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Stratford Tourism Alliance Announces #StratfordAlwaysOn Video Campaign
For Immediate Release:  December 3, 2018

(Stratford, ON) Stratford Tourism Alliance (STA) is thrilled to release the first of five destination videos celebrating creativity, modern life, and the sense of fun in Stratford as part of STA’s #StratfordAlwaysOn campaign. The campaign is possible due to the generous support of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Rural Economic Development (RED) program. The videos showcase four beautiful sides of life in Stratford: Arts, Food, Music and Play, as well as a compilation sizzle video.

The Arts video is the first to be released. Stratford artists of every kind show their stuff and all the talent, skill, and intrigue behind the creation of their Art. It’s an artist’s moment - but with an element of surprise. You won’t want to miss artists taking over the town! During the holiday season, Stratford’s creativity is on full display with galleries and craft shows exhibiting incredible artisanal work. Check out the Stratford Arts video at alwayson.

“The #StratfordAlwaysOn campaign is a fresh take on the vibrancy of life in Stratford year-round. Everyone loves Stratford’s heritage stories, but people are also starting to tune into the amazing energy in the local arts, culinary, and music scenes. We are proud to release the first video, part of STA’s commitment to growth and success in Stratford and the region. We are so grateful to the Province of Ontario for the incredible support,” states Lori DeGraw, Executive Director.

The videos draw on authentic experiences that connect visitors, artists, chefs, students, musicians and entrepreneurs. The campaign will roll-out between December and Spring 2019 on traditional and digital channels including VisitStratford.ca and all social media platforms. If you love Stratford, please feel free to share the videos on your own social media channels, using the #StratfordAlwaysOn hashtag.

Be sure to watch for the next video releases at  alwayson or on your favourite social media platform.

Stratford Welcomes The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition

For Immediate Release: July 25, 2018 

(Stratford, ON) – Stratford is the The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition destination on Tuesday, July 31 at 8 p.m. on CTV. 

The Amazing Race Canada, now in season six, is Canada’s #1 summer series and features racers competing in exciting challenges in communities across Canada and the world. This season, everyday heroes, including advocates, coaches, elite athletes, first responders, mentors, Mounties, navy sailors, retired air force pilots, and volunteers compete in the first-ever The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition, with the remaining seven teams making a stop in Stratford.

“We are thrilled to present Stratford on the national stage in The Amazing Race Canada. Stratford partners were quick to step up and support the show’s visit welcoming Canadian heroes to exciting challenges in their race to the finish line” states Lori DeGraw, Executive Director Stratford Tourism Alliance.

Local partners, including Stratford Tourism Alliance, Stratford City Centre BIA, Stratford Festival,

RTO4, the Destination Animation Fund and investStratford worked with Insight Productions and CTV to bring this unique cross-Canada entertainment to our community.

Everyone is invited to the free public viewing of the Stratford episode on Tuesday, July 31 at Queen of the Square Cinema. Doors open at 7:30 pm. Screening starts at 8 pm sharp. Seating is limited. Please reserve your free ticket through their Facebook event to guarantee admission.

- 30 -

Cathy Rehberg
Stratford Tourism Alliance
47 Downie Street, Stratford, ON N5A 1W7
www.visitstratford.ca @StratfordON 
O:519.271.5140  1.800.561.7926  C:519-703-5062

Stratford Maple Trail Adventure Captures the Essence of Spring
Starting March 1

At the heart of what it means to be Canadian there’s surely something maple. Celebrating our first sign of spring and capturing the essence of the season points us to stands of maple trees and the nearby sugar shack producing Canada’s iconic liquid gold. Stratford Tourism invites you to tap into something sweet on the Stratford Maple Trail offering 18 modern maple tastes. This self-guided tasting tour presents a unique culinary experience celebrating spring the Canadian way from March 1 to April 30.

The seasonal Stratford Maple Trail was launched today with a visit to the source, McCully’s Hill Farm, where the Canadian tradition of making maple syrup continues after more than 170 years. Their offer on the trail is of course, a bottle of pure maple syrup or for a truly Canadian spring experience, admission for one to their Maple Syrup Festival on weekends during March.

Start your Maple Trail with savoury tastings of mouth-watering maple bacon poutine at Downie Street Burgers or try the always popular maple balsamic dressing on a Canuck Fresh Bowl at The Pulp. Then indulge with sweet offers of copper kettle fudge at Rheo Thompson Candies and decadent maple cupcakes made from scratch, almost too pretty to eat, at Kandy Cakes. Let us tempt you further with pampering options of a hand-made maple scrub at The Spa Near the Tracks and natural maple soap at Dee Image Co., perfect to enjoy while sipping maple tea from Distinctly Tea or a fresh brewed cup of maple mocha coffee from Buzz Stop.   

“The Maple Trail inspires us to explore our Canadian flavour on a spring adventure. Trail participants will love the variety of choices, and will be tempted to go more than once.” says Lori DeGraw, Executive Director of Stratford Tourism Alliance.

Purchase trails at Stratford Tourism, 47 Downie Street, Stratford for $30.00 (+ HST). Choose six of 18 delicious maple treats and learn more visiting local culinary artisans and purveyors. Present one voucher at each of your selected stops for one maple treat. Gift certificates are also available online or in person at visitstratford.ca/mapletrail where full details are available.  This seasonal Stratford Maple Trail is offered only from March 1 to April 30. Share your delicious maple experiences using hashtag #MapleTrail and follow us on twitter @StratfordON. Please check the times and dates each location is open to avoid disappointment.

Local culinary artisans and food purveyors invite you to sample delicious maple creations along our self-guided trail. Participating businesses include:

  • Black Angus Bakery, 443 Erie Street
  • Blowes Cards & Gifts, 34 Wellington Street
  • Bradshaws, 129 Ontario Street
  • Buzz Stop, 17 York Street
  • Dee Image Co., 100 Downie Street
  • Distinctly Tea, 18 York Street
  • Downie Street Burgers,107 Downie Street
  • Gentle Rain Natural Health Food Store, 30 Rebecca Street
  • JENN and Larry’s Brittle ’n Shakes and Ice Cream Cakes, 49 York Street
  • Junction 56 Distillery, 45 Cambria Street
  • Kandy Cakes, 47 York Street
  • McCully’s Hill Farm, 4074 Perth Line 9, St. Marys
  • Olive Your Favourites, 21 York Street
  • The Pulp, 10 Downie Street
  • Rheo Thompson Candies, 55 Albert Street
  • Samsonite, 753 Ontario Street
  • The Spa Near the Tracks, 20 Cooper Street
  • Treasures, 151 Ontario Street

Stratford Tourism Celebrates Eight years of Chocolate Trail Success

(Stratford, ON) Everything is better with chocolate. Even Stratford. With a history of candy making spanning more than 50 years and three candy makers in Stratford’s downtown heritage district, the inception of a Chocolate Trail was a natural fit for Stratford and has a strong success record.

The Chocolate Trail was the instigator of more than 100,000 visits to shops presented on our culinary trails in Stratford in eight years. In 2010, Stratford Tourism reached out to local business to create the first culinary trail focused on chocolate. Met with enthusiasm from businesses and visitors, its success inspired the addition of the year-round Bacon & Ale trail and later, seasonal trails focusing on maple and pumpkin. The trails reflect authentic experiences in Stratford and encourage visitors to explore a variety of shops. The innovative trail model of cost sharing with the businesses was recognized by Ontario Tourism with a Marketing Partnership award in 2012. It was touted as a “best practices” standard and has inspired other communities as well.

Rob Russell, owner of MacLeod’s Scottish Shop and one of the original shops on the Chocolate Trail states, “We continue to be amazed by how many people come into our shop who wouldn't have otherwise. The Chocolate Trail has also lead to repeat customers, referrals to friends and family as well as direct sales. The trail has been a great marketing tool for our business to build awareness, and it keeps people coming in year-round."

Stratford Tourism is excited to release the 2018 Chocolate Trail with a luscious new look and 27 delicious offers, including long-time favourites; your choice of hand-made truffles or chocolates, chocolate sundaes topped with chocolate dipped peanut brittle and freshly brewed mocha coffee alongside fresh new offers of locally distilled Chocolate Liqueur, hard to source cocoa nibs and perfectly made hot chocolate. Presenting the most offers on this trail in eight years, chocolate lovers will be tempted to take the trail more than once.

Over the past year more than 75% of trail participants came from beyond Stratford  including Toronto and the GTA, London and Waterloo regions. Many, referred by others, came to Stratford specifically to experience the trails.

“The Chocolate Trail has garnered significant attention for Stratford adding another layer for culinary experiences to enjoy. This is our most popular trail. The new look and delicious offers will mean even more tasty experiences for our visitors.” says Lori DeGraw, Executive Director for Stratford Tourism Alliance.

Participating businesses include:

Black Angus Bakery & Catering, Black Swan Brewing, Blowes Cards & Gifts, Boar’s Head Pub, Bradshaws, The British Touch (Shakespeare), Buzz Stop, Chocolate Barr’s Candies, Dee Image Co., Distinctly Tea, JENN and Larry’s Brittle ’n Shakes, Junction 56 Distillery, Kandy Cakes, MacLeod’s Scottish Shop, Molly Blooms Irish Pub, Olive Your Favourites, revel Stratford, Rheo Thompson Candies, Rocky Mtn Chocolate, Sinvention Boutique, Small-Mart General Mercantile, Stratford Festival Shop, To Bean or Not To Bean, Totally Spoke’d, Treasures, Troyer’s Spices ( St. Marys) and Village Craft & Candle (St. Marys).

Choose six of 27 delicious chocolate treats. Meet local confectioners, bakers, culinary artisans and food purveyors. Present one voucher at each of your selected stops for one chocolate treat within seven days of purchase. Share your delicious chocolate experiences using hashtag #ChocolateTrail and follow us on twitter @StratfordON, FB and Instagram.

Purchase trails at Stratford Tourism, 47 Downie Street, Stratford for $30.00 (+ HST). Gift certificates are also available online at www.visitstratford.ca/chocolatetrail where full details about the Chocolate Trail are available.  This trail is offered year-round, with limited access on Sundays and Mondays. Please check the times and dates of each location to avoid disappointment. 
 

Three Things to Know about the 2018 Swan Parade Celebration

Stratford Tourism Alliance invites you to think spring. Our community celebrates the arrival of spring with one of Canada’s most unique events, a parade of swans.  Here are the things you need to know about the 2018 Swan Parade Celebrations.

Number one: The date is April 7&8 when a weekend of family fun is planned throughout Stratford culminating with a parade of our official ambassadors, the swans, marching from their winter quarters to the Avon River on Sunday. Throughout the weekend, search out decorated topiary swans for a chance to win prizes. Join a nature walk to learn more about the life of the swans and hop aboard free horse-drawn carriage tours. Street performers entertain while our swan mascot poses for photos. 

Number two: Sunday’s celebration is expanding to include a Swan Fair inside the Festival Theatre Lobby starting at 10:00 am. Children and parents get creative with crafts, music and fun. Wrapping up at 1:00 pm families, donning the ever-popular swan hats, gather for a musical march along Lakeside Drive in time to meet the swan parade.

Number three: The Swan-y Street Party presents activities, swan art, food trucks and fun east of the Wm Allman Arena along Lakeside Drive from 12 noon – 3:00 pm.  The Swan Parade begins promptly at 2:00 pm. Just listen for the sound of the Stratford Police Pipes and Drums, your signal that the parade is about to begin.

“This unexpected spring spectacle is on the radar for locals and draws thousands of visitors to Stratford.” comments Lori DeGraw, Executive Director of Stratford Tourism Alliance. “It is a great community collaboration among the Civic Beautification (CBEAC) volunteers, Stratford City Centre BIA, City staff, Stratford Tourism partners and the Stratford Festival. The weather doesn’t seem to matter. We just love our swans!”

Come celebrate spring in Stratford. Everyone is welcome to attend this free family event. Share your stories and photos using #swanparade.

If you are interested in participating as a vendor, food truck, sponsor or volunteer we would love to hear from you. For more information, the latest updates and a video clip of the swan parade, go to www.visitstratford.ca , call 519-271-5140 or 1-800-561-7926, or visit us at Stratford Tourism, 47 Downie Street, Stratford.
 

Stratford Christmas Trail marks beginning of holiday season

The Stratford Christmas Trail visitstratford.ca/ChristmasTrail captures the spirit of giving and the joy of checking off that list. Throughout November and running until December 20, twenty-seven shops present fabulous stocking stuffers to delight on Christmas morning. You’ll discover unique and individual gift ideas when you stroll our festive streets visiting shops draped in fresh cedar rope and tied with big red bows. Stratford Tourism is making it easy to kick off your holiday shopping with The Christmas Trail, just choose six gifts for $30 (+HST).

Here is how it works. Purchase your trail at Stratford Tourism and receive your map and six vouchers to exchange for your choice of unique and distinctive gifts ready for you at 27 stops on the Christmas Trail. Share with friends and family to delight on Christmas morning – or keep a treat for yourself.

Here are few gifts found along the trail: For the gentleman on your list choose a fine shave cream, locally distilled Fireshine cinnamon liqueur and a special steak spice blend.  For your neighbour or favourite teacher pick up a festive posie pot, a jolly greeting card and melt-in-your-mouth shortbread. For your Secret Santa choose tasty Stratford-made peanut brittle and Christmas blend coffee to accompany a one-of-a-kind costume fabric keepsake ornament. Going to a party? Your Hostess will enjoy a bouquet of large pine cone fire starters, sweet and spicy mixed nuts and a festive Swedish sponge cloth for clean up after the party.  If there is a holiday traveller on your list consider a tribute to Canada 150 with a maple leaf luggage tag, Stratford-made fudge to enjoy on the trip and a homemade healthy dog treat for the family fur baby.

“The art of shopping in Stratford is revealed with a surprising collection from the funky to the eclectic to the fashionable, all in a vibrant setting of architectural beauty dressed for the season. The Christmas Trail has become a Stratford holiday tradition presenting opportunities to explore new shops, revisit favourites and see unique gifts in a friendly atmosphere.” says Lori DeGraw, Executive Director.

Participating Christmas Trail stops, all dressed up for the season with gifts ready and waiting for you include:  The Artful Badger; Bard’s Steakhouse; The Barkery; Black Angus Bakery & Catering; Blowes Cards & Gifts; Bradshaws; The British Touch (Shakespeare); Buzz Stop; Distill; Distinctly Tea; The Flower Shop and More (St. Marys); The Gentle Rain; Jenn & Larry’s; Junction 56 Distillery; Olive Your Favourites; Resonance; Rocky Mtn Chocolate; Samsonite Retail Outlet; Small-Mart General Mercantile; The Spa Near the Tracks; The Spa on Albert; Stratford Chefs School Kitchens; Stratford Festival Shop; Sun Rayz (St. Marys); Treasures; Village Craft & Candle (St. Marys); Willls and Prior.

The Stratford Christmas Trail is available at Stratford Tourism, 47 Downie Street (open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm and Saturday 10 am- 4 pm, for $30 (plus HST). Trail goers are invited to share their experiences using #ChristmasTrail. The final Christmas Trail shopping day will be Sunday, December 20, 2017.

For full details about the Christmas Trail participants and the offers go to www.visitstratford.ca/ChristmasTrail or call 519-271-5140 or 1-800-561-7926. There you will also find lots of holiday activities to enjoy and celebrate the season.
 

For more information, visuals or to arrange an interview, please contact Cathy Rehberg, Marketing Manager, Stratford Tourism Alliance, 47 Downie Street Stratford, ON N5A 1W7.  Tel:  (519) 271-5140 x 2 or 1-800-561-7926 Email: crehberg@visitstratford.ca, online: www.visitstratford.ca/ChristmasTrail   or on Twitter: @StratfordON and Facebook: StratfordON

Stratford Tourism Alliance announces new Executive Director

For Immediate Release: August 1, 2017

(Stratford, ON) The Stratford Tourism Alliance (STA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the hiring of Ms. Lori DeGraw, as Executive Director.  

“We are excited to welcome Ms. DeGraw to lead the STA team working in partnership with the Board of Directors and staff in achieving the STA’s strategic and operational goals, objectives, and outcomes.” states Carrie Wreford, vice chair, STA.

lori degraw

 

As Executive Director of STA, Ms. DeGraw will focus on building relationships and connecting with members and local businesses. She is committed to collaboration and community engagement. Ms. 

DeGraw will work toward implementing unique programming to create new revenue streams during the shoulder seasons highlighted as a priority in the strategic plan.

Ms. DeGraw is a media and communications specialist. She has worked for over 20 years as part of senior management teams, including W Network, Global Television, HGTV, History Television, Discovery Channel, and CBC News and Current Affairs, and has received several industry awards.

Ms. DeGraw brings extensive corporate governance experience and has most recently been appointed to the board of The Canada Media Fund. She holds a BA in Political Science from Western University and is pursuing her MBA from Thompson Rivers University.

“We are confident that Ms. DeGraw’s experience in the audiovisual industry combined with her experience in creative visual storytelling will resonate with our audience of culinary and culture seekers as well as attract a millennial audience who crave content and travel information in new and progressive ways.” states Carrie Wreford, vice chair.  

Ms. DeGraw will be relocating to Stratford from Toronto where she was the Executive Director of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance. Raised in Southwestern Ontario her love for this area is authentic and deep. Her interests include hockey and other sports, wildlife conservation, local food, cuisine, arts, and culture.

Ms. DeGraw will take the leadership role starting Tuesday, September 5.

                                                                        -30-

For further information, contact:
Mr. Conroy Schelhaas
Chair, Stratford Tourism Alliance
519.271.4573
conroyschelhaas@gmail.com

Stratford Tourism invites locals to volunteer information meeting

For immediate release: July 27, 2017

(Stratford, ON) Stratford Tourism Alliance (STA) is seeking volunteers who love Stratford and enjoy meeting new people to attend an information meeting on August 10 at 3:00 pm. Two positions are currently open:
 

  1. Enthusiastic volunteers to greet visitors primarily from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm daily in September and October.

  2. Anyone interested in learning about Stratford’s heritage and willing to lead group tours as requested throughout the fall and spring. 

“Visitors love hearing from our locals. STA actively recruited volunteers in 2016 to engage with visitors during peak periods. This year we want to build this core group. It is very rewarding to share stories and help visitors plan a satisfying experience while in Stratford.” states Cathy Rehberg, marketing manager.

Our summer student staff (many supported by grants) return to school at the end of August and we still need help, especially during September and October.

Heritage walks are led daily by students during July and August. Group bookings in the spring and fall require volunteer guides who love to share our Stratford stories. Scripts are available for the tours. 

Please confirm attendance at Stratford Tourism, 47 Downie Street on August 10 by calling 519-271-5140 or email hello@visitstratford.ca by August 9.

The STA is the leading tourism marketing organization for Stratford. It is an industry driven, private sector-led, not-for-profit marketing organization that develops, manages, promotes and publicizes “Destination Stratford” as a national and international tourism destination. The STA represents and promotes almost 200 organizations in six main business categories: Accommodation; Restaurant/Culinary; Retail/Service; Events/Attractions; Destination/Associations; Food Producers.

Contact: Cathy Rehberg, Marketing Manager, Stratford Tourism Alliance, 47 Downie Street Stratford, ON N5A 1W7.  519-271-5140 or 800-561-7926. crehberg@visitstratford.ca  Facebook: StratfordON  Twitter: @StratfordON  @SavourStratford Instagram: VisitStratfordON #Stratford365  Pinterest: StratfordON  YouTube: StratfordON Photos and interviews can be arranged.

Stratford’s Swan Parade Weekend Salutes Spring

Stratford, ON
For Immediate Release:  Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Stratford announces the arrival of spring with a Swan Parade. One of Canada’s most unique events, the annual Swan Parade Celebration, is a weekend of family fun, April 1-2, culminating with a parade of our iconic feathered friends traveling from their winter quarters to the Avon River on Sunday. They know it’s time to get going when they hear the sounds of the Stratford Police Pipes and Drums who lead the way amid curious on-lookers. 

Throughout the weekend, Stratford’s downtown heritage streetscape is dotted with decorated topiary swans.  You’re invited to take part in the Swan Quest, a search for your favourite decorated topiary swan for a chance to win shopping gift certificates. Join a nature walk to learn more about the life of the swans.  Hop aboard free horse-drawn carriage tours and learn about Stratford’s history. Street performers entertain while our swan mascot poses for photos. 

Sunday’s Swan Parade Celebration runs from 12 noon – 3:00 pm along Lakeside Drive (between Waterloo St. and Morenz Drive) with the Swan Parade, marking the return of the swans to the Avon River at 2:00 pm. Stratford’s history with swans dates back to 1918 when the first gift of swans was received. The herd now includes 20 white mute swans that will participate in the parade this year. This spring ritual has become a Stratford tradition for many who bring their families each year. Everyone is welcome to attend this free family celebration.

“Thousands of people look forward to attending this quirky fun family event,” comments Cathy Rehberg, Marketing Manager Stratford Tourism Alliance. “It is a collaboration among the Civic Beautification volunteers, city staff and tourism partners and the weather doesn’t seem to matter. This reflects how much the community loves the swans!”

Here is an outline of activities taking place throughout the weekend:
Saturday, April 1
Stratford Tourism and the Stratford City Centre BIA presents the Stratford Swan Quest with twelve distinctive topiary swans decorated and perched in the downtown. For a chance to win a $100 City Centre shopping spree, shoppers are invited to view the swans and vote for their favourite to receive the People’s Choice Award.  Ballots are available at shops with a decorated swan, at Stratford Tourism, 47 Downie Street and on-line starting March 31. The contest runs throughout the weekend closing at 4:00 pm Sunday, April 2. 

Want to learn more about our feathered ambassadors? Join us on Guided Swan Walks. Stratford’s swan stories are shared as you view the swans in their winter quarters, see popular nesting spots and stroll along the river bank. Free guided walks take place at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm on Saturday, and Sunday at 12:15 pm. Meet your guide at the William Allman Arena.

Pose for photos with our larger than life swan mascot at 11:30 am and 1:00 pm at Memorial Gardens on Ontario Street.

Animated street performer, Kobbler Jay entertains from 12 noon – 4:00 pm at the same location.

Free horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered courtesy of the Stratford City Centre BIA from 12 noon - 3:30 pm departing from Memorial Gardens, Ontario Street. (Saturday and Sunday)

Sunday, April 2
Bring your family to the Swan Celebration from 12 Noon – 3:00 pm along Lakeside Drive sponsored by Re/Max AB Realty. Look for the new circus tent style outdoor main stage to enjoy the entertaining Craig Douglas comedy juggler show and The Keepers: a show about animals and conservation.

An indoor children’s play zone is presented by SpringWorks and Gallery Stratford’s #creationplace. 

Entertaining clowns, a community colouring mural and swan hats are all offered free of charge.

Street food trucks offer tasty menus along with a charity barbeque. 

At 2:00 pm, the Swan Parade, organized by the volunteer Civic Beautification and Environmental Awareness Committee along with Stratford Community Services, begins as The Stratford Police Pipes and Drums lead the swans from their winter quarters to the Avon River.

Free parking is available in the Stratford Festival parking lot at the corner of Lakeside Drive and Queen Street and along Lakeside Drive east of Front Street. Limited accessible parking on site can be accommodated from the entrance at Water and Morenz Streets.

Street closures will include Lakeside Drive from Waterloo Street to North Street and Morenz Drive from Water Street to Lakeside Drive from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm to provide a safe pedestrian zone. Everyone is welcome to attend. We encourage people to arrive early to enjoy all the activities offered.

Come celebrate spring in Stratford.

For more information, a Swan Quest Ballot, Swan Parade Celebration colouring contest and a video clip of the swan parade, go to www.visitstratford.ca/swans , call 519-271-5140 or 1-800-561-7926, or visit us at Stratford Tourism, 47 Downie Street, Stratford. 

Stratford Tourism Launches Spring Maple Trail Adventure

For Immediate Release: February 28, 2017

(Stratford, ON) The anticipation of Canada's delicious iconic maple syrup is palpable as the first sign of spring. To celebrate, Stratford Tourism Alliance presents the Savour Stratford Maple Trail adventure. This self-guided tasting tour offers 22 unique maple tastings for a tasty culinary experience during the months of March and April.

The 2017 seasonal Savour Stratford Maple Trail was launched today with a tasting of a maple bacon poutine at Downie Street Burgers. Maple syrup is Canada's first crop of the season and is most often thought of as a sweet treat, but Downie Street Burgers has used it in this delicious savoury dish and it is featured on the maple trail.

"The Maple Trail presents 22 maple inspired offers, the most offers available ever on this trail and so fitting in Canada's 150th year of celebration. This year six restaurants present maple syrup in exciting savoury and sweet creations. Trail participants will enjoy the variety of choices, but it is only available until the end of April, so don't miss out on our taste of spring." says Cathy Rehberg, marketing manager for Stratford Tourism Alliance.

Local culinary artisans and food purveyors invite you to sample delicious maple creations along our self-guided trail. Savoury maple tastes include maple squash soup, dipping sauce and tempting condiments using maple syrup. Sweet choices range from crepes to cookies and handcrafted maple moonshine. Of course, no maple trail would be complete without local maple syrup direct from the sugar shack and traditional hand-poured maple sugar candy. Unexpected surprises on the trail include some great take away items. 

Participating businesses include:

  • Artful Badger, 96 Downie Street
  • Black Angus Bakery, 443 Erie Street
  • Blowes Cards & Gifts, 34 Wellington Street
  • Buzz Stop, 17 York Street
  • Chocolate Barr's Candies, 55 George Street
  • Dee Image Co., 100 Downie Street
  • Distinctly Tea, 18 York Street
  • Downie Street Burgers,107 Downie Street
  • Gentle Rain Natural Health Food Store, 30 Rebecca Street
  • The Hub, 27 Market Place
  • JENN and Larry's Brittle 'n Shakes and Ice Cream Cakes, 49 York Street
  • Junction 56 Distillery, 45 Cambria Street
  • Kandy Cakes, 47 York Street
  • Keystone Alley, 34 Brunswick Street
  • McCully's Hill Farm, 4074 Perth Line 9, St. Marys
  • Olive Your Favourites, 21 York Street
  • Pavillion Coffee & Crepes, 33 Market Place
  • Revival House, 70 Brunswick Street
  • Rheo Thompson Candies, 55 Albert Street
  • The Spa Near the Tracks, 20 Cooper Street
  • Stratford Country Club, 53 Romeo Street North
  • Treasures, 151 Ontario Street

Here's how it works. Choose six of 22 delicious maple treats to sample and learn more from local culinary artisans and purveyors. Share your delicious maple experiences using hashtag #MapleTrail and follow us on twitter @SavourStratford.

Purchase trails at Stratford Tourism, 47 Downie Street, Stratford for $25.00 (+ HST). Present one voucher at each of your selected stops for one maple sample. Gift certificates are also available online or in person at www.visitstratford.ca/mapletrail where full details about the Maple Trail are available.  This seasonal Savour Sratford Maple Trail is offered only from March 1 to April 30, 2017. Please check the times and dates each location is open to avoid disappointment.

Capture more maple fun with a sugar bush and sugar shack tour along with a maple pancake brunch at McCully's Hill Farm Maple Festival Saturdays and Sundays in March. New in 2017,  you can exchange one Maple Trail voucher for a sugar bush tour in place of the maple syrup offer during the Maple Festival weekends.

For Immediate Release
February 17, 2017

Stratford Tourism Alliance completes successful strategic planning workshop

(Stratford, ON) The Stratford Tourism Alliance (STA) successfully completed a full day workshop with community businesses and stakeholders on February 16 marking the next step in completing the five-year Strategic Plan.

More than 40 people came together for the full day of sessions led by InterVistas at the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus. An interactive digital input session allowed participants the opportunity to offer suggestions on maximizing opportunities for Stratford and developing Stratford as a four-season destination. Vibrant small group discussion topics included STA’s Organizational Model, Digital Technology and Tourism, Product and Destination Development along with Marketing and Business Development.

“We were impressed with the innovative thinking and level of engagement of the participants.  As we establish strategic priorities for the next five years this feedback is crucial to our success as a tourism destination and business community.” states Kristin Sainsbury, Executive Director.

“We were very pleased with the input and constructive feedback that was provided”, notes Conroy Schelhaas, STA Chair.  “What came out of the day is a clear desire to work together to grow tourism in Stratford”.

There is still time to participate through an on-line survey. In addition to businesses, residents of Stratford are invited to complete the survey.  Participation from the whole community provides a broad and more complete perspective. The survey is intended to assess Stratford’s strengths and weaknesses as a tourism destination as well as provide input into opportunities for the STA. The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete and can be found at www.visitstratford.ca/input . Surveys must be completed by March 3.

InterVistas Consulting has been retained to assist the STA in developing their plan.  A leading management consulting company with extensive global expertise in tourism in over 75 countries around the world their expertise and guidance in the process ensures that Stratford has a global view of the future.

For further information, contact:  Kristin Sainsbury, Executive Director   519-271-5140 ksainsbury@visitstratford.ca.

For Immediate Release
January 25, 2017

Stratford Tourism Alliance seeks Local Business input for Strategic Plan

(Stratford, ON) The Stratford Tourism Alliance (STA) is reaching out to engage the local business community to provide input into their five-year Strategic Plan.

“We want to hear from our members and the broader business community.  The voice of our local businesses is critical in helping us establish strategic priorities for the next five years”, notes Kristin Sainsbury, Executive Director.  “After a very positive year we are excited to be looking ahead and planning the next steps for STA.  As we continue to build Stratford’s brand as a leading arts, culture and culinary destination, this process will further define our role as the key tourism agency supporting business in the City”.

Local businesses will be asked to participate in an industry survey that will be distributed by email on January 30 through community associations and will provide an opportunity to assess Stratford’s strengths as a tourism destination as well as provide input into opportunities for the STA by February 28.  Further to the survey information, a full day strategic input session is planned for February 16th.

Mayor Dan Mathieson stresses the importance of this exercise for the City, "The work of the STA is vitally important to Stratford's continual success as a premier tourism destination in North America.  Local businesses and community members have an opportunity to offer constructive feedback and help shape the future vision for the STA.  Collectively working together we can all share and shape our future tourism success as a destination of choice".

Intervistas Consulting has been retained to assist the STA in developing their plan.  They are a leading management consulting company with extensive global expertise in tourism in over 75 countries around the world.

Local businesses are encouraged to participate in the survey between January 30th and February 28th, 2017. To receive the survey or learn more about participating in the February workshop please contact the STA at hello@visitstratford.ca or call 519-271-5140.

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For further information, contact:  Kristin Sainsbury, Executive Director 519-271-5140 ksainsbury@visitstratford.ca

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