Monthly Archives: November 2019

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.

Welland Downtown Business Improvement Area Meeting ≫
5:30 PM Monday Dec. 2 2019 –
Room 108/109, Civic Square, 60 East Main Street

Audit Review Committee Meeting ≫
6:30 PM Tuesday Dec. 3 2019 –
Council Ante Room

Council Meeting in Open Session ≫
7:00 PM Tuesday Dec. 3 2019 –
Council Chambers

City of Welland Heritage Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
5:00 PM Wednesday Dec. 4 2019 –
Room 108, Civic Square, 60 East Main Street

Market Square Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
6:00 PM Wednesday Dec. 4 2019 –
Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

Economic Development Strategy Community Workshop ≫
9:00 AM Thursday Dec. 5 2019 –
Council Chambers

(Source: City of Welland website)

Community Celebration Highlights Career, Accomplishments Of Niagara College President Dan Patterson

From left: Welland Deputy Mayor Adam Moote, Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley, Niagara College President Dan Patterson, Niagara-on-the-Lake Lord Mayor Betty Disero, St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik and Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati celebrate Patterson’s 25-year career and accomplishments with Niagara College. Patterson received the keys to the City of St. Catharines, while the City of Niagara Falls, the City of Welland and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake all proclaimed November 22, 2019 Dan Patterson Day. Patterson also received a special certificate of acknowledgement from Niagara Region. Supplied photo)

On the evening of November 22, over 600 members of the Niagara community packed Partridge Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts centre to celebrate the legacy of Niagara College president Dan Patterson and reflect on his accomplishments at a special event hosted by the Niagara College Board of Governors. In May 2019, Patterson announced he would conclude his tenure as president after a 25-year career at the College.

In a surprise presentation, the Niagara College Board of Governors announced that the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus would be proclaimed the Daniel J. Patterson Campus, in recognition of Patterson’s outstanding contributions to the College – which includes the campus’s evolution into one of Canada’s most unique learning environments.

The evening began with an Indigenous welcome by elder Gary Parker and a rousing performance by Chorus Niagara, which led into the first of three themes for the evening – the unrelenting passion and energy Patterson has shown throughout his career. Dr. Bonnie Rose, a former vice president academic at Niagara College and at Niagara University, in Lewiston, NY, and a former member of the college’s Board of Governors, reflected on Patterson’s passion for student success, which has been a prime motivating factor in the college’s transformation into one of Canada’s leading post-secondary institutions.

“Dan’s DNA is always intertwined with that of the college,” said Rose. “He is passionate, trailblazing and welcome. A visionary and exuberant risk-taker, with the discipline and drive to make dreams come true.”

Niagara College’s Student Administrative Council demonstrated in powerful form the lasting impact Patterson’s student-focused approach has had on Niagara College students through the years, as NC alumni from every year of Patterson’s tenure – from 1995 to 2020 – joined together on stage to thank ‘Dr. Dan’ for the many years of support he’s given to students across the College.

The second portion of the evening drew attention to the strong relationships Patterson has built and fostered within the Niagara community and beyond. Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges Ontario, spoke about Patterson’s legacy of advocating for Ontario college system.

Patterson also received several honours that reflected the immense impact his career has had on the economic and social fabric of the Niagara community. St. Catharines mayor Walter Sendzik presented Patterson with the key to the City of St. Catharines, while Niagara-on-the-Lake Lord Mayor Betty Disero, Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati and Welland Deputy Mayor Adam Moote each declared November 22 as Dan Patterson Day in their respective communities. Regional Chair Jim Bradley also presented Patterson with a special certificate of recognition.

“The key to the city is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions and I can think of no leader more deserving than Dr. Dan Patterson,” stated Mayor Sendzik. “Dan has been a passionate and energetic champion of Niagara. Through his infectious energy and passion, Dan has inspired generations of students, entrepreneurs and local leaders to pursue their dreams. He has left an indelible mark on Niagara College and our entire community. On behalf of the City of St. Catharines, congratulations on a remarkable career. We thank you for your leadership, vision and commitment to Niagara.”

In addition to the distinguished guests who brought greetings to the event, several others who were unable to be present sent video greetings, including Ontario premier Doug Ford, former premiers Kathleen Wynne and Mike Harris, Lt. Governor of Ontario Elizabeth Dowdeswell, and former US ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, and his partner Vicki.

The final segment of the evening celebrated Patterson’s legacy as a builder, as Dr. Suzanne Johnston, retired president of the Niagara Health System and a member of the Niagara College Board of Governors spoke about Patterson’s identity as a builder of relationships, and his ability to engage with the Niagara community leaders and employers.

John F.T. Scott, Chair of Niagara College’s Board of Governors and the evening’s emcee, also shared that, in addition to the proclamation of the Daniel J. Patterson Campus, the College will establish the Dan Patterson Legacy Fund, which will provide support for bursaries, world experiences and scholarships for Niagara College students. Surplus funds from the evening will support the new fund.

“Throughout his tenure as president, Dan has not only led a significant transformation of Niagara College, but has also played a significant role in the growth and development of our community and beyond – and those contributions shone brightly in our celebrations this evening,” said Scott. “The Niagara College Board of Governors is honoured to join with Dan’s colleagues, and business and community leaders from Niagara and beyond in expressing our thanks to Dan, and recognizing his remarkable legacy.”

Following an Indigenous honour song by the Ohnia:kara Singers, Patterson’s partner Saundra, who herself has been a passionate supporter of Niagara College and its students, shared her own personal thoughts on Patterson’s career.

“When Dan joined Niagara College, he did so with amazing enthusiasm. He had truly found what he wanted to do in life. With his dedicated leadership and that of the others who worked with him, Niagara College is what it is today.”

In his address to the crowd, Patterson shared the remarkable career path that led him through several positions within the federal government, culminating in his leading the training branch. It was through that experience that he grew to understand the power of a college education, leading him to Niagara College. He expressed gratitude for the evening’s tributes, and looked back at his fondest memories from his 25-year tenure.

“My fondest memories and points of pride were all captured here tonight,” said Patterson. “I always felt it was a privilege to lead Niagara College, and I never took it for granted.”

Patterson also shared what his life might look like post-Niagara College. “Saundra and I intend to stay in Niagara. It’s our home and to help in any way we can to ensure Niagara continues to be a special place for all of us,” said Patterson. “I’m sure I will continue to find fulfilling professional involvement in post-secondary education.” Patterson was recently appointed as chair of the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and also serves on the Board for Colleges and Institutes Canada – a national advocacy group committed to promoting the important role colleges play to support economic development.

Dan Patterson, Ph.D, has been president of Niagara College since 1995. Under his leadership, enrolment has grown from 4,500 to over 11,000 full-time students in over 130 programs. Patterson has presided over significant changes to the College’s two pioneering campuses, and the introduction of unique academic programs geared toward the workforce needs of the Niagara economy that have made Niagara College one of Canada’s most innovative post-secondary institutions.

(Source: Niagara College media release)



Irish Win Tip-Off Opener, 71-59

Former Irish Gridiron Stars In Grey Cup Game Sunday

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

WELLAND – East meets West in Sunday’s Grey Cup game and for two participants, the road to the pinnacle of Canadian football just happened to pass through Welland.

Johnny Augustine of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Chris Van Zeyl of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are the two players. In honing their skills earlier in life, they share a common background: playing high school football, although at different times, at Notre Dame College School, Welland.

“Johnny played running back for ND for four seasons,” recalled Marnie Welch-Swayze who came to know Augustine during his high school days when he helped paint her house. She couldn’t be sure, but thought the two met around 2010.

“He is not afraid of hard work! I used to call him my kid but he has grown into a terrific man. I am proud of him.” She now thinks of herself as Augustine’s “adopted grandmother.”

Augustine, 26, came up from Florida when his parents moved here, according to Welch-Swayze. She remembers him as a multi-talented athlete: he has his black belt in karate and was a good track athlete. But he was determined to play football.

Augustine was recruited by the University of Guelph where he was a star running back on Guelph’s Yates Cup-winning team. He joined the Blue Bombers last year.

Welch-Swayze said they kept in touch over the years. Augustine called her after last Sunday’s game when the Blue Bombers defeated Saskatchewan Roughriders 20-13 to earn a spot in the Grey Cup game.

“He called me again on Monday, he was so excited.”

Offensive tackle Van Zeyl, a Pelham native, was named the league’s best offensive lineman during the CFL awards banquet just last night.

The 36-year-old former Irish standout came to the Tiger-Cats right after being cut by his former team, Toronto Argonauts. Van Zeyl was on two Grey Cup teams with the Argos, 2012 and 2017. He was a CFL All-Star twice and CFL East Division All-Star five times.

In December, 2017 Van Zeyl visited his former high school and St. Kevin church, bringing the coveted Grey Cup with him to both stops. He starred in an assembly at the school and met associate pastor Rev. Jim Mulligan CSC, a family friend and long-time Argos fan, and others at the church. Van Zeyl’s mother, Betty, regularly attends morning Mass there.

Over lunch at the Rex yesterday, I chatted with now-retired ND teacher Paul Turner about both students. He remembers them well and spoke highly of them.

Augustine was described as “solid” and “he always had a smile on his face.” Of Van Zeyl, Turner commented: “He was a kid who was so conscientious. He helped others whenever he could, he had a kind heart.”

Turner did not have either in his classes over the years but came to know them through school activities. For example, both were part of the school’s social climate committee, he said, where among other roles, they mentored younger students  and worked on developing a positive, inclusive environment.

Turner said he will be at a Grey Cup party with friends, and cheering for both former ND students, when those opportunities arise

$13.5 Million Project Planned For City’s Rec Corridor


One of the recommendations calls for removal of the aging floating stage at the Merritt Park Amphitheatre, shown here during a concert in July, and placement of a new stage, including new public washrooms, green room, storage, canteen, and amenities for Merritt Park. (File photo/Joe Barkovich)

WELLAND – The City of Welland’s Recreation Corridor could see a significant transformation as a result of a $13.5 million project focused on investments in recreation and cultural infrastructure, enhanced programming, and amenities. The city’s Manager of Recreation & Culture, Richard Dalton, presented the vision and the specific project components at last night’s council meeting.

The city recently submitted an application under the Federal/Provincial Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) – Community, Culture and Recreation Stream. The cost-sharing arrangement requires the city to contribute 26.67% of the funds with the remainder split between the Federal government at 40% and the Provincial government at 33.33%.

The city’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan, approved by Council in August 2019, provides a road-map to building more inclusive and community-focused public spaces along the Recreation Corridor. The proposed facility updates and developments surrounding the Recreation Corridor advances a number of the master plan’s recommendations. Staff estimate that a majority of the facility updates should be completed by September 2022 if the ICIP funding is approved.

Key Project Highlights:
Floating pool with modular decking and accessible entry ramp to water, including a secure shoreline walkway entrance;
New outdoor multi-use playing courts for pickleball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and beach volleyball, along with canteen and washroom/ change room amenities and enhancement to existing parking in the vicinity;
Removal of aging floating stage at the Merritt Park Amphitheatre and placement of a new stage, including new public washrooms, green room, storage, canteen, and amenities for Merritt Park;
Installation of new age-friendly fitness features along the hard surface trails that align on both sides of the Recreation Corridor;
New two-storey accessible Rowing Centre of Excellence.

These investments in the city’s Recreation Corridor align with other development projects planned for 2020, which include the construction of a new community boathouse to accommodate the city’s Boat Rental Program, washrooms, change rooms, and expanded parking. In addition to the creation of the Rotary Club of Welland Park that will include new signage, additional docks for unsupervised swimming, and a reflection garden to help commemorate the club’s 100th Anniversary in 2020.

“We want to create a harmonious flow throughout the corridor that attracts locals and Niagara’s visitors to quality facilities,” said Dalton. “All proposed facilities in the project portfolio are within a 4 km radius and accessible through our transit system or by-way-of the trails along the Recreation Corridor.”

“The redevelopment of the city’s waterfront continues to be an area of strategic focus for Council and staff,” said Gary Long, Welland’s Chief Administrative Officer. “We’re seeing significant private sector investment in residential and commercial development along our waterway in addition to public sector investment in recreation and cultural infrastructure, and increased programming to benefit our residents and visitors as part of an inter-regional tourist destination.”

The Welland Recreation Corridor is located in the heart of Welland, has 12 km of calm water, 24 km of trails, and houses a variety of city-owned recreation facilities. For more information on City of Welland community projects, visit

(Source: City of Welland news release)

APPRECIATION: A Remembrance Day Service With A Difference