Archive for Courtice

2016 • Rose Quartz, Serenity and Monkeys

2015 has come and gone and in its place comes a whole new year of possibilities. Things will most certainly look different. Are you ready to make some changes?

According to the Chinese calendar the new year begins February 8th and it will be the year of the Red Monkey. The monkey is quite clever and intelligent, especially in their career and wealth. They are also a naughty, wily and vigilant animal so be prepared to be kept on your toes.

Pantone has already surprised us this year by choosing two colours to represent the colour of the year.

“For the first time Pantone introduces two shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity as the PANTONE Color of the Year 2016. Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”

colour of the year 2016

Joined together Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer and embracing warm tone and cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

Our Stacee-Free Team enjoys starting fresh in a new year by setting themselves some goals. They aren’t all the same. In fact most of them are quite different.  Let’s hear what they have planned for 2016.

Judy Stacee-Cleaver

Judy Stacee-Cleaver
Team Leader/Broker of Record

Stacee-Free Team Leader, Judy Stacee-Cleaver, has set a few goals for the year. Balance between her personal and professional life seems to be the focus.

“It was very busy last year, with major changes everywhere. In 2016 I would like to have a little more time to: have fun; get some exercise; complete important projects that have been sitting on the back burner; connect with more of my clients who have become friends; complete our new web site; grow our Networking group who has supported us all these years; and join our local Board of Trade.”
Board of Trade
Kathy Lapoint Sales Representative

Kathy Lapointe
Sales Representative



Kathy Lapointe has a solid plan to increase her Real Estate skills.

“I plan on attending more Real Estate seminars, courses and conferences to network. I would like to treat myself with a new Dell Tablet to update my efficiency dealing with Sellers and Buyers, and I’m looking forward to another successful year with Mincom New Choice Realty.”
Dell tablet
Jo-Ann Rucinski Licensed Assistant & Photographer

Jo-Ann Rucinski
Sales Representative & Administrator



Mincom Jo has done some reflecting and has big plans if she gets lucky.

“The years are going by quickly, but the last one was especially fast.  I’m always striving to be kinder to myself and others, especially on the roads. To send out thoughts of Peace for the World and given the past year, we need more people to think on Peace. I would love to win 5 million dollars, take some friends on a cruise and book suites with balconies, then give most of the money away. On the professional side, I plan on completing the Broker course this year. ”

cruise ship
John Martin

John Martin
Sales Representative

John Martin has a plan for 2016 and has set some very specific goals.

“Some of my goals are as follows:

  1. Grow my Real Estate Business by at least 100% by doing these: advertise in my farm area at least once a month • attend the free “Lunch and Learns” at the Ajax Pickering Board of Trade and at least six “Networking After 5” events at the APBOT • polish my listing presentation skills • try to be a better listener • collect email addresses and include them in a monthly news letter • take more real estate courses
  2.  Get more active, do more cycling, swimming and walking. More activity with the wife would also be good
  3. Start renovating the house
  4. Get the dog well-trained.
 These are just some of the things I’ve been thinking about. The phrase “Planning for Success” is better than doing nothing and planning to fail.”
Anna Stinson

Anna Stinson
Sales Representative



Anna Stinson isn’t one for making resolutions. She does, however, have a good idea of what she hopes to accomplish this year.

“I’m looking forward to helping my clients achieve their Real Estate goals for 2016. I hope to grow spiritually, continue being involved with my community and look forward to spending quality time with my family at home and abroad.”

Yes, The Stacee-Free Team is tackling the New Year full force. What changes are you planning on making? Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? We would love to hear about them!New Year

It’s A New Year


It’s a bright, shiny, brand new year. Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? Our Stacee-Free Team has. Well, not necessarily resolutions, but most definitely they have set themselves goals for 2015. We’ll just let them tell you about it themselves.

Judy Stacee-Cleaver

Judy Stacee-Cleaver
Team Leader/Broker of Record

Stacee-Free Team Leader,  Judy Stacee-Cleaver, has set a few goals for the year. Most are professional but a couple are personal goals.

” I’m aiming at getting twice as many listings and twice as many sales as I had in 2014. We had a pretty good year so it won’t be easy, but I’m up to the challenge.  Right now I’m working on a Team Handbook for Success and I intend to complete it as soon as possible. I’m looking forward to trying out some new ideas this year and really honing my skills with regard to Social Media. It plays such a big part in what we do that if you don’t keep up you’ll be left behind. We are always looking for new representatives to bring something fresh to the Team so I’m looking to do some hiring.
On a personal note, I’m selling my home on Lake Scugog and moving to our new home on 10 acres in Clarington.”
Home on Lake Scugog
Don Carter Sales Representative

Don Carter
Sales Representative


Don Carter’s goals for 2015 include education, referrals and networking.

“There are some mandatory courses for the upcoming two year term that I want to complete but I would also like to earn the Senior Real Estate Specialist designation (SRES). I already have the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) designation so this is a natural next step. Plus, I’m planning to step up my game with networking and seeking referrals by getting involved with the local Board of Trade and Architectural Council.”
Board of Trade
Kathy Lapoint Sales Representative

Kathy Lapointe
Sales Representative



Kathy Lapointe is working on both professional and personal improvements .

“My goal is to consistently complete two deals or more a month. This year I am also going to focus on feeling better and healthier. On a personal note my plan is to actually get away this summer to somewhere tropical for a couple of weeks of R & R with my whole family.”
Black Beach in Hana
Jo-Ann Rucinski  Licensed Assistant & Photographer

Jo-Ann Rucinski
Licensed Assistant & Photographer


Mincom Jo has set herself some pretty lofty goals for 2015.

“This year I’ll be getting my Broker’s License. I’ve been planning it for some time…and now is the time. We have a great Team and I would like to work with them more, to help them increase their potential both personally and in business. There is always room for self-improvement and I’m working on being kinder — having more compassion and understanding of people and situations. I’m also planning to meditate more and to continue working out at the gym.”
bootcamp meditate
John Martin

John Martin
Sales Representative

John Martin didn’t make a New Year’s resolution but he has a plan for 2015 and is putting things in place this year that he has not done since joining the Stacee-Free Team.

“I’m determined to make 2015 my best year yet in Real Estate. I am trying to be a lot more focused. Getting out of bed earlier and getting more things done each day has just been the start. This year, I actually have a plan for success that I am determined to follow and so far I’m right on track.

I also want to do a lot more cycling with my wife Melanie this year. I’m also hoping to go to the Calgary Stampede. I want to sell our park model summer trailer this year. We have outgrown the trailer park scene and it’s time to move on.
2015 is going to be a big year for changes. Our son has purchased a home in Bowmanville and hopefully he’ll get possession in late April and I will get my garage back! Our house needs some interior updating and the landscaping needs to be looked at. Yes, there are lots of  things to be done at home. All in all, this year is going to be a good one because I’m going to make it a good one!”

Anna Stinson

Anna Stinson
Sales Representative



Anna Stinson isn’t one for making resolutions. She does, however, have a good idea of what she hopes to accomplish this year.

“I’m hoping that 2015 will be a year to look back on; being more socially responsible; connecting with new and previous clients; and truly making a positive difference in people’s lives.”
Make a difference

As you can see, the Stacee-Free Team has big plans for this year. They’ve already started reaching their goals and will continue to strive to complete everything they have set out to do. We hope that you are able to realize your goals and dreams this year too!HPPY NEWYEAR





Legends Of The Fall

The Durham Region really is a jewel in the Ontario crown.  Located just minutes from Toronto, one of the busiest mega cities in North America, this area shines throughout the year. Perhaps never so bright as in the fall.  Golden yellows, ruby reds, emerald greens, sapphire blue, topaz browns, amber oranges, amethyst purples … they are all here in the Durham Region…just ready to show off their splendour.


Just Minutes From Toronto You Can Find This

The ride home from work or a weekend drive  becomes a bounty of colour. Changing every day. Brighter and more intense.

Leaves Up High

Over The Fence


You’ll find pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hay rides and more to keep the whole family happy and enjoying the colours and fresh air.  Mincom Jo found herself exploring the Knox’s Pumpkin Farm for the first time.

Knox's Pumpkin Farm

Knox’s Pumpkin Farm

pumpkins as far as the eye could see

frolicking in the hay

Mincom Jo Frolicking In The Hay


Mincom Jo Being A”Mazed”

She's Off The Wagon And Pretty Much Pumpkined Out

She’s Off The Wagon                                                   •••                               And Pretty Much Pumpkined Out

The next stop was Pingle’s Farm Market. It was just as colourful and had lots of fun activities too.  At Pingle’s you can also pick your own apples and berries. As you step out of your car the first thing you notice is the amazing aromas of their well known bakery.  Mouth watering. Of course there were more pumpkins…all shapes, sizes and colours.


Fall in love with the Durham Region this season. The colours are legendary. Just take a drive.

wagon wheel

Men In Kilts

How was your summer? It’s hard to believe but that really was the past tense used there. Labour Day has come and gone, the kids are back in school, the days are getting shorter and the evenings are getting cooler. This summer was a particularly busy one for the Stacee-Free Team at MinCom New Choice Realty Inc. and we’re not just talking about selling real estate, although this summer was one of the strongest we’ve had.

Judy’s summer was filled with racing meets and hosting company from England; MinCom Jo and Anna spent a few weeks where the grass is always greener ? in Northern Ireland; and Don had the honour of walking his daughter down the aisle.

Activities in the Durham Region were plentiful. If you follow us on Facebook then you know there was always something going on. If you don’t you should because you would be surprised at the stuff you are missing. There was AutoFest,  Water Festivals On The Lake, the Sandcastle Festival, the Circus was in town, there were Ribfests all summer, Garden Tours, there was even a Caribbean Festival and the Highland Games.

This was the 18th Annual Highlands of Durham Games at Elgin Park in Uxbridge but it was the first time Judy Stacee-Cleaver attended along with her husband Chris and her trusty sidekick, Mincom Jo.   Our fearless leader was pleasantly surprised.


Please Note: Uncle Tom, Chris Cleaver and Mincom Jo are not in kilts.

According to the program…

“The origins of the present day highland games go so far back into the mists of time that no one knows when the men of the highlands first began to compete in various tests of strength, the playing of highland music and of highland dancing. It is known that Malcolm Canmore, King of Scotland in the 11th century, organized games in Braemar…using the contests of speed and endurance to choose the best amongst the men for his service.”

The Durham Games have been recognized internationally and offer some of the best Highland games in North America. From piping, drumming and dancing to the caber toss and live animal showings, the games have events for the entire family.

Judy confessed…

“Uncle Tom was visiting from England and we were trying to show him how wonderful our little corner of the world (Durham Region) is. We took him to all our favourite spots and some of the the events we attend every year throughout the summer. His visit gave us the opportunity to try a few other things we hadn’t done in the past. Like the Highland Games in Uxbridge.

The second you walk onto the grounds you know you are in for an adventure when you are greeted by a Pipe Band”

Pipers Piping

Welcome To The Highlands of Durham Games

If you are of Celtic descent, even if it is from your half-cousin twice removed, you could find out what clan you belong to along the “Avenue of the Clans and Heritage Way”. There were plaids and souvenirs a plenty for those who love a good shop.


For animal lovers there were dogs, horses, sheep and all manner of livestock not always seen in these parts.

THE WILD BEASTSThere was uplifting music…


and dancers who lifted up.


DANCING 2 copy

There was food to be had, a beer tent and The Whisky Bar where you could could sample a wee dram of three different whiskies. Now if that doesn’t put a smile on your face and warm you to your toes nothing will.


A good time was had by all, especially our Judy…

“It was so much fun. The music was wonderful and the dancers were absolutely beautiful. Did we mention the whisky tasting? Seriously, it was a wonderful experience. There was such a feeling of heritage and history. You could see where they came from and the pride they carried with them. The intimate setting of the smaller venue as opposed to having it in a big city really contributed to this.”

One thing we did discover without a doubt. There really isn’t much that can not be lifted by men in kilts!

Weight over bar




Theatre Is Alive And Well In The Durham Region

Going to the theatre to watch a live performance is one of life’s great pleasures. It can transport you to a wonderful, magical world away from the realities of your everyday life.  The good news is, if you live in the Durham Region, you don’t have to go through the hassle of driving into Toronto to see quality theatre. A recent performance of  George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalian” at The Oshawa Little Theatre was more than enough proof of that.

Oshawa Little Theatre

Oshawa Little Theatre
62 Russett Avenue

Pygmalion Program

It was obvious from the second the lights dimmed that this performance would be one to be remembered. The sets, the costumes and the performers were outstanding.

(C)2012 Raph Nogal — with Kathy Knight, Emily Olivia Raine, Wade Minacs, Deborah Lobban, Paul Love, Erika Belanger, Tamila Vashchenko, Kelly Preeper, Lisa Lynch and Brandon Rideout

(C)2012 Raph Nogal — with Kathy Knight, Emily Olivia Raine, Wade Minacs, Deborah Lobban, Paul Love, Erika Belanger, Tamila Vashchenko, Kelly Preeper, Lisa Lynch and Brandon Rideout

After the performance,  Deborah Lobban (Jamieson), who played Mrs. Higgins for this production, shared some of her experience with theatre in the Durham Region.  Deborah has been acting since she was seven. She went on to earn her BFA (University of Windsor) and MA (U. of T.). She played Christopher Lloyd’s wife in the feature film “Dinner At Fred’s“, and had speaking roles in “A Map of the World” with Sigourney Weaver, and “Caveman’s Valentine” with Samuel L. Jackson. Remember Oatmeal Crisp TV commericals,

Deborah Jamieson

Deborah Lobban (Jamieson)

(c)2012 Raph Nogal — Deborah Lobban as Mrs. Higgins

(c)2012 Raph Nogal — Deborah Lobban as Mrs. Higgins

“It’s a bonny cereal, but it’s not oatmeal!” (said with a thick Scottish accent). Deborah played the server who brought the leading man and his father two bowls of milk for their cereal. (“That’s nay real oatmeal! Real oatmeal’s so thick, you couldna dent it with a five iron!) and was also in various commercials for Visa, Campbell’s Soup, Tim Horton’s,  House coffee and Nabob coffee. She also played Annie Wilkes in the North-American premiere of a British play based on Stephen King’s novel “Misery“. And yes, this is the role that Kathy Bates made famous…the ‘crazy nurse’ who tortures her favourite author. This was a professional production in Montreal in 1997 and she then went on to play the same role in a touring company in New Brunswick opposite C. David Johnson, star of Street Legal. Perhaps you would remember Deborah best for her role as Doris Bell, the school secretary in Degrassi Junior High.

Deborah explained some of the reasons that the “Pygmalion” production was such high quality.

“Kim Blanusa, who designed the set and costumes for “Pygmalion“, as well as supervising Hair and Makeup for the play, did a great deal of research to make the costumes, hats and hairstyles authentic. She based many of her designs on the fashions of the ladies who sailed on the Titanic. In fact, the final hat that I wore was based on a photo of a person who actually sailed on the Titanic! (Deborah showed me the photo!!)

When the director, Robert Calvert, sent out the call for auditions, he made sure that anyone auditioning had to know how to do the accents required (Cockney and upper-class English). I have a very good ear and have loved accents for many years, so I helped actors when I heard any challenges in their dialects, and Robert called in a friend who was also great with accents, to just ‘give a listen’ as well.

The calibre of actors in the Durham area is extremely high. I have been privileged to work with some great talents here, and we have had a wonderful time. In professional theatre, rehearsals are intense (maybe three weeks of rehearsals before a play opens, working almost every day). With community theatre, the rehearsals are extended over several months, since we work only three nights a week for the better part of those months. However, the same analysis of roles, etc., takes place and the reward is the same: being able to entertain an audience.”

Deborah’s Durham experience has included roles in Doubt (Durham Shoestring Players), Jane Eyre (Whitby Courthouse) as well as Cemetery Club, Arsenic and Old Lace, Play On! and now Pygmalion at the Oshawa Little Theatre. You will find her next at the Whitby Courthouse Theatre where she well portray Fraulein Schultz, the second female lead in the musical Cabaret. Directed by Debra Smith, Produced and with Musical Direction by Ted Niles, it opens January 31 and runs until February 16, 2013. 

For more information on any of the theatre productions in the Durham Region please click on their links below.

The Oshawa Little Theatre in Oshawa

Town Hall 1873 Theatre in Port Perry

The Herongate Barn Theatre in Pickering

The Whitby Courthouse Theatre in Whitby

On Stage Uxbridge Theatre in Uxbridge

Class Act Dinner Theatre in Whitby

The Regent Theatre in Oshawa

Driftwood Theatre Group – Trafalgar 24Trafalgar Castle, 401 Reynolds Street, Whitby, Ontario

Durham Shoestring Performers in Oshawa

Clearly there’s no shortage of terrific theatre close to home so forget about fighting the traffic and finding a parking spot that you won’t have to mortgage the house for. Stay right here in the Durham Region and wait for the curtain to rise.