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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Zoom, zoom soon, soon: North American International Auto Show in Detroit

   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 13/18
   (c) By Jim Fox
    Sun Media/Postmedia News

   All roads lead to Detroit as that “new car smell” permeates downtown Cobo Center.
   Some 800,000 people will make the trek to the “Motor City” for the 30th annual North American International Auto Show from Jan. 20 to 28.
   It launches with the “party of the year” for auto aficionados and the industry putting on the glitz at the lavish Charity Preview on Jan. 19.
Mugging for the camera beside a Bentley Continental GT worth $260,000 US. (Jim Fox photo)
   That’s when thousands of formally clad, would-be auto barons admire the latest models in a high-society event.
   For this sneak preview, some 15,000 people pay $400 US each to attend the three-hour, black-tie affair in support of children’s charities.
   They sip champagne, munch on hors d’oeuvres and will be entertained by the iconic Detroit Motown group, the Four Tops.
   While strutting their stuff, attendees slip behind the wheel of some of the world’s most exotic vehicles and pose for photos.

Monster Jam motors into Toronto

2018 Mega Line-Up Announced: Gas Monkey Garage, Xtreme Diesel, VP Racing Fuel’s Mad Scientist and Rammunition Make Toronto Debut!

TORONTO, ON – Feld Entertainment, the worldwide leader in live family entertainment, has announced the 2018 Driver/Truck lineup for the Toronto shows including four Monster Jam trucks making their Toronto debut: Gas Monkey Garage, Xtreme Diesel, VP Racing Fuel’s Mad Scientist, and Rammunition.

Monster Jam will be performing at Rogers Centre January 13-14/18 for two shows.

The new season will bring motorsport fans to the edge of their seats with adrenaline-charged, high-flying, four-wheel excitement that is fun for the entire family. This is the 25th consecutive year that Monster Jam has roared into Rogers Centre.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Escape winter at the Toronto boat show; Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 6-18
   (c) By Jim Fox

   Escape the cold, wintry weather with a trip to the “tropics” not far from home.
   Head for the Toronto International Boat Show that organizers say “marks the unofficial kick-off to summer.”
   Another option is the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory where the heat and humidity are cranked up to suit the critters’ needs.
The Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is a tranquil place with waterfalls, streams, flora and fauna. (Jim Fox photo)
   In fact, it’s being called a “cheap trip to the tropics” by the conservatory’s Doug Wilson.
   You can “get your feet wet” at the Toronto International Boat Show that marks its 60th year from Jan. 12 to 21 at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, (100 Princes’ Blvd.).
   “This is North America’s largest indoor boat show, with recreational boating consistently ranking at the top of the list for Canadians as a favourite pastime,” said show publicist Tran Nguyen.

   Lots of toys
Boat show goers have fun on the “world’s largest indoor lake.”

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Theatre playbills in scenic Ontario cities, towns for 2018: Drayton Entertainment

    One-Tank Trip for Dec. 30/17

      (c) By Jim Fox

   The curtain is rising on an epic season for a theatre company with seven stages in scenic, interesting and can we call them “quaint” communities in southern Ontario.
   Drayton Entertainment theatres are a perfect one-tank trip to places with wonderful amenities for day-trippers and weekend getaways.
The Drayton Festival Theatre is in a former 1902 opera house and town hall. (Barbara Fox photo)
   This includes the Festival Theatre in Drayton; Huron Country Playhouse, Grand Bend; King’s Wharf Theatre, Penetanguishene; and the renamed Dunfield Theatre, now known as the Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge.
   There are also the Huron Country Playhouse II, Grand Bend; St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre; and the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse.
   “Variety is key next season,” said artistic director Alex Mustakas of the charitable theatre organizations shows.
   “There is something for everyone, from Broadway blockbusters and hilarious comedies to classic musicals and family fun with another beloved Disney classic and our annual holiday panto (pantomime),” he added.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Enjoy Ontario Parks' 125th year in the great outdoors

   One-Tank Trip for Dec. 16-17

   (c) By Jim Fox
   For Postmedia Network/Sun Media newspapers and websites
   It will be a howling good time as Ontario Parks kicks off its 125th year with a series of fun winter events.

   To mark the milestone year, ring in the New Year at Bronte Creek Provincial Park in Oakville.

   That’s where a guided Coyote Howl and Kid’s Countdown bonfire will be held and then “start 2018 on the right foot with a #FirstDayHike,” said parks publicist Jeff Brown.

   The concept is simple: visit a provincial park on Jan. 1 for a hike as it’s a fun and healthy way to kick off the New Year,” he added.
Exuberant winter lovers at Frontenac Provincial Park. (Ontario Parks photo)

   Elsewhere, head to Rondeau Provincial Park on Lake Erie for guided owl prowls, suet feeder-making sessions, afternoon movies and park scavenger hunts.
   The iconic Algonquin Provincial Park hosts Winter in the Wild on Feb. 17, as one of many Family Day events.
   Skate, ski, or snowshoe there and join park rangers at Mew Lake Campground for a bonfire followed by an evening wolf howl.
   A gala 125th event will be held next month in Toronto followed later by a celebration at Arrowhead Provincial Park, north of Huntsville. 
   That’s to coincide with the opening of a four-season, multi-purpose pavilion at the park that added more camp cabins this year.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rant Maggie Rant’s 9th annual Frost & Fire: A Celtic Christmas Celebration! A night of music, comradery and joy at Stratford City Hall

Rant Maggie Rant: Steve Clark, Rob Larose, Glen Dias, Lindsay Schindler, Barry James Payne and Daev Clysdale.
 News Release

Stratford, ON  The tree is up! The lights are up! Christmas ribbons and poinsettia lend a festive air. Stratford’s City Hall looks beautiful for Rant Maggie Rant’s upcoming Frost & Fire: A Christmas Celebration! concert on December 15, 2017 at 8:00 pm.
“Nothing says Christmas like a Celtic-inspired take on traditional Christmas favourites, combined with a foot-stomping, eclectic mix of jigs and reels,” says Glen Dias, the band’s lead vocalist. “Our annual concert has become a gathering place for friends, family and loved ones a community experience.”

Rant Maggie Rant returns to Stratford City Hall Auditorium where their first ever Frost & Fire show was performed in 2009 and after performing at Knox Church and Revival House for the past three years.

Rant Maggie Rant will be entertaining the audience with their distinctive rootsy Christmas tunes, ancient and traditional Celtic melodies, blazing jigs and reels, lesser known seasonal fare and new material from their recently released CD Latitude.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Rock with Disney On Ice and Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party!

   One-Tank Trip for Dec. 9-17

(c) By Jim Fox
 For Postmedia Network/Sun Media newspapers and websites

   Children can hang out with Mickey and Minnie as well as Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch and Grover as some big shows visit the area.
   Just in time for the holidays, Disney On Ice returns with a new Toronto show called Reach for the Stars.
Singing and dancing with Oscar the Grouch.
   Then in February, “Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?”
   A new interactive show unfolds with Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party! that’s a big production number based on the popular children’s show.
Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and others are Rock Stars in the Toronto Disney show. (Photos from Feld Entertainment)
   Things kick off as Mickey and Minnie Mouse and friends come together at the Rogers Centre Dec. 22 to Jan. 1 for 17 performances.
   Another Disney ice show, Dream Big, is at Budweiser Gardens in London from Feb. 28 to March 4, while Dare to Dream is at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, March 15 to 18.
   Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck and Goofy highlight the Toronto show with its “star-studded talent extravaganza,” said publicist Beth Merrick.

Monday, December 4, 2017

All decked out for the season

   One-Tank Trip for Dec. 2-17

   (c) By Jim Fox
    For Postmedia Network/Sun Media newspapers/websites

   ’Tis the season as cities and towns are decking the halls with their holiday finery.
   The “Festival City” is aglow as Stratford is helping to celebrate the holidays with its popular Christmas Trail and other special events.
   “We’re beginning to look a lot like Christmas as shop keepers dress their windows in fresh cedar garland and twinkling lights tied with big red bows,” said Cathy Rehberg of the Stratford Tourism Alliance.
Stratford City Hall is alight with a festive glow at this time of year.
   The Christmas Trail helps to “capture the spirit of giving and the joy of checking off that list,” she added.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Vikings loot on display at ROM in Toronto; don't step on these Elvis shoes

   One-Tank Trip for Nov. 25-17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   The Vikings – those seafaring and raiding Norse warriors who became feared throughout Europe – have returned to Canada after more than 1,000 years.

   The largest collection of Viking artifacts from Scandinavia, particularly Norway, is on display for the first time in North America at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto now through April 2.
The Vikings have landed at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. (ROM composite photo by Marshall Gonz)
   This is said to offer a “fresh perspective” on the ancient culture that counters myths and perceptions about the Norse people and this period of history.
   Visitors will be “surprised” by the new and unexpected interpretation of the Vikings, as not only seafaring warriors, but a people who built a rich and varied culture, said Josh Basseches, ROM director and ceo.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Take a spin through Metro Detroit like an auto baron; enjoy seasonal treats

    One-Tank Trip for Nov. 18-17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   DETROIT – You can “spend the holidays like an auto baron” and get a taste of what life was like at a grand estate in the 1920s.
   The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau is sending out an invitation to tour Meadowbrook Hall, an elegant 110-room, Tudor Revival mansion.
   As well, don’t miss the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House adorned in holiday decor and welcoming visitors in from the cold.
An edible Gingerbread Village is among the seasonal decorations at Henry Ford’s historic Dearborn Inn. (Barbara Fox photo)
    The historic Meadowbrook, lavishly decorated for the season, was built by Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of auto pioneer John Dodge, and second husband Alfred Wilson.
   It was constructed between 1926 and 1929 and is especially renowned for its craftsmanship, architectural detailing and grand scale covering 88,000 square-feet.
   Visitors can tour the rooms of the great estate in suburban Rochester and then take the Holiday Walk, Nov. 24 to Dec. 23, down Candy Cane Lane to the land of “Santa & Sweets.” Details: meadowbrookhall.org

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Seasons Christmas Show kicks off the holiday season with more handmade gifts and creative workshops

Friday, November 17 - Sunday, November 19, 2017

  • More than 300 exhibitors with holiday decor, gifts and food
  • Stage appearances and workshops with Cityline style expert Lynn Spence, Taste of the Country’s Danielle French, Makeful baker Adjoa Duncan and celebrity florist Kate Seaver
  • Biggest-ever Makeful Market offers beautiful, hand-crafted items from more than 80 local makers


(MISSISSAUGA, November 1, 2017) - The Seasons Christmas Show is sweetening its tradition as the official kick-off to holiday shopping and decorating this year by increasing its marketplace of local artisans and its lineup of inspirational DIY workshops. With over 300 exhibitors and a mainstage program packed with celebrity decorating and style experts, Seasons has been a go-to holiday destination for over a decade. This year, the show promises even more beautiful, unique holiday gift shopping, festive music and inspiring ideas to get visitors in the holiday spirit all weekend long.

Also new this year, Santa himself will be on hand at the Seasons Christmas Show for a limited time each day to chat and take selfies or family pics with visitors. Santa will visit the show on Friday from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

2017 Seasons Christmas Show Highlights:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Award-winning Canadian R&B diva Jully Black in concert Nov. 17 (2017) at Stratford’s Revival House


 Stratford, ON (November 6, 2017) – String Bone Presents! Canadian, award-winning, R&B-soul songstress Jully Black in an intimate and unplugged concert on November 17, 2017 in the warm confines of Stratford’s Revival House. The concert starts at 8:00 pm.

Multi-dimensional Jully Black is a longstanding name in Canada's R&B scene with her unique musical style known as “new Motown” which comprises both retro and modern beats. Described by critics as “dazzling tinges of grooving soul and a heavy layer of pure, crisp R&B,” Jully Black’s sound and talent never ceases to amaze critics and fans alike who keep coming back for more.

You know a song's a hit when you hear it almost anywhere – on the radio, in the mall, and you subconsciously hum it – and Jully Black has a long list of such memorable tunes, including:

·         Seven Day Fool (10 best Canadian R&B songs ever per CBC music)
·         Until I Stay
·         Running
·         Queen
·         Sweat Of Your Brow
·         Stay The Night
·         I Travelled
·         Time of Your Life
·         Lovin' You