Bringing the farm to the cultural centre
Published April 20, 2017
The following are brief reports of items discussed at Minden Hills council on April 13.
Visitors to the Minden Hills Cultural Centre might have the chance to see livestock on display in July and August.
The program is part of an ongoing move toward a “Living History” format at the Minden Hills museum and heritage village. Having animals on-site is part of a program intended to teach visitors about the history of Minden, early settlers’ lives and work and where food comes from and will include demonstrations of farm chores, feeding animals, collecting eggs and cleaning pens.
“Sadly for many people in major cities, ‘Old MacDonald had a Farm,’ plastic Fisher Price farmland toys and YouTube will be the major tools for understanding farming, and many will not get the opportunity to see a live farm animal in place,” according to a report to council by Mark Coleman, director of community services.
“The initial reaction was that this was a much bigger thing than it actually is,” said Coleman at the council meeting. “We’re trying to keep it simple and just have a couple of demonstration animals. We’re not looking to have a herd of cattle. We’ll just start off small and assess as we go along.”
Councillor Jean Neville said she’s been an animal lover working with livestock her entire life, and recommended staff speak to a local large animal vet rather than just vets outside of the area.
She said cattle are herd animals and taking one from the herd to be on display in the program could be upsetting to the cow.
Larger animals would just be on site for a short time, returning home with the farmer at the end of each day, according to Coleman. Neville said transporting a bovine was “quite an endeavour.”
Staff is working closely with the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums to implement the program. They plan to have chickens on site daily, with a goat, sheep, pig or cow onsite on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Library numbers are in
The number of library cardholders in the county appears to be declining, according to numbers compiled by the Haliburton County Public Library (HCPL), but CEO Bessie Sullivan said that’s likely not the case.
An estimated 9,124 people in the county had a library card last year, compared to 10,713 in 2013, 10,158 in 2014 and 9,707 in 2015, according to the 2016 HCPL annual report.
“Our biggest theory is that a family of five is getting one card for the family rather than five individual cards,” said Sullivan. She said that helped families keep track of books and fines, but could be less convenient since account information could only be given to the person listed as the cardholder.
County library branches circulated 164,729 items last year, including 15,782 digital items. Also in 2016, 16,571 people accessed the Internet on public computers.
“What [the library] was 10 years ago and what it is today is like the difference between night and day,” said Deputy-reeve Cheryl Murdoch, who is on the library board.
“The electronic age has not done what we were afraid it would do,” said Councillor Pam Sayne, who commended the library’s achievements.
Shoreline road allowance fee increase
Council took a look at some final numbers for increased shoreline road allowance fees after town planner Ian Clendening compared the municipality’s fees to those of surrounding areas.
The fees more accurately reflect the value of waterfront, according to Clendening.
The current total cash deposit is $1,500 – including a non-refundable $500 administration fee and a partial purchase price for the first 150 feet of frontage at $750, or $5 per foot. Each additional foot has been sold at a cost of $2.
The proposed changes would bring the total cash deposit to $4,750, increasing the partial purchase price for the first 150 feet to $4,000, or about $27 per foot, with the cost for each additional foot increased to $18. The $500 administration fee would remain the same.
Sayne noted the planning and development advisory committee (PDAC) had spent much time discussing the situation, and considering how to roll the sale of anticipated increased shoreline allowance revenue back into the community.
Clendening said the PDAC recommends the money go to shoreline restoration projects and procurement of access to lakes.
Further discussion of the fee changes will take place in a public meeting at the council chambers on April 27.
Provincial award deadlines
April 28 is the deadline for the province-wide Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program. The program recognizes innovative products, production and business methods and is open to primary producers, processors and agri-food organizations. A guidebook and application form are available online at www.ontario.ca/agrifoodinnovation.
April 30 is the deadline for municipalities to nominate someone over the age of 65 for a 2017 Senior of the Year award. The person must have contributed to social, cultural or civic life in his or her community. The public can also nominate a deserving individual for the Ontario Senior Achievement Award by June 15. More information is available at www.ontario.ca/page/celebrating-seniors-ontario.
Lapine Sculpture Plans
A longterm project to bring a life-size outdoor bronze statue of Andre Lapine to the grounds of the Minden Hills Cultural Centre is moving closer to reality. Lapine, an artist, moved to Minden circa 1940.
The total cost of the project is expected to be $28,500. Sayne brought up the cost in relation to other projects the township needed to focus on, but Coleman said more than $23,000 of the total had been acquired through grants, and a further grant application had been submitted to access an additional $7,000.
“What I find particularly appealing about this installation is that it’s going to be user-friendly,” said Councillor Jeanne Anthon. “Children can sit on it and pretend to be painting. There’s not a hands-off aspect.”
Coleman said the work would help promote the nationally significant collection of Lapine artwork and paintings held by the centre. The collection includes more than 100 works.
“When you have a nationally significant collection, the rest of Canada needs to know about that,” he said.
with files from Chad Ingram