Thursday 11 December 2014

Main and Local personifying Montreal's most memorable icons, events and expressions

Local entrepreneurs David Prince, Jonny Goldmaker and Andrew Cohen have come up with a pretty neat concept that both present-day and former Montrealers are bound to embrace - especially the latter.
Andrew Cohen

Main and Local  is personifying some of Montreal’s most notable and memorable icons, events and expressions in a collection of whimsical housewares and apparel. Inspired by Montreal landmarks, local delicacies and the melting-pot mentality of the city, the partners wanted to bring the creativity of the city into something you can touch and bring home. 

“We love the city, celebrate it and share it the best way we know how,”  the trio emphasize in a statement.

Prince, Goldmaker and Cohen have sought out Montreal artisans to produce their exclusive giftables, ranging from 100 percent  natural olive oil soaps, handmade leather valet trays, t-shirts that say "Poutine,"  an Expo '67 wall clock, Orange Julep earings and limited edition Montreal Royals prints.
Prince and Goldmaker

Main and Local recently opened a pop-up shop at Place MontrĂ©al Trust featuring their bestselling items, just in time for the holidays. The pop up will be open until mid-February in this location and until 5 p.m. on December 24. Online orders are guaranteed for Christmas delivery when placed by this Friday, December 12, 2014. Online rders can also be delivered to the MontrĂ©al Trust location for free pickup anytime on and before the 24th.

I have a family member now residing in the United States. During his annual visits back home he purchases all types of articles which remind him of Montreal. He and others like him should appreciate Main and Local.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Camp Pripstein's is shutting its doors

After 75 years in business,  Pripstein's Camp Mishmar in the Laurentians is shutting its doors.

"With our Early Registration promotional period completed, our camper numbers are lower than targeted," stated owner Ronnie Braverman in a letter to families. "Not only does this have financial implications for us, but we would be unable to ensure a great experience for campers without healthy group sizes. Therefore, after much discussion, my family and I have regretfully decided to call it a day and close the camp."

When  Braverman first joined his grandfather Chaim Pripstein in the business 42 years ago, the Laurentians were one of the booming centres of the Canadian camping scene. In addition to Pripstein’s, there were over a dozen privately operated co-ed English camps dotting the countryside, such as Hiawatha, Pine Valley, Pembina, Bayview, Panorama, and more.

"Most of us know that when the Parti Quebecois took power in 1976, threatening to separate Quebec from Canada, over 100,000 anglophones and many head offices left the province," Braverman says.  "This exodus continued unabated till today, with the majority of our former campers and staff choosing to start their careers and families elsewhere. This had a devastating effect on our private camp scene. Camps started closing one after the other, and by 2007, Pripstein’s was the sole camp of the original group still operating."

Chaim Pripstein came to Canada from Poland  and got a job teaching at United Talmud Torahs School. However, when the depression hit he was one of the casualties and had to become a peddler to make ends meet. He made his way to the Laurentians often and in his broken French became friendly with many of the farmers. Business was difficult for them too. Pripstein had an idea. One summer he asked if he could rent a farmhouse and convert it into a small hotel. “He promised them to use their food, which was not being sold and that his wife would do the cooking,” Braverman recalls. “At the end of the summer they would at least get some revenue.”

Soon enough guests were looking for an activity for their children. Pripstein hired some counselors and eventually established an actual camp in place of the hotel. Camp Mishmar (which means “On Guard” in Hebrew) was born, although most people liked to call it Pripstein’s.

In an effort to help out the camp's  loyal families, Braverman has  met with  with Sol Birenbaum and Howie Grossinger, owners of Camp Walden and they have reserved spaces for those already registered at Pripstein's.  

"After meeting with Sol and Howie, it was clear to me that their emphasis on nurturing their campers and staff and maintaining strong communication with parents would be a great fit for our families," says Braverman.  "I have visited Walden, which is just a four hour drive from Montreal. They have a beautiful, private site and own the complete frontage on their lake"

Sunday 7 December 2014

Rick Moffat will indeed return to CJAD and TSN 690; McKenna keeps seat warm

Frequent listeners to CJAD and TSN 690 each morning might be wondering what happened to the golden pipes of Rick Moffat. While we heard him handling the play by play duties for Montreal Impact and Alouettes games, his regular spot doing sportscasts on the Andrew Carter Show and as a co-host of the TSN 690 morning show with Elliott Price and Shaun Starr has been occupied by the uber-talented Conor McKenna.

Rick Moffat
"If you're wondering about me, I'm back fresh on January 5," Moffat  tells us. "I just had to burn off time racked up from a year filled with Impact, Rogers Cup and Alouettes games."

The average listener probably does not realize it, but from spring to fall guys like Moffat work almost seven days a week with plenty of overtime. Not an easy grind for a fellow who has to wake up by at last 4 a.m.  "It feels weird to sleep normal hours," Moffat admits.

Last week Moffat was kept busy following the death of hockey legend Jean Beliveau. "I did radio hits from coast to coast," he said.
Conor McKenna
While we will welcome back Moffat, one wonders how TSN and CJAD might be able to find a permanent spot for McKenna who is indeed a rising star in the industry. He delivers his sportcasts with panache and has a great sense of humour. We have already grown used to his great work on the Habs post-game show. If AM 600 ever does go on the air, he'd be a wise choice to lead their sports team.