2015 Vankleek Hill Christmas Home Tour
VANKLEEK HILL – The Christmas trees are ordered and the spirit of Christmas will be present in Vankleek Hill during the annual Christmas Home Tour, which takes place on Saturday, November 7.
New energy and new ideas are a big part of this year’s home tour. Organized by The Review for about ten years now, Review publisher Louise Sproule decided to invite three community members to critique the event and suggest ideas to ramp up the popular tradition.
“Decorators Lise St. André, Kim Veronneau and Josée Bonneville brought some new ideas and a revitalized direction to the event,” says Sproule.
In addition to these three, who are also participating as decorators of homes, Donna Doucette, Lorel Crawford, Grace Clermont and Bridget MacDonald are also decorators adding their talent to the mix. Sproule is pleased to still count on Lisa Henderson as her volunteer coordinator.
Review staff also kick in time and work to the event; the proceeds are divided among six community organizations each year and in turn, organizations provide about six volunteers each to the event.
This year’s tour features five heritage homes and one newly-constructed home professionally decorated for the self-guided tour.
The committee is especially proud that one of the town’s “tower” homes is part of this year’s event. Another heritage home with an addition includes stained glass windows salvaged from the convent in Vankleek Hill.Homes were booked and decorators were organized this past winter, said Sproule, to get things up and running early.
Local photographer Wayne Smith of T41 Photography donated his services to photograph each home exterior and take one interior photo for the website.
Church organizations have changed up their plans somewhat as well.
While two churches are organizing church luncheons, one church is offering morning refreshments and some of the churches are also offering an afternoon stop.
The Knox Bell Choir will be performing in the Archie Hardy Hall at Knox, from 2 p.m. to about 2:30 p.m. Refreshments will be offered until 3:30 p.m.
Other churches are organizing entertainment, too.
Afternoons will have live music performed at some of the venues, said Sproule. Food tastings will also be on offer during the afternoon at the homes on the tour. To date, Sam’s Kitchen, Vert Fourchette, the Trillium Tea Room and Fresko’s have signed on to provide food samples as you exit homes.
Another new feature of this year’s tour is the chance to win a Grand Prize of a 16-place table setting, which includes linens, cutlery, glassware, china and more. Raffle tickets will be on sale for the grand prize: everything on the table, (a value of more than $2,500).
The historic wedding re-enactment has been set aside for this year, Sproule relates. But the historical society continues its involvement with the tour by providing histories of each of the homes. A quilt show will be at the Vankleek Hill Museum, which will be open for the day.
Specialty vendors have been booked for each home and this year Dale Garvin, known for making dozens of fruitcakes each year to assist a local charity, will be at one of the tour locations. For each fruitcake sold, $5 will go towards the accessible Sacha’s Park Project, to be created in L’Orignal.
Go home with your own souvenir of the day’s event by having your group’s photograph taken in a vintage sleigh, furnished for the occasion by Ouimet Farms Adventure, home of our local corn maze. Photographer Jan Amell will take good care of you and see that you are outfitted in Victorian capes, bonnets and the like to have just the right look. There will be a $5 charge to have your photo taken; one half of the proceeds will be donated to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
Thanks to Beau’s All-Natural Brewing Company, John Clouston, ReMax Supreme and Pink Bow Tie, three shuttle buses will take visitors from house to house in town and to other locations where special events are happening.
To find out where to purchase $20 advance tickets (you can also purchase tickets online), to view the houses, luncheon information and more, visit: www.vankleekhill.ca and select events, then Home Tour.
613-678-3327, extension 1006