Thursday, 31 May 2012

Welcome Spring in Mabou

If you are looking for an enjoyable evening or entertainment, Strathspey Place is where you will want to be on June 8th, as entertainers come together to perform classics from Leonard Cohen, Kris Kristofferson among others, show tunes from musicals and our own Cape Breton fiddle songs. There is a great line up of local entertainers. So come on out for a great toe tapping evening, below is a line up of events, enjoy! June 8, 2012 West Side Performing Arts Cooperative Presents: "Welcome Spring!" An old-time evening of music for your entertainment. Songs and instrumentals to set your hearts singing and your toes tapping. Performances by musicians from the top to bottom of Inverness County. - Classics from Leonard Cohen, Kris Kristofferson and others - Show tunes from musicals like "April in Paris" or "Finian's Rainbow" - Cape Breton fiddle and favourite songs Produced by WeSPAC Directed by Diana McKinnon Music by Inverness County Artists Performers Include: Lisa Cameron Tyson Chen Jacqueline Doucette Barry Fougère Kevin Levesconte Brydon MacDonald Diana McKinnon Showtime: 7:30 pm Admission: $15 adults | $12 Children & Seniors General admission seating

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Tourism in Richmond County

Another week closer to the opening of the peak tourism season and I have been busy trying to get updated on what is new and exciting around the island. It is impossible to make stops at every tourism operation in the time allotted for the Destination Cape Breton Association Familiarization Tour. This year our tour took on a slightly different appearance with the tourism councillors traveling around the island by bus. This was not just a practical way to get the operators around the island, it was also a great way to get the most out of the travel time by having guest speakers on the bus filling our councillors in on what was happening in their areas. For example: Lloydette MacDonald and Ida LeLievere boarded the bus and travelled with the group from Membertou to Louisbourg, giving our councillors a presentation on Louisbourg ‘s Old Town- the story of the old Town, the first expropriation, the second expropriation, plans for Louisbourg’s 300th anniversary in 2013. Other presentations on the bus were given by Pearleen Mofford on what would be happening with Right Some Good , the culinary adventure on Cape Breton Island this season, and Katherine MacDonald from Golf Cape Breton made a presentation on the six signature golf courses on the Island. Alex Poulette did a presentation on Native Culture and on the Goat Island Project. Presentations on packages and events were also held at different locations around the island from Membertou, Louisbourg, St. Peters, Inverness, Chedicamp, Iona and Baddeck. It was a very enlightening trip and gave us an opportunity to meet with tourism operators and do some networking. The St. Peter’s Visitor Information Centre (VIC) will be opening for the season the 10th of June. Anyone wanting to make vacation plans are invited to stop in at the VIC and pick up our new travel guides. Also anyone wanting to advertise their festivals and events are asked to stop by the Centre and drop off your flyers and posters. The Visitor Information Centre’s around the island will be updating community events on our computer system to make sure that visitors to the island will not miss out and will be able to make the most of their vacation. Giving visitors the feeling they have had the best visit possible is the key to repeat business and getting great word-of-mouth. The staff of the St. Peter’s Visitor Information Centre would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of the Late John Boudreau, Warden of Richmond County. John will be sadly missed. He worked very hard for the best interests of Richmond and was a staunch supporter for the tourism industry.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Catch Night Fever in Glace Bay!

Back by popular demand, the producers of the Franki Valli, the Tom Jones show and Abbamania bring you, Night Fever/The Bee Gees with Dave Battah as Rod Stewart and Sonia Ndongmo as Tina Turner. Backed by the Abbamania band with the big sound, you will hear all the hits of Rod Stewart from 'Maggie May' to 'Hot Legs', the hits of Tina Turner with ‘Simlpy The Best’ to ‘Proud Mary’ and the best of the Bee Gees from ‘To Love Somebody’, ‘Stayin’ Alive’, ‘More Than A Woman’ to ‘You Should Be Dancing’ and many more. Don’t miss this two hour packed show at the Savoy Theatre. Showtime is 7:00pm with a few tickets still available at $42.00.

Dance Debut presents: Awesomazing

Dance Debut presents "Awesomazing" on Friday, May 25th at Strathspey Place. Dance Students from the Inverness County Recreation After School Dance Program, Port Hawkesbury Recreation Program and Chestico Museum Society Stepdance Troupe will combine their talents to honor the incredible opportunities of Stathspey Place. Enjoy an evening of incredible fun and entertainment as dancers as young as three and into grandparenthood share their talents in tap, jazz, hip hop, stepdance, highland, and musical theatre. For many students this was their first year of dance instruction, and it will be their debut performance. The cost for this performance is a donation to Strathspey Place to support the facility that provides rehearsal space, stage experience and a full theatre experience for performers across the island. We are grateful for the opportunity to showcase on such an incredible stage. Showtime is 6:30. Donations will be accepted at the door with general seating beginning at 6:00 pm.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

New Brunswick girl performs at the Cape Breton Fudge Co. Tonight!

MJ Cyr spent her childhood in rural New Brunswick. Too shy to even speak at age 5, MJ found a love for dance by age 10, and began singing in her teens. Eventually, she made her way to musical theatre school in Toronto - finding joy in playful collaboration. Showtunes soon led to singing originals, then accompanying herself on guitar or keys while experiencing the thrill of writing her own material. Her downtown apartment became an impromptu jam space; a welcome place for fellow musicians to create, and play together. In this environment, MJ quickly found her unique voice among the array of instruments, pedals, and recording equipment. MJ has toured extensively in support of her debut album 'The Bottom Line', across Canada, The United States, and New Zealand. Its messages, and themes proved universal, and captured the attention of college radio; and it wasn't long before MJ quickly gained a new audience through word of mouth on her stirring live shows. Tonight's show is part of her 2012 East Coast tour in support of her second album ‘Ladders’. Showtime is 7pm.

Tourism in Richmond County

Tourism is going full speed ahead with the tourism season quickly approaching. I have already seen RVs and cars from the US on our highways. They are our early visitors; wanting to beat the rush of traffic and crowds during the summer. And although they may be early for a lot of the entertainment, they are still able to take in the beautiful scenery for which we are now well known. Because visitors are starting to travel earlier, a lot of our tourism operators who run gift shops have already opened their doors for business, which is great to see. And events such as the Spring Food and Wine Pairing at the Bras d’Or Lakes Inn are taking place now in the shoulder season to offer guests an opportunity to take advantage of a class “A” event before the tourism season gets rolling. The Inn will be hosting the Wine Pairing dinner on May 26th with the reception starting at 7pm. More information can be obtained by going to the Bras d’Or Lakes Inn website at . This past Wednesday Destination Cape Breton Association (DCBA) held there Industry Day and Awards Dinner at the Delta in Sydney. It was nice to see so many old friends take time from getting ready for the busy season ahead to take in the event. Approximately 115 operators and members from the different municipality groups took in the event. Guest speaker Allan Clarke, CEO of Northern Ireland’s Tourism Department, gave an amazing and informative talk on tourism in Northern Ireland and the obstacles that they had to overcome to now have their tourism industry have a place in the vibrant international tourism market. Northern Ireland has worked very hard to create a tourism strategy that works and which is a building block for the rest of the tourism destinations around the world to learn from and grow. It was especially interesting for Cape Breton as we have a lot of similarities. It was also very interesting and inspiring to hear Mary Tulle, CEO of Destination Cape Breton Association, as she gave an overview of Destination Cape Breton’s Tourism Strategy for the upcoming year. Tulle has come a long way in restructuring the association and regaining the confidence of tourism operators from all around the island. This was apparent from the number of tourism operators in attendance from all areas of the island and the amount of applause that she received on conclusion of her presentation. It will be very interesting to see if this season’s tourism numbers reflect the implementation of the strategy. As Cape Bretoners, we can take pride in the face that our island was named #1 in North America and #3 as an island as a travel destination and we now have a tourism Association that is setting the pace for other tourism departments to follow. Congratulation to Tulle and her team of hard working and dedicated professionals, who are keeping us in the forefront of the tourism market.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Wine Pairing Dinner in St. Peter's

The Annual Spring Wine Pairing Dinner at the Bras d’Or Lakes Inn will take place at 7pm on May 26th. You will definitely want to book you tickets early as not to be disappointed. The Bras d’Or Lakes Inn is renowned for its gourmet dining and when you combine Chef Jean Pierre’s dishes with some of the best wines of Nova Scotia it is an event you will not want to miss. I have just received some great news on a brand new contest that the Bras d’Or Lakes Inn is offering. Now you have the opportunity to win 2 seats at the Annual Spring Wine Pairing Dinner at the Inn. The prize for this contest is worth over $400.00. And all you have to do is go to their website and enter. Below is the information I received on the contest so enter soon for an opportunity to win an exciting dining experience plus deluxe accommodations and more. Good Luck! Hello Valued customer: Enter and Win: 2 seats at the Spring Wine Pairing Dinner, plus deluxe accommodations, and more... Chef JP and his culinary team at the Bras d’Or Lakes Inn have planned a marvelous 5 course dinner, paired with some of Nova Scotia’s most interesting wines. Enter now to win 2 seats for you and a special guest. As a special treat, you'll be seated with our sommelier and guide for the evening Jonathan Wilson. This prize package valued at over $400 also includes deluxe overnight accommodations for two, and a private gourmet breakfast with the Chef. Arrive early on Saturday to explore St. Peters and area with kayaks or bicycles provided by the Inn. The annual Spring Wine Pairing Dinner will be held Saturday, May 26, 7:00 p.m., Check out the menu below. Don't delay booking your seat, if you win we'll refund the purchase price. Good Luck!!! Spring Wine Pairing Experience Annual FOOD & WINE MENU Reception 7 p.m. Opening remarks by Jonathan Wilson Wine Benjamin Bridge Nova Salad Course Lyonnaisse Salad Poached Oulton Farm’s Fresh Quail Eggs Frisée Greens Endive Herbs Bacon Lardons Brioche Croutons Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette Wine Grand Pre Verrazano Rosé Small Entree Cajun Spice Rubbed Sustainable Blue Aquiculture Farmed Sea Bass Wild Rice Asparagus, Tomato Concásée Chive Butter Wine Luckett Vineyards Ortega Palate Refresher Farmers Market Fresh Rhubarb Sorbet Main Course Oven Roasted Squab - Grand Veneur Sauce Spring Medley of Peas, Baby Carrots and French Green Beans Lorette Potatoes Wine Jost Trilogy Dessert Course Dessert Duo Lemon Meringue Tart (Green House Co-op Ltd.’s) Lemon Verbena Infused Blueberry Sauce Chef Jean Pierre’s Swan Éclair Dark Chocolate Sauce & Raspberry Coulis Wine Gaspereau Vineyards Port

Friday, 18 May 2012

Savour Food & Wine at Centre 200 Tonight!

What a way to start of the tourism season! Savour Food & Wine Cape Breton is back. And you will definitely want to be there. Don’t miss out get your tickets now!!! Enjoy the savour from the very best chefs the island has to offer. I am especially proud to see that St. Peter’s Renowned Chef Jean Pierre of The Bras d’Or Lakes Inn will be in attendance. Savour Food & Wine Cape Breton - Centre 200 - 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Chef Jean Pierre Guillet of the Bras d’Or Lakes Inn in St. Peter’s and his expert team will be there. An annual showcase of restaurants, wines and beverages, Savour brings together chefs, cooks, sommeliers and other professionals to present the best in culinary Nova Scotia has to offer. Event goers will have the opportunity to visit each booth, tasting what has been prepared for them for the evening, tantalizing their taste buds and discovering the culinary scene that is Cape Breton. Chef Jean-Pierre and his culinary team are taking part in: in the Savour food & wine Show at Centre 200 on May 17th from 7 - 9:30pm. Stop by to say hi. Tickets are only $59 plus tax. For more information click HERE or call 902-429-5343 or Destination Cape Breton (902)536-4636

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Tourism in Richmond County

A Quirky Look @ Richmond County took place at the East Richmond Education Centre on May 3rd to a full house. Hank Middleton’s rendition of what Richmond County looked like through the years was a hit. With students and staff of the education centre taking part in the skits and musical numbers it was truly an enjoyable event. Pauline Seymour’s portrayal of Morrison’s Store’s Greeter, Mary Morrison had the audience in fits of laughter. Gaye Middleton’s rendition of Ode to the Island accompanied by Kari Lynn Middleton and Pauline Seymour was amazing. Students of EREC did a delightful performance of “Elvis Lives In Sampsonville” with Elvis actually making an appearance for the performance to the enjoyment of students and the audience alike. At the start of the production Hank Middleton spoke on the importance of the music and arts program for children in the school and that it is important for parents to fight to keep these programs in place. Also during the program Hank Middleton introduced Greg Silvers chairperson for the Music Camp on the Canal who announced the winner of the 1st Music Camp Music Bursary which was ECRC student Nicholas Burke. The funding for the 1st bursary was provided by The Roddy MacKenzie Square Dance Society and the selection of the student was made by the music teaching staff at the EREC. The bursary recognizes a well known square dance caller from the St. Peter’s area, Roddie MacKenzie, who was highly respected for his enthusiasm and commitment to ‘getting the steps straight’, and for his strict 4-couple, 4-figure patterns. Richmond County is adding a new feature for tourism’s Spring shoulder season, promoting music to our upcoming entertainers. The first ever Music on the Canal Camp will take place on the weekend of June 1, 2, and 3rd. Registrations are being taking for the camp, which will include a full weekend of workshops in guitar with JP Cormier, song writing with Hank Middleton, mandolin with Darren MacMullen, fiddle with Anthony Rissesco , tin whistle with Paul Davis, and banjo with Roger Stone. Luthier Johannes Sturm will be on hand to help players with their stringed instrument adjustments and minor repairs. There will also be a square dancing workshop, along with jam sessions, a concert and some great food. Music, especially traditional Celtic music which Cape Breton Island is known for, is a much sought after element by tourists to the area. It is nice to see our entertainers taking an active part in keeping the tradition alive. This will certainly have not only entertainment benefits, but economic benefits in the future. Until next week, I hope you have fun exploring Richmond.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

MacDonald Country Inn in St. Peter’s Opens Tonight

The restaurant at the MacDonald Country Inn located in St. Peter’s in opening for its Spring season. The hours for the restaurant will be Saturday and Sunday 8am to 1:30pm and 4:30pm until 7:30pm. Closed Monday and opened Tuesday to Friday from 4:30pm until 7:30pm. The Inn is offering a great Mother’s Day Menu for all those want to treat their moms to a day away from the kitchen. Mother’s Day Menu Mother’s Day Brunch served from the breakfast menu with a special to be announced will be offered from 8am to 12pm. Mother’s Day Specials being offered from 11am until 7:30pm… All specials served with tea or coffee and dessert. Lobster Pasta …..$23.99 plus tax Roast Beef Dinner.$16.99 plus tax Sea Food Bake…$19.99 plus tax

Friday, 11 May 2012

Mother’s Day at Louie’s Cosy Corner

What would be the perfect gift for your mom on her special day. One idea which is always a hit is a day away from cooking meals. So why not give her a gift she would really enjoy and take her out for a delicious meal at Louie’s Cosy Corner. Here is the Mother’s Day menu for Louie’s on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day Menu Surf & Turf… Striploin Steak with you choice of scallops or lobster plus choice of side, tea or coffee, & dessert for $29.95 + Taxes. Grilled Haddock… Served with choice of side, tea or coffee, and dessert for $15.95 + taxes. Roast Turkey Dinner… with all the trimmings, tea or coffee, and dessert for $14.95 + taxes. #6 Chinese Combo… Egg Roll, Fried Rice, Beef & Broccoli, choice of sweet & sour chicken or honey garlic ribs, tea or coffee, & dessert for $16.95 + taxes. Lasagna & Caesar with tea or coffee & dessert for $16.95 + taxes. Kid’s Menu (includes Small Beverage) Spaghetti & Meat sauce… $6.99 Hamburger & Fries… $6.99 Clam Strip & Fries…$6.99 Grilled Cheese & Fries…$5.95 Fish & Chips…$6.99 Chicken Fingers & Fries…$6.99 Hot Dog & Fries…$5.75 Chinese Platter… $6.99 Mother’s Day Buffet… Rolls & Butter Strawberry Spinach Salad Honey Caesar Salad Potato Salad Cole Slaw Sliced ham Sliced Turkey Fish Chowder Barbecue Chicken Fried Rice Stir Fried Vegetables Honey Garlic Meatballs Egg Rolls Pork Tenderloin Salmon in Dill Sauce Tea or Coffee & Dessert $18.95 + Tax

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Measha Brueggergosman Performs at the Savoy

May 11, 2012 the Savoy Theatre presents Juno award-winning Canadian singer Measha Brueggergosman. Brueggergosman reveals Canadian tour dates & album details. 'I've Got A Crush On You' which came out on April 17 on Kelp Records. Measha highlights some of Canada's best songwriters; Leslie Feist's 'Cicadas and Gulls', Ron Sexsmith's 'Secret Heart', Joni Mitchell's 'Both Sides, Now' (performed initially with Joni in attendance at the induction ceremony for the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame) and Lennie Gallant's 'Tonight I Drive You Home.' The album also features a brand new duet co-written and performed by David Myles and Measha called 'Whole To My Half.' A quick look at the chosen songs reveals the soprano's love for American songbook standards; a title track by the Gershwins, 'I've Got A Crush On You' as well as their quintessential love song 'Embraceable You' sits beside the Cole Porter lament 'Miss Otis Regrets' and Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner's 'I Could Have Danced All Night.' She also includes a version of Errol Garner's 'Misty.' Spirituals and traditional songs which highlight both the power and presence and the delicate nature of Brueggergosman's voice round out the track-listing including one of her personal favorites 'I Come To The Garden' (C.Austin Miles), Spanish cancione 'Nana' (Manuel de Falla), the traditional Acadian tune 'Partons La Mer Est Belle' (featuring a duet with Lennie Gallant) and the rousing spiritual 'Ride On King Jesus.' Measha Brueggergosman is supported by Musical Director Aaron Davis (piano), Robert Piltch (guitar), Marty Melanson (bass), George Koller (bass), John Johnson (woodwinds), Chris Mitchell (woodwinds), Davide Direnzo (drums), Dave Burton (drums) and the horn section from Halifax's Mellotones. Featured guest vocalists include Lenny Gallant and David Myles. Showtime is 7:30pm - Tickets $53.50

Friday, 4 May 2012

Live theatre in Mabou Tonight

The River Hill Players Production of Idyll Gossip by playwright Carol Sinclair will take place tonight and tomorrow at Strathspey Place in Mabou. The show will be directed by Tom Ryan and the cast will include April MacDonald, Bertha MacLean, Chlory MacLean, Cindy O’Neill and Nancy Hilton, with musicians Keegan Campbell and Mike Murdock. The productions relays the dillema of five women and their undertakings, as to: What do a fisherman’s wife, substitute teacher, shopkeeper, fish plant worker and an old lady have in common? Except the fact that they are all women and living in rural Nova Scotia with nothing and nothing to lose? “Nothing! ”Husbands, children, egos and occupations are tossed in the wind when they decide to form a band and take it on the road. Join in the laughter, fun and total chaos when the band goes electric. Showtime for the production is 7:30pm and tickets are $15.00 (no discounts) and the event will have assigned seating.

Velo to Host 1st Annual Lobster Roll Relay June 17,2012

I received this very interesting update from Jacques at Velo Cape Breton and I want to pass it along to all cycling enthusiasts. Make sure to mark June 17th on your calendar as a day to take part in this Velo event. Please go to Velo's Facebook page of the Lobster Roll Relay to stay abreast of all developments, registration, participants, entertainment, friends' chat, etc. Or visit their webpage; you can click on their link from our blog. Get out and enjoy the fresh air, exercise and great scenery while enjoying a day of cycling with Velo. It's OFFICIAL, the First Annual Lobster Roll Relay will take place on June 17, 2012. This is a one-day "friendraising" ride along the beautiful rockbound coast of Cape Breton Island. Lobster Roll is actually four legs of approx. 25km each for a total of 100km. One can do it solo, or make up a team of up to 4 people to cover the distance.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Tourism in Richmond County

The Saltscapes Travel Expo took place at Expedition Park in Halifax this past weekend. Staff from the St. Peter’s Visitor Information Centre were in attendance, as part of the Destination Cape Breton Association delegation, to promote the area. This was the 8th year for the Saltscapes Travel Expo and DCBA has been there every year to vie for the traveler’s attention. This year, DCBA passed out their new Visitor Experience and Events Booklet to showcase what our beautiful island destination has to offer this season. The Expo drew a lot of attention from people all over the Atlantic Provinces who were planning their upcoming vacations. From all indications many of the visitors we spoke to are no longer looking to travel long distances for their vacations, but are looking closer to home to find the perfect vacation spot. The Expo featured presenters from all the Atlantic Provinces, so it was important that Cape Breton made its presence felt as an important part of the Nova Scotia Tourism Industry. But it was not only the Atlantic Provinces that were in attendance. We also had tourism groups in attendance from the eastern seaboard of the US, as well as exotic foreign destinations. Cape Breton Island was a very sought after destination, due to all the accolades it has received of late; being named # 1 Island destination in North America and # 3 Island destination in the world, also given the most romantic destination designation, as well as the Cabot Trail being called the most scenic travel way by motorcycle riders, the Bras d’Or Lake receiving the designation as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, just to name a few. It is no wonder that we had so many visitors coming by our booths to pick up information on Cape Breton. Besides the travel section of the Expo, there were numerous displays and presenters offering information on many different topics from gardening to outdoor adventure equipment to photography and crafts and jewellery to food and beverage displays. This was definitely a show with something for everyone’s interest. The weather is getting more seasonal and with the nicer weather, we are able to get out and enjoy our outdoor activities. Richmond has some great hiking trails around the county, as well as great beaches to do some beachcombing on. If you would like to walk while staying in the village, you can check out the walking track located by the East Richmond Education Centre. For entertainment, there are lots of events taking place in Richmond for your enjoyment. Set aside the evening of May 3rd to take in the East Richmond Education Centre production of “A Quirky Look at Richmond County”, featuring a cast of students from grade 5-8 with presentations from grades primary–6 as well as special guests, which will include fiddlers Dara MacDonald, McKayla MacNiel, Emily and Kari Middleton, as well as Jason MacDonald and a special appearance by Alisdair Lanyon, and the pit band which includes Hank Middleton, Greg Middleton, Tyan O’Connell and Eric Middleton. The show is sure to be enjoyable with skits being presented on Richmond County, some historical based and some comedic. I am especially excited to see the antics that take place at the Visitor Information Centre which will include grade seven student Haley MacRae as a visitor to the area. Showtime is 6pm, admission $5.00 at the door. Come out and support the amazing work done by staff and students as well as volunteers who worked so hard to put this production together. Until next week, enjoy exploring Richmond and the great variety of entertainment it has to offer.