Small Halls shows eclectic mix
BRYAN DAVIES PHOTO/SPECIAL TO THE ENTERPRISE-BULLETIN David Bruce Johnson, demonstrates tools and techniques on his current project and full sized Great Horned Owl during the Owl Show in Creemore Saturday.
CLEARVIEW TWP. — The adage “something for everyone” was written to describe this year’s Small Halls Festival in Clearview.
From Yuk Yuk’s comedy to owl biology, the fourth annual festival offered 60 events at nine small halls across the township.
“There was so much going on,” said chair Deborah Bronée. “It’s like being in a candy store.
“I think people opened the book and asked themselves, ‘Do I want to do the same thing as last year or do I want to do something different?’”
The fourth annual event brought together boards of directors of the nine halls, township staff, about 150 volunteers and 24 sponsors.
Some volunteers worked all weekend and many had experience from past festivals so things ran smoothly, for the most part, said Bronée.
For the first time, the event received no provincial funding.
That’s OK, says Bronée, because it was needed more for the start-up costs and the goal of the festival is to be self-sufficient. Lafarge sponsored the large tent at Brentwood Community Hall, for example.
Many of the ticketed events, including the Singhampton Hall’s wine tasting and food pairing Friday night and the whiskey nosing and dinner Saturday night, were sold out.
“That’s part of the promotion of the Small Halls Festival — to rent the small halls for family reunions and weddings,” she said.
Every year the festival changes and organizers learn from the year before, what works and what doesn’t. Breakfast always works.
At the Brentwood Hall Saturday there was a steady flow for the country breakfast.
“It started at eight but we had people already at the door waiting for breakfast,“ said Carol Vanderkruys, a board member for the hall.
At the Stayner Community Hall, Stayner Lions Club members served 230 breakfasts Saturday during the Local Heroes Breakfast and Paw Patrol where children could mingle with firefighters, police officers, paramedics and soldiers as well as see their vehicles.
Becky Tupling, who lives in Hong Kong, flew in to oversee the fifth annual Elijah Tupling Fun Run, held during the festival for the first time in Stayner. Her brother Elijah Tupling died tragically in a car collision nine years ago when he was 30 years old.
The memorial run re-distributes the funds for two annual $500 scholarships to Stayner Collegiate Institute graduates, Stayner Minor Hockey for families in need and to the Clearview Youth Centre.
“My brother was a teacher, my mom was a teacher and I am a teacher,” said Tupling.
About 80 people participated in the run along with 15 other donators and 20 volunteers.
Creemore offered a full weekend of art with the Owl Show, the Canada 150 Bowl Show and the Re-Vision show.
Artist Jim Stacey showed off his gardener’s gin wagon as part of the Re-Vision show where he re-purposed discarded wood pallets outside Station on the Green.
“It’s a demonstration project to inspire people to look at the resource that is the waste stream. Whatever we throw out may have value as something else,” he said.
He also made a planter, a bench, a raised pet bed, and a Christmas tree art piece from the pallets.
“There is a ton of things you can do with them,” he said.
Stacey has set up a Facebook website revision.eco to give people ideas on re-visioning pallets.
Inside, wood carver Jim Harkness organized The Owl Show that brought together 15 professional artists and 40 community painted folk art owls (that were carved by Harkness).
Chloe Beresford, 8, painted one of the folk owls.
“I did all different colours because I wanted to make it look unique and good. I painted the feet yellow because I was thinking of one of my chickens.”
Harkness also carved 15 owls for the show to represent all the species found in Ontario.