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Greetings to the many thousands of readers over the past month from across Canada and the United States, as well as countries including the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, India, Australia, Japan, the Ukraine, Mexico, Romania and the Netherlands.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Comic Con attracts Trekkies; Battle of Stoney Creek returns; garden tours in Huron-Perth



   One-Tank Trip for May 31/14
 


   (c) By Jim Fox

   Trekkies, those devoted Star Trek fans, will be “beamed up” to Niagara Falls next week.
   They’ll be drawn by William Shatner who portrayed Captain James T. Kirk in the original TV series who appears at Niagara Falls Comic Con.
   This year’s event from June 6 to 8 features “more than 30 pop culture celebrities,” said Chris Dabrowski, show manager.
Darth Vader from Star Wars was among the celebrity guests at last year’s Niagara Falls Comic Con.
   Being held at the Scotiabank Convention Centre (6815 Stanley Ave.), there will be exhibitors, comic books, movie cars, cosplay (costume play) contests, celebrity autographs and photo-ops, a video gaming arena and Falls Horror Fest with movie actors, memorabilia, props and displays.
   Fans can have their picture taken with a replica of the Ghostbusters’ “Ecto-1” vehicle.
   Members of the 501st Legion will be dressed up as Stormtroopers and other characters from the Star Wars trilogy.

Stratford celebrates Wheels in Motion Heritage weekend June 7 and 8



(News Release)

STRATFORD, ON -- Celebrate Stratford’s heritage with a look at wheels that drove Stratford’s economy including an Emperor bicycle and Brooks Steamer car built in Stratford and on display during our Spring Heritage Weekend, June 7 and 8 (2014).
 
   The Classic Car Show at Stratford’s City Hall is part of the heritage weekend. (Stratford Tourism Alliance)
The wheels theme continues with our newest heritage adventure, guided cycling tours along tree-lined streets and residential neighbourhoods viewing notable landmarks. Enjoy a Stratford favourite, horse-drawn carriage rides and a Classic Car Show in our Victorian downtown.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Erth's Dinosaur Zoo Live; 65-million years in the making at Toronto's Panasonic Theatre

THE ULTIMATE PLAYDATE

July 8 - 20, 2014
Panasonic Theatre
 
Aimee Louisanne with T-Rex and friend from DINOSAUR ZOO LIVE. Photo Credit: C. Waits
TORONTO -- You’re not imagining things – there’s an undeniable rumble and a far off roar -- which is indeed the arrival of Erth’s DINOSAUR ZOO LIVE.

The international theatre attraction will play Toronto's Panasonic Theatre, July 8 - 20, 2014, for 20 shows only.  Don’t miss this chance to experience what life was like amongst these giant creatures  -- tickets are now on sale.

Created in Australia, DINOSAUR ZOO LIVE is an experiential theatre production which takes audiences on a prehistoric journey into a new dimension where they get to meet a menagerie of insects, mammals and dinosaurs that once roamed the planet millions of years ago.

Featuring a large-scale cast of dinosaur puppets brought to life by sophisticated design and theatrical presentation and puppet mastery, these life-like dinosaur recreations connect children to paleontology in a fun and informative setting.

This new production will feature sixteen dinosaurs on stage, including the awesome Triceratops which Erth created uniquely for the North American tour.  Children can watch and learn, but can also interact with the creatures in this fun, educational and unique presentation.

TITANIC Broadway-bound musical postpones new production in Toronto‏

(News Release)
TORONTO -- Producers David Mirvish and Barry & Fran Weissler are postponing their planned new production of the Tony Award-winning musical TITANIC.

Originally announced to have a Toronto run July and August 2014 and then to transfer to Broadway immediately afterwards, this new production's schedule has had to change due to the lack of availability of an appropriate Broadway theatre for the show in the 2014-15 season.

The producers are still committed to the project when a Broadway house becomes available in the future.

Details of a replacement show in the Mirvish 2014-15 subscription main season, in which TITANIC was announced as one of seven shows, will be made soon.

-30-

Reduce Your Footprint – Attend the 7th Annual ECOFest in Waterloo Region

WATERLOO REGIONThe Region of Waterloo is excited to host the 7th Annual ECOFest at the Waterloo Region Museum on Saturday May 31, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This free and fun-filled day focuses on ways we can all work to reduce our footprint on the environment, one step at a time.

Enjoy free admission to the Waterloo Region Museum and Doon Village for the day and take part in activities for the whole family.

This year’s highlights include popular horse drawn wagon rides, an aboriginal performance by Chief Topleaf and a birds of prey exhibit.

Back by popular demand to entertain with their recycled instruments is Ottawa based Junkyard Symphony. This musical group will impress audiences with their rhythms and endless energy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Montreal International Jazz Festival honours Diana Ross, Elvis Costello, Terence Blanchard, Paco de Lucía, Ron Di Lauro and Jean-Philippe Allard and creates the new B.B. King Award

(News Release)

Montreal, Thursday, May 22, 2014 — This year, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal highlights the exceptional contributions to music made by Diana Ross, Elvis Costello, Terence Blanchard, Paco de Lucía and Ron Di Lauro, as well as the remarkable oeuvre of Jean-Philippe Allard. 

During this 35th edition of the Festival, our winners will be presented, respectively, with the Ella Fitzgerald Award, Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award, Miles Davis Award,Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, Oscar Peterson Award and Bruce Lundvall Award.

Also, in keeping with the Festival tradition instituted in the 10th edition and recurring every 5 years, the Festival adds a new distinction for its 35th anniversary, the B.B. King Award, which will highlight the exceptional talent of an artist who has left an indelible impression on the blues scene. And who better to receive the inaugural honours than the blues master who gives his name to the trophy, B.B. King?

2014 B.B. King Award: B.B. King

Created for the 35th edition of the Festival, the B.B.-King Award will henceforth be presented to an artist who has distinguished himself or herself on the blues scene.

Sarah Brightman makes Dreamchaser World Tour stop – August 27 at the Colosseum

Windsor, ON – Caesars Windsor is pleased to present Sarah Brightman on her Dreamchaser World Tour, performing on the Colosseum stage on Wednesday, August 27 at 8 pm.

Brightman, known for her stunning vocal range and impassioned performances, is the world’s top selling soprano with over 30 million records sold globally and has been captivating audiences for the past three decades.

She is the first performer to have been invited to perform the theme songs for the Olympic Games twice. Her powerful voice and intense stage presence have won her numerous awards including a Grammy nomination and platinum and gold albums in a variety of countries.

Victorian Tea, a new event at London's at Fanshawe Pioneer Village

(News Release)

May 27, 2014  London, Ontario –   On Saturday, June 7th, the Rotary Club of London Hyde Park and Fanshawe Pioneer Village  present a traditional Victorian Tea in the Spriet Family Visitor Centre.

Victorian dress and hats encouraged with the award for the finest hat! Enjoy a fashion show by Jolie Jupe Ltd. & Befriend, live music, silent auction and  Victorian Secrets: a humourous look at women’s undergarments from 1830 to 1901.

Event commences at 2p.m. and tickets are $50 and available at

Private gardens go public: Self-guided tour of gardens in Huron and Perth counties

(News Release)

More than 20 private gardens in Huron and Perth will be open to the public this summer, with the touring program beginning on June 1. The selection of gardens will be open at various times throughout June, July and August.
   Shade and sunny gardens, featuring old-fashioned perennials and native trees, can be viewed at Rhea Hamilton Seeger and Klaus Seeger’s home in Auburn.
 This is a rare opportunity to see over fences and hedges at gardens that are lovingly tended. Some are located on the property of a business and visitors can enjoy both new ideas in landscaping and plant choices while taking advantage of the materials offered for sale. Riverbend Gardens and Nursery features nearly 1000 varieties of hostas.


Some Huron County residents have opened up their home gardens for viewing. Some of the gardens featured are the gardens of the Purple Rooster at RR 1, Gorrie, where you will see an eclectic mix of sun and shade, old and new shrubs and perennials. 

ROM introduces more than 50 new objects to Forbidden City exhibition

New objects go on display beginning June 7, 2014

More than 50 textiles and paintings added to Forbidden City exhibition

Exhibition includes rare artifacts never before seen outside of China 

Emperor Daoquang  
May 27, 2014 ­— The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) unveils more than 50 new objects in its spectacular Forbidden City exhibition beginning on June 7, 2014.

Due to the exhibition’s significant number of light-sensitive and fragile textiles, paintings, and paper objects, approximately 50 objects will be replaced by other stunning treasures from the Forbidden City. The extensive rotation includes several rare textiles and paintings and creates a new opportunity for visitors to experience the exhibition, its stories, and exquisite objects. 
 
The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors, presented by the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation with Manulife as Lead Sponsor, features 250 treasures that were part of Chinese imperial life for five centuries in a city that was strictly off-limits to all but the emperor, his family and his personal servants. Presented in partnership with Beijing’s Palace Museum, the exhibition features more than 80 objects that have never before travelled outside of China and the Forbidden City. 

Blossom touring this weekend at Blue Mountain Village



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Explore the region
Heritage lilacs at Craigleith Depot
Recommended itinerary
If you are lucky enough to sneak away in the next few days a suggested route for amazing views & blossoms would be:   
- Lilac alley at the Craigleith Heritage Depot (corner of Grey Rd 19 & Hwy 26) 

Toronto Zoo: The wildest place for families this weekend

Toronto Zoo Weekly Feature - Wednesday, 2014-05-28
 
 
Splash Island: Open Weekends, 10:30am to 6:00pm.
Kids Zoo: Open daily, 9:00am to 7:00pm.
Animal Shows: Weekdays, 11:30am and Weekends, 11:30am & 2:30pm.
All FREE with Zoo admission!
 
NEW VIDEO - CLICK HERE for a virtual tour of the Zoo's Discovery Zone
and see what all the hype is about! 

Our Lemur Twins Have Names!
Our lemur twins, born March 18, 2014 to mom Lucy, now have names!
Swing by the African Rainforest Pavilion to meet Jack, our male and Willow, our female! There is TWO much cuteness under one roof!  
CLICK HERE to see how much they have grown!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Knock, knock on Stratford's heritage doors




   One-Tank Trip for May 24/14

   (c) By Jim Fox

   The doors to 14 sites with “intriguing heritage stories and architectural details” of Stratford’s 19th-century Victorian past will swing open to the public for free tours on June 7.
   It’s part of the annual Doors Open Stratford that coincides with the Spring Heritage Weekend on June 7 and 8 in the Festival City.
An Artist’s Cottage, an 1866 Greek revival frame “salt box” house, at Doors Open Stratford. (Stratford Tourism Alliance photos)
   The heritage event takes a look at “wheels that drove the city’s economy including an Emperor bicycle and Brooks Steamer car built in Stratford and on display,” said Cathy Rehberg of the Stratford Tourism Alliance.
   The wheels-themed weekend also includes guided cycling tours along tree-lined streets and residential neighbourhoods to view notable landmarks.
   As well, there’s a Stratford favourite – horse-drawn carriage rides – and the Classic Car Show in the downtown.

Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival celebrates Canadian cuisine “From Coast to Coast to Coast”


STRATFORD, ON -- From Coast to Coast to Coast, a uniquely Canadian culinary adventure unfolds at the Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival, presented by GE Café on July 19 - 20.

Some of Canada’s most exciting chefs from across the country will join more than 100 producers, vintners, craft brewers and culinary personalities to share their passion, knowledge and love of local food in Stratford, Canada’s award-winning culinary destination. 

Nestled in the garden district along the Avon River meet producers, engage with chefs, savour Ontario foods, wines and craft brews and enjoy the free music during two days celebrating summer food.
 
The Toronto Star Culinary Stage hosts Top Chef Canada winners and Stratford Chefs School graduates from across Canada, including:
  • Current competitor on Top Chef Canada, Rich Francis is one Canada’s leading chefs of modern aboriginal cuisine and brings Northern Canadian cuisine to the stage

Serious savings on outdoor adventures in Hamilton Halton Brant‏

Hamilton Halton Brant Region, ON -- May 20, 2014 / (http://www.myprgenie.com) -- Think climbing the rocky cliffs of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, paddling down a Canadian Heritage River or hiking Canada's oldest and longest footpath are adventures reserved for those who don't mind driving for hours to find them? Hamilton Halton Brant is urging outdoor adventure seekers to shift their focus and start to look a little closer to home.

Hamilton Halton Brant's true Canadian landscapes, including the Niagara Escarpment, Grand River, the Bruce Trail, over 100 waterfalls and miles of shimmering shorelines, are the perfect backdrop for a variety of outdoor adventures. In addition to spending less time and fuel to find them, a great new collection of offers provides significant savings.

VIA Rail Connection — See the country for less


VIA Connection
 MAY 2014
Escape fare - No traffic. No stress. No brainer. Buy now. *Conditions apply.
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Our Business lounges are completely renovated. If you need to work before boarding the train, why not do it in comfortable surroundings, with all the amenities you need for maximum productivity?
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Share your experience aboard a VIA train with others on our Facebook page or blog. Who knows? Your post could appear on our VIA Experience page.
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Something new on the Winnipeg–Churchill route
Good news! Starting July 1, 2014, our Sleeper class will be replaced by our Sleeper Plus class on the Winnipeg–Churchill route. Meals will also be included in the ticket price.
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VIA Destinations
VIA Destinations magazine
This final edition of VIA Destinations will feature some of the best interviews from the past 15 years. You’ll also be treated to magnificent photos of the Canadian landscape.
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VIA Préférence members get 50% off the third night when they book two nights at a Marriott Hotel before May 31, 2014.
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