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Hudson’s Bay to Unwrap new Christmas window Displays



Hudson’s Bay is planning to revamp its holiday windows at the Queen St. W. store, which for nearly a decade have featured five panoramas of an old-fashioned Christmas, complete with miniature carollers and a Santa’s workshop and mice asleep in matchstick beds.

“The new windows will capture the Christmas spirit,” said Denis Frenette, senior vice-president, merchandise presentation at Hudson’s Bay, who has been working on the windows with staff for nine months.

He said the windows were last changed nine years ago, and while people loved to come back year after year to see the same Santa’s workshop, it was time to try something new, especially with the opening of Saks Fifth Avenue at the location in February.

Frenette would not provide details about the windows, except to say that the holiday theme will carry across five windows, as before, and include animated figures. He wouldn’t say if those figures would include Santa Claus and traditional scenes.

But he said he’s not concerned that shoppers might be disappointed.

“We are building the windows to entertain our customers and I think that the customer will be really happy and satisfied,” he said.

The windows will be unveiled Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at a ceremony that will include fireworks and a performance by Mariah Carey, who will appear in person at the event.

Holiday retail window displays don’t just draw shoppers – they are considered a draw for tourists around the world.

The seasonal windows at Paris department stores – Printemps, Haussmann, Galeries Lafayette and Le Bon Marché – have become so elaborate and theatrical they are touted as a tourist attraction by the official website of the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Paris.

The Hudson’s Bay window is posted as an attraction on the official website of Tourism Toronto, along with William Ashley’s “Instagram worthy” tree.

“I think changing up the Bay windows after almost a decade is a smart thing to do,” said travel writer Doug O’Neill, who wrote the piece that is posted to Tourism Toronto, called 5 Top Holiday Windows in Festive Toronto.

“Tradition is good, but having something new and fresh to enjoy is always welcome. I frequently bring friends and family from out of town on a walking tour of Toronto during the holidays and I think last year we were somewhat chagrined to see the ‘same old, same old’ in the Bay windows.

“So, yes, definitely welcoming something new, festive and fresh down on at the Bay.”

Retailers and mall owners are becoming increasingly mindful of how their holiday décor shows up on social media.

“If you look at the giant iconic reindeer that are at the Toronto Eaton Centre it does make (it) a destination for the holidays,” said Craig Flannagan, vice-president consumer marketing, Cadillac Fairview.

Cadillac Fairview operates 12 of the top 25 malls in Canada, including the Eaton Centre, said Flannagan, and the company is increasingly moving towards creating memorable experiences for shoppers.

“We are absolutely seeing a shift in consumer experience – the need for experience – and CF is embracing the trend,” he said. “We are amplifying our holiday décor and experiences across the country.”

At properties in Ottawa and Laval last year, the mall operator introduced gift workshops, where customers can have gifts wrapped by a series of characters they created, in collaboration with artists and animation houses, called Tufties.

This year the workshop will be extended to five properties, including Fairview Mall and Lime Ridge Mall.

Cadillac Fairview also plans to introduce giant new décor at some properties.

“We have focused on big, iconic, interactive, shareworthy things, never-before-seen experiences that people want to visit, and tell their family and friends about,” said Flannagan.

Purchasing holiday décor for an entire mall can cost as much as $500,000 to $1 million, and because of the expense, decisions about décor are made with about a five-year timeline in mind, said Yorkdale mall spokesperson Adrienne Simic.

This year, Yorkdale will again feature a giant Swarovski crystal Christmas tree in the mall’s new south wing, near Nadège Patisserie.

The mall’s three kilometres of corridors will be decorated to create a sparkling and elegant winter wonderland feel using hanging snowflakes and crystals, said Simic.

“Yorkdale aims to present an elegant, upscale image,” said Simic.

Yorkdale has the highest sales per square foot of any mall in Canada, at $1,610 per square foot.

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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