As Fernando and I prepare for sunny days ahead, life is emerging once again from the underworld. Spring is a time of rebirth and fertility—life force is potent right now. And, no place in Ontario welcomes it better than Niagara-on-the-Lake. Red-breasted robins bob along, cardinals woo potential mates and brilliantly coloured crocuses poke their heads out of the wintry ground. Soon, fruit orchards will be a haze of white, pink and mauve blossoms and springtime green will cover the vineyards.
So what’s in store for Spring 2016? Glad you asked.
The weakened Canadian loonie has made Canada a bargain this year for American, British, European and Chinese visitors and advance bookings for our bed and breakfast are coming in strong and quickly. So if you haven’t planned your Niagara-on-the-Lake getaway yet, we urge you to do so quickly.
April harkens the start of the annual Shaw Festival season. It all begins with a 2 p.m. performance of Our Town on Saturday, April 9. And CAA members can take advantage of great savings on Sweeny Todd—The Demon Barber of Fleet Street performances from July 17 to September 3. Book online or call 1-800-511-7429 and quote promo code 16305 for CAA discounts of up to 55% (based on weekend, blue seating).
For a truly unique and magical Shaw experience, take an hour-long guided, backstage tour of the Festival Theatre. Tours begin at 11 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday and tickets are $10 per person or $5 with a ticket to a performance.
On Saturday, April 2, the Choir of Royal Holloway will perform at 4:30 p.m. at the Parish of St. Mark’s at 41 Byron Street. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Call 905-468-5566 or purchase your tickets online at Music Niagara.
Also on April 2, the historic Willowbank at 14487 Niagara Parkway in Queenston is holding an open house from noon to 4 p.m. Here’s your opportunity to take a sneak peak and join them for demonstrations, tours, a marketplace and refreshments.
The Niagara Pumphouse at 247 Ricardo Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake is offering a number of workshops and events throughout the month of April, ranging from a card-making party and pottery wall art workshops to a wearable art fashion show and brunch.
How about a little wine with your art? Don’t miss the Artisans’ Market at Diamond Estates Winery on April 30. Admission is free.
Why not make Mother’s Day (May 8) a weekend affair this year? On May 6 & 7, Bravo Niagara! presents a series of Spring into Music performances at Stratus featuring Peter Bence & the Laila Biali Trio at 8 p.m. on May 6, Tony Yike Yang at 1 p.m. on May 7 and Quincy Jones’ piano protégé Emily Bear at 5 p.m. on May 7. Ticket prices range from $39 to $99, including a glass of Stratus wine.
Then, on Mother’s Day, head over to the Queenston Heights Restaurant for a Mother’s Day Brunch or over to McFarland House for afternoon tea.
From 7 to 9 p.m., on May 12, take great delight in an evening of wine tasting, live music and pampering at Diamond Estates Winery. Choose from different treatment packages provided by Ah Bella Luna Mobile Spa and more. Packages start at $40. Call 905-685-5673 to reserve your spot.
From 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Friday, May 20, enjoy a cruise on the Niagara Belle as you enjoy five historic narrators, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction. Tickets are $80. Call 905-468-3912 or 905-468-6621.
Kick off the warm-weather season at the ultimate backyard bash at Peller Estates on Victoria Day weekend, May 21, 22 and 23. Featuring delicious food, award-winning wine and entertainment, this three-event sells out every year. So buy your tickets online now (for $15/person plus taxes and fees) to enjoy Wine Country’s most-anticipated party or call 1-888-673-5537! Tickets include entrance to the event, a glass of wine and a souvenir glass. The event takes place rain or shine and photo ID is required. Please note that personal food, alcohol, pets, tents or chairs are not permitted.
Ardent Jane Austen fans won’t want to miss the Second Annual Jane Austen Lecture scheduled for May 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Navy Hall. Prices are $10 for members and $15 for non-members.
Posted by Donna S. Vieira, owner of Globetrotters B&B/Gallery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Come and taste the difference!