Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Fourth win for Formosa and Saliba at 2012 Bass Pro Shops Lake Simcoe Open

Orillia — As 100 boats and 200 anglers blasted off on  the calm waters of Lake Couchiching the morning of Oct. 20, many were surprised they had to deal with four-foot waves as soon as they entered Lake Simcoe. Some turned around and headed back for calmer waters while others prevailed ... carefully manoeuvring their bass boats to productive fishing waters they had found during practice period the week before.

The Bass Pro Shops Lake Simcoe Open, hosted by the Aurora Bassmasters, capitalizes on one of the world’s finest smallmouth fisheries. As good as Orillia’s Couchiching is ... Simcoe is bigger and so too are it’s smallmouth bass.  In 2010, the winning team of Mark Moran and Joey Muszynski set the all- time Canadian record with an incredible 31.5 pounds worth of smallmouth bass. During that same BPS Lake Simcoe Open event, a Canadian tournament record 8.05 smallmouth bass was also weighed in.  

Like no other, the BPS Lake Simcoe Open offers hard core tournament anglers a realistic opportunity to win one of the highest cash payouts in the country, and at a time of year when records are made to be broken. In 2012, that 31.5 pounds was not surpassed, but the eventual winners of Bob Formosa and Jayson Saliba still amassed a huge sack of bass weighing in at 27.5 pounds, for a $20,000 first-place prize. They also tacked on the Shimano Pay to Play win for an additional $2,760. 

In second was the team of Matt Belzil and Jason Clay with 25.65 pounds of bass for a $6,000 cash payout. Third went to Kal Vaisanen and Bill Walker who had 24.3 pounds for a $4000 payout.
As title sponsor Bass Pro Shops has offered the greatest contribution both in cash awards and their marketing and organizational expertise. Additionally, platinum sponsors Jack Links Beef Jerky and were big players once again in 2012.  

Shimano supplied their live-release boat and in-water weigh-in system. Additionally, they kicked in $1,000 seed money for the Shimano Pay To Play pot.

Rapala contributed $2,000 towards the 36th X Spot award. Two teams tied for this — Wayne Izumi / John McGuigan and Niko Terpselas / Tony Colluci, so each team received $1000. Humminbird/Minn Kota supplied the top team using their products with $2,000 in cash.  Berkley Canada provided all teams with merchandise in their grab bags, and supplied $1,000 cash to Jason Godin and Anthony Burgess, the team weighing in the heaviest single largemouth bass at 4.8 pounds.

Mustang supplied four floater suits that were won by 16th-place finishers John McGoey and Mike Collins and 17th-place team Jason Reindeers and Jack Vandermeer. Maple Lodge Farms offered a charity BBQ during the weigh in; supporting companies like X Zone Lures and CL Lures provided prize packages.

Total cash payouts for the 2012 BPS Lake Simcoe Open were more than $41,400. This was better than a 100% payout in cash and prizes. Anglers paid a $400 entry fee to compete — with an additional optional $40 per team to enter the Shimano Pay To Play.

Competing anglers, sponsors, the host City of Orillia and the Canadian tackle industry all recognize the Bass Pro Shops Lake Simcoe Open as the premier one day bass fishing tournament in the country.
One tagged bass was weighed in which was originally sampled as part of a five-year bass tagging research program spearheaded by the Aurora Bassmasters (2006-2010) in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources.  This fish was originally caught and tagged during a previous BPS Lake Simcoe Open – helping to show that catch and release and fizzing really does work.
The tournament organizers would like to thank the many volunteers from the Aurora Bassmasters who, along with support from several Barrie Bassmasters, helped make everything run so smoothly during the morning blast off and throughout the weigh-in. This year’s weigh-in was MC’d by BIG JIM McLaughlin who did an outstanding job entertaining the crowd and anglers.  Additionally, organizers would like to thank the Competitive Sport Fishing League (CSFL), led by Andy Pallotta and his wife Vita for their expertise, logistical support and tournament equipment.  

Both anglers and tournament organizers always love coming to the fish-friendly community of Orillia and appreciate their excellent no charge launching and parking facilities. A key figure who helped with so much of the behind the scenes work in Orillia was Doug Bunker of the Orillia Chamber of Commerce.
Thanks to member Cam Mitchell, the Aurora Bassmasters brought back the extremely popular Live Streaming video of the weigh-in event.   The 2012 weigh-in can still be seen at and A complete list of all standings can be seen on these two websites. Stay tuned for additional video production filmed by  Dave Creasy “The Video Guy Inc.”

By Wil Wegman, Conservation and Media Director, Aurora Bassmasters;



Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and partners plan

Community Halloween Tree Plantings this weekend


NEWMARKETOctober 24, 2012 - Join the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) and its partners for free fun Halloween-themed tree planting events this weekend. Come in costume and try to scare Mother Nature.

The Newmarket Planting takes place Saturday, October 27 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Join LSRCA, the Bogart Creek Restoration Committee, the Town of Newmarket and its partners at Quaker Trail in Newmarket (behind the Magna Centre). Everyone is welcome. Come and help plant native trees and shrubs.

Free face painting and prizes will be awarded for the best Halloween costumes. Parking is available along Quaker Trail. Refreshments provided by the Salvation Army.

The Barrie Planting is planned for Sunday, October 28 starting at 9 a.m. Join LSRCA and the City of Barrie for a free fun Halloween-themed tree planting at Huronia Buffer (Bristow Ct. & McConkey Pl).  Park at Assikinack Public School (226 Little Avenue), Barrie.

All are welcome; costumed or not, young or old, living or the-undead! Prizes will be awarded for the best costume. Shovels and snacks provided. Hot beverages supplied by the Barrie South Lions Club.

Dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear. Plantings take place rain or shine.

For more information on the Newmarket planting event, please contact Lori McLean at 905-895-1281 ext 272.

For information on the Barrie tree-planting event, please contact Andee Pelan 905-895-1281 ext. 244.


Georgian College named one of Canada’s Top 100 employers – for sixth time


Georgian College has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers in a national competition – for the sixth time in 10 years.
Canada’s Top 100 Employers is an annual competition that recognizes Canada’s best places to work. The award honours companies and organizations across Canada that lead their industries in attracting and retaining employees.
“Georgian has received this award for the sixth time, and as a newcomer to the college, I find this record remarkable,” said MaryLynn West-Moynes, Georgian’s new president and CEO. “This is a testament to the passion and commitment of our staff, who contribute each and every day to the success of our students.  I feel privileged to have joined such an incredible team.”
Judges for the Top 100 award sift through applications from more than 10,000 Canadian employers before selecting the best in each category. All winners will be honoured at an awards ceremony in Toronto, Nov. 28. Previously, Georgian earned the distinction in the years 2001 to 2004 inclusive.
Canada’s Top 100 Employers cites many reasons for choosing Georgian, ranging from an outstanding physical workplace to superior financial and family-friendly benefits to Georgian staff involvement in the community.
Additional reasons cited by judges for selecting Georgian include:
·         Georgian offers great family-friendly benefits including outstanding maternity and parental leave top-up payments
·         Georgian encourages ongoing employee development with subsidies for tuition and professional accreditation, in-house and online training programs and career planning services
·         New employees start with a minimum of three weeks paid vacation
Employers are evaluated by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers using eight criteria – physical workplace, work atmosphere, health, financial and family benefits, vacation and time off, employee communications, performance management, training and skills development, and community involvement.
Employers are compared with other organizations in their field to determine which offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs.

The MacLaren puts art online
This fall, the MacLarenArtCentre in downtown Barrie, Ontario, will launch a new initiative entitled MacLarenArtOnline, made possible with support from the Government of Ontario.  
The MacLarenArtCentre is the regional public art gallery serving Barrie, the County of Simcoe and the surrounding area. The Gallery has a Permanent Collection of 26,600 works of art held in trust for the public and presents a year-round programme of world-class exhibitions, public art projects, art education activities and special events.
To increase access to its Collection, the MacLaren is currently photographing artworks in its holdings with plans to make these images available online with descriptive information about the artworks and the artists. The first phase of this project focuses on the MacLaren’s Contemporary Canadian Collection and will launch in November 2012. The Gallery has acquired many contemporary artworks over the past ten years by leading Canadian artists such as Arnaud Maggs, Tim Zuck, John Hartman, Margaret Priest, Tom LaPierre, Jeff Thomas, Fred Hagan, Doris McCarthy, Tom Dean, Ed Burtynsky, Tony Scherman, Ron Martin, William Ronald, Jack Chambers and Jack Bush. A one-time project grant from the Government of Ontario is making this digitization project possible.
MacLaren Executive Director Carolyn Bell Farrell comments, “Given the size of our Collection, we can only exhibit a small portion at one time. Larger artworks are stored offsite, and staff hours to meet Collection inquiries on site are limited. As a research resource, the MacLaren’s Collection online will allow access to artwork that might otherwise remain inaccessible, and allow access at any time. As well, many works in our Collection are on paper. Digital images enhance our ability to protect fragile artwork, eliminating added handling. We are indebted to the Government of Ontario for this generous support.”
“The McGuinty Government is committed to providing support to Ontario’s creative institutions to enable them to become centres of innovation,” said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.  “Capitalizing on technology will strengthen the MacLarenArtCentre and the role it plays as an important community hub and tourist destination. As a result of this digitalization project, local residents as well as all Ontarians will enjoy greater access to the creativity and richness of Ontario’s artists and works of art.”
About the MacLaren

The MacLarenArtCentre engages over 56,000 people each year through its programmes at the gallery, in the schools and in the community, including 21,000 children and youth. The Gallery is housed in a 24,000 square-foot award-winning building. This architectural landmark in downtown Barrie combines a renovated 1917 Carnegie library and a contemporary addition by Siamak Hariri of Hariri Pontarini Architects. The complex includes multiple galleries, an education centre, a sculpture courtyard, café, gift shop and framing department. The MacLaren is committed to building a vibrant, healthy and creative community. As the cornerstone of culture for Barrie, the Gallery is a central meeting place and a cultural hub of activities for residents in the city, a partner to many community organizations, a tourist destination for visitors from across the province, and an economic driver and catalyst for downtown revitalization.

Gallery Location: The MacLarenArtCentre is located at 37 Mulcaster Street, Barrie, Ontario, L4M 3M2, just one hour north of Toronto. From highway 400 north, take the Dunlop Street East exit to Mulcaster Street and turn left. We are on the right hand side just opposite City Hall. The building is wheel chair accessible
Gallery Hours:  The MacLarenArtCentre is open Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The MacLaren is closed statutory holidays. Suggested admission $5.
Gallery Tours: Guided tours of the gallery for groups and schools are available by appointment.
Contact Information: For more information on exhibitions and educational programming, please visit our website,

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