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Dearest members, welcome to MERA's newsletter - the best way to stay up to date with everything happening at McDonalds Corners & Elphin Recreation & Arts. Thank you for subscribing! If you have any feedback for future newsletters, please do not hesitate to send it our way! If you are not yet subscribed to the newsletter, use this form

If you would like to learn more about becoming a MERA member, click here. If you would like to support MERA with a donation, click here
This Month
  • Annual Christmas Fair
  • 2022 Memberships
  • Look what we made! - Bent Metal Sculpture Workshop with Cathy Blake
  • Programs and Events - Zoom Book Club, Gentle Yoga, Recorder Consort, Dance for the Joy of It, Bereavement Circle (on Zoom)
  • Music at MERA - November Concerts 

Find a handmade treasure at our Annual Christmas Fair!

This Saturday November 20th from 9 - 3 pm we are ready to welcome to MERA's Annual Christmas Fair! I probably say this every year, but it is hard to believe the holiday season is already here. Yes, it's this Saturday! All COVID protocols will be in place. Find a handmade treasure and socialize with old friends and new.  Warm up with a cup of hot cider at our outdoor bonfire!


This year's fair includes:
Handwoven Fashion by Heather Sharrett
Locally Made Jams by Barb Flynn
Fine Chocolate by Ludwig
Blue Moon Fashions by Nicola Webb
Critters and Tails by Molly Forsythe
Acrylic Paintings by Greta McDonald
Needle Felting by Rosie Kotze
Jewelry by PJ Wilson
Woodworking by Barry Russell
Natural Wreaths by Emily Kszan
The Wooly Cauldron by Caitlyn Howard
as well as the MERA Pottery Studio
MERA Fiber Artists
MERA Art Circle
Heritage Weavers

2022 MERA Membership Appeal
It is that time of year again, when we must ask all of you who value MERA’s place in the community to sign up for your 2022 MERA membership.
Membership dues have always been a significant portion of MERA’s income and this will be especially so this year. The value you receive is so much more than the cost of being a member. It enables community access to a wide variety of arts and crafts groups, workshops, events and community gatherings including:

  • Concerts
  • Fine Arts
  • Pottery
  • Weaving
  • Quilting
  • Music
  • Yoga
  • Dance
  • Children’s summer art camp
More than that, you are a part of the team at MERA committed to building a better community for all of us.
We all know that COVID-19 has affected the budgets of many organizations, MERA included.  Despite that we are keeping our membership cost unchanged.
Single Membership: $50.00
Family Membership: $75.00
New Family Membership: $50.00
Payments can be made by e-transfer or cheque.
e-Transfer Details           
Recipient name: MERA
Recipient e-mail address:
MERA uses “Auto-deposit” – No security question or answer required
Please supply information regarding purpose of the e-transfer, and the member’s names and contact information in the e-transfer “message box”
Cheques can be mailed to: MERA, 974 Dalhousie Concession 9A, McDonald’s Corners, ON, K0G 1M0
If you are a new member, welcome!  You can sign up by filling in the application form at .
For those of you who are able, we hope you will consider a cash donation to MERA. To keep these programs and events as accessible as possible, fees have been kept modest by design. Your continuing generous support is essential to bridge the gap between program income and operating expenses. We hope that you will consider making an annual tax deductible donation and join our family of supporters. Tax Receipts will be issued for donations of $25 or more.

submitted by Peter Cochrane
Look what we made!

Last month, MERA hosted the Bent Metal Sculpture Workshop with Cathy Blake. Participants created their very own cut metal sculpture using aluminum flashing and acrylic paints. These workshops are always a great way to spend an afternoon and get the creative juices flowing. 

If you have an idea for a workshop or series to host at MERA, please contact the Program Committee. 

I would like to make this a regular addition to the newsletter. Feel free to submit any photos of MERA groups, workshops or events to

(photos used with permission from Cathy Blake)

garden sculpture made by Mark West
dancer made by Mary Falconer
crow made by Helen Mogford
made by Gerry Capelle
Book Club meets on Zoom every month. Meeting is November 23 at 7:00pm. This month, the book is The Company We Keep by Ottawa writer Frances Itani

Hazzley is at loose ends, even three years after the death of her husband. When her longtime friend Cassandra, café owner and occasional dance-class partner, suggests that she start up a conversation group, Hazzley posts a notice on the community board at the local grocery store. Four people turn up for the first meeting: Gwen, a recently widowed retiree in her early sixties, who finds herself pet-sitting a cantankerous parrot; Chiyo, a forty-year-old fitness instructor who cared for her unyielding but gossip-loving mother through the final days of her life; Addie, a woman pre-emptively grieving a close friend who is seriously ill; and Tom, an antiques dealer and amateur poet who, deprived of home baking since becoming a widower, comes to the first meeting hoping cake will be served. Before long, they are joined by Allam, a Syrian refugee with his own story to tell.

These six strangers are learning that beginnings can be possible at any stage of life. But as they tell their stories, they must navigate what is shared and what is withheld. Which version of the truth will be revealed? Who is prepared to step up when help is needed? (From HarperCollins)

If you are interested in joining the Book Club, please contact Jean Dunning. 

The Fall 2021 session for Gentle Yoga will begin on Tuesday Nov.2, 2021 at 10 to 11:30 am and run for 8 weeks until Dec. 21, 2021

While planning for the new session, take the time to consider your personal wellness. Yoga is a popular and age old mind-body practice that combines movement, breathing, relaxation and meditation exercises to calm the nervous system and balance the body, mind, and spirit. Yoga has been shown to decrease reports of pain, improve quality of sleep, decrease overall fatigue, and improve depressed moods. Yoga has also been shown to improve lung function, strength of inspiratory and expiratory muscle as well as skeletal strength and endurance. 
In gentle yoga, posture and breath work are emphasized. Supportive props and gravity assist can allow people to relax into postures and maintain them for longer periods to help reduce anxiety, increase energy and support physical and emotional well-being. Positions can be modified to allow full participation for a wide variety of participants. Gentle Yoga can also be a beneficial way for people to ease back into exercise. 
Yoga Instructor: Marj Kennelly is a certified Yoga Instructor who has recently retired as a physiotherapist and moved to the McDonalds Corners region. Marj will not be practicing as a PT for this program but will bring her 30+ years of PT experience and knowledge to help guide a safe, healthy, Yoga practice.

Cost: $50 for 6 sessions for MERA members or 10 dollars/session as drop in or non-MERA member.
Should you have any questions please contact Marj Kennelly at
If sessions need to be cancelled due to inclement weather, Marj will contact registered participants either by Email or phone.

The MERA Recorder Consort is back! Meetings are on Friday mornings at 9:30 am in Dean Hall. The MERA Recorder Consort is an ongoing, flexible group of players in its 6th  year.  We meet for two to 4 of classes a year, playing intermediate level music in 2-4 parts.  We play for our own enjoyment, but sometimes we play for a MERA event or for our own party.

If you already read music and play the recorder or other wind instrument, you might want to play with this group of enthusiastic amateur players, with teacher Helen Mogford to provide guidance and music. Seasonal sessions last 6-10 weeks, with a 75 minute class on Friday mornings. In warm weather, we often play outside. We have the capability to provide this class on ZOOM for those not able to play live with us.

The cost of group recorder lessons varies according to the number in the class, but generally ranges between $80 and $120 for ten weeks, 20% more if you are not a MERA member. Fall of 2021 there is one 8 week session. Members’ cost is $80, or $12 drop in. Non members’ cost is $95 for 8 weeks and $14 for occasional drop in. I expect we will have a winter session and a spring session in 2022. Sometimes, we play more informally in the summer.

To enquire about joining the group or learning the recorder from the beginner level, contact Helen Mogford at 613 278 1991 or

Come enjoy 1.5 hours of free-form dance to a wide range of energizing music: belly-dance to classic rock... world beat to pop ... with some Latin and other flavours thrown in. This is your evening out if you are looking for a way to turn on “delight” (or “da light”) in the darker months of the year. Especially for people who don’t like following the leader, in this gathering we move for the fun of it. We end with twenty minutes of luxurious stretching.

Dance for the Joy of It! will resume Monday November 22nd at 7 pm – 8:30 pm in Dean Hall. 
Contact Christine for more information by phone 613.259.2073 or email



The Sessions are facilitated by Grief Companions - Suzanne Ritchie and Laurie Lynn Clark. Both Suzanne and Laurie have experienced deep loss in their personal lives and are equipped with skills to hold a safe space for you to explore your grief. This 7 week bereavement session will connect people in the community through active listening, expressing and sharing each other's grief experience safely and confidentially. It is recommended that participants register for the full 7 week session so as to benefit through coming to know the pain that results from the many losses that we encounter in life. Although, participants are invited to try the first few zoom sessions to explore whether it is a good fit for their personal grief process. 

Registration for this program is based on the donation principle to ensure its accessibility for all involved. All donations will be offered to MERA Schoolhouse.  

Bereavement circle will continue every Monday evening until November 29th, 2021

Please register with Laurie Clark at


Nov. 21 Doc MacLean
Nov. 28 Lynne Hanson
...and planning exciting concerts for 2022!

MERA's concerts are very popular. Tickets are available at All COVID protocols are in place.
Copyright © 2021 MERA, All rights reserved.

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