Archive for October, 2016|Monthly archive page

[TPS] – Media advisory, 13 Halloween safety tips

In Writing (all kinds) on October 31, 2016 at 1:54 PM
Toronto Police Service
News Release

Media advisory, 13 Halloween safety tips

Monday, October 31, 201612:23 PM
Traffic Services

There’s more to Halloween than trick-or-treating and the Toronto Police Service would like to remind everyone of the need for safety this Halloween.

Some things you may not think of include costume safety, candy cautions, trick-or-treat best practices and driver safety. Below are some of the things that the Toronto Police Service would like to remind everyone about.

1) Put strips of reflective tape on the front and back of costumes to make them more visible to drivers.

2) Your child’s costume shouldn’t drag on the ground — it’s too easy to trip over. Shoes should be well-fitting and sturdy.

3) Don’t allow children to carry sharp objects. Swords, knives, and any other accessories should be made of soft, flexible material.

4) If your child wears a mask, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough so that he or she can see.

5) Make sure that treat bags are light-coloured for easy visibility. Decorate them with reflective tape.

6) No child should go trick-or-treating alone. Always accompany your younger children; older children can go in groups.

7) Allow children to go trick-or-treating early but avoid the evening rush hour. It’s harder for motorists to see clearly during twilight than at any other time of day.

8) Give children specific neighbourhood boundaries for trick-or-treating. Set a firm curfew for your children.

9) Remind children to walk on sidewalks and be cautious when crossing streets.

10) Tell children to only go to homes and neighbours they know and only to houses with lights on.

11) Tell children to turn down all invitations to enter homes. Period.

12) Tell children to avoid even normally friendly neighbourhood dogs, who can be startled by kids they know but who are dressed in unfamiliar costumes.

13) Drivers must remember that children may be preoccupied with trick-or-treating and, as a result, may not be paying attention to the rules of the road. Keep vehicle speeds at or below the posted limits, and scan the road for children attempting to cross streets mid-block.

Help the Toronto Police Service make this Halloween a safe and happy one.

Please download the Toronto Police Service Mobile App for iOS or Android.

For more news, visit

Constable Caroline de Kloet, Corporate Communications, for Constable Clint Stibbe, Traffic Services

There are no files attached to this release.

Hopeton Interview

In Education, Entertainment, Living, Media Writing, Music, Writing (all kinds) on October 31, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Nick Goodwin Interviews Hopeton LaTouche From the Remix Project - Photo Courtesy of

Nick Goodwin Interviews Hopeton LaTouche From the Remix Project - Photo Courtesy of

By Nick Goodwin

I recently interviewed another participant in “The Remix Project”. His name is Hopeton.

Read the rest of this entry »


In Writing (all kinds) on October 31, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Aries ( 21 March – 19 April ) – You want to expand your world, have new experiences, and open up to other ways of living. You’re focused on your goals, and you want to make sure you’re going in the right direction. This is a great time to travel, if you can. You can spend time learning about other cultures, or learning in general by taking a class or going back to school. You don’t want to engage in any public displays of affection at this time. You’ve been getting used to the transformations made with how you love and what you enjoy in life. Favorable Dates : Nov 5 Favorable Colors : Green & Yellow

Taurus ( 20 April – 20 May ) – You become more focused on the emotions of situations rather than logic, reason and facts. It’s difficult for you to be objective rather lost in your own feelings. You can go from one idea to the next quickly and you lose interest fast. You want to keep busy mentally so you exhaust all of this mental energy, otherwise it begins to make you feel restless and anxious. Love and romance can be favorable.  Decorating, beauty treatments, the arts, creative pursuits, parties, dates and recreation are generally favored now. There is increased sensitivity, affection, and warmth. Favorable Dates : Nov 3 Favorable Colors : Grey & Yellow

Gemini ( 21 May – 20 June ) – You can be a little obsessive, and when something interests you, you have unrelenting focus. You can have a conversation or get advice regarding other people’s money – taxes, debts, loans, inheritances, joint finances, or make plans for a transformation of some sort. You don’t want to be bothered by anyone, finding the company of other people mentally exhausting and you feel that you need plenty of time alone so you can recharge mentally. You can become privy to a secret, focus on a spiritual subject, or think about an old issue. Favorable Dates : Nov 4 Favorable Colors : Grey & Purple Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Diwali!

In Writing (all kinds) on October 30, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Bask in the light!

The Shelter

In Environment, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on October 30, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Nick Goodwin Transformed His Life With the Help of a Shelter - Photo Courtesy of

Nick Goodwin Transformed His Life With the Help of a Shelter – Photo Courtesy of

By Nick Goodwin

I’ve come a long way from being kicked out of my house. My parents and I have managed to rekindle our relationship and these days we see eye-to-eye better than we ever have.

You could say that my first two years out of high school were my least productive. I was definitely a lost individual. High school wasn’t exactly a walk in the park, or more over, was too much park walking if you catch my drift. There were some rough times and I lost a few people close to me in those days.

Read the rest of this entry »

Background Noise

In Radio Podcasts on October 29, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Here is some background noise from a café that I go to from time-to-time:

Ambiance noise at a restaurant

Muay Thai

In Culture, Education, Health, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on October 28, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Nick Goodwin is Discovering Muay Thai Boxing - Photo Courtesy of

Nick Goodwin is Discovering Muay Thai Boxing - Photo Courtesy of

By Nick Goodwin

I have begun researching the art of Muay Thai boxing. The reason being is because I have been given the opportunity to create a mural on the wall of a soon-to-be Muay Thai boxing studio. The Remix Project has given me the opportunity to help with the creation of this mural.

So far, I have learned a few basics in regards to the history and importance of Muay Thai boxing. Muay Thai was born in Thailand. The practice of this fighting technique dates way back to a more primal time. It was originally formed as a technique that the people of Thailand could use to defend themselves from neighbouring countries that had the intentions of invasion. One of the most unique factors is that the techniques of Muay Thai have always been passed on orally rather than through documentation or written instruction. There are few written records.

Muay Thai is a large part of Thai culture. Even in times of peace, the military leaders encouraged the practice of these self-defense techniques. In this cultural environment many people choose to make a living through Muay Thai competitively. In some cases of poverty it is some people’s last resort of survival.

Like any sport, over time it has evolved and become a little safer and more commercial. Still, Muay Thai boxing is a part of the Thai culture that continues to affect the whole world.

I am excited to post more details on this subject as my knowledge and experience increases.

Olympic Medalist Andre De Grasse And Others To Receive Prestigious Excellence Awards This Saturday

In Writing (all kinds) on October 27, 2016 at 1:55 PM
Red Carpet Reception, 6.00 PM
Dinner & Awards, 7.00 PM
Tickets are $150 and $1500 for a table of 10 

The Excellence Awards program is the new brand name replacing the Planet Africa Awards initiative, which was established in 2004. Also, Excellence Magazine is now the new name for Planet Africa Magazine, which was inaugurated in 2005. The launch of Afroglobal Televison or AFRO TV, which showcases the best of Africa and the Diaspora on March 10th 2016, has triggered this paradigm shift and the awesome new brand identities.
“For over fourteen years, we have focused on the unity and success stories of people of African descent through Planet Africa. The spirit of excellence, which has always powered our progress, has emerged as a powerful global brand, starting off with the magazine and the awards,” says Moses A. Mawa, President & CEO of Silvertrust Media and Afroglobal Television. Time and resources are now being shifted to advance the Afroglobal brand as well.
Since 2004, the red carpet awards gala has honourned achievers and brought together people of African origin and others of goodwill, to celebrate leadership and excellence. Headliners and Keynote speakers have included, Dr. Bernice King, CEO of the King Centre and daughter of Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior; legendary South African singer, Yvonne Chaka Chaka; and Dr. Julius Garvey, son of Marcus Garvey.
Past recipients of the awards include Kevin Williams, President and Managing Director of General Motors Canada; Professor Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate; Hon. Jean Augustine, Former Minister and Fairness Commissioner; Douglas Orane, Chairman of Grace Foods; Daniel Igali, Olympic Gold Medalist; Isaiah Washington, Hollywood Star; Majid Michel and Zach Orji, Nollywood Stars; among others.
Previous and present sponsors have included Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology, Chevrolet, TD Bank, Canadian Armed Forces, York Regional Police, Ethiopian Airlines, Dream Maker Realty, Sterling Dental, IntelliPharmaCeutics, FreshCo Supermarket, Mosaic Foods, Skye Bank, Bank of Montreal, Western Union, OMNI Television and MoneyGram International. Sponsorship opportunities still available.
The Excellence Awards and Magazine advance the Planet Africa mission of Celebrating Worldwide Achievements. The gala will be broadcast onAFRO TV, on Rogers Cable Channel 708, on Bell Fibe Channel 2472, on, an upcoming online platform similar to Netflix, among others. “Silvertrust Media, which was established in 1996, will continue to house our brands, namely Afroglobal, Excellence, Destiny, Diversity, Transformation, Discover and more, to help bring out the best of all humanity,” concludes Mr. Mawa.
Inquiries: Simi Ikotun   |   Tel: (416) 247-5777   |   (416) 650-6424

Martin Luther King Legacy Award
Minister of Education
Mitzie Hunter is the Minister of Education and represents Scarborough-Guildwood in the Ontario Legislature. She has served as the Associate Minister of Finance, responsible for pension reform. As the former CEO of the Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance, Hunter worked to solve some of the toughest social, economic and environmental challenges affecting the GTA.

She had also served as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, Vice-President with Goodwill Industries and Regional Director at Bell Canada. Hunter understands the community and the power of working together.A lifelong city builder, she is passionate about unlocking Ontario’s potential by ensuring fair and inclusive access to employment and prosperity. From 2013 to 2014, she served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Community and Social Services.

Minister Hunter has also served in various Parliamentary Committees, including Developmental Services, Government Agencies as well as Finance and Economic Affairs. Hunter and her family immigrated to Canada from Jamaica in 1975. She grew up in Scarborough, graduated from University Of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and recently completed her MBA from the Rotman School of Management. She receives the 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award, presented by Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program.

Leadership Award
2015 President, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
Samuel Óghale Oboh, is the 76th President of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the first Canadian of African descent to lead the 109-year-old scientific organization. Born in Nigeria and licensed in Alberta, Canada and Texas, USA, Oboh worked in South Africa and Botswana before migrating with his family to Canada in 2003.

A passionate adherent to innovative design and excellence, Oboh is a principal at Canada’s leading design firm, Kasian. With an expansive career spanning over 24 years in both private and public sectors, he has worked on several projects, including the high profile Alberta Legislature Centre Redevelopment project, where he led the capturing of the spirit of Alberta’s most significant heritage site.An advocate for integrating practice with academia, he is a regular Studio Critic and Reviewer at the University of Calgary and has served as adjunct lecturer at various universities in South Africa, Nigeria and Canada, including University of Pretoria, University of Toronto and Carleton University in Ottawa.

A 2015 Honoree of the Australian Institute of Architects and recipient of the American Institute of Architects’ Presidential Medal, Oboh combines practicing architecture with his diplomatic appointment as Honorary Consul for the Republic of Botswana in Western Canada. He was named one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People by Alberta Venture magazine. He receives the 2016 Leadership Award, presented by Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program.

Rising Star Award
Olympic Medalist
Competing in his first Olympics in 2016, Andre De Grasse backed a silver medal in the 200m finals, behind Usain Bolt in Rio, Brazil. He ran a new personal best in the 100m final to capture a bronze medal as well.De Grasse went on to win his third medal of the games, anchoring the men’s 4x100m relay team to a bronze medal in a new national record time of 37.64.

Before the 2016 Olympics, De Grasse competed at the IAAF World Championships in 2015, tying for the bronze medal in the 100m race. This made him Canada’s first world medalist in the event since 1999. Today, he is considered the man to watch in Olympic glory, after the Usain Bolt years.Inthe 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, De Grasse swept the 100m and 200m events in a dramatic fashion. He had made headlines across Canada and the United States when he won the 100m and 200m in a span of 45 minutes at the NCAA Championships in June 2015.

Raised by Beverley De Grasse in Markham, young De Grasse would regularly volunteer alongside his brother Julian at a downtown youth recreation and community centre. Despite turning professional and signing a lucrative contract with Puma, he is committed to completing his studies at the University of Southern California in the USA, where he is pursuing a degree in Sociology. He receives the 2016 Rising Star Award, presented by Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program.
Heritage Award
Actor, Lawyer & PR Consultant
Richard Mofe-Damijo, RMD as he is widely known and fondly referred to, is the biggest male actor to come out of Nigeria in particular and Africa as a whole. He has starred in well over 60 movies and TV Series locally and internationally. A creative fire-brand, RMD wrote for several prestigious Nigerian newspapers including Concorde and Guardian. In his early 30s he published Nigeria’s first all-gloss magazine for men, ‘MISTER’ which he sold for several millions at 33 years old. A man of many parts, RMD is a Writer, Lawyer, Creative Content Creator, Producer, Life-Coach, Public speaker, Master of ceremony amongst other talents.
In 2008, RMD was called to serve in government in his home state, Delta State, Nigeria, 1st as a Special Adviser to The Governor and subsequently as The Honorable Commissioner of Culture and Tourism.The fact that he was greatly missed by fans all over the world is clearly seen in the way he broke the internet when he returned to the scene and reactivated his social media accounts.
RMD has since his return to acting in the past year traveled the world starring in movies, TV commercials and representing Nigeria in the global scene of which the 007 SPYFIE, is one. Having endorsed many brands in the past, RMD is presently brand ambassador for Africa’s largest and fastest growing telecommunications network. RMD owns one of Nigeria’s foremost PR outfits White Water Limited which he still actively runs alongside his production company RMD Productions. RMD has received numerous prestigious awards and recognitions all over the world. Richard Mofe-Damijo has a Law degree from University of Lagos and was called to the Nigerian bar in 2007. RMD played a major role in “The Wedding Party” and “Okafor’s Law”, both screenings at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Canada.
Professional Achievement Award
Vice President, Royal Bank of Canada
Harriet Thornhill is a Vice President at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), where she leads the bank’s Contact Centres, including Telephone Banking, Direct Investing, eMail, Chat, Online Banking, Social Media and Remote Office teams. She oversees seven centres and 3,700 Banking Advisors as well as Investment Specialists.

Prior to her current role, Thornhill was the Head of Caribbean Markets Personal Banking at RBC. Her responsibility spanned across six strategic regional markets for 19 countries. She was one of the Caribbean Banking Operating Committee members responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of RBC Financial (Caribbean). She has an Executive MBA from the University of Athabasca.

In over 30 years at RBC, Thornhill has held senior roles in Marketing, Recruitment, Client Experience Strategy, Leadership Development and Sales Leadership. Her community involvement includes Charity Trust Leadership Cabinet, the RBC Greater Toronto Region Executive Champion for the Black Cultural Markets, and Chair of the Black Business Professionals and Association’s (BBPA) National Scholarship Fund. Thornhill was the 2014 Cabinet Chair for the Contact Centre, as part of RBC’s national employee giving campaign. She was a torchbearer for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and received the BBPA Women of Honour award in 2011. Thornhill and her husband Wayne live in Toronto, and have 3 children. She receives the 2016 Professional Achievement Award, presented by Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program.

Global Impact Award
General Manager, Jamaica Stock Exchange
Marlene Street Forrest, is the General Manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and Director of its subsidiaries. In 2015, the Jamaica Stock Exchange had the best performance in the world.Street Forrest has a wealth of experience having worked in senior management positions at varying private and public sector organizations in Jamaica and overseas.

It is under her stewardship that the JSE became demutualized and the Caribbean Exchange Network, the US Denominated Market and the Junior Market were launched. She also spearheaded the Registrar Division of the Jamaica Central Depository (JCSD) when she served as General Manager for the subsidiary.A graduate of Titchfield High School in Portland, Street Forrest attended the University of the West Indies, Mona, where she read for a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Studies, and later gained her Masters in Business Administration at the Barry University in Florida, USA.

Street Forrest is a Justice of the Peace and serves as a Director for the Good Samaritan Inn, a Christian outreach aimed at uplifting the poor and marginalized. She is married to Franklin and has two daughters, Francia and Keena. She receives the 2016 Global Impact Award, presented by Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program.
Visionary Award
Judge, Ontario Court Of Justice
Justice Donald F. McLeod was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice on October 2, 2014. He is a Founding Partner of The McLeod Group, Barristers and Solicitors. He has been an accomplished litigator for over a decade, with a keen interest in community and social justice issues. The McLeod Group had a well-known and respected reputation as one of the leading boutique criminal, administrative and human rights law firms in Toronto. In 2009, Justice McLeod was involved in the case of R v. Douse, a landmark case, which revolutionized the traditionally used racial vetting process to now take into consideration non-conscious racism. McLeod remains very active in the community as well as conducting seminars at various legal conferences and community functions.
Notable seminars have included a presentation with Paul Burstein to Federal Crowns with Madame Justice Feldman of the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Provincial Judges Conference in London, Ontario; with respect to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; as well as a guest lecturer at Queen’s University Law School in Criminal Advocacy. Justice McLeod has provided legal commentary in high profile media programs including CBC Newsworld, The Hour, Metro Morning, CFRB 1010, CNN, Fox News, CTV Morning as well as TVO’s Studio Two on a variety of topics and community related issues. Together with other visionary leaders, he founded 100 Strong, to help turn African Canadian boys into men of significance. He receives the 2016 Visionary Award, presented by Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program.
Science & Technology Award
Obstetrician & Gynecologist
Dr. Modupe Tunde-Byass is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Toronto. She graduated from University of Ibadan in Nigeria, and studied Obstetrics and Gynecology in the United Kingdom, becoming a Member and Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 1994 and 2005 respectively. She trained in Fetal Medicine at the Harris Birthright center, King’s College Hospital, London. Dr. Tunde-Byass immigrated to Canada in 1998 and completed a residency program at the University of Toronto in 2004. She has worked at North York General Hospital since 2004, with special interest in Maternal Fetal Medicine, Early pregnancy complications and Medical Education.
Dr. Tunde-Byass completed and obtained a certificate in Patient Safety and Quality Improvement at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. She was the Residency Program Coordinator in Obstetrics and Gynecology at North York General Hospital from 2006 to 2011. She is a member of the Maternal Newborn Advisory Committee, Provincial Council of Maternal and Child Health. Dr. Tunde-Byass has received numerous departmental, university and national teaching awards. In 2014, she was selected by the University of Toronto to receive the Carl Nimrod Award from the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada. She receives the 2016 Science & Technology Award, presented by Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program.
Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award


UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
Hannah Godefa is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and the Founder of Pencil Mountain. Since the age of seven, Hannah has cultivated a desire for giving. Pencil Mountain has delivered half a million pencils to thousands of children in rural Ethiopia. A Canadian citizen of Ethiopian origin, Godefa has been recognized locally and internationally for her philanthropic work.

In January 2013, Godefa became a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) National Ambassador to Ethiopia. In October 2013, Hannah made a speech at the International Day of the Girl Child at the UNICEF Headquarters on “Innovating for Girls’ Education”. In 2013, Hannah moderated an event about education for girls. American pop music star Katy Perry and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake attended it at UNICEF in New York.

In 2014, she joined United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Co-Chair of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Advocacy Group, as well as other world leaders, to participate in an interactive discussion on “Investing in Girl Empowerment for MDG Acceleration,” in Davos, Switzerland. On July 7th 2014, Hannah made a speech at the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva. She received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award. She receives the 2016 Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award, presented by Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program.

Enterprise Award
Dentist & Entrepreneur
Dr. Pierre-Michel Smith is a dentist and a highly successful entrepreneur. Born in Jeremie, Haiti, Dr. Smith is a big proponent of continuing education. He graduated in dentistry from the University of Port au Prince in Haiti. In 1975, the government of Quebec gave the green light to teach dentists denturism, officially recognizing the profession, Dr. Pierre-Michel Smith was one of the first to train students in CEGEP Édouard-Montpetit in Longueuil, Quebec in Canada. To satisfy his large Francophone clientele, Pierre-Michel Smith has three dental offices in North Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale in the USA, as well as in Montreal, Canada.
Dr. Smith is still and is always registered as a student at the university where he studied traditional medicine. Dade County Dental Society honoured him for exceptional service to the community. In 1996, he received a Fellowship in the General Academy Dentistry in the USA. In Quebec, he has he been a college professor and was one of the regular dentists for the City of Montreal. He worked from James Bay to the Lower North Shore and has long had an office in Lachine and Sherbrooke. Dr. Smith has lived in Quebec for over 25 years and in Florida for fifteen years. He constantly shuttles between Canada and the USA. He receives the 2016 Enterprise Award, presented by Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program.
Marcus Garvey Memorial Award
Professor & Activist
Dr. Akua Benjamin joined Ryerson University as an instructor in Continuing Education, teaching Intercultural Communication. In 1988, she was hired as a Community Practice Instructor in the School of Social Work, becoming the first African Canadian faculty member in the school. She enabled the shaping of the anti-oppression, social justice, and social transformation orientation. In 2003, she became the first African Canadian Director at Ryerson University. Dr. Benjamin began her formal social work career after graduating from the University of Toronto in the 1980’s. In 2003, she received her PhD in Sociology of Education and Equity Studies from Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Benjamin has been involved in numerous community groups and initiatives, advocating for change and challenging racist and discriminatory structures, policies, and practices. She has worked with organizations like Black Action Defence Committee, National Action Committee on the Status of Women, and Congress of Black Women. Dr. Benjamin’s efforts have been recognized with multiple awards from community groups, the City of Toronto, Ryerson University and the YWCA, including the Constance E. Hamilton Award. In addition, she was one of nine Canadian women nominated in a group of 1000 women across the globe for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. She receives the 2016 Marcus Garvey Memorial Award, presented by Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program.
Media Award
Film & Television Director
David Sudz Sutherland is a film as well as TV writer and director. His drama series ‘Shoot the Messenger,’ co-created with his wife, writer and producer Jennifer Holness, premiered on October 10, 2016 on CBC Television. Sutherland’s feature film, Home Again, won the prestigious PAFF/BAFTA Festival Choice Award in Los Angeles. His film Love, Sex and Eating the Bones won multiple awards, including Best First Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). He co-wrote and directed the dramatic miniseries Guns for CBC. Guns won five Gemini Awards, including Best Writing and Directing. He also wrote and directed the triple Gemini TV movie, Doomstown, and directed The Phantoms, which won an International Emmy Kids Award.
Sutherland also won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Direction for The Phantoms TV movie and a Director’s Guild of Canada Best Direction nomination. He has directed episodes of television dramas, including CBC’s Cracked, Murdoch Mysteries, Heartland and Wild Roses, as well as Syfy Network’s Haven, CW’s Reign, Beauty and the Beast. He directed the pilot and the second episode of Da Kink In My Hair for Global, Degrassi: The Next Generation for CTV, The Famous Jett Jackson for Disney, as well as Drop The Beat for CBC. Sutherland lives in Toronto with his wife, three daughters and a small fluffy white dog named Shiloh. He receives the 2016 Media Award, presented by Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program.
Development Award
Founder, Victorious Living
Pastor Lynette Ferrier is the Founder of Victorious Living Women’s Group, which began in January 2013 in Toronto, Canada. Designed to liberate hurting women, the program takes women through practical teachings that enable them to discipline their spirits, souls and bodies. Pastor Lynette is a compassionate and bold visionary with keen sensitivity for women. An accomplished teacher, trainer and mentor, she attended Rhema Bible Training College in Oklahoma, USA, and graduated in 1999. Prior to moving to the United States, she worked in the airlines industry in Trinidad and Tobago, in the Caribbean. A married mother of three, who are all serving in ministry, she has also worked as a grade three teacher in Tampa, Florida.
Lynette is Associate Pastor at Destiny & Dominion Word Ministries, where her eldest son Marcus Martinez is the Senior Pastor. Pastor Lynnette is also the Dean of Destiny and Dominion Bible Training Center. The Victorious Living fellowship, which is the subject of a documentary film by Silvertrust Media, Destiny Harvest and Afroglobal Television, deals with issues affecting women who have been subjected to abusive relationships, betrayal, prostitution and more. They are empowered to overcome and soar. This passion drives her to get women off the streets, even though she has been shot at while reaching out. Her dream is to build a home for women who have nowhere to go. She receives the 2016 Development Award, presented by Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program.
Renaissance Award
Executive Director, Youth Bridge Foundation
Seth Oteng is the Founder and Executive Director of Youth Bridge Foundation and the African Youth and Governance Conference (AYGC) Initiative. A Graduate of International Management, Member of the Institute of Human Resource Practitioners and Fellow of the Boardroom Institute of Governance in Ghana, Oteng has great passion for youth and continues to develop responsive programs for positive development. Committed to the advancement of Africa, he founded the Youth Bridge Foundation in 2005 and the AYGC initiative, with a network of activities in over 40 African Countries as well as in the African Diaspora.
AYGC is the only Africa-wide platform that brings the youth of over 30 African countries together annually. It reflects on his recognition of the potential of the African youth to generate wealth using knowledge, skills and creativity for Africa’s development. Oteng’s focus is on advocating for youth engagement and positive participation in local, national, continental and global governance whilst on the other hand, empowering youth through varied initiatives for meaningful engagement and self-development. He has extensive international exposure acquired through residency, studies and professional engagement in Europe, the Americas and across Africa. He receives the 2016 Renaissance Award, presented by Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program.
Entertainment Award
Singer, Songwriter & Actress
Liberty Silver was the first Black woman in Canada to receive a Juno Award in 1985, and has received 3 Junos in her career. She is also a Grammy Award winner as well, she rose from the basement mini-concerts as a young girl to opening up for Bob Marley at the Madison Square Garden in New York. Silver has performed before US President Barack Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bob Geldof and Mikhail Gorbachev. She has shared the stage with B.B. King, Celine Dion, The Temptations, Brian McKnight, Natalie Cole and Gladys Knight.
Liberty Silver collaborated with various artists for the humanitarian track “Tears are not Enough”, which generated over 16 million dollars for the 1985 Ethiopian Famine Relief and was nominated for over six Grammys. Silver won 7 consecutive weeks on Star Search and in the mid-1980’s, 5 Black Music Awards; a Bob Marley Memorial Award, a Marty’s People’s Choice Award, and 3 Genie nominations for acting. She co-hosted the World Basketball Championship ceremony with TV Star Alan Thicke, hosted her own TV series “Centre Stage Chronicles”, co-wrote and performed the official Olympic theme for the 1996 Atlanta and 2004 Athens Olympic games. She receives the 2016 Entertainment Award, presented by Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program.

“All Bagged-Up, With Nowhere To Go”

In Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on October 27, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Kirk Verner Writes about Garbage in Toronto - Photo Courtesy of

By: Kirk Verner

As the first week of summer drifts through Toronto like a lost locomotive, my nose hairs tingle from the smell of rubble. Toronto’s trash is all bagged-up, with nowhere to go. Soon to be towering high over our heads, our trash will have to sit and decompose in our garages, alleys, and on our street corners until yet another city strike is settled.

As this strike rots its way into “Week 2” I decide to roam the streets in the city’s core, seeking the most unsightly of trash heaps.

I find a bus shelter that has been transformed into a wonderful compost pile. Equipped with blackened banana peels, mustard stained napkins, and more rodent droppings than you could find in any grain elevator, this inner-city glass shelter can now become an impeccable greenhouse…how innovative.

A short journey through the alleys of Chinatown reminds me of why I was warned to steer clear of this area of the city during this garbage strike. The smell of rancid sweet and sour ribs hovers in the air. The stench sticks to the graffiti that has been crudely spray-painted on the brick walls. Dead pigeons rest in peace and are clean of maggots due to the endless menu options for the squirming fly larva. The alley reminds me of photos I have seen illustrating the garbage dumps in Rio de Janeiro.

In my own garage, the problem worsens. Although horrid, the smell is not the concern. It is the sight of all I want to rid that really bothers me. It’s the garbage that reminds me of what I once loved, but now want nothing to do with. An old Playboy, the Farrah Fawcett issue, sits menacingly amidst plastic and Styrofoam; photos I will never again be able to look at due to her passing. A “Thriller” album I bought as a joke from a yard sale sits cracked and faded on the ever-growing pile a junk. A Michael Jackson bobble-head with the word “pedophile” finely painted across its chest frightens me every time I open the sliding door. Please take my garbage away!

The strike, I believe, should be a test for Canada’s largest city. Toronto needs to seriously start recycling more in order to tackle this heap of an environmental issue. Why is it always about money? At least a third of the ruin I come across resting on the city streets is most certainly recyclable. What are we going to do about it?

Toronto…a world-class city with third-world garbage issues!?

No country for shoe schools

In Beauty, Education, Living, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on October 26, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Rachel Muenz Has Discovered There Are No Shoe Schools in Canada - Photo Courtesy of

Rachel Muenz Has Discovered There Are No Shoe Schools in Canada - Photo Courtesy of

By Rachel Muenz

There are no shoe design schools in Canada and you can blame that on our climate.

Because of our ever-changing weather, Canadians tend to put function over fashion, according to Sarah Beam-Borg, the assistant curator at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum. “North Americans, traditionally, haven’t been sticklers for beautiful manufacture in footwear also because we need so many different kinds of shoes for our climate,” she says.

There’s a saying at the Bata Shoe Museum, Beam-Borg adds. The average Italian is willing to spend up to $500 for a single pair of beautiful shoes and they’ll have about 10 pairs of shoes in their closet.

The average North American will spend about $70 for a fashionable pair of shoes but they’ll have 30 or 40 pairs in their closet.

Canadians need winter boots, summer sandals, footwear for wet weather, shoes for work, and shoes for play. Paying $500 for each pair would put most people in the poorhouse.
As a result, we don’t worry about style so much and Canada has never gained a reputation for fashion.

“We have our own Fashion Week but Canada isn’t really a fashion centre on the world stage,” says Beam-Borg. “It isn’t known for its footwear design or manufacture and never has been.”

Most shoe manufacture is done in China where labour is cheapest and most of the design is done in Italy, seen as one of the major fashion centres of Europe, Beam-Borg says.
There’s also been little interest in shoe design programs here.
Beam-Borg has worked with the Ryerson University fashion department for the last six or seven years doing shoe design competitions with the students. When the competitions were mandatory, 150 students would show up, but as soon as shoe design was made optional, only nine came to compete.
“Unless it’s a course requirement, students aren’t seeking it out,” she says.

As far as Beam-Borg knows, no one has tried to establish a shoe design school or program in Canada and she doubts anyone ever will.

Greg Flood also says no one has tried setting one up in Ontario.

Flood, a spokesman for the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities, says if post-secondary schools in Ontario saw shoe design as necessary, they would submit curriculum and criteria for a shoe program to the ministry for funding.

No such submission has been put forward.

“I’m not aware at the present time about a university or college that has identified shoe design as a need within the province of Ontario,” he says.

But, there is one program that focuses on shoes in Canada and it fits perfectly with the North American desire for needs over style.

It is the post-graduate program in pedorthics at Western University.

Pedorthics involves the making of special shoes and inserts for people with foot injuries or ailments. Those who practice it are called pedorthists.

All aspiring pedorthists must take this program.

“Anybody new now entering into this field must graduate and get a diploma through Western,” says Linda Deschamps, a certified pedorthist and kinesiologist who’s also an instructor in the program.

Before, students did an apprenticeship program which involved three years of work to get certified. Deschamps says the new program is better because it is more objective and faster to finish, taking only one year to complete.

With Canada’s aging population, you would think a single program wouldn’t be enough to keep up with the demand for pedorthists’ skills, but Deschamps says this isn’t so.

“If it was just pedorthists that were dealing with the aging feet, it would not be enough,” she says from her clinic in Kingston, Ontario. “But there are other Allied Health Professionals who also deal with the feet.”

Orthotists, who make custom inserts for shoes, chiropodists, who treat foot diseases and deformities, and podiatrists who also care for the foot, are some of the other professionals helping to deal with the increasing foot problems that come with age.

The program at Western is also open to people all across Canada because the courses are offered online with three work terms in between that can be taken almost anywhere in the country.

It was started by one of the first Canadian certified pedorthists, the late Howard Fiegel, and is in its fifth year. Only about 20 students are accepted and around 12 to 20 graduate each year. But, there are advantages to staying small.

“They’re not high numbers from our course but these are very strong students who help another clinic along the way and eventually open up their own,” Deschamps says. “We could take more but those are the numbers that appear to be good candidates.”

She says the program is growing slowly because pedorthics is not a well-known field, having only been in Canada for about 30 years. There are now around 400 pedorthists registered with the Pedorthic Association of Canada.
This slow growth does have its positives though.

“In some ways it’s a very good thing because we have control over the students that come through and the product that leaves in the end,” Deschamps says.

She expects the program will expand to another university in the future, possibly in western Canada, but says it probably won’t get bigger than that.

Also, a second program isn’t likely to open soon.
“There’s only one program because of numbers, because of financing, because of the need at this point,” says the pedorthist, who was certified 17 years ago through an apprenticeship. “We’ve looked into it, [. . . ] but at this point, numbers are only dictating the need for one.”
There are negatives to those low numbers as well.
“If we had larger numbers applying, of course, it would allow us to open more doors and offer more because, financially, we would be more feasible as well,” Deschamps says.
Overall, she says the program is a great one to be in.
“It’s a very strong, young program,” Deschamps says.
As for Canadians interested in the fashion side, there are still options.

Beam-Borg says people usually go to schools in other countries, such as Cordwainers, a shoe design school in London, England.

“You go where the best education is and [. . .], Canada’s never been a traditional place for shoe design or shoe manufacture,” she says.

But she agrees it is difficult for people who don’t have a lot of money to afford the cost of a foreign education. The one-year, post-graduate shoe design program at the Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing in California costs $30,000 in tuition.

“If you can’t afford to go then perhaps you can’t be a shoe designer, which sociologically is a problem, absolutely,” Beam-Borg says. “But I think if you have the skill, a lot of people also get bursaries and grants.”

Many people could also take a fashion illustrations program in Canada and then get into shoe design by gaining experience at a fashion house or shoe design company in the U.S. or Europe, Beam-Borg says. There are three such programs in Toronto at Seneca College, Humber College, and Ryerson.

“If you want to do shoe design, fashion illustration seems to be the quickest way to get into that vein,” Beam-Borg says. “If shoes catch your fancy, odds are really good if you can draw a shirt, you can draw a shoe.”

Happy Birthday Lisa!

In Writing (all kinds) on October 25, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Wishing you a 1,000 more!

Tabi make ninjas happy

In Culture, Health, Media Writing, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on October 24, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Rachel Muenz Discovered There Are Special Shoes for Ninjas - Photo:

Rachel Muenz Discovered There Are Special Shoes for Ninjas - Photo:

By Rachel Muenz

Most people in Toronto put on high-heels, polished oxfords or running shoes when they go to work. Matthew Wright puts on a pair of tabi.

Tabi are a traditional type of shoe worn in Japan mainly for festivals and are essentially like mittens for your feet, keeping the big toe separate from the rest of your toes. They also happen to be the favoured footwear of ninjas.

Wright has been making training tools and fixing swords for people who practise ninjutsu for about three years.

“I’m very lucky with my profession that I get to say I’m a full-time professional ninja,” he says. “It’s very awesome.”

He says he finds wearing regular clothes strange because he is used to wearing his ninjutsu uniform all the time at work.

“When I go out, I feel I’m putting the costume on. I put the jeans on. I put a shirt on and I look in the mirror and I think I look very funny,” says Wright, who has practised ninjutsu for two years. “I don’t put Gators on, I put my tabi on.”

The shoes look cool but there is more to them than that.

Greg Tremblay, a full-time ninjutsu instructor at Kageyama Dojo in western Toronto also wears tabi every day to work. He says these unique shoes give a ninja’s balance a boost with their split-toe design.

“The big toe is absolutely of prime importance for balance,” Tremblay says, tugging on his own toe  that is poking through his well-worn tabi. “It’s where all your balance comes from and so having that toe separated from the rest of them adds to that feeling of balance.”

You wouldn’t think so, since the cotton tabi tend to slip, but this actually helps with a ninja’s training, says Tremblay who’s at the rank of seventh dan in ninjutsu and bears the title of Shidoshi.

With Canada’s icy winters, training with tabi help simulate a situation where you might be fighting on a slippery, snowy road, says Tremblay, who opened Kageyama in 1996 and has been doing ninjutsu since the early 80s.

The easy-slide fabric forces ninjas to concentrate on their balance instead of taking it for granted.

Wright agrees cotton tabi improve a ninja’s stability.

“They allow me to grip surfaces that are uneven,” he says from the beige mat in one of the dojo’s training halls. “I can feel the terrain so it allows me to really work on my balance.”

Tabi are also easier to clean than other shoes.

“You can throw these in the washing machine and wash them,” Tremblay says, clapping a hand on his tabi-clad foot. “They’re just kind of like really thick, convenient socks.”

There are also more durable, rubber-soled tabi called jika tabi, which ninjas use mostly for outdoor training. In Japan, this type of tabi is used by construction workers.

Wright says jika tabi are excellent for training on hardwood floors because they grip much better than cloth tabi. Jika tabi also make it easier for him to train with his problem knee.

“With a rubber sole, my foot doesn’t slip so I can really feel where the pressure is on my knee,” Wright says, gesturing to his left leg. “It allows me to have a lot more power and accuracy.”

Some moves can only be done wearing tabi.

Amon Kage, who’s been training in ninjutsu for three years but has only been at Kageyama for a week, says he wears tabi just for one type of strike.

“The only reason I actually use them is because of the toe kick,” Kage says. “That’s the only footwear you can effectively use [for the kick].”

This move is a kick with the big toe to any target on an opponent’s body, says Kage, a literature student at the University of Toronto. The split toe is what allows a ninja to pull it off.

When buying tabi, Wright says he wants ones that don’t bite between his toes but have a seam that fits tightly to his foot. He says he still needs some space in the toe area for movement, but not a lot.

“If there’s too much space . . . it doesn’t hold nicely and it’s like wearing a loose sock and you’re trying to move,” he says, running his hand along his new-looking navy tabi. “It’s just uncomfortable all the time.”

Both Wright and Tremblay say it’s best to buy directly from a supplier rather than the Internet. Tremblay finds it easiest to get his tabi directly from Japan, which he visits often.

He says they cost about $15 to$20 Canadian and the larger sizes are around $30 to$35 and last three to nine months before they wear out, depending on how often they’re used.

If you have to buy tabi over the Internet, asking questions is important to make sure you get the right type and best quality, the two ninjas say.

“Ask if they’re Velcro,” Wright says. “If they’re Velcro that’s usually the first sign that they’re not good tabi.”

High-quality tabi have metal tabs at the back that can be adjusted for a better fit.

While Tremblay wears tabi as often as he can, the navy blue ones for ninjutsu, the black jika tabi for outdoor training, and white ones for doing Japanese archery, he avoids wearing them in public. He wore a pair of rubber tabi similar to rain boots when he went out only once.

“I wore them one time on the subway and everybody noticed,” he says with a smile. “It’s totally not something that a ninja would actually wear because then everybody knows you’re a ninja, right?”


In Writing (all kinds) on October 24, 2016 at 3:00 AM


Aries ( 21 Mar – 19 April ) – It’s time to rise to the occasion and stand in your power place. Gather inspiration from your environment and stir that energy until it simmers into something heavenly. The high demands that have been placed on you at work may require some overtime, so pace yourself and start delegating less important tasks. Burning red candles can aid you in keeping on task, Share your success with your inner circle. Get together with the people who matter most and celebrate their milestones too.  A light-hearted and fun-filled social event will lift your spirits, especially when it brings you into contact with someone you haven’t seen in ages. Favorable Dates : Oct 30 Favorable Colors : White & Blue

Taurus ( 20 April – 20 May )You’ve grown accustomed to a whole new level of feelings, new depth, new warmth, and ultimately a new life. 
You’ve worked hard and can now reap the benefits. Abundance is showering your life with improved finances, stable relationships or even the achievement of a long term dream coming to fruition. During your chosen path, decisions that you made back then, seem to keep you from focusing on tomorrow. You could be re-thinking your life, wondering where your life would have taken you if you chose the alternative. An ongoing relationship with someone you have in your life now, might be wearing you thin, possibly because you are pulling more of the weight. Favorable Dates : Oct  25 Favorable Colors : Yellow & Blue

Gemini ( 21 May – 20 June ) – This will be a good week to initiate new projects and businesses; take classes, start a new exercise regime. Pursue your passions. You are doing a good job of managing your time and the people in your life. You will enjoy the company you keep and get to spend good times with them. Weddings, engagements, formal affairs round out this week. Any legal issues will be decided in your favour. You will need to keep a close eye on your finances and other important matters. When it comes to romantic pursuits you are on the right track. It may be moving slower than you would like but this is best. Favorable Dates : Oct  26 Favorable Colors : Yellow & White Read the rest of this entry »

/R E P E A T — Media Advisory: Quebecor Inc.’s financial results for first quarter 2016 – Conference call/

In Writing (all kinds) on October 23, 2016 at 3:00 AM
MONTREAL, April 22, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ – Pierre Dion, President and Chief Executive Officer, Quebecor Inc., Quebecor Media Inc.,Manon Brouillette, President and Chief Executive Officer, Videotron Ltd, Julie Tremblay, President and Chief Executive Officer, Media Group of Quebecor Media Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer, Group TVA Inc. and Jean-François Pruneau, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Quebecor Inc. and Quebecor Media Inc., will hold a conference call on Thursday, May 12, 2016, at 4:30 PM, following the release of Quebecor Inc.’s financial results for the first quarter 2016 consolidated results. Media are only allowed to attend this conference call in listen mode.

Please note that the annual meeting of Quebecor will be held on Thursday, May 12, 2016, at 9:30 AM.

Conference call: 

Quebecor Inc. reports first quarter 2016 consolidated results
Thursday, May 12, 2016, at 4:30 PM

Call-in number: 

1-877-293-8052 (Canada-US)

Participant code: 



Martin Tremblay, Vice President, Public Affairs, Quebecor Media Inc.


Pierre Dion, President and Chief Executive Officer, Quebecor Inc., Quebecor Media Inc.;
Manon Brouillette, President and Chief Executive Officer, Videotron Ltd;
Julie Tremblay, President and Chief Executive Officer, Media Group of Quebecor Media Inc.; President and Chief Executive Officer, Group TVA Inc.;
Jean-François Pruneau, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Quebecor Inc. and Quebecor Media Inc.


Denis Sabourin, Vice President and Corporate Controller
Quebecor Inc. and Quebecor Media Inc.


Anyone unable to attend this conference call may listen to the rebroadcast by phoning 
(Canada-US), conference reference number: 1197769 and participant code 90393# (until August 12, 2016).

The conference call is also available in audio webcast on Quebecor’s website at

The Company
Quebecor, a Canadian leader in telecommunications, entertainment, news media and culture, is one of the best-performing integrated communications companies in the industry. Driven by their determination to deliver the best possible customer experience, all of Quebecor’s subsidiaries and brands are differentiated by their high-quality, multiplatform, convergent products and services.

Quebecor (TSX: QBR.A, QBR.B) is headquartered in Québec. It holds an 81.07% interest in Quebecor Media, which employs close to 11,000 people in Canada.

A family business founded in 1950, Quebecor is strongly committed to the community. Every year, it actively supports people working with more than 400 organizations in the vital fields of culture, health, education, the environment and entrepreneurship.

Visit our website:
Follow us on Twitter:


SOURCE Quebecor

For further information: Martin Tremblay, Vice President, Public Affairs, Quebecor Media Inc., 514-380-1985,

For the People

In Culture, Entertainment, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on October 22, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Nick Goodwin Watched Sesame Street as a Child - Photo:

Nick Goodwin Watched Sesame Street as a Child - Photo:

By Nick Goodwin

I wonder if it’s strange that I relate my childhood to movies that I watched as a kid. Or children’s show such as Sesame Street. I guess it’s a good thing. I turned out to be polite, kind, respectful and considerate. Perhaps the creators of these shows had some of our best
interests in mind. It’s the least I could hope for.

I found it interesting the other day when I picked up a plastic bag full of carrots and read the side of the bag. There was an ingredients section listed on this bag of carrots and I wanted to know what
on earth could be added to a bag of carrots so I read in deeper. I was relieved to discover that the only ingredient listed was, of course, carrots. Kind of scary though, that so many of our foods are manmade. Some kids in the world might think that pasta trees or Cheerios plants exist somewhere in the galaxy. Assume not and count out no possibility, on both counts.

I’m 20 years old and at this point in life, the least I can do is try and set an example for people. To live by a code of respect and decency is the least I can do. Truly, it’s the least that all of us can do. Beyond making a living and feeding a family. Beyond politics and laws. People aren’t born to be hostile creatures. You don’t see us with fangs or claws. We weren’t given the tools to be predators. We were given the tools to consider.

We were given the privilege to be opinionated and to build our own stories. Each individual person with a story, a position, an opinion, an up bringing, and a direction.

[TPS] – Pedestrian Safety Awareness

In Writing (all kinds) on October 21, 2016 at 1:26 PM
Toronto Police Service
News Release

Pedestrian Safety Awareness

Friday, October 21, 201612:58 PM
Traffic Services

Pedestrian safety initiatives, delivered by the Toronto Police Service, are designed to promote cooperative safety strategies, with members of our communities, using awareness, education and enforcement.

Collision analysis has shown that pedestrian fatalities represent approximately 50% of yearly traffic fatalities in Toronto. To date, 35 pedestrians have lost their lives in Toronto this year. Inclement weather and dark conditions can lead to a decrease in visibility for both drivers and pedestrians.

These environmental factors can increase the risk of injuries when poor walking or driving behaviours are routinely demonstrated.

Pedestrian Safety:

Senior citizens are over-represented in pedestrian fatalities and injuries according to recent safety data. Seniors often get hit within a step or two from the curb, stepping out from behind a parked car, or by being caught out in traffic. While motorists are at fault in many pedestrian collisions, statistics show pedestrians sometimes contribute to the collision by:

– not choosing the safest places to cross
– not paying attention to traffic
– not being aware of the timing of traffic lights and pedestrian walk/don’t walk signals
– underestimating the time needed to cross safely

To reduce injuries, practice these safe walking tips:

– follow the directions of all traffic signs and signals

– be aware of your surroundings, make sure that you can hear what’s going on around you

– wear reflective or bright-coloured clothing, when possible, to increase your visibility to other road-users (dress children in reflective or bright-coloured clothes where possible as well)

– always make sure you have a clear view of all vehicles, and make yourself visible to the drivers

– be aware of traffic signals, but never completely rely on them. While in the crosswalk, pedestrians should continue to be alert to oncoming traffic at all times

– always use pedestrian crosswalks to cross the road. Do not cross diagonally or from between parked vehicles (mid-block). Since drivers are not expecting pedestrians to cross mid-block, risk of injury is much higher if you do so

– wait for a fresh traffic signal. Do not start crossing once the countdown or flashing hand begins when possible, make eye contact with the drivers before beginning to cross the road. Drivers must be able to see you, in order to avoid you. Do not assume drivers can see you or that they are paying attention

– if you must walk on the roadway, walk facing traffic and as close to the curb as possible

Please download the Toronto Police Service Mobile App for iOS or Android.

For more news, visit

Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu, Corporate Communications, for Constable Clint Stibbe, Traffic Services

There are no files attached to this release.

Courses Offered at New Opportunties Learning Centre

In Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Education, Entertainment, Living, Media Writing, Writing (all kinds) on October 21, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Starting July 5, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Isabella and Church Streets in Toronto, I will be offering a writing course costing $40.00 for nine weeks. This special course will also include elements of self-publishing.  If you would like to attend the nine-week course, please contact me at: ASAP. Space is limited to the first 10 registrants.

[TPS] – #Fraudchat: Cyber Crime, Thursday, October 20, 2016, 1 p.m.

In Writing (all kinds) on October 20, 2016 at 9:18 AM
Toronto Police Service
News Release

#Fraudchat: Cyber Crime, Thursday, October 20, 2016, 1 p.m.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 – 4:59 AM
Financial Crimes

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. It was created to educate internet users about online security and the simple steps they can take to protect themselves. The campaign’s goal is to bring together all levels of government, the public and private sectors, and the international community, to help internet users be safer online.

Cyber Security Awareness Month aims to drastically reduce the number of Canadians falling victim to cybercrime by creating awareness, sharing prevention tips and creating informed internet users.

Most Canadian internet users feel vulnerable to online threats, yet many people take risks online, such as opening email from an unknown source or not protecting personal information stored on a computer. Take the time, this October, during Cyber Security Awareness Month, to review your online safety practices and follow #CSAM.

Today, at 1 p.m., we will be joined by special guests the Canadian Bankers Association, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, to answer questions regarding Cyber Crime. Members of the public can follow the Canadian Bankers Association, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association using the hashtags @CdnBankers, @Canantifraud and @CHLIA on Twitter.

To follow #fraudchat, members of the public simply need to log on to Twitter from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST and follow the #Fraudchat hashtag. An application such as “Tweetdeck,” which allows users to separately view tweets containing this hashtag, is also helpful in following the chat.

About #Fraudchat

#Fraudchat is a monthly Twitter chat that takes place on Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST on Twitter. Launched in November 2012, this program seeks to educate and exchange ideas with the public about financial crimes and fraud. The moderators for this program are Detective Gail Regan (@Reganfcu) and D/C Diane Kelly (@DKellyFCU) of the Financial Crimes Unit and members of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (@FSCOTweets & CSFOTweets).

Since November 2012, TPS Financial Crimes has partnered with the Financial Service Commission of Ontario to educate the public about financial crimes and fraud through the use of social media.

Please download the Toronto Police Service Mobile App for iOS or Android.

For more news, visit

Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu, Corporate Communications, for Detective Constable Diane Kelly, Financial Crimes

There are no files attached to this release.

The shoemaker and the “magic box”

In Beauty, Business, Entertainment, Media Writing, Writing (all kinds) on October 20, 2016 at 3:00 AM
The Shoemaker and the Magic Box - Photo Courtesy of

The Shoemaker and the Magic Box - Photo Courtesy of

By Rachel Muenz

I take off my shoes and socks, roll my pants up to my knees, pull on a pair of thin nylon stockings and put my left foot into what Ken Brubacher calls “the magic box.”

Brubacher is one of only a handful of custom shoemakers left in North America and, once he’s gone, his knowledge would have been lost. Until now.

Brubacher says shoemakers are vanishing partly because the trade is looked down on by the general public and because it is not being passed on to family members, who tend to go to university instead. But, with such a large aging population, there are more foot problems than ever.

Luckily, the box can help.

The “magic box” is the Otabo foot scanner and, in tandem with computer aided design and manufacturing systems and an exhaustive database, is the most sophisticated way of making custom shoes in existence.

Brubacher is showing me how the unit works from his shop, Brubacher Foot Comfort, in Collingwood.

He closes the lid of the box, which has a circular hole on top for my leg.

“It [the scanner] doesn’t like outside light so what we do is bundle the baby up,” Brubacher says, wrapping a blue towel around my knee where it emerges from the box.

He clicks a button on the monitor attached to the box and the scanner emits a high-pitched hum. Cameras move along a track beneath the glass, capturing data from 200,000 points on my foot using laser video technology.

A grey, 3D image of my foot begins to appear onscreen from heel to toe.

Brubacher repeats the process with my right foot and checks the data. There’s a hole in my left foot, which Brubacher says was caused by light.

“If a bit of light got in, and it [the scanner] doesn’t like that, then it will lose a bit of the data in the shaft of your leg,” he says.

Brubacher fills in the missing section with a quick stroke of the mouse, then clicks back to the grey model to show me the hole has disappeared.

A customer’s scans are then sent to the computers on his desk where Brubacher makes some more adjustments before the data is emailed to a factory in Guangzhou, China. Here, a plastic model of each foot, called a last, is made in a CNC milling machine and from those models, near-perfect right and left shoes are made. The shoes are sent back to Collingwood where Brubacher does the finishing touches and makes more adjustments based on feedback from the customer.

“It’s as close to perfection as anything that has ever occurred on the face of the earth, by far,” Brubacher says of shoes made from the scans.

Perfection comes at a price of around $1000 for the shoes, depending on what inserts and fine-tuning are required. But, the grey-haired craftsman says, if it is a case of “it’s either me or the wheelchair,” the shoes are a worthwhile purchase.
The new technology is also helping a small number of shoemakers tackle the public’s growing need for custom shoes by allowing them to serve more customers at a higher speed, says Rob DiFelice, a custom shoemaker in the Niagara region.
“With doing things by means of computers and all this new technology it’s going to totally be able to take over what the shoemaker had done . . . at a faster pace,” says DiFelice whose father taught him shoe repair. “And the product looks beautiful.”

DiFelice says he got into custom shoes because of the huge demand in his area.

Brubacher taught DiFelice how to use the scanner and computer systems in Collingwood and DiFelice still goes there frequently for more training.

He says Brubacher is a very enthusiastic and meticulous teacher.

“You can tell he really loves what he does,” DiFelice says. “He’ll tell me things in his teachings that he’s already told me five times over again.”

“He doesn’t even realize it . . . and he’s as enthused about it as he was from the first time he told me about it,” the younger shoemaker adds. “He likes to make sure you understand what he’s talking about, so he’s very thorough in his teachings too.”
Though Brubacher grew up watching his own father repair shoes, he taught himself how to make shoes and use the scanner and computer systems later on.

“My teacher is fixing my mistakes at night, for free,” he says, looking down his nose. “That’s a stern teacher. You listen to that teacher.”

Brubacher is also passing those teachings on to his daughter, Angela.

She agrees new technology like the foot scanner will replace the dying shoemaker but someone with shoemaking and orthopaedic knowledge and experience, like her father, will still be needed to properly serve those with foot problems. Technology will bring those skills to more people, she says on the phone from the family’s Elmira location.

“It’s much easier for him to teach somebody new, like myself, in a shorter period of time how to use all of that knowledge and the technology,” Angela says.

Brubacher says he’s lost a lot of money investing in the new technology, but he says the greater ability to help people walk in comfort has made up for the loss.

“It’s cost me my fortune but it’s worth it,” he says. “People come in, after the fact and they say, ‘You know, it’s just been an amazing, amazing, miraculous difference.’”

“We’re not dealing with covering up the feet here. We’re dealing with the quality of people’s lives.”

[TPS] – TPS civilian charged, Update, Further investigation leads to 22 new charges

In Writing (all kinds) on October 19, 2016 at 1:35 PM
Toronto Police Service
News Release

TPS civilian charged, Update, Further investigation leads to 22 new charges

Wednesday, October 19, 20161:31 PM
Corporate Communications

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016, the TPS posted a news release which said that Erin Maranan, 28, a temporary civilian clerk with the Forensic Identification Service of the Toronto Police Service, with three years’ service, was charged with two counts of Breach of Trust.

It was alleged that:

– in February 2014 and September 2014, she committed a Breach of Trust by conducting unauthorized queries of the police database(s)

– these searches were not for official police business

On Wednesday, October 19, 2016, as a result of further investigation, Erin Maranan, 28, of Thornhill, was charged with:

1) 20 counts of Breach of Trust
2) Perjury
3) Personation

She is scheduled to appear in court at 2201 Finch Avenue West on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 1:30 p.m., room 206.

The investigation was carried out by TPS Professional Standards.

Mark Pugash, Corporate Communications

There are no files attached to this release.

Michael Jackson

In Entertainment, Health, Living, Music, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on October 19, 2016 at 3:00 AM

I have most of his albums and he is one of the only performers where I actually had a picture of him up on my wall when I was young. That being…Michael Jackson.

Apparently he suffered a cardiac arrest at 12:20 p.m. this afternoon. I certainly hope he is OK.

I can only imagine the media stir that is going to be created around something like this. I hope rumours do not fly and all kinds of suspicions as to what caused the attack. Let the doctors decide and whether he remains dead or alive – let him rest in peace regardless.

[TPS] – Operation Northern Spotlight – Phase 5, Nationwide Human Trafficking investigation, Tuesday, October 11, 2016 – Sunday, October 16, 2016, Results

In Writing (all kinds) on October 18, 2016 at 10:45 AM
Toronto Police Service
News Release

Operation Northern Spotlight – Phase 5, Nationwide Human Trafficking investigation, Tuesday, October 11, 2016 – Sunday, October 16, 2016, Results

Tuesday, October 18, 201610:40 AM
Sex Crimes

The Toronto Police Service Human Trafficking Enforcement Team took part in the fifth enforcement initiative of Operation Northern Spotlight into vulnerable persons, particularly young women, being forced into the sex trade against their will.

A collaborative multi-jurisdictional initiative took place from Tuesday, October 11, 2016 – Sunday, October 16, 2016. This project includes involvement and coordination with municipal and federal police agencies across the country, and includes the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.

As part of Operation Northern Spotlight, members of 53 police services from across Canada, plus the FBI in the United States, directly engaged with people suspected of working in the sex trade, potentially against their will. During coordinated investigations over a six-day period, police charged 32 people with 78 offences. Police were also able to ensure the safety of 16 people who had been working in the sex trade as a minor or against their will, including numerous people 16 and under. A total of 391 police officers and support staff engaged with 379 people and offered them information and contacts with community-based support agencies.

Charges include:
– Trafficking in Persons under 18
– Trafficking in Persons
– Procure Sexual Services under 18
– Procure Sexual Services
– Receive Material Benefit under 18
– Receive Material Benefit
– Communicate for the Purpose of Obtaining for Consideration the Sexual Services of a Person
– Exercise Control
– Make Child Pornography
– Distribute Child Pornography
– Possess Child Pornography
– Child Luring
– Advertise Another Person’s Sexual Services
– Assault
– Obstruct Police
– Resist Arrest
– Weapons Dangerous
– various Controlled Drug and Substances Act (CDSA) offences
– Failure to Comply with Court Orders and Conditions including Breaches of Recognizance and Probation

The following Ontario police services participated in this phase of Operation Northern Spotlight: Amherstburg Police Service, Akwesasne Police Service, Barrie Police Service, Brantford Police Service, Brockville Police Service, Chatham-Kent Police Service, Cobourg Police Service, Cornwall Community Police Service, Durham Regional Police Service, Gananoque Police Service, Guelph Police Service, Halton Regional Police Service, Hamilton Police Service, City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service, Kingston Police Service, LaSalle Police Service, London Police Service, Midland Police Service, Niagara Regional Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, Orangeville Police Service, Ottawa Police Service, Peel Regional Police Service, Peterborough Police Service, Port Hope Police Service, Rama Police Service, RCMP, Sarnia Police Service, Six Nations Police Service, St. Thomas Police Service, Stratford Police Service, Greater Sudbury Police Service, Toronto Police Service, Waterloo Regional Police S ervice, Windsor Police Service, and York Regional Police. Seventeen additional police services and several RCMP municipal detachments across Canada also participated in Operation Northern Spotlight.

Human Trafficking is a local, provincial and national problem that affects the most vulnerable in society. Operation Northern Spotlight demonstrates the need to work together with other police services and community partners to effectively investigate these heinous crimes.

Police would like to encourage all affected people to come forward and report Human Trafficking occurrences to police. We want to make sure that everyone has access to support services and an exit strategy regardless of their decision to proceed criminally.

Human Trafficking means every person who recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a person, or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation, for a sexual purpose or a forced labour purpose. Victims can be men, women or children; can be Canadian citizens; and can be moved across local, provincial or national borders. They can be coerced through violence or the threat of violence against family and friends. The Human Trafficking Enforcement Team of TPS Sex Crimes is dedicated to investigating these crimes against vulnerable members of society. For more information, please visit the Sex Crimes website.

Please download the Toronto Police Service Mobile App for iOS or Android.

For more news, visit

Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu, Corporate Communications, for Detective Sergeant Nunzio Tramontozzi, Sex Crimes Human Trafficking Enforcement Team

There are no files attached to this release.


In Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Music, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on October 18, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Nick Goodwin Has a Makeshift Curtain - Photo Courtesy of

Nick Goodwin Has a Makeshift Curtain - Photo Courtesy of

By Nick Goodwin

I’m sitting in my house listening to music and lightning. I’m listening to old school hip hop. I really like the “old school” stuff. I can hear it raining a bit in between songs and the lightning is chiming in
whenever it feels like it.

Last night it was extremely hot in the house. It probably did not help that I boiled a pot of water. It was so hot that I got up from my bed in a sweaty haze to try and pry open my uncooperative window. In the heat of the moment I managed to accidentally rip down my makeshift curtain. The window then began giving me trouble. I woke up this morning to a scene of clothes thrown, furniture moved, and a surprising decrease in temperature! I made a huge mess trying to get my window to cooperate. I ended up saying forget it and sleeping through the heat.

I’m starting to develop some personal goals for the future. My nature is ambitious, however, I am really not a goals-oriented individual. I know what I want and I go for it; not always with a plan.

My mother always criticized me for behaving this way. I often find it easier to write the blueprint as you go rather than before you engage in an experience that will have unpredictable occurrences.

I suppose my theory is more relative to short-term planning. I’m starting to think a little more long-term in my potential goals. If I develop some personal long-term goals that will add to my motivation to be a successful freelance artist as well as provide me with some focus.

[TPS] – Public Safety Alert, June Callwood Park, Loose razor blades left in park

In Writing (all kinds) on October 17, 2016 at 9:17 PM
Toronto Police Service
News Release

Public Safety Alert, June Callwood Park, Loose razor blades left in park

Monday, October 17, 2016 – 8:40 PM
14 Division

The Toronto Police Service would like to warn the public of a safety concern at June Callwood Park.

On Monday, October 17, 2016, at 5:40 p.m., officers responded to a suspicious incident at June Callwood Park.

It is reported that:

– a woman was walking her dog in the park

– she noticed a number of loose razor blades scattered throughout the park

– the razor blades have been mixed in with the gravel

– she reports that this has occurred a number of times over the past week

There have been no injuries reported in these incidents.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-1400, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Please download the Toronto Police Service Mobile App for iOS or Android.

For more news, visit

Constable David Hopkinson, Corporate Communications, for Detective Viv Meik, 14 Division

An attachment to this release is available on our website.

[TPS] – Man wanted in Sexual Assault and Robbery investigation, Christie Street and Dupont Street area, Investigators looking for driver who stopped attack

In Writing (all kinds) on October 17, 2016 at 10:44 AM
Toronto Police Service
News Release

Man wanted in Sexual Assault and Robbery investigation, Christie Street and Dupont Street area, Investigators looking for driver who stopped attack

Monday, October 17, 201610:34 AM
13 Division

The Toronto Police Service requests the public’s assistance identifying and locating a man wanted in a Sexual Assault and Robbery investigation.

On Sunday, October 16, 2016, at 3:08 a.m., officers responded to a call for a Sexual Assault in theChristie Street and Dupont Street area.

It is reported that:

– a 28-year-old woman was walking under the CN Rail bridge at 2 a.m.,

– she passed a man standing under the bridge

– the man tried to grab her purse

– she screamed, he covered her mouth

– he sexually assaulted her and stole her purse

– he released her when a car travelling past flashed their high-beams

The man is described as black, dark complexion, medium build, late 20s to early 30s, wearing a grey hoodie.

Investigators would like to speak with the person who interrupted the sexual assault by flashing their high-beams, while travelling northbound on Christie Street.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-1300, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

A sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact. It includes, but is not limited to, kissing, grabbing, oral sex and penetration. To learn more about sexual assault, including how to report a sexual assault, please visit our Sex Crimes website.

Please download the Toronto Police Service Mobile App for iOS or Android.

For more news, visit

Constable David Hopkinson, Corporate Communications, for Detective Jason Albanese, 13 Division

There are no files attached to this release.

Need help? Just give me a call with tobacco

In Business, Culture, Education, Health, Living, Media Writing, Writing (all kinds) on October 17, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Rachel Muenz Writes About Tobacco - Photo:

Rachel Muenz Writes About Tobacco - Photo:

By: Rachel Muenz

Before I climbed to the third floor of the North Borden Building on Spadina, I thought tobacco was bad. But now I know that it can be good, depending on how you use it. Tobacco can help students like me get the confidence they need to make their dreams soar.

It is here at the University of Toronto’s First Nations House where I meet Grafton Antone, one of two Aboriginal elders there, to talk about the work he does with students at U of T. In exchange for that information, I must give him a tiny packet of tobacco wrapped in yellow cloth.

Antone explains tobacco is sacred in Aboriginal culture because it is how natives communicate with Creator, their supreme being, when they need guidance.

“The smoke carries our prayers up to Creator and Creator said, ‘if you want anything, just give me a call and here’s my telephone,’ says Antone, holding up a piece of dried tobacco and laughing. This is why elders are given tobacco in exchange for information and counselling. It’s a way of asking for help.
Students can also bring the elders other gifts. Antone shows me the large block of pink salt stone he got from a student earlier that day who told him it came from Pakistan. He turns it in his hands so I can see the hole in the top where a candle can be put inside and lit to make the stone glow.

Just like lighting the salt stone, Antone helps feed the fires of students’ dreams with his booming laugh and encouraging words so they can shine with success.

“I work with people’s dreams and make them happen,” says Antone, who’s been an elder at First Nations House since about the year 2000.

Antone shows me how he does this by asking students questions and learning what their dreams are. Knowing a bit more about students, he can then bounce ideas off them for how they can go about achieving those dreams.

“That’s where we build; we build on our relationship,” Antone says. “We build on our conversations and that’s what I do. I dialogue with you and in dialoguing with you I’m able to work with you.”

But there’s only so much Antone can do to help a student. Overall, the student needs to have a goal and has to want to achieve that goal in order for Antone to give them guidance.
“A bird needs to have a dream to fly,” he says.

Kathy Marsden agrees. She’s been the native counsellor at the Aboriginal Resource Centre at Georgian College in Barrie for the past 12 years.

“If they’re [the students] not internally motivated, nobody can motivate them to change,” Marsden says. “The support services are about empowering, helping them to work things through themselves, not doing things for them.”

Like Antone, Marsden also uses Aboriginal teachings to help native students at the college. Her main way of helping students is by using what she calls “the medicine wheel approach.”

The medicine wheel is another important symbol of most First Nations, though it differs from group to group. It is a wheel divided into four sections: red, black, white, and yellow. The wheel stands for many different things, but Marsden’s counselling methods focus on the four parts of the self the wheel symbolizes: spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental.
Marsden mostly deals with the emotional part in her counselling but she says the four areas overlap.

“If someone’s under emotional stress, it’s affecting them in all those other areas,” she says. “It’s affecting them mentally, so they can’t concentrate on their academics. It’s affecting them physically; oftentimes they can’t sleep, so I don’t just deal with the emotional part.”

Balance is the aim of Marsden’s approach. She has students fill out a medicine wheel chart to show which of the four areas they need to work on. Eating well and getting enough exercise are some of the things she might help a student with in the physical part, while self-confidence issues could be a part of both the emotional and spiritual sections of the wheel.
“Depending on how lengthy the sessions are we may just deal with one specific aspect,” Marsden says. “But that’s OK. If it helps them get on with their lives, then that’s great.”

Helping students with those emotional problems can be hard.
Antone says that every single student that comes to see him is a difficult case in its own way, but it’s especially hard when the student is angry. Surprisingly, to help students get past their anger, he eggs them on to make them angrier.

“Sometimes when people are angry, it sometimes requires you to get a little bit more angry ‘til you realize that maybe that’s not really the right thing,” he says. “They catch themselves, they calm down and then I’m able to talk to them and maybe bring them down the good path.” The good path can mean forgiving people and treating them better instead of being mad, Antone adds.

Marsden agrees that anger shouldn’t be ignored even though most people see it as a negative emotion.

“The way we look at it is, all our emotions are given to us by Creator so we have to honour all those emotions and it’s how we deal with them that counts,” she says.

Smudging ceremonies are also a way that elders and native counsellors might help students deal with stress and other problems.

In his tiny office at First Nations House with the window open a crack, Antone shows me how smudging is done.

He takes a large shell from a table at the back of the room and sprinkles some grey-white sage leaves into it. He lights them on fire and smoke begins to curl up to the ceiling. I sweep the smoke over myself with my hands three or four times as Antone says for me to do. It has a spicy sweet smell and, as Antone says, “it makes you want to start cooking turkey.”

Aboriginals believe everyone has an energy surrounding them. The smoke from the sage or other plants First Nations use in smudging, such as sweetgrass, works like a shower to wash away negative energy, Antone says.

“What it does is it works with the thinking. It’s good for people and it’s supposed to bring understanding and it’s supposed to clear your mind,” he says. “And in the clearing of the mind it gives a new space, a new time, a new beginning for you to be able to walk the future.”

I feel calmer after bathing myself in the sage smoke and wish I had known about smudging during my last set of assignments.
But smudging doesn’t work for everybody.

“You only get out of it what you put into it,” Antone says.
He adds that postsecondary education is a kind of smudging, because by gaining knowledge, the energy around people changes too.

Learning about the Aboriginal worldview helps students with their personal growth, says Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, an Aboriginal studies professor at the University of Toronto.
Unlike mainstream society, the native viewpoint focuses on the success of everyone as a group rather than the success of one person, Wesley-Esquimaux says.

“When it’s all about you and all you’re concerned about is getting to the top of the game, then you don’t care who you step on,” she says. “Whereas with the Aboriginal worldview it’s not like that, it’s not competitive, it’s about trying to help each other get to a good place.”

By thinking of helping other people instead of just themselves, students not only become better people, they also become part of a community, Wesley-Esquimaux adds. Because of this, they avoid the loneliness and homesickness students often experience when they first get to university or college. Taking part in native community activities like potlucks and feasts means that students gain the support of many people and aren’t left on their own to deal with the transition to university or college.

“They [the students] seem to enjoy the inclusive nature of it. They like being involved in putting together feasts and spending a lot of time with each other,” she says. “They like that part. They don’t feel so isolated.”

Marsden says this idea of community and getting students involved is important at Georgian College as well. Though her counselling services are just for native students, the Aboriginal Resource Centre, like First Nations House, also has events and activities for all students and they have an elder on campus who everyone can visit for help.

“We’re not exclusive, we’re inclusive and that’s a huge factor,” Marsden says.

Changing students’ ways of thinking either through seeing an elder or learning more about Aboriginal culture can help them overcome seemingly impossible challenges at school, Antone says.

“It is not impossible, it’s only the space that you’re sitting in or the environment that you’re engulfed in . . . if we move you over just that much,” he says, holding his hands about an inch apart, “All of a sudden you say, ‘Oh I can see it, I understand it now.”

With a bit of nudging, students see solutions to problems that they were blind to before.

Talking with students and hearing their stories is what Antone enjoys most about working at First Nations House.
“I like to listen to people and I hear their stories. That’s how I can get a story.”

But it also makes him happy when he sees students carrying on what he’s taught them by performing various First Nations ceremonies themselves.

Passing on knowledge is what he really seems to love.
“I changed you,” he says with a laugh. “I smudged you. You’re no longer the same person as you were when you came in here.

You now have an access to the Aboriginal understanding.”
It’s true.

When I first climbed to the third floor of the North Borden Building on Spadina, I was nervous and scared. I didn’t know what First Nations culture was, though I’d read a lot about it.
Now I know a little something, and as I walk away from First Nations House, up the dreary wet street, I’m happy and confident. I know more about who I am.

All because of a little bundle of tobacco wrapped in yellow cloth.


In Writing (all kinds) on October 17, 2016 at 3:00 AM


Aries ( 21 March – 19 April ) – The kind of work or appreciation that you had always wanted is already here with you. Instead of waiting for the ever-elusive perfection, acknowledge what you have and be thankful for all you have received. You may experience endings and new beginnings in work, career as well as relationships. Let go of things, people and situations that are no longer needed for your growth. This week you are also likely to travel a lot. Trips abroad or in far off cities for work as well as leisure are on the cards. Favorable Dates : Oct 21 Favorable Colors : White & Grey

Taurus ( 20 April – 20 May ) – This week will give you ample opportunities to work on your limiting beliefs. If you have ever found yourself saying that you are not lucky enough or capable enough for something, such situations may come up again forcing you to do something about these and such other beliefs now. Someone from the past may show up which will force you  to deal with issues of betrayal and forgiveness. Be open to choosing the best path for yourself.
Be gentle with yourself and others. Things will sail smoothly. Favorable Dates : Oct  22 Favorable Colors : White & Red

Gemini ( 21 May – 20 June) – You will need extra skills in order to balance your professional and personal life. If you can manage to find the balance, you will experience a lot of achievements. You are also likely to be faced with a lot many options and choices. Choose the one for which your head and your heart are in sync. This is also the time when you are likely to meet people from your soul group with whom you might strike immediate friendship. As you spend time with your family and loved ones, it deeply nourishes your soul. Favorable Dates : Oct   23  Favorable Colors : Blue & Red Read the rest of this entry »

Live for your element

In Culture, Entertainment, Living, Opinion, travel, Writing (all kinds) on October 16, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Nick Goodwin Enjoys Cottage Life - Photo:

Nick Goodwin Enjoys Cottage Life - Photo:

By Nick Goodwin

Fishing is definitely one of my favourite things. I always look forward to the summer because I figure there is a good chance that I will find myself out in the wilderness at least once or twice. I love camping and also visiting cottages.

If I go camping with my family it is always a great time. We try to spend time together and play cards, sit by the fire and go for walks, maybe play catch or badminton. We usually have a few laughs and hang out like friends. When I was younger I definitely took advantage of hanging out with my family. Of course, as people get older relationships develop and form new dynamics.

I have loved fishing ever since the first time my Dad taught me how. It is not so much the thrill of the catch as it is the peace of mind. I don’t ever mind if nothing bites. I just love being near the lake and taking in the peace and quiet. Never mind the mosquito bites and sunburns.
When I am fishing I am in my element.

That’s one of the reasons I love skateboarding. When I have my music playing and I’m cruising I am definitely in my element. I live for the peace of mind and the comfort of joy.

I can recognize this focus in others. My mom reads her book with a side of cottage cheese and she is in her element. My dad hangs out in the backyard and he is in his element. My brother plays his guitar and he is in his element.

The point is, if you find yourself going back to an activity for the peace of mind and clarity then you have found your element. Cherish this privilege.

E Reece & Core Elements

In Culture, Entertainment, Events, Music, Writing (all kinds) on October 15, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Elevated Mental Recordings

E REECE & Core Elements


(Produced by Brian Boland)




Read the rest of this entry »

New Book – Listening to Music

In Entertainment, Music, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on October 14, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Cover Art for Listening to Music - Photo:

Cover Art for Listening to Music - Photo:

Donna Kakonge has a new book that can bought on the E-store. The site is: The book is called Listening to Music and features the experience of listening to Erykah Badu, Sting and India.Arie.

A Different Booklist Wins Premier’s Award – Congratulations!

In Writing (all kinds) on October 13, 2016 at 5:55 PM




In Beauty, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on October 13, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Nick Goodwin Protects Himself From the Sun - Photo:

Nick Goodwin Protects Himself From the Sun - Photo:

By Nick Goodwin

The sun. To tan or not to tan, that is the question. We question the reliance of the o-zone layer, the efficiency of sunscreen, and our ability to take in the nutrients that the sun’s light provides.

For adults everywhere it is common practice to know tomorrow’s approximate weather, however, there is nothing wrong with playing it by ear and looking out the window the day of!

This year I am not worried about getting too much sun. I have all the sunscreen I need. I always dress for comfort, so, in the summer heat that means baggy tee shirts that cover most of my arms as

well as long shorts or pants. If anything, my feet need as much sun as they can get. I also have a thin and comfortable hat that provides me with enough shade to stay less than crispy.

For the past two summers I have been very conscious of the sun’s effect on people. I have been highly motivated to use sunscreen and to see what kinds are out there. My skin requires a non-oily sunscreen with a high SPF. The past summer I was using 70 SPF that was really thick, however, I was working at a kid’s camp and they found it amusing to see me running around with TONS of sunscreen caked all over my face.

For kids it is important that sunscreen be fun. It shouldn’t be a worry. Sunscreen should be common practice and promoted as a positive and important thing rather than a threat of skin destruction if not taken advantage of. There is no harm in educating a child on the importance of it.

Growing up I would often visit my Grandfather. He had a divot on the side of his head shaped like a golf ball. He used to tell me that a golf ball had hit him in the head there. I was eventually told the truth. He told me that he had been burned badly by the sun for not wearing the appropriate sun gear and that part of his face had been badly damaged.

For me it was always an entertaining story to begin with, however, the story had a serious twist that brought a lesson to be learned to my attention. I must admit that this little story is probably the true reason behind my “obsession” with sunscreen. If not entirely, it has at least influenced me to be more careful when a beautiful day comes around and everything becomes carefree.

A short trip on a long journey, taken, Only by the Night

In Culture, Media Writing, Music, Writing (all kinds) on October 12, 2016 at 3:00 AM

By Alex Scott

With the passing of time all things change, some for better and some for worse. Not everything that is new is better, and sometimes we lose something tragic. The art of buying music has been all but lost, and it is rather sad to see it go. A visit to the music stores will quickly reveal the dying business, and the endless rows of movies, TV shows, figurines, novelettes, and other such crap they must sling to try and stay alive.

What have we lost? Sure it is much easier to download music these days, if you have enough virus protection and fight your way through the jungle of media available online. Or you can take the noble route and purchase your albums online for a small fee. But buying music online will never be the same as the real thing. What you lose is the essence of music, the indescribable feeling of looking through the work that so many artists have committed their lives to.

I took a trip to the music store recently, a trip down memory lane it seemed to be. It had been quite some time since I had bought a CD, but I was very excited. Maybe I am alone, but to me there is nothing that can replace the way it feels to buy a CD. I will gladly pay more just for the sheer experience. After all, when you compare the cost of a CD to many other things, it really doesn’t cost that much at all. A simple lunch at any burger joint or sandwich shop is over $10, and CD’s are now mostly under $15.

After looking through the racks of music I decided to purchase the Kings Of Leon – Only by the Night. I had only heard one song from them, as they were new to Canada at the time, but the unique vocal sound and the mix of rock and rhythm and soul immediately drew me into the sound. Now they have started tearing up the charts in Canada with 2 songs in the top 30 and you can hear them on the radio, but a small part of me feels like I can be proud that I “discovered” them on my own.

Just the act of buying a CD is exciting. To really hear music you have to commit yourself to it. You need to listen. When you are surfing music on limewire or the apple store you don’t get the same appreciation in 5 or 10 second clips. But when you leave the store and you have invested in the music, then you are truly ready to hear it.

Then you take the time to look over the artwork on the album cover, read the song listings, and when the moment is right you crack open the plastic. That familiar sound of scrunching plastic as you fight the casing, and then you crack open the case and you just can’t wait to pop it in. There is even that smell as you take the disc out, the smell of the printed leaflet that you would recognize anywhere. You almost hold your breath as you slide the disc into the CD player. You don’t know what it is going to be yet, you have no idea what is about to hit you, you are at the top of the rollercoaster just hovering and waiting for the rush to hit you.

As the first few bars of Only by the Night hit my ears I knew this was going to be a fun ride. The haunting melody trickles in slowly, and then the bass follows, and it starts to take a hold of you, and you are immediately, gently but firmly, taken to another place. The first track, Closer, is really one of the best tracks on the album, it sets the tone for the rest of the album perfectly, but it is extremely difficult to pick one favourite on the album. Closer is very slow and melodic, and it makes fantasy seem very real… the song doesn’t tell you where to go; it just lets you get away. The unique style allows you to hear and listen to the lyrics without losing focus on the music, you can read into the lyrics as much or as little as you want, it lets you do the interpreting.

The next track kicks it up a notch with Crawl, a heavier, dirtier sound. More distortion and more rock to it. It’s the kind of song that makes you want to sing out loud and pound the steering wheel with your fists and nod your head with the beat. It’s like the big twisting loop after the free fall you just took in the first track.

The third song is the song that hooked me on Kings of Leon, Sex on Fire. Sometimes you just know, the first time you hear a song, you just have to hear it again. The sound is just so unique and it just makes you feel something deep inside, something you can’t even put your finger on. You don’t know what it is, but everyone can relate to the feelings of longing, of wanting someone or something you just can’t have. Again this song isn’t so much about the lyrics, and certainly not about sex. Sure they are catchy and you will want to sing along, but the lyrics are masterfully in tune with the underlying feeling of the song. This is definitely one song that people will still be listening to ten years from now. From the opening reverberating riffs of the song right to the finish you don’t want this ride to end.

Use Somebody again takes another turn, mixing it up between a gentle beginning focused on the vocal styling of Caleb Followhill and building into a rocking rhythm, and then fading off the way it started. Manhattan is another melodic tune that will stay in your head for days. It is amazing how the album all blends together, each song so unique and different, yet maintaining the same flow and feeling of the whole album. After listening to the album a few times any one of the tracks on the CD can pop into my head at any time, they are all so powerful.

Track 6 is another favourite on the album – Revelry. It starts with pure vocals, slowly laying out the fabric from which the song is woven. “The time we shared it was precious to me, all along I was feeling the revelry.” Once again, Kings of Leon has an amazing ability to take simple lyrics and let the listener run with them, delicately wrapped in a blanket of sound. The vocals really are the highlight in this song, and they provide most of the melody with the guitar and drums playing a backup role.
I don’t even need to go into the rest of the album, suffice it to say that if you listen to the first half of the album, you will enjoy the second half just as much as you enjoyed the first half.

Unlike many albums, it does not fade into hastily composed filler tracks. Notion is another favourite track of mine, taking a more upbeat turn which makes you want to tap your feet to the beat. I Want You slows it down just a little bit again, with lots of soul and longing, and some very curious lyrics that stimulate your imagination.

The last track Cold Desert puts the finishing touches on a wonderful journey. It is the slowest song on the album, and is better for listening to before bed than during a workout, but it really feels like “the end” of the album. If you were listening to this album for the first time and didn’t look at the track listings at all, you would still know the end was near, as it gently fades off. But just as you think it is all over the track comes back for one last encore and finishes strong. It is the kind of finish to a song and the finish to an album that makes you sit in silence afterward, soaking it in, because there isn’t quite anything that can follow it, and the best act to follow it really is silence. That is the precise time and moment that you will know you have listened and heard something amazing, and you will never feel the same again.

There are maybe a dozen or so albums in my life that I have felt so strongly about as the Kings of Leon – Only by the Night, but I am certainly glad I made that trip to the music store. Even though it costs more the experience of music is invaluable to me, and I will always own that disc for the rest of my life to hear over and over again, to pull out of a dusty box 30 years from now and to play it again, to bring me back to this time and place in my life when I first heard it.

There is no doubt in my mind that I will be back at the music store soon… in fact I have my next album already picked out, I am waiting for the release of one of my favourite bands, a Canadian band that started under the name Big Wreck… that’s right, Thornley!


In Education, Health, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on October 11, 2016 at 3:00 AM
The Remix Project Has Changed Nick Goodwin's Life

The Remix Project Has Changed Nick Goodwin's Life

By Nick Goodwin

So far, I have withheld the fact that I am an artist. I draw, paint, write, make music and play sports. My biggest exercise lately has been both graphic design and skateboarding.

The story goes like this. I was told about “The Remix Project” by a friend of mine. He told me he saw a little something about this organization on television. He thought it seemed right down my alley.

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In Writing (all kinds) on October 10, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Aries ( 21 March – 19 April ) – A new venture can be in the works that builds on what you’ve done but represents a new way of communicating or a new service or format  You had been gathering your forces, working with your talents in the past, but not presenting things, only developing and practicing them. You will relish the excitement of every hindrance now. You will speak with eloquence and insight and guide others in the process.  Follow your heart too  on every plane as you’ll need to use both your intellect and your heart, in order to be truly successful. Favorable Date : Oct 11Favorable Colors : Red & Green

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In Creative Writing, Culture, Living, Writing (all kinds) on October 10, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Kirk Verner Writes a Poem - Photo Courtesy of

By Kirk Verner

Timid lips finally spew jargon.
You have less of an accent than expected.
Racing eyes, rarely locking.
Your fear lies in direct eye-contact.

Crossed arms, your knuckles are white again.
You look like a librarian, neat and gentle.
Your wet palm leaves streaks across the shadows on the table.
A chill in the air shall calm you with time.

Happy Birthday Mommy!

In Writing (all kinds) on October 9, 2016 at 3:00 AM

And wishing you 100 more!

Making Decisions

In Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on October 8, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Nick Goodwin Enjoys His Skateboard

Nick Goodwin Enjoys His Skateboard

by Nicholas Goodwin

I hardly make a decision without thorough consideration. The closest I ever get to stopping time is when I spend the afternoon balancing the pros and cons of my latest dilemma.

I do not live by the saying “look before you leap” to the fullest. I do appreciate living in the moment. I enjoy skateboarding through the heart of the city, or, anywhere for that matter.

Like anything, I try to achieve some sort of balance. Sometimes people say “everything in moderation, including moderation”. If this is the case, then I suppose I’m doing okay.

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In Creative Writing, Living, Media Writing, Uncategorized, Writing (all kinds) on October 7, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Kirk Verner Writes about Babylon - Photo Courtesy of

By Kirk Verner

A thousand worlds.
Stretching from Babylon,
To the mines below.

I love you more than the beauty of flying geese.
Uniform precision, instinctive direction.
More than a flower needs the sky’s rain.
Bright eyes of a daisy, tall and lean.

I love you more than a crypt-keeper’s chest.
Lacklustre exterior, contents that glow.
More than chef’s secret dish.
Encrusted with sugar, spice just a pinch.

A thousand worlds.
Stretching from Babylon,
To the mines below.

I Love Family

In Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on October 6, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Nicholas Goodwin Shares in the Magic Family - Photo Courtesy of

Nicholas Goodwin Shares in the Magic Family - Photo Courtesy of

By Nicholas Goodwin

I love family. There are fights – sometimes we do something stupid – but still somehow we forgive and forget.

When I say family I don’t mean strict bloodline relations. There are infinite variances of family throughout the universe. A code of loyalty, comfort, inevitable trust, and unconditional love.

When you find your family, you find privilege and purpose and strength. There is no limit, only a comraderie. I can see it in the older members of my family. The understanding of this comraderie and the obvious comfort of company. Something to live for.

The beautiful things flow beyond my comprehension. Simple things that I overlook that come to my attention through observing the examples set by mine.

Bloodlines, friendships, mentors, rivalries, counterparts – anything that brings a family together is a reflection. Good times and the bad. Family.

One love,



In Writing (all kinds) on October 5, 2016 at 1:12 PM



Date: Thursday October 13, 2016

Time: Reception 6:00 -7:00 pm | Presentation 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Place: OISE Library (Ground Floor) 252 Bloor Street (at St. George)


Date: Friday October 21, 2016

Time: 6:30 – 9:30 pm

Place: New College 20 Willcocks D.G. Ivey Library

An amazing book filled with passion. Sandiford’s newest collection is an intimate, insightful look at how we all strive to live with the memory of love and loss.

Robert Edison Sandiford is a founding editor of ArtsEtc: The Premier Cultural Guide to Barbados( In addition to teaching creative writing in Montreal, author Sandiford has worked as a journalist, book publisher and video producer with Warm Water Productions. He has won awards for both his writing and editing, including Barbados’ Governor General’s Award of Excellence in Literary Arts and the Harold Hoyte Award. Robert was shortlisted for the Frank Collymore Literary Award. He divides his time between Canada and Barbados.


an exhibition curated by Chinedu Ukabam

October 15-November 27, 2016

Markham House: 610 Markham St, Toronto, ON

Official opening ceremony 6:00 pm October 15

Upcoming Markham House exhibition to commemorate and celebrate Black heritage of Bathurst and Bloor
“Once considered the “Grand Central Station” of Toronto’s black community, Bathurst Station is overlooked as a focal point of the city’s black heritage. Since the late 1960s, Bathurst and Bloor has been a thriving hub of black entrepreneurship, activism, and creativity. The cornerstone of Beverly Mascoll’s multi-million dollar beauty supplies empire was located at 870 Bathurst, also occupied by Third World Books and Crafts and 2 Black Guys, one of Toronto’s earliest “streetwear” labels which started in the basement. Just down the road, Al Hamilton founded the pivotal black newspaper Contrast in 28 Lennox, a building later occupied by the Ashanti Room, an Afrocentric arts hub.” Today, Lloyd’s Barbershop and A Different Booklist remain important and vibrant multigenerational gathering spaces that reflect the legacy and contributions of Black Torontonians to the development of the City.
“Welcome to Blackhurst Street” is made possible by Westbank, A Different Booklist, ERA Architects, Monograph Design, and the Ontario Black History Society.

Supported by


416 538 0889

Some of My Dad’s Family

In Living, Media Writing, Opinion, travel, Writing (all kinds) on October 5, 2016 at 3:00 AM

I just spoke with my Dad the other day and he told me about my Aunt Bettie, his late sister who looked so much like him. Even though she had four children, she was so devoted to her work and received a doctor of science degree from Makerere University.

Makerere University used to t he be only university in East Africa and many of the neighbouring countries’ people such as Somalia, Tanzania and Kenya would study at Markerere. My Dad’s cousin Lydia has done very well with her Makerere degree since she has come to Canada.

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Introducing Nicholas Goodwin

In Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on October 4, 2016 at 3:00 AM

by Nicholas Goodwin

Hello. Nicholas Goodwin here. I love hockey, going to the zoo, doing the dishes, skateboarding and I love to chase my dreams.

I am 20 years old. In my life I have seen my tiny world from many angles. I have been inside the window looking out at passers by just as I have been outside looking in. Sometimes I even feel further away from both. What has never changed is my ability to pursue happiness. My ambitious nature, however, keeps me from staying in one place for too long.

I was born in a beautiful suburban neighbourhood where I was raised by two beautiful, loving parents. From birth I was given every privilege. I grew up alongside my younger brother, Josh. We played street hockey, we had water fights. We built forts, we played lego.

A portion of my life’s most powerful privileges are memories triggered by photographs. Just one peek inside any year of my choosing is like selecting a scene on the DVD of my lifetime; with a real connection.

In some cases I would be too young to remember, thus making the privilege of reflection ever more powerful.

The true test is moving forward. The magic of reflection often tempts me to stand still, however, time waits for no man.

My ambitious nature spawns from my desire to be successful, to see a better tomorrow and to share my experiences with many caring individuals.

In a world full of dreamers it is easy to discover through your experience. You can create a powerful moment for future reflection just by living your life and shedding light on your endeavours. In a world full of dreamers it is easy to understand one’s desire to write their own story. I would say that it takes a powerful mind to honestly absorb the true feelings within a storyteller’s experience. On the flip side, it is a team effort. For one to paint a picture so vivid that an audience can potentially understand the portrayed emotion brings forth a distinct challenge.

[TPS] – Public assistance sought locating stolen one-of-a-kind goalie mask, St. Clair Avenue West and Caledonia Road area

In Writing (all kinds) on October 3, 2016 at 2:51 PM
Toronto Police Service
News Release

Public assistance sought locating stolen one-of-a-kind goalie mask, St. Clair Avenue West and Caledonia Road area

Monday, October 3, 20162:35 PM
12 Division

On Tuesday, September 13, 2016, the Toronto Police Service responded to a call for a Theft from a residential garage in theSt. Clair Avenue West and Caledonia Road area.

It is reported that:

– the person(s) entered the garage during the night

– the person(s) rummaged through the garage and located a custom-designed goalie mask

– the person(s) stole the mask and fled in an unknown direction

The stolen goalie mask is a one-of-a-kind item. The artwork was commissioned by the owner.

Police are seeking information on the theft and the location of this mask.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-1200, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Please download the Toronto Police Service Mobile App for iOS or Android.

For more news, visit

Constable Allyson Douglas-Cook, Corporate Communications, for Detective Scott Bradbury, 12 Division

Attachments to this release are available on our website.

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