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Safe driving program for seniors coming up

To the Editor:
The Pictou County Municipalities Crime Prevention Association and Senior’s Outreach will be offering a two-day Senior’s Safe Driving Program in October.
The program, sponsored in part by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, is free for ages 65 years and older who have not previously taken the course. This year, the program will be held at the Little Harbour Community Centre on Wednesday, October 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. (Part 1) and Thursday, October 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Part 2). Refreshments will be served.
This course provides lots of safe driving tips and updated materials delivered in classroom instruction. Bernie LaRusic, the course instructor, always keeps things lively and entertaining with his many amusing stories and anecdotes. A member of the RCMP will be joining us on Thursday morning to answer questions and address concerns about local driving issues. Anyone interested in knowing more about the program is invited to contact Janette Keefe with the Crime Prevention Association at 755-2886 or Mary MacLellan at Senior’s Outreach 752-8406. See you in October!
Jan Keefe
PCMCPA

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Lack of political interest in Clean Air photo exhibit disappointing to reader

To the Editor:
On Tuesday, September 23, a photo exhibit was opened in the deCoste Centre which was attended by about 150 members of our Pictou County community. The exhibit “Clean Air” represents a visualization of the effects of air pollution on our town of Pictou and on the surrounding communities. It portrays the fears concerning the health of those who live and work here and above all it demonstrates the negative effects that pollution has on our children and their future.
Although our MLAs, mayors, councillors and warden were invited, none attended the opening. Only two MLAs sent their regrets. The others were enwrapped in silence. Last Friday, the organizers of the “Clean Air” Photo Exhibit did receive regrets by mail from the Mayor of New Glasgow which were sent prior to the date of the opening.
As a voter, it was my understanding that those chosen represent all inhabitants of Pictou County and not merely those they choose to serve.
The pollution of our air has a daily impact on our lives and many in our communities are concerned about risks to their health and to their environment. They, too, deserve to be heard and be recognized by those elected to office. The photo exhibit “Clean Air” is meant to visualize these fears and feelings.
The opening would have been an excellent platform for our representatives to demonstrate that they also represent those who are concerned. Their apparent lack of interest, to say the least, is disappointing.
They might believe that clean air is solely a political issue but it is not. It is foremost a health issue. If we as a community want to address the problems of our local economy, attract new businesses and maintain the current ones, we should provide them with an appealing environment where their employees and their families can feel safe and enjoy their community.
Colin Fraser
Lyons Brook

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War veterans get their due

Pictou County veterans who served during the Korean War in the 1950s were recognized last week in Westville with peace medals presented on behalf of the Republic of Korea.
Some would say the gesture was long overdue, but the underlying point is it was done – and it was done with a simplicity and dignity that would serve as a model for similar events of its kind in the future.
The Korean War is a forgotten war. It is being obscured even more this year as people mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War.
The Korean War was significant for several reasons. The world’s super powers at the time lined up on either side of the dispute after forces on behalf of what is now North Korea began invading the south. Jet fighters, which were at the cusp of being ready for combat in the Second World War, were on full display. It was a war that very nearly reintroduced nuclear weapons until American General Douglas MacArthur’s suggested use of them was rebuffed and he was relieved of his command and called home.
Canadian journalist, historian and author Gwynne Dyer, in his recent address to students at Pictou Academy, noted the relative absence of major confrontation among the superpowers since the Second World War. It wasn’t mentioned, but the Korean War is among those examples he could have cited. The U.S. and its allies sided with the south in Korea, while the Chinese and Soviets supported the north.
Extreme effort was made at the time to call it a conflict, not a war, to avoid the superpowers’ direct involvement. Time has allowed us to look at this page of our human history through an accurate lens.
It was war and now, finally, we’ve have recognized that and the contributions made by many men from Pictou County to that struggle.
Last week’s ceremony was the product of 14 months of hard and diligent work by Vincent Joyce from the Pictou County Military Museum, with the help he expressed deep appreciation for from Canadian and Korean representatives in terms of ceremony and protocol.
It was well attended by family and friends and, in true military fashion, it ran like clockwork.
The event last Thursday will go down as one that gave the museum a new sense of purpose and credibility. That’s how meaningful it was to be there.
What has come of the Korean War is difficult to assess. North Korea is among the most dangerous and aloof nations on earth. The Republic of Korea in the south was, for a time, far less free than it is now.
Ambassador Donghwan Choi, who attended last week’s ceremony and presented the peace medals to those present, emphasized the close ties and shared values his country has with Canada and how it tries to emulate Canada’s example in an ever-closer human and economic relationship.
He has done a great service by reminding us how Canada is duty-bound to keep setting that example for South Korea and the wider world community.

Steve Goodwin

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Loose moose gets new home

Pictou County was a regular hub of excitement, activities, points and things of interest last weekend so it’s almost no surprise that even the wildlife wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
One such curious creature was a bull moose which appeared Saturday morning just outside the treeline in the Stellarton Industrial park. The moose soon found he was, in fact, the most interesting thing in the area and watched as his presence drew out a fair number of people trying to catch a look at him.
Bruce Nunn with the Department of Natural Resources said he was pleased that the crowd of moose watchers kept a respectable and safe distance from the creature and praised the members of the Stellarton Police and the RCMP for their involvement and control of the situation.
DNR staff attempted to “motivate” the moose to return to the woods but said he just wasn’t having it. The moose, for his part, seemed perfectly content to enjoy his day in Stellarton, so much in fact he made it an overnight stay.
With the moose still present in the area on Sunday morning, DRN opted to conduct a removal of the animal and were able to lead him to a grassy circle near a TCH 104 off ramp. As the moose was considered a flight risk, RCMP officers stopped traffic for the safety of the animal and motorists.
Once confined, Nunn said the moose was tranquilized and moved to a trailer before being taken to a provincially protected woodland area. There and recovered from the tranquilizer, the moose wandered off “happily” to the woods where Nunn states “all is well.”
While moose are a common enough sight in Cape Breton, the mainland moose is an endangered species and members of its small population are a rare sight. Nunn said it is for this reason that DNR takes steps and works to take every precaution when it comes to the safety and well being of these animals.

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Carnival of Rainbows brings lots of smiles

NEW GLASGOW – A true celebration of life, Molly’s Carnival of Rainbows was a hit once again on Saturday with possibly a bigger turn out than ever before.
“It was amazing, more than what it was other years, I think,” said Jodi MacIvor, the founder of the carnival.
Molly’s Carnival of Rainbows took place at North Nova Education Centre. It was founded in memory of Molly MacIvor who passed away at age two.
It is meant as a celebration of life and to remind families to enjoy the time that they have together.
This year marked the tenth anniversary for the carnival, which is held in the NNEC gym.
“We weren’t sure about the slide and the photo booth but those were big hits,” said MacIvor with regard to the newest additions to the carnival. For the future, she would like to see those feature be a part of the celebrations every year.
So far the total fundraised is estimated to be about $5,000, although when The Advocate spoke to MacIvor they had not finished counting donations.
The proceeds from this year’s carnival will be going toward the Aberdeen Health Foundation.
For more information on the carnival or if you want to donate you can visit “mollys rainbows on Facebook, or the carnival website at http://www.mollysrainbows.ca.
“I appreciate everyone’s continued support,” said MacIvor. “It was just an amazing day.”

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Seniors health fair

PICTOU – The seniors of the New Horizons club in Pictou are welcoming in seniors from all over Pictou County to join in on their Seniors Health and Wellness fair.
The fair will be held at the New Horizons club in downtown Pictou on October 3with sessions happening at 10 a.m. and noon, as well as 1 and 3 p.m.
“Were hoping there will be a full parking lot,” said Terry Donovan, one of the organizers and a member of New Horizons.
The club members are welcoming Pictou County Residents that are 55 plus, or their care givers that may be interested in the information to join in on the educational day.
“A lot of people don’t have any idea where to go,” said Donovan. They are hoping that these resources will help direct people to services they need or allow them to ask questions they may have.
Some of the presenters include, VON services, Alzheimer’s society of Nova Scotia, exercise for Seniors, as well a falls prevention and personal emergency response. These are only some of the topics that will be covered however.
“It’s been a lot of organizing behind the scenes,” said Donovan.
“The focus is to provide seniors with relevant information to help them stay healthy or to deal with health issues they may be experiencing themselves or in their families.”

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Roy Bennett cited for local support

NEW GLASGOW – Roy Bennett is being saluted for his contributions to local hockey throughout much of the 20th century.
Bennett is being inducted posthumously in the builder category during ceremonies starting at 2 p.m. on Oct. 18 at the Westville Civic Building’s auditorium. He is among three builders, five athletes and one person in the media category being honoured at this year’s inductions.
“He was a fine man,” his son Richard Bennett said. “He was a very honourable man. He was such a hard worker and couldn’t stand laziness. He had a rough exterior but was a very sentimental fellow.”
Bennett referred to his father playing with the New Glasgow Shamrocks after moving to New Glasgow in 1900.
Roy Bennett was born in Hopewell Cape, N.B. and played on the famed Windsor Swastikas teams in 1911 and 1912.
“That was a pretty high caliber team,” Richard Bennett said. “Several players from the team went to the NHL.”
Of Roy Bennett’s passions, one of them was hockey and the time he operated the old Arena Rink near the East River and the New Glasgow Stadium after it opened in 1951.
“He got really big into hockey,” Richard Bennett said. “When you sat down at dinner for 17 years, you heard about hockey. He supported hockey like crazy. He was a supporter of kids and bought a lot of hockey gear.”
Richard Bennett recalled two incidents that underscored how his father gave kids a break.
The Arena Rink had a natural ice surface and along its sides on the river side were doors hinged at the top. They were opened through the night to let in cold air and closed during the day to preserve the ice.
Roy Bennett would wait until near the end of the first period and had one of the doors opened to allow kids in to watch the game at one end of the rink.
Besides running the rinks, Roy Bennett had some storefront businesses. He developed an interest in foot care and began a shuropody business, as well as a shoe store where he also sold hockey skates.
He observed one young hockey player at the rink struggling in his brother’s oversized skates and sized him for new skates at the store.
Roy Bennett also showed a sensitive side during the Second World War when saw the effects on young soldiers as they were grouped in New Glasgow before leaving by train for their postings.
“That really bothered him,” Richard Bennett said.
One of Roy Bennett’s major contributions was helping the town recruit the late John Brother MacDonald to become director of physical education at New Glasgow High School after MacDonald graduated from university.
At the time, he was New Glasgow’s mayor and school board chairman and convinced his colleagues to develop a physical education component tin New Glasgow.
MacDonald, for years, operated minor hockey and baseball programs.
“That’s a significant contribution by my father,” Richard Bennett said.

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Getting into those old hockey cards

The two large blue binders, holding well over 1,000 Toronto Maple Leafs hockey cards from as far back as the early 1930s, have an honoured place on a bookshelf in my office.
Though never forgotten, I hadn’t browsed through my cherished collection for a long time. That is, until these past couple weeks.
After reading Ken Reid’s new book, Hockey Card Stories – in preparation to writing last week’s column – I knew I had to dig out those albums and take another journey through their pages. Ah, the memories!
Reid, the Sportsnet Connected anchor from Pictou, revived my interest in a hobby that’s loved by many thousands of hockey followers.
My original card-collecting days in the early 1950s weren’t very serious. Sure, I bought packages of cards at a neighbourhood store, the ones that always included a piece of terrible-tasting bubble gum. They didn’t cost much in those times, and we kids traded them among ourselves. Sometimes we even attached them to our bicycle wheels to make a noise.
That collection didn’t last. When I went to university in Antigonish, the cards vanished on cleaning day, never to be seen again.
Fast-forward to the late 1980s. By then, our younger son was into card collecting and, by that time, cards were really popular. Card stores were everywhere, and card shows were held on a regular basis.
I was accompanying the young fellow on his card-buying excursions and, unintentionally, I became fascinated by the many cards that were available. Being a Leafs fan since childhood, Toronto cards were the ones that caught my fascination.
I started buying.
That lasted just a few years, until our son followed my old route to the campus in Antigonish. However, in that short time I was able to do a pretty good job of obtaining Leafs and more Leafs.
So back to those two albums.
The oldest cards in my collection are a rare two inches square, labelled “Hockey Picture Gum” and were from the 1933-34 season, before I was born. I only managed to get three from that year – Leafs stars King Clancy, Hap Day and Red Horner. Even then, the cards had valuable player information on the back.
I obtained six cards from a couple of seasons later – Syl Apps, Horner, Busher Jackson, Nick Metz, Jack Shill and Bob Davidson. The Davidson card was of particular personal interest because, when I was scouting for the Leafs in the 1960s, Davidson was Toronto’s chief scout, the guy who hired me and got me valuable connections with the Leafs organization.
Jumping ahead a couple of decades, seven cards from 1952-53 are interesting because they were much smaller than the standard size. Of those, I cherish the Teeder Kennedy card the most because he was my favourite Leaf when I started rooting for the team as an eight-year-old. Others from that year are Sid Smith, Harry Watson, Howie Meeker, Ron Stewart, Bob Solinger and Bobby Baun.
It was in 1953-54 that the cards were enlarged to the size that became standard. The Leafs I have from that year included Kennedy, Smith, Watson, George Armstrong, Tod Sloan, Eric Nesterenko, Fern Flaman, Jim Morrison and Jim Thomson.
All familiar names, right?
I certainly can’t list every card here, but I find it intriguing now that I was able to get so many cards from the 1950s. There must have been a great many sold during that era to obtain them three decades later.
As I turn the pages, so many more memorable Leafs are there. From the last half of the ’50s, for example, there are such players as Billy Harris, Harry Lumley, Joe Klukay, Parker MacDonald, Brian Cullen, Rudy Migay, Hugh Bolton and, yes, Tim Horton.
Those of us Toronto fans who have fond memories of the 1960s, when the team won four Stanley Cups, can get goose bumps looking at the various cards of Frank Mahovlich, Dick Duff, Johnny Bower, Horton, Allan Stanley, Bob Pulford, Carl Brewer, Red Kelly, Bert Olmstead, Dave Keon, Eddie Shack, Kent Douglas, Ron Ellis, Norm Ullman, Bob Nevin, Jim Pappin, Terry Sawchuk and their colourful coach, Punch Imlach.
It was the mid-1990s when my card-collecting son left for St. FX and, with him gone, I stopped attending card shows and visiting card shops. But from the 1960s through to the 1993-94 season, my collection includes all available Leafs.
Some of the players’ cards still bring back positive vibes, guys like Darryl Sittler, Lanny McDonald, Paul Henderson, Errol Thompson, Tiger Williams, Borje Salming, Rick Vaive and Wendel Clark.
But for every one of those names, there are many more forgettable ones. Who really remembers former Leafs such as Dave Dunn, Stan Weir, Jiri Crha, Jim Korn, Bill Root, Rick Lanz and Dave Reid? And those are only the ones with four-letter surnames.
There are cards in the later years, though, that draw my attention. For instance, goaltender Ken Wregget, who was a Leaf in the 1980s. His parents are our neighbours in Dartmouth. And who wouldn’t stop to see what Bruce Boudreau, one of the top current NHL coaches, looked like when he was playing?
The sad part of looking through the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s is the fact, as the players changed, so did the Toronto fortunes. Yes, 1966-67, the year of the last Leafs championship, was a very, very long time ago. Even looking at old cards can drive home that reality. That year showing with my initials in my email address is not a coincidence. It’s there for good reason.
Another NHL season is soon to begin and, though Leafs fans, as always, hope for a change in fortunes, it really doesn’t look all that promising.
But thanks to Ken Reid and his new book, I’m glad I got my hockey cards out for another happy stroll through the good times.

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Pictou County para-athletes try water, oars

PICTOU – Local para-athletes and coaches from Pictou County participated on Sept. 6 in a “Come and Try Para-Rowing Event” at the North Star Rowing Club on Lake Banook in Dartmouth.
The event was organized with Row Nova Scotia and facilitated by several of their volunteers with travel assistance provided by Let Abilities Work Partnership Society (LAWPS) and Active Pictou County.
Coach Allan Collie worked closely to organize the event with Peter Webster, president of Row Nova Scotia and Katherine Harman, associate professor in the School of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University.
“Everyone involved, participants, coaches and those hosting from Row N.S. judged it as a highly successful event,” Collie said. “Our participants greatly appreciated the opportunity to try rowing. The experience was one that we will remember for a long time and has opened us all up to such new opportunities. We all agree that rowing is an activity that we would like to continue. We will now seek to arrange a way for us to do so in the future, either here in Pictou County or at the Antigonish Rowing Club facility.”
Para-rowing is an activity new to the group but in line with the direction the Let Abilities Work Partnership Society has adopted.
“Several years ago, with United Way and Wellness grants assistance, we were able to restart archery for all in the county as well as fund a wheelchair accessible washroom at the New Caledonian Curling Club in Pictou to enable stick curling,” said LAWPS secretary Phillip Fisher, who also coaches with the group. “More recently, we started the para-archery group that we’ve been successfully working with to develop and, this past year, we’ve been working with Rae Gunn of Active Pictou County to investigate other suitable activities for people with disabilities.”
Para-rowing is not new to the rowing community. Previously named ‘adaptive rowing’, it has been offered at many clubs around the world for more than years.
Basic techniques of para-rowing are the same as rowing for the able-bodied. Participants learn the elements of the stroke: drive, recovery, catch, and finish and oar handling.
The general learning curve is comparable to any rower and participants experience the same thrill at discovering our sport.
Individuals delivering para-rowing programs do much of the ‘adapting’ of the sport through modifications to equipment, coaching techniques and program structure.
Para rowing is sweep rowing or sculling for people with physical or intellectual disabilities, including hearing impairment, paraplegia, quadriplegia, Down’s syndrome, blindness, visual impairment, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and spina bifida. There are three sport classes offered within para rowing, they are: legs, trunk and arms (LTA); trunk, and arms (TA) and arms, and shoulders (AS).
Athletes competing in para-rowing do so in one of the three sport classes. The LTA boat class is further broken down into the following subclasses: physical disability (LTA-PD), visual impairment (LTA-VI) and intellectual disability (LTA-ID).

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Dunn wins Mirimichi feature

SYLVESTER – Nine point one seven seconds.
That’s all Tim Dunn needs to catch an adrenaline rush.
The Pictou County drag racer recently competed in the Fall Brawl at the Miramichi Drag Way. Dunn has been racing for about six years now, taking over from his father when his reflexes started to decline. In his career, he has competed in about 100 rounds of racing.
“It’s just fun, pretty impressive stuff to see,” said Dunn. “Everyone’s pretty nice to you there too.”
The type of drag racing that Dunn competes in is called heads up racing, where the fastest car ultimately wins.
“It’s a pretty competitive sport,” said Dunn.
With Tim Dunn racing the car his father Barry Dunn, who has raced since 1967, takes care of the car to keep it in running shape.
“It was a full field,” said Barry, talking about the latest race. “We qualified number one and won the race.”
For Barry it’s the competition that brings the excitement to the sport, and keeps him busy working away nearly every day on the car to keep it in top shape and upgrade parts according to what the competition is like.
“I’m at it all the time, probably every day,” said Barry.
The racing car is a 1978 Malibu that Barry has had since 1996.
“We’ve been picking away at it since,” he said, “pretty near every race you’ve got to go faster.”
The sport itself is a “family affair” said Dunn. His mother and sister both help out with statistics, as well as support. They also have some help in the pits from Lindsey Holliday.
Barry has just one piece of advice for those thinking about competing:
“If they are interested in it at all they should do it.”

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Culture Days kick off this week

NEW GLASGOW – The Town of New Glasgow’s Culture Days program is included among more than 7,500 free activities that are registered to take place in over 825 communities across Canada as part of the fifth anniversary of Culture Days, September 26-28.
“New Glasgow has been part of Culture Days since its beginnings five years ago and we are delighted to continue to celebrate and showcase the breadth of cultural talent in our community,” says New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan.
“We recognize the importance of the arts and culture sector and its significant impact on the social, economic and recreational pillars of our community. New Glasgow is a community rich in talent and cultural diversity. These strengths contribute significantly towards making our town and region vibrant and enriched.”
Events in New Glasgow will kick off one day early with an Open Studio and Demonstration with the 2014 NSCAD-New Glasgow Artists in Residence Jason Desnoyers and Karolina-Anna Hajna, both ceramists, on Thursday, 6-7:30 p.m. in the NSCAD-New Glasgow Com-munity Residency Studio, behind the fire station.
At the same time there will be an open house hosted by New Glasgow Race Relations and Anti- Discrimination Committee in the Council Chambers. This will be an opportunity to hear more about the town’s Action Plan and to hear personal reflections from members of the Action Plan Committee. Coun. Henderson Paris, chair says, “We are pleased to be able to celebrate our first anniversary of the town’s action plan by coming together as a community and by promoting our cultural diversity.”
The formal Culture Days schedule begins Friday when Creative Pictou County takes over Glasgow Square Theatre, Eventide Art Hub and the New Glasgow Library Community Room to offer an art show 3-9 p.m. At Glasgow Square, artists such as Mike Vienneau, Evan Curley, Leah Vienneau and Chelsea Sutherland as well as others will be paired with live performance from Pat Spaulding and Layne Greene. Photography will be the focus at the library with works by Tony DeCoste, Heather MacDonald and Heidi Sinclair and more. Eventide showcase Artist in Residence Brad Sutton has his “Overgrowth” collection on display.
Performing Saturday at the farmers market for New Glasgow Culture Days celebrations will be singer/songwriter Layne Greene and fiddler Hannah Fraser. The market also features local artists, artisans and producers.
Get Your Art On with Creative Pictou County continues Sunday with demonstrations by local artists 1-3 p.m. Artists including Jennifer Hatt, Pat Spaulding, Mike Vienneau, Layne Greene as well as the NSCAD-New Glasgow artists in residence.
Also on Sunday, The Celtic Circle will feature Billy Bell & the Senior Comedians, a musical and comedy, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at 195 Forbes Street.
Other Culture Days events in Pictou County include the annual Fusion Festival on Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., presented by the Pictou County Multicultural Association at the Nova Scotia Community College, Pictou Campus in Stellarton.
All local Culture Days events are free. Visit www.newglasgow.ca for an electronic version of the New Glasgow Culture Days rack card and schedule.
More than 5.5 million Canadians have participated in 25,000 Culture Days activities hosted by 4,440 Canadian artists, cultural organizations and groups since 2010.

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… Tickets available for Contact East

The deCoste Centre in Pictou will be a rockin’, a poppin’, a folkin’, a bluegrassin’, tappin’ and a actin’ this weekend as it plays host to Contact East, the Atlantic Presenters Association’s annual talent and industry trade show.
Laurie Gillis, executive director of the Atlantic Presenters Association, explained that the selection of Pictou and the deCoste Centre as hosts was an easy one. The show floats from province to province and was due to take place in Nova Scotia, however, the deCoste Centre stepped up and won the APA over with their enthusiasm.
“It really makes it easier for us when the community is on board and engaged,” Gillis said.
She explained that while the event is business driven, it’s very much a laid back affair. “It’s really an informal event,” Gillis said.
“It’s very causal. Artists, management, and agents mix together the whole weekend. There’s always networking going on, business being done. We have formalized times where people can sit and talk about booking and fees and that type of thing. There’s a real vibe of business but in a real kind of casual, informal way. Most of these folks know each other so it’s a little bit of a homecoming.”
With musical, dramatic and dance talent from across the Atlantic region and booking agents and theatre managers from across the nation as well as New England, North Carolina, and the United Kingdom, the deCoste will be a regular hub of industry hobnobbing. The event’s talent showcases are open to the public with tickets priced at $15 per showcase.
“We do five showcases throughout the weekend,” Gillis said, “but each showcase features five, six or seven artists. You get snippets, 20 minutes of what each artist does. And they’re not just musicians, we also feature artists from theatre and dance disciplines.”
The musical talent at these showcases, Gillis said, is a mixed variety of top notch performers ranging form pop to bluegrass and many points in between, which offers ticket holders a tasty sampling experience.
“It’s a unique experience in that you buy a ticket for a showcase and you get to see five completely different artists who are at the top of their game,” Gillis said.
“And you might get a little preview of what Troy (Greencorn) is bringing to the deCoste for the next season.”
Gillis explained that while the tickets were priced to allow music fans to share the experience, their presence is also beneficial to the show’s success.
“It helps us, too, to have members of the general public in the room seeing the artists preform because our delegates get to see how an audience will react to the talent they’re going to book,” Gillis said. Having an audience present helps complete the theatre experience, she said, for both talent and bookers and allows performers to be seen in their natural, eventual environment.

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Producer plans to put county on film map

Hali-wood’s firm grip on the Nova Scotian film production scene may soon be loosened.
With Pictou County-based production company Bruised Productions’ signing of Memorandum of Understanding for a five-year multi-film production deal with Ontario based 3D International Media and China based Fantasy Media Group, the local scene may change.
Bruised Productions founder Steve Brazil discussed the workings of the deal and what it all means for Pictou County in conversation with The Advocate.
“These are going to be features,” Brazil said. “These are going to be movie-movies. (Fantasy) want LA stars – we’ll do a supporting cast from Canada – and they want it in 3D for the Chinese market. They want the top actors from LA, they have deep pockets so I want to bring all that.”
Brazil said Fantasy Media is interested in projects in the sci-fi and action adventure genres as well as more intellectual, psychological chillers.
“They don’t want slasher flicks,” Brazil said. The horror films would see terror and tension take place over gore and violence for the sake of violence.
Fantasy, Brazil said, are ready to bankroll things but are looking for right ideas to get behind.
“We’ve given them a number of ideas from what they asked and they’ve given us some guidelines,” Brazil said. “It’s a unique position for a Canadian producer to have backing before they go and look for extra funding. It’s all up to me to deliver. That’s a good thing, but it’s also daunting as well.”
While the films will have Chinese backing, they are not intended exclusively for the Chinese market, rather these will be North American films tailored to suit Chinese tastes.
“It’s Chinese backing but with English speaking actors and an English script,” Brazil said. “If there happens to be a Chinese character then there is a Chinese character but it isn’t a requisite, they haven’t said ‘make him Chinese.’ Because of the calibre of actors and directors they want it’s going to be a pretty easy sell.”
Brazil, an Irishman by birth, a Canadian of 10 years, and an experienced documentary producer, has been based in and calling Pictou County home for a couple of years now. Landing this deal with Fantasy and his colleague Bill White of 3D International, he said, is a game changer and will open the door to big possibilities.
“The deal arrived and I said, ‘Alright, make the most of it for Pictou County,’ so keep as much of the money as close to New Glasgow as possible, that’s my plan,” Brazil said.
Once greenlit, a film may see upwards of 200 people put to work, from office staff to caterers, grips and set builders. Many more would be required as background extras once filming begins.
While talks in early stages would have seen the deal be more Ontario-centric, Nova Scotia’s film tax credit program was viewed as beneficial to production and those benefits increase when production takes place outside of the Metro area. The stumbling block in that regard has been the lack of production and post production facilities outside of the Halifax area – a gap in the market that Brazil plans to seize.
“I’m also in talks with getting a post production house built here to service the 3D footage we’re going to be developing instead of sending the money to South Africa, LA or a production house in Toronto,” Brazil said. “I’m looking at a few buildings, I can’t say more about that but I’m progressively moving forward on that because of the Fantasy deal. It’s all moving forward.”
Brazil is hopeful to be operational by Christmas and within 16 months see a full time staff of around 25 administrative and creatives in house, with employment numbers subject to increase per production demands.
“It’s going to be great for here,” Brazil said, “It’ll give everything a lift, it’ll put a focus on New Glasgow, on Pictou County. Everything. That’s what I want for here.”
The MOU between Bruised Productions, 3D International, and Fantasy Media Group was announced this month and will see the production of wide-release feature films produced in the county within the next five years.

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Put pressure on government to prevent blasting at mine

To the Editor:
Pioneer Coal has made a formal application to blast at the Stellarton Strip mine. As many know the so called “public consultation” was a joke. I believe there were 27 people from Stellarton. This is becuase it was poorly advertised and this is what they hoped to achieve so they could say nobody was against it.
Well the next meeting over 100 people showed up and again this was short notice as a lot of people still didn’t know about it. We have a committee of concerned citizens working together at this time. However we need the communities to help us fight this issue.
This is not about jobs as no jobs will be lost or gained by Pioneer Coal blasting. He will of course make millions and some out of town company will too, but no local jobs.
We do not want this blasting for the following reasons:
– The blasting will be once a week for the duration of the mine which the extension runs til 2021
– We have the G.R. Saunders School so close they have to wipe coal dust of the windowsills now. Think what this is doing to their health as it has been proven coal dust is bad on the respiratory system
– We have many old underground workings that could be damaged not to mention our homes and properties
– We have witnessed what the people of Cape Breton went through when Pioneer Coal was allowed to blast. Even though it is always under strict rules and regulations, this doesn’t mean the actual blasting is acceptable to the people actually living near them.
Finally as with Northern Pulp the Dept. of Environment does not enforce its rules and regulations at the Stellarton strip mine either. So we know this will be no different if it is approved. There will be nobody to watch over this blasting operation and if anything happens there will be no compensation or recourse to the average citizen.
Please join our fight to stop this amendment from going through. It doesn’t affect just Stellarton, it affects everyone in our community.
E-mail Minister Delorey (minenv@gov.ns.ca) or the deputy minister (codye@gov.ns.ca), Mr. Peter Geddes (GEDDESPI@gov.ns.ca), call your local MLA and put pressure on them to stand up for us on this issue.
Lori Lannon
Stellarton

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Reader says word used was racist

To the Editor:
With reference to the speech by Dr. Dan Reid at the free concert to support the Clean Up at the Northern Pulp Mill: I took exception to the usage, employed by Dr. Reid, of the term, “Chinaman”, when referring to the owner of the mill.
This term, when speaking of ‘a Chinese individual’, is viewed by the Chinese community as both racist and very offensive.
It would have been hoped that by 2014, this term, which is the equivalent of the inappropriate usage of the “N” word, would have fallen into disuse.
Ruby Wong Young
Pictou
(A supporter of the Mill Clean Up)

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Doctors NS echo Heart and Stroke Foundation; cut back on added sugar

To the Editor:
I recently read the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s (HSF) position statement on sugar. As the president of Doctors Nova Scotia, an association that represents a united voice on health care issues such as this, I am pleased to see the efforts of the HSF to better the health and lives of so many Canadians.
Excess sugar intake is a serious issue in our country. According to the HSF, Canadians currently consume more than 13 per cent of their calorie intake from added sugars. Consuming excess sugar is linked to severe health issues like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, stroke and cancer.
As a cardiac surgeon, I know how important diet and exercise are for good heart health.
I also see the negative effects poor diet has on my patients’ health every day. In fact, up to 80 per cent of early heart disease and stroke can be prevented by adopting healthy behaviours which include eating a healthy diet. Limiting the amount of sugar in your diet is a positive step toward improving your overall health.
Additionally, heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death among Canadians, accounting for a shocking 27.3 per cent of deaths every year.
Today, the HSF is recommending that Canadians limit their intake of added or “free” sugars to no more than 10 per cent, or ideally less than five per cent, of their total calorie intake.
The largest contribution of sugar in our diet is sugary beverages.
Instead, drink water, low fat milk, eat whole foods as a source of natural sugars, and read the nutrition fact table when purchasing packaged foods.
I commend the HSF for stepping up and becoming the first organization in the country to provide this concrete guidance.
To learn more about how you can reduce your excess sugar intake, visit www.heartandstroke.com
Dr. John Sullivan, MD, FRCSC
President
Doctors Nova Scotia

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Crosswalks and lights are needed by the Wellness Centre for safety of all

To The Editor:
Is the safety of the taxpayers and pedestrians going to and from the Wellness Centre not the concern of all councillors?
When the Wellness Centre was built out in the middle of nowhere, there was no thought given to a bus service to and from the center. Plus the fact there are no sidewalks on MacGregor Avenue – so why would the superintendent of highways tell municipal staff for the pedestrians to go down and use the cross walk at the intersection that is very poorly marked? And besides, there are no sidewalks on the MacGregor side. So that is putting the people at a much greater danger than a crosswalk at the entrance of the Wellness Centre to the business across the road.
And as for the lights under the overpass, there is no sidewalk there, just a patch that is over grown with weeds that is very unsafe for any one to use. So for the safety of all, it should be cleaned up and a proper sidewalk put in with lights. For what is the most important – a person’s life or a sidewalk with lighting?
Now, if council and the Dept. of Highways are doing their jobs they will rethink this. For after all, the county is always looking for new business and jobs for the county. So asking for a crosswalk is not a big deal for signs can be put in place making drivers aware there is a cross walk ahead.
Loyd Murray
New Glasgow

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Scottish vote offers lessons

People throughout Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada and the wider world community owe Scotland an enormous debt for the democratic exercise that led to and will follow last week’s vote on the country’s independence.
The vote on whether Scotland should be an independent country favoured remaining in the United Kingdom by a margin of roughly 55 per cent to 45 per cent. The result suggests the ‘Yes’ side never had enough votes to win independence once the undecided voters cast their ballots. It leaves many people breathing easier, but no one should be deluded into thinking the issue and the calls for political, economic and social fairness that the campaign’s supporters felt could only come with independence have been resolved.
This is only the beginning.
A ‘Yes’ would have caused a protracted divorce settlement. A ‘No’ vote means a process leading to some kind of a post-nuptial agreement. After some 300 years in the same union with England – and for less time with Northern Ireland and Wales – that is not a lot to ask.
The fact that those latter countries should want and will have earned the same concessions that will no doubt be granted Scotland is moot. The discussion is long overdue.
The connection with Pictou County is a strong one.
Dr. Thomas McCulloch sought fairness through education. The result was his founding first of Pictou Academy and later Dalhousie College in response to the English notion in Nova Scotia nearly 200 years ago that only Anglicans merited a formal education. That’s the debt we owe McCulloch, but it reflects enlightened thinking that produced philosopher David Hume – and Scotland’s Noble Bard, Robert Burns.
English conduct has by times left Scots feeling persecuted, dismissed and demeaned. As an example, there is English writer Samuel Johnson’s definition for oats as “a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.”
Scots’ quest for equality and fairness has stood in sharp contrast to the class system in England that still exists, albeit not so strong and pervasive.
The independence campaign in Scotland included comparisons with Quebec’s relationship within Canada.
Quebec’s referendums in 1980 and 1995 were based on weak questions about a mandate to negotiate sovereignty association. There was emotion and clatter out of all proportion to the questions being asked, and it suggests what few remaining Quebecers actually pine for independence aren’t made of the stuff Scots are to pose the direct question that was voted on last Thursday.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk to one another – a discussion free of rancor or riot as the Scots for the most part demonstrated.
Scots have a history of setting a good example. Their independence vote is the latest one.

Steve Goodwin

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Kids First group seeking funds to fence in garden

SYLVESTER – Kids First has a problem with a garden they’ve been growing this year.
Deer have been enjoying what they’ve been growing, so a group is trying to raise funds to fence in the garden.
It may be an electric fence, possibly solar powered, so that there will be no need for any other power source.
The existing fence is getting shabby, partly from the times deer have entered the garden to forage on the crops
The garden is an important tool for teaching children of various ages how food is grown and how nutritious local home-grown food is.
Kids First is an association that helps parents and their children up to six years old in ways that include the garden project.
“A lot of students are learning about gardens,” says Debbie Turner, co-ordinator for Community Action Program for Children (CAPC). “We’re trying to teach parents where food comes from and eating fresh food.”
The garden sits on land owned by Ron Christenson of Christenson Farm in Sylvester.
“Ron’s been fabulous to let us use it and offer his gardening expertise,” Turner said.
One of the fundraisers for the fence is a raffle for a wide screen television.

ABOUT KIDS FIRST
In 1994, Kids First Association was developed from a dream of a low-income women’s group, Taking Control Making Changes. These women envisioned a place where they and their children could come together in a safe non-judgemental atmosphere to support and learn from each other. Today Kids First Association has grown to offer programs and services to families with children up to six years old in Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough Counties. With over 1000 families participating in our programs Kids First plays an significant role in service delivery to families and children in our communities.

ABOUT CAPC
The Community Action Program for Children (CAPC) is a community-based children’s program delivered by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). It was established in 1993 and is jointly managed with the provinces and territories.

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Time to sink or swim in Pictou

Pictou businesses are banding together to assist and encourage new businesses to open here.
The Pictou Business and Marketing Society has announced a new initiative to develop business opportunities around Pictou.
The “Sink or Swim” competition is a partnership between various enterprises around the community to launch a new business in town. In a twist on raising start-up funds, local businesses have agreed to pool their resources to make this project a reality.
Together, businesses are contributing in-kind products and services to a prize package worth $10,000. Components of the package include hardware, graphic design and printing, rental space, spa services, computer and web services and legal services. These items would ordinarily represent large and challenging expenses for a business just starting out.
People interested in participating in this event are being asked to prepare a business plan summary of their idea. All entries will be held in confidence and judged by a panel of distinguished and experienced business leaders from the community.
Applicants are invited to submit their entry on or before October 15, 2014.
More information about the competition can be found at the Pictou Advocate on George Street, Proudfoot’s Home Hardware, RBC, Scotiabank, Mrs. MacGregor’s Tearoom or Lucas Technology & Analytics. Information is also available by emailing sinkorswim@gopictou.ca.

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Scouters enjoy reunion

MILLSTREAM – Members of the local scouting community came together Saturday afternoon at Camp Smith to laugh at their memories, good and bad.
“This camp used to be a real beehive,” said Ken Rideout, a former leader, speaking about Camp Smith.
Many of the former leaders that were present remember the days when the annual Camporee brought scot troops from all over Pictou County and beyond. The event, held at Camp Smith, allowed the campers to test the skills they had learned all year and maybe learn a few tricks from other campers or leaders.
The former leaders and scouters spent the afternoon eating corn and enjoying a barbecue that was donated for the event by Sobeys.
“We had a reunion out here two years ago,” said Rideout. “In that two years we lost five scouters that we know of.”
Rideout and others recalled one member of the Pictou County Scouting family that is sorely missed: a man who went by the nickname ‘Scare Bear.’
“If all of us here had a wish it would be that Pictou County would become more active in scouting,” said Bill Hedd
“If the kids put down their gadgets they would realize they don’t need them,” Hedd said.

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Celtic Circle presenting a play to get ‘Hooked’ on

Seven monologues, one woman, and no props.
Hooked the play will be making its way to Celtic Circle Saturday, Sept. 27.
The play, which is a one woman show featuring Nicky Guadagni, is based on a book of prose poems by Carolyn Smart.
Doors open at 7 p.m. with the play beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be found at Big Al’s, The White Lotus as well as by calling the Celtic Circle.
Guadagni began doing the play by putting on house shows, creating Hooked in House. She paired up with a caterer and would do a different monologue in each room of the house with corresponding dishes.
“The evening became this wonderful evening of entertainment,” said Guadagni, who is originally from Montreal.
After performing the show in houses for some time Guadagni decided that she was ready for the next step.
“I decided I wanted to make a stage show out of Hooked,” Guadagni said.
After receiving a grant, the actor travelled to different international film festivals before getting ready to perform at Toronto’s theatre Passe Muraille which she will be doing in spring 2015. For now, Guadagni is looking forward to putting the show on in New Glasgow.
“The reason it’s called hooked is because all the women are hooked on a man drugs, alcohol and sometimes all three,” said Guadagni.
She fell in love with the text, which she says is provocative and very well written with rich language to keep the audience interested.
“I never get tired of doing it,” she said. For the actor, doing a play with no props on stage with her keeps her honest she said, and has made her a much better actor.
“The audience watches me transform into each character,” said Guadagni.
Out of all seven of the characters, Guadagni said that the audience usually finds Unity Mitford one of the most fascinating figures due to her story, but if she had to pick a favourite it would be Elizabeth Smart. Because each of these women were real people, the production also has an added historical value which Guadagni said sometimes leads to people going home to do their own research on these interesting characters after the play.
Unity Mitford and Elizabeth Smart are only two of the characters in the play though, there is also Myra Hindley, Zelda Fitzgerald, Dora Carrington, Carson Mccullers as well as Jane Bowles.
“It’s very different than anything they have ever experienced,” Guadagni said about what she has heard from audiences, “there’s no huge production value to distract them from the text.”

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Jones delivers optimism to anti-bullying rally

The room was roaring with chants of “we are not afraid! We are not afraid!” Posters with pink on one side and rainbow colours of the other held high in the air.
North Nova Education Centre played host to an anti-bullying presentation Thursday which featured Scott Jones as the guest speaker.
Beginning the presentation Jones had the crowd help him complete what was a small dream for him: Lead the crowd in the wave, with everyone shouting “Don’t be afraid” at the end.
He went on to speak about the beginning of the “don’t be afraid” campaign and what the meaning behind those words is.
“I think it’s really important for this age group,” said Jones about educating high school students to not be afraid of anything; whether it be bullying or something they want to accomplish.
“The whole thing was pretty awesome,” said Jones admitting that this is likely the biggest crowd he has spoken in front of on the subject. There were approximately 1,000 people in the gymnasium at the time.
“I was very pleased with it; it was our first assembly as a new school,” said NNEC principal Peter White, referring to the fact that the school now plays hosts to grades nine as well as 10, 11, and 12.
“I’m hopeful that they see Scott Jones’ example of optimism,” said White.
As for the message that Jones wants to spread, he’s hoping that the students and anyone who may have watched the live stream of the event remembers this:
“You just have to talk about the things that scare you,” Jones said, “if that’s a bully, if that’s being yourself, it’s important to talk about it because when you talk about it, you let it go you kind of get rid of the hold that it has on you .”

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Sears pedalers roll through town on fundraising ride

The seventh Annual Sears National Kids Cancer Ride or SNKCR passed through the county last week, arriving undercover of the night Thursday and rolling out towards Halifax after an early breakfast.
The cyclists left White Rock, B.C., on September 4 with the ride ultimately finishing in Point Pleasant Park in Halifax just 17 days later.
The ride’s fundraising goes 100 per cent towards the charity while all of the costs are covered by the sponsors.
Rider Steve Chapman said the core team consisted of 11 riders with many joining relay-style for stints as they crossed the country. Riders typically rode 150-175 km per day and visited as many Sears locations as scheduling and logistics would allow.
Often, as it was here in Pictou County, the Sears locations were used as base camp for the night and Chapman said some of the stores even allowed the team to lodge indoors in the bedding departments. Other nights they made camp outside Holiday Inn locations, a company which also sponsors the tour.
The tour was accompanied by three RVs, a support van and two 18 wheelers – the trailers of which were packed with bunks.
Chapman said while the ride is challenging, Northern Ontario and New Brunswick were especially challenging. The Prairies, meanwhile, are not as flat as legend would have it and are home to almost diabolical winds.
“You can either work your ass off trying to get some where,” Chapman said of grainy Canada, “or you coast.”
These challenges aside, the riders expressed the view that weather was the real villain while anywhere sunny with a good tail wind was an enjoyable place to ride. Additionally, while the country as a whole was a beautiful place to pedal, PEI stood out as a favourite.
SNKCR 2014 wrapped up in Halifax on Sunday bringing to an end a 3,000 km journey. The ride raised $7 million since 2008.

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MacLean puts wheels in motion to finish 106 km ride for SPCA

Local cyclist Lloyd McLean completed another bike tour on Sunday. This one was for the SPCA.
As the sun was just rising, at 7:30 a.m. he began his Big Bike Ride Fundraiser for the Pictou County SPCA. He was joined by four other cyclists in Oxford, three of whom would travel the entire distance to Pictou with him.
The tour followed the Trans Canada trail all the way to Pictou, where it connects to the Jitney Trail. Finishing the ride at 3 p.m. at the Pictou Tim Hortons it took a total of seven and a half hours to complete.
“We were actually ahead of schedule,” said McLean. Between Oxford and Pictou, McLean stopped in Tatamagouche and Scotsburn to rehydrate and refuel, as well as pick up a few people looking to join the ride.
In total, McLean racked up 106 kilometers on the journey, while riding his fat tire bike, which has extra large tires making it perfect for trail rides.
“It’s just the duration on the trail,” said MacLean about what he personally found the most difficult part of the ride. He explained that the gravel on the trail is much different and can be much more difficult to ride on, especially when trying to gain speed.
“We did all the fundraising before the event,” said McLean, who raised more than $2,100 for the SPCA.
All funds from the event will be going to the Pictou County SPCA to help out with the cost of a new septic system.
The total cost will be almost $9,000, and with a $3,000 grant from the County, and the money from the Bike Ride, they still require over $3,000. Anyone who would like to donate, can do so at anytime by visiting their website at spcans.ca and their donation can be directed to our own Pictou County Branch.
“It’s actually the first time I’ve done anything for the SPCA,” said McLean about the fundraising venture. Although he has no connections to the organization, he does have two dogs he adopted from the shelter.
“I am happy to have the opportunity to take biking which is something I love to do, and use that to help a wonderful charity such as the SPCA, especially with the immediate financial challenge they are faced with.”
As for his next biking venture, McLean said, “Watch out for something next year.”

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