INSIDER Winter 2017 Header

There’s No Business Like SNOW Business!


Gary Winterman

by Gary "Winterman" McWilliams (aka Festival Nomad)


So far, this winter has been the year of the BIG snow! If you are travelling around Ontario, it can be a bit of a “challenge”, but if you are in the “business of snow” or a person enjoys all that “snow” has to offer (skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, etc.), this has been a great season, so far!

If you live in an area like we do (The Blue Mountains), snow in the winter is the life-blood of the community. The Blue Mountain Resort and all of the ski hills bring plenty of winter visitors.

The snow or, more likely the “blowing” snow adds challenges to Judi and me. We love traveling around Ontario. It’s now just our business, it is our passion, so you can image how frustrating it is to check out the “weather channel” is see that there’s a “BIG” storm coming our way! In a season like we are having, so far this year, the challenges seem to come all too often. Even with an “ALL WHEEL” drive vehicle!

So, here we are, thinking about all that “SNOW” and “WINTER” has to offer. This issue “Winter 2018” of the ONTARIO VISITED INSIDER e-Newsletter is dedicated to “snow’ and “winter” activities… have FUN!


Welcome to the New Year!

Judi and I would like to wish everyone a wonderful, happy and healthy 2018! The following Oh Canada Eh Game video is our introduction to the NEW YEAR (2018)!

Snowboarding in the Blue Mountain area is at its "peak".  Snowboarders from all over the world come to the Blue Mountains and Ontario for the "thrill"! The following is our Oh Canada Eh! Game  Snowboarding video.
You can find snowmobile trails throughout over Ontario. The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs offer snowmobilers hundreds of kilometres of safe and exciting trails. There are over 200 member snowmobile (Federation) clubs in Ontario. "Ride" along with us on our Oh Canada Eh! Game Snowmobiling video!
Downhill Snow Skiing...
Ontario has an abundance of ski hills! Downhill skiing is one of the world's most popular winter sports! The Winter Olympics are coming up soon, will you be "glued" to the television watching the "best of the best" "ZOOM" down the mountainside at daredevile speeds? I will! Here's our Oh Canada Eh! Game Skiing video.
Ice Hockey...
A good friend of mine has a son who loves playing ice hockey! As a result, he travels around Ontario to various hockey tournaments. This is the life of "dedicated" hockey Moms and Dads. Most parents don't do it because they think their sons or daugthers will become professional hockey players, but because they want their kids to have FUN, playing what they love to do! My "hat" is off to all those dedicated parents who travel for the "love" of their kids! Below is our Oh Canada Eh! Game  Hockey video.
"SWEEP"... "SWEEP"... That call echoes across the curling rink, as "Skips" yell instructions to their team. I love watching professional curling. For me, the passion and strategy are very "catching". It's a game that people of all ages can play. Most Canadian communities have some kind of Curling facilities. I believe that its a sport that grows with time. It should be great fun to watch the Canadian teams compete during this year's Olympics! Below is our Oh Canada Eh! Game  Curling video.
Ice Skating...
Judi and our good friend, Tom, love skating! The problem is that last year Judi had a "skating accident" (with Tom's HELP?) and sprained her angle. This year I think I will "supervise" those two "kids" to make sure they stay out of trouble! I didn't realized that fun "skating" could be so "dangerous"! I hope that this year will be "accident" free! Below is our Oh Canada Eh! Game  Ice Skating video.
Ice Sculpturing...
Just before Christmas I watched a movie based on an "Ice Sculpturing" contest. It reminded me of the different Ice Sculptures I had seen over the years. The last one Judi and I experienced was in Collingwood. Each year Collingwood holds their "Frozen in Time" Festival. The "Frozen in Time" ice sculpture are an amazing art form. The wonderful phenomenon is that they change with fluctuations in temperature, true "Living Art". Below is our Oh Canada Eh! Game Ice Sculpturing video.
Winter Walks...
The Blue Mountain area and Grey-Bruce Area have many great "walking" trails. The great thing about the trails is that most most can be used throughout all 4 seasons. Winter walks, in the fresh crisp air are particularily rewarding. This is especially true when fresh snow has just fallen and is undistrubed except for the animals who live in the nearby forest. Recently we walked through a forest path and observed several different types of footprints. The most common where deer prints, but we also saw rabbit  and fox prints. I am sure if we had looked harder and longer that more types of animal prints would have been found! Here is our Oh Canada Eh! Game  Winter Walk video.
Winter Shopping... 
Not everyone likes the "great outdoors" in winter, so I thought that we should do a video on Winter "Mall" Shopping. Who doesn't like to "walk" the "Mall", especially right after Christmas when all the sales are on! For me it's not so much about shopping, but more about "people watching". If's fun to image who is "serious about shopping" and who is "just looking"! Having owned and worked a "Mall" retail store for many years, the "ART" of people watching comes "naturally". Below is our Oh Canada Eh! Game  Winter Shopping video!
Hay Rides... 
Winter offers most of us plenty of opportunities to take a "Sleigh" or "Hay" ride. Many winter festivals and event offers "fun" "Horse Drawn" Hay Rides. One one best hay rides I took was at McLean Berry Farm's Buckhorn Maple Syrup Festival. The ride takes you from the main parking area to the "Maple Sugar Shack" and the "Sugar Bush". The one piece of advise I'd give you is to "dress" warmly! I've too many rides where I "frozen" my "fingers" off! Below is a photo taken during one of visits to the Buckhorn Maple Syrup Festival.
Buckhorn Maple Syrup Festival Photo
Snowman Building...
I have saved the BEST winter sport to the last! I am, of course, referring to the "ART" of SNOWMAN Building and the resulting "SNOWBALL" fight! Great "packing" snow brings our the "KID" in all of us! The ART of "building" great "snowmen", comes with the ability of building "strong snow forts" and "round" but not too solid "snowballs"! Defending your works of "art" (great snowman) allows you to keep your "status" as the "SNOWMAN" KING! The photo shown below was taken at the Brighton Winterfest. A great example of "snowman buiding"!
Brighton Winterfest Snowman Photo
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