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Pandemic-era comedy performance by Grignon at Cambridge Street United

in Opinion by
Denis Grignon poses with two of his blank-faced audience members for a recent performance at Cambridge Street United Church.

It’s not that I was nervous.

After more than 30 years as a touring standup comedian, playing way too many “Tonight Only! Comedy! And Chicken Wings!” shows in roadhouses with an apostrophe in their names – O’Toole’s, O’Malley’s, O’Sheah’s, O’Lord-Get-Me-Outta-Here – I’ve become inured to even the most unwelcoming and uncharitable audiences.

“Thank you,” I’d say after my closing bit, often with no small hint of sarcasm. “And good night (enter town name here).” Then I’d get in my truck and drive off, thankful that I was unlikely to ever meet any of them again.

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The spirit of the season: What is it, and how do we make it last?

in Community by
What would happen if, as a reformed Scrooge promises, we kept Christmas in our hearts all the year?

Maybe you’re hearing it already. Maybe you’ve said it yourself. But what do we really mean when we say things like “getting into the Christmas spirit” or “the true spirit of the season”? What exactly is this thing that we all profess to desire not just now, but all year long?

Although it’s not precisely religious, it is something that transcends the ordinary, says Rev. Linda Park, lead minister at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Lindsay. “I think it’s a longing for a sense of generosity, a sense of family, a sense of community.”

When people use the phrase, what they’re identifying is “a spirit of giving, a spirit of feeling at one, of reaching out beyond themselves,” often mingled with nostalgia, suggests Rev. Craig Donnelly, minister at Cambridge Street United Church.

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The thrill of the festive hunt: Your guide to bazaar season

in Around Town/Community/Local News/Seniors by

Starting in mid-November, every weekend offers you the chance to pick up unique finds that are locally made, reasonably priced and usually support a great cause. That’s the beauty of Christmas bazaar season. Watch for signs outside churches, charities and nursing homes starting in mid-November.

Pro tip: Bring several of your own reusable containers for cookies and other baking, and cloth bags for larger purchases. And remember, like any other shopping expedition, it’s easy to get carried away—there are definitely better and worse choices.

Best bets

You’re looking for things you can’t get anywhere else, or that you can’t or won’t make yourself. Keep an eye out for:

-microwaveable rice- or bean-filled neck bags. These are often available at bazaars in much cheaper and more attractive versions than you’ll find in stores.

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Forests and ships: Planning for the future with flexibility

in Health/Opinion by
Forests and ships: Planning for the future with flexibility

Maximilien de Béthune, duc de Sully (1560-1641) was first minister and right-hand man of Henry IV of France.

He was also passionate about trees and was responsible for halting and outlawing the devastation of the forests of France that had preceded his appointment. In 1599 he planned a forest that would, in 200 years, provide France with all the excellent ship masts it would need for an excellent fleet.  Keep Reading

King Albert: Lindsay school works with community to overcome income barriers

in Community/Health/Social Issues by
King Albert Public School Principal, Dean Burke, with some of the items received for Christmas donations.

Part Two. This year, Statistics Canada has released new data on the social and economic well-being of cities and towns across Canada. This is part two in a series about Lindsay’s 12 lowest income neighbourhood zones and how they are coping in a challenging economic environment. To read Part One go here.

This is a story about a community coming together to fight an all-too-common scourge – the fact that incomes are too low to meet people’s needs.

Call it poverty. Call it scarcity. It doesn’t much matter.

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