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Niagara-on-the-Lake
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
History, wine and food served during evening at vineyard
Peter Martin engages the crowd during the Weapons of the War of 1812 featured talk. Somer Slobodian
Megan Gilchrist talks about the Breweries in Niagara. Somer Slobodian
Some of the weapons showcased during the Weapons of the War of 1812 featured talk. Somer Slobodian
Peter Martin holds a grenade launcher from the 1700s . Somer Slobodian

Guests took a step back in time at Ravine Vineyards for a night of History in the Vineyard. 

The last time it was held in person was three years ago at Ravine.

Due to COVID-19, the last two years have been all virtual – where people pick up their freshly cooked meal and eat it from the safety of their own homes, while participating via Zoom. 

Everyone was happy to finally be back in-person this year for the educational fundraiser organized by the Friends of Fort George, the NOTL Museum, Ravine Vineyard and Parks Canada.

“I’m excited to be back,” said museum curator Sarah Kaufman.

Guests were dressed to the nines as they mingled in the events centre ballroom and sipped wine.

About 90 people attended, enjoying a gourmet meal, wine, a silent audition and, historical speakers for the $150 ticket price.

From each ticket purchased, $25 goes to the NOTL Museum and $25 will go to the Friends of Fort George.

The total amount raised isn’t known yet, however the two charities will share about $6,000, museum president Mona Babin said in an email.

“Our main job is to hire students, summer students, to work at the fort. This year we were able to hire 11,” said Tony Chisholm, president of the Friends of Fort George. 

He hopes to be able to hire more next year and the money from the fundraiser will help.

At the museum, the money will go to the museum’s programming, exhibitions and care of the historical collection, said Babin. 

The museum has about 50,000 artifacts. 

There were six historical speakers and each guest got to attend two of the 20-minute sessions. 

Guests chose from among Bad-Ass Women of Niagara, Breweries of Niagara, He Cast a Big Shadow: The Life and Times of Sir Issac Brock, Scandal and Gossip in NOTL, Things You Didn’t Know About the Queenston Quarry and Weapons of the War of 1812. 

“Unfortunately, I could not bring a cannon,” said Peter Martin from Parks Canada as he taught the crowd about the weapons of the War of 1812.

“It just wouldn’t fit in the back of my car. I tried but wouldn’t fit.” 

So instead, he started with an artifact that did fit – an 1813 flintlock smoothbore musket, the weapon most soldiers carried, he said.

It was one of many weapons Martin brought along. 

One artifact was a rare grenade thrower from the 1700s. Martin explained that soldiers would attach it to the end of their muskets to then fire a grenade. 

After the 20-minute sessions, guests went back to the main ballroom to enjoy a night of laughter, food and entertainment.

It was undeniably a delicious, fun and educational evening.

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