It Has to Be You, Almonte!
Valley Players Seek Input on Upcoming Shows - theHumm January 2024

It Has to Be You, Almonte!
Valley Players Seek Input on Upcoming Shows - theHumm January 2024

By Sarah Hegger

Established in 1983, and subsequently on hiatus since 2014, the Valley Players Almonte relaunched in December 2023 with a production of It Had to Be You. The new board was enthusiastically welcomed by the outgoing board in the President’s Report (November 2022) by former president Fraser Scantlebury, who wrote: “It is with great pleasure that I am able to report that the Valley Players of Almonte is returning to an active role in our community, through the dedicated efforts of a group of enthusiastic community and theatrical volunteers!”

With a rich and deep artistic heritage, the return of theatre to the Almonte community appeared to be a natural fit. As a group of volunteers we were, and still are, keen to engage the Almonte community around theatre and re-establish the Valley Players within Almonte. 

We would like to acknowledge both the Municipality of Mississippi Mills who provided a grant to assist with production costs, and the ongoing support of this publication (theHumm). We thank Tim Horton’s Almonte, Milanos Pizza Almonte, and Jonsson’s Independent Grocer for their donations in kind. We would also like to thank the local volunteers who came out to assist: Irina Shevchenko, Wendy Lee, Jenn Kelly and Brian McManus.

The reality is that a community theatre needs to be sustained by the community within which it operates, and that has to be you — the community of “the little Hollywood North”.

We are reaching out to Almonte around the future of the Valley Players. We are looking for proposals to stage an all-Almonte production. Our initial plan was to stage two to three high-quality productions a year. If you have an idea, and an interest in seeing theatre remain in Almonte, we’d love to hear from you. Please reach out via or via email to and let us know the direction you would like to take. 

Feedback from the small but enthusiastic audience who attended It Had to Be You indicates that the show was well received. We continue to believe there is a future for community theatre in Almonte, and place that future in your hands. The next Valley Players production should be developed, resourced and staged by the Almonte community with the support of the board. Over to you, Almonte!


Linda Standing — Canada’s Emerging Folk Artist - theHumm January 2024

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

Linda Standing is truly outstanding in her field. She is a folk artist in the truest sense of the word. Her website says it best: “I am a traditional, self-taught folk artist. I paint everyday life of pioneer ancestors and country folk.” She paints straight from the heart, as she has done since she was a child living in tough circumstances, finding solace in imagining and portraying “the serenity and beauty of the countryside, with people......


The Mudds Youth Present Oliver Jr - theHumm January 2024

By Nancy Keech

“Consider yourself” invited! The Mississippi Mudds Youth are excited to present this year’s production of Oliver Jr at the Carleton Place Town Hall. This timeless musical, based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel Oliver Twist, promises to captivate audiences of all ages with its heartwarming story, memorable characters and show-stopping musical numbers.

We had almost 70 youth audition this year and have a fabulous cast of 35 between the ages of 7 and 17 ready to entertain you. From the innocent and ......


Road Warrior: Jack de Keyzer - theHumm January 2024

By Seamus Cowan

Acclaimed guitarist, singer, songwriter, band leader and producer Jack de Keyzer rarely sits still. With 12 records, 1 DVD, 2 JUNOs and 7 Maple Blues Awards, de Keyzer delivers the goods wherever and whenever he plays. He has performed with the likes of Bob Dylan, Etta James, Otis Rush, John Hammond Jr., Ronnie Hawkins, Duke Robillard, Ronnie Hawkins, Bo Diddley and Blue Rodeo. He usually plays over 100 shows a year, and his music is steeped in Chicago blues, London England blues rock, Detroit ......


Sleuth: Let the Mind Games Begin! - theHumm January 2024

By Ben Bennett

Sleuth, which tells the story of an older man who seeks revenge on his wife’s lover and the fun and games that follow, opens at the Studio Theatre in February.

Set in the English stately home of celebrated mystery writer and games enthusiast Andrew Wyke, the plot follows his plan to lure his wife Marguerite’s paramour into a trap… and the battle of wits that results. It’s an ingenious story, with more twists and turns than a country road.

Andrew invites the younger man, Milo Tind......


Quiet On the Set!
Mississippi Mills Film Society Winter Screenings
- theHumm January 2024

By Glenda Jones

Did you see To Kill a Tiger when the Mississippi Mills Film Society screened it in November? If so, you’re on the inside track to know it has been nominated for an Oscar! That’s evidence of the quality of movies the Film Society is acquiring for their monthly Sunday afternoon showings. There are more to come in the next three months — films that will amuse, interest and educate.

In February, the Society will chase the winter blues away with the poignant sci-fi fantasy Jules — a film that is touching, funny, and a tribute to feisty old age. How can it miss when it stars Ben Kingsley? ......


The Grand Author Takeover - theHumm January 2024

By John Pigeau

It all started with a video chat.

Author Sarren Scribner was chatting with three friends — Elisabeth Garner, Kimberly M. Ringer, and Tara Tappin, also independent authors — when they had a big idea. Basically, to create an event connecting authors and readers.

Then things sort of escalated, Scribner says.

“What started as a wild idea tossed out during a video chat has now developed into an author panel and a two-day international signing event connecting over thirty authors, cov......


See How They Run
Fast-Paced February Farce at The Station Theatre
- theHumm January 2024

Philip King’s See How They Run is the first play in the Smiths Falls Community Theatre’s 2024 season. This comedy is set in the idyllic village of Merton-cum-Middlewick, England, during the 1940s. It’s World War II, and the inhabitants are preparing themselves for the imminent threat of Nazi invasion. Making light of a terrible situation, the play opened during the war and, according to Wikipedia: “The West End opening night was not without its perils. Three ‘doodle-bugs’ ......


Call to Artists - theHumm January 2024

Arts Carleton Place (ACP) is looking for 45-50 talented artists for their Fine Art Show & Sale, taking place on May 4 and 5. This will be a juried show, and will predominantly showcase wall art (oil, acrylic, aquarelle, charcoal, fibre, mixed media, watercolour, pencil art, photography, etc.). Other forms of fine art will also be considered, including pottery, glass art, jewellery, sculptures, metal and woodwork.

The decision of the judges is final, and a waiting list may be compiled. Some of the judging criteria may include visual appeal, originality, creativity, use of medium, ......


Toller Cranston: Ice, Paint, Passion - theHumm January 2024

By Kris Riendeau

In the realm of figure skating and artistic expression, Toller Cranston stands as a Canadian icon whose accomplishments have left an enduring mark on the world of sports and art. Renowned for his revolutionary style on the ice and his artistic pursuits beyond the rink, the news of his sudden death in Mexico at age sixty-five came as a shock to fans from Canada and around the world. In her new biography Toller Cranston: Ice, Paint, Passion, his sister Phillippa Cranston Baran has crafted “a ce......


Orion Presents Jesus Christ Superstar
A Fundraiser for The Canadian Cancer Society
- theHumm January 2024

It’s been ten years since Heidi Stepanek and Peter Dixon staged their last Orion Theatre Company production, Les Misérables, and now they are storming back on the scene with the show that shook the theatre world over fifty years ago with its first rock opera.

Orion Theatre Company started out in 2003 with a production of Rocky Horror Show — an event that is still talked about by those who were there. A semi-professional community theatre company that specializes in intimate pro......


Back Forty Winterland - theHumm January 2024

Looking for a great place to gather, explore and celebrate on the upcoming Family Day weekend? Come out to Winterland, taking place on Saturday, February 17 from 11am to 5pm at Back Forty Artisan Cheese! This unique and beautiful venue has become a favourite destination for those seeking great cheese, food, drinks and the outdoors. Head up to the farm in Mississippi Station to enjoy a fun-filled day of winter activities. After exploring the Back Forty, relax around the bonfire ......


Folkus FeaturesLocal Lights in February - theHumm January 2024

By Sandy Irvin

Although the January Folkus show featuring Tom Wilson and our March show featuring The Once have sold out, tickets are still available for our remaining shows!

On February 24, Nathan Sloniowski will be joined by musical friends for the release of his latest album, thE lost LOve letteR to a smAll town.

Nathan tells us he first entered a music studio at the age of 16, guitar in hand, for a punk project inspired by an obscure Irish poet. His mission? To create and perform original music. ......


Frequent Flyer at the Hardware Store - theHumm January 2024

By Glenda Jones

Just when I think all my ducks are in a row, something in this house will need fixing. I’m really good at taking things apart, but sometimes putting them back together defeats me. That’s when I reluctantly have to call my ever-so-helpful neighbour who never “tsk tsks” but can always remedy the situation.

However, nothing gets done until I’ve made the trip to Home Hardware. I love going to the hardware store. I may not know exactly what I need, but the staff always finds me the exact right thing. I ......


Come “TRI” With Us - theHumm January 2024

By Catherine Cosstick

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to take other people out for rides in a bicycle built for three? Wonder no more; it’s possible, it’s fun, and if you can pedal a bicycle you can probably operate a Cycling Without Age trishaw.

Cycling Without Age started in Denmark and came to Lanark County in 2019. Under the leadership of Treff Peters, trained volunteers started taking seniors for (free) trishaw rides in Smith Falls and Carleton Place. The Trans Canada Trail, local parks, and ......


Making Energy While the Sun Shines
Mississippi Mills Considers a Utility-Scale Battery Storage Plant
- theHumm January 2024

By Susan Brandum and Rick Edwards

These are exciting times in Mississippi Mills and Lanark County! On January 30, the township will hold a public meeting to hear comments on a proposal to build a utility-scale electricity battery storage system on Hwy 29.

“Huh?” I hear you say. “What’s that?”

It’s part of the transition to a green energy world.

Simply put, renewables like solar energy are fabulous. But it’s true that they work best while the sun shines. In fact, they work so well when the sun shines that they produce lots of power. (Spain produced half of its power from solar last year!)

We’re no laggards......


Unbridled Futurism!
Sci-Fi Comedy Rock Show Lands in Smiths Falls
- theHumm January 2024

Captain Nick Di Gaetano takes the stage on January 21 at Bowie’s in Smiths Falls with his Sci-Fi Comedy Rock Show “Unbridled Futurism” — and a dire warning for humanity!

Hailing from an advanced parallel Earth, Captain Nick is the ?rst human being to travel at the speed of light from the only Earth that has ever managed to do so. He’s kind of a big deal.

After an accident while travelling at light speed, he’s been condemned to phase uncontrollably between realities. Pursued by an int......


Frost & Fire Winter Festival
Returning to Perth on Family Day Weekend!
- theHumm January 2024

Perth Tourism is pleased to present the return of the Frost & Fire Winter Festival, taking place on Saturday, February 17 as part of Family Day Weekend.

Back for another year, this full-day family-friendly event will provide visitors with an array of activities geared towards all ages. Experiences will be taking place throughout Perth, both indoors and outdoors.

Enjoy public skating at the arena, take part in outdoor laser tag, or team up with friends or family f......


But I Only Wanted Five! - theHumm January 2024

By David Hinks

My dear wife has been limited in her mobility since a hip replacement in early December (and yes, she is recovering extremely well, thank you); however, it means that I have now assumed the role of hunter/gatherer. On a recent foray to our local food emporium, I was instructed to bring home cat food (as the chipmunks are now safely ensconced underground).

Imagine my confusion when I found the price on the shelf for seven tins was $7.70. In very small print the price per ......


The Art House Music Series
A Fusion of Art and Music at the CP Gallery
- theHumm January 2024

The Carleton Place Gallery has quickly become a jewel in the crown of Bridge Street since opening its doors in August 2023. It is also about to become a destination for local music lovers through a new partnership with musicians Mel and Don Bray. The first day they stepped into the gallery they noted the wonderful acoustics paired with a visual feast for the eyes. They knew this could be the perfect place for a fusion of the arts!

This pair of local singer/songwriters had......


PDCF Gives the Most Grants Ever! - theHumm January 2024

The Perth and District Community Foundation (PDCF) saw a 50% increase in the number of funding applications received last fall for their Community Grants Program. This February, 22 organizations will receive a total of $146,619. This is the most projects funded and the highest dollar amount of Community Grants ever given by PDCF.

For the first time, PDCF is funding local organizations that are not registered charities. The federal government changed granting......


Twin Feathers Studio
Make 2024 Your Most Creative Year Yet!
- theHumm January 2024

By Vanessa Uschy Coplan 

In 2020 my partner and I moved to Almonte from Ottawa. In 2023 Twin Feathers Studio was born; a creative space to make, play and completely embrace the creative process. This studio space has been built for creatives of all types who want to engage in artistic expression and skill building, and have fun making stuff!

As an art teacher and practicing artist, one of my favourite things in life is to support creative projects and people. I love to pass on artistic knowledge and practices that I have foun......


Come Carve with Us! - theHumm January 2024

By John Peters

After years of searching for a home for group carving during and after the Covid need for isolation, the local carving group The Mississippi Wood Carvers are once again able to use the Wellness Room at Orchard View on the Mississippi (OVM).

There we gather on Tuesday afternoons from 1–3pm to share ideas and learn from one-another. Residents of OVM are welcome to drop in and watch or join the group, learn a few carving skills and produce the occasional masterpiece. In addition to enjoying time together, over the last couple of years the Mississippi Wood Carvers have produced over 100 c......


Get Cozy with Literature
Almonte Readers & Writers Winter Program
- theHumm January 2024

Calling all literature lovers and story creators! Almonte Readers & Writers (ARW) is excited to announce a roster of community events and educational opportunities for the months of January, February and March.

These new programs offer great opportunities for writers to get feedback on their work and grow their network. ARW’s Creative Director Jessie Carson says: “writing, like reading, is often thought of as a solitary pursuit. But to become better writers or broaden our literary ho......


Animal Communication — They Talk Too! - theHumm January 2024

By Julie Oliveira

Have you ever wondered what your pet is thinking and feeling? You catch them staring intently at you and you think, “If only you could talk…” Well, they can and do, in their own way, and animal communication is a powerful tool to truly hear what they have to say.

It all started with a pig on a tiny island in the Azores. I was three years old and engaging in a spirited conversation with this pig on my grandparents’ farm. A few years later, I remember distinctly receiving comfort......


It Has to Be You, Almonte!
Valley Players Seek Input on Upcoming Shows
- theHumm January 2024

By Sarah Hegger

Established in 1983, and subsequently on hiatus since 2014, the Valley Players Almonte relaunched in December 2023 with a production of It Had to Be You. The new board was enthusiastically welcomed by the outgoing board in the President’s Report (November 2022) by former president Fraser Scantlebury, who wrote: “It is with great pleasure that I am able to report that the Valley Players of Almonte is returning to an active role in our community, through the dedicated efforts of a group of enthusiastic community and theatrical volunteers!”

With a rich and deep artistic heritage, the ret......


Exhibit by Robert Tombs at the MVTM
- theHumm January 2024

Join the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum (MVTM) on Saturday, February 3 from 2–4pm for the opening of Factory by Robert Tombs. The exhibit will be on display until April 13.

Robert Tombs is a conceptual painter who considers paint’s physicality and behaviour itself to be the narrative, rather than strictly a medium to illustrate other things. This core belief has informed Factory — a series of works representing experiments in painted installation, includin......


A Trio of Shows at Sivarulrasa Gallery   - theHumm January 2024

Beginning on February 9, Almonte’s Sivarulrasa Gallery will present three new exhibitions that will run through to March 15. Everyone is welcome to attend the combined Artists Reception on Saturday, February 10 from 2–4pm.

Marina Raike: Rising Sky will run in Gallery I. This solo exhibition features new paintings by the Almonte-based artist, exploring the grace of ravens and crows she has observed in her surroundings. “Ravens and crows are the embodiment of magic and wi......


Greening Your Home
How to Save Money and Help the Planet
- theHumm January 2024

The Carleton Place Environmental Advisory Committee (CPEAC) presents “Greening Your Home: How to save money and help the planet”. Come learn about heat pumps, home energy audits and retrofits, and how to get rebates from the experts on Wednesday, February 21 from 7–8:30pm in the Bob Rintoul Hall at the Carleton Place Arena. There will be presenters from the EnviroCentre (Ottawa), Climate Network Lanark, and local HVAC specialists Comfort Pro. Admission is free but pre-registration is required. Regi......


An Artistic Legacy
4As Thank Outgoing President Laurel Cook
- theHumm January 2024

By Kathryn Stevens

Known for her enthusiasm, leadership, passion, and last but certainly not least for her artistic abilities, Laurel Cook recently stepped down as the president of the Almonte and Area Artists Association. The 4As (as the organization is known) wish to recognize and thank Laurel for all her years of devotion to promoting and building the community art group, and for her enduring energy for public art.

The 4A’s main show is Art in the......


Keep the Fun Going this Winter at MERA - theHumm January 2024

This winter, MERA (McDonalds Corners/Elphin Recreation & Arts) has plenty of fun activities for all ages. Come out to the Schoolhouse in McDonalds Corners to stay connected to your community.

The MERA Fibre Arts group is now meeting on Tuesday evenings from 6–8pm. If you have a project on the go, bring it and share what you are doing. Want to learn how to knit, crochet, rug hook, embroider or spin fibre? They can help you out! The kettle is always on and snacks may show up now and then. All are welcome to be part of this wonderful group of creative people. Email Michele at


100 Acts of Kindness by the Lawyers of Lanark County - theHumm January 2024

By Holly Agnew

A man walks past a tombstone. It reads, ‘Here lies Martin. A lawyer and an honest man.’ The man chuckles to himself. “They have three people buried in one grave?”

It’s fun to pick on lawyers. A quick Google search produces hundreds of good lawyer jokes, about how they charge too much or how they take too long to finish a file. Or worse yet — how they lie for a living. Even Shakespeare seemingly got into the act when the character “Dick the Butcher” declares in Henry VI: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

Did even Shakespeare hate lawyers?


Heyday at The Cove - theHumm January 2024

On Friday, February 9, jazz fans from near and far will want to be at The Cove Inn in Westport to catch bassist RJ LeBlanc playing from his latest album Heyday. He will be joined by Erika Angell on voice, Jérôme Beaulieu on keyboards, Kevin Warren on drums and Nicolas Ferron on guitar, and the show will also feature alto saxophonist Allison Au.

Montreal-based Rémi-Jean (RJ) LeBlanc has been active on the Canadian music scene since 2005 and has collaborated with an array of musicians in M......


Local Land Trust Receives Fantastic Christmas Gift! - theHumm January 2024

Not everyone can say they received a new property for Christmas, but such was the case for the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) this holiday season.

In late November 2023, Kay Cartwright approached MMLT with a vision to protect her 256-acre property in Frontenac County from future development. Kay came to the right place; land trusts like MMLT work on behalf of the people and communities in the region to preserve ecologically valuable areas for the long term. Fueled ......


It’s Never Too Late - theHumm January 2024

By Steve Stresman

Lou Beaudoin, now 95, enjoys life with family, friends and his beloved model aircraft. A resident of Almonte, he has family close by, friends that visit often, and he tries to get out as much as possible to fly his remote-control aircraft both outdoors at the local flying field in the summer, and at the local indoor soccer field in the winter. His smaller aircraft are used indoors, and the larger ones are for outdoor use, with some of the larger ones having a FPV (first person view) set up. This allows......