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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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A taste of spring, spiders and Dorothy make for fun outings



 
   (c) By Jim Fox

   It’s time to get into the spring spirit, be close to reptiles and other critters, and take an adventure along the Yellow Brick Road.
A planter by Laura Barker of Catherine Wright Designs
  
   Reflect on spring
   A taste of spring in these lingering winter days can be found at the Stratford Garden Festival.
   Reflections is the theme for the show from Feb. 28 to March 3 presented by the Lung Association at the Stratford Rotary Complex (353 McCarthy Rd.).
   “Whether it is considering the garden as a place of quiet reflection or actually creating a reflecting pool surrounded by lush plant material, the festival landscapers will certainly bring the theme of ‘Reflections’ to life,” said Deedee Herman, the association’s area manager.
   Some of the designs will include “beautiful water features and reflecting ponds,” while others will “convey the idea that gardens can reflect the past as well as offer visitors a place for quiet reflection,” she said.
   There will be practical ideas to apply to home gardens – from water features to the use of colour and form, designing a quiet green oasis and creating a modern setting for outdoor entertaining.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Taste Odyssey 2013 food and beverage tastings coming to Woodstock

MEDIA RELEASE – For Immediate Release February 21, 2013

Woodstock, ON – The Woodstock District Chamber of Commerce presents its 9th annual ‘Taste Odyssey’, held at the Oxford Auditorium, 875 Nellis Street, Woodstock, on Wednesday, March 6th from 6:30pm ~ 9:30pm.

“This year the Taste Odyssey is one of those ‘don’t’ miss events”, says Martha Dennis, General Manager of the Woodstock District Chamber of Commerce. “At this food & beverage tastings, we're proud to showcase our local hospitality industry and provide a venue for business networking.”

Gipsy Kings Return to Casino Rama

Added to May 2013 concert line-up

RAMA, ON (Tuesday, February 26, 2013) – Casino Rama is pleased to announce the addition of this award-winning flamenco band to the previously released May 2013 concert line-up:

 

Gipsy Kings

Friday, May 3
SHOWTIME: 9 PM, DOORS OPEN: 8 PM
Tickets are $40/$50 
Adding a contemporary edge and international influences to flamenco music, the Gipsy Kings are renowned internationally for hits including “Bamboleo”, “Vamos a Bailar” & “Volare”.

Horseshoe Resort launches Mid-Season Madness

WINTER’S NOT OVER YET!
 Daily deals and discounts celebrate 50 years of ski at Ontario resort

BARRIE, ONTARIO, February 21, 2013Horseshoe, a Skyline Resort, is giving visitors six more reasons to get outdoors and enjoy the winter season at its peak. In conjunction with the resort’s 50th anniversary of ski, the Mid-Season Madness promotion offers discounts on skiing, snowboarding, tubing and even apparel, for every weekday

Mid-Season Madness offers include:

Monday, February 25, 2013

A wet and wild March Break staycation in Niagara Falls

NEWS RELEASE

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – This March Break avoid the airports and take your vacation closer to home.

The 20 acre Falls Avenue Resort is celebrating March Break with a Hotel Waterpark Package that features hotel accommodations, four two-day Fallsview Indoor Waterpark Passes, and $300 in bonus dining, show and attractions passes.  

“We’re only an hour away from Toronto and with everything there is to see and do in Niagara Falls, it makes the perfect March Break getaway without the hassle of airports and long travel times,” said Sarah Vazquez, Vice-President of Marketing for the Falls Avenue Resort.

Comedian Frank Caliendo`s debut appearance and Earth, Wind and Fire return in May to Caesars Windsor

For immediate release: February 20, 2013

Caesars Windsor is proud to present comedian, actor and impressionist Frank Caliendo on Friday, May 3 at 9 pm.

Caliendo's high energy act blends observations, characters and anecdotes that build to a frenetic pace. An 11-year sketch comedy veteran, he has appeared on the big screen in "The Comebacks", starred in his own series "Frank TV" and made appearances on popular late night talk shows. He is also a regular host on ESPN's “Sunday NFL Countdown”. With over 100 impressions of politicians, sports stars and actors, it will be a hilarious night of laughter. Learn more at www.frankcaliendo.com and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAMIlPudalQ. Tickets start at $20 Canadian.

It’s the return of the award-winning band Earth, Wind & Fire to the Colosseum stage on Sunday, May 12 at 8 pm. Since the 70s, this critically acclaimed group has sold over 90 million albums worldwide and have had multiple Grammy wins and nominations. Their best-known hits include “September”, “Shining Star”, and “That’s the Way of the World”. Tickets start at $45 Canadian.

Canada's favourite political satirist Mary Walsh stars in Dancing with Rage

Dancing With Rage - Mary Walsh
Performances begin March 5 at the Panasonic Theatre

Canadian actress, comedienne and social activist Mary Walsh unleashes her rage to do battle on a grand scale at the Panasonic Theatre in Toronto with her latest production of Dancing With Rage.

Mary has created a new show that incorporates all the characters she has played over the years, including the infamous warrior princess, Marg Delahunty, with her armour-plated breasts and razor-sharp wit to “cut through all the BS.” Outrageous, original and totally honest, Dancing With Rage will have you jumping for joy.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fit Chicks and hookers gather for good times


   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 16/13

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Sorry guys, these first two one-tank trips are for “fit chicks” and “hookers” only.
   The Fit Chicks’ bootcamp is returning to Horseshoe Resort near Barrie for a “fit-and-fierce” weekend.
The action-packed, all-girls Fit and Fierce weekend is set for Horseshoe Resort from March 1 to 3.
   And, hookers – rug hookers, that is – will gather for a weekend getaway at Brentwood on the Beach near Grand Bend.

   Shake your tail feather
   “How would you like to shed flab, drop inches and tighten and tone your squishy spots (abs, butt, arms and thighs), all while meeting other fab chicks in your ‘hood’?”
   Sound inviting? Then check out the all-girls Fit and Fierce weekend at Horseshoe from March 1 to 3.
   Since the gym is “so last season,” this health-and-wellness retreat includes an action-packed itinerary, healthy meals and more, said Horseshoe Skyline Resorts’ publicist Kate Hillyar.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bay City Rollers and super country group Alabama to perform at Casino Rama

Alabama
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Announcing the May 2013 concert line-up

RAMA, ON (Tuesday, February 12, 2013) – Casino Rama is pleased to announce 
another month of stellar entertainment as we head into spring. Highlights from 
the new line-up include a rare appearance by country super group ALABAMA who are 
celebrating 40 years of chart-topping music.
 
Then its time go retro with the Bay City Rollers starring Les McKeown, while
Chicago, Natalie Cole and Earth, 
Wind & Fire are back by popular demand.

The May 2013 concert line-up features:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Family Day Weekend activities in Orillia



 (News Release)

The events and activities scheduled for Feb. 15-18, 2013 are all part of Winter Active, designed to help Orillians improve their health, have fun and enjoy the best of Canada's winter.

2013 WINTER ACTIVE SCHEDULE

Friday February 15, 2013 – Victorian Skate at Couchiching Beach Park outdoor rink (weather permitting) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Everyone is welcome to experience an old-fashioned skate under the stars. Come in costume and win prizes. Featuring music and complimentary hot chocolate. This event is co-presented with the staff of the Leacock Museum National Historic Site.

Saturday February 16, 2013 – Snow Volleyball at Tudhope Park (Barnfield Point Recreation Centre). Put together a team of six and register at Barnfield Point Recreation Centre starting at 9:30 a.m. Games run between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Disney On Ice’s newest show plays Rogers Centre in Toronto this March Break

TORONTO, ON -  February 7, 2013 Disney On Ice presents Rockin’ Ever After is bringing an all-star lineup of your favourite Disney characters to the ice in a sensational live production coming to Toronto this March Break!

This brand-new spectacular featuring scenes from Disney•Pixar’s BRAVE, Tangled, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast, visits Toronto from March 13-17/13 for 9 performances at Rogers Centre.  Tickets are on sale now.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Theatre Woodstock presents Soldier’s Heart by David French

WOODSTOCK, ON – Theatre Woodstock is presenting Soldier’s Heart from February 8th to 16th at the Market Centre Theatre.

Sixteen-year-old Jacob Mercer stands on a railway platform in Bay Roberts, Nfld. in 1924 after a violent fight with his father.


Six years earlier, Esau Mercer returned from the Great War a damaged man, never able to speak of his time in the trenches. The true beginning of the Mercer family saga.

The Book of Mormon performances begin April 30 at the Princess of Wales Theatre


The producers of the First National Tour of the new musical THE BOOK OF MORMON, winner of nine Tony Awards® including Best Musical, announced today that single tickets for the Toronto engagement will go on sale Tuesday February 19

Tickets will be available in person only for the first two hours 9AM – 11AM at the Princess of Wales Theatre box office – 300 King Street West.

 Online and phone sales begin at 11AM.  Tickets are available by visiting Mirvish.com, or by calling TicketKing at 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333.  Tickets are limited to 8 tickets per order.  Group orders of 20 or more may be placed by calling 416-593-4142 or 1-800-724-6420.

Friday, February 8, 2013

George Bell and Tim Raines to headline Canadian Ball Hall's Class of 2013

George Bell

(News Release)

Rob Ducey, Tom Cheek and Nat Bailey will also be honoured in a ceremony to take place at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 29 on the museum’s ceremonial grounds in St. Marys

St. Marys, Ont. – While George Bell was belting 47 home runs en route to the American League MVP award for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1987, fellow left fielder Tim Raines was scoring a National League-leading 123 runs and serving as the catalyst of the Montreal Expos’ offence.
In the mid-to-late ’80s, many baseball pundits would’ve agreed that Canada’s major league teams boasted the top two offensive left fielders in the game. So it seems fitting that more than 20 years later, Bell and Raines will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame together.
Toronto-born outfielder Rob Ducey, who made his big league debut in 1987 and eventually played left field for the Blue Jays and Expos, will also be enshrined, along with Blue Jays broadcasting legend Tom Cheek and Vancouver baseball icon Nat Bailey, who will both be honoured posthumously.

Gloria Gaynor concert cancelled at Casino Rama tomorrow

(News Release)

Originally scheduled for Saturday, February 9th, 2013 (9 pm)

 MNJIKANING (RAMA), ON (Friday, February 08, 2013) - Casino Rama regrets to announce that due to adverse weather conditions affecting the artist’s travel schedule, Gloria Gaynor will be unable to perform tomorrow (Saturday, February 9th, 2013) as scheduled.

The Casino and the artist apologize for any inconvenience this cancellation may cause.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Starwood Hotels celebrates your birth year


Pay your birth year on stays up to three nights at participating hotels across Canada
February 4, 2013 – Starwood Hotels & Resorts across Canada are proving that certain benefits come with age! Participating hotels and resorts across Canada are offering a special Birth Year promotion that lets you pay the rate that corresponds with the year you were born during your stay.

Robert Desrosiers to launch his new company at fund-raising event at The King Edward Hotel

                               
FEBRUARY 6, 2013 - TORONTO– Robert Desrosiers renowned Canadian choreographer and dancer, will launch his new company Desrosiers Dance Projects at an inaugural fundraising event, on Tuesday, March 5th, 2013, in the Grand Foyer of The King Edward Hotel, which marks its 110th anniversary this year.

Hosted by photographer and patron V. Tony Hauser, this event will kick off Mr. Desrosiers’ new company, slated to open a new season in the fall of 2014.

The evening’s performance will feature Robert Desrosiers dancing a solo piece accompanied by the virtuoso cellist Anne Bourne.  The evening will also feature dancers Robert Glumbeck and Megumi Kokuba in a new duet choreographed by Desrosiers to Rachmaninoff’s Alleluia from Vespers.

Shores of Erie Wine Festival Lobster Fest

(News Advisory)

Our 2nd Annual Lobster Fest (with new crackers!) is coming soon! Order your tickets today.

519-730-1001

Toronto Zoo celebrates the Year of the Snake

 
 
Toronto Zoo Weekly Feature
 
Saturday, February 9 & Sunday, February 10
9:30am to 4:30pm
Join us as we celebrate the 2013 Chinese New Year - Year of the Snake! Visit some of our 
fascinating snakes in our indoor tropical pavilions and learn more about these amazing creatures!
 
Er Shun and Da Mao our giant panda mascots will be on site to help celebrate the Year of the Snake.
 Look for the giant panda mascots at the Front Entrance Courtyard stage where you can get your 
photo taken with them and start the new year off right!
The live Er Shun and Da Mao arrive Spring 2013!

Wizard of Oz: Give the show with heart -- and Lindt Valentine chocolates -- at the Ed Mirvish Theatre

Sweeten the pot this Valentine's Day with the gift of chocolate. With the purchase of a pair of regular priced tickets to THE WIZARD OF OZ, for all performances from February 12 - 17, receive a box of Lindt Valentine Chocolates, (while supplies last).

And to make this Valentine's Day even sweeter, all purchasers of this offer will be entered into a draw to win one of four $500.00 gift certificates to Birks.  Dreams really do come true (at the Ed Mirvish Theatre.)

Since this new production of the classic story began performances in Toronto on December 20, 2012 it has been an audience favourite, selling out most performances, garnering enthusiastic standing ovations at every single show and already building a loyal following of repeat attendees. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Guests get set to live La Vida Fit Chick at Horseshoe Resort


Second in fitness retreat series includes action-packed itinerary, healthy meals and more!

BARRIE, ONTARIO, February 5, 2013Horseshoe, a Skyline Resort and FIT CHICKS, one of Canada’s top fitness and lifestyle companies, have teamed up once again to promote “Livin’ La Vida FIT CHICK” at their second health and wellness retreat.

The first in a series of four retreats planned for the year, the action-packed all-girls “Fit & Fierce” weekend will take place March 1-3.

The Westin Ottawa receives Hall of Fame award of Excellence


TORONTO, February 4, 2013—The Westin Ottawa will be presented with a Hall of Fame Award of Excellence tonight at the Hotel Association of Canada’s 100th Anniversary Celebration Gala.

The Hotel Association of Canada’s Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence Program was developed in 2004 with the purpose of recognizing those of its members (individuals, companies, properties) that have demonstrated significant accomplishments, exemplary leadership and tireless commitment to Canada’s lodging industry.

Steam Whistle Brewery tour brings visitors closer to the action

MEDIA RELEASE

(Toronto, ON) – Billed as one of Toronto’s top tourist attractions, Steam Whistle Brewing, an independent brewery located in Toronto’s historic Roundhouse, brings visitors first-hand views of how they craft their Bohemian-style Pilsner from catwalks above the entire brewery operations.

The ‘Willy Wonka-esque” tour offers beer lovers the chance to meet The Good Beer Folks, hear the story of the brewery’s founding, taste beer fresh from the bottling line, all the while learning how all natural ingredients and European traditions combine to make this award-winning Pilsner.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Say "Cheese" in Stratford

(STRATFORD, ON) Savour Stratford presents Stratford Says “Cheese” Week to welcome the Canadian Dairy XPO with delicious cheese features at 13 great Stratford restaurants, cafés and food shops February 3 through 10.

If you like cheese, then you’ll love the delicious cheese dishes offered in Stratford February 3 – 10. Sample small batch regional cheeses, a delectable gourmet cheese ball and even chocolate at food shops.

Relax with a local cheese plate for two paired with a taste of Ontario wines.  Warm up with hearty winter favourites, soups of cheddar and ale or potatoes and cheese, juicy burgers topped with old cheddar, camembert, gorgonzola or goat cheese and everyone’s go-to comfort food, grilled cheese.

Monday, February 4, 2013

“Come Bloom With Us” presented by the Drumbo Agricultural Society

Something for Every Gardener

Woodstock, ON – Those with green thumbs will not want to miss the Drumbo Agricultural Society’s “Come Bloom With Us” on Sunday February 10, 2013, starting at 9:30am to 3:00pm at the Drumbo Hall, Drumbo, ON.

“We are so lucky to have a great line up of speakers for our first gardening day “Come Bloom With Us” sponsored by the Drumbo Agricultural Society” Eileen Hartig.

“This will bring us all a little closer to that much anticipated season – SPRING. Daffodils & Hyacinths – I can almost smell them!”

The Laramie Project at the Panasonic Theatre in Toronto, Feb. 25

Studio 180 Theatre Celebrates 10 Years!
One Night Only Staged Reading of
THE LARAMIE PROJECT
Monday February 25, 2013 • 7:00 PM

Ten years ago, Studio 180 burst onto the Toronto theatre scene with the Canadian premiere of THE LARAMIE PROJECT, a groundbreaking play in the form of a theatrical docudrama that perfectly defined the kind of theatre the founders of Studio 180 wanted to create: socially relevant, thought-provoking, and committed to community engagement.

That was the very beginning of the company that is now considered one of the city’s most vibrant and dynamic.

34th annual ROM Colloquium: World Discoveries


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
 
Free symposium highlighting fascinating discoveries by Museum curators and experts
 (Toronto, Ontario – February 4, 2013) On Friday, February 8, 2013, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) presents the 34th annual ROM Colloquium, a stimulating one-day event with curators and researchers highlighting their latest global discoveries and ongoing research.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Celebrate the Chinese Year of the Water Snake with tour guide Shirley Lum



   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 2/13



   ---

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Want to get lucky for the Chinese lunar Year of the Water Snake?
   Then exchange your old bills for new ones at a bank, buy three kumquats with green twigs and tie them with a red string or ribbon, and pick up some “lucky” pastries at a Chinese bakery.
  The Lion Dance to drive away evil spirits (Jim Fox photo)

   So says Toronto culinary historian Shirley Lum who operates a Taste the World Neighbourhood Walks including a series of Chinese New Year’s Tours.
   Also don’t forget, those pastries should be wallet shaped, look like fire crackers and have smiling faces.
   It’s a good idea, too, to buy three sesame balls and put them on a red plate with a spotlight so they’ll glow like “three golden nuggets,” symbolizing money, she advises.

   Traditions, superstitions abound
   Gung Hei Fatt Choi (Cantonese), Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin), Chuc Mung Nam Mui (Vietnamese) – or Happy New Year.
   However you say it, the lunar New Year starting on Feb. 9 launches a festive 15 days of the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese calendar.
   With the snake taking over from the dragon, expectations are for a year of “reflective calm and time for self-improvement,” Lum said.
   On a previous walking tour, she immersed us in the fascinating traditions and folklore of this holiday.
   Meeting with a small group under the “prosperity” moose sculpture above the Lucky Moose Mart on Dundas Street West, we headed off for an adventure to regale the senses.
Foodie tour guide Shirley Lum prepares lucky Chinese treats for sampling at the Jin Cheng Bakery. (Jim Fox photo)
  

Harbourfront Centre March Break/summer camps registration now open

(News Release)
 
TORONTO, ON --– Registration is now open for Harbourfront Centre’s March Break (March 11-15, 2013) and Summer (Jul. 2 – Aug. 30) Camps, offering a variety of programmes to children ages 3-15.  From dramatic theatre camps to exciting sports camps to thrilling sailing camps and daring circus camps, inspiring adventures await every child in 2013.

"Out of all of the camps that we sent our kids to ... I found (Harbourfront Centre) to be the best. It was a really positive experience." ~ Parent of former campers

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chicago and Thunder From Down Under returns to Caesars Windsor in May

Two great shows return to the Colosseum

Caesars Windsor welcomes the return of iconic pop rock band Chicago performing on the Colosseum stage on Sunday, May 19 at 8 pm. One of the longest-running and most successful rock bands in history, they have scored 22 Gold, 18 Platinum, and 8 Multi-Platinum albums since their debut in the late 60s. Their biggest hits include “If You Leave Me Now”, “Saturday in the Park”, and “You’re the Inspiration”. Tickets start at $30 Canadian.

Back by popular demand, see the sizzling male revue, Thunder from Down Under live at the Colosseum on Friday, May 31 at 9 pm.

Valentine’s Day in Niagara Falls

Inspire your romance pairing chocolates with Niagara’s finest wines

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – There is little that inspires the romantic mind and stimulates the senses like wine and chocolate — the rich aromas and exquisite tastes, not to mention the aphrodisiac qualities of both. 

Take the romance a step further by mixing in one of Canada’s most iconic landmarks and the magic of the vineyard for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day adventure in Niagara wine country.  

“Enjoying local Niagara wines with delicious chocolate amid the vines is a wicked way to indulge and spend a couple of days in Niagara,” says Anthony Annunziata, Vice-President of Marketing at Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa. “Niagara Falls is Canada’s romance capital for a reason. It has all of the elements for creating a Valentine’s Day experience to cherish.”

“Awesome and affordable” Family Day adventures await in Hamilton Halton Brant

$100 itineraries that your family and your wallet will love

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hamilton Halton Brant Region, January 31, 2013 – For families that think it’s impossible to enjoy a fun-filled Family Day for under $100, it’s time to think again. Whether you’re looking for engaging indoor activities or active outdoor pursuits, tourism partners in Hamilton Halton Brant are offering a wide range of programming this Family Day that makes it easy and affordable to keep everyone happy.

These three $100 itineraries offer just a sample of some of the great events taking place in Hamilton Halton Brant for the long weekend.

February is heating up at Skyline Hotels & Resorts

February is upon us and things are heating up for the “month of love” at Skyline Hotels & Resorts. Whether it’s a romantic sleigh ride for two, a delectable dinner or simply a few hours to linger longer in bed, our collection of hotels and resorts has your heart’s desire covered.

For a weekend away:
Whisk your loved one away for a weekend retreat in a romantic winter wonderland. Deerhurst Resort’s Romance Package includes cozy accommodations, a $100 resort credit per night, a bottle of wine and chocolate-covered strawberries upon arrival. Use the resort credit to enjoy a quiet dinner, couples’ massage at Shizen Spa or a sports activity (dog-sledding for two!). The resort’s talented chefs will have a special three-course Valentine’s menu available from Feb 14-18. Package from $284/night.