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Saturday, February 17, 2018

“On King! On, you huskies!” at the Kearney Dog Sled Races; winter fun at Ontario Parks



   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 17/18

   (c) By Jim Fox

   “On you huskies,” Kearney is about to go to the dogs again.
   Competitors from across Canada and the U.S. will converge on this community of 800 people in what is billed as the largest dog sled race in Ontario.
   This iconic Canadian tradition has races through the town on Feb. 24 and 25 on the western border of Algonquin Park, just north of Huntsville.
A two-day, 10-dog race is a feature of the Kearney Dog Sled Races.
   The Kearney Dog Sled Races are normally held on the first weekend of February but had to be rescheduled “due to unsafe trail conditions,” organizers said.
   There will be more than 70 competitive mushers along with novice and future mushers taking part in the sanctioned event.
   The race courses begin with a downtown start, challenging hills to climb, hardwood bush, and lakes and marshes to enjoy while racing through the natural beauty of the area.
   The highlight event is an overnight trek through the wilderness.
   It’s a two-day, 10-dog stage race covering about 60 kilometres a day, with the best accumulative time being the winner of a $5,000 purse.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Wiggle, waddle your way to fun in Stratford



   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 10/18
  
   (c) By Jim Fox

   Stratford’s a happening place with lots for visitors to see and do this season.
   This includes the relaunch of the decadent Chocolate Trail, the popular self-guided tour, to meet and sample products from “world-famous confectioners,” said Cathy Rehberg of the Stratford Tourism Alliance.
Stratford’s spring ritual is the parade of swans to the Avon River. 
   There’s also an exhibit paying homage to native son Justin Bieber, the world-renowned Stratford Festival, Garden Festival and a gaggle of waddling, honking swans parading to the Avon River.
   The Chocolate Trail is a “natural fit” as Stratford’s candy making history spans some 50 years and three candy makers are in the downtown heritage district.
   In its eight years, it inspired the Bacon & Ale trail and seasonal ones focusing on maple and pumpkins.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The weather outside has been frightful: Wild Weather exhibition; orchid show; Winterlicious



   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 3/18

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Baby, it’s cold outside.
   It’s been a weird, perhaps “wild,” winter with mood swings from bitterly cold to a mid-January thaw and back again.
   Take it from the son of a “weatherman,” you can learn all about “Wild Weather” at an exhibition by that name in Kitchener.
Learning all about wild weather.
   Or, get a taste of spring with orchids at the Royal Botanical Gardens and come in from the cold to wine and dine at Winterlicious in Toronto.
   Billed as a “highly interactive and entertaining blockbuster travelling exhibition,” Wild Weather illustrates severe weather as a “powerful and unpredictable force,” said Sean Jasmins of the Waterloo Region Museum.
   It will be featured from next Friday (Feb. 2) to April 29 and “immerse visitors of all ages in the science of severe weather.”
   The exhibition delves into current severe weather science, explores cutting-edge technology and investigates the stories of scientists, forecasters and passionate enthusiasts.
   “Visitors will leave the exhibition feeling they have been saturated in severe weather elements,” said Adele Hempel, museum manager/curator.
 
Dancing up a storm at the Wild Weather exhibit.
   Get blown away
   Fly through the eye of a hurricane, create a mini-tornado and dance up a storm as the weather around you responds to your movements and blows you away in a staged hurricane photo op.
   There are eight exhibit zones leading visitors through a series of Wild Weather experiences to gain a better understanding of the science behind the phenomena, its connection to climate change and emerging technologies and forecasting techniques.
   From thunderstorms to summer heat waves, hurricanes to blizzards, it explains the science behind the weather and how exciting new discoveries are unraveling many mysteries.
   Experience weather in its many powerful and unpredictable forms in the exhibition from Science North and the Ontario Science Centre.
Exploring the Tornado Sculpture Group at the weather show.
   There will also be a lecture and roundtable on March 22 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on “Our Changing Climate.”
   Participants are Profs. Christine Dow, Chris Fletcher and Johanna Wandel, all of the University of Waterloo; and David Roewade, sustainability specialist for Waterloo Region.
Our changing climate

   The museum is at 10 Huron Road in Kitchener, with hours Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
   Admission is $11; $8, seniors and students; $5, ages five to 12; free, children four and younger; $25, family. waterlooregionmuseum.ca; (519) 748-1914

   Fox trots
   - Leave the cold behind at the Orchid Society Annual Show and Sale, Feb. 24 and 25, at the Royal Botanical Gardens Centre (680 Plains Rd. W.) in Burlington.
Dendrobium Nobile orchids will be on display at the RBG show.
   This judged event showcases the beauty and diversity of orchids and features displays by societies and growers from across Canada and the U.S.
   There are also exhibits of flower arrangements, paintings, photographs and plant sales.
   Hours are Feb. 24, noon to 5 p.m., and Feb. 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Photographers: Feb. 25, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
   The RBG’s current exhibit until April 15 is Frogs, whose “beauty and elegance are often overlooked.” rbg.ca; 1-800-694-4769
   - Winterlicious is simply yummy as 210 Toronto restaurants offer three-course, prix-fixe menus at bargain prices.
A meal of sea bass at Ricarda’s restaurant for Winterlicious.
   These samplings cost $23, $28 and $33 for lunch and $33, $43 and $53 for dinner now through Feb. 8.
   Diners should make reservations directly at the restaurants or online, with the list at toronto.ca/winterlicious.

-30-

Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

Monday, January 29, 2018

Stratford Festival’s Early Booking Discount ends Wednesday night (Jan. 31, 2018)


MEDIA RELEASE
05/18
Also: Last chance to buy discounted Forum bundles

January 29, 2018… The Stratford Festival’s Early Booking Discount is available for only two more days, ending Wednesday, January 31, at 11:59 p.m. This is the only discount all season long that is available for tickets in all seating zones.

To take advantage of the discount, visit www.stratfordfestival.ca, call the box office at 1.800.567.1600, or stop by the Festival Theatre at 55 Queen Street in Stratford between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. this Tuesday or Wednesday. Discounts are already included in the pricing you’ll see. Prices increase on February 1.

The early-bird price lets you save as much as 25% on tickets for all productions in the 2018 season, which runs from April to November. Starting the season, with previews beginning April 17, is Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, followed on April 27 by Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show. Both shows are directed and choreographed by Donna Feore.

Deerhurst Resort welcomes the comedic wit of the Debaters Live! to Muskoka

(News Release)
 

HUNTSVILLE, ON – This winter, The Debaters Live! will be heading to Deerhurst Resort for a hilarious live show featuring comics going toe-to-toe in a battle of laughs and logic where the audience gets to pick the winner!
 
On February 3 (2018), Steve Patterson and two top Canadian comics, Arthur Simeon and Erica Sigurdson, will put on a special night of stand-up comedy complete with a debate specially created for the Deerhurst audience.
Steve Patterson Debaters Firing line
“Hosting a live comedy show in February has become a tradition at Deerhurst and we’re very excited to host The Debaters Live this year,” explains Jesse Hamilton, general manager of this landmark Muskoka resort near Huntsville. “It’s that time of winter when we all need a laugh, and also the perfect opportunity for couples to take a break just for themselves before the busy Family Day weekend. ” 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Multi-bill concert blitz in celebration of Willie P. Bennett: 5 venues. Over 20 artists. A different line-up each night

NEWS RELEASE
 Guelph’s Silence February 3, 2018
Stratford, ON (January 24, 2018) – A five-day concert event commemorating the life of Willie P. Bennett, nearly 10 years to the date of his death, is being presented by String Bone Presents!

Rick Taylor
Singer-songwriter and finger-style roots guitarist extraordinaire Rick Taylor, as well as two-time Juno Award winner Jenny Whiteley, and BC Music Hall of Fame recipient Linda McRae, are among the performers who will come together on the Silence stage on February 3, 2018 to celebrate the life of this legendary folk hero. The concert starts at 8:00 pm.
 This multi-bill concert blitz is a co-production by Rick Taylor, who played on Bennett's 1977 Hobo's Taunt recording, and Barry James Payne from String Bone and Rant Maggie Rant. Two-time Juno Award winner Jenny Whiteley will be joining Taylor and Payne as co-hosts.
Jenny Whiteley

Wee Wiarton Willie is the latest groundhog weather prognosticator



   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 27/18
 
   (c) By Jim Fox

   Wee Wiarton Willie has his work cut out for him this year.
   The “wee” two-year-old albino groundhog has been job shadowing the previous weather prognosticator preparing for his big debut.
   That takes place next Friday (Feb. 2) when the wee one, also known as Wiarton Willie IV, succeeds Willie III who died last September at age 13 (not bad for groundhogs).
Willie’s weather predictions are made with much fanfare.
  They mourned the marmot with a memorial service beside the white limestone statue called “Willie Emerging” in Bluewater Park.
   Ironically, he was predeceased a month earlier by Mac McKenzie, 90, called the “founding father of the Wiarton Willie legend” in 1956.
   The pressure will be on Wee Willie and his “Shadow Cabinet” to make some sense out of this crazy winter weather.
   It has produced prolonged Arctic cold followed by the current unseasonably warm spell.
   South Bruce Peninsula of which Wiarton is a part calls Willie the “the most famous groundhog in Canada and the only albino weather prognosticator in the world.”

Friday, January 26, 2018

Sweet, icy wine country touring; Fire and Ice fest; Toronto lights up



   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 20/18
 
     (c) By Jim Fox

   “How sweet it is” – or as they say in Niagara Region: “When winter hands you ice and cold, make icewine.”
   Record-breaking cold and ice have been at the forefront this winter, so why not embrace the season with some icy-themed getaways?
Vidal grapes left to freeze on the vine are destined to become icewine. (Jim Fox photo)
   Step aside maple syrup, icewine is the hottest Ontario treasure savoured around the world.
   This month, they’re celebrating the chilly nectar of the vine in Niagara.
   In “cottage country,” there’s the Bracebridge Fire and Ice Festival with its take on a traditional winter carnival.
   And, in these cold, dark days of winter, city residents and visitors are being lured out to experience the Toronto Light Festival.

   The sweetest gift
   They’re toasting “one of Canada’s sweetest gifts of the season” at the Niagara Icewine Festival now through Jan. 28.
   The world-renowned wine region welcomes thousands of visitors for weekend parties and food-and-wine pairings at more than three dozen wineries.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Zoom, zoom soon, soon: North American International Auto Show in Detroit



   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 13/18
 
   (c) By Jim Fox
    Sun Media/Postmedia News

   All roads lead to Detroit as that “new car smell” permeates downtown Cobo Center.
   Some 800,000 people will make the trek to the “Motor City” for the 30th annual North American International Auto Show from Jan. 20 to 28.
   It launches with the “party of the year” for auto aficionados and the industry putting on the glitz at the lavish Charity Preview on Jan. 19.
Mugging for the camera beside a Bentley Continental GT worth $260,000 US. (Jim Fox photo)
   That’s when thousands of formally clad, would-be auto barons admire the latest models in a high-society event.
   For this sneak preview, some 15,000 people pay $400 US each to attend the three-hour, black-tie affair in support of children’s charities.
   They sip champagne, munch on hors d’oeuvres and will be entertained by the iconic Detroit Motown group, the Four Tops.
   While strutting their stuff, attendees slip behind the wheel of some of the world’s most exotic vehicles and pose for photos.

Monster Jam motors into Toronto


2018 Mega Line-Up Announced: Gas Monkey Garage, Xtreme Diesel, VP Racing Fuel’s Mad Scientist and Rammunition Make Toronto Debut!

TORONTO, ON – Feld Entertainment, the worldwide leader in live family entertainment, has announced the 2018 Driver/Truck lineup for the Toronto shows including four Monster Jam trucks making their Toronto debut: Gas Monkey Garage, Xtreme Diesel, VP Racing Fuel’s Mad Scientist, and Rammunition.

Monster Jam will be performing at Rogers Centre January 13-14/18 for two shows.

The new season will bring motorsport fans to the edge of their seats with adrenaline-charged, high-flying, four-wheel excitement that is fun for the entire family. This is the 25th consecutive year that Monster Jam has roared into Rogers Centre.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Escape winter at the Toronto boat show; Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory



   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 6-18
  
   (c) By Jim Fox

   Escape the cold, wintry weather with a trip to the “tropics” not far from home.
   Head for the Toronto International Boat Show that organizers say “marks the unofficial kick-off to summer.”
   Another option is the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory where the heat and humidity are cranked up to suit the critters’ needs.
The Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is a tranquil place with waterfalls, streams, flora and fauna. (Jim Fox photo)
   In fact, it’s being called a “cheap trip to the tropics” by the conservatory’s Doug Wilson.
   You can “get your feet wet” at the Toronto International Boat Show that marks its 60th year from Jan. 12 to 21 at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, (100 Princes’ Blvd.).
   “This is North America’s largest indoor boat show, with recreational boating consistently ranking at the top of the list for Canadians as a favourite pastime,” said show publicist Tran Nguyen.

   Lots of toys
Boat show goers have fun on the “world’s largest indoor lake.”

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Theatre playbills in scenic Ontario cities, towns for 2018: Drayton Entertainment



    One-Tank Trip for Dec. 30/17

      (c) By Jim Fox

   The curtain is rising on an epic season for a theatre company with seven stages in scenic, interesting and can we call them “quaint” communities in southern Ontario.
   Drayton Entertainment theatres are a perfect one-tank trip to places with wonderful amenities for day-trippers and weekend getaways.
The Drayton Festival Theatre is in a former 1902 opera house and town hall. (Barbara Fox photo)
   This includes the Festival Theatre in Drayton; Huron Country Playhouse, Grand Bend; King’s Wharf Theatre, Penetanguishene; and the renamed Dunfield Theatre, now known as the Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge.
   There are also the Huron Country Playhouse II, Grand Bend; St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre; and the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse.
   “Variety is key next season,” said artistic director Alex Mustakas of the charitable theatre organizations shows.
   “There is something for everyone, from Broadway blockbusters and hilarious comedies to classic musicals and family fun with another beloved Disney classic and our annual holiday panto (pantomime),” he added.