MERRITT, B.C. – Four people were taken to hospital after a series of collisions on Highway 5 south of Merritt, B.C., as weather conditions deteriorate on the route.BC Emergency Health Services says three ambulances were sent to an incident on the highway, also known as the Coquihalla Highway.The service says in a news release that initial reports said nine people were injured, but only four people were taken to hospital in stable condition.The provincial Transportation Ministry says the southbound lanes reopened more than four hours after the incident, but delays are expected to persist in both directions.A travel advisory has been issued as harsh winter conditions, including snowfall and blowing snow, are expected for the highway between Hope and Merritt.Environment Canada forecasts up to 30 centimetres of snow for the region through Wednesday.
PINCHER CREEK, Alta. – A 10-year-old girl has died after striking a pole while she was on a school ski trip in southwestern Alberta.The Grade 6 student at Canyon Elementary School in Pincher Creek was on the planned outing Tuesday at the nearby Castle Mountain resort.She had taken a mandatory ski lesson in the morning with other students, said resort spokesman Jason Crawford“We have school groups almost every day,” he said Wednesday. “Once they’re through their lesson, they’re able to ski on the hill.”The school provided chaperones, either teachers or parents, he added.He didn’t know the girl’s level of ski experience but said she had skied at the resort before.The resort is investigating the accident, Crawford said, and it appears the girl was alone on a beginner run when she lost control and went off the run. She struck a wooden pole that was part of a fence marking an out-of-bounds area.Two other students witnessed the crash and went to get help, said RCMP Sgt. Mark Harrison.He said the girl was wearing a helmet but suffered serious head injuries.Resort staff provided first aid before paramedics arrived. Because of strong winds and snow, she could not be air-lifted to hospital, Harrison said.She was taken by ground ambulance to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, where she was later pronounced dead.The Livingstone Range School Division said in a statement that it is providing counselling to students at the school and at other division schools.“The Canyon School Community is devastated by this loss,” said Canyon School principal Paul Pichurski.“We send our heartfelt condolences to the family.”
MONTREAL – No charges will be laid against a Quebec reporter accused of criminally harassing a woman who was the subject of one of his stories, Crown officials said Thursday.Radio-Canada said last week the complaint against Antoine Trepanier stemmed from calls and emails he sent seeking reaction to a story about the head of the chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters in western Quebec.The network said the complainant was Yvonne Dube, who is executive director of the organization’s Gatineau chapter and the subject of the interview requests.Trepanier’s investigation involved an Ontario court decision that said Dube falsely passed herself off as a lawyer between September 2011 and March 2012.The CBC’s French-language network said the reporter first contacted Dube on March 12 and spoke to her for 20 minutes. It said she initially agreed to an on-camera interview before backing out. The reporter then emailed her again the day after to give her another chance for an interview.The complaint was filed later that day and the reporter was called to the police station, but Crown officials said Thursday they reviewed the case and came to the conclusion no crime was committed.
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia will get $828 million in federal infrastructure funding over the next 10 years under an agreement announced Tuesday that will see much of the money go to small, cash-strapped communities.The province is the seventh province or territory to sign on to the $180-billion, 12-year Investing in Canada Plan.Premier Stephen McNeil said the money would assist with water and sewer projects and other provincial priorities including the twinning of 100-series highways, the expansion of broadband internet in rural areas, and construction of a new art gallery in Halifax.The money would also allow the province to help fund infrastructure projects in its 13 Mi’kmaq communities, including the cleanup of the Northern Pulp wastewater lagoons which sit on the property of the Pictou Landing First Nation, he said.“We believe there is an important opportunity,” he said. “I made a commitment on behalf of the province that we would deal with the issue of Boat Harbour and this will allow us and the federal government to be part of that.”Treasury Board President Scott Brison said the key for rural communities will be the flexibility of the funding formula, which is calculated to reduce their burden.“The fact we are enabling smaller communities to attain up to 60 per cent of federal funding for their projects is a real game changer,” said Brison. “It’s going to make a difference for a lot of these communities that simply don’t have the tax base to raise the money.”Officials said the municipal funding contribution could go as low as seven per cent of a project’s cost.Geoff Stewart, president of the Nova Scotia Union of Municipalities, said the program would provide some relief for struggling towns and villages.“Municipalities have been struggling for many years to try to maintain a level of service that is expected by the public. This announcement can only enhance the opportunities for better waste water treatment and water treatment.”Reporters also asked McNeil whether there was any opportunity to help fund a Halifax stadium that might attract a potential CFL franchise.McNeil downplayed the possibility, but said the province would look at all projects brought forward under the program.“While this is a substantial amount of money the need is great in our province,” he said. “We need to make sure we address the issues that we have no choice but to do. Municipalities are mandated by law to deal with the water and sewer issues and we have to make sure those are our priority.”McNeil said the long-term nature of the funding would help with planning for projects that will benefit the entire province. He said there would also be the opportunity to draw in private sector help.Under the plan’s first phase, the federal government has approved nearly 3,500 projects across Canada worth $8.4 billion.
Six stories in the news for Thursday, July 19———PREMIERS SET TO OPEN TWO DAYS OF MEETINGSThe federal carbon pricing policy is expected to be a key topic as the premiers open two days of talks today in St. Andrews, N.B. Ontario is scrapping its cap-and-trade program and Saskatchewan has mounted a legal challenge against the carbon price. Inter-provincial trade, the U.S. trade dispute, health care and the Alberta-B.C. skirmish over the Trans Mountain pipeline project are other key items on the agenda.———LIBERALS TO TOUT CHILD BENEFIT BOOSTThousands of Indigenous families living on-reserve will miss out on a boost to the federal child benefit that MPs plan to tout at dozens of events today. Almost every Canadian family receives the monthly benefit, but take-up rates for families on-reserve has consistently lagged behind the wider population — largely chalked up to lower tax filing rates among Indigenous families.———TRUDEAU SHUFFLES CABINET AHEAD OF 2019 ELECTIONJustin Trudeau has unveiled his pre-election cabinet in a shuffle designed to showcase new faces and address increasingly troublesome files — from border security, to trade promotion, to the potential for scraps with the provinces. In Wednesday’s shuffle, the prime minister gave new portfolios to six ministers and expanded his cabinet by promoting five other MPs to his front benches as the Liberals get in position for next year’s federal election.———ANTI-PIPELINE PROTESTERS BEING EVICTEDBurnaby, B.C. is evicting protesters from a make-shift camp set up outside one of Kinder Morgan’s terminals, citing fire safety and health concerns. City manager Lambert Chu says the city is worried about how the footprint of the site, dubbed Camp Cloud, has grown to include a two-level wood structure, additional tents and even shower facilities. The Metro Vancouver city issued a 72-hour eviction notice on Wednesday.———VERDICT EXPECTED IN MONTREAL BOY’S DEATHA verdict is expected today in the case of a Montreal-area police officer charged with dangerous driving causing the death of a five-year-old boy in 2014. Nicholas Thorne-Belance was in his father’s car when it was struck by an unmarked police cruiser allegedly driven by Patrick Ouellet in Longueuil, south of Montreal. His trial last month heard the car was travelling at more than 120 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.———CANADA COULD BE CAUGHT UP IN U.S. URANIUM PROBECanada could get caught in the crossfire after the U.S. Department of Commerce launched another national security investigation, this time by looking into uranium imports. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says U.S. production of uranium for military and electric power has decreased to five per cent of its consumption from 49 per cent in 1987. Canada is not the target, although all countries are potentially subject to the investigation.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit the Tim Horton Memorial Camp in McDougall, Ont.— Environment Minister Catherine McKenna will announce federal funding to protect and restore freshwater resources.— A verdict is possible today in the judge-alone first-degree murder trial of Dellen Millard, alleged to have killed his father.— Court appearance for former Burns Lake, B.C. mayor Luke Strimbold on 24 sex-related charges.— Statistics Canada will release the employment insurance figures for May.
WASHINGTON (NEWS 1130) – NAFTA negotiations have concluded for the long weekend without a deal, but Canada’s minister of foreign affairs believes a good one is still possible.Chrystia Freeland sidestepped most questions about the talks between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, and would only reveal the parties were inching closer towards reaching some kind of deal.“But, as certainly the Canadians here have heard me say before, I’m paid in Canadian dollars,” Freeland told reporters. “My job is to ensure that this agreement works for Canadian workers, Canadian families, and Canadian business. The government of Canada will not sign an agreement unless it’s good for Canada and good for Canadians.”.@cafreeland says the Government of Canada will not sign an agreement if it’s not good for Canada and good for Canadians. “We know that a win-win-win agreement is within reach,” Freeland says. #NAFTA #trade— NEWS 1130 (@NEWS1130) August 31, 2018While she said progress is being made, Freeland admits “we’re not there yet.”“Our objective in these talks is to update and modernize NAFTA in a way that is good for Canadians, good for Americans, and good for Mexicans. We know that a win-win-win agreement is within reach.”She says with good will and flexibility, that goal can be reached.Freeland would not offer any details on talks regarding Chapter 19 or dairy — after U.S. President Donald Trump’s demands to give American dairy producers more access to Canada — only saying that both she and U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer would not negotiate in public, “given the absolute intensity of the negotiations” at this time.When asked how she could negotiate with “a guy like Donald Trump,” Freeland said “My negotiating counter party is Ambassador Lighthizer, and as I said he’s brought good faith and good will to the table.”When asked how she can ‘possibly’ negotiate with a bully like @realDonaldTrump, Foreign Affairs Minister @cafreeland says he’s not at the table with her and she maintains a deal is still possible, but they are not going to talk specifics in public. #NAFTAwatch #cdnpoli— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) August 31, 2018Negotiations on Friday were coloured by Trump’s statements to Bloomberg News that any deal would only be on his terms. However, Freeland stood by the claim that the U.S. has been flexible, and has negotiated in good faith.Trump’s remarks were leaked to the Toronto Star. He confirmed them on Twitter and again at a rally in North Carolina.Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED. Oh well, just more dishonest reporting. I am used to it. At least Canada knows where I stand!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2018According to U.S. officials, Trump has notified Congress that his administration intends to sign a trade agreement in 90 days with Mexico and Canada — if Ottawa decides to join in.The message was sent after NAFTA talks failed to produce a deal before Trump’s Friday deadline.Throughout the day, it became increasingly clear that Canada and the U.S. would be unable to reach an agreement. Dispute settlement, Canada’s cultural exemption and access to Canada’s dairy market remain obstacles to a deal.Lighthizer’s office accused Canada of making no compromises on dairy-market access.Similarly, Canadian officials told The Canadian Press early on Friday, before Freeland addressed the press, that expectations a NAFTA deal is imminent were exaggerated and premature.Negotiators are set to return to the bargaining table next Wednesday.
OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – An online petition is gaining strength in its call to ban the practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ2+ minors.The petition is posted on the House of Commons website and received thousands of signatures in its first couple of weeks.“What we’re campaigning about is protecting minors,” said Devon Hargreaves, an advocate from Alberta who started the petition calling for the ban on the practice that attempts to change the sexual orientation of a young person.He said it’s emotionally, psychologically and, in extreme cases, physically damaging.“It does cause damage, during a time when young individuals are developing and coming to terms with their identity and who they are.”Hargreaves points out he isn’t looking for a complete ban.“If you’re over 18 and you want to subject yourself to conversion therapy — as long as you aren’t doing any harm to anyone else, that’s fine.”Hargreaves says the practice is often done in private, but happens more than people think.Provinces like Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia have already moved to ban it, but Hargreaves says this is an issue that needs federal action. He has been in talks with the prime minister’s adviser on LGBTQ issues, but has not received any commitments yet.The petition will be on the House of Commons website until Jan. 18, 2019.
OTTAWA — A preliminary hearing is set for October in the case of a public servant accused of leaking cabinet secrets about a $700-million naval contract.Matthew Matchett, a suspended Public Service and Procurement Canada official, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of breach of trust in the matter.During a brief hearing Tuesday, three days — Oct. 23 to 25 — were set aside for a preliminary inquiry despite Crown suggestions that waiting seven months could jeopardize Matchett’s right to timely justice.Prosecutor Jeannine Plamondon indicated that a shorter hearing, or one held on non-consecutive days, could have been scheduled sooner — stressing the Crown’s efforts to ensure speedy proceedings.However, Matchett’s lawyer, Matthew Day, seemed satisfied with the timetable, saying he had yet to receive all relevant documents from the Crown in the case.Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, the military’s former second-in-command, is also accused of leaking information about the contract between the federal government and Davie Shipbuilding in Quebec. Norman has denied any wrongdoing and his trial is scheduled to begin in August.The Canadian Press
LITTLE FORT, B.C. — The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says it has seized 13 exotic cats that were found in “horrific conditions” outside of Kamloops, B.C.The SPCA says in a statement that 10 adult serval cats and three kittens were taken from a breeder in Little Fort after it received complaints of sick and injured animals being sold.It says most of the African cats were being kept in RV trailers on the property and were exposed to high levels of ammonia from urine, with litter boxes overflowing with feces.The SPCA says there was no proper ventilation or access to water despite high temperatures, and no natural light because the windows were covered.The animals were removed with the help of a conservation officer and are being cared for at an undisclosed location.Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer, says in a statement that the African cats require extensive space to run and a highly enriched environment to express natural play and hunting behaviours.“They are carnivores and require a very specialized diet to meet their physical needs, including proper bone development,” she says.“The idea of these beautiful wild animals being confined in captivity is disturbing enough, but in this case, the animals were kept indoors in substandard conditions without access to the outdoors or exercise.”Moriarty says the case fits with a trend of substandard breeders who have very attractive websites so buyers are unaware of how distressing the actual living conditions are for the animals.All interactions are online and buyers never visit the property, she says.In addition the 13 exotic cats, the SPCA also seized two dogs and one domestic cat in distress from the same property.Serval cats are not included in the provincial controlled alien species legislation, which means their breeding is not regulated.The investigation is ongoing but the SPCA says it will recommend charges of animal cruelty in the case.The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON – Juul is shutting down broadcast, print and digital advertising and ending lobbying efforts on behalf of the e-cigarette in Washington as safety concerns intensify.The company on Wednesday said its CEO was stepping down and will be replaced by a senior executive from Altria, the maker of Marlboro.Altria took a 35 per cent stake in Juul in December at a cost of $13 billion.Also on Wednesday, Altria and Philip Morris announced that they are calling off merger talks.Juul has long pushed its e-cigarettes as an alternative for adults looking to wean themselves tobacco products. But e-cigarettes have become popular among teenagers, and illnesses potentially liked to the product are on the rise.On Tuesday the governor of Massachusetts declared a public health emergency and ordered a four-month ban on the sale of vaping products in the state, apparently the first action of its kind in the nation. As of Tuesday, 61 cases of potential cases of lung disease related to the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping in Massachusetts had been reported to the state.Three confirmed cases and two probable Massachusetts cases of vaping-associated pulmonary disease have been reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Altria Group Inc. said that K.C. Crosthwaite will become JUUL’s new CEO, replacing Kevin Burns. Crosthwaite served as Altria’s chief growth officer.Altria and Philip Morris said last month that they were in discussions to become a single company, more than a decade after splitting into two as lawsuits mounted.Altria has exclusively sold Marlboro cigarettes and other tobacco brands in the U.S., while Philip Morris has handled international sales.Philip Morris International Inc. CEO Andre Calantzopoulos said Wednesday that the companies will instead focus on launching IQOS in the U.S. IQOS is a heat-not-burn cigarette alternative made by Philip Morris.It was Crosthwaite, who will take over Juul, who headed the development of IQOS.Altria’s stock climbed 3.5% before the market opened, while shares of Philip Morris jumped 7.7 per cent.
Kevin Jonas Sr., has been named Honorary Chairman of Convoy of Hope, a humanitarian relief charity.As co-founder and partner of the Jonas Group, Inc., Jonas is a leading pioneer in bringing together the world of entertainment and new digital technology/media.“Our family have been supporters of Convoy of Hope since they responded to the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010,” shares Jonas. “My goal is to use my experience to build bridges for Convoy of Hope, raise additional support and increase awareness for the work they do around the world.”“Kevin Jonas and his family have been great friends of Convoy of Hope,” says Hal Donaldson, CEO & Co-Founder of Convoy of Hope. “Our team is excited to work with Kevin to help hurting people and feed hungry children around the world.”In addition to founding the Jonas Group, Jonas manages top artists such as the entertainment phenomenon, the Jonas Brothers (Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas), Frankie Jonas, Rosso Sisters, Olivia Somerlyn, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Unlocking the Truth, Mike Tompkins, Daniella Mason, and many others.Jonas’ background in entertainment began at the age of eight as a singer, and he went on to become a world traveling performer and multiplatinum songwriter. He was also a consultant to several record companies before founding his current management company. Jonas lives in Dallas, TX with his wife Denise and family.Convoy of Hope, a faith based organization founded in 1994, has a driving passion to feed the world. With a long history as an early responder in times of natural disasters, Convoy of Hope has been a Four Star Charity as recognized by Charity Navigator for 11 consecutive years. In the last 20 years, Convoy of Hope has served more than 65 million people. For more information, click here.
IfOnly, a marketplace for experiences and gifts that donates a portion of its proceeds to charities, has announced the launch of its 2nd annual campaign with The American Red Cross.Fans can bid-on, buy, or win one-of-a-kind experiences and help The American Red Cross prepare for California’s next big quake.“The yearly auction is a great opportunity for Red Cross and California earthquake Authority (CEA) to join forces in emphasizing the need for earthquake-preparedness throughout California,” CEA CEO Glenn Pomeroy said. “Last year’s Napa earthquake reminds us how important it is to protect your family and your finances before the next damaging earthquake strikes.”The experiences are live from April 7, 2015 through Thursday, April 30, 2015. For the duration of the campaign, fans can bid-on, buy, or win over 50 incredible experiences including: • A sweepstakes to meet Justin Bieber and Nick Jonas at the Ultimate Wango Tango Experience • Performance by Eliminated American Idol Contestants at the iHeartRadio Performance Studio • Meet and Greet with Death Cab for Cutie at the Hollywood Bowl • Private Guitar Lesson with Self-Made Music Man Andy Grammer XYZ • Private Tour of the Capitol Records Building, the Architectural Marvel in Historic Hollywood • Experience Los Angeles floating high above the city in the iconic Goodyear Blimp • A Field Day for a Young Fan and a Signed Baseball with the LA Dodgers • Front Row Tickets for Kevin Hart’s “What Now” Tour • Lunch with Patti Stanger, Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker • Step behind the curtain and meet Lady Antebellum • Meet Vance Joy for a private ukulele lesson as he opens for Taylor Swift • Private Guitar Lesson and Song Writing Session with “American Idol” Winner Kris AllenThere are many more experiences listed with other celebrities and entities such as the Kids Choice Awards, Lady Antebellum, Vance Joy, Capitol Records, the NFL, Train, iHeart Radio, and more. Please visit ifonly.com/red-cross to view all of the experiences.The annual California auction to support the American Red Cross was created in 2012 to promote earthquake preparedness. The auction is managed by Clear Channel Media and Entertainment and is sponsored by the California Earthquake Authority. Bidding via IfOnly ends at 11:59 p.m. Pacific on April 30th.
A native of Michigan, Big Sean is not taking the Flint, Michigan water crisis lightly.Although Big Sean is one of the many celebrities taking note and helping of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, he has decided to take a great step to support the community as they battle inaccessibility to clean water.Big Sean and The Sean Anderson Foundation have teamed with CrowdRise, to ” Help Flint’s Kids”, an online fundraising campaign, which is raising funds to assist the Community Foundation of Greater Flint Michigan’s “Flint Child Health & Development Fund.” Big Sean started the campaign by donating $10,000.There’s also an incentive for donors: specific donation amounts qualify donors for the opportunity to meet Big Sean during his upcoming unannounced US tour.On the campaign page, Big Sean states, “I’m raising money to support the kids of Flint Michigan. Toxic water in Flint has rendered the water undrinkable and put the entire city in a state of emergency. Flint’s children were hit the hardest and some have experienced permanent and potentially devastating health defects from lead poisoning. We know the needs of Flint children exposed to lead, particularly those most vulnerable – children ages 0-6 – are ongoing and long-term. You can be assured that your gift will be used for critical interventions today and well into the future.”Big Sean expresses more of his thoughts on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan on The Sean Anderson website stating, ” I am devastated by the water crisis that has put the entire city of Flint in a state of emergency …it is my hope we can help by raising the money needed to ensure that the children who have been hit the hardest receive the care that they need today and well into the future.”Big Sean started the Sean Anderson Foundation to assist in the education, health, safety and well-being of Detroit Area school aged youth as well disadvantaged youth in other areas across the nation.To donate to Big Sean’s ” Help Flint’s Kid’s fundraiser, visit the campaign at crowdrise.com/bigsean. To learn more about The Sean Anderson Campaign, click here.Copyright ©2016Look to the Stars
GLSEN, the leading education organization creating safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ youth, will honor DC Entertainment with the Visionary Award at the 2017 GLSEN Respect Awards.Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment and President of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will accept the award at the gala on Friday, October 20th at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.DC is a leader in supporting LGBTQ content and characters. With a commitment to showcasing diverse storylines, they broke barriers in mainstream comics with characters like Batwoman as the first lesbian Super Hero as a comic lead and Alysia Yeoh as the first trans character. The comics feature numerous groundbreaking characters like Midnighter, Catwoman, Renee Montoya, and many others. In June 2016, DC along with IDW Publishing, brought together writers and artists to support victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando with “Love is Love.” And DC TV shows feature LGBTQ characters on shows like Supergirl, Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Gotham.“GLSEN is excited to honor DC Entertainment with the Visionary Award for their impact and innovation,” said Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN. “Superheroes hold an incredibly powerful place in our popular culture. Equally powerful is for LGBTQ youth to see themselves in our world, and DC enables just that. DC’s commitment to representing LGBTQ characters in all forms of media is both incredibly important and empowering.”“We are honored to accept the Visionary Award at this year’s GLSEN Respect Awards,” said Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment and President, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “At DC, we are committed to telling stories that reflect and inspire our diverse audience and we look forward to celebrating with the LGBTQ students and activists from across the country.”DC Entertainment will join previously announced 2017 GLSEN Respect Awards Honorees Kerry Washington, Bruce Bozzi, and Zendaya.The GLSEN Respect Awards, introduced in 2004 and held annually in Los Angeles and New York, showcase the work of students, educators, community leaders, and corporations who serve as exemplary role models and have made a significant impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Past Los Angeles honorees include Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake; Julia Roberts and Danny Moder; Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg; Bob Greenblatt; Shonda Rhimes; Matt Bomer & Simon Halls; and Kate Hudson. The GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles will welcome approximately 600 guests, including outstanding youth leaders and educators from around the country, raising more than $1 million in support of GLSEN’s work.GLSEN has led the way on LGBTQ issues in K-12 education since 1990. Through ground-breaking original research, innovative program development, student leadership and educator training, community organizing, and targeted state and federal advocacy, GLSEN has seen the impact of its work with the development of educational resources, direct engagement of youth and educators, and national programs like GLSEN’s Day of Silence, GLSEN’s No Name-Calling Week, and GLSEN’s Ally Week.Tickets for the Respect Awards are available now. For additional information, please visit www.glsen.org/events.
Charlize Theron joined House of Mandela Family Foundation co-founder Kweku Mandela in conversation at an event on February 10 in Los Angeles to mark Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday.Introduced by Chelsea Handler and moderated by Soledad O’Brien, the event was part of the Geffen Playhouse Unscripted Live series.“It’s an incredible honor to take part in this event and to have the chance to reflect on what an inspirational hero Nelson Mandela was,” says Charlize Theron, founder of the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project. “His legacy continues to inspire people from around the world to stand up for what is right, to promote equality and inclusion, and to do so with empathy, compassion, and understanding. His message is as powerful and relevant today as it ever was.”During the event, the pair talked about equal pay issues, #MeToo, and social justice.“2017 was a year of a lot of division and my hope is that 2018 will not only be the year of women, but also be the year of love, where we realize that connection is the solution,” said Mandela. “It’s something my grandfather talked about a lot, the importance of realizing what we have in common with each other rather than what makes us different.”To read a full account of the event, click here.
It’s never easy to see the finish line on The Amazing Race Canada. This season, however, one competitor is attempting to run the race blind.Lowell Taylor, a 34-year-old psychologist from Lethbridge, Alta., is the first legally blind contestant on either the Canadian or American version of The Amazing Race. He and his wife Julie, a 33-year-old speech and language pathologist, are sitting in the seventh spot heading into week four of the show’s fourth season, which airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CTV.Lowell is coping with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that has left him with no peripheral vision, reduced central vision and night blindness. Lowell has had to adjust to decreasing vision all his life. His hero is his grandfather, who lost his sight at age 40 and continued to farm until he was 80. Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Facebook His central vision has narrowed to within a 15 per cent range.“When I look at your eye I don’t see your mouth,” he says. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter
Montreal native Nguyen says the script for the film evolved over time, but many of the elements, including the talking bear came to him on a stopover at the Amsterdam airport. The story of two star-crossed lovers on the run from bad memories is at the heart of Two Lovers and a Bear, a new Arctic-set film from Rebelle director Kim Nguyen. Advertisement Counselling the couple is a talking polar bear, a philosophical addition to a movie that is part romance, part thriller and all icy cold isolation. The bear, played by a real polar bear named Agee and voiced by acting legend Gordon Pinsent, is the most fanciful part of a film that sees Lucy and Roman, played by recent Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany and Dane DeHaan, embark on a physical and metaphysical journey to confront their troubled, violent pasts. Advertisement Facebook “I was reading Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami,” he says. “There are weird gods in the book, kind of like imperfect Greek gods with flaws. It dawned on me that I should have something like an imperfect, flawed deity in the film.” At the same time he noticed the airport’s giant brass teddy bears and voilà, the idea of an advice-giving polar bear was born. Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter
Twitter There were no airs about Thicke, who was always approachable and friendly, especially when you made the Canadian connection. Login/Register With: You never want to hear about anyone dying at 69, and I can’t imagine the heartache his 19-year-old son Carter experienced watching his dad being stricken right before his eyes. There is something so Canadian, however, about Alan Thicke meeting his end on a Burbank, Ca., hockey rink.Thirty years ago, Alan Thicke was one of the biggest stars on network television. The Cosby Show had single-handedly resurrected the sitcom, and since imitation is the sincerest form of television, ABC was anxious to match the success of NBC with a similar, family-oriented comedy. Thicke was cast as family patriarch Jason Seaver on Growing Pains, a series that ran for seven seasons, from 1985 through 1992. The series wasn’t especially memorable or significant but it sure was popular, thanks mainly to Kirk Cameron who played the Seaver’s oldest son. He quickly became a teen sensation. (Future heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio stole some of the glory in the series’ final season.)Thicke was never the Cosby of his own show, but it still made him rich and famous. He even cashed in on a couple of highly-rated follow-up TV-movies. I was working in LA for TV Guide Canada in the mid-’80s and as a young photo editor remember meeting him on the set of Growing Pains. Photographer Gene Trindl was posing Thicke and co-star Joanna Kerns. He was shooting them through a large round wreath Gene had made out of branches cut in his own back yard. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Advertisement
Les Belle-Soeurs by Michel Tremblay (1968)This was the play that marked a changing of the guard in Quebec theatre, and maybe even Quebec society. In the play’s language, and in his choice of subject matter and characters, Tremblay brought the Quiet Revolution to the stage. He approached the subject of class in an honourable way. His characters were working-class people, they were intelligent, and he deeply respected them.READ MORE Tomson Highway’s Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing made Daniel Brooks and Daniel MacIvor’s list of Canadian theatre essentials. (Facebook) Advertisement Fortune and Men’s Eyes by John Herbert (1964) Advertisement Login/Register With: This article is an excerpt from the Canadian edition of The Book of Lists. It was written by Daniel Brooks and Daniel MacIvor, who are two of Canada’s leading actors, playwrights and directors. Their work has been performed by theatre companies across the country. They have collaborated on several productions, including Here Lies Henry (1995), Monster (1998), Cul-de-sac (2002), House (2010) and Who Killed Spalding Gray? (2014).When we were asked to submit a list of essential Canadian plays and playwrights, we were honoured but we also knew we were in trouble. How on earth could we come up with a finite list with so many indispensable, dazzling works to pick from? So we focused on the word essential: plays that had influenced us; had impacted other writers, actors and directors; had brought attention to Canadian theatre from outside Canada; and, in some cases, plays that broke new ground. Also, we only considered plays at least 10 years old (it requires some marinating to become essential). Finally, we wouldn’t include anyone from our immediate circle, just to be fair. It was not easy distilling it down to 14, but the list had to end somewhere or else it’s not a list so much as a book…hey, there’s an idea! Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement An extraordinary play, and subsequent movie, exploring homosexuality and violence in a men’s prison. While serving six months for possession of marijuana, Smitty becomes the sexual subordinate of Rocky, who occupies the top of the prison food chain. The play draws on Herbert’s own experience doing time following his conviction for dressing in drag in 1947 under the “same-sex sexual activity laws” that were only repealed in 1969. Although Herbert’s work is now the most published play in Canada, back in 1967 no one here would touch this modern masterpiece with a 10-foot pole. New York’s Actors Studio didn’t pass up the opportunity, however, and promptly workshopped it with Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight starring as Rocky and Smitty, the same illustrious acting duo who went on to light up the screen in Midnight Cowboy. Herbert lived in Toronto and wrote several more plays, but this one was the game-changer, lifting the lid on a previously unspeakable topic and the harshness of prison life. Twitter
Menzies-Urich played Louisa von Trapp, the third-oldest of the seven von Trapp children, in the film adaptation of the Rodgers and HammREAD MORE Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement LOS ANGELES—Canadian actress Heather Menzies-Urich, who played one of the singing von Trapp children in the hit 1965 film The Sound of Music, has died. She was 68.Her son, actor Ryan Urich, told Variety that his mother died on Christmas Eve in Frankford, Ont. She recently had been diagnosed with brain cancer.“She was an actress, a ballerina and loved living her life to the fullest,” Urich said. Advertisement