Monthly Archives: April 2020

Jackfish Home Opener Will Be A Virtual Experience

WELLAND – Despite Opening Day at Welland Stadium on May 16 being postponed due to Coronavirus, the Welland Jackfish are proud to offer fans an alternate experience by virtually broadcasting the 2019 Home Opener versus the London Majors as part of “Opening Day at Home.” 

Fans will have the opportunity to be part of an immersive experience with all the atmosphere and excitement of a traditional Jackfish home opener.

“We are so excited to create this one of a kind moment for all of our fans to experience together,” — Ryan Harrison, Majority Owner and President, Welland Jackfish.

This virtual Opening Day will proceed much like the originally scheduled game, but this broadcast will feature multiple guest appearances including Welland Mayor Frank Campion, who will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and a message from IBL Commissioner John Kastner.

After these guest appearances, pre-game activities will kick off with the voice of the Jackfish Rod Mawhood welcoming fans to the ballpark as gates open, live musical performances, Jackfish Owner Ryan Harrison will officially welcome baseball back to Welland, lineups for the Jackfish and the Majors will be announced, and the singing of our national anthem.

Following pre-game festivities, the game itself will get underway as all nine innings of the Jackfish vs. Majors matchup will be replayed. In between each inning, fans will be treated to videos of classic Jackfish in-game promotions like the t-shirt toss and Dino Dash as well as the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

“We are so excited to create this one of a kind moment for all of our fans to experience together,” said Ryan Harrison, Majority Owner and President of the Welland Jackfish. “We know that everyone in our community is going through a difficult time right now, but by bringing even a small piece of the Jackfish to our fans is an amazing opportunity to boost everyone’s spirits. Our mission is to offer the best experience in the IBL, and this is another way for us to show how much we love our fans.”

HOW TO WATCH: Subscribe to the Welland Jackfish on YouTube; the broadcast will premiere May 16 at 11:00 a.m.

While the Jackfish front office continues to work remotely, staff members are available by phone and email to answer any questions or concerns. The ticket office can be reached at or 905-736-1346.

Niagara Knights to host 51st Athletic Awards Banquet in online celebration

The Niagara College Knights will be celebrating their year of success in the 2019-2020 season with the 51st edition of the Knights Athletic Awards on Thursday, April 16. In what would traditionally be an evening of celebrating the year’s accomplishments at a banquet hall, Athletics and Recreation has teamed up with NC’s Broadcast, Television, Radio and Film (BRTF) program to bring the celebration live to the comfort of your living room.

The awards show honouring the accomplishments of Knights athletes will air at 10 a.m. on Thursday, live streaming from Niagara College’s Facebook page. Winners will also be shared through the Knights social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Michele O’Keefe

BRTF has always been a vital partner to Athletics and Recreation, and this year is no exception. On top of the high quality game-day broadcasts they produce, BRTF program coordinator Peter “Dutch” VandenBerg and his students were instrumental in bringing Athletics and Recreation’s visions together on numerous high profile projects this year.

“We have always enjoyed collaborating with Dutch VandenBerg and the BRTF crew to present our regular season games and other various projects such as our new Knights logo launch,” said associate director, Athletics and Recreation, Michele O’Keefe. “To work on this virtual athletic banquet with them has been tremendous – to be able to deliver an event to celebrate our varsity teams, athletes, coaches, staff as well as our recreation activities is a wonderful gift and is a demonstration of our NC DNA.”

O’Keefe knows the value of a partnership, spending time this year building relationships with various departments across NC’s campuses.

“The highlight of working apart has been re-imagining Knights Athletics and Recreation,” said O’Keefe. “It is natural for people who work in sport to enjoy working in partnership. And in the 2019-20 season, we worked with many programs at NC – BRTF, the Student Administrative Council, Student Services, the Book Store, Learning Enterprises, to name but a few. To be able to build the profile of NC Athletics and Recreation is only possible when we work with our creative and willing colleagues.”

NC will be presenting over 70 individual awards Thursday morning, including:

·         30 OCAA All Academic Honours;

·         Five CCAA Academic All-Canadians;

·         Two Fourth-Year Recognition awards;

·         Eight Team Scholastic Honour awards;

·         Eight Team Leadership awards;

·         Eight Rookie of the Year awards.

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)

City Implements Transit Reservation System, Effective April 13

New system will provide “essential” only public transportation. (File photo)

WELLAND – The City of Welland is announcing additional temporary changes to Welland Transit that will take effect Monday, April 13.  A Transit Reservation system is being implemented to provide “essential” only public transportation for City residents. The City will continue to operate Well-Trans service, and Regional transit service remains the same including the link with Port Colborne.

Here’s how the reservation model works:

  • service will be provided from Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm
  • reservations have to be made 24 hours in advance by calling Welland Transit at 905-735-1700 x2291 (8am to 3pm)
  • this is not an on-demand same day service
  • those residents needing to be picked up will call Welland Transit and staff will take the reservation, and a bus will pick them up the following day
  • trips are restricted to:
  • medical appointments
  • employment
  • grocery store (one visit per week)
  • this service will be provided free of charge

Why are we doing this?

  • “go home and stay home” message remains key focus of public health
  • health and safety considerations of operators and passengers in light of public health directives to practice social distancing and avoid non-essential travel
  • ridership numbers have plummeted across region – we’re down about 80%
  • no transit revenue
  • provincial wide shutdown is expected to continue for several more weeks so ridership will remain very low 
  • no ridership from Niagara College, Brock University, and schools – shut down

For more information regarding these changes to Welland Transit and the City’s response to COVID-19, please visit our website at  

(Source: City of Welland news release)

Frankly Speaking, Campion’s Message Tells It Like It Is

I want to take this opportunity to thank the large majority of Welland residents who are doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.  Those of you who are staying home as much as possible, practicing social distancing by staying at least 2 meters apart, adhering to mandatory 14 day self-isolation after returning to Canada, and those who are refraining from gatherings of more than 5 people.  I appreciate your commitment to not only keep yourselves safe but also keeping your families, friends and the community safe. It is important to every single member of our community that we observe these rules. 

For the small minority of those who are not adhering to these rules, it’s time to get with it!  It isn’t too late. Do you want to be burdened with the knowledge that you personally infected someone because you didn’t make an effort to do the right thing.  Do the right thing NOW and follow the rules. 

All of us also owe a debt of gratitude to the essential service businesses that are ensuring we are able to get the things we need.  I feel for the non-essential services that have had to close their doors and for the people who have lost their jobs or been laid off. We continue to review directives and available programs from upper levels of government that can provide you with the help you need to get through this.  The City is deferring penalty and interest charges on pending and outstanding tax and water/wastewater billing arrears as well as deferring interest charges on outstanding account receivables until the end of May to assist you financially.  

Further to this, Water/Sewer rates will remain at the 2019 rates until at least July 1, 2020. There are links on our website where residents and businesses can get the most up to date information. Visit: 

And finally, I thank all the health care workers who are providing amazing health care services to our residents…you are the true heroes in this crisis. Everyone, please stay home as much as possible and stay safe.  Welland is an historically resilient community and we will get through this together.  – Mayor Frank Campion

Welland Extends Closure Of Facilities and Cancellation Of Events To June 30th

The City of Welland is announcing that it is extending the closure of all public facilities, and the cancellation of events and programming until June 30, 2020.

The decision was made by the City’s Corporate Leadership Team and Emergency Control Group, based on the need to protect City staff and residents; to help contain the spread of COVID-19; and to provide some certainty for user groups and key community stakeholders.

“This is an unprecedented time which requires an unprecedented response.”

— CAO Gary Long

With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and community spread in Niagara and Ontario on the rise, public health officials are indicating that it is more important than ever to continue to practice physical distancing, including self-monitoring and self-isolation. All indications from the experts are that these measures will be in place for months, not weeks.

The City’s business continuity assumptions are that normal business operations will not return until July 6. In the meantime, all City departments and divisions are operational, and staff are continuing to provide essential services. The City’s senior staff meet daily to review information, make decisions, and are committed to maintaining an open line of communication to staff, residents, and community partners as this situation progresses. Should the current information from public health experts change in the coming weeks, the June 30 date can and will be re-evaluated.

“This is an unprecedented time which requires an unprecedented response,” said Welland CAO Gary Long. “The diligence and dedication of City staff to deliver public programs and services to our community, both now and when this crisis has passed, remains unchanged.”

The City’s website is updated daily regarding the City’s COVID-19 response, important information from Niagara Public Health, as well as municipal, provincial, and federal program information to assist residents and businesses.

(Source: City of Welland news release)