All posts by Club West

High hopes

ClubWest

(To view our November/December 2016 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

Grimsby’s Maggie Weatherdon plans to be a principal dancer with a European dance company one day ~ And she is putting in the work to achieve that goal!

By Mike Williscraft

Visions of flitting around Europe dance in the heads of countless youth, but few envision doing so while the principal dancer of a ballet company.

Maggie Weatherdon of Grimsby is that rare one, however, and she just may have the talent to support that lofty dream.

The 14-year-old Grimsby Secondary School student will be putting her best foot forward later this month when she performs as “Marie”, the lead part in her dance school, Neglia Ballet Artists, production of The Nutcracker.

maggie-weatherdonThe performance is a collaboration of Neglia, The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Shea’s Performing Arts Center. It runs Nov. 26-27.

Just 14, Maggie is already a veteran of 11 years of training. Of course her formative years included very basic gymnastics and figure skating, she quickly came to understand dance was in here genes.

Born in North Carolina, Maggie’s mother, Michelle, was a dance instructor.

“She was in my class but by the age of five we had to find some place else for her to go because she was trying to teach the class,” laughed Michelle.

It was right around that time the Weatherdons packed up and moved back to Grimsby.

Maggie briefly attended St. John Catholic Elementary School before switching to Central Public School’s French immersion program. She also attended Lakeview Public before heading to GSS for Grade 9.

With dance, she continued her training in Burlington and St. Catharines maintaining her well-rounded interest which included a lot of gymnastics and various dance disciplines.

About two years ago, it was time to choose, however.

Staying the course with a general dance style would mean career aspirations of working on a cruise ship, for example, performing the same routines over and over.

Going the acrobatics route was a strong possibility angling for something along the lines of being a Cirque du Soleil performer, but career longevity was a key issue there.

For Maggie, ballet filled the bill.

**********

See the full article in our online edition.

Lord and lady of the manor also Citizens of The Year

ClubWest

(To view our May/June 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

Barry & Linda Coutts earn Grimsby Chamber of Commerce award

By Mike Williscraft

Some people build a legacy, others choose to rebuild a legacy.

Barry and Linda Coutts fall into the latter category.

The Grimsby couple, who have invested 40 years of time, money and effort into restoring Nelles Manor to its original glory have gained notoriety they certainly do not seek but is deserved nonetheless.

Soon they will have another honour to add to their mantel – Grimsby & District Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of The Year Award.


“To receive Citizen of the Year is awesome! We know so many people who give of themselves, their talents, their time and money as they can, We can only accept with knowing we also honour those people too who care about filling their life with constructive efforts, however large or small,” said Barry.

“We can only hope in our case that the accolades we receive help to make people aware of giving, as we have done in many ways over the years and in our specific case embrace this old house and all it stands for.”

The couple initially came to check out the home after seeing a real estate ad in the Globe & Mail. The rest, as they say, is history. Lots of history.

After taking possession of the 1788 home, which had as many as eight apartments at one time, the Coutts have spent 45-plus years manicuring every possible detail to bring the property all the way back to its original design.

The reason?

“The house needs to go on,” said Linda of the 7,000 sq ft building constructed by Col. Robert Nelles over a 10-year period.

“There were a lot of other people who came to this area and did really well, but their story has not been maintained and their ancestors did not keep track of all the documentation to help tell their story. The Nelles family did.”

And what a story.

**********

For the complete article, click here for Club West Online.

From the Publisher May/June 2017

ClubWest

(To view our May/June 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Magazines, unlike their industry sisters, newspapers, can often have themes which harmonize pages from cover to cover.

This edition of ClubWest does not follow that scheme in the slightest. In fact, it is probably about as diverse as could be conjured from the topics in Niagara West.

What can be said about the Coutts that has not already been said. Simply lovely people who have as dedicated a passion forhistory and their Nelles Manor as they possess for the Town of Grimsby itself. Absolutely deserving of their Grimsby & District Chamber of Commerce honour. Good on the Chamber for recognizing them as well as Junior Citizen Neha Gulati.

While the Coutts feature drips of history and interesting story lines, Diala Canelo is at the opposite end of the feature spectrum – working mom travelling the world as a flight attendant, who happens to a highly trained foodie.

She has managed to combine those two areas of interest to become a bit of an internet sensation who is about to parlay years of groundwork into a cookbook.

For an interesting twist on top of all that, the author of that piece, Isabella Gilmore, just happens to be Diala’s daughter.

Isabella will be working with me for the next few months and will continue with her post-GSS studies at Sheridan College’s journalism program this fall. She offers an excellent first piece and her mom should be very proud.

Down the middle of these two polar opposites, you have the Dunns who, after nearly three decades on Grimsby’s Main Street plying their trade in the jewellery business have opted to retire. In speaking with Rob and Pat last month it is clear they still have the passion, but the timing was right, and good for them.

It was interesting to hear them relate the transitions in their industry which have emerged over their careers: supply chain dwindling, technology, sales habits and more.

Their comment about consumers having less interest in quality in favour of lower prices is a universal cry of most craftsmen who are finding the going significantly more difficult. If the 90s were considered the start of a disposable society, today that atmosphere has exponentially grown.

Toss in a little fishing expertise from Brent Bochek – along with a little culinary spice from chef Jan-Willem Stulp and we have another successful recipe for and excellent read covering all things homegrown right here in Niagara West. Enjoy!

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft