VOL.001 ISSUE 001
RECIPES THAT ARE EASY LIKE S U N DAY MORNING
N I AGA R A’ S ICE WINE F E S T I VA L S & EVENTS
on the cover…
TALK OF THE TOWN
Q&A WITH THESE N I AGA R A M AYO R S
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THE JOY OF GIVING T H E PA N D O R A S T O R E AT
LYNN OGRYZLO Lynn is a food, wine and travel writer, author of three international award-winning cookbooks and regular contributor to REV Publications. Lynn specializes in culinary tourism covering regional cuisine destinations, slow food, culinary holidays, wine, spirits and “la dolca vita”. She can be reached for questions or comments at lynnogryzlo.com.
As we come to the end of 2016, I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank you all for your continued support over this past year. Though some things have changed, others have stayed the same, and we at Today Magazine continue to support our community and local businesses, ensuring the continued growth of our beautiful home in Niagara. I believe that when we work together, we can achieve anything. With the consistent and devoted work of our team, Today Magazine remains Niagara’s premier lifestyle magazine that promotes our local entrepreneurial community. As we move ahead, we will continue to bring you the most exciting and diverse content, with the most upto-date digital media, establishing Today Magazine as an important player in the current publishing scene. Happy Holidays from my family to yours. I hope it’s fi lled with lots of laughter, leisure, and love.
Daniel A. Pasco PRESIDENT & CEO
Jill’s passion for writing came after seeing the movie Stand by Me. She prefers listening to Niagara bands to practising her guitar and running the track better than shopping. When Jill is not moonlighting as a freelance writer, she is an Elementary teacher juggling her three children. Along with being a regular contributor to Today Magazine, Jill’s articles have been featured in Canadian Running, Pedal, Allergic Living and @OECTA. jilltham.wordpress.com @JillBT
Mariana Bockarova is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto, where she teaches Psychological Resiliency, the Science of Happiness, and the Psychology of Relationships. Her research explores narrative medicine and mental health. She also holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University concentrated in Psychology.
Andrew is a freelance writer specializing in travel, history and lifestyle. He has a passion for new adventure, experiences and also for exploring little known stories. Andrew is never without a book or three in hand and some obscure historical fact at the tip of his tongue. Follow him @discoveriesAM
Gabrielle is a passionate about the written word. A newcomer to Niagara, Gabrielle is a graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Journalism program and has written for a number of newspapers and publications across Canada. Her passion lies in profiling members of the community and uncovering the hidden gems within a city. When she is not writing you can find her on her bicycle - most likely with a large coffee in hand.
The founding partner at Capital Wealth Management Inc. has a passion for learning that has led him to attain a Certified Financial Planner designation; the highest level of professionalism in providing financial planning advice. Specialized in providing comprehensive wealth and estate planning advice to business owners, medical professionals and individual investors.
A retired teacher, Sherman Zavitz has had a fascination with the history of Niagara Falls and area for many years. Active in many history-related organizations, he has authored five books and has been a columnist for the Niagara Falls Review for over 20 years. He has been recognized for his historical expertise by being appointed official historian for both the City of Niagara Falls, Ontario and the Niagara Parks Commission.
DR. CHRISTINA PLASKOS MD, HON BSc Pharm, ABAARM Dr. Plaskos received her Honours Bachelor of Science of Pharmacology and her medical degree from the University of Toronto. Dr. Plaskos also has continued her education by completing a fellowship at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine which helps shape her practice at Aegis MD. Her mission is for everyone to ignite their well-being!
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VOL.001 ISSUE 001
RECIPES THAT ARE EASY LIKE S U N DAY MORNING
N I AGA R A’ S ICE WINE F E S T I VA L S & EVENTS
on the cover…
TALK OF THE TOWN
Q&A WITH THESE N I AGA R A M AYO R S
On the cover: Mayor Sandra Easton, Mayor John Maloney, Mayor April Jeffs, Mayor Dave Augustyn & Mayor Frank Campbell. Photographer: David Haskell
Today Magazine Niagara Edition is published by Rev Publishing Inc. All opinions expressed in Today Magazine Niagara Edition are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Rev Publishing, 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 Niagara Edition 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 Niagara Edition. 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 Niagara Edition are submitted at the author’s risk. Manuscripts and or photographs intended to be returned must be accompanied by sufficient postage. Today Today Magazine Niagara Edition does not assume any responsibility for any claims of our advertisers and reserves the right to refuse any advertising.
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// I N S I D E
FOOD & DRINK
LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
ON THE TABLE Profiles on three Niagara chefs: Ryan Crawford, Eric Peacock and Ross Midgley, who through their use of innovative concepts and love of local food are having a huge impact on the local dining scene.
NIAGARA’S ICONIC FOODS In a region that has always grown it’s own food, Lynn Ogryzlo finds it amazing that Niagara doesn’t have a culinary identity. Or, she questions, does it?
SKINFOOD Dr. Christina Plaskos talks about three foods that will help illuminate your skin.
EASY LIKE SUNDAY MORNING Here we have collected some of our favourite brunch recipes from the interwebs, so go ahead, on one of those days when you have nothing but time, try one out!
IT TAKES A VILLAGE Here is a shortlist of charities who rely on volunteers and donations to ensure they don’t get left behind this holiday season.
FROM SAVING TO SPENDING Certified Financial Planner David Somerville, talks about moving away from wealth accumulation of our money to the wealth distribution of our wealth.
FRUGAL FASHIONISTA A how-to guide for looking your best without breaking the bank. From perfecting that biker look to distressing your own jeans, we got you covered.
STYLING THE STARS Sitting down with designer and stylist Waltters Siddiqui is like sitting down with a cherished, long-time friend, even though he has styled for the likes of Sarah Ferguson, Aretha Franklin and Pamela Anderson.
ARTHUR HOYT DAY Arthur Hoyt Day came to Niagara Falls not to enjoy the beauty, majesty and history of the area. He came here with murder on his mind.
HOLLYWOOD’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH NIAGARA Over the years there have been a number of Hollywood legends who have visited Niagara Falls. Often times, they sneak in with little fanfare and sneak out almost unnoticed. Other times, celebrities arrive with more publicity, such as the stars featured in this story: Jimmy Stewart, Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Temple.
SHADY DEALINGS The Pavilion Hotel was the brainchild of William Forsyth, who was one of Niagara’s earliest entrepreneurs in the tourism industry but also a shameless and aggressive opportunist.
TALK OF THE TOWN Join us for a up close and personal q&a with five of Niagara’s small town mayors: Sandra Easton, April Jeffs, John Maloney, Frank Campion and Dave Augustyn.
IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK The Courthouse in Niagara-on-the-Lake is a National Historic Site and perhaps the most magnificent structure in this most historic of communities, it has played host to cutthroat politics and trials involving heinous crimes.
SOME ENCHANTED EVENING Some Enchanted Evening, a performance of songs from musical theatre and operetta, features Ben Heppner, Rebecca Caine, Jean Stilwell, and Gary Relyea under the musical direction of David Warrack.
77 OUT & ABOUT Festival, theatre and event listings in Niagara.
TODAY’S PEOPLE Locals snapped at Niagara charities and notable events.
RETRO RISING The thrill of finding that perfect outfit in a sea of previously loved clothing is one of the greatest thrills there is. And on this well-traveled path to uncovering that diamond in the rough without breaking the bank – and without sacrificing great style – the answer is simple; shopping vintage and celebrating second hand.
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On this page left: Ryan Crawford; (center) Ross Midgley; (right) Erik Peacock. Location: Ravine Vineyard Photographer: David Haskell
//FOOD & DRINK RYAN CRAWFORD I ROSS MIDGLEY I ERIK PEACOCK
TA B L E B Y G A B R I E L L E T I E M A N I P H O T O : D AV I D H A S K E L L
As a way to celebrate Niagara’s fast growing food culture we decided to launch a new feature On The Table, where we will profile prominent Niagara chefs who are helping put Niagara on the map as a food destination.
E R I C P E AC O C K
ucked away on a quiet side street, a treasured Niagara landmark prepares for their dinner service that is anything but soundless. Reserved weeks in advance, Wellington Court’s bustling yet intimate dining room is filled with chatter as local wines are poured and plate after plate of Niagara cheeses, west coast salmons and farm-to-table inspired entrees crowd the tables. Simplistic, modern appearances pair with an organic warmth that emits from the cluster of branches perched on the bar to the pops of colourful art warming the walls. A sense of family and community is obvious, and it is not hard to tell that these rooms once housed lively family meals; and aren’t we thankful that over 30 years ago the Peacock family chose to open up their family dining room to the community and convert it into one of the first nice restaurants in downtown St. Catharines. “It was all cheesecakes and pasta when my mother [Claudia] first put in the café,” says Chef Erik Peacock. “My mom would make prepared salads so you would have this trio of salads at lunch. People still come in and think they’re going to get that.”
The restaurant has evolved drastically over the years, sprouting from that little café into a well sought after high dining establishment. This evolution occurred organically once Chef Peacock, who once steered away from cooking, found himself being drawn back into the kitchen. "I was at Concordia University [in Montreal] and I remember studying angles in crystal spheres and saying, 'f**k it, this just isn't me',” said Peacock. “So I left and went to George Brown College in Toronto for Culinary Arts. And I remember at that time saying, 'I get this. I feel this'.” “I came into the kitchen [at Wellington Court] to help my mom, who was having some problems at the time with the kitchen, and I started to make food and it was just like I knew what to do,” said Peacock. Peacock said he then began experimenting with food, going off menu to create new dishes each night that weren’t his mother’s staples; he would clean whole fish, scraping the bones for tacos and ceviche, using the filet for lunch and the prime pieces for dinner – all while learning food costs, how to get the most out of your food and how to make his mother’s restaurant successful. From this new found creativity the restaurant took off; media and food critics fled in and in tandem, the business grew. “All of a sudden, people started recognizing that we were doing something different here,” said Peacock. “And all of a sudden, you couldn't just walk in, you needed a reservation and we were packed every night.” Today, business and creativity at Wellington Court has not slowed. It’s evolving menu offers an intimate glimpse into Niagara's culinary landscape; demonstrating how well our local produce pairs with harvests from across the country to make dishes come alive in stunningly bright, fresh and flavourful creations. >>
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“It’s not about ‘What grows together, stays together,” said Peacock. “Yes, we are in love with everything local and the produce during each time of year, but we are also using fish from British Columbia that is wild and sustainable.” “It’s about bringing together foods that are from the same time frame,” said Peacock. “Salmon from B.C. is kind of on the way out, Halibut is on the way in - but it makes sense that we would be holding on to the end of that season and loving every second of it. So we roast salmon with our leftover heirloom tomatoes - that to me makes all the sense in the world.” Standing by his belief that ingredients should not be overdone, Peacock said he changes his menu at an irritating rate – sometimes at least once or twice during the week. Currently the menu features plates such as wild salmon carpaccio with wasabi avocado and sesame, harvest vegetable tagine with pistachio quinoa and mint yogurt, beef cheeks with roast squash and – Peacock’s favourite protein – chicken served with mash and wild mushrooms. “People will come in and ask for the cured salmon dish and you have to tell them sorry, it’s gone, because that season is over,” said Peacock. “It is about tying together what is here and now; whether it is the beginning or end of its season. So we match a squash puree with roasted fish and add those tiny little cured tomatoes that are sh*tty and tough because it gets cold at night – but we make them great with salt, sugar, garlic and basil and cook them not gently but slowly under the heat lights. Then they wilt and become raisins and they’re so tasty.” But one vital component of Peacocks’ dishes must remain the same; it has to have a story. “I feel like everything in the restaurant world needs a bit of a story,” said Peacock. “We get pictures sent to our phones on Sundays from fishermen on the west coast of Canada; they are using Facebook and Instagram to keep us all intrigued. You can say we want that 45 pound Halibut or that 60 pound fish we saw in the photo; so all of a sudden it’s Wednesday and you’re getting your 35 pound halibut and you say, I feel like I know you - I feel like we were just talking.”
This commitment and passion to providing the most fresh, locally inspired cuisine in a fun atmosphere has grown far past Wellington Court’s kitchen over the past couple decades. His mother’s once small catering company continues to be a huge success in the region; progressing over the years from its meager beginnings of catering small scale cocktail parties to now feeding grand functions for over 600 people. Peacock has as well been an active chef with Henry of Pelham winery’s seasonal café The Coach House in St. Catharines; having worked with the Speck brothers for the café’s over 12 years of operation. And though Peacock has developed close relationships with Henry of Pelham and a number of wineries in the region, Wellington Court continues to evolve and stay independently unique – continually changing their wine lists to pair with their innovative menu. “The fun part of Wellington is it’s not about confinement,” said Peacock. “I have had a love affair with a number of wines from all over the region. I feel so privileged to be a part of these wineries and their celebrations and I have so many wines that I love.” And though the restaurant may be continuously evolving and growing from its beginning as a small town café, it plans to stay rooted at its flagship location adjacent to the newly revitalized St. Catharines core. “I don’t think Wellington Court can ever just end,” said Peacock. “It will never just be, ‘that’s it, and it’s over. It needs to get passed on and will continue to grow for a long time to come.” >>
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ousing a high concentration of unique world class restaurants, the Niagara Region is bursting with fresh, innovative food with a purpose– driving restaurants around the country to raise the bar in their own kitchens. But what is the secret ingredient behind these groundbreaking dishes? The answer is simple: fresh Niagara produce. Chefs are now being challenged to create Niagara centric dishes focused on celebrating what is grown in our very own backyards. To some this may pose a difficult challenge; but to Chef Ross Midgley, it has come naturally. No stranger to the Niagara kitchen, this vanguard chef has traversed the country, discovering his passion for classical French cuisine amongst some of the top kitchens in the world. And though a native to Prince Edward Island, he has securely dubbed Niagara his home; dedicating his passion to celebrating home grown produce and a commitment to the land through food for 20 years. And while he has held the lead positions in several of Ontario’s most renowned restaurants, Midgley has found his place in Ravine Vineyard’s self-standing, farm-to-table kitchen. Morally rooted with the philosophy that food should be uncomplicated but evocative, Chef Midgley has navigated Ravine’s 100 per cent organic playground with ease; challenging himself and his team to embrace the true flavours of the ingredients grown on site and create seasonally inspired menus that are satisfyingly uncomplicated. Because unlike most who try to elevate and recreate the wheel in their kitchen, Chef Midgley is embracing that wheel, and the result is mouthwatering. “As a chef, [Ravine] is an absolute playground, but I want to be the first to say that my whole raison d’être is not to do things that are outside of the box for the sake of things that are out of the box,” said Midgley. “My food is very safe, very rooted in classical French cuisine. The measure for me is, is it delicious?” “If it is something that has pumpkin in it, the true question is, does it taste like pumpkin?” said Midgley. “We live in an accelerated culture; everything is immediate and we need everything now and that programs us as humans to want new things immediately. I find that if you give people sustenance that is satisfying or evocative of memory, you will always win – and that has nothing to do with reinventing the wheel. That is everything to do with embracing the wheel.” But this less is more attitude has not resulted in the creation of a simple, ho-hum menu. Holding an educational background and diverse work experiences – including positions in some of Ontario’s most renowned kitchens including The Globe Restaurant, Tiara at Queen’s Landing, Hillebrand Estates and Windows by Jamie Kennedy as well as a turn at the 2 Michelin star restaurant Chewton Glen in Hampshire, England where the philosophy is live to eat, not eat to live – Midgley has transformed Ravine’s self-proclaimed “ever changing carousel of ingredients” menu into elevated plates you can’t help but scrape with your spoon. Popular dishes have included smoked Huron Whitefish cakes with curried Niagara peach compote, black lager braised lamb shank with goat’s cheese whipped potato and hearth oven vegetables, sesame and parmesan crusted St. David’s eggplant alongside tomato fondue and so many more. It is with these dishes that Midgley has proven that excessive innovation does not define a high end menu; and that a simple chicken and mashed potato combo can be mind blowing.
“If you’re committed to the classical preparation of a dish, there is a reason for everything,” said Midgley. “There is balance, there are flavour profiles that work and they have worked like so for centuries. So if you perfect that, even if it is as simple as a chicken breast on mashed potatoes, they’re going to be friggen good mashed potatoes.” Ravine’s 100 per cent certified organic plot of land is tended to year round. With meetings continuing well after the season has produced its last squash in order to determine what they will plant the next year; creating a plan for more rotation in order to farm continuously on premise as long as the season permits. “We live in the fruit basket of Canada and we celebrate that here,” said Midgley. “Here, we grow endless varieties of heirloom tomatoes, squashes, microgreens, herbs, asparagus and peppers. Next year we hope to get some organic garlic, a few onion varieties, more summer squashes, patty pan squashes and zucchinis.” Ravine has even begun to harvest their own honey and honey comb – a project that will be expanding in 2017 with honey having an impact in both their beverages and on the menu. “Every season we are introducing something new,” said Midgley. “Next season, we will have fresh honey comb on cheese plates, any honey we use in baking will be our own, even our straight up vinaigrettes will often have a touch of sweetness so we will start using honey in that.” It is this kind of on premise produce and production that Midgley said helps to keep him inspired. “I am more rooted in the seasons with the more seasons that go by,” said Midgley. “I think there is truly something special about working that way in a kitchen. I have all this excitement of new things at Ravine and this analyst appetite, but the seasons stay kind of the same. Intuitively, I am starting to know what to do with what at what time and I think it broadens the creativity and how I go about menus.” This inspiration has resulted in many award worthy dishes over the past few years and Midgley is being recognized in tandem with his food. In 2016 he was chosen to compete as one of Toronto’s top 10 chefs at the Canadian Culinary Championships Gold Medal Plates. This fundraiser for the Canadian Olympic team is known as the ultimate celebration of Canadian excellence in cuisine, wine, the arts and athletic achievement. Celebrated in eleven cities across Canada, Gold Medal Plates features the premier chefs in each city in a culinary competition for gold. Midgley said his chosen dish for the event will highlight Ravine’s latest beverage accomplishment – a dry hard apple cider – alongside their on premise honey. “I designed a menu around [the cider] and it’s pretty exciting,” said Midgley. “We are making a play on surf and turf; a smoked potato and scallop mousseline with little mini porchettas confited and sous vide. Then we are doing an apple relish to go hand and hand with the cider, and of course, presented with our fresh honey comb.” And while the produce and seasons help to keep Midgley inspired daily, he said it is his diverse team of sous chefs and kitchen staff that truly make the difference. “I like to refer to chefs as being kind of like pirates,” said Midgley. “We are all pirates in our way. Some are really smart pirates, some are not so smart pirates, some are rough pirates and some are nice pirates; but piracy means, whatever the endeavor is,
every service we are in it 100 per cent together and kitchens are a place where you can be comfortable if you are kind of a wonky person cause you’re not judged in the same way. Sleeved out tattoos, prison record, none of that matters to me; what matters is can you show up and be a part of this band of pirates and do what we need you to do.” And in the intense world of kitchens, Midgley has found his new home and chosen band of pirates at Ravine Vineyard.
“I LIKE TO REFER TO CHEFS AS BEING KIND O F L I K E P I R AT E S , W E A R E A L L P I R AT E S I N O U R WAY. S O M E A R E R E A L LY S M A R T P I R A T E S , SOME ARE NOT SO S M A R T P I R AT E S , S O M E A R E R O U G H P I R AT E S AND SOME ARE NICE P I R AT E S ; B U T P I R ACY M E A N S , W H AT E V E R T H E E N D E AV O R I S , EVE RY S E RVICE WE ARE I N I T 10 0 P E R C E N T TOGETHE R ...”
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here is nothing more daring then a confident chef who is eager to cook in front of an audience. Witnessing the art of cooking is what makes dining at Backhouse Restaurant in Niagara-on-the-Lake an experience to be sought after. With a chef ’s bar, wood-fired open grill, impeccable cool climate cuisine, and “enlightened hospitality,” Backhouse Restaurant remains a cut above the competition. Proprietors, Bev Hotchkiss and Ryan Crawford, had several conversations before selling their house, cashing in their savings, and taking the plunge. “The decision to open our own restaurant without investors was a turning point for us,” says Hotchkiss, CEO of Backhouse Restaurant. Crawford, who is often referred to as the man who “eats, sleeps and breathes food,” has been in the kitchen for 25 years. Watching him cook, plate, and serve delectable dishes at his chef ’s bar is a sure-fire way to see his motto in action. “To be a chef requires a fascination, appreciation, and respect for all food. Starting with this labour and love, I hope I translate that to our guests through my cooking,” says Crawford. With Hotchkiss’ focus on the front of the house and Crawford in the kitchen, the two make a dynamic pair. “For me, hospitality is about slowing down and enjoying the experience of eating,” says Hotchkiss. The couple has worked diligently and tirelessly since the launch of the restaurant in July 2015 to ensure their business remains on course. “We just recently took our fi rst day off since the restaurant opened and we purchased pots and pans,” laughs Hotchkiss. Realizing that in business one may have to adapt to survive, Hotchkiss and Crawford have revamped the format of the restaurant since its opening. “The core philosophy has remained the same, but we made changes based on customer feedback and our own observations,” explains Hotchkiss. “We were trying to execute too many concepts into one restaurant by having a lounge area with pizza and burgers as well as a tasting menu. It was a disaster and thankfully we are not so stubborn.” Almost everything at Backhouse is made in-house and requires require extensive steps and preparation. One example being the scrumptious sourdough bread that takes two days to make or the green apple sorbet served with icewine. “Our cool climate cuisine means that we are hyperlocal and all of our produce is seasonal,” explains Hotchkiss. “We make all of our own shrubs and garnishes.” In addition to having their own three-acre farm on Concession Two in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Backhouse makes their own cheese, maple butter, olives, raisins, vinegar, balsamic, and ice cream. “Having farmed animals and produce has given me a deeper appreciation for the products that I am fortunate to work with,” says Crawford. “We bring in the whole animal,” says Hotchkiss. “We don’t buy our sausage we make it. Whether the meat is on the grill, bones simmering in a large steam kettle, or curing in the fridge, a walk through the kitchen at Backhouse is a demonstration of their butchery program. Crawford also makes his own wine. His Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir from “The Crawford Wine Project” was featured in twelve restaurants across Ontario. A truly rare feature of the restaurant is the open concept
grill. “We are the first restaurant in Ontario to have a wood fire oven and grill in the centre of the restaurant, so chefs from North America travel here to speak with Ryan about the grill,” says Hotchkiss. “It is a cooker and a smoker at the same time, so you will see meat hanging from the ceiling above it,” says Hotchkiss. “When Ryan and I designed our concept for the restaurant we wanted the back of the house to be up front. Our cooks are on the floor and they interact with the customers. Everyone learns each others jobs: which creates a synergy in the place that is extremely unique to our area,” says Hotchkiss, who is now booking three weeks in advance for reservations. This approach results in camaraderie and a friendly atmosphere full of discussion and laughter amongst everyone in the restaurant. With bold combinations of wine and food such as Woodfired Eggplant Ravioli served in one of Hotchkiss’ grandma’s tea cups paired with Tiberio Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo, it is hard not to be enthralled by each item on the menu. With 10 to 12 different pairings that change daily, Backhouse is on top of their game with locally inspired dishes and craft cocktails. In October 2016, the restaurant was presented with the People’s Choice Award for one of the Best New Restaurants by Air Canada enRoute magazine in the eat and vote category. Hotchkiss, who is also a sommelier, started in the business when she was 18 years old travelling around the world, working and gaining experience at restaurants in London, New York, Toronto, and Niagara. Hotchkiss teaches her staff how to execute “Enlightened Hospitality” as she guides them in learning how to read the mood of the customer. “Sometimes people dine out to celebrate life or to take a reprieve from it. I am always conscious of how much effort it took for someone to be able to get out for an evening and spend it with us. I want my staff to understand that as well,” says Hotchkiss who recently presented to a group of new entrepreneurs regarding the delivery exceptional customer service. “Ryan and I are so acutely aware that it is the whole package. You can’t have great food without great service,” says Hotchkiss. “We want each customer to enjoy their experience.” Keeping in touch with local initiatives is also a passion of the couple as they are involved with Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC). “It is the evolution of food banks where fresh foods are grown and distributed to those in need,” says Hotchkiss who recently participated in a fundraising event where 100% of the food sales from the restaurant was donated to CFCC. Whether it is local artists’ décor, menu, staffing, or product, a great deal of thought has been put into every detail for the benefit of the customer. “The atmosphere influences the experience,” says Hotchkiss. “All of our senses are tied together. The lighting, the staff they should all complement and work in harmony with each other.”
SOMETIMES PEOPLE DINE OUT TO CELEBRATE LIFE OR TO TAKE A REPRIEVE FROM IT. I AM ALWAYS CONSCIOUS OF HOW MUCH EFFORT IT TOOK FOR SOMEONE TO BE ABLE TO GET OUT FOR AN EVENING & SPEND IT WITH US. I WANT MY STAFF TO UNDERSTAND THAT AS WELL
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NIAGARA’S In a region that has always grown it’s own food, I ﬁnd it amazing that Niagara doesn’t have a culinary identity. Or does it? >>
BY LYNN OGRYZLO
When we think of Italy, we think of pasta and pizza, Germany is schnitzel and sauerkraut or France, escargot and cassoulet. But when I ask people about Niagara, our identity isn’t as clear as our history could have predicted. Ryan Crawford is chef and owner of Backhouse Restaurant in Niagara-on-theLake. Crawford has, at different points in his career, raised his own animals, has mostly made his own cheeses, baked his own bread and is now growing his own food on his 3-acre garden plot. Whatever he is doing, he has always looked to the soil and climate of the region to define the food he serves. Where Niagara was once the chicken capital of Ontario, Crawford claims, “vineyard lamb is now the next generation of iconic foods”. But wait. Featherstone Winery is also raising a flock of ducks and Crawford has pickled 20-litres of Niagara sour cherries in anticipation of the meal he’ll make from them. Then he wants to include some black walnuts grown down the road. He’s talking about local food, but is this a typical local dish? Crawford doesn’t like the old moniker of ‘farm-to-table’ cuisine preferring instead to use the term, ‘cool climate cuisine’. “It’s about finding out what grows best in Niagara, what gives the best flavours and developing this base of food,” explains Crawford. Like grape growers determining what grapes make the best wine in Niagara’s terroir, Crawford is doing the same thing with produce: cultivating flavours in search of the regions most delicious assets. When it comes to flavours that can claim Niagara heritage, Catherine O’Donnell, chef and owner of Willow Cakes and Pastries talks of table grapes and stone fruit. Tender fruits like cherries, peaches, apricots and Sovereign Coronation seedless table grapes have a long and prosperous history in Niagara and O’Donnell preserves, juices and processes all she can so she can get summer flavours all year round. It’s one of Niagara’s most iconic culinary traditions. At Willow the team of chefs puree peaches for cheesecakes, topping on tarts or filling for donuts. Fresh Niagara blueberries are frozen for compote, used to make jelly or cooked into fillings for Christmas chocolates. Cherries are juiced and used to make cherry buttercream frosting or fillings for tarts. O’Donnell is not alone in her quest to preserve the seductive flavours of Niagara’s tender fruit, over at Ravine
Vineyards in St. Davids the folks there have revived their canning factory brand, Lowrey Bros. Chef Ross Midgley has always felt that tender fruit and Niagara are synonymous, but to Ravine, it’s much more than homegrown, it’s a way of life. More than 120 years ago the Lowrey family (owners of the farm, land, winery and restaurant) once owned the canning factory, Lowrey Bros. With the revival of the brand, you can now buy Niagara only jams, pickles, sauces and canned whole fruits made from Niagara fruits and vegetables. In fact, the restaurant is housed in the farm’s original ‘canning house’. Now that’s culinary heritage! The preserves are not only used in many dishes in the restaurant but you can also buy them in the Canning House grocery store behind the winery retail shop. “People of Niagara have been eating tender
seedless kind that grows in Niagara and bakes them into a pie that looks an awful lot like a blueberry pie except for the crumbly topping. You’ll know the place because of the line-up of cars on the weekends and you may think this grape pie is a delicious novelty but the reality is, that grape pie is actually part of Niagara’s lost edible history. Like Midgley says, flavours and memories: “we yearn for them”. In addition to preserving food with a palette history, Midgley stresses the importance of supporting regional farming while cultivating a healthy local culture and family life close to home. “Local is alive and well here in Niagara. I think it always will be,” predicts a chef who like the others interviewed for this story, wouldn’t think of using anything else but Niagara’s fresh tender fruit. Ray Taylor, the executive chef at the Fallsview Casino Resort agrees with
THEY MAY NOT CONSCIOUSLY THINK ABOUT IT, BUT WHEN THEY EAT OUR PRESERVES, THE FLAVOURS SEEM TO BRING UP CHILDHOOD MEMORIES AND THAT’S A GREAT THING THAT NOT MANY OTHER FOODS CAN DO
fruit their whole life and it’s become a comfort flavour for them. They may not consciously think about it, but when they eat our preserves, the flavours seem to bring up childhood memories and that’s a great thing that not many other foods can do,” says Midgley. It’s like the pie lady on Niagara Stone Road. Each year she puts a simple table out by the roadside and sells Niagara grape pies. She uses Sovereign Coronation grapes, the
Midgley about Niagara’s flavours and memories. Taylor talks of the pure joy one gets from enjoying a simple Niagara fruit crumble and cobbler made from peaches, cherries and apples but then he so quickly pivots to exquisite desserts crafted from Niagara’s most iconic food, icewine. “I can do from simple to exquisite because I have a clientele that demands everything from simple to exquisite,” says a chef who delights in the endless options he can
create for his much loved local fruit. But whether Taylor is making a simple cherry cobbler or an icewine laced chocolate dessert his attention to the best never wavers, “we always put away Niagara fruit to uses in all of our dishes and desserts.” Taylor brandies cherries to serve with duck, uses fruit and icewine purees on desserts and makes a luscious icewine foam for both sweet and savoury dishes. He even talks of the black walnuts grown throughout Niagara as one of his newest, most exciting foods to work with. As I write this story it’s the beginning of October and Niagara fields are dotted with orange pumpkins, squashes and gourds, the beautiful fall vegetables that are a passion of chef and owner of The Garrison House and Zest Kitchen, David Watt. “I love the fall, the crazy squashes and the fabulous soups I can make from them. Our butternut squash, ale and cheddar soup is phenomenal,” says Watt. Like the others in this story he also has a love affair with Niagara tender fruit but his favourite season is fall when he can work with savoury, hearty flavours. The Garrison House food is “geared to comfort food like lamb shanks with nut-brown ale. Our cooking is focused on beer. I like to do dishes that complements beer,” which brings us to another new way Niagara cuisine is evolving; from a wine region to a wine and beer region with a beer cuisine that follows. So it seems to me that Niagara’s iconic food has always been and still remains tender fruit. If you’re thinking that’s nothing new just remember, that’s what makes it iconic! Those luscious peaches, cherries, apricots and plums are now complemented with the new generation of local foods the likes of vineyard lamb, black walnuts and an emerging beer industry. As consumers may believe that Niagara’s iconic foods are those that evoke strong flavours and long memories, the industry is much more. Chefs are unlimited in the dishes they can create with local foods; farmers are now stretching their creative muscle and taking chances on growing new crops. Add to that the influence of culinary entrepreneurs the likes of our new brewmasters and what you get isn’t a static iconic food that represents a region. Instead you get an exquisite, creative, evolution of cuisine, culinary culture, local foods, diverse dishes and a region that leads with its palate.
New Years Eve
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Tip: Juice enough for 2 days and store the rest tightly covered in the fridge. Total time commitment is 15 minutes to juice and clean up. Raw juices can also be purchased at health food stores and other juice bars. Juice a large batch every couple days while preparing other meals to save time.
SKIN FOOD Dr. Christina Plaskos Honors BSc Pharm, MD, ABAARM AEGIS MD
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With the holiday season fast approaching I have many patients motivated to look and feel their best. One thing we all have control over is our food choices and by making the right ones we can give ourselves a boost leading into the holiday season. When thinking about the relationship of the food we eat and the effect it has on our skin - some people appear to be luckier than others. At one end of the spectrum, we have sensitive individuals in which certain foods can cause breakouts, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. Many of these people realize that there is a relationship between food and their skin and therefore have strong motivation to follow a certain diet. At the other end of the spectrum, we have non sensitive individuals in which eating a poor diet seems to have little effect on their immediate skin health. These people generally have less motivation to consume or avoid certain foods for their skin because there are no noticeable effects in the short-term. However, even if eating fried or highly processed foods doesn’t lead to a breakout in a few days, the longterm effects of skin wrinkling, dull complexion, dark circles, and lack of cellular hydration are every bit as much of a reality for non sensitive individuals as they are for sensitive people. As with any change, it is important to ask yourself how important your skin health and appearance is? Is this something you wish to improve and preserve as you age? If so, then it is important to make the proper food choices, prioritize preparation time, and maintain a certain degree of self-disciple to not overindulge in poor food choices. Here are three of the best foods to prevent wrinkles and maintain a luminous glow. RAW VEGETABLE JUICE: packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes. Raw vegetable juices are also cleansing to the liver which processes many of the toxins we ingest. A better functioning liver means that less toxins are available to contribute to skin aging and breakouts. Commit to raw juicing for one month and experience the fresh glow that will result. Dose: 250 - 500 mL per day Include: cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, parsley, carrot, beet, ginger, lemon (try to avoid apple, pears or other sweet fruits).
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SWEET POTATO, CARROTS, BUTTERNUT SQUASH: These vegetables are high in carotenoids (orange pigments) which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to prevent wrinkles and sagging. A study found that high intakes of these vegetables also creates a healthy tanned appearance. Tanning in the sun creates colouration of the skin through melanization, where as consuming these vegetables creates skin colouration through the carotenoids they contain. When the study compared people that had colouration through melanization (from the sun) vs. colouration though carotenoids (from sweet potato, carrots, etc.), 75.9% of examiners stated that the people with colouration from carotenoids looked more appealing. Dose: 1 - 2 cups steamed or baked at least 5 days per week SALMON: In addition to providing several vitamins and minerals, salmon provides two crucial nutrients for skin health: omega 3’s and astaxanthin. Omega 3’s are incorporated into cell membranes to enhance transport of nutrients, energy metabolites, and waste products. A lack of omega 3’s results in stiff and rigid cell membranes. Skin health is dependent on properly functioning cell membranes in order to hold water and allow nutrients and waste to enter and leave the cell. Skin cells that lack omega 3’s are unable to hold moisture and appear dull, dry, and saggy. Astaxanthin is a unique carotenoid found in algae that has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to prevent wrinkling. A study found that women consuming astaxanthin for 8 weeks showed significant improvements in skin hydration, roughness, elasticity, fine lines, and wrinkles compared to a placebo group. Astaxanthin also provides internal protection from the sun and therefore provides optimal protection when paired with a topical sunscreen. Dose: 4 - 6 oz. (standard portion) three times per week Tip: Choose wild salmon over farm raised Atlantic salmon whenever possible. Aegis Luma Glow also contains omega 3’s from flax and fish, astaxanthin, evening primrose oil, and vitamin D and can be used in conjunction with regular salmon intake. Challenge yourself to incorporate one or all of these foods into your diet consistently for the next 6 weeks while emphasizing other healthy unprocessed foods to give yourself the gift of luminous skin this holiday season. Sources: Lefevre, C. E., Perrett, D. L. (2015). Fruit over sunbed: Carotenoid skin colouration is found more attractive than melanin colouration. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68: 284-93. Tominaga, K., Hongo, N., Karato, M., Yamashita, E. (2012). Cosmetic benefits of astaxanthin on human subjects. Acta Biochimica Polonica. 59: 43-47.
IN GOOD TASTE ADVERTISEMENT
dining showcase In Good Taste showcases a variety of Niagara’s most melt in your mouth, showstopping, delectable dining establishments. Whether their menus are unique to a restaurant or a familiar food that is prepared in a way you’ve never tasted before, it’s evident that Niagara is home to a food culture that is growing every day, and while it can be hard to choose where to engage your taste buds first, we hope these profiles give you a good head start. >>
IN GOOD TASTE
BUCHANANS STEAK & SEAFOOD
CASA MIA RISTORANTE
NIAGARA LANDING WINE CELLARS
Savour the perfect pairing at Kitchen76 with dishes specially created to compliment our full spectrum of wines, icewines and sparkling. Delight your palate with the ever-changing tastes and flavours of the season inspired by the Italian table. Incorporating some of the best cheeses, fine Italian olive oil and other Italian imported ingredients, our menu features locally grown vegetables, fruits and herbs, some from our very own garden. With a warm and inviting atmosphere, large fireplace, a rustic communal table and stunning panoramic views of our vineyard, Kitchen76 is designed to be enjoyed casually or in a formal setting, our table is yours!
Dig in to a hand-cut steak, charbroiled to your liking! Smart casual dining in the comfort and warmth of a Grand Lodge setting. The menu highlights crispy calamari, seared east coast scallops, classic shrimp cocktail and Buchanans’ French onion soup to start. This home-grown restaurant offers an appealing selection of hand-cut steaks, tasty seafood, pasta & fresh salads. Local VQA wines & brews. Lunch $12 - $15, Dinner $16 - $39. Savour Niagara menu features $5 VQA Niagara wines & $5 appetizers noon – 6pm daily. Live dinner music select Fridays/ Saturdays. Complimentary on-site self parking. Event space for up to 250 guests. Located at the DoubleTree Resort on Stanley Avenue.
Casa Mia, owned and operated by the Mollica Family for the past 32 years, offers an outstanding dining experience, regardless of the occasion. And serves as a gathering place for food lovers who pay homage to the creativity, flair and culinary expression that defines matriarch and chef Luciana Mollica. The diverse menu abounds with creations, each imbued with vibrant colour, life and flavour. Located in the heart of Historic Stamford Village and gateway to Niagara’s Wine Trail. Niagara’s favourite local neighborhood Italian Restaurant. Complimentary shuttle service from Fallsview District Hotels. For reservations and more info call us at 905-356-5410.
Peter Smith, a third-generation owner, oversees winery and vineyard operations today, in vineyards dating back to the late 1800’s.
CHEFS CLAUDIO & LUCIANA MOLLICA
WINEMAKER DOMENIC CARISETTI
6039 Fallsview Blvd. | Niagara Falls, ON 905.353.4111 | niagarafallsdoubletree.com
3518 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, ON 905.356.5410 | casamiaristorante.com
4434 Van Dusen Rd., Lockport, NY 716.433.8405 | niagaralanding.com
CHEF JUSTIN LESSO 240 John St. E, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON 905.468.0592 | twosistersvineyards.com
Niagara Landing Wine Cellars was the first winery to open in Niagara County, NY in over a decade and the first winery on the Niagara Wine Trail. We currently produce 31 varietals ranging from very dry to very sweet, as well as a unique Hot Pepper wine. Our wine can be sampled in our tasting room on Van Dusen Road, as well as many area liquor stores and wine tasting events throughout New York State. We invite you to stop in and sample our award-winning wines.
IN GOOD TASTE
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21 CLUB STEAK & SEAFOOD
PONTE VECCHIO ITALIAN FINE DINING
Not to be outdone by the stunning views of Niagara Falls, CAA/AAA Four Diamond™ award winning 21 Club is big, bold and full of flavour.
Looking to add a little “wow” to your evening? Look no further than Ponte Vecchio, an intriguingly delicious place to sip a glass of wine and indulge in authentic Italian cuisine.
Market fresh ingredients highlight refined Canadian cuisine with uncompromising standards for excellence. From slow roasted prime rib and perfectly charred custom-aged rib eyes, T-bone and striploins to sumptuous seafood, 21 Club Steak and Seafood is a cut above the rest.
CAA/AAA Four Diamond™ award winning Ponte Vecchio, features fine Italian dining surrounded by old world atmosphere with a menu designed to tempt your taste buds, along with an award winning wine list. You may be dining in Niagara Falls, but you never know where a meal at Ponte Vecchio will take you.
Coco’s is a very popular restaurant destination for tourists and locals alike. Guests rave about our famous wood-fi red steaks and gourmet pizzas. Watch our staff prepare your fresh pizza from start to finish, it’s a cooking show right in front of your very eyes.
Your experience at Copacabana begins with a trip to our “Galleria” where you will be tempted by fresh baked breads and dips from our open concept bakery, fresh cheeses cut from the wheel, and expertly hand sliced charcuterie selections. Help yourself to as many crisp salads and colorful starters as you want; but leave room, your experience is just beginning.
Open Thursday – Monday from 5 pm – 11 pm. Must be 19 years of age or older to enter the casino. playsmart.ca
Open Tuesday – Saturday from 5 pm – 11 pm. Must be 19 years of age or older to enter the casino. playsmart.ca
Enjoy the awesome ambiance under the starlit Niagara skies as we offer nightly entertainment on the Terrace from 7:00pm onwards (in season only). Best of all, we offer ample free parking for all our guests! So visit Coco’s next time you’re in Niagara Falls and enjoy good times and great food that only Coco’s can deliver.
Back at your table, our carvers will serve up a feast of various CAB (Certified Angus) grilled meats prepared in a number of ways. Elevate your senses and sip on exotic cocktails and fine wines long with enjoying live entertainment on weekends. Copacabana is not just about the dining, it’s about the experience!
FALLSVIEW CASINO RESORT
FALLSVIEW CASINO RESORT
COPACABANA GRILLED BRAZILIAN
6380 Fallsview Boulevard, Niagara Falls, ON 1.888.325.5788 | fallsviewcasinoresort.com
6380 Fallsview Boulevard, Niagara Falls, ON 1.888.325.5788 | fallsviewcasinoresort.com
5339 Murray Street, Niagara Falls, ON 905.356-1333 ext. 171 | cocosniagarafalls.com
6671 Fallsview boulevard, Niagara falls, ON 1.888.432.6721 | 905.354.8775 | thecopa.ca
IN GOOD TASTE
STRADA WEST EAT & SIP HOUSE
KOUTOUKI GREEK CUISINE
TIDE AND VINE OYSTER HOUSE
RAVINE VINEYARD ESTATE WINERY
Hosts, brothers, Anthony and Tom Roberto welcome you to Strada West, centrally located on Lundy’s Lane. In keeping with family traditions the food is all prepared in house! Their menu features homemade pasta, sauce, hamburger patties and meatballs. The menu also features specialty burgers and sandwiches using bison, lamb, lobster and veal. Pasta dishes include fettuccine, gnocchi and ravioli. Plus they have a great wine selection & 9 beers on tap! Winners of the Reader’s Choice, Best Overall Restaurant Award and Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence. Strada West, Eat & Sip House. Located on the WEGO Red Line and plenty of on site parking, reservations are suggested.
Take a break from your busy shopping schedule! Come in and enjoy a glass wine or a pint of local craft beer. at our magnificent bar. We offer select wines from Greece and the Niagara region.Savour the flavours of our unique cuisine,carefully prepared by our chefs daily. Choose from an array of appetizers as a light snack or indulge in one of our traditional rustic entrees. Immerse yourself in our warm and cozy atmosphere. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff await you. OPA!
The Tide and Vine Oyster House offers diners an experience they won’t find elsewhere in the Niagara region. Guests are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and try items not commonly available at other restaurants. Raw and cooked oysters, ceviche, seafood charcuterie, and blackened octopus are some examples of the popular dishes one will find on the Oyster House menu. Everything on the menu is made in house, from the signature oyster sauces to the seafood chowder. Join us for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday find out why w’e’re a local favourite and tourist must-try in Niagara Falls!
At Ravine we are blessed with a farm-to-table culinary program that has a lot more to offer than just talented cooks in the kitchen. We are among the few self standing, farm-to-table restaurants that bake our own bread, raise our own pigs, grow our own certified organic vegetables while pairing our meals with the guidance and discriminating palate of a winemaker. We are extremely proud of our service team and confident in the level of hospitality that will be shown to your table whenever you choose to dine with us at Ravine.
ANTHONY AND TOM ROBERTO 7805 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls 905.371.2272 | stradawest.com
“INSPIRED BY TRADITION” 5745 Ferry Street, Niagara Falls 905.354.6776 | koutoukiniagara.com
CHEF JUSTIN DUC
CHEF ROSS MIDGLEY 1366 York Road, St.Davids, ON 905.262.8463 | ravinevineyard.com
Call us today to book your holiday party!! Reservations Reccommended | Free Parking
3491 Portage Ave, Niagara Falls, ON 905-356-5782| tideandvine.com
Ravine is conveniently located in St. David’s, at the gateway of the Niagara Wine Route just minutes from Niagara Falls. We highly recommend booking reservations before visiting our Winery Restaurant.
IN GOOD TASTE
MEDITERRANEAN QSINE REVOLVING DINING ROOM
RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE
LA SCALA RISTORANTE
The Skylon Tower offers 2 great levers of fine dining - both 775 feet above the Falls! Choose from our world-famous Revolving Dining Room Restaurant and savour award-winning continental cuisine or select our family-affordable Summit Suite Buffet Dining Room restaurant. The Skylon Tower is Niagara Falls’ best dining value with Early Dinner specials. As an added bonus, admission to the Ride-to-theTop and Observation Decks attractions are always FREE when dining!
The memory of a great meal stays with you long after the table has been cleared. This is why at Ruth’s Chris we thrive on our great food and service. Our menu offers a variety of dining options that will please all of our guests. Our passion lies in our high quality ingredients, attention to detail and that special sizzle. Inside Ruth’s Chris Steak House you’ll also find Niagara’s hottest bar and lounge. Treat yourself at this high-end lounge with your own private booth surrounding the bar and dance floor and a personal host to cater to your every need.
Once in a while in life, people come across a place where time stands still…where pride and passion still exist, and love for food is evident. With our new exciting location, NEW private Tuscan room and sleek lounge, La Scala is ready to embrace all of our old and new customers. Nestled in the heart of downtown St.Catharines, La Scala Ristorante offers many Italian recipes which are generations old. Freshness, and local content is extremely important here all complimented with VQA or wines from our extensive list. New features created by the chef daily and new menu items including Tuscan stone oven thin crust gourmet pizza!
The Kasbah Mediterranean Qsine features the incredible cuisine of Vaughan Bulganian who was born in Armenia and grew up in a monastery in Jerusalem where he learned the true art of cooking Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food.
CHEF BRETT COURNOYEA
5200 Robinson St, Niagara Falls, ON 1.888.975.9566 | skylontower.com
RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE 6455 Fallsview Boulevard, Niagara Falls, ON 905.357.1199 | ruthschrisniagara.com
The Kasbah features homemade farm to table Mediterranean delights from Greece, Lebanon, Armenia & more. All menus include vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. The Kasbah is fully licensed with a total of 230 seats (patio, party room, dining, bar & lounge) Come join us for an incredible evening with amazing food, service, wine and Mediterranean music.
LA SCALA RISTORANTE
9 Queen Street, Saint Catharines, ON 905.684-5448 | lascalaristorante.ca
6130 Dunn Street, Niagara Falls, ON 905.357.1000 | thekasbah.ca
New Years Eve
Celebrate New Years With Brazilian Flair
LIVE MUSIC ALL NIGHT · SPECIAL GRILL ITEMS · · CHAMPAGNE TOAST · · PARTY FAVOURS ·
E R O -EAT M N A C OUALL-Y S M E T I
Located in Hilton Hotel & Suites Niagara Falls/Fallsview directly across from Fallsview Casino Resort 6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3V9 brasaniagara.com | +1 905 353 7187 |
Complimentary parking for our dining guests.
New Years Eve
Hiltonâ€™s sixth annual Annual Dinner & Dance
Includes three-course dinner with wine, champagne toast, late night buffet, party favours, and much more! LIVE MUSIC BY
Visit niagarafallshilton.com/nye or call 1-888-370-0700 Hilton Niagara Falls, 6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON Directly across the street from Fallsview Casino Resort
NUTELLA STUFFED PANCAKES: These are extremely easy to make, but are huge on taste (who doesn’t love Nutella?). The trick to perfecting these, according to recipetineats.com, is to make frozen Nutella “pucks” ahead of time, which will allow the Nutella to melt evenly throughout the middle of the pancake. You can do this by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper, spreading dollops of Nutella into discs and sticking it into the freezer. Use your normal pancake recipe, but once you put the batter in the pan, add one of the Nutella disks on top, then cover it with more batter. And there it is…delicious Nutella pancakes. Serve them with fresh strawberries.
CHEDDAR & CHIVE GRITS SOUFFLÉ Yield: 4 Prep Time: 10 min Cooking Time: 45 min
EASY like SUNDAY
MORNING A collection for lazy winter days
Nothing quite beats those lazy Sunday mornings; the ones where you can stay in your pjs all day, watch movies or binge watch a new TV show. The kind of days where you don’t have to leave the house if you don’t feel like it. Next time you treat yourself to one of these staycation days, why not plan to make a gourmet meal? And what’s the most leisurely of all meals? Brunch of course. Perfect for days like these. Here we have collected some of our favourite brunch recipes from the interwebs, so go ahead, on one of those days when you have nothing but time, try one out!
INGREDIENTS • • • • • • • •
½ cup old-fashioned grits Salt and pepper 2 eggs, separated ½ cup whole milk ¾ cup grated cheddar cheese ¼ cup parmesan cheese + more for dusting 3 tablespoons chives ½ tablespoon butter, for greasing ramekins
PREPARATION 1. Preheat oven to 375 2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add grits and a heavy pinch of salt. Stir together, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. 3. Meanwhile, beat egg whites until firm peaks form. Set aside. 4. Over low heat, add the milk and egg yolks to the cooked grits and combine. Turn off the heat. Add the cheddar and parmesan cheeses and stir until melted. Add chives, and then salt and pepper, to taste. 5. Pour grits mixture into a large bowl and add the beaten egg whites on top. Fold the egg whites into the mixture until all the whites have been incorporated. Do not over mix. 6. Butter 4 ramekins (½ cup size) and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Using a ladle, spoon the grits mixture into each dish, filling to the very top. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and place in oven. Cook uncovered for 25-30 minutes. Use a toothpick or clean knife to test its doneness. It should come out clean and the top should be slightly golden brown. Serve immediately. Source: community.today.com/foodclub/recipe/cheddar-chive-grits-souffl
INGREDIENTS • • • • • •
½ package puff pasty 3 peaches 4 strips of prosciutto ½ a medium round brie (6 inches across) 4 tbsp honey 4 tbsp balsamic reduction
INSTRUCTIONS 1. Cut the peaches in half, take out the pit and then cut into ¼ inch slices. Set aside. 2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 3. Split the puff pastry in the box in half. Sprinkle a surface with a little flour and roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle approx. 11 x 7 inches then take a sharp knife and cut the rectangle in half lengthwise. 4. Using the knife, score the edges of the puff pastry about ½ an inch from the edge all the way around. 5. Cut the round of brie in half and then cut off all the wax around the edges (unless you like to eat that part). Cut the cheese into ¼ inch thick slices. 6. First lay the brie on the tart evenly spaced. Don’t cover the whole pastry, leave some room in between slices. 7. Next lay the peach slices on the brie and follow with chunks of the prosciutto. Just tear the prosciutto slices up with you hands to place on the tart. 8. Drizzle ½ the honey on top of the tart and throw it in the oven for 12 mins or until the edges are nice and puffed and browned. 9. Remove the tart from the oven, drizzle with the remaining honey and some balsamic reduction. 10. Cut into pieces and serve right away. Source: cookswithcocktails.com/peach-proscuito-brie-tart
Image Source: theyummylife.com
Image Source: cafedelites.com
Image Source: cookswithcocktails.com
PEACH, PROSCIUTTO & BRIE TART
PARMESAN GARLIC ROASTED BABY POTATOES INGREDIENTS: • • • •
olive oil baby potatoes finely grated (not shredded) Parmesan cheese salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, and garlic powder
STEPS 1. Cut the baby potatoes in half 2. Stir together the grated Parmesan and seasonings. 3. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9x13 baking dish. Then tilt the pan from side-to-side until there is an even coat of oil on the entire bottom of the pan. 4. Sprinkle the seasoned cheese evenly over the bottom of the baking dish. (Don’t dump it in and then try to spread it out. Once it touches the olive oil, it becomes almost impossible to spread the cheese out evenly--it will clump. It works better to sprinkle slowly and evenly over the entire surface so that no spreading is necessary.) 5. Place the potatoes in the pan in a single layer, cut side down. Press on them fi rmly to make sure the flat side of the potato is in contact with the cheese mixture on the bottom of the baking dish. 6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cheese is browned and the potatoes are soft when pressed with your finger or pierced with a fork. 7. Once they’re out of the oven, let the potatoes rest in the pan for 5 minutes before removing them. (This cooling off time sitting in the pan helps the crust stick to the potatoes.) Then gently slide a small spatula underneath each potato and turn them over. There should be a cheesy crust on top of the potato. As the cheese cools, it may be harder to separate the individual potatoes. If this happens, use a small paring knife to cut the cheese between the potatoes before lifting them up and over. 8. Arrange the potatoes on a plate with a bowl of sour cream or Greek yogurt for dipping. I like to make a 50-50 blend of sour cream and Greek yogurt sprinkled with chopped green onions or chives. Source: theyummylife.com/Parmesan_Roasted_Baby_Potatoes
GRILLED AVOCADO CAPRESE CROSTINI INGREDIENTS • • • • •
8 pieces thick sliced sourdough loaf (or loaf of choice) Garlic Olive Oil 1 avocado, sliced thinly 250g | 9oz vine ripened cherry tomatoes, halved 100g | 3.5oz fresh bambini bocconcini (or baby mozzarella balls) • ½ cup basil leaves, divided • balsamic glaze
INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat oven with grill/broiler settings on medium heat. 2. Place bread onto a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Place into the oven and grill until crisp and golden. 3. Top each bread slice with half of the basil leaves, the avocado slices, tomato halves and mozzarella (bocconcini). Season with salt and/or pepper to taste, and place back into the oven for a further 3-5 minutes, or until tomatoes have grilled to your liking and cheese has warmed through. 4. Finely chop remaining basil leaves and sprinkle over the crostini. Drizzle with balsamic glaze to serve. Source: cafedelites.com/2015/02/05/grilled-avocado-caprese-crostini/
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//LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
As we approach the holidays and make plans to spend time and money with our loved ones we are reminded of those who aren’t as fortunate to experience the same. Here is a shortlist of charities who rely on volunteers and donations to ensure they don’t get left behind this season. Whatever your forte is, there is likely an organization who can benefit from your skills and passion. Here are just a few examples of some opportunities to give back to the community during the merriest of seasons.
COMMUNITY CARE This organization has many different programs including food and shelter to emergency services. HOW YOU CAN HELP: 1. By donating food or organizing your own food drive 2. Adopt an Angel: toys and stocking stuffers are collected for children, from babies to 12 years of age. 3. Adopt a teen or senior angel: backpacks or bags on wheels are filled with necessities. 4. Keep someone warm: donate hats, gloves, coats, boots or slippers, and help keep somebody warm. 5. Adopt a family: your family can adopt a family in need, and help give them a wonderful Christmas. For information on available programs visit communitycarestca.c
MEALS ON WHEELS This non for profit delivers nutritious meals to those in need and helps to foster independence. Recipients of meals are usually elderly, have a chronic sickness, a physical disability, etc. HOW YOU CAN HELP: Volunteer to be a meal delivery driver (maybe even on Christmas eve or day) Help out in various other capacities as well, such as with fundraising, PR or office work. More info at www.mealsonwheels.ca
PROJECT SHARE This organization provides emergency food and support services to residents of Niagara Falls. HOW YOU CAN HELP: You can “adopt” a family at Christmas time and help them to have a happy Christmas. More information is available at projectshare.ca.
RAFT A place for at-risk youths in the Niagara Region. HOW YOU CAN HELP: Volunteers are always needed to assist with special events and recreational programs such as their annual Christmas dinner. Check out theraft.ca for more information.
START ME UP NIAGARA
You can also help by making a financial donation or volunteering your time for fundraising, clerical work, office administration, gardening and transportation. http://startmeupniagara.ca
WOMEN’S PLACE The mission of Women’s Place of South Niagara is to end abuse and violence by empowering women and their children through the provision of safe shelter, counselling and community partnerships. HOW YOU CAN HELP: donate some of these much needed items: Gift Cards Pyjamas (in women’s and children’s sizes) Casual wear Outdoor wear, Underwear
Start Me Up Niagara works with individuals facing significant life challenges such as addiction, mental illness, poverty, homelessness and unemployment.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: give someone a new start by donating any of the following:
Sanitary Napkins & Tampons
Personal Care Products (deodorant, tampons, razors, shampoo & toothpaste); Regular Grind Coffee, Powdered Creamer & Sugar Canned or Fresh fruit & Vegetables Men’s Coats & Boots New Men’s Underwear Gloves, Hats & Scarves
Baby Onesies Razors (disposable) Shampoo Baby Wipes, Diapers (disposable). Please note they don’t take any used clothing donations, if you have used clothing to donate, consider donating it to the value village in Niagara Falls or the Goodwill in Welland, as Women’s Place has an agreement with these specific locations which allows their clients to access the items at these places free of charge. >>
Hot Tickets CBC’s This Is That 18 JAN
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VOLUNTEER AT A NURSING HOME There are many nursing homes throughout the Niagara Region, and many have numerous senior citizens who never get any visitors. Spread some holiday cheer by going and chatting with the residents, or maybe volunteer to organize a social event…who knows what kind of new friends you will make. For a full listing of nursing homes in the Niagara Region, visit niagararegion.ca. Volunteer opportunities are outlined on the website.
NIAGARA HEALTH SYSTEM The NHS is made up of six sites throughout Niagara (in Fort Erie, Niagara Falls, Niagaraon-the-Lake, Port Colborne, St. Catharines and Welland). HOW YOU CAN HELP: There are numerous volunteer positions available at these hospitals, and they assisting with patient and family care, auxiliary membership, fundraising and retail, and information and customer service. Visit niagarahealth.on.ca for more info.
HELPING OUR FURRY FRIENDS If animals are your thing, there are many animal charities that can use donations around the holidays. Donations of various items such as food, cat litter, bedding, bowls, towels and more, are always appreciated by the non-profit animal groups in our area. They are also always looking for assistance with fostering animals, which involves taking care of an animal until a forever home can be found.
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Some local groups to look into helping are:
Pets Alive Niagara Animal Rescue (facebook.com/petsaliveniagara)
Animal Assistance Society of Niagara (http://awos.petfinder.com/shelters/ animalassistance.html) Port Colborne Feline Initiative (pcferalcats.org)
Community Animal Allies of Niagara (caancatmobile.org) Welland Humane Society (wellandspca.com)
There are countless ways to give back to the community, not just during the holidays, but on a year round basis. A great site to visit to see what organizations are looking for volunteers and the various positions available is informationniagara. com. You can search by organization name, or area of interest.
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David Somerville CFP Certiﬁed Financial Planner Capital Wealth Management For most of our working life, we have been conditioned from the start in thinking about retirement one day in the future. Every January and February we are bombarded by the financial institutions and their advertising, encouraging us to save for our retirement through RRSPS. These days, money and retirement is one of the most pressing concerns for Canadians from coast to coast. So after all the years of saving and investing there comes a day when we move away from the wealth accumulation of our money to the wealth distribution of our wealth. These are two completely different animals and it’s important that you understand the differences of both. In many cases, most investors aren’t even aware of these two wealth differences, but potentially there could be additional risk in your retirement if you don’t understand these two distinct scenarios. In the Wealth Accumulation years, you put money into a portfolio, diversify based on your risk tolerance, make changes in your investments as need be and wait for the law of compound interest to take over. Mistakes in this structure can be overcome by waiting out the market corrections, by adding additional money to the plan or simply just making investment changes. Mistakes that get made are frustrating but you the investor is not pulling money out for income therefore we can say, “ah, we will fix those issues in the future.” In the Wealth Distribution stage, you don’t have the one thing you have in Wealth Accumulation and that’s time. There is much less time for portfolios to correct in market crashes, you can’t just throw more money into the portfolio to make up for mistakes, because at this stage you are withdrawing money and that money is needed to fund your retirement. It’s even more important that your risk levels be reviewed every few years and they may need to be reduced the older you get. Getting good competent financial advice is never more important than in the Wealth Distribution years. As I say, anyone can manage money on the way up, but only a professional should manage money on the way out. One thing we have noticed with our clients is that, the older they get, the less they care to completely stay current and relevant in the portfolio and plans. Retirees have more important issues on their life bucket list than watching stock market reports. So if you’re in this stage of life, maybe it’s time to take your hands off the wheel and delegate to a professional.
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THE FRU GAL FASHIONISTA BY M A RI A N A B O C K A ROVA
T h e H ow -to G u i d e f o r L o o kin g Yo u r Be s t W it h o u t B r e a kin g t h e B a n k Nowadays, it's hard to watch television, fl ip through magazines, or even run through your Instagram feed without being bombarded by designer after designer goods. And designer clothing, as the sold-out $120 Plain White T Shirt by Kanye West demonstrates, is expensive. This is something fashion stylist, Sheila McElrea, knows all too well: "I really like brands but they aren't accessible because not everyone can afford a thousand dollars for a pair of shoes. Sure, everyone would want Givenchy, but not everyone can afford it." Her solution? Mix-and-match, style well, and do-it-yourself: How do you know when your wardrobe needs updating? I always think, if you don’t care about the stuff you wear, then you don't need to update your wardrobe. Fashion isn't necessary to enjoy your life, your happiness is more important, but if having different clothing would make you happier, then I support it. Maybe that's the wrong answer coming from a fashion stylist, but fashion really stresses some people out. It should be fun; I feel like you can't re-do your entire wardrobe every season, so there's no point in stressing. But, if you add in just a few new items per season, each spring and fall, it augments your look without too much stress. What are some must-add items for the upcoming fashion seasons? Culotte pants (a shorter pant that’s very wide) are very in for fall. Denim is also big and we're still in athleisure mode, so a lot of brands are doing stylish athletic gear that's super trendy, and sneakers are in, for sure. That biker-y look is always in, and we're still wearing fur for winter. With that in mind, how do you put a look together? Everyone starts off somewhere different, but I usually start off with a jacket and curate an outfit based on that. To me, a jacket defi nes the structure of the look. If you start with a jacket and base your decisions from there, you can add in a shirt and some shoes, and pants that flow from what your jacket looks like, and I usually add in jewelry last. For example, I love leather, so if the client is interested in it, I'm prone to starting with a leather jacket, then doing a white t-shirt and jeans, with a nice pair of heels. Maybe a studded shoe or something, to soften it. So that would be the biker-y look, which starts with the leather jacket. SM: Exactly, yeah.
MB: But what about starting with a jacket that's colorful or has a crazy pattern, how do you know when its overkill? SM: It's all about confidence. If you don't feel right in it, if it's not you - it's kind of like putting on too much make-up, you feel it when it's not you anymore. Most of the time, if it's head to toe patterns and prints, it might be a bit much. I don't like when things are too matchy-matchy, unless it's intended to be overtly matchy and I don't like when things are too perfect. So a smaller print with a bold, loud print, make it look really beautiful together. If what you're wearing makes you feel claustrophobic, that's your answer. MB: Okay, so avoid anything matchy-matchy, but how do you know if it works? It's hard to explain, but it should feel right. Often, people are scared to try things on or to try things together. But if it doesn't work, you're not stuck with it, you can change it. People are adverse to trying things. There's lot of things I have tried on and never left the house in, but it's good to experiment. What about age appropriateness? Something women, I think, hear a lot is that you should ' dress your age'. I only think weather appropriateness is important, because wearing a mini-skirt in a blizzard is not a good look. If you really want to wear something, be practical. Wear a mini-skirt but with a jacket. I don't think there should be age restrictions because typically age restrictions just speaks to older women not being allowed to wear skimpier clothing, but if they look good, who cares? Anna Dello Russo, the fashion journalist, wears tight and revealing clothing all the time and I think she looks awesome. I think she's a great example of that. What about other fashion restrictions? I don't really like when there are rules, I think it's too limiting. I don't like when people say 'oh, that's manly' or 'oh, that's girly'…why does it matter? I wear men's clothing all the time; I love the hang of a man's sweater. I always try to adopt to that silhouette. That's a good frugal tip - shop in your boyfriend's or husband's closet! Yeah, so if you're trying to feel confident in men's clothing, just keep your silhouette. A belt around your waist with a pair of heels and a super baggy men's sweater is a cool image. Add something feminine while you're wearing your boyfriend's jeans. What about repurposing clothing from your own closet? Sure, ripped jeans are on trend right now, and I have ripped my own jeans many times before. You can go for a single slit in the knee caps, which isn't frayed or isn't really naturally distressed. For cutting a slit, I would just take a pair of scissors, fold the jean vertically, and cut on straight slit. With a distressed look, you cut it up a little bit more. With scissors, cut two straight slits and pull the threads down vertically, so only the horizontal threads are left and they fray and you'll have the distressed look without being too perfect. You can
also use rocks or sandpaper. If you just keep hitting the same spot in your jean, it'll distress it naturally. It takes some time but it looks really nice, and it discolors the denim as well so it looks naturally distressed. How do you know exactly where to cut the jeans? It depends on where it falls on you. If they are tight jeans, just cut a slit in the middle of your knee cap. If they are looser, then the cut should be on the upper knee cap. I've seen some pretty wild cuts on the back of jeans, what about that? I don't love it, it's not for me, but it's definitely a look. I've seen worse. I would rather you wear a mini skirt that's really short instead of cutting up the back. What about crop tops? They seem to be really in. If you're going to cut your own crop top, definitely get a fabric that doesn’t fray, so if you cut it, it won't be ruined. Either that or get it hemmed. T-shirt material doesn’t fray, whereas knits do. The only thing about crop tops is you have to wear a really high-waisted bottom piece, like a high-waisted skirt, where there's an inch or two of stomach showing. Don't do a super short shirt with a low pair of pants. Could you cut your own off the shoulder shirt? Off the shoulder has been huge for the last six months. I haven't seen it on any red carpets recently, but it's still around. I wear shirts sometimes where the neck is too wide and it goes over the shoulder. But I wouldn't cut anything to make it yourself. You can get a cowl neck sweater that’s wider and push it to one side. What about DIY accessories? I love a good choker. I have a friend who literally ties shoelaces around her neck and it looks super cute because she has the end of the tie in the front. With a longer necklace, you can clip it in the back, but I wouldn’t because it might fall down, but I love the shoelace idea, I think it's brilliant; it's very cheap and very nice. I feel like chokers bring the look up a little bit, so you can wear it with a higher neck, obviously not a turtle neck, but any other neck line it would suit, it's very wearable. How do you know what accessories go with what you're wearing? An accessory should accent what you're wearing and not take anything over. Everything should blend together instead of your necklace being not noticeable or be a focal point. Really, everything should blend in. I always like wearing a larger pieces or a statement necklace with something casual to even it out. Any final words of advice for frugal fashionistas? A good pair of shoes and a jacket update a wardrobe instantly, because you can wear a dress from a couple of years ago and update it with new shoes and then you're not buying a whole new outfit. And just have fun. It's just clothing. Trial and error, there's no right answer; do whatever is best for that moment. You're dressing so that you feel good about yourself, so just have fun and be experimental.
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I love being around people. I always speak from the heart and love helping others to find the courage to stay positive and to believe in themselves. I don’t think, I just do, and that’s my motto. I became a single mom at the age of 29 raising three beautiful children under the age of 6, it was difficult but I always told myself and my children “You can feel sorry for yourself for 24 hours, but after that get off the fence and start a new day with an improved attitude.” Next thing you know I was opening my own salon and teaching hair removal and my baby SugarBrig™ was born. I trademarked SugarBrig™ along with the Patat™ (more than a bikini). I needed to let people know that my technique stood apart from sugaring and waxing and that’s when my SugarBrig™ technique, a less painful method of hair removal, was released. You don’t feel the paste being applied and when you flick it feels like a Band-Aid being removed. Our paste is 100% organic and exfoliates your skin while removing your hair with the natural direction of hair growth, causing less breakage, and allowing the hair to return more sparse and more thin. You will see these results after your first appointment! The Patat™ is trademarked because it is so addictive. It’s not like the Brazilian and it’s not like the LA. Once you get a Patat™ done by a SugarBrig™ practitioner you always come back because the Patat™ is where it’s at! I am the original Brigitte. For over 25 years I’ve trained others to become SugarBrig™ practitioners. I love seeing them have their dreams realized and looking towards a brighter more successful future of financial independence and wellbeing. Many people say my love and passion for what I do definitely shines through in my work and now you can use what I’ve built to help you build your own successful practice. The course is a two-day hands-on training experience, with minimal book work. Day three – well that’s the beginning of your own wonderful SugarBrig™ practice.
By Mariana Bockarova
STYLING the STARS
itting down with designer and stylist Waltters Siddiqui is like sitting down with a cherished, long-time friend: Upon the very first meeting, he’s kind, warm, open, fun, and best of all, makes you feel good about yourself with no strings attached. His kindness comes at a surprise, then, when I finally get him to open up about his impressive list of clientele, including Aretha Franklin, Pamela Anderson, and even Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. “I started in fashion at the age of 10, when I made a garment for my grandmother. She was a great inspiration to me. She was half Turkish and half Indian, so she came from two cultures who have a deep love for embroidery and beautiful fabrics. That love was passed onto me and I eventually went to fashion school. It was a great experience and taught me the technicalities of designing and the world of fashion.
After school, I started an internship with the Canadian designer David Dixon. From him, I learned a good attitude and creativity. He was such a big designer in those days and yet he was so polite. To me, that is the sign of a truly creative person; when you can be at the top of your game and still be kind. In addition to his attitude, working with him, I learned design concepts, like matching lace with silk and how to prepare and construct garments and how to present the final product. I then went on to work for Linda Lundstrom, who started the ‘La Parka’. She did mostly outerwear, and from that experience I learned how to do pattern drafting by a computer instead of by hand. From there I went to work for Chanel in Manhattan, then Escada, and then I decided to open up my own studio. I decided to make one-of-a-kind couture for women who didn’t want anyone else to have the same dress as them. From there, my name got out in Hollywood and here I am today, designing and styling for films.” After much movement in the fashion world, currently living in Toronto, Walt, the name he insists on, which appropriately displays his friendly Disney-like nature, just wrapped a
project for the film #EnvyEnvy, set to be released in late 2017, as the chief wardrobe stylist and costume designer. “We started discussing the movie, scene by scene, then character by character. I got a sense of what the scenes were like and who the characters were, so, I made a lookbook for each character, and for what I didn’t design myself, I chose from high quality retailers like Ted Baker; something edgy but also somewhat high end… In [film styling], everything has to be done according to the taste, mood and environment of the movie. I chose colours for this specific film by looking at the background of the scene. If the scene is green and orange, for instance, I would choose a white dress because it works with the elements. One scene that was shot in this film was on location at Blue Mountain; the background was lush and everything was so colourful. By looking at the surrounding, I wanted to put the actress in the scene into white so she would fit in with the background, but stand out at the same time. In another scene, I put her in a white silk bolero jacket and a sky blue dress, because I wanted to present her as a woman who had just come home from work but was sitting
H OME S
WE CREATE THE FOR YOUR
sketches courtesy of Waltters Siddiqui fabulously over a laptop by the pool in her upscale backyard. In another scene, I put her in a black leather jacket and purple dress and black stockings. We filmed that scene right in Dundas Square in Toronto. It’s a busy environment and I wanted her to fit in as a working woman, but also be stylish, so I chose purple instead of a black or grey dress. In that particular scene, she’s meeting her boyfriend, who is a high powered executive, so of course I put him in Armani.” As Walt notes, the materials used in film translate onto the screen, so the higher the quality, the more it visually denotes power: “While the boyfriend is in designer clothes, I wanted to show a contrast for the character of his younger brother in the film, who is supposed to be a fresh out of college playboy. I needed to portray that; someone who doesn’t care as much about how he looks, but is interested in getting girls instead of settling down and getting a job. I put him in tight pants, ripped jeans, colourful shirts because I needed to convey who he was, an outgoing, laidback guy, so I put him in outgoing clothes from fast-fashion houses, like H&M and Zara.” When the film industry isn’t keeping him busy, Walt designates a few spare moments of his time to meet with select clients, for which he usually designs one-of-a-kind clothing: “I was in Neiman Marcus’ flagship store, sitting with Giorgio Armani and Tom Ford at a party, when one woman entered and gasped “oh God, no!” We all turned around and there was another woman wearing the exact same dress as her; she looked mortified. That’s the difference between ready to wear and custom couture. The advantage of custom-designed clothing is that no one else in the world will wear it.” The importance he holds for one of a kind clothing comes from a desire to be distinct - a philosophy he imbeds onto his clients: “I don’t impose designs on people. Some stylists will say you can only wear a certain type of neckline if you have a certain sized chest, or you can only wear a certain colour if you have a certain tone, but the most important thing for me is how my client feels in it. If I put a client in a yellow dress which looks amazing on her because of her colouring, but she says she feels lousy in that colour, why would I insist she wear a yellow dress? Just because yellow is ‘in’? No.
I would rather my client tell me what she likes, what her favorite colour is, and I’ll make that colour a base but work with lace, or add buttons and accessories that are on trend, so she feels beautiful but is also fashionable. I don’t want my clients to have their friends or co-workers say, “you look pretty today”. No, my concept is to bring the lady out of the woman, so that she looks and feels pretty every day as long as it fits into her life and who she is. For instance, I have a client who just graduated from law school. She had a closet full of ripped jeans, funky dresses, sneakers, platform heels you would see on a pole dancer. She worked hard to finish school and became a lawyer, but she needed help because how she was being perceived by others was not how she wanted to be perceived professionally, but she didn’t know how to dress like a professional without losing who she was. I pulled a few pieces for her and created a look-book, and we went shopping. I kept her funky personality by adding plaid and hounds-tooth patterns into her wardrobe, and keeping pointed heels, but we updated her wardrobe with more professional attire like tapered suits and structured work dresses. The handbags I chose for her were black, red, and turquoise. I kept her sense of who she was through patterns and accessories, but helped her be the professional woman she was. The main thing is that the client has to feel good in it. If she doesn’t feel that way, then I haven’t done my job.” For those of us who don’t have the luxury of wearing one of a kind fashions or having a stylist, Walt recommends mixing and matching, and going vintage: “Don’t go to one place and do your shopping in one store. For example, buying an entire outfit from Zara makes it much more likely to be copied by someone else. Shop around and find pieces in different stores that match, but not perfectly; it will make you look more unique… I also recommend places like Value Village because there are some pieces that are designer, like YSL, Chanel, Armani, Versace that I’ve found. And buying vintage pieces from a second hand store means they will be cheap, high quality, and unique.” Walt’s final piece of advice: Don’t be afraid to go totally against the grain. Be dressed to kill, not needy. Neediness is being dressed to get attention from others. It’s different than being confident. Create your own style, be unique, be different, and look different. Don’t copy others; if something looks good on a Kardashian, it doesn’t mean it will look good on you. You have to be open to yourself and think outside the box. You can take inspiration, but add a twist that’s your own.”
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There she goes over
BY SHERMAN ZAVITZ
It happened in an instant. On August 24, 1844, Martha Rugg and a male friend were standing on Table Rock, then a sizeable rock shelf that projected from the top of the Niagara River gorge close to the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Noticing some flowers growing in a thin layer of earth at the edge of the rock platform, Martha walked over to pick them. As she reached the edge the earth suddenly gave way. Her friend shot out his arm to grab her but caught only her shawl which quickly came loose. With a piercing scream, Martha dropped some 120 feet into the gorge, landing on a pile of jagged rocks. Witnesses flew down a nearby spiral stairway to her rescue. When they reached Martha she faintly whispered, â€œPick me up.â€? She was carried up the steps and over to the Clifton House Hotel at the foot of Clifton Hill. She died there three hours later. >>
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Since then he had been maintaining two households. Realizing this arrangement could not last long, he decided that Desire, his wife of 8 years, had to go. He then organized the fateful excursion to Niagara Falls. For many years dramatic incidents involving death or a near death have been a part of the Niagara Falls story. Most of these incidents, such as the one about Martha, were the result of an accident. The slightly bizarre story of Arthur Hoyt Day, however, was a notable exception. A death was involved but it was not due to an accident. Day had come to Niagara Falls not to enjoy the beauty, majesty and history of the area. He came here with murder on his mind. On Sunday, July 27, 1890, the 26- year- old Day along with his wife Desire and his sister Mary Quigley travelled by train from their Rochester, New York home to Niagara for, as the two ladies were told, a day of sightseeing. After arriving in Niagara Falls, New York, the trio crossed the Railway Suspension Bridge (it was located where the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge is now) and began walking along the Canadian side of the Niagara River gorge towards the whirlpool. According to Mary Quigley’s later testimony, she eventually became tired and sat down on a rock to rest while her brother and Desire walked on a bit further. She could see Day with his wife immediately in front of him standing a short distance away at the very edge of the gorge. Her attention was then drawn to something else for a moment and when she next looked for her brother and sister-in-law, she saw only Arthur. He was waving a black handkerchief and motioning for her to come over to him. Desire was nowhere in sight. When Mary reached him, Day quickly and calmly admitted he had pushed his wife over the bank because “I wanted to get rid of her.” Telling his sister not to go the police, he handed her a train ticket to get home and then disappeared. When she next saw him three days later back in Rochester, he told her he was feeling only some regret for what he had done.
What Mary Quigley did not know, however, was that 15 days before the Niagara trip, Arthur had married a Lizzie Breen when, as he later admitted, they were both very drunk. Since then he had been maintaining two households. Realizing this arrangement could not last long, he decided that Desire, his wife of 8 years, had to go. He then organized the fateful excursion to Niagara Falls. After Day moved back in with Lizzie, she began having some concerns about her new husband. For one thing, he kept talking in his sleep, saying such things as “There she goes over.” She also began hearing rumours that he was already married. Lizzie finally went to the police who soon after arrested Day for bigamy. Now a large problem arose: Desire could not be found. Then came a break in the case. When the police questioned Mary Quigley, she broke her silence and told the story of the July 27th trip. She was then brought back to Niagara Falls. On August 10th, Mary took American and local authorities to the spot along the gorge where Desire had been pushed over the edge. After a difficult search, the victim’s body, badly decomposed, was found on the rocks below. Arthur Hoyt Day was then extradited and charged with murder. He was taken to Welland, some 20 miles west of Niagara Falls, and lodged in the Welland County jail there. The trial was held on October 8, 1890 in Welland. The case had created such a sensation that the court room was jammed with spectators and hundreds of others who had hoped to watch the proceedings had to be turned away. Day appeared impeccably dressed, including a red flower in his suit coat lapel. He pleaded not guilty. The Crown’s case rested largely on the testimony of Mary Quigley while the defense tried its best to discredit her
testimony because of her past. Mary, who was described in the press as “hard-looking,” had been married four times, arrested on numerous occasions and at one time had been the madam of a Lockport, New York, brothel. For his part, Day said that after reaching the Canadian side of the Niagara River, he and Desire had quarrelled. They had then parted company and he hadn’t seen her since. Later, his story changed and he testified that she had slipped while trying to pick some berries. He never could explain, however, why he had not reported her lengthy disappearance or accident. The 12-man jury brought in a guilty verdict. The judge then pronounced the death penalty and directed that Day “be taken from the prison where you are confined on December 18th and hanged by the neck until you are dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul.” The hanging took place on gallows set up outside the courthouse on East Main Street in Welland. As the Welland Tribune reported: “About 70 persons witnessed the execution, Niagara Falls town being especially well represented. The wind was raw and whilst waiting for the grievesome event many kept warm by vigorous marching and counter marching.” Smartly dressed as always and with the usual flower in his lapel, Day was lead to the gallows at 7:55 a.m. He maintained his innocence to the end, accusing his sister of having lied at the trial and being the one really responsible for Desire’s death. His arms had already been pinioned and now his legs were bound and the black cape pulled over his head. At exactly 7:57, as the Lord’s Prayer was being recited by the officiating minister, the drop was released. As the Tribune later noted, “Arthur Hoyt Day had paid a fearful penalty for a fearful crime.”
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HOLLYWOOD’S love affair with
BY ANDREW HIND AND MARIA DA SILVA
Over the years, among the 15 million annual visitors to Niagara Falls there have been a number of Hollywood legends. Often times, they sneak in with little fanfare and sneak out almost unnoticed. Other times, celebrities arrive with more publicity, temporarily—and sometimes unintentionally—detracting attention away from the Falls and onto themselves.
image source: moviescramble.com
Awkward yet charming, modest yet successful, quiet yet courageous, actor James “Jimmy” Stewart embodied America at its best. Yet, when he visited Niagara Falls for a pair of days in 1940, he was embraced by Canadian fans as one of our own. His was the most celebrated visit of a movie star to date. By 1939, with a string of hits that included You Can’t Take it with You (1938) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Stewart had solidified a position as one of the most bankable young stars in Tinseltown. Determined to make the most of their asset, MGM cast Stewart in three more films in 1940: The Shop Around the Corner, The Mortal Storm, and The Philadelphia Story, Story for which he won his one and only Oscar for best actor. Each of the films was a hit, but the gruelling schedule of the past few years left Stewart exhausted physically and emotionally. Jimmy Stewart needed a vacation. Determined to get as far away from the Hollywood lifestyle as possible, Stewart avoided the hot spots of the rich and famous and instead decided to head for the unspoiled wilderness of Lake Temagami, in Northern Ontario. Unmarried at the time, he invited his parents and two sisters along for two weeks of fishing and hiking. On the return trip, the Stewart’s paid a visit to Niagara Falls on September 6 and 7, booking rooms at the General Brock Hotel (now the Crowne Plaza Hotel). Built in 1927 for the then astronomical cost of $1.5 million, the General Brock was the first luxury
hotel in the area and, due in part to its elegant ballroom and rooftop garden, was at the time considered among the most majestic and celebrated hotels in Ontario. Stewart’s impending arrival at the General Brock Hotel was the worst-kept secret around. The result was that when the actor arrived to check-in that afternoon, he was met by a large crowd of eager fans. Though on vacation and badly in need of escape from the demands of stardom, Stewart was gracious with the fans and lingered to sign autographs. Such affability was typical of the man, and was undeniably part of his charm. Few fans left disappointed. Later that day, Stewart and his family viewed the falls. He was like any other tourist, taking photographs and marvelling at the sights. Stewart was delighted with what he saw, later telling a reporter he thought the Falls were “the most picturesque sight he had ever seen.” Stewart left the hotel on the second day to find the entrance once again crowded with fans eager for a chance to see their idol. There were dozens of them, each one demanding a piece of the star’s attention, and yet Stewart took it all in stride, lingered long enough to send most of his fans home happy with a signature or the memory of a brief conversation with a screen legend. Later that day, he and his family left Niagara Falls to return home to the States. The Canadian vacation, short though it may have been, reinvigorated Stewart and gave him the energy and passion to film three more movies in 1941 before enlisted in the Army Air Force and becoming a decorated bomber pilot in World War Two. >>
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NIAGARA WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST MOVIES OF THE YEAR AND CATAPULTED MARILYN MONROE TO STARDOM.
For about three weeks during June 1952, Niagara Falls had an extra attraction beyond the raging falls themselves: Marilyn Monroe, soon to be Hollywood’s most glamorous star, was in town filming her first starring role in the thriller Niagara. Director Henry Hathaway would take full advantage of the magical setting by using a number of local landmarks in the film. But Niagara Falls, attractive as it is, didn’t have everything the filmmaker required to make his dream a reality. The script called for a motel overlooking the Falls, but there simply wasn’t one because Queen Victoria Park occupied all of the lands alongside the river’s shore. As a result, a makeshift motel was constructed in the park, directly opposite the American Falls and with a view towards the Horseshoe Falls. Named the Rainbow Motel, the six-unit building (most of which was false-fronted) would be the setting for many of the most important scenes of the movie. While Hathaway kept the young star on a short leash and largely away from the distracting public, Monroe was able to enjoy herself in Niagara Falls with sightseeing, included a stroll through Queen Victoria Park, shopping at the Table Rock Gift Shop, trips to Niagara-on-the-Lake with lover Joe DiMaggio, and a ride on the Maid of the Mist tour boat. Marilyn stayed at the exclusive General Brock Hotel in room 801 and somehow managed to juggle two relationships between takes. One of her suitors was Joe DiMaggio, who stayed on the American side in the Hotel Niagara but slipped across to rendezvous with her several time a week. At the same time, Marilyn was growing close to her long-time friend Bob Slatzer, and the two shared adjoining rooms. There, with the Falls as a stunning backdrop, Slatzer proposed and Marilyn accepted (the magic of Niagara did not endure long, however: they married in Tijuana, Mexico, on June 18 and were divorced just four days later). None of this personal drama was known to Monroe’s adoring fans, who eagerly awaited the arrival of Niagara in theatres. The world premiere was shown simultaneously at Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York on January 28, 1953. In Niagara Falls, Ontario, the film was shown at the Seneca Theatre, and despite a seating capacity of more than 1,000 the demand was so great the movie had to be shown five times a day for more than a week. In the end, Niagara was one of the biggest movies of the year and catapulted Marilyn Monroe to stardom. Niagara was soon overshadowed by Monroe’s more famous films, but the impact of the movie immense. Niagara helped cement Niagara Falls’ reputation as the Honeymoon Capital of the World. For years, the local Chamber of Commerce would receive hundreds of letters from people inquiring about rooms at the Rainbow Motel featured in the movie. There was, of course, no Rainbow Motel; the set had been hastily torn-down as soon as filming was completed. Nevertheless, in the wake of the movie’s release hordes of lovers and sightseers flocked to the Falls every year, transforming the economy. Thanks to Marilyn Monroe’s charm and beauty, Niagara had changed Niagara Falls forever. >>
SHIRLEY TEMPLE With her famous blond ringlets and deep dimples, the child star Shirley Temple charmed and entertained theatre audiences during the Depression years, her singing and dancing captivated millions and helping to raise the people’s spirits during a difficult period. She was so essential to public morale during this trying period that President Franklin Roosevelt famously remarked, “As long as we have Shirley Temple we’ll be alright.” The hopes of an entire nation rested on the tiny shoulders of a young child. During World War Two, with two brothers fighting with the United States Marine Corps, the young woman concentrated more on raising wartime morale than acting. Temple boosted moral by visited wounded men in the hospitals and appearing at military bases to chat and dance with the men. It was in this goodwill capacity that Shirley Temple graced Canada with her presence in October 1944. Her first stop was the nation’s capital, Ottawa, where she was scheduled for several appearances to help promote the sales of war bonds. Then, on October 22, accompanied by her parents and publicity agent, she arrived in Niagara Falls to participate in more charitable work. Once settled in the General Brock Hotel, the 16-year old enjoyed the sights along the Niagara River, including the famous Spanish Aero Car. She also visited Oak Hall, which at the time was being used as a RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) convalescent home, raising the spirits of the ill and wounded airmen Later, she visited Queen Victoria Park where a huge crowd anxiously awaited her arrival. She was to be the guest of honour in a ceremony that had two purposes: in addition to raising funds through Victory Bonds to support the war, it saw the re-lighting of the falls, dark since 1939 to conserve electricity for war production purposes. Amongst the large crowd that night were two young Air Force men who managed to strike up a conversation with Temple and summon the courage to ask for her autograph. While chatting, they just happened to mention that they were about to hitchhike to Hamilton when the lighting ceremony was over. Temple realized she was going to the same city to catch a train to Chicago, so she graciously offered the two surprised men a ride. With her selflessness and graciousness, Shirley Temple wrote herself into Niagara lore. For years after, residents would warmly recall her visit.
image source: today.com 52 todaymagazine.ca
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SHADY DEALINGS THE STORY OF WILLIAM FORSYTH BY ANDREW HIND
FORSYTH DIDN’T WANT JUST A PIECE OF NIAGARA FALLS, HE WANTED THE WHOLE THING AND WOULD GO TO JUST ABOUT ANY LENGTHS, STOOP TO ANY DEPTHS, TO GET IT..
Niagara Falls is blessed with a number of hotels offering fine hospitality, beautiful views, and comfortable, even luxurious, accommodations. Each has their own distinct charms, their own merit, something unique to provide guests. But all have one thing in common: they are spiritual descendants of the Pavilion Hotel, the first luxury, tourist hotel in Niagara Falls. For more than a decade, it was the place to go and the place to be seen. Yet few of the wealthy, wellheeled patrons knew the depths to which the Pavilion’s owner sank to ensure his hotel profited, or paid any heed to the vicious behind-the-scenes war going on to capture precious tourist dollars. The competition was fierce and at stake was economic dominance of a developing industry. The Pavilion Hotel was the brainchild of William Forsyth, one of Niagara’s earliest entrepreneurs in the tourism industry but also a shameless and aggressive opportunist with a disreputable past. Born in the United States in 1774, he developed a somewhat shady reputation early, by running a smuggling operation. In 1799, not long after arriving in Canada, he was charged of a felony but acquitted. A few years later he was found guilty of another unspecified crime and jailed. Forsyth escaped from his prison and made a desperate attempt at fl ight, but was apprehended shortly after.
During the War of 1812, Forsyth, described as a “small wiry man, weighing barely 150 pounds,” fought with the British as part of the 2nd Lincoln Militia. His commanding officer, Thomas Clark, suggested he was poorly liked by his fellow soldiers, ‘a man of uncouth behaviour,’ and indicated he was prone to cowardice and deceit. In the post-war period, Forsyth found a new opportunity to exploit. Since 1815, Niagara Falls had been attracting wealthy world travelers—Americans, predominantly—intent on seeing the renowned natural wonder in person. However, there was no tourist hotel to wrap these tourists in the luxury they expected. Forsyth was determined to remedy that. His plan began in 1817 when he purchased Wilson’s Tavern, a Niagara inn built in 1797. In 1821, Forsyth purchased more than 100 acres surrounding the hotel, and a year later tore down the aging structure and in its place built the luxurious Pavilion Hotel. The Pavilion Hotel, which was located just north of where the Minolta Tower now stands, was three storeys in height, of white clapboard construction, and boasted covered verandas overlooking the Falls and rapids. Because it catered to the elite of society, the Pavilion included a well-stocked library, a piano, billiard table, and accommodations for ‘noblemen and gentlemen of the highest rank with their families’. Forsyth made sure to stock the hotel with ‘the best flavoured and most costly wines and liquors.’ There could be no doubt that the Pavilion was by far the largest and most famous hotel in Niagara at the time, accommodating as many as 150 guests in style, many of whom remained for weeks or even months at a time. Among the prominent guests were two Governor-Generals of British North America and the Duke of Richmond William Forsyth was undeniably the leading figure when it came to selling the Falls as a tourist attraction, but he wasn’t the only one and as the decade wore on competition from other hotels became fiercer. That didn’t sit well with Forsyth. The Falls were big enough to share, but that wasn’t his style. Forsyth didn’t want just a piece of Niagara Falls, he wanted the whole thing and would go to just about any lengths, stoop to any depths, to get it. When rival hotelier John Brown built a plank road from his Ontario House hotel to the Falls, Forsyth promptly ripped it up. When Thomas Clark and Samuel Street acquired ferry rights on the river to bring guests to their own hotel, Forsyth harassed and sabotaged the operation so aggressively it couldn’t operate. And when the Ontario House burned to the ground
under mysterious circumstances in 1826, many in town pointed fingers at Forsyth as the likely culprit. The accused made little attempt to dissuade this opinion; when asked about the fire, he would simply smile knowingly but remain silent. Forsyth finally pushed his luck too far and it cost him dearly. In 1827, he built a fence around the Pavilion and down to the banks of the Niagara, enclosing part of the shoreline and laying claim to it as his own. But this wasn’t just any stretch of river: enclosed within Forsyth’s self-proclaimed domain was Niagara’s ultimate prize, Table Rock. Table Rock was a huge platform of rock, several acres in size, that once hung more than fifty feet over the gorge just above the lip of the Falls. From the edge, sightseers were no more than five feet from the raging waters below, so close that you could almost dip your toes into the raging water. The bravest people crept to the edge nearest the Falls and peered out over the wondrous vista. Over the years, as the rock beneath it eroded and crumbled, vast slabs of it tumbled away until, bit by bit, Table Rock disappeared. But that wasn’t until much later. In the 1820s, Table Rock was the favoured spot from which to view the falls. If one could take possession of Table Rock, as Forsyth realized, he could monopolize tourism at Niagara Falls. Once the opportunistic entrepreneur had put up his fence, the only way to enjoy that view would be through his hotel and only after paying a fee. The other hotelkeepers were enraged that Forsyth was attempting to grab the Niagara experience for himself. The fence was completely illegal as the Crown owned the land along the river bank to a depth of sixty-six feet, so soldiers were sent to tear the fence down. Forsyth rebuilt the fence, and once again soldiers tore it down. Around the same time, Brown sued Forsyth for tearing up his road, while Clark and Street sued him for ruining their ferry service. In the end, after five years and a fortune spent in court, Forsyth lost. In 1833, now a beaten and despondent man, he sold the hotel to his rivals, Street and Clark, and moved to Fort Erie. William Forsyth was never again a player in the Niagara Falls tourism industry As for the Pavilion, it declined in popularity during the 1830s and by the closing years of the decade, the Pavilion had been superseded by Clifton House, the next generation of luxury hotel and the new place to be seen. The end for the controversial hotel came on February 19, 1839 when a raging fi re, the cause of which was never determined, consumed it in spectacular fashion.
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Mayor of Wainfleet
Mayor of Welland
We get up close and personal with these passionate small town mayors who continually show up for their constituants in a big way.
Mayor of Lincoln
Mayor of Pelham
Mayor of Port Colborne
TALK of the TOWN Q&A WITH NIAGARAâ€™S SMALL TOWN MAYORS >>
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing your city? What can your constituents do to help ensure the future success of your town? APRIL JEFFS: I think the biggest challenge is continuing to be sustainable. Our growth is limited and yet we face the same infrastructure challenges as many other municipalities. Constituents in Wainfleet can continue to remain engaged in community initiatives such as the strategic plan exercise that we currently undergoing. SANDRA EASTON: At a macro-level, the challenge for Lincoln, like many other municipalities in the golden horseshoe that have both rural and urban elements to them, revolves around striking the right balance between growth and our natural features and coupled with that efficiency and utilization of our agricultural lands and employment corridors. At a micro-level, we have discovered over the past few years that collectively we have a responsibility to educate, research and question products that place our natural water courses and water quality at risk, coupled with the particulates placed on agricultural land. Access to big data in a way that makes public access streamlined and completely transparent is an important goal that is past its time. This is an area that our citizens repeatedly identify as a priority for them and any system that is effective has very comprehensive cross-checking of key words or phrases. Personally for me and my family who have been here in Lincoln for generations, I am thinking about the next generations that will come and what we can do collectively to enthusiastically investigate, educate and apply our work experience at a time when many retirees have the luxury of time to research and ponder important local issues. You know, we have in Lincoln the legacy of the Research Station where many highly educated people worked. It was our brain
trust. The men and women who worked there expected their children to also get a higher education and as a result farmers in Lincoln also represent the continuous development of that brain trust which continues today across the town at all levels. As a community we must protect at all costs our right to ask deliberate questions. I believe in the strength and creativity of the citizens of Lincoln, its values as a collection of small villages, towns and hamlets and its potential for economic growth when working collectively and for the betterment of the community and broader region. FRANK CAMPION: Welland is transitioning from an industry based economy to a more diverse educational institution, smart technology/manufacturing intelligence based economy. The challenge is to match business and industry attraction with a conducive lifestyle for both residents and potential residents. A positive shift in the City brand reflecting this is required along with a focused, aggressive approach to business. Resident participation is required. There is a need for residents to embrace the concepts required for the on-going transition and to think positively and supportively. Another challenge is funding our infrastructure needs. DAVE AUGUSTYN: Some of the biggest challenges facing Pelham involve maintaining our small-town feel as we grow. Since development lands were added to the Town in 2000, we’ve known that growth would be inevitable. We are working on integrating this inevitable growth with the existing community, while protecting sensitive environmental elements, benefitting existing residents (like by including public facilities and commercial amenities), and requiring attractive and pedestrian/cycle-friendly form. JOHN MALONEY: City Council, residents and others must work together to encourage development, increase assessment, and maintain a positive cash flow. We all may have to sacrifice a little for long term gain.
What are some successes you’ve seen as mayor? AJ: We put an end to a controversial sewer/water project and successfully completed a septic inspection program. We have made substantial upgrades to our arena. We initiated an aggressive road resurfacing program. We completed a recreation master plan last term and have continued to enhance access to our beaches and also implemented bylaw enforcement and strategic parking to mitigate issues that neighbouring residents face who live adjacent to public accesses. We have had several low tax increases and last year managed to build an infrastructure levy into the 2016 budget. We are currently engaging in the Township’s first strategic plan. SE: As the executive body of the Town of Lincoln and in response to the citizens, Council has influenced an important cultural shift from business as usual to an innovative and energized 21st century workforce that is focused on all who would be considered customers. We can demonstrate many quick wins with special projects but the most lasting impact is in the ability to demonstrate the long term value of tax dollar investment in our infrastructure and in the cultural development of Lincoln. FC: The City has and continues to work more closely with Niagara College…an institution that is viewed as a major asset as the City moves forward. Recently, construction on new POA Courts has begun in Welland which not only creates jobs but also makes our City significant to the Region. Construction has also begun on the new 450,000 sq. ft. General Electric plant in Welland which will create 220 jobs initially. We have greatly improved our status in the global economy as well as with provincial and federal ministries. DA: During my decade of service as Mayor, we’ve accomplished many successes: revitalization of Downtown Fonthill and Downtown Fenwick; constructing two new Fire Stations (Fenwick & North Pelham); new skatepark; new dog park; renewed and new sports fields and parks; nine new,
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fully-accessible playgrounds; renewed heritage features (like Old Pelham Town Hall, WW1 Cenotaph & Mortar, Historic Flagpole); new Maple Acre Library; starting construction of a new Pelham Community Centre (double arena, double gymnasium, multi-purpose community space, indoor walking / jogging track); more than 15km of sidewalks, 9km of bike lanes, and 5km of trails; renewed major road infrastructure; all while keeping taxes under inflation and our water and waste water rates 20% lower than other Niagara municipalities. JM: City Council and staff have provided positive leadership on a day-to-day basis while visioning for the future. How would you characterize your brand of leadership? AJ: Approachable. Open to all ideas and suggestions because I know I do not have all the answers. I respect other’s opinions even if we don’t agree and I know it’s okay if I change my mind. SE: I can only report what others tell me. They appreciate that access to government is at a level that satisfies them. The expanded wealth of a community begins with citizens who are highly connected to their local government. The
Inset: lluminAqua’s floating stage in Welland
Mayor must be approachable and inclusive in her dealings with everyone. They say I have an authentic demeanour that is non partisan and that I am respectful and treat situations with dignity appropriate to the office of the Mayor. FC: A collaborative team approach combines with transparency and accountability. DA: I view my role as Pelham’s Mayor as one of servant to the community and working together with the community to solve challenges. I continually listen to people and discuss issues, write a weekly column in local news media, attend as many community functions as possible, and work to keep residents and business owners informed about and involved in things that matter in Pelham. I also lead Council and the community through common processes of clearly defining problems, solving them, and implementing the agreed-upon and new solutions. (Some recent examples of this include Pelham’s environmental protection bylaw, the development of the Thursday night parking plan and a Supper Market, and confi rming the business case for a new Pelham Community Centre.)
AJ: The Marshville Village, The Gord Harry Trail, Reebs Bay and the Quarry, some of our sprawling farmland areas, both Long Beach and Chippawa Creek Campgrounds. SE: I would show them Charles Daley Park, Ball’s Falls, Jordan Historical Museum of the Twenty, The Lincoln Archives, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. Along the way they would see our vineyards and wineries and at lunchtime they would draw a name and choose our destination for later in the day because there are so many wonderful choices for local food. FC: Niagara College, Recreational Canal (WIFC, Merritt Island etc.), new GE construction site, Civic Square and Library, diverse neighbourhoods.
JM: Consensus building instead of confrontation.
DA: There are so many great places in Pelham that showcase our community! Some of the top include: the Comfort Maple; Peace Park and the Bandshell; Old Pelham Town Hall and the newly restored WW1 Cenotaph & Mortar; the Lathrop Nature Reserve; Downtown Fonthill, Ridgeville, and Fenwick; the Niagara Central Airport; the view from Lookout Point Country Club; and Shorthill Provincial Park.
If you were giving people a tour of your town, what places would you be sure to stop at?
JM: The waterfront including Nickel Beach, Sugarloaf Marina; parks – including the Museum; and commercial areas, especially Main and West Streets.
SE: In the short term we will develop an economic development plan that is agricultural based. Innovation and research will drive the education and skill development of our youth and the jobs to support the farms of the future in food and plant science will create a growing environment for small manufacturing. In the longer term Lincoln will grow the clusters in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors to ensure that we maintain a high production high value economy on the limited land that is available to us. We will work with many partners in applied science to ensure our youth have the greatest opportunity to achieve their hopes and dreams. FC: Rebrand the City, convert surplus land to tax paying properties through strategic sales, continued use of CIP’s and other incentives to attract more businesses and development, strategic development and use of Recreational Canal and Canal Lands. Improving and creating public spaces to improve lifestyle and satisfaction, stabilize tax rates and ensure sustainability of municipal facilities. DA: My vision continues to include appropriate and affordable parks and recreational facilities, vibrant and livable downtowns, safe and walkable neighbourhoods, lively cultural and artistic activities, enhanced opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses to thrive, improvements to our quality of life, prosperous agricultural enterprises that complement our refreshingly natural and rural character, becoming a more environmentally friendly and sustainable community through Regional transit links and renewable energy options, and maintaining Pelham’s friendly, small-town feel as we continue to grow and prosper. JM: Short term – address the day-to-day municipal problems and concerns to the satisfaction of our residents. Medium term – build on the success of the community including the Vale Health & Wellness Centre, our trail system and commercial/residential development.
SE: Lincoln is not a small town. Both geographically/physically, investment in business and from the perspective of economic potential we are serious contenders in the floriculture, horticulture, research, vineyard and wine production. We have valuable poultry and cash crop commodities and all of these add up to billions in our contribution to the national GDP. Our very special gift is that we are made up of small communities and towns; villages and hamlets and each contributes their special cultural identity to the broader Town of Lincoln and I would say to the entire Region of Niagara.
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FC: Ability to be nimble and react to opportunity. Great lifestyle and unique neighbourhoods, strong “hometown” atmosphere. DA: There are many benefits for living and working in a small town like Pelham: people greet you on the street and easily converse with you; you easily know your neighbours; dedicated volunteers organize all of the significant community events – like Fonthill Bandshell, Lions Carnival, Art Show, Homeshow, Summerfest – and help to beautify the Town and plan for our future; and our dedicated part-time, professional fire fighters keep us safe.
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JM: The pace of life is slower and less stressful. People are generally warm and friendly. What is the most useful piece of criticism you received as Mayor of Wainfleet and how has that changed you? AJ: To stay focused on the core services a municipality provides. It has changed the way I look at service delivery in general and what lines of business we should be in both at the Township and the Region. >> SE: I consider it a criticism that citizens are not saying much negative. We all rely heavily on the feedback of our neighbours to ensure we are on the right track and this is never more important than with local government.
What are some of the benefits of being a small town?
DA: Early in my service as Mayor, I remember proposing a motion to Pelham Council on a matter that I had thought that I fully researched and thought-out. I thought it would be natural for Council to unanimously accept it – because it seemed to make so much sense to me at the time. Council didn’t see it that way, and instead threw out my proposed solution. That incident helped me learn that no one person has all the answers and that we must all work together to improve our community.
AJ: Camaraderie and trust amongst residents and neighbours that you don’t really see in larger
JM: Slow down and relax more. This approach continues to be a challenge. >>
Long term – reduce the municipal debt load while maintaining/expanding the amenities of our community.
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AJ: Short term – complete strategic plan and work on existing policies. Medium term – begin to implement recommendations from existing and new guiding documents with a focus on economic development and Long term – sustainability with a focus on agriculture, agri-tourism and passive recreation.
municipalities. Feeling safe. Schools where the faculty know all the children and their families. Programs geared toward all residents because council and staff understand the dynamics within the Township.
What is your vision for your town over the short, medium and long term?
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At the end of this term, what mark would you hope to have made as Mayor?
What do you do to get out of “Mayor Mode” (sports, hobbies, etc.)?
AJ: I know not everyone agrees with decisions we’ve made as a council and we admittedly have made mistakes along the way, but I hope to be remembered when years from now people are reminiscing about the past as a mayor who really cared about the municipality and fought for what was best for constituents.
AJ: Kayaking and Golf.
SE: That there has been progress made on each strategic priority as these were defined from public opinion. We have encouraged citizens to be watchful of the environment and this includes being watchful of bullying and harrassment wherever they find themselves including government, schools, and the protection of families and children in their homes. That there be an increased understanding of an appreciation of the real poverty in our community and that we have contributed what we can to make Lincoln a kinder gentler place to live. Most important that all children have an increased appreciation for a good education. That there be a proportional correction amongst sport, recreation and culture priorities. FC: Create optimism based on actions taken to turn the local economy in a positive, results based way. The optimism created with the community as well as amongst potential investors. DA: By the end of this term, I hope people feel that Council and I have worked together with them to renew and revitalize our community. Specifically, we have completed the revitalization of Downtown Fenwick, are close to completing the renewal of the Maple Arce Library, and should be just opening the new Pelham Community Centre among new development in Fonthill. JM: The community continues to move forward in a positive manner. Why did you want to become a politician? AJ: Because I like to help people and I felt like I could make a difference. SE: I wanted to be the Mayor of Lincoln and a leader in my own town. Women in my family live to 100 and more years. With that kind of legacy I have a few examples already set that instruct me not to squander my talents, education, skills all of which will add momentum to the true hope I have for Lincoln. FC: Strong desire to help shape a positive future for Welland, the community I was born and raised in. I love this community, and proud of it and want to see it prosper. DA: I am humbled to have been encouraged by many people to run for Mayor initially and to continue to serve. I was elected to work together with the community to improve Pelham and move the community forward. JM: The desire to make things better. I didn’t come to be a politician by design.
SE: Being Mayor is my mode. What could be more interesting and satisfying. I meet interesting people from Lincoln and all over Niagara and beyond. They are interested in what we are doing here in Lincoln. There is so much to learn. Lincoln is represented by a committed group of Councillors and we have a responsive senior staff. I am very proud to serve the people in Lincoln and in Niagara. FC: Enjoy my family. DA: When not “being” the Mayor, I enjoy walking and cycling, unwinding at a cottage, and building projects at home (like the pergola I made last year). JM: One never gets out of “Mayor Mode” but I enjoy sailing, the beach, grandchildren.
What’s the last book you read for pleasure? AJ: The Four Agreements SE: I read fiction for relief from all other important periodicals and policy documents. FC: The Flashman Papers by George MacDonald Fraser. DA: Thunderstruck by Erik Larson. JM: Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth Someone is sending you on a trip around the world: pick three cities that you have to visit. AJ: Milos, Dubrovnik, and Venice. SE: Rome, City of Lincoln, Strassburg FC: Rome, Barcelona & Sydney. DA: Paris, Sydney, Amsterdam. JM: Moscow, Beijing, Reykjavik. Off the top of your head, what is your favourite movie or Netflix obsession? AJ: I have so many favourite movies and I don’t watch Netflix so I would have to say that I thoroughly enjoy watching reruns of Modern Family when I have time. SE: My favourite movie is The Secret Garden. It is a story of adversity, behaviour modification, teamwork and collective success. FC: Cat Ballou. DA: Chariots of Fire is one of my favourite movies. JM: I rarely watch TV but Murdoch Mysteries comes to mind.
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Old buildings have stories to tell. Niagaraon-the-Lake’s The Old Courthouse, located at 26 Queen Street, has more than most. A National Historic Site and perhaps the most magnificent structure in this most historic of communities, it has played host to cutthroat politics and trials involving heinous crimes. Photography: Darren Creighton
if these walls could talk…
he Old Courthouse is actually the third in Niagaraon-the-Lake’s history. The village’s first courthouse was built in 1795, near the corner of King and Prideaux streets not far from the current courthouse. During the War of 1812, the British confined political offenders and pro-American residents within its secure walls. It’s believed as many as 300 prisoners may have been imprisoned during this tumultuous period. The courthouse was destroyed, along with the remainder of the town, when the occupying Americans retreated back across the Niagara River in December of 1813. When the war ended residents were forced to rebuild their lives, including a new courthouse. A replacement was built in 1816, but further inland (where Ryde Park stands today) so as to be safely out of range of American artillery at Fort Niagara. This courthouse was in use for almost three decades, but by the 1840s the residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake began to plan for a new, more ambitious public building. It was all a matter of politics. At the time, and thanks to the prosperity afforded it by the Welland Canal, St. Catharines was growing rapidly and challenged Niagara-on-the-Lake’s position as the economic and political hub of the area. The people of St. Catharines believed their community should be the seat of Lincoln County, not Niagara-on-the-Lake. Their petition for the honour kick-started a bitter feud between the rival towns. Hoping to force the hands of government decision-makers, Niagara-on-the-Lake began construction of a large and expensive courthouse that would house the varied judicial and clerical functions for the County (The former, second courthouse building was converted
into ‘Our Western Home’, an institution where impoverished girls from Britain were brought to be trained in domestic skills and then placed in area households as servants. The building was demolished after the facility was closed in 1913). The third courthouse—known today as the Old Courthouse—officially opened in 1847, located at 26 Queen Street. The community was justifiably proud of their grand new building and residents were confident they had secured for themselves the honor of County Seat. Unfortunately, the plan didn’t work as expected. In 1862, St. Catharines was named the County Seat, leaving the people of Niagara-on-the-Lake embittered. Nevertheless, the newly completed courthouse continued to find use as the home of the county sheriff ’s office, mayor’s office, meeting chambers, offices for the town council members, and holding cells for prisoners. It bought together Niagara-on-the-Lake’s movers-and-shakers—men of power, prestige, and pride—under one roof, where they could chart the future of the community. The most prominent figure to hold court here was undoubtedly Edward Clarke Campbell. Born in 1806 in Niagara-onthe-Lake, the son of Donald Campbell, Fort Major of Fort George, Edward Clarke Campbell became a local lawyer, was elected a Member of Parliament in 1840, and in 1841 became a judge. In this capacity, he oversaw numerous trials within the courtrooms of this very building. In addition to a fine legal career, Campbell was a founding member and longtime president of the Niagara Mechanics Institute (the forerunner of the public library) and was prominent in a number of local social groups. The Old Courthouse served as Niagara-on-the-Lake’s town hall until 1972, when the town was amalgamated with Niagara Township and centralized town offices were built in nearby Virgil. Since then, the Courthouse
has continued to play an important role in town affairs by hosting the local Chamber of Commerce and offices for Parks Canada staff. The Old Courthouse is also a beloved tourist attraction and was lovingly restored to its 19th century splendor as Niagara-on-the-Lake’s bicentennial project. The building’s upper floor has housed a 327-seat theatre since the Shaw Festival’s inaugural season in 1962, playing host to thousands of performances in the past 45-years. Further, guests can view recreated Lord Mayor’s Chambers as they would have appeared in the 19th century, and even step into the oppressive confines of a jail cell and peer forlornly out of the tiny window set into the heavy wooden door. One can’t feel as if time has stood still within this beautiful heritage building. As one of Niagara-on-theLake’s most historic buildings, few would be surprised to learn that the Old Courthouse is rumored to haunted by spirits that cling to it like vines to crumbling mortar. Many believe that one or more of those who were tried within the courtrooms have lingered behind, their sentence extending well into the afterlife. Edward Clarke Campbell is also believed to remain as an ethereal spirit, presiding over the building in death as he once did in life. These ghosts, and others, are introduced to the public during chilling tours led by the lantern-carrying guides of Ghost Walks, a company that leads haunted and dark history events throughout the region. The Old Courthouse, though very much a part of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s present and future, is a reflection of the community’s past. Its architecture, the restored Lord Mayor’s chambers and jail cells, and even the stories shared during chilling evening ghost tours allow people the chance to explore over 200-years of history in one of Niagara’s historic gems.
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rising FLEX THAT VINTAGE SHOPPING MUSCLE By Gabrielle Tieman The thrill of finding that perfect outfit in a sea of previously loved clothing is one of the greatest thrills there is. And on this well-traveled path to uncovering that diamond in the rough without breaking the bank – and without sacrificing great style – the answer is simple; shopping vintage and celebrating second hand. Whether you crave incense infused vintage shops housing platform boots and the best of the ‘70s or a highly styled luxury consignment boutique filled to the brim with last season’s gently worn favourites that excites your heart, the Niagara Region has a thrift or vintage shop specifically for you.
Catering to a wide array of styles, age demographics and tastes, this diverse collection of stores within the region has helped the city to gain its reputation as a second hand haven; calling to shoppers who not only love the thrill of the hunt but to those searching for that truly unique piece that is bound to set apart their wardrobe from the big box donned rest. So if you love being thrifty, rocking outside of the box style and the hunt is your favourite part of shopping, our thrifting guide to some of the Niagara Region’s best kept secrets will be your map to a truly unique shopping experience. >>
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Walking into Plato's Closet is like foraging through your cool big sister’s closet; think silk Banana Republic shift dresses with the original tags, multi-colour Longchamp bags, lightly worn leather riding boots and designer blouses, sweaters and more jewellery than you could physically wear. The store is a structured sea of designer and name brand labels. Unlike most traditional thrift stores, Plato’s is simple and organized by garment and size and has four clearly marked departments: men’s, women’s, accessories and athletics. This simple layout makes fi nding that new perfect garment fairly uncomplicated – and very unintimidating to those new to thrift shopping and hoping to create a one-of-a-kind look. Common items to be found include popular youth and adult brands J-Crew, Boathouse, H&M, American Eagle, Aritzia, Under Armour and almost everything else in between at up to 70 per cent off the regular retail price. Items can be commonly found starting at five dollars and moving up from there – with very few every day wear pieces travelling over that $25 dollar mark. Alongside these racks, Plato’s also features an out of reach designer section which includes high end pieces such as Fossil watches, coach handbags, certified sport franchise hats and other exclusive designer items at hundreds of dollars off retail.
A greener way to shop, the Canadian Clothing exchange has been built on an eco-friendly platform that encourages upcycling your clothes and reducing the waste we create by fl ipping our wardrobes each season. But the Canadian Clothing Exchange does not believe great style should be sacrificed when you commit to reducing your carbon footprint. Focused on extending the life of each piece of lightly worn clothing, this resale location is proving that thrift shops are better than traditional retail stores in more ways than simply the green way. Focused on the latest styles for men and women at no more than 12 to 18 months old, they offer their customers a wide variety of like-new trendy designer clothing, shoes, jewellery and hats at greatly reduced prices – up to 70 per cent off the original retail ticket. Organized by colour and size thrift shopping is made even easier to find what you’re looking for efficiently and without disappointment.
OUT OF THE PAST 340 St Paul St, St. Catharines outofthepastniagara.com Vintage clothing lovers rejoice, you're in luck in Niagara. One of the only stores where you can score a ‘90s tattoo choker alongside a Ramones t-shirt and a 1960’s ruffled tuxedo shirt, Out of the Past is a haven to all those celebrating the fashion, body jewellery and hosiery from the decades passed. Out of the Past hordes all sorts of one-of-a-kind treasures for both men and women from floor to ceiling and every spare free inch in between within their St. Paul street home. Some eclectic stock staples only to be found amongst their merchandise include twisted cartoon adorned t-shirts, ‘50s housewife circle skirt dresses, traditional ugly Christmas sweaters, Hawaiian button ups and vibrant patterned and tie-dyed everything. Prices range greatly and unique pieces can come with a hefty price tag; but all clothing is in near perfect condition. Out of the Past is also renowned for their sidewalk sale racks and front of house bargains – so make sure to ask the employee on hand where you should look for a deal. Hint before you venture in: don’t casually wander in without time to spare. There is so much to look at that it is easy to get overwhelmed and miss out on that perfect metal buckle pair of pants or motorcycle boots your wardrobe needs.
CONSIGNING WOMEN 600 Ontario St, St. Catharines consigningwomen.ca Find it. Love it. Own it. It is a simple tune at Consigning Women – a luxury fashion consignment store in St. Catharines that specializes in the resale of brand new designer women’s fashions and boutique merchandise. Redefi ning the sometimes scoffed at word used, Consigning Women believes the term consignment has nothing to do with the condition of an item. All merchandise is lightly used – if not used at all – and retails at a fraction of the price to mirror that use. All about that high fashion label, you will not f ind fast fashion or common, mass produced retail apparel within their store. And although this means their fashions come with a much higher price tag than the average consignment store – items range from $100 - $2,000 dollars – the savings on the original retail price still makes for something to write home about. Consigning women allows shoppers to ease their way into thrifting by showcasing an online inventory of their one-of-a-kind items through their website; helping women get a feel for the store and understand the price points and merchandise before they head out to scour the racks. Items commonly found on their website include iconic accessories and pieces including but not limited to Tiffany and Co bead bracelet, Dior sunglasses, Hermes silk scarves, Burberry totes and Armani wraps. All luxury products are unique and have guaranteed authenticity.
thrifting do's + don’ts HOW TO UNCOVER YOUR NEW FAVOURITE BARGAIN BUYS Vintage shopping does not come naturally to all of us. It is a hobby that can be intimidating, time consuming and discouraging while taking years to master; especially if you aren’t mentally equipped with the right mindset and preparedness to dig through countless pilled sweaters and outdated jeans before you strike gold. Fear not amateur thrifters; we’ve got all the tips you need to hunt the racks with a solid strategy. Pair these tips with optimism and determination and that twenty dollar bill in your pocket will all of a sudden be valued at much, much more.
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Don’t expect to love everything: Just like venturing into the mall, you’re bound to see plenty of items you would never dream of wearing. Just keep digging. Don’t set your sights on a single item: It is easy to develop tunnel vision when you have a specific piece you are dying to add to your wardrobe. Try to keep your eyes open so as not to miss out on another great find you may have otherwise overlooked. Do try things on: Hangers can be deceiving; especially when they are tucked away on a crowded bar with 500 other shirts. If a tailored pair of pants grabs your eye, try it on; make sure you actually love it before you take it home. Don’t get swayed by fancy labels: It is easy to be swept away by a designer label with a low price tag. Don’t let yourself be blinded by the name; take time to ask yourself if you really like the item or just the prestige that comes along with it. Do give yourself time to look: Don’t treat a thrift shopping excursion like any other day of shopping. Allow yourself enough time to thoroughly browse the racks and try things on. Professional thrifters are not born in a single day.
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CITYSCOPE If you are looking to find a gift that is truly unique, look no further than Port Colborne and Thorold where there is no shortage of quaint, high quality retail shops to choose from. Support small business; shop local. Shopping is only one of the many unique Port Colborne experiences, enjoyed by locals and shared with visitors from across the Niagara region and around the world. Tjis city on the Welland Canal at Lake Erie is a destination for ship-watchers, photographers, artists, cyclists, theatre-goers, foodies, and, you guessed it, shoppers. Block after block of independently-owned boutiques and restaurants offer an unrivaled range of fashion, accessories, antiques, décor, culinary fare, and gifts for everyone on your list. Find that perfect thing, for yourself, for those you love. “You found that where?,” they’ll ask. “In Port Colborne,” you’ll say. Come explore. Rediscover. Cheers! Thorold is a hidden gem in Niagara. Centrally located in the heart of the region, Thorold is the perfect shopping destination for those who don’t want to be overwhelmed by the tourists of Niagaraon-the-Lake and Niagara Falls. It offers up great restaurants, new and old with trending menus and rave reviews. Free parking is available on the street and in the two parking lots that open onto Front Street. And last but not least Thorold boosts several established and new boutiques and shops that offer a wide range of products perfect for any age group.
SPOTLIGHT ON SHOPPING IN PORT COLBORNE & THOROLD TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES
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A gallery-boutique of recycled upcycled handmade and fair trade fashion, accessories, art, and decor. You gotta shop here! We’re right on the Welland Canal, across from Bridge 21, in downtown Port Colborne. Always an adventure: for yourself, and for gift-giving. They’ll all say, “Wow, that is something else!”
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Come in and enjoy the fireplace in our private Custom Design Studio. Bring in your old or broken gold, and Ken will help you design a new custom piece. Browse our beautiful selection of fine gold, silver and diamond jewellery. We also offer watch, and clock repairs, engraving and appraisals, all done on site. Estimates and Jewellery cleaning always free!
A Raven’s Nest recycles and repurposes furniture and accent pieces to be reloved by you. We retail the Fusion family of all natural paints and Ce Ce Caldwell ‘s chalk paint.We love to inspire your creativity with our classes or customize your personal pieces. We invite you to enjoy our collections.
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LOVE HOCKEY? So do we. That’s why this holiday season we are offering 6 & 12 Ticket Flex Packs to see some of the best entertainment in the region – the Niagara Ice Dogs.
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SOME ENCHANTED EVENING By Jon Eben Field
WITH BEN HEPPNER, REBECCA CAINE, JEAN STILWELL, GARY RELYEA
ome Enchanted Evening, a performance of songs from musical theatre and operetta, features Ben Heppner, Rebecca Caine, Jean Stilwell, and Gary Relyea under the musical direction of David Warrack. These highly acclaimed singers have chosen to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada with a collection of some of the best and well-known songs and operettas from the same period. Drawing on repertoire that includes Die Fledermaus, Carmen, Merry Widow, Show Boat, Porgy and Bess, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, and Phantom of the Opera, these refined singers will dazzle you with the sublimity of their voices and interplay in their duets. Ben Heppner is known as one of the foremost tenors in the opera world and has performed some of the most important tenor roles in his lifetime. Possessing a voice of clarion power that combines lyrical beauty with dramatic thrust, Heppner has made his mark around the world singing a remarkably wide repertoire that encompasses the heroic roles in the operas of Wagner and Strauss, the classical works of Mozart, Beethoven and Weber, the Italian operas of Verdi and Leoncavallo, the French operas of Berlioz and Massenet, and the 20th century works of Britten and Bolcom. Heppner has appeared in virtually all major opera houses around the world. Among his early career highlights was
his unexpected Metropolitan Opera debut as Idomeneo in December 1991, replacing an indisposed Luciano Pavarotti. (Heppner was scheduled to make his Met debut later that season.) Since then, he has become a favourite of Met audiences. And if the opportunity to hear Heppner sing live wasn’t enough, two things in particular make this Enchanted Evening extra special. Firstly, it was presumed by many that he would never sing again. In 2014 the “gentle giant” of Canadian opera announced he would be hanging up his pipes after almost 25 years in the business. His health, family life and voice were all feeling strained and fatigued from constant touring. This wise decision brought happiness and a wide range of new opportunities. He’s the host of two popular CBC radio programs, has recently performed in his first-ever musical (Mirvish’s Titanic) and now has the privilege to collaborate with some of his favourite vocalists (which is the second reason why Some Enchanted Evening is extra special). Heppner commented, “It’s wonderful to work with artists of this level.” He went to describe the tremendous careers of the artists who will share the stage with him: Jean Stilwell, “Canada’s definitive Carmen”; Gary Relyea, “what a voice in so many roles, but especially Elijah”; Rebecca Caine, “the original
Cosette in Les Miserables.” Heppner’s excitement and respect for the other singers was palpable as he said, “It’s just an amazing thing. It’s a thrill.” That sense of respect for his fellow artists emerges out of what each of them brings to the stage when they perform. Heppner says, “Everyone brings a sense of integrity to their performances.” This integrity is coupled with the knowledge that “We bring a sense of sincerity to the music.” These two factors allow the singers to connect with the audience as they are performing emotionally complex and demanding roles. Finally, though, Heppner acknowledged that there is “the quality of vocal sound that a singer tries to bring to every performance” that takes these performances to another level for the audience. Music is a complex and mysterious art form that connects audience and performer in a synergistic manner. For Heppner, “Singing expresses emotions. It’s not always your emotion… But you get to express it as a singer, anyway. And it takes your emotions places that you don’t even go. It’s fun exploring that.” This license to explore emotional vistas outside of the purview of everyday life is an attractive and cathartic vehicle. As Heppner says, “You get to go beyond your normal everyday life and work at a different kind of level. And that’s what’s going to happen when we are in St. Catharines. We are going to bring the characters that we’re singing about to life.”
Food & wine event of the year
t’s time to embrace the season and enjoy Ontario’s liquid gold at one Canada’s most compelling and enjoyable winter experiences. Join us for the World’s Largest Icewine Festival January 27th, 28th and 29th, 2017 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre located in the heart of the Fallsview district in Niagara Falls. Sip, Savour and Sample your way through premium VQA white, red & icewines for just one price, from over 20 of Niagara’s wineries all conveniently located under one roof and just steps away from the Falls themselves. Choose any 1 of the 4 sessions available throughout the weekend. Each sampling session is three (3) hours, giving you the time to enjoy each sample offering from all of our participating wineries including Vieni Estates, Trius Winery, Inniskillin, Jackson Triggs, Pilliteri Estates and more. Upgrade to VIP and get over $50 in wine tours and a commemorative gift plus one (1) hour of additional sampling for just $15. Savoury dishes offered at multiple food stations by Niagara’s best Culinary
Masters will also be available, pairing perfectly with the wine samplings of your choice. Some of the area’s best performers take to the Festival stage providing guests with first rate live entertainment during each session of the Festival to add to your Niagara Falls wine and food experience. If the party gets a little too toasty inside, take a stroll outside and enjoy all that the winter season has to offer, complete with photo ops, ice sculptures, lights and fire pits where you can enjoy the one of a kind and world renowned Peller Estates Icewine Marshmallows roasted over the open flame. This is a terrific opportunity to get out with friends and enjoy winter in Niagara, sample a wide variety of the area’s finest wine offerings, and decide for yourself which Niagara wine is your absolute favourite. With early bird pricing of just $39 per ticket, this also represents one of the best values in all of Niagara. The Niagara Icewine Festival has recently been named one of Canada’s Top 50 winter experiences by flightnetwork.com. For more information go to icewinefestivals.com
Tickets available at IcewineFestivals.com todaymagazine.ca 77
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‘TIS THE SEASON HOLIDAY DINNER MUSICAL NOV. 16 - DEC. 17, 2016 | 6PM - 9PM OH CANADA EH? DINNER THEATRE Don’t miss this all-new, festive musical revue! ‘Tis The Season is a unique holiday experience, fun for the whole family and filled to the brim with festive music & nostalgia! Evening Dinner Show Performances: 6pm - 9pm. Select Afternoon Matinee Lunch & Show Performances: 12pm - 2:45pm. Show-only: $29.95 (plus fees & HST). Dinner & Show: Tickets from $49.95 (plus fees & HST).
FALLSVIEW CASINO’S CHRISTMAS ON ICE NOV. 17 - DEC. 4, 2016 AVALON THEATRE, FALLSVIEW CASINO RESORT A thrilling high-paced spectacle of world-class ice skating and holiday cheer, Fallsview Casino’s Christmas On Ice features national championship ice skaters, dancers and singers that will fill you with the magic of the season. Show dates and times vary. Please visit the Fallsview Casino website for more details. Tickets start at $25.00.
ONTARIO POWER GENERATION WINTER FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS NOV. 19, 2016 - JAN. 1, 2017 | 6PM - 12AM Join us for one of North America’s largest illumination festivals featuring millions of sparkling lights along an 8km long illumination route in Niagara Falls, with festive events like the Opening Ceremonies, the NEW Deck the Falls Holiday Walking Tour, and Laser Light & Projection Mapping light shows. >>
A FARMHOUSE CHRISTMAS DEC. 2, 2016 | 6:30PM - 10:30PM | WINDOWS BY JAMIE KENNEDY FRESH GRILL & WINE BAR LOCATED INSIDE THE SHERATON ON THE FALLS A fabulous Christmas dinner more like your great, great Grandmother used to make. Looking back into our history to bring a turn of the last century farmhouse Christmas feast to you in the modern elegance of the Windows By Jamie Kennedy Fresh Grill & Wine Bar fallsview dining room. A truly memorable evening, our Heritage Farmhouse Christmas is resplendent with all of the trappings of our past. Rates vary.
WINTER FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS - DECK THE FALLS WALKING TOUR DEC. 2 - 11, 2016 | 5PM - 10PM FALLSVIEW BOULEVARD Tour up to 14 hotel lobbies in the Fallsview District, each professionally decorated for the holidays by celebrity designers. Along the way enjoy photo booths, fun activities, games, craft demonstrations, live entertainment, holiday food, beverages and more. This selfguided walking tour is a must try for this holiday season. Admission: $35 + HST.
A MCFARLAND CHRISTMAS DEC. 2 - 4, 2016 | MCFARLAND HOUSE The garden Club of Niagara and Rotary Club of Niagara on the Lake invite the public to experience a Victorian Christmas at the historic McFarland House. Come tour the house for a lush Georgian Christmas with period decorations. We use all natural materials from local gardens in order to preserve and recreate the historical authenticity of Holiday seasons past. Homemade Christmas cookies, rich traditional hot chocolate, and historic mulled apple cider will delight your senses and tempt your palate while you tour the property. The property will be open 10am-4pm each day.
WINTER FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS FALLSVIEW LASER LIGHT SHOWS DEC. 2 - 11, 2016 | 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 & 8:30PM Laser Light Shows will once again enhance the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights 2016-17 season. Enjoy thrilling 15-minute Laser Light Shows and have fun with an Interactive Laser Booth as you take in the festival displays throughout the City of Niagara Falls! Admission is FREE.
SANTA ARRIVES BY TUGBOAT DEC. 3, 2016 | 1PM (PENDING SHIP TRAFFIC) WELLAND CANAL (WEST STREET) | PORT COLBORNE The only place in the world where Santa makes an arrival on the deck of a tugboat to our city on the Welland Canal. Walk with Santa to the Guild Hall for photos, crafts, festive fun. Presented by Downtown BIA Contact Dee @ Karma Living, 172 West St., Port Colborne 289-836-9761
2016 NIAGARA FALLS CHRISTMAS GIFT SHOW DEC. 3, 2016 (10AM - 5PM) & DEC. 4, 2016 (10AM - 4PM) SCOTIABANK CONVENTION CENTRE Enjoy this vibrant, fun marketplace celebrating the holiday season in style with the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas! Featuring great vendors, demonstrations, door prizes and bring the kids to meet Santa! Adults: $5 Seniors: $4 Kids 12 and under: FREE.
NIGHT FEVER: BEE GEES / ABBA TRIBUTE HOLIDAY SHOW DEC. 7, 2016 | 1PM & 7:30PM GREG FREWIN THEATRE Relive all the hits and classic Christmas songs from two of the most iconic 70’s pop bands ever to hit the stage! The close high harmonies of brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb have made The Bee Gees one of the most impossible attractions in music to launch a tribute to… until this show! The vocal match of this tribute band creates an eerie sense of seeing the Gibb brothers in concert. ABBAMANIA is a Canadian produced rock musical, which takes you back to the disco era of one of the best pop bands in history, features nine incredible musicians and singers. The four performers not only look exactly like the original band members they also sound unbelievably like them. Join the Greg Frewin Theatre in welcoming the holiday season with the special Holiday Edition of the Abbamania & Bee Gees Tribute Show.
‘SHREK THE MUSICAL’ DEC. 9 - 17, 2016 SCOTIABANK CONVENTION CENTRE Linus Hand Productions presents ‘Shrek the Musical’ at the Scotiabank Convention Centre. Shrek the Musical is a one-of-a-kind, hilarious fairy tale in which curses are reversed, monsters get the girls, donkeys and dragons find love, and princesses are beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Grumpy, gruff, green ogre Shrek lives alone in his swamp. The world is fearful and mocking of him, and he is more than happy to leave the world to itself, in turn. Suddenly, his hermit existence is thrown open, when a group of homeless fairy tale characters — Pinocchio, the Gingerbread Man, the Three Little Pigs, and more — burst upon his swamp, seeking refuge from the persecution of the cruel, vertically-challenged Lord Farquaad. Please refer to fallsconventions.com for tickets and any further details.
GRAND OL’ CHRISTMAS - 40TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL
FORT GEORGE GARRISON CHRISTMAS
DEC. 4, 2016 | 12PM - 4PM | PORT COLBORNE HISTORICAL & MARINE MUSEUM
Fort George will be the site of a family holiday event that will include activities, crafts and games for all to enjoy! Hot beverages and treats, as well as scheduled musket demonstrations will be provide. Call Parks Canada at 905-468-6614 for more information.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, cider from a kettle, make your own wreath, dip your own candle, brand a slice of wood in the blacksmith shop, traditional Christmas displays and exhibits for the family. Contact Michelle Mason, 280 King St., Port Colborne 905-834-7604
CHRISTMAS PUDDING & SAUCE WEEK
DEC. 10 (10AM) - DEC. 11, 2016 (5PM)
SANTA CLAUS PARADE DEC. 10, 2016 | 11AM - 2PM Santa comes to town. The town of Niagara-on-the-Lake presents one of Ontario’s best Santa Claus Parades, starting at 11am. Call 905-468-4261 for details
DEC. 5-10, 2016 |, 2PM - 4PM DAILY ARABELLA’S TEA ROOM, PORT COLBORNE HISTORICAL & MUSEUM
DEC. 10, 2016 | 7PM - 9PM
Enjoy homemade Christmas pudding and sauce, with fresh-brewed tea. A festive tradition in our Edwardian Tea Room. Contact Michelle Mason, 280 King St., Port Colborne 905-834-7604
The final Fall for the Classics concert—A Very Choral Christmas—will take place on Saturday, December 10 at 7 p.m. The concert features the much-loved Vocalis Chamber Choir, from Buffalo, New York, under the direction of James Burritt.
A VERY CHRISTMAS CHORAL CHRISTMAS
SPLASH’N BOOTS SHOW DEC. 11, 2016 | 10AM & 2PM GREG FREWIN THEATRE It’s time to dance with Treehouse TV’s, Splash’N Boots! Seen daily in their show on Canada’s number one pre-school network, Splash’N Boots bring music and laughter to 8.3 million homes across the country from their Big Yellow Boot. Nominated for a 2016, 2015 and 2014 JUNO award for Children’s Album of the Year and thrice crowned Sirius XM Independent
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Music Awards’ Canadian Children’s Music Group of The Year, Splash’N Boots are making a yellow and blue splash in the rich history of Canadian Children’s Music. What started off as a class project at Queens University has led to the release of 9 Albums, 3 DVD’s and televised performances with The Wiggles & Fred Penner. From Dubai to the Arctic, Bermuda, Australia, Italy and across North America, Splash’N Boots tour extensively to bring their high energy musical show to families around the globe. Described as Cutting Edge Children’s Entertainment by the Globe and Mail, this is a hilarious family concert you don’t want to miss! For tickets and further details please visit gregfrewintheatre.com
THE CURSE OF CLARA DEC. 15, 2016 | 7PM - 9PM NIAGARA FALLS HISTORY MUSEUM Join local filmmaker Vickie Fagan at the Niagara Falls History Museum for a screening of The Curse of Clara. When small-town girl, Vickie is accepted into the prestigious National Ballet School and selected to play “Clara” in the Company’s holiday production of The Nutcracker, things look like they couldn’t get any better. And they can’t, because that’s when Vickie finds out about the mysterious Curse of Clara. Thankfully,
she’s got a good friend, the 1972 Summit Series and an imaginary mentor (in the form of Phil Esposito) to keep her “on pointe.”
FIRST NIGHT- NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER & DANCE DEC. 31, 2016 | 8PM - 1AM The St Andrews Society invites you to a New Year’s Eve Dinner & Dance Kick off 2017, the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, with a traditional St Andrews Society Hogmanay party at the Courthouse in NOTL. Start time is 8pm and the cost is $75 per person. Get more info by contacting dlpenman@cogeco. ca or firstname.lastname@example.org or go to visitniagaracanada.com
VEGAS STYLE - NEW YEAR’S EVE 2016 DEC. 31, 2016 | GREG FREWIN THEATRE MUSIC BY JONSEY Join the Greg Frewin Theatre as they present a spectacular evening featuring International Grand Champion of Magic, Greg Frewin. You will be spellbound and amazed! We cap the evening to ring in the New Year with dancing to the classics of the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s with Jonesy - Ontario’s premiere pop/rock cover group. Covering bands from Maroon 5 to Fleetwood Mac, and >>
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Imagine Dragons to The Police, Jonesy manages to play the biggest hits from the biggest artists, pleasing virtually everyone in the crowd. Expect all the trimmings of a festive and exciting Las Vegas style New Year’s Eve. The evening starts with a cocktail reception at 6:30 PM. Indulge in our delicious premium buffet dinner starting at 7:30PM and our Las Vegas style WILD MAGIC Show will commence at 9:00PM. We ring in the New Year with Jonesy at 11PM as they play your favourite hits of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s! Book now for the BEST New Year’s Eve celebration Niagara has to offer! For Tickets and any further details please visit gregfrewintheatre.com Note: There will be a $15.00 on-site parking charge per car for this particular event. Parking fee paid upon arrival.
JEWEL JAN. 12, 2017 | 8:30PM FALLSVIEW CASINO RESORT With an esteemed catalogue of over 1,000 songs, acclaimed singer songwriter Jewel brings to the stage, at Fallsview Casino Resort, her biggest hits such as “Foolish Games”, “Who Will Save Your Soul”, “You Were Meant For Me”, “Intuition” and “Hands”. Buy your tickets at Fallsview Casino Resort’s Box Office (open Noon on show days) or at all Ticketmaster locations. For any further details please refer to fallsviewcasinoresort.com
XEROX “SUGAR AND SPICE AND EVERYTHING ICE” ICEWINE GALA JAN. 13, 2017 FALLSVIEW CASINO RESORT
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Famously considered one of Ontario’s most luxurious wine and culinary events, the festivities begin with the Xerox IceWine Gala which has helped to kick off the month of icewine for over 20 years. Since its inaugural gala in 1995, the event has helped promote VQA icewine and premium red, white and sparkling wines from over 35 local wineries alongside the Fallsview Casino Resorts’ top chefs as they create mouthwatering dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. The icewine festival says countless hours have been spent deciding on the theme for 2017 – with the team finally resting on Casino Royale to mimic it’s backdrop of the Fallsview Casino. The transformation of the Grand Hall sets the stage for a glamorous black tie affair; from the colours and textures of the décor to the masterfully crafted and seasonally appropriate ice sculpture centerpieces. Live entertainment includes music by Sandy Vine and The Midnights and piano great Frank Krahn. An auction will as well be held featuring items for bid associated with the Casino Royale theme.
DONNY OSMOND JAN. 13 - 14, 2017 FALLSVIEW CASINO RESORT Donny Osmond will be performing live at Fallsview Casino Resort for 3 shows only. With a successful career spanning over 40 years including a talk and game show
host, record producer and author. In the mid-1960s, he and four of his elder brothers gained fame as the Osmonds. Osmond went solo in the early 1970s, covering such hits as “Go Away Little Girl” and “Puppy Love”. Buy your tickets at Fallsview Casino Resort’s Box Office or at all Ticketmaster locations.
ICEWINE DINNER WITH JAMIE KENNEDY JAN. 13, 2017 | WINDOWS BY JAMIE KENNEDY FRESH GRILL & WINEBAR Celebrate Niagara’s “Liquid Gold” at Windows By Jamie Kennedy Fresh Grill & Wine Bar. Precious and sweet, Icewine is weaved like a gold thread throughout the menu which showcases the best ingredients Niagara has to offer. An exceptional blend of culinary delights and decadent Icewine leads to a fine dining experience designed to excite the palate. To reserve and for any further details please see fallsavenueresort.com/culinary
TWENTY VALLEY’S WINTER WINEFEST JAN. 13 - 15, 2017 | JORDAN VILLAGE This annual Winter WineFest brings together Niagara’s top winemakers, chefs and premium VQA wines. Offering great food, premium wines, sparkling and Icewine served outdoors on the streets of pretty little Jordan Village. Sample delicious wines from more than 20 of Twenty Valley’s premium wineries, sample craft ale & artisanal cocktails and savour yummy bites from our top culinary talent! Live entertainment and warm cozy fires will enhance the charming winter village. Being outdoors is what makes it so Canadian. For any further details please refer to 20valley.ca/site/ winter-winefest
SHA NA NA JAN. 17 - 20, 2017 FALLSVIEW CASINO RESORT Rising to stardom with their portrayal of Johnny Casino and the Gamblers in the movie Grease, acclaimed doowop rock n’ roll group Sha Na Na perform their hit singles such as “Alley Oop”, “Book Of Love”, “Teen Angel”, “Get A Job” and “At The Hop”, at the Fallsview Casino Resort Avalon Ballroom. Buy your tickets at Fallsview Casino Resort’s Box Office or at all Ticketmaster locations. For any further details please refer to fallsviewcasinoresort.com
SPARKLE & ICE DIAMOND GALA Courthouse, Niagara-on-the-Lake | January 20 | $95 + Tax Celebrating the wine makers and chefs of Niagara-onthe-Lake, the annual Sparkle and Ice Gala helps kick off the icewine festivities held within the historic old town. The event is intimate, with only 200 tickets available, but with intimacy comes luxury; each attendee is entered into a draw to win a diamond – to go hand in hand alongside the Sparkle and Ice theme. 28 wineries will host their VQA wines paired with inspired tastings from the Signature Kitchen Chefs who work together to cater the lavish event. This collaboration
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of kitchens includes chefs from world-renowned kitchens Bistro Six-One, Cannery Restaurant at Pillar & Post, The Epicurean, Escabèche Restaurant at Prince of Wales, Ginger Restaurant, Hob Nob Restaurant & Wine Bar, LIV at White Oaks, Peller Estates Winery Restaurant, Ravine Vineyard Winery Estates, Restaurant Oban Inn, Riverbend Inn, Tiara Restaurant at Queen’s Landing, Trius Winery at Hillebrand and Zees Grill at Shaw Club Hotel & Spa. Stations will be set up within the courthouse to accompany the passed around hors d’oeuvres allowing people to sip, sample, wander and enjoy live entertainment throughout the entirety of the night. The evening closes with a trip out onto the streets where NOTL’s IceWine Village will await. An icewine sample will then be enjoyed in a glass made of ice as fireworks are set off in order to toast the beginning of the back to back weekend events.
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CLAUDIO BAGLIONI JAN. 21 - 22, 2017 FALLSVIEW CASINO RESORT For two nights only, Italian pop legend Claudio Baglioni performs his award winning singles such as “Questo Piccolo Grande Amore”, “E Tu”, “Strada Facendo” and “Sabato Pomeriggio” at Fallsview Casino Resort! January - 9PM | January - 7PM Buy your tickets at Fallsview Casino Resort’s Box Office or at all Ticketmaster locations. For any further details please refer to fallsviewcasinoresort.com >>
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FLASH & PANACHE ICEWINE COCKTAIL COMPETITION Queen Street, NOTL | January 23 | free admission Niagara-on-the-Lake’s top mixologists compete in the much anticipated annual cocktail competition. One of the highlights in the NOTL village, admission is free, but participants are encouraged to sample and purchase cocktails after the competition to judge for themselves who should take home first prize. The competition is judged by visiting sommeliers and truly innovative cocktails have emerged from the event over the years – and later become staples on local bar menus.
ICEWINE VILLAGE Heritage District, Niagara-on-the-Lake | January 23-24, 30-31 free admission
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Niagara-on-the-Lake’s historic Queen Street transforms into an unforgettable winter wonderland as the town shops come together with Signature Kitchens and NOTL wineries to play their part in wine country’s annual celebration of icewine. Admission to Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Icewine Village is free but there will be lots of stalls and stations set up for you to spend your hard earned money at. Amongst the stalls, wandering musicians and entertainment will be present as well as local craft breweries and cider makers. “We are celebrating not only the icewine industry but the beauty of Niagara after the snow falls,” said Thomson. Warm up stations will be set up along the street with
campfires and chairs arranged that encourage leisurely lounging and enjoyment of the festival.
VOCA PEOPLE JAN. 25 - 29, 2017 FALLSVIEW CASINO RESORT Experience a symphony of sounds as the Voca People combine the phenomenal art of a cappella and modern beatbox without using any instruments, while seamlessly moving between musical genres. Eight extraordinary musician-actors bring a unique framework of comedy, music and theatre alive on stage at Fallsview Casino Resort. Buy your tickets at Fallsview Casino Resort’s Box Office or at all Ticketmaster locations. For any further details please refer to fallsviewcasinoresort.com
WHITE ON ICE DINNER Queen Street, NOTL | January 28 | $100 + Tax Held outdoors on historic Queen Street in an extravagant heated tent, this is the first year this annual event has been opened to the public and it has been very well received. This two hour event will feature live entertainment, VQA wines – including but not limited to icewine – and catered by Signature Kitchen Chefs. This year’s event will feature micro-meals as the culinary star instead of the traditional samples and hors d’oeuvres the event has seen in past years. “Rather than have samples catered around, the chefs will present a micro meal,” said Thomson. “This allows chefs to present what they do so well.”
New Years Eve
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