Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival 2018

The Grand Parade is on Saturday, August 4, 2018. Summer's month long celebration of Caribbean music, food and fun, featuring costumes that are works of colourful art that rival the beauty of the dancers, is quickly coming to an exciting conclusion. This is the 51st anniversary of the festival and this year will see more of everything including floats, music and celebrities with a theme of "Canada's Celebration of Freedom and Diversity".  The parade lasts from 8:30am to 8:30pm and winds through and around Exhibition Place. Costs for tickets is from $20 to $200.

Performers, singers, pannists and calypsonians will bring the music and dancing of the islands to the streets of Toronto with Calypso, Soca, Salsa, Zouk, Reggae, Chutney, Steel Pan and Brass Bands.

From the Carnival's website "Go big. Really big! The Grand Parade is the largest event of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival. This event continues to attract local, regional, national, and international attention by visitors and media. It is the highlight of the annual Festival. After months of preparation, masqueraders in colourful and striking costumes and steel pan bands wind their way from Exhibition Place moving east along Lakeshore Boulevard and returning to Exhibition Place. The road becomes the stage for the masqueraders and steelpan performers. It truly is something you can’t miss."

General Admission tickets provides entrance to Exhibition Place where you can watch from bleachers or bring in your own folding chairs. VIP tickets offers the best views from Princes Boulevard (the judging area) and includes Caribbean food and non-alcoholic beverages. There are also licensed tents for purchase of adult beverages.

These photos are from the 2018 launch held at Toronto City Hall. You can also see more of the photos on my post here.

See more mas costumes after the jump.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Tepkik at Brookfield Place

Toronto’s home for long art installations welcomes the suspended sculptural work depicting the Milky Way by Nova Scotia artist Jordan Bennett. Hanging in the Allen Lambert Galleria from July 30 till August 24, 2018.

From Brookfield’s website; Jordan’s art installation is “a contemporary reflection of a traditional Mi’kmaq petroglyph, depicting the Milky Way, which has been found on the rocky shores of the lakes and rivers at Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia. The piece is composed of visual elements rooted in Mi’kmaq visual culture of Mi’kmaki (Traditional Mi’kmaq Territory). These depictions of the land, the sky, our galaxy, and the universe as represented through legends and stories are presented through my own lens and historical understandings of traditional Mi’kmaq quillwork patterns and motifs. This new work employs the use of printed fabric as well as reflective vinyl on aluminum such as is used for common road signs. Contemporary road signs tell of a place, a marker, a law or direction. Mi’kmaq visual culture is created through porcupine quillwork, clothing, baskets, canoes and other objects that also hold official signifiers of laws, places, cultural markers and direction. The use of these contemporary materials in combination with Mi’kmaq design will call to attention that our visual designs and motifs embedded with knowledge, are also our signs and stories. They are the voices of our ancestors and elements of our laws which we try to understand and follow. This artwork will create a visual link to Mi’kmaq ways of being and understandings of our known universe and our place in it by presenting a visual conversation exploring Mi’kmaq creation stories. The work titled Tepkik, the Mi’kmaq word for Night reflects on the time of day in which we can visually see our place in the galaxy most clearly, this work brings the stars and stories of our galaxy into view at any time of day.”

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Toronto Festival of Beer 2018

#Beerlove's last day of 2018 is happening today and the taps will flow and the music will play as the celebration of beer finishes with bands like Finger Eleven and I Mother Earth. General admission starts at 1:30pm and last call is at 7:30pm on Sunday, July 29, 2018. We bought our first set of tokens (20 for $20) and our first stop was Toronto's Mill Street Brewery.
The atmosphere here is as great as the weather. Funktown's DJ pumps out the jams near the south fountain and live bands have started on the bandshell stage. The bandshell lineup for Sunday, July 29: Brothers of North (2:30pm), Stuck on Planet Earth (3:30pm), Finger Eleven (4:30pm) and I Mother Earth (6:15pm). The 2018 festival also featured bands Broken Social Scene, The Rural Alberta Advantage and The Darcys on Thursday, Ludacris on Friday, Dwayne Gretzky on Saturday.
Creemore Springs

TFOB brings an incredible selection of 416 brews to Exhibition Place for a 416 in the 416, or for some, the Six. You can also find a great selection of culinary choices from food trucks and vendor stalls, paying for the food is easy because you can use your tokens. The Ted Reader pulled pork sandwiches were so good at a very reasonable festival cost of $10 each, he brings the barbecue to life and he is also on site much of the time. Food choices include: La Palma, Campagnolo, Fidel Gastro's, Tiny Tom Donuts, Queen Margherita Pizza,Smoke's Poutinerie, South St. Burger, Jerk Brothers, Ted's World Famous BBQ, Ted's Beer Dogs, Heirloom Toronto, Melt Grilled Cheese, Ontario Corn Roasters, Oyster Boy, Hot Bunzz Street Cuizine, Brando's Fried Chicken.

“Not only will Toronto’s Festival of Beer serve up everyone’s favourite golden beverage, it will also have delicious food options for fans to enjoy!” said Les Murray, President of Beerlicious and Toronto’s Festival of Beer. “We are very fortunate to have such high-quality food vendors at this year’s festival which is why we are encouraging fans and foodies to grab their tickets now, while supplies last!”
Birthday girl with beer goggles
Beerfest at the bandshell
Kevin with the pink elephant 
Coors Light
Viking strong 
It's Miller time

We came early because I love small lineups but the crowds at the park and the energy level continue to climb.

"Toronto's Festival of Beer will also host a number of fantastic beer attractions this year, which include: New Brews presented by TekSavvy and TFOB Spotlights on: Women In Beer; Phillips Brewing from Victoria, BC; and Funk Town."

And the party continues after the jump.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

#Importfest Bikini Contest 2018

Bikini competitors took to the stage for the BMW True North contest happening at Importfest on Saturday, July 28, 2018. The contest started a little after 6:00pm and with the help of the audience the ladies were narrowed down to the top three finalists. See the rest of the show on my post here.

See more of the bikini competition after the jump.

Importfest 2018

Music is blasting in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre during Canada's largest after-market automotive trade show. The annual, one-day only car show is on Saturday, July 28, 2018 from 11:00am to 10:00pm in the north building. From the Importfest website "Come see hundreds of modified vehicles from “Top Tuners” across Canada and the USA as they go head to head in a competition of style, cool design and engineering. Over $5000 in cash and awards to be won!"

It's got plenty of tuner cars and girls, girls, girls with a bikini contest starting at 6:00pm on the main stage. DJ Ritz is spinning records as car judging is ongoing in the hall until the BMW True North bikini contest takes over the stage. See my photos of the bikini contest on my post here.
Importfest 2018 Bikini Contest
Fans are lined up to meet Dannie
There are a few celebrities here for fan meet and greets and photo opportunities, including cover model Dannie Riel at the Importfest performance booth.

Come back as I add more photos to this post.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Into the magical forest at Winter Wheat

The Lake Erie area is a treasure trove of beautiful towns, beaches and attractions and one of our favourites is the "quirky and whimsical" forest setting of Winter Wheat. Full of interesting metal and folk art spread throughout the tall trees surrounded by farms, which right now are full of summer wheat type plants, the trails wandering through the fairy woods lead to the installations and places to sit in peace and enjoy the beauty of the spot.
The bird playing the piano remains my favourite piece
You can also visit the country store and buy some of the pieces which are for sale. We of course expand our collection of metal art almost every time we drop by, this time we purchased a spinning spoon windmill piece.

Exploration and parking are free, although donations are kindly sought to support the upkeep and expansion of their installations. Located in Sparta, close to Port Bruce, on Quaker Road in Southwest Ontario.

See more of the property after the jump.

#TorontoStrong Fundraiser at TFOB July 26

The Toronto Festival of Beer will donate the entire proceeds from the $25 dollar ticket offer for the Thursday, July 26, 2018 session to support the people impacted by the Danforth tragedy. The festival is held in Exhibition Place at Bandshell Park. Here is their press release.

"Toronto’s Festival of Beer presented by the Beer Store along with Broken Social Scene and friends are raising funds for the individuals and families affected by this week’s tragedy that happened in Toronto’s popular Danforth neighbourhood.

Toronto’s Festival of Beer is offering 100% of the proceeds raised for a new ticket for TFOB Thursday called the #TorontoStrong Special Ticket Offer. This ticket offers General Admission access for just $25 + HST and includes no service fees.

Toronto’s Festival of Beer is committed to donating the revenue generated from this ticket to help the families directly affected by this horrible tragedy with hopes to help them move forward with their lives. Please stand with them in supporting those affected and help them get through this difficult time."

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Burlington Food Truck Festival

40 food trucks circled Spencer Smith Park for 3 days of music, fun and lots of culinary choices. Burlington's waterfront also features a children's midway and cold beer from July 20 to 22, 2018.

Ann and I started in Hamilton and biked their magnificent multi-use path towards Burlington's less than spectacular path along the way we were distracted by Great Lake steamers moving into and out of Hamilton Bay. Arriving at the Food Truck Festival we checked out the free midway and entered the fenced in festival area, also free with voluntary donation to Sick Kids Hospital.

It was hard to choose which food truck to visit as there were so many but we finally settled on some delightful perogies and enjoyed the band playing on the stage.
Troy Smith

We tried to bike further along Burlington's lake front but the trail ends just past the wharf at the end of Brant Street. So we dropped into a former Brampton Keg friend from the past - Troy Smith, who owns the cheese, charcuterie and pantry shop called THE BLOCK CO at 395 John Street, Burlington.

See more of our fun day along the edge of Lake Ontario after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square