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Archive for May, 2012

Theater, Film and Music In Canada

Monday, May 28th, 2012


Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Montreal are the four top theater centers in Canada (most of their productions are in English). Homegrown talent mixes here with shows imported from Europe and the US. Musicals and classical theater are always popular and tend to be fine quality. Shakespeare is popular, but there is a wide spectrum of shows – a stylish revival of the 1980s hit Fame was a long-running success in Toronto in the late 1990s. The main theaters listed opposite have a principal season from November to May, but summer attractions are on the increase. Musicals and historical reconstructions are always strong family entertainment; the best-known is the musical Anne of Green Gables, performed year-round since the 1950s in Charlottetown.


Imported Hollywood blockbusters have no better chance of success than in Canada, where premieres are often parallel with the US, so visitors may well see films in advance of a showing in their own country. Huge IMAX and OMNIMAX IEUR movie theaters, often with up to 20 screens, are to be found in the center of major cities, particularly in Ottawa and Hull.

Canada has a fine history of filmmaking: the documentary genre was invented here, and more recently its art films have attracted a wider audience.

The main centers to see the new trends are Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto. Robert LePage, Canada’s own theater and movie impresario, has an international following among the cognoscenti. The surrealist David Cronenberg, director of eXistenz (1999), is also Canadian. Quebec’s Denys Arcand directed Jesus of Montreal (1986), a film that, despite some controversial scenes, was highly praised. The National Film Board selects and releases a work by native talent each year, comprising feature films, animations, and documentaries.

Ideal for spotting new talent in its birthplace, every year the Toronto International Film Festival provides a lively magnet to moviegoers, as do parallel festivals held in Montreal and Vancouver.


Classical music and opera draw large audiences in Canada, and this is reflected by the high quality of performers and venues. The Canadian Opera Company is based at the Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, with a repertoire ranging from Mozart to cutting edge pieces sung in English.

The National Ballet of Canada is also based here, rival to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet; both companies feature period pieces and experimental work in their seasonal run. Fringe theater takes off in Toronto each summer with 400 shows selected by lottery. Well over 100,000 people annually visit the state-of-the-art Jack Singer Concert Hall in the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts to hear the celebrated Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra plays at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver.


During the 1990s, Canadian pop music acquired a credibility even its kindest supporters would admit had previously been lacking. Quebec’s Celine Dion is a superstar and Shania Twain and Bryan Adams are international stars. Alanis Morissette, a worthy successor to her country’s heritage of folk rock, now tours the globe. Canada is perhaps the best known for its folk music, with such stars as Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell being the best-known faces from a centuries-old tradition.

The product of an intensely musical rural people, the nature of Canadian song changes across the country, moving from the lonesome Celtic melodies on the east coast to the yodeling cowboys in the west. Atlantic Canada has numerous tiny, informal venues, where an excellent standard of music can be found. Prince Edward Island often offers a violin accompaniment to its lobster suppers, and New Brunswick’s folk festival celebrates both music and dance. Quebec’s French folksters include singer Gilles Vigneault who is also admired in Europe. The Yukon’s memories of the gold rush surface in 19th-century vaudeville, reenacted by dancing girls and a honkytonk piano in Whitehorse.

Affordable Dental Insurance Plans

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

There have been recent changes in the healthcare system which makes getting dental coverage for your family more affordable.But with so many options out there, how can a person make a beneficial decision for their situation? Here are a few suggestions that will help you take the guess work out and guide you on a clear path to understanding how dental coverage works.

1. Compare Plan Comparisons Online- When shopping around online to compare prices of dental plans and insurance, you will most likely want the greatest price flexibility. Even though an agent can do the same thing for you as far as price comparisons go, you need to remember there is an incentive to offer you the product that offers the agent the highest commission. Online comparisons also give you the ability to see exactly what the different plans have to offer you, so that you will know what will and what will not work in your particular situation. Not only will you get plan options online, but you will also get price ranges that can be designed to fit your budget. And if you bring in an online quote to an agent, many will give you the coverage for the same quoted price.

2. Look at Bundled Products- In the event you are having trouble finding a reasonable stand alone dental plan, you may want to consider looking at packages that offer health, vision and dental together. Start with your employer’s coverage first. They may have updated their benefits package to include dental and vision, which may be offered at a reasonable price. For those who are not offered these benefits on the job and you need health coverage, look at bundled packages of coverage. It may turn out to be cheaper for you.

3. Plan Diversity- Dental plans offer the option for you to select your own dentist or you can choose from the plan’s list of dentists in their network. You will see terms like HMO and PPO, if this is an option you are shopping for. Understand the difference between the two and make sure that you understand if there is a co-pay involved and how much it is. Also, consider if the plan has preventative care, and if it doesn’t come with this benefit, the plan should cost less and your money can be utilized elsewhere.

4. Why Do You Need This Coverage- If you know why you are in need of dental insurance, it will help you in structuring the process of what to look for in the many different plans available. Do you need regular check ups? Do you have a family and some members need braces? Or do you need a dental overhaul? When you understand what your true needs are, you will select a better plan of coverage.

For many of us, our dental health will take a back seat to other things we consider more important, but this should not be so. Good oral health will prevent many serious illnesses and it all starts with finding the right plan. And as in the case of health insurance, the premiums may be tax deductible.