Aman Parhar writes and edits for three community newspapers

Chennai, India — 8/04/2017 — One of the main duties of the Mounted Police in Chennai, Tamil Nadu is to make sure people don’t venture too deep into the Bay of Bengal as the currents are really strong. This photo is part of a photo feature “A day in the life of the Mounted Police.” (Photo by Aman Parhar)

Aman Parhar is the Editor for Black Press Media and is currently based in Vanderhoof, British Columbia, where she is writing, editing and laying out three community newspapers every week.

From India originally, she moved to Canada in 2015 to study Photojournalism at Loyalist College. She has lived in Ontario, New Brunswick and now British Columbia. She has worked as a freelance videographer and photographer, digital marketing strategist and reporter before she took up the role of an editor. Before coming to Loyalist, she did a university degree in Journalism and worked for Teach for India, where she worked as a teacher to provide education to children living in bad socio-economic conditions.

Loyalist Photojournalism Testimonial

I don’t think I can be succinct when it comes to my experience at Loyalist.

I was an international student, who chanced upon a Loyalist College booth at a “Study in Canada” fair in my hometown, Chandigarh (India). My father had forced me to check this fair out to study abroad, and I went along because I knew I would get good coffee there.

An hour or two into the fair, I had an opening to apply for the Photojournalism course. The representative from Loyalist, Alistair, was stoked that I was interested in the program, as I had the necessary education to go with it.

So I applied.

And two weeks later, I was accepted into the Photojournalism program.

I had never travelled abroad, and was really excited about the new experience. But was a little unsure, because I had just taken a very spontaneous decision.

I remember the first day I was at Loyalist. I met Frank, Patti and Scott. They took me in and made me feel like I belonged.

And when classes started, it was tough work, but the projects we were given pushed us to think and create. They gave us the stepping stones needed to be successful.

I am forever grateful to Frank, Patti, Scott and Dan for their hard work. And to Linda, for her warmth, patience and amazing cookies when we would be working WAY too close to deadlines for the Pioneer edition.

I have spent countless hours speaking with all of them, about stories I was interested in doing, life goals, and more. They are such good listeners. And they were my first family in Canada. Without their effort and support, I definitely would not be where I am today.

Links:

Website – www.amanparhar.ca

Instagram – @amanparharphoto

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Solana Cain tackles editor role at Globe and Mail

MOMBASA, KENYA (26/11/2015) – A local fisherman looks for starfish to sell to tourists in the Indian Ocean early one morning when the tide is high on the coast of Kenya. Photo by Solana Cain

After completing a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University, Solana Cain earned a diploma in photojournalism from Loyalist College. She interned at Toronto Life magazine and the Sudbury Star newspaper. Recently, Solana travelled to Naotkamegwanning First Nation in Northwestern Ontario to work as a contract employee for Journalists for Human Rights. Since returning, Solana was one of the first artists in residence at Nia Centre for the Arts in Toronto. Currently, Solana works as a photo editor at The Globe and Mail newspaper.

Photojournalism Program Testimonial:

“Photography was my hobby growing up but at Loyalist I learned the craft of photojournalism. I was taught how to take photos with depth and how to produce engaging photo stories. Photojournalism has paved the way to numerous jobs I never considered or knew about after university. Loyalist College equipped me with a unique skillset that has opened the door to an exciting job with Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail.”

Links:

www.solanacain.com

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Andrej Ivanov publishes work around the world

NGAYE, Senegal – 12/11/2019 – Reflected, a man stands on top of a bus in the middle of a market scene as a woman walks by in Ngaye, Senegal on Nov. 11, 2019. The town of Ngaye, some 170 km out of Dakar, specializes in all forms of leather works. They sell anything babouches, artisanal shoes, belts and other leather items. It is referred to as the town of leather. Our driver explained that the belt he bought there eight years ago still lasts. People from Dakar go to Ngaye to buy the leather goods and resell them. The town has earned its reputation for quality. Photo by Andrej Ivanov

Andrej Ivanov is a freelance photographer currently based in Montreal, but has lived in Kitchener, Belleville, Toronto and Belgrade, Serbia. He graduated from Loyalist College Photojournalism in 2019. He has worked as an intern at the Waterloo Region Record and has had the chance to produce several photo essays on housing, addiction, mental health and reconciliation. However, he is also very interested in LGBTQ+ rights and post-conflict reconciliation. Before coming to Loyalist, he had obtained a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Concordia and has partially completed his journalism studies in Montreal and Toronto. His work has been recognized by the Canadian University Press, the News Photographer’s Association of Canada and the Northern Short Course, all of which awarded him the Student Photographer of the Year. He also received a silver medal in the Interpretive Eye category in COPY 2019. He has recently participated in the Eddie Adams Workshop XXXII, as well as had his first show at the Zoom Photo Festival.

At the time of writing this, he is in Dakar, Senegal working with CECI, a Canadian NGO focused on women and youth development around the world. He also works with the Globe & Mail, Reuters, Macleans and other publications. His works have been published worldwide, including the New York Times, Paris Match, Le Monde, Courier International, Bloomberg, El Pais, Al Jazeera, and, his personal favourite, the Fiji Times. He intends to pursue his career working with NGOs and other international clients.

About Loyalist:

I would like to preface that I actually didn’t go to Loyalist the first time I visited. I moved to Toronto instead, even though I had been accepted. After quite a bit of soul searching, I went back down the 401 to Belleville and started again. It’s hard to explain what it was that clicked; at which point the paradigm shifted. But in two years, it happened. Maybe it was the countless hours I spent talking to Frank, Patti, Scott, and Dan. Maybe it was Doc class in third semester. Maybe it was all of the trips I took over my time at Loyalist. Really, it was probably all of it. I think, for me, the best part of my time was that I didn’t allow myself a lot of distractions. I just went out and shot, looked for stories, did assignment work and allowed myself to grow. I spoke with Marta Iwanek before coming there and she told me it was an incubator. It really is. The process may never make sense, but there is something magical that happens inside and outside those walls that makes great photographers come out. The moment I saw my own growth was when I started building portfolios for the contest circuit. Looking through my submissions over the years, I had a chance to stop and realize what I had accomplished in a very short period of time. Those are two years I needed and that I will never regret. Thank you Frank, Patti, Scott, Dan and Linda. To anyone reading this, remember: “Do the best you can in the time allotted” and “trust the process.” And be kind.

Links:

Website: andrejiphotography.com

Instagram: @andrejiphoto

Twitter: @andrejiphotoj

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February 14th Photojournalism Pioneer

BELLEVILLE Ont. (12/02/19) — Salute to flag day
YongIl Kim from CFB Trenton wears his beret at his home in Belleville on Tuesday. He came to Canada to study in Montreal first in 2007. After getting his PhD and citizenship to Canada in 2013, he worked as a researcher in environmental field in the U.S. He came back to Canada in 2016 and now serves in the military. Friday is Flag Day in Canada. Photo by TaeHyeong Kim

Teachers rally against education cuts

By Matthew Botha

Proposed cuts to the province’s public education system by the Doug Ford government continue to leave a bitter taste in the mouths of teachers across Ontario.

With Ontario currently sitting at a $15-billion deficit, the Conservative government is slashing funding to a number of services. In an effort to keep taxes lower, this will include a four per cent cut to public education.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation, the OSSTF, has made it clear that they won’t let this cut go unnoticed. Both teachers and supporters rallied outside of Hastings-Prince Edward MPP Todd Smith’s office in Belleville Friday afternoon.

Armed with signs and a loudspeaker, they yelled “Shame!” as several guest speakers slammed the Ford Government.

“We are here to say that the education system can’t offered any cuts,” argued OSSTF District 29 President Scott Marshall.

Teachers said the cuts will mean increased class sizes, and less one-on-one attention for students with special needs.

“We need to protect and enhance our public education system… It builds very strong communities. It’s a great equalizer. Anytime there’s talks about cuts, we are going to be here to defend the system…right across the board we would see an impact.”

The federation wanted to make it abundantly clear that they are not picketing because of any worries about reductions in pay.

They said they were there for the children, and their right to having access to all resources needed to make sure they are receiving the best education possible.

“Survey results from our collective bargaining survey show that our members are not interested in salary increases or other personal benefits. They’re more interested in investments,” stated Elementary Teachers Federation Hastings-Prince Edward President Dave Henderson in a speech he gave to the crowd.

“Twenty first century learning is not all about smart boards and non-permanent vertical learning systems. The reality is, it’s about high needs students. It’s about integration with support.” 

The teachers acknowledged the fact that the Ontario government is in debt, but that education is not the place to make cuts. Henderson touched on the fact that the government spends millions on a standardized EQAO test that they would be more than willing to part with. 

Marshell left the crowd with a simple plea, “If you cut the education system of today, you will end up paying for it in the future.”


Winter tires worth the cost

By Kyle Visser

It’s that time of year again. When the weather separates the believers from the non-believers of winter tires.

In 2008, the province of Quebec mandated by law that winter tires had to be on all vehicles from Dec. 15 until March 15 of each year. A $60 fine and two demerit points are given if you are caught without them.

But is the hype all true? Or is it an exaggerated difference that snow tires make?

“Get winter tires,” said tire expert Jim Wannamaker of Belleville in a video interview.

Wannamaker has worked at Action Towing and Automotive, Bob Clute AutoMart and Taylor AutoMall, spending most of his career in the auto industry.

“At 7°C, your tires start to shrink,” Wannamaker says. This means the rubber on your all-season tires harden, making them less likely to grip the road, according to the website for the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, or TRAC.

“All tire rubber will begin to stiffen as the weather gets colder, but the latest generations of winter tires maintain their elasticity, even at extremely low temperatures approaching -30°C and below, thus providing superior traction and grip. Instead of thinking of winter tires only as ‘snow tires’ you may want to start thinking of them as ‘cold-weather tires’.”

In a 2018 survey by TRAC, 76 per cent of Canadian drivers owned winter tires. However, this is heavily influenced by the Quebec and Atlantic regions, where winter tires are mandatory. An estimated 97 per cent of residents in those provinces own winter tires, while in the rest of the provinces, the percentage is only 67 per cent.

Among those who own winter tires, 80 per cent say they feel that winter tires have saved them from “being involved in a potentially hazardous driving situation.”

In Ontario, 54 per cent of owners say that “All season tires are good enough”, and 21 per cent say that winter tires are “too expensive.”

“It costs around $20 to put on a tire. How much do you spend partying on the weekend? Is it worth it to spend $100 to put on four winter tires?” Wannamaker says.

Many automotive storefronts will store your winter tires as well as put them on for you.


BELLEVILLE, Ont. (08/02/2019) – The city of Belleville purchased the former Cabaret building last month. Having a strip club right in front of the City Hall has become a huge concern for the council members as well as among the general public. Photo by Mari Hiramoto

Downtown strip club to be torn down

By Mari Hiramoto

The City of Belleville announced last month that it had purchased the site of the former Cabaret strip club downtown.

City council also passed a bylaw to authorize the purchase of the building and property on Front Street for $675,000 from a private owner.

The city changed its bylaws a few years ago to limit the areas where new adult entertainment facilities could open. Any new business owner would need to require city council to re-zone the land or make an exceptional approval.

As of 2019, there is only one property, the Go Go Club on North Front Street, that is designated under the new bylaw.

“From my perspective, there is a desire just not to have it along the riverfront, one of the gateways to the downtown core. Front street and Highway 2-Dundas Street are one of the redeveloped gateways to the town. Council has spent around $30 million rejuvenating the street gate,” said Matt MacDonald, the city’s director of corporate services.

The Cabaret club, located right across from City Hall, had always been a controversial business among many local residents. There was even a petition that requested the site be shut down and relocated.   

“Those of us that jog, walk, bike or try to take advantage of the waterfront trail certainly encounter employees and patrons smoking and loitering in the back of this establishment,” Mihai Petroianu, the organizer of the petition, stated on the petition web page. “One simply cannot walk by this landmark without noticing the cigarette butts and discarded beer cans around the property and the adjacent parking lot.”

The city of Belleville has been focusing on revitalization projects in the downtown core and the waterfront trails. Many people argued that having a strip club right beside historic sites would impact the image of the city.

“Council members may have got [negative] comments from the general public about how they feel about that kind of establishment being there, in such a visible location. Certainly, when we have dignitaries, whether they be provincial or federal, or from sister cities like Gunpo or Lahr, [the club] is right there in front of the City Hall. I think there is some sensitivity to that,” said MacDonald.

The former strip club is currently surrounded by the two city-owned parking lots, the Moira River, and the waterfront trails. Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk stated last month that council is planning to demolish the building and use the land as a parking lot until they decide on a suitable usage.

“We are still doing due diligence on the property prior to taking the ownership. Once the ownership is transferred to us and if all things go right with the environmental investigations, Council will then have to decide what direction they wish to go,” said MacDonald.


Batawa, ON (02-09-2019) —Photo by Desirée Decoste Tiger McDonald from the Trenton Golden Hawks skates with some kids at this year’s FrostFest in Batawa. “My favourite part was playing hockey on the outdoor rinks with the kids. It’s awesome to play with future hockey players and try to get them a little more intrigued with the game. It also kind of takes you back a bit to where you were when you started playing and how far you’ve come.” The whole team was out to show their support for the event. Photo by Desirée Decoste

By Desirée Decoste

Saturday was this year’s 13th annual FrostFest in Batawa. It was a perfect day with the weather, chilly but it was sunny and enjoyable for all the families who showed up. There was a great turnout of approximately 750 people who attended this year’s event.

“The event is a great event to embrace the Canadian winter. It allows for families to come together and enjoy indoor and outdoor activities,” said Karen Parker, special events coordinator for the City of Quinte West.

“My favourite part of the event was seeing families enjoying their time together and familiar faces who attend each year and look forward to the event.”

The Trenton Golden Hawks hockey team was out to skate with the community and show their support for the event.

“The event was incredible, very well run and organized, as expected. It’s fantastic to see so many people in the community come out to the event,” said Tiger McDonald, a right and left wing on the Trenton Golden Hawks hockey team. “It shows how strong and tight knit the community really is and how friendly everyone is here. I attended the event last year as well and it was just as great!”

There was also free all-day entertainment from marshmallow roasting, balloon twisting, face painting, horse carriage rides, a petting zoo and lots of dance routines from Astounding Heights Dance Academy.

The dance academy is a place where all dancers can learn, practise and express themselves in different kinds of dance in a safe, judgement-free environment, according to the Astounding Heights website.

The petting zoo was Kristie’s Little Portable Petting Zoo, which has been serving the Quinte West area going on 11 years now. They travel all over, visiting schools, nursing homes, day cares and many more places. The petting zoo started with rescues that people had left on their door step or donated to them. It is a non-profit and all expenses come out of pocket, according to their Facebook page.

“This year, we added new enhancements such as Crafts with Brittany, Olaf from Frozen and Mirror me Quinte, to name a few,” said Parker.

Mirror me Quinte is a fun photo booth that engages the guests though a touch screen of colourful animations, entertaining voice guidance and a cool user-friendly interface that everyone will surely enjoy. It includes a special feature that allows you to sign a message or your name using the touch screen and will print out your memorable photo instantly, according to the Mirror me Quinte website.

There are also five outdoor skating rinks to choose from that the Batawa Community runs and maintains. The rinks are free for anyone to use, whenever they feel like skating.

“My favourite part is skating on the outdoor rinks. It’s so amazing that we have such a great outdoor skating facility that’s free and open to the public,” said Hannah Brown, community engagement officer for the City of Quinte West “I always love this event. This time of year, people are really starting to feel cooped up at home all the time and it’s great to get out to Batawa to enjoy some fun winter activities.”

Seniors Unlimited was at the event serving low cost food and beverages to the families and individuals who wanted to buy them. Batawa Ski Hill staff was also onsite handing out $5 coupons towards lift tickets for Saturday night.


BELLEVILLE, Ont. – Two teams from the All-Star high school women’s volleyball team receive a pep talk from one of the referees after the game. The teams consisted of girls from high schools around the Quinte area. Photo by Kyle Visser

High school all-stars play volleyball

By Kyle Visser

The All-Star high school women’s volleyball tournament took place last Friday night at Loyalist College. Starring the best of the best from all secondary schools in the Quinte area, the Pink and Purple teams ended the sport season with a bang.

Team captains Hope Brinkman (Purple team) and Karolyn Yee (Pink team) shook hands and the game began. 

The set started with a solid lead from the Purple team, taking it 25-19. In the second game, Pink struck back hard with a defining final score of 25-16.

Despite this, the Purple team was merely down, not out. Purple took it back once more in a close third set, with a score of 25-22.

Not to be taken back so easily, Pink struck back yet again with another blow of 25-19 to take the fourth set.

A 2-2 set tie was in place with both teams having very strong moments and players. They don’t call this the all-star game for nothing. 

Throughout the entire game, both teams were looking very strong at all points of the match with many bouts lasting for multiple minutes at a time.

A final set to 15 was next. Purple took a mild lead of 8-6 before switching sides and striking hard and fast to an ace finish of 15-6, winning the tournament.

After shaking hands with their opponents, the two teams gathered together for a team photo and speeches by their coaches. 

The coaches also presented awards to the two MVPs of the year on their respective teams to Karolyn Yee and A. Davidson. They received official Loyalist Lancers backpacks as a reward for their efforts.


Happy Flag Day!

Trenton, ON (02-05-2019) — Hannah Mora has lived in Canada for about 10 years after moving from Texas with her parents and her brother. “All of my grandparents were first generation North Americans. My mom moved to Texas during a free trade agreement which allowed her to exchange her Ontario nursing license for a Texas one. While there, she met my dad. They ended up getting married and she stayed in Texas for 20 years, during which time my brother and I were born. My mom and dad decided collectively to move back to Canada, mostly to be near my grandfather again.” Mora’s father and brother are back in the states and she plans on moving back at the end of February. Photo by Desirée Decoste

Anastassiya Khrokova immigrated to Canada nine years ago from Kazakhstan. She lives in Belleville with her three kids and her husband from Africa. She loves her life in Canada because Canada is open to different cultures and people from outside of the country. She also thinks Canada offers better opportunities and education for her children. Photo by Mari Hiramoto

BELLEVILLE, Ont. (14/02/2019) — Thi My Nguyen poses for a portrait with her wallet with a Canadian flag on it in Belleville, Ont. on Feb. 14, 2019. Nguyen became a Canadian citizen in 2013, but moved from Vietnam in 2003. Photo by Andrej Ivanov

BELLEVILLE, Ont. (05/02/19) — Eloise Rolland-Carmichael poses for a photo with the Canadian flag in celebration of flag day. She moved to Canada from Saint Etienne, France nine years ago and just started her new position as international admissions officer at Loyalist College two days ago. Photo by Shelby Lisk.

Belleville,On (2019/02/12) – Carlos Bauer, 18, is a newcomer who came from Bolivia when he was seven years old. He got his citizenship to Canada nine years ago. Bauer is a student of Loyalist College and he is majoring in business administration. Photo by Brian Choi


Winter racing on the ice

By Matthew Botha and Frank Moses

Ontario Snowmobile Oval Racers competed for the Gates Canada Golden Cup on a windy and frigid Rice Lake in Roseneath over the weekend.

The dead of winter doesn’t stop the women and men of the OSOR from having fun.

“It’s a rush… the fastest two minutes of your life,” exclaimed OSOR Vice President Mark Reoch, when interviewed before racing started at the Golden Beach Resort, which hosted the event.

Reoch notes the club has been active for three years and keeps gaining an active membership. “This is our biggest season yet. We have seven races… this year is working out really well. We were on another circuit before that for about ten years.”

Reoch, Keith Smith, Carl Blight and Richard Greenfield founded the club when another they belonged to folded – and they haven’t looked back.

It’s not an expensive sport. Most start in this sport with one-lungers, venerable single cylinder sleds like John Deere and Yamaha models from the ’70s. One can get into it for a couple thousand dollars and have lots of fun. Some racers have modified sleds, which cost five or six thousand, which is still well under what some motorsports, such as motorcycle and car racing, cost.

The young and old – boys and girls, women and men – help each other between races and then get their game faces on at the start line.

The next race is the biggest of the season. The Feb. 15-16 weekend will see racers from the United States and Canada vie for The 45 year-old Bonnechere Cup in Eganville, north of Ottawa.

Carbide runners and studded tracks make for good grip on ice, but riders have to use body language to negotiate high speed turns in the thrilling sport of oval ice racing. Photo by Matthew Botha

ROSENEATH, Ont (09/02/2019) The Ontario Snowmobile Oval Racers took to Rice Lake to battle it out against each other in what they said, is “the fastest two minutes of their lives.” Photo by Matthew Botha

Racers line up in the staging area before setting off for a heat on Rice Lake. Winds helped drop the temperature to a chilly -22 during Saturday’s heats. Photo by Matthew Botha

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February 7th Photojournalism Pioneer

BELLEVILLE, Ont. (03/02/19) – Loyalist Lancers Rachel Cole blasts one of her two kills on the night past Canadore Panthers defender Kristine Ledger during a home game at Loyalist College. The Lancers would go on to lose the game 3-1. Photo by Sasha Sefter


Weather Woes

By Andrej Ivanov

Loyalist College closed its doors due to the weather at noon on Wednesday. The closure led to the cancellation of the Career Fair, which was to be held during the universal break.

“A number of colleges have closed today, so it’s in line with that,” explained Kerry Lorimer, the college’s director of marketing and communications.

The safety of the students is paramount in this situation and this is what led to the unusual decision, explained Lorimer.

This was echoed in an email sent out by Lyndsay Kerik, the senior alumni and career services officer at the college.

“We apologize for the inconvenience. Your safety, as well as the safety of our students, faculty, staff and college community is top priority,” read the email addressed to the students.

Peter Kimbell, a meteorologist from Environment Canada, explained that although this week’s storm is a significant weather event, it does not rank in the categories of the 2013 and 1998 winter storms.

Wednesday’s storm saw frozen precipitation of  between five and 10 millimetres. Kimbell explained that the 2013 storm saw between 30 and 50 millimetres of frozen precipitation, and the 1998 one saw between 50 and 75 millimetres.

“This will be significant for roads and pedestrians, but it certainly does not rank in those categories,” said Kimbell.

The weather was expected to taper off into Wednesday evening, and Environment Canada expected that the weather would warm up on Thursday, but dip back down below zero on Friday.

Kimbell explained that, historically, warmer temperatures and above zero temperatures are not uncommon in late January and February.

The Career Fair is an event that would have seen potential employers come to the college to meet students and prospective new employees. Lorimer said that there was no planned re-schedule date for the fair at this time.

“There is another event that is scheduled for early April. We may look to expand the extent of that event,” said Lorimer.

The college may look at combining the two events and making it a larger scale Career Fair-type gathering.

An e-mail statement sent out by the college Wednesday morning stated that residences remained open and that the college would re-open with normal business hours Thursday.

“The college is expected to be open for regular hours and operations on Thursday, February 7, however, please check loyalistcollege.com, Loyalist email, call 613-969-1913, or check Loyalist social media channels for confirmation and updates,” read an email sent to all students.

In another email, the college added further details:

“Loyalist College remains open throughout the year, five days a week, with the exception of the winter break and statutory holidays. In the event of adverse weather conditions or a community emergency, the college can be a place of refuge for students, staff and the community at large. As such, every reasonable effort will be made to keep the college open.

“On occasion, extreme weather conditions or an emergency situation (e.g. power outage, flooding, major equipment failure) may require the college or a satellite campus to cancel classes or to close. When this happens, the college will provide as much notice as possible to students, staff and the public, to minimize the inconvenience.”


Students from all across Ontario, including Loyalist College, came together to protest against recent changes to OSAP funding. Various union leaders gave speeches and vowed to fight against Doug Ford’s plans. Photo by Matthew Syriac Elias

Students head to Toronto to protest OSAP changes

By Alex Filipe

The upcoming OSAP changes from the Ontario government are poised to affect 73 per cent of Loyalist College’s student population.

A group of 12 Loyalist students travelled to Toronto on Monday to protest Doug Ford’s proposed cuts to the Ontario Student Assistance Program, or OSAP.

Loyalist Student Government President Scott Rook attended the rally with the students and spoke about the small turnout.

“I’m glad that we could get a group of Loyalist students down to Toronto for this demonstration. It was a small group, however, we were at the front of the pack and we were loud and I am proud of the group that went.”

Asked about his reaction to the 73 per cent of students at Loyalist receiving grants to pay for their tuition, Rook said, “I’m not surprised at the high number, considering the number of first generation and mature students attending the college.”

OSAP is a program run by the Ontario government, providing grants and loans for students in financial need.

“I wouldn’t have the opportunity to attend Loyalist if it wasn’t for OSAP,” said Alexis Calhoun, a Loyalist nursing student who attended the march.

Calhoun said that she is first person in the past three generations of her family to go to school for post-secondary education. She said she is worried about the debt she will have to take on now, with the lack of OSAP funding.

“Coming out of school with more debt than I originally would have is definitely adding to my anxiety,” she said.

Students said the march was a way for students to show the government that “education is a right, and [they] will not give up the fight. “

As the protestors marched up University Avenue towards Queen’s Park, they chanted, “Free education!” and “Cut Ford, not OSAP!”

The protest was organized by March for Our Education, which is a union representing the students of Ontario. 

About 300 students attended the march. 

Loyalist College Student Government president Scott Rook and Media, Arts and Design Leader Matthew Morgan take part in the protest against OSAP changes at Queen’s Park, Toronto. Loyalist College would be affected the most, topping the list with 73 per cent of students receiving free tuition this year. Photo by Matthew Syriac Elias

A protester yells during a rally to fight the changes being made to OSAP by the Ford government. Hundreds of students marched to Queens Park in Toronto to have their voices heard. Photo by Alex Filipe

Protesters march on Queen’s Park to fight the Ford government’s changes to student funding in Ontario. Photo by Alex Filipe


Belleville, Ont. (31/01/19) – Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk poses for a photo. Prior to his election in 2018 Panciuk was president of the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Quine Economic Development Board. Photo by Brian Choi

Mayor talks about plans for Loyalist

By Brian Choi

Mitch Panciuk was elected as the new mayor of Belleville in the last municipal election in November 2018.

The mayor was interviewed at Belleville City Hall last week about several issues, including the city’s relationship with Loyalist College and plans around transportation and bike lanes.

Q. You are the new mayor now in place. My first question is what kind of reliable relationship can we expect as Loyalist students?

A. Well, Loyalist College has been a very important part of our community since the 1970s when it was first established and that’s not going to change going forward. And we hope to enhance our relationship. One of the first meetings I had after becoming mayor was with Dr.Vaughan, who is the president of Loyalist College. We talked a little bit about the situation that students find themselves in Belleville. We talked about transportation. We spoke about housing and we spoke about ways to help them feel more welcome in our community.

But then we also talked about that fact there are so many more international students this year attending Loyalist from different parts of the world and how we can work with that. So yesterday, I was at the international students celebration at Loyalist College and had a wonderful time.

Mayor Jim Harrison from Quinte West and myself were able to participate in the turban-tying demonstration. They used us as models, so that was something that was very nice. But we are very proud to have so many students from all over the world come to Belleville as their study place.

We think that Belleville and Loyalist College with its population of approximately 3,000 students, is small enough that we can provide people with personal education that meets their needs. But yet it’s big enough that to gives them all the services they need as they go to school. The next stage for us is we want to have these students that come here to Belleville to learn, to stay here and to join our workforce. Because we have thousands of jobs today that are unfilled in our community and Loyalist College can go a long way to help that.

Q. So, you were talking about transportation. One of the questions that came up within our meeting was that there was talk about a bike path and a bridge that would facilitate access to Loyalist.

A. Well, there is a pond in the back part the east-facing portion of Loyalist College that any type of bike path would have to get around it. So we were in discussions about that.

We have a cycling network that we are trying to expand to west toward Loyalist. Some of them are dependent upon provincial funding, so we are waiting to find out what’s going to happen. Another, they have eliminated the cap and trade funding model where they, the provincial government, receive funding and they can pass it on to us for improvements, like transit, bike lanes, active transportation methods.

Now that the funding is questionable, we are not sure how we can go ahead with our bike path system. But if we do, we expect to connect ourselves to Loyalist. Lots students would use that as their primary form of transportation and it’s lot safer than bike riding along Moira Street or Wallbridge-Loyalist. So that’s part of it.

But I also think that we have to have a better transit system that serves Loyalist students. We have parts of the city where people are living, but they don’t have access to transit. Because, for example, the only time our buses in Belleville are full is when they are going to Loyalist College. So we want to make sure that we are providing enough services and better services. Fred Pollock, who was dean at Loyalist College, is now on the Belleville transit advisory community and we think that’s a really important step to show our partnership.

Last year we co-operated. We funded the new transit shelter at Loyalist and there’s room for more. The next stage is going to talk about regional transit. So not just Belleville, but also Quinte West and The County.

Q. What kind of changes could we expect within the busing system potentially? What would we be looking at?

A. Well, you know I think we are looking at our routes mostly. We have tried to take small steps when it comes to technology, so I think students are finding that we have different way to buy bus passes, to use the bus passes. We have evening service that’s now on demand, so people can use it.

So we are continuing with those technology increases but the big issue is going to be about service and how we can expand service to include more parts of the city. That’s a very expensive issue and that’s why it’s not something that anyone can make a decision on overnight. It’s based on ridership, it’s based on these new routes or these extra routes, and making sure that people are using them.

But I hope that you know we have had a number of referendums at Loyalist College, including transit as part of student fees, so students will get a transit pass. Last time, we came very close to having the student body accept it.

I think that hopefully with the enhancements that we are making to the service, it makes it more worthwhile for students to consider it. And I think that the decision is made when we have more resources that we can put in to expand the service, both in terms of area but also hours.

Q. Is there any chance that we would see a GO Transit come to town?

A. That’s a provincial government issue and we would have to talk to them. I have not heard lots of discussion about having the GO Transit expanded this far to the east. I believe right now it goes as far as Bowmanville and they use transit buses to hook up to the Oshawa GO Train station and head into Toronto that way. So there was some talk in western Ontario of expanding GO service, which is government Ontario, that’s what GO stands for. But I have not heard anything about it coming this far to the east.

Q. Is there anything you would like to say to the students of Loyalist College?

A. Well, welcome to Belleville, first of all.  You know, we are very happy to have so many people choose Belleville as the place they want to go to school. We are very proud of Loyalist College for the number of years they have been here. But also how they help our community by training people by providing a closer place for our residents to go to school. We are committed to working together and to make Loyalist better. We have a great relationship and all we want is for it to get better. 

To hear what the mayor has to say, check the video below:


BELLEVILLE, Ont. (02/02/19) – Christopher Bennett is a local artist and breakdancing teacher who recently opened his new Art Works studio on Pinnacle street. Bennett gives the crowd of his grand opening a taste of some of his B-boy dance moves. Photo by Natasha MacDonald

By Natasha MacDonald

A snowy Saturday was lit up with colour and character at Christopher Bennett’s grand opening of his new Art Works studio.

The new studio is full from wall to wall with art, photos and even a TV that shows some of Bennett’s first steps. With teal undertones taking place on what were once white walls, “Art Works” spans the main wall in graffiti writing, giving the studio its unique vibe, making anyone believe they could start breaking down with some dance moves. A massive mirror accentuates the colour-filled space like a ballet studio meeting its match for a dance-off.    

People of all ages came to see the new space, do some breakdancing and grab a baked good as well. Friends and community members came to show support for Belleville’s new space for expression, on Pinnacle Street.

“It came from a desire to have a way to reach the community, through art work,” says Bennett. “So, the way to reach that was though a facility, a space where people can come to that isn’t my home studio. I’m still kind of in awe at all of the support and some of the kind words that’ve been said in regards to the dream coming true, something that finally came about.

“I have two phases. The first is to start it and get the community involved, and then phase two would be more of a future growth,” adds Bennett.

Members of the community say they couldn’t be more pleased with the opening of this new studio.

“I think it’s a great evolution of the arts in downtown,” says Dwayne Barratt, owner of Barratt’s Office Pro, on Front Street, and a board member for Belleville Downtown Improvement Area (BDIA).

“We did have Chris do some art work on some buildings down here and it’s great that now he’s going to be running some classes and some dance classes out of his new studio here.

“It should be great. It brings people down and hopefully we’ll see him on front street at some point, maybe at one of our events demonstrating as well,” says Barratt.

The benefits of art and self-expression through dance, from a young age, have shown to improve motor skills, language development, awareness and improved academic performance, according to a study from PBS.

The opening of Art Works was Saturday, Feb. 2 from 11 a.m.to 6 p.m., which included an official ribbon cutting at 11:15 a.m.

To learn more about the studio, check out this video:


BELLEVILLE, ONT. (08/01/19) – Jeff Broekema poses for a photo in front of an airplane departures inspired menu board in his newly opened Live For Today (Lft) Travel CafeŽ on North Front street in Belleville. Coffee, hammocks and vacations are all on the menu at this unique travel agency. Photo by Natasha MacDonald

Travel cafe encourages living for today

By Natasha MacDonald

Jeff Broekema is a Quinte resident who is bringing people warmth through his business.

Broekema, 30, opened Belleville’s first travel agency with a cafe included. The LFT Travel Cafe is located at 16 North Front St. The idea behind this unique space is to let people enjoy a coffee and consider places they want to travel to. There is no pressure to sit down quickly and buy a travel package. The cafe is meant to be a relaxed environment to think about options to escape the cold, for now at least.

“I’ve always loved to travel, ever since I was a kid, going away on vacation with family. In 2010, I went away on my own, for the first time. I went to Thailand for a few weeks and then, I’ve just done so much travelling since.

“I wanted to get into a different business, but I wanted to do it myself. I knew a lot about the travel industry but there’s always more to learn and to do courses and things like that,” says Broekema.
Broekema’s shop takes a whole new approach to the travel industry. The name became Live for Today Travel Cafe.

“I came up with that name because everybody knows somebody who’s sick, there’s always car accidents… things like that. Things are always happening, tomorrows not promised. Our slogan is Live for Today, live while you can and experience things. That’s our biggest thing, enjoy life. For me, I travel all the time, so live for today is the biggest take away,” says Broekema.

Being an entrepreneur was something Broekema always worked towards. Perks of being your own boss, the power to make decisions for your own company and having the ability to seed the growth in a dream.

But being an entrepreneur isn’t new to his family. It’s been a generational tradition. Broekema’s dad owned a body shop from the age of 18 years old. In addition to that, he also owned a sign company, which is where Broekema started learning about business. Broekema also runs an asphalt company during the warmer months.

“My dad owned his own body shop at the age of 18 or 19, and his dad had a body shop, and my dad bought a sign shop maybe 10 or 15 years back. So, owning your own business was always in our family. I like that aspect of work, since I was a kid. I was always into doing my own thing, instead of working for somebody. I worked for my dad for a bit. I learned and ran one of his sign businesses for a couple years.”

“I started off maybe 13 years ago, basically just cutting grass and we just expanded. Then I’d just work for a company, learn all the traits and then put them into my business. My landscape and asphalt business just expanded from that. But I have a bad back and wanted to get out of that. So now I’m halfway out and doing something I enjoy a little bit more. One thing leads to the other, and I think that the whole business owner and family thing ties in as well,” says Broekema.

Travelling in the cold and snowy winter months is a common way to cope with Canadian winters. This travel agency helps people get where they need to go, with a cup of coffee to take away with them afterwards.


Belleville, Ont. (05/02/19) – Loyalist College student Sarah Harren writes down her story ideas during a weekly meet-up with the Novel Writers Club in the college. The club meets once a week and encourages members to exercise their creative writing skills while providing guidance in story arc creation and character development. Photo by Debbie MacNevin

Wannabe writers come together to share their passion

By Debbie MacNevin

With a pen in your hand and a thought in your head, your fingertips rest on the curve of the navy-blue pen.

Finally, you are doing the one thing you swore to yourself you would do. Pages of an unfinished novel sit out of sight. The time has never seemed right to pick it back up. You never have enough time in your day to continue with it. So, you hold off for another day, and another… until it becomes obsolete.

You want to pick it back up again, but what time do you have? Life unfolds so fast. Then, you come across a club that calls to you, The Novel Writers Club at Loyalist College. Suddenly, you feel hope for your novel.

The Novel Writers Club at Loyalist Isn’t just for people who have an unfinished novel, but any student who wants to start a novel is welcome as well.

The club allows students to have a chance to either finally finish or start the novel they have been dreaming about. The ideas that have been stuck in your head are finally able to be free and written down on paper.

The club allows you to experience the adventure that is novel writing.  Although the group is small, they are mighty. When they gather, they talk about character development and many other aspects that help create a story.  

 Lesley Hayman created the club in 2018.  She is a romance writer and a member of the Romance Writers of America. Through this organization, she was able to create a tool belt of things writers need.  

Because Hayman has been going to conferences over the years, her belt of writers’ tools got large enough that she wanted to share what she knew with people who may or may not have access to this knowledge.

At club meetings, the group talks about creating a world. What does the world of your characters look like? Where is it located? What do your characters sound like? What do they look like?  All of these questions will help you create a better story. 

One technique used in the club is watching movies as examples to help create a story.  Hayman explains that movies are more universal than books are.  The group also discusses the different genres of stories such as thriller, romance, science-fiction, etc.  Group members also learn how to sell and publish work, if that’s a route you want to take.

“Writers can be anybody. The wonderful thing about it is that it’s for anybody and you can write for yourself or you can write for an audience.”

The group goes through little “snapshots,” meaning little bits of information so that everything gets a bit of coverage.

This club offers people who have never even thought of the possibility of being able to write a novel, the chance to do so. It offers those who want to be able to pick up that novel they failed to finish and continue on with it. It allows anyone to become a writer and finish the story they have always wanted to finish. 

Meetings for the Novel Writing Club are on Mondays 3 p.m.- 4 p.m. in Room 2L11.


BELLEVILLE, ON. (29/01/19)– Musician James Reid shows off a few of the instruments available in the new Musical Instrument Lending Library (MILL) he has opened in Stirling. The MILL runs out of the Stirling Public Library and is open to all, whether they are picking up an instrument for the first time or are seasoned professionals interested in trying something new.

Musical instruments ready to rent

By Damon MacLean

A musical revolution is slowly but loudly building in the Quinte area, even though it is slightly hidden behind some traditional walls of knowledge and literature.

Located on the second floor of the Stirling Public Library, you will find a child’s drum kit set placed on the top of a shelf of the teen readers section, next to an opening. Step inside and you will find approximately 60 musical instruments of all different kinds.

Welcome to The Mill.

To most, musical instruments inside a library seems like an obscene juxtaposition, unless they are in the children’s wing. This library, known as The Mill, is a musical instrument lending library.

The inspiration for The Mill comes from The Joe Chithalen memorial musical instrument lending library in Kingston, Ont., which has been running for 18 years.

“The Joe Chithalen memorial musical instrument lending library is a very big mouthful, so most people just call it Joe’s Mill,” laughs James Reid. With the help of numerous members of the surrounding community of Quinte, a lending library inspired by Joe’s Mill is now officially open to the public.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen another project that has had so much community support,”  Reid states as he describes how The Mill came to be. There was a chain of events that helped shape this musical entity. To start, about three years ago, a friend of Reid’s who volunteered at Joe’s Mill suggested the idea that there should be a musical instrument lending library started in the Quinte area.

Next, fast forward a year, and Reid was having a conversation with current Stirling-Rawdon Mayor Bob Mullen, who suggested that the Stirling Public Library would be a great location for this creation.

Reid brought a proposal to the Stirling-Rawdon Public Library board. It was well received and plans were made. Reid reflects on the years of work that have been put into creating The Mill.

“This is not a one-person operation. It’s not a one-person project. There are a lot of people that contributed over time. What we did was we incorporated a not-for-profit provincially registered as the Stirling Musical Lending Library. We have a board of directors, five excellent volunteers from the community. We have directors from Belleville, Stirling and Quinte West. We got a little help from here and a little help from there. All throughout the community people have been really kind and helpful.”

On top of building the shelves and organizing the space, the instruments had to be gathered through donations, barcoded and labelled. The amount of energy required for a project of this size is immense, but organizers say it is well worth it. Currently, the library has only 10 per cent of the required number of instruments for the area.

Organizers and volunteers are still seeking more instruments. Instruments for lending are available for people of all musical levels, from people wanting to pick up an instrument for the first time, to musicians who would like to branch out and try something new.

A major challenge of starting an instrument library is committing the time for it.

The instruments are lent out for a period of 28 days. This allows people to try an instrument without having to purchase one they are not sure about. The collection consists of different types of instruments, so if you are unsatisfied with the one you have borrowed, you can take out a different one.

What if you fall in love with a certain instrument? No problem. Renewals are available for 12 weeks consecutively, unless there is a hold on that specific instrument.

Reid believes that music is very important. He says it is important for people to have the access to musical instruments for many reasons.

“Music and the opportunities to play music are one of the things that keep me happy.”

Reid started off in music very young with piano lessons, which he was not overly fond of. He was then lent a baritone ukulele for a month. “I really liked that.

“After the ukulele, they lent me a guitar and I played that all summer until I bought my first guitar.”

With roots in classical music, and heavy influences from the likes of Leonard Cohen to Bob Dylan, Reid understands that all types of music are important and having access to instruments makes the music even more important. 

There are a couple of rare instruments people would be unfamiliar with unless they are musical nerds or geniuses. The library has: accordions, tubleh, a rare clarinet and a Framus ‘Hootenanny’ guitar, which is the same model John Lennon of The Beatles played.

Some of the rarer instruments will only be lent out to professionals who know how to take care of them. 

The Mill is looking to be a success with its already exponential growth in memberships since its opening in January.

“Our job is to put instruments in people’s hands and smiles on their faces and that is exactly what we do.”


KINGSTON, Ont. (03/02/18) – Jessica Lui, 13, is a local figure skater from Kingston who competed at the 2018 Skate Canada Challenge and 2018 Ontario Winter Games. Here she performs at the annual FebFest celebration in Kingston.

Kingston festival embraces winter fun

By Amy Walton

The annual FebFest is still underway in downtown Kingston once again for its 15th year.

For the entire month of February, you can enjoy ice skating, beavertails, ice sculptures, ice slides and special performances on weekends including figure skaters, hockey pros, and the annual Polar Plunge.

FebFest is produced by the Downtown Kingston! BIA, an association funded by over 700 downtown businesses.  The festival helps generate business and a buzz in the downtown area, bringing residents, and those from out of town to see the beautiful city of Kingston and experience the snowy weather by the downtown waterfront.

The first week of FebFest had crowds from all over gathering on the weekend to watch famous figure skater Kurt Browning, alongside local figure skating talent, to perform in Market Square. Afterwards the rink is open to all for a free skate.

Browning, from Alberta, is a four-time World Champion figure skater and four-time Canadian national champion. He started skating at the age of 10 and now, at 52, he is still spinning, flipping and doing amazing ice dances. On Saturday, he performed to the song Singing in The Rain while big flakes of snow fell over the ice, giving the perfect setting for the song.

He also did an invigorating performance to the song Brick House, which had the crowds dancing along.

In an interview, Browning talked about working alongside the local talented figure skaters. “I had spent the last couple of days in town working with young skaters in a two-day seminar.  We had fun and I was thrilled when I found out a few of the kids would be in the show with me.

We felt like a team and supported each other.  The audience was cheering us along. knowing that an outdoor skate is tricky.  It was a great afternoon.”

Another addition besides the figure skating, on the first weekend of FebFest, was Peter Vogelaar finishing up his incredibly detailed ice sculptures in Market Square. Vogelaar started sculpting a whole week before FebFest began, so that he could have his sculpted figures and ice slides ready for the beginning of the event.  He even carved a sculpture of Gord Downie, the recently deceased Tragically Hip member, who is a Kingston icon.

Saturday night ended with free skate at Market Square with a live DJ. Sunday morning was Learn to Skate, which was a training session for those wanting to learn how to glide on the ice without constantly falling on their bums.

The main attraction was the annual Polar Plunge in support of the Special Olympics. Many groups of police officers fire fighters, and different work groups jumped in for the cause, to help raise money, on a chilly morning. Lots of young adults and even children raised money and jumped too. The youngest was a few eight-year old’s who were brave enough to take the plunge.

FebFest continues during the whole month of February in downtown Kingston. More unique events are going on each weekend, with activities like skating, food and ice sculptures available to enjoy every day this month. To see the lineup of future activities and performances go to www.downtownkingston.ca/events2019/feb-fest.

To view the festival, go to:


BELLEVILLE, Ont. (03/02/19) – Loyalist Lancer Caleb Seguin spikes a ball through Canadore Panthers players Sheldon Flannigan (10) and Ryan Carnevale (13) for one of his 12 kills on the night. Loyalist would go on to lose the game 3-1. Photo by Sasha Sefter

Volleyball teams face defeat

The Loyalist Lancers women’s and men’s volleyball teams put up a valiant effort but came up short Sunday afternoon, losing to their counterparts of the Canadore Panthers at Loyalist College.

The Lancers women looked to upset the OCAA East Division’s second-ranked Canadore Panthers. After losing a tough first set, the Lancers bounced back, stealing the second set away from the Panthers 25-19. But the Panthers offence would prove to be too much for the Lancers, as they would take the third and fourth set easily, 25-13 and 25-16.

The Panthers offence was led by Tianna Head, Kristine Ledger and Jess Venhuizen, all of whom recorded 10 kills in the match. The Lancers were led by team captain Jillian Hoftyzer who recorded eight kills in the match, as well as nine digs.

With the loss, the Lancers record falls to 4-12 on the season, leaving them in ninth place in the east division of the OCAA. They will look boost their record with what should be an easy win over the 0-16 Fleming Knights in Peterborough later this week.

The Lancers men looked to improve their record and jump ahead in the OCAA standings. A win over the Panthers would have bumped them into seventh in the East Division.

The Panthers came on strong, winning the first set easily 25-15. The Lancers pushed hard in the second set, finally winning 29-27 after end-to-end extra point action had the crowd energized and cheering. The energy in the building wouldn’t be enough to push the Lancers past the Panthers as the would lose the third and fourth sets 25-18 and 25-10.

Standout players for the Panthers were Jackson Brear who recorded seven kills and four digs, and Sheldon Flannigan, who recorded seven kills in the match as well.

The Lancers were led by first- year player Caleb Seguin who racked up a monster 12 kills and three digs, while Alex Cox picked up nine kills and two digs. The Lancers now sit in eighth place in the OCAA East Division and will look to improve their record when they visit Peterborough to take on the seventh-ranked Fleming Knights.


Belleville, Ont. (01/02/19) – Loyalist Lancer Ashley Gillis is chased by George Brown Huskies defender Tianna Sullivan as she races out of her defensive end. The Lancers would go on to lose the game 75-53.

Lancers basketball teams lose to Huskies

By Debbie MacNevin


You can feel the tension as both men and women’s basketball games took place on  Friday night. On February first both teams went head to head with the George Brown Huskies. 

The games started with the women’s team kicking the night off at 6 p.m. The women demonstrated good team work.  Using speed, and good hand-eye co-ordination to help them achieve the goals they had set out in the start of the game.

Although the Huskies were hard to out beat, the women pushed themselves hard and stayed focused on the goal in front of them. The goal was to win, and each member of the team showed how determined they were to come out on top.

The women’s team did well. The leading player was Brittany Mason. She scored 19 points for the team Friday night. Mason’s focus and aiming skills brought the teams points up higher. As hard as they women’s team pushed to win this game.

They were not successful. The final score was Huskies 75- Lancers 53. 

   The men’s basketball team started at 7 p.m. Friday. Like every game, the men’s team brought the heat. They showed a large amount of strength and power while playing the game. Much like the women’s team they showed good team skills and sportsmanship. The real star of this game was Angelo Sarsonas. Number 9 was like a fire ball as he zoomed down the court.

Sarasonas scored 13 points for his team overall. The men’s team fought hard against the huskies men’s team. They showed great amounts of speed, racing from one end of the court to the other and display a great show of workmanship. They truly demonstrated great power and focus but in the end George Brown over threw them as well. Huskies 92- Lancers 45.

Overall, the Lancer’s teams gave it all they got. They took all the skills they have learned and adapted and used them at full force.   

The men and women’s George Brown teams may have left Loyalist in victory but for the men and women’s basketball teams they give us something greater. The ability to make us feel proud to be a Loyalist Lancer.  Both teams head off to the nation’s capital of Ottawa to compete against Algonquin Thunder on Feb. 9.


BATAWA, Ont. (02/02/19) — Players from the Brighton Fire & Rescue and Wounded Warriors Canada hockey teams face off in a friendly game of shinny during the eighth annual CFB Trenton Pond Hockey Classic tournament in Batawa. Photo by TaeHyeong Kim

Hockey tournament raises money

for two deserving charities

By TaeHyeong Kim

The CFB Trenton Pond Hockey Classic is like getting two birds with one stone. It is a good opportunity for people to donate to charity and to enjoy their favourite pastime of hockey.

“We host here for one reason – raising money for Wounded Warriors of Canada and Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation. Secondly, it’s a great chance for giving it back to our community, and have a fun Canadian weekend,” said Jeffery Moorhouse, chairman of the CFB Trenton Pond Hockey Classic.

The Pond Hockey Classic was held in an area around the Batawa Community Centre over two days, Feb. 2 and 3. This is the eighth annual competition, and 26 teams joined this year.
  
In the tournament format, the teams played throughout the day on six rinks named after sponsoring company.

Feb.1 was the first game day. The sky was gloomy and the wind was chilly, but it could not spoil the passion for hockey and the goodwill from the participants’ donations.

Some teams were wearing their own team jerseys. Brighton Fire and Rescue team were dressed in the design of a fire suit with a luminous strip. The BCR Rangers wore an authentic red Canadian plaid.

Sometimes, it was not necessary to win a game. In particular, the match between the Brighton Fire Rescue Team and the Wounded Warriors of Canada were even more harmonious. The young juniors and seniors formed a team to promote the unity of the event, working through hockey. Cheers and laughter burst out when their teams scored a goal, but also when there were mistakes or tough moments in the game.

After the heat of the game, players rested in a tent, set up as a temporary locker room. The inside of the tent was warmed by the sweat from the players and some portable heaters. Hot steam rose from the knees of players after shin guards were removed. There was an analysis of the game after they finished, players encouraging each other and joking about the play of the game.

The game was great. It was great weather outdoors. It was pretty tight at the end of the game, but it was a fun day,” said Mark MacAulay, the captain of the BCR Rangers.

On the first day of the pond hockey event, a Winter Jubilee for military families and friends was held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. beside the rinks. The Trenton Military Family Resource Centre and PSP CFB Trenton hosted the event with the Pond Hockey Classic. Participants could enjoy wagon rides, snowshoeing, free hot chocolate, and lunch. One rink was opened for ice skating.

On the second day, Diamond Electric defeated the BCR Rangers 23-17 and won the final in the competition. Scotiabank defeated the Cherry Pickers 10-9 and won the non-competitive division. Diamond Electric also won last year.

“To date, we have raised $272,000, over seven years. This year’s goal is $70,000,” said Moorhouse.

To see the hockey teams in action, click on this link:


MADOC, Ont. (02/02/2019) — Racers participate in the Madoc Snowmobile Drags on Moira Lake in Madoc, Ont. on Feb. 2, 2019. Racers sped down lanes made in the snow as participants and attendees watched.

A day at the snowmobile races

By Andrej Ivanov

The high-pitched whirring of motors and the strong smell of gasoline filled the brisk winter air Saturday afternoon at the Madoc Snowmobile Drags races.

Hundreds of cars parked on the frozen-solid Moira Lake. People had set up makeshift pits to tune up their snowmobiles. And as the green light went off on the various lanes, five to six racers would fly down the long man-made stretches of ice at breakneck speeds, heat after heat, class after class.

The cloudy winter day made for a perfect backdrop for the snowmobile drag races. A gathering of hundreds of local residents and out-of-towners (even from as far away as Gatineau, Que.), young and old, came to see the ice-top spectacle. The whirring sounds of engines, like enormous mosquitoes or electric lawnmowers on steroids, could be heard everywhere.

From the drag lanes to the pits, people revved the snowmobiles engines, either racing, testing out their handiwork, or just plain showing off. And everyone ate it up, shamelessly.

Some brave souls, either to kill time or for the fun of it, jumped on their snowmobiles and ventured further onto the lake. In the distance, away from the crowd, they rode around and did their own races. It might have been a riskier move, as the warm weather may have lead to thinner ice, but it seemed like a quieter choice and allowed for more freedom to play.

Around the drag strips, crowds gathered.

“Daddy got second place,” a young girl shouted, dressed in a pink snowsuit and pink ear protectors. A proud moment for the family.

Around the trucks, behind the racing lanes, people pulled out lawn chairs and beers. Sitting around in circles, smoking cigarettes and relaxing on the snow, it became quite clear that the drag races were a social gathering. A space for people to hang out, to make friends, and do some winter sports.

The event was also extremely family friendly. Kids were welcome, and a few youngsters even had their own miniature snowmobiles. However, the highlight was seeing a man driving a 4×4 and dragging two kids on a sled.

Although the weather was pretty chilly, everyone came well equipped and dressed warmly. Surprisingly, not many people came to sell things. Suzuki seemed to be the only booth at the event, selling a variety of snowmobiling equipment. However, Ace Pizzeria, a local Madoc restaurant, brought their repurposed truck trailer. The pizzeria has converted the truck into a mobile pizzeria and it was a smash hit with hungry snowmobilers.

It is worth noting that it was not all fun and games. According to Quinte News, a head-on collision between two snowmobilers put a damper on the afternoon’s activities. According to the news outlet, “a man suffered a broken leg and other injuries while another suffered less serious injuries.” Paramedics arrived on the scene earlier in the afternoon and were able to respond quickly.

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