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Friday, December 28, 2012

Putting some summer into the winter at the Toronto International Boat Show

   One-Tank Trip for Dec. 29/12
    (c) By Jim Fox

   If you’d rather be sailing, boating, wakeboarding or paddling, better head to Toronto for some winter fun.
Wakeboarders will perform grinds, tricks and flips at the Toronto International Boat Show.
   Check out the Toronto International Boat Show that drops anchor from Jan. 12 to 20 at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place.

   Ahoy mates
   This mid-winter rendezvous is a 55-year tradition for the boating community and offers one of the best opportunities to discover that dream craft.
   There are boats to match “every lifestyle and budget” from fishing, cruising, sailing and paddling along with gear for watersports’ enthusiasts and the latest marine products and services.
   “It’s a fun-filled day of on-water boating activities, boat rides, wakeboarding and boat-handling demonstrations on the world’s largest indoor lake for boaters and more than 140 special guest seminars,” said publicist David Holmes.
A boaters’ paradise with the latest watercraft on display is Canada’s largest boating show in Toronto.
   Board a luxury yacht and see “awe-inspiring boats,” canoes and kayaks at the show that offers free seminars and demonstrations.

Ringing in the New Year at Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls

Special Guest Performers: Dragonette, Hedley and Nelly Furtado

Niagara Falls, ON – The Niagara Parks Commission (NPC), Entertainment Tonight (ET) Canada and Niagara Falls New Year's Eve event partners are pleased to announce an exciting roster of musical talent for Canada’s largest televised live New Year's Eve celebration. This highly anticipated free show begins at 7:30 p.m. in Queen Victoria Park overlooking mighty Niagara Falls.

Electro-pop trio Dragonette will take the stage, followed by a high-energy performance by multiple JUNO Award-winning Vancouver rock group Hedley. Chart-topping GRAMMY® Award winner Nelly Furtado will keep the crowd dancing as the clock ticks down to midnight. The performers, along with the hosts, will gather onstage to countdown to 2013.

American Idol winner “Phillip Phillips” special guest with Matchbox Twenty at Caesars Windsor in February

For immediate release: December 13, 2012

Caesars Windsor is thrilled to announce the addition of 2012 American Idol winner Phillip Phillips as special guest for the February 21st appearance of Matchbox Twenty. Phillips’ debut breakthrough single “Home” is currently a top five hit on contemporary radio. Be sure to purchase your tickets now for Matchbox Twenty featuring special guest Phillip Phillips. Tickets start at $55 Canadian and are on sale now.

Ticket purchases can be made through caesarswindsor.com, ticketmaster.ca or at the Box Office located in the main casino building on the second floor, open Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 8 pm. On concert days, the Box Office is open noon until midnight. Guests must be 19 years of age or older to attend concerts and to enter the casino and all other outlets. Prices listed do not include applicable taxes and fees.

Anthony Rapp's Without You at the Panasonic Theatre in Toronto

Direct from London’s West End – Enroute to New York

December 13, 2012 – January 6, 2013

In 1994 Anthony Rapp was working at a Starbucks and about to audition for Rent a new musical by a young guy named Jonathan Larson. An inspiring story about friends and artists struggling in New York’s Lower East Side, it was based loosely on Puccini’s La Bohème. Anthony got the part, but Jonathan died suddenly the night before the musical’s off-Broadway premiere.

This is where Without You begins.  Rapp shares his experience of being a part of Rent – his audition, the casting process, rehearsals and his view from the stage during the tribute performance on the night after Jonathan’s tragic death. 

Without You also details Anthony’s achingly beautiful relationship with his mother during this turbulent time. Based on his New York Times best-selling memoir, Anthony Rapp, backed by a five-piece rock band uses a mix of original music and songs by Larson and REM in a stunning one-man show about grief, hope and triumph.

Stratford Festival to launch twice-daily direct bus service between Stratford and Toronto

 (News Release)

The Stratford Festival is delighted to be offering twice-daily private bus service between Toronto and Stratford for the 2013 season. At just $10 each way, it’s about the price of a taxi in Toronto.

“We want to make it as easy and affordable as possible for people to get to Stratford,” says Executive Director designate Anita Gaffney. “We’ve seen a growing demand for transportation from Toronto, especially as train and bus service has declined over the past two decades, so we’ve decided to step in to fill the gap.”  

DJ Skate Nights takes you back in time at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto

(News Release)

TORONTO -- Looking to inject some festive fun into Toronto’s cold winter nights? Harbourfront Centre’s popular DJ Skate Nights combines the urban party scene with ice skating to create a funky outdoor skating experience.

 Every Saturday night now through Feb. 23 (from 8-11 p.m.), The Natrel® Rink is transformed into a dance floor on ice as carefully selected DJs take skaters on a musical journey that spans eras and musical genres.

This edition of DJ Skate Nights features some of Toronto’s best mix-masters including DJ P-PLUS from FLOW 93.5 FM, 1 LOVE T.O., DJ medicineman and Dr. Jay de Soca Prince. Skate and shimmy along to as they spin old school funk, disco, soulful R&B, jazz, bollywood, calypso, soca, reggae and much more.

Deerhurst Resort partners with Back Country Tours

Snowmobiling guests can receive exclusive discount on accommodations

HUNTSVILLE, ON, December 21, 2012 – Ontario’s Deerhurst, a Skyline Resort, is encouraging guests to get outdoors this winter with the addition of snowmobiles available on-site starting January 1, 2013. Snowmobile operator and Muskoka’s off-road adventure store, Back Country Tours will be providing the rentals, together with guided tours along some of the 2,000km of snowmobile trails at Deerhurst’s doorstep in the Muskoka region.

Snowmobiling guests will also be privy to an exclusive discount on accommodations at Deerhurst Resort when booking a snowmobile rental or tour through Back Country Tours in advance of their stay. Guests who bring their own snowmobile will be eligible for the regular Snowmobiler’s Discount of 20 per cent off regular room rates, starting from just $112/night (some conditions apply).

10th annual New Year's Eve family countdown at the Toronto Zoo

Monday, December 31, 2012

Weekly Toronto Zoo Feature
3...2...1... HAPPY ZOO YEAR! 
Visit with some new and wild friends in the Americas & Australasia Pavilions and in the Tundra Trek. 
Don't miss some great entertainment including "That 60s Show" tribute band, Kung Fu Panda and 
Majinx Magic Show. Plus check out Meet & Greets with Kung Fu Panda's "Po", The WotWots and of 
course some WILD animals! The fun begins at 5:00 pm and runs until 8:00 pm when we have our 
very own Kids' Countdown.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Guide to Winter Activities à la Montréal - 2013

A Tourisme Montréal publication for the Media

Snow Village - Official opening on January 18, 2013 - New heated halls and spas
130 Tour-de-l'Isle Road  Île Sainte-Hélène   Parc Jean-Drapeau  514 788-2181  www.snowvillagecanada.com
For this upcoming season, this unique village will surprise you with the exclusive opportunity to visit a replica of the great City of New York entirely made out of ice and snow. The distinctive concept includes an Ice Hotel offering 10 standard rooms and 15 prestige suites, igloos, a restaurant accommodating 100 guests, a bar with terrace seating up to 250 guests. And we can't forget the Ice Chapel where couples will have the chance to get married in the most romantic setting.

Chocolate-infused food pairings are a sweet…and savoury addition to the Days of Wine & Chocolate


NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON -- The Days of Wine & Chocolate Touring Pass Event is back in 2013 and the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake are showcasing more delectable wine and chocolate-inspired pairings than ever before.
Each of the 28 member wineries will pair a premium VQA wine matched with new chocolate-infused dishes. The event takes place weekends, including Fridays, during February 2013 (1/2/3, 8/9/10, 15/16/17, 22/23/24) from 11 am to 5 pm.

“This year we will be increasing the scope of food pairings to include both sweet and savoury dishes infused with decadent chocolate,” remarks Tim Coons, chair of the Days of Wine & Chocolate committee, “Using local ingredients and chocolate to accompany our wines adds a delicious new feature to this popular event.”

New reservation system provides one-stop shopping to help visitors plan better trips

RTO4 Partners with Stratford Festival on a regional call centre to support the New Online Booking Service for tourism
STRATFORD, Ont.—All the best tourism attractions and accommodations of Huron, Perth, Wellington and Waterloo Region are now only a computer click or a phone call away via a one-stop-shopping and reservation portal — from world-class theatre, accommodations, heritage tours and fine dining, to spectacular hiking and relaxing escapes on some of Ontario’s best beaches.
“This new online tool simplifies the planning experience for visitors and give them a lot of fantastic ideas to make the most of their getaway,” says Marc Armstrong, Chairperson of RTO4 (Ontario Regional Tourism Organization Four).  “At the same time, it allows us to offer a broader experience, more entertainment and accommodation options, and encourage visitors to stay and have fun even longer in the area.”

Early-bird Cuvée Weekend ticket price ends December 31, 2012


25th Anniversary Event a Hot-ticket Item for Holiday Gifting

St. Catharines, ON, December 17, 2012
– There are only a few more shopping days left to purchase tickets for Cuvée Weekend at the early bird price of $175 per person.  After December 31, 2012, tickets cost $200 per person.
Cuvée Weekend tickets include the Cuvée Grand Tasting Gala and the Cuvée en Route passport.  Tickets can be purchased at www.cuvee.ca, or by calling 905.684.8688.

Whether purchased as a holiday gift for the wine enthusiast or foodie in your life, or as a post-holiday pick-me-up for yourself, the 25th anniversary installment of this best-in-class Ontario wine event should not be missed.

Find your way to winter fun in Hamilton Halton Brant, the Heart of Ontario

(News Release)
Hamilton Halton Brant Region, December 17, 2012 - While the Twelve Days of Christmas tend to steal the spotlight on December’s calendar, Hamilton Halton Brant’s tourism partners are reminding southern Ontario residents that there’s plenty of post-holiday fun to be enjoyed in the Heart of Ontario.

Thanks to the area’s outstanding outdoor recreational options and fantastic family programming, all roads lead to Hamilton Halton Brant for those looking to banish Boxing Days blues.

America’s Got Talent and Masters of Illusion shows open to all ages at Caesars Windsor

For immediate release: December 20, 2012

 By popular demand, all ages can now enjoy the action-packed live show America’s Got Talent at Caesars Windsor.

  It features the winner of this year's competition, plus your favorite runner-ups, on Sunday, February 17 at 8pm, tickets starting at $25.

All ages can also experience the thrilling demonstration of the arts of illusion from the Masters of Illusion show, featuring some of the greatest magicians on earth, on Friday, February 22 at 9pm, tickets starting at $20.

You don’t want to Miss New Year’s Eve in Niagara Falls

Stay close to the action for an iconic and memorable celebration
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — With a lineup of unparalleled entertainment and the eyes of the nation watching, New Year’s Eve in Niagara Falls promises to be like no other this year.
You don’t want to miss the chance to be part of the massive party in Queen Victoria Park, featuring a roster of Canada’s hottest musical acts, which will be watched by 2 million viewers across the country.
Or even the opportunity to feel the beat of a homegrown world famous electro-house artist.  Niagara Falls also offers a myriad of restaurants for every taste, entertainment of all types and hotel rooms with stunning views of the iconic Niagara Falls themselves.

The King Edward Hotel celebrates 110th birthday with special $110 rate in January

TORONTO, December 18, 2012 – Next year will mark the 110th anniversary of Toronto’s King Edward, a Skyline Hotel and to celebrate, the hotel is offering an exclusive limited time offer from $110/night for bookings made by December 31, 2012 for stays from January 1 through January 31, 2013.

The special rate is valid on the deluxe room category only. In addition, the first 110 guests to book the anniversary offer will receive complimentary Wi-Fi.

The King Edward Hotel was constructed in 1903 as Toronto’s first luxury hotel, setting the standard for upscale hotels in Canada. Founded by George Gooderham, one of Toronto’s wealthiest men at the time, The King Edward Hotel was built at a cost of $6 million in a time when the city was undergoing massive development.

Holiday happenings at the CN Tower in Toronto

The CN Tower is Toronto’s ultimate urban adventure – check out the latest news, events and offers:

Limited time only! Dec 21, 2012 – Jan 6, 2013
Your favourite Ice Age friends are back in a holiday adventure for the whole family!  Can a handful of prehistoric misfits really save the holiday?  Find out in this hilarious adventure featured in 3-D with added in-theatre effects that will transport you back to the Ice Age. Access included with a General Admission ticket.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Travel for as little as $25 on Dec. 25 on VIA Rail

VIA Rail Canada
  Travel on December 25 for $25  
On December 25,
travel for as little as $25
  Do you like presents? On Tuesday, December 25, 2012, travel in Economy class on certain routes in the Québec City ? Windsor corridor for as little as $25*. It’s our way of wishing you Happy Holidays!

But hurry ? this offer, which is only available online,
ends December 20, 2012.
Buy at viarail.ca Share this offer  Facebook Twitter  
   *Certain conditions apply.        
  15% off Business class Treat yourself ? travel in Business class!
Get 15% off our best available fare in Business class when you travel in the Québec City ? Windsor corridor before February 28, 2013 inclusive.
But hurry ? this offer ends December 20, 2012.

Buy now

Enjoy these benefits in the Québec City ? Windsor corridor

Available on most trains.
††In most cases. The Ottawa station is located 6 km away from downtown.

Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) launches Shop Greater Detroit campaign targeting Ontario shoppers

(News Release)
 The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) launched its Shop Greater Detroit marketing campaign today to attract Toronto and Ontario consumers to greater Detroit this holiday season.

The campaign highlights the many reasons to shop and stay overnight in the greater Detroit area and rewards participants with a $50 Visa card.

The top reasons Canadians should stay, shop and save in greater Detroit are:

Special rates, holiday menus and festive events make Muskoka a winter wonderland


HUNTSVILLE, ON, December 4, 2012Deerhurst, a Skyline Resort, is getting set to deck the halls this winter with special packages, seasonal menus and festive events ideal for a relaxing holiday escape. A gem set in Muskoka and only two hours from the GTA, Deerhurst Resort has something for everyone in the family, whether it snows two centimetres or two feet.

New to Deerhurst this year are Bounce! Holiday Play Zone; a challenging indoor rock climbing wall; and Stargazers Ridge Amusements (game room). Starting December 22 through January 6, Bounce! will transform Legacy Hall with inflatable obstacles, a jumping castle, nine-hole mini putt course, air hockey table, foosball, electronic basketball and more. 

Happy Zoo Year at the Toronto Zoo

3, 2, 1... Happy Zoo Year! 
Monday, December 31
Visit with some new and wild friends in the Americas & Australasia Pavilions and in the Tundra Trek. Don't miss some great entertainment including "That 60s Show" tribute band, Kung Fu Panda and Majinx Magic Show. Plus check out Meet & Greets with Kung Fu Panda's "Po", The WotWots and of course some WILD animals! The fun begins at 5:00 pm and runs until 8:00 pm when we have our very own Kids' Countdown. Tickets NOW on sale.

Toronto's Pantages Hotel takes guest Over the Rainbow


TORONTO, December 12, 2012 – Toronto’s Pantages, a Skyline Hotel, is encouraging guests to follow the yellow brick road with their new “Wizard of Oz” theatre package. The hotel is located just steps from Ed Mirvish Theatre, where the new Andrew Lloyd Webber production will premiere December 20.

Available until February 28, 2013, The “Wizard of Oz” package starts from $399/night and includes accommodations at the boutique, all-suite Pantages Hotel and two tickets to The Wizard of Oz production. Guests will experience this enchanting adaptation of the timeless classic which has been completely reconceived for the stage by Webber and his team. The show features Danielle Wade, the winner of CBC’s Over the Rainbow reality show created to select the new Dorothy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Get out of town and use up those vacation credits before they disappear

   One-Tank Trip for Dec. 15/12

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Anyone feeling vacation deprived can make a quick getaway to cash in those unused time-off days before they disappear.
Santa arrives at the Charles Inn in Niagara-on-the-Lake where last-minute getaways are offered
   Getting out of town for a two-day girl or guy getaway – or even a day or half-day can do the trick for some much-needed relaxation.
   According to a recent Vacation Deprivation study by online travel company Expedia, Canadians are predicted to forego 17-million vacation days this year.
   In Ontario, it found 21 per cent of workers won’t be taking all of their allotted vacation days as work winds down for the year.

   BFF getaways
   “It’s high time to put those vacation days to use,” said Kate Hillyar, director of communications and media relations for Skyline Hotels & Resorts.
Dashing through the snow on a sleigh ride at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville.
   “Gather the girls (or guys) for stress-free BFF getaway for two days,” she suggested.
   This could be Deerhurst Resort’s Spa Getaway Package in Huntsville with overnight accommodations, a welcome tapas platter and cocktail in the Lobby Bar.

Holiday offers from the Sheraton Centre Toronto

(News Release)

TORONTO -- It is not too late to enjoy Holiday savings with the Sheraton Centre Toronto.

Whether looking to beat the rush to the mall for shopping or enjoy a little peace of mind after holiday festivities the Sheraton invites you to enjoy the holiday season in downtown Toronto.

Treat yourself to a shopping excursion at the Sheraton Centre Toronto, just minutes from 230 high-end shops and restaurants which are directly connected by underground path to the hotel.

This exclusive shopping offer is a perfect way to get away and finish your shopping in style! With rates from $160 per night the offer includes a $25 gift card for Cadillac Fairview Shopping Malls that can be used at the Eaton Centre which is just a few steps from the hotel and complimentary valet parking at the hotel (a $48 value).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday fun at Elvis, Motown, Mickey and Wizard of Oz shows

   One-Tank Trip for Dec. 1/12
   (c) By Jim Fox

   The curtain rises on seasonal entertainment with a Christmassy “Elvis,” Love Train, Mickey and the gang, and a trip along the yellow brick road.
Elvis tribute artist Stephen Kabakos performs his Christmas show at Stage West.
   As the holidays approach, special shows with seasonal songs and dancing, lavish theatre productions and children’s events highlight the entertainment calendar.

   Rock ‘n’ roll holidays
   Blue Christmas recorded by Elvis Presley in 1957 became a rock holiday classic that is amazing recreated by tribute artist Stephen Kabakos.
   This Elvis look-alike, who sounds and moves like “the King of Rock and Roll,” performs his holiday show on Dec. 17 at Stage West Theatre Restaurant in Mississauga.
   The show, which includes the lavish buffet in the Vegas-style showroom, has Kabakos and his TVB (The Very Best) Ensemble performing Christmas favourites and other songs from the Elvis repertoire.
   He recreates an authentic Elvis experience “note for note, song for song and word for word,” said publicist Laurie Wallace-Lynch.
   Kabakos will be back on Jan. 28 with his Aloha to Hawaii tribute and on Feb. 25 for the Elvis 68 Comeback Special.
   There are many more Elvis sightings with the Cavalcade of Champions on Jan. 7 hosted by Nevin Grant, CKOC radio legend and music historian.
   It features Anthony Von, Gino Monopoli and Anthony Carbone and seven other tribute artists.
   There’s also the Elvis Experience on April 15 with Tim “E”, last year’s Toronto Elvis Festival grand champion, with the fest being held from May 17 to 19 next year, and Echoes of Collingwood on June 17.
   For family fun, Jingle and Jangle, a musical about Santa’s elves, opens Dec. 8 with the last show on Jan. 4 including a lunch buffet.
   Stage West is now featuring Love Train, Motown Musical Revue, through Feb. 10 “a journey through the music of soul and rhythm and blues.” www.stagewest.com; 1-800-263-0684

Get your photo taken with Santa and his reindeer at the Toronto Zoo

Saturday, December 15 and Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weekly Toronto Zoo Feature

Santa and his 'reindeer in training' will be spreading Christmas cheer at our Courtyard Stage
 at 10:00 am, 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm (each is a one hour session) and everyone who stops by to 
see Santa will receive a free gift from the Littlest Pet Shop by Hasbro (while supplies last). Don't 
 forget to bring your camera; we know you will want to share this photo with all your friends on 
Facebook. In fact why not "LIKE" our Facebook page and share your photos with our Zoo fans!
Winter Wonderland turned WILD at the Toronto Zoo!
Did you know the Zoo is open year-round excluding December 25th? There is lots to see and do
 throughout all four seasons here at the Toronto Zoo!

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Foreigner, the Doobie Brothers and George Thorogood & the Destroyers at Casino Rama

Casino Rama Becomes Classic Rock Headquarters
Announcing the March 2013 concert line-up

RAMA, ON (Tuesday, December 11, 2012) – The March 2013 concert line-up heralds the return of popular classic rockers: Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Foreigner, The Doobie Brothers and George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Plus we’ve got a great way to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day weekend with The Irish Descendants and two benefit concerts that support the "Radio for Radiology" campaign, raising funds for the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre.

New Via Rail options between Sarnia, London and Toronto

London, December 11, 2012 - VIA Rail Canada and Robert Q's Airbus announced today the launch of a new partnership which will create 8 daily options between Sarnia, London and Toronto from Monday to Friday, and five on Saturdays and Sundays.

This partnership will make regional transportation for residents of Southwestern Ontario easier.

Robert Q now provides a scheduled ground transportation service from VIA Rail's train stations in London and Sarnia. Users are able to seamlessly book their joint train and bus trips on VIA Rail's in a single transaction. 

Anthony Rapp's Without You at the Panasonic Theatre

 Direct from London’s West End – Enroute to New York

December 13, 2012 – January 6, 2013

In 1994 Anthony Rapp was working at a Starbucks and about to audition for Rent a new musical by a young guy named Jonathan Larson. An inspiring story about friends and artists struggling in New York’s Lower East Side, it was based loosely on Puccini’s La Bohème. Anthony got the part, but Jonathan died suddenly the night before the musical’s off-Broadway premiere.

This is where Without You begins.  Rapp shares his experience of being a part of Rent – his audition, the casting process, rehearsals and his view from the stage during the tribute performance on the night after Jonathan’s tragic death.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

European-style Christmas holiday markets recreate early traditions

   One-Tank Trip for Dec. 8/12

   (c) By Jim Fox

   A seasonal European tradition dating back 700 years has been recreated in Toronto and Kitchener.
   Christmas markets have been a popular annual treat for centuries across Germany, Austria and other parts of Europe.
Old-fashioned Kris Kringle arrives on a white horse at the Distillery District’s Toronto Christmas Market.
   They are a feast for the senses as families gather to view and buy gifts and enjoy entertainment, festive activities and decorations.

   Sights, sounds and smells
   The “Old World” has come to Toronto’s Distillery Historic District (55 Mill St.) now through Dec. 16.
   Known as the Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market, about 200,000 people will “experience the grandeur, sights and sounds” of this traditional European custom, said Mathew Rosenblatt, one of the event’s creators.
   An abundance of European-style baked goods is offered at the Toronto Christmas Market.