News Release

The Barra MacNeils bring An East Coast Christmas to River Run

Guelph, ON November 26, 2014 – Those looking for a truly Canadian dose of holiday spirit need search no further than Guelph’s own River Run Centre. One of the most beloved concerts on the seasonal circuit, the Barra MacNeils: An East Coast Christmas makes its way to the performing arts venue on Friday, December 12. Presented as part of the Richardson GMP Music Series, this Main Stage show starts at 8 p.m.

For 27 years now the Barra MacNeils have been Canada’s ambassadors for Celtic music. Native of Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia, this family-based group has been sharing the Cape Breton sound with the world and winning over new fans for over a quarter of a century. The East Coast Christmas event will feature traditional seasonal songs, mixed with entertaining tales and new musical twists; stamped with the lush harmonies and intricate instrumental stylings for which the Barra MacNeils are known. Fans can look forward to hearing classic favourites including: Oh Holy Night, Ave Maria, A Christmas in Killarney and Auld Lang Syne as well as some comedy, seasonal stories, music, singing, and dance.

The Barra MacNeils are comprised of talented multi-instrumentalists: Kyle MacNeil (vocals, guitar, violin, mandolin), Lucy MacNeil (vocals, bodhran, Celtic harp, fiddle, stepdancing), Sheumas MacNeil (keyboards, piano, bodhran, fiddle, bouzouki, vocals), Stewart MacNeil (vocals, accordion, tin whistle, flute, bouzouki, guitar, stepdancing), Boyd MacNeil (mandolin, fiddle, guitar, banjo, percussion, stepdancing) and Jamie Gatti (bass). They have 17 recordings to their credit, including their most recent CD release, O Christmas Tree. In addition to taking home the Juno Award for Roots/Traditional Group of the Year in 1998, they have also won multiple East Coast Music Awards, including Group of the Year, Pop Recording of the Year and Album of the Year.

The MacNeils are widely regarded as one of the greatest live concert acts in the Celtic world. They frequently sell out concert halls during their regular tours of Canada and the United States. A Barra MacNeils live concert experience offers a rich variety: multiple lead vocalists, beautiful sibling harmonies, top drawer instrumental prowess on a wide variety of acoustic, stringed, percussion and wind instruments blended with dancing, storytelling, Gaelic songs and a journey through an ancient culture. These musical siblings offer family entertainment at its highest level.

Tickets for this performance start at $44 for adults, and $42 for students and seniors. $5 eyeGO tickets are available for high school students with valid ID. $20 uGO tickets are available to university and college students with valid ID. Tickets are available at the River Run Box Office at 519-763-3000, or online at

For more information

Ella Pauls | Manager of Cultural Development
Culture & Tourism| Community & Social Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2589

Soil on site where drums were found poses no risk to public

City making plans to remove more buried drums and debris

Guelph, ON, November 24, 2014 – The City has completed an examination of the site where construction crews found and removed eight drums of chemicals. The site examination and soil analysis results are being used to develop a plan to remove more buried drums and debris from the area.

“We didn’t encounter any liquid during the examination, but we did find and remove another drum. We also confirmed the presence of at least one more buried drum,” said Kealy Dedman, City Engineer. “The results of the site examination and soil analysis tell us what substances we’re dealing with, and now we can make a plan to remove and safely dispose of more buried drums, debris, soil and fill material.”

According the site examination report by MMM Consulting, the area has been impacted by historic industrial and landfill activities but, in its current condition, the soil poses no risk to the public. On November 18, The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) indicated the report’s conclusions and recommendations are appropriate for planning to remove the drums and resume construction.

The examination of 10 test-pits found some evidence of substances commonly found on sites with a history of industrial or landfill activity; metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Limited amounts of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and petroleum hydrocarbon compounds (PHC) were found at one location.

The soil was tested for more than 100 substances, 15 of which were found to exceed the provincial standard for commercial/industrial sites—12 of these substances are typically associated with charcoal, cinders, ashes or coal-burning operations, and three of the substances are usually associated with solvents. The soil poses no risk to the public in its current condition, and the substances will be addressed in the action plan to remove the materials as required by the MOECC.

A proposed action plan will be submitted the MOECC on Friday, December 5. Once the plan is approved, the City will update the community about cleanup and construction activities to take place in 2015.

While construction in the affected area has been paused, crews are working on other parts of the Paisley-Clythe watermain project. The completion time for the entire project has not changed significantly, and updates on the City’s progress are posted at

Discovering the drums

On September 2 and 3, eight 170-litre (45-gallon) drums of chemicals were found on a construction site near the Wellington/Hanlon interchange. The City contained the liquid and affected soil immediately and notified the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC). The City used clean soil to back fill the area. The liquid was transported from the site for disposal on September 5 and affected soil was transported for disposal on September 9 and 10.

For more information

Kealy Dedman
City Engineer
General Manager, Engineering Services
519-822-1260  extension 2248

A Long, Long Journey Into the Spring theatrical fundraising event

The Guelph Public Library along with To Be Determined Theatre Company are thrilled to announce another exciting fundraising theatrical event, A Long, Long Journey into Spring, on Saturday, January 24 at 2:00PM in the Main Library (100 Norfolk Street). Mischievous Jack Frost has struck again, this time stealing the sun and banishing everyone into a snowy, endless winter. Marley seems to be the only one brave enough to take on Jack Frost and fight for Spring – but she can’t do it alone! During this 30 minute performance, the entire family (although aimed at children ages 3 to 8 years) is encouraged to help from their seats as Marley goes on a memorable journey. With a little bravery, a lot of wit and even a bit of trickery, Marley might just have a chance to save Spring from this frosty villain.

Tickets go on sale at all library locations on Saturday, November 22nd for $7.00 each. Space is limited and no refunds will be permitted. All funds raised directly support the new main library’s children’s section. Don’t delay! Purchase your tickets early to avoid disappointment and help support the next chapter for a new main library in Guelph!

About the Guelph Public Library

The Guelph Public Library Board and staff envision a future where our customers know us, trust us, are proud of us, and inspire us. The Guelph Public Library benefits the entire community by providing lifelong learning opportunities.  We believe in the freedom to read, learn and discover.

For more information

Steve Kraft, CEO 519-824-6220 extension 224

City announces Ward 3 recount results

2014 Guelph municipal election

Guelph, ON, November 18, 2014 – Today the City of Guelph completed the recount of all Ward 3 ballots as directed by City Council at yesterday’s meeting.

Recount of contest – Ward 3
Phil Allt – 2,299; 22.40%
June Hofland – 2,050; 19.97%
Craig Chamberlain – 2,045;  19.92%
Maggie Laidlaw – 1,861; 18.13%
Bob Moore – 1,131; 11.02%
Jason Dodge – 878; 8.55%

As per the Municipal Election Act, the ballots were recounted in the same manner in which they were counted on October 27. Guelph’s City Clerk re-entered the online ballots and City staff inserted the advanced in-person and election day ballots into the same tabulators used at the Ward 3 voting locations.

“At the conclusion of the recount, the results remain the same as the official results released on October 28,” says Stephen O’Brien, City Clerk. “It’s not surprising the results are the same—tabulators and technology used in today’s elections eliminate most of the potential for human error and offer a high level of accuracy. But given the close results in Ward 3, a recount was the right thing to do, in part so the community and candidates could be assured the results were correct.”

With the election results finalized, City staff will begin to look deeper into the election data.

“We introduced a number of changes this year to make voting easier, more accessible and convenient for the community in hopes that voter participation would increase,” says O’Brien. “On election night, we saw voter participation did in fact increase by 11 per cent. Next we will look at how participation was spread across the city to see if and where we can make improvements in 2018.”

Election statistics will be posted on when they are complied.

Phil Allt and Councillor June Holfand will be inaugurated along with fellow Council members on December 1.

For more information

Stephen O’Brien
City Clerk
Corporate and Human Resources
Office of the City Clerk
519-822-1260 extension 5644

City Hall reorganizes to deliver services better

Guelph, On, November 18, 2014 – Last evening, Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer informed Council of changes she is making to the City’s organizational structure to enhance the way the City operates by creating a more practical, straightforward structure.

The changes are expected to improve service delivery and result in quicker, more responsive outcomes for the community and Council. “Local governments are adapting to meet the needs of citizens,” says CAO Ann Pappert. “This change builds on the work we’ve undertaken over the last four years to refine and align functions into very practical working units. Doing so will better position us to deliver excellence in local government by providing outstanding municipal service and value.”

City services will now be managed through one of three service areas instead of five. A new service area called ‘public services’ will be overseen by current executive director of community and social services, Derrick Thomson. A second service area—infrastructure, development and enterprise—will be overseen by current executive director and CFO Al Horsman. A third service area—corporate services—will be overseen by current executive director of corporate and human resources, Mark Amorosi.

Mr. Thomson, Mr. Horsman and Mr. Amorosi will be retitled Deputy CAO for each of their service areas to reflect the breadth and scope of departments within each portfolio, and their role in assisting the CAO to ensure Council’s priorities are implemented effectively and efficiently.

With this change, two of the City’s longest-serving executive directors, Dr. Janet Laird and Derek McCaughan, of Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment, and Operations, Transit and Emergency Services respectively, are retiring from the City of Guelph. Their last day will be November 21, 2014. “I can’t overstate the importance of the contributions these two individuals have made over the past 30 years. Their work has shaped our city; their excellence and commitment to public service are truly admirable. On behalf of City staff, I thank them for their years of outstanding service.”

For more information

Tara Sprigg
Corporate Manager, Corporate Communications
519-822-1260 extension 2610


City Council endorses Ward 3 recount

Guelph, ON, November 17, 2014 – Tonight, City Council unanimously endorsed a recount of all Ward 3 ballots to confirm the accuracy and integrity of the election process and bring finality to the election for all parties.

Following the release of the official election results on October 28, Guelph’s City Clerk, Stephen O’Brien, advised that staff would recommend a recount of all Ward 3 ballots. Currently Phil Allt and Councillor June Hofland hold the Ward 3 Councillor seats. Craig Chamberlain is third after receiving five fewer votes than Hofland.

The Council-directed recount will be conducted tomorrow morning using the same ballots and vote tabulators as the original count on October 27. Ward 3 ballots that were cast online will be included in the count.

The City expects to release official results tomorrow after the City Clerk has reviewed and certified them. Results will be posted on and the City’s social media channels.

Councillor Hofland declared a conflict of interest prior to Council voting to endorse the recount. (Councillors Burcher and Van Hellemond were not present at tonight’s Council meeting).

For more information
Stephen O’Brien
City Clerk
Corporate and Human Resources
Office of the City Clerk
T 519-822-1260 extension 5644

An evening for book lovers: The Spy Who Loves Reading

Join the Guelph Public Library (GPL) on Saturday February 28, 2015 for the 3rd annual ‘Evening for Book Lovers: the Spy Who Loves Reading’ fundraising event!

Held at the beautiful Hanlon Convention Centre (26-340 Woodlawn Road West), this exclusive secret agent event will be an exciting mission for attendees filled with casino entertainment by Viva Las Vegas gaming company, a fabulous dinner along with lots of prizes as we celebrate one of the most popular genres in fiction. Guests are encouraged to bring out their inner sleuth like James Bond, Jason Bourne, Nancy Drew or Stephanie Plum for this royale evening! Let the paparazzi capture your best poses in the photo booth where you’ll receive VIP treatment and of course, can dress to impress in the spirit of the event. Finally, this five star evening will be capped off with silent auction festivities… all for a great cause!

Doors open at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m. If you choose to accept this mission, tickets to this fantastic evening fundraiser can be purchased at any library location or online at for $85 per person, or $600 per table of eight until Saturday, February 14. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

What are you waiting for? Don’t delay, ACT today for a special night out on the town with your fellow agents. All proceeds directly support the Guelph Public Library’s commitment to providing lifelong learning opportunities in our Royal City. Let the festivities begin!

About the Guelph Public Library

The Guelph Public Library Board and staff envision a future where our customers know us, trust us, are proud of us, and inspire us. The Guelph Public Library benefits the entire community by providing lifelong learning opportunities. We believe in the freedom to read, learn and discover.

For more information

Steve Kraft, CEO 519-824-6220 extension 224

City receives heritage landscape award for Market Square design

Guelph, On, November 13, 2014 – The design, preservation and enhancement of Guelph’s Market Square has earned the City a heritage landscape award.

The City, along with Janet Rosenberg and Associates, was presented the Margaret and Nicholas Hill Cultural Heritage Landscape Award last Friday at the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario’s seventh annual awards dinner in Toronto.

Named for Margaret and Nicholas Hill, the award recognizes an individual, group, or project that has heightened awareness and appreciation of Ontario’s significant landscapes, or endeavoured to preserve a noteworthy example of the product of human interaction.

“The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario applauds the City of Guelph for its vision and commitment in creating this wonderful space with its combination of heritage and community pleasure,” said Susan Ratcliffe, awards committee chair.

Accepting the award on behalf of the City was Councillor Leanne Piper and Ian Panabaker, corporate manager of Downtown Renewal. Janet Rosenberg accepted the award on behalf of Janet Rosenberg and Associates for its work on the Square’s landscape design.

About Market Square

Guelph’s Market Square is a modern interpretation of the City’s original downtown Market Place district. The central feature is an outdoor skating rink and water feature surrounded by stone benches, native trees and plants. Throughout the year, Market Square is home to festivals, concerts, community events and civic celebrations.

About the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario

The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario is the province’s principal non-government volunteer organization dedicated to the conservation of built heritage. ACO’s awards honour preservation leaders, projects and initiatives that are worthy of provincial recognition for their contribution to architectural conservation in Ontario.

ACO strives to bring province-wide attention to the achievements of its award nominees. Their work provides models for others and is marked by innovative strategies, long-term leadership, significant restoration work or any service in the cause of heritage conservation that are worthy of being honoured.

For more information

Ian Panabaker
Corporate Manager
Downtown Renewal
519-822-1260 extension 2475


Check It Out! on Rogers TV

Guelph, ON – The Guelph Public Library (GPL), in partnership with Rogers TV, is excited to present a new TV series called “Check It Out! Explore the wonderful services of the GPL and its amazing connections with our Royal City in six half-hour episodes airing Mondays at 1:30PM on Rogers TV Cable 20. Discover how history lives at the library and in our community, the wonders of graphic novels with The Dragon, learning from Let’s Talk Science along with the Guelph Humane Society and the therapeutic Paws4Stories program. Are you busy when the show airs? No worries, you can watch it again on Mondays at 5:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m. and on Saturdays at 12:30 p.m.

There is something for everyone at your Guelph Public Library! Share your finds today with the hashtag #CheckitOut. Happy viewing!

About the Guelph Public Library

The Guelph Public Library Board and staff envision a future where our customers know us, trust us, are proud of us, and inspire us.  The Guelph Public Library benefits the entire community by providing lifelong learning opportunities.  We believe in the freedom to read, learn and discover.

For more information

Steve Kraft, CEO 519-824-6220 extension 224

Paramedics using new drill for easier vascular access in patients

Guelph, On, November 4, 2014 – Guelph-Wellington Emergency Medical Service has purchased a potentially life-saving device for each of its frontline ambulances.

The EZ-IO drill, put on ambulances earlier this week, enables paramedics to access a patient’s intravascular system by drilling into a patient’s bones in either the arm or leg. This technique is used in emergency situations to provide fluids and medications to a patient when intravenous access is not available or feasible.

“The device is small and simple, but has the potential to dramatically affect patient outcomes in a positive way,” says Leanne Swantko, deputy chief, Guelph-Wellington Emergency Medical Service, adding the device is used as a last resort when no peripheral veins are readily available for access.

“The EZ-IO drill is essential for critically injured and ill patients, as it provides paramedics with immediate access to the vascular system and can be used on adult or pediatric patients. An example of this would be a trauma patient trapped in a vehicle or a chemotherapy patient with poor vascular access.”

Training on the device took place earlier this month in collaboration with the Centre for Paramedics Education and Research in Guelph and Arthur. In all, 150 paramedics have been trained to use the drill, however, only advanced care paramedics have the authority to use it.

Swantko adds, “This device means access to treatment for every patient in Guelph and Wellington Country who might need it, regardless of whether the vascular system can be accessed by traditional means.”

Other emergency services using the EZ-IO drill include Six Nations Ambulance Service, Middlesex-London Emergency Medical Services, and air ambulances in Ontario. The new device costs about $95 and replaces an antiquated disposable intraosseous infusion needle only available for use on children.

For more information

Leanne Swantko
Deputy Chief
Guelph-Wellington Emergency Medical Service
519-822-1260 extension 2105