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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Toronto Zoo's giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, have officially landed

The Toronto Zoo is very pleased to report that giant pandas Er Shun and Da Mao are now resting
 comfortably after having been successfully moved into their new home, at the Toronto Zoo for 
the next five years.
The off load into their new exhibit went smoothly and we want to thank FedEx Express for 
the exceptional attention to detail during all points of the transport, both in the air and on the ground.
 FedEx's expertise in moving precious cargo was clearly demonstrated to everyone at the Toronto
 Zoo. Both giant pandas travelled well, both are now resting and curious about their new surroundings.

Life at the cottage is a Canadian rite of passage

   One-Tank Trip for March 30/13

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Are we there yet?
   That familiar refrain will soon be heard as cars, vans, trucks and assorted vehicles head off to “the lake” for another season of fun.
Dogs, including Cisco, enjoy cottaging as much as their human companions. (Jim Fox photo)
   Doers and dreamers can learn all about the joys and potential challenges of “cottaging” at the Spring Cottage Life Show, April 5 to 7 at the International Centre in Mississauga (6900 Airport Rd.).

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring flings across Ontario; Stratford's waddling swans, raptors in Niagara; Elmira maple syrup

   One-Tank Trip for March 23/13

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Swans waddling to the Avon River, hawks and eagles soaring across Niagara and the sap flowing in Elmira – those are sure signs that spring has sprung across Ontario.
   Elmira Maple Syrup Festival
    Making a splash
   Swans star as the curtain rises in the “Festival City” as the flat-footed waddlers march to the Avon River.
The musical march of the swans to the Avon River in Stratford. (Stratford Tourism Alliance photo)
   The annual pilgrimage on April 7 at 2 p.m. is accompanied by much pomp and circumstance as they are led by the Stratford Police Pipes and Drums.
   Crowds gather to watch the Grand Parade, a musical march by some 28 swans leaving their winter quarters at William Allman Arena en route to the freedom of the river.
   Onlookers cheer on the noisy procession that includes white and black swans, Chinese geese, an emperor goose and bar-headed goose.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Get set for a weekend of the Masters and laughter at Deerhurst Resort

HUNTSVILLE, ON, March 20, 2013Deerhurst, a Skyline Resort, is ushering in the golf season with the second annual Masters in Muskoka Weekend, April 12-14.

Coupled with a stop from the Just for Laughs Roadshow, the action-packed weekend will feature a Masters Lounge perfect for catching all the excitement from Augusta National on the big screen and an Indoor Golf Zone with practice stations, putting green, golf simulators, equipment demos and more.

“While golf is the theme for our Masters in Muskoka weekend, our resort offers plenty for the non-golfer as well,” says Chris Lund, General Manager. “The package includes culinary demonstrations and a wine tasting, so everyone will have a great time, regardless of their interests.”

Two giant Pandas are headed for the Toronto Zoo

 Toronto Zoo Weekly Feature - Wednesday, 2013-03-20
Forget your local grocery store. What do you feed an animal that is right at the top of the finicky
 eaters list of the animal kingdom? You feed them fresh bamboo, which makes up to 85 to 90 percent 
of their diet. "The Zoo will be providing the giant pandas with 600 to 900 kilos of fresh bamboo per 
week, consisting of three to four different species, " notes Zoo Nutritionist Jaap Wensvoort. Problem
 solved? Not really... "While there re over 600 varieties of bamboo, giant pandas will eat only a few - 
and their preference can change at any time," say Jaap. In summer, they will eat mainly the leaves, but 
in winter they'll switch to the stalks. For supplements, the pandas will also get leaf-eater biscuits with 
vitamins and minerals, high quality dog chow and some fruits.  

Fourth Annual Author's Book Fair in Port Dover

A Vision Come True
This year’s Authors’ Book Fair, will be held Saturday, April 6th 10-5 and Sunday, April 7th 11-4 at the Lighthouse Festival Theatre, Port Dover.

In 2009, Susan Bennett, a Norfolk County artist and teacher had a different vision than one would expect of a visual artist. Being an avid reader, she decided it would be a wonderful idea to start an annual book fair.

An event that would promote literacy, reading, and mentoring for established published authors and new first time authors in a form in which they could present and sell their books. This vision is now known as the Authors’ Book Fair.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Frampton’s Guitar Circus, Toto Cutugno coming to Casino Rama

Rama Set to Rock this Summer
More classic rock bands added to 2013 concert line-up

RAMA, ON (Tuesday, March 19, 2013) – Casino Rama is pleased to announce the addition of these award-winning classic rock bands and as well as the return of one of Italy’s own, to the previously announced May & June 2013 concert line-ups:
Lynyrd Skynyrd


Toto Cutugno
Sunday, May 12
Tickets are $45/$55
Back by popular demand direct from Italy, this renowned performer is best known for hits: "L'Italiano", “Insieme: 1992”, "Il Treno Va", "Soli", "Serenata”, “Il Tempo Se Ne Va", & "Solo noi".

Lynyrd Skynyrd
Friday, May 24
Tickets are $50/$60
As members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this definitive Southern Rock band fuse the power of blues-rock with a hard rock swagger on stage.  Their hits include: “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Free Bird” & “Gimme 3 Steps”.

SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival returns to Harbourfront Centre, May 9-12, 2013

TORONTO, ON (March 20, 2013) – A cappella singers from around the globe take centre stage at Harbourfront Centre for SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival on May 9-12, 2013.

Canadian and international talent will come together and present close to 100 performances, events and workshops. This unique festival runs for one weekend only and most events are free.

Feature concerts include the Swingle Singers, a UK-based multi-Grammy winning ensemble celebrating 50 years as a vocal supergroup; Sweden-based The Real Group, performing bop, vocalese, pop, and originals; and Moments to Remember: A Tribute to Harmony Groups of the ‘50s and ‘60s, honouring Frank Busseri of The Four Lads and featuring cast members from Forever Plaid.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Groovy rock-and-roll holidays in Cleveland, Montreal and Detroit

   One-Tank Trip for March 16/13

   (c) By Jim Fox

   It’s only rock ‘n’ roll, but I like it!
Framed photos, news articles and gold records adorn the walls in the John Lennon and Yoko Ono Suite at Fairmont’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel. (Jim Fox photo)
    So sang the Rolling Stones, acclaimed as the world’s greatest rock-and-roll band, still cranking out the hits 50 years later.
   Head out down the highway and take a rock ‘n’ roll getaway to Cleveland, Montreal and Detroit.

   The beat goes on
   First stop is the house that rock built – the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.
   Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
   It pays homage to city disc jockey Alan Freed who is credited with coining the term “rock and roll” and holding the first rock concerts.
   Much has changed since our first visit when it opened in 1995 as a big redesign last year added new exhibit spaces, interactive technology and hundreds more artifacts.
   There’s now an “absolutely incredible collection” of Beatles’ artifacts.
   Among them is John Lennon’s black wool coat worn in the move Help; George Harrison’s striped suit from the 1966 U.S. tour; Ringo Starr’s 1969 birthday card to Lennon; and Paul McCartney’s handwritten arrangement for “Birthday.”

VIA Rail announces on-board entertainment

Coming Soon to a train near you...
CBC/Radio-Canada, NFB and the Historica-Dominion Institute programming available on VIA Rail trains

Toronto, March 11, 2013 - VIA Rail Canada has partnered with CBC/Radio-Canada, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and The Historica-Dominion Institute to announce the On-board Entertainment initiative, an interactive digital platform providing passengers on VIA Rail trains free access to Canadian programming.

Starting in Spring 2013, the new interactive digital platform will provide passengers on VIA Rail trains within the Québec City - Windsor corridor free access to Canadian programming, including CBC/Radio-Canada TV shows programs, documentaries and animation from the NFB, and "Heritage Minutes" vignettes and Memory Project veteran interviews produced by The Historica-Dominion Institute.

Stay local, save big with Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Ontario and Quebec Residents Invited to Save Up to 25%

TORONTO, March 18, 2013 — To celebrate spring, Starwood invites you to rediscover Ontario and Quebec with the ultimate local getaway.

Enjoy exclusive resident rates of up to 25% off at participating hotels for Thursday-Sunday arrivals, valid now for stays through December 31, 2013.

Rooms at these savings may be limited and are available for residents of Ontario and Quebec only.  More than 25 hotels are participating in this offer including Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, Le Meridien, W and Aloft hotels throughout the two provinces.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Billy Idol & Whoopi Goldberg to perform at Casino Rama

Billy Idol

Announcing the June 2013 concert line-up

RAMA, ON (Tuesday, March 12, 2013) –Casino Rama is pleased to announce another 
month of stellar entertainment as we head into summer and celebrate the Canada 
Day long weekend. Highlights from the new line-up include the return of popular 
rocker Billy Idol and comedian Whoopi Goldberg.  Headlining our Canada Day 
weekend performance will be The Grapes of Wrath & Odds, plus Canada’s own 
country superstar Charley Pride returns.

The June 2013 concert line-up features:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Give a hoot, take a hike

   One-Tank Trip for March 9/13

   By Jim Fox

   It’s time to get into the great outdoors to perhaps start to say farewell to winter.
Titus Mountain Family Ski Center is the place for some Adirondack Mountains’ fun in New York State.
   Give a hoot
   March is the time for an owl prowl in Ontario Parks as some of the critters are nesting and many will be hooting to proclaim their territories.
   It’s more likely to see or hear Barred, Great Horned and Screech owls in southern Ontario while farther north, Barred owls are more common with their “who-cooks-for-you” calls.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rant Maggie Rant “rolls out the green carpet" March 16 at Toronto’s Hugh’s Room

Rant Maggie Rant's Barry James Payne, Lindsay Schindler and Glen Dias

Stratford, ON (February 28, 2013) – Toronto’s Hugh’s Room welcomes back Rant Maggie Rant on March 16, 2013 for a spirited St. Patrick’s Day Celebration concert – the perfect opportunity for revelers of Irish heritage and the Irish at heart to enjoy an evening of Celtic music with attitude.
Based in Stratford, Ontario, Rant Maggie Rant showcases the talents of Lindsay Schindler (fiddle, background vocals), Glen Dias (lead vocals, recorders, percussion) and Barry James Payne (guitars, harmonica, background vocals) with special guests Graham Hargrove (percussion) and Steve Clarke (electric and upright bass).

37th annual Presqu’ile Waterfowl Weekend attracts thousands

The Friends of Presqu’ile Park are pleased to announce that Spring will follow winter!  And with Spring comes the return of tens of thousands of ducks, geese and swans to Presqu’ile Bay.

Waterfowl of up to 25 different species arrive each spring to rest and feed here before moving on to nesting areas further north and west.  Each year, for the past 37 years, the Friends of Presqu’ile have been happy to sponsor the Presqu’ile Waterfowl Weekend to celebrate this natural phenomenon.  The tradition continues in 2013 with the 37th annual weekend on March 16-17, from 10am to 4pm daily.

One of three Rat Pack concerts cancelled at Casino Rama

(News Release)

Friday, March 29, 2013 performance only

MNJIKANING (RAMA), ON (March 5, 2013) – Casino Rama regrets to announce that due to a change in scheduled booking, the Friday, March 29, 2013 performance of Rat Pack 2013: Back In The Day Is Back In Style has been cancelled. The remaining Saturday performances (1pm and 9pm) will continue as previously scheduled and tickets are still available for purchase.

March Break activities at Niagara Parks

Niagara Falls, ON – The Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) has put together a great lineup of activities for visitors and families this March Break holiday.  

Come out and enjoy all that Niagara Parks has to offer, including:
Venom Exhibit at the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory
2405 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls, Ontario
March Break Hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
This hands-on, interactive learning environment allows kids of all ages to explore the various aspects of life systems. The travelling exhibit, which was created by Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo of Ottawa, includes tarantulas, scorpions, highly poisonous toads, rattlesnakes, vipers and one of only two king cobras on display in Canada. Admission: $13.50 adults 13+; $8.80 children 6-12, and children 5 and under free. Season pass upgrades are available for an additional $5 and parking is also $5.

CN Tower lighting pays tribute to world premiere of Tod Machover symphony

A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City
March 9, 2013, approximately 9 p.m.
Toronto residents and all those within sight of the CN Tower are invited to watch a unique CN Tower light show synchronized to the world première of A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City - the first symphony created for, by and about Torontonians. 

Tune in to TSO.CA for a live webcast where you will hear a live audio feed of the concert as well as see visuals, which will include graphics, video, and photos illustrating both the piece and the process of its creation, alongside a live video feed of the CN Tower’s light show.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Newfoundlanders get tickets to Mary Walsh's Dancing With Rage for $9.99

March 6 is NEWFOUNDLANDERS Day in Toronto!
And they can bring a friend from away at that price, too!

Mary Walsh's triumphant cross-Canada tour of her new show DANCING WITH RAGE arrives in Toronto on March 5 for a strictly limited three-week engagement at the Panasonic Theatre 
 … and Mary wants to invite all Newfoundlanders in Toronto to celebrate with her on Wednesday, March 6 at a special performance.
It will be a Newfoundlanders love-in, with tickets only $9.99 (regular price is $79) for those who were born in that great province in the Atlantic.

Kardinal Offishall, Young Empires join Horseshoe Open, Ontario's largest ski and snowboard festival

BARRIE, ONTARIO Horseshoe, a Skyline Resort is set to kick-off Canada’s newest and Ontario’s largest ski and snowboard festival, Horseshoe Open, March 8-10.

Presented by 102.1 The Edge and hosted by radio station personalities, Dean Blundell and Todd Shapiro, the three-day event will host some of North America’s best skiers, snowboarders and DJs alongside concerts from celebrated Canadian rapper, Kardinal Offishall and indie rock group, Young Empires.

Don Henley returns to the Casino Rama stage

Just added to April 2013 concert line-up

RAMA, ON (Friday, March 1, 2013) – Casino Rama is pleased to announce the addition of this award-winning singer, songwriter and co-founder of The Eagles to the previously released April 2013 concert line-up:

Don Henley
Monday, April 1
Tickets are $70/$ 85

March Break at the Toronto Zoo means fun

Toronto Zoo Weekly Feature - Wednesday, 2013-02-27
Saturday, March 9 to Sunday, March 17
9:30am to 6:00pm, daily, (last admission at 5:00pm)
When making plans this March Break don't forget to visit the world famous Toronto Zoo!! 
You are sure to have a WILD time with some animal friends including our magnificent polar bears,
 African white lions, Western lowland gorillas, Arctic wolves and more. Looking for some warmth?
 Stop by one of our five tropical pavilions, bursting with animals, plants and sea life. Grab a hot 
chocolate and take in one of our educational and fun daily Keeper Talks and drop by and chat with
 some of our knowledgeable Volunteers stationed throughout the Zoo.

Oxford Renaissance Festival set for June in Woodstock

The Oxford Renaissance Festival will be held at the Woodstock Fair grounds. The festival will roll out on June 14-16th, 2013.

The Oxford Renaissance Festival brings the legends of Kinghts and wenches to life through Medieval comedy, fire-eating performances, magic shows, jousting with horses. Celtic music and ale. Enjoy authentic renaissance foods, and family entertainment throughout the weekend.

If you've never been to a Renaissance Faire, here's what to expect

Harbourfront Centre Toronto March Break/Summer Camps

Registration is just a click away!
TORONTO, ON (Feb. 28, 2013) – Registrations continue to roll in for Harbourfront Centre’s highly-praised and critically acclaimed March Break Camps (Mar.11-15), and Summer Camps (July 2–Aug.30), offering a variety of programmes to children ages 3-15.

From dramatic theatre and dance camps, to exciting sports and discovery camps, to thrilling sailing and circus camps, inspiring adventures await every child in 2013.

Stratford Festival launches its new forum with a Shakespeare Slam in Toronto

Torquil Campbell, Adam Gopnik and Rufus Wainwright will debate and entertain

The Stratford Festival offers an invitation to see Shakespeare in a whole new light, channeled through the remarkable perspectives of some of Canada’s most provocative thinkers and performers, Torquil Campbell, Adam Gopnik and Rufus Wainwright.

On Shakespeare’s birthday, April 23, the Festival will be in Toronto to present the Shakespeare Slam, a thought-provoking and irreverent event to mark the launch of the Festival’s newest initiative, The Forum.

This celebration of culture – both classical and pop – will look at how Shakespeare continues to entertain and inspire in today’s world. Like The Forum itself, the evening will offer insightful debate, along with music and other entertaining explorations.

Reunion of Star Trek: The Next Generation cast at Toronto's ComiCon

   One-Tank Trip for March 2/13

   (c) By Jim Fox
   “Shields up! Rrrrred alert!”
   Star Trek fans, ComiCon is coming to Toronto.
There will be a reunion of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation at ComiCon in Toronto. (Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner and Gates McFadden). (Hobby Star Marketing)
   The entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation along with Sean Astin from the Lord of the Rings and Laura Vandervoort of Smallville have their sights set on the pop-culture event of the year.
   This two-day extravaganza of super heroes happens March 9 and 10 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (222 Bremner Blvd.).

   Holy smokes, Batman
   Showgoers can escape to new worlds during March Break as ComiCon features an all-star lineup of actors from some treasured TV shows and films in the sci-fi and fantasy universe.
Showing off his super powers to show visitors is Superman. (Hobby Star Marketing)
   In fact, some are already living the life.
   “People dress up as their favourite super heroes or characters – everything under the sun from Star Trek and Star Wars characters, to super heroes like Batman and Wonder Woman, to anime characters,” said show publicist Chris Lackner.
   “It's a big part of the culture and the costumes are often homemade – with amazing attention to detail,” he added.
   Presented by Fan Expo Canada, it celebrates all things pop culture – from comic books, anime (Japanese animated productions) and science fiction to gaming and horror.
   “Sci-fi fantasy and comic books are part of the mainstream and our fans reflect that popularity,” said Steve Menzie, president of Hobby Star Marketing.
   Along with the superheroes and celebrity guests, there will be hundreds of exhibitors, costumed characters and “millions of dollars in collectibles and merchandise for sale.”
   Children can pose with Darth Vader and Stormtroopers at ComiCon. (Hobby Star Marketing)
  The force is with you
   A highlight is the 501st Legion, a Star Wars’ photo session where fans can “get up close” with Darth Vader, Boba Fett and the Stormtroopers.
   Making appearances will be the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Patrick Stewart; Jonathan Frakes; LeVar Burton; Michael Dorn; Gates McFadden; Marina Sirtis; and Brent Spiner.
   There will also be Sean Astin of the Lord of the Rings and the Goonies; Daniel Logan from Star Wars Episode II; and Canadians, Laura Vandervoort of TV’s Smallville and Stargate Atlantis star Torri Higginson.
   The Toronto creators of Kill Shakespeare, a 12-issue comic book series, Anthony Del Col and Connor McCreery, will be there and talk about a follow-up series called Tide of Blood.
ComiCon brings together young fans and their superheroes. (Hobby Star Marketing)
   Katie Cook, illustrator of My Little Pony; Eric Vale and Mike McFarland, the voices of Dragonball Z; Richard Cox, the starring voice of InuYasha; and cast members from animated hits Detentionaire, Total Drama, Beyblade, Jimmy Two-Shoes and Skatoony will be there.
   There will also be autograph sessions, seminars, a magic tournament, building Plushie stuffed toys, an artist alley and sketching duels.
   Hours are March 9 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and March 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
   Tickets are $25, all-access Saturday pass; $20 Sunday pass; $39, both days; $10, children daily; and free to age 12 with an adult.
   A 90-minute special event with the Star Trek cast members on March 9 costs $49 or $99. comicontoronto.com; VIP tickets, events: lightspeedfineart.com/toronto-comic-con-vip-tickets

   Sip and savour
   A Taste Odyssey takes places in Woodstock next Wednesday (March 6) with “food and beverage tastings.”
   Presented by the Woodstock District Chamber of Commerce, the event is at the Oxford Auditorium (875 Nellis St.) from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
   Martha Dennis, chamber general manager, said it will showcase the local hospitality industry with wine, beer, spirits, non-alcoholic beverages, food, confections and demonstrations along with oldies’ music by Ready Music Pix.
   There are “exclusive Scotch tastings” with 50 tickets available at $15 each ordered in advance.
   Admission is $45. woodstockchamber.on.ca; (519) 539-9411

Kids can enjoy an ice slide at the Iceculture Experience in Hensall.
   The Iceculture Experience happens March 8 to 17 in Hensall, northwest of London.
   A local industry, Iceculture (81 Brock St.), has designed and built numerous ice lounges – where the room’s walls, furniture and decor are made out of ice.
   It is offering plant tours to see an ice lounge and see how crystal clear ice is manufactured and carved into an endless array of fascinating designs. Children can enjoy an outdoor ice slide.
   Tours last 90 minutes and cost $14 a person. iceculture.com; 1-888-251-9967, Ext. 229


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