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Sunday, October 4, 2020

Enjoy fall colours at Ontario Parks

 (News Release)

The seasons are a changing at Ontario Parks.


Photo: Fall colours are showing at Bass Lake Provincial Park near Orillia. (Jim Fox photo)

And fall colours at Algonquin Provincial Park are breathtaking to behold.

But the secret is out, and the park is busy during the fall season. Ontario Parks has created a complete guide to the fall experience at Algonquin to help visitors have the best fall colours experience.

 Our top tips include:

Visit mid-week if possible, there are fewer crowds.

Before you go, check Algonquin's Twitter feed for real time updates on how busy the park is. The park may be closed to additional day-use acess at any time of day if maximum capacity is reached. 

Be safe, be patient and be courteous. Expect some traffic congestion and park only in designated parking lots. 

Try an alternate location with equally beautiful fall colours to beat the crowds. We recommend parks like Restoule and Mikisew.


Fall Camping Opportunities across Ontario

Just because summer’s winding down, it doesn’t mean it’s time to put away your camping equipment. With cooler temperatures, fewer bugs, and a splendour of colours, Fall is the best time of year to get out and enjoy the outdoors. 

 Ontario Parks is offering recommendations on some of the best  fall camping opportunities across the province.

 Due to a high demand for camping this season, Ontario Parks has created additional camping opportunities. This includes a longer operating season for:

Roofed Accommodations at Arrowhead, Silent Lake, Fushimi Lake and René Brunelle

Campgrounds at Driftwood, Arrowhead, Fushimi Lake and René Brunelle

Backcountry camping at Spanish River and Biscotasi Lake

 Visit park pages on OntarioParks.com for additional details.

 Fall Colours Report

 For anyone looking to plan the perfect fall experience, Ontario Parks publishes a Fall Colours Report. There's a regularly updated and interactive map showing how the colour change is progressing across Ontario.

 Did you know?

The safety of our visitors and staff is always our top priority.

We’re counting on visitors to continue following public health guidelines, including physical distancing of at least two metres from others, wearing a face covering when physical distancing may be challenging, washing hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, and if they are worried they may have COVID-19, get tested.

 To view a what’s available at each of our parks, click on the “Parks” drop down menu of our website to view the Facilities and Activities icons.

 To get the latest information about how we are responding to Covid-19, please visit: OntarioPaarks.com/covid19

 Keep up with Ontario Parks on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Visit the Parks Blog  for up-to-date content. 



Monday, September 21, 2020

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest continues in 2020 with a difference

 Prost Together, Apart from September 25 to October 12

                     Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is not cancelled, but it will be different.

That is the message coming loud and clear from the 52-year-old Bavarian festival. The festival will run over three-weekends from September 25 to October 12, two weeks earlier than usual, and will include a free two-day live-stream event delivering the music, dancing, food and culture that make the festival so unique, directly into viewers’ homes all across Ontario.

Official Opening Ceremonies will be live streamed from the Region of Waterloo International Airport on Friday, September 25 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. Mayors from all three Cities and the Regional Chair will take part in a historic single ceremony to declare the festival open. Festival-goers can also visit one of many “Micro-FESThallen” running in local restaurants during the festival dates. They will be featuring live Oktoberfest entertainment and Bavarian-themed food specials and beer pairings. The program is designed to support local businesses impacted by COVID-19.

 On Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10, the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest LIVE event will stream Oktoberfest-themed entertainment, such as The Golden Keys and other Festhalle favourites, as well as family-friendly programming. This free event will allow viewers to celebrate the Spirit of Gemütlichkeit at home while practicing physical distancing or celebrating within their bubble. Bavarian-inspired food will be available for takeout from a number of Festhallen and local restaurants. The event is proudly supported by Schneiders, a long-time festival sponsor, and is a fundraiser for the Onkel Hans Food Drive, benefitting the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

 Since the inception of the Onkel Hans Food Drive, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest has helped raise non-perishable donations and funds equivalent to 1.4 million pounds of food. “We are pushing ahead with them in mind, knowing we can work together to keep people safe and support the recovery of our local economy and tourism industry,” said Executive Director Alfred Lowrick.

 “If the past five months have shown us anything, it’s that our community continues to find innovative ways to come together safely,” said festival president Tim Beckett. “With that spirit in mind, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest was determined to move forward to find a safe way to continue the tradition. This format allows people to decide how to join the festivities safely - either in a restaurant or gathered at home - with those close to you. It’s like the Superbowl, but with really good polka music.”

 To help create an Oktoberfest-at-Home experience, a limited number of Oktoberfest-In-A-Box kits are available for purchase and will feature Oktoberfest souvenirs and products from local businesses. Special edition Oktoberfest masks and pins are also available at Oktoberfest.ca.

 This new direction is motivated in part by the important role the festival plays as an economic driver for the local economy, something that is important now more than ever.

 “We have been consulting frequently with Region of Waterloo Public Health officials. Our main priority is to ensure the health and safety of our community and our volunteers,” said Lowrick. “We also feel a sense of responsibility to the local businesses involved in creating the festival experience, and the not-for-profit groups who benefit from fundraising programs.

 “This has been a challenging year for everyone as we adjust to new norms made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving forward on an innovative version of K-W Oktoberfest is welcomed and uplifting news. Determination, creativity and energy are the hallmarks of the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest team so, ‘the show must go on,” said Mayor Dave Jaworsky, City of Waterloo.

 "Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a storied tradition in our region that has been bringing our community together for more than 50 years," said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. "While it will be a different experience this year, I'm happy we'll still get a chance to celebrate one of the most anticipated events of the year. While following health and safety guidelines, we can continue the Gemütlichkeit spirit of this exciting tradition in our community."

 With this new direction and focus, some of the traditional festival events will be postponed until further notice, including the Miss Oktoberfest Gala Ball, A Blooming Affair Fashion Show, the KWO 5K Fun Run, the Women of the Year Awards. The current Oktoberfest Ambassador, Erin Wetzel, will continue in her role into 2021.

 The Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade, which attracts over 150,000 spectators annually, will also be postponed for 2020, but the celebration will continue with a one-hour parade special on CTV, looking back on the 50-year parade history and how the festival has evolved over the years. The broadcast will air on CTV on Monday, October 12 at noon across Southwestern Ontario.

This new format for the 2020 festival is made possible in part due to funding provided by the Province of Ontario and Heritage Canada. 


From Stephen Murdoch,

Enterprise Canada PR

        Twitter: @canadianprguy


Friday, July 24, 2020

The Cottage Life Podcast is the perfect passenger for your long drive to the cottage

Toronto, ON  - Canadians get only 14 summer weekends a year to take advantage of the beautiful weather and head up to the cottage.The Cottage Life Podcast was created to help cottagers get more out of every single one of them and help add excitement to their drive.

Join Michelle Kelly, Editor-in-Chief of Cottage Life magazine, for a deep dive into what matters most to their audiences, from entertaining and maintenance to wildlife and the environment. The Cottage Life Podcast premieres on Thursday, June 25, just in time for the weekend. New episodes will be released weekly on Thursdays. The Cottage Life Podcast is available on all podcast platforms and cottagelife.com/podcast.

Over the course of eight podcast episodes, listeners will be treated to interviews with contributing Canadian writers from the magazine as well as stars from Cottage Life TV. Each episode will also include a cherished essay from the magazine’s 30-plus years of collections and a fun segment featuring a mystery nature sound familiar to cottage goers.

The Cottage Life Podcast is the newest addition to the Cottage Life multi-platform brand, which began with the magazine and evolved into a TV channel and highly-anticipated annual consumer shows, helping to deliver on its core mission to inform and inspire people who love the great outdoors.

“We’re always looking for new ways to connect with our audience. The Cottage Life Podcast allows us to do just that, and reach a new audience who shares our passion for the great outdoors and cottage country,” said Michelle Kelly, Editor-in-Chief, Cottage Life magazine, and host of the Cottage Life podcast. “We’ve put together a thoughtful line-up of segments that  anyone who loves the outdoors will enjoy.”

Listen to the trailer for the Cottage Life Podcast here.

The first two episodes include:

  • Episode 1
    Thursday, June 25

    Let’s make some noise about...being quiet. We interview longtime Cottage Life contributor Leslie Garrett who wrote “Killing Us Softly,” in our June/July 2020 issue, about the importance of silence and its surprising effects on our wellbeing. Some noises, however, we love. Like the call of a loon. Deputy Editor Liann Bobechko decodes loon calls. And, in true cottage style, we revisit an essay about relaxing at the lake by award-winning writer J.B. MacKinnon.
  • Episode 2
    Thursday, July 2

    Life Below Zero star Sue Aikens, who is famous for living off the grid, shares her thoughts about what it’s like to live in isolation, especially during COVID-19, and offers advice to the cast of Life Below Zero Canada, the Cottage Life channel’s newest hit show. If you spend time in the wilderness, you might meet an otter—a silent and stealthy creature, until it’s not. Find out what sounds the otter makes and what they mean. One sound every cottager is familiar with is the buzz buzz of a particular pesky insect. We share a classic essay by David Zimmer about taming the mosquito.
Also new from Cottage Life:
Cottage Life TV is now available on Apple TV+ in Canada. Viewers can watch anywhere, anytime on their iPhone or iPad and download shows to watch offline. A Cottage Life-branded sticker pack of emojis is also available for download, free, in the App Store!

Follow us at @cottagelife. Where every day is the weekend.

Cottage Life is a Blue Ant Media multi-platform brand, celebrating the people, activities and places that make leisure time special. Exclusive content covers real estate, food, DIY projects and much more. Both informative and entertaining, no one captures the essence of weekend living like this. cottagelife.com. Follow us on: Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest/YouTube

Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum again open to visitors; read about the latest baseball survey

(News Release posted by One-Tank Trips)

The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum is excited to announce that it is orepen for the season 2020.

"On behalf of our board of directors and our staff, I’m looking forward to welcoming visitors back to St. Marys to celebrate the rich history of baseball in this country," said Scott Crawford, the Hall’s director of operations.
"We’ve been working long hours to make sure that we have all of the precautions in place to ensure the health and safety of our visitors and staff when the museum reopens."
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum will welcome visitors in accordance with the Province of Ontario’s reopening plan.
Halladay package
Visitors to the museum are strongly encouraged to wear face masks and while inside, they will notice floor markings that promote social distancing. Throughout each day, the number of visitors will also be monitored and restricted if necessary and the building will be cleaned extensively.

The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, which was renovated in 2018 tells the stories of Baseball in Canada through interactive exhibitions, historically significant artifacts, and a one of a kind Research Centre, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays (and on holiday Mondays) until September 4.

The four ball fields on the Hall’s 32-acre site are also currently available to rent for practices of 10 people or less. It’s anticipated that more players will be permitted on the fields once the Province  transitions into Phase 3 of its reopening plan.

"Like it has been for many Canadians, this has been a challenging time for the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum," said Crawford. "But we look forward to opening our doors and talking baseball again with our visitors, members and loyal supporters."

**For a fun read, go to http://baseballhalloffame.ca/ for the 2020 Baseball Survey and other details.


McMichael Canadian Art Collection to reopen to the public on July 31, 2020

(News release posted by One-Tank Trips)

July 13, 2020, KLEINBURG, ON – The McMichael Canadian Art Collection announces today that it will reopen to the public on Friday, July 31, 2020. It will open to members one day earlier on July 30. Following the opening weekend, the Gallery will be open from Thursdays through Sundays until further notice. The Gallery has implemented a number of new sanitation and safety protocols to help visitors reconnect with the art of Canada this summer.

Opening Weekend: July 30 August 3, 2020
 Thursday, July 30, 10 am – 5 pm: Members Only
Friday, July 31 – Monday, August 3, 10 am – 5 pm: Members and General Public

Gallery Hours:
Thursdays, 10 am – 5 pm: Members Only
Fridays – Sundays, 10 am – 5 pm: Members and General Public

Grounds Only:
Mondays – Wednesdays, 10 am – 5 pm
*includes parking and public restrooms
New Protocols
Visitors can expect the following practices and protocols to be in place:
  • Timed ticketing for all visitors, including members
  • Contactless payment and transactions
  • Unidirectional travel through the Galleries
  • 2m (6 ft) of social distancing required in the Galleries at all times
  • Additional sanitation stations and increased cleaning frequency of public spaces
  • All frontline staff will be wearing faceshields
  • All visitors over 5 are required to wear a mask indoors (exempting medical conditions)

"The health and safety of our visitors and staff is our top priority," said Ian Dejardin, Executive Director of the McMichael. "We've enacted a full suite of safety procedures and protocols to ensure that visitors’ return to the McMichael is as safe as it is fun and beautiful. Our staff have been trained on the latest public health directives, and our building is ready to accommodate our visitors with safety and comfort in mind. We are eager to welcome everyone back to enjoy this special place and experience the beautiful art, but rest assured that we have not made any compromises to do so."

“Ontario offers the world in one province, and the McMichael Gallery is one of our iconic sites that provides Ontarians with the unique ability to experience Canadian heritage and culture through art,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “As we move forward with reopening our province, I encourage all Ontarians to safely explore the works on display and immerse themselves in Canada’s artistic talents that contribute over $75 billion for our culture industry and support thousands of jobs.”

Stratford theatre company Here for Now announces 2020 open-air theatre festival

(News Release posted by One-Tank Trips)

Local artists to create a six season show on the lawns of The Bruce Hotel

STRATFORD, ON (July, 2020) – Independent Stratford- based theatre company Here for Now is thrilled to announce their 2020 Open-Air Theatre Festival taking place on the backyard lawns of The Bruce Hotel. Local artists are coming together to create a season that will include six shows with small audiences, adhering to the latest public health regulations.

The festival will run from now through Aug. 30, with performances at The Bruce Hotel Friday through Monday. Readings and performances will take place in late afternoon through early evening. In addition, they may have some performances down by the river, details on that to come.
The six shows that will be playing this season are:

  1. The Canadian premiere of A Hundred Words for Snow, written by Tatty Hennessy, starring Siobhan O’Malley and directed by Jonathan Goad. A Hundred Words For Snow is about being an explorer in a melting world. It's a coming-of-age story, with polar bears.

  1. The world premiere of Infinite Possibilities: a one-person, comedic phantasmagoria which takes an amusing look at the strange days we are living in through the prism of the past. Written and performed by Mark Weatherley, directed by Monique Lund.

  1. The Dark Lady: Jessica B. Hill would like to properly introduce you to Emilia Bassano, England’s first professional female poet, England’s first feminist writer and potentially, the woman behind the ‘dark lady’ of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Shall we hear her side of the story? Join Jessica for an intimate poetry reading of both Emilia Bassano’s and Will Shakespeare’s works, highlighting their similarities, their differences and leaving you musing at their intertwining spirits.

  1. A re-mount production of the wildly successful world premiere of Whack!, written by Stratford’s own Mark Weatherley.  Whack! tells the true story of Angelina Napolitano, an Italian immigrant who murdered her abusive husband in turn of the century Canada. Whack! stars Fiona Mongillo, Olivia Viggiani and Siobhan O’Malley and is directed by Lucy Jane Atkinson. Associate director Monique Lund will bring the show to life at the Bruce.

  1. The core ensemble of Sidewalk Scenes, and An Undiscovered Shakespeare, bring you INSTANT THEATRE - a completely improvised one act play, based on your suggestions. Mayhem, music, mystery, and mirth…no two shows are ever the same! Starring Ijeoma Emesowum, Bruce Horak, Kevin Kruchkywich and Rebecca Northan. 
  2. Poet, actor, storyteller Roy Lewis takes us on a cattle drive with legendary African American cowboy Nat Love. Join Roy as we explore together this forgotten history through story and poetry. Entertaining, impressionistic and powerful,I SEE THE CRIMSON WAVE is a vivid reimagining of the old west which comes to life in the captivating persona of Roy Lewis.

The intention of the Open-Air Theatre Festival is to create intimate and authentic theatre with a strong focus on storytelling as a way to connect to each other. Like troubadours of the past, wandering storytellers who would mount a contingent form of theatre for small gatherings - a particularly apt form for us now as we begin to emerge from a pandemic.

The Festival will be working closely with the Huron Perth Public Health unit to ensure the safety of the audiences and creative teams.
For more information and to book your tickets, please visit ww.herefornowtheatre.com

If you would like to make pre-theatre dinner plans before the start of your desired showtime, please call The Bruce Hotel 1-855-708-7100. Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes early if you would like to order a craft beer or a glass of wine to enjoy during the performance.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Voyage to the Falls tours to resume July 24th (2020)

Safety measures remain in place to protect against the spread of COVID-19

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — With the announcement that Niagara is moving into Stage 3 of Ontario’s Framework for Reopening our Province, Hornblower Niagara Cruises is resuming its iconic Voyage to the Falls boat tour on Friday, July 24th, and based on popular demand will be extending its VIP Charter Package cruises with mid-week sailings.

While strict personal safety measures remain in place to protect against the spread of COVID-19, Hornblower will be permitting up to 100 people per Voyage to the Falls boat tour, per Provincial Guidelines for Tour and Guide Services, although that is less than 15 per cent of the 700-person capacity on the Niagara Thunder and Niagara Wonder boats.

The revised Voyage to the Falls sailing schedule will run a tour every 15 minutes between 10:15 a.m. and 6:45 p.m., Friday to Sunday, and between 2:00 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., Monday to Thursday, with timed ticketing.

The popular VIP Charter cruises will continue every 15 minutes between 10:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m., Monday to Thursday, providing guests with a VIP Experience including post-cruise food and drink at Hornblower’s Riverside Patio and VIP Event Tent. VIP Charter cruises, on the same full-size catamarans, will carry between 12 and 20 passengers per cruise, offering a more exclusive semi-private tour into the horseshoe of the Canadian Falls.

Guests are also encouraged to use mobile tickets to reduce contact. Tickets can be purchased online at niagaracruises.com.

Personal safety measures in place include:

  • Health Screening
  • Temperature checks
  • Name collection to support contact tracing
  • Frequent sanitizing of high-contact surfaces
  • Mandatory face coverings
  • Physical distancing measures, including markers throughout the property and on the boats
For more information visit niagaracruises.com, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram @niagaracruises.

About Hornblower Niagara Cruises:
Hornblower Niagara Cruises, the official and only Boat Tour operator for the Niagara Parks in Niagara Falls, Canada, is a subsidiary of the Hornblower Group, headquartered in San Francisco, California. The Hornblower Group has 40 years of delivering premier dining, entertainment and sightseeing experiences from east to west coast including ferry boat services to Alcatraz Island, the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island National Monument of Immigration as well as Hornblower Cruises and Events, NYC Ferry, American Queen Steamboat Company, Victory Cruises Lines, Boston Harbor Cruises, Mariposa Cruises by Hornblower, Spirit Cruises, Odyssey Cruises, Potomac Riverboat Company, Seadog Cruises, Gananoque Boat Line, City Cruises in the United Kingdom and HMS Global Maritime.

In 2019, Hornblower Niagara Cruises was named “Best Water Adventure” and “Top Fan Choice” in North America by leading booking platform GetYourGuide and was recognized as a “Hamilton-Niagara Top Employer.” As Canada’s most memorable visitor experience, the Niagara Falls boat tour operation hosts millions of visitors a year, delivering amazing experiences to more than 12.5 million guests since launching in May 2014.
From Stephen Murdoch
Enterprise Canada

Explorers’ Edge launches travel package for permanent and seasonal residents

(News Release from Stephen Murdoch, Enterprise Canada)

Campaign to support tourism industry calls on everyone to get out and explore their own backyards

Bracebridge --  One of cottage country’s regional tourism organizations is offering permanent and seasonal residents $50 in cash vouchers to spend at participating accommodations, attractions, restaurants, shops and events throughout Algonquin Park, the Almaguin Highlands, Port-Loring Restoule, Muskoka, Parry Sound and South Algonquin from  now (July 16) to October 12, 2020.

Called the “Cottage Country Spirit” campaign, the organization hopes to bring some unity to an area where challenges during the COVID-19 crisis sometimes arose between traditional neighbours over best practices for physical distancing, said James Murphy, executive director of Explorers’ Edge.

“One thing we know is that, now that we have entered Phase 3 of the provincial re-opening strategy, we need both our permanent and seasonal residents to support the local tourism industry, which has been devasted by the impact of COVID-19 closures over the last few months,” said Murphy. “We want folks to show their ‘cottage country spirit’ and support small tourism businesses in this region and their staff on the long road to recovery.”

More than 150 tourism businesses are participating in the promotion, and 3,000 packages are available to residents of one of Ontario’s most popular vacation destinations. There’s no catch involved, said Murphy, except that you need to be a resident of one of the municipalities considered to be in the Explorers’ Edge region, and only one package per household will be offered.

“Our area relies on tourism as an economic driver more than any other region in the province,” Murphy said. “The negative effects of the pandemic can’t be understated for small businesses and their staff. We hope this local travel package will induce goodwill in all our neighbours, and encourage registrants to get out and discover great adventures in their own back yard.”
For more information on the Cottage Country Spirit Local Travel Package from Explorers’ Edge, visit www.explorersedge.ca/cottagecountryspirit.

About Explorers’ Edge:
Also known as Regional Tourism Organization 12, Explorers’ Edge promotes vacationing in the great Canadian wilderness just north of Toronto and is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

Niagara Grape & Wine Festival presses on with fun new options for summer and fall 2020

(News release)
St. Catharines, ON -- While it may look a little different than in the past, the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival is rising to the challenge of creating a new blend of safe wine country experiences for this fall.
From a fun new approach for the beloved Grape & Wine Parade to a new initiative that will bring the festivities of Montebello Park to your own backyard and creative new ways to enjoy and explore Niagara’s wineries, the 2020 vintage of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival will provide Niagara residents and Ontario wine lovers a fresh, safe way to experience the Festival’s most popular events and activities.

The Next Best Thing to Partying In The Park

While group size restrictions will prevent the traditional Montebello Park festivities from taking place this year, the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival will offer new ways for participants to continue to enjoy the wine, music and fun. Concerts from headline bands will be live-streamed on the Internet on Saturday, September 19 and Saturday, September 26. Ontario bands that have always dreamed of taking the main stage at the Festival will have the opportunity to submit an online audition later this summer for a chance to win one of 6 opening act opportunities.

Niagara wineries will create Grape & Wine packs that will include a selection of wine and themed goodies to help bring the fun of the festival to your own backyard. The specially priced boxes will be available for no-fee delivery across Ontario or curbside pickup at participating wineries.

The Parade Must Go On

Because a large-scale street parade isn’t feasible given current social distancing guidelines, this year’s Meridian Porch Parade invites Niagara residents, both on and off the traditional parade route, to bring the fun to their front door. Later this summer, residents who plan on showcasing their Grape & Wine spirit will be able to register their house, building, street, or neighbourhood at www.niagarawinefestival.com. On September 26, the Niagara Grape & Wine Porch Parade team will visit to capture the fun on film and judge their efforts for a range of friendly contest categories, including Best Costumes, Best Neighbourhood Spirit, Best Decorated House and more. The festivities will be captured on film and shared live via webcast and through social media channels to allow the whole region to enjoy seeing everyone’s Grape & Wine spirit.

According to City of St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik, "The Niagara Grape & Wine Parade is an institution. It was incredibly important to the City of St. Catharines that we still find a way to safely celebrate the important role that area grape growers and wineries play in our community. I know that the residents of St. Catharines will do a great job keeping the celebration alive in their front yards this September."

A Supersized Grape & Wine Discovery Pass Program

With a record number of wineries on board, more days and extended hours, this fall’s Niagara Grape & Wine Discovery Pass touring program will be bigger and better than ever. By purchasing a $50 Discovery Pass Passport, wine lovers can enjoy a total of 8 signature wine and food pairings at over 30 Niagara wineries beginning September 17th.  A discounted food-only Discovery Pass will also be available for $40.

The Niagara Grape & Wine Festival has launched an all-new Niagara Wine Country Check-In web tool that allows users to reserve their Discovery Pass experience in advance. In addition to the perk of being able to skip the lines, making a reservation using this new tool also grants guests access to specially designated socially distanced tasting areas. Additional options are in the works, including a self-guided tour tool that will allow winery guests to use their smartphone to explore wineries independently.

“Whether it’s an unexpected frost or a devastating draught, Niagara’s grape growers and wineries are regularly faced with unexpected challenges. They don’t have the option of cancelling a harvest. They press on and rise above the adversity to create a unique vintage. Their fortitude has been our inspiration for creating a fresh new take on this fall’s Niagara Grape & Wine Festival programming that is both fun and safe. The wine, food, music and activities we are planning may look a little different this year, but they will still offer an amazing experience and a memorable 2020 vintage,” said Dorian Anderson, Executive Director of the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival.

For up-to-the-minute news and programming announcements, follow Niagara Grape & Wine Festival on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @NiagaraWineFest.

About the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival

The Niagara Grape & Wine Festival is celebrating its 69th year in 2020 with support from founding sponsors the City of St. Catharines, the Grape Growers of Ontario and the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario. Fall Festival programming is supported by funding from Celebrate Ontario and Meridian Credit Union. Visit niagarawinefestival.com for a full listing of signature events, street festival schedules, Discovery Pass listings and tickets.

For more information, please contact:

Dorian Anderson
Executive Director
Niagara Grape & Wine Festival
P: 905-688-0212 ext. 117
M: 905.933.5737
E: doriana@niagarawinefestival.com | @NiagaraWinefest
Visit website

Spend August outdoors with Ontario Parks' 30 x 30 Challenge

(News Release, Ontario Parks)

Connection to nature is more important than ever, and Ontario Parks is here to help.
 We’re open for day-use and camping to help Ontarians get their daily dose of nature, all summer long.

Take the 30 x 30 Challenge this August

This August, we are again challenging everyone to spend 30 minutes outdoors for 30 days as part of our 30 x 30 Challenge. By doing this you will be creating a nature habit that supports a healthy lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a change of scenery, Ontario Parks can be a great starting place. There are several parks within 100 km of many city centers. Ontario Parks are diverse and offer plenty of trails, beaches and recreational activities.

your favourite park is full, there are plenty of other parks to exploreCheck out our list of park social media accounts where updates are often posted.

Healthy Parks, Healthy People is a worldwide campaign that highlights the links between nature and human health. Spending time outdoors is linked to lowered stress, a better immune system, and more.

How to enjoy parks safely this summer

The safety of our visitors and staff is always our top priority.

We’re counting on visitors to continue following public health guidelines, including physical distancing of at least two metres from others, wearing a face covering when physical distancing may be challenging, washing hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, and if they are worried they may have COVID-19, getting tested.

To view a what’s available at each of our parks, click on the “Parks” drop down menu of our website to view the Facilities and Activities icons.

To get the latest information about how we are responding to Covid-19, please visit: OntarioParks.com/covid19

Did you know?

Gypsy Moth caterpillars were first introduced to North America in the late 1860s, and they are voracious eaters!

Their favourite cuisine is oak leaves, but in particularly bad outbreak years — like this one — they can spread to many other tree species.

We ask visitors to do their best to remove caterpillars, pupae, and moths from their vehicles and equipment before traveling to parks, and again before traveling home.

Female Gypsy Moths can’t fly, so their population cannot quickly move into new areas without being transported there.


High-resolution, credited photography can be downloaded from a photo library. For more photos, please contact judy@clearcommunications.ca.

Park information sources

Our Travel Media website has background information, a media library, and more: OntarioParks.com/travel.

Keep up with Ontario Parks on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Visit the Parks Blog for up-to-date content.