Monday, September 25, 2023
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O Canada – Pontiac Celebrates

Canada Day, the Sheenboro Way

Madelaine Methot
Sheenboro July 1, 2023
The Sheenboro Recreation Association had a fantastic turnout for their annual Canada Day event on Saturday at the St. Paul the Hermit church grounds. It was a fun-filled day for the whole family with activities including games and face painting for children, live music performances by local artists Andrew Jones and Jim Beattie, a barbecue, a silent auction and, for the first time, an astronomy station.
Pontiac local Jim Thompson brought his telescope and offered children and adults an opportunity to learn about space and the upcoming lunar eclipse we will be able to witness in our area. The highlight of Canada Day, the Sheenboro Way is the parade, which is the longest Canada Day parade in the Pontiac and Renfrew County regions, according to event organizer Jeanie Gleason. “We have a fantastic community in Sheenboro and everyone comes out to support and volunteer for Canada Day” said Gleason.
This years’ celebrations also included a raffle for a newly refurbished 1930s canoe in honour of late Sheenboro local David Prentice. The canoe was purchased from a Sears catalog and David had dreams of refurbishing it before his passing. His friend Mark Hungate took it upon himself to completely refurbish the old canvas canoe with a new red fiberglasss exterior and new seats, to donate to the event in his friends’ name.

Just Getting Started - Opening splash pad in Danford Lake is only the beginning of a series of planned improvements

Charles dickson
Danford Lake
July 1, 2023
Henry Heeney Memorial Park in Danford Lake was the scene of the inauguration of a new splash pad on Saturday morning.
Dignitaries at the Canada Day event included Alleyn and Cawood Mayor Carl Meyer, Pontiac Warden Jane Toller and Pontiac MNA André Fortin, along with the municipal council and public works staff.
The event was ably organized by Isabelle Cardinal, the municipality’s director general, and Sheila Emon, special projects coordinator, who co-hosted the ceremony.
As described by Cardinal, speaking French, and Emon, speaking English, the park is being developed on a 30-acre property that was a part of Henry Heeney’s farm donated by his family for the creation of a community park in his memory.
With much gratitude for financial support from MRC Pontiac and the Government of Quebec, the co-hosts outlined progress to date and plans for future improvements to the park.
In addition to the splash pad and four modern toilets with a septic system, the municipality has secured funds for an electric car charging station and has plans to build a pavilion, a beach volleyball court, a soccer field, a baseball field, a basketball court and a tennis court. It will seek further funds to add play structures, a walking trail and a swing by the creek.
The duo also mentioned plans to expand the municipal building to create space for more offices and a Council chamber, with a gym in the basement of the addition, and renovations to the municipal library. As well, they are setting their sights on developing walking trails on Mount O’Brien where they will install signage, outhouses and garbage cans, all of which will be accessible by the public free of charge.

Alleyn and Cawood Mayor Carol Meyer, seated, cuts the ribbon officially opening the splash pad at the Henry Heeney Memorial Park in Danford Lake on Saturday, with a little help from friends Pontiac MNA André Fortin (left) and Pontiac Warden Jane Toller (right). Major organizers of the event were Alleyn and Cawood Director General Isabelle Cardinal, Special Projects Coordinator Sheila Emon, along with Councillors Susan Tanner, Sidney Squitti, Guy Bergeron, James Giroux, Mona Giroux and Darryl Mayer and Public Works staff Merlin Peck, Pat Miljour, Eric Lacharity, Cory Giroux and Cody Baker.

Shawville’s Canada Day parade undaunted by downpour

‘Happy Birthday Shawville!’ was the unmistakeable message of the giant birthday cake on the Giant Tiger float in the Shawville Canada Day parade on Saturday that also featured dirt bikes, fire trucks, farm machinery, horses and classic trucks. Shawville Fair president Vaughan Bastien dressed up as the Fair’s mascot, a dairy cow named Buttercup, helped ensure good spirits would prevail, even if it rained a little on the parade.

Mansfield en Fête returns

Madelaine Methot
Mansfield July 1, 2023
For the first year since the pandemic, the Mansfield en Fête Canada Day celebrations were held at the Parc Amyotte baseball field over the weekend and it was a huge success. The event is centered around the baseball tournament that spanned from Friday to Sunday. This year all proceeds will go to the Mansfield-et-Pontefract Fire Department, which organizer Sonya Rivington estimates being around $30,000.
The planning committee for the event used the opportunity to showcase local musical talent, with performances by Gail Gavan, Rewd with Louis Schryer & Ben Chabot, DJ Danik Ladouceur, Pontiac Classic Duo, Midnight Ramblers, Backtrak, and DJ Martin Leguerrier happening throughout the weekend. The Canada Day celebrations were topped off on Saturday night with a stunning fireworks display over the ballpark and two special performances by students of the Corriveau Dance School using capes made out of LED lights and light sticks. The festivities were well appreciated by the community after taking a break during the pandemic.
“I love getting a chance to come out and play a sport, and listen to music with people I don’t always get to see to celebrate Canada Day,” said Amelie Fortin who played in the tournament.

The tournament went on despite the rain. Pictured: Paul Boisvert up to bat at the baseball field on Saturday.

Shawville flea market raises money for McDowell

Eva Baldi
Shawville July 1, 2023
Thirty vendors gathered in the Shawville Arena on Saturday for the fifteenth annual Canada Day flea market.
The flea market began in 2009, and is organized by Mélanie Duchesne and Chris Beimers. For the first ten years the event was put on to fundraise for the hospital. Since then, Duchesne and Beimers have shifted their goals to benefit other local institutions.
This year, proceeds will be given to the teachers of Dr. S.E. McDowell Elementary School in Shawville for the purchase of classroom supplies.
“We take the total and then divide it by the amount of teachers. And then they submit receipts to us on what they bought, and then we reimburse them,” said Chris Beimers.
The flea market featured a 50/50 draw, and for the weeks leading up to July 1 organizers ran an online auction through Facebook. People were to pick up and pay for their prizes at Duchesne and Beimers’ table at the flea market.
This year vendors supported the cause by bringing their antiques, private collections, hand-made crafts, and jewelry. Some people used the event as a community yard-sale, selling off items that no longer have a use.

Flea market organizers Mélanie Duchesne and Chris Beimers with their son Jacob Beimers at the annual Canada Day flea market.

Otter Lake Canada Day parade

Main Street Shawville comes to life for Canada Day - Street dance featured Junction Boys and unveiling of new town banner

Eva Baldi
Shawville June 30, 2023
Canada Day festivities in Shawville began on Friday with The Junction Boys playing for a crowd dancing on Main Street and the unveiling of a banner for the logo competition.
Cars were blocked from going onto Main Street by a stage, turning the street into a pedestrian zone. People sat on camping chairs, or the sidewalk listening to rock covers by The Junction Boys who have roots in Weirstead (previously named ‘The Junction’).
Toddler Vivian Grace Ballantyne, nicknamed “Bean” by her family, was the first to hit the dance floor. Ballantyne was even asked by the band to come up and play guitar with them, which she refused.
Soon after, other children and adults followed Ballantyne’s lead and the street became filled with people rocking-out.
During the band’s first intermission, Shawville Mayor Bill McCleary took to the mic to present a banner featuring logos created by students at Dr S.E. McDowell school. The banner features twelve submissions, each with a write-up explaining why their logo best represents the essence of Shawville.
McCleary read off a submission by Quinton Smith, 12, that said “Shawville represents a great place to live, with an amazing community. Shawville arena is the heart of the community where people come together to enjoy the spirit of hockey. The Shawville Lions club represents kindness and generosity, which represents everyone in this great town.”
Despite no final winner being chosen, each student who submitted a logo was given a gift card to Brooklyn Place ice cream store.
Children who were present at the street dance gathered under the steps of the Shawville library, and upon the countdown pulled strings to unfold the banner hanging from the balcony above.
Though at first, the banner did get stuck because of the humidity, with a couple tugs the kids were able to unveil their art to the town.

Children present at the street dance under the Shawville Library balcony. Above is a banner featuring some of the submissions for the new logo contest. Art on the banner was created by Hannah Dowe, Aubrey Dubeau, Annabelle Leblanc, Josephine Hutton, Lilly Kluke, Quinton Smith, Autumn Rebertz-Chevalier, Hazel Hannaberry, Gabrielle Paré, Cohen Manwell, Caitlyn Fleming.

Canada Day festivities in Quyon

Connor Lalande
Quyon June 30, 2023
Clarendon Road was lined with jovial spectators sporting bright red attire for a Canada Day themed parade this past Friday.
The blaring of sirens from the local fire department trucks signaled the start of the parade. As the fire engines rolled slowly down the road, they were followed by the Ottawa Caledonian Pipes and Drums, a Celtic and Scottish Highland cultural marching band. With the rhythms from the Pipes and Drums filling the air, the rising energy amongst the crowd was palpable.
Following the band, a section of all-terrain and off-road-vehicles sporting Canadian flags large and small made it way down the road. Drivers and those accompanying them smiled, waved and threw candy, freezies and other treats to the appreciative crowd.
With the parade having run its course, parade goers and participants gathered at the Quyon community center for an afterparty. Activities included games for kids, a juggling, a unicycling entertainer and fireworks along the rivershore to round out the evening’s activities
“That’s what we do,” Quyon Community Association member Dale MacKechnie said. “We’re here for the community.”

Sporting a celebratory red and white color palette, parade goers and onlookers rung in the holiday in style.

Soapbox derby tradition lives on

Eva Baldi
Shawville June 30, 2023
Children driving motorless cars flew down Victoria Avenue on Friday evening, eyeing for the chance to be one of the Canada Day soap-box derby winners.
The races were organized by the Shawville-Clarendon Fire Department. Children were placed into three age groups; five to six years, seven to nine years and ten to 12 years, and were grouped into four brackets per age group. Competitors in the same brackets raced against each other, the winner moving on to race the next round. At the end, four winners for each age group were awarded medals.
Accounting for the seven-year age difference between the oldest and the youngest competitors, the cars are designed with wooden backrests so that both short and tall children can sit in them.
According to Greg Hayes, the first soap box derby was held in 1997. At this time, children would take on the project of making their own soap-box cars. Though the building and customization was fun for participants, it often came along with safety issues such as the lack of brakes. Around 15 years ago, the Shawville-Clarendon fire department decided to standardize the cars to even the playing field and ensure the safety of the children, not to mention those watching from the sides of the street.
Along with the standardization of the cars, ten years ago the fire department commissioned the Pontiac High School welding program to build them a new custom ramp designed by the firemen to the specifications needed for the event. The ramp is built onto the back of a flatbed trailer, and positioned at the the top of the hill on Victoria Avenue. Once the cars are positioned on the ramp by the firemen, the kids climb aboard. After an explanation on how to use the car, the spring-loaded board holding both cars on the ramp is dropped and gravity propels the racers to the finish line.
Prior to this year, the on-site barbeque was provided by Joanne’s Valu-mart and Café 349, but this year it was taken over by minor league hockey as a fundraiser for their upcoming season.
“We love it because the kids are always happy,” said Hayes. This is evident through the climbing number of participants. In 2018, only 24 children participated in the races. Now that number has more than doubled with 60 children coming out to enjoy the event this year.

Soapbox derby winners Luke Boudreau, Wes Acres, Nora MacKechnie, Grace MacKechnie, Ethan Thomas, Lucas MacKechnie, Emma Jean Pilon, Dallas Coughlin, Carson Barr, Findley Saray, Gavin Tracy, Owen Thomas and Maggie Monette, standing with firemen Ryan Fletcher and Julien Gagnon.
One last flurry of fireworks end the weekend Sunday night in Shawville.


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