A New Place Called Home
For those of us with wanderlust, it’s been a tricky time. We’ve been dreaming of the trips we want to take. The places we want to explore. Instead, we’re left to find ways to experience our favourite destinations from a distance – through delivery, virtual experiences or just bookmarking inspo for future visits.
For those of you jonesing for trip to the County, there’s now another way to visit from the comfort of home: through your TV screen!
“A New Place Called Home” is a just-launched television series focusing on the people behind some of The County’s most beloved enterprises. People who made a big change in their life to come to The County and start a new journey. Created and directed by County resident Chrystelle Maechler, “A New Place Called Home” tells the stories of six County entrepreneurs: what brought them here, what inspired their journey and what keeps them going in their new place called home.
You can find the six-episode series of documentary shorts on VOD on Bell Fibe, channel 1 (listed under Kingston) and on the Bell Fibe TV app.
A new project in a new home
Chrystelle Maechler creates content for film, radio and television as a screenwriter, director and voice artist. When she and her husband came to The County, they were looking for their next project, and the idea for “A New Place Called Home” came to them. It was a very personal project. Chrystelle hails from France and husband Andreas Krätschmer, who filmed and edited the project, is from Germany. They’ve moved around a lot. The notion of “home” and how people perceive it was intriguing to them. Meeting and interviewing the show’s subjects was a great way to get to know their new community.
“We moved here and after three months, the pandemic hit. There were three months of normalcy, and the rest was abnormal,” says Chrystelle. “We learned about the community through their eyes and saw how nice it can be when it’s normal. They were so adamant about how the community is so strong here, and people are so nice and willing to help.”
Selecting the interview subjects was tough. The original list was long, but when they finally landed on the subjects for the six episodes, themes started to emerge. The people profiled in this series all have different stories. Despite their different paths, they all share a love of community and a love of the land. Their stories are not just about geographic moves, but also a major life changes, restarts and a big internal journeys.
Meet the stars of the show:
Mel Cannons and Paul Tobias
Melissa Cannons and Paul Tobias are the restaurateurs behind Idle Wild, a pan-Asian kitchen that serves up take-out at their popular Wellington storefront. Residents and visitors alike are treated to contemporary takes on classic dishes. Look out for Korean japchae, Filipino adobo and lumpia, Thai curries and Japanese maki rolls.
Aaron Armstrong is the owner and farmer at Blue Wheelbarrow Farm, whose organic greens and produce have supplied The County’s best restaurants for years. Aaron is a friendly face at farmers’ markets around The County. While the farm is on sabbatical in 2021, you can keep your eyes on Blue Wheelbarrow for future agritourism experiences.
Susan and Glen Wallis
Susan and Glen Wallis are not only the hosts at AWAY in the County bed and breakfast, they are also celebrated artists. Susan’s encaustic paintings of landscapes, nests, birches and more are on display throughout The County and at her own studio gallery Melt Studio. Glen is a designer and fabricator who makes the Canadian Screen Awards in his shop at the historic Camp Picton air base.
Alison Lawtey is the owner of The Acres at High Shore bed and breakfast, a unique accommodation made of exquisitely re-designed shipping containers. Ali, a former marketing ace, has lovingly restored a heritage barn on the property. She is the steward for acres of wetlands that attract a whole world of birds, bugs, beetles and small animals.
Sleiman Al Jasem
Sleiman Al Jasem arrived in The County as a Syrian refugee, and quickly found his place in the community. When the owners of The County’s only commercial fishery were looking for a succession plan, they connected with Sleiman. He was mentored by them, then took over the business and launched The County Catch. Look for his fresh-caught fish at the Picton Foodland, in his Sophiasburgh area shop and on the menu at local restaurants.
Joaquim and Amor Conde
Joaquim and Amor Conde of Quinta do Conde moved from the big city to The County to revive a small acreage farm with organic and regenerative farming techniques. You can visit their farm store near Black River for produce alongside Amor’s Antiques, or check out their “table at the farm” harvest dinners. Everything they serve at these unique culinary events comes from their land, and the experience includes an opportunity to tour the farm with Joaquim and learn about their farming practices.