From the Publisher January/February 2015

ClubWest(To view our January/February 2015 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

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

Front Page Jan Feb 2015

In life’s travels, it is always a positive thought to treat everyone nicely, professionally and fairly. One just never knows who might circle back and work their way into our life for a second time, or even on a permanent basis. It was a long time ago, 18 years to be exact, the first time I met Andrew Best and Jason Ginsburg.

They were Grimsby Secondary School Grade 10 keeners.

I was just about a year into my gig at The Grimsby Independent when the duo dropped in to bounce an idea off me. Having been around long enough to know there are no bad ideas, I listened to the boys’ vision for a new column for the paper. To give you a little a perspective good reader, this was before internet. Their idea was a column filled with brain teasers, number riddles and the like.

In nearly three decades in the publishing game, I would guess I have had hundreds of such proposals offered in my direction. This was the most innovative and took a lot of thought because these young lads had created everything they offered. It was not a situation of today where they could Google “riddles” and pages would appear.

Fast forward to this past summer. I received an email from Andrew letting me know he was living in Shanghai and would be returning home to continue development of a new company. It was a company he, along with his brother Addison and Jason could have launched from any place since its initial focus is online. The trio believe it is important to give back to the community from which one receives so, as it grows, their operation will be Grimsby based. You can read all about it right here in ClubWEST.

Speaking of new things…here we are in a shiny new 2015. That can mean only one thing: new years resolutions geared to fitness. Enter Katherine Preston. This is another lady I have known for a long time, another ball of energy and a class act. She is not just about exercise, rather, the whole ball of wax. Diet and lifestyle choices are also integral. Be sure to check out her information in this edition.

You may want to commit that information to memory before reading about all the tasty treats Beth Ashton of August Restaurant is cooking up. August has only been around six years, but has almost instantly earned a spot on everyone’s must-visit list. August is another example of “it’s nice to see good things happen to good people” because Beth and partner Clayton Gillie are top drawer folk. This edition’s chef feature covers some delectable comfort foods Beth has offered at their King Street eatery. If I was you, good reader, I would skip right to the slider page (Page 21).

Publisher, ClubWEST Magazine
Mike Williscraft

From the Publisher November/December 2014

ClubWest(To view our November/December 2014 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

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

Front Page Nov Dec 2014One of the first things taught in any self-respecting journalism school is that everyone has a story to tell. A good reporter should be able to hang out at a gas station for 10 minutes and extract a half-dozen story leads just by listening to customers.

Over the near-20 years I have been covering all things Niagara West, I have spoken to Debbie Zimmerman countless times: in formal interviews, at public events, or over a coffee to catch up on things. Just when you think you know a person…

My goal, as always when I speak with someone I know well, is to find out things I don’t know about them because if I don’t know, chances are the general public would not either. I learned a lot in our chats for my feature in this edition of ClubWEST. As a kid, Debbie sounds like she was a bit of a
punk. And in the nicest way, she still is.

She is an intensely informed and motivated punk, ideal to have for political representation. She knows what the community needs (because she listens) and she has no problem dropping the mitts and fighting for it. She says she is taking a self-imposed break to cool her jets and recharge. Good for her! Niagara West communities have been blessed with some talented, hard-working representatives over the years but none

And speaking of none better, two of Beamsville’s main street shops represented in this edition are certainly at the top of their respective fields. Klaas Salverda, now with his son Ben, at Beamsville Bakery have crafted a reputation for excellence over four decades of serving its clientele. Meanwhile, Nik Halkias at County Cycle serves as a model of what those who nibble the pastries from across the street should be doing to burn off the “donut effect”, namely cycling anywhere and everywhere. This summer he went on an extreme bike adventure in Portugal. He can scratch that from his bucket list.

Smithville resident Jennifer McCready combines her passion for photography and empowering women to create classic 1950s style pin-up photos – including this month’s cover shot which used NewsNow’s general manager Catherine Bratton as a subject, along with a Beamsville Bakery Black Forest Cake.

There are so many people in our midst that are doing cool things every day. They are living the ClubWEST mantra of “Passions, Pursuits & Passtimes”. Our goal is to unearth these gems and serve them up to you, our devoted readers. Our other goals, like being on time with deliveries, are more mundane, but very important to running a credible organization.

Enjoy your read!

Publisher, ClubWEST Magazine
Mike Williscraft

From the Publisher September/October 2014

ClubWest(To view our September/October 2014 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

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

ClubWest Cover Page Sept 4I got a ton of comments on my buddy Ben’s quote above, so I think I will leave it there for the first year.

Well, thanks one and all for the fine reception for Niagara West’s original lifestyle magazine.

There is no need to bore you with an overview of pleasantness, but we have run a smattering of some letters we received.

Much appreciated, by the way.

But, as Ivan Carruthers duly notes in this edition, what is happening in the future? Where are we going and how best do we get there?

I had a very long chat with Ivan, his stepson Steve Ecker and Steve’s wife Mary about all things Carruthers Printing and West Lincoln as a whole. I love history and Ivan has been there done that when it comes to the community for the last six-plus decades. What an impressive man.  It is great to see good things happen for good people. So many things about what Ivan said proved the old adage that one can achieve anything with a little elbow grease.

And if you happen to stop for a glass of wine while achieving those goals along life’s highway, who better to share a glass with than John Howard.

John’s business and life goals, while different, are very much centred in the exact same area as Ivan’s. Both men have an intense love for this area. John could live anywhere in the world.

He has business interest in France, yet, Vineland is the centre of his business universe as is Niagara in his personal life as it also houses his daughter and her child.

Her decision to return to Niagara after studies abroad was not lost on John, who has made a conscious effort to develop what he has right here in front of him in Niagara West.

Again, similarly, Ivan continues to do this same sort of thing taking on the role as West Lincoln Chamber of Commerce’s president for a fourth time, nearly two decades after he “retired”. He still invests in his community.

Not to be outdone by the boys, we have Margaret Andrewes, Lincoln’s own whirling dirvish. Having dealt with Margaret on many occasions over the years, when she was wearing one of her many hats, she lives the “if you need something done, give it to a busy person” adage.

These people, and their efforts over decades, do not magically appear like a rabbit which local magician extraordinaire Calvin Cutts can so consistently produce. Just as Calvin has crafted his reputation as the area’s premier children’s entertainer, these other story subjects have continued to do great things to make everything around them better.

We could use a dozen – or three – more just like them, wouldn’t you agree?

Publisher, ClubWEST Magazine
Mike Williscraft