Easter Season at McKellar United Church. Here are the dates for services and events during the 2013 Easter season: Ash Wednesday takes place on February 13 at the Dunchurch Knox Church at 7:30 p.m.; Palm Sunday service will be offered at both churches, at usual service times; Maundy Thursday will be on March 28 at 7 p.m. at the McKellar United Church; Good Friday, on March 29, will start by meeting at the Dunchurch Community Centre at 10:30 a.m., and a walk to the Dunchurch Knox Church for service at 11 a.m.; and Easter Sunday is on March 31 and services will be offered at both churches.
On April 14, the Orillia Silver Band will visit both churches: 9:30 a.m. at McKellar United Church and 11 a.m. at the Dunchurch Knox Church.
A Framework for Change
There are some major changes being considered on how the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) will be financially supporting its endeavours to continue creating and maintaining the 32,000 km of snowmobile trails across Ontario. The initiative is titled, A Framework for Change in a letter to ‘Friends of Ontario Snowmobiling’ dated October 10, 2012. In the same letter, authored by Brenda R. Welsh (president of OFSC), Walsh wrote, “A Framework for Change will assure the continued viability of snowmobiling as Ontario’s premier winter tourism product both today and for the future.” Growing challenges prompted a need for significant action, the nature of the major changes necessary to meet them, and the steps required to put those changes in place for the 2013/14 snowmobile season.
OFSC is primarily funded through trail permit sales, the permit affixed for display on the assigned snowmobile and with the valid permit providing legal access to the OFSC prescribed snowmobile trail network for an estimated 160,000 sledders. It takes at least $15 million, about 95% of costs for trail permits, to operate, manage and maintain the OFSC trail network each season.
A recent survey had almost 96 per cent of respondent sledders finding Ontario snowmobiling enjoyable, very enjoyable, or extremely enjoyable. Fifty per cent plus respondents agreed that the overall trail experience had improved over the past several years. This response indicates continued interest in an organized snowmobile trail experience, yet there is clear evidence that a growing number of committed and experienced snowmobilers are questioning a good value for the money when considering increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, shortened season lengths and increasing participation costs. Twenty five per cent of respondent snowmobilers could not agree that a seasonal trail permit is a good value for the money. The aforementioned questions of good value promoted a ‘wait and see’ position making potential purchasers more likely not to purchase trail permits until they were sure there would be trails available in their home riding area. This growing approach substantially increases variability in primary funding processes and greatly affects OFSC’s ability to cope with fixed operating costs like insurance, capital equipment, signage, and bridges. Eight per cent of respondent snowmobilers said they would likely purchase fewer permits for the coming season.
The general downward trend in annual seasonal permit sales over the past several seasons does not look positive to OFSC’s future and hence the reason for ‘A Framework for Change’ to stop and reverse the trend. Briefly stated is a potential four-part solution which includes the following.
“Maintain a provincial full season permit with an increase after Dec 1 aimed at avid snowmobilers who travel widely across the province where there is little change in securing full access to the trails.
Establish five regional permits priced at just over half of the provincial full season rate with the removal of the classic permits. Offer a lower cost option for local or casual riders who do not travel outside their home riding area. This would include little cost change for classic sled owners. Make an upgrade available, at extra cost, to be provided if the rider’s plan’s change.
Support provincial programs through a Ministry of Transportations Snowmobile Vehicles Act (MSV) registration surcharge for all snowmobiles in Ontario. Establish permit enforcement powers for Trail Patrol members.”
McKellar Pioneer College
Here are the courses that are offered this season and into the summer: February 16, 9:30 a.m. to noon: Fermentation-Wild Country Wines, Ginger Ale, Sauerkraut, Kombucha. The cost is $25. March (date to be announced): Rush Webbing or Caning a Chair Seat. Cost to be determined. May 4, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Wild Edibles. Lunch will be prepared by the participants. Book early; this is a popular course. The cost is $30. July (date to be announced): Paper Making. Cost to be determined.
Other upcoming courses: Forest Triage-Threats to Our Trees & Restocking Fisheries & Healthy Lake Ecosystems. Details will be made available at a later date.
You can pre-register at the township office; call 705-389-2842.
Unless noted otherwise all courses are held at the McKellar Community Centre.
Produce vendors wanted for McKellar market
We would like to welcome new vendors to our fourth season as a Farm Producer’s Market.
We are seeking individuals who are involved in fruit or vegetable produce and/or create baked goods or preserves to join us on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help sustain and build a community of local farmers, gardeners, and artists.
Please contact Jane Savile for more information at 705-389-1901 or email: email@example.com
McKellar Sunshine Club
McKellar Sunshine Seniors euchre winners on Thursday, Jan. 31 were first, Norma Johnson and tied for second, Carol Buckingham and Greta Taylor.
Most lone hands was also a tied between Bev Church and Ollie Patterson. The carpet bowling was a game between two guys, Dennis and Chris (who each got to throw an extra ball) and three ladies, Audrey, Vivian and Margaret. The game was tied at 20 - 20 but the ladies won the game in the end; a close and interesting game.
McKellar Conservation Association
MCA will not be hosting an Ice Fishing Derby in 2013. Members thank all participants in previous years for their support. Check out the Whitestone Rod and Gun Club for their derby held on March 9 on Whitestone Lake opposite the Whitestone Resort.
We invite you to put your news into our column. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 705-389-1786. We would appreciate your information by Sunday at noon for the next week’s edition.