From Mary & Peter February 2015

February 4th, 2015

2014, what a year it’s been! We started off with a tour of shows (year 10!) in the southern U.S., travelling as usual through Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada, before arriving in our first base of Mesa, Arizona, where we have many friends. The tour also took us to Apache Junction, Tucson, Yuma and El Centro before moving our base to Sky Valley, California for a month of touring the Palm Springs valley; also shows in Niland on the Salton Sea and Hemet, where we stayed for a week before heading to San Diego for the last few days.

Back home and Easter weekend at Muttart Conservatory and the Valley Zoo, followed by our subsequent 28 shows with Thomas the tank engine in early May in Calgary, (where we had a late blizzard! Good thing we knew not to de winterize the trailer in which we slept!) Various things in the summer; the opening of Fort Edmonton (which we did as a trio with our friend Irish Bob); the Ukrainian Village children`s days, our comedy Pub night show in the city of Red Deer and a few days for the Junior Forest Wardens national camp in Meadow Lake Saskatchewan, to name a few. This last we had a huge stretch by each doing a half day workshop, Mary on an introduction to ventriloquism and comedy and Peter with song writing, which culminated in participants being guided through writing a song about the camp – performed at a concert after we left, (we made them a backing track!)

Then came a high spot of the year. We celebrated 40 years together with ten days in Bermuda, that beautiful island where we have performed many times. We hadn`t been there for 15 years and it was like coming home, going around on scooters, snorkelling, beach time, sampling local delicacies, visiting special friends, and just relaxing in our perfect little cottage about six feet from the water`s edge.

Back home for a month and a half with various performances, including a daily involvement for a week with `Circus Spectacular`, the United Church children`s summer camp, where we taught a new song every morning culminating in a service the following Sunday.

Then off again, this time to join an old friend in his timeshare at Marbesa, near Marbella on the Cosa del Sol in Spain for 3 weeks of `r and r`. This has been `on the cards` for many years, but other commitments had made it impossible, so we planned over a year ahead and had a great time there, as well as visits to Gibraltar, Grenada and the Alhambra Palace, and Tangiers in Morocco. Then we continued to Rome, (because we were so close) and took an Insight tour of Italy – Rome, Assisi, Venice, (where our bedroom opened onto the canal) the beautiful island of Burano, Pisa, Florence, a Tuscan evening (private) at Machiavelli`s house, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri and wonderful Positano on the Amalfi coast – a painting of which now graces the dining room wall. Because of flight delays it took us 34 hours to get to Spain and 24 coming back from Rome, plus our luggage had its own mini holiday somewhere en route to Spain, but an amazing time and we learned so much on the Italian tour, of which we were previously unaware, as well as seeing many of the world’s great masterpieces that are so different in real life from books, DVD’s, TV etc. Had some terrific folks on the tour, many of whom have been emailing each other ever since.

Back home for several Remembrance shows and the Remembrance Day holiday, where we take time to stop and think of those who lost lives, on all sides, in war. Peter found a letter from an uncle killed in WW1 and one commiserating about the loss of another during WW2, so both letters went up with poppies on them for a while as a reminder that, although we never met them, they were not forgotten.

Then into the Christmas season (starting on November 15th), we were honoured to be asked to close off the evening for the city of Edmonton ‘lights up’ hosted by our friends at the Downtown Business Association. A beautiful evening – up to zero, (minus 20 degrees C that morning), with 10,000 people in front of City Hall singing “We wish you a merry Christmas”. What an atmosphere to start a run of 20 varied Christmas performances, and an even bigger New Year’s Eve, leading into 2015! Hope your year was a good one too!

Now it’s the New Year and we’re busy planning events and trips up to the summer of 2016!

Fall 2013 Update From Peter and Mary

October 20th, 2013

Hello everyone;

Thanks for checking in with us to see how things are going at our end. We seem to be busy as always with many diversified events, and are so grateful to those who come out to see us, both in Canada, the U.S.A. and other places.

We were just heading into ‘Spooktacular’ at Fort Edmonton Park, when we last caught up. That event for us was held in the 1920’s fairground, where we did children’s performances in the tent. This year (next week) will be another children’s performance in the large hangar, sharing the stage with several other acts, and of course enjoying the interaction.

The early part of November last was spent preparing for the Christmas season. It started with a bang on Nov. 17th, when we did our big show at Southgate followed by the New Orleans jazz parade, with Santa and several of the Alberta Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ cast. A great event. Then came the children’s parties for various companies, shopping centres, Glendale country Club – and several seasonal events for those not as fortunate as ourselves. Not to be forgotten, of course, was the huge indoor Santa Claus parade through the city core, which we have done for so many years, and love seeing all the familiar faces as well as new ones.

January was of course time to hit the road for the 3000 km drive to our tour (year 9!) of southern Arizona and California. The great majority of performances in the 25 venue tour were for the RV and winter residents’ market (with a few full timers for good measure). We also included a couple of children’s events and this year also performed in Las Vegas on the way south.

Back by April 1st for our regular Easter weekend at Edmonton Valley Zoo. May and June were busy as usual with ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ in Heritage Park, Calgary; the opening weekend at Fort Edmonton Park, Central Alberta Children’s Festival, 2 days in the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, (for which we also supply other performers), concerts in three towns for seniors’ week, and a special weekend for the 100th anniversary of Olds college, amongst other events.

It was during June that our special dog Meggie passed on at 15 and a half. So many of you will remember her travelling with us to the shows, where she would sit on the side of the stage during performances or act as an ambassador in special needs situations. She was very loved and is greatly missed.

July 1st, Canada Day, saw us in Camrose – a great day with many events for young and old really brought the community together.

Martha Mc Haggis dusted off her Royal Stewart tartan and appeared (with Mary by her side) at Fort Edmonton Park’s Celtic Gathering. She loves this event and it gave them both the chance to prepare for the huge Vent Haven convention in Cincinnati/Fort Mitchell U.S.A. the following week. A few other events included Heritage Day in Heritage Park, Calgary and several large family gatherings for various oil companies, interspersed by a much needed break with special friends in Kelowna and Tsawassen.

Most of September we took off with a catch-up visit to the U.K. to see family and friends, also a little R. and R. The last included a tour of state rooms in Buckingham Palace, complete with cream tea on the lawn.

Back for “Free access” day in the city, which as usual, took us again to the zoo, although this year we only did one venue, as the following morning saw Mary tour directing and hosting a tour to the Hostfest in North Dakota (U.S.) with Peter riding shotgun! 57 of us including the driver, and a great bunch of folks went to see the many performers, some from Scandinavia, plus many ‘home grown’ acts, including Alabama, Frank Sinatra Junior, Marty Stuart, Frankie Valli, Bill Cosby, Charlie Pride, the Oakridge Boys, and several 60’s pop groups who did a combined show.

Now it’s October and we have a show out of town tomorrow, then back for ‘Spooktacular’ and a children’s show for West Edmonton mall (which many of you know) before the Christmas season starts once more.

Thanks for catching up with us – we hope life is being kind to you and we meet again along the way.

From Mary’s Desk

October 2nd, 2012

September 2012

It seems that last time we updated this section we were just heading into Spooktacular 2011 at Fort Edmonton Park, where we took on a new role as the ‘Lost Souls Blues Band’. Anyone was welcome to join the band, but they were warned that the gig would NEVER finish. Amazingly, we still had a couple of applicants in their early teens, who obviously had not thought through the ramifications of this!

November and December were busy as usual, with events as diversified as a ladies’ tea (swimming pool fundraiser in Two Hills), a children’s show commemorating the Haj, and a seniors’ fair, before we had our first meeting with Santa in Southgate. This year we did a children’s show followed by a parade, for which we augmented with trumpet, clarinet and trombone, and the atmosphere was great. Many more events for both children and adults before year end, which was finished with a medieval night at Muttart Conservatory on N.Y.E.

Jan. 6th saw us heading south again to the U.S., with a stop in Las Vegas en route (where we saw ‘Love’ by Cirque du Soleil – amazing!) This year we had planned to book the2013 tour, but give ourselves some space after the hectic season prior to Christmas. This we did and the three of us (including Meggie the dog) had some great times together, especially when we camped in San Diego for a little over a week, and we had an elderly, but very happy, dog in the ocean every day.
Back home at the end of March with good weather all the way, only to find the following morning that we had to get up early and winterize the trailer an hour before 4 inches of snow fell. Truly an April Fools’ joke after a 3,000 km. drive!

Spring as always eases in gradually, with events at the Zoo, Nagels’ travel show, schools for Earth Day – plus the Festival itself (which we organized for so many years, but now occasionally appear as performers or guest speakers,) beautiful weather this year, which always helps. The 4 days of ‘Day Out With Thomas’ were fun as always – with weather ranging from snow to +26 degrees C. More schools in the Calgary area, then special Jubilee nights for 2 different venues in Edmonton – where there was suitable food, decoration, drinks, sing-along, and much merriment!
The month of June included Children’s Festivals in Fort McMurray and Bow Island, plus a special day in Coutts, on the U.S. border. Also a couple of seniors’ performances and schools’ shows in the Ukrainian Village. Variety is truly the spice of life!

July started with Canada Day in Muttart Conservatory, plus various events for Fort Edmonton, one of which, the Celtic Festival, featured Mary interacting with all and sundry together with her Scottish figure ‘Martha Mc Haggis’ – who is loved by everyone. Plus a great ‘Family Day’ at Northlands race track, and shows in Saskatchewan in August, including ‘Live it up’ day in Livelong, and a return to Northwest Territorial Days’ in North Battleford where we had both good weather and audiences.

Back to Alberta in time for the Fort Edmonton harvest celebration, called this year ‘Field to Table’ plus the Storytelling Festival – where we do songs, but with a story to them, or a story about them. Great attendance, especially on the second day.

Then there was busy time for Mary preparing to direct and host a bus tour through British Columbia, up the Inside Passage to Prince Rupert, train down to Prince George, and bus back through the Rockies to Edmonton and Calgary. An incredibly busy 8 day tour, with 45 guests on the bus, and perfect weather all the way.

This weekend is ‘Free Access Day’ for the City of Edmonton, and we shall be spending part of it performing at the Zoo, where we also appear at Easter, making our annual Zoo dates “bookends” for the season.

To our friends out there in the ether – we hope life is being kind to you, and we’ll be in touch again before too long!

Peter and Mary News October 2011

October 27th, 2011

Here’s a ‘catch up’ on what has been a busy year to date, with the Christmas season beginning very soon. 2011 started with our 7th tour of Arizona/California, with performances in Yuma, Arizona City, Tucson, Casa Grande, Hemet, Palm Desert, El Centro, Winterhaven, Mesa and Apache Junction, sometimes several in the same area. Shows were for both young and senior audiences, so lots of variety. As usual the tour ended with a couple of our special St. Patrick’s shows, which are always great fun to perform.

Back to Alberta, and a special marketing event for Nagel Tours, with whom Mary is associated as an occasional Tour Director; plus the first ever Lethbridge Children’s Festival, (where we met Shrek and Fiona!) Heavy snow didn’t keep the crowds away, but made for a huge turnout. Back to St. Albert in time for Easter, and our regular Easter Monday at the Zoo. A school or two in May, plus our special time at ‘A day out with Thomas’ – in Heritage Park, Calgary. Always fun with thousands of ‘munchkins’ in all directions. End of the month and into June came the ever popular Northern Alberta International Children’s Festival (30th anniversary!). Five days of great interaction with many other performers, thousands of children, and mostly good weather.

The rest of June was busy with shows in Sherwood Park, Grande Cache Music Festival, Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village (Pioneer Days for school groups), plus the grand re-opening of the John Janzen Nature Centre.

July was equally busy, with several events at Fort Edmonton Park, which we always love, as well as a private function for the Zoo, and a short library tour for which we wrote special songs for this year’s theme ‘Splash’. Also our first performance for Leduc Streetfest.

The high spot of July was being invited to represent Canada in the International show at Vent Haven Ventriloquist ConVENTion, Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. The second time we have been so honoured and an attendance of 538 from all over the world; the largest ever!

Much of August was spent with family and friends; both in the U.K. and on the west coast of Canada. At the end of the month we returned to the 2 day Fort Edmonton Harvest, and a big family picnic for all the Realtors in the Edmonton area (year 3). September saw a weekend of shows at Kidsfest Family Expo, plus Free Access Day for the city of Edmonton, where we performed for the Zoo in the morning and Muttart Conservatory in the afternoon; followed by Mary taking a tour group to Minot, North Dakota, for the Hostfest early the following day. Lots of acts and a full bus, as always.

Now it’s October; we had a function for Strathcona County Library last Friday, a day at the A.T.A.A. showcase on Saturday, and a fundraiser which we organized through St. Albert United Church on Sunday night, which will enable over $6,000 to be sent for a project in Southern Sudan/Ethiopia.

This weekend is ‘Spooktacular’ at Fort Edmonton Park where nobody will recognize us; then only a couple more events before the Christmas season gets under way on November 12th. We hope all of you who are reading this are having a great year too! Talk to you soon…

Peter and Mary News Jan. 2011

January 10th, 2011

January 2011 sent in by Mary

Wow, what a year we had! Not only did we do 25 performances for our many friends in Arizona and California, following a busy 2009 Christmas season; we also had another 125 performances before the year drew to a close.

And what a selection of events it was! From the Edmonton Valley Zoo and John Janzen Nature center, to the arrival of Thomas the Tank Engine in Calgary (year 4!). Then the grand opening of Fort Edmonton Park, (Canada’s largest historical park), on Victoria Day weekend, followed by the Northern Alberta International Children’s festival – an amazing 5 day event, (year 7), and the Battleford, Saskatchewan Children’s festival (3rd time), where all three stages had to be combined in an indoor area because of mud outside, and Mary emceed the entire event, plus we did our two performances.

This spring we were gratified to hear that we had no less than 4 songs from our ‘Sweet Rocky Mountains’ CD SIMULTANEOUSLY in the top 20 of Thunderbolt Radio, an internet radio station. Thank you all so much for listening, and of course to Jim and Chris at the station!

A tour through several towns in central Alberta for the 55+ market was greeted with rapturous response, as were the 8 shows we did for the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, and 2 fairs in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, plus Vermilion, Alberta, both of which we have done several times before.

We were honoured to be asked to perform for the Canada Day festivities for the City of Edmonton, having been in Calgary and other cities for the last few years.

Plus several T.V. appearances; corporate and private functions; the always amazing Fort Edmonton Harvest; 8 shows at ‘Spooktacular’ for Halloween, and free access day for the Muttart Conservatory and the Zoo.

The Christmas season started on November 13th, with the arrival of Santa at Southgate; then he (and us) appeared at other venues throughout Nov/Dec, with many types of events for all ages, ending the year with a medieval New Year’s Eve at the Muttart Conservatory, with sword fights, armour displays, medieval dancing (and music) and much, much more culminating in a huge party and of course the traditional Old Lang Syne.

In the year we also managed a 3 week U.K. visit in July, plus another later in the year, also Mary once again hosted an 8 day Bus tour to Minot, N.D., for the ‘Hostfest’, her 4th time on this particular run.

Now it’s January, and we are preparing to head off to Arizona / California once again. We hope that the Christmas season was great for you, and that 2011 is a very special year.

May 2010

May 3rd, 2010

Time for another catchup of events this end. In mid- October ’09 we were lucky to have the Arts Touring Alliance of Alberta ‘Showcase’ close to home, (in Fort Saskatchewan) so took great delight in commuting to the event and catching up with so many friends in the industry; presenters and artists alike. Then it was time for the annual ‘Spooktacular’ in Fort Edmonton Park, which is a scary ‘fun’ time for all, getting more spooky as you head back through each period street in time.
The Christmas season started in earnest on Nov. 14th, when we took a big parade through a large shopping centre, immediately following our Children’s Christmas Show. For this event we augmented with trumpet, clarinet and tuba, and had a great time with all the kids. Many events, both public and private, including the Santa Claus Parade in Edmonton, the Morinville Christmas Festival, the St. Albert ‘lights up’, and innumerable Santa arrivals. That guy is so busy; we don’t know how he does it! In addition to the children’s shows, we are also fortunate to play for many of the seniors’ lodges in the area, which keeps a good balance to the season.
After our N.Y.E. show, we started to prepare for the road, waiting a couple of extra days for a snowstorm to roar through northern Montana, before heading to Arizona/California (year 6!), with a truck full of sound equipment and a holiday trailer in tow. A terrific tour to start 2010, with excellant response to every show, be it concert, “pub” night, St. Patrick’s show, or a special Medieval day at our “home” park, Mesa Dunes. The tour ended March 20th in Desert Hot Springs, California, after which we headed to the coast and had a Day in Disney, before heading north via San Francisco and the Redwoods en route to stop-offs with friends south of Seattle and in Ladner B.C., then up the Coquihalla to Jasper and home for Easter, in good time for our Easter Monday show at the Zoo.
May and June are looking very busy, starting with an environmental day at the Nature Centre; 4 days with Thomas the Tank Engine (full size) in Calgary; the season opening of Fort Edmonton Park; Northern Alberta International Children’s Festival; Battleford Children’s Festival; senior’s week concerts in Willingdon, Two Hills and Myrnam; 2 special “schools” days at the Ukrainian Heritage Village, and 3 other seniors’ events, leading us to Canada day July 1st, when we are pleased to be performing for the City of Edmonton, having had Canada Day “on the road” for so many years.
Thanks again to our many friends who come out to see us regularly; in Canada, the U.S., and overseas. We are grateful to share what we love with all of you!

September 2009

October 8th, 2009

Dear Readers;

Wow! What a summer we’ve had, since arriving back from our 5th southern U.S. tour at the beginning of April (battling through high winds and whiteout conditions on the Monida Pass!) We headed straight into a busy April with 2 Easter events, plus an event for the beautiful Arden Theatre in St. Albert, Alberta, and school and T.V. happenings for Earth Day. May saw our third annual meeting with Thomas the Tank Engine for 4 days in Calgary, also opening events for Fort Edmonton together with the T.V. season launch. Plus the Northern Alberta Children’s Festival – a great event – and its still only May!


June saw a special day at the Edmonton Valley Zoo for children with disabilities from all over the area, plus there were three “Goodbye” events for our much loved United Church minister and his wife, who were heading to the coast and retirement. Many one day events, including 2 at the Ukrainian Village for 1500 children daily – then we took a few days break to show some U.K. friends around the Canadian Rockies.


July saw us in the community of Rosemary, Alberta for Canada Day, then on to Portage La Prairie (by Winnipeg) for our 4th visit to their Industrial Exhibition, with all the fun of the fair. Back in time to fly Mary to Kentucky for the World Ventriloquist convention – at which we have previously performed.


August saw the Vegreville Exhibition, plus the ‘Under the Big Top’ festival in Sherwood Park (where children learn physical theatre, puppetry, magic and other skills), and of course the Fort Edmonton Harvest, which is a blast!


September we appeared at the Interior Provincial Exhibition in Armstrong B.C.; a great event and we met many new performer friends. We look forward to our return in 2010 – preferably without the hailstorm that came straight at the stage, (the +38c we can take)!


That brings us to the present, and the annual bus tour where Mary hosts 54 people from Western Canada around the Atlantic Provinces. Because we were in the U.K., we missed the tour last year, so it will be very special to visit those places – and possibly people – where we lived when first in Canada.


We will update you, our friends, again very soon!  


Peter and Mary 

January 2009

January 4th, 2009

It is the beginning of 2009 and time for an update of what is happening this end since the last communication. Amazingly, all tours and our trip to the U.K. went exactly as planned, and we just finished another Christmas season, with many events for young and not so young, mostly in the greater Edmonton area, which is good, because we have been in the longest cold snap anyone can remember.

We are just heading south again for our annual tour to Arizona/California and look forward to meeting many old friends, and making some new ones in the approximately 25 venues where we are performing, as well as having a break on the California coast for a few days.

Spring and summer events are falling into place, as are events for next Christmas season, so it looks like a busy and productive year ahead, as we hope yours will be.

Sent in by Mary, August 2008, Greetings from a hot sunny Alberta!

August 19th, 2008

Another successful tour in Arizona/California and we drove home in good time to make an appearance at Edmonton’s Earth Day Festival, which this year had a big snow dump after the tents were put up. However there was one huge tent in the middle and the entire festival moved in there so that stalwarts who showed up still had a festival – albeit on a somewhat smaller scale.

The spring season got going gradually with shows at the Nature Centre and Valley Zoo (Mothers’ Day), plus the annual ‘Day out with Thomas’ (the Tank Engine) at Heritage Park in Calgary, to which we look forward again in 2009. T.V. shows to launch the Fort Edmonton season on Victoria Day weekend, plus the Family Day at Northlands and the Northern Alberta Children’s Festival right in our home town, which we love, interacting with the children and so many friends. A great Festival!

Many special events at Fort Edmonton Park this summer including several private corporate evenings, also events at the Citadel Theatre, Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, and the family festival at High River. We appeared again for Canada Day at Fort Calgary, except that this year we did 2 full shows, plus Mary m.c.’d the entire day from 9am-4pm, and we took our own sound plus a couple of extra speakers and Peter did the audio for everyone, starting at 8am. The folks there kindly said it was their best Canada Day ever!

We managed to schedule a break in July this year, and the 2 of us, plus Meggie the dog, headed off to the West coast to see some special friends and catch up on a bit of r + r, including 5 nights camping on Vancouver Island. We were really lucky with the weather and apart from our last night in the Banff area, no mosquitos!! A great holiday and Meggie loved lots of dips in the ocean.

Because we were busy with so many other events we just did the one fair this year, at Vegreville, where it was very hot – up to 35c degrees many days. That brings us to mid- August, where we have a corporate summer carnival and the Fort Edmonton Harvest this week, then a major festival ‘Under the Big Top’ at Festival Place in Sherwood Park next week, followed by the Storytelling Festival at the Fort on the long weekend into September.

Various events coming up, including a visit to Britain, to see family. Then back in time for Free Access Day for the City of Edmonton, plus Mary is hosting a tour to Minot Norsk Hostfest at the end of September. The Halloween festival (Spooktacular) is coming up, plus several marketing conventions in October and early November, plus a fundraising concert for the St. Albert United Church on November 2nd.

The Christmas season is of course largely organized with corporate events. So far the only public ones are the Morinville Christmas Festival on November 29th and the Santa Claus Parade in Edmonton on December 7th.

Once again we plan to tour in the southern U.S. from January – March. Venues are all set up and there is just a little final ‘tweaking’ of the paperwork.

Next summer is starting to fall into place; we’ll keep you posted and hope all is well with you, wherever you’re reading this .

Peter and Mary Write From California

March 25th, 2008

Sent in by Mary on March 24th, 2008

As I write it is 34c degrees here in Palm Springs, California. Not bad for the end of March!

We have had a great tour, with approximately 30 shows, across Arizona and California, and next years tour of the same area is almost fully booked. The first show was on January 12th and we have been running since then, so we are looking forward to a leisurely drive up the coast and then across to Alberta.

It is amazing how much the Sonoran desert has come into our hearts with its wealth of vegitation and wildlife, (some of the latter has to be treated with great respect, i.e. rattle snakes and gila monsters!).

We are looking forward as always, to appearing at the Edmonton Earth Day Festival on April 20th having been at the helm for so many years.

May is going to be a busy month with appearances for children with Thomas the Tank Engine; the Edmonton Valley Zoo; and the Northern Alberta International Childrens Festival. Also the season opening of our beloved Fort Edmonton Park, where we appear many times in period costume throughout the summer.

If you have the chance, visit our Calendar on our website, it will give you an update on  forthcoming appearances.

Talk with you again soon.