Archive for Real Estate Agent – Page 2

Paint Nite Durham

Have you heard about Paint Nite?

It is a new trend that’s a wonderful way to spend some time with family and/or friends while tapping into your inner creativity and it has become very popular in the Durham Region.  According to their website

“In just about two hours, while you’re sipping on a cocktail, our performing artists will guide you through each painting so that you come up with your own unique masterpiece at the end of the night that you will be amazed YOU created. We provide everything you will need: canvas, paints, brushes and even a smock. You just bring your fun loving friends and have a few cocktails to keep the spirits high and inhibitions to a minimum and we’ll make sure your inner Picasso is unleashed.”

These events take place right in your own neighbourhood at your favourite restaurants, bars and boutiques. The canvases and paints are included and each session is led by a local artist.

It might be best to let the Co-Founder of Paint Nite, Dan Hermann, explain the concept…

Doesn’t that look like a lot of fun? Always up for an adventure, a few weeks ago our Team Leader, Judy Stacee-Cleaver, took the opportunity to find out first hand. Judy joined a few of her friends at Olive That! in Whitby to let loose and get those creative juices flowing. And flow they did!

Olive that signOlive That! lends itself to creativity. This unique “tasting bar” allows you to create your own combinations from a variety of Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars. Savoury or sweet, there is a plethora to choose from. Simply sample the flavours from the many silver fusti available until you find the perfect one (or two or three) and the extremely knowledgeable staff will bottle them for you right there and then.  You’ll also find a wonderful selection of cheeses, ideal kitchen gifts and much more. One visit and we’re sure you will become a regular. Judy managed to find several combinations to bring home and got some Christmas shopping done.

Olive that 1The very talented Sarah Shaw was the “Performing Artist” for the evening. Step-by-step, Sarah guided the group through the process of creating a winter wonderland on canvas. It doesn’t matter if you have never picked up a paintbrush, you will leave with a beautiful piece of artwork.

Judy was fascinated by the end results…

“It was a wonderful evening, full of fun. What really surprised me was that every one of us had the same canvas, the same paints, the same brushes and the same step-by-step instructions, yet every single painting turned out differently. Our own unique style came through.”

Paint Nite

From their smiles it’s easy to see that everyone had a wonderful time and would welcome the opportunity to participate again.


A Celebration Of Culture And Creativity

Mid August, the Durham Region as a whole got together to celebrate and host the first annual Durham Festival. For four days it was a celebration of creativity and culture with something for everyone! There were bike rides, gourmet food trucks, performances in the park and night-time dances. This Festival asked residents and visitors to celebrate the diverse communities and creative talent that live within Durham’s eight municipalities and gave them an opportunity to experience the sights, sounds, smells, and flavours of the region.

Performance In Pickering held a Shakespearean workshop.  Everyone was welcome no matter what their experience and was followed by a performance of Hamlet like you’ve never seen it before in Millennium Square. Each evening, Dusk Dances were held in Alex Robertson Park, featuring high quality contemporary and traditional dance.  Pickering Museum Village provided heritage children’s games and crafts on Friday afternoon at Alex Robertson Park. Then, a giant site-wide game of ‘Capture the Flag’ was held on Saturday afternoon and Millennium Square-hosted Artist vendors displaying their wares on Sunday afternoon. All weekend, Pickering’s Nautical Village hosted an Apple Festival featuring apple-themed food in the local restaurants and bakeries.

Woodland Disco and Glowfest took place at Parkwood Estate in Oshawa on Friday evening. This family friendly event included a D.J. disco dance party, glow art , children’s crafts, interactive art activities, laser tag, dance performances and more. The magic began when the sun went down and everything started to shine. The fountains glowed and a glow-in-the-dark wonderland was created with hula hoops, roaming buskers, stilt-walkers, fire-breathers, glow art and glow face painting.



Picasso’s Picnic celebrated the young artists in our midst, from toddlers to teens, at the former Cream of Barley Mill by Soper Creek Trail in Clarington. It was a day of outdoor arts, crafts, drama and music, providing a full experience of visual and performance arts. This included free visual arts workshops and “make and take” sessions such as: Throw a pot on the wheel with Lela Filipovski; Face painting with Janet Lange; Printmaking; Button making; Paint a masterpiece; Ribbon sticks; Stop-motion animation studio in the gallery; Karaoke recording studio in the gallery; A Gift of Art from Newcastle activity; and Make a musical instrument from re-purposed materials, inspired by guest artist, Mark Sepic.

Durham Harvest Picnic on Saturday afternoon at Victoria Fields in Whitby was one for the books. Literally! That’s right. The Durham Region took on the challenge of The GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the Longest Picnic Table and succeeded!  Hundreds of people from across the Durham Region and beyond came together to enjoy a picnic lunch at the whopping 136.61 metre-long table. Not to be left out, the northern townships of Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge set up the North Durham Village tent at the picnic and gave everyone the opportunity to learn about their historic areas, museums, golf courses, ice fishing, antiques, lakes and trails, maple syrup and music festivals, as well as locally produced products and the very best of rural life.



Whitby Harbour Day was held at Port Whitby Marina on Saturday. Featured main stage performers were M.T. Pockets, Debwewin Singers from the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, Five, Rory Taillon and Mumbai Standstill, Jack de Keyzer and Whitby Idol. There were also Dragon Boat races, water ski shows and sailing school demonstrations. At 4pm on the porch of the James Rowe House, the play, “Maud of Leaskdale”, was presented. The play was based on the journals of Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, who called the Township of Uxbridge home

The Taste of Ajax  at Rotary Park in Ajax may have been Mincom Jo’s favourite event. Everyone had the opportunity to  savour flavours from local restaurants and food trucks. The live entertainment featured The Jason R. Martin Band, Two For The Show and Beach Boys Tribute Band. There was lots of crafts and things to do including cookie decorating.


Ajax 1

Ajax 2

Ride4UnitedWay Gran Fondo started and finished on Sunday at the Legends Centre in Oshawa for all three courses.  The bike ride and fundraiser had people cycling across the region, through small towns and along scenic roads, with courses geared towards accommodating a fairly broad cross section of riders with varying experience and fitness levels.

There really was something for everyone during the Durham Festival. It was an action-packed four days that involved the entire region. We’re all looking forward to the “second annual” Durham Festival and you should be too.

Ajax 3

Ajax 4

Ajax 5

Ajax 6



Welcome To Fannyville

Stacee-Free Team Member, Don Carter lives in “Fannyville”. Well, most of the time he actually lives in Port Hope but one day a year his beloved home town becomes Fannyville and he loves it!

Float Your Fanny Down The Ganny
Every year since 1981, the citizens of Port Hope have held  a 10 kilometer race along the Ganaraska River to commemorate the 1980 flood that devastated their downtown area. The race was dubbed “Float Your Fanny Down The Ganny” and acts as the official kick off to the Spring season in this festive community.

The weekend of the race changes each year, but it is usually in late March or early April. The 2015 edition had to be postponed until Saturday April 18th because of the heavy ice that remained in the river.

This year saw 130 canoes, kayaks and fan favourites…crazy crafts,  set off from the starting point. Sadly, not all crazy crafts crossed the finish line and some that did were in various stages of disarray.

A crazy craft is a craft that has been built from, well, pretty much anything: anything that will float and carry its team (at least at the starting line). Inner tubes, big plastic drums, Styrofoam, plastic pop bottles, balloons and blowup furniture were all seen on the course this year. Let’s just assume all the hardware stores in the area had a run on duct tape.  Awards can be earned for the fastest time, best costume, judges’ favourite and crowd favourite, to name a few.


A Bit Of Fannyville

The area surrounding the finish line near the Barrett Street Bridge becomes Fannyville, providing all kinds of fun for the whole family. There’s a craft area for the kids, bouncy castles, souvenirs of the event, crafts for sale, food vendors, and Don’s personal favourite…live music.

“The live music was great. You could smell the delicious burgers and hot dogs on the barbecue and the Bewdley french fry truck was here too. Watching those crazy crafts get themselves in and out of trouble was really entertaining. It was so much fun my face still hurts from smiling so much!”

Racing starts at 10 am but the festivities carry on all day.

Canoes and kayaks

The sun was shining fiercely, leaving some of us with our first sunburn of the year. The wind was strong and the current was fast. Extremely low water levels created a pretty interesting obstacle course just before the finish line. Let’s just say even the “superheroes” ended up wet or in the water.

costumes on the ganny

Balloon ganny

More than one craft was left “up the creek without a paddle.” Oh, and lest you think the spectators got away unscathed, those crafts were armed with water balloons and water cannons and the competitors weren’t afraid to use them. The closer you were to the shoreline the better the chances were that you would look like you went for a swim. We can tell you from experience that the people on the bridges weren’t any safer. Some of those paddlers have pretty good arms. Any ball teams need a pitcher?

good arm

bigger shots

crazy craft winners

2015 Crazy Craft Float Your Fanny Down The Ganny Winners • Port Hope Young Professionals

There is talk of the Stacee-Free Team entering next year. Wouldn’t that be fun? What do you say, Don? “Oh, Captain, my Captain!”



Sweet Spring

It’s officially Spring! The cold temperatures and heaps of snow may not have you convinced, but there is one sure sign that Spring has sprung — the Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival. This is the 40th year for the Maple Syrup Festival held at Purple Woods Conservation Area in Oshawa.

Established in 1975, Purple Woods Conservation area is a 17 Hectare sugar maple forest and open meadow located on the provincially significant Oak Ridges Moraine. A favourite family destination,  Purple Woods Conservation area is host to the annual Maple Syrup Festival.”

As it also coincides with “Spring Break”, our Anna decided it would be a nice way to spend the day with a couple of her grandchildren and her daughter who was celebrating her birthday.  The sun was shining brightly but there was definitely a nip in the air so warm clothes were not optional.  The new Purple Woods Heritage Hall provides a nice place to warm up and enjoy some fresh pancakes with maple syrup either before or after exploring the area.  Completed in 2012, Heritage Hall is a wonderful setting for the Maple Syrup Festival with its rustic charm and unique structure using recycled post and beam construction.

Heritage Hall

Our wee group opted to work up an appetite first. If you are expecting to see each tree adorned with a pail hanging from a spigot you will be in for a surprise. These days it looks like the trees have all been joined together in a massive web.  The  modern method of collecting the sap through narrow plastic tubes that run like a maze from each tree down to a sugar shack where it is boiled into syrup is now the standard practice.


sugar shack

There was lots to see and do along the Sugar Bush Trail. Anna, always the Real Estate Professional, couldn’t resist checking out some historical Durham Region listings.

Real EstateThe whole area was laid out with activities for the kids (of all sizes), including Horse Drawn Wagon Rides.


Horse Drawn

Anna has never been one to shy away from hard work and she proved she was up to the task. She probably would prefer not to carry this around or cook maple sap in the big black cauldrons over an open flame. The new, modern way is just fine with her.

Anna Yoke

She would never ask anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do herself.

stiltsAfter soaring to new heights it was time to climb back up the moraine to those delicious pancakes waiting for them. They had definitely worked up an appetite with all the fresh air, sunshine and hard work.

pancakesAnna tells us,

“We had a marvelous morning and we learned a lot about the making of Maple Syrup. The best part was the people that work here. The staff was very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The pancakes with maple syrup were pretty good too,” she says with a grin.

If you haven’t been out to the Maple Syrup Festival yet they will be open again next weekend, March 28th and 29th. Be sure to book your spot on line ahead of time here. Don’t forget to stop by the Heritage Store before you leave for all things maple.

Where To Go, With Mincom Jo

It was a very cold long weekend in February and Mincom Jo fancied herself a night out. Let’s face it…it’s been a deep freeze in the Durham Region and all the weekends have seemed pretty looooong.  This one, however, was the Family Day “long weekend”. If that wasn’t enough, it also happened to be the weekend that Valentine’s Day fell on. So it didn’t matter where you lived, most of the activities were geared towards families and couples. But not to worry! Mincom Jo knows where to go and how to have fun.

Mincom JO

One of  Jo’s favourite venues is the GM Centre in Oshawa. She’s been there several times for shows and as a matter of fact, most of the Stacee-Free Team has been there…a lot.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

“As Durham Region’s premier Sports and Entertainment Facility, the General Motors Centre provides a first-class home to the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League, the Durham TurfDogs of the Canadian Lacrosse League and the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame.

Since opening, the General Motors Centre has hosted major concerts and special events including Elton John, Cirque du Soleil, the 2011 BDO Canadian Open, IIHF World Junior Pre-Competition, Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Hedley, Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships, Selena Gomez and The Wiggles; to name just a few.”

As luck would have it, The Pink Floyd Experience would be making an appearance Saturday night. And if you can’t have Pink Floyd, this group is the next best thing.

This was to the band’s Oshawa debut performing “4 Sides of Floyd”.

A fully packed show covering songs from four sides off of four different Pink Floyd albums, combined with a spectacular light show, full quadraphonic sound and six outstanding musicians bringing you the most authentic Floyd experience. The Pink Floyd Experience is a full-on sensory assault – interpretive videos, plane crashes, flying pig, helicopter – it’s all there, LIVE!  This is the show for the ultimate Floyd Fan. Perfect! Our Jo enjoys Pink Floyd!

Of course she still had to brave the bone chilling temperatures but it was worth it.

GM CentreAs she says…

“The GM Centre is the perfect place to see any performance. It is a really nice facility and they have the ability to configure the seating and stage to accommodate a more intimate setting. The sound is great. It’s easy to get to and you can watch quality entertainment without having to go into Toronto. What more can you ask for?”

Pink Floyd Experience

The Pink Floyd Experience

Needless to say, Jo had a great time that night and is looking forward to her next long weekend adventure.