This Week in Canada: Remembrance Day Ceremonies, a Diwali Sunset Cruise, Safe Meetings With Santa, and More

BizBash's new Canada-focused column covers the week's biggest event news.

On Remembrance Day, the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa invited everyone to take part in in-person tours and online activities—including virtual visits, webinars, and videos—to honor those who served their country.
On Remembrance Day, the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa invited everyone to take part in in-person tours and online activities—including virtual visits, webinars, and videos—to honor those who served their country.
Photo: Courtesy of the Canadian War Museum

Welcome to BizBash's newest column, covering Canada’s biggest event news from coast to coast. Got a tip? Get in touch!

Provincial News
The Hangar Flight Museum, Calgary’s first aviation museum, delivered its annual Remembrance Day service yesterday morning—broadcast and livestreamed over CTV. Although the service was closed to the public, the venue opened for timed entry during the afternoon for "admission by donation" ticket holders. Proceeds will go towards ongoing programming dedicated to preserving the history of Alberta’s pilots, aeronautical engineers, and aviation leaders. Throughout the calendar year, the museum is open for event bookings with multiple spaces, including the main hangar that can accommodate as many as 200 people.

British Columbia: To celebrate Diwali, private cruise ship M.V. Burrard Queen is hosting a Bollywood Gala on Nov. 13. With a traditional Indian or Desi dress code in effect, the evening will feature Indian cuisine, a premium bar, all-night DJs, and a view of Vancouver’s skyline following a sunset departure. The vessel offers two decks that can accommodate up to 220 people, plus a climate-controlled interior, state-of-art music and lighting systems, and catering packages by Catar Nation Events Ltd. The company has been offering customized COVID-safe event packages throughout the year.

Ontario: In advance of the Nathan Phillips Square's skating rink opening Nov. 28, Sky Skate—Toronto’s newest outdoor rink—opened at the Porch atop the Entertainment District’s Rock 'n' Horse Saloon Nov. 8. Offering views of the CN Tower, the venue offers bookings daily from noon to 11 p.m., with a limited number of spots per hour. The heated interior serves a variety of pub favorites, including buffalo wings, soft pretzels, and pan pizza, as well as apple cider, hot chocolate, cocktails, and tall cans. Guests are encouraged to skate in one direction to help maintain physical distancing and can bring or rent skates and helmets.

Jay and Silent Bob’s Kevin Smith opens the first Canadian pop-up for his fast-food chain Mooby’s today. The menu is available via SkipTheDishes and Kitchen Hub—the country’s first virtual food court. Attendees can purchase tickets to visit the Etobicoke location to see a photo wall from Smith’s movies, get access to exclusive merchandise, pick a “moo main” and “salt lick side,” and enjoy a meal on the outdoor patio. Fan favorites, including the vegan and non-vegan Beef Cow Tipper Burger, MooTin, and ButterCud, will be available for purchase. 

Quebec: The 19th annual Toy Parade in Quebec City will take place as a safari experience on Nov. 14. Beginning at 10 a.m., families are invited to take part in the parade from their vehicles and travel through the ExpoCitĂ© grounds along with festive floats, characters, dancers, and musicians. Visitors are invited to bring toys and food for donations, which will be collected for proper handling before entering the grounds. Every half hour, children are invited to walk the parade route—and keep an eye out for hidden elves on their way to meet Santa, who will be accepting their Christmas letters. 

Arrested Development star Will Arnett is hosting a virtual edition of Michael Garron Hospital’s (MGH) "Laughter is the Best Medicine" fundraising event Nov. 14. The Canadian-led show will be headlined by Toronto native Howie Mandel, and it will include performances by comedians Gerry Dee and Patrick Haye and special musical guest Serena Ryder. Oliver & Bonacini co-founder and MasterChef judge Michael Bonacini will be guiding the preparation of gourmet meals, complete with wine pairings for two, with ingredients delivered to over 900 participants’ homes. Event proceeds will support the hospital's facility expansions and ongoing care services. "Saturday nights haven't been the same since the spring," says Mitze Mourinho, president of the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation. "We're thrilled to be able to offer an escape from the reality of pandemic life with great entertainment and fine dining delivered straight to the comfort and security of people's living rooms, while supporting the hospital at a critical time."

Cadillac Fairview (CF) will offer hybrid in-person and virtual visits with Santa Claus at its nearly 20 mall locations across the country from Nov. 21-Dec. 24. Groups of up to nine can visit Santa for five minutes, with staggered reservations to allow for sanitization between each visit. Rather than sitting on Santa’s lap, kids are invited to take a seat in the visiting area to maintain a safe physical distance. Parents can also book a video call with Santa, who will also be conducting three storytime events in English and French over CF locations’ Instagram and Facebook Live feeds. 

"I think the only times that I've not participated in a Remembrance Day parade is when I've been deployed or on exercise. We have to make sure that we defend ourselves, we remain ready, and we don't make the COVID situation worse."

—Maj. Slade Lerch, speaking to CBC about how he planned to honor Remembrance Day safely in Edmonton.

On the Scene
Celebrity chef Matty Matheson has opened a new walk-up burger pop-up in downtown Toronto, offering timed pick-up to avoid crowding.

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