Showing posts with label Canada Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canada Related. Show all posts

7 October 2021

Vision Films Adds to October Halloween Film Fare With Sci-Fi Alien Adventure 'White Sky' [Trailer Included]

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Vision Films Adds to October Halloween Film Fare With Sci-Fi Alien Adventure 'White Sky' [Trailer Included]
'White Sky' Sci-Fi Thriller - Movie Poster
Vision Films Inc. announces the US and Canadian VOD release on October 16 of sci-fi alien adventure White Sky from M and M Film Productions UK. Written by Philip Daay, directed and produced by Adam Wilson, and produced by Malcolm Winter, Makenna Guyler, and Monika Gergelova of M and M. White Sky was filmed on location in Wales during the pandemic, September 2020.

Synopsis: 

When three campers witness an alien mothership descending on their town and turning the population into "Altered" human beings, they team up with a reclusive stranger who offers to guide them to safety. As they're chased deep into the forest and one of them becomes infected, they realize there's nowhere to hide from the Altered horde that seems intent upon finding and assimilating them.

Starring: 

  • Natalie Martins (Get Gone), Ade Dimberline (The Spanish Princess), Makenna Guyler (King of Crime), and Jordan McFarlane.
Vision Films Adds to October Halloween Film Fare With Sci-Fi Alien Adventure 'White Sky' [Trailer Included]
'White Sky' (Screengrab)
Lise Romanoff, CEO/Managing Director of Vision Films shares, "White Sky is the perfect sci-fi release for Halloween, it covers all the bases the horror audiences love: great special effects, suspense, action and of course, aliens."
Malcolm Winter, Managing Director/Commercial Director says, "M & M Film Productions overcome all the obstacles to shoot White Sky in the lockdown and create an entertaining Sci-Fi drama."
Monika Gergelova, CEO/Managing Director adds, "White Sky has a strong female character in "Hailey" who does not give up, no matter what she has to face. Sensational all the way through."

The Trailer:

  • White Sky will be available on all major streaming and cable platforms in the US and Canada, and on DVD October 19, 2021.
Vision Films Adds to October Halloween Film Fare With Sci-Fi Alien Adventure 'White Sky' [Trailer Included]
'White Sky' (Screengrab)

About M and M Film Productions:

M and M Film Productions is an Independent UK Motion Picture Production company founded/led by Monika Gergelova, CEO/Managing Director and Malcolm Winter Managing Director/Commercial Director and together they bring decades of motion picture and investment financing to M & M Film Productions. The principals also possess well-respected relationships with production suppliers and distribution outlets on a needed basis.

18 May 2021

Generation Gamble? Survey Shows Canadian Millennials More Willing To Engage In Bidding Wars To Get Their Dream Home

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Generation gamble? Survey Shows Canadian Millennials More Willing To Engage In Bidding Wars To Get Their Dream Home
Generation gamble? Survey Shows Canadian Millennials More Willing To Engage In Bidding Wars To Get Their Dream Home (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio)
According to a recent real estate survey commissioned on behalf of TD, one-third of Canadians surveyed (32 per cent), are willing to take part in a bidding war in order to secure their dream home, as housing prices continue to soar in many markets across the country.
  • Interestingly, the TD survey also reveals that a homebuyer's willingness to offer above asking typically varies with age. More than half (51 per cent) of young adults under 35 are prepared to offer above list price, while fewer than one-third (31 per cent) of respondents between 35 and 54, and just 18 per cent of those 55 and older, are willing to do the same.
The TD 2021 Real Estate survey results arrive alongside proposed government changes to the qualifying rates for uninsured mortgage loans. If implemented, the guidelines would require borrowers to qualify at their mortgage contract rate plus two percentage points, or 5.25 per cent, whichever is higher. As housing prices across the country continue to rise, the change is designed to help buyers avoid over-extending themselves. It also underscores the need for advice along every stage of the homebuying process – but particularly when it comes to affordability.

Generation gamble? Survey Shows Canadian Millennials More Willing To Engage In Bidding Wars To Get Their Dream Home
Generation gamble? Survey Shows Canadian Millennials More Willing To Engage In Bidding Wars To Get Their Dream Home (Photo by Rachel Claire)

Budgeting for a bidding war:

"There's no question that the price of homeownership is much more than your down payment and monthly mortgage payments," says Jared Jarman, Associate Vice President, Specialized Advice at TD. "In today's competitive environment, buyers need to ensure they're keeping a close eye on their budget, building in some wiggle room so that they know they're able to cover expected and unforeseen costs. A financial advisor can help by working with you to develop a budget that lets you know how much you may be able to afford before you begin to house hunt," continues Jarman.
Despite a widespread willingness amongst younger survey respondents to enter a bidding war, most Canadians are still reluctant to bid over-asking when multiple offers are on the table. In this situation, 45 per cent of respondents said they would stand firm on their initial offer. But for those willing to do what it takes to win a bidding war, Jarman emphasized the importance of developing a budget range beforehand that allows for some flexibility. Even amongst Canadians open to going beyond the list price for their dream home, budgeting and setting limits is key, he adds.

  • The TD survey results also reveal how competitive respondents are willing to be. According to the survey, approximately two in ten (19 per cent) of competitive bidders said they would exceed the asking price by up to $50,000, while just 13 per cent would push their offer further, between $50,000 and $100,000 over-asking and beyond.

Affordability and the great unknown:

According to TD, more than half of Canadians surveyed (52%) feel home ownership is less attainable now than it was pre-pandemic thanks to changing house prices. Unsurprisingly, the survey also reveals that changes in financial security over the last year have dampened home-buying opportunities for many Canadians, with one-third of respondents saying unexpected changes in their personal finances have made the prospect of homebuying less attainable now than before the pandemic.
"We know Canadians have had to deal with incredibly unprecedented circumstances this past year, including unemployment and other financial challenges for many," said Jarman, noting that TD has safeguard options in place to protect borrowers from unanticipated challenges. "TD Mortgage Protection is just one-way customers can help protect themselves from unforeseen life events including critical illness and even death."
  • Fifty-seven per cent of TD survey respondents said they consider finding a home within their budget to be the biggest challenge to buying a home within the next year. The ability to afford a suitable home appears to be a greater concern amongst residents in Ontario (63 per cent) and B.C. (62 per cent) compared to Quebec (48 per cent) and the Prairies (43 per cent).

Note From The Edtor:

If you visit TD's website, you will notice that TD offers quite a few useful online services, including the TD Mortgage Affordability Calculator, which can help determine what Canadians may be able to afford. As this blog is based in the Uk, we thought it would be a good idea to add a link to another Mortgage Calculator for our readers in Great Britain. Hopefully, our British friends will find that handy 
Generation gamble? Survey Shows Canadian Millennials More Willing To Engage In Bidding Wars To Get Their Dream Home
Generation gamble? Survey Shows Canadian Millennials More Willing To Engage In Bidding Wars To Get Their Dream Home (Photo by Liza Summer)

Fast facts from the TD 2021 Real Estate During COVID survey:

  • Among other challenges noted in the survey results were the uncertainty that comes with the COVID-19 pandemic (15%) and the lack of housing supply (10%).
  • Canadians value their space during the pandemic, and are most likely to see features like backyard space (43 per cent) and square footage (40 per cent) as important considerations when buying a home.
  • While the need for space may be unsurprising, Canadians' desire to be within close proximity to everyday amenities (grocery stores, banks, etc.) hasn't changed – just over half (51 per cent) compared to 50 per cent prior to the pandemic.
  • Four in 10 (40 per cent) Canadians surveyed who currently own a house or condo say rising prices in their area would make them more interested in listing.

About the TD 2021 Real Estate During COVID:

TD Bank Group commissioned Ipsos to conduct a national online survey of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+. This poll was conducted between March 31 and April 6, 2021.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

7 May 2021

Even Species at Risk are Cramped at Home

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Short–eared Owl © Gordon Court (CNW Group/Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)
For over a year now, Canadians have been urged to stay home. Sometimes, though, home can not only feel too small, it can be too small. At their most recent virtual meeting, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assessed the status of 26 wildlife species, some of which have particularly small spaces to call home. While not all are actually declining, a single stroke of bad luck could eliminate their entire Canadian population. And climate change may bring that bad luck.
Two rare lichens were assessed. Both live in specialised environments, one on the Pacific coast and one on the Atlantic. 

  • The tiny Seaside Centipede Lichen occurs on a narrow strip of western Vancouver Island and nearby islands. It occurs only on small Sitka Spruce twigs that are within a few metres of the forest floor. This lichen also needs a nitrogen supply, and so is usually found on trees near Bald Eagle perches and sea lion haul-outs where poop supplies that key nutrient. 
  • In Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Vole Ears Lichen occurs in a few forests near the coast where necessary fog is common. We know more about this rare lichen because of the increased interest of naturalists -- the Canadian population is the only one remaining in North America and may number fewer than 2000 individuals.
Increasingly severe storms can damage the lichens and their host trees on both coasts, layered upon local threats. Seaside Centipede Lichen was assessed by COSEWIC as Threatened and Vole Ears Lichen as Endangered.

Black Hills Mountainsnail © Robert Forsyth (CNW Group/Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)
Black Hills Mountainsnail has been isolated in the Cypress Hills on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border since glaciers covered much of the continent. The Canadian population is one of only four in the world that survived on rare hills or "sky islands" above the ice (the others are in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota). Climate change-fueled megafires could affect all these Canadian snails in one fell swoop. COSEWIC assessed this snail as Endangered.
"Large wildfires can damage and even wipe out snail populations -- they really can't just run away!" noted Dwayne Lepitzki, Co-chair of the Molluscs Subcommittee. "The Cypress Hills had major fires in the 1880s and we know that wildfires are getting bigger and more common in western Canada. Hopefully, fire management can help protect this snail."
Edwards' Beach Moth © Nicole Kroeker (CNW Group/Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)
The attractive Edwards' Beach Moth is restricted to a few windswept beaches and small dunes around southern Vancouver Island, isolated from populations known in California. Thanks to work by dedicated volunteers, invasive vegetation is being kept at bay. However, climate change is a threat because warming brings rising sea levels and more numerous and intense storms that threaten to destroy the upper beaches and dunes where the moth lives. It was assessed as Endangered.

Fully 15 of the 26 wildlife species assessed by COSEWIC are threatened by climate change. Not all of them have restricted ranges. Short-eared Owl is still widely distributed, but Christmas Bird Count and Breeding Bird Survey volunteers have documented a worrying decline in their numbers.
"Citizen science observers across the continent are fundamentally important in determining population trends for this and many other species," commented Birds Subcommittee Co-chair Richard Elliot. "We couldn't do it without them."
Climate warming in the North is resulting in shrubification of tundra habitat, making it less favourable for the owl, and adding to human impacts it faces further south. Short-eared Owl was assessed as Threatened.

  • Altogether, COSEWIC assessed 5 birds, 5 plants, 3 insects, 3 reptiles, 3 molluscs, 2 sharks, 2 lichens, 1 amphibian, 1 freshwater fish, and 1 mammal wildlife species. Further details on all the wildlife species assessed at this meeting can be found on the COSEWIC website.

Definition of COSEWIC terms and status categories:

  • Wildlife Species: A species, subspecies, variety, or geographically or genetically distinct population of animal, plant or other organism, other than a bacterium or virus, that is wild by nature and is either native to Canada or has extended its range into Canada without human intervention and has been present in Canada for at least 50 years.
  • Extinct (X): A wildlife species that no longer exists.
  • Extirpated (XT): A wildlife species that no longer exists in the wild in Canada, but exists elsewhere.
  • Endangered (E): A wildlife species facing imminent extirpation or extinction.
  • Threatened (T): A wildlife species that is likely to become Endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to its extirpation or extinction.
  • Special Concern (SC): A wildlife species that may become Threatened or Endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.
  • Not at Risk (NAR): A wildlife species that has been evaluated and found to be not at risk of extinction given the current circumstances.
  • Data Deficient (DD): A category that applies when the available information is insufficient (a) to resolve a wildlife species' eligibility for assessment or (b) to permit an assessment of the wildlife species' risk of extinction.
  • Species at Risk: A wildlife species that has been assessed as Extirpated, Endangered, Threatened or Special Concern.
Even Species at Risk are Cramped at Home
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) Logo (CNW Group/Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)

About COSEWIC:

COSEWIC assesses the status of wild species, subspecies, varieties, or other important units of biological diversity, considered to be at risk in Canada. To do so, COSEWIC uses scientific, Aboriginal traditional and community knowledge provided by experts from governments, academia and other organizations. Summaries of assessments are currently available to the public on the COSEWIC website and will be submitted to the Federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change in fall 2021 for listing consideration under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). At that time, the status reports and status appraisal summaries will be publicly available on the Species at Risk Public Registry 

At its most recent meeting, COSEWIC assessed 26 wildlife species in various COSEWIC risk categories, including 7 Endangered, 9 Threatened, and 10 Special Concern.

COSEWIC comprises members from each provincial and territorial government wildlife agency, four federal entities (Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Canadian Museum of Nature), three Non-government Science Members, and the Co-chairs of the Species Specialist and the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittees.

SOURCE: Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada

14 December 2020

Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost

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Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost
"David" by Alicja Hlibowicka
Move over COVID-19, Alicja Hlibowicka’s bright and colourful bird art is ready to reinvigorate 2021 with positivity. Currently settled in Luxembourg, she has found a niche in her work that is as vibrant and fun as her own personality. Her roosters and chickens are displayed in bright, energetic and reflective images, each with their own distinct character.
Alicja hopes people who see her art will enjoy the colourful, fun elements and tap into the more rounded characters she gives her birds. In fact, the artist stumbled upon her art-form by accident, after looking for an animal that represented a close friend.
My friend David is such a distinct, flamboyant character - I knew there had to be an animal that reflected his personality. A rooster seemed the perfect fit. These animals are proud but colourful and form such a part of our culture that it was easy to start seeing how I could paint other people and icons who have influenced me as roosters and chickens.” Alicja said.
Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost
"Mini Jackson Solo" by Alicja Hlibowicka
Ever since the history of mankind, roosters have symbolised so much: observance, masculinity, bravery, honesty, prudence, pride, strength, positivity, enthusiasm, and sexuality, all things that we as humans look for. But what is defines Alicja’s work is from others, is the story element which plays a vital component to her inspiration and final work. Often, this is reflected through a vignette of the real person’s life which she captures as a chicken or rooster (i.e. woman or man). 

  • Alicja also incorporates everyday items into the rooster or chicken’s universe that is identified with the original subject. In her original artwork for David for instance, the real person was rarely without a cigarette, Alicja just could not paint the rooster any other way but with a cigarette between his beak.
Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost
"David - LED" by Alicja Hlibowicka
Since the first painting of David, Alicja has now a collection of over 15 originals based on friends’ colleagues, idols and icons, all themed as roosters or chickens. Her work has also expanded to LED and neon lamp versions, which have become favourites among her followers on platforms such as Etsy and Instagram as well as the attendees of her two art exhibitions held in Luxembourg before COVID-19. The lamps are as brightly coloured as her original art which inspired them.
My painting ‘David’ is so popular I turned him into a LED version lamp, which shines beautiful colours. The colour, positivity and optimism told through my art would hopefully lift anyone, especially in these days where there have been so many restrictions on life.” Alicja said.
Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost
Alicja Hlibowicka

About Alicja Hlibowicka:

Alicja Hlibowicka is an emerging artist and the founder of Roosters and Art. She creates contemporary rooster art. She also works for a European Institution. Born in Tunisia to Polish parents, Alicja was raised in Canada. She has been painting for fun since she was a young child.

Alicja first created an art collection during secondary school. Later as a student, she continued to paint based on her mood and inspirations in life. She is chiefly inspired by people's personalities, fashion and colours. Her art depicts animals that emit human psychology. Alicja keeps it fun and colourful so it emits good energy.

"Chicken on White" by Alicja Hlibowicka

21 October 2020

#JTalksLive explores Media in Crisis: Can Journalism Survive - and Thrive - in this Year of Challenge?

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The Canadian Journalism Foundation's Oct. 29th J-Talks Live webcast will feature S. Mitra Kalita, senior vice president for news, opinion and programming for CNN Digital, and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, on the challenges facing journalism. (image via Canadian Journalism Foundation)
In a year of unprecedented challenges, the Canadian Journalism Foundation's (CJF) next J-Talks Live virtual event will explore what it will take for journalism to survive in this new reality. 

The free webcast takes place on Thursday, October 29 at 1 p.m. EDT.
  • The featured guests are S. Mitra Kalita, senior vice-president for news, opinion and programming for CNN Digital, and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. They will be in conversation with host Anna Maria Tremonti, also the host of the CBC podcast More.
"We are delighted to welcome Rasmus and Mitra to our CJF J-Talks to share their insights, knowledge and experience on the future of journalism in a troubling time," says CJF chair Kathy English, currently a journalism fellow at the Reuters Institute. "We know that journalism around the world faces multiple and multifaceted crises—exacerbated by this global pandemic—and that this is a critical time to examine how news organizations can move forward to serve the public's growing need for quality journalism."
In addition to the pandemic, the reckoning over race and gender representation in newsrooms, the polarized political environment, growing public mistrust of institutions including journalism, declining ad revenues and diverted audience attention all challenge media organizations to adapt, and to do so quickly.

Kalita, based in New York City, leads CNN's national news desk and efforts to share its journalism across an array of platforms. She was previously managing editor for editorial strategy at the Los Angeles Times, where she innovated new forms of storytelling and increased audience engagement, including hiring a correspondent to cover "Black Twitter."

In addition to his director role, Nielsen is a professor of political communication at the University of Oxford. He was previously director of research at the Reuters Institute and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Press/Politics. He has done extensive research on journalism, U.S. politics and various forms of activism.

  • This free virtual event is part of the CJF's J-Talks program, which explores pressing journalistic issues.
  • DATE: Thursday, October 29, 2020, 1 p.m. EDT. / 10 a.m. PDT. (Register now)

About The Canadian Journalism Foundation:

Founded in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes, celebrates and facilitates excellence in journalism. The foundation runs a prestigious awards and fellowships program featuring an industry gala where news leaders, journalists and corporate Canada gather to celebrate outstanding journalistic achievement and the value of professional journalism. Through monthly J-Talks, a public speakers' series, the CJF facilitates dialogue among journalists, business people, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research.
  • The CJF thanks the generosity of J-Talks series sponsor BMO Financial Group. 
  • Cision is the exclusive distribution partner of the CJF.
SOURCE:: Canadian Journalism Foundation

17 October 2020

Design Competition for Canada's LGBTQ2+ National Monument Launches

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Design Competition for Canada's LGBTQ2+ National Monument Launches (Photo by Andre Furtado from Pexels)
A major step has been taken toward creating a national monument remembering the historic discrimination against LGBTQ2+ people in Canada, including those who suffered and continue to suffer due to the LGBT Purge between the 1950s and the 1990s.
Teams of professional artists, landscape architects, architects and other urban design professionals are invited to submit their credentials and examples of work for consideration as part of the Request for Qualifications for the LGBTQ2+ National Monument. The deadline is January 5, 2021. The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, and the LGBT Purge Fund—the project proponent—issued the request in cooperation with the National Capital Commission.

The monument site will be located at the northeast side of Wellington Street near the ­Portage Bridge, next to the Ottawa River, close to the Judicial Precinct. The LGBT Purge Fund selected the site after consultations with LGBTQ2+ communities. The NCC approved the choice of site in January 2020.
The Monument will memorialize the profound impact of the discrimination experienced by Canada's LGBTQ2+ communities and will celebrate the achievements of those who fought for equality. It will also help educate visitors and inspire hope as well as change for the future
  • .The site will have the capacity to host gatherings of as many as 2,000 people and balance public visibility and space for contemplation.
The design competition jury will include experts in the fields of visual arts, landscape architecture, architecture, urban design as well as LGBT Purge survivors, representatives from key stakeholder groups, and subject-matter specialists. The jury will review the submissions and select up to five teams, who will then be invited to prepare design proposals for the monument. 

The jury is comprised of the following members:

  • Aaron Betsky, architect
  • Maya Desai, architect and urban designer
  • Michelle Douglas, Executive Director, LGBT Purge Fund, and LGBT Purge survivor
  • Grant Fahlgren, landscape architect
  • Reverend Dr. Brent Hawkes, C.M., O.N.B, subject-matter expert
  • Bernard Lamarche, art historian and curator
  • Ann-Marie Macdonald, O.C., author, actor, playwright, affected community member
  • Courtnay McFarlane, visual artist, poet and curator
  • Martine Roy, Chair of the Board of Directors, LGBT Purge Fund, and LGBT Purge survivor
  • Megan Torza, architect and urban designer
The LGBT Purge refers to the period when LGBT members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian federal public service faced systematic discrimination, harassment and often firings due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression as a matter of policy and sanctioned practice.

Over time, survivors and their allies worked hard to secure apologies, gain recognition, win compensation, and change Canadian law. A ground-breaking settlement was reached in 2018. Canada was the first country in the world to provide substantial compensation for the harm inflicted on its own people through decades of state-sponsored discrimination.

Quotes:

"I am confident Canada's design community can create a fitting memorial telling the story of those who were persecuted, dismissed and marginalized. Thousands of lives were devastated during the Purge. Careers were ruined and families were torn apart. I thank the LGBT Purge Fund for its vision of a monument that will inspire us to strive for a future that is free of LGBTQ2+ discrimination." — The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
"The Purge was a disgraceful period in Canadian history. It had an effect not only on those who faced discrimination, but all members of LGBTQ2+ communities across the country. Unless we learn from our history, we are bound to repeat it. This monument will remind us that we must challenge normative values that perpetuate oppression in our society." — The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth
"The LGBTQ2+ National Monument will be an enduring and important marker to commemorate the deep, state-sanctioned discrimination experienced by LGBTQ2+ people in Canada for many decades. The LGBT Purge Fund is proud to provide the funding for this project and to ensure that that the voices of the LGBTQ2+ community are extensively consulted on the vision for this project." — Michelle Douglas, Executive Director, LGBT Purge Fund

Quick Facts:

This first phase of the design competition will evaluate qualifications and select up to five teams to continue to the Request for Proposals phase in 2021, when the finalists will be invited to develop their design concepts.

Members of LGBTQ2+ communities and the public will be invited to review the finalists' proposals before a design is chosen.

  • The monument is scheduled to be completed by 2025.

Associated Links:

About The LGBT Purge Fund:

The LGBT Purge Fund is a not-for-profit corporation established in 2018 to manage memorialization and reconciliation projects mandated by the settlement. They are responsible for building an LGBTQ2+ National Monument that will "memorialize the historical discrimination against LGBTQ2+ people in Canada, including with respect to the LGBT Purge." 

As the proponent of the project, the LGBT Purge Fund is providing $8 million for the project and is working with Canadian Heritage and the NCC to ensure the monument meets the objectives of the settlement agreement and embodies the vision developed with Purge survivors and Canada's wider LGBTQ2+ community.

SOURCE: Canadian Heritage

11 October 2020

#FreetobeOnline - Instagram Teams Up With Girl Activists To Address Online Harassment

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Instagram Teams Up With Girl Activists To Address Online Harassment
A Plan International survey of 14,000 girls in 22 countries, including Canada, reveals that more than half (58%) of those surveyed have been harassed and abused on social media. (CNW Group/Plan International Canada)
Social media platform to work with Plan International to kick off a series of listening sessions with girls from around the world, which will inform work across Facebook platforms
Girl activists will be teaming up with Instagram, in collaboration with global children's rights and gender equality organization Plan International, to address how the platform can respond to online harassment. 

This will include listening sessions with a diverse group of 15 youth activists who will provide insight into their own negative experiences to policy and product teams from Instagram. Insights will also be shared with Facebook and WhatsApp as part of this initiative.

This announcement comes on International Day of the Girl and follows a landmark survey by Plan International of 14,000 girls in 22 countries, including Canada, which revealed more than half (58%) of those surveyed have been harassed or abused on social media. Amongst the list of power holders that girls want to take action to tackle abuse, social media companies top the list, followed by governments, police and civil society organizations.
"Girls in our research identified social media companies as the critical actors responsible for ensuring safety from online harassment on their platforms. This partnership with Instagram is an encouraging first step and will help ensure girls' voices are not silenced," said Lindsay Glassco, President and CEO of Plan International Canada.
The sessions between the youth activists and Instagram will begin this November and will provide an opportunity to hear directly from girls about their lived experiences on social media. The aim is to create a dialogue about more ways the companies can continue to invest in protecting girls from bullying and harassment. The youth participating come from Benin, Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Philippines, Spain, UK and the US.
"Listening to girls who have experienced being harassed online is a crucial part of the process, to ensure that mechanisms being implemented to eliminate online harassment are truly effective," said Ramandeep, 15-year-old Youth Ambassador for Plan International Canada. "We need to amplify their voices to help create solutions to this issue."
Cindy Southworth, Head of Women's Safety at Facebook, said: "Abuse of women on the internet is a serious problem, one we tackle in a variety of ways – through technology that identifies and removes potentially abusive content, by enforcing strict policies and by talking with experts and people experiencing harassment or abuse."
"We know this is a particular challenge and really value the opportunity to work with Plan International and hear directly from young women affected by these issues so we can improve and ensure we are a platform where women feel safe."
#FreetobeOnline - Instagram Teams Up With Girl Activists To Address Online Harassment
Instagram Teams Up With Girl Activists To Address Online Harassment (image via Plan International Canada)
Girls around the world have written an open letter to social media companies, calling on them to create stronger and more effective ways to report abuse and harassment. This International Day of the Girl, Plan International Canada is standing with girls in their call, which includes developing better and more accessible reporting mechanisms, and stronger monitoring measures to identify and respond to cyberbullying and online harassment.

More than half of the girls surveyed in Canada say social media companies should do more to fight such issues on their platforms. Supporters of this call-to-action in Canada are encouraged to read and sign this letter, which will urge social media giants to enact significant changes and make online spaces safer for everyone.

Instagram Teams Up With Girl Activists To Address Online Harassment
Instagram Teams Up With Girl Activists To Address Online Harassment (image via Plan International Canada)

About Plan International Canada

Plan International Canada is a member of a global organization dedicated to advancing children's rights and equality for girls. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 80 years and are now active in more than 70 countries. 

  • Visit plancanada.ca for more information and follow @PlanCanada on social media to join the conversation.
SOURCE: Plan International Canada

9 October 2020

Brilliant Vision of a UFO Comes to Life With the New Royal Canadian Mint Collector Coin

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Brilliant Vision of a UFO Comes to Life With the New Royal Canadian Mint Collector Coin
The Royal Canadian Mint's silver collector coin celebrating the 1978 Clarenville Event
The coin adds to Canada's popular series of unexplained phenomena, telling the bizarre story of a 1978 UFO sighting in the Clarenville, Newfoundland and Labrador skies . 
The Clarenville event is vividly illustrated on a new glow-in-the-dark collectible coin showing the RCMP Constable moment and how multiple witnesses observe the mysterious lights and the oval shape of an unidentified flying object flying over the vicinity of the town of Clarenville . Royal Canadian Mint is already accepting orders to order this intriguing coin.

Working with a rectangular coin like a canvas, East Coast artist Adam Young has recreated the events of October 26, 1978, when Clarenville became part of UFO history. That night, the RCMP Constable James Blackwood responded to a call from shocked witnesses. When he arrived at the scene, witnesses turned their attention to a glowing object hovering in the sky. Using binoculars, he observed the oval shape with a thin tail as it flew over the waters near Random Island. It made no sound, and when the policeman turned on the squad car's sirens, the mysterious device instantly mimicked its lights. He continued in the area for about an hour until he suddenly rose and disappeared into the night, leaving no trace of his passage - just a few witnesses impressed by what they had seen.

Brilliant Vision of a UFO Comes to Life With the New Royal Canadian Mint Collector Coin
2020 $20 Fine Silver Coin - The Clarenville Event packaging
"I wanted this piece to include all elements of the 1978 experience, while incorporating the rugged and flamboyant coastline that often characterizes the Newfoundland landscape, " commented Adam Young . "The light and the direction of the line were important aspects of the design, creating a circular visual flow through the composition. This has presented an outstanding artistic endeavor, which through my research in design, has led to Burrowing Other UFO Sightings In Canada ".
Being true to the scene described that night by witnesses, the luminescent elements of the coin glow when exposed to black light. 
Brilliant Vision of a UFO Comes to Life With the New Royal Canadian Mint Collector Coin
2020 $20 Fine Silver Coin - The Clarenville Event reverse glow
  • The $ 20 fine silver rectangular coin - Canada's Unexplained Phenomena: The Clarenville Event has a limited mintage of 5,000 pieces, and a sale price of $ 129.95.
These products can be ordered directly from Royal Canadian Mint by calling 1-800-267-1871 in the Canada, the United States 1-800-268-6468, or on the website www.mint.ca .
SOURCE: Royal Canadian Mint (RCM)

6 October 2020

Rare 1930's Movie Posters Discovered in Walls of Home During Renovation

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Rare 1930's Movie Posters Discovered in Walls of Home During Renovation
"The Petrified Forest" and "Werewolf of London". These are just two of over 100 rare original movie posters that were found and will soon be available for sale at CineMasterpieces.com.
Hidden for over eighty years! A newly discovered stash of incredibly rare and valuable vintage movie posters from the Golden Age of Hollywood has been unearthed in British Columbia, Canada. A client of CineMasterpieces found them in an old home undergoing renovation.
While workers were tearing down walls and pulling up floorboards, they came across over one hundred different highly collectible posters from the mid-1930s. All of them are insert size 14" x 36" and were printed in the USA for use in theaters back when the films were originally released. Untouched for over eighty years they were used as insulation.

Some are one of a kind only known surviving specimens and for a few titles there are just a handful of examples known to exist. Some of the premium ones include: The Bride of Frankenstein, Werewolf of London, and The Petrified Forest

  • A few of these posters have been known to sell for over $50,000.00, and many of them are worth well over $1000.00. Condition varies from poor to excellent and several will be restored.
Unlike other collectibles like comic books and baseball cards where any alteration is frowned upon and can negatively affect the value, restoration of old movie posters is looked at similarly to vintage automobiles. It is acceptable and can increase the value.

Eighty years ago, these posters were seen as having very little worth. Many titles from this era are extremely rare and the vast majority did not survive because after they were used at the theater they were generally discarded. Thankfully, someone took a stack of them from a theater storeroom and used them for insulation in their home.

The total value of this cache is estimated to be over $250,000.00. The owner of the posters contacted David A. Lieberman from CineMasterpieces.com. Mr. Lieberman is the recurring featured movie poster expert on The History Channel TV show Pawn Stars
He expressed: "We get a lot of phone calls where someone thinks they may have stumbled upon a treasure. Those calls are almost always false alarms. As soon as we received photos from this discovery, we realized these posters were authentic and this was a jackpot. This is an extraordinary find."
Rare 1930's Movie Posters Discovered in Walls of Home During Renovation
An original insert movie poster from the 1935 Universal horror classic "The Bride of Frankenstein". Less than five of these are known to exist. Unseen for over 80 years this was recently discovered in the walls of a home in British Columbia, Canada.
  • These incredible rarities will soon be available for sale at CineMasterpieces.com. The owner of the posters wishes to remain anonymous.
SOURCE: CineMasterpieces

30 September 2020

140 Singers Bring Awareness for World Mental Health Day on October 10th in 'Breathe!' [Video Included]

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140 Singers Bring Awareness for World Mental Health Day on October 10th in 'Breathe!'
'Breathe!' is an international, community project, joining 140 singers from Los Angeles and Montreal in a choir-driven song and video. (image via celleste.com)
In honor of World Mental Health Day on October 10th, two California-based artists, Celleste and Eric, have created a movement to raise awareness for this essential cause. 'Breathe!' is an international community project, joining 140 singers from Los Angeles and Montreal in a choir-driven song and video. 

  • The two seasoned artists are joined by Grammy and Juno award winners and nominees, artists, musicians, couples, families, comedians, singers from such productions as “The Voice” and “Cirque du Soleil”, and actors from popular TV shows like "Full House" and "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina".
"The anthem's lyrics highlight the importance of breathing as a tool to help regulate our feelings of isolation, stress, anxiety, and fear," said Eric, producer and co-writer of 'Breathe!'. "We hope this project can bring some comfort and relief to all those who are suffering from mental health-related challenges."
According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, 47 million adults experience mental illness each year. The isolation, fear, and economic hardships of the pandemic have further exacerbated these numbers, and created a mental health crisis in the U.S. that researchers warn could make the already-rising suicide rate much worse.
"When sharing our idea for 'Breathe!' with fellow artists, we were completely overwhelmed and inspired by their eagerness to participate in our mission. We believe the project can have the same impact around the globe, raising awareness for mental health, and highlighting all the incredible foundations doing so much for their local communities," said Celleste, lead singer and co-writer of 'Breathe!'.

Breathe! - The Video:

Reviews and Feedback From Breathe!:

This song came up on my newsfeed just at the right time. Life can be so stressful as it is. You add a pandemic to the mix and all the stress in everyday life just seems to become tenfold. I think your song is a timely reminder that as bad as the world is right now we can all just stop and breathe. Your song is a lifesaver Celleste. - Dominique Domingo, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
I just wanted to say thank you so much for this beautiful song! I struggle with Anxiety and ever since I heard this song it has helped me to cope so much thank you Celleste!!! - Haley Abernathy, Houston, Texas
As a lifelong sufferer of Bi-Polar, this song is amazing and so pertinent to sufferers of all mental illnesses. Just breathing helps in that pause that is needed to help calm the mind. - Troy Carter, Auburn, New South Wales
140 Singers Bring Awareness for World Mental Health Day on October 10th in 'Breathe!'
140 Singers Bring Awareness for World Mental Health Day on October 10th in 'Breathe!' (screengrab)

Breathe! - The Lyrics:

Stuck in the corner and the walls are closing in Can’t see the end so tell me where do I begin? Better look up to the sky and just breathe
Head under water, I’ve been drowning in my tears Feels like the finish line’s a million miles from here So I stop and close my eyes and I breathe, I breathe
I tell myself to breathe, deep inside, take my time, it’s alright I tell myself to breathe, count to five, and come alive, cause I’m alive I tell myself to breathe Can I part with tomorrow, leave my yesterday behind? Live in the here and now with nothing on my mind? Never stop to question why, and just breathe Just breathe! I tell myself to breathe, deep inside, take my time, it’s alright I tell myself to breathe, count to five, and come alive, cause I’m alive Over and over the weight on my shoulders gets heavier every day I need to stop this train, so I can breathe again… Let go and breathe again, just stop and breathe again God help me - breathe again, show me how to breathe again Slow down and breathe again Just stop and breathe

140 Singers Bring Awareness for World Mental Health Day on October 10th in 'Breathe!'
Celleste and Eric

About Celleste and Eric:

  • Celleste is a singer and songwriter, based in Los Angeles, California. You can learn more about her at celleste.com
  • Eric is a singer, songwriter and music producer based in Los Angeles, California. You can learn more about him at ericdick.com.
SOURCE: Celleste and Eric

22 September 2020

New UNICEF Canada Campaign Keeps Halloween Spirit Alive for Kids Across the Country [Video Included]

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New UNICEF Canada Campaign Keeps Halloween Spirit Alive for Kids Across the Country
UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon: Walk your hood, do some good. (CNW Group/Canadian Unicef Committee)
UNICEF Canada, long-associated with fond trick-or-treating memories for many Canadians, is launching a new reimagined initiative for celebrating Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic—the UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon
The campaign encourages families across Canada to turn their trick-or-treating steps into a safe, socially distanced walk-a-thon throughout their neighbourhood during the Halloween season. It also reintroduces a digital version of UNICEF's iconic orange box to enable children to celebrate and raise money in a physically distanced way.

  • Like all major celebrations in 2020, Halloween will look and feel a little different this year. In addition to school closures, games cancelled, birthdays with no parties, a new survey commissioned by UNICEF Canada reveals that only one third of Canadian parents plan to send their kids trick-or-treating this year, and less than half plan to give out candy.
Children across the country have missed many childhood milestones to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but parents are continuing to look for ways to keep hope—and fun—alive. In fact, 6 out of 10 Canadian parents said they are looking for safe, socially-distanced Halloween activities this year.

New UNICEF Canada Campaign Keeps Halloween Spirit Alive for Kids Across the Country
GFORCE (image via UNICEF Canada)
To keep the Halloween spirit alive, UNICEF Canada's Halloween program has adapted by encouraging children to dress up in their costumes, walk their neighbourhood with their families or bubble and thrill their community while supporting kids in need around the world. The safe, socially distanced walk-a-thon can take place throughout their neighbourhood on Halloween or any time during October.
"Kids have sacrificed some of their childhoods to help stop the spread of COVID-19. They've missed school, sports, graduations, and other milestones of being young," said Rowena Pinto, Chief Program Officer at UNICEF Canada. "The UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon offers families a safe, unique opportunity to celebrate Halloween while helping protect the world's most vulnerable children from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows kids to help other kids—but also allows them to just be kids themselves."
New UNICEF Canada Campaign Keeps Halloween Spirit Alive for Kids Across the Country
Johnny and Lauren Orlando (image via UNICEF Canada)
UNICEF Canada is also excited to announce its newest Halloween Champions, singer-songwriter and pop superstar Johnny Orlando—who just dropped his latest smash single 'Everybody Wants You' off his upcoming sophomore EP, scheduled for release this fall—and actor and social media influencer Lauren Orlando. 

They will join GFORCE, a musical group of young girls from the Toronto area who made it all the way to the quarterfinals on America's Got Talent in supporting UNICEF's Halloween Walk-a-thon.
"Kids have the ability to make the world a better place. I'm excited to join the UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon to provide a safe, socially distanced activity that not only keeps the spirit of Halloween alive, but empowers kids to make a difference," said Johnny Orlando. "I'm encouraging my dedicated fanbase, which includes millions of empathetic and engaged kids from around the world to embrace their ability to defend the rights of other kids to grow up happy and healthy."

The Video:

How can Canadians participate in the UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon? 

Children, families and adults can become Halloween Heroes by joining our walk-a-thon and setting up their own fundraising page at unicef.ca/Halloween. Participants who sign up by 9 October 2020 will receive a walk-a-thon package in the mail, including an exclusive Halloween Hero Card with a QR code to help collect digital donations—a new digital form of UNICEF's orange box. Money raised goes towards providing essentials like water, nutrition, education and health care to children in need around the world.

Bonus Video:

Creative agency Juniper Park\TBWA partnered with UNICEF Canada to develop the UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon campaign. PHD Canada, a communications planning and media buying agency, is providing marketing support.
New UNICEF Canada Campaign Keeps Halloween Spirit Alive for Kids Across the Country
Sophie Nélisse (image via UNICEF Canada)

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