Category Archives: Features

News, articles and opinion pieces

Cycling and Butter Tarts

On June 12 and 13 this summer, there was exciting news from Simcoe County (the very heart of butter tart country) that the Butter Tart Festival Cycling Tour had attracted cyclists from across Ontario. This festival serves cyclists butter tarts from 15 businesses along the North Simcoe trail that runs through the communities of Lafontaine, Perkinsfield, Penetanguishene, Midland, Victoria Harbour, Port McNicoll and Waubaushene.

Here is the Orillia Times news article: A perfect combination: a bike ride and delicious local butter tarts

Of course, Ontario has other butter tart festivals that cater to hungry cyclists. In fact, the By George Journal has featured a few:

Kawartha Lakes Butter Tart Tour

Wellington County Butter Tarts and Buggies Tour

At By George, we have always been partial to cycling the Ottawa Valley Rail Trail to visit both the bakeries in Almonte and Pakenham.

 

Here is an important update for the summer of 2021.

Rumour had it that when the General Store in Pakenham changed ownership recently that you could no longer get baked goods in the store. Not true!

The General Store is still a must-stop in Pakenham. It still has all the favourite bakery goods: pies, cookies, the infamous Pakenham Sticky Buns -– and butter tarts!

Seriously, what could possibly be a better combination? Cycling, Butter tarts.

 

 

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

REDUX: A Dozen Delectable Photos

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” To celebrate, we present a dozen of the most delicious photos of mouthwatering butter tarts. If this post does not make you run out and buy a tart today, nothing will.

These photos first appear in the By George Journal on July 6, 2020. For all of last year’s posts,  here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Bake My Day in St. Jacobs Farmers Market

Bake My Day is a new booth in the corner of the market tent of the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market,

What is most enticing is that these bakers make butter tarts the old fashion way. The Waterloo Chronicle has reported that the tarts are a “flaky crust delicately covering the chewy top, all surrounding the buried sticky-sweet treasure in the middle.”

“My recipe is my grandma’s recipe, who I used to bake with growing up,” owner Tabetha Cundick. “My grandma taught me how to bake with love, and the secret to pastry is you don’t touch it very much because the more you handle and knead it, the tougher it becomes.”

Bake My Day has all those classics, along with some that Grandma didn’t pioneer, like butter tarts made with root beer, Nutella and Bailey’s. “I’ve modernized them and offer 22 flavours of butter tarts that include Oh Henry, Caramilk, Bounty, maple walnut, chocolate chip and our two April flavours of the month, Easter egg and maple bacon,” says Cundick.

Good news for those in Kitchener and Waterloo! You can order on-line for delivery in the K-W area!

WEBSITE:  Bake My Day

And check out the Facebook page for the latest news from this bakery: Bake My Day Facebook

Here is the Waterloo Chronicle news feature: “Go ahead, Bake My Day!: The butter tart is an art at St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market booth”

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

July is “Butter Tart Month”

By George declared July “Butter Tart Month.” Bite into these new posts this month:

Cycling and Butter Tarts

REDUX: A Dozen Delectable Photos

Bake My Day in St Jacobs Farmers Market

The Butter Tart Ice Cream Sandwich

Farm Boy’s classic butter tarts

Here is the full menu of delectable articles from 2020!

Butter Tarts are the Quintessential Canadian Food

The All-Important Question: Raisins or No-Raisins?

First Printed Recipe of Butter Tarts

The humble origins of the butter tart

Canadian Living‘s Butter Tart Recipe

A Dozen Delectable Photos 

Mom, Tarts, and Life Lessons

2020 Title Holder for Best Tart is From the Ottawa Valley

An artist’s rendering… delicious!

Kids and Butter Tarts – a very happy combination 

Butter Tart Daydreams

Elizabeth Baird’s Butter Tart Recipe 

An Award-Winning Butter Tart Recipe

An apology for adding raisins

It’s the all important question: raisins or no-raisins (a mid-month update)

Butter Tart Recipes from The Great Canadian Cookbook

Bacon Butter Tarts

The Bee Hive Corn Syrup Recipe

Butter Tart Daydreams II

The Best Butter Tart Festival 

The (Infamous) Butter Tart Tour

Wellington County Butter Tarts

Almonte and Pakenham Bakeries are “Must-Stops”

Maple Butter Tart Liqueur

Maple Butter Tart Pie Recipe

Butter Tarts – Plus

7 “Of Ontario’s Best” Butter Tarts

Torontonians’ Top 10 List of Best Butter Tarts

A Definitive List of Ontario’s Best Butter Tarts

By George’s “Best Butter Tarts – Ever”

The answer to the all-important butter tart question is….

Follow By George Journal on Facebook and on Twitter for the sweetest kinds of diversions. 

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

The Butter Tart Ice Cream Sandwich

The latest bakery news coming from Toronto is that Gerrard Street Bakery has just introduced the “outrageously delicious butter tart ice cream sandwich.”

This dessert is exactly as sounds: two fresh, house-made butter tarts with a middle of gelato.

The bakery has teamed up with Toronto’s House of Scoops – home of specialty gelato.

Bakery owner Paul Clementi was quoted in media: “We do a lot of butter tart incorporated things. A lot of recipes stem from the butter tart itself. We have a butter tart cake, butter tart cookie, butter tart gelato and now a butter tart gelato sandwich.”

The feature dessert costs between $10 – $12 a piece.

The bakery also has a Nanaimo bar hybrid treat – The eh bar ($5) which is a Nanaimo bar with a butter tart filling.

Gerrard Street Bakery is located at 635 Gerrard St East in East Chinatown.

News Sources:

https://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2021/06/toronto-ice-cream-sandwich-butter-tarts/

Here’s Where You Can Get A Butter Tart Ice Cream Sandwich

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Celebrating Cycling

June is bike month in Almonte and By George celebrated by producing a daily post on cycling.

Pedal your way through this menu! And #bikealmonte !

Posting hashtag #bikealmonte – and enjoy the ride

6 Remarkable Desktop Wallpapers

Bike Art

Cycle MORE (182 km)

Of Shadows and Spokes (12 photos)

Go-To Websites for Cycling in Ontario

Biking the rail trail from Arnprior to Sand Point (19 km return)

Stewiacke-Pictou Town NS Ride (110 km)

The Top Canadian Cycle Dream Trips

The ultimate bicycle song: Queen’s “Bicycle Race”

The Tour de Mississippi Mills Route (100 km)

The delicious Almonte-Pakenham Loop (34 km) 

Almonte’s winding Old Perth Road route (a 20 km gem)

The Almonte – Ashton – Stittsville – Carp Loop (106 km)

PSA: Wear your helmet (you’ll enjoy this!)

The picturesque back roads of Lanark

To bike these days (a poem)

The Biking Poem

25 Cycle Jokes

15 more bicycle facts and stats

15 bicycle facts and stats

The Origins of the Bike

50 km Almonte-Appleton-Mill of Kintail Loop

Biking along the Mississippi River

A Ride at Dawn (a poem) 

Life is a beautiful ride (and more)

A Dozen Funny Cycling Memes

Cycling Quotes to Inspire & Motivate

A Dozen Fav Bicycle Quotes

Hurray for Bike Month

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Farm Boy’s classic butter tarts

Here is the recipe for Farm Boy’s classic butter tart

The Tart pastry

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 lb (454 grams) shortening
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup ice cold water
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

Combine flour and shortening in the bowl or a food processor and pulse to until the largest pieces are the size of peas and other pieces are even smaller.

Whisk the yolk, water and vinegar together and mix into dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough just comes together. 

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Roll out dough to 1/8″ thickness, cut out rounds and place them in two 12-cup muffin tins and chill for 30 minutes.

While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 400°F and prepare filling.

Butter tart filling

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/5 cups corn syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Using a mixer, cream butter and brown sugar first.

Next, add the eggs, syrup, vanilla and salt and mix until combined.

Assembly

Pour filling into each tart shell only 3/4 full. Do not be tempted to fill them to the top, as they’ll bubble over and stick to the pan.

(Note: before putting them into the oven, this is where you can add any nuts or dried fruits of your choice.)

Bake for 13–15 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and puffy and pastry is golden. 

Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife around each tart and carefully remove. You must remove them while they’re warm, otherwise they’ll weld themselves to the pan. 

Enjoy slightly warm or at room temperature.

  • Yield:  24 tarts  |  Prep Time:  1 hour  |  Cook Time:  15 minutes

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Posting hashtag #bikealmonte — and enjoy the ride

This summer I plan on capturing as many of the beautiful viewscapes while cycling in and around Almonte. Here are three photos taken just this month…

Nothing but contentment near Blakeney

Almonte’s Rail Trail – heading out

Storm clouds forming over the Indian River

I will be posting regularly on the By George Journal Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts. And you can follow along by searching for #bikealmonte.

I encourage everyone to cycle the backroads around this pastoral community of Almonte – enjoy the small town charm and the open spaces of farmland, forests and winding rivers.

Share your cycling experiences with #bikealmonte.

Enjoy the ride!

To see more on cycling, pedal through the By George Journal menu.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. And yes, Chris also would rather be cycling… #bikealmonte

 

 

By George 10 most favourite quotes on Canada

  1. Canada was built on dead beavers. — Margaret Atwood
  2. The beaver, which has come to represent Canada as the eagle does the United States and the lion Britain, is a flat-tailed, slow-witted, toothy rodent known to bite off it’s own testicles or to stand under its own falling trees. — June Callwood
  3. The huge advantage of Canada is its backwardness. – Marshall McLuhan
  4. Canada has never been a melting-pot; more like a tossed salad. — Arnold Edinborough
  5. Canada is like an old cow. The West feeds it. Ontario and Quebec milk it. And you can well imagine what it’s doing in the Maritimes. — Tommy Douglas
  6. Canadians are generally indistinguishable from Americans, and the surest way of telling the two apart is to make the observation to a Canadian. — Richard Staines
  7. A Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe. — Pierre Burton
  8. Canada is the linchpin of the English-speaking world. — Sir Winston Churchill
  9. In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect. — U.S. President Bill Clinton
  10. When I’m in Canada, I feel this is what the world should be like. — Jane Fonda

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(ed. – Here are more quotes on our country and its peoples)

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

On Hockey – from the Greats of the Game

Forget about style; worry about results. – Bobby Orr

  • Every day is a great day for hockey. – Mario Lemieux
  • Hockey is a tough game. – Bobby Orr
  • You’ve got to love what you’re doing. If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or the soreness or all the aches and pains, and continue to play for a long, long time. – Gordie Howe
  • When you’re on the ice, you have very little time, you see very little, and everything happens really quick. – Steve Yzerman
  • We take the shortest route to the puck and arrive in ill humor. – Bobby Clarke
  • Hockey is a game of one-on-one battles. – Mark Messier
  • In Canada, you’re not a hockey player until you’ve lost some teeth. – Andy Bathgate
  • I played with a lot of great players before. They’re all the same. They take a lot of responsibility for their own play, put a lot of pressure on themselves to perform and to play well. – Mark Messier
  • The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day, that I never dog it. – Wayne Gretzky
  • My father used to tell me the game is not privileged to have you, you’re privileged to have hockey. – Paul Coffey
  • Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first set yourself on fire. – Fred Shero
  • How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo? – Jacques Plante
  • I’m not dumb enough to be a goalie. – Brett Hull
  • I always tell Bobby he was up in the air so long that I had had time to shower and change before he hit the ice. – Glen Hall (on letting in The Goal by Bobby Orr)

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Quotes on our country Canada

1296310790_fb4505fa48

By George Journal presents some of our favourite quotes on Canada and Canucks – so you might spice up your toasts on Canada Day! Cheers!

 

  • A Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe. — Pierre Burton
  • We Canadians live in a blind spot about our identity. We have very strong feelings about who we aren’t but only weak ones about who we are. We’re passionate about what we don’t want to become but oddly passive about what we should be. — John Cruickshank (in McLean’s Magazine)
  • There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty expanse of Canada with its verile, aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people. — Sir Winston Churchill
  • In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect. — U.S. President Bill Clinton
  • Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada, while Canadians are malevolently well informed about the United States. — J. Bartlett Brebner
  • Canada is the essence of not being. Not English, not American, it is the mathematic of not being. And a subtle flavour – we’re more like celery as a flavour. — Mike Myers
  • Canada is a country whose main exports are hockey players and cold fronts. Our main imports are baseball players and acid rain. — Pierre Trudeau
  • The huge advantage of Canada is its backwardness. – Marshall McLuhan
  • Very little is known of the Canadian country since it is rarely visited by anyone but the Queen and illiterate sport fishermen. — P. J. O’Rourke
  • Canada is like an old cow. The West feeds it. Ontario and Quebec milk it. And you can well imagine what it’s doing in the Maritimes. — Tommy Douglas
  • The beaver, which has come to represent Canada as the eagle does the United States and the lion Britain, is a flat-tailed, slow-witted, toothy rodent known to bite off it’s own testicles or to stand under its own falling trees. — June Callwood
  • If you don’t believe your country should come before yourself, you can better serve your country by livin’ someplace else. — Stompin’ Tom Connors
  • We shall be Canadians first, foremost, and always, and our policies will be decided in Canada and not dictated by any other country. — John G. Diefenbaker
  • In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations, it’s cold, half-French, and difficult to stir. — Stuart Keate
  • Canada has never been a melting-pot; more like a tossed salad. — Arnold Edinborough
  • Canada: A few acres of snow. — Voltaire
  • Canadians, like their historians, have spent too much time remembering conflicts, crises, and failures. They forgot the great, quiet continuity of life in a vast and generous land. A cautious people learns from its past; a sensible people can face its future. Canadians, on the whole, are both. — Desmond Morton
  • Canadians were the first anti-Americans, and the best. Canadian anti-Americanism, just as the country’s French-English duality, has for two centuries been the central buttress of our national identity. — Jack Granetstein
  • Canadians are generally indistinguishable from Americans, and the surest way of telling the two apart is to make the observation to a Canadian. — Richard Staines
  • Here in Canada, in the Western world, we are inside the walls. Outside the walls are the barbarians. — Barbara Amiel
    I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind. — John Diefenbaker (From the Canadian Bill of Rights, July 1, 1960)
  • When I’m in Canada, I feel this is what the world should be like. — Jane Fonda
  • Canada is the linchpin of the English-speaking world. — Sir Winston Churchill
  • There is a Canadian culture that is in some ways unique to Canada, but I don’t think Canadian culture coincides neatly with borders. — Stephen Harper
  • Canada was built on dead beavers. — Margaret Atwood

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

10 Hockey Quotes (shareable memes)

By George is passing 10 memes to your way so that you might score with these memorable quotes in your next sports post. Share the memes by right-clicking on the images; save them to your computer or copy them right into your email or social media post. Enjoy.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

 

15 Amazing Hockey Facts

  1. Before 1914, referees used to place the puck on the ice between the players’ sticks for faceoffs. This led to many cuts, bruises and even broken hands for the referees. Starting in 1914, the referees were allowed to drop the puck between the players’ sticks.
  2. The first NHL goal was scored on December 19, 1917 by Dave Ritchie of the Montreal Wanderers against the Toronto Arenas.
  3. Prior to the 1927-28 season, forward passes were not allowed in hockey.
  4. Maple Leaf Gardens — former home of the Toronto Maple Leafs — became the first arena to have a four-sided game clock, in 1932.
  5. Frank Zamboni invented the first self-propelled ice-clearing machine, in 1949.
  6. Chicago Blackhawks Hall of Famer Stan Mikita is most often credited with the creation of the curved stick blade in the 1960s — all blades were previously straight.
  7. Head Games: Andy Brown was the last goaltender to play a game without a mask, doing so with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1974. The last player in the NHL to play without a helmet was Craig MacTavish, who retired in 1997.
  8. The fastest slapshot on record is Bobby Hull’s, which registered 118 miles per hour.
  9. Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins was the first NHL player to record 100 points in a season, in 1969. Wayne Gretzky was first (and is the only) player to record 200 points in a season.
  10. Darryl Sittler holds the NHL record for most points in a single game, with 10. He scored five goals and had five assists on February 6, 1976, helping his Toronto Maple Leafs defeat the Boston Bruins.
  11. Paul Coffey of the Edmonton Oilers set an NHL record for defencemen with 37 points in the 1985 playoffs.
  12. In 1971, the Boston Bruins signed Bobby Orr to a five-year deal worth $200,000 per season —the first million dollar contract in NHL history.images
  13. Wayne Gretzky, nicknamed “The Great One”, is almost unanimously accepted as the greatest hockey player to every play the game. He holds 61 NHL records, the most by far of any player and finished playing with a total of 2,857 points. Amazingly, even if all of the nearly 900 goals Wayne scored throughout his career were removed from his statistics, he would still hold first place for most points.
  14. Some pro players call their mothers for a few words of encouragement, but not Sidney Crosby; Sid the Kid has a strict rule about not speaking with his mom on game days. He has broken this rule three times, and each time has been injured during the game.
  15. Cup Mishaps: The Stanley Cup is named after a former Canadian Governor General, Lord Stanley of Preston, who donated the trophy in 1893. The Cup has been used as a cereal bowl, accidentally left by the side of the road, tossed into a swimming pool and even lost, like luggage, on a 2010 flight from New Jersey to Vancouver. After the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in 1962, they accidentally threw the Cup into a celebratory bonfire. In 1905, players from Ottawa Silver Seven, while drunk, kicked the Stanley Cup into the frozen Rideau Canal and had to retrieve it the next morning.

There are plenty of websites with great hockey facts to stump your trivia puckhound. Here are a few good one:

40 Fun Hockey Facts

30 Kickass and Interesting Facts About Ice Hockey

7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Hockey

10 fun hockey facts to share with your kids

Ice Hockey Facts

20 Fun, Random Facts about Hockey
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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Ahelluva Hockey Commercial!

Unquestionably, here is the best hockey commercial on the air. It’s “Hockey in Sidney Crosby’s own words”

crosby

“Hockey’s our game. But really it’s much more than just a game. It’s a passion that brings us all together on frozen ponds, at the community rink, and in our living rooms. It’s the feeling you got the first time you stepped on the ice. The feeling you had when you scored your first goal. Hockey is in our driveways, it’s in our dreams, in every post-game celebration. It’s in the street every time your friend yells, “Car!”; in every rink across the country; it’s in our hearts. Hockey is the thought inside you head saying, “Wouldn’t it be amazing, getting up everyday and playing, doing something that you love to do.” [Tim Hortons celebrates hockey as it brings together all Canadians.]

Now I admit to being a huge fan of Sid the Kid. Here are links to a couple priceless pieces that feature our Canadian idol:

Where Crosby Happens

Timbits Hockey Commercial (2009)

Share with us your favourite Crosby commercial!

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Facts about Canada Day

1296310790_fb4505fa48Here is a compilation of some interesting facts about Canada Day, our country’s national celebration.

  • A proclamation signed by the Governor General on June 20, 1868, asked all Canadians to join in the celebration of the anniversary of the uniting of Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia as the dominion of Canada on July 1st, 1867.
  • The British North America Act proclaimed “one Dominion under the name of Canada,” hence the original title of the holiday, “Dominion Day”, which was established by statute in 1879.
  • After the original declaration, there is no record of organized ceremonies until 1917. This was the 50th anniversary of Confederation.
  • In 1917, the new Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings was dedicated as a memorial to the Fathers of Confederation and to the bravery of Canadians fighting in World War I.
  • On July 1st, 1923, the Canadian government enacted the Chinese Immigration Act, stopping all immigration from China. Chinese-Canadians began to refer to July 1 as Humiliation Day and refused to participate in Dominion Day celebrations, until the act was repealed in 1947.
  • A celebration was held on Canada Day in 1927 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation. The celebration featured the Governor General laying the cornerstone of the Confederation Building, and the inauguration of the Carillon in the Peace Tower.
  • Since 1958, the Canadian government has arranged for an annual observance of Canada’s national day with the Secretary of State of Canada in charge of the coordination. There is a Trooping the Colours ceremony on the lawn of Parliament Hill in the afternoon, a sunset ceremony in the evening followed by a mass band concert and fireworks display.
  • On Canada’s Centennial in 1967, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II attended the celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
  • In 1980, the National Committee (the federal government organization charged with planning Canada’s Birthday celebrations) sponsored the development of local Canada Day celebrations all across the country. “Seed money” was distributed to promote activities organized by volunteer groups.
  • On October 27, 1982, July 1st which was known as “Dominion Day” became “Canada Day”.
  • There is a Celebrate Canada Committee in each province and territory. They provide Canadians the opportunity to share their pride in their country, especially on Canada Day.
  • The province of Newfoundland and Labrador recognises July 1 as Memorial Day, to commemorate the Newfoundland Regiment’s heavy losses during the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
  • Since the 1950’s, the cross-border cousin-cities of Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario, have celebrated Canada Day and the United States’ Independence Day with the International Freedom Festival. A massive fireworks display is held each year, with fireworks exploding over the Detroit River, the strait that separates the two cities by less than one mile.
  • Under the federal Holidays Act, Canada Day is observed on July 1 unless that date falls on a Sunday, in which case July 2 is the statutory holiday. If it falls on a Saturday, the following Monday is generally also a day off for those businesses ordinarily closed on Saturdays. Festivals and celebrations generally take place on July 1 even though it is not the legal holiday.
  • July 1 is the 182nd day of the year, and there are 183 days left until the end of the year, making it very close to the halfway point.
  • Some famous people born on Canada day: Pamela Anderson, Dan Akroyd, Lady Diana the Princess of Wales, Missy Elliott, Jamie Farr, Rod Gilbert, Debbie Harry, Olivia de Havilland, Estee Lauder, Carl Lewis, Sydney Pollack, Alan Ruck, Liv Tyler.

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Hockey Quotes – from The Great One

Perhaps the most remarkable comment about Wayne Gretzky came from Lowell Cohn. This American sportswriter once said of “The Great One”:  “Some guys play hockey. Gretzky plays 40 mph chess.”

For hockey enthusiasts, there should be no need to celebrate the mastery of this superb hockey player. Wayne Gretzky is hockey’s all-time leading point scorer – and has been for more than 30 years. On October 15th 1989, The Great One got an assist and then a goal to notch points 1,850 and 1,851 and surpass “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe’s point total.

Let’s remember Wayne Gretzky’s many achievements with ten of his memorable quotes:

  • Skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.
  • I had to play the same style all the way through. I couldn’t beat people with my strength. I don’t have a hard shot. I’m not the quickest skater in the league. My eyes and my mind had to do most of the work.
  • You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.
  • You’ll never catch me bragging about goals, but I’ll talk all you want about my assists.
  • Hockey is the only sport in the world that actually encourages fighting. I have no idea why we let it go on. The game itself is so fast, so exciting, so much fun to watch, why do we have to turn ice red so often? Why do the best shots in a game have to be on somebody’s nose instead of somebody’s net?
  • It really wasn’t practice, it was fun. I enjoyed myself. If I had considered it practice, I would not have done it. (on playing 6-8 hours a day as a kid)
  • I don’t like my hockey sticks touching other sticks, and I don’t like them crossing one another; and I kind of have them hidden in the corner. I put baby powder on the ends. I think it’s essentially a matter of taking care of what take care of you.
  • I’ve held women and babies and jewels and money, but nothing will ever feel as good as holding that Cup.
  • The hardest thing about hockey is that the older you get, the more you love it.
  • To play so well and for so long is simply incredible. No player will ever do the things in hockey that Gordie (Howe) did.

The last words on The Great One must go to Canadian radio personality Peter Gzowski, who poetically described Wayne Gretzky’s magic in his 2004 piece “The game of our lives.”:

“There is an unhurried grace to everything Gretzky does on the ice. Winding up for the slapshot, he will stop for an almost imperceptible moment at the top of his arc, like a golfer with a rhythmic swing. He has more room in the flow of time and Gretzky uses this room to insert an extra beat into his actions. In front of the net, eyeball to eyeball with the goaltender . . . he will . . . hold the puck one . . . extra instant, upsetting the anticipated rhythm of the game, extending the moment. . . He distorts time, and not only by slowing it down. Sometimes he will release the puck before he appears to be ready, threading the pass through a maze of players precisely to the blade of a teammate’s stick, or finding a chink in a goaltender’s armour and slipping the puck into it . . . before the goaltender is ready to react.”

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

10 Fascinating Facts about Beavers

1. Giant beavers roamed Eurasia and North America in the Pleistocene era, rubbing shoulders with mastodons and mammoths. They were 10 feet in length, including tail just smaller than a MINI Cooper and weighed up to 800 pounds.

2. The modern beaver is the second-largest rodent in the world (the capybara of South America is the first). An average adult beaver weighs 35 to 70 pounds and measures 4 feet long, including a 12-inch tail.

3. A large adult beaver skin yielded enough fur for 18 beaver hats. The beaver was hunted and trapped almost to the point of extinction. They are firmly established once more, thanks to a conversation movement championed by Grey Owl, the infamous English immigrant who posed as a Metis in the 1930s.

4. Grey Owl claimed to have compiled a beaver dictionary by listening to the utterings of his two pet beavers, Rawhide and Jellyroll. He stated that he could recognize 49 words and expressions that were intelligible to all beavers, but the manuscript of this dictionary is now missing and presumed lost forever.

5. Beavers are well adapted to working underwater. A secondary transparent eyelid allows them to see, and specialized ducts allow them to close off their ears, nostrils and lips so they can chew without drowning.

6. The two chisel-like upper front teeth of the beaver grow continuously and are sharpened by the act of gnawing on trees. They are not buck teeth, but rather point inwards to facilitate chewing wood.

7. Beavers groom themselves constantly to keep their pelt waterproof with the oil (castoreum) they produce in two glands near their anus. Castoreum also keeps their soft, fine under-fur from matting. Moisture never penetrates their skin, even after a long time swimming underwater.

8. The urge to build dams stems from an instinctive aversion to the sound of running water. Beavers will try desperately to stem the flow, thereby flooding their surroundings to create a pond deep enough that the water wont freeze in winter. They eat sticks in these lean months, so they spend the entire fall submerging twigs in the pond and poking them into the muddy bottom to store them.

9. Contrary to popular legend, beavers do not know how to fell trees so that they fall in a certain direction. Beaver remains have been found that show that the trees they were chewing fell towards them, pinching and crushing their skulls. With their work, it is the female beavers that do most of the engineering and lodge planning, while the male beavers inspect the structure and patch the leaks.

10. Beavers are monogamous and mate for life. And a word to dispel the myth about male beavers biting off their own testicles if provoked. This dates back to Aesops fables when the beaver was hunted for its castoreum, which people believed was produced in the testicles. A story popular at the time held that beavers would see a hunter coming and would bite off their testicles and toss them to the hunter to avoid being killed. If they were chased again, they would flash the hunter to show that they already made the ultimate sacrifice.

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

The Arena: a Lens onto Life

I lost and found my son this weekend on the ice

He was there, and then…. he skated into a corner away from sight

I imagined him in the middle of a scrum of bodies and sticks – eyes locked on the puck

Somehow he looks bigger as he wheels around the net, glances past the crease and backhands a pass to his waiting teammate

It is his ease of movement that makes me search for the answers I don’t really want to reflect on – just, how did he grow up so fast? And what’s next?

I blink. He’s gone… then I focus to see that he has gathered in the puck from his opponent’s blade and has nudged it forward;

He spins off his back leg and begins a deliberate, looping stride towards the side boards, flicks the puck against the boards and accelerates over the blue line

It seems he carries the puck in slow motion,

Yet I realize that this game is really in fast-forward

He’s skating too fast, as there’s no stopping his advance

So, I need to ask these questions:

In five years – will he get the shot off – and find his mark?

In ten years, which arena might I find this young man?

I study his moves. I need to burn it all into my memory.

With a burst of energy he cuts around a player, and with shoulder down, stickhandles neatly beyond two defenders and swings in towards the goal – mere seconds of ice time capturing years of development

A whistle, some yelling from the bench and pounding music from the arena’s PA system

He circles around to line up for the faceoff – what’s next?

University courses; wedding receptions; a first day at a new job?

He sets for the drop of the puck – and I’m processing a whirl of freeze-frames:

tugging his sweater on overtop of his shoulder and elbow pads

tightening his laces and clicking the snaps of his helmet

my parting locker room words of endearment: “Skate hard every shift. Have fun.”

then after, his tired, satisfied smile; that smell of sweat from soaked mats of hair

and the car rides to and from the arena; and those questions that start with

      “Dad….”

Peering through the glass, I’m witness to this game, yet unable to be part of it

I watch his boyhood in flashes now – with our family turning on his every blade stroke

He’s reaching forward, stick extended, body twisted – anticipating a pass

And I’m anxious with hopes and aspirations for his future happiness…

In another instant, he’s stride for stride, leaning in against another body, locked in a match of force and determination

Yet, I remember vividly those precious moments when I held him in my hands, and ran around the house carrying him piggyback

There’s another whistle, he twirls on one skate, right in front of me, and skates away towards the bench – it’s him, yes, I see it is, but only after focusing on our name on the back of the jersey.

There are times I see my own breath rise in the cold of the arena, and our reality is caught up in a few seconds of blurred colours, sticks, a puck – and my son

He’s turning and digs in to push off, the puck dances on his stick in front of him, and he darts ahead to open ice, sure of himself and where he must skate

On the ice, he’s always enjoying the moment, yet I see that he’s stretching, honing skills

He circles, glides with one leg lifted in front of him, lifts his head towards me and grins

I stare upward; the game clock is going too fast for us at this rink. I don’t want to avert my eyes – there is only so much time to etch these glimpses of our lives.

 

— Chris George 

Top-10 List of Canadian Symbols

In celebrating Canada Day in 2020, By George is producing a Top-10 List of Canadian Symbols.

For this list By George consulted the following:  WatchMojo.com, Yahoo Answers, The Canadian Guide and Canada.com. Ultimately, however the By George braintrust selected and ranked the top ten list.

Here are Honourable Mentions:

The Bluenose, totem poles, toque, ice sculptures, soapstone carvings, plate of poutine, maple sap bucket and the RCMP

The By George Top-10 List of Canadian Symbols

10. Wilderness (mountains, wheat fields, shoreline, forests, etc.)

9. The Loon

8. Maple Syrup

7. The Moose

6. The Canoe

5. Niagara Falls

4. Tim Hortons

3. The Beaver

2. Hockey

1. The Maple Leaf

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Quotes on Hockey’s Greats

  • To play so well and for so long is simply incredible. No player will ever do the things in hockey that Gordie [Howe] did. – Wayne Gretzky
  • The finest athlete of them all, that’s what Gordie [Howe] is. And when I say athlete I’m talking about any sport. Take everything into consideration: his age, his record, his condition. There are some pretty good athletes around, great boxers, great football players, everything, but Gordie is in a league by himself. I’d be proud to be half the man on or off the ice that Gordie is. – Bobby Orr
  • On sheer ability, Mario [Lemieux] is good enough to win scoring titles with a broken stick. On pure talent, he’s the best there is. But Wayne [Gretzky] almost never disappoints you. He comes to work every night. – Bobby Orr
  • Gretzky would dominate in any era. It doesn’t make any difference. He may well be the smartest hockey player who ever played the game. – Phil Esposito
  • Gretzky is something else again… he strikes me as the first nondescript hockey star. Sometimes you don’t even realize he’s out there, watching as he whirls, until he emerges out of nowhere, finding open ice, and accelerating to a score… Gretzky is arguably the best player hockey has ever know. – Mordecai Richler
  • By far Gretzky is the most talented player ever. Every time he gets the puck something exciting happens. – Mike Milbury
  • He is hockey now. Although virtually every age of the game has had its pre-eminent players – Morenz, Richard, Howe, Hull, Orr – no one has ever transcended it as he has. – Peter Gzowski
  • I’m not sure Mario [Lemieux] is going to get the accolades he deserves, especially from outside the game. But from within, the players, the people who follow closely, realize exactly what he’s brought to the table, exactly what he has done… – Wayne Gretzky
  • He had talent for everything. How big he is, how he protects the puck, his hands, how smart he is on the ice, all the plays he made. He was always the smartest player on the ice…. With him, it’s easy. It’s just natural ability. – Vincent Lecavalier
  • No disrespect to Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mark Messier, Bobby Orr, Gilbert Perreault…. But Mario [Lemieux] did things nobody else could ever do. – Bryan Trottier
  • The greatest hockey player who ever lived: Bobby Orr, and I love him. – Don Cherry
  • If I can be half the hockey player that Bobby Orr was, I’ll be happy. – Ray Bourque
  • There ought to be two leagues, one for the pros and one for Beliveau. – Dollard St. Laurent
  • I may not be the hockey player Jean Beliveau was, but some day I hope to be the man he is – Guy Lafleur
  • From the blue line in, I never saw a player as exciting as [Maurice] Richard. When he had the goalie beat, he finished it off, and you had no chance to recover. – Emile Francis
  • Rocket [Maurice Richard] had that mean look in every game we played. He was 100 percent hockey. He could hate with the best of them. – Gordie Howe
  • He could shoot harder than anybody I see nowadays. When he’d wind up behind the net he wasn’t number 7, he was number 777, just a blur. – Roy Worters

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.