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Monday, August 13, 2018

Lights, camera, action on Toronto's TIFF and movie scene

   One-Tank Trip for Aug. 11-18

    (c) By Jim Fox

   Star-struck fans don’t have to wait until next month’s celebrated film fest in Toronto – they can experience the city like a celebrity any time of the year.
   If you enjoy the movies, celebrity and entertainment news, we have some unique experiences just for you,” says Irene Knight of Tourism Toronto.
   There is no question that Toronto “is for film lovers,” she adds as the city has connections to some of this year’s best films.
The Toronto festival attracts about 500,000 people for hundreds of film showings. (Tourism Toronto – Connie Tsang)
   Guillermo del Toro’s the Shape of Water was filmed in the city and took home top honours at the Golden Globes and Oscars.
   The film’s producer, J. Miles Dale is Toronto-based and shares the Best Picture nomination with del Toro.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Bingemans celebrates 50th anniversary of Oktoberfest in Kitchener-Waterloo

Raise your Steins this October

KITCHENER, Ont. — Dust off your lederhosen and dirndls and grab your Tyrolean hats. Oktoberfest is back.
As the biggest Bavarian festival this side of Munich, Oktoberfest is a beloved autumn tradition in Kitchener — and Bingemans has been a part of the experience since 1968. Home to the largest festhalle, Kool Haus, Bingemans is looking to outdo themselves once again for the 2018 celebrations.

“Over the years we’ve been listening to what our guests want and are aiming to provide the best experience for everyone,” says Mark Bingeman, President of Bingemans. “This includes making our tents bigger, adding another tent and expanding our beer selections. We’re really excited about this year’s Oktoberfest events.”
Here are some tips to help make the best of your Oktoberfest experience:
·         Learn how to prost
A big part of Oktoberfest is beer and steins (or cans) will be full throughout the event. As they did last year, Bingemans will be featuring local craft breweries along with traditional German beer. Waterloo Brewing, Canada’s first craft brewer, will be serving their beers, including a special 50th anniversary Festbier. Two craft breweries will be chosen from eight possibilities through an online vote and will be the feature craft brews at the events. But it wouldn’t be a true Oktoberfest event without German beer. Guests will have the opportunity to try Hacker-Pschorr and Paulaner brews as well.

Parry Sound Is open for business this summer tourism season; forest fires far north

Wildfire affecting Northern Ontario is nowhere near the coastal town or surrounding villages
PARRY SOUND, Ont. (August 7, 2018) – The “Parry Sound 33” wildfire that is burning in Northern Ontario is approximately 75 kilometres from the Town of Parry Sound and surrounding villages, posing no danger to tourists wanting to visit this charming spot on beautiful Georgian Bay, say local tourism officials.
Tourism operators in the Parry Sound area with a short selling season are eager to counter detrimental media coverage that has caused confusion for travelers about where the fire actually is, and to let the world know they are open for business, says James Murphy, executive director of Explorers’ Edge, the regional tourism organization.
“The fire named “Parry Sound 33” actually refers to a northern part of the greater Parry Sound District riding and is used by Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) officials to denote an MNRF zone,” says Murphy.

Pan American Food and Music Festival returns to Toronto, Aug. 25-26, 2018

The Pan American Food and Music Festival 2018 Details:
August 25th and 26th, 2018
Yonge-Dundas Square

Women in Food Panel, Sunday, August 26th, 1:00 pm
Pan American Light Parade, Saturday, August 25th, 9:30 pm
Arepa Eating Contest, Saturday, August 25th, 4:00 pm
Caliente y Picante Food Competition, Saturday, August 25th, 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm
Seafood Fantasia Food Competition, Sunday, August 26th, 3:00 pm – 4:45 pm

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Toronto for Film Lovers or "How to Experience Toronto like a Celebrity (any time of the year)"

(News Release from Tourism Toronto)

TORONTO -- Some of this year’s best films have numerous Toronto connections.  Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water was filmed in the city and took home top honours at the Golden Globes and Oscars. The film’s producer, J Miles Dale is a Toronto-based producer who shares the Best Picture nomination with del Toro. 

Toronto is also home to visual FX studio Mr. X, that has credits on an impressive list of awards favourites including Mother!, Girls Trip, Mudbound, and Molly’s Game.

Other Toronto connections include Toronto native Christopher Plummer (nominated for best supporting actor in All the Money in the World) and Oscar nominated Animated Short The Breadwinner (Toronto actor Saara Chaudry voiced the lead character and Andrew Rosen, whose production company Aircraft Pictures is based in Toronto were the co-producers).
If you enjoy the movies, celebrity and entertainment news – here are some unique Toronto experiences just for you:

Who's afraid of a little arachnid?; Go bioblitzing in Ontario Parks

   One-Tank Trip for Aug. 4-18

   (c) By Jim Fox

   It’s a summer of creepy crawlers and learning all about them.
   Most people fear arachnids with their fangs, venom and predatory traits but who’s afraid of a little old spider?
All is told about the fascinating world of spiders at the ROM.
   Learn how to calm your fears – even with some 800 spider species in Ontario alone – at an exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto.
   Then head out into the woods to get down and dirty with critters for “Summer Bioblitzes” at Ontario Parks.
   “Spiders: Fear and Fascination” is the name of the “astonishing exhibition” of more than 400 living, breathing and preserved arachnids at the ROM.

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition is coming to the Stratford Festival

(Media Release)

STRATFORD, ON --Be sure to tune in to CTV Tuesday, July 31 (2018), at 8 p.m. ET, when The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition visits the Stratford Festival!

This season, Canada’s most-watched summer series celebrates everyday Canadian heroes. Tune in to watch these amazing racers get challenged Shakespeare style!

“We are thrilled to have these incredible Canadians race their way through the beautiful city of Stratford, where they will find themselves centre-stage,” says Stratford Festival Executive Director Anita Gaffney.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Set sail with pirates in Toronto Harbour; Queen rules at Medieval Times for first time

   One-Tank Trip for July 28-18

  (c) By Jim Fox

   Shiver me timbers, pirates have been sighted on the Great Lakes.
   And what’s more, across town for the first time in 34 years, a queen is sole ruler of Medieval Times.
   Catch the fun with Pirate Life’s “journey of a lifetime” setting sail in Toronto harbour on Lake Ontario in search of sunken treasure.
A young member of the pirate crew keeps a lookout.
   Here’s a chance to join the pirate crew on board the 45-foot Island Rogue “for an experience like no other,” said Matt Slaman, show director.
   Passengers take a one-hour sailing filled with theatrical performances and interactive situations.
   Before boarding, the motley crew receives pirate names, face-painted tattoos and activities to prepare for the bold journey.
   Travellers are encouraged to dress in their finest pirate attire or access the crew’s costume collection.
   This theatrical and interactive voyage incorporates crew members specializing in acting, performing and music.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Breaking news: Creedence Clearwater Revisited show postponed at Casino Rama Resort tonight

Originally scheduled for July 26, rescheduled for March 9, 2019

Rama, ON (Thursday, July 26, 2018) - Casino Rama Resort regrets to announce that by artist request the Creedence Clearwater Revisited concert originally scheduled for today, Thursday, July 26 at 8PM, has been postponed until Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 8PM.

Due to unforeseen transportation issues beyond their control, the band is unable to make it to tonight’s show.

The casino and the artist apologize for any inconvenience this postponement may cause and the band looks forward to performing at Casino Rama Resort in the New Year.

Ticket holders may retain their original (July 26) concert tickets which will be honoured for the new March 9 performance date or they may seek a refund.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The pipes, clans are calling for the Fergus gathering; Elora Festival, Riverfest Elora nearby

   One-Tank Trip for July 21-18

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Aye lads, lassies and the wee ones, there’s a gathering of the clans and everyone’s invited.
   The pipes are calling for a taste of bonnie Scotland at the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games from Aug. 10 to 12.
   Taking place at the Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex (550 Belsyde Ave. E.), this community northwest of Guelph has deep roots to Scotland.
You’re never too young to lead a pipe band at the Fergus festival.
   “Celebrating local Scottish heritage, the festival has developed a large and loyal audience who return year after year to enjoy heavy events’ competition, dancing, piping, clans, interactive family fun and community involvement,” said publicist Stephen Murdoch.
   That’s not all with summer festivals nearby – the Elora Festival and Riverfest Elora – drawing crowds to this scenic enclave.
   The Fergus-Elora festivals feature “very different types of entertainment” in the neighbouring towns on the Grand River.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Get outdoors at Ontario Parks; Free admission on July 20 (2018)

Celebrate Healthy Parks, Healthy People with free day-use at all provincial parks in Ontario on July 20 (2018). Research shows that spending time in nature is good for your physical, mental, and social well-being. Experience the health benefits of hiking and paddling, and take part in events.
Take the 30x30 challenge during the month of August. Participants will reconnect with nature and improve health by spending 30 minutes a day outside for 30 days. Document your journey online with #30x30Challenge.
David Archibald Concert Series
Singer-songwriter David Archibald is performing a province-wide, 30-park concert tour this summer. David is performing five new songs that he has written in celebration of Ontario Parks’ 125th anniversary, including, “The Happiest Camper in Ontario.”

Sunday, July 15, 2018

A weekend of classy vintage automobiles at the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance

   One-Tank Trip for July 14-18

   (c) By Jim Fox

They don’t make them like this anymore.

   Spectators agree as they step back in time at Concours d’Elegance shows displaying rarely seen vintage and classic automobiles.

   Two Canadian shows highlight these classy chassis – the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance near Owen Sound and the Crescent Beach Concours in British Columbia.

   These are more than just cars – they are works of art and history,” said Rob McLeese, founder and chair of the Cobble Beach event on Sept. 16.
Rarely seen automobiles will make an appearance at the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance near Owen Sound.
   Beautiful and rarely seen automobiles will herald in a new tradition of distinction and elegance on the shores of Georgian Bay,” he added.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Stand-up paddleboarders lay wreath over wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior

Group has already raised $12,650 with the new goal of $20,000 for the
Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society

 Media Release from: Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications

Traverse City, MI – July 10, 2018 – At 8:46 a.m. today, three young men, Joe Lorenz, Kwin Morris and Jeff Guy, departed on a trip which has never been done—to paddleboard across Lake Superior, the largest, coldest, and most dangerous of the Great Lakes.

“The new goal of this trip is to raise more than $20,000 for the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society,” says Morris, age 31, and a teacher in the Elk Rapids School District. He and the two other paddle boarders are co-founders of Stand Up for Great Lakes, a non-profit organization set up to protect the Great Lakes and educate others about our freshwater resources.

At twelve hours and 28 miles into their 61+ mile paddle the men laid a wreath at the same spot the
Edmund Fitzgerald sank more than 42 years ago. The bio-degradable wreath had 29 white carnations representing the members of the crew that went down in a terrible storm November 10, 1975 and one single carnation representing all who were lost on the great lakes. The story of the ship’s fate was made famous by the Gordon Lightfoot song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” (The wreath was donated by Co-Ed Flowers & Gifts in Sault Ste. Marie, MI)

The men were invited to a special ceremony in November of 2017 honoring the members of that ship and all sailors who’ve lost their lives on the Great Lakes. Lorenz, Morris and Guy were each asked to ring the magnificent brass bell salvaged from the wreck site in their memory.

Elora Festival, Riverfest Elora and Fergus Scottish Festival & Highland Games set to draw crowds


Summer festivals shine spotlight on Elora and Fergus 

ELORA, Ont. (July 9, 2018) –  Three festivals with very different types of entertainment will draw thousands of visitors to one of Southwest Ontario’s most scenic destinations this summer.
Beautiful Elora and Fergus — two distinct, neighbouring towns on the spectacular Grand River and less than a 90-minute drive from the GTA — will serve as the backdrop for Elora Festival, Riverfest Elora and the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games in July and August.
Highland Dance events highlight the Fergus Scottish Festival & Highland Games
Elora Festival, July 13-29, 2018
The internationally renowned Elora Festival returns for its 39th season from July 13-29, 2018, delivering a star-packed line-up of 25 performances over three weeks by some of the best vocal, choral and chamber music artists in the world. The festival, which takes place in three intimate venues in the picturesque heritage town of Elora, typically draws an overall audience of 8,000 music lovers.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Wicked announces lottery for $25 seats at the Ed Mirvish Theatre

(News Release)

       A day-of-performance lottery for a limited number of seats will be held for WICKED, which has returning to the Ed Mirvish Theatre with performances through Aug. 5, 2018.
Two and one-half hours prior to each performance, people who present themselves at the Ed Mirvish Theatrebox office will have their names placed in a lottery drum; thirty minutes later, names will be drawn for a limited number of orchestra seats at $25 each, cash only.  This lottery is available only in-person at the box office, with a limit of two tickets per person.  Lottery participants must have a valid photo ID when submitting their entry form and, if chosen, when purchasing tickets.  

The surprising tale of an unlikely friendship between two women in the Land of Oz, WICKEDtells the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, long before Dorothy drops in.  Elphaba, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. Glinda is beautiful, ambitious and very popular.  The remarkable odyssey of how these unexpected friends changed each other’s lives for good has made WICKED one of the world’s most popular musicals.

Ho, ho, ho land is Santa's Village summer playground; classic boat show; steamboats a' comin'

   One-Tank Trip for June 30/18

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Ever wondered where Santa spends his off season with Mrs. Claus?
   Like many Ontarians, he heads to his cottage at the appropriately named Santa’s Village in Bracebridge.
   The “jolly gent” is rather laid back at this time of year enjoying the cooling breezes away from the North Pole.
   He spends his days welcoming families and talking with kids about their “want lists” as the Christmas countdown clock is into the 170+ days.
Kids gather around Santa at his village in Bracebridge.
   Muskoka’s theme park is aimed at younger children and set in an “Enchanted Forest” located halfway between the equator and the North Pole on the 45th parallel.
   On the banks of the Muskoka River and set amongst fragrant pine trees, it’s been Santa’s seasonal domain for 63 years.
   This ho-ho-ho land of themed rides and attractions was established in 1955 as a tourist destination by a group of Bracebridge residents.
   Along with Santa visits, there are Christmas-themed riverboat and train rides, a rollercoaster, petting farm, splash pad, paddleboats and lots of food and picnic tables.
Taking a cruise on Santa’s Summer Sleigh on the Muskoka River is lots of fun.
   There’s also Sportsland geared to older kids with pay-as-you-play activities, including batting cages, immersive soccer and bowling games, a go-kart course, laser tag, mini-golf, a bungee trampoline and an arcade pavilion.
   One of the newer attractions is Muskoka Zip Lines and Aerial Park while overnight facilities include a campground and cabins. Details: santasvillage.ca; (705) 645-2512

   Just add water
   Boats and water mean summer fun in Muskoka, the land of 1,600 lakes, and historic wooden craft and steamboats.
   Check out these coveted vessels up close at the Antique and Classic Boat Society of Toronto’s annual Vintage Boat Show at the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst on July 7.
Crowds gets a closer look at classic Muskoka wooden boats in Gravenhurst.
   This is a free event with the theme “Keeping the Passion Alive – A Salute to the Heritage Boat Shops.”
   There will be more than 100 antique boats and modern high-powered watercraft on view and in the water.
   For kids there’s card board boat building at 1 p.m. where participants can then paddle their creations in the bay, along with painting model boats throughout the day.
   Organizers say the “eclectic display” of vehicles from 1906 to the mid-50s will include Amphicars on land and in the water, classic sports cars, pickup trucks and many vintage automobiles.
   A fashion show takes place at 2 p.m. at the Lions Pavilion featuring clothing from Muskoka Bay Clothing and Muskoka Discovery Centre. More information: acbs.ca; (416) 299-3311

   Steamboats a’comin’
   American humorist and social observer Mark Twain said it best and would be pleased to have seen all the watercraft dating back 152 years on the Muskoka lakes.
   Still taking passengers on voyages on these blue-black waters is a “modern interpretation” of Muskoka first steamship, Wenonah, from 1866, named Wenonah II, circa 2002.
The Segwun and Wenonah II are still working the Muskoka lakes. (Jim Fox photo)  
    Joining her for sailings is the 131-year-old refurbished RMS Segwun, North America’s oldest operating mail steamship, said John Miller, president of the Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Centre.
   The milestone sailing event that’s older than Canada paved the way for the early settlement of Muskoka and the beginning of the lucrative tourism industry in the region, he added.
   This year’s sailing season from Gravenhurst continues to Oct. 14 with sightseeing cruises along with themed and children’s special events.
   Each summer, Segwun attracts thousands of tourists enabling passengers to see the beauty of Muskoka as it should be seen – by water – as she proudly plies the Muskoka Lakes representing the elegance, style and heritage of our past,” Miller said. Find out more at: realmuskoka.com/steamships; 1-866-687-6667


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

Friday, June 29, 2018

Pirate Life sets sail for another summer of adventures in Toronto Harbour

(News Release)

Toronto pirate journey returns with departures between now and October

TORONTO, Ont. (June 18, 2018) – Get ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime, as your ship sets sail from the Toronto harbour this summer. 

Pirate Life Adventure, Cruise, Theatre is back for another summer of exciting voyages and quests to discover sunken treasure.

This adventure cruise takes its passengers on a 1.5-hour trip through the waters of Toronto with theatrical performances and interactive situations along the way. From May to October every year, families and groups can enjoy an afternoon on the Island Rogue while getting to experience life as a pirate.  

“The Pirate Life crew is thrilled to set sail this year for another summer of adventures at sea,” says Matt Slaman, Director of Pirate Life. “Every year we welcome thousands of pirates on board the Island Rogue for an experience like no other.” 

Closing weekend at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival; More than 50 free performances (2018

Friday, June 29

Herbie Hancock
8:00pm | Sony Centre
A visionary and architect in the post-bop sound, his passion for innovation and creativity remain unparalleled

Heather Bambrick & Friends with Russ Little Quartet feat. Melissa Stylianou
7:30pm | Home Smith Bar at the Old Mill
A festival within the Festival showcasing a lineup of some of Canada's best-loved jazz luminaries

Dave Young Quartet
8pm | Rex Jazz & Blues Bar

Ghost Note
10pm | Rex Jazz & Blues Bar


The Jazz Musician Intensive: Concert Promotion & Presentation Clinic
10:30am | Heliconian Hall
Co-lead by Sergio Elmir and Jennifer Nichols, this clinic covers self-presenting; the basic of concert booking / promotion; and new approaches to concert presentation. Mark Micklethwaite facilitates

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Summer has arrived at Ontario Parks (2018)

(News Release)

Go fishing at Ontario Parks
Come celebrate Family Fishing Week at Ontario Parks. Canadian residents are able to fish without a license from June 30 to July 8. There is no better time to introduce family and friends to fishing. Cast a line, and join the festivities.
Learn to Fish has opened its ninth location at Balsam Lake Provincial Park. Learn to Fish introduces kids, teens, and adults to fishing through engaging 2-hour sessions. Participants are supplied with licenses for the day, fishing rods, safety equipment, bait, tackle, and an instructor.
New telescope at Killarney Provincial Park
Ontario Parks is excited to announce the arrival of a new 16” research grade telescope at Killarney Provincial Park. The telescope allows expert and amateur astronomers to study the science and beauty of the night skies. Visitors are invited to experience the new telescope, and take part in astronomy programming at parks across the province.