The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair – Nov. 2 to 11


For Immediate Release

Royal Horse Show’s Opening Weekend Showcases Top Sport

Amy Millar to Defend Canadian Championship title,

Lauren Kieffer to Make Royal Debut

Toronto, Ontario – Show jumping and indoor eventing will highlight opening weekend at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, from November 2 through 11, 2018, in downtown Toronto, ON.

Amy Millar of Perth, ON, will defend her title in the $125,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship on Friday and Saturday evenings, November 2 and 3. Having claimed her first national title riding her 2016 Rio Olympic Games partner, Heros, at last year’s event, Millar is hoping for a repeat performance.

Amy Millar of Perth, ON, will defend her Canadian Show Jumping Championship title with Heros on Friday and Saturday nights, November 2 and 3, at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography

“Heros is in great form and I’m very excited to be back showing after having my baby,” said Millar, who recently returned to the saddle after delivering her second child on July 16. “We both understand the job and our mission is to lay down clear rounds, just like we did last year.”

No stranger to the Royal Horse Show, Millar has been attending the annual event since she was a child.

“As a competitor, I love the atmosphere,” said Millar, who is in the unique position of defending her Canadian Championship title against her brother, Jonathon, and her father, Ian, a 12-time title holder. “The electricity in the building makes riding in the Canadian Championships really special. I’m looking forward to that feeling of excitement and anticipation.”

Opening Night of the Royal Horse Show will feature the $25,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship, Round 1, presented by Lothlorien. Following Friday night’s speed round, horse-rider combinations will return in reverse order of standing to tackle the $100,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship, Round 2, on Saturday night. Acclaimed course designer Alan Wade of Ireland will set the show jumping tracks throughout this year’s Royal Horse Show.

In addition to determining who will be crowned this year’s Canadian Champion, the Canadian Show Jumping Championship also determines which riders move forward to the Royal Horse Show’s international division, held during the second week of the RoyalHorse Show and highlighted by the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto, presented by GroupBy. Two spots are open to the top-placed competitors not already qualified. Erynn Ballard, Mario Deslauriers, Keean White, and Ian Millar are pre-qualified based on their standings in the Longines World Rankings while Jump Canada’s high performance committee has named Ali Ramsay and Beth Underhill as its two picks for the international division.

The $20,000 Horseware Indoor Evening Challenge will kick off the excitement on both Friday and Saturday evenings with the fast-paced thrills that come from jumping solid cross-country obstacles combined with delicate show jumping fences at high speed. A master of his trade, Great Britain’s Mark Phillips will once again design the tracks in the Coca-Cola Coliseum.

Canadian Olympian Jessica Phoenix riding Abbey GS won last year’s $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography

Hot off a recent appearance at the 2018 World Equestrian Games, Canadian Eventing Team members Lisa Marie Fergusson, Colleen Loach, and Selena O’Hanlon will be among those looking to take home the lion’s share of prize money. Lauren Kieffer, veteran of Pan American Games, World Championship, and Olympic Games competition for the United States, will be making her Royal Horse Show debut in this year’s Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge.

“I have never done indoor eventing before so it will be new for me,” said Kieffer who is based in Middleburg, VA. “Boyd Martin had a lot of great things to say after he did it last year and I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. I’m excited to try it.”

Kieffer will have the added challenge of riding an unfamiliar horse. She will be paired with Glendening Avis, a 13-year-old Canadian Sport Horse mare that owner Callie Evans has successfully competed through to the three-star level.

“I’ve always really quite liked the mare and Callie was kind enough to offer her to me,” explained Kieffer. “I’ve seen her compete before and I’ve liked her for a while, she’s a buckskin and I’m partial to mares, so it worked out well. I’ve had the opportunity to catch ride a lot of horses at the upper level so it’s not something that is foreign to me. You don’t try to push any of your style on them but instead try to adapt to their style so the horse gets comfortable with you as quickly as possible. The biggest thing I’ll try to do is get in sync with the mare.”

Expressing her excitement for this year’s Royal Horse Show, Kieffer said, “The Royal is such a cool place, it’s got a lot of great things going to for it and a lot of talent across all disciplines. Indoor eventing is a great showcase to get the conversation started about eventing and get people asking questions. The more people we can get interested the better!”

In addition to show jumping and indoor eventing, fans will also be treated to an exciting line-up of featured entertainment on Opening Weekend. Australia’s Guy McLean will demonstrate his unique form of natural horsemanship on both Friday and Saturday nights while Pogo Puissance by Xpogo will take jumping to new heights as young athletes attempt to set records by jumping obstacles on pogo sticks.

More than 1,000 horses from around the globe will compete for $980,000 in prize money during the 10-day CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show. VIP Platinum and Gold seating, as well as group and individual tickets, are on sale now and moving quickly. All Royal Horse Show tickets include general admission to the Fair.

Follow the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on Facebook and YouTube, @royalhorseshow on Twitter, and @theroyalfair on Instagram for a behind-the-scenes look at the RoyalHorse Show. Please use hashtags: #RAWF18, #RoyalFever, #RoyalHorseShow, #FEIWorldCup, and #Longines if you plan to write about the Royal Horse Show and the Longines FEI Jumping World CupTM Toronto on your outlet’s social media channels.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The RoyalAgricultural Winter Fair, please visit

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

About The Royal

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian event. This year marks the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 2-11, 2018, at Exhibition Place, Toronto, Canada. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit

Toronto Festival of Beer 2018

One of my favourite events is happening again this summer! Toronto Festival of Beer (TFOB) will be held from July 26 to July 29, 2018. Tickets are selling fast and only Thursday and Sunday are available. Please note, TFOB is a 19+ event.

This year for music they will have Broken Social Scene & The Rural Alberta Advantage on Thursday, Ludacris on Friday, Dwayne Gretzky on Saturday, and I Mother Earth & Finger Eleven on Sunday.

Click HERE for tickets.

Media Release

Toronto‘s Festival of Beer, presented by the Beer Store
Shines A Spotlight on Women in Beer
Toronto‘s Festival of Beer, presented by the Beer Store is proud to introduce its first feature area in a three-part series called TFOB Spotlight which begins with Women In Beer, available from July 26 to 29 at Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place.
TFOB Spotlight: Women In Beer will showcase a selection of beerbrewed by women and other brews where women played an integral role in bringing it to life. This first TFOB Spotlight is in partnership with  The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies.
We are excited to shine a Spotlight on Women In Beer at Toronto‘s Festival of Beer 2018.” said Les Murray, President of Toronto‘s Festival of Beer and Beerlicious Inc. “Women continue to play a crucial role in Canada’s brewing industry in both brewing and education. The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies is an organization that promotes and supports women in the industry and we are delighted to collaborate with them on this spotlight.
An excellent selection of brews will be available for fans to choose from in the TFOB Spotlight: Women In Beer that range in style. A complete list is still being developed but fans can expect to taste a Shagbark Stout, a Honey IPA, and even a Raspberry Blonde Ale with Glitter, just to name a few. The breweries that are participating in this TFOB Spotlight: Women In Beer, include:


We are thrilled to collaborate on the TFOB Spotlight: Women In Beer,” said Erica Campbell, Co-Founder and Co-Organizer of The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies. “Women who have a passion for great tasting beer is what our society is all about and we’re glad that we can share that same passion with the fans at the 2018 edition of Toronto‘s Festival of Beer.

Summerlicious 2018 – My Top 10 Picks

Hi Toronto Foodies,

It’s been a while but here is my list for Summerlicious this year. Please note, prices have increased for their set meals.

Here are my recommendations:

  1. Noce
    • Note: Did my Winterlicious here and food was good. My friends and I were especially amused by the sassy server we had too. Worth a visit.
  2. TOCA
    • Note: Located at the Ritz Hotel, I have been to the hotel once for a media conference but not the restaurant. Good opportunity to get your bougie foodie on? Haha.
  3. King Taps
    • Note: I went here for drinks and its got a really nice casual atmosphere, after work crowd and good drinks. Debating going here or trying TOCA for Summerlicious.
  4. Cactus Club Cafe
    • Note: I have been to this restaurant a few times and some of my coworkers like it there too. Just be aware of which floor you book for. The rooftop is usually the loudest in the evenings.
  5. Lisa Marie
    • Note: I am following one of the chefs on social media and he is always posting yummy foodie pictures, so I am curious about this place. If you go, let me know how you like them!
  6. Wickson Social
    • Note: Enjoyed the drinks here, have not tried food but it could be a more affordable casual option.
  7. Sassafraz
    • Note: Sassafraz back on Licious! I have been here a few times and for a wedding event as well. Solid pick.
  8. Nota Bene
    • Note: Always on my foodie wish list, but didn’t have the opportunity to try yet. I wish they did licious lunches on weekends but I don’t think they do. Please call to check.
  9. Copetin Restaurant
    • Note: Looks like a new restaurant on the scene, reviews look good so far. If you have tried a lot of the restaurants already on the list, this could be a nice option.
  10. Figo
    • Note: It seems popular with pretty interiors. Worth a try?

Reservations start today, June 21. Summerlicious starts July 6 to July 22, 2018.

Happy nomming!

Winterlicious 2018: My Top 10 Picks

Hey Toronto Foodies,

A little late this year with my Winterlicious list but it has been surprisingly frustrating getting reservations this time.

It was pretty hard to find a restaurant that 1) served Winterlicious lunch on a weekend, 2) I have not been to already and 3) had good reviews for the most part.

I have been to a lot of restaurants in the past so my search was definitely limiting.

Here are my recommendations:

  1. Ricarda’s
    • Note: Dined here for a Summerlicious lunch over a weekend and enjoyed myself. Tried a promotional flight of drinks too which was nice and included 3 glasses from options such as ice wine, white and red wines. I believe the TV show Suits filmed here as well.
  2. Carbon Bar.
    • Note: Only has Winterlicious dinner but reviews look good. I might check this restaurant out on a regular day.
  3. Biff Bistro
    • Note: I’ve been wanting to go to this restaurant for ages but it only has Winterlicious weekend dinner.
  4. Cactus Club Cafe
    • Note: I have been to this restaurant a few times and liked the butternut squash soup or duo (ask how many pieces you get for appetizer), feenie burger and chocolate mousse.
  5. Estiatorio Volos
    • Note: Again, another restaurant I was unable to book because they only do weekend Winterlicious dinner. Check in on your Yelp app for a free appetizer.
  6. The Queen and Beaver Public House
    • Note: Reviews seem good and it looks like a nice pub/brunch spot.
  7. Wickson Social
    • Note: Enjoyed the drinks here, have not tried food but it could be a more affordable casual option.
  8. Miku
    • Note: Never been but a coworker recommended it. Miku has good reviews as well on Yelp.
  9. Kasa Moto
    • Note: Tried dinner here before and its not bad. If you like their Winterlicious menu, give this place a chance. Usually on the pricier side so it would be an opportune time to try.
  10. Insomnia.
    • Note: A solid good brunch pick, I’ve been there a few times. I love the eggs benedict. Recommend!
  11. Bonus Pick – Noce Restaurant
    • Note: Never been to this restaurant but I will be doing my own Winterlicious lunch here. Not too many reviews but from what I read, most of them are positive.

Again, please double or even triple check that your restaurant choice is participating during the weekend if that is your availability. Looking at you Bar Buca! I once made reservations there for a Licious lunch and the staff said they do weekend when they don’t. Happened to not just me but another table who was sitting nearby.

Hope you find my recommendations useful!

Giveaway: Gourmet Food & Wine Expo

Hi Toronto Foodies,

Excited to announce I am doing a giveaway contest for an upcoming event, the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo happening on November 16 – 19, 2017 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The event will provide foodies an opportunity to taste the newest dishes, drinks and foodie trends everyone is raving about with 1,500 wines, beers, spirits and gourmet foods. For more information on the event click here.

This is your chance to win a set of Elite Passes (value $100.00) for yourself and a guest! These passes are valid any one day from November 16 – 19, 2017. No in/out privileges except for Saturday. Front line privileges through the Elite entrance.

We have 2 sets of passes to give away!

Pleases note entrants must be 19 years of age or older.

You will be required to present a valid government issued I.D at the door. No children or infants permitted.

Click HERE to enter!

I will select two lucky foodies on SUNDAY NOVEMBER 16, 2017.

Good luck!

Winterlicious 2017: My Top 10 Picks


Hey Toronto Foodies!

As some of you may know, a Top 10 list was not published for Summerlicious 2016. Sadly, I was too busy last year to write one but I did try to participate and go to a restaurant. I will write a separate post about my experience on that. Anyways, I am determined to make time and have a list out for you all as we enter into the new year. Hopefully, foodies will find it useful.

This year, I was actually invited to a Winterlious media preview at Lee Restaurant with speakers that included Chef Susur Lee, sponsors, and Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre). I’ve never been to the restaurant before, so this was a nice opportunity to visit and taste a bit of their menu offerings. I will likely create a brief post about it too, but check my Facebook page if you want to see some of the pictures.

As usual, the prix fixe menus vary from $18, $23, $28 for lunch but have increased slightly at $28, $38, $48 for dinner. Here is a list of my suggestions below:

1) Scaddabush Italian Kitchen & Bar
Price: $18 Lunch/ $28 Dinner
Note: This place surprised me! I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was cause Scaddabush is a chain restaurant. It is no Canoe or Richmond Station but at least steps above a Pickle Barrel/Moxies. Considering the menu prices, I think this would be a great deal and that’s why I am putting it at the top. I recently went with coworkers and feasted on some pretty good food. The lunch and dinner menu are very similar so if you haven’t been before, I suggest trying their lunch menu to test it out. Some regular menu items I would also suggest is Naked – Fresh Mozzarella and 3-Cheese Charity Bread. Seriously, get the Fresh Mozzarella! Everyone raved over it. lol.

2) Red’s Midtown Tavern
Price: $18 Lunch/ $28 Dinner
Note: This was on my top picks cause a friend went here a while ago and said it was alright. Reviews also look good.I like the price point and menu looks interesting with offerings of Kale Salad, Butternut Squash Soup, Shrimp Ravioli, Steak Bibimbap, and Japanese Cheesecake, etc. I am doing my Winterlicious lunch here, so I will let you know how it goes.

3) Diwan
Price: $28 Lunch
Note: I’ve never been but this restaurant is located at the Aga Khan Museum. As a new addition to this year’s Winterlicious and if you haven’t been to the museum before, I think this would make for a lovely museum and lunch day for friends, family or dates.

4) Estiatorio Volos
Price: $23 Lunch/ $38 Dinner
Note: I’ve walked by this place a few times and it’s always packed with the business crowd on weekends or after work hours. I’m kind of curious about it and if you don’t eat greek food often, this place might be a nice place to try with friends, coworkers or dates.

5) Drake Hotel
Price: $23 Lunch/ $38 Dinner
Note: A pretty safe bet, I’ve been here a few times. I like their lunch menu more and would eye the butternut squash, avocado toast, and salmon benny. Yum!

6) Insomnia
Price: $18 Lunch/ $28 Dinner
Note: This was on my past Winterlicious 2016 pick but it is still a solid choice. Still very popular with long line ups and I have been to this place a few times. I love their Charlotte Eggs Benedict! If you go for lunch, I would eye the Eggs Memphis, which is already $14 on their regular menu. So $18 for a 3 course is a pretty good deal. If you decide on dinner, the Fried Chicken ‘N Waffles has a lot of buzz.

7) Lee
Price: $48 Dinner
Note: As I mentioned above, I went to the media preview here. I got to try a few things and from the menu I would recommend the Thai Fried Chicken. It has a bit of a zing and is quite good. I probably would avoid the Pineapple & Passionfruit Popsicle for dessert though, I didn’t try it but it looked quite small portion-wise. Interior of restaurant is very pretty and upscale. Definitely a place to wine and dine.

8) Love me Tender
Price: $23 Lunch/ $38 Dinner
Note: Never been but reviews are good. Menu for both lunch and dinner look solid. If you are a meat eater, this could be the place for you! Some menus items include a burger, salmon filet, sirloin, prime rib and chicken.

9) Brassaii Restaurant and Lounge
Price: $48 Dinner
Note: Went here for a holiday work event and this place is nicely decorated. The food was good but I think it depends on what you order. I got to try a variety of salads, roast beef, lasagna, mac n’ cheese, etc. However, the food I tried is probably different from the regular menu cause my company made it more of a buffet style. Still, their regular menu is more pricey so this Licious menu could be a good opportunity to visit if you haven’t been before.

10) Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
Price: $38 Dinner
Note: Unfortunately, they are only doing dinner this year. I’ve been to their restaurant for lunch and it is a solid brunch spot. Great place for friends, family or coworkers.

* Honourable Mention: Benihana Japanese Steakhouse at $48 for dinner. It is located at the Fairmont Royal York so definitely an upscale restaurant and while a splurge, still a good deal given that their Licious menu is similar to their regular group menu for 8 people that costs $60-75 per person.

To check out menus, please click here.

Hope this helps!

Toronto’s Festival of Beer – Spring 2016

A few months ago, I was invited again to Toronto’s Festival of Beer – Spring Sessions. I found the weather this time to be much improved and perfect for a beer festival. The sun was blazing with occasional drafts of wind coming from the lake and not a dark cloud in … Continue reading

Winterlicious 2016: My Top 10 Picks

Hi Foodies, New year, new restaurants and a new Licious list for my foodie followers. Wanted to get this out earlier but I’ve had a crazy busy week. My new list is totally different because I wanted to recommend different restaurants and just … Continue reading