The long weekend is fast approaching, and so is the 4th annual Friends of Port Carling community garage sale. Proceeds go toward paying off our OMB costs.
Bargains are guaranteed at this event, being held this year on Saturday, Sept. 1, from 8 am till noon. Once again we're setting up our tent at 2 Joseph St., at the scenic eastern entrance to Port Carling!
If you have gently used goods to donate, please call Sandi at (705) 765-3314.
Hope to see you there!
Get your tickets now for Victoria Banks’ very first hometown show!
The entertainment music superstar (hey, she was the Canadian Country Music Association’s Female Artist of the Year in 2010) is playing in concert in Port Carling on Aug. 19 at the Community Centre. If you haven’t heard her sing before, you're in for a treat. And we just learned that she has been nominated for the CCMA’s Female Artist of the Year again!
Victoria is a daughter of Paul and the late Nora Dodington, community pillars and long-time supporters of Friends of Port Carling. The Dodington family last year put on a sold-out concert as a fundraiser for our association, so we hope you will support Victoria this time around.
At this special concert, you’ll get more than one Dodington for your money. According to her latest press release, Victoria says:
“I am so excited to play my very first show in Port Carling! My hometown molded me as a songwriter, and this show is going to go back to my roots in more ways than one. Some of my family members will be sharing the stage with me, and we’re going to keep it simple, acoustic, and heartfelt – weave some tales and make some magic.”
Share the magic by buying your tickets now. Tickets are on sale at Auntie Doodie’s Antiques, at 61 Joseph Street in Port Carling, or online at:
A little more background on Vicki if you're still not sold:
Canadian Country Music’s CCMA 2010 Female Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year Victoria Banks will be celebrating yet another Female Artist of the Year nomination this year with a performance at the Port Carling Memorial Community Centre on August 19th.
The BMLSS graduate has built a celebrated career in Nashville writing songs for the likes of Sara Evans, Jessica Simpson, Johnny Reid, Terri Clark, and Doc Walker. Since she stepped into the spotlight to release her own records, she has chalked up her own series of national radio hits, as well as tours with Reba McEntire, Lonestar and Randy Travis.
Two days after her Port Carling tour, Victoria will be opening for Wynonna Judd. Catch her here while you can!
What’s going on in the Township? How is the new council trying to make things better in Port Carling and Muskoka Lakes?
Come meet the Mayor on Saturday and find out for yourself.
Friends of Port Carling is pleased to hold an "open house" this Saturday with Mayor Murphy.
A Toronto-based financial executive and Bala cottager, Alice was elected on a “reform” platform in October 2012. Since then she has led her council in a continuous series of reforms that include professionalizing the budgeting process, holding the line on spending, settling major lawsuits left behind by the former council, and producing a new strategic plan that puts the environment first.
On Saturday, July 28, Mayor Murphy will be meeting with members of Friends of Port Carling at the Port Carling Community Centre. Our Open House will run from 10 a.m. to 11. Come early and bring all your questions!
Note: this Open House is not a public meeting. It is for members and documented supporters of Friends of Port Carling.
Questions? Please call Rick Spence or Sandy Tozer Spence at 765-6017.
This is a copy of the letter sent to the District of Muskoka by Friends of Port Carling on May 28, 2012, commenting on the District Official Plan Review.
The Official Plan sets out a municipality's planning and development priorities for the next 20 years. It is important that people who care about the future of Muskoka, especially its natural and cultural environment, pay close attention to this process as it unfolds.
Samantha Hastings, Director of Policy and Programs;
Summer Valentine, Manager of Planning Projects,
District of Muskoka
May 27, 2012
Friends of Port Carling is pleased to participate in the revision of the District of Muskoka Official Plan. As an issues-based ratepayers group with some 200 member families in the Port Carling area, we have several concerns:
(Note: the above are all direct quotes from the District’s 2011 document, Muskoka Moving Forward: Visioning for the Future.)
Friends of Port Carling support these values and initiatives. While they sound like motherhood, we note with dismay that these values have not always been sufficiently articulated or observed in many planning and development decisions in the District and its component municipalities. With this Official Plan, we need to move from lip service to the environment to full service: “Putting Environment First” in everything we do.
We are pleased that the council of the Township of Muskoka Lakes has adopted that very term – "Environment First" – and we urge the District and its component municipalities to embrace this concept as well. Economic development that degrades Muskoka’s natural and cultural environment is not sustainable, in any sense of the word, and will only destroy value here, not create it, in the long run.
2. Official Plans are based on economic data and forecasts of all kinds. Some turn out to be accurate, some turn out to be false. No one has a perfect crystal ball; mistakes will happen. However, we think it is essential that when the District knows that it is making decisions on flawed data, it must correct that before compounding the error by making investment decisions based on bad numbers.
Friends of Port Carling believes this is the case with the 2008 Growth Study (the Watson Report). Its vision of gung-ho growth in Muskoka’s seasonal and permanent population proved totally unfounded over the past four years; Statistics Canada’s 2011 census figures showed several of our municipalities have been losing residents, not gaining them.
Plans based on bad data can be very costly. If we upgrade our public services or expand our boundaries for population growth that does not occur, we waste our financial resources and destroy precious natural resources. The Watson report’s growth figures have proven to be grossly inflated, so we urge the district to undertake another, and hopefully more neutral, growth study in order to determine how much growth Muskoka will really see over the next 20 years and where it is likely to go. Only bad decisions can come from bad data.
3. Finally, we strongly support the District’s intention to produce a new second-home study to investigate future trends in cottaging. The previous second-home studies have been very useful, and the new economy of the new decade requires an update to make sure we are responding to real market needs.
We thank you for the work that has been put into the OP revision so far, and look forward to engaging in this exercise with you.
Please keep us informed of meetings and significant developments related to the OP review process.
Friends of Port Carling
For more on the OP review process, click here: http://www.muskoka.on.ca/siteengine/activepage.asp?PageID=552
For more on the results of the Visioning process, click here: https://muskoka.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=16873
To read the Watson report, click here: https://muskoka.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentDisplay.aspx?ID=4820
We like what we see of the Township of Muskoka Lakes’ new strategic plan.
It features many positive "qualitative" goals, and good objectives and metrics for attaining them. The bottom line is that they’re promising better government, more public consultation, and an economic/environmental philosophy of “environment first.”
Some of the planned changes are evident in a section (on page 3) that contrast the current state of affairs with the Township’s new vision. For instance, look at the plan’s stance on Township planning, development and enforcement:
Current Status: Two-tier system transitioning from rural to recreational-based economy, with impact on Official Plan, zoning and enforcement
Vision: Cohesive and thoughtful regulatory environment focusing on shoreline public access and preservation, water quality and waterfront density.
Similarly, on the environment:
Current: Certain watershed protections in place but long-term vulnerability
Vision: Cohesive and thoughtful regulatory environment focusing on shoreline public access and preservation, water quality and waterfront density
And under Financial & Corporate Management:
Current: Transitional reporting from municipal fund accounting to compliance with Public Sector Accounting Board (PSA)
Vision: Efficiencies maximized and Township and District taxes fairly allocated for funding of current and long-term services with PSAB financial statements and budgets prepared on an accurate and timely basis
The new overall vision of the Township is "To respect, maintain and enhance our Muskoka."
The Township Mission Statement puts some action steps around that vision: "Recognizing and respecting the diversity of our residents and economy, we will openly engage the public at every opportunity to achieve our Vision with balance, transparency, sustainability, accountability and fairness."
And when it comes to "Economic Development," the new principle is one that I think most of our members will agree with: "Our Economy is our Environment."
Take care of the unique, fragile Muskoka environment, and the economy of Muskoka will look after itself.
Imagine having the beauty of Muskoka on your wall all year long!
As part of our ongoing fund-raising efforts, Friends of Port Carling have created a beautiful, full-colour calendar suitable for home, office or cottage. It’s the perfect accessory for any wall, and a great gift for birthdays and Christmas (hint, hint). Friends and family near and far can now enjoy Muskoka's scenery all year round!
The photos were donated by five specially selected Port Carling-area artists: Paul Bennett, Andrew Collett, Tim DuVernet, Gerd Harder and John Murden. We thank them whole-heartedly for their support of this project.
(You can preview these awesome images in the photo below.)
Designed and printed on professional paper by Friends of Port Carling volunteers, this calendar will make a beautiful addition to your home and a much appreciated gift. The cost is $20 each plus postage.
Proceeds go to paying our legal and planning advisory expenses. We have been incurring these fees in our work against inappropriate waterfront development. Your support will help ensure a better Muskoka for your children and grandchildren.
You may order as many calendars as you like. Please buy generously!
For more information, or to order, please contact Sandi Allbon at 705-434-9369 (Alliston, Ont.) , or firstname.lastname@example.org .Thanks so much for your support.
Plus, we're still accepting merchandise for the sale. If you have gently used goods you’d like to donate, please contact Sandi Allbon at 705 765-3314, or email us at email@example.com.
Here's a shot of eager bargain-hunters at our 2009 sale:
Last night’s Dodington Concert was a creative and critical smash! With a terrific turnout from Port Carling residents augmented by music-lovers from Bala, Bracebridge, Orillia and Toronto, we sold out the Community Centre and filled the air with joyous music.
The 10 performing Dodingtons (and spirited accompanist Doreen Uren Simmons) gave it their all, demonstrating their mastery of many different genres of music: from hymns and spirituals to show tunes, comic songs, country ballads and a hint of early Elvis.
The audience laughed, cried, and tapped their toes along with the performers, through 30 memorable songs ranging from Amazing Grace and The Power and the Glory to George Jones’s Cry Baby Cry, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, and Love Will Find a Way.
The Dodingtons earned two standing ovations, for which the audience received two encores – so it was a satisfying evening for all concerned.
As one satisfied guest commented afterwards, “This was a night for the memory book of Port Carling.”
The performance was taped, so we hope that an audio CD will be made available. We’ll let you know if that turns out to be possible.
Special thanks to John Dodington, who fell ill on Friday yet rallied on Saturday to perform and act as master of ceremonies. It should go down as one of the great show-business comebacks of all time!
Thanks to all who made this event possible. Especially to all those fabulous Dodingtons: Paul, Ross and Linda, John and Mardi, Amy, J.D., Leigh, Erin, Andrew and Hannah. Today you are the pride of Port Carling!
John, Paul, Ross, Linda, Leigh, Andrew, Erin, Hannah and Amy
Our Barbershop Quartet
Paul in character for the "Cobbler's Song"
Tonight's Dodington concert is SOLD OUT! Sorry, there is no waiting list.
Thanks to all our members and friends who snapped up tickets so fast.
And our deepest apologies to those who were unable to buy tickets.
We're very sorry for all those ticket requests we are unable to fulfil. But we have a hard limit in the seating capacity of the community centre.
The good news is that we hope to make available an audio CD of the concert. Pricing will be reasonable. If you would like to order a copy of the CD, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We attended the rehearsal last night - it is going to be glorious.