Welcome

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.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Awe-inspiring adventure awaits at digiPlaySpace

Learn to code, control robots, paint with light, travel through space and visit Canada’s National Parks through high-tech experiences at TIFF Bell Lightbox

TORONTO —  Imagine a world where users control a robotic arm that mimics human movement, interact with the solar system and space across a circle of 28 iPads, and paint with light while the environment around them begins to glow. 

This is the world of digiPlaySpace, where interactive art, design, and activities from acclaimed Canadian and international artists highlight the power of creative technology for kids and those young at heart. Opening just in time for Family Day, the sixth digiPlaySpace exhibition runs for an extended nine weeks at TIFF Bell Lightbox, from February 18 to April 23, 2017.

“When the winter months have everyone staying indoors, digiPlaySpace is an action-packed technology playground that keeps our bodies and minds active,” said Elizabeth Muskala, Director, Youth Learning and TIFF Kids. “Moving from one installation to the next, visitors will be able to play with and learn from a diverse array of new media experiences staged in a fun and entertaining environment.”

“digiPlaySpace will inspire and teach kids—and adults—about future technologies and unlock their creative potential,” added Matt Nish-Lapidus, Co-Curator, digiPlaySpace. “Coding teaches logic and problem solving skills, and helps to succeed in an increasingly digital world. At digiPlaySpace, you’ll get hands-on experience with robots, programming, and basic electronics so you can start creating your own amazing inventions.”

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Celebrate Canada 150 in Ottawa




   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 28-17

   (c) By Jim Fox


  
 Happy Birthday Canada!
   It’s a milestone year as our nation marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation with celebrations from sea to sea to sea.
   Join a nation of flag-wavers at local, provincial and national events to “celebrate all that makes us who we are as a country.”
   Ottawa and throughout the National Capital Region is a hotbed of activities and special events, with a major highlight around Canada Day, July 1.
   The party’s here, says Mayor Jim Watson, adding: “We look forward to seeing the year unfold and to welcoming residents and visitors for all the great experiences ahead.”
Sky-high dining is among the 150 special events in Ottawa this year. (Ottawa Tourism photos)
    Things got underway on New Year’s Eve with the lighting of the Ottawa 2017 Cauldron after a First Nations sacred fire ceremony kindled the flame that has been shared from Ottawa City Hall to Parliament Hill.

Find the warmth this winter in Waterloo

(News Release)

Don’t let the cold keep you from the fun

WATERLOO, Ont. —  It may be cold and snowy outside, but there is a near endless list of activities for families, couples and solo fun in Waterloo Region this winter. Whether you enjoy cozying up on a cold winter day or embracing the winter weather, Waterloo has an activity for you.

With some digging, or shoveling, it is easy to discover something to do any day of the week during the winter months. Check out these events and you’ll be sure to be happy to say hello to winter weather. 

Cozy, indoor activities:

·       Enjoy a cultural afternoon at Waterloo Region Museum where you can avoid the snow outside and expand your knowledge of the arts. The museum has activities for the whole family, so bring the gang along. Check out one of the Main Gallery Exhibit, with a variety to choose from. You can learn more here: http://www.waterlooregionmuseum.com/

·       Experience nature up close at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. The conservatory offers exhibits perfect for any holiday including Valentine’s Day, Family Day and Easter. Check out the exhibit calendar here: http://www.cambridgebutterfly.com/events/event-calendar

Canada’s "most-anticipated" marketing event launches in Niagara

(News Release)
 Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. —  A unique marketing throwdown meant to stimulate business creativity and provide exceptional learning opportunities comes to the heart of Niagara’s wine country this winter.

On February 9-10, 2017, marketing and sales professionals will have the chance to experience Haste & Hustle— a one-of-a-kind event offering real marketable business skills and the opportunity to engage and network with other professionals from various industries.

“From the cutting edge of marketing to the intersection technology and consumer experience, Haste & Hustle will feature industry leaders that will frame the way professionals think about sales, marketing and business,” says Shauna Arnott of Haste & Hustle. “This event is the perfect opportunity to boost your business, connect with the best in the industry and visit the beautiful Niagara Region.”

Expos legend Tim Raines makes nine in National Baseball Hall of Fame

(News Release)

ST. MARYS, Ontario --With his election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Montreal Expos legend Tim Raines will become the ninth member of the exclusive group of players, managers and executives to be inducted into both the Cooperstown-based shrine and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys, Ont.
Jim Fanning (L), Tim Raines
Here's a rundown of the nine members of this exclusive club:

Tim Raines
Born in Sanford, Fla., Raines was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013 and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017. In his 23-year big league career,  Raines was a seven-time all-star who suited up for 2,502 contests with the Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Oakland A's, Baltimore Orioles and Florida Marlins.

In his 13 seasons with the Expos (1979 to 1990, 2001), Raines set franchise records in runs (947), stolen bases (635), triples (82), walks (793), and singles (1,163). He also ranks second in Expos history in batting average (.301) and hits (1,622). From 1981 to 1987, the fleet-footed outfielder was selected to play in seven consecutive All-Star games and was named the MVP of the 1987 Midsummer Classic.

During that same period, he also won a National League batting title in 1986 and topped the Senior Circuit in runs twice (1983, 1987) and in stolen bases four times (1981 to 1984). He finished his career with 808 stolen bases, which ranks fifth in major league history.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Gardiner Celebrates Canada 150 with Janet Macpherson: A Canadian Bestiary

(News Release)

One of the country’s most exciting young artists explores Canadian identity through ceramics, video, and sound


Toronto, ON January 23, 2017 -- To commemorate Canada’s sesquicentennial, the Gardiner Museum has commissioned a multimedia exhibition by one of the country’s most exciting young ceramic artists that both celebrates and questions notions of Canadian identity.

Janet Macpherson, Migration, 2016, Slip-cast porcelain, gold lustre (Photography by Toni Hafkenscheid)
“As we enter the 150th anniversary of Confederation and the Gardiner’s “Year of Canada”, we wanted to recognize the creativity that has helped Canada forge a unique and thoughtful place in the world,” says Kelvin Browne, Gardiner Museum Executive Director and CEO.

On display from February 16 to May 21, Janet Macpherson: A Canadian Bestiary conveys a very personal view of Canada that draws on the artist’s own experiences, memories of her Catholic childhood, and a distinct visual language characterized by hybrid animal creatures that stand in for the complexity of human interactions.

Five-time Maple Blues Award Nominee Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar in concert at Stratford’s Revival House

(News Release)

Stratford, ON  String Bone Presents! Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar in concert January 27, 2017 at 8:00 pm at Stratford’s Revival House. Whoa! Here's a voice that comes along once in a blue moon. Based out of Toronto, roots ‘n roll Samantha Martin is a five-time Maple Blues Award nominee and in 2016 she was nominated for “Best Female Vocalist” at the Maple Blues Awards presented by the Toronto Blues Society.



As a vocalist, Martin’s gospel-tinged but equally nostalgic southern soul sound is reminiscent of Marion Williams, Mavis Staples, Etta James, Tina Turner, Bettye LaVette, Lucinda Williams and, perhaps most closely, Bonnie Bramlett. As a songwriter, her lyrics suggest an old soul with wisdom beyond her years.

Samantha Martin has been building a roots/blues/gospel sound and team with Delta Sugar since 2014. Although the concert focus will be on Martin as the front woman, this band really is a team effort and powerful blend. Accompanying Martin's powerful lead vocals and acoustic guitar are Sherie Marshall and Stacie Tabb (vocal harmonies) and Mikey McCallum (electric guitar). Together they pack more punch than a stage full of amps and fearsome guitarists.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

'Tis the season to ski or snowshoe in Ontario Parks

(News Release)

Ontario Parks photo
If you love to cross-country ski or snowshoe, head to Ontario Parks! Nineteen winter parks have over 450 kilometres of trails to choose from.
Half of all trails are groomed or track set and many include warm-up shelters and washrooms. Some parks even offer equipment rentals, skating, and yurt, cottage or cabin accommodation.
Before heading out, get the latest snow conditions from the Ontario Parks Ski Report, http://www.ontarioparks.com/skireport/. If you plan to ski or snowshoe often, consider purchasing a Winter Daily Vehicle Permit.
It will provide access to all winter parks; however additional fees are incurred for Wasaga Beach and Arrowhead ski trails. https://reservations.ontarioparks.com/Store/StoreFront.aspx?itemid=96a8bcbe-9ba9-4715-bd40-fd1d9e81b65e 
Below is a sample of parks with groomed trails. Some have trail maps that you can view online. For a complete list of winter parks, visit http://ontarioparks.com/winter

Deerhurst Resort brings on the laughs with Brent Butt of Corner Gas

(News Release)

HUNTSVILLE, ON, January 24, 2017 – Deerhurst Resort will be adding lots of laughs to its line-up of classic Canadian winter experiences with a special appearance by Brent Butt of Corner Gas fame on February 11th.
 
Perfectly timed for a pre-Valentine’s day escape before the Family Day Weekend, Deerhurst’s Brent Butt Comedy Show package is a great way to break out of hibernation mode and remember how much fun winter can be outside the city. 

With his witty, good natured comedy style, Brent Butt has become a Canadian comic superstar – despite his low key, self-effacing demeanor. Corner Gas, which he created, wrote, directed and starred in, became Canada’s #1 comedy show, broadcast in over 26 countries including the US.

Brent then created another sitcom for CTV called “Hiccups”  and also made the transition to movies with two feature films -the comedic mystery “No Clue“, and the much anticipated “Corner Gas: The Movie.”  Next up is animated series of Corner Gas. Aside from TV and film production, Brent continues to tour the country performing stand-up as often as he can. 

Guests of Deerhurst Resort, a Muskoka hallmark just minutes from the town of Huntsville, can enjoy onsite activities like cross-country skiing, snowshoe treks, ice-skating, guided snowmobile tours and sleigh rides.

Boots and Hearts headliner Brantley Gilbert, along with Brett Eldredge and Dan + Shay

Republic Live, organizers of Boots and Hearts Music Festival, announce headliner Brantley Gilbert, along with Brett Eldredge and Dan + Shay as part of their 2017 line-up. 
The additional performers join previously announced headliners Keith Urban and Luke Bryan. Now in it’s sixth year, Canada’s largest country music festival will once again take place at the custom-designed camping and festival grounds, Burl’s Creek Event Grounds, in Oro-Medonte from August 10th-13th.

"We are very excited to have Brantley Gilbert headlining Boots and Hearts for the first time," said Alex Patton, Talent Buyer, Fource Entertainment. "This summer fans can look forward to never seen before performances at Boots and Hearts including Keith Urban, Brantley Gilbert, and Brett Eldredge, all in addition to fan favourites from past years, Luke Bryan and Dan + Shay.
"We are adding many more incredible acts to the line-up that we know the Boots and Hearts crowd will go crazy for. This year’s line-up is definitely one for the books and we can’t wait to share more with our fans in the coming weeks!"

Stay tuned for further programming updates, including on-site activations and food offerings. Boots and Hearts 2017 tickets are currently on-sale at Tier 2 pricing for $249.99 and VIP for $599.99. Full list of ticket offerings are available here.

Celebrate ice at the Hardwater Festival

January 28, 2017  

9:00 am - 4:00 pm  

West Guilford Community Centre 
Haliburton Highlands 
Ice Safety Information sessions
Ice sculpture by Icechuk Charlie
Ice Climbing 
Ice fishing  
Science of Ice 
Ice crafts and play for kids
Cool Movies 
Below Zero 
Broomball
Cool "Jazz" 
Skating
Surviving the Cold
Snow tagging - the latest snowshoe craze  
Hot lunch   - chili and dogs 

For more about  the Festival click here

A Very Cool Event! 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Dinosaurs staging a return visit to Waterloo Region



   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 21-17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Dinosaurs that roamed the earth millions of years ago are returning to Waterloo Region.
   Not exactly the real, live ones but more than 10 life-sized dinosaur specimens in the North American premier of Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family at the Waterloo Region Museum in Kitchener.
   This “blockbuster exhibit” is in town from Feb. 3 to April 30 and the “innovative, hands-on immersive experience” was developed by the Australian Museum.
   “Come face-to-face with life-sized dinosaur skeletons, including Scotty, the Tyrannosaurus rex” said Sean Jasmins, museums’ supervisor of marketing and partnerships.
An exhibition at the Waterloo Region Museum showcases the newly revised tyrannosaur family tree. (James Horan, Australian Museum)
   As well, meet up with one of the oldest tyrannosaurs, Guanlong wucaii, the newly discovered feathery relative of T. rex, he added.
   This exhibit showcases the newly revised tyrannosaur family tree and is designed to provide a snapshot of dinosaur life and show how this group became the world’s top predators with their massive skulls, powerful jaws and bone-crunching teeth.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Icy adventures await to embrace the winter season



   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 14-17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   If you don’t want to trade your snowsuit for a swimsuit, then it’s time for some icy adventures.
   There’s the Fire and Ice Festival in Bracebridge, Icewine Festival in Niagara and an icy trail at Arrowhead Provincial Park.
   A shortage of snow last year certainly didn’t repeat for the winter festival in downtown Bracebridge on Jan. 28.
A tube run is created downtown for the Fire and Ice Festival in Bracebridge. (Explorers’ Edge)
   There’s “more than enough snow” to create the amazing tubing run, said Jordan Mulligan of Muskoka Tourism.
   At midweek, the town already had “up to four feet (122 centimetres) of snow, which has been amazing for our winter tourism,” he added.
   Even so, fest workers will bring in 50 truckloads of fresh, fluffy snow to make their epic tubing hill, he said.
   The festival had its debut last year and was a huge success as people took to Manitoba Street for wintry fun.
   Starting with a pancake breakfast at the fire hall at 8:30 a.m., the fest runs until 9 p.m. and “pays homage to the glory of a Canadian winter,” the Bracebridge Business Improvement Area says.
A frosty scene as an ice carver gets sprayed at the Bracebridge festival.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Zoom, zoom to Detroit for automotive bliss



   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 7/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   When it comes to planning an automotive-themed getaway, all roads lead to Detroit – the “Motor City.”
   Highlighting annual events in this motor mecca is the world renowned North American International Auto Show revving up next week.
   It attracts more than 800,000 people over nine days to view 750 vehicles and countless interactive displays.
Glitzy models showing off the latest models at the North American International Auto Show Charity Preview in Detroit. (Jim Fox photo)
   While in town, cruise over to the Henry Ford museum, tour auto baron homes and cap it off with a stay at Marriott’s Dearborn Inn built by Henry Ford.
   The auto show from Jan. 14 to 22 at the Cobo Center is the place to see “next-generation automotive products and technologies” as they make their world debuts.
   Among those is the new fifth-generation Lexus flagship sedan said to have an extended “bold new look with a coupe-like silhouette” and premium rear-wheel drive “for a more dynamic experience on the road.”

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Niagara Icewine Festival 2017 – Celebrating Another Year of Icewine Excellence




(News Release)

(St. Catharines, ON) – The 22nd Annual Niagara Icewine Festival is around the corner and the time is right to plan your January getaway to Niagara. The 2017 Xerox Icewine Gala marks the 22nd regional celebration of the truly Canadian icon: Icewine.


What began as a gala event has evolved into three weekends of globally sought after Icewine experiences. From stunning formal affairs to outdoor Ice village settings to wineries setting the stage with incredible culinary and Icewine delights; Niagara is the place to explore your senses.
The 2017 Xerox Icewine Gala

 -- Taste the best in culinary and wine; as noted Niagara chefs prepare Icewine infused delights or create the ultimate Icewine pairing.