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 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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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 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:
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.
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.
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:
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.