Kempenfest This Weekend!

So one of the things that has been keeping me extremely busy is preparation for Kempenfest. Kempenfest is a huge art festival here in Barrie, and I’ve rented some space there to sell my photographs and a few of Desi’s paintings too! It has been a lot of work preparing everything needed to do it right, and for the next few days its going to be pretty crazy but I’m sure it will all pay off.

I wanted to sell photos not only at a festival such as this – but to anyone, anywhere that may want one. Its nearing completion, so feel free to check out the website for Don Komarechka Photography: Creating an e-commerce portal hasn’t been easy, but it certainly has been rewarding.

I’ve also made some pretty nifty business cards, brochures, banners, portfolio, etc. If you happen to be in Barrie this coming weekend (July 30 – Aug 2) come down and see me and the hundreds of other artists. I’ll be in spot 109A, which is near the park and washrooms. 🙂

Oh, and whats a blog post without a photo? Here’s one I took a recent Barrie Photo Club Outing (much more of these to come soon!)

A Picnic in Toronto

It’s fun to get out, even if you don’t go very far. A while back, Desi and I went on a picnic one quiet afternoon at a nearby park. In the busy lives we live, there is much to be said for staring up into the sky and dreaming. Peace and quiet are things that need to be sought out sometimes, which is exactly what Desi and I did. 🙂

… and you know what, I didn’t get a photo of the wonderful spread of food we brought. Wonderful sandwiches, cheeses and bread, and great dessert too! I did, however, try out some infrared photography, which was quite interesting:

It is interesting to see the world in a way that we can never see it. Our eyes cannot see infrared, yet it bounces around the world just like regular light. It acts a little differently though – it reflects heavily off of foliage, and almost not at all off of water and the sky. It can make for some very surreal looking landscapes – portraits too! (you’ll find one of Desi in the gallery below). Colour in infrared photos are always fake, so you can play with them and have fun, or make them black & white. Photos like that can help me open my eyes, a wonderful thing to do.

Desi and I had a great time, definitely going to do this again 🙂

POW Camp 30

Canada played a very important part in WWII that few people realize – I had no idea myself until Brent and I traveled to POW Camp 30 during Doors Open Clarington a while back. They opened the doors – possibly for the last time – for visitors to have a tour of the camp. Why were Canadian POW camps important? Our distance from the battlefield meant that the highest-ranking Nazi POWs were send over to us, limiting their chances of ever rejoining their forces. The camp we visited was the last remaining WWII POW camp in Canada, and likely the world:

The camp was originally built in 1929 as a reform school for young boys, and when WWII broke out it was a turn-key prisoner of war camp. Add fences and guard towers and you’re set. Because of this, the Germans had access to one of the best-outfitted camps ever – including a gymnasium and a swimming pool:

POW Camp 30 was completely self-sustaining. The germans had access to a nearby farm and grew their own food, prepared it and served it. They handled everything on their own with as little involvement from the Canadian military as possible, and this meant very little cost to keep the camp running. There are so many stories we heard about the place, from escape attempts to small riots, German vs. Canadian hockey games and how things ran inside the camp. All of it was fascinating to learn.

Brent and I both agree that the entire grounds should be considered a historic landmark, restored, and turned into a local attraction. A local developer that owns the land has other plans, but hopefully they can meet a compromise. This place should be here forever, for future generations to learn the stories of the past. Lest we forget.

A Glimpse of the Past

A little while ago, Desi had a wonderful idea. During the Doors Open Toronto city-wide event, many attractions had no admission fee for the day. We were able to take advantage of this and visit the Black Creek Pioneer Village for about an hour after work, and we had a wonderful time.

For those unfamiliar with the place, it is essentially an entire village center with various businesses and workshops all staffed by people in period costumes. The village is circa early to mid 1800s and was simply fascinating to visit. We didn’t have very much time so we didn’t get to see it all, but we definitely want to go back and visit it again when we have more time. They even had a fully-operational microbrewery built to 1850 standards and a blacksmith heating and bending metal with period tools:

Our quick visit to the village was a fun adventure and reminded us both a little of our trip across Europe. 🙂 Full gallery below: