April 2018 FOCA Elert

Click here to read the most recent newsletter of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations, which includes a number of articles of interest to Big Rideau Lake cottagers and boaters such as cottage closing tips, end of season updates, lake environment and public policy news.

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Parks Canada Launches Water Management InfoNet

Parks Canada has recently launched the Ontario Waterways Water Management InfoNet.

The InfoNet offers a variety of information related to water management on the Rideau Canal, including background information on water management practices, water management updates, frequently asked questions about water management, various reports on water management, and the most recent water levels of lakes along the Rideau Canal.

The new water levels tool within the InfoNet will be of particular interest to our members; it provides lake levels data from the last 30 days and graphic representation of levels for the current year. The information comes from hydrometric gauges located at key points along both waterways, including two locations at either end of  Big Rideau Lake. 

Click the link below to access the InfoNet home page.

Celebration of Life for Bill Belanger

The following invitation has been issued by the children of the late Bill Belanger:

Please join us as we celebrate the life of Bill Belanger on Sunday July 29, 2018 from 1:00-3:00 pm, at the Timber Run Golf Course, 154 Caldwell Street in Lanark.

At 1:00 we will have short presentations from: Bill's cherished sister Ann Belanger, an old friend since his Christie Lake days (Ron Ensom), a beloved former student (Don MacGregor), his dear water-safety friend of more than 50 years (Jim O'Brien) and a longtime friend and former elementary student (Tom Ritchie). After, we invite you stay and visit with old friends and new.

As many of you know, our father had a deep love of log buildings. Timber Run is a beautiful log structure that is almost equal driving distance from Ottawa and the Big Rideau Lake: the two communities that he called home.

We are honored to have you join us. Our father touched many lives and we encourage you to attend. Please register on this website if you plan to attend. Your registration will help us to plan the event and to ensure that this invitation has reached all those who may want to attend.

We look forward to spending time with you while we collectively remember Bill.

Thank you,

Kristine and Jeff Belanger (Bill's children)


The photo above was taken in the summer of 2017 on the Big Rideau Lake; Bill was 81 years of age and in his happy place. Bill's Obituary appears below:

Obituary - William Allan (Bill) Belanger

February 10, 1936 - December 20, 2017

William Allan (Bill) Belanger passed away suddenly en route to visiting family in Calgary on December 20, 2017. Although ill with cancer, his zest for life and his search for purpose was unwavering. He was passionate about education , being a teacher, principal and Ottawa Teacher's College master. He spent the last 25 years of his professional journey as a professor at the University of Ottawa in the faculty of Education. His professional contributions echoed his life outside work. He was intrigued with the idea of perspective and found value in what others brought to a situation, regardless of their age or position. He embraced innovation and creativity. He was generous with his time, having a long history of volunteering with numerous organizations, such as the Red Cross (Water Safety), Christie Lake Camp and more recently the Big Rideau Lakes Association. Towards the end of his life, he realized a life-long dream of living in a log home he built in a community where, in his words, "the houses were farther apart but the people were closer together". Bill will be deeply missed for his generous spirit, his quirky sense of humour, his youthful outlook and his desire to pursue the "road less travelled". He is survived by his wife Donna Belanger and is cherished by their two children, Jeff (Ottawa) and Kristine (Calgary). He is lovingly remembered by his granddaughters (Shaelin and Raia of Calgary), his treasured sister Ann Belanger (Uxbridge) and his brother Paul Belanger (Tuscon). Bill valued and enjoyed his friends and his community; please know you were very important to him. The family thanks Dr. Peter Kuling for the outstanding medical care he offered to Bill over the years; Bill was grateful for your humanity and support.

In memory of Bill, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

Opportunity for Grad Students

BRLA has partnered with several research and environmental organizations to conduct significant research focussed on the Rideau Canal and Trent-Severn Waterways, including Big Rideau Lake. This offers an opportunity for a number of graduate students to become part of some very important and interesting research work. 

The projects are very diverse in nature (e.g., turtles, fish, macrophytes, water quality, hydrological mapping, sedimentology, social sciences, and more!), and there is flexibility for students to help define the scope of each project. These projects will be part of up to eight graduate student theses work, and the work will be based out of Carleton U, Ottawa U, or the Université de Sherbrooke depending on the project. 

These positions offer very exciting and interesting work with a great group of collaborators; as one of these projects' sponsors, we would appreciate our members help in spreading the word!

For full details on the projects, click the link below.

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