Make-A-Wish Helps Ottawa Valley Kids - theHumm December 2022

Make-A-Wish Helps Ottawa Valley Kids - theHumm December 2022

By Kris Riendeau

Darlene Bennett moved to the Almonte/Carp area five years ago, and recently reached out to theHumm to see if we would help promote Make-A-Wish Canada. We thought that the holidays were the perfect time to get people thinking about helping others, so we contacted Darlene to find out more about this very special charity.

theHumm: In a nutshell, what does Make-A-Wish Canada do for kids, and who does it serve?

Darlene Bennett: Make-A-Wish grants life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We are on a quest to bring every eligible child’s wish to life. Make-A-Wish serves children between the ages of 3 and 17 years of age.

What prompted you to first volunteer with and then work for this organization?

I first volunteered for Make-A-Wish after understanding what they do for children and families who are coping with unimaginable and heartbreaking situations. As a mom, this resonated with me. I wanted to help lighten their load in any way I could. After being in the high-tech sector for over 25 years, I knew it was time to apply my energy and skills to a more personally meaningful role in my community.

What are some moments that have stood out for you over the years that you have been involved with Make-A-Wish?

The children’s faces when they receive their wish… the family joy. Each time I am part of a wish reveal I see faces light up, and weight lifted off of the child’s and family’s shoulders. When children spend the majority of their time at doctor appointments, receiving treatment or countless medical interventions, the routine can become brutal. Knowing they have a wish in the making gives them a renewed sense of hope for the future. Receiving the wish interrupts the difficult routines they have faced and brings pure happiness to their lives along with a positive attitude for their future. Wishes DO come true!

Can you give our readers some examples of how the charity has impacted the lives of kids in this area?

Sure, that’s easy. I’ve delivered a wish to a young woman who was heading off to college the following year, but who did not have a laptop nor electronic “gear” suitable for the transition. Make-A-Wish was able to deliver an Apple package with every product imaginable to help her succeed. Another child requested a backyard renovation with play structures suited to his unique ability — memories will be created there!

The picture here is of a recent wish for Ella, who is a BIG Star Wars fan. Because we are able to grant travel wishes again, we surprised Ella at her school by sending Storm Troopers to her classroom, requesting she follow them to the library. There she found family, friends and M-A-W staff surprising her with balloons, Disney luggage, and the details on her wish-come-true to go to Disney/Universal!

What kind of support does Make-A-Wish need, and where can readers go to help?

Make-A-Wish is always happy to have volunteers to help make wishes come true, and always needs people or businesses to donate wish items and services. We are currently in need of contractors and renovation experts, and of course we need donors. We hope people choose Make-A-Wish as their charity of choice this holiday season. We also encourage community-based fundraisers and have loads of information on how you can create your own!

Check out all the details at .


Evgenia Badiyanova — Watercolour Whimsy - theHumm December 2022

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

On her Etsy global marketplace shop, Carleton Place artist Evgenia Badiyanova describes her delightful watercolour art as “Real life with a whimsical twist.” Since whimsical is defined as “Playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way” (, it is the perfect descriptor. Her artworks are beautifully drawn and painted, and her forte is the humourous twist with which she presents her endearing characters.

Whether i......


Did You Know… - theHumm December 2022

By — Kris, Rob and Rona

… that since we began publishing our weekly Hummail e-newsletter back in April of 2020 we have put out a whopping 131 editions? Most editions feature interviews with creative local movers and shakers, and now that events have come back online they all include a round-up of upcoming happenings with links to websites and ticket outlets!

So if you sometimes forget to check your print issue of theHumm later on in the month but don’t want to miss anything, we hummbly recommend that you sub......


Back Forty Artisan Cheese Holiday Event - theHumm December 2022

On Saturday, December 10 from 10am to 4pm, Back Forty Artisan Cheese will be hosting their annual Holiday Open House at their farm and dairy in the hamlet of Mississippi Station. This festive event will provide customers with a great opportunity to stock up on some delicious cheese for the holiday season — the Back Forty gift basket is sure to please the cheese lover on your list! To make this a customer appreciation day, they are offering 15% off selectcheeses as well as free sampling......


Showing the Local Love for the Holidays! - theHumm December 2022

By Kris and Rob Riendeau

Here at theHumm we’re big on local economies. The retail and service businesses in the small towns that we cover play a huge role in the cultural life of those towns. Each store, restaurant, or small enterprise attracts and serves a particular clientele — some inside the community, some from outside. Some businesses host their own special events; others join together with local festivals to make the whole experience more vibrant. Many provide support in cash or in kind to local initiatives. All of them add their own particular flavour to the delicious mix that is small-town Ottawa Valley.......


Folkus Concert Series BringsNeighbours & Friends to the Stage in 2023 - theHumm December 2022

By Sandy Irvin

Almonte’s Folkus Concert Series is thrilled to announce that we are having a 2023 season! We’re celebrating friends and neighbours of the series — some stunning local talent, some old friends and friends of theirs from far away, and a brand-new project featuring original music created especially for you. It’s hard to believe we’ve been putting on shows since 2002!

Our first show, on January 28, will feature Jim Bryson, the Steinway piano and friends. Jim Bryson is a songwriter’s s......


Harmony Concerts Presents Lynn Miles and Anna Ludlow - theHumm December 2022

Harmony Concerts, a boutique series operating in and around the Ottawa area, is presenting two outstanding seasonal events at Studio Theatre Perth. The first takes place on December 15 and features award-winning, and always entertaining, Lynn Miles. The second will close out Harmony Concerts’ 2022 series at the theatre on December 17 with award-winning Celtic star Anna Ludlow.

Lynn Miles will be accompanied by the Crusty Mittens String Quartet for her show Winter. She wrote this secular......


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Presented by the Smiths Falls Community Theatre
- theHumm December 2022

By — Submitted Smiths Falls Community Theatre

The Smiths Falls Community Theatre is pleased to present The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. This heartwarming comedic play is adapted from the young adult book by Barbara Robinson. It is being directed by Liz Stienberg and Brittany Wiessler.

Helen Armstrong is the chief organizer of the church. She organizes everything from potluck suppers to the Christmas Pageant. Things go awry when Helen breaks her leg and has to find another woman to direct the pageant. Grace Bradley steps in and things ......


Service of Nine Lessons & Carols - theHumm December 2022

By Peter Woodwark

40 is a lot of years. Half a life, most of one’s working life, the age at which one might get some sense. And this will be the 40th Christmas that the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols will be sung at St. James’ Anglican Church in Perth.

During those 40 years over ten thousand, young and old, have come to hear the comfortable readings of the Christmas story, to sing the old familiar carols, and to listen to the choir interpret seasonal anthems very old and just old, just new and hot off t......


Book Honouring Local Weaver at Textile Museum - theHumm December 2022

A new book entitled A Celebration of Handweaving and Colour: Weaving Drafts and Woven Samples from the Library of Francesca Overend, by Jean Down and Sheila Singhal, is now available from the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum (MVTM) for $35 (tax included, shipping extra). All proceeds will be donated to the Museum with thanks to Down and Singhal, friends of Francesca Overend (1934–2019). Born in Romania, Overend was a dedicated civil servant whose travels greatly influenced her innovative weav......


Perth’s Charm Sure to Get You in the Holiday Spirit - theHumm December 2022

As the flurries begin to fly, Perth’s charming town transforms into a scene from a snow globe — with twinkling lights, smiling faces and the sound of Christmas carols.

A number of events are taking place throughout the month of December, ranging from carefully-curated craft markets to fireworks displays and sightings of Santa’s elves. The holiday spirit is sure to surround you as you enjoy some heartwarming, family-friendly fun.

Stroll the streets and enjoy the old-world charm of Perth’s do......


Make-A-Wish Helps Ottawa Valley Kids - theHumm December 2022

By Kris Riendeau

Darlene Bennett moved to the Almonte/Carp area five years ago, and recently reached out to theHumm to see if we would help promote Make-A-Wish Canada. We thought that the holidays were the perfect time to get people thinking about helping others, so we contacted Darlene to find out more about this very special charity.

theHumm: In a nutshell, what does Make-A-Wish Canada do for kids, and who does it serve?

Darlene Bennett: Make-A-Wish grants life-changing wishes for children with critical ......


Moonlight & Mistletoe Market Night in Arnprior - theHumm December 2022

By — Submitted the Greater Arnprior Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Arnprior Chamber of Commerce will present the Moonlight & Mistletoe Market, taking place in downtown Arnprior on Thursday, December 15 beginning at 4pm. The event will feature Christmas caroling by the Arnprior Community Theatre, visits with Santa Claus, late-night shopping, gift wrapping at ChrisTina Studio in support of the Arnprior Foodbank, and so much more.

The Greater Arnprior Chamber of Commerce is proud to bring Moonlight & Mistletoe Market to the community for ......


Fabulous Artist for Hire! - theHumm December 2022

By Kris Riendeau

Colleen Gray, the wonderful local artist who founded and runs Art For Aid , has started a new venture to help her put some funds in the bank so she can continue to work with that organization as a full-time volunteer. She is now hiring herself out for AGM, corporate and business events to do live painting, where the finished piece can be auctioned or won by draw.

Having profiled Colleen in our August 2020 issue, th......


The Faces of Almonte Country Haven - theHumm December 2022

During what seems like ages ago when communities were in lockdown, many people in our community were hit by Covid-19 with devastating consequences, while others sought to help members who were most vulnerable and at-risk. Residents came together to meet needs — making masks, delivering groceries, and providing some reprieve through companionship, albeit distanced.

Covid is still with us, but we can come together physically now to reflect on 2020 and pay respec......


Season’s Greetings from MMLT - theHumm December 2022

As 2022 comes to a close, the staff and directors at Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) want to personally thank everyone for your support. Whether you came out to enjoy a walk at one of our properties, supported us with a financial contribution, or participated in one of our organized events, you helped us to protect and steward land in this unique and beautiful region of Ontario.

Land trusts like MMLT have never played such a critical role for the future of our planet as they do right now. As......


The Blakeney Project: Report for Year Two - theHumm December 2022

By David Hinks

Many in our community are aware of The Blakeney Project of the Lanark County Food Bank (The Hunger Stop) as a result of walking, cycling or driving past our two-acre field that fronts on Blakeney Road on the east side of Blakeney. We have now completed our second full year of operation and are quite excited about developments this year — we were able to harvest over 10,000 pounds of fresh produce for Food Bank clients and we were able to connect in new ways with the community through the d......


Food Bank Fundraiserby EXIT Realty - theHumm December 2022

For many people, the holidays inspire feelings of charity and good will. As needs are also high during that time of year, Wendy Ronberg, Broker Owner of EXIT Realty Vision Brokerage in Carleton Place, and the agents of the brokerage are once again looking to raise money for the Lanark County Food Bank.

Last year EXIT Realty Vision was honoured to be able to partner with The Hunger Stop – Lanark County Food Bank. This charity has been under enormous strain over the last few y......


Christmas Art and Craft Show - theHumm December 2022

The Gallery in Carleton Place is excited to invite you all to gather around the electric fireplace and celebrate the season with local artists, fine food and glasses full of good spirit.  

Come and see the wonderful variety of creative handmade works of art! The show runs from December 2-4 and 9-11 at 50 Bennett Street, Unit 1. Visit for times and details.


Holiday Pop-up Art Sale - theHumm December 2022

Three studios in the Perth Autumn Studio Tour family will open their doors on Saturday, December 3 for a Holiday Pop-up Sale.

Celebrate and support your local makers this holiday by giving gifts that will nourish the soul and that are made by someone you actually know and/or interact with! Bring relationship back to exchange!

From east to west, you can visit Cordwood Studio (Zoë Lianga) with guest Bel Angeles. Find feltwork, preserves, frozen meals and paintings. It’s located at 590 Brook......


Museum to Host Jolly Holiday Happenings - theHumm December 2022

The Smiths Falls Heritage House Museum invites you to take in the sights and sounds of the holidays from December 1–18 at 11 Old Slys Road.

The museum will be taking part in the Merry & Bright program this year, and has two boxes available for purchase. Box 1 is $40 and is called the Local Histories Box, which includes: a hot chocolate bomb from the Rideau Candy Shoppe, a local history book (contact the museum for options), one museum membership, a custom museum sticker a......


dOMe Retreat — Wait ’til You Hear This! - theHumm December 2022

By Kris Riendeau

Have you ever heard someone describing visual art on the radio and thought “if only I could see what they are raving about”? As you read this article, please bear in mind that the experience described here truly needs to be heard to be appreciated. I’m going to do my best, but in this case a sonorously reverberating gong is worth a thousand words.

In mid-November, my husband Rob and I were in-between performance weekends for our show Sketchy Santa and were ramping up for the December issue of the......


Happy Wanderers: Evening Grosbeaks - theHumm December 2022

By Lise Balthazar

In the early 19th century, English colonizers discovered a beautiful bird in the foothills of the Rockies. Under the mistaken impression that the bird would only make an appearance after sunset, they called it evening grosbeak. However, the bird’s name in French — “gros-bec errant” — is much more accurate.

The French term “errant” means “wandering”, which perfectly describes this bird’s unpredictable migratory movements. In fact, rather than being actual migrations, those movements are essentially ......


It’s Back Already? - theHumm December 2022

By Glenda Jones

When did this happen? Only last week I was getting out the garden tools, revving up the mower and planting some annuals. And now you’re telling me I have to get out the winter gear? Suddenly, it’s colder than… well, you know. I’m wrapping myself in strings of outdoor lights, and cursing the timer that turns the lights on in the day and off at dusk. On the decent November day when I could have done this in comfort, we were tooling around the countryside admiring the fall colour.

Halloween came and ......


Bill 23: More Strain on the Vulnerable and Our Natural World! - theHumm December 2022

By Chandler Swain

As we were going to press, the provincial government was trying to rush through Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act.

No doubt, we are in a housing crisis: the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Lanark County is $1,796 a month; in 2022, the average sale price of a home in the County was $736,424. Most likely, you know someone who is in a precarious housing situation.

So “More Homes Built Faster” sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, the Bill is mis-named. It will not provide for more affordable housing; it will not meet the housing needs of our aging popu......


Rural Women Face Higher Risk of Abuse, so What Now Lanark County? - theHumm December 2022

By Fern Martin

More than 40 years ago, three shelters for women and children fleeing abuse opened in Lanark and Renfrew Counties: Lanark County Interval House in Carleton Place, The Bernadette McCann House in Pembroke, and Avoca House in Eganville, which closed in 1996 after Ontario’s Ministry of Community & Social Services removed funding. These shelters have saved many lives, but the issue of male violence against women has not abated. In fact, the reverse is happening.

The Cana......


8th Anniversary Show Continues in Almonte - theHumm December 2022

Sivarulrasa Gallery’s 8th Anniversary Show continues in Almonte until December 30. It’s the Gallery’s largest show of the year, featuring sculpture, paintings, drawings, photography and mixed media works in many sizes and price points, by local artists as well as those from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.

Among the 28 Canadian creators featured in the show are five based in Almonte. “We are fortunate to ......


School of Hard Knocks
Latest Project by Andy Simpson and Gerry Madden
- theHumm December 2022

By Kris Riendeau

Carleton Place’s Andy Simpson has been making music for at least as long as theHumm has been publishing. Over the years we have covered Andy’s ambitious undertakings and enjoyed seeing him perform on local community theatre stages. During the pandemic, Andy kept busy working on another new project his musical partner Gerry Madden — this one entitled School of Hard Knocks. We contacted Andy to find out more about his plans for this fifth album.

theHumm: Can you give our readers an overview of this con......


Orkney — An Interview with Maggie Toner - theHumm December 2022

By John Pigeau

A good book is a good book, says Maggie Toner — no matter the publisher.

Maggie is the author of Orkney, a novel about four souls who develop and eventually come to the full essence of who they are.

“That sounds goofy,” she says, “but basically I have told the story of four people and their bonds to one another, using reincarnation as the mechanism of the story and first-party stream of consciousness to narrate it.”

The back flap synopsis reads: “Four......


Lanark County Routes Sequel Set for 2023 - theHumm December 2022

By Rose Mary Sarsfield

Lanark County Genealogical Society (LCGS) continues to celebrate our farming community and the pioneers who cleared the trees and rocks, built their homes and planted crops around the stumps. Our two-volume set entitled Lanark County Routes, East and Lanark County Routes West was a remarkable success when it was published last year.

We tapped into the history recorded in the local Tweedsmuir History books and collaborated with several of the present farmers in the County to tell the stories.



An Exceptional Library Fundraiser
- theHumm December 2022

An exhibition entitled EXCEPTIONAL is scheduled to run at the Mississippi Mills Public Library — Almonte Branch from December 3–30. Featuring the works of over a dozen exceptionally talented loca......