Christmas concert at Compass Point Bible Church this Saturday.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

November 19th, 2018



The Burlington New Millennium Orchestra conducted by maestro Charles Cozens, is performing at Compass Point Bible Church, 1500 Kerns Road, on  Saturday, November 24th, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

Compass Point Bible ChurchTickets are $49 Premium, $39 Adult and $22 Youth 18 and under.
Available through our website or call 416.616.1098

The Burlington New Millennium Orchestra (BNMO) is a professional orchestra comprised of highly respected musicians and talented soloists whose performances are comparable to those of the Canadian Opera Company, the Metropolitan Opera and other leading orchestras.

Charles Cozens: arranger, composer and orchestrator
Charles Cozens is the driving force of the Burlington New Millennium Orchestra a contemporary chamber orchestra specializing in a broad based non-classical repertoire. Highly acclaimed as an arranger, composer and orchestrator he is best known for his compelling symphony shows, featuring arrangements for full orchestra performed by artists that include Sir Elton John, Randy Bachman, The Nylons, Mark Masri and more. He is also an accomplished orchestral and theatrical conductor, pianist, accordionist, and CD producer.

Family Holiday Concert
The evening also includes celebrated guests Lindsay Barrett, Soprano; Peter Barrett, Baritone; Internationally acclaimed Hamilton Children’s Choir and Simone Caruso, Soprano plus a special appearance from Santa Claus!

Lindsay Barrett – Soprano
Lindsay Barrett attended the University of Toronto’s Opera School receiving the Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Scholarship. Her credits include performances with Off Centre Music; Saskatoon Opera; Highlands Opera Studio; and U of T Orchestra. Lindsay is currently an artist with the Canadian Opera Company.

Peter Barrett – Baritone
Recipient of the Ian Rosenblatt Bursary at the Wexford Festival in Ireland and a top prize winner in the Montreal International Music Competition, baritone Peter Barrett is one of Canada’s most important new faces on the opera and concert stage.

Peter Barrett has performed with the Canadian Opera Company, Newfoundland Symphony, Brooklyn Academy, Metropolitan Opera, Minnesota Opera, Opera Hamilton, Newfoundland Symphony and Vancouver Opera.

Hamilton Children’s Choir
Hamilton Children’s Choir, enjoys its reputation for being one of the leading children’s choral programs in the world. Going far beyond technical excellence, the choir lead by Music Director, Zimfira Poloz, consistently dazzles audiences with its focused sound, brilliant repertoire, and captivating stage presence.

Celebrating over 40 years of choral singing, the Hamilton Children’s Choir has grown to include six choral groups and approximately 200 young singers aged 3 to 18. The HCC’s Ilumini choir has shared the stage with world renowned international artists, including Celine Dion at the 1999 Juno Awards and more recently, internationally acclaimed a capella group, Rajaton.

In addition, HCC is an active part of the thriving local arts community, performing with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Bach Elgar Choir, the Toronto Northern Lights, TorQ, Chorus Niagara, Young Voices Toronto and the Canadian Male Orpheus Male Choir.

The HCC has also performed at the Choirs & Organ Concert at Roy Thomson Hall, enjoyed special performances at the Haida Celebration, Ontario Sings, and at Hamilton TiCats games.

Simone Caruso
Simone Caruso, started singing, dancing and playing piano at the age of nine. She then went on to achieve all her Royal Conservatory of Music certifications, performed for five years with the Hamilton Children’s Choir, beat out more than 130 competitors for a spot at the 2009 Canadian Youth Talent Competition and become a finalist for Hamilton Teen Idol.

In 2017, Simone Caruso launched her debut album. Described as a “classical crossover,” Only Love is a mix of both original and previously recorded songs, compiled with the assistance of Juno nominated arranger/composer Charles T. Cozens.

BNMO_LogoPurpleBNMODon’t Miss this amazing concert!
The concert is at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, November 24th, 2018 at Compass Point Bible Church, 1500 Kerns Road, Burlington, Ontario L7P 3A7.


Tickets are $49 Premium, $39 Adult and $22 Youth 18 and under.
Available through our website or call 416.616.1098

Burlington New Millennium Orchestra present unique concerts featuring talented professional performing artists from the local, national and international arts communities. BNMO present a fusion of cutting-edge digital music technology integrated with traditional instrumentation that redefines the concert going experience.

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Royal Botanical offers a full schedule of events - a Brunch with Santa is different.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 19th, 2018



Holiday magic returns Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) with Holiday Traditions, RBG’s annual seasonal celebration, entertaining visitors from Saturday, November 17th to January 6th.

North Pole adventures at Hendrie Park include Visits with Santa (drop-in, Wednesdays, November 21 to December 19, Fridays November 23 and December 7), and Santa’s Signature Experience (November 17 to December 23), a separately ticketed event including an hour of programming, and a return trip on the RBG Express train experience.

Train display RBG

Escarpment Train Exhibit takes place in the old Tea House at the Rock Garden.

At the picturesque David Braley and Nancy Gordon Rock Garden, Winter Lights at the Rock leads visitors through a winter wonderland with thousands of festive lights, Christmas melodies, food and drink around the firepit and the Escarpment Train Exhibit. This unique holiday experience provides a special evening to capture those perfect holiday memories.

Holiday Traditions is also home to three train experiences. In addition to the RBG Express ride-on train, Canada’s largest botanical train show at RBG Centre features numerous Canadian landmarks constructed from over seven tons of cedar slabs, 3,000 pounds of rock and 250 feet of track, and nestled amongst hundreds of live plants.

The Escarpment Train Exhibit at Rock Garden is the newest locomotive attraction, a “G scale” model set that illustrates three eras of locomotion history. The Escarpment Train Exhibit is available as part of general admission on weekends, or as part of Winter Lights at the Rock.

Weekends are filled with seasonal activities, children’s entertainment and local school and adult choirs. Special events include two evenings of Fest of Ales, a unique celebration of craft beer (December 6 and 7), Brunch with Santa (December 8, 9 and 16), and evening entertainment as part of Winter Lights at the Rock. Winter Lights at the Rock is sponsored by Colliers Project Leaders.


Winter Lights at the Rock
Thursdays to Sundays*, November 17 to December 30 (*some date restrictions apply)
6 to 9 p.m.; Rock Garden
Tickets required:

Botanical Train Display
November 17 to January 6
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; RBG Centre
Included in general admission or membership.

Escarpment train

Escarpment Train Exhibit

Escarpment Train Exhibit
Weekends, November 17 to December 24
10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Rock Garden
Included in general admission or membership.

Entertainment: Cartoon Bob
Saturday and Sunday
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; RBG Centre
Included in general admission or membership.
See weekend entertainment schedule at

Saturday and Sunday
10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; RBG Centre
Included in general admission or membership.
See weekend activity schedule at

RBG winter walk

Winter Walks

Winter Walks
Saturday and Sunday
11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; Hendrie Park
Included in general admission or membership.

Train Scavenger Hunts / Activity Book
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; RBG Centre
Included in general admission or membership.

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Performing Arts shifts into the Festive season with a display of 25 Christmas trees - all to be raffled.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

November 19th, 2018



The Festival of Trees is going to light up the Family Lobby of the Performing Arts Centre from November 22 through to December 20

The lobby will be lit up with a colourful and festive display of trees that is sure to spark some yuletide enthusiasm in anyone that visits. This is the 2nd Annual joint community fundraising initiative by The Burlington Performing Arts Centre (BPAC) and the Arts & Culture Council of Burlington (ACCOB).

Festival of Trees courtesy of BPAC

The twenty five – 6-foot, pre-lit artificial Christmas trees are all generously donated by Canadian Tire – Burlington Stores.

Raffle Tickets can be purchased in person in the BPAC Family Lobby: 1 ticket for $2, 3 tickets for $5, 7 tickets for $10

Each Christmas Tree is sponsored and decorated by a local business or organization within the Burlington community. Patrons and visitors to BPAC will have the opportunity to take one of these trees home by purchasing raffle tickets for the Festival of Trees draw.


An Andy Kim Christmas December 20th.


All trees will be raffled off and winners announced during intermission on Thursday, December 20 at The Andy Kim Christmas show. Proceeds benefit the BPAC/ACCOB Community Studio Theatre Initiative, which provides greater access to BPAC for local community performing arts organizations. The proceeds will be used to cover the base rent of the Community Studio Theatre at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre for 4 days in 2019.

Stop by BPAC to take a stroll through the Festival of Trees and light up your holidays. There will be feature surprise performances and fun activities for the whole family.

The Performing Arts Centre will be open daily from 12pm to 4pm, and prior to evening performances, throughout the Festival, with extended hours based on Lobby activity.

BPAC and the Arts & Culture Council of Burlington extend their sincere appreciation and special thanks to Canadian Tire – Burlington Stores for their generous donation of all of the Christmas Trees in the Festival and to the following community businesses and organizations for their generous sponsorship of the trees: 27th Orchard Scout Troup, A Different Drummer Books, Aldershot Village BIA, Members of the Burlington Network Group, Bodhi Bar, Burlington Beach Rentals, Museums of Burlington, Century 21 Dreams Inc. – Rebecca Keddy, Conservation Halton, Cori Arthurs Floral Design, Harmony Jewellers, Hayley Verrall Music and Artist Leah Verrall, Holland Park Garden Nursery, Joelle’s & Jeff’s Guyshop, Long & McQuade Burlington, Mirella’s Ladies Boutique, Molly Cake, Mrs. B’s Gifthouse, Nancy Brewer Professional Corporation, S. Taylor Jewellery Appraisal & Consultation, Ti Vesto and Tourism Burlington.

The Holiday programming at the Performing Arts Centre includes:

John McDermott Christmas with Special Guests Dala December 2,

Very-Electric-Christmas BPAC

Lightwire Theater: A Very Electric Christmas December 5,

Lightwire Theater: A Very Electric Christmas December 5,

National Ballet Theatre of Odessa’s The Nutcracker December 7 & 8,

A Next Generation Leahy Christmas December 13, and

The Andy Kim Christmas December 20.

All BPAC Presents Holiday performances are generously sponsored by Cogeco.

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Margaret Lindsay Holton's newest title 'Trillium' to be released at A Different Drummer on December 7th.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 19th, 2018



She describes herself as a “provocative Golden Horseshoe artist and author,and is inviting people for a ‘MEET & GREET’ book signing of her new novel, Trillium, at A Different Drummer Books, in downtown Burlington, at 513 Locust Street, on FRIDAY, December 7th, from 7 to 8pm. There will be cider & cookies on hand too!

Holton H&S

Margaret Lindsay Holton

Margaret Lindsay Holton, tackles a number of timely issues in this latest work under the guise of an adult hybrid historical novel. This epic family saga spans 250 years, from the 1750s to 2001 and follows three families as they arrive, strive and survive in the Niagara wine-making region of Ontario.

It all starts with nineteen year old Tom Hartford clings for his life to a boulder halfway down the Niagara Falls gorge.

An award-winning writer of two other ‘Canadian manners’ novels, ‘Economic Sex’ (1985, Coach House Press) and ‘The Gilded Beaver’ (1999, Acorn Press Canada), Holton uses the dialogue of a multitude of characters to demonstrate the enduring influence that ancestors have on future generations. The author describes the work as a “memorable sweep of local history that includes, as example, unsavory aspects of WW2 when Italian-Canadians fought at the European front but were also incarcerated in Canada.

Trillium FRONT MLH“Nuanced yet deliberate, Holton’s sub-text also invites contemplation about our changing social habits, manners and mores as a result of manufacturing innovation. When automobiles, TVs and the birth control pill became household commodities, they irrevocably altered how we interact.

“This epic story comes to a conclusion just as the internet and the new digital age is taking off within campus environments in the early 2000s. It’s worth remembering that Facebook, Twitter, and the internet as we know it, now so commonplace, did not exist a mere two decades ago.

Long an active artist of the area, born and raised on a North Burlington sheep farm, Holton’s main studio is now on the Hamilton Beach strip.

City View Park

Holton has very strong views on the artificial turf put in the City View Park

Holton is also a political activist who tackles environmental issues mercilessly. She foresees a political reckoning when the artificial grass in the City View park has to be ripped out. The park, located on Kerns road near Dundas St, west of Brant St, is a 165-acres of both active and passive park amenities including 3 artificial turf sports fields.

The park is within walking distance of the Holton family homestead.

If unable to attend the ‘MEET & GREET’ on December 7th, an epub edition, and an alternate US-made print edition, will be available in early Spring 2019 via

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Sound of Music Festival appoints new Executive Director.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

November 19th, 2018



SoM logo 2018It took a little while but the Sound of Music (SoM) Board has selected and hired a new Executive Director to replace David Miller who got dropped like a stone last July.

The SoM Board announces that after an “extensive search with the assistance of leading recruitment professionals HR- Fusion. The Sound of Music Festival is excited to announce Myles D. Rusak as the new Executive Director.

Myles brings over 15 years’ experience in the not-for-profit industry along with a lifetime of musical passion as a musician and champion of Arts & Culture.

Myles Rusak H&S

Myles D. Rusak, the new Executive Director of the Sound of Music Festival.

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Myles attended the Lakehead University Fine Arts Music program where he studied Jazz & Vocal. His Not-For-Profit career has brought him to leadership positions with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – Southern Alberta; James Allan’s Girls’ School in the United Kingdom, Alberta Theatre Projects, Parkinson Alberta and most recently as the Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grand Erie.

Myles maintains his Musical passions as a board member and volunteer (past and present) for the Brantford Symphony Orchestra, Magnus Theatre, Thunder Bay Blues Festival, and various Fringe Festivals across Ontario.

He is also an avid musician who can be found playing guitar, drums or keyboard at various times throughout Southern Ontario.

Rusak with a top hat

Myles Rusak, centre, is the newly appointed Executive Director of the Sound of Music Festival. He appears to have a touch of show business in him.

Board President, Peter Martin said: “Myles’ addition to the Sound of Music provides a fresh perspective on building relationships throughout the Burlington Community. This is an ongoing priority for the festival as we continue to engage the people of Burlington and surrounding area and create an artistic space which is of benefit to the entire community.”

He added that Myles’ experience in strategic planning and leadership will be invaluable to the success of our Festival. We are most excited to have him at the helm and look forward too many years of continued success under his guidance.

Rusak ran as a ward level candidate for the County of Brant; placed sixth out of seven candidates.

Rusak with wife and daughter Paris Apothecary

Myles Rusak with wife and daughter in the Paris Apothecary

He and his wife ran the Paris Apothecary in Paris Ontario

That is certainly an eclectic background.

The SoM is an organization with a volunteer base that is to die for. It is both extensive in size and impressive in terms of the way they show up year after year to make the Festival the continuing success it has been.  When former Executive Director David Miller was shown the door the volunteers took the decision personally and many basically quit the organization.

When the Myles Rusak appointment was announced one Gazette source wanted to know if “ this fellow is full time this year or watching and learning as he has no festival experience.”

The source went on to say that “ a lot of the volunteers are walking including committee chairs based on not replacing any of the other paid staff accept for chair.

“Apparently Rian Malloch got a bigger contract to do much more”.

Malloch was the “spin doctor” the SoM Board used to tell the Miller firing story when things were a little chaotic at the SoM.   He has a strong music background.

There appears to still be some dissension in the ranks. The upside however is that the Board did send the media release to the Gazette. We just might be able to kiss and make up with that Board after all.

Related new story:

The SoM without Dave Miller


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Dental equipment gets donated to a local group who send it on to people in the Philippines - everyone won.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

November 15th, 2018



A patient at what is now Roseland Dental learned that the offices were being moved and asked what would happen to all the equipment. She was told that it would probably get sent to a dump somewhere – there was no market in Canada for dated and used dental equipment.

Some may have known of the dental office as Dr. Dave Dental

The patient mentioned to the dental staff that she knew of an organization, Sew on Fire, that could put the equipment to very good use somewhere else in the world.

That’s how a connection was made that has the dental equipment in a container on its way to the Philippines where it will be set up and put to very good use.

There is quite a bit more depth to this good news story.

Wendy Hager, the woman who leads Sew on Fire, is one of those people that is hard to stop.

From the left: Michelle Bennett Environment, Sam Kawazoye Community Service, Trevor Copp Arts , Mayor Goldring, Wendy Hager, Citizen of the Year, Dan Taylor Junior Citizen and Jim Frizzle, Senior of the year.

From the left: Michelle Bennett Environment, Sam Kawazoye Community Service, Trevor Copp Arts , Mayor Goldring, Wendy Hager, Citizen of the Year, Dan Taylor Junior Citizen and Jim Frizzle, Senior of the year.


When she sees an opportunity she moves quickly and manages to move or get around the obstacles.

She has been running Sew on Fire for 18 years. She was the city’s choice for the Citizen of the Year in 2011.

In February, 2000, after a 40 day fast and hearing of the work of a missionary working with orphans in Russia after the fall of communism and the support system of that country, Wendy wanted to do more than just put money in the offering plate. She purposed to sew 100 gift bags, pajamas, mittens and fill those gift bags with hygiene and school supplies for an orphanage in Russia. Her passion was contagious and soon people were arriving at her home to help. 100 quickly multiplied into 1725 gift bags.

But things did not stop there.

After 3 years working from her home, Wendy and Sew on Fire were able to share space with Crossroads Global Activity Centre in Burlington. In 2007 Sew on Fire moved to its own facility, a 3,000 sq ft unit.

In 2011 doubled its space to 6,000 square feet with room for 15 activity centres, more storage, more volunteers and more gift bags to bless those in need.

Dentist chair 1

A perfectly functional dental chair is on the way to the Philippines because a local organization and a dental group found each other.

Dr. David Robertson and Dr. Stephen Brooks had merged their dental practices and had purchased new equipment for the new location in the Roseland Plaza. They had hoped they could find a home for the older equipment that was functional – they were using it up until the day they moved.

dental 2a

The second dental chair with x-ray equipment was part of the donation.

When she was told that the dental equipment was available and was she interested and could she do anything with perfectly functional dental equipment she said: . “My first response was to just say yes! I wanted the whole donation, but she checked first with her mission partner who works in Philippines.

She put in a call to Dick Deviries asking if he knew of anyone that could use the equipment. Devries and his wife Liz had worked in the Philippines doing missionary work there for a number of years.

Dick Devries said he needed a day or two and would get back to Wendy.  Dick Devries was thrilled. Said it was “an answer to prayer” and asked her to “please say yes and accept this donation”.

A home had been found for the equipment.

On a very hot August day, Wendy Hager reports “my husband Jeff and I, Dick Devries and his team we dismantled the whole office that was being used up to the day before. We accepted two dental chairs and all of equipment and all the additional furniture, three X-ray machines. Everything necessary to run a dental office.

It was later put into a container along with other goods that were going to the Philippines.

This is a story that is still unfolding” said Hager who added “I’m hopeful that other dentists will one day be inspired and take the opportunity to go and share their gifts and talents and do the free dental care in the Philippines.

Dr. Bob Peeling, one of the Rotarians who got the annual Rotary RibFest off the ground 25 years ago, is a retired dentist.

He has some ideas on how dentists in Burlington just might be able to deliver on the Wendy Hager idea.


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Weather watch: First snow of the season is predicted.

News 100 greenBy Staff

November 15th, 2018



While they are frequently incorrect the weather people are predicting the first significant snowfall of the season.

People are being asked to drive more carefully.

Spencer Smith Park may be reflecting the end of that period of time when the fall weather and the leaves on the ground get covered in snow.

Spencer Smith in the fallSeasons aren’t what they used to be – are they?

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Carl Dixon to perform in the Studio Theatre at the Performing Arts Centre

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

November 13th, 2018



The Burlington Performing Arts Centre (BPAC) presents a unique and moving evening with a Canadian rock legend: Carl Dixon will perform on Thursday, November 22 in the Community Studio Theatre.

Carl will share songs from his incredible career with April Wine, The Guess Who and Coney Hatch along with stories about his time on the road with them and his recovery from a major car accident in 2008.

Carl Dixon courtesy of BPACDixon is one of Canada’s stellar rock musicians. His first international record deal came with Coney Hatch in the 1980s. Big tours, radio hits, MTV, and “the big time” all came with that. Carl then went on to perform with some of Canada’s most iconic bands. Two different hitches as lead singer of The Guess Who bookended a four-year stint playing with April Wine.

In 2008 Carl’s life was nearly cut short. He barely survived a shocking head on car accident in Australia while on a break from touring with The Guess Who. Despite over 50 injuries, titanium implants and traumatic brain injury Carl sings and plays with more heart than ever.

His remarkable comeback and adjustment to life post-accident has seen Carl become an inspirational speaker to corporations across Canada and the USA.

In 2016, for two special shows, he attained his post-accident goal of rejoining The Guess Who. He is rightly described as a man of titanium, rock and soul.
He shares his gripping and amusing stories from a life on the road in a unique evening of music, song and stories.

Tickets available at the BPAC Box office

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Is city hall getting back into the rankings game ? Burlington was ranked as #3 in culture for a city our size.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 13th, 2018



Culturally Burlington is making the rankings.

Culture overall nationalCulture Days— a national, non-profit organization celebrating arts and culture has ranked Burlington’s 2018 Culture Days weekend seventh overall and third among cities with a population between 50,000-500,000.

The celebrations feature local creative organizations, venues, professionals and businesses that host free events throughout the weekend for the community. Independent Burlington artists, the Arts and Culture Council of Burlington, the Art Gallery of Burlington, the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Burlington Public Library, Museums of Burlington and Tourism Burlington were all involved.

Culture under 50kSome 2.5 million attendees took part in thousands of free activities and performances hosted by artists, cultural organizations and municipalities in 800 communities across Canada.

Beefing up local cultural events is a plus – let’s just hope we don’t get carried away with that ranking stuff – it tends to blow up on you – remember when everyone a city hall drank the Kool Aid with that our being the #1 Best City?

Burlington had over 50 cultural activities registered for the Culture Days weekend this year.

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Tammy Fox - is creating part of the cultural diet for the city - some broccoli included.

artsorange 100x100By Pepper Parr

November 12th, 2018


Revised: The Gazette frequently tapes interviews – we should have done that this time.  Tammy Fox was very gentle with us when she pointed out that we had mixed up some of the facts.  If she handles all the problems she faces the way she handled us – the Performing Arts Centre is in very good hands. 

Tammy Fox, the Executive Director of the Performing Arts Centre was born in Lindsay, Ontario, close to a rural community that was certainly small town – went to elementary school in Coburg Ontario.

After graduating from the University of Windsor where she focused her studies on psychology and creative arts she spent the next 12 years in theatre administration and management, first at Port Hope’s Capitol Theatre and later managing Peterborough’s Showplace Performance Centre.

Tammy Fay smile

Tammy Fox – she went to “the dark side” of the theatre world for a period of time.

In 2006 she moved to Toronto, taking over the role of Executive Director at ShakespeareWorks, which gave her the opportunity to work with Canadian theatre luminaries RH Thomson and Christopher Newton.

And then Tammy Fox went to what she called “the dark side” of the theatre world.

She formed the Fox Entertainment Agency on her own in 2008.  Her husband took it over (after the roster had been reduced dramatically to accommodate his busy schedule as a professional musician) once Tammy joined BPAC in 2017.

Fox Entertainment Agency wqs a full-service interdisciplinary performing arts booking agency which specialized in professional touring theatrical productions, while also representing a select roster of musical artists who are especially suited for soft seat venues.

Her focus at the Agency was to create an artist/audience exchange in which it is recognized that all parties involved are focused on the same goal – to experience and share the wealth of performing arts talent that this country has to offer.

The mission at Fox included

connecting its roster of artists with diverse audiences
supporting and developing the careers of its roster of artists nationally and internationally
obtaining quality performance opportunities for its artists in performing arts centres, festivals and non-traditional venues
managing tours on behalf of its artists, from promoting, booking and routing to post-performance follow-up
fostering and sustaining meaningful long-term relationships with presenters and arts creators
assisting presenters to develop new audiences and enrich the experiences of current audiences.

Fay - head at slight angle

Tammy Fox has been on the job for 18 months.

If you replaced the word artists with the word audiences in that list you had a woman with a set of skills that were a large part of what the Burlington Performing Arts Centre was looking for when they had to find their fourth Executive Director in a seven year time frame.

Fox was at Ontario Contact, the provincial booking conference, held that year in Peterborough, her old venue Showplace Performance Centre, where she bumped into Brian McCurdy. A combination of nostalgia of being in her former theatre, combined with the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of a man she admired greatly, that drew her to the Performing Arts Centre.

McCurdy, who told her that Burlington was looking for a new Executive Director, had served as the Executive Director for two terms; he was loved and adored but having tasted a bit of retirement, he became partial to making that his full time occupation.

Tammy Fox has been on the job for 18 months. The trick for her was to come up with programming that will draw audiences that more than cover the cost of bringing in the entertainment and have funds left over to encourage the growth of local talent and give them a place to perform.

She is now developing a program that tries to meet the interests of as many people as possible. “You can’t keep everyone happy all the time” she commented during an exclusive interview with the Gazette.

Fay - hands out

Performing Arts Centre Executive Director Tammy Fox – an actor at heart.

Fox sees her role as being responsible for part of the “cultural diet’ for the city.

The Family Series, Classical Matinees, Holiday programming and the ever-popular Classic Albums Live concerts add protein to the cultural diet.

There are the young audiences that have to be introduced to theatre and grown. The BPAC people have a strong working relationship with the Board of Education that sees a lineup of school buses outside the Elgin street location frequently.

Some of the local productions are superb – as good as you are going to get in Toronto. They usually take place in the Community Studio Theatre and at times draw audiences of less than 50 people. Is the turnout due to the content or poor promotion? Perhaps a bit of both. The work done by Trevor Copp and the Form Community Dance Theatre are drama and dance at its most progressive and moving. The hope is that Tammy Fox won’t give up on this kind of work.

Fox is proud of the “golden ticket” program that assists people with limited means to attend theatre productions.

She is even prouder of the Festival of Trees fundraiser that she developed for ACCOB – Arts and Culture Council of Burlington, to give raise funds to local artists to use the Community Studio Theatre.

BPAC has a stable audience, much of it from the downtown core where people can walk to the theatre.

Here is the Burlington Teen Tour Band opening up the Performing Arts Centre. Imagine them doing the same thing on the pier. Going to be a glorious sight.

Here is the Burlington Teen Tour Band opening up the Performing Arts Centre.

The Performing Arts Centre is “home base” to the Burlington Teen Tour Band

The big name headliners are important – Buffy St. Marie and the Bare Naked Ladies do well. Others are a tough sell and at times Fox has to settle for a production that is available and she has a time slot to fill.

Early in her career Fox talks of a lesson she learned. A community group rented a venue for a performance of  Oklahoma that did astounding well – they sold out the 650 available seats.  That led Fox thinking that the community wanted more of this type of program. What Fox learned was that a community audience isn’t necessarily a theatre audience.

Royal Wood 2018Later this month Royal Wood returns to Burlington. He was the first performer to take to the stage and eight years later he is back. During that first event there were two older woman who walked out of the performance – they didn’t see Royal Wood as what the Performing Arts Centre was built to present.

When Fox came aboard she had to work with a program that was already in place – some scheduling is done years ahead of time.

In May of 2019 she will present the 2019-2020 program that will be all hers. Her focus is to come up with more ways to engage the community, bring in productions that appeal to the various audiences she needs to serve.

Coming up with programs that appeals to families with several children is a challenge; “I need to come up with something a family can afford” she said – The Nutcracker Suite is part of that offering – but she wants more.

Expect to see more on Truth and Reconciliation.

The biggest part of the job is to shape the program offering that meets the pure entertainment needs and desires of the public and at the same time offer content and experiences that grow the cultural appetites.

Fay - slight smile

Finding the vision and then creating a mission her Board will live with.

This isn’t something that is easily done. It takes time to formulate a vision based on what you ave learned about a community and turn that vision into a mission and convince a Board to support you – hoping that along the way the budget gives you the room to do that.

Where are the gaps in the program?

Is there more the Performing Arts Centre can do to improve that “cultural diet” Fox will tell you that there has to be some broccoli in that diet; some protein as well.

Is a tighter relationship with Sound of Music possible? Peter W. Van Dyk, an insurance executive  sits on the BPAC Board.  His father is co-executive director of Sound of Music Festival.  Fox has been working on that connection and trying to work with them.  she hopes that something can happen happen in 2019.

Ilene Elkaim BPAC

Ilene Elkaim, vice chair, then chair then vice chair again – the other part of the BPAC Board tag team.

Rick Burgess 2

Rick Burgess – Chair – then vice chair and chair again – part of a BPAC Board tag team.

A number of people wonder why the Chairmanship of the BPAC Board looks a little like a wrestling tag team with Rick Burgess and Ilene Elkaim taking turns at the head of the Board room table.

The theatre is operated as a separate legal entity; the building is owned by the city and the city has representation on the Board.  The organization doesn’t hold annual public meetings – the Art Gallery does – if you look hard enough you will find financial statement.  Use

Could some of the incredibly good work that comes out of the Hamilton Fringe be imported to Burlington ?

Running a “performing theatre” is a challenge; the operation is not a production theatre. The city pumps more than half a million dollars into the Centre and adds a small amount to the ticket price for the capital fund needed to keep the facility modern.

The search for funding sources, looking at what the federal and provincial governments can provide is part of the Executive Director’s job. Provincial funds are likely to be smaller with the Ford government in place.

There was a time when the theatre was dark far too often.  Fox reports they “We are only dark for seven days during the Festive Season. It will be even less than that in 2019.

The Festival of Trees which runs from November 23rd to December  20th gets people into the building which has one of the biggest bars in the city.

Fox adds that “We had quite a bit of use last summer. Student Theatre is in the venue for the entire month of July.  In August BPAC presents the free Jazz on the Plaza series, and this year Lights Up! Theatre Co sold out a run of Run For Your Wife. Next August we will be extending that with a community theatre festival.

The concerns city council used to have are far less then they were three years ago.

Fox works with what she has to keep most of the people happy. One thing that did stun us was that Fox wasn’t aware of Hamilton’s James Street Crawl.

BPAC at night

Now in its eighth year of operation under four Executive Directors – is the public getting value for the $500,000 plus annual subsidy?

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An opportunity to learn about the principles of professional performance.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

November 11, 2018



This might interest some people.

Ken Gass, the Artistic Director of the Canadian Rep Theatre, will be doing a 90 minute workshop during which he will explore the key principles of acting & performance.

Ken GassIf you have you ever thought that you could be an actor, participate in a practical hands-on workshop and discussion on the principles of professional performance.

The afternoon will include improvisation and other key exercises in a workshop that promises to be both entertaining for the newly initiated and challenging for those with more experience.
Takes place at the Performing Arts Centre in the Community Studio Theatre on November 17th at 3:00 pm

Click to reserve a place for yourself.

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Clock Tower bells will be rung at sunset on November 11th.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

November 10th, 2018



Clock tower - full lengthAt sunset on Sunday, November 11, the City of Burlington will join other local organizations, including veteran groups and churches, to mark 100 years since the World War I armistice with the ringing of 100 bells.

At 4:59 p.m. on Nov. 11, the city’s clock tower will play bells 100 times at five-second intervals – one to mark each year.

One hundred years ago, on Nov. 11, 1918, news of the end of fighting in the First World War travelled through Europe with the chime of church bells ringing out in celebration.

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Burlington resident Eric Brandon a finalist in the 2018 Walk of Fame competition.

theartsBy Staff

November 8th, 2018



Eric Brandon, a Burlington resident has been chosen as a finalist in the Canada’s Walk of Fame competition.

He is one of five chosen by a selection committee of music industry experts

Eric Brandon Walk of Fame finalist

Eric Brandon, a finalist in the 2018 Canada Walk of Fame competition.

Canada’s Walk of Fame announced today that LU, of Ajax, ON is the Grand Prize winner of its 6th annual RBC Emerging Musician Program, as part of Canada’s Walk of Fame Emerging Artists Programs and Scholarships. The program, valued at more than $100,000, provides musicians with the opportunity to grow and develop their skills and industry connections, and take their budding music careers to the next level.

Five talented artists were selected from more than 800 hopefuls from coast-to-coast who submitted applications that ranged across all genres of music. Submissions to the program more than doubled in 2018.

The winners and finalists of this year’s RBC Emerging Musician Program are:

Grand Prize Winner: LU – Ajax, ON
Second Prize Winner: Bones & Bridges – Etobicoke, ON
Finalist: Alexandria Maillot – Courtenay, BC
Finalist: Eric Brandon – Burlington, ON
Finalist: What If Elephants – Montreal, QC

Cherry and Maclean CWOF

Don Cherry and Ron MacLean share a star on the Walk of Fame

“Our country has had such an impact on the global music stage, and it’s exciting to see the next generation of musicians who are eager to prove themselves on that stage. The RBC Emerging Musician Program is the perfect vehicle for artists ready to take the next step in their careers,” said Jeffrey Latimer, CEO, Canada’s Walk of Fame.

“We’re thrilled with the growth of the program in 2018, and we’re looking forward to working with the winners in the coming months. Thank you to everyone who submitted this year.”

LU will receive $20,000, private studio recording time, introductions to industry executives and album art cover design. She will attend the Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards Show on December 1 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and will perform at the 20th Anniversary Gala at the Fairmont Royal York.

Brandon will receive a cash prizes of $4,000 and will take part in industry mentorship sessions and perform during the RBC Emerging Musician Showcase that took place in Toronto at the Great Hall on November 7th.

Walk of Fame

Walk of Fame in Toronto’s Entertainment District

RBC’s continued support of the RBC Emerging Musician Program is part of their focus on helping artists in the early stages of their careers through the RBC Emerging Artists Project. “For many hopeful musicians, catching a break in the music industry is challenging, and that’s why we’re thrilled that through the RBC Emerging Artist program we are able to support young Canadian artists as they advance on their career journey,” said Valerie Chort, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, RBC. “This year, RBC and Canada’s Walk of Fame are celebrating six successful years of working together to shape the future of Canadian artists.”

In addition, Canada’s Walk of Fame announced the two recipients of the Canada’s Walk of Fame Emerging Musician/ Metalworks Institute Scholarship this year. Asmahan Smelt and Abhishek Venkatachalam will both receive $10,000 tuition scholarships towards any full-time diploma program or online certificate course bundle at Metalworks Institute of Sound & Music Production.

Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, Canada’s Walk of Fame is a national platform that celebrates Canadian achievement at the highest level in many fields, fueling our sense of Canadian pride and inspiring the next generation to follow in their footsteps. Canada’s Walk of Fame is the foremost honour for cultural, entrepreneurial, athletic, philanthropic and science/technology excellence in Canada.

Ackroyd CWOFCurrent programs include the RBC Emerging Musician Program; Canada’s Walk of Fame Hometown Stars, presented by Cineplex; and the nationally televised broadcast designated by the CRTC as a program of national interest. Founded in 1998 by Peter Soumalias, Bill Ballard, Dusty Cohl and Gary Slaight, CWOF has inducted 173 Canadians to date, with their stars having a permanent place of tribute on the streets of Toronto’s Entertainment District.

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Parks and recreation has all kinds of things for you to do - check it out.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 6th, 2018



Living and playing in Burlington.

The Parks and Recreation people have announced that Winter registration for Adult programs begins Saturday, November 17th  at 9 a.m.

Live play graphicThe online Live & Play Guide allows you to view and share program information as well as register directly from any computer or mobile device. Click for the catalogue.

When December arrives that means the Santa Claus Parade. The 53rd Santa Claus parade on Sunday, December 2nd from 2-4 p.m. The parade rolls down Guelph Line then along New Street on to James and winds around city hall.

The Santa Claus parade has taken place for more than 45 years in Burlington. Organized by a citizens group that works out of the city's Festivals and Events office it is the premier holiday event in the city. The elves have got a spot of trouble to manage with onme of their benefactors this time around.

The Santa Claus parade has taken place for more than 52 years in Burlington. Organized by a citizens group that works out of the city’s Festivals and Events office it is the premier holiday event in the city.

The day after the parade a new city council will be sworn at the Performing Arts Centre. Is the new council Santa’s gift to the city?

We have all kinds of fun floats and best of all you will see Santa on his sleigh at the end. Remember he is always watching to see if you are naughty or nice. Learn more:

Recreation Fee Assistance
Fee assistanceIf you need assistance in paying some of the event fees funding can be made available to individuals or families who need help paying for City of Burlington recreational programs. Fee Assistance can be applied towards registered and drop-in programs, passes and memberships. Learn more:


Looking for a place to hold an event?

If you are looking for a place to hold a party or get together you might want to consider using one of the city facilities. 35% Off Ice, Gyms, Auditoriums and Community Rooms from December 1st to January 6th 2019. Terms and Conditions apply. Learn more:

Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund – up to $10,000 in funding available.

An opportunity you might want to look into is the Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund that was created to inspire Burlington residents to actively champion for small projects in their neighbourhoods. Up to $10,000 in funding is available to support community projects when matched with an equivalent contribution. Deadline for application is Feb. 28, 2019. Learn more:


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Tales of Peace,Hope and Kindness at the Different Drummer November 11th.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

November 4th, 2018



Nov 11 Drummer 2


Suzanne Burchell, Brenda Byers, Marina Lloyd, Sue Ramsay, Bob Tadman and Michael Williams members of the Burlington Storytellers’ Guild will be presenting;

Tales of Peace, Hope and Kindness

At A Different Drummer Books on Sunday November 11 at 2pm

Admission is $15 with all proceeds donated to The Compassion Society of Halton

Nov 11 Drummer 1

Burlington’s Storytellers return to the bookshop with their poignant and inspiring tales in a moving Remembrance Day event.

To reserve a seat, please contact us at (905) 639 0925 or

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Two Burlington high school students off to the Grey Cup for the experience of a lifetime.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

November 2, 2018



Two Burlington high school student-athletes, Andrew Burrows from M.M. Robinson High School and Brantt Burnstein from Nelson High School were selected from hundreds of applicants in a nationwide search for Canada’s most inspiring young football players, to represent Burlington at the 2018 CFL Grey Cup in Edmonton.

Burlington was the only city to have two applicants selected in the preliminary round.

Gearing up for the trip to Edmonton the two athletes played against each other in season final football game in Burlington on a rainy Halloween day afternoon. WHO WON

Grey Cup

Two Burlington high school football players will be in the stands in Edmonton to watch the 2018 CFL game.

For any Canadian high school football player, this trip to the Grey cup game represents the sporting opportunity of a lifetime. Brantt and Andrew‘s selection is part of the Nissan Kickoff Project, which aims to showcase the nation’s most notable high school football players who not only shine on the field, but also off it.

Brantt and Andrew are part of a group of approximately 70 high school football players from across the country that will be part of a Welcoming Dinner and an Exhibition match between that will be played. The 70 young men will be split into two teams and play against each other.

Brantt Burnstein

Brantt Burnstein plays for Nelson high school.

Brantt was nominated by his coach for his demonstrated ability to be a respected leader on and off the field, which led to him being named team captain on the Nelson Lords. Additionally, Brantt’s passionate about giving back to the Burlington community by volunteering his time twice a week to coaching offensive skills to younger football players.

Andrew Burrows headshot

Andrew Burrows plays for MMR

Andrew was nominated by his coach for his dedication towards football, school and his family. He is an ambitious student-athlete which is demonstrated in his flawless attendance record at team practices, while balancing his school work and maintaining a high academic average. Moreover, Andrew is admired by those around him for his willingness to support his parents in caring for his younger brother with autism, who also attends M.M. Robinson.

The first 10 All-Canadian TITAN finalists include:

  1. Andrew Burrows – Burlington, ON
  2. Brantt Burnstein – Burlington, ON
  3. Cameron Creechan – Chatham, ON
  4. Craig Coleman – St. Thomas, ON
  5. Mason McGriskin – North Bay, ON
  6. Dominic Hall – Fredericton, NB
  7. Daniel Velocci – Dartmouth, NS
  8. Eric Choquette – La Ronge, SK
  9. Josh Yee – Calgary, AB
  10. Brandon Martens – Virden, MB



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Burlington woman struck out on her own and created a local business to speak at Ireland House November 8th.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

November 2nd, 2018



Museums Burlington have added to their Speaker Series and will feature Stephanie Finn, the curator, event planner, and one-woman-show behind Burlington MADE, a growing series of modern, highly curated shopping events featuring local artists, makers, and food entrepreneurs.

Museum speaker seriesShe’ll be discussing how she left a cushy corporate marketing job and got her start in the craft industry in 2014, selling natural skincare products that she developed for her infant son’s sensitive skin, and then moved on to planning one-day events that celebrate craft and build community here in Burlington.

The next Speaker Series event with Stephanie Finn, Founder/Director of Stephanie Street Events, Burlington MADE, and Stephanie Street Soap & Skincare will take place on November 8th at Ireland House

Stephanie Finn

Stephanie Finn

Stephanie is the curator, event planner, and one-woman-show behind Burlington MADE, a growing series of modern, highly curated shopping events featuring local artists, makers, and food entrepreneurs. She’ll be discussing how she left a cushy corporate marketing job and got her start in the craft industry in 2014, selling natural skincare products that she developed for her infant son’s sensitive skin, and then moved on to planning one-day events that celebrate craft and build community here in Burlington.

Participants will learn how Stephanie formulates her skincare recipes, and have the opportunity to make and take home a container of lip balm.

Tickets are $20.00 each, include a glass of wine and your take away lip balm. For more information, call 905-332-9888 or email

This is a licensed event, minors must be accompanied by an adult.

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Civic Chorale to perform on November 17th - Requiem and Handel's Utrecht Te Deum.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

November 2, 2018



The Burlington Civic Chorale is a mixed-voice community choir formed in 1994 through the collaboration of founder Dr. Gary Fisher and Mary Jane Price, former organist and music director at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church, Burlington, Ontario.

They rehearse on Tuesday evenings, 7:15-9:30, and perform at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church in Burlington, at 622 Guelph Line.

The next performance, their fall concert will take place on Saturday, November 17th at 7:30 pm at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church, celebrating the Armistice of WW I with Handel’s “Utrecht Te Deum”, Parry’s “My Soul There Is a Country”, the Mozart “Requiem” and the premiere of a newly commissioned work by Mark Sirett set with the words from Lester Pearson’s Nobel Peace Prize speech of 1957.

November concert final poster“Many choral works celebrate victories,” comments the Singers’ director, Dr. Gary Fisher, “but very few celebrate peace – living together respectfully without the winners punishing the losers. The BCCS decided to celebrate their 25th anniversary by addressing that lack.”

Grants from the Hamilton Community Foundation and the City of Burlington Arts and Culture Fund allowed the Singers to commission “Faith in Peace,” an anthem from noted Canadian composer Mark Sirett.

Choir member Janet Gadeski wove the text from snippets of speeches by Canadian diplomat, parliamentarian and future Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, given when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957.

“Sirett has created a powerful, evocative work,” Fisher enthuses. “It portrays Pearson’s grief when, during the Second World War, he saw the devastation of a bombed London neighborhood where nothing remained standing except a plaque in honour of the local men who had died during the First World War. Yet Pearson never lost his faith in humanity’s potential to live in peace. The grants we received for this project have helped to create a work that could be performed all over Canada to lift up the importance of peace.”

Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s “Utrecht Te Deum” complete the program. Displays by Burlington historian Ed Keenleyside, author of “We Were Just Doing Our Bit,” will show the impact of the First World War on Burlington.

The BCC will be joined by soloists and chamber players with accompanist Jennifer Goodine.

Tickets can be reserved for $20 by calling 905-577-2425.

Tickets are $25 at the door, or $20 in advance by calling 905-577-2425.


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Twin Flames will be on stage and doing a workshop at Performing Arts Centre

eventsred 100x100By Staff

November 1st, 2018



Twin Flames will return to the Community Studio Theatre for a concert on Friday, November 9 followed by an Indigenous Music & Culture Workshop on Saturday, November 10.

Twin flames

Twin Flames on stage

Twin Flames is a multi award-winning husband and wife duo that combines two accomplished and very unique singer-songwriters Chelsey June, an Algonquin Cree Métis Woman from Ottawa, and Jaaji, an Inuk Mohawk man from Nunavik and Kahnawake. Together they take audiences on a musical journey across Canada and the Arctic.

Twin Flames push the boundaries of contemporary folk, with Indigenous, Inuit stories and traditional styles that incorporate both Western and traditional instruments, with songs written in Inuktitut, English and French. They were awarded Best Folk Album and Best Duo for their Album Signal Fire at the Native American Music Awards on October 12.

Chesley June

Chelsey June, an Algonquin Cree Métis

They will be facilitating an Indigenous Music & Culture Workshop on Saturday, November 10 at 1pm in the BPAC Community Studio Theatre to further their goal of introducing people from around the world to their beautiful cultures, harmonies and powerful songwriting.

The workshop is free of charge and is part of BPAC’s overall commitment to supporting the education and advocacy of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

Twin Flames – Concert
Friday, November 9 at 7:30pm in the Community Studio Theatre

Indigenous Music & Culture Workshop with Twin Flames
Saturday, November 10 at 1pm in the Community Studio Theatre

Register at

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Festival lights being prepared for installation. Can snow be far behind?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

November 1sty, 2018



It gets dark earlier, more of a chill in the air and Halloween is behind us.

The Downtown Business Association used to support this effort financially - they had to cut back - Burlington Hydro took up the slack. So what is is that BDBA does for their members?

Will the same Sentry’s be set up on Lakeshore Road this year? FEstival lights will be put in Place November 13th and 14th.

That means we now move into the Festive Season – which means the lights will be going up along the Lakeshore Road side of Spencer Smith Park.

Festival of Lights - set up

One of the many volunteers who show up every year to install the lights in Spencer Smith Park.

A lot of people are doing a lot of work to have everything ready for installation on November 13th and 14th.

Watch for it.

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