Lights On For Snowflakes And Angels Christmas Campaign

ST. CATHARINES – Friday evening, November 20, marked the start of the annual Snowflakes and Angels Christmas Campaign at Hotel Dieu Shaver Hospital. 

The shining moment took place when Saundra Patterson, a patient, turned on the decorative lights on the beautiful Christmas tree and grounds. Saundra is the wife of former Niagara College president, Dan Patterson.

It was a such a wonderful moment for Saundra, who loves Christmas so much, Dan Patterson said by email.

Traditionally, a large crowd gathers for the occasion but COVID-19 pandemic protocols required that it be restricted to patients and staff. 

Funds raised through the Snowflakes and Angels Christmas Campaign, organized by the HDS Foundation, this year will be directed toward purchase of specialized beds and mattresses for patients at Hotel Dieu Shaver.

Information about the campaign can be found at: Tree Lighting | Event Fundraising | Hotel Dieu Shaver Foundation

Bulletin! City Makes Adjustments To Winter Lights Tours

Bah, Humbug! But This Is To Be Expected In These Days Of Pandemic Living

WELLAND The City of Welland will be supporting self-guided tours only for the Welland Winter Lights contest on Dec. 7 and 8. In addition, a Fill the Bus Food Drive will be included in conjunction with the event.

Due to rising cases of COVID-19 in Niagara, the previously advertised bus tours portion of the Welland Winter Lights contest are cancelled to ensure public safety and help lessen the spread of COVID-19.

This year, everyone is invited to enjoy the Welland Winter Lights through a self-guided tour on Dec. 7 and 8. City staff and the Welland Downtown Business Improvement Area will be at Market Square both evenings between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. to collect items for the food and toy drive and host a Fill the Bus Food Drive campaign with support from Welland Public Transit. Complimentary reindeer antlers and treat bags will be offered while supplies last. A tour map will be made available on the city’s public engagement platform, YourChannel, on Fri. Dec. 4, at 4:30 p.m.

For more information on the Welland Winter Lights contest, tours, and nomination criteria, visit YourChannel.welland.ca

(Source: City of Welland news release)

CFUW Campaign Takes Stand Against Gender-Based Violence

CITY WILL LIGHT MAIN STREET BRIDGE IN ORANGE ON WEDNESDAY

WELLAND – Please join members of CFUW (Canadian Federation Of University Women) – Welland and District, wearing ​orange ​on Wednesday, November 25 at 5pm on the east side of the Main Street bridge to safely acknowledge the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism.

CFUW National​ along with local clubs including ​Welland and District ​are again supporting ​the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence​, continuing until December 10.

​ The campaign was started at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991, as a strategy to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

The UN Secretary-General’s ‘UNITE by 2030 to End Violence against Women’ campaign is marking the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence under the global theme, “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”

In support, the City of Welland will light the Main Street bridge on Wednesday in ​orange​.

(Source: CFUW release)

Food Drive Organizers Express Appreciation

You can still donate:
1. Write cheques payable to one of the charities involved and mail the cheques directly or
2. Bring food donations directly to the charities.

They have safe systems in place to receive all donations.
Hope Centre – 57 King Street Welland, Ontario L3B 3L2
Open Arms Mission – 22 Fifth Street Welland, Ontario L3B 4Z3
Salvation Army – 800 Niagara Street Upper Level Seaway Mall Unit JJ L3C 4Z4

The fundraiser’s organizers also publicly thanked major sponsors: Optimist Club of Welland, Bosch Rexroth, TENPINE Web Development, MT Bellies.

Heritage Lives: Ghosts Of The WRCC

Captions: Clockwise from top left, the structural magnificence of the second Aqueduct as it was being covered during the construction of the fourth canal that is now the parking lot behind the civic centre and promoted as a historical structure by the WRCC (Supplied photo); Willow Walk signage, Merritt Island (file photo, Joe Barkovich); One of several plaques showing the significant role played by the Feeder Canal as part of our heritage (file photo, Joe Barkovich); Tranquil beauty of Willow Walk trail (file photo, Joe Barkovich); Plan for the development of Feeder Park sponsored by the WRCC (supplied graphic).

Part 4: A NEW GOVERNANCE MODEL AND DIRECTION FOR TOURISM

By Terry Hughes

In the previous article, it was mentioned that Mayor Dick Reuter’s attention to develop the new plan for the civic centre had halted any further progress on the development of a canal board with the acquisition of the canal lands. The election of Cindy Forster as mayor and then the development of an incorporated board did not indicate what type of terms of reference were adopted. Though not being privy to that information, it became known that a four-point list of references was developed primarily using the Welland Canal Parkway Development Board as a reference. The four principles of these terms were:

1. The lands and waterway be for the use and enjoyment of the people of the city of Welland.

2. Historic sites and structures be maintained and enhanced as part of our heritage.

3. Development should be encouraged between the private and public sector using long-term leases as one source of revenue.

4. Development must embrace environmental standards and laws at all levels of government.

One of the issues that became part of the next election for mayor was the lack of action to attract tourism using the abandoned canal as an attraction. A meeting attracting 80 people was held at the Best Western, chaired by Arlene Whyte from the Ministry of Tourism, where a variety of ideas were shared.  

In a story appearing in the local daily newspaper under the headline Tourism Has Been Done On The Cheap, it was noted that Port Colborne has done a better job in marketing their Canal Days and Tall Ships event while we use a local approach called TOWN (Tourism of Welland Niagara) as a tool for promoting our city. Everybody is directed to Thorold or Port Colborne to see the locks while we, too, have local canal attractions like a 150- year- old aqueduct, the oldest structure of its kind in Canada next to its modern counterpart, the Syphon. The Main Street Bridge was the largest and most expensive lift span on the canal. Couple those items with the murals project. In a follow-up article in the newspaper, I was quoted as saying “In Welland, the political will was not there and the local boo birds added shouts of negativity.”     

Using tourism as part of his platform, Mayor Damian Goulbourne initiated a number of changes in the operation of the WRCC (Welland Recreational Canal Corporation). He left the operation to the board using one of its appointments as the chair. City council would continue being represented as before. An executive director was selected to administer the board and maintenance issues and while not using city employees. Goulbourne opened the board to investigate new and innovative ideas to attract tourism. The “Go Quiet” approach to operating power watercraft was supported thus negating a constant headache and protecting the city from possible injuries on the water, resulting in lawsuits. Charting the course for development of the canal lands was a meeting involving some two hundred people at Notre Dame College School resulting in a master plan in 2014.

 After looking at a number of water courses in Europe, the idea of developing a flatwater course evolved. We, here in Canada, did not have an adequate facility and therefore, the waterway would be a good fit. The Welland International Flatwater Course was born! 

Heritage and sports activities were encouraged. Although initially planned as part of the entrance to the flatwater course, Feeder Park would be enhanced. A change to the south end near the earthen plug reduced this project to its present site, the Canal Terrace was erected noting the role played by King Street as part of our heritage. Twice the WRCC endorsed the development of the Cross Street pool as a heritage site. Our Burwell Triathlon continued to flourish and received comments by its participants as one of the best in Ontario. And how about those wonderful nature trails and YMCA programs available at the Blue Building on Merritt Island!  And one of the best things to draw people from outside of the city was the Illuminaqua. It initially was listed as one of the top hundred tourism activities in Ontario.

Finally the gloves were off and something was at long last happening. Today, we have one of the best flatwater facilities here in Canada.

Next: Part 5  Ghosts of the WRCC – Controversy And Change 

(Terry Hughes is a Wellander who is passionate about heritage, history and model
railroading. His opinion column, Heritage Lives, appears on the blog once or twice monthly.)