How to do Flashback February 2020
It’s 2020 and we’ve got the puns to prove it. Get a “vision” of The County’s past, with a week’s worth of special events celebrating the unique cultural heritage of The County. February can be cold and bleak, but we’ve got lots to keep you warm and informed.
Kick the week off right with $20 tickets to a performance by olde time-y local crooner Jeremie Albino, who’ll be performing his soulful blues with the Rosehall Band at the Regent on Feb. 15. The lyrics and licks of those songs were boiled in the sweltering fields of some of the County’s finest farms!
Or step into the cavernous space of the Picton United Church, where the behemoth and historic pipe organ will come alive at the touch of Murray Baer. Last year he entertained more than 200 concert-goers with some pretty unconventional songs for a church! This year he’s tuning up the organ for an afternoon of movie theme songs, and sharing the stage with a guitarist and vocalist. Tickets are $20 for the Feb. 16 show.
Circle your calendar for Feb. 22, when the performers Floss & Tann bring their immersive museum of marvels – a Cabinet of Curiosities, if you will – to Macaulay Church. Sights & sounds to astound and confound! This family-friendly event also includes caricatures by Tim Snyder, tarot reading and a sampling of some bizarre and unusual historic recipes, made by cookbook historian Liz Driver.
On Feb. 15, South Marysburgh gets a visit from the Dinosaur Lady, who’ll entertain kids with games and stories featuring prehistoric beasts.
Over Family Day weekend, get a taste for life as a citizen spy, with special presentations of “Escape Camp Picton.” Challenge yourself and your family in the history-inspired escape rooms, set in an authentic WWII air force training base, then enjoy a slice of Canada War Ration Cake and make your own scytale cipher, just like a citizen spy!
During the Second World War, Canada’s 17,000+ Jewish servicemen and women faced a “double threat” – they were not only fighting against Fascism but for Jewish survival during Hitler’s Final Solution. At the same time, they encountered widespread antisemitism, and the dangers of being identified as Jews if captured.
Join author Ellin Bessner for a talk on Feb. 17 about the strong connection between the local Jewish community and regional war efforts, including CFB Trenton, the Hasty Ps and the Bombing & Gunnery schools in Picton and Mountain View.
February is Black History month, and on Feb. 20, author, historian and speaker Jennifer DeBruin delves into the history of slavery along the St. Lawrence River. Her presentation is accompanied by a photography exhibit depicting the historic African-Canadian experience, on loan from the Multicultural Historical Society of Ontario.
How do we come to terms with our country’s challenging and problematic past? Amber Johnson presents a talk on commemorating the legacy of the Indian Residential School system, on Feb. 21 at the Wellington branch of the PEC Library. Katharine Viscardis will then present on the troubled history of the Huronia Regional Centre, an institution designed for children and adults with disabilities, that became a place of violence and neglect.
We’re surrounded by water, and our history is full of stories and legends related to the lake and bays around us. Hear some of those rollicking stories told by former Glenora Ferry captain Brian Johnson, on Feb. 16. Or watch a documentary about the S.S. Keewatin, a luxury liner that once carried passengers and cargo around the Great Lakes, as it was narrowly spared from the scrap heap by the folks of Port Nicoll. That’s Feb. 21 at the Regent Theatre. Or gather at the Consecon Legion on Feb. 22 for a talk by historian Marc Seguin, about The County’s West Coast, with fascinating snippets from Wellers Bay.
On Feb. 18, the Marilyn Adams Centre for Genealogical Research, a gem of ancestry info tucked away in Ameliasburgh, hosts an open house spotlighting Owen Roblin. Roblin was a successful merchant, mill operator and postmaster general, who also ran a general store and built Roblin’s Mill.
On Feb. 19, get a taste for history at Parsons Brewing, with a talk about the Barley Days, and samples of Parsons’ craft beer and empanadas, which are savoury pastries stuffed with deliciousness. David More, an award-winning author, will illustrates the background and history of the generation-long era when the barley crop was King of The County.
Arts & Entertainment
Macaulay House welcomes fantastical female forms created by local textile artist SaraLou Miller, including Marie Antoinette, Josephine Baker and more. On Feb. 16, the Friends of Wellington Museum present a “Flashback Fashion” show, featuring bustles, blouses, overdress, under-dress and everything in between. The exhibit then continues throughout Heritage Week.
On Feb. 20, Luanne Hartman explores the painting style of regional artist Manly MacDonald, whose paintings capture the idyllic and bucolic around the Bay of Quinte, with a Paint ‘n Pour party. The Waring House is dotted with original works from the artist, as innkeeper Norah Rogers is a keen collector. Follow Luanne’s instructions at another Paint ‘n Pour party at the Grange of Prince Edward, on Feb. 22, featuring Grange wines, a canvas of the Grange’s historic barn, and a tour of the historic property as well.
On Feb. 21, the newly-opened Back Room on Picton’s Main St. goes back to its Art Deco roots, with a 1920s Murder Mystery party. Ticketholders can choose to be a suspect or a sleuth – either way, by the end of the evening, the guilty party will be unmasked before patrons dance the night away!
Last year, The County’s artisanal comedy troupe, Taste That!, interviewed local characters about fond and funny County memories, then used those stories as the basis for their improv comedy. The result was that we all learned a few secrets about growing up in The County! This year, they’re bringing that popular format back, with a couple mystery guests at their two evening Flashbacks! shows on Feb. 22.
Steve Campbell is a font of all County knowledge. The long-time publisher of County Magazine has made it his life’s work to tell County stories about County characters in as entertaining and informative a way as possible. Along the way, he’s squirreled up an impressive knowledge of County lore. Put your own knowledge to the test – and pick up a tidbit or two! – at County Trivia, a fundraiser for the library expansion, on Feb. 19.
Also on Feb. 18, local folk artist and favourite Friday morning show host Terry Culbert digs into the story of the Black Donnellys. Culbert, a journalist who was raised in Lucan, Ontario, wrote a book on the infamous family, who were murdered by a rather ironically-named faction of the local Peace Society.
Over the next 10 years, an estimated 9,000 churches and other faith-owned buildings in Canada will shut down. These buildings will be shuttered, sold off or demolished – creating a crisis not simply for the faithful, but also for the communities that rely on these buildings as places to gather. In our community, it’s not just faith-based buildings, but a surfeit of heritage buildings that are in peril. On Feb. 19, Kendra Fry of “Faith & the Common Good” will discuss Saving Heritage Spaces, or what can be done to regenerate and repurpose these spaces and keep them working for the community.
For tickets, dates, times and other information, visit flashbackfebruary.com.