Tag Archives: family events

ICEFEST TAKES OVER YORKVILLE (Toronto) FEB 21 & 22.

BIA-IceFest2015-eBlast-600x270For the past 10 years, the folks at the Bloor-Yorkville BIA have hosted a fun family festival of all things winter in the heart of Yorkville Village, featuring ice sculpting, entertainment, hot food and drinks, all sorts of interactive fun for all the family, tons of great shopping and lots of pretty lights at night.  This year’s theme will be “ancient Egypt” so they’re inviting everyone to come “walk like an Egyptian” around Toronto’s premier tourist & cultural hub, Yorkville, on Saturday February 21st & Sunday February 22nd. “Frozen in Time” is an ancient Egyptian-inspired showcase of ice carvings including a 3D  pyramid, plus depictions of  Egyptian gods and pharaohs including Anubis, Iris and King Tut.  There will also be a giant interactive ice carving of sitting camel where visitors will be able to get their photos taken as a keepsake.

424U2559Open to the public each day between noon – 5 pm, the Village of Yorkville Park and Cumberland Street will be the centre of Icefest attractions, with additional ice carving demonstrations taking place throughout the neighbourhood.

424U2193 (2) 424U2203 424U2288On Saturday, February 21st starting at 12 noon, the 15th Annual Sassafraz Ice Carving Competition will take place at the east side of the Village of Yorkville Park.  Twelve ice carvers from across Ontario will compete for the People’s Choice Sculpture Award! As great masterpieces begin to emerge beneath the picks, chisels and chainsaws of the talented carvers, visitors will cast their vote for their favourite ice carving sculpture throughout the afternoon. Winners will be announced at 5:15 pm that day.

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424U2225 424U2389Last year, I found the dolphin from HydraSense who was posing for photos so I just had to get in there myself, too!

424U2169 (2) Gwith sharkAs February is Heart Month, Bloor-Yorkville will be fundraising with participating partners and sponsors in support of the Heart & Stroke Foundation. For a $2 charitable donation, “Kiddie Ice Cubes” will be distributed each day at 2 pm, in the Village of Yorkville Park with a collectible toy inside. Patrons will also be able to sample tasty Maple Syrup Taffy from 1 pm ­ 4 pm each day on Cumberland Street for a $2 donation. Through IceFest, Bloor-Yorkville has raised over $54,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

20140222_121217424U2247This is an all ages family friendly, FREE event, all you have to do is bring is warm clothes, a hearty winter spirit, and maybe a camera to capture the moments in ice forever!  Photos from last year’s fabulous IceFest courtesy of Henry Lin and a few by me, too.  For further event Info:  http://www.bloor-yorkville.com/icefest/

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MEET SARAH FISHER – DEGRASSI’S “BECKY BAKER”

It’s been almost 30 years since DEGRASSI HIGH first hit our TV screens and since then, the show has evolved, moving with the times and has included story lines that has addressed the social, emotional and educational issues endured by every kid who ever went through high school. Commonsensemedia.com states: this Canadian series tackles big issues like sex, teen pregnancy, sexual identity, drug use, school violence, hate crimes, and mental disorders in a frank, thoughtful way. It presents these subjects as everyday factors in teens’ lives and explores their repercussions through the students’ eyes. This uncensored honesty gives the show credibility beyond that of many of the soapier series available to teens, but at the same time, it creates a classic know-your-kid situation for parents. Some episodes have a far heavier tone than others do, and the amount and type of controversial material varies widely from story to story, so previewing each episode is your best bet. Ultimately, though, this series manages a moral tone without coming off as preachy, which goes a long way in maintaining teens’ interest and earns it a spot among the best, most responsible series out there for teens. The content is edgy but both relevant and appropriate for the target audience.

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The latest 21st century incarnation of the show, DEGRASSI, features a talented cast of young actors, one of whom is SARAH FISHER, and I’m please to share this interview I recently undertook with this multi-talented young lady who plays “Becky Baker”.

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How old were you when you first performed in front of an audience?
I was twelve when I did my first singing performance. It was actually at my babysitter’s wedding in front of about two hundred and fifty people. I’m surprised she trusted me to be the flower girl as well considering all I put her through (laughs).

Once you realized how much you enjoyed performing, did you want to focus on singing or acting?
Acting actually came as quite a surprise for me, so music was always the focus. I have two vocal coaches: Kim Briggs, who focuses on classical training and Elaine Overholt, who works with me on my pop sound. They are both incredible teachers and I’m very lucky to have them both work so closely with me. Lately I’ve also focused on acting, too. I go to Armstrong Acting Studio in Toronto, and they have taken great care of me and they have helped me grow as an actress. They have incredible teachers and I would recommend the school to anyone interested in going into the business.

How did your parents react when they learnt that you wanted a career in showbiz?
Words cannot express how incredible my parents are. They have believed in me more than anyone, they have always supported me and let me be who I have always been, an artist. I could not have done it without them, and I really mean that. They are the reason I am so happy every day because I get to do what I love to do and have them with me every step of the way. I love my parents so much.

Do you play any instruments, and if so which ones?
I play piano, it took a while because of scales, but I’ve really fallen in love with the instrument. I played flute in grade 8 and got way too light headed to continue, then I played drums in grade 12.

You took classical voice training, yes? Tell us about your choice to focus on pop music for now?
I have been trained classically since I started voice lessons at the age of 11. I have been exploring my pop sound because I wanted to feel more comfortable singing pop songs and I never wanted to strain my voice. I wanted to be able to sing pop songs in a way that’s healthy for me while adding my classical sound to it as well. Plus the music I write has a pop sound to it.

Do you maintain a vocal training regime or classes?
I have classical training once a week and pop training every other week. I think it is so important to always continue working on your craft (I know that sounds cheesy) but I believe everyone should always continue growing and learning.

Apart from Degrassi, have we seen you in any other TV shows or films?
You will see me shortly (I believe) in a film called Lost After Dark. I had so much fun! Even though in one of my scenes before we were shooting, I was in a patch of long grass and couldn’t see my feet, and I felt something bite me. So I tried to tough it out and be professional but I’ve never run faster in my entire life…I was standing in a wasp nest!

How do you relate to “Becky” and what parts of Sarah do you bring to the role?
I think one of the main things I’m always asked is, “how are you so happy all the time?” (laughs). Becky is known on the show as ‘little miss sunshine’ and I can definitely say the smiles are all real. I love what I do and I am so thankful for that. I wouldn’t say I’m as stubborn as Becky, but because that’s not reality for me, it’s really fun to play.

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How many more seasons do you see Becky being on Degrassi – when does she graduate?
I’m not sure! I wish the actors knew first but we don’t – she is technically in grade 12 this year, Season 14, but I would definitely not be upset if she failed school and stayed another year (grins).

You are currently recording some great pop singles and filming a music video – can you share anything about those or are they all super secret right now?
They are SUPER SECRET! But I will say the studio is one of my favourite places to be, I really could live there. Making music is such an amazing experience and I can’t WAIT to share it with you guys!

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Anything you’d like to share with your fans?
You guys are so incredible! You are always so sweet and supportive and I love talking with you guys and getting to know you all. I respond to as many emails, tweets, Facebook posts as I can and I really appreciate all of your support. You guys are all fantastic – follow your dreams, I really mean that because every single one of you is special and brilliant and creative!

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Sarah is the national spokesperson for the KIDS HELP PHONE and frequently participates in fundraising events for kids and teen-focused charities and causes – she will be appearing at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square on Sunday July 20th for YOUTH DAY.

If you’d like to meet Sarah, she will be making a special personal appearance at the TORONTO HORSE DAY on Saturday June 7th, down at Toronto’s Exhibition Place (at the Horse Palace). She’s be there between 11am and 1:30pm and at approx. 1:15pm she’ll be leading the kids in a “stick pony” parade in the main ring. Should be fun and if you love horses, like Sarah, this is the place to be. And it’s FREE!

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Follow Sarah at:  Facebook.com/Sarah-Fisher  or  @SarahFisher28

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BLOOR-YORKVILLE BIA SHOOS AWAY WINTER WITH SIZZLIN’ HOT ICE FEST 2014!

Ice Fest

The fabulous folks who run the Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Association (BIA) are hosting another terrific ICE FEST this weekend on Cumberland & Bellair streets in Yorkville (Toronto), featuring stunning ice sculptures, fun activities for the whole family, yummy treats courtesy of local food vendors – all benefiting the Heart & Stroke Foundation [ www.heartandstroke.on.ca ]

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Lots of fun photo opps for all the family and the lovely ladies at Sassafras are keeping the grown-ups well lubricated!  There was a great DJ keeping everyone “dancin’ in the streets” and a variety of food vendors keeping us well fed and watered.

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I ran into my friend and favourite snow bunny, Rafael, who runs the super cool Italian espresso bar, Zaza Espresso Bar [http://www.zazaespressobar.com]. As usual, Rafael (below in yellow) was welcoming everyone in for a hot beverage and letting all of us ladies know how pretty we looked in our winter finest.

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And I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the lovely ladies from  http://www.hazeltonlanesdental.com (below) who were handing out teeth whitening advice and free toothbrushes – always a good thing!

20140222_125401Must admit I was thrilled to hang with the dolphin from HydraSense [http://www.hydrasense.com ]. Something about blue and white plush makes me smile !

20140222_125206Thanks to all the hard working BIA members and volunteers who are helping to make this weekend a success. ICE FEST ’14 continues tomorrow, Sunday March 23rd.

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