LANDMINE ER DEBUTS AT UN APR. 4 SNEAK PREVIEW IN BAYFIELD TOMORROW
BY MELODY FALCONER-POUNDER
Apr. 4 is International Landmine Awareness Day. This date probably isn’t highlighted in any calendars owned by Bayfield residents – save for one.
Richard Fitoussi will no doubt have it marked. For on that date his latest film project will be premiered at the United Nations in New York City.
Landmine ER, a powerful new documentary on the devastating impact of landmines in post-war communities, has been created due to the combined efforts of Fitoussi’s Canadian based 3World Media and Scintilla Films of the UK working in conjunction with the Canadian Landmine Foundation (CLF) and the United Nations Mine Action Services (UNMAS).
Bayfield's Richard Fitoussi (left) and Landmine ER's British director, Tom Peppiatt, filming in a mine field in Cambodia.
The documentary will screen to state signatories of the mine ban, diplomats, NGOs, members of the media and special guests at the Dag Hammarskjöld Library at the UN in New York. Also on the days agenda is the unveiling of a new landmine photo exhibition by TIME Magazine photographer Marco Grobwill and Italian photographer Giovanni Diffidenti. The UN will also launch the “Lend Your Leg” global mine awareness campaign as part of the day’s mine awareness initiatives.
As the film’s Canadian producer, Fitoussi will attend the event and participate in a question and answer session after the screening.
Fitoussi is no stranger to landmines. Since a meeting in 2000 his life has seemingly been entwined with them. It was while working as a photojournalist covering the 25th anniversary of the Khmer Rouge social experiment that he went to visit the Cambodia Landmine Museum that former child soldier, Aki Ra had established at his Cambodian home in 1997.
Aki Ra invited Fitoussi to go demining with him, to see how it was done. They spent ten days out in very isolated, rural and heavily mined territory. Camera at the ready, Fitoussi documented Aki Ra at work digging up mines and dismantling them using steady hands and the tools of the trade, a hammer and a wrench.
During their time together Aki Ra asked Fitoussi for help.
“He envisioned a huge project,” said Fitoussi. “He wanted to establish a real NGO (non-governmental organization). He wanted to build a western-style museum and help kids effected by land mines.”
It was then that Fitoussi brought his photographs back to Canada and over the next three years worked at getting them published. He told Aki Ra’s story and began raising awareness and funding for the project.
A still from the film, Landmine ER, that will premiere at the United Nations in New York City on Apr. 4.
“I took it upon myself to make connections and to form this non-profit organization,” said Fitoussi, founder of The Cambodia Landmine Museum Relief Fund. Fitoussi also became an executive producer on a documentary film about Aki Ra. The film, entitled, A Perfect Soldier, was released in 2010.
Then on Apr. 22, 2006 while filming, “Waging Peace: Canada in Afghanistan”, Fitoussi himself became a landmine survivor. Embedded with the Canadian military he was traveling in a convoy when four Canadian soldiers were killed just fifteen feet ahead of him when their vehicle struck a Taliban improvised explosive device (IED) made from two anti-tank mines. It was the largest Canadian combat loss captured on camera since the Korean War.
Exactly one year after this tragic event, Fitoussi would open the Cambodia Landmine Museum and Relief Facility with co-founder and 2010 CNN Heroes Award winner, Aki Ra. The facility is the first accredited museum of its kind in the world and today provides care to over 40 children affected by landmines, disabilities and poverty. Today the facility is a self-sustainable vehicle for international landmine awareness and victim relief.
As producer, Landmine ER is the next chapter in Fitoussi’s story. The film, shot over two months with unprecedented access to the operating theatres of Cambodia's busiest war-trauma hospital, documents a landmine victim’s physical and psychological journey as he struggles to come to terms with life as an amputee. Examining the effects of war trauma in post-war Cambodia, Landmine ER offers an unflinching view of a weapon that knows no ceasefire.
Together with the CLF, Fitoussi and the film’s British director, Tom Peppiatt (Gold Rush, Undercover Boss) have also produced a 40-minute condensed edit of the film titled, “The Damage Done”, created specifically for educational use in Canadian classrooms. A 36-page, core-curriculum educational resource kit was also created as a means to help teachers educate Canadian students regarding the impact of landmines and IEDs on Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan as well as provide a brief history of The Ottawa Treaty (commonly known as The International Ban on Landmines).
Bayfield and area residents can get a sneak preview of the film Landmine ER on the evening of March 29 at the Bayfield Town Hall.
At a fundraising event in the fall of 2011, CLF board member Chris Snyder stated, “The Ottawa Treaty is arguably the single most important Canadian foreign policy initiative since Lester B. Pearson won the Nobel Prize for creating the concept known as Peacekeeping…This is something that very few Canadians are consciously aware of. I believe that this is something young Canadians should be learning about, as it is part of our Canadian moral fabric and identity. We hope that this film lends itself as an asset in Canadian classrooms across the country.”
“Landmine ER” and “Waging Peace: Canada in Afghanistan” are both distributed worldwide by Canamedia Distribution. The Damage Done will be available to schools across Canada via Distribution Access (a sister company of Canamedia).
March 29 is a date Bayfield and area residents should take note of as they have the opportunity to get an exclusive sneak preview of Landmine ER just days before its premiere at the United Nations.
It will be shown at the Bayfield Town Hall starting at 8 p.m. The cost is $15 with proceeds helping to support the film’s launch in New York. The evening is sponsored by the Bayfield Concert Series.
Not in Bayfield on March 29? You are invited to view a teaser of Landmine ER.
Children to descend on square for annual Easter Egg Hunt
Sixty-eight pounds of chocolate, molded into the shape of Easter eggs, will be worth its weight in gold to countless youngsters when it is tossed on the lawn in Clan Gregor Square for the annual Easter Egg Hunt.
Hosted by the Bayfield Optimist Club the hunt will begin precisely at 1 p.m. on Apr. 8.
Those youngsters who participate in the event are reminded to bring a container to collect their chocolate treasures in and remember the hunt happens very quickly so be sure to be on time.
Tickets will also be sold for the raffle of a basket filled with Easter treats and toys. Tickets will be $2 each or 3 for $5. The sale of these tickets helps cover the hunt expenses and the ongoing work the Bayfield Optimist Club does for youth in the community.
After the chocolate eggs have all been collected, hunt participants are invited by The Village of Bayfield to head down to Main Street to take part in a Scavenger Hunt hosted by the shops of Bayfield.
Scavenger Hunt cards will be available at Main Street Optometric, Sweets N’ Treats and The Little Inn. With cards and baskets in tow families can begin their search for eggs hidden around town. Completed cards can be dropped off at Sweets N’ Treats to be entered into a draw for a “sweet” prize.
Can’t take part in the Scavenger Hunt on Sunday afternoon? Not to worry, the hunt runs all weekend long during shop hours.
Bayfield and Clinton Guiding are teaming up to host a “Mostly Books Sale” on Apr. 21 in the Trinity Anglican Church Parish Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To make the sale a success the girls are now accepting gently used books of all genres with the exception of textbooks, encyclopedias and magazines. They are also collecting music CDs, VHS or DVD movies in good condition. Please no cassettes, records or older forms of media.
Books etc. can be given to members of Bayfield and Clinton Guiding or dropped of at the Bayfield Village Inn or Drs. Haney and Van Maanen’s Dental Office in Clinton from now until Apr. 19. For more information call 519 565-2443.
The money raised will go toward their year end adventure to the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto to take part in a Guiding sleepover.
Members of Bayfield Guiding also have cookies for sale. These classic chocolate and vanilla crème filled cookies sell for $5 a box. They are available from local Guiding members or at the Bayfield Village Inn.
Communities around the world will demand action on climate change by marking Earth Hour on March 31. All are encouraged to turn their lights off for 60 minutes starting at 8:30 p.m. (local time).
To celebrate Earth Hour in Bayfield everyone is invited to turn off lights at home and head to St. Andrew’s United Church for a concert given by the Glee Sisters choir, and their sister organization, Elliot’s Liquidation Band. In addition the St. Andrew’s United Church choir will perform. The evening will commence at 8 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
This year, Bayfield’s version of Earth Hour will also feature guest speaker renowned environmentalist Ray Letheren. “Water” will be his topic.
There will also be an update on the Bayfield Tree Project. Donations will be accepted for the upcoming planting season with receipts available for donations over $20.
Organizers suggest participants bring a flashlight, candle or hurricane lamp to the event because for one hour the lights will be off in the church as well!
The Bayfield Town Hall will be the site of a mystery play and bistro on the evening of Apr. 21.
The evening, that will also feature a silent auction, will benefit the Huron Women's Shelter and Second-Stage Housing. Since 1985 the Huron Women’s Shelter in Goderich has been a sanctuary for women and children in crisis.
“It is a sad fact that the recent economic downturn and tragic tornado have increased the need for a safe place for too many women and their children. The Women's Shelter has been extremely busy,” said Gail Grant past board member with the Huron Women’s Shelter.
Tickets are available now for $30. Please call Gail Grant at 519 565-2435 or the Women's Shelter directly to purchase.
Another exciting series of Toronto Film Circuit films brought to you by the Bayfield Film Society at the Bayfield Town Hall have begun. The films will be shown on the second Thursdays of the month at 7:30 pm.
Those without a subscription can still attend as a limited number of tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 per film.
The spring schedule of films includes: Margin Call, Apr. 12; Sarah’s Key, May 10; and The Guard, June 14. The final film will begin with a wine and cheese celebration at 6:30 p.m.
For more information contact: Lynn Gillians, 519 565-5884 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or Margo Robeson, 519 565-2827 or e-mail Margo10510@comcast.net.
Have you heard the news? A new monthly hearing clinic is being established in the village at Pharmasave Michael’s Pharmacy. The next date for the clinic is Apr. 16.
The Kincardine Hearing Clinic will be offering their services on the third Tuesday of every month from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The clinic will offer: hearing aid adjustments and repairs to all makes and models, no cost hearing tests, new prescription of hearing aids, wax removal, hearing aid battery sales as well as hard of hearing assistive devices.
To book an appointment please call The Kincardine Hearing Clinic at 1-855-396-6026.
The Bayfield Diners’ Club luncheons are now back in full swing.
Anyone who is 55+ years of age is invited to join the club members for their weekly Thursday lunches at the Bayfield Community Centre. Newcomers are most welcome to join in the meal.
The club cook is Peggy Cunningham; several volunteers capably assist her. Anyone who can donate two hours of their Thursday to help prepare or serve the lunch would be most welcome and should contact Dianne Argyle at 519 565-2800.
Participants should call Betty Young at 519 565-2502 no later than 10 a.m. on the Monday prior to the Thursday lunch to inform organizers of their intention to attend or not to attend the luncheon. Or if Young is not available please contact Jane Davidson McKee at 519 565-2653
The cost for the lunch is $8 per person. Anyone who wishes to enjoy the meal but cannot make it to the community centre is invited to order a take-out lunch.
One Care is sponsoring several programs for both men and women to keep up with their desire to stay fit.
Dancefit and Toning classes are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 a.m. The cost is $40 for four months or $3 per class. The classes are held at the Bayfield Community Centre.
The Sit and Get Fit classes are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:15 a.m. On Fridays a Stretching Class is offered at 10:15 a.m. for approx. 45 minutes. This class is suitable for everyone. Both of these fitness opportunities are held at the Bayfield Community Centre and cost a $1 per class.
For the more adventurous among us, there is Pole Walking. Walks for women are scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays while walks for men are held on Monday and Friday mornings All walks begin from 6 Main Street and begin at 8:30 a.m. Poles are provided free for those who require them.
A Yoga Class will be held at the Bayfield Town Hall starting at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays. The cost for is $3 per class and participants are asked to bring a yoga mat. A time of quiet reflection and meditation follows the yoga class starting at 11:15 a.m. All in the community are invited to take part.
Indoor badminton is played on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. at the Varna Complex The cost is $3 each and no experience or equipment is required to play.
Call 519 565-2202 for more information on the above exercise opportunities.
For those people looking to exercise their minds, Women’s Bridge is played every Wednesday at 1 p.m. No partner needed to play the cost is $1.50 per game. For more information call Brenda Blair 519 565-2881.Mah Jongg games are also offered on the first and third Thursdays of the month starting at 1 p.m. Call 519 565-2468 for more information.
Both Bridge and Mah Jongg are played at the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building.
Huron Ridge Acres would like to invite all in the community to participate in their Winter Walking Program - a terrific way to escape those winter “blahs”. On Tuesdays and Fridays during January, February and March the owners open the greenhouse from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for people to come and walk on the ice-free, snow-free sidewalks. Those who take part can enjoy the smell of things growing, and the sunshine on days when it shines, along with some relaxing background music. There is no charge – it is the Steckle’s way of saying thanks to the community for their support of Huron Ridge.
Please note that Zumba Bayfield has been cancelled for this week but will return with some new moves on Apr. 4. All are invited to join the group that meets every Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. in the Bayfield Community Center. The cost is $10 per class. Zumba is a Latin inspired, easy to follow and calorie burning dance fitness party. For more information contact Jamie Thomas via email at email@example.com or join the Facebook Group: