Monday, April 22, 2013

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons Now Open for the Season

April 22, 2013

Media Release: For Immediate Release

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons
now open for the season

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is now open for the season and looking forward to welcoming visitors from around the world to one of Canada’s National Historic Sites and Ontario’s first European settlement.  Sainte-Marie offers a unique opportunity to explore the roots of Jesuit history in Huronia.  Originally founded by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), the famous 17th century mission also now shares a connection to the newly appointed Pope Francis, who is a member of that religious order.

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons offers a wide range of activities and experiences for visitors.  Available free of charge in the Spring and offered in 12 languages, guests can use Audio Tour Wands to hear the compelling story of the 17th century community, providing a personalized tour of the historic site.  In the summer, costumed Historical Interpreters provide fascinating daily presentations including 17th century fire starting, birch bark technology, historic cooking, clothing, and blacksmithing demonstrations, and Aboriginal storytelling in the atmospheric longhouses.

Special Events continue to be a huge draw for visitors and Sainte-Marie has a great line-up for 2013.  The site celebrates National Aboriginal Day on June 21, featuring special hands-on activities, Aboriginal music, drumming and dancing, and special programming for school groups.  The full event and activities continue for the public during the Aboriginal Festival June 22 and June 23, creating a dynamic celebration of Aboriginal cultureFamilies can enjoy Canada Day July 1 with fun activities for kids and complimentary Canada Day cake.  Franco-Ontarian Day September 25 will showcase French culture through story-telling and special displays.  A family favourite, the popular Thanksgiving Harvest Festival and Arts and Crafts Show runs October 12 and 13,  with over 40 outstanding artisans and crafters.   Rated a “Top 100 Event” in Ontario for five years running, the spectacular First Light returns evenings November 28, 29, and 30, illuminating the site with over 5,000 candles and featuring Franco-Ontarian music, Aboriginal singing and drumming, a French Café, artisans and re-enactors, community choirs, and much more.

A key part of Spring operations is the hosting of thousands of school children for curriculum-related education programs which began April 8 and will continue to the end of June.  In early May, Sainte-Marie will also be busy providing its Summer Interpretive Staff with an intensive two-week training period as the historic site prepares for the full public season.  The multi-faceted training program includes historical information, tour guiding techniques, historical animation and demonstration skills, health and safety, customer service, and working with visitors with disabilities.

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is now open weekdays to May 17, seven days per week May 18 to October 13, and weekdays October 14 to November 1. For further information visit, or call 705 526-7838.

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is operated by Huronia Historical Parks,
and is an Attraction of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.


Media Contact:

Bill Brodeur
Marketing and Media Relations
Huronia Historical Parks
705 528-7692

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Life and Music of Patsy Cline

The Life and Music of Patsy Cline

starring Marie Bottrell


 Canadian Country legend Marie Bottrell  stars in this incredible tribute to Patsy Cline. Ms. Bottrell is an 8-time Juno nominee, 2-time CCMA Female Vocalist of the Year.  She's had 18 top 40 singles and was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.  During the performance, you'll learn all about Patsy's amazing story, in addition to hearing all the great hits including "Walking After Midnight" "I Fall To Pieces" "Sweet Dreams of You" and of course, her signature song "Crazy". You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll stomp your feet and clap along...this is truly an amazing theatre experience as performed by one of Canada's all-time great female country vocalists, the one-and-only
 Marie Bottrell!

Click here for a sample

Midland Cultural Centre
Friday May 31, 2013
   7:30 pm
Adults $35, Students $20
plus HST and Box Office S/C

Avoid disappointment by purchasing your tickets early!

Tickets available on line at
or at the box office.

For further information call 705-528-0521

Friday, April 5, 2013



Family Physician Recruitment Still Needs Support
Mayors’ Day Fundraiser Friday, May 3

For immediate release

The Southern Georgian Bay Family Physician Recruitment Program is on target to meeting its five year recruitment goal after recruiting five family physicians in 2012.

“However, our work is far from over” explained Physician Recruitment Officer David Gravelle.  “Our success in 2012 may have given people the false impression that our work is done. Our recruitment plan forecasts that we will need 18 full-time family physicians to meet the needs of our community by 2017.”

“We’ve had one physician retire in the last 18 months, and a couple of doctors have reduced their workload on their way to retirement. However, we haven’t seen a large group retire yet,” said Gravelle.  “When that happens, it will take approximately two new physicians to replace each one of them.  That’s the reality we live in today.”

Midland native Dr. McKenzie Blake started her family practice at the Huronia Medical Centre in January 2012, and was joined later in the year by Dr. Hanni Darwish and Dr. Katie Cuttini-DarwishDr. Abo Akintan joined Dr. Rob Stubbins practice in Penetanguishene in July of last year, while also providing Geriatric Medicine services to Georgian Bay General Hospital’s Penetanguishene site.  And, Dr. Natasha Pinto committed to the community last year, and provided vacation and leave of absence support to local family physicians while her spouse was completing his psychology degree.  She will be starting a family practice and rostering new patients this spring.

The Southern Georgian Bay Family Physician Recruitment Program is embarking on its second year of a five-year plan, with the goal of recruiting three full-time family practitioners in 2013.

“We are very confident we will meet that target, with two family physicians already signed on to open practices in the coming year,” confirmed Gravelle.  “We are currently in discussions with a third candidate, who recently toured our area and is doing some training at our hospital in May.”


Dr. Wendy Davie will be joining the Bayside Medical Centre in Penetanguishene in August.  She will be accepting new patients and assuming many of the patients of Dr. Akintan who will be closing her family practice this summer.  Dr. Akintan will be remaining in the area in the short-term providing Geriatric and Hospitalist services at the two hospital sites, while her spouse searches for employment. Dr. Anila Mathai will be starting a family practice in the fall. Dr. Mathai, and her spouse Dr. Ian Wagg, a local GP/Anesthetist and Emergency Department physician, are considering various practice locations.

Formal announcements regarding start dates and how to join Dr. Davie’s and Dr. Mathai’s practices will be made later this spring, as the physicians must complete their final exams and secure licenses with the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

“People always wonder if family physician recruitment is necessary, or is someone else’s responsibility” said Gravelle, who has been in the role of recruitment and retention officer for six-and-a-half years.  “My answer is, if we did nothing, we would be putting 14,000 residents at risk.”

The Family Physician Recruitment Program is a volunteer led program that not only recruits physicians, but provides educational opportunities to medical students and residents in partnership with GBGH, Waypoint and local family physicians.  The volunteers also raise money to support the recruitment effort and are active in sourcing employment opportunities for physician’s spouses.

The program’s annual spring fundraiser is the Mayors’ Day in Support of Family Physician Recruitment. It will be held at the Brooklea Golf and Country Club on Friday, May 3, 2013 with 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games silver medalist Shelley-Ann Brown as the keynote speaker.  Brown, of Pickering, Ontario thrilled the hearts of Canadians pushing her teammate Helen Upperton to a Silver Medal win in Bobsleigh.

The event will include Olympic and winter sport décor, an update on the family physician recruitment efforts, and an inspiring presentation by a world-class athlete and Olympian

To learn more about Shelley-Ann Brown, visit her website at

There will be a breakfast presentation at 7:00am and a lunch presentation at 12 noon.  Tickets are $100 and are available for the 7 a.m. breakfast or the 12 noon luncheon. A tax receipt for the charitable portion will be issued by the Huronia Community Foundation. To order tickets, contact Susan Robillard at 705-533-2757.


Media Contact:

David Gravelle
Physician Recruitment and Retention Officer
Southern Georgian Bay Family Physician Recruitment Program
(705) 526-1300 ext. 5466

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Addressing the Low Water Levels in Georgian Bay

Update on the Georgian Bay Mayors - Addressing the Low Water Levels in 
Georgian Bay

When -- Saturday April 13, 2013  10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Where -- Penetanguishene Memorial Community Centre - Brian Orser Hall -- 61 Maria Street, Penetanguishene

The impact of declining water levels on the Great Lakes has been studied by many groups over the past decade. These studies have assembled significant amounts of scientific fact, proposed a number of underlying causes and considered possible solutions.

Notwithstanding, businesses, municipalities and residents around Georgian Bay are today facing clear and significant harm from the steadily decreasing water levels. Even with resolution of the broader issue sometime in the future, the impact upon the businesses and people of Georgian Bay constitutes a slow moving disaster that is profoundly affecting their way of life. Many business and residents will simply not survive to see any long term solution.

On April 13, 2013 updates will be provided on the Municipal efforts addressing low water levels
-          Case Book update
-          Efforts to engage Provincial and Federal Attention
-          IJC  Report status
-          Community Organizations Dedicated to the Cause – they need your support! (Stop the Drop, Georgian Bay Association, Georgian Bay Forever, Boating Ontario, Sierra Club)