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(2017 - Fall/Winter Issue)


A collection of 1,100 rare clocks from every corner of the world joins an exhibition of stained glass by the greatest American artists of the early 1900s to create a unique new museum in Evanston, Illinois. Museum founder Cameel Halim started the collection as a personal passion in the 1990s. In the Asian exhibit, hear birds flap their wings, open their beaks, shake their tails, ruffle their feathers and jump from perch to perch on the hour. In the East Gallery, view the Cornucopia window by talented glass artist John LaFarge, overshadowed by bitter rival Louis Comfort Tiffany, whose work is also featured. HalimMuseum.org

Best Western Hotels & Resorts recently introduced new features to its Best Western Rewards program. Enhancements include a digital member card that allows members to access account information and point balances. Free night redemptions now count toward elite status, which also includes Gold members. Platinum+ members receive a 10 per cent point rebate on free night redemptions, while Diamond and Diamond Select members are guaranteed free nights (as long as a room is available). Until November 30, 2017, Best Western Rewards members earn double rewards points on every stay. And between November 1, 2017, and January 31, 2018, members can book a free night for 10,000 points at any Best Western branded hotel in North America. Best of all, your points never expire. bestwestern.com

A new production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It set in Vancouver and filled with Beatles music headlines the city’s 29th annual Bard on the Beach festival, running from June 6 to September 22, 2018. This light-hearted musical alternates with a powerhouse production of Shakespeare’s epic drama Macbeth, another innovative new production, starring leading Canadian actors Ben Carlson, Moya O’Connell and a female-dominated cast in Shakespeare’s exploration of power and greed. The festival has also commissioned a modern take on Lysistrata, an outrageous comedy first staged in 411 BC. bardonthebeach.org.

Three giants of Renaissance art are on display this fall at the National Gallery in London. Eight masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Raffaello Santi (Raphael) show how the trio were keenly aware of each other’s work with their revolutionary approach to art around 1500. The centrepiece of the free display is The Virgin and Child with the infant St. John, also known as the Taddei Tondo (1504–05), the only marble sculpture by Michelangelo in the U.K. nationalgallery.org.uk

One Ocean Expeditions introduces the ultimate East Coast golf and cruise voyage. When not visiting one of six different Maritime courses, guests can take wildlife and photography excursions from PEI to Isles-de-la-Madeleine. The expedition begins and ends in Louisbourg on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island, home to the Cabot Links, Canada’s most demanding seaside course. Spend a day on Sable Island, home to wild horses, diverse flora, rare bird colonies and shipwrecks. Savour Atlantic lobster and local seafood and enjoy local fiddle music and storytelling. Prices for the first cruise, June 27 to July 4, 2018, start at US$2,645 based on a triple-share cabin and includes green fees, accommodation, onboard meals and excursions. oneoceanexpeditions.com/canadas-east-coast 

Le Boat, better known for luxury boat rentals along the Canal de Midi in France and the waterways of Germany, is launching its first Canadian tours in 2018 along the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the great engineering feats of the 19th century. Cruise effortlessly on this chain of lakes, rivers and canals with friends or family in an easy-to-operate boat featuring all the amenities of home, as you stop along the way to visit towns and attractions at your leisure. leboat.com

Calgary-based WestJet has announced a busy winter schedule. Highlights include new non-stop weekly service from Edmonton and Vancouver to Huatulco, Mexico, plus non-stop weekly service from Calgary to Belize City, Belize, both effective November 2017. Additional flights leave from Calgary to several sun destinations including Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Mesa, Palm Springs and Puerto Vallarta. WestJet flights between Calgary and Toronto are on the rise for a total of 10 times daily. The airline has also increased its frequencies between Toronto and Montréal and between Toronto and Vancouver. westjet.com/winterschedule

From Martha Henry as the traditional male lead Prospero in The Tempest to famed Québec director Robert Lepage, who’s incorporating video and social media in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, the Stratford Festival promises an exciting 2018 season. Julius Caesar and The Comedy of Errors round out the festival’s four Shakespeare offerings. For fans of musicals, there are the family favourite The Music Man at the Festival Theatre and cult classic rock-and-roll musical Rocky Horror Show at the Avon. The playbill also includes two modern American classics: Eugene O’Neill’s A Long Day’s Journey into Night and the dramatization of Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird. stratfordfestival.ca

Air Canada plans to introduce a new service aboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner between Montréal and Tokyo’s Narita airport starting June 1, 2018. The non-stop flight is Montréal’s first scheduled link to Japan and offers travellers in the Maritimes and Eastern U.S. convenient access to cities throughout Southeast Asia, the Far East and Oceania. Flights will operate year-round, daily during the summer peak and three times weekly during the winter. aircanada.com

From Cuban Cigars to American Cars is just one of 16 hand-crafted theme trips in Trafalgar’s 2018 South & Central America program. The new nine-day journey takes you through Cuba’s colourful streets, history and culture as you engage with local people. Other trips include Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Chile and Argentina including pre- and post-extensions to the Amazon, Easter Island and a seven-day Galapagos Islands cruise. During the 11-day Wonders of Patagonia guided vacation, guests will dine with a local family and stay at Chile’s Remota Patagonia Lodge. trafalgar.com/can/forms/request-a-brochure

Christmas arrives early in Niagara-on-the-Lake when the first preview of Charles Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol opens on November 15 at the Royal George Theatre. Directed by Tim Carroll, the production stars Michael Therriault as Scrooge. Other cast members include Patty Jamieson, Andrew Lawrie, Emily Lukasik, Marla McLean, Jeff Meadows, Sarena Parmar, PJ Prudat, Graeme Somerville and Jonathan Tan. The play runs from November 15 through December 23. Ticket prices start at $35 and are available through the Box Office or online. shawfest.com

Originally built in 1933, the historic La Serena Villas property is situated on beautiful landscaped grounds in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, within easy walking distance to the famous Palm Canyon Drive where you can find the best restaurants, boutiques and galleries. The hotel was redeveloped as a luxury five-star hotel in 2016 by award-winning architect May Sung, and each piece of furniture, all materials and finishes were carefully hand-picked by interior design group, Avenue Interior Designs. The San Jacinto Mountains provide a stunning backdrop for this luxury boutique hotel where secluded private villas each have a private patio, complete with a romantic claw-foot tub, firepit and built-in benches. The property features 18 guest rooms, a spa, restaurant, bar, and rooftop lounge, all designed to create your ultimate Palm Springs getaway. laserenavillas.com

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