Stephen Vance, Staff
For most of us the Labour Day long weekend marks the end of summer;
a last chance to soak up some warm, sunny weather before the kids return to school and parents shift their focus from beach days and day trips to lunch boxes and school supplies.
Before we know it the leaves will be turning colour, and the chilly air of October and November will pave the way for the cold grip of winter and the heavy coats and boots that accompany the cold months.
If you’re looking something to do this coming weekend, you’ll find no shortage in Meaford as the Labour Day weekend also means it’s time for the 161st Meaford & St. Vincent Fall Fair, the annual Meaford International Film Festival (MIFF), and a host of other events and activities to cap off what has been a warm, dry summer.
Movie buffs should be pleased with the lineup for the 10th anniversary edition of MIFF, which kicks off at Meaford Hall on Thursday, September 1 with The Danish Girl – an “extraordinary love story, a visual feast, and a testament to the courage of a transgender pioneer, all in one remarkable film based on a true story that is even more topical today than it was in the 1930s.”
The following day, MIFF presents The Second Mother – a “heart-warming story from Brazil that also cleverly exposes the reality of the class system at work, as Val, a middle–aged maid in the rich district of Sao Paolo discovers she is not really ‘part of the family‘. Sparks fly and lives are radically changed.” The director, Anna Muylaert, will join the MIFF audience via Skype to talk about her inspiration and how this comedy-drama changed the law in Brazil.
On Saturday, September 3, Dheepan is a film that “takes you behind the headlines of a story that has dominated everything from Brexit to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and immigration. What happens to the millions who flee conflict zones to find new homes in the cities of the West? For a Tamil family at the centre of this Palme d’Or winner, conflict is never far behind.”
The Closing Gala presentation is Mustang, a winner of 30 awards and short–listed for both the Golden Globes and the Oscars. Set in rural Turkey, the Las Vegas Weekly called it a “wonderfully refreshing experience“. “It is a tender, funny and sometimes a painful portrait of five sisters seen innocently playing with boys on a beach. Their scandalized conservative guardians confine them while forced marriages are arranged. As the eldest sisters are married off, the younger ones bond together to rebel and determine their own lives – a powerful portrait of female empowerment, and a stunning performance.”
Mixed in with those four films will be the traditional four parties and four dinners that MIFF has become known for. The meals are prepared and served by a different local establishment each evening. Andrews Roots will serve on Thursday, September 1, followed by The Kitchen on Friday, September 2, The Dam Pub from Thornbury on Saturday, September 3, and finally Captain’s Corner on Sunday, September 4. You can also sample their free hors d’oeuvres at the after–party, and maybe take home a valuable trivia quiz prize basket.
Tickets for the films and parties are available from the Meaford Hall Box Office from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily or by phone 1-877-538-0463. Matinees begin at 1:30 p.m., the evening shows start at 7 p.m., and all are showcased in the Meaford Hall Opera House, 12 Nelson St. E. For more information check the MIFF website at www.meafordfilmfest.ca.
Also taking place this weekend is the 161st Meaford & St. Vincent Fall Fair. This showcase of Meaford’s agricultural heritage will once again be held at the Fairgrounds and inside the Meaford Curling Club on Saturday, September 3. The Fall Fair kicks off with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by a full day of exhibits and events including Jackie Ralph and her puppets, live music by local artists, an amateur dog show, gold fish races, Mini, Heavy & Saddle Horse shows, 4H calf club, Beef and Dairy shows, Poultry & Rabbit show and a sheep show.
“Food aplenty will be available, including a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m., the M.A.A.A. all day food booth, Erin Cresswell-Top Dog with delicious treats including french fries and candy floss. The Agricultural Society will have their delicious booth featuring their homemade pies and other yummy foods,” said organizers.
For dog lovers, the Beautiful Joe Heritage Society will host their 5th annual Dog Days of Summer event at the Blue Dolphin swimming pool on Saturday September 3, at 1:00 p.m. The event will feature several competitions including biggest splash, best trick, fastest fetch, and even a dog/owner look-alike contest.
This weekend also marks the final performance in the Friends of the Meaford Library’s Summer Concert Series. On Sunday, September 4, local favourites Bored of Education – fittingly, a band composed of local teachers – will perform under the Rotary Harbour Pavilion at 7:00 p.m.
These are just some of the many events taking place in Meaford this weekend to close out the summer.