{Locality} Music at the Barn: Talented Ontario singer/songwriters grace Bayfield’s Main Street

Music at the Barn presents

Danielle Durand, born and raised in the Bayfield area, has music flowing in her bloodstream. Many of her relatives are accomplished singers, songwriters, and musicians, and the gift did not miss Danielle.

It was a combined love of music, of summers in Bayfield, and the desire to share her favourite things with other, along with a “something clicked” moment that inspired Danielle to plan a new summer concert series called Music at the Barn.

Kryart barn

The barn in question is the psychedelically-painted old barn that was adopted a few years ago by artist Kristyn Watterworth as her studio, gallery, and shop. Kristyn has sold art supplies, given lessons, and provided studio space out of the Kryart barn, not to mention produced many gorgeous art pieces.

Kristyn’s work will be on display at each Music at the Barn concert, and she will be doing demonstrations during the intermission at each show.

Industrial Surf Patterns by Kristyn Watterworth
Industrial Surf Patterns by Kristyn Watterworth (30″ x 24″ oil on canvas)

The intimate venue holds about 60 people, practically the perfect amount of people to share a live music event with.

The artists that are lucky enough to be appearing at the Music at the Barn events were chosen by Danielle based on what she finds “fascinating”:

“I enjoy folk music for its purity and musicianship…there are some incredible guitarists and banjoists in the world, coupled with incredible vocal harmonies and lyrics – and this is the type of talent that I want to showcase. There [will be] an eclectic mix of instrumentation from guitars, banjos, and drums, to the obscure, including kazoos and omnichords….”

Artists from surrounding towns such as Goderich, Grand Bend, and Bayfield too, and artists from as far away as London, Waterloo, Guelph, and Toronto will be gracing the barn’s stage. Expect to see Kim Régimbal and Adrian Jones of the Kitchener area, The Marrieds (Jane Carmichael and Kevin Kennedy of London), Alanna Gurr from Guelph, Graham Nicholas of London,  Jenny Omnichord (Jenny Mitchell of Guelph), Josh Geddis of Bayfield, and Danielle Durand herself, among others.

The Music at the Barn concert series is sponsored by the ArtSee Cafe & Bistro, Main Street Optometric, Kryart Studio, Virtual High School, Pianovations, Brian Coombs – Remax, The Bayfield General Store, 104.9 The Beach, and Ernie King Music.

Concerts are the following Sundays at 2 pm: June 24th, July 15th & 29th, August 29th and September 16th, 2012.

For more concert details, “Like” the Music at the Barn Series Facebook page, email Danielle at dnmdurand (at) yahoo (dot) com or call 519-993-3154.

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changing locality

Changing {Locality}

changing locality

My geographical locality has changed since my last {Locality} post. I’m no longer an official resident of Huron County. My new county has the word “sex” in it: Middlesex. A respectable enough county name, though one rarely thinks of the county when one is in a city.

The transition has been odd. Not only did I move from the country to a city, but I also moved in with my boyfriend, a big enough life transition in and of itself. The “me to we” transition, as my “mother-in-law” Deb put it, hasn’t been that big of a deal (though perhaps I should add a “yet” to that). After more than two and a half years as a serious couple, we were already used to living life together, even from two different geographic locations.

What keeps causing me to bug out is the staying in London. I think if it were any other city that I wasn’t so familiar with, it would be different, but because I have known London for so many years–gone there for shopping and movies, attended university, gone for medical appointments and to visit family members at the hospital, etc.–as a place you go to and leave again, it is very odd to just stay, to not get in the car and make that very familiar trek north up Richmond or Highbury or Hyde Park, aiming for Ontario’s West Coast.

Regardless of my physical location, however, {Locality} continues to be important to me. No longer does it refer specifically to Huron County–it now has everything to do with what is local wherever I am, wherever you are. From now on, {Locality} posts will extend across Ontario, perhaps even across Canada, North America, or the world!

{Locality} is a mindset that avoids box stores, large corporations, and that aspect of democracy that tends to put money before people. It champions the owner/proprietor, the entrepreneur, the organic farmer, the rural shop, the one-off boutique, the people with personality and heart that you love to see again and again.

It can exist wherever you are, country or city, big or small.

I will continue to champion the rural, the small-town, the “back home,” but I undoubtedly will find places in my new locale that can pass the muster side-by-side with the Bayfields and Goderiches of rural Ontario.

In fact, stay tuned for an announcement tomorrow that underscores my dedication to all things rural Ontario!

Parliament Hill

Bittersweet Transition: Why I WON’T Miss Huron County

(not to be confused with yesterday’s post: “Why I Will Miss Huron County“)

Parliament Hill
Me hanging with some of Canada's most famous ladies on Parliament Hill in Ottawa

Last night I wrote about the reasons I will miss Huron County, my home since I was five. But this transition to the city truly is a bittersweet one. Yes, there are many things I will miss about Huron County, and the family and friends I leave behind are at the top of that list.

Still, there are some very enticing things about the city that contribute the “sweet” part. For one, you can go to the grocery store or the bank or Wal-Mart and expect to see no one you know. Yes, there really is something beautiful in total anonymity sometimes!

Then there is the much wider variety of stores and goods. I will be able to shop at a farmer’s market all year round! Or have my pick of several health food stores and specialty markets. So many furniture stores and antique shops and clothing stores and thrift stores!

I have access to a trail that goes clear across the city, and I can use it to run or walk or bike on. I no longer have to worry about getting run over by cars on the country road (not that that was ever a major problem). I can actually use my bike to get places and leave the car at home for an entire day!

Finally, I might actually use the membership I’ve been paying for at the gym at school, because I can go at times when I’m not already carting a bag with books and meals for an entire day.

In the winter and late at night, I will have more activity options than bowling, house parties, and Tim Horton’s. Imagine that, rural-ites! Tons of bars and restaurants and shows and galleries, more than I will likely ever get to see or experience.

Street meat!
The BF and I enjoying street meat in Ottawa a couple summers ago. Yes, I gained weight that trip.

I will always have a wide variety of movies to see without having to drive over an hour to get to the city. I never felt like I suffered for being from a town that screened only one or two movies, but it is still pretty cool that a wider variety will be more convenient for me.

Then there are the regular hours of stores and libraries. This is one of the most frustrating things about small town life for me. There are places that aren’t open the same hours from day to day or week to week, or have different winter hours, and it’s annoying. Yes, I get it. I know that business dies at certain times of the day or season, but still. There are few things more irritating than when you make a special trip for something only to find that the place is only open 10-3 today and it’s 4:15.

While it’s true that none of these things are as powerful as that smell I talked about at the end of yesterday’s post, they are all reasons to be excited about moving to the city.

Like I said, bittersweet.

 

winter sunrise out my window

Bittersweet Transition: Why I will miss Huron County

shores of an Ontario lake

My time as a resident of Huron County is rapidly ticking away: only four  sleeps left!

As excited as I am to move in with Johnathan and have our own place together with out own backyard and laundry room, and as much as I anticipate being able to regularly visit specialty grocery stores and discover new restaurants and take the bus or a bike instead of my car, I will miss rural life.

a backyard party
A backyard party with lots of yard... and a tent trailer

There are many aspects of life in Huron County that make this transition bittersweet. First, there’s that sense of community that is only possible in small towns and rural areas. I’m talking about when you can count on knowing a percentage of every group and gathering, or on running into someone you know in every store and on every street.

Then there are the small stores where you know the owner and at least a part of their personal story and they recognize you and maybe know your name.

Out of the Storm
After last August's tornado, Goderich held a fundraiser concert called Out of the Storm. It took up half the downtown square, and everyone we knew was there!

Small-town events are the highlight of each season, like Goderich’s Winterfest or Clinton’s Pluckinfest or annual beer tents and parades. That’s not to mention the stag and does/buck and does/Jack and Jills that happen every weekend from April through Thanksgiving in every town, and where you can expect to meet up with friends new and old and be greeted with the same selection of cheap domestic beer and plastic cups with shots of vodka, rye, and rum await ice and Coke.

I will also miss the vistas. Yep, I used the word vista. For example, I live across from a corn field. It likely sounds boring, but I love being able to look out my big dining room window and see not other houses, but corn almost as far as the eye can see, or a snowy field, with a line of evergreens at the far side of the field.

winter sunrise out my window

Who could forget the proximity to the beach? One of the very best parts about Huron County and one of the things that I missed the most when I lived in Mexico is how you can get to the beach of one of North America’s biggest lakes in less than half an hour. Huron County is Ontario’s West Coast, after all! Did you know that several of Lake Huron’s beaches have earned the Blue Flag organization’s designation of quality beaches? Yes, we’re proud, and rightly so.

What I will probably miss the most is that certain smell. It’s clean, fresh, slightly sweet, and I believe it’s unique to Huron County. But I could be wrong. If you haven’t experienced it, you won’t know what you’re missing. Having been raised on it, that smell is home to me. Nothing about having my own house in the city could replace that scent.

Luckily, Huron County is only a relatively short drive away, and I have plenty of reasons to visit.

Flo on a rainy road
My '52 Chevy, Flo, on a rainy country road
we need you!

{Locality} needs YOU!

we need you!

I’ve been too busy to talk about it much over the last couple of weeks, but I’m leaving Huron County in two weeks and becoming a city-dweller.

I will still be well-connected to Goderich and Bayfield and other parts of Huron County, but not as present as I have been. Obviously.

But I won’t be as easily able to see store openings and visit farmers in the Huron County area. This is where you come in .

I’m looking for someone willing to share the vision of Locality, someone who is excited about all of the reasons to get excited about Huron County, someone who also likes to write.

If you are that person, or you know that person, please let me know. I’d love to have you join me as a guest blogger!

ciao for now

In an ideal world, this wouldn’t have to happen.

ciao for now

The decision to write on this blog daily has been an exciting and creatively-stimulating part of my life over the past few months. I’ve enjoyed interacting with readers and thinking about future posts.

It is also time-consuming, and it’s time for a reality check: the four papers that I have due over the next week and a half (and have barely started) must pull rank over blogging.

Boo-hoo.

My grades, however, will thank me.

I will continue to post daily “food journal” entries in the Whole30 Eats section of this site, because I made a commitment to doing that and two weeks out of a month is a significant chunk of time.

Oh, and I will be writing a post about this at some point, but I am looking for someone to be a guest blogger for Huron County {Locality} posts. I am moving out of the area in a month, and though I will still be connected, I would like to have someone else that is able to go and take pictures and interview people first-hand. Someone that is excited about what is right in their backyard, and thinks other people should know. Pass it on, ask the writers you know.

Okay, well, I guess it’s good-bye for now. Wish me luck!

Good Food Box

Locality: Huron Good Food Box

I picked up my first Good Food Box yesterday! Okay, my friend Hayley picked it up for me on Thursday, but I picked it up from her.

I’m excited to a) get more involved in my community, b) pay less than supermarket prices for produce, c) get better than supermarket value for produce, and d) eat locally-grown produce!

My box this month includes: red potatoes, apples, a cucumber, carrots, a coleslaw mix of chopped cabbage and carrots, a large turnip, a bag of mixed onions,  and some Weth mushrooms.

Good Food Box

A booklet with information and recipes was included, too.

I’m really impressed and I can’t wait to start eating this food!

Recipes, etc.

Do a Good Deed

And, as a bonus, I learned that you can purchase a Good Food Box for people that can’t necessarily afford one. Hayley told me that there was a month when she wasn’t able to pick up her box on the distribution day, and found out later that it had been donated to a family who had not eaten for a few days. Chances are, that family would have been forced to survive on Kraft Dinner and pork & beans before Hayley’s unwitting gift.

Do a good deed: buy a Good Food Box for your family, and one for another family if you can!

Distribution Sites and Payment Information

You can currently order and pick up your Good Food Box in Bayfield, Blyth, Clinton, Exeter, Ethel, Goderich, Grand Bend, Hensall, Seaforth, Vanastra, Wingham, and Zurich.

One box costs $15 cash (no cheques).

For April, order and pay for your box by Friday, April 6th, and pick it up on Tuesday, April 17th.

In May, order and pay by Friday, May 4th, and pick it up on May 17th.

For more information, visit the Huron Good Food Box website, “Like” them on Facebook, email them at goodfood@huroncounty.ca, or call the Infoline at 519-482-3416, extension 2244.

 

Signs of life in the fields

{Running and Paper-writing} Wordless Wednesday

Signs of life in the fields
Signs of life in the fields

Today is record-settingly warm. Hot, even. It’s about 20 degrees (Celsius) warmer than it should be at this time of year. Perhaps the apocalypse is hovering at the edges of our atmosphere.

While meteorologists attempt to decipher crazy weather patterns and most normal people sit on decks and patios and lawns and beaches, I am writing the paper that was due yesterday and won’t be finished before tomorrow. In my defense, I only lose 2% per day, and chances are I’m going to do pretty well on this paper.

I did get out to complete (official) run #6 of the Couch to 5K program, aka the last of week two. It has taken me longer than two weeks to get here, but I’m pretty much on track now.

Anyway, here’s me outside and inside.

A posed selfie on the side of a country road during a walk break
A posed selfie on the side of a country road during a walk break
My running trail
My running trail
"Democracy and Deception:  How Censorship is the Byproduct of the Manufacture of Consent"
"Democracy and Deception: How Censorship is the Byproduct of the Manufacture of Consent" (Don't you wish you could read it?!)