As the centrepiece of a sprawling 32-acre site, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum preserves Canada's rich baseball heritage while leading visitors around the base paths of the game's history. In one room, fans ogle displays dedicated solely to the Expos and Blue Jays, and in another, artifacts from across the globe trap eyes in a pickle between vintage photos and authentic uniforms. The consistently rotated lineup of displays also saves a spot for current Canadian ballplayers, as well as for autographed Babe Ruth mementos that, despite their age, still retain their new hotdog smell.
Each year, the Hall of Fame adds new members to a select group of inductees, which currently includes 93 individuals and ranges from pro ballplayers and amateurs to umpires and trainers. In 2012 alone, the museum and its surrounding ball fields will play host to more than 450 events, highlighted by training clinics and minor league games. The 10th annual Kids on Deck summer camp also calls the site home, giving youngsters aged 8–14 the chance to perfect such vital skills as bunting and spitting a sunflower seed at least 10 feet.
The Bogey Golf Tour grants golfers a chance to take to the links and compete against fellow amateurs in tournaments scheduled at some of the finest courses in the London, Windsor, Detroit, and Kitchener/Waterloo areas. At each event, scratch golfers compete in the Birdie division, 0–15 handicaps square off in the Par division, and 16+ handicappers trade pinpoint approaches and sequined divot tools in the Bogey division. The top five finishers in each division receive prize money—which can be paid out in gift certificates or cash—and the Tour also holds prize competitions for longest drive, closest to the pin, and 3-iron jousting. The Tour publishes the results from each tournament in local newspapers, and players can chart the peaks and valleys of their careers on the Tour Members list, which compiles all of their tournament results. Along with providing an outlet for amateur golfers to exercise their long-suppressed competitive side, the Tour and its sponsors have raised $74,000 for various area charities since 2003.
Now operating out of two locations, Pinacle Health & Fitness helps keep fitness seekers on track with group fitness classes such as spin, yoga, and fitness kickboxing, as well as an array of coaching clinics. One-on-one sessions range from personal fitness coaching to holistic lifestyle coaching including guidelines on how to eat well and how to properly access a pomegranate's sweet, sweet innards. Through online accountability coaching, trainers educate clients with regular email blasts and virtual resources including the centre's very own online magazine. The centre's registered massage therapists also loosen up limbs with relaxation and prenatal massages performed before major events such as marathons or marathon childbirths.
Based on the American classic by John Steinbeck, Frank Galati's Tony Award–winning stage adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath represents an onstage gale of acting chops, emotion, and clever puppet commentary from the opera box. Antoni Cimolino, general director of the theatre, also directs this classic Great Depression–era tale of a family's migration from Oklahoma to California in the 1930s and the challenges they face in a series of migrant-worker camps. The cast includes award-winning veterans of The Canadian Stage Company, Vancouver Playhouse, and collaborators of visionary thespian Robert Lepage. Both an entertaining and educational windfall, this production of The Grapes of Wrath creates opportunities for field trips, peer bonding, or an undeserved afternoon of fun for complacent dependants. This play is suitable for ages 12 and older.
The Blyth Festival, set in the rural village of Blyth, produces solely Canadian plays that touch on the shared experiences of local Ontarians. Blyth Memorial Community Hall, an intimate theatre with a 444-person capacity, hosts a diverse sampling of plays from within its charming brick edifice. Whether forcefully clicking ruby slippers throughout the six nostalgic vignettes of Hometown or pondering the realities of romance during the bittersweet love story Rope’s End, onlookers will uncover familiar subject matter explored in surprising ways. Audiences praise the performances for capturing the experiences of their day-to-day lives, instead of reeling back in terror from plays performed by their evil doppelgängers.
The second-annual Stratford Blues & Rib Fest teams up award-winning rib chefs from across North America with Maple Blues Award– and Juno-nominated music acts. Today's deal grants admission to the weekend festivities, where more than 20 scheduled bands and musicians, such as Jordan John, Michael Pickett, and Danny Brooks, pluck, strum, and warble on indoor and outdoor stages. Renowned ribbers such as Ontario's own Jack the Ribber and the Kentucky Smokehouse of Louisville tickle meaty keyboards in competition for cash prizes and immortalization in lyrical ballads. Slake rib-induced thirst with fresh suds and draft root beer in the beer gardens (food and drink prices vary by merchant and are not included with this Groupon), browse shiny rides at tractor and motorcycle shows, and belt out spiritual ditties at Sunday's Gospel Music Festival. Patrons can savour the festival's sounds and tastes while enjoying views of the Avon River's peaceful banks and Lindy-hopping swans.