Category: Events

The “Once Upon A Time” Of Ever After Entertainment

Every story starts with Once Upon A Time and we love getting the story of how it all began. That is what makes stories so wonderful to tell.

We love Ever After Entertainment (just see our raving review on them) and we wanted to know about how their “Once Upon A Time” came to be.

We had the honour to interview the founder of Ever After Entertainment, Stefanie to get the exclusive scoop.

Before we whisk you away into “Once Upon A Time,” let us remind everyone what Ever After Entertainment does.

They provide an experience like no other as they bring magic to a celebration. Whether it is a princess, a fairytale character, superhero, or star wars character, they bring it to your front door to make the believers believe that dreams come true.

“We believe in making dreams come true by inspiring the imagination of children, both young and young at heart.” – Ever After Entertainment

Now it is time for our exclusive scoop with Stefanie who encompasses all qualities that one would admire in a princess. She is kind, intelligent, and a strong woman and you will see that from our interview.

Once Upon A Time…

When and what inspired you to start Ever After Entertainment?

I started Ever After Entertainment right after I finished an intensive two year musical theatre conservatory in New York City, called Circle in the Square Theatre School. I adored musical theatre and performing, so when I heard that some of my classmates worked for similar companies in the states, I was immediately inspired to start something of my own. I have always loved anything to do with Disney Princesses! I grew up on all the movies, so performing as a classic princess seemed like the perfect fit!

Owner and founder, Stefanie, in the centre of some amazing Princesses (Belle, Ariel, Cinderella and Aurora).

What was the first year like?

The first years was super tough – for the first six months, the phones were quiet. I didn’t really know where to start and I was relying on “old school methods” of marketing to get my name out in the community, and that just was not working for me. As soon as I started to figure out what type of advertising worked, business began to pick up, and it picked up fast! It was definitely an exciting time when the phones started ringing, but I quickly realized that no one was going to knock on my door and ask me to come to their party. When we were just starting out, I had to go out and do free events to market Ever After Entertainment. Anything from school events, city fairs and free birthday parties – if there was someone who wanted a princess, I was there!

Who has been your most popular character request?

Elsa…Elsa and Elsa! As soon as Frozen came out, “Elsa” or the “Ice Queen” was the most requested character. We had to hire 5 performers in 1 month just to keep up! Now as the Frozen craze has died down a little, some of the more classically loved princesses are becoming more popular. My personal favourites are Beauty and The Little Mermaid – both are requested regularly.

Why is providing a magical experience important to you?

I’ve been a huge Disney Princess fan since I was three years old and I discovered The Little Mermaid. I would eat, sleep and breath everything Ariel! I know that if I had the opportunity to have Ariel attend my birthday party as a child, that would have made my year! Knowing that we can make a child’s dreams come true by bringing their hero to life, means so much to me. These princess characters teach children lessons about family, friends, passion and love, and we are so lucky that we get to bring those lessons and magic to people’s families and homes.

How do you find the perfect person to play the part?

All of Ever After Entertainment’s princess performers are professionally trained actors and singers. We want our performers to not only look like the princesses they are portraying, but they also must embody their personality and be able to sing all their signature songs. Our cast is filled with a diverse group of wonderfully talented ladies from all over the GTA – but they all must have a love for children, and of course, a love for princesses!

Where would you like to see Ever After Entertainment in the next five years?

I would love to see Ever After Entertainment grow across Ontario. Ideally we would love to have performers in all different regions across Southern Ontario, so that we can provide a magical birthday experience to children and their families all over the GTA.

Who is your favourite Princess to play?

It’s so hard to choose! I think if I had to pick one, it would be Ariel. I mean, what girl doesn’t want to be a mermaid?! I just love Ariel’s songs, and story – and it’s so much fun to be a red head. Like I said earlier, The Little Mermaid was my most beloved movie growing up, so she is of course my favourite princess to portray!

This is how Ever After Entertainment got it’s “Once Upon A Time” and some more inside scoops of this impeccable company. Special thank you to Stefanie for giving us the opportunity to interview her as it was a true honor.

We at Momma Braga can’t say it enough that Ever After Entertainment is truly the very best! Once you book with them you can rest assure that your celebration will be that much better! They truly pride themselves of staying authentic and professional from beginning to end. It is a magical experience for all and you won’t regret having them there.

To book your party, click here. Also make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+ to see all the dreams they are fulfilling.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

Harlem Globetrotters Dribbles Into Our Hearts At The Hershey Centre

“The atmosphere at the Hershey Centre was electrifying as fans wait for the arrival of the prestigious Harlem Globetrotters. You can’t help but feel pumped even if you have never seen them before.” – Momma Braga

This was the case for me and my family as we have never watched the Harlem Globetrotters before so I was intrigued on what they were going to offer us. We have been doing our Harlem Globetrotters research for the last month and we have heard how great they are. So now it was the true test…the Momma Braga test!

Our future Harlem Globetrotters

We arrived early to the event and found parking at the Hershey Centre parking lot (it’s FREE parking by the way for EVERYONE). We made our way inside to where all the excitement was brewing and with good reason too. We found our great seats and anticipated with delight the start of the event. Not too long before we settled down, the entertainment began with the Globetrotters mascot, Globie. Now I need to mention that you don’t just see him at the beginning but also in the middle where he is inflatable and does some hilarious tactics. Once Globie gets the crowd going, it is time for the main event!

The first team introduced is the Washington Generals and of course they are the “visiting” team so everyone in the audience booed and the team Captain, Cager, did not help with the mention of our beloved Toronto Raptors losing the night before. The boo’s got louder. But no fear as the Harlem Globetrotters were here! They entered with high-energy style that it was contagious not to be energized. They did a few tricks with their introductions and it was superb!

They played the first quarter with some antics here and there which made it much more entertaining for everyone in the audience. I know that it definitely kept our three year old entertained as she was following along the action on and off the court. OH! Did I not mention their interaction with audience members?! I think this is the most interactive group in sports entertainment that I have ever seen as they really get the fans involved which is so great! Seeing a child’s eyes light up with pure joy when they are picked to interact with the Globetrotters was priceless!

The next three quarters was full of mad skills and family fun entertainment. I don’t think I have been so impressed and at the same time, laugh so hard in my life. So bravo Globetrotters! There was never a dull moment and that includes intermission as we were entertained by young dancers from Vibe Dance & Fitness Studio (really talented dancers!). It was high-energy entertainment for the whole family.

By the end of the game, I am thrilled to say that the Harlem Globetrotters won the game and won our hearts! They provided us with a great family night out with laughter, fun and showcased amazing skills. At the end of it all you have a chance to meet them in person and get autographs. It does get a little crowded as many people want to meet these amazing athletes and my advice is to be patient as everyone will get their turn. We managed to get three autographs which made Nikki’s day! We then called it a night and a memorable event for us all.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give the Harlem Globetrotters 5+++ SHOTS out of 5! You can say that the Harlem Globetrotters slam dunked this Momma Braga test! They offer great family sports entertainment with their larger than life personality and skills. We highly recommend checking out the Harlem Globetrotters if they visit your city as they do go global!

We would like to extend our heartfelt thank you to the Hershey Centre for providing us with this great opportunity to share this epic event called the Harlem Globetrotters with our readers.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Eggciting Fun At Aqua-Tots Swim Schools

Fun, swimming, and Easter Eggs…Oh My!

That is what the Easter Egg Hunt Event was like at Aqua-Tots Swim School Mississauga on a crisp sunny Sunday afternoon.

We were thrilled to attend this member-exclusive event which was an all-ages and complimentary with the annual membership to the school. It is one of many great perks of registering at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools.


We arrived a little early which gave us some time to settle and enjoy the Easter décor around us. We of course could not miss the opportunity to take a photo with the balloon carrots that were so adorable!

There were tons of activities to do during the event such as arts and crafts; story time; egg on a spoon race and of course swimming with an Easter twist!

Nikki’s favorite was doing the crafts as she made a bunny and a chick for Easter. But then the best part for her was to swim with daddy. We got her all ready to hit the pool and to her surprise the Easter Bunny arrived! Now I thought her excitement for Santa was top notch but she might have been even more excited to see the Easter Bunny there giving Easter eggs to all the boys and girls in and out of the pool.

When she caught three Easter eggs, she was on cloud nine and insisted that she swim with the eggs that she got. It was so great to see her enjoy herself so much and she couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear. This twist in swimming was well received by Nikki and it might have made her enjoy it even more (if that is even possible!).

After an hour of some great swimming with dad, Nikki was all tired out and ready to head home. It was another packed afternoon full of fun and adventure. This is just one of the many reasons why we love Aqua-Tots Swim School. Not only do they teach a very important life skill to children but they also host events to really embrace family quality time together.

Thank you Aqua-Tots for another great event and for giving my husband the opportunity to bond with our daughter on something that they both love to do and that is swimming. We can’t wait to see what other events that they are going to do this year! I am sure they will be just as great. 🙂

“Mommy I had SO much fun! I love swim class! The best day EVER!” – Nikki, Age 3.5 Years Old

If you would like to learn more about Aqua-Tots Swim Schools feel free to contact them at (905) 848-2782.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

This article is brought to you in partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim School, Mississauga.

Paw Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure

Paw Patrol, Paw Patrol
We’ll be there on the double
Whenever there’s a problem
‘Round Adventure Bay
Ryder and his team of pups
Will come and save the day
Marshall, Rubble, Chase
Rocky, Zuma, Skye
Yeah! They’re on the way!

 

It is hard not to sing along to one of the most popular shows for kids, Paw Patrol. We have been watching Paw Patrol for over two years and if you have small children in your family then you probably have been surrounded by it everywhere you go!

So when my sister-in-law got us tickets to Paw Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure, I was thrilled as I knew my 3-year-old would love it. The tickets were purchased back in January and instead of telling my overly excited daughter about the event, I waited until the day of. If I told her in advance I would have to listen to Nikki ask me EVERY single day if it was Paw Patrol day; therefore, for the sake of my sanity I waited until the day of. I know many parents can relate to this too! 🙂

The wait was so worth it too! When my sister-in-law told her that she was going to see Paw Patrol, Nikki was thrilled and started singing the Paw Patrol theme song. In all honesty, I was  surprised that our cover was not blown since I made sure that Nikki was all Paw Patrol ready! 😉

The Big Paw Patrol Day

We arrived with some time to spare to comfortably find our seats and get some treats to eat.

*Tip: It’s always great to arrive early when an event is this popular as it was a very busy venue with tons of little fans everywhere.

Soon after, the lights dimmed and a voice over came on to signal the start of the show and the audience roard with excitement (including Nikki who got out of her seat).

Paw Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure is a fun full adventure where the main characters go on a treasure hunt to find a lost treasure and of course there are some saving to do along the way which these pups know how to do so well.

The show was full of music, dancing and colorful sets that truly engaged the audience. You can’t help but sing-along or even dance in your seat (while no one is watching). 😉

This is why we give this event 5+++ PAWS out of 5 for being PAWSOME from start to finish. It’s hard not to fall in love with Paw Patrol especially with how happy they make your child feel.

This event was a wish come true for my daughter who has always wanted to see them live and that in turn has made me the happiest mom on earth. There is nothing more special than seeing your child enjoy something that they love and if that means six little pups who save the day then that is great in my books.

From left to right: Auntie Amanda, Nikki and Momma Braga

Not only was Paw Patrol Live an entertaining delight but one that made a little girl believe that wishes come true!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

 

Harlem Globetrotters Are Dribbling Into The GTA

The Harlem Globetrotters are dribbling their way into the GTA for five games with their 2018 Amazing Feats of Basketball Canada Tour. It will be a star-studded roster that will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages.

GLOBETROTTERS (Photo Credit: Harlem Globetrotters)

The Globetrotters represent nine decades of breaking down barriers, acts of goodwill and a commitment to fans that goes beyond the game. Since their first game in 1927, the Globetrotters have entertained more than 144 million fans in 122 countries and territories worldwide – introducing many to the spot of basketball – pioneers in popularizing the slam dunk, fast break, the forward and point guard positions, and the figure-eight weave.

Photo Credit Brett Meister

High-energy tricks, talented athletes, and heart are all the ingredients that create a recipe for some spectacular family fun for all ages. That is exactly the type of event that The Globetrotters perform. With their long history, it is no surprise that they perform with all heart to impress the masses and that is why we can call it epic!

Photo Credit: Harlem Globetrotters

This event has no age requirement to attend and it can be enjoyed as a family. There is never a dull moment and the Globetrotters are always keeping the audience engaged with their high flying tricks and skills.

We are thrilled to hear that they are taking their tour to Canada and one of their stops is at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. The Hershey Centre is one of our favorite venues as the location is convenient to travel to, the staff are all great and did I mention FREE parking?! I know that is a HUGE perk for me with a young family and they have ample parking spaces available too. Of course parking spaces are at a first come first serve basis but it is free. 😉

Get Your Tickets!

Don’t miss out on your chance to watch them live! Tickets are now on sale and you can purchase them by clicking here.

You won’t regret it as it will be an experience of a lifetime. It is an event full of history, passion and fun! I know that we won’t be missing it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Sesame Street Live Brings Back Fond Childhood Memories

Sunny Day
Sweepin’ the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet
Can you tell me how to get?
How to get to Sesame Street

The theme song to one of my favorite shows growing up warms up my heart as I attend Sesame Street Live with my three year old daughter. Never thought that we would be able to enjoy a classic together but here we are at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga for Sesame Street.

We first attended the pre-show (this is in addition to the event tickets) and we were very excited as this was a surprise by my sister-in-law who got us tickets to go. There were activities to do like dress-up, crafts, tour of the stage (this was done group at a time) and meet and greet with Big Bird.

We had a blast at the pre-show and my favorite part was meeting my childhood favorite, Big Bird! Nikki’s favorite was touring the neighbourhood and seeing Abby. She was so excited to see Abby and was screaming really loud to get noticed. It was too cute!

After we did all the activities, it was time to find our seat for the main event; Sesame Street Live.

The lights dimmed and it was show time! We saw many of our classic favorites like Grover, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and Cookie Monster. There was also some of the next generation classics (ones that I didn’t grow up with) such as Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Rosita. It was full of learning, fun and dancing. After all it was a dance party. 😉

It was a very entertaining show and we loved every minute of it. We didn’t expect anything less since this is Sesame Street and it has been a classic for generations. They didn’t miss a beat with their positive messages and making learning fun. For this #MelandNikkiReview we give Sesame Street Live 5+++ Elmo tickles out of 5! It truly is a great show to watch for the whole family as it is one that many generations can enjoy together.

While there was a party on stage, there was one happening in my heart as I reminisce my childhood and embrace my present; parenthood.

Momma Braga, Nikki and Auntie Amanda

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

Kids Up Front Toronto: Making A Difference One Ticket At A Time

Coming from a background of the non-profit world, I have the utmost respect for many charities who work tirelessly for their causes.

During my tenure as a fundraiser, I encountered Kids Up Front Toronto and was impressed by their mission and impact. So I was excited to introduce them to the youth clients and to all the staff members that I worked with.

Now as a parent blogger, I am excited to introduce this amazing organization to all of you and this is way overdue.

“Remember your first concert. Now imagine giving a child that feeling for the first time.”

Kids Up Front believes that all children deserve to experience the magic of the theatre or the excitement of a hockey game. Kids Up Front makes sure that children and their families affected by poverty, abuse, illness as well as newcomers to Toronto gain exposure to the community through the distribution of tickets.

Photo courtsey of Kids Up Front Toronto

How did it all start?

“Kids Up Front began in Calgary in 1999. Our founder, John Dalziel was surrounded by empty seats in the Saddledome and believed that thousands of deserving children and youth could benefit from unused tickets. Kids Up Front Toronto’s founding Executive Director, Lindsay Oughtred, had the same idea in 2006. She was a high school English teacher, inspired to fill seats on the field trips she was taking her students on. Lindsay discovered Kids Up Front, left the classroom behind, and the rest is history! Kids Up Front operates in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Atlantic Canada.”

Photo courtsey of Kids Up Front Toronto

The Impact on the Lives of Children, Families and the City of Toronto

The impact of the work that is being done by Kids Up Front Toronto is one that uplifts children, families and the whole community.

• Children benefit from developing a sense of belonging; feeling included; gaining exposure to “normal” childhood experiences.
• Parents benefit from feeling valued; having the means to give their child a special experience; re-connecting with their child in a positive way.
• Families benefit from sharing constructive leisure activities; encouraging positive social interaction between parents, children and siblings; healing and strengthening relationships.
• Communities benefit from having engaged citizens; strengthening of community values; inspiring future leaders.

“Thanks to our generous donors and over 240 agency partners, Kids Up Front Toronto distributed nearly 85,000 tickets valued at over $2.8 million in 2017. Children have community building experiences that help boost self-esteem and families form stronger ties by allowing parents and children to connect in a positive way. We believe Kids Up Front is helping to create a more inclusive city by removing financial and social barriers.

Photo courtsey of Kids Up Front Toronto

Making a Difference Through Kids Up Front

“Kids Up Front is a simple idea with an incredible impact. Thanks to our extensive network in the GTA, we are able to accept tickets (even just hours before game time or show time!) and get them into the hands of children and youth who do not otherwise have the opportunity. Kids Up Front also provides charitable tax receipts for the value of the ticket donation (with proof of purchase). It truly is a win-win for everyone!

If you don’t have tickets to donate, EchoAge birthday parties are another great way to help Kids Up Front give deserving kids a break.”

It is easy to make a difference in the lives of children and their families through Kids Up Front Toronto. You can donate your tickets, donate money or even donate your time. So many options to make a world of a difference in the community.

How Can a Child Be Referred To Benefit From Kids Up Front

“Kids Up Front partners with child and youth serving agencies to ensure our tickest are going to families who will truly benefit from these incredible gifts.”

To see a list of these amazing agency partners, click here.

Upcoming This Year

“We are working toward our goal of 100,000 tickets valued at over $3 million by 2020. The more tickets we have, the more people we are able to reach. We would love to finally get rid of our waiting list of agencies looking to partner with Kids Up Front. We are also continuing to raise our profile in Toronto. We want every single person in the city to know what to do with their unused tickets.

Nationally, we can’t wait to watch Kids Up Front Ottawa and Kids Up Front Atlantic grow in their first full year as our newest Kids Up Front regions.”

Photo courtesy of Kids Up Front Toronto

I have personally seen the impact that Kids Up Front Toronto has done in the community. The smiles, excitement and pure enjoyment that the youth and kids exhibit during an event is the most heart tugging moment for anyone to see.

So if you have tickets that you can’t use or just want to give a child an opportunity of a lifetime, then I say Kids Up Front is the place to start in making a difference!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tanya, Program Manager at Kids Up Front Toronto for taking the time to do this exclusive interview with us at Momma Braga.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga