January 2023 Newsletter

Happy New Year 2023!

Sensational Elora Logo

Big Cheque

2022 Quick Review

We are delighted to be active in the community again, after the two-year Covid hiatus, and we are equally delighted that the community continues to support our fund-raising efforts. The festival  continues to feature the renowned music, art, drama, film, and food of our community culminating in our core festival events running throughout Thanksgiving weekend raising money and awareness for the fight against poverty and hunger throughout Centre Wellington.  All profits from each of these events, along with all donations from the public, are donated to Centre Wellington Food Bank (90%) and CW Eats at CW District High School.  During our fourteen years of active fund-raising, we have donated over $140,000 to help these two organizations meeting their mandate to ease and alleviate food insecurity on our community.
Thank you to all of our volunteers, our sponsors and a special thank you to all the participants at our events.

Film On A Plate

Film On A Plate

Our only FOAP event in 2022 was "The Hundred Foot Journey.  Unfortunately, due to  Covid, the Gorge Cinema was closed and our FOAP organizers had an extra challenge; where do we host our event?  Thank you to the Fergus Highland Rugby Club for hosting us and thank you to George Mochrie for arranging the movie projection company.  The movie is about a battle in a French village between two restaurants that are directly across the street from each other: a new Indian restaurant owned by an Indian emigrant family and an established French restaurant.  Following the  theme of the movie, the food served for the event included Indian cuisine from Tandoori Grill and a French dessert prepared by Arja Lindforce of our board.  Despite the extra hurdles, the event was well received.
Thank you to our sponsors:
Mochrie Logo

Bakertilly Logo

Sleeman Logo

Fergus Pub Night

Fabulous Fergus Pub Night

After a a two year hiatus, Fabulous Fergus Pub Night returned in 2022, bigger and better than ever.  We had a record 94 participants for our progressive dinner spread over three of the most popular pubs in downtown Fergus; Breadalbane, Brewhouse on the Grand and The Goofie Newfie.  Thank you to all 3 for preparing special menus for the event. Peter Piper (Peter Hummel) and Older Voices providing entertainment for the walk between courses.

Thank you to our sponsor:

Triton Engineering Logo

Pumpkin Day Poster

Pumpkin Day

This free family event keeps getting bigger, better and more popular each year.  In 2022, we had over 40 pumpkins carved and judged.  Entertainment this year included a bouncy castle, face painting, highland dancers, a reptile show, the music of Turk & The Hobbit and as an added attraction this year, we had Bubbleology, creating a very entertaining bubble show.    We also had our professional pumpkin carver return, creating another unique carving.  
Thank you to everyone who brought donations for the Food Bank.

Thank you to our sponsors:

CW Logo

EFM Logo

Impact Realty Logo

PlanetCPU Logo

Soup Off Poster

Sensational Soup-Off

Combined with Empty Bowls, Soup-Off is always our major fund raiser for the year, as our soup-maker volunteers compete to become the winner in their category; youth, amateur or professional.  A huge thank you to the soup-makers for donating your time and skills to making this such a great event.  We had a wonderful selection of Empty Bowls available for purchase; thank you to the generosity of local potters for their continuous support.   Thank you to CW Rotary members who have continued to volunteer to help with this event each year.  We wouldn't be able to handle it without you.  And a huge thank you to Madison Galloway for providing music for the afternoon.   

Thank you to our sponsor:

Sorbara Logo

Monster Month Poster

Monster Month

Many Monster Month activities were cancelled during the pandemic but Sensational Elora installed "The Twilight Zoo" throughout Elora for the month of October each year.  As a matter of interest, Sensational Elora won the coveted Community Social Responsibility Award from the CW Chamber of Commerce for installing the Zoo on Elora businesses at no charge when many local businesses were struggling from the shut-down.
While the Twilight Zoo is the primary attraction of Monster Month for the full month of October, many community partners have created synergistic events. Sensational Elora coordinates these efforts under the umbrella of "Monster Month", creating a website (monstermonth.ca) and social media content, to help attract visitors to Elora from all over Southern Ontario and beyond during the "shoulder season".  The growth in visitors year over year has been very gratifying and, the fact that the Elora BIA committed a large percentage of their 2022 budget to help cover the costs of maintenance of the Zoo sculptures is an indicator that we have been successful.
The dedicated volunteers who came out for two half-days each week for five months, to help with the maintenance of the Zoo sculptures, are also a huge reason for our growth each year.
Sensational Elora also organizes another event as part of Monster Month: "Monster March" is one of the major attractions.
Adjustments to the route were made this year to accommodate construction on East Mill.  There was an added feature called "Wicked Wagons" where participants could compete for the best decorated wagon. The parade this year far surpassed the number of participants in previous years with an estimated 1,000 plus marchers.  Sensational Elora is proud of the success of all aspects of Monster Month.  We are continuing to add attractions.  Stay tuned.
We are also extremely thankful to The Elora Mill.  They have become our first corporate "Sensational Blue" sponsor.

Thank you to all our sponsors:

Elora Mill Logo

Elora BIA Logo

Granite Homes Logo

Once Upon A Guise Logo

Chalmers Fuels Logo

CW Logo


We are in the early planning stages for this season.  Save the dates for:
Film-On-A-Plate, May 22nd
Fabulous Fergus Pub Night, June 22nd
Pumpkin Day, October 7th
Sensational Soup-Off - October 9th.
Monster March, October 21st and
Monster Month from October 1st to 31st.
All dates are subject to change and other events could be added at any time. please follow sensationalelora.com for the latest news.
Sensational Elora is actively recruiting new board members and committee members.  If you would like to join our team, we will find a role for you that meets your availability.  Please contact us through our website or email info@sensationalelora.com.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.


Spring 2018 Update

We're celebrating our 10th anniversary!

Since Sensational Elora was conceived as the brain child of an amazing woman, Rhoda Lipton, we have been blessed with wonderful community support.   Our annual award-winning festival now organizes events throughout the year featuring the renowned music, art, film, food, scenery and unique small town character of historic Elora and Fergus.

What we do:

We strive to work with a wide variety of community partners to create fabulous events that showcase what Centre Wellington has to offer while we continue to raise funds to combat hunger in our community.
We hope you will continue to read to the end of this newsletter as we describe some of our successful 2017 events and preview 2018 but first, we would like to ask you to consider joining our organization as a volunteer or a board member.  We have recently experienced a couple retirements from our board and we are actively looking for new board members.  We are a 100% volunteer organization with a working board.  To ensure we are able to continue with the same success we have had in our first 10 years, we need some new blood.   If you are interested or, if you have any suggestions, please contact us at info@sensationalelora.com or sign up on our website.

Newsletter: 2018 1Why we do it:

Having fun while helping combat hunger in Centre Wellington;  this is what it is all about.  In our first 9 years, we have surpassed $110,000 in donations to the Centre Wellington Food Bank and Centre Wellington High School breakfast program (the food bank receives 90%).  Our free events (Pumpkin Day and Monster March) have also contributed 100s of pounds of food for the Food Bank.  Since starting our jazz series at Elora Centre for the Arts a couple years ago, we have also raised over $2,000 for the Centre.

We could not have done any of this without the wonderful community support at our events, or the financial contributions from our sponsors or the generous donation of volunteer time at our various events including the continued donations of one-of-a-kind bowls from the many generous potters who continue to support our Empty Bowls project year after year and the soup-makers who contribute their time and their soups to our Sensational Soup-Off every Thanksgiving Monday.  The combination of soup and empty bowls is our major fund-raiser every year.
For those of you who could not attend our volunteer/sponsor appreciation evening, please accept our sincere gratitude now.

Newsletter: 2018 Spring 2

A year in review:

2017 was another great year for Sensational Elora. The photos above are a small sample of the events Sensational Elora organized throughout the year.  
- May 2017 'Film On A Plate' presentations of Maudie: It was a huge success, selling out the Gorge Cinema but unfortunately, it was a  bigger success than we had planned for and we ran out of food.  We truly apologize for anyone who did not get their full serving of food that evening.  While we tried to compensate by offering additional free drinks, we know that it isn't the same and we promise that it won't happen again.
- Jazz at the Centre:We had two wonderful Jazz at the Elora Centre for the Arts events in 2017; Aura Rully and Heather Bambrick.  Both ladies were backed by some of the finest jazz musicians in Ontario. Regular attendees to our jazz presentations tell us they really like the "jazz club" atmosphere we create.  Most of these shows are 100% sold out so we always recommend you buy early.
- Our October events; Pumpkin Day, Sensational Soup-Off and Monster March Parade were all well attended again in 2017.  
- Pumpkin Day included a professional pumpkin carving demonstration, face painting, a bouncy castle, Zoomba and Highland Dancing demonstrations, face painting, popcorn and  music, all for free. The generous folks from Mapleton Organics were also in attendance again, selling pumpkin ice-cream to raise money for the food bank.
- Sensational Soup-Off/Empty Bowls We had a great mix of professional, amateur and youth soup makers competing for the title of "super-souper of 2017" and a one-of-a-kind soup ladle donated by  Metallic Evolution, at our Soup-Off.  A huge crowd of soup lovers came out to enjoy the soup and choose a  bowl from our collection of Empty Bowls.  We welcomed the Elora Arts Collective to the list of contributors to our Empty Bowls in 2017 to join the other generous potters who have been contributing bowls year after year. and Barb Murphy Pottery donated a beautiful growler to be  raffled off as another fund -raiser for the food bank.  As always, the wonderful generous musicians of the Elora Acoustic Cafe entertained for the afternoon and donated their fee to the food bank.
- Monster March, the non-motorized parade through Elora that Sensational Elora assumed responsibility for a couple years ago keeps growing. The number of participants and the originality of costumes continues to get better and better (and the contributions to the food bank continue to increase).   In 2017, we ended the parade at Bissell park with free drinks, popcorn and treats for all participants.  
- New in 2017 Sensational Elora adopted Tim Murton's famous Twilight Zoo, made possible by generous sponsorship by Pearle Hospitality, Sorbara Group of Companies and Your Grand Team Realty.    Sensational Elora wanted to ensure that this unique Elora experience didn't disappear so we have taken on this challenging new project.  In 2017, we started installing a few monsters in Fergus as well as Elora and our future plans include significant growth.  We work closely with other community organizations for our Monster Month activities and expect great new features in the future.


For our 10th anniversary year, we are in the early planning stages.  Currently, we know that we will have a Film On A Plate event May 17th at The Gorge Cinema.  We will have more jazz, we are hoping to have Fabulous Fergus Pub Night again this year, perhaps a 2nd Film On A Plate (outdoors in the Elora Green Space), we will definitely schedule Pumpkin Day and Sensational Soup-off over Thanks giving weekend again this year and our Monster Month project will continue to expand but, it's too early in the planning to provide more details. Stay tuned to our web sites, www.sensationalelora.com and www.monstermonth.ca for details.   Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.