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Grey Cup

Hot Date: Calgary Stampeders

June 15

Calgary Stampeders’ star quarterback Henry Burris and his talented crew, including running back Joffrey Reynolds and wide receiver Ken-Yon Rambo, return to the gridiron with the intention to take it all the way to the Grey Cup Championship at BC Place stadium in Vancouver on November 27. But it’s a long road ahead, and it all starts at home, with an important pre-season tilt against their Western rivals, the BC Lions, on the turf at McMahon stadium. For tickets, call 1-855-4-STAMPS (782-677).

 

What’s Hot in November Across Canada

Vancouver

It may be November, but it’s starting to look a lot like Christmas. Local stages offer Irving Berlin’s White Christmas: The Musical and It’s a Wonderful Life, both based on popular seasonal movies. Bright Nights in Stanley Park and Lights of Hope each make spirits bright, with thousands of twinkling lights—and money raised going to local charities. Crafts and gifts abound at Circle Craft Christmas Market (held in the Vancouver Convention Centre) and Christmas at Hycroft (held in a stately Edwardian mansion). Old-fashioned traditions are revived during the Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas. And Stuart McLean shares his gently humorous stories in A Vinyl Cafe Christmas.

Ottawa

Savour the best in wine and food from over 200 exhibitors at the Ottawa Wine and Food Show where you can expect to see kitchen demos, tips on presentation and pairings, and more, Nov 6 – 8. Casino du Lac Leamy has recently renovated its theatre and now offers dinner shows, courtesy of a brand new kitchen. This month, check out Eclipse: The Pink Floyd Story (Nov 6 and 7) and Stayin’ Alive: One Night of the Bee Gees (Nov 14).

Calgary

Legendary hard rockers KISS come to the Pengrowth Saddledome on Nov 12. The Demon (Gene Simmons), Starchild (Paul Stanley), Spaceman (Tommy Thayler) and Catman (Eric Singer) present a selection of greatest hits, as well as pyrotechnics and maybe even a guitar bashing. On Nov 29, McMahon Stadium hosts the Canadian Football League’s championship game, the Grey Cup. This showdown between the CFL’s East Division and West Division is always a lively battle.

Halifax

November 21 marks the unofficial kickoff of the Christmas season in Halifax, as the Holiday Parade of Lights wends its way through the downtown. Lasting over an hour, the parade features dozens of festive floats, live music and, of course, a visit from St. Nick himself.

Victoria

Hockey season is heating up in Victoria as the ECHL’s Salmon Kings take aim at this year’s Kelly Cup but hockey fans are also excited about the November 25 appearance of some of the world’s best up-and-comers. The 2009 Subway Super Series brings together some of the finest junior talent from Russia and Canada for a series of games across the country. Here in Victoria, the Russian Junior National Team will take on top skaters from the Western Hockey League. For ticket details call the save-on-Foods Memorial Centre at 250-220-7777 or visit www.selectyourtickets.com.

Toronto

City meets country when the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair rides into Exhibition Place from Nov 6 – 15. This annual tradition features animal attractions, culinary events, musical performances, and, of course, the Royal Horse Show. In addition, two dazzling holiday classics come to the stage. From Nov 13 – 29, the National Ballet of Canada presents their interpretation of fairytale favourite The Sleeping Beauty, and audiences kick up their heels in celebration when the world-famous Rockettes perform in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Nov 16 – 18, at the Air Canada Centre.

Whistler

Celebrate food and wine in Olympian style at the annual gourmet get-together, Cornucopia Nov 12 – 15, with multi-course winemakers’ dinners, chefs’ foraging adventures to local farms, high-energy after-parties and a wealth of wine tastings. And even though the 2010 Winter Games are almost here, it’s business as usual on the mountains. Whistler and Blackcomb both open Nov 26 for another spectacular season of skiing and snowboarding.

Winnipeg

From Nov 4 – 8 the Manito Ahbee: A Festival For All Nations celebrates Canada’s Aboriginal culture. Highlights of the festival include an international powwow competition, indigenous market and trade show and the 4th annual Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards. Santa and a parade of more than 70 floats kick off the holiday season Nov 14 during the Power Smart/Jaycees Santa Claus Parade.

Edmonton

On Nov 22 check out Kevin Smith: Silent Bob Speaks Out, to hear a lecture from award-winning screenwriter/director (Clerks, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back).  Smith has amassed a vast fan base for his irreverent and hilarious rants on the absurdity of just about everything. From Nov 10 – 15, experience the Broadway masterpiece A Chorus Line —  a tale of a group of young dancers toe the line on the stage of their dreams. This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical first opened on the Great White Way in 1975 and became its longest-running musical, with 6,137 performances through 1990.

Canadian Rockies

Banff’s Norquay is open on weekends through November until its official grand opening Dec 4; Kananaskis’ Nakiska follows suit with weekend skiing from Nov 7 to Nov 29 until the resort’s opening on Dec 5; Lake Louise Mountain Resort officially opens Nov 6; Sunshine Village Ski Resort’s opening day is Nov 11; and Jasper’s Marmot Basin is gearing up for a great opener on Nov 11. So grab your gear and hit the slopes.


Home Field Hero

A Q&A with CFL star quarterback Henry Burris

By Jeremy Freeborn

Labor Day Classic

Photograph: © Stampeders/Cory Shannon/2006, courtesy Calgary Stampeder Football Club

At 34 years old, Henry Burris, has become the top rushing quarterback in the Canadian Football League. Known for his wide smile, last season was “Hank’s” best yet, with him hitting two career milestones: reaching 5,000 yards, and throwing a total of 39 touchdown passes.

Luckily for Calgary, Burris is the quarterback of the city’s CFL team, The Calgary Stampeders, a team he lead to their sixth Grey Cup win last November, where he won the title of Grey Cup MVP. This past June he signed a contract with the affectionately known “Stamps” that will allow him to stay with the team until 2012.

Where Magazine sat down with the football champ to talk about winning the Grey Cup, his new son, and what inspired him to pursue a career in football.

When did you first show an interest in playing football?
“Very early on in life. I grew up watching the Dallas Cowboys in Spiro, Oklahoma, a small town of 2,000 people, where everybody loves football. We always had the entire town at our games watching us play. I had pads on when I was six years old. It’s born in to you, everybody played it and I loved the game. That’s why I pursued a dream and I’m blessed the dream came true for me.”

This past November, you experienced one of your greatest personal achievements by leading the Calgary Stampeders to a Grey Cup Championship and being named Grey Cup MVP. What moment during the game stood out most for you?
“Towards the end of the fourth quarter. We were having a pretty good drive towards the direction of the Jumbotron. It was the moment where you see RCMP officers walking the Grey Cup into the Stadium. We heard a buzz in the crowd. I was able to see it, but the rest of my teammates couldn’t because their backs were to the Jumbotron. I saw it in the corner of my eye, but I took my eyes off it pretty quick. We were so focused on doing things right on the field instead of what the prize was.”

Photograph: © Stampeders/Cory Shannon/2006, courtesy Calgary Stampeder Football Club

Photograph: © Stampeders/Cory Shannon/2006, courtesy Calgary Stampeder Football Club

What do you like most about being a Calgary Stampeder?
“The pride of the city. This is a great city and to be a Calgary Stampeder is a special thing. I am an entertainer and there is no other city in the world I would rather entertain people. This is the place where I started, and hopefully this is the place I can end it.”

What is your favourite restaurant in Calgary, and where do you like to shop?
“When it comes to steaks, I’m a big Japanese Village fan. I’m a cuisine-based eater. I also like Joey Tomato’s, Rouge, Nick’s, Oriental Phoenix, Redwater Rustic Grille, Smuggler’s Inn and Bolero. When it comes to shopping, I love going to Supreme Men’s Wear because they create and design their own clothing.”

What have you been up to since winning the Grey Cup?
“I’ve been pretty busy. Nicole [Burris’ wife] and I had our second child, a boy named Barron Grey. I wanted to make sure I spent more time at home with my family. This year will be an even bigger burden, but it’s something I look forward to. The demands are higher with the Grey Cup being here and the brain needs to be sharp. I need to make sure I’m ready to go for our team.”

The Grey Cup was first presented to the University of Toronto in 1909 and turns 100 this year. How meaningful would it be to win the award on home soil at McMahon Stadium on November 29th?

“For us to accomplish something like that would be very special. This city is worthy. It would be a special thing to be a part of. We’re right there sitting at home plate and we have to make it happen now. It would be an amazing feat for us.”

For a list of the Calgary Stampeders’ home games, click here.