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13 THE EMPRESS OF STEAKS
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BREAKFAST SERVED DAILY Located in Hilton Hotel & Suites Niagara Falls/Fallsview directly across from Fallsview Casino Resort 6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3V9 +1 905 353 7138 watermarkrestaurant.com |
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Located in Hilton Hotel & Suites Niagara Falls/Fallsview directly across from Fallsview Casino Resort 6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3V9 brasaniagara.com | +1 905 353 7187 |
Complimentary parking for our dining guests. TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 3
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elcome to the spring/summer edition of On The Boulevard. In this issue, we explore several things that make Niagara great: food, wine, history and culture. We delve into two historical stories that took place around the same time and place: 1871 in Niagara Falls, but with very different experiences. In one, Mark Twain weaves a fantastical tale about his visit (page 27), and in the other, Grand Duke Alexei, arrived amongst much fanfare (page 24). We also travel down the road to Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Shaw Festival, where we get a sneak peak into their upcoming production of Dracula (page 47). As you can see, we have a lot going on here, and it’s the perfect time of year to visit! So take advantage of that by getting out and exploring all the amazing spaces, places and adventures we have to offer.
MARIANNA BAKAROVA Marianna Bakarova is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, where she teaches Psychological resiliency, the Science of Relationships. Her research explores narrative medicine and mental health. She also holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University concentrated in Psychology.
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.
ANDREW HIND Andrew is a freelance writer specializing in travel, history and lifestyle. He has a passion for new adventure, experiences and also for exploring little known stories. Andrew is never without a book or three in hand and some obscure historical fact at the tip of his tongue. Follow him @discoveriesAM
SHERMAN ZAVITZ Julie’s love of reading good books and writing was sparked at a very young age. After earning her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Guelph, majoring in Hotel and Food Administration, she returned home to Niagara Falls. While Julie considers the hospitality industry the meat and potatoes of her career, freelance writing is the delectable dessert! When she’s not busy enjoying her three kids, she and her hubby are root … root… rooting for the Blue Jays.
A retired teacher, Sherman Zavitz has had a fascination with the history of Niagara Falls and area for many years. Active in many history-related organizations, he has authored five books and has been a columnist for the Niagara Falls Review for over 20 years. He has been recognized for his historical expertise by being appointed official historian for both the City of Niagara Falls, Ontario and the Niagara Parks Commission.
FOOD & DRINK
LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
NIAGARA’S PLAYBOOK Whether you enjoy fun and games, the great outdoors or a little retail therapy, there is something waiting for you in the Niagara Region! Check out our playbook of Niagara activities.
THE EMPRESS OF STEAKS The story of Ruth Fertel; one of America’s great entrepreneurs and founder of Ruth’s Chris.
BE AN ACCIDENTAL TOURIST Regardless of the reason, wine country is ripe with experiences that will surprise and delight and these touring tips will help you find your own unexpected and memorable moments.
A ROYAL WELCOME While most of the royals to make the trip to Niagara have been British, one of the most celebrated royal visits in history was that of 21-year old Grand Duke Alexei of Russia in 1871.
MARK TWAIN FANTASTICAL TRIP A trip back in time to when famous American author and humorist Mark Twain visited Niagara Falls, and wove a fantastical tale about his journey here.
31 DECONSTRUCTING DRACULA The character of Dracula has haunted us for over a century; in fact this year marks the 120th anniversary of Bram Stoker’s iconic novel. This summer, we find him lurking in Niagara-on-the-Lake and on stage at the Shaw Festival. Come with us on a journey behind the curtain.
HERE. SEE. DO.
CANADA 150TH This year we commemorate the 150th anniversary of our country…these are all the ways the Niagara Region is celebrating!
EVENTS A listing of events taking place around the Niagara Region this summer.
THE ACTIVE TRAVELLER
FOR FACTS SAKE Fun facts and trivia about one of the greatwonders of the world.
//FOOD & DRINK
By Megan Pasche
uth Fertel, the woman behind one of the world’s biggest steakhouse chains might just have one of the most interesting stories in the history of the North American restaurant business. She was a true entrepreneur, an incorrigibly hard worker, a people person and a generous soul. She was born Ruth Udstad into a fairly poor family living in New Orleans. Her father worked as an insurance salesman, and her mother taught kindergarten. When the Great Depression hit in the 1930s, Ruth and her family moved out of New Orleans, to the small community where her mother grew up, which was located about 60 miles out of New Orleans. Ruth was an exceptionally gifted child, especially in the areas of math and science, and not only did she skip several grades in grammar school, but she graduated from high school at the age of 15. She started at the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge at 15, and graduated by age 19, with an honours degree in chemistry and physics. In 1946, she began a teaching job at McNeese State University. She was teaching mostly football players, and the majority of her students were actually older than she was. She taught at the school for two semesters. In 1948, she married Rodney Fertel, with whom she eventually had two sons, Jerry and Randy. Rodney and Ruth shared a love of horses, and in 1951, they opened a racing stable located in Baton Rouge. Ruth became the first female horse trainer in Louisiana, after obtaining her thoroughbred trainer’s license. The marriage wasn’t destined to last however, and Rodney and Ruth divorced in 1958. Struggling to support her sons, she found jobs making drapes, and then as a lab technician where she worked for a research scientist at the Tulane University School of Medicine. At that time, she was earning $4,800 a year. Realizing this income was not going to be enough to pay for her sons to go to college, she began combing through the classifieds. She came across an ad, highlighting a restaurant for sale. It was called Chris’ Steak House, and it was a 60-seat establishment located in New Orleans. She began to think the whole thing was meant to be, when she contacted the owner and discovered that the restaurant was originally opened on the day she was born: February 5, 1927.
So, ignoring the advice of everyone, including her banker, lawyer and friends, she mortgaged her house in order to pay for the restaurant. She knew absolutely nothing about the restaurant business at the time. The very first day the restaurant was open, May 24, 1965, she sold 35 steaks at $5 each. By the time she had the restaurant for six months, she had already earned double her salary from when she was working as a lab technician. Fertel was a hands-on businesswoman, and made sure she was involved in every aspect of her restaurant. She taught herself how to butcher steak, and even though she weighed a mere 110 pounds, she was able to saw up 30 pound short loins by hand, which she did up until the time she was able to afford an electric saw. She tried to staff her restaurant with mostly single mothers, and Chris’ Steak House was actually one of the only upscale restaurants in New Orleans at the time to have a fully female wait staff. Soon enough, Chris’ Steak House became the place to be. It was the meeting place for business people, athletes, reporters, and even the odd celebrity, such as Fats Domino. The business suffered a brief setback in 1976, when shortly after Fertel signed another ten-year lease on the restaurant, the entire building was destroyed by fire. Luckily, Fertel has recently purchased another property close by, which she had originally intended to rent out as an event centre. She was able to move the restaurant operations there, and not only that, she was able to do this within seven days, also adding 100 seats in the process. When she originally purchased Chris’ Steak House, there was a clause that said she couldn’t use the name anywhere but at the original address, so she named the restaurant on the new property, Ruth’s Chris Steak House. It was a bit of a tongue twister, but it stuck. At the time she also purchased two houses behind the restaurant, which she had remodeled and joined together, and where she lived for the rest of her days. 1976 was also the year that Ruth Fertel agreed to sell the first franchise, which was opened in 1977 by one of her loyal customers, T.J Moran, and was located in Baton Rouge. In the two decades that followed, numerous other franchises opened up, both in the United States and overseas. Ruth Fertel was officially the First Lady of American Restaurants. Fertel continued to work into her early 70s, and in 1999 when she became ill, she sold the chain to Madison Dearborn Partners of Chicago. In 2002, Ruth Fertel died of lung cancer at the age of 75. Over the years, Ruth Fertel was the recipient of many awards, some of which included Regional Entrepreneur of the Year, Inc. Magazine in 1992, Executive of the Year from Restaurants and Institutions Magazine and Restaurant Business High Performance Leadership Award. In addition to her business acumen, Fertel was also well known for her charitable work. In 1965, after Hurricane Betsy hit New Orleans, and knocked the power out at the restaurant, she realized all the food she had on hand was in danger of going bad. She quickly cooked it up and gave free steak meals to disaster workers and Hurricane victims. She generously paid for the schooling of many children throughout the years,
SOON ENOUGH, CHRIS’ STEAK HOUSE BECAME THE PLACE TO BE. IT WAS THE MEETING PLACE FOR BUSINESS PEOPLE, ATHLETES, REPORTERS, AND EVEN THE ODD CELEBRITY, SUCH AS FATS DOMINO.’ provided counseling for female entrepreneurs and gave money to many schools in the Louisiana area. Ruth’s Chris Steak House has gone through an amazing journey since it’s inception. It started out as a restaurant owned by a single mom, who had no experience in the food industry, and went on to become a business that has more than 135 franchises worldwide, cooks over 16,000 steaks per day and employs close to 5000 people. It’s quite a remarkable feat; and Ruth Fertel, well, she was a pretty remarkable woman. You can visit a Ruth’s Chris Steak House while in Niagara Falls; it is located at 6455 Fallsview Blvd. More info online at ruthchris.com.
accidental BE AN
TOURIST IN WINE COUNTRY BY ANDREA KAISER
Why is it that the best moments in life are usually those unplanned? Perhaps its is because one’s expectations are lower and we are without preconceived ideas. And when we experience something unanticipated, it feel so much more special, like the universe herself has decided to share a secret with us. The awe of something new and fortuitous is an amazing thing, and it is always so rewarding to see the excitement in the eyes of first-time visitors just discovering Niagara’s wine country. Perhaps it is the juxtaposition to the hustle and bustle of the city that makes the accidental tourists appreciate the serenity of the vistas and vineyards, or maybe it’s the marvel that such a small region could be so abundant in natural beauty and bounty. Regardless of the reason, wine country is ripe with experiences that will surprise and delight and these touring tips will help you find your own unexpected and memorable moments.
TAKE ROADS LESS TRAVELLED AND WELL TRAVELLED What is so amazing about Niagara’s wine country is the fact that there are so many diverse and distinctive wineries in the region. From a winery housed in a family barn to a five star winery restaurant, the region really does have it all. Chances are in a small winery setting you will feel totally immersed; you might even meet the winemaker and be invited to get a glimpse of their personal wine culture. In a more established winery environment the likelihood of being persuaded to join a sophisticated and notable wine experience is high and the odds of it being out of the ordinary are very good. REMEMBER WHAT GROWS TOGETHER GOES TOGETHER When you are in wine country it only makes sense to also get acquainted with Niagara’s local edibles. Plan to make an unplanned stop at a roadside stand or bakery to pick up some seasonal goods that you can take home to savour at a later date with your treasure trove of wines. Or take a meal at one of the many culinary destinations along the way. You are sure to uncork some great wine finds paired with the region’s best seasonal produce. SLOW DOWN AND PLAN TO VISIT AGAIN Chances are you will not have enough time to do all that you planned and instead of rushing through wine country, plan to stay an extra day or come back and visit again another time. While the urge may exist to see as much as possible, the likelihood of missing an invitation from the universe to participate in a happy accident will be higher when rushing to see it all. LOCALS KNOW Remember to talk with locals and ask for recommendations. Residents are usually well acquainted with the little-known havens in any tourist destination and are often eager to share the whereabouts of their hidden gems. Unquestionably this is one of the best ways to discover unique and remarkable wine country experiences that will surely surprise and delight.
YOU’RE JUST A SHORT DRIVE AWAY FROM
Niagara-on-the-Lake Wine Country While you’re in town, plan a visit and experience the life of a winery. Nestled below the Niagara Escarpment, we’re a close-knit neighbourhood of wineries each with a unique personality. With over 20 distinctive locations to choose from and a series of Signature Events throughout the year, it’s a good thing we’re just around the corner!
Purchase a Signature Events Touring Pass and gain access to over 20 unforgettable wineries
Available Year Round With our Winemakers’ Selections Tasting Pass, you can taste a carefully selected, notable wine at each of our member wineries, all year long.
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays in February
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays in May
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays in November
Warm up this winter by enjoying the sweet and savoury side of chocolate as it’s expertly paired with only our best VQA wines.
Grape meets grill just in time for summer. Soak up the sun and enjoy a sampling of unique grilled foods and VQA wine pairings.
Let’s make a toast to the festive season. Holidayinspired foods are paired perfectly with locally inspired VQA wines.
Have a taste of all that we have to offer with over 20 unique wineries to choose from
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Konzelmann Estate Winery
1366 York Rd. | St. Davids | ravinevineyard.com
1096 Lakeshore Rd. | Niagara-on-the-Lake | konzelmann.ca
Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery is a timeless destination that is steeped in family legacy and agricultural heritage. Through the generations of the Lowrey-Harber family, who have proudly farmed this land since 1867, Ravine offers our guests ever-evolving experiences, providing a fabric of tastes, scenes and sounds across our 34 acres of beautiful rolling vineyard in the historic village of St. Davids, Ontario.
Visit Konzelmann Estate Winery and discover why they are heralded for providing one of the most friendly, informative and educational experiences in Niagara’s wine country. Family owned and operated since 1893, the lakefront winery is located on the pristine south shores of Lake Ontario and known for producing high quality award-winning VQA crafted wines.
Two Sisters Vineyards
The Lakeview Wine Co.
240 John St. | Niagara on the Lake | twosistersvineyards.com
1067 Niagara Stone Rd. | Niagara on the Lake | lakeviewwineco.com
Two Sisters Vineyards remains dedicated to passionately crafting premium world-class Ontario wines. Our winery was designed to both enhance the everyday and intensify the extraordinary. Infused with the beauty and charm of Niagara wine country and the elegance of our estate, we promise an unforgettable experience when enjoying our wines in our Tasting Boutique and dining in our restaurant, Kitchen76.
The combination of the “unique” cellar floor experience, stateof-the-art winemaking facility; plus a brand new retail and tasting centre, make this a must visit destination in Niagara. Under the watchful eyes of award-winning winemakers Scott McGregor, Jessica Wallace and Tom Green this “oneof-a-kind” winery produces some of the most popular VQA wines in Ontario, including EastDell; 20 Bees; FRESH & Lakeview Cellars wines. Open 11am-5:30pm.
The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.” - Benjamin Franklin circa 1700s
YOUR CULINARY ADVENTURE BEGINS TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 21
THE TWENTY VALLEY WINE REGION Our regional (VQA) appellations, Niagara Escarpment and Niagara Peninsula, and our sub appellations, Beamsville Bench, Short Hills Bench, Twenty Mile Bench, Lincoln Lakeshore and Creek Shores, produce Ontario wines recognized and celebrated across Canada and the world. Our tastes are born from our location: The mighty Niagara Escarpment at our back, magnificent Lake Ontario at our front and in between, soil churned and made complex by grinding glaciers eons ago. Once you add in a little magic called the Lake Effect (constantly circulating breezes between the Lake and the Escarpment that moderate temperatures), you get the unique combination of earth and climate that make Niagara’s Twenty Valley an extraordinary place to grow fruit and craft wines, luring artisans dedicated to creating their own vision of perfection in a glass.
BREWERY OPENING 2017
Bench Brewing Company 3391 King Street | Beamsville | benchbrewing.com
At Bench Brewing, we believe great things come from great places, which is why we’re proud to call Beamsville, Ontario home. We embrace the local winemaking traditions and are inspired by the Belgian farmhouse-style of brewing. Opening in 2017, the former Maple Grove Schoolhouse, our site will feature a 3-acre hop field, wild fermentation program, tap room and beer garden. For more information, visit benchbrewing.com.
Creekside Estate Winery 2170 Fourth Ave. | Jordan | creeksidewine.com
Awarded Ontario’s Best Red Wine in 2016. Creekside Estate Winery has been making premium wines in Jordan for 20 years. Our winemaking team defies convention and our chef relishes in preparing honest and rustic local cuisine. At Creekside we’ve uncorked the perfect way to shop, dine, taste and tour all Niagara has to offer. Open daily 10am to 6pm.
Grand Oak Culinary Market
13th Street Winery
3930 Cherry Ave. | Vineland | megalomaniacwine.com
4600 Victoria Ave. | Vineland Station | grandoakculinary.ca
1776 4th Ave. | St. Catharines | 13thstreetwinery.com
The cellars and vineyards of Megalomaniac sit on a 96 acre site in Vineland. The winery boasts a newly completed 30,000 square foot winemaking and hospitality facility with gorgeous views of the Toronto and Niagara Falls skylines. Of note to try are the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay crafted by winemaker Sebastien Jacquey and his dynamic cellar team. Summer hours are from 11am - 6pm. Email email@example.com
You’ll enjoy visiting, and experiencing the easy access from the QEW, the fresh-baked wares, and Locally sourced produce! With its elegant Post and Beam design, the Grand Oak Culinary Market has become a favourite with locals and visitors alike, a relaxing place to enjoy lunch, coffee or a snack. The Cheese Bar and Salad Bar have fantastic selections, perfect for light lunches or a spur-of-the-moment picnic. It’s all Good! Open 9 AM – 6 PM. Closed Sundays. 289.567.0487.
Visit our new Tasting Room & Wine Bar and enjoy our exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of Niagara. Relax on our verandah with a glass of wine. Explore our magnificent grounds and discover our vineyards, gardens and permanent sculptures. Pick up some delicious baked goods, house-made jams and jellies, gourmet cheese and unique gifts at our onsite Bakery.
Flat Rock Cellars
Hernder Estate Wines
2727 Seventh Ave. | Jordan Station, ON | www.flatrockcellars.com
1607 Eighth Ave. Louth | St. Catharines | hernder.com
Our winery sits atop the escarpment with an incredible 360° view of our beautiful vineyards and Lake Ontario so we love to show it off. Let us introduce you to our state-of-the-art 5 level gravity-flow winemaking facility where we will reveal the secret to our consistently exceptional wines. 10am-6pm daily. Open until 7pm on Saturdays. 905-562- 8994.
From rolling vineyard to wine press, barrel cellar to bottling line, a tour of Hernder Estate is a fascinating excursion. Open 7 days a week for complimentary tastings and weekend public tours at 1pm. Hernder’s also houses two banquet rooms available for private lunches, dinners, events and weddings. Visit www.hernder. com for more information including pricing. 905.684.3300.
“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” - Paulo Coelho TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 23
Two intertwined letters A. Monogram of Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich (1850 -1908). He was the fourth son of Emperor Alexander II and Empress Maria Alexandrovna. The fence of his palace.
//LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
a royal welcome:
GRAND DUKE ALEXEI’S NIAGARA VISIT By Andrew Hind
hrongs of cheering and adoring people, each one eager to get closer to On 17 December, Alexei left by train for a brief detour to Canada. The mood was the Royal, to draw near enough to see his handsome face and perhaps dampened by word that Grand Duke Alexei’s cousin, Albert Edward, Prince of even say hello, crowded the railway station in Niagara. The Royal waved Wales and the future King Edward VII of Britain, was very ill. Nonetheless, the casually and distractedly to the masses; his attention was focused on the Grand Duke first stopped in Montreal, where he had breakfast with the mayor of majesty of the thundering waterfall not far away, the likes he had never seen in his the city, and then made a brief stop in Lachine. The entourage then visited Ottawa, 21 years. He marveled at the power of this natural wonder, and excitedly awaited Toronto, and Hamilton, where Alexei’s mood lifted upon receiving a telegram from the opportunity to venture behind the falls. Queen Victoria that the Prince of Wales had recovered. Finally, around 2pm on Climbing into a sled that would carry him through the snow-driven streets of December 22, the royal train chugged into Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls. town, he waved one more time to the audience. Grand Duke Alexei of Russia now Awaiting the arrival of the Grand Duke at the Great Western Railway Depot thought only of venturing into the tunnels that would take him behind the veil of near the Suspension Bridge were a number of local dignitaries, including the Mayor raging water. of Clifton, F.J. Preston, Mayor of Clifton; Hon. Thomas Clark Street, M.P.P. for Over the years, a number of royals have been among the 15 million annual Welland County and President of the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge Company; visitors to Niagara Falls. Often times, they sneak in with little fanfare and sneak and Colonel Sidney Barnett, son of Thomas Barnett, proprietor of the famed out almost unnoticed. Other times, the royals Niagara Falls. There was a military band, over arrive with vast fanfare and publicity, tempor100 soldiers in full dress uniform and standing at arily—and sometimes unintentionally---deattention, and a crowd of onlookers eager to catch tracting attention away from the Falls and onto a glimpse of royalty. themselves. The first royal to visit Niagara Falls It was a bitterly cold day, so thankfully the was the Duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria address by Mayor Preston was a brief one. The of Great Britain, who came in 1791. Since then, delegation then piled into sleighs and hudalmost every member of the royal family have dled under thick furs as they were driven to the made the pilgrimage to Niagara Falls. It’s almost Niagara Falls Museum. There the party donned a royal tradition. A notable exception to this is hooded oil-skinned coats, the kind used by fishQueen Victoria; despite living until the age of ermen in the harsh North Atlantic, as they pre93, she never made the trip. pared to venture behind the Falls. The New York While most of the royals to make the trip to Times reported that as the Grand Duke and his Niagara have been British, one of the most celeentourage “seemed more like a group of jolly brated royal visits in history was that of 21-year tourists than aught else.” old Grand Duke Alexei in 1871. Alexei’s trip behind the Falls was immortalGrand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch of ized on the front cover of several illustrated Russia was the fifth child and youngest son of newspapers of the time, including Canadian Photograph of Grand Duke Alexis and his party dressed in oil skins and Czar Alexander II and his wife, Czarina Maria Illustrated News and London’s The Graphic. It holding icicles. Likely, this was taken just after their trip behind the Falls. Alexandrovna. Chosen for a naval career, Alexei became an iconic image, and helped popularize Niagara Falls Museums, 2015.42.9. started his military training at the age of 7. He the journey behind the Falls worldwide. grew into a tall and handsome young man, and Upon climbing back up the stairs, the Grand by the age of 20 he had been appointed lieutenant of the Imperial Russian Navy. Duke’s party took time to peruse the Museum’s widely varied exhibits—everyAlexei had gained a reputation, however, for carousing and partying. In an effort to thing from Egyptian mummies and dinosaur bones to tribal artifacts from mature the young man and provide him with official responsibilities, in 1871 he was Darkest Africa—before being transported back to the Suspension Bridge. They sent on a goodwill cruise to North America. walked across the bridge, admiring what was then a marvel of engineering and The visit was primarily a show of friendship between the United States and soaking in the spectacular view of the ice-encrusted Niagara Gorge. Once across Russia, which had provided support to the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War, the bridge and back in the United States, Alexei spent the night at the Spencer and a reciprocation of an official visit to Saint Petersburg of an American squadron House hotel, which had renovated especially for the delegation, and then spent in 1867. the next day enjoying the sights of Niagara Falls from the American side. Later The Russian flotilla arrived in New York on November 21, 1871, greeted by a in afternoon, the Russian party departed for Buffalo to continue their official tour fleet of boats with their rails lined with dignitaries, military guards in full cere- of the United States. monial regalia, and bands playing music. The American public didn’t forget Russia’s Grand Duke Alexei’s visit to Niagara Falls had been a brief one, but it looms support during the Civil War, and everywhere he went in the United States huge large in the community’s history. When he stepped behind the thundering falls, the crowds lined the streets, waving flags and cheering as he passed by. young Russian royal walked into Niagara lore. TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 25
NIAGARA’S DINING, ENTERTAINMENT AND SHOPPING DISTRICT 75 SHOPS 55 EATERIES LIVE ENTERTAINMENT LUNDYSLANE.COM
fantastical TRIP By Sherman Zavitz
“Niagara Falls is a most enjoyable place of resort. The hotels are excellent and the prices not at all exorbitant.” This observation was made by the famous American author and humorist Mark Twain in an article of his entitled “Niagara.” Originally appearing in the Buffalo Express, it was one of a number of Twain’s essays published in 1875 in book form under the title Sketches Old and New. The creator of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and many other memorable characters, Twain probably visited Niagara Falls a number of times. From February 1870 to October 1871 he lived in nearby Buffalo where he was an editor and part owner of the Express. An astute observer with a well-developed wit, Twain, whose real name was Samuel Clemens, offered a number of comments about various aspects of his Niagara experience. For example, he mentions climbing down a 148-foot staircase to stand by the edge of the river and then observes, “after you have done it, you will wonder why you did it; but you will then be too late.” After paying an admission fee, he listened to a guide relate, “in his blood-curdling way,” how he saw the Maid of the Mist piloted downriver through the Whirlpool Rapids to Queenston on June 6, 1861. Twain noted “She did finally live through the trip after accomplishing the incredible feat of traveling seventeen miles in six minutes or six miles in seventeen minutes, I have really forgotten which.” (If I may be permitted, Mr. Twain, it was the latter -SZ) Twain felt it was “worth the price of admission to hear the guide tell the story nine times in succession to different parties and never miss a word or alter a sentence or gesture”. He crossed over the Suspension Bridge to view the Falls from the Canadian side. The bridge, an engineering marvel of the time, stood where the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge is now located. It was a double-deck span with trains using the upper level, while the lower
deck was for carriages and pedestrians. Twain found (or pretended to find) the crossing to be disconcerting, writing, “You drive over the Suspension Bridge and divide your misery between the chances of smashing down 200 feet into the river below, and the chances of having the railway train overhead smashing down on you. Either possibility is discomforting taken by itself, but mixed together, they amount in the aggregate to positive unhappiness.” As his carriage approached the Horseshoe Falls, which he describes as “stupendous,” Twain was surprised and somewhat upset to find “long ranks of photographers standing guard behind their cameras.” Back on the American side, he took the Cave of the Winds trip – a popular experience with visitors still today. As he crept along the footbridges built over the rocks near the foot of the American Falls, Twain was awed by the “monstrous wall of water thundering down from above…I raised my head with open mouth and most of the American cataract went down my throat.” After he dries out, Twain’s amazing imagination and sense of fun really takes off. He relates how he stopped to talk to a group of men who turn out to be ruffians. They “whack” him a number of times, tear off his clothes and then pitch him into the Niagara River. He goes over the Falls. Eventually pulled out, he’s then arrested “for disturbing the peace by yelling at people on shore for help.” The judge fines him but Twain has no money since it was in his now lost pants. A doctor’s examination determines that “only sixteen of my wounds are fatal. I don’t mind the others.” A few years later Twain (now recovered!) brings Niagara Falls into a short story he authored entitled “Extracts From Adam’s Diary.” Based on the Bible’s Book of Genesis, it’s a humourous account, written in diary form, of how Adam met various challenges in what he has named the Garden of Eden.
His first major surprise is a “new creature” with “long hair” that suddenly appears and, to his annoyance, starts following him around. Equally disturbing, this “new creature” who he refers to as “It,” begins naming “everything that comes along before I can get in a protest.” This includes the garden’s great waterfall, which It names Niagara Falls. It also objects to the name Garden of Eden, claiming that the area “looks more like a park than a garden.” “As a result,” Adam sadly says, “without consulting me, the garden has been renamed Niagara Falls Park. This was sufficiently high-handed, it seems to me. And already there is a sign up saying “Keep Off The Grass.” Eventually the new creature tells Adam her name is Eve and asks that he refer to her by that name or “she” or “her,” but not It. Eve then makes a request. We’ll let Adam pick up the story: “She has taken to beseeching me to stop going over the Falls. What harm does it do? Says it makes her shudder. I wonder why; I have always done it – always liked the plunge and the excitement and the coolness. I supposed it was what the Falls were for. They have no other use that I can see and they must have been made for something. She says they were only made for scenery – like the rhinoceros and the mastodon. “I went over the Falls in a barrel – not satisfactory to her. Went over in a tub – still not satisfactory. Swam the Whirlpool and the Rapids in a fig-leaf suit. It got much damaged. Hence, tedious complaints about my extravagance.” As in the Biblical story, Adam and Eve are eventually banished from the Garden of Eden or, as Eve calls it, the Niagara Falls Park. Nevertheless, Adam eventually confesses he was mistaken about Eve when he first met her. He has come to love her and now admires “the goodness of her heart and the sweetness of her spirit,” an agreeable note to end a Niagara tale like no other.
NIAGARA FALLS IS A MOST ENJOYABLE PLACE OF RESORT. THE HOTELS ARE EXCELLENT AND THE PRICES NOT AT ALL EXORBITANT.”
5781 Ellen Ave. (Near the top of Clifton Hill), Niagara Falls, Ontario | 1-866-779-8778
His legend was created in literature and over time bled onto the silver screen. The character of Dracula has haunted us for over a century; in fact this year marks the 120th anniversary of Bram Stokerâ€™s iconic novel. This summer, we find him lurking in Niagara-on-the-Lake and on stage at the Shaw Festival, running from July 8 until October 14. To find out more about the making of this edgy production, I reached out to some of the key players both in front of and behind the curtain. >>
By Julie Tanos
You have been with the Shaw Festival now 15 years, have you ever directed a play of this nature before: a sensual, scary love story about the undead?
No, I have never done anything like it before at the Shaw Festival or anywhere else. It is a wonderful theatrical challenge that I am really enjoying. Gothic tales are defined by the mingling of anxiety and desire and that is very true of this adaptation of the novel Dracula. I am working very closely with sound designer/composer John Gzowski to create a truly thrilling, chilling and seductive soundscape for the show.
Is the double duty as both Dracula’s Director and Shaw’s Associate Director exciting, exhausting or a marvelous mix of both?
“Once again... welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring.” ― – Bram Stoker, Dracula
I’m always doing double duty here at the Shaw and I love it. This is such an exciting group of artists and I am happy to be involved with them in any way I can be.
How many actors are in the cast? Any newcomers/young actors to keep an eye on? How about any Shaw veterans that we can expect to see?
From conceptualization, drawing up drafts, miniature models to actual construction, how long is the entire process to build the various sets for this play?
It is a cast of 14 and a wonderful mixture of actors who have been here and worked with me many times, as well as people fairly new to the company. I am especially excited to have the chance to work with Allan Louis who was in the incredible production of “Master Harold” … and the Boys last season. He will be playing Dracula and we are all simultaneously scared of and attracted to him!
This story has an edgy, sexy theme, was it chosen specifically with hopes of drawing in a younger audience?
As with all the shows we do at the Shaw, Dracula was chosen because it is a great story told in a wonderfully theatrical way. It is one of the most famous stories of the Victorian era and has inspired spin offs right from the moment it appeared in print. In the last few years vampires have become very trendy and so if that fact brings in a younger audience that would be a wonderful by product for sure. In the end we chose it because it is a really good play
You have a very extensive background in professional (ballet) dance. Can we expect that you will incorporate some choreography into this production to help tell the story?
I think that my background in ballet shows up in my work whether I mean for it to or not. This piece is very episodic and I am hoping as we go from scene to scene, to create a real sense of the story pulsing and flowing - like blood. I will draw on any part of my experience that I can to create the magic and thrill that this story demands.
In the past, you have been interested in bringing a voice to the minor characters, or those often overlooked. Will the audience hear this story told from a new perspective?
Liz Lochhead, the Scottish poet who adapted the novel, has approached the story from a very interesting perspective. She hints at the idea that the thing that we are all truly afraid of is our own sexuality - and Count Dracula is the catalyst that forces us to face our fear. But she doesn’t stop there – she uses the character of Van Helsing to challenge us to forgive each other for our desires - something that I think is an incredible transformative idea.
Why would the Shaw’s production of Dracula draw people out of the shadows, like the Count himself, and into the Festival Theatre this summer?
Count Dracula himself makes the best case for coming to see our production of Dracula; when with wolves howling at the gates he says to Jonathan Harker, “Listen. Listen to the children of the night. What music they make.”
SET & COSTUME DESIGNER
We often start working as early as one year in advance. I start by having preliminary meetings with the director, doing research and finding inspiration, and then working on a model and drawings of our preliminary ideas. Then the show gets costed, and final designs are worked out. It happens slowly over the year, as the theatre is working on multiple productions at one time. Each show has a slot to be built in, and over the course of the year the entire season comes together. As soon as one season is done, there is a small break before planning and construction for the next season starts. It is a continuous process.
How is designing sets for the Shaw Festival unique compared to other production companies for whom you’ve worked, such as Stratford and the Canadian Opera Company?
Designing sets for both Shaw and Stratford are unique because they are repertory theatres. One theatre may have 3 or 4 productions happening at the same time, and the scenery for all of the shows has to fit into the same space. The scenery will get set up and taken down many times over the season and sometimes has to be built to come apart and go back together easily, while looking like it is one seamless piece. What is unique about the theatres at the Shaw Festival is that each one provides a vastly different experience – from the intimacy of the Courthouse and Studio theatres, to the large scale of the proscenium stage at the Festival theatre. So the scenery needs to be scaled and conceived to suit each venue. The opera is different in many ways, mostly in its size and scale. Most opera companies perform exclusively in large proscenium houses, and scenery is built to last for years as productions are put into storage, revived and rented to other companies all over the world. At The Shaw, most of our shows are seen during one season, and new work is created each year. We often re-use elements like floors, which get re-painted with new designs each season. >>
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Each theatre holds multiple productions so each set needs to be somewhat easy to erect and deconstruct. How long does it take to dis/assemble each set? When the season is in full swing, there will be a show at 2pm and at 8pm in the same theatre. Most shows are done after two to three hours, so there is about 2 hours to change over before the cast and crew arrive for the evening show.
There have been many variations of Dracula and specifically Bram Stoker’s story. From where did you draw inspiration for the set design and costumes for this production? Director Eda Holmes and I had such a fantastic time doing research and conceiving our version of this story. We looked at many of the various Dracula films, paintings and photographs from the era the novel was written in, as well as ideas based in underground society and culture of the 1980s- when this version of the play was written, including nightclub culture such as what was happening at Studio 54 in New York. So it has become a blend of the late Victorian world with influences of underground nightclub style and dress. Sometimes, the actors have minimal time to change costumes between scenes; will there be any “crunch times” in this play? A few of the characters have quick changes in the play. We plan this out before we start building the costumes as it affects how the garments get constructed and put together. Some characters are dressing on stage and the clothes need to fasten in a specific way that is suited to the period. For example, we will see one of the female characters getting laced into a corset and putting on a dress on stage. Items that get put on off-stage, and in a quick change will be made differently so they appear to look correct to the period, but have snaps, Velcro or magnets as fasteners to help with getting in and out of the garments quickly and easily when there is little time.
Did you experience any challenges in creating any of the costumes or sets?
One of the biggest challenges will be the use of fake blood in the show. It is such an important part of the genre and the story, and we are working out many different ways for it to appear. Of course, it will be getting onto the costumes and we have to do many tests to make sure the fake blood will wash out properly after every show so that is a complicated task to figure out; to make sure everything looks fresh and new each time the show is performed.
Why would the Shaw’s production of Dracula draw people out of the shadows, like the Count himself, and into the Festival Theatre this summer? The story of Dracula is inherently a theatrical one, and I think it is going to make for a thrilling and entertaining piece of theatre. The script we are working with is beautiful and poetic, yet bone chilling with a heightened sense of horror and gothic atmosphere.
This is your second season with the Shaw Festival; what did you learn from your first season that makes you better prepared for this upcoming one?
Last year I learned from performing “Master Harold” …and the Boys how much the audience was on my side if I allowed them to be, no matter the circumstances.
You have recurring roles on such television shows as NCIS, what do you enjoy what about theatre that you cannot find on television or film sets? The audience is so close to you in the theatre that it forces you to be present on a cellular level.
Your theatre background spans stages from Toronto to New York and beyond, what makes Shaw different? What enticed and drew you back for another season?
Canada, and its unapologetic support of the arts and the artists. I was thrilled to be invited back to the Shaw Festival by our fantastic new Artistic Director Tim Carroll. He’s awesome. What are some challenges you are faced with when headlining one show, and taking part in another (Saint Joan), simultaneously? The moment I realized the mental and physical demands of each role, I adjust my life to fit those demands.
Was it exciting to take on such an infamous character in literary history and embody his persona?
Being cast in the role makes me feel like I’m nine years old again. A time when I could be easily frightened out of my wits, and a dark room had a lot more mystery. I am honored to step into the cape.
How would you describe your character? A villain, misunderstood antagonist, hopeless romantic or in your own words…
Dracula is a benevolent angel of light. Humans have been altering themselves with whatever technology provided since the earliest days of civilization. Tools, clothing, armor, and weapons are all ways that mankind has altered itself to be better suited to its environment temporarily. Dracula is a Transhumanist, offering up the possibility of modifying the fundamental yet weakest aspects of being human. Permanently.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a very romantic, sensual story at times; do you think the audience will be seduced by your Dracula? I’ve worked with many directors in my career, however I think the audience will be seduced by Director Eda Holmes’ intoxicating vision of Dracula.
What feelings will you say the audience will come away with after watching this production?
It’s safe to say the audience will leave the theatre feeling a range of emotions although I think some of them will be very “private”.
Why would the Shaw’s production of Dracula draw people out of the shadows, like the Count himself, and into the Festival Theatre this summer? Come see Dracula because it’s sexy, funny and terrifying. It’s going to be a stellar season of entertainment at Shaw.
The only thing we enjoy more than our view is sharing it with our friends.
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FOR FACTS SAKE
FUN NIAGARA FALLS TRIVIA
Approximately 28% of the world’s surface fresh water flows over Niagara Falls (2)
Why is the water so green? The Startling green colour of the Niagara River is a visible tribute to the erosive power of water. An estimated 60 tons of dissolved minerals are swept over Niagara Falls every minute. The colour comes form the dissolved salts and “rock flour”. Very finely ground rock, picked up primarily from the limestone bed but probably also from the shales and sandstones under the limestone cap at the falls. (3)
According to the U.S.G.S. (United States Geological Survey) of Niagara Falls, it appears that almost 1/3 of the Canadian Falls lies within US Territory and Terrapin Point is in Canada.
The Skylon Tower rises 775 feet above the Falls (2)
Goat Island sits in the middle of the Niagara Falls, between Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. (1)
Niagara Falls Ontario Canada is known as the Honeymoon Capital of the world (2)
Over 2,000 tropical butterflies float freely year round at Niagara’s Butterfly Conservatory.
About 28,000,000 liters of water travel down Niagara Falls every second.(2)
The Niagara Falls are a source of hydropower, producing large amounts of electricity. (1)
Fish actually travel over the falls. Don’t believe it? Visit the Cave of the Winds. This place will prove the fact and you might even meet someone who has actually been struck by a fish on his journey down the falls. (4)
sources: (1) http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/earth/niagarafalls.html (2) https://www.niagarafalls.ca/living/about-niagara-falls/facts.aspx (3) http:/www.niagaraparks.com/about-niagara-falls/geology-facts-figures.html (4) http://www.justluxe.com/community/top-12-most-interesting-facts-about-niagara-falls-a-1822789.php
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FOR THINKERS, EXPLORERS & THRILL SEEKERS… Whatever your travel style, be it wanting to spend time outdoors, challenging yourself with new adventures or plain having fun (or a mixture of all these), Niagara offers tourists no shortage of wonders to behold, and fun to be had. From our plentiful nature trails to the crazy Clifton Hill, here we’ve compiled a short list of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, for you to cross off and make Niagara your playground.
N I AGA R A’ S
PLAYBOOK OUTDOOR FUN W H I R L P O O L J E T B OAT
M YST E RY M A Z E
Take a thrilling ride down the Niagara River in either the jetboat or the wetjet. Located at 61 Melville Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake. More info at whirlpooljet.com
Have a fun adventure in the Mystery Maze and see how long it takes you to find your way out! More info at falls.com Located at 4943 Clifton Hill.
JOURNEY B E H I N D T H E FA L L S
H O R N B LOW E R (pictured)
Travel through the tunnels behind Niagara Falls for a unique perspective. Located at 6650 Niagara Parkway. More info at niagaraparks.com
A must do when visiting Niagara Falls, as this is the best view of the Falls you’ll get. Located at 5920 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls. More info at niagaracruises.com. >>
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N I AGA R A S KY W H E E L Youâ€™ll get a most unique view of Niagara Falls from this giant ferris wheel. Located on Clifton Hill. More info at cliftonhill.com
N I AGA R A G O - K A RTS Enjoy one of the fastest tracks in North America and a game of mini putt afterwards. Located at 7104 Kinsmen Court. More info at gokartniagara.com
WHITE WATER WALK Follow the boardwalk along Niagaraâ€™s stretch of white water rapids. Located just off the Niagara Parkway. More info available at niagaraparks.com
N I AGA R A HELICOPTERS Take a thrilling ride over the Falls! Located at 3731 Victoria Ave. More info at niagarahelicopters.com
NOW ON ISSUU
D I N O S AU R A DV E N T U R E G O LF Play mini golf in a prehistoric world amidst an erupting volcano, moving dinos and more. Located on Clifton Hill. More info at cliftonhill.com >>
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INDOOR FUN GREG FREWIN T H E AT R E Enjoy dinner while you watch some magic unfold by Niagara’s best magician - Greg Frewin. Located at 5781 Ellen Ave. More info at gregfrewintheatre.com
S KY LO N TOW E R Enjoy the ride to the top and the indoor and outdoor observation decks. Also view the 3D/4D movie, The Falls. More info at skylon.com Located at 5200 Robinson Street.
Photo by: Mike Farkas
Editorial Credit: Kotsovolos Panagiotis / Shutterstock.com
B U T T E R F LY C O N S E RVATO RY Thousands of colourful butterflies float around in this rainforest setting. Located right on the Niagara Parkway. More info at niagaraparks.com
T H E C RYSTA L CAV E : A MIRROR MAZE A DV E N T U R E Get lost in a maze of mirrors, but make sure you don’t end up lost…forever! Located at 4967 Clifton Hill. More info at crystalcaves.ca >>
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INDOOR SKYDIVING 6357 Stanley Avenue • Niagara Falls ON Canada (Steps from Fallsview Casino) 6357 Stanley Avenue • Niagara Falls ON Canada (Steps from Fallsview Casino)
Essential Oil Distillery - Daily Tours - Home & Body Care Indoor Skydiving completely immerses visitors in the world of high adventure skydiving without even having to pack a parachute, pull a ripcord, or jump out of an airplane! No Experience is necessary. Virtually anyone can do indoor skydiving from the ages of 5 and up. Flying in a secure vertical wind tunnel allows you to defy gravity and experience the feeling of flight
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BIRD KINGDOM You’ll see tons of different birds during a visit to this free flying aviary. Located at 5651 River Road. More info at birdkingdom.com
WAV E S I N D O O R WAT E R PA R K
LO U I S T U S SAU D’ S WA XWO R K S
Enjoy a wave pool, slides, hot tubs and more. Located at 8444 Lundy’s Lane. More info at americananiagara.com
You will get to view an impressive collection of famous faces with some new addition for 2013. Located at 5709 Victoria Ave. More info at ripleysniagara.com
RIPLEY’S B E L I E V E I T O R N OT !
R I P L E Y ’ S M OV I N G T H E AT R E
This museum of the absurd has over 700 exhibits of various oddities, curiosities and illusions. Located at 4960 Clifton Hill. More info at ripleysniagara.com
This state of the art simulator ride will take you on the ultimate adventure. Located at 4960 Clifton Hill. More info at ripleysniagara.com >>
Authentic WOOD FIRE PIZZA & GRILL – from start to finish –
COCO’S STEAKHOUSE @ HO LI DAY I NN BY T H E FALLS 5339 Murray St • Across from Fallsview Casino • 905.356.1333
CREEKSIDE ESTATE WINERY WINNER OF ONTARIO'S BEST RED WINE
Creekside has been doing its premium thing on the Niagara Peninsula since 1997, when McCain Foods magnate Laura McCain jumped at the opportunity to pursue a growing passion for wine, purchasing a 15-acre vineyard and winery in Jordan, Ontario. Early on the darlings of the Creekside portfolio were, like the people who created them, a little outside of the mainstream fold; Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, despite being considered viticulturally off-kilter for the region at that time, showed promise and the early successes spurred further investment. A state-of-the-art production facility was built in 1999 featuring stainless steel tanks, red fermenters and crush pad with a gentle air-bladder press. All additions were steered toward crafting unique, small batch, VQA wines of uncompromising quality. The following year a showpiece underground barrel cellar was constructed to house 600 barrels for the growing red wine program, today the cellar combines modern practicality and old-world charm. In 2008, a covered patio affectionately known as The Deck was added to round out the on-site wine experience. Over the years, vineyard holdings have grown including the prize purchase of the Queenston Road Vineyard, a 50-acre parcel on the St. Davids Bench. The red-focused site is planted with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. The Creekside Estate Vineyard was gradually replanted with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling; crisp white varieties well-suited to the Creek Shores sub-appellation. The Estate Vineyard has become the main source for Creeksideâ€™s most acclaimed varietal, Sauvignon Blanc.
Along with the continued commitment to quality in the vineyard, the winemaking team labours to produce wines that exhibit personality, complexity and elegance. Head Winemaker and CCOVI graduate Rob Power leads the talented winemaking team and continues to defy Ontario winemaking conventions, raising the bar for winemaking in the Niagara Peninsula. As a testament to the consistency of the winemaking team several nominations for Canadian Winery of the Year have been awarded and Rob Power was nominated Winemaker of the Year in Ontario in 2008 and 2012â€™s Vineyard Innovator of the Year at the Ontario Wine Awards. In 2012, Equity Wine Group, a relative newcomer in the Canadian wine marketplace acquired the winery. A new wine company, led by Andrew Howard, dedicated to doing things a little differently was a match made in heaven for the darlings of Creekside Estate Winery. Celebrating their 20th anniversary Creekside is now a popular year-round destination for wine enthusiasts and industry insiders alike. With a plethora of unique wine and food experiences Creekside Estate Winery has become a destination for wine lovers. The wine boutique is open daily and offers a unique one-to-one tasting experience or join your friends at the tasting bar and discover some local favourites! Or visit the underground wine cellar to see where the wine patiently ages. Chef Nathan Young leads the seasonal culinary program on The Deck and offers year-round private events including groups and weddings. www.creeksidewine.com TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 45
U P S I D E D OW N H O U S E Defy gravity and explore the topsy turvy upside down house! Fun for the whole family. upsidedownhouseniagarafalls.ca
CA P TA I N JAC K ’ S P I R AT E C OV E Enjoy 40,000 square feet of fun! Arcades, rides, mini golf and more. Located at 4955 Clifton Hill. More info at piratescoveniagarafall s.com
FUN SEEKER L AS E R TAG If you want to feel like a kid again (or if you have kids you need to entertain), why not sign up for a exciting game of laser tag? It’s not just about running around the room, shooting people with lasers, it’s about defending your base and coming up with a strategy to win. You can form alliances, you can play with a team, but the main objective: be the last man or team standing.
W E L L A N D CA N A L C E N T R E Learn all about the Regions marine history and watch as ships make their way through the canal. Located at 1932 Welland Canal Parkway, St. Catharines. More info at stcatharines.ca
N I AGA R A I M A X Take in the movie Niagara: Miracles, Myths & Magic and also check out the daredevil museum. Located at 6170 Fallsview Blvd. More info at imaxniagara.com
G U I N N E S S WO R L D RECORDS MUSEUM Meet the world’s record setters for everything you can imagine! Located at 4943 Clifton Hill. More info at falls.com
B R O N TO’ S A DV E N T U R E P L AYLAND
THE FUN HOUSE
Clifton Hill’s newest and biggest outdoor/indoor attraction. Ballcity, jungle gym and more. Located at 4943 Clifton Hill. More info at falls.com
This is Niagara’s only fun house! You’ll be climbing, crawling and more! More info at falls.com Located at 4943 Clifton Hill.
Z A P ZO N E N I AGA R A This place is located in downtown Niagara Falls, and is played in a 2500 square foot arena. It’s dark, smoke swirls, lights flash, and music plays. It’s some of the most fun you’ll have on your vacation. Visit their website at zapzoneniagara.com
N I AGA R A FA L L S F U N ZO N E Their Galaxy Guest Laser Tag arena is a 2000 square foot space with a space battle theme. It allows for a great way to have fun with friends or family when you are on vacation. More info at niagarafallsfunzone.com
C L I F TO N H I L L If it’s fun you are looking for, then look no further than Niagara Fall’s “Street of Fun”, Clifton Hill! The carnival like atmosphere appeals to the kid in all of us, and it is full of arcades, rides, fun houses, haunted houses, mini golf, gift shops, restaurants, bars and more. If it’s late night entertainment and dancing you seek, you’ll find somewhere on Clifton Hill to party all night. A Clifton Hill Fun Pass is available for purchase on cliftonhill.com and you can receive a discount by purchasing the tickets online in advance.
O H CA N A DA E H Enjoy some dinner theatre and sing along with a huge cast of Canadian characters. Located on Lundy’s Lane. More info at ohcanadaeh.com
FA L L S V I E W I N D O O R WAT E R PA R K Canada’s largest entertainment resort with 16 slides, hot tubs, wave pool and more. Located at 5685 Falls Avenue. More info at fallsviewwaterpark.com
ROCK LEGENDS Enjoy wax figures of the best in the music industry. Located at 5020 Centre Street. More info at rocklegendswaxmuseum.com
N I AGA R A F R E E FA L L I N D O O R S KY D I V I N G Defy gravity! Try a highflying indoor skydiving adventure. Located at 6357 Stanley Ave. More info at niagarafreefall.com >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 47
THE HOUSE OF F R A N K E N ST E I N Filled with abominations that move and scare at every chance they get. Have a good scare from monsters lurk in the House of Frankenstein. Located at 4967 Clifton Hill. More info at houseofrankenstein.ca
HAUNTED HOUSES T H E H AU N T E D H O U S E
H AU N T E D ASY LU M
Test your bravery, challenge your nerves, and try to take a walk along the darker side of Clifton Hill. Located at 4943 Clifton Hill. More info at falls.com
This haunted house features many deadly monsters, killer clowns and some of Hollywood’s most notorious slashers. Located at 5930 Victoria Ave.
NIGHTMARES FEAR FAC TO RY
S C R E A M I N G T U N N E L S H AU N T E D HOUSE
One of the scariest haunted houses in the area, boasting over 140,000 people who’ve chickened out so far…will you be one of them? Located at 5631 Victoria Ave. More info at nightmaresfearfactory.com
Named after Niagara Region’s own real-life Screaming Tunnels. This haunted house features many deadly monsters, killer clowns and some of Hollywood’s most notorious slashers. Located at 5930 Victoria Ave. More info at screamingtunnels.com
Editorial Credit: GagliardiImages /Shutterstock.com
D R AC U L A’ S H AU N T E D CAST L E Recent winner of “Haunted Attraction of the Year”, there are 3 levels of fear for you to explore. Located at 4933 Clifton Hill. More info at darkinthepark.com
N I AGA R A’ S H AU N T E D H A L LWAYS One of Niagara’s newest and spookiest haunted houses. See if you have the stomach to make it through. Located at 6455 Fallsview Blvd. More info at niagarafallsfunzone.com >>
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THE STRATEGIST E S CA P E R O O M S The popularity of escape rooms in Niagara only continues to grow, and luckily for us here in Niagara (and those visiting), we are home to some pretty great ones. These games are real life interactive puzzles that you and your team work to solve so you can escape the room in under an hour. Each room usually has a story or a theme involved as you work your way through the game in stages.
A DV E N T U R E R O O M S Located in downtown Niagara Falls, they currently have two games available: The Missing Finger and The Collector. Visit their website at adventurerooms.ca to book.
CA P T I V E E S CA P E R O O M S They currently have two games: Dracula’s Library and Cabinet of Curiosities. Located on Lundy’s Lane in Niagara Falls. Book online at captiverooms.com.
THE CRUX ESCAPE ROOMS The Crux Escape Rooms: Currently has one game: Dead Air. Located at Victoria Ave in Niagara Falls. More info at thecrux.ca.
QUBE ESCAPE ROOMS Currently has three games: Grandpa’s Study, Homeroom & Synergy. Located on Queen Street in Niagara Falls. Book online qubeemporium.com.
THE HOUR This is the only escape room in St. Catharines and is located in downtown St. Catharines. They have four different games going on, all with very different themes and stories. Currently, the games are: Emma’s Disappearance, Jailbreak, Mutiny At the Hour and The Lost Ones. More info at the hourstcatharines.com. >>
EARLY DINNER SPECIALS
OBSERVATION DECKS SUMMIT SUITE BUFFET
REVOLVING DINING ROOM
REVOLVING DINING ROOM Adult $39.95 SUMMIT SUITE BUFFET Adult $34.95 Childrenâ€™s Menu Available
FREE ADMISSION FOR RIDE TO THE TOP & OBSERVATION DECKS WITH DINING!
Please contact us for Reservations 905.356.2651
A view to thrill
Niagara Helicopters Flightseeing Tours
Niagara Helicopters 3731 Victoria Avenue Niagara Falls, ON
905 357 5672 niagarahelicopters.com
THE ACTIVE TRAVELLER
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru
Niagara is full of amazing places to get outside and explore; we are lucky to have conservation areas filled with walkways and wildlife, scenic walking and biking trails, and tons of hiking paths that snake and meander through some of the best scenery this province has to offer.
LOUTH CONSERVATION AREA
This is Canada’s oldest and longest footpath, and the Niagara portion of it stretches from Queenston to Beamsville. Planned hikes are available on pre determined days, or you can hike solo whenever you want. Badges are given if you register and then complete the entire Niagara section of the trail. If you are extremely ambitious, you can sign up to hike the entire trail from end to end. To put it in perspective, if you hiked for 8 hours a day, it would take approximately 30 days to finish the entire trail. There is no set time limit for doing an end-to-end hike, you could take thirty days or thirty years, and either way, you still get the coveted badge at the end. Maps are available online from the Bruce Trail Conservancy.
Located along 16-mile creek in Lincoln County, the trails in this conservation area are lined with rock formations, some impressive waterfalls and if you are lucky, filled with the sound of singing songbirds. There is a small parking lot located on Staff Ave.
NIAGARA GLEN These hiking trails run right along the Niagara Gorge, and through four kilometres of Carolinian forest. There are three different trails: white, blue and red, and they are all clearly marked. Some of the trails in this area are on rough terrain, and you’ll find yourself climbing up and down slopes, over trees and around boulders. Be prepared for an elevation change of 200ft, and make sure to stay safe with proper footwear. And though it may seem tempting, especially in the hot summer sun, don’t venture out into the water, as swimming is prohibited. Parking can be found in a lot along the Niagara Parkway, but keep in mind this place can get very busy in the summer time, so if you are looking for solitude while hiking, this might not be your best bet.
WATERFRONT TRAIL The Waterfront Trail stretches from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Quebec, following the shores of Lake Ontario. The Niagara portion begins in Niagara-on-the-Lake and goes through St. Catharines, Lincoln and Grimsby. The trail varies between off road paths and streets in residential neigbourhoods. It is a multi use trail and is good for cycling, walking or rollerblading. Trail maps are available online from the Waterfront Trail official website.
ST. JOHN’S CONSERVATION AREA There are four different trails here, all marked by different colours. You’ll be able to see the old growth forest, a large collection of Tulip Trees, a large pond with fish, turtles and frogs, and lots of other beautiful scenery. Some of the paths have wheelchair accessibility. Located at 3101 Barron Road, between St. Catharines and Pelham.
ROCKWAY CONSERVATION AREA Protecting a portion of the Niagara Escarpment, this conservation area is a great spot for hiking, as it’s not too busy, and is hidden halfway between Jordan and St. Catharines. Parking is available on 9th Street or Regional Rd 69 at the Rockway Community Centre. You can hike along the 15-mile creek and enjoy the views of many different kinds of trees, as well as two different waterfalls. There is also the remnant of a salt spring that makes the area quite historically significant as the spring was thought to be used as far back as 1792.
SHORT HILLS PROVINCIAL PARK Short Hills is a huge 735-acre natural environment park, which covers parts of St. Catharines, Pelham and Thorold. It’s a great place for hiking and mountain biking, and trails are marked according to which activity is permitted on the trail. This is an area where it is extremely important to stay on the marked path, as it’s very easy to get lost in Short Hills (I speak from experience; I have had to be rescued not once, but twice from Short Hills. I didn’t even knowingly leave the marked path, so fellow directionally challenged people beware) Parking is available off Pelham, Roland and Wiley Roads.
There are over 200 scenic routes available for cycling options in the Niagara Region, so it is easy enough to find itineraries for every level of rider, every type of scenery and every length of ride. The Niagara Region website listed at the bottom of the article has a great tool which allows you to sort bike routes through themes (heritage, culture, water), length of ride, terrain, surface, difficulty and more. It’s probably the most comprehensive tool you’ll find when looking for new bike routes to explore in the Region. What follows are just some highlights of what’s available.
NIAGARA RIVER PARKWAY TRAIL This is a beautiful 56-kilometre bike path that links Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie. It’s paved, so it’s accessible, and is great for both walking and cycling. This path runs parallel to the Niagara River, and passes some beautiful sights along the way, including numerous points of interest for tourists, such as the Floral Clock, Fort George and the Butterfly Conservatory.
FRIENDSHIP TRAIL This bike friendly path runs sixteen kilometres across Fort Erie, and winds through farmland, villages, watersheds and residential areas. Not only is it great for cyclists and walkers, but it is also wheelchair accessible. Parking is available on Ridge Road, Crescent Road, and Lakeshore Road.
WELLAND CANALS PARKWAY TRAIL This paved recreational trail links the cities that the canal passes through and extends from Port Colborne to St. Catharines. The full length of the trail is 42 kilometres, and it’s great for walking, hiking or rollerblading. You’ll get the unique opportunity of watching the ships as they go through the canal, and for the most part, the path runs right alongside it. Check out niagararegion.ca/exploring/cycle/ Bicycle-Niagara
This beautiful area set in Twenty Valley got its name from the family that originally lived there. In addition to being able to see the original home, restored church, an operating flour mill, a lime kiln, a black smith shop and carriage shed, there is also a recently opened Centre for Conservation, which has many interactive exhibits and programs. Several trails run through the area, and maps are available online, which will lead you to the various points of interest, as well as the upper and lower falls. TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 53
Whatever you do while visiting be sure to include an evening out at Hornblower Niagara Cruises. They’re certain to deliver an amazing experience and memories that will last a lifetime.
GET UP CLOSE & PERSONAL
FALLSVIEW LICENSED PATIO
Nestled at the river’s edge in the Great Gorge, Hornblower’s new Fallsview Licensed Patio is as close as it gets to the Falls. Boasting one-of-akind, up-close views of the American and Horseshoe Falls it’s an idyllic setting to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings and majestic beauty of Niagara. Here you can enjoy Niagara-inspired Mist Gourmet Fresh Express cuisine, local Craft Beers and fine Niagara Wines while enjoying live musical entertainment and Hornblower’s “Salute to Summer” Great Canadian BBQ Event in season. At night gather under the stars with good friends for great times in Niagara Falls. Open daily May 1 – November 30.
VOYAGE TO THE FALLS BOAT TOUR
The legendary boat tour of Niagara Falls is Canada’s favorite visitor experience. It’s been thrilling millions from around the world for more than 150 years. You may have seen the Falls before, but you’ve never experienced them quite like this! Hold onto your heart and get ready for the thrill of a lifetime. Hornblower Niagara Cruises will take you on a ride you’ll never forget, into the very heart of the Horseshoe Falls. Prepare for an awe-inspiring journey aboard Hornblower’s state-ofthe-art Catamaran boats. You’ll experience the world-famous boat tour of the Great Gorge, American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and of course an up-close and very personal connection with the world’s most famous cataract. You’ll thrill to the awesome power, thundering roar and amazing mist of the mighty Canadian Horsehsoe Falls! Hornblower’s Voyage To The Falls boat tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed and an absolute must-do for every visitor to Niagara Falls. Boats operate April 1 to November 30. Open daily in open daily in season from 8:30 am - 8:30 pm. Boats sail every 15 minutes. Don’t miss it.
HORNBLOWER NIAGARA CRUISES
#BUCKETLISTAPPROVED FALLS FIREWORKS CRUISE
This is Niagara Falls’ most talked about experience! These 40-minute cruises promise to be the highlight of any visit to Niagara Falls. From the convenience of our on-board licensed bar you can savor local Craft Beer, Niagara Fine Wines and cocktails while cruising the Great Gorge and taking in the majestic views of the Illuminated Falls and city skyline. Colors whirl and sparks fly with the famous Falls Fireworks Spectacle directly overhead at 10pm. Hornblower’s Falls Fireworks Cruises are the ultimate evening out. Available 5 days each week, Mondays through Fridays from June 12 to September 4. With special performances on holiday weekends in May, July and September. Boats board at 9:15 pm. Boats sail 9:3010:10 pm. With limited availability tickets sell out fast. Come early and take in the sunset over Niagara Falls from the comfort of our extraordinary Fallsview licensed patio.
FALLS ILLUMINATION CRUISE
If daytime thrills aren’t your cup of tea, then be sure to enjoy Hornblower’s all new night-time Falls Illumination Cruise. Featuring on-board licensed bar, light bar snacks and on-board music these 40-minute cruises are Niagara’s ultimate evening entertainment. Set to the backdrop of starry skies, the dazzling city skyline and the amazing colored Illumination of the Falls these intimate cruises are without doubt the best way to view the Falls at night. The Falls Illumination Cruises operate on select dates from May 5 to October 28, including Saturdays and Sundays each week from June 3 to October 8. Boats board promptly at 9:15 pm and sail from 9:30 pm - 10:10 pm. Tickets online at www.niagaracruises.com Toll Free 1-855-264-2427 Located at 5920 River Road (Niagara Parkway) at the foot of Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, Canada. TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 55
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FALLSVIEW CASINO RESORT 259 - 6380 Fallsview blvd. Niagara Falls, ON. 905.371.1679
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SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL (JULY 28-30, 2017) AND LIVE MUSIC EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
LAILA BIALI, GRAHAM LEAR, CINNAMON JONES, KEVIN TURCOTTE, BARBRA LICA, JOHN SHERWOOD, HEATHER BAMBRICK, PAT LABARBERA AND MORE NIAGARAJAZZFESTIVAL.COM | 1.844.LIV.JAZZ (1.844.548.5299)
//HERE. SEE. DO.
THE TRUE NORTH Strong, Free and
150 BY ANDREW HIND
On July 1, 1867 the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into one Dominion of Canada, culminating a process that began three years earlier. Upon Confederation, the former province of Canada was split into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
It was, in many ways, the birth of modern-Canada and our political system. In 2017, Canada will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation with special events from coast to coast. Niagara is no exception.
NIAGARA - ON - THE - LAKE
Niagara-on-the-Lake began its Canada Day festivities early. Last fall, 1200 students from the public schools in town were dressed in red and white and arranged on the hillside of Fort George to create a vivid living flag. The community also kicked in the anniversary year with the first-ever New Year’s party on Queen’s Street. Naturally, however, the best is yet to come. “Thanks in part to a $400,000 grant from Ontario 150, we will be holding five big events—as well as a number of smaller ones—in Niagara-on-the-Lake this year,” enthuses Bill French, Communications Committee Chair for NotL Canada 150 Committee. The Canada Day Celebration gets an early start on June 30, with family-friendly entertainment, including fireworks, at Virgil Sports Park. July 1 is, in the words of French, “a huge day here in NOTL.” Wake early to fill your belly at the Rotary Pancake Breakfast in Simcoe Park, then watch as the 41st Regiment Fife and Drum Corps leads a giant birthday cake down Queen Street to the park. Head over to War of 1812-era Fort George National Historic Site, open 8am-10pm and free all day, to continue the party. Listen to period music, tour the heritage site, and watch musketry and cannon demonstrations. “The day concludes with a concert and fireworks display within the Fort, expected to see 30,000 people,” explains French. The celebration continues July 3 with a family-themed event at Simcoe Park with music and activities directed towards little ones. That same day, a fleet of impressive tall-rigged sailing vessels arrive in Niagara-on-the-Lake as part of the Tall Ships Rendezvous. The vessels are open to the public on July 4 and 5, before raising sail once again and departing on the 6th. “In addition to being Canada’s 150th, this year marks the 225th anniversary of Ontario’s first Parliament, held here in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It’s an important event in its own right,” says French. “To commemorate, we’ll hold a celebration in Fort George on September 17.” Finally, throughout the year, NOTL will host the Confederation Celebration, a 1-hour travelling show that visits 20 venues May through to September. On a mobile stage, local actors and musicians depict a series of scenes relating significant events in Niagara-on-the-Lake’s long and rich history up to Confederation, culminating in a fireworks display. Fun and educational, Confederation Canada promises to be a hit. For more information and a complete listing of events go to notlcanada150.ca
The City of Niagara Falls knows how to make a spectacle. Perhaps the majesty of the roaring Falls has forced the community to develop a sense of showmanship in order to draw some attention away from the Falls and onto the appeal of the City itself. Little wonder then that the City of Niagara Falls, in partnership with the Downtown BIA, should be hosting a truly spectacular Canada 150 Celebration from June 30 to July 2. While all details and participating events have not yet been finalized, what has emerged thus far promises a long weekend of excitement with something for everyone. On July 1, Niagara Falls hosts its annual Niagara Day parade along Victoria and Queen Street, starting at 11am. After this, Queen Street closes from 1-4 for a Street Party that will includes free birthday cake at City Hall, free inflatables for children to squeal upon as they climb and bounce and tumble the afternoon away, children’s entertainment, dozens of buskers and food vendors, musicians, a car show, an art show, and more. It’s a party, and you’re invited! From 4-9pm, there will be free live entertainment by a number of talented musicians on the Main Stage at City Hall. Also on July 1 will be the Carmel Fine Art and Music Festival. As part of this celebration, the Canada Day Queen Street Art Show will run from 9am to 5pm, with over 100 of Southern Ontario’s finest artists representing a variety of mediums. From 1-5pm, enjoy local musicians in a number of musical styles, ranging from soul to jazz to folk. For more information on the Carmel Fine Art and Music Festival, go to niagarartsshowcase.com/ carmel-fine-art-and-music-festival. More events for the City of Niagara Falls’ Canada 150 Celebration are currently being finalized. To keep abreast of them and ensure you don’t miss the fun, go to niagarafalls.ca
ST. CATHARINES The beautiful garden city also has several events going on in celebration of the big 150. Some highlights include an exhibit at the St. Catharines Museum celebrating 50 years of the St. Catharines Museum, which is running until December 2017. On Friday, September 8th, the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre will host Canada 150-Celebration of Nations, a three day Indigenous arts festival. Get you tickets at firstontariopac.ca
FORT ERIE Like most every community across the nation, Fort Erie will host joyful Canada Day celebrations this July 1. But Fort Erie’s event has something few others will boast, something that marks this community’s Canada Day celebrations as something truly special. The Town of Fort Erie received a grant from the Niagara Community Foundation to participate in the Canada 150 Mosaic project, a nationwide initiative that will create 150 murals in 150 communities by July 2017. Every participating community was asked to provide one object that famously represented their town, which would be the subject of their given mural. Perhaps naturally, Fort Erie selected the War of 1812-era Old Fort, after which the community is named and which played such a central role in the defining war against the United States. Fort Erie’s mural will be based on a design by artist, Lewis Lavoie. Within the larger mural of the Old Fort will be 400 4 x 4 inch panels on which participants will create a painting that represents their community from their own creative perspective. When placed together, they will become a piece of a much bigger story, that of the Old Fort. The mural will be unveiled closer to July 1st in the Leisureplex, and will also be linked virtually with all other murals across the Country (canada150mosaic.com/)
COUNTRY WIDE ACTIVITIES!
Celebrate with the rest of the nation by taking part in one of the many country wide programs currently on the go.
ON THIS DAY
For a daily infusion of Canadian history check out bac-lac.gc.ca/en/ onthisday. A very cool resource from Library and Archives Canada that lets you know what happened in history on this day in Canada. Download the Passport 2017 app to see everything thatâ€™s going on throughout the country.
This is a list of 150 activities that make us quintessentially Canadian. Sign up, log your activities, and see how many you can complete in 2017. More info at participaction.com
AN EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCE KONZELMANN ESTATE WINERY: NIAGARA’S EXCLUSIVE LAKESHORE WINERY
n 1984, Konzelmann Estate winery officially opened its doors in Ontario. Already a master of his craft, owner Herbert Konzelmann was thrilled to be carrying on his family’s century-old tradition of winemaking in, what was then, a fledgling wine region. With a terroir and climate perfectly suited for the fruit-forward, aromatic wines that Herbert was used to producing in Germany, Niagara-on-the-Lake was the ideal place for him after immigrating to Canada. The estate had originally been a peach orchard, and though Niagara’s foray into the wine industry was just beginning, its long history of agriculture made for a smooth transition to the European varietals that were considered the gold standard of fine winemaking. Riesling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot and several other vinifera grapes quickly flourished and garnered awards and accolades for the winery. Hearty clonal varietals allowed Canada to distinguish itself among the international wine community with its dessert wines; Konzelmann would eventually receive the distinction of being the first Canadian winery to place in the Wine Spectator’s prestigious Top 100 list with their Vidal
Icewine. The formation of the Vintner’s Quality Alliance (VQA) allowed the unique appellations of Ontario to be designated and ensured that wines met with rigorous testing – both qualitative and quantitative – to solidify the regions newfound reputation as a world-class wine producer. When Herbert had left Germany, its celebrated winemaking history already spanned hundreds of years. To take part in such a formative time in Canada’s wine industry was truly the experience of a lifetime. Now, more than thirty years later, at 79 years young, Herbert still presides over the winemaking operations with the same meticulous attention to detail and quality. Ontario’s wine industry is now mature and robust, with Konzelmann Estate Winery as one of its most esteemed members. As of this writing, Konzelmann boasts more than thirty premium VQA wines in its catalog, welcomes tours and tasting year-round and is the top-rated winery in Canada on TripAdvisor. The stunning lakefront vineyard, gorgeous on-site boutique and the friendly, informative staff alone make the winery well-worth visiting, but no trip to Niagara would be complete without experiencing Konzelmann’s vast selection of truly exceptional wines.
vo w ted in er nia y ex ga pe raâ€™ rie s b nc es e t
Niagaraâ€™s Only Lakefront Winery Visit the winery and discover why they are heralded for providing one of the most friendly, informative and educational experiences in Niagara's Wine Country. 1096 Lakeshore Road Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-935-2866 konzelmann.ca
events. festivals. entertainment.
ON THIS PAGE...fallsview casino acts (text from fallsviewcasinoresort.com) TICKETS CAN BE PURCHASED ATfallsviewcasinoresort.com/entertainment.
June 8 to 18th Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino Celebrate 70’s disco with a dance extravaganza that brings the timeless hits of Abba, The Bee Gees, Village People and many more to the stage, including Dancing Queen, Thank You For The Music, Waterloo, The Winner Takes It All, Saturday Night Fever, Celebration, Y.M.C.A. and In The Navy
SAMMY HAGAR AND THE CIRCLE
June 21st and 22nd Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino Led by Sammy Hagar, the Grammy Award-winning vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and #1 New York Times bestselling author, THE CIRCLE will take fans on a musical journey through rock history with a set list spanning four decades of Hagar’s hits from Montrose, his solo career, Van Halen and beyond.
June 27th to 29th Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino A man with many talents, Pat Boone, has become a legend in the world of music and entertainment. With five decades of recording history, he has nearly 50 million records sold and 38 Top 10 hits, such as Tutti Frutti, Ain’t That A Shame and Speedy Gonzales.
THE GIPSY KINGS
June 30th Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino The Grammy Award-winning band behind the great hits Bamboléo, Samba Samba, Volaré and Caramelo celebrate over 25 years of flamenco, salsa and pop fusion perfection with booming Spanish vocals.
July 6th Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino Emmy Award-winning singer-songwriter, Rachel Platten has reached millions of hearts with chart-topping hits from her gold album Wildfire, such as Fight Song, Stand By You and Better Place.
July 7th and 8th Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino R&B Hall of Fame inductees, The O’Jays have achieved ten Gold and nine Platinum albums throughout their career. Their electrifying energy continues to carry through their #1 hits such as Love Train, Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby and For the Love of Money.
THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS
July 13th and 14th Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Bill Medley brings back The Righteous Brothers with his new partner Bucky Heard to take you through a night of “blue-eyed soul” with hits such as Lovin’ Feelin’, Soul & Inspiration, The Time of My Life and Unchained Melody.
BALLANDO CON MILLY CARLUCCI
July 15th and 16th Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino Hosted by Milly Carlucci of Italy’s Dancing with the Stars, discover an allstar cast of ten internationally acclaimed dancers, performing five rounds of astounding choreography in an intense competition.
SPIRIT OF THE DANCE
July 20th to 30th Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino Named as “The World’s Greatest Irish Dance Show,” internationally acclaimed Spirit of the Dance brings champion dancers together in a foot-stomping, thrilling celebration of Irish culture.
August 3rd to 5th Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino Formerly of the Eagles and co-writer of the iconic Grammy-studded hit Hotel California, Don Felder, takes the stage to perform singles such as Life in the Fast Lane, Tequila Sunrise and Take It Easy.
August 9th to 13th Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino Returning exclusively to Fallsview, discover the triumphant sound of Luca Vissani, Gianluca Paganelli and Dionigi D’Ostuni joined by singer-songwriter Diana Salvatore and special guests TNT as they perform their extraordinary renditions of Bésame Mucho, Nessun Dorma, It’s a Man’s World, Amazing Grace, Halleluiah and Unchained Melody.
August 18th Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino Multi-faceted performer, Vanessa Williams, has sold millions of albums worldwide and achieved critical acclaim as an actress on stage, in film and on television. Her singles such as Save the Best For Last, Dreamin, Work To Do and Love Is have earned multiple Grammy nominations.
August 19th Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino Classic rock favourite, America celebrates its 47th anniversary as founding members, Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, continue to thrill audiences with such timeless hits as A Horse with No Name, Ventura Highway, Tin Man, Sister Golden Hair and Lonely People.
August 20th and 21st Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino Hong Kong Cantopop trio, Grasshopper featuring Calvin Choy, Edmond So and Remus Choy, perform their all-time favourite hits such as: ,
August 20th and 21st Avalon Ballroom at Fallsview Casino A quartet of fantastically funny and timelessly tuneful male singers bring their close harmonies and charming choreography to take you on a journey through favourite pop hits of the 1950s, such as Moments To Remember, Heart and Soul, Love is a Many Splendored Thing and more. >>
Running until July 11th at the Butterfly Conservatory (2565 Niagara Parkway) This brand new bilingual exhibit at the Butterfly Conservatory will highlight the incredible biodiversity we have in our province and features a variety of species both common, and at risk in our communities and educates visitors about why some species may do well around people while others are at risk.An exciting chance to experience the five most well known classes of animals, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, fish and invertebrate. You will see a barn owl, American kestrel, porcupine, skunk, wood turtle, spotted turtle, common toad, Grey tree frog, yellow spotted salamander, black rat snake, garter snake, gar pike, and a black widow.In addition to the live animal exhibit, panel displays will focus on species in Ontario including those at risk in Ontario, major ecosystems in Ontario, and what people in Ontario and around the world can do to assist species in their communities and their own backyards.
Running until October 21st at Oh Canada Eh (8585 Lundy’s Lane) 2017 marks Canada’s 150th birthday and the Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Theatre is celebrating all summer long! The Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Show features over 2 hours of all Canadian music, food and fun! Meet a singing Mountie, Hockey Player, Anne of Green Gables and other Canadian characters during this high-energy musical revue which features music from Paul Anka, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, Justin Bieber and many, MANY more! Full of laughs, this musical celebration of Canada will delight audiences of all ages! While guests enjoy the show, performers serve a delicious, all-Canadian, family-style meal: French Canadian pea soup, garden salad, roast beef, roasted chicken, battered and fried haddock, cake and more! Get your tickets at ohcanadaeh.com.
Running until September 20, 4:30 to 9pm Niagara’s “Original SupperMarket” invites locals and visitors to a weekly community gathering, featuring 20+ food trucks and food vendors, local beer, wine, cider and local entertainment. Free admission & ample free parking. For a true taste of Niagara, join us weekly 4:30pm to 9pm May 24th to September 20th for this fun-filled, family oriented event. More info at marketatthevillage.ca
NIAGARA FALLS COMIC CON
June 1 to 3 at Scotiabank Convention Centre The event takes place just steps away from Niagara Falls and will feature more than 150,000 square feet of exhibitors, comic books, movie cars, cosplay contests, celebrity autographs and photo-ops, a video gaming arena, Falls Horror Fest and more. Some guests include Jeremy London, Barbara Eden and Jason Mewes. More info at niagarafallscomiccon.com/ Art by Niagara native Karl Kerschl – courtesy of DC Comics, WONDER WOMAN 75TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL #1.
MOVIE NIGHT IN THE VINEYARD
June 2nd to July 14th at Trius Winery at Hillebrand Each Trius Movie Night in the Vineyard package includes one great movie, one glass of wine, one souvenir glass, and one bag of popcorn. And we provide the chair on our Vineyard Lawn. • June 2 La La Land • June 9 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story • June 16 The Breakfast Club • June 30 Suicide Squad • July 7 Dirty Dancing • July 14 Logan MOVIE TICKETS ONLY $20 per person + tax. Gates open at 8:30 pm Movie starts after sunset.
ROYAL GERANIUM SHOW-NIAGARA PARKS
June 3 to 30, 9:30 to 5 at Floral Showhouse The Regal Geranium Show at the Floral Showhouse runs for the month of June, featuring regal geraniums, fuchsia, caladiums and more! Dates are approximate and subject to change. Get more info at niagaraparks.com/Niagara-falls-attractions/floral-showhouse.html
NIAGARA HOMEGROWN WINE FESTIVAL June 17 to 18 Celebrate the start of summer with the Niagara Homegrown Wine Festival. Where better than Niagara to get that taste of summer, through fresh farm flavours and delicious wines? Award winning winemakers will be showcasing their best new vintages for visitors to try. There is sure to be a wine to suit every possible palate. To participate, purchase your Discovery Pass now! This pass has 8 tickets on it, which allow for 8 different experiences at various wineries. You can use them all for yourself, or buy a pass and split it with somebody else! Each pass can be used during the June 17 to 18 weekend, and can be purchased online as well as at the Ontario Travel Centres on Stanley Avenue, Ontario Travel Centres on York Road, Niagara Falls Tourism on Robinson Street, or online at Tickets available at niagarawinefestival.com/tickets. Passes are $40 + HST or $30 + HST, depending on if you are getting the designated drivers pass or not.
SHAW GUILD GARDEN TOUR
June 10, 10 to 4 at Shaw Festival This year’s garden tour has been expanded to include beautiful gardens in the nearby village of Queenston in addition to stunning gardens in Old Town NOTL, all being shown for the first time. Ponds and waterfalls, views of the Niagara River, hundreds of varieties of perennials, magnificent specimens of trees and shrubs will all delight our visitors. As an added bonus, several of the gardens surround beautiful historic homes. Marvel at the dry stone wall built by one of the owners. More info and tickets at shawfest.com/beyond-the-stage/all/#shaw-garden-tour. >>
TD TAILGATE PARTY Saturday, June 17 6:00 – 10:00pm Niagara College Teaching Winery The annual TD Tailgate Party is the premium event celebrating the Homegrown Wine Festival in Niagara. This unique celebration of Niagara’s Homegrown assets features over 35 Niagara wineries uncorking their seasonal best alongside 10 top local chefs preparing farm-to-table favourites in the vineyard at the solstice celebration. Welcome summer with award-winning wines, delicious local foods and entertainment at this all-inclusive event unique to Niagara. Niagara Homegrown Wine Festival’s anchor celebration, the TD Tailgate Party, welcomes wine and culinary enthusiasts focusing on showcasing the bounty of Niagara where local wineries offer an exclusive preview of the newest vintages. TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 65
SHOP WHERE THE LOCALS DO SINCE 1999
SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL, SOCK HOP AND CRUISE NIGHT
July 7, 7pm at Niagara Falls History Museum Located at the Niagara Falls History Museum. Shake, Rattle, & Roll is a 1950’s style swing dance and retro Cruise Night with live music by Little Peter & The Elegants, historic cars, Cash Bar, and food by The Smokin’ Buddha!This is a 19+ event. Tickets are $10 online or $12 at the door. More info at canadahelps.org/en/charities/niagara-historical-society/ events/shake-rattle-roll/
BLUES AT THE WINERY
August 12 at Trius Winery at Hillebrand
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Bring your lawn chair or blanket and spend the day in the vineyard, listening to the great sounds of live music. Lawn seating is located to the left and right of the stage (Gates open at 4 pm).This event is 19+. Gates open at 4 pm; Wine Club members get early access at 3:30 pm. Tickets are $40 per person (plus tax) and include entrance to the event and a souvenir event glass. Concert will proceed rain or shine and tickets are non-refundable. Music plays from 5 pm to 9:30 pm. Wine by the glass and food will be available for purchase at the event. We kindly ask that all umbrellas be lowered during the musical performances. Tents are not permitted at the event, and we do not allow you to bring alcohol or pets. Get your tickets at triusredpresents.com/triusbluesfestival.html
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW LIVE
October 27th to November 4th at Oh Canada Eh
APPLIANCES • ELECTRONICS • FURNISHINGS BRAND NAME CLOTHING JEWELLERY • MATTRESSES • AND MORE 5515 STANLEY AVE. NIAGARA FALLS, ON. 905-354-1853 HOURS: MONDAY-SATURDAY 10AM-7PM SUNDAY 10AM - 6PM
Celebrating their 15th annual production, Oh Canada Eh proudly presents Rich-
ard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show! Bursting at the seams with timeless classics including “I’m Just a Sweet Transvestite”, “Damn It Janet” and the pelvic-thrusting “Time Warp”! Don’t dream it, be it at the Oh Canada Eh? Theatre when the biggest and best rock n’ roll musical of them all swings back into Niagara Falls. This is an adult only performance and is recommended for ages 18+. Get your tickets at ohcanadaeh.com/shows.
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