On June 22nd a minor miracle occurred when the dilapidated old grandstand at the Almonte Fair Grounds, originally built in 1868 and the oldest covered grandstand in Canada, was revitalized with a fresh coat of paint and new red steel siding, giving her a brand new look in just one day.
by Marilyn Snedden
It was thanks to the work of over 40 volunteers from Senstar Corporation headquartered in Carp. Once a year Senstar volunteers its employees’ time from 8 to 4 pm for a “Good Deeds Day” in the community. Employees can submit a proposal for a charity or a not for profit organization which can be completed in one day. This year Glen Brydges, a director of the NLAS, submitted Almonte Fairgrounds as a potential project for Senstar, and his proposal was selected.
Many hours were spent by some of the Directors figuring out what projects were priorities on the fairgrounds, since there was no shortage of work to be done. After some of the Senstar personnel walked the fairgrounds they chose the grandstand, feeling that it could be fixed up in a day, leaving a lasting legacy and reducing the maintenance required in the coming years.
The Fair board directors spent an evening tearing down the derelict ceiling under the grandstand and Senstar installed a new white steel ceiling and replaced the lighting with new fluorescent fixtures. This now gives it a much brighter look and space that can be used during the fair.
Painting of the seats, steps and walls took over half the volunteers all day and used over 50 gallons of paint. The rest of the volunteers had the tricky task of working with the 20ft long sheets of steel, a windy day along with a building that is not square made this difficult so by 4 pm the steel still was not finished. Senstar’s dedicated crew resolved to stay longer finishing the back and one end before dark.
Fair board Directors Glenn Syme, Glen and Elaine Brydges, Jim Cavanaugh and Debbie Brydges worked all day alongside the Senstar staff. A bountiful lunch complete with pie was served by fair board directors Betty Renaud, Donna Carpenter, Dianna Brydges-Lachapelle, Debbie Villeneuve and Marilyn Snedden
It gives a real boost to the fair board to see everyone working together to produce such dramatic results, and Senstar sets a real high standard for others to follow. Thank you Senstar for your “ Good Deeds” in Almonte. Thank you also to Tom Levi and Levi Home Hardware for your support, Battlefield Equipment Rentals for the scissor lift you provided for the day and to Ken Laframboise for overseeing the installation of the steel siding. We hope to see you at the Fair July 15th to 17th, where there promises to be changes from former years. As President Glen Syme says “Some things old – and a lot of things new.”