bfit unveils business plan for future of bayfield complex
About 60 people filled the Bayfield Town Hall to learn about the detailed business plan for the future of the Bayfield Recreation Complex on the morning of Oct. 6. The Bayfield Facility Initiative Team (BFIT), comprised of representatives from a dozen local groups, as well as interested individuals, had been working since the Spring on the plan.
“The plan is a win-win”, said Sandy Scotchmer, co-chair of BFIT. “The Municipality can meet its objective of saving money and the village retains the facility with a full range of services for all age groups, including an ice surface.”
The concept is based on a Public Private Partnership. BFIT proposes that, under a multi-year lease and financial agreement with the municipality, the community itself would take over the management and operation of the existing complex. The business plan shows that, with a more aggressive marketing and sales effort, revenues can be increased. On the cost side, expenses can be reduced in many areas, for example, the use of volunteers to reduce full time labor costs.
Over the next few years, while BFIT operates the complex in its current configuration, the group would also consult with residents in the village and catchment area to decide on long term requirements. What are the needs of our evolving community? Will a renovation or new build best meet these requirements? What is the optimal financing approach? BFIT argues that there is no urgency to reach a conclusion on these questions now.
“The Municipality has no money to repurpose or build a new facility anyway,” said Sandy Scotchmer. “Also, our community is going through a rapid change in its demographic make-up; it is important to see how that shakes out before making permanent decisions on a new or replacement centre.”
The business model is based on a detailed financial plan using Bluewater’s recent years’ budgets as a basis to make five-year projections for all revenue and cost line items. A risk assessment was carried out on each. Reserves are built into the business plan to offset surprises on high risk items. One risk is the age of the ice-making equipment. To be thorough, BFIT checked with two engineering firms. Both Cimco Refrigeration and Black and MacDonald reported that the equipment can continue to operate without issue for the immediate future and certainly longer than the Municipality’s 2017 Asset Management Report suggests. Equipment can be repaired as spare parts are available at reasonable cost.
Also, as part of its “due diligence”, the BFIT team visited several Ontario community complexes to harvest ideas on best practices. The most fascinating and relevant one is Belmore, a small community of 200 just north of Wingham, ON. That village has operated its own community complex, including arena, curling rink and baseball diamonds, for over 30 years. It is run by an independent local board and volunteers. Their municipality is not involved financially or administratively. The Belmore management team has generously shared their knowledge and experience with BFIT.
The BFIT business plan outlines that the proposed governance and management model would be similar to the way many other community assets are managed in Bayfield. Currently there are seven volunteer groups which operate buildings and physical assets with little or no help from the Municipality. These are: Bayfield Town Hall, Bayfield Lions’ Community Building, Pioneer Park, Bayfield River Valley Trails, Bayfield International Croquet Club, Bayfield Archives and Welcome Centre, and Agricultural Park. Some of these assets are owned outright by the community groups, others are leased from the Municipality for $1 per year. They are all run by independent boards elected at an annual general meeting and have subcommittees assigned by function to manage the assets, services and revenue generation.
“Operating costs in every case are significantly less than what it would take the Municipality to run these facilities,” said Scotchmer.
BFIT recommends that the Municipality annually contribute $100K from its recreation budget to the project. BFIT would handle the rest through revenues and cost management. This Bluewater annual contribution would, in essence, be a tax rebate to Bayfield residents in lieu of Bluewater operating the asset. Given the Municipality’s current annual operating losses on the complex, which have run as high as $140K in recent years, this would be a $40K saving to Bluewater taxpayers. Interestingly, if the same model were eventually applied to the Hensall and Zurich complexes, both of which have higher operating losses than Bayfield, the Municipality could achieve hundreds of thousands in savings.
The crowd that attended the briefing appeared to be in full support of the proposal. One gentleman thanked the members of BFIT for their enthusiasm and the professional effort that had been put into the business plan, lauding it as outstanding. This generated strong applause from those present. As well, nine candidates competing for Council seats in the upcoming Municipal election attended the presentation. The majority spoke out in support of the proposal.
Steve Baker, co-chair of BFIT, in his concluding remarks, thanked the volunteer planning team for their commitment and remarked on their broad array of experience and professional skills. He also noted that BFIT had briefed the Municipality’s arena consultant on this business plan and all his follow-up questions have been answered in subsequent correspondence.
“We want to make sure that the new Council and their consultant have all the relevant information when reviewing the future of the Bayfield Complex,” said Baker.
Copies of the 30-page business plan are available by contacting Scotchmer at email@example.com.
Learn to achieve zero waste
Tippi Thole (Submitted photo)
Bayfield recently became the first community in North America to be recognized as a plastic free community but there is always work to be done. Blue Bayfield will be hosting an afternoon on “Strategies to Reduce Plastic Waste” on Oct. 27 at the Bayfield Town Hall.
Four speakers will share their knowledge from 1-5 p.m. These speakers will be: Tippi Thole, Achieving Zero Waste; Jen Pate, Love Your Greats: From the Oceans to the Great Lakes; Rachel Handbury, Waste – Not at the Zoo; and Wendy Yamamoto-Chapman, Recycling “right”.
Thole is a freelance graphic designer and zero waste striver. She is the owner of Bright Spot Studio where she does branding, web and print design for clients around the world. She’s also the owner of tinytrashcan.com where she shares simple strategies to reduce waste. Early on in her zero-waste journey, she adopted a tiny trashcan, which helped her shrink her trash and measure her progress. Her efforts have received worldwide recognition. In her “spare time” she can be found tending her vegetable garden, shopping neighborhood garage sales or salsa dancing way past her bedtime.
Admission to the event is free but donations are appreciated to support environmental work. For more information please visit, www.bluebayfield.ca.
Jazz concert the next offering at the Bayfield Town Hall
On Friday, Oct. 26, the Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society is pleased to present a jazz concert by the School Daze Jazz Quartet.
Based in London, ON, the quartet has played together for several years. The group plays many jazz standards from the 1950s-60s but also enjoys journeys into the early days of jazz and the Brazilian sounds of the Bossa Nova.
This group of multi-talented musicians is made up of: Paul Adams, Drums; Randy Bayley, Sax; David Lee, Keyboards; and Steve Harris, Bass.
Adams is a Professor of Medicine at Western University. He has played in a wide variety of jazz groups, rock bands, marching band and is a jazz historian and film maker. He toured Canada and the US with a physician band, the “Marginal Donors”.
Bayley is a multi-instrumental woodwind player. He also teaches private clarinet, saxophone and flute lessons. He currently works as the "road rep" for the brass and woodwind repair shop "Music Aid". He was a member of the clarinet section for the London Community Orchestra for eight years. He is a Past President of the London Concert Band. He played in a 50s-60s, R&B cover band in Australia called, "Take Cover". He is the lead tenor with the Prime Time Big Band, a position he has held for over 20 years.
Lee is a project management consultant. His love for playing many instruments gave him a chance to share the stage with world-renowned soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian at Hart House Theatre (viola), astronaut Chris Hadfield at Roy Thomson Hall (clarinet), and CASA award winning a cappella group Countermeasure at Kennedy Center in Washington DC (vocal).
Harris (bass) is a keen jazz enthusiast and enjoys accompanying the soloists in School Daze. He has played in several bands and frequently performed with his Ska group “The Executives” at Call The Office in London and at The Horseshoe Tavern and El Mocambo in Toronto. He is a past Board Member and remains an active volunteer with the Kiwanis Music Festival of London.
Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Cash bar. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. For tickets call Sandy Scotchmer at 519 565-2830 or purchase online at www.ticketscene.ca.
Hullett Sugar Bush next hiking destination for BRVTA
The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) will host a Photography Hike at the Hullett Sugar Bush in the Hullett Provincial Wildlife Area on Sunday, Oct. 14.
The event will begin at 2 p.m. and the bush is accessible from the parking lot at 80602 Wildlife Line (just north of Telephone Line)
This hike is ranked as a Level 3 difficulty. It includes some hilly sections and some areas can be slippery when wet. The distance is 4-5 KMs depending on the route chosen and the time for the hike should be 2-2.5 hours, giving us plenty of time to make numerous stops for nature photography. Members of the Photography Club of Bayfield will be there to assist you with any photographic questions.
The Blue Trail, which is the main trail in the Sugar Bush, is one of the most common trails at Hullett and meanders through both woodland and meadow and links to numerous other trails. From stands dominated by sugar maple, white ash and American beech to meadows of grasses, flowers and hawthorns, woodpeckers, flickers and nuthatches abound. Hikers may even catch a glimpse of the pileated woodpecker or rare loggerhead shrike! Hullett is a bird lovers paradise.
The Green Trail, which is also on the hike has woodlands providing good shade for walking and has good opportunities for wildlife viewing. On this trail hikers can see raptor nests and wood duck boxes. This trail not only runs through the eastern portion of the Sugar Bush, but also travels through fallow field and meadow making this a good place to find a wide variety of wildlife.
Another trail hikers will take within the Sugar Bush, the Yellow Trail, cuts through the maple and ash dominant forest of the Sugar Bush. Because of this, it has been hit hard by the invasion of Emerald Ash Borer. This makes it a very interesting habitat to watch as other species of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants are beginning to flourish. As old ash trees fall, nutrients return to the soil and shelter is created for animals. This is also prime habitat for viewing white-tailed deer.
The whole Sugar Bush is a fantastic venue for autumn photography. Everyone welcome!
The hike leaders will be Jack Pal, 519 565-5340; Conrad Kuiper, 519 482-9724; and Dave MacLaren.
Harvest dinner this Saturday
The annual Bayfield River Valley Trail Association’s (BRVTA) Harvest Dinner and Dance is an opportunity to celebrate the trails and express thanks to the trails’ landowners.
The Bayfield Trails are a wonderful asset to the community and are enjoyed by many individuals, families and groups on a regular basis. Even though the volunteers work very hard to keep the trails in good shape and provide programming for the community, the trails would not exist if it wasn’t for the generosity and cooperation of the landowners. They allow us to use the trails free of charge. In return, they get invited once a year for a lovely meal, so everyone can give them a round of applause.
The Harvest Dinner, set for Saturday, Oct. 13 at Renegades Diner, is also the only fundraiser the BRVTA organize and through community support for this event, the association is able to maintain the trails and keep them open for public use.
The evening will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. during which wine and appetizers will be shared. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. followed by live music.
Organizers are glad that the local band The Cheap Shirts are able to perform again this year, this gives attendees an opportunity to stretch their legs and have a little fun after a great dinner.
The BRVTA would like to thank their event sponsors: Virtual High School, Edward Fuels and TCC. Their support is very much appreciated.
They are also happy to announce that they have seven wonderful and unique silent auction items: introduction to fly fishing, by Doug Zavitz; a musical performance at your house, by Then There’s Three; handmade charcuterie board, by Sonny Kumpf; unique wine label board - a must for any wine cellar, by Roger and Pat Lewington; hand knit scarf, by Jan Jamula; original painting, by local artist Anita VanderHaar; and a hand-made glass mosaic, by Roberta Stemp.
Tickets are $40.00 each. Anyone who has not purchased a ticket yet is encouraged to talk to their friends and book a table for a great evening of fun and wonderful door prizes. Please call Roger Lewington at 519 565-2202 or Scott Robeson at 519 565-2827 for tickets.
Author to read book to raise funds for Huron Hospice
Tom Zink, an author from North Bay with family connections in Huron County, will read from his recently-published book, “Seasoned: A Memoir of Grief and Grace” at St. George’s Anglican Church in Goderich, on Sunday, Oct. 14.
This event is a fund-raiser for Huron Residential Hospice and will begin at 1 p.m. Admission is by goodwill donation. Books will be available for sale at $20. For each book sold at this event $5 will be donated to the hospice.
“Seasoned” is the story of Zink’s unwitting grief journey of five decades that began when his older brother, Steve, died in a traffic crash when both boys were teenagers. Zink has found that his road to healing began when he was able to start telling his own story. His hope is that by sharing parts of that story of loss, grief, healing and recovery, others may be encouraged to consider doing the same. Telling our stories puts language to our losses so that we can see beyond them.
Zink buried his grief along with his brother so he could carry on with his life. His career after high school took him around the world, across the continent and back again. It was only after Zink was married and a father of two teenaged sons that, in a moment of profound grace, he realized the depth and importance of his loss. His faith and new-found desire as an adult to process his brother’s death lifted him out of his personal permafrost of grief and took him full circle back to his brother’s grave.
But “Seasoned” is not merely a story of grief and recovery; it is also a poignant and, at times, humorous look at laughter and lightheartedness, winning and losing, and doubt and faith. More information about the book is at www.tomzink.ca.
Dave and Penny Overboe, formerly of Bayfield, were recently presented with the Melvin Jones Progressive Fellowship Award. Joining them in the photo were: A-15 Past District Governor Tim DeBlock, who acted as master of ceremonies for the evening; Bayfield Lions’ President, Don Vance; the Overboes and A-15 District Governor Kevin Banfield. It was a night to remember for the membership of the Bayfield Lions’ Club that honored the couple for their hard work with the local club as well as for Lions in general. Many Lions’ dignitaries, members from the Londesborough and Blyth Lions’ Clubs were in attendance as well as family and friends. The award is the highest honor a club can bestow on a member and all agreed that the couple were very deserving recipients. Congratulations from the Bayfield club and community. (Photo by EJ Bauer)
“Audibly Awesome” will be performing at St. Andrew’s United Church today (Oct. 10).
This special evening of music, featuring the Lobb brothers, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is by donation.
All Candidates Meeting
Anyone with an interest in municipal politics will not want to miss Bayfield’s version of the All Candidates meeting scheduled for Oct. 11 at the Bayfield Town Hall.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. and is being sponsored and organized by the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Bayfield Lions' Club members would like to let the public know that tickets for the Joe Brandon Memorial Trout Derby are now available at the following places: Nip & Tuck and Brandons Hardware in Bayfield, Goderich Bait & Tackle and Angling Sports in London. The Derby will run this weekend, Oct 12 -14.
Sarah Harron, of South Hills Succulents in Seaforth, will share her love of succulents at the next meeting of the Bayfield Garden Club on Oct. 15.
Harron will give a demonstration starting at 7:30 p.m. She will also offer some tips and techniques for the successful growing and display of succulents.
The meeting will be held at the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building in Bayfield and all are welcome to attend. A social time with refreshments and door prizes will be held following the speaker.
Nicole Miller, a Stott Certified, Pilates instructor, will be offering a six-week, one-hour, beginner, Pilates class at The Lake House of Bayfield starting on Oct. 15.
Pilates, the “go to” exercise of many celebrities is one of the best things an aging body can engage in. It’s a dynamic way to improve core strength, flexibility, focus, and reduce mental and physical tension. It is an exercise system designed to utilize deep muscles in the body to create efficiency in movement, greater mobility and strength throughout. By developing the core through repetitive physical focus, people are less likely to injure themselves, will better control their movements, and move with grace.
The exercises can accommodate all levels of fitness. Core strengthening through Pilates is particularly good for those who have had previous injury or rehabilitation issues. All movements are designed to promote ease and well-being in the mind and body.
The sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m. The program will run until Nov. 19 and the cost is $90.
To register or for more information contact Nicole Miller via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 519 441-1521.
GIRL GUIDE COOKIES
Looking for a sweet addition to your Thanksgiving table? Look no further than Bayfield Guiding. Members are now selling the Chocolatey Mint Girl Guide Cookies for $5 a box.
They can be purchased from members or by calling Melody Falconer-Pounder at 519 525-3830.
The girls will also be selling cookies during Cookie Day in Canada, Saturday, Oct. 13 with tables at the Bayfield Foodland from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at the Walmart in Goderich from noon to 4 p.m.
Profits from sales help with program activities and field trips.
The West Coast Astronomers will host their last Star Party of the year on Thursday, Oct. 11 at the Bayfield Agricultural Park, weather and sky conditions permitting.
As well as planning to observe the Pleiades, Uranus and the Andromeda Galaxy the amateur astronomers will be aiming for an assortment of deep sky objects such as: double clusters, nebulae and spiral galaxies.
Visit www.westcoastastronomers.info to reserve a spot on the Star Party page, so they can communicate with you in case the conditions are unfavorable or rescheduled. Dress appropriately for the weather. The viewing will begin at 8 p.m.
Anyone who may have doubt on the status of the event or have questions should please call Guy Spence at 519 868-6691 before the event. Everyone is welcome to join, with or without a telescope. There is no fee. Amateur astronomers are invited to join in with their telescope at sundown.
SIGN AND WAYFINDING FOLLOW-UP
Huron County, in partnership with Regional Tourism Organization 4 Inc. (RTO4), is creating a signage and wayfinding plan with Bayfield selected as the implementation pilot site.
Signs will have an area that can be customized for each community. Drop in at the Follow-Up Open House to be held on Oct. 15, from 6-8 p.m. in the Community Room at the Bayfield Library, to see what the Bayfield section might look like based on your input from the first Open House and have the opportunity to ask questions about the project.
Knox Presbyterian Church in Bayfield is organizing a Spaghetti Supper to be held at the Bayfield Town Hall on Oct. 18.
On the menu will be garlic toast, Caesar salad, a selection of sauces, including, vegetarian, plus assorted desserts. There will also be a gluten free option for pasta. Tea, coffee and juices will be included with wine and beer available for purchase. Service will be conducted from 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults; children four to 14 years, $7.50; under four years free. Takeout will be available. Please call 519 524-0224 for tickets.
Members of the Bayfield Artist Guild (BAG) are the “Guest Artist” at Goderich Co-Op Gallery for the month of October.
Eleven painters, and one potter, from the BAG, will display their artistic endeavors at the gallery for the entire month. All paintings and ceramics are for sale at very reasonable prices. Visitors will find short bios of each artist that will give a small understanding of the artist’s philosophy.
Everyone is invited to a reception at the Co-Op Gallery on Oct. 13 from 2-4 p.m. The gallery is located on The Square.
BAG encourages everyone in Bayfield, and beyond, to visit the gallery and support local artists. Its regular hours are Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WORLD SINGING DAY
World Singing Day is a global, public, sing-a-long that happens on the third weekend in October, on seven continents.
The Glee Sisters and the Bayfield Ukulele Society will be leading their favorite sing-a-long songs at the Bayfield Town Hall on Oct. 20 for one hour starting at 1:30 p.m.
Anyone who loves singing along to songs in the car, in the shower, at home, with a choir or with their children this is the event to attend! No experience necessary; just the desire to join in song to help celebrate our common humanity. All are welcome for a joyful hour of music and song in hopes of bringing the community closer together!
Want to learn more about WSD? Visit www.worldsingingday.org
BAYFIELD UKULELE SOCIETY
Anyone who has always wanted to try the ukulele can give it a try at some upcoming workshops hosted by the Bayfield Ukulele Society (BUS).
The final beginner workshop with loaner instruments will be held at the Bayfield Public Library on Saturday morning, Oct. 20, for one hour starting at 9 a.m. Experienced players from the BUS will work one-on-one with beginners, to teach a few simple chords and strumming patterns, and then learn a few easy favorite songs to play together as a group. Absolute beginners welcome - no experience necessary.
Anyone interested in staying afterwards can listen (and sing along!) during the regular Saturday morning practise that will follow at 10 a.m. Check out the Bayfield Ukulele Society Facebook page for more information or to contact the group.
The fourth annual Bayfield Witches’ Walk through the haunted forest at The Ashwood Inn is set for Oct. 27.
Last year 700 souls of all ages braved the woods and this year organizers are hoping to scare over 1,000! Entering the woods between 6-8 p.m. is by donation with 100 per cent of the proceeds being gifted to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of North Huron.
Volunteers are now being sought to set up or man one of the scary stations. It’s so much fun and all are welcome. For more information call The Ashwood Inn at 519 565-4444.
The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) will host an Autumn Hike in Naftel’s Creek Conservation Area on Oct. 28.
People are invited to join for this enjoyable afternoon hike that will begin at 2 p.m.
Hikers will experience a mix of conifer plantations, hardwood and wetland areas. Boardwalks allow visitors to enjoy the wetland. A highlight of the area is the opportunity to watch for trout when crossing over Naftel’s Creek. The trail is 3 KMs long and is a Level 2 difficulty. The hike will take about 1.5 hours.
Naftel’s Creek Conservation Area is located 7 KMs south of Goderich on Hwy 21, #79152 between Union Rd and Kitchigami Rd. Parking available.
Everyone is welcome to join hike leaders, Chris and Pam Bowers, 519 525-8850; Gary Mayell, 519 441-0141; and Peter Jeffers, 519 933-4555.
MURDER MYSTERY DINNER
The Bayfield Committee for Huron Residential Hospice is hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre at the Bayfield Town Hall on Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday Nov. 3. Please note that Friday's performance is now sold-out and Saturday's is selling fast!
Based on one of local playwright, Judy Keightley’s popular “Rose Blair Mysteries”, the play will be performed by local amateur dramatic thespians, a two-course dinner will be served, a cash bar available, and a good time promised for all! The play starts at 7 p.m. each evening. The doors to the hall will open at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $40 each and available by calling Kate Lloyd-Rees, 519 565-4404; Margo Robeson, 519 565-2827 or Kevin Kale, 519 565-4018.
Thanks to the generosity of production sponsor, Chuck Hall, Investment advisor with Manulife Securities, all proceeds from the play will go directly to the hospice.