Monthly Archives: January 2016

Wind Warning In Effect


ISSUED: 9:57 AM EST Tuesday 26 January 2016
Wind warning in effect for:

  • Niagara Falls – Welland – Southern Niagara Region

Strong winds that may cause damage are expected or occurring.

A low pressure system is moving across northeastern Ontario today and will produce strong southwesterly winds with gusts to 90 km/h along the eastern Lake Erie shoreline starting late this morning. These strong gusty winds will gradually diminish early this evening.

Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage. High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to or tweet reports to #ONStorm.


Tell Me The Truth About Love



  Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Lyric Niagara announces their second presentation Tell Me the Truth About Love, a love-themed cabaret style presentation featuring Broadway selections, Jazz standards and a hint of opera.  Join the soloists of Lyric Niagara as we share through song stories of falling in love, falling out of love, and all the heartache and joy that accompanies adventures in love.

Appearing for the first time at The Sanctuary Centre for the Arts, a former church remade into a multi-use arts space in historic Ridgeway, and also home to Crave Local Fresh restaurant and the Brimstone Brewery.  A casual atmosphere and bar will allow the audience to relax while treated to this entertaining music.

Lyric Niagara is a new collaborative organization of classical singers who perform as soloists, teach, and reside in the Niagara Region. We seek to make vocal music accessible to new and long-converted music lovers, through innovative and thoughtful programming, inspiring collaboration, and community interaction.  Our repertoire interests span a wide range of genres including interests in opera, art song, jazz, Broadway, and folk music.

The soloists of Lyric Niagara include soprano Jennifer Carter, mezzo-soprano Debra Kingsley, soprano Charlotte Knight, and soprano Breanne Rourke.  They each perform regularly in opera, oratorio, operetta and sacred music, both locally and regionally.  They are joined by pianist Dr. Erika Reiman, an accomplished performer and musicologist, as well as a piano instructor in the Music Department of Brock University.

Tickets for Tell Me the Truth About Love: A Cabaret are available online in advance for $20, under the events page at (follow the Ticket Scene link); or at the door, for $25.  Each ticket includes the first drink from the bar.

Packages including dinner and show or show and stay in a local bed & breakfast are available, please enquire through the venue website as well.

The Artists:

Jennifer Carter, soprano


Soprano Jennifer Carter’s operatic roles have included Violetta in La traviata with Oshawa Opera and Opera by Request, Mimì in La bohème with the Colours of Music Festival (Barrie), Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Kitchener, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Capital City Opera (Ottawa) and Vi/VaCe Opera (Victoria), and Mrs. Gobineau in The Medium, with Little Opera Company (Winnipeg). In recital, she has been featured on Brock University’s Encore Professionals Series.  Ms. Carter holds a Master of Music in Voice Performance (University of Manitoba).  Further studies and associated concerts have included Opera on the Avalon (St John’s, NL), Songs & Scenes with Queen of Puddings Music Theatre (Toronto), the National Opera Studio short course in London, UK, and Neil Semer Vocal Institute in Coesfeld, Germany. She teaches singing to students of all ages from her home studio in Welland, Ontario, and is a member of both the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association.

Debra Kingsley, mezzo-soprano

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A mezzo-soprano vocalist born and raised in St. Catharines, Debra received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Brock University and studied Vocal Performance at the University of Western Ontario.  She received further tutelage in the bel canto style from Dr. Mary-Lou Vetere and the internationally-known spinto soprano, Aprile Millo.  Ms. Kingsley is a soloist/cantor at St Thomas More P?arish in Niagara Falls.  She has also had solo opportunities with Choralis Camerata, the Port Colborne Chorale, and joined Consort Caritatis in their concert tour of Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. Debra currently studies with Carol Baggot-Forte, and in particular loves the operatic music of Verdi, Donizetti, and Ponchielli and the sacred music of Händel, Bach and Mozart.

Charlotte Knight, soprano

Described as a “formidable coloratura soprano,” Charlotte Knight has a busy season including a tour with To Be Determined Theatre Co. in a musical adaptation of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; the role of Josephine in HMS Pinafore with Toronto Operetta Theatre, Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 with The Gallery Players of Niagara, and the roles of Nymph and Spring in The Fairy Queen with Toronto Masque Theatre. Her recent stage roles include Rona Lisa Peretti in The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee with No Strings Theatre, Cecily in Benson & Davies’ Canadian operetta Earnest, The Importance of Being and Hanna in the Canadian premiere of Künneke’s Cousin from Nowhere (Der Vetter aus Dingsda) both with Toronto Operetta Theatre.  Charlotte’s previous roles have included Rona Lisa Peretti in The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee with No Strings Theatre, Cecily in Benson & Davies’ Canadian operetta Earnest, The Importance of Being and Hanna in the Canadian premiere of Künneke’s Cousin from Nowhere (Der Vetter aus Dingsda) both with Toronto Operetta Theatre; The Opera Project as Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème, Orchestra London as Marie in a gala performance of Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment, Primavera Concerts as Lieschen in Bach’s Coffee Cantata, the Etobicoke Philharmonic as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Toronto’s Opera in Concert and the Classical Music Consort as Diana in Haydn’s La Fedeltá Premiata, and Toronto Masque Theatre as Aréthuze in Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers. 

Charlotte is an alumnus of the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, Vancouver Summer Opera Studio, Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, Lyric Opera Studio of Weimar, Royal Conservatory of Music Summer Opera Workshop, Opera Atelier Summer Program, Conservatorium van Amsterdam Early Music Summer School, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute and the University of Western Ontario where she completed her Bachelor of Music honours degree in voice.

Breanne Rourke, soprano


Breanne Rourke is a lyric soprano based out of Niagara. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance under the tutelage of Torin Chiles. Recently Ms. Rourke travelled to Halifax this summer to participate in Halifax Summer Opera Festival’s opera as the role of Spirit I and II in Cendrillon. She is an accomplished soprano soloist performing many recitals and concerts throughout Niagara, Toronto, and New York City. In addition to her performing career, she is the choir director at Wesley United Church in Welland, and maintains a thriving private voice studio in St. Catharines. She is currently studying with Rachel Mallon in London.

Erika Reiman, piano

Dr. Reiman studied piano at Mount Allison and McGill Universities and earned a PhD in musicology from the University of Toronto. She is the author of Schumann’s Piano Cycles and the Novels of Jean Paul, published by the University of Rochester Press in 2004. In addition to her piano teaching duties at Brock University, she is active as soloist, accompanist, vocal coach, and chamber musician throughout Southern Ontario. In 2008 she was the soloist in the premiere performance of David Fawcett’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.

Soup’s On!: A Good Day To Chill, Enjoy Great Soup

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Soup prep teams from Soup’s On! 2015 (File photo)

16WELLAND – Weatherwise, Friday should be a soup-er day in Welland, for Soup’s On! 2016.

Environment Canada’s forecast calls for possibility of flurries with temperatures on the chilly side.  But nothing so miserable that it will keep folks from getting out to enjoy the luncheon and its traditional camaraderie.

Here’s a look at the forecast as found on Environment Canada’s website:

Duck Dine-asty

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Was in a fowl mood this morning so it was off to Merritt Island to check out the duck and Canada geese communities and what they were up to. With plenty of feed and bread crumbs scattered about, the ducks, a small portion of which are pictured here, were enjoying a communal lunch near water’s edge. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

SNAPSHOT: Wanting To Belong

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A black and white photograph with a magical property to it. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

This image in black and white brought back memories of a time when life was something like that. Lived in black and white, I mean. Experienced in black and white, I mean.

Colour was scarce when I was a kid. Back in the 50s, we had a Rogers Majestic television set. All the programming was in black and white: Howdy Doody Time, Lassie, Captain Kangaroo, Gunsmoke, Andy Griffith, I Love Lucy, Wagon Train, Rawhide. Do you remember Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates in Rawhide? In black and white. Hockey Night in Canada with Foster Hewitt in the gondola in Maple Leaf Gardens, and the actor Murray Westgate, because of commercials, the best known Imperial Oil (Esso) service station guy in all of Canada. In black and white.

I’m a fan of high school basketball. Even after seeing them on the hardwood for a few years, I am still taken aback by the pastel shades of basketball shoes worn nowadays. Just recently, for example, lime green shoes streaked across the court. Orange, too. Fuchsia even. Back in the day, as I recall, everyone wore black (mostly) high tops. When I was growing up there was no such thing as diversity in running shoes. One shoe fit all: black.

The Evening Tribune, delivered in late afternoon, was in black and white. No colour photography then. The kids’ shows at the Community Theatre on King Street were black and white. Do you remember: The Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy, Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, to name a few. In black and white.

I am old enough to remember black smoke spewing from chimneys in our neighbourhood; coal-burning furnaces were still common in the 50s. And soot that stained freshly-fallen snow in winters was black, of course. It was an eyesore of a black-and-white combination.

So on a whim I took the colour out of this photograph, shot at Chippawa Park on Friday evening and it did what I thought it would, it brought me back to yesteryear. Two kids in a race for the puck, check ‘em out. Black and white sort of gives it a magical property. It makes one want to call out: ‘Hey, I belong there!’ Nice feeling.

(SNAPSHOT is a recurring feature on the blog.)

Police Seek Public’s Assistance

Posted on Friday January 22, 2016

blue shoes.pngOn October 8, 2015 members of the Niagara Regional Police Service, Niagara Falls Detective Office,  initiated an investigation after a deceased male was located in the waters of Lake Ontario, Niagara-On-The Lake.  The male is described as, white with olive complexion, 40-45 years of age, with short brown hair, 5’10 and 220 lbs.
At this time investigators have been unable to identify the male and are requesting the public’s assistance by releasing a photo of the shoes the male was wearing upon his recovery.  The shoes are a loafer style, European shoe size 43, blue in colour, denim appearance, with a plaid liner.
Anyone with information concerning the shoes including details where such shoes may be purchased are asked to contact Niagara Regional Police Service, 2 District Detective Office.

Incident Number: 15-87493

Information on crimes can also be submitted anonymously using Crime Stoppers of Niagara.

To leave an anonymous tip, please contact Crime Stoppers via:

Telephone – 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS)
Text – 274637(CRIMES), keyword Niagara, then your tip.
Crime Stoppers guarantees that you will remain anonymous through any of the methods offered to provide tips. You may also be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000 if the information leads to an arrest.