Monthly Archives: August 2018

City Shorts, Try ’em On For Size


CITY SHORTS ART: You’ll want to be at the museum to see this! (Supplied graphic) 

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 – Niagara Region Transit has new region-wide routes and stops coming into effect on September 4. Be sure to check them out ahead of time to see if your typical route is affected! Visit:

timthumb.pngWELLAND – In September, Welland Public Library is hosting its first Book Sale in over a decade! DVDs, CDs, audio books, and a large selection of donated books and gently-used books from our collection will be made available to the public. Adult fiction, non-fiction, children’s and teen titles will be included. The sale takes place on Saturday, September 15 in the front lobby of Civic Square from 11am – 3pm. Fill a library tote bag or your own bag for only $5.

battle of bandsWELLAND – Welland Public Library – along with the City of Welland – is hosting a Battle of the Bands competition. This national Culture Days event will take place at Merritt Park on the floating stage on September 29, noon to 3pm.
Submissions will be accepted to September 15 at and must include a completed entry form (available at all WPL branches and online) and recordings of two songs. Cash prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place (provided by the Kiwanis Club of Welland).

WELLAND – All branches will be closed on Monday, September 3 for the Labour Day Holiday. Online resources are available 24/7.
The library wishes you a safe and happy long weekend.
For information pertaining to all city hall departments, please visit:

WELLAND – The 9th annual John-Micheal Martin Memorial Golf Tournament will be held Sunday, September 9. Registration will take place at Whisky Run Golf Course, Port Colborne, at 2 p.m. with a 3 p.m. shotgun start. The cost is the same as last year: $65 for 9 holes, cart, dinner and $25 tax receipt. You can pay directly on-line at:
John-Micheal Martin graduated from École secondaire catholique Jean-Vanier in June 2006. Three weeks later he drowned.

WELLAND – Memorial Park Pool is going to the dogs for one last swim before it is drained for the season. Dog owners are invited to bring their pets to Memorial Park pool for an all-dog swimming party, Monday, September 3. Small Dogs (under 30 pounds) 4 to 5pm; Larger Dogs (over 30 pounds) 5 to 6pm. Cost: donation to the Welland & District Humane Society.

WELLAND – Welland Hydro Electric System Corporation presents The mayor’s annual fund-raising event, Friday, September 7. This year’s theme is: An Evening on the Waterfront. At the Welland International Flatwater Centre for an evening of great food, music and more. Tickets: $150 per person (all inclusive) 905-735-1700 Ext. 2101 or email

WELLAND – Come out to Welland Farmers’ Market and enjoy entertainment while you mingle, shop and browse. Farmers’ market opens 6am and closes at noon. This Saturday’s concert, last in the series, features Lisa Campion – Saturday, September 1. The performance is from 9:30am to 10:30am.

WELLAND – You know fall is around the corner when there’s talk about the annual fall fair.
The Welland Fair, sponsored by Niagara Regional Agricultural Society, soon starts its three-day run. Dates are Friday, September 14, Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16. More info to be announced.

WELLAND – Tuesday, September 25 from 9am to 3pm at Welland Community Wellness Complex. Join in and support the Alzheimer Society in our community.

WELLAND – Registration for Fall programs at Welland library is now taking place and the program guide is available now! Find out more of what the library has to offer. Get into a new routine with baby and toddler programs, learn new technologies or crafting skills, attend an author visit or book club, and connect with your community!
The program guide is available online, and at all branches.
To register for programs use our Events Calendar, or call 905-734-6210 ext. 2521.

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, appearing Thursdays or Fridays)

THE WEEK AHEAD: Meetings In Welland

Meeting Calendar
city logoMeetings 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.

City of Welland Heritage Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
5:00 PM Wednesday Sep. 5 2018 –
Room 108, Civic Square, 60 East Main Street

Welland Community Wellness Complex Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
3:00 PM Thursday Sep. 6 2018 –
Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

(Source: City of Welland website)

Lasting Image: Deacon Demers, Devoted To His Faith

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large


Deacon Gérard Demers

WELAND – My choice of lasting image for Rev. Deacon Gérard Demers, who died Saturday, August 25, aged 74, would be Empire Street’s spacious Sacré-Coeur church and how it was close to capacity for his funeral Mass.

The turnout did not go unnoticed by the homilist, Rev. Miroslaw Olszewski, who said: “Our attendance here today says something about Deacon Gérard.” Several hundred people were at the Mass, celebrated Thursday morning, August 30.

Ordained a permanent deacon 10 years ago, Deacon Demers was appointed to Sts. Peter and Paul Church. Five years ago he began to serve also at francophone parishes Sacré-Coeur (Welland), Immaculée-Conception (St. Catharines) and Saint-Jean-de-Brébeuf (Port Colborne).

Father Olszewski, pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul, said Deacon Demers was admired and loved by many. He had a winning way with people, he had a gift for storytelling and song, he said. Father Olszeswki called him “a man of great joy, great laughter through his many stories and songs.”

In his ministry, Deacon Demers gave meaning to words spoken by Pope Francis, who said that a shepherd should smell like his sheep, meaning it is necessary to go out and live the nitty gritty of parishioners’ lives rather than ministering to them from within the confines of a church.

Father Olszewski said Deacon Demers excelled at this. For example, he made time to visit residents and conduct chapel services at Rapelje Lodge and Woodlands of Sunset. Likewise, he visited parishioners who were sick or homebound. Father Olszewski said Deacon Demers is credited for starting the Harvest Kitchen program at Sts. Peter and Paul and is recognized for his care and compassion “for the most needy among us.”

He was a 4th degree member of Chevaliers de Colomb (Knights of Columbus). In his death notice it is written: “He… always put the needs of others before his own. His gentle and soothing approach led him to be called upon to officiate weddings, baptisms and funerals, in which he took great pride.”

He was asked by the Demers family to be homilist, Father Olszewski said, and doing so was his honor, even though his first reaction had been, “I am not prepared for it.” Providing some insight into the bond between them, Father Olszewski said Deacon Demers became his closest colleague at Sts. Peter and Paul. Shortly after he had arrived in town, Father Olszewski took seriously ill, requiring two stays in hospital and a lengthy period of recuperation.

“He spent many hours taking care of me,” Father Olszewski said. It was Deacon Demers  and Denise, his wife, who tended to the convalescing priest’s needs.

Deacon Demers had been planning to retire from parish ministry at 75 (next August), then to spend more time with his wife, children, grandchildren and extended family, but that was not to be. Father Olszewski said he is certain Christ, “the Good Shepherd”, would  reward him for his fidelity, his compassion and his love.

The heartfelt homily ended as simply and fittingly as could be: “Rest in peace, Gérard. Rest in peace,” said Father Olszewski.

Twenty seven priests and deacons attended the funeral Mass. The celebrant was Most Reverend Gerard Bergie, Bishop of St. Catharines, and the concelebrants, Father Olszewski and Rev. Julien Beaulieu, a former pastor of Sacré-Coeur.

(Lasting Image is a recurring feature on the blog. Recent others in the series include: Augusto Macoritto, Gifted Lensman, August 21, 2018; Ivan Zecchini, His Countenance Glowed from Wide-Eyed Appreciation, July 18, 2018; Keith Hornibrook, Opening Doors to Addictions Recovery In Dignity, July 11, 2018; Mother Alba Puglia, Tireless Trailblazer, June 18, 2018; Don Murray, A Small Part of Local History, June 6, 2018; Michael Santone, A Barber of King Street, January 23, 2018.)

Niagara College Ramps Up Orientation For Record Number Of New Students This Fall

From speed friending and wellness workshops, to a carnival and vendor fair – did someone say, “‘goat yoga?” – Niagara College is rolling out a full slate of Orientation activities as it prepares to welcome a record number of students to its Niagara campuses this September.

Preliminary enrolment numbers indicate that well over 10,000 students are expected for fall term – and about 6,000 of them will be new to the College

patterson“Enriching lives and fulfilling dreams for students is part of our ‘Niagara College DNA’ and we are looking forward to welcoming our largest-ever intake of students this fall,” said president Dan Patterson, PhD. “Our unique approach to applied learning is drawing students from across Canada and around the world, and we look forward to providing them with an outstanding start to their college experience.”

The College’s Centre for Student Engagement and Leadership, and the NC Student Administrative Council (NCSAC), have been busy preparing a lineup of Orientation events and activities to introduce students to both the academic and social aspects of college life.

“Attending college is a major step for students, and our goal during Orientation Week is ensure they have all the tools, information and support they need for their successful transition into college life,” said Lesley Calvin associate director of Student Engagement, Academic Advisement, and Career, Student Services. “In addition to providing relevant and engaging programming, our goal is to help students build connections to their academic programs, campus staff, and their new peers – and have fun in the process.

NCSAC president Ryan Huckla noted that NCSAC will be unveiling a new theme for Orientation Week, ‘Welcome to Your Knight Life,’ which is not only a play on the varsity team name, but aims to unify and celebrate the student body. He noted that, for students, Orientation Week is about meeting new friends, finding their classes, and about starting a new path.

“NCSAC is at the forefront of the social side of this experience,” he said, noting that all NCSAC’s events are all free and all ages, aiming to be inclusive to all students. “Our events are about bringing students together and being a crucial part of creating memories that will last forever.”

On-campus excitement will begin on the morning of Saturday, September 1 (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.), when hundreds of students move into residences at the Welland and NOTL Campuses, assisted by staff and student volunteers, including student-athletes.

The main Orientation day will be on Tuesday, September 4 which will be packed with variety of events, kicking off at 8:30 a.m. Both campuses will feature a student services fair, program information sessions, co-op information sessions, campus tours, a lunch and live music event, pub night (all ages), and much more.
Orientation events also include:

Carnival and Vendor Fair (Welland): This second annual flagship event will feature a Ferris wheel and other carnival rides, activities such as goat yoga, free cotton candy and more (Sept. 7, 4-8 p.m.);

Your Best Self workshops (Welland and NOTL): aim at promoting wellness and helping students finding balance and positivity in their lives. Incorporating the four pillars of success – eat, sleep, move, and think – students will hear from a speaker and have the option of participating in yoga, a wellness walk or mindful masterpiece activity (Sept. 4);

Speed Friending in the Vineyard (NOTL): Students can mingle over canapés while expanding their social network in the picturesque vineyard. (Sept. 5, 6:30 to 8 p.m.);

Rock Star Karaoke (NOTL): Held on Residence Move-in Day, students can perform karaoke in front of a live rock band in the courtyard (Sept. 1, 8-10 p.m.);

Free BBQ Lunch (Welland and NOTL): To be held at the NOTL Campus on Sept. 5 in the courtyard, and at the Welland Campus on Sept. 6. The Welland event will mark the official unveiling of the new Student Commons Plaza; and,

Dinner and Movie Night (Welland): Students can bring their blankets for a screening of Tag on the front lawn (Sept. 6, 6-9 p.m.).

A full schedule of activities is available at

Classes for most full-time programs will begin on September 5. New programs will begin this fall including Commercial Cannabis Production and Artisan Distilling – both the first of their kind in Canada, which have been making headlines around the world.

(Source: InsideNC, Julie Greco)



Old Fort Erie Hosts Annual Murder Mystery Night


Supplied image/Niagara Parks

FORT ERIE – Niagara Parks’ Old Fort Erie invites guests to attend its popular Murder Mystery event taking place on Saturday, September 8 at 7 p.m., which will combine an evening of intrigue with the fascinating history of the old stone fort and the site of Canada’s bloodiest battlefield.

The all ages event challenges participants to test out their detective skills within the chilling walls of Old Fort Erie. Assist the inspector and interview sneaky suspects to find the culprits and help solve the mystery to win a prize at the end of the evening.

Admission for this family-friendly, community event is $10 for adults (ages 13+) and $5 for children (6-12 years old).

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the murder mystery begins at 7 p.m. Guests are reminded to dress for the weather. No reservations required, please call the Fort for details: (905) 871-0540 or visit

(Source: Niagara Parks news release)

Hot, Humid Conditions On The Way

POSTED AT: 3:25 PM EDT Sunday 26 August 2018
Heat Warning in effect for:
Niagara Falls – Welland – Southern Niagara Region
St. Catharines – Grimsby – Northern Niagara Region
Hot and humid conditions will begin Monday.

DSC_4645 (3)A hot and humid airmass is forecast to reach the area Monday and remain in place into Wednesday. Maximum afternoon temperatures are expected to reach 31 degrees with humidex values around 40. Overnight low temperatures will be in the low twenties providing little relief from the heat.
The risks are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors.

Drink plenty of water even before you feel thirsty and stay in a cool place.

Never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle.

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