Dancing in the shadow of the Avro Lancaster Bomber

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum is the #1 tourist attraction in the City of Hamilton. It doesn’t take much research to understand why. The Museum is home to the Avro Lancaster Bomber which is one of only two flying in the world today. The Lancaster or Lanc as many like to call it, is the crown jewel of the museum and its fleet of vintage warplanes.

I recently had the good fortune to attend the museum’s annual Swing out to Victory dinner & dance. Attending this gala event was something I’ve been wanting  to do for years and it did not disappoint. With music from the 30’s and 40’s performed by the Toronto All-Star Big Band surrounded by young people dressed in period with Allied uniforms throughout the crowd, we were transported to another place in time.

But it was the Lancaster Bomber that was the star of the event.  When entering the room the sight of its majesty simply took my breath away.

Avro Lancaster Bomber

Lancaster 2

To sit beneath this iconic aircraft was both a privilege and an honour. With the music of the time filling the air, it was not hard to imagine the young men who flew this bomber. The average age of bomber command pilots was 22. Over 3,249 Lancasters were lost during World War II. So many aircraft with so many young men. So as we danced, we remembered all those young men that made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might have the freedom that we enjoy today.  In the midst of this great aircraft, I remembered and I was grateful.

Recently the Lancaster was featured on CBC’s The Rick Mercer report.  Although you too can get a ride in the Lanc for $3,000, I would say this video is the next best thing. Enjoy the flight!

Facts about the Lancaster:

  • Length 69.5 feet
  • Wingspan 102 feet
  • Power – 1,640 hp each engine
  • Engine 4 x Packard Merlin 224
  • Maximum Speed 275 mph
  • Cruising Speed 210 mph
  • Range 2,530 miles
  • First flight Jan 9, 1941
  • Retired 1963 (Canada)

Viva Pan Am Hamilton!

The 2015 Toronto Pan Am Para Pan Games brought the premier event of soccer to the City of Hamilton. Tourism Hamilton and local BIAs did a great job in hosting daily events and activities throughout the city. For two weeks July 20-26 the city was a buzz of activity. Local weekend festivals during that games added an extra flavour of fun. I had the good fortune to attend the Women’s Gold Soccer match Columbia versus Brazil.

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Congratulations to the Brazilian team who won Gold!

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Hamilton was well represented at the closing ceremonies with the performance of the Hamilton Children’s Choir. The choir sang Shine Your Light while the Pan Am Cauldron made in Hamilton by ArceolorMittal Dofasco was extinguished.

 

 

2015 Toronto Pan Am Games are coming

The 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games are coming to Hamilton this summer. Soccer one of the premier events will be played at Tim Hortons Field (named the  CIBC Hamilton Pan Am Stadium during the games) from July 11 to 26.

The excitement started today when the relay torch came to a number of sites throughout the city.  At Gage Park where the Soaring Spirit National Aboriginal Day festival was being held, Johnny Powless a lacrosse player from Six Nations carried the torch in proudly.  It was a wonderful afternoon of celebration.

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The #HamOnt Twitter Community

This week on Twitter I’ve come to the milestone of my 1000th tweet. Unbelievable. That of course includes re-tweets so I can’t claim to have had 1000 original thoughts.  But, even so, I’m impressed I’ve gotten this far.  So for the past 24 hours I’ve been trying to come up with something witty to say for that 1000th tweet.  I knew I wanted it to be about Hamilton. There’s been so much action on the HamOnt hashtag this week that I certainly had a number of things to comment on. There’s been a lot tweets about the bus lane issue, a very interesting conversation involving a local city councillor, beautiful pictures of Hamilton and its people enjoying the outdoors, the eateries and local food markets, the arts, the TiCats, the Bulldogs, some scary breaking news, the bike share program, and many tweets that just made me smile or laugh out loud.   Here are just a few of my favourites:

In reviewing my favourites I realized how much joy that HamOnt hashtag brings me and it’s only fitting to blog about it for my 1000th tweet. I love the way it has connected me to this City of Hamilton that gets more exciting and vibrant each and every day.  The #HamOnt contributors are a great group of people and I am so proud to witness it and have the opportunity to be part of the conversation. Here’s to the next 1000 tweets!

Remembering Ivor Wynne Stadium

Today the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be playing for the first time in their new home Tim Hortons Field.  Needless to say the team and fans, myself included, are excited to see the team get into the new stadium after almost two years without a permanent home. And yet, as I get ready to make my way to today’s game, I can’t help but reflect on the good times we had at Ivor Wynne Stadium.  Here’s a look back.

May Tim Hortons Field be as exciting as good old Ivor Wynne!

Hamilton Children’s Choir

Today we wish the premier group Ilumini of the Hamilton Children’s Choir  a  safe journey as they fly off to participate at the World Symposium on Choral Music, Aug 6-13, 2014, in South Korea. It’s a gathering of the world’s most prestigious conductors and choirs. The Hamilton Spectator reports that the Hamilton Children’s choir was the only Canadian choir invited to sing.

The Hamilton Children’s Choir started back in 1975 under the direction of Mr. Donald Kendrick out of Christ’s Church Cathedral. For nearly 40 years now it has seen hundreds of children and youths be part the choir. The choir has developed into a premier internationally recognized choir with a rich history of high quality performances. They’ve had television appearances and have travelled throughout Canada and the world.

The following video from the CBC Radio Le Mondial Chorale Competition held is 2008 is a fine example of the choir’s talent.  While I certainly enjoyed the number they performed, I found their acceptance performance (yes they won!), Dream a Dream, at 10:00 particularly moving.

 

I also enjoyed their Carol of the Bells with Metric as seen on CBC’s The Hour in Dec 2009.

 

 

The choir has continued to grow and develop under the direction of Artistic Director, Zimfira Poloz.  In addition to the 5 choirs listed here, the choir is starting a new boys choir program call – Lads and Gents, for boys ages 8 to 28.

The choir will be sharing its experiences in South Korea on their bog at  hamiltonchildrenschoir.org.

Other related articles:

TheSpec.Com – Hamilton Children’s Choir takes on the world