Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

A Brief Tribute to One of Rock Music’s Greatest Drummers – Ginger Baker

August 19th, 1039 to October 6th, 2019

He was a member of the legendary power trio, Cream

By Doug Draper

Posted October 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

It is a little belated, but I can’t go let another day go by without posting a wee bit of a tribute to Ginger Baker, who was, without question, one of the greatest rock drummers in the world.

Ginger Baker, in action during the 1960s, with the legendary super group Cream

Ginger (Peter Edward) Baker, who found himself, along with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, swept to worldwide fame in the 1960s as part of the powerhouse trio Cream, died this October 6th in his native at age 80.

Eighty-years old! I know the years have been racing by, but that is still a little a little wild to rap my mind around. 

I can still remember those jaw-dropping moments, as a young kid in high school, turning on a radio and, for the very first time, listening to one of their most commercially successful songs, ‘Sunshine of Your Love’, from an album called ‘Disraeli Gears’, which has stood the test of time, more than 50 years later. Continue reading


Time Flies When You Are Making Music!

Celebrating 30 years of Robert Cooper with CHORUS NIAGARA

‘One of Canada’s foremost choral musicians, Robert Cooper is also Artistic Director of the Orpheus Choir of Toronto and the Opera in Concert Chorus.’

An Invite to All from Chorus Niagara in Niagara, Ontario

Posted October 10th, 2019 on Niagara At Large It thrills us to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Chorus Niagara Artistic Director Robert Cooper.

Chorus Niagara artistic director Robert Cooper

Bob’s artistic leadership drives Chorus Niagara’s pursuit of musical excellence and our continued success as a pillar of the arts in Niagara. We dedicate our 57th season to him and his ongoing musical legacy in the choral arts in Canada.

After 31 successful years bringing fine vocal and choral music to all of Canada as Executive Producer of Opera and Choral Music for CBC Radio Two, Mr. Cooper now pursues a full-time conducting schedule.

One of Canada’s foremost choral musicians, Robert Cooper is also Artistic Director of the Orpheus Choir of Toronto and the Opera in Concert Chorus. He is formerly the Artistic Director of the Ontario Male Chorus. He taught for several years as a member of the Choral Department, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and conducted the National Youth Choir of Canada, the Ontario Youth Choir (1979, 2007) and a Celebration of Canadian Choral Music at Carnegie Hall. Continue reading

Annual Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival Celebrates 45 Years

Friday, Oct. 11 thru Monday, Oct. 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

An Invite to All from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted October 10, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – More than 170 unique artisans, crafters, local farmers, and talented musicians from across the country will once again descend upon Ball’s Falls Conservation Area this long weekend, for the 45th Annual Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival.

In addition to the arts, crafts, and wares, visitors will enjoy the incredible beauty and spectacular scenery nestled on the majestic Niagara Escarpment and Twenty Valley ecosystem.

Continue reading

Fall Colours on Full Display this Thanksgiving Weekend at Ontario’s Niagara Parks

Niagara Parks’ Nature Centre overlooking a spectacular Niagara Glen and the lower Niagara River. All photos courtesy of Niagara Parks

Niagara Parkway and trail network offer stunning views from lake to lake

Iconic ‘Friends’ couch coming to Table Rock

Reflect upon a moment in history during Battle of Queenston Heights memorial

Locally sourced menus and Thanksgiving Brunch at Niagara Parks restaurants

Last chance for fall promotions at Niagara Parks Golf Courses

News from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted October 10th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Hiking Niagara Parks’ scenic trails

Niagara Falls, Ontario – Celebrate the transition to fall and take in the vibrant colours by exploring the hiking trails, parks, gardens and natural wonders found throughout Niagara Parks, as you enjoy the beauty and serenity of the fall colours all along the scenic Niagara Parkway.

Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect chance to take advantage of the remaining warm temperatures and enjoy all there is to do at Niagara Parks: 

56 Kilometres of Breathtaking Autumn Landscape 

The Niagara region is famous for its stunning fall scenes, from rolling hills lined with vineyards to roadside fruit stands offering locally grown produce, and Niagara Parks is no exception. Continue reading

Beach Boys Legend Brian Wilson Surfs On at Artpark

Following a Seven-Week Postponement, Brian Wilson Keeps his Promise to Fans to bring his Pet Sounds Tour show to Lewiston, New York

“Dear Friends,

“It is with great regret that I need to postpone my upcoming June tour,” wrote Brian Wilson this past spring in an open letter to ticket holders for the Artpark show and other shows on the tour.

“It is no secret that I have been living with mental illness for many decades. There were times when it was unbearable but with doctors and medications I have been able to live a wonderful, healthy and productive life with support from my family, friends and fans who have helped me through this journey. …  But then it crept back and I’ve been struggling with stuff in my head and saying things I don’t mean and I don’t know why.

“It’s something I’ve never dealt with before and we can’t quite figure it out just yet.

“I’m going to rest, recover and work with my doctors on this. I’m looking forward to my recovery and seeing everyone later in the year.

“The music and my fans keep me going and I know this will be something I can AGAIN overcome.” – Love & Mercy, Brian Wilson”

Beach Boys co-founder and music legend Brian Wilson

A Brief Tribute to Music Legend Brian Wilson By Doug Draper

Posted August 9th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

I’m one of those people who can still remember where I was the first time I heard a song that I immediately fell in love with. Continue reading

St. Catharines’ Lakeside Park Carousel is Reopening this Friday, August 9th 

Popular Carousel to resume operations following recent flash flooding around Lake Ontario shoreline areas

High water levels continue to impact other parts of Lakeside Park. The east Port Dalhousie pier and the Lakeside Park Beach remain temporarily closed to the public until further notice for safety reasons.  

News from the City of St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario 

Posted August 9th, 2019 on Niagara At Large 

After a two-day closure due to flooding at Lakeside Park in Port Dalhousie, the carousel will reopen on Friday, Aug. 9.

City crews have spent the last two days pumping water out of the area, and cleaning up any mud and debris following the intense rain on Tuesday night.

An assessment of the carousel shows there was no damage sustained due to the active weather. The Lakeside Park Carousel will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Monday, Sept. 2. Continue reading

The World Can’t Afford to Lose People Like Toni Morrison Now

The Celebrated Nobel Prize-Winning Author & Humanitarian Dies at Age 88

A Brief Comment from Doug Draper

Posted August 6th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Legendary writer and Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison has left the madhouse

“Authoritarian regimes, dictators, despot are often, but not always, fools. But none are foolish enough to give perceptive, dissident writers free range to publish their judgments or follow their creative instincts. They know they do so at their own peril. They are not stupid enough to abandon control (overt or insidious) over media. Their methods include surveillance, censorship, arrest, even slaughter of those writers informing and disturbing the public.”                                                                                          – Toni Morrison, for the introduction of “Burn This Book”, a collection of essays by prominent writers about the power of the written word and efforts by fascists and other totalitarian thugs to discredit or destroy writing they find threatening to them.

In her words above, Toni Morrison might just have well have included the use of terms like “fake news” and “enemies of the people” and another strategy for assaulting writers and their work. And those two terms, the second of which has origins at least going back to the deadly purges of Soviet strongman Joseph Stalin, are not just the stuff of Trump.

As recently as a few weeks ago, a couple of middle-aged, white Tory businessmen I will not identify by name here, were using them with an air of mockery and disdain for the news media right here in Niagara, within earshot of this journalist and other members of the media. Why is it more often today’s breed of Tories in Canada and Republicans in the United States who are attacking one of the pillars of our freedom and democracy? Continue reading