Author Archives: Janet Iles

Harbourfest 2018 at the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre


Please join us on the west side of the Owen Sound harbour on Saturday, July 14, as we take part in Harbourfest.

The past few years, CWHC has held the Waterfront Festival but this year we are participating in the Harbourfest being held a week later.  The City has activities on the east harbour from 11 am to 10 pm.

CWHC will be open extended hours today: 10 am to 7 pm, with lots of family-friendly activities. The planned activities will be from 11 to 2.

Community Waterfront Heritage Centre  (CWHC) (Staff and Volunteers)

Under the pop-up canopy on the platform, CWHC volunteers will have

  • quilt raffle tickets for sale ($2.00 each)
  • ice-cream sandwiches ($2.00 each)
  • water ($2.00 a bottle).

This is also your chance to buy your tickets for the bus trip on September 29 that includes the 90 minute train trip on the Central Waterloo Railway. 

Be sure to visit the museum to see our featured exhibit for 2018: “Fish Tales” and the children’s activity table. Check out the discovery drawers.

What is Happening 

Model rail layouts will be here from Grey Roots Museum and the Canadian Association of Railway Modellers (CARM).

Best Practice Arts is thrilled to host “Family Fun” demos and workshops throughout the day. Timed special presentations will be from from 11 am – 2 pm, and local groups offering come & go activities starting at 10 am.

11 am: Grey Bruce International Folk Dancers 
12 noon: Dance Improv Workshop (all ages) presented by Owen Sound Dance Academy 
12:45pm: Activities with Debbie Val from At Last Forest School 
1:15pm: Waterfront Family Jam with Lauren Best 
1:40pm: Grey Bruce Friends and Neighbours (FAN) Club puppet show presented by CMHAGB

Lauren Best, 2018 Poet Laureate for Owen Sound, will be hosting children’s activities and ‘poetry smash‘. Lauren will be joined by participates from the Owen Sound Library, the Owen Sound Multicultural Arts & Craft Collective, and the Mental Health Association, who will be doing a range of children’s activities, such as songs, crafts, and puppet shows.

The Sydenham Sportsmen will have a ‘fish pond’ game for kids.

Also joining us onsite are Billy Bishop Museum, Reach, Pottawatomi Spinners & Weavers, and Grey Roots.

Rob Cotton: If you haven’t yet picked up a copy of his book,  Owen Sound Harbour: A Photographic History, he will be joining us at the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre. ($35.00)

On the Water

The Coast Guard will be in the harbour, moored on the west side and you will be able to offer tours of the vessel (while moored only).

There will be some tugs in the harbour.
You can watch the tug-of-war matches from the west side of the harbour. 1 p.m.

There may also be a few surprises.

Please join us for this fun day.



Cancelled: Explore Tobermory – Wednesday, June 27, 2018 — Bus Trip

8:30 am   Gather at Community Waterfront Heritage Centre, 1155 1st Avenue West, Owen Sound. Doors open. Bus loading. 56 passenger highway coach with washroom & AC.
8:45 am All passengers on board bus
9:00 am Bus departs Owen Sound for Tobermory
10:30 am  Arrive at the Bruce Peninsula National Park Visitor Centre. Explore the Visitor Centre, visit the shops, have lunch in the village
1:45 pm Gather at the “Blue Heron Tours” dock
2:00 pm Heritage Walking Tour of Little Tub Harbour departs
3:45 pm Begin boarding bus for return to Owen Sound
4:00 pm Bus departs Tobermory for Owen Sound
5:30 pm Arrive in Owen Sound, at CWHC 



Includes transportation by highway coach to and from Owen Sound, admission to the Bruce Peninsula National Park, and a guided Heritage Walking Tour of Little Tub Harbour.

For more information call 519-371-3333 or email


Annual Meeting – Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Please join the Board of Directors of the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre as we celebrate CWHC’s 5th anniversary. We will honour three of our members with life memberships: Scott Cameron, Ann Kelly and Ross Kentner. 

During the business portion of the Annual General Meeting, members will receive the reports and financial statements and elect new members to the Board of Directors. There will be an opportunity to join or renew your membership before the meeting begins. 

The Guest Speaker is Eric Conroy. His illustrated talk is “A Seed in Owen Sound Built Confederation”. 

Everyone is welcome to attend the Annual General Meeting on board the Chi-Cheemaun on Tuesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. sharp. Parking in parking lots on 1st Avenue West.

For more information contact the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre at OR 519-371-3333.


Fish Artifacts at the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre in Owen Sound

By Wendy Tomlinson, Curator/Manager

These taxidermy mounts are of a German Brown Trout, Large Mouth Black Bass, and a Northern Pike. They were all caught in the Grey Bruce area, in the late 1920s. The (female) Brown Trout weighed two pounds, eight ounces, and was seventeen inches long when caught. This mount features a small donors’ plaque listing the donor as the Owen Sound Chamber of Commerce. The large mouth bass weighed three pounds and was eighteen inches long when caught at Chesley Lake by George W. Williams using ‘bait’. Using a trolling rig, the pike was also caught by George W. Williams, in Chesley Lake in 1926. The pike is thirty-three inches long and weighed eight pounds when caught. While it is not known who the taxidermy artist was that created these specimens, they were most probably produced locally, and feature matching glass and oak cases. The fish are in good condition, but have discoloured somewhat, over the years. These specimens make a wonderful addition to the CWHC collection and will be featured in the 2018 summer exhibit, as they are a great example of sport fish that were commonly caught during that period in Grey Bruce.

Taxidermy is the art of preparing, stuffing, mounting and displaying the skins of animals, especially vertebrates. Preserving animal skins is a practice from ancient times and embalmed animals have been found with Egyptian mummies, and throughout many cultures around the world. In the 18th century, hunters began bringing their trophies to upholstery shops, where the upholsterers would stuff tanned animal skins with rags, straw and clay. Eventually more sophisticated lightweight wire frames, wrapped in cotton, supported the sewn skins and advances in preservation techniques produced more lifelike results. The Great Exhibition in London in 1851 included a large display of mounted birds by famed English ornithologist John Hancock, which garnered enormous interest and contributed greatly to the popularity of taxidermy during the Victorian era, when no parlour was complete without taxidermy décor.

 Since then, preservation techniques have greatly improved, allowing for better quality mounts using less toxic materials; however, the traditional method of retaining the original skull and leg bones of a specimen and using them as the basis for a mannequin made of wood continues. Modern taxidermists work with polyester resin, fibreglass cloth, manufactured Styrofoam mounts, factory produced glass eyes, artificial teeth, tongues, claws, beaks and legs are commonly used. Today, creating a trophy mount need not involve preserving the actual body of the animal. Instead, detailed photos and measurements are taken so that the taxidermist can create an exact replica in resin. The benefit of this is that no animals are killed in the process and this has somewhat helped take the pressure off endangered and protected species. In the world of ‘catch & release’ sport fishing, this is a prevalent option.

This article was first published in the September 2017 issue of The Grey County Historian.

Fish Tales Logo Exhibit 2018