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Discovering a Rich Heritage in Eastern Canada

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/24/2006 | Social Issues
The rich cultural heritage of the Ottawa Valley is carefully sewn up in pockets. It is worthwhile to explore these pockets and examine from close-up what's really in there. Some of the cultural background is slowly getting more prominence.

If you are planning to spend some time in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada, consider a visit to the Bonnechere Caves and an evening at the Stone Fence Theatre. There are many timeshare locations throughout this area

This is an area that is still being discovered for its beauty and natural wonders. A mere fifty years ago the Bonnechere caves were just part of the landscape, flooded at that.

The way to the caves leads through a beautiful landscape. Homes, farms and barns dot the rolling landscape. The land has now been cultivated and one enjoys the fruits of the work of the early settlers. The fossils found at the Bonnechere Caves document that in far-away history the area enjoyed a tropical climate. At the guided tour at the caves, visitors can examine these and listen to a full historical background

The cave consists of several chambers and corridors. At the time of its discovery the cave was plunged in total darkness. Today visitors to the caves can relive this moment when they too are plunged in darkness to enhance their experience of the discovery, as it would have been at that time.

A trek through some of the narrow passageways shows vaulted walls, composed of various layers that glisten from the seeping water. As the water constantly cools the cave, the temperature is 10 degrees Celsius. Consequently, coming out of the cave on a summer day feels like stepping into a tropical forest,

A good meal and spirited entertainment at the Stone Fence Theatre in the picturesque town of Brudenell will transports you again to the earlier days of the pioneers who came from different countries to create a new future. Costumed musicians and dancers enact vignettes from the past with humor and verve.

In this area, from the past to the present is but a small step. The whole town gets involved. Todays writers and performers participate. Families in the area prepare the meals. Modeled on the Ottawa Valley Supper tradition, these events provide fundraising, promote local artists and are supported by local businesses. Books, a directory, greeting cards, mugs and shirts are on exhibit and for sale at the performances, which are held during supper and include a great meal.

Located in Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Brudenell, close to Eaganville in Ontario, Canada, the Stone Fence Theatre, in their words, is "A nonprofit community theatre dedicated to Ottawa Valley Heritage". Their website. http://www.StoneFence.ca, contains valuable information, including location map, seating plans and photos, as well as a mail-in order form for reservations with a choice of dates and prices.