Tuesday Dec. 5, 2023

Nov. 23, 2023

9 novembre 2023


Upcoming events

THE CUMBERLAND COMMUNITY SINGERS present "Peace & Joy" from 7:30 p.m. at Orleans United Church, 1111 Orléans Blvd.. Come and join us for an uplifting evening filled with songs of peace and joy. This concert will feature new interpretations of traditional hymns and some newer less well known pieces that celebrate the beauty of Christmas. Bring the whole family - kids are free! Tickets available at  https://bit.ly/CCSPeaceandJoy.

STATION 71 LITE THE NITE event at 7 p. m. at the Navan Fire Station, 1246 Colonial Rd. Come out to enjoy some yummy hot chocolate and cookies while listening to Christmas carolers and watching Sparky light our Christmas tree. You can also bring a toy for the Help Santa Toy Parade.

CUMBERLAND CHRISTMAS MARKET from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at four different locations in Cumberland Village. Over 100 LOCAL ARTISANS at 4 different locations – the R. J. Kennedy Arena, the Baitun Naseer Mosque at 2620 Market St., the Lions Maple Hall at 2557 Old Montreal Rd., and the Da Artisti Studio & Gallery at 2565 Old Montreal Rd.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA FUNDRAISER hosted by the Cumberland Lions Club from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at the Lions Maple Hall in Cumberland Village. Special activities, and gifts, for the children throughout the morning, plus a visit from Santa. Admission at the door $15 for adults and $10 for childen 12 and under. Donations will also be accepted on site for the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre's Christmas Program for families in need.

DOMAINE PERRAULT HOLIDAY MARKET from 10:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m. at the Domaine Perrault Winery, 1000 Perrault Rd. just south of Navan.  Get ready to indulge in a festive atmosphere filled with local vendors, live music, kids craft station, a visit from Santa and of course, incredible wine. Whether you're searching for unique gifts or simply want to treat yourself, this event has something for everyone.

ORLÉANS HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS ART MARKET – Celebrate the festive season the Orléans way. From the Heart of Orléans, unique gift ideas are brought to you by creative, local vendors. No need to rush - the market will be open for two days, Saturday, Dec. 2 from 12 noon to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.



VIEWPOINT: Independent community papers still alive and well
By Fred Sherwin
Nov. 23, 2023

It was Mark Twain who once wrote, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” or something to that effect in responding to an obituary that had been written about him. While speaking on behalf of the other 128 community newspaper owners in Ontario – reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated as well.

There’s barely a week that goes by when I don’t receive condolences over the demise of a particular newspaper, or newspapers in general. And despite the recent closure of 71 community newspapers in Ontario by the Metroland Media Group, there are still 128 operating across the province, most of which, like the Orléans Star and the L’Orléanais, are independently owned. And that’s the key.

News report after news report about the closing of the Metroland newspapers blamed it on the “changing reading habits” of their audience, or at least that was the excuse given by the Metroland spin doctors.

By “changing reading habits” they meant that most of their former readers had turned to the Internet to get their news. And while it is true that most people get their news from various Internet platforms ranging from digital news sites to social media, most of it is either national or international news, or professional sports. The truth of the matter is that most of the news you find in a community newspaper can only be found in that particular community newspaper.

The real reason Metroland closed its news-papers is a lack of respect for their readers and a focus on the bottom line at the expense of content. When accountants start running a newspaper, you can bet the end is near.

The Metroland papers were being run by accountants and the results was all too predictable. As the price for printing and distribution went up, they began to cut the only other discretionary costs they had left – reporters and freelancers. Stories that were being reported on locally, were being replaced by generic articles produced in a central clearing house. At the same time, the percentage of the paper devoted to editorial content steadily shrank and the advertising portion steadily grew to 60 per cent or more.

I’ve been in this business almost 35 years and there’s one thing that has never changed – if your newspaper doesn’t have relevant, thought-provoking content about the community it serves, no one will read it.

When I bought the Orléans Star in 2016, it had no editorial, no opinion pieces of any kind and was running at about 60 per cent advertising. All that changed after I took over and we now run the paper with a 50/50 split between editorial content and advertising.

That doesn’t mean that community newspapers don’t have issues. I recently attended the Ontario Independent Newspaper Publishers Conference near Orangeville where the two main topics of conversation was the Metroland closures and the continued strength of the independents.

Independent community newspapers will continue to survive for two main reasons – we produce local stories about local news and events for local readers, and we provide an affordable advertising option for local businesses which can’t afford radio and TV ads, or expensive brochure campaigns.

That doesn’t mean that we aren’t facing our fair share of challenges. Most notably, the trend by various levels of government to advertise on social media platforms at the expense of main stream media outlets including community newspapers like this one. For example, the federal government spent nearly $200 million in advertising in 2022, 80 per cent of which went to Google, Twitter and Facebook. Which means those tax dollars went straight to the tech giants in California at the expense of local media. Only four per cent went to community news-papers. That hurts.

Here in Ottawa, the city no longer runs rezoning notices, or notices about various public meetings or consultations in the paper. It sends all its money to California as well.

In order to make up for the loss in revenue, and increased costs, community newspapers have to be innovative. Here at the Orléans Star it means running different special sections, publishing our annual Christmas Recipe and Songbook and producing a physical road map of Orléans.

We are also developing a program by which our readers will be able to provide a modest monthly contribution in exchange for some bonuses. Stay tuned for that and in the meantime, the Orléans Star will continue to serve our readers and the community.

(If you wish to comment on this or any other View Point column please write to Fred Sherwin at fsherwin@orleansstar.ca)




Remembrance Day play an homage to the homefront

OST production presents the best of Winnie-the-Pooh

Brilliantly written holiday production an instant Christmas classic

Béatrice-Desloges successfully defends senior girls 'AA' hoops title

St. Matt's beats St. Pete's for third straight time to advance to city championship game

Orléans native Blondin wins gold at opening Wold Cup speedskating event

Local business



MAKER FEED CO. Cumberland Village restaurant unveils exciting new fall menu




180-FITNESS CENTRE: Home of the Biggest Loser




VIEWPOINT: Independent community papers still alive and well


Vanxiety_life #9: Vanlifers decide to spend a few months close to home

Contact information

745 Farmbrook Cres.
Orléans, Ontario K4A 2C1
Phone: 613-447-2829
E-mail: info@orleansstar.ca


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