Greetings to the many thousands of readers over the past month from across Canada and the United States, as well as countries including the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, India, Australia, Japan, the Ukraine, Mexico, Romania and the Netherlands.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Toronto Zoo welcomes the birth of Grevy's zebra foal

Photo Credit: C. Thompson, Toronto Zoo
TORONTO, ON, Thursday, August 18, 2016 The Toronto Zoo is pleased to announce that Tori, a six year old female Grevy's zebra  (Equus grevyi), gave birth to a filly on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 2:49 pm.  This birth is important for Grevy's zebra conservation as the species is currently listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and, there are only approximately 2,000 left in the wild.
This is the second filly Tori has given birth to at the Toronto Zoo, the first being, Leia, in January of 2014 with Jake. This little filly began to walk ten minutes after she was born, which is an important milestone in her development. Both mom and filly are doing well and she is already starting to develop her own strong and confident personality, according to her Zoo Keepers.

What's Happening: September on the Bloor St. Culture Corridor

(News Release)

The Bloor St. Culture Corridor, Toronto's most diverse arts and culture district, kicks off September with the launch of performance seasons, spectacular museum and visual art exhibitions, films, Open Streets TO activities, and tops the month with the Bloor St. Culture Corridor hub of Culture Days
The Bloor St. Culture Corridor hub of Culture Days, a weekend jam-packed with free arts and culture activity, kicks off with the third installment of Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema and Bloor St. Culture Corridor's Culture Workers Unwind series, a professional development and networking event for workers in the arts, culture and non-profit sector, on Friday, September 30 at 4pm.

Guest speakers include moderator Brett Hendrie, Executive Director, Hot Docs; along with panelists Sara Diamond, President, OCAD University; Adrian Fung, Vice President of Innovation, Toronto Symphony Orchestra; and Ravi Jain, Associate Artistic Director, Soulpepper Theatre Company. Also on Friday September 30, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Alliance Française de Toronto, and others present the European Day of Languages starting at 5:30pm, where people can sample language courses, games, prizes and live music with EUROPAPHONI, all for free! Alliance française also presents a screening of Le Petit Prince, the animated movie by Mark Osborne, on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at 2pm.

ROM welcomes global thinker Jameel Jaffer for 11th annual Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture

Constitutional lawyer and civil liberties advocate talks about “Going Dark
November 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm

TORONTO, August 23, 2016—The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) will present its annual Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture on November 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm featuring Jameel Jaffer, Executive Director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.  In his talk, Going Dark, Jaffer will explore the phenomenon of official secrecy and the legal, political, and social repercussions of allowing democratic governments to withhold information about national security policy from the public.

Since 9/11, the impulse to protect “national security” has led democratic governments to become increasingly secretive. With many of their most consequential decisions—about war, interrogation, detention, and surveillance—being made behind closed doors, democratic governments are “going dark.”  Should we accept official secrecy as a necessary response to new security threats—or has official secrecy itself become a threat?  With new wars abroad, and new surveillance programs at home, the question is more pressing than ever. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Teen trips that are 'cool and awesome' in Hamilton, Halton and Brant

   One-Tank Trip for Aug. 20/16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   There are many good things that can be said about day tripping around Hamilton, Halton and Brant.
   Tourism officials say there’s knockout nature, history and heritage, a vibrant arts and culture scene, awe-inspiring attractions, fantastic festivals and distinct downtowns.
   Outdoor adventures and cultural escapes are close to home and there’s the Niagara Escarpment, Bruce Trail and Grand River in the “Heart of Ontario.”
Use your smartphone at phone inventor Alexander Graham Bell’s homestead in Brantford. (Jim Fox photo)
   But, more than that there are many “teen-approved ways to spend the day,” says the Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association.
   “Day trips are a great option for sneaking in some time with your busy teen during these last few weeks of summer,” said Maria Fortunato, association executive director.
   “We’ve got some really fun and unexpected ways to spend the day in Hamilton Halton Brant before heading back to school,” she added.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Going to the dogs, apes . . .

   One-Tank Trip for Aug. 13-16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   These hot and sultry dog days of summer just can’t keep a good canine down.
   Hot diggity, the “haute dogs” are returning to Toronto, while Woofa-Roo Pet Fest takes over Amherstburg.
   Haute Dog at Queen’s Quay Terminal, Aug. 20 and 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., on the Toronto waterfront is fun for both canines and their human companions.
   “Sign up your dog and strut down the Haute Dog red carpet where the ‘pawparazzi’ will be waiting to snap the perfect shot of your best friend,” says publicist Peter Ashworth.
The height of dog fashion is at Haute Dog.
   “We encourage dog owners to dress up their best friend and drop by the photo booth to have their dog’s picture taken and then spin the wheel for a chance to win great prizes,” added Queen’s Quay Terminal’s Ana Carreira.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Life's a beach this summer along the Lake Erie shore

   One-Tank Trip for Aug. 6-16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Life’s a beach, especially this summer with the hot, sunny weather.
   Ontario’s Southwest tourism wants to help you “find your best beach.”
   The agency has “developed ‘Beach Cheat Sheets’ for some of the top spots, said Jen Moore, marketing manager.
   They are packed with tips to help plan a beach escape with information on why you will love a certain beach, what to do, where to eat and stay while you’re there,” she added.
For many visitors, Port Dover is a day at the beach. (Barbara Fox photo)
   So, hang on and catch a wave as we unveil five Lake Erie “gems.”
   They’re called “one of the best-kept secrets” of Ontario beach lovers since they can be reached without the usual cottage-country traffic hassles.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Eat up! Summer's here

   One-Tank Trip for July 30-16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Ah, summertime and the eating is easy.
   Festivals and events revolve around a variety of tasty treats and refreshing cool beverages.
   Food aficionados can travel the world through many multi-cultural offerings without leaving Toronto.
   Upcoming tastes include Caribbean, Greek, Pan American and African while food trucks and vendors will be rolling into Woodstock for the annual street festival.

At your service at JerkFest.
   Do the jerk
   Jump up, mon for JerkFest at Centennial Park in Etobicoke, Aug. 5 to 7.
   The 15th annual Grace Jerk Food Festival is called “a fusion of jerk food, pulsating music, family friendly entertainment and good vibes, highlighting the Caribbean culture under the hot Toronto sun.”
   For food lovers, JerkFest is about the “unique tastes, mysterious flavours and captivating aroma of jerk cuisine,” said Anthony Plummer, executive director.
Hot and spicy foods featuring jerk chicken are a tradition of JerkFest.
   Along with the tantalizing tastes and array of jerk dishes – from chicken, pork and beef to lamb, seafood, vegetables – it’s a celebration of culture.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pirates lay siege at Discovery Harbour, Penetanguishene July 30th; become a buccaneer for the day

(News Release)
The uneasy crew at Discovery Harbour is sending out a word of warning throughout southern Georgian Bay that a band of renegade seadog pirates will arrive at their beloved establishment on Saturday July 30th.

This fearsome event, aptly named Pirates of the Bay, will encompass the entire site with a crew in full pirate costume. The site will boldly display the skull and crossbones and the Tall Ships will be manned for a pirate skirmish.

Visitors of all ages brave enough to take part will be expected to unleash their inner pirate as they become buccaneers for the day complete with a new, colourful pirate name.  Commanded by the infamous Cap’n Corbin and with all hands on deck, activities will include a pirate school where landlubbers will learn pirate lingo and thrill to freebooter magic shows, crafts and even a tattoo parlour.

Leading the charge at Discovery Harbour, Will Baird – General Manager and also known as William Black Beard – will be on the lookout from the crow’s nest as a pirate skirmish is expected between the HMS Badger and the Historic Military Establishments of Upper Canada. 

Canadian award-winning Good Lovelies in concert at Stratford’s Revival House July 30

News Release

Showcasing their long-awaited new CD Burn The Plan

Stratford, ON (July 18, 2016)  Canadian award-winning folk trio Good Lovelies, featuring the talents of Caroline Brooks (electric guitar), Kerri Ough (keyboard, banjo, mandolin) and Sue Passmore (percussion, porch board), will grace Stratford’s Revival House stage on July 30, 2016. Now a four-piece band, the Lovelies will be joined by upright bassist Steve Zsirai.

What keeps the three Lovelies making great music together is their uncanny vocal compatibility and unshakeable friendships which supports each member contributing to the song-writing in distinct ways.

Since getting together in 2006, the Good Lovelies profile has steadily grown with sold-out performances, opening for Stuart Mclean’s Vinyl Cafe show and an impressive track record of award-recognized albums. Their 2010 self-titled album won a Juno Award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (Group); Let the Rain Fall (2011) was nominated for a Juno Award; and Live at The Revolution (2012) scored big at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Now, they're looking to be similarly successful with their new CD entitled Burn the Plan.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Classy chassis and vintage gems shine at Concours d'Elegance of America

   One-Tank Trip for July 23-16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Take a step back in time at the Concours d’Elegance of America.

   This is one of the most prestigious shows of the finest vintage and classic automobiles.

   The 38th annual event returns to the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, west of Detroit, on July 31.

The distinctive grill and front end of a 1936 Bentley Roadster (Jim Fox photo)

   It’s a “field of dreams” as owners show their finely restored, world-class vehicles including Auburns, Duesenbergs, Packards and Rolls Royces on the grounds.

   Concours headlines Autopalooza – a celebration of southeast Michigan’s automotive heritage with cruises, races and shows during the summer.

   “This is a paradise for car-lovers as visitors can truly experience the area’s rich automotive heritage in a variety of ways,” said Renee Monforton of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau.

   There’s also the Woodward Dream Cruise, Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR race and the Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village.

   Concours d’Elegance means a “competition of elegance,” and has its roots in the 17th century when the aristocracy paraded their horse-drawn carriages through the parks of Paris.
Watching the passing parade of vintage autos at Concours. (Jim Fox photo)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Pow wows a 'wow' event; summer cultural and heritage festivals in Ontario

   One-Tank Trip for July 16-16

      (c) By Jim Fox

   Pomp and pageantry with a big nod to native traditions can be experienced at the colourful spectacle of a pow wow.
   Many are happening throughout the summer across Southern Ontario including the Grand River Champion of Champions Pow Wow near Brantford.
Wearing his colourful regalia,” a dancer at the Grand River Champion of Champions Pow Wow.
    In its 37th year, the event takes place July 22 to 24 in Ohsweken on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve and is one of the largest in North America with 400 dancers.

   “The open-air, First Nations’ cultural event promotes a rich arts heritage by showcasing Six Nations’ pride in music, dance, arts and crafts,” said Constance Jamieson of Six Nations Tourism.

   First Nations’ dancers and singers from across North America perform in the competition at the event at Chiefswood Tent & Trailer Park on the grounds of the former estate of Mohawk poetess Pauline Johnson.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tony Bennett, Roger Hodgson, Styx and more added to the Casino Rama Resort concert line-up

Classic Rock & Classic Crooner Headed to the Great Indoors this Fall

RAMA, ON (Monday, July 11th, 2016) - There’s a place up north. North of boredom, north of the expected, north of the same old song and dance.  At Casino Rama Resort we offer a unique blend of warm Canadiana and electric light that combines for an entertainment experience that is exactly like nowhere else.  Come rock out at the Great Indoors and see for yourself with one of these just announced additions to our hot 2016 concert line-up:

Tony Bennett
Friday, October 7
Tickets are $55/$65/$80
“Fly Me To The Moon”, “The Way You Look Tonight” & “I Left My Heart In San Francisco”.

Engelbert Humperdinck
Saturday, October 8
Tickets are $45/$55/$70
“After the Lovin’”, “The Last Waltz” & “Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)”.

Red Green
“I’m Not Old, I’m Ripe”!
Friday, October 14
Tickets are $25/$35/$50
Popular TV star Red Green known worldwide for his flannel shirts, trusty duct tape, humour and wisdom about life, is back with a brand new show.