Operated seasonally at the Community Hall located behind the Wolfe Island Town Hall and beside the Tourist Information Centre, the Stone Heron Gallery owned and operated by island resident Pat Sanford opened recently for its 7th season. Its seasonal operation at this locations offers a distinctive opportunity for the island’s many artists and artisans to show their works to visitors who come to Wolfe Island from different parts of Canada, the US and the rest of the world.
Many tourists travelling by way of Horne’s Ferry to and from the USA across the Island are surprised at what they discover when they wander into the gallery . The Stone Heron Gallery holds works on display and for sale by Sanford herself as well as noted artists Kim Woodman, Jan Fitch, Linda Sutherland, Jamie Sanford, John Eves, Virginia Seward ,Pamela Meidima, Susi Walters, Debra Krakow, Claire Guernsey, Stephanie de Bruin among many others. The gallery includes watercolour, oil and acrylic painting, wood carving, photography, unique jewellery, unique bird carvings, and paper art. “Our annual grand opening for this season (July 1st-Labour Day) was a great success. Many, new to the island and visiting the gallery for the first time were enthusiastic about what they saw,” Sandford said. “This year, we have added a number of new names to the list of presenting artists, and, I am also delighted to have Andre Demers, a bilingual, second year University of Ottawa student (from Ottawa) working here for the summer and overseeing the gallery. He is looking forward to a busy season.”
Pat, an enthusiastic participant in the life of the community along with her husband Joe, is responsible for the many improvements made to the gallery, making it first of all accessible, and secondly appealing to the eye. The community is indebted to her generous spirit.
When you are on the island… why not stop by… For further information: www.wolfeislandart.net
(Visitors coming just to enjoy the ferry ride and to see the what Marysville has to offer are encouraged to park their cars in Kingston and to walk on.)
Attendance was light at Sacred Heart school when MTO presented the preferred alternatives to improve the Wolfe Island Ferry Service. This may have been due in part to the non delivery of meeting notices because of the mail slow down or was it because, as one Islander put it “We have heard it all before, nothing happens and wait times for the ferry keep getting steadily worse anyway….” Or, could it be “that we can’t seem to agree on what is best…” as another commented, or how about, “Say Yes to whatever MTO offers ‘except fares for island residents.’ Many of us won’t live long enough to see another ferry anyway.
However, whatever the thinking, islanders listened attentively as Engineer Kevin Phillips of URS Canada Inc. outlined the components of the preferred alternative, a dual ferry service that includes a new ferry along with the Wolfe Islander III.
“The purpose of the recent ferry study was to look at the currents characteristics of the ferry service, and come up with a sustainable transportation plan, a 20 year plan with an eye to the future beyond that as well,” Phillips said. “It was to be more than building a bridge or improving ferries but also to look at the softer sides of the service.”
Phillips noted that since the 1st public meetings last year the outlined alternatives have been screened and reduced to a more manageable list, evaluated in detail.(service, economics, impacts to the island, cultural, heritage natural etc.) and from that, the engineers and the planners came up with the technically preferred solution, ‘a dual ferry service with a new 75 car aero dynamic ferry from Barrack street to Dawson Point and the Wolfe Islander operating from Barrack Street to Marysville (until ice in or lower water levels).’
“ We want to hear what you have to say about the solution and the other proposed initiatives including marshalling,terminal improvements and traffic demand management considerations, (tolls, priority boarding, better signage, integration with Kingston transit etc.) A final recommendation is a bridge feasibility study between Dawson Point and CFB to address the long-term access needs, (beyond the 20-year planning horizon of this study),”Phillips concluded.
URS was retained by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to undertake the Transportation Study to examine access between Wolfe Island and the mainland and to come up with a sustainable transportation plan.
Representatives from the MTO Regional consultant team were available to answer questions, and discuss the next steps as residents moved through the display panels. MTO Operations Officer Heather Roebuck commenting on the new boat alternative, said it would be some 3-4-years before islanders would see a second boat in the water because of requirements to get it built , and added that the bridge option (Dawson Point to CFB ) would only be consideration once Causeway congestion problems are resolved “which is a very long way off,” Roebuck said “making our Wolfe island ferry plan the best option to meet ferry traffic volumes over the 20 year study period.” Noting the many differing opinions and concerns of islanders, Roebuck encouraged them to submit their comments then and there, or go to MTO’s www.WolfeIslandTransportationStudy.ca site, to do so.
(The last ferry study was undertaken by the province in 1994 but the environmental assessment process was never initiated.)