Welland - Dog Park Capital of Ontario

Welland - Dog Park Capital of Ontario

Welland is known as the Rose City before all else. Recently the Rose City has been heralded as a retirement village, sports mecca, and ghost town depending on who is telling the story. I'd like to add one more notable future for Welland that is already in progress - Welland for the Dogs. There are thousands of dogs in the City of Welland, community leaders and businesses have plans to profit from the local love for dogs.

Canalside Dog Park at Lincoln Street

Touted by some as the largest Dog Park in Canada there are preliminary plans to host an expansive Dog Park at the intersection of Lincoln Street and the Welland Canal, across the Canal from the Welland Arena. The land, which is already serviced with electrical and sewage infrastructure, would be left as flat land with hundreds of meters of fence surrounding the canalside property.

The first time that the Welland Dog Park was presented was at a WRCC meeting with Barry Sharpe and other local leaders. They were eager to start the project after moving the park from its original planned location on the east bank of the Welland Canal.

Niagara Regional Police Dog Training Sites

Seems like every abandoned industrial property in Welland gets its chance to be a NRPS Dog Training Site. This would mean that the Niagara Regional Police are training their dogs in fields of broken glass, rubble, rust, and other very dangerous materials. Properties currently listed include the old Union Carbide, Welmet, Henniges, General Tire, and Atlas Specialty Steels properties. If we include all of those properties into the dog park plans originally mentioned then there is more property assigned to dogs than any individual business or resident in the City of Welland.

There is even the possibility that if those properties are safe enough for NRPS dogs that they should be opened for all dog owners, then the precious canalside property can be kept for the human residents and visitors to the City of Welland.

Where Dog Owners Already Travel

Welland already has an unorganized dog park between Thorold Road and Woodlawn on the West Bank of the Welland Canal. There isn't a single day that goes by that local residents aren't out there with their dogs, even throughout the Winter the draw remains. The park wasn't planned for this area due to a variety of reasons that never seem to stay the same, although it usually has something to do with the rowing facility or neighbours that take issue with its current use.

Since many of the dog owners that use the Thorold-Woodlawn Park are leaving behind dog waste the warmer months carry a scent along the Greater Niagara Circle Route - a world class cycling trail that passes through the park. The enforcement of local cleaning, littering, and dog licensing by-laws would help responsible dog owners to keep a better park. Repeat offenders should have their licences revoked, and those found without a license should have their homes inspected to see how many other unregistered animals that they're keeping in potentially dangerous conditions.

Niagara Ice Dogs - Future Home in Welland?

Niagara always deserved a great hockey team, and with a name like Niagara Ice Dogs - they should be right at home in the City of Welland canal-side arena. The arena that would be walking distance to the largest dog park in the nation.

Canadian Blood Services and the Blood Signal

Canadian Blood Services and the Blood Signal

Here we are again - the blood signal is shining over Welland for the blood donor clinic. Every 56 days there are hundreds of people in Welland that donate blood at one of the three mobile clinic sites.

Saving Lives is Important

Children, neighbours, motorists, and everyone else seems to have a pretty bad track record for keeping all their blood. Without blood supplies for emergencies these people will die, that is a Denzel Washington guarantee. Blood also has an expiry period even when it is stored in refrigerated coolers. The need is constant and the supply is well managed by the Canadian Blood Services. In exchange the volunteers receive very little outside of appreciation - this is intended to encourage responsible donation.

There is no blood tax in Canada - only the blood charity and millions of Canadians are very charitable.

Steady Need Still Exists

The secondary use for whole blood collection is to create blood and platelet products for people with incurable diseases. Some of these people may survive without these products, which is why it can seem controversial to donate. Examples include those with clotting disorders that may bleed to death from even the smallest laceration. These donations are a quality of life issue since the blood is used to save lives through prevention rather than as a reaction to an emergency.

This purpose helps people to understand that their blood will not be wasted. If an the blood within an appropriate time the Canadian Blood Services works with blood product suppliers to provide the raw materials to save more lives and improve the quality of life for people with diseases.

Lake Erie Fish is Delicious

My third major reason for donating may be misguided, mercury contamination in Lake Erie fish. I don't entirely believe that Lake Erie is as bad as it was during the twentieth century, just in caseI'm wrong the CBS can have the heavy metals. Heavy metals are the price that recipients will have to bear until they can test for that and let everyone know how safe the Lake Erie fish really is. Perch, Pickerel, and more are great to eat after a donation too - rich in protein and healthy oils.

See you at the next clinic - http://www.blood.ca/

Black Lantern Experience - Hostile Takeover Art Show

Black Lantern Experience - Hostile Takeover Art Show

On September 21st 2013 the Black Lantern Experience will be hosting a quiet tea party to honour the political, business, and administrative elite in the City of Welland. All of the Illuminaqua season ticket holders that paid for their ticket rather than receiving them as part of a promotions package are welcome to participate in this music recital and slideshow presentation that will not be offensive at all.

Once the afternoon tea is over the Hostile Takeover will begin. According to event planners it will be a massacre of anything still considered sacred in Welland, the idea that the city is dead will be confronted and discussed through art and music. If you're a part of the discussion about the future of the City of Welland - you should be at the event.

Exciting Arts and Culture Activity

Ever heard the buzzwords or promises from other Art Galleries that something will be risque or interesting - only to get there and see a bunch pf the same-old scenic images in oil, acrylic, and photo-print? The Black Lantern Experience heard all about the censorship and negativity of other art spaces and brings a truly unencumbered art experience to the Rose City. Each event has a one of a kind theme, this is important to remember since it may be a one-time-only opportunity to score an art piece or commission a similar piece from local artists.

Satire and Commentary

Some people point out that it seems like a bad idea to point out issues and funny coincidences with a complete art show dedicated to the City of Welland. In reality, commentary and humour are a part of our successful and peaceful democracy in Canada. The fact that we can use words and art rather than any of the violence that is seen elsewhere in the world. The protest culture in Welland is subversive and quiet, a true passive-aggressive paradise.

Welland Fire City

Welland is rotting in its inability to manage abandoned and underused properties, over the last five years this issue has virtually disappeared due to the Welland Fires. The Hostile Takeover Art Show will be an opportunity to set fire to the ideas that Welland cannot be successful, resourceful, and creative. This is an important tool that the community needs to keep its creative and ambitious residents from abandoning the city. Only abandoned cities burn to the ground.

** Note: The Art Space is not a storefront - it is a privately held venue that has public events supported in part by donations and the goodwill of Welland residents. If you'd like to make an offer for a piece then you will have to find the artists or visit one of Welland's for-profit art spaces on King Street or East Main Street.

Wainfleet Marshville Festival

Wainfleet Marshville Festival

The Marshville Festival in Wainfleet is one of the few Niagara festivals that I travel annually to attend. The original charm of the festival is that they don't run it for tourism, they run it for the residents of Wainfleet. That local focus has made it into one of the best festivals in Niagara. Running from August 31st to September 2nd, 2013 at the Wainfleet Arena, Wainfleet Library, and Wainfleet Fairgrounds - which are all the same place. The three major highlights are the food, culture, and music - all essential elements of an amazing party.

Great Food - Harvest Season in Full Swing

Early September is prime time for fresh food in rural Ontario, get great deals and feed the whole family without all of the work. Any festival can have fried food and ice cream, the Marshville Festival is special for its pies and other "slow-food" choices. Pie is an anytime food, and the variety of pies at the Marshville Heritage Festival is representative of southern Ontario's multiculturalism and ethnic past. Try the best French, German, and British style pies alongside some modern favourites.

Craft Fair and Art Displays

Rural life seems to inspire the residents of Wainfleet to craft high quality products and art pieces. Wood, wool, and wicker take centre stage as traditional crafts are promoted and exhibited during the Marshville Festival. The entire event is a boon for Instagram and Pinterest users who have become the front line for promoting the appreciation and application of these craft styles.

Folk Music and Live Bands

At first I didn't understand or appreciate folk music and some older forms of country music. Experiencing the performances live with an audience that appreciated the music built my appreciation level for folk music. Bring a folding chair though, it can get pretty cramped on the old bleachers and logs around the bandshell.

More Information - http://www.marshvilleheritagefestival.com/

Top 10 Niagara Area Blogs

Top 10 Niagara Area Blogs

News in Niagara can be dominated by The Tribune, The Standard, and The Review since Niagara This Week got rid of all of its public RSS feeds and disappeared from Google News. Look beyond the mainstream media and go with a mix of these local blogs to keep you in the loop. I'll post another article about the must-follow facebook and Twitter accounts next week.

Niagara at Large - Doug Draper

Doug Draper is a news reporter with a new mission. His Niagara at Large news organization brings together local activists, dissidents, and leaders through a unified and predominantly unfiltered channel. It is worth adding the whole site to an RSS reader for daily use.

Erie Media - Dave Johnson

Another traditional newspaper writer that has made a name for himself online and through new media. Also follow his account @davejthetribune on Twitter for some of the details that never make it to print.

Laura the Raptor

Most people know Laura through the Niagara Comics scene. Follow Laura on Tumblr if you want to be happy.

Carkebe of Welland

One of the newest blogs on the list. Carkebe has been a frequent commentator and posted through loal news agencies and has an opinion about everything. Pay attention to her "Cheap Tricks" section that details how to get more from big-box stores like Shoppers and Walmart.

Niagara Deal Diva

For half a decade the "Hotel Deal Diva" has been a mixture of the decadent travel world and then the local/fresh/active world inside Niagara. While there have been multiple diva contributors the project is operated by the very non-public Diva of Niagara. Unfortunately you can't tell when it is an agency posting or when it is a legit contributor - unlike QMI posts in Sun Media.

Access Niagara Blog

Written by another semi-anonymous Niagara Falls Blogger, Graham. The Access Niagara Blog collects all of the need-to-know local events and deals in one easy to read RSS Feed. The website itself is a little loaded with advertisements and social sharing buttons, very user-hostile. Get the latest from the amazing content instead.

YourBrock.org - OPIRG Brock University

While I'm glad that OPIRG is involved with the community their new blog has drifted from OPIRG-Brock news to St.Catharines community news. This mission crawl is why it belongs on the list of top ten Niagara blogs. The working groups affiliated with OPIRG represent Niagara area leaders in poverty reduction and future-oriented thinking.

James Takeo - Black Lantern Guru

James is not a traditional blogger. His messages are split between social media, his blog, his Twitter account, and anything new and interesting. The most important stories tend to eventually make it to his wordpress blog, making it a worthwhile addition to your favourite RSS reader.

Hughes and Co. - Allie Hughes

Allie Hughes doesn't have a dedicated blog space although her business Hughes and Co does a great job of sharing need to know brand marketing strategies that work as well for Proctor and Gamble as the do for Niagara area non-profit groups. If you're a leader in NIagara and Allie isn't on your list of people to know then add her today.


I am unilaterally adding myself to this list because this blog has been useful to a number of people. Saving money, connecting IRL, and getting the most out of life. Not that anyone should consider me to be a life coach or motivational speaker. I'm just posting what I want to share.

Black Lantern Experience

The Black Lantern Experience is a series of events hosted by some of Welland's top practicing artists. These are the residents of Welland that make a living and build their communities through artistic pursuits.

Gallery on Main - James Takeo

The new Art Gallery at 75 West Main St. has no posted hours, no website, and no marketing budget and still managed to pack more people in than any other Art Gallery in Welland during their events. This is the direct result of strong word of mouth campaigns preceding events. James Takeo also takes this personal approach during private showings and his weekly DIY Art nights. Bring your own equipment and ideas on Tuesday nights at 9pm and you can participate in the growing art scene at the Gallery on Main.

James Takeo - https://www.facebook.com/james.takeo

Humbled Hallows - Michael Swords

Self-proclaimed "Junk Artist" Michael Swords has a knack for taking the mundane and transforming it into something new. His creations take on a passion or gloom based on the season and state of the artist during its re-creation. Mike's home studio, Humbled's Hallows, is a second hand store for antiquities and reconditioned products with flair.

Humbleds Hallows - https://www.facebook.com/HumbledsHallows

Artfest Welland - Domenic Augustino

Artfest Welland is the original exhibition of artistic talents in downtown Welland. It is a unique and affordable way for artists to gain access to a public venue for exhibition and sales. Remember to talk to artists about other upcoming events of theirs where similar artists from outside of Welland will share their works. One example of this is the South Niagara Artists Studio Tour held on August 10th and 11th, 2013, which has very little online exposure (visit http://www.SouthNiagaraArtists.ca and change that).

Artfest Welland - http://www.artfestwelland.com/


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