Sunday, December 18, 2016

Amazing Support for Community Centre!

Last Thursday, we celebrated two very generous local family businesses for donating significant funds to support the new Pelham Community Centre.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of Dr. Tim Nohara and his company, Accipiter Radar Technologies, “Arena A” will be named the “Accipiter Arena.” Accipiter donated $250,000 to the Community Centre’s capital fundraising campaign. The Accipiter Arena will feature an NHL-size ice surface with a 1,000-seat spectator area. This arena will be capable of hosting major sporting events, tradeshows, concerts, and other commercial affairs.

Dr. Nohara re-located Accipiter Radar Technologies from Waterloo to Pelham in 1995 and, through hard work and diligence, developed the company into a global leader in advanced avian and security radar technologies.

Because of the generous contributions of the Duliban Family and the Trillium Mutual Insurance Company – who donated $125,000 and $25,000 respectively – “Arena B” will be named “Duliban Insurance Arena.” This NHL-size ice surface with 100-rinkside seats – will host hockey, figure skating, lacrosse and many other events sporting and cultural events. The Duliban Insurance Arena will be visible from the Upper Viewing Area, which will allow spectators easy viewing from above the ice.

With a long history in Pelham and Niagara, Duliban Insurance recently relocated their head-office to Uptown Fonthill (on Hwy 20 between Haist and Lookout). Since the Duliban Family supported the fundraising campaign for the existing arena, it’s wonderful that they so strongly support the new Community Centre.

On behalf of Council, I deeply appreciate the generosity of these amazing donors! Not only do their gifts signal that the Community Centre continues to move forward, they also demonstrate significant support for the new facility.

Each donor spoke so well about their involvement in the community over the years and about how they want to see our community continue to progress and grow.

Again, I deeply appreciate the generosity of these amazing donors!

There are many opportunities for other donors to support the facility’s campaign. For example, the gymnasiums, the viewing areas, the multi-purpose spaces, the change rooms, the atrium, and then entire facility may be named to honour the generosity of other donors.

Following this capital fundraising campaign, volunteers will begin a community fundraising campaign phase in late 2017 or early 2018. Every community member will have an opportunity to contribute to this once-in-a-lifetime project, by pledging his or her support for the Pelham Community Centre.

For more information about the Pelham Community Centre and fundraising options, please check-out the special website at

Thanks to TV Cogeco Niagara for this great video of the announcements!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Great Christmas Spirit in Pelham

The snow this weekend in Niagara seemed to tie the great spirit of Christmas together in Pelham.

The holiday spirit began early in Pelham on November 2 when several businesses hosted holiday open houses in Downtown Fonthill. Despite the rain that evening, there was a good crowd – including a Santa with an umbrella – to try to start-up the season.

Over the following weeks, the Town began decorating much of Pelham – from Peace Park and the Bandshell in Fonthill, to Town Hall, to hydro poles in Pelham’s urbanized areas, to the flagpole and trees in Fenwick.

And, some very dedicated, community-minded elves took it upon themselves to “spruce-up” our Town. While the rest of us were sleeping or working, these elves decorated almost every utility pole and light standard in sight using evergreen boughs and red bows. So many of us appreciate their annual efforts!

Then, the Fonthill Firefighters Association took the lead for the turkey raffle tradition, followed closely by the Fenwick Firefighters and the Fonthill Lions (with a chili cook off to boot).

Thanks to “Christmas In Pelham” volunteers and Town staff for organizing the fourth Christmas Under the Arches / Outdoor Christmas Market in Fonthill on December 2. The hundreds participating and the venders, services clubs, and musicians helped make the event wonderful and vibrant.

Then, hundreds and hundreds shared the true spirit of generosity on December 3th for the 26th Annual Pelham Food Drive for Pelham Cares. Thank you to each of the donors and all the volunteers that went door-to-door to support those less fortunate in our Town. Thanks, as well, for those volunteers unpacking, sorting, and repacking non-perishable food. Finally, thanks to the businesses who donated food and funds so that volunteers were fed and the event was publicized.

And, have you seen the Temperanceville Historic Display this year? Check out Pelham’s history, caringly modeled in Peace Park until January 1.

This past weekend, the Fabulous Fenwick Lions and others in the community organized Pelham’s annual Santa Claus Parade. The extra-long parade ended with “Buddy the Elf” driving Santa through Downtown Fenwick and past the special, community Christmas Tree. Thanks also to the Lions for organizing free treats and time with Santa at Centennial Park.

Add to all this the Christmas concerts at our schools, the annual Fonthill Kinsmen Seniors’ Dinner, the greeting cards, and all the celebrations at Pelham’s churches, and we are doing well to prepare for and to celebrate Christmas.

Council and I hope that you and your family experience the joy of the spirit of Christmas this holiday season. We also wish you all the best in 2017!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Groundbreaking Another Milestone in Pelham's Progress

(L-R): Ralph Beamer, former-Mayor; Councillor Richard Rybiak;
Councillor Gary Accursi; Councillor Catherine King; 
Mayor Dave Augustyn; Councillor John Durley; Councillor Peter Papp; 
Darren Ottaway, CAO; John Nicol, Chair, Architectural Design Advisory 
Committee; Bill Gibson, Chair, Oversight Committee. (30 Nov. 2016)
Along with representatives of the Architectural Design Advisory Committee (ADAC), the Oversight Committee, former Mayor Beamer, Town Councillors and the CAO, I had the honour of ceremoniously breaking ground for the Pelham Community Centre last week. While members of ADAC, the Oversight Committee, Pelham sport and recreational associations, local service clubs, Town Staff, and the general public cheered on, we broke ground and threw some soil from “center ice” of Arena A.

As you know, since 1990 the community has consistently voiced a desire for new recreational facilities. In late-2012, when Council reviewed the seven consultant studies and staff reports, we confirmed that “no significant or meaningful financial work was completed.”

That’s why in 2013 the Town hired LeisurePlan to survey you and your neighbours about your needs, to test the business case for various amenities, and to develop an operating pro forma to satisfy those needs. In 2014 and 15, LeisurePlan presented a number of reports demonstrating sustaining-demand for a Community Centre and recommending that the Town construct a facility in the East Fonthill development area.

So, in August 2014, Council established an Architectural Design Advisory Committee with 15 volunteers representing various recreational user groups, youth, seniors, artists, service clubs and the community-at-large; by October, Council hired Petroff Architects to professionally design the facility.

During 2015, ADAC worked tirelessly with the architect, LeisurePlan, and Staff to develop concept drawings and presented a design. In the Fall of 2015, the Town hired Ball Construction as a construction manager to refine the design with all involved.

In mid-March 2016, Council received the final designs from the architect, detailed construction estimates from the construction manager, and financing options from Staff for the new Centre. The Town immediately started five weeks of community engagement on the proposal.

Encouraged by the community support and because of our years of due diligence and community involvement, Council approved the new Community Centre in late-April 2016.

During the summer and fall, Council approved a maximum-price construction contract, and established an Oversight Committee to ensure the facility gets built on-time (by last-spring 2018) and on-budget ($36.2 million).

I deeply appreciate all those involved – over many years – in developing the new Pelham Community Centre; the iterative yet important process has been a genuine community and grassroots endeavor!

The groundbreaking last week shows that by working together we can achieve great things and can continue to transform and improve our community.

I will keep you updated about Pelham’s Community Centre – the facility that will serve for decades as our community’s gathering place and recreational space for people of all ages and abilities.