Music Connects Us.
Notes from our Artistic Director
~ October 1, 2021 ~

For as long as I can remember, people have been telling me about the beautiful sunsets over Lake Huron…and now I’ve seen these magnificent panoramas for myself.  That’s one of the reasons why I think the jigsaw puzzle which Huron Waves Music Festival is releasing this month makes a logical debut in our forthcoming series of puzzle fundraisers.

The other reason, obviously, is that our very name rings Huron, for Lake Huron and for the First Nation people who have been here for generations.

In fact, the Lake is partly responsible for the music festival’s coming to be called Huron.  Two years ago, at a Board of Directors meeting where the question of a fresh name arose, Aimee Rau, at that time a Board member, spoke about driving in the countryside where she saw waves of wind over the crops out her right window and waves of the Lake out her left window.  Both those waves added to the idea of music travelling on sound waves became Aimee’s proposal for the name of the emerging festival.

With the generous support of Orr Insurance, which is itself celebrating 125 years of service in south-western Ontario, plus the enthusiasm for puzzles which is making a notable comeback, producing a series of Huron County images as jigsaws seemed a great idea for our fundraising.  All it took was the additional generosity of photographer Dave Wise and Huron Waves had this first puzzle.

Mr. Wise, who is a retired electrician and amateur photographer living near the Lake north of Goderich, told me he was walking on the beach in July, as he does almost every day, when he saw the scene that’s the subject of our puzzle. “Every sunset is different,” he says, “but this one was so striking and inspirational.”  To see more of Dave’s photography check his regular postings on Facebook, on Huron/Perth Storm Watch & Warnings, and on the Goderich Sunset site.

Dave’s image is stunning.  As an 11″ X 17″ puzzle with 308 pieces, it’s a modest challenge for puzzle-pros and genuine fun for everyone else.  Believe me, I know, because I’m not a pro at assembling images and this one had me puzzled just long enough to enjoy the challenge.  In fact, I’ve already placed my own order for a few boxes as holiday gifts for friends and family because the box is a perfect size for mailing across the country…and the price ($20) is right.

Here’s a list of locations across Huron County where the puzzles are now on sale (click the links to find addresses):

Check the website for last minute additions to our list of business partners who are helping us with this fundraiser.


Hon. Lisa Thompson and her staff have obviously been proponents of Huron Waves at Queen’s Park.  Recently we’ve welcomed news that two significant provincial grants – from the Ministry of Culture’s Reconnect Ontario program and from the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Community Building Fund – are coming our way.   The first supports our virtual programming for a second Celebrate the Season video to be released in December, hopefully to match, even to surpass, the thousands of viewings that last Christmas’ video achieved for Huron County musicians and locales.   Reconnect Ontario also supports the creation of a third video to be released in the Spring.   The second grant is vital for continuing administration costs as we, like all cultural organizations in Ontario, strive to emerge from the pandemic’s setbacks.  In future newsletters I’ll have further news about both these advances – the videos and our 2022 season – along with news about our returning autumn online auction. But for now Huron Waves expresses our sincere appreciation to Lisa for her personal encouragement and her government’s support!

For two years Heather Boa has been my staff colleague as the festival’s General Manager, taking good care of the nuts and bolts of the developing organization and thereby keeping our morale up against the punches that Covid-19 kept sending our way.  But now Heather has an opportunity to spend more time with her other client, the Huron Chamber of Commerce, and so she leaves her HWMF post for her new responsibilities today.  So much of what the festival has accomplished, in front of the public and behind the scenes, has been because of Heather’s expertise and her positive spirit, and we’d all like to thank her for her faithfulness and her contributions.  Best wishes and thanks, Heather!


Today, Karen Stewart joins Huron Waves as our new General Manager, and I can honestly say that after seeing Karen, a former G.M. of the Blyth Festival, working side-by-side with Heather to learn the ropes of our festival, I am delighted to introduce her our newsletter readers and patrons.  Karen is already focusing on the November auction as one of her responsibilities and I’m sure we’ll be seeing some interesting products and experiences up for bidding very soon.  Welcome to Huron Waves, Karen!

Finally, let’s acknowledge with profound gratitude the years of leadership which Catherine Weber has committed to Huron Waves and to its predecessor, the Bach Festival.  Catherine is retiring from the festival in her role as Treasurer, a volunteer position she has overseen with precision, reliability and loyalty. She also took great joy in co-designing and co-directing Huron Waves’ summer program of music, art and drama for young people from across Huron County.  Her Board colleagues and I wish Catherine well and hope she will now find more time to devote her energies to what we all recognize as her first loves: her family, their dairy farm and her paintings.  Thank you, Catherine!

Till we’re together again, stay safe and healthy.  And remember that Music Connects Us.

John A. Miller, Artistic Director                                                                  October 1, 2021