Monthly Archives: December 2017

Let There Be Lights

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My favourite outdoor Nativity scene in Welland. Simple, yet striking. At Eglise Sacré-Coeur, Empire Street. The star in the background is actually attached to a wall of the rectory, unfortunately it’s partly hidden here by branches from a tree behind the Nativity scene and in front of the rectory. Beautifully done, parishioners of Sacré-Coeur. (Let There Be Lights is a recurring feature to December 24. Photo by Joe Barkovich.)

Slip Slidin’ Away: Be Careful Out There!

POSTED: 9:42 PM EST Friday 22 December 2017
Freezing rain warning in effect for:
Niagara Falls – Welland – Southern Niagara Region
St. Catharines – Grimsby – Northern Niagara Region
Freezing rain is expected or occurring.

Freezing rain is expected to begin this evening and change to snow overnight or early Saturday morning.


Freezing rain forecast again (File photo)

Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery. Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions. Utility outages may occur.

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

City Commits To Charter For Walking

charter to walk

Frequent walker Mayor Campion puts his signature on the dotted line with advisory committee chair Harold Sawchuk looking on. (Supplied photo)

WELLAND – Mayor Frank Campion signed The Walk21 International Charter for Walking this week with support from Harold Sawchuk, Welland Active Transportation Advisory Committee Chair. The Charter is a common policy reference through which cities, organizations, neighbourhood groups, and community members express a commitment to encourage everyday walking and better walkability in their communities.

The Walk21 International Charter for Walking was developed in 2003 during the Walk21 conference series and was strategically designed by experts from more than 35 countries. It identifies the significance of safe walkable cities and provides a common framework to help decision-makers shape policies on creating a culture where people choose to walk.

“I’m pleased to see the Active Transportation Committee taking the lead on initiatives such as campaigning for the Walk21 International Charter for Walking,” said Mayor Frank Campion. “I’ve been walking every Monday morning with a group of residents on Merritt Island and we still look forward to it after two years. I hope to see more people join us in the new year.”

“I am delighted that Mayor Campion and City Council unanimously agreed to renew their commitment to the principles of the Walk21 International Charter for Walking,” said Sawchuk. “The Principles form the foundation, and with the support of City Council, we can continue building a more walkable pedestrian-friendly community where citizens of all ages can strive for active living through active transportation.”

The Charter has been signed by more than 5,000 people, including 500 Mayors who strive to make their cities healthier by promoting better walking communities. For more information on the Walk21 International Charter of Walking visit, or for more information on City of Welland activities and the Mayor’s Monday Walk visit

The Welland Active Transportation Advisory Committee (WATAC) was appointed to advance issues and infrastructure related to active transportation, educate the public, promote active transportation, raise public awareness, enhance connectivity, and explore best practices.

(Source: City of Welland news release)

In Welland, Souper Bowl Friday Is January 26



Noon sitting SOLD OUT!; tickets available for 11am and 1pm.

WELLAND – The hottest ticket in town on a cold Friday in January? Soup’s On!, of course.
The popular soup luncheon-scholarship fundraiser is on Friday, January 26. Tickets for the noon sitting are SOLD OUT, but tickets are still available for sittings at 11am and 1pm. But they won’t last long. Tickets are $10 per person.
Here’s the menu:
Blessed Trinity High School: Smokey Bacon, Maple and Butternut Squash Soup;
Confederation Secondary School: Traditional French-Canadian Pea Soup; Leek and Potato;
Eastdale Secondary School: Roasted Tomato;
Lakeshore Catholic: Butternut Squash and Pear;
Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute: Turkey Wild Rice;
Notre Dame College School: To Be Announced;
Stephanie The Lunch Lady: Smokey Bean and Bacon Chowder
Ticket information, Bernie Barkovich, ticket convener, ticket hotline 905-735-3562.


City Shorts, Try ’em On For Size!



The library rocks! See City Shorts brief, below, for details. 


Compilation by Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large


City Shorts

City Shorts is a compilation, from various sources (government websites, news announcements, press releases, church bulletins, advertisements, community service information and events, bulletin boards, requests, telephone requests, web postings, email requests etc.) of short items (in most cases) about matters of local interest in Welland. Want to submit an item for consideration? Please send to:

WELLAND – Holy Trinity Anglican Church is hosting a Community Christmas Dinner on the day itself, December 25, in the parish hall, 77 Division Street. Doors will open at 12:30pm and dinner will start at 1pm. For a place at the table confirm your attendance by calling 905-735-8813, December 23 is the deadline.

DioceseST. CATHARINES – A cherished Christmas tradition for many continues again this year.
This will be the 85th annual broadcast of Midnight Mass from the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Catharines, and the broadcast is over Newstalk 610 CKTB.
A beautiful program of Christmas music before the Mass will be by the Cathedral choir under the direction of Lucas Chorosinski, Christmas Eve at 11:30 p.m., also part of the live broadcast.
Mass will be celebrated by the Bishop of the diocese, Gerard Bergie.

WELLAND – All City Hall Departments will be closed from Monday, December 25, to Monday, January 1, inclusive, and will re-open on Tuesday, January 2, at 8:30 a.m.
For details about specific services and departments, visit the city’s website,

WELLAND – Free holiday skates are being offered by the city. The dates are December 27-29 and January 2-5 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm both days at the Jack Ballantyne Memorial Arena.

WELLAND – TWO LOCATIONS. TWICE THE FUN. Sunday, December 31, 4-6:00pm. Celebrate the New Year with the family at the Welland Community Wellness Complex and the Welland Main Arena. There are plenty of activities at both locations and fireworks along the canal at 5:50pm. Donations of non-perishable food items are appreciated. This is a FREE family-friendly event.

WELLAND – A New Year’s Eve party is being held at the Croatian National Home, sponsored by the home and Veseli Hrvati music/dance group.
Music is by the well known popular group, Introduction. Doors open 6pm, dinner at 7pm. Tickets are $75 per person and the fare includes a midnight buffet! For tickets contact: Cathy Connor 905-734-6533, Kathy Turkovich 905-735-5089, Barb Turkovich 905-788-6991.

WELLAND – A trio of talented top performers is scheduled to entertain at Welland Public Library’s Loud In The Library event.
It is scheduled to take place Thursday, January 4, starting at 7pm in the main branch.
Here is the lineup, all Welland talent:
Revive the Rose, 7pm to 745pm; Street Pharmacy 8pm to 845pm and Jessica Wilson 9 to 945pm.
Please bring non-perishable food items to help restock the shelves of  local food banks.
Be sure to check out the Facebook event and connect with us using these hashtags: #loudatWPL2018 #notyourparentslibrary.

WELLAND – It’s starting, Saturday, January 27 from 6pm to 8pm at the Black Sheep Lounge, Niagara Street. Offered on the last Saturday of the month, from January 27 to November 24. Poets and spoken word artists from all over Niagara will be performing and putting on a brilliant showcase of diverse talents using words and literature.

WELLAND – Welland Hospital Gift Shop is seeking volunteers and auxiliary members. Interested? Call 905-732-6111 ext. 33141 or email

WELLAND – “Triumph and Tragedy: the Welland Ship Canal” profiles the fallen workers whose lives were lost during the construction of Welland’s waterway. The book is slated for an early 2018 release. Several Welland Public Library staff members contributed articles to this collection.

WELLAND – Want to know Welland library’s hours over the approaching holidays? Here they are: MAIN BRANCH, Christmas Eve: CLOSED, Christmas Day: CLOSED, Boxing Day: CLOSED, Dec. 27-28: Open 9am-9pm, Dec. 29: Open 9am-6pm,Dec. 30: Open 9am-5pm, New Year’s Eve: CLOSED. New Year’s Day: CLOSED.
SEAWAY MALL BRANCH, Christmas Eve: CLOSED, Christmas Day: CLOSED, Boxing Day: CLOSED, Dec. 27-29: Open 9am-8pm, Dec. 30: Open 9am-5pm, New Year’s Eve: CLOSED, New Year’s Day: CLOSED
DIAMOND TRAIL BRANCH, Christmas Eve: CLOSED, Christmas Day: CLOSED, Boxing Day: CLOSED, Dec. 27-28: Open 3:30pm-8pm, Dec. 29: CLOSED, Dec. 30: Open 11am-3pm, New Year’s Eve: CLOSED, New Year’s Day: CLOSED.

WELLAND – Welland Horticultural Society invites new members. The society’s meetings offer guest speakers, demonstrations, lessons and projects. More info, call 905-329-4217.

WELLAND – It’s back! After grounding to a halt for the holidays, the walk returns Monday, January 8. Meet Mayor Campion at the Merritt Island Parking Lot Monday mornings at 7:30 a.m. for a 40-minute walk on Merritt Island.

(City Shorts is a recurring feature on the blog, appearing Thursdays or Fridays.)



Ugh! And I Still Have To Do My Shopping

POSTED: 4:40 AM EST Friday 22 December 2017
Special weather statement in effect for:
Niagara Falls – Welland – Southern Niagara Region
St. Catharines – Grimsby – Northern Niagara Region



First Avenue looking toward Woodlawn shortly before 1am Friday. (Photo by Joe Barkovich))

Additional snowfall amounts of 2 to 4 cm are possible today and freezing drizzle is possible today and tonight.


A mix of light snow and freezing drizzle is expected to change to patchy drizzle or freezing drizzle tonight and then back to snow Saturday morning.

Motorists should be prepared for poor winter travelling conditions. The commute could be particularly slow and messy this morning.
Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to or tweet reports using #ONStorm.

Barbara Mantini On Stage In Broadway Musical Nine


Celebrated songstress Barbara Mantini is performing in Nine – in Concert in January 2018.(Photo by: Helen Tansey)

WELLAND – Barbara Mantini will begin 2018 on a high note – literally, as a soprano.
The award-winning songstress who is also an Acting for Film and Television professor at NC, will be taking the stage as part of Podium Concert Productions’ upcoming Broadway musical Nine – in Concert. The limited engagement concert is the first time the Tony Award winning musical will be performed in Canada professionally with full orchestration. It will take place in Toronto January 12 and 13, 2018 in Toronto at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre for the Arts.
“I’m really honoured and excited to be a part of this production,” said Mantini. “It is always an exciting and humbling experience to perform in a Broadway musical with such talented and remarkable performing artists. You tend to be one big family.”
Stratford Festival veteran Juan Chioran will be starring in the production, which will feature a world-class orchestra of 23 musicians accompanying 15 of Canada’s brightest stars of stage and musical theatre and a chorus of rising stars from Etobicoke School of The Arts.
Mantini will be performing on the role of Guido’s mother in the musical – a character who appears mostly in flashback moments from when Guido is a young boy. The role has struck a chord with Mantini.
“The role will be a lot of fun as I need to tap into my little ‘Italian mamma’ persona. Being of Italian descent myself, I have a lot of character references in my life that will help me build and develop my character,” she said. “The music is also very beautiful and challenging; my big song is quite high in the soprano range.” Mantini is well known for her musical talent. In addition to being part of the award-winning dynamic musical trio The Mantini Sisters, she has been a soprano with various symphony orchestras including Niagara Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also appeared in such roles as Sister Mary Amnesi in Nunsense, Pitti-Sin’ in the Mikado, and Lucilla in Anne of Green Gables. Her voice-over is featured in animations including The Busy World of Richard Scarry, Marvin The Tap Dancing Horse, Bad Dog, Rupert, Little Rosey, and Babar-The Movie.
Mantini, who grew up in Niagara-on-the-Lake and spent time living in Toronto, has been a resident of Welland for the past 25 years. She has been teaching at Niagara College since the inception of its Acting program about eight years ago.
“Performing is my passion and nothing compares to doing something so connected to your soul,” she said. “However, teaching allows me to pass on my knowledge to others which is rewarding in itself.
“I will definitely talk to my students about this upcoming performance and share my experience with them.”

(Source: InsideNC)

UPDATE: Snow, Freezing Drizzle Likely

POSTED: 8:54 AM EST Thursday 21 December 2017
Special weather statement in effect for:
Niagara Falls – Welland – Southern Niagara Region
St. Catharines – Grimsby – Northern Niagara Region
5 to 10 cm of snow tonight into Friday.



Messy conditions coming our way. (File photo)

Snow is forecast to begin falling late this afternoon with general snowfall amounts of 5 to 10 cm by the time the snow begins to taper off Friday morning into afternoon. The snow will also become mixed with freezing drizzle Friday morning and afternoon.


Motorists should be prepared for reductions to visibility and poor winter travelling conditions this evening into Friday. The Friday morning commute could be particularly slow and messy.
Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to or tweet reports using #ONStorm.

Holiday Tourney In Florida Awaits Irish


Irish coach Mark Gallagher surveys the action during a game in the recent Tip-Off Tournament at Dillon Hall. (File photos/Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

WELLAND – Notre Dame College School hosts two basketball games on Thursday.
In the first game, the Junior Irish meet Lakeshore Catholic Gators from Port Colborne in a 3:30pm matchup.
The Senior Irish then play the Gators in a game starting at 5pm. They are coming off a 90-58 road loss at the hands of St. Francis Phoenix on Tuesday.
Thursday’s is the last local hoops game for the seniors this year. But they will be off to fast start, in uncharted territory, come January.
The team has accepted an invite to play in the All-Catholic New Year’s Holiday Tournament at Belen Jesuit Prep school in Miami, Florida the first week of January 2018.
It’s an eight-team tourney with six south Florida entrants, one from New York City and the Irish.
While in Miami, the Irish will visit the WOW Center Miami, a home for disabled adults and conduct a basketball clinic for clients at the Center.
Irish coach Mark Gallagher sees the getaway as an opportunity for his team to become closer, both off and on the court.
“Like all long road trips, we are hoping going to Miami will give the players a chance to bond and become closer teammates. It’s an opportunity that no other team in school history has had and something they will remember for a lifetime,” he said in email correspondence Wednesday evening.
The tournament will give the team the opportunity to play three games “against high level” U.S. competition but also opportunity for some added meaning to their personal lives. Visiting the WOW Center to conduct the basketball clinic for adults with disabilities has the potential to provide that dimension.
A visit to the University of Miami basketball facility is on the agenda and attending the Miami Heat game against Detroit Pistons on January 3 is in the plans.
In other years, the Irish would be in Dillon Hall the first week of January prepping for the Tribune Tournament but Gallagher said playing in an American tournament will likely provide more rigorous training. The Irish play their opening game, Thursday, January 4, against Archbishop Edward McCarthy Mavericks from Fort Lauderdale.
“Most American teams play so tough and work so hard that it can only help us get better,” Gallagher said in the email. “You have to play as hard as you can if you are going to compete in a tournament like this; we are hoping it helps us set the tone for the rest of the year.”

Tournament bracket to follow.



Andrew Zezela drives the ball down court during a Tip-Off Tournament game in Dillon Hall.