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How to Make 2022 Your Best Year Ever

Happy New Year! 2022 has arrived, and with it has come the potential to transform your life in positive ways. The beginning of each new year is a great time to reflect on the past year and analyze what went right and what areas could use improvement. As the popular saying goes, each new year comes with 365 days, which means you have 365 new chances to build the life of your dreams. It’s a great time to think ahead about what you want to accomplish and who you want to become, and to make plans to achieve your goals. Having an incredible 2022 is totally possible but it will take effort and planning to get there. Here are some tips to make 2022 your best year ever!

  1. Set goals

Starting the year without a plan is a bit like going on a road trip without a destination in mind. It could turn out to be amazing, but you could also end up with unexpected challenges and roadblocks. Sit down and think about what you would like to accomplish this year, and be realistic. If you have a lot of ideas, try to break them down into attainable goals. It’s good to have ideas, but a jumble of ideas will make it hard to actually achieve any of them in a year. Remember that not everything can happen at once and most goals take consistent work and effort to attain. Do you want to change careers? Improve your marriage? Save money to buy a new home or condo? Analyze the areas in your life that you want to improve and determine what goals are the most important to you.

  1. Start each day with a plan

Did you feel as though 2021 flew by even though the pandemic slowed everything down? It’s hard to be productive without focus. Once you determine your goals for the year, break them down into monthly, weekly and daily targets. Having a plan keeps you on track to achieve your goals, and breaking them down into smaller steps ensures that you have the time, energy, focus and consistency to stick with them. Whether you plan your week out in advance on Sunday, the night before or the morning of, reconnecting with your goals on a consistent basis will help you to stay on top of them. Give yourself two small goals to accomplish each day, and this will translate into a lot more by the end of the year.

  1. Get some rest

Many of you have been working tirelessly, adjusting to new routines and getting used to COVID life. It’s exhausting! When was the last time you slept for 8 hours at night? Rest is so important for your mind and body to recharge so that you have the health and energy to see you through another year. Rest helps reduce stress and improves your ability to concentrate, and does wonders for your mood. So if you’re not already sleeping enough, make sure to make rest a priority this year, as well as personal time for yourself.

  1. Get your finances in order

One of the biggest stressors in life for many people is money management. This year, make the time to really understand your financial situation. If you haven’t already, learn about smart ways to save and invest. Saving money is a wonderful habit but can be hard to maintain. We often prioritize emotional purchases over saving. This year, make financial goals and try to save money. Open savings accounts with specific types of purchases in mind; for example, open a savings account for holidays or home renovations. Not only will you become more aware of your goals, it will help you make better decisions with your income. Pay attention to how you spend your money. Are you spending frivolously on takeout or clothes you don’t need? Take note of your shopping triggers and avoid them.

  1. Try something new

Christopher McCandless once said: “The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” The start of the new year is a great time to pick up a new skill or step outside your comfort zone. It’s a time when people feel more motivated and open to new ideas. Surround yourself with like-minded people and stop putting off that skill or hobby you wanted to try years ago. Whether it’s learning photography, cooking something new every other week or travelling to a new place, trying new things challenges you, expands your world view, builds confidence and encourages personal growth.

  1. Give back

One of the best things you can do for your mental and emotional health is to give back to your community or those less fortunate. Helping those in need will help you realize how much you actually have and cultivate gratitude, while acts of service will lead you to a more content and meaningful life. Giving to others will strengthen your connection to your community, give you a sense of purpose and make you feel good. It can be daunting to find the right avenue to give, but keep in mind it doesn’t have to be a big commitment. There are many ways to help, from volunteering at homeless shelters to donating blood or shopping local.

We wish you all a wonderful, happy, healthy and prosperous2022!

How are you making this year your best year yet? Connect with BAZIS on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) and let us know!

How Different Cultures Celebrate the New Year


People around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for about four millennia. Today, the majority of New Year’s festivities begin on December 31st (New Year’s Eve), the last day of the Gregorian calendar, and continue onto January 1st (New Year’s Day). Common traditions include attending parties, eating special foods, making resolutions for the New Year, and watching fireworks. But a lot of countries also have a unique set of New Year’s traditions, and some cultures celebrate on different dates.

Let’s take a look at some of the interesting New Year’s traditions from around the world!

Philippines

On New Year’s Eve, you’ll find round shapes all over the Philippines. Round shapes represent coins, which symbolize prosperity in the coming year. Many people also wear polka dots for good fortune. Many families display large quantities of fruit on their dining tables and they like to make noise. One New Year’s custom in the Philippines is to use noisemakers, play music really loudly, and generally be as loud as you can. A lot of people believe that the noise will keep away bad luck and evil spirits.

Brazil

In Brazil and many other South American countries like Bolivia and Ecuador, people believe that wearing white clothes on New Year’s Eve will bring them good luck and peace in the New Year. They also believe that wearing a specific coloured underwear will bring them good fortune over the next year – for example, yellow for wealth and prosperity, and red for passion. Brazilians also make life-sized dolls with masks. These dolls represent bad events from the past year, and they’re burnt at midnight on New Year’s Eve to get rid of the bad and make room for the good.

Portugal

On New Year’s Eve in Portugal (and Spain), people eat 12 raisins or grapes at midnight, one for each stroke of the clock. The 12 grapes represent good luck for each month of the upcoming year. In larger cities, people come together in main squares and pass around bottles of cava, or sparkling wine. It’s also customary after the clock strikes midnight to open your window and bang pots and pans and make a lot of noise. Portuguese children go around visiting on New Year’s Day to collect gifts and sweets.

Denmark

The people of Denmark welcome the New Year with a toast to the motherland once Queen Margrethe completes her annual New Year’s Eve speech. Then, just before midnight, they stand up on chairs or a couch and at midnight they “leap” into the New Year. The leap from up high is said to symbolize the overcoming of potential challenges and difficulties.

Iran

Iranians celebrate their New Year during the spring equinox, and it’s called Nowruz. They begin a few weeks ahead by cleaning their homes. Once their house is in order, on the Wednesday before Nowruz, Iranians light up the streets and skies for a ‘Red Celebration.’ Fire is considered a symbol of purity, and Iranians will light fireworks, jump over bonfires, and release sky lanterns with their wishes for the year ahead.

Canada

Canadians celebrate New Year’s Eve on December 31st. Common traditions include visiting with friends and family, eating special meals, having drinks, attending parties and watching fireworks. Many Canadians also celebrate the New Year by going ice fishing or participating in an annual polar bear plunge. Started in 1920 in Vancouver by David Pantages, the polar bear plunge has since spread to other provinces and even some States in the United States. The event has also become a fundraising event in many cities.

The BAZIS team wishes you all a wonderful holiday season and very happy New Year!

How do you celebrate New Year’s? Connect with BAZIS on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) and let us know!

5 Magical Holiday Events You Don’t Want to Miss in Toronto This Season

Image: Daily Hive

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With the holidays around the corner, it’s time to start planning all your favourite festive adventures. From holiday markets to wintery immersive experiences, there are many events scheduled in Toronto with tickets already available to purchase. Get on your winter coat, grab those whom you love the most, and head out for a day of holiday cheer!

1. One Of A Kind Show, Nov. 25th-Dec. 5th, Enercare Centre

Image: One Of A Kind Show

Just in time for all your Christmas shopping needs comes one of our absolute favourite holiday markets: The One Of A Kind Show at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place. Stroll through stalls of unique artisan crafts and delicious snacks by some of the country’s most talented makers, and discover the best Canadian-made gifts. If you’re looking to buy something memorable for a loved one or a little (or BIG) something for yourself, everything at the One Of A Kind Show is just that: one-of-a-kind and made with love. With over 400 exhibitors, there’s something for everyone. Grab your best friends and family and head out for a day of holiday shopping.

2. The Distillery Winter Village, Nov. 18th-Dec. 31st, The Distillery District

 

Image:@shahzad__alvi

If you missed the Christmas Market at the Distillery District last year, you’re not alone. Nothing screams the holidays like this annual tradition where you can walk along the romantic cobblestones of the Distillery District sipping hot chocolate and shopping for unique gifts from the many vendors. This year, the market returns with a new name, The Distillery Winter Village, and a new look. The Distillery Winter Village will be an intimate event with focus on more of the Distillery District’s retailers and restaurants, however all of your favourite traditions remain. Come see the magical 50-ft-tall silver fir Christmas tree, grab a photo with Santa and his elves, or take a selfie at one of the many festival displays. Enjoy the twinkling lights while carolers and buskers entertain you, nibble on festive treats, and shop for gifts from local vendors.

3. Santa Claus Parade, Dec. 4th, 2021, CTV

Image: The Original Santa Claus Parade

Tis the season to be jolly… and what could be jollier than Santa himself? To the excitement of many, this year’s Santa Claus parade is back on – albeit in a slightly different format. This year’s parade will be broadcast live from Canada’s Wonderland on December 4, 2021 on CTV/CTV2 at 7pm ET. See the larger-than-life floats, magical characters, and special performances by some amazing artists. Make some popcorn and hot chocolate at home and make catching the parade live a truly special event. You won’t want to miss what the 2021 Parade has in store!

4. Polar Winter Festival, Nov. 25th-Dec. 26th, Bandshell Park

Image: Polar Winter Festival

If you’re looking for fun for the whole family, experience the magic of the holidays at the Polar Winter Festival. Located at Bandshell Park at the Exhibition Grounds, the Polar Winter Festival isn’t your average holiday market. It’s a winter wonderland immersive experience. Come see the gorgeous snowy installations and be sure to have your camera handy, as there are a ton of festive photo opportunities for you and the family. Take a photo with Santa or with giant holiday decorations including teddy bears, Santa’s workshop, Elsa from Frozen, and the Polar Ice Tunnel that’s filled with thousands of crystals. Hop aboard the Christmas train or ride the classic carousel. Grab a bite to eat at one of the food trucks and warm up at the cocktail bar with firepits to keep you warm and cozy.

5. Cavalcade of Lights, Nov. 27th (weather permitting)-Mar. 20th, Nathan Phillips Square

Image: Janice Lin

The City of Toronto’s official Christmas tree has arrived ahead of this year’s Cavalcade of Lights festival, which will begin in a few weeks. This year’s celebration will be modified due to the pandemic but will still feature the best part – skating at Nathan Phillips Square. A family tradition that has spanned generations, this is the quintessential winter experience. It’s set in the unique urban backdrop of sparkling lights and the large holiday tree. Bring your friends, family and loved ones and make magical memories on ice that you will all cherish for years to come.

We hope you have a wonderful festive season. Happy holidays to you all!

Which event are you most excited for? Connect with BAZIS on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) and let us know!

5 Toronto Museum and Art Exhibits You’ve Got To Check Out Now

Image: ROM

Museums and art galleries are slowly opening back up to the public after long closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is such exciting news for Torontonians with an appreciation for the arts. November, being a slower month, is a great time to head indoors, warm up, and get your arts and culture fix! From textiles to multi-sensory experiences, we’ve put together a list of some of the most fun, educational, and unforgettable exhibits happening in Toronto right now.

  1. Picasso: Painting the Blue Period (Art Gallery of Ontario, a.k.a. the AGO)

    Now until January 16, 2022

Image: The Blue Room, Pablo Picasso, 1901 (AGO)

A groundbreaking celebration, Picasso: Painting the Blue Period is the first exhibition in Canada to focus on the early works of the modernist master Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973).

Focusing on the years 1901-1904, Picasso: Painting the Blue Period tells the story of how Picasso, in his late teens and early twenties, created his signature Blue Period style as he moved back and forth between Paris and Barcelona. The exhibition shows how a young Picasso borrowed and transformed the subject matter of his contemporaries and predecessors during these critical years. The exhibition also shows how Picasso’s responses to the social and political events around him resulted in mesmerizing works that to this day force audiences to grapple with uncomfortable issues such as poverty, labour unrest, gender inequality, and war.

Picasso: Painting the Blue Period features more than 100 objects from 15 countries, including paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by Picasso as well as works by artists he’s known to have studied before and during the Blue Period.

  1. Immersive Nutcracker (1 Yonge Street)

    November 20, 2021 until December 24, 2021

Image: The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle

From the producers of the critically-acclaimed Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit comes the ultimate holiday experience for the entire family – The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle!

For nearly 130 years, The Nutcracker has enchanted families around the world – from ballet productions to movies and more. Step inside as 1,296,674 frames of video bring the joy of the holidays to life around you – on a jaw-dropping scale!

Featuring scenes from the beloved ballet, the exhibit encompasses a 500,000 cubic-foot warehouse, with projections spanning across all five floors. Lights, sounds, and immersive digital art come together while you’re enchanted by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s sweeping music, including iconic songs “The March of the Toys” and “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

“The Nutcracker” is the first project of Storywall, and this is a world premiere.

  1. GTA 21 (Museum of Contemporary Art, a.k.a. MOCA)

    Now until January 9, 2022

Image: Untitled, 2021, Kareem Anthony-Ferreira (MOCA)

Greater Toronto Art 2021 (GTA21) brings together 21 of the most incredible artists and art collectives working in Toronto. The title, which plays on the name of the city’s broad metropolitan area, “addresses our ever-expanding notion of what Toronto might be, where it extends, and what practices and attitudes exist here.”

This large-scale exhibition takes place once every three years, as a pledge to Toronto artists and the commissioning of new projects. Each contributor was asked to consider the following question: “What feels most urgent to you today?” Together the artists’ responses offer different imaginations of the city, society, and the world. Seeing them as a collective conveys a profound belief in remembering, storytelling, questioning, resisting, celebrating, making, and speculating.

  1. ᖃᓪᓗᓈᖅᑕᐃᑦ ᓯᑯᓯᓛᕐᒥᑦ Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios (Textile Museum of Canada)

    Now until January 29, 2022

Image: Kinngait Studios, Textile Museum of Canada

ᖃᓪᓗᓈᖅᑕᐃᑦ ᓯᑯᓯᓛᕐᒥᑦ Printed Textiles from  Kinngait Studios presents the little-known story of a group of Inuit artists and printmakers who produced a collection of graphic textiles in Kinngait (Cape Dorset, Nunavut) in the 1950s and 1960s – a period of social change that disrupted traditional language and relationships to the land.

Made for interior décor during a period when artist-designed textiles were popular in North America and Europe, these mid-century designs depict legends, stories, and traditional ways of life. They provide vital points of connection between contemporary Inuit community members and the creativity and resourcefulness of previous generations.

  1. Great Whales Up Close and Personal (Royal Ontario Museum, a.k.a. the ROM)

    Now until March 20, 2022

Image: Sleeping Sperm Whales, Stephane Granzotto (ROM)

In 2017, the ROM shared the incredible journey of Blue, ROM’s beloved blue whale, in Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story. The original exhibition told the tragic story of nine blue whales that died in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2014, and the opportunity it presented for research and conservation.

Showcasing the ROM’s commitment to Canada’s North Atlantic whales, the current exhibition Great Whales Up Close and Personal takes the story further and features Blue along with two new skeletons: the deep diving sperm whale and the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. With multi-sensory interactive and immersive experiences, Great Whales compares these three unique giants, including their size, diet, intelligence, and evolution, while bringing to attention the extensive ongoing research and conservation efforts being undertaken to save these mammals from extinction.

Which exhibit are you most looking forward to? Connect with BAZIS on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) and let us know!

The 10 Most Delicious Festive Fall Cocktails

Fall is a special time of year. It’s vibrant and colourful, and the cooling temperatures mark the changing of the seasons and fresh new beginnings. With Thanksgiving and Halloween around the corner, there’s nothing better than putting on a warm sweater and sitting by the fire with a cocktail (or mocktail) in hand. And although everyone loves the timeless classics, the fall is much better matched with a glass full of warm autumnal flavours that include cinnamon, apple cider, pumpkin or cranberry. Whether you like festive margaritas, smoky bourbon, or non-alcoholic drinks for adults and kids alike, we’ve put together a list of the 10 most delicious cocktails for any occasion this season.

  1. Autumn Apple Bourbon Fizz

The Autumn Apple Bourbon Fizz is a cool classy drink that warms you up with each sip! A delicious combination of bourbon, wholesome apple butter and ginger beer creates an unforgettable flavour profile that’s perfect for the fall season. Pair it with fresh figs for an elegant finish.

  1. Apple Cider Sangria (or Mocktail)

Sangria doesn’t only need to be enjoyed during the summer! This delicious twist on the classic is made of fresh tart apples, zesty Pinot Grigio, brandy and sweet pears. This Apple Cider Sangria is sure to be a hit at Thanksgiving and Halloween, and can be made virgin by substituting the alcohol for fruit juice and club soda.

  1. Pumpkin Pie Moscow Mule

This Pumpkin Pie Moscow Mule is sweet, spicy and full of autumnal flavour. Rich pumpkin butter, vanilla vodka and ginger beer come together to create the perfect dessert cocktail that tastes like a boozy slice of pie!

  1. Honey-Roasted Pear Sparkling Cocktail (or Mocktail)

This gorgeous drink tastes as incredible as it looks, and makes for a memorable party cocktail (or mocktail). Light, fizzy and not overly sweet, this marvelous drink is made with honey-roasted pears, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. Pair it with champagne or sparkling wine (or sparkling white grape juice for the non-alcoholic version) for a punch.

  1. Toasted Pecan Old-Fashioned

This twist on the classic Old-Fashioned takes some prep but it’s worth the wait. This variation takes days to make because the pecans need to be soaked in whiskey, but the end result will leave you feeling warm and joyful, and is sure to impress guests if you’re entertaining. Combined with bitters and sugar, this strong cocktail is smoky and sweet and goes down very smoothly.

  1. Black Russian

The Black Russian is a simple drink but you wouldn’t know that from its strong, bold and intense flavour. A mix of vodka, Kahlua and ice cubes, the Black Russian tastes like a sweetened coffee. Pair it with a scoop of ice cream for an even more decadent end-of-the-night dessert.

  1. Cranberry Margarita

One of the highlights of the fall season is the abundance of delicious, tart cranberries. This beautiful Cranberry Margarita is the perfect cocktail for Thanksgiving. Pink, festive and made in less than 5 minutes, this drink is a party-pleaser. Made with tequila, triple sec, lime juice and cranberry juice, it’s light, refreshing and delicious.

  1. Vanilla Chai Old-Fashioned

The Vanilla Chai Old-Fashioned is incredibly festive and will be your go-to cocktail for the holidays. Made with homemade spiced chai syrup, warm bourbon, a touch of vanilla, winter citrus and sparkling water, this cozy drink is perfect for the cooler weather and sure to please everyone.

  1. Pumpkin Pie Martini (or Mocktail)

This Pumpkin Pie Martini is THE quintessential party cocktail and bound to be a hit over the holidays. Made with rich crème de cacao, vanilla vodka, warm cinnamon, pumpkin spice and velvety whipped cream, this is the most delicious dessert cocktail you could make! Even more exciting is that you can make a non-alcoholic version for the kids by replacing the alcohol with chocolate extract. 

  1. Pomegranate Gin and Tonic

Who doesn’t love pomegranates? Juicy and full of antioxidants, this cocktail is vibrant, refreshing and has just the right combination of flavours to carry you over from summer into fall. The brisk Pomegranate Gin and Tonic combined with lime wedges, pomegranate arils and rosemary sprigs makes for an elegant yet satisfying cocktail.

Which cocktail grabbed your attention? Connect with BAZIS on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) and let us know!

5 Beautiful Fall Getaways Within a 2-Hour Drive From Toronto

Fall is a special time of year, with temperatures cooling and vibrant fall colours bringing our surroundings to life. It’s an incredibly beautiful and rejuvenating time. With the kids going back to school and summer holidays winding down, autumn can also feel a bit nostalgic – it’s a time of new beginnings and also of endings. To make the most of this season, there’s nothing like a quick trip out of the city to get refreshed and re-energized. Here are our top 5 favourite fabulous getaways within a 2-hour drive from Toronto to bask in all this wonderful season has to offer:

1. Elora Mill & Spa

Set in a stone 19th-century mill with annexes, this elegant hotel straddles the Tooth of Time waterfall on the Grand River. It’s located 2 kilometres from hiking trails in the Elora Quarry Conservation Area, where you can hike the Elora Gorge, one of the most spectacular natural areas in the Grand River valley, and visit the Elora Quarry.

Extravagant rooms at the Elora Mill & Spa have marble bathrooms and feature fireplaces and soaking tubs, while some have river views and terraces. Suites feature stunning floor-to-ceiling windows, and there’s also a 2-storey private villa. Enjoy dining at the upscale restaurant and spending time at the elegant bar, with its weekly live music. The spa contains a gym, yoga room and an outdoor pool, plus saunas, steam rooms and a hot tub. This is an amazingly relaxing and beautiful place to spend the weekend! Hike the beautiful natural areas, visit the charming town of Elora, and unwind at the spa for a truly luxurious getaway.

2. Blue Mountain 

Autumn is a magnificent time to visit the Westin Trillium House Blue Mountain. A fall getaway at this hotel includes a tour of the Georgian Hills Vineyards, Thornbury Cidery, and Northwinds Brewery for a delightful lunch. Looking for something more family-friendly? The Westin also offers an exclusive package to experience the largest apple growing region of Ontario, known as the Apple Pie Trail. Free family activities and live music are provided during the Apple Harvest Festival and an annual Halloween festival transforms Blue Mountain into a Haunted Hill.

Also located nearby is the Cranberry Golf Course and the world-renowned Scandinave Spa. This resort maintains a quiet atmosphere that allows guests to fully disconnect from the noise and stress of daily life. The Scandinave Spa features Scandinavian baths and hydrotherapy, which are known for their relaxing yet invigorating, effects – combine this with the changing colours of leaves and you’re bound to be in bliss.

3. Ste. Anne’s Spa

Fall weather doesn’t only need to be enjoyed by hiking outdoors – simply changing your scenery can do you a world of good. Escape to Ste. Anne’s Spa, where the Fall Cottage Escape package will leave you feeling refreshed. This getaway includes a cottage-style accommodation, a seaweed body wrap, a 4-course dinner, and a selection of sweet and savoury treats. During your stay, be sure to explore the beautiful countryside and visit the property’s farm and horses, which will have the most vibrant fall colours on display in October!

4. Whispering Springs Wilderness Retreat

Prepare for a new way of experiencing the great outdoors: king-sized beds instead of sleeping bags, mood lighting instead of flashlights, and a wine glass instead of a canteen – this is camping like you’ve never experienced before. Whispering Springs Wilderness Retreat, located an hour and a half east of Toronto, is a luxurious and low-impact establishment. Experience elegant hotel-style amenities nestled within the Canadian wilderness. Choose from lavish safari tent accommodations, comfortable amenities, and participate in low-impact wilderness activities. Health and body wellness retreat and rejuvenations packages include three days of engaging yoga classes with a qualified instructor, evening wellness classes, live music by the campfire, and fresh farm-to-table meals provided by a top chef.

5. GTA

Cottage country isn’t the only place to experience the wonders of the fall season in Ontario. The GTA is a fantastic place to enjoy all that autumn has to offer.

Begin your weekend staycation with a visit to a local GTA café, where autumnal flavours come in the form of decadent coffees (hot chocolate for the kids!) and pumpkin-flavoured pastries. Afterwards, take the kids on a classic autumn adventure to one of the GTA’s many farms. From apples to pumpkins, squash and other seasonal produce, get your fill of fall fruits and vegetables.

End your weekend in the city with a day full of traditional fall fun at one of the GTA’s yearly fall fairs. Enjoy family activities, tasty treats, live music, arts and crafts, petting zoos and more!

We wish you all a wonderful fall season!

How are you celebrating this fall? Connect with BAZIS on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) and let us know!

TIFF 2021 Will Be a Hybrid of Virtual and In-Person Screenings

The 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will be taking place September 9-18 this year. With both virtual and in-person screenings, this year’s festival features over 100 astonishing films in its Official Selection, in addition to outstanding events featuring celebrated guests and TIFF’s industry conference. This is an exciting event that Toronto residents often look forward to all year long.

TIFF is one of the largest publicly attended film festivals in the world. In 1998, Variety magazine recognized that TIFF “is second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars, and market activity.” Founded in 1976, TIFF has become a permanent destination for film culture. TIFF’s mission is to “transform the way people see the world through film.”

Since its launch, one of TIFF’s leading principles has been to celebrate and amplify the voices of exceptional filmmakers working in Canada. TIFF is also committed to greater representation of voices by challenging the status quo, celebrating diverse storytellers and audiences, and making space for Black, Indigenous, people-of-colour, women, and LGBTQ+ creators and other under-represented talent. TIFF’s programming team works to ensure that the films they curate are reflective of the audiences they serve.

Several ticket options are available to audiences this year, from individual film tickets for in-person screenings (on sale to the public September 6th) to packages for digital film screenings that allow access to up to 20 digital films (on sale now). All ticket details are available here.

In-person screenings will take place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre, and Festival Village at Ontario Place. Festival Village comprises the Cinesphere IMAX Theatre, Visa Skyline Drive-In, RBC Lakeside Drive-In and the West Island Open Air Cinema. If you haven’t been to any of these incredible Toronto venues, now is a great opportunity to check them out!

The Festival’s virtual experience is presented by Bell, with screenings on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox available across Canada. In Conversation With…talks and interactive Q&A sessions with actors and filmmakers will be hosted on TIFF Bell Digital Talks, available worldwide. To increase the accessibility of the film festival, all films screened digitally will be closed-captioned.

New this year, audiences across Canada can enjoy the excitement of TIFF in their own communities with TIFF’s Coast-to-Coast Screenings. Film Circuit, TIFF’s film-outreach program since 1995, will host in-cinema screenings in select locations across the country for one evening in each location, to help ignite and celebrate audiences’ return to movie theatres.

TIFF has announced twelve films coming to the Festival’s Official Selection for 2021:

  • Le Bal des Folles directed by Mélanie Laurent (France) from Amazon Studios
  • Benediction,directed by Terence Davies (United Kingdom) from Bankside Films
  • Belfast, from director Kenneth Branagh (United Kingdom) from Focus Features
  • Charlotte, directed by Eric Warin and Tahir Rana (Canada/Belgium/France) from Elevation Pictures and MK2 Mile End
  • Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over, directed by Dave Wooley, David Heilbroner (USA)
  • The Guilty by director Antoine Fuqua (USA) from Netflix
  • Jagged, HBO documentary on iconic Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, directed by Alison Klayman (USA)
  • Lakewood, directed by Philip Noyce (Canada)
  • Last Night in Soho, directed by Edgar Wright (United Kingdom) from Focus Features
  • Night Raiders, directed by Danis Goulet (Canada/New Zealand) from Elevation Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films
  • Petite Maman, directed by Céline Sciamma (France) from Elevation Pictures and NEON
  • The Starling by director Theodore Melfi (USA) from Netflix

 

Award-winning Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve’s Dune will also have a World Exclusive IMAX premiere at the Cinesphere Theatre at Ontario Place.

TIFF has also announced 11 galas and 21 special presentations (high-profile movie premieres with the world’s leading filmmakers) chosen for the festival’s programming, including the highly-anticipated festival opener Dear Evan Hansen.

The remaining 30 films set to screen at TIFF feature a number of notable celebrities, many of whom will travel to Toronto for the festival. Stars to look out for include Olivia MunnOctavia SpencerJudi DenchDanny DeVitoDionne WarwickJake GyllenhaalNaomi WattsRiz Ahmed and more.

TIFF’s notable film programs will also return this year including Contemporary World Cinema, Discovery, TIFF Docs, Indie Films, Midnight Madness, Primetime, Wavelengths and TIFF Short Cuts. All films can be found here, while digital screenings can be found here.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival? Connect with BAZIS on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) and let us know!

7 Local Toronto Artists to Love and Buy Art From

Whether it’s a feeling or memory, art can evoke powerful emotions within us. Art can serve many purposes, from beautifying our homes by adding a personal touch to inspiring or comforting us upon sight. Art is truly personal – beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Buying original art for your home is an investment that will bring you enjoyment for years to come, while adding mood and character to your living space. Art creates memories, which can be passed down through the generations, and it can also gain value over time.

Toronto is home to some truly magnificent artists. Buying art locally supports the livelihood of artists, and keeps the creation of art alive and well. Here are 7 awe-inspiring local Toronto artists whose art you could take home today:

1. Maureen Faith O’Connor – Photography
https://www.maureenfaithoconnor.com
IG: @maureenfaithoconnor

Reverence, photograph

Maureen O’Connor is an award-winning, art-based photographer whose work focuses on architecture and still life. O’Connor graduated from OCAD and has been featured in international publications and media. She currently has a new studio sale and fundraiser where $25-$50 of each sale will be donated to local wildlife rehab sanctuaries.

  1. Ramona Nordal – Mixed Media
    https://www.ramonanordal.com
    IG: @ramonanordal

Caravan Study #23, acrylic and bic pen on panel

Ramona Nordal began her career at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia. There she studied under renowned Canadian artist Dennis Burton. Her ambitious use of colour and style of acrylic painting creates an overwhelming sense of energy. Nordal thrives on mixing past and present cultural influences, which give her paintings a truly unique aesthetic.

  1. Jamie MacRae – Mixed Media
    https://jamiemacrae.com
    IG: @jamiemacraeart

My City 341, mixed media on wooden panel with resin

Jamie MacRae is a Toronto-based artist with a background in design. His artwork consists of photography and acrylic paint, layered beneath resin. Combining his altered photo images with acrylic paint, MacRae plays with the juxtaposition of abstraction and urbanity. His collection entitled “My City” is inspired by his love for and the energy of the City of Toronto.

  1. Masood Omer – Painting
    https://www.artinteriors.ca/artists/masood-omer
    IG: @masood1519

Spadina Morning, acrylic on canvas

Originally from Karachi, Masood Omer has three diplomas in fine art: two from Pakistan’s Central Institute of Arts and one from the Art Centre at Central Tech in Toronto. Omer is a lover of art, and his paintings of figures, still life and landscapes carry influences from all genres of art. His forte is painterly style, and most of his works are done ‘alla prima.’ Omer currently resides in Richmond Hill, ON.

  1. Jeff Goodman – Glass
    http://www.jeffgoodmanstudio.com
    IG: @jeffgoodmanstudio

Penny Vine, blown glass, with satin copper metal finish

Growing up on the west coast, Jeff Goodman was always inspired by nature. His first love was woodwork, but while studying at Sheridan College in Ontario, he grew to love glass. After earning a degree in fine arts, Goodman began a three-year residency at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, where he grew his portfolio and reputation as one of Canada’s preeminent glass blowers. In 1989, Goodman established the Jeff Goodman Studio and began pushing the boundaries of glass design.

  1. Thomas M Sinclair – Woodland Art
    https://tmswoodlandart.ca
    IG: @tmswoodlandart

Naming Ceremony, acrylic on canvas

Thomas Sinclair is Ojibway from Couchiching First Nation. He grew up in Thunder Bay and immersed himself in the woodland art movement, and studied under Isadore Wadow. Facing some difficult personal challenges and the reality of systemic racism, Sinclair turned to art to not only heal himself, but his people. Sinclair’s paintings are bold, colourful and symbolic, giving light to darkness and bringing balance to life.

  1. Rina Gottesman – Painting
    http://www.rinagottesman.com
    IG: @rinagottesman

Once Again I, mixed media on paper

An award-winning artist, Rina Gottesman is known for her strong sense of colour and design. Through her use of lines and texture, Gottesman’s abstract paintings are bold and expressive. Whether she is working with acrylic or mixed media, Gottesman always seeks to create new and interesting effects often by hiding words, text or collages within her artworks for the viewer to discover.

What are your favourite local Toronto artists, and do you enjoy using art to decorate your home? Connect with BAZIS on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) to let us know!

10 Mouthwatering Treats You Need to Try in Toronto This Summer

Summer wouldn’t be summer without huge scoops of delicious ice cream and sweet treats to keep you cool and smiling on a sunny day. Whether you’re a donut fiend or a fruit monster, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our list of the best sweet treats to try in Toronto this summer:

toronto desserts recommended by bazis

  1. Machino Donuts –

    823 Bloor Street West

Machino Donuts offers fresh daily 100% vegan donuts. Made from scratch, they have a variety of flavours to choose from including their Caramel Passion Fruit Glaze with passion-fruit cream filling, Sourcream Orange, and decadent Ferrero Rocher. They also have fritters, coffee, and donut ice-cream sandwiches. Yum!

  1. Mango-Like Desserts –

    280 Augusta Avenue

Nestled in the super cool neighbourhood of Kensington Market, Mango-Like Desserts offers a variety of elegant desserts with mango at the forefront. Try their signature dish – a delicate crepe pocket filled with sweet cream and golden-ripe mangoes – or their chilled Asian-inspired dessert with sago pearls, mango purée, warm mango mochi, and fresh mangoes. Light and delicious!

  1. Grandmama’s Waffles –

    363 Clinton Street

Grandmama’s Waffles serves a range of colourful, delicious waffles, both savoury and sweet. Their savoury waffles made of non-alcoholic beer batter and their sweet waffles made of coconut milk and rice flour make for a scrumptious and buttery treat. Flavours include Sweet Chili Chicken, PB & Bacon, Black Sesame, and Hot Chocolate.

  1. Bakerbots Baking –

    205 Delaware Avenue

Bakerbots is a hip bakery located in the heart of Bloorcourt Village. With a wide variety of cookies and sweets, Bakerbots is serving up some of the coolest treats in Toronto. Inventive flavours are the focal point of this minimalist bakery with some of the best ice cream sandwiches you could find. Try their Beer n’ Brown Bread or Banana Pudding ice cream on a soft, delicious puff pastry.

  1. Summer’s Ice Cream –

    101 Yorkville Avenue

Since 1984, Summer’s Ice Cream has been proudly serving the best-tasting, highest-quality homemade ice cream, without compromise. A family-business that spans three generations, and local landmark in Toronto’s fashionable Yorkville near our 1 Yorkville condominium, this ice cream joint is sure to impress. Whether you like watermelon sorbet, cherry frozen yogurt, or mouth-watering chocolate ice cream, Summer’s Ice Cream has it all. They even have a Toronto specialty flavour called Toronto Pothole made of almonds, marshmallows, peanuts, chocolate chunks, road tar and gravel! Try it today in a sugar cone!

  1. Craque de Crème –

    1360 Bathurst Street

Craque de Crème is a snug dessert shop located near Casa Loma in Wychwood Park, whipping up iconic French crème brulée in gourmet flavours like tiramisu, pandan coconut, and lychee vodka. Pots of crème are hand-bruléed in front of your eyes for a perfectly-caramelized crunchy and smoky top. They also offer sweet macarons and other homemade pastries.

  1. Milkcow –

    2651 Yonge Street

Milkcow is a Korean dessert chain close to our E Condos residence at Yonge and Eglinton, specializing in organic soft serve ice cream with a playful twist. Not only is their soft-serve creamy and delicious and free of artificial ingredients, it comes in a sundae form with playful Instagrammable toppings, like cotton candy clouds and golden gooey honeycomb. They also serve pancakes, milkshakes, and coffee. Yum!

  1. On Third Thought –

    6 Markham Street

On Third Thought is a wine bar and gelato shop that serves pints and scoops, and more interestingly, alcohol-infused gelato! That’s right, you read that correctly – boozy gelato has made its way to Toronto’s trendy Queen West neighbourhood. Try Strawberry Mojito or Piña Colada with real rum for a cool, refreshing and memorable treat. Their gelatos are made with fresh fruit, and are vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and without nuts or soy. They also make a delectable affogato, the perfect blend of gelato and strong, mouth-watering espresso.

  1. Goûter –

    300 Eglinton Avenue West

Goûter is an authentic French family-run patisserie, boulangerie, and chocolaterie. In store you will find gorgeous hand-decorated chocolates, flaky viennoiseries, and decadent éclairs, to name a few. Founded by Rodney Alléguède, a chef who has worked in Michelin-star restaurants Fouquet’s and La Maison Lenôtre, the flavours of Goûter will transport you to a Parisian café overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Magnifique!

  1. Fuwa Fuwa –

    2471 Yonge Street

Traditionally served at Japanese weddings for good fortune, Fuwa Fuwa’s light and airy pancakes are sure to bring a smile to your face. Fuwa means “fluffy,” and these pancakes are just that – a perfect blend of soufflé and pancakes topped with mouth-watering toppings. These Midtown pancakes are not too sweet but they come in a variety of flavour combinations including tiramisu, bittersweet matcha ice cream, and red bean.

We wish you all a wonderful summer and hope you enjoy these delicious treats!

Did your favourite place make the list? Connect with BAZIS on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) and let us know!