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19+ Evening Events


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This page contains details for a 2023 event. Check back for updated information for the 2024 season!

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Thursdays to Saturdays, February 9 to March 18

5:30 to 10 p.m., last admission at 9 p.m.
Rock Garden

Experience the brilliance of Canadian white winters like never before as the Rock Garden turns into the season’s most elegant indoor and outdoor jazz lounge experience.

Adorned in glowing lights and roaring firepits the garden’s natural winterscape is the perfect setting for a night out. Embrace the snowy paths or take in the view from inside the Rock Garden Visitor Centre while you enjoy live music, classic cocktails, and a seasonal winter offering at the Rock Garden Bistro.

RBG has partnered with T.U. Jazz Fest to bring live performances from emerging musicians and award-winning artists.

This is a 19+ event. I.D. required at the door.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., last admission of the evening is 9 p.m.

Visitor Centre Indoor Lounge: Seating in the lounge area is available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Please expect to be seated with other guests. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., you may arrive at any time. Last admission for the evening is at 9 p.m.

Rock Garden Bistro: New this year, we are offering a full dinner menu in the Bistro. Reservations can be made via Open Table. Please note you will not be able to view the musicians from the Bistro.

Want to venture outdoors? Additional seating can be enjoyed fireside while listening to jazz music.

Tickets & Dinner Reservations

Event tickets are required for access to Rock Garden’s indoor and outdoor spaces, including the lounge, and the Rock Garden Bistro.

Tickets for WinterTide are available online. Please note limited tickets may be purchased at the door but is based on availability. It is highly recommended to purchase your tickets online in advance to avoid disappointment.

Admission with Dinner Reservations

$15 + HST & Service Fee

Guests wishing to make dinner reservations will do so through OpenTable, paying their $15 event cover through that service. Additional tickets are not required.

Admission Only

$15 + HST & Service Fee

Only looking for a small bite and a few drinks while enjoying the music? Purchase event admission through and enjoy the first-come, first-served lounge seating.


  • Your ticket is for this event only, and does not include general admission for the full day.
  • Tickets are non-refundable and final sale
  • General admission discounts and coupons are not applicable to this ticketed event.
  • Members do not receive a discount but have access to a presale.

Please note: RBG has implemented a NEW CRM system, putting all your transactions and registrations into one place. Creating your account is simple and should only take a few minutes.

RBG Members: How to activate your online account

Simply log in to your NEW RBG online account using the email address associated with your membership!

  1. Visit
  2. Enter your email address and “submit” (NOTE: RBG members must use the email associated with their current membership)
  3. Check your email for a link to reset your password
  4. Log in with your new credentials and check your account information.

Once your member account is set up, visit the registration page and your tickets will be available!

If you do not receive a password reset email within 10 minutes, its possible that email address is not the primary contact on your RBG Membership. Get in touch with the memberships team for more information.

Non-members: How to create your online account

If you’re an RBG Member, your account is waiting for you! Instead of creating a new account, use “forgot password” option.

  1. Visit
  2. Click ‘Register’.
  3. Input your user information, customize your email preferences
  4. Once you click ‘Create Account’ you’re all set! You will be redirected to a page where you can purchase tickets for select special events, winter exhibit, and more!
  • White string lights wrapped around a tree
  • Open lounge
  • Cello player and keyboard player performing at WinterTide
  • Person warming themselves in front of an outdoor firepit in the snowy lower bowl of the Rock Garden
  • Lounge area full of visitors watching jazz performance

Live Music

RBG has partnered with T.U. Jazz Fest to bring live performances from emerging musicians and award-winning artists.

Music begins at 6:30 p.m. with three 45-minute sets throughout the evening (6:30. 7:45, and 9 p.m.)


  • Thursday February 9: Junestone
  • Friday February 10: Sammy Jackson Quartet
  • Saturday February 11: Sammy Jackson Quartet
  • Thursday February 16: Groove Quartet
  • Friday February 17: Ryan Gazzola Band
  • Saturday February 18: John Amato Quartet
  • Thursday February 23: Sean Stanley Quartet
  • Friday February 24: Junestone
  • Saturday February 25: Groove Quartet


  • Thursday March 2: Ryan Gazzola Band
  • Friday March 3: Heather Bambrick
  • Saturday March 4: Kirk MacDonald
  • Thursday March 9: John Amato Quartet
  • Friday March 10: Sean Stanley Quartet
  • Saturday March 11: Junestone
  • Thursday March 16: Groove Quartet
  • Friday March 17: Ryan Gazzola Band
  • Saturday March 18: John Amato Quartet


February 9, 24, March 11
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4 members of the Junestone musician group standing in front of a large bush on a bright summer day, dressed casually


Named for the sixth month of the year and a semiprecious stone said to protect anyone travelling by night or by water, Junestone is the innovative and illuminating musical vision of Olivia Brown, Borys Franiczek, Ian Aisling, and Justin McHugh.

Audiences are transported through endless floors of heavenly wonder as the band’s strikingly eternal love for jazz, funk, and indie alt-rock transfigures into psychedelic songs of fun and freedom. This music is for people who just want to be themselves and for once it’s fine.

Sammy Jackson Quartet

February 10, 11
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Photo of Sammy Jackson, woman in full length, white, floral dress sits on a concrete pad, green wall in the background, in a renaissance like pose


Singer-songwriter Sammy Jackson (BMus, HBA) is quickly becoming one of Canada’s top vocalists, with a personal style that deftly blends jazz, pop, and R&B. With a resume that boasts a JUNO Award, collaborations with top artists such as Barbra Lica, Robi Botos, Rich Brown, and Larnell Lewis, and performances at some of Canada’s most prestigious venues, including the Glenn Gould Studio, Koerner Hall, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, and Westben, Jackson consistently captivates audiences with her singing, compositional accomplishments, and collaborative artistic spirit. Her latest EP – the JUNO-Award-winning “With You” – is a sophisticated, intelligent, heartfelt portrait of a musician coming into her artistic prime, and features some of the top young musicians in Canada.

Groove Quartet

February 16, 25, Mar 16
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Three men in casual black outfits crouch against a city street wall, pink 70's style text behind them states "MCBROWN" with teal "Groove Quartet" in front of them


McBrown: The Groove Quartet is a group of musicians focused on two things; having fun, and grooving hard. The band has a wide range of influence, with elements from jazz and bebop, to R&B, hiphop, funk and Afro and Latin grooves.

The band is composed of Alex Pedherny on Saxophone, Costa Chatzis on drums, Nathanael Pollard on keys, and Liam Brown on bass. After a very successful 2022, the band has refined not just their sound, but their feel – always making sure the audience enjoys danceable music while they artistically express themselves. This year, they will be sharing that concept and moto with many more audiences across southern Ontario, bringing new sounds, and fresh grooves to new people.

Ryan Gazzola Band

February 17, March 2, 17
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Side portrait of Ryan Gazzola wearing a wide brimmed hat


Ryan Gazzola‘s music combines pop songwriting with retro musicianship and musicality. Originally from Vancouver, the Toronto-based singer-songwriter is releasing a single every two to three months in 2021/22leading up to an album titled Hues of Heartbreak. “With this project, I am attempting to create a modern pop record built on the backbone of funk and soul instrumentation”, Gazzola explains, “it draws inspiration from Maroon 5, John Mayer, Daft Punk, Tom Mischand Stevie Wonder”.

John Amato Quartet

February 18, March 9, 18
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Quartet of musicians dressed in suits and semi formal attire, one holding upright bass


John Amato brings his take on classic and modern jazz standards, swinging and singing in the likes of Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme and Michael Buble.

Being raised by a jazz musician father, John was exposed to all the classics at a young age and has been singing as a jazz musician since he was 17. Now with a degree from Humber college’s vocal jazz program, he performs for audiences, arranges, teaches and runs his own bands. With a great respect for the music and its history, he sings every song with a smooth dynamic energy. He has sung at venues and concert halls across Ontario as a featuring artist and with the Toronto All-Star Big Band.

John brings with him some of Toronto’s finest up-and-coming talents; Jesse Whitely (Feb 18th) David Burlacu (Feb 18th) John Kervin (March 9th, March 18th) Aaron Blewett (March 9th, March 18th) and Matt Savard.

Sean Stanley Quartet

February 23, March 10
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sean stanley sitting and playing a grand piano


The Sean Stanley Quartet proudly plays Swing, Jazz and Blues. The music of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Erroll Garner and Ray Charles as well as Sean’s original compositions. Their music ranges from hot and fiery to smooth and sweet but is always based in Blues and improvisation.

Heather Bambrick

March 3
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Heather Bambrick posing against a dark backdrop, her temple resting against her knuckles


Heather Bambrick is a JUNO-nominated vocalist who has collaborated with Phil Nimmons, Fred Hirsch, Gene DiNovi, Guido Basso, Lea Delaria, Rob McConnell, Peter Appleyard, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, and others. Heather has released three solo recordings, including You’ll Never Know, which was nominated for Vocal Jazz Recording of the Year at the 2017 JUNO Awards and Jazz Recording of the Year at the 2018 East Coast Music Awards. Her new recording is set for release in early 2019. Heather has been a featured guest on numerous projects, and has been awarded Canada’s National Jazz Award for Vocalist of the Year.

Beyond singing, Heather is one of Canada’s top voice actors, voicing characters for commercial campaigns and several animated series including Emmy-nominated Wild Kratts, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Justin Time. She is also an award-winning broadcaster on JAZZ.FM91
(Canada’s only all-Jazz radio station), and a highly regarded adjudicator and clinician, working at schools and festivals across Canada.

Kirk MacDonald

March 4
Get Tickets

Kirk MacDonald playing saxophone in a dark, dramatically lit space, wearing a suit


A “bridge between traditional & modern saxophone playing”, the Toronto-based “giant of Canadian jazz” Kirk MacDonald has over 50 CDs as leader and sideman. The saxophonist, prolific composer and multiple Juno Award-winner and nominee MacDonald has been recognized as one of Canada’s greatest for over three decades. MacDonald has played around the world in the USA, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Most recently, his Generations Quartet was touring in India playing at the Jaipur Jazz Festival, the National Centre of Performing Arts in Mumbai and other venues in India right before the onset of COVID-19 in March of 2020.

Kirk is joined by Virginia MacDonald who, at the age of twenty-eight, has notably established herself as a respected, sought-after and world-leading clarinetist internationally. Kirk and Virginia will be joined by Toronto-based drummer Morgan Childs and bassist Mike Downes, both regular players on the international Jazz scene.

Toronto Undergraduate Jazz Festival Logo

T.U. Jazz Fest is a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization that creates developmental and performance opportunities for youth and emerging musicians in Canada. Since 2015 they have presented annually T.U. Jazz Fest and various other events to connect emerging musicians with the community and the public. With the goal of creating performance, networking, and learning opportunities for over 1,000 emerging musicians yearly, T.U. Jazz Fest is a bridge connecting emerging musicians and equity-seeking musicians with mentors and the community. 

  • Trees wrapped in white string lights along the winding snowy pathways of the lower Rock Garden
  • close up of mussels topped with microgreens
  • fish plated with broccoli and microgreens
  • three bottles of white on ice

Food & Drink

Dinner in the Bistro

Reservations made through Open Table. Last table seating is 8:30 p.m.

The Rock Garden Bistro features a French-inspired menu with a garden flair that boasts fresh, locally sourced ingredients

Please note you will not be able to view the musicians from the Bistro.  

VEG = Vegetarian | V = Vegan | GF = Gluten Free


Mussels $19
White Wine | Bechamel | Herbs de Provence | Grilled Bread

Pickerel Cake $17
Remoulade | Slaw

Bistro Pâté $18
House-made Chicken Liver Plate | Crostini | Pickled Pearl Onions | Seasonal Compote

Cheese Plate $19 (VEG)
Blue | Brie | Aged Cheddar | Crostini | Seasonal Compote | Berries


French Onion Soup $13

Chicken Waldorf $21 (GF)
Grapes | Apple | Fennel | Celery | Walnut | Frissee

Niçoise Salad $18 (VEG)
Green Bean | Olive | Fingerling Potato | Hen Egg

The Rock Salad $15 (V)(GF)
Cherry Tomato | Cucumber | Heirloom Carrot | Radish

Lighter Side

Beet Gravlax Toast $20
Cured Salmon | Whipped Ricotta | Pickled Pearl Onions | Firssee | Radish | Rock Salad

Frittata $16 (VEG)(GF)
Spinach | Red Peppers | Zucchini | Eggplant | Feta | Pesto Frissee

Croque Monsieur $22
Ham | Gruyere | Bechamel | served with Rock Salad

Grilled Cheese $16 (VEG)
House-made Focaccia | served with Rock Salad

French Beef Dip $24
Shaved Brisket | Baguette | Provolone | Sauteed Mushrooms | Jus | served with Kettle Chips


Steak Frites $33 (GF)
6oz California Cut Striploin | Frites | Sautéed Mushroom | Peppercorn Sauce

Rainbow Trout $27 (GF)
Pomme Anna | Roasted Broccolini | Caramelized Lemon Butter

Chicken Francese $28 (GF)
Lemon | Capers | Tomato | Fingerling Potatoes | Cured Egg Yolk

Provencal Pappardelle $24 (VEG)
Zuchinni | Eggplant | Peppers | Nicoise Olives | White Wine | Tomato Oil | Grana Padano

White Bean Cassoulet $21 (V)
Portobello | Heirloom Carrot | Squash | Breadcrumbs


Sticky Toffee Pudding $12 (VEG)
Dolche Del Leche

Apple Tart $12 (VEG)
Candied Pecans

Lime Strudel $12 (VEG)

Apps & Drinks in the Lounge

Rock Garden’s outdoor areas are fully licensed for alcohol consumption — low impact compostable cups will be made available for those wishing to enjoy their drinks under the stars.

Lounge Menu

Available 5:30 to 10 p.m.

A lounge menu offering wine and classic cocktails is available in the indoor lounge areas of the Visitor Centre.

VEG = Vegetarian | V = Vegan | GF = Gluten Free

Beet Tartare $16 ( Veg/GF)
Beetroot, Endive Whipped Mascarpone, Lavender Honey, Candied Walnut

Sweet Potato Flatbread $14 (V)
Grilled Sweet Potato, Pesto, Roasted Red Peppers, Balsamic Onions, Sage Gastrique

Surf & Turf Dumplings $19 (DF)
Beef And Shrimp Dumplings, Ponzu Sauce

Croustade $15 (Veg)
Mushrooms, Chevre, Balsamic Gel, Pesto Oil

Oyster Rockefeller $29
Leek Bechamel, Gruyere, Breadcrumbs

Pommes Dauphine $16 (GF)
Smoked Salmon And Cream Cheese Mousse

Rock Bistro Pâté $18 (GFO)
House-made Chicken Liver Pâté, Crostini, Pickled Pearl Onions, Seasonal Compote

Cheese Plate $19
Gorgonzola, Brie, Manchego, Crostini, Seasonal Compote, Berries (GFO)

Rocktails Menu

The WinterTide Negroni $13
Dillon’s Dry Gin / Lillet Blanc/ Sweet White Vermouth

Lilac French 75 $13
Peller XOXO Sparkling Pino Grigio/ Royal Botanical Gardens Craft Lilac Gin/ Lemon Juice

The Rock Sour $13
Gretzky Red Cask Whisky/ Lemon/ Simple Syrup/ Peller Cab Merlot Float

Espresso Martini $11
Coffee Liquer / Vodka / Espresso

Mulled Wine $11
Peller Cabernet Merlot / VSOP Brandy / Mulling Spices

The Great One $9
Gretzky Whisky Cream/ Hot Chocolate/ Whipped Cream

Fireside Cocktail $14
Gretzky Cream / Vodka / Milk / Toasted Marshmallow / Graham Cracker Rim

Paradise Paloma $14
Reposado Tequila / Grapefruit Juice / Lime / Soda Topper

An Experience to Enjoy at Home

Royal Botanical Gardens Lilac Gin (750 ml bottle) $45.99 including HST.

Mann’s Distillery x Royal Botanical Gardens collaboration

Crafted with a London Dry Gin base and fresh, hand-picked lilacs from the grounds of RBG, this gin has floral notes of lilac, lavender, and rose. Truly an exquisite combination. No artificial colours or flavours used.

Wine & Beer Menu

Wine List

White 6 oz 9 oz Btl.
Peller Family Reserve Pinot Grigio $7 $11 $32
Good Natured Crisp White $7 $11 $32
Trius Sauvignon Blanc $11 $14 $40
Wayne Gretzky Chardonnay $9 $13 $38
Thirty Bench Winemakers Riesling $58
Andrew Peller Signature Series Sauvignon Blanc $72


Rosé 6 oz 9 oz Btl.
Good Natured Rosé $8 $12 $33
Peller Estates Private Reserve Rosé $55


Red 6 oz 9 oz Btl.
Peller Family Reserve Cabernet Merlot $7 $11 $32
Good Natured Merlot Gamay $7 $11 $32
Wayne Gretzky Merlot $11 $14 $40
Trius Cabernet Sauvignon $10 $14 $40
Trius Distinction Pinot Noir $52
Wayne Gretzy Baco Noir $41
Trius Icon Red $65


GLB & RBG Collab Winter Wonders Ale $9
Local Craft Cans $9
Premium/ Import Bottles $7

Rock Garden at Royal Botanical Gardens

Find this event at this historic Rock Garden, 1185 York Boulevard, Hamilton ON.

Rejuvenated in 2016, the David Braley and Nancy Gordon Rock Garden respects our iconic treasure’s heritage, look and feel while celebrating the beginning of a new era with a beautiful, modern renovation.

Event FAQ

Have a question about WinterTide at the Rock Garden? Click the topics below for more information. If you have a question that is not answered, give us a call at 905-527-1158.


The event admission gives you access to the event and the Rock Garden, both indoor and outdoor. Tickets for WinterTide are available online. Please note limited tickets may be purchased at the door but is based on availability. It is highly recommended to purchase your tickets online to avoid disappointment.

Your tickets will be emailed to you as a pdf attachment shortly after online payment. You will be required to present these tickets upon arrival, either printed out or digitally on your personal device.

Tickets are final sale.


Seating in the lounge area of the Visitor Centre is available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Please expect to be seated with other guests.

For those looking to eat in the Bistro, reservations can be made via Open Table. Please note you will not be able to view the musicians from the Bistro. You may join the lounge after your dinner reservation.

Seating is also available within the garden and guests are encouraged to enjoy the outdoor winter experience and firepits.

What's Included?

Your ticket includes access to Rock Garden during this event. Your ticket is for this event only, and does not include general admission for the full day.

Food, and drink are available at additional costs.

Parking in the lot across the street from the garden is included.

Age & I.D.

Attendees must be 19 years of age or older to attend. Please ensure you have a government-issued ID on your person during the event; anyone who does not present a valid ID upon request will be asked to leave.

Arrival / Entry

If you have made a reservation at the Bistro, please arrive for the reservation time you selected. Please inform the hostess who will direct you to your table.

If you are planning to enjoy the lounge area, please note that you may arrive at any time. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Last admission for the evening is at 9 p.m.

If arriving later in the evening, please expect to wait for a seat or table as seating is first come, first served. If room capacity allows cruiser tables may be available to stand at. You are also welcome to grab a drink and enjoy the outdoors.

Directions and Parking

This event is held at Rock Garden, located at 1185 York Boulevard, Hamilton Ontario. Parking is included, available in the designated lot across the street.

Rock Garden is located along bus routes for Burlington Transit, with stops a short distance from the entrance. See for more details.

Food and Drink

This is a licensed event; alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. Low impact compostable cups will be made available for those wishing to enjoy their drinks under the stars.

Outside food and drink is not permitted.


The newly rejuvenated Rock Garden features some wide, lit, paved paths that descend with a slope into the lower bowl of the garden.

Accessible parking spaces are available outside Rock Garden. Visitors access the garden through the Rock Garden Visitor Centre.

If you have any further questions about accessibility at this event please contact us by phone (905-527-1158).


WinterTide is both an indoor and outdoor experience. If you wish to experience the outdoor portion (which we hope you do) please dress for the weather and wear proper footwear. There may be instances where we have to close the outdoor portion of the experience due to unsafe weather and surface conditions.

RBG reserves the right to cancel WinterTide due to inclement weather without notice.

Pets / Service Animals

With the exception of service animals, personal pets are not permitted at this event.

Terms & Conditions

Tickets purchased to WinterTide are final sale and non-refundable. Tickets for this experience can be transferred to someone else if you can no longer attend the event. Please keep your tickets and confirmation: it is proof of your purchase and allows entry into the experience.

Liability: RBG assumes no responsibility for loss or damage to property, or for personal injury or mishap; all activities are at the risk of the participant.

Filming/Photography Release: Please be advised that all photos, audio-video, and static images taken at this experience may be used for exhibit, reproduction, and/or distribution for RBG related promotional use, including all forms of print, television advertisement, social media and /or website display. In consideration of your participation as a guest or attendee of this experience, you authorize Royal Botanical Gardens, its legal representatives, suppliers, invited media and assigns unrestricted right and permission to copyright and use such photos and images under their sole discretion. Royal Botanical Gardens, its legal representatives, suppliers, invited media and assigns are released without limitation of any claims for libel or invasion of privacy.

By purchasing tickets and participating in this event on RBG properties, you are agreeing to the above release for yourself, and on behalf of your guests.