Press Reports and Other Mentions

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our local press and friendly blogging community. Below are some of the stories and blog posts we have been featured in. Click on any title to read the accompanying article.

Sep 26, 2018 - Inaugural festival at former mill in Castleton surpasses expectations

Inaugural festival at former mill in Castleton surpasses expectations

By John Campbell, Brighton Independent


The Yarns at the Mill festival in Castleton was a huge success, featuring fibre art workshops and demonstrations, live music and more. Here, Mitch Cox and his son Cameron give a tour of the Purdy mill the family is restoring, with plans to turn it into a performing arts venue. – John Campbell/Metroland

 
Castleton – Yarns at the Mill exceeded organizers’ expectations for an inaugural event and that’s no yarn but an absolute fact.

“I’m feeling euphoric,” said Candace Cox, co-founder of The Mill at Piper Creek, the federally incorporated not-for-profit that hosted the Sept. 22 event. “We couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

She estimated the festival, which featured fibre art workshops and demonstrations, live music, an art exhibition and tours of the former mill that Cox and her husband Mitch are restoring, was attended by at least 500 people, including vendors and volunteers.

It was a different kind of event and “we didn’t know what the interest would be,” Cox said.

“We couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Candace Cox
Organizers were a bit worried about what sort of response the festival would receive from local residents but she was pleased to learn that “everyone was just thrilled that the village came to life.”

People who attended “all said they had a fantastic time. We were lucky it was such a beautiful day,” Cox said.

The event was made possible with a seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Despite the festival’s good showing in its debut “we won’t have made money on this,” Cox said.

But that wasn’t the point anyway, it was “to find ways to engage the rest of the community,” she said. “We don’t have anything like this in our area so it was exciting for everyone … that we could pull off something that was so well attended.”

Click here to read the rest of the story and view additional photographs…

https://www.northumberlandnews.com/news-story/8921738-inaugural-festival-at-former-mill-in-castleton-surpasses-expectations/

Sep 26, 2018 - Inaugural Yarns from the Mill Festival Weaves itself into Fabric of Castleton Community

Inaugural Yarns from the Mill Festival Weaves itself into Fabric of Castleton Community

Reports of 500 in attendance
Plans already in the works for 2019


The official ribbon cutting ceremony to start the Festival: Candace Cox, right, Founding Board Member (right) and Sandra Arthur, left, Deputy Mayor of Cramahe. Photo by Mandy Martin

Article by Sue Dickens/with press release from Mae Thomson Yarns at the Mill
Cramahe Now Magazine

The first family-run festival inspired by the community is over but the event on on Sept. 22, which ran from 9:30 am to 4 p.m. at the Mill in Piper Creek, on the grounds of the historical Ojibway site, Castleton where it was hosted was a huge success. There are reports that close to 500 attended.

Participants participated in activities such as, goat yoga, horse-drawn buggy rides, workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions, games, a Mill tour, talks and a vendor’s market.

The day was about taking in the history while enjoying live music on the outdoor stage and fun artisan-inspired activities. Patrons enjoyed the sounds from professional musicians Renaissance, Cheryl Cassleman and Ken Tizzard.

“The whole point of Yarns from the Mill is to connect peoples of all types and ages,” shared Candace Cox, Founding Board Member. “I love the concept of yarns and things made from yarns, the comfort and healing it brings and the real medieval essence of making clothing.”

Click here to read the rest of the story and view additional photographs…

http://www.cramahenow.com/?p=10593

Sep 17, 2018 - Great Stories to be Told at Yarns from the Mill

Great Stories to be Told at Yarns from the Mill: Festival Sat., Sept. 22

by Sue Dickens

Ribbon cutting with MPP David Piccini
Campbellford musician Ken Tizzard will be there

Castleton – The countdown is on for the Yarns from the Mill Festival, happening this Saturday, September 22, in Castleton. A pancake breakfast will be followed by a ribbon cutting with local MPP David Piccini at 9:00 am.

Wheels are spinning and plans are being woven together as the date for Castleton’s first annual Yarns from the Mill Festival approaches. The focus will be on local heritage, textile arts, storytelling, traditional music and celebration.

Click here to read the rest of the story…

http://www.cobourgnow.com/?p=6114

Aug 20, 2018 - Yarns From the Mill Festival in Castleton Sept 22, 2018

Yarns From the Mill Festival in Castleton Sept 22, 2018

Aug 20, 2018 Cramahe Now Magazine

As a theme, we want to weave together the stories and skills of our past, centring around Piper Creek and the 180-year-old grist mill

Wheels are spinning and plans are being woven together as the date for Castleton’s first annual Yarns from the Mill Festival approaches.

The Festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 22, in Castleton, with a focus on local heritage, textile arts, storytelling, traditional music and celebration.

“Pre-Festival” activities on Friday, Sept. 21, will take place at Northumberland Hills Primary School. Every student will engage in a variety of hands-on crafts and exploration, led by professional artists and folklorists. They will also make friendship bracelets, which will give them free admittance to the next day’s Festival.

Saturday’s festivities will take place at venues along Percy Street, from the Mill and Mill house grounds to the Town Hall, and the United Church. Admission for the day is $5, children 6 and under are free.

The day kicks off with a pancake breakfast from 8:00 am. The Festival runs from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm with a program including goat yoga, horse-drawn buggy rides, workshops, demonstrations, artisan exhibitions, games, a Mill tour, talks and a vendor’s market. Live music will be performed on an outdoor stage all day.

Demonstrations will comprise a piece of working mill equipment, as well as sheep shearing, carding, natural dyeing, weaving, spinning, felting, quilting and rug-hooking. The celebration will incorporate First Nations, Settler and Immigrant traditions

Click here to read the rest of the story…

http://www.cramahenow.com/?p=10323

Feb 16, 2018 - Township recognizes Castleton mill non-profit as a heritage group

Township recognizes Castleton mill non-profit as a heritage group

By John Campbell, The Independent
Feb 16, 2018

This article first appeared at:
https://www.northumberlandnews.com/news-story/8139063-township-recognizes-castleton-mill-non-profit-as-a-heritage-group/


Mill at Piper Creek Arts and Heritage Centre president Candace Cox and secretary Ingrid Anderson persuaded council to recognize their organization as a heritage group. – John Campbell/Metroland

Cramahe Township — Council has recognized the non-profit organization behind the Mill at Piper Creek Arts and Heritage Centre as a heritage group. Council granted the request after a recent presentation by Candace Cox, co-owner of the mill with her husband Mitchell, and Ingrid Anderson, a member of the centre’s board of directors.

What it means is that the board will enjoy the same right extended to other local recognized organizations, which is a reduced rate to rent the Castleton town hall, for $50 rather than $150.
Cox pointed out both the mill house and the mill are included on Heritage Cramahe’s cultural heritage property register, and the mill as well “is the starting point” for a walking tour in Castleton. “We have been delighted by the keen community interest in saving the mill building itself,” Cox said. The former grist mill, built around 1840, “means so much to the people of Castleton” and is “deeply embedded in the history of the area.”

“We all want to see this mill saved and restored.” Joseph Keeler, son of the mill’s builder, served as MP for Northumberland “in the first government of Canada under John A.

Macdonald, so it is historically significant as a building,” she said. Cox told council the mill sustained “significant damage” in a 1980 flood and nothing was done to repair it until 2011 after she and her husband had purchased the property.

“It was quite a big job,” she said, and included restoring the foundation.

“The board now has control over the further development of the building.”

“As we move forward we are following established models for arts centres in this area,” such as Fourth Line Theatre in Millbrook and Westben in Campbellford, said Anderson, a Toronto radio personality who serves as secretary for the not-for-profit organization that was incorporated in 2016.

Anderson said the organization has hosted 11 events in the last 14 months, in Cobourg and Castleton, “providing opportunities for artists and the community while beginning to raise funds” for the creation of an arts and heritage centre.

The events have included a dinner and silent auction, folk concerts with Canadian and international artists, and several popular ceilidhs.

“We even brought a touring opera company in to a large and appreciative crowd, but our greatest success has been … forging a real connection and real excitement between the community members
of all ages where we live,” she said.

“The positive economic impact of an active arts venue has been widely studied,” Cox said, “As an organization we are really proud of our contribution to our under-served rural population. Tourism is the second biggest economic driver in rural Ontario, following only agriculture.”

She cited an economic impact report prepared by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport based on data the organization provided which determined that “a hundred paying guests at a ceilidh in
Castleton hall brings between $8,000 (and) $16,000 of spending into our community.”

“That’s a big impact” from one event, and “we have many projects in the works,” Cox said. “We’re being contacted by agents in Canada and abroad.”

The Mill at Piper has applied for a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to help stage a Yarns from the Mill Festival it has planned for Sept. 21-22.

It will celebrate heritage and the arts “while weaving together the story of a community,” Anderson said. There will be hands-on workshops, demonstrations, fibre art displays, storytelling, music and interviews with local residents who have memories of the mill when it was in use.

“We are even planning to resurrect the historic Castleton bed derby,” she added.

Council had no problem granting the request, with Mayor Marc Coombs noting the group is “obviously doing a lot of good” for the township and Castleton.


Sidebar Article Accompanying Above Column

LAWSUIT STILL AN ISSUE

Representatives of the Mill at Piper Creek Arts and Heritage Centre had one other request to make of council when they made their presentation Feb. 6: a “reconciliation.” “We can’t go forward in a united way while an ongoing, multi-year lawsuit hangs over us between the Coxes (Mitchell and Candace, who own the mill) and the township over the sale of the unnamed street behind the mill,” said Ingrid Anderson, a member of the not- for-profit organization’s board of directors.

“As long as that remains unsettled so does our future. It’s a drain on everyone’s resources.”
Anderson asked that council, “in light of recent developments” — information unearthed in historical documents about where the boundary line actually runs — direct staff and the legal team “to work toward an expedient resolution of the lawsuit so we can continue restoration … and work together as well for the betterment of our community.”

She asked council to give its response at its March 6 meeting.

Mayor Marc Coombs said later in the meeting the dispute concerns the closing of a road allowance by the municipality and its sale to a neighbouring property owner.

The township’s position is that “everything’s been done properly.”

Feb 11, 2018 - Yarn Spinning Coming to Castleton In September

Yarn Spinning Coming to Castleton In September

Article & image of Candace Cox by Bill Hornbostel, Cramahe Now News Magazine

This article first appeared at:
http://www.cramahenow.com/?p=8877

When Candace and Mitchell Cox moved to Castleton from Edmonton, Alberta in 2011, they had a plan. They wanted to create a new performing arts centre in an area that had none.

“We picked this area really carefully,” says Candace Cox. “Castleton is at this sweet spot between Toronto and Montreal, near New York, and there are tons of great acts in the area. We wanted a gathering spot – not just as a draw for the community, but also for performing artists, to make it the place to play.”

So they bought the old grist mill in Castleton and began to repair the building. There have been a number of obstacles to restoring the building, so in 2016, after consultation with the local community, they established The Mill at Piper Creek Arts and Heritage Centre, a not-for-profit organization, to bring performing arts to the area.

Their efforts have met with success in sponsoring events in and near Castleton.

Cox says, “We’ve done about ten events over a year; we’re aiming for around one a month. We’re able to create work for artists and fund-raise at the same time, while offering the community professional acts at an affordable price. Usually, we have a sell-out crowd, especially in Castleton.

“On February 3, we brought in Ron Sexsmith, our first big act, to Victoria Hall in Cobourg! It was a great success.”

The board of Piper Creek has plans for even bigger and better things, though: a festival for all ages called, Yarns From The Mill. Cox says, “Anything that we can connect to the words ‘yarns’ or ‘mill,’ we’re including in this festival!” Part of the festival will be a display of the fibre arts. “So we’re talking crocheters and knitters and spinners and weavers. There will be a large vendor alley, with both fibre art and fibre products for sale, plus hands-on activities and workshops.

Yarns From The Mill will also have a performing arts side. Says Cox, ‘Yarns’ might also refer to story-telling, or song-writing, or just a place for neighbours to gather together to reminisce. We’d like to interview locals about their memories of the Cramahe area, and particularly the mill.”

They are also looking to include demonstrations and workshops in the festival. “We want to weave in a real educational element, too, in an old-fashioned community-drawing way. We’re planning a sheep shearing demonstration, as well as working with Mark Turney at Diemo to get a piece of the old mill equipment up and running.”

Yarns From The Mill will run Sept. 21-22, 2018.

Oct 18, 2017 - Mill at Piper Creek Events

Mill at Piper Creek Events

Cramahe Now Magazine


Ron Sexmith

The Mill at Piper Creek is a looking after your entertainment needs with quality acts.

After the appearance of the popular Alan Reid and Rob Van Sante during SCOTTISH FOLK CONCERT last Friday at the Castleton United Church, the next event brought you by the energetic folks at The Mill at Piper Creek is the amazing… Ron Sexsmith.

This iconic Canadian songwriter and performer is coming to Victoria Hall in Cobourg on November 18, at 8 pm in the Concert Hall. The show is expected to sell out quickly. Tickets are available through the Victoria Hall box office in Cobourg.


Echoes of War

Echoes of the War is an original adaptation of J.M Barrie’s short stories for the stage.There will be two shows at CASTLETON TOWN HALL NOV. 25, 3:00 PM & 7:30 PM. This is a Canadian Premier, following a highly successful run in Chicago. It reveals the challenges families faced at the beginning, during, and towards the end of World War I.

Barrie’s adopted son George was killed in action in 1915, and perhaps these stories were his way of healing, with a sense of humanity and great heart. Adapted by Deborah Smith, directed by Michael Gelman.

Click here to read the rest of the story…

http://www.cramahenow.com/?p=8306

Ron Sexmith’s website

Echoes of the War by J. M. Barrie – Free Ebook

Jul 26 2017 - Celebrate Canada 150 with The Mill at Piper Creek

Celebrate Canada 150 with The Mill at Piper Creek

Northumberland Today

Reflecting their commitment to foster and promote a wide variety of professional artists, The Mill at Piper Creek Arts and Heritage Centre is celebrating Canada 150 with two very different, but quintessentially Canadian, shows.

On Aug. 1, they are proud to sponsor a performance of the Canadian premiere tour of Sweat, performed by The Bicycle Opera Project — the only Canadian performance company which tours on bikes in order to bring contemporary Canadian music to smaller communities whose residents might not otherwise have such an opportunity.

Click here to read the rest of the story…

https://www.northumberlandnews.com/news-story/8465930-celebrate-canada-150-with-the-mill-at-piper-creek/

May 2, 2017 - Another Successful Piper Creek Evening!

Another Successful Piper Creek Evening!

Starlight Dinner and Silent Auction

This article first appeared at:
http://www.cobourgnow.com/?p=1879


photo: Ian Simpson

The stars were certainly out for The Mill at Piper Creek Arts and Heritage Centre’s major fund-raising event, the “Starlight Dinner and Silent Auction”, which took place at the Concert Hall at Victoria Hall in Cobourg Saturday, April 29.


Mitchell Cox

About 110 well-dressed people attended the first formal fundraiser by the Piper Creek Heritage crew. They have held other events in and around Castleton that were less formal. One of the founders of the non-profit project to turn the historic mill into an arts centre, Mitchell Cox says there are more fun fundraisers planned. The centre needs the money this year to put a new skin on the building as well as replace all the windows. Once that is completed renovations on the interior will begin.


Candace Cox

Billed as an evening of Cabaret entertainment Candace Cox was the MC for the evening, between musical acts she entertained the audience with some historical tidbits about the history of cabarets starting in the 1600’s.


Fred Cory & Deborah Henderson

Musical entertainers included Mitchell Cox and Carol Hasek on piano, Fred Cory on flute, Deborah Henderson on violin, Stefan Hannigin on everything Celtic along with Steve Rapos, Greg Ward, Ron Parker and Allana Jenish.

It was the singers who seemed to garner the most applause. Dr Kent Fisher’s voice reached to the rafters when he sang, O Solo Mio. Stylish Ian Simpson surprised many when he sang, When You Wish Upon a Star in Japanese. Kathryn Humphries thrilled with her operatic version of Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen. Then sat down to accompany herself most wonderfully on the harp.

Micheal Gelman and Deborah Smith performed a few comedy skits. And, oh, Kathryn sang a West Side Story duet with Fabian Arciniegas who following that poured out a gutsy version of Por Una Cabeza.

While he wasn’t billed as an entertainer Harry Warner the auctioneer for the evening put on a good show trying to squeeze as much as he could out of the audience in support of the restoration of the building.


Ian MacInnes, Tina Moorey and Jeanne Beker

Tina Moorey with her On The Side Gourmet Food catering service provided a lovely buffet dinner. She is in the centre of the photo with Jeanne Beker and Ian MacInnes.

Sponsors who helped out with the evening included: Douglas Hotte of Terrequity Realty, Kim Etherington with Kim and Sam Royal Heritage Realty, Home Hardware Colborne, and Northumberland Veterinarian Service, as well as Chauncy Perry of Flourishes Flower Shop in Colborne.

Apr 18, 2017 - You Do Not Want to Miss This Event!

You Do Not Want to Miss This Event!

Starlight Dinner and Silent Auction

This article first appeared at:
http://www.cramahenow.com/?p=7141


Starlight Dinner and Silent Auction Poster

Interested in a fabulous dinner, particularly fine entertainment an…ddddd the opportunity to grab onto to some great tickets from Shaw Festivals and Second City in Toronto? How about silent auctions? You down with them? Love to scribble your lowest number on those sheets with the hope of getting something great without having to pay full price?

Well, look no further than The Mill at Piper Creek Arts and Heritage Centre’s major fund-raiser, a “Starlight Dinner and Silent Auction”, which is going to happen Saturday, April 29, from 6:00 pm, at the Concert Hall at Victoria Hall in Cobourg.

There is not the slightest bit of doubt this event isn’t going to be one of the best soirees of the season in Cobourg. The gang — all of them dancing fools! — The Mill at Piper Creek Board, has hosted three previous music, food and dancing shindigs at the Castleton Town Hall this year, all of which were very successful, playing to sell-out crowds.

“The Starlight Dinner will be a little different,” says Mitchell Cox, Music Director for the evening. “This is a more formal affair; dinner is gourmet and throughout the night we will be showcasing different acts, in a cabaret style. Look for everything from jazz to comedy to classical. Then we’ll top the evening off with a live band for dancing.”

Yes, dancing! How often do you get to go dancing these days? These people know how to get the floor bouncing and all the peeps up kicking up their heels. You better be there!

In case you didn’t know, the money that is going to be raised and hopefully, there will be wheelbarrows of the stuff, is going towards the refurbishing of the old Purdy Mill in Castleton. It is in transition from its old well used space to an arts and heritage space. Its foundation and roof have already been secured.


From left: the Board of The Mill at Piper Creek Arts and Heritage Centre, from left to right, Mitch Cox, Graham Norcutt, Ian Hartford, Chancy Perry, Candace Cox, and Cindy Matthews. Absent from the board pic: Roger Doidge, Samantha Cameron, Steafan Hannigan, Deborah Smith and Virginia Maclean.

“Once the venue is developed, we will be able to run regular programs for everyone, including students and seniors,” says Cox.“In the meantime, we want to offer a variety of different shows and events to the community, to give you a flavour of what is to come”.

Tickets to the Starlight Dinner cost $75 and are available through the Victoria Hall Box Office(Cobourg), Pickers Paradise (Colborne), or on-line at /events/.

Catering is by On the Side Gourmet, Warkworth.

The Mill at Piper Creek Arts and Heritage Centre Board would like to thank sponsors Douglas Hotte (Terrequity Realty), Colborne Home Hardware, Kim Etherington (Kim & Sam Real Estate), Gail Vaz Oxlade, Northumberland Veterinary Services, the Stratford Festival of Canada, and Shaw 2017.

This article is a combo of event press release courtesy of the board and NNN.

Mar 1, 2017 - Cheers to the Mill Keepers from 2 Old Guys Walking

Cheers to the Mill Keepers

From the blog 2 Old Guys Walking by Bushwhacker and Ranger

The original building on this lot started out in 1795 as Keeler’s Mill, a saw mill on Piper Creek in Castleton and was at some time likely destroyed by fire. The current mill building was erected around 1820 and was powered by water from the mill pond. In 1870, Samuel Purdy started the Purdy Milling Company. An interesting note here, according to the 1878 Illustrated Northumberland & Durham Atlas (Beldon) it was called the Castleton Flour Mill. The original flour mill operated until 1900 at which time it was converted to a feed mill. The Purdy family ran the business until 1948 and it has had several owners since. In 2011, the twenty acre mill site and mill house were purchased by Mitchell & Candace Cox and an old barn has been lovingly restored and plans are to restore the mill building for a new use as a community venue. Now that several years of legal problems regarding a boundary dispute regarding the mill property line has been settled, it is expected we will soon see great changes in this building.

The mill is now called the Piper Creek Mill and will be used as an arts and heritage centre for music, fine and theatre arts. The 2oldguys thank the mill owners for their time, labor and resources to eventually bring this beautiful old building back to life for many more generations to enjoy.

Original post: https://2oldguyswalking.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/cheers-to-the-mill-keepers/
This post is part of a bigger article on the keepers of the old and historical mill buildings of Ontario.

Also check out an earlier post from 2 Old Guys Walking about their first visit to the mill in September 2015:
https://2oldguyswalking.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/purdy-grist-mill-castleton-ontario-2/

Feb 24, 2017 - The Miller's Tale on Ancestral Roofs

The Miller’s Tale

by Lindi Pierce


Purdy’s Mill

One of the loveliest things about writing stuff, is that folks occasionally suggest places and people to me. And those people (and their places) make me welcome, and share their stories. Not long ago, friend Catherine sent me an article from a local paper, about a project in Castleton.

I’ve shared several of Castleton’s distinguished buildings. And there are more. Last Friday I met Candace Cox, and had a tour of a very important one – the village mill.

Let’s start with some history – then I’ll let you in on a project which is making history.

We start way back around 1806 when teen-aged Joseph Abbot Keeler, founder of Colborne (his fine house still stands in the town,) built a mill at Piper’s Corners, on the creek of the same name. Although that mill no longer survives, nearby stands the second mill in the village – Purdy’s Mill. The Purdy family operated the mill from 1875 to 1948.

Click here to continue reading this article including more pictures at Ancestral Roofs blog…

Feb 15, 2017 - Performing arts centre in Castleton taking shape
Feb 6, 2017 - The Fun is Afoot in Castleton

The Fun is Afoot in Castleton

Story & Photo by Ted Amsden, Cramahe Now

This article first appeared at:

The Fun is Afoot in Castleton


Candace Cox

It has been a long battle for — Candace and Mitchell Cox — owners of the Purdy Mill building in Castleton. Since 2011 they have had a dream of turning the faded grey grist mill into a community centre of music and magical theatrical moments.

The battle has been costly and all uphill, but now it looks like the property concerns and municipal confusion with which they have struggled will soon be behind them.

It has taken a lot of personal cash and hours, days and weeks of worry and then even more cash to get to this point.

Friday, February 10 at 7 pm inside Castleton Town Hall at 1780 Percy Street the party is on. Valentine’s Day is the inspiration. Fun will be the theme.

Lest you need encouragement to get your feet tapping, your knees bopping, overall get yourself into in a dance-the-night-down kind of mood, there was a sold-out dance party at the Castleton town hall in January that was bang-up event.

“A Sweetheart Ceilidh”: featuring live music by the Clan Hannigan is likely to be sold out. People will probably be turned away at the door like they were the last event. So…. you have some time. Get your tickets today.

A mere $25 will get you in the door. Warning: there will be delicious food, spontaneous singing and dancing you will not be able to resist.

Should you not know a thing about the mill and the good people who have joined together to bring a mood of fun and creative possibility to sleepy Castleton, it is worth recounting a bit of the back story.

The following is short summation of an interview with Candace in January.

The Purdy Mill was a significant grain milling business into the late 1940’s, thereafter it was of lesser concern. Fast forward to 2011, Candace and Mitchell Cox — the former, a certified Alexander Technique Instructor, the latter, professional musician — bought the home next to the mill which included the building. A dream of resurrecting the mill and making it a focus for the arts was paramount in their decision to buy the property.

“We want most of our events to be mainly intimate.That is the type of work we enjoy. Folk clubs and store-front small theatre (groups struggling with high operational costs in the GTA) could come out here and have the space for free to work up their show and do their rehearsals. We have musicians right on site. And then we would ask them instead of paying with money that they would give us a show or two.”

“Our big over arching goal is to be a safe, affordable place for people to invent and create theatre and music, dance, performing arts.”

While it is easy to declare a dream, getting it to happen can be perilous. The trek to this point has been arduous.

Jokingly Candace says, “We need to sell our children. We are skating on the edge of bankruptcy.”

The fact is for three years the couple have poured tens of thousands of dollars into the project while they have wrestled with on-going property issues. As these issues are before the court, lengthy discussion in the press has not occurred. Suffice it to say, it is a kind of tale in which sheer doggedness and determination to realize a dream have met serious obstacles.

“We do want the public to know the full story,” she says.

Those of us who like a good story are going to have to wait. Perhaps, there will be a play one day staged upon the very premises where the controversy has arisen.

As the couple has drained their resources, as they are not getting any younger and want to move the project forward, they have decided to incorporate the project into a not-for-profit and turn the direction of the project over to a board.

“We spent all our money on the lawsuit. We need help getting the building going.”

Thus the Piper Creek Mills Arts and Heritage Centre Board was created in November of last year to manage the Centre. Members include: Samantha Cameron, Candace Cox, Mitchell Cox, Roger Doidge,Steafan Hannigan, Ian Hartford,Cindy Matthews,Graham Norcutt and Deborah Smith.

“We are giving the building to the Board on a long-term lease. It is no longer about us personally, it is about the Not-for-profit Mill at Piper Creek Arts and Heritage Centre and community programming. We also intend to keep a strong museum element to the building, and hope to have short films recounting the stories which have shaped the community.”

“We have hired a great architect – on a promise – Phil Goldsmith. He is brilliant.”

“We are going to stage it and go through it project by project. This summer we hope to finish the foundation work.”

“(The building) is solid now. Mostly it just needs to be emptied out and then we want to secure the shell. Redo the siding and replace all the windows. Do it as a heritage building.”

“This next stage will cost around $35, 000 to $50,000.”

With “a stellar board of nine people”, the decision was made, “We are going to start fund raising.”

Which leads to the most important part of this article: what you can do to help out, dear Reader of Northumberland News Network.

Well, you can simply go for the fun. You can attend the “Sweetheart Ceildidh” Friday February 10 at 7 pm. Or schedule to attend the Maria Dunn Concert and a St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations at Castleton Town Hall. Or don your best duds and attend a black-tie fundraiser/auction tentatively scheduled to happen at Victoria Hall in Cobourg on April 29.

Fun is afoot whenever the Piper Creek Mills Arts and Heritage Centre holds an event. So be advised. Get your tickets. Don’t delay. There is no standing room. Only dancing is allowed.

Here is what Candace said about the January event.

“It was like an old Irish kitchen party. Like wedding where you got a band and you can come and dance … there was a lot of singing. There was a lot of dancing. It was step dancing. With instruction. Ages there were 16 to 90. A really great mixed crowd. Really about community. Which is what we are about.”

Info: pipercreekstudio@gmail.com
1.905.344.7119