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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Happy New(s) Year! The countdown is on to bring in 2019

   One-Tank Trip for Dec. 22/18

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Bidding adieu to 2018 will be that much more festive if you do it in good company – with perhaps hundreds or thousands of your closest friends.
   Across the land, many cities and towns, both large and small will celebrate an end to 2018 and welcome for 2019 with open-air concerts and street parties.
   New Year’s Eve bashes, family focused public celebrations, a cocktail cruise, dinners and a Brazilian carnival on Dec. 31 make Ontario sparkle.
Two fireworks displays light up the night sky in Niagara Falls to mark the arrival of 2019.
    One of the most happening places is the entire tourism district of Niagara Falls, billed as “Canada’s largest New Year’s Eve bash.”
   Crowds fill Queen Victoria Park overlooking the illuminated Horseshoe and American falls.
   The party kicks off at 8 p.m., attracting about 50,000 people, for the free outdoor event.
   It’s also one of the country’s longest-running celebrations that features entertainment and two explosive fireworks shows launched from the Niagara Gorge and Skylon Tower.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Ho, ho, ho, Santa's soon got to go!

   One-Tank Trip for Dec. 15/18

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Santa and Mrs. Claus are about to wind up their 2018 tour that continues to draw huge crowds across the land.
   Like the “rock stars” they are, the dynamic duo will still be making a few appearances before the real work begins in advance of Dec. 25.
   But, there’s still time for kids to get their last-minute requests to Santa in person.
Come on, tell Santa what you want for Christmas at the Ingersoll village. (Photo by Andrea Roulston)
    Santa has had fun riding the rails, visiting with his fans and appearing in hundreds of parades in every city and town.
   In fact, the veteran of parades still has three left this weekend in Ontario: Burgessville, St. George and Woodville, all night-time spectacles tonight (Dec. 15).

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The holidays shine brightly at Bingemans in Kitchener, Ontario

Find your Christmas spirit at the third annual Gift of Lights
KITCHENER, Ont. — An even brighter version of a holiday tradition awaits at Bingemans this season.
For the third year, the Instagram-worthy Gift of Lights will delight visitors with a stunning two-kilometre drive through a beautifully lit and decorated campground. New this year, though, is the addition of a second tunnel of lights.           
“The light tunnel has been incredibly well received over the first two years we have showcased Gift of Lights,” says Mark Bingeman, President of Bingemans.
“We wanted to give our guests something even more special this season, so we’ve added the static tunnel from our first year and the animated tunnel from last year."
The 200-foot tunnel lends itself well to stunning photos, as do the rest of the light displays featured throughout the drive. Bingemans has gone above and beyond and have added even more lights to delight guests this season.

Downtown Detroit market vendors are busy for the holiday season

(Media Advisory)

Downtown Detroit Market vendors are busy during this winter season. Local entrepreneurs have the opportunity to test market their business concepts before investing in long term brick-and-mortar spaces in the heart of the city.

 Bedrock and the Quicken Loans Community Fund have created the Downtown Detroit Markets and surrounding activations as part of their ongoing commitment to drive entrepreneurship and increase diverse retail, food, beverage and art focused offerings within the city.

The Cadillac Square Lodge is a family-friendly pop-up space filled with games, cozy d├ęcor and ski-lodge themed amenities. This restaurant will be created in partnership with Parc’s team and the food and drink menu will be crafted by Executive Chef Jordan Hoffman.

New this season, Chef Toni Sova will be popping up Nostimo Kitchen in a large greenhouse in Cadillac Square. This location of Nostimo Kitchen will serve as Detroit’s Pantry while featuring a wide array of Michigan-made food goods, cook books and specialty olive oils all hand selected by Toni.

Capitol Park will be home to The Capitol Inn serving gourmet bar snacks, festive cocktails as well as Munich-inspired beer and wine. In partnership with Prime + Proper and Townhouse’s Jeremy Sasson, this pop-up will host rotating live musicians in a comfortable, chic atmosphere.

These activations are created by Bedrock and the Quicken Loans Community Fund, designed by Groundswell Design Group and made possible with the support of the Downtown Detroit Partnership

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Hit the festive holiday trails for holly, jolly fun

   One-Tank Trip for Dec. 8/18

    (c) By Jim Fox

   Hit the trails for some holly, jolly fun this month.
   Several offerings are the Blumination Dream Trail at Blue Mountain Village, Waterloo Region’s Mistletoe Trail and Stratford’s Christmas Trail.
   Blue Mountain’s event runs from now through Jan. 6 every night from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
   It’s described as a one-kilometre “magical, illuminated winter stroll through the village, around the Mill Pond and straight through your imagination.”
Horse and wagon rides around Blue Mountain Village on the Blumination Dream Trail. (Blue Mountain)
   The highlights are “interactive and entrancing light installations” called Blue Mountain “through the looking glass, a snow globe with you in it.”
   This free mega-watt winter experience ends in the Events Plaza, with “incredible light shows” daily at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Disney On Ice celebrates 100 years of Magic at Scotiabank Arena, Toronto

(News Release)

New Venue, New Dates: Tickets On Sale for Toronto Shows

TORONTO, ON -- The celebration of the century comes alive in Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic. This monumental ice skating spectacular is coming to a new venue with new dates: Scotiabank Arena in Toronto from January 25-28, 2019 for 9 performances. Tickets are on sale now.

Mickey Mouse leads the parade
Audiences will be a part of the magic of Disney as Mouse-ter of Ceremonies Mickey Mouse leads a parade of more than 50 beloved characters starring Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and featuring an ensemble of Disney Princesses including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White and Tiana.

Santa on the rails on the Port Stanley Terminal Rail

 (News Release) --  All aboard for the Santa Treats train rides on the Port Stanley Terminal Rail, weekends through Dec. 23 (2018) at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. in Ontario.

   The “Santa Treats” train chugs through the Elgin County’s countryside and “children’s anticipation grows as we near our destination to meet Santa,” said rail president Dan Vernackt.

   The train departs and returns to the Port Stanley station (309 Bridge St.) by the King George Lift Bridge. It costs $15, adults; $9, children ages two to 14. pstr.on.ca; 1-877-244-4478

   Santa has treats for the kids! Watch your children’s anticipation grow as we near our destination to meet Santa. Live entertainment may appear on some trains.

    PSTR is an operating tourist railway. We are located in the beautiful, lakeside village of Port Stanley, Ontario. We have been operating trains safely for over 35 years and look forward to your visit. We are Elgin County's longest running tourist attraction. All aboard for fun and a scenic ride on the train.

* Please note: The Dec. 15, 11 a.m. train is sold out.

Sneak a peek at Santa and the elves in Ingersoll, Ontario

(News Release) The elves are hard at work at Santa's Village 2018 housed at the Ingersoll Ontario Cheese & Agricultural Museum.
Photos by Andrea Roulston
Event Information
Event Date: November 23-December 22
Time: 6 pm - 9pm
Type: Festival

Contact Information
Phone: 519-485-5510
Address: 290 Harris St., Ingersoll

Sneak a peek at Santa’s Workshop at Santa's Festival Village in Ingersoll. Come and see what ol' Kris Kringle and his elves have been working on.

Our theme this year is “Christmas Around the World,” said Andrea Roulston, Coordinator of this year’s Santa's Village.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Festive festival fun is wunderbar in Kitchener and across Ontario

   One-Tank Trip for Dec. 1/18

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Everything’s “wunderbar” in Kitchener as the next big event after Oktoberfest – the Christkindl Market – is wooing the crowds.
   Reflecting Kitchener's German heritage, the free event from Dec. 6 to 9 at Kitchener city hall recreates the centuries-old tradition that’s a feast for the eyes, ears and taste buds.
Folkloric characters organ grinder Klaus and farmer Knech Ruprect are greeters at the Kitchener market.
   Since medieval times, towns and cities across Germany come alive with the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Musical productions and blockbuster plays rock the season

   One-Tank Trip for Nov. 24/18
   (c)  By Jim Fox

   The curtain is rising for an extensive list of musical theatre and seasonal concerts.
   Mirvish Productions leads the parade with a steady stream of hit productions.
   The current season features Canadian premieres and new productions among 25 shows at five Toronto theatres.
The School of Rock at the Ed Mirvish Theatre has a kids’ rock band playing instruments on stage. (Photo by Evan Zimmerman-MurphyMade)
    Called a “breathtaking new musical,” the acclaimed Come from Away continues its extended run until April, moving from the Royal Alexandra Theatre in February to the Elgin Theatre until April 28.
   It tells the story of how Gander, Newfoundland’s townsfolk cared for 7,000 stranded airplane passengers during the 9/11 attack.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Oxford Winds and Woodstock Fanshawe Singers Celebrate Christmas (Nov. 23, 2018)

(News Release)

Once again, the Oxford Winds Community Concert Band begins the holiday season with their annual Christmas with the Winds concert on Friday, November 23 at 7:30pm at Knox Presbyterian Church in Woodstock (Ontario).

This year, the spirit of the season is doubled with the addition of the Woodstock Fanshawe Singers, led by Samantha Hayes.

Music Director, Stephanie Riehl, says “we have been hoping to work with the Woodstock Fanshawe Singers and we’re so delighted to feature them as our guests this year! We’ve planned some fun collaborations that we hope the audience will enjoy.”

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Shuffling off to Metro Detroit for fun and games, great shopping and pizza

   One-Tank Trip for Nov. 10/18
   (c) By Jim Fox

   “Detroit. It’s Go Time” is the new advertising slogan for Metro Detroit and there are many good reasons to go there especially at this time of year.
   After living up to its previous slogan of “America’s Great Comeback City,” Greater Detroit is booming as its downtown continues to be transformed.
Downtown Detroit viewed from Windsor is dominated by the seven skyscrapers of the GM Renaissance Center. (Jim Fox photo)
    Among the reasons to go back include sports, theatre, fine and eclectic dining, new hotels and businesses along with holiday-themed events and all those motor-vehicle attractions.
   Did I mention shopping?
   A favourite pastime for Ontarians is Black Friday shopping on Nov. 23 – joining the Michigan crowds the day after “their” Thanksgiving.
   The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau says the “retail romp” includes a “downtown collection of independent and brand-name shops as well as walkable shopping districts, outlet centres, megamalls and upscale collections.”

Saturday, November 3, 2018

It's beginning to look like a holly, jolly Christmas everywhere you go

   One-Tank Trip for Nov. 3/18

   (c) By Jim Fox

   For all those holly jolly people who just love Christmas/holiday/seasonal shopping and events, it’s back.
   It is November, after all, and hugely popular events – such as the Seasons Christmas Show – are billed as “kicking off the holidays.”
Santa makes a visit and poses for photos at the Seasons Christmas Show.
   Christmas aficionados can “save the date” for the really big show Nov. 16 to 18 at the International Centre in Mississauga.
   Among other events are Stratford’s Christmas Trail, Christmas in Paris and Otterville’s Studio Tour.

   Ho, ho, ho
   “The Seasons Christmas Show continues its tradition as the best place to begin holiday shopping and decorating,” said publicist Kate Calder.
   There’s the biggest-ever array of Christmas decorations, marketplace full of artisans and a lineup of DIY-maker workshops, she added.
   The show features about 250 exhibitors, holiday decor, stocking stuffers, handcrafted gifts, food, festive music and inspiring ideas.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

CP Holiday Trains are a colourful sight crossing Canada and parts of the U.S.

   One-Tank Trip for Oct. 27/18

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Clear the tracks as the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is being readied to ride the rails spreading joy across Canada and parts of the U.S.
The engine pulling the CP train is decked out in festive attire.
    The elaborately decorated train – actually two train sets – will set out in November from Montreal to “entertain hundreds of thousands of people.”
   It will make stops in 171 communities along CP’s network with parties by the tracks and at local railway stations.
   Coming soon to a city or town near you, the festive trains will be collecting food and money for food banks across North America.
   CP has revealed this year’s stops, including some new ones, and the entertainers riding the rails.
   This is the 20th annual tour and a “privilege” to run the program and connect with so many communities, said Keith Creel, CP president and chief executive.
   The trains each have 14 brightly decorated rail cars consisting of hundreds of thousands of LED lights and holiday designs “celebrating the spirit of the giving season.”
   The typical event lasting about 30 minutes has the train being welcomed at each stop by big crowds.

Superstar Mariah Carey reveals Caution World Tour to appear at Casino Rama Resort

RAMA, ON (News Release) – International singing and song-writing icon Mariah Carey has announced her upcoming Caution World Tour is set to kick off in February 2019.

The multi-platinum selling, multiple Grammy Award winner will get closer to the fans with her most intimate tour yet. The once-in-a-lifetime 22-city run, produced by Live Nation, will play the award-winning Entertainment Centre at Casino Rama Resort Thursday, March 21 (8 PM).
Mariah Carey also revealed the release of her anxiously awaited 15th full-length studio album, Caution. The digital pre-order just went live, and it unlocks immediate downloads of brand-new song “The Distance,” recent single “With You,” and the first teaser track “GTFO.”

The order and exclusive new Caution merchandise are available at her official D2C store HERE. Carey’s last album, Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse, was released in 2014. Carey is a music powerhouse and the best-selling female artist of all time with more than 200 million albums sold to date and 18 Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles (17 self-penned) to her name.

Now accepting submissions for the 2019 TD Discovery Series special projects


TORONTO - Designed to encourage the creation, development and presentation of special projects by local jazz musicians, the TD Discovery Series Special Projects is now accepting submissions until November 30, 2018. Entering its ninth year, the initiative provides successful applicants with marketing and public relations support, including a bursary, from Toronto Downtown Jazz (TDJ).

"Over the past nine years the Special Projects initiative has supported consistently outstanding concerts - some of the city's most interesting, creative and exciting jazz presentations - I look forward to seeing what this year's submissions brings," states Artistic Director, Josh Grossman.

Arts and Culture Events on Toronto's Bloor St. Culture Corridor, November 2018

The air is now crisp in Toronto, but you will feel the warmth at arts and culture events this month, with Italian-themed art exhibitions and concerts at Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 918 Bathurst, and Tafelmusik. There will be Cuban and other Latin American music at The Royal Conservatory of Music, and Caribbean cultural events at A Different Booklist. Escape into fantasy worlds by diving into Alice in Wonderland at the Toronto Reference Library, see a groundbreaking opera with lyrics by Langston Hughes at U of T Faculty of Music, or a timely musical with lyrics by Dolly Parton at the Randolph Theatre. There are so many wonderful worlds to discover on the Bloor St. Culture Corridor!

We love to hear from you!
Connect with the Bloor St. Culture Corridor on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Google.
A Different Booklist Cultural Centre
There are some great events happening at A Different Booklist Cultural Centre this month. R.I.S.E continues with the Spoken word on November 1. A tribute to steel pan pioneer Ellie Mannette is on November 2. Randell Adjei launches ‘I Am Not My Struggles’ on November 3, an entrance fee of $20 is inclusive of a copy of the book. The Socialist Project launch will the book Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life: A Reading and Conversation with Matt Hern and Shiri Pasternak on November 7. November 10 is the launch of Habiba Cooper Diallo ‘Yeshailem Learns About Fistula’ and Inanna Publications’ launch of Madeline Coopsammy's new YA novel, ‘The Old Songs’, and Glynis Guevara's new YA novel, ‘Black Beach’. On. November 14, see the Award-winning Author, Educator, Speaker and Poet Sharon Draper for the release of her new book ‘Blended’. Please visit adbcc.org for more information and the complete calendar of events.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Ride the "Terror Train" for a Halloween trick or treat

(News Release)

WATERLOO, Ontario -- Are you brave enough for a night of terror on the rails? 

Bingemans and the Waterloo Central Railway have come together to deliver an experience like no other in Canada, this Halloween immerse yourself in an apocalyptic adventure along the rails on The Terror Train!

The unthinkable has happened… an unknown virus is infecting the region and overrunning it with dangerous and unpredictable mutants.
The roads are impassible, airports are shut down and the only way out is on The Terror Train!

Friday, October 19, 2018

That cwazy wabbit and more at the Warner Bros. Cartoons exhibition

   One-Tank Trip for Oct. 20/18
   By Jim Fox

   “Ehh, what’s up doc?” as Bugs Bunny would ask.
   Well, “sufferin' succotash! (Sylvester the Cat),” let me tell you.

   The Looney Tunes gang will invade the Woodstock (Ontario) Art Gallery including Bugs, Tweety Bird, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Sylvester, Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner.
    These Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies alumni will be there in some form for the Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons exhibition from Nov. 10 to Jan. 5.
   It provides a “fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how these classic cartoons were made,” said Mary Reid, the gallery’s director/curator.
   “Through cels, model sheets, story sketches, animation drawings and concept paintings, you’ll discover the evolution of so many favourites,” she added.

All aboard! The 2018 CP Holiday Train will depart soon rolling across Canada and the U.S.

Celebrating 20 years of collecting food and raising funds for local food banks across Canada and the U.S.

 CALGARY, AB --The Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train will soon set out once again to entertain hundreds of thousands of people, celebrating 20 years of collecting food and raising funds for food banks across North America.

 The CP Holiday Train program launched in 1999 and has since raised more than C$14.5 million and gathered 4.3 million pounds of food for communities along CP's routes in Canada and the United States.

Departing from Montreal on Nov. 25 and 27 respectively, two trains will make the festive journey, travelling through both the U.S. and Canada to bring holiday cheer to 164 communities along CP's network.
Each event is free, with CP encouraging attendees to open their cupboards and wallets to help address hunger needs in their communities. Local food banks will be accepting donations at each stop to ensure those less fortunate have enough healthy food this holiday season. 

"On behalf of the 13,000-strong family here at CP, it is my great pleasure to kick-off the 20th tour of the CP Holiday Train," said Keith Creel, CP's President and Chief Executive Officer. "It is a privilege for CP to be able to run a program like this and connect with so many communities across our network. I want to personally thank each individual who has made a donation over the past 20 years – your collective efforts have made the Holiday Train a huge success for two decades."

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Metallica guitarist's It's Alive! clssic horror and sci-fi art coming to Toronto's ROM in 2019

(R. Kikuo Johnson, Rock On;
Peabody Essex Museum)
(News Release) 

Lead Guitarist from Metallica Brings Coveted Cinema Art Collection to the ROM

TORONTO -- It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection makes its Canadian debut at the Royal Ontario Museum in July 2019.

Metallica’s Kirk Hammett holds one of the most significant archives of classic horror and sci-fi cinema art in the world.

This multisensory exhibition presents an international selection of original pieces that Hammett has amassed over three decades, including rare film posters, artwork, props, and costumes that explore the connection between artistry, emotion, and the dark side of popular culture.

It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection is organized by the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), Salem, Massachusetts.

It's "Go Time in Detroit" for fall and seasonal events

As the seasons change in metro Detroit, so does the focus of the fun. Fall brings a chance to cheer for your favorite sports teams, the start of a new theater season, shopping galore and several holiday-themed events. It’s Go Time in Detroit so let us help you plan your visit.

DETROIT, MI -- Cheer for the home team with a crowd of loyal Detroit sports fans. There’ll be plenty of prideas the
Detroit Lions play at Ford Field. The Detroit Red Wings take to the ice at the new Little Caesars Arena, the state-of-the-art stadium that’s also home to the Detroit Pistons

Watch as thousands of people “run for the border” at the Detroit Free Press Chemical Bank Marathon Oct. 20-21. The 5K, Kids Fun Run and an inaugural one mile competitive race take place Oct. 20, while the Relay, Half Marathons and Marathon happen Oct. 21. The marathon course winds through Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, crossing the international border at both the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, through historic neighborhoods, around beautiful Belle Isle, and along the Detroit RiverWalk.

Stroll an enchanted path lit by more than 1,000 jack-o’-lanterns and elaborately costumed characters during Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford Oct.18-21 and 25-28. New this year are a thrilling 19th century magic lantern show and chilling dreamscape for the imagination in Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park. The Hallowe’en Fairytale Feast is also new, with a horse-drawn hayride, Halloween-themed buffet and visits to your table by characters from the original Alice in Wonderland.

Spiders: Fear & Fascination at the Royal Ontario Museum

The Bloor St. Culture Corridor includes:

Royal Ontario Museum
(News Release - Bloor St. Culture Corridor)

TORONTO -- Get up close and personal with NEW additions to the Spiders: Fear & Fascination family, and some of the biggest and baddest arachnids in the world!

Related Spiders programming with exclusive evening access to the exhibition includes the talk Spider-Man: Legend & Legacy on October 30 (2018), when comic giants Chip Zdarsky and Adam Kubert unpack the history of Spider-Man in popular culture.

On October 26, guests also have the opportunity to check out the creepy and crawly world of arachnids at the biggest Halloween party in Toronto, Friday Night Live: Wicked.

For more information visit rom.on.ca
Photo credit: Spiderman Illustration courtesy Adam Kubert.