Living North of 7

Bancroft, one of the most beautiful and most talented areas!


Bancroft is having an election (a real one)!

bancroft-ontario-crestThat’s right folks we are having an election now as I have been informed that two new candidates are throwing their hats into the ring. Barry McGibbon has already filed in Dungannon Ward and another will file this morning in Bancroft from my understanding. This has taken us from an acclamation to an election.

What does this mean for us? We have been given a democratic right to make a choice … before it was just status quo. Now we have an opportunity for change (that is if you want change). The Town of Bancroft has had its challenges to say the least for a few years now and maybe just maybe having new blood will bring new perspectives, new skill sets to the table which I feel that would be beneficial to our community.

Like the rest of you, I will need to listen and hear what all candidates have to say. I do not know them (although have met a couple of them briefly at town functions) except for one incumbent with whom I had the pleasure of working alongside with regards to our public transit system the TROUT.

For a list of the present candidates click here

We have been handed a real opportunity here and I hope that all members of the community will take the time to first get the information you need to make an informed decision and secondly VOTE.

The deadline to file is Friday and who knows maybe we will get another surprise candidate.

Urban Girl xoxo

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Bancroft sees stars at North of 7 Film Fest

Just as our neighbours to the south line-up to watch celebrities walk the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Bancroft is preparing for its own set of stars to arrive at the Village Playhouse with the launch of the 2014/2015 North of 7 Film Fest on September 9.

Our Bancroft-based monthly film program is run in partnership with TIFF and it offers some of the best independent films that run through TIFF each year. And with all proceeds from our festival going to support Hospice North Hastings, the sponsors, supporters and movie-goers are some of the biggest stars we know.

This year our festival is excited to welcome 50 new film patrons who have been awarded free passes through a generous grant from New Horizons for Seniors. The new program awarded free passes to older adults in the community as a way to recognize their efforts in community engagement, volunteerism and in their ability to make this the best community anywhere. These 50 pass holders are the true stars of our region and we look forward to seeing them at each of our ten films this season.

Launching on September 9 with screenings at 4:15 and 7pm, audiences can expect some down-home belly laughs with our first feature, “The Grand Seduction.” This bright comedy tells a conspiratorial tale that any North Hastings residents will be able to relate to. In order to secure a vital factory contract, the residents of a small Newfoundland fishing village need to charm a big-city doctor into becoming the town’s full-time physician.

The North of 7 Film Festival continues the season in October with “Le Weekend,” and then in November with “The Lunchbox.”

The North of 7 Film Fest is operated in partnership with TIFF’s Film Circuit program and while our fall line-up has already been booked, Hospice Coordinator and North of 7 Film Fest programmer Heather Brough will be watching the response to this year’s TIFF offerings to help with film choices for winter and spring 2015.

Regular full season passes are now on sale at the Hospice North Hastings office or they can be purchased at the first screening. The full season passes are $90 and give you access to ten films. To show our gratitude, an additional single-film pass is also included so that patrons can bring a friend to a screening.

Catch “The Grand Seduction,” starring Gordon Pinsent, Mark Critch, Cathy Jones, Mary Walsh and Peter Keleghan on September 9 at 4:15 and 7pm. Tickets are $10 at the door or at This is an age of majority event.


For additional details:

Barbara Shaw


Media passes are available.








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Fundraisers get competitive for Hospice North Hastings

The Fall Hike for Hospice is still a month away but thanks to some amazing incentives like two tickets to anywhere WestJet flies, fundraisers are out early securing pledges. The Hike will be hosted by the Bancroft Golf Course on Sunday October 5 but for Betty Pilgrim, Leena Minne and Jeff Anderson, that’s hardly enough time to get ready.

Hospice Coordinator Heather Brough and summer student Carly Smalczewski collect donations for the Hike for Hospice at the Bancroft Farmers’ Market on August 22. For a $5 donation supporters received a free coffee, donated by Tim Hortons, a lavender shortbread and a reusable cup holder.

Hospice Coordinator Heather Brough and summer student Carly Smalczewski collect donations for the Hike for Hospice at the Bancroft Farmers’ Market on August 22. For a $5 donation supporters received a free coffee, donated by Tim Hortons, a lavender shortbread and a reusable cup holder.

Betty Pilgrim was one of the original three who got Hospice North Hastings up and running but that’s not the only reason why she’s out collecting pledges.

“October 5 is my 80th Birthday,” Pilgrim says. “I saw that date and I thought – that is really trying to tell me something.”

Pilgrim told her husband about the hike and he pledged $50 dollars. When her son found out, he threw in $51 dollars.

“I’ve been volunteering my whole life,” Pilgrim says. “You just have to help others and I’ve done cancer work for 40 years but this is important. Hospice is important.”

Pilgrim walks every day for 70 minutes so the hike through the golf course doesn’t seem like a big deal and she’s happily collecting her pledges all around the Bancroft area.

“People look at me like I’m a dollar sign,” Pilgrim laughs. “I want to raise $1,000 dollars – I’d like to make $2,000 even!”

And while Pilgrim has been raising funds for charity for years, Leena Minnie thinks she can give Pilgrim some great competition. A PSW for the local Red Cross, Minnie spends many of her days supporting those in the community who need special medical care.

“I know the success of the work we do,” Minnie says. “This hike is about supporting people but also making sure that the Hospice R and R program for caregivers can continue. We know the caregivers need a break so they can do the work they do. We are just so blessed to have Hospice North Hastings and the programs it offers in the community.”

Minnie also says the Hike is a great event to be at. There’s a beautiful walk with amazing fall colours and the Chili Fest is not to be missed.

“This hike is about togetherness,” Minnie says. “It’s about comfort and joy and it’s a day to get away from grief.”

After losing his mother in June, Jeff Anderson is looking forward to a break from the grief and he’s happy to be participating in the Hike for Hospice. Anderson wants to show his support for the services Hospice North Hastings provided to his family while his mother was ill.

“My mother was at Hospice House North Hastings and the level of care that she received was amazing,” Anderson says. “The caring and compassion that was given to my entire family will never be forgotten. Hospice House North Hastings is just like being at home, but with unlimited, exceptional care that we as families just cannot provide to our loved ones in their time of need. It a service that the people of the North Hastings should be very happy that they have. That’s why I’m hiking.”

The Hike for Hospice will be hosted by the Bancroft Golf Course on Sunday October 5 starting with registration at 3pm. Those who collect $1,000 in pledges will be entered to win two tickets to anywhere WestJet flies. Chili Fest runs after the Hike at 5pm and everyone is invited. Pledge forms are available at Hospice North Hastings.

Hospice North Hastings provides free services to North Hastings residents through their medical equipment loan program, a lending library, through the R and R program for caregivers and through our unique rural residential Hospice programming.

Hospice Coordinator Heather Brough and summer student Carly Smalczewski collect donations for the Hike for Hospice at the Bancroft Farmers’ Market on August 22. For a $5 donation supporters received a free coffee, donated by Tim Hortons, a lavender shortbread and a reusable cup holder.



For additional details:

Barbara Shaw


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Hike, feast and fundraise for Hospice North Hastings

HospiceNothHastings logoPledge sheets are ready for the annual Hike for Hospice and it’s worth collecting sponsorship early. The annual event brings together those who like to hike with those who like to eat and this year Hospice North Hastings also invites those who like to travel.

The hike happens on Sunday Oct. 5 at the beautiful Bancroft Golf Course. Registration and warm-up starts at 3pm and the walk, ride or run through the golf course gets going at 3:30pm. Don’t forget you can actually bring your dog on this Hike!!

This year, as a way of recognizing outstanding fundraisers, WestJet has partnered with Hospice North Hastings to provide the gift of flight. Anyone who raises $1,000 or more for the Hike for Hospice will be entered in a draw to win two tickets to anywhere WestJet flies. This is a great reason to grab your pledge sheet and start collecting sponsorship early. There will also be great prizes for the best team and more.

The hike is a great community event. Tim Hortons coffee will be available this year along with a delicious selection of cookies to keep the hikers moving. In partnership with Tim Hortons, Hospice North Hastings is offering reusable cup holders that fit a Timmy’s cup perfectly.

Hikers will certainly work-up an appetite while enjoying the beautiful fall colours and that appetite will come in handy for the Chili Fest that starts at 5pm.Bancroft_course_photo

Chili Fest is open to anyone – not just hikers. We’re offering over 15 varieties of chili and some other delicious surprises for those who want to share some hearty food with others from the community. The cost of Chili Fest for those not doing the Hike is $10.

The Hike for Hospice is an incredibly important fundraiser for Hospice North Hastings. Our unique rural, residential hospice provides end of life care to those in need as well as providing support for family members. We provide care in the community or in our two-bed Hospice House. Our program receives no health care dollars and fundraising makes it possible to deliver programming and services to North Hastings residents free of charge.

Hospice North Hastings also operates a medical equipment loan program that provides things like canes, crutches, bath seats, commode chairs and walkers on a short term basis, again, free of charge. Hospice staff clean, repair and maintain all the equipment.

Hospice North Hastings also operates the popular R&R Support program for those that caregivers and clients that need a break. The program runs once a week and offers yoga, reiki, relaxation, massage, art therapy and lunch. Fundraising dollars pay for this program so that there is no charge to the participants.

The Hike for Hospice offers an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and share a meal with others in the community and fits into our desire to add life to our days. Your participation provides support for others who are in need.

The Hike for Hospice will be at the Bancroft Golf Course on Sunday Oct. 5 with registration and warm-up at 3pm. Registration is $10 for adults and $5 for kids under 13 years of age. Chili Fest starts at 5pm and costs $10.

Pledge sheets are available now at the Hospice North Hastings Office at 27 Bridge Street East between 9am and 3pm Monday through Friday.


For additional details:

Barbara Shaw 



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What happens when you mix a Chamber, a Legion and toss in an Ambush?

You get one heck of a good time that was had by all who attended. I was a little taken back that there wasn’t as many as I expected but that didn’t deter any of us from having a phenomenal night.

Ambush has been delivering a brand of high-octane country music (their words)  since 1993. The trio of Mark McDonell, Riq Turner, and Tom VanCoughnett put on a high energy show for those there and had us all on the dance floor most of the night at the Bancroft Legion. Check out their video and see what you missed.



Mike Daly from the Bancroft & District Chamber of Commerce was an absolutely amazing host and I just wanted to give the Chamber a thank-you for booking this band.

Urban Girl AmbushA final shout out to Steve their roadie who went out of his way to get my now new favorite hat.

Urban Girl xoxo


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Foodland and Schneider’s sponsor hotdogs for Hospice

In four hours on July 26 Bancroft Foodland and Schneider’s helped raise $859 for Hospice North Hastings by selling hotdogs from the Schneider’s truck. Hospice Coordinator Heather Brough and volunteer Bev Rollins were at the BBQ and thrilled by the support.

In four hours on July 26 Bancroft Foodland and Schneider’s helped raise $859 for Hospice North Hastings by selling hotdogs from the Schneider’s truck. Hospice Coordinator Heather Brough and volunteer Bev Rollins were at the BBQ and thrilled by the support.

Bancroft loves Schneider’s hotdogs. In four hours a small BBQ truck from Schneider’s sold a ton of hotdogs for Hospice North Hastings and Hospice coordinator Heather Brough is thrilled with the results.

“We were overwhelmed by the support from all of the shoppers who came by to grab a bite and talk about our programs and services,” said Brough. “We also go to chat with cottagers who were amazed that North Hastings has its own residential hospice.”

The fundraiser was generously organized by new Bancroft Foodland owners Carole and Joe Favot.

The couple moved to Bancroft from Kirkland Lake and have been keeping busy since taking over the 24-hour grocery store on June 8.

“We love it here,” said Carole Favot. “This town is awesome and we’re just happy we could help Hospice North Hastings.”

And with Schneider’s, Bancroft Foodland, Heather Brough and Hospice North Hastings volunteer Bev Rollins selling hotdogs in the busy Foodland parking lot on Saturday July 26, the results were outstanding.

In four hours a staggering $859 was raised.

“We are thrilled,” Brough said after the BBQ. “This was a great event and we thank everyone that was involved.”


For additional details:

Barbara Shaw

Plan B Communications Consulting



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Movie Night for Seniors Program

Seniors are knowMovie Night for Seniors (front)n for the countless hours they spend volunteering and supporting people and programs in our community. Support matters and for those community champions who give so much to others, Hospice North Hastings would like to help you take some time for yourself – at least once a month.

The Movie Night for Seniors Program is a small but important step to help remind those who give, to also receive support from time to time.

This is where Hospice North Hastingsthe North of 7 Film Fest and New Horizons for Seniors would like to help.

Art and culture has a restorative effect so be our guest and enjoy the long list of exceptional films at the North of 7 Film Fest in Bancroft with your free Movie Night for Seniors film pass.

To get your pass drop us a line before August 8 and let us know how you help others in the community. Or, if you know of a senior in our community, nominate someone who deserves a break as a reward for helping others. We’ll pick 10 seniors to receive a free pass and share their stories on our website and through social media. Please share your story or nominate a senior by emailing or by posting to our Hospice North Hastings or North of 7 Film Fest Facebook pages. You can even drop a note in the mail. Read More

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Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone

jane2Having Jane Bunnett back on the Arlington stage makes it seem more like summer. Her light laugh and diminutive form – she’s looking a bit thin after so much touring – is not at all representative of how she fills a space with music that gets under your skin.

Jane Bunnett is our musical sunshine and this year the Order of Canada recipient is back in Maynooth with five brilliant young protégés and the music is better than ever before.

Jane’s new collaboration involves a collective of all-star Cuban musicians. Jane holds her spacte at centre stage and is supported by a foundation of five brilliant women. The flow of enrgy between these women is remarkable. They communicate intuitively and they tease out notes and rhythms. The music is both sultry and smart – these women know how to tease a crowd. Get More

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Urban Girl: Mayor Jenkins “Forded” at Bridge St. Grand Opening

As I walked home I was chuckling to myself as Mayor Bernice Jenkins had just been “Forded” by an older adult regarding what was going to happen to our public transit system the TROUT. I have to give it to the Mayor Jenkins as she responded eloquently and appeased the community member.

The question still remain to what exactly is going to happen to our very unique public transit system.

But to the real reason we were there, the grand opening of our new bridge. I for one am ecstatic that it was completed on time as Station Hill was getting to be a pain…literally. Being a walker that shops daily for supplies … going the long way home was becoming a pet peeve.

Mayor Jenkins opened the ceremony thanking the contractor, and the Engineering Firm ,Project Manager, Town Staff and the Manager of Public Works…yes kudos all around.

Even though the bridge was closed new ideas came from it. Bancroft now has a defined “Theatre District” thanks to the hard work and creativity of Barb Shaw. Barb had been hired as the Event Co-ordinator that pulled together different weekend events to keep the customer traffic flowing in the area.

All said and done…great job by some very great individuals that came together to keep our community growing.

My own shout out to our community media who do the “real” reporting…Hughie, Louie and Dewey ( said with the greatest respect).

Urban Girl xoxo







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Urban Girl: Katie’s Run Epilepsy Fundraiser tomorrow in Haliburton

Katie’s Run a fundraiser for epilepsy is taking place tomorrow at Sir Sam’s Ski & Bike in Haliburton, Ontario.

The original inspiration was  Katie Woudstra  (read her story here). But I think we all at one point in time have met, have family who are living with epilepsy and all its challenges.

Katie’s Run raises funds to continue with research with the ultimate goal of everyone being able to live seizure-free.

Take a moment and watch the video and if you have an extra bit of cash you can just go to the site and donate online.