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Exhibiting unbeatable spirit towards life

first_imgOn the occasion of World Spinal Injury Day, over 200 spinal injury survivors and 1500 common men will roll down wheelchairs on the majestic Rajpath, with the objective of spreading awareness about spinal cord injuries, its prevention and rehabilitation.The event, which will be held on September 8, is being organised by Indian Spinal Injuries Centre and Spinal Cord Society. Joining the rally will be Major H P S Ahluwalia, Chairman, ISIC, Dr A K Mukherjee, Director General, ISIC and Dr H S Chhabra, ISCoS SCI Committee Chairperson, Medical Director and Chief of Spine Services, ISIC, with other dignitaries and guests. Spinal Cord Injury Day is observed on September 5 every year. The event provides a much needed public platform to not just raise awareness among people about spinal injuries but also advocate and sensitise masses towards achieving an inclusive life for the differently abled people. It also provides an opportunity to ensure greater reach and success for prevention programmes.last_img read more

Mickey Rourke joins Bella Thorne in thriller Girl

first_imgLos Angeles: Veteran actor Mickey Rourke will star alongside Bella Thorne in the thriller, “Girl”. The film will mark the directorial debut of writer Chad Faust, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Thorne, 21, will play a young woman who returns to her small hometown intent on killing her abusive father, only to discover someone else got to him first. As she searches for answers, the young woman uncovers a family legacy more dangerous than imagined. Rourke, 66, will portray a local sheriff in the movie. The film will be produced by Thomas Michael, Shayne Putzlocher and Sara Shaak while Lee Nelson, David Tish and Jason Moring will serve as executive producers. Shooting will start on September 19 in Canada.last_img read more

Facebook global exec meets Prasad discusses crossborder data flows

first_imgNew Delhi: Facebook global executive Nick Clegg on Thursday met IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and discussed issues including cross-border data flows, information privacy, and sharing of data between the governments for citizen safety. Clegg, who is Facebook’s vice-president (global affairs and communications), said the governments should engage in data sharing among themselves to ensure security of its citizens, and that such collaboration across jurisdiction is more important than the issue of physical location of data, per se. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalSpeaking with PTI, after the 45-minute meeting with the minister, Clegg said, “One of the things that came up (during the meeting) was that one of the effective ways that governments can cooperate with each other to keep their citizens safe is to enter into new agreements with each other to share data for security purposes.” Terming India as a “huge market” for Facebook and its group companies, Clegg said the US tech giant is “keen to make progress” on rolling out its payments services on WhatsApp. “We have 400 million WhatsApp users in this country…it’s a huge market. As you may know, we have pilot of one million WhatsApp users in this country who are using WhatsApp Pay, we are keen to make a progress on that…We touched on that,” he said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostWhatsApp payment service, which will compete with the likes of Paytm, Google Pay and PhonePe, is awaiting regulatory clearance in India, and the company had earlier said it hopes to roll out full-fledged services later this year. Asked about his views on India’s plans to mandate data localisation as also tighten rules for social media platforms, Clegg said data-sharing across jurisdictions is more important than where that information is located physically. “It is more important how you share data across jurisdictions than where you physically locate it. If you want to use data particularly to make sure people are kept safe and, in our view, the fact that US Congress has allowed CLOUD (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data) Act which allows for agreements with Governments such as India for speedier and automatic data sharing…that is far more effective way of ensuring data is put to good use,” he said. Clegg, who is the former deputy prime minister of the UK, also met Home Minister Amit Shah earlier in the day. While the home ministry’s official Twitter handle posted a picture from the meeting, it did not give details.last_img read more

Farmers in southwestern Ontario lament high hydro rates increased labour costs

first_imgCHATHAM-KENT, Ont. – Jeff VanRoboys laments the Ontario government’s one-two punch that he says is hurting his cucumber harvesting business.The 40-year-old farmer and entrepreneur says his company — The Pickle Station, located about 300 kilometres west of Toronto — has been hit hard by sky-high hydro rates and a recent increase in minimum wage.“Those are my two biggest expenses to run the business and those are both government-controlled increases,” he says from his sprawling processing plant in Chatham-Kent.The sorting lines and large harvesters at the plant sit idle on a warm spring day, with VanRoboys apologizing that things are so quiet. The time to see the operation firing on all cylinders, he says, is in the summer. That’s when the lines are fully staffed and the plant is buzzing. It’s also when high energy and labour costs hit the business the hardest.When VanRoboys took over from his father in 2008, he says his hydro bill during the peak month of operation, August, was roughly $18,000. Fast forward to August 2017 and the bill for that same period was $42,000.On top of that, the province’s decision to increase the minimum wage to $14 an hour has forced his business, which employs more than 200 local students during the busy harvesting months of July and August, to cut back on smaller, hand-picked cucumber varieties typically sold to U.S. companies.VanRoboys says he explained to the American companies that he would need to increase prices to cope with higher labour costs — as the Liberal government had advised businesses to do — but was told that wouldn’t be accepted.Whoever wins the provincial election on June 7, VanRoboys says they need to delay the next increase in minimum wage — planned to reach $15 an hour in January — to make it easier for businesses to adapt.“The government is acting almost as a Robin Hood — you take from the rich and you give to the poor,” VanRoboys says. “The only thing I’d say is make sure that Robin Hood is actually rich before you go and try to rob.”Chatham-Kent has an unemployment rate of six per cent, slightly higher than the provincial average of 5.5 per cent — the lowest rate in 20 years. But nearly 17,000 people, or one in 10, live below the poverty line, according to Statistics Canada.Faced with public backlash, the Liberal government moved last year to slash hydro prices by 25 per cent, but many farmers in southwestern Ontario say they can’t make changes required under the time-of-use system to take advantage of off-peak discounts.Harry Lawson, who grows cash crops near Thamesville, Ont., is one of them.“If you’re drying corn or drying grain or something, you can’t just dry it overnight in the low periods,” the 64-year-old farmer says. “It has to run 24 hours a day.”Louis Roesch, whose farm has been in his family since 1906, says he’s considering getting off the electricity grid altogether as an alternative to high bills, though it wouldn’t be easy.His operation, home to dozens of sows and hundreds of chickens, needs constant, reliable, affordable power. An outage, he says, could threaten the whole business.“In a hog barn like that, on a 90 degree (32C) day, if you lose power for five to 15 minutes that barn is done,” he says, standing in the doorway of a building on his farm where he’s contemplating installing a natural gas-fuelled generator.Chatham-Kent, which has a mix of about 101,000 rural and urban residents, has seen its election district boundaries change over the years, with support going to various parties at different times.The area currently straddles two ridings: Chatham-Kent-Leamington, which was made up of the previous Chatham-Kent-Essex; and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex. Both are currently held by Progressive Conservatives seeking re-election.Leon Leclair, who farms sugar beets, beans and other crops in Chatham-Kent, says provincial politics is a thorny issue in the region.The third-generation farmer, who also holds a seat on the municipal council, has been speaking with many in the community and says anger, fear and a sense of being ignored abound.Frustration with the Liberals and uncertainty with the alternatives are bubbling to the surface ahead of the election, Leclair says, and temperatures are high.“There is a feeling that people want to see change,” he says while standing behind a barn where preparations are being made for the planting season.“But some of us are fearful. If you haven’t been in power for 15 years, it’s easy to criticize. Are you going to change when you’re in power?”That cynicism, Leclair says, comes from a perception among many that Queen’s Park isn’t helping the local population with their needs.Work on rural bridges and roads in the region is slow and simple work on drains is hindered by excessive red tape because of the province’s Endangered Species Act, Leclair says.“I don’t think we’re being heard and we are important,” he says. “A smart person should take what we have here and try to build on it.”Part of building up the region involves ensuring permanent, well-paying jobs — a real issue for many in the area.Mary Symons knows that first-hand. The 47-year-old single mother currently has a full-time job as an administrative assistant but struggled for years, living in poverty with her two kids.“A pay cheque is important,” she says. “On the other end of that there’s the cost of living. You take a couple steps forward, which is great, but then you worry about how many of those steps are going to be pushed back.”Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, the CEO of the United Way of Chatham-Kent who is readying to retire after 35 years in the community, says she’s seen an erosion of the area’s middle class because well-paying manufacturing jobs have largely disappeared. Much of the work that has replaced those jobs are lower paid, without benefits or paid vacation.“I think about all the factories that I used to make presentations to …. they’re all gone. Now they’ve been replaced with call centres and other organizations that don’t pay what the factories used to pay,” she says. “It’s almost like the middle has been somewhat gutted.”last_img read more

Rising Democratic party star and possible Trump rival an exMontrealer

first_imgMONTREAL – An alumna from a high school in a Montreal suburb is increasingly being mentioned as a potential candidate to prevent U.S. President Donald Trump from winning a second term in 2020.While California Sen. Kamala Harris does not publicly embrace speculation about her 2020 intentions, some online betting websites have put her at the front of the pack to lead the Democratic party into the next election.Mother Jones, a left-leaning current affairs magazine, has described her as one of the Democrats who could beat Trump in the 2020 election, and the Washington Post ran a 2015 profile with the headline: “Is Kamala Harris the next Barack Obama?”Harris’s political success is no surprise to those who knew her during her teen years in Montreal, where she attended high school in Westmount, just west of downtown.In a 1981 yearbook from Westmount High School, the then-16 year old Harris described her favourite pastime as “dancing with Midnight Magic,” a dance troupe she founded with her friend Wanda Kagan.“We performed in community centres in front of elderly people or danced at fundraisers,” Kagan told The Canadian Press. “Outside of our studies, dance took up a lot of our time.”After graduation, Harris moved to the United States and the childhood friends lost touch, Kagan said.But in 2009, Kagan turned on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and saw her old friend, who was then a San Francisco district attorney and had just published a book, being interviewed.While she said it was a shock to see her friend on TV, Kagan said she’s not surprised Harris went on to achieve success.“In reality, I’m not surprised by what she’s accomplished because she’s a fighter,” Kagan said. “She’s strong, independent and has always fought for the rights of others.”At the age of 13, Harris organized a protest in front of the building where she lived in Montreal because the owner didn’t want children playing on the lawn, her sister Maya told San Francisco Gate in 2012.Harris convinced other children to join her in protesting and they convinced the building’s owner to change the rule, according to the news site.That story doesn’t surprise Trevor Williams, who knew both the Harris sisters when they lived in Montreal and describes them as popular and studious.“They always had the best grades in the class and everything seemed so easy for them,” he told The Canadian Press.“But in reality, they succeeded because they worked hard, their mother was very strict. Often, when the rest of us went to the movies, the sisters had to stay home to study.”Some 40 years later, it’s in Congress that Harris is fighting her battles.She was elected to the Senate in 2016 and sits on the intelligence committee tasked with shedding light on Russian interference in the last election campaign, where she made headlines this summer for her intense questioning of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, was born in Oakland, Calif., in 1964.She moved to Montreal in the mid-1970s after her parents separated and her mother took a job teaching at McGill University and researching at the Jewish General Hospital.After returning to the United States after high school, Harris was elected district attorney of San Francisco in 2003 and as attorney general of California in 2011.Christophe Cloutier-Roy, a researcher who studies U.S. politics at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, says there have been hints Harris is planning a 2020 bid.“Since entering the Senate, she’s positioned herself against Donald Trump, she’s voted against most of his bills and his nominations,” he said. “She’s also participating in several fundraising campaigns and raises a lot of money.”Thus far, Harris has refused to speculate on her intentions for 2020.When questioned on the matter by MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell, she responded “Lawrence, I don’t even know what I’m having for dinner.”But whether she runs or not, she remains a great source of pride for the Montreal-area high school that watched her grow up.“To feel that being in these hallways, you can go from these hallways to one of the top, most influential positions is very exciting and something to work towards,” guidance counsellor Karen Allen said.“To have to have that kind of role model (for the students) is beyond all expectations.”last_img read more

BC man found guilty of polygamy believed he couldnt be prosecuted lawyer

first_imgCRANBROOK, B.C. – Crown lawyers argue that a fundamentalist Mormon leader should have relied on legal precedent instead of public statements from the provincial government for clarity on Canada’s criminal polygamy laws.Winston Blackmore, who was found guilty of practicing polygamy in July, has applied for relief from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, arguing that his rights are being violated by criminal prosecution.Blackmore has been practicing polygamy with 24 women between 1990 and 2014, according to his indictment. Jim Oler, a co-accused, was also found guilty of practicing polygamy with five women between 1993 and 2009.Peter Wilson, a special prosecutor who approved the charges and is leading the case for the Crown, says that Blackmore was always at risk of prosecution even though the polygamy law under Section 293 of the Canadian Criminal Code has been constitutionally vague in the past.Prosecutors have the discretion, based on the evidence, to approved criminal charges based on the evidence, Wilson said.“We say that the applicant took a calculated risk when he engaged in activity that was prohibited by the Criminal Code,” Wilson said. “That section applied, at all times, relevant to this case, and it still does and it applies to all citizens of Canada.”Blackmore’s charter challenge alleges that he believed there would be no attempt to prosecute him for polygamy after an investigation in the early 1990s because officials within the Attorney General’s office believed charging someone under Section 293 would be unconstitutional.Blackmore’s application relies on a 1992 news release declaring those opinions as validation that he would not be prosecuted for polygamy.However, Wilson says that there needed to be a legal declaration from the courts, not a government official.“It’s clear, the Criminal Justice Branch cannot rule on Section 293,” said Wilson. “It can opine on it and they did, (but) they can’t rule on it. If the branch wants a ruling whether this section or that section is constitutional, they come here (Supreme Court) and ask for it.”Joe Doyle, who is serving as a friend of the court to ensure a fair trial, argued that Oler should not be prosecuted for the same reason as Blackmore, that he was led to believe through statements from the Attorney General, that he would not be prosecuted for polygamy.“Given various comments from and on behalf of the Attorney General of B.C., his lack of concern regarding being prosecuted for polygamy is completely understandable and justifiable,” said Doyle.The constitutionality of Section 293 was legally addressed in 2011 in a reference case in B.C. Supreme Court, as Justice Robert Bauman ruled that it is not unconstitutional to charge someone with polygamy.“The release of the polygamy reference was a sea change in the legal landscape,” said Wilson. “Nothing could have been more significant to a charging decision, in the circumstances of this case, than that.”Both Blackmore and Oler were found guilty following their trial in April, however, a conviction hasn’t been formally recorded until the charter challenge issue is settled.(Cranbrook Daily Townsman)last_img read more

Body of missing PhD student found in Lake Ontario in Niagara region

first_imgVAUGHAN, Ont. – Police say a Toronto-area PhD student who went missing last month has been found dead in the Niagara region.Officers say local authorities found the body of Zabia Afzal, 30, in Lake Ontario on Friday.They say her death is not believed to be suspicious.York regional police say Afzal, who studied at York University, was last seen north of Toronto on May 10.But they say investigators received information that she may have been around Ashbridges Bay on Toronto’s Lake Ontario waterfront later that morning.Afzal’s brother said last month that over 100 people had joined the search for the missing student, plastering 15,000 posters all over Toronto.“She’s a very smart, caring individual,” he said of his sister. “She especially fights for women’s rights.”last_img read more

She let nothing stand in her way Desmond honoured with Walk of

first_imgHALIFAX – Wanda Robson says her sister Viola Desmond “preached by doing,” and wanted young people to pursue their dreams regardless of what stood in their way.Robson beamed as a Canada’s Walk of Fame star was unveiled in Halifax Friday afternoon in honour of the civil rights pioneer — the latest in a series of accolades Desmond has posthumously received in recent years.The 91-year-old Robson told a crowd gathered at the Halifax Ferry Terminal that her sister fought to overcome the many obstacles in her path to pursue her career: training as a beautician in Montreal, Atlantic City and New York when she was unable to study in Halifax because of the colour of her skin.“She let nothing stand in her way,” said Robson. “It must’ve been very frustrating. I myself would’ve probably given up … but we are of a different nature, Viola and I.”Desmond is most famous for her refusal to leave the whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theatre on Nov. 8, 1946 — nearly a decade before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Alabama.She was dragged out of the theatre by police, arrested, thrown in jail for 12 hours, and fined. It would take 63 years for Nova Scotia to issue Desmond, who died in 1965, a posthumous apology and pardon.While much has changed in the decades since her sister was dragged out of the theatre, Robson told The Canadian Press that education continues to be key in the pursuit of equality.“I’m learning myself, every day,” she said.“Racism can be so deep-seated, that sometimes the person themself doesn’t know they’re racist, doesn’t realize that they have to be educated.”Robson, who attended her grandson’s graduation ceremony this week, said she has high hopes that future generations will continue the work of her sister and other civil rights activists.“We need the younger generation to get up and confront, not in a manner of aggression, but in a manner of imparting knowledge, educating the people, that we are all one,” she said.Canada’s Walk of Fame CEO Jeffrey Latimer told the crowd that each inductee represents the characteristics embodied in Canada’s identity: confidence, humility, perseverance, hopefulness, and courageousness.“All of these qualities make Canada such an incredible nation, and all of these qualities lived and thrived inside the soul of Viola Desmond,” he said.Canada’s Walk of Fame has inducted 173 Canadians since it began 20 years ago, including Desmond, who was inducted in Toronto last year.The commemorative star will soon be mounted aboard the harbour ferry named for Desmond in 2016.“Years from now when families arrive on this ferry, parents will be able to tell their children about the powerful and brave contributions of Viola Desmond: to civil rights, and human rights, around the world,” said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage.Her story went largely untold for a half-century, but in recent years Desmond has also been featured on a stamp, and there are plans for a park in Toronto and streets in Montreal and Halifax to bear her name.In March, a new $10 bill featuring Desmond was unveiled by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz.She is the first black person — and the first non-royal woman — on a regularly circulating Canadian bank note.As well, Desmond is featured in a recent children’s book by Chelsea Clinton called “She Persisted Around the World,” which tells the stories of 13 women who shaped history across the globe.Meanwhile, Robson, who has a signed copy of the book, said she’s thrilled about her sister’s growing recognition.“I want to say to somebody: ‘pinch me,’” she said.last_img read more

Canada must be held accountable in Indigenous decisions minister to chiefs

first_imgVANCOUVER – The federal government must “get out of the way” of First Nations in their efforts to bring about self-determination by ditching failed colonial policies and working with Aboriginal leaders to address issues such as justice, health, racism and child welfare, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett says.She told the annual Assembly of First Nations gathering Thursday that Canada needs a mechanism to protect their rights and title to end the practice of court battles and protect inherent and treaty rights.The government is working toward a framework that is expected to be in place before the next election in 2019, Bennett said, adding the “code of conduct” for Canada would ensure it follows the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the demands of generations of Aboriginal leaders.Canada itself has been the greatest barrier to progress on self-determination and now needs the help of Indigenous leaders to “reorient” itself in a new direction, she said.“How do we, as Canada, make sure that we are held accountable for the agreements we have signed and for our honour of the Crown in upholding the inherent and treaty rights which are yours from time immemorial?” Bennett said.The chiefs from across the country re-elected National Chief Perry Bellegarde to a second term on Wednesday.Bellegarde and his four challengers said in speeches before the election that the status quo based on a colonial approach cannot continue, and Bennett acknowledged their concerns in her own speech, saying it’s time for change that ensures First Nations can’t be taken backwards by future governments.“We have to move from what was an approach of Canada, of a denial of rights, where you had to claim your rights and go to court to prove your rights, into a recognition of your rights straight off,” she said.Recognizing the implementation of Indigenous rights should inspire all Canadians and stand as a badge of honour, she said, adding it should be as important as medicare and the charter.The minister also addressed claims raised Wednesday by some of the leadership candidates of election interference because she attended the assembly before the vote and met with an Alberta chief.“I have to say I certainly had no intention of upsetting people by accepting an invitation of a newly elected regional chief to hear from the chiefs in her region about their urgent concerns,” Bennett said, referring to Chief Marlene Poitras.“I have far too much respect for all of you to ever try to influence your decisions.”Before speaking to the assembly, Bennett told reporters the government is working to address child and family services, which she called a humanitarian crisis.“We are trying to make that significant change from money going to lawyers to apprehend children, agencies that get more money the more children they apprehend,” she said, adding issues of non-Indigenous foster families are also being considered.The families of two First Nations men who were killed in separate incidents in recent years also addressed the chiefs at the gathering, pleading for action after acquittals in both cases.Jon Styres, a 29-year-old man from Six Nations in Ontario, was shot in February 2014 after he broke into a truck at night.Peter Khill admitted he killed Styres, but pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, saying he fired in self-defence when he thought Styres was pointing a gun at him.A jury found him not guilty in June, but the Crown announced last week that it is appealing the acquittal.Debbie Baptiste cried and held a photo of her son Colten Boushie, who was fatally shot in August 2016 on a rural property near Biggar, Sask. She told chiefs not to let his death be forgotten.“I don’t want a whole bunch of families lined up behind me telling the same story,” she said. “That was my son, that was my baby,” she said to chiefs who responded with a standing ovation.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.last_img read more

Its a grind Paralyzed Humboldt Broncos goaltender seeing slow progress

first_imgDENVER — Jacob Wassermann says there have been some unexpected side effects following months of physio after being paralyzed from the navel down in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.Wassermann, 18, has been hard at work since coming out of an induced coma following the April 6 accident north of Tisdale, Sask., which claimed 16 lives and injured 13 others.“The hardest part would be when I get a new muscle starting to work and then to get it strong again. Because when you first feel it you’re like super excited but you can’t do anything with it because it’s so weak,” he told The Canadian Press during an interview in Denver.“It’s a grind but I mean it’s worth it getting results. I’m excited to see where I can take it. Obviously the goal is to try and walk again but it is way, way down the road, if at all possible, so I’m just doing my best.”Wassermann and Ryan Straschnitzki, one of his Broncos teammates who was also paralyzed in the crash, played in an exhibition sledge hockey game Friday at the University of Denver, where they received a standing ovation.If Wassermann decides to pursue playing sledge hockey he will remain a goaltender. At six feet six inches, he would literally fill the net. But he said at this point it’s an “if.”“I’m still feeling out and seeing where things are going. If hockey is the sport that I pick — I’m still trying out a whole, wide variety of sports — and if hockey is the one I pick then, yes, I want to be playing at the highest level possible,” he said.“I’m pretty decided that I want to be a goalie. I miss being in net.”Kirby Wassermann said his son, as an elite athlete, is finding it “frustrating” that results are so slow in coming. But he said on a positive note, he does know how to work hard.“It’s slow but they told us it would be slow. Spinal cord injuries take a lot of time,” he said.“Initially at the accident it was navel down, which is still where the injury is, but he’s got movement in his hips and he’s got a little bit in his glutes.”Wassermann expects Jacob, who started playing goal when he was nine, will choose to return to hockey.“I think he’ll get back to that at some form again too,” he added.The family lives on a rural property just outside of Humboldt. Wassermann said renovations are complete and Jacob has modified his own truck so he’s able to drive.“I think these boys, as well as others, that were involved in this are going to find a lot of ways in their life as they move on to inspire and help people.”But Wassermann said there have been some difficult moments since the accident and adapting to a new normal.“You look back at pictures and it’s only been last spring so we’ve been getting a lot of the jerseys hung up in Jacob’s area and things like that, knowing the junior stuff is done with. But he’s had a very positive attitude.”Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter Bill Graveland, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Flush the milk Study finds more than half of food produced in

first_imgTORONTO – More than half the food produced in Canada is wasted and the average kitchen tosses out hundreds of dollars worth of edibles every year, says a study researchers are calling the first of its kind.“It’s a lot of food,” said Lori Nikkel of Second Harvest, the Toronto-based group working to reduce food waste that commissioned the study.“We waste more food than we consume.”The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates, said Martin Gooch of Value Chain Management International, which conducted the study.Value Chain works with agriculture, aquaculture, marine and food industries to make them more profitable.“What we did was actually go to industry and (said), ‘Give us primary data,’” Gooch said. “This is the first time anywhere in the world that anyone’s gone out and got primary data that connects production with consumers.”Results were checked with industry experts.“At every point in the process, we ground-truthed it,” said Gooch. “We’re confident our results are conservative.”Previous work has suggested that Canadians waste almost 400 kilograms of food per person, one of the world’s highest totals. The new work adds considerable detail to that figure.Apples rot in the grass for lack of harvest workers. Surplus milk is flushed. Thousands of hectares of produce are plowed after cancelled orders.The report, funded largely by the Walmart Foundation, concludes 58 per cent of Canadian food production is wasted.That includes unavoidable waste such as animal bones. But a solid one-third of the waste — more than 11 million tonnes — could be recovered.The report says the value of usable groceries that wind up in landfills or other disposal sites is almost $50 billion. That’s more than half the amount Canadians spend on food every year and is enough to feed every Canadian for five months.As well, it says avoidable food waste in Canada produces more than 22 million tonnes of climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions.The report says processing and manufacturing are the largest sources of avoidable waste, accounting for 43 per cent of it. Produce that doesn’t meet exacting grading standards, inaccurate market forecasts and inefficient processes are all part of the problem.So are date codes which remove perfectly healthy food from the market.“Best-before doesn’t mean awful-after,” said Nikkel.Canadian kitchens are also conspicuous wastrels, responsible for 21 per cent of avoidable waste. That’s about $1,700 per household in a country in which four million people struggle for regular meals.Hospitals, restaurants and institutions contribute 13 per cent of avoidable food waste. Retail outlets are close behind at 12 per cent.Farmers waste only six per cent of the usable food they produce. Distributors waste even less at five per cent.The report details many ways waste could be cut. Better co-ordination between farmer and processor, changes to crop insurance, clearer date codes, improved safety assessments for donated food and liability reform could all help keep nutrition out of the garbage and on somebody’s plate.Even avoiding bulk buys that result in excess being tossed away would help, said Nikkel.Canadians should change their attitude toward food, she added.“We’ve cheapened it so much that it doesn’t have value any more. It would horrify our grandparents.”“We need to go back to that valuing of food.”last_img read more

Legacies of Broncos bus crash include truck safety seatbelts and organ donation

first_imgHUMBOLDT, Sask. — Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured a year ago when a semi-truck and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team collided in rural Saskatchewan. An inexperienced truck driver who blew a stop sign, causing the crash, was recently sentenced to eight years in prison.Here’s a look at several legacies that came out of the tragedy:Organ donationIn the days after the crash, the Logan Boulet Effect was born.The family of Boulet, a 21-year old defenceman from Lethbridge, Alta., donated his organs because he had made his intentions clear.Six people across Canada benefited and soon others followed his lead. Nearly 100,000 Canadians signed up to become organ donors after learning Boulet had signed his.Canadian Blood Services said there were 99,742 registrations in April 2018 — a number that only includes provinces with online registration: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island. Other provinces reported receiving many phone calls from people wanting to register.The rest of the 2018 statistics have not yet been compiled.An event called Green Shirt Day — similar to Pink Shirt Day for anti-bullying and Orange Shirt Day for reconciliation — will be held Sunday, April 7, the anniversary of Boulet’s death, to promote organ donation registration.Toby Boulet, Logan’s father, said the movement is bigger than his son.“There are many, many people who are passing because there’s not enough organs to go around or they don’t match,” he said at a recent event in Lethbridge. “That’s not what needs to happen. It has to be better than that.”Crash survivor Tyler Smith of Leduc, Alta., said organ donation awareness is an amazing legacy for his former teammate.“I knew him on a really personal level and he was a really selfless and amazing human being,” Smith said. “To see that continue is absolutely awesome to me.”—Seatbelts on busesA movement dubbed Buckle Up for the Broncos started in September after one player’s mother  wrote an opinion piece that ran in newspapers across the country.Tricia Wack of St. Albert, Alta., whose son Stephen died, addressed seatbelt use on buses, and a Saskatchewan coroner’s report on the crash called for mandatory seatbelts on highway buses.Hockey Canada, the national governing body for the sport, said it hasn’t made any changes since the crash but continues to discuss the issue internally.“The coroner’s report obviously has come out now and there have been certain recommendations,” said Todd Jackson, director of insurance and risk management. “We’re certainly going to look at all of the different avenues as we move forward here.“What we are trying to do now is say, ‘OK, what do we need to put out messaging wise with respect to overall travel?’”Some leagues, including the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, have already made seatbelt use a priority. Several teams have also made it a habit and often tweet under the #buckleupforthebroncos hashtag.Former National Hockey League player Chris Joseph, also of St. Albert, lost his son, Jaxon, and has become an advocate for seatbelt use. “That’s a cultural shift,” he said in a recent interview.Joseph recalled playing junior hockey and travelling on buses.“We thought it was a party,” he said. “I get it — it’s a special time for the team. I know exactly what the Broncos were doing when the accident happened, because I’ve been there. I’ve ridden the buses in junior. I’ve ridden buses in the minors.“They were chatting. They were listening to music. Some were having quiet time. Some were getting dressed.”He said it wouldn’t be difficult to change the culture by leaving five minutes earlier and stopping to let players change into their suits.“When you’re driving, sit down, and keep the seatbelt on,” said Joseph. “We need to have seatbelts on all moving vehicles.”The federal government announced in June that all newly built highway buses will be required to have seatbelts by September 2020.—Truck safetyThe Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba governments have all introduced mandatory training for semi-truck drivers after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.Before the crash, Ontario was the only province that had mandatory truck driver training.Drivers seeking a Class 1 commercial licence in Saskatchewan are now required to undergo at least 121 1/2 hours of training. There’s also a 12-month safety monitoring program for drivers in effect.In Alberta, similar requirements have come in and all new commercial carriers must prove they comply with transportation safety regulations before they start operating.Alberta and Saskatchewan’s mandatory training went into effect last month, although Alberta extended the deadline by a year for farm workers.Starting Sept. 1, commercial truck drivers in Manitoba will also be required to complete 121 1/2 hours of training.Following a meeting with his provincial counterparts earlier this year, federal transport Minister Marc Garneau said they agreed to develop a training standard for new truck drivers by next January.A petition asking the federal government to regulate the training of semi-trailer truck drivers has gained steam in recent months.Carol Brons of Lake Lenore, Sask., who lost her daughter, Dayna, in the bus crash, said family members added their voices to the petition.“It’s been hard to put ourselves out there,” she said. “Yet we feel the need for it is greater than our discomfort.”Brons said many changes suggested in the petition were raised during the trial of the truck driver who caused the crash.“The biggest thing that came out of this is the lack of training that this truck driver had.”The petition, which has nearly 5,000 names, can be found online at http://tinyurl.com/RoadSafetyPetition until mid-May.—Roadside memorialThere are plans for a permanent roadside memorial at the crash site north of Tisdale, Sask.Jamie Brockman, president of the Broncos, said a committee is being finalized and will resume planning after Saturday’s one-year anniversary ceremony in Humboldt.“It’s slow moving right now, from what I understand. It’s taken a bit of a backseat to the planning of the anniversary,” he said.A consulting firm that did a safety review of the rural intersection suggested the current memorial — some handmade crosses and a large collection of mementoes left by people — be moved to a safer location because of the high number of visitors.The committee will be made up of family members, team board representatives and people in the community.—— Compiled by Colette Derworiz in EdmontonThe Canadian Presslast_img read more

Limits on Canadian money in US politics means Trump donor backlash unlikely

first_imgOTTAWA — Canadians eyeing the boycott of popular U.S. fitness clubs over their connection to a major fundraising event for President Donald Trump might be wondering whether they too will need to choose between their principles and their workout — or their coffee, their grocery store or a nice pair of shoes.There will always be political considerations behind consumer choices, be it the use of child labour or environmentally friendly packaging, but it seems unlikely that any homegrown Canadian company is in for the kind of backlash that luxury gym Equinox and indoor cycling studio SoulCycle are facing now.“This case is particularly acute in the U.S., when there are virtually no spending limits on fundraising,” said Jonathan Rose, an associate professor of Canadian politics at Queen’s University.“It is also exacerbated by the unpopularity of the U.S. president.”The uproar began after The Washington Post reported that Stephen Ross, head of the real estate development company The Related Cos., which owns the fitness businesses, was set to host the fundraiser Friday at his home in the Hamptons, where a photo with Trump would cost $US100,000.Critics, including several celebrities, took to Twitter to say they would boycott the fitness locales, arguing they do not want their money supporting the 2020 presidential campaign of Trump, who they called racist and unfriendly to the LGBTQ community.Chances are slim that another company could suffer similar consequences for its own political donations on this side of the border, however — Canadians are not allowed to contribute money to U.S. political campaigns in the first place, or even that much to our own.It is against the law for foreigners to donate to American candidates, parties or political groups. The U.S. subsidiaries of Canadian companies can donate, and so can their employees, but non-U.S. citizens can have nothing to do with it.The U.S. Federal Election Commission received a complaint in May alleging Canadian Barry Zekelman, the CEO of Zekelman Industries, a steel and pipe manufacturer, was inappropriately involved in a decision by subsidiary company Wheatland Tube to donate a total of US$1.75 million to America First Action, an organization supporting Trump’s re-election effort.Zekelman did not respond to a request for comment Friday.There are many U.S.-based subsidiaries of Canadian companies that do add money to the American political scene, including big banks, energy companies and the insurance industry, but reports filed to the Federal Election Commission suggest they are relatively bipartisan with their charity.Data aggregated by the Center for Responsive Politics, which researches campaign financing south of the border, shows that 25 political action committees organized by U.S. subsidiaries of Canadian companies contributed a total of US$1.45 million during the 2018 election cycle.About 59 per cent of that money went to Republican candidates or causes, while the rest went to Democrats.That data does not include contributions made directly by the U.S. subsidiaries or their employees.Campaign financing in Canadian federal politics is a different, and smaller, animal.There is a ban on political contributions to candidates, parties or riding associations by corporations or trade unions.The annual limit to what an individual can give per year is currently set at $1,600, which is orders of magnitude less than what it takes to get into the fundraiser organized by Ross, who is also the owner of the Miami Dolphins football team.Lori Turnbull, director of the School of Public Administration at Dalhousie University, said that does not mean prominent Canadians should not think about the kind of message they are sending when they contribute to a candidate or political party.“It’s about the values alignment and whether you can reconcile the kind of messaging that a corporation might be putting out and then the messaging that might be coming from a politicians who they align with,” she said.Both Equinox and SoulCycle tried to distance themselves from Ross and his fundraiser this week.“We want to let you know that Equinox and SoulCycle have nothing to do with the event and do not support it,” Equinox wrote on Twitter, adding that no company profits are used to fund politicians.“We believe in tolerance and equality, and will always stay true to those values,” said the statement, which described Ross as a passive investor who does not manage either business.— Follow @smithjoanna on TwitterJoanna Smith, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Huawei frozen toes and a titillating trip InTheNews for Sept 24

first_imgIn-The-News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of Sept. 24.What we are watching in Canada …OTTAWA — With less than a month to go for the general election, leaders are criss-crossing the country with almost eye-watering speed.Both the Liberal and Conservative leaders are in key election battlegrounds today.Justin Trudeau is in B.C.’s Lower Mainland and Andrew Scheer in southwestern Ontario.Trudeau will be at a company in Burnaby that works on cutting-edge battery technology for uses such as electric vehicles.Scheer starts his day just outside Niagara Falls before making stops in Cambridge, Kitchener and London.Singh will be in Winnipeg and then continues west to appear in his home district for a town hall by the end of the day.Meanwhile, Green Leader Elizabeth May will be at a post office in Sackville, N.B., before moving on to Halifax.—Also this …VANCOUVER — Lawyers for the detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou say she was illegally arrested at Vancouver’s airport last year.The Crown says there’s no truth to these allegations.The battle continues in court today.Yesterday, Meng’s lawyers alleged that the Canada Border Services Agency officers detained her under the pretence of a routine secondary inspection. They say she wasn’t told she was facing an extradition arrest warrant.But the Crown said newly released court documents show the border services agency was following proper procedure to determine Meng’s admissibility to Canada.They said as soon as it suspended its examination, R-C-M-P legally executed the arrest warrant.—ICYMI (In case you missed it) …TORONTO — Ontario Provincial Police are no longer releasing the gender of people charged with crimes.OPP spokeswoman Sgt. Carolle Dionne says the force proactively decided to stop releasing gender information in light of a broader societal shift on the issue, noting drivers’ licences and other identification documents are no longer required to list gender. “We’re using ‘the individual,’ ‘the accused,’ or ‘the driver,’ or ‘the suspect’ or ‘a person of interest,’ to remain gender-neutral,” she says.She says during a recent review of legislation, the force found the Police Services Act does not require that information to be made public.She says data on gender will still be collected for analytical purposesOther personal information, such as name, age and hometown, must be made public.—What we are watching in the U.S. …“How dare you?”Among the voices of prime ministers and presidents at the United Nations climate summit in New York, the one that stood out was that of 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and yet all you can talk about is money,” Thunberg said. “You are failing us.”Thunberg along with 15 activists have filed a formal U.N. complaint about governments’ lack of action on climate. It contends their rights are being violated not just because of severe weather, but also because of lack of food and water and an increase in refugees.At the United Nations climate summit, dozens of presidents, prime ministers and corporate executives sought to highlight their efforts to reduce planet-warming emissions.United States President Donald Trump made an unscheduled brief stop at the summit.With the lights down and the program under way, Trump spent about 15 minutes but did not speak.—What we are watching in the rest of the world …LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — James Egerton-Stanbridge and his wife, Kim, were set to fly from London’s Gatwick Airport to Egypt to celebrate her 60th birthday when flights were grounded.“Kim was crying this morning. We’re devastated,” he said.The sudden collapse of British tour company Thomas Cook and its network of airlines and hotels has had ripple effects — families stranded, honeymoons and vacations cancelled, and thousands of workers laid off.The company was brought down by a variety of factors, including crushing debts and online competition.The 178-year-old travel agency that helped pioneer the package tour ceased operating in the middle of the night. Its four airlines stopped carrying customers, and its 21,000 employees in 16 countries lost their jobs.The British government swung into action, lining up flights to bring an estimated 150,000 Britain-based customers back home from vacation spots around the globe in what was called the biggest peacetime repatriation effort in the country’s history.—On this day in 1904 …Toronto’s George Lyon won the golf title at the St. Louis Olympics, the last time golf was an Olympic sport before being reinstated for the 2016 Olympics.The 46-year-old eccentric walked to the award ceremony on his hands.—Weird and wild …DAWSON CITY, Yukon — An British man who lost several toes to frostbite in Yukon is being reunited with his missing appendages.  Former British marine Nick Griffiths is set to become the most exclusive member of an exclusive club when he visits the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City to sip a so-called sourtoe cocktail; a shot of whisky with a mummified human toe in it.This cocktail will contain Griffiths’ own big toe, which was amputated along with two other toes, after he suffered severe frostbite while taking part in a nearly 500-kilometre endurance race across Yukon in March 2018.The sourtoe was first created in 1973 and has been served more than 90,000 times since.But hotel general manager Adam Gerle says Griffiths will be the first person to take the drink with his own toe.—Your travel …MONTREAL — The Montreal Burlesque Festival wants to take spectators back to a time when we used to wait.When homes didn’t have entertainment systems and people would invest time in courtship rituals before even so much as holding hands, says Scarlett James, whose three-day festival runs Oct. 17-19.“Today, with the click of a finger, we can access the most intimate little corner of a human being,” says James.“So, it’s important for us to make the audience wait, to desire.”The festival is an ode to Montreal’s Sin City days of the 1940s and 1950s, when hundreds of brothels, nightclubs, gambling dens and bookmaking counters attracted tourists from across the world — and especially from south of the border.About 30 burlesque dancers from around the world are scheduled to perform over the three nights. James said they’ll seduce, titillate, amaze and humour — but most of all, she explained, they’ll take their time on stage and peel off one layer at a time.“We are going back to the days when you needed to, kind of, deserve it,” she said. “You needed to wait. To enjoy the journey.”—Celebrity buzz …TORONTO — Canadian celebrities are trying to put the issue of climate change at centre stage in the upcoming election.Actress Cynthia Dale and actor R.H. Thomson are among more than 40 celebrities volunteering their time and services to the newly formed Artists for Real Climate Action, a grassroots, non-partisan campaign aimed at pushing politicians to make climate change a priority.Through a series of online public service announcements, events and the website www.thisisnotadrill.ca, the group is also encouraging Canadians to let their candidates know that if they don’t have a real plan for climate action, they don’t have their vote.“Every year there are species going extinct, and I think: How will I be able to look my grandchild in the face? How can I look at my son and say, ‘I didn’t do anything,’ or ‘Oops, I was busy’ or ‘I didn’t know what I could do,’” says Dale, star of the show “Street Legal.” This election is critical for the planet, says Thomson.“It can’t be just one more tick box on the set of election issues. It is THE issue, because if we miss this one, we condemn future generations to quite an unhappy place.”—News you can use …TORONTO — Several brands of gripe water used to treat upset stomach in babies have been recalled due to microbial contamination.Health Canada says RW Consumer Products Ltd. is recalling all lots of “Gripe Water — Alcohol And Preservative Free.” They are sold under various brand names including Shoppers Drug Mart’s Life Brand, the Walmart brand Equate, Rexall’s brand Be Better and the Pharmasave brand.The recalled gripe water is also sold under the brand names Atoma, Baby’s Choice, Personnelle, Teddy’s Choice and Western Family. The various products all carry the natural product number 80080669.Health Canada says ingesting a contaminated product may pose serious health risks and that infants may be more vulnerable because they have developing immune systems.Symptoms of a microbial infection in infants may include vomiting and watery diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain.—This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2019.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Duran Durans John Taylor Honored For Addiction Recovery Memoir

first_imgWriters In Treatment and New Directions for Women have joined forces to honor Duran Duran’s founding member John Taylor with the Experience, Strength and Hope Award on Friday, February 15, 2013 at the Skirball Cultural Center.Robert Downey Jr will present Writer’s In Treatment’s highest honor to Mr. Taylor during an unforgettable evening that will be hosted by Ed Begley Jr., featuring special appearances by actor/comedian/director Bobcat Goldthwait, and Ione Skye, and many more surprises.The Experience, Strength and Hope Award is given to well-known individuals who have written courageous and honest memoirs about their journey from addiction to recovery. Past honorees include astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Academy Award winning actor Louis Gossett, Jr.Taylor’s memoir “In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran ” tells of his upbringing in Birmingham, England, his years with Duran Duran , and his road to recovery. Taylor said, “I won’t say I went right away [to rehab], I had to hit bottom, which meant going out and getting so f**ked up, so disillusioned by my own inability to control myself, and then surrender. Now it’s been a whole different me, and I wanted to write about that. A lot of people are struggling and a lot of people still don’t believe that sobriety is possible for them.”Writer’s In Treatment Founder, Leonard Buschel commented, “This award recognizes John Taylor who is helping to facilitate the transformation of people’s lives by chronicling his journey through alcoholism and addiction to recovery. At a time when people suffer as much or more from the social stigma of addiction, John has come forward to champion recovery and dispel the dark clouds of superstition regarding this treatable and preventable illness. That certainly deserves our recognition, admiration and heartfelt gratitude.”The charity event is a celebration of the benefits of clean and sober living and the importance of humor in the recovery process. All proceeds benefit Writers In Treatment’s Jewelle Sturm Memorial Scholarship Fund. Past ceremony participants include award-winning actor and activist Ed Begley, Jr., actors Danny Trejo, Tony Denison, Jack McGee, and actress Joanna Cassidy.“Alcohol Justice is proud to support Writers in Treatment and this year’s Experience, Strength and Hope event,” stated Michael Scippa , Director of the Free Our Sports Youth Film Festival, a project of Alcohol Justice. “We salute John Taylor for his inspiring memoir and Leonard Buschel for shining the spotlight on stories that can change people’s lives.”The Skirball Cultural Center has established itself as one of the world’s most dynamic cultural institutions and arts venues in Los Angeles. The Skirball Cultural Center is located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049.This event is SOLD OUT.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Bret Michaels New Hard Rock Salad Benefits Charity

first_imgPittsburgh native and legendary rocker Bret Michaels teamed up with Hard Rock Cafe Pittsburgh this week to create a signature menu item – a fantastic salad.Bret Michaels stops by Hard Rock Cafe Pittsburgh to introduce the new Bret SaladCredit/Copyright: Hard Rock International/Ed Rieker, AP Images for InvisionYesterday, Bret Michaels was at Hard Rock Cafe Pittsburgh to kick off the month-long celebration and deliver a special guitar that will be added to Hard Rock’s world-famous collection.Bret Michaels celebrates his personal guitar donation to Hard Rock’s world-famous memorabilia collectionCredit/Copyright: Hard Rock International/Ed Rieker, AP Images for InvisionMichaels’ menu item, the Nicoise Salad, will feature grilled tuna filet on a bed of bibb lettuce, mixed greens with green beans, grape tomatoes, hardboiled egg, cannellini beans and radishes served with lemon Dijon dressing. It will be available for $14.50 throughout the month of July at Hard Rock Cafe Pittsburgh. This is an extension of Bret’s partnership with Hard Rock.A portion of the retail price of the rocker’s salad will benefit the Bret Michaels Life Rocks Foundation which supports charitable causes that are near to Bret’s heart. The Foundation sends newly diagnosed Type 1 children to diabetes education camps and supports other causes such as veterans organizations, children’s hospitals and pet charities.Global entrepreneur and philanthropist Bret Michaels also donated his Pittsburgh Steelers guitar, one of only two in the world, to become a permanent part of the brand’s world-famous memorabilia collection. The 77,000+ piece Hard Rock collection, which celebrates new and legendary music icons, is the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia.last_img read more

Hal Cruttenden Named As Patron Of Thare Machi Education Charity

first_imgTop comedian, writer and actor, Hal Cruttenden, has just lent his voice to a DVD recording on Ebola in the form of an interactive lesson to teach basic health education throughout the poorest communities of the world.Hal Cruttenden Named As Patron for Thare Machi EducationSo impressed was he with the work of Thare Machi (pronounced t-arry match-y) Education that he accepted immediately the charity’s request to be a Patron saying: “Such a great honour to be given the chance to help in the fight against Ebola by voicing a Thare Machi DVD for West Africa. You are a wonderful and very important charity.”

Already, 2,000 DVDs on ‘Avoiding Ebola’ have been distributed through governmental channels and partner organisations in Sierra Leone, with an enthusiastic response from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. With some estimated 200 people watching each DVD this means that some 400,000 have been reached. Other affected countries have also welcomed them.Today, Thare Machi has 32 lessons in 55 languages – from Acholi to Zulu – sharing essential health information through DVDs with the poorest, least educated and most vulnerable people in the world.The lessons are on topics such a HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, diarrhoea, safe water and basic hygiene – recorded in the community’s own language. They focus on key facts and are interactive making them popular with their target audience, many of whom cannot read and write.The brainchild of the charity’s founder, Helen Taylor Thompson OBE FRSA, this simple but effective method of information through DVD lessons met with instant success and new topics and translations are being added all the time.They are distributed free through partners such as community groups, street children’s societies, health clinics, churches, schools and individuals. They do not need classrooms or training – or anyone from the charity having to be there. A portable player can be charged from a car battery.Says Rachel Butt, Director of Thare Machi, of Hal Cruttenden’s appointment: “Your interest in our work has been a huge encouragement and we are thrilled to have you on board in this way.”Find out more here.last_img read more

Simpsons Fans Excited By Backstage At The Geffen Exclusive Online Auction

first_imgExotic travel adventures, over-the-top dining experiences, Red Carpet pampering and one-of-a-kind entertainment and sports experiences easily make the Backstage at the Geffen online auction a not-to-be-missed opportunity.With luxury brands donating items worth more than $230,000, these exclusive high-end “lots” afford bidders a chance to enjoy unique experiences while contributing to the arts. All proceeds from the Backstage at the Geffen benefit the Geffen Playhouse and its programming, including presentation of new works and musicals, the theater’s playwright commission program and education and outreach initiatives.This year’s eagerly awaited Backstage at the Geffen fundraiser at The Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, CA., March 22nd, will honor Mellody Hobson and George Lucas and Sir Elton John and David Furnish. The irreverent evening of laughter, music and stories featuring “backstage” memories and songs by a cavalcade of stars is produced by Vice Chair of the Board and Interim Managing Director, Gil Cates, Jr. David Geffen is Honorary Chair.The online auction will close March 21st at 6:00 p.m. PST. Visit www.geffenplayhouse.com/backstage to view a complete list of donated auction items.A sampling of offers includes: • 7 nights in Fiji at the exclusive Mantangi Island Resort and the Totoriki Island Resort, including airfare • 4 night stay for two at Clinique La Prairie in Switzerland with spa treatments • Luxury Audi sports car experience and Napa Valley Wine Country Get-Away • The Ultimate Simpsons Experience – Sit in on a live “table read” of The Simpsons; receive an official autographed script; a personal voicemail message by Hank Azaria and a seat at his annual “Playing for Good” poker tournament benefiting the Geffen Playhouse and Determined to Succeed • “Jane the Virgin” set visit, meet and greet with the stars and lunch with award-winning executive producer, Ben Silverman • Finest luxury suite at Staples Center complete with 12 tickets and five VIP parking passes for an LA Clippers game • Private performance with virtuoso violinist Lee England, Jr.
Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the not-for-profit organization continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates, and is currently helmed by Artistic Director Randall Arney, Interim Managing Director Gil Cates Jr., and Co-Chairs of the Board Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson Hollander. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts.last_img read more

Seth Rogen Helps Raise Awareness About Neurological Conditions

first_imgMediaplanet announces distribution of its second cross-platform edition of “Neurological Conditions”, raising awareness about various neurological diseases and disorders such as, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple-sclerosis, migraines, and strokes.The print component of “Neurological Conditions” was distributed within March 21st’s edition of The National Post, with a circulation of approximately 160,000 copies and an estimated readership of 420,000. The digital component is distributed nationally through a vast social media strategy and across a network of top news sites and partner outlets. To explore the digital version of the campaign, click here.Seth Rogen and his wife Lauren Miller, co-founders of Hilarity for Charity, an organization that raises awareness for Alzheimer’s disease among the millennial generation, are the feature cover story; highlighting Seth’s congressional testimony where he opens up about how Alzheimer’s disease has impacted the life of his loved ones, inspiring him to advocate for awareness and support for Alzheimer’s.This campaign was made possible with the support of Brain Canada, Parkinson Society of Canada, Genzyme, Merz, Cynapsus, Tribute Pharmaceuticals and many more.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Rita Ora And Mark Ronson To Be Honored By Nordoff Robbins

first_imgMusic therapy charity Nordoff Robbins is excited to announce that Rita Ora, Mark Ronson and Primal Scream will join Iron Maiden and Il Divo at their 40th Anniversary O2 Silver Clef Awards this July.She has a number-one debut album, four number-one singles, is a coach on The Voice UK and now, in celebration of her growing list of accolades, Nordoff Robbins has crowned Rita Ora Best Female. On being awarded the highly coveted Best Female Award at the O2 Silver Clefs, Rita says,“I feel honoured to be receiving the Best Female Award at the O2 Silver Clef Lunch. It’s great to be recognised by Nordoff Robbins, a charity which uses music to transform the lives of so many people.”Multi-talented international DJ, producer and artist, Mark Ronson will be awarded the American Express Innovation Award. Having produced Grammy-winning albums for artists such as Amy Winehouse and Adele, he has taken 2015 by storm by achieving his first UK and US number one single with Uptown Funk featuring Bruno Mars. On his win Ronson says,“I feel proud to be awarded the American Express Innovation Award. The O2 Silver Clef Awards is an event I’ve long admired, raising funds for Nordoff Robbins music therapy, a cause which I feel passionate about.”Primal Scream are recipients of the prestigious Investec Icon Award for their unforgettable contribution to shaping the 1990s indie pop scene. Taking influences from psychedelic, garage rock and dance music, the band broke into the mainstream with their 1991 generation defining album Screamadelica. On being crowned Investec Icon Award winners Primal Scream says, “It’s a real honour to be awarded the Investec Icon Award at the 40th anniversary of the O2 Silver Clef Awards. We are looking forward to the event on 3rd July.”These fantastic artists will join legendary British heavy metal band Iron Maiden as winners of the highly coveted O2 Silver Clef Award and operatic pop vocal group Il Divo winners of the PPL Classical Award.Since launching in 1976, the awards have raised more than £8.5 million to the charity’s music therapy work.Past winners include David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, The Bee Gees, Michael Buble, Kylie Minogue, Pharrell Williams and many many more.Icon Award sponsors Investec comment, “We are very proud to continue our longstanding support of Nordoff Robbins for the ninth consecutive year. Nordoff Robbins continues to change lives through music as the leading UK music therapy charity. The O2 Silver Clef Awards recognise the fantastic work and talent within the industry.”Lisa Gregg, Head of International Card Products and Experiences at American Express, sponsors of the Innovation Award, said: “We’re delighted to help celebrate 40 years of Nordoff Robbins, a truly inspiring organisation that has transformed the lives of thousands of vulnerable children and adults through music. As a supporter of the 2015 Silver Clefs, we would like to congratulate Mark Ronson on winning the Innovation Award; he is an incredible talent and a very worthy recipient.”O2 have been proud sponsors of the O2 Silver Clef Awards for 12 consecutive years and O2’s Nuala Donnelly says, “O2 is incredibly proud to be associated with Nordoff Robbins and to be working with them on their 40th Anniversary. After 12 years of working together on the O2 Silver Clef Awards our admiration for their work continues to grow and we look forward to helping them raise more much needed funds.”Tables for the event are £4,000 (for tables of 10 people). To book or for more info email silverclefbookings@nordoff-robbins.org.uk call Fiona or Abena on 020 7428 9908.last_img read more