P.O. Box 531
Port Colborne, Ontario
L3K 5X7

"Every day we spend without learning something is a day lost" - Beethoven


- Posted 2021-02-08 10:45:33

Another month full of restrictions that have got us all feeling a little low. Here is a humourous take on our situation that I received from one of our Board members. Enjoy!

My Pandemic Life

The Covid is raging...my life is a mess,
I live in pyjamas and don't have to dress;
I'm in isolation, just staying at home,
And would give my last dollar to be free to roam;
I'm seriously at risk (or that's what they say),
Telling me to stay in and not go out each day...
In my head, I'm so young, though my licence reveals
I'm a 70+ senior (but that's not how it feels);
When I run out of food and deliveries are late,
I have to buy groceries between 7 and 8,
So, early in the morning, I head out to restock,
And discover a lineup that winds 'round the block;
Social distancing seniors, all 6 feet apart
Make me wonder just when I became an old fart.
My meals are repetitive (a lot like my gas!)
And I'm tired of discussing why Trump is an ass;
My latest new outfit is gloves and a mask,
And I'm starting to wonder if I'm up to the task;
I wash all my groceries, all fruit, meat and veg......
Will this additional precaution tip me over the edge?
My beautiful brown hair has wide roots of grey,
No hairdresser around to help wash them away;
I've been talking to myself...now I'm answering back,
Is it Monday or Friday? I've really lost track;
I've stopped doing housework...it's weeks since I've dusted,
And I know without visitors, I'll never get busted;
I Facetime my friends or we group chat on Zoom,
And try to pretend we're all in the same room;
Thank God liquor stores are considered "essential",
Without daily drinks, this would drive us all mental!
Every once in awhile it is good to reflect
On what this all means and what we can expect;
It's a time to be grateful for all that we've got,
Like a warm house and food that others have not;
The bottom line here, by the time this all ends,
Is that we'll get through it with our family and friends.

Stay safe everyone!

- Posted 2021-01-08 11:27:04

So the New Year begins and the pandemic roars on. It has become more and more difficult to find something to write about on our monthly NOTES blog. Instead, I found the following...

- Posted 2020-12-02 13:19:27

T’was a Month Before Christmas 2020

Written by: Shawna Hickling, Calgary, Alberta

Edited by: Nancy Gyetko

T’was a month before Christmas and all through the town,

People wore masks that covered their frown.

The frown had begun way back in the Spring,

When a global pandemic changed everything.

They called it corona, but unlike the beer,

It didn’t bring good times; it didn’t bring cheer.

Contagious and deadly, this virus spread fast,

Like a wildfire that starts when fuelled by gas.

Airplanes were grounded, travel was banned.

Borders were closed across air, sea and land.

As the world entered lockdown to flatten the curve,

The economy halted, and folks lost their verve.

From March to July we rode the first wave,

People stayed home; they tried to behave.

When summer emerged the lockdown was lifted.

But away from caution, many folks drifted.

Now it’s December and cases are spiking,

Wave two has arrived, much to our disliking.

Frontline workers, doctors and nurses,

Try to save people from riding in hearses.

This virus is awful, this COVID-19.

We’re anxiously awaiting a new vaccine.

It’s true that this year has had sadness a plenty,

We’ll never forget the year 2020.

And just ‘round the corner – the holiday season,

But why be merry? Is there even a reason

To decorate the house and put up the tree,

When no one will see it…no one but me?

But outside my window, the snow gently falls,

And I think to myself…let’s deck the halls!!!

So, I gather the ribbon, the garland and bows,

As I play those old carols, my happiness grows.

Christmas isn’t cancelled and neither is hope.

If we lean on each other, I know we can cope.

Merry Christmas to all, both far and near,

We hope life is better in the coming year.

Whatever your Christmas plans may be…stay safe everyone!

- Posted 2020-11-03 11:01:59


Do you find yourself losing your temper more easily or becoming less forgiving of others? Are you often critical of the way people are choosing to handle the restrictions…maybe you feel some are too lax while others are bordering on paranoia? We need to prepare ourselves for the long winter that lies ahead. Grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and enjoy the following analogy that I found on Facebook.

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee?

“Because someone bumped into me!!!”

Wrong answer.

You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup.

Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.

*Whatever is inside the cup is what will spill out*

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out.  It’s easy to fake it, until you get rattled.

*So we have to ask ourselves…“What’s in my cup?”*

When life gets tough, what spills over?

Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility?

Anger, bitterness, harsh words and reactions?

Life provides the cup. YOU choose how to fill it.

Now, more than ever, let’s work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation; and kindness, gentleness and love for others.

Eight months into the pandemic and we’re all suffering from a little “covid-fatigue”. Social distancing, limited gatherings and constant media statistics can get to all of us. But…please…be patient! Be vigilant!

Stay safe. Let’s all work together to flatten the curve before Christmas!

OCTOBER NOTES...being thankful
- Posted 2020-10-06 10:03:58


October is the time when the Festival Board would normally be securing venues and hiring adjudicators for the upcoming Festival. Of course, due to covid19, none of this is happening as we’ve tabled the Festival until 2022. This is a strange year indeed!

October is also the month we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada. A time to be grateful for all that we have. Are you wondering how we can be thankful during, what seems to be, the second wave of the pandemic which is resulting in new restrictions?

Here are some things to think about…

We live in a great country whose leaders are trying to figure out (although never having done this before) what’s best for our future. It can be confusing and sometimes frustrating but we should be grateful for their hard work and do our best to follow the guidelines.

Take a walk or a drive anywhere and you will see Autumn…one of the most beautiful and colourful seasons of the year. Where else can you see leaves in golds, reds, oranges and yellows. And pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks, mums & more…everywhere! As the seasons change, Nature has certainly blessed us with her splendor!

And our friends & family…how do we celebrate and stay safe? Maybe your group is small and you are able to join in the festivities. For those who are unable to gather together, for whatever the reason, maybe a virtual visit is for you. Zoom, Facetime and other sites are wonderful additions to our digital world. Perhaps we opt not to gather now so we can gather later. Whatever works best, enjoy your time together! It is precious.

Don’t lose sight of all these things and always look for more. Our gratitude for the blessings that surround us can get us through these tough times.

May each new day bring you sunshine, peace, love and laughter.

- Posted 2020-09-08 16:35:03


 So that we can stay in touch, we hope to publish a monthly newsletter here on our new website. Here is the first issue.

 At our recent meeting, the Board of Directors made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Festival. This was not easy, but,  due to the many unknowns involving the pandemic, we felt it was the best choice. No one can predict the future. Will venues be available? Will we be able to hire qualified adjudicators? How many private music studios will be comfortable preparing students for competition? What protocols will be in place for the dance studios? Community and church choirs are still making decisions regarding practices so our Choral Evening is in jeopardy. And then there are the schools…with the “new normal” that is just now being introduced, school choirs/bands and choral speaking are very low or non-existent on the teachers’ priority list. These are all issues we completely understand and why the decision to cancel was made.

And on another "note"...due to social distancing issues and how each Board member is choosing to handle covid19 protocols, it was decided to forgo our Annual General Meeting/dinner, which was to be held later this month. Instead, the Board members have received the printed Annual Report and any discussion regarding the committee reports will take place via email. Safety is our primary concern.

Though we’re apart, we are working together and are looking forward to planning the 2022 Festival. Stay tuned!

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