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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Starwood Hotels & Resorts celebrates Canada Day

Participating Sheraton, Westin, Four Points, Le Méridien, W, Element and Aloft hotels offer the hottest savings of the year with the annual Canada Day sale

Book by midnight on July 1st for up to 15 percent on upgraded room types for stays through September 6, 2016

June 21, 2016 —Starwood Hotels & Resorts across Canada are celebrating Canada Day a little early this year by offering guests great savings on stays throughout the summer. Canada Day Sale rates are offered at more than 65 participating  Westin®, Le Méridien®,Sheraton®, W®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, Element hotels across the country. This limited time offer allows travellers the chance to enjoy up to 15 percent or more on upgraded room types when booking by midnight on July 1st.
Members of the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program can enjoy an additional 5 percent saving, plus receive free WiFi all while earning valuable Starpoints during the stay. Non-members can join the program to enjoy these and many more benefits for free atSPG.com.

In support of this year’s Canada Day Sale, Starwood has compiled an infographic and video that celebrates the heritage of Canada with tips on things to see and do while exploring this summer. The video and infographic are available for viewing onSPGWeekends.com.     

Dominion Day at Fanshawe Pioneer Village

(News Release)

June 28, 2016  London, Ontario – On the 1st of July, 1867, Canada became a self-governing colony within the British Empire. Relive the past and discover the events surrounding early Dominion Day celebrations (now Canada Day).

A country tea, patriotic speeches, music by Celtic Knot and cake and lemonade are a few of the activities that will bring the past to life.

Enjoy a red and white special at the Pioneer Village Café:  BBQ ribs and chicken with potato salad coleslaw and traditional rice pudding.

Event Cost 
Admission: $7
Buffet: $16 per person, $8 children (12 and under)

Join us for the launch of the new bus route starting July 1, 2016! Escape to Fanshawe Pioneer Village with the 400 Fanshawe Getaway seasonal bus route. This bus route runs on weekends and statutory holidays until October 2, 2016.  For route details visit www.ltconline.ca.

Sponsored by General Dynamics:  Land Systems Canada


Sunday, June 26, 2016

The fleet's coming in to the Toronto waterfront: Royal Canadian Navy, tall ships

   One-Tank Trip for June 25-16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Two Royal Canadian Navy ships will join an early colonial Spanish vessel and the return of the Vikings on the Toronto waterfront on Canada Day weekend.

   The visits are part of the Redpath Waterfront Festival that will launch the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes series.

   Activities from July 1 to 3 will span the waterfront from HTO Park to the Yonge Street slip with ship deck tours, the Parade of Sail, Ultimutts Stunt Dog Show and the Waterfront Artisan Market.
The Viking ship Draken Harald Harfagre has returned, following the route of the discovery of the New World 1,000 years ago.

   “Visitors will also be able to check out live music, dance demos, live art and buskers at the Simcoe and Rees WaveDecks and take in the beauty of the Parade of Sail,” said publicist Peggy Sheffield.

   The big attraction is the sailing vessels with a public grand opening on Thursday featuring two navy ships and other highlights of the weekend.

An evening with Toronto baseball legends almost sold out

(News Release)

Alomar Sports and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum presents, "An Evening with Toronto Baseball Legends" on Saturday, July 9 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Radisson Harbourfront Hotel (249 Queens Quay West). Tickets are 85% sold out so act quickly.
Spend an evening with some of the greatest stars in Toronto baseball history! 

Join Roberto Alomar, George Bell, Joe Carter, Cito Gaston. Kelly Gruber, Duane Ward, Devon White, Lloyd Moseby, Jesse Barfield, and many more!  Your ticket includes a 3-course meal along with complimentary beer and wine.

The voice of Toronto's waterfront: The Singing Ambassadors inform and perform until Sept. 5

Toronto, Ontario – June 21, 2016 – The triple award-winning Singing Ambassadors presented by The Waterfront BIA return for their fifth year on Toronto’s Waterfront. Eight lively ambassadors will be performing impromptu a cappella renditions of classic summer hits and offering assistance, directions and recommendations to visitors on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, from 11am to 6pm until September 5. Visit www.waterfrontbia.com for more information.

“The Singing Ambassadors inform and perform,” states Carol Jolly, Executive Director, The Waterfront BIA. “They not only share information and help direct people to the many amazing places on Toronto’s Waterfront, but their a cappella performances enhance the visitor experience throughout the summer.”

The 2016 Singing Ambassadors are Asha James, Dan Lord, Erin Horan, Ewura-Abena Bourne, Hugh Ritchie, Jackson Smylie, Reuven Grajner and Stephanie Hotchkiss. They are split into two quartets that will perform ten a cappella summertime favourites in key locations and busy daytime spots along the Waterfront. Each song has been arranged as full and 1.5 minute songs by internationally-published com­poser, arranger and per­former Aaron Jensen.

Niagara an ideal getaway spot to mark Canada Day

History, fireworks, boat tour on tap to celebrate Canada’s 149th birthday
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. (June 24, 2016) – Niagara has everything visitors need to celebrate Canada’s upcoming 149th birthday in style and kick off summer at the same time.
Families looking to make the most of the July 1st long weekend can find a mix of history, fantastic scenery, great accommodations and truly Canadian activities.
“You really can’t get a better taste of what makes our country so special than celebrating Canada Day in Niagara-on-the-Lake,” says Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours president John Kinney. “Our roots stretch back to the founding of Canada so we go all out in Niagara making sure Canada Day is memorable and fun.”
Here are a few truly Canadian ideas for visitors to make the most of Canada Day in Niagara:

Celebrating 40 years of the CN Tower in Toronto

(News Release)

TORONTO -- This summer, the CN Tower celebrates 40 remarkable years since it first opened its doors to the public on June 26, 1976.  Help us celebrate!
Download a coupon from our website to save 40% off a child general admission when you visit on our anniversary weekend, June 25 and 26. You must print and remit the coupon onsite to receive the offer.  Offer applies to child general admission tickets that are purchased onsite at the CN Tower box office on June 25 or 26 only.  The coupon is valid for a maximum of 4 child tickets.  Mobile versions are not accepted.  During your visit be sure to enter our onsite contest for your chance to win some amazing prizes.  

When Canada’s tallest building celebrates a giant milestone, it’s only fitting to have a giant birthday card to mark to occasion.  Courtesy of the upcoming release of Disney’s The BFG, which opens on Canada Day, the giant birthday card will be located at the base of the CN Tower June 21 through July 1st for Torontonians and visitors alike to come add their birthday wishes.  Brand ambassadors will be located at the giant birthday card daily to help well-wishers write their personalized greetings on a tablet, which will then be displayed on the large electronic screens inside the card.  #BFGxCNTower40

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Experience lakeside living at the Puslinch Lake home tour

PUSLINCH LAKE -- Happening soon is the Puslinch Lakeside Living Home Tour on Saturday (June 25) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a chance to visit six properties.

   The small, private kettle lake east of Cambridge, has featured more than 50 homes since the tours began in 2005, said Donna O’Krafka of the Puslinch Lake Conservation Association.

   Visitors are taken by pontoon boat to each of the homes (or they can drive) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with departures from the Old Marina Restaurant and at 28 Lakeside Drive on McCormick’s Point.

Visitors to the Puslinch Lakeside Living Home Tour travel by pontoon boat between properties.
   Tickets are $25, with the money supporting the Lake Restoration Fund. myplca.com

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Oh my, apple pie and more

   One-Tank Trip for June 18-16
   (c) By Jim Fox

   Summertime and the eating is easy.
   Choose from everything with apples, Ontario’s best butter tarts and “artisanal” treats on the Toronto waterfront.
   Let’s start with caramel apple cinnamon buns from Heavenly Sweets in Collingwood and salad with apples from Andrew’s Roots Restaurant in Meaford.
   They’re among 40 stops and 12 “adventure partners” along the Apple Pie Trail.
   In this concentrated apple growing region, the trail winds its way from Creemore to Collingwood, through Blue Mountain Village and on to Meaford.
   Visitors will find the “best in local culinary experiences, vineyards, cideries, galleries, museums, artisan products and orchards plus a new Stay and Play package at the Westin Trillium House,” said Patti Kendall of the Blue Mountain Village Association.
   Outdoor adventures include hiking, biking, paddling and helicopter tours, all of which are coupled with food and drink pairings.

Caramel apple cinnamon buns are a treat at Heavenly Sweets in Collingwood.
   There’s a brochure and map to help guide visitors to products and experiences “unique to the region,” including the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Niagara Escarpment and the vast expanse of Georgian Bay.

   Happy trails to you
   Added this year are Creemore, Stayner and Meaford with businesses such as Giffen’s Country Market with 17 types of apples, pick your own fruit, seasonal wagon rides, dining room and the “best” butter tarts in South Georgian Bay.
   Mad Maple Country Inn & Agriturismo offers cooking classes, private dining and “authentic” culinary events.
   Creemore Kitchen “embraces” its relationships with local farmers for dining experiences.
   100 Mile Store is packed with natural, organic fair trade and artisanal products including apple cider, fresh vegetables, meats, cheeses, soaps and salves.
A salad with apples is featured along the Apple Pie Trail at Andrew’s Roots Restaurant in Meaford.

Largest Viking ship in the world sets sail for Toronto and tall ships gathering

(News Release)

Toronto, ON A courageous crew of sailors from around the world set sail aboard the world’s largest Viking ship.

Departing from her homeport in Haugesund, Norway, on Sunday, April 24, Draken Harald Hårfagre and her crew committed to the daring journey to cross the North Atlantic for her Expedition America.

The great ship will be joining the fleet of international tall ships in Toronto for the Redpath Waterfront Festival presented by PortsToronto from July 1 to 3.

The Expedition America project curator, Sigur Aase, wanted Draken Harald Hårfagre to follow in the wake of one of the most challenging Viking explorations – the Viking discovery of the New World.

Built with archaeological knowledge of ships, extensive research of Norse literature and using boatbuilding traditions, Draken Harald Hårfagre is what Vikings considered a “Great Ship.” Before casting her sails for Expedition America, Draken Harald Hårfagre was celebrated with a Dragon’s Head Ceremony.

The dragon’s head is traditionally not mounted until departure for long journeys to defend the ship and her crew from sea monsters, bad weather, evil creatures and unexpected raids. The ship’s mythological head was revealed in the ceremony, and the great adventure of sailing the historical route was wished “Fair winds and following seas.”

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Tears for Fears reschedules postponed concert at Casino Rama

Band to return to Casino Rama Resort this fall, October 1st, 2016

Rama, ON (Friday, June 17th, 2016) – Tears for Fears’ Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith are pleased to announce that they have rescheduled as many earlier postponed tour dates as possible, including the much anticipated Casino Rama Resort performance now set for Saturday, October 1st (8 pm).

The UK band formed in 1981 and have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide to date. They have released four albums as a group. Their platinum-selling 1983 debut The Hurting reached #1 on the UK Albums Chart, while their second album, 1985’s Songs from the Big Chair reached #1 on the US Billboard Top 200 and spawned two massive hits, “Shout” and “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.”

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Catch the Canadian Spirit on Eve of Canada Day with Acclaimed Ontario Folk Trio Trent Severn, eh?

Trent Severn: From left to right: Emm Gryner, Dayna Manning and Lindsay Schindler.
Performing at Stratford’s Revival House June 30


Stratford, ON (June 13, 2016) Join acclaimed Ontario folk trio Trent Severn, who sing original, contemporary songs described as “Canadian history in harmony,” at Stratford’s Revival House on June 30, 2016 at 9:00 pm. The perfect way to catch the spirit of Canada Day!

Based in Stratford Ontario, Trent Severn showcases the talents of Dayna Manning (guitar, banjo, vocals), Emm Gryner (bass guitar, background vocals) and Lindsay Schindler (fiddle, background vocals).

The band composes beautifully-crafted, evocative songs that continue the deeply poetic legacy of true “red and white” pioneering troubadours, such as Stompin’ Tom Connors, Ian and Sylvia Tyson and Gordon Lightfoot. The talented southern Ontario trio planted their Maple Leaf flag deeply in the firmament of the Canadian roots music with a folk version of O Canada and Stealin’Syrup.

Twice nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, Trent Severn takes its name from a famous Ontario waterway. Emm Gryner and Dayna Manning came together out of a shared desire to work with one another and by their common affinity for all that makes Canada special. Accomplished fiddle player Lindsay Schindler, who also performs with Canadian Celtic fusion band Rant Maggie Rant, joined the band in 2015, replacing the equally adept Laura C. Bates.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Celebrate Canada Day weekend at Harbourfront Centre with fireworks and free concerts by Cowboy Junkies and Nomadic Massive

TORONTO, ON (June 1, 2016) – Harbourfront Centre celebrates Canada’s 149th birthday with a three-day celebration that features electrifying fireworks and performances from July 1–3. Friday kicks the weekend off with a full day of fun, family-friendly performances and activities, followed by Toronto’s largest fireworks display over Lake Ontario set to an all-Canadian soundtrack.
The celebration begins July 1 with free concerts by family favourite Sharon & Bram and the multi-talentedNomadic Massive from Montreal and continues with Canada’s iconic alt-country/blues/folk rock stars, Cowboy Junkies, in a free concert on Harbourfront Centre’s outdoor concert stage on July 2.

Formed in 1985, Toronto’s own Cowboy Junkies have brought international attention to Canada’s music scene. As Juno nominees and recent inductees into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame, Cowboy Junkies continue to make a name for themselves.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Stratford Festival’s opening week began with Antoni Cimolino’s production of Macbeth

STRATFORD, Ontario -- The Stratford Festival’s 64th season – based on the theme After the Victory – got underway officially with the gala opening of Macbeth, directed by Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino and featuring Ian Lake in the title role, with Krystin Pellerin as Lady Macbeth.

“Our creative teams, acting company and artisans have together made some of the most exciting and diverse experiences ever for Festival audiences,” says Mr. Cimolino. “Our season about victory and loss, I sense, will be a sure win for all who visit Stratford.”
The week included five more openings:
·         A Chorus Line, directed and choreographed by Donna Feore, featuring Dayna Tietzen and Juan Chioran.
·         All My Sons, directed by Martha Henry, featuring Joseph Ziegler and Lucy Peacock
·         The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, directed by Tim Carroll, featuring Sara Farb, Ruby Joy, André Morin and Gareth Potter.
·         As You Like It, directed by Jillian Keiley, featuring Petrina Bromley, Cyrus Lane and Seana McKenna.
·         Shakespeare in Love, directed by Declan Donnellan, featuring Luke Humphrey and Shannon Taylor.

A Day on the Farm to be held in London, Ontario

(News Release)
June 8, 2016  London, Ontario -  Urban folk will have the chance to connect with the rural heritage of London and Middlesex County at A Day on the Farm, Saturday June 18 and Sunday, June 19, 2016 at Fanshawe Pioneer Village.

Come meet the sheep, pigs and poultry who will live at Fanshawe Pioneer Village this season. Discover the process of cloth making with demonstrations of sheep shearing, carding wool, spinning and weaving.

Learn about the importance of cows and the things that can be made with their milk!

Presented in partnership with London District Weavers and Spinners.

Sponsored by Execulink Telecom.

Try our new Smartphone tour!

-- 30 –
New Social Bar_edited-1

Woodstock, Ontario going to the dogs for annual doggy festival

(News Release)

When is a “DOG” Festival ALL about the dog? When the festival is called “DogLoversDays”.

On Saturday, June 18th DogLoversDays will return to Museum Square in Downtown Woodstock for the 2nd Annual DogLoversDays. Both you and your canine friends, will discover a wonderland of entertainment for the family dog to enjoy.

From 10 a.m. to 4p.m. your dog can enjoy a run on one of our fun lure courses, visit a free holistic healer in our Health and Wellness Centre, play in the Nutram Play Zone and watch Lottie the Collie and the WunderDogs Show! (Show times 11am 1pm and 3pm)plus there is a Best Dressed Dog contest at 2:00pm. 
 Sponsors include Bullwrinkles , Nutram ,Nutrawls and Global Pet Foods, located on Springbank Drive here in Woodstock. We would like to give these wonderful sponsors our heartfelt thanks in supporting a 2nd Annual DogLoversDays. 

We have not forgotten the dog owners as there will be several pet-related vendors on site. We also hope dog owners take some time to enjoy all of what Downtown Woodstock has to offer, and fun experience for those on two and four legs! 

Kelly Morrison, Downtown Woodstock BIA Manager says “The Downtown Woodstock BIA is very excited to be hosting DogLoversDays again next weekend. It's bigger, it's better, and it's sure to get tails wagging! We look forward to welcoming you and your dogs to DogLoversDays in Museum Square."

Event organizers have requested that only responsible dog owners attend, and all dogs are socialized, enjoy being around other dogs, on leashes and cleaned up after.

For more information, please contact:
Kelly Morrison, Manager Downtown Woodstock BIA info@downtownwoodstock.ca or 519 537 5721
Mark Gross, Event Director, DogLoversDays www.dogloversdays.com or 519 835 1472

Five Ontario art festivals that are a summer must: Explore some of the most inspired festivals

ONTARIO (June 8, 2016) – Have you ever wondered what happens when event professionals and talented artists come together? Creativity ensues and a call for celebration beckons the culturally curious.

Festivals and Events Ontario (FEO) invites you to experience the magnificent intermingling of flair and creativity at anyone of these Ontario Top 100 summer art festivals and events.
Festival organizers have crafted a spectacular blend of art, music, literature, theatre, film, dance and visual arts uniting communities and drawing visitors from far and wide.  Get set to explore some of the province’s most colourful and inspired summer art festivals.

This summer’s Art Festival Highlights include:

New sounds and deep traditions – Future Routes showcases the soundscape of the future

TORONTO, ON (June 9, 2016) – Harbourfront Centre is pleased to announce its first Future Routes festival, July 8-10, where trail-blazing living legends and emerging superstars forge new musical paths and create an extraordinary sonic experience.

The weekend features some of the globe’s most talented and innovative musicians, including the multigenerational collective of Haitian musicians, Lakou Mizik. Formed in 2010 after the earthquake in Haiti, established icons and rising young talent united in music to shed a positive light on their country.
Lakou Mizik delivers a unique musical experience which visitors can enjoy at the Concert Stage on July 8. On July 9, Orlando Julius, Nigerian living legend and pioneer of afro beat, performs in his distinctive style, fusing traditional African sounds and rhythms with those of American pop, soul and R&B. Following Julius’ performance is the official Future Routes after-party, GUMBO, connecting afrobeats and soca while mixing in dancehall, samba, baile funk, afro-house, hip hop and R&B, sure to be an amazing dance party.

Music festivals are rocking the summer across Ontario

   One-Tank Trip for June 11/16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   The hills are alive with the sound of music all summer long across Ontario.
   “Music fans – listen up,” said Nichole Fogarty of Festivals & Events Ontario (FEO), listing the “top music festivals you have to go to.”
   “FEO is thrilled to share an exciting lineup of the best 16 summer music festivals from June 11 to Sept. 21,” she added.
   Bet you “can’t enjoy just one,” Fogarty said as she unveils the list:
Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival attracts the crowds as one of the largest local music events of the year.
   Sound of Music Festival, June 11 to 19, in Burlington
   This is one of the largest local music events of the year. It features a combination of emerging artists, blasts from the past and current performers along with a mix of free and ticketed shows. soundofmusic.ca

Friday, June 10, 2016

What's news at the Toronto Zoo: Turtle crossing; zoo baby visiting hours, Father's Day

Although many of Ontario's turtles spend most of their time in the water, all need to lay their eggs on dry land. Since roads are everywhere they often need to cross them to get to their nesting sites. Many of the turtles hit by cars are adult females on their way to lay eggs. June is the height of nesting season, so be sure to watch the below video and follow these tips to help turtles cross the road:

1) If you see a turtle on the road, stop if you can (consider your safety first).

2) Take the turtle across the road in the direction it was headed.

3) Carry the turtle low to the ground - they have sharp claws and are very strong so be careful not to drop it.

4) Never carry a turtle by the tail as this can damage its spinal cord. Grasp the rear of the shell and carry or drag large ones by the shell.

Whenever you see a turtle in Ontario, at the lake, on a road or near your property we want to know about it! Contact Ontario Turtle Tally through Adopt-A-Pond

After a dazzling opening week, Stratford extends three productions, adds two weeks to season

June 10, 2016… After a hugely successful opening week, the Stratford Festival is delighted to announce it is extending three productions: Macbeth, All My Sons and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

“I’m delighted that our opening week productions have been met with such a positive response. Demand for our tickets has surged and in many cases we are struggling to meet that demand,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, who directed Macbeth. “I want to thank our artists for their beautiful work and our Festival audiences for their loyalty and support.”

“The season has been selling extremely well,” says Executive Director Anita Gaffney, “and it has been so rewarding to see such a variety of genres meeting with such lively reaction. The three productions we are extending today are perfect examples of our range of offerings – a Shakespeare tragedy, a modern classic and a family adventure.”

Get down with KC & The Sunshine Band as they kick off the TD Toronto Jazz Festival 2016

Part of the Free Concert Series Lineup

TORONTO - Legendary supergroup, KC and The Sunshine Band will kickoff the festivities with a free concert when the TD Toronto Jazz Festival launches its 30th edition on Friday, June 24 at Nathan Phillips Square. With official DJ and hosting duties by Canada's hip-hop ambassador Kardinal Offishall, opening night will also feature the Heavyweights Brass Band and a special performance that will have a Swing vs. Street dance-off like Toronto has never seen before!

With a string of feel-good hits including "That's the Way (I Like It)," "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty," "Get Down Tonight" and "Boogie Shoes," KC and The Sunshine Band helped define the dance music era during the 70s.

Remaining wildly popular for the last 40 years, they have sold over 100 million records worldwide, won three Grammy Awards and have had their music featured in over 200 major motion picture soundtracks.

Passionately repping Toronto and bringing it to the mainstream masses since the late 1990s and early 2000s, Kardinal Offishall has been dubbed by Billboard Magazine as "the best-kept secret in Canadian hip-hop." The performer turned producer, entertainer, and businessman, adds a new title to his repertoire - dropping sick beats as a DJ that will continue to crown himself as one of Canada's top musical tastemakers to trek the international market.