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

5 March 2020

Canada: Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition Open Through Mid-April at Kean University [Video Included]

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Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition
Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition (PRNewsfoto/Kean University)
From middle school students sketching copies of famous artworks, to senior citizen groups and others marveling at "flying machines," thousands of visitors have toured Da Vinci—Inventions since it opened at Kean University's Liberty Hall Academic Center & Exhibition Hall (LHAC) in January.

The soaring exhibition features full-scale models of dozens of Leonardo da Vinci's most inventive creations, from a diving suit to a catapult to a hang glider. 


Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition
Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition (image via Kean University)
Also on display are exquisite, artisan-crafted reproductions of the Mona Lisa and other da Vinci paintings, made with the techniques Leonardo da Vinci himself used, and hand-crafted reproductions of some of the 6,000 pages of notes he left behind.

The exhibition is open every day until April 12, with special pricing offered on select days and free admission to school groups.
"I think it's a great experience. It's a really active experience for our students," said Scotch Plains middle school teacher Carmela Lambert while chaperoning a group of nearly 100 seventh-graders who visited the exhibition as part of their studies of Italian. "When we got the flyer at our school, we thought it would be a great way to teach across curriculum."
Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition
Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition (image via Kean University)
Leonardo da Vinci, a brilliant Renaissance artist and inventor, dreamed of inventions ranging from military equipment to an ideal city. Most of his ideas remained drawings on paper. But recreations in the exhibit bring his visions to life for a modern audience.
"You come here thinking he's an artist, and you walk away thinking he's an engineer; he's a physicist. He was just a brilliant mind," said Lynnette Zimmerman, LHAC executive director.
The world-class traveling exhibition, which was created by Grande Exhibitions and has appeared around the world, also ushers in a new phase for Kean.
"It really creates a cultural center for Union County," Zimmerman said. "Special events, such as a social media influencer gathering, are being planned for the da Vinci exhibit and other exhibitions will be coming in the future."
Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition (image via Kean University)
Da Vinci--Inventions Exhibition (image via Kean University)
The exhibit was a lively hubbub of voices one recent morning as teachers and students from Scotch Plains' Park Middle School fanned out through the gallery. As part of their study, students were assigned to envision themselves as Leonardo da Vinci's students, and sketch his art and drawings.

Teacher Angela Cammilleri said the students were impressed by da Vinci's diving suit invention and ideal city.

LHAC Program Coordinator Keyaira Boone said while the exhibition is wonderful for school groups, everyone is welcome to enjoy it.

"You don't have to be a Kean alumnus or a student to see it; you can just come," she said. "It's fascinating for people of all ages."

The Video:


  • Special ticket prices are now being offered to Da Vinci—Inventions. Children 12 and under are admitted free on Friday-Sunday, March 6-8; Wednesday, March 18; and Friday-Sunday, April 3-5.
  • In addition, two-for-$20 general admission tickets are available on Saturday, March 21, and Thursday-Sunday, April 9-12; and patrons are welcome to "pay what you wish" to enjoy the exhibition on Sunday, March 15.
  • Admission is free for school groups.

23 February 2020

What We Don't Understand About Young People's Motivations

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Young people stand on the steps of the Alberta legislature during the climate strike in Edmonton in 2019. Youth are often seen as problems rather than as people who are creating solutions.
Young people stand on the steps of the Alberta legislature during the climate strike in Edmonton in 2019. Youth are often seen as problems rather than as people who are creating solutions. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Amber Bracken)
Young people are demanding change. In the last few days, young Indigenous activists and their supporters blocked parliamentarians in Victoria, B.C., from accessing the provincial legislature and led waves of protest across the country.

For some young people, climate change is urgent. For others, gun violence is a crisis. From truth and reconciliation to inclusion and diversity and mental health, young people are bringing awareness to societal crises and making headlines along the way.

Historically, this is really nothing new. Young people have long been leaders and catalysts of important movements. Unfortunately, these change-makers are often thought to be outside of what is considered typical of this age group.

Young people are often labelled problematic, selfish or not yet ready to lead. This negative view of young people aligns with the multitude of research studies that frame their questions within a deficit model.

In a deficit model, the standard for healthy development is preventing behavioural or emotional problems. In both cases, there is a failure to acknowledge youth’s capacity or motivation to contribute to something larger. Underestimating youth is a mistake. Of course it is important to acknowledge and study the risks and barriers faced by this age group, but if we do not balance this view with understanding their capacities and contribution, it can lead to some faulty assumptions.

What youth can do

In our Community and Youth (CandY) research lab, we use a positive psychology approach. As such, we examine the positive motivations and capacities of youth. We are especially interested in the role young people play in improving our society, as well as the role communities can play to offer young people contexts that allow them to thrive.

Our research is rooted in the psychosocial model of Erik Erikson developed in the 1950s and 1960s. When boiled down to its simplest form, Erikson’s theory states that we all face a series of crises across our lifespan. How we resolve these crises helps determine our developmental success.

For example, in adolescence we face the crisis of identity versus identity diffusion; in midlife we face generativity versus stagnation. That is, when we’re young, we’re trying to figure out who we are and what matters to us, and as we age, we become more concerned with what we’re leaving behind.

Generativity — defined as concern for future generations as a legacy of the self — is well-studied. Most studies on generativity only consider people in middle age, even though there is evidence to suggest that this concern for the future and one’s own legacy is important earlier in the lifespan.

In fact, young people do share a concern for the future and their contribution to it. Our research shows that young people between the ages of 14 and 29 show levels of generative motivation that are as high or even higher than adults. Early generativity is also associated with caring friendships, community involvement and healthy identity development in adolescence and young adulthood. So not only are young people interested and capable of caring for future generations, but doing so is likely good for them.


Autumn Peltier, a young water defender from Wikwemikong First Nation, is an advocate for climate change policy.

Beyond the research, Autumn Peltier, a young activist advocating for clean water, has said, “We are the keepers of the generations yet to come.” She leaves little room for doubt that young people can be motivated by generativity.

Changing how we work with youth

Our team has seen first hand the generativity of youth at the Students Commission of Canada (SCC), a not-for-profit organization that is working towards a world “where all young people transition successfully into adulthood.”

At their Canada We Want” conferences, we have witnessed early generativity in action. Young people from across Canada with a diversity of experience, expertise and identities work together to develop a plan to create the change that they want to see in their community, tackling issues such as poverty, employment, prejudice and substance abuse. This work is then presented to politicians, policy-makers and other leaders and has helped inform Canada’s first national youth policy


Taking IT Global is another organization that capitalizes on young people’s generativity. It works to “empower young people to become agents of positive change in their local and global communities.” It has given out more than 2,500 grants to youth, and also provides education and online resources for adults. The grants have helped youth educate boys about mental health, and prompted a $15-million cleanup of a river in Nova Scotia.

So how can we incorporate these ideas in our everyday interactions with young people? Whether we are parents, teachers, coaches or community leaders, it is worth reflecting on whether our assumptions of youth stem solely from a deficit model, or whether we account for the capacities and motivations of young people. Rather than focusing on what they lack, much more focus can be placed on their capacity and desire to have a positive and lasting impact. At the same time that we are asking young people who they want to be, we should be asking young people what kind of world they want to leave behind.

Greater awareness of the importance of generativity in youth will contribute to a more pervasive narrative of young people as capable, and motivated to contribute, thus combating some useless and inaccurate stereotypes about youth.

So the next time you see a young person in the news, or in your community, making the world a bit better for the next generation, you might smile to yourself and think, “Typical.”

About Today's Contributors:

Heather Lawford, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Bishop's University and Heather L. Ramey, Adjunct Professor, Child & Youth Studies, Brock University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

1 February 2020

Trump Cancels Obama Landmine Policy; Ensures Civilian Suffering With New Mine Use Potential

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Trump Cancels Obama Landmine Policy; Ensures Civilian Suffering With New Mine Use Potential
Trump Cancels Obama Landmine Policy; Ensures Civilian Suffering With New Mine Use Potential (image via LoupDargent.info)
The Trump Administration has announced a deadly landmine policy shift, effectively committing the U.S. to resume the use and stockpiling of antipersonnel landmines. 

Landmines are devastating, victim-activated devices that cannot discriminate between the footstep of a child or that of a soldier.
"This move is a death sentence for civilians," says Jerome Bobin, Canadian Executive Director of Humanity & Inclusion. "There are acts in war that are simply out of bounds. Nations, even superpowers, must never use certain weapons because of the superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering they cause. Landmines fall directly into this category. There is no use for landmines that cannot be accomplished by other means that do not so significantly and indiscriminately kill and maim civilians."
The move is a direct reversal of President Obama's 2014 commitment that inched the U.S. closer to compliance with the 1997 Ottawa Convention, known as the Mine Ban Treaty. President Obama's move left only the Korean peninsula as an exception, due to ongoing mine use in the demilitarized zone.

Failure rate

The announcement states, "The Department of Defense is issuing a new landmine policy. This policy will authorize Combatant Commanders, in exceptional circumstances, to employ advanced, non-persistent landmines specifically designed to reduce unintended harm to civilians and partner forces."
Non-persistent mines are typically laid on the ground surface, and they should be able to destroy themselves within a relatively short period of time—from few hours to days.
"Don't be fooled," warns Alma Taslidžan Al-Osta, Humanity & Inclusion's Disarmament and Protection of Civilians Advocacy Manager. "Everything that man creates has a failure rate. The idea that so-called "advanced" landmines will be safer than older types of devices, is absurd. What happens if they don't neutralize as intended? Our teams see, first hand, how weapons often marketed as "self destructing" continue to injure, maim, and terrorize civilians all over the world on a daily basis.

We also see how quickly and regularly civilians move from one area to another to avoid conflict. What if they enter a mined area and such self-destruction hasn't happened to the mines around them?"

Mine Ban Treaty

The U.S. is one of the few countries that has yet to join the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, sharing ranks with China, Egypt, India, Israel, Pakistan, and Russia. There are 164 States parties to the treaty, making the ban on landmines a universal norm of international humanitarian law. However, the great paradox of this policy shift is that for nearly 30 years, the U.S. has refrained from using or trading antipersonnel landmines.

What's more, the policy change sends a very negative signal, essentially handing a blank check to States or groups willing to continue or expand their use of landmines, which had significantly decreased after the entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty. "Canada cannot remain indifferent to this dramatic American movement," Bobin adds.

Humanity & Inclusion's decades of experience with clearing landmines, as well as taking care of survivors of landmine explosions, leads to the conclusion that no use is safe.

 "We oppose in the strongest terms the idea that military commanders will feel empowered to use mines," Bobin notes. "The safest landmine is the one that is never produced."

Backward step

"Make no mistake, this is absolutely a step backward," Bobin adds. "This significant and negative development is a thunderclap for all of the thousands of individuals who have survived contact with a landmine, as well as the family and friends of hundreds of thousands who have not."
Humanity & Inclusion runs projects to minimize the impact of landmines on civilians in dozens of countries, returning land to communities through demining, teaching people to spot, avoid and report explosive remnants of war through risk education, and providing support and care to victims of landmines. The organization works to raise the visibility of these landmine victims and their communities, so that the world is reminded of the scourge of landmines.

Mine Ban Treaty

The Mine Ban Treaty prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of antipersonnel mines. It is the most comprehensive international instrument for eradicating landmines and deals with everything from mine use, production and trade, to victim assistance, mine clearance and stockpile destruction. The treaty has been signed in Ottawa in 1997.

The International Campaign against Landmines received the Nobel Peace Price, Oslo, December 1997
The International Campaign against Landmines received the Nobel Peace Price, Oslo, December 1997 (image via Humanity & Inclusion)

About Humanity & Inclusion

Co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for its work banning landmines, Humanity & Inclusion (the new name of handicap international), is an independent international aid organization working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster for 38 years. 

Humanity & Inclusion is one of six founding organizations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, and winner of the 2011 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize

Humanity & Inclusion takes action and campaigns in places where "living with dignity" is no easy task. In 2018, Humanity & Inclusion's projects directly benefited 2.1 million people.

Related Video:

31 January 2020

Canada's Major Internet Service Providers Release New Video Series To Support Deaf, Deaf-Blind And Hard Of Hearing Consumers

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Canada's Major Internet Service Providers Release New Video Series To Support Deaf, Deaf-Blind And Hard Of Hearing Consumers
Canada's Major Internet Service Providers Release New Video Series To Support Deaf, Deaf-Blind And Hard Of Hearing Consumers (Screengrab)
Canada's major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have produced a video series in American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des signes du Québec (LSQ) to support Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing (DDBHH) Internet customers to coincide with today's launch of Canada's new Internet Code. 
The Internet code was created by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in July 2019 to enhance consumer protections in connection with the acquisition and use of Internet services.

Each of the seven Internet Code videos address specific themes using plain language and clear examples:

  • Common terminology:
  1. Terminology - Contracts & Billing – Getting Started
  2. Terminology - Contracts & Billing – Fees
  3. Terminology - Contracts & Billing – Documents, Policies and Notifications
  4. Terminology - Networks
  5. Terminology - Devices & Tech Support
  • The Internet Code and Your Rights as a Customer
  • Methods to Manage Data Use
All videos are fully accessible and include captions, voice-over and transcripts.
This video series is part of the ongoing collaboration between service providers and the DDBHH community and reflects ISPs' commitment to ensuring that Canadians have informed access to telecom services. The Internet Code video series follows the release of similar ASL and LSQ videos that provide the DDBHH community with an accessible overview of the Wireless Code, and an explanation of Canada's Wireless Public Alerting system.

Internet Code videos can be found on or accessed through the following ISP websites:

  • Bell
  • Cogeco
  • Eastlink
  • Northwestel
  • Rogers Communications
  • SaskTel
  • Shaw
  • TELUS
  • Videotron
  • Xplornet

Additional Information:

About Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA):

CWTA is the authority on wireless issues, developments and trends in Canada. It represents companies that provide services and products across the wireless sector. Representing the industry before all levels of government and various regulatory agencies, CWTA actively promotes the industry with the goal of ensuring continued growth of the wireless sector in Canada. CWTA administers a number of initiatives on behalf of its members, including corporate social responsibility programs and the national common short codes program.

Given that CWTA had already successfully worked with organizations representing DDBHH communities to develop a series of similar videos for Canada's Wireless Code, the Association was asked to work in partnership with ISPs to develop the Internet Code Video series as well.

30 January 2020

"The Age of A.I." - YouTube Originals New Learning Series Hosted By Robert Downey Jr. - Releases New Episodes Weekly

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"The Age of A.I." - YouTube Originals New Learning Series Hosted By Robert Downey Jr. - Releases New Episodes Weekly
"The Age of A.I." - YouTube Originals New Learning Series Hosted By Robert Downey Jr. - Releases New Episodes Weekly (Screengrab)
"The Age of A.I." takes a deep dive into the fascinating world of the most transformational technology in the history of humankind. Robert Downey Jr. brings his irreverent enthusiasm and curiosity to the screen as the series takes an immersive look at artificial intelligence and its potential to change the world.


"The Age of A.I." was produced by Vancouver-based Network Entertainment and was filmed in eight countries on six continents. Over 150 Canadians worked on the series in various roles, spanning executive producers to post-production, and two of the stories were based in Canada: one in Vancouver at Sanctuary AI, and the other at Waterloo RoboHub at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.
How is artificial intelligence reshaping our world? 
Can machine learning enhance the human experience? 
Can artificial intelligence help level the playing field for people with disabilities? 
Can the state of the world be saved with an algorithm? 
Will a robot take my job?
These are just a few of the questions explored as "The Age of A.I." examines the technology that will impact our world for years to come. In each episode, viewers will meet the people on the front lines of A.I. – the scientists, innovators, and dreamers who are shaping the future and the real people whose lives may be forever changed as technology races to tackle some of the world's greatest challenges.

"The Age of A.I." - YouTube Originals New Learning Series Hosted By Robert Downey Jr. - Releases New Episodes Weekly
"The Age of A.I." - YouTube Originals New Learning Series Hosted By Robert Downey Jr. - Releases New Episodes Weekly (Screengrab)
The series is produced by Network Entertainment with Team Downey in association with Sonar Entertainment. Sean Foley, Yon Motskin, Emily Ford, Cory Lanier, Tom Lesinski, Paul Gertz, and Derik Murray serve as executive producers alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey. 

Will.i.am is a consulting producer with Evan Moore serving as a co-producer on the series. Susanne Daniels is Global Head of Original Content for YouTube. Nadine Zylstra, Head of Learning for YouTube Originals along with Ian Roth and Laurel Stier on the Learning Development team will oversee the project for the global platform.

"The Age of A.I." - YouTube Originals New Learning Series Hosted By Robert Downey Jr.
"The Age of A.I." - YouTube Originals New Learning Series Hosted By Robert Downey Jr.
"The Age of A.I." joins a growing slate of YouTube Originals focused on learning. Other projects include the platform's monthly book club, "BookTube" featuring prominent authors like Malcolm Gladwell; "Could You Survive the Movies?" hosted by Vsauce3's Jake Roper; "Mind Field: What is the Scariest Thing?" with Vsauce creator Michael Stevens; "Glad You Asked" from Vox Media Studios, and Retro Tech with Marques Brownlee. Upcoming Originals include "Creators for Change with Michelle Obama: Girls' Education" premiering this year.

About Team Downey:

Team Downey is an entertainment company founded by Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey that produces film, television and digital properties. 

A two-time Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner, Downey Jr. is perhaps best known for his performance in the title role of the blockbuster franchise "Iron Man." Prior to joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he made his mark in Hollywood with his Academy Award-nominated performances in "Chaplin" and "Tropic Thunder," for which he also earned a Golden Globe. 

Susan Downey is a prolific film producer who has collaborated with many of the industry's most renowned talents on a diverse list of films. She produced the psychological drama "The Brave One," the horror thrillers "Gothika," "House of Wax" and "Orphan" and executive produced the post-apocalyptic drama "The Book of Eli," "Iron Man 2" and the hit comedy "Due Date," among others. 

Together, the pair have collaborated on numerous notable projects including the successful action adventure franchise "Sherlock Holmes," which garnered over $1 billion at the worldwide box office, the cult classic "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" and "The Judge," earning Robert Duvall an Academy Award nomination, among other accolades. 

Team Downey recently produced the family adventure film "Dolittle" for Universal, which was released on January 17, 2020. "Dolittle" features an all-star cast with Downey Jr. in the title role. 

Team Downey is in various stages of development on several other anticipated feature projects including "A Head Full of Ghosts" with Osgood Perkins attached to write and direct and an untitled feature based on Gimlet Media's "Reply All" podcast episode "Man of the People," with Richard Linklater writing and directing. 

On the television side, Team Downey most recently signed a one-year, first-look deal with HBO. Under the new deal, the company will create and develop new projects, further expanding their partnership with the premium cable network as they are currently producing "Perry Mason." The series, which is set to premiere this summer 2020, stars Matthew Rhys in the title role, with episodes directed by Tim Van Patten and Denize Gamze Ergüven, and written by Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald. 

Additionally, Team Downey is also prepping the series Sweet Tooth for Warner Bros. Television and YouTube Originals recently premiered the first four episodes of its docuseries "The Age of A.I." The final four episodes of the critically-acclaimed series were released on January 15.

SOURCE: Network Media Group Inc.

25 January 2020

Ruckify Launches T-Shirt Fundraiser To Help Support The Australian Wildfire Relief Efforts

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The 'Support Australia' t-shirts from Ruckify have a list of organisations you can help during and after the bushfire crisis
The 'Support Australia' t-shirts from Ruckify have a list of organisations you can help during and after the bushfire crisis (image via Ruckify.com)
Ruckify, the global peer-to-peer marketplace for all things rentals, has launched a t-shirt fundraising campaign to support those affected by the devastating Australian bushfires.

The shirts, which will be available on a dedicated RuckifyStore, list a number of organisations people can donate to both during and after the fire crisis that has devastated communities and destroyed large tracts of wilderness in recent months.

All proceeds will be donated to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) for firefighting equipment and training as Australia's bushfire season continues, while anyone who purchases a shirt will receive $5 off a Ruckify rental of their choice.

The idea and design for the shirts came from Ruckify staff, after a company-wide conversation about feelings of helplessness as news of the disaster flowed in.

Ruckify founder and CEO Steve Cody said staff had helped communities inundated near the company's headquarters during the Ottawa River floods in April 2019, and wanted to find a way to lend support to others in need on the other side of the world.
"Since Ruckify's founding two years ago, community, environmentalism, and sustainability have been at the heart of our values," Mr Cody said. "These fires have dealt a blow to the Australian people, and the environment, that will be felt for years to come.

These disasters affect us all, and will continue to do so as the effects of climate change become more apparent. Australians help North Americans every year with funding and resources during wildfire season, and we want to contribute in any way we can."
The fundraising campaign complements Ruckify's ongoing TreeProject, the company's commitment to plant a tree for every sign-up, transaction, and review at ruckify.com.
"It's time for all of us to step up and acknowledge the status quo will no longer work in the face of climate change and the resulting natural disasters," Mr Cody said.

Through both our shirt fundraising campaign and TreeProject campaign, we want to be part of the solution."
The front and back of the Ruckify 'Support Australia' shirts
The front and back of the Ruckify 'Support Australia' shirts (CNW Group/Ruckify)
  • Those interested in the $30 shirts can order them at the dedicated RuckifyStore, where they will be shipped for free.

About Ruckify

Ruckify is the world's largest online peer-to-peer rental marketplace, empowering its members to embrace the sharing economy and leave unnecessary purchases behind. Designed with both people and businesses in mind, anyone can post their items and spaces on Ruckify for people in their community to rent. 

Founded in Ottawa, Canada in 2018 on a foundation of community building, environmentalism, education, and freedom, Ruckify is dedicated to changing the world and curtailing the spread of unsustainable consumerism. 

The platform has also launched TreeProject, a commitment from Ruckify to plant a tree for every transaction made on the app. 
The Ruckify Tree Project
The Ruckify Tree Project (image via Ruckify.com)
SOURCE: Ruckify

6 January 2020

A Remarkable Year For Pointe-à-Callière In 2019 - The Montreal Museum of Archaelogy and History Continues To Draw Crowds [Videos Included]

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Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex, drew 504,793 visitors over the past year, making 2019 the second busiest year in the Museum’s history
Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex, drew 504,793 visitors over the past year, making 2019 the second busiest year in the Museum’s history. (CNW Group/Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal Museum of Archaelogy and History)
Pointe-à-Callière had an extremely successful year in 2019—renewing two of its permanent exhibitions and presenting three international-calibre temporary exhibitions. The incredibly wide range of subjects addressed in the exhibitions and cultural activities drew 504,793 visitors to the Museum over the past year, making 2019 the second busiest year in Pointe-à-Callière's history.

The Incas, Treasures of Peru exhibition at Pointe-à-Callière
The Incas, Treasures of Peru exhibition at Pointe-à-Callière (CNW Group/Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal Museum of Archaelogy and History)

New technology in the spotlight

Last April, Pointe-à-Callière inaugurated the new multimedia show Generations MTL, projected onto a one-of-a-kind immersive installation. In addition to enjoying a very positive audience reaction, the show was recognized at the 2019 Muse Design Awards, an international competition that rewards professionals in the world of design and creativity. 

The Museum also created new versions of its virtual characters, taking advantage of the latest developments in voice recognition, artificial intelligence, and real-time 3D animation. 
"New technologies allow us to give our visitors a variety of experiences and, above all, to bring history and an exceptional archaeological site to life. We are seeing it more and more among our visitors, the efforts made to offer interactive and immersive museology are very highly appreciated," explains Francine Lelièvre, Executive Director of Pointe-à-Callière.

Privileged access to rarely shown objects

One of the standout moments for the Museum in 2019 was the presentation of Dinner is Served! The Story of French Cuisine, entirely created and produced by Pointe-à-Callière. 

This exhibition, one of the first to address the subject of the French gastronomic meal—recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage—allowed for the presentation of exceptional objects that, in some cases, had never left France. In fact, the Museum's exhibition captured the attention of several French museums, and it is notably scheduled to travel to Sèvres, Cité de la céramique in 2020.


Pointe-à-Callière was also able to secure the loan of important and invaluable objects from the Musées royaux d'art et d'histoire in Brussels for the exhibition The Incas, Treasures of Peru, in an exclusive North American engagement until April 13 of this year. Some of the featured objects made of feathers and textiles are extremely old and so fragile that they will no longer be able to travel or to be displayed ever again. 
"After over 25 years of operation, Pointe-à-Callière has acquired great credibility among many lenders around the world, and the relationships we have established allow us to present exceptional pieces and objects to both Montrealers and visitors," states Francine Lelièvre.

The Museum also had the chance to extend by one year the presentation of the exhibition Into the Wonder Room, which gathers over 1,000 objects from the Musée des Confluences, some ten other institutions, and private collectors. 

This exhibition, which examines the unique world of cabinets of curiosities, was seen by over 200,000 people in 2019, including many children who are fascinated by the exotic and often unusual objects on display. This exhibition will continue until January 10, 2021 at Pointe-à-Callière.

The circus in the centre ring at the Museum in the summer of 2020

Starting on May 27, 2020, Pointe-à-Callière will present an all-new exhibition on the circus arts, with several activities for the whole family. The exhibition will trace the history of the circus, from early performances by travelling circus troupes in Europe and elsewhere to today's over-the-top international shows. 

The exhibition, imagined and created by Pointe-à-Callière, will show how the circus arts have rapidly taken root and grown in Québec and Montréal in recent decades. Through the presentation of over 350 objects, it will pay tribute to this art form that is further raising Montréal's profile on the international scene. 

Costumes, set pieces, works of art, accessories, scale models, iconic objects, training and stage equipment will be displayed alongside archives, photos, video footage, and projections. All of it will come together to recreate a world of fantasy, taking visitors on an unforgettable adventure that speaks to an extraordinary legacy.


27 November 2019

The National Gallery of Canada Presents: Beautiful Monsters in Early European Prints and Drawings (1450-1700)

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Hendrick Goltzius The Dragon Devouring the Companions of Cadmus, 1588 Engraving on cream laid paper 25.5 × 32 cm National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa Purchased 2019
Hendrick Goltzius The Dragon Devouring the Companions of Cadmus, 1588 Engraving on cream laid paper 25.5 × 32 cm National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa Purchased 2019 -  Photo: NGC (CNW Group/National Gallery of Canada)
Monsters and supernatural creatures –, sometimes horrifying, always fascinating – created between 300 and 500 years ago are the subject of a new exhibition of works on paper on view at the National Gallery of Canada from November 29, 2019, to March 29, 2020.

Beautiful Monsters in Early European Prints and Drawings (1450–1700) presents nearly 70 rarely exhibited prints and drawings by 45 artists selected from the National Gallery of Canada collection, including a number of recent acquisitions and promised gifts. Springing from the imagination of artists such as German painter and printmaker Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) and fed by the collective fears of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, these images were produced using a variety of techniques including etching, engraving, woodcut and drawing.
"By looking at these works from the Gallery's collection closely, one can see all the talent and ingenuity Renaissance and Baroque artists devoted to creating creatures that are both monstrous and refined," said Sonia Del Re, PhD (Art History), exhibition curator and Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Canada. "Visitors of all ages will be fascinated by these beasts from a bygone era that continue to fuel the imaginations of dreamers and creators today."

Beautiful Monsters in Early European Prints and Drawings (1450–1700) is divided into four themes:

  • Demons presents illustrations of biblical stories and accounts of the lives of saints. The works include a remarkable miniature drawing on vellum by Flemish artist Johan Wierix (1549–1620) titled Frontispiece to "The Creation and Early History of Man," c. 1606, which was donated to the Gallery in 2019 by Frank and Marianne Seger.
  • Mythological Creatures brings together images that illustrate Greco-Roman myths, often involving hybrid creatures that are half-human, half-animal. This section features The Dragon Devouring the Companions of Cadmus, a work by the famous Dutch engraver Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617), which the Gallery acquired earlier this year. This masterpiece, a collaboration between the engraver and the painter Cornelis van Haarlem (1562–1638), was produced in 1588 based on a painting by van Haarlem, now in the collection of The National Gallery, London.
  • Sea Monsters features dangerous beasts emerging from the depths of the ocean and includes one of the most celebrated images in the history of printmaking: Battle of the Sea Gods (1485) by Italian artist Andrea Mantegna (1431–1506).
  • Ornamental Beasts comprises, among other works, small-scale models for decorating utilitarian objects such as silverware, armour and ceramics with fanciful figures.
The exhibition ends with the print Hell (1935) by M.C. Escher (1898–1972). It is the printmaker's interpretation of a detail from the famous Renaissance painting The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), which he saw in Madrid in 1922.

The exhibition Beautiful Monsters in Early European Prints and Drawings (1450–1700) is complemented by programming for all ages.

Monstrous Activities

Two fun activities have been incorporated into this exhibition: a monster scavenger hunt, an activity sheet available in the space that invites visitors to find 8 monsters in the artworks on display, which they can then take home and colour; and "Monster Mash" activity, which encourages visitors to create their own hybrid monsters on two magnetic walls.

Meet the Expert: Sonia Del Re

Thursday, December 12 at 6:00 p.m., exhibition curator Sonia Del Re will explain why fantastic creatures appear in so many Renaissance drawings and prints. In Gallery C218. In English with a bilingual question period. Free admission.

Concert

Saturday, January 25, 2020, at 2:00 p.m., Ottawa storyteller and comedian David Brennan will bring to life the myths and legends of the fantastic creatures in the exhibition. His performance will be accompanied by the music of the Ottawa Baroque Consort. In the Auditorium.

Study of a Dragon - Circle of Giulio Romano (image via National Gallery of Canada)

25 November 2019

New Report From World Animal Protection Says Improving Animal Welfare on Farms Is Key to Fighting Superbugs

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New Report From World Animal Protection Says Improving Animal Welfare on Farms Is Key to Fighting Superbugs
New Report From World Animal Protection Says Improving Animal Welfare on Farms Is Key to Fighting Superbugs (image via World Animal Protection)
The world is facing a public health crisis because of antibiotic resistance. According to the United Nations, currently at least 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as "superbugs," can even be found in the food you eat.

That's because antibiotics are vastly overused in raising farmed animals globally. Superbugs can start on farms and then enter our food chain and environment. When antibiotic resistant superbugs are passed to people, they make us less able to fight disease.

A new report from the global charity World Animal Protection has found superbugs in pork sold at Walmart stores in the United States. The report showed that 80% of the bacteria isolated from Walmart's pork products were resistant to at least one antibiotic, with significant resistance to classes of antibiotics considered highly important or critically important by the World Health Organization.

  • Last year the charity released a report where pork products tested in five countries, including Spain and Thailand, also had superbugs resistant to antibiotics.
Pork products sold at Canadian Walmart stores have not been tested, but Canada does import pork from the US. According to the US Meat Export Federation, last year, 205,568 metric tonnes of US pork valued at USD$765 million was exported to Canada.

As of December 2018, in Canada, a veterinary prescription is required for antibiotics given to farm animals and antibiotic use in the livestock industry has decreased. However, administering antibiotics to farm animals for disease prevention is still commonplace.

The results from the Walmart pork testing come on the heels of a Canadian study from the Council of Canadian Academies warning of the potential rise in the percentage of bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotic treatments. The report states that overuse of antibiotics on farm animals raised for food contributes to this. It's estimated that about 400,000 Canadians are likely to die from drug-resistant infections by 2050.

One solution to help stop this and the overall global superbug crisis, would be to keep farm animals in better conditions.

"We know that raising animals in low welfare farms with crowding and unsanitary conditions makes the animals stressed and more vulnerable to illness. Mother pigs (sows) are still largely housed in cages where they cannot even turn around. That is why it is important to transition from these environments to higher welfare farms where animals have space to move and can live in an enriched environment. It's better for them and they are healthier and less prone to disease in the first place," says Lynn Kavanagh, Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection Canada.
Farmers who raise pigs in better conditions, agree that the health is much better for the animals. In Canada, all producers are expected to eliminate the practice of confining mother pigs in gestation (pregnancy) crates by 2024 and the Retail Council Of Canada, which includes companies such as Walmart Canada, has committed to sourcing pork from mother pigs raised in group housing by 2022. However, Walmart Canada has still not made a public commitment to this on their website. World Animal Protection encourages them to do this as consumers expect companies to be transparent about their animal welfare commitments.

World Animal Protection is also calling on global supermarkets to improve the lives of pigs by only sourcing pork from high welfare farms. World Animal Protection's Raise Pigs Right campaign wants pigs to be freed from cages and not left to suffer in barren environments that promote disease and increase the risk of superbugs. Rather, these highly intelligent, social animals should be allowed to live in groups, with room to move around naturally.
"Change is possible and higher welfare systems are good for the health of animals and people and it's good for business too," says Kavanagh.

The Video:

Around the world pigs are raised in intensive farm conditions ,which includes overcrowding,unsanitary conditions and being kept in cages. This leads to increased stress and illness for the animals. However, some farmers choose to raise their animals in better conditions with space to move freely, have access to the outdoors, and have comfortable straw bedding, allowing pigs to simply be pigs. This video profiles one Canadian farmer doing just that.

Notes:

World Animal Protection's report, US pork and the superbug crisis: how higher welfare farming is better for pigs and people, follows global testing conducted by the organization of Walmart pork products in Brazil. In December 2018, World Animal Protection released a global report on the results of pork samples tested for the presence of bacteria resistant to specific antibiotics. The project was prompted by research suggesting a link between low-welfare farming systems and overuse of antibiotics. Bacteria resistant to antibiotics considered most critically important to human health by the World Health Organization were found in samples sold by major supermarkets in Brazil, Spain and Thailand, including samples sold in Walmart stores in Brazil.

Key Findings

Amongst the 32 batches of samples, 51 total isolates were detected: E. coli was detected in 14 (43.75%) batches; Enterococcus in 27 (84.38%) batches; Listeria in four (12.5%) batches; and Salmonella in six (18.75%) batches.

Of the 32 batches tested, 30 (94%) were positive for at least one of the four bacteria.
  • Twelve (37.5%) batches were positive for Enterococcus only;
  • one (3%) batch was positive for Listeria only; and,
  • one (3%) batch was positive for Salmonella only.
16 (50%) batches were positive for at least two bacteria:
  • eight (25%) were positive for both E. coli and Enterococcus;
  • two (6%) were positive for Enterococcus and Salmonella;
  • one (3%) was positive for E. coli and Listeria;
  • two (6%) were positive for E. coli, Enterococcus, and Salmonella;
  • one (3%) was positive for E. coli, Enterococcus, and Listeria; and,
  • one (3%) was positive for all four bacteria.

Antibiotic resistance results by species

Enterococcus:
Twenty-six (96.3%) of the Enterococcus isolates were resistant to at least one class of medically important antibiotics. The most common resistance was to lincosamides (lincomycin), streptogramins (quinupristin/dalfoprisitin), and/or tetracylines (tetracycline). All three classes are categorized as highly important.

Seventeen of those isolates (65.38%) were multi-drug resistant:
  • Thirteen isolates were resistant to lincosamides, streptogramins, and tetracyclines.
  • One isolate was resistant to lincosamides, streptogramins, and oxazolidinones.
Oxazolidinones are categorized as critically important.
  • One isolate was resistant to lincosamides, streptogramins, tetracyclines, and macrolides.
Macrolides are among the classes categorized as HPCIAs.
  • One isolate was resistant to lincosamides, quinolones, and nitrofuran derivates.
Quinolones are categorized as HPCIAs
  • One isolate was resistant to lincosamides, streptogramins, tetracyclines, amphenicols, macrolides, and aminoglycosides.
Aminoglycosides are categorized as critically important; amphenicols are considered highly important.

Listeria:
All four (100%) Listeria isolates present in the sample batches were resistant to lincosamides, which are listed as highly important.

One isolate (25%) was resistant to six total classes of antibiotics: lipopeptides, penicillins, streptogramins, macrolides, lincosamides, and glycopeptides.

Macrolides and glycopeptides are listed as HPCIAs.
Penicillins and lipopeptides are categorized as critically important.
Lincosamides and streptogramins are highly important.


Salmonella:
Two of the Salmonella isolates (33.33%) were resistant to one antibiotic class, while the rest of the isolates were pan-susceptible.

The two resistant isolates were resistant to quinolones, which are categorized as HPCIAs.

E. coli:
Nine E. coli isolates (64.29%) were resistant to at least one class of medically important antibiotic.
  • Four (28.57%) were resistant to tetracyclines alone, and one (7.14%) was resistant to tetracyclines and sulfanomides.
Tetracyclines and sulfanomides are considered highly important.
  • Another isolate (7.14%) was resistant to both tetracyclines and aminoglycosides.
Aminoglycosides are considered critically important.

Three E. coli isolates were multi-drug resistant:
  • One (7.14%) was resistant to tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, and penicillins.
Penicillins are categorized as critically important.
  • One (7.14%) was resistant to tetracyclines, sulfanomides, aminogylcosides, and amphenicols.
Amphenicols are categorized as highly important.
  • One (7.14%) was resistant to tetracyclines, sulfanomides, aminoglycosides, penicillins, macrolides, and cephalosporins (1st/2nd generation).
First and second generation cephalosporins are categorized as highly important.
For further information, please access the full report here.

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