ST. RAPHAEL’S – Looking great, Bishop’s House.
The historic stone house in the storied community of St. Raphael’s has undergone some summer beautification in preparation for its role in a soon-to-be-available fundraising Celtic virtual concert.
The Bishop’s House will serve as the backdrop for some of the performances in the concert that will support the long-term adaptive re-use project for the once-grand building that is slowly coming back to life.
The concert will be streaming Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. on several Facebook pages, and it will include Dane Lanken hosting six brief segments on the Big Bishop, amidst the musical performances and many scenes of old Glengarry.
“So many are unaware of the beauty and storied background of St. Raphael’s, and old Glengarry itself,’’ said Brenda Baxter, the president of the Glengarry Fencibles Trust charitable group, residents who’ve found ways of preserving the structure that dates back to 1808 and is a National Historic Site.
“This artistic production, with Dane’s compelling story woven in, will be entertaining (and illuminating for many).’’
The concert is being produced by the new Glengarry Fencibles Trust director, Gabrielle Campbell, and her husband Scott.
The property has been prepared for close scrutiny on video. With the help of supporters it was weeded and pruned. And, painter Neil McGregor, and Andy Scherer’s Landscape and Design team, added more finishing touches to the exterior.
Work and projects have gone on this spring/summer, but the pandemic has resulted in some setbacks, including the cancellation of the annual general meeting in the spring and no social events to be held on the new veranda this summer.
But there’s also been some very good news — Baxter said the Fencibles have been successful in acquiring another cost-sharing grant ($98,572) from Parks Canada, earmarked for extensive masonry on the rear walls of the house.
The former home of the first Ontario diocese bishop, Alexander Macdonell, was acquired by the Fencibles Trust group not long after helping to save it from demolition five years ago. Fundraising efforts over the years have raised over $500,000, and likely another $1.5 million, Baxter said, will be required to have a facility and grounds usable by community members, possibly as a meeting place and conference centre.
The upcoming concert is being billed as “an unforgettable evening of music and beautiful landscapes,.” It is to be streamed on several Facebook pages, including on The Bishop’s House, Glengarry Celtic Festival page as well as on the Musical Celebration Musicale page.
Guests will include, among many others, Kelli Trottier, Ashley MacLeod and the MacCulloch Dancers.