Know

Archive for June, 2012|Monthly archive page

Book Review: Mikaya Heart’s My Sweet Wild Dance

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, travel, Writing (all kinds) on June 30, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Rachel Muenz Does a Review of Mikaya Heart\’s My Sweet Dance – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Image result for Mikaya Heart My Sweet Wild Dance

By Rachel Muenz

Mikaya Heart’s My Sweet Wild Dance is not an artistic masterpiece, nor is it meant to be. It is, however, a clear, well-written and honest coming of age story that most readers should find interesting at the very least.

Based on Heart’s own life, the book follows the main character Christine as she grows from a confused, frustrated child in Scotland, to a young angry teen and finally, to a spiritually calm middle-aged woman living in California. Through this journey, Christine overcomes gender and class stereotypes, the demands of her parents, childhood sexual abuse and her own negativity by discovering her sexual identity as a lesbian and through travel and spiritualism.

The story begins with something of a warning that though it is a “true story,” it is only Heart’s version of the truth. She says the book is not meant to have a moral but to show Christine’s path through the difficulties of life and to inspire and entertain others. Overall, My Sweet Wild Dance succeeds in that goal.

After the preface, a prologue and the first chapter introduce us to Christine as a self-confident adult before leading into a mostly chronological account of her life from about age five to her 50s. The first half of the book is set in the U.K. and the second half covers Christine’s life in the U.S.

Told in short chapters broken into smaller sections, the book is easy to get through and should appeal to those who like their reading material in small doses. However, the fragmented structure can sometimes be a bit disorienting. There are times, especially in the latter half of the book, where some sections in a chapter don’t quite relate to each other or flow as nicely as they could. The structure isn’t a disaster but some readers may find it too choppy for their liking.

Also, some scenes don’t seem necessary to advance the plot while others leave us wishing Heart had stayed with them longer and fleshed them out a bit more. A good example of one of these beautiful scenes is the stream Christine plays in as a child. Here, Christine learns “what will feel solid when [she] touch[es] it and what (such as the weeds or the illusory water itself) will disappear between [her] fingers like air.” This scene mirrors the contrast of how polite the adult world is supposed to be with how harmful it is to Christine in reality, a major theme in this part of the book.

Yet, often, we don’t get as strong a sense of the people and places in the book as we would like because these scenes begin and end suddenly. Characters and places flash into Christine’s life like sparks and disappear just as quickly. But, as the preface states, the book is about Christine working through and exploring her feelings rather than bringing settings and characters to life. It is Christine’s bravery and gutsiness in facing great difficulty that keeps us reading in spite of her flaws.

Throughout the book, Christine refuses to give in.

She battles through the effects of her father’s bullying to finally stop submitting to men and avoids conforming to her mother’s idea of an upper-class Scottish lady by becoming a hippy, political activist and, later, an agricultural mechanic and kiteboarder. Lastly, she overcomes the grief and anger of her experience with sexually abusive men through a heightened spiritual awareness and through her world travels, the beauty of nature and the love she finds with women.

Heart, like Christine, also shows courage in her use of language in the book.

For the most part, the language is plain and uncensored though it tends to be almost raving during Christine’s spiritual and sexual experiences, matching the emotional intensity of these events. Heart leaves nothing back in describing Christine’s sexual relationships and the sexual abuse she suffers as a child. As a result, the first half of the book and the flashbacks in the second are tough to get through because of the number of upsetting abuse scenes. However, the book is also filled with plenty of humour to lighten things up and Christine’s eventual triumph over this abuse makes up for the pain.

Finally, though readers may also find parts of the book repetitive – Christine’s constant cycle of falling in love with new women and then losing interest is one example – the spiritual growth and power Christine attains is just too interesting to pay much heed to the book’s few problems. As Christine says near the end of the book, “From the perspective of All-that-is, things aren’t so serious. Often they are simply experiences.” Ultimately, My Sweet Wild Dance is a record of both simple and extraordinary spiritual experiences that should leave all but the most cynical of readers uplifted.

Book Review: Dennis DesRosiers’ The Best of Observations

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on June 29, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Dennis DesRosiers is Owner of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants – Photo Courtesy of Dennis DesRosiers

Image result for Dennis DesRosiers is Owner of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants

By Rachel Muenz

Apart from working in auto parts factories for a couple of summers, I have little knowledge or interest in the Canadian automotive industry. But, I found Dennis DesRosiers’ collection of articles on this topic not only informative but also quite fascinating at times.

DesRosiers, who heads DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc., is said to be one of Canada’s most prominent automotive industry analysts. His monthly “Observations” columns have looked at trends and problems in various sectors of the auto industry for almost 20 years. The Best of Observations, as the title suggests, is a collection of the best of these columns from the early 1990s to 2009. Though clearly meant for those who work and or invest in the auto industry, The Best of Observations is also a great read for the average person.

The articles are organized into nine sections which cover each sector of the Canadian auto industry as well as market outlook, strategy and policy issues.

DesRosiers provides his thoughts on where each of these areas is going, a bit of the history involved, problems and blunders in the industry and what he believes are the best ways to fix them. He supports these points well with both hard data and some ballpark guesses. Though these facts and figures can be boring at times they’re mostly presented in a way readers can relate to. Overall, the book is not data-heavy and is an easy and engaging read.

The language is straightforward though often lively with a dash of humour as well. DesRosiers clearly loves what he does and is passionate about the auto industry and this shines through in his writing. But, the book does have a bit of industry lingo and business acronyms which sent me off on some Google searches – OEM, for example, stands for “original equipment manufacturer.”

Also, the book can sometimes be repetitive since there is some overlap between articles. For example, the fact that most vehicles lasted around 150,000 km in the 1960s and now last around 300,000 km today is mentioned often throughout the collection.

Yet, as a whole, a little repetition doesn’t take away from the important insights in this book.

In particular, I found the articles on the recent crash of the Detroit Three automakers the most enlightening. DesRosiers examines how and why the decline happened, what he thinks of how it’s being addressed, what else should be done to improve these manufacturer’s fortunes and how things are likely to play out in the industry. And, while DesRosiers is realistic he also leaves us with the feeling that all hope is not lost for the auto industry.

However, though the older articles give an idea of how past trends are affecting the present, they may not interest everyone. Also, because the articles are not always in chronological order in their respective sections, this might make it difficult for some readers to see how some of the past articles connect to the present.

That small complaint aside, DesRosiers is also not afraid to make controversial statements, resulting in some very interesting arguments.

For example, when leasing was popular for both auto dealers and consumers in the 1990s, he wrote that for most consumers it is a terrible idea. Through solid numbers and examples he shows that leasing a car, while it can be a good idea in the short-term, actually costs more in the long-term than getting a car loan. Prospective vehicle buyers should find this section very useful in figuring out when it’s a good idea to lease.

The more recent articles in the book also have some very compelling points about fuel efficiency.

DesRosiers argues that government targets for fuel efficiency are impossible for automakers to meet by the 2020 deadline. He shows that an improvement of about 10 per cent in fuel efficiency has taken 25 years to achieve in the Canadian auto industry. Therefore, making a greater improvement in 12 years is just not feasible.

His main criticism of these government environmental policies is that they target automakers when consumers are also to blame for poor fuel efficiency. DesRosiers also points out that, considering the weak economy, governments should give automakers a chance to recover before making them tackle fuel efficiency. While environmentalists might not like the suggestion of putting money before fuel efficiency, DesRosiers does have a point. You do need money to invest in clean technology, after all.

In the end, this book has a lot of valuable information about the Canadian auto industry and makes you think about the changes and policies meant to improve it. Whether you want to be a better consumer, want to know what the future holds for the auto industry or you just want something intelligent to read, you’ll likely find something to enjoy in this collection.

The Transcript to ‘Gendering the Text of the iPod’ Audio Piece

In Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Living, Media Writing, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on June 28, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Image result for Pet Shop Boys

By Brikena Ribaj

Gadgets have a way of making me happy. Switching to the iPod was the next natural step. The other gadgets were an oh-so-20th century. That little gadget. My chosen box of possibilities. The iPod. Having in mind the theoretical approach of Judith Butler on gender I have long thought about how easily the iPod lends itself to being queer. Music precedes partners, relationships, most thoughts and sensations, even good writing. To me, at least.“If music be the food of love, play on. Give me excess of it ,” says Count Orsino in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. And I concur. Entirely. One can never overdose on music, after all. I’d venture so much as to say that I’m not capable of producing good work sans music.

The fluidity of existence is rendered possible via music. Judith Butler maintains a number of identities are occupied by the same person thanks to the many different roles that the same individual can play in society. And these roles, I would add, can only be played if music were in the background. One is not just an athlete, a music lover, a mentor, a tutor, a child, a partner, a parent, and so forth. One is all of these things. And one does not just listen to Mozart, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Mina , Puccini, Wagner, The Stones and so forth but to a cornucopia of things. This need for diversity in music selections seems to match an inherent human need to diversify identity-wise.

Again, the fragment and the whole go hand in hand. One single role is as important as the sum of all the roles we play our entire lives. Mozart’s Requiem comes to me with as much exuberance as The Killers Indie Rock ‘n Roll. Even the most beautifully executed Rachmaninoff piece after being played non-stop all one‘s life can lose some of its grandeur, if not in the company of some other pieces, let’s say decadent rock and even some Schönberg and Stravinsky in the mix.
“Your music collection is just so queer.” See? It’s not the individual performers the friend was referring to. That elusive ‘queer’ did not just refer to Madonna, Muse, Mandalay, Belle & Sebastian, or The Magnetic Fields. He found the collective to be queer. So much variety in one little box! The white box oozes queerness.

In her Bodies That Matter, Judith Butler observes that crafting any positions or what she refers to as “reciting a given position in society always involves becoming haunted by what’s excluded and the more rigid the position the greater the ghost and the more threatening [it] is in some way. ” I experience such haunting by what was excluded on the 15th of June 2005. That day, my life as I knew it, changed radically.

I was riding my Honda Metro scooter listening to The Killers’ singing Indie Rock ‘n Roll and I remember noting that moment in time as a happy one. A thought I had at that point is how a little thing like a rock song could capture my attention so much that I’d be oblivious to anything else of importance.

Goethe once noted that great things should never be at the mercy of things that mattered least. In that moment, it was all about rock. Unfortunately, that moment, like so many moments in time, was painfully finite. When my iPod fell on the ground, I felt a disconnect. It was suddenly lying on the hot asphalt of 13th East in Salt Lake City. A tourist bus containing a plethora of people crushed it and my heart sank. My music was gone. It was taken from me. I felt wounded. I retrieve the iPod when it’s safe to do so and it’s defunct. No life in it. No music coming out of it. “This is just great!”

A few days go by. I get another iPod. It seems to strange to me. It’s a 60 GB! I look at it as if it were an original Monet or the wet lips of a good kisser. It’s so beautiful to me, it’s hurting my eyes. It’s so pristine, so white, so virginal. And it’s all mine. I like white things. They beg for attention, they appear so delicate, and yes, pretty. One little white thing, the all-present iPod. I have to spend more time on it. It’s like meeting someone new and sensing the pool of possibility they exude and then wondering if you’ll have enough time to get to really get to know them. I do. I take the time.

I create the iPod for me. The right partner that will accompany me daily as I go jogging, biking, hiking, shopping, flying to places, thinking. I have spent more time with the iPod than will close friends, partners, colleagues, and acquaintances. I choose five different protective skins for it.

When I’m feeling jovial, my iPod looks orange to purposefully mismatch the rest of my colorful ensemble of multicolored socks and shirts. Ah, the things one does in the name of postmodernity. The iPod adds to the queerness of the external presentation. The iPod is dressed in black when I don’t want it to clash with my more serious outfits. Then, there’s the blue cover for working out at the gym. The pink, to confuse my girlfriends, and of course, the white, my choice lack of color.

The white iPod is like a tabula rasa. It signified such a new beginning, such a sense of possibilities. I think about what it means to pull off white. That color almost compels the user to match the pristine nature of the box itself. Being known for losing things compulsively, I am amazed at the fragile behavior I espouse when I touch my white iPod. That color demands gentleness, care, love.

A number of blissful months ensue till that sinister Saturday morning. That very Saturday I could finally point to a moment in time when an abstract feeling of loss was rendered concrete. It was concretely lying on my hand. The dead, white box. “Come on, don’t be so puerile! It’s just one iPod. You’ll get another.”

What a strange way to console someone. See, to me, the iPod is anthropomorphized.

It’s the one thing I allow to accompany me everywhere. The iPod is my journal. I look at my writing and most of the time I can unequivocally remember what music I implemented. Emails to partners, mostly rock, emails to Dad, Verdi. Editing, punk, only punk. My writing process is apparently accompanied by a nod of the head that imitates the sounds of the music I’m listening to. Naturally, it must be a gene-determined mannerism. If my iPod were to be taken from me now, I would be inconsolable.

The first thing I do to cope with a crisis at hand is turn on my iPod. Then I can breathe. It feels as comforting as a smoker’s first cigarette or a starved person’s first bite of a delectable dish. The iPod caters to my very basic instincts, it feeds me. Then, there are the streets, those of London, Seattle, Portland, Detroit, and Salt Lake. They all seem to be full of white earphone carriers; a world of people who choose to focus on what is being poured into their brain by way of the iPod.

Some say we are becoming more and more marginalized and detached from the world. I would say the iPod is forcing many of us to look inside a bit more, perhaps at the risk of being hit by a bus, being distracted so much that a connection is missed at the airport in a foreign land. Be that as it may, the little box demands attention and pure love. It always delivers. At least until it’s attacked by a mean vehicle which suffocates its voice. The iPod. It represents a universe of possibilities. Where I seem to go, it goes there as well.

The absence of music is the presence of impotence. While a popular literary concept would stipulate that absence is as important as the presence of a subject, I would say that the absence of music would equal the absence of the written work. As some readers of Nietzsche would concur, music is the ultimate form of expression, hence it precedes all. But back to the iPod.

My whole music library in one little gadget. I remember thinking of the cumbersome nature of the red CD player. The little CD player only played a CD at a time. Making the transition to the iPod came as naturally to me as most of Europe switching from feudalism to capitalism. Perhaps comparing my switch from a CD player to the iPod to a major shift in the political and economic system is too much of a stretch but I do so on purpose.

Having a gadget like the iPod is a necessity in this time frame. Few other things manage to therapize me as effectively and very few things manage to keep my attention longer than a few hours.

So much information coming out of that white, pristine box. The consciousness of this twenty-first-century being is fed by the best-designed box of them all, the iPod. The fluid iPod can be a number of colors, it can shift identities as readily as a twenty-first-century punk rock-loving, serious-looking, farming-interested academic. It is here and it is queer.
And after many deliberations with many a person, the best I can do to explain the term ‘queer’ is that it is ubiquitous. Yes, everywhere. It cannot help but be everywhere. It graces the streets of Salt Lake, Chicago, Rome, London, Toronto, the world.

There where we are, there it is also.

Restaurant makeover (originally published for Pride Newsmagazine)

In Entertainment, Health, Restaurant Reviews, Writing (all kinds) on June 27, 2012 at 3:00 AM
Before "Restaurant Makeover"

Before

After "Restaurant Makeover"

After


Related image

The show “Restaurant Makeover” helps restaurant owners to makeover their businesses. All you need to do is to send in a letter or a call and they decide whether they’re going to take the project on. The show, which airs on the Food Network Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, matches the money that owners put into the renovations dollar-for-dollar.

Alison Ruthland is the owner of First Class Delites at 1156 Weston Rd. She wrote a letter to “Restaurant Makeover” highlighting her situation.

“We were away from the business for a little while because I had twins in November,” Ruthland says. “One of the twins was born and she immediately went into heart failure. We spent a few months at Sick Kids and my husband was back and forth. So that took up a lot of our time. She was our priority at that moment.”

Ruthland says that because the business got neglected, she took a look at “Restaurant Makeover” and found that it was a great show to fulfill her needs.

“I figured why don’t I give them a call and see what they can do. We wrote in and they responded right away. It’s been a very fast process.”

The show that “Restaurant Makeover” is featuring First Class Delites heavily focuses on Ruthland’s daughter. The Ruthlands have decided to open up another restaurant in name of their daughter called Sydney’s Island Restaurant.

Shaam Makan is the producer of Tricon Films who does “Restaurant Makeover” for the Food Network.

“She [Ruthland] emailed me the story. I went down to visit and as soon as I met the family I knew this is a story I’m going to do,” Makan said.

Ruthland worked with the designer, saying that they wanted a “totally fresh, new look.”

“Apparently, one of the top designers in the city worked on the restaurant,” Ruthland says. “I’m not sure what she’s going to do. Apparently, it’s tables, chairs, ceilings, floors; it’s going to be the whole place. Because when we came to the whole place was demolished. The ceiling was going, the floor was ripped up, the counter, everything. It was a bit of a shock to see the place look like that, but we’re really excited because we know the place is going to look completely different.”

They’re shooting right now for season two and First Class Delites will be featured in November. Makan advises you check out “Restaurant Makeover” at www.foodtv.ca to find out when First Class Delites will be on. The show has had one season.

You’ll have to go down to First Class Delites to see the new and improved restaurant. Also, check out Sydney’s Island Restaurant at 5120 Dixie Rd. in Mississauga that opened recently.

In terms of the recent response to the renovations made at First Class Delites:

“So far we’re getting a great response,” Ruthland says. “We’re getting a lot of new faces. We haven’t changed the menu, but we’ve added some new things on the busier days. Our fish cakes are popular every day.”

The Ruthlands have four children, the twins are seven months old and Sydney is doing much better when doctors had thought she wouldn’t make it home.

The Master Weaver (originally published with Pride Newsmagazine)

In Beauty, Business, Writing (all kinds) on June 26, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Rose Hibbert and Christos Cox creates magic with Donna Kakonge’s hair

The Master Weaver

Donna Kay’s weave

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

With her 1992 red and black Volkswagen Jetta, Hibbert drove me up to Hair & Wigs on the Danforth in Toronto to get the 150 percent real human cuticle hair for the makeover. Her sister Ingrid Hart, who is an actor and had a long-running role on “Train 48,” was seated in the back.

Once we got back to Urban Textures Salon, one of their locations in downtown Toronto,

I asked Hibbert why it’s important for people to change their hair sometimes for those people who have always been wearing the natural look like I have for 13 years.

“I always say, there’s nothing wrong with conforming if it benefits you,” she says. “When people think carefully about that, use kids as an example. Kids will always be defiant. When you ask them to do the right thing and do this and do that, you’re asking them to conform to something positive or into something that can help them in the long run. Same thing with hair – there’s nothing wrong with getting extensions, especially if you know it’s going to benefit you – whether or not it’s short or long. It’s going to emphasize your beauty, or exaggerate your beauty.”

She tells a story about another sister of hers who started off working in the corporate company she presently works in with straightened hair. Now she wears locks and she’s a supervisor.

“She’s earned those locks,” says Hibbert.

I came on a day to get my hair done where I had few other plans. Hibbert advises this because sometimes it can take time. The actually weaving of my hair only took her an hour and a half, but in the traveling time to get the extensions and do the moisturizing treatment I did before the process, this took up a number of hours.

“Look at this,” said Hibbert pointing to my hair. “You feel the softness in your hair and how strong it looks already. Continue your treatments and you’ll be set.”

Hibbert can do all kinds of hair but prefers doing the weave. She works freelance and has more challenges than just dealing with an invisible part to overcome.

Hibbert has a kidney problem in which she is currently undergoing dialysis. You’d never know it from her quick smile and easy laugh.

She has a cat and started weaving in her early years. Her entire family became her hair models to test out her skills. She’s a specialist because she spends her spare time weaving. Although she does extensions, she also believes the importance of cutting hair.

“You have a houseplant that’s growing, and you have about five dead leaves on it – you’re not just going to cut off half the leaves, half of each dead leaf,” she says. “You have to cut off all the leaves, cut it all off – it doesn’t matter if you have a little bit left. All you’re doing is giving it more room to grow. Ever hear the saying one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. It’s the same thing with your hair. No matter how you try to hold onto it, it’s going to continue breaking and it’s not going to grow. Cut it all off and you’re going to notice how healthy your hair is.”

My hair is doing great and now I have an easy to maintain a look that makes me feel different in a good way. I have so many people telling me how natural my weave looks, and it’s thanks to Hibbert. She is a master weaver.

Sometimes I miss the exposure of my natural hair, but I know it’s underneath, growing – which is what I want it to do.

I can keep the cuticle hair for six to seven years and that will give a lot of time for my hair to grow. The style will last for three months because Hibbert is a “perfectionist.”

If you’re interested in Rose Hibbert doing your hair, contact her at Urban Textures Salon: 416-977-HAIR.

Kay McConney (originally published for Pride Newsmagazine)

In Business, Culture, Education, Events, Living, Writing (all kinds) on June 25, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Kay McConneyKay McConney

Image result for Kay McConney - Barbados Consulate

Kay McConney: leaving for other opportunities

Published in Pride Newsmagazine – June 29, 2005

By Donna Kay Kakonge

Kay McConney, the Consul General of Barbados, is leaving her post for other opportunities at the end of July. She has been the longest-running Consul General the consulate has ever had, beginning her diplomatic assignment on May 3rd, 1998.

“I think for me when I came to this job, even though I had not been in the diplomatic core before and was posted to Toronto, it felt natural for me,” McConney says. “I went into a place where in terms of managing relationships which is a huge part of what I do – but, it’s relationships with the private sector, relationships with institutions and partners, relationships with the government agency, relationships with the community people. It was all a business relationship management – and for all of my life I’ve been in one way or another involved in that. So it was very easy for me to make a transition into that.”

McConney started out her career by earning a track-and-field scholarship to the States and studied international relations. She then went on to do her MBA in Belgium in international business.

“I think also the area of international business relations did something that made me very much able to deal with the business community,” McConney said. “When I was in Barbados prior to here, I was involved with private, public sector partnerships. Working with those sectors was something that I was once again very much at home with and I was in collaboration with others.”

McConney says in terms of the challenges of Canada, it was a new environment when she first came, but she saw that if you have the skills, as long as you’re adaptable, you can transfer that in any different situation. “It was a natural fit for me in terms of the experiences I’ve had. It was just another place in time.”

She says there are stories from all different sides to share her experiences as Consul General. There are stories in terms of the coordination of the office. And then there are stories about the external relationships they have with their various publics.

“I would say one external situation that we’ve had to deal with was when Barbados felt we were being challenged by the OECD, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development – we were able to be demonstrated that people did not need to be concerned about taxation in Barbados. This concerned the international community, as well as Canadian investors. And that was a very exciting time in terms of continuing the kinds of examples of the challenges we have faced.”

McConney also notes the challenges on the internal side of the consulate. “We have got one of the four different departments integrated into one which we called the Barbados Country Team. And those departments are responsible for labour, investment and trade, tourism and foreign affairs – it’s important to integrate all of those.”

She takes special note of the fact achievements she has had as a Consul General were not made alone, but with a team effort.

“We have had some tremendous victories in that regard – not because of me – but because of the team. The truth is that solution has always been working with the team. I have been so privileged to have the kind of team that I’ve had.”

As part of the consulate team, Cheryl Carter is head of the tourism team, Kenneth Campbell is head of our investment team, and Marva Scott is retired from foreign affairs, but worked with McConney for years.

McConney’s last day of her term as Consul General will be on July 31st, 2005.

“I will be going to take a little bit of time off from the diplomatic service before going into other opportunities. Temporarily, I will relinquish the diplomatic service. People will continue to see my passion for Barbados and the Caribbean for whatever I go on to do right now and that’s whether it’s in Canada, or further afield.”

McConney notes she really and truly sees the world as her oyster. “I’m really an international citizen, very proud to be a daughter of Barbados, but a woman of the Caribbean and a citizen of the world. I have lived in the U.S. before, I have lived in Belgium before, I have lived in the Caribbean before, and I have lived in Canada before. In fact, for the last 15 years I have been in this country. So to say that the world is my oyster, I truly believe in that. I am certainly going to follow opportunity wherever that takes me.”

She made her announcement of her departure from the diplomatic core at the 2nd annual Barbados Charity Ball on June 25th, 2005.The theme of the Charity Ball was “Safeguarding the Future.” The money raised went towards youth education and HIV/AIDS. McConney notes the ball was taking care of “body and mind.”

“One of the key things [about the ball] is that we had 15 organizations working together like a united front. And we had a coalition working together like they have never united to work together before. It’s a meeting place for bringing together people. A meeting place for our investors, suppliers, and partners, our consular relations, our community, our government friends from Canada, as well as the Barbados government. It is a meeting place for all those who have interest in Barbados and Canada, and what we can do then is galvanize financial support.”

“I think one of the other things that we are happy about the ball, is that we’re on the path to putting the infrastructure in place for the community to move forward,” says McConney.

Without McConney’s involvement, she says: “I really trust my community to be able to take it forward.”

“We have increased corporate support by 400 percent – that is a phenomenal achievement and it is something that we are here to celebrate tonight… The RBC [Royal Bank of Canada] financial group was critical in our financial support… A special thank you to Canadian business,” Kay McConney said, at the ball. She is hoping that the corporate support increases for the future.

McConney notes the things she is proud of during her time as Consul General.

“We are expanding in the hospitality sector, new opportunities in our labour section, and our relationship with our community is something I feel proud about,” she says. “We launched the first Caribbean Canadian Literary Expo that was in 2003. That is something that I feel especially proud about. Roger McTair was one of the key consultants. It was a fabulous event and hopefully, that is something that will find new life. What it did is to raise the profile of the Caribbean literary artists in Canada. When you can get the Dutch, French, English and Spanish-speaking Caribbean literary artists together – that is bringing together a family of literary people that have a certain feeling.

“When I look back now on my years of Consul General I hope I was the kind that brought people together.”

Hushing People to Try on Clothes (originally published in Pride Newsmagazine)

In Beauty, Business, Writing (all kinds) on June 24, 2012 at 3:00 AM
Owner of Hush Boutique, Stephen Phillips stands by his creations

Owner of Hush Boutique, Stephen Phillips stands by his creations

Image result for Hush Boutique on Queen Street in Toronto

He was one of those people who answer his phone, but you get put on hold a lot because he has so many calls coming in. After three tries, I was finally able to set-up an interview with African-Canadian Stephen Phillips.

Who’s he? You may ask that now, but just watch this young man and you may not be asking that much longer.

He’s the owner of Hush Boutique & Yoga on 785 Queen St. W. near Bathurst St. and while I was waiting for him to do the interview, I saw a black cat on a hot tin roof.

That’s how Phillips has been feeling these days, like a cat on a hot tin roof. His phone rings constantly as he plans a shopping trip to Hong Kong. He recently came back from Montreal where he is looking at property for his boutique. He’s also looking to relocate to a different spot on Queen Street because the rent he’s paying is too high.

It’s not easy designing your own clothes and owning your own boutique. But, Phillips is doing it and looking to expand.

He started working in fashion with Giorgio Armani. When he left to own his own boutique, he knew there was only one place in Toronto where he could set up shop.

“I wanted to have my store on Queen Street because this is the place for fashion. All the great stores are here,” says Phillips.

Hush Boutique & Yoga opened in 2003. His store is a unique blend of fitted streetwear and yoga wear. One of the pieces he has hanging in the window is a shirt that says “pending” with the bottoms saying “approval.” It’s fun tongue-in-cheek fashion like this that captures the essence of Phillips’ line.

He calls the store “Hush” because he wants to encourage the kind of atmosphere that when people come in, he quiets their questions about the clothes and just encourages them to try something on. He knows that when they do – they will find an outfit they like.

He has clothes for men and women. All of it is the kind of fashion that has a distinct look that goes beyond the clothes you would find in a mall. This is the type of clothing for making a statement. Along with clothes, he also sells accessories like bags, jewelry, and belts.

Right now, he mainly has petite sizes, but for the fall collection and onwards he’s going to start catering to guys who are 6 feet 6 inches and women with voluptuous figures.

“They’ll be something for everyone,” says Phillips.

He went to school at George Brown and Ryerson Colleges before he worked with Giorgio Armani. He also studied in Germany but is originally from Ghana. He’s spent most of his time in Canada.

“Most of my education came from working at Giorgio – doing fashion shows.”

You can definitely see the influences of Giorgio Armani in the colours he uses. Browns, army greens, white, black and more traditional fashion colours accent his streetwear. The yoga wear is a bit different with splurges on colour like intense pinks and blues.

His store has everything from jackets to tops to pants to handbags to jewelry and Phillips love all of it. His passion for fashion came at a young age.

“Why I love fashion is that I love clothes. When I was young and all the boys [his siblings] would get the same jacket and pants to wear – I would put different buttons on and do things to make mine unique.”

He also mentions that because he exercises a lot the idea of combining street fashion with yoga wear came from one of his mentors he worked with at Giorgio. Phillips learned a lot about making clothes distinctive.

He uses a fabric called modal and is experimenting with bamboo fabric for his clothes. He uses nylon, tactile and spandex on the yoga wear pants because it makes them more comfortable. But, Phillips has more than just making clothes in his future plans. He wants to give something back to others.

For his future plans, his planning to work on something where a portion of the sales of his clothing will go towards HIV/AIDS, breast cancer or feeding the hungry in Africa. Although he is an African-Canadian, Phillips wants his clothing to appeal to everyone.

“I’m trying to cater to all the masses,” says Phillips. “My fall line will include short men to tall men. It will include voluptuous women to skinny women. I want them all to wear Hush clothes.”

To make sure you can visit Hush Boutique and find the exact location, please feel free to give Stephen Phillips the owner a call at (416) 361-3361.

Urban Women at Toronto Street Festival Review (Originally Published in Pride Newsmagazine)

In Culture, Events, Music, Writing (all kinds) on June 23, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Image result for Sonia Collymore - Canadian Singer

Juno-nominated Jully Black kicked off the presence of the African-Canadian women performing at the Toronto Street Festival on July 8th to 10th. Black rocked the big crowd at Yonge & Dundas with jazzy R&B sounds.

To add that club feel, Black even had her own DJ who is featured on City-TV’s “Ed the Sock.” But, it was Black’s voice, singing live, not like Ashley Simpson, which kept it real.

Her second live song from her new album, “This is me now” merged a twang of reggae with DJ scratching. She segued right into a slower beat that was more like grooving music, singing “To hell with you.” Her fourth song was for her mother.

The song is called “I traveled” and it was a ballad that got the audience snapping. She also got the audience screaming out “love” after she said “peace.” The crowd seemed happy, and on Saturday the 9th a diverse group of Torontonians came out to see Juno Award winner Sonia Collymore at Yonge & Dundas.

Collymore did a fantastic job – putting on a show that I’m sure most people would have paid for. It’s amazing it was free. At one point, she pulled a young man out of the audience on stage with her. Her song “No cash flow” got everyone dancing, including her four Baby Boy dancers. The dancers showed the audience some dancehall moves – getting everyone ready for their afterparty. This song and more is on her new album “WYSIWYG” which means “what you see is what you get.”

Collymore put on a great performance, dressed in a gold bustier with a jean skirt with fringe. The unexpected surprise to her stylish on-stage presence was her comfortable white tennis shoes.

One would need comfortable shoes to catch all the action at the Toronto Street Festival. The venues were being held at sites from Yonge & Dundas to Yonge & Lawrence from the mid-town areas of Yonge & St. Clair and Yonge & Eglinton. The Yonge & Eglinton spot is where Andreena Mill and the Honey Jam Alumni performed on the 10th.

Mill, who was on first and has been compared to Alicia Keys. She is a classically trained pianist. Her sound had a definite funky vibe which was also expressed in the bright yellow jacket and knee socks with stripes she had on.

It was a hot day on Sunday and Mill did a jamming tune to heat up the crowd even more. Mill did a ballad she wrote after a bad relationship. One of the highlights was a song called “Rewind” where she also showed her vocal talent by singing without the band from the beginning. Her debut album will be out in 2006.

After Mill was the Honey Jam Alumni. This was a rare performance of all-female African-Canadian talent. The alumni included Kelly Lee Evans, Jocelyn Mercer, Andrea Lewis, Joy Lapps, Queen Cee, Lori Nuic, Black Pearl, and Motion.

Jully Black

In Beauty, Entertainment, Music, Writing (all kinds) on June 22, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Jully BlackJully Black

Image result for Jully Black - Canadian Singer

Jully Black – Home-grown Talent

The first time I met Jully Black was while she was working with the Princess of Wales show “Da Kink in my Hair.” I was walking out of a swanky store in the Eaton Centre of Toronto and she was walking in. With a huge smile on her face, she greeted me and said “hello.”

“Why not say hi. You cut us all, we bleed red. Why are we surprised? It’s great that we connected on a human level.”

It’s this type of down-to-earth nature that Black has. I interviewed her the day after she performed live at the Toronto Street Festival and rocked the crowd. The first thing I asked her was about her segments on CTV’s “Etalk Daily.”

“I love doing those segments for “Etalk Daily.” They let me be me and I love them. It’s fun”

She was at the Juno Awards and her feet were hurting her, her heels were burning her and they had a room called the Pantene Room that she was sitting in and she wasn’t supposed to be there – but she was resting. Someone from “Etalk Daily” came over to her and said “Aren’t you Jully Black? What are you doing sitting by yourself? Why don’t you come over and join us?”

She went into the room where the “Etalk” crew was and she was causing trouble, bothering Ben Mulroney and Tanya Kim.

“I was telling Tanya that my dress is better than her dress. Meanwhile, her dress is 20 grand and my dress is like 500 bucks.”

It was just a whole bunch of fun, Black said. “Etalk Daily” ended up running Black’s footage more than anyone else who had won. Then, they invited her to do weekly diaries for the entertainment show where nothing was scripted.

She was able to bring her Mom on the show, too.

“My Mom is the love of my life,” Jully says. “She raised all 9 of all us all by herself. She migrated from Jamaica in 1972. She had me in Jamaica and I was a twin. I had a brother, but he didn’t live. She didn’t even know that she was having twins until she delivered us. She’s just been my pillar of strength, my inspiration. As much as I can I bring her out. She’s older, she’s 69, and she had me in her 40s.”

Black also notes that the fact that her mother is alive and well to see her live out her dream is worth more than a platinum album to her.

“My career is still in its infancy. I’m so proud of the accomplishments. I was signed to a label in America that folded and Universal Music Canada still kept me and that’s practically unheard of because usually when the Americans go away, so does everyone else.”

Black lost her sister in 1990 and left children behind.

“I’ve definitely been through a lot in my young years – I’m only in my 20’s. But, that’s definitely helped me become the woman I am – just not taking anything for granted.”

Black talks about how a lot of the art magazines have helped her rise to success like NOW, Eye and community magazines like Pride.

For the future, Black has “television, television and television” on her agenda.

“I definitely want to record many, many albums. I’d definitely like to have my own company and sign many artists. But, I’d ultimately love to have a television show that caters to all walks of life that is definitely a music show. It would kind of be like Oprah meets Ellen and bridge the gap. Where the youth can come home from school and watch the show with their parents and it’s still cool.”

Black says she just wants to follow her spirit. “I’m everybody. This album is entitled ‘This is me.’ I’d like everybody to give it a chance and see this album like another Olympic Gold medal. I use this analogy because it unifies us. I’d love to be added to the bunch of Canadian icons that are recognized for their talent and still not compromise.”

CRTC approves Rogers Broadcasting’s purchase of the Saskatchewan Communications Network

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on June 22, 2012 at 3:00 AM
Image result for CRTC
OTTAWA-GATINEAU, June 21, 2012 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved Rogers Broadcasting
Limited’s purchase of the Saskatchewan Communications Network (SCN), an
educational television service, from Bluepoint Investment Inc.
“The Saskatchewan Communications Network’s educational, cultural and
public information programs are an important facet of the province’s
broadcasting landscape,” said Leonard Katz, the CRTC’s Vice-Chairman of
Telecommunications and Chair of the hearing panel. “This transaction will
enable SCN to continue to support the local independent production
community for years to come.”

The CRTC’s policy for ownership transactions requires the buyer to fund
initiatives that will benefit the broadcasting system. In this case,
Rogers will have to spend 23 per cent of its gross annual revenues to
acquire Canadian programming, including educational programming, from
independent producers in Saskatchewan. Rogers will also support the
creation of digital media by directing $300,000 to the Rogers Digital
Development Fund.

Bluepoint acquired SCN from the Government of Saskatchewan less than two
years ago. When it approved this transaction, the CRTC allowed Bluepoint
to broadcast commercial programming and advertising. Rogers will continue
to benefit from this flexibility. However, to maintain the integrity of
its licensing process and properly reflect SCN’s value, the CRTC expects
Rogers to invest an additional $1 million on independent production in
Saskatchewan over the course of the licence term.

The CRTC has renewed the SCN’s licence until August 31, 2018. This will
ensure that the spending commitments made by Rogers benefit the people of
Saskatchewan and provide stable funding to the province’s production
community.

Today’s decision follows a proceeding that included a public hearing held
from May 7 to May 16, 2012.

Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-339 http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2012/2012-339.htm

Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-126 http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2012/2012-126.htm

The CRTC

The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises
broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

Penne Rigate Bruschetta Pasta

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on June 21, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Penne Rigate Bruschetta Pasta

With a sauce that doesn’t require cooking, this meal is fast, easy and a perfect pre-exercise dish.

 Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4 

Ingredients:

 1 pkg ( 375 g )            whole wheat penne rigate, such as Catelli® Healthy Harvest® brand

1/2 cup ( 125 ml )        chopped sweet or white onion

1 cup ( 250 ml )           loosely packed, chopped fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup ( 125 ml )        loosely packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 tbsp ( 15 ml )            sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp ( 2 ml )             each salt and pepper

4                                  cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 1/2 cups ( 625 ml ) chopped, ripe, on-the-vine tomatoes

1 tbsp ( 15 ml )            extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

Toss the tomatoes with the onion, basil, parsley, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. Let stand for at least 10 minutes.

Cook the penne according to package directions. Drain well and toss with the reserved bruschetta mixture.

Toss mixture with olive oil and adjust seasonings before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional information:

Per serving (about 2 cups/500 ml):
408 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 304 mg sodium, 76 g carbohydrates, 11 g fibre, 15 g protein. Excellent source of folate, niacin, thiamin, and iron. Good source of vitamin C.

For more energy-boosting meal and snack ideas, visit www.wholegrainpasta.ca or www.lizpearson.com.

Carbs are Gold When it Comes to Boosting Energy

In Beauty, book reviews, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Restaurant Reviews, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on June 20, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Penne Rigate Bruschetta Pasta

Summer Olympics perfect time for Canadians to adopt good eating habits of athletes 

June 18, 2012 – With the Summer Olympics set to take place in London next month, many of us are inspired to get into shape. Keep in mind, though, that the most successful exercise regimes start with what you eat, emphasizes leading Canadian dietitian and best-selling author Liz Pearson.

 “Carbohydrates are the primary and most important source of energy for the body,” says Pearson, co-author of Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health and author of Broccoli, Love and Dark Chocolate, to be released in Spring 2013. “Many people today have developed a phobia of carbs, but the truth is that carbs are actually good for us and we need to consume them every day, particularly when we’re active.”

 In fact, the U.S. Institute of Medicine recommends that most of our daily calories – 45 to 65 percent – come from carbohydrates, with 20 to 35 percent coming from fat and 10 to 35 percent from protein. Pearson explains that our bodies break down carbs into sugar (glucose), which provides energy for our cells, tissues, and organs, and gets stored in our muscles for when it’s needed. Once storage is depleted, however, muscles quickly fatigue.

 “anytime we exercise, we should adopt the mindset of an athlete and think of carbs as fuel for our muscles, but it’s critical to be aware that not all carbs are created equal,” Pearson says, explaining that 100 percent whole grain bread and pasta – such as Catelli® Healthy Harvest® pasta – fruits, vegetables, and beans are the best fuel for our bodies. Most of the carbohydrates we eat on a daily basis should be these ‘good carbs,’ she says. “Because they’re slowly digested, they provide a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream, and contain valuable nutrients and plant compounds that protect health, guard against diseases and can save lives.”

 On the other hand, “getting carbs from refined grains such as white breads and pasta, or cereals, cakes and cookies made with white flour, as well as highly-processed sugary drinks, candy and desserts, can increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, macular degeneration and some cancers,” Pearson cautions.

Given that the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week – with children and youth requiring 60 minutes per day – how can one best incorporate carbs into a diet to get a workout of Olympic proportions?

Citing research by the International Society of Sports Nutrition, Pearson suggests eating a meal consisting of good carbs three to four hours before exercising, followed by a carb-mixed-with-protein snack 30 to 60 minutes before getting started to optimize performance. Consuming another carb-and-protein snack immediately following exercise is ideal to enhance carbohydrate storage.

According to Pearson, examples of good carb options that help fuel muscles and provide energy are:

Three to four hours before exercise:

  • 100 percent whole grain spaghetti or pasta salad (see recipe below).
  • Stir fry on a bed of brown rice.
  •  Whole grain pancakes.

30 to 60 minutes before exercise:

  • A small bowl of whole grain cereal.
  • Whole grain crackers with bean dip.
  • Half a sandwich with lean protein on whole grain bread.
  • Fruit smoothie made with milk or yogurt.

Post-workout:

  • Chocolate milk.
  • Yogurt.
  • Whole grain energy bar.

 If increasing energy levels isn’t incentive enough, Pearson emphasizes that good carbs are also excellent for brain health – including memory building, learning, and thinking – and may even promote weight-loss because of their ability to satisfy hunger. A recent Canadian Community Health Survey, for example, showed that of the almost 4,500 people studied, those who were at the lowest risk of being overweight got 47 to 64 percent of their calories from eating carbohydrates.

 “Numerous studies reinforce the benefits of eating carbohydrates, including research that shows athletes who don’t consume a daily diet high in carbs experience fatigue and poor performance,” Pearson says. “So go for the gold standard in health and make sure you get enough carbs each day – your body will thank you for performing better.”

 For more energy-boosting meal and snack ideas, visit www.wholegrainpasta.ca or www.lizpearson.com.

 

AFCY Celebrates National Aboriginal Day and the Summer Solstice With Shannon Thunderbird at Bala Avenue Community School

In Beauty, book reviews, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on June 19, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Image result for Vibe Arts for Children and Youth

Toronto, ON. (June 18, 2012): On Thursday, June 21, Arts for Children and Youth (AFCY) will celebrate National Aboriginal Arts Day and the Summer Solstice in collaboration with Bala Avenue Community School and Shannon Thunderbird.

Led by Shannon Thunderbird, a professional musician and Aboriginal arts educator, a total of 252 students from kindergarten, as well as grades 3, 4 and 5 from Bala Avenue Community School have been participating in this AFCY program. The program began on June 7th and will culminate in a Powwow: a Canadian Aboriginal festival, to which the whole school and guests are invited and are welcome to participate.
The ceremony begins at 10.00 a.m. and the Grand Entry is scheduled for 10.30 a.m. at the school located at 6 Bala Avenue. The Grand Entry is scheduled, to begin with, police horse Tecumseh and the Toronto Mounted Police Unit along with Constable Kim Turner from the Divisional Support/Aboriginal Peacekeeping Unit, Staff Sergeant Rick Armstrong, and PC’s Bottineau & Leclerc. Veterans, Elders & Dancers, dressed in traditional regalia will also lead in the procession. Shannon Thunderbird will join the Grand Entry, holding the Eagle Staff. Children will have a chance to interact with both horse and rider.

AFCY has a long history of Bala Avenue Community School. “We have led several programs therein native-themed drumming and murals,” says Julie Frost, AFCY’s artistic and executive director. “We had such a success last year when we worked with Shannon Thunderbird for the first time and we were blown away with all she had to share,” says Frost.

The school has a large First Nations population. Having the Aboriginal Arts programs in that venue has allowed the young people to forge new friendships and to make new cultural connections.

Cathy Clark, AFCY’s school program coordinator says: “Shannon believes in closing the gap between generations. That is something that every culture can relate to. She provides leadership at the workshops and encourages the participants. Students wrote the lyrics and she composed the music that goes with it.”

Clark was at the school this week and saw the kids rehearsing in the gymnasium. “The kids were so engaged, and they had such big smiles and such enthusiasm, in spite of the heat!”

It is such collaborations that are the driving force behind AFCY. The aim is to highlight the intersections between art and culture, where children and youth can express themselves and learn about other cultures. “All of AFCY programs offer young people a platform and a safe collaborative environment where they can explore, make inquiries and have their say”, explains Frost.

The Powwow also features drumming, song, non-competitive dance, and storytelling. The celebration will continue with a feast, music, dance; guests from the community have been invited to contribute to the communal feast.

A powwow featuring horses, veterans, elders, flags, song, non-competitive traditional dancers, drumming, and story-telling: Does that not sound like a colorful celebration of culture and art?

This Aboriginal Arts program was made possible with generous funding from the RBC Foundation and a creative collaboration with Shannon Thunderbird and Bala Avenue Community School.

About AFCY:
AFCY is a registered charitable organization. We ally with high priority communities and empower marginalized children and youth by engaging them in hands-on, community and school-based arts education programs that respect existing cultural and community activity, resulting in participatory action and social awareness. To learn more about us, please visit http://www.afcy.ca. You can email us at info@afcy.ca or call us at 416-929-9314.

Online Tutoring Available in All Subjects http://drdonnakakonge.e-lectazone.com

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on June 18, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Image result for Online teaching of arts and French

Image result for Writing

French – primary, high school

English – all levels

History – all levels

Sociology – all levels

Psychology – all levels

Math – primary, high school

Writing – all levels

Communication – all levels

Social Media/Presentation Skills – all levels

Marketing – all levels

Journalism – all levels

Mentoring – all levels

Please register at http://drdonnakakonge.e-lectazone.com

Contact drdonnakakonge@gmail.com to sign up and find out sliding scale pricing.

Blog by Johanne Caulfield and Mary Ann McKenzie

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on June 18, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Image result for Laughing

http://www.almost-a-comedy.com/

Check it out!

Working on My Sleep

In Uncategorized, Writing (all kinds) on June 17, 2012 at 1:40 AM

Working On My Sleep

He has been my hero since I was young. We have had our tough times. When I was born, he was not even there – he was at work. My Dad is a hard-working man who once told me that he likes to “struggle.” His life has been a lot of struggling.

At the age of nine, his father died. In a small village called Hoima in Uganda, my grandfather went out to kill a boar that was terrorizing the village. He did not return and the boar got the better of him. My Dad tells me he was a well when it happened and he could feel his body becoming depressed. He knew something had happened before he knew for sure.

My grandmother then became in charge of taking care of my Dad and 11 other children. If it were not for the kindness of a man in the village, my Dad and his other siblings would not have been able to go to school. He went to Budo, the best boy’s school in Uganda. Later he went to Makerere University, the oldest African university.

He continued his studies in Canada with a Commonwealth scholarship. After returning from Uganda after graduation back to Canada, he worked with the Ministry of Natural Resources and currently delivers newspapers for the Toronto Star.

When I was young I would harangue him about delivering newspapers. I thought it was beneath him. He has been doing it since 1981 and I now realize how important his work is. As an astute young man has told me in the past – all work is important.

Many of his customers, who are elderly, are not even mobile to go out and get a newspaper on their own. It is important to know what is going on in your city, in your country, in the world. Now with the Internet, many people are plugged into getting their news from online. Even I am like that. Yet, it is comforting to sit down with a newspaper, have some coffee or tea in the morning, afternoon or evening and flip through those pages. It is the tactile nature that makes such a difference. Just feeling the pages can help you feel more in touch with what sometimes seems like the insanity that is this world.

My Dad just left for work and every time he leaves I wonder how does he do it. How does he go out in sleet, rain, snow, ice and every condition imaginable on every day of the year except Christmas? I do not think the people who give us things receive enough credit. People like the letter carriers, delivery people and even the people who keep our roads as clean as they can. Plus, there are the people who work indoors – keeping our offices clean so we can enjoy our environments better or be making sure we feel more secure in our buildings.

My Dad always seems to be working on his sleep. This is a book I am working on now. Look out for it. I do not know when I will be finished with it, however, you can check out my e-store for more information and certainly feel free to purchase any of my existing books at http://stores.lulu.com/kakonged.

Well, my hero is now a grandfather. My niece turned 2-years-old on Tuesday. Things have changed for the better. He was there when she was born.

/R E P E A T — Media advisory – This Father’s Day Quebec men will walk and pedal for PROCURE’s fight against prostate cancer/

In Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Sports, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on June 16, 2012 at 6:31 AM

Image result for Prostate cancer

Recent Survey Reveals Men Willing To Talk About Prostate Cancer, Women-Think Not!

MONTREAL, June 13, 2012, /CNW Telbec/ – Jean Pagé, Robin Burns, Father John Walsh and Laurent Proulx, on behalf of PROCURE, would like to invite members of the media to attend our two fundraising events in the fight against prostate cancer.

For the first time in six years, Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay is joined by television personality Pénélope McQuade to co-preside the PROCURE Walk/Run of Courage, while the PROCURE Tour du Courage will be led by none other than the Honourable Justin Trudeau.  The two activities take place Father’s Day weekend at Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Also attending to lend their support to PROCURE: Joey Saputo, players from the Montreal Impact, representatives from the Montreal Canadiens and Montreal Alouettes.

Prostate cancer affects 1 in 7 men. In Canada, 26 500 men will be diagnosed with this disease annually.  For more information about PROCURE and prostate cancer visit:  www.procure.ca

Reminder

Who:  PROCURE – Quebec’s charity dedicated to the fight against prostate cancer
What: PROCURE Walk/Run of Courage
Where:  Parc Jean-Drapeau
1, rue de l’île-Notre-Dame
Montreal, Québec
H3C 1A9
When:  Sunday, June 17, 2012. Registrations start at 8:15 am
What:  PROCURE Tour du Courage
Where : Morin Heights Ski Chalet on June 16, 2012. 231 Ch. Bennett, Morin Heights. Registrations start at 8:00 am
Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on June 17, 2012.  Ile Notre-Dame. Departure  at 8:00 am

CRTC Decisions and Regulatory Policies for the of 18 to 22 June 2012

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on June 15, 2012 at 9:13 PM
Image result for CRTC
The CRTC plans to issue the following decisions and/or regulatory policies
in the coming week. This list may not be complete and is subject to change
without notice.
Broadcasting decisions:

Applications by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for a broadcasting
licence to operate a French-language FM radio station in Edmonton to
replace station CHFA Edmonton and to modify the technical parameters of
transmitters CBCX-FM-1
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2012/2012-29.htm#15 and CHFA-10-FM
Edmonton http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2012/2012-29.htm#16

Application by Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2012/2012-29.htm#11for a regional
broadcasting licence to operate a terrestrial broadcasting distribution
undertaking to serve Greater Sudbury

Application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2012/2012-126.htm#32 for authority to
acquire from Bluepoint Investments Inc. the assets of Saskatchewan
Communications Network

Telecommunication Decisions:

TELUS Communications Company – Application for forbearance from the
regulation of residential local exchange services in various exchanges in
Alberta and British Columbia
File number: 8640-T66-201203687
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/part1/eng/2012/8640/t66_201203687.htm

TELUS Communications Company – Application for forbearance from the
regulation of residential local exchange services in the exchanges of
Cap-des-Rosiers, Frampton, St Bernard-de-Dorchester, St-Joseph,
St-Patrice-de-Beaurivage, Ste-Marie-de-Beauce and Vallée-Jonction, Quebec
File number: 8640-T69-201203679
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/part1/eng/2012/8640/t69_201203679.htm

Christine’s Fitness in Toronto

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on June 13, 2012 at 3:00 AM
spring_running12_banner_en
Hello Everybody!
 
Some of you have been asking for summer programs for students. (It would give them something to do and keep them out of trouble. lol.)
 
Let’s face it, there are a lot of students that are pretty out of shape. I see them walking on the street in front of the club all the time.
 
So I’m offering a membership from now until Labour Day for $149. That will include the No BS Group Training too so we won’t be able to take too many.
 
If you or your friends have someone that would like to come let us know right away. Yonge St call 416-969-9912, Richmond 416-603-0004. Let us send the girls back to school in the fall looking good!
 
Best of health,
Christine!

CRTC Decisions and Regulatory Policies‏

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on June 12, 2012 at 3:00 AM
Image result for CRTC
CRTC Decisions and Regulatory Policies for the of 11 to 15 June 2012

The CRTC plans to issue the following decisions and/or regulatory
policies in the coming week. This list may not be complete and is subject to
change without notice.
Broadcasting decision:

Application by Tom Heeney
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2012/2012-29.htm#12 for a broadcasting
licence to operate a low-power,English-language specialty Christian FM
radio station in The Pas with a rebroadcasting transmitter in Flin Flon


Telecommunication Decisions:

Decisions regarding violations of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules

Staining Tips from Sikkens

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on June 11, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Sikkens photo 2

With the launch of Cetol® SRD alkyd-acrylic one-coat stain, Sikkens offers these tips to ensure a successful staining job.

Prepare surfaces properly: Make sure the surface to be stained is clean and dry. Wipe away dirt, dust, mildew, algae, moss, leaves, and loose wood fibres. Strip away previous coatings with an exterior stain remover before applying new stain. Let new wood settle for at least a month before staining.

Have a plan: If using more than a gallon, intermix batches to ensure colour consistency.

Sand both new and aged wood with 80 to 120 grit paper to open the pores and always sand – and stain – in the direction of the wood grain. To avoid lap marks, start at one edge and follow through to the end of the board maintaining a wet edge. For better protection, apply a coat of stain on all six sides of the plank.

Watch the weather: The best time to stain is when the temperature is between 10°C and 35°C. Wait at least 48 hours after a rainfall or washing before starting your job. Hold off on staining when rain, dew or frost is present or expected within 24 to 48 hours.

Tools matter: Wood planks become warped with time, so a paint brush – not a roller – is the best tool to apply a stain. Use brushes that are specifically designed for wood staining.

Don’t cut corners: Be patient, wait for the right conditions, and your job will last longer. Never apply stain in the direct sunlight or on surfaces hot to the touch as it will reduce penetration of the coating and increase the risk of peeling.

Ready, Set… Stain!

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on June 10, 2012 at 3:00 AM

CIL Premium Can

New One-Coat, Alkyd-Acrylic Formula

Woodcare Finish Takes the ‘Pain’ out of Stain

Sikkens experts offer fail-proof tips for staining decks, sidings, rails and more

 June 4, 2012 – Who says oil and water don’t mix? Leading coatings brand Sikkens has introduced an innovative new woodcare stain that contains a unique combination of water and oil-based materials to deliver the best of both worlds for users.

 Made from a unique alkyd (oil) and acrylic (water) hybrid mix, new Sikkens Cetol® SRD is a premium flat finish stain that requires only one coat on any exterior wood surface – from decks and fences to rails, siding and outdoor furniture.

The coating provides both the strength and durability of an alkyd stain and the ease of use of an acrylic product, including simple clean-up of tools with water. It is specially formulated to deliver maximum penetration, colour retention, adhesion and resistance to ultraviolet rays, humidity, rain, sleet, and snow.

 “Our research shows that homeowners want wood coatings that make their stain jobs easier, and the product’s unique alkyd-acrylic combination does the trick,” said Nathalie Lambert, Sikkens Brand Director.

Cetol® SRD meets Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) requirements, Lambert explained, adding that sustainability was a key objective in developing the product. “Our goal is to always find new ways to do things in order to speed up sustainable growth,” she said.

With a translucent finish – allowing the wood grains to show through – Cetol® SRD

comes in eight different colours: natural, natural oak, cedar, teak, butternut, redwood, mahogany and dark oak. Available at specialized paint and hardware stores across Canada, a gallon of Cetol® SRD retails for $51.70.

From May 7 to September 14, 2012, Sikkens is inviting Canadians to participate in a photo contest to showcase their stained Sikkens deck projects. Entries will be considered for a grand prize of $1,000-worth of garden furniture or two-second prizes of stainless-steel patio heaters.

For more information about Cetol® SRD, to locate a Sikkens dealer, or to participate in the photo contest, visit www.sikkens.ca .

About Sikkens

Sikkens is a brand of AkzoNobel, the Canadian leader in decorative paints serving the consumer, professional renovation and construction markets. A market leader in wood protection, Sikkens has been a top brand for decorative coatings and car refinishing since its establishment in 1792. Through the years, Sikkens’ product assortment has grown thanks to the introduction of new technologies. Through cooperative relationships with architects, designers, professional painters and DIYers, Sikkens wood finishes have maintained a strong position for protection and decoration, both interior and exterior. Read the rest of this entry »

CRTC releases 2011 financial results for Canadian commercial radio stations

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on June 9, 2012 at 3:00 AM
Image result for CRTC
OTTAWA-GATINEAU, June 4, 2012 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released statistical and financial
information on the 669 commercial radio stations operating in Canada. 
Revenues for the broadcast year ended August 31, 2011, increased by
approximately 4% over the previous year, demonstrating steady growth and
continued confidence in an industry whose revenues are now back to
pre-recession levels.
While total revenues for AM and FM stations increased from $1.55 billion
in 2010 to $1.6 billion in 2011, expenses also rose from $1.21 billion to
$1.26 billion during the same period. As a result, profits before interest
and taxes (PBIT) climbed from $298.3 million to $311 million, and the PBIT
margin went from 19.2% to 19.3%.
 
FM radio
 
There were 13 additional FM stations in 2011, bringing the number of FM
stations operating in Canada to 535. These stations combined for $1.3
billion in total revenues, up from $1.24 billion in 2010.
 
Revenues for English-language FM stations grew by 4.9% to $1.04 billion,
while those for French-language FM stations increased by 2.8% to $246.7
million. Ethnic FM stations, for their part, posted revenues of $19.8
million, representing an 11% increase over the previous year.
 
AM radio
 
The number of AM stations in Canada continued to decline from 141 in 2010
to 134 in 2011 as a number of stations converted to the FM band. 
Nevertheless, total revenues increased by 1.2% for a total of $311
million, surpassing the $307 million generated in 2010.
 
Revenues for English-language AM stations went from $272 million in 2010
to $274 million in 2011, a 1% increase. For the first time since 2006, the
French-language AM stations reported an increase in revenues, which
climbed by 4.7% to $11.7 million.  Finally, ethnic AM stations saw their
revenues increase by 1.6% for a total of $24.4 million.
 
Employment
 
In 2011, commercial radio stations employed 10,576 people and paid a total
of $676.3 million in salaries, an increase of 4.7% from last year when
they employed 10,104 people and paid $640.7 million in salaries.
 
CRTC reports
 
Each year, the CRTC compiles financial data on the Canadian broadcasting
and telecommunications industries to produce a series of reports. This
year’s report on the radio industry provides data on a national basis and
by individual markets, as well as on the 82 radio stations operated by the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
 
The CRTC recently published the 2011 financial results for conventional
television stations, http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/com100/2012/r120404b.htm
specialty, pay and pay-per-view television services and video-on-demand services, http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/com100/2012/r120501.htm 
and broadcasting distribution companies. http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/com100/2012/r120404a.htm  
It will soon publish the Communications Monitoring Report.
 
These annual reports allow interested parties to stay informed about the
state of the Canadian communications industry.
 
Commercial Radio – Statistical and Financial Summaries 2007–2011 http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/branalysis/radio2011/radio2011.htm
The CRTC
 
The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises
broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
 
 
 
- 30 -
 
 
 
Follow us on Twitter @crtceng
 
Media Relations:
MediaRelations, Tel: 819-997-9403, Fax: 819-997-4245
 
General Inquiries:
   Tel: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218
   Toll-free # 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
   TDD - Toll-free # 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)
   Ask a question or make a complaint
 
These documents are available in alternative format upon request.

CRTC Decisions and Regulatory Policies‏

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on June 8, 2012 at 3:00 AM
Image result for CRTC
CRTC Decisions and Regulatory Policies for the of 4 to 8 June 2012
 
The CRTC plans to issue the following decisions and/or regulatory policies
in the coming week. This list may not be complete and is subject to change
without notice.
Broadcasting decision:
 
Application by Larche Communications Inc.
https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/instances-proceedings/Default-Defaut.aspx?S=C&PA=B&PT=NC&PST=A&Lang=eng
to modify the technical parameters for the English-language commercial
radio station CICZ-FM Midland 
 
 
Telecommunication Decisions:
 
Forbearance from the regulation of high capacity/digital data services
interexchange private line services on certain additional routes 
File number: 8638-S1-01/98
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/partvii/eng/1998/s1-01.htm
 
Decisions regarding violations of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules

Grand Opening 15% OFF at Danforth!‏

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on June 7, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Trove

Women Writing Letters 4:June 10, 2012: 2:30-4:00 pm

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on June 6, 2012 at 3:00 AM

WWL-June2012-1

Hi Everyone:

You are invited to join us for the fourth Women Writing Letters Event “A Letter to My Nemesis”.

Date: Sunday June 10, 2012
Time: 2:30-4:00 pm
Place: 12th floor Community Lounge, OISE, 252 Bloor Street West (St. George subway, St. George and Bloor)
Admission: $10.00

Reservations: gaileyroad@gmail.com (Edlyn Wong will take your reservation!)

Hope to see you there!

All the best,
Tara

CRTC moves a step closer to making loud TV ads a thing of the past

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on June 5, 2012 at 3:00 AM
Image result for CRTC
OTTAWA-GATINEAU — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) published the final regulations
requiring Canadian broadcasters and broadcasting distributors to control
the loudness of TV commercials by September 1, 2012. 
 
“The rules we published bring us a step closer to our goal of eliminating
loud TV ads,” said Leonard Katz, Acting Chairman of the CRTC. “We have
every expectation that the industry will take the necessary steps to meet
our deadline and provide relief to viewers.” 
 
The regulations require Canadian broadcasters to adhere to the Advanced
Television Systems Committee’s (ATSC) standard for measuring and
controlling television signals. Adherence to this standard will minimize
fluctuations in loudness between programming and commercials. The ATSC is
an internationally recognized body that sets technical standards for
digital television.
 
In December 2011, the CRTC published draft regulations for comment after
responding to Canadians’ concern that commercial advertisements were too
loud. 
 
Broadcasters are also responsible for maintaining the volume of programs.
They must follow these rules and ensure that both programs and ads are
transmitted at the same volume by no later than September 1, 2012. 
Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2012-273
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2012/2012-273.htm
 
The CRTC 
 
The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises
broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada. 
 
Reference documents:
 
News release, “CRTC tells broadcasting industry to turn down the volume on
loud television commercials,” September 13, 2011
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/com100/2011/r110913.htm
 
Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-584
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2011/2011-584.htm
 
 
 
- 30 -
 
Follow us on Twitter @crtceng
 
 
Media Relations:
http://support.crtc.gc.ca/CRTCSubmissionMU/forms/Mediarelations.aspx?lang=e
   
Tel: 819-997-9403, Fax: 819-997-4245
 
General Inquiries:
          Tel: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218
          Toll-free # 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
          TDD - Toll-free # 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)
          http://crtc.gc.ca/RapidsCCM/Register.asp?lang=E
 
 
These documents are available in alternative format upon request.

Donna Kakonge, OISE Dean’s Graduate Conference

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on June 4, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Get to Work on Your Home Office

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on June 4, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Painting home office walls grey – such as CIL’s Mystery Sound (70BG 19/071), painted on the walls of this room – delivers a feeling of serenity.

CIL home office

Choice of office colour can help increase productivity, says CIL Paints

 May 7, 2012 – If you’re one of the 19 percent of Canadians who work from home, you know the challenges of staying focused. All it takes, though, is the right choice of colours to help make your home office work for you, says leading Canadian paint brand CIL Paints. 

“There are always distractions when working from home, yet studies show that while some colours divert from tasks at hand, others can significantly increase a person’s productivity, concentration, and motivation,” says Alison Goldman, Marketing Communications Manager for leading Canadian paint brand CIL Paints. “As the least expensive decorating tool, paint can easily be used on walls, furniture, and accessories to create the right tone in a home office.”

 It’s important to keep in mind though, that since jobs differ, the right mood for one home office may not be right for another, Goldman cautions. She offers these tips on choosing the best colours for a workspace:

 

Studies show that some colours can increase a person’s productivity at work. Add energy to a home office by painting the walls shades of orange and yellow, such as CIL’s Cozy Light (50YY 79/208) orange and Glorious (25YY 57/441) yellow, featured on the walls of this workspace.

CIL home office 2

Get the colour facts: Before painting your home office walls, brush up on colour psychology. Keep in mind that blue can be calming and may lower the pulse rate while increasing productivity. Green creates a serene, soothing atmosphere, which can relieve stress. Red and orange promote excitement and enthusiasm, while purple is thought to promote artistic creativity and yellow is cheerful. Light browns and greys deliver a feeling of serenity, while darker browns provide a stoic, earthy atmosphere.

Colour match the job: Determine whether your line of work requires a relaxing or stimulating environment. Financial consultants or business executives, for example, may prefer colours that empower and energize, such as yellows, oranges, and bold greens. Psychologists or massage therapists, on the other hand, may opt for soothing pinks, purples, and blues, whereas lawyers or professors may work best a studious environment highlighted by deep brown or burgundy walls.

See the light: Keep the layout and lighting of your space in mind when selecting colours. Light shades like cream and tan tend to make smaller offices feel more spacious. Neutrals are also a good choice for offices that are open to the rest of the home to visually blend the spaces. If your room has large windows, you can use almost any colour, but if the office receives little natural light or is on the north side of the home, use shades of yellow, yellow-green or off-white to brighten up the area.

 

Green – such as CIL’s Limelight (90YY 58/424) and Foliage (30GY 50/195), pictured on the walls of this room – is the most popular home office colour.

 

CIL home office 3

When in doubt, think green: Still not sure which way to go? Green may be your safest choice, says Goldman, explaining that green is the most popular home office colour. Considered to be the most balancing hue on the colour spectrum and the easiest on the eye, green is restful yet rejuvenating. Whether soft sage, sea green or deep hunter shades, green stimulates the thought process while promoting feelings of harmony.

To help achieve the right feel for your home office, CIL’s online mood test at www.cil.ca guides users through the process of choosing a fail-proof colour scheme. “It’s a risk-free way of getting the look you want for any room before picking up a paintbrush,” says Goldman.

Whatever colour you select, make sure the paint you use is both washable and durable, Goldman advises. Being a high-traffic area, a home office is prone to ink stains, coffee spills, and dry erase smudges, so a scrubbable long-lasting product, such as CIL’s Smart³ Interior Wash & Wear, is recommended, she says.

For more tips on painting a home office or any other room in the home, or to locate a CIL retailer near you, visit www.cil.ca or call 1-800-DURABLE (387-2253).

News Release‏

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on June 3, 2012 at 3:00 AM
Image result for CRTC
CRTC releases 2011 financial results for specialty, pay and pay-per-view
television services and video-on-demand services
 
OTTAWA-GATINEAU, May 1, 2012 —Today, the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released statistical and financial
summaries for Canadian specialty, pay, pay-per-view (PPV) and
video-on-demand (VOD) television services. During the past five years,
this sector of the broadcasting industry increased its revenues by 36.7%,
while profits before interest and taxes margins hovered between 22% and
25%, reflecting a strong demand for these services.
Profitability
 
In 2011, these services generated revenues of $3.7 billion, representing
an increase of 7.9% above the $3.5 billion earned the previous year.  This
is a result of a 10.9% growth in advertising revenues totaling $1.2
billion and a 7% increase in subscriber revenues that exceeded $2.4
billion.  Expenses grew from $2.5 billion in 2010 to $2.7 billion in 2011.
 
 
As a result, profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) improved to $930.5
million, with a PBIT margin of 24.9%, up from $873.9 million in 2010 when
the PBIT margin was 25.3%.
 
Sources of revenues
 
The total revenues of $3.7 billion were generated from the following
sources:
 
    $1.7 billion from terrestrial subscribers
    $698.9 million from direct-to-home satellite subscribers
    $1.2 billion from national advertising
    $30.2 million from local advertising
    $94.4 million from other sources
 
English-language and bilingual services earned $3.1 billion of the total
revenues, while French-language services brought in $587.2 million.
 
Revenue by sectors
 
Specialty television services captured the largest share of the total
revenues, $2.9 billion, which included:
 
    $2.4 billion from 49 analog services, and
    $479.8 million from 113 digital services
 
In 2010, total revenues for specialty television services were $2.7
billion for a PBIT margin of 27.8%.
 
Pay, pay-per-view and VOD services saw their revenues increase by 7.2%,
going from $798.6 million in 2010, with a PBIT margin of 16.7%, to $855.6
million in 2011 when the PBIT margin was 16.4%.
 
Canadian programming
 
In 2011, these services spent $1.3 billion on Canadian programming,
representing an 8.5% increase over the previous year. Spending on Canadian
programming by specialty services included $187 million for news programs,
$241 million for programs of national interests (drama series, long-form
documentaries, and Canadian award shows), $397 million for sports
programming, $96 million for human-interest programming, and $241 million
for other types of programming.
Investments in non-Canadian programming increased slightly to $278 million
in 2011 from $252 million in 2010.
 
Employment
 
In 2011, these sectors of the broadcasting industry employed 5,900 people
and paid a total of $461 million in salaries. In comparison, they employed
5,495 people and paid $415 million in salaries the previous year.
 
 
CRTC reports
 
Each year, the CRTC compiles financial data on the Canadian broadcasting
and telecommunications industries.  The data compiled in this report
issued today were drawn from the annual reports of specialty, pay and
pay-per-view television services, as well as video-on-demand services.
 
The CRTC recently released the financial results for cable and satellite
companies and conventional television stations. It will publish the
financial results for AM and FM radio stations in the coming weeks.
Following the publication of these reports, the CRTC will issue its annual
Communications Monitoring Report.
 
These annual reports allow interested parties to stay informed about the
state of the Canadian broadcasting industry.
 
Pay Television, Pay-Per-View, Video-On-Demand and Specialty Services –
Statistical and Financial Summaries 2007–2011 http://crtc/eng/publications/reports/branalysis/psp2011/psp2011.htm
 
The CRTC
 
The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises
broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

CIL Paints Announces Launch of Ultra Eco-Friendly, Affordable Premium Paint

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on June 2, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Sikkens photo 1

Concord, Ontario – April 30, 2012 – Leading Canadian paint brand CIL is seeing green with the launch of a new ultra-low VOC (volatile organic compound), top-quality paint called CIL Premium that has hit store shelves.

 The paint itself has no VOCs, and is tinted using new low-VOC colourants, making the final product one of the most environmentally-friendly paint options on the market, says Alison Goldman, Marketing Communications Manager for CIL Paints. “Our low VOC offering is also unique in that it is highly affordable and is offered in a full line that includes finishes for just about every interior application, from trim and door to kitchen and bath, which isn’t available in other paint brands.” 

CIL Premium interior paint comes in eggshell, semi-gloss, satin and flat finishes, kitchen and bath formula, primer, sealer and ceiling paint. For outside applications, CIL Premium exterior paints are low in VOCs and feature ultra-violet protection against fading, peeling and cracking. All Premium paints can be tinted with any of CIL’s 1,224 colours.

“Volatile organic compounds were traditionally used in paints to improve performance, however, CIL’s innovative Premium formulation provides top-quality performance as well as high washability and durability without harming the environment,” Goldman says, explaining that, unlike products made with VOCs, the Premium paints have the added benefit of being virtually odour-free.

VOCs are atmospheric pollutants that, among other things, contribute to the formation of smog. They evaporate at room temperature and react in sunlight to help form ground-level ozone, an integral component of smog and a harmful pollutant (not to be confused with the protective ozone in the upper atmosphere, which shields the earth from the sun’s ultra-violet rays). Smog can cause respiratory complications, skin and eye irritation, headaches, nausea, tightness of chest, coughing, muscle weakness, and more serious ailments and diseases.

Available at Home Depot stores nationally, CIL’s Premium line of paints are the first no-VOC products available in a complete line-up at Home Depot stores in Canada. CIL Premium retails for $30 to $37 per gallon, depending on the finish, and is also available in five-gallon pails.

For more information or to locate a dealer, visit www.cil.ca.

CRTC Decisions and Regulatory Policies‏

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on June 1, 2012 at 3:00 AM
Image result for CRTC
CRTC Decisions and Regulatory Policies for the week of 23 to 27 April
2012
 
The CRTC plans to issue the following decisions and/or regulatory policies
in the coming week. This list may not be complete and is subject to change
without notice.

Broadcasting decisions:
 
Application by CKPM-FM Radio Ltd. https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/instances-proceedings/Default-Defaut.aspx?S=C&PA=B&PT=PT1&PST=A&Lang=eng to change the technical parameters of
the English-language commercial radio station CKPM-FM Port Moody
 
Applications by French-language television groups for group-based licence
renewals http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2011/2011-525.htm
 
Decision relating to the application noted below, considered by the
Commission during the 6 February 2012 public hearing:
 
• GlassBOX Television Inc. http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2011/2011-694.htm#14
   Application 2011-1207-8
 
Decisions relating to the applications listed below, considered by the
Commission during the 21 March 2012 public hearing:
 
• Mystery Partnership http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2012/2012-29.htm#5
  Application 2011-1580-9
 
• Men TV General Partnership http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2012/2012-29.htm#6
  Application 2011-1581-6
 
Rawlco Radio Ltd. http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2012/2012-29.htm#14
Applications 2011-1469-4, 2011-1490-0 and 2011-1492-5
 
 
Telecommunication Decisions:
 
Bell Canada – Application to exclude competition-related quality of
service indicator 2.7 results from the rate rebate plan for competitors for November 2011
File number: 8660-B2-201200105 http://www.crtc.gc.ca/part1/eng/2012/8660/b2_201200105.htm
 
Bell Canada – Application for forbearance from the regulation of
residential local exchange services in various Ontario and Quebec exchange
– File number: 8640-B2-200817413 http://www.crtc.gc.ca/PartVII/eng/2008/8640/b2_200817413.htm
 
Bell Canada – Application for forbearance from the regulation of
residential local exchange services in the exchanges of Beachville, Mount
Pleasant, Oak Ridges, Plattsville, Scotland, Sparta and Stayner, Ontario –
File number: 8640-B2-200817439 http://www.crtc.gc.ca/PartVII/eng/2008/8640/b2_200817439.htm
 
Bell Canada – Application for forbearance from the regulation of
residential local exchange services in the exchange of St-Jacques, Quebec
– File number: 8640-B2-200817447 http://www.crtc.gc.ca/PartVII/eng/2008/8640/b2_200817447.htm
 
Shaw Communications Inc. – Application to revise the reporting requirement
for Canadian Numbering Administration funding – File number:
8698-S9-201200336 http://www.crtc.gc.ca/part1/eng/2012/8698/s9_201200336.htm
%d bloggers like this: