CHANNELING THE SPIRIT OF
MARILYN MONROE: Marilyn’s Bistro & Lounge
THE GRAPE HARVEST at Niagara Wine Festival PREPARE TO BE AMAZED Niagara Falls Summer of Thrills
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Volume 7 Issue 043 | Summer 2014
PUBLISHER Rev Publishing Inc.
CHANNELING THE SPIRIT OF MARILYN MONROE l 26
PRESIDENT & CEO Dan Pasco
FOOD & DRINK NIAGARA’S 10 BEST PICNIC SPOTS l 07 Packing the perfect picnic
FOOD ON THE MOVE l 12
Niagara’s food trucks and events
HOSTING A WINE TASTING PARTY l 16 Become a wine party pro
FORAGING FOR FOOD l 20
Finding food in your own backyard
ABOUT TOWN CELEBRATING AT NIAGARA WINE FESTIVAL l 29 Niagara’s biggest fall event
NIAGARA FREEFALL l 33 Learning to fly
SUMMER OF THRILLS l 36
Be amazed at these death defying acts
FLYBOARD NIAGARA l 40
Niagara’s newest extreme sport
NIAGARA JAZZ FESTIVAL l 44
SALES REPRESENTATIVES Alex Mills David Mace Madeline Dimperio Michael Koval Dave Gibson Gail Cerrone Dayton Davis EDITOR Megan Pasche SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Tina Lanzillotta Lacey McBane GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Tabitha MacDonald Rachel Bertrand Veronika Simmons IT/WEB DEVELOPER Justin Soungie CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angela Aiello Lynn Ogryzlo Lauren Charley Gabrielle Tieman Jill Tham TO ADVERTISE PLEASE CALL 905.356.7283 or 1.877.888.2825 WEBSITE todaymagazine.ca
The perfect pairing of wine and music
LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
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HOW ITALY INFLUENCED AN ICON l 47 The style of Audrey Hepburn
IGNITE YOUR COMPETITIVE SPIRIT l 50 Pan Am Games 2015
SUMMERTIME READING l 58
Get whisked away with these summer reads
SWIMSUIT DREAMS l 62
An interview with two of Toronto’s designers de rigueur
HERE. SEE. DO SUMMER EVENT CALENDAR l 65
todaymagazine.ca Today Magazine is published by Rev Publishing Inc. All opinions expressed in Today Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Today Magazine, it’s employees or owners. Reasonable care is taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine is as up-to-date and accurate as possible, as of the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken by Today Magazine for any errors, omissions or comments made by writers or interviewees that are contained herein. Furthermore, responsibility for any losses, damages or distress resulting from adherence to any information made available through this magazine is not the responsibility of Today Magazine. All unsolicited manuscripts and/or photographs submitted are assumed to be intended for publication or republication in whole or in part. The right to alter, edit or refuse photos and/or manuscripts intended for publication is assumed. All unsolicited material submitted to Today Magazine are submitted at the author’s risk. Manuscripts and or photographs intended to be returned must be accompanied by sufficient postage. Today Magazine does not assume any responsibility for any claims of our advertisers and reserves the right to refuse any advertising.
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FOOD & DRINK
BEST PICNIC LOCATIONS
WINE TASTING PARTY
10 BEST PICNIC LOCATIONS & SPREADS By: Lynn Ogryzlo
Remember family picnics when you were a kid? Mom would miraculously pack the entire kitchen into a little basket from utensils to blankets, to food prepared the night before and the drinks chilling in the refrigerator. There were a million things to remember including ice packs around the potato salad and plenty of napkins and paper plates for the fried chicken. The perfect picnic was an entire weekend of preparation but boy, was it fun. Today’s picnics don’t have to be a weekend of cooking, packing and lugging. Think of only having to pack a blanket and sunscreen, then leave the rest to the experts. From simple cheese and charcuterie to full gourmet meals, Niagara’s chefs and culinary entrepreneurs are packing some pretty delicious picnic lunches to make your al fresco dining a simple and elegant affair. >>
Today Magazine 7
ith the picnic spread taken care of, it’s up to you to choose the best picnic spot for your moveable feast. If you’re planning a walk in the park, afternoon on the beach or scenic drive in the country, take along a well-prepared meal from one of Niagara’s picnic packers that will satisfy your grazing appetite while celebrating the luxury of eating in the open air. A beautiful day, great food, family and friends and an urge to get outdoors! Who doesn’t love a picnic?
DECEW HOUSE HERITAGE PARK & ON THE FRONT CAFÉ The remains of a historic stone house, manicured lawns and a tributary of Lake Gibson winding around your picnic: what could be more idyllic for a delicious al fresco lunch? Decew House is on Decew Road on the outskirts of Thorold with picnic tables waiting for you to unpack your delicious foods from nearby On The Front Café (downtown Thorold). Owner Christina Skrtich specializes in gourmet sandwiches from a wrap stuffed with marinated mushrooms and bocconcini cheese to delicious chicken clubs on a house-made Pullman. Ask for their wine poached pear salad with toasted walnuts and blue cheese! On The Front is famous for their selection of fair-trade coffees and teas. Pre-ordering a must. email@example.com WELLAND CANAL AT PORT COLBORNE AND MINOR FISH AND CHIPS One of the least elaborate, most delicious and my favourite outing is to pick up freshly caught perch, hot chips and a beverage from Minor Fish on West Street. Enjoy every mouthful of fried fish caught that morning while watching the boats go by on your canal side park bench. Don’t forget to feed the pigeons a chip or two and listen to them sing for you. You may want to pack a fruit salad or a dessert to nibble on after the fish and chips are eaten. Not a traditional picnic but an appropriate one for beautiful Port Colborne. No pre-ordering necessary. CHARLES DALEY PARK & THE GRAND OAK CULINARY MARKET Right on Lake Ontario, Charles Daley Park is a beautiful spot to sit on a grassy hill under the shade of a romantic old tree and watch the waves lap the shore. Spread out your gourmet picnic basket custom made by Chef Jan-Willem Stulp of Grand Oak Culinary Market. All foods are made fresh that morning whether it’s the Chef ’s famous hummus and vegetables or his amazing quinoa salad. Sandwich bread is made in house and so are the delicious bakery items from butter tarts to apple pie. Wash it all down with a chilled bottle of Spirit Tree Sparkling Apple Cider. Pre-ordering a must. chefjan@GOCulinary.ca. PORT DALHOUSIE & GOODDINE CATERING Spread out the blanket, unpack a Gooddine picnic basket and enjoy a beautiful summer picnic on the Port Dalhousie Beach. Chef Collin Gooddine is Niagara’s gourmet picnic-to-go destination making baskets full of healthy salads, creative dishes, house-made granola for snacking, sparkling water or gourmet lemonade to keep you cool. Cutlery and napkins included. All foods are made in-house (including condiments!), most are made from local ingredients, all are custom created and pre-ordering is a must. Just don’t forget the quintessential beach picnic food, watermelon! firstname.lastname@example.org NIAGARA PARKWAY & CHEESE SECRETS Taking full advantage of wine country culture, Cheese Secrets in downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake packs a beautiful basket of bread, cheese, and charcuterie for a super easy picnic party where you can graze the day away. Pick a spot on the Niagara River Parkway. The river from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Niagara Falls has dramatic views with beautiful parklands and plenty of picnic tables and open spaces waiting for you. Most spots have vineyard views and wineries for
a bottle of wine for a true wine country al fresco lunch. Pre-ordering a must. 905-468-2555. QUEENSTON HEIGHTS PARK & YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD BUTCHER If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, beautiful Queenston Heights Park with public grills is the best place for al fresco dining fun. Heat up the charcoal and grill a few juicy burgers, sausages or chicken to go with some classic potato or pasta salads. Oh, and don’t forget the gourmet condiments, potato chips and some of Niagara’s finest fruit for dessert. It’s one of Niagara’s most popular picnic destinations. Sometimes when picnic tables are at a premium, you’ll be thankful you’ve packed a blanket to spread out and enjoy. BALLS FALLS & SAVOIA GOURMET EMPORIUM At Balls Falls it’s all about early Canadian history, the natural beauty of a Carolinian forest and the pristine awe of an unspoiled waterfall. It’s hard to find a better picnic location anywhere in Niagara so it calls for a great picnic spread. The man who is famous for his luxurious little finger foods, Chef Oscar Turchi of Savoia Gourmet Emporium on Martindale Road is now designing irresistible picnic lunches that focus around warm, grilled Panini sandwiches. Pick out a soup, sushi or fruit salad and something to drink and you’ve got yourself a beautiful and delicious day in the heart of the region. Pre-ordering a must. email@example.com. DUFFERIN ISLANDS & RAVINE VINEYARDS Dufferin Islands in Niagara Falls is a fairytale oasis of calm waters, mature trees, grassy islands and plenty of picnic spots waiting for you on a hot summer day. At Ravine Vineyards in St. Davids they offer flexible picnic options. You can pick up a basket with wine, cheese, charcuterie and condiments. If you want to eat vineyard side, Ravine will supply your blanket. Or you can take your picnic basket with you and dine waterside at Dufferin Islands. All ingredients are available at Ravine Vineyards Grocery Store so you can even prepare your own picnic complete with gourmet desserts from the restaurant bakery. Pre-ordering a must. 905-262-8463, ext. 30, firstname.lastname@example.org. MORNINGSTAR MILL & GROUNDS COFFEE HOUSE & BAKERY The old stone gristmill is powered by the beautiful waterfalls and makes a lovely picnic spot. There are picnic tables on the grassy areas or you can spread a blanket at the back of the mill with full view of the waterfalls. It’s restful and relaxing. Pick up a picnic lunch at The Grounds Coffeehouse and Bakery on Schmon Parkway in Thorold. Fill your basket with some pinwheel savoury pastries. Some are stuffed with turkey and Asiago cheese and others are filled with feta cheese and spinach. Don’t leave without a few of their famous cinnamon buns! Preordering a must. email@example.com RIDGEWAY BATTLEFIELD PARK & THE FLYING SQUIRREL Ridgeway Battlefield Park is on the corner of Garrison Road and Ridgeway Road in the quaint village of Ridgeway. Manicured lawns sprawl out, dotted with mature trees to offer shade on a hot summers day. There are plenty of picnic tables and also a pavilion to salvage a picnic when an unexpected rainfall threatens to ruin a great afternoon outdoors. The Flying Squirrel is the newest eaterie in town offering delicious picnic lunches that start with free-range egg salad sandwiches to slices of yellow fin tuna under slivers of daikon radish and smears of lemon aioli. Add a salad, a tart and some thirst quenching herbal infused ice tea. Pre-ordering is a must. 905-933-7548.
Lynn Ogryzlo is a food, wine and travel writer, international award winning author and regular contributor to REV Publications. She can be reached for questions or comments at lynnogryzlo.com.
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FOOD MOVE on the
BY: MEGAN PASCHE
ood trucks have evolved way beyond French fry and hot dog stands; nowadays they are equivalent to gourmet restaurants, just with wheels attached. Really, one of the only differences between a traditional restaurant and a gourmet food truck is the fact that a food truck doesn’t have washrooms or seating. But then, that’s the beauty of them. Delicious food is served in an outdoor setting, and people can sit down on a park bench or on some green grass and enjoy. It is just another way of sharing experiences around food, and what better time to enjoy the food truck craze, then in the summer sunshine of Niagara? The food truck movement only continues to grow: more and more trucks are continuing to pop up, and every type of food imaginable is represented. The popularity of events such as Food Truck Eats, which is held in various locations over the summer, including a recent stop at Peller Estates in Niagara-on-the-Lake, goes to show that food trucks are here for the long
haul. Nowadays, an outdoor festival isn’t an outdoor event without at least one food truck. These gourmet meals on wheels only add to Niagara’s ever growing and amazing culinary scene. Street food has always been a part of the North American dining scene. From chuck wagons feeding cattlemen travelling the dusty American West, to portable hot dog and ice cream trucks, a variation of the food truck has been around since the 1860’s, it’s just been continuously evolving. The recent explosion of food trucks can be attributed to a number of a different factors, including a down economy making operating a food truck more financially feasible than operating an entire restaurant. Social media is responsible for helping food trucks grow in popularity, as most use Facebook and Twitter to post up to the minute updates on where they will be located, and of course what is on the menu for the day. And perhaps the best feature: food trucks are able to go where the people are, as opposed to waiting for people to find them.
FINDING the Food Niagara is home to several food trucks that regularly park themselves on our city streets, at wineries and at many other festivals and special events throughout the year….it’s all well and good to read all about delicious food, but how do you get your hands on it? Read on for a listing of some of the places you will be able to find food trucks this summer season! It’s also good to check out the Facebook pages or Twitter feeds of the individual trucks to see where and what they are serving up.
FOOD TRUCK LINKS Check out each food trucks individual websites to see where they’ll be every day: El Gastronomo Vagabundo: elgastro.com Tide and Vine: tideandvine.com Avella’s Wood Fired Oven: avellas.ca Canuck Pizza Truck: canuckpizzatruck.ca
SUPPERMARKET: The Market has been running for seven years, but one of the most recent innovative additions include a weekly SupperMarket Series, which features a whole lot of good food. The SupperMarket happens on Wednesday evenings from 5pm to 9pm and runs from the last week of May until September 17. This weekly event not only features tons of yummy local produce, but food trucks, prepared food, oysters, cheese, artisans and live music every single week. Just some of the vendors that appear weekly include El Gastronomo Vagabundo, The Yellow Pear, Hometown Ice Cream, Lovin’ From the Oven, The Tide and Vine Oyster Company and Itty Bitty Pie Company. There is an endless amount of delicious, mouth-watering choices. Located at 111 Garrison Village Drive in Niagara-on-the-Lake (at the corner of Niagara Stone Road and Niven Road) More info on the markets is available on their website at farmersmarketatthevillage.com EARTH AND SKY MUSIC MARKET: Taking place August 4 and September 1 at Chateau Des Charmes (1025 York Rd, St. David’s) Enjoy not only great food trucks, but also music, crafts and wine too. Features Bomberos Nachos, The Dirty South, The Yellow Pear, Lovin’ From the Oven, Gelato di Carlotta and more. FOOD TRUCK IN THE VINEYARD: August 23 and September 20 at Coyote’s Run Winery (485 Concession 5, Niagara-on-the-Lake) Each day will feature a different food truck, and the events take place from 2pm to 7pm. Trucks in order of appearance are: Twisted Kitchen and Itty Bitty Pie Company. More info at coyotesrunwinery.com FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL: August 17 at Safari Niagara (2821 Stevensville Rd, Stevensville) This will be a huge food truck feast, featuring the best trucks from across Ontario. Check safariniagara. com for more information. TUESDAY NIGHT MARKET: Every Tuesday from 4 to 8 until August 26 at St. Catharines Market Square (91 King Street, St. Catharines) This night market includes all the markets regular vendors plus wineries, food trucks, craft breweries and live entertainment. Check out stcatharines.ca for more information. NIAGARA CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL: August 22 to 24 in Montebello Park, downtown St. Catharines. This fun summer festival will feature 20+ of Ontario’s best small batch craft brewers, live entertainment, and of course, food trucks (including The Dirty South, El Gastro Vagabundo, Itty Bitty Pie Company and Chang Noi’s cuisine). More information at niagaracraftbeerfestival.ca
Itty Bitty Pie Company: ittybittypie.com The Yellow Pear: farmtotruck.ca
BUFFALO NIAGARA The Nearest Faraway Place
A T R AV E L E R R E V I E W
“Just GO – it was brilliant!!!” Reviewed by acrossthepond1, a TripAdvisor traveler » Toronto » August 23, 2013
ALBRIGHT-KNOX ART GALLERY “If you did not know you were in Buffalo you would only expect this level of quality in New York, London or Paris. Just blew us away with the variety.”
Dear Canadians, You’ve tailgated at the Ralph. Caught a flight, found a bargain, been to a game and returned home the same day. You’ve been here, done that. But do you really know Buffalo? Have you seen a Broadway show at Shea’s? Tried the beef-on-weck sushi at Seabar? Quaffed a craft brew at Cole’s? Toured a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece? Walked and gawked and windowshopped in the Elmwood Village? Sportsmen’s Tavern? Been to an opening at the Burchfield Penney? Segwayed through Delaware Park? Stopped to smell
Caught an alt-country show at
the flowers at Garden Walk? Taken the kids to the Buffalo Zoo? Had an artisanal cocktail at Vera? Been to a classical concert at Kleinhans? KC KRATT
Kayaked through Elevator Alley? Gone to a food truck rodeo at Larkin Square? Tried your luck at the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino? No? Then what are you waiting for? That’s 15 things you didn’t know about Buffalo Niagara. Pop over the Peace Bridge and see for yourself. The nearest faraway place is just a short drive away. Sincerely,
HOSTING A W I N E TA S T I N G PA R T Y By: Angela Aiello
A wine tasting party is a great way to bring people together over the summer and learn more about wine under the sun or the stars. A successful wine party requires certain key ingredients, but with a bit of know-how, even the most novice host can be a wine party pro! By bringing together all of the elements including food, wine, dĂŠcor and music, youâ€™ll be well on your way to an evening or afternoon of great memories and learning!
PICK A THEME A wine tasting party works best if it is organized around a theme, such as a specific country, grape variety or region. It will form the glue of the party and help to focus your activities and wine selections. To involve your guests, ask them to bring a bottle that fits the theme to contribute to the evening. OPEN, TASTE AND TALK Instead of opening the wine bottle by bottle, I recommend opening four to six bottles at a time so your guests can sample and compare. Pour small amounts at a time, which encourages “tasting” over “drinking”. As the host, you may also want to talk about the theme you chose, and ask others to share why they brought the wine they did. This gets everyone engaged and learning about the wines. GLASSWARE Tasting wine is all about the experience and flavours – and good glassware really does help wine taste better! To truly do your wine justice, invest in some good quality glass or crystal stemware instead of using thick glassware or plastic. Choose versatile glasses that can be used for both red and white wines, which makes hosting easy. To add some fun and creativity to your party, use themed stickers or wine charms to help your guests remember which glass is theirs. When you entertain outdoors you don’t have to go plastic – but if you do, keep your eye out for great plastic wine glasses.
LOCATION If you entertain regularly indoors and outdoors, try to host your parties in different venues or areas of your home (by the fireplace, outside on the patio, or even a restaurant) to keep things interesting for your guests. Adding decorative elements is a great way to complete your theme. Look into restaurants with great patios if you happen to not have one where you can pay a corkage fee to bring in your own wine, so there is no clean up or prep and you get to sip and enjoy! SIP AND PLAY Have decanters, ice buckets, and extra glasses out for the group to use and discover. I also recommend a game or two to keep things fun. People love getting interactive, so pick up a fun game (horseshoes, darts, etc) and get people involved. Playing a game gives the group a fun activity rather than just eating and drinking, and makes for a really memorable night. ENTERTAIN RESPONSIBLY Be sure to keep your guests hydrated. Have water on hand at all times and separate water glasses to encourage responsible drinking. Know who your drivers are and keep a good selection of non-alcoholic drinks available. Don’t over serve and remember to have fun!
FOOD PAIRINGS When pairing food and wine, always match the weight of the wine with the weight of the food. If you are serving Shiraz, Zinfandel or Malbec as your grape variety (or a region that makes these varieties), choose food pairings that work with juicy red wines, such as beef sliders or chocolate. If you’ve picked Pinot Noir, Gamay or Merlot, choose medium-bodied fare such as duck and pork. If you’ve chosen Riesling, Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, these crisp whites go well with seafood, cheese and chicken. To achieve the perfect pairing, look to align local wines and local flavours, such as Italian wines with Italian food. MUSIC Music is an excellent way to set the mood for your party. Is your theme focused on French wines, Argentina Malbec or California Chardonnay? Create a playlist that goes along with your wine theme to create a great party vibe.
Angela Aiello is the Founder of iYellow Wine Club home to over 10,000 members who build wine confidence through discovery through events, classes and tours. To learn more, join the wine club for free at iYellowWineClub.com or AngelaAiello.ca
Today Magazine 17
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FORAGING FOR FOOD WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY SANDRA OZKUR
Foraging: to wander in search of food or provisions. The word conjures up images in my mind of the Stone Age, when people wandered in search of food. In modern times foraging has been reduced to selecting red apples or green ones in the supermarket. But there are a growing number of people who choose to embrace what nature has to offer and have taken up foraging as a pastime, and a way to supplement their diets with organic and natural plants.
any people are now keenly aware of the correlation between what we eat and the state of our health. Industrialized food production has stripped our foods of necessary nutrients and filled our bodies with toxic chemicals. One free and natural alternative is to get out in nature and find edible plants that can provide nutrient rich and organic food sources right where you live. Foraging outdoors is good exercise and a natural stress reliever. It is a calming and enjoyable outing for both adults and children and an opportunity to reconnect with nature and the ecosystem that surrounds us. Niagara Culinary Tours is a company owned by Steven and Kimberly Lovelace. They offer tours with the goal of helping you to “walk, eat and embrace your inner foodie.” They organize tours that bring people in touch with unique food experiences throughout Niagara. Our experienced guide, Peter Blush, met our group at a pre-determined wooded area. As we hiked through the woods, he pointed out the edible plants and shared his expert knowledge with us. He told us that it is not enough just to know which plant species are edible. A successful forager also needs to know the habitat of specific plants in order to efficiently locate them. Knowing what time of year to pick and what part of the plant to eat is equally important. The entire plant is not always edible; on some plants you eat the leaves, while others have edible flowers, fruits, berries or roots. We identified many potential plant species, but many were not yet in season for picking. We saw May Apples, Trout Lilies, Burdock, Coral mushrooms, Bear’s Head mushrooms, wild garlic, sumac and wild ginger. We sampled cattail hearts, wild leeks and ginger root. To find these plants you must have a keen eye and know where and when certain plants will appear. Each plant has an optimal time when it is ready for picking, such as mushrooms, which appear right after a rain. As a novice forager, you can start right in your own backyard. I foraged around in mine and found dandelions and wild grape leaves just behind my house. It was a fun and invigorating hike. I learned a lot about plants and why people are interested in this pastime. The tour attracted people from all over Ontario and I was keen to know why they came. I asked Nicole and her mom Rose Marie Maciel, from Oakville, why they were interested in foraging. Nicole replied, “My friends are all into holistic living. In my dental practice I see a real connection between diet and the state of your teeth. What you eat really affects your health, so we have personally become dedicated to a more holistic lifestyle and want to eat foods that are nutrient rich and sourced from organic, responsible and sustainable sources.” Adam Goetz, a professional chef and owner of Craving Restaurant in Buffalo, came for both business and pleasure. He told me, “I have a cult following at my restaurant. I have a list of people who are always on standby just waiting to hear what exciting things I have sourced for the menu. I have a network of local organic producers and they supply me with ultra fresh food as it comes into season, then I create a menu around
the item. I was interested in learning more about wild food that I could incorporate into my cooking.” When the hike was over we had a nice cup of herbal tea at Neob Lavender Farm and sampled some of their homemade products. We then headed to Southbrook Winery for a tour of this organic and biodynamic winery. The assistant winemaker explained their biodynamic farming practices and introduced us to the resident sheep and goats, whose grazing helps maintain the vineyard. He then guided us through a tasting of several organic wines as they were paired with each course of the meal. The meal was prepared on site by the Yellow Pear Food Company. Yellow Pear uses organic products exclusively and operates the only solar powered food truck in Canada. They served a wonderful crème brule with local raspberries paired with Framboise dessert wine, a perfect ending to the perfect day! niagaraculinarytours.com
BE SURE TO DO SOME RESEARCH BEFORE HEADING OUT TO THE WILDERNESS ON YOUR OWN. HERE ARE SOME GUIDELINES THAT SHOULD BE FOLLOWED WHEN FORAGING FOR FOOD IN PUBLIC PLACES: • Dress appropriately for the weather and be aware of your surroundings. • Be absolutely certain about the identity of any plant before you eat it, for there are many poisonous look-alikes that can be fatal. • Don’t pick endangered species, it is unethical and may be illegal. • Never take more than you need, and never take all the plants in any patch. • If extracting roots, leave enough root behind so as not to kill the plant. • Never pick from areas that may have pesticides, fertilizers or industrial contamination. • Never collect in nature reserves, for they are protected areas. • Be as unobtrusive as possible and never leave litter behind. • Always wash and clean the plants thoroughly before eating.
Today Magazine 21
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CHA NNELING THE SPIRIT OF
Marilyn Monroe Marilyn's Bistro & Lounge By: Megan Pasche | Photos by: AJ Harlond
erched high up on the 25th floor of Niagara Falls Tower Hotel, sits Fallsview Blvd’s newest restaurant with a view: Marilyn’s Bistro and Lounge. Created with the memory of Marilyn Monroe in mind, this 75-seat restaurant offers a unique dining experience in Niagara Falls. Owner Veronica Rudan notes, “it’s an iconic tower, so we thought we needed something iconic for the restaurant. And since Marilyn Monroe filmed a movie in Niagara in 1952, we thought we would name the restaurant Marilyn’s. We wanted to keep her energy alive in the area and since she’s an iconic figure and this is an iconic building, we thought it would be a nice marriage together.” And indeed it is. The sleek and sexy restaurant was designed by Veronica herself, and she describes the décor as “urban elegance.” One wall is filled with a giant photo of Marilyn Monroe and depending where you are in the restaurant, you will have a great view of either the American or Canadian falls. It is a great place to go and relax and enjoy some good food after work. The prices are reasonable too. Veronica shares, “it’s a place you can go all the time if you are a local. And with the complimentary valet, I think it’s a really good deal for locals to come down to the Fallsview area.” Ambiance is one thing, and Marilyn’s does have a ton of it, but it has to be paired with good food, and thankfully (for our taste buds), Marilyn’s has that aspect covered as well. The menu was created by Chef Olivier Jansen Reynaud, who is Veronica’s husband. Chef Olivier is from France, and is well known for his skills in creating French pastries (though he is an equally impressive chef of savory items). He is the owner of Clafouti Patisserie et Café,
which is located on Queen Street West in Toronto. Chef Olivier is actually quite famous for a contribution he made to the world of hybrid desserts: He is the inventor of the Crookie, a light and flaky croissant, stuffed with double stuffed Oreos. In fact, news of the creation of this tasty treat went viral all the way to Australia. Chef Olivier and his creation were featured in numerous media, including CTV News, Perez Hilton, Toronto Life, TIME, Live With Kelly and Michael, Fox News and more. Chef Olivier is also a regular on the Food Network. In creating the menu for Marilyn’s, Veronica explains that Olivier came up with a classic Mediterranean menu, but with a bit of a twist. She notes two of her favourite items on the menu are, “the Marilyn Pasta, which combines seafood (lobster and shrimp), with homemade pasta.” She also says she enjoys the Marilyn cocktail, one of the restaurants signature drinks. The menu is set up with Marilyn’s movie Niagara in mind: items under “opening scene” are the appetizers, the “main actors” are the entrées, and the “best supporting roles” are the side dishes. Marilyn’s has a regular rotation of live music acts, varying from the smooth sounds of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, to more jazzy and bluesy bands. It all depends on the night. It’s well worth heading down to the Fallsview area to check out this new and exciting restaurant. The parking is free, the view is unparalleled and the food is great. Veronica notes, “so far, since we’ve opened up, we haven’t had any returns. All the plates always come back clean.” And there is no higher praise of a restaurant than that.
MARILYN MONROE’S NIAGARA CONNECTION Niagara was filmed in 1953 and starred Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotton and Jean Peters. This was the film that shot Marilyn Monroe into her legendary sex symbol status. While filming the movie, Marilyn Monroe stayed at what was then called the Hotel General Brock, but is now the Crowne Plaza. She stayed in room 801, and at the time it was a suite, but the room is currently divided into two separate rooms. If you are staying at the Crowne Plaza, you can request to stay in room 801, and they’ll do their best to accommodate you if they are able Marilyn was 26 years old at the time the movie was being filmed, and she was in Niagara for approximately two weeks during filming. When Marilyn stayed in the room, it had a great view of the falls, but these days, the view is a bit obstructed, given how much Niagara Falls has grown.
Marilyn’s Bistro and Lounge is open every night at 5pm. For more information, visit the website niagaratower.com for more information.
Today Magazine 27
ABOUT TOWN NIAGARA JAZZ FESTIVAL
NIAGARA WINE FESTIVAL
SUMMER OF THRILLS
Celebrating the Spirit of the Grape Harvest at
NIAGARA WINE FESTIVAL By: Lauren Charley
There is something divine about the peaceful scenery when cruising down long country roads, as the sun is setting behind a pink and blue sky, with a crisp breeze signifying summerâ€™s end. Every autumn, locals and businesses from around the region come together to welcome tourists and host a celebration in recognition of what the Niagara region is known for: its legendary wine country. The Niagara Wine Festival marks the annual celebration of the grape harvest and embraces the region for its local cuisine, music, arts and culture. >>
Today Magazine 29
This year, the annual Niagara Wine festival is scheduled to take place between September 13 and 28. During this time there will be many events and activities hosted in various locations throughout the region, including the Meridian Grande Parade, festivities in Montebello Park, tours and tastings, and many opportunities to enjoy the fine culinary expertise of Niagara’s top chefs.
Welcome to NIAGARA’S WINE COUNTRY T
he Niagara, or “Golden Horseshoe”, region is a quaint and peaceful paradise, bounded on the north by Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie on the South. Its unique geographical location occupies most of the Niagara Peninsula, which shelters the communities from harsher weather created by the lake effect. Its location and mild climate have given the area unique characteristics, providing the perfect terroir for harvesting grapes and producing wine, creating tremendous economic development from the industries of viticulture and tourism, year round. Although the viticulture and wine making industries thrive in every season, making the area one of Southern Ontario’s most popular tourism destinations, visitors can’t help but fall in love with Niagara during the grape harvest each fall, and one of its most exciting festivities: Niagara Wine Festival. Spoil yourself with the sweet nectar of the Golden Horseshoe’s home grown grapes, and plan to attend this unforgettable experience, which runs over the course of three weekends between September 13 and 28.
I have been fortunate to be part of the Niagara Grape and Wine Industry for 21 years. The rich tapestry of experiences that we have woven makes me so very proud. Everyone should be lucky enough to work in collaboration with the amazing growers, winemakers and storytellers that I can call friends. –Kimberly Hundertmark, Executive Director, Niagara Grape And Wine Festival
NEW FOR THE 2014 CELEBRATION The Niagara Wine Festival is excited to announce two new events to the listing, during the first weekend of the Festival Wine Route programming: “The Shaw Festival Speaker Series” and “Taste of Harvest”. The festival is also proud to welcome the Grape & Wine industry’s new mascot, as he makes his inaugural appearance.
ABOUT THE NIAGARA WINE FESTIVAL
The Niagara Wine Festival was established 63 years ago, in 1951, as a way to celebrate the region’s grape harvest. Niagara is the home of Canada’s largest grape and wine industry, and is internationally acclaimed by wine experts and enthusiasts who have fallen in love with the area for its scenic beauty, peaceful countryside, renowned “farm-to-table” approach to cuisine, and of course, its refreshing, award-winning wines. “As the leading tender fruit producer in Canada, agriculture has always been a very important piece of who we are as a region,” says Kimberly Hundertmark, Executive Director of Niagara Grape & Wine Festival. Niagara Wine Festival has had a significant economic impact on the region, enabling hospitality, retail, and tourism businesses to prosper in every season. What began as a singular fall festival, incorporated as part of the “Niagara Grape and Wine Festival”, has now expanded to three events, with the additions of the New Vintage Festival in June, and the Niagara Icewine Festival in January. All three festivals keep the spirit of wine alive in the region, embracing it as an important part of its history, identity, and culture.
FAMILY FRIENDLY EVENTS AND ATTRACTIONS AT NIAGARA WINE FESTIVAL
The Niagara Wine Festival offers a number of attractions which the whole family can enjoy. Kids love celebrating the grape harvest through a selection of events such as parades, concerts, entertainment acts, and street parties.
The 63rd Annual Meridian Grande Parade celebrates this year with the ticipate in its earliest stages of production. Flat Rock Cellars in Jordan theme “200 Years of Peace”, as the region completes its commemoration invites guests to their “Pick, Stomp and Taste” function on Saturday of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. During the procession, schools, September 20 from 11am-1pm. Participants will get to experience wine businesses, restaurants, sports teams, and financial sponsors maneuver production the old-fashioned way, by hand-picking grapes from their proudly through downtown St. Catharines, as they display their extrav- 80-acre vineyard, and even clambering into a large barrel to stomp the agantly decorated floats and glowing community pride. The parade this grapes by foot! year will be held on Saturday September 27 at 11am, as it jaunts along the traditional route beginning at Welland Ave and climaxing along St. FESTIVAL DISCOVERY PASS Paul Street. Over the three weekends between September 13 and 28, the Discovery Pass On the second and third weekends of The Niagara Wine Festival, is the ultimate way to maximize your experience of the legendary Niagara Montebello Park’s “Center Stage”, in the heart of downtown St. Cath- Wine Festival. With the $40 Discovery Pass, guests can enjoy a sampling arines, brings attendees a full roster of extraordinary Canadian musical of the exquisite local wines paired with its perfect culinary accompaniment, talent. These musicians include popular, local bands and well-known Ca- using the expertise of Niagara’s top chefs and viticulture experts. The pass nadian tribute bands such as The includes a selection of eight “exCaverners, Elton Rohn, Desireperiences” held at any of the 38 U2 Tribute, and Hotel California. participating wineries in Niagara. VITICULTURE: Coming from the Latin word for Famous Canadian singer/songEach winery hosts a unique “vine”, viticulture is the science, study, and writers, Royal Wood, will join tasting with an original theme, the event, giving a performance where attendees can indulge in production of grapes. When the grapes are on the first Sunday of Montebelthe best of both their culinary used specifically for the production of wine, lo’s festivities. The enjoyment of skills and winemaking experthe science is referred to as viniculture. live music is accompanied by a tise. At every establishment, selection of fine decadent foods the experts have worked careand exquisite wines, offered by fully to pair their best wine participating wineries and business vendors, set up throughout the of the harvest with a food that is both original and sensationally park. Visitors will also find this a hot spot to find unique trinkets and delicious. Guests can expect to try gourmet and exotic savouries treasures, sold by local retail boutiques. like vegetarian white lasagna cupcakes and maple-smoked bacon pumpkin tarts, matched with the perfect wine to enhance the flavours of each delicacy. EDUCATIONAL SEMINARS Adults who love to learn will appreciate taking an “Educate Your Senses” wine and cheese seminar; a tutorial presented by Brock UniversiPLANNING YOUR VISIT TO NIAGARA ty and hosted by bestselling author and wine industry personality, Dr. WINE FESTIVAL Linda Bramble. On Saturdays throughout the festival, participants are Whether you are a local or a visitor to the region, Niagara Wine Fesinvited to join local winemakers to participate in these lively discussions, tival is sure to provide an exciting way to savour the last of the warm demonstrations and tastings. and comforting summer months, as the season comes to an end and New for Sunday programming this year, there will also be “Harvest Table welcomes the fall grape harvest. Every year there are new wineries, busiSeminars”, perfect for gourmet foodies seeking the finest tastes of Niagara. nesses, acts, and events to be discovered, keeping the celebration fresh The Canadian Food and Wine Institute Rising Stars along with local ce- whilst keeping its proudest traditions. lebrity chefs will provide attendees with exclusive cooking demonstrations and sampling opportunities, using fresh local ingredients. To begin your research on this fantastic opportunity to embrace In addition to more didactic approaches to viticulture, there’s no betNiagara’s grape and wine industry, visit niagarawinefestival.com ter way to show your appreciation for wine than to learn about and parto start planning your itinerary! Today Magazine 31
s l a c lo
75 Shops 55 Restaurants 35 Hotels, Motels, Resorts & Campgrounds 5 Minutes from the World Famous Falls 1 Heck of a Good Time ! Waves Indoor Waterpark • Oh Canada EH? Dinner Theatre Canada One Brand Name Outlets • Live Entertainment War of 1812 Landmarks & Reenactments • Socialize with us!
Transit System + more! #wherelocalsgo
Visit Niagara’s Favourite Neighbourhood at
And I’m Free, FREE FALLING BY: MEGAN PASCHE PHOTOS: AJ HARLOND
iagara Freefall is one of those places that can fulfill a wish that is whole thing. It is actually a pretty good workout for your arms and core on many people’s lists: learn to fly. In most cases, it is a wish that muscles, as you have to resist the wind. As I’m writing this, it is three doesn’t really have a shot of coming true, but at Niagara Freefall, days after my indoor skydiving experience, and I’m still feeling it in my Canada’s first indoor skydiving facility, you will be about as close as you’ll arms. The highest I flew was about seven or eight feet up in the air, and no one in my group really made it up much higher than that. One of ever get (without jumping out of an actual plane). The whole experience started off with watching a fifteen minute train- the owners however, jumped in the tunnel and showed us some cool ing video where I learnt all about proper body positioning and hand tricks. He was able to get pretty much up to the ceiling, which goes up signals for when I was in the tunnel. Once the video ended, one of 22 feet, so it is evident that once you go back a couple of times, you get the instructors came in and quizzed me on the hand signals (there are much more used to how to move your body so it will take you where you want to go. As a first time only four of them, one being a flier, I was basically at the mercy thumbs up, so you would have I think my experience at Niagara Freefall is probably best of the high-speed winds and the to actively work at not remembering them). The signals allow compared to a scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. instructor. It was a really neat experiyou to communicate with the For a brief period of time, I was Violet Beauregarde, as she ence, and I would do it again in instructor once you are in the tunnel, as when the fan starts up, turned into a giant blueberry and floated up, up and away. a heartbeat. It definitely gave me an idea of what it would be like it becomes extremely difficult to My suit was a different colour, my skin wasn’t blue and I to be freefalling through the sky. have any kind of conversation. The indoor skydiving is someAfter the safety talk was over didn’t float into oblivion, but other than that, Violet and I thing that is great for ages six with, I put on my flightsuit probably had a pretty similar experience. and up, and it’s the perfect fami(when I showed a co-worker ly activity for a day out. Andrew, a photo afterwards, he said I resembled a flying squirrel, pretty much the most terrifying rodent on one of the owners, notes that they recently had a lady celebrate her 85th birthday there. earth), a helmet, goggles, gloves and earplugs. In addition to skydiving, there is also a 32-foot rock climbing wall, a We walked into the tunnel and practiced our proper tuck and roll falling positions (you will inevitably tumble onto one of the padded areas in mechanical bull ride, and lazerball, which is basically indoor paintless the tunnel, after all, what goes up, must come down, and you don’t want paintball. Participants wear computerized vests and when they get shot to try and break your fall by holding out your arms.) After that, the fan with the ball, it registers on the scoreboard. All in all, it is a pretty fun place to spend an afternoon. It is one of the went on, and we were ready to fly. One person flies at a time, with the other people watching carefully, making sure they don’t get accidently few attractions that is operational year round, and it combines a ton of high kicked by the flier. To begin to fly, you fall off the pad into the wind, fun activities into one central location. And really, you learn to fly, what’s with the instructor assisting at all times. The wind fills your flightsuit, cooler than that? helping to lift you up. Being a fairly spazzy person, I envisioned myself just kind of flailing about, and while I wasn’t the epitome of grace, I end- Niagara Freefall and Interactive Centre is located at 6357 Stanley Ave in ed up being far less spastic that I thought I would be. I kind of hovered Niagara Falls. You can visit them online at niagarafreefall.com or give them four feet off the ground until I got a little bit more comfortable with the a call at 905-356-9764. Today Magazine 33
Oulu Dining Chair $204
Conic Arm Chair Sleeper $658
Orebro Chair $284
MIB Lounge Chair $1700
Delfin Dining Chair $210
Pori Arm Chair $480
Union Jack Sofa $1610
PREPARE TO BE
Amazed: NIAGARA FALLS’ SUMMER OF THRILLS By: Gabrielle Tieman | Photos: David Haskell
SOMETIMES, YOU JUST HAVE TO LET GO AND LIVE LIFE ON THE EDGE. BUT NOBODY LIVES THESE WORDS MORE THOROUGHLY THAN THE ENTERTAINERS OF NIAGARA FALLS. OVER THE YEARS, NIAGARA HAS COME TO BE KNOWN AS HOME TO THOSE WHO KNOW NO FEAR, BOASTING A RICH HISTORY OF ACROBATS, STREET BUSKERS, DAREDEVILS AND THRILL SEEKING PERFORMERS. AND THOUGH 155 YEARS HAS PASSED SINCE THE FIRST STUNTMAN SUCCESSFULLY CROSSED NIAGARA FALLS WITH NOTHING BUT A THIN ROPE SEPARATING HIM FROM A 170 FOOT PLUNGE INTO THE RAPIDS, DAREDEVIL ANTICS CONTINUE TODAY TO TEST THE BOUNDARIES OF WHAT MOST WOULD DEEM IMPOSSIBLE.
aking a twist on the traditional venue of street performances, this summer’s busker acrobatics are taken into the sky as world renowned aerial artists invade Niagara’s skyline with death defying shows performed hundreds of feet above the famed Clifton Hill streets. This free daredevil series put on by Zero Gravity Circus, an internationally renowned Toronto-based circus production company, the Victoria Centre BIA and Niagara Falls Tourism will showcase two separate gut dropping shows with performances running four times a day, five days a week until September 1. The first of the two death-defying act challenges onlookers to keep their jaws off the floor as a family of circus performers tests the laws of gravity atop Victoria Avenue. The performance, put on by seventh generation daredevil and tightrope walker Enrique Valencia, his acrobatic mother Lynn and flying trapeze father Jose, features Valencia speeding a motorcycle across a three-quarter-inch wire suspended over 30 meters above Niagara streets. If this wasn’t enough, Valencia’s mother adds to the danger as she performs acrobatics on the trapeze bellow the buckling, motorcycle heavy wire.
Valencia then exchanges his motorcycle for The Wheel of Fate – a 10.6 meter revolving wheel that sits atop the 10-storey Imperial Hotel. Continually rotating above the street, the 29-year-old Texas native challenges the force of the wind as he walks along the inside and outside of the hamster-like wheel while blindfolded, skipping ropes and sometimes attempting a front flip or somersault: all without the security of a single harness or safety net. Eli Chornenki, the creative director at Zero Gravity Circus, says that what makes their performer based company special is their widely talented roster of performers who have lead the company throughout the globe for decades performing the craziest, most unimaginable stunts – all while maintaining a perfect safety record. “We are known for our daredevil stunts which a lot of companies will not do and we maintain a 100% safety record while doing it,” said Chornenki. “It is about trained professionals doing life threatening entertainment type stunts. It is a very specialized art form - it takes extreme sense of concentration, extreme body awareness, years of training and preparation and nerves of steel.”
Valencia, who has been performing since he was seven-years-old, has taken his acts to countless countries and credits his career to his circus performing parents who encouraged him to try anything his mind could think of. Chornenki, a performer himself, said it is performers like Valencia that keep the daredevil tradition alive while modernizing the performances to take it to the next level. “We are very proud to carry on the tradition of daredevil stunts in the Niagara Region,” said Chornenki. “[Valencia] is a seventh generation circus performer, his whole family were circus performers, so he grew up with it and grew into it. We live to amaze people with things they won’t see every day in real time and real life. This is not a movie, it is not a TV show; it is real, death defying acts being put on for your live entertainment.” Though Valencia’s performances are known to draw the crowds, Chornenki says the 30-minute street performances that occur before each show during warm up are just as exciting and extreme as the main event. “The half hour warm up act on the streets features chainsaw jugglers, fire jugglers and acrobatics,” said Chornenki. “We give a modernized show but yet still hold the daredevil tradition.”
Chornenki said that though their performances are modernized and elaborate, performers still enjoy upholding the traditions that hundreds of Niagara Falls daredevils have set in the past that helped pave the way for modern street performers. “We love being a part of Niagara Falls,” said Chornenki. “It’s steeped in the tradition of circus and a history of hundreds of years of performers – from the men going over the falls in barrels and the people walking across the falls on a tightrope. We are very proud to continue this tradition of giving people death defying daredevil stunts that you just don’t get to see every day.” Chornenki said him and his team hope to make Summer of Thrills an annual summer event in order to continue to keep the daredevil tradition alive and changing for years to come. “We are an attraction to the Falls,” said Chornenki. “We work to keep people entertained while they are there and visiting and help bring people back to the falls year after year. We have had annual summer entertainment series that were really successful in the past, so we are hoping to make this an annual project.”
Summer of Thrills will hold four times daily shows above Victoria Avenue from 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday until September 1. For more information visit topofcliftonhill.com. Today Magazine 37
FUN PA 5 GR EAT AT TRAC
DETAILS: You can find more information at flyboardniagara.ca or call 1-877-293-0624. Booking can also be made directly through the website. FlyBoard Niagara is located at the Greater Niagara Boating Club at 4649 Lyons Creek Rd, Niagara Falls, Ontario.
FLIGHT RATES $149 for a 30-minute flight $249 for a 1-hour flight (can be split between 2 people) $59 to add a helmet camera video
FLYBOARDING: Niagara’s Newest Adventure B Y: M E G A N PA S C H E
P H O T O S B Y: D AV I D H A S K E L L
lyBoarding is the newest and coolest extreme sport to make it’s way to Niagara and it’s accessible to anybody who wants to give it a try. If you’ve ever dreamt of flying (and who hasn’t?), then this is the watersport for you. Owner Craig Bagshaw started up FlyBoard Niagara in June of this year, and said that to put it simply, FlyBoarding involves attaching one end of a 60-foot hose to a Jet Ski and the other to a board that has boots attached to it. The water that normally propels the Jet Ski, instead goes through the hose and propels the person on the board into the air. It is a sport that originated in France in 2011 when a champion Jet Skier named Franky Zapata invented the idea. Craig notes that Zapata posted a video on YouTube of the FlyBoard in action and it went viral incredibly quickly. He initially made the FlyBoard just for himself, but soon discovered there was commercial viability there. Fast-forward a couple years, and as Craig says, “there is virtually not a spot on this earth that you won’t find a rental FlyBoard place now.” All the equipment still comes right from France and Zapata remains in control of the brand worldwide. FlyBoarding gives the rider the opportunity to fly up in the air like a superhero or dive through the water like a dolphin. Craig says, “I’ve always loved adventure type things, and when I first saw it originally, I was just going to buy it for myself, but I took a look around and saw that it hadn’t been in Ontario yet, and I thought it would be a perfect fit for Niagara Falls.” It is currently one of the few adventure type activities that is available in the Niagara area. It’s a suitable activity for those 12 and up (whomever is participating has to have at least a size five shoe, so their feet stay in the boots). There is a short learning curve, about three to ten minutes, and then, Craig says, “once they get in the air, something clicks and they get their balance.” First time fliers generally just stick to the basics of flying up in the air or diving like a dolphin. The more times you try it though, the more tricks you learn. Craig’s son, Tyler Bagshaw, who helps run the company with his dad, has only been FlyBoarding for a couple of months, but is already almost at a level where he can participate in competitions (of which there are many: there is a world championship in Abu Dhabi every year, and the North American championship just recently took place in Toronto). The location of FlyBoard Niagara is quite picturesque (right along the Welland River), and there is lots of beautiful scenery to take in while you are hovering up there in the air. It is also a great place to spend an afternoon, either having a picnic in the nearby park while watching other FlyBoarders, or dining at the licensed restaurant on site. Craig notes that the worst injury he’s ever seen is just a stinger from a belly flop, which happens sometimes when falling back into the water (you are supposed to dive back in, but hey, we can’t all be graceful swans.) Safety is of the upmost importance, and during your flight, you will be wearing a helmet and a life jacket. In the part of the river that FlyBoarding takes place, boats are only permitted to go 5mph, so there are no boats speeding by you as you are flying. This is the perfect activity to be added to the list of things to try when in the Niagara area. It is only a 10-minute drive from the hotel district, and Craig notes that if people have trouble getting to the boat club, they can give him a call to discuss transportation options. Reservations are highly recommended, especially if you are planning to go on a weekend. Craig relates, “this is something participants will be talking about forever…it is a breathtaking, awe-inspiring adventure.”
THIS IS SOMETHING PARTICIPANTS WILL BE TALKING ABOUT FOREVER…IT IS A BREATHTAKING, AWE-INSPIRING ADVENTURE. Today Magazine 41
MEAT... DONE WELL
ALL YOU CAN EAT, CARVED TABLESIDE Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse brings the flavours of Southern Brazil to Niagara. Enjoy savoury meats prepared by our gaucho chefs along with our gourmet salad bar, authentic Brazilian side dishes, and award-winning wine list.
LOCATED IN THE NIAGARA FALLS HILTON ACROSS FROM THE FALLSVIEW CASINO 6361 FALLSVIEW BOULEVARD BRASANIAGARA.COM 905-353-7187
Niagara's newest lounge is now open! Street level in the heart of the Niagara Falls entertainment district, you will be in the centre of the action. Located in the Hilton Niagara Falls and connected to the Fallsview Casino, Spyce offers a sophisticated and lavish escape from life's hustle and bustle. With nightly entertainment and a full lounge menu, Spyce will be your perfect way to start, end, or enjoy your entire night! We'll see you there. Located in the Niagara Falls Hilton Âˇ 6361 Fallsview Boulevard, Niagara Falls, ON niagarafallshilton.com Âˇ Across from the Fallsview Casino Resort
A PERFECT PAIRING:
NIAGARA’S WINE & JAZZ FESTIVAL BY JILL THAM | ARTIST PHOTOS COURTESY OF NIAGARA JAZZ FESTIVAL
What could be better than tasting a savoury glass of local Niagara wine and enjoying conversation among friends and family in picturesque Niagara-on-the-Lake? Doing all of the above while listening to the diverse sounds of jazz. August 2014 marks the first annual Niagara Jazz Festival sponsored by TD Canada Trust. Co-founders Juliet Dunn and her husband Peter Shea are ecstatic about the festival and what its inception means to both them and the Niagara Region. “Jazz Festivals bring so much to a community,” states Dunn. “We are honoured to be bringing one to Niagara-on-the-Lake.” Dunn and Shea are veterans of performing in Jazz festivals across the province and internationally. She has belted out her own incredible sound over the ten years she has spent as a jazz artist and actress in the Niagara Region, most notably performing in the Twilight Jazz Series. Dunn and her husband conceived the idea for Niagara to host a jazz festival out of their sheer love for the style of music. “The jazz talent in Niagara is outstanding. Niagara is full of artists driven by passion and it is amazing to be surrounded by them,” says Dunn. With this in mind, Dunn and Shea began planning their vision of a jazz festival that would not only create jobs for the community, but bring together a diverse group of jazz artists. The festival will hopefully draw a new demographic of visitors to the region. Jazz is difficult to define as it encompasses a plethora of sub genres and sounds, but that is exactly what Dunn considers to be jazz’s strength. “There are so many different styles of jazz that you are bound to discover an appreciation for one of them,” says Dunn. “There is something for everyone.” Drawing from combined musical influences like jazz greats Billie Holiday, Dianne Reeves, Louis Armstrong, and Doctor John, Dunn and Shea have selected a dynamic lineup of performers for the festival. The kick-off event for the festival will take place on Friday, August 22, 2014 and will feature Brownman Electryc Trio, a high-energy group who will blow you away with their fusion of jazz and funk that is less traditional. Dunn and Shea strategically planned the event with a hidden agenda. “Jazz is an art form that will never die and we want to open it up to the younger generation as well,” states Dunn. The weekend will provide a well-rounded list of jazz styles including, but not limited to, traditional jazz, jazz fusion, vocal jazz, smooth
jazz, post-bop, big band, instrumental and soul. The festival will go out with a bang at The Old Winery with a Dixieland brunch featuring a lively New Orleans style performance by Bar-Room Buzzards and a free concert event at Stratus Winery headlining the always brilliant Graham Lear Trio. From free events to complete weekend passes, which includes a swag bag full of goodies, the festival has price points for everyone. The Niagara Jazz Festival will not only entertain couples, groups of friends, or individuals looking for a chance to groove, but it will also cater to families with events at the Village Outdoor Stage. The “Kid Zone” area will provide a few perks for the little ones and parents can dig the colourful sounds as their children enjoy the open grassed area. One of the most interesting aspects of this year’s festival is the educational initiatives or “edutainment,” as referred to by Shea that is being offered by the festival’s Board of Directors. The Niagara Jazz Festival is hosting three “Meet the Artist” sessions on Saturday, August 23, 2014, at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library. Dunn encourages interested individuals to sign up as early as possible as these events are free of charge and guaranteed to fill up fast. One of the speakers, Graham Lear, an exceptional drummer who has worked with the likes of Santana, will be providing a demonstration and discussion. Exceptionally skilled Nathan Hiltz, guitarist and member of the innovative group Griffith Hiltz Trio, will also be speaking. “We are pleased to have Randy Stirtzinger speak, whom with his brother Warren, have been the pillar of Niagara’s jazz community since the 70s,” states Dunn. Participants will thoroughly be entertained with stories and highlights of the “edutainment’s” colourful careers and personal stories. Dunn and Shea are not only proud to combine the music and city they adore with great wine, but also to support Niagara’s local jazz artists. The couple, who had to turn artists away due to lack of funding, has already started making plans for 2015 and promise to make each year better than the previous. “We are hoping to have a larger budget in the future and feature Canadian and international jazz artists,” says Dunn. The catch phrase for the festival reads “Live, Love, Jazz.” One will do just that. It will be impossible for you to leave the Niagara Jazz Festival and not feel energized and passionate about jazz. After all, the great Louis Armstrong once said, “To jazz, or not to jazz, there is no question.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION, TICKETS, AND A FULL LIST OF ARTISTS AND EVENTS VISIT NIAGARAJAZZFESTIVAL.COM
Your guide to wine and jazz with the headliners of Niagara Jazz Festival
Highly respected Jazz drummer Graham Lear can be defined as a man who is refined, reserved, and mature – a cool climate of elegance and class just like a Bordeaux of Jackson-Triggs Delaine Vineyard Syrah 2011.
The fresh and exciting sounds of enchanting Barbra Lica will pair nicely with Konzelman 2010 Sparkling Riesling. You will be swept off your feet by her sophisticated voice and mesmerizing sound.
John Sherwood is a world class, highly experienced and complex jazz artist. His layered sound will go down nicely with a glass of Stratus White 2010.
Heather Bambrick, Newfoundland native, is bold, strong, and full of personality. While listening to her effortless technique and always flawless vocals, order up a glass of Creekside Estate Cabernet Shiraz 2012. Both the wine and the artist have a refreshing quality at the finish.
Brownman Electryc Trio, is a three-piece band including: trumpet, bass, and drums. Their name says it all – electric. The group’s original and modern sound will leave you in disbelief that jazz could be this funky. They are intense, spicy, and cheeky. Stratus’ Kabang Red 2011 is the only wine to pair with this high energy and explosive group.
Jackson-Triggs 2011 Grand Reserve Merlot will go down smooth as you listen to the warm, yet explosive jazz scatt of drummer turned singer, John Neudorf. His strong background in blues adds an original twist to his repertoire.
Niagara’s own Frank’s Bus Brass Band is a lively 11-piece ensemble inspired by the bands of New Orleans. By adding funk and rock to jazz music, they possess a fresh sound guaranteed to raise the roof. One is bound to enjoy their unusual approach to jazz while drinking a pint of full-bodied Oast House Barn Raiser Country Ale.
Today Magazine 45
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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE HOW ITALY INFLUENCED A STYLE ICON
PAN AM GAMES
HOW ITALY INFLUENCED AN ICON: The Style of Audrey Hepburn
BY: MARIANA BOCKAROVA
ften considered the epitome of grace, Audrey Hepburn was - and remains - an icon to be reckoned with. With her classic beauty and feminine charm, she captivated millions through film and thousands through her helping hands. In the twenty year anniversary of her death, just as the ‘Audrey a Roma’ exhibit dedicated to showcasing Hepburn’s long-standing relationship to Italy closes, the world continues to admire the unparalleled beauty that exuberated from her mind, the kindness that leapt from her heart, and the goodwill that came from her soul. What she is perhaps most admired for is her fashion sense, however Hepburn’s style came from an amalgamation of her troubled past, present work, and her philosophy of life: “For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.” Born in 1929 Brussels to a British father and a Dutch Baroness, Audrey spent her most formative years as a ballerina, dancing throughout the Second World War. Her fame as a film star, however, began in 1953 with the film Roman Holiday. Filmed entirely in Italy, she played the part of Princess Ann, a guarded royal who yearns to break away from her otherwise precautious and structured life. In this light, Hepburn herself was introduced to the world, and introduced the world to Rome: “With that movie, [she] became the icon of a jaunty Roman lifestyle, touring the world on a Vespa scooter.” Twice after, Hepburn would return to film in Rome; first, to film War & Peace in 1956 and subsequently, three years later, for The Nun’s Story. These years shaped her fashion sense considerably. >> Today Magazine 47
Following the birth of her first son, Sean, in 1960, Hepburn met and married Italian psychiatrist, Andrea Dotti. Along with their new son, Luca Dotti, the family of four swiftly settled into Rome. In the role of mother and wife during the near-twenty years she left the limelight and embrace la dolce vita, Hepburn was “a woman who [loved] to take long walks with her dogs and take her sons to school.” Growing fond of the siesta, Hepburn adopted the Roman lifestyle during her life in Rome: She would often be found walking her Yorkie, Mr. Famous, in the streets of Parioli, eating in Piazza Navona, and adopting the Sunday “pastarelle” tradition, while befriending famed actors Alberto Sordi and Renato Rascel: “If the photographers happened to capture her, perhaps it might be in a little road near the Campo de’ Fiori in the moment her husband was waiting for [his] motherin-law to open the door for Sunday lunch.” This describes Hepburn’s laissez-faire attitude to daily formality, which translated into her daily fashion choices at the time - a simple dress with a belt cinched at the waist. During her eleven-year marriage to Dotti, his influence similarly bore witness to the emergence of a highly introspective Hepburn who had come to terms with her troubled past, which undoubtedly gave way to her work ethic. Hepburn herself notes, “If you want to get psychological, you can say my definitiveness stems from underlying feelings of insecurity and inferiority. I couldn’t conquer these feelings by acting indecisive. I found the only way to get the better of them was by putting my foot down, by adopting a forceful and concentrated drive.” It was perhaps in the time she spent in Italy that Hepburn realized her deep compassion for others, which she spent the rest of her life pursuing as a UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador, her self-proclaimed greatest
role. While her psychological insight may have been influenced by Dotti, her iconic fashion can certainly be attributed, at least in part, to Rome: It was within the character of Princess Ann in Roman Holiday, in fact, where Hepburn sought the formations of her beloved style, including the white blouse which found its way as a wardrobe staple throughout her life. Similarly, in this role, the bold accessories she often preferred to gaudy jewelry emerged. She wore wide-brimmed hats, large dark sunglasses and often donned scarves tied around her neck, or covering her hair, as had been customary at the time in Rome. The influence Italy had on her style, however, was reciprocal: The post-second world war era Hepburn found herself in showed the re-emergence of Italian fashion, undoubtedly due to the influence Hepburn and other key actresses held. For instance, her “GG” monogrammed Gucci handbag quickly gained popularity, as Hepburn was often seen carrying a classic and practical bag. She simultaneously made the house of Salvatore Ferragamo a household name, with the notable kitten heels and ballet flats Hepburn had been so fond of coming from Salvatore Ferragamo himself. At that time, he was simply a shoemaker from Bonito: “[Hepburn] remained a loyal customer for the rest of her life, wearing his heels as a young starlet and his blue and white driving moccasins in her sixties.” While Italy helped launch her acting career, Hepburn today is not remembered merely as the actress of her decade, nor credited simply as a fashion icon, but continues to be, for millions, the hallmark of human compassion and goodwill. It was her inaugural grace, humble nature and most importantly, charity towards others that propelled her and will sustain her presence far beyond us today, a presence profoundly influenced by la dolce vita she so openly embraced in Rome.
5 WAYS TO STEAL AUDREY’S STYLE:
Find What Fits.
Basic is Best.
Audrey was often seen wearing simple shift dresses, tailored to perfection. While tailoring your own clothes may seem expensive and unnecessary, wearing clothes that look tailor-made is the art to well-dressed women everywhere - a secret Audrey knew well.
A black turtleneck paired with capri pants and ballet flats can look extraordinary, as Audrey proved in her trademark look. While in theory, this look may seem drab, it’s incredibly slimming and can be worn on a number of different occasions
Simply Accessorize. Whether it’s sunglasses and a scarf, or a statement bag and wide-brimmed hat, accessories complemented the simplicity of Audrey’s outfits. Think of the little black dress she donned in Breakfast at Tiffany’s - it wouldn’t be complete without the glasses and hat!
At times, Hepburn chose otherwise masculine clothes, such as fitted suits. Her impeccable grooming, however, softened and feminized her looks. Make sure to invest in the details - regular haircuts, manicures, and healthy skin goes a long way.
Whether plain or in bold prints, this classic never goes out of style and always looks fresh.
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IGNITE YO COMPETIT SPIRIT PAN AMERICAN GAMES 2015 By Jill Tham
ost top athletes participate in many events before they reach the highest level of competition. The Pan American Games is an important milestone in an athlete’s career. The Pan American Games is the world’s third largest international multisport games occurring every four years. Canada has had the privilege of hosting the Games twice; both times in Winnipeg, MB. In 2015, Canada will have a third shot at hosting the Games; this time with events happening in our own backyard. Toronto, ON., will be the official host of the Games and will utilize many venues in different cities across southern Ontario. Approximately 400 events in 36 sports will take place between July 10th to 26th and the Parapan Am Games from August 7th to 15th. “In the Pan Am Games, there are a few different sports that are not in the Olympics such as bowling, karate, racquetball and wakeboarding,” says Mike Strange, former Pan American Games athlete and Olympic boxer. “It makes them distinct from other competitions.” “The vibe of the Pan Am Games is just like the Olympics. You get to experience the same jitters and excitement of an opening ceremony. For a boxer, the Pan Am Games is probably the toughest games, other than the Olympics, because of the incredible talent from Cuba and the United States,” states Strange. Mike has a positive outlook for Canada’s success at the 2015 Pan American Games. “I look forward to seeing the athletes compete for gold in our community,” says Strange. One of the venues for the Games in the Niagara area will be the Welland International Flatwater Centre. The centre will host canoe and kayak sprinting. The Welland Canal is a man-made passageway that enables cargo ships to transport goods between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The Canal is an important part of the St. Lawrence Seaway as it moves ships up and down the escarpment through a series of locks. Several decades ago, an area of the canal in Welland, was rerouted, leaving the old shipping lane perfect for flatwater sports and competitions. Since construction, this section of the Canal has been used by the city and its members to compete and train in the areas of swimming, sculling, canoe polo, kayaking, dragon boat, triathlon, canoeing and water polo. The City of Welland has been working diligently to upgrade the facility in preparation for the Games. Efforts include widening a section of the canal and building a timing tower, an athletic centre and permanent seating for 500 spectators. With ten million dollars of upgrades, the Welland International Flatwater Centre will now provide an off season location perfect for training. “The addition of the only multisport moving water training tank in Canada provides for a unique legacy opportunity. Owning the podium starts in Welland and every Canadian athlete participating in a flatwater sport will make their way to the Olympics, World Championships, Pan American Games and podium via the Flatwater Centre,” says Stephen Fischer, Executive Director of the Welland Recreational Canal Corporation and Welland International Flatwater Centre. “We look forward to welcoming the Toronto 2015 Pan Am athletes to our state-ofthe art facility, renowned as one of the fairest and fastest canoe kayak courses in the world. Dating back over a century, Welland has a rich history of flatwater sports and because of our newly completed International Flatwater Centre, an incredible future in these sports. It is truly a world class facility where the unique characteristics of Welland’s waterway will give every athlete the chance to make their dream of standing on the medal podium a reality,” states Barry Sharpe, Mayor of the City of Welland. Only a short drive from Welland to St. Catharines, one can find the calm waters of the Martindale Pond, home of the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course. The Henley is no stranger to the thrill of competition as it has hosted several rowing events and North America’s largest annual rowing regatta. The Henley’s storied history made it a natural choice as the site for 14 rowing competitions. In preparation for the Games, upgrades will be made to the main bridge that connects the rowing facility to the mainland. The summer of 2015 will be an exhilarating one for both residents and tourists of the Niagara Region as they welcome hundreds of athletes and thousands of visitors. Niagara invites you to come for the spectacular view of the falls and stay for the Games. All unaccredited quotes are taken directly from wellandcanal.com and toronto2015.org
Today Magazine 51
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116 Queenston St., Queenston (NOTL), ON Summer 2014 Exhibitions Female Self-Representation and the Public Trust: Mary E. Wrinch and the AGW Collection Organized and Circulated by the Art Gallery of Windsor John Abrams: Land Mark Combine 35: Women Artists in the Riverbrink Collection The War 0f 1812-14: People and Places It Takes Two: Artists and Models in the RiverBrink Collection
RiverBrink Art Museum features exhibitions of fine art organized from the Samuel E. Weir Collection and temporary loans from both public and private fine art collections. John Abrams, Land Mark Combine, 2000-2001, oil on canvas, detail, Collection of The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
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Essentials Guide Finally, it’s summer! After months in hibernation, are you ready to welcome the season? If you’re hitting up barbecues, beach parties, and picnics in your winter wear, chances are you haven’t thawed out long enough to stock up on all your hot weather necessities. With over 180 exciting stores and national brands, the Pen Centre will help you get ready for summer!
Your Style. Your Fashion.Your Mall. Featuring the latest fashions, trends, community events, and more! Check out our brand new YouTube web series at www.youtube.com/thepencentre
Get ready for the sandy shores Women’s Birkenstock $99 Men’s Rider Sandals $29.99 Available at Soft Moc
Outdoor entertaining Dining Set $40.92 Available at Bowring
Avoid the burn Estée Lauder Daywear Lotion SPF 50 $45 Available at The Bay
Tote around all your seaside essentials Beach Bag $14 Available at Neat Stuff
Summer Must-Haves We’ve gathered everything you’ll need to stay cool this summer!
Stylish headwear Fedora $10 Flower Head Wrap $8.90 Available at Suzy Shier Book club read The Fault In Our Stars $14.99 Available at Coles Book Store
Shape up for summer Valley Girl Top $38 Sommer Bra $52 Nathalie Shorts $60 Available at Titika
Ban those rays Ray-Ban $210 Fossil $29.99 Available at The Bay
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W GR HY N LOC AB OT AL SOM DE E ALS
Hot books on deck. BY MEGAN PASCHE
Some books seem like they are written just for summertime. For reading while lying on a beach towel in the sand, lounging on a dock while the water laps at your feet or all curled up in a cozy chair while a summer rainstorm pelts the outside world. Books that are easy to get lost in, and are such page-turners that hours seem to turn into minutes. The books you race to finish, but make you a little bit sad when they come to an end. Reading really is the perfect summer activity. THESE ARE SOME OF MY FAVOURITE PAGE-TURNERS TO DATE, AS WELL AS SOME UPCOMING BOOKS TO LOOK FOR IN THE SUMMER OF 2014.
DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD by Rebecca Wells
This book sat on the bestsellers list for 68 weeks, and inspired a movie of the same name. It’s a great summer read that tells the story of a life long friendship between four Southern women.
THE JOY LUCK CLUB by Amy Tan
This book tells the story of four Chinese American immigrant families, who start having regular meetings that they call ‘The Joy Luck Club’. The story focuses on the four mothers of these families and their American born daughters.
by Jeffrey Eugenides This fascinating epic tells the story of the effect of a mutated gene on three generations of a Greek-American family. The protagonist is Calliope (Cal) Stephanides, who was born with alpha-reductase deficiency, causing him to be born with female characteristics. The latter part of the novel shows Cal’s journey from his hometown of Detroit out to San Francisco.
THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL SOCIETY
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows This book tells the story of Juliet, a newspaper columnist who receives a letter from
a man on the island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. The correspondence continues, as Juliet is drawn more and more into the eclectic lives of the people on the island.
SUMMER SISTERS by Judy Blume
This book focuses on the friendship between two girls: Victoria Leonard and Caitlin Somers. The novel traces their friendship as they spend every summer together as they grow up, and focuses on how their relationship becomes more complicated the older they get.
THE NIGHT CIRCUS
by Erin Morgenstern This fantasy novel tells the tale of a magical traveling circus that comes and goes with no warning. The Cirque des Reves is open only at night and it revolves around two young magicians-Celia and Marco, as they duel with magic.
This series consists of three books: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. This page-turning crime series focuses on two main characters: Lisbeth Salander a girl genius with poor social skills and Mikail Blomkvist, an investigative journalist.
THE LOST GIRLS
by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner If you have ever dreamt of throwing caution into the wind and going to travel the world, this book might be just what you need to convince yourself to take that leap.
A WALK IN THE WOODS by Bill Bryson
Bryson uses his usual humour as he regales the reader with the tale of his attempt to hike the entire Appalachian Trail.
THE YONAHLOSSEE RIDING CAMP FOR GIRLS
This book tells the story of English backpacker Richard, who is given a map to a hidden beach located in the Gulf of Thailand. The book traces his journey to the island and what happens once he arrives there.
Set in the 1930’s Southern United States in the middle of the Great Depression, this book follows Thea Atwell as she is sent to an equestrian boarding school for debutantes after her involvement in a family tragedy.
CALIFORNIA: A NOVEL by Edan Lepucki
FRIENDSHIP by Emily Gould
Released: July 8 This debut novel follows Cal and Frida after their escape from a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, when they go to live alone in the wilderness. When Frida gets pregnant, they decide to reenter society because they think it will be safer, but little do they know, that might not be the case.
Released: July 1 This novel covers the friendship of two 30-year-old women, who have been friends for many years. Bev lives a fairly aimless life, and Amy has been coasting along so far. The book provides a great examination of the complexities of friendship.
Released: July 15 This is the story of Willie Bledose, an activist in the 1960s who is trying to write a memoir about the 1960s in Detroit. While in Detroit, Beldose becomes the top suspect in an unsolved murder.
by Stieg Larsson
by Alex Garland
New releases for 2014
MOTOR CITY BURNING by Bill Morris
by Anton DiSclafani
Other notable page turners that make for great summer reading: FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLE STOP CAFÉ by Fannie Flagg TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN by Mark Twain
I’LL BE RIGHT THERE by Kyung Sook Shin
THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN by Kate Morton
Released date: June 3 This South Korean author has been widely read in her own country for decades, but her books recently became available in North America. This book tells the story of Jung Yoon as she looks back on her crazy life in mid 1980s South Korea.
TEN THOUSAND SAINTS by Eleanor Henderson SARAH’S KEY by Tatiana De Rosnay GEEK LOVE by Katherine Dunn
Today Magazine 59
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Dreams By: Mariana Bockarova
Let’s admit it: We’ve all dreamt of wearing the perfect swimsuit. We are conditioned, as women, to want to play the lead role in an iconic bikini moment, whether it’s a onesie, à la Pamela Anderson’s Baywatch days, or a full-out version of Halle Barry’s ‘Bond Girl’ look. As the swimsuit season approaches, two Canadian designers, Tatiana Paratchuk and Julie Khinkis, have created a label to make those visions a reality. I sat down with the makers of VENAO Swimwear to get at the heart of their own swimsuit dreams:
MARIANA BOCKAROVA: HOW DID IT ALL START? Julie Khinkis/Tatiana Paratchuk: Both of us grew up watching our mothers design and create garments, not only as a creative expression, but also out of necessity. We both had the most interesting wardrobe from our peers and grew up with the notion that fashion is an image. VENAO was born out of that passion for creativity and desire for a challenge since fashion design has always been part of our lives. One night we started sketching swimsuits that we wanted to have but just couldn’t find anywhere. Many hours later, we decided to create a few samples so we booked a trip to New York to shop for fabric and created our first few suits. A few weeks later, we heard there was a fashion show in Toronto which was short a designer. We scrambled to create more pieces and completed a photoshoot to submit our collection for review. Once the shots hit social media, the response amazed us and we booked the show. It was the perfect way to transition from a hobby to a business. MB: IS IT EVER TESTING TO WORK AS A TEAM? J.K/T.P: We work really well together. We are both super persistent. We aim high and there is never a dull moment. People love our energy and offer to collaborate. We wear all the hats in the company, from design to production, from marketing to distribution…Tatiana is the creative designer and focuses on creating the product. Julie is the brand manager, dealing with marketing, distribution and events. We discuss every project together and do not proceed unless it fits within our plan. We both sketch out the idea then Tatiana works on the pattern, which sometimes takes a few tries to get the fit exactly as we want. She makes a sample piece and we bring in a few girls for fitting. When the fit is just right, the design makes it into the new collection. MB: I’VE SEEN YOUR SWIMWEAR ON THE RUNWAY – THEY ARE DEFINITELY DISTINCTIVE AND GARNER A LOT OF ATTENTION. IN YOUR OPINION, WHY? J.K/T.P: Our swimsuits are meticulously designed to hug a woman’s curves elegantly. When we design an item, we do so with a particular
body shape in mind and we market it appropriately. We import our fabrics from North America and Europe, as it holds the color better and therefore will last longer. We are also very selective about the hardware that we use. This season we are moving towards more rose gold-plated accessories to prevent rusting. We strictly monitor production of each garment and hold the factory to the highest standards. Each piece that leaves our factory is a gem and will make a woman feel like a goddess. MB: “GODDESS” IS DEFINITELY THE RIGHT WORD: EVERYONE I’VE SEEN WEARING YOUR SWIMWEAR LOOKS LIKE A SUPERMODEL. WHAT DOES THE TYPICAL VENAO CUSTOMER LOOK LIKE TO YOU? J.K/T.P: Our target customer is a confident, fashion-affluent woman aged 20-50 who is a socialite in her community and therefore strives to always “turn heads”. She makes an effort to take good care of her body and enjoys showing it off. This woman spends time vacationing at resorts and summer destinations, where she must look her best. She follows designer trends and seeks out exclusive pieces to stand out. MB: FROM YOUR OWN COLLECTION, WHAT “STANDS OUT” FOR YOU? J.K: My favorite piece is the Aria. It is classy and luxurious with braids and a golden clasp. I also love the cleavage it creates and the overall design is so unique, totally me. This was the first VENAO suit I wore. T.P: My favorite piece is the Bandeau. It was the very first piece I made and it got the most attention. It’s fun and playful because of the various ways you can wear it. Also its multi-structural for different body shapes and different bust sizes can wear it with confidence. I’ve always been fond of smaller bottom so I love the Brazilian trio bottoms, which gives minimal tan lines. MB: FROM AN OUTSIDER’S PERSPECTIVE, I’VE ALWAYS BEEN CURIOUS TO KNOW WHAT IT TAKES TO BECOME A DESIGNER: IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT DO YOU NEED TO ‘MAKE IT’? J.K/T.P: You need good intuition and a great team. There are many costs in the first year, lawyers, materials, and equipment and of course the cost of trial and error. As long as there is passion and some startup capital, launching a label can be exhilarating. MB: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR PROFESSION? J.K/T.P: The most challenging aspect is the lack of time we have to put towards this business. We both have full time jobs and juggling to keep everything moving. We love the challenge that comes with every area of the business and thrive on accomplishing every step. MB: HAVE YOU FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO START A FASHION LABEL, PARTICULARLY SWIMWEAR, IN CANADA? J.K/T.P: Both of us have lived in Toronto since our early teens and we are fortunate to be in such a diverse city. The eclectic mix of creative minds propels ideas into reality. Simple conversations over a coffee turn into business ideas and collaborations make it happen. As a business, swimsuit prices are commonly really high digits, while the amount of material needed is small. This cost difference allows us to produce in Toronto, at a premium price, use gold-plated hardware, and purchase high quality fabrics. This is why we’re fortunate that VENAO was born in Canada, and this is where we will continue to make all of our products. MB: WHAT’S NEXT FOR VENAO? J.K/T.P: There are so many ideas for VENAO going forward. We are entering the international market in distribution and are invited to be a part of some really interesting events. New products will be launching and we are working on creative partnerships that are sure to make a buzz. Details cannot be revealed!. Today Magazine 63
AN INTERACTIVE TAKING OVER THE TOWER
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HERE. SEE. DO EVENT LISTINGS
EVENT CALENDAR HENLEY REGATTA August 4 to 10 at Henley Island in St. Catharines
This year will mark the 132nd of this event…join in the tradition by watching one of the top amateur rowing events in North America. Parking is free on Henley Island, and there is shuttle service from the Island to the Grandstand area. More info at henleyregatta.ca
ELTON ROHN: THE MUSIC OF ELTON JOHN August 6 at the Greg Frewin Theatre
NIAGARA FALLS STORY August 22 to September 1 at Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls
From 6 to 10, you can enjoy a sound and light show that tells the story of Niagara. The evening will be filled with music and entertainment.
ECHOS OF NIAGARA August 23 to 24 at Fort George Historic Site
Enjoy celebrity impersonator Ron Camilleri’s dead on impression of Elton John. You will enjoy hearing all of Elton’s greatest hits, as well as the sounds of the seven piece band. This is a show that shouldn’t be missed! Tickets and more information at gregfrewintheatre.com
Go out and celebrate over 200 years of Niagara’s Military History… there will be interpreters, animators and veterans displaying uniforms, weapons and vehicles from the War of 1812, both World Wars and several more. Admission to the displays is included with general admission to Fort George. More information at friendsoffortgeorge.ca
PEACH FESTIVAL August 9 to 10 in Niagara-on-the-Lake
FLEETWOOD NICKS &PRACTICALLY PETTY August 27 at the Greg Frewin Theatre in Niagara Falls
DOG DAYS OF SUMMER August 9 at Welland Canal Centre at Lock 3
MARSHVILLE HERITAGE FESTIVAL August 30 to September 1 at Heritage Village in Wainfleet
Spend a weekend celebrating nature’s juiciest fruit! Taking place in downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake, there will be live music, historic displays, local food and wine, a kids area, merchants and more. More information at niagaraonthelake.com
Taking place from 11 to 4:30, this fun filled day is the perfect time to hang out with your pup. There will be special pet related vendors and displays, as well as several rescues on site with their adoptable animals. There will be food trucks for the humans as well. More information at stcatharines.ca
Enjoy two different bands during this lively show that will bring you back to the heyday of Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty. Showtime is at 6:15, dinner is at 7:30. More information and tickets are available at gregfrewintheatre.com
Taking place over the long weekend each day from 10 to 5, visitors can enjoy going back in time to experience period costumes, restored historic buildings, horse and wagon rides, delicious food and so much more. More info at marshvilleheritagefestival.com
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Journey Behind the Falls
Niagara Parks is...
The Ultimate Falls Experience. Experience the incredible power and beauty of Niagara Falls at Ontarioâ€™s Niagara Parks. Get as close as you can to the thundering water at Journey Behind the Falls and White Water Walk, then dine with a panoramic view at Elements on the Falls. Explore the Butterfly Conservatory and the Botanical Gardens or play Whirlpool Golf course in the fabulous setting beside the Niagara Glen. History, nature, gardens and so much more at Niagara Parks.
ON 4 TOP ATTRACTIONS
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Find out more and purchase Passes at niagaraparks.com