Two events are on the horizon for Excellent Events in the next few months. First up is the Wee Irish Festival, set for March 16 and 17. The Friday evening party will take place at the Windsor Tavern, as in previous years and that includes the crowning of the King and Queen of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade will leave from Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute at 1 p.m. sharp. Anyone want to participate in the parade should contact coordinator Suzanne Hocquard at 613-677-4722.

On April 14 and 15, the Champlain Commercial and Community Fair takes place at the Vankleek Hill Community Centre. Excellent Events spokesperson Samme Putzel drew special attention to the name change.

“We are really focusing on community this year and this year’s theme is: “Helping One Another/Appuyants les uns et les autres”. Helping one another will the theme of all the Excellent Events activities this year, Putzel says.

Registration forms for the show, which will have the same theme colours as the 2016 edition (the show takes place on alternate years at the community centre) have been sent out to previous exhibitors and to those who have expressed an interest in being a part of the event.

Something new at the show this time around will be a “community village” within the traditional trade show set up, which is comprised of 90 booths, says Putzel.

“We are looking for a sponsor to help us with some of the costs for those spaces, which we are hoping to be able to give to not-for-profit organizations and charitable organizations, like Groupe Convex and the groups it operates,” she said, citing that organization, with all of its ancillary organizations, as one example.

Putzel said she wants to highlight how everyone working together can benefit everyone and our economy.

The biggest challenge to the Champlain Commercial and Community Fair, she says, is to get businesses to participate.  To find out more or to request registration forms, email: [email protected]

Putzel said that since the passing of Phil Arber, founder of Excellent Events, she has taken the reins but how has a committee of four to help her with the various year-round events. Hocquard, she says, has more to do with the logistics of events, while Putzel herself is involved with initial planning and promotion of the ongoing events.

Ongoing is the annual speaker series at Arbor Gallery. The series kicks off on Saturday, February 3 and continues every Saturday evening until April 7. You can view the entire schedule of speakers by visiting Arbor Gallery’s website. A French series is almost finalized, said Putzel; that series of presentations will take place Wednesday evenings at Arbor Gallery and will begin later in February.