The Arts & Cookery Bank begins.

Let’s dig.  The money is raised.  Now we have to work.  This morning we start.  Bring your shovel and let’s dig.  8:30 a.m. at the old Bank of Montreal in West Lorne.  Just look for all the people with their shovels.

 “This ‘shovel-ready’ project offers immediate benefits for our communities, including job creation and community-wide economic benefits,” states Graham Warwick, Warden of Elgin County and Mayor of West Elgin.

 The Bank project, slated to be completed by the end of March 2010, will restore, retrofit and equip a 1914 heritage (Bank) building and relocate an 1883 heritage barn (Cookery) which together with a new accessible Reception link will create an inspiring cultural destination. As a regional cultural destination, The Bank offers a snapshot of Dutton-Dunwich, Newbury, Southwest Middlesex and West Elgin’s rural communities, blending photographic and cooking experiences in an interactive way that will delight the senses and enhance understanding of rural culture.

 “This tangible community venue can be a catalyst for economic development with the potential to attract new business investments and expand local job opportunities in the region,” offers Keith Fretter, owner of The Iris Patch in Rodney. This venue will promote local heritage/culture and tourism for local residents/tourists and attract new investment/jobs into the region stimulating economic development and revitalizing our communities.

 “You can achieve a lot by teaching the younger generation because it’s the younger generation that determines our future. That’s why I am happy to be involved,” reflects Lori Watson, Glencoe resident.

The Bank project is a volunteer-driven initiative spanning four municipalities.  To date more than 100 community volunteers have offered their ideas, time and cash donations, bringing The Bank project to life.

 The Bank will promote the value of rural lifestyle through photographic collections of the community’s heritage and through its cookery experiences, thereby developing an enhanced understanding of the value of our local food and our “rural way of life and economy.” One of The Bank’s main goals is to create “bundled” packages offering authentic rural experiences.


Follow along as The Bank project develops by logging onto our site at or call 519-768-9986 for more information.

242 Graham Road, Box 174, West Lorne, ON   N0L 2P0    


Phone: 519-768-9986



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