08 May

Grand re-Opening Invitation

Everyone is invited to join us for the Grand Re-Opening of Blyth Memorial Community Hall on Friday May 19 at 4p.m. followed by an Open House that runs until 7pm. The community is invited to hear about the improvements from the Renovation Committee and volunteers.

The $4.2M upgrade was made possible by the support of many Community Champions.

The project was lead by the Township of North Huron with Blyth 14/19 Inc., Blyth Festival, the Legion Ladies Auxiliary and Royal Canadian Legion Branch 420, Blyth. The lead architect was Jason Morgan from Allan Avis Architects in Goderich.

05 May

The CCRC in Ottawa

read the full release here

Photos by Allan Thompson

Peter Smith, with The Honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage







May4 – Minister of Small Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger

Treasury Board president Scott Brison with Peter Smith

May4: l-R: Alecia Anderson, Karen Stewart, Gil Garratt, Chris Lee, Peter Smith, Steven Sparling, Genny Smith and Allan Thompson

02 May

CCRC goes to Ottawa

A delegation from the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity will be in Ottawa this week to reach out to MPs and Senators and the broader parliamentary community about the centre's exciting mission to create a hub for rural revitalization in the village of Blyth. The visit will include key meetings with government officials as well as outreach with MPs, Senators and media.

Team Blyth will include Peter Smith, director of the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity, Karen Stewart, the centre's director of operations, Steven Sparling, Genny Smith, Austen Chaffe and Alecia Anderson from project partner Cowbell Brewing Co., Gil Garratt, artistic director of the Blyth Centre for the Arts, David Peacock from Regional Tourism Organization 4, Chris Lee from the Guelph to Goderich (G2G) Rail Trail and Allan Thompson, journalism professor at Carleton University and a member of the project's campaign cabinet. 

The delegation will be in Ottawa on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for a series of meetings and events. The highlight will be a reception being held on Parliament Hill on Thursday, from 5-7 p.m. in Rm 238-S of the Centre Block. The reception, dubbed A Taste of Rural, will provide the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity and its partners with a chance to engage with Parliamentarians about the project's exciting and innovative work. Cowbell Brewing Co., will be offering some its award-winning beers and there will also be other rural treats, including some products from Blyth Farm Cheese, The Whole Pig, and The Garlic Box. The reception is kindly being hosted by MPs Kim Rudd (Northumberland-Peterborough South) and T.J. Harvey (Tobique—Mactaquac), the recently-elected chair of the Liberal party's rural caucus. (Those who wish to attend the reception should contact Karen Stewart by email at karen@blyth1419.ca

03 Jan

New Year, New Vibrant Village

for immediate release
January 3, 2017
Contact:  Karen Stewart, Director of Operations

Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity shares resolutions for community

As Blyth celebrates its 140 birthday with celebrations all throughout 2017, the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity (CCRC) continues its campaign to drive economic revitalization and social renewal and invites you to come out to hear the project update on Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 6:30 pm at 237 King Street – the former Blyth Public School – in the Village of Blyth.  Everyone is welcome.

You’ll hear from Project Director Peter Smith and his plans for developing the CCRC including a priority stemming from the Rural Talks to Rural Conference last September.  Connectivity was identified as a key for 21st Century economic development, impacting our ability to attract youth, immigrants, business and new investment to increase vitality, grow the population and provide more opportunities for social renewal and economic growth.  Smith will also share his vision for the Wee House Project.  

You’ll meet our Award-Winning Architect, Heather Dubbeldam of Dubbeldam Design and Architecture of Toronto who’s working on designing the Grant and Mildred Sparling Centre – home of the CCRC.   Heather is a fourth generation Dutch architect with a passion for modern architecture, a long-term vision toward environmental sustainability and a commitment to incorporating sustainable design and systems into her firm’s projects.

Jennifer Triemstra-Johnston will be available to share more about programming for one of the flagship programs – the Fashion Arts & Creative Textiles Studio (FACTS).

And, you’ll hear more about the Rural Investment Strategy which includes The Pitch the Catch and a Cultural Opportunities Fund. 

For more information visit www.ruralcreativity.org or www.blyth1419.ca


18 Sep

Getting here

  plane-train-car Images

. VIA Rail, Stratford, 50km
  . Toronto Pearson International Airport – 200km
. London International Airport – 110km
. Hamilton International Airport – 171km
  . Toronto – 200 km
. Sarnia/Port Huron – 140 km
​. Kitchener-Waterloo – 100 km 


29 Jul

R2R’s Gala Dinner Menu

Chef Peter Gusso of Part II Bistro, and Chef Jason Rutledge of the Blyth Inn cater the Gala Dinner on September 29, 2016.  

Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup Finished with a Maple Creme Fraiche

4oz. Bacon Wrapped Fillet of Beef Set on a Mushroom and Caramilized Onion and Blyth Old Goats Cheese Barley Rissotto with Crisp Vegetables Topped with a Cowbell Beer Reduction

Chocolate Mousse Finished with Cream Infused with Vanilla

27 Jun

FACTS offers Textile Workshops
 in July 2016


Indigo Dye, Shibori

 For Immediate Release:  June 21, 2016

Contact: Karen Stewart, Dir. of Operations


The Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity will be offering numerous textile based workshops again this year through the Fashion Arts & Creative Textiles Studio (FACTS) from July 7th to 22nd 2016 at 237 King Street East in Blyth. Workshops will include fabric marbling, pattern drafting, silk painting, silk screening, lace & bead knitting, natural dyeing, wet felting, Tambour Embroidery, and much more. The overall focus of the program is based on sustainable and local production, using locally sourced materials and best practices in a creative, innovative setting. 

The courses range $30 to $150 for instruction with course materials at an additional cost.  All of the classes are suitable for any level of experience, beginners included.  All that is needed is an excitement and willingness to experiment and create! 

During the evenings, there will be several Open Studios held where experts will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice and demos. Open Artist Studios are $10 or free to anyone enrolled in a class during the week. Open Studios provide time for people to work on projects at the studio in a social and creative environment. 

This year FACTS has invited several textile artists to lead new and exciting skills workshops. 

wet-felting-square Jennifer Osborn, a farmer, producer and felter, will be leading a Wet Felting class in which students will have the opportunity to make a pair of slippers.
Tambour Embroidery Tanya White, a textile artist who studied with Lesage in Paris, will share her knowledge of Tambour Beading: A 3D form of embroidery with beads and sequins. 
Kanzashi Susan Kendal, a textile artist from Barrie, will teach a class on Kanzashi Fabric Flowers, a Japanese technique that uses small folded scraps of fabric to make dimensional fabric flowers. 
Lace & Bead Knitting Irene Kellins, a local knitting expert will return to guide people through the process of lace and bead knitting.

The rest of the workshops and classes will be led by Jennifer Triemstra-Johnston. During her career Jennifer has worked as a costume designer, curator, small fashion business owner and part-time faculty at several universities. Currently Jennifer is involved with the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity as the program director for FACTS, working towards creating a Fashion Arts and Creative Textiles Studio that will support the creative needs of the community and local production. Projects include developing workshops and classes, researching the natural dye palette of Blyth and creating a network for communication and support for local artisans and producers with the cooperation of the Upper Canada Fibreshed.

The Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity (CCRC) was developed to build a unique cultural hub that addresses issues facing rural communities and accelerate economic growth and social renewal in Huron County and beyond.  The CCRC will inspire people through art and nurture creative thinking in order to identify new economic, creative, and recreational opportunities.  The CCRC operates within the mandate of its parent company Blyth Arts and Cultural Initiative 14/19 Inc. as a not-for-profit charitable organization working in partnership with the community to develop a cultural strategy that provides unique educational and artistic opportunities, meaningful employment, and increased quality of life for all.

For more information on the workshops, pricing,
and to register please see the Calendar AT THIS LINK


11 Jun

FACTS update June 10, 2016

Fashion Arts & Creative Textile Studio (FACTS)

This spring we planted our first natural dye garden in the Blyth Community Garden. Marigolds, coreopsis and hollyhocks will be harvested this summer while the woad and madder will take a few years to mature to the point that it can be harvested for dye. With the helpful advice of Roland Ricketts, a renowned American indigo farmer and artist, we are more confident that we can grow Japanese Indigo and we are hoping to have our first crop of indigo next summer! We are running a natural dye course this summer that will use not only plants and flowers from the garden but kitchen waste and  foraged foliage. Using locally sourced dye stuff we can determine the beautiful natural dye palette of Blyth. The course runs July 13th to 15th and is perfect for anyone working with natural yarns or yardage in their work including quilters, rug hookers, weavers and knitters. 

FACTS is a strong supporter of the fibreshed movement and is working with Upper Canada Fibreshed to support and connect local farmers, producers, processors  and artists to create local and sustainable markets.  Like the local and slow food movement, the goal of the  fibreshed movement is to keep the entire life cycle of a garment or object within the community. We are currently part of a flax growing project initiated by Upper Canada Fibreshed to reintroduce small scale flax production to Ontario. 

LIKE us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on our research and programs.  


15 Mar

Province funding Rural Creativity – $3.3M

for immediate release
March 15, 2016
CONTACT:  Karen Stewart, Administrator  519-441-7629


Over sixty citizens of Huron County showed up for the announcement on March 15, 2016.

Over sixty citizens of Huron County showed up for the announcement on March 15, 2016.

Municipal politicians, leaders from the business and not-for-profit community gathered on the steps of Blyth Memorial Community Hall today to hear an announcement from Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier of the Province of Ontario.

“The Province is pleased to invest $3.3 million in the work of Blyth Arts & Cultural Initiative 14/19 Inc. to support the creation of a cultural hub.

Deputy Premier, Deb Matthews

Deputy Premier, Deb Matthews

“Our government, under the leadership of Premier Kathleen Wynne, is committed to supporting organizations that encourage innovation, collaboration, and cluster development.  Blyth 14/19’s goals to develop a cultural hub around the multi-disciplinary Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity (CCRC) align nicely with the Province of Ontario’s priorities for economic development.  Transformational private sector investment was also a major motivator of our desire to champion this project.”

Blyth Arts & Culture Initiative’s $12.5 million project includes three key priorities:

  1. Revitalization of the Blyth Memorial Community Hall – home of the Blyth Centre for the Arts and the celebrated national theatre company, the Blyth Festival;
  2. Creating the Grant and Mildred Sparling Centre, home of the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity, a multi-disciplinary arts and innovation hub; and
  3. Establishing the Rural Trust to sustain creativity through a not-for-profit endowment for dedicated funds, awards, and scholarships.

“The Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity (CCRC) will establish itself as the leader in rural creative development by offering high quality, unique, experiences for artists, students, educators, and guests, participating in symposia,” said Project Director, Peter Smith. “By nurturing opportunities and cultivating creativity 14/19 will drive economic growth through culture and the arts.”

CEO David Peacock of the Province’s regional tourism office for Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington, RTO4 Inc., said of the announcement, “the Province has allocated substantial resources to regional economic development and in particular tourism economic development over the past five years. The alignment of private, municipal and provincial resources and funds on this important project is exactly the kind of forward thinking that is key to unlocking growth in the province’s tourism economy. Blyth has always held an esteemed position in Canada’s cultural landscape and the vision of a Blyth based “rural centre” for Canadian creativity is a unique addition to the existing mosaic that includes prestigious arts centres like Banff and Fogo Island.

For more information visit www.ruralcreativity.org or www.blyth1419.ca


@Blyth1419 @Deb_Matthews #TalkRural #ruralcreativity