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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Alice Cooper, Tony Bennett and Styx top fall line-up at Casino Rama

(News Release)

RAMA, ON – Casino Rama is pleased to announce even more hot concerts have been added to the previously released 2014 entertainment line-up including planned performances by rockers Alice Cooper, Roger Hodgson & Styx, one of television’s hottest dance’s show is back on tour plus the legendary Tony Bennett performs with his daughter Antonia Bennett.
The additions to the 2014 concert line-up at Casino Rama include:

So You Think You Can Dance Season 11 Tour
Thursday, October 23
Tickets are $45/$55/$70
Fall’s hottest ticket will feature So You Think You Can Dance’s eleventh-season Top 10 finalists performing the season’s most popular routines as well as original pieces created specifically for the tour. 19 Entertainment, dick clark productions, and Nigel Lythgoe promise all the sizzling, one-of-a-kind dance routines audiences expect from the television show.
Due to the physical nature of the performances not all advertised dancers may be appearing
(c) 19 Entertainment Ltd and dick clark productions, inc., Reg. U.S. Pat & TM Off.

Save now with Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ resident rates

Adventure and Fun Are Right Next Door
TORONTO, August 22, 2014 —Starwood invites residents across Canada to save up to 15% at hotels and resorts in their geographical region for end of summer and autumn stays.
 Rediscover the fun and adventure that can be enjoyed right next door with the ultimate local getaway.  Enjoy exclusive resident rates of up to 15% off at participating hotels and resorts for Thursday-Sunday arrivals, valid now for stays through December 31, 2014. 
Plan an end of summer or fall family or couples getaway that’s close by.  Valid Government issued photo ID must be presented at time of check-in to confirm these exclusive rates. Rates are per room, per night, based on single or double occupancy and availability at time of reservation.  Children 17 years of age and under stay free in parent’s room using existing bedding.
Hotel brands participating in this offer including Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, Le Meridien, W, Aloft and Element hotels.

Stratford Festival announces a 2015 season of Discovery: That Eureka Moment

(News Release) 
August 25, 2014… Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino announces a season of Discovery for 2015 with 13 plays exploring eureka moments, whether they be scientific discoveries, creative accomplishments, the dawning of a deeper understanding of human nature or the epiphanies of self-knowledge.

These themes, as they are reflected in art, science and our personal lives, will be further explored through more than 150 events at the Stratford Festival Forum.

The 2015 season will also see a number of creative artists pursuing new work through the Stratford Festival Laboratory, Mr. Cimolino’s centre for creative research and development, including adaptations of an early Urdu novel and a children’s story, as well as a new approach to four of Shakespeare’s history plays. 

“Eureka moments take many different forms,” says Mr. Cimolino. “When a creative spark is ignited, when we gain a sudden flash of insight into our own natures, when a scientific discovery requires us to revise our model of reality: those are just a few instances of how a leap in comprehension can change our lives.

Lucky player wins $844,437 on penny machine at Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino

Winner Played Penny Machine in Homage to Actor Richard Attenborough
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Just one day before a milestone birthday, Robert P. of Eden, N.Y. received the ultimate present as he hit the wide-area progressive jackpot of $844,437 on a penny video slot machine at Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in downtown Buffalo. Robert placed a $3 maximum bet on the penny machine and landed five WILD symbols across the screen for the top prize.

The jackpot took place at 11:40 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 26. The penny-denomination machine is located just outside Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino’s high limit room and is one of only two of its kind on the gaming floor.
Big winner!

“When the machine hit, at first I thought I won a thousand bucks,” Robert said. “Then I saw $844,000 and thought the machine malfunctioned. I still can’t comprehend it. It’s a life-changing amount of money.”

“What an incredible surprise birthday gift for one of our guests,” said Jennifer Caruso, general manager, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino.

Canada’s only Guitar Trail September 6 at Blue Mountain Village: Hiking with a musical twist


August 27, 2014 (Town of Blue Mountains, ON) -- The hills are alive again! For the second straight year Blue Mountain Village presents Mountain Music Festival on Saturday September 6th from noon to 5pm.

This unique experience blends hiking on the Niagara Escarpment with popular and eclectic music including guitar, drumming, ukuleles and bag pipes. Headlining the day is Jane’s Party, a Toronto foursome fresh off the release of their new album, described to have elements of Wilco and Skydiggers in their acoustic pop sound.

This concert will kick off at 3pm on the Village stage, pull up a Muskoka chair or relax on your favourite patio and enjoy.

Start planning your fall getaway with over 60 discounts and deals in Ontario’s Southwest

 Fact Sheet -- Ontario's Southwest

This fall, steer clear of the crowded highways and set the cruise control to easy on a trip through the backroads and byways of Ontario’s Southwest. This drive-to destination provides plenty of fall getaway inspiration close to home, allowing you to travel along picturesque waterfronts and through charming rural towns without spending hours to get there.

Visitors can experience more of the region for less during their stay this fall with over 60 amazing offers that will be available at www.ontariossouthwest.com on September 9th (2014) for area accommodations, wine & culinary experiences, waterfront and outdoor activities, arts, culture, entertainment and more. 

We’ve created 12 road trip routes that will be available online September 9th to help travellers discover the best of the Southwest in just three days

Until October 31st, over 60 special offers, turnkey road trip routes, culinary routes and travel tools make planning a fall escape easy. 

Road Trip Rates*

 Save $15 on regular rates for additional nights at the Culverdene House, Simcoe

 Receive 15% off Best Western PLUS Stoneridge Inn & Conference Centre, London

 Receive 30% off second night stay at Inn on the Harbour, Port Stanley

 Discounted rates on cottages for groups of 2, 4 and 6 at Bayside Vacation Rentals, Long Point

 Discounted rates on third night at Bayside Vacation Rentals, Long Point

 Free waterpark passes and breakfast at Comfort Suites Downtown Windsor

Creator of cartridge shell poppy to speak at Guelph Civic Museum


GUELPH, Ontario --New Zealand artist Stephen Mulqueen uses discarded cartridge shells from the First and Second World Wars to construct brass poppies, transforming the refuse of war into symbolic and wearable objects.

 He is set to speak at the Guelph Civic Museum Friday, September 5th at 2pm, about the significance of his poppies in a talk entitled, Poppies of War and Peace.

The brass poppies were inspired by Mulqueen’s travels to war sites in France, Belgium, and Germany in 2001. “I visited the Flanders Field Museum in Ypres and Tyne Cot Cemetery for the first time and found this very moving,” says Mulqueen. “Upon return to New Zealand in 2002, the impact of this journey began to infiltrate my workshop practice.” 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Labour Day Weekend Festivities at Canada’s Wonderland

(News Release)

VAUGHAN, ON (August 27, 2014) – As the summer winds down, Canada’s Wonderland prepares to light up the sky and celebrate the Labour Day Long Weekend!

On Sunday August 31 at 10 p.m., the park will showcase a world-class fireworks show produced by FXWORXS. The show will feature over 4000 explosions and custom fireworks designed just for Canada’s Wonderland! The fireworks show is included with Park admission.

Throughout the long weekend, Wonderland will also be celebrating with a Season Passholder appreciation event that includes exclusive discounts and special offers throughout the park.

From 2 for 1 Funnel Cakes and Early Ride Times, to Bring-A-Friend tickets for only $19.99, plus so much more, the Labour Day Weekend celebration is the perfect way for the Park to say thank you to its Season Passholders!

Pucker up for the West Montrose "Kissing Bridge."

   One-Tank Trip for August 30/14

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Visitors are invited to come and validate the long-standing nickname of the West Montrose Covered Bridge as the “kissing bridge.”
   The heritage structure – Ontario’s only remaining covered bridge – is part of a heritage walking tour during Doors Open Waterloo Region on Sept 20.
   Built in 1881, it was “appropriately nicknamed due to the intimacy and privacy that the covered bridge offered its travellers,” Canada’s Historic Places says.
Tours will be given around the West Montrose “Kissing Bridge” in September. (Jim Fox photo)
   The iconic one-lane structure is located in one of the province’s most picturesque landscapes as it spans about 60 metres (198 feet) across the Grand River.
   It also represents the early history of Woolwich Township and of an earlier time in the village about 20 minutes north of Kitchener-Waterloo.
   The walking tours of 45 minutes leave at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. from Letson Park at Rivers Edge Drive and Letson Drive.
   Along with the bridge and the nearby Lost Acres Variety store and bakery, the walk includes West Montrose village, one of Ontario’s first recognized Cultural Heritage Landscapes.
   The bridge with its red-painted wood panelling and gable roof was designed by local contractor John Bear and built with his brother Benjamin as a replacement for an earlier open bridge at that site.
West Montrose “Kissing Bridge.” (Jim Fox photo)
   It was originally constructed entirely of wood but over the century improvements have included adding stone, asphalt, concrete and steel to “maintain its function and integrity.”

Oxfordlicious‏ means good eating and touring in Oxford County

Woodstock, ON – On the cusp of the annual September farm-to-table celebration Oxfordlicious, it’s time for your taste buds and all senses to be on high alert for an unsurpassed treat of local produce and mouth-watering, affordable fine cuisine.

Spearheaded by Tourism Oxford, the popular event features special feature “local menus” at several county restaurants, demonstrates the fun behind shopping the back roads for gourmet ingredients and invites guests to entertaining events with a culinary component.

Who can resist the tempting delights of treats like Speculaas Spiced Waffles with warm apple sauce, Y U Ranch Beef shank braised in Ramblin’ Road Dakota Pearl Ale with chive mashed potato seasonal vegetables and tobacco onions, and so many other culinary offerings?

Trail running at Ontario Parks this fall

(News Release)
Trail running is gaining popularity at Ontario Parks. Softer surfaces minimize the impact on a runner’s joints and back.
There are over 1,800 kilometres of park trails to choose from. Fall colours are spectacular and many parks offer roofed accommodation.
Derrick Spafford runs the trails at Frontenac Provincial Park which has one of the largest trail networks east of the Canadian Rockies. In this Park Blog, Spafford shares his three favourite Frontenac trails and offers some trail running tips, http://www.parkreports.com/parksblog/?p=6454#more-6454
Five more parks below are located in different Ontario landscapes. Each offers a good selection of trails as well as roofed accommodation. Park trail descriptions are included in "Things to Do" on each park's web page (refer to links below).

On now: North America’s premier festival of global Jewish music and culture celebrates its 10th biennial edition at Harbourfront Centre

With over 250 artists from more than a dozen countries, the Ashkenaz Festival transforms Toronto’s waterfront with global Jewish arts and culture

The signature event of the Ashkenaz Festival, the Ashkenaz Parade on Sept. 1 transforms Harbourfront Centre into a swirling cavalcade of music, dance, theatre, giant puppetry, stiltwalkers and various other forms of pomp and pageantry.
TORONTO, ON – This Labour Day weekend, join over 250 artists from around the world at the 10th biennial Ashkenaz Festival to experience the vibrancy of Jewish creativity, from the traditional to the cross-cultural. From the ever-popular Ashkenaz Parade produced by Shadowland Theatre, to the music of klezmer-gypsy party-punk rockers Lemon Bucket Orkestra, the staggering array of music, film, performance, literature, crafts and visual arts invites people of all ages and backgrounds to explore Jewish culture.

"Ashkenaz represents the cutting-edge of contemporary Jewish artistic creation," says Eric Stein, artistic director. " In 2014, as we present the 10th edition of our world-renowned festival of Jewish musical and artistic creativity, we continue striving to serve as a vibrant continuum of artistic and communal transformation, in which past meets present to establish a living, breathing culture whose own legacy will resonate far into the future.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sheraton Centre Toronto announces $90-million renovation

Iconic Toronto Hotel to Begin Renovation of 1,371 Guest Rooms and Suites to debut in 2015

Toronto, ON – From IncentiveWorksTM in Toronto, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., (NYSE:HOT) announced that it will embark on a $90 million renovation of the Sheraton Centre Toronto, resulting in a floor-to-ceiling transformation of the hotel's 1,371 guest rooms and suites.

The revival of the Canadian flagship Sheraton property will begin in early November bringing a fresh look to guest rooms with rich colors, graphic patterns and clean lines inspired by Sheraton’s brand design, and a new energy efficient HVAC system. This comprehensive refurbishment is slated for completion in 2015.

“As one of Toronto’s most prominent landmark hotels it is essential for us to provide the best accommodations and experience possible for visitors to the city,” said David Connor, Area Managing Director, Eastern Canada, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

What's happening on the Bloor St. Culture Corridor in September

TORONTO, Canada -- On the Bloor St. Culture Corridor, Toronto's most diverse arts and culture district, 13 arts and culture destinations offer a vast range of exhibitions, films, concerts, culture talks, and special events this September.  

The Bloor St. Culture Corridor will also celebrate Culture Days, September 26-28, 2014. Details about the Bloor St. Culture Corridor hub, a major initiative of Culture Days 2014, will be announced mid-September.


The Istituto Italiano di Cultura in collaboration with Mjölk presents TOTEMICAContemporary Italian designer Luca Nichetto and Russian designer Lera Moiseeva unveil the birth of a product, from initial concept, production, and realized prototype. A highlight of the exhibition is the international debut of Aureola, a tea set derived from Italian, Russian and Asian forms, utilizing natural materials found in Canada. On view now to September 16, 2014.

Putting the WOW in pow wows in Ontario

   One-Tank Trip for Aug. 16/14

   By Jim Fox

   Prepare to be wowed with the dancing, drumming and colourful pageantry of an aboriginal pow wow.
   These gatherings of native people to honour their customs and spiritual leaders welcome the public to join in and enjoy the fellowship while learning more about ancient rituals and beliefs.
Dancers add colourful pageantry to Chippewas of Rama First Nation Pow Wow in Rama. (Andrea Hamlin Photography/Ontario’s Lake Country)
   Catch the action at the Chippewas of Rama First Nation Pow Wow in Rama and the Three Fires Homecoming Pow Wow in Hagersville, both next weekend (Aug. 23 and 24).
   There’s also the Traditional Pow Wow and Harvest Festival at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology in London on Sept. 13 and 14.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Book of Mormon - Four additional weeks added at Princess of Wales Theatre‏

(News Release)

TORONTO -- The producers of THE BOOK OF MORMON, and The Nederlander Organization, announced today that due to popular demand, four additional weeks of performances – now through November 30, have been added to the Toronto engagement.

THE BOOK OF MORMON returns to Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre following its record-breaking six-week engagement in 2013, with performances beginning September 16, 2014. 

THE BOOK OF MORMON features book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone are the four-time Emmy Award-winning creators of the landmark animated series, “South Park.” Tony Award-winner Lopez is co-creator of the long-running hit musical comedy, Avenue Q.  The musical is choreographed by Tony Award-winner Casey Nicholaw (Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone) and is directed by Nicholaw and Parker

Port Dover: Life's a beach in this fun, touristy town on Lake Erie

   One-Tank Trip for Aug. 23/14

   (c) By Jim Fox

   A visit to Port Dover can be summed up as beaches and boardwalks, sunshine and sandals, foot-long hot dogs and fresh perch dinners, yachts and fishing tugs, theatre and summer concerts – and Friday the 13th.
For many visitors, Port Dover is a day at the beach. (Barbara Fox photo)
   The eclectic beach town with its pier and historic lighthouse on the northern shore of Lake Erie has been attracting tourists since the mid-1800s.
   In recent years, helping to put it on the map has been the Friday the 13th motorcycle rallies that draw thousands of bikers and spectators.
   It started with a couple of buddies gathering in 1981 and has exploded since then to an estimated 100,000 or more people on a typical summer day.
   But you’ll have to wait until next year as the only Friday the 13th this year was in June and won’t happen again until next February, March and November.
   Even so, our visit on a Friday the 15th saw quite a number of bikes cruising around town.
Motorcycles cruise the streets of Port Dover even when it isn’t Friday the 13th. (Jim Fox photo)
   There’s much to offer day-trippers and weekenders in this community of only 6,387 year-round residents.

   Life’s a beach
   “Port Dover is a truly cool, little town with natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle that’s well worth the visit,” said Ted Willey of Norfolk County Tourism.
   The beach has always been the big summer attraction along with fishing off the pier and fun on the water.
   The wide public stretch of sand fills up quickly on hot, sunny days while on Wednesday nights there are sailboat races.
   “It’s an awesome beach town with great restaurants, shopping and a really cool marine heritage museum as well as the terrific Lighthouse Festival Theatre,” Willey said.
  A bronze statue on the Port Dover pier honours the fishermen who lost their lives at sea. (Jim Fox photo)
   Visitors stroll along Harbour Street to the pier and lighthouse to watch the sunset and sailboats and enjoy the lake breezes along with seeing the commercial fishing fleet return with the catch of the day.
   Get out on the water with two options from Nomada Charters – a one-hour sightseeing cruise on the River Rider pontoon boat or a 90-minute lake cruise on the Kayloe.
   Our sightseeing cruise along the Lynn River and into the Black Creek Conservation Area passed million-dollar homes with expensive yachts moored out front.
Port Dover’s abundance of pleasure craft can be seen on a Nomada Charters’ cruise on the River Rider pontoon boat. (Jim Fox photo)
   Fishing boat charters can be hired as well as renting personal water craft and stand-up paddle boards.
   Over at the Harbour Museum, visitors learn about the town’s marine heritage and see artifacts from the steamer Atlantic that sank in 1852 off Long Point.
   Along with shipwrecks, the museum tells the story of the commercial fishery, tall ships and rumrunners, has a century-old freighter wheelhouse and an exhibit remembering the now-departed Summer Garden dance hall.
The Erie Beach Hotel has been serving its perch and pickerel dinners since 1946. (Barbara Fox photo)
   Required dining includes a fish feast at the Erie Beach Hotel that put the town on the culinary map since 1946 with its famous perch and pickerel dinners, celery bread, a salad cart brought to the diners’ table and pies.
Alexis Copeman with the Erie Beach perch. (Jim Fox photo)
   Andrew Schneider and wife Pam are the third generation of the family to run the business with its Cove Room for fine dining and Terrance Room pub.
   “We still use our traditional recipes and the fish being served tonight were fresh caught this morning,” Andrew said.
   Another landmark is the Arbor, home of foot-long Ritz Red Hots, hamburgers, fries, Golden Glow fruit drinks and ice cream.
   Popular also is the Beach House (formerly Callahan’s) that has the best view of the lake, palm trees on the beach and a very hip, coast-inspired menu.

   Coastal dreaming
   Ontario's South Coast has been called many things including the Ontario Riviera, Bluewater Country and the Lake Erie Coast.
   “The drive along the coast from Port Dover past Port Rowan and Long Point has many picturesque sights for cyclists, motorcycle riders and day-trippers,” said Norfolk County Mayor Dennis Travale.
   The “Cruise the Coast” communities have a motorcycle map showing rider-approved routes and biker-friendly stops along the lake. cruisethecoast.ca
   As well as the Saturday farmer’s market at Silver Lake Park in Port Dover, agri-tourism is another growing attraction with wineries, microbreweries and farm-related events.
   To plan a visit: norfolktourism.ca; portdover.ca; 1-800-699-9038


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

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Dog-gone great fun for pets at Ontario Parks

   One-Tank Trip for Aug. 9/14

   By Jim Fox

   A vacation in the great outdoors often isn’t as enjoyable unless the whole family can go – and that includes “Fido.”
   All of Ontario’s 334 provincial parks are “pet-friendly,” while some of them cater to camping with the four-legged family members.
One-Tank Trip writer Jim Fox with Cisco and Raven at dog-friendly Bass Lake Provincial Park near Orillia. (Barbara Fox photo)
   These are the some 30 parks with designated pet exercise areas and pet beaches, or both, said Lori Waldbrook of Ontario Parks.

   Some dog-gone great parks
   - Rock Point Provincial Park. On the north shore of Lake Erie, this is about an hour’s drive to Niagara Falls and is excellent for car campers and RV travellers.
Dogs wanna have fun, too (Ontario Parks photo)
   One of its three beaches was once part of an ancient coral reef, with one of them designated pet-friendly with an exercise area.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Happening now: The Coldwater Steampunk Festival

(News Release)

COLDWATER, Ontario -- Join us at the World Premiere of the robot "Hel" (Metropolis Robot Project), replicated from the 1927 German Expressionist Film METROPOLIS.  

See it for the first time at the Steampunk Festival in Coldwater, Ontario opening on Friday evening, August 8th and continuing all day Saturday, August 9th.

On Saturday, the entire Village of Coldwater is participating in the event that has exploded with popularity and has social media buzzing as far away as Germany and the United States. This event in its 4th year, will transform you back in time to a late Victorian era "Steampunk Fantasy".

Join us Friday evening at 5:00 pm for the opening ceremonies featuring Canadian Author Karin Lowachee (The Gaslight Dogs).  Karin will be hosting a creative writing talk at the Coldwater Library.  At 6:15 The Unveiling of the Letter "C" by Orillia artist Marg Gurr, will be followed by a reception at the Ice Cream shop. At 6:00 pm meet Featured Artist Russell Warwick Zeid, from the Ontario Science Centre, exhibiting his “Steampunk Inventions” as R. Phinius Bodine, next door at the Coldwater Heritage Mill.   Mandi-Lee will be performing and singing on solo guitar, while Coldwater’s  “Libby Ives” performs pole acrobatics.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Number please! Alexander Graham Bell homestead and museum recall early days of the phone

   One-Tank Trip for Aug. 2/14

   (c) By Jim Fox

   What would Alexander Graham Bell think today about how his tinkering led to creating the device that revolutionized communications?
The Bell Homestead National Historic Site in Brantford where the inventor first demonstrated the telephone. (Jim Fox photo)
   His ingenuity in inventing the telephone in 1874 changed the way people have interacted since then.
   “He’d likely be horrified to see people today texting each other in the same room,” said Brian Wood, curator of the Bell Homestead National Historic Site in Brantford.
   In fact, Bell (1847 to 1922) refused to have a phone in his study or work rooms so the call bells wouldn’t interrupt him.
   A visit to the homestead where Bell first publicly demonstrated the telephone is a trip back in time.
   Remember the heavy black dial phones, clunky basic phones of the 1950s and the Princess phone?
   They’re all on display and visitors can gather in the room where a dinner party was held as a long-distance phone call was received over a telegraph line.
   Other inspirations of this inventor, innovator, inspirer and humanitarian can be viewed in Baddeck, N.S. at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.

   Can you hear me now?
   There is much debate over where Bell actually invented the phone, with Boston often claiming that honour.
   Bell did some of his research while working as a professor of vocal physiology at Boston University and was the first to obtain a patent.
   His breakthrough work came when the teacher of the deaf returned to Melville House, his parent’s home in Brantford, and made the first real long-distance call on Aug. 10, 1876 to Paris, 16 kilometres away.