Gallery: Marianas Trench “Never Say Die” Tour

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Hi Peeps! As you have read my previous MoVernie BLOG on my adventures at the Marianas Trench “Never Say Die” tour that was held at Air Canada Centre (ACC) last month, I had taken lots of amazing photos up close and personal near the stage and other areas of the venue. Yes, I worked very hard, ALWAYS on the MOVE to bring you the best photos of your favourite band.

Below is a gallery of photos that I took at the Marianas Trench Concert. Hope you enjoy them.

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome photos and videos of my coverage at the New Balance Toronto Media Event. Stay tuned!

Also follow me on SnapChat @MoVernie or Periscope @MoVernie for more interactive live-broadcast videos.

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Marianas Trench “Never Say Die” Tour – Air Canada Centre (Toronto Stop)

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Marianas Trench, a well-established Canadian rock band was on a “Never Say Die” Tour in the past few months, making stops in many American and Canadian cities. Whether the cities were big ones or small ones, Marianas Trench made every effort to ensure its fans from all parts of the countries a chance to get up close and personal with them.

For those who wanted to know more about Marianas Trench, it’s a rock band from Vancouver, British Columbia that was formed in 2001. The band consists of members Josh Ramsay, Matt Webb, Mike Ayley, and Ian Casselman. This band has been in the music industry for 15 years and counting.

Personally, I am a huge fan of Marianas Trench, they are lovable, down-to-earth real, funny, cool, hip and really have its own unique character. Most importantly, this band has never ran out of music creativity, I have seen this band evolve over the years, thinking of new images, new ideas, new music direction, giving its fans something new to discover about the band while maintaining its own roots. That’s not easy to do for many bands but Marianas Trench just gets it done. In particular, I really like the singles called “One Love” and “Fallout“. You could hear the lyrics and how passionate Josh Ramsey interpreted in these songs. This band has so much to offer and so many hit singles that their fan base just continue to grow and grow.

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Last month, I was very fortunate to be invited to cover and review the Marianas Trench “Never Say Die” Concert at the Air Canada Centre (ACC) in its Toronto stop. Another great Canadian band, Walk Off The Earth did the opening for them for the entire tour. It was a perfect choice to have them to open for the Marianas Trench. In particular, I really like one of their latest song called “Rule the World”, it’s just so powerful, strong instrumental music and just full of energy. And to be able to hear them live was a total pleasure. They had definitely hyped up the crowd that evening. I wish Walk Off The Earth best of luck and continue to pump out great music and hopefully, I will see them have their own tour in the near future.

The set list told us that the Marianas Trench concert will begin at 8:50 pm. To my surprise, the band was right on time. Wait, let me re-phrase this. The reason I was super surprised because most concerts that I been to in the past, they would never be on time, with some artists showing up 40 minutes later. Not for Marianas Trench, they didn’t want their fans to wait too long and suffer, thus, they began on time.

The background display of virtual images, lights and music were what made a live concert fun and entertaining. There is no comparison watching the concert live than by watching it on TV at home, it’s a total different experience. Josh Ramsey, as usual came out wearing flashy outfits, holding up his guitar and began jumping up and down throughout the stage. His fellow members positioned themselves at different places throughout the stage, playing their respective instruments.

The crowd at the ACC were jam packed, they were screaming, jumping up and down, moving their bodies along with the music. The vibe was awesome. You could see lots of young ladies, kids accompanied by parents were all singing along every song.

Marianas Trench released its latest album (Astoria) back in October of 2015 and they performed many of the songs from this album, including Astoria, One Love, Never Say Die and many more.

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As you know, MoVernie is ALWAYS on the MOVE, so I took some shots from my seats and I also got to experience what a concert was like standing close the stage. I got to take lots of closeup photos (check them out below), so that I can share with you guys.

There was a few highlights that stick in my mind during the Marianas Trench concert. The moment when Josh came down the stage from the centre spot, he ran along the barricades and I was able to see him up close and personal, that was a memory to remember. He basically went around the arena and high-five the fans along the way. You could see how excited the fans were. Some even cried after they shook hands with Josh. Another highlight was when Josh went to the centre floor area, go onto the platform, sat down beside the piano and began to play the song “One Love” in piano version. That was really cool! Last but not least, Josh tied himself on a zip line wire and zipped across the stage in mid-air, singing songs while doing acrobats. That’s multi-tasking folks! All those spins moves and moving upside down in mid-air? Josh made it look so easy. I would have thought that flying mid-air, spinning around will affect his breathing or singing. Nope! Not a chance, he was flawless, smooth breathing and he maintained his great vocal.

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You could tell this band appreciates their fans greatly. Throughout the concert, the band thanked the fans for their support. I recalled at one point, Josh said, “Thank you all of you for your continual support, without you guys, we won’t be able to last this long. We have our own tour across Canada and U.S.A. We have our own show at the ACC. I recalled 10 plus years ago, when we were performing at a tavern, there maybe only a handful who showed up. Thank you for your love”. I thought that was a powerful speech. I mean, think about it, imagine yourself performing on a stage at a tavern and only a handful show up and 10 plus years later, a jam-packed crowd at the ACC? That’s something to be proud of.

Also during the show, Josh thanked the parents who bought tickets and accompanied with their kids. He said, “Thanks to the parents who came here with your kids. Now, let me teach you a lesson, Pop 101”. The crowd cheered as Pop 101 is one of the band’s songs.

One of the perks of being able to stand near the stage was the opportunity for me to observe how the behind-the-scenes work crew operated throughout the concert. Staff members consistently had to move equipment along the stage, setting up visual effects and coordinating with each other to ensure safety comes first and everything was working. Special shoutout to the hardworking staff members that we often negectled but played an important role to the success of the show.

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Did you know that the band used more than one guitar for the entire show? I honestly don’t play instruments myself. It was fascinating to see an entire row of guitars being placed underneath the stage and the staff members carefully placed them in specific orders. They also hand out different guitars to the band members for certain part of the performance. That was interesting.

All-in-all, I had an amazing time at the Marianas Trench Concert. They have come a long way to establish themselves and built such a large following of fans around the world. I think it’s not easy for a Canadian band to be able to build such a successful brand in both the U.S. and Canada markets but they did it!

I will definitely go to the next Marianas Trench concert. If you haven’t watch them in person, I highly recommend you buy tickets to watch them in the near future and also buy their latest album, Astoria.

Special thanks to Live Nation and Strut Entertainment for giving me such a wonderful Exclusive VIP experience at the Marianas Trench Concert in Toronto.

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome photos and videos of my coverage at the New Balance Toronto Media Event. Stay tuned!

Also follow me on SnapChat @MoVernie or Periscope @MoVernie for more interactive live-broadcast videos.

Until next time, MoVernie is outta here!

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MoVernie NBA Playoff Predictions – 2016

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Peeps! Let’s have some fun!

Here are my NBA playoff prediction for 2016. Let me know if you agree or disagree and why.

And tell me what’s your predictions?

Eastern Conference:

  1. Raptors beat Pacers
  2. Cavaliers beat Pistons
  3. Heat beat Hornets
  4. Celtics beat Hawks

Final 2 teams:

Cavaliers vs Heat (Lebron vs Wade)

Representing the East: Cavaliers

Western Conference:

  1. Warriors beat Rockets
  2. Spurs beat Grizzlies
  3. Thunder beat Mavericks
  4. Blazers beat Clippers

Final 2 teams:

Warriors vs Spurs (Classic)

Representing West: Spurs

NBA Champions: San Antonio Spurs

Raptors vs Pacers – Playoff Prediction

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A number of peeps want to know my prediction for the Raptors vs Pacers series.

My MoVernie Prediction? Raptors in 6.

2016 is the year the Raptors will shine & get pass playoff round #1.

And this will also be the first time in franchise history that Toronto will win and take Game #1, which they have never done in the franchise history. Believe it or not, that’s freaky.

Here is the breakdown on the strengths and weaknesses for both Raptors & Pacers:

Toronto Raptors

Strengths:

  1. Solid starting 5: Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are all-star this year and both have been the backbone of this team. In fact, one of the best guard tandem in the NBA this year. Newcomer DeMarre Carroll (before getting injured) blend in well with the group, doing what he does best, guarding the opposition top dogs. Luis Scola or Patrick Patterson played well in various periods of times over the season. They may have their flaws but each of them bring something unique to the table. Last but not least, manning the centre, Jonas Valanciunas got 4th quarter minutes this year with his improved defense and more complete, all-around offensive skills down the stretch of every game.
  2. Deep Depth of Bench Players: Raptors also have deep bench. Coach Casey has a number of players who can be slotted in different slots and be able to contribute in many different ways and looks.

3) Home Court Advantage: Whether the Raptors fans are inside the ACC or outside the ACC (aka Jurassic Park), the fans are noisy, full of energy and full of passion. That is a loud place to play against, it definitely affect the oppositions.

X-Factor: Norman Powell and DeMarre Carroll. I know it’s too much to ask a rookie to play an important role in the playoffs but I truly believe in Powell, who can shoot 3’s, play defense, drive inside for a nice layup or a slam dunk. He is fearless. That’s what I like, a guy who isn’t hesitate to take the shot or afraid to step up his game, while doing it quietly.

Meanwhile, Carroll, the $15M addition over the summer, despite injury, will still be important to guard guys like Paul George or Monta Ellis

Weakness:

  1. Coach Casey: Casey often has questionable rotation and stubborn on who to put in or out, despite a bench player could be shooting the lights out. Casey also like to stick with the same starting 5, which is quite predictable. If Casey continues to be out coached or fail to make good adjustment during the game or the entire playoff series, Raptors will be kick out the 3rd time in a row.

    Raptors GM Masai Ujiri had said that whether to re-sign Casey or not does not depend whether if he can guide the team to the next round. To be honest, that was just full of bullshit. Remember, would any GM be stupid enough to say anything to affect the mental part of a team heading to the playoffs? Let’s sit down and think about this, would Masai tell the reporters that “Yes, if Casey get kick out of Round 1, he is gone?” before the eve of the playoff series? Most likely not, let’s use common sense here.

  2. Raptors have not won game #1 ever in franchise history. Will history repeats itself or become a new curse for the franchise? We will find out.

Indiana Pacers

Strength:

Coaching. What Raptors lacks in coaching is a major gain for the Pacers. Pacers major strength is strong coaching in Frank Vogel. Vogel has been a great coach guiding the Pacers year-in, year-out. Look at his roster this year, other than Paul George and Monta Ellis, there basically not much in the roster that you would call stars or core groups, but they get the job done and made the playoffs.

Think about this, their starting point guard, is George Hill, who only averages 3.4 assists per game this season. Are you kidding me? A starting point guard with only 3.4 assists is in the starting lineup and the team is making the playoffs. That’s because Vogel runs a system that guys like Ellis and Paul George can be a point man.

If Vogel wants to go small, Coach Casey better find a way to counteract Vogel’s tactics. Will Casey be out coach again? We will find out.

Weakness:

Weak bench: The roster is relatively weak compared to the deep bench players the Raptors got.

X-Factor: I really like Jordan Hill over the years and I think he will be a key contributor and expect way more playing minutes in this playoff. This guy can shoot and defend and grab key rebounds.

Anyhow, my MoVernie Prediction, Raptors in 6!

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New Balance Toronto – Grand Opening Deals (Don’t Miss Out)

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Welcome to New Balance Toronto, located inside First Canadian Place at the PATH Level

Today, April 8 marks the grand opening of the New Balance Toronto store. It is located at the PATH system inside the First Canadian Place, which is at the heart of the financial district (Bay & King).

To celebrate its grand opening day, New Balance Toronto has a special great deal for its first 300 customers. The first 300 customers who spend $160 (before tax) or more on any product will receive a free pair of 574 lifestyle sneakers with a custom Jose Bautista batflip insole.

Better yet, 10% of these proceeds will be donated to the Jose Bautista Family Education Fund. Jose Bautista loves New Balance and has been a long-time supporter for these wonderful brand.

It’s a win-win situation when you get to buy $160 worth of New Balance products of your choice, you also get a free pair of 574 kicks and a limited edition Jose Bautista insole. And better yet, parts of the proceeds goes to charity. You get to show your BIG heart for a good cause.

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New Balance 574 Lifestyle Kicks (Photo courtesy from New Balance Canada)

I wouldn’t wait too long if I were you, I highly recommend you to make a MOVE ASAP to ensure you get this special deal today at the New Balance Toronto Store.

And in case you don’t know what the iconic New Balance 574 looks like? Here are some sample pictures of them, courtesy from New Balance Canada.

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome photos and videos of my coverage at the New Balance Toronto Media Event. Stay tuned!

Also follow me on SnapChat @MoVernie or Periscope @MoVernie for more interactive live-broadcast videos.

And MoVernie is outta here!

New Balance Toronto
Exchange Tower
130 King Street West, Unit C34
Toronto, ON
M5X 1A9
416-306-9992
Website: NewBalanceToronto

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Super colourful list of New Balance items at it’s new store in Toronto

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Lots of New Balance kicks for you to choose from

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New Balance Iconic 574 (photo courtesy from New Balance Canada)

 

Jian Ghomeshi – Not Guilty

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A judge has found former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi not guilty of sex assault and choking charges.

There was a large crowd of people waiting outside the Old City Hall in Toronto right after the verdict has been announced. The crowd included the public, the media and a large group of protesters who chanted “We believe survivors!”.

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The Crown then came out and proceeded to the podium and addressed to the media about the Jian Ghomeshi case.

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And Jian Ghomeshi, along with his lawyer, came out from the back door of the Old City Hall and walked into the Lincoln Town Car without speaking to anyone.

MoVernie & his crew were there providing you with photos and videos on this Jian Ghomeshi case.

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Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more photos and videos on the reaction of the Jian Ghomeshi case outside the Old City Hall.

Also follow me on SnapChat @MoVernie or Periscope @MoVernie for more interactive live-broadcast videos.

And MoVernie is outta here!

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Samsung Galaxy S7 Product Launch – Kygo Music

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This past Thursday was the global launch of the anticipated Samsung Galaxy S7 smart phone product launch. Samsung Canada invited MoVernie and his crew to the product launch party being held at the Uniun Nightclub.

Event goers were able to talk to some staff to learn more about the new S7 smart phones. Moreover, Samsung Canada made this event into a party! They flew in the ever popular DJ Kygo to dish out some sick beats and his signature tropical music. I really enjoy his signature track “Firestone“. He made the mood very soothing . And the calm of peacefulness, I really love his comforting music!

Moreover, the ever successful VELD Music Festival (which I have been supporting and covering the events since its first year of existence) announced its first headliner for this year’s VELD 2016, which is Kygo Music. Rain or shine, this will be one of the best music festival of the summer in Toronto.

Click here if you want to learn more about the features and style of the new Samsung Galaxy S7.

If you want to subscribe for latest newsletter for the upcoming VELD 2016, click here.

Thank you Samsung Canada for reaching out and inviting our MoVernie Crew!

Kygo Music can be listened here.

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) for more awesome photos and videos at the Samsung Galaxy S7 Product Launch Event. Stay tuned!

And MoVernie is outta here!

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Global Resort Homes – My Type of Lifestyle Vacation Homes in Kissimmee, Florida

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The recent winter snow storm that just hit Toronto with a big pile of snow made me miss the warm weather and the fun activities that I did when I was in Kissimmee, Florida back in November of last year.

Moreover, as March break and the summer season is just around the corner, I am sure you are starting to plan for your next vacation for 2016. Whether you are a family planning for a trip with your children or young couples just wanted to have some lifestyle activities or outdoor adventures, I highly recommend you to consider Kissimmee, Florida as one of your destination options.

When people fly to Disney World, most of them would choose the Disney Resort as their accommodations. However, did you know that Kissimmee, Florida, which is just a 20-25 minutes drive from Disney World offers a variety of luxury, modern, chic resort homes that will fit your needs and lifestyle? Not only these resort homes are beautiful, they are also very competitive in terms of price.

Last November, I was travelling with a number of Social Media Influencers to Kissimmee, Florida and we stayed at the Global Resort Homes at Champions Gate. These are luxury resort homes that are managed by a management company. There are a large number of resort communities in Kissimmee. People actually buy and own these resort homes. However, they may stay at these homes for a few months or even just for a few weeks over the entire year.

What happens when they don’t stay around but travel elsewhere around the world? The management team will help them list out the resort homes for travelers so they can book for a week or stay for a weekend, etc.

When we arrived outside the Global Resort Home, we were informed that the homes ranged from 4,5,6,7 and 8 bedrooms. We stayed at a home that had 8 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. All of the homes at Champions Gate feature a master suite with king bed and are professionally decorated. My favourite part of the resort home? Each home comes with its own backyard with a barbecue, patio table and chairs. Most importantly, each home comes with its own swimming pool, Jacuzzi tub and the backyard comes with a private screen to prevent mosquitoes from sucking your fresh blood. Furthermore, all homes comes with a washer and dryer and FREE WIFI.

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Every home is furnished so basically we are ready to move in and chill. There are comfy sofas and chairs throughout the entire home. Peeps can cook their own food or microwave some popcorn and watch a movie. It’s a luxury lifestyle. On top of that, during your stay, you have access to the 20,000 sq. ft. Oasis clubhouse (located near you), that provides outdoor water slides, lazy river, splash park, fitness centre, tiki bar and movie theatre, plus a playground and volleyball courts. If you want to be a baller, you can even rent a luxurious cabanas that is air-conditioned and comes with furniture and television. And it even comes with its own washroom with a shower stall. How baller is that? In my next MoVernie BLOG, I will talk more about my experience at the Oasis clubhouse. For this MoVernie BLOG, let’s focus on the resort home itself.

After telling you how fancy and how big this resort home is, your must be thinking that renting this resort home daily must be expensive. You are dead wrong! I got to admit, I thought it would cost me a fortune but it turns out renting a luxurious resort home like this is very reasonably priced. Depending on how long you rent the home, which month of the season you are renting the home, you are looking at about $400-$600USD (check its website for more up-to-date info.) a night for a home that ranges from 4-8 bedrooms. To me, that’s very competitive to what you pay for a smaller size room at Disney resort.

I think resort homes are perfect for family with children, or better yet, a few families spending together for a week. Imagine your family live in Toronto. Your sibling lives in Vancouver. Your parents live in Winnipeg. Imagine you all decided to fly to Kissimmee to spend for a week. Instead of renting a number of Disney resort rooms that are relatively small and hard for the entire family to hang out, the resort homes have the large amount of space for everyone. Everyone has their own bedrooms and ample number of bathrooms. Kids can play games and walk around the entire large home. Kids swim in the pool and adults chill at the Jacuzzi tub.

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Although I don’t have a family of my own yet, but I could also see myself booking a resort home the next time I come to Kissimmee. Imagine we have a group of young couples? Instead of renting a hotel room each, we chip in to book for a large resort home. We have our own big bedroom along with our own bathroom. If we want to cook, we can cook with the kitchen appliances and dishes and cutlery are also available for us to use.

Instead of trying to find a restaurant that can accommodate the big group, I rather have dinner at the resort home, which is more comfortable and less stressful. In case you are tired after spending the entire day doing outdoor activities in Kissimmee or at the Disney theme parks and you don’t want to cook anymore. Not a problem! Global Resort Homes offer an optional home chef service where they will draft a food menu ahead of time for you to approve. When you are out having fun, the chef team can access your resort home (each resort home has its specific key code that changes after every traveller’s stay) so they can prepare the food in your kitchen. When you return home super tired, the chef begin preparing the food for you and your children. Now, that’s what you called “service”!

MoVernie Tips & Recommendations:

The following tips & recommendations will hopefully help maximize and make your experience an enjoyable one when you stay at one of the Global Resort Homes in Kissimmee, Florida:

– There are so many different types of resort homes that fits your needs. They even offer condominium, townhouse or single home styles. Make sure you check out all the different house types that fits your needs

– There are a number of resort community to choose from. The one that we stayed at is called the “Champions Gate”, which is one of the newest and nicest resort communities. Check out which resort community fits your style

– Many of these homes comes with a recreational room that includes foosball, pool table or other goodies. However, each home is different, so make sure you check out each resort home listing and see which one fits you

– During your stay, you have access to the Oasis club house, make sure you utilize the facilities and spend some time there. It’s a paradise

– Speaking of Oasis club house, we found that some resort homes are located a bit far from the club house. I would recommend that if you have family members who aren’t super mobile, you can drive your rental car to the club house as they have parking spots or simply choose a resort home that is in close proximity to the club house.

– I highly definitely recommend you to utilize the kitchen and prepare some food and enjoy the dining area

– Utilize the barbecue and the patio table

– Last but not least, make sure you dedicate a day just doing nothing and just chill all day in the swimming pool. Trust me, it was refreshing getting sunshine and swimming in cool water

Now, enough of me talking about this Global Resort Home, it’s time to check out some of the photos that I snapped during my stay at this 8-bedroom, 6-bathroom luxurious home at the Champions Gate.

Travel assistance was provided by Experience Kissimmee. As always, the opinions expressed in this post is entirely my own.

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#SupportPrincessMargaret Twitter Party/Periscope this Wednesday on February 17th (TONIGHT) from 7-8 p.m.

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Photo Credit: Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

Hello peeps,

The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (PMCF) will be hosting a Twitter Party tonight from 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.! Join this great twitter party and find out how you can help support #CancerResearch at one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world.

And MoVernie on the MOVE will be live tweeting and Periscoping during this event to interact with awesome people such as yourself. So, be sure to join this Twitter Party & join the conversation. Follow the hashtag (#SupportPrincessMargaret). See you then!

#SupportPrincessMargaret Twitter Party
Date: Wednesday February 17, 2016
Time: 7:00p.m -8:00p.m ET
Hosts: @thePMCF @PMLotto
NO RSVP
Prizing: $1,500 in VISA Gift Cards
Canada Only

Click here for more details:

Happy Chinese New Year – Year of the Monkey

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Happy Monday! Today is February 8, 2016, which is Chinese New Year! This is the year of the Monkey.

In the new year of the Monkey, MoVernie and his crew would like to wish everyone who celebrates Chinese New Year a very prosperous, healthy and joyful year ahead! Best wishes to all and hope your wishes come true!

Cheers!

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