windingroad-regBy Rural Ontario Institute
It sure feels like we are in the midst of a federal election already. It would be good to hear from each of the parties what they intend to do about rural Ontario priorities so voters can make an informed decision.

As we have done for the two most recent provincial elections the Rural Ontario Institute will be providing an opportunity to each of the political parties to articulate how their platforms respond to rural priorities. To help formulate these "questions of importance to rural Ontario" please take a moment to respond to this short survey...

orchestranorth-featureOrchestra North Summer Strings Festival is coming to Owen Sound from Thursday July 23 to Sunday July 26.After three successful seasons in Smithers BC, Sebastian Ostertag and Roxi Dykstra are launching Orchestra North in Owen Sound for local musicians of all ages.

"I can't wait to work with the incredible talent that our area has to offer. Growing up in Owen Sound provided me with so many wonderful playing opportunities, whether playing in the Georgian Bay Symphony or attending Sweetwater Music Festival concerts. I look forward to engaging our community in a fun, lively, and innovative celebration of string music." says Sebastian Ostertag, coordinator of the inaugural Orchestra North Owen Sound.

The Summer Strings Festival includes playing in a chamber music ensemble, orchestral sessions, group and private coachings as well as workshops in improvisation, theory, and composition. Instruction is personalized for beginner and advanced players, ages 8 and up (students younger than 8 must be accompanied by an adult), and private/group lessons will be available for participants. Orchestra North brings top rated faculty, including...

breastfeeding-moms-featureThe weekend story of a young mother's less than warm reception when she nursed her hungry baby at a Wiarton restaurant has gone national. The  owner of the establishment said she was going to seek the advice of the local Public Health Unit, who have quickly replied with the following wisdom for all businesses.

"The Grey Bruce Health Unit encourages breastfeeding as a normal and important component of healthy infant growth and development. Creating a welcoming environment for breastfeeding helps remove barriers, and supports a families' decision to breastfeed. Businesses that support breastfeeding are a vital part of a healthy community. Supporting breastfeeding families means they are welcome to breastfeed anytime, anywhere.

The Ontario Human Rights Code recognizes breastfeeding as a human right as outlined...

BALLLOGO-FEATThe new season of BALL lectures begins soon, and what a line-up it is! Now in its 16th season, the not-for-profit, member-funded organization, Bluewater Association for Lifelong Learning (BALL) grew, in 1999, out of an existing organization called "In Search of Learning". Eva Schwartzentruber was the driving force behind BALL. With Eva as Chair, the initial committee was made up of the following familiar names, sadly some are no longer with us, but many are: Betty Giuliano, Rose Hall, Nancy King, Edna Burri, June Cullen, Milt Schwartzentruber, Mike Traynor, Doug Keeling, , Don Willmott, Glenys Stow and Verona Jackson. Their idea was to offer stimulating lectures to older adults, giving them an opportunity to continue the learning process in a friendly, social environment, which offered something more than a strictly academic setting. And now, 16 years later, the Bluewater Association for Lifelong Learning is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors that strives to provide "information and inspiration for the inquisitive mind".
Check out the 2015-2016 brochure...

Looping-Badge-reg-By Sandra J. Howe

Ready for a new hiking challenge in 2015??? The Sydenham Bruce Trail Club offers you over 200 km of beautiful walking trails to explore between Blantyre and Wiarton. In "Looping through Sydenham", 2012 Edition, we feature 25 short walks and hikes in Niagara Escarpment Country. Detailed maps, parking and access points, and natural and cultural history are provided for each loop. Purchase your copy today at The Ginger Press, Owen Sound or Suntrail Source for Adventure, Hepworth.

To begin your challenge, simply copy the Table of Contents to use as your hiking log. Complete each hike in any order you choose, and note the date on your log. On maps showing more than one loop, pick your favourite. The challenge runs from 2014 to 2019; all  hikes after March 15, 2014 count. When you complete all 25 hikes...


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