Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Winter Stations Design Competition 2017

The winning designs of the third annual display of temporary public art installations are on display along The Beaches in Toronto from February 20 to March 27.  This year's international competition has eight installations ranging from Woodbine Avenue to Victoria Park Avenue in Balmy, Kew and Ashbridges Bay.

The installations are "exhibited to celebrate Toronto's winter waterfront landscape" surround the lifeguard stations with the "utilitarian structures to be used as the armature for temporary installations, which will need to be able to withstand the rigours of Toronto winter weather." The successful designs are Collective Memory, Midwinter Fire, Beacon, Buoybuoybuoy, North, The Illusory, Flotsam and Jetsam and I See You Ashiyu.

Catalyst is the theme for 2017: "Converting one form or substance into another. Its the finger that tips the first domino over. Its the flap of butterfly's wing that that sets off a chain of chaotic, unpredictable reactions. The theme for Winter Stations’ third year is Catalyst. In 2017, this seems especially fitting in this time of international political, social and cultural search for a better way forward. This winter, we ask artists and designers to unearth and intervene in such a way as to open up the landscape, as well as the minds of those who come to view and interact with the installations. We ask that proposals seek to disassemble and re-shape our notions of Toronto’s waterfront, with particular attention to the sand and materials strewn across the beach. The installations this year will also be a catalyst for change: We would like to see less waste and more re-use. Designers should consider how their materials can be repurposed and recycled; we are excited to see proposals that evolve into future iterations, as on-going research and design projects."
The Winter Stations map

See more of the Winter Stations after the jump.

Monday, February 20, 2017

NASCAR Pinty's Series 2017 Schedule

Canada's national stockcar racing starts up again with the Castrol Presents the Victoria Day Speedfest at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park May 19-21. A fireworks display happens Saturday evening at the track. See more of Toronto racing and car shows on my blog post here.
NASCAR Home Tracks has 13 races scheduled through to September 16 at Kawartha Speedway. Here are the individual race dates and their respective tracks.

May 21 NPS CTMP 5/21/17
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Jun 3 NPS Delaware 6/3/17
Delaware Speedway

Jun 17 NPS Chaudiere 6/17/17
Autodrome Chaudiere

Jul 8 NPS ICAR 7/8/17
Circuit ICAR

Jul 15 NPS Toronto 7/15/17 at the Honda Indy Toronto
Toronto Exhibition Place

Jul 26 NPS Saskatoon 1 7/26/17
Wyant Group Raceway

Jul 26 NPS Saskatoon 2 7/26/17
Wyant Group Raceway

Jul 29 NPS Edmonton 7/29/17
Edmonton International Raceway

Aug 13 NPS Trois-Rivieres 8/13/17
Circuit de Trois-Rivieres

Aug 19 NPS Riverside 8/19/17
Riverside International Speedway

Sep 3 NPS CTMP 9/3/17
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Sep 9 NPS St-Eustache 9/9/17
Autodrome St-Eustache

Sep 16 NPS Kawartha 9/16/17
Kawartha Speedway

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Motorcycle Show Toronto 2017

The Trials Demonstration and Stunt Show in the feature hall at Enercare Centre was an exciting feature at the Toronto stop of the seven-city national motorcycle series. Hall-of-Famer rider Jordan Szoke and Canadian rider Craig Latimer (photo at top) perform tricks in front of large crowds throughout the Feb 17-19, 2017 Dalton Timmis Insurance presented event located in Exhibition Place.

Top brands showcased their new models and products for the two and three wheeled vehicles with over 500 machines from Aprilia, BMW Motorrad, Can-Am BRP, Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Honda, Husqvarna, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, Polaris, Suzuki, Triumph, Vespa, Victory, Yamaha and others.
Ducati Motorcycles

"This is the 30th edition of Ontario's biggest motorcycle manufacturers' show, and much like the auto show, will showcase the industry's latest technical innovations for motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides and scooters, along with riding gear, accessories and travel destinations. In addition to the more than 500 bikes on display, there will be thrilling stunt shows, beginner riding lessons for children, a special night for female riders, and draws to win a new motorcycle and a European riding vacation."
 New riders seem to be starting younger and younger
Attendees were able to pick up some good deals

See more pictures after the jump.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

SLOAN at Toronto Festival of Beer 2017

#TFOB2017 will bring sweet, sweet beer and an amazing roster of entertainment to the much anticipated summer event at Exhibition Place. Joining the musical lineup is the 4-man rock band Sloan, a Juno award winning group that will take the stage as headliners on Saturday, July 29. The band has been together for 25 years and recently been named as one of the top five bands in Canada by a CBC critics poll.

"We are very excited to have Sloan play TFOB 2017," said Les Murray, President of Toronto's Festival of Beer, "The Saturday of the festival has always been the most talked about day of that weekend because the atmosphere can't be compared to anything else and this year is gearing up to be another big one. It's a day and performance that you won't want to miss!"

Once again Bandshell Park will host the festivities from July 28-30 and it will be even more special this year with a celebration of Canada's 150th birthday. The festival, presented by the Beer Store, will feature a 100,000 square foot pavilion where visitors can explore over 300 of the best beer brands and culinary treats from Canada and around the world along with musical acts from our great country. Sloan is the first of the headline acts to be announced for each day of the festival.

Tickets are on sale online now (ages 19+) and there is a reason they sell out in advance - so buy your tickets early. You can also Hoptimize your ticket for an additional $12 to get extra sample tokens and early access.

As a warm up to the summer TFOB there is also the May two-four holiday weekend Spring Sessions at Fort York. Taking place May 20-21 where "a hand-picked selection of food purveyors and breweries will set up shop inside Fort York Garrison Common for Toronto’s Festival of Beer Spring Sessions. Expect all the amenities of a cottage in the heart of the city, as this legendary event returns to its roots for a glorious May long weekend celebration of the Golden Beverage! Tickets will go on sale in March 2017, so stay tuned!"

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Winter is warming up in Toronto

Weather experts said that Ontario was in for a traditional winter season and booyah they were wrong. Although they were partially right for December 2016, so far in 2017 it has been primo. Not a lot of snow and warmer than I could believe. And to celebrate Toronto starts to wake up from its winter slumber.
The rest of February and March have a lot of shows and events coming to town. The Toronto Black Film Festival starts on Feb 15, Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival will start playing soon while Fishing, cars, the Motorcycle Show Toronto and the Outdoor Adventure Show are some of the great events finishing off the grey month of February.

And then, wow, we start off the third month of the year knowing that Spring officially starts March 20th and bang, it starts off with Sexapalooza March 3 (photo at top). "Looking for something new? Interesting? Maybe a little risque? Come to Sexapalooza this weekend in Toronto for all of that and more. Take in a few seminars or take part in a workshop. Stop by and play in the dungeon. When you're ready, head on over to the Main Stage with a drink in hand to take in the sinful sights. Ask our knowledgeable exhibitors how to revamp your love life with new products and bedroom tricks. Everything you are hoping for and more at Sexapalooza Toronto 2017!" The same weekend will feature the Monster Energy Supercross at Rogers Centre.

One week later the epic Toronto Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo starts March 10. Another fave is the Spring Toronto Comicon busting out the cosplay March 17-19.

Find more events on my Toronto things to do post for March and April 2017.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

@OutdoorAdvShow Toronto 2017 Ticket Contest

Update: Congrats to Lina L, winner of the second draw!

Want to check out the Outdoor Adventure Show this February 24-26 at the International Centre? Enter for a chance to win a family pack of four tickets to the annual exhibition which features over 300 displays of camping gear, paddle sports, scuba gear, ultimate travel destinations, adventure presentations and much more. This is my second draw so everyone entered in the first draw (except the previous winner) is automatically included in this draw. There are a number of ways you can enter, just do one of the following: comment on this blog post, send me an email (jmhcet@gmail.com) or retweet this twitter post (https://twitter.com/jmhcet/status/830515832790859778) this weekend. I will make the draw on Monday, February 13 so good luck everyone.

Visiting Paddlers Paradise and Scuba World will make you eager for spring to return to the Ontario or decide to escape the winter and head out to an exotic destination like Barbados or the Cayman Islands.

"Are you a paddling enthusiast? If so, you can’t afford to miss the Paddlers’ Paradise Pavilion with everything from cutting edge equipment and gear, clothing and accessories, to tour operators, and education for a full range of paddle sports. Paddling legends and experts will be sharing their unforgettable paddle trips, tips and must hear paddle adventure stories on the Paddling Stage. Canoe, Kayak and SUP demonstrations will take place all weekend, in our interactive 30′ x 50′ heated pool located in the heart of the Paddlers’ Paradise Pavilion. Watch the experts and learn some new maneuvers and techniques for safety and fun! Some techniques on display include: kayaking rolling & skills, SUP Yoga and more."

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The 2017 JUNO Award Nominations

Drake, Shawn Mendes and the Weekend each have five @JUNOAwards nominations for this year's 46th annual award ceremony which will be held in Ottawa March 27 till April 2. The live broadcast of the ceremony at Ottawa's Canadian Tire Centre will be on CTV and CTV GO on Sunday, April 2. You can vote for the JUNO Fan Choice presented by TD at their website. Performers for the CTV Broadcast will be singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes, the electronic group A Tribe Called Red, singer-songwriter Alessia Cara, contemporary storyteller Ruth B and the alt-folk indie group The Strumbellas.

Other top nominees included Alessia Cara, the late Leonard Cohen, A Tribe Called Red and Belly. Nominations were also made for Hedley and Justin Bieber. The JUNOs are part of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) development and promotion of Canadian artists. The major awards are for JUNO Fan Choice, Album of the Year (sponsered by Music Canada), Pop Album of the Year (sponsored by TD), Songwriter of the Year (Presented by SOCAN), Video of the Year (sponsored by MuchFACT) and Breakthrough Artist of the Year (sponsored by FACTOR, the Government of Canada, Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters, and Radio Starmaker Fund).

During the 2017 JUNO Awards singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan from Halifax, Nova Scotia, pictured at top by Kharen Hill, will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The multi-platinum, JUNO, Grammy and the Billboard Music award winning artist joins other Music Hall of Fame stars like Burton Cummings, Alanis Morissette and Ann Murray. The Canadian Music Hall of Fame is located in Studio Bell at the National Music Centre in Calgary, Alberta and was created to honour artists that make an outstanding contribution to Canadian music.

"I’m so honoured to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. This comes as a complete sweet surprise as I still feel like I’m just getting started," said McLachlan. "I’m truly blessed to be in such incredible company with all of the amazing past honourees."

Sarah created Lilith Fair in 1997 which raised over $7 million for women's charities during the three year North American Tour and she also helps with animal welfare, disaster relief, cancer and HIV/AIDS research as well as offering free music education to at-risk children and youth. In 2015 the singer received the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards for Lifetime Achievement which joins a long list of honours and awards she has accepted.

"Sarah McLachlan is one of this country’s most beloved artists. From the moment we first heard her sing, nearly 30 years ago, we were captivated by the beauty of her voice and words." said Allan Reid, President & CEO CARAS/The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts. "She is a unique artist who is respected the world over, and she continues to inspire a new generation of artists. Sarah is a trailblazer for women in this industry, not only because of her music, but also because of her philanthropic endeavours and her belief in music education. We are honoured to welcome her into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame."

Buffy Sainte-Marie. Photo by Matt Barnes

Also being honoured during the 2017 JUNOs is Canadian artist and social activist Buffy Sainte-Marie, born on the Piapot Plains Cree First Nation Reserve in Saskatchewan, with an Outstanding Humanitarian Award. The Allan Waters Humanitarian Award presentation will be on Saturday, April 1 at the JUNO Gala Dinner and Awards presented by SOCAN at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa. Buffy has won an Academy Award, JUNO Awards, a Golden Globe and many other prestigious awards as well as being in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and Canada's Walk of Fame.

“I've had some great partners in mobilizing my ideas in art, education and technology, especially the W.K. Kellogg Foundation who taught me that there's a difference between an administrator and a visionary. Both are important but visionaries are seldom pushy in that business way that administrators learn; and visionaries don't think in corporate pecking order terms so often get squashed out in normal business systems,” said Sainte-Marie. “I've been lucky enough to work in both worlds, and although my timing has sometimes been off and gotten my big mouth into trouble, other times, with the help of other people, I've been effective beyond my expectations. So I thank all my colleagues in and out of the music business for helping put my songs to work.”

“It’s our privilege to present the legendary Buffy Sainte-Marie with the 2017 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award,” said Randy Lennox, President, Broadcasting and Content, Bell Media. “Her dedication to improving the lives of Indigenous people is truly humbling. We look forward to celebrating this iconic artist and her inspiring philanthropic work at this year’s JUNO Awards.”
And the top 10 finalists for the annual Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class were announced earlier in 2016. The Class is a development program for emerging Canadian artist and the finalists advanced to the 2017 Super Jury of JUNO alumni (Lights, Kardinal Offishall, Max Kerman, Gavin Brown, Ali Slaight and Allan Reid) which picked three winners: Neon Dreams, The Lytics, and Youngblood. The original field of ten finalists were as follows.

1. AHI: Brampton, ON (@AHImusic)
2. Craig Stickland: Toronto, ON (@craigstickland)
3. Hillsburn: Halifax, NS (@hillsburnband)
4. Jordan Hart: Edmonton, AB (@jordanhartsound)
5. Neon Dreams: Halifax, NS (@OurNeonDreams)
6. Port Cities: Sydney/Cape Breton, NS (@port_cities)
7. REPARTEE: St. John’s, NL (@reparteemusic)
8. The Lytics: Winnipeg, MB (@thelytics)
9. Wild Rivers: Toronto, ON (@wildriversmusic)
10. Youngblood: Vancouver, BC (@youryoungblood)

Tickets start at $59 at the Canadian Tire Centre Box Office or through ticketmaster.ca and money from each ticket is donated to the non-profit MusiCounts which provides youth access to musical instruments. "THE 2017 JUNO AWARDS is produced b Sciences (CARAS). Executive Producers are John Brunton and Barbara Bowlby for Insight Productions, Allan Reid and Mark Cohon for CARAS, and Randy Lennox for Bell Media. Lindsay Cox is Executive Producer and Supervising Producer, Insight Productions. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. Mike Cosentino is Senior Vice-President, CTV and Specialty, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Broadcasting and Content, Bell Media."

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