#DKShopfest Feature: Fancy That/Roundstone Owner Maria Cronk

If you’ve found yourself at the corner of Princess and King street in the past 20 years or so, you’ve likely stopped in to clothing stores Fancy That or Roundstone. These shops are a staple of Kingston’s downtown and where you’ll find great deals on June 16 as downtown Kingston celebrates DKShopfest. DKShopfest is a day dedicated to celebrating and supporting our locally owned shops while scoring great deals. I wanted to learn a little more about Fancy That owner, Maria Cronk. She was kind enough to answer a few questions via email. Read below to learn how Fancy That started and what Maria loves most about being a Kingston shop owner.

Keep up with Kingston: Please share how Fancy That started? How many years have you been open?

Maria Cronk: Fancy That Group started in 1974 by Inger Sparring (my mother) in Brockville, ON. We started as one small store in Brockville, ON and grew over the years. At one point we had nine stores across Eastern Ontario! Now, we have two stores in downtown Kingston (Fancy That & the Roundstone) and one store in Brockville (Limestone & Ivy). IN 1979, my brother, Dan, joined in the business, he runs our store in Brockville, and I joined in 1985 to run the Kingston stores.

We came to downtown Kingston in May 1985 with Fancy That. Continue reading

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Immerse Yourself in Peace and Quiet at Kingston’s West End Float Spa

Let me preface this post by sharing that I am terrible at floating in big bodies of water. I tend to tense up and don’t find it calming in the slightest. When Immerse Spa opened, the person in me who loves trying new health trends loved this concept and the other person in me who panics in deep water was not really down. I was conflicted. But the more I read about the health benefits, the more intrigued I was to give it a try.

If you haven’t heard of Immerse Spa (located on Gardiners road) yet, let me share a few details with you. First, it’s locally owned (#supportlocal), and the concept is that an hour floating in the 7 x 4 foot epsom salt bath dome will rejuvenate you to the equivalent of a 4-6 hour sleep and help melt away stress. It also helps detoxify the body, increases blood circulation and helps manage chronic pain, among other benefits. Sounds pretty good, right? I decided to take advantage of an opportunity to give it a try. Here, I share my experience with you. Continue reading

Learn from the Wilderness Pros at Maclachlan Woodworking Museum

Perhaps it’s just me, but if I were stuck in the middle of the woods with no resources, I would have a pretty rough time surviving. I am not proud of this fact! Luckily, Maclachlan Woodworking Museum is looking out for people like me as well as people with a stronger knowledge of wilderness survival that are interested in learning more. They are hosting an event called The Lumberjack, a Saturday (June 2) tailored to teaching outdoorsmen, outdoorswomen and those who want to be more familiar with the outdoors, how to hone their skills. I chatted with organizer Keely Maddock about the upcoming event. Continue reading

Q&A: Kay Kenney on Movement Market’s Juvenis Festival Show

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The Juvenis Festival has kicked off in Kingston showcasing the work of some of our city’s most talented young artists! Kay Kenney of Movement Market/SERIES took a minute to answer questions via email about her company’s participation in the festival. This Thursday until Saturday, Movement Market/SERIES will be showing in the old American Apparel storefront on Princess. Read about the new dance platform and upcoming performance in the Q&A below.
Keep up with Kingston: Tell me a little about yourself and your dance background? 
Kay Kenney: I grew up in Kingston ontario. I’ve danced since the age of 4 and studied at the Kingston School of Dance in the old tett centre building. I grew up training in the classical Cecchetti ballet method where I received up to my Intermediate certificate. Over the years I was interested in branching out and began studying all types of methods, such as; jazz, hip-hop, latin, ballroom, musical theatre & contemporary dance, to prepare me for post-secondary training.
I am a 2012 graduate from the Professional Contemporary Dance 3 year diploma Programme at The School of Dance in Ottawa. Since graduation, I have been working as a company dancer for Social Growl Dance, under Artistic Direction of Riley Sims (Toronto) & a company dancer as part of Ottawa Dance Directive, under artistic direction of Yvonne Coutts. I have trained and worked with professionals all over Ontario and Quebec and will be headed to Berlin in June to create a new work for Social Growl Dance to premier in March 2019.

Continue reading

Top Five Reasons I am Joining Kingston Sport and Social Club This Summer


If winter has taught us anything, it’s to not take the beautiful outdoors for granted (when the temperature is above zero and there isn’t a threat of slipping on ice). I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for all of the patio drinks and walks near the water minus the blistering winds and heavy winter gear! Woot!

Most recently I’ve embraced the opportunity to join a summer sport! Let me be clear that I am in no way a sporty person but I realized I don’t have to be to gather a few friends and start a beach volleyball team. I am excited to clear a weeknight from bingeing Netflix and get outside of my comfort zone a little. Read my five reasons why I can’t wait to be a part of the Kingston Sport and Social Club this summer. Continue reading

Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal is coming to The Grand!

balletsjazzdemontrealphoto5Kingston is in for a treat on April 12th! Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal will be performing at the Grand Theatre and you don’t want to miss this performance. The Grand’s Performing Arts Manager in Cultural Services Jayson Duggan shares why Kingston is so lucky to have BJM.

Can you tell me why you’re personally so excited to see their performance this year?
The  appearance of BJM on April 12th will be without a doubt a highlight of the 10th Anniversary Grand OnStage season. We have been fortunate to present many Canadian icons over the last eight months as part of our anniversary celebrations, and BJM is another outstanding example of the creative brilliance and extraordinary talent flourishing across Canada. I have had the opportunity to see this program performed by BJM and I am looking forward to the reaction and response from the Grand OnStage audience. It is definitely a show that should not to be missed! Continue reading

Queer Songbook Orchestra Stops in Kingston, Includes Local Artists

The Queer Songbook Orchestra is a special compilation of songs by Queer-identifying musicians with an ensemble arrangement. As part of the Human Rights Arts Festival in collaboration with The Skeleton Park Arts Festival, this show will be at The Isabel next Tuesday, March 20 featuring Leah Fay (July Talk) and local artists LJ Weisberg and Alyssa Cooper.

The performance will include works by Billy Strayhorn, kd Lang, Stephen Sondheim and more and will explore narratives from the performers and how the music has shaped their identities.

I had a chat with local poet Alyssa Cooper, who will be reading the narratives. See below to learn more about the show and Alyssa’s participation. Continue reading