Gheorghe Curelet-Balan Blog

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

BBB permutations (kind of).

The Barbeques, Brews and Blues words keep permuting in Downtown Kitchener.

Only 2 weeks after the second B.B.Q Cook Off and Craft Beer Show, the Downtown Kitchener hosted the 5th annual BLUES BREWS & BARBEQUES Festival. As you can imagine, the main attraction this time was the blues. The fastest growing free festival in Canada gathered for 3 days (August 5-7th) some of the best blues artists (see the local newspaper's review [pdf] of the event).

I was able to enjoy the show on the main stage on Saturday August 6th evening. The Detroit Women & The Motor City Express were amazing. No wonder that it was hard to find a free spot in the Civic Square in front of the Kitchener City Hall.

Besides being free, the festival was open to any blues artist. This probably made the organizers to open 3 blues stages in downtown: the main stage in front of City Hall (in the picture), the Matt Osborne Stage in front of Farmers Market and another one in Victoria Park.

Local artists performing on the Matt Osborne Stage in front of the Kitchener Farmers Market.

So... in the BBB permutations we had BARBEQUES and BLUES on the first place. As you can guess it is time for the BREWS to permute in front. I think that this will happen during the Octoberfest. The only variation will be that instead of blues we'll have Polka :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Exploring Goderich.

Approaching Goderich from the Falls Reserve Conservation Area reminded me of a similar entry in the Romanian city Falticeni. You get into the city on the right shoulder of a hill after passing the bridge over the Maitland river.

Once on the top of the hill I was welcomed by the Lions watching over the Maitland valley and I've got the first glimpse at the Goderich's harbour and the other bridge, Menesetung (the longest railway bridge in Ontario in 1907 when it was built).

After that, the first thing that impressed me was an awesome fountain that is part of the Liberation Memorial Park. I learned that it was donated by the Dutch Canadians of Goderich and surrounding areas in 1970 on the 25th anniversary of the VE Day (when Netherland was liberated by Canadians during the Second World War).

The monument erected in 1995 on the 50th anniversary of the VE day explains what the fountain represent:
"The sculpture depicts the five petal points of a tulip. An emblem of Holland. Surrounded by a circle of people with joined hands and out-stretched arms the figures evolve a celebration of brotherhood, liberation, freedom and hope. Renewal is symbolized by the jets of water in summer and the patterns of ice in winter."

Netherland tulips have a special meaning for Canadians. There is even a Canadian Tulip Festival.

To celebrate this year's 60th anniversary of the VE Day the Dutch Canadians of Goderich and surrounded areas and supporters have enhanced the Liberation Memorial Park with landscaping and a Pavilion representing the 4 corners of Holland.

The Tourist Information Centre is near the park.

Not too far from the Liberation Park is the beautiful Town Square with its octagonal shape (a Vitruvius architecture inspiration).

Another thing that impressed me was the wide streets that radiate from the center. Here it is another shot from the Town Square's center park.

While walking in the park I've got some company close to the historic Huron County Courthouse.

Some encounters are going up...

others are going down...

Another shot from the park.

In front of the Huron County Courthouse the Canadian First World War heroes are honored.

The harbour and the beach are the next target. We figured out that the street along these murals will lead us to the destination. And we were right.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

In love with Goderich.

Goderich, Ontario, a lovely small town situated on the west coast of Southern Ontario. So many people told me about the beauty of Goderich (beach, harbour and Town Square) and its attractions (Celtic Roots Festival and the Great Lake Cruises). Even though Goderich was on my list of places to discover, for some reason I missed to visit the beautiful city (life is ironic sometimes). It so happened that we decided to go camping during the small vacation that we fit in the last Civic holiday long week. And since it was a last minute decision, getting a vacant camp site at the Ontario provincial parks was impossible. Thank goodness that camping sites are not limited to provincial parks :) The next step was to widen the search with the private campgrounds and the Conservation Areas. After some effort the fate made it to find a vacant camping site at the gorgeous Falls Reserve Conservation Area, very close to Goderich. At last I had the opportunity to fully enjoy the beauty of Goderich (stay tuned). Below picture was taken on the last day of July from the Christopher's beach near by the harbour.