AN EVENING WITH THE ONTARIO MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION - Join the Confederation Club for an online evening with the Hon. Caroline Mulroney, Ontario Minister of Transportation on Thurs. Feb. 17 at 7pm. Mulroney is the elected MPP for the riding of York—Simcoe since her 2018 election, and was a candidate in the 2018 Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leadership election, placing third. She served as Attorney General of Ontario from 2018 to 2019. Mulroney is the only daughter and the oldest child of the 18th Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney, and his wife, Mila Mulroney. Mulroney was educated at Harvard University and New York University School of Law, and has extensive business, legal and charitable experience prior to her entry to politics. Mulroney is fluent in French, English, Spanish and Serbian, and also serves as the Minister of Francophone Affairs. Register in advance for this webinar at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7TPsz_HpRKOmXY5AbApdsw
ANNUAL PANCAKE LUNCH - The 24th annual Child Witness Centre’s Pancake Lunch will be held online on Tues. March 1 at 12 noon – 1:30pm. This year’s event features Bryan Larkin, Chief of Police, Waterloo Region, Gord Cobey, Chief of Police, Guelph, and ChefD, local celebrity chef. Proceeds from the lunch go towards helping victimized young people and their families. For more information about tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Ryan Dufton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-744-0904 ext. 221.
FREE VIRTUAL THEATRE PERFORMANCE OF CHELSEA’S STORY - MT Space, the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council (WRCPC), and the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region (SASCWR) are collaborating to present a weeklong run of Chelsea’s Story to commemorate and promote Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which falls on Tuesday, February 22, 2022. This theatrical production has been adapted to an online format and will be performed live by MT Space actors from February 22 to 26, with each performance accompanied by a talkback facilitated by SASCWR. All tickets to Chelsea’s Story will be free and open to the public. Chelsea’s Story, based on a true story, centers on a group of three students who discover the diary of a 15-year-old girl named Chelsea who is targeted and groomed by a man posing as her boyfriend to be trafficked for sex. Chelsea’s Story was written by Sean McGrath from Alter Ego Creative Solutions in the UK for people as young as 12 to understand what trafficking is and the ways in which those who are vulnerable, particularly girls and young women, tend to be targeted and groomed. To view the show visit bit.ly/chelseas-story-wr
SCOUTS CANADA CHALLENGE - Scouts Canada is challenging young people to get outdoors this winter and learn new skills with a new four-week outdoor skills challenge, Claim the Flame. The challenge will get kids and young adults ages five to 26 outdoors, while discovering their capabilities, developing important life skills and building resiliency. The challenge is designed to be scalable, allowing youth to participate with their Scouting Group, their families or individually at home, depending on the local pandemic restrictions and individual level of comfort. Safety will be at the forefront while also prioritizing socialization, mental health, personal growth and skills development. The fun challenges will see youth engaging in activities like building survival shelters, campfire cooking, embarking on a winter trek, or practicing winter first aid, all designed to help strengthen Scout’s competencies in four key areas: sports and physical activity, building and creativity, camping culinary skills, and adventure and exploration. “Winter weather often leads many people to stay indoors, but we know that no matter the season, getting outside has many powerful benefits for young people, including supporting mental health and building resiliency,” says Siobhan Ward, Youth Program Specialist, Scouts Canada. The first challenge is focused on sports and is inspired by the spirit of the Olympic games -- with a twist. Youth will take a traditional summer Olympic activity and turn it into a winter game, such as snow volleyball or snow golf, or build and participate in their own winter triathlon. Registration for Scouts Canada’s new year, Jan. to Dec. 2022, is open now at Scouts.ca/Join. Canadian families who are not in Scouting may also join in on the fun by accessing the weekly challenges, available now at scouts.ca/claimtheflame, and sharing it on social media by tagging @ScoutsCanada and using #ClaimTheFlame.
COVID CLINIC SITE - Grand River Hospital will continue to operate its COVID-19 test site, located at Charles and Ontario streets in Kitchener (the former bus terminal) until spring 2022. The hospital has provided COVID-19 testing since early in 2020 and moved to the new, larger location at 15 Charles St. West in Kitchener in December 2020 to better accommodate pedestrians, vehicles, and provide more protection from cold and inclement weather for staff, residents and testing equipment. Hours of operation for the clinic will remain the same: 7:15 am to 6:45 pm Monday through Sunday by appointment only. These hours of operation are subject to change. For more information, or to book an appointment, please visit our website: https://www.grhosp.on.ca/care/visitors/covid-19/covid-19-testing-clinics
DRAYTON THEATRE - Exciting news! Following the success of our first digital offering ‘We’ll Meet Again’ comes a brand-new virtual series for theatre fans called Backstage Pass. Go behind-the-scenes with some amazing Canadian theatre artists in this exclusive series that gives audiences unique insight into the lives of the people behind the performances. Hosted by Artistic Director Alex Mustakas, Backstage Pass features exciting performances and interviews with over 40 incredible artists – everyone from beloved veteran actors and the country’s leading stars, to up-and-coming young performers poised for success. Combining compelling renditions of some of the artists’ favourite songs and scenes with funny and poignant personal stories, this series pulls back the curtain on what it’s like to work in live theatre … where anything can happen. To add to the fun, each episode features one of the finalists chosen in The Great Community Talent Search. Plus, Neil Aitchison brings a Smile of the Day as the lovable Mountie Constable Archibald F. Inkster, and funnyman Wade Lynch makes a comic royal appearance. The exclusive virtual series of 10 weekly episodes will run Sunday nights until April 3. Each hour-long episode will be available on demand for seven days after it airs. Backstage Pass is available for purchase as a collective series or by the episode. Buy individual episodes for $20 each or purchase the complete Backstage Pass series for only $150 ... that’s a savings of $50! And if Sundays don’t work for you, no problem! Each hour-long episode will be available on demand for seven days after it airs. During that viewing period, you can watch it whenever you want, as many times as you want.
KW SYMPHONY RETURNS TO IN-PERSON PERFORMANCES - the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony has returned to in-person performances. It will be offering a wide range of performances from Signature and Pops concerts to Baroque and Family concerts. To celebrate the KWS’s return to in-person performances, the Signature Series features a performance of Mahler’s magnificent and majestic Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, in May. The Pops Series opened in January with Juno Award winner iskwē in concert conducted by Andrei Feher. The Baroque & Beyond Series sees KWS Interim Concertmaster Jung Tsai and Music Director Andrei Feher curating programs that range from Haydn and Pergolesi to Purcell and Mozetich. The Family Series explores rhythm, dance, and the sounds of the orchestra. Music Director Andrei Feher leads families on a musical tour of a zoo… and the orchestra in Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals.
CENTRE IN THE SQUARE CELTIC ILLUSION – Kitchener’s Centre in the Square presents Celtic Illusion: the Irish Dance & Magic Sensation on Thurs. April 28. Fusing contemporary Irish Dance with magic and grand illusions, Celtic Illusion features a cast of champion and internationally acclaimed dancers, including performers from both Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. Displaying some of the fastest taps in the world, the dancers’ thunderous rhythm fills the stage in perfect unison. Celtic Illusion is led by Australia’s Anthony Street, the first Australian to perform leading roles in Michael Flatley’s widely-acclaimed Lord of the Dance, including the very role that Michael Flatley originally performed himself. Since its premiere in 2011, Celtic Illusion has played to sold-out audiences all across Australia and recently completely sold out a tour in Canada. For tickets and more information visit centreinthesquare.com
STRATFORD MARKS 70TH SEASON - In 2022, the Stratford Festival is coming back big to mark its 70th season, with a full repertory playbill running from early April to the end of October, ten major productions and almost two hundred Meighen Forum events. Tickets will be available in the New Year, with the box office slated to open to the public on March 18, 2022. The season offers a pleasing balance with a blend of classic and modern, with Shakespeare, other classics, new plays and an iconic musical. There are stories from the English and French traditions, a new Indigenous play, a magnificent Nigerian tale, and a comedy about polyamory and economics in the modern world. FESTIVAL THEATRE - HAMLET | CHICAGO | THE MISER: TOM PATTERSON THEATRE - RICHARD III | ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL | DEATH AND THE KING’S HORSEMAN: AVON THEATRE - LITTLE WOMEN: STUDIO THEATRE - EVERY LITTLE NOOKIE | HAMLET-911 | 1939. For tickets and more information visit stratfordfestival.ca
VOLUNTEERS URGENTLY NEEDED TO DELIVER MEALS - Volunteers who delivered meals to local seniors throughout the pandemic are starting to return to work, leaving a gap for local agency Community Support Connections (Meals on Wheels) to fill. When the pandemic first hit, the charity lost the majority of its meal delivery volunteers who were being instructed to stay safe at home as older adults themselves. Routes in Kitchener and Cambridge are in great need of delivery volunteers. If you can help or for more information please contact Meals on Wheels at (519) 772-8787
RAY OF HOPE’S ANNUAL COLDEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR WALK – The Ray of Hope Community Centre in Kitchener provides three meals a day to over 300 people. The Coldest Night of the Year walk raises one quarter of the annual budget needed to operate the community centre’s meal programs and you can help make a difference. Join the over 385 walkers who have already signed up for the fundraiser. All you have to do is go to CNOY.ORG choose the Kitchener location and register to walk a 2km or 5km route in person or virtually. Ask your family to sponsor you and invite a friend to join you. Everyone who raises $150 or more will receive a CNOY toque.
NEW KITCHENER GRANT HONOURS BLACK HISTORY MONTH - In keeping with this year’s Black History Month theme of Black Health and Wellness, the City of Kitchener has launched the RISE fund, a new community grant program for Black, Indigenous and racialized groups in Kitchener. Developed though the Mayor’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion it will make $150,000 available over the first three years to provide ongoing financial support for Black, Indigenous and other racialized community-led programs, projects and events to help make sure they have equitable access to the systems, supports and opportunities they need to grow, succeed, and thrive in our community. For more information on the grant visit www.kitchener.ca