Aisha Tyler To Host Gracie Awards Gala

first_imgAlliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) is pleased to announce Aisha Tyler, co-host of “The Talk” on CBS, will serve as Host of the 39th Annual Gracie Awards Gala on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.The Gracie Awards (also known as “the Gracies”) recognize exemplary programming created for women, by women, and about women in all facets of media, including radio, television, cable and digital media. The awards program also encourages the realistic and multifaceted portrayal of women in entertainment, news, features and other programs.“The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation advances the influence and impact of women in all forms of media, and Aisha Tyler embodies this goal perfectly. From network television to cable, from actor to author, from podcasts to best-selling books, Aisha showcases her talents in an impressive variety of media,” said AWMF Chair Kay Olin. “We are delighted that Aisha is hosting this year’s Gracies Awards Gala.”Says Aisha, “It’s truly been an impressive year for women in all media. I’m very much looking forward to celebrating all that women have accomplished. However, no one’s getting an award for that Kimye Vogue cover if I have anything to say about it. Hashtag #yawn.”Aisha Tyler is an actress, comedian, author and podcaster. She is currently co-host of the hit CBS daytime talker “The Talk.” “The Talk” launched its fourth season to record ratings, garnering five Emmy nominations and three wins and was recently renewed for a fifth season. Aisha also voices superspy Lana Kane on FX’s edgy hit comedy “Archer,” which has won the Television Critics’ Choice Award for best animated show two years in a row and was just renewed for an additional two seasons. In the summer of 2013 Aisha joined the CW reboot of the improv classic “Whose Line Is It Anyway” taking over for Drew Carey as host. The show was an instant hit, and its second season debut gave The CW its highest rating for that time slot in three years, beating Fox for the hour and matching ABC in demos.Aisha is the creator, producer and host of the hit podcast “Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler.” “A show about stuff guys love brought to you by the ultimate guy’s girl,” “Girl on Guy” was named a “best new comedy podcast” by iTunes and is approaching a landmark ten million downloads. Her latest book, “Self Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation” debuted July 2013 on the “New York Times” bestseller list.Aisha recently guested on ABC’s hugely successful “Modern Family”, and has guested on multiple hit shows, including “Friends,” “24,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Glee,” “Ghost Whisperer,” and more. She is a favorite on talk shows from “Letterman” to “The Tonight Show” to “The Late, Late Show,” and continually tours nationwide performing stand up comedy.Aisha is deeply dedicated to charity and volunteerism, serving on the board of Planned Parenthood, directing a film to benefit wounded warriors, acting as spokesperson for the American Red Cross, and fundraising for Doctors Without Borders, Futures Without Violence and the International Rescue Committee.The Gracies are presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Alliance for Women in Media that supports educational programs, charitable activities, public service campaigns and scholarships to benefit the public, the electronic media and allied fields. The Gracie Awards, established in 1975, honors programming and individuals of the highest caliber in all facets of radio, television, cable and digital media, including news, drama, comedy, commercials, public service, documentary and sports.The event is made possible through the generous support of the following sponsors: Hair Care Sponsor: Sexy Hair and Automotive Sponsor: Ford | Lincoln. President’s Circle Sponsors: CNN, Cox Media Group, Crown Media Family Networks, NBC Entertainment & Universal Television, and NBC Sports Group. Producer Sponsors: HBO, Katz Media Group, National Association of Broadcasters, National Cable & Telecommunications Association and “The Wall Street Journal.” Sponsored tables are available by contacting the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation at 703-506-3290.For more information about the 2014 Gracies, click here.last_img read more

Jane Goodall Speaks Out Against Mauritius Monkey Trade

first_imgInternationally renowned primatologist, Dr Jane Goodall, DBE Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, has joined animal protection organization Cruelty Free International to speak out against the Mauritius monkey trade.Save Our MonkeysDespite being one of the world’s largest suppliers of primates for experiments, Mauritius is considered a ‘paradise’ island for holidaymakers and this year the Government is trying to promote the country’s image as a green or ethical tourist destination.Dr Goodall has raised her concerns about the cruel exploitation of monkeys from Mauritius and is calling on people to contact the Mauritius Ministry of Tourism urging it to take action to end the suffering inflicted on the country’s primate population.Dr Jane Goodall told Cruelty Free International: “I am shocked and saddened to learn about the capture and breeding of the long tailed macaque of Mauritius, and the export of their young for research. I have spent years learning about primates: they are highly intelligent and form close social bonds that can last for life. The trade in living monkeys and knowledge of the terrible suffering this is causing has led to increasing international concern and is tarnishing the image of Mauritius as an idyllic paradise island. A number of people have told me they will no longer consider visiting. I appeal to people to contact the Mauritius Tourism Ministry and urge it to take steps to end this cruel, inhumane trade – not only for the monkeys but also the many people of Mauritius who benefit from eco-tourism.”

In 2014, Mauritius exported 8,991 monkeys to laboratories, primarily in the USA and Europe (in particular the UK, France, Spain and Germany). Across the island, breeding farms contain tens of thousands of monkeys, many of whom were captured from the wild and imprisoned; their offspring are transported to laboratories around the world for use in experiments. 

A recent opinion poll commissioned by Cruelty Free International revealed that 92% of tourists and potential tourists interviewed were not aware of the island’s export of monkeys for experiments. The survey found that over half (53%) of those who had been, want to go or would consider going on a holiday to Mauritius would not want to visit or revisit the island and would reconsider choosing Mauritius as a holiday destination after learning about the island’s monkey trade. 

Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, said: “We welcome Dr Jane Goodall’s support and hope that the Mauritius Government quickly recognises the fact that the monkey trade is tarnishing the country’s reputation. We urge Mauritius to say no to the cruelty and suffering that is being inflicted on these highly social and intelligent wild animals. If you would like to join us in ending the cruel trade and export of Mauritian monkeys for research, please sign the Save Our Monkeys petition today. Mauritius should be a paradise for everyone, including the monkeys.”The Cruelty Free International Save Our Monkeys campaign is dedicated to ending the cruel exploitation of the monkeys of Mauritius. To help them stop the suffering, please sign their petition.last_img read more

Update Cholita The RealLife Paddington Bear Gets Her StorybookEnding

first_imgIn an update to an earlier story on, we are pleased to report that Cholita the ‘real-life Paddington bear’ who won the world’s hearts after suffering abuse in the circus has been successfully returned to her native home by Animal Defenders International (ADI).Cholita Gets Her FreedomCredit/Copyright: Animal Defenders InternationalThe elderly, hairless bear has been nursed back to health by the animal rescue organisation and relocated in an epic three-day journey over the Andes to a specially-built habitat in the Amazon.25-year-old Cholita is an endangered Spectacled bear, who suffered years of loneliness, shut in a tiny cage and abused at the circus. Her fingers were brutally cut down to stumps to remove her front claws and her teeth were broken off, leaving her defenceless. Cholita’s sad, stressful life has left her suffering from severe hair loss – where she should have thick, black fur she has none, leaving her almost completely bald.Animal Defenders International recovered Cholita earlier this year and has nursed her back to better health, helping her arthritis and breathing troubles. At the ADI Spirit of Freedom rescue centre near Lima, Peru, Cholita as received round the clock care, a more natural, appropriate diet, veterinary treatment, a pool to bathe in and hanging fruits and toys to entertain her.Thanks to an overwhelming public response, a new home has been built for Cholita, complete with bathing pool and cave, at the Taricaya Ecological Reserve on the edge of the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon Cloud Forest – the natural habitat for Spectacled bears. The lush, natural jungle habitat was constructed by a team from ADI, Taricaya and Projects Abroad volunteers.ADI started loading in the middle of the night before setting out on the 1,500 km / 1,000 mile journey across the Andes to take Cholita home to the rainforest. Travelling on the convoy and also headed for new forever homes were Mufasa the puma, who was rescued from living on a pick-up truck in a circus, and James the military macaw, woolly monkeys Rojas, Joan and Diego, and spider monkeys Pepe-Lucho and Lily, who were rescued from illegal wildlife trafficking.A convoy of trucks and cars laden with a dozen bales of hay, food, water and veterinary supplies including two oxygen tanks, left Lima on Wednesday morning for the three-day drive. Cholita and the others snuggled into blankets and thick straw beds, and their cages and crates were covered with blankets and plastic to guard against the mountain cold.Due to concerns about elderly Cholita’s breathing issues, ADI fitted out Cholita’s cage with an oxygen tent. As the convoy climbed to high altitudes, Cholita’s cage was flooded with oxygen-rich air to ensure she did not become distressed. Cholita built a huge den in her travel cage from four bales of straw and buried herself there for most of the journey.After three days of travel and stopping only for food and water, Cholita, Mufasa, the monkeys and parrot all arrived safely at Puerto Maldonado for the final leg of the journey by boat down the Madre de Dios river in the Amazon basin.On arrival at Taricaya, Cholita found herself in the forest, hearing all the sounds she has not heard for a lifetime, smelling the earth, touching the leaves and the trees. The joy of their new environment was clear for Mufasa, Rojas, Joan, Diego, Pepe-Lucho, Lily and James.Animal Defenders International President Jan Creamer said “When we first met Cholita, the vivid scars of her abusive circus life were clear to see. She has come so far since then, and it is a wonderful feeling to have seen Cholita return to the world from which she was stolen as a baby. We thank everyone who has donated to help us save Cholita and bring her home.”With Cholita relocated to her new jungle home, Animal Defenders International has turned its attention to finding her some friends and three more Spectacled bears who are in urgent need of a new life in the jungle – Lucho, Sabina and Dominga, who has also lost all her fur. ADI must act fast to save them and has launched an urgent appeal to build a safe haven for the three bears and care for them for life. It is hoped they will be companions for Cholita, who has been isolated from her own kind since her mother was likely killed when she was snatched from the wild as a baby.Animal Defenders International President Jan Creamer said, “People all over the world have been touched by Cholita’s story and we have been overwhelmed by the public’s heartfelt response which has allowed us to save Cholita and build her perfect home. We now have an opportunity to give Cholita the companionship she desperately needs. Please donate now to complete the storybook ending for Cholita and the three bears and give this sweet bear her happily ever after.”It is expected to cost Animal Defenders International over £100,000 to save the three bears and provide Cholita and friends with specialist, life-long care.Please donate now: or 020 7630 3340.Cholita was rescued as part of Animal Defenders International’s Operation Spirit of Freedom, a mission in collaboration with Peru’s authorities to enforce their law on wild animal circuses, and raid circuses all over the country in the biggest operation of its kind. During the mission, the organisation has saved nearly 100 animals from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade.Animal Defenders International President Jan Creamer said, “Our utmost thanks go to Peru’s wildlife officials at SERFOR and ATFFS, as well as Projects Abroad and their volunteers at Taricaya Ecological Reserve who worked so hard to build a wonderful new home for Cholita in the rainforest.”last_img read more

UN Hosts Special Event On Crime Prevention And Sustainable Development Through Sport

first_imgThe United Nations can make its voice heard on the power of sport in promoting both peace and development, a senior UN official said last Monday, urging participants at a special Headquarters event to “bring out our inner sports fans,” and harness sport as a force for positive change.“Fair play, tolerance and team spirit – sports have a unique potential to help develop and reinforce positive life skills and values, and expand prospects, Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),” told a Headquarters event on ‘Crime Prevention and Sustainable Development through Sport.’He underscored that sports offer a practical, cost-effective means to help prevent violence and crime, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by world leaders in 2015 as a blueprint to achieve a healthy planet where people can live free of poverty and hunger by 2030.“This event is a wonderful opportunity to further advance awareness of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, and its vital message,” he continued. “Let us take this chance to engage with sports champions and young men and women around the world. Working together, we can harness sport as a force for positive change.”The Executive Director highlighted the importance of major sporting events, such as the Olympic Games and the World Cup, saying they “have the power to inspire and build bridges.”“We must take these events as golden opportunities to raise awareness, to promote tolerance and respect, and advance efforts towards peace and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” he asserted.Opening the event, Miroslav Lajčák, President of the General Assembly, stressed that tackling crime is essential to changing the world for the better by 2030.“That is why the 2030 Agenda draws a link between combatting crime and sustaining development,” he stated. “And, that is why I am so glad we are here to examine a driver of both: sport.”Citing sport as a tool for crime prevention, he noted that research supports the assertion that sport participants have a better chance to reject crime and contribute to achieving the SDGs, saying that teams and associations can build strong social networks, and that sport can boost self-esteem and help communities put their differences aside, “to cheer for the same team.”He elaborated that sports as educational or community-based activities, help “prevent crime or radicalization.”While the vast majority of youth are not involved in crime, he asserted that too many become trapped in cycles of violence and criminal activity.“When we are talking about the role of sport in preventing crime – young people should be leading the discussion,” he said.Recalling the recent Olympic Games in Pyeongdhang, Republic of Korea, Mr. Lajčák noted that despite months of high tensions, athletes from north and south of the Korean Peninsula had participated together – “under the same flag.”“This is not yet a success story. But it is a sign that we are moving in the right direction,” he explained, saying “it tells us that our work to strengthen sport, as a tool for development and peace, can, indeed, make a difference in the world outside of these walls.”Mr. Lajčák concluded by saying: “We need to bring out our inner sports fans! And we need to shout even louder in support of this initiative!”Former National Basketball Association All Star player Dikembe Mutombo, Olympians and other distinguished athletes and sports personalities participated in the event, which featured panel discussions on how sport can promote development and crime prevention strategies, and youth programmes.The event was organized by UNODC and the Permanent Missions of Colombia, Italy, Monaco, Qatar and Rwanda to the United Nations to mark the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, which is commemorated annually on 6 April.last_img read more

Shepherdess of the Glaciers takes the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Facebook “Half way around the world – the filmmakers’ ability to make an intimate and isolated existence “universal” is what makes this film at once moving and engaging,” said Elizabeth Yake, a member of the 2016 Banff Mountain Film Festival jury. “This expansive film absorbs the viewer into the conjoined, meditative world of a harsh environment – which includes the passing seasons, a barren mountainous landscape and the intimate relationship between humans and animals in their care. She added: “Capturing a moment in time – quietly observing a spirited individual eking out a basic existence with all of life’s necessities -the filmmaker uncovers a life that is organic  – filled with struggles- but ultimately a life abundant with awe and joy.”Category winners for the 2016 Banff Mountain Film Competition include:Grand Prize – Sponsored by MECShepherdess of the Glaciers(France, 2016, 74 min)Director/Producer: Christiane Mordelet, Stanzin DorjaiProduction Company: Les Films de la DecouverteCreative Excellence Award- Sponsored by Mountain Life MediaThe Accord(Iceland/USA, 2016, 19 min)Director: R.C. ConeProducer: R.C. Cone, Elli Thor MagnusProduction Company: Tributaries Digital CinemaBest Film – Exploration and Adventure – Sponsored by VasqueHoly (un)Holy River(USA, 2015, 60 min)Director/Producer: Peter McBride, Jake NortonProduction Company: Mountain World and Pete McBride ProductionsBest Film – Mountain Culture- Sponsored by Helly HansenFreedom Under Load(Slovakia, 2016, 58 min)Director: Pavol BarabasProducer: Alena KoscovaProduction Company: Ks studio s.r.o.Best Film – Climbing – Sponsored by Alpine Club of CanadaBoys in the Bugs(USA, 2016, 18 min)Director: Zachary Barr, Peter Mortimer, Nick RosenProducer: Zachary BarrProduction Company: REEL ROCKBest Film – Mountain Sports- Sponsored by Sea and SummitMetronomic(France, 2015, 16 min)Director and Producer: Vladimir CellierProduction Company: Baraka FilmsBest Film: Snow Sports – Sponsored by Bergans of Norway and Norseman Outdoor SpecialistChina: A Skier’s Journey(Canada, 2016, 16 min)Director and Producer: Jordan ManleyProduction Company: Narrows Media Inc.Best Film – Mountain Environment and Natural History – Sponsored by lululemonKONELĪNE: our land beautiful(Canada, 2015, 96 min)Director: Nettie WildProducer: Betsy CarsonProduction Company: Canada Wild ProductionsBest Short Mountain Film – Sponsored by The North FaceNorthbound(Norway, 2015, 11 min)Director: Jorn Nyseth RanumProducer: Anders GrahamProduction Company: Turbin Films ASBest Feature Length Mountain Film – Sponsored by the Town of BanffClimbing Higher(Czech Republic, 2015, 100 min)Director: David KalekProducer: Richard NemecProduction Company: Verbascum s.r.o.Special Jury MentionLangtang: Summits of My Life III(Spain, 2015, 52 min)Director: Sebastien Montaz-RossetProducer: Jordi LymbusThe Super Salmon(USA, 2016, 25 min)Director and Producer: Ryan PetersonProduction Company: Alaskanist StoriesPeople’s Choice Award for Radical Reels – Sponsored by Oboz FootwearYoung Guns(USA, 2016, 30 min)Director: Nick Rosen, Josh Lowell, Peter MortimerProducer: Zachary BarrProduction Company: REEL ROCKPeople’s Choice Award – Sponsored by OspreySHIFT(Canada, 2016, 28 min)Director and Producer: Kelly MilnerProduction Company: Shot in the Dark ProductionsJury members in 2016 included National Geographic Society’s Doug Bailey; Canadian born filmmaker, Ciaran Flannery; Vice Director of the Mountain Film Festival of Zakopane (Poland), Gabriella Kühn; Chamonix based UK mountain guide Victor Saunders, and Canadian producer Elizabeth Yake.For more information on the 2016 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, please visit Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival images available here: Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival: Created 41 years ago, the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival has become the premier event of its kind in the world. The nine-day Festival hosted by Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Banff, Canada, showcases the world’s best films, books and photographs on mountain subjects – climbing, culture, environment and natural history, exploration and adventure, wildlife, and sport – and attracts the biggest names in mountaineering, adventure filmmaking, and extreme sports as presenters and speakers. An international jury will also award over $50,000 in prizes for films and books submitted to this year’s Festival competitions.Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival Partners: The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival is presented by National Geographic and The North Face, and sponsored by Deuter, Clif Bar, Bergans of Norway, Treksta, and Mountain House, with support from  PETZL, World Expeditions, Kicking Horse Coffee, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Summer Gondola, Mammut, Banff and Lake Louise Tourism, MEC, and the International Alliance for Mountain Film.About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity:  Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With: Living 5,000 metres above sea level with her 300 goats, Tsering is one of the last shepherdesses in the far northern mountains of Ladakh, India. As she leads her flock of 300 sheep and Pashmina goats to graze on the 5500 m high Himalayan Plateaus in a dry and desolate landscape, Tsering is under the continuous threat of wolves and snow leopards.Documented by her brother over four seasons, the film depicts both her world of icy loneliness and that unbreakable bond between humans and animals.Shepherdess of the Glaciers has won the Grand Prize at the 2016 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.last_img read more

From screen to page National Film Board of Canada forays into book

first_img Facebook Advertisement Firefly Books will be the official book publisher of the NFB. The new partnership will see a series of literary adaptations of celebrated NFB animated and documentary films and media projects. Advertisement TORONTO — The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is translating its works from the screen to the printed page with a new literary venture. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment In its 78-year history, the NFB had produced more than 13,000 animated films, documentaries, fiction features and interactive productions, which have won more than 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. Advertisement The inaugural program will launch this fall with the publication of a pair of children’s books adapted from Oscar-nominated films: “The Cat Came Back” by Cordell Barker and “My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts” by Torill Kove. Login/Register With: Twitter It will also include the publication of “George Hunter’s Canada: Iconic Images from Canada’s Most Prolific Photographer,” an adaptation from the photo essay “Legacies 150 — George Hunter” featuring the work of the late pioneering photojournalist.last_img read more

CTV Unveils the Final 10 Aspiring Artists Selected to Appear on CTVs

first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement “Our 30 emerging artists embody the essence and spirit that we envisioned when creating THE LAUNCH: they’re ambitious, bold, and ready for the world. We can’t wait to unite these artists with audiences from coast-to-coast-to-coast and to take them along an exciting journey each week,” said Mike Cosentino, President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. “THE LAUNCH is a powerful and inspiring mid-season addition to our programming slate, and we are proud to both welcome this program to our schedule and to unlock this truly unique Canadian format internationally.”Supporting today’s announcement across @CTV_PR social platforms is a companion #MeetTheArtists video – a compilation introducing Canadians to today’s final wave of 10 announced artists on THE LAUNCH, available on Instagram and Twitter. Click hereto view the final companion video.More information about the final 10 announced artists featured in THE LAUNCH can be found below. Bio pages showcasing all of the artists are available on’s dedicated artist pages (available via links below).Chad PriceTwitter: @chadpricemusicInstagram: @chadpricemusicHometown: London, Ont.Musical Genre: Soul, Folk, R&BEarning a reputation as an “artist to watch” while playing hundreds of shows since 2011, Chad has shared the stage with the likes of Ben Harper, The Strumbellas, Walk Off The Earth, Lights, and many more. After releasing his first album in 2012, Chad’s only aim now is to share the music he has so carefully created with the rest of the world.Dream Duet Partner: John MayerAs a kid I wanted to be: A ninjaFull Bio: MenzieTwitter: @DylanMenzieInstagram: @dylan_menzieHometown: Belle River, P.E.I.Musical Genres: Indie, Folk, Pop, RockWith a sprawling vocal range and compelling approach to composition, Dylan has made an indelible mark in the talent-rich Atlantic Canadian music market with his 2013 debut EP, “Heather Avenue”. Earning him Music PEI Award nominations and acclaim from industry influencers, the release led him to high-profile performances throughout the Maritimes, including opening slots for City and Colour and Ron Sexsmith.Dream Duet Partner: Paul McCartneyFull Bio: @ElequenInstagram: @ElequenHometown: Forest, Ont.Musical Genres: R&B, PopThe exuberant singer-songwriter began her career in entertainment as a model. Her passion for performing arts garnered her modeling campaigns and acting roles for the London 2012 Olympic Games, Canada’s Wonderland, IMAX, and even landing her on a billboard. Throughout, she was writing catchy melodies and emotive lyrics, teaching herself to record demos, and performing for audiences of more than 4,000 people.Music Video in 10 Words: Classy but sexy, and fun!Good Luck Charm: My pinky ring. I put it on in 2014 as a commitment to my career in entertainment. I had no idea at the time that it was what engineers do, haha!Full Bio: CTV/ca/ElequenElijah Woods x Jamie FineInstagram: @ewxjfHometown: Perth, Ont. (Elijah); Ottawa, Ont. (Jamie)Musical Genres: Pop, Jazz, Hip-Hop, R&BThe “x” in their name is pronounced “and”, but it could also be said to represent the multiplying effect the two artists have on one another. When instrumentalist/composer Elijah and lyricist/vocalist Jamie put their passions together, the possibilities are endless. Feeling as though they complete each other creatively, Jamie admits to being the more emotional of the two, and is well aware of how Elijah’s focus provides the counterbalance needed to stay on course.Hobby: Sleeping (Elijah)Good Luck Charm: Probably Elijah…don’t tell him I said that, though.Full Bio: BakkerInstagram: @gracebakkerTwitter: @gracebakker Hometown: Toronto, Ont.Musical Genres: IndieInspired by artists like Amy Winehouse, City and Colour, and Matt Maeson, Grace’s voice offers sounds from many different places. Beginning singing at a very young age, Grace is also self-taught on guitar. With fresh ideas, mature songs, and past inspirations for her newer music, Grace is ready to show the music industry something real and exciting, and to use her life experiences and unique look to inspire others to be who they truly want to be.Hobbies: Photography and poetryFavourite Sport: Basketball or JavelinFull Bio: @HavelinOfficialInstagram: @havelinofficialHometown: EdmontonMusical Genre: FolkUnder the pseudonym of Havelin, Edmonton’s Alex Zaichkowski strives to tell a story with his music. Channeling his inner folk writer, Havelin takes cues from the early influences of Dan Mangan, Tom Waits, and Father John Misty. His words are straight from the heart and his music is kept simple, honest, and cuts right to the core.Can’t Live Without: Tea, good conversation, good food.Artist You Want to Open For? Shakey GravesFull Bio: TomlinsonTwitter: JuliaTofficial Instagram: @juliatomlinsonmusicHometown: King City, Ont.Musical Genres: Indie, PopSpending countless hours in studio sessions, Julia’s ambition, creativity, and positive attitude has brought along life-changing opportunities and helped her grow both personally and as an incredible independent artist. Captivating audiences with her vocal range and musical variety, Julia has showcased these skills at venues such as Toronto’s Mod Club, The Opera House, and a multitude of private events.Nickname: JUJUFavourite Sport: SoccerFull Bio: HinesInstagram: @SariyahSoulMusicTwitter: @SariyahSingsMusical Genres: SoulCalm, quiet, shy, funny, and reserved are all adjectives that best describe 15-year-old Sariyah…until she starts to sing! The 2015 Youth Grand Champion of CNE’s Rising Star, and a multi-medalist for Team Canada at the 2016 World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles, Sariyah has been moving audiences with her mature and soulful vocals since the age of seven. With performances at Toronto’s Opera House, Danforth Music Hall, Yonge-Dundas Square, Hugh’s Room, the Hard Rock Café, the Rose Theatre, and the CNE already under her belt, Sariyah demonstrates the value of hard work and determination.Hobbies: singing, drawing, writingThree Strengths: Honest, resourceful, loyalFull Bio: Static ShiftTwitter: @TheStaticShiftInstagram: @thestaticshiftHometown: CalgaryMusical Genres: Rock, Blues, AlternativeBursting onto the local Calgary scene at the ages of 14, The Static Shift were the youngest band to ever headline the Blues Can. Now with more than 130 live performances under their belt and multiple award wins, The Static Shift has shared the stage with Trooper, Colin James, The Sheepdogs, and more.Meet The Band: Mitchell Brady (guitar/lead vocals), Keone Friesen (bass/harmonica/background vocals), and Isaiah Stonehouse(drums/background vocals)Music Video in 10 Words:  Playing instruments, underwater, with some sharks (Isaiah)Good Luck Charm: BellbottomsDream Performance Venue: The Royal Albert Hall in LondonFull Bio: AzevedoInstagram: @victoriaaazevedo Hometown: TorontoMusical Genres: Pop, R&BBeginning her singing career at the age of 10, Victoria made a name for herself after winning several local singing contests. Inspired by the contest wins and fueled by her passion for the stage, she worked with one of Canada’s top vocal coaches, Elaine Overholt, to further hone her already impressive vocal range. As a member of acclaimed singing group Mini Pop Kids, Victoria recorded three albums and conducted a nationwide tour, selling out stadiums across Canada.Can’t Live Without: Music, my phone, family, friends, and shoppingDream Performance Partner: Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Demi LovatoFull Bio: artists announced today join the previously announced artists to complete the group of 30 participating in the inaugural season of CTV’s THE LAUNCH. In alphabetical order, the artists are: Amy Bishop, Basil Phoenix, Chad Price, Divine Lightbody, Dylan Menzie, Elequen, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, Ethan Young, Ezra Jordan, Faiza, Grace Bakker, Havelin, James Marshall, Jaryd Stanley, Jayd Ink, JP Maurice, Julia Tomlinson, LITEYEARS, Logan Staats, Nicky MacKenzie, Noelle Maracle, Poesy, Raymond Salgado, Sariyah Hines, Sons of Daughters, The Revel Boys, The Static Shift, Victoria Azevedo, Vivian Hicks, and Zack Lane.A staggering roster of musical A-listers join THE LAUNCH co-creator and world-renowned music mogul Scott Borchetta in the series’ inaugural season to amplify the experience for the 30 selected artists with invaluable industry guidance and mentorship. Superstar mentors include Shania Twain, Fergie, Boy George, Alessia Cara, Nikki Sixx, Julia Michaels, and Jennifer Nettles.In addition, award-winning producers/songwriters cast alongside Borchetta in the breakout season of THE LAUNCH include OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, busbee (P!nk, Shakira, Blake Shelton), Dann Huff (producer behind more than 50 #1 hit records ), Ian Kirkpatrick (behind multi-platinum hit songs from Jason Derulo and Selena Gomez), and Canada’s own Stephan Moccio, the music mastermind behind massive, inescapable hits like the quintuple-platinum “Wrecking Ball”.Rounding out three days of announcements introducing THE LAUNCH‘s 30 participating artists, viewers are invited to catch interviews with some of the series’ participating artists today across Bell Media properties.THE LAUNCH was put into development in January 2016. The series was co-developed by and is produced by Bell Media in association with Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Label Group, Paul Franklin of Eureka (MASTERCHEF, THE BIGGEST LOSER), in partnership with John Brunton and Lindsay Cox of Insight Productions (THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, CANADIAN IDOL, THE JUNO AWARDS).THE LAUNCH is executive produced by Scott Borchetta, Randy Lennox and John Brunton; Lindsay Cox and Paul Franklin are Showrunners and Executive Producers; Executive producers for Bell Media are Robin Johnston and Corrie Coe, who is also Senior Vice-President, Original Programming, Bell Media. Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming, Mike Cosentino is President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media.SOCIAL MEDIA Big Machine Label GroupLed by Founder, President and CEO Scott Borchetta, the Big Machine Label Group encompasses Big Machine Records, The Valory Music Co., BMLG Records, Nash Icon Records and publishing company Big Machine Music as well as its own digital radio station, Big Machine Radio. BMLG artists include superstars Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Brantley Gilbert, Hank Williams Jr., Ronnie Dunn, Cheap Trick and Jennifer Nettles; chart-topping acts Justin Moore, Eli Young Band, Brett Young, Aaron Lewis, THE VOICE winner Danielle Bradbery; up-and-comers Midland, Carly Pearce, Delta Rae, The Cadillac Three, Drake White, Tucker Beathard, and Tara Thompson. BMLG also helms soundtracks for the hit TV show NASHVILLE. BMLG artists have received multiple GRAMMY, CMA, ACM, AMA, CMT, Teen Choice, MTV, Billboard, People’s Choice, and Brit Awards. Big Machine is the first-ever American label to align with terrestrial radio for performance royalty rights for its artists and is an industry leader in fighting for artist, songwriter, publisher and record company rights. Visit for more information.About EurekaEureka is a next-generation production company combining the expertise, credibility and key relationships traditionally found within large multi-national production companies with the energy and nimbleness of a startup. Launched in January 2016, Eureka has offices in Los Angeles and Sydney and produces both unscripted and scripted programs. Within less than a year of opening Eurekahas over sixty hours of programming commissioned in 2017 with more series to be announced soon.About Insight Production Company, Ltd.Insight Productions, known for its award-winning ratings juggernauts, is Canada’s most established content producer. Headed by CEO John Brunton & COO Barbara Bowlby, Insight is an industry leader in the development, financing, and production of hit programming, both scripted and unscripted. THE TRAGICALLY HIP: A NATIONAL CELEBRATION; THE JUNO AWARDS; CANADA’S WALK OF FAME; BIG BROTHER CANADA; HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD; and THE AMAZING RACE CANADA – the most watched Canadian series on record – were collectively nominated for 31 Canadian Screen Awards in 2017 taking home 14 statues. Year after year, THE AMAZING RACE CANADA wins the Golden Screen, the CSA for the highest-rated reality program in Canada. Other productions include: CANADIAN IDOL; BATTLE OF THE BLADES; NEVER EVER DO THIS AT HOME; INTERVENTION; TOP CHEF CANADA; READY OR NOT; FALCON BEACH; and A CHRISTMAS FURY. Recently, Insight produced THE TRAGICALLY HIP: A NATIONAL CELEBRATION, a live concert special watched by one in three Canadians. Insight Productions was founded in 1979 and has since created thousands of hours of groundbreaking and multiplatform content for the global market in every genre. In 2015, Insight received the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s inaugural Icon Award in recognition of its 35th anniversary. For more information visit CTVCTV is Canada’s #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 16 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and Out-of-Home. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at (Top Row L-R: Chad Price, Dylan Menzie, Elequen, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, Grace Bakker)(Second Row L-R: Havelin, Julia Tomlinson, Sariyah Hines, The Static Shift, Victoria Azevedo) (CNW Group/CTV) TORONTO, Nov. 9, 2017 – CTV today unveiled the third and final of round of 10 aspiring artists selected to participate in THE LAUNCH, the all-new, six-part music series slated to premiere in mid-season. Today’s announcement marks the culmination of three days of artist announcements, with 10 artists announced on Tuesday, Nov. 7 and the second group of 10 artists revealed on Wednesday, Nov. 8.Hand-picked from among more than 10,000 emerging performers, the artists were selected to be on THE LAUNCH following an international casting call and completion of an extensive A&R and review process. Contending for the opportunity of a lifetime – to record and perform a new original song written by a world famous songwriter/ producer and mentored by a panel of internationally renowned music industry legends – the selected artists face the life-altering prospect of being rocketed from discovery to stardom in just 48 hours.Representing a broad array of musical tastes, styles, and genres running the gamut from Soul to Folk, Indie to Pop, Rock to Blues, Jazz, Alternative, R&B, Hip-Hop – and more, THE LAUNCH‘s aspiring artists illustrate wildly diverse styles and hybrids of genres both vocally and instrumentally, indicative of the next level talent taking part in the series’ inaugural season.center_img Advertisement Facebook Twitter Login/Register With:last_img read more

MeToo founder Tarana Burke Margaret Atwood honoured for activism

first_imgShe noted that she was “desperate to change the narrative about the MeToo movement before it’s too late.”Another misconception, according to Burke: that the current cultural reckoning is a “moment.”“It is a mistake to think of this as a moment,” she said. “Movements are long, and they are built over time. Movements are made from moments.” They were honouring stars of Hollywood, the media and literature, but it was longtime activist and MeToo founder Tarana Burke — a name unknown to most people until six months ago — who got the biggest ovation at Variety’s annual Power of Women event on Friday.Burke, who founded the MeToo movement 12 years ago and runs it out of the Brooklyn, New York, offices of Girls for Gender Equity, said she wanted people to recognize its deeper purpose — working with survivors of sexual assault, and not simply bringing down powerful abusers.“Folks think it’s about naming and shaming, about taking down powerful men. But they’re wrong,” Burke said. Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With:center_img Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Activist Tarana Burke attends Variety’s Power of Women event Friday in New York and told the audience she’s “desperate to change” the narrative surrounding the MeToo movement before it’s too late. (Evan Agostini/Invision/The Associated Press)last_img read more

Lake St Martin finally reaches deal with Manitoba Ottawa on devastating 2011

first_imgAPTN National NewsPeople from Lake St. Martin First Nation have been displaced for more than three years since the 2011 flood in Manitoba.Deals have come and gone between the chief and council, the Manitoba government and Ottawa to compensate and relocate the community.Now there is some hope the latest signed offer on the table will be the final one.Chief Adrian Sinclair has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Manitoba and Ottawa that would see the community received a settlement package for losing their homes.The deal is estimated to range between $250 million to $300 million and will be split by Manitoba and Ottawa.last_img read more

New deadline established for competition to design navys new warships

first_imgOTTAWA – Defence companies and shipbuilders competing to design Canada’s new fleet of warships have been given until Nov. 17 to submit their proposals.It’s the third such deadline for the design competition, which is the most recent — and arguably most politically sensitive — phase in the entire $60-billion plan to build 15 warships.Participating firms were originally supposed to have submitted their designs for the new vessels in April, but that deadline was pushed back to June before disappearing entirely.The question now is how many submissions the government will receive, whether any will meet the navy’s requirements, and when the winning design will be selected.Changes to the evaluation process have been made in case none of the designs match up with what Canada needs in its new warships, which will replace the navy’s 12 frigates and three destroyers.Meanwhile, time is of the essence because any delay in the construction schedule would push up costs and force the navy to operate its current warships longer than has been planned.last_img read more

Manitoba premier Winnipeg mayor want cooler heads in BoeingBombardier spat

first_imgWINNIPEG – Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is calling for more cooler heads and less overheated rhetoric in the burgeoning aerospace trade war centred around Boeing and Bombardier.It was a plea that was immediately rebuffed by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard who has said “not a bolt, not a part, of course not a plane of Boeing” should enter Canada until the conflict is resolved.“I will not tone down. I will tone up if I need to do it,” Couillard said Thursday at Bombardier’s assembly plant in Mirabel, north of Montreal. “I will fight for Quebec.”The Quebec premier has called on Ottawa to take a hard line against Boeing after the U.S. Department of Commerce proposed a hefty 219 per cent duty on jets manufactured by rival Bombardier.The department’s preliminary findings say Bombardier benefited from improper government subsidies, giving it an unfair advantage when selling its C-Series jets south of the border.“It’s an unacceptable attack towards an industry, a province and a country and we shall prevail,” Couillard said.Earlier in the day, Pallister said Couillard’s emotional call for a Boeing boycott is understandable, but not helpful.“That overheated rhetoric and emotional language, though understandable because of the concerns the premier has …. is not necessarily as helpful as cooler heads and a demonstration of an understanding that our trade is a very important mutual benefit to Canadian and US economies,” Pallister said Thursday after an announcement in Morden, Man.“I would always be one who promotes open trade and encourage all to remember that there are mutual benefits in our relationships.”The Manitoba capital is home to a Boeing manufacturing facility that employs 1,400 people and is the third biggest aerospace centre in the country.Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman called Couillard’s comments unhelpful.“His comments do not appear to acknowledge the reality that Quebec is not the only province affected by this dispute,” Bowman said in a statement Thursday.“While I respect that the premier of Quebec is going to stand up for jobs in Quebec, his comments are an oversimplification of the dispute and are not helpful for the Canadian aerospace sector as a whole.”This dispute goes beyond a region of the country, he said.“Cooler heads need to prevail so we can continue to collectively find ways to grow this sector, not obstruct it.”Couillard argues the US$1 billion invested by the province in Bombardier’s C-Series program was not a subsidy and Bombardier is being targeted by its larger aerospace rival even though Boeing has also benefited from decades of government assistance.Unifor president Jerry Dias, who represents Boeing workers, said both Bombardier and Boeing receive government support. This trade dispute threatens the ability of government to support the industry, Dias said.“Boeing is playing a very dangerous game, not just for Bombardier but for themselves,” he said. “This whole thing is poisoning the well water.“If we don’t fight this now, the fallout can be just brutal.”But Pallister said the Canadian and American economies are so intertwined, he’s confident the two countries will weather the storm.“We have the strongest international co-operative relationship of any two countries in the world,” he said. “We will get through this.”— By Chinta Puxley in Edmonton, with files from Steve Lambert in Winnipeg and Ross Marowits in Montreallast_img read more

Environment concerns in trade talks with China progressing well says McKenna

first_imgOTTAWA – Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says Canada and China have made good progress on environmental laws and regulations that are among the barriers to launching official free trade talks.McKenna is in China this week as part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trade mission, as well as for meetings of her own aimed largely at connecting Canadian clean tech companies with Chinese enterprises.Trudeau left China on Thursday without officially launching the formal free trade talks the two countries have been working towards, citing issues such as gender, the environment and labour among the sticking points.Some Canadian businesses fear less-stringent Chinese regulations and laws could make it harder for them to compete in a free trade environment.McKenna said Canada has made clear the environment is one of its key issues ahead of launching formal free trade talks with China but she doesn’t think it will be a deal breaker.“I think that is an area we’ve made very good progress over the past few years,” she said.“I think that’s one area where I think we have a lot of common ground and I think we can certainly build on that should we enter into formal trade negotiations. I think both Canada and China see that as a win-win.”McKenna believes China is firmly committed to combating climate change and improving environmental protections, pointing to things like its commitment to the Paris climate accord, its recent development of a national emissions market for carbon-heavy industries, and even its kicking off a Chinese national parks system.She says there are two ministerial-level discussions starting up between Canada and China, on climate change and clean technology growth.Intellectual property protections will be among the issues critical for Canadian clean tech companies and are something she says a free trade agreement could help protect.However she noted there are Canadian companies already operating in China with confidence, pointing specifically to Ballard Power, a British Columbia-based fuel cell manufacturer which has an agreement with a Chinese company.McKenna said one of her roles is to help connect clean tech companies from Canada with the Chinese market, noting it can often take government assistance because businesses in China looking for Canadian technology are state-owned.How a free trade agreement would manage the multitude of state-owned enterprises in China is also one of the barriers to a free trade agreement with the world’s most populous nation.Canada is aligning itself with China and the European Union, hoping to be seen as the world’s leaders on environmental policies, particularly when it comes to climate change. The three are trying to help fill the void left by the United States and the climate change-skepticism of President Donald Trump.But Canada’s international climate diplomacy was dealt a blow this week when its climate change ambassador had to resign her post following a family tragedy. Jennifer MacIntyre was only appointed to the job in June, assigned to help McKenna lead Canada’s international push on climate change policy.But in October, her husband suddenly died, which led to MacIntyre’s decision to step away from the high-profile and travel-heavy role so she could be with her two young daughters.“I’m devastated for her personally,” McKenna said. “She was an excellent climate ambassador.”She said the government will look for someone else to fill the role.“That role is critically important because Canada is seen as a leader on climate action,” said McKenna.“We believe that we need to be showing leadership, especially right now, if the U.S. is going to step back, Canada is going to need to step up more.”— follow @mrabson on Twitter.last_img read more

Addiction mental illness complicate help for the homeless

first_imgEVERETT, Wash. – This is the lesson that the working-class city of Everett has learned: It takes a community to rescue the hardcore homeless.It takes teams of outreach workers — building relationships with men and women struggling with addiction or untreated mental illness, prodding them to get help. It takes police and other agencies, working together to provide for their needs.And it takes a prosecutor who was tired of managing the unending cycle of homelessness — jail-street-jail-street-jail. Hil Kaman left his job prosecuting the homeless and took up the challenge of finding solutions. For starters, he helped put together a team that would track the 25 most costly and vulnerable cases, and hover over each one individually until he or she was in treatment or housing.“It was when everything else seems to have failed,” said Kaman, who became the city’s public health and safety director 17 months ago.“They’ll bring someone to jail several hundred times, bring someone to the emergency department dozens of times — the (people) resistant to treatment and other alternatives. It was a call to say, ‘Isn’t there anything else that we could do?’”In two years, Everett’s specialized team has found some form of housing for 14 chronically homeless people on its by-name list. The city’s newly formed community outreach enforcement team has gotten more than two dozen people into long-term treatment, primarily using beds paid through a partnership with a non-profit that helps officers deal with the opioid crisis. The city also set up a flex fund that accepts private donations to help pay for motel rooms, bus tickets and other costs.It’s among an array of strategies the city has tried. There is still much work to do: Everett, a city of 110,000 north of Seattle hard-hit by the opioid epidemic, and surrounding Snohomish County saw a 65 per cent jump in people living outside between 2015 and 2017 — one of the largest increases on the West Coast in that period, according to a one-night count earlier this year.The number of unsheltered chronically homeless — those who have been homeless for longer than a year while struggling with a serious mental illness, substance use disorder or physical disability — has grown steadily in the Everett region, more than doubling since 2015. That’s even as the city and county added more supportive housing.Kaman and others say a combination of the opioid epidemic, poverty, lack of unskilled jobs, rising rents, and a shortage of affordable housing have made it even harder for those who fall into homelessness to get out.The problem is not limited to Everett; up and down the West Coast, the high cost of housing has forced thousands of people to live on the streets, a trend that opioids have exacerbated.“These are expensive places to live. It’s expensive for everybody. But the burden falls the hardest on people with the biggest problems,” said Steve Berg, vice-president for programs and policy with the National Alliance to End Homelessness.___In 2011, roughly one in every five opioid-related deaths in Washington state took place in this county. That was the peak, but heroin deaths remain high and deaths from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl are climbing. Last month, county officials partially activated its emergency co-ordinationcentre, typically used for natural disasters, to respond to the opioid crisis. So far this year, health officials have collected 2 million discarded needles.In this former lumber town on scenic Puget Sound, where thousands of workers assemble the newest Boeing airplanes, the crisis had become so dire that this year Everett city officials became among the first to sue the manufacturer of the painkiller OxyContin. The city blames Purdue Pharma for an addiction crisis that has overwhelmed city resources and deepened its homelessness problem.Kaman joined the city’s mayor, police chief, city council members and others who drove to Seattle in September for the city’s successful argument that a federal judge allow its lawsuit against the drug manufacturer to proceed.While that case works through the court, social workers and police officers are fanning out to find people camping under the freeway or living in RVs or the woods and try to connect them to services. Many of them initially deflect treatment, or are too ill to even know they need aid.James McGee, a heroin addict who was living in his minivan on the streets, was among those who got help.The 27-year-old started popping OxyContin prescription pills after a shoulder surgery. When the drug manufacturer changed its formula, he switched to cheaper heroin. He first told himself he would never shoot up. Then he did.“You draw that line, tell yourself you’re not going to pass that, and the next thing, you do,” McGee said. “Then you keep going and going. Before I know it, I’m sticking needles in my body, doing heroin and meth every day.”He eventually lost his job at Costco and his apartment. Shortly after overdosing in the parking lot this summer — and being revived by someone who had overdose-reversal spray at hand — McGee walked into a police station and pleaded for help. Kaitlyn Dowd, a social worker embedded with Everett police, helped connect him to treatment about 100 miles away.Now he’s living in sober housing, more than 90 days clean, working a construction job and attending as many recovery meetings as possible. “I never thought I would taste recovery like this,” he said. “Everyone deserves a second chance.”___For every person who finds a treatment bed or permanent supportive housing, many more wait. Until this summer, when a second facility opened, the county had only 16 publicly funded detox beds for its 785,000 residents. Many must go out of the county, or even state, to find beds.Experts say lack of on-demand treatment and a shortage of appropriate housing to meet specific needs are among the biggest barriers to helping people off the streets. Without permanent housing, advocates and city officials say the homeless will end up back on the street after completing their treatment, repeating the cycle.Kaman said the city has been moving the chronically homeless into private rental units using vouchers, but the region’s low vacancy rate makes that much more challenging.That’s part of the reason Everett is pushing ahead with a low-barrier permanent supportive housing project on city land. The project with Catholic Housing Services will house 65 chronically homeless people without first requiring they be addiction-free or deal with other issues. Residents will have access to mental health, recovery and other services and around-the-clock on-site staff.Studies have found that such housing can save taxpayer money when compared to the costs of serving chronically homeless in emergency rooms, shelters and jails.But so many chronically homeless people in the Everett region are on the waitlist for housing that those units will fill up when it opens in 2019.“Housing is as, if not more, important than any medication” or other services, said Tom Sebastian, CEO of Compass Health, Snohomish County’s largest behavioural health provider.His agency is developing an 84-unit housing project for mentally ill and addicted homeless on a vacant lot in downtown Everett.Compass Health doesn’t typically develop housing, but “because there’s that shortage, we feel a driving sense to step into that breach to do something to help solve that problem,” Sebastian said.For those who can get housing and services, stability can be a lifeline.Garrick Heller, 35, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, said he would be on the streets otherwise.Several years ago, he was involuntary civilly committed because he posed a danger to himself or others. He spent time on the streets, in shelters and eventually at a locked psychiatric facility run by Compass Health. Over time, he gradually moved into more independent living situations run by Compass Health.Now he lives in a small studio apartment, where he sleeps on an air mattress. He gets mental health counselling and other services within blocks of his home. A service helps him pay his bills and rent, which is one-third of the $735 he gets in monthly disability payment.Heller said he regularly takes his medication and works hard each day to stick to his treatment plan. He plans on looking for a job soon and wants to pass his GED.“Getting myself back to normal — that took a long time,” he said. “I’m determined to get better.”___Finding solutions to homelessness is expensive. Voters in the city and county of Los Angeles since last year have passed a pair of ballot initiatives that will raise about $4.7 billion over the next decade to pay for thousands of affordable housing units and homeless services.In May, a non-profit pledged $100 million to help San Francisco cut its number of chronically homeless in half in five years by creating more permanent housing and increasing mental health services.In Sacramento, where the number of people living on the streets has soared 116 per cent over the past two years, the city and county last month agreed to spend tens of millions of dollars to co-ordinate services for those with mental illness and substance abuse problems. Steering them toward permanent housing is a cornerstone of the new effort.And last month, King County, which includes Seattle, partnered with the Ballmer Group and others in a new program that will pay incentives to agencies that provide outpatient treatment on demand.The hardcore homeless represent a major financial burden on Everett, putting pressure on the jail, emergency room and other services. In one extreme example, officials estimated one person used about $500,000 in such resources in one year. Another homeless man spent 800 nights in jail over eight years for trespassing and other nuisance crimes.Hard cases resist easy solutions, but Everett’s team persists.Teams try to serve people where they are — in streets, in the woods or under freeways. Volunteers with The Hand Up Project — many of whom are recently homeless and recovering addicts — have been hitting familiar haunts to find others who might be ready for recovery.One rainy day, they found 34-year-old Robart Blocher living high up in the trees in a two-story fort he built out of discarded materials. He is addicted to meth, he said, and suffers from social anxiety disorder and other mental health issues, making it hard for him to go to places and seek help.He used to make $14.50 an hour as a chef until his addiction, a series of bad choices and medical issues forced him to find shelter in the woods. He had been living in a basement apartment, but got kicked out when his roommate died. Then he moved into a trailer and couch surfed. He eventually lost his job.A recent report found there is nowhere nearby where someone working a full-time minimum-wage job could afford an apartment that was not subsidized or shared with others, and that’s Blocher’s experience: “Nowadays, no way,” he said.When the outreach team approached Blocher, offering to help him into treatment, he seemed receptive. He said he needed a mental health evaluation — but he had to deal with other stuff first.The volunteers back off, for now. They will return.___In the past, Hil Kaman had prosecuted 38-year-old Joshua Rape. For years, his life has been a revolving door of jail stints, shelters and couches, and street-wanderings.A specialized team of mental health professionals, housing and recovery experts, social workers, jail staff and officers worked to build a relationship with him. There were times when he’d tell them he wanted to get better but then he would disappear: “I was pretty evasive and elusive,” Rape recalled.Opioid outreach specialist Amy Austin kept after him.“She was all over me,” he said, recalling how she went searching for him a year ago when he missed an appointment after relapsing.“I just wanted him to know that he could always come and find me,” she said.When he decided in jail this fall that he was ready for treatment, the team got him into a motel until a slot opened up. They took turns checking in daily as he waited more than a week for a treatment bed. In October, they drove him to catch a bus to the recovery centre 200 miles away.“We’ve all been counting down the days until he’s been ready. We’ve tried so hard to get him engaged,” said Dowd, the social worker. “We’ve known him for a long time. We all want to see him being successful.”Now he’s back in Everett, having wrapped up 30 days of inpatient treatment. He goes to outpatient treatment and recovery meetings several times a week.For the first time, the man who has been homeless for six years will have his own place — a one-bedroom apartment that he’ll move into this month, using a housing voucher.“I had to make multiple attempts at doing this,” he said. “But it’s working out. It can be done. You have to work for it.”___This story has been corrected to show Everett was among the first cities to sue OxyContin’s maker.___Associated Press writer Geoff Mulvihill in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, contributed to this report.last_img read more

Toronto and US stock markets post minor gains amid steel tariff talk

first_imgTORONTO – Stock on both sides of the border eked out minor gains Tuesday as investors continue to focus on a back-and-forth in Washington over tariffs the White House wants to impose on steel and aluminum imports.The plans have faced opposition from other Republicans and business leaders who fear they could ignite a trade war and damage the global economy.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 3.91 points to 15,545.19, with mining and materials companies offsetting drag from the energy and industrials sectors.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 9.36 points to 24,884.12. The S&P 500 index was up 7.18 points to 2,728.12 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 41.31 points to 7,372.01.“I do think there is a calming of nerves on the trade risk front and I think that’s helping the market be a little bit calmer today,” said Colum McKinley, vice-president and portfolio manager of Canadian equities at CIBC Asset Management Inc.“But I would caution that we fully expect volatility, especially on the trade front, to come back into the forefront of investors’ minds, and that we are still deep in negotiations on NAFTA.”The TSX fell 1.8 per cent while U.S. stocks tumbled 3.7 per cent during a three-day losing streak last week after President Donald Trump announced plans to impose a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum imports.The president reaffirmed his plans during a news conference Tuesday afternoon, saying the U.S. has long been “mistreated” by trade deals and has been dealing with a massive trade deficit.He reiterated that if he’s able to make a deal with Canada and Mexico to improve the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement, “there will be no reason to do tariffs” on steel and aluminum from the two neighbours.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of 77.53 cents US, up 0.47 of a U.S. cent.On the commodities front, the April crude contract was up three cents to US$62.60 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was up five cents at US$2.75 per mmBTU.The April gold contract was up US$15.30 to US$1,335.20 an ounce and the May copper contract was up three cents to US$3.16 a pound.– With files from The Associated Press.last_img read more

Euro currency remains a work in progress on 20th birthday

first_imgFRANKFURT — The euro is about to celebrate its 20th birthday, but the countries that use it are still wrestling over how the shared currency should work and how to fix flaws exposed by the debt crisis that marred its second decade.The shared currency, launched on Jan. 1, 1999, was seen as a solution to the constant quarrels over exchange rates that had marked European politics after World War II. Britain, notably, opted out, but today 19 of 28 EU countries use the euro.The euro is credited with increasing trade between members. But countries have struggled to adjust to trouble after giving up two big safety valves: the ability to let their currency’s exchange rate fall to boost exports, and to adjust their own interest rates to stimulate business activity.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Pair in custody after Peace Regional RCMP seize drugs firearms and stolen

first_imgPEACE RIVER, AB. – The Peace River RCMP General Investigation Section with the help of the Peace Regional detachment seized drugs, firearms, cash and stolen property from an apartment unit last week.According to Cpl. Dave Browne, on March 9th, 2018, officers executed a search warrant at an apartment unit during which they discovered and seized cocaine, numerous firearms including a sawed-off shotgun, over $1,000 in suspected proceeds of crime and stolen property including cheques and credit cards.As a result, 37-year-old David John Testawich and 29-year-old Charmaine Ominayak, both of Peace River, have been charged with the following offences: Possession of a controlled substanceUnauthorized possession of a prohibited weaponUnsafe storage of firearmsPossession of a stolen credit cardPossession of property obtained by crime under $5,000Possession of proceeds of crime under $5,000Testawich remains in custody pending his first appearance in Peace River provincial court on March 12th, while Ominayak is scheduled to appear in provincial court on April 9th.If you have any information about this or any other crime, please call the Peace Regional RCMP at (780) 624-6611, or call your local police detachment. If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or by internet at read more

Crews continuing battle against Buckinghorse fire

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — BC Wildfire Service crews are continuing the battle against a wildfire that erupted Monday near the Alaska Highway north of Buckinghorse River.Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds says that firefighters are at the scene of the fire, which is located near Trutch Mountain. Reynolds said that an air tanker was used throughout the day Monday to drop water on the fire, which has grown to 6.5 hectares in size, but has not crossed the Alaska Highway. The highway remains open in both directions, with traffic control personnel directing motorists through the heavy smoke in the area.The BC Wildfire Service website does show another fire roughly one kilometre away on the other side of the highway, but Reynolds said that fire is unrelated to the fire near the road, and is being held as a spot fire. Both fires are suspected is having been sparked by lightning after several thunderstorms rolled across Northeast B.C. on Sunday evening.last_img read more

Fort Nelson Chamber concerned about lack of clarity on proportional representation question

first_imgFORT NELSON, B.C. – The Fort Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce says it is concerned that the provincial government has not provided members of the public and the business community with enough clarity to make an informed decision in the upcoming referendum on Proportional Representation.During the 2018 BC Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting, BC Chambers voted in favour of a resolution to have a non-partisan panel appointed to look at the likely outcomes of an alternative system prior to issuing a referendum, comparable to the previous Citizens’ Assembly, examining the implications of the proportional representation. In particular, the Chambers say the panel should look at proportional representation’s implications on rural/urban divide.The Chambers also voted in favour of the Province clearly defining the system of proportional representation that is being considered well ahead of any referendum, and to confirm that no changes would be implemented without a clear overall majority with support in each riding. “British Columbians need to be provided with concise, understandable information so as to be able to make an informed decision.” said Bev Vandersteen, Fort Nelson Chamber of Commerce.The Fort Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce said today that it is calling on the provincial government to slow the process down and implement the suggestions proposed by the BC Chamber.last_img read more