Toronto, ON – October 26, 2012 “Big Girls don’t cry” should be the name of this extraordinary new fashion line Allistyle, designed by Pam Shainhouse of Toronto.  She and her daughter used to go shopping for beautiful, fashion forward and flattering pieces for her daughter Alli Shapiro, who was a vibrant, young woman in her twenties going through chemotherapy treatments.  “She would cry after trying on clothes that were supposed to be for larger figures because they were so frumpy and made from cheap fabric like polyester blends” says Pam, Alli’s Mom.  This fashion-conscious young woman knew that she wasn’t going to find fashionable clothing for her new figure in traditional stores in Canada and wanted to start a line once she beat cancer.  When Alli passed away at the age of 26, her Mom’s vow was to carry on her vision of giving curvy women a better choice in clothing.   And she did just that. Read Full Press Release

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Crazy for Cricket Gala

The Valley Park Go Green Cricket Field Project will hold its Crazy for Cricket Gala featuring comedian Sugar Sammy on Friday October 5, 2012 at the Delta Hotel Scarborough. This event is in partnership with Toronto Police Service and Crown Taxi and several other corporate cricket teams and sports fans. This gala will cap the $1.1 million Phase One Fundraising Campaign. Phase one will be completed by December 2012. DKPR is a communications and fundraising consultant for this project.

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Von Maur new Atlanta location to take Allistyle’s new collection.

The von Maur family opened its first
store in the late 1800′s. The rented store was 20 by 50 feet, located
in Davenport, Iowa. We have come a long way since that cozy shop. Today,
27 Von Maur stores are scattered across 11 states: Georgia, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska
and Ohio; and still expanding. Our corporate headquarters and
E-commerce store are still proudly located in Davenport, Iowa.

strength of the Von Maur brand lies in our enjoyable and unique
shopping experience. The backbone of this experience is our wide
selection of brand-name merchandise, open and attractive store design,
amenities that enhance the customer experience and our commitment to
excellent customer service.

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Cultural Festival musical line up announced for July 6 to August 10 in North York

For Immediate Release


The 2012 Cultura Festival

Mel Lastman Square becomes a World in the Square for Six Friday Nights

Toronto, ON June 22, 2012: Presented by John Filion, in partnership with
North York Arts, an initiative of Toronto Arts Foundation, this year’s Cultura
Festival will feature music ranging from Quebecoise Folk, Soca, Calypso, South
Asian, Banjo Jazz, Blues, Flamenco, Chinese and Persian traditional performances.

“This event shows that culture is alive and
well north of the 401. Cultural travelers from across the city will want to get
on the subway and head north because there is really nothing quite like the
Cultura Festival anywhere else in Toronto.” said John Filion, Founder of
the Cultura Festival.

On July 6, David Rudder
opens the 2012 Cultura Festival with the sounds of Calypso. Rudder’s unprecedented rise to fame in 1986
has made him the subject of music critics around the world. From New York to London to Tokyo, where the Japanese
have released a CD of Rudder’s greatest hits complete with lyrics translated
into Japanese, Rudder has been described as modern calypso’s most innovative

On July 13, Autorickshaw’s
music will ignite the square.
Autorickshaw’s music lies on the cultural cutting edge, as contemporary
jazz and funk easily rub shoulders with the classical and popular music of India. Formed
in 2003, Autorickshaw has become one of the most intriguing acts on the world
music and jazz landscapes, garnering 2004 and 2007 Juna Award nominations for
World Music Album of the Year, winning a Canadian Independent Music Award in
2005 and a John Lennon Songwriting Competition Grand Prize in World Music in

On July 20, Le Vent Du
Nord, one of Quebec’s favourite folk bands
will show audiences why they are now one of the most-loved Quebec folk bands in the world. They have received several prestigious
awards, including a Juno Award. The
group’s current line-up consists of singers / multi-instrumentalists Nicolas
Boulerice, Simon Beaudry, Olivier Demers, and Réjean Brunet. Some of their
songs come from traditional folk repertoire, while others are original
compositions. Le Vend du Nord know how to deliver music that will move any
crowd – to their feet and in their hearts!

On July 27, Jayme Stone
performs on the mainstage. With music
inspired by folk traditions from around the world, his latest album, Room of Wonders, explores music from Norway, Sweden,
Bulgaria, Brazil, Italy
and North America. The repertoire includes a
movement from Bachʼs French Suite, a Moorish sword-fighting dance and Stoneʼs
lush, edgy originals. He is joined by
Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), Joe Phillips (bass) and Nick Fraser (drums). His Juno Award-winning albums, most notably
Africa to Appalachia, both defy and honor the
banjoʼs long role in the worldʼs music, turning historical connections into
compelling music.

August 3 , Silk Road
(Qiu Xia He, Pipa & Andre Thibault, Flamenco Guitar) performs. Silk Road Music consists of two groups headed
up by Qiu Xia He
and Andre Thibault.
Founded in Vancouver in 1991, the ensemble
pioneered the kind of Chinese-Western musical fusions that one now hears in
acts ranging from The Sparrow Quartet to Yo Yo Ma’s Silk
Road project. It has blended Chinese folk and classical music with
Celtic, Latin, Arabic, Aboriginal, jazz, and blues music. It developed two exciting educational
programs to bring world music to school children, and in 2001, it created a
groundbreaking recording and performance project that paired Chinese and
European-Canadian vocalists for bilingual duets of Chinese folk songs. This dynamic group has earned a Juno
nomination, two West Coast Music Awards, two Canadian Folk Music Award
nominations, and countless enthusiastic reviews.

On the final Friday on August 10, Sarv Ensemble,
returns to the festival for an encore performance. Drawing inspiration from diverse classical
and folk traditions across Iran,
they share this music through concerts, workshops, and outreach and community
events. Sarv Ensemble presents music both in traditional contexts as well as in
collaboration with artists from different traditions and disciplines.

“Toronto Arts Foundation
believes that the arts should be accessed and enjoyed in every part of the
city. We are thrilled to be partnering
with Cultura, through North York Arts, as it is already an enormously
successful festival, and one that is sure to grow each year.” said Claire
Hopkinson, Executive Director, Toronto Arts Foundation.


Cultura Festival 2012 will
run on the following Friday nights in July and August with Drew Gonsalves
kicking off the first night at 7:00 pm on the side stage followed by David
Rudder performing on the mainstage from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm. All performances thereafter are scheduled
from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

July 6 David Rudder / Drew

July 13 Autorickshaw / Matra Project

July 20 Le Vent Du Nord /
Joanna Moon

July 27 Jayme Stone / Suzie

August 3 Silk Road (Qui Xia He) / Yongli Xue

August 10 Sarv Ensemble /
Sina Salimi

The Cultura Festival
gratefully acknowledges the generous support of its sponsors and partners:
Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Zip Car, Toronto Centre for the
Arts, Canterbury Place, Now Magazine, Toronto Public Library, Gibson House,
Global Café, Hotel Novotel, Entripy, Small World Music, Reel Canada, Dispatch
Talent, Random Acts of Dance, Finding Rhythm Drumming and Percussion, Little
Monsters and Cheshire Unicorn Productions.

About Cultura

The Cultura Festival is an
annual six week celebration of culture in North York. Cultura
celebrates the diversity of Toronto
and the GTA by showcasing unique artistic talents, musicians, dancers, buskers,
family-friendly drum circles and international food vendors. Each festival
evening closes with a featured film, displayed on a large screen. The festival
also serves to benefit the local community, with funds from the proceeds of
busker performances and a portion of vending sales being raised to support
locally-based charities.

Cultura began in 2010 as
the brainchild of John Filion, who sought to showcase the usability of public spaces
(specifically Mel Lastman Square)
outside of the downtown core, while simultaneously promoting the arts in an
open air and publicly accessible venue. Since this time, attendance has grown
from 12,000 to close to 20,000 visitors in 2011.

Now entering its third
year, the Cultura Festival continues to serve as a highly anticipated event in
the city, providing a showcase of the arts in North York.

For more information about
additional programming including the film schedule, please visit

Media contact: dkpr public relations inc., Deborah Knight, 416.363.1255

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Toronto, ON (May 4, 2011) —The BlackCreek Summer Music Festival proudly presents the Canadian debut of one of the world’s most thrilling tenors, the renowned ROBERTO ALAGNA, bringing to a close the inaugural season of the festival on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets will go on public sale on Saturday, May 7 at 10:00 a.m. and may be purchased online at or by calling 1-888-860-7888. Tickets are priced at $169.50, $141.25, $102.00, $96.50, $68.00, $51.00 (including HST; additional service charges will apply). The box office at the Rexall Centre, York University, 1 Shoreham Dr., opens for ticket sales on May 14.

Joining Mr. Alagna in a program of arias and duets from the Italian and French repertoire will be acclaimed soprano SVETLA VASSILEVA, also making her Canadian debut.  The two artists will perform with the BlackCreek Festival Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Leonardo Vordoni.

Born in France of Italian heritage, ROBERTO ALAGNA’s career was launched when he won the top prize in the Pavarotti Competition in Philadelphia at the age of 24.  His Italian lyric tenor voice opened doors to the top international stages, from New York’s Metropolitan Opera to Vienna’s and London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.  Today he is hailed as one of the foremost living tenors, celebrated in both the Italian and French repertoire.  A frequent headliner at the Metropolitan Opera, he has been seen by millions around the globe in HD transmissions to movie theaters, as Don Jose in Carmen and in the title role of Verdi’s Don Carlo.  Audiences love his passion, dashing good looks and ardently lyrical tenor voice.

Mr. Alagna’s program at BlackCreek will salute the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification as a nation-state in 1861 by including a many selections by Puccini – both solo arias and duets with Ms. Vassileva.

SVETLA VASSILEVA, a native of Bulgaria, has enjoyed great success on many of the world’s leading operatic stages, from La Scala to Vienna, and from London’s Covent Garden to San Francisco.  She has sung a wide range of leading roles encompassing Puccini, Verdi, Mozart, and many other composers, collaborating with some of the major conductors of our time, including Chailly, Dudamel, Maazel and Mehta.  

Mr. Alagna’s and Ms. Vassileva’s BlackCreek program includes beloved arias and duets by Puccini and Verdi, including some of the most popular selections from Puccini’s La boheme, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, La Rondine and Gianni Schicchi; Verdi’s Otello; and operas by Halevy and Zandonai.  There will also be orchestral and choral selections by Bizet and Mascagni.

Plácido Domingo kicks off the inaugural season of the new BlackCreek Summer Music Festival at the Rexall Centre on the campus of York University on June 4. The 2011 season spans 14 weeks, from June to September, and also includes such renowned artists as singer-songwriters James Taylor and Lionel Richie; jazz legends Tony Bennett and Diana Krall; country superstars Alan Jackson and Brad Paisley; pops conductor Marvin Hamlisch leading an evening of “The Very, Very Best of Broadway” starring Raul Esparza, Jane Krakowski, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Martin Short; world-renowned classical conductor, Lorin Maazel, and his Castleton Festival Orchestra and Chorus in a program of “Music Inspired by Shakespeare” starring Academy Award-winners,  Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons, as well as a three-night residency with the great Maestro conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, including an “All-American Program” featuring James Earl Jones; plus other artists and concerts still to be announced…all performing “under the stars.”
Tickets for all BlackCreek Summer Music Festival events may be purchased online at or by calling 1-888-860-7888.
For general information, or to sign up for the BlackCreek Summer Music Festival alerts, please visit our website at
For full bios of the artists named herein, please visit
For high-resolution photos of the artists named herein, please visit

Find us on Facebook:

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Media contacts:

Norman Zagier
Managing Director, Marketing and Communications

Media interviews and event information:
Deborah Knight
dkpr public relations inc.

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BlackCreek Summer Music Festival To Go Social on Facebook® Platform

TORONTO, May 13 /CNW/ – The BlackCreek Summer Music Festival announced it will be going social on Facebook® Platform. 

The new annual summer music festival series will launch in Toronto on June 4 at the Rexall Centre at York University in Toronto with world renowned tenor, Plácido Domingo, in concert.  BlackCreek’s inaugural season will feature Symphonic, Pop, Opera, Jazz, Broadway, Country and Gospel music concerts with renowned artists including James Taylor, Lionel Richie, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, The London Symphony Orchestra, conductors Lorin Maazel and Marvin Hamlisch, and classical concerts featuring spoken performances by Dame Helen Mirren and  Jeremy Irons, with more artists still to be announced.

BlackCreek Summer Music Festival has incorporated social media at every level of the festival ensuring that fans have a truly social experience, whether they are attending the BlackCreek concerts in person or through the multiple online and mobile platforms available on a global basis.

The BlackCreek Summer Music Festival’s social features include:

  • Live Concert Streaming of the June 4th Plácido Domingo concert on his Facebook Page using Facebook Credits – a first.
  • An application built on Facebook® Platform that will allow BlackCreek Summer Music Festival ticket buyers to group their friends and encourage them to join them at the BlackCreek concerts. The more friends on Facebook that buy tickets, the more they will be rewarded with ticket discounts, merchandise and exclusive content.
  • When someone arrives at the BlackCreek Festival and checks in using Facebook Places, they are directed to a special VIP stadium entrance, and then they are invited to enjoy an exclusive VIP lounge that they can use before the concert, during intermission and post concert.  They will also have a chance to be upgraded to a Luxury Suite with all their friends that are attending the concert, as well as BlackCreek Festival virtual gift cards for free live streaming of the concert that they can send to friends that cannot attend live.
  • Many more exclusive benefits will be announced throughout the summer.

“Facebook instilled in us the need to be ‘Social by Design’ from the very start of our business.  Social media has changed the way we live on a daily basis and our work on Facebook ensured that an enhanced social experience for our fans will be ubiquitous in everything we do.” stated Kevin Albrecht, CEO, BlackCreek Summer Music Festival. “Let’s face it; concerts are more fun when you are with your friends; in the era of social media, that means our fans have friends all around the world. We wanted to create an environment where you could share your passion for the music at BlackCreek with all of your friends no matter where they were.”

The BlackCreek Summer Music Festival experience begins today, Friday, May 13 at 2:00 p.m. EST on, with a Live Streaming Unplugged Interview with Plácido Domingo on the BlackCreek Summer Music Festival Facebook page. The interview will be conducted by Marvin Hamlisch- the multiple Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning composer and pops conductor – who serves as the Artistic Advisor for the Festival’s Broadway and Pops concert presentations:

          Plácido Domingo Live
An Exclusive Interview by Marvin Hamlisch
Live from The National Press Centre in Washington D.C.
Friday May 13 @ 2:00 EST

About BlackCreek Summer Music Festival
BlackCreek’s 2011 season will host concerts throughout the summer months featuring Symphonic, Pop, Opera, Jazz, Broadway, Country and Gospel music with renowned artists including Plácido Domingo, James Taylor, Lionel Richie, Tony Bennett and Diana Krall, John Fogerty and The Levon Helm Band, Chris Botti and Pink Martini, iconic country artists Brad Paisley and Allan Jackson, The London Symphony Orchestra, conductors Lorin Maazel and Marvin Hamlisch, and classical concerts featuring spoken performances by Dame Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons, and more to be announced , all performing “On a warm summer’s night…Under a northern sky.” 

Facebook ® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.

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