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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Fun wow for kids this summer in Hamilton, Halton and Brant

   One-Tank Trip for June 16/18

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Kids preparing their summer fun lists should check out the attractions in the Hamilton, Halton and Brant Tourism Region.
   In this “family friendly” area, fun is literally around every corner, tourism officials say.
   “Choose from animal-filled excitement, wet-and-wild water fun, time-travel adventures, outdoor exploring and so much more,” they add.
Can you hear me now? Bell Homestead’s Sarah Hamilton demonstrates a 1930s’ switchboard. (Jim Fox photo)
   And now, here are region’s “Top 10 tourism attractions for kids” in “the Heart of Ontario.”

   Wild Waterworks
   Cool off and splash the day away in one of Canada’s largest wave pools at Hamilton’s Confederation Park.
   Zoom down four tube slides, float the Easy River and brave the six-storey body slides.
   Little Squirt Works, filled with wading pools, small slides, sprays, mists and fountains, is the place for the youngest visitors.
Go wild at the African Lion Safari, called “Canada’s original safari adventure.”

Friday, June 15, 2018

Weekend Outings: Pedro Martinez, Lloyd Moseby and William Humber to be inducted into Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

(News Release)

St. Marys, Ont. – Former Montreal Expos superstar Pedro Martinez, long-time standout Toronto Blue Jays centre fielder Lloyd Moseby and Canada’s foremost baseball historian William Humber will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in a ceremony to take place on Saturday, June 16 at 1 p.m. E.T. at the Hall of Fame grounds in St. Marys, Ont.
Admission to the event is free.

(Please note that due to a medical condition, Pedro Martinez will not be able to attend the press conference or the induction ceremony.)

 "Each of this year’s inductees has had a tremendous influence on baseball in this country," said Scott Crawford, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s director of operations. "Pedro Martinez and Lloyd Moseby are two of the most successful and beloved stars to have played for major league teams in Canada and Bill Humber’s commitment to promoting the history of the game in this country has been unparalleled."

The induction ceremony on June 16 will be followed by an "After Party Bash," featuring hypnotist Buck MacLeod and music by Corduroy Gordon and Joy Brigade starting at 8 p.m.

TD Toronto Jazz Festival 2018 features legends and rising stars


Seal, Herbie Hancock, Savion Glover, Bettye LaVette Alison Krauss, Cécile McLorin Salvant and More!

TORONTO - From legendary artists to rising stars, the lineup for the 32nd edition of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, running from June 22 - July 1, 2018, includes names that will resonate with jazz lovers and music fans of all ages.

Featured this year are:
* Jazz master Herbie Hancock, joined by James Genus, Trevor Lawrence Jr. and Lionel Loueke
* British soul singer Seal, performing his hit songs as well as material from his new album of jazz standards with a big band
* Cécile McLorin Salvant, winner of the 2018 GRAMMY for Best Vocal Jazz Album
* Banjo master Bela Fleck with all the original Flecktones
* Vocalist Gregory Porter performing songs from his new CD, Nat King Cole and Me
* Vocalist, fiddle virtuoso and 27-time GRAMMY Award winner Alison Krauss
* The Bad Plus, in their first Toronto appearance with new pianist Orrin Evans
* Blues and soul legend Bettye LaVette, who just released an album of Bob Dylan covers The Guardian called "slinkily ferocious," headlining our first ever Blues Revue hosted by Toronto legend Danny Marks
* Lake Street Dive, performing music from the recently-released Free Yourself Up
* Local legends-to-be (and two-time JUNO nominee) Weaves

Weekend Outings: Turtlefest, Tillsonburg’s biggest community festival returns June 15-17, 2018

Media Release

Get ready for flaming baseball bats, high flying aerial acts and plenty of delicious ice cream when the Turtlefest Downtown Block Party returns to Tillsonburg on Friday, June 15.

“We’re so pleased to have Shaw’s Ice Cream as our presenting sponsor this year,” says Erica Patenaude, a member of the Block Party organizing crew. “They’re a family-oriented company with strong ties to Tillsonburg so it’s a perfect fit.”

“My sisters Kristine, Kim and I were all born and raised in the Tillsonburg area,” says Shaw’s co-owner Kelly Heleniak. “We’ve watched Turtlefest grow each year and love the idea of sharing our story throughout the weekend.”

“Turtlefest—and especially the Block Party—is about bringing people together,” adds fellow crew member Karlee Slattery.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Tasty trips reveal the flavour of a place and "tickle your taste buds"

   One-Tank Trip for June 9/18

   (c) By Jim Fox

   The “journey of delicious exploring” is no longer the purview of big cities – it’s coming to a city or town near you.
   A fun part of exploring new destinations is to sample the local cuisine to get the flavour of the place.
“Spicy Jan”

   Take it from “Spicy Jan” (aka Jan Vilaca), owner and guide of Tasty Road Trips, and gourmet food industry veteran, who finds “the buzz of food tours in small towns is catching on.”
  Her company’s adventures have now expanded to include Woodstock with tours to “tickle your taste buds whether you are a visitor or have lived here all your life.”
   The launch of Tasty Road Trips Food Tours helps to “discover this hub for delicious tastings, unique shops and to learn about the rich history of Woodstock.”
   Also offered are tours in St. George and Paris (near Brantford), with an affiliate operator in Peterborough.
   It’s “ideal” for visiting family and group tours can be curated for special occasions, team building, sales incentives and educational outings,” Jan said.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Canoeing down the Grand River guide; wet and wild in Niagara; boat jam in Peterborough

   (c) By Jim Fox

   This summer go calm and tranquil or get soaked going wet and wild.
   The choice is yours from paddling your own canoe (or a rented one) to crashing through the frothy currents of the Niagara Whirlpool.
   Guide Jamie Kent shows the way along the Grand River, the largest inland watershed in southern Ontario, covering 6,800 square kilometres.
Paddling a canoe along the tranquil waters of the Grand River.
   “Renowned for its recreational paddling opportunities, water quality, cultural heritage and fishing, the Grand River offers paddling trips for both novice and experienced paddlers,” he said.
   The river rises north of Dundalk in Grey County and flows for 298 kilometres to Port Maitland on Lake Erie.
   Kent should know as the owner of Grand Experiences of Paris (near Brantford), an outdoor adventure company and expert on the area’s history, flora and fauna.
   He provided his expertise to the Grand River Conservation Authority in revising and updating the sixth edition of Paddling the Grand River.
   This is the “essential guide” for canoeing and kayaking along this historic waterway that’s also popular for fly fishing and bird-watching.
Paddling the Grand River in its 6th edition is the ultimate guidebook.
   Published by James Lorimer & Company Ltd., it costs $24.95 and its 96 pages are filled with maps and photos.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Canadian folk trio Trent Severn performing at The Registry Theatre in Kitchener on June 3 (2018)

News Release
Trent Severn’s Ontario tour schedule

Stratford, ON – Canadian folk trio Trent Severn kicked-off their 2018 Ontario concert tour in April at the Kineto Theatre in Forest, Ontario and next is a concert at The Registry Theatre in Kitchener on June 3.
Trent Severn (From left to right): Lindsay Schindler, Dayna Manning and Emm Gryner (Photo credit: Terry Manzo)
The tour wraps up with a splendid sunset dinner cruise aboard the MS Chi-Cheemaun in Tobermory, Ontario. The complete concert tour schedule is below.

Based in Stratford, Ontario, Trent Severn showcases the talents of Emm Gryner (bass, vocals), Dayna Manning (vocals, guitar, banjo) and Lindsay Schindler (fiddle, vocals). Two-time Canadian Folk Music Award nominees, Trent Severn’s individual band members have four Juno Award nominations among them.

The folk trio’s trademark vocal blend and stripped-down approach to modern life in Canada has landed them hundreds of festival and series appearances; a feature article in MacLean’s Magazine in 2013 and the Harrowsmith Almanac in 2017; national television performances; a CBC Radio One live recording in 2014; and the honour of performing an original arrangement of “O Canada” during a Canada Day flag raising on Parliament Hill.

GO Transit Niagara seasonal service launches in Ontario

TORONTO: GO Transit is again providing weekend Niagara GO train service. This year (2018), weekend service runs from June 22 to September 3, and over the Thanksgiving weekend, from October 5 to 8.

Three Niagara-bound trips and four Toronto-bound trips will run on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and there will be one trip in each direction on Fridays.

Trains running on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays during the summer months will feature two to four bike cars with room for eighteen bikes on each. Additionally, three coaches will have seat covers, and these coaches can hold sixteen bikes each.

Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar Return to Stratford's Revival House June 1 (2018)

Celebrating critically-acclaimed new CD Run to Me

Stratford, ON  Back by popular demand, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar return to Stratford’s Revival House at 8:00 pm on June 1, 2018, as the band celebrates the recent release of their new CD, entitled Run to Me, which is charting globally to rave reviews. Revival House rocked on its foundations during the band’s 2017 performance. So, it is fitting to bring the band back for another explosive show presented by String Bone Presents!

The 10 tracks on Run to Me, released under Gypsy Soul Records and produced by Darcy Yates, reflect the remarkable growth on Martin’s part as a songwriter. Written by Martin or in tandem with Curtis Chaffey or Suzie Vinnick, the songs explore the full range of the vicissitudes of love. “You’re the Love” and “Gotta Find It” tell stories of desire backed by a rocking horn sections, while “Will We Ever Learn” is all about those learn-your-lesson kind of love, set as a slower Etta James-style ballad. Anyone who has ever run into an ‘ex’ will readily identify with “Over You.” The soulfulness in Samantha’s voice and the way her songs are arranged feel like you are listening to a beautiful blend of both old and new blues, while never compromising her dynamic style.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Stratford Festival’s opening week (2018) begins with The Tempest, featuring Martha Henry

(Media Release)

May 25, 2018… The Stratford Festival’s 66th season opens officially on Monday, May 28, with Shakespeare’s final masterpiece, The Tempest, featuring Martha Henry as Prospero.

“Martha Henry’s return to the stage as Prospero promises to be a major theatrical event,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, who is directing The Tempest. “Martha, one of our greatest artists, started her career at Stratford in 1962, playing Miranda in this magical play, so this is a wonderful full-circle moment.”
Martha Henry as Prospero.
 (David Hou photo)
Magical moments aren’t limited to The Tempest. Opening week will see seven glorious productions open. Five more will follow throughout the summer.

On Tuesday, The Music Man opens, with Daren A. Herbert and Danielle Wade making thrilling Stratford debuts. This breath-taking production is directed and choreographed by Donna Feore, whose original choreography reaches exhilarating new heights in numbers such as “Seventy-Six Trombones” and “Shipoopi.”

In an amazing coup de théâtre, Ms Feore has also directed and choreographed The Rocky Horror Show, featuring Dan Chameroy as Frank N. Furter, Jennifer Rider-Shaw as Janet and Sayer Roberts as Brad. The cult classic, which has been whipping preview audiences into the highest of spirits, caps off the week, opening on Saturday night.

Pedal power: Biking across Waterloo Region

   One-Tank Trip for May 26/18

    (c) By Jim Fox

   Hop on your bike and ride through Waterloo Region.

   This is the place with a variety of adventures for the “dedicated bicycle tourist” through to competitive cyclists.

   “Competitive or leisure, the scenery just looks better on a bike,” says Waterloo Tourism.

   Whether in competition or out for an enjoyable trek through pastoral countryside, the cycling in Waterloo ranges from urban streetscapes to quaint villages, meandering rivers and forested lands.
Heading out on forested trails are writer Jim Fox, Jenna Hunter and Natasha Borutski. (Barbara Fox photo)
   Drawing attention to “fantastic” biking opportunities across the region is the Ontario Cycling Association’s provincial championships on June 3.
   Known as the KW Classic, this is a 10.4-kilometre race that starts and ends in Hawkesville in the northern part of the region.
   Here’s an overview of cycling opportunities from Waterloo Tourism.