Magic town

Fergus is in for a treat towards the end of October.

The first ever Ontario Week of Wonder Magic Festival is coming to town.

As one who comes from a family of magic enthusiasts (my dad and sister are the biggest magic fans I know), I can’t help but get in the spirit.

From Oct. 24 to 27 local magician and illusionist Ryan Joyce is bringing numerous world class magicians to Fergus for shows and a magic convention.

It’s festivals like this that really bring a vibrancy to downtown areas and we’re so lucky throughout Wellington County that independent citizens, economic development departments, chambers, BIAs and others recognize the importance of such events.

What better way to bring new people and new business to town than through an out-of-the-box festival? And I dare say that a magic festival is pretty out-of-the-box in my opinion.

Joyce is also aware of the local business scene. He put on a couple of magic shows a year and a half ago and while the shows were free, he required attendees to bring a receipt to prove they’d eaten in a local restaurant that day. How wonderful is that?

When people from all different sectors of the community and economy work together, the entire town or area will see true prosperity.

I’m excited to see Fergus become even more magical!

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Speaking of downtown Fergus, local business owners Dale and Lori Clarke of the Vault Coffee and Espresso Bar recently won a provincial award.

The Peter Stokes Restoration Award – Small Scale/Individual/Small Business, presented by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, was awarded to the Clarkes for the preservation and repurposing of the corner section of the Marshall Block on St. Andrew Street in downtown Fergus.

The Second Empire-style commercial building was constructed in 1883 and post-restoration it is now the home of The Vault, a real estate business and residential accommodations.

I know that every time I drive through downtown on St. Andrew Street or St. David Street that building, with the beautiful café and façade, is one of the iconic things I see.

It’s often how I picture the town when I’m not there.

Thanks to the Clarkes for not only restoring the building, but also providing spaces for two different businesses in the downtown core.

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Remember the federal election is taking place on Oct. 21. If you are able, be sure to vote and maybe take into account each party’s stance on small businesses; they are vital and a contributing factor to the health of communities in Wellington County.

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