Blog

  • This Week In Niagara… October 24th, 2014

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    For the past few months across Ontario, you may have noticed signs in lawns and along streets, people going door-to-door or making calls and a variety of social media plugs, debates and talk of prominent issues.   This can only mean one thing – its election season!

    Much of the focus in Niagara at the moment is on municipal elections, as well as BUSAC and Senate elections right here on campus at Brock.  With this, I would encourage you ROCK THE VOTE if you only do one thing this week!

    Educating yourself is an important part of being an engaged citizen in your community, so get on the world wide web, read the newspaper, engage in discussion and learn as much as you can in order to make an informed decision.  Whether you visit your hometown this weekend and can take advantage of advanced polling (if you’re from Ontario), or live in Niagara and can get out to vote on Monday, October 27, our collective voices are strong and this is a great way to make a difference.

    On campus, elections take place October 28-30, so please also inform yourself about the candidates and the positions available.  Watch your e-mail next week for your on-line ballot and participate in the process!

    For more information, check out these websites:

    Municipal elections:

    BUSAC and Senate Elections:

    Have a great week and #ExploreNiagara election information and candidates!  Rock the vote!

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  • This Week In Niagara… October 17th, 2014

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    With Reading Week in full swing, it’s a great time of year to catch your breath, focus on wellness and get organized (and even ahead perhaps!) for the remaining weeks of classes.  The quiet vibe on campus is nice for a couple of days but I have to admit that I missed the energy of having everyone bustling around and am looking forward to that next week!

    If you’re looking to do something new and exciting n Niagara before the break is over and start getting into the Halloween mood, feel free to check out these upcoming events:

    Experience the traditions of Halloween, 1812-style, brought to life through the ghosts of Canada’s bloodiest battlefield.  A fun and frightening evening is held at the old stone fort full of hair-raising tales from the perspective of the spirits who still make their presence felt.  This haunting tour ends with refreshments and the annual burning of a Guy Fawkes effigy.  Make reservations on-line at the link above.

    Explore the history and haunted tales of Downtown St. Catharines as these guided tours delve into the haunted tales of the past and the present day while also sharing historical commentary about the unique buildings and happenings in Downtown St. Catharines.  Reserve your spot on-line as tours are selling out quickly!

    St. Catharines’ own Dallas Green will open our brand new, $50 million facility that will be home to the Niagara IceDogs, concerts, conventions and more!

    Enjoy the end of Reading Week, live life to the fullest, and get out to #ExploreNiagara!

     

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  • This Week In Niagara… October 10th, 2014

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    As we head into the Thanksgiving long weekend and Reading Week on campus, I hope, looking back, that you can easily think of a few things you are grateful for.  For me, this is simple:

    • friends and loved ones that I love spending time with or catching up with when we’re far apart
    • my personal wellness (mental and physical) and the ability to be happy, choose a positive outlook on life, smell the fresh fall air, and try all kinds of fun new things
    • live in an area where I have access  to more great things to do and experience than I could ever find time for!

    This list obviously doesn’t include all the little things that make life so sweet: great music to sing out loud in the shower (where I sound like a superstar), warm homemade cookies, a good belly laugh, and dogs…I love dogs. This is just the icing on the cake and taking time each day to appreciate these things, whatever they may be for you, is key.

    Going back to my list, just because it’s a holiday weekend certainly doesn’t mean that everyone stays in and eats themselves into a turkey coma – there is still plenty to do in Niagara!  Here are a few things to keep in mind if you have time to get out this week:

    • Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival – Friday-Monday, October  10-13 from  9am-5pm  in Jordan, ON ($6 to enter).  Join over 130 artisans and exhibitors (find some really creative, beautiful items), gourmet food vendors, wine makers and craft beer brewers at one of the region’s largest shows.  Be part of the Thanksgiving spirit at Ball’s Falls as the festival celebrates its 40th year!
    • Canal Bank Shuffle Blues Festival – Thursday –Sunday, October 16-19 in Thorold, ON.  Take in a few of more than 30 blues shows over four days and support local charities with the proceeds from your ticket.  Visit the website for the schedule, locations, and where to pick up tickets.
    • Opening Ceremony of the Meridian Centre – Saturday, October 11 (downtown St. Catharines).  Join the Niagara community at the big reveal of our brand new, $50 million facility that will host the IceDogs (our OHL team), concerts, conventions and more!
    • Niagara IceDogs Home Opener – Thursday, October 16 at 7:00pm (downtown St. Catharines).  Not only come out for a great night of hockey as the IceDogs battle Belleville (and the IceDogs have some game!), but also be sure to check-out the brand new Meridian Centre – Home of the IceDogs.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and enjoy getting out to #ExploreNiagara!

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  • This Week In Niagara… October 3rd, 2014

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    With the smell of fall in the air, trees turning colour, and leaves on the ground, there is plenty of great things to experience in Niagara.  Simply take a walk up the Glenridge Hill or get on the trails around campus to admire the beauty we’re surrounded by as one of the most serene campuses in the province!

    This season also comes with great festivals and events in Niagara.  Get out this fall and check out some great things are region has to offer:

    Howell’s Pumpkin Farm  – This is a Niagara staple around Thanksgiving and Halloween and one of the top recommendations on my list.  There is plenty to do here to ignite the fall spirit and to bring out the fun in everyone! Wagon rides, a haunted house and corn maze, pig races, giant pumpkin slingshots and delicious eats (try the famous pumpkin donuts or pumpkin sausage if you’re looking for a food adventure!) along with great places to take photos around the grounds are just a few of the many highlights of Howell’s!

    Yoga Fest – Friday, October 3, 6-9pm at White Oaks Resort & Spa.  Your $25 ticket includes participation in a 2-hour master yoga class ( with 5 teachers from local yoga studios), live kirtan music, wine and tea tasting, access to top yoga accessory and apparel vendors, plus a great swag bag from The Spa at White Oaks.

    5th Annual Queenston Harvest Festival – Saturday, October 4, 11am-3pm at Centennial Park (Oakdale Ave., St. Catharines – free admission).  Come and enjoy live music by a variety of artists, fresh produce from the Start Me Up Niagara Farm will be available for sale, as well as crafts, jewelry, art, baked goods and a pig roast!

    Small Batch to Burn – Sunday, October  5, 12pm – 5pmat Dillon’s Parkade (4833 Tufford Road, Beamsville – free entry but remember to bring cash!).  The 2nd Annual event showcases an afternoon outdoors sampling some of the hottest food and drink from the area (visit the website for a list of great beverage and food vendors) while a DJ spins live!

    Sexapalooza – Friday-Sunday, October 3-5 at Scotiabank Convention Centre (Niagara Falls).  Looking for something new? Interesting? Maybe a little risque? Check out this event for all of that and more (visit the website for the weekend’s schedule, a list of vendors and a 2-for-1 admission coupon for Sunday admission).

    Have a great weekend getting out to #ExploreNiagara and enjoy this great region!

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  • This Week In Niagara… Hiking Season

    InNiagara

    Written by: Alex Pennington-Little

    Badgers, the warmth and sun of Niagara is on its way out for another winter season, but the colours on the trees have yet to change! Why not make the most of the next couple of weeks of T-shirt temperatures and get outside and explore the beautiful escarpment?

    There are a dozen or more hiking trails that can take you out of the Brock bubble and into the nature of the Niagara region. Below are some suggestions for places to visit to squeeze the daylight out of the last bit of summer weather.

     

    1. MOUNTAIN LOCKS TRAIL

    This one is right in the neighbourhood, easy to get to by bus on routes 4 or 18 at the Mountain Plaza stop.

    This is a small, self-contained, and totally free area to explore. The Mountain Locks park is nestled in behind the Keg building on Glendale ave. There is an open park space with benches and picnicking area, but if you explore along the treeline you will find several trail openings. These trails all join up at random points in the wooded area, and culminate in a meadow of long grass. In these woods you may find a creek, a firepit, and the abandoned and crumbling locks now sitting on a dried riverbed. Rumour has it that these trails have a GeoCache hidden somewhere!

     

    2. DECEW FALLS

    Located on Decew Road near the Pelham intersection in West St Catharines, this site is one of the most popular for Brock students.

    In the summertime swimming here is an option, but it  is open for visits year-round. The falls still hosts the Morningstar Turbine, one of the early power-producing stations for the region standing since the late 1800′s! The upper area of the falls is accessible, but the rest of the trail is very steep and muddy – make sure you’re prepared for the hike you’re in for.

     

    3. NIAGARA GORGE

    Entrance near the Butterfly Conservatory on Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls.

    This trail gets you up-close and personal with the incredible force coming from Niagara Falls. The gorge itself carved by the Niagara river has been curated to be a more comfortable hike, but don’t go into the trail lightly. The inclines are steep and the head of the trail is a ways from the riverside. The trip is worth it to see the whirlpools and the rocky gorge. While it is beautiful in the summer, autumn will show you amazing scenery with the changing colours, and luckily this trail is open year round, for free!

     

    4. BALL’S FALLS

    Niagara is a world of waterfalls. This Conservation ares used to be the site of the Glen Elgin community, a town planned to settle where the mills at Ball’s Falls were taking advantage of the power if the waterways. The town never came to be, but many of the buildings still stand as part of the conservation effort. Ruins of the original mills are found along the walking trails to the falls with informational plaques giving you a little background on the area. This hike is one of the easier ones, with more level trails and an emphasis on natural preservation.

    There is a fee to park here, depending on the season it can be $18 or

    $14 per car for the day, or $5/person – but the regional history found here is worth a visit.

     

    5. ROCKWAY TRAIL

    Located a short drive from Pelham Road in West St Catharines, the Rockway Conservation Trail is an access point in Vineland to the Bruce Trail. You can park for free at the Conservation building and enter the trail straight from the parking lot. This hike can be quite steep as it takes you into the forest, and to the Rockway Falls. Besides the waterfall you can follow the waterline through a series of rapids, and rumour has it that there is a salt spring bringing natural salts to the Niagara community for hundreds of years! This is a great trail for enjoying the changing foliage we have to look forward to, before the world ices over.

     

    6. SHORTHILLS

    Not far from the Rockway Trail is the Pelham Road entrance to Short Hills, an official Provincial Park of Ontario that is curated and maintained year-round. Short Hills is perfect for anyone looking for some mountain biking, and has many different trails for different levels of hikers. This is a great park to explore and since it is maintained by the Ontario government, it is made accessible and enjoyable for many types of users including a picnic area, flat and semi-paved trails, mountain biking trails and deeper forest hiking routes. Short Hills can be an afternoon visit or a day-long event, and is free to use!

     

    Make the most of what’s left of the warm weather and your running shoes – enjoy the Niagara escarpment in all its natural glory!

    #ExploreNiagara

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  • This Week In Niagara… September 26th, 2014

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    On the heels of a gorgeous week in Niagara, this weekend promises to be no different.  Great weather is in store, and with that, the perfect pairing – the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival!

    With the 63rd Annual Grande Parade Saturday morning at 11am, be sure to get in on the action by joining the Brock float*.  Follow this up with a great day in the park afterward with live music, great local food, fantastic Niagara wines (get yourself a commemorative wine glass as part of the experience!) and grab a piece of birthday cake to celebrate 50 years of Brock University – all in one stop!

    This event is a great way to celebrate some unique features of our region, and this is the weekend to be there.  See you in Montebello Park and be sure to post your highlights as you #ExploreNiagara!

     

    *details about being part of the Brock parade presence are available in ExperienceBU

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  • Humans of BrockU

    HumansOfBanner

    Inspired by the photoblog, Humans of New York, Student Life is setting out to photograph and get to know approximately 2.5% of Brock University’s student population throughout the school year. Look out for us (most likely a person taking random photos on a large camera) on campus to be featured.

    #HumansofBrockU

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  • “It’s either all of us, or none of us”

    Written by: Julie Rorison

    Last fall I stumbled onto an event page for a conference taking place on a cool October weekend at my former school. It sounded really interesting and I’m always keen to learn and grow and decided to bring my mom along. I didn’t know it at the time that the Leadership Summit for Women would be one of the most transformational days of my life.

    The day was so inspirational and different from any other conference, lecture, seminar or workshop that I have been to with women and girls and allies of all ages, demographics, and life experiences coming together to share their experiences, their lessons and challenges of being a woman leader.

    I came away feeling very inspired to share this movement with my home community in Niagara. And here we are, with the support of some great community partners, for the first Niagara Leadership Summit for Women.

    Why do we need to talk about women’s leadership in our community?

    Improving women’s equality and representation is, unfortunately, a challenge that continues before us in 2014 and beyond. Our reality is that women are not represented equally in political institutions, around boardroom tables, nor do we receive equal pay for equal work.

    But that doesn’t mean that women’s leadership is not equally as important or valuable. We need to recognize our own leadership and value women’s leadership in all of its shapes and forms and colours, to really make an impact.

    In many ways, Niagara is at a critical juncture in our history. As we begin to transform our economy and community, there are many opportunities to redefine and rethink our future. Who do we want to be? What type of community do we want to become? How can we improve the lives of our residents and create a positive future for next generations?

    We need to take advantage of the potential of our greatest assets – our people and communities – by recognizing, redefining and revolutionizing ideas about leadership to more fully support and include women leaders.

    Supporting women and young leaders is important for all of us. With diverse voices, ideas and perspectives around the table we can make better decisions with more just outcomes that will benefit everyone.

    That’s what leadership means to me. It’s not about your title or position or profile. That’s what this is all about.

    I’m so excited to be able to share this experience with you – my friends, sisters, colleagues, neighbours and allies.

    See you on October 18.

     

    For more information about the Niagara Student Leadership Summit for Women, please visit http://www.niagaralsw.ca/page/home.

     

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  • Random Things to Think About: I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Done This Before!

    Random Things to Think About

    Written by: Madeline Van Hemert

    This summer was my first summer staying in the Niagara Region and I was able to do so many things that were never on my radar when I was living in my Brock bubble during the school year. On Wednesdays from 4:30 to dusk the Wednesday Evening Supper Market happens in Niagara on the lake, just 15-20 minutes away from the school. It was so neat to see so many local farms and companies participating in this market. When I went I was able to try lobster macaroni and cheese as well as a peach and mango iced tea. There were also trucks offering fresh cut fries, craft beer, pulled pork and so much more!

    Along with those nights, I also had the opportunity to check out the Brock Farmers Market, which happens every Friday from May to September from 11:30am – 1pm out in Jubilee Court.  There are also Farmers Markets that happen in St. Catharines at the Market Square on King St. (right by the bus terminal) multiple times per week. In addition, there are different markets and festivals that happen each weekend depending on what is being harvested at the time.

    Now that the Niagara Region is in Grape & Wine mode, there are numerous food & wine expos happening, as well as parades, wine tasting events, winery tours and so much more! I wish I had known about these events when I had first started at Brock because I would have loved to experience more of what Niagara has to offer. To learn more about what is going on in Niagara, check out http://niagarafallstourism.com/events/. You can also read Sandy Howe’s blog, This Week In Niagara.

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  • This Week In Niagara… September 19th, 2014

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    Can you believe it’s Homecoming already?!

    With Brock having it’s 50th anniversary to celebrate, I’m a bit biased this week in saying that I think some of the best events in Niagara will be happening right on our campus.  From the Grape Stomp today, Brock Cares Day of Service tomorrow, spirited fans decked out in Brock gear at athletic games and photos of people forming “50s” all weekend, this is certainly the place to be.

    There is one event in Niagara in particular this week that everyone should be sure to fit in.  Definitely make plans to get off campus and check out what those who live in Niagara love to celebrate – the Niagara Wine Festival.  This is taking place at Montebello Park (free admission) all weekend for two weeks: Friday-Sunday September 19-21 and also September 26-28.  Take in some great live bands and purchase tokens when you arrive to sample dozens of fantastic Niagara wines, great local food, and pick up your commemorative wine glass!  This is a festive way to spend an afternoon or evening and a great way to experience what makes our region so unique.

    Also consider marking your calendars for next Saturday, September 27th to be part of the Brock float in the Grape & Wine Festival Grande Parade – one of the largest parades in North America right in our downtown!

    Have a great week, get involved, and be sure to #ExploreNiagara and share with us how you enjoyed it!

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