May 2017

To: All SSCA Members, Associate Members and Families


My early memories of Georgian Bay are of exploring in a wooden lifeboat called “putt putt” uninhabited islands and weathered pink granite all within safe view of my mother. While not far from the nest, in my mind these islands were distant lands, undiscovered and free to roam. These days, exploring Georgian Bay islands is still a great adventure. From the sandy shores of Wasaga Beach to the rock shoals of Britt to the white quartz mountains of the La Cloche range near Baie Fine, there is no limit to the unique places to explore with family and friends. In fact, one of the greatest joys of being on the Bay is introducing this unique biosphere to others. When we have people to the cottage (we call them ArmourFests or Friendfests), it really hits home how fortunate we are and the opportunity we have to protect the Sans Souci surroundings we live in. Acting more than just owners but as Guardians, of the place we call the Bay.


In December last year, I attended on your behalf, a Symposium of the Georgian Bay 5 with participation from Shawanaga First Nation. The goal of the symposium was to develop a shared vision of Georgian Bay 100 years from now. What would we want it to look like for our children’s children? Marilyn Capreol from the Shawanaga First Nation, talked about how the First Nations people see their role not as stewards or owners of the Bay, but as Guardians. Given the responsibility to take care of the water, the land and the sky for our children, and their children, and also for the animals that can’t speak, to preserve their way of life. What struck me was the responsibility we have as cottagers and residents to take care of what we have and to be Guardians of the Bay for others.


Now we have modern day disruptors that are challenging life on the Bay. There is continued pressure on protected natural habitats from extreme water level fluctuations. We have invasive species like the towering Phragmites crowding our shorelines with a viral tenacity. Grass Carp (a close relative of the Asian Carp) have made their way into Lakes Erie & Michigan and are projected to become the dominant fish species in the Great Lakes without our lifetimes, unless we find a way to eradicate them. As a community, we have amazing opportunities to demonstrate our commitment to push back these invaders through active participation in various programs, campaigns, local committees and our own educational events such as Environment Day.


A great example of local action happened last year when a dedicated contingent of SSCA members participated in Phragmites removal events. On broader issues, the GBA represented our Association’s concerns on several issues including rising water levels, Hydro rates and MPAC assessments. These are only a few examples of the influence being a SSCA member has. These activities only happen because of volunteers that put in hours and hours of their time. We all need to play a part, be involved, write letters to the decision makers, and build our knowledge so we make the right decisions ourselves – be Guardians of the Bay.


This summer’s Canada Day marks the sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary of the Confederation of Canada. There are celebrations all over Canada and recognition by countries around the world of this great achievement. In our area we plan to hold celebrations at our community centre to mark this event. Mark your cottage calendar on July 1st for a Canada Day celebration. Watch for more details as the plan unfolds.


On top of anniversary celebrations, we have a full slate of activities already planned to interest all of our members. This includes the Regatta, Day Camp, Sailing Camp, Yoga, Book Club, Bridge Club, Church on the Rock, Environment Days, Tennis events, Pot Luck, Arts shows and much more. Information on all of these events are identified in this year’s yearbook and on the website. As new events come up, they will be announced through emails and posted on our website.


Have a safe and relaxing summer!

Eric Armour

SSCA President