Monthly Archives: August 2018

City Officials ‘Encouraged’ By Meetings With Provincial Reps


(From left: elected officials Campion, Mastroianni, Chiocchio, Van Vliet)

WELLAND – Welland’s delegation to this week’s Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference have returned home feeling encouraged by the responses they received and the connections they made during meetings with new provincial Ministers, Parliamentary Assistants, staff, and key stakeholder groups.

Mayor Frank Campion, Councillors John Chiocchio, John Mastroianni, Leo Van Vliet and CAO Gary Long represented the city at this year’s conference, held in Ottawa from Aug. 19 to Aug. 22.

Members of the city’s delegation attended the following meetings:
Donna Skelly and Michael Parsa, Parliamentary Assistants to the Honourable Jim Wilson; Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade;
Honourable Sylvia Jones, Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport;
Carla Nell, Vice President of Municipal and Stakeholder Relations, Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC);
Andy Paterson, Manager, Canada Post;
Ian Foucher, and Salman Arif, Office of the Minister of Finance (Federal);
Honourable John Yakabuski, Minister of Transportation (Niagara Region delegation);
Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing (Niagara Region delegation);
Honourable Laurie Scott, Minister of Labour (Niagara Region delegation);

“Our objectives heading into the conference were to establish working relationships and connections with the new government, outline our priorities, and discuss potential partnerships; this was accomplished,” said Welland Mayor Frank Campion. “Some of the issues we discussed included programs to promote French tourism and culture in Welland, growth of the city’s sports tourism sector, new opportunities for the Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC) and the city’s waterfront, programs and incentives to attract industrial investment, and re-introducing the Mid-peninsula highway. We also met with federal Finance officials to discuss programs to support Welland’s steel producers impacted by US steel tariffs.”

“Our government relations and advocacy program is ongoing and we look forward to establishing strategic partnerships with the provincial government to support Council’s priorities and the future growth and development of the city,” said CAO Gary Long. “We’re already scheduling follow-up meetings for later in September to continue the dialogue on key files and we’re setting up meetings with Ministers and staff who weren’t available to meet with us this week.”

(Source: City of Welland news release)

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.

Audit Review Committee Meeting ≫
5:00 PM Tuesday Aug. 28 2018 –
Council Chambers

Council Meeting in Open Session ≫
6:00 PM Tuesday Aug. 28 2018 –
Council Chambers

(Source: City of Welland website)

Jenny MacKnight ‘In A Dream Come True’ Role For Canada Summer Games


NC Environmental Management and Assessment grad (2018) Jenny MacKnight is working as a sustainability assistant coordinator for the Canada Summer Games which will be held in Niagara in 2021 (Niagara College photo)

Athletics and sustainability. For Jenny MacKnight, these her two passions.

When the recent Niagara College graduate scored a job as a sustainability assistant coordinator for the 2021 Canada Summer Games, it was not only the perfect combination of the two, it was a dream come true.

“As soon as I read the application, I knew it was exactly the type job I wanted to have,” she said.

college logoMacKnight, who graduated from NC’s Environmental Management and Assessment graduate certificate program in June 2018, currently works as part of a small team that is busy planning and preparing for the 2021 Canada Summer Games which will be held in the Niagara region.

MacKnight is the only sustainability coordinator in the group, and works with the rest of the team out of a downtown St. Catharines office to incorporate sustainability into the business plan for the 2021 games. While her focus is sustainability, she is also taking on other tasks, such as researching and creating a base for sports in the Niagara region, and creating a master list of sports teams, associations, and contacts in the region.

“I love working with my workmates. They bring such unique things to the table,” she said.

While she currently resides in St. Catharines, she has travelled a long way from her hometown. MacKnight grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan. Since the age of three, she has had a passion for sports, both as a fan and as an athlete, particularly when it comes to hockey.

It was a hockey scholarship that drew MacKnight to Ontario after high school. She attended University of Windsor and played hockey for the University of Windsor Lancers. She was named by the Ontario University Women’s Hockey Player of the Year, announced by Ontario University Athletics (2014) when she was also second overall in Canada. As part of Team Canada 2015 Universiade, MacKnight represented the team in Spain at the FISU Winter Games where they won a silver medal.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies with a focus on resource management and minor in political science in June 2015, MacKnight returned to Saskatchewan where she worked as a conservation officer for the government of Saskatchewan at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.

A year ago, MacKnight returned to Ontario – this time to the Niagara region – specifically to attend Niagara College’s Environmental Management and Assessment program. She was drawn to the postgraduate program after hearing about it from her friends who graduated the previous year. While she didn’t know exactly which career direction her studies would lead her in, she chose NC due to the program’s reputation for offering real-world experience and producing graduates with skills in-demand by employers.

“It’s basically a one-year boot camp,” she said. “You get experiential learning and get back into the workforce with more knowledge and direction.”

One of the highlights for her, as a student, was an opportunity to work an internship with Hornblower Niagara Cruises. From January to April 2018, she worked as Hornblower’s sustainability specialist intern, where she put together a sustainability report for the company. She valued the experience she gained, working with graphic designers to put together an informative and visual report showcasing its environmental and socially conscious initiatives, as well as making internal recommendations to the company.

In early May, after completing her studies at the College, she was hired by the Canada Summer Games.

One of the highlights of her job for the Summer Games so far has been working with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) at its tournament in St. Catharines. MacKnight filled in wherever she was needed – from event management to transportation. It was her first taste behind the scenes at an official sporting event, which proved to be an eye-opener for MacKnight. As an athlete, she had never given much thought to the sustainability or logistics side of a sporting event. Now, it’s become her new mission.

“As a hockey player in tournaments, I just thought the bus will show up when it shows up,” she said. “But when you’re working transportation you have two buses and 10 teams, and you really have to manage it with a lot of multitasking.”

The experience she gained with FIBA will prove helpful in planning for the Canada Summer Games, which will take place at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines as well as more than 16 other locations across the region.

Working to build a sustainability and business plan for the games in 2021, MacKnight will be submitting recommendations on how to make the events and venues more sustainable. She has been visiting different potential venues as well as looking into where capital infrastructure will be built to make recommendations and incorporate concepts that will make it more sustainable. For example, one of the initiatives she is working on is to make recommendations for the Royal Canadian Henley rowing centre, in the hopes of establishing a net positive facility, meaning it will produce more energy than it will consume.

MacKnight believes that her background as an athlete makes her stronger in her current role, since she is able to view the events from an athlete’s perspective. She also believes her athletic background equips her with skills that benefit her in the workforce in general.

“I think being part of a team has helped me work in groups and develop skills such as public speaking,” she said.

As she revs up for 2021, MacKnight is grateful that her NC education has equipped her with the experience she needs to succeed in her current role – one that is proving to be a perfect fit for her combination of skills and interests.

“It’s all because of the experience I gained in my NC program,” she said. “I wouldn’t have gotten this job without it.”

(Source: Julie Greco/ InsideNC)

City Shorts, Try ’em On For Size

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CITY SHORTS ART: There’s sure to be some fiddlin’ around at the Heritage Market this Saturday at Welland farmers’ market. For more info, see City Shorts brief, below. (File photo/Joe Barkovich)

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 – Step back in time at the Heritage Market, Saturday, August 25, 9am to 11am at Welland Farmers’ Market, 70 Young Street. Enjoy face painting, crafts and a photo station. Make your own ice cream or make a smoothie on one of the blender bikes. Niagara Old Tyme Fiddlers perform during this celebration of market heritage. Plenty of delicious fruits and veggies will be in season.

wibitWELLAND – The City of Welland is throwing a weekend of fun on the waterway August 25 and 26 at the Lincoln Street Docks. Families are invited to come out and play on the city’s inflatable Wibits and discover activity on the Welland Recreation Corridor. City staff encourage participants to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a day of water activity and social connection. Lifeguards will be on the premises to keep families safe while on the water. This is a free event and open to the public.
Wibit Weekend takes place at the Lincoln Street Docks (between Lincoln Bridge and Welland Skateboard & BMX Park) from noon to 6pm. Children must be six years of age or older to participate and must wear lifejackets. A variety of lifejacket sizes are available on site. Limited parking is available on site; however, free over-flow parking is designated at the King Street Arenas, located at 501 King Street. For more info on this and other City of Welland events visit

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 – Come out and enjoy some free family fun! Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle on the Big Screen at Civic Square and enjoy free popcorn and juice.
In a brand new Jumanji adventure, four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game’s jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose. What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji – you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves – or they’ll be stuck in the game forever, to be played by others without break. Saturday, August 25, dusk (approximately 8pm), this is a free event.

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

jammin-logoWELLAND – Come out this summer to Welland Farmers’ Market and enjoy entertainment while you mingle, shop and browse. Farmers’ market opens 6am and closes at noon. Here is the schedule for the next Jammin’ at the Market program: Lisa Campion – Saturday, September 1. The performance is from 9:30am to 10:30am.

WELLAND – Open Arms Mission sponsors this men’s group at The Barn, 933 Forks Road, Wednesday evenings. The session offers a guest speaker, music, time for fellowship with other men (age 14 and up). A light meal is served at 6pm followed by the meeting at 7.

WELLAND – It was a great summer for enjoying free concerts on the floating stage at Merritt Park. The next, Friday, August 24, is the last of the season and features My Son The Hurricane and opening act Strange Shakes. It starts at 7pm.

fallWELLAND – 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 in this upcoming season. 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 – Welland Hospital Gift Shop is seeking volunteers and auxiliary members. Interested? Call 905-732-6111 ext. 33141 or email

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, starts its three-day run next month. Dates are Friday, September 14, Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16. More info to be announced.

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)

Rao Interim Head Coach Of Badgers Women’s Hoops Program


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Mike Rao (2016 File photo)

The Brock Badgers women’s basketball team is headed into the new year with a new coach at the helm.

Welland native Mike Rao is moving over from his role as an assistant coach with the men’s basketball team to take on the role of interim head coach of the Badgers women’s program.

Rao coached the Notre Dame high school boys basketball team for 36 years before joining the Badgers in 2016. He played a key role under coach Charles Kissi last year as the men’s team made it to the U SPORTS National Championships for the first time in 10 years.

Brock Sports Director Neil Lumsden said Rao was the perfect fit for the role.

“Mike brings great depth and experience as head coach of the women’s basketball program. His familiarity with both of Brock’s basketball programs and his coaching experience and basketball acumen make him a perfect choice to lead these highly motivated student athletes,” he said.

The Badgers women’s team finished seventh in the OUA West Division last year with a 6-18 record. Rao said his aim for 2018-19 is simply to get the team working hard and giving their all in every practice and game.

“We’ve been on the court every day and my only goal right now is to see what everyone brings to the table,” he said. “As long as they give me effort, we’ll deal with the mistakes and those little things. I don’t have many rules or high expectations, by my one rule is that they come out every day and work hard.”

One of the highlights of the 2017-18 season came at the end of the year, when rookie guard Kristin Gallant was named to the OUA all-star game. Rao said the Halifax native’s talent will be relied upon in the upcoming season, but he’s not putting any extra pressure on her.

“I’ve got five players out there so I don’t want to rely on just one,” he said. “Kristin is a very good, physical player and she’s going to be a big piece of the puzzle. But I want everyone to be part of the bigger picture. I just need her to contribute the way I think she can. If we win a game, I don’t want it to be just because of her and if we lose a game, it won’t be just because of her.”

The Badgers will open the 2018-19 season with tryouts being held Friday, Sept. 7 from 6-8 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to noon. in Bob Davis Gymnasium.

The regular season gets under way Friday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Oct. 27 when the Badgers host a doubleheader against Laurier and Guelph, respectively. The women’s games start at 6 p.m. at Bob Davis Gymnasium with the Badgers men’s team to play the same two teams starting at 8 p.m.

(Source: Brock Sports/Women’s Basketball)

Conditions Right For Development Of ‘Dangerous Thunderstorms’

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Rain pelts down on a window today at 6:25 p.m. making it difficult to see from one side of the street to the other.(Photo by Joe Barkovich)

4:56 PM EDT Tuesday 21 August 2018
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for:
Niagara Falls – Welland – Southern Niagara Region
St. Catharines – Grimsby – Northern Niagara Region
Conditions are favourable for the development of dangerous thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts and torrential rain.

The threat of severe thunderstorms continues this evening.

Although the primary threats associated with the thunderstorms are torrential downpours and damaging winds, there is also the chance of an isolated tornado.
Fast-moving water across a road can sweep a vehicle away. Remember, severe thunderstorms can produce tornadoes. Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!

Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall.

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management recommends that you take cover immediately if threatening weather approaches.

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

For more information:

Lasting Image: Augusto Macoritto, Gifted Lensman


By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

We have keepsakes of Port Colborne photographer Augusto “Gus” Macoritto’s work that are cherished lasting images.

Mr. Macoritto, who died Saturday, August 18, aged 88, was renowned as a professional photographer in Niagara for more than 50 years. His death notice, which appears in the Tuesday, August 21 edition of The Tribune, nicely shares highlights of his story.

It says Mr. Macoritto was accorded the “honour of ‘Craftsman’” from the professional association to which he belonged, the Professional Photographers of Ontario.

And this excerpt from the death notice says: “Gus photographed the weddings and families of literally thousands of Port Colborne and local area residents.”

Well, one of those weddings was that of our parents, Joe and Mary (Canjar) Barkovich, both now deceased.

The wedding was July 6, 1946 in St. Mary Church, Welland. It was solemnized by Father Benjamin Webster, pastor. The reception was in the Croatian Sons Club hall, Fifth Street.

The accompanying photo was taken in Mr. Macoritto’s studio. Another of the photos vividly recalled shows the wedding party. The inscription at the bottom right corner of the photos says: Macoritto Studio, Port Colborne, Ont. The inscription was not in signed format but a raised print style. Kept all these years in a glass-covered frame, the photograph looks as if it was made yesterday.

The death notice for Mr. Macoritto provides more information about this esteemed photographer who masterfully captured milestones in the lives of so many people. It can be read in its entirety at:

Photographs, over time, often become family heirlooms. Photographs, like this lasting image by Mr. Macoritto, are priceless.

(Lasting Image is a recurring feature on the blog.)

Be Prepared For A Wet One

POSTED AT: 4:09 AM EDT Tuesday 21 August 2018
Special weather statement in effect for:
Niagara Falls – Welland – Southern Niagara Region
St. Catharines – Grimsby – Northern Niagara Region
Potential for heavy rainfall today.

imagesA few rounds of showers and thunderstorms are expected today across portions of southern Ontario. The rain is developing over southwestern Ontario early this morning and will advance eastward to reach the Golden Horseshoe after daybreak.

The rain is expected to be periodic in nature with significant breaks from time to time. However, as the air mass will be very moist, torrential downpours giving significant rainfall amounts in relatively short periods of time are likely.

At this point, it appears that many areas will receive between 20 to 40 mm of rain by this evening. However, areas that get several thunderstorms may receive significantly higher amounts.

Warnings may be required for some areas.
Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to or tweet reports using #ONStorm.

Welland Museum Hosts Mummy Unwrapping





WELLAND –  A mummy unwrapping will replace ghosts and goblins at the Welland Museum this Halloween.

By special appointment, on the evening of Wednesday, October 17, guests will watch a Victorian Mummy Unwrapping by Missus Mooney of Halfpenny Dreadfuls. She will reveal a 2,000 year old mummy live while outlining tales of the mystery, methods and history of mummification.

The museum will restrict guests to those over age 13 for the 6:30 p.m. event.  Registrations have begun for a limited number tickets at $15 each.

Penny Morningstar, the museum’s general manager and curator, said this year the museum wanted to try something different from Halloween traditions.

Victorian Mummy Unwrapping stirs up the atmosphere of 19th Century England. At the time, “penny dreadfuls” were popular. The short, cheaply printed books about crime, horror, mystery and adventure sold for just a penny. Penny Dreadfuls were the forerunners of 20th Century pulp magazines.

Missus Mooney’s Halfpenny Dreadfuls provides history-based services including haunted history tours, paranormal investigations and mediumship sessions as well as Victorian carolling, and consulting for historical restoration, artifacts, conservation and investigations (

Historian Seika Groves created Eugenia Mooney as a Victorian/Edwardian character. Groves is an expert on the period. She conducts courses in schools and museums, and provides historical consultations.

For tickets to the Victorian Mummy Unwrapping contact the Welland Museum at 140 King St., Welland, 905-732-2215, Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

(Wayne Campbell is a well known local journalist now retired)

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.

Town and Gown Committee Meeting ≫
6:00 PM Thursday Aug. 23 2018 –
LOCATION: Niagara College Student Administration Council (SAC) Boardroom SA208

(Source: City of Welland website)