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(2015 - Spring Issue)


Men in heels? Turns out men adopted heels before women as an expression of power and prestige when the shocking new footwear style appeared in the early 1600s. Find out more at the Bata Shoe Museum, where the exhibition Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels opens on May 8. From privileged rulers to modern rock stars, this provocative exhibition explores the history of men in heels from the early 1600s to present day. Standing Tall is expected to be one of the highlights of the museum’s 20th anniversary year. batashoemuseum.ca

Heading to Britain? Check out visitbritainshop.com for deals and special offers available in Canadian dollars before you leave. Save on the pay-as-you-go Visitor Oyster Card for public transport and receive exclusive discounts at top restaurants and shops. The London Pass gives you priority entry to more than 60 attractions including Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle. You can also save up to 60 per cent on a wide selection of live theatre tickets. The National Trust Touring Pass allows a week of unlimited access to more than 300 stately homes, gardens and castles for $46.60 (£24). And don’t forget many of Britain’s world-class museums and galleries are free to the public. VisitBritain.org

From the iconic Shaw Festival and art galleries to award-winning wineries and soothing spas, historic Niagara-on-the-Lake offers a number of reasons to stay for a while. Representing more than 100 inns, cottages and bed and breakfasts in the area, the Niagara-on-the-Lake Bed & Breakfast Association website lists a wide choice of accommodation to suit your needs and budget. Member lodgings must be licensed and must meet the association’s strict standards to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. Inns and B&B hosts serve up tasty home-cooked breakfasts every morning and welcome you back to cosy quarters after a full day of touring. And fully-equipped cottage rentals are perfect for families. Reserve your Niagara-on-the-Lake getaway today. BookYourStay.ca

Quest University Canada has announced its 2015 lineup for Renew Your Quest, an intellectually stimulating summer camp for adults. Offering courses on Chinese culture, global warming and political science, the Renew Your Quest program will run from July 12 through 17. Interactive classes take place throughout the morning and, in the afternoon participants are free to explore the local area by participating in guided hikes, excursions, additional lectures and discussions on philosophy and pedagogy. Space is limited to 20 students per class, with fees starting from $400 inclusive of tuition, activities, a welcome reception and a celebratory dinner. questu.ca/summer.

The German capital, always buzzing with art and culture, promises a summer full of festivals, parades, concerts and special events. Start with an entire month of Mozart in May, featuring the beloved composer’s operas, chamber music and symphonies. From May 22 to 25, the Carnival of Cultures will draw a million people to the hip Kreuzberg district for a colourful parade of more than 100 groups and 4,700 dancers, singers and musicians from 80 countries. If you’re flying through Airport Tempelhof between June 10 and 14, stop by the exhibit of new products and projects from the best contemporary designers, part of the DMY International Design Festival. VisitBerlin.de

The second annual Niagara Integrated Film Festival will be held June 18 to 21 in the Niagara Region of Ontario. Paired with the region’s world-class wineries and food from award-winning chefs, the festival features top films from around the globe. Programming includes Filmalicious, an opportunity for guests to settle into a winery and have Canada’s most talented chefs present a sumptuous dinner with fine wines, followed by a film presentation in the vineyard. For Film Feast, guests will be taken by bus to Niagara’s spectacular wineries, where they can sample award-winning vintages accompanied by exquisite hors d’oeuvres and a viewing of short films. NiagaraFilmFest.com

The picturesque Temecula Valley, located an hour from San Diego and 90 minutes from Los Angeles, is in the heart of Southern California Wine Country. May 29 marks the beginning of Summerfest, a chance to enjoy the valley’s casual atmosphere as you visit wineries and chat with the people who operate them, explore the organic farmers’market in Old Town Temecula and experience Pechanga Resort & Casino. Watch balloons ascend at dawn and glow in the evening at the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival where you can also taste premium California wines paired with food created by local chefs. VisitTemeculaValley.com

Jazz up your summer from June 18 to 27 during the 29th annual TD Toronto Jazz Festival. More than 1,500 musicians representing the best of local, national and international talent will take to the stage in more than 40 locations across Toronto to entertain more than half a million fans. This year’s highlights include Jamie Cullum, Robert Glasper, Snarky Puppy,  John Pizzarelli, Tower of Power, Al Jarreau and more. With more than 350 concerts scheduled, the Festival is the place to be for any music lover this June. torontojazz.com

Travellers can now make reservations to sail aboard the Nova Star ferry between Yarmouth, N.S. and Portland, Maine. Nova Star Cruises offers daily round-trip services between the two ports between June 1 and October 14. This year’s prices vary based on the season, day of the week and direction of travel. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are the cheapest days to travel, and Nova Scotia and round-trip passengers will receive a 10 per cent discount. The state-of-the-art cruise ferry comfortably accommodates up to 750 passengers and provides fine dining as well as a casino, retail store, children’s play area and spa. novastarcruises.com

Sunwing Airlines is offering twice weekly flights between Toronto and Amsterdam again this summer. Wednesday and Saturday flights begin June 27 until September 2. New this year, passengers will experience the brand new wide-bodied Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Its revolutionary design includes larger dimmable windows, special lighting and the most advanced air filtration system for a smoother ride and cleaner air. Choose from three distinct classes, from the comfortable Economy cabin to an upgraded Comfort Class and the spacious and luxurious Star Class. Amsterdam is the perfect base for a European vacation, close to “must-see”Paris, London and Bruges. sunwing.ca

On April 15, WestJet begins non-stop service twice daily between Toronto and Fredericton. The new flight coincides with a special season at Fredericton’s Beaverbrook Art Gallery where more than 75 works that have been on tour since 2012 will be reunited in the Masterworks from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery exhibit from May until August 23. This important exhibition represents the finest pieces in the Gallery’s permanent collection, which many consider the greatest legacy of Lord Beaverbrook, the Ontario-born financier, politician, author and publisher who funded the gallery. westjet.com; beaverbrookartgallery.org

The Eden Roc at Cap Cana resort in the Dominican Republic, 20 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport, is the island’s first Relais & Châteaux property, promising European glamour and Caribbean charm. Built by the Solaya Hotels & Resorts chain and ranked Best Hotel in the Caribbean for 2015, the 34-suite hotel and residential complex is set on 12,140 hectares and features pristine beaches, cliffs, tropical forests, a marina and a Jack Nicklaus golf course. Guests are pampered with extravagant amenities, a complete spa, Kids’Club and five superb restaurants. Patrons can also access the private Caletón Beach Club steps from their suite. edenroccapcana.com

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