Pizza Hut Canada Introduces New Hut Rewards Program

Pizza Hut Canada introduces Hut Rewards, a new loyalty program where customers earn points that can be redeemed for free pizzas.

When members of the loyalty program make an online order of $10.99 or more, they will earn a single digital pizza slice (stamp).

Customers will be rewarded with one free medium 2-topping pizza after accumulating five reward points – which translates to five online orders of $10.99 or more. The cycle automatically starts again after redemption.

There’s a limit of one reward point per day, and you must order online or via one the chain’s mobile ordering apps to be valid.

Pizza Hut Canada’s Hut Rewards program is available at participating locations across Canada.

Caulipower Frozen Pizza Now Available In Canada

Caulipower, a popular U.S. frozen pizza brand expands into the Canadian market with the launch of four new cauliflower crust frozen pizzas: Margherita, Three-Cheese, Veggie, and Plain Crust.

All four gluten-free pizzas in the Caulipower lineup are made in Canada and are lower in calories, sugar, fat, and sodium while also being higher in protein, fiber, and vitamins than traditional pizzas and most other gluten-free pizzas on the market.

Three Cheese Pizza features a cauliflower-based crust topped with mix of mozzarella, white cheddar and parmesan and the brand’s zesty signature sauce.

Veggie Pizza is made with a cauliflower crust topped with and a rich, savory sauce made with vine-ripened tomatoes, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and spices, red, yellow and green peppers on a bed of melty mozzarella cheese.

Margherita Pizza consists of diced vine-ripened tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and spices combine on a cauliflower-based crust.

Plain Crust Pizza is basically a blank canvas that can be dressed with your choice of pizza toppings.

Caulipower frozen pizzas can be found in more than 100 Canadian retailers across Canada, including Sobeys, Whole Foods Market West, Urban Fare, Nature’s Fare Markets, Nutter’s Bulk & Natural Food, Natural Food Pantry, Organic Garage, Vita Health, and Nesters Market Grocery Stores.

Tim Hortons Announces $700 Million Image Makeover Plan

Tim Hortons on Tuesday announced a $700 million plan to modernize a majority restaurants across Canada in an effort to improve consumer experience through a more contemporary and community focused restaurant environment.

As part of the makeover, restaurant owners will be asked to update brick and mortar exteriors with natural looking, lighter, and more inviting materials. Meanwhile on the inside, restaurants will feature artwork that reflects Tim Hortons values and history – including a commissioned portrait of Tim Horton, a mosaic of brand images and a photo wall that features the brand’s coffee-sourcing and proprietary blending process. Consumers will also enjoy upgraded, open concept seating that promotes a sense of community.

The company said it will join restaurant franchisees to bring the new “Welcome Image” to a majority of Tim Hortons restaurants in Canada by 2021.

According to the Financial Post, the plan will require franchisees spend up to $450,000 per restaurant for the makeover.

That detail could rub franchisees the wrong way, with 60 per cent to 80 per cent of their customers using drive-thrus and never stepping foot into a store.

Tim Hortons rich heritage is celebrated with commissioned art found throughout the revitalized Restaurant.
Tim Hortons rich heritage is celebrated with commissioned art found throughout the revitalized restaurant. (Tim Hortons)
The new Welcome Image has been designed to provide Tim Hortons® Guests across the country with a more modern, open concept Restaurant
The new Welcome Image has been designed to provide Tim Hortons guests across the country with a more modern, open concept restaurant. (Tim Hortons)

Canadian Teenager Is Set For Life With Big Lottery Win On 18th Birthday

A Quebec teenager who celebrated her 18th by buying her first-ever lottery ticket got the surprise of her life when she hit the jackpot.

Charlie Lagarde was the lucky winner in Loto-Quebec’s Gagnant a Vie lottery.

Lagarde purchased the scratch ticket at a neighbourhood convenience store on March 13, 2018.

Her biggest decision – taking the lump sum payment of $1 million, or $1,000 a week for the rest of her life. Due to her young age, she chose $1,000 a week for life.

Lagarde told lottery officials that she plans to travel and study photography.

The next time you get the itch – follow your instincts, and scratch.

Weather Guy Kalin Mitchell Replaces Cindy Day As CTV Atlantic Chief Meteorologist

CTV Atlantic announced Tuesday that Kalin Mitchell has been named chief meteorologist for the station’s locally focused evening newscasts.

The announcement comes after Cindy Day announced in December that “the time has come for me to move on.” Day has since joined the Saltwire Network, where she is one of the few weather people on the continent working exclusively for a newspaper organization.

Mitchell previously spent more than 10 years tracking weather patterns for CBC and Environment Canada.

“Kalin is both a dedicated weather scientist and an engaging broadcaster,” said Dan Appleby, news director at CTV Atlantic.

This Toronto Dairy Queen Is The Only Place In Canada Serving The New Triple Play Blizzard

Dairy Queen Canada will celebrate the opening day of Major League Baseball by serving the new baseball-inspired Triple Play Blizzard Treat at just one location in Toronto, on Thursday, March 29, 2018.

The Triple Play Blizzard combines caramel coated peanuts, caramel popcorn brittle and choco chunks with vanilla soft serve, and is finished with crunchy pretzel rods and choco drizzled caramel popcorn.

The exclusive new Blizzard Treat can only be found in the Dairy Queen at 351 Bremner Blvd in Toronto on Thursday, March 29, while supplies last.

The limited edition Blizzard will also be available in the 14 other home game cities in the U.S.

2018 marks the first time in 50 years that all 30 MLB teams will open on the same day.

The Juno Awards finally celebrate hip hop, but is it too late?

File 20180326 54884 fo3eoy.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Northern Touch, from left to right, Checkmate, Red1, Misfit, Kardinal Offishall, Choclair and Thrust perform at the 2018 Juno Awards.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Mark V. Campbell, Ryerson University

This year’s Juno Awards honouring Canadian music achievement decided to finally celebrate Canadian hip hop by inviting the Rascalz, Kardinal, Thrust, Choclair and Checkmate, the artists from the legendary “Northern Touch” song to this years awards ceremony. Why?

It might be due to decades of guilt built up from ignoring one of Canada’s leading creative forces. It could be the public accountability demanded on social media platforms in the attention economy. Or it could be a genuine realization that hip hop is a driving force in the music industry and not the “fad” many naysayers believed it to be for the last 40 years.

Canadian hip hop currently leads the global music charts and that is no thanks to the Juno Awards. Both R&B and hip hop artists in Canada have found ways to build global audiences often beyond or before the assistance of major industry players.

Awards ceremonies are usually considered important infrastructure in the growth of a musical genre. They can create greater visibility to transition a musical genre from a local or avant-garde scene to a commercially viable product garnering national attention and industry investment. However, in a non-linear global media environment, a local music scene can now attract national media attention or gain mass appeal across various national borders.

What this means is that the kind of exposure an awards show might have once provided is replaced with high artist visibility on multiple digital platforms, such that an artist like Daniel Caesar from Oshawa, Ont., can sell out concerts in Australia before ever being nominated for a Juno award in Canada.

Back in 1989 when the Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince decided to boycott the Grammy ceremony and decline their award their actions did not adversely impact their success. Rather, what became clear was that the awards industry benefited from appearing relevant by including the genres of blue grass, heavy metal and rap in new categories that year.

For many of the nominees this year, like Caesar, Jessie Reyez, Tory Lanez and Belly, the Junos cannot propel their careers in the same way artists 20 years ago might have imagined. Back then the hip hop scene in Canada, consisted of artist communities, fans, record companies and other small businesses. It was limited by geography, a lack of positive media coverage and a lack of easy global communication.

A Northern Touch:‘ 20 years ago

By having the Vancouver-based Rascalz participate in the award show, 20 years after the group refused to accept an untelevised award for best Rap album, 19 years after they won the Juno for best Rap recording for the crew track “Northern Touch” in 1999, the Juno awards committee gestures towards truly celebrating the contributions of Canadian hip hop artists.

Members of Rascalz at the Juno Awards in 1999.
(Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

The 1999 performance of the song “Northern Touch” was the first time a hip hop group performed on the Juno Awards since the inception of the award category in 1991. This was despite the fact that hip hop had vibrant scenes in cities like Toronto and Montreal dating back to the late 1980s. Sadly, it would take more than a decade for the Juno Awards to provide a national platform to showcase Canadian hip hop talent since the emergence of the genre’s first Canadian stars, Rumble, Michie Mee and Maestro Fres Wes.

The song, which brought together Toronto-based artists Thrust, Choclair and Kardinal Offishal with Vancouver-based crew the Rascalz and fellow West Coaster Checkmate, became one of the most significant songs in Canadian hip hop history and grew to be an anthem that united and galvinized a generation of Canadian hip hop fans.

As Matt Galloway wrote in NOW magazine 1998, it almost single-handedly transformed the genre from an underground movement into a viable commercial endeavour.

The timing of “Northern Touch” couldn’t have been better. Scarborough native Choclair was on the verge of signing with Virgin Records, and hip hop music had begun to outsell country music in 1998 in the United States). Around that time, peer-to-peer culture like Napster had started to disrupt the music industry — possibly increasing the reach of the song.

As Kardinal explained, once on tour it became clear people across the country loved the record and had learned all the words of his high-powered chorus. The lyrics of the track spoke to many:

We notorious, ain’t nobody can hang with us,
Rascalz, Checkmate, Kardinal and Thrust, Choclair coming down with the northern touch”

Limited recording industry support in Canada

Despite having the Cash Crop album that would go on to earn gold status in Canada, the Rascalz’ “Northern Touch” song was originally designed for an urban compilation album that was eventually canned due to a “lack of market viability.”

Canadian hip hop artists, (who were tearing up stages alongside major American acts in the late 1980s) Maestro Fresh Wes, Rumble and Michie Mee got recording contracts before the Junos even had a category for rap music. However, the success of these artists revealed a telling trend: they all received recording contracts from non-Canadian record companies.

No Canadian record labels took a chance on Canadian hip hip in its earliest years. Maestro was signed to Germany’s LMR records, Rumble to Britain’s Gee Street/Island Records and Michie Mee to First Priority Records/Atlantic Records in the United States.

The current global dominance of Canadian music on today’s Billboard charts obscures the difficulties many early hip hop artists faced in getting local support for this country’s hip hop artists. So despite mainstream recognition from the Juno awards and a largely indifferent recording industry, hip hop music in Canada ensured, laying the bedrock for the immense number of pop, R&B and hip hop acts that have been dominating the charts since Drake’s earliest crossover hits in the late 2000s.

Under these conditions, it appears the Junos are too late in their belated celebration of hip hop in Canada as their power to raise the profile of Canadian artists has dissipated. Instead, the combination of a determined resilience and the leveraging of social media have helped move Canadian hip hop onto a world stage, a stage in which these hip hop artists are shining brightly.

Here’s a brief look at several artists you should know who made possible Canada’s dominance on today’s charts.

Dream Warriors: ‘My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style’

Released by an imprint called BeatFactory Records in 1991, this group — originally from Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood — would go on to sell more than 800,000 units in Europe after headlining a 27-city tour across the continent. Despite winning a Juno award, the Dream Warriors would not sell 800,000 units in Canada.

(BeatFactory Records, 1991)

Kish: ‘I Rhyme the world in 80 days’

Kish was a half-British, half-Japanese emcee who was signed locally; he’s known for his blistering rhymes and wit. “I Rhyme the world in 80 days” received regular air play on Muchmusic. Kish would later be nominated for a Juno in 1992 for the song “She’s a Flirt.”

(A & M records, 1991)

Rumble, featuring Margaret Young: ‘Safe’

“Safe” was originally recorded in Jamaica with legendary soundsystem King Jammy’s. Rumble, a Scarborough, Ont.-based emcee, signed to a label in the U.K., exemplifying the global resourcefulness needed by Canadian hip hop artists to develop careers when local infrastructural support was sparse.

(Gee Street, Island Records 1991)

Rascalz:‘Northern Touch’ Juno Performance

This was the Juno Award’s first live hip hop performance seven years after the awards show developed its first category recognizing rap music.

(Figure IV Records, 1998)

Mc J & Cool G: So Listen

One of the earliest groups to come out of Eastern Canada, this group represented Halifax and found their success with a mixture of R&B and hip hop.

(EMI Records, 1990)

War Party: Feeling Reserved

This track garnered a regular rotation on MuchMusic. This trio broke through into mainstream Canadian media with their personal ethnographic take on life on a First Nation’s reserve.

(Arbor Records, 1994)

Michie Mee: ‘Jamaican Funk’

This hybrid mixture of reggae, funk and hip hop aptly captured a new generation of Caribbean Canadian youth whose dynamic diasporic culture deeply influenced the emergence of hip hop culture in Toronto.

First Priority Records, 1990.

The ConversationIf you want to hear more, a few of these and other pioneering artists can be found on the Northside Hip Hop playlist:

Mark V. Campbell, Adjunct Professor, Radio and Television Arts School of Media + Director for Cultural Strategies, Faculty of Communication and Design Forum, Ryerson University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

A&W Canada Introduces New Cheddar Jalapeno Burgers

A&W Canada spices up their burger menu with the introduction of new Cheddar Jalapeno Burgers.

The lineup features three new burgers: Cheddar Jalapeno Buddy Burger, Cheddar Jalapeno Mama Burger and Cheddar Jalapeno Uncle Burger.

The Cheddar Jalapeno Buddy Burger features a 100 per cent beef patty, crispy jalapeño slices, real Cheddar cheese along with chipotle and red jalapeño mayo, on a lightly toasted sesame seed bun.

The Cheddar Jalapeno Mama Burger includes a pure beef patty, crispy jalapeño slices, real Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, chipotle and red jalapeño mayo all sandwiched between a toasted sesame seed bun.

The Cheddar Jalapeno Uncle Burger features a large, 5-oz pure beef patty, crispy jalapeño slices, real Cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, chipotle and red jalapeño mayo on a sesame seed bun.

You can find the new Cheddar Jalapeno Burgers at participating locations across Canada for a limited time.

What A Bagel Is Giving Away 6 Free Bagels On March 27, 2018

The tradition continues as What A Bagel gears up for its annual bagel giveaway on March 27, 2018.

On Tuesday, March 27, simply stop by any What A Bagel location at any time of the day and you’ll be treated to six free bagels, no strings attached.

The free bagel offer will be available while supplies last. No purchase is necessary to take advantage of the offer.

Additionally, for 2018, What A Bagel will be rewarding one lucky fan in line at one of their 11 locations with a prize consisting of a dozen free bagels every month for an entire year.

What A Bagel operates 11 locations in the Greater Toronto Area.

KFC Canada Unveils New Waffle Double Down

KFC Canada offers a new twist on the chain’s popular Double Down sandwich with the introduction of the new Waffle Double Down beginning Monday, March 26, 2018.

The new bun-less sandwich consists of two chicken fillets sandwiching a Belgian waffle and drizzled in a Canadian maple aioli sauce.

The Double Down originally debuted in 2010 and Canadians made it KFC’s best-selling new menu item ever, selling more than 350,000 in its first 10 days on the menu.

The new Waffle Double Down joins the Zinger Double Down as the latest variation on the classic recipe.

The Waffle Double Down will be available for a limited time only at participating locations across Canada starting March 26, 2018.