Stars Attend Revlons Annual Philanthropic Luncheon

first_imgRevlon held their annual philanthropic luncheon at Chateau Marmont on Tuesday, September 27 in support of Revlon’s Women’s Health Mission.Halle Berry, Revlon Global Brand AmbassadorThe event honored Dr. Dennis J. Slamon, Director of the Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program at JCCC, for his outstanding achievements in cancer research. To support and celebrate his incredible work, Revlon donated $1 million to Dr. Slamon to support his efforts in cancer research. In addition to honoring Dr. Slamon and his contributions, the luncheon served to raise awareness for Revlon’s 2016 philanthropic initiatives including their 2nd annual LOVE IS ON Million Dollar Challenge. Ciara and Cindy CrawfordHosted by Revlon Chairman Ronald O. Perelman and Revlon CEO Fabian Garcia in addition to Rashida Jones, Peggy Lipton, Cassandra Grey, Kelly Meyer, Jennifer Meyer, Sarah Meyer, Carson Meyer, Shelli Azoff, Allison Azoff Statter, with Revlon global brand ambassador Halle Berry, honoree Dr. Dennis J. Slamon, artist Curtis Kulig, and attendees Irving Azoff, Lorraine Bracco, Ciara, Cindy Crawford, Courteney Cox, Erin Foster, Sara Foster, Brian Grazer, Brad Grey, Melanie Griffith, Julianne Hough, Jennifer Hudson, Anjelica Huston, Elaine Irwin, Don Johnson, Jaime King, Penny Marshall, Ron Meyer, Lorraine Nicholson, Amy Powell, Brett Ratner, Rachel Roy, Lilly Tartikoff, Rachel Zoe, and more.Julianne Hough, Jennifer Hudson, and Ciaralast_img read more

Nigel Lythgoe Attends 47th Annual Blue Ribbon Childrens Festival

first_imgMore than 6,000 fifth grade students (two groups of 3,100 students each) from throughout Los Angeles County immersed themselves in the performing arts at the 47th Annual Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival last week, February 28.Jill Baldauf, Nigel Lythgoe, and Rachel Moore at 47th Annual Blue Ribbon Children’s FestivalCredit/Copyright: Courtesy of The Music CenterThe three-day event will welcome more than 18,000 students and continues on March 1 and March 2, 2017. The event culminated in a synchronized dance on The Music Center Plaza. Upon arrival, students attended a free performance by Ailey II, the celebrated second company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in The Music Center’s iconic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.Following the performance and an alfresco rehearsal on the Plaza, students performed a dance inspired by the Rocka My Soul finale section of Alvin Ailey masterpiece Revelations. For many children, The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival marks their first opportunity to experience a live performing arts event. Multi-award winning producer, performer and co-creator of So You Think You Can Dance and executive producer of American Idol, Nigel Lythgoe, who is also a member of the Music Center’s Board of Directors and who was recently awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire), along with Chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Mark Ridley-Thomas, were on hand to offer special words of encouragement to the students who had spent weeks prepping for their dance routine on the Plaza.As California’s longest continuing free arts education initiative, The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival is presented by The Blue Ribbon, the premier women’s support organization of The Music Center. Founded by Dorothy Chandler in 1968, The Blue Ribbon is committed to giving students access to the best of the performing arts from a young age. Since its inception in 1970, The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival has introduced more than 860,000 young L.A. students to the power and inspiration of the performing arts. More than 125 Blue Ribbon members volunteer over the three-day period to keep the Festival running smoothly.“It is our pleasure to host 18,000 fifth graders at The Music Center to experience a performance of Ailey II and the celebratory dance on the Plaza following the show,” said Blue Ribbon president Jill Baldauf, “We know exposure to the arts is so important to a child’s education and development. The Blue Ribbon is proud to be able to provide this opportunity to experience the arts to our future leaders. We hope they return time and time again to The Music Center and bring their friends and families. The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival may be a once in a lifetime opportunity, but the opportunities at The Music Center are for life.”Countywide, fifth-grade classes from 252 participating schools receive advance standards-based curriculum materials, background on the guest artists and classroom activities designed to prepare students for the performance they will be viewing. Inspired by Revelations, The Music Center’s Tara Cook Davis and Susan Cambigue-Tracey created choreography just for the students and distributed it to the teachers for advance instruction. Students also learn about audience etiquette, what to watch for during the performance, dance history and terminology.“The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival is a shining example of The Music Center’s long-standing arts education programs and a testament to how the arts can inspire and transform the lives of young people,” said President and CEO of The Music Center Rachel Moore. “We are excited to give Angelenos the opportunity to experience Revelations for themselves when Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion this March.”This year, students explored the evolution of the spiritual, including its earliest roots in slavery and its inspiration of various art forms—Jazz, Blues, modern rock, classical, the American musical and dance. Alvin Ailey grew up in the rural American South, and the musical influences of his early life there shaped many of his most memorable works, including the acclaimed Revelations that debuted in 1960 and is now a signature piece in the Ailey repertory.Founded in 1974 by the late internationally renowned choreographer Alvin Ailey, Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. Ailey was a pioneer of programs promoting arts in education, particularly those that benefited underserved communities. Throughout his lifetime, he was awarded numerous distinctions, including the Kennedy Center Honor in 1988 and, posthumously, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.Following their performance, each student received a keepsake book, A Journey through The Music Center, made possible by a generous gift from Blue Ribbon member, Maxine Dunitz. Describing The Music Center’s four theaters and various aspects of live performance, the book is updated and reprinted annually for distribution at The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival.Over the years, students attending the Festival have seen performances by the LA Phil, the LA Opera, American Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Ballet and Diavolo Dance Theater, among others. At the 2015 Festival, participating students set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the Largest ribbon dance for the greatest number of people simultaneously performing the same choreographed dance using handheld sticks with attached ribbons at a single venue.last_img read more

Will Grace Revival Given 10Episode Order by NBC

first_imgAdvertisement NBC has given a 10-episode order to a revival of comedy “Will & Grace,” the broadcaster announced Tuesday.The limited series will reunite Emmy winners Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes, and Megan Mullally with series creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, who will serve as showrunners and executive producers. James Burrows, who directed the entire eight-season run of the original series, will serve as director and executive producer on the revival.“We’re thrilled that one of the smartest, funniest, and most defining comedies in NBC history is coming back,” said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt. “This groundbreaking series for everything from gay rights to social and political commentary — all disguised as a high-speed train of witty pop culture — is coming back where it belongs.” NBC had been in discussions with the cast and creators since September, when they reunited to shoot a surprise 10-minute episode related to the presidential election. Facebook Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisementlast_img read more


first_img Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement At the new annual event, the royal quartet took to the stage and discussed the Royal Foundation (the umbrella organization for the charities Harry, William and Kate are associated with), their current projects and their plans for the future. READ MOREMeghan Markle Wows In $1,800 Trench Wrap Dress — Get Her Look For LessMeghan looked stunning at a Royal engagement wearing a navy wrap dress — see the exact brands she was wearing below!Meghan Markle, 36, along with her fiance Prince Harry, as well as the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and husband Prince William, all looked sleek and sophisticated as they took the stage for a panel discussion at the First Annual Royal Foundation Forum in London on Feb. 28. Meghan looked stunning in the sleeveless Jason Wu Belted Satin Wrap Dress, which costs $1,795. ​She accessorized with $750 AQUAZZURA Casablanca multi-strap suede pumps, gold hoop earrings and a delicate silver bracelet. Stunning! READ MOREKate felt NERVOUS for Meghan at their first joint engagementBody language between the Duchess and Ms Markle reveals fascinating hints about their relationship – and hints at future friendly clashesMs. Markle could have been forgiven for feeling nervous as she took her seat alongside the Duchess of Cambridge today for their first joint engagement.But according to body language analysts, far from being a shrinking violet, Meghan came across as an ‘unstoppable force of nature’ determined to get her point across – even if it meant talking over her future sister-in-law at times – during a Royal Foundation Q&A in the City of London.MailOnline FEMAIL spoke to bestselling author Judi James and communications coach Robin Kermode to find out what Kate and Meghan’s body language reveals about their relationship – with Judi noting that the Duchess appeared anxious on behalf of the ‘new kid on the block’ as she makes her first tentative steps into royal life. READ MORE Advertisement Facebook WHO IS JASON WU? MEGHAN MARKLE WEARS CANADIAN DESIGNER FOR FIRST ONSTAGE APPEARANCE WITH PRINCE HARRYMeghan Markle sported a Jason Wu dress for her first onstage appearance on Wednesday. She attended the Royal Foundation’s Make a Difference Together forum with Prince Harry, which marked her “working” debut alongside the Royals.Markle’s choice of designer may have been inspired by Michelle Obama. The former first lady was fan of Wu’s clothing, frequently choosing to wear his dresses to White House events during husband President Barack Obama’s tenure. READ MOREMeghan Markle and Kate Middleton Had Their First Royal Engagement TogetherMeghan Markle, Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Prince William participated in a royal engagement together for the first time today for the inaugural Royal Foundation Forum in London. Advertisement Login/Register With:last_img read more


first_img.What is your favourite type of character to play?Well, it is so early in my acting career that I don’t know if I have a favorite character to play. I have always been a fan of the horror genre and recently did a short film called Serial Killer Confidence. I played a serial killer, dressed in a hazmat suit, cutting up bodies with a meat cleaver. Gotta say, there was something cathartic about crawling that deep into such a dark world. Don’t know why… and not sure I want to know, but until you’ve cleavered your first forearm, you haven’t lived.I’ve done quite a few dramatic roles and quite like the challenge of expressing emotions with limited dialog. It’s something I’ve worked on quite a bit as there is a definite art to being subtle.But, as previously discussed, I love to be funny. Something about my personal look doesn’t immediately shout, hey this guy is going to be hilarious. You look at some people like John Candy or Will Farrell and you immediately smile. With me, it usually takes a few interactions with people for them to start understanding my sense of humor.Some of my favorite actors are comedians and weirdly enough those actors usually go on to do great dramatic roles as well. I think the class clowns of the world all have a more serious story to tell. But I would definitely love to do a comedy sometime. A TV sitcom would do just fine. As a drummer and musician, if they ever renew the FX series, Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll, with Denis Leary, I’m happy to join “The Heathens”, just sayin’.What market do you currently work in? Are there other areas you would like to work?I mainly work in the GTA region but as I mentioned earlier, I’m an open book. Not many places, in this world, I wouldn’t travel to, in order to keep pursuing my goals.What advice would you give to someone new trying to make it in the acting industry?Keep going! If you love it, if you lock into another level of your brain when someone yells “action”, then just keep going. Definitely and endurance game and not a sprint. I know we’ve all heard the stories about a very lucky few who got to bypass all the initial hard work by getting their big break right away, but those stories are very rare. And if you read deeper into those stories, you often find it wasn’t as easy as a three minute interview on Jimmy Kimmel would suggest.Show up early, put your phone away, be quiet, modest, available, listen, don’t try and shake the directors hand at the end of an audition, unless they offer. Just be a pro. Written By:  Darlene MorrisonIf you are an aspiring talent and would like to be featured in our Aspiring Talent SeriesContact Darlene via email at morrisonmediasocial@gmail.comOpen to all (e.g. Actors, Models, Singers, Dancers, Producers, Directors, etc.) Rick is an actor working in Toronto. We had the opportunity to chat with him about his acting career and life.As a child, did you want to be an actor, or did it fall into place through other activities?As a kid, I was always the class clown in school and very animated. I learned early on that I could make people laugh and that was something I leaned on a lot. But at that time, 70’s / 80’s, living in Canada, the notion of becoming an actor seemed crazy. We certainly weren’t considered Hollywood North at that time.Who inspired you to follow your dream to pursue acting?I guess, looking back, I was told over and over again, “you should be in show biz”, but I never took it seriously. In fact, a passage in my grade 8 yearbook was, “most likely to be: the next Steve Martin”. Even with so many people telling me I should be a performer, the idea of being able to chase that dream simply seemed unattainable and unrealistic. But in the end, many years later, I was the one who finally pushed myself to chase the dream. Login/Register With: Advertisement I found myself in a position where my kids were all grown up, living lives of their own and a new chapter had begun.  I have to say though, my wife has always been a huge supporter of mine and without her blessing and encouragement, this new adventure would not have happened.  She has always seen in me, something that even I didn’t see and for that, I am forever grateful.What challenges have you faced in the entertainment industry? What has been your most rewarding experience?I grew up in Toronto, but now live in Peterborough Ontario, (about an hour and a half drive to TO, in good traffic). So the commute for auditions and gigs is definitely a challenge. Honestly I don’t mind the drive, but the cost is a big one and I’m continuously reminded each time I pull in to a gas station. However, the alternative would be to move to the city and the increase in daily expenses would surely surpass what I’m spending now. Not to mention my wife and I have a whole world of family, friends and a beautiful granddaughter here that we wouldn’t want to leave behind. Not to say that I wouldn’t live in California / Berlin / New Zealand, etc. for an extended period of time, if a big opportunity came up. That’s just part of the business and you have to understand and accept that possibility.The entertainment industry is an animal all to itself, so there is a lot to learn when you first jump in and it can seem daunting.  There’s a whole new set of rules that apply to this industry that would seem out of place in the “normal’ work world, but you soon begin to understand what’s expected of you and start to assimilate.  Although I know there are many who start to chase the dream and soon decide that this world isn’t for them.  You here it all the time, but the rejection can be overwhelming for some and that’s a big hurdle.  Eventually, if you stick it out long enough, you develop rhino skin and can shake it off!.I have been rewarded with some amazing experiences.  My very first “professional” gig was the lead role in an episode of Web of Lies (Love goes South).  My resume, at that time had about two items on it and one of them was my name.  Fortunately, I looked a lot like the main character of the story and was given a chance to prove myself with an audition.  It was my very first audition for a tv show and I wasn’t sure how I would answer the call.  After all, until that moment, you have no idea how you will respond.  Fortunately the director saw something in me and gave me the opportunity.  I will always be grateful for that moment, as I know it doesn’t happen to everyone.  You have to realize that this business relies as heavily on luck as it does skill.  Once you know this, you keep pushing until that next lucky break arrives..There are several moments I could point to as rewarding, but I remember getting an email from a DOP that I had worked with on a commercial, (didn’t know him previously), and it said, “Hey Rick, hope all is well. Would you be interested in shooting a car commercial in Iceland?”  Iwas packing a bag ten minutes later..Driving a Mercedes SUV around Iceland and climbing volcano’s had not been penciled into any calendar I owned. That was not only a great acting moment but a life changer too.  I came home with a completely different perspective on life.  Again, the forces of luck shone brightly that day, but it points to something actors always need to remember… you never know who you are going to work with and how they might effect your future..No matter how trivial you may perceive an occasion to be, always be professional and courteous, cause ya never know!. .Why, What fuels your passion?My Dad asked me at 15, “What do you want to do with your life”? Until one and a half years ago, I didn’t know. I’m now 52 years old. It’s been my life’s quest to answer that question. It’s unfortunate that he’s not still here to see me find the answer. I was adopted as a baby and had a wonderful upbringing with an amazing family and wouldn’t change it for the world. But I think being adopted and not having a genetic template / role model to look up to, was a big part of the reason that I didn’t narrow it down earlier.Often you see actors that have kids who become performers, or politicians that breed politicians, etc. In my case, it was an extremely ambiguous world that I had to decipher on my own. Of course my parents had their own love for certain things but those things didn’t always resonate with me and I just kept searching.Now that I have found my passion for acting, I don’t need any further motivation to continue acting. The rush of being on set and sharing a creative goal with a room full of people is the only fuel I need.What is something about you that most people would never guess?We covered the sense of humor thing and I think that probably tops the list. I also love anchovies on my pizza.If you were to do it all over again, would you do things exactly the same? Do you have any regrets? Successes that make you proud?That’s a bit of loaded question, as there are definitely setbacks and tragedies that occurred in my life that I wouldn’t want to re-live. But you have to wonder if those instances and everything else that’s made up the ingredients of your life, are key to who you are today. I like who I am today, so I’m a very grateful for that. Without loss you can’t appreciate gain and in a world full of “stuff”, it’s key to recognize what’s truly important.My wife and I count our blessings all the time as we are forever cognizant of how fortunate we are in a world that can be harsh, to say the least.To learn more about Rick, follow him at:INSTAGRAM: Advertisement Rick Amsbury Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more


first_img Facebook Advertisement Quickly becoming a Canada Day tradition, an all-new six-pack of LETTERKENNY begins streaming tomorrow on CraveTV, just in time for the long weekend. From troublemaking out-of-towners, to suited-up Hicks and Hockey Players, here are six reasons fans should be stoked for this fresh batch of episodes:#1. It’s Wedding SeasonThe Hicks, Skids, and Hockey Players get suited up for a local wedding. And because weddings bring all types of people together – including “citiots” – chances of a dust-up are high. Advertisement The all-new six-pack of episodes are available to stream on CraveTV beginning June 29. Press screeners for the first two episodes are available now (log in using your media site credentials). Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter #2. The Letterkenny Adult Spelling BeeIn the words of legendary Canadian singer-songwriter, Alanis Morissette, “You Oughta Know” about the Letterkenny Adult Spelling Bee. No matter what, the Hicks are here to make sure Katy regains her Spelling Bee glory by any means necessary.*Warning: Strong language*#3. Man Seeking Tiki TorchMontréal-native Jay Baruchel is making his way to Letterkenny! While he may be known as a devout hockey fan, don’t count on him donning a Shamrocks jersey. When Baruchel’s troublemaking Hard Right Jay arrives in town, he’ll have traded his twig for a tiki torch.#4. Boats, BuddyWith their eyes on the prize, the Hockey Players might just bring home their biggest “W” yet when they take on coaching duties for a local team with a history of bringing home ‘ships.*Warning: Strong language*#5. The Return of GaeAfter saying sayonara to Stewart and the Skids to head back to the city, mysterious lady-skid Gae (Sarah Gadon, ALIAS GRACE) is set to reappear in Letterkenny. Will her visit end in tears…again?#6. Bienvenue au QuébecLes Hiques are back! But this time, it’s the Hicks and the Hockey Players who will be making the trip to party with their Québécois counterparts.And who can forget their very first encounter from last winter:*Warning: Strong language* Login/Register With:last_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Born in New York, McNeil most recently spent 10 years as host of The J Show on Chicago’s B96 FM. Previously, he hosted daily shows on several of America’s biggest Top 40 radio stations, including Hot995 DC, 965 Kiss Cleveland, Y100 Miami, where he established deep connections with each local community.As a board member for Chicago’s Respiratory Health Association, McNeil has participated in fundraising events for young people affected by asthma and has advocated for clean air initiatives. McNeil is also a founding member and secretary for Midwest Jamaica Corp (MIJAC), a group serving as a resource for Jamaicans in both Chicago and Jamaica.In conjunction with the addition of Jamar McNeil to the station’s morning show, CHUM 104.5 also unveiled its new multi-platform “Make Toronto Pop”advertising campaign across the GTA today. Created by Leo Burnett in partnership with the Bell Media Agency, the campaign offers listeners and viewers a burst of excitement through extensive television, radio, digital, and out-of-home activations. Login/Register With: TORONTO (July 16, 2018) – The popification of Toronto is now in full swing as CHUM 104.5 welcomes new co-host Jamar McNeil to the Roger and Marilyn morning team, following a successful 10-year run with Chicago’s B96 FM. Additionally, the station rolls out its multi-faceted “Make Toronto Pop”campaign across the GTA today, following last month’s live on-air station transformation from 104.5 CHUM FM to CHUM 104.5. The station’s new morning show trio and bold visual identity will take over Toronto block-by-block, energizing listeners through the broadcast, digital, and out-of-home campaign.“Toronto is both a hotbed for music and one of my favourite cities in the world, so I’m thrilled to head north of the border to join the great team at CHUM 104.5,” said McNeil. “I’m particularly excited to spend each morning alongside two radio legends, Roger and Marilyn. Together we’ll wake up the 6ix with the summer’s hottest hits every day.”“Jamar brings years of broadcasting experience, a fun brand of enthusiasm, and a genuinely informed and unique perspective to Toronto morning radio as we enter a new era for CHUM 104.5,” said Sarah Cummings, Program Director, CHUM 104.5. “We couldn’t be more excited to launch Toronto’s newest morning show, ROGER & MARILYN WITH JAMAR!” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “The vibrant look and feel of this campaign is built around bold colours and eye-popping designs that capture CHUM 104.5’s energetic new brand identity,” said Jon Arklay, Senior Vice-President, Bell Media Agency: Brand, Creative, and Marketing. “We were very excited to partner with the talented team at Leo Burnett to create an engaging campaign sure to grab the attention of listeners across the city.”“We’re ecstatic to roll out a dynamic new campaign that perfectly matches the upbeat, chart-topping music played every day on CHUM 104.5,” said Rob Farina, Head of Radio Content, Strategy, and iHeartRadio at Bell Media. “These kinetic designs are grounded in the city to connect Toronto listeners with the exciting evolution of this iconic radio station and make CHUM 104.5stand out in a very competitive market.”CHUM 104.5 is available across Canada via live stream on the iHeartRadio Canada app.Social Media linkscenter_img Jamar McNeil Twitter @CHUM1045 on TwitterCHUM 104.5 on Facebook@chum1045 on InstagramAbout Bell Media RadioBell Media Radio is Canada’s top-ranked radio broadcaster, with 109 licensed radio stations in 58 markets across Canada, including Virgin Radio, Canada’s #1 ranked contemporary hit radio network, along with top brands TSN, ÉNERGIE, CHUM 104.5, Rouge fm, and QMFM. Bell Media Radio stations are all part of iHeartRadio Canada, the company’s best-in-class customizable digital listening experience and live events brand. Recognizing the diversity of each market it serves, Bell Media Radio has a strong reputation for providing exemplary service to these communities and is a leader in innovative programming. In addition to music, news, weather, and sports, listeners also tune in for information on local politics, events, entertainment, and other community issues. Across Canada, Bell Media Radio is the largest radio provider and is ranked first in people reached and hours tuned. Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Big news.Ruby Rose is Batwoman.Welcome to DCTV @RubyRose !— Candice Patton (@candicekp) August 7, 2018 Welcome to DCTV @RubyRose !— Candice Patton (@candicekp) August 7, 2018 Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebookcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment For the three-night CW crossover event in December from Supergirl on Sunday, Arrow on Monday and The Flash on Tuesday. Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Residential school survivor challenges Valcourt to review archival document destruction record

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsAn Indian residential school survivor has issued a challenge to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt to review archival files that prove the government of Canada deliberately destroyed residential school documents.Valcourt denied the Canadian government ever destroyed residential school documents last Thursday during a House of Commons committee of the whole appearance.“If he wants, we can send him documentation on the department’s own, old letterhead verifying that it was factual and it was done,” said Michael Cachagee, who was four and-a-half years old when he was taken to residential school. “I challenge him on that publicly. We will send it to him just to refresh his memory.”Valcourt’s office did not return requests for comment on Cachagee’s offer.Valcourt faced questions during his committee of the whole appearance from NDP MP Romeo Saganash, who attended residential school and had a brother die at one of the institutions.“Have historical files pertinent to the Indian residential school system been destroyed by the government of Canada?” said Saganash, who also pressed the minister on whether any destruction occurred to avoid lawsuits.“To my knowledge, no,” said Valcourt. “I was not around in the 1940s, or the 1930s, or the 1920s. To my knowledge, no documents were deliberately destroyed simply to have them destroyed.”The archival record, however, counters that. While no proof exists that documents were ever destroyed over lawsuit concerns, files were pulped as a result of three major rounds of government-wide document purging directives issued between 1936 and 1973.Indian Affairs included residential school diaries, medical reports, building inspections, accident reports along with admission and discharge files among the lists of records it submitted for destruction.According to an internal analysis by Aboriginal Affairs previously obtained by APTN National News, Ottawa maintains no documents were ever deliberately destroyed. It was stated in the internal analysis that the federal government holds this position because of concerns an admission that documents were deliberately destroyed could expose the government to legal action. Ottawa maintains that fires and floods at the school destroyed records.Valcourt’s office has downplayed the analysis, saying it was done by a junior bureaucrat and did not reflect the government’s “view.” The minister’s office has never detailed the prevailing view.Indian residential school records are a key component for former residential school survivors to obtain common experience payments under the multi-billion dollar residential school settlement agreement.While the department maintains that no one who attended the schools have ever been denied a claim as a result of missing records, over 50,000 applicants have received less than they requested because they failed to prove they attended residential schools for the number of years they claimed.Cachagee, who suffered sexual and physical abuse during his time at three residential schools, said he lost a year’s worth of compensation as a result of missing records.“This whole thing is a fraud and it’s just an extension and all they do is they use the shelter of the House of Commons to lie about it,” said Cachagee, who used to head the National Residential School Survivors Society.NDP Aboriginal affairs critic Jean Crowder said Valcourt needs to come clean about what his department is telling him about the issue.“If the minister is truly not aware that documents were not destroyed, which would seem unbelievable, then he is either incredibly incompetent or he is misleading the public,” said Crowder. “If his high level bureaucrats are briefing him on something that is counter to what is in the public domain then he doesn’t have control of his department.” read more

Manitoba chiefs order child welfare agency board to suspend reformist director

first_imgJorge Barrera APTN National NewsChiefs with a northern Manitoba tribal council have taken the extraordinary step of forcing the suspension of the official in charge of running a child welfare agency responsible for four northern First Nations.It remains unclear exactly why chiefs with the Island Lake Tribal Council moved to place the Island Lake First Nations Family Services executive director on administrative leave with pay while ordering a “full review on the administration practices and the delivery of services” of the organization.The situation has created concern among some in child welfare sectors that other chiefs may feel emboldened to politically meddle in the operations of First Nation child welfare agencies as a result of the Island Lake Tribal Council’s actions.A letter from tribal council chiefs sent last month to the Island Lake First Nations Family Services board ordered the temporary leave and a report on the review to be completed by this week.“It has come to our attention regarding grave concerns of the management style that is being administered in the Island Lake First Nations Family Services organization,” said the Feb. 16 letter, which was signed by three of the four Island Lake Tribal Council chiefs and obtained by APTN. “We are directing you to address the concerns that have been brought forth regarding the conduct of the executive director.”The letter was signed by Garden Hill First Nation Chief Dino Flett, Red Sucker Lake Chief Sam Knott, and St. Theresa Point Chief David McDougall. Wasagamack Chief Alex McDougall, who is chair of the tribal council, did not sign the letter.In a brief interview with APTN, Chief Alex McDougall said he didn’t sign the letter as a result of a miscommunication, but he supported the request for the temporary suspension.“Children, they are at risk, that is why we are trying to deal with the issues,” he said. “I will decline to make any comments on the story you are pursuing.”The Island Lake First Nations Family Services board is currently overseeing management of the organization in the interim.It also appears the board was not in agreement with the chiefs’ request to suspend the executive director who has been on the job since 2015, according to a separate letter from the acting CEO of the umbrella organization that oversees First Nation child welfare agencies in northern Manitoba. The letter, obtained by APTN, summarized a Feb. 23 meeting between the Island Lake board and the First Nations of Northern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority—also known as the Northern Authority.“Throughout the discussion, the board expressed in very clear terms that they valued the work that the executive director has completed since (they) assumed (the) position in November 2015 and clarified that they did not have any specific concerns regarding (their) performance,” said the letter, signed by Bryan Hart, acting CEO for the Northern Authority. “The board clarified that the above concerns were actually coming from community members which were only recently brought to their attention. The board indicated that it was their opinion the executive director does not deserve the criticism being directed against (them).”The letter stated the board expects the executive director to return to their position after completion of the ordered review.In the letter, Hart called the decision to suspend the Island Lake First Nations Family Services executive director as “highly unusual” and “extraordinary.” The letter stated the board listed three issues behind the temporary suspension: the high rate of apprehensions, the placing of too many children in the homes of a particular nationality and the breadth of administrative changes to the Island Lake First Nations Family Services organization since 2015.According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the executive director had been reforming and improving the child welfare organization which led to the termination of several employees. The sources said the tribal council chiefs have faced pressure from certain key members in their communities to move against the executive director as a result of the terminations.“People were let go, a lot of them. There were a lot of issues, a lot of staff were just collecting paycheques,” said one source. “The new director demanded a higher level of accountability. (They) didn’t want staff to be there to collect paycheques, but do the work and make things better for the children who come into care.”The provincial Department of Families, which directly oversees the Northern Authority, declined to comment and referred questions to the Northern Authority.In an interview with APTN, Hart said the Northern Authority does not micromanage local organizations. He said the Authority would continue to “monitor” the situation and maintain “dialogue” with the Island Lake First Nations board.“The board has to be independent discharging its duty from that standpoint or the Northern Authority will have a problem and lead to some formal intervention,” said Hart. “We expect the board to maintain an independence and do what is best for the organization.”Hart said while it was “unusual” for the board to take over administration of the child welfare organization, it was well within its rights under existing laws and rules.He also said First Nations leadership have a role to play reflecting the concerns of their community.“There is an expectation there among the community that they do have a voice,” said Hart.Hart wouldn’t discuss the possible ramifications of the situation.“What comes later will determine itself. When you take a position in a leadership role in this area you expect there are going to be some challenges when you look at the system and circumstances,” he said. “The challenges we have, with First Nations working within a provincially governed (child and family services) system, sometimes you see the tension at certain times, more than other times.” read more

David Suzuki visits Grassy Narrows to sign MOU

first_imgJohn Murray APTN National NewsDavid Suzuki was in the community of Grassy Narrows to sign a memorandum of understanding between the community polluted with mercury, and his foundation.For years, Grassy Narrows has been pleading with the province of Ontario to help clean up the contamination caused by a now-defunct pulp mill.People have suffered a number of typical side effects of mercury poisoning and testing done by a Japanese scientist confirmed that is what was poisoning the people in the community.Then on the day of Suzuki’s visit, Ontario announced $85 million towards cleaning up the waters around Grassy Narrows.jmurray@aptn.calast_img read more

Europes rise in temporary work contracts puts lives on hold

first_imgLISBON, Portugal – Europe’s economic recovery is in full swing, and in countries like Portugal the unemployment rate is falling steeply from record highs reached during the recent financial crisis. Just don’t tell people like Nuno Mendes that the good times are back.The 40-year-old Portuguese government worker lives from six-month contract to six-month contract, doing the same job every day but never sure of his future, and takes home just 1,200 euros ($1,500) a month. He would like to marry his girlfriend and have children, but he can’t afford it. Unlike co-workers on permanent contracts, banks won’t give him a mortgage.“Everything in my life is on hold — starting a family, making long-term plans,” Mendes says. “It’s all very limiting and debilitating.”Many workers across southern Europe are in the same boat as Mendes, trapped in poorly-paid, insecure jobs that are locking them out of a life they once felt entitled to. It’s one of the legacies of the eurozone debt crisis, and it’s the new normal.Unemployment across the 19-country eurozone was at its lowest level in nearly nine years in December, at 8.7 per cent, official figures showed Wednesday. The improvement from 9.7 per cent a year earlier comes amid a strong economic growth rate of 2.5 per cent last year.The brightening figures conceal, however, a darker reality.Temporary, or fixed-term, contracts that give workers a short horizon of income security have increasingly become the norm since the Great Recession. The European Commission acknowledged last year that “the overall trend since 2006 indicates growing use of involuntary fixed-term contracts.”European leaders have in recent times urged governments in southern Europe, where the end of 20th-century dictatorships heralded new democratic powers and powerful trade unions demanding job protection, to make their workforces more flexible. That meant making it cheaper and easier to hire and fire employees.Recent legislation has watered down some safeguards. Even so, many businesses remain reluctant to risk open-ended contracts that further down the line could be an unwelcome burden due to severance pay and other legal considerations.Such concerns have given rise to what is termed a dual labour market, seen by analysts as a European scourge. It means that some workers get a healthy pay packet, generous benefits and employment security. Others endure low wages, job insecurity and bleak prospects of promotion.The Spanish government said this month that 2017 was a record year for job creation, with 21.5 million employment contracts signed. The downside: 19.6 million of them were temporary.Italy’s largest trade union says the number of people with temporary or part-time jobs who are seeking permanent, full-time work grew to a record 4.5 million in the first half of 2017. That compares with nearly 3.1 million in 2007. On top of that, the number of Italians who cannot find full-time work more than doubled from 756,000 in 2007 to 1.8 million in the first half of last year.European businesses have partly explained that by a mismatch between the skills workers possess and the skills companies need. A survey published this month by the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry, based on responses from more than 50,000 businesses in 23 countries, found that the mismatch “is becoming a significant obstacle to growth.”Portugal’s jobless rate stood at 7.8 per cent in December, the lowest in eight years. It peaked at a record 16.2 per cent in 2013, which was a third straight year of recession after the country’s 78-billion euro ($97 billion) bailout amid the eurozone’s financial crisis. A recovery began the following year.But only 34 per cent of employment contracts signed between 2013 and last year were open-ended, according to the Observatory of Crises and Alternatives at Portugal’s Coimbra University.“The creation of jobs in Portugal has been spectacular … but most of them are temporary jobs,” said Nuno Teles, one of the observatory’s researchers.He points to a high turnover of fixed-term contracts. From 2013 to the end of 2017, about 3 million employment contracts were signed, but only about 1 million of them still exist. Some workers, Teles says, have two work contracts in the space of a month.Part of the reason is the nature of Portugal’s economic recovery. It is largely being powered by the tourism sector, where seasonal work is common, and the construction industry, which is frequently offering contracts valid only for the duration of specific building projects.Another driver of change has been new technology. Working patterns are changing, with an increasing number of people freelancing, working part-time from home and holding jobs for short periods. It suits some.In the case of employees like government worker Mendes, there’s an added twist: he isn’t a temporary worker, he’s a fake temporary worker, and the government is behind the sham.Mendes, who holds a Masters degree, belongs to a loose national association of such workers called “precarios do estado” —literally, “precarious government workers.” They are employed by the state on temporary contracts that are renewed every six months or annually. The association is pressing the government to make good on its 2015 promise to formally classify them as the permanent workers they effectively are.The association’s website includes numerous stories from those in similar circumstances to Mendes. “Why can’t I set out the course of my and my family’s life for the next 3, 4, 5 or 10 years?” complains one of them, 37-year-old school teacher Antonio Fachada.The issue has become a key battleground for trade unions, but Mendes says he doesn’t feel resentful. He sees the government as a victim of the financial crisis, too, because the bailout lenders wouldn’t let it hire permanent staff.With the economy surging, Mendes is hopeful his limbo will come to an end soon, though he’s learned to roll with the punches.“I’ve stopped worrying about my future,” he says with a laugh. “I can’t, because I’d end up having no life.”____Colleen Barry in Milan and Ciaran Giles in Madrid contributed to this story.last_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,618.93, up 11.05 points)Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Oil and gas. Up 16 cents, or one per cent, to $16.15 on 6.74 million shares. Chief executive Doug Suttles says the company will ramp up output from its U.S. and Canadian oil and gas fields this year after it reported first-quarter operating earnings and production that missed analyst expectations.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Oil and gas. Up six cents, or 1.04 per cent, to $5.81 on 6.71 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Down 11 cents, or 2.77 per cent, to $3.86 on 5.7 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Down 21 cents, or 2.60 per cent, to $7.88 on 5.3 million shares.Neovasc Inc. (TSX:NVC). Medical devices. Unchanged at five cents on 3.8 million shares.Precision Drilling Corp. (TSX:PD). Oil and gas. Down 21 cents, or 4.59 per cent, to $4.37 on 3.4 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Calfrac Well Services Ltd. (TSX:CFW). Oil and gas. Up 10 cents, or 1.49 per cent, to $6.80 on 1.9 million shares. Calfrac, one of Canada’s biggest oilfield well-fracking companies, reported first-quarter revenue of $583 million, up 117 per cent from the $269 million it brought in a year earlier.Roots Corp. (TSX:ROOT). Retailer. Down 13 cents, or 0.98 per cent, to $13.07 on 27,962 shares. The clothing retailer will open two new stores in the Washington, D.C., area in August as part of its U.S. and international expansion plans.last_img read more

Spat with Saudis hits home for armoured vehicle plant in southwestern Ontario

first_imgOTTAWA – The sudden deterioration in the Saudi-Canadian relationship is likely grabbing the attention of people in the city of London, Ont., more than anywhere else in the country.The city’s General Dynamics Land Systems plant has been supplying light armoured vehicles to Saudi security forces, thanks to a huge, $15-billion contract signed by the federal government in 2014.The 14-year arms deal, which directly employs 2,000 people, was described at the time by the previous federal Conservative government as the largest advanced manufacturing export contract in Canadian history.Many are now wondering if Canada’s contract with Saudi Arabia — which is also highly controversial — could be at risk.Over the weekend, a diplomatic dispute prompted Saudi Arabia to freeze new trade and investment deals with Canada, expel Ottawa’s ambassador and recall its own envoy. It’s also cancelling scholarships for more than 15,000 Saudi students attending Canadian universities, which will yank away big economic benefits Canada reaps from international tuition fees.The moves came in retaliation to a Canadian government tweet that said it was “gravely concerned” about the arrests of civil society and women’s activists in the Saudi kingdom.In London, there are worries about the potential economic fallout from the conflict.“It’s definitely concerning,” said Jim Reid, a union leader who represents nearly 500 workers at the General Dynamics facility in London — an area that’s seen major factory closures over the years.“It is now the largest employer in the London region…. It’s basically the last big show we’ve got.”Reid, president of Unifor’s Local 27, said the operation supports up to 7,000 spin-off jobs and he hopes the Saudi government will continue to live up to its existing contract.Reid said there are several factors playing in the agreement’s favour: the Saudis would have to pay penalties if they walk away from the deal, a pullout could hurt the country’s reputation with other international trading partners and, perhaps most importantly, Riyadh wants the model of armoured vehicle that’s produced in London.“Hopefully, this thing blows over,” said Reid, who noted his union fully supports Ottawa’s decision to call out human rights abuses and abuses against women in Saudi Arabia.Canada’s arms trade to Saudi Arabia, which is led by what is widely viewed as a deeply repressive regime, has raised numerous complaints from human rights and arms-control groups.Since the diplomatic feud erupted on Sunday, the federal Liberal government has said it stands by its decision to communicate its human-rights concerns with Saudi Arabia.“We’re going to stand with the values that we know are important for Canadians, and Saudi Arabia will take the decisions that they will take,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Tuesday when asked whether the spat could imperil the General Dynamics agreement.Doug Wilson-Hodge, manager of corporate affairs for General Dynamics, said Tuesday that the company won’t comment because the matter is between Ottawa and Saudi Arabia.Many folks in London were searching for answers Tuesday.“Local people are understandably very upset — I’ve had lots of calls,” said Irene Mathyssen, the New Democrat MP in whose riding the General Dynamics plant is located.“In light of the jobs and the families that are depending on the jobs … we hope that indeed this current deal continues to hold up.”Mathyssen said it’s unclear whether the existing agreement, as well as an additional maintenance contract, will be fulfilled.While the General Dynamics jobs are critical for her community, she also questioned why Canada now exports military equipment to non-NATO countries like Saudi Arabia, which she said has a “spotty human rights record.” Ottawa should stop doing business with unreliable partners and stick to conducting trade with its allies, Mathyssen said.Last year, Canadian exports to Saudi Arabia were almost $1.5 billion, while imports from the Middle Eastern country were about $2.6 billion.Rex Brynen, a political science professor at McGill University, said the armoured vehicles contract was a big deal for Canada, which is why the Liberals — who inherited it from their Tory predecessors — agreed to uphold it despite clear human rights concerns.Brynen, an expert in Middle East politics, said at first he didn’t think the Saudis would abandon the deal, but is reconsidering that position after they took the major step of cancelling thousands of scholarships to Canada.“The Saudis have seriously inconvenienced 15,000 of their citizens in order to make a point and, given the unpredictability of Saudi foreign policy, I think it’s anyone’s guess what might happen to that deal.”— Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

US durable goods orders fell 17 per cent in July

first_imgWASHINGTON – Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods fell 1.7 per cent in July, the third decrease in the past four months.The Commerce Department said Friday that durable goods orders — items meant to last at least three years such as autos and appliances — totalled $246.9 billion last month. Much of that decline came from a steep 35.4 per cent drop in orders for nondefense aircraft, a volatile category on a monthly basis.For most of 2018, manufacturing has been a source of strength with durable goods orders increasing 8.6 per cent year-to-date. Excluding aircraft and non-military goods, orders rose 1.4 per cent in July, a positive sign for the economy.Still, U.S. trade showdowns with China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico have left many manufacturers feeling uncertain about their futures. President Donald Trump has levied and threatened taxes on imports as a tool for forcing foreign countries to give the United States better terms of trade. But tariffs carry the risk of higher prices and fewer sales for manufacturers that rely on a global market.In its index on manufacturing growth, the Institute for Supply Management found that manufacturers were still expanding even as international trade has become a dominant concern.The ISM, a trade group of purchasing managers, reported that its manufacturing index fell in July to 58.1 from 60.2 in June. Anything over 50 signals growth.last_img read more

US oil prices top 70 a barrel for the first time since

first_imgAnalysts are citing concern that Iranian oil exports will fall if the U.S. withdraws from a 2015 deal that eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. And U.S. stockpiles of crude are down.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) DALLAS, TX –  U.S. oil prices crashed through the $70-a-barrel mark for the first time since late 2014, foreshadowing costlier gasoline and consumer goods.It’s not clear that pricey crude will slow down the economy, however. The stock market moved higher in midday trading Monday, as investors bet that companies and consumers can cope with the increase.Benchmark U.S. crude is up 74 cents, more than 1 percent, to $70.46 a barrel on the futures market in New York. The international standard, Brent crude, is up again, to nearly $76.last_img read more

Shriners hosting Family Day in Fort St John this Sunday

first_imgThe entire event is by donation and residents are welcome to come at any time during the day. A silent auction will also be included with all funds going to the cause.Shriners Family Day goes from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. this Sunday. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Shriners of BC and Yukon will be hosting their annual Family Day event at Brown’s Socialhouse this Sunday.The event is a fundraiser for Shriners hospitals and Shriners Care For Kids. Shriners hospitals treat major orthopaedic issues such as clubfoot, as well as those with cleft lips, and burn victims. Five children from the North Peace are currently being treated in Shriners hospitals.The first Shriners Family Day in the Peace Region was held in Dawson Creek, while the Shriners have hosted the event in the Energetic City for the past three years.last_img read more