Thursday, January 28, 2016

COOL CANADIAN INFOGRAPHIC: The Essential Guide to Skiing the Rockies

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has designed a cool infographic titled The Essential Guide to Skiing the Rockies. The chart includes some of Alberta and British Columbia's best ski resorts in the Canadian Rockies and Western Mountains. Click on for an expanded view

Friday, December 04, 2015

Brightly lit CP Holiday Trains rock the rails in Canada and the U.S. for a good cause

Canadian Pacific Photo
Now in its 17th year, the CP Holiday Train is bringing food, cash donations and awareness to local food banks and food shelves across North America. Two brightly lit Canadian Pacific trains -- one U.S. and the other Canadian -- kicked off their tours in the Montreal area the last weekend of November. They'll be visiting approximately 150 communities along the way through December 19, 2015. 

Canadian Pacific Photo
The Canadian train travels west across Canada, ending in Port Coquitlam, BC. The U.S. Train visits communities in Quebec, New York and Southern Ontario before traveling across the US Northeast and Midwest, returning to Canada for its final "shows" in Saskatchewan and Alberta. 
Bill Watson Photo

Each Holiday Train event features performances by professional musicians performing holiday-themed songs. The shows are complimentary, but patrons are asked to bring cash or a non-perishable food donation. All the money and food donated in a community stays in the community. 

Legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Jim Cuddy will be on the Canadian train, joined by his son Devin.  Also on the Canadian train is the band Chic Gamin, who will play all the shows in Quebec, offering Francophone performances. Country singer Kelly Prescott is also part of the talent line-up. 

The U.S. Train showcases Canadian country music star Kira Isabella, winner of the 2013 Canadian Country Music Association's Female Artist of the Year. She'll be joined by Wes Mack and Doc Walker. 

For a complete schedule of dates and times, and to see a video of the train, click on the CP Holiday Train website. 

If the train doesn't pass through your community, follow its journey via social media: Twitter @CPHolidayTrain and Instagram @CPHoliday Train. Fans are posting images of the trains and entertainment, and are eligible to enter the Capture the Spirit photo contest to win an exclusive ride on next year's train. Details about the contest may be found on the Holiday Train Facebook page.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Michael Buble, Don Cherry and Ron MacLean among six inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame 2015

Michael Buble, Musician

Don Cherry and Don MacLean, Hockey Broadcasters
Coach's Corner

Loren Green, Actor
Cineplex Legends Inductee

Silken Laumen, Athlete
Wendy Crewson, Actor

Lawrence Hill, Author
Canada's Walk of Fame 2015 takes place Saturday, November 7 at Toronto's Sony Centre. The event will honor this year's Canada's Walk of Fame Inductees (above) and the Allan Slaight Honour recipient, Shawn Mendes. Presenters for this year's Inductees are:

Trevor Linden for Michael Buble
Rex Murphy for Don Cherry and Ron MacLean
Richard Hatch for Lorne Green
Johann Koss for Silken Laumann
Brian Topp for Wendy Crewson
Molly Johnson for Lawrence Hill

Shawn Mendes, the 17-year-old singer/songwriter and multi-platinum recording artist, will perform on stage at the event. Also on the program is four-time JUNO Award winner Johnny Reid, performing music from his upcoming album (What Love is All About), to be released November 13, 2015. The ceremony, hosted by Jason Priestley, will be filmed for national broadcast on Global and is scheduled to air on Thursday, December 17 at 8PM ET/PT.
Canada's Walk of Fame acknowledges the achievements and accomplishments of successful Canadians in the fields of music, science, literature, sports, film and social justice. A series of maple leaf-like stars is imbedded along 13 designated blocks in Toronto, located in front of Roy Thomson Hall, The Princess of Wales Theatre, The Royal Alexandra Theatre on King Street and Simcoe Street. The first group was inducted in 1998. To date, 161 Canadians have been honored.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Canada's Best New Restaurants 2015 via Air Canada's enRoute magazine

Bar in Montreal. Photo by Sue Frause.

Each year when when Air Canada's enRoute magazine announces the winners of Canada's Best New Restaurants, my list grows longer. Too many restos, too little time. This year's list contains ten more that I need to experience. Luckily, two of them are fairly near me, just across the border in British Columbia. 

This year's top ten hail from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. 

So how are they selected? One writer visited 30 nominated restaurants across Canada selected by a panel of food professionals ("expert regional scouts"). Restaurants that opened between late spring 2014 and June 2015 were eligible. Air Canada's enRoute writer visited them all anonymously and the meals were paid for. Here are the winners!


1. Pigeonhole: CALGARY | 306 17TH AVE. S.W. | 403-452-4694 

2. Port City Royal: SAINT JOHN | 45 GRANNAN ST. | 506-631-3714 

3. Pilgrimme: GALIANO ISLAND, BC | 2806 MONTAGUE RD. | 250-539-5392

4. Dailo: TORONTO | 503 COLLEGE ST. | 647-341-8882 |

5. Bar raval: TORONTO | 505 COLLEGE ST. 

6. Annalena: VANCOUVER | 1809 W. 1ST AVE. | 778-379-4052 

7. ADELAIDE OYSTER HOUSE: ST-JOHN'S | 334 WATER ST. | 709-722-7222 

8. yasu: TORONTO | 81 HARBORD ST. | 416-477-2361 

9. Enoteca: WINNIPEG | 1670 CORYDON AVE. | 204-487-1529

10. SOIF: GATINEAU | 88, RUE MONTCALM | 819-600-7643

Restaurant in Vancouver. Sue Frause Photo.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

'Treasures of the Chinese Scholar's Studio' opens at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

A Gathering of Literati handscroll, ink and colours on silk attributed to Qiu Ying (1494? – 1552), but an exquisite 18th century copy Intended Gift of Robin Bassett.
Traditional Chinese culture highly values all things related to the scholar's studio -- where most of the nation's art and literature were created. To appreciate the scholar's studio up close, see the new exhibition at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Treasures of the Chinese Scholar's Studio opened August 14 and runs through November 15, 2015. 

According to AGGV's Asian Art curator Barry Till, Chinese scholars were the educated and privileged elite -- officials, academics, poets, calligraphers, painters and connoisseurs. "They were highly esteemed," said Till. "Their tastes and artwork had tremendous influence on their country's culture." 

The AGGV's collection of 200 treasures on display gives a glimpse into the life of a Chinese scholar. The exhibition includes pieces from the Shang dynasty (16 to 11 century BCE), to the later Ming dynasty (17 century ADE) and Qing dynasty (early 19 century ADE). It includes many recently donated pieces that have never been previously exhibited. Among the artifacts are the scholars' studio materials, antiques and works of art.

Till says that a Chinese scholar's studio would have been strewn with brushes, inkstones, paper, seals, paper weights, teapots, wine cups, incense burners and paper. "The most important were known as the four treasures, and they were the essentials: brush, ink, inkstone and paper," said Till.

The exhibition includes 20 important ancient inkstones recently donated to the AGGV. Inkstones are the stones used for the grinding and containment of ink. Because the stone affects the texture of the ink, a good inkstone is as important as good ink for serious calligraphers and painters.

Running in conjunction with the exhibition are a lecture and a tour, both included with Gallery admission or membership:

  • The Rocks, Stones and Seals: An Excursion into Daoist Aesthetics. September 9, 2PM. Dr. Jordan Paper highlights the relevance of sealstones, inkstones and rocks as they pertain to Daoist aesthetics upheld by Chinese scholars. 
  • Curator's Tour led by Barry Till. September 30, 2-3PM.