Never before seen footage and shots from Niagara!

The photos have been locked away for over 40 years; an enormous project to make Niagara Falls more stunningly attractive was underway in 1969 when U.S. engineers from both the army and civil sectors, diverted the flow of the American falls for months to "correct" the american's cascade falls.

The twin landmarks (triplets if you consider that the Bridal Falls is actually separate) are some of the world's more powerful waterfalls. It took a massive damn to stop the flow as the Americans put together plans to remove debris that collected at the base of the American falls. The U.S.Army Corp of Engineers strategically bolted faults in the rocks to delay the inevitable erosion of the falls. They planed on removing hundreds of thousands of tons of rock from the base of the falls, a plan later abandoned due to the sheer size and cost of the project.  

For Erie receives some unlikely guests from Toronto; any fans of the show Corner Gas will recognize the face of "Dan Phillips", played by Canadian actor Fred Ewanuick, in his new role on CBC's Dan for mayor. Hailing from Port Moody, B.C., Fred commented on the Niagara weather saying “It’s not so bad,” the temperature was -1 with wind-chill making it feel like -7, “No, that’s a lie. We don’t get this weather on the west coast.”

The cast and crew spent the weekend at the old fort filming different scenes from different angles and noting: “We looked at Fort York (Toronto) and Fort George (Niagara-on-the-Lake) and here,” The producer Sue Murdoch said. “We were looking for something that was small so we wouldn’t have to do a lot of running back and forth. Fort Erie was a little further to come but it’s perfect.”

This is the first time that we are aware of that Fort Erie Ontario receives CBC, or any national broadcaster. It's very nice to see that Niagara's scenery, cultural artifacts and our picturesque historical landmarks are drawing attention from far and wide. As industry in the region plummets we are very grateful for tourism and we thank the CBC for noticing us. The fort will be renamed "Fort Wessex" for the sake of the show's plot, but we'll all know that it's Old Fort Erie on our sets.

If anyone has a nicer photo, email me :)

It was the warmest December morning in years, but that didn't help us very much at all. The temperature of the Welland Canal was a mere 5 degrees Celsius and the air was a crisp 2. There were probably a couple dozen jumpers that took part in the dive which means we must have raised at least a couple hundred dollars and a bunch of food for the cause.

The event itself went very well, no one got hurt and by my counts everyone surfaced from the plunge. (Yes, I wore the suit, and I hate you all for it)

I may add to this blog later tonight, I just wanted to get the video up for everyone like I promised I would. 

To celebrate Small Business Sunday this week we’re showcasing a store that sprung to the Niagara stage in May of 2009. Having recently past its one year anniversary, it looks like this little comic-book-store-that-could is here to stay!

The story behind the creation of this store is a touching tale of heroism between father and son, and is available on their website here.  The long and shot of it is that Paul Tappay, 34, put together the business plan and went through no small effort to make the store a reality. After undergoing a procedure that gave his dying father part of his liver and a new lease on life, Paul settled on the store, which was always a dream of his. 

Looking for a last-minute thing to do tonight? Why not check out the candle-light stroll in beautiful Downtown Niagara Falls, on Queen Street. There will be a Chistmas Choir, festive stories, and other entertainment lined up for a lovely evening on the town. 

Plenty of pubs and restaurants to meet any social needs, or just check out the Comic Book Store open until 9pm tonight ( Pulp Comics 4413 Queen St.) because I know it's the geeks who are really reading this blog... :)

For the official post, click Here!
For Facebook Event, Click Here!

Cheers to a season of entertainment and joy!


So if you haven't seen it by now, your family probably doesn't love you. (I'm just saying everyone has that one relative on facebook that always spreads the cheezy vids around and... augh n/m) Welland has been put on the map recently with, of all things, the Seaway Mall on national broadcast. Yup, you read that right. "Seaway" "Mall" "National" "Television" ("Purple Monkey Dishwasher")

It's not every day we get to see Welland on TV, even on local news stations this town hardly makes a wave. It's not to say that it's a boring place, it's just that most of us go elsewhere to make news... So you could imagine how surprised many of us were to see Jeff Hutcheson, from Canada AM, interviewing people in the food-court Wednesday. What brings Mr. Morningshow to the halls of a mall known for...ummm...well they have this one store that sells...wait they moved that one...isn't there a Sam's record...no, no that's gone... Ohh! They have an Arby's! I love Arby's. What were we talking about? 
Pieter van Hiel/Staff Photo: Niagara This Week
Oh right! Jeff Hutcheson interviewing Stephanie Tritchew, a soloist in Niagara's chorus group, Chorus Niagara (bet that took a few meeting to nail down!) The singer was in shock and awe, broadcast to the nation talking about the recent "flash mob" style caroling that stunned the unsuspecting patrons of this shopping centers eatery some time ago. 

The event was staged by Jennifer Blakeley of Alphabet Photography who said. "“I’m a big fan of flash mobs. This year for Christmas, we wanted something special for our customers. Our photography ships all over the world,” completely unprovoked (but who doesn't love a good self-plug). The stunt took 8 weeks of planing and setting up and took to the internet in a viral way. It wasn't Jennifer added “After it was produced, we mailed it out. I have about 20,000 people on our newsletter list and about 17,000 Facebook fans. We mailed it out to them the night it went online, and that’s how it really started. Right there, that’s 30,000 or 40,000 people,”

Ahh, those hot summer days hang out on the banks of the Welland Canal. Beating the heat by sheltering from the blazing sun under a perched willow tree and wading into the cool refreshing waters. (Not to mention concealing your wine coolers and beer in inconspicuous bottles and cups...)

You can almost feel the humidity in your every breath but it's alright because the water is just right... Well, it's December now and those days are gone! Long gone in fact, but that doesn't mean the canal is off limits :)

This weekend, December 11th to be precise (that's Saturday if your too lazy to click on your calendar), we take a plunge for charity. That's right, it's time for a swim! At 11am the group of mildly insane philanthropists will be wading, shivering, and cringe their way into the frigid temperatures of the Welland Canal and all for a good cause.  

So come out on Saturday and encourage the polarbear wannabes. Just remember to bring a can or non-perishable food item for the Hope Center. (Also if you plan to dip, registration is 10 bucks and it gets you a raise the roof toque).

There will definitely be a blog and video up about it sometime early next week. There's even a good chance I take the plunge in a suit (It's all up to you guys what happens so leave a comment on what you think would be the funniest way to dive)

Check out more detail on the Tribune's site.

Hope to see you guys there,
Cheers to mild insanity (though this time mild is not going to describe the lunacy OR the temperature...I'm going to be begging for "mild" when I get in there!)



Y'kno, I wish the lighting was off...but that's the real colour...

So it's been decided (against my will) that I am to adorn this lovely (really kinda scary) sport jacket and tailored trouser ensemble (suit made from couch-weaving fabric) for the swim! I really hope you guys like this video because I'm going to lose all respect for myself (I don't have any respect for me, that's why I'm on the internet) and I won't be able to live this moment down (there's a good chance after these waters that it takes my testicles a week to reappear! :S) So with this being said, I hope you all remember to donate generously this holiday season. Particularly to needy food banks. Because without them, I wouldn't be the only one freezing my gonads off this winter. (And without your donations of food and clothing, the less-fortunate might have to wear really tacky suits like this one!)

So cheers to those making a difference, and the support from our community!


P.S. All funds raised go towards the Hope Centre and Salvation Army. Visit the hope center's website at http://www.thehopecentre.net/

Walking through school halls at night usually gives me a strange feeling. You get the sense that something is off... the hustle bustle of the 9-5 day settles and the halls seem hallowed. Luckily this wasn't the case this weekend at Brock University where, from 6pm to midnight the halls were taken over by art students!

It's almost always an adventure when you give a budget to a group of artists and then set them loose in 3 building after-hours. The displays ranged from the weird, to the deep, to the interesting but confusing... all in all it was a pretty good time though.

We were particularly impressed by Pearl Paul's exhibit entitled "Phylomania" which was interactive and fun. The idea there was that she'd created an autumn forest of tissue-paper leaves on which we were to write an obsession and let the wind take it.

The visual was lovely and her display of hand-crafted tissue leaves was just amazing (Yeh, that picture to the left is actually tissue...Awesome! ) We had some fun here and moved on to the rest of the oddities.

We got to check out some really interesting displays and contraptions with a great mix of interactive displays and visual art. A few musical performances also rounded out the media of the night.

The rest of the exhibits are covered in this next video:

What better way to reflect on life's moments of awesome than to be on the edge of your seat in shock and awe? Sometimes it's in our lack of understanding that we have moments of contemplation and realization that help us truly understand the awesome structure of our own world...  but then again, for whatever it's worth, some of us just love a magic show!

I'm very proud to present yet another amazing talent from the inexplicably random region called Niagara! Shaun Ferguson is a local performing artist that dazzles fans both on stage and right at your table. No smoke and mirrors behind this guy, it's legit. 

St.Catharines's mayor, Brian McMullan, was on site today at the ceremonial "ground breaking" (more of a Fence-knocking-over) for the new Performing Arts Center to be built next year on St.Paul street.

As mentioned in the previous entry to the blog, the new performing arts center will be built on the corner of Carlisle and St.Paul streets. The new complex will be yet another addition to St.Paul, while attempts to jazz up downtown are being executed from all corners.

St.Catharines City Mayor and Guests topple the first bricks.

First the city began demo of buildings to extend the bus-depot, then they converted the streets to two-way to increase accessibility and flow through the downtown core; This new project is on a long list of rehabilitation efforts that we will see implements in the near future. It's about time we start treating St.Catharines as a city on the rise. For too long conservatives have kept the city in a perpetual cycle of ghost-town efforts.

Buildings being marked as historic, when in fact they are just simply old. This trend seems to be in reverse as we see, now, more and more efforts to prove that St.Catharines is not just a town with history, but a town with a future!