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Week of March 10, 2014

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Mar 9th, 2014

Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

Stephanie Joanne is in on Monday with the latest to get you back in shape!

On Wednesday, it’s the cast of Mirvish’s American Idiot! They’ll be in to preview the latest to hit the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

And to close off the week, Jenn and the Live Eye crew are in Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day! Tune in for the highlights from her trip.

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!


‘CityNews at 6’ wins Best Local Newscast at Canadian Screen Awards

CityNews | posted Sunday, Mar 9th, 2014

City took home a major honour on Tuesday night when CityNews at 6 was awarded Best Local Newscast at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards.

City won for its coverage of the dramatic protest march through downtown Toronto following the fatal shooting of Sammy Yatim. Yatim, 18, was shot by police on an empty streetcar on July 27, 2013 — an incident that was caught on video.

An officer faces a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the case.

The Canadian Screen Awards honour achievement in homegrown television, film and digital projects, and replace the previously separate Gemini and Genie Awards.

On Tuesday, the awards in the documentary, reality, lifestyle, news, sports, and digital media categories were handed out.

CityNews at 6′s Avery Haines, Josef Fazio and Shayla Vize were nominated in the category of Best Reportage (Local) for the Inside Story: Kayla Baker, while Amar Sodhi, Kathleen O’Keefe, Katia Del Col, Dave Budge, and Gord Martineau were the winners in the Best Local Newscast division.

Haines and Vize, along with Chris Dunseith and Daniel Frechette, were also nominated for Best News Information Segment for Inside Story: Matthew Sagodi.

In the Best Local Newscast category, CityNews was competing with the CBC News: Toronto, CTV News Toronto at 6 with Ken Shaw and Michelle Dubé, Global News Calgary and CBC News: Nova Scotia at Six.

CBC News: Here & Now, CBC News: Nova Scotia at Six, CBC News: Toronto and CBC News: Winnipeg were among the nominees for the Best Reportage, Local, with CBC: Here & Now taking it home.

Other Rogers Media properties and City shows were also nominated, including Cityline for its Ultimate Holiday Guide. The sitcom Seed received eight nominations, including an acting nod for Laura de Carteret.

Denis Villeneuve’s surreal mind-bender Enemy’ leads the film nominations while Space’s sci-fi clone saga Orphan Black tops the television contenders.

Enemy — featuring Jake Gyllenhaal in dual roles as a paranoid teacher and as a cocky amateur actor who looks just like him —  dominates the film categories with 10 nominations, ahead of Xavier Dolan’s Tom at the Farm with eight and Louise Archambault’s Gabrielle with six.

The competition for best national news anchor pits CBC’s Peter Mansbridge of The National against Global National anchor Dawna Friesen and Lisa LaFlamme of CTV National News.

Other notable nominees this year include Juno Awards host Michael Buble for best host in a variety, lifestyle, reality/competition, performing arts or talk program or series. The crooner is also named in the best writing in a variety or sketch comedy program or series category and best performance in a variety or sketch comedy program or series.

Click here for a full list of nominees.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television unveiled the list at a news conferences in Montreal and Toronto on January 13.

The main Screen Awards event will be in Toronto with comic Martin Short returning as host on Sunday, airing on CBC-TV.

With files from The Canadian Press

Cool & fun March Break activities to do in Toronto, GTA

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Mar 7th, 2014

Not everyone can get away for March Break. But for those who stay in town, there are 3D scanners to try, drama classes to channel your inner Cate Blanchett and safari camps to bring out the zoologist in you.

Check out the cool and fun activities in Toronto and the GTA that will make you and your child leap for joy and chase away those winter blues.

Fun at the library

The Toronto Reference Library is offering cutting-edge workshops for teens at its Digital Innovation Hub.

One class, 3D Printing 101 for Teens, teaches them how to make 3D things like jewelry, toys and phone accessories, using the library’s new 3D printers.

“Over the course of two hours, teens will learn a variety of 3D design software, and they’ll also learn how to use a 3D printer so that they can come back next time and use it themselves to print cool designs,” Ab Velasco, project leader at the Toronto Public Library, told CityNews.

The Digital Innovation Hub opened at the Toronto Reference Library – located at 789 Yonge St. – a month ago, with plans to open another hub at the Fort York branch in the spring, and a third one at the Scarborough Civic Centre at the end of this year.

“Learning comes in all its forms, so we want to provide teens with a really fun activity, and also where they can learn digital and technology skills,” Velasco said.

In terms of how a 3D printer actually works, a plastic called PLA at the back of the printer feeds through a tube and gets heated through an extruder. Velasco said “it’s actually [like] fancy hot glue, where it prints things layer by layer until it’s completed.”

With that in mind, some projects can take up to an hour to print depending on their complexity.

Teens will learn how to create their design by using 3D design software or by downloading ready-to-print designs from websites such as Thingiverse.

There are also classes for teens who want to learn DJ skills, video editing and how to use green screens.

The 3D printing, video editing and DJ-ing sessions will be held March 11-13. Click here for program details and availability.

Drama camps at Young People’s Theatre

Theatre is the perfect outlet to nurture the talents of creative and imaginative children. The Young People’s Theatre is offering a March Break Drama Camp, March 10-14, for children from junior kindergarten to Grade 6.

“Over the course of the week, all of these different groups will be meeting and will be learning all sorts of theatres skills, improvisation, vocal stuff as well, and then they’ll make a piece … that they get to show their parents, their friends and family at the end of the week,” Liz Pounsett, YPT’s drama school director, told CityNews.

“They’re learning not just about theatre but they’re learning how to express themselves and be confident and find out about the world around them through theatre, which is really fun.”

The YPT drama school has been around for 44 years, and the professional artists and educators who work there, will be bring their experience to the camps.

“They’re excellent artists but they’re moreover excellent teachers. They know how to engage kids and they know how to get kids to be engaged in their own creative process,” Pounsett said.

New this year, the Grade 5-6 camp will feature two teachers – a theatre artist and a dancer – allowing the children to “explore theatre while learning break dancing, and having that technique support their theatrical expression.”

Click here for more information on the camp and pricing details.

Safari Camp

If your child is a budding zoologist, or is generally interested in animal welfare and conservation, the Pawsitively Pets Kids Camp is offering a March Break Safari Camp for children aged eight to 14. The program is run in conjunction with Jungle Cat World (3667 Concession Road 6, Orono) and private animal sanctuary Nova’ Ark.

Campers will spend the week taking care of various wild animals and interacting with them.

“It’s a hands-on animal camp where children will have the opportunity to interact with a variety of different animals from birds to rabbits, sugar gliders, lemurs, kangaroos, so a really wonderful opportunity for kids to explore the world of animals,” Jennifer Ego, owner of Pawsitively Pets Kids Camp, told CityNews.

“Safari camp is a great opportunity for kids to really start exploring the more wild animals — animals you can’t keep as pets.”

The camp, which will be held March 10-14, offers half-day and full-sessions and includes busing to and from the pickup spots to the zoo locations. Click here for information and pricing details.

ROM adventures

The Royal Ontario Museum’s has plenty to offer families through its Passport to the World programs. Some of the activities include taking a walk on the moon, building a Forbidden City out of LEGO, exploring the age of dinosaurs and more. Click here for a list of programs.

Earth Rangers Wild Journey, one of the most popular shows at the ROM, also returns this year. Meet various animal ambassadors and learn about their habitats from their trainers and biologists and trainer.

Every artifact, skeleton and fossil has a story, and you can discover what it is as you “Scopify the ROM.” Use the ScopifyROM app to bring these objects to life through a series of “scopes.” For instance, you can add skin to skeletons to learn what they looked like when they were alive, or find out what an object looked like in its original state. Click here for details.

Click here for ticket information and hours of operation.

Toronto Zoo

Want an easy way to turn your child’s frown into a smile? Visit the Toronto Zoo’s adorable baby polar bear cub and giant pandas Er Shun and Da Mao. You can also get a temporary tattoo of the polar bear at the activity centre. Click here for a list of events.

During March 8-12, the zoo – located at 2000 Meadowvale Rd. — will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here for ticket prices.

Dr. Seuss-themed party

“Kid, you’ll move mountains,” Dr. Seuss says in Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Join the Grinch at Casa Loma’s March Break-a-Palooza, which runs March 8-15.

Families can enjoy a host of activities including a scavenger hunt, live performances, storytelling and performance art.

Click here for more details and ticket information.

Toronto Comicon

If your child is obsessed with comic books and gaming, then the Toronto Comicon at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (222 Bremner Blvd.) is the place to be. The event runs from March 7-9. Click here for more information and ticket prices.

Harbourfront camps

Do you have an aspiring young chef in your home? Harbourfront Centre’s Emerging Chef Challenge camp offers children cooking and nutrition lessons from the Liaison College of Culinary Arts, and allows them to create their own dishes from start to finish.

The Harbourfront Centre is also offering other camps in architecture, digital photography, dance, junior circus, and more, for children aged three to 12. Click here for a list of camps and pricing details.

New this year is the Urban Explorers camp, where children can learn about the history of Toronto while having fun. They will head to different neighbourhoods each day, such as Kensington Market and the Distillery District, and then take part in creative projects about them.

Wizard World Fun Park

Although outdoor amusement parks are not open yet, children and their families can still get the amusement park experience indoors. Wizard World Fun Park — now in its 11th year — features over 20 rides, magic shows, arts and crafts, and other activities for children.

The event runs March 9-16, and is located at Exhibition Place, 200 Princes’ Blvd. Click herefor more information and ticket details.

TIFF digiPlaySpace

Sparking creativity in children is at the forefront of TIFF Kids award-winning digiPlaySpace, in which children and their families can take part in virtual adventures, robotics, educational video games, multi-player installations, to name a few, from Canadian and international artists.

One of the installations is called Water Light Graffiti, which lets children create their new media creation with LED lights that shine when “painted” with water. Another installation, PaperDude VR, allows the user to ride a bike equipped with a virtual headset along an imaginative paper route. Click here for more details.

The TIFF Bell Lightbox, located at 350 King St. W., is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Click here for ticket details.

Children’s yoga

The Shops at the Don Mills, located at 25 Karl Fraser Rd., is offering free yoga classes to children between five to 12 years old on March 12, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and March 14, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Call 416-447-6087 (ext. 243) to reserve a spot.

City of Toronto programs

The City of Toronto is hosting free and low-cost programs for children and families at its recreation centres, parks facilities and museums.

Historic sites

Several historic sites and museums will be running camps and family drop-ins, including at Gibson House Museum, Fort York, Scarborough Museum and Todmorden Mills Heritage Site.Click here for more details.

Some of the camps are sold out, but you can find a list of other camps here. Also, click herefor a full list of events at the city’s historic sites and museums.

Skiing and snowboarding

Skiing and snowboarding facilities at Centennial Arena (56 Centennial Park Rd.) and Earl Bales Park (4169 Bathurst St.) will be open from March 10-14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click herefor more details.


The city’s 28 outdoor ice rinks will be open until the end of day on March 16, weather permitting. Also, families can take part in free skating lessons at Ricoh Coliseum (100 Princes’ Blvd.) from March 10-14, from 12:30 to 4 p.m.

The lessons are first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 311.

Click here for more details.

Spring flower shows

For those who want to escape the cold and get a taste of spring, flower shows will be sprouting up at Centennial Park Conservatory (151 Elmcrest Rd.) and Allan Gardens Conservatory (19 Horticultural Ave.). The conservatories are open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. every day and admission is free. For more information, call Centennial at (416) 394-8543 and Allan Gardens at (416) 392-7288.

With files from Patricia D’Cunha, 680News.com

Mayor Ford grilled on Jimmy Kimmel Live

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Mar 4th, 2014

Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel prodded Mayor Rob Ford to seek help for his excessive drinking during an awkward, at times cringe-worthy appearance on Kimmel’s show on Monday night.

“If you are an alcoholic, if you’re drinking enough that you tried crack in your 40s and you don’t remember it, maybe that’s something you might want to think about, like talking to someone about it,” Kimmel said.

Ford, decked out in an all-black suit and bright red tie, threw his head back and laughed before saying he “wasn’t elected to be perfect.”

“I was elected to clean up the mess that I inherited and that’s exactly what I’ve done.”

“I’m just a normal, average, hard-working politician that’s real…”

Kimmel quickly quipped, “You are not the average politician my friend.”

Despite claims that he travelled to Los Angeles to be an ambassador for Hollywood North, Ford spoke little about films during the appearance.

But he did rehash some familiar territory.

He bashed the local Toronto media for its incessant hounding, took angry pokes at police chief Bill Blair and city councillors, and hammered home his “taxpayers-first” policy whenever Kimmel momentarily relented the virtual roasting.

Kimmel kicked things off asking what many Torontonians were likely already thinking; “Why are you here? What good could come of this? Have you ever seen my show?”

Kimmel proceeded to ready angry messages from viewers, many from Toronto, while Ford’s face began to match the crimson hue of his tie.

“I’m really disappointed you are giving this abusive exploiter the time of day,” Kimmel read.

“Do you know about Rob Ford’s domestic abuse, drunk driving, racism, homophobia and inability to tell the truth?”

Ford, sweat now rolling down his forehead, asked, “Is that all I got?”

“I guess they don’t talk about all the money I’ve saved. How we straightened out the city.”

A little later, Kimmel had Ford stand and watch a series of his most notorious, and embarrassing, moments caught on tape. They included Ford’s infamous Steak Queen rant and the video where a clearly agitated Ford threatens someone.

When asked who he was threatening, Ford said he didn’t know.

“You have that many enemies that you don’t know which one this was?” Kimmel asked.

The Great Gonzo was the next guest.

He too poked fun at Ford, who by now was hightailing it back home to more familiar, and seemingly safer territory.

Part two:

Part three:

With files from Michael Talbot, CityNews.ca

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