Monthly Archives: June 2018

OPINION: Flatwater Centre A Game Changer For Welland

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

Skeptics still not convinced of Welland International Flatwater Centre’s importance to the city should drop in on events it hosts so they can become believers. We need more believers.


This year’s t-shirt utilized symbols to illustrate the three components of triathlon. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

One such example is MultiSport Canada’s Rose City (Welland) Triathlon, held Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24.

It’s not the first time Welland’s showpiece watersport venue has hosted the triathlon nor will it be the last, I believe it is safe to say. For a swim, run, bike competition, it is one of the best there is. Event organizers, race officials and athletes alike sang its praises, this weekend and in previous years.

This was no small production. More than 1,100 competitors were here over the two days. They came from across Niagara of course but also from afar: Montreal, Buffalo, Toronto, Ottawa, Syracuse and Windsor to name but a few. Together, the venue and the event are giving Welland name recognition outside the region, heightening its profile and making it a destination of choice for this growing segment of the sports community.

For background purposes, Saturday’s competition, attracting 410 competitors, was the long course triathlon: 2k swim, 56k bike course, and 15k run. Sunday’s, which attracted about 700, was the sprint triathlon: 800m swim, 5k run, 20k bike, also a duathlon, run-bike-run and a ‘Give-it-a-tri’ for beginners who want to try a triathlon and get the feel for it before doing a regular one.

Part of the “glue” that holds this massive team effort together is the volunteer corps assembled for it, almost entirely local folks. Give the credit and a pat on the back to Wellanders Ron and Lynda Lemon who, through their vast network of contacts in the sports community and beyond, recruit scores of volunteers, many of whom return year after year. Saturday’s event, for example, required about 85 volunteers to ensure things ran smoothly. And they did.

Volunteers will certainly be in agreement on this: triathletes are among the most appreciative people one could hope to meet. It’s not unusual for them to say “Thanks for volunteering!” or “Thanks for giving up your time to be here!” as they meet you on the course. Little wonder so many people are happy to volunteer. This is just a little aside that needed to be said.

Our flatwater centre represents a substantial infrastructure investment by the community and by now it should be clear that the risk and the gamble were well worth it. It has hosted various local and national competitions as well as international games. Welland would not have been a Pan American Games venue were it not for the flatwater centre, nor, likely would it be hosting the Canadian Dragon Boat Championships this coming weekend and the ICF Canoe Polo World Championships July 31 – August 5. These are in addition to the many other events in spring, summer and fall making grand use of the WIFC north, south and waterway courses.

The flatwater centre and the attractions it brings to town are making Welland’s name known far and wide. We have a proven winner on our hands in terms of helping the community transition from the little to the bigs. The best is yet to come, I dare say. Believe it.

THE WEEK AHEAD: Meetings In Welland

city logoMeeting Calendar
Meetings are open to the public unless otherwise noted. Information is obtained from the applicable agency, board, committee, or commission and downloaded to this calendar as it becomes available. Information is subject to change. Please check back often for the most up-to-date information, including cancellations.

Welland Active Transportation Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
6:30 PM Monday Jun. 25  –
LOCATION: Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

Special Council Meeting in Committee-of-the-Whole (Closed to the Public) ≫
6:40 PM Tuesday Jun. 26  – To discuss the following:
Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board:.
– 156 and 158 Fitch Street..

Council Ante Room

Welland Hydro Annual Shareholder Meeting ≫
7:00 PM Tuesday Jun. 26  –
Council Chambers

North Welland Business Improvement Area Meeting ≫
8:15 AM Wednesday Jun. 27  –
M.T. Bellies, 871 Niagara Street

City Shorts, Try ’em On For Size


rose city triathlon

CITY SHORTS ART: The Rose City (Welland) Triathlon is in town this weekend, Saturday and Sunday. The event is expected to bring 1,500 athletes to Welland for swimming, cycling and running competition. For full information please visit:  (File photo Joe Barkovich)

Compilation by Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

city-shortsCity 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 – The municipal election is being held October 22 and the nomination period is already underway, having started May 1 and continuing through to July 27. Interested in running…thinking about running…not sure what’s involved? The City of Welland has everything you need to know available on its website. Please visit:

WELLAND – The Rose Festival parade is on Sunday, June 24, featuring a new route. The parade starts at 1pm from the sports complex on Quaker Road, then heads south on Niagara Street to Thorold Road. Groups will disband by turning left onto Thorold Road to designated areas. Due to the medians in part of the route, the best viewing areas will be on the east side (Seaway Mall side) of Niagara Street. Lots of parking at Seaway Mall. City buses will be running to Seaway Mall as well, in order to transport people to watch the parade. The special transit service is free.

WELLAND – All are welcome to attend this three-part elimination-style competition that will showcase the musical talents of Niagara residents aged 12-25.
Join in on the following dates to discover your new favourite Niagara band:
June 23 – Main Branch
July 28 – Diamond Trail Branch
Aug 25 – Seaway Mall Branch
Come out to cheer talented local musicians! Refreshments provided.
In partnership with The Black Sheep Lounge, the City of Welland, DSBN and Seaway Mall.

WELLAND – Rose Festival’s street dance is being held Saturday, June 23 on Cross Street, adjacent to Welland Civic Square. It features the Sunset Rebels and the Associates, and is from 6pm to 11pm.

WELLAND – Lots of action on the local waterway in the weeks ahead. If you’re not aware of what’s going on, the city has a good listing of the various events and competitions posted on its website. Please visit:

WELLAND – The Rose City Seniors Centre Foundation Board recently awarded $1,000 bursaries to four graduating Grade 12 students. The recipients are:
Audrey Muise (École secondaire catholique Jean-Vanier), Kyla Krajcovic (Lakeshore Catholic High School), Sarah Belovari (E.L. Crossley Secondary School) and Natasha Wells (Niagara Christian Collegiate).

WELLAND – Join certified yoga teacher Rose Kobelka for a calming morning yoga class on the lawn overlooking the canal at the Welland Library. Morning Yoga on the Lawn is a beginner yoga class but is open to all experience levels. Grab your yoga mat and come dressed in appropriate outdoor yoga attire. In the event of rain, the class will meet in the Civic Square Community Room. Next date is Saturday, June 23.
Register online or call 905-734-6210 ext. 2521 for more information.

WELLAND – The sixth annual Outdoor Mass is scheduled for Saturday, June 23 at 11am at Holy Cross Cemetery. Bishop Gerard Bergie will be the presider. Rain date will be Saturday, July 7 at 11am.

WELLAND – It’s almost that time of year again!
TD Summer Reading Club is Canada’s biggest bilingual summer reading program for kids of all ages, all interests, and all abilities. This free program is co-created and delivered by public libraries across Canada. It’s designed to inspire kids to explore the fun of reading their way – the key to building a lifelong love of reading.
Kids (and their caregivers) can participate anytime at local public libraries across Canada. There are weekly prizes to encourage kids to keep reading, grand prizes for the finale, and plenty of activities and programs along the way.

WELLAND – The City of Welland encourages individuals of all ages and abilities
to play an active role in their community by volunteering their time to help deliver recreation and culture programs.
View opportunities here:

WELLAND – Canadian Tire Welland Floatfest 2018 takes place July 8 on the Welland Recreational Canal at Scuba Park. This will be the third year this event has taken place and has grown into a great event for families to spend a day on the water, floating around with friends, listening to musical talent, eating great food and supporting local charities. Last year’s had more than 1,500 participants as the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title was set for longest line of water inflatables at 165.74m. Come out and spend the day at the Canadian Tire Welland Floatfest! For inflatables only, no kayaks, canoes or other watercraft allowed.

WELLAND – The Welland Eastdale Alumni Association will meet on Wednesday July 4, 7 pm in Room 109 at the Welland Civic Centre Main Street. Come out and get involved. Visit for more info or call Barb at 905-735-3778.

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

WELLAND – Put your best foot forward! 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 weekly feature on the blog appearing Thursdays or Fridays)

Music To Your Ears: Concerts On The Canal

concertsWELLAND – Enjoy free concerts on the floating stage at Merritt Park this summer. All concerts are on Friday nights and begin at 7pm, unless otherwise noted. The 2018 Concerts on the Canal Lineup:

Steve Strongman – Friday, June 22, 2018
Opening Act: Jesse Crawford;

Pink Floyd Niagara (Pink Floyd Tribute) – Sunday, July 1, 2018;

Fresh Horses (Garth Brooks Tribute) – Friday, July 6, 2018
Opening Act: Cory Cruise;

Desire (U2 Tribute) – Friday, July 13, 2018
Opening Act: Cory Cruise;

Taylor Made (Taylor Swift Tribute) – Saturday, July 14, 2018 @ 2pm;

Tractically Hip (Tragically Hip Tribute) – Friday, July 20, 2018
Opening Act: Jeff Beadle;

Honeymoon Suite (ICF Canoe Polo World Championship Opening Ceremonies) – Monday, July 30, 2018;

Destroyer (KISS Tribute) – Friday, August 10, 2018
Opening Act: Ruckus;

Turbo Street Funk – Friday, August 17, 2018
Opening Act: Andrew George.

My Son The Hurricane – Friday, August 24, 2018
Opening Act: Strange Shakes

(Source: City of Welland website)


Council Approves Plan To ‘Enhance Waterfront Experience’

city logoWELLAND – Welland City Council has approved phase one of a multi-phased canal redevelopment strategy focused on funding new initiatives and amenities that will enhance the city’s waterfront experience for families, individuals, and tourists.

The phase one changes will be completed at the city’s Lincoln Street Docks over the next 4-6 weeks. The components of phase one include:

• Installation of public use docks for unsupervised swimming – approximately 120 ft of dock will be added along with ladders;

• Placement of public use amenities including picnic tables, benches, bike rack stands, BBQs, shaded sitting areas and covering, and decorative stone and plants to enhance aesthetic value.

untitled“Our waterway is an important part of our history, and it will be an integral part of our future,” said Welland Mayor Frank Campion. “The changes and new initiatives approved by Council will support the transformation and rejuvenation of our waterway that we envision over the next few years with new recreational amenities and new residential and commercial development.”

“One of our goals with phase one is to lay foundation to complement existing uses such as the new Skateboard and BMX Park adjacent to the waterway, and support future development ideas that will attract interest and passion for the waterway,” said Richard Dalton, the City’s Manager of Recreation and Culture, and who also oversees the Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC). “This is a first step towards future opportunities for more significant recreational development in the area including the potential to create a multipurpose recreational hub at the Lincoln St. Docks location.”

Future project phases being reviewed include the relocation of the Welland Boat Rental Program to the Lincoln St. area, along with a new capacity for food & beverage vending, new sport and game facilities, and expanded installations for swimming and low cost opportunities to enjoy the waterway.

(Source: City of Welland news release)

From The Municipal Election Beat

electionWELLAND –  Pat Chiocchio has filed nomination papers for the October 22 municipal election campaign.

Chiocchio, a Ward 4 city councillor in Welland,  will be running for a seat on Niagara Regional Council. Welland has two elected councillors at the regional council table, in addition to the mayor.

Chiocchio joins regional councillor Paul Grenier, who filed his papers May 7. The city’s other elected regional councillor is George Marshall who has not yet indicated his intention.

The entire list of candidates can be seen at: