Showing posts from May, 2020

$20,000 Injected into Local Businesses to Provide Product Bundles by EDC

Unique initiative provides much needed funds to businesses while also providing local products to residents. From "Quarantine & Chill" to "Pack the Pantry" these bundles of joy from local producers will help you and your loved ones weather the pandemic. Plus, you get a sweet one of a kind #stthomasproud backpack or dufflebag!

This initiative was put together by Sean Dyck (CEO, St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation) and his teams at the Small Business Enterprise Centre and Railway City Tourism in partnership with the St. Thomas Downtown Development Board and Elgin County Economic Development & Tourism.

Everyone pooled their resources and raised upwards of $20,000 to purchase items from local producers during the pandemic in an effort to provide economic help during this time. Folks can buy one of these packages at and have Canada Post deliver it right to their house - contact free!

Mustang Products ( in St…

Wildflowers Farm Market Details - Opening June 5th

This afternoon Grayden had a chat with Jane Magri from Wildflowers Farm to talk about how she and her partner Chuck put together a farm market plan in 48hrs. They did this after hearing on Wednesday that The Horton Farmers' Market would not open for the 2020 market season after St. Thomas City Council voted against the market board's proposed plan and budget on Tuesday night.

The plan Jane and Chuck put together has approval from Southwestern Public Health and the market's opening day is June 5th from 4pm-8pm and will continue on Fridays until Thanksgiving.

Social distancing measures will be in place as well as sanitization processes following the recommended guidelines.

The market will also include food vendors and trucks such as pizza from Elgin Harvest, so visitors can pickup their local produce as well as grab dinner. Visitors will be encouraged to put their orders in ahead of time with the food vendors and that way there will be not wait time when they pickup their meals…

Media Release: Emergency Child Care is Coming to Elgin County

Media Release
May 20, 2020

Emergency Child Care is Coming to Elgin County
ST. THOMAS, ON — The City of St. Thomas-Elgin (the System Service Manager of Child Care and Early Years for the City of St. Thomas and Elgin County) has partnered with Licensed Child Care Providers to support essential service workers with free emergency child care during the pandemic as outlined in the directive from the Government of Ontario.

In consultation with the Southwestern Public Health Unit Medical Officer of Health, the YWCA has been selected to offer care for school age children, and The Early Learning Center Dalewood has been selected to offer care for toddler, preschool and school age care.

Parents/guardians who are eligible for care based on the Province of Ontario List of Eligible for
Emergency Child Care can submit an application for a child care space by:

Downloading the application found on the City of St. Thomas Website and then emailing it to 519-631-9650 …

Horton Farmers' Market Opening Not Approved by City Council on the Basis of Logistics and Costs

City Councillors had a lengthy debate on Tuesday evening while they struggled with the logistics and costs of safely opening the Horton Farmers' Market during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lori Baldwin-Sands, Chair of the Horton Farmer's Market Board of Management as well as a City Councillor, provided a proposed opening plan based on guidelines provided by Southwestern Public Health. Along with the plan which included a site diagram indicating traffic flow and an estimated cost to the city of $7500 to run the market in 2020, with the condition that further expenses may need to come in the form of fencing rental to ensure traffic flow on site, staffing for additional help on market days, and additional janitorial supplies and contracted janitorial services.

When the opening of the Horton Farmers Market went to a vote at St. Thomas City Council yesterday it was not approved. This will no doubt be a big blow to many of the agricultural and food vendors that rely on the Horton Farmers&…

Mysterious Local Chalk Artisan Unmasks!

People have been wondering about the artist behind the beautiful and inspiring works of chalk art that have popping up around the city. You've likely seen them at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH), the St Thomas Fire Department Fire Hall, EMT Stations, Ivegotyourback911MyrtleStreamliners Espresso Bar, or the window at CoField Inc.Well, the talented person behind all of this is none other than our own Lyndsay Collard!

Today Grayden had a quick chat with Lyndsay to see how she came up with the idea (Caremongoring St. T- a community helping eachother COVID-19), what some of her favourite pieces are, and what's next on the horizon for the artwork that is bringing smiles to folks in our community.

Check out the video for all the details!


Thanks to our Patreon Patrons and our show sponsor, Joe Preston & Wendy's, for seeing the value in these stories and supporting us through our Patreon account:

Musician/Photographer John Milles on #ARTsolation Update for Art Beat

Musician and photographer John Milles (John Milles Music | milles’ ARTography) joined Grayden to talk about how COVID-19 has influenced his work on April 13th. They also chatted about how he got into performing as well as photography. During the emergencies measures he came up with a unique way to jam remotely with his buddy Chris Eveland Music.
Also check out the Facebook group that John Milles started for musicians, Ontario Online Music Fest (Covid Quarantunes).
Watch the video for the full story!
Stay tuned for future episodes that will include chats with Angela Elizabeth Marie Hardy, and Laura Woermke Artist.
Connect with John Milles:
Website: Music Instagram: Artography Instagram: John Milles Music on Facebook: Milles' Artography on Facebook:
1. What is #ARTsolation? 2. How can you particip…

United Way Distributes Over $379,000 to Support Community Partners During COVID-19.

Our local branch of the United Way, United Way Elgin Middlesex, has now donated over $379,000 to support community partners during COVID-19 in less than a months time.

Last week Grayden chatted with Kelly Ziegner, CFRE, the Chief Executive Officer at United Way Elgin Middlesex to talk about Rounds 1 & 2 of the funding and how much of that had gone to agencies in Elgin and St. Thomas.

Round 1 & 2 included funding for the West Elgin Community Health Centre ($12,000), the Salvation Army – Community Alternatives for Youth ($6,000), and the YWCA St. Thomas ($20,000).

Round 3 includes funds for YMCA Southwestern Ontario ($7,500), VON Middlesex Elgin ($17,600), and Mennonite Community Services ($14,000).
“People are counting on us right now. These social services are imperative for people to make it through this time, and thanks to the incredible support of the community, we are seeing this happen.”
-Kelly Ziegner, President & CEO, United Way Elgin Middlesex For a full list of t…

Oh My Fur and Whiskers DDB Check-In with Ian Gillespie

Oh My Fur and Whiskers is a pet supply store located on the west side of the city and features pet foods, treats, toys, accessories, and gifts for pet-lovers.

Ian is providing same day service for customers, so even though you can't come into the shop, if you give him a call he'll drop the items off the same day. You can touch base by calling, emailing, or messaging over Facebook and Instagram. Ian says the hardest part of COVID-19 is not being able to see all the dogs anymore.

The silver lining to all of this is that Oh My Fur and Whiskers' social media presence has allowed them to actually connect in with additional clients - because now more than ever, customers are searching online for what they need.


If you are a part of the St. Thomas DDB BIA and would like to chat about what services you have avai…

Why Not Cookies Cafe DDB Business Check-In with Brenda Burge

The Why Not Cookies Cafe has become a downtown staple for healthy lunch options and special treats in 2013. You probably know them for their ice cream emporium (soft serve & Shaw's Ice Cream) as well as their namesake, fresh baked cookies!
Grayden chatted with Brenda from Why Not Cookies this week about how they are pivoting with the new restrictions that COVID-19 has brought into effect. One-day-at-a-time is the new motto as Brenda and her team work hard to provide safe food for their customers. Thankfully, their café has been able to stay open for takeout and they are also able to accommodate walk-ins if you want to pop-in for a bite.
They have all your favourite sandwiches and wraps available, as well as delicious salads. Fresh coffee is always brewing to go with your lunch as well! The only food item that COVID-19 has affected is the soups, but hopefully they will be back soon!
--------------------------- If you are a part of the St. Thomas DDB BIA and would like to chat about…