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ON THE LAKE

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BORN TO BE WILD

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contributors

MARIANA BOCK AROVA Mariana Bockarova is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto, where she teaches Psychological Resiliency, the Science of Happiness, and the Psychology of Relationships. Her research explores narrative medicine and mental health. She also holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University concentrated in Psychology.

EVAN SAVIOLIDIS

JILL THAM Convinced she would have made a better teen in the 80s instead of the 90s, Jill’s passion for writing came after seeing the movie Stand by Me. When Jill is not moonlighting as a freelance writer, she is an Elementary teacher juggling her three children. Along with being a regular contributor to Today Magazine, Jill’s articles have been featured in Canadian Running, Pedal, Allergic Living and @OECTA. jilltham.wordpress.com @JillBT

LYNN OGRYZLO

Evan Saviolidis is a Wine Tasting Challenge Grand Champion, Journalist for Canada’s largest wine magazine: Quench, Instructor for The Canadian Association of Professional Sommelier, and teaches wine appreciation courses in Niagara at WineSavvy. For complete information, please visit evanwinesavvy.com.

Lynn is a food, wine and travel writer, author of three international award-winning cookbooks and regular contributor to REV Publications. Lynn specializes in culinary tourism covering regional cuisine destinations, slow food, culinary holidays, wine, spirits and “la dolca vita”. She can be reached for questions or comments at lynnogryzlo.com.

GABRIELLE TIEMAN Gabrielle is a writer with REV Publishing and holds a passion for covering travel and event pieces. She is always up for an adventure and loves meeting new people but also maintains close relationships with her Keurig and bicycle. Her favorite time of year is scarf season and she has easily watched the movie Armageddon 200 times. You should follow her @ gabrielletieman

ANDREA K AISER Andrea Kaiser grew up in Niagara, and is no stranger to the Ontario wine industry. You could say she was born into a life of food and wine and now shares this passion for Niagara Flavours through her writing, teaching and work. Well, we will call it work for lack of a better word. TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 5


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notes from the

EDITOR W

elcome to our beautiful region of the world, and welcome to the winter edition of Niagara On The Lake. My favourite thing to do when I visit a new city, is to hit the ground running. Explore everything! Down alleyways, around corners, up stairs…if it looks intriguing, I’m investigating it. And even though I live in Niagara, I’m still finding new places to explore. There’s always something new opening up, or somewhere old that I’ve only just heard of. If your idea of fun is the same as mine, check out some unique Niagara experiences (page 22 & 24). Another of my favourite things to do when I’m travelling is to learn about the history of a place. I’m not talking boring facts and figures, but real anecdotes about the people who have lived, loved and died in a place. Check out page 28 for an account of the darker side of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Winter is a pretty beautiful time of the year here, and sure, it’s cold, but don’t let that stop you from experiencing all that Niagara has to offer. Enjoy your vacation, and have a great winter season!

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 7


ONTENT

PUBLISHER Rev Publishing Inc. PRESIDENT & CEO Daniel A. Pasco GENERAL MANAGER Candace LeBlanc ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER Alexandra Mills BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER David Mace EDITOR Megan Pasche CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tina Lanzillotta GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Tabitha MacDonald, Rachel Bertrand, Christina Picton, Jenn Blais IT/WEB DEVELOPER Justin Soungie MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Kaila Henderson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lynn Ogryzlo, Evan Saviolidis, Gabrielle Tieman, Andrea Kaiser, Mariana Bockarova, Jill Tham TO ADVERTISE PLEASE CALL 905.356.7283 or 1.877.888.2825 WEBSITE todaymagazine.ca

facebook.com/RevPublishingInc @revpublishing www.revpublishing.com Niagara on the Lake by Today Magazine is published by Rev Publishing Inc. All opinions expressed in Niagara on the Lake by Today Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Niagara on the Lake by Today Magazine, it’s employees or owners. Reasonable care is taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine is as up-to-date and accurate as possible, as of the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken by Niagara on the Lake by Today Magazine for any errors, omissions or comments made by writers or interviewees that are contained herein. Furthermore, responsibility for any losses, damages or distress resulting from adherence to any information made available through this magazine is not the responsibility of Niagara on the Lake by Today Magazine. All unsolicited manuscripts and/or photographs submitted are assumed to be intended for publication or republication in whole or in part. The right to alter, edit or refuse photos and/or manuscripts intended for publication is assumed. All unsolicited material submitted to Niagara on the Lake by Today Magazine are submitted at the author’s risk. Manuscripts and or photographs intended to be returned must be accompanied by sufficient postage. Niagara on the Lake by Today Magazine does not assume any responsibility for any claims of our advertisers and reserves the right to refuse any advertising.


LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

FOOD & DRINK 12

BAKING WITH THE MESSY BAKER

15

EVAN’S WINE RATINGS

20

22

SPAS OF NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE

38

FUN FACTS

42

BORN TO BE WILD

50

THE LONG DARK HISTORY OF THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS

Lynn Ogryzlo spends an afternoon in the kitchen with Charmian Christie.

If you are looking for the perfect wine to pair with dinner or a great gift for somebody, wine tasting grand champion Evan Saviolidis has broken down what wines work with what and why.

THE YIN & THE YANG

Like bread is to butter, milk is to cookies and chips are to dip, in the world of food pairings there are those that, well, are simply just right.

TEA CULTURE

Here in Niagara, it’s not difficult to find a wealth of Afternoon Tea experiences that range from Victoria Tea service to a simple country tea.

ABOUT TOWN 24

A BOUQUET OF EXPERIENCES

28

THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIAGARA NIGHT

Celebrating mind, body and spirit, Niagara-on-theLake presents on oasis of world class spa destinations designed to help slow down life and soothe your senses while helping you sparkle from head to toe. About Niagara’s most historic town.

Internationally acclaimed artist Edward Spera has an incredible gift; utilizing his artistic talents to create paintings that share his journeys into the wild.

A look back at what is now a staple in every woman’s closet.

HERE. SEE. DO 54

EMBRACE WINTER

58

EVENT LISTINGS

With the Niagara Icewine Festival.

Special Section 61 DESTINATION PROFILE

Things to see and do in Western New York.

These Niagara wineries offer a plethora of experiences and insight into Niagara’s favourite beverage.

Taking a ghost tour is the perfect opportunity to hear some of the more interesting tales of a city’s past; stories never told on a regular walking tour.

30

34

ON THIS PAGE

MORNING WATER – GREAT EGRET

CINEMATIC HIGHLIGHTS

The annual and much anticipated Shaw Festival Film Series gets underway once again this December, showcasing not only several feature films, but also six different documentaries.

by Edward Spera See page42

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LesPalenik / Shutterstock.com

WELCOME TO NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE Welcome to historic Niagara-on-the-Lake, a town of many firsts. In 1792, LieutenantGovernor Sir John Graves Simcoe opened the first provincial parliament, making our community the first capital of Upper Canada. In the years to follow, we became home to the first newspaper published in Ontario, the Gazette; the first Law Society of Upper Canada; and the first circulating library. Our history is very important to us and we greatly value its significance, as do the millions of people who visit our community each year. We are delighted you are one of them. In addition to our heritage, Niagara-onthe-Lake offers year-round attractions for those seeking a special getaway. From our quaint shops and art galleries in Old Town, to our world-class wineries, restaurants and visitor accommodations, there is something for everyone. During the winter months, we encourage you to take part in some of our local events, including the Icewine Festival; Shop,

Sip, Sample and Savour; and Fabulicious. Also be sure to visit the Outlet Collection at Niagara, Canada’s largest outdoor shopping centre, featuring over 100 high-end retailers and a food pavilion. And join us in the spring and summer months for even more attractions, including the internationally-acclaimed Shaw Festival Theatre. We take pride in our many visitor attractions, historical sites, natural trails, and heritage architecture, and hope you will experience the best we have to offer. Enjoy your stay, and we look forward to welcoming you again sometime. Best wishes,

Pat Darte Lord Mayor


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THE

MESSY

BAKER … is not so messy after all WRITTEN BY LYNN OGRYZLO | PHOTOS BY JON OGRYZLO

Mason jars filled with baking supplies line the shelves. She pulls one filled with white powder laced with long slivers of black and shakes vigorously, spins off the top and dives in with as much glee as a banker fanning through a stack of thousand dollar bills. “It’s my vanilla sugar, it just tastes better,” says Charmian Christie, author of my favourite baking book, The Messy Baker. Charmian lives in a beautiful, 100-year old farmhouse in Guelph. Her kitchen is filled with yellow-pine cupboards, flooded with soft light from the multi-paned windows and infused with a sense of peace from giant trees shading the kitchen from glaring sunlight. It’s a kitchen that would inspire anyone to bake and here I am, invited to spend a day baking with the Messy Baker in her century-old, inspiring kitchen. If I were to write a cookbook about baking, I’d like to think I could write one as good as this. The recipes are simple enough to keep you relaxed in the kitchen with flavour combinations so creative they make your mouth water, seductive photographs that stir you into action and it’s crammed with so much of Charmian’s personality that it makes you feel like she’s with you baking in your kitchen.

Charmian pours some vanilla sugar over a twisted knot of dough; it’s her homemade pastry. She begins to roll it out. The chilled dough layered with cold, hard butter flattens easily beneath her rolling pin. It’s easy to see who’s in command. “I thought I’d make Palmiers,” she says as she feels the top of the sheet of pastry every so often, gauging the thickness like a medium studying her crystal ball. Like any other skill, “you have to practice to get good at it.” She’s making Vanilla-Scented Palmiers from her cookbook, the little ears of flaky, sweet pastry. She continues to sprinkle handfuls of vanilla sugar over the dough and roll. She shakes her foot as some of it falls to the floor. She laughs, talking about some of her baking disasters then shrugs her shoulders and says, “life is not perfect, baking is not perfect but they’re both pretty good.” When the pastry is ready, she pours more sugar over the top, running her hands over, ever so lightly to make sure it’s coated evenly. She flips the dough over and does it again until the raw dough is covered in coarse vanilla-scented sugar. Like any good baker, she’s anxious for the flavours that will materialize when the pastry and sugar bake together and she can’t wait, “I love the caramel flavour from all the baked sugar.”


FOOD & DRINK

LIFE IS NOT PERFECT, BAKING IS NOT PERFECT, BUT THEY’RE BOTH pret ty good.

She trims the edges to carve a perfect rectangle shape on her large pastry board. “It’s my lucky pastry board, it was my aunt Hilda’s and now it’s mine.” She folds the pastry into a long log shape, wraps it in plastic wrap and spins around to put it in the refrigerator. It needs to chill again. The little trimmed bits go into a sandwich bag, “these are the bakers treats,” she says with glee. The Messy Baker cookbook is filled with both sweet and savoury baking, it’s for people who cook and would like to bake if only someone made it easy enough or fearless enough. “I tried to remove as many barriers to baking as possible.” Inside the book are recipes for Chili Cheese Twists and Blueberry-Lime Muffins, Smoky Mushroom Crepes and Boozy Chocolate Torte. “It’s important to make food yourself, (that way) you control what’s in it.” She begins to clear away all the sugar and wipes down the board. Out of the refrigerator comes another knot of dough that she flattens with ease. She’s now making a leek and mushroom tart. “You can buy the puff pastry dough if you want, just make sure it’s an ‘all butter’ puff pastry. It cooks up with the best flavour,” she advises. Back to the board, Charmian is rolling the dough into another rectangular shape. She trims it to perfection, maneuvers the soft dough onto her rolling pin and maneuvers it to the centre of a parchment paper lined baking sheet. She scores the edge, about an inch all the way around. “This edge will puff up creating sides to the tart.” She pops it into the refrigerator to chill and she turns her attention to the stove. In a large skillet she melts a huge knob of butter and microplanes a garlic clove. The garlic pulp dissolves into the frothing butter and fills the air with the seductive aromas of butter and garlic. Now we’re getting hungry. As it bubbles away, in go the leeks and mushrooms and they cook until they’re both soft and firm. She seasons them with thyme, stirs one last time and tosses them into a large strainer that hovers inside an even larger bowl. She’s draining the mushrooms and leeks, “so they don’t turn the dough soggy.” “If you want to switch the vegetables up for others that you like better, go ahead” Charmian talks while she wipes down the counters, “the toppings are up to your imagination, it’s the dough that you don’t want to mess with.” Charmian doesn’t remember when she first fell in love with baking, she thinks perhaps she was born with a wooden spoon in her mouth except for Charmian, the spoon was covered with cookie dough; “chocolate chip,” she declares. Some of her earliest memories were of her mom making cookies and giving her the wooden spoon to lick clean. Sadly her mom was such a good baker that the bowl was almost completely cleaned out by the time Charmian had finished the spoon and set her sights on the bowl. When she was old enough, Charmian would come home from school and bake up a batch of cookies almost every day. “I love chewy cookies, the kind that have a chewy bite. I think that’s why I love cookie dough so much,” she says, “food is memories and my fondest are of my mom and I in the kitchen baking.” The tart shell comes out of the refrigerator. She begins to top the dough with heaping spoonfuls of the mushroom and leek mixture, careful not to place any over the score line. “Think of it as colouring inside the lines,” she laughs, the edges will become the puffy sides to the tart. Lastly she grates a thick coating of Gruyere cheese over the tart before popping it back into the oven.

Now comes the best part of baking: the eating. We dig into the tart and the warm cheese strings as a piece is pulled away. I sink my teeth into it and the rich savoury flavours of the earthy cheese, meaty mushrooms, sweet leeks and crisp buttery dough fill my olfactory senses with divine satisfaction. I sip on my warm mint tea and set my sights on the vanilla-scented palmiers. They’re little, the perfect size for a sweet treat. The caramelized sugar has cooled and it crunches beneath my teeth as the fine, layered pastry crumbles into buttery shards. As I chew I get that big caramelly, sweet taste that creams across my tongue and works so seductively well with the buttery, flaky dough. This is simple food, good food, food to live by. As I bask in the aromas and daylight that is Charmian’s kitchen, it appears pretty neat and tidy, certainly very clean for the amount of activity that just went on. For the messy baker I imagined a face covered in streaks of flour, open jars and canisters of baking ingredients littering every counter and smears of food from the various stages of cooking across every counter, stovetop and cupboard door. But rather than being a messy baker, Charmian is really giving everyone who has ever hesitated to bake, permission to ‘get messy in the kitchen’. TM

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BY EVAN SAVIOLIDIS

W

ine Tasting Grand Champion, Evan Saviolidis has over 30 years of experience in the food and wine industry, and here he rates some of the best wines in the Niagara area. If you are looking for the perfect wine to pair with dinner or a great gift for somebody, read on for a breakdown of what wines work with what and why. >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 15


92

95–100 . . . . . . OUTSTANDING 90–94 . . . . . . . EXCELLENT 85–89 . . . . . . . VERY GOOD 80–84 . . . . . . . GOOD 75–79 . . . . . . . DRINKABLE 74 & UNDER . . BELOW AVERAGE

HENRY OF PELHAM SPECK FAMILY RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2013 WHITE SHORT HILLS BENCH | $29.95 Made from yields of two tonnes per acre and fermented in French oak, this beauty is elegant and concentrated. It reveals a multi-dimensional personality of toast, honey, apple, sweet peach, pineapple, banana, hazelnut, mineral and caper berry. Lobster or crab served with warm butter was made for this wine. (ES)

91

WHITE

COYOTE’S RUN RARE VINTAGE CHARDONNAY 2014 FOUR MILE CREEK | $24.95

If you are a lover of great Chardonnay, this is one that should not be missed. Medium to full-bodied, it is ripe with peach, cream, baked apple, pineapple, spice and lilac on the nose. On the palate, cream, vanilla, banana and minerals add dimension. Long finish, fresh acid and superb length make for a brilliant pairing with lobster or poultry. (ES)

91

WHITE

HIDDEN BENCH CHARDONNAY FELSECK VINEYARD 2012 BEAMSVILLE BENCH | $38

A pale gold colour leads into aromas of peach, orange rind, vanilla cream, banana, red apple, oregano and spice. Concentrated, ripe and elegant, the palete shows more spice and cream, with sound acidity framing everything quite nicely. (ES)

91

WHITE

CHARLES BAKER RIESLING IVAN VINEYARD 2014 TWENTY MILE BENCH | $27

Charles Baker continues to produce some of Niagara’s most profound Rieslings. This vintage is leaner but still possesses great persistency. Pale straw with a green tinge, the bergamot, white peach, lime zest, honey and lilac on the nose meet up with apple, pear and huge minerality on the palate. Long finish with zesty acid and slightly off-dry. I dream about Choucroute Garnie with this beauty! (ES)

90

SOUTHBROOK ESTATE GROWN SMALL LOT WILD FERMENT CHARDONNAY 2012 WHITE FOUR MILE CREEK | $34.95 Only seven barrels of this impressive Chardonnay were produced. A medium golden colour leads into a layered bouquet of coconut, butter cookies, honey, anise, golden apple, Bosc pear and white flower. On the palate, it is all about minerality, citrus, spice, toast and green apple melding with high acidity and a long aftertaste. Pair with grilled salmon topped with a herb cream sauce. (ES)

90

WHITE

COYOTE’S RUN RARE VINTAGE LATE HARVEST PINOT GRIS FOUR MILE CREEK | $24.95

Made in the style of an Alsatian Vendanges Tardives, this Pinot Gris is medium sweet with 50 g/l of residual sugar. That said, the concentration and lowish acidity combine with the sweetness to give the impression of something that is sweeter. Full bodied, there is enormous peach, honey, cream spice, red apple and cream. Drink with a foie gras appetizer or munster (or other wash rind cheeses) after a meal. (ES)


90

WHITE

FLAT ROCK CELLARS RIESLING 2014 TWENTY MILE BENCH | $17.15

Gold Medal winner in the Semi-Dry Riesling category at this year’s Ontario Wine Awards. An explosive bouquet of peach, honey, mandarin, bergamot, lime and mineral beguiles. The crisp acidity is held in check by some residual sugar, but for all intents and purposes, it comes across as a dry wine. All I kept thinking about when drinking this wine was a huge plate of sushi and sashimi. (ES)

Established 1982

Family Estate

90

THIRTY BENCH WINERY SMALL LOT RIESLING TRIANGLE VINEYARD 2013 WHITE BEAMSVILLE BENCH | $30 From a vineyard planted in 1981, comes this redolent Riesling full of bergamot, kaffir lime, white peach, petrol and smokey minerals. The tension between acid and slight residual sugar is beautiful. The long finale will ensure a decade or more of life ahead. Red snapper in a red curry/peanut sauce or chicken satay will be magical with this wine. (ES)

90

WHITE

BIG HEAD WINES CHENIN BLANC 2013 NIAGARA | $22

For me, this is the best Chenin Blanc being made in Ontario. Naturally fermented, the lovely balance between the acidity and sweetness supports the lemon, lime, honey, peach, apple juice, pineapple, honey and minerals. Excellent length. Try with an ashed goat cheese. (ES)

89

WHITE

PALATINE HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC NEUFELD VINEYARD 2014 NIAGARA LAKESHORE | $18

Partially barrel fermented, this Sauvignon Blanc gushes gooseberry, passion fruit, tomato vine, fruit salad, herbs and vanilla on the nose. On the palate, peach, citrus and honey chime in. Long finish with vibrant acidity and a touch of sweetness makes for a superb pairing with crab cakes or pasta primavera topped with feta cheese. (ES)

89

WHITE

WESTCOTT VINEYARDS ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2013 VINEMOUNT RIDGE | $26

Toast, peach, honey, anise, baked apple, pineapple and smoke weave together on the nose in this mid-weight white. The palate reveals a creamy texture with a spine of minerality and great length. Cream based dishes are perfectly suited for this wine. (ES)

88

WHITE

PALATINE HILLS RIESLING 2014 NIAGARA LAKESHORE | $13

If you are a Riesling lover, you should run to pick up this steal of a deal. Peach, lime, honey, bergamot, grapefruit and white flowers inundate the senses. Off-dry with tangy acidity and great length. (ES)

87

WHITE

COLIO LILY SPARKLING WINE NV ONTARIO | $16.95

A new classy label has been created for this stalwart Ontario bubbly. Winner of a silver medal at this year’s Ontario Wine Awards. Made from 100% Riesling and off-dry, it features baked apple, peach, citrus and minerals. Perfect with spicy appetizers or coconut shrimp. (ES) >>

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94 RED

THE FOREIGN AFFAIR GRAN Q 2010 NIAGARA | $150

The name of this wine is a tip of the hat to the famed Amarone producer Guiseppe Quintarelli, whose wines were the reference point for Len Crispino, when he decided to start the Foreign Affair a decade ago. The grapes for this 17%+ alcohol monster were dried for three months before being pressed. It possesses the texture of syrup, and a sexy profile of plum, dried olives, maraschino cherries, anise, mint, milk chocolate and vanilla. Yes, the price is out of reach for most of us mere mortals, but this is a singular wine, which will continue to evolve for the next 15 to 20 years - and I have never said that about Ontario red before! Serious meditation wine here! (ES)

90 RED

93 RED

STRATUS RED 2012 NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE | $44

Quite possibly the best Stratus Red to date! A saturated ruby colour leads into a complex mix of blackberry, cassis, raspberry, cocoa, coconut, vanilla, violets, mint and pepper/anise. It is concentrated and long lasting with sweet fruit on the mid-palate before the firm, dry tannins make an appearance. Hold for four years and then drink until 2025, preferably with a NY strip. A blend of all three Bordeaux varietals plus a smidge of Tannat. (ES)

91 RED

TRIUS SHOWCASE EAST BLOCK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012, FOUR MILE CREEK | $45

In all my years of evaluating wine professionally, I have never seen an Ontario Cabernet Sauvignon with such a saturated/black colour. Then again, 2012 was an exceptional vintage for reds. This gold medal winner at this year’s Ontario Wine Award is full bodied with a personality of crème de cassis, raspberry, herbs, mint, dried earth, spice and dried cocoa. The remarkable length and ripe tannins will ensure a decade of positive evolution. (ES)

91 RED

THIRTY BENCH SMALL LOT BENCHMARK RED 2012 BEAMSVILLE BENCH | $60

This 14% plus alcohol Meritage is smooth and concentrated with loads of plum, vanilla, raspberry, dark cherry, mint, chocolate, vanilla. The palate is rich with a long finish and a tannic backbone. Hold for a year and then drink until 2023. A blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. (ES)

91 RED

THE FOREIGN AFFAIR DREAM 2012 NIAGARA | $29.95

This appassimento-style blend of 33% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Franc, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot is truly impressive. Clocking in at 14.7% alcohol, it sings with chocolate, blackberry, kirsch, violets, dark cherry, prunes and a hint of rubber. Full-bodied, with some residual sugar, the wine is already approachable, but will handle another 5 to 6 years in the cellar. (ES)

91 RED

MARYNISSEN ESTATES CABERNET FRANC ICEWINE 2013 NIAGARA | $55/375ML

This Icewine busts out a perfume of strawberry, raspberry, guava, cassis, vanilla and herbs. On the tongue, it is pure essence of berry with a succulent aftertaste. Chocolate fondue all the way. (ES)

KACABA VINEYARDS MERLOT RESERVE 2010 NIAGARA ESCARPMENT | $44.95

Gold Medal winner in the Merlot category at the Ontario Wine Awards - and it is easy to see why! Medium to full body, a perfume of coffee, violets, blackberries, plum, spice, chocolate, roasted nuts and roasted herbs meets up with raspberry and smoked qualities on the palate. Great length and ready to drink now. (ES)

90 RED

VINELAND ESTATES WINERY CABERNET FRANC RESERVE 2012 NIAGARA | $40

Full bodied with lots of smokey tobacco, cassis, vanilla, violets, raspberry, herbs, cocoa and spice. Excellent length and lots of ripe tannins will ensure eight years of positive evolution. Pair with a NY strip topped with an herb demi-glace. (ES)

89 RED

MARYNISSEN ESTATES PLATINUM SERIES SYRAH 2013 FOUR MILE CREEK | $35

An impressive Syrah which was harvested at a paltry one ton per acre. Smoke, plum, dark cherry, raspberry, cassis, black pepper, vanilla and oregano on the nose meet up with purple flowers and graphite on the taste buds. Soft texture with a vibrant personality and long finale. (ES)

89 RED

MALIVOIRE WINE GAMAY 2014 NIAGARA | $17.95

Wowser- delicious Gamay alert! Juicy, yet concentrated, the raspberry cream, strawberry, dried herbs, and white pepper are just magic in the glass. With all of its upfront flash, it is ready to drink with pasta or pizza. (ES)

88 RED

REDSTONE WINERY MERLOT REDSTONE VINEYARD 2011 LINCOLN LAKESHORE | $39.95

Plum, smoke, chocolate chip cookie dough, raspberry, vanilla, dried earth and carnations are all present in the soft and alluring Merlot. Mid-weight, with great length and suave tannins make for immediate accessibility. (ES)

88 RED

CAVE SPRING CABERNET FRANC 2013 NIAGARA ESCARPMENT | $19.95

From a cool vintage, this wine achieved an impressive natural alcohol of 14.5%. A combination of cassis, raspberry, fresh herbs/mint, smoke, vanilla and anise are featured. On the attack, the initial perception is that of sweet/ripe fruit, before turning elegant, and finishing with finegrained tannins. Drink over the next three to four years. (ES) TM


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TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 1


yin yang

the

the

BY ANDREA KAISER


In contrasting flavours we might pair sweet and salty or spicy and sweet. Case in point, one of the most incredible cheese pairings with a sweet and luxurious Icewine is a salty blue cheese. The yin and the yang meet to create perfect balance and harmony. Like bread is to butter, milk is to cookies and chips are to dip, in the world of food pairings there are those that, well, are simply just right. But why is it that peanut butter is best with jelly and beer with pizza? I can’t imagine my chicken wings with anything but blue cheese and hello salt, where’s the pepper? But it’s not always easy to define why even the most unusual of food matches work, but when you know it, you know it, no questions asked. The same is true for food and wine pairings. Wine and cheese for example is almost always a given. The acidity and tannin in the wine combines perfectly with the lactic acids of the cheese. It’s like putting cream in your coffee or milk in your tea. Together all is right in the world, a harmony of opposites. And while there are no hard and fast rules for finding the yin to your yang in matching the right food to the right wine there are a few guidelines that can assist in finding your culinary Nirvana. One theory, is to match ‘like with like’. For example if you are cooking a light meat such as fish or poultry look for a light white wine such as Riesling or Pinot Grigio. Prepare it in a butter sauce and instead pair with a buttery oak aged Chardonnay that’s richer in flavour. And who can’t imagine a seared steak paired with a big bold Cabernet Sauvignon? But it’s also true that opposites attract. Two extremes can create a balance. In contrasting flavours we might pair sweet and salty or spicy and sweet. Case in point, one of the most incredible cheese pairings with a sweet and luxurious Icewine is a salty blue cheese. The yin and the yang meet to create perfect balance and harmony. And go ahead, try a sweeter Gewürztraminer next time you order in spicy Thai or Indian. You won’t be disappointed. Looking for some inspiration and a bit of adventure? Look no further than Niagara-on-the-Lake,

where wineries serve up classic and sometimes unusual food pairings throughout the winter months. In November ‘Taste the Season’ is a great motivator to start thinking about holiday entertaining. What could be more festive than sparkling wine with spiced pumpkin pie or a ripe Syrah paired with a pork terrine topped with blueberry and black pepper compote? Or maybe think outside the box and plan a meal to start with a fresh and lively Riesling matched with an authentic Thai chicken and coconut soup. January is naturally when Niagara-on-the-Lake celebrates all things Icewine and the wineries will not disappoint with sweet treats to match with nature’s naturally decadent dessert wine. The ever popular Icewine marshmallow S’mores showcase how ‘like’ flavours work well together in creating harmony in balance. However, if sweet and savoury pairings are more your style, think bacon and blue cheese. And finally in February, wineries take on one of the most challenging of food items to pair with wine by way of ‘The Days of Wine and Chocolate’. Chocolate has been touted as notoriously difficult to match due to its slightly bitter, slightly acidic nature, and its own tannins which can overpower most wines. But if we use our two guiding principles the result can be remarkably delicious. Why not try a Merlot matched with a flourless chocolate brownie or perhaps if the wine is sweeter it might pair well with a spicy chocolate chicken tortilla soup? The possibilities are endless, we only need to use our imagination. My last piece of advice, drink what you like. I drink Sparkling wine with well, everything. And there is no accounting for taste - we are all different. To make your own classic matches, start off on the traditional paths and then deviate a little, or a lot, you might find a yin to match your yang where you least expect it. TM

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 21


tea Culture By Lynn Ogryzlo Photos: Jon Ogryzlo

IN NIAGAR A

It was the combination of sugar and caffeinated tea that gave the working poor of the 19th century England their afternoon boost. Add to that some simple food and it fortified those who had a more physically demanding occupation than anyone does today. Afternoon tea was not always as dull as necessity dictated. On the other side of town Afternoon Tea was being served to the aristocracy in a manner that defined elegant decadence. While the offering of luxurious foods has improved over the years, so has the tea. A Master of Tea and tea blender by trade, Englishman Alex Probyn has put together an amazing tea list at The Langham in downtown London, England that includes some personally blended teas as well as a collection of the best from around the world. Reading through The Langham’s tea bible it’s obvious that Probyn’s collection has less to do with offering his customers an afternoon boost and more to do with soothing the soul, exciting the palate and pampering the appetite. It’s one of the best places in the world to experience a posh Afternoon Tea. It begins with an amuse bouche, in Langham’s case, Eggnog Panna Cotta with Rum Jelly served in a miniature bubble glass.

Afternoon Tea is served in a traditional three-tiered plate, each layer representing a different course. Starting from the bottom tier, it holds a selection of miniature sandwiches, the middle layer is for the traditional scones and the top is for the finest and most elegant of finger pastries. At The Langham they serve each course paired with a different tea, each tea suggested by the Tea Sommelier to offer complimentary flavours and a palette experience of immense finesse. While we look to England for the quintessential Afternoon Tea, here in Niagara it’s not difficult to find a wealth of Afternoon Tea experiences that range from Victorian Tea service at the Prince of Wales Hotel, a true Canadiana tea at the McFarlane house, a country tea at Ridge Berry Farm to cult-like, word-of-mouth, private, themed teas. Culinary Historian and avid tea aficionado Carole Berlove of Niagara-on-the-Lake creates period themed teas. Her latest was a Downton Abbey Tea. Guests came in period 1920 English dress complete with hats. Tea service, table setting and room ambience creating dramatic vignettes that took guests back in time for an amazing look into another world.


The event started with calling cards and a butler announced each guest as they arrived. Everyone was seated around a beautifully set dining table. This makes it a High Tea instead of a more casual Low Tea served around a coffee table. “In cold weather afternoon teas would start with a warm soup and in hot weather it would be champagne,” explains Carole as the maid (her sister dressed in full maid costume) serves everyone warm broccoli soup garnished with a drop of crème fraiche in miniature ornate tulip shaped glass cups sitting on doily lined, little scalloped saucer. We laid beautiful hand-embroidered antique linen napkins on our lap as tea was poured. “Cucumber sandwiches are the aristocratic sandwich of the tea table,” says Carole. The three-tiered plate was set on the table full of delicious looking little foods like beautifully sculpted finger sandwiches, some with curls of “Mrs. Crawley’s salmon” on top. For fans of Downton Abbey, you’ll know exactly what that is and if you’re not a fan, Carole says, “start watching.” The middle tier shows off Carole’s famous scones. There is her popular white chocolate, walnut and apricot scones and a few butter rich scones offered for variety. On the table are little cups, one for the clotted cream and the other for the strawberry jam. They’re spread over scones and eaten with sighs of delight. The top plate cradles tiny little period pastries made by Carole herself. The decadent end to an exquisite afternoon was a rich chocolate mousse. It was served in Carole’s antique, etched crystal teardrop glasses that hover elegantly over an ornate sterling silver base with accompanying little silver spoons – decadent! In the past, Carole has arranged a Tea with Monet and Black and White teas with the same amount of elegant perfection. They’re available only through word-of-mouth. Foods served at an afternoon tea are meant to be plain foods so it’s a fun event to plan at home. Set a beautiful table the day before and don’t forget to include fresh flowers as all fine Afternoon Teas do. You can make the little sandwiches the day of your event and pick up the rest of the foods from your favourite bakery. Afternoon teas are as simple as that, yet a special treat to offer and fun to experience. The McFarlane House on the Niagara Parkway in Niagara-on-theLake is a beautiful location to enjoy a period tea. The historic home is one of the few that survived the war in the early 1800’s. Afternoon Tea is served in the large glass conservatory under the shade of old oak trees and staff is dressed Jane Austin-style. “We have one foot in the past and one foot in the present,” explains manager Rebecca Pascoe. The food is all present day, “no one would like the foods of the early 1800’s,” says Rebecca referring to sweets that were once made with molasses or honey instead of the refined ingredients we have today. Tea service includes the traditional 3-course Afternoon Tea of finger sandwiches, scones and home-made sweets. Everything is made in small batches everyday which prompts Rebecca to describe it as, “the microbrewery of the tea room”. You can start your Afternoon Tea with a tour of the historic home. Once you’ve toured the rooms, settle into the conservatory for tea and a relaxing experience back to Canadiana circa 1812. If you’re like me and you’re more comfortable in pants, I strongly recommend you put on a dress when you go to the Prince of Wales Afternoon Tea. I can’t imagine anything more elegantly feminine and pampering than this experience. But if you don’t feel comfortable putting on a dress, think of me when half way through you begin to regret you didn’t dress for the occasion. The Prince of Wales Drawing Room is an elegant room lost in time with rich mahogany woodwork, lightly aged walls, tapestry carpets and plush period furniture. Large bouquets of pink and white roses add an air of posh decadence to the Victorian warmth.

We have one foot in the past and one foot in the present… - Rebecca Pas coe

You can have a Low Tea in the Drawing Room (around coffee tables) or High Tea (at higher dining tables) in the Greenhouse. Both include service on Royal Daulton Oberon English Wedgewood with sterling silver cutlery. It begins with a tall flute of Jackson-Triggs sparkling wine turned red with a drop of cassis and garnished with fresh raspberries. To go with this is a small cheese plate offering premium cheeses from Ontario and Quebec. Our lead server, Sandy sets a 2-tiered plate on the table. The bottom is filled with finger sandwiches holding onto a variety of traditional fillings, each on a different style of thin bread. There is one, super large fruit scone, still warm from the oven and sitting among some seductive looking mini sweets. A proper tea is nothing more than a gathering of friends with light refreshments and a lot of chatter. What’s important is how it’s executed. The perfection comes in the little details that turn a cup of tea into an affair to remember. TM

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 23


There is nothing quite like a day spent out in the vineyard. Whether it is an afternoon enjoying vintages at the tasting bar or a sunny day biking through the grapes, wineries offer a plethora of experiences and insight into Niagara’s favourite beverage. But if you have overdone the traditional how-it-is-made wine tours and are looking to experience a fresh side to the popular Niagara Region attractions, look no further than the unique experiences offered by these national winery treasures.

D I SCOV ER N I AG A R A’ S OF

U N I Q U E W I N E R Y EXPERIENCES BY GABRIELLE TIEMAN

PELLER ESTATES 10 BELOW ICEWINE LOUNGE The coolest winery tour available in Niagara, Peller Estates new 10Below Icewine Lounge has created an enhanced tour experience next to none for groups tasting Peller’s famed ice wines. As the lounge name dictates, Peller did not simply chill the room to a brisk -10 C; the 300 squarefoot lounge set to the ideal harvesting temperature for the majority of Canadian Icewines contains over 30,000 pounds of ice. The ice has been used to create many of the room’s structural components and visual design including social media hashtags, stories about ice wine and how it was all made. Guests are supplied with gloves and parkas before being treated to samplings of three of Peller’s Icewines – Vidal Blanc, Riesling and Cabernet Franc – in the ice chilled room. Though as with all ice, the room is bound to melt, Peller’s team says they will use this one year life span to give the lounge a fresh new look annually. The lounge is quickly becoming the most popular component of Peller’s Complete Greatest Winery Tour package, allowing international guests visiting during Niagara’s warmer months to experience the winter harvest season. The Greatest Winery Tour leaves every 30 minutes between 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and costs $15 dollars. The room can accommodate up to 20 people but tours are currently limited to 15 people at a time. peller.com. >>


TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 25


SOUTHBROOK WINERY’S BIODYNAMIC VINEYARD Green enthusiasts and wine lovers alike will find their home at the contemporary Southbrook Winery. The winery has set out to prove that green initiatives can work in an Ontario vineyard; harnessing both organic and biodynamic viticulture to build great wines that are a true reflection of Niagara soil, water and ecosystems. Today, Southbrook’s 150 acre property is considered 100 per cent organic. From the sheep that graze amongst the grapes to the grapes themselves, the winery has proven that the principles of organic agriculture – using natural inputs, less water, less energy and no chemicals or genetic modification – can produce an incredible biodiversity of agriculture and improve the overall health of their natural property. But it’s not only Southbrook’s acreage that is green; their winery and hospitality pavilion became the first winery building to receive the Gold level of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the Canada Green Building Council. Their floor-to-ceiling double-glazed windows provide natural light and control temperature transfer, indoor water usage is controlled with automatic and low-flow fixtures and native wetland plants have been added to help break down pollution from storm water draining off the parking lots – and these are only a few to be named. Southbrook offers a number of tours that help groups truly appreciate the lengths they have undergone to minimalize their carbon footprint. Their “What’s the Buzz” tour has guests walk the property and learn about organic and biodynamic Viticulture and Viniculture; Earthly Infused Food Pairings have guests enjoy a wine and tapas style food pairing and see first-hand how different Biodynamic ingredients find their way onto the plate. southbrook.com

JACKSON-TRIGGS BARREL CELLAR & MODERN ARCHITECTURE At the world renowned Jackson-Triggs winery, great wines and food are not the only delights served to guests. Known for being one of Canada’s most architecturally stunning wineries, Jackson-Triggs unique perspective on modern day architecture is the perfect juxtaposition against the natural beauty of Niagara’s vineyard based landscape. Jackson-Triggs’ Essential Tour and Tasting experience is the answer for individuals looking to consume every aspect of the vineyard and winery in a single day. Guests are given an all-encompassing tour of the vineyards, state-of-the-art production facility, impressive outdoor amphitheatre and traditional underground Barrel Cellar. Discover the story of their wines and the inspiration behind their architectural concepts and design – all while being educated on their wine making process and creative methods. The Barrel Cellar, a particularly impressive portion of the tour, is one of the more traditional aspects of Jackson-Triggs. The private underground wine cellar is the perfect backdrop for wine tastings, food pairing events and is available for private rental ideal for dinner parties and intimate gatherings. jacksontriggswinery.com TM


THE GOOD EARTH FOOD AND WINE COMPANY’S COOKING SCHOOL One of Niagara’s original farm to table influenced kitchens, The Good Earth Food and Wine Company uses only the freshest ingredients in everything they make; utilizing primarily homegrown ingredients. Helping feed Niagara since 1998, Good Earth Food and Wine Company has made it their mission to insure Niagara embraces their local bounty once they have left the company’s dining room and returned to their own kitchen, Offering interactive demonstrative cooking classes for both locals and tourists looking to sharpen up their knife skills and add to their recipe books. Chefs focus on an ever evolving array of culinary genres, recipes and menu styles – from traditional Korean bibimbap to gourmet meals made from every day garden bounty. No two classes are the same and all offer an interesting new take on homegrown food for chefs returning for more than one class. Classes are held either in the indoors or outside in the al fresco kitchen surrounded by orchards and cooks are able to take their finished product home with them post class to enjoy and brag over. Culinary classes evolve with the seasons and award-winning guest chefs are known for paying a visit to the Good Earth kitchen. Classes have included three course cooking demos on Korean Seoul Food Weekend – a celebration of Korean food and Niagara bounty – with acclaimed chef and author Sang Kim; Bite Size Brilliance classes arrive just in time for the holiday season, focused on the perfect finger food for your next cocktail party. Each culinary class varies in size, price and length so make sure to visit their website when choosing a class to attend. goodearthfoodandwine.com.

CAVE SPRING’S OLDEST FUNCTIONING WINE CELLARS Dating back to 1871, Cave Spring’s historic winery casts an old school perspective on today’s modern wine industry – boasting the oldest functioning wine cellars in all of Ontario and representing some of Niagara's oldest viniferous plantings — including Chardonnay and Riesling. Though the winery was founded in 1986 by the Pennachetti family and winemaker Angelo Pavan in the historic former Jordan Winery, the cellars date back much further into wine making history. Nestled on the terrace of the Niagara Escarpment along the Beamsville Bench, Cave Spring’s has become renowned for not only their wines, but for their appreciation of the Niagara Region and the history ingrained in their property – their bottles labeled with 'Estate Bottled’ designation contain 100 percent fruit grown at Cave Spring Vineyard. Cave Spring offers a number of tours and tastings for groups looking to experience the winery at length. Designed to be both fun and informative, the tours focus on a number of topics, from food pairings to cool climate wine making. Daily drop in tours are available during the summer months as well as by appointment cellar tour and tasting packages that are ideal for groups. cavespring.ca >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 27


Bump Things That Go

in the Niagara Night By Megan Pasche

Ghost stories scare and fascinate me all at the same time; and the ghosts of Niagara-on-the-Lake are no exception. Whenever I sign up to head out on a ghost tour, I am usually feeling a combination of fear and anticipation. For something that I find fairly terrifying, I seem to gravitate towards this type of tour wherever it is I happen to be travelling. Some of the tours have been scarier than others, but either way it’s the perfect opportunity to hear some of the more interesting tales of a city’s past; stories never told on a regular walking tour. The more history a place has, and the bloodier that history is, the more fitting a place it is for ghosts to wander in the night, stuck between worlds.


1812, a militia solider by the name of Captain Colin Swayze decided not to retreat with the rest of the British troops but to instead head to the local pub to meet up with his love. After he arrived, American soldiers raided the pub, and Captain Swayze decided to hide in an empty barrel in the cellar. The American soldiers combed through every nook and cranny of that pub, eventually reaching the cellar. They approached each barrel, turned the spigot, and waited to see if alcohol would pour out. When they reached the barrel Swayze was hiding in and turned the spigot, nothing came out but a rush of air. With one quick movement, the American soldier thrust his bayonet straight through the barrel, killing Swayze. Blood dripped out of the still open spigot. It is said that the Captain haunts the inn to this day. People report hearing noises coming from empty rooms, place settings being rearranged and other strange occurrences. As the story goes, the ghost will remain peaceful as long as the British flag continues to fly over the doorway of the Olde Angel Inn. Another interesting stop was in the gazebo that is located at Queen’s Royal Park, right on the edge of the Lake. The gazebo looks historic, but it was actually built in the 1980s for the filming of The Dead Zone, and then gifted to the town upon the wrapping of the film. However, when the sun has set, the shadows dance in the darkened structure, and the waves lap the shore in the background, it makes for a pretty creepy setting. Picturesque by day, haunted by night. As we stood inside the gazebo, Lady Cassandra regaled us with the tale of the Woman in White; a ghost many people have reported seeing pacing up and down the path by the lake, as if waiting for somebody or something. Legend goes that it is the ghost of a woman whose husband drowned when his boat capsized in the lake. She’s been seen waiting for him ever since. These are just two of the creepy stories we heard as we walked the streets; other stops included the Court House, the Royal George Theatre, and the Apothecary to name a few. There really are countless stories of ghost encounters, and in a town as historic as Niagara-on-the-Lake, it’s almost expected. Cumerlato notes that all the stories told on the tour are ones that were “conveyed to us by locals in Niagara-on-the-Lake and others who have visited and had experiences in the hotels and inns. Many have come into the Haunted Shop to tell us their stories”. So, if you are looking for something a little bit different to do during your time in Niagara, why not head out on a ghost tour…if you’re brave enough of course. As Cumerlato says, “if there is one thing in this world we love…it’s ghost stories”, and on this tour, you’ll hear tales that will cause the hair on the back of your neck to raise, your heart to pound, and best of all, your mind to open.

A lady in the group noticed a swing in the park moving back and forth. Just one of the three swings was moving and there was no wind.

Want to go on a Niagara-on-the-Lake Ghost Tour? Throughout September and October, tours run daily at 8pm and various other times. Check out their website at ghostwalks.com TM

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 29

about TOWN

To understand why Niagara-on-the-Lake got its reputation as Canada’s most haunted town, it is necessary to delve briefly into its history. Niagara used to be the site of an old Neutral Indian village known as Onghiara. This Neutral Nation eventually lost their land to the Mississauga’s, another native tribe. The land was soon purchased from them by the British government, all for “300 suits of clothing”, and by 1792, the town, then named Newark by Governor Simcoe, became the first capital of the newly established Upper Canada. It was home to the area’s first library, courthouse, post office, pharmacy, newspaper and church. Niagara set the stage for the War of 1812, saw many battles, and during this war, the entire city was burned to the ground. Throughout the cities lively history, many people have died, and many of them were brutal and violent deaths. Daniel Cumerlato, Owner of The Haunted Shop and Ghost Walks notes, “Niagara-on-the-Lake has the most rich and unique tales. Rich because we’re able to connect many of the ghost stories with their historical and legendary subjects, and unique because of their vivid and real nature.” It is with this long history in mind that I set out on a walking tour with Niagara-on-the-Lake Ghost Tours to experience the haunted side of the city. Lady Cassandra was our tour guide for the evening, and as she told us tales that mixed history and hauntings, she held a glowing red lantern to help light the way. What better time for a ghost walk than fall, when the nights are cool and the leaves crunch under your feet as you stroll down streets that at one time echoed with the sound of musket and cannon fire? This isn’t a tour where masked monsters jump out from darkened alleys to scare unsuspecting tourists; this is a tour that revolves around real people, real lives lived and the souls that still linger in the town. Forget cheap thrills, sometimes, real life is the scariest thing of all. Cumlerlato speaks of one tour when the guide was standing on the corner across from the Prince of Wales Inn, near the entrance to Simcoe Park telling the story of Molly McGuire, a woman who died a tragic and abrupt death during the War of 1812. “A lady in the group noticed a swing in the park moving back and forth. Just one of the three swings was moving and there was no wind.” He continues, “the group ran into the park to investigate and everyone stood in front of it as it continued moving. Somebody from the group snapped a picture, and right after the flash went off, the swing stopped moving.” When the photographer looked at the photo later in the evening, right in the centre of a swing, was a giant orb. In the ghost-hunting world, an orb is said to be a concentrated ball of energy. Our 90-minute ghost walk covered numerous stops throughout historic Niagara-on-the-Lake; but as not to spoil the fun, I’ll only highlight a couple of my favourite stories here. The Olde Angel Inn was once upon a time known as The Harmonious Coach House and was operating as early as 1789. During the War of


cinematic SHAW FESTIVAL FILM SERIES BY: MEGAN PASCHE

Once the actors and actresses of the Shaw give their final performance for the live theatre season, the stage doesn’t really go dark; it just showcases a different artistic medium: film. The annual and much anticipated Shaw Festival Film Series gets underway once again this December, showcasing not only several feature films, but also six different documentaries. This exciting event is done in partnership with The Film Circuit, which is a branch of the Toronto International Film Festival. The Shaw Film Series first began in 2005, and has been a growing success ever since.

VIEWING SCHEDULE: FEATURE FILMS (SATURDAYS AT 3PM) DECEMBER 12: BROOKLYN Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Julie Waters This historical drama takes place in 1950s Brooklyn, with Irish immigrant Eilis trying to navigate her way in a new city. She soon finds herself torn between her old life in Ireland and her new one in America. DECEMBER 19: PHOENIX Starring: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Nina Kunzendorf, Michael Maertens This subtitled film is about a survivor of the Holocaust who returns to Berlin after having facial reconstruction surgery for an injury sustained in the war. Her new face doesn’t look much like her old one, and because of this, when she seeks out her husband (who had thought she was dead), he doesn’t recognize her. DECEMBER 26: TESTAMENT OF YOUTH Starring: Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Emily Watson, Taron Egerton, Colin Morgan This WW1 British drama follows Vera Brittain in her attempts to become a student at a college in Oxford. When war breaks out, her brother, fiancé and friends are all drafted. She soon joins the war effort as a nurse. This is based on the memoir of Vera Brittain. JANUARY 2: LEARNING TO DRIVE Starring: Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley, Jake Weber, Grace Gummer This movie focuses on the unlikely friendship between Wendy, a writer, and Darwan, a taxi driver, as he teachers her how to drive.


highlights JANUARY 9: WILD TALES Starring: Ricardo Darin, Oscar Martinez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Erica Rivas This Argentine-Spanish film is actually comprised of six standalone shorts, which are tied by two common themes: violence and vengeance. JANUARY 16: SUFFRAGETTE Starring: Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham-Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, Meryl Streep This historical drama tells the story of how a girl, working in a laundry, gets involved in the cause of the Suffragettes. It highlights some of the struggles these woman went through to achieve the right to vote. FEBRUARY 6: THE SECOND MOTHER Starring: Regina Case, Michel Joelsas, Camila Mardila This Brazilian drama focuses on a housemaid, Val, who has been working for the same high-class family for several years. When she originally took the job, it meant she had to leave her daughter, Jessica, with her grandmother. 13 years later, Jessica comes to live with her, and it’s not quite as easy as she is expecting. FEBRUARY 13: STEVE JOBS Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogan, Jeff Daniels This movie tells the story of Steve Jobs and his rise to become the CEO of Apple. This movie is based on a biography written about Jobs.

JANUARY 30: TRUMBO Starring: Bryan Cranston Diane Lane Louis C.K Elle Fanning John Goodman Helen Mirren This movie follows the story of Dalton Trumbo, one of Hollywood’s top screenwriters in the 1940s. In 1947, he (and others) were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. Dalton used his wit and words to show the absurdity of the whole situation.

JANUARY 23: MR. HOLMES Starring: Ian McKellen Laura Linney Hiroyuki Sanada Milo Parker This crime/drama/mystery film follows Sherlock Holmes as a 93-year-old man trying to solve his final case, as his mind is starting to fail him.

FEBRUARY 20: THE DANISH GIRL Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard This movie is the biographical tale of Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of gender reassignment surgery.

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JANUARY 15: AMY This documentary film depicts the life and death of Amy Winehouse. The movie features interviews with several long-term friends and members of Amy’s family. It also includes extensive unseen footage.

FLICKR.COM/AMAL FM

DOCUMENTARIES (FRIDAYS AT 6PM) JANUARY 1: IRIS This film tells the story of Iris Apfil, a prominent figure on the New York fashion scene for several decades now. She is now 93 years old and continues to live a life full of enthusiasm, glamour and work that she loves. JANUARY 8: MERU This story tells the tale of an attempt of three people (Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, Renan Ozturk) to climb “Shark’s Fin”, a 4000-foot wall in the Meru peak of the Indian Himalayas. JANUARY 22: GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF This documentary focuses on the history of Scientology and it’s founder L.Ron Hubbard. It also delves into the involvement of celebrities in the church and several stories of the ex-members. JANUARY 29: LISTEN TO ME MARLON This film documents the life of iconic actor Marlon Brando. It was compiled through private audiotapes that the actor recorded at home, in business meetings, during hypnosis, in therapy and during press interviews. FEBRUARY 12: HE NAMED ME MALALA This documentary features young Pakistani and activist Malala Yousafzai who was targeted by the Taliban, shot in the head and left wounded. She was targeted because she spoke out about the education rights of girls. She emerged as a leading advocate for children’s rights and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. THE COSTS: GENERAL ADMISSION: $12 PASS FOR ALL 12-FEATURE FILMS: $124 STOCKING STUFFER FOR 9 FEATURE FILMS: $95 DOCUMENTARY PASS FOR ALL SIX DOCUMENTARIES: $60 For information on purchasing tickets, etc., Please visit shawfest.com or call 1-800-511-7429. Tickets can be purchased in advance or the day of. TM


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of NOTL By Gabrielle Tieman

Celebrating mind, body and spirit, Niagara-on-theLake presents on oasis of world class spa destinations designed to help slow down life and soothe your senses while helping you sparkle from head to toe. If the picturesque beauty of Niagara-on-the-Lake in the wintertime is not enough to make your skin flush and glow, the spas of Niagara-on-the-Lake have created unique packages and one-of-a-kind body experiences to help you indulge all of your senses and ease tired, weather-worn bodies during the colder season.


SECRET GARDEN SPA

253 Taylor Road SS4, NOTL whiteoaksresort.com/niagara-spa Beyond pure indulgence, White Oaks Resort and Spas’ mission is to provide guests with an environment to achieve complete well-being of both body and spirit. From head to toe, their spa specialists have developed a plethora of innovative treatment uniquely designed to not only leave bodies feeling rejuvenated immediately afterwards, but far into the future. Recognized as one of the top 100 Spas of America in 2014, the Spa at White Oaks is one of the largest spa facilities in Ontario – with 17 treatment rooms. Beyond pure pampering, the Spa provides guests with an environment to achieve complete well-being and relaxation as soon as they enter. Specializing in massages, facials, aromatherapy and cleansing treatments utilizing premium organic products, White Oaks’ spa professionals will leave your body and mind in total harmony and better prepared to continue to conquer life.

6 Picton Street, NOTL vintage-hotels.com/spas/princeofwales Embracing the healing elements of nature’s earth, fire and water, the Secret Garden Spa at Prince of Whales is the perfect environment for soothing the soul. Recognized as one of the top 20 Spas in Canada in 2013, the Secret Garden Spa – a famed member of the Vintage Hotels family – has been transformed into an ultra-contemporary hot spot for relaxation and spoiling yourself. In keeping with the tradition of Prince of Wales beautiful High Tea, these signature treatments will whisk you away to another place and a serener time. Using all natural products made with the finest green, white and red teas, the Secret Garden will restore harmony to your body while working magic on your skin.

Sample Spa Menu Sample Spa Menu MAX+ LED Photofacial Energize your skin, produce more collagen and improve elasticity with MAX+ photodermatology. The treatment is an LED phototherapy technique that utilizes specific colour wave lengths of light to penetrate the skin at various depths. This technique –unlike traditional skin treatments –produces long lasting results with no irritation. Thermal Palms Break free from the usual deep muscle massage! Therapeutic Thermal Palms are specially crafted soft hand held tools that mold to the contours of the body while delivering deep, penetrating heat to muscles and joints during a simultaneous massage. Four Hand Massage A signature treatment to White Oaks, the massage is performed by two therapists whom move in harmony while they work out the kinks and sore muscles in your body. The two are said to be constantly connected to you and the result is a true mind, body and spirit experience.

Beau-teas Facial Tailored to all skin types, this facial focuses on the antioxidant benefits of polyphenols—plant-based molecules that have antioxidant properties. Floral green notes combined with the healing goodness of polyphenols synergistically formulated with natural, active anti-aging botanicals and signature massage techniques provide a unique experience that will leave you feeling balanced. Green Tea Pedicure A classic pedicure with a tea based foot mask twist and exfoliation. Vital Active Back Relax Melt away stress, increase blood circulation and cleanse the skin with this 2-in-1 relaxing back treatment. It will revive even the most tired body as well as refine and purify the skin. >>

Nectar of Niagara Body Wrap Celebrating Niagara’s bounty with an innovative twist, this whipped honey salt scrub with an amber golden honey scent stimulates skin renewal and is simply a treat. Following the scrub, a blend of warm wine and honey is poured over the body and massaged into the skin, providing antioxidants and hydration before you are swaddled in a warm blanket. Finish with a rinse in a hydrotherapy tub and honey magnolia body oil.

Indulge all of your senses and ease tired, weather-worn bodies during the colder season. TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 35

lifestyle & CULTURE

WHITE OAKS RESORT & SPA


SHAW SPA 92 Picton Street, NOTL niagarasfinest.com/properties/shawspa The contemporary luxury of the Shaw Club Hotel & Spa is guaranteed to spice up any spirit throughout the year. Featuring lavish wine and dessert based treatments, the Shaw Spa has patrons embracing culinary favourites in a whole new external way. Alongside traditional spa favourites – including manicures, pedicures, deep tissue massages and facials – the Shaw Spa offers unique and seasonal treatments with a twist that will have you falling in love with yourself over and over again. Trained professionals will have you buffed, relaxed and ready to conquer.

Sample Spa Menu White Muscat Grape Body Wrap Designed to moisturize and tone the entire body, this treatment embraces Niagara most favourite product – wine! This luxurious body treatments begins with a full exfoliations with Piedmont Chianti Grape Must followed immediately by a White Muscat Grape Body Wrap and ending with a rich Pinot Noir Cream. Your body will feel toned and soft but energized. Milk Chocolate Mousse and Tiramisu Facial Almost good enough to eat, this energizing facial offers antioxidant, protective, nourishing and revitalizing antistress properties. Infused with cocoa, vitamins and natural minerals, the ingredients promote anti-aging benefits and emit the greatest natural aroma of chocolate, orange and tiramisu. Learn How to Massage Your Partner Take your experience home with you! This 85 minute class is taught by a Registered Massage Therapist who will instruct you on the proper techniques of touch and how to relax your partner and revitalize your relationship through massage.

OSPA 160 Front Street, NOTL oban.com/spa Allow well-being to become part of a daily routine at the Oban Inn’s OSpa – a wellness retreat for a physical and spiritual release from the strains of day-to-day life. This unique facility is dedicated to not relaxation but encouraging healthy living and overall vitality. This includes a focus on teaching progressive techniques and nutritional science as a way of enhancing the quality of your life. A staple in Niagara-on-the-Lake since 1824, the Oban Inn is a proud Aveda Spa member and works by the same care and methods set in place by these products. This focus on environmental leadership and caring for the world beyond beauty has transitioned into a giving environment only to be found at the OSpa.

Sample Spa Menu OSpa Signture Alpha Collagen An anti-aging treatment that combines fruit acids and natural, pure collagen to deeply renew your skin. Hydramemory This therapy incorporates cactus sugar to provide 24 hour deep hydration and nourishment for dry and dehydrated skin conditions on the face, neck and décolleté. Monticelli Mud A reducing therapy that will have a detoxifying and draining action due to the active ingredients in the soft Monticelli mud enriched with Italian thermal waters.

100 FOUNTAIN SPA 48 John Street West, NOTL vintage-hotels.com/spas/pillarandpost Gently leading spa clients on the path to relaxation, pampering and healing, 100 Fountain Spa at Pillar and Post is the ultimate escape from stress and the first step in renewal. A proud member of the Leading Spas of Canada, this member of the world renowned Vintage Hotels family provides a treasure trove of serene environments and unique Niagara centric treatments ensured to leave you rejuvenated and thoroughly appreciating the region’s bounty on a whole new level. The spa includes outdoor hot springs, gentle rolling waterfalls and products specially selected to honour and celebrate the natural riches of the Niagara Region.

Sample Spa Menu Beyond Vino Facial A grape extract exfoliation rich in antioxidants, particularly flavoniods and polyphenol, alongside peaches, cherries, and even champagne. Fluid massage techniques inspired by the Falls are used, all combining to create a sensory journey that will leave you blissfully hydrated and renewed. Vita-C Detox Treatment This treatment will detoxify the skin which is essential for cellular regeneration. Body Organic Return to your natural essence and feel the exhilaration of being alive with this powerful oxygen treatment. Caressed by natural linen and enzyme-vitamin C powder, your complexion will glow with vitality. TM


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FUN FACTS

about

NOTL

Niagara-on-the-Lake was originally known as Butlersburg, named after Colonel John Butler, who was the commander of Butler’s Rangers.

In 1781, the town got its official status and became known as Newark. It was used as a British military site, and was a popular spot for British loyalists from the United States to flee in the aftermath of the American Revolution.

meunierd / Shutterstock.com

It had a third name change in 1798, when it was called Niagara and named as the first capital of Upper Canada.

The capital of Upper Canada was changed to York (now Toronto) during the War of 1812.

The town was burnt to the ground in 1813, as American troops retreated and made their way back to Fort Niagara.

The town was entirely rebuilt, and they focused the residential area around King and Queen Streets, which were out of firing range of Fort Niagara.

Niagara-on-the-Lake served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Niagara-on-the-Lake was home to many “firsts” in the Province. The first newspaper, first lending library, first historical museum and first provincial parliament.


It was the site of an old Neutral Indian Village called Onghiara.

The town was once again renamed in the 1880s, this time to what it remains today: Niagara-on-the-Lake. This change was made because to avoid confusion with Niagara Falls.

The historic old town is a popular film location, and films such as The Dead Zone, The Experts, The Ref, Canadian Bacon, That Old Feeling and Amelia have all been filmed there. In 1996, Communities in Bloom, a national beautification program, named Niagara-on-the-Lake the “prettiest town in Canada.”

McFarland House is the oldest surviving building in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and was used as a hospital and Officer’s Quarters during the War of 1812. Because of this, it survived the burning of the town in 1813.

The town got its first school in 1859, and it was called Niagara Public School.

In 1974, Inniskillin was given the first estate winery license since the days of Prohibition. This was the start of what would become a huge industry in Niagara.

The majority of the military sites in town (Fort George, Navy Hall and Butler’s Barracks) have all been restored and are open to visitors.s.

Fort George was restored during a “Make Work Project” during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

The town’s historic district was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 2003. Specific buildings that have been designated as National Historic Sites include: the Battlefield of Fort George, Fort George itself, Butlers Barracks, Fort Mississauga, Old Court House Theatre and The Niagara Apothecary (which is the oldest apothecary in Canada).

Niagara-on-the-Lake is the only town in Canada whose elected official is known as Lord Mayor. This title is much more common in Britain.

St. Mark’s Church was built in 1791 and is the oldest Anglican Church in Ontario. In addition to the main area of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the town also encompasses several different villages: Glendale, Homer, McNab, Queenston, St. Davids and Virgil. TM TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 39


PER FOR MANCE

LEXUS: ONE GREAT PERFORMANCE DESERVES ANOTHER By Jill Tham

“Must see,” “critically acclaimed,” and “award-winning” are common phrases in the world of dramatic arts. After an opening night, any producer or actor would hope to see these words written about their play or musical in bold print. In November of 2015, Performance Lexus revealed to their guests the new 2016 Lexus RX 350, F Sport and Hybrid, in a spectacular presentation that would please any critic. Performance Lexus, a proud supporter of the performing arts, held the event at the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines, ON. Manufactured in Cambridge, ON, Lexus is no stranger to accolades and high performance reviews. Lexus has been rated #1 car for reliability and dependability by JD Powers, an honour they have held for several years. “The brand has evolved from current state of the art to a higher level: it’s the evolution of refinement,” states Ralph Fazio, Sales and Leasing Consultant for Performance Lexus. “The design language of the car will appeal to a lot of different people. It’s the vehicle,” says Fazio. “In all my years in the automotive industry, I have never been more excited for a car,” states Vince Lepiane, General Sales Manager of Performance Lexus. “It’s a striking look. When you drive down the road, you know it’s a Lexus.” From the inside out, the new model has undergone many changes and improvements. The aerodynamics of the car has been adjusted in an effort to control airflow, ensure stability and reduce drag; resulting in a quieter and faster ride. With a new engine mounting system designed to enhance steering response, advanced power steering, and improved braking response, the new Lexus has excelled in driving performance. “The technology features are revolutionary,” states Lepiane. With safety in mind, Lexus pairs together radar and camera technology to assist in collision avoidance. The car will alert the driver to vehicles in its blind spot, and steering wheel vibrations will make the driver aware of lane departures. When reversing, an alert will sound if there is an approaching car. A panoramic view to the navigation system, automatic high beam, heated steering wheel, and heating rear outboard seats are also features of the new model. From the stitching in the sophisticated interior to the unique laser cutting technique used to create the “rich expression of wood and the sharp texture of metal,” as stated in the Lexus reveal video, the “Takumi,” or skilled craftsman, have outdone themselves with the quality of this vehicle. “It is a work of art,” says Lepiane. Marc and Sue Lavigne have been driving luxury cars for over 10 years. After spending three months researching which luxury vehicle on the market would suit their needs, the couple traded in their Lexus 2013 RX 350 for the new 2016 RX 350. “The new 2016 is a smooth ride. For luxury and capacity, the Lexus has all other luxury vehicles beat. I can fit four golfers and four sets of golf clubs,” states Marc

Lavigne. From changes in the stick shift, powertrain, and the exhaust, Lavigne has been pleased when comparing his previous Lexus to the new 2016 model. “I like the chiselled lines of the exterior. It gives it more of a stealth look,” says Lavigne. “Comfort on a two day drive from Niagara Falls to Sarasota Florida is a must. The vehicle feels sporty on the steering wheel and comfortable on the seat. It’s hard to find that in the vehicle,” says Lavigne. “What clients want is an experience,” states Marina Soare, Sales and Leasing Consultant for Performance Lexus. “From the moment you walk into our dealership to the moment you walk out you will have a great experience,” states Soare. “It’s everything you want from a new design to a new level of comfort. My best feeling is when our guests say that this is exactly what they always wanted in a car. The car is better when you see it, touch it, and feel its craftsmanship. Come and see it.” “As Lexus owners, you are members of a very prestigious family known as “Club Lexus.” Club Lexus is governed by the Lexus Covenant – a commitment to the finest products and to the most satisfying ownership experience. Creating remarkable guest experiences has been a focus of Performance Lexus since 1990,” states Mario Bruno, General Manager of Performance Lexus.


Performance Lexus is a trusted division of Performance Auto Group. Performance Auto Group is the largest automotive retailer in Ontario with 22 brands - including Acura, BMW, MINI, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM, FIAT, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, EQUUS, Kia, Lexus, Toyota, Scion, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, smart, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Subaru – in 29 locations within Brampton, Brantford, Bolton, Grimsby, Oakville, Orangeville, and St. Catharines-Niagara. Performance Auto Group is owned by Glen and Steve Alizadeh and their sister, May Allison. In speaking with Glen Alizadeh, he stated their goal is to ensure that “Performance Lexus guests enjoy every moment being Lexus owners. This includes our Complimentary Valet Program. We’ll come to you for test drives or for service.” Stella Adler, actress and acclaimed acting teacher of many A-Listers stated, “You’ll never be great unless you aim high.” Lexus has accomplished just that – with the entirely-new 2016 RX 350, Lexus has gone above and beyond in comfort and performance. “If you have never driven a Lexus, or if you haven’t considered us before, you have to consider us now,” concludes Lepiane. For more information visit performancelexus.ca All unaccredited sources have been taken from the 2016 Lexus reveal video.


TO BE

BORN WILD ARTIST, EDWARD SPERA BY GABRIELLE TIEMAN // ARTWORK BY EDWARD SPERA

There are few people on this planet who have the sense and ability to capture the spirit of an animal. Internationally acclaimed artist Edward Spera has such a gift; utilizing his artistic talents to create paintings that share his journeys into the wild. Born and raised in the Niagara Region, his passion for painting and sketching wildlife has taken him across the globe; from humpback whales in Turks and Caicos to leopards in Sri Lanka, there is no animal too elusive for Spera’s paintbrush. I recently sat down with Spera to discuss his travels, why he chose wildlife and why he says the best is yet to come. GABRIELLE TIEMAN: So why wildlife? EDWARD SPERA: I have always been passionate about wildlife. I don't do it just because I can do it. I do it because I love it. Just even looking at a squirrel in the backyard I am mesmerized. I have not worked a day in 23 years because when you love what you do, it is not a job. G: Are you self-taught? E: I am self-taught. When I was finishing up my degree [in Psychology and Philosophy] I picked up a brush and did my first painting after watching a wolf documentary and it was a ‘Eureka’ moment. >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 43


IT IS TEDIOUS. EVERY LITTLE HAIR IS DONE ONE BY ONE - THERE IS NO MAGIC BRUSH THAT DOES ONE HUNDRED HAIRS AT A TIME.”

G: How do you teach yourself and reach this level? E: I have always had some artistic inclination but I never thought this was even a potential. But it morphed into this. I had no idea this was an option until I did that first painting. It is also my personality - I like taking on challenges. This has been a way of improving myself and this was to take the next level of self-improvement by morphing this passion into a career.

G: What gave you the travel bug? E: My wife [Lisa] was a backpacker and traveler far before we got together. We started travelling the world together long ago and we still travel by the seat of our pants. We went to India for tigers, we were in Sri Lanka for leopards, we were in the water with humpback whales. G: Do you only travel abroad for inspiration? E: Every trip is an adventure. It is the rush of doing it all and my work comes from a wide range internationally. It’s just about getting the camera and getting out and exploring. The blue jay [used for the coin design with the Canadian Mint] came from Northern Ontario. I don't have to be half way across the world to acquire a shot that in my opinion created something as prominent as that coin design. Though there are not too many tigers in the Niagara Region, I do capture images from the area. G: Do you always work off of your own photographs? E: Yes. It morphed into that very quickly when my wife and I did some volunteer work in South America. Down there, on the interior in the


G: Your work is so detailed, is it tedious to capture this level of detail? E: It is tedious. Every little hair is done one by one there is no magic brush that does one hundred hairs at a time.

G: How long do your paintings take? E: An average sized piece will be two - three weeks, eight hours a day, seven days a week. Bigger, bolder pieces are the better part of five weeks. I am always working. I do all of my own reproductions, I do all of my own framing. G: What gets the creative juices flowing?

Amazon basin, I started to take photos on weekends and in-between volunteering. And when we came back from that trip I was just itching to sit down and continue creating. That is when I started working from my own reference shots and that merger has not stopped since.

E: Getting out there to see these things gives me creative energy. You never know what you will see and what you will experience. When I am doing a body of work series for three-four months you're stretched thin a little bit, but I know the light at the end of the tunnel is grabbing the backpacks and running off to Africa for a month or two. I also always have some funky tunes playing. Could be anything from chill stuff to Def Leopard or ACDC – something with a heartbeat. Even club tunes.

G: Do your paintings mimic your photos?

G: Do you create multiple pieces at a time?

E: They mimic the reference but surpass the photos, which I demand. If I am just mimicking the photo, then why don't I just sell the photo? I am trying to recreate the depth of field that the human eye has that there is no lens on the market that could capture; to recreate 3-dimension in a 2-dimension format. A lot of my clients comment on this - that they just feel drawn into the piece because they can look at any aspect of it, from bottom right hand corner to the top left hand corner and anywhere in-between and see something.

E: When I start a painting, I only work on that painting from start to

G: What is your painting process? E: I go background to foreground and lay out a line compositional drawing of the actual features. I always start on a black background for my paintings and a white background for my pencil works. I always begin monochromatically - black tones, white tones, grey tones and then I start developing in the colour tones as every detail comes forward. The larger I can create a piece the more detail I can go into with it. I will still go inch by inch and add as much detail in that inch on a grand scale as with a smaller scale. My original paintings are done with acrylics on Masonite board. I also work on a drafting style set up so I can move it around, paint upside down, sideways and on an angle.

finish. When I do my pencil works, I might do a couple of works but that is more so for technique that I have to work on a few at the same time.

G: Which median do you prefer? E: Painting, definitely. It is my forte. But I love grey tones; I love black and white photography. When you take away the colour aspects of things you are just dealing with shape and form. The black and whites of pencil works are an enjoyable monotony.

G: What are your price points? E: For pencil works: $1000-$2000 dollars. For introductory level for the paintings, 12x12 pieces, you are looking at $2,000-$2,500 dollars. For average sized pieces $5,000 - $6,000 dollars; and then getting up to $15,000 and higher for grander piece. It is a broad range. G: Where do you like to work? E: I do work in the gallery; it is not just for show. As people are looking over my shoulder I have the ability to answer everyone’s questions as I create. I also have a home based studio where I can easily work, but why not showcase what you can do? >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 45


G: What travel moment stands out as the most exciting? E: They are all exciting in terms of what we see. Seeing a snow leopard in the wild though, that's the holy grail of my career. We have been seven times to see mountain gorillas. The most recent time we were in Rwanda visiting a family of about 24 strong and the big dominant silver back charged me and slammed me in the chest and sent me back flying a few feet. I was the biggest of our group and he was just showing everybody who was in charge. In Turks and Caicos, I got hit in the head by the tail fin of an 18 foot baby humpback whale. We were snorkeling – [humpbacks] are very easy going if they are stationary and resting. Lisa, myself and the two researchers slipped into the water with our camera gear and this young one you could tell was just looking at us. And it swam up to the surface and just kept coming towards us and it spun, banked in front of us, and when it did that, its tail fin clipped me in the head while I was snapping the still shots. It was a rush.

G: Have you ever had a near death experience? E: We have been chased up a tree by rhinos in Nepal. We were searching for tigers and we came across this mother and baby at a distance. We tried getting closer to them and as we did mom raised her head, sniff-sniffed, looked straight at us and charged. As it came charging through the brush it skidded just past the small tree we managed to climb into, grunting and looking up at us. We were in the water once with Great White sharks off the coast of South Africa and we had a 20 foot female bite the corner of our cage and shake us around like a toy for about a minute - but it felt like an eternity. She was shaking us around and the cables and rigging that were holding us to the boat were rattling and shaking and if anything had come loose or snapped we would have plummeted 600 feet to the ocean floor and that would have been it.

G: Have these experiences changed your work? E: It's not that I have to get hit by anything to paint it. Trust me; I don't want tigers to touch me. But, I love what I do and we put ourselves into positions to get as close as possible to these animals. G: What projects are to come? E: I have been thinking about getting into 3-dimensional work - sculpture, bronze work. Also just continuing to get out there and capture new things. One place we want to head to is Norway to capture Orcas. G: What is the best comment you have ever received? E: A client once told me I can pick your style of work off of a wall of other artists - because I can appreciate it from a distance, and in every step forward I appreciate it that much more even to the point where I am two inches away from it and seeing every subtle brush stroke. I will always be flattered and honoured and humbled that someone wants something that I have created on their wall. It is a rush and that is when the adrenaline kicks in. I am doing what I love to do, and people are appreciating it. The Edward Spera Gallery is located at 114 Queen Street in Niagaraon-the-Lake. TM


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the little

BLACK

DRESS A LONG HISTORY BY MARIANA BOCKAROVA

In the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany's, with the overlay of an instrumental hum of “Moon River� playing softly, we are introduced to a grey Manhattan, likely just past the break of dawn. The busy streets still silenced from the night before, a lone yellow taxicab pulls up in front of an imposing building, like all those on Fifth Avenue. Out comes a woman, a very particular one. There she is, Audrey Hepburn, in an astonishing black dress. As she peers into the Tiffany & Co. window, she takes a bite of her donut, a sip of her coffee, and the rest is history: Here is born the Little Black Dress.


The history and the meanings of the little black dress - a term so popular it seems to have entered and never left the cultural lexicon - has been shaped and evolved time and time again. A black dress, as one might appropriately surmise, was first used for mourning - a meaning it still holds today. According to Sonia A. Bedikian, in the late eighteenth century, across England and France, for upper society, a set of complex rules was created for mourners. It was expected that mourners who had lost a loved one take part in a physical ritualization of sorts, through displaying their grief by wearing heavy black clothing and black crepe veils, caps and bonnets. In order to display their grief, widowers often wore the ensemble for up to four years after a death, and any removal prior to the fouryear mark was seen as incredibly disrespectful. According to Bedikian, "formal mourning culminated during the reign of Queen Victoria. Her prolonged grief over the death of her husband, Prince Albert, had much to do with the practice. During the succeeding Edwardian rule, the fashions began to be more functional and less restrictive, but the dress protocol for men and women, including that for the period of mourning, was still rigidly adhered to." This practice of mourning changed, however, with the first of the World Wars, where a devastating amount of women became widowed. Nevertheless, because of the circumstances of the wars, they were still required to work. Wearing heavy attire, particularly a veil, seemed not only impractical but burdensome and dangerous for the otherwise "masculine workplace" which included factory work and transporting coal. Thus marked the end of lavish mourning, and the first disruption of significance for the black dress. Widowers now chose simple dresses

Photo courtesy of fashiongonerogue.com

that were modest and, of course, black. Jewelry, if worn at all, was kept simple, but certain traditions, though relaxed, still remained: Widows' caps, a black hat with a peak at the front, continued to be worn, while a black veil was fashioned only to frame the face instead of completely cover it, and necklines were often cut in a v-neck, exposing the chest. As Bedikian notes, "during the following decades, gradually the rules were relaxed further and it became acceptable for both sexes to dress in dark colors for up to a year after a death in the family." But how could a colour and a dress that was used for centuries to signify mourning, be changed into a signifier of scandal in merely a few decades? While black still very well may signify death, it might just be those very associations with death that prove the shade so provocative. For instance, black is often the colour associated with evil, and many rituals which are culturally pervasive see evil as often associated with death, or the rising of the dead. Thus, in social spaces where black would be specifically culturally noted as a shade of interest mostly associated with either death or evil and the occult, wearing such a meaningful shade without any of the meaning habitually associated with it, such as a bereaved love one, would suggest that the wearer of that dress is marked. While she may not be evil, she is certainly different, certainly bold, and certainly an individual un-fearing of the scornful eye of society. This is perhaps what gives the little black dress such allure. As noted by Nancy MacDonell Smith in her book, The Classic Ten: The True Story of the Little Black Dress and Nine Other Fashion Favourites, "Black implies you have something to hide, such as a colourful past. It's a provocative colour, one few people are indifferent to...Wearing black implies transgression. Anna Karenina wore black to the ball at which Vronsky became smitten with her; her niece, Kitty, herself in love with Vronsky, wore pale pink - and failed utterly to get his attention. When a woman puts on a black dress,

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 51


“ WHEN A WOMAN PUTS ON A black dress, THE WORLD ASSUMES SHE’S SOPHISTICATED, SEXUAL, AND KNOWING.” KNOWING. the world assumes she's sophisticated, sexual, and knowing." Fashion designer Coco Chanel can be credited for creating the little black dress for popular wear, beyond the sole scope of mourning: In the mid 1920's, "Chanel's Ford", a short black dress, was published in Vogue. The name of it was so, as the dress was expected to become a uniform of sorts, since the dress was simple, elegant, and available for all women regardless of their social class. In the book Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life, Justine Picardine notes, “the little black dress was not formally identified as the shape of the future until 1926, when American Vogue published a drawing of a Chanel design... It was an apparently simple yet elegant sheath, in black crêpe de Chine, with long, narrow sleeves, worn with a string of white pearls; and Vogue proved to be correct in the prediction that it would become a uniform… .” The Great Depression, which followed in the 1930s, allowed for the little black

dress to continue its popularity. It was simple and cheap solution to looking elegant yet demure in a time of deep financial worry. At this time, Hollywood made great gains and often used black attire, which helped avoid distorted colouring in films that had started using Technicolor. As such, many actresses took the idea of wearing black outside of only film and are often credited for the popularization of the shade. For instance, actress Joan Bennett was one of the earliest actresses to pose in black, wearing a flapper ensemble that characterized the time period. The following decade, as women returned to the workforce during the time of World War II, black dresses continued to be worn, only now, as businesswear. The end of the Second World War, however, again would mark a shift in the meaning of the black dress. With celebrations of a Nazi defeat, bright colours and whites became incredibly fashionable, and thus the meaning of

black as tied to either death or evil re-emerged. Hollywood used this shift in meaning, interestingly enough, to re-characterize its femme fatales as women in black halter-dresses, contrasted greatly with the wholesome protagonist, usually wearing white. Only in the 1960s, where the brilliant pairing of an actress known for her demure, wholesome, conservative appeal with a daring black Givenchy dress would the re-popularization of the little black dress be catalyzed. Wearing such a shade in one of the most popular films at the time was meaning again shifted in favour for the little black dress as popular and appropriate attire. Since that time, little black dresses have become a staple item, on nearly every runway, regardless of the season. Though they usually adopt the style du jour, our own little black dresses make their way inside our closets, for days in which we wish to, ironically, shine. TM


SAVE-A-BUCK. A CITY GUIDE IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND.

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BY JILL THAM

EMBRACE

WINTER WITH THE NIAGARA ON THE LAKE

ICEWINE FESTIVAL


T

he Niagara on the Lake Chamber of Commerce was the first to bring the “White Effect” (formerly called “Dinner in White”), “Fabulicious,” and most notably, the “Icewine Festival” to the community. Given the magnitude of these events, it’s no wonder other organizations and cities inspire to reproduce them; spreading Niagara-on-the-Lake’s trends like wildfire and crowing Niagara-on-the-Lake pioneers of spectacular events in the Niagara Region for over twenty years. Icewine is not only popular in the Niagara Region, around the world it is considered a delicacy. Niagara-on-the-Lake is blessed to produce some of the best icewines the Region of Niagara has to offer. “The Icewine Festival has stayed true over the years. We continue to stick to Icewine exclusively for the festival. You won’t be disappointed,” states Janice Thomson, Executive Director for the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce. The 2016 Icewine Festival events brings together new events and old favourites in one remarkable month of unforgettable experiences. “Every single day of January we will have a celebration of Icewine in Niagara on the lake,” states Thomson. “What is unique this year with the festival being every day in January is that we have taken the confusion out of it, so you don’t have to think.” If you want to wear a parka or a pashmina, the festival offers different events with different price points at different locations to please all types of individuals. One lucky winner will go home with a diamond valued at $5000.00 at the “Sparkle and Ice” dinner. “I came up with the idea of attaching a cubic zirconia to each wine glass and the gemologist would test each cube to see which one was real,” says Thomson. The concept has evolved over the last three years and now each bag contains a cubic zirconia along with a number. At the end of the evening, which is filled with live entertainment and savoury dishes, the winning number is drawn. “The first year the winner was from New York and last year it was a gentleman from Ottawa,” says Thomson. “Sparkle and Ice is an intimate, romantic, and exciting event.” “Shop, Sip, Sample and Savour,” will feature chef ’s from the Signature Kitchens pairing their favourite icewine with a mouth-watering dish they have created. This event also provides an opportunity to visit the local shops in and around Queen Street, the heritage district. “There is a great deal of history and detail in everything you look at,” states Thomson. The heart of the Heritage District will host one of the most anticipated events of the festival, the “White on Ice” dinner. Facebook and Instagram will be flooded with selfies of this not to miss event complete with ice sculptures. “For the adventurous or the romantic individual they will be rewarded with an environment that is very different. Whether you want to dance in the street or take your coat off in the heated tent, you will enjoy this spectacular take it to the street event,” says Thomson. The “Flash and Panache Cocktail Competition” will be a time for individuals of all ages to try new creations and the “Icebreakers Comedy Festival” will also draw a vibrant crowd. With shows already sold out it is guaranteed to be a laugh with Niagara’s local comedians. A visit to the Festival is more than just a chance to taste succulent Icewine and visit with old friends or meet new ones, it’s an opportunity to learn about the Icewine making process from the vine to the glass. “Icewine is an indulgence but it is also made with so much care. Visitors learn from our very personable representatives who love to talk about their craft,” states Thomson. Our goal is to inspire people to go to the wineries, sample their Icewines, and embrace winter,” says Thomson. “There’s so much to do and so many things to experience. We are constantly experimenting with new ideas, but we have the original authentic interpretation of the roots of the Icewine festival. We own the winter.”

For more information visit their new website at: niagaraonthelake.com/icewine TM

13th Street Winery Between the Lines Family Estate Winery Chateau des Charmes Colaneri Estate Winery Creekside Estate Winery Diamond Estates – The Winery Featherstone Estate Winery Fielding Estate Winery Flat Rock Cellars Greenlane Estate Winery Hernder Estate Wines Inniskillin Wines Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery Kacaba Vineyards Winery Konzelmann Estate Winery Legends Estate Winery Magnotta Winery Malivoire Wine Megalomaniac – John Howard Cellars of Distinction Mike Weir Wine Peller Estates Winery Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery Pillitteri Estates Winery Pondview Estate Winery Rancourt Winery Ravine Vineyard Red Stone Winery Reif Estate Winery Ridgepoint Wines Riverview Cellars Estate Winery Rockway Vineyards Stoney Ridge Estate Winery Strewn Winery Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery Tawse Winery The Good Earth Food & Wine Co. Trius Winery Vieni Estates Vineland Estates Winery

SIGNATURE KITCHENS OF NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE Bistro Six-One Cannery Restaurant at Pillar & Post The Epicurean Escabèche Restaurant at Prince of Wales Ginger Restaurant Hob Nob Restaurant & Wine Bar LIV at White Oaks Peller Estates Winery Restaurant Ravine Vineyard Winery Estates Restaurant Oban Inn Riverbend Inn Tiara Restaurant at Queen’s Landing Trius Winery at Hillebrand Zees Grill at Shaw Club Hotel & Spa TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 55

here . SEE . do

PARTICIPATING WINERIES


Mansion on Delaware Avenue

Royal Treatment Girlfriends get the

Y

ou know it’s going to be a great girlfriend getaway when your weekend starts with an eager-to-please butler jogging out to your car to unload your bags even before you’ve popped the trunk.

“James” (yes, that’s really his name) is one of a half dozen butlers on staff at the elegant 28-room Mansion on Delaware in downtown Buffalo that dates back to 1869. The butlers are happy to drive you around town, pour you a complimentary drink in the drawing room at cocktail hour — even run you a hot bath in your whirlpool tub. Their white glove treatment sets the stage for a couple of days of being spoiled rotten in Buffalo.

BY ANNE BOKMA

in BUFFALO

StAr trEAtMENt At GrOOM SErvicE The pampering continues when we head to Groom Service Beauty & Dry Bar, an upscale beauty bar on the ground floor of the elegantly restored Hotel Lafayette. Here, positive feminine energy abounds, and not just because this grand neoclassical hotel was designed in the early 1900s by Louise Blanchard Bethune, the first American woman who worked as a professional architect. Katie Ambrose, a New York makeup artist to the stars who recently moved back to Buffalo to open the salon, gives her clients the kind of luxurious beauty experiences usually Groom Service Beauty & Dry Bar


reserved for celebrities. My girlfriend Donna and I spend a couple of glorious hours with Katie that begins with a mini meditation session involving crystals and “angelic spray” to help balance our chakras and continues with a facial, “intuitive make-up lesson” and hair styling. A final application of feathery false eyelashes has us coquettishly batting our eyes over our lunch menus when we pop in next door to the Pan-American Grill & Brewery to fortify ourselves for an afternoon of shopping with scallop cakes and sugar beet salad.

EMPOriuMS ON ELMwOOD It’s no secret that Canadians love to power shop Buffalo’s outlet stores, but we opt to bypass the mega malls for some good old fashioned street shopping. We spend a few hours strolling the mile-long Elmwood Avenue, checking out the eclectic range of dozens of retail offerings. We peruse furnishings made by local craftspeople at rÓ, float in the aroma of hundreds of exotic seasonings at the elaborately stocked Penzeys Spices, ooh and ahh over the unique gift selections (dragonfly salad tongs anyone?) at the charming Everything Elmwood, browse best-

sellers at talking Leaves, the city’s oldest bookstore, and try on flowing summer dresses in a range of boutiques, from Anna Grace to Blush and Second chic, an upcycle consignment shop where I pick up a vintage halter dress for a bargain basement $22. When we stop to fuel up on caffeine, even the SPot coffee shop is

Second Chic

a delight with its powder blue Victorian settee and tempting display of red velvet donuts, a local specialty that proves irresistible.

Out ON tHE tOwN Our extended shopping trip means there’s little time for dinner so once again the butlers at the Mansion accommodate us by preparing plates of pizza and fresh fruit before driving us to the opening night of the raucous musical, The Book of Mormon, at Shea’s Performing Arts center. The restored theatre, which features a full season of blockbuster Broadway musicals, boosts eight-foot tall crystal chandeliers and intricately painted ceilings in the lobby, recalling its glory days as an elaborate movie house dating from 1926.

Mansion on Delaware by KC Kratt. Groom Service and Second Chic by Katie Ambrose. Shea’s by Jim Bush. Buffalo Proper by Lisa Lubin.

After the show, we aren’t quite ready to call it a night. Fortunately, another theatregoer recommends a stop at Buffalo Proper, a restaurant and bar that tips its hat to the prohibition era when wealthy Buffalonians found a way to sneak a drink in defiance of the 18th amendment. Here, master barman and cocktail curator Jon Karel regales us with further theatrical Shea’s Performing Arts Center antics, displaying his frenetic energy while concocting fancifully named drinks such as Bare Knuckle Boxer, Snake Charmer and Killer Bee’s. It’s the perfect end to a perfect day. Tomorrow, we have a couple more stops to finish our Buffalo getaway – including an afternoon outing to canalside, a beautiful new waterfront area with free events from pilates classes to classical concerts, and what will prove to be a very memorable five-course prix fixe menu with wine pairings at Martin cooks, the city’s first example of chef’s counter dining where guests look on while the chef prepares his signature dishes in an open kitchen. But right now, as the clock hits midnight, we’re ready to head back to our fluffy beds at the Mansion. We ring our butler who arrives in minutes. As I climb into the backseat I utter words I’ve been looking forward to saying all day: “Home, James.” Buffalo Proper


Niagara-on-the-Lake

EVENTS SANTA CLAUS PARADE

Saturday, December 12th 2015 | 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Santa Claus is coming to town! The town of Niagara-on-the-Lake presents one of Ontario’s best Santa Claus Parades, starting at 11 am. Call 905-468-4261 for details.

FORT GEORGE GARRISON CHRISTMAS

Saturday, December 12 & 13 2015 | 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Fort George will be the site of a family holiday event that will include activities, crafts and games for all to enjoy! Hot beverages and treats, as well as scheduled musket demonstrations will be provide. Call Parks Canada at 905-468-6614 for more information.

A CFWI CHRISTMAS PARTY

Saturday, December 12th 2015 | 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm The Canadian Food and Wine Institute and Benchmark Restaurant are hosting another Christmas party and inviting everyone to attend! There will be goodies galore, paired with divine wine and beer in the midst of our gingerbread village and holiday cheer! Tickets are $99 + tax. For tickets, email benchmark@niagaracollege.ca or visit canadianfoodandwineinstitute.ca

NIAGARA COLLEGE TEACHING WINERY: WINTER BLUES

Friday, January 1st 2016 | 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Throughout January enter to win a special VIP package! Also, stop by our tasting boutique and enjoy two complimentary samples of Niagara College Teaching Winery wine throughout the month of January.

THE ICEWINE EXPERIENCE AT REIF ESTATE SENSORY WINE BAR

Saturday, January 2nd 2016 | 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Every Weekend in January from 11 am to 4 pm daily at the Sensory Wine Bar, taste a flight of four Icewines paired with local culinary delights at our chic Sensory Wine Bar. Reservations not required but strongly recommended. $30 per person.


SMALLTALK VINEYARDS: WINE AND CHARCUTERIE BOARD PAIRING WITH WINEMAKER

Saturday, January 9th 2016 | 12:00 pm to 1:00pm

Enjoy a tasting flight of our wines paired with a charcuterie board and experience with our award winning winemaker Angela Kasimos. Wines will include a tasting from our library, current wines and an icewine. Visit smalltalkvineyards.com for more information.

PILLITTERI ESTATES WINERY: EXTRAORDINARY ICEWINES

Friday, January 15th 2016 | 11:30 to 5:30

Join us for weekends in January between 11am-5pm on our vineyard patio for a wintery tasting flight of some of our most rare Icewines! 1 discovery pass or $10.00 per person. Visit pillitteri.com

SPARKLE AND ICE DIAMOND GALA

Friday, January 15th 2016 | 8:00pm to 11:00pm

An evening of Sparkle & Ice is a celebration with Niagara-on-theLake Icewinemakers and their VQA wines paired with Icewine inspired tastings from the Signature Kitchen Chefs in the beautiful setting of the Grand Hall in the Courthouse. Live entertainment and an exciting draw to win a 21st Anniversary Celebration Diamond will make this an evening to remember. Visit niagarawinefestival.com for more information.

FABULICIOUS

Thursday, February 25th to Thursday, March 3rd Come and experience the culinary artists of the Signature Kitchen collection as they shine during Fabulicious. A delightfully tasty food event, Fabulicious happens twice a year – late February to early March and again in mid-November. This event is a veritable feast for connoisseurs of all things culinary allowing everyone to celebrate the joys of local, seasonal artisan cuisine. Offering terrific value with Prix-Fixe 3-Course Menus consisting of an appetizer, main course and dessert, Fabulicious is a great opportunity to sample culinary delights from 14 local fine-dining establishments. Lunch is $25. Dinner is $39. Call 905-468-1950, or visit signaturekitchensofniagaraonthelake.com for menus and information on participating restaurants.

A TASTE OF NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE

Saturday, March 19th | 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Here’s your opportunity to savour the tastes of Niagara-on-the-Lake during this limited seating culinary adventure! Set your tastebuds free at Niagara on the Lake’s premier food and wine event! A Taste of Niagara on the Lake returns with three dates and once again will showcase the area’s top culinary talents paired with some of the best wines and hospitality the region has to offer. If good food, good wine and times are enough to whet your appetite, then a Taste of Niagara-on-the-Lake is the event for you. Visit atasteofniagara.ca TM

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 59


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special section

THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF THINGS TO DO, EXPERIENCE AND SEE DURING YOUR VISIT TO WESTERN NEW YORK; WHATEVER KIND OF ACTIVITY YOU SEEK, INDOOR OR OUTDOOR, ACTION PACKED OR CALM AND RELAXED, THERE IS CERTAINLY SOMETHING FOR YOU. FROM THE EXCITEMENT OF THE SENECA CASINO PROPERTIES TO EXPLORING THE SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS OF ELLICOTTVILLE TO THE ADVENTURES AWAITING YOU IN THE ALLEGANY MOUNTAINS, WESTERN NEW YORK REALLY DOES HAVE IT ALL.

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 61


GET OUTSIDE

&

GET ACTIVE WINTERTIME IN WESTERN NEW YORK

Western New York is a great place to get outside during the wintertime. Sure, it’s cold, but bundle up, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and start reveling in the wintertime! (It only comes once a year after all).

DOWNHILL SKIING

Located in Glenwood, New York (just about half an hour outside of Buffalo), Kissing Bridge is a great place to head for a day of skiing. Kissing Bridge is home to numerous runs, a couple of terrain parks, and is suitable for all levels of skiers. More information is available at kbski.com. Both day and night skiing is available. If you don’t have your own equipment, Kissing Bridge has a rental shop on site. There are a couple other options for great downhill skiing and they are only about a ten-minute drive from the Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino. Holiday Valley is a large ski resort located in Ellicottville, and has 58 day slopes and 37 night trails. Both day and night skiing are available. There are slopes for all levels of skiers, as well as instructional classes for all ages. Rates vary on weekdays and weekends, and passes can be purchased for different time increments (four hours, eight hours, night, weekend) There are 13 chair lifts, and several lodges with food and drink options. Ski rentals are available right at Holiday Valley if you don’t have your own equipment. More information at holidayvalley.com Holimont is also located in Ellicottville and is North America’s largest private resort offering 52 runs and eight lifts. During the week, non-members are allowed, and rentals are available on location. More information at holimont.com.

TUBING

Just down the street from the Holiday Valley ski area is the Holiday Valley Tubing Company. The tubing area has 12 different lanes and a towrope to get you up the hill. During open hours at Holiday Valley, there is a free shuttle service that runs to and from the tubing area. Winter time hours are Thursday and Friday from 4:30 to 9pm, Saturdays 11am to 9pm and Sundays from 11am to 6pm. Make sure to dress warm and dress in appropriate snow clothing (no cotton). Prices vary depending on how long you want to slide for. More info at holidayvalley.com /explore-our-mountain/other-winter-activities-tubing.

Kissing Bridge also has a tubing park, and it is actually Western New York’s largest downhill tubing park. This tubing park is not suitable for children under the age of seven.

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING/SNOWSHOEING

If you are not up for the fast speeds of downhill skiing, why not try cross-country? It’s definitely a great workout and when you are in Western New York, it will be scenic as well. The Allegany State Park is full of different trails that can be used for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or when the weather gets warmer, hiking. The park has 18 trails that span over 20 miles, most of which are used year round. Stop by the visitor center and grab a map so you can see an outline of all the trails and how to access them. A good reference is also enchantedmountains.com. Holiday Valley also offers cross-country course area. To get to the hills on top, you need to buy a two ride cross-country ticket. If you are closer to Buffalo, don’t fear, there are still tons of options for great cross country skiing, check out Akron Falls, Chestnut Ridge Park, Como Lake, Ellicott Creek, Elma Meadows, Emery Park or Sprague Brook. They are all free to access and are generally open from morning until dusk.

SK ATING

Even in the wintertime, the newly revitalized canalside in Buffalo has tons of stuff going on. In addition to a huge skating rink, they offer curling, pond hockey and broomball leagues. Ice skate rental is available for only $4, and admission to the rink is $6 for those over 13 and $4 for ages six to 12. There are also ice bikes available for rent (a fun combo of ice skating and bike riding) at a cost of $10 per half an hour. The Harborcenter in downtown Buffalo offers public skating every Sunday evening, if you like the idea of staying inside while you skate. TM TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 63


HOT toddy SEASON SERVE IT WARM AND STRONG LYNN OGRYZLO It’s a sure sign of winter. When the last leaf falls from the tree, we naturally turn our sights inside to simmering soup, steaming stews and warm mugs of hot chocolate. We’re nesting, we’re warming our souls, bracing for the spine-chilling winter that lay ahead. It was a trip to a Christmas Market where everyone was sipping on hot toddy’s and mulled wine that got me to thinking – as it gets cold outside, don’t just dust off the crock pot, turn up the heat on your favorite liquor bottles!


IT’S IT IT’ ’S S HOT TODDY SEASON AND JUST LIKE FRANK YOU TOO CAN REINVENT THE QUINTESSENTIAL WARM DRINK INTO DOZENS OF DIFFERENT FLAVOUR COMBINATIONS

Master bartender, Frank Ryan of The Western Door steak house always says warm drinks in the winter tend to sooth our psyche. It’s all about survival. Working in a world of anything-goes cocktails, he knows there are times when tradition, comfort and warmth suits our sipping needs and moods best. The most famous warm cocktail of all is the hot toddy. It’s a mixture of sugar, lemon and whiskey warmed with boiling water. It was the best-known cure for anything that ailed you during the days of prohibition. Today we still make hot toddies but now they serve as a base for creativity. I’ve been known some to add cloves and others use brown sugar and bourbon for a caramel flavour. Frank flexes his creative muscles in a warm drink he calls Ma’s Apple Pie. It’s brandy, amaretto and instead of boiling water, he uses warm apple cider. He pours this into a glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar and garnishes it with a dried apple ring. Yes, he recommends it at The Western Door steakhouse when the snow is flying outside because, “it keeps you warm, especially at the thought of going out in a storm.” It’s hot toddy season and just like Frank, you too can reinvent the quintessential warm drink into dozens of different flavour combinations. All you have to do is replace the hot water with one of your favourite beverages like Earl Grey tea. Or how about hibiscus tea and tequila? Both are perfect for tea lovers. Use a spicy apple cider with lots of cinnamon and star anise for an Apple Cider Hot Toddy. Got a can of fruity raspberry lemonade concentrate left from the summer? Ok, then warm it up, add a teaspoon of honey that will turn extra yummy with delicious honey whisky. The reincarnations of hot toddies are limited only by your imagination. For example, only good things can happen when you mix pumpkin

butter and rum together. Add a bit of brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice and you’ve got a Pumpkin Butter Hot Toddy. This one should definitely be topped with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon! Another hot toddy combines two of my favourite things, candy canes and Kahlua. Pull a candy cane from the Christmas tree, crush it and simmer up a Pink Peppermint Hot Toddy with Kahlua and vodka. Use milk for a creamier version and add a dash of peppermint syrup for a boost of festive flavour. If you need to make hot toddies in bulk, thank goodness you dusted off the crockpot because instead of making dinner, it will keep your drinks warm for hours and fill your room with delicious aromas. Let your guests dip a ladle into the pot and help themselves throughout the evening. In a crockpot you have the added advantage of infusing flavours slowly, like ginger that will infuse a lemony hot toddy with spiciness. It’s the perfect antidote to chilly winter weather and some claim that ginger is nature’s antibiotic – a perfect drink to keep winter colds at bay. Start it in the afternoon, serve it in the evening, a Cranberry, Sage and Black Peppercorn Hot Toddy is herbally, citrusy and the color of a glistening, ruby red jewel. It’s an aromatic mixture of cranberries, whole black peppercorns and sage leaves simmering in the crockpot with honey, a bottle of white wine and a cup of Benedictine – yum! There are a few things you should keep in mind when using your slow cooker to make hot drinks. First, turn it to high to bring the liquids to a maximum temperature. Then turn it to low and let the flavours simmer away. Add the alcohol only at the end, a few minutes before serving. You’ll love your crockpot hot toddies because they fill the air with the aroma of savoury spices. Remember that there is only one way to serve a hot toddy and that’s warm and strong. >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 65


Hot toddy Classic YOU’LL NEED ¼ cup whiskey 1 tablespoon honey (or more to your liking) 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice ½ cup boiling water garnish with lemon slice, cinnamon stick and/or star anise DIRECTIONS Combine all ingredients in a warmed mug and stir to combine. Garnish and enjoy.

Hot toddy Classic CROCK POT

YOU’LL NEED 6 cups apple cider or apple juice ¼ cup sugar 1 – 9 inch stick cinnamon 8 whole cloves 4 star anise 1 large orange, sliced 1 lemon, sliced ½ cup bourbon

DIRECTIONS Add apple cider, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and star anise into a crock-pot, cover and cook on low-heat setting for about 2 hours or on high for one hour. Add orange and lemon slices. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more. Turn cooker to low-heat setting, add the bourbon and serve. TM


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Niagara on the Lake - Winter/Spring 2016  

Niagara on the Lake - Winter/Spring 2016