OTTAWA – The United States fired back Monday at the Canadian government’s retaliatory tariffs on American imports by launching a formal challenge with the World Trade Organization.The Trump administration also called countermeasures aimed at the U.S. by Canada and other trading partners “completely without justification under international rules.”The federal Liberal government introduced reciprocal duties earlier this month on some U.S. imports after the White House slapped Canada and others with tariffs on steel and aluminum.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has called Washington’s metal tariffs absurd and illegal because they’ve been applied on the premise that Canada represents a national security threat to the U.S. Ottawa’s response has been $16.6-billion worth of countermeasures on imports of American steel, aluminum and consumer products.The U.S. took a fresh step Monday in the trade fight by filing separate disputes at the WTO against Canada — as well as the European Union, China, Mexico and Turkey — over each jurisdiction’s set of counter-tariffs on imports of American goods.“The actions taken by the president are wholly legitimate and fully justified as a matter of U.S. law and international trade rules,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.“Instead of working with us to address a common problem, some of our trading partners have elected to respond with retaliatory tariffs designed to punish American workers, farmers and companies.”Lighthizer added Monday that the countermeasures recently applied against the U.S. appear to breach WTO commitments. Resolving international trade disputes is a key role of the WTO.“The United States will take all necessary actions to protect our interests, and we urge our trading partners to work constructively with us on the problems created by massive and persistent excess capacity in the steel and aluminum sectors,” he said.Last month, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the U.S. tariffs against Canada and other allies were designed to force them into action to address the world’s overproduction and overcapacity of steel.Freeland has insisted that Canada introduced stronger safeguards on steel well before the U.S. imposed the tariffs.On this front, Ottawa feels it has more work to do. The federal government has said it’s consulting with industry so even more can be done to address the diversion and dumping of aluminum and steel in the Canadian market.On Monday, a spokesman for Freeland defended Ottawa’s retaliatory duties and argued they’re within Canada’s WTO and NAFTA rights.Adam Austen wrote in an email that it’s “a measured, perfectly reciprocal, dollar-for-dollar response to the U.S. tariffs.”“As Minister Freeland has said repeatedly, it is absurd to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the U.S.,” he said.“The tariffs imposed by the United States on Canadian steel and aluminum are unacceptable and illegal.”The unprecedented cross-border tensions have presented big challenges for the Canada-U.S. trading relationship. The hurdles include the stalled renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and President Donald Trump’s threats that he will impose new tariffs — this time on the automotive sector.There are widespread warnings that levies on the highly integrated Canada-U.S. auto sector would be far more damaging for the economy than the duties on steel and aluminum. In Canada, Ontario would easily suffer the biggest economic blow among of the provinces.The Trump administration is still considering the auto tariffs and, later this week, the U.S. Department of Commerce will hold hearings on whether it can impose them over national security concerns, much like it did for steel and aluminum.David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., is scheduled to testify Thursday at the hearings in Washington. Jim Wilson, the Ontario government’s minister for economic development and trade, will also present his arguments before the hearings.“I will be vigorously advocating for the Canadian and American jobs that depend on our historic trading relationship,” Wilson said in a statement Monday.“It is clear that Ontario is not a national security risk to the United States. In fact, the U.S. and Ontario share many of the same goals.”— Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter
Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press TORONTO — Rotating Olympic hosts? A single go-to destination every four years? Maybe dump the bid process altogether?There are no easy answers for what has become a challenging effort of late: finding interested and qualified suitors to host the Winter Games.Calgary essentially scuttled plans for a 2026 bid after the ‘no’ side’s plebiscite victory Tuesday. That left Stockholm and Milan-Cortina as the only contenders and both have already had issues with significant hurdles still to clear.Canada’s previous efforts to host the Winter Games, Calgary in 1988 and Vancouver in 2010, were by and large considered success stories. However, massive cost overruns from other host cities — notably Sochi in 2014 — have helped stoke Olympic hangover worries.Bid races seem to have been affected. The IOC recently broke from tradition on the Summer Games front by transforming the bid process and instead declaring two hosts (Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028) at the same time.For the Winter Games, Beijing — not exactly a winter wonderland — beat out a single contender in Almaty, Kazakhstan for the 2022 Games. It’s anyone’s guess what will happen now with 2026.“The world has changed,” Canadian Olympic Committee president Tricia Smith said Wednesday. “I think we’ve seen some (recent) mega-projects that maybe have scared people off a little bit. That is something the IOC has certainly been addressing with this, call it the new norm, or the 2020 Agenda.“It’s something that I thought Calgary addressed really, really well in their bid. I thought their bid was really responsible. Certainly a (bidder) can do what they want in a bid and include a lot of things that aren’t really necessary but Calgary didn’t do that.”The Alberta city trumpeted its strong core of venues and infrastructure from ’88 but it wasn’t enough to sway voters. Many athletes expressed their disappointment Wednesday at the plebiscite result and voiced concern about the potential impact.Gilmore Junio played hockey as a youngster in Calgary before focusing on long-track speedskating.“If it wasn’t for a facility like the Olympic Oval, who knows if I would have been able to switch over to speedskating and been able to dream big and call myself a two-time Olympian,” he said.Bobsledder Kaillie Humphries, who trains in Calgary, won Olympic gold in Vancouver and Sochi.“I’m sad, I feel like it’s a missed opportunity for the city and for the country,” she said from San Diego.In addition to bid changes, part of the goal of the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 initiative was to rein in costs and increase the appeal for potential host cities. It appears there is still work to be done, particularly on the Winter Games front.“Bidding, in my opinion, is a total waste of money,” said former IOC member Paul Henderson, who led Toronto’s unsuccessful effort to land the 1996 Summer Games. The cost of hosting the Games can make local residents skittish, no matter how strong the existing infrastructure might be. The list of sports on the Olympic program also seems to rise with each Games and some venues often have to be built from scratch.Calgary’s Brady Leman missed the 2010 Olympics due to injury but competed at the 2014 Games and won skicross gold this year in Pyeongchang.“I definitely think that the Sochi model and a little bit the Korea model is just not a sustainable way to do an Olympics, especially a Winter Olympics,” he said from Vancouver. “You’re going to run out of countries real quick that have the amount of money needed to build (new venues). That’s just not a fair ask for a social system to absorb those kind of costs, I don’t think.”Remember the hashtag ‘Sochi Problems?’ The many issues and concerns raised during the 2014 Games were succeeded by ghost town-like online images from the venues afterwards. “It’s really sad to see the things in Sochi just go totally unused,” Leman said. “It’s such a waste and that was something that I struggled with back then as well.“I think that was such a big problem with the Calgary bid was past countries have taken on these huge infrastructure projects and incurred these massive budget overruns because they were building so many new facilities.”Smith, meanwhile, remains hopeful that Canada will one day host another Winter Games.“I think every city is unique and we never try to convince a city to bid,” she said. “It really has to be a grassroots approach and the city has (to have) a vision for themselves which would include a Games.”Smith added that building on the 1988 legacy, athletes in 2010 put Canada “on the map” in terms of being a top winter sport nation.Leman agreed and said the Olympic feelings came rushing back while on a recent hike on Cypress Mountain.“I was walking up beside the run that the skicross was on,” he said. “The parking lot was packed and there was a ton of people taking pictures with the (Olympic) rings still there. I see people all the time in Vancouver all the time taking pictures with the torch down at the waterfront.“I’ve gotten to use legacy facilities from both those Games. I just think it’s a shame when the Olympics is used for more of a show and less of a lasting impact on the country that hosts it.”———With files from Canadian Press sports reporter Donna Spencer.Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.
WEYBURN, Sask. — City council in Weyburn, Sask., has apologized to residents and other Canadians for using insensitive words after a controversial decision to reject a care home for people with disabilities.But the council isn’t saying whether it will reconsider the move.A letter from the council, which was posted online Friday, says it is deeply sorry for what was said in council chambers Monday.Elected officials voted then to reject a proposal for building a group home in a new upscale residential area, saying it would dash the dreams and hopes of the people who currently live there.Residents had cited concerns including safety and an impact on their property values.Several Saskatchewan politicians have called on city councillors to change their minds.The letter says council is “continuing to exhaust all avenues to find a solution to get the care home built and begin the healing process in the community.”The Canadian Press
PORT AUX BASQUES, N.L. — The Canadian Coast Guard is monitoring a tanker carrying eight million litres of refined petroleum and additional fuel that lost steering off the southwest coast of Newfoundland on Thursday morning.The Jana Desgagnes sustained damage to its rudder southwest of Port aux Basques while en route to Montreal. The coast guard said in a statement Friday that no pollution has been released and the vessel and its 17 crew are not in immediate danger.Coast guard ice breakers arrived on the scene Thursday night and have remained in the area since then.The vessel was about 27 kilometres from Cape Ray, N.L., as of Friday afternoon and is being watched by coast guard and environmental response specialists.Ice conditions have slowed the recovery process but a commercial tugboat is en route and officials say the plan is to tow the vessel to port in Sydney, N.S.The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Advocates are hailing a recent Tax Court of Canada decision that recognizes the rights of migrant workers in Quebec to qualify for employment insurance even if they don’t have a valid work permit.The decision rendered this month stems from a case brought by a group of 18 temporary workers from Guatemala who had appealed an initial ruling that their earnings weren’t insurable.That’s because the workers — recruited through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program — were victims of fraud perpetrated by employment firms in Quebec that wrongly told them they could work for different employers.Typically, workers arriving from abroad must work for the company indicated in their documentation. In this case, the employer didn’t respect the terms laid out in the permit, leaving workers scrambling to find other work.The Canada Revenue Agency had considered those hours weren’t insurable, since they didn’t work for the companies indicated in their permits.But the May 10 ruling says that work is in fact insurable under the law, given the state’s obligation to guarantee social security for all workers.Judge Alain Tardif wrote that while his focus was the issue EI eligibility, it was clear the Guatemalans were “victims of an unscrupulous organization whose sole purpose was to enrich itself on the backs of poor … destitute and quite vulnerable people.”Tardif added in a complex, 48-page ruling that the 18 had hoped to improve the lives of their families, and he urged the government to do more to ensure their well-being.“On this issue … it seems to me totally unacceptable to leave such seasonal workers to themselves,” Tardif wrote. “It is urgent and imperative for the state to set up an organization with the necessary resources to reach all seasonal workers or at least prepare a written kit in the language of those concerned to enable them to know their rights and obligations, thus enabling seasonal workers to get answers to their problems or concerns before they arrive, upon arrival and throughout their stay in Canada.”In the rest of the country, a Federal Court of Appeal ruling in 1998 dealt with the issue and there has since been roughly two decades of case law to back it up.But in Quebec, a lawyer who represented the temporary workers said, the rules had been interpreted differently under the province’s civil code.“Even though it’s employment insurance and it’s federal jurisdiction, in Quebec they are still interpreting the notion of labour contract in a way that is specific to civil law instead of common law,” Richard-Alexandre Laniel of the Association of Progressive Jurists said.“What happened with this decision is that the judge decided in a civil law context, we can determine in certain circumstances that migrant workers who don’t have a valid work permit can still make their hours worked insurable within the employment insurance law.”Advocates have called for an end to the practice of issuing closed work permits, which restricts a worker to a single employer. That provision, along with language barriers and concerns about job loss, leave foreign employees reluctant to file complaints.Thousands of migrant workers make their way to Quebec each year.“It’s a bit soon to determine what will be the impact of this decision on CRA practices,” Laniel said. “But we think they should have a more flexible approach regarding migrant workers.”Federal government lawyers have 30 days to appeal. They did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Georges Awaad answers the phone with a polite “Hello,” but he could just as easily answer in Arabic, French, Japanese, or any of the other 15 languages he speaks.At the age of 20, the Montreal linguistics student can already speak 19 different languages, most of which he taught himself through a combination of internet videos, music and conversation with friends.“I’m a very auditory person, so I try to expose myself as much as possible to the language, by listening to music, videos, films if I find them, and by listening to conversations and having them with friends,” he said in a phone interview.He also speaks Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Russian, Hebrew, Romanian, Swedish, Georgian, Armenian, Cantonese, Korean, Esperanto, and Dutch.Awaad, whose first language is French, said he learned early in life that he liked the sound of different languages, but his interest really began around age 10, when he asked his Arabic-speaking grandparents to help him improve his skills.“I told my parents I really loved learning with my grandparents and they told me, ‘You know, there are places online if you want to learn more languages,’” Awaad said.His parents pointed him to Google Translate, and he was instantly hooked, he said.Awaad may just speak more languages than any other student in Canada, according to online language learning platform Babbel.Babbel, along with the Student Life Network, launched a search earlier this year to find Canada’s most polyglottic, or multilingual, student. Awaad emerged the clear winner, impressing the judges with two rounds of video submissions displaying his linguistic prowess, which were judged by native speakers of each language.“As a team of hundreds of linguists from all around the world, we are extremely impressed by Georges’ command of languages, especially for someone so young,” Ted Mentele, Babbel’s Editor in Didactics, said in a statement.Despite his achievement, Awaad doesn’t believe he has any exceptional skills when it comes to learning languages. His secret, he says, is that he finds it fun.“I think it’s more that I’m passionate about it,” he said. “It’s easier for me to put in the effort to learn them because I really love them… It doesn’t feel like work.”Awaad finds it hard to pinpoint exactly what he loves the most about languages. At first, he says, he just loved the different sounds and inflections they made. But as he got older, he came to appreciate how they allowed him to make new connections and explore new cultures in a fuller way.As an example, he says he was able to serve as his family’s translator during a trip to Japan. He’s also made plenty of new friends in his quest to find people to converse with.“It started to show me just how much learning a new language can open your mind and heart to so many other people around the world and new cultures,” he said.“You can understand the world so much better and on a much deeper level.”Awaad says some of his favourite languages to learn have been Mandarin and Georgian, partly because their structures are so different from English and French.His plans for the future include completing a linguistics degree at McGill University before eventually getting a Masters and PhD.He’s also hoping to pick up more languages along the way.Currently, he’s working on a project to document a Mayan language spoken in the north of Guatemala and southern Mexico, and says he’s already starting to pick up the words and phrases as he goes.“I think this one is next on my list,” he said.Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press VANCOUVER — A pair of unusual armchairs valued at about $40,000 each were taken from a high-end furniture store and Vancouver police are asking for the public’s help in finding them.Police say the chairs were taken during a 3 a.m. break-in at the Lloyd Bruce Home Collections store on May 13.The deco-style, off-white chairs designed by Roberto Cavalli have gold coloured metal arms shaped like snakes.Two male thieves were involved and police say they left in a white, Ford F-150 pickup.Investigators say it’s clear the suspects targeted that particular store specifically to take the chairs.Sgt. Jason Robillard says they hope someone will recognize the unique furniture and call police.
The generosity of donors in America once again helped The Salvation Army reach a new record through its 2012 Red Kettle Campaign – $148.7 million collected through nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars (and the occasional diamond ring or gold tooth).During the 122nd annual campaign, which ran from November 22nd through Christmas Eve, The Salvation Army incorporated concerts, contests and celebrities in a national effort to raise donations to help people through harsh economic conditions. With red kettles hosted at retailers nationwide, donations to the Army support families and individuals in need in the communities in which the donations were raised.“There are times in American history when people unite around a common cause and work together to help their neighbor. 2012 was no different,” said Commissioner William Roberts , National Commander of The Salvation Army. “The Red Kettle Campaign signifies a unified goal – the public cares for people who have fallen on hard times. Every donation allows us to meet our Mission to help people in His name.”Country superstar Kenny Chesney kicked off the iconic Red Kettle Campaign with a live performance at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX on Thanksgiving Day as part of The Salvation Army’s partnership with the Dallas Cowboys. For the past 16 years, the Cowboys have helped the Army kick off the National Red Kettle Campaign on a nationally televised stage to more than 30 million Americans during halftime of the Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game. The event reminds others about the importance of giving back when many struggle with life’s basic necessities, like food and shelter.Pop sensation Owl City, as well as other music artists, rocked out at another concert – The Salvation Army’s third annual “Rock the Red Kettle Concert.” The free show at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles was produced by Ned Specktor of Specktor Media and encouraged millennials to support charitable causes. The concert featured performances by Owl City, Hot Chelle Rae, Andy Grammer, Bridgit Mendler, and Sonus. Three-time Olympic Gold Medal swimmer Nathan Adrian, who selected The Salvation Army as his charity of choice for the 2012 Christmas season, also attended the event as a special guest. The concert was streamed live on Facebook for thousands to watch at home.The Red Kettle Campaign was also supported by The Salvation Army’s second annual World Record Bell-Ringing Contest, in which eight brave bell-ringers competed to ring a bell for more than 60 consecutive hours. Three bell-ringers, Ryan Gass in Roswell, NM, Jason Perkins in Suisun City, CA, and last year’s defending record holder, Darrell Tureskis of Springfield, IL, each surpassed the record by ringing a bell for 80 consecutive hours. At the 80-hour mark, the three contestants laid down their bells in respect of the tragedy that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT.Online bell-ringers made significant contributions to the Red Kettle Campaign for the eighth consecutive year. Through The Salvation Army’s Online Red Kettle, donors were able to raise money with the help of family, friends and colleagues. The Army raised more than $2.1 million through Online Red Kettles, up from $1.7 million in 2011. Other online donations in November and December, not through the Online Red Kettle, totaled $21.2 million, a 17 percent increase from 2011. As part of the total, The Salvation Army received an unprecedented $3.9 million in online donations on the final day of 2012.“For every individual and every organization that supported the 2012 Red Kettle Campaign during this pivotal time of year, The Salvation Army would like to extend our greatest thanks,” said Commissioner Roberts. “From our celebrity performers and our gracious volunteer bell ringers, to our corporate partners and the generous public, The Salvation Army has once again seen first-hand the compassion that exists in America and the changes it can make in one’s life.”Red Kettles at Walmart and Sam’s Club locations, corporate partners with the Army for more than 30 years, collected nearly $40 million and $5 million respectively, or 30 percent of the $148.7 million total. More than 2,000 Walmart stores across the country hosted a “Fill the Truck” event on December 8th. The event collected more than 135,000 coats and 10,000 toys for children in Salvation Army social service programs. This is in addition to a generous $1 million donation by Walmart to The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign for use in Salvation Army feeding programs nationwide.Sam’s Club and The Salvation Army also teamed up again with Off the Field, a professional football players’ wives association, for the sixth year to shop for families in need on December 12th in 11 cities across the country. In total, 220 families, or 20 families per city, received a combined $220,000 in food and gifts, including clothes, electronics, toys and essentials from Sam’s Club. Recipient families were pre-selected by The Salvation Army.Nearly 2,200 Kroger locations also hosted kettles to raise $14.5 million, or 10.8 percent of the campaign’s total. Donations at 620 Big Lots stores raised more than $1.5 million for the campaign.From its humble beginnings as a program started by a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States – providing toys for kids, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and countless social service programs year-round. As part of the campaign, more than 25,000 Salvation Army volunteers spread throughout the country to ring bells and solicit donations to the red kettles.Source:PR Newswire
The week that the hotly anticipated new Bridget Jones’ novel is being released, author Helen Fielding is announced as Save the Children’s latest celebrity ambassador.The novelist and screenwriter, best known as the creator of the much loved character Bridget Jones, has been a supporter of the leading aid agency for many years. The official recognition will see her join other celebrity ambassadors including footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, musician Myleene Klass and wife of the Prime Minister, Samantha Cameron.Helen Fielding’s novels Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason have been published in forty countries and sold over 15 million copies. Her latest novel, Bridget Jones: Mad about the Boy is released on Thursday 10th October to the delight of a huge fanbase. At a recent fundraising event for Save the Children, Helen Fielding donated the prize of a role in the new book. Lucky supporter Farzia Seth won the exclusive cameo, and appears as Bridget’s favourite school-gates mum and ally.Justin Forsyth, Chief Executive of Save the Children said: “Helen has the rare talent to make you laugh and cry at the same time with her novels and films. Her support for Save the Children over many years has helped us enormously engage the public in new ways. With her now becoming an official ambassador we will be able to harness all that talent and creativity to improve the lives of children, a cause she very passionate about.”Working across 120 countries, Save the Children provides both emergency and long-term relief and development projects across the world and here in the UK.
As part of a series of new short films produced by Sport Relief, TV presenter Fern Britton will share her experience of maternal mental health alongside other mums and dads from across the UK, who have also been affected.The films will be shared on Sport Relief’s Twitter feed to shine a light on maternal mental illness in the UK and help to reduce stigma around the issue. The public will also be encouraged to share their stories and talk about their own experiences. Members of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, which benefits from Sport Relief cash, will be responding during the day to any people looking for advice or support.By going to @SportRelief on the day, the nation will gain a unique insight into an issue that affects as many as 1 in 10 women yet is still a big taboo and not talked about openly. Many women feel completely alone and too embarrassed to share their true feelings, with 7 in 10 women affected hiding or downplaying their symptoms.Without understanding, support, and treatment these mental illnesses have a devastating impact on the women affected and on their partners and families. However, with the right help at the right time women affected by maternal mental health problems do get better.By giving women and men a platform to speak out about maternal mental illness, Sport Relief hopes to highlight what help is out there, and encourage more people affected to seek the support they need to recover.Cash raised through Sport Relief has been helping to fund maternal mental health projects in the UK since 2010. These projects include the Bluebell Care Trust in Bristol, and the Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s ’Everyone’s Business’ campaign, which raises awareness of the importance of maternal mental health issues at a national level and is helping women and families across the UK to access specialist support.The contributors featuring in the films have been helped through Bluebell Care Trust and member organisations of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.Fern Britton said: “Everyone tells you that having a baby is going to be perfect, so you try to be the perfect mum. However, you’re not blooming at all, you’re blooming awful. I was lonely, isolated and frightened. I felt lost, like a failure and I couldn’t identify with who I was anymore. When the doctor told me what I was feeling was Postnatal Depression it was so liberating, I felt such a sense of relief that I wasn’t going mad. Once my family knew, I started to get better. Once I could talk to my family and they understood, it was a wonderful feeling.“The minute I said the words to someone, help it was there for me. If I had known how easy it was to get help I would have told someone sooner. Having been through this and getting better myself I would urge any mum who might be feeling in a dark place to tell someone – don’t wait! If you tell someone, you will get help, and you will get better.”The day is being supported by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, Bluebell Care Trust, the Royal College of General Practitioners, MIND, Channel Mum who are following the stories @SportRelief and sharing their own views and insight using #MumTalk.
The Jerry Garcia Foundation is presenting a new limited edition archival print of Garcia’s Wisteria oil painting for Spring 2016.Jerry Garcia’s Wisteria The Wisteria piece can be previewed this week with 30 other pieces in The Art of Jerry Garcia exhibition at the Psylodelic Gallery located in Pomeroy, Ohio. The exhibit runs from April 6th through early August. All proceeds from eleven donation pieces to benefit the Psylodelic Gallery.“We are so honored to be able to show my old friend Jerry’s work in the Gallery. If Jerry and I were to be able to look into the future back in the 60’s when we met, we sure would’ve gotten a kick out this. I made sure that I worked on hanging this show in particular. His work is exemplary,” said Jorma Kaukonen, member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a Grammy nominee, and founding member of two legendary bands, Jefferson Airplane and the still-touring Hot Tuna.The Asbury Park Music Foundation will also feature Garcia’s Wisteria at the Asbury Park Music in Film Festival. The piece can be seen when it appears in the Art629 Gallery during a “Growing Up Dead” panel discussion preview of the soon-to-be-released Martin Scorsese Grateful Dead Film. Jerry Garcia Foundation Advisory Board member and Ambassador, Seth Rogen is joining Justin Kreutzmann and APMFF Advisory Board Member, Jim Dowd to speak on the panel in the Art629 Gallery at 12:00 pm on April 9th. Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead will be celebrated in song and art at the Film Festival throughout that day and evening.“The Grateful Dead concert in Englishtown in the late 70s was the largest show in New Jersey history. The energy that follows the Dead is so well aligned with the mission of the Festival and the Foundation. We are honored to include Jerry’s artwork at APMFF 2016. Special thanks to the Jerry Garcia Foundation for their continued support,” said Matt Hockenjos, Executive Director of the Asbury Park Music Foundation.The art will be available at auction with proceeds benefitting the Asbury Park Music Foundation.Garcia’s fine art has toured in various exhibitions since 1990. In 2014, the virtuoso’s work was exhibited at the Centre National d’art Contemporain Le Magasin, an art museum located in Grenoble, France. Several of the exhibition pieces were donated to the museum.“Wisteria brings the viewer impressions of spring. Cascading purple flowers and verdant hills and trees move in graceful lines touching the blue sky,” said Manasha Garcia, co-founder of the Jerry Garcia Foundation. “We’re very pleased to present Wisteria to the community and honored to have it exhibited at the Psylodelic Gallery and at the Asbury Park Music in Film Festival.”For more information, please visit The Jerry Garcia Foundation website.
Sumbry-Edwards’s next step was to test out her theory, coaxing her students to try work that wasn’t technically challenging, but was full of that propulsive, rhythmic feel that defines swing. “It was amazing!” she reports. “These amazing technicians were not able to hold down their vocabulary if they were trying to swing.” The dance form, she deduced, had almost fully detached from its roots in the expressive, swinging 1930s. “How do you move forward when you don’t understand what was? There’s the disconnect not only with the rhythm but also the history of the form.” Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards is one of the U.S.’s most influential tap stars, a master who’s taught classes from Rio to Tokyo. But as she travelled the world watching the next generation of dancers, she started to realize something was missing from all the eye-popping technique she was seeing.“It hit me like a ton of bricks,” the affable hoofer tells the Straight from her home in New Jersey before heading here for the Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival (next Thursday to Sunday [September 1 to 4]). “I appreciate all the artistry that’s happening, but there’s a bit of a disconnect, and I’d say, ‘Wow, they’re doing amazing things, the way they’re using the vocabulary and the body of the dancers.’ But I wasn’t feeling anything. I wasn’t able to connect.“Then I realized: it was a matter of groove, that I know as swing, that was missing.” Advertisement
Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Speaking to the Straight by phone, she explains that the show’s producer, Nancy Bouchard, and longtime partner, Value Village, are both based in the Seattle area, so the city made sense as a site for growth. “I think Seattle and Vancouver complement each other very well,” she says. “They’re like sister cities.”The four-day exhibition will feature presentations from 14 designers from around the globe, including Vancouver’s Nicole Bridger and Rimpy Sahota. Login/Register With: Twitter Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week is officially crossing borders for its 11th edition.Billed as the world’s largest sustainable fashion event, the homegrown affair—now in its seventh year—will be conducting a set of fall shows in Seattle from this Tuesday (November 1) to November 4. The occasion marks the first time that Eco Fashion Week will be presenting collections for the spring/summer season since 2012.Myriam Laroche, founder of Eco Fashion Week, hopes that the move will further increase awareness of the “slow fashion” movement while establishing the event on an international stage. Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
Facebook Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement Evan Rachel Wood, star of the Canadian film A WORTHY COMPANION, was the recipient of this year’s Best Performance in a Borsos Competition Film Award. The jury noted that “Evan gives a brave, raw nuance performance that explores the grey areas between predator and victim”.The Borsos Award for Best Screenplay went to Grayson Moore, writer and co-director of CARDINALS, which presents a fresh take on the psychological drama that unfolds with the unpredictability of a great novel.Best Cinematography in a Borsos Film, presented by I.A.T.S.E. Local 669, went to cinematographer Sara Mishara for A WORTHY COMPANION, with an honourable mention to Nicolas Bolduc for HOCHELAGA, LAND OF SOULS. The jury wanted to acknowledge the work of a director of photography that managed to create a rich and detailed visual universe through a very subtle crafting of the light. The honourable mention is for a stunning composition from Nicolas Bolduc and a major visual achievement that the jury felt compelled to acknowledge.WFF’s Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature jury was made up of a diverse group of Canadian storytellers, all of who have had films at the festival. This year’s jury included Montreal born producer Sylvain Corbeil, whose credits include the award-winning films of Denis Côté and Xavier Dolan such as IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD and MOMMY, which both received the 2016 and 2014 Grand Jury Prize at Festival de Cannes, as well as FÉLIX AND MEIRA which dominated the WFF Borsos Competition in 2014; B.C. based actress and WFF Star to Watch Alumni Camille Sullivan, who attended Whistler in 2015 as the lead in THE BIRDWATCHER, as well as in 2014 with ALLY WAS SCREAMING and won the UBCP/ACTRA Award for both performances. She most recently starred alongside Peter Coyote and Aden Young in the hit television show, The Disappearance; and lastly celebrated Canadian director Charles Officer whose early feature NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY premiered at Whistler in 2008 and garnered 10 Genie nominations. His latest documentary UNARMED VERSES premiered to major acclaim at Hot Docs 2017 where it won Best Canadian Feature Documentary award and most recently won the Best Canadian Documentary award at Vancouver International Film Festival.The 20 feature films eligible for the Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature included:8 MINUTES AHEADA WORTHY COMPANIONALL YOU CAN EAT BUDDHABECOMING BURLESQUETHE CANNONCARDINALSTHE DEFINITESHOCHELAGA, LAND OF SOULSJUGGERNAUTMOBILE HOMESNEVER SAW IT COMINGNOBODY FAMOUSPORCUPINE LAKEPRODIGALSTHE PRODIGAL DADSANTA STOLE OUR DOG: A MERRY DOGGONE CHRISTMASSOMEONE ELSE’S WEDDINGTRENCH 11TULIPANI: LOVE, HONOUR AND A BICYCLEVENUSThe World Documentary Award is being presented to THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRÉ directed by Kate Novack. The jury stated: “The winner of the world documentary award delivers a fascinating portrait of a larger-than-life personality, but admirably escapes the trappings of simple biography by revealing how a towering, influential figure still thrives in an imperfect world.”The jury also gave an honourable mention to Alan Zweig, director of THERE IS A HOUSE HERE, which is a film that explores the harsh realities of a fractured community and yet it discovers, in fact, that society can gather together and create a strong and supportive community for those in perpetual need.The World Documentary jury included Vic Sarin, one of Canada’s most celebrated filmmakers, earning recognition as one of Canada’s premier cinematographers. As a director, Sarin has won recognition for feature films such as PARTITION, A SHINE OF RAINBOWS and COLD COMFORT and documentaries SUCH AS; BOY FROM GEITA, HUE: A MATTER OF COLOUR, DESERT RIDERS and most recently KEEPERS OF THE MAGIC. Also on this year’s jury are two Americans Jill Friedberg, a Seattle-based documentary filmmaker who has produced and edited the award-winning documentaries, THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE, SWEET CRUDE and UN POQUITO DE TANTA VERDAD; and Michael Dougherty, Head of Acquisitions at Radiant Films International in Los Angeles, who is also any associate programmer at AFI Fest and Head Programmer for the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.The Best Mountain Culture Film Award presented by Whistler Blackcomb went to DEPTH PERCEPTION directed by Chip Taylor and Chris Murphy. The jury stated that “DEPTH PERCEPTION was a clever and awesome representation of mountain culture, pure entertainment. It was able to tie in the full ‘story’ with a simple well thought out concept. Beautifully shot with exceptional snowboarding. The writing had the perfect balance of edge, accessibility, and meaning. It was able to transport the judges to a place of imagination just outside of realism but staying grounded in themes of the sport, environmentalism, and spiritualism.”The Mountain Culture jury included BC-based filmmakers and athletes, Jeff Thomas, Director of Video Production at Origin Design & Communications and a producer of multiple award-winning outdoor and adventure films, beloved Whistler local, comedy, writer, director, editor, and actor Kyle Killeen who is a three time finalist for the 72 hour Filmmaker Showdown, and Katie Burrell, a stand-up comedian and filmmaker with one filter – satire.The ShortWork Jury included director and WFF Alumni Grayson Moore(winner of WFF’s 2014 Best Canadian ShortWork Award for RUNNING SEASON and co-director of CARDINALS, receiving its Western Canadian Premiere at WFF 2017), Founder and Executive Director of First Weekend Club Anita Adams, and Jeremy Torrie, Director/Writer/Producer and President of High Definition Pictures Inc.The $1,000 Canadian ShortWork Award went to WE FORGOT TO BREAK UP, directed by Chandler Levack. The jury stated that “this cinematically stunning short film delivers at every turn. It’s beautifully written with wonderfully naturalistic dialogue, it’s poetic, stylish and superbly performed, most notably by our lead. Captivating from start to finish, this first time director is extremely deserving of this recognition.”The jury mentioned that there were so many wonderful films to review and it took the jury a long time to come to our final decision. As such, it would be remiss of us not to mention another very accomplished film. The jury has given an honourable mention to CYPHER by Lawrence Le Lam.The International ShortWork Award went to FEAR US WOMEN directed by David Darg. The jury stated: “Compelling from the opening minute, this honest and raw documentary is an unflinching look at the fearless women on the battle front in Syria. It’s a gritty and honest story with an amazing message – one that needs to be told.”The $500 ShortWork Student Award went to FLOATING LIGHT, directed by Natalie Murao. The jury stated: “The future of BC filmmaking is in very good hands. This was a very impressive lineup of student shorts, so to standout amongst this group is a major accomplishment. For its impressive performances, dreamy aesthetic, and for the assuredness and subtly in its directorial vision, the jury is pleased to give this award to a stunningly accomplished and inventive film that uses a quiet voice to speak loudly. This is a filmmaker with an extremely bright future.”The MPPIA Short Film Award, presented by MPPIA and Creative BC, was awarded to Veronika Kurz for 20 Minutes to Life. The award consists of a $15,000 cash award plus up to $100,000 in services. The completed project will have its world premiere screening at the 2018 Whistler Film Festival. The 2017 MPPIA jury included Writer and Director Eisha Marjara (attending with VENUS, WFF’s 2015 Power Pitch winning project which received it’s Western Canadian Premiere at WFF 2017; Jameson Parker, Director of Development at Brightlight Pictures (Producer, Actor in PRODIGALS, which received its World Premiere at WFF 2017); and Producer, Peter Harvey (attending with THE CANNON which received its World Premiere and MOBILE HOMES, which received its Western Canadian Premiere at WFF 2017.The Alliance of Women Film Journalists presented this year’s EDA Award for Best Female-directed Feature to Eisha Marjara’s VENUS, a film that tells the tale of a woman in transition. The jury stated: “VENUS is both a touching drama about the hardship of transition and how it affects family, friendships, and relationships but it’s also a really lovely and reaffirming story of love and the strength of friends and family. And we enthusiastically applaud the brilliant performance from Debargo Sanyal, who moved us to new understanding. Brava Majara and Sanyal.”The Alliance of Women Film Journalists presented the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Short Film to Sharren Lee’s THE THINGS YOU THINK I’M THINKING. The jury stated: “At its center is a person you don’t often get to see on the screen: Sean, a burn survivor and amputee who re-enters the world of dating. In a bar, he meets with Caleb, an able-bodied and appealing man who appears to take a romantic interest in him. And while, despite having no hands, Sean has managed to master getting around with great agility and some panache, his next roadblock is himself and being able to overcome his fears, insecurities, and trust issues — something that’s probably familiar to all of us. Ultimately, at the heart of the film are two people looking to make a human connection. And we found that we connect with them, too.”The Alliance of Women Film Journalists presented a Special Jury EDA Award to Kyra Sedgwick for her directorial debut STORY OF A GIRL. The jury stated: “A well balanced, timely and beautifully crafted film about a teenage girl dealing with the fallout of modern-day bullying. Anchored by a wonderful lead performance from Ryann Shane and memorable turns from Kevin Bacon and Sosie. We take special pleasure and pride in presenting the EDA Award to Kyra because as a young actress she actually played the granddaughter of the Eda for whom the awards are named, activist actress Eda Reiss Merin, the mother of AWFJ president, Jennifer Merin. We look forward to seeing more from Kyra!”Eligible female-directed films are being screened for the EDA Awards as part of the festival’s regular program, and are being nominated for EDA Awards consideration by Whistler Film Festival’s administration and programmers. The Narrative feature jury included: Marina Antunes – Row Three, Vancouver, Nikki Baughan – Screen International, London, Betsy Boszdech – Commonsense Media, San Francisco, Jennifer Merin (Chair) – Cinema Citizen, New York, Gill Pringle – The Independent, Los Angeles; Short Film Jury included: Katherine Brodsky (Chair) – Variety, Vancouver, Lexi Feinberg – Big Picture, Big Sound, Berkeley, Karen Martin – Arkansas Online, Little Rock, Diana Saenger – East County Gazette, San Diego, Susan Wloszczyna – RogerEbert.com, Washington, DC.Variety’s Vice President and Executive Editor Steven Gaydos acknowledged the Variety 10 Screenwriters to Watch, five of whom were present: Variety’s class of 2017 screenwriters and notable credits include: Liz Hannah (“The Post”), Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan (“Chappaquiddick”), Hallie Meyers-Shyer (“Home Again”), Maggie Betts (“Novitiate”), Tracy Oliver (co-wrote “Girls Trip”), Daniel Steipleman (“On the Basis of Sex” about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which starts filming in September with Mimi Leder directing), Gersh Dorothy Blyskal (Clint Eastwood’s “The 15:17 to Paris”), Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Sarah Ruhl (adapting Gloria Steinem’s memoir “My Life on the Road” with Julie Taymor confirmed to direct), Samuel V. Franco and Evan Kilgore who most recently sold their spec screenplay “Keeper of the Diary” to Fox Searchlight in a six figure bidding war, with Weimaraner Republic producing and Ansel Elgort attached to star), and John Whittington (“Lego/Batman”).The winner of the Audience Award presented will be announced in the festival’s wrap-up announcement. The award is a non-cash prize presented to the highest-rated film as voted by the WFF audience. The complete festival wrap-up will be announced on Tuesday, December 5.The Whistler Film Festival is funded by the Government of Canada through Telefilm Canada and Western Economic Diversification, and by the Province of British Columbia and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, is supported by the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and the American Friends of Whistler, and is sponsored by Variety, Creative BC, The Harold Greenberg Fund, the Canadian Media Producers Association, Cineplex, SW Event Technology, Remax Sea to Sky Real Estate, Whistler Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler, and the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Whistler, B.C. (December 3, 2017): The votes are in! Winners of the 2017 Whistler Film Festival were announced at the Awards Celebration this morning on the final day of the 17th annual Festival. Ian Lagarde’s first feature ALL YOU CAN EAT BUDDHA, and Jason and Carlos Sanchez’s A WORTHY COMPANION tied for the $15,000 cash prize presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia and the $15,000 post-production prize sponsored by Encore Vancouver in the 14th edition of the coveted Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature Film. The jury states “each in their own way convey unique visions and creative storytelling the jury believes have made and will make powerful contributions to the world of cinema.”A WORTHY COMPANION takes a fresh and new perspective that explores the complexity and humanity within the predator, victim relationship. This film questions how we perpetuate manipulative power dynamics between adult and child through the inner struggle of our female protagonists. ALL YOU CAN EAT BUDDHA is a movie that pushes the boundaries of image and sound and proposes an unusual, and assured cinematic narrative that juxtaposes dream and reality in a lost paradise.In addition, the jury awarded Ian Lagarde with the Best Borsos Director Award presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia. Ian presents an innovative voice in filmmaking that writes its own rules through a free spirited vision forcing the viewer to rethink their expectations of narrator cinema.
Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisement His first book, “Son of a Critch,” documents his earliest memories here – from almost drowning on the beach to graduating from school and pursuing an acting career.He is recognized across the country, but at home in St. John’s, it’s hard to tell if someone recognizes him from TV, if they’re “mom’s cousin” or if they’re just chatty Newfoundlanders.He can’t think of a bad encounter – but after a pause, he delves into a favourite “weird” recurring public interaction.“I wear glasses and oftentimes a ball cap. People will come up to you if you’re in the supermarket and go, ‘Oh, incognito today, are ya.’ I say what, what do you mean? ‘You’re incognito today, I won’t say anything.’ What? I’m nearsighted. They go ‘Ah, don’t worry,”‘ Critch mimics a knowing wink.“I go OK, first of all, nobody here has expressed any interest in me, clearly it’s not an issue. But the word ‘incognito,’ which I would never use … I hear the word ‘incognito’ so much.”Critch seems to delight in these weird quirks in human nature, a trait that serves him well in supermarket encounters and in interviews with politicians. He credits much of that outlook on life to his upbringing in a small house on the highway leading out of St. John’s.He recalls sitting at the kitchen table listening to the stories that were like “soap operas” to him, adults gossiping about larger-than-life politicians Critch compares to “wrestlers” in the province.“People talking about politics in Newfoundland is more interesting than people talking about love affairs in Newfoundland,” says Critch.“That is a gift they gave – and no matter what’s going on, to see the humour in it. I think that’s a Newfoundland trait as well, but it’s definitely something I got from my parents.”His childhood interest in the political ring prepared him for life covering the Ottawa crowd – as did growing up with a broadcaster father, the late Mike Critch of VOCM radio (for Voice of the Common Man), a dominant force in the province. Mark Critch poses for a portrait on the south side of the harbour in St. John’s on Thursday, August 16, 2018 – The Canadian Press/Paul Daly Mark Critch poses for a portrait on the south side of the harbour in St. John’s on Thursday, August 16, 2018. – The Canadian Press/Paul Daly Walking around St. John’s, Mark Critch treats the city as if it’s a tale to tell.The comedian, actor – and, as of this week, published memoirist – points out downtown buildings, telling their stories with the wide eyes and opinionated eyebrows so familiar from “This Hour Has 22 Minutes.”He rattles off the family history of one second-floor office’s tenants, spinning tales of helicopter rescues and near-drownings. He points out Victoria Park, which dates back to 1890 and where he’s working on revitalization efforts. He notes a subdivision has cropped up in the place where his isolated childhood home stood. He remembers his father would cut out newspaper stories and file them away. When he started working on 22 Minutes, Critch instinctively started doing the same thing, saving clips as fodder for future segments.“I realized one day, oh my God, I’m doing exactly what dad does, but instead of writing a news article I’m writing a sketch.”Years spent closely observing the people he covers have given him a unique perspective on his work, on understanding people’s intentions and figuring out how they tick — like watching Justin Trudeau go from Pierre’s son hanging around Liberal conventions to becoming prime minister himself.“You see the arcs and see them come and go and you do get to know them,” Critch says fondly, arching those eyebrows again.“Almost like pets in a way.”Critch spends a solid chunk of his time working on local projects “to make the place a little bit better,” like Victoria Park. He’d like to do more educational initiatives, like a documentary he hosted for the anniversary of the battle of Beaumont-Hamel a few years ago.The province is a great place to find support for those projects, where there’s an “economy of talent and kindness that’s a great bank to draw upon,” he says.Critch spends his afternoons with his two sons, or he’ll head over for a few hours to a Duckworth Street pub to catch up on the political gab of the day. Aside from the regular friendly and sometimes bizarre greetings, Critch says staying “incognito” is no problem in a town where he’s part of the city’s arc himself.“It’s like you’re the Cabot Tower or something. People don’t really care.” He loves this little old historic city – and it seems to love him back.On Water Street, the curvy main drag filled with boutiques and eateries, a man in a baseball cap and sunglasses leans out of the passenger window of a grey pickup truck.“How are you today, Mr. Critch?”They banter back and forth, shouting small talk about their work schedules and evening plans; turns out Critch’s loud friend is heading down to the pub later.“Don’t work too hard!” Critch calls out, the man waving and driving off.When asked if they know each other, he shrugs. It’s nothing out of the ordinary.“That happens a few times a day.”While some of the province’s expats who spend their days in larger urban centres like Toronto, Critch has never felt the pull to permanently relocate. He lives in St. John’s for most of the year, when he’s not in Halifax filming 22 Minutes, CBC’s satirical news show. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement
APTN National NewsChiefs from northern Manitoba are calling for an investigation into the slaughter of 30 barren ground caribou.They want more conservation officers to patrol winter roads to prevent similar incidents from happening again.The grisly discovery was made by Northlands Dene First Nation Chief Joe Dantouze.
APTN National NewsHalf of Canada is covered in boreal forest and each summer thousands of hectares go up in smoke.But if you come back a year later, and if the conditions are right, the burnt forest can become a gold mine.APTN’s Shirley McLean reports “mush rush” fever has returned to the Yukon.
Tina House APTN National NewsA coalition of women’s groups is speaking out after the terms of reference were leaked for the upcoming national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.They say there are already similarities forming to the inquiry that was held in B.C. five years ago.And they say that inquiry was full of problems from the start.
InFocusIt’s a proposed $800-million dollar settlement for Indigenous children who were ripped from their homes and families during the 60s Scoop.But the Metis and non-status were left out of the agreement and many survivors are not happy with the proposed settlement.The former president of the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan is now taking matters into his own hands. Robert Doucette is suing the federal and Saskatchewan governments over the 60s Scoop.Doucette, his daughter Kyra Wilson and Duane Morrisseau-Beck of the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network share their experiences and concerns of the proposed compensation package as we put the Metis 60s Scoop InFocus.