New Heritage Haldimand Committee Looks Forward To Preserving County’s Built Heritage

Haldimand County is pleased to announce the newly appointed members to the 2018 – 2022  Heritage Haldimand Committee.

Members are appointed by Haldimand County Council to advise and assist Council on matters relating to Parts IV and V of the Ontario Heritage Act. Pursuant to statutory roles and responsibilities as noted under Section 28 of the Act, Heritage Haldimand will assist and advise Haldimand County Council on the conservation of the community’s cultural heritage resources and provide guidance on the conservation of its cultural heritage through planning, education, and stewardship. There are 42 designated heritage properties in Haldimand County.

The newly elected Chair is Ann Baldwin, while David Marshall continues in his role as Vice Chair. The remaining Committee members include Sylvia Weaver, Angela Wallace, Kathy Blott, Cherilyn and Bob Gibson, Betsy McBurney and Haldimand County representative Councillor John Metcalfe.

Heritage Haldimand members have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in any areas including heritage conservation, construction, historical research and most importantly a desire to assist with the preservation of the built heritage of the County. The Heritage Haldimand Committee looks forward to creating a plan for the future direction of heritage in Haldimand and will be identifying actions to carry out over the next four years.

Photo (from left to right): Ann Baldwin, Chair; Sylvia Weaver and Council representative John Metcalfe pose in front of the Canfield Black Settlement marker.

Call For Entries – Haldimand County’s 23rd Annual Juried Art Exhibition

Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre has issued a call for submissions to Haldimand County’s 23rd Annual Juried Art Exhibition.

The Juried Art Exhibition is open to established or emerging artists working in all media including (but not limited to) drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, ceramic, sculpture and mixed media.

Works of art completed within the last three years are eligible for entry and will be received at Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre, 80 Caithness Street, Caledonia during regular business hours Tuesday, May 7 through Saturday, May 25. An entry fee of $25.00 per artist will be charged; up to three pieces may be presented for the Jury’s consideration.

The 23rd Annual Juried Art Show will run at Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre May 30 through June 27, 2019 with an opening reception and awards presentation to be held Thursday, May 30 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.

Entry forms are available online at and at Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre.

For more information about the Juried Art Exhibition contact the Centre by phone at 905-765-3134 email:

Haldimand County Public Library Hosting 7th Annual Poetry Contest

Haldimand County Public Library invites residents of all ages to get creative and participate in its 7th annual poetry contest, to be held throughout the month of April. April 2019 marks the 21st anniversary of National Poetry Month being recognized in Canada, which celebrates poetry and the important role it plays in Canadian culture.

This year, the library’s poetry contest theme is My Town, My Home, and residents are encouraged to write and submit an original, unpublished poem of any style surrounding this theme. Entry forms, a full list of rules and submission details can be obtained on the library’s website or at any library branch. This year, poems may also be submitted online.

Submissions will be accepted during the month of April and entered to win cash prizes in one of the following categories:

  • Primary – Kindergarten to Gr. 3
  • Junior – Gr. 4 to Gr. 6
  • Intermediate – Gr. 7 to Gr. 10
  • Senior – Gr. 11 – 12
  • Adult – age 18+

Judging will take place at the end of April by a panel of judges. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded in each category. First prize will receive $50, second prize will receive $35 and third prize will receive $20. Winners, their families and friends will be invited to attend the April Poetry Contest Awards Ceremony to enjoy poetry readings and light refreshments; a date and location for the ceremony will be announced towards the end of the contest.

Individuals with further questions about the 7th Annual April Poetry Contest may call or visit their local library branch. Branch hours and contact numbers can be found at To stay connected with the library, ‘like’ them on Facebook for updates on programming, special events and more.

Haldimand County Museum & Archives Launching New Exhibit And More This April

This April, members of the public are invited to create their own elaborate fascinator hat, enjoy a proper Royal tea, celebrate the roaring twenties and explore a brand new exhibit at HCMA. All events run from 1p.m. to 3p.m. at 8 Echo St. in Cayuga unless otherwise specified. Registration for paid events may be completed online via or at any County office using the code provided.

April 4 – Exhibit: Flood, Fire and Fury

This fascinating exhibit explores the many disasters that have happened in Haldimand County including the great flood of 1930, the crippling snowstorm of 1977 and the Hagersville tire fire in 1990. Learn about these notable events and how the community rallied to recover. The exhibit runs from April 4 until May 31 and is open to the public during regular museum hours. Admission is by donation.

April 10 – Adult Workshop: Make Your Own Fascinator

In the 18th century, British women dressed their elaborate hairstyles with ribbons, feathers, butterflies and jewels secured to the front or side of the head. At this workshop, participants will learn how to make their own one-of-a-kind fascinator hat.  Pre-registration is required for this program; the cost is $10/person. Code: 8100.

April 17 Royal High Tea

Participants are encouraged to wear their favourite hat and bring their appetites to this true High

Tea. Featuring a menu of fresh homemade scones, raspberry preserves and sweet treats, this event will highlight royal women. Door prizes and other surprises will be offered! Pre-registration is required for this program; the cost is $10/person. Code: 8101.

April 24 – Heritage Series: All That Jazz

This informative talk will offer a nostalgic look at the roaring twenties. World War I had just come to an end and a new generation flocked from small towns to big cities in search of excitement and opportunity. Flashy new cars rolled down city streets, speakeasies popped up everywhere and women expressed their independence by shortening their hemlines & cutting their hair. Pre-registration is required for this program; the cost is $5/person. Code: 8102

For more information contact 905-772-5880 or

Haldimand County Artists, Creators Sought For Great Art For Great Lakes Project

Haldimand County has partnered with the Great Art for Great Lakes organization to bring public art to local communities.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation has provided funding to support five Great Art for Great Lakes public art projects in 2019, and an additional five in 2020. Two of the art projects will be created and located in Haldimand County – one in 2019 and a second in 2020.

Haldimand County has committed to providing up to $7,500 of in-kind support, including:

– providing space for community workshops/programming;

– identifying location(s) for the installation of art pieces;

– providing assistance with the installation of art piece(s); and

– working with Great Art for Great Lakes to promote the project and programming

Through public workshops and events, local makers, creators & artists will work towards the co-creation of permanent, public artwork to be installed within Haldimand County. The art installation, in whatever form it may take, will focus on ideas that showcase the grandeur of the Great Lakes and how it connects people, their shared history and diverse cultures.

How to get involved:

Great Art for Great Lakes has issued a call for proposals from the local creative community and will be hosting a preliminary artist information session on March 20, 2019 at Ruthven Park National Historic Site (6:00pm – 8:30pm). Interested artists may register for the information session via The call for proposals closed April 5, 2019.

For more information about the project, including proposal submission requirements, visit the Great Art For Great Lakes website or e-mail

Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre wins Carol Ritchie Scotch Thistle Award

Tourism Caledonia recently recognized Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre for its presentation of the history of Caledonia through education/outreach activities and the numerous permanent & temporary exhibits available for tourists.

Edinburgh Square was also commended for the many improvements made to the 1857 building, an architectural design of the renowned John Turner.

The old Town Hall with its original 1857 jail cell is appealing to visitors from near and far. The permanent display highlighting the gypsum mining industry along the Grand River is an interesting feature. Family ancestors researched in the Gillespie Clark Reference Library attract tourists with Caledonia connections. The library contains books, files and historic documents relating to Caledonia’s rich history. The collection of surviving editions of the Grand River Sachem from 1856 to the present day is also valuable for visitor research.

Haldimand County Museum & Archives Hosting Family Heirloom Preservation Workshop, St. Patrick’s Celebrations And More This March

This March at Haldimand County Museum and Archives, residents and visitors are invited to celebrate all things Irish, learn how to take care of their family heirlooms and discover how Haldimand County lived through a number of natural disasters.

All events run from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Haldimand County Museums & Archives in Cayuga (8 Echo Street). Registration can be completed online for paid events or at any Haldimand County Office using the code provided.

March 6 – Adult Workshop: Preserving Your Family Heirlooms

At this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to take care of precious family heirlooms. Museum staff will provide instruction on how to care for precious documents, photos or objects and stop the damage caused by common environmental threats. Pre-registration is required for this program; the cost is $10/person includes handouts and light refreshments. Code: 8099

March 13 – Tea & Talk: Irish Celebrations

At this very Irish afternoon, participants will celebrate the wearing of green, learn about Irish culture and explore its superstitions with museum staff. Homemade scones and other Irish treats will be served. Pre-registration is required for this program; the cost is $10/person. Code: 8414

March 20 – Heritage Series: Flood, Fire, and Fury

At this informative talk, museum staff will highlight some of the major disasters that have had an impact on Haldimand County including floods, fires, snow storms and other significant weather events. Pre-registration is required for this event; the cost is $5/person. Code: 8093

For more information on museum programs and events, contact the museum at 905-772-5880 or email


Haldimand Museum & Archives’ February Schedule Features Valentines Day, Black History Month And Family Day Events

This February, Haldimand County Museum & Archives will be offering residents a chance to discover Haldimand’s link to the Underground Railroad, enjoy a Valentines Tea and more. Paid events can be registered for through Haldimand County’s online registration system. All events will be held at HCMA at 8 Echo St. in Cayuga unless otherwise noted.

February 13: Valentine Tea & Talk (1 p.m.)
This fun-filled afternoon features tea, treats and mystery! Beginning with traditional homemade scones and fresh raspberry jam, the afternoon will unveil new clues to solve a mystery based on true events surrounding missing lawyer Mr. Murdoch, who was believed to have left town with the citizens’ money. Did he really leave town, or did something dire happen to him? Pre-registration is required for this event ($10/person). Activity number: 8067.

February 18: Heritage Day in Selkirk (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Sponsored by the North Erie Shore Historical Society, this free Family Day event will feature heritage displays, entertainment, hands-on activities and other fun for all ages. Visit with museum curator Karen Richardson at the event – to be held at Selkirk Centennial Community Hall – with an exhibit about the end of the Great War. This is a free, drop-in event; registration is not required.

February 20, 21, 27 & 28: Heritage Series – Road to Freedom
Learn all about Haldimand’s Black History and its fascinating link to the Underground Railroad at this informative lecture. This program will be offered at four locations: Haldimand County Museum & Archives (Feb 20 – 1pm), Hagersville Library (Feb 21 – 1pm), Dunnville Library (Feb 27 – 1:30pm) and the Jarvis Library (Feb 28 – 1:30pm). Light refreshments will be served. Pre-registration is required for this event ($5/person).

For more information on events, programs and exhibits at HCMA, contact the museum at 905-772-5880 or e-mail: Karen Richardson. Haldimand County Museum & Archives is located at 8 Echo St in Cayuga, ON.

Haldimand County, Heritage Haldimand & Canfield Hall Celebrating Black History Month With Special Recognition Event

More than 150 years ago, the community of Canfield welcomed slaves fleeing the United States through the Underground Railroad, providing a safe haven and freedom. In September 2017, the Canfield Community Centre, Heritage Haldimand and Haldimand County collaborated on the installation of a marker honouring this history.

On Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. the community will come together again to celebrate Black History Month and the donors to this important project with a presentation by local historians Sylvia Weaver and Barbara Topp.

“This project has been a wonderful collaboration for us with the Canfield Community Centre and Haldimand County,” said Sylvia Weaver, Heritage Haldimand member and the volunteer project manager for this proposal. “From the time the County approved the request for this memorial, we have been overwhelmed by the response from people who either grew up in the area or had family who lived in Canfield during those times. From Niagara Region to Windsor and into the United States, we have been contacted by so many for whom this is a meaningful part of their personal family history,” said Weaver.

“We are so happy to have been able to formally recognize this important part of our local story,” added Weaver, “and we’re very excited to be able to come together again to share stories and celebrate the support which has been received.”

The Underground Railroad was a secret network organized by people who helped men, women and children escape from slavery to freedom. It operated before the Civil War (1861-1865) ended slavery in the United States. Black settlers first started coming to Canfield in 1837, with 137 black residents identified in the North Cayuga census by 1851.

The installation of the natural stone and plaque, recognizing Canfield as a ‘station’ within the Underground Railroad, was approved through the County’s Community Partnership Program—including almost $4,000 in grant funding—and saw almost $9,000 raised in the community.

“This is an incredible part of Haldimand County’s history,” said Ward 4 Councillor Tony Dalimonte, “and one which continues to engage residents and visitors to our community. The County was very happy to have been able to support Heritage Haldimand and the Canfield Community Centre in ensuring not only that we remember this important part of our local history but, in fact, formally recognize it and encourage everyone to learn about the wonderful community of Canfield.”

The event takes place Sunday, February 10 at 2:00 p.m. at the Canfield Community Centre; all are welcome to attend. Parking and seating are limited.

Explore The History of Christmas at Haldimand County Museum and Archives

On Wednesday, December 5 at 1:00 p.m., Haldimand County Museum and Archives will host its 12th Annual Christmas Tea & Talk. This year, curator Karen Richardson will explore the history of Christmas celebrations and traditions over the past 235 years.

“The earliest settlers to Haldimand County were loyalists. Despite facing many hardships, they continued to celebrate Christmas with traditions and customs from their home countries,” said Richardson. Loyalist settlers of German descent brought the idea of a Christmas tree to Upper Canada. Decorations were natural and included pine cones, nuts, holly berries, feathers and chains made of cranberries and popcorn,” she added.

Even the custom of “decking the halls” – draping walls with evergreen garland – came from the British Isles and was introduced over a century ago by settlers in their Upper Canada cabins. The Victorian era ushered in a much more elaborate Christmas tree; while homemade ornaments were still utilized, precious glass ornaments and gilled gold began to adorn the tree. WWI had a major influence on holiday celebrations, as well. Trees were decorated with a patriotic theme and included union jack flags and paper ornaments.

In addition to Richardson’s talk, attendees will be treated to delicious homemade scones, tea and sweet treats. The cost to register is $10 per person, and pre-registration is required. Interested individuals may register online or at any Haldimand County office using program code 8060.