You know how when you first meet someone, you instinctively know whether or not you are going to become friends! Shawn King was one of those people I instantly knew was going to become a friend. It started like any other meeting. A company had purchased the hosting company I was working with and Shawn work for the takeover company. He was in charge of servicing (and calming) the acquired customers. I was one of those who needed calming and Shawn met the challenge! This all happened when I was first establishing my Ontario Festivals Visited website. Frankly, during those first shaky days he went far beyond normal customer service! Since those first days he has helped me wind my way through the maze called the internet! Shawn’s expertise is SEO or Search Engine Optimization. He has made a study of how best to optimize websites to obtain maximum results! He has taught me what to look for and how to overcome obstacles. This has helped the Ontario Visited websites in so many ways! We continue working to make the site the best festival and event website in the world! A tall and daunting task I know, but one I feel worthwhile and, better yet, achievable! The next few years will tell the tale, but with friends like Shawn, who can miss!
Thursday, May 21, 2020
My earliest memory of the Stratford Festival was when I was a kid in public school! Just getting there was a big adventure! My school friends and I excitedly boarded the school bus and then we were off! Back then it seemed like a really long trip, but in reality, it was only a few hours. I don’t remember much about the play we saw. I am sure it was one of Shakespeare’s. I do, however, remember the box lunch we were served! I know that all the kids really liked it. I had never experienced anything like it.
Over the years, I have been back to
and the Stratford Festival many times. Stratford
is one of my favourite places to visit. The downtown area is very quaint and
the Stratford area is beautiful. Festival Park forms the centre of the park with
the Festival Theatre overlooking it. The white swans floating effortlessly
across the water add to the park’s peace and majesty. There are plenty of options
if you decide to stay overnight, from Bed and Breakfasts to quaint inns and
everything in between. Of course, staying overnight means “going to the
theatre”! The Festival was founded by Tom Patterson in 1953 and has had some of
Victoria Lake North America’s finest actors perform there. While
the Festival’s primary mandate is to present productions of William
Shakespeare’s plays, it also products a wide variety of other types of plays.
This year’s (2009) plays include A
Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth,
Westside Story and The Importance of Being Ernest. There
are some 14 plays in all. A far cry from when the Festival first started. The number
of theatres has increased, as have the number and types of plays. If you enjoy
traveling to interesting places and want to experience one of North America’s
and the Stratford Festival is a must! To find out more, visit the Festivals
Website at http://www.stratfordfestival.ca/.
Thursday, May 14, 2020
This is a series about Canadian artists I have know, and worked with.
Glen was sitting at the kitchen window of a friend’s home. The window overlooked a large backyard. There were a number of mature trees in the backyard with one fairly close to the window. The owners of the home were very generous with tossing out bird seed. As a result, the backyard had become a
for song birds! As we sat at the window a bright red Cardinal flew onto a
branch close by. Glen already had pencil and paper in hand and was quickly
sketching the morning guest. The details and animation of the bird were
incredible. I watched with a new appreciation of Glen’s talents! This is likely
my most vivid memory of my time with Wildlife Artist, Glen Loates. To me Glen
is the epitome of a true renaissance man! He not only draws and paints to
perfection. He writes novels and screenplays. He is a talented sculptor. He is
an avid collector of many things and he is an explorer of some note. His
knowledge of the world is child-like in that he needs to know everything. He
has an insatiable curiosity of the world around him. Perhaps that is why he
jumped at the chance to join the search for the “Giant Squid”! He is one of the
few people who have traveled to the depths of the ocean. His account and renderings
of the wondrous creatures he saw leave one breathless! In their ugliness, he
sees beauty! In their bizarreness, he sees humour! In their world, he sees
Thursday, May 7, 2020
Mary Kendrick, like her art, is timeless! Judi and I have known and admired Mary for over 25 years. Over that period of time, Mary has remained the same, talented, modest and, most importantly, our friend. Over the years we have visited Mary at her home in
Essex, hosted her at our home in Cobourg,
purchased a number of her originals and taken art lessons from her! I guess
what I am trying to say is that Mary has been an important part of our lives
for many years. We really got to know Mary best when we convinced her to
participate and exhibit at the first Cobourg Waterfront Festival. We lured her
by promising to host her while she was in Cobourg. That was the start of a
tradition that lasted over 15 years. I can’t remember how many good laughs we
had during those stays! For many years Judi’s Cobourg Festival booth was next
to Mary’s. The wisdom and friendship just kept on building! To say that Mary is
modest would be an understatement. I believe that she is one of ’s best
floral artists. Her works are collected by people from all over the world.
While she was exhibiting at the Cobourg Waterfront Festival, she was
consistently in the top 5 for sales. The same applied while she exhibited at
the Buckhorn Fine (Wildlife) Art Festival. Mary has slowed down a little now,
but her work is still as wonderful as ever and, I might add, much sought after.