial Service In The Durham Region

Death is a part of life. It is something that we all have to deal with at one point or another. The funeral industry itself has changed over the years to accommodate modern culture and emerging trends, cremation being one of them. In the last decade or so, cremation has skyrocketed in popularity, in part due to its flexibility. Memorial services featuring cremated remains can be customized to accommodate a range of needs and tailored to truly honour the person they’re celebrating.

Durham Region plays host to plenty of stunning outdoor spaces that are perfectly suited for hosting a memorial. From leafy enclaves suited for small gatherings to open spaces made for a crowd, we cover them all in our guide to Durham Region’s most beautiful memorial sites.

Greenwood Conservation Area

Greenwood is an obvious choice. It offers guests a chance to escape the city traffic and enjoy the beautiful nature preserves along the banks of Duffins Creek. There are many hiking trails that allow you to explore the forest and river valleys and provide you with the opportunity to find your own unique spot to celebrate a life. Greenwood is especially beautiful in the fall when it’s surrounded by a mosaic of warm colours.

Paradise Park
Paradise Park looks like a scene from a movie with its brilliantly sandy shores. It is a great place to spend an afternoon as well as celebrate a loved one. For generations, residents of Ajax have visited this park as a popular city getaway. It features an expansive shoreline and boasts picturesque outcroppings of trees, bushes, and flowers.

Heber Down Conservation Area
The Heber Down Conservation Area offers guests over 700 acres of recreational land. It is ideal or fishing, hiking, and picnicking. The nature valley of Lynde Creek intersects with a section of the conservation area and provides guests with a variety of unbelievably scenic landscapes.

Countryside Preserve
This beautiful space is perfect for those who love the great outdoors. The massive green landscape is filled with grass, trees, and bushes as far as the eye can see. It is one of Uxbridge’s best kept secrets. The idyllic forest is a fantastic spot to celebrate a recently departed friend or family member.

Ganaraska Forest
The largest forest in southern Ontario, Ganaraska offers guests an unmatched outdoor experience. The forest features hundreds of kilometers of trails that play host to activities like hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and nature appreciation. It offers guests an immersive wildlife experience and is the ideal place to host a memorial for any nature lover.

Many thanks to our Guest Blogger, Basic Funerals,  for providing this thoughtful post.

“Basic Funerals is a licensed funeral home in Ontario, Canada, offering simple, cost-effective services that can be arranged online, over the phone, or in person. Our goal is to create a fresh perspective in funeral services.”