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Current events from our area for July 2015






Bathtub derby at the docks

The second annual Rotary DockFest takes place in Huntsville on July 5 and there is much anticipation for the event.

The family-friendly DockFest is held at the Town docks and River Mill Park and presented by  the Rotary Club of Huntsville and main sponsor Pipefusion Services.

Incorporated into DockFest is the ever-popular Bathtub Derby, which began again in 2013 after several years on hiatus. The derby features an obstacle course on the Muskoka River with sponsored bathtubs from a variety of businesses and community organizations leaving and returning to the Town Dock.

This year the Bathtub Derby features more tubs with six heats of six to start, a more challenging course with tighter buoys to navigate and much more. There will be a Huntsville firetruck hosing down the racers as well as the looming danger of capsizing. Plus, there will be brand new motors for every tub taking to the waterway.

Also, Crossfit’s pirate tub is back but not actually racing.

“They’re just there to be pirates,” says DockFest committee member and Rotarian Debbie Knobelsdorf. “They are there to cause havoc during the race.”

A fundraising event which benefits local charities each year, Knobelsdorf says they are raising funds for the proposed new bandshell in River Mill Park this year.

There is a pancake breakfast in the park beginning at 8 a.m. hosted by the Rotary Club, plus there will be more food and beverages available throughout the day. The annual parade of the beautifully decorated bathtubs down Main Street starts at 11 a.m.

Tawingo College is also hosting an ArtSplash event in River Mill Park for the kids, the Rotary Club is bringing in a bouncy castle and there will be live music throughout the day.

Knobelsdorf is quite excited about this year’s DockFest considering how successful the first event was last year.

“It’s turned out to be great and we’re really looking forward to another fun event,” says Knobelsdorf. 

Dorset hosts art and garden tour

The premiere Dorset Art and Garden studio tour takes place on July 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All are welcome to visit Dorset and help celebrate local artists and their country gardens. Eight studios featuring 12 artists will be available to visit.

Painters, sculptors, a potter, a jeweller, a fine woodworker, a decorative bansuri flute maker, a fibre artist and a recycling artist throw open their doors and garden gates to welcome the public to view their art, both in their studios and in their gardens. 

Participating artists are Tara Gilchrist, Elizabeth Johnson, Brenda Turnour, Kyal Smith, Kate Weatherell, Lynne Hollingsworth, Carolyn Misener, Christopher Keene, Elise Muller, Cirvan Hamilton, Peter Kourtz and Jill Segal. Many have gardens tucked behind their studios offering an extension of the artists’ creativity.

Nuit Blanche North lights up the night

The fifth annual Nuit Blanche North festival of artistic creativity is set for downtown Huntsville on July 11.

Presented corroboratively by Dan Watson of Edge of the Woods Theatre and the Huntsville Festival of the Arts, organizers report over 7,000 people visited Nuit Blanche North in 2014. That was 2,000 more than the previous year.

The street festival, which runs from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., is expected to continue the trend of growth with a vibrant, colourful evening of entertainment. With the growth of Nuit Blanche North, the artists are coming up with bigger and better pieces to delight their audience.

This year’s programming features incredible sites and performances inspired by the theme Away We Go. Film, live music and radio broadcast make a nostalgic trip to a drive-in movie of the past and future. Main Street will be filled with brass, wind and beats by roving bands of musical nomads. Aerial buskers and Taiko Drum squads will delight and entertain in River Mill Park. 

Kids of all ages can get their hands dirty with interactive experiences using propulsion, sound and light. Stick around for the explosive fire show at 11 p.m. and adults only midnight cabaret show.

For more information, visit www.nuitblanchenorthhuntsville.wordpress.com



Artists create En Plein Air

The seventh annual En Plein Air outdoor painting and live auction event takes place on July 30 throughout downtown Huntsville beginning at 9 a.m.

Local artists, dignitaries and other community members choose a medium and find a muse in Huntsville to spark their interest.

The artists then proceed to paint an original item, with 2 p.m. being the finished piece deadline, which is then auctioned off live at 3 p.m. on the Town Hall steps.

Whether it is a painting that was created before one’s eyes, a piece of wood that was turned and carved, a felt tapestry carefully needled or the clay that was thrown into a bowl at the potter’s wheel, there is sure to be something to entice most art lovers into bidding on an item.

Perhaps the best part about taking something home from the live auction is the fact that all proceeds raised go towards Huntsville Festival of the Arts student arts education bursaries. 

For more information please visit www.huntsvillefestival.on.ca 

See wooden classics at Muskoka Wharf

The 35th annual Antique & Classic Boat Society show promises to excite watercraft lovers from all over.

Presented by Antique and Classic Boat Society: Toronto, the show takes place on July 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst.

With 2015 being the year of the Dispro, there will be extra attention given to the unique craft, with a display being organized by the Dispro Owners Association. This year is the 100th anniversary of the invention of the “device,” which is the patented mechanism that makes the Disappearing Propeller boats so special.

As well as paying homage to the amazing Dispro, there will be over 120 antique and classic boats displayed on land and in water. 

A live boat auction by Antique Boat America, a youth Seaflea display and children’s cardboard boat building activities are just some of the events taking place.

Visit www.acbs.ca for more information

There will also be discounted rides on board the Wenonah II, free admission to the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre, over 60 vendors and much more to enjoy.



Join Muskoka rally to fight kids’ cancer

Join a boat rally in Muskoka and raise funds for an important cause. On July 17 and 18, Muskoka’s third annual Boat Rally for Kids with Cancer takes place. 

The more money raised per team, the more fun events available. Those who collect more than $15,000 will be able to draft a celebrity teammate. The team who raises the most, gets first pick. 

Since its inception in 2008, Rally events have raised over $14 million for cancer research, treatment and care at SickKids.

The money raised from this event will help ensure that the Hospital for Sick Children remains a world-renowned place of research, a pinnacle of healing and hope, and most importantly, the provider of children’s cancer care for the 320 new patients it sees each year.

The funds raised from this event will support children’s cancer research, treatment and care at SickKids (The Hospital for Sick Children). For more information or to register visit www.boatrallyforkids.com

Fuelled by an extraordinary schedule of pit stops across Lake Joe and Rosseau at some of the most renowned establishments, Boat Rally teams will embark on a journey led from one clue to the next. Along the way, participants will interact with inspiring children.

To take part, one needs to raise $7,500. That will cover four people in your boat, four tickets to brunch and four tickets to the barbecue dinner. There are various options.

Fill your team with family, friends, colleagues and cottage guests. The Boat Rally is a fun filled day for you and your family.

“Our goal is to raise much needed funds to continue work toward finding a cure,” says Bobby Genovese, rally chairman and chairman of BG Capital Group and BG Signature. 

“When we come together and choose to fight children’s cancer, we are making a difference in the lives of children currently in the battle for life. As event chair, I feel that it is vital that we all work together to provide much needed resources and support to paediatric cancer initiatives,” he says. “Our efforts are helping the spectrum of what’s needed — from ground breaking research and treatment to practical advancements like ‘chemotherapy backpacks’ that free young patients from confining hospital stays.”

SickKids is renowned for its world class patient care, research, education and advocacy. With donor support, SickKids can strategically invest in research and training programs that have the potential to improve the health of children across Canada and around the world.

“After last year’s incredibly successful sold-out events we look forward to seeing old friends and to meeting new ones this year,” says Genovese. 

Head to Baysville for a walkabout

The 27th Annual Baysville Walkabout Festival is set for July 25 from 

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Head to downtown Baysville to enjoy the festivities featuring face painting, zorb balls, a gyroscope, a barbecue and more. The Lions Club pancake breakfast runs until noon.

The streets will be lined with over 100 vendors, a live band will perform in the centre of Baysville and D.J. Glen Bryam of Eclectic Sounds will kick up the beats in another part of town. Popular with kids of all ages, the Brushy Boys are returning with their animal calls.

Admission is by donation. Baysville Community Group and the Walkabout will happen rain or shine.

To find out more, visit www.baysvillewalkabout.com

Boaters welcome

Muskoka offers one of the world’s best boating areas. When one fishes, skis, paddles or cruises, there is always something new to learn. It may be something new to try or somewhere new to travel by boat.

On July 9 in Gravenhurst and July 16 in Port Carling, a collection of experts in boating will gather to answer questions and share their knowledge. 

Try extinguishing a fire with a hand held fire extinguisher. Ask OPP some safety questions. Learn about boat engines and more. See inflatable life vest in action. There will even be driving skills demonstrations. 

The Performance Boat Club of Canada is sponsoring the event and will be there to answer questions. Enjoy free hotdogs too. 

Visit the Muskoka Wharf on July 9 and Bartleman Island Park on July 16. Events run from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Downtown Bracebridge celebrates SantaFest

Santa will be venturing out from his summer home, and taking his place front and centre in Bracebridge later this month.

On July 25, Santafest will take over the downtown area with a parade, vendors, music and children’s entertainment.

“It’s quite exciting. We’ve got a number of activities going on at two main venues,” says Bruce Kruger, one of the event’s organizers.

Things get started at 10 a.m. and Manitoba Street will be closed from Ontario Street to Taylor Road. 

“We’ll have a number of things set up, some activities, we’ll have a stage with the provincial town crier competition taking place in the morning. The second round will take place also on the stage at 2:15 p.m.,” says Kruger. 

The parade takes place at noon.

“We’re going to be putting on a great Santa Claus parade in the same traditional manner that we’ve done in the past. It will start at Monck Hill and go down Manitoba Street as far as Dominion,” says Kruger. “The Santa Claus float will carry on down the main street to the stage at Taylor Road and will be met by the town criers, who will parade Santa Claus to the stage for a welcome and then he’ll be at speaker’s rock to visit with all the kids.”

Enjoy summer theatre in Gravenhurst

Fly me to the Moon by Irish author Marie Jones takes to the stage.

Audiences at the Gravenhurst Opera House will be treated to a witty and clever escapade with high stakes and biting comedy. Evening and matinee performances run until July 17. 

“Fly me to the Moon captures both the gritty reality and boundless resilience of two Belfast care workers who find themselves in a most compromising predicament,” says Dave Campbell, summer theatre artistic director. “This show is a tour de force and not to be missed this summer,” adds Campbell.

This hilarious black comedy is directed by the award-winning Maja Ardal. Her most recent play The Hero of Hunter Street will be produced by 4th Line Theatre in 2016. 

Ardal has also taught playwriting at Humber College and for theatre and community for 15 years. Now a permanent local resident, Ardal is excited to be a part of the Opera House’s rejuvenation of summer theatre.

Starring in Fly me to the Moon are Melee Hutton and Jane Miller. Hutton has appeared in two Laurence Olivier Award winning plays in London’s West End, as well as numerous performances at London’s renowned theatre for new writing, The Royal Court.

Part-time resident Jane Miller, a professional actor, singer, composer and vocal coach, had a solo show Disco Goalie, which featured her own a cappella sound track of disco songs, and toured to sold out houses across Canada.

For more information about the season, call (705) 687-5550 or visit the websitewww.GravenhurstOperaHouse.com

Krista Storey, the Town’s manager of arts and culture is proud of the show and the summer season’s offerings. 

“With the pool of talent we had to choose from both locally and those that came out to audition in Toronto, there was no doubt that this was going to be an exciting season and it really is. We look forward to welcoming local residents and visitors alike all summer long.”

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