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Haldimand & Norfolk entrepreneurs awarded grants and mentorships to help ‘Spark’ new tourism ideas

Six finalists who made winning pitches for the Haldimand & Norfolk “Spark” Program were each awarded a $3,000 seed grant and mentorship to help them get started with their new tourism ideas.

The Haldimand & Norfolk County “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program is a collaborative partnership initiative between the Tourism Innovation Lab, Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation, Haldimand County Tourism, Norfolk County Tourism, Libro Credit Union, Grand Erie Business Centre and Venture Norfolk.

The program’s goal is to find, foster and support new tourism ideas, experiences and partnerships that will enhance current offerings, address gaps or challenges, motivate travel and longer stays, and increase year-round visits in the region.

Twenty applications were received, with the top five from Haldimand and the top five from Norfolk being invited to present their new tourism ideas at virtual Pitch Sessions held this week. Judge panels of local partner representatives and tourism innovators from outside the region selected the six winning applicants.

The 2022 Haldimand County “Spark” Program winners are:

  • Dan Megna & Laurie Lilliman, Twisted Lemon (Haldimand Getaway Packages)
  • Jessica Carpio, Bluewater Flower Farm (Organic Flower Farm Tours, Experiences & Sensory Based Workshops)
  • Nancy VanSas, Lower Grand River Land Trust/Ruthven Park (Ruthven in Wonderland)

The 2022 Norfolk County “Spark” Program winners are:

  • Brooke Martin (Norfolk’s Bounty: A Picnic Experience)
  • Hannah & Cliff Lawrance (Glamping Accommodations)
  • Marshall Collins, Collins Harbour (Food Trucks)

In addition to seed funds, mentorship and additional partner support, selected applicants gain access to a network of tourism innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders across the province.

For more information visit

911 Basics

Haldimand County Paramedic Services comprises dedicated professionals who work hard to guarantee emergency care for those in need.  We ask all residents to assist us by reviewing when it is appropriate to call 911.

What is 911

911 is a central dispatch for emergency services.  This service allows for all emergency services to be deployed to assure those first responders can deliver emergency services quickly and efficiently.

When to call 911

Knowing when to call 911 can be a difficult decision.  Assessing your situation will make sure that emergency services are available when needed.  Do not hesitate to contact them for immediate help if you are experiencing:

  • Medical emergencies, like chest pain or difficulty breathing,
  • A direct threat to life,
  • An uncontrolled or an uncontained fire.

What happens when you call 911

A 911 dispatcher will answer and ask if you need police, fire or ambulance.  Before calling, be sure to assess your situation to give the dispatcher a complete picture of the circumstances you are experiencing.  That way, they can arrange for the appropriate assistance.

With many people relying on mobile devices, you may need to provide exact location details.  Cell phones do not give the dispatcher’s precise address, and they will only see your general location.  Be prepared to give an address or an intersection.  Other critical information that may be necessary are:

  • Apartment number and entry code,
  • Landmarks,
  • Any obstacles that may prevent entry,
  • Language barriers that could require accommodation.

Be sure to stay on the line to let the 911 dispatcher will let you know when to hang up.

Questions to ask yourself:

Is a person hurt or in danger?

  • Do not hesitate to call 911 if there is difficulty breathing, uncontrolled bleeding, or chest pain.

Is there an emergency where a law enforcement officer, firefighter or medical help is needed?

  • If you are witnessing an assault, or think a driver is impaired, do not intervene and call 911 immediately.

Are there alternative numbers to call to help you assess your situation?

  • There are services available to assist you in determining your required level of care. Telehealth, which offers free medical advice over the phone, or 211 Ontario, a Community and Social Services helpline, can guide you.

Are you still unsure? 

  • Go ahead and call 911.  The call taker will then determine if emergency assistance is needed.


Telehealth Ontario:

Toll-free: 1-866-797-0000

Toll-free TTY:1-866-797-0007

211 Ontario:

Call: 2-1-1

Toll-free: 1-877-330-3213

TTY: 1-844-483-9835

Call 1-(888)-310-1122

File a report online on the O.P.P. website

A Decision Tree Chart for calling 911


Haldimand County Receives Jumpstart Sport Relief Fund Grant for Local Tennis Program

In February, Canadian Tire Corporation announced an additional $12 million commitment to Jumpstart’s Sport Relief Fund to help sport and recreation organizations build back sport and play in Canada.

Jumpstart conducted a State of Sport study via Ipsos, which revealed the pandemic has not only impacted current access to sport and play but has real long-term effects, as well. Haldimand County and the communities it serves have experienced this impact of the pandemic first-hand.

Recently, Haldimand County was pleased to receive confirmation that it is among the more than 500 national sport and recreation organizations to be provided with grant support through the latest round of Jumpstart’s Sport Relief Fund. In 2021, Jumpstart has already distributed in excess of $9 million in funding to more than 800 organizations across Canada through the fund.

“We are very grateful to receive this news as we know the funding will have a positive impact on our local youth programming,” says Lynda Kissner, Supervisor of Programs & Events. “In Haldimand County, we plan to use the funding towards the introduction of the Louise Brown & Ross Brown Juniors Tennis Program, which will be made available free of charge to youth ages 8 to 18 years.”

For more information about the new tennis program, please check the County’s website at

Haldimand County Launches New Tennis Program for Local Youth

Haldimand County is excited to announce the introduction of the Louise Brown & Ross Brown Juniors Tennis Program, geared towards youth ages 8 to 18 years of age and available from August 3rd to September 2nd  in Caledonia, Dunnville and Jarvis.

The program, which will be coordinated by David Brown—who represented Canada in the Davis Cup—is named after his late mother, a top-notch provincial and Canadian tennis champion, and father.

Louise Brown learned to play tennis in her hometown of Dunnville. Her passion for the sport helped her win the Canadian Open women’s singles and doubles titles in 1957 and she ranked in the Top 10 in Canadian women’s tennis for 26 years. Throughout a tennis career that spanned more than four decades, Louise won more than sixty Canadian singles and doubles titles. Her husband, Ross, served in the R.C.A.F. from 1939 to 1945 and was the President of the Ontario Tennis Association from 1965 to 1970.

The goal of the new program is to introduce youth to the sport and teach them the fundamentals of the game.  Participants will benefit from lessons led by a highly-qualified group of dedicated tennis professionals. “I’m very excited at the opportunity to come back to Haldimand County and share my family’s passion for the sport of tennis with our younger residents,” says Brown.

Thanks to the support of Canadian Tire Jumpstart’s Sport Relief Fund—which helps provide access to sport and play for Canadian youth—and Wilson Sporting Goods, the Louise Brown & Ross Brown Juniors Tennis Program will be offered free of charge to participants, including equipment (racquets and balls).

For more information, or to register (registration opens Wednesday, July 21), please check the County’s online registration system at

Statement from Mayor Hewitt & Council regarding Caledonia protest

Statement from Mayor and Council – October 9, 2020


The OPP and levels of government are not criminalizing the protestors at McKenzie Meadows.  The court issuing the injunction is not criminalizing them either.  The only people responsible for being charged with crimes are themselves and those that support and perpetuate the illegal activity. Just because we do not agree with another’s assertion does not mean anyone can step outside of the law to assert their own. No one gets a free pass or is bestowed with the right to be above the law just because they believe that someone else is wrong.

It has been said many times that we can all agree on the past failures that our Nation was built on and I would hazard to guess that most of us today are not directly responsible for those past deeds. However, we are capable of changing the course and direction or path we have been on. Dialogue towards a positive outcome is always the intent of any government and I am sure that those on Six Nations would look to the same.

Positive dialogue cannot occur under the veil of threats and hostility that exists on McKenzie Meadows.  You cannot call it peaceful when the actions of these few are calculated against any opposing action of others. A peaceful protest or exercising rights cannot be at the expense or rights of others.

There is currently a warrant for the arrest of Skyler Williams. In society today our police forces work together to help each other as the brothers they so often call themselves. I find it appalling that the OPP cannot extend the warrant within the boundary of Six Nations. Skyler each night can enjoy a peaceful sleep without interruption while many here in Caledonia continue to be at the brunt of tantrums when the police service is trying to uphold our laws.

As I mentioned earlier, Six Nations needs to assume some accountability for the failure of negotiations as does our governments.  For any meaningful conversation to take place it requires the efforts of both to find a transparent and effective method to represent the needs of both Nations. Without that framework, the posturing that continues to happen on the streets of Haldimand only exasperates things and drives wedges further into the social fabric that has afforded us many years of continued existence.

There are a number of great opportunities other than just the assertion of the claim itself, that could be celebrated for the benefit of all and many of these items are on there table and have been discussed in the past and would provide fundamental things such as fresh water to the whole of the territory and improve everyone’s social position.

Caledonia/Six Nations could be seen as a celebration of success and not one of burning tires and frustration for all. It requires some efforts from all and it must come from a good place, a place not filled with anxiety and anger. It must come from the ability to understand, to compromise and to see the end game that benefits future generations. It will NEVER be a successful ending if at the expense of one another.

Haldimand County Coat of Arms

Haldimand County Council continues to push for resolution of McKenzie Meadows occupation

Haldimand County Council continues to push provincial and federal agencies – including the Ontario Provincial Police and Ministry of Crown-Indigenous Relations – for an expeditious resolution of the McKenzie Meadows occupation.

Council remains adamant that illegal activities and behaviors in contravention with the law must be prosecuted accordingly, and reminds anyone attending the McKenzie Meadows site that they are at risk of being arrested and facing criminal charges as outlined in the court-issued injunction.

A court injunction remains in place for the McKenzie Meadows site and all municipal roadways. Council is firm in its stance that criminal activities – including occupying the McKenzie Meadows site – must not be tolerated by law enforcement.

Council acknowledges that the OPP has no role to play in the dispute’s underlying issues and is not in a position to resolve them, but expects that they will enforce the law with due process. Council further expects that the courts and relevant authorities will respect the injunctions and hold anyone brought before them accountable for their defiance of the law.

“We have been relentless in our attempts to engage in meaningful dialogue with the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and other federal agencies. This situation isn’t going away, and is a by-product of failed communication and mediation at the federal level. The cost and impacts on our community are mounting. Inaction is unacceptable,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

Haldimand County Council will continue to advocate on behalf of the community with the OPP and all levels of government until a resolution is reached.


Flooding hazards & preparedness measures resources

On Monday, December 2, 200+ residents attended the Flooding Hazards & Preparedness Measures Public Education Centre (PEC) at the Dunnville Community Lifespan Centre. Presentation slides shown during the PEC are available below, as well as other resource materials provided at the December 2 event. This information is also available at

Documents & resources

1. Public Education Centre presentation slides

2. Storm & flood contact information for residents – information sheet

3. Preparing For Flooding – a guide for property owners

4. Emergency flooding handout

5. Emergency power outage handout

6. Insurance for disasters handout

7. Lake Erie Flood Zone Property Lookup Tool