A Huge Family Of Peterborough Sicilians Are In Sicily Right Now For Joe & Sam Ferreri

Joe Ferreri came to Canada in 1952 from the small town of Santa Ninfa, Sicily in Italy. His brother Sam arrived three years later in 1955. Both became iconic barbers in the Peterborough area—Joe becoming a household name in Lakefield, Sam in nearby Bridgenorth.

The brothers have both returned on separate occasions to visit their hometown once, but never together. Until now, that is. Both are in Santa Ninfa for a visit and have had a beautiful community welcome. It's turned into a huge Peterborough Sicilian reunion party, with 22 people travelling there from the area to join them. 

Sam and Joe together in Sicily (the picture in back is their grandfather Giuseppe Ferreri)

Sam and Joe together in Sicily (the picture in back is their grandfather Giuseppe Ferreri)

The Peterborough contingent includes the likes of Michelle Ferreri and her husband Adriano (he now runs the barbershop in Bridgenorth that his Uncle Sam had, and Adriano's brother Phil runs the Lakefield one that their dad Joe had); Silvia Ferreri from Pensieri Shoes in downtown Peterborough; Anna Lisa Ferreri from the Pasta Shop on Sherbrooke St., and many more.

Group shot in Sicily

Group shot in Sicily

There is singing and dancing and a great feast is happening at a restaurant in Santa Ninfa called Castillo Di Rampinzeri as the family tells stories and reminisces...

Adriano digs into a delicious pizza

Adriano digs into a delicious pizza

And, of course, there is ocean time with Grandpa Ferreri and the grandchildren...

Life is a beautiful journey and Joe and Sam Ferreri embody that.

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A Peterborough Family Ran Into Justin Trudeau And His Family While Hiking Lusk Cave Near Ottawa

A Peterborough Family Ran Into Justin Trudeau And His Family While Hiking Lusk Cave Near Ottawa

You never know who you'll see on vacation...

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Impact: TMAC Travel Conference Put Peterborough & Kawarthas On Map Across Canada

The June 2015 Travel Media Association of Canada Conference & AGM showcased Peterborough and the Kawarthas to hundreds of travel industry professionals from around the planet—and now the numbers are in to show the impact it has had on the region.

According to a Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism release, the economic impact of the conference was $575,000. In addition, the value of the media coverage earned has the region’s destination marketing organization particularly pleased—since June, the region has received 46 external media coverages valued at $588,000 and growing.

And the momentum continues...

“We currently have 54 qualified media leads as a result of hosting the conference, a high number compared to the 10-15 we average in a typical year," says Fiona Dawson, Director of Tourism for Peterborough Economid Development. "We’re answering calls from media outlets on a frequent basis now."

Of the 211 delegates that visited the region, 96 of them were media—representing the highest media turn-out that the association has seen in recent years.

“With our close proximity to Toronto and Ottawa, we were an easy choice for media travelling from all over Canada," says Dawson. "Peterborough & the Kawarthas offered media plenty of opportunities to discover new things and to leave with new story ideas."

To date, media coverage of the region as a result of hosting TMAC spans from large 2-3 page features in Canadian Cycling Magazine, West Jet Magazine and the Travel Section of the Toronto Star (including a feature on the new Star Touch App), to medium-sized articles in papers and magazines across Canada—as well as dozens of digital stories ranging from Buzzfeed Canada to personal travel blogs and websites.

Also, the power of social media was demontrated as there were 1.3 million Twitter impressions generated for the conference to the hashtag #TMACPtbo.

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Peterborough Man Leaving To Visit Refugee Camp In Jordan, Writes Eloquent Facebook Post

Peterborough community ambassador Michael VanDerHerberg—who works at the New Canadians Centre and co-owns Silver Bean Café with his wife Andrea—is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. He leaves for Jordan, an Arab nation on the east bank of the Jordan River, on Sunday (December 27th).

Jordan, which borders Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine, is now home to more than one million Syrian refugees fleeing their war torn country. VanDerHerberg wants to view firsthand a refugee camp there: the living conditions, meet some of the families, see what can be done as the world deals with these deepening crisis.

VanHerHerberg pictured with one of his two children.

VanHerHerberg pictured with one of his two children.

VanDerHerberg, who plans to post dispatches and photos from Jordan on social media, wrote an eloquent Facebook post about what this journey means to him—and how he thinks he has found his calling sotospeak. Here is an excerpt below...

Image via  Unhcr.org

Image via Unhcr.org

"I'll be staying with a friend, Faris Khoury, and he'll be my guide while in the great Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. I intend to visit a refugee camp while I am there, connecting with a UNHCR office, and working through some other connections to refugee-serving organizations in Amman, the capital city.

I have been involved in the refugee industry for about ten years now, and what began as a keen interest has now turned into a career of sorts with the New Canadians Centre (NCC) here in Peterborough. Andrea's [his wife] grandfather, who did the administrative work to sponsor 600+ refugees from around the world to come to Canada, taught me how to do this work before he passed a few years ago.

I began attending conferences and consultations with the Canadian Council for Refugees / Conseil canadien pour les réfugiés (CCR) and learned much more about what the work they and hundreds of other organizations across the country were doing to facilitate more and better private and government sponsorships, inland protection for refugee claimants, and overseas protection for those still in camps. They do incredible work. I encourage you to check out http://ccrweb.ca/ to learn more if you are interested.

I was then hired at the NCC as an Employment Counsellor and I worked my way into the role of Employment Services Coordinator over the years. While I still attended CCR conferences, served refugees through my role at NCC, and was involved in various local sponsorships, my involvement in private sponsorships became less and less leading into 2015.

Image via  Unhcr.org

Image via Unhcr.org

After a year parental leave, a season at the Silver Bean, and with a keen interest in consulting work, I took a position with Jonathan Bennett at Laridae Communications in March of this year serving the non-profit sector with strategy, projects, and business systems. Very engaging work. Great employer.

In late September, I received an email from a Sponsorship Agreement Holder, the larger organization through which I would have submitted private sponsorship applications, that a family whose application we submitted in 2010 was being called in for an interview. The only catch was that we had to submit all of the paperwork over again. All of it. This equates to about 40 pages per person and a family of four. 160. And, we thought their chances of acceptance were low because of some circumstances. To cut to the quick, we did it, they had the interview, and they were accepted. Hallelujah.

It floored me to realize that I was feeling pulled back into the refugee work and quickly. While working at Laridae, I started volunteering with Tamara offering workshops, attending forums, and jumping back in, head first, into the refugee world. I'm not sure if any of you ever feel 'calling', or vocation. I mentioned to Andrea weeks into this that I was feeling pulled back into this work. If you allow me to be a bit foolish and spiritual for a second, I have learned not to resist these feelings.

How does a young man, with all the privilege in the world, come to feel drawn to working with refugees? Yes, it is a desire to serve in a way that I feel that I can be effective; I won't deny it. It has also been born out of relationship, connections with real people, discovering that who we didn't previously know is often just like us with the same hopes and dreams. I may be nobody to you, and that's fine, but if you fear the other, then I would encourage you to make room, with a thousand steps, to receiving others into your life. For this I thank the TISA - Trent International Students' Association, the Trent International Program, the NCC, the local chapter of WUSC, the Rotary clubs here in Peterborough, the thousands of tourists I have met at our cafe, to those that we've hosted for dinner, to those that we have hosted in our home, and to those that have hosted me in their home on the other side of the world.

So, I'm back at the NCC. Laridae was very gracious to give me up for a bit, understanding that I was becoming much too distracted in it all to actually do both. And I've been hired, alongside Tamara Hoogerdyk, to be a Refugee Resettlement Coordinator, working with sponsoring groups that are assisting privately sponsored refugees as well as building good systems to possibly receive government assisted refugees in Peterborough.

If you're the praying sort, please do pray for me while I travel and while I'm there. Godspeed, as it were."

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Amazing Late 1940s Footage Of Chemong Lake "Floating Causeway"

Before the Causeway was completed in 1949, there was a floating bridge—aka "Floating Causeway"—connecting Bridgenorth to Ennismore for many years.

It must have been like driving on water, or car surfing, or driving on a dock—especially when waves would come crashing over it.

Watch this amazing footage below from Roy Studios in the late '40s from a promotional film called Call of the Kawarthas showing the Chemong Lake floating bridge in use...

Here is a short bit of film from 'Call of the Kawarthas', a promotional film made by Roy Studios in the late 1940's. It shows the Chemong Lake floating bridge in use.

Posted by Vintage Peterborough, Lindsay and the Kawartha Region on Thursday, March 7, 2013

So let's just never complain about the Causeway again.

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Charter Flights Announced To Kentucky, Nashville, New Orleans & Boston Out Of Peterborough Airport

Stewart Tours has announced the launch of their 2016 Peterborough Charter departures out of Peterborough Airport.

The destinations and dates are as follows...

Kentucky Derby -> May 5th-8th, 2016
Nashville -> May 12th-15th, 2016
New Orleans -> June 2016
Boston -> October 13th-16th, 2016

For more information or to book, contact Stewart Tours at 705.743.8683.

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Look At Stunning Photos Of A Peterborough Couple's Elopement In Morocco

Peterborough couple Kymberlie Dozois and Geoff Ludgate eloped to Morocco for their magical wedding on March 21st.

The couple decided to have wedding photos taken in Ouarzazate followed by an exchange of vows and rings up in the Atlas mountains.

The results are nothing less than stunning. Check out some of the beautiful pictures from the wedding day shoot below by photographers Hugh Whitaker and Jennifer Moher.

To view more of Hugh and Jennifer's photos of the elopement, click here.

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Watch This Stunning Aerial Footage Of Bridgenorth & Chemong Lake

The dynamic duo of Tim Rollwagen and Mark Nelsons behind the amazing videos of Lakefield—click here—and Peterborough—click here—are back with this beauty footage of Bridgenorth and Chemong Lake.

Have a watch...

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Here Is Totally Awesome Aerial Footage Of Lakefield In Fall

Tim Rollwagen and Mark Nelsons captured this stunning footage of the beautiful village of Lakefield near Peterborough using Mark's drone camera.

Have a look for yourself below of Lakefield in all its autumn splendour (you even get to listen to Mumford & Sons as you watch)...

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Upcoming 2014 B!ke Cycle Touring Workshops In Peterborough

B!ke: The Peterborough Community Cycling Hub (336 Rubidge Street) is hosting a three part Cycle Touring Workshop series. 

The workshops will be held on Sundays once per month from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. The cost per workshop is $15 for members, $20 for non-members, or $40 for the series. You can register in advance via email as space is highly limited.

Your Body - April 27th - Guest Instructor - Kieran Andrews

When you plan to spend so much time in the saddle, getting a good fit is of utmost importance! Kieran will share his expertise on bike fit and set up; how you can prepare your body for touring; and talk about what to expect when you get into the saddle for the long haul. 

Your Stuff - May 25th - Guest Instructor - Marilyn Freeman

Marilyn has toured extensively and is excited to provide participants with a hands-on exploration of how to handle your stuff while on tour. Join her during this session to learn what is the "yard sale"? How do you pack your panniers? What to bring and what not to bring?

Your Route - May 24th - Guest Instructor - Thom Willington

During his six month trip across the Middle East, Thom learned a lot about picking a good route. Join him for this session to learn about the many resources available to you while you decide where to ride and where to stay. From short local tours to long distance international ones, many of the same considerations apply.

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]

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