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‘Celebrating Our Traditions’ Mas Domnik 2018

Dominica Launches Mas Domnik 2018 Under the Theme ‘Celebrating Our Traditions’

Roseau, Dominica – (January 9, 2018) – The Official Media Launch of Dominica’s Carnival – Mas Domnik 2018, which took place last Friday, placed the minds of Dominican patrons and visitors alike, to comfort, as details of what is expected to be one of the most traditionally spontaneous Carnivals were made available to the public. Post Hurricane Maria, many Dominicans have set out to rebuild and reaffirm relationships with a determination that demonstrates Dominica’s event and cultural tourism product is alive and well. While the devastation suffered has caused us to make adjustments to the scale of the celebration, the need to continually embrace our cultural heritage is ever present. This enabled a captivating and exciting tagline for the 2018 edition – ‘Celebrating Our Traditions’!

Attendees at the Launch included Senator Robert Tonge, Minister for Tourism and Urban Renewal who presented the Feature Address, further expanding on the way forward for Dominica’s Carnival. Senator Tonge stressed the importance of Carnival by describing it as one of the most creative and imaginative aspects of the Dominican life. Senator Robert Tonge reminded the public of the economic benefits of hosting such a national event, “Mas Domnik provides a unique opportunity for our creative community – costume builders, song writers, music producers, seamstresses, tailors and performers of varying kinds to rise to the occasion and present their craft in a unique and distinct manner”.

Colin Piper, CEO of Discover Dominica Authority and Director of Tourism made a solid call to Dominicans both here and abroad to visit Dominica and experience a unique and spontaneous Carnival, the reasoning for it being dubbed ‘The Real Mas.’ Mr. Piper further strengthened the need to celebrate tradition, “Tradition means a lot to us and we intend on celebrating it honorably and safely.”

The launch of Mas Domnik 2018 came alive with other invited guests which included Mr. Raymond Lawrence – Chief Cultural Officer of the Cultural Division and Mr. Kareem Guiste – Regional Marketing Manager – Business and Government, FLOW, both of whom expressed assertiveness, commitment and just cause in working assiduously to ensure materialization of this national product.

The 2018 Carnival Calendar, though scaled down tremendously, still boasts six weeks of calypso shows, celebrations, parades and fetes for every age group.

Mas Domnik, The Real Mas, is considered the last remaining fortress of true authentic masquerade in the Caribbean, and will run right through Carnival Monday and Tuesday on February 12th and 13th, culminating on Wednesday February 14th 2018 with the Taway Vaval in the Kalinago Territory, home to the largest indigenous population of Caribbean peoples in the region.

BARBADOS’ 2018 Annual Event Lineup

Barbados’ 2018 Annual Event Lineup

There are many festivals, marathons and events in Barbados that make any time of year worthy of a visit. Visitors will be completely immersed in Bajan culture by checking out some of the events below:

Known as one of the Seven Magnificent Festivals of Barbados, this fun festival has showcased the Holetown region’s unique culture since 1977. From a variety of music performances such as Gospel, Classical, Tuk Band and Calypso and Folk Dancing, to The Queen of the Festival Pageant, there are many exciting features that make the festival a must-see. ​


Barbados’ equestrian season is popular for good reason – there are many incredible horse races on the island that stand out beyond any other Caribbean destination. The Sandy Lane Gold Coast Race is a prestigious horse race and attracts thousands of visitors each year and is incredibly fun to watch. Since its inception in 1982, international athletes have taken part in this race as the Gold Cup is one of the most sought-after awards in the equestrian world.


The charming, north-western Speightstown is filled with life and celebrations each Saturday in March. Visitors and locals come together to enjoy freshly prepared Bajan fare while dancing the night away with incredible entertainment. while enjoying the sweet sights and sounds of the hottest in Barbadian entertainment. Visitors can watch the sun set on the west coast and enjoy the incredible views, while taking in a unique piece of Barbadian life.


This week-long music festival has received international acclaim, with performances from leading regional and local reggae artistes. The 2018 Reggae festival includes the Reggae Beach Party, Vintage Reggae Show and Dance, Reggae Party Cruise and the popular Reggae on the Hill which takes place at the historic Farley Hill National Park.


Dubbed as The World’s Greatest Soca Party, Soca on De Hill is an annual event that brings music lovers together for a day of picturesque views on Farley Hill and incredible entertainment. Guests can listen to top local and international soca artists – past acts include Lil Rick, Edwin Yearwood, Stiffy and Marzville.


The most popular festival of Barbados, this months-long celebration honours the 200-year old tradition of the end of the sugar cane season with an exciting extravaganza of live music and traditional dancing. The festival now celebrates all that is Bajan with dusk till dawn parties, arts and crafts markets and culinary-driven street fares. The final week includes the island’s most colourful and spirited celebrations. Grand Kadooment Day, the final day of the festival, sees masquerade bands making their way to Spring Garden highway with revellers dressed in decorated costumes dancing behind music trucks and moving bars.


Headed into its 5th year, this jazz music festival is headed by renowned contemporary jazz saxophonist, Elan Trotman, to celebrate Barbados’ musical history and diverse culture. Past performers include Grammy award-winning artists Will Downing and Norman Brown, as well as Barbados’ “Queen of Soca,” Alison Hinds. The festival on Columbus Day weekend also includes fun for golf enthusiasts with events taking place at some of Barbados’ finest golf courses, including Sandy Lane Country Club, Barbados Golf Club and Apes Hill Golf Club.


Taking place in one of the top racing circuits in the Caribbean, Bushy Park, this one-day festival promises spectators an exciting day of circuit racing, drag racing and karting. This event is a family favourite that brings international racers such as Former Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button to take part in the activities and showcase Barbados’ love of sports.


Premiere surf competitions take place in Barbados over these four days as the island one of the best surf spots in the world. The beaches along the Barbados coast of Bathsheba will brim with excitement as these high-performance events showcase the best athletes competing for the top spot. The festival also has an Independence Bikini Contest, live music, local food, arts and crafts and much more.


Run Barbados, a marathon that began in the 1980s, is one of the oldest series of races in the Caribbean. From a 5k to a full marathon, visitors can participate in one of the hottest and most scenic runs in the world. The marathon weekend concludes with a Beach Party, filled with entertainment, food and drinks where runners, their family, friends, supporters and all the public are encouraged to come down to the Bay St. Esplanade for a good time.


For more information about Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. and their industry partners, please contact Tania Kedikian at +1 (647) 256-1916.

New exhibition opens on International Human Rights Day

New exhibition opens on International Human Rights Day
Free admission, Inuit drumming, curator talk on December 10

Winnipeg – December 7, 2017 — A new exhibition at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights brings human rights stories to life using interactive technology from different eras in Canadian history.

Rights of Passage: Canada at 150 invites visitors to peer through the lens of four different eras since 1867 to learn how people were thinking about human rights at the time. Projected wampum beads dance to the sound of your voice, shifting into designs created by art students at Winnipeg’s Children of the Earth High School. A dress made from wearable technology (fibre optic fabric, laser wire and LED lights) changes colours when you step on a hashtag. A Victorian-era “magic lantern” projects images of early human rights struggles.

Visitors can also tune in to war-time broadcasts on a period radio set, switch channels on 1970s vintage TV screens, or watch Instagram posts appear above shifting holograms. Indigenous oral traditions are also showcased as an enduring source of knowledge.

The last of four special exhibitions presented for Canada 150, Rights of Passage opens to the public at 10 a.m. on International Human Rights Day (Sunday, December 10), with free admission to the Museum all day.

An official opening event begins at 2 p.m. in Bonnie & John Buhler Hall, including drumming by Inuit Elder David Serkoak – who contributed to the exhibition as a survivor of the 1950s forced relocations of the Ahiarmiut people in the Far North (Farley Mowat’s “People of the Deer”). Curator Karine Duhamel and Design & Production Manager Rob Vincent will then lead a discussion about the new exhibition.

Earlier in the day, a Canadian citizenship ceremony takes place from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and the Winnipeg Youth Chorus performs in the Stuart Clark Garden of Contemplation from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Next to the new exhibition on Level 6, a family activity will be offered from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., provoking thought about the power of words, voice and oral history in affecting human rights. Participants will consider how their own history, culture, traditions and world views have shaped their perspectives.

Located in the Level 6 Expressions gallery, Rights of Passage takes a fresh look at events that influenced human rights at different times in Canadian history. It includes personal accounts of Indigenous Peoples’ efforts to resist assimilation, preserve a unique history and alter the path of the future. Examples of its diverse stories can be found on the CMHR web site.

The exhibition is divided into five zones:

1) 1867-1914 – Foundations and Dislocations. Designed with wood, newsprint, bill posters and lead type, this zone looks at issues facing the new nation of Canada and the First Nations who were already here: early workers’ struggles, colonization, social reform, fundamental freedoms and treaties with Indigenous people. A Victorian-era magic lantern projects images on the wall.

2) 1914-1960 – Transformations and Interventions. Designed using steel and industrial materials, this zone examines effects of the two world wars and the Great Depression. It explores stories of people taking action, use of state power to curtail civil liberties, the government’s policy of assimilation and the transformation of politics. A large, wooden radio plays replicas of broadcast speeches from the era.

3) 1960-1982 – Towards the Charter. Designed with plastic and 1970s orange-and-yellow details, this zone explores the turbulent years as Canadian society became more diverse. Its stories cover nationalism and pluralism, social security and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. TV sets from the 1970s play relevant newscasts of the day.

4) 1982 to 2017 – Human Rights in Contemporary Canada. Designed with LED lights and fibre optics, this zone looks at Canada’s expanding role in the world, the effects of national security on civil liberties, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and issues arising from digital communications, diverse gender identities and environmental challenges. A dress made of wearable technology responds to floor-projected hashtags.

5) Defending sovereignty. Designed with projection and graphics inspired by wampum beads, this zone looks at Indigenous rights through the lens of stories about forcible relocation, the burden of peace, effects of environmental degradation, inclusion of the Métis as Indigenous peoples, and the right to recognition. The interactive bead projection responds to visitor voices in recognition of the importance of the spoken word and oral traditions. Designs were created by art students at Children of the Earth High School in Winnipeg.

The Expressions gallery is generously supported by the Richardson Foundation & Family.

Toronto musician Gerry Shatford combines poetry and piano

Toronto music lovers will have a rare opportunity to hear “When I Sat Down to Play the Piano” performed live at Gallery 345 on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.

Inspired by the poetry of Al Purdy, the collection of compositions (several of which appeared in the 2015 feature-length documentary “Al Purdy Was Here”) will be presented by East York pianist and composer Gerry Shatford, accompanied by Neil Swainson on bass and Barry Elmes on drums. Toronto poet, editor and educator Paul Vermeersch will also be on hand to provide introductory narration for each of the pieces, reading the Purdy poem from which its inspiration was drawn.

Proceeds from this concert will be donated to the Al Purdy A-Frame Association which has overseen the preservation and restoration of Al Purdy’s historic residence in Ameliasburgh, Ontario. During Purdy’s lifetime, the house was a gathering place for famous Canadian writers including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, George Bowering, Lynn Crosbie, Dennis Lee, Margaret Laurence, and numerous others. The A-Frame Association continues this tradition by financing a residency program for aspiring writers.

Gallery 345 is at 345 Sorauren Ave. Tickets cost $20 for general admission, or $10 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door (cash only), and can be reserved by contacting

Farmstead experience on Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County, Ontario

After the four and a half hour drive from downtown Toronto we arrived at the Blue Hen Farm.  Right at the turn we saw an old cupboard filled with jars of homemade preserves and a sign “Honk for Service”…  And we saw the farmhouse in the opening between trees.

Farmers Jeff and Leslie greeted us and as we entered the house we were amazed by the old fashioned setting of the rooms – furniture, chandelier and even the old upright piano that produced some wonderful melodies after our evening meals…

Executive Chef, Costas preparing dinner for Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County


Leslie and Jeff used to live in Ottawa and have jobs as many of us do… The idea of farming came up after some changes in jobs and also as a result of research of the food industry, commercial farming and agriculture.

Executive Chef Costas

Later, after getting settled in our rooms we headed down for dinner made by Chef Kostas who came out to tell us about the ingredients he used in his cooking, the dinner was amazing and filling.

As farmers do every day after dinner, we went into the barnyard to help with evening chores.



We found all the work surprisingly entertaining; we unloaded some 20 stacks of straw that will be used as bedding for the animals, fed the calves and pigs, brought the sheep and goats back to the barn and herded the chickens into their coop.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

There was a special place where hens lay eggs, so we picked our breakfast! The eggs were dark and light brown, white and even light blue…

Once the chores were done, tired we went to our bedrooms; may be the mattresses were so comfortable or the day was long – falling asleep was no problem at all.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

In the morning we woke up around half past six to the mouthwatering smell of bacon and eggs…

Breakfast during Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

And after breakfast we went to the yard to do morning chores which repeats the evening in the back order – letting the sheep and chickens out,  showering and feeding pigs… and saying hello to all of the farm animals.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Evening chores during Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County


The goats are very young and new to the farm and don’t know the barn yard, so they we carried to the pasture  like babies!

Calf is sucking a finger, Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

Although all of the chores seem like quite a lot to do, they were our favourite part of the day. We also found that doing chores and waking up that early in the morning was very refreshing which was useful since we had a long day ahead of us. We found all of the animals so cute… and especially the three kittens that roam around the barnyard. There are also two dogs that help farmers by guarding  the barn yard from foxes and other invaders.

Leslie and Jeff ask that visitors do not  bring or wear any fragrances on the farm including mosquito spray, however they do supply their own free of charge so that you do not get bitten by pesky flies.  Leslie makes her own natural soap – I found it very smooth and took a little piece home as a souvenir. Around the house we also found natural fragrances, bug spray and soap – all handmade from natural ingredients that smell like summer fields…

Their mission statement is free range thinking, meaning all of the animals are free to roam the field and raised with no antibiotics or chemical supplements at all. “Being a novice in such a tedious business as farming should be challenging for city folks” – I asked… yes, and they learn every day.

We also had a chance to learn – about how to feed pigs and chickens and how to take care of sheep and goats;  we would join Leslie to let the animals out of the barn with the first rays of sun and get them all back in the evening…

For us it was just two days – but these days were filled with smiles and laughter, delicious homemade meals and that feeling of love and happiness…

After Dinner Chat

We took a lot of pictures that will remind us about this wonderful place and people that are so enthusiastic about  what they do.  Thank you Jeff and Leslie for teaching us some very basic skills that we miss in our city life!

So, time to leave The Blue Hen Farm… I think I  saw tears in some eyes…, we hope to come again.

Needle Felting with Peg Learn in Ottawa Valley

Felting with Peg Learn in the Ottawa region

Needle Felting  with Peg Learn

After spending the day in Almonte, we arrived at the Blue Hen farm for a felting workshop presented by Peg Learn ( Learn Creations). She greeted us with a big smile, hand holding a large red dragon made from felt pieces … Surprisingly felting is much easier than it may look; everyone was given a felting needle, a foam pad and of course some colourful wool. Since we are the beginners Peg suggested that each of us make a simple Halloween pumpkin. The process is started by taking wool strands and using the needle to compress the wool together by poking it and combining into a ball. The pad is used to rest the material while using the needle. It was quite entertaining and after we got the pumpkin form down we started customizing our pumpkins in different ways. I put a French mustache on my pumpkin while others placed eyes, and/or smiles..

Peg Learn

It was very fun and informative and we highly recommend it as something to do while in the area. Peg also told us about her experiences in felting competitions where the winner receives many pounds of felt, which means a LOT  of felting fun! And according to Peg ” It is the most fun when you can have stabbing something repeatedly and legally” … It was a great eye opening experience that made something that appeared hard quite easy to learn.

If you wish to learn felting and have really fun workshop with Peg, her contact is:

By Jonathan K.

Yamaska National Park, Quebec

To have a complete travel experience in Montreal area we decided to visit the Yamaska National Park, well known as a wonderful family escape whether you are camping, just came to enjoy the beach, like to hike or bike.
That morning weather outlook promised some rain and cloudy, so the beach option was not on the list, so we opted for a bike ride.

We did not bring our bikes, so had to rent – you know that feeling when you take someone’s else bike – I hope it’s good… – well, the bikes were not just good, they were great – all in perfect condition, had all the proper gear installed and ready to roll!

Parc National de la Yamaska,Granby, Quebec

The Yamaska National Park is located on the Choiniere Reservoir, is represented by great variety of trees, small animals and birds. The park was created in 1983 and is a perfect for all kinds of activities combined in one great location – boating, paddling, fishing for those who prefers to be on the water and hiking, biking, camping as an addition and for those staying on land. The water is very clear, we saw a lot of small fishes close to the shore.

Parc National de la Yamaska,Granby, Quebec

The beach is well equipped with water bikes, kayaks and paddle boards… we would be very happy to try them all, however at that time decided to go for a bike ride to explore the trail which is about 19 km and runs through he forest for some distance along the shore and later through the woods.

As navigation help we also got i-pods with map, detailed information about the location and some interesting facts about where we were in real time!

Parc National de la Yamaska,Granby, Quebec

Yamaska National Park
Address: 1780 boulevard David-Bouchard, Roxton Pond, QC J0E 1Z0
Phone: (450) 776-7182


From June 30 to October 15, 2017, discover MOSAÏCANADA 150 / Gatineau 2017, a major international horticultural exhibition that combines various art forms with horticulture. The theme of the exhibit will reflect 150 years of history, values, arts and culture in Canada, represented by some 100 different arrangements. The free exhibit will be in the form of a route extending over almost one kilometre. Each visit will last approximately 90 minutes.
On July 1, explore the Canadian Museum of History’s brand new 40,000-square-foot gallery, the Canadian History Hall! This signature gallery will trace Canada’s history from the dawn of human habitation to the present day. It is the largest and most ambitious exhibition project ever undertaken by the Museum. Authentic artifacts and stories are explored through various lenses, as visitors encounter the events, movements and personalities that have shaped our nation, and whose influence on our lives can still be felt today.

From August 3 to 27, experience Cirque du Soleil’s new show, VOLTA. It tells a spellbinding story about the freedom to choose and the thrill of blazing your own trail. Inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of action sports, the show weaves the adrenaline rush of acrobatics into a visually striking world driven by a stirring musical score. VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and the power of the group to make that possible.

From June 28 to August 30, view the exhibition À perte de vue, a major exhibition of large-scale works by 10 Canadian visual artists. The historic La Fonderie building, a remnant of Gatineau’s industrial heritage measuring nearly 58,000 square feet, will be the site of this unique exhibition organized by AXENÉO7 in partnership with the Centre de production DAÏMÔN and Galerie UQO, as part of the National Arts Centre’s Canada Scene festival. Admission is free!

What’s Up in Ottawa -Spring 2017 News

Ottawa Tourism
Not just tulips sprouting in Ottawa
Not just tulips sprouting in Ottawa
The year of celebration continues!
The year of celebration continues!
Fun ways to continue the party
Fun ways to continue the party
Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site
Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site
Tempt your palate with these delicious offerings!
Tempt your palate with these delicious offerings!
What’s shakin’ in Ottawa’s museums?
Get out and get active!
What’s shakin’ in Ottawa’s museums?
What’s shakin’ in Ottawa’s museums?
REVAMPED! Canada’s National Museums Passport
REVAMPED! Canada’s National Museums Passport
3 museums, 3 days, $30
Pedal power
Pedal power

16 weird and wonderful things to do in 2016 in WALES!

As Wales celebrates its Year of Adventure in 2016, VisitWales had highlighted 16 unique things to do in the destination – discover your own adventure! Choose from trampolining in a slate mine, experimenting with seaweed, catch some waves inland, find the world’s biggest Elvis festival and try to pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch…and much much more!