Perhaps I should entitled this post "On a Lighter Note".
I'm going to go ahead and step off my political soap box (for the time being) and get back to something that makes me feel a little more positive.
Our first ever Etsy Craft Party is THIS Friday, and I couldn't be more excited really.
We'll be filling the social hall of the Almonte United Church for three hours of unadulterated crafting fun that involves paint, stamps, ink, glue, paper and more.
Etsy Craft Party is nationwide celebration of meeting and making. Basically, creative people/Etsy enthusiasts across North America organize craft nights with a bunch of people (we have a full house with 75 RSVPs!) and we all stick to a similar theme to create fabulous works of art.
Sadly, this event is completely full, but with the kind of response we've had, I KNOW we'll do it again.
Since I have the benefit of having a talented multimedia artist as a mother, she will be hosting the craft and I'll be running around making sure everyone is sharing nicely.
In preparation for the event my mom has put together a few samples of the work we'll be emulating.
How awesome are these?
Watch for our pictures from Friday!
What a stir that last blog post caused!
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.
I thought it would be helpful if I provided a few ways we can TAKE ACTION beyond festering and fuming behind our computers. If you are so inclined to help make a difference on the Enerdu issue, here's what you can do. For now.
1. Get informed by reading here.
My Cole's notes take on the issue are the following:
a) Enerdu is proposing to expand the power generating station (out the back of the old Flour Mill) so that it will generate more power and take up more space (approximately 1/3 of the waterway between the mill and the Barley Mow patio).
b) To feed water into the generator, they will be building a weir (or dam like structure) upstream that will direct water to the left of the river and dry up the water that currently runs along the Riverwalk.
c) The generating station will be made of cement and be covered in warning labels that will (in my opinion) do nothing to deter kids from jumping into the water (because kids don't read warning labels) and do everything to annoy those who love the current aesthetic of the waterway.
d) To build the station, crews will have to blast the underwater shale and propose highly potential flood risk to both the pub and the downtown (which is located below the water level as it is).
Just for you, I stitched up a little diagram...
2. Sign the petition at almonte.com/petition
3. Write a letter to any or all of the following people BEFORE JUNE 18th! (that's when the heritage impact review closes).
I've added a copy of one of the letters I sent out below as an example. You need not be quite so long winded.
Just say what you need to say and end it.
Mr. John Levi (The Mayor of Mississippi Mills)
2210 Concession 6D
Ms. Muriel Kim
BluMetric Environmental Inc.
3108 Carp Road, P.O. Box 430
Carp, ON, K0A 1L0
T: (613) 839-3053, ext. 261
Ms. Julie Harris
120 Sunnyside Avenue
Ottawa, ON, K1S 0R1
T: (613) 730-4059
4. If you want to get really serious, send me a short video with your "impact statement" so I can share the shit out of it online. How awesome would it be to start a collection of videos from those who really care!? (Talk about an appropriate use of social media.)
It's crazy to think that something like this could happen in our town.
And it's crazy to think that we can't make a difference
Because we can.
Please send videos or anything you'd like to share to email@example.com.
As anyone who has ever visited my little town knows, Almonte is a special place.
It's not one thing that makes my home unique. It's many.
The people. The shops. The landscape.
Oh the landscape.
If you've followed me on Instagram, you might be familiar with images taken on my scenic walks home from work.
You may even felt pangs of jealousy following me on my path down quaint little Mill Street - with its heritage architecture and beautifully curated window displays.
Perhaps you've shared my sense of calm as I strolled across the bridge snapping pics of our rushing waterfalls and the old train bridge.
I love this town.
She's a beauty.
But Almonte's beauty is in danger of being compromised.
I haven't said much about this topic not because it doesn't concern me (as an Almonte home AND business owner, it couldn't concern me more), but because I couldn't wrap my head around all the facts of the matter.
So I'm going to try to pare it down simply here in the hopes that I might rally some attention for the cause.
Here it is in a nutshell.
(Please note: Much of this information has been taken from local residents who've written articles on the subject.)
Fact: A company called Enerdu (owned by Jeff Cavanagh) operates a power generating station in the old Maple Leaf Mill building in downtown Almonte. Enerdu is proposing to build a large hydro generating powerhouse beside the mill, which would take up about one 3rd of the existing waterway. (The water space between the Mill and the Barley Mow patio. Aka best outdoor patio in town).
Fact: Enerdu also wants to blast or ‘hoe-ram’ large stretches of the upstream riverbed and construct new inflatable weirs where the scenic upper falls are now.
Fact: Blasting is noisy, dirty and will impact local businesses (like mine and those of all my wonderful friends) by driving away tourists and making Almonte a less appealing destination for visitors.
Fact: No matter how hard they try, a concrete structure in the middle of our beautiful (signature) landscape will:
Fact: It could put me out of business and (to add salt to that gaping wound) lower my home property value.
Then where would you go for your cheerfully made goods?
Think about that for a hot second.
Listen, I am cool with progress, but this thing just can't happen. Not in this capacity anyway.
So what can we do?
At this point, this project is moving forward, but there's still time to cause a fuss.
First things first, take 60 seconds (literally) and sign the petition.
Secondly, I encourage you to share this information and support whatever efforts come down the pipes over the next weeks and months. Almonte merchants are banding together to come up with something spectacular. Watch for it and help us SAVE THIS STUNNING LANDSCAPE!
ps. For the latest updates follow The Almonte Riverwatchers at riverwatchers.ca
If you're tired of hearing me talk about Etsy, you're just going to have to stop reading this blog because I am FULLY entrenched in their brand at this point.
It's borderline gross how much of a love affair I'm having with Etsy these days.
And I haven't even told you about the summit yet.
Last week I was asked if I'd be planning an Etsy Craft Party. Because I suffer from a mental illness that doesn't allow me to say no to anything that relates to handmade goods, naturally I said yes.
What's an Etsy Craft Party you ask?
It's is a one-day, nationwide celebration of meeting and making. Basically, creative people/Etsy enthusiasts across North America organize craft nights with a bunch of people (we have 71 signed up so far!) and we all stick to a similar theme to create (potentially) fabulous works of art.
This year’s theme is Recapture - Bringing New Meaning to Photographs.
I've booked the social hall at the Almonte United Church (106 Elgin Street) and will be hosting (with the help of some very creative friends) a FREE 3-hour workshop during which we'll transforming photographs into display-worthy works of art using a variety of craft supplies and creative techniques including embroidery, painting and more.
This event is open to crafty folk of all levels of experience, aged 14+.
Come with an open mind and a creative spirit...and lets have fun!
RSVP by Friday May 16th by visiting handmadeharvestetsyparty.eventbrite.ca.
Email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Since 2010 I have been co-hosting a fantastic craft show called Handmade Harvest with my friend and former co-worker Colleen Hewitt.
We host the show twice a year (three if you could our new Food & Drink Show) here in Almonte and it's flipping awesome.
This year we had more submissions than ever (over 200!) for our Holiday Show and I am so jazzed to see so many new makers in the mix.
The event takes place over two days (50 different vendors each day) and is hosted at the Almonte Old Town Hall NEXT weekend.
Looking for an(other) excuse to come to Almonte?
This is it!
For more details and a list of vendors visit Handmade Harvest online at www.handmadeharvest.com.