New! PIBO/Pelee Island Heritage Centre Online Gala

Dear guests of the SpringSong/PIBO online Gala:

The first Springsong/PIBO Virtual Gala is coming up soon, on Saturday, May 9, 2020!


Go to the Eventbrite Site:


1.       Go the Gala page.

2.       On the Home Page, under the yellow-headed bird, “LIKE” the Gala page

3.       Prior to the Gala event, make sure you can view the Gala Facebook page. The best web browser to use is Google Chrome. So if you don’t have that installed make sure you do that first.

4.       On Saturday, May 9, visit the Gala page a few minutes before 7 pm EST. Be sure you are on the Home Page. The Gala will appear as a new Post.

5.       Double-click the Gala screen to make it large. Don’t worry: we won’t be able to see you, so you can watch in your pyjamas!


The online silent auction runs from Saturday, May 2 at 10 am EST until Saturday, May 16 at 10 am EST.

To see the fabulous offerings, visit the Photos page on our Gala Facebook page:

To bid:

1.       Read the bidding rules

2.       Check the Starting Bid of the item you want to bid on

3.       In the Comments section of your item, enter a bid that is higher than the Starting bid and higher than any other bid so far.

4.       Check back often to see if you need to raise your bid


Choose from among three dozen appetizers, starters, main dishes, and desserts.


Count the birds mentioned in the recipes, then enter the PIBO BirdFeed Contest to win foodie/birdie prizes.


The 19th annual Springsong bird race is still on! In fact, it’s global!


Order your books from Biblioasis

Each book by the authors involved in the 2020 Springsong/PIBO Gala will come with a specially created bookplate signed by the author.

1.       Go to the Biblioasis Bookshop :

2.       Scroll down until you see “Springsong PIBO 2020 May Online Gala”

3.       Click on the blue “see more”

4.       Select which books and how many you would like

5.       Add to the cart

6.       Process your payment. Note: Purchasers will pay shipping.

Trevor Herriot’s virtual Prairie Bird Walk

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From: Kim Gardner, The Pelee Island Heritage Centre

Suzanne Friemann, The Pelee Island Bird Observatory

Date: May 9, 2020
Time: 7:00 – 8:30pm EST
Link to online Facebook Live event HERE:

Dear Friend and Supporter:
As you may imagine, in this time of COVID19, we at both the Pelee Island Heritage Centre and PIBO have had to cancel our spring fundraising dinners. In the case of the Heritage Centre, it’s Springsong, and in the case of PIBO, the dinner in Windsor, traditionally held the Wednesday before Springsong. Of course our friends from the USA would not be able to come, nor would anyone planning to join us from far away. And we could not have held large gatherings.

Nothing daunted, we set ourselves the task of finding out how we could present both of these events online, retaining all the features of both – or as many as we could! And, thanks to the expert advice given us by Fraser Stark of Facebook, we have come up with some solutions that will allow us to do that, and to add some special extra features as well.

We have combined both events into a rollicking online extravaganza that will take place on Saturday, May 9th, from 7:00pm to 8.30pm EST, on Facebook Live, on the PIBO/Springsong gala Facebook page.

Paul Vasey will be our Host, as usual, with assists from Kim Gardner and Ron Tiessen from Pelee Island. Margaret Atwood will do her usual introductions, from her kitchen in Toronto (or some other part of the house, depending on bandwidth). She will also conduct The Rubber Chicken Choir, as usual, singing their two hit songs, Old MacDonald Had a Farm and Bye Bye Blackbird. The rubber chickens do the choruses. If you have your own rubber chicken, bring it and sing along! And post a video of yourself on your own Facebook page, to share the joy.

The Green Bird Race and the Conventional Bird Race will take place as usual from Friday, May 8th at 12:00 noon to Saturday, May 9th at noon, though not necessarily on Pelee Island – at whatever time zone you are in. Birders from afar will be encouraged to join in. It will be the honor system: go birding in a safe space, and count how many species you can find in the 24 hour period. We’ll have a spot where your results may be posted online, after noon on May 9. Though we can’t bird together physically, at least we will be doing so in spirit. 

Bird Race results will be posted here:

There will be door prizes, silly and not, for ticket numbers drawn as usual by Kim. There will be a silent auction, available for viewing and bidding both before the event and for a set time afterwards. 

Link to the silent auction, held on the GALA Facebook page :

Our honorary writer this year is award-winning poet and memoirist Lorna Crozier, coming to us from the West Coast. Our honorary birder is Trevor Herriot, environmentalist and author, coming to us from Saskatchewan. Books will be sold online by Biblioasis, signed by the authors via specially-designed bookplate. Books can be ordered online here:

There will be an online audience question element, run on Facebook Live.

As for the dinner itself, we are creating a multiple-choice menu, with many options: chicken, fish, vegetarian and vegan, with starters, mains, and deserts in each. The recipes will be from our staff, friends, volunteers, and past authors, and the recipes and photos of each item will be posted online a week in advance, so you can cook along at home and eat with us at our virtual table. Merilyn Simonds is coordinating that part of the event.

For self-catered meal recipes click here:

Along with video footage of PIBO and The Heritage Centre in operation, we are also planning some surprise entertainment features.
More later!

As this event is a fundraiser for both organizations, we will be selling a certain number of tickets, all for the same price – the Springsong price of $85. Ticket holders will each receive a book of Margaret’s, signed, donated courtesy Margaret and Penguin Random House Canada. The number of tickets sold will be limited. The event will be live-streamed for whoever feels inclined to watch, ticketholder or not – thus giving birds and birding and Pelee a potentially large audience, unlimited by location.
Tickets may be purchased at:

We look forward to joining you on May 9 in the first gala of this kind ever brought together. It is unlikely to be smooth – don’t expect Hollywood. Instead, expect surprises!

With warm wishes,

Suzanne Friemann, Executive Director,
& the Pelee Island Bird Observatory Board of Directors

Kim Gardner, Curator,
& the Pelee Island Heritage Centre Board of Directors[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]