Haldimand County celebrates the sounds and stories surrounding Lake Erie with community-created art installation, INHERITANCE

In the first exhibit of its kind for Haldimand County, INHERITANCE brings the captivating energy of graffiti art paired with melodic recordings of Lake Erie to the Dunnville Farmers’ Market on Tuesday, September 17th. Award-winning Haldimand Artist, Lacie Williamson will unveil INHERITANCE—an array of dynamic voices and stories showcased through a collaborative mural comprised of hundreds of fingerprints and graffiti art—with the help of Mayor Hewitt and Councillor Tony Dalimonte

“Lacie’s understanding of participatory art processes are exceptional as they push past the performative, to an immersive level where participants not only gain new technical knowledge, but the opportunity for personal discovery.” – Christopher McLeod, Creative Director, Great Art for Great Lakes

Part of the Great Art for Great Lakes initiative is to celebrate our magnificent waters. In this spirit, INHERITANCE was created by award-winning artist, Lacie Williamson with help from members of the Haldimand community using wood-burning irons where each line and mark is unique to each make to create the effect of worn hands. This, together with the graffiti element of the project, involved layering of simple objects to create depth to give the work of art a more natural and organic feel, telling a story of Lake Erie both past and present.

“Facilitating this project has been very eye opening for myself and participants and I’ve heard from many after the workshops saying they think about water differently now. I was very pleased to see so many local community members engage, but was even more impressed by the large number of people who travelled from Six Nations, Hamilton and Niagara regions to participate and learn about new art techniques.” – Artist, Lacie Williamson

An exemplary instance of connecting art with the public to promote action for a better tomorrow, INHERITANCE will remain on permanent display at the Dunnville Farmers’ Market, showcasing the ecology – and grandeur – of Lake Erie. The unveiling and future visit to INHERITANCE is free of charge. For more information about the project, please visit

Heritage Haldimand Hosting Headstone/Historic Stone Conservancy Workshop

Heritage Haldimand, in partnership with Ruthven Park National Historic Site, will be offering a special Headstone Conservancy Workshop on Saturday, September 28, 2019.

The workshop will take place at the Ruthven Park’s Indiana Irish Cemetery located at 243 Highway 54, Cayuga and be presented by Archaeology and Cemetery Conservancy expert Seika Groves. Seika will cover aspects that are key to understanding the process of conserving and restoring headstones and share the knowledge she has gained working in cemeteries with both old and modern headstones. Seika’s expertise may be applied to other types of stone, including statues, sculptures and monuments.

The hands-on session will highlight preservation techniques based upon stone type, from the safest to the most aggressive. Utilizing existing headstones, participants will learn how to apply a number of different restoration methods. Topics to be covered include: types of stone (sandstone, marble, granite, etc.), what stone types may be cleaned, what cleaning techniques should be applied and what cleaning tools and products to use.

Participants are asked to wear comfortable/weather appropriate clothing and enclosed footwear; protective eye wear, gloves and dust masks will be provided.

The cost of this workshop is $10.00 per person. Registration may be completed online at or in person at any Haldimand County office using program code  10313.

For more information, contact Heritage Haldimand at or 905-318-5932 ext. 6516.

Dunnville Horticultural Society, Ducks Unlimited Canada And Haldimand County Celebrate Restoration Of Thompson Creek Park & Wetland

In 1993, a group of conservation-minded volunteers from the Dunnville Bio Region Association (DBA) hosted a workshop to create a sustainable development plan—related to social, economic and environmental concerns—for Dunnville. One of the action items proposed was to build an outdoor education facility by restoring Thompson Creek, the Wetland and Tallgrass Prairie and plant a Carolinian Arboretum.

While that goal wasn’t entirely realized at that time due to changing resources and partners, on Wednesday, September 25 the new project partners—Dunnville Horticultural Society, Ducks Unlimited Canada and Haldimand County—will celebrate the completion of the vision with the opening of an Eco-Centre at Dunnville Thompson Creek Park.

“We are so excited to have been able to help re-start this project and get it done,” says Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) Past-President Debbie Thomas, who co-chaired the project with volunteer Dan McKay, the original President of the DBA and now a DHS member. “This was a wonderful project when it was started more than twenty years ago and, although it stalled somewhat due to unforeseen circumstances, we are so happy to have been able to work with the volunteer who had a lot to do with the original vision—Dan McKay—and build on it with our Ducks Unlimited Canada and Haldimand County partners.”

The event begins at 10:00 a.m. and runs until 2:00 p.m., with an official welcome at 11:00 a.m. Volunteer tour guides and guest educators will give visitors an opportunity to explore the Park’s revitalized wetlands and tallgrass prairie, as well as the Carolinian arboretum, and learn about the history and significance of the Park from an ecological and conservation perspective. As well, the Park is now home to a Heritage Tree, estimated to be more than 250 years old and newly-designated by Forests Ontario.

DHS’s request to complete the original vision of the DBA was a project approved through Haldimand County’s Community Partnership Program, including grant funding of 35% from the municipality.

As well, for more than twenty years, the County had partnered with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) to manage the parklands. For the new restoration DUC provided resource funding to support wildflower replanting—for the next five years—of the grassland area. This work was initiated in spring 2019 following a controlled burn of the area arranged by DHS.

Other work undertaken by the partners during the past year to help prepare the site for the restoration included the spraying late last year for invasive phragmites, removal of dead and unsafe trees in the arboretum, brushing of overgrown areas, creation of a new naturalized pathway around the wetlands and tallgrass prairie, a controlled burn to rejuvenate the area intended for wildflower replanting and installation of educational signage along the Eco-Centre pathways.

“It has been incredibly gratifying to have the opportunity to work with the Dunnville Horticultural Society and its wonderful volunteers to realize the Dunnville Bio Region Association’s original vision for this Park,” adds Dan McKay. “I am excited by the community’s interest and engagement in the new project, and feel confident this is only the beginning of the ongoing conservation of this ecologically-significant Park.”

2019 ‘Neighbour Nights’ Will Bring Caledonia Residents Together At Haldimand County Public Library

Haldimand County Public Library’s popular ‘Neighbour Nights’ program is returning to Caledonia this fall. The monthly social and educational program – hosted out of the Caledonia Library – is geared towards new Caledonia residents, newly retired individuals, new parents and residents with a desire to learn more about their community.

Each Neighbour Night session is themed and centres around various aspects of Caledonia’s vibrant community. The overarching goal of Neighbour Nights is to create and cultivate social connections between community members and local organizations, service clubs, agencies and businesses for the purpose of increasing community engagement and public awareness of programs, services and business.

The 2019 Neighbour Night schedule is as follows:

Thursday, September 26: Lifelong Learning

Thursday, October 24: Volunteering

Thursday, November 21: Local History & Culture

“Neighbour Night is a great opportunity to learn more about the vibrant offerings in Caledonia and Haldimand County,” noted Lindsay Thomas, Community Outreach Coordinator at Haldimand County Public Library. “Neighbour Night, and the library as a whole, provides a comfortable atmosphere for making connections – whether those connections be with fellow residents, information or community services,” she added.

All Neighbour Night programs takes place at Haldimand County Public Library’s Caledonia Branch from 6 to 8 p.m. All community members are welcome to attend the free program, mix and mingle with fellow residents and learn about what’s offered locally. Registration is not required.

Organizations, service clubs, agencies or businesses interested in participating are encouraged to contact Lindsay Thomas, Community Outreach Coordinator, at 905-318-5932 ext. 6118 or Additional information about Haldimand County Public Library

programs, resources and events can be found at and on the library’s Facebook page.

Haldimand Museums Hosting Oral History Workshop With Broadcast TV Icon & Internationally Recognized Filmmaker

This September, Haldimand Museums will be welcoming internationally recognized filmmaker Graeme Bachiu and iconic CHCH-TV news anchor Connie Smith to present an oral history/interviewing workshop.

The two-day workshop, to be held at Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre on Saturday, September 14 & Saturday, September 21 (1pm to 3pm), will cover the skills needed to film and interview subjects to preserve oral histories.

“In every family, stories are passed down from generation to generation, occasionally graining details with each telling,” said Anne Unyi, Haldimand County’s Supervisor of Heritage & Culture. “Preserving those stories through film & one-on-one interviews has become much easier with technological advancements, but using these technologies and knowing how to ask the right questions are skills a lot of us need help developing,” Unyi added.

To begin the two-day workshop, filmmaker Graeme Bachiu will teach participants the basic camera and interviewing skills they will need to collect and preserve oral histories. The Oral History Workshop will present both technical and practical hands-on approaches to conducting interviews. On day 2 of the workshop, Graeme will collaborate with one of the best interviewers in the business – former CHCH-TV anchor Connie Smith – to teach a master class in interviewing.

Graeme Bachiu, an internationally recognized documentary filmmaker with over 25 years of film and TV experience. Graeme’s work has been shown on CTV, CBC, CHCH-TV, CNN and NBC and his documentary short films have been screened at film festivals around the world. Graeme has a deep interest in history and preserving stories of the past.

The workshop is available to anyone with an interest in undertaking an oral history project, learning basic principles of filmmaking or becoming a better interviewer. Cost for the two-day program is $60.00 per person. Registration may be completed online at or in person at any Haldimand County office using program code 10314.

Fall Museum Programming Kicks Off At New Cayuga Library & Heritage Centre

The new, state-of-the-art Cayuga Library & Heritage Centre (CLHC) opened to the public on August 6. All library and museum services are now co-located and available at the 19 Talbot St. W location, including popular heritage & learning programs.

Museum staff have announced their September lineup of heritage-focused workshops, which will continue to be offered year-round. The September schedule is as follows:

Heritage Series: Tales from the Grand River – September 10 (6:30 pm to 8:00 pm)
At this heritage talk, participants will learn about the history of the magnificent Grand River, its people and communities. Museum staff will highlight tales from the past and shine a light on the pre-contact era, the Underground Railway & the area’s earliest settlers. This talk is suitable for all ages. Cost is $5/person. Code: 10277.

Adult Workshop: Finding Your Roots – September 11 (1 pm to 3 pm)
This hands-on workshop will show how participants how to navigate microfilm, historical archives and other digital resources to find elusive relatives. Museum staff will explain how to look in unusual places to find items that will help unlock family history. Attendees are encouraged to bring their most difficult genealogy-related questions for museum staff to assist with. Enrollment is limited to 15. Cost is $10/person. Code: 10376.

Heritage Series: British Home Children in Canada – September 18 (1 pm to 3 pm)
From the late 1860s right up to 1948, over 100,000 British children believed to be orphans were emigrated to Canada to be used as indentured farm workers. This talk, led by museum staff, will focus on some of these children’s Haldimand stories. This talk is suitable for adults. Cost is $5/person. Code: 8371.

Culture Club: Historical Jeopardy – September 24 (6:30 pm – 8 pm)
Spend a fun evening exploring Haldimand’s past through a series of historic Jeopardy questions. Put together a team and learn all about Haldimand’s communities and their stories. Cost is $5/person. Code: 10229.

Historically Speaking: Life & Times of Jane Austen-September 25 (1 pm – 3 pm)
This afternoon is dedicated to author Jane Austen who was ahead of her time and one of the earliest women on the fringe of the suffragette movement. Homemade scones, tea and sweet treats will be provided during the talk. Cost is $10/person. Code: 8372.

Pre-registration is required for all paid events. Registration may be completed online at or at any County office using the code provided. For more information about
museum programs and events, contact

Friends of the Jarvis Library offering special programs & events this fall

The Friends of the Jarvis Library are offering a number of creative & educational programs out of the Jarvis Library branch this fall.

September: Book Hedgehog

Workshop by Marilyn Sutor – Make a cute hedgehog out of a recycled book!

Date & Time: Tues, September 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $5.00 due upon registration.

October: Crazy Quilt Square

Helen Sluis will guide you in making a unique piece of hand-quilted whimsy!

Date & Time: Tues, October 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $30.00 due upon registration.

November: Genealogy 101

Delve into your family history with Karen Richardson. Bring your own laptop/tablet, if you wish.

Date & Time: Thurs, November 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: FREE! Please register to save your seat.

November: Christmas Gift Tags

Learn to make unique gift tags with Jennifer Kelly.

Date & Time: Tues, November 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $5.00 due upon registration

Please register one week in advance of all workshops.  Call the Library at 289-674-0400 ext. 5 for more information.

Haldimand County – Mohawk College Partnership Lets Residents Try College For Free

This fall, Haldimand County residents will be able to give college a try for free at the Dunnville Library. College 101 – presented by Mohawk College City School in partnership with Haldimand County Public Library – helps adults 19+ who are not currently enrolled in school prepare for success in a college environment. Participants who complete the 12-week program will earn a free general education credit towards their post-secondary studies at Mohawk.

College 101 will run two afternoons per week for 12 weeks at Haldimand County Public Library’s  Dunnville Branch beginning September 25. The program covers topics like what to expect in college, how to study and how to manage time/deal with stress. Participants will learn how to think critically, prepare an education/career plan, and how to be an adult student (while juggling work and daily life).

“In communities with limited local access to post-secondary education, the HCPL – Mohawk College partnership provides an opportunity for individuals to experience college programs in-person without the financial and personal stresses of jumping into post-secondary education full force,” says Lindsay Thomas, Community Outreach Coordinator for Haldimand County Public Library.

“Partnership programs like College 101, which the library plans to offer twice per year in various communities, and other programs like the Skilled Trades Awareness & Readiness Training, provide community members the building blocks they need to pursue their career dreams,” Thomas added.

Anyone interested in registering for College 101 may contact Mohawk College directly at 905-575-2489 or For more information about this and other learning opportunities through Mohawk College, visit Mohawk College’s website.

Second Public Education Meeting Set For Lake Erie Shoreline Hazard Mapping And Risk Assessment Study

In 2018, Haldimand County, the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA), Long Point Region Conservation Authority (LPRCA) and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) initiated a study to update the Lake Erie shoreline flood, erosion and dynamic beach hazard mapping.

The majority of the work to update the hazard mapping to current mapping and technical standards is now complete. The second of two Public Education Centres (PEC) is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Selkirk Centennial Community Centre (34 Main Street West, Selkirk). The first PEC took place in September 2018.

The PEC will follow an open house format. There will be no formal presentations; however, the session will provide an opportunity for landowners and members of the public to learn about the findings of the study, as well as contribute their knowledge of local conditions. County and Conservation Authority staff will be available to answer questions and all members of the public interested in the project are welcome to attend.

This is a technical study to update hazard mapping. Updates to conservation authority shoreline management plans or policies, Haldimand County’s Emergency Response Plan and Official Plan are outside the scope of this project.

The PECs for this project will meet the requirements for public consultation for any resulting amendments to regulated area mapping of Ontario Regulations 150/06, 155/06 and 178/06 made under the Conservation Authorities Act.

Consistent hazard mapping across conservation authority jurisdictions is required to support land use planning and permitting decisions in at-risk communities and flood and erosion-related response and mitigation planning. Current shoreline hazard mapping for the County within LPRCA and GRCA jurisdictions was prepared in the late 1980s – early 1990s, while the mapping within the NPCA jurisdiction was updated in 2010.

The project will also update municipal risk assessment information for shoreline flooding, including inventorying at-risk infrastructure and estimating damage potential. It is anticipated the project will be completed by early 2020.

Haldimand County Named 13th Best Place To Live In Canada By Maclean’s Magazine

On Thursday, August 8, Maclean’s magazine released its list of Canada’s top 25 best communities to live in. Haldimand County – for the first time ever – made the top 25, taking spot #13 on the nation-wide list.

The annual ranking, compiled by Maclean’s, gathers data on 415 communities across the country and calculates which cities and towns offer the best quality of life. Communities were ranked after receiving points based on the following 10 categories: wealth and economy, affordability, health, weather, crime, commute, taxes, demographics, culture and community, and amenities.

“For all of us who live in and appreciate Haldimand County, this recognition is a testament to what we already know. Our proximity to nature, incredibly dedicated citizens, cultural & heritage assets, low tax rates, economic development potential and extensive recreation opportunities all contribute to the exceptional quality of life we’ve been recognized for,” stated Mayor Ken Hewitt.

“This achievement wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of County staff and all of the residents and businesses that make Haldimand County such a vibrant & welcoming place. On behalf of Council, thank you,” he added.

Maclean’s full list of community rankings can be found on the Maclean’s website.