What we know about the victims of the deadly Toronto van attack

first_imgTORONTO – Ten people were killed after a van mounted a sidewalk along a busy street in north Toronto on Monday, ramming into pedestrians in its path. Here’s what we know so far about the victims:Munir AlnajjarAlnajjar, a Jordanian citizen in his 70s, was visiting his family in Toronto with his wife. He had only been in the country for a couple of weeks when the van attack took place, according to Harry Malawi, a family friend and president of the Jordanian Canadian Society.The family is in the midst of a three-day mourning period, said Malawi.“They are secluded right now and they ask everybody to accept their privacy,” he said. “We stand together, we want to help the family heal…physically, psychologically, emotionally and financially, they need all the help they can get.”Renuka AmarasinghaAmarasingha was an active member of Toronto’s Sri Lankan community. A monk at a Toronto Buddhist temple Amarasingha frequented said she was a single mother of a seven-year-old boy.Ahangama Rathanasiri said Amarasingha attended regular services at the temple and brought cookies to Sunday school students every week.The Toronto District School Board said she had worked as a nutrition services staff member for the board since 2015.They said Amarasingha had just finished her first day of work at Earl Haig Secondary School when she was killed Monday.Anne Marie D’AmicoD’Amico worked at Invesco Canada, a U.S.-based investment firm with offices near the scene of the attack, and was remembered by those who knew her as a cheerful, friendly person.Tennis Canada said D’Amico had volunteered at its marquis Rogers Cup tournament every summer since the age of 12, starting out as a “ball girl” and eventually heading its stadium control committee.“She was a really friendly, warm person … always caring for other people ahead of herself,” said Gavin Ziv, vice-president of national events for Tennis Canada.D’Amico had attended Ryerson university in Toronto and a fellow alum remembered her as an active student leader with top grades, a wide social circle and an indelible smile.“Whether you kept in touch with her very closely or you didn’t talk to her for this past year, it just felt like you saw her smile yesterday,” Abdullah Snobar said.Betty ForsythForsyth was a resident of a Toronto Community Housing complex in the area where the van attack occurred. A neighbour said Forsyth’s nephew called her to say she had died.Mary Hunt described Forsyth — who she said was in her 90s — as a “lively person” who loved to feed the birds and squirrels on her regular walks through the neighbourhood.“Everybody knew Betty because she used to walk in the morning to feed the animals,” she said.“I will miss her,” the 84-year-old said of Forsyth, who had been her neighbour for more than 10 years.Chulmin (Eddie) KangKang, who worked at the Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse in downtown Toronto, was identified by co-workers as one of the victims.Joao Barbosa wrote on Facebook that Kang’s “daily happiness” was being missed at the restaurant.“It’s unbelievable that we lost you Eddie,” he wrote. “In our last encounter you called me ‘Amor mio’ smiling to me when I arrived at Copacabana … Rest in peace.”Mailee Ly, another co-worker, remembered Kang as a warm, friendly presence at the restaurant.“It hurts knowing I won’t be able to see your bright smile every weekend, or hear you say ‘Hi’ to everyone in your energetic voice,” she wrote on Facebook. “I don’t think you knew the touch and influence you had on everyone at Copa, simply because of your kind nature, and passion for cooking.”Dorothy SewellSewell’s death was confirmed by her grandson, Elwood Delaney, of Kamloops, B.C.Delaney described his 80-year-old grandmother as an avid sports fan who “almost had as much love for the Blue Jays and Leafs as she did for her family.”“(She was) the best grandmother anyone could have asked for,” he said.last_img read more

Hot weather could cause more flood woes in parts of BC as

first_imgVANCOUVER – An emergency operations official in southern British Columbia says a forecast of warm weather has residents bracing for the possibility of more flooding from melting snow while at least one town starts bailing out.Damage from torrential rain has already had a “catastrophic” impact on the community of Grand Forks, said Chris Marsh of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.“The effects from this event will be long lasting,” said Marsh. “We’re talking years and years and million of dollars.”Nearly 2,800 residents have been forced out of their homes, Marsh said Friday, adding rescue efforts have come with some challenges.“We have a lot of people who refused to leave under order and we had to put a lot of our rescue resources into going back into rescuing these people,” he said.On Thursday, two days of heavy rain pushed the Kettle, West Kettle and Granby rivers to levels higher than those recorded during devastating floods 70 years ago while smaller creeks had record-high flows, Marsh said.A dyke also breached in one neighbourhood, knocking out power to much of the downtown area in Grand Forks, he said.Dan Derby, the regional fire rescue deputy chief, said getting people back into their homes as quickly as possible is one of the top priorities following assessment of infrastructure such as roads and bridges.David Campbell, head of the B.C. River Forecast Centre, said an extended period of dry weather is expected across the province next week.The temperature over the past three weeks has been about five degrees above normal in the Interior, and that could mean more trouble for parts of southeast B.C., Campbell said on a conference call from Victoria.“We’re really racking up to a month of hot weather by the end of next week and that’s driven rivers up much, much earlier than normal.”The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary said nearly 1,400 properties were ordered evacuated, with waters rising so quickly that many people were trapped in their homes in Grand Forks.Chris Duffy, executive director of programs with Emergency Management BC, said 31 evacuation orders have been issued across the province, affecting 1,993 homes. Evacuation alerts, warning residents they may have to leave with little notice, are in place for 930 residences.Duffy said 23 states of local emergency were also in effect and sandbag machines were brought in from Saskatchewan while firefighters were deployed to assist with sandbagging in various communities.People should stay away from fast-moving water and not drive through areas that are flooded, he said.“We encourage local governments and First Nations right now to be looking at activating their operation centres. As we start to consider the lower Fraser (River) we’re in dialogue with those communities so we can get some advance planning and communications in place.”The River Forecast Centre said flood warnings are in effect on waterways throughout the Okanagan and Boundary regions, along the Canada-U.S. border, while flood watches are posted for many other rivers and streams, including the Similkameen and Tulameen rivers west of Grand Forks.Parts of the town of Osoyoos were ordered evacuated Thursday and flooding was also reported in Keremeos, Cawston and Okanagan Falls.Osoyoos declared a state of local emergency and ordered homeowners with flooded basements to stop pumping the water back into the town’s sewer system.“The act of causing this water to enter the sewer system in current conditions is causing pump infrastructure to function beyond capacity, which may result in a breakdown of the town sewer management system,” the town said in a news release.last_img read more

Nova Scotia New Democrats promise to raise minimum wage to 15 if

first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia NDP Leader Gary Burrill says if elected his party will increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.The current minimum wage is $10.85.Burrill says too many people are working full time hours and struggling to put food on the table and keep up with their bills.He says the move would help lift 130,000 people out of poverty.Burrill says the plan includes a commission on the economy that would consult with businesses, corporations, and not-for-profits to determine how to help them adapt to the wage increase.Nova Scotians go to the polls May 30.last_img read more

Two men in their 20s found dead in double slaying near Montreal

first_imgBROSSARD, Que. – Police near Montreal searched a sprawling green space Tuesday after the discovery of two people they believe were shot to death.A passerby called 911 after seeing the bodies of two men shortly before 11 p.m. Monday in a rural part of Brossard, on Montreal’s south shore.The victims, 21 and 23, were pronounced dead in hospital.“Both bodies seemed to present wounds that are consistent with gun wounds,” said Longueuil police Const. Jean-Pierre Voutsinos.The bodies were found near a vehicle that belonged to one of the victims.Police said late Tuesday neither man had a criminal record and the investigation was ongoing.They have not made any arrests.A team of 15 officers searched for clues in the wooded area, which includes hiking trails.“It’s a municipal park, in a wooded area and there are very, very few houses around,” he said.last_img read more

Jurors in Laura Babcocks trial never heard of Tim Bosmas murder

first_imgTORONTO – Jurors deciding the fate of two men accused of murdering Laura Babcock and burning her body were never told that human remains were found in an animal incinerator belonging to one of the accused months after the Toronto woman vanished.Those remains belonged to a 32-year-old man killed in May 2013 while trying to sell his pickup truck. The incinerator — called the Eliminator — was found on Dellen Millard’s farm near Waterloo, Ont.The Crown alleges that about 10 months before Millard and his friend Mark Smich incinerated Tim Bosma’s body, they killed 23-year-old Babcock, who had become the odd woman out in a love triangle with Millard and his girlfriend, and burned her remains in the Eliminator.Jurors in the Babcock murder trial, however, never heard about Bosma, or that Millard and Smich were convicted of first-degree murder in the death of the Ancaster, Ont., man.Millard, 32, of Toronto, and Mark Smich, 30, of Oakville, Ont., have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the presumed death of Babcock, whose body has not been found.The two cases were vastly different, Justice Michael Code ruled before the Babcock trial got underway, and including Bosma’s murder in the Babcock trial would be too prejudicial to the accused.“It will be very difficult for the jury to objectively and dispassionately weigh the evidence relating to the Babcock case in these circumstances,” Code wrote in his ruling.Crown attorney Jill Cameron argued in court when the jury wasn’t present that the Bosma murder was relevant to the Babcock case. She said evidence from that trial would prove that Babcock was in fact murdered and to rebut Millard’s claim that she had innocently disappeared. Court heard that Babcock suffered from mental health issues, but was actively seeking treatment, sometimes spoke of suicide and was living a transient lifestyle, bouncing from homes and working as an escort.Bosma’s death, the Crown argued, would also help prove planning and deliberation, as well as refute any possible defence about innocent uses of the incinerator to dispose of animal carcasses or to burn metal and garbage.The judge said he was partially swayed by the Crown’s argument.“The fact that the two accused used the very same incinerator some ten months later to dispose of Tim Bosma’s remains, after he had been murdered, is a distinctive and unusual use of the incinerator, he wrote. “It legitimately helps to infer that Ms. Babcock is likely deceased and that her remains were likely disposed of in the same manner.”However, the judge said the Crown already had significant evidence that Babcock was dead and her remains burned in the incinerator.Cameron, however, didn’t give up.On the last day of the prosecution’s case — and in the absence of the jury — she delivered an impassioned argument in a last-ditch effort to convince the judge to allow her to present the facts of Bosma’s murder to the jury.She outlined a few facts for Code: On July 5, 2012, The Eliminator arrived at Millard’s aircraft hangar in Waterloo, Ont. His mechanic sent him a photo of the massive machine, which Millard dubbed “the BBQ.”Shortly thereafter, Millard texted Smich: “‘The BBQ is the last piece of the 3500 puzzle,’ referring to the Dodge truck Millard wanted,” Cameron said to the judge.“What does the incinerator have to do with a theft of a truck if not to burn its owner?” Cameron told the judge.“These two also burned another human being in that incinerator. That is a fact. And that makes it more likely that they burned Laura Babcock in that incinerator. Not a deer, not a pet, not a farm animal, not garbage — Miss Babcock’s body.”At this point, Babcock’s mother, Linda, broke down and cried softly. Court staff rushed to get her tissues. Babcock’s father, Clayton, put his arm around his wife.Cameron argued that Millard was using the judge’s pretrial ruling on the Bosma evidence as a shield. She wanted to rebut Millard’s evidence that the incinerator was only used for innocuous purposes.“Innocent use is a joke, it’s a lie,” Cameron said.“It’s a difficult thing to conceive for 12 ordinary people that somebody could be so depraved to burn a human being in an incinerator. It’s such a leap without the DNA, without the bones, just a poor resolution photo. That’s my concern. It’s a huge decision to get 12 people to believe that happened.”“I agree, it’s quite an extraordinary set of facts,” Code replied, but still ruled all the Bosma evidence out.Earlier in the trial while waiting for the jury to return, the judge brought Bosma’s name up unprompted.“You should tell the Bosmas that the Babcocks will need their support when the jury goes out,” Code said to the Crown. “That’s important.”Babcock’s parents sat in the first row and smiled.last_img read more

Inuk woman released from hospital after struggle with liver failure

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – An Inuk activist from Labrador whose struggle with acute liver failure sparked a national discussion about an Ontario transplant policy is being released from hospital in what her friends and family are calling a “Christmas miracle.”Delilah Saunders, 26, has been discharged from Toronto General Hospital’s transplant unit and is returning to Newfoundland to live with family for the next few months while she recovers.Saunders said she has made a “miraculous” turnaround since being diagnosed with acute liver failure about two weeks ago, and doctors told her it doesn’t look like she’ll need a transplant in the immediate future.“People were coming in, they were expecting to just be saying goodbye to me. Even the nurses, the doctors, they didn’t have much hope for my recovery,” she said in a phone interview while en route to St. John’s on Sunday. “(Doctors) were really surprised and pleased at how my body fought back.”Saunders, who is a prominent activist for Aboriginal women, said she was “overwhelmed” by the outpouring of support for her case, which put a spotlight on an Ontario transplant program’s policy requiring patients with alcohol-related liver disease to be sober for six months before being eligible for a transplant.Saunders said she was initially told she was ineligible because of the Ontario rule, which her family criticized as discriminatory towards Indigenous citizens, the poor and other marginalized groups.Her struggle set into motion a campaign to have the policy overturned that drew support from Amnesty International and Aboriginal groups, and inspired vigils across the country. As the issue gained traction, Saunders said she had to turn down offers from friends, strangers and even a few former flames who volunteered to be her organ donor.While her condition has improved, Saunders said she plans to keep advocating on behalf of other patients who are denied potentially life-saving treatment because of the alcohol-use policy.“Families have been reaching out to me to express not only their support, but their experiences,” she said. “There are families who have lost loved ones due to these policies. There are people that didn’t know they could challenge these policies.”Transplant doctors have cited evidence that some alcoholics return to drinking after a transplant of the organ, and the transplant may not succeed as a result.Saunders said the Trillium Gift of Life Network, the organization that oversees organ donations in Ontario, must change the six-month abstinence rule because it is too “restrictive” and does not fully account for individual circumstances.Having struggled with alcohol abuse since the murder of her sister Loretta in 2014, Saunders said she was on the path to sobriety in the months leading up to her liver failure.She said she relapsed after giving emotionally charged testimony before the National Inquiry into Murder and Missing Women and Girls at Membertou First Nation in Cape Breton in October, but had it not been for that “brief slip,” she would have been weeks away from meeting the six month sobriety requirement.She believes her condition was primarily triggered by a buildup of Tylenol that she was taking for jaw pain.The pain medication has been linked to liver injury and lawyer Caryma Sa’d, who is representing Saunders, said her client is looking for affordable dental-care options so she can get the surgery she needs to address the “underlying problem.”“The silver lining to this ordeal has been the outpouring of public support, which has drawn attention to inequities in Canadian healthcare policy,” Sa’d said in an email on Sunday. “There are important discussions to be had about eligibility for organ transplants and gaps in the provision of health services for (Indigenous Peoples).”Sa’d called her client’s recovery a “Christmas miracle,” and Saunders said her family is inclined to agree.As doctors continue to monitor her condition, Saunders said her first-hand experience navigating the health system will fuel her campaign to increase access to medical care for Indigenous Peoples and others.“What I’ll really be taking away is that extra assurance that I have to speak out. I have that responsibility,” she said.“I’m just grateful to be alive. I’m so grateful that I’m still here and that I can still fight, and it’s really given me an extra boost of fire, of drive, to be able to fight … for people’s rights.”— By Adina Bresge in Halifaxlast_img read more

Alberta tells BC to stop opposing pipelines if you dont like high

first_imgCALGARY – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says if British Columbia wants to keep a lid on gasoline prices it should stop opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would triple the amount of crude flowing from Alberta to a port facility in Burnaby, B.C.B.C. Premier John Horgan said Thursday he would like to see the federal government take a leadership role in keeping gas prices affordable.He said the pipeline expansion would not bring down gas prices and will only send bitumen to another jurisdiction.In Calgary today, Notley accused Horgan’s government of environmental hypocrisy.She says the pipeline expansion would benefit Alberta and British Columbia.last_img read more

Manitoba releases numbers on sex harassment complaints allegations

first_imgWINNIPEG – There were 20 allegations of sexual harassment and hundreds of accusations of other misconduct among Manitoba civil servants in the last fiscal year, the Progressive Conservative government said in a report released Tuesday.Seven of the sexual harassment allegations were substantiated, although the government would not say how many people, if any, were fired.“We know it took tremendous courage for each and every one of these complainants to come forward, and so we were very grateful … that we could get a snapshot of what we were dealing with,” said Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for the status of women.The report is the first time the province has released statistics on the number of complaints related to harassment, bullying and misconduct among the 14,000 members of the civil service, political staff and politicians. The data did not include areas of the broader public sector such as hospitals and schools.The Tories announced in February the new attempt to track and report complaints after female staff came forward with allegations that Stan Struthers, a former NDP cabinet minister, had tickled and groped them.The women alleged that their complaints about Struthers, who left politics in 2016, were never addressed by senior political staff at the time.The province has hired an outside law firm to recommend improvements to its harassment policies.A report is expected this summer. The government has also made it mandatory for managers to forward any complaints of harassment to the civil service commission.“We want to make sure that people throughout the civil service feel confident that they’re in a workplace that’s protective and secure,” Premier Brian Pallister said.The report also said there were 105 allegations of bullying and non-sexual harassment in the last fiscal year, of which 63 have been substantiated so far.There were another 351 allegations of other forms of misconduct — everything from conflict of interest to potential fraud — of which 300 have been substantiated to date.The NDP, now in opposition, accused Pallister of engaging in harassing behaviour in the legislature chamber.The premier often responds in intimidating ways when asked questions, NDP house leader Nahanni Fontaine said, by looking angrily at his opponent.“Imagine from a woman’s perspective, when you have the premier of Manitoba, that is directing his questions to you in a very aggressive and threatening manner. It makes it increasingly difficult to do your job,” Fontaine said, surrounded by other female legislature members from her party and the Liberals.“I just feel so threatened and so intimidated,” added Liberal member Judy Klassen.Several women from the Tory caucus quickly fired back at an impromptu news conference, pointing out it was two NDP members that were chastised by the legislature Speaker in 2016 for targeting them with cries of “shame” during a vote in the chamber. Male Tories were not subjected to the cries.Justice Minister Heather Stefanson said heated words and pointed fingers are an every day experience in the legislature.“There are members of the opposition as well who don’t put their questions directly through the Speaker and who do look over at us … it’s part of the job that we do in the legislature.”last_img read more

Increased northern shipping potential danger for Arctic animals study

first_imgIncreased shipping could make parts of the Northwest Passage among the most dangerous places in the Arctic for the whales and other mammals that live there, a study suggests.In a paper published Monday, Donna Hauser of the University of Alaska warns that Lancaster Sound at the eastern gate of the passage could become a choke point for ships and marine mammals.“That is one area that has the potential for high conflict,” she said. “It’s an obligatory pathway for both vessels that are going in and out of the passage as well as marine mammals that are migratory.”Hauser and her co-authors looked at 80 different populations of narwhals, belugas, bowhead whales, seals, walrus and polar bears across the North and attempted to gauge how vulnerable they would be to large ships.Transits of both the Northwest Passage and the Russian Northern Sea Route are expected to increase as climate change melts the sea ice.Hauser’s study examined how the animals’ habitat could intersect with probable sea routes in the month of September when ice is at its lowest and shipping would be busiest. It then weighed what would be the likely impacts of increased shipping on mammals.The study concluded that just over half the populations would be exposed to shipping. It also found that animals in Lancaster Sound, along with a portion of Russia’s central Arctic coast, were the most vulnerable.Polar bears and seals face little risk, the study said. But whales — especially narwhal — would be the most vulnerable to harm.Hauser said ship traffic could disrupt the behaviour of whales and affect their communication. Ships could also collide with them.“There’s been a lot of research to suggest that vessels may have impacts on marine mammals,” she said.Ships cause whales to change their swimming speed or dive rate. They can drive them away or cause them to freeze in place. If ship traffic increased in Lancaster Sound, whales would have to cope with those changes while already dealing with climate change.Tens of thousands of bowhead, beluga and narwhal migrate through the area and depend on it for food. All the studied mammals are also important food sources for Inuit people who regularly hunt in the region.Shipping through the passage is still relatively rare. But as sea ice extent falls by roughly 13 per cent each decade, that’s expected to change.Hauser said her research suggests now is the time to start thinking about the issue.“There’s going to be a lot of policy work to decide what are the risks and benefits of certain routing.”Techniques developed in southern waters to minimize conflict could be adapted to the North, the paper suggests. Careful design of shipping lanes, minimizing noise coming from ships and timing transits to avoid peak migrations could all help.Hauser said it’s tough to estimate when shipping might start to become a real problem for the mammals in Lancaster Sound. Too much depends on social and economic factors to have a firm timeline.But it’s coming, she said.“We’re at this precipice where vessels are poised to expand into these regions. The idea behind this study is provide a comprehensive assessment to help plan for the future.”— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960last_img read more

NY Knick Raises Awareness Of Blood Cancer

first_imgNY Knick Tyson Chandler scored one for the fight against blood cancer last night at Bally, the Swiss luxury leather goods house in Manhattan, by getting his cheek swabbed and registering with DKMS Delete Blood Cancer, the world’s largest bone marrow donor center.Tyson Chandler getting his cheek swabbed by DKMS Delete Blood Cancer co-founder Katharina Harf and wife, Kimberly, wearing Bally Lips for Life CollectionThe event served to launch Bally’s Lips for Life Collection, with 15% of proceeds from the collection going to support DKMS’ efforts to register new bone marrow donors and help save the lives of patients with blood cancers.Chandler was joined by his beautiful wife Kimberly, who wore the Lips for Life collection signature leather jacket; supermodel Jessica White; DKMS Delete Blood Cancer co-founder Katharina Harf; supermodels Coco Rocha, Lily Kwong, Elettra Wiedemann and Anja Rubik, and over 500 guests, including families who are being impacted by blood cancer. They celebrated to performances by Charlie Puth and Emily Luther and a set by renowned DJ Mick Boogie.Chandler and the other speakers slammed home an important message: there are many lives to be saved and all it takes is a cheek swab to register as a bone marrow donor.“There are thousands of men, women and children who are bravely fighting blood cancer and need our help,” said Chandler. “It only takes a cheek swab to register as a donor with DKMS Delete Blood Cancer, like I was proud to do tonight.”“Blood cancers will only be deleted through teamwork,” said Katharina Harf, who co-founded DKMS in the U.S. in 2004 in memory of her mother who died from blood cancer. “And I am so honored to be joined tonight by Tyson and Kimberly Chandler, Jessica White, and Bally Creative Directors Michael Herz and Graeme Fidler. I want to thank each of them for making the Lips for Life collection an enormous success. Patients like Shira Klein, who you met tonight, are fighting blood cancer and desperately need matches. This young mother of three inspires us to take action. That is what this event is all about.”In the United States, blood cancer is the second leading cause of all cancer deaths and kills more children than any other disease. Even though many patients might be saved by a bone marrow transplant, six out of 10 patients will never receive one. DKMS has made it its goal to turn the tide, and save more lives.“Katharina and her DKMS team have changed the lives of so many people through what they do; it’s very touching,” said Michael Herz and Graeme Fidler, Bally Creative Directors. “With the Bally Lips for Life capsule collection we wanted to show that the luxury world can have a heart. We’re proud to be involved with DKMS, and based on the event’s success, we anticipate the collection being a hit.”Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

In Singapore Actress Liv Lo Says Testing Cosmetics On Animals Is Unacceptable

first_imgInternational model, yogi and actress Liv Lo, a FLY Entertainment artiste currently starring in Channel 5’s (Singapore) police drama Point of Entry, has spoken movingly about why she wants to see an end to cruel animal testing of cosmetics throughout Asia and the world.The Taiwanese/Italian born actress gave her backing to Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free ASIA campaign at a special press event during the Asia for Animals Conference, Asia’s largest animal protection event, taking place this week in Singapore. Be Cruelty-Free is the largest global campaign in history to end cosmetics animal testing, and Liv joined HSI’s campaigners from China, India, Japan, and South Korea. BCF Taiwan will be launching soon.Liv said: “I’m very proud to support the great work by Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free ASIAcampaign to end unethical and unnecessary animal testing for cosmetics. It breaks my heart to know that in laboratories across Asia, gentle rabbits and other animals are having cosmetic chemicals dripped in their eyes or forced down their throat. It’s simply unacceptable and it must stop. There is no beauty in cosmetics cruelty.”Many animal tests were developed decades ago and have been surpassed by state-of-the-art non-animal cell and computer methods. Despite major advances, an estimated half a million rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and other animals still suffer and die each year throughout Asia and globally in painful eye, skin and lethal force feeding tests for cosmetics. Because of campaigning by HSI and others, such testing has been banned across Europe, Israel and India; however, animal testing of cosmetics remains legal in 80 percent of countries globally.Troy Seidle, HSI’s director of research & toxicology, said: “Liv Lo’s support is a highlight for our Be Cruelty-Free campaign across Asia where Humane Society International and our partners are working hard to take the cruelty out of the cosmetics industry. We’re getting results, we’ve already achieved a ban on cosmetics animal testing in India, helped persuade China to start phasing out some animal tests and seen South Korea increase its acceptance of non-animal test data. In 2014 we hope to build on those successes to achieve our goal of turning the whole world cruelty-free.”Asia for Animals, the premier gathering of animal protection groups across Asia, officially endorsed the Be Cruelty-Free campaign in recognition of its leading role in ending cosmetics animal testing. Louis Ng, AfA Board Member and Chief Executive of Singapore’s ACRES (Animal Concerns Research & Education Society) said: “The use of animals to test cosmetics has become a big issue in Asia in recent years. Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign shines a much-needed spotlight on cosmetics cruelty, putting it firmly on the agenda for politicians, companies, consumers and the media alike. There is still a long way to go, but for the first time a global end to animal testing of cosmetics feels truly within our grasp and Asia for Animals is delighted to endorse the Be Cruelty-Free campaign, in recognition of all that it is achieving on behalf of animals in laboratories.”last_img read more

Pharrell Williams Hat Goes Under The Hammer For Charity

first_imgPharrell Williams caused quite a stir with the Vivienne Westwood hat he wore to this year’s Grammy Awards, and now the star has put his unique headwear up for auction to benefit charity.Pharrell Williams and his Vivienne Westwood hatAll proceeds benefit From One Hand to Another whose mission is to help change the world one kid at a time by giving them the tools and resources to meet their unique potential and empower them to nurture curiosity by learning through new technologies, arts, media and motivation! Find out more here.Be quick – this auction ends on March 2. You can access the auction via eBay.last_img read more

NeYo Honored At Childrens Rights Benefit

first_imgOn Wednesday, October 29th, Ne-Yo and his foundation, The Compound Foundation, were honored at Children’s Rights 9th Annual Benefit for his commitment to benefitting those growing up in foster care and group homes.Ne-Yo and Swizz BeatzCredit/Copyright: BFA NYCSwizz Beatz and Compound Foundation scholarship recipient Edgar Carranza presented Ne-Yo with the award.Children’s Rights raised over $700,000 at its ninth annual benefit event. All proceeds from the evening directly support Children’s Rights’ efforts to defend and protect America’s abused and neglected kids.last_img read more

Chris Pratt Named As Hasty Pudding Theatricals Man Of The Year

first_imgThe Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the oldest theatrical organization in the United States, announces Chris Pratt as the recipient of its 2015 Man of the Year Award.The Pudding is excited to honor a performer who became a bona fide Hollywood heavyweight in the past year, going from lovable supporting roles to headlining two of the highest grossing blockbusters of the year. Pratt joins his Parks & Recreation co-star Amy Poehler, who was recently announced as the Hasty Pudding’s 2015 Woman of the Year.The Man and Woman of the Year Awards are presented annually to performers who have made lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment. The Man of the Year award was established in 1963. Its past recipients include, among others, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Robert de Niro, Harrison Ford, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Bruce Willis, Justin Timberlake, James Franco, and most recently, Neil Patrick Harris.The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770’s philanthropic mission is to provide educational and developmental support in all aspects of the performing arts for the underprivileged, to encourage satire and comedy, and to cultivate young talent around the world. The Institute is comprised of The Hasty Pudding Club (the oldest social club in the United States), The Hasty Pudding Theatricals (the third oldest theater group in the world, after the Comedie Francaise and the Oberammergau Passion Players) and the Harvard Krokodiloes (the foremost collegiate a cappella group in the United States). Over the last two centuries, it has grown into a premiere performing arts organization, a patron of the arts and comedy, and an advocate for satire and discourse as tools for change worldwide.The Man of the Year festivities, presented by The Related Companies, will take place on Friday, February 6, 2015. The Hasty Pudding Theatricals will host a celebratory roast for the actor and present him with his Pudding Pot at Farkas Hall, the Hasty Pudding’s historic home in the heart of Harvard Square since 1888. A press conference will be held at 8:30 p.m., following the roast. Afterward, the Pudding will stage the opening night performance of its 167th production, ¡Oops!… Madrid It Again!“We vehemently deny that the members of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals are obsessed with Parks & Recreation,” said Jason Hellerstein ‘15, President of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. “There is absolutely no basis to the rumors of ritualistic weekly viewings of the show at the Hasty Pudding Clubhouse… Joking aside, Chris Pratt’s recent achievements as an actor are outstanding and we could not be more thrilled to host him and celebrate his talent as only the Pudding can.”Best known for his role as Andy Dwyer on Parks & Recreation, Chris Pratt is fast becoming one of Hollywood’s most sought-after leading men. Pratt will next star in Universal’s Jurassic World (4th installment of the Jurassic Park film franchise from executive producer, Steven Spielberg) in June 2015. Most recently, Chris top lined as Star-Lord in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which was one of the top 3 grossing films of 2014 with over $600 million at the global box office. Pratt also lent his vocal talents to lead character, Emmett in the enormously successful animated feature, The Lego Movie, which made over $400 million worldwide.To purchase tickets to the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ 167th production, ¡Oops!… Madrid It Again! contact the HPT Box Office at 617.495.5205, or order online at the Pudding’s website, www.hastypudding.org. It will be performed at Harvard University’s historic Farkas Hall, located at 12 Holyoke Street, starting February 6th. The show continues in Cambridge until March 8th. The company then travels to New York to perform at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on March 13th and 14th (call 212.772.4448 for tickets), followed by performances on March 18-20 at Hamilton City Hall in Bermuda.last_img read more

More Than 111 Million Pledged Following Stand Up To Cancer Telecast

first_imgStand Up To Cancer (SU2C) has announced more than $111 million has been pledged collectively so far in connection with the star-studded Sept. 9 “roadblock” fundraising telecast in the United States and Canada.The funds pledged toward the SU2C scientific model will be directed to collaborative research utilizing SU2C’s scientific oversight in both the United States and Canada.“Having more than 60 broadcast and cable networks and streaming platforms donate the time to air the show was record-breaking for SU2C,” said Lisa Paulsen, chief executive officer of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and a member of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors. Stand Up To Cancer is a division of EIF, a 501c3 non-profit organization. “That support enables us to make the public aware that lives are being saved by Stand Up To Cancer research, and we are profoundly grateful for it.”The live telecast from The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, aired simultaneously over more than 60 broadcast and cable networks and streaming services across the United States and Canada. The show featured a stellar cast of celebrated figures from the worlds of entertainment, music, sports, and science, as well several cancer survivors who have benefited from SU2C-supported research.In the U.S., SU2C is still gratefully accepting donations at www.su2c.org and at 1-888-90-STAND (78263). The telecast is available at www.su2cshow.org.The broadcast was executive-produced by Bradley Cooper, Academy Award-nominated actor and founder of the Bradley Charles Cooper Foundation, along with the award-winning event producers Done + Dusted in collaboration with SU2C’s production team.“Stand Up To Cancer’s mission to accelerate cancer research may one day mean that virtually all cancer patients can become cancer survivors,” said Executive Producer Bradley Cooper, who lost his father, Charles Cooper, to lung cancer in 2011. “SU2C’s dedication to supporting patients and families through science and innovation is close to my heart. I am proud to join forces with Stand Up To Cancer to help achieve this vision and to be part of a movement dedicated to bringing lifesaving treatments to patients around the world.”ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, along with American Forces Network, ASPiRE, AUDIENCE Network, Bloomberg TV, Bravo, Comedy Central, Discovery Life, E! Entertainment, EPIX, ESPNEWS, FM, FS2, Fusion, FXM, Great American Country, HBO, HLN, ION Television, LMN, Logo, MLB Network, National Geographic, Pivot, RLTV, SHOWTIME, Smithsonian Channel, STARZ, STARZ ENCORE, TBS, Tr3s, VH1, and WGN America, all donated one hour of simultaneous commercial-free primetime for the telecast. For the first time, a Spanish-language version of the Stand Up To Cancer telecast aired nationally on Galavision, HBO Latino, STARZ ENCORE ESPAÑOL and Univision Deportes, and locally on Univision Puerto Rico. In addition, the show was streamed live on SU2C’s Facebook page, Yahoo, SU2C’s YouTube channel, MLB.com, and in Spanish on Univision.com. The entire telecast is now available to stream on Hulu.The 2016 telecast also aired on all four major English-language Canadian broadcasters: CBC, City, CTV, and Global. Additionally, Canadian services AMI, Bloomberg TV Canada, Blue Ant Media, CHCH, CHEK, Fight Network, Hollywood Suite, Joytv, NTV, and TLN Television also aired the telecast, and it is available on-demand on shomi and TELUS Optik TV in Canada.In addition to Cooper, other celebrities who appeared on the telecast include SU2C Co-Founder Katie Couric and Alison Sweeney, Allison Williams, Anna Kendrick, Ben Affleck, Ben Feldman, Bree Turner, Brenda Song, Brittany Daniel, Charlie Wilson, Chris Evans, Clayne Crawford, Colton Dunn, Danielle Campbell, Dave Franco, Dennis Haysbert, Dulé Hill, Ed Helms, Emma Stone, Eric Stonestreet, Eva Longoria, Geneva Carr, Greg Grunberg, Jacob Soboroff, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jillian Michaels, Joel McKinnon Miller, Jon Hamm, Jordana Brewster, Josh Gad, Jussie Smollett, Karla Souza, Katherine Heigl, Kathy Bates, Keesha Sharp, Ken Jeong, Kevin Hart, Klay Thompson, Kristen Wiig, Laverne Cox, Lena Dunham, Marcia Cross, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Matt Bomer, Matthew McConaughey, Mayim Bialik, Mel B, Melanie Collins, Odette Annable, Rachel Platten, Rita Wilson, Rob Lowe, Rob Riggle, Robert Patrick, Ryan Destiny, Shannen Doherty, Sonequa Martin-Green, Tom Hanks, Tony Hale, Viola Davis, Will Arnett, William Shatner, and Zach Galifianakis.Social Media personalities Andrea Russett, Brandon Armstrong, Brittani Louise Taylor, Gemma Stafford, Grace Helbig, Harry Hudson, Joey Graceffa, Justine Ezarik, and My Nguyen, along with entertainment and sports celebrities, interacted with viewers via Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube, as well as on the phone during the show from a backstage center called “The Hub.” Facebook and YouTube streamed the entire telecast live. All the activity in The Hub was captured via a Facebook Live stream hosted by MSNBC Correspondent Jacob Soboroff. YouTube captured an impressive list of celebrities’ #Reasons2StandUp from the Green Room. Snapchat extended the event’s reach with a national geofilter and live story capturing the red carpet and phone bank calls. Twitter showcased the camaraderie between and support of the celebrities on a dedicated feed using the #SU2C. The @instagram account featured a special Instagram story following patient Mitch Carbon’s experience on and backstage in a live social documentary.Musical performances during the show included Keith Urban with Little Big Town and Dierks Bentley covering David Bowie’s “Heroes” from the Academy of Country Music Honors, and songs performed by Alessia Cara, Charlie Puth and Gallant. Canadian superstar Celine Dion closed the show with a moving rendition of “Recovering,” a song given to her by Pink about rebounding from loss, which she dedicated to her husband, father and brother, all of whom died of cancer.“We are so grateful to Bradley Cooper, one of our executive producers, and to the incredible array of people who contributed their time and talent to make the show a huge success,” said Sherry Lansing, chair of the board of EIF, a member of the SU2C CFA, and founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation. “Hollywood has a heart, and the participation of so many wonderful performers proves it.”The show helps fund SU2C’s groundbreaking approach to translational research, accelerating the delivery of new therapies to patients. SU2C brings together scientists from different disciplines across various institutions to work collaboratively. One hundred percent of the donations received from the general public go directly to cancer research programs.“It’s an honor to work with so many well-respected entertainment industry leaders to raise awareness and funding for this important cause,” said Hamish Hamilton, executive producer at Done + Dusted and director of the telecast. “We are grateful for the opportunity to produce the telecast and join the SU2C movement.”During the telecast, SU2C Co-Founder Katie Couric announced plans for a new SU2C Dream Team focused on colorectal cancer, adding to the 19 existing Dream Teams that cover more than 80 percent of cancer cases in the United States and Canada. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. in men and women combined. The organization is also announcing two new Interception Dream Teams focused on cancers of the lung and pancreas. In coming months, Stand Up To Cancer, with support from its scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), will issue a new “Call for Ideas” to the scientific community seeking collaborative teams offering approaches in these three areas.The broadcast also included inspiring stories of cancer patients who have benefited from research supported by SU2C. “It’s inspiring to share the stories of people who now lead full lives after a cancer diagnosis because of treatments available through advancements made by SU2C research,” said SU2C CFA Member Katie Couric. “We’re incredibly grateful to each and every person who contributes to this effort. When we all stand together, cancer doesn’t stand a chance.”The three patients who appeared live on the show include:• Mitch Carbon, 18, of Spokane, Washington, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia five years ago. He was treated but relapsed twice and had few treatment options. By watching the 2014 SU2C telecast, his parents learned of a new treatment pioneered at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) with the support of the SU2C-St. Baldrick’s Foundation Pediatric Cancer Dream Team. They took him to Philadelphia for the new treatment, which uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer, and he is now one year cancer-free.• Woods Brown, 75, of Evart, Michigan, was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer and received surgery and radiation, but the cancer continued to spread. He enrolled in a clinical trial at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center that was investigating a new treatment supported by the SU2C- Prostate Cancer Foundation Prostate Cancer Dream Team on precision medicine. Brown is now considered cancer-free.• Trina Taylor Isaac, 43, of Baltimore, was treated for colorectal cancer with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, but her cancer returned. She joined a clinical trial supported by the Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) – SU2C Cancer Epigenetics Dream Team that is investigating drugs that can reverse the cancer’s resistance to chemotherapy. She has seen nearly all of her tumors disappear.Leading up to the live telecast, SU2C invited supporters to share photos or videos depicting each contributor’s personal reasons to stand up. Using the hashtag #Reasons2StandUp, the social media campaign has generated thousands of posts from people who are standing up for a friend, family member, or who have personal experience with the disease. The telecast also featured pre-recorded messages from numerous celebrities who shared their reasons to stand up.“We were thrilled with the way our celebrity ambassadors were able to connect with supporters through the #Reasons2StandUp campaign,” said Pamela Oas Williams, a member of SU2C’s Council of Founders and Advisors. “As the response to our social media campaign demonstrates, when such public figures reveal their personal reasons to support SU2C, it inspires their fans to become supporters, as well.”Both #SU2C and #StandUpToCancer trended on Twitter throughout the U.S. and Canada during the broadcast.“We believe that each and every one of us can make a difference in the fight against cancer, from individuals to foundations, philanthropists, and corporations,” said SU2C CFA Member and Robertson Schwartz Agency Co-Founder Rusty Robertson. “In addition to all the individuals who dug deep into their pockets to donate during the telecast, we are profoundly thankful to the major donors who committed to supporting SU2C’s research.”“From emboldening the brave survivors among us who continue to fight cancer, to showcasing the tremendous success of SU2C’s work through the stories of patients who have benefited from research, our program honored the spectrum of individuals impacted by cancer on a daily basis. These results are not only tangible, but they also lay the ground work for future breakthroughs in the years to come,” said SU2C CFA member Ellen Ziffren.Every day, cancer kills 1,800 people in the United States and Canada—more than one person every minute. SU2C was founded on the belief that the fight against cancer is at a tipping point—a pivotal juncture where transformative progress in cancer research is finally possible because of two trends: breakthroughs made in the understanding of the basic science of cancer, and technological advances that enable these breakthroughs to be translated into new treatments. Today’s cancer researchers need additional funding to fulfill the promise of life-saving discoveries, and Stand Up To Cancer engages the public to support their work.SU2C is a major force in the development of innovative and more effective cancer treatments such as immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. SU2C is supporting advancements in immunotherapy treatments for leukemia, melanoma, and cancers of the pancreas, head and neck, lung, and ovary. SU2C also supports development of precision therapies tailored to the patient’s specific genetic and molecular makeup in prostate and colorectal cancers and melanoma, among others; new technology to accelerate research; early detection of colorectal cancer; prevention of ovarian cancer; and groundbreaking work on cancer stem cells and the epigenetics (processes that control so-called “packaging” of DNA) of cancer, among other new fields.With this telecast, since launching in 2008, more than $481 million has been pledged to support SU2C’s innovative model of collaborative cancer research. Stand Up To Cancer has brought together more than 1,200 of the leading research scientists from more than 140 leading institutions in seven countries to fund 19 Dream Teams, and six translational research teams. SU2C has also funded 36 early-career, innovative scientists carrying out high-risk projects with the potential to yield high rewards. The research is aimed at ending cancer’s reign as a leading cause of death worldwide. SU2C-funded researchers have planned, launched or completed more than 160 clinical trials involving over 9,000 patients. Work by SU2C-supported researchers has led to FDA approval of two new treatments.“We are deeply grateful that our donors continue to support and embrace SU2C’s innovative model of research, which fosters collaboration across institutional lines and encourages researchers from different disciplines to work side-by-side,” said Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., president and CEO of SU2C. “We’re proud of the meaningful advances our Dream Teams have made because of this sustained investment in our vision.”As SU2C’s founding donor, Major League Baseball has provided both financial support and countless opportunities to build the Stand Up To Cancer grassroots movement by encouraging fans to get involved. In addition to MLB, SU2C’s “Visionary” donors include Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Cancer Treatment Centers of America; Genentech, a member of the Roche Group; Mastercard; and The Sidney Kimmel Foundation. Major donors and collaborators include American Airlines, American Cancer Society, CVS Health, Fifth Third Bank, The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, Merck, and Rally Health. Other key supporters and collaborators include Cancer Research Institute, Cancer Research UK, Dutch Cancer Society, Farrah Fawcett Foundation, The Laura Ziskin Family Trust, Lilly Oncology, Melanoma Research Alliance, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, The Parker Foundation, Prostate Cancer Foundation, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Van Andel Research Institute, and Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Stand Up To Cancer welcomes new supporters, the American Lung Association and Lungevity.Collaborators providing multi-year support for SU2C Canada research through the inaugural Stand Up To Cancer Canada initiative include: Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF), with support from CIBC; Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Cancer Stem Cell Consortium; Genome Canada; and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. AstraZeneca Canada and MasterCard are the first corporate supporters of SU2C Canada.“The 1200+ scientists who conduct Stand Up’s research, the members of our Scientific Advisory Committee who guide that work, and the American Association for Cancer Research team that oversees the grants – they are our heroes. We were delighted to showcase how what they’re doing benefits people struggling with cancer through this telecast,” said SU2C CFA Member and Robertson Schwartz Agency Co-Founder Sue Schwartz.last_img read more

SOCAN and SODRAC Seeking Integrated Management of Music Rights in Canada

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook MONTRÉAL and TORONTO, April 5, 2017 – SOCAN and SODRAC today announced that the two organizations are actively discussing the possibility of combining operations with the aim of creating an integrated approach to the management of both performing rights and reproduction rights of songwriters, composers and music publishers.This initiative by SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors & Music Publishers of Canada) and SODRAC (Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada) is a proactive response to the transformation of the markets and modes of consumption of music.The integration of the management of public performance rights and reproduction rights could have many advantages and would reduce operating costs for rights holder members of each organization, and promises to increase efficiencies, leverage licensing relationships, and reduce operating costs, resulting in even more money to go to those who have earned royalties for their music and streamlined licensing for businesses using music. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment For the time being, the talks are productive and suggest that, subject to the approval of both boards, an agreement could be reached in the near future.About SOCANSOCAN connects more than four-million music creators worldwide and more than a quarter-million businesses and individuals in Canada. Nearly 150,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers are its direct members, and more than 130,000 organizations are Licensed To Play music across Canada. With a concerted use of progressive technology and a commitment to lead the global transformation of music rights, with wholly-owned companies Audiam and MediaNet, SOCAN is dedicated to upholding the fundamental truths that music has value and music creators and publishers deserve fair compensation for their work. For more information: www.socan.caAbout SODRACSODRAC is a collective management society with more than 9,000 Canadian authors, composers and publishers of musical works as members, and is the exclusive representative in Canada of the music repertoire of more than 100 countries or territories. SODRAC also represents in Canada the rights of more than 600 members in visual arts and crafts and nearly 40,000 artists from around the world. SODRAC facilitates access to and use of its repertoire on all platforms in order to fairly reward the work of its members, authors, composers and music publishers. Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Cirque du Soleil Presents the World Premiere of VOLTA

first_img Twitter Acrobatic Performance Designer Advertisement Thibaut Duverneix Bastien Alexandre LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Writer and Director Make up Designer Anthony Gonzalez from the band M83 Advertisement The critics reserved a warm welcome to VOLTA, as seen here in a quote from Jim Burke from The Gazette: “Cirque du Soleil’s Volta pulls out all stops in a spectacular blend of New Age esthetics and extreme sports.”The nameThe name VOLTA refers to a sudden about-face, a change in emotion or idea. It also speaks to the jolt of energy delivered through the show.The showVOLTA tells a spellbinding story about the freedom to choose and the thrill of blazing your own trail. Inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of action sports, the show weaves acrobatics into a visually striking world driven by a stirring melodic score.VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and the power of the group to make that possible. It celebrates freedom as a movement.WAZ, a popular gameshow host, has lost touch with his inner self in the pursuit of fame. But as doubt sets in, WAZ is enlightened by childhood memories as he encounters FREE SPIRITS who open doors to his inner soul he has long kept shut. On his high-voltage search for meaning, will WAZ find the courage to relinquish his fame, reconnect with his true self, and shine bright?The creative teamVOLTA‘s creative team comprises 15 creators under the artistic guidance of Jean-François Bouchard: Martin Labrecque Zaldy Philippe Aubertin Costume Designer Props Designer Advertisement Jean Guibert Creation Director Character guide Jean-Michel Caron Eleni Uranis Anne-Séguin Poirier Facebook Jaque Paquin Acrobatic Performance Designer Choreographer Manon Beaudoin Sound Designer MONTREAL – Cirque du Soleil presented last night in Montreal the world premiere of its latest production, VOLTA. The show will be playing under the Big Top in Montreal’s Old Port until July 23rd and at the Zibi site in Gatineau starting August 3rd. With this new creation, Quebec’s entertainment leader is once again pushing the boundaries of circus arts by integrating several action sports disciplines that are presented for the first time on a Cirque du Soleil stage, including BMX acts, Parkour and BMX Flatland.There to celebrate the premiere with the entire VOLTA team, Jean-François Bouchard, Creative Guide and Chief Creative Officer of Cirque du Soleil, said: “We are pleased to pursue our tradition to present our most recent creation to the Montreal public first. With VOLTA, we wanted to continue to reinvent ourselves and surprise our audience and our fans. The marriage of disciplines in the purest Cirque du Soleil tradition with contemporary dance and action sports makes this show really fresh and current. We hope that the public will have as much fun discovering VOLTA as we had creating it.”Several personalities from the political, cultural and sporting world marched on the red carpet of VOLTA: Luc Fortin, Quebec Minister for Culture and Communications; Jean-François Lisée, Leader of the Quebec Opposition and of the Parti québécois and the Honorable Mélanie Joly, Minister for Canadian Heritage; artists Antoine Bertrand, Alex Perron, Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge, Émily Bégin, Isabel Richer, Mirianne Brûlé, Jason Roy-Léveillé , Jonathan Roy, Joey Scarpellino, Catherine Brunet, Thomas Beaudoin, Mitsou, Robert Charlebois, Radio Radio, Kevin Bazinet, Alicia Moffet, Pascal Morissette, Julie Ringuette, Geneviève Boivin-Roussy, Jonas, Jérôme Couture and Valérie Carpentier ; as well as athletes Mikaël Kingsbury, Alexandre Bilodeau, Jean-Luc Brassard, Dufour-Lapointe sisters, Érik Guay, Charles Hamelin, Marianne St-Gelais, Émilie Heymans and Montreal Impact players Patrice Bernier, Hassoun Camara and Wandrille Lefèbre. Julie Perron Lighting Designer Set Designer Composer and Musical Director Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging Designer PartnerSun Life Global Investments is the Presenting Partner of VOLTA.Facebook: facebook.com/VOLTATwitter: @Cirque #VOLTAInstagram: @cirquedusoleil #VOLTACirque du SoleilVOLTA is Cirque du Soleil’s 41st original production since 1984, and its 18th show presented under the Big Top. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 180 million spectators in more than 400 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com Bruce Rodgers Video Content and Interactive Designer Rob Bollinger Tickets InformationVOLTA is presented under the Big Top in Montreal’s Old Port until July 23rd, 2017 and at the Zibi site in Gatineau starting August 3rd. Tickets can be purchased for these performances online at www.cirquedusoleil.com/voltaDiscover our VIP package – a cocktail reception with open bar and hors d’oeuvres inspired by the show, access to the best seats for greater comfort, a complimentary Valet Parking Service, and more! Login/Register With:last_img read more

ON STAGE The Lavender Railroad

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Login/Register With: In-The-Moment Theatre presents the Toronto-premiere of The Lavender Railroad(in two parts: Safe House & Ex Cathedra) by Lawrence Aronovitch at The Box Theatre Toronto – 89 Niagara Street Suite 103: June 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18 2017 8:00 p.m. showsSingle Tickets: $20 general admission | $25 at the door  http://www.ITMtheatre.comFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:TORONTO – MAY 10, 2017 – Imagine a world in which homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death. Introducing the Toronto premiere of a multiple Rideau-Award winning production. In-The-Moment Theatre presents The Lavender Railroad, a play by Lawrence Aronovitch, at the Box Toronto Theatre –89 Niagara Street Suite 103 June 8 – 18..Written by playwright Lawrence Aronovitch , The Lavender Railroad is set in a world where homosexuality is a crime punishable by death. In the first part, Safe House , a fugitive named Sebastian ( Tony Babcock ) meets his mysterious rescuer, an older man who calls himself Mother Courage ( Peter Nelson ). In the second part, Ex Cathedra , a nun (Judith Cockman) is called into a meeting with a female security commander (Jennifer Vallance) and is surprised to discover her identity. The link between the two stories is the Lavender Railroad, which brings hope to homosexuals trying to stay alive..Toronto theatre veteran & acting coach Tony Babcock directs the piece. A fan of dystopian, politically charged material, he believes that this story is more relevant than ever. “We find ourselves in an age of ‘fake news’ with a disturbing resurgence of discrimination. I think the Theatre has a unique way of showing us the truth. Lavender brings this truth in spades.” Sadly, there are several organizations reminiscent of the Lavender Railroad that have to do important work in our own world today. Examples include the Rainbow Railroad & the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees (IRQR) ..“The play speaks to anyone who believes naively that rights are a given, that truths are forever and that a wrathful God does not exist,” says Aronovitch. “I believe that covers everybody.” Aronovitch developed the play, inspired in part by Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale , with help from Paula Danckert, the company dramaturge at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and former head of Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal. The play premiered in Ottawa in 2011 at Evolution Theatre. When Aronovitch moved to Toronto in 2016, he had a meeting with Babcock to discuss working together and the Lavender Railroad came up as an idea almost immediately. “As soon as Lawrence mentioned the show to me and brought up the themes and powerful imagery, I knew we had to bring it to Toronto.”.Stage manager for the show is Rae Costin..The Lavender Railroad runs from June 8 – 18 at The Box Theatre Toronto – 89 Niagara St. Suite 103 at 8 p.m Tickets can be purchased online at www.ITMtheatre.com/lavender Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Juno Awards organizers urge Hamilton to bid for 2019 – even though

first_img“I did speak with (CARAS’s) executive CEO and president last night, and he reiterated what a desirable location Hamilton is for the Junos, particularly in 2019,” Brooks-Joiner said.City council’s general issues committee agreed Wednesday to submit a bid. It also asked to be the permanent home of the Juno Awards, or at least be awarded the ceremonies for three to five years at a time.Musicians Tom Wilson, Max Kerman and Rita Chiarelli signed a piano at the launch of the Turn It On campaign, designed to get Hamiltonians excited about the 2015 Juno Awards. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)CARAS likes Hamilton, Brooks-Joiner said, because it’s trying to establish itself as a music city and has the right size venues. Hamilton will also be building on the momentum of hosting the Canadian Country Music Awards in 2018.This would be unwelcome news in two other Canadian cities, who are also bidding on the 2019 Juno Awards — but likely paying more to do it.London agreed to submit a $1.7 million bid for the 2019 awards, and is asking the province for help. The city is putting in $500,000 of its own for the bid. The London bid committee didn’t comment Wednesday.Tourism Saskatoon also said in September that it wants the 2019 Juno Awards.Hamilton economy expected to get $11M boost from the Juno AwardsAs in 2015, Hamilton will spend $550,000 from reserves, and ask for provincial grant money to make up the rest of its bid.Brooks-Joiner said she hasn’t talked to CARAS about the other city bids. CARAS, she said, doesn’t typically disclose those details. But Hamilton city councillors mentioned them during Wednesday’s debate.The Junos bring millions in economic spinoff, so they’re worth the investment, said Sam Merulla, Ward 4 councillor.“This one pays for itself tenfold.”By Samantha Craggs – CBC NEWS Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Hamilton heroes Arkells played the Juno Awards in their hometown of Hamilton in 2015. The organization behind the awards wants Hamilton to bid to be a host city in 2019. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press) Advertisementcenter_img Twitter Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The organization behind the Juno Awards wants Hamilton to bid to host them again in 2019, despite two other cities (London and Saskatoon) vying for the honour. And Hamilton is putting together as much as $1.5 million for the bid.The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) isn’t outright handing the awards to Hamilton. But its president has written to the city saying he “strongly believes” Hamilton would be a good host, and is reducing the cost of bidding.Hamilton didn’t even bid on the 2019 Junos, said a report from Carrie Brooks-Joiner, Tourism Hamilton’s manager of tourism and events. But CARAS, impressed by Hamilton’s attempts to grow its music industry, seems interested in a repeat performance of 2015 when the city hosted a highly successful Juno Awards event. It’s even reducing the bid fee from $1.7 million.last_img read more

VICE Canada names Vanessa Case as SVP Studio Canada

first_imgAdvertisement With a career spanning two decades, Vanessa has been a critical player in the launch and development of several world-renowned brands landing in Canada, including BBC Earth, HGTV Canada and National Geographic. Prior to her role at Blue Ant Media, having held positions at Shaw, CanWest and Alliance Atlantis, she commissioned hundreds of hours of original content, developed original production slates and led scheduling and acquisition strategies for some of Canada’s top speciality channels.“I’m thrilled to be joining the dynamic and creative team at VICE Media Canada and working under the leadership of Naveen to help grow and expand its offerings for the Canadian marketplace and international audiences” said Vanessa Case.In her new role, Vanessa will head up all VICE Studios’ productions in Canada including development, production, financing, sales and licensing, as well as overseeing VICE’s production and post-production facilities located in Toronto.ABOUT VICE MEDIAVICE is the world’s preeminent youth media company and content creation studio. Launched in 1994, VICE now operates in over 30 countries and distributes its programming to viewers across digital, linear, mobile, film and socials. VICE includes an international network of digital channels; a weekly and daily news programming partnership with HBO; a television and feature film production studio; a magazine; a record label; and an in-house creative services agency. Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Vanessa was most recently EVP Content at Blue Ant Media and is a senior media executive with deep expertise in content strategy, delivering business growth, and development and execution for global companies, including owned intellectual property (IP), co-productions and international financing. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: TORONTO – VICE Media Canada, Canada’s leading youth media company and digital studio, is pleased to announce senior media executive Vanessa Case as SVP Studio Canada, effective immediately. “Vanessa is a well known, well regarded executive here in Canada and abroad so we’re thrilled to have her on board’,said Naveen Prasad, President, Vice Media Canada. “She will play a key role as VICE Media Canada continues its focus of being a leading, innovative content producer.” Twitterlast_img read more