A personal view of Knowlton, Quebec, the Eastern Townships most beautiful village.

Good Samaritan Rescues Dog From Attack
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Dog attacks are rare but owners need to be careful with breeds known for aggressive behavior! Certain breeds should be banned according to some.A Sunday stroll for an elderly Knowlton couple turned into nightmare as a loose dog attacked the couple who were walking their small little dog on Knowlton Road. The couple were near the corner of Knowlton Road and Victoria, walking their little doggy on a leash when, according to witnesses, the savage attack dog snuck up behind them and lunged at the wee dog clamping down firmly with ferocious force on the poor frightened dog.

The elderly couple were literally helpless as the dog, some sort of bully mix breed known for aggressiveness, tossed their helpless pet dog between locked jaws intent on killing! The elderly gentleman, trying to protect his pet at all costs grabbed the attacking bully around the ribcage to try and persuade this beast to release the whimpering little dog and indeed this is what happened but now the man himself was bitten by the attacking demon!

A passing resident saw the commotion and heard the whimpering of the wee injured puppy mixed with the yells of the elderly folks who found themselves in a terrible fright. This good Samaritan, without heed for his own safety, intervened by grabbing a large stick and hitting the bulldog hard!

These sorts of dogs are known for their ruthlessness and even a sharp blow didn't deter the raging dog who was now clamping his jaws back into the helpless injured dog! The fellow with the stick hit the dog again harder but still without result! Then, from a nearby house ran a man who apparently was the guardian of the dog (the owners didn't seem to be about and had seemingly engaged this chap to look after this beast!) and he held the attacking dog while the elderly couple tried to free their pet from the grasp of those sharp fangs to no avail.

The good Samaritan then warned the dogs guardian that he was going to start really hitting the dog's caretaker said to go ahead as there seemed no other choice to prevent this dog from continuing his damage on the small pet dog. And so he began smacking the bully dog on the head and the snout attempting to convince the dog to let go!

To make matters worse, at this point, an onlooker approached and saw a man beating a dog with a stick and started screaming at the Samaritan to stop! She yelled he was a crazy cruel man! The elderly couple tried to explain that they were trying to save their loving pet but this person seemed unable to grasp this and continued yelling to stop hurting the bulldog adding more chaos to the sad event!

When finally the savage attack was over the elderly gentleman had a bitten hand and held his poor pet doggy in his arms and they both trembled. His wife then explained how she was not so much worried about their pet dog but more about her husband who had undergone open heart surgery only a week before. The couple limped away back home alone with their injured dog held in their arms, whimpering.

That's as much as we know about this event...did the dog survive the attack? Did anyone file a formal complaint against the dog who savagely and ruthlessly pounced on the pet dog?

Such acts of violence are sickening and it is unbelievable that such dogs are even allowed to be bred; many provinces and states actually ban the ownership of such dogs so to see one such dog running loose in our town is shocking!

We don't advocate profiling with dog owners but why wouldn't someone want a cute little poodle instead of a jaw locking monster?There are small children and many elderly people in the area who have pets and suddenly they may all be in danger of attack. We can only hope that something will be done about this dog before another attack takes place.

A recent survey of the scene proved that finding the dog wasn't difficult; one only had to stop and listen for the incessant barking to be able to pinpoint the culprit. Hopefully the authorities will be notified of this attack by the victims and the dog who is responsible for this savage attack will be put down.

What do you think? Visit the DK Forum and talk about it!

Maybe Drivers Should Go Back To School
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These reflective orange cones and bright signs should make it clear that we need to be carefull and offer the right of way.It seems every year there needs to be reminders for drivers on our roads that when September comes the kiddies are back in school and we need to be extra careful with the youngsters running about often not looking where they are going. It is up to drivers to pay attention where they are driving and to obey the rules of the road but often, in our busy world, we tend to not think enough! Our children are back in school but sometimes it looks like drivers in Knowlton need to be sent to the Principal's office for a good old fashioned lashing!

Today I watched as the bright yellow school bus rumbled to a stop on Knowlton Road and began letting kids out after school. I could barely believe my eyes when a car when roaring past the school bus! Even with the swing-out stop sign and flashing red lights this complete idiot risked the lives of children and sped past the school bus! My blood literally ran cold at the thought of what could have happened! I imagine the kids who had gotten off the bus were a bit shaken as well...but the incident didn't finish there!

The driver of the car who had sped past the bus backed-up his car sharply and pulled alongside the school bus and began screaming at the bus driver! Goodness gracious a person has to be completely inebriated to pull such a reckless move. And while the school bus was full of kids this driver began hurling insults and very loud screams at the bus driver! The children must have been petrified to be subject to such an event taking place between two adults engaged in such senseless violence! What an example for our children.

Are these people drunk behind the wheel at 3:30 in the afternoon to be so disregarding of traffic laws? I hope the bus driver or someone had the presence of mind to get the idiots license plate number as that infraction warrants a sever fine, demerit points and if I were in charge they would be flogged publicly in front of the Mill Pond.

But wait...we've also heard stories of bus drivers in Knowlton arriving at a four way stop with other vehicles and just cutting other drivers off taking the right of way as if it were their right because they were in a yellow submarine! Jumping jalapenos! Even a school bus driver should be expected to follow the fundamental rules of the road shouldn't they? With over sized vehicles and trucks constantly careening through the streets of Lac Brome on weekdays as if they owned the streets and were above the law it is surprising that there have not been more accidents. It appears the police are unwilling to focus any attention on the free-for-all attitude on our streets as large semi-trailers come into town at high speed grinding their engine brakes clearly double the speed limit and then these gargantuan machines muscle their way through Knowlton's narrow streets daring any pedestrian or personal vehicle to mess with them!

But I don't want to stray off topic; I am talking today about dangerous and blatant vehicular safety violations and not the inevitable traffic congestion that we see more and more of due to the growth of Lac Brome.

Last week as I drove through Knowlton I came to the crosswalk in front of the Post Office and an elderly woman stepped into the crosswalk so naturally I came to a stop since she had the right of way. Would you believe that the person behind my car began honking at me! I waited for the woman to get across the road and then drove forward to the stop sign and this dolt pulled past me without stopping and was actually yelling and waving his fist at me! What a display of sheer mental defectiveness!

Those crosswalks are there for a reason and in most provinces in Canada people stop courteously and allow pedestrians to cross but here even a young mother pushing a stroller won't even get a brake if she's waiting to cross!

The daycare near the new Knowlton Center sees a lot of traffic that takes Victoria Street for granted that it is a residential area with pedestrians. I have been driving past the Rona coming into Lac Brome where the speed limit is 70 km/h and reducing to 50 km/h and been passed by a car; not only was I passed but the car in front of me was passed by some twit crossing a solid yellow line while both of us were doing the speed limit! Passing two cars is beyond illegal it enters into the realm of utter stupidity! I followed the car; wanting to get a license plate number as I suspected it was likely some Montreal driver who was just acting like Knowlton was a city suburb but the car actually pulled into a residence on Benoit street! So someone speeding, passing two cars in a no passing zone, is doing so within 2 km of their home? Don't statistics say this is where most accidents occur?

I've driven on Lakeside towards Knowlton and had people pull out of their winding, gated driveways and proceed to pass me on the winding road! I was doing 10 km/h over the 50km/h speed limit and they flew past me! I sped up to clock their speed and they entered past the yacht club and into Knowlton at a whopping 90 km/h!

And this is only another event in a long list of events showcasing the moronic driving attitudes of so many people in our province and this town.

I've been walking to the IGA and seen one of these weekend warriors on their motorbikes literally do a wheelie from the Centre D'electronique all the way to Stone Haven on Knowlton Road! Riding at such high speeds on one wheel on a super powered bike in an area where women and children walk is insane! Of course we all know that every summer weekend Knowlton is polluted with loud motorbikes that destroy the peace and quiet of our town and seeing groups of what some people call "Village People Wannabees" romping around in leather chaps with outrageously noisy motorcycles travelling in packs is enough to cause most people to wonder if Quebec is the one place where kitschy cross-dressing and delinquent environmental disruption is completely acceptable. Many states in the USA or progressive town councils have "Clean Air Acts" and noise bylaws which strictly enforce decibel limitations...it seems here it is anything goes including speeding, trick driving and ignoring safety to the detriment of public safety!

Most speed limits are considered a laughing matter these days and the school zone in front of Edwards school on Knowlton Road has got to be the most ignored speed limit in the Eastern Townships! The limit is 30 km/h during weekdays during the posted hours but who hasn't seen large trucks, motorcycles, pick-ups and sedans catapulting through the school zone during recess at over 70 km/h? Try going 30 km/h in that zone and you're likely to have some half-wit honking behind you or passing you!

We all have seen examples of such poor driving all over Knowlton; of course it happens everywhere but let's hope that we don't have to experience a tragedy before we get serious about bad drivers. It would be nice to see the local police being more aggressive against the bad drivers in Lac Brome; goodness it would be like shooting fish in a barrel if they gave out tickets in the school zone!

Comments on the drivers in our area can be made by going to the DK forum

Last Spring we were talking about the loud motorbikes in Knowlton.

The trucks through downtown Lac Brome have caused concern before.

Technically Teknika is Taking Too Long
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Are we getting taken for a ride?Last year Brome Lake announced that an engineering firm would be given the task of creating a plan to deal with Lake Brome. The plan was to be released in early Spring but the study never appeared. Instead Teknika made media appearances saying the plan was being written and would be available in the first week of September. Well we're now nearing the end of September and the action plan is missing in action.

Teknika HBA was given a mandate, and, apparently, over $150,000 dollars of our tax money, to create an action plan for dealing with Brome Lake and the annual problems of blue green algae that close the lake to the detriment of businesses in the area who depend on tourism as a major source of income.

When the Town announced last year that the comprehensive report would be created by Teknika, a long time partner in designing and implementing engineering projects in Lac Brome and other municipalities in Quebec, people were at least heartened to know that at least something was going to be done.

Of course it could be argued that doing reports and studies is somewhat of an old-school type approach of dealing with a problem by not really dealing with the problem. Some folks in town are grumbling that this is just plain old politics and proceeding with an expensive study with Teknika is just a way to get tax dollars back into the old boys network. Guffaws erupted when Teknika released a separate report on motor boats early this Summer that actually used references from a newspaper story available on the Internet, not exactly a scientific source, leading some incredulous residents to ask themselves how people can let the wool toques get pulled so far over their eyes by this company of so-called "experts".

Now as we wait for this new "action plan" some people are wondering what exactly we're in for. One thing for certain this report is way overdue making some people believe that this is turning into a much more costly undertaking along the same way as many tax funded projects start costing more and more and we all know that just like the Olympic Stadium, once projects get started they are rarely stopped for any reason.

I'm not sure about you but if my boss asks me to do something within a certain time-frame and within a certain budget and I don't come through I should expect to be fired. But as some cynics love to point out, in this case Teknika can drag their heels as much as they want, who would fire them? Whenever tax dollars are involved you can be sure that someone is looking for a way to get more; look at the Sponsorship scandals and how a lot of firms got juicy contracts and certain "friends" enjoyed the steady flow of tax money. Of course no-one is suggesting this sort of political favoritism is happening here but citizens and taxpayers have a right to know when this report is going to be presented! The delays keep coming and we are supposed to sit by and just nod our heads and say "whatever" as if our elected officials can do whatever they want with our tax money and our future?

Troubling also to some people is the fact that in 2001 the Quebec Government actually published an "action plan" regarding concrete measures that needed to be taken to save Brome Lake with the warning that it was critical to start now (2001) because improvements would take up to 7 years. Looking over the published data it seems that many of the recommendations were ignored by Towns around the lake yet now the approach is to do another study...and this study by Teknika HBA is now officially MIA!

Just heat and serve? Yuck! Something needs to be done!The media spent the summer making blue green algae a front page sensational story and even the latest edition of the Brome COunty News shows an unflattering picture of the sick Lake Waterloo with a cheeky cut line relating to the fall colors of Autumn! Ouch! The media has made this issue the flavor of the week and stories and photos of closed lakes have been popular all season.

Our own Town has been featured many times doing press conferences where the mayor and the representative from Teknika appeared together in solidarity to underline their commitment to action and results. Perfect! The Town announced an action plan in June. That's what we want to see but so far we have only witnessed the progress on an artificial reef of golf balls being constructed in Brome Lake as the main inspiration of the town seems to be holding a series of pay-to-hit-the-mayor golf ball target practices on the shores of Brome Lake.

Some rabble rousers have posed the question: Won't a rapid influx of golf balls in the lake cause disruption of the sediments that could release algae causing nutrients? We're not sure but some scallywags have suggested that perhaps the Teknika report will actually include regular "golf ball interaction" with the lake's thermocline to help dissipate the phosphate conditions that lead to blue green algae.

But let's try and put the hypothesis and nonsense aside for a moment. Yesterday, Line "The Pihrana" Beauchamp, Quebec's environment minister, announced a 35 step plan for dealing with blue green algae and environmental issues that have plagued our lakes. So if the government released guidelines and plans over 5 years ago and then this week announced plans on how millions would be spent on dealing with the problems in our lakes how is it acceptable that we would give a tidy little gift of $150,000 to an engineering firm who specializes in old-school concrete environments to develop an action plan for our lake?

If detergents are the problem then perhaps we need some phosphate free dishwashers!Isn't the government already doing the action plan, beyond what they did over 5 years ago? Now, Line "The Pihrana" Beauchamp seems to be biting full-on into the problem so where is Teknika with our report and with our money? Some people at the gas pump say that Teknika was waiting for the Government to release their plan so they could ensure that the plan they were preparing jived with the gist of the government line.

This summer the government said we had to close Brome Lake and then we found out that we closed the lake for no reason. The Town said we had no choice, and that even though they knew things were ok with the lake, they had to do what the government says. So why, some folks ask, do we toss a few hundred thousand dollars to a firm to do an action plan if in the end the Liberal Quebec government really decides what goes?

Word on the street is that we will be seeing a big press release shortly from Teknika HBA and Town of Brome Lake now that the Provincial Government has started laying out remediation plans for Quebec lakes and the new $150,000 action-plan will parallel many of the suggested government actions. And if not, there are those who say that the recommendations in the Teknika report will simply require further studies and further tax funding to come up with a plan that could be similar to doing road repairs; do it right like in Ontario and it will last for 20 years or do it like in Quebec and you will create 20 years of jobs for repairmen.

The Quebec Government, no matter how deeply you hold them in contempt, have at least been able to deliver their reports in a timely matter. As for Teknika...this is another delay that many people feel is proof that someone made a very bad decision with our money.

What do you think about the Town of Brome Lake Action Plan and the Teknika HBA report that has not yet been delivered? Visit the DK Forum!

This isn't the first time DK has discussed Teknika. Visit our previous opinionated posts:

June 2007: Teknika report delayed yet again
April 2007: Is Teknika missing the boat
February 2007: Action plan or fantasy land

Three Knowlton Businesses Reach Finals
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Knowlton is beyond beauty...it is a vibrant village full of talent and creative people and an eccentric collection of businesses and innovative enterprises!Proof that the business community of Lac Brome continues to shine in the Brome-Missisquoi area came this week as it was announced that three of our local independent businesses had been nominated for awards at the 2007 Gala of Excellence put on by the Cowansville & Region Chamber of Commerce (Chambre De Commerce De Cowansville et Region). The event allows all businesses throughout the entire Brome-Missisquoi area to vye for awards of commercial and public distinction in twelve categories and with over 20 towns and thousands of businesses competing we can be proud that three of the nominations for the October 27th award presentation were businesses located right in the village of Knowlton!

Of course, most of already knew that Knowlton is home to a number of innovative enterprises attempting to do things differently in these times of economic uncertainty and it is nice to see validation offered for these hard working folks who take the risk to turn their visions into a reality!

The Knowlton Gallery was given recognition for all they've done! Congratulations!The Knowlton Gallery was selected as one of three finalists in the category of Arts & Culture and Panier Champetre and Traiteur Etchea were also honored as finalists in their respective categories in the MRC of Brome-Missisquoi.

Knowlton Gallery, on the corner of Knowlton Road and Lakeside is a popular spot amongst visitors who enjoy the newly renovated gallery and friendly atmosphere. The Gallery features world-class artists in exclusive showings and selections from local talent and visitors can often find friendly gallery operators Françoise and Douglas sitting outside ready to chat with visitors and maybe, if you're lucky, share in a wee glass of wine, a slice of cheese and a good story!

The Panier Champetre offers a large selection of gourmet foods, luxury bath and baby baskets and are perhaps most well-known for their unique country baskets filled with a selection of some of the finest products from the Townships area with everything from surprises for the sweet tooth to decadence for the finest gourmet palate...all in a lovely gift basket for every occasion.

Traiteur Etchea in Knowlton offers a variety of delicious dishes.Traiteur Etchea offers quite a unique space in the heart of the Lac Brome and a visit means more than satisfying a hunger for quality; it is an invitation to travel through the tastes & colors of the world! Chef Maddia Esquerre creates dishes strongly influenced from the menus of the South-East of France and features duck creations, delectable frozen preserves and all manner of meals for small take-out treats or complete catered occasions.

These three local businesses will be in the running for the "Gala Excellence 2007" which takes place every other year and has different categories of enterprise:

Agricultural enterprise (farm/animals/cultivation); Food processing enterprise (main revenue from transformed products); Tourism enterprise,;Art and Culture enterprise; Retail business : 1 to 10 employees; Retail business : 11 and more employees; Manufacturing : 1 to 50employees; Manufacturing : 51 and more employees; New enterprise (start-up after January 2005); Non-profit organism; Services: 1 to 10 employees; Services: 11 and more employees.

Three enterprises per category will be nominated and will be the subject of a publicity article in the "Le Guide" and "L'Avenir & Des Rivières" local papers.
The winners will later profit from the visibility of another article in the same newspaper media and of course DestinationKnowlton.com will be there!

The "Gala Excellence" is a major event in the business community of the region. Crowned or not,the participating enterprises all come out winners since this activity is an excellent occasion to promote the products and services of each and everyone. It is also the moment to engage in the economic development of the region, the sure road to success!

For further information on the Gala 2007 please contact the "Chambre de commerce de Cowansville et région" at 450-266-1665 or by email at: cccr@qc.aira.com

Knowlton, like any other town in Canada, has seen both prosperity and scarcity in the local business community; changes to demographics, the Internet, and the global marketplace have meant that it takes more today to create a succesfull and viable small business, especially in a small town. Knowlton seems to be experiencing a real positive trend with new people and new ideas coming in to challenge the ideas of what a business should be.

Downtown Knowlton is a busy spot and with three of our businesses getting nominated for Gala Awards of Excellence there should be even more visitors!Many residents can recall the good-ol' days days of enterprise when the local small-business economy was riding the wave; when hanging a shingle outside of a storefront was enough to make a good living. Looking around Knowlton now, it would seem on the surface, with so many for rent signs, that those halcyon memories are forever out of reach but such fluctuations happen everywhere from the stock exchange to the quality of play of the Montreal Canadiens and these three nominations are perhaps the cusp of a brand new era for Lac Brome.

Recently a new, vibrant sentiment is being felt in the business community and there seems to be a renewed sense that things can actually get better if the right people use their talents and dreams to create the vision of the town they wish to live in!

Whatever happens during the Gala of Excellence we should be proud that some of our businesses are being recognized by outsiders for their commitment and involvement in making this a better place...most of us already know there are many local establishments who probably deserve recognition for their commitment and encouragement and that is one of the reasons we live here...it's all about the future and the people who believe in it!

See more of the variety of businessess in the Knowlton Business Directory

Finally! I Can Hear You Now!
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At last the long awaited cell phone reception will finally spill over the village of Knowlton. A huge cell phone tower being built right in a residential area will have people taking...on their phones!Ever since I moved to Knowlton four years ago I have been tormented by the lack of quality cell phone service in areas of Lac Brome. Now it looks like there is hope on the horizon...well there is something on the horizon and it's hard to miss actually...the new cell phone tower is being erected in Knowlton this week and the anticipation is growing for having a full set of 5 bars on the new Motorolo phones that our kids all love these days!

I can barely keep track of how many times my wife has gone to the WalMart in Cowansville to buy kitty litter for our elderly cat and after she had driven down past Frizzle Road into the valley and I step out onto the flat grassy plains of Lac Brome and open my Samsung to call her on my cell phone to tell her to buy a few extras...and I flip my clam shell to see...BAM!...NO SERVICE!

There are no bars! No Service! Drat Darn Collisss!

How can I contact my wife to ask her to pick me up some Pringles and Charmin Soft Wipes which I've just noticed are on sale in the publi-sac flyer!!

"Curse you O expensive cellphone", I've cried many times, "I have no reception in this gosh fersakin' town known as Knowlton!"







But now...it looks like those days are coming to an end because we're seeing evidence that the new cellphone tower is finally going up on the Brome Lake Duck Farm property on the banks of the Coldbrook.

Finally the Telus and Rogers and Bell Generation who have been giving so much to the people of Canada will finally be rewarded by gaining another foothold via a town bowing to the prospective profits and all of us with cell phones who need to download ringtones and stare at NHL scores via realtime will finally have a huge metal erection above the fields of Brome to point towards for crystal clear and perfect reception for these sublime pleasures! Bravo!

According to some in the industry of the fifteen cents per kb religion it is almost unbearable to even live without proper cellphone coverage and the fact that Knowlton will soon be a full 5 bar stronghold should come as good news to all of us who somehow felt isolated and lost in the peacefullness that was once Lac Brome. At least the leaders of our town have seen fit to do the right thing in keeping us on par with the rest of the modern world!

I heard some folks grumble that the tower was actually being built a little too close to the Coldbrook to even be legal but according to the Town council it wouldn't be built in an area that wasn't perfectly A-OK with the Quebec ministry of the Environment and while some residents were somewhat taken aback by the large looming structure going up in the residential area they were likely glad, as I was, that I could now use my cellphone without restrictions...I must admit I'm not sure
how people got along before cellphones and the ability to watch YouTube selections on their BlackBerry's and of course, all kidding aside,today's business runs on instant communication!

At least we can be assured of one thing! There will be no lights on the tower to spoil the nightime peace of Lac Brome. We won't see the tower at night because we were assured last summer, when the approval of the cell tower was waltzing through the summer council meeting when only a handfull of residents were on hand, that there would be no lights on the tower. In 2006, when there was talk of adding the cell tower to Brome, a long time taxpayer and resident asked the question about the visual implications (including nighttime implications) of the tower and the Mayor stated tersely and categorically that there would be no lights on the structure and that the esthetic impact would be minimal!

So while the icy steel tower may grate a few nerves during the day at least at night residents along Victoria, Pine, Oak and in the Coldbrook Condos won't have to see the darned thing spoil the Milky Way because there won't be any lights on it, said the Mayor in 2006.

Some folks might wonder in amazement how a structure that practically seems to reach the stratospher would not require lighting for safety or even the attention of air traffic controllers due to the sheer prominance of the structure or how, for that matter, could something so big erected in a prominant area not impact the esthetic beauty of Lac Brome.

At least we will be able to pick up our cell phones and order a last-minute six pack of Timbits from our wives when she goes to Cowansville for Cat food! For that luxury...a huge tower like the new cell phone tower in Knowlton will have paid for itself many times over!

Bring it on! I Can hear You Know!!

Duck Festival - Canard en Fete 2007
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The weather was ideal and the crowds under the big top strolled among the booths offering goodies and samples.
The weather on saturday for the start of the Brome Duck Festival was perfect and Knowlton was buzzing with the carnival atmosphere. The large tent in the Coldbrook Park provided shelter from the sun and was a great idea since last year we saw some rain; this year the ten ensured that everyone could enjoy the tables of goodies without worry.

Gathering for the cooking demonstrations.The festival is all about discovering new ways to enjoy the Peking Duck that has made Lac Brome famous over the years. The cooking demonstrations were well attended and the chef created some wonderful looking dishes! Luckily there were duck sausages available and a steady line-up of folks who needed to bite into a succulant duckydog! The chefs presented tips and new ways of preparing duck and he explained step by step methods of creating fancy duck recipes with little effort.

Samples of different wines and condiments to go with all manner of duck were presented under the big top and crowds milled about the tables under the tent as music played and a shuttle service took groups out to the Duck Farm.

There are also inflatable rides for the kids to bounce around on and pony rides on the Sunday editions. The site is perfect for the whole family and the quiet village really comes to life during the festival.

Picnic in the park.In Knowlton, even when there is a busy festival there is always a quiet place to enjoy a family picnic beside the water. Bring the whole family and enjoy a visit to another time in the Victorian village of Knowlton! When he weather is like this at the end of September the fall colors explode all around the center of the village and stores, terasses and boutiques are all decked out in their sunday best for the occasion. The duck festival is popular amongst visitors who enjoy the fall foliage at the same time as gathering for gourmet treats in the beautiful village of Knowlton.

The Duck Festival continues all day Sunday and then starts up again Saturday September 29th and Sunday September 30th. Don't miss your chance to experience one of the best reasons to visit Lac Brome!

The 7th Annual Brome Lake Duck Fest also known in French as "Canard en Fete au Lac Brome" is starting on September 23rd and the preparations of hard working organizers turning Knowlton village into a huge family oriented street party are sure to make this edition of the succulant festival one of the best ever.

While the region of Lac Brome of the Eastern Townships is often associated withthe Big Brome Fair the Duck Festival is the best chance to really get to know the intimate side of the village of Knowlton.

And let's not forget the ducks!




The ducks are really the star of the show for the two-weekend extravaganza! People gather in Knowlton to taste the newest duck creations from world class chefs and to enjoy the signature hospitality that is is Knowlton.

Famous the world over for its Brome Lake duck, the village of Knowlton (Lac-Brome) is already gearing up for its now famous fall street festival, the Brome Lake Duck Festival.

Knowlton, known as one of Quebec’s most beautiful villages, will transform itself over two weekends this fall on September 22-23 and continues the week-end of September 29-30. The hours will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Highlights of the festival include a farmer’s market, exhibiting local and regional goodies from maple products to local wines. Musicians, artists, entertainment and games for children are also on the agenda. Of course, duck specialties will be on the menus of local restaurants. This year’s festival promises to be a feast for the senses, both culinary and visual as autumn’s colours will be out in all their splendour.

Organizers invited Marie-Andrée Leblond, a local artist, to design this year’s Duck fest poster. The poster is sure to become a collector’s item for those connoisseurs of both art and gastronomy. The poster will be for sale in many of the village’s boutiques and the Chamber of Commerce tourist offices in Brome Lake.

Culinary demonstrations
One of the most popular events during the festival is the daily culinary demonstrations offered by the many different chefs of the region every hour between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. It’s an excellent occasion for connoisseurs to learn the secrets of the art of cooking and serving duck.

The Brome Lake Duck Festival is so enoyable partly due to the beauty of the village of Knowlton and the friendly atmosphere of the picturesque village.Farmer’s market
Dozens of local producers and artisans will be present in the Park to tempt the taste buds and the eyes with their interesting and tasty offerings. Among them are : Les p’tits péchés de Madeleine (chocolates), Projet d’une terre (smoothies, fresh fruit juices), Les trésors de l’Érable (vinaigrettes), Wish Buds (cards and bookmarks), Bio Bon inc. (breads, cakes, cookies, pies…), Les Produits Camelus (ostrich oil based beauty products), Les Distributions L’Escalier (jams, vinaigrettes…), Crousset inc. (seasonings, herbal teas), Vignoble le Cep D’Argent inc. (wines), Cabane du Pic Bois (maple vinegar), Douceurs de Géraldine (soaps and beauty products), Domaine Pinacle (ice cider), Atelier Alondra (artisan) et Thés C.G. (teas, tea accessories…)

Knowlton, for its duck, and so much more!
For lovers of fine food and wines, The Brome Lake Duck Fest offers the perfect excuse
for a delicious week-end in Knowlton while enjoying the charm and ambience of this historic village on the shores of Brome Lake. See More Pictures of Knowlton & Lac Brome
Sponsors of the Brome Lake Duck Fest include Canards du Lac Brome Ltée, Brasserie McAuslan, Hydro Québec, Finances Québec, IGA Gazaille, Emballages Knowlton, CLD Brome-Missisquoi, Town of Lac-Brome and the Chamber of commerce of Lac-Brome, Gaz Propane Rainville, Shur-Gain, Raymond Chabot Grant Thorton, AR Belley.

A full program of activities will be available during the festival on-site.

The Great Duck RaceTHE GREAT DUCK RACE IS BACK!
Last September saw the first annual duck race take place in Knowlton and it was one of the highlights of the Duck Festival! Crowds filled the Park at Mill Pond to watch as thousands of cute yellow ducks poured over the dam and drifted along the Coldbrook in a crazy race to the finish line. Kids and adults ran through the bushes following the yellow rubber duckies as they bobbed and wove the easy flowing brrok towards the finish line. People cheered, coaxed and hollared at the ducks as they floated towards the victory net! Relive the magic of last years Great Duck Race!

The second edition of Knowlton’s Great Duck Race, organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Brome Lake, will take place on Sunday, September 30 2007. The spectacular Duck release is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on top of the Blackwood dam of the Millpond at Coldbrook Park.

Tickets are sold at $5 each and are bundled in booklets of 5 tickets for $20. The Great Duck Race will be the closing event of the Duck Festival and the Chamber expects to attract a great crowd into downtown Knowlton.

The Great Duck Race prizes are graciously offered by:

1.- Swiss International Airlines, two round-trip business class tickets Montreal-Zurich with Swiss International Airlines ($ 13 572 value)
2.- « Shopping spree » offered by numerous Brome Lake’s stores ($ 2 500 value).
3.- Camlen, country furniture gift certificate ($ 2 500 value)
4.- Bousada Interiors, couch and chair ($1 500 value)
5.- Auberge du Joli Vent, « Romance and delicacies » package ($ 500 value)
6.- Centre Électronique Informatique de Knowlton, radio satellite, DVD, MP3 ($ 400 value)
7.- Auberge Lakeview Inn, dinner for 2 ($ 170 value) and 2 Ski Bromont evening season pass ($ 194 value)

The tickets can be bought at the Chamber’s office at 255-C, Knowlton Rd and at participating stores of Lac-Brome.

For more information visit www.cclacbrome.com, call 450-242-2870 or write to info@cclacbrome.com .

Going Green: A Story With Two Sides
Read the full story here.

Is that a bird or a plane? The Ecosphere plane buzzing Lac Brome was a bit of a flop to some.Was it only me who found it strikingly ironic that the folks organizing the upcoming "Ecosphere" gathering had hired an airplane to drag a banner across the sky to advertise their Environmental Fair?

Ok...so maybe it was just me then...

I couldn't believe that this group somehow decided that the best way to publicise their environmental fair to be held at the end of September on the Brome Fair Grounds was to get a noisy old fossil fuelled aircraft and buzz incessantly and noisily over Knolwton dragging a barely readable banner across the blue sky!

I'm no marketing genius but isn't that a bit like trying to entice people to reduce their risk of Diabetes by having a cheescake eating contest? In fact, and ironically, I had been sitting on my veranda sipping an organic tea reading the glossy color pamphlet that the Ecosphere was using for advertising thinking to myself that such a high-end paper product must have cost alot and probably used a lot of resources to print when I heard what I thought was an airborne chainsaw and looking up expecting to see some barnstorming biplane dragging a banner for the local flea market I was dumbfounded to see it was actually an ad for the Ecosphere.

I did some quick math: promoting an environmental fair using thousands of glossy color posters and flyers and expensive adverts in newspapers around Quebec combined with a smoke belching airplane equals...contradiction!

Renewable and clean energy is something most of can agree is a goal that should be pursued in these days of concern for global warming and pollution of our planet. Our reliance on fossil fuels is a dangerous dependance and our awareness that our continued use of such energy resources is causing ill-health to the Earth is becoming a reality that none of us can ignore. The media emphasises the "crisis" of our society and warns us to develop new means of "green" energy if we are to support the human population.

Developing new sources of energy means that new technologies must come in to play and two local events seem to show two sides to the same coin. On one hand the upcoming Ecosphere is highlighting the newest technologies for a sustainable world and on the other hand a group of concerned artists are warning of the damaging effects of such developments.

Galerie Design exhibit explores the size and scale of windmills to be built in their area.An interesting contrast is the art display currently running in Frelighsburg which is an exhibit entitled Scale of the Wind A group exhibition that ponders nature, energy and man, which runs until September 16th, 2007. Galerie Design presents 14 architects, designers, and photographers who explore the visual impact of wind energy.

A project for the construction of a windfarm in the area seems to have struck a chord with these artists who feel the negative impacts on the environment out-weigh the positive benefits of using the wind to develop clean energy. But is energy really clean? The exhibit seems to focus on the size of the wind turbines and the effect it may have on the area. Certianly any power generation, whether it be a hydro-electric damming of a river or a nuclear power plant, will leave some sort of "crater of localized damage" but the question is does this damage, when it means using renewable resources to create clean energy, justify the project?

One of the exhibitors used the term NIMBY or Not In My Back Yard and then went one step further to say Not In Anybody's Back Yard. OK...so where should we build power plants, dams, windfarms and nuclear reactors? If it is not in anyones back yard then I suppose it should be nowhere and we can all go back to typewriters and candles? Ok...you guys go first...I need the power for my Google life!

Is this uproar based on the fact that some of these people are faced with the prospect of living in the shadow of windmills to generate electricity? Well, artists are within their rights to disagree with anything they see fit and if their peacfull paradise is somehow threatened by a wind farm then they have a right to protest using their creative talents. But the reality is we all use huge amounts of power and I may not agree with a bank of wind turbines placed on the horizon but we need to generate this energy and while we may not want it in anyones backyard that must be seen as a bit utopic...yes?

Where do we put it? Or do we just pull the plug on everyone?

Project Ecosphere presents a variety of Green technologies on the site of their 2nd annual Environmetal FairAnother somewhat ironic factor is that at the same time this exhibit is taking place the Ecosphere is preparing for their 2nd annual environmental fair in Brome and they seem to be behind wind power as a positive form of power. Even the logo of their website features some of the large scale turbines the artists at Galerie Design condemn. Both groups feature artists yet both groups seemed totally opposed to the same concept...how is this possible?

Would that artists involved in Project Ecosphere feel the same about wind farms if they were built right next to their country homes in the Eastern Townships? Would the artists contributing to the Galerie Design project feel so inclined to condemn wind power if the wind farm was built on faraway tracts of land?

"Green" energy is such a feel-good concept and if anyone objects to the idea of such renewable energy creation they are seen as bad folks who would gladly knock the feet out from under David Suzuki if he were running to catch a bus.

But we all need this precious energy! Artists from all sides depend on power to drive their computers and to run the cameras that make them stars and to light their spotlights and create their paints and pastels. in the year 2007 can anyone really think that "Not In Anyone's Back Yard" is a realistic option given the planet's diminishing greenspace and almost viral population growth? Is the message of the Ecosphere Fair partly that that renewable "green" energy is a goal that should be achieved regardless to the consequences on the environment?

I don't want a nuclear plant in my backyard nor do I want looming towers of wind turbines in my backyard but...I use the power for my computer, to recharge my batteries and for all my toys so what choice do I have? Should we build these power generating stations in the remote arctic or in the desert or is there even anywhere that deserves to be marred with these sub stations? I would say not but in this modern world where we are literally drinking energy with gusto we have no choice but to accept that we cannot live inside a pristine bubble anymore because there isn't much pristine left out there!

You gotta roll with the punches!

Why not check out and decide for yourself by seeing the exhibit "The SCale of The Wind" at Galerie Design in features participants:

BERNICE SORGE, painter / printmaker
CINDY DIANE RHEAULT, photographer
ROBERT GALBRAITH, photographer
JULIEN GEOFFROY, architect
EDEN MUIR, architect
RICHARD PROULX, architect
MIKE HODGINS, landscape architect
JOSHUA WOLFE, environmental consultant
PETER DARE, communications consultant
SUSAN MUIR, architectural designer
SIMON ARCHAMBAULT, architectural intern
ALEX COGSWELL, architecture student
ELLIOT SELICK, design consultant
RENE GINGRAS, writer

The Gallery is located at 41, rue Principale, Frelighsburg, Quebec, 450-298-1212 • www.galeriedesign.com

And don't forget to visit Ecosphere, the environmental fair, at the Brome Fair Grounds on September 29th and 30th. http://www.projetecosphere.org/

Ecosphere: The Environmental Fair Comes
Read the full story here.

Project Ecosphere Banner
Following last year’s success, organizers of Project Ecosphere are pleased to announce the second edition of its fair dedicated entirely to sustainable development and the environment. This must-see multidisciplinary event will be held on September 28, 29 and 30, 2007 on the enchanting Brome fairgrounds in the Eastern Townships.

Two public personalities known for their involvement in protecting the environment are involved with the event: Jean Lemire, biologist and expedition leader of Mission Antarctique, is the honorary president, while Quebec actress Pascale Bussières, who has been involved in environmental issues for many years, will once again be the event’s spokesperson.

Pascale Bussieres photo Crédit photo: © Monic RichardQuebec Actress Pascale Bussieres photo courtesy and copyright to Monic Richard
This year Project Ecosphere is planning to welcome some 8,000 visitors and 150 exhibitors. Already more than 70 companies and community organizations working in green architecture, new technologies, clean energy, ecological agriculture, nature conservation, fashion and alternative medicines have reserved their places. “These passionate exhibitors will inform the general public about innovative products and services available to them so they can make greener choices. Concrete actions will be offered up to make a collective difference,” said Pascale Bussières.

The weekend will begin with a mega-conference by Jean Lemire on September 28 at the Cowansville Auditorium. Other recognized lecturers such as Ann Levesque of Équiterre, Judith Kirby of Ducks Unlimited, Anne Vastel of Flora Medicina and Serge Fortier, author and columnist, will discuss major ecological challenges. Documentary films, such as An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore and the BBC’s Planet Earth as
well as a photographic exhibit from the Biosphere will be presented. Participants will also be invited to get their hands dirty in a variety of workshops. Check out our ever-growing list of exhibitors, lecturers, workshops and films at our Internet site at www.projetecosphere.org.

Incredible deomonstrations of simplicity and renewable resources are exhibited at the Ecosphere.Near Sutton, Brome Lake, Cowansville and Granby, the Brome fairgrounds are an ideal location for this large family and community event. There are heritage buildings, large green spaces, an open-air amphitheatre for lectures and concerts, an organic market, healthy and creative restaurants, free parking and a daycare service for children.

Project Ecosphere is the Environmental Fair created by Groupe Écosphère, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the environment and sustainable development. By bringing together the main actors in the field, this multidisciplinary event is aimed at raising the awareness and informing the general
public of efforts oriented towards improving our wellbeing and our way of life.

Projet Écosphère has among its main partners Desjardins, La Presse, La Maison du 21e siècle, Nature Conservancy, the towns of Bromont, Brome Lake and Sutton, the MRC and CLD of Brome-Missisquoi, UNESCO, Sani-Éco and the Régie intermunicipale de récupération des déchets solides de Brome-Missisquoi.

The event takes place at the Brome Fair Grounds near Knowlton, Quebec. See the report and pictures from the 2006 Ecosphere in Lac Brome.

Visit the official Ecosphere website for more information

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