By Bill Tremblay Orangeville Banner-GREAT STORY BILL!!!
Full Story Click here: http://www.orangeville.com/community-story/1938892-mega-party-marks-melancthon-quarry-s-mega-death/
In the absence of craters, Melancthon is dancing for taters.
The North Dufferin Agricultural Task Force (NDACT) hosts the Taters Not Craters Dance at the Honeywood arena on Feb. 16 from 6 p.m. to midnight.
The dance celebrates The Highland Companies withdrawal of its application for a licence to mine 2,316 acres of land for limestone in Melancthon, as well as the group’s second mission for an overhaul of the provincial Aggregate Resources Act (ARA).
“It’s an intermittent victory because we strongly feel that this thing is not done, until the ARA review is complete,” said NDACT chair Carl Cosack.
To help celebrate the victory, Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart has assembled a band to entertain NDACT’s party guests. The group includes fellow Our Lady Peace members Steve Mazur on guitar, bassist Duncan Coutts and keyboard player Robin Hatch.
“It’s our absolute pleasure to entertain the actual farmers and residents of the town that were most concerned,” Taggart told The Banner. “I can’t wait to celebrate this unbelievable victory for the people. I’m so excited I can’t believe it.”
Taggart, who will also emcee the party, said his band plans to perform cover songs during the event.
Taggart grew up in Mansfield and was told about the quarry plan by a childhood friend, leading to his involvement in the fight to stop Highland.
“The Honeywood arena is going to be amazing. I used to go skating there as a kid,” Taggart said. “I remember as a kid seeing Eddie Shack and the oldtimers playing hockey there.”
Tom Barlow joins the party’s lineup and will perform Fighting in a Burning House, a song about the community’s struggle to preserve its farmland.
“We’ve written a song inspired by all these shenanigans that have been going on these past few years,” he said.
Barlow joined the effort to stop the quarry after McMaster University professor John Varty’s cross-Canada tractor tour stopped in Melancthon to raise awareness for the issue. Barlow performed during the tour’s stop and he later returned for Foodstock.
“We’re looking forward to getting up there and seeing a lot of the people we’ve worked with for quite a long while,” Barlow said. “I think everyone is quite excited. It went so well.”
Fighting in a Burning House has not been released. Barlow explained he’s been tinkering with the tune as the situation developed.
“It’s sort of been changed and modified as the years went on,” Barlow said.
Rounding out the musical roster is Hobo Wally, Danny Beaton, Ed Roman, Grand Canyon and the Hamilton-based alternative country rock band Harlan Pepper.
“We’re looking forward to it. Anything that can support homeland and home farmers is really important to us,” said Harlan Pepper bass player Thompson Wilson.
Cosack said the musicians who helped in the fight to stop the quarry are part of a critical mass determined to preserve farmland and increase food security.
“They’re not in there to gain fame, because there isn’t any in that sense. They’re already at that level,” Cosack said.
“They carry the conviction this is the right thing to do, to move society along its way.”
Taggart added the need still exists to keep a watchful eye on potential threats to farmland and water supply.
“As much as I’d like to think our government has our back … I still think people need to continue to keep their eyes open,” Taggart said.
The celebration also includes a local food showcase by several chefs, including Philip Patrick, executive chef at the Ridge at Manitou Golf Club, Caesar Guinto and Samuel Holwell of Creemore Kitchen, Shawn Adler from The Flying Chestnut & The Flying Spatula, and Gareth and Julie Carter from Men With Knives Catering.
“It just ties in everything that we’ve been about,” Cosack said.
Before the celebration begins, NDACT hosts a meeting and public open house at 7 p.m. During the meeting, University of Guelph professor Rene Van Acker will speak about the need to protect prime farmland. Cosack will also deliver a message about “round two” of NDACT’s mandate.
“It gives us a chance to let people know where we’re going,” Cosack said.
The musical portion of the night begins with square dancing by Gary Heaslip & Band.
“On the fun side, some good country people can teach square dancing to our city friends,” Cosack said.
Tickets to the dance, which are limited, are available through ndact.com and cost $20 to cover the cost of the event.