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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Life is better at the cottage: Don't miss the Spring Cottage Life Show to see why

   One-Tank Trip for March 25-17

   (c) By Jim Fox
There’s something about “cottaging” that gets into your blood and you just can’t shake it.
   Take it from a veteran cottager whose grandfather bought an isolated property on Raven Lake, near Coboconk, and built a modest cabin years ago.
   Life would never be the same, as it is a rite of passage for so many Canadians.
   Your kids, grandkids and family pets will thank you for keeping the tradition and memories alive – with all the enjoyable hard work and bankroll.
   The days of roughing it are long gone with no electricity (coal-oil lamps and stoves instead), a block of ice in the so-called fridge and a well to manually pump drinking water.
   Now it’s four-season escapes with Wi-Fi, satellite TV, central heating and air-conditioning, washers, dryers, dishwashers and all the comforts of home.
Dogs have as much fun as their human companions at the cottage. (Jim Fox photo)
   Before heading off to the lake, stream or river to a cottage, cabin, bunkie, trailer or motor home, there’s an easy primer by attending the Spring Cottage Life Show to see if you’re up to the ownership challenge.
   This harbinger of summer and ritual for Ontarians preparing to open their seasonal retreats runs from March 31to April 2 at the International Centre (6900 Airport Rd. at Derry Road) in Mississauga.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tap into spring with Ontario's sweet treat -- maple syrup

   One-Tank Trip for March 18-17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   How sweet it is!
   They’re tapping into spring with the running of the sap to make Canada’s iconic maple syrup.
   Visit a sugar shack where sap is collected from maple trees and boiled into syrup, and tour a sugar bush to learn about the making of this sweet treat.
Tom Shaw shows the traditional method of tapping maple trees using a hand drill on his Orillia-area farm. (Jim Fox photo)
   It’s all possible at the 53rd Elmira Maple Syrup Festival on April 1, the world’s largest single-day fest of its kind that attracts 70,000 people in one day.
   Come early and hungry to this community north of Kitchener-Waterloo for a pancake and sausage breakfast served from 7 a.m.
   Some 15,000 servings of flapjacks, smothered in 750 litres of syrup, are devoured.
   There are trips to the sugar bush, a pancake-flipping contest, dog show, petting zoo and toys, quilts, crafts, antiques and collectibles, along with great food including maple syrup toffee.
   Children can enjoy midway and pony rides, inflatables and musical performances.
Yum. Come and get ’em – flapjacks smothered in maple syrup. (Ontario Tourism)

The Small Glories in concert with special guest Sarah Jane Scouten March 24 at Stratford’s Revival House

(News Release)

Cara Luft & JD Edwards create a sound that is definitely all their own

Stratford, ON (March 8, 2017)  The Small Glories, a dynamic folk duo from Winnipeg, take to the stage at Stratford’s Revival House at 8:00 pm on March 24, 2017. The Small Glories are Cara Luft & JD Edwards, whose voices beautifully blend, creating a sound unique and definitely all their own. The concert is presented by String Bone Presents!
The Small Glories

Veteran artists Luft and Edwards, who enjoy substantial solo reputations, continue to blossom as a union, while building a buzz around their tight harmonies, authenticity and visceral performances. Luft is a Juno Award winner and a founding member of the hugely successful trio The Wailin’ Jennys. She has earned a solid reputation as an exciting live performer, as well as an accomplished guitarist and claw-hammer banjo player. The JD Edwards Band performs gritty, invigorating country rock music with strong blues and soul influences. Edwards’ voice ranges from gentle and melodic to fierce and powerful, leaving listeners wanting more. As a result of their combined talents, Luft and Edwards perform and sing together like they have been doing it for years. Additionally, both of them are insightfully honest songwriters.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Inquisitive kids really "dig" digiPlaySpace

   One-Tank Trip for March 4/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Using language that perhaps only kids will understand, young minds can learn to code, control robots, paint with light, travel through space and visit Canada’s National Parks through high-tech experiences.
   This world where users control a robotic arm that mimics human movement, interact with the solar system and space across a circle of 28 iPads, and paint with light while the environment around them begins to glow is known as digiPlaySpace.
Visitors to digiPlaySpace can learn all about robots, programming and basic electronics to create their own inventions. (Photo by Little Robot Friends)
   This is the sixth international exhibition of its kind that runs now through April 23 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.
   Don’t be shy: It’s where interactive art, design and activities from acclaimed Canadian and international artists “highlight the power of creative technology for kids and those young at heart.”
   TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world, through film, and its projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival, Lightbox featuring five cinemas, major exhibitions and learning and entertainment facilities.