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1/2 price Kitchen Accessories & On-The-Go Meals from The Whisk & Ladle

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$20 for $40 Worth of Kitchen Accessories and On-The-Go Meals from The Whisk & Ladle

Some of the best things in life arrive fully assembled, such as motorcycles and newborn babies. Get dinner pre-put together with today’s deal: for $20, you get $40 worth of kitchen accessories and on-the-go meals from The Whisk & Ladle in Ridgeville.

Founded by Stratford Chefs School graduate Ruth Nixon, The Whisk & Ladle is a full-service caterer, kitchen store, and cooking school dedicated to the use of high-quality ingredients and equipment. Busy epicureans can pick up hearty meals—including family-sized lasagna drenched in slow-cooked tomato sauce ($38)—from an extensive On-The-Go menu to enjoy gourmet eats at home without hours of intensive cooking or spell-casting. Otherwise, they can pause a moment to browse a wide selection of sturdy kitchenware from brands like Le Creuset and Cuisipro, whose winsome wares can double as musical instruments for toddlers, Muppets, or Muppet toddlers. The Whisk & Ladle is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

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$10 for Three Artisan Baking Mixes from Grainstorm (Up to $23 Value)

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$10 for Three Artisan Baking Mixes from Grainstorm (Up to $23 Value)

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but to make it that far you have to be disguised as baked goods. Sneak yourself in with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get three different whole-grain artisan baking mixes from GRAINSTORM (up to a $23 value). GRAINSTORM’s organic mélanges feature muffin-, pancake-, and cookie-forging ingredients that are freshly ground and vacuum-packed for optimal consumption. Each easy-to-make and easier-to-eat recipe ($7–$8 each) comes fresh with organic and ancient grains produced by Grass Roots Organics. These nutritious dainties are free of nuts, including peanuts and CornNuts. Today’s deal is redeemable online (and does not include $5 shipping within Ontario or $10 shipping elsewhere) or at Evergreen Brick Works Farmers’ Market in Toronto every Saturday.

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$10 for a Wine Country Touring Pass ($20 Value)

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$10 for a Wine Country Touring Pass ($20 Value)

Grape juice magically transforms into wine in the same way milk becomes cheese and a 1972 Dodge Dart becomes an even older 1972 Dodge Dart. Tipple the tasty transformation with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get a Wine Country Touring Pass (a $20 value). Your Groupon can be used at all four of the following locations: Peller Estates, on John Street East, Niagara-on-the-Lake; Hillebrand Winery, on Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake; Thirty Bench Wine Makers, on Mountainview Road, Beamsville; and Wine Country Vintners, on Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The vineyards of Niagara’s wineries offer guests an inside look at their wine-crafting practices, including grape selection and cultivation. The full-day tour reveals all of the necessary steps each winery takes in preparing its signature libations, with each tour culminating in a wine tasting, sure to please the palate and nurture appreciation for the sacrifices of selfless grapes throughout history. To redeem this deal, simply visit the wineries of your choice and present today’s Groupon to frolic in the vinous depths of oenophilic education.

Live in Toronto? Here are a few tour companies offering tours to Niagara Falls from Toronto.

Famous Friday – Mark Visentin
Name: Mark Visentin
Birth Date: August 7, 1992
Place of Birth: Hamilton, Ontario
Claim to Fame: Mark Visentin will be the goalie for Team Canada in the 2010-11 IIHF U20 Ice Hockey Tournament in Buffalo, NY.
Mark plays for the Niagara Ice Dogs, currently has a 2.33 GAA, .921 save percentage, and a 13-4 winning record. The Phoenix Cayotes drafted him27th overall in the 2010 NHL entry draft.
He looks like a winner. He was a member of gold medal winning Team Ontario at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2009 and Team Orr at the 2010 Canadian Hockey League Top Prospects Game. Mark started playing hockey as a child in a backyard rink in Waterdown, Ontario.  His childhood idol is Curtis Joseph.  The one negative thing about Mark is that he is a Montreal Canadiens fan.
$9 for a Men’s Cut or $16 for a Women’s Cut and Style ($33 Value) at Unveil Salon & Spa in Welland

$9 for a Men's Cut ($18 Value) or $16 for a Women's Cut and Style ($33 Value) at Unveil Salon & Spa in Welland

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Early humans believed that hair was actually the tentacles of an octopus living inside their skull—an amusingly quaint notion now that modern science has proven it’s technically a cuttlefish. Indulge your inner invertebrate with today’s Groupon to Unveil Salon & Spa. Choose between two options:

  • For $9, you get a men’s cut (an $18 value).
  • For $16, you get a women’s cut and style (a $33 value).

The team of qualified coiffeurs at Unveil Salon & Spa confidently crafts stylish looks in the chic confines of their snipping arena. Stroll into the modern environs, outfitted with leather chairs and accented in cherry red, where a veteran stylist will consult with you on how best to luxuriate your locks. Unveil’s scissor-wielders are as comfortable using their fashion savvy to dictate the paring pace as they are accustomed to heeding and enacting a client’s visions of vogue, even if they include talking porcupines. Like the cleverest innuendos and ways to spend a rainy day, appointments are gently suggested.

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Canada, are you ready for Buffalo?

u20 canada

Canada has dominated the IIHF World Under 20 Championship. They have medaled at twelve straight times, including gold medal performances in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, silver medals in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2010 and bronze medals in 2000 and 2001.

Canada will play its first game of the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship on Boxing Day, December 26 in Buffalo versus Russia. This game promises to be a classic.

Team Canada’s line up is:

Goalkeepers
Mark Visentin, Niagara (OHL)
Olivier Roy, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)

Defencemen
Jared Cowen, Spokane (WHL)
Simon Després, Saint John (QMJHL)
Dylan Olsen, Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA)
Erik Gudbranson, Kingston (OHL)
Ryan Ellis, Windsor (OHL)
Tyson Barrie, Kelowna (WHL)
Calvin de Haan, Oshawa (OHL)

Forwards
Sean Couturier, Drummondville (QMJHL)
Jaden Schwartz, Colorado College (NCAA)
Zack Kassian, Windsor (OHL)
Brayden Schenn, Brandon (WHL)
Casey Cizikas, Mississauga St. Michael’s (OHL)
Quinton Howden, Moose Jaw (WHL)
Curtis Hamilton, Saskatoon (WHL)
Marcus Foligno, Sudbury (OHL)
Ryan Johansen, Portland (WHL)
Louis Leblanc, Montreal (QMJHL)
Cody Eakin, Swift Current (WHL)
Carter Ashton, Tri-City (WHL)
Brett Connolly, Prince George (WHL)

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A reading of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol


Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, December 14, 2010….Don’t be a Scrooge! Come celebrate the Season and honour Christmas in your heart by attending a dramatic reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, with musical interludes, presented by the Shaw Festival to benefit Bethlehem Projects of Niagara on Sunday, December 19 at 3 p.m. at St. Mark’s Anglican Church, 41 Byron Street, in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The annual presentation features Shaw Ensemble members Peter Millard as Scrooge, with Ijeoma Emesowum, Kelly Wong, Gabrielle Jones, Peter Krantz and Guy Bannerman. The Shaw’s Patty Jamieson, accompanied by the choir of St Mark’s Anglican Church, will sing songs of the Season.

Tickets are $12 for adults/$6 for children and are available through the Shaw Festival Box Office (905-468-2172) or at the door.

$45 for a Wine Tour & Guidebook from Crush on Niagara Wine Tours

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$45 for a Wine Tour and Guidebook from Crush on Niagara Wine Tours

Famed Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon was forced to forgo his quest for the mythical land of wine after an accidental tumble into the fountain of youth left him eternally underage. Take up his abandoned journey with today’s Groupon: for $45, you get a wine tour and guidebook from Crush on Niagara Wine Tours between the dates of January 2nd and February 28th (a $96 value including HST).

Oenophiles on the half-day Sniff and Swirl Tour crisscross the emerging wine region around St. Catherines-Niagara in a comfortable passenger van, stopping at four local wineries to sip sauvignon and to gaze upon rows of oak barrels with expressions of awestruck wonder. In honour of the annual Niagara Icewine Festival from January 14th–30th, tours will focus on the production of this sweet dessert beverage made from the hyper-concentrated must of grapes frozen on the vine or imported from Hoth, which will be available for tasting at one or more of the stops. Participants can keep building up ambrosial knowledge after the tour with a complimentary guidebook authored by Crush on Niagara owner and accredited sommelier Andrew Brooks, which includes descriptions of over 50 local wineries as well as wine recommendations and serving tips, such as “Pair a crisp white wine with fish” and “Dom Pérignon is best licked from the lens of a monocle.” Tours usually depart from Niagara-on-the-Lake at 1:30 p.m.; call ahead to reserve your tour and receive pick-up location details.

Missed the deal? Check out other tours of Niagara Falls from Toronto

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$20 for $40 Worth of Food and Drinks at Stone Road Grille in Niagara-on-the-Lake

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$20 for $40 Worth of Seasonal Fare and Drinks at Stone Road Grille in Niagara-on-the-Lake

If humankind never learned to play with its food, it would never have learned to play with its ingredients, and the world would be one bereft bowl of gruel. Taste the fruits of culinary creativity with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of gourmet fare and drinks at Stone Road Grille, located on Mary Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Stone Road Grille pleases palates with a seasonal menu that specializes in house-made breads, house-cured charcuterie, smoked salmon and meats. Current dinner appetizers ($3–$16) include a charcuterie plate populated by an elite team of cured meats, pates, salamis, and house preserves, while the menu of mains ($12–$25) boasts a grilled flat iron steak chaperoned by a side of garlicky beans. Lunch is also served and currently features a variety of sandwiches and main plates ($12–$14) such as steamed muscles & frites. Head chef Ryan Crawford augments his cook’s toque with the sommelier’s sequined pinafore, dispensing wisdom on a VQA Wine List composed exclusively of bottles sourced from the Niagara region. Gentle light suffuses the cozy dining area forging an elegant, romantic ambience that’s well suited for declarations of love, depositions of admiration, and disclosures of rashly bought alpacas.

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Niagara not just a day trip

Niagara Falls may be one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, but many visitors, even those from this country, just want to take a fast look at the water, buy some icewine, and head down the QEW to Toronto.
And that’s a serious problem, says Niagara Parks Commission Chairwoman Fay Booker.
“We have to do a much better job of educating people in our prospective markets,” she said during a Parks Commission meeting Wednesday morning. “We have to tell people there is so much more to do here. We have to keep them here longer.”
That will be crucial to the long-term success of the Parks Commission and the Niagara tourism industry in general. Commissioners heard a report during the meeting about travel trends, and the message was not good.
Visitors to Ontario from the United States, already in freefall over the past 10 years, are predicted to be flat for 2011 as the world still reels from the global recession. In addition, Americans travelling to Ontario will be impacted by the strength of the Canadian dollar and lower taxes in the United States – factors that also entice Canadians to forsake their own country for trips south of the border. more…

Up to 57% Off One Ticket to "Beyond Belief Magic" at Greg Frewin Theatre. Choose from Three Options.

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Up to 57% Off One Ticket to "Beyond Belief Magic" at Greg Frewin Theatre. Choose from Three Options.

Only a magician can pull a rabbit out of a hat, levitate a tiger, or vanish a Celine Dion. Enjoy illusions of grandeur with today’s deal to Beyond Belief Magic at Greg Frewin Theatre. Choose from three options:

  • For $16, you get one platinum orchestra section child’s admission (a $33.88 value), good Monday through Saturday nights.
  • For $27, you get one platinum orchestra section adult’s admission, good Monday through Friday nights (a $62.13 value).
  • For $31, you get one platinum orchestra section adult’s admission, good on any Saturday night (a $62.13 value).

Greg Frewin’s list of accomplishments—which includes winning numerous awards and playing to international audiences—is so lengthy even he would have trouble making it disappear. Greg makes jaws drop and heads scratch with a fast-paced, Vegas-style magical review. The sleek, lavender-hued theatre seats more than 600 patrons for a family friendly show that features unreal illusions and exotic animals, including Greg’s pet tigers, Boomer, Cashmere, and Shimira. As the curtain goes down, show-goers will leave the auditorium delighted by dexterous sleights-of-hand, which, like the actual spelling of Saskatchewan, will remain forever a mystery.

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New Year’s Eve with the Barenaked Ladies & Great Big Sea

Barenaked LadiesNiagara Parks is partnering with Global Television and Entertainment Tonight Canada to welcome 2011 with ‘New Year’s Eve in Niagara Falls’, a fun-filled evening in celebration of the coming year.

The nationwide fete is an ET Canada exclusive and will kick off at 6:30 pm with a 2 hour live broadcast from the Falls on Friday, December 31 beginning at 10pm ET/PT on Global. ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey and Rick Campanelli will lead the countdown and ‘rock in’ the New Year with special performances by Barenaked Ladies, Great Big Sea, Kardinall Officiall and up and coming Canadian talent Running Red Lights and comedian Calwyn Shurgold.

Kardinall OfficiallThis FREE New Year’s concert in Queen Victoria Park overlooking the Falls draws approximately 30,000 people to the Park, and this year is expected to be no different, so come out and celebrate with us and enjoy two spectacular fireworks displays planned for 9 p.m. and midnight that evening. This outdoor celebration also features food and beverage vendors, as well as an outdoor licensed area. As always, the presence of security and policing will be on-site to ensure everyone’s safety throughout the night.

Make an evening of it! Start your night off at Elements on the Falls Restaurant, with its unparalleled view of the brink of the Falls at the Table Rock Centre. During the show, Edgewaters Tap and Grill and the Riverview International Buffet, both located at Queen Victoria Place are your closest warm-up spots within steps of the concert stage. Stop in for dinner before the show or warm-up over a late night beverage, all while taking in the beauty of the illumination of both the American and Horseshoe Falls.

more…

Another scandal at the Niagara Parks Commission?

Recent reports in the Globe and Mail and local Niagara Region Newspapers have reported that Corporate Credit card expenses for top executives at the Niagara Parks Commission totaled  $400k between 2006 and 2009.  Among the transactions was a $1,800 nightclub bill, a $199 liquor-store purchase, plane fares worth $9,665 each, and a $10,729 hotel stay in London, England.

I understand that $400k is a lot of money for the average person, but this is not necessarily excessive when traveling on business. Corporations should pay for accommodations, food, and  hotels during business trips. What is your opinion? Is $400k excessive?

Buffalo Unbound

Buffalo NY, America’s 8th Most Miserable City

Forbes magazine ranked Buffalo, New York, eighth on a list of America’s 10 Most Miserable Cities, in this article Forbes.com. When former New York Times columnist Laura Pedersen saw this, she set out to celebrate the people and places that make Buffalo the Most Exciting City, in Buffalo Unbound.

Buffalo Unbound

BUFFALO UNBOUND, is Pedersen’s follow-up to her award-winning memoir BUFFALO GAL. In the book Pedersen captures the current renaissance in a humorous conversational style that would make former Nickel City newspaperman Mark Twain proud. Writing about the economic collapse and social unrest of her 1970s childhood in Buffalo, New York, Laura Pedersen was struck by how things were finally improving in her beloved hometown. As 2008 began, Buffalo was poised to become the thriving metropolis it had been a hundred years earlier—only instead of grain and steel, the booming industries now included health care and banking, education and technology. Folks who’d moved away due to lack of opportunity in the 1980s talked excitedly about returning home. They missed the small-town friendliness, and it wasn’t nostalgia for a past that no longer existed—Buffalo has long held the well-deserved nickname the City of Good Neighbors. The diaspora has ended. Preservationists are winning out over demolition crews. The lights are back on in a city that’s usually associated with blizzards and blight rather than its treasure trove of art, architecture and culture.

Stay tuned.  We’ll be giving away a free copy of the book in an upcoming contest.

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On This Day in Niagara Falls History – November 13

lifeLIFE magazine published November 1966 for $0.35, had a great article and pictures about the first time the American Falls was “turned off” by man.  The bulldozer in one of the pictures was supposedly used to clear  a pontoon float which had become grounded in 1959.

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Shaw Festival Castings for the 2011 Season

Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell proudly announced today the casting and creative teams for the Shaw Festival’s 50th season. This milestone season will run from April 7 to October 30 on the Festival’s four Niagara-on-the-Lake stages and will feature a dazzling array of theatre. See Shaw re-envisioned by both directors and writers, newly commissioned works, plays by a new generation of provocative playwrights, re-explored classics, returning Festival favourites and a special 50th season two-day event, The Speed of Ideas – A Theatrical Forum.

Alluding to the significance of this season, Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell stated: “Planning our 50th season has been an amazing journey – how to combine a celebration of our illustrious past and provide a clear vision for the future – showing that we are up and ready to be a vital part of the national and international theatrical conversation for the next 50 years! We are confident that the following plays and the brilliant selection of theatre artists, who will put their hearts and souls into bringing them to you, will achieve all of the above and most likely more!”

The extraordinary collection of Canadian acting talent has been assembled and all are poised to bring this landmark 50th season’s playbill to life. The Shaw warmly welcomes back 2010 Company members Michael Ball, Guy Bannerman, Neil Barclay, Anthony Bekenn, Kyle Blair, Donna Belleville, Wade Bogert-O’Brien, Norman Browning, Benedict Campbell, Krista Colosimo, Diana Donnelly, Saccha Dennis, Sharry Flett, Patrick Galligan, Jonathan Gould, Mary Haney, Deborah Hay, Patty Jamieson, Gabrielle Jones, Lorne Kennedy, Peter Krantz, Catherine McGregor, Patrick McManus, Thom Marriott, Julie Martell, Marla McLean, Jim Mezon, Peter Millard, Moya O’Connell, Laurie Paton, Melanie Phillipson, Gray Powell, Ric Reid, David Schurmann, Graeme Somerville, Ken James Stewart, Steven Sutcliffe, Wendy Thatcher, Jay Turvey, Mark Uhre and Jenny L. Wright. In keeping with the Festival’s emphasis on nurturing the careers of emerging theatre artists, participants of the Slaight Family Foundation’s 2010 inaugural Mandate Intensive — Julia Course, Ijeoma Emesowum, Robin Evan Willis, Billy Lake, Colin Lepage, Anthony Malarky, Craig Pike, Cherissa Richards, Louie Rossetti, Ben Sanders, Jacqueline Thair and Kelly Wong return, along with new members of the Company Heather McGuigan and Jonathan Tan. more…

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Winter Officially Begins at Niagara Parks!
View from Queen Victoria ParkView from Queen Victoria Park

Niagara Parks was pleased to officially welcome winter with the launch of the 28th Annual CAA Winter Festival of Lights this past weekend.

Visit us for the Niagara Falls CAA Winter Festival of Lights, Canada’s foremost illumination festival in spectacular Niagara Falls, Ontario – as we capture the magic of the holiday season November 6, 2010 – January 3, 2011.

The CAA Winter Festival of Lights turns Niagara Parks into a winter wonderland, with over 125 animated lighting displays and 3 million sparkling lights along a 5km route through Queen Victoria Park and Dufferin Islands Nature Area, as well as the new ice skating at the TD Rink at the Brink at Table Rock next to the Horseshoe Falls.

Noah's Ark - Dufferin IslandsNoah’s Ark – Dufferin Islands

There is no admission fee to view the illuminations but donations are gratefully accepted (suggested contribution ($5 – $10 per car), with proceeds used to enhance the lights and displays.

A wintertime visit to Niagara Falls during the CAA Winter Festival of Lights has become a family tradition for over 1 million local residents and visitors from around the world.  We invite you to experience the many events and attractions Niagara Falls and the Winter Festival of Lights have to offer including its newest attraction, the TD RINK at the Brink, opening for the season on December 1, 2010.

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This article was originally published here

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TasteCamp Niagara 2011


TasteCamp is coming to Niagara in 2011.  The concept for TasteCamp is a simple one: getting enthusiastic journalists and bloggers together in a region that is new to them to taste as much wine as possible and speak to as many winemakers as possible over the course of a weekend. Most smaller, lesser-known wine regions in the world would love to get their wines in front new audiences, it can be a challenge. With TasteCamp, the new audience comes to them. This is not a junket — attendees pay their own travel expenses — including for their hotel rooms — and meals. Through generous sponsors, some meals may be deeply discounted.

For recent information on TasteCamp follow: http://tastecampnorth.tumblr.com/

We also recommend the post by: Wines in Niagara

Oldest Photo of Niagara Falls

The image above, taken by Hugh Pattinson in 1840, is the oldest photograph of Niagara Falls. It was discovered just a few years ago at the Newcastle University in England in a box, marked “Daguerrotypes”.  The picture will be on display at the original location where the picture was taken.   Do you notice something wrong with the photo? The photo is laterally reversed. Table Rock can be seen on the left when it should be on the right.

Niagara Parks Commission Open House Meeting

The Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) is having an Open House Meetings to share a general overview of its operations and its impact as an organization on the local communities and tourism industry. This meeting will address upcoming issues and challenges prior to the Commission undertaking strategic planning later this fall.

WHEN: 6:30 – 9 p.m. Wednesday, October 27, 2010
WHERE:  Bridgewater Golf Course, 700 Gilmore Road, Fort Erie, Ontario

For more information call: (905) 371-0837