Tag Archives: rom

Review: ROM Friday Night Live (#FNLROM): Afro Fête celebrates Black History Month (Friday February 3, 2017)


New year and new jams at #FNLROM!  On Friday February 3, 2017 we celebrated Afro Fête as part of Black History Month with a jam-packed night of vibrant music, food and activations.  The evening featured live entertainment, DJs and special performances in the Museum’s stunning galleries.

The #FNLROM Afro Fête Performances did not disappoint with the likes of Exco Levi & High Priest.  Jamaican/Canadian musician Exco Levi paid tribute to the founders of reggae music with a modern twist of poetry and sound. This four-time Juno award winner has performed in multiple tours and reggae festivals around the world.

We also enjoyed Ammoye.  Rooted in the reggae music of her native Jamaica, Ammoye effortlessly glided from reggae and dancehall to gospel, soul and R&B. Over the years, Ammoye has been performing at events and festivals around the globe, and has shared the stage with Ziggy Marley, Freddie McGregor, Romain Virgo and Beenie Man.

The Afro Lounge was off the hook!  We ordered some West African street eats, grabbed a drink, and played a game of Ludo. Complete with a dressing room in the back, showcasing exclusive pieces from the Chinedesign summer collection inspired by the Museum’s current Art, Honour, and Ridicule: Asafo Flags from Southern Ghana exhibition.

Who Killed Colin Roach? We also explored the interconnections between race, justice and the state in this film by Isaac Julien.  Well worth a visit!

See you in the spring!


Afro Fête Tickets: $5 for ROM Members, $15 for Adults, and $13 for Students.

#FNLROM is a specially ticketed event for adults 19+.

For information and future tickets, visit rom.on.ca.

Review: ROM Friday Night Live: #FNLROM, November 25: Afterglow


The Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) Friday Night Live (#FNLROM) series, presented by Ford of Canada, delivers Toronto’s best Friday night destination with the hottest DJs, live performances, food and drink, and an opportunity to experience the Museum like never before. On Friday, November 25, 2016, bring season 10 of #FNLROM to a climax, and enjoy complementary access to the ROM’s spectacular CHIHULY exhibition.

Northside Hip Hop Archive celebrates its first honorary fellows, Toronto’s DJ Ron Nelson, and Hamilton’s Eklipz with special guest, the godfather of hip-hop, from the Bronx, New York, the legendary DJ Kool Herc. Northside DJs also spinning for this incredible night include Toronto’s very own DJ DTS, DJ Romeo and DJ Grumps.

Live Performances

Twin Rains

A Canadian dream pop group from Toronto/Vancouver. The band consists of locals Jay Merrow and Christine Stoesser, whose sound transforms the spaces they play – from thumping dance beats to synth drenched waltzes – pairing soft, ethereal vocals with atmospheric grooves.

Amanda Martinez

A Toronto-based singer/songwriter whose music exultingly blends her unique Mexican and South African roots with flamenco soul.

Other Performances: University of Toronto Faculty of Music featuring – U of T Jazz Stars

DJs: DJ Conor Cutz and DJ Sean Caff

ROM Gallery Activities

Destination – Mars: CBC’s The Nature of Things wants you to explore DESTINATION: MARS. Take a picture with your friends, complete with space inspired props and a chance to touch Mars. Learn more about the race to get humans to Mars, which today is a planet populated only by robots!

#FNLROM Tickets: $5 for ROM Members, $15 for Adults, and $13 for Students. New this season, get 20% off #FNLROM admission for groups of 20 or more! For details, email groupsales@rom.on.ca. #FNLROM is a specially ticketed event for adults 19+.

Social Media

Like: ROM Facebook

Tweet: @ROMToronto

Instagram: romtoronto

Watch: ROM YouTube

Blog: ROMblog

Join the Conversation: #FNLROM


The last night of #FNLROM for 2016 was bound to be epic.  With a line up of guests that stretched past Museum Station at 7 p.m. – we knew that tonight was going to be special.

We were ready to be slayed by the likes of the Godfather of Hip Hop – DJ Kool Herc and the epic DJ Ron Nelson, but who was the mystery guest we wondered?  Dancing shoes were on, cute outfits in check and hair styled.  Work!

As we grabbed our drink and food tickets from Level One we made sure to sip a quick cocktail and then say a hello to the Chihuly exhibit which will close in 2017.  If you have yet to see his work, Dale Chihuly is a pioneer of the studio glass movement and considered to be one o the world’s foremost artists working in glass today. His ornate flowers, chandeliers and scene scapes is worth the price of ROM admission and some.

After our rendezvous with Chihuly we made our way to Level Three and grabbed a gorgeous Double from Young Animal in the Eaton Court and sipped our delish Perroni pints.  We shared a giggle or two and shimmied away to the U of T Faculty of Music house jazz crew.

Making our way to Level Two we swooned over Twin Rains the dream pop group who pairs ethereal vocals with atmospheric grooves in Bronfman Hall and then grabbed some Palabok from Tita Flips in the Biodiversity exhibit space.  Her Filipino street food never disappoints.

A hot tip, the bars on the higher floors especially in Earth’s Treasures tend to be quiet.  Grab your drinks there to get back to the party with your friends faster.

The mystery guest was the first lady of Canadian Hip Hop, Dancehall and Reggae – Michie Mee!  She kept things fresh by introducing DJ Kool Herc and reminding us that her appearance was not all abut nostalgia.  She has new music coming out soon she reassured the crowd.  Like DJ Kool Herc, Michie Mee was personable, took many a photo with her fans and was keen to remind us with her amazing smile why we continue to jump to ‘Jamaican Funk’.

By 9:30 p.m. we were ready for DJ Kool Herc.  Drinks in hand, he gave it to us hard by puling some Rob Base from his record crate and Digital Underground to get the crowd moving.  Some B-boys took the floor immediately and kept the crowd intrigued of what was to come next.  DJ Kool Herc a true pioneer of the Rap movement coming out of the Bronx gave us a memorable night – brimming with dance off’s, laughter and epic tunes we had long forgotten.  The crowd was a wonderful mix of young and old.  Everyone came together and truly contributed to a wonderful night.

DJ Ron Nelson was also in fine form by bringing his special brand of spinning that was just as tight as when we would see him in our university days.  In the early 1980s, Toronto hip-hop was in its infancy, but it took the drive of Ron Nelson, who not only volunteered on the airwaves to introduce rap music to the city via the Fantastic Voyage show on CKLN, but also as a promoter, bringing several acts from New York to Toronto.

The laughter, singing and dancing was the most epic way to end 2016 with friends at FNLROM at the Royal Ontario Museum.  What better indication that a great night was had, that when my friends and I left for the evening we had noticed we had lost our voices and felt our whole body was given a proper work out.  Epic!  Till 2017!

Chihuly: From Sand. From Fire. Comes Beauty. (June 25 – January 2, 2017) at the Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is proud to present CHIHULY, featuring the dramatically colourful creations in glass by internationally acclaimed artist Dale Chihuly. On display from June 25, 2016 to January 2, 2017 in the Museum’s Garfield Weston Exhibition Hall, CHIHULY includes installations created especially for the ROM’s exhibition, in addition to series favourites.

Dale Chihuly has been exploring glass as a medium and creating striking installations for 50 years. His monumental works defy his material’s fragility. Chihuly’s pieces bring together a centuries-old team approach to glass-blowing with his unique artistic vision – resulting in ground-breaking artworks. Chihuly said, “I want people to be overwhelmed with light and colour in a way they’ve never experienced before.”

“CHIHULY is a mesmerizing exhibition highlighting the monumental works of this singular artist. His stunning installations transform the ROM—encouraging us to think differently about both art and nature,” said Josh Basseches, ROM Director and CEO.

Diane Charbonneau, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, is the guest curator of CHIHULY at the ROM. She commented, “With Nathalie Bondil, MMFA director and chief curator, we are pleased to have helped this initiative from the very beginning with the ROM, our great partner. A key figure in the realm of studio glass, Dale Chihuly executes works that reveal a fertile imagination expressed through an extensive vocabulary borrowing freely from nature, his main source of inspiration. His wondrous pieces are the result of a perceptive exploration of colour, form, light, and space. To experience Chihuly’s installation works is a must!”


Dale Chihuly is renowned for his site-specific installations. CHIHULY features 11 immersive installations; some newly created for the ROM’s exhibition. These include:

Lime Crystal Tower, standing over 14 feet high, greets visitors in the entrance of the ROM. Its 118 crystals are made of solid Polyvitro, a term for a type of plastic coined by Chihuly, and a material that transmits light and colour very much like glass. However, at 3,000 pounds, this transparent work weighs much less than if created in glass.

Boats: Two weathered boats, Ikebana Boat and Float Boat are presented on a black Plexiglas surface. Chihuly first filled boats with his glass pieces in Nuutajärvi, Finland in June 1995 during the Chihuly over Venice project. At one point, Chihuly began tossing glass elements into the river, allowing them to float downstream. As local teenagers in small wooden rowboats gathered them, the artist recognised the opportunity for a new installation.

Laguna Torcello creates an intricate garden of glass. Introduced in 2012, this is part of Chihuly’s long-standing series, Mille Fiori (“thousand flowers” in Italian). Visitors can stroll around this garden, taking in an outstanding range of Chihuly’s forms. The installation’s name references a lagoon island in Venice, Italy, the artist’s favourite place in the world, and pays respect to that city’s glass-makers.

Jerusalem Cylinders are bold and dramatic. Taking preformed glass elements in the shape of sharp-edged crystals, Chihuly fuses them onto cylindrical vessels. Part of a series launched in 1999 when Chihuly was preparing an exhibition in Jerusalem, the crystals evoke the massive stones making up the walls of the ancient city’s Citadel.

Sapphire Neon Tumbleweeds: Chihuly has created neon sculptures throughout his career. Neon Tumbleweeds were first exhibited in 1993 as part of a larger neon and ice exhibition in Tacoma, Washington.

Red Reeds on Logs are presented atop a cascading composition of Ontario-sourced white birch logs. First created in 1995, this series is brilliant on many levels but especially for Chihuly’s use of materials giving strong contrasts between colours, densities, and textures. Incredibly, some of the reeds reach three metres long, his glassblowers achieving this by pulling the hot molten glass downwards from a mechanical lift.

Persian Ceiling stands as one of Chihuly’s most popular and enduring works. Brightly coloured Persians dominate, arranged in layers over plate glass, while many of the artist’s hallmark elements also appear in this installation. Subtle lighting ensures the ceiling creates a colourful kaleidoscopic effect.

Fire Orange Baskets: Impressed by a presentation of Northwest Coast Indian baskets in the Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma, Chihuly sought to replicate the effects of weight, gravity, and time and started the Basket series in 1977. With this site-specific grouping, Chihuly continues to push scale with his artworks. These Baskets are among the largest he’s created.

Icicle Chandeliers and Towers display two forms that complement each other like cave stalagmites and stalactites. Chihuly began his Chandeliers series in 1992, achieving great massing of colour by taking hundreds of pieces of blown glass, assembling them around sturdy steel frameworks, and lighting them from external sources. His Towers followed soon after as an upside-down version. The exhibition’s installation comprises two chandeliers and two towers. The artist, choosing icicles as a unifying theme, has created a wholly new triple tower.

Persian Trellis, created specifically for the ROM, features Chihuly’s Persians. From their 1986 origins, the making of these forms involves blowing glass to produce a herringbone pattern. Striking arrangements of them can be mounted anywhere—including on ceilings, in wall displays, on chandeliers or, in this instance, mounted on a large wooden trellis framework, allowing visitors to walk through to enjoy the artwork from a number of angles.

The Northwest Room presents selections from Chihuly’s early experiments in the Baskets series.It is augmented by a sampling of the artist’s personal collection of Northwest Coast Indian baskets, American Indian trade blankets, and Edward S. Curtis photogravures.

Admission to CHIHULY is timed ticketed: Members: FREE; Adults: $29.00; Seniors/Students: $26.50; and Children (4-14 years): $21.00. Tickets are now on sale.

Visitors of all ages can enhance their exhibition experience with outstanding programming offered throughout the ROM’s presentation of CHIHULY. Visit rom.on.ca/chihuly for details.

About Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly, an American sculptor, has mastered the alluring, translucent, and transparent qualities of ice, water, glass and neon, to create works of art that transform the viewer experience. He is globally renowned for his ambitious site-specific architectural installations in public spaces, and in exhibitions presented in more than 250 museums and gardens worldwide. Major exhibitions include Chihuly Over Venice (1995-96), Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem (1999), Garden Cycle (2001–present), de Young Museum in San Francisco (2008), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2011), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond (2012), and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal (2013.) Chihuly Garden and Glass opened at Seattle Center in 2012.


Review: Royal Ontario Museum’s Friday Night Live ‘Dinonite’ #FNLROM

Well into its second week of Friday Night Live, the Royal Ontario Museum brought their ‘Dinonite’ game last night.   For some of us, the last time we hung out with our dino ancestor’s was in grade school.  It’s never too late to drop in and say ‘Holla’ from the 6.

Hot on the Dino tip we headed for the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs on Level 2 to greet the Triceratops.

One of the oldest members of the horned dinosaur family Ceratopsidae, which includes the famous Triceratops, the new dinosaur lived during the Late Cretaceous, 79 million years ago, in what is now the Milk River badlands of southern Alberta. Dinosaurs from this time are poorly understood compared to those from the later rocks of Dinosaur Provincial Park or the Drumheller region.

After our Dino fill it was time to get our party on. With our ROMBUCKS in tow we headed to the ‘Chinese Architecture’ section of the ROM to grab King Catering’s famous Jerk Chicken Tacos, Jerk Chicken Poutine and Southern Bites. The spice was on!

As we ate our yummy eats we took in the featured entertainment, Rambunctious at the Currelly Mainstage. The notorious trumpeter Michael Louis Johnson leads this ragtag band in an all improvised dance party jam featuring grooves from New Orleans to Harlem, Motown to the Balkans, funk to punk and everything in between.

Back Biodiversity on Level 2 we went for Dino cookies care of Curbside Bliss. Curbside Bliss never disappoints when it comes to soothing our sweet tooth.  As we nibbled on our treats we popped in for a session at the Spell-a-saurus in the Earth Rangers Studio.  Yes, a Prehistoric Spelling Bee!  It was heaving!  After a go at the traditional spelling bee we headed off to dance off our meals with an uber cool band by the name of Language Arts in Bronfman Hall.

If you need a house jazz break you can be guaranteed to find U of T’s Faculty of Music’s Jazz Program to keep you propped up and perhaps take a spin or two at the different levels at Friday Night Live. It’s not about all big beats and busting a move after all!

As we headed out a shave after 11 p.m. after a full evening of food, culture and music we thought why not bust a move one last time on Level 4 with House DJ – DJ Jason Palma. He is a pioneer of Toronto’s acid jazz scene and was mixing the seemingly un-mixable with a few of my closest new friends.

Catch you next week for Fashion (May 20, 2016) at the ROM’s ‘Friday Night Live’! Grab your tickets here! https://www.rom.on.ca/en/whats-on/fnlrom-fashion


ROM: ¡Viva México! Clothing & Culture from Saturday, May 9, 2015 to Sunday, May 23, 2016

It maybe cold outside but if you are looking for a little adventure to warm you up – check out the ROM’s amazing exhibits!  One that can’t be missed is the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) presentation of ¡Viva México! Clothing & Culture from Saturday, May 9, 2015 to Sunday, May 23, 2016.

On display in the Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume, the original exhibition features approximately 150 pieces created in Mexico between the 18th and 21st centuries.

This is the first-ever presentation of the ROM’s wide-ranging collection which spans 300 years and reflects Mexico’s indigenous and colonial past. ¡Viva México! opens a window onto Mexico’s colourful history and culture as it show cases the best, brightest – and often rarest – of this significant collection.

The evolution of Mexican clothing styles reflects the history of Mexico, where the textile arts reach back over many centuries. In pre-Conquest times, the splendid garments of the elite served as symbols of high status. When the Spanish conquistadores arrived in 1519, they were immensely impressed by the accomplishments of spinners, dyers, weavers, embroiderers, and feather workers. After the Conquest of 1521, European skills, raw materials, garment styles, and design motifs were adopted, merging with those of indigenous societies. Over time, this fusion has given Mexican textiles their immense range and visual appeal, with distinctive styles of dress drawing on a variety of textile techniques. Approximately 60 languages are still spoken by the descendants of the Maya, the Aztecs, and other ancient cultures, and fine textiles remain central to the everyday and ceremonial lives of many communities in rural Mexico. Contemporary makers combine traditional elements with modern materials, keeping clothing and ornament alive as a vital form of cultural expression.

¡Viva México! explores this continuity and change, demonstrating how the country’s artistic traditions were impacted by, and, in turn, influenced the world around them. Indigenous and post-Conquest styles combine in the exhibition to create a feast for the eyes, from flamboyant and elaborate ensembles, to the intricate details adorning each piece. Ceremonial outfits, worn with elaborate lace headdresses, evoke grand fiestas and are symbols of Mexican identity.

The exhibition also includes superb embroidered samplers, beautifully woven rebozos (women’s shawls) and dazzling patterned sarapes (men’s wool overgarments) from the 18th and 19th centuries. Complete costume ensembles from the early 20th century and impressive examples of contemporary clothing, some recently commissioned by the ROM, are also displayed. ROM-produced short films feature interviews by the curators with skilled artisans as they spin,  dye thread, weave, and embroider, vibrantly demonstrating the unrivalled skills behind the exhibition’s stunning pieces.


Royal Ontario Museum: Friday Night Live’s ‘Volcanic Bash’


The last night of the Royal Ontario Museum: Friday Night Live’s ‘Volcanic Bash’ was on point.  Full on with their eye for impeccable details, Pompeii Roman themes, volcano nods and enough warmth emanating from the space to soothe our cold bones from the winter’s chill.

The night’s theme was ‘Volcanic Rocks’ celebrating the soon to be closing (on January 3, 2016) ‘Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano’ exhibit.  We made sure to check out the space which told the dramatic story of an ancient civilization frozen in time and features 200 remarkable objects, many of which appear for first time in Toronto. Check it out before it closes!  http://www.rom.on.ca/en/Pompeii

This week we checked out House DJ Conor Cutz at the Currelly Mainstage who was spinning some old school beats.  FNL’ers were already on the floor and dancing when we arrived.  We grabbed some cocktails from the Cocktail Lounge under the dinosaur to inhale some of the friendly and chilled vibe already a brewing.


We carried on to get some dinner at Tita Flips in the Chinese Architecture space.  We used our ROMBUCKS on her Palabok (Cornstarch noodles in special sauce topped with hard-boiled eggs, shrimp, crushed pork rinds, tofu, minced green onions) and Fried Lumpia (Deep fried Vegetable spring rolls with vinegar-garlic sauce).  They satiated us, were flavourful and for a mere $6 a meal – we could have eaten more! But we had more to see and taste!  Check her out http://titaflips.com/!

As we glided upstairs to the second floor we found the Ice Volcano Ice Cream booth in Earth’s Treasures.  Ice Volcano Ice Cream is not only about the delicious gourmet ice cream, you also get to experience the thrill of watching it being made right in front of your eyes.  The extreme coldness of the liquid nitrogen and your customized ice cream appears in a matter of seconds. The simple combination of milk, cream and sugar is quickly turned into ice cream in under 60 seconds.

The Ice Volcano Ice Cream fit perfectly into the ‘Volcanic Bash’ theme of the night.  The flavour we indulged upon was the Blueberry Cheesecake which had all the makings of a gourmet cheesecake.  Breads crumbs and all!  It was rich, tasty and dreamy.  Next time you attend FNL – get to the Ice Volcano Ice Cream booth early.  Their queues get long after 9 p.m..  http://www.icevolcano.ca/home.html


We also grabbed some additional dessert at Curbside Bliss in the Biodiversity:  Life in Crisis area.  As per the Curbside Bliss website, ‘Curbside Bliss is Canada’s first mobile gourmet bakery. Our elegant, mobile bakery cruises around the GTA bringing supreme taste bud BLISS to those wanting a sweet fix. All of the prepping, baking, frosting, packaging and ultimately – you taking some BLISS home to enjoy – the entire process is done right from the mobile kitchen truck.’

We indulged upon the Red Velvet cupcakes which can be described as ‘Red velvet sponge with cream cheese frosting’ and Strawberry Cupcakes, ‘Strawberry sponge infused with whip cream and topped with fresh strawberry frosting.’  They were fresh, tasty and a perfect palate cleanser after our earlier eats.  Check her out, http://www.curbsideblisscupcakes.com/.

As we finished up for the night on the dance floor.  We grabbed a pint of Peroni and sauntered back down to Level One to dance the night away with ‘The Damn Truth’ a rock & roll band from Montreal.

It was truly a volcanic night at the ROM.  Fun, good energy and chillaxed folk.  Looking forward to celebrating with you and the ROM in 2016!


Royal Ontario Museum: ‘Pompeii – In the Shadow of the Volcano’ from Saturday, June 13, 2015 – Sunday, January 3, 2016


As part of my staycation, I checked out the ROM’s ‘Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano’  exhibit which tells the dramatic story of an ancient civilization frozen in time and features 200 remarkable objects, many of which appear for first time in Toronto.

Exploring Pompeii and its fate through six distinctive sections, the exhibition’s introductory experience underscores what we know about the city and the ancient Romans who lived and died there. Three key displays establish that the exhibition’s focus is on those people, the volcano that buried them, and the wealth of objects remarkably preserved by the destruction. The volcano, introduced in this section, remains a looming, menacing presence throughout the exhibition. Here, visitors are able to touch a large piece of pumice from Mount Vesuvius. From the mid-18th century, extensive excavations of Pompeii provided unparalleled knowledge of ancient Roman life. The exhibition’s Out of the Ashes  examines the rediscovery, establishing that, with its eruption, Mount Vesuvius transformed a relatively minor Roman city into one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites. Pompeii is a veritable “time capsule” of well-preserved artifacts.

The exhibition’s central dramatic moment comes with Time Runs out for Pompeii . An immersive experience engulfs visitors as the disaster’s chronology is explained and visitors learn how and why the eruption was so catastrophic.

Finally,  The Human Toll reveals the devastating loss of life.   The dramatic story of discovery and preservation is enhanced as visitors encounter casts of the inhabitants of Pompeii at the moment of their demise. These people, whose lives were similar to ours in many respects, reveal life’s fragility in the face of natural disaster.

If you would like to go to the ROM on CityPASS please take advantage of my giveaway!  Toronto @CityPASS Ticket Booklet Giveaway! https://thirtyfourflavours.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/toronto-citypass-ticket-booklet-giveaway/


Royal Ontario Museum: ‘Friday Night Live – Light’ (Friday November 20, 2015)

If you have not yet caught one of the Royal Ontario Museum’s ‘Friday Night Live’s’ – you are missing out.  It is clearly the hottest ticket in town even when it’s 1 degree Celsius outside and you are trotting up Bloor Street West in the cutest cocktail dress, heels, your hair polished and make up on point.

Upon approach to the Royal Ontario Museum we were greeted with a line that was wound tight around the city block.  People were bundled up and ready to pile in.  With a 7 p.m. start people were clearly waiting for a good 30-45 minutes in the cold.  They didn’t look bummed in the slightest.  All we could see were smiles.

As we entered the space our coats were taken, we were directed to where we could buy ROM drink and food tickets and were given a map of the best exhibitions to take in.

The night’s theme was ‘Light’.  A perfect motif as the amount of daily light is slowly starting to diminish due to the season.  Perhaps this is about celebrating the light that we do have and reacquainting with it in a different way during the day.  In the mean time ‘Light’ shone on us inside the ROM as we started our evening in good measure.  The vibe in the space was upbeat, fun, filled with nostalgic tunes from a cool DJ and the scent of hot food.

As we ate some spicy buns, teriyaki and sipped delicious cocktails we watched as the crowd from the outside slowly start to bellow into the ROM.  People were in chipper, full of laughter and clearly ready to party.  The Fall chill had nothing on us.

As we glided up stairs to see the featured exhibition of Wildlife Photographer of the Year.  The space was heaving with people getting lost in the vulnerability, tenderness and raw emotion of the photos.  It was a sight to see so many people having deep emotional connections to the photographs.

It seemed every floor we tip toed into had a Nuit Blanche feel.  There was always a treasure to be found.  Be it musicians playing upbeat tunes, delicacies like haute couture cupcakes, volcanic ice creams, chic hamburgers, specialty drinks and healthier vegetarian options.  Check out Fidel Gastro’s and Randy’s Roti – they were a hit!  Clearly, next time we don’t eat dinner before we come to Friday Night Live at the ROM.  The ROM has curated a night that is for a discerning customer that is sophisticated, well travelled, a foodie and only the best will do.

Like in Alice in Wonderland, we got lost looking for Sergio Hernández Martinez’s ‘Day of the Dead Ofrenda made for the ROM’.  But when we did find it we were greeted by ROM staff that were exuberant to tell us all out the exhibit and also invite us to have our glamorous photo taken with the Pixel Stick in the adjacent space from The Museum out of Kitchener.

It was a gobsmacking experience as we revelled in the Ofrenda’s flowers, cut outs, bottles of beer, ornate crucifixes, angels and various sweets and foods left for those returning souls who once appreciated personal moments with these pieces when on earth.  At one point we were feeling extremely over stimulated but we shook that off after we paid our respects at Sergio Hernández Martinez’s ‘Day of the Dead Ofrenda’ and then took off for our next adventure.

Musical performances from Countermeasure, Repartee and Common Deer offered us a nice reprieve as we sipped our Peroni’s and chuckled about the past week.  What a lovely civilized way to have fun with your friends in the company of gorgeous art, succulent eats and drinks a plenty.  We all have to grow up at some point don’t we? Why not do it with the ROM in the heart of the city and then head off for fun and frivolity after 11 p.m.?  Lastly, there are two more FNL’s left for the year – get on it!


Toronto CityPASS: Royal Ontario Museum and Toronto CityPASS Giveaway!

16_Don Gutoski_Canada_Tale of two foxes

I’m well into my Toronto staycation. Today I visited the Royal Ontario Musuem with my trusty Toronto CityPASS and it was indeed quite the adventure!

What did I see?  The Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) exhibition!  It opens at the ROM on November 21 and is on display until March 20, 2016 and it was my first stop!

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) exhibition presented by Quark Expeditions opens on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). The exhibition, on tour from the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London, showcases the natural world’s most astonishing images from professional and amateur photographers from 96 countries. This year’s show features photographs from three Canadians including the overall winning image from Don Gutoski, of London, Ontario.  Gutoski’s photo, A Tale Of Two Foxes, was taken near Wapusk National Park, near Cape Churchill, Manitoba. Also featured are photographs from Connor Stefanison, the Rising Star Portfolio Winner, and Josiah Launstein, a Finalist, 10 Years and Under. WPY is the most prestigious wildlife photography competition in the world and attracts more than 42,000 entries from around the world. The exhibition is now in its 51st year and is making its third appearance at the ROM this year.

Turtle Flight from David Doubilet demonstrating a hawksbill turtle as it swam past the photographer was such a beautiful testament to our earth and how precious it is.  Seeing a wee turtle navigating itself in the ocean’s realm is such a lovely reminder that life goes on even in the deepest of oceans when we are locked in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.  The pause in inhaling this photo was dream like.

Beetle Beauty and the Spiral of Love from Javier Aznar Gonzalez de Rueda captured Jewel weevils getting ‘busy’ in their glowing and iridescent forms.  These beetles looked like they were either dipped in oil or worse something out of an Alien film.  I smirked at the cheekiness behind the photo.

Make sure you check out the Butterfly in Crystal snap from Ugo Mellone.  As winter approaches Toronto – it’s a nice reminder of what is buried unknowingly under our feet as we traipse in and out of the snow for the next few months.

A Whale Of A Mouthful from Michael AW will leave you awestruck.  Think National Geographic in 100D.  It was truly a feat to capture such a vivid and daring photo of a whale amongst a school of fish.  A gobsmacking shot.

Exhibition Details

WPY is on display in Third Floor, Centre Block where photographs are installed with custom light boxes creating a dramatic view of the natural world. The exhibition is both family-friendly and attractive to the expert photographer, with 13 categories ranging from Youth Awards, to design and landscape images, and stunning animal portraits.

New this year is a ROM Photographer of the Year contest, which encourages visitors to submit their best wildlife photos. The winning image, selected by panel of ROM judges, will win an Arctic Expedition for two valued at $24,000 (CDN), generously donated by WPY Presenting Sponsor, Quark Expeditions. Contest entries can be submitted between November 18, 2015 and January 31, 2016, using Twitter and Instagram (entries must include @ROMtoronto and #ROMWPY). Details are available at: www.rom.on.ca/contest.

Add The Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) exhibit to your visit when you use your CityPASS at the ROM for a small additional fee.  It’s well worth it!

Here’s a lil more info about the Toronto CityPASS for your ROM visit the next time you are in Toronto.

Once you have your booklets, your party can split up and visit the attractions in any order you wish.

You’ll get to skip many ticket lines with CityPASS. Look at the tickets in the booklet for entry instructions at each attraction.

There’s no need to rush through the attractions because you have nine days to use your Toronto CityPASS booklet. That’ll give you enough time to fully experience the best attractions while leaving plenty of time for shopping, dining, shows, etc. Explore at your own pace – see several attractions in one day, or spread them out over your whole trip.

Admission for the Toronto CityPASS Includes

1 CN Tower

2 Royal Ontario Museum

3 Casa Loma

4 Toronto Zoo

5 Ontario Science Centre

I am giving away two Toronto CityPASS’ ticket booklets to pass on my Toronto staycation buzz! Thank you CityPASS!

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and Toronto CityPASS Giveaway?

Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours, Twitter https://twitter.com/34flavours, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email (thirtyfourflavours@gmail.com) telling me which Toronto CityPASS attraction you are interested in visiting. Easy peasy! I will announce the winner on Monday November 30, 2015.  Good luck!