Friday June 2, 2023

May 25, 2023

25 mai 2023


Upcoming events

ROYAL OAK FUNDRAISER FOR KYLE ANDRADES – The Royal Oak Orléans is holding a fundraising event for the Kyle Andrades Memorial Bursary. This event will include live music by the Jasen Colson Duo, a silent auction, raffles and BBQ!! Come help us hit our $25K goal.

NAVAN LIONS WALK FOR DOG GUIDES​ – Meet under the domes on the Navan Fairgrounds. Registration begins at noon. 3km walk around the beautiful streets of Navan begins at 1 p.m. Stay after for Yappy Hour and free BBQ. Family-friendly event. All dogs must be on a leash.

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Helen’s Anglican Church, 1234 Prestone Dr., Orléans. This year’s art fair is supporting the Young Artists Initiative. You can view the artists’ galleries at and follow on Facebook at

GRANDMAS AIDING GRANDMAS will be holding a Plant & Garden Sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., corner of Bearbrook and Innes in Blackburn Hamlet. Annuals, perennials, houseplants, crafts, baking and raffle. All proceeds to the Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmothers Campaign, supporting African grandmothers raising a generation of children orphaned by

THE ORIGINAL NAVAN MARKET returns with over 200 different vendors at the Navan Fairgrounds including several new vendors. Gates open at 9 a.m.

TBLACKBURN FUN FAIR – Pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fun Fair parade 10 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. Midway 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. BBQ from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Little Ray’s Reptiles 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the arena. Bouncy castle, face-painting and Dunk Tank from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stage show 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beer Garden 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. Cake cutting at 1 p.m. Paint party 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Fireworks show at 10 p.m. Visit for a complete schedule of all the activities and events.


Documentary tells the story of improbable championship run
Fred Sherwin
Feb. 2, 2023

Merrick Palmer – basketball coach, mentor, and entrepreneur – can now add documentary maker to his already impres-sive resumé. The co-owner of the Capital Courts Academy in Orléans recently released a 21-minute documentary on the improbable run made by the Academy’s girls team to the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA) championship last spring.

The OSBA is considered to be the best prep school league in Canada and one of the top leagues in North America. It is usually dominated by teams from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) which has a massive pool of talent from which the schools can recruit players.

Capital Courts Academy, which is made up of players who attend classes at Cairine Wilson Secondary School, went into the playoffs last year as the 6th seed with an 8-9 record.

After beating Crestwood Prep 74-70 in the quarterfinals, the Academy girls upset the second seed Lincoln Prep 74-75 in the semis to earn a berth in the championship game against first place King’s Christian Collegiate which was riding a 19-game winning streak.

Despite being overwhelming underdogs, the CCA team led the entire game and were up by as many as nine points on their way to a 65-61 victory.

But as much as the documentary is about the team’s remarkable championship run, it is also about team head coach and Capital Courts co-founder Fabienne Blizzard, the journey she’s been on and the ripple effect she and Palmer have had on the Academy, its development program and the commitment to excellence they have both instilled in their players – thus the name of the documentary.

Blizzard, who is originally from Southern Québec, was herself inspired by her high school coach, Rodrigue Dufault.

“He was so passionate about the game that he made you fall in love with it,” Blizzard says in the documentary. “As soon as I was done I was looking for a way to pay it forward because there was so much given to me.”

Blizzard ended up in the coaching apprenticeship program at the University of Ottawa and eventually with the Gloucester-Cumberland Wolverines.

She crossed paths with Palmer through the many clinics and camps he ran. The two immediately gravitated to each other over their like-minded philosophy of how sports and basketball, in particular, can not only develop young women athletically, but in terms of their whole selves.

“We knew that we couldn’t just roll the ball out and say ‘here’s the basketball, let’s play in this league’. We knew we had to grow the entire human being. We knew we had to handle all aspects of their development and not just the basketball,” says Palmer.

The Academy program includes a strength and conditioning coach, a clinical psychol-ogist, a transformation therapist and a team doctor. So far, 11 of the girls who have been through the program have gone on to receive Division I scholarships south of the border. Another seven have ended up in a university program here in Canada.

In their first year in the OSBA in 2017 they had just eight players and finished in sixth place with an 8-10 record. In 2018-2019 they improved dramatically and finished second in the East Division with 13 wins and just three losses.

They finished in second place again in 2019-2020, but they were unable to make it past the semi-finals.

After the 2020-2021 season was canceled due to the COVD 19 pandemic, the team was eager to get back on to the court last winter and make another run at the playoffs which culminated in their winning the OSBA championship.

You can view the documentary by going on YouTube and searching for “The Ripple Effect”.



OST production presents the best of Winnie-the-Pooh

Brilliantly written holiday production an instant Christmas classic

Plenty to see and do at the Shenkman Arts Centre this fall

Local cheerleading team earn silver medal at world championships

Underdog Wolverines win U13 Canadian Youth Basketball crown

Local golfer finishes top 10 at visually impaired world championships

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Contact information
745 Farmbrook Cres.
Orléans, Ontario K4A 2C1
Phone: 613-447-2829


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