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Centre Wellington chapter joins with allies for Confluence Festival

Photo by Diane Ballantyne

The Council of Canadians Centre Wellington chapter and allies organized a Confluence Festival that took place in Elora yesterday.

The idea behind the festival was to celebrate the communities and environment brought together by the confluence of the Grand and Irvine Rivers. Beyond the chapter, the groups that came together to organize this festival were the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (District 18 Upper Grand), Ontario Streams, the 2Rivers Festival, Save Our Water, Yorklands Green Hub, and Wellington Water Watchers.

The agenda included:

  • Opening ceremony (an Indigenous smudge ceremony)

  • Heritage activities (a costumed historical walk from Victoria Park to Bissell Park)

  • Children’s activities (including rainbow ice cube painting, water relay, wet sponge target practice, and more)

  • Nature activities (including aquatic insect study, introduction to birding, Bluebird box building, trees and tree inventory, and more)

  • Closing ceremony (a traditional round dance and blessings to the four directions)

Yesterday, chapter activist Diane Ballantyne posted on Facebook, “An extraordinary day at the Council of Canadians Confluence Festival today in Elora! Thx to OSSTF for their financial support and to all the volunteers who helped organize, supervise and run the activities.”

As noted on the festival’s website, the idea for it emerged from discussions Bob Giza and Libby Carlaw had “about nature programming for children, water conservation, and shared a vision for a local festival to celebrate the natural heritage of Centre Wellington, provide activities and experiences for people to interact with the natural environment and bring together local and regional organizations involved in environmental activities, and preserving heritage.”

The Confluence Festival website also notes, “The Centre Wellington Chapter of The Council of Canadians took on the task of the main organizing group and thank you Co-chair Diane Ballantyne, and Treasurer Barb Lee and other members for your support.  Norah Chaloner of the Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians and her husband Richard have been a tremendous resource.”

For more about the Confluence Festival, please click here.