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CULTURAL TOURS

CULTURAL TOURS

Tastings at Two Micro-Breweries, Visit to Bickle Farm Valley Hops, Villa Conti Winery, and Canada’s Best Bakery!

 

With local guide Peter Brotherhood, visit two local breweries, a local hops farm and the Villa Conti Winery in Northumberland County. Taste-test the various beers and see how they are created at the William St Beer Co. in Cobourg and the Church Key Brewery and Grindhouse Pub in Campbellford. Each brewery has its own unique specialties; we will have the time to purchase their products, too. Visit a working hops farm to speak to the farmer who produces hops for breweries across Canada. At the Villa Conti Winery, we will have the opportunity to sample some of their wines as we enjoy an authentic Italian lunch overlooking the Northumberland Hills.  While in Campbellford, we will visit Dooher’s Bakery, judged Canada’s Best Bakery in 2018. Here we will taste taste their products as well as purchase them, if desired.  

ZIMART, Rice Lake Gallery

 

We visit Canada’s Premier Shona Gallery overlooking scenic Rice Lake. This outdoor gallery exhibits over 50 stone sculptures from Zimbabwe. Hear this year’s visiting Zimbabwean sculptor discuss his hand-carved works of art and see the extraordinary and unique sculptures, in a variey of themes, up close.  Zimbabwe is known for its varied hues of serpentine rock which is created into Shona sculpture. David Attenborough, an early collector of the work, commented that, “The real significance of this tribal art is that it shows us, locked within our own culture, that there are other ways of being human; there are alternative visions that have their own validity.”  We will visit the grave site of Joseph Scriven, an extraordinary Christian and the author of the hymn, ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’.  Time: preview of the annual exhibit is held one week before Labour Day; visiting for two weeks after Labour Day or by appointment.

Ojibway First Nations Reservation, Alderville.

 

We begin our tour with a visit to the Alderville Craft Store which sells all sorts of native crafts from across Canada, from moccasins to dream catchers, from books on native culture to wild rice. Speak to Jeff Beaver about the historical role which natives have played in harvesting wild rice on Rice Lake for thousands of years and find out why wild rice no longer grows here.  On Hwy 45, within sight of the store, is the largest Native War Memorial in Canada. This gleaming white edifice, with its three slender columns, is filled with Christian symbolism and was originally built to commemorate the loss of nine soldiers from this reservation in WW I.  A little further west on County Road 18 is the Black OaSavanna Grasslands. This unique vegetation originally covered most of southern Ontario, stretching down to the Ohio River Valley. Traditionally, the First Nation people burned off the grasses in the spring; now, this unique habitat is being lovingly restored by naturalists and natives alike.  Just north of the  Alderville  Reservation is a large, red octagonal barn which  houses   the Roseneath Carousel.   Built in 1906,   the 40 basswood horses and two boats have been fully restored! 

Alderville Black Oak Savanna Ecology Experience

 

Come to the Alderville Black Oak Savanna and walk in the tall grass prairie where Big Blue Stem grass will tower over your head. Located on Alderville First Nation land, this 50 hectare site supports two types of endangered grassland habitats: tall grass prairie and oak savanna.  Less than one percent of these habitats survive today.  This is the largest intact tract of native grassland habitat left on the Rice Lake Plains.  The Anishnawbe people, knew this region as ‘Pemadashcoutayang’ or ‘Lake of the Burning Plains’.  This name reflects the important role fire played on these lands.  Tours of the Alderville Black Oak Savanna are led by expert naturalists and ecologists. You will be introduced to the wonders of the site and the plants, insects, birds and animals found here.  Traditional uses of the plants as medicines and foods will also be shared as well as insights into the origins of culture and community in caring for the land.  Shop at Alderville Handicraft Store. Enjoy lunch at the Golden Beach Resort. The first two weeks of October. 

Grape Expectations: Wine Tasting in Prince Edward County

 

Join us on an island adventure to explore Prince Edward County. With its magnificent lakeside views and picturesque countryside, the County is a mecca for artists, wine lovers and nature enthusiasts.  At Huff Estate Winery, we'll taste 3 wines, take a wine tour and enjoy a plated lunch.  See one of Ontario's natural wonders, Lake on the Mountain, a freshwater lake located 62 m above the Bay of Quinte.  Stop at Waupoos Winery for 3 wine tastings, browse the winery boutique stocked with wines and related products as well as a new speciality shop featuring Donini Chocolates.  Browse the wide selection of cheeses at Black River Cheese Factory, which has been making fine cheeses since 1901.  Alternate wineries could include: The Black Prince, Sandbanks, Casa Dea, Norman Hardie, Rose Hill Run and the Grange.

Touring Prince Edward County: History, Cheese and Lavender

 

Prince Edward County offers a variety of interesting things to do on a day tour. Follow the Taste Trail with its Prince Edward County Cidery or its nearby delicious cheeses from the Black River Cheese Factory.  One can purchase fresh fruit and vegetables at the Lakeshore Farms and Campbell’s Orchard. The County Lavender Farm offers lavender tours of their six acres of lavender and an opportunity to purchase lavender products in their Boutique. The little town of Bloomfield offers a variety of arts and crafts for sale. Lake on the Mountain provides panoramic views of the Adolphus Reach and the Glenora Ferry. Historic Picton boasts some fascinating buildings in the Hallowell District: the County Court House, Macaulay Heritage Park with its Macaulay mansion and St Mary Magdalene Church, which is now a museum. Other landmarks in Picton include the Regent Theatre, the Prince Edward-Hastings Armouries, the United Church (formerly the Methodist Church). Other cultural sites worth seeing are the Rose House Museum, Sandbanks Provincial park and the Old Quaker Meeting House in Picton.

‘Days Gone By’- The Annual Port Hope Fair

 

Founded in 1831, the Port Hope Fall Fair celebrates the rural life of long ago. This family-friendly event has something for everyone. There are various demonstrations of rural life such as sheep dog trials, milking, spinning, woodworking, blacksmithing and soapstone carving. You can watch the 4-H Club members as they proudly show their calves or see dairy cattle being judged. For children, there is face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides and a midway. There are horse-drawing competitions, wagon rides and draft horse demonstrations. The fair also features many judged exhibits which range from foods - such as honey, maple syrup, canned and fresh fruits and vegetables - to handicrafts such as needlework, fibre art and quilting to plants and flowers; there is even a scarecrow competition! The contemporary exhibits include local photography, natural living and health and wellness. Whether you are aged four or ninety-four, there are plenty of activities to entertain you. 

 

Cultural Tour of Cobourg

 

Attend a concert or play in the Grand Concert Hall of Cobourg’s finest building, Victoria Hall, or take a grand tour of the elegant building. Shop along Cobourg’s main street. Take a historical tour of Cobourg and see heritage homes, Victoria Park, the Waterfront and the Cobourg Yacht Club. Visit the Ecology Garden and stroll down the boardwalk along the finest beach between Toronto and Kingston. Dine at the Woodlawn Inn (listed in Ontario’s Finest Inns). Time: May to October

A Capitol Performance

 

Attend a performance at the Cameco Capitol Arts Centre in Port Hope, Canada’s only atmospheric theatre.  Enjoy shopping for antiques or other unique gifts along Ontario’s ‘Best Preserved Main Street’, Walton Street. Take a historic tour of Port Hope, stopping at some of its 250 heritage homes and landmarks. Port Hope has been called “Canada’s Best Destination” by Readers' Digest. Lunch or dinner at the Woodlawn Inn or the Railside. Time: Year Round

Arts in Port Hope

 

Attend the All Canadian Jazz Festival in Port Hope. Bring your musical instrument and march in a parade down Walton Street. Attend various professional performances at different venues all day. Many performances are free.  Another option: enjoy the Vintage Film Festival in Port Hope and Cobourg in mid-October. Savour lunch at the Railside Restaurant in Port Hope.      Time: Third weekend of September.

 

Alderville First Nation Pow Wow

 

Experience and celebrate the Anishnabe (Native) culture at the Annual Alderville Pow Wow. The day features traditional dancing, drumming, ceremonies and native crafts. Native food is available for lunch. In Alderville, visit the largest Native War Memorial in Canada as well as the unique Black Oak Savanna (grasslands). At the Alderville Native Craft Store, shop and hear about the production of wild rice. Last stop is Smoke’s Fine Art Gallery which has native art and natural products from across Canada, from jewellery to books, dream catchers to paintings. Enjoy lunch at the nearby Golden Beach Resort.                              Time: The Alderville Pow Wow is usually held during the last weekend in July

Cobourg Waterfront Festival

 

Come spend the weekend at the annual Cobourg Waterfront Festival. This is one of Canada’s best festivals with activities to suit all tastes and ages. Situated on the north end of the Cobourg Heritage Harbour, under colourful marquees from the Rotary Club, one finds a large display of juried, high quality arts and crafts. These artisans represent the best in their medium; they are painters, sculptors, weavers, custom jewellery designers, potters, ceramists, woodcarvers, photographers, metal and stained glass creators and clothing designers. Equally appealing is the art work for sale in the Lion’s Club Tents. On the perimeter of Victoria Park is the International Marketplace which sells an eclectic mix of exotic imports and collectables from around the world. Rest a while in the licensed refreshment tent, enjoy a bite to eat under a shady tree or listen to the free music from the band shell. Children may frolic on the beach or in the shallow water of Lake Ontario or enjoy the Midway rides. Food may be purchased from local vendors on site or the group may eat locally at the Best Western Inn, the Old Mill Restaurant or the Woodlawn Inn.

Time: Canada Day weekend

Town & Country Bed & Breakfast Tour

With local guide, Peter Brotherhood, visit four award-winning B&B’s and a Country Inn, all in natural settings.  In Cobourg, just steps from Lake Ontario, we visit the Mackechnie House which is a lovingly-restored, historic home with an extensive library and unique art works. The owner is a caterer who also teaches cooking classes.  Also in Cobourg, the Willowmere B&B is located on the shore of Lake Ontario near sandy Victoria Beach, only minutes from downtown. It is a charming bungalow with an eclectic mix of art and antiques. Woodland Gardens B&B, located in scenic Garden Hill, is a country estate property with a private guest living space including a kitchen, living room, games room and sauna.  Additionally, guests can enjoy specialty Finnish breakfast entrees as well as a tour of the extensive perennial and woodland gardens.  Time:  late April to mid-October

An Old Fashioned Baking Tour of Northumberland County

With local guide Peter Brotherhood, enjoy free samples of traditionally baked goods at award-winning bakeries.  Visit Betty’s Pies and Tarts, the Grand Champion at the 2014 Royal Winter’s Fair.  Next, sample the scones and fruit pies at the Burnham Family Market. Try different breads such as the popular rye or flax at the Millstone Bakery and confetti squares plus almond tarts and cupcakes at the Dutch Oven.  Our next stop is Canada’s Best Shortbread Cookies, featuring both savoury and sweet shortbreads at Sprucewood Cookies in Cobourg.  Finally, we stop at Dooher’s Bakery (voted Canada's #1 bakery of 2018) to enjoy cream-filled donuts and oatmeal-jam cookies and the products of the World’s Finest Chocolate Retail Store in Campbellford.  Enjoy a buffet lunch at either the Woodlawn Inn in Cobourg or St Paul’s United Church in Warkworth.  Time:  mid-April to mid-October, except Monday

Keinte-he Winery, the Mariner’s Park Museum and the Black River              Cheese Factory of Prince Edward County

With local guide, Peter Brotherhood, spend a memorable day touring Prince Edward County. At the Keinte-he Estates Winery, we will enjoy three wine tasting from their ‘Burgundian' vineyards which are known for their pinot noir, chardonnay, and melong de Bourgogne wines. At the Mariner’s Park Museum, we will explore the rich maritime history by viewing wartime artefacts, boat racing memorabilia, treasures from sunken ships and rum-running days, ship models, anchors and a lighthouse. We will have time to visit the award-winning Black River Cheese factory to sample and buy cheese products. Lunch is provided by the Waring House.

Liftlock Cruises and Lang Pioneer Village, Peterborough

With local guide, Peter Brotherhood, enjoy two unique attractions in the Peterborough area. Cruise the World’s Highest Lift Locks aboard the Island Queen. This two-hour cruise passes through Little Lake, a conventional flood lock, before entering the Liftlock where you will experience an engineering marvel of being raised twenty metres. At the Lang Pioneer Village see twenty five historic buildings, a First Nation Encampment, themed demonstrations and many hands-on activities. Enjoy a buffet lunch at the Carousel Restaurant.

Whetung Ojibway Centre and the Teaching Rocks 

With local guide, Peter Brotherhood, experience Ojibway culture in the Peterborough area. At the Whetung Ojibway Centre, one finds First Nation products from all over North America for sale, from art to jewellery, to clothing, native music, books and home furnishings. At the Petroglyph Provincial Park take a guided tour of the Teaching Rocks which date from pre-Columbian times. Learn about First Nation Spirituality and the Ojibway Culture. Enjoy a buffet lunch at the Carousel Restaurant in Peterborough