Pancake Flipping Contest with @WRGreens at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival

Five people standing in a line facing the camera: The Glorious Greens: David Weber (KitSHesp), Mike Schreiner (Guelph), Bob Jonkman (KitCon), Zdravko Gunjevic (Waterloo), Stacey Danckert (KitCent)
The Glorious Greens: David Weber (KitSHesp), Mike Schreiner (Guelph), Bob Jonkman (KitCon), Zdravko Gunjevic (Waterloo), Stacey Danckert (KitCent)
Join the Glorious Greens as we return to the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival Pancake Flipping Contest as the undisputed vanquished competitors of 2018! We have nowhere to go but up!

Zdravko Gunjevic looking scared beside pancake mascot FlapJack
FlapJack and Zdravko Gunjevic (Waterloo)
Got skillz? We’re looking for pinch flipperers in case substitutes are needed!

Raise a flipper in support of your favourite Green Team — We’ll need as many cheerleaders in the stands, and coaches, trainers, kinesiologists, and physiotherapists may be required, too!

People standing in front of a pancake mascot
FlapJack with David Weber, Zdravko Gunjevic, Stacey Danckert, Bob Jonkman, and Mike Schreiner, candidates in the 2018 Ontario Provincial Election
Our competitive flipperers are the Waterloo Region Green Party candidates for the upcoming federal election in October 2019. Meet your candidates, and shake the hand that flipped a pancake.

What: Pancake Flipping Contest
When: Saturday 6 April 2019 from 10:00am to 12:00n
Where: Woolwich Memorial Arena
Location: 4 Snyder Avenue South, Elmira, Ontario Map

Elmira Maple Syrup Festival – Button Making and Info Table

Making buttons - three different pictures of hands drawing and colouring button blanks, and one picture of a completed button with a bumblebee and the GPO logo and wordmark
Making Buttons
Come check out the Waterloo Region Greens information table in the arena at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival! If you’ve got questions about Green Party issues, politics, or policies we’ll have the answers you’re looking for!

David Weber colours a button blank at a table covered in pencils and crayons with a young person colouring across the table
David Weber (KitSHesp) makes a button
We’ll have a button making station for kids of all ages. Colour or draw your own artwork, and get it stamped into a button.

Willem Jonkman strains to operate the lever on the button press while Zdravko Gunjevic (Waterloo) looks on.
Operating the button press
You’ll have a chance to meet the Green Party of Canada candidates from the five Waterloo Region ridings: Cambridge, Kitchener Centre, Waterloo, Kitchener–Conestoga, and Kitchener South–Hespeler.

Zdravko Gunjevic colours a button blank, surrounded by other people drawing and colouring buttons around a table filled with pencils and crayons, with Willem Jonkman at the button press at the end of the table.
Zdravko Gunjevic (Waterloo) makes a button
And at 10:00am come to the main arena to see the “Glorious Greens” participate in the annual pancake flipping contest. Will there be celebrity flipperers? Come find out!

What: Elmira Maple Syrup Festival – Button Making and Info Table
When: Saturday 6 April 2019 from 7:00am to 4:00pm
Where: Woolwich Memorial Arena, across from the pool
Location: 4 Snyder Avenue South, Elmira, Ontario Map

Good Neighbors

A long ago sunset over the Shuurrmans’ farm

When I was living hours away, though my parents got older, I never had to worry they’d need help with the yard, or that they’d be snowed in, because they were blessed with wonderful neighbors.  My parents befriended young Henk, the immigrant farm hand who lived in the tiny house next door.  Perhaps because my father’s mother had once been an immigrant farm worker, or maybe because my stepmom had spent much of her own life away, and the friendship grew when Henk married Bettina.

The young couple raised their kids and took over the operation of the modern dairy operation across the road.  Although my Dad never regretted his own decision not to go into the family farm business, I know he was glad of the chance to see how a modern Canadian dairy farm was run.  Henk gave him at least one guided tour, and Dad (whose childhood on the farm didn’t include indoor plumbing) was tickled by the idea that modern Canadian cows were give showers!

When my own family moved back to the Elmira area, although my son played soccer against their sons (the “Shuurrmanators”) one year, I didn’t really know Henk and Bettina Schuurmans myself.  But every year I’d see their Christmas card on my parent’s fridge.  And later, when my mom went to live in the nursing home, I know Bettina would visit her.

Henk and Bettina Schuurmans on their "Ask This Dairy Family about Canadian Milk" John Deere 6430 Tractor.
@DairyOntario tweeted: “SaskMilk and DFO have set up a GoFundMe to assist the family with costs. If you wish to contribute, you may do so here: gofundme

With their kids grown, no doubt serious concerns about political unrest threatening the food security of the Canadian supply management system and so called “free trade” agreements that always seem to leave Canadians worse off, Henk and Bettina Schuurmans decided to set off on a cross-Canada tractor trek to promote Canadian Milk and family farming.

So it was a huge shock to learn their Tractor trip ended in tragedy.  In the light of day, somehow the semi truck driver didn’t notice their very large distinctive vehicle, and the tragic accident claimed Bettina’s life.

I understand Henk is recovering after surgery, and I hope on the way to a full recovery, but I’m saddened that he and his family have had to suffer such a terrible loss.

—Laurel Russwurm

[reprinted from Laurel L. Russwurm’s Free Culture Blog]

Image Credits

My photo of “Sunset across the Floradale Road” released with a Creative Commons Attribution License

“Henk and Bettina Schuurmans’ #CDNmilkTOUR” from Dairy Farmers of ON @OntarioDairy

Contribute to the Henk & Bettina Schuurmans & Family gofundme page


A Good Time Was Had By All

The Glorious Greens team of candidates was the very first WRGreens entry in the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival’s Pancake Flipping Contest!

Glorious Greens: David Weber #KitSH, Bob Jonkman #KitCon, Mike Schreiner #Guelph, #Zdravko Gunjevic #Wloo, and Stacey Danckert #KitCen

Since our Cambridge candidate Michele Braniff was unable to attend, Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner pitched in.  (Just one of the many things that makes him a great leader!)

After watching the other teams compete on the obstacle course, Mike used scientific methods to determine which team member should play which position.

Mike Schreiner, Bob Jonkman and Stacey Danckert
But things didn’t actually work out as planned.

The Glorious Greens made it through two rounds before being disqualified; not bad for our first time out (and valuable experience for next time!)

In between times we got to meet interesting people.

#KitCon candidate Bob Jonkman introduced Mike to Liberal cabinet minister Bardish Chagger.

The current Kitchener—Conestoga Green candidate (Bob Jonkman) and the previous Kitchener—Conestoga Green Candidate (David Weber) introduced Mike to the Kitchener—Conestoga Conservative MP, Harold Albrecht.

We had an information booth set up inside the Woolwich Memorial Centre.

Alongside our button making event…
…where kids of all ages……could make their own button…

while being serenaded with live music!

Our first outing at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival was a great success.

David Weber, Mike Schreiner, Bob Jonkman, Zdravko Gunjevic and Stacey Danckert

What a glorious day!  We hope to see you there next year!

Find us at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival!

On Saturday April 7th, the Kitchener-Conestoga Greens have booked our first info booth at the 2018 Elmira Maple Syrup Festival!

We’ll be able to provide information about the Green Party for the election, but we will also be hosting a (free) button making event where kids of all ages will be able to create their own button, like we did at Open Streets Waterloo last year.

Our booth will be located inside the Woolwich Memorial Centre. You’ll find us across from the washrooms in the main concourse, outside the swimming pool area.

But if that isn’t enough, there’s more!

You’ll get to meet the newly chosen Kitchener-Conestoga GPO Candidate for the upcoming 2018 Ontario Election.  And he’ll be joined by 3 other WRGreens Candidates *and* Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner to participate in the Pancake Flipping Contest between 10:am – Noon in the arena.  And this isn’t just an ordinary Pancake Flipping Contest!

You’ll find more information on the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival on their website:

Here are my Open Street Map maps to help you find your way!

Green Party of Ontario’s 8th Annual Calendar Contest!

Every year the GPO produces a calendar created from member photos of Ontario as a fundraiser. The images chosen are selected through a contest. I only found out about it at the last minute, and this is my entry. (Next year I’ll let you know earlier, so you can enter too!)

I found these wild strawberries blossoming just off Elmira’s Ring Trail in the spring. Since these blossoms (and the berries that will follow) are so tiny, I had to set my camera to Super Macro, and while I was making my adjustments this little ladybug climbed on and posed for me.

Now that all the entries are in, you can vote for the photos you like best, and maybe the images you choose will be featured in the calendar to celebrate the beauty of our home province.

Vote now and rate as many photos as you like. The 12 top-rated photos will be featured in next year’s calendar.

  • You vote by rating a photo out of 5 stars.
  • You can vote on any number of photos – from one to all!
  • No registration required.
  • Voting is open online from today until midnight September 30
  • Voting is restricted to one vote per photo per IP address.

Voting ends on September 30, so don’t delay…vote today!

Contest winners will receive a free copy of the calendar.  If you want to vote for mine (hint, hint), you can go straight to the picture and vote, and while you’re there I encourage you to check out the other entries.

If any other Kitchener-Conestoga residents have entered, please share the link to your photo(s) in the comments below to give other #KitCon Greens a chance to vote for your work.   Whether or not mine is chosen, I’ll let you know how the contest comes out, and how you can order your calendar(s) so you can share them with family & friends.