Monthly Archives: June 2019

Emily Stewardson Gregory Earns 98.43 Per Cent GPA To Become Niagara College’s Top Grad In Spring Convocation

Child and Youth Care grad to receive 2019 Governor General’s Academic Medal Tuesday

What most defines Emily Stewardson Gregory is her life-long passion for helping those most in need. When the 26 year-old Mississauga native completed her honours Bachelor degree in Sociology from Brock University, she was looking for a way to put that passion, alongside the theoretical knowledge she had gained, to work.

Emily Stewardson Gregory

She found that opportunity in Niagara College’s Child and Youth Care program, where she excelled academically. On the afternoon of June 18, Stewardson Gregory will cross the stage at the College’s Spring 2019 Convocation ceremonies as the college’s top grad with an astounding 98.43 per cent grade point average.
The accomplishment makes Stewardson Gregory the 2019 recipient of the Governor General’s Academic Medal. For more than 125 years, the Governor General’s Academic Medals have recognized the outstanding scholastic achievements of students in Canada. They are awarded to the student graduating with the highest average from a high school, as well as from approved college or university programs.
“All my life I’ve known that I want to use my career to help people facing significant life challenges, and support them in making positive life changes,” said Stewardson Gregory. “The (Child and Youth Care) program has given me theoretical and practical experience working with vulnerable populations – it’s literally been a life-changing experience.”
She credits her incredible academic success to several factors. Her strong desire to help vulnerable populations pushed her to apply herself in every aspect of her studies, and she is thankful for the talented faculty in the program, who empowered her to nurture and harness that desire.
“Emily was an amazing student – one we all wish we had in our classrooms,” said Jennifer White, Child and Youth Care program coordinator. “Her academic successes were across the board. She wholeheartedly deserves this recognition, and we are exceptionally proud of her.”
Stewardson Gregory currently resides in St. Catharines with her partner James. She hopes to remain in Niagara as she pursues her career, hoping, among other things, to aid at-risk individuals through work in the educational system and elsewhere.
The Governor General’s Academic Medal was established by Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third Governor General after Confederation to encourage academic excellence across the nation. Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third Governor General after Confederation, created the Academic Medals in 1873 to encourage academic excellence across the nation. Over the years, they have become the most prestigious awards that students in Canadian schools can receive.

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, spirits, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit

(Source; Niagara College news release)

HERITAGE LIVES: Local Museums Stage Enticing Exhibits

Tennessee Avenue “cottages” served as second homes to Americans trying to escape the hot summers of their southern plantations. (Supplied photo)

By Terry Hughes

(Source: Atlas Steels photos from Celebrating 150, Walking Through Welland.)

Both the Welland and Port Colborne Museums are featuring exhibits/displays that should catch your fancy about local history and heritage. The story about the Atlas Steels is told in great detail in Welland museum’s exhibit. Having lived a block and a half away from the place for 25 years, I can still remember the din of the machinery hammering in my ear drums.
Meanwhile, in Port Colborne, that museum is featuring two waterfront exhibits that have left a definite mark.
The first is the “cottages” that once lined Tennessee Avenue and the beach known as Solid Comfort. These dwellings served as second homes to Americans trying to escape the hot and humid summers of their southern plantations and enjoy the fresh breezes of Lake Erie from the 1890’s to the 1930’s.
Having found this location by accident, Peter McIntyre from Tennessee encouraged his neighbours to come up and develop a cottage site that would turn into a beautiful southern colony that had all the comforts of home back in Memphis. These displays are worth a visit and show how these people enjoyed their surroundings until the building of the breakwall eroded away the beautiful beach.
The second exhibit blows you away as it features the explosion at the government transfer elevator that blew the roof off the facility in 1919. Not only could it be heard here in Welland but, also, in far away Buffalo!
Be sure to stop and take a look at the fine work these two museums offer about our local heritage.

(Terry Hughes is a Wellander who is passionate about heritage, history and model railroading. His opinion column, Heritage Lives, appears on the blog once or twice monthly.)

Next Column: Lazy Times in the Welland River

THE WEEK AHEAD: Meetings In Welland

Meeting 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.

Senior Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
3:00 PM Monday Jun. 17 2019 –
LOCATION: Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

Council Meeting in Committee-of-the-Whole in Camera ≫
6:40 PM Tuesday Jun. 18 2019 –
Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees:
– Citizens appointment to the following:
Senior Citizens Advisory Committee

Proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board:
– Offer to sell to the City – Lots 955 – 958 inclusive, Plan 47.

Council Chambers

Council Meeting ≫
7:00 PM Tuesday Jun. 18 2019 –
Council Chambers

Committee of Adjustment Hearing(s) ≫
5:00 PM Wednesday Jun. 19 2019 –
Council Chambers

Market Square Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
6:00 PM Wednesday Jun. 19 2019 –
Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

Accessibility Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
3:00 PM Thursday Jun. 20 2019 –
Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street.

(Source: City of Welland website)

Tonight’s Jackfish Game PPD Due To Inclement Weather

WELLAND – Tonight’s game has been postponed due to inclement weather. Date and time for the make up game will be released shortly.
Tickets for tonight’s game can be exchanged at the box office for any other 2019 home game. Anyone with questions regarding tickets can contact the Jackfiash Ticket Office at 905-736-1346.
The Jackfish return to Welland Stadium this Saturday, June 15th as they welcome the Kitchener Panthers for a 1:05 p.m. start.
The Welland Jackfish are a member of Ontario’s most elite baseball league, the Intercounty Baseball League. The 100-year old summer league is one of the oldest baseball leagues in the world, with the league established in 1919, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. For more information, visit or follow the Jackfish on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @wellandjackfish.

(Source: Welland Jackfish news release)

Rose City Showcase Bed Salutes D-Day 75th Anniversary

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

WELLAND – Although its start had to be delayed several days because of rain, a floral showcase bed paying tribute to the 75th anniversary of D-Day was completed by City of Welland parks workers today, Wednesday, June 12.

Work on the project started  Tuesday, June 11. The bed is at Prince Charles Drive and First Avenue, on the east side of Prince Charles.

“I had hoped to have this bed installed by June 6 in celebration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, but the weather has impacted all aspects of installation,” landscape technician and designer Craig Danys wrote in email correspondence. The bed was too wet to work in and prep for planting, forcing the delay of the project, much to his dismay.

Landscape projects of this scope are no small undertaking, as they require painstaking planning.

“The design process for each bed takes different amounts of time, depending on the number of revisions and changes need to be made. Some designs can be revised over 20 times before we are happy with it,” Danys wrote in his email.

The design includes a poppy, the D-Day inscription and the numerals 75 in recognition of the anniversary.

He provided detailed info about the plant material used in the raised bed. It includes alternanthera in red, burgundy, green, yellow-green and a variegated leaf for white; duranta to achieve yellow, as there have been some difficulties using other plants for this color; and red and white begonias to border the bed.

Before the planting even began, workers amended the soil in the bed, according to Danys. Peat moss and sand were added while tilling to help against soil compaction. Then the bed had to be raked just right “to give a perfect canvas” for the horticultural artistry, he noted.

The floral showcase beds are works of pride for the city’s horticulture staff. Other themes that will grace well known locations in the city are:

PCD West (corner of Prince Charles & Colbeck) – St. David’s Anglican Church 70th anniversary;

Broadway (Prince Charles and Broadway) – a spider and fly design by Dave Steven;

Riverbank (Niagara and Riverbank) – Canadian flag design;

Triangle Park (Ontario and Southworth) – a lizard design.

There was only the one bed request (St. David’s Anglican Church) for this year, but a few are already in hand for 2020, said Danys.

Niagara College Class of 2019 To Make History At Spring Convocation

Canada’s first-ever Cannabis and Distilling graduates to cross the stage

Niagara College is preparing to celebrate its largest spring convocation ever – and make history in the process.

More than 5,100 students will graduate from the College this spring, making NC’s Class of 2019 its largest to date, as the College marks its Spring Convocation ceremonies. To be held from June 17-21 at the Welland Campus, the ceremonies will also mark a special milestone for the College with Canada’s first graduates to earn a postsecondary credential in Commercial Cannabis Production (June 20, 10 a.m.) and Artisan Distilling (June 21, 10 a.m.) Both postgraduate certificate programs launched at the College in fall 2018 as the first of their kind in the country.

Convocation is the highlight of the academic year and a celebration of student success at NC.

“All of the students who cross the stage at Convocation are part of Niagara College’s legacy of student success,” said College president Dan Patterson. “Our graduates have the skills to take on industry challenges and become tomorrow’s leaders. Our faculty and staff take great pride in their accomplishments.”

Spring Convocation will include eight ceremonies over five days, all held at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre. Graduates and their guests will hear from a variety of distinguished business and community leaders who will deliver convocation addresses and receive special honours from the College.

Ceremonies include:
Monday, June 17
3 p.m.
School of Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies
Speaker: Keith Segal, owner, president and CEO of International Insurance, will receive an Honorary Diploma in International Studies. Segal is a successful entrepreneur and a long-time supporter of the College, the education sector and international students. In April, Segal and his family announced a donation of more than $1 million for international education at NC, which will support a new International Centre at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus. The Segal International Centre at NC’s Welland Campus was also named in recognition of a previous donation.

Tuesday, June 18
10 a.m.
School of Community Services
Speaker: Kim Plewes is the principal development director of WE. Founded by Craig and Marc Kielburger, the movement and organization helps communities around the world create positive social change. Plewes will receive an Honorary Diploma in Community Studies.

The Governor General’s Academic Medal will be presented to the student with the highest overall grade point average. This year’s recipient will be Emily Stewardson Gregory of St. Catharines, who will graduate from the Child and Youth Care program with a 98.43% GPA.

3 p.m.
School of Business and Management Studies
Speaker: Richard Taylor is the president of Niagara Casinos, a recognized gaming industry leader who heads one of the largest business operations in Niagara. Taylor will receive an Honorary Bachelor Degree in Applied Studies.

Wednesday, June 19
10 a.m.
School of Justice and Fitness Studies
Speaker: Dr. M. Mustafa Hirji is the acting medical officer of health for the Niagara Region whose focus is the public health and emergency services that protect Niagara’s residents and visitors. Dr. Hirji will be granted an Honorary Diploma in Health Studies.

3 p.m.
Schools of Academic and Liberal Studies, English Language Studies, and Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies
Speaker: Betty-Lou Souter is the CEO of Community Care, St. Catharines and Thorold. She is known as the voice of poverty in Niagara and as an advocate for a healthy and vibrant community. Souter will receive an Honorary Bachelor Degree in Applied Studies.

Thursday, June 20
10 a.m.
Schools of Environmental and Horticultural Studies, and Technology Studies
Speaker: Carolyne Watts is the plant manager for General Motors, St. Catharines Propulsion Plant, and a former chair of the Niagara College Board of Governors. Watts has been committed to environmental preservation, safety awareness and community outreach over her nearly 40-year career with GM. She will receive an Honorary Bachelor Degree in Applied Studies.

The School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies will see the first cohort of Commercial Cannabis Production graduates cross the stage. The first of its kind in Canada, the program launched in 2018 to meet the industry’s demand for highly skilled cannabis growers.

3 p.m.
Schools of Media Studies, and Trades
Speaker: Mike Crawley is an Ontario provincial affairs reporter for CBC News. His career has been dedicated to covering important global issues in Africa, Europe and the U.S. He will receive an Honorary Diploma in Journalism.

Friday, June 21
10 a.m.
School of Hospitality, Tourism and Sport; and the Canadian Food and Wine Institute
Speaker: Kelly L. Brown is the senior vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs, for Arterra Wines Canada Inc., the leading wine producer in Canada. Previously, she was the chief people, legal and corporate affairs officer for Molson Coors Canada. In 2012, she represented Molson on the popular TV series Undercover Boss Canada (2012). Brown will receive an Honorary Graduate Certificate in Wine Business Management.

Inaugural graduates from the Artisan Distilling program, from NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, will cross the convocation stage. Launched in 2018 as the first of its kind in Canada, the program rounded out NC’s program offerings as the only college in Canada with full-time wine, beer and distilling programs.

Niagara College’s Spring Convocation Ceremonies are streamed live, and may be viewed at

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit

(Source: Niagara College news release)

Welland’s Recreation Corridor Connects People To Places

WELLAND – The City of Welland is celebrating another summer on the Recreation Corridor with exciting concerts, elite flat water competitions, beautiful trails, and a recreational waterway that connects people to places through activity and interactive signage.

The Recreation Corridor is a branding strategy to promote the city’s community assets and to keep people engaged, informed, and connected to the city. To help people gain pertinent information while being active on the Recreation Corridor, users can find eight significant landmarks offering Quick Response (QR) Code signage that channels information through a smartphone or tablet. When scanned, users will receive information on special events, google maps, the city’s Discover Welland Guide, links to the city’s website, boat rental opportunities, and much more.

Welland’s Recreation Corridor also offers public venues, which is a gateway to becoming better connected to people, places, and programs. Merritt Park is a highlight on the Recreation Corridor. In addition to offering beautiful green space along the waterway, Merritt park hosts live concerts throughout the summer. Other signature landmarks on the Recreation Corridor include Bridge 13, The Welland International Flatwater Centre, Merritt Island, Civic Square, Welland Public Library, Welland Skateboard & BMX Park, Welland Boat Rentals, and the Welland Community Wellness Complex.

“The Recreation Corridor offers so much more than special events and recreation,” said CAO Gary Long. “The corridor is the thread that unites our communities and brings families together. There’s a long list of activities to discover on the corridor this summer. We hope Niagara’s residents and visitors will take advantage of this opportunity and challenge themselves to discover more.”

The Recreation Corridor boundaries, including details on the corridor, can be found at Users who sign up to YourChannel—the city’s online public engagement platform—can interact with Welland’s Recreation Corridor and post photos on a digital map, offer recommendations on favourite places to visit or play, or connect with the Recreation Corridor’s Facebook platform.

The City of Welland is located in the heart of Niagara Region and serves more than 52,000 residents. For more information on city projects and programs, visit #GetMobileWithYourMobile

(Source: City of Welland news release)

Author To Speak On Canal Cofferdam Collapse, Deaths

WELLAND – Melanie Battell will be offering a special presentation at Welland Public Library about “The Cofferdam Collapse” in Welland. Here are the details:
PROGRAM: The Cofferdam Collapse
SPEAKER: Melanie Battell
DATE: Saturday, June 8, 2019
TIME: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
PLACE: Welland Public Library, Main Branch, Program Room. Admission is free.

It is suggested that those interested register beforehand. On-Line Registration is available at:

The Cofferdam Collapse happened on December 10, 1927 as part of the preparation work for Bridge No. 13, the Main Street Lift Bridge, Welland. It resulted in the largest loss of life in a Canal accident along the southern tier of construction.

Those who were killed included Achille Bisson, Henry Moses Nealis, and Robert Lethbridge. Bisson is buried in Welland’s Holy Cross Cemetery, while the remains of the other two men were sent to their hometowns of Saint John, New Brunswick and Midland, Ontario.

Battell is the author of an article about the accident. She has also prepared biographies about the three men that will be appearing in the forthcoming book, Triumph & Tragedy: The Welland Ship Canal.