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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, 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
SHOWTIME: 9 PM, DOORS OPEN: 8 PM
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
SHOWTIME: 8 PM, DOORS OPEN: 7 PM
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
SHOWTIME: 9 PM, DOORS OPEN: 8 PM
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.

4th annual Pan American Food Festival at Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square this summer

International chefs, exciting food competitions and trend-setting Latin American cuisine

TORONTO, ON (July 13, 2016) – The exciting fourth annual Pan American Food Festival returns to Toronto, August 13-14, 2016 for the first time at Yonge-Dundas Square, in downtown Toronto. This year’s festival -- Toronto’s only festival celebrating the cuisine and culture of North, South, Central America and the Caribbean – features a roster of impressive international chefs, fun food competitions, colourful music and dance performances, and entertainment for the whole family.

Launching with a ticketed Opening Reception on Friday, August 12, the Festival will again be entirely free to the public on Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14, presenting food demonstrations by international chefs, two exciting and delicious food competitions, an outdoor musical stage with live performances, kids’ activities, and Pan American food vendors and food trucks offering tasty international foods from across the Americas.

“We’re thrilled to invite the public to sample the continent’s delicious flavours and enjoy its fantastic music at the largest Pan American festival in Canada,” says Daniel Garcia-Herreros, Festival Director.

Giant Panda cubs update at the Toronto Zoo -- Nine month milestone





Jia Yueyue (top) Jia Panpan (bottom) - Photo credit: C. Thompson, Toronto Zoo



CLICK HERE for the Toronto Zoo's "They Won't Stay Small Forever" Video.




TORONTO, ON, Wednesday, July 13, 2016:
Our giant panda cubs turn nine months old today! Jia Panpan weighs in at 16.8kg and Jia Yueyue at 13.25kg. As they've gotten older, our panda keepers have been patiently waiting to start a training program with them both, something Er Shun and Da Mao have participated in since they arrived in 2013.

The Toronto Zoo has a very extensive positive reinforcement training program. This voluntary training is very enriching for the animals and greatly enhances the overall care and management. It assists in various veterinary procedures, breeding programs and routine husbandry activities.

This was used by Toronto Zoo staff to ultrasound Er Shun on a regular basis to determine her pregnancy! This method uses a food item that is rewarding enough for the pandas to want to participate and stay engaged.

Since the cubs were four months old, the keepers have offered them pieces of apple (mom's favourite) however, the cubs didn't take much interest in them. Following the National Zoo's lead with training their cub Bei Bei, the keepers tried small pieces of cooked yam and the cubs loved it! 

The panda keepers are thrilled with the cubs’ progress and are amazed by how quickly they are learning. Visit them daily from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm in the Giant Panda Experience.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Summer canal fun: Just add water



   One-Tank Trip for July 9-16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Ontario is blessed with about 250,000 lakes and more than 100,000 kilometres of rivers ready to explore by water and land.
   This abundance of fresh water shaped our history and plays a key role in providing unlimited tourism opportunities today.
Boaters pass through the Trent-Severn Waterway locks at Lindsay. (Jim Fox photo)
   These range from scenic day trips, paddling up a lazy river and travel by waterways and canals.
   Of particular note is the natural heritage and spectacular beauty of the Trent-Severn Waterway and the Rideau Canal.
   Both are National Historic Sites and protected and maintained by Parks Canada.
   Visitors can explore by boat or by road, stopping off to watch the parade of vessels passing through the numerous locks crisscrossing the countryside.
   Many of the lock locations have picnic tables, barbecues and washroom facilities, interpretive displays and plenty of parking for a close-up view of the many boaters rising and falling to continue their journey.
   Parks Canada workers can be seen scurrying in circles, cranking open and closing the lock’s massive gates using hand winches.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Canadian Celtic-FUSION band Rant Maggie Rant in concert at Toronto Botanical Gardens July 14

(News Release)

Rant Maggie Rant: From left to right: Steve Clark, Glen Dias, Lindsay Schindler, Barry James Payne, Rob Larose and Daev Clysdale.

Edwards Summer Music Series: Gardens of Song


Stratford, ON (July 4, 2016) A brilliant blaze of Celtic colour will adorn the natural beauty of the Toronto Botanical Gardens (TBG) on July 14, 2016 when Canadian Celtic-FUSION band Rant Maggie Rant performs at the Edwards Summer Music Series: Gardens of Song. Concert time is 7:00 pm – rain or shine (indoors in event of extreme weather).

The open-air music series presents free evening concerts every Thursday from June through August 25, 2016. The concerts take place in the courtyard beside the historic barn in Edwards Gardens. General seating is available or visitors can select a spot at the fully-licensed Garden Cafe patio which overlooks the concert venue. Or, bring your own chair.

Based in Stratford, Ontario, Rant Maggie Rant showcases the talents of Lindsay Schindler (fiddle, background vocals) who also performs with the acclaimed Ontario folk trio Trent Severn; Glen Dias (lead vocals, recorders, percussion); and Barry James Payne (guitars, harmonica, bouzouki, background vocals). Joining them will be guest musicians Steve Clark (bass), who hails from London, Ontario, as well as Toronto’s Daev Clysdale (Irish whistle, Irish flute and accordion) and London’s Rob Larose (percussion).

Matilda the Musical performances have begun at Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre

When I Grow Up (Joan Marcus photo)

(News Release)

TORONTO -- Starring a cast of acclaimed Canadian musical theatre performers in principal roles and three exciting young talents sharing the title role, MATILDA THE MUSICAL is produced by The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Dodgers presented in Toronto by David Mirvish as part of his 2015-16 Main Subscription Season.

Performances begn on Tuesday July 5 at the Ed Mirvish Theatre.Tickets are now available for performances until October 16, 2016.

ABOUT THE SHOW

Winner of over 50 international awards including four Tony Awards®, a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre for each of the four girls sharing the title role, and a record-breaking seven Olivier Awards, including Best MusicalMATILDA THE MUSICAL is based on the beloved novel by best-selling author Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox). It is the story of an extraordinary girl who dreams of a better life. Armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, Matilda dares to take a stand and change her destiny. 

Free admission to Ontario Parks, Friday, July 15, 2016

(News Release)

Celebrate Healthy Parks, Healthy People (HPHP) with Ontario Parks, Friday, July 15, 2016.
 
Admission to all Ontario Parks is free for day-use visits. HPHP is a worldwide movement that encourages more time in nature for overall health.
 
Having fun at Grundy Lake Provincial Park (Ontario Parks)
July 15th is a chance to celebrate and sample what Ontario Parks offer in summer and throughout the year. https://www.ontarioparks.com/hphp Join a park interpreter for a guided hike. Try stand-up paddle boarding. Take a yoga or tai chi class. Enjoy arts and crafts. Learn to fish and much more. This Parks Blog highlights July 15th celebrations, http://www.ontarioparks.com/parksblog/hphp-event-2016/.
 
Over 40 parks across Ontario offer Natural Heritage Education (NHE) programming all summer long. Led by park naturalists, most NHE activities are free with a valid day-use, overnight camping or seasonal park permit.
 
More than 360,000 park visitors participated in NHE last summer alone. This Parks Blog post highlights NHE's incredible 70 year history and provides more information on what “park interpretation” is and which parks offer interpretive programs, http://www.ontarioparks.com/parksblog/ontario-parks-interpretive-programming-70-years-and-still-going-strong/.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Aloft Vaughan Mills loves summer and celebrates with packages

(News Release)

LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTRE, CANADA’S WONDERLAND© AND RETAIL THERAPY AT VAUGHAN MILLS SHOPPING CENTRE

Kids at Aloft Vaughan Mills Love Camp AloftSM

VAUGHAN, ON – Aloft Vaughan Mills has announced its summer lineup of packages for local residents and visitors to enjoy this special, easy breezy season.

The hotel invites guests to treat themselves to some retail therapy with the Shop ‘Til You Drop offering.


This package includes an overnight stay in a loft-inspired guest room, two signature drinks at the W XYZ® bar, a $40 Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre gift card, breakfast for two at the hotel plus a Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre welcome tote with savings booklet (picked up at the Shopping Centre’s guest services desk).  The package is priced from $201, and can be booked online at http://www.aloftvaughanmills.com/vaughan-mills-hotels or by calling 866/716-8143 and mentioning rate plan LTPKG1.

Music, comedy, fashion and more: get it all in Montréal this summer



Festival International Nuits d'Afrique
SHAKE YOUR HIPS
Music is in the air in Montréal and our line-up of acts promises to move and groove you. Sway to the sounds of the Festival international de Jazz de Montréal (June 29 to July 9) or clap to the beat of African rhythms during Nuits d’Afrique (July 12 to 24). Treat your ears and eyes lots of inspiration at Osheaga (July 29 to 31), which headlines emerging music acts and international artists, not to mention a visual arts component. Lose yourself in the electro vibe at Festival ÎleSoniq (August 5 and 6) or air guitar along at Heavy Montréal (August 5 to 7).

Award-winning Nashville singer-songwriters Mary Gauthier, Eliza Gilkyson & Gretchen Peters in concert at Stratford's Revival House July 7th

(News Release)


Stratford, ON (June 28, 2016) – Stratford’s Revival House is throwing out the welcome mat on July 7, 2016 for Three Women and The Truth, featuring award-winning, Nashville singer-songwriters Mary Gauthier, Gretchen Peters and Eliza Gilkyson. Together, they add up to one trio of terrific talents. The concert starts at 8:30 pm.

The audience can look forward to three women, three guitars, and the words, music and hard-won wisdom from three remarkable musicians at the top of their game.


Eliza Gilkyson is a two-time Grammy nominated singer-songwriter and activist who is one of the most respected musicians in Folk, Roots and Americana circles. Her songs have been covered by Joan Baez, Bob Geldof, Tom Rush and Rosanne Cash and have appeared in films, PBS specials and on prime-time TV. A member of the Austin Music Hall of Fame, she has won countless Folk Alliance and Austin Music awards, including 2014 Songwriter of the Year. In 2014 she also received a Grammy nomination for her Red House Records release, The Nocturne Diaries. On stage, Eliza presents a vibrant mix of laugh-til-you-cry storytelling, political diatribe, and love songs ranging from the global to the most intimate.

Mary Gauthier is a singer-songwriter whom the Associated Press named one of the best songwriters of her generation. She has been praised by both Bob Dylan and Tom Waits, and her songs have been recorded by dozens of artists, including Jimmy Buffett, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw and Candi Staton. Her songs have been used in film and television, most recently on the ABC hit show Nashville, HBO’s Banshee, and Masterpiece Theater’s Case Histories. She has released six studio albums. Her third album, Filth and Fire, was named #1 Best Independent CD of the year by Jon Pareles of the New York Times. Her following three releases have been named in the LA Times and New York Times top three releases of the year.

Spend sophisticated Thursday evenings at the McMichael



Media Advisory
Thursday Night Lates photo
The McMichael presents Thursday Night Lates! The gallery will be open until 10 pm every Thursday from July 1 to October 31. There will be a variety of exciting programs, including drop-in painting workshops, wine sampling, artist talks, guided tours, hikes along the gallery's 100 acres of woodland, contemporary dance performances, yoga workshops, concerts, and more.
In addition to this special programming, the McMichael has four remarkable exhibitions currently on display for visitors to explore. As part of its special 50th anniversary exhibition program 50/50/50, the gallery celebrates historic, Modern, and contemporary Canadian art at its best. A.Y. Jackson & Tom Thomson: Wounds of War focuses on Jackson's and Thomson's First World War art; Jack Bush: In Studio features twenty select paintings by the Toronto-born artist Jack Bush, five of which have never been exhibited in Ontario until now; and Colleen Heslin: Needles and Pins showcases the contemporary art of Colleen Heslin, the national winner of the Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition in 2013. 

Shelburne’s Fiddle Fest to become the new Heritage Music Festival

(News Release)
-
SHELBURNE, Ontario --There will be music in the air this summer once again as Shelburne’s Fiddle Fest is reborn as the new Heritage Music Festival with hosts, the Rotary Club of Shelburne hard at work preparing for this exciting new venue. It all takes place August 3 to 7 at the Dufferin Recreation Complex.


Here is our exciting line-up of entertainment:

Thursday Evening the very cute Next Generation Leahy hits the stage at 7pm with their family’s celebrated Celtic energy.

Friday Evening presents a Canadian Superstar and Juno Award winner Jim Cuddy who will grace the stage as the major headliner of the festival, performing his signature folk-country style music on stage. 

Summer fun getaways across Ontario await



   One-Tank Trip for July 2-16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Here’s what people are talking about regarding summer fun getaways.
   Make this the summer to learn how to camp at Ontario Parks.
   Register for a guided, overnight camping experience at one of eight locations, said Sheila Wiebe of Ontario Parks.
   Participating in southwestern Ontario is Selkirk while Grundy Lake has the program in central Ontario.
   Others near the Greater Toronto area are Bronte Creek, Darlington, Earl Rowe, Emily, Sibbald Point and Six Mile Lake.
Learn to Camp programs continue this summer. (Ontario Parks photo)
   Through September, participants can choose either a one-night or two-night experience.
   They learn to set-up camp, cook meals on a camp stove, light a campfire and enjoy recreational activities.
   Provided is all the equipment needed (except food, bedding and personal items), a site for up to six people and learning sessions and family friendly activities led by experienced staff.