Field Notes for Spring 2020

What to see, hike, write this spring.

March 24, 2020 | | Field Notes

*Editor’s note: This story was written before the fallout of the coronavirus hit our community. Many of the businesses and organizations mentioned here may be temporarily closed or offering alternative customer service options.

Listen Up

Get out your calendar. Two acclaimed Indigenous artists are coming to town: Inuk throat singer and author Tanya Tagaq and singer and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Photo by Rebecca Wood/Penguin Random House Canada.

Photo by Rebecca Wood / Penguin Random House Canada.

Tanya Tagaq appears on stage as part of the Festival of Literary Diversity on Friday, May 1 at 8pm at The Rose Brampton. She’ll be performing and reading from her first book, Split Tooth. The work was described by The Globe and Mail as “a short mythobiography about a teenage girl living in a small Nunavut community in the 1970s.” The artist’s website puts it this way: “Split Tooth does with words what Tagaq’s music often does without, sweeping the reader into a space where life’s artificial constructs hold no claim.”

Medicine Songs / Photo By D.Brian Campbell.

Medicine Songs / Photo By D.Brian Campbell.

Then on Thursday, June 18 from 7 to 9pm, the legendary Buffy Sainte-Marie sits down at the Museum of Dufferin for a chat with culture maven Nanci Malek, the museum’s events co-ordinator. The evening is part of the MoD Talks series. Nanci says she’s keen to tap the motivations behind Sainte-Marie’s remarkable creative journey in the realms of art, music, activism, acting and writing.

“Buffy is an icon of Canadian spirit and pride – a protector of art, community and environment, and someone who speaks from the heart,” says Nanci. “With this special talk we are hoping to be able to look behind the image on the screen and television, to read beyond the book, and to listen beneath the music to truly understand why she is so uniquely special.” Reserve at and

Take a Hike: Spring onto the trails

Is there room on your wall of fame for one more hiking badge? We think so – and spring is the time to get out there and get it. We suggest trying the Pinnacle section of the Grand Valley Trail, which starts just off main street in Alton (we use the map on the Ondago app for this). Or visit the western trailhead of the Oak Ridges Trail in Glen Haffy Conservation Area in Caledon and head east along the Oak Ridges Moraine. Opt for an organized hike or set your own schedule – and earn badges to boot.

And don’t forget to sign up for the Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club End to End – registration begins May 1 for the Thanksgiving weekend event covering the entire 72 kilometres of the Caledon section of the Bruce Trail. In the meantime the Dufferin Hi-Land Bruce Trail Club features a 5K Orienteering Hike in which hikers follow GPS co-ordinates that (should!) lead to different letters secreted away in the forest. For bragging rights, find them all and unscramble the hike’s secret three-word phrase.

Find details at

Write on

Dreaming of writing that novel? Or are you an avid reader looking for fellow bibliophiles? Here’s the latest book buzz.

Headwaters Writers’ Guild meets twice a month on Sundays at the Mill Street branch of Orangeville Library (18+) and will host an Open Mic Night on Thursday, April 30, 6 to 8pm, where you can read your work or listen to local talent read theirs. Or hone your writing voice in a small group with facilitator Carol Good at the Writing Workshop Series at Caledon Library’s Albion Bolton branch on Saturdays, April 18, 25 and May 2, 10:30am to 1pm.

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  • If you’d rather get away to pursue your craft, Write on the French is an idyllic writers’ retreat at the Lodge at Pine Cove on the French River. The annual event is produced by longtime In The Hills contributor Nicola Ross and features pros Marni Jackson and Don Gillmor. Write, paddle and dream, May 8 to May 13.

    Caledon Library’s LGBTQ+ Book Club at the Albion Bolton branch tackles books with LGBTQ+ themes or by authors who identify as LGBTQ+ on Thursdays, March 26, April 23 and May 28 at 7pm (ages 16+). The Orangeville library’s Teen Advisory Group offers community service hours for teens who come and help plan library services and programs at the Mill Street branch Fridays, April 17, May 8 and June 12, 4 to 5:30pm.

    Learn more at

    A photo fix

    How many photos are clogging up your hard drives or hidden in various cloud accounts? Weren’t you going to create fabulous photo books? The struggle is real. Thank goodness for Meg Macintyre of Megabyte Memories Photo Organizing. She’ll gather files, remove duplicates and arrange photos into folders by date, adding metadata (names, activities, places) – among other services. She’ll help with offline photos too. “Photos are part of family history, and now’s the time to scan older ones before they deteriorate,” says Meg. “At the same time, it’s important to organize and ask questions about these photos before the people who know the answers are gone.”    Visit

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  • Save the Date: Celebrate WWI flight history

    The Great War Flying Museum at the Brampton Flight Centre on McLaughlin Rd in Caledon is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year – a great reason to plan a trip. The museum, which showcases a fleet of five historic aircraft, including the Fokker Dr.I, above left, and the Nieuport 28, above right, along with WWI uniforms, mementos and photographs, is open 11am to 4pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, weekends and holidays from May 16 to September 13. Don’t miss the big anniversary celebration on June 21 (Father’s Day) featuring historic aircraft displays, old-timey bands, heritage re-enactors and more. See

    About the Author More by Janice Quirt

    Janice Quirt is a freelance writer who lives in Orangeville.

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