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Sears Stars on Ice

Hot Entertainment: Dynamic Duo

Olympic champions Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue are part of Stars on Ice, coming to Vancouver May 14.

It’s been a golden year for Canadian ice-dance darlings Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. First, they nabbed gold at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, then topped the podium a month later at the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships in Turin, Italy. It was the ultimate payoff for the London, Ontario pair, who have been skating together since 1997, when Moir was 10 years old and Virtue eight.

After all that heady competition, it’s time for the duo to finish their competitive season with something a little less stressful. They’ll still be skating of course—as part of the fun-filled Sears Stars on Ice tour, which glides into Vancouver May 14 at GM Place. The best part? No scores and no judges. “It’s exciting, and without the pressure, we can skate for the fans,” Virtue says.

The 20th-anniversary show stars the cream of the Canadian skating crop. Among the headliners are Olympic champions Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, veteran Kurt Browning and our country’s newest sweetheart, Joannie Rochette. “The cast is great. Coming off an Olympic season in Canada, [the tour] will be special,” Virtue says.

And ticketholders are in for a treat: the pair plans to reprise their elegant free dance to Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, which won them Olympic gold here in Vancouver. The duo’s rigourous Olympic schedule didn’t provide them much downtime in our fair city, but Virtue says, “Vancouver is one of our favourite cities, not just because we won the Olympics there, but because of the mountains, the city and the water.” Here’s hoping Canada’s golden couple will have more time to relax this time around. They deserve it!—Kristina Urquhart

Weekend Roundup, April 30 to May 2

Mark the coming of May in the traditional style of our ancestors: laughter, fun and celebration. This weekend, Toronto invites you to take your pick amongst skating, musicals, tours,  fine dining and more.

Friday: Kurt Browning and friends skate their way to Sears Stars on Ice (photo by Stephan Potopnyk)

Friday, April 30
Reach for the heavens while applauding at Sears Stars on Ice, where you can witness first-hand the art of figure skating as interpreted by such Canadians as Kurt Browning, Jeffrey Buttle and our beloved 2010 Olympians, Patrick Chan, Joannie Rochette, and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

Nosh on traditional public-house favourites like nachos or poutine at the Mill Street Brew Pub. Happy Hour goes late into the evening with a variety of artisan beers, wines and whiskies.

Mark the final day of Keep Toronto Reading month with a trip to a local public library. Attend readings by various authors of books, poetry and plays at the Diaspora Dialogues event.

Saturday: See Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate at the Stratford Festival (photo by Andrew Eccles)

Saturday, May 1
Indulge in the English canon’s finest at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, a short drive away in the picturesque town of Stratford. Enjoy productions of the Bard’s romantic comedy As You Like It, as well as the Cole Porter musical Kiss Me, Kate (itself an interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew) and a magical staging of Peter Pan.

Dig into a hearty Mexican burrito at Hernando’s Hideaway. Or sample many other Mexican delights—faijtas, enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos and more—at this ebullient Old Town restaurant.

Discover the latest addition to Canadian painter Michael Adamson‘s abstract art oeuvre at his Moore Gallery exhibition, entitled Distant Relation.

Sunday: Elicia MacKenzie stars in Rock of Ages (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Sunday, May 2
Catch the musical love story Rock of Ages in its second week of performances filled with rockin’ ‘80s hits like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister.

Savour French cuisine at the brasserie-style Le Papillon on Front. Quebecois dishes like tourtière are a specialty, and the restaurant also boasts a huge menu of savoury crepes.

Take a stroll through Toronto on 100-plus tours as part of Jane’s Walk, which wends through the city’s diverse neighbourhoods. Indulge in the Black Creek community walk, peruse the Annex or grab a bite to eat in Kensington Market while viewing the city through experts’ eyes.


Hot Date: Icy Spectacle

Kurt Browning shows off at Sears Stars on Ice (photo by Stephan Potopnyk)

APRIL 30 An evening of glittering costumes and gleaming blades is assured as Canadian figure skating luminaries including Kurt Browning, Joannie Rochette and Jeffrey Buttle hit the rink for Sears Stars on Ice. The famed skating showcase is marking its 20th year of bringing fancy footwork and top-quality choreography to more than 200 venues across the country, so expect a bit of extra lift in performers’ lutz leaps and more speed to their spins. Ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will also appear, fresh from their gold-medal performance at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Air Canada Centre, 7:30 p.m., $27 to $152; call 416-870-8000 or visit here for more details and to purchase tickets.