55th Country Homes Tour popular as ever
by Julie Cadieux
HUDSON – Organizers had to contend with widespread power failures and other dramas, but the guests of last Thursday’s 55th annual Country Homes Tour didn’t seem to mind the long line-ups.
Instead, there was a sense of shared curiosity and fun as groups of friends and strangers chatted and commented while standing in line to enter the homes, sometimes for up to 25 minutes.
I was surprised to be told (and to overhear) that most never walk away from the Home Tour feeling jealous or embarrassed about their own homes. Rather many just enjoy a day out with their friends while shopping for ideas they can use in their spaces.
“It makes me feel good when I see a lived in home rather than a minimalist, perfect house,” said Judy Redding of Kirkland. Observing how others have arranged an attractive shelf of eclectic pieces, hung photos, placed furniture or even organized a closet are the main reasons people (mostly women) come in droves from places as far out as Ottawa, Westmount, Cornwall and St. Lambert. The other reason might be the delicious lunch and of course the other and most important, is the support it gives to the St. James Church and its 15 other charities.
Gay Campbell who has been the Conveyer of the Country Homes Tour for the past 15 years, explained how it is no small feat to organize this event. She could not yet confirm how many attended this year but said it has been successful in the past, which explains why the event is still going strong after 55 years. She credits the wonderful and hard working committee, the donations and the over 300 volunteers that make it a success “a coming together of the community” she is proud of. Of course the half-dozen homes they carefully choose to showcase every year are the main appeal. Gay says “it is a nice mix of homes” and they make certain there is the right balance, from an older historic home, a cute artful home to a large newer home ensures that the properties are “within reach of people.”
This is Gay’s last year as the event’s Conveyor and she is thrilled to announce that Betsy Aird and Cody Gilmore will be taking over together for Tour #56.
The Hudson St. Lazare Gazette – June 8 2011 – Julie Cadieux