Short Story Awards – Friday

The Innisfil ideaLAB & Library invites the public to attend the 17th Annual Seepe  Walters Short Story Contest Awards Ceremony.  Friday,  January 25th, 6pm, at Lakeshore Branch, 967 Innisfil Beach Rd., Alcona. 

The contest is named after Seepe Walters, a well-respected and dedicated member of the  Innisfil community until her death in 1995. She was involved in many different facets of Innisfil life, including being one of the founding members of the Friends of the Library.
It is her commitment to the community and her legacy to the library, in particular, that is being remembered through this contest. 

The Seepe Walters Short Story Contest provides the community with a formal opportunity to celebrate literacy through the dedication, creativity, and imagination of Innisfil’s young writers. Innisfil students  in Grades 3-12 were invited to participate in the contest by entering a short story on a topic of their choice.

Award  winning Canadian children’s author, Helaine Becker, promoted the contest in schools in September, helped to judge the entries, and will be returning to Innisfil to MC  the event. From over 100 entries received, 15 stories will be recognized.

The Seepe Walters Short Story Contest is organized by the Innisfil IdeaLab & Library and funded by the Friends of the Library.


Stroud Arena Makeover

The Stroud Arena is an aging structure that will soon be in need of major maintenance. The Town staff has offered the option of restoring and keeping the ice surface in spite of declining use over the past number of years, or repurposing the space for possible other uses. The Stroud arena currently houses the rink, library, and catering hall.

The Parks and Recreation Master Plan published in November 2016 included a summary of “the most pressing actions for the Town of Innisfil to implement in the coming years …” including the following:

Retain the current supply of four ice pads for the next five years after which arena needs should be re-evaluated to determine:

  • If future arena market conditions continue to support four ice pads (due to softening shoulder and weekend demands, changing participation rates, and the City of Barrie’s plans to construct an arena in its south end which has the potential to significantly reduce non-resident rentals in Innisfil);
  • whether one of the single pad arenas should be repurposed, potentially for warm recreational uses; and/or
  • whether to twin the remaining single pad arena or expand the I.R.C. should arena participation rates support such an action.

As the 5 year schedule for action approaches, the Town wants to hear what residents think. Should the Stroud ice rink be refurbished? What other uses should be considered if the Stroud ice rink is no longer a priority? Innisfil residents can offer their views through a survey at: Reimagining the Stroud-Innisfil Community Centre



Innisfil Concert Series

The Innisfil Arts, Culture and Heritage Council (IACHC) is sponsoring a concert series in 2019 in partnership with the Innisfil IdeaLAB and Library. Tickets are available for the series and for individual concerts. A discount is available for active members of IACHC.

All performances are being hosted at the Lakeshore Branch, Innisfil IdeaLAB & Library. Concerts start at 7:30 pm (Doors open at 7 pm). This concert line-up consists of:



  • The Ennis Sisters – April 8, 2019
  • Suzie Vinnick & Rick Fines – June 10, 2019
  • John Prince & The End of The Road – September 23, 2019
  • The Travelling Mabels – November 18, 2019

Read more about these performers at IACHC / events


Trigger Change – Ban Handguns

Update: About 1,500 more Ontario residents have added their names to the petition in the week following this article. Please continue to spread the word.

As a matter of conscience, I have to add my voice to the campaign to ban hand guns and assault weapons in Canada. A national media campaign called Trigger Change is under way to urge Canadians to sign a petition with this objective. It is a project of the Coalition for Gun Control.

This online petition is directed to the House of Commons on the Parliamentary web site. The petition is open until March 2, 2019. So far, more than 2,700 residents of Ontario have signed this petition after a brief mention in the news media.

Violence doesn’t know any boundaries. Increasingly irrational incidents involving hand guns and assault weapons are alarmingly more common. If you’d like to stand up to it and add your voice for sensible change, this is the time and the opportunity.

First Nations of Simcoe County

Innisfil is named in reference to its Irish settlers and was itself formed through the amalgamation of a group of smaller European settlements. But through the Friends of the Library I recently learned of a new online resource, First Nations of Simcoe County, which provides an introduction to the Indigenous societies inhabiting the geographic region that we call Simcoe County today.

The history of contact with First Nations has been tragic in so many ways. We are just beginning to learn about the reality of the last few hundred years of European settlement. I encourage everyone to visit this site for greater insight into the original inhabitants of this region.

Innisfil This Week

On Saturday, October 20, Friends of the Library is hosting a Craft and Book Sale, also at Lakeshore Branch, from 10 a.m.

Voting in the municipal election closes at 8:00 pm on Monday, October 22. The Innisfil Journal reports that only 8% of residents had voted so far, earlier this week.

On Tuesday, October 23, Clint Lovell, author of The Boys From Barrie and Regret To Inform You, will be at the Cookstown branch of the library to  share stories of local soldiers in the First World War as well as some recent memorial activities with his students. He is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Copies of Clint’s books Regret to Inform You ($25) and The Boys From Barrie ($20) will be available for purchase. This event has been generously sponsored by the Friends of the Library.