Archive for Stacee-Free Team – Page 2


Bowmanville knows how to throw a good “Fest”. A big part of their success is because of the people who live there. It is a community that loves its town and supports the activities that happen there. The recent “MapleFest” was a perfect example. They came in droves…young and old, families and couples, friends hanging out and even some four legged ones.


It was a perfect day. The weather was not too hot and not too cold. The sun shone brightly. Mincom Jo, Anna Stinson, her grandson Jack and Chris Cleaver couldn’t resist the call of the maple syrup.  Of course, there is only one way to start the day at Maplefest —  pancakes & sausages covered in maple syrup.

pancake anticipation

“Outa my way!”

The anticipation was almost unbearable as they moved through the line and found a table with their mouths watering the whole time.

eating pancakes

“Never mind the picture! We’re hungry.”

You can bet that maple syrup was the star of the show and there were plenty of sources.

Maple Syrup

Pancakes may not be your favourite conduit for the golden nectar. Fear not! There was an abundance of ways to satisfy the craving for all that is maple – Maple Bean & Bacon Soup, Maple Sugar Pie, Maple Sugar Tarts, Maple Donuts, Maple Fudge, Maple Peach Bourbon Pie, Maple Blue Berry Crumble, Maple Walnut Pie, Maple Taffy on Snow, Maple Cinnamon Latte – to name a just few.

Maple Fudge

Maple Taffy

If maple syrup isn’t your thing there was plenty of non-maple syrup vendors to make sure no one went hungry. Jamaican, Hawaiian and barbecue food trucks along with chip wagons and Italian sausage makers made sure of it.

Duffers Chip Wagon

Toasted Walnut

Tornado Potatos

Italian Sausage

Not for the faint of heart, there were some pretty exciting rides for the kiddies.

roller coaster


crazy ride

The Bowmanville Zoo provided camel rides. The camel just grinned when Mincom Jo asked to have a turn.



Janet Lange was on hand to bring face painting to a whole new spectacular level. Her creations were nothing short of magical!

Janet Lange Face Painting

The boys opted for something a little more masculine.

Joker and Hulk facepainting

Some folks got a good head start on their (dare I say it?)…Christmas shopping, with all the creative vendors displaying their wares.







After all the eating, riding and shopping, the best way to take a breather is to enjoy some of the music provided. From one end of the main street to the other there were talented musicians serenading you along the way.




As we said, Bowmanville really knows how to enjoy their community. You won’t want to miss their next “Fest”.

March Madness

March can get a little crazy in the Durham Region.  When it comes to weather one might even say it is bi-polar. One day you are getting emergency weather winter storm warnings, with “polar” temperatures and record snowfalls. The next day the sun is shining and you are tempted to walk about in your shorts. We won’t mention any names (Mincom Jo). Let’s face it, we are Canadians — there was a lot of shorts-wearing going on.

If the weather didn’t have you confused, there is always the calamity that goes with changing our clocks to Daylight Saving Time. Some people will always be confused. Try to remember we “Spring” forward and “Fall” back. That’s right. We lost an hour of precious sleep on the 14th.

spring forwarc

There were “Snow Days” with the kids home from school, then “March Break” let them off school for an entire week: not a problem if you live in the Durham Region where there was a lot going on for kids and their families. Ontario Power sponsored a whole week of events including hiking, crafts, skating and swimming. Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival launched March 12, 2016 just in time


Anna & Family At the Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival

for the break and can still be enjoyed over the next couple of weekends. The Oshawa Airport hosted Girls Flying Girls, giving young girls one of the most exciting adventures of their life.  The Bowmanville Tackle Swap and Fishing Show was in full swing.  Both the Pickering Town Centre and the Oshawa Centre had activities for the kids and March break camps were offered through the City of Oshawa, City of Pickering, Town of Whitby, Town of Ajax, Municipality of Clarington, Township of Scugog, Township of Uxbridge or Township of Brock. This list goes on.

Things are always a little whacky on the 17th. The “Wearin’ of the Green” can make for some strange outfits on St. Patrick’s Day. You can pretty much find anything and everything coloured green…your food, your drinks, buildings and even bodies of water. One thing we don’t colour green is our Anna’s (Stinson) mouthwatering homemade shortbread. You can’t get more Irish than Anna and her shortbread. We are also fortunate that we have the number one ranked Irish restaurant in all of Ontario here in the Durham Region. The Snug, in Newcastle, brings authentic Irish fare right to your table. We recommend you save room for the Sticky Toffee Pudding.


The Snug

Walsh’s The Snug In Newcastle, ON

The kids are back in school for a short week. This weekend is Easter weekend giving them the day off on Good Friday. There will be an Easter Parade in Pickering and an Easter Egg Hunt in Ajax, both on Saturday. The Oshawa Airport is hosting an Easter Egg-stravaganza on Sunday.

Easter Parade In Pickering

Easter Parade In Pickering

In case we haven’t mentioned it, we also officially welcomed the March Equinox whose dual identity is called Spring, on Sunday, March 20th, 2016.  Yes, Spring has definitely sprung. Enjoy it folks!



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

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




The Durham Region is rich in many cultures, not the least of which is that of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. For the past 19 years, the Mississaugas of Scugog Island have invited all to witness a truly remarkable weekend of history and ceremony. From their website we learn,

“The Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation moved into southern Ontario from their former homeland north of Lake Huron around the year 1700. The Mississaugas are a branch of the greater Ojibwa Nation, one of the largest native groups in Canada. From time immemorial, Mississauga people secured all their needs from the surrounding environment (“Mother Earth”); hunting and fishing and harvesting plant materials for food and medicines. Wild rice, an important food staple, grows in shallow water and was gathered in late summer using birch bark canoes.”

One of the best descriptions of a Pow Wow comes from the Ontario Travel site:

“Pow Wows are sacred to the people of the First Nations, who have gathered for decades to renew friendships and celebrate with song, food, dance and storytelling. Experience the dazzling display of dancers in brilliantly coloured regalia representing different legends and tribes. Listen to the haunting beat of the drum, and songs about warriors, honour and social life passed down by the elders for generations.”

For Melanie Martin, Webmaster for Mincom New Choice Realty Ltd. Brokerage and The Stacee-Free Team , the annual Pow Wow is an annual family event.   This  year Melanie, her sister Mary, and her daughter Jenn enjoyed the celebration together.

The Girls

Mary, Jenn & Melanie

“I go most years,” says Melanie, “just to see the dancing and to eat the great food, specifically the bannock. The pow wow connects me to my roots. I see people that look and act just like me. I love the dancing because it makes me feel closer to my roots. As an aboriginal who is discovering herself more and more each year, this connects me closer to my people and my heritage.”

The theme for the weekend was “Honouring Our Lost Sisters” and the Pow Wow Grounds on Island Road in Port Perry were well set up to handle the crowd. Parking was plentiful and well-organized, with a steady stream of helpful and really happy “chauffeurs”  who made sure everyone got to and from the grounds quickly and safely.

escortsBefore entering the Pow Wow, the aroma of both savoury and sweet treats floated on the warm air, greeting us with promises of full tummies before we leave. Even the strictest of dieters couldn’t resist the crowd favourite, Bannock, a delicious traditional Native fried bread. Just a bite or two…or three or four…maybe more.

Hand-made treasures were proudly displayed and it was easy to leave with a one-of-a-kind souvenir.

Hand MadeAs enjoyable as all that is, the real reason everyone is here is for the gathering of the people, the ceremony and to join in dancing and singing. This is how the culture and rich heritage of the Native American Indians is preserved. Every dance and every song has a meaning. The traditional dress worn by each dancer bears significance to their culture. A feather is not just a feather. It is a symbol that must be earned and is cherished and treated with respect. Some of the prayers and dances are not to be photographed. It is a privilege just to bare witness. When cameras and recordings are allowed there is a feast of colour and textures to capture.

Dancers 1

Dancers 2

Dancers 8

Dancers 3

Dancers 9

Dancers 4

Dancers 10

Dancers 6

Dancers 7At the end of the day you can’t help but feel you have really shared in something special. By the time you are safely escorted back to your car, exhausted and full, all you can do is smile from ear to ear.