Category Archives: Recognition

Awards and recognition

Success is in the Wind at BIA National Conference

For Immediate Release: April 16th, 2018

Success is in the Wind at BIA National Conference

It’s highly unlikely that Alexander Stewart realized he was laying the groundwork for an insightful enterprise that would reinforce the growth of a community. After all, it was 1862 and he was building a traditional, timber-frame barn on his property just north of Brussels, Ontario.

Leap forward 156 years, and thanks to the innovative passion of developer, Bryan Morton, a local businessman, Stewart’s beautiful heritage structure has become a vital keystone in the renewal of this historic downtown.

The significant impact that the Brussels Four Winds Wedding & Event Barn has made upon the community since its opening is remarkable. And as a result, the initiative has been recognized with the prestigious Bricks and Mortar Award at the 2018 National Business Improvement Area Conference held in Collingwood this week.

Introducing a typically rural structure to the core of a village takes some visionary skills. “I have a great fondness for timber-frame barns”, says Morton. “When I was farming, I was too busy to participate in the community, but now it is time to give back.”Morton began conceiving his idea in 2014 to craft a rustic, yet elegant venue available to the public for hosting celebrations and gatherings. The structure was donated by Herman Terpstra and piece-by-piece, the old barn was disassembled, transported and rebuilt on new foundations adjacent to the restored and expanded Brussels Carnegie Library.

And as of April 2018, over 60 weddings and events have been booked with more anticipated; inquiries are already being entertained into 2021.

The barn will also become home to Fresh Petals, a new flower shop, which will reside in the ‘stone house’ portion and the local Farmers’ Market will be housed in the lower level of the building, allowing its season to extend from 5 months to year-round. Barbara Terpstra and Kathy Stephenson, members of Morton’s “Dream-Team” will preside over both.

This win is the sixth OBIAA award for the Municipality of Huron East, and Economic Development Officer Jan Hawley acknowledges that it takes a team to make this kind of change.

“All levels of community need to get behind the project, which was evident in Brussels”, says Hawley. “After years of building a foundation for the revitalization of the village core, this investment is providing the catalyst for growth and property improvement for our quaint, historic community……and the rest is history, so to speak.”

Congratulations to the Morton Family and their dedicated and passionate team.

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For more information contact: Jan Hawley, Economic Development Officer – Municipality of Huron East 519.527.0160 x5

What’s in store for Rural Ontario’s future?

The FUTURE continues to shine brightly for the Village of Brussels for 2018.

Municipality of Huron East, Huron County 

Huron East’s Economic Development Officer and Community Futures Huron volunteer, Jan Hawley is smiling a lot these days—for many reasons.  Following three successful “Win This Space” competitions and the Municipality of Huron East’s immensely positive presence at the recent International Plowing Match, the Village of Brussels continues on an upswing with another new business arriving in town with the promise of more to come.

“This federally-funded program has had a presence in Huron East for nearly a quarter of a century through the Community Futures offices of the Huron Business Development Corporation in Downtown Seaforth”, Hawley reports. “However, when the board made a decision to move its offices last year, it triggered an extensive search throughout Huron County for the newly branded “Community Futures Huron” with the location landing in Downtown Brussels.” says Hawley, “And I couldn’t be happier.”

“Momentum is building in the village,” she goes on, “with several additions to its business district—the opening of new ventures Fresh Petals, JD & Companythe Federal Development Community Futures operation, as well as the opening of the unique multi-faceted site, Brussels Four Winds Wedding & Event Barn later this spring.  Additional people living and working in a community are always good for business, and with new enterprise comes renovated and upgraded storefronts.”

Community Futures Huron Staff

(L to R) Natasha Mahon, Heather Little, Paul Nichol, Brenda McGregor, Lisa Houthuyzen

Tina Heathers

Community Futures Huron General Manager Paul Nichol is also looking forward to moving the office and staff to Brussels and to providing the usual excellent assistance entrepreneurs have come to expect.  “In addition to business growth and community revitalization,” states Nichol, “we’ll be focusing on management advice and mentoring to owners, provision of commercial loans, and support to local economic development projects.  We have a new name and a new location, but we’ll continue to offer the same valuable service we have for 25 years.”

Community Futures Huron is particularly excited about a new undertaking—the restoration of two historic mills,” he goes on, “one at Gorrie and the other being Logan’s Mill in Brussels.”

“We’re working with the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority on these projects, which will involve renovation and re-purposing of the mill sites, two of only four remaining of the 68 mills once located along the Maitland River.”

The Management Board of Brussels’ Medical-Dental Centre is particularly happy about soon having the remaining half of the centre’s upper floor occupied and to be welcoming new people to the village’s workforce.  Board Chair Mary Stretton foresees positive spin-offs for the village from the Community Futures relocation, which she is pleased to announce completely fills the centre.

And as of January 2018, Barb Terpstra, proprietor of Fresh Petals, will be offering original and traditional floral bouquets and arrangements, not only for weddings booked at the Four Winds Wedding & Event Barnbut also for locals, who wish to brighten someone’s day.

Jackie deWit, winner of the 3rd annual Huron East Win This Space competition and her JD & Company has already settled into her newly renovated storefront and is now offering village and area residents with exceptional non-toxic household products and commodities by bringing her ‘green’ business to main street Brussels.

“Brussels is booming” saga continues!

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Written by Carolyn Parks Mintz for the Municipality of Huron East

 

 

Contact: Jan Hawley  Economic Development Officer                           

Municipality of Huron East ~ Seaforth, Ontario

Officer: 519.527.0160 Cell: 519.525.7677

jhawley@huroneast.com 

Picture perfect…..

Life’s Precious Moments

7 Halifax Street, Vanastra, Ontario N0M 1L0  ●  Telephone (519) 440-1537

The Village of Vanastra gains momentum as another business opens its doors.

Diane Proper’s photography has come a long way.  From kitten photos she took as a child with a small plastic camera to on-site innovative shoots and the studio she recently opened, this lifelong photographer has pursued her love of the lens and all it can create.

In 2009, her photo venture (and adventure) was established as a mobile business and by 2017, it had grown to needing a dedicated space that would accommodate the varied tastes of her clients.  Whether it be for a newborn baby, a beloved pet, a happy family, or an anniversary couple, Diane develops a setting that fits. 

And this dedicated photog is sure to capture the essence of that extra-special event—your wedding day, with all its happiness, its remarkable moments.  And wedding packages include an engagement shoot.

Getting to know her pictorial subjects beforehand allows Diane to make the most of time with the bride and groom, to recognize what works for them, and to match their personalities to the finished product.  It’s all about advance planning, even for the photographer.


Life’s Precious Moments is also able to provide photo restoration.  Those old pictures which have faded or lost their depth can be expertly restored either in black and white or sepia.  Diane’s deft touch with computer software brings those photos into focus again, gives them new life that evokes memories of the past and renews the warm smiles of loved ones.

In addition, her studio regularly hosts exceptional photo events, such as pet day and kids costume picture parties.  Diane can produce slide shows, collages, and offers business services as well.

In addition to all of the above, it is the mission of Life’s Precious Moments to provide high quality personal service at affordable prices.

A wonderful opportunity to not only record today, but also to leave behind photographic memoirs for the future!

For more information contact: Jan Hawley, Economic Development Officer – Municipality of Huron East 519.527.0160

Written for the Municipality of Huron East by: Carolyn Parks Mintz,

Photography by: Diane Proper – Follow on Facebook @ Lifes Precious Moments