OTTAWA — Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is calling the forced sterilization of Indigenous women a “gross human-rights violation” that must immediately end.Bellegarde says the scope of the problem must be examined across Canada, and the practice is reprehensible.He also points to a resolution passed by First Nations chiefs this summer at the AFN annual general assembly calling for increased awareness about the issue, efforts to stop it and support for survivors seeking redress.Bellegarde’s comments come as Maurice Law, a Canadian law firm, and Amnesty International Canada look to raise the issue at the United Nations Committee Against Torture this month.In its submission to the UN committee, the firm says it is seeking to advance legal reforms on the “modern-day forced sterilization of Indigenous women in publicly funded and administered hospitals in Canada.”The firm is leading a proposed class action against all health regions across Saskatchewan, the federal and Saskatchewan governments and individual medical professionals.The Canadian Press
TORONTO — The association representing Ontario midwives is “very disappointed” about the province’s decision to cut funding to the birth practitioners’ regulatory college, saying the already underpaid workers will likely see a jump in professional fees to help cover the shortfall.“Midwives really do shoulder a proportionally higher burden of professional fees through our regulatory college to begin with,” Elizabeth Brandeis, president of the Association of Ontario Midwives, said Friday. “So this cut of government support really does put that extra burden on midwives.”Brandeis was reacting to a statement by the College of Midwives of Ontario on its website Thursday that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care would no longer provide it with operational grants.The college said it has received annual grants from the ministry for 25 years and the loss of this funding creates a “significant” budgetary shortfall and will force it to operate with a deficit until at least 2021.In 2017-2018, the college received $799,415 from the Health Ministry — about one-third of its budget — and had requested an operational grant for the coming fiscal year of $750,553.On Nov. 8 the college was informed the grant was being cancelled.Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott was unavailable for an interview Friday to explain why the college’s funding was suddenly terminated.However, Elliott’s press secretary said via email that the Progressive Conservative government under Premier Doug Ford was elected to transform the health-care system “and put it on a sustainable path for the future.“Our government values the contributions of Ontario’s midwives and the care they provide to expectant families, and will continue to listen to patients and the people who plan and work on the front lines of our health-care system,” Hayley Chazen said.Along with cost-cutting measures, the college conceded that midwives will likely have to pay higher professional fees to overcome the funding shortfall. Currently, members pay about $2,200 annually. Any increase will be decided by the college council at its next meeting in March, with the fee due upon registration renewal in October.Despite the setback, the college maintained there will be no impact on women who use midwives for pre-natal, delivery and post-partum care, as midwifery services are mandated by law and cannot be reduced.Midwives work in about 100 communities across the province and deliver about 15 per cent of babies born in Ontario, the association says.But Brandeis said there is already far greater demand for services than the province’s 956 registered midwives can provide. “We know upward of 25 to 40 per cent of people who want to have a midwife can’t currently access a midwife.”Bumping up professional fees will mean an additional financial burden to midwives — a mostly female workforce — who are already considered inadequately paid, Brandeis said. In September, her association won a landmark pay-equity case when the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ruled the government had discriminated against midwives based on gender. The association had argued the gender pay-equity gap for Ontario’s midwives is at least 48 per cent, compared to other primary health-care providers who also provide low-risk pregnancy, delivery and post-birth care to women. The Canadian pay-equity average is 26 to 30 per cent.The Ford government is appealing the decision. “So the combination of inequitable pay and higher professional dues really does create a tremendous stress on midwives,” said Brandeis, who’s also a practising midwife in Toronto.The loss of government funding in Ontario is in stark contrast to a boost for midwifery announced earlier this week by the Alberta government. Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said midwives who complete additional training will be allowed to broaden their scope of practice, including prescribing a wider range of prescription drugs and contraceptives, inducing labour and using ultrasounds to determine fetal position.Alberta has also increased funding for midwifery services by $11 million over the last three years, bringing the total to $49 million.Meaghan Grant, co-owner of Toronto Family Doulas, said she’s concerned that the extra financial burden caused by Ontario’s pullback of funding to the midwives’ college could drive some of her allied birthing practitioners from Ontario to other provinces, such as Alberta.Doulas, who are not regulated by the college, are non-medical birth companions who assist and emotionally support a woman before, during and after childbirth. They do not deliver babies as midwives do. “My concern is there will be an exodus, and we’re already in a situation where prenatal care is extremely difficult for people to get access to; it can be very hard to find an (obstetrician) even, and midwives are turning away clients because there are more people who want midwives than midwives can take,” said Grant.“We are running the risk of losing not only an obstetrical and maternity, labour and delivery need, but also the group that often focuses on the most disadvantaged and the most unsupported people in our society,” she added, referring to refugees, immigrants and low-income Canadians.— Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A man facing child pornography charges over a child-sized sex doll intercepted by the Canada Border Services Agency is testifying in St. John’s provincial court today.The complicated case has been working its way through court for years, raising the issue of what constitutes child pornography if no real child was involved.Kenneth Harrisson, 54, faces charges of possessing child pornography, mailing obscene matter, and two charges under the federal Customs Act of smuggling and possession of prohibited goods.The case also deals with the limits of free expression.Harrison testified today that he did not intend to have sex with the doll and that he had ordered it for companionship to replace his son, who died as an infant.His testimony Friday was interrupted when he abruptly fainted and was taken away by an ambulance, according to local media reports. The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press SMITHERS, B.C. — Three men who died in a small plane crash northeast of Smithers, B.C., on Saturday were part of a crew contracted by the BC Wildfire Service to do aerial imaging.Kevin Skrepnek, B.C.’s chief fire information officer, says in a statement that thoughts and sympathies go to the families and friends of those involved.RCMP Sgt. Darren Durnin says the crash site was located by helicopter search crews in Babine River Corridor Provincial Park and a conscious male passenger was seen outside the plane, but the landscape made it impossible to get him out.Durnin says in a statement that a rescue technician was lowered at another location and walked to the site where it was discovered a pilot and two passengers had died.The survivor was rescued by helicopter using a long line, then transported to medical care and police say he is in stable condition.The statement says the bodies of the three men who didn’t survive have been recovered and both the BC Coroners Service and Transportation Safety Board are investigating.
A Quebecer moves to the Northwest Territories, a family in Newfoundland and Labrador welcomes a new arrival, another in British Columbia mourns a loss, an immigrant settles somewhere in Ontario.Within the span of just a few minutes, an online tool from Statistics Canada offers an evocative snapshot of the country’s ever-shifting population through a series of statistically modelled demographic events.The so-called “population clock” — which went live shortly after Canada Day last year — uses StatCan data to present a real-time visualization of the country’s major demographic trends, including births, deaths, immigration and emigration.Watching it is somewhat akin to playing a real-life, nationwide version of the city-building video game SimCity: coloured bars representing births, deaths and various migrations slowly fill up or deplete, leading to animations on a map showing each occurrence playing out across the country.It’s not quite true to life, of course — the federal government doesn’t claim to be tracking every individual in the country in real-time — but one of the page’s main designers says it’s pretty close.Patrick Charbonneau, a senior analyst with StatCan’s demography division, says the model is based on the agency’s latest population estimates, which are updated every three months.“The counts that are shown in the population clock are strictly for visualization purposes, to give Canadians a sense of how fast the population is changing. It’s more of a learning tool than a decision-making tool,” said Charbonneau.“But those numbers are still obtained through really robust methodology nevertheless.”Charbonneau said the agency launched the clock in an effort to increase “statistical literacy” in the general population — particularly among young Canadians — and to give people a sense of how the population is changing.“I think it’s something that everyone should be able to know — how fast the population is changing … What is the rhythm? What is the pace?” said Charbonneau.He said the clock has proven popular in its first year, becoming one of the most-visited pages on StatCan’s website. He said he’s also heard accounts from teachers who have shown it in their classrooms to introduce students to population studies.Howard Ramos, a professor of sociology at Dalhousie University, said it’s important for Canadians to maintain a life-long interest in the demographic trends that continue to shape the country.“I think that a lot of Canadians would even be surprised by the overall population — we’re now at 37 and a half million people. I think a lot of people’s notion of how big we are or how populated we are is often frozen by what they got in high school social studies,” he said.“It would offer a lot of insight on the importance of immigration in Canada. I think that certainly you see that in the bigger cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. But in the rest of the country, this tool really shows the impact and the importance of immigration to maintaining our population, not to mention growing it.”Ramos urged Canadians to check out the tool for themselves, and if they find it interesting, to “dig into” the vast amount of data available on Statistics Canada’s website.“This is a great way for us to get to know who we are,” he said.“If you live only in Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal, you might not know what it’s like to live in the Yukon, or in Cape Breton, or in the Prairies. And these kinds of tools allow us to begin to see what those places look like, and begin to imagine them.”___Online: http://bit.ly/2XAvnHsAdam Burns, The Canadian Press
Television presenter and animal advocate, Wendy Turner-Webster, today joined the BUAV to hand in a petition addressed to Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Secretary of State.Wendy Turner-Webster Outside Home Office With BUAVCredit/Copyright: BUAVThe petition, signed by over 65,000 people calls for an independent inquiry into disturbing evidence of animal suffering and poor practice uncovered by the BUAV during its investigation at Imperial College London, one of the UK’s leading universities.Wendy Turner-Webster stated: ‘I am pleased to support the BUAV today in its call for an independent inquiry. This petition demonstrates the strength of public feeling. I was shocked when I read about the terrible animal suffering uncovered by the BUAV. It is shameful and unacceptable that such suffering and neglect can take place at one of our top universities.’Others to support the BUAV call today are wildlife expert and television presenter, Chris Packham, and Bill Oddie, naturalist and TV presenter.Chris Packham stated: “I was appalled by the poor standards and animal suffering uncovered by the BUAV at Imperial College London. This investigation shows that life for an animal inside a UK laboratory is very different – and far worse – to that portrayed by the Government. I support the BUAV call for an independent inquiry into the findings and the concerns they have raised.”Bill Oddie said: “When there are better ways, using animals is reprehensible, inflicting cruelty and pain is utterly indefensible. This report is distressing evidence that some of the methods at Imperial College should be totally outlawed. It is unlikely of course that this is the only instance of such practices. Clearly a nationwide (indeed worldwide) investigation is needed, and stricter laws applied and enforced. BUAV have my complete support. As time goes by, experience may change beliefs, or at least amend them.”Wendy Turner-Webster, Bill Oddie and Chris Packham join a number of other celebrities, who recently signed up to an open letter to Lord Taylor of Holbeach, Home Office Minister calling for an independent inquiry – including Joanna Lumley, Morrissey, Chrissie Hynde, Moby, Jenny Seagrove and Twiggy.The BUAV investigation documented a catalogue of shortcomings that caused even more suffering to animals than was allowed in the experiments. Findings included: breaches in and lack of knowledge of UK Home Office project licences; staff incompetence and neglect that resulted in animal suffering and distress; unsupervised researchers – with little experience – anaesthetising and carrying out surgery on animals; a failure to provide adequate anaesthesia and pain relief and the controversial use of a guillotine to carry out live decapitation.BUAV Chief Executive, Michelle Thew states: “We are delighted to have Wendy Turner-Webster join us today. The UK Government and research industry repeatedly claim the UK has some of the highest welfare standards in the world for animals in laboratories, yet the secrecy surrounding animal research means we are unable to judge for ourselves. The BUAV investigation lifts the lid on this secrecy with a chilling insight into the day to day reality for animals in a UK laboratory with staff admissions of their own wrong-doing and incompetence. We urge the Home Office Minister to set up an inquiry, wholly independent of the Home Office and Imperial College, into the concerns we raise.”For further information, click here.
“Katie Challenge for Change” is a weeklong programming event airing the week of November 18-22, 2013, in which the “Katie” show will travel to five cities across the country and challenge communities to create positive changes, both big and small.With the help of Katie Couric’s special correspondent Cameron Hughes, the show partners with local charities in Denver, Detroit, New York, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. with one mission in mind — to inspire, involve and engage communities to help make a difference in their hometowns.The “Katie Challenge For Change” air schedule:• Monday, November 18 – Phoenix, Arizona • Tuesday, November 19 – Denver, Colorado • Wednesday, November 20 – Detroit, Michigan • Thursday, November 21 – Washington, D.C. • Friday, November 22 – New York, New YorkOn Monday, November 18, the show will collaborate with the world’s first food bank based in Phoenix, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, which was recently struck hard by the government shutdown and food stamp cutbacks, to try to obtain 1 million meals to help the community make it through the winter.On Tuesday, November 19 “Katie Challenge For Change” will be in Denver, joining forces with several local troops from The Girl Scouts of America to assist those affected by the devastating floods that hit the region in September. The show and the Girl Scouts partner with Coats for Colorado to help by aiming to collect 5000 winter coats at an Avalanche hockey game and other locations throughout Denver.Next stop is Detroit on Wednesday, November 20 where the show teams up with Alternatives for Girls, encouraging the community to come together to adopt one child’s Christmas list for $30.00 and/or make a donation with a goal to fulfill 200 lists.On Thursday, November 21, “Katie Challenge for Change” makes its second to last stop in Washington, D.C. where the community is urged to enrich the lives of inner city youth by making a donation of art supplies or donate any dollar amount in the attempt to stock the shelves at the Life Pieces To Masterpieces organization for a full year.On Friday, November 22, “Katie Challenge for Change” completes its mission to challenge communities in New York City, where participants are persuaded to make the effort to collect 1,000 turkeys in a community-wide “Turkey Crawl” organized throughout NYC for collaborating organization, The River Fund.“Katie” airs across the country in national syndication. Check your local listings for time and channel or go to www.KatieCouric.com.
In a short video clip, comedian Ellen DeGeneres gives credit to Farm Sanctuary for its public awareness campaigns about animal factory farms, as well as for its farm animal rescue efforts.Video: Ellen DeGeneres shares why she supports Farm Sanctuary“Farm Sanctuary shows the world that animals are not only beautiful and gentle,” says DeGeneres, “but that they’re also individuals with unique personalities and wills to live. On today’s factory farms, the animals are hidden from public view. That’s why Farm Sanctuary’s role in telling their stories is so important and so powerful.”Besides promoting awareness about the cruel treatment of animals on industrialised farms, Farm Sanctuary also advocates for laws and institutional reforms to prevent the greatest abuses. Additionally, they take in animals from factory farms and care for them at three farm sanctuaries in the US.“At Farm Sanctuary, animals who have suffered find love and kindness, often for the first time,” says DeGeneres. “The animals are transformed and so are we.”Copyright ©2014Look to the Stars
Petco will host a National Adoption Weekend at stores nationwide July 5-6, 2014, where animal lovers can find their future best friend and very own potential star.PetcoMany famous four-legged silver screen and social media pet stars were once housed in a shelter; but through pet adoption, these amazing animals found their fairy tale ending in a forever home.Here’s a list of some famous pups and cats that were adopted before the world knew their name:• Benji: The first dog to play Benji was a shelter dog named Higgins who was adopted from the Burbank Animal Shelter. The movie “Benji,” released in 1974, is the first film in a series of nine about the golden mixed breed dog with an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time.• Grumpy Cat: Arguably one of the most famous cats on the Internet, Grumpy Cat, whose real name is actually Tardar Sauce, has over five million Facebook friends and more than 300,000 Instagram followers.• Uggie: Born in 2002, Uggie is a Jack Russell Terrier famous for his roles in “Water for Elephants” and “The Artist.” Before his big screen debut, Uggie was rejected by his first two owners for being “too wild.”• Tuna Melts My Heart: Left abandoned on a San Diego road, Tuna was found by a rescuer, traumatized and afraid. The rescuer brought him to a local farmer’s market and Courtney Dasher adopted him. Now Tuna has almost 800,000 Instagram followers and is an advocate for pet adoption.• Baxter: Before playing Will Ferrell’s dog in “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” Baxter, whose real name was Peanut, was adopted from the Los Angeles Animal Services East Valley Shelter. An animal trainer rescued Peanut after his life of abuse, injury and neglect, and turned him into one of Hollywood’s funniest pet sidekicks.For those ready to welcome their very own pet star into their life, Petco and Unleashed by Petco locations nationwide will be hosting adoption events the weekend of July 5-6, 2014. Pet adoption times may vary, so it’s recommended to contact the nearest location for adoption hours.For more information on adoption events in your area, visit www.petco.com/adoptions.Source:PR Newswire
Last week, non-profit organization Little Kids Rock hosted its sixth annual benefit at Hammerstein Ballroom at The Manhattan Center, which generated approximately $1.5 million in donations to help support students and music teachers in public schools with donated instruments, curricular resources and training.The benefit also honored Joan Jett as “Rocker of the Year” for the impact that her career, influence, and music has had on the charity’s ‘Modern Band’ music program, which helps facilitate the teaching of popular musical styles that kids know and love, like rock, hip hop, country, blues and funk.“For twelve years, Little Kids Rock has supported over 320,000 teachers and students realize the true impact of music – inside and outside the classroom,” said David Wish, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Little Kids Rock. “Thanks to the generosity of our partners and supporters, we’re able to continue to bring this gift to thousands of kids each year, long after the benefit has ended.”To begin, guests enjoyed a performance by Sharkapella, an after school a cappella vocal group made of current and former students ages 13-16. Maureen Van Zandt then formally welcomed the audience to the evening’s festivities. Van Zandt is an honorary board member of Little Kids Rock alongside her husband, Steven Van Zandt, who also served as the producer of this year’s musical production and oversees his own Rock and Roll Forever Foundation.Following her introduction, The Sopranos’ Vincent Pastore and radio host, Rich Russo, took to the stage to serve as hosts for the night, bringing David Wish front and center to honor Guitar Center’s Mike Pratt for his and Guitar Center’s support and partnership with the charity. Guitar Center also served as the title sponsor.Wish went on to speak to the crowd about the charity’s mission and, most importantly, the students and teachers it supports – teachers like John Flora, who joined a number of student performers on stage to captivate the crowd with hits like “Counting Stars.”“Not only do our students receive the gift of music education for free, but they also know they’re welcome in a classroom where everyone speaks the only universal language the world has ever known- music,” said Mr. Flora during his address to the audience.Don Reo, who co-wrote the book Big Man with Clarence Clemons, then came to the stage to present the “Big Man of the Year” award to the late performer’s nephew, Jake Clemons. The students joined him in two entertaining performances, “You’re a Friend of Mine” and “Valentine Song.”Ten-year-old Ashley Nunez, a student from PS 98 Shorac Kappock elementary school in Manhattan who performed an original song featuring Jake Clemons, summed up the night best, saying “Little Kids Rock gave me the chance to learn to play music, and now they are giving me the chance to play a song that we wrote in school in front of all of these people. This has been such an awesome experience, and a night I’ll never forget.”The night then turned its attention to Little Kids Rock “Rocker of the Year” Joan Jett, her legacy and the role she’s played in advancing music education. Members of rock royalty paid homage, including Alice Cooper, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Cheap Trick, Tommy James, Darlene Love, Gary U.S. Bonds, Kathleen Hanna with Ad-Rock, Mike Ness, Jesse Malin, Brody Dalle, Jake Clemons and Little Kids Rock students from local schools. Guests enjoyed a variety of covers and original music, such as:• Cheap Trick, “I Hate Myself For Loving You” • Gary US Bonds and Jake Clemons, “Eye to Eye” • Brody Dalle, “Victim of Circumstance” • Jesse Malin, “Bad Reputation” • Darlene Love, “Little Liar” • Mike Ness, “Love Is Pain” • Tommy James and Joan Jett, “Crimson and Clover” • Kathleen Hannah with Ad-Rock, “Fake Friends” • Billie Joe Armstrong and Joan Jett, “Don’t Abuse Me” • Alice Cooper and Joan Jett, “Be My Lover”The night ended, fittingly, with an epic finale of Joan’s classic “I Love Rock N Roll.”
The Harlem Globetrotters did much more than just talk about #GivingTuesday this week – several players donated their faces to charity by taking part in the Christian humanitarian agency World Vision’s “#GOATee for a Good Cause” campaign.World Vision and Harlem Globetrotter’s Goatee for a Good Cause CampaignOver the past month, five iconic players and the Globetrotters’ CEO, Kurt Schneider, each grew a #GOATee to raise awareness about how goats and other livestock gifts can help break the cycle of poverty in developing countries. As part of Giving Tuesday – a national day devoted to charitable giving – they debuted their stylish stubble on Twitter (@Globies and @WorldVisionUSA) and are encouraging fans to take part in the campaign by gifting a goat in World Vision’s 2015 Gift Catalog to a child in need.Why a #GOATee for a goat? ”Being a part of something bigger than yourself is not easy when you’re 6’8″ and 225 pounds,” says Globetrotter’s star Zeus McClurkin. “By doing something as basic as not shaving for a month, I’m helping World Vision bring awareness to how a healthy goat can provide lifesaving nutrients and a lasting income for a family in need. Fans have noticed my new look, which is exciting because it gives me a chance to explain how they can share big dreams with a child through a simple gift.”Recent scientific studies show livestock aid is successful in giving the extremely poor a large and lasting economic boost out of poverty. That’s just one reason goats are the most popular item every year in World Vision’s Gift Catalog. For a donation of $75 just one goat can: • Nourish a hungry family with up to 16 cups of milk a day • Provide a source of income for families to sell surplus milk, cheese and yogurt which can be used to buy needed medical or school supplies • Supply valuable fertilizer to help crops and vegetable gardens thrive • Produce up two offspring a year, which can be shared with neighbors to lift an entire community out of povertyGoats are just one way to give back this holiday season. World Vision’s Gift Catalog features over 100 other life-saving gifts that can be donated in a loved one’s name this holiday season. Shoppers can also choose to send a personalized card describing the gift and its impact. You don’t have to spend a fortune to bring about tremendous social change. Gifts in the catalog range from $16 (the price of an average t-shirt) to $39,000. In fiscal year 2015 alone, more than 122,000 donors gave more than 297,000 items from the Gift Catalog helping more than 650,000 people around the world.To find out more about World Vision’s Gift Catalog, visit www.worldvisiongifts.org or call 1-855-WV-GIFTS.
World-renowned singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Ricky Martin calls for increased focus on safeguarding the futures of millions of children affected by the Syria conflict, whose lives have been shaped by displacement, violence and a persistent lack of opportunities.Ricky Martin plays football with Syrian refugee children at Al-Hissa informal refugee settlement in northern LebanonCredit/Copyright: UNICEF/UN020856/ChoufanyAround 1.1 million Syrians have sought refuge in Lebanon since the start of the crisis in 2011, more than half of them are children. Child refugees are particularly at risk of exploitation and abuse, with large numbers being left with no choice but to go out to work, rather than attend school.“We are in the sixth year of a crisis that has impacted the lives of millions of children and their families. An estimated 2.8 million children are now out of school in the region. I met children who have been forced to become breadwinners for their families, working up to 12 hours a day,” said Martin. “The world must do more to make sure these children are protected from exploitation and given access to safe environments where they can learn and be empowered.”Martin was most impacted by the story of Batoul, an 11 year old girl from Homs, who has to work in exchange for water and shelter. Batoul with her two older sisters and mother are the only bread winners in their family of 13. “I don’t get paid any money. I work very long hours harvesting broad beans, cherries, potatoes – whatever is in season”The deteriorating economic situation for Syrian refugees has dramatically exacerbated the problem of child labour in Lebanon. Adding to the psychological distress already affecting many of the children who have fled conflict and violence at home is the challenge associated with some of the worst forms child labour such as working on construction sites, which can cause long-term developmental and psychological damage as well as physical harm.UNICEF, together with its partners, is trying to address the direct causes of child labour by combating poverty, providing free education and economic opportunities for parents and youth of working age, and identifying children working in the worst forms of child labour and giving them access to other opportunities such as learning.During the two-day visit, Martin also witnessed how UNICEF is working to provide protective environments for children and adolescents where they can play and receive the support they need to get back into formal education. In Lebanon’s Bekaa valley and Akkar, Martin participated in recreational activities for children at safe spaces in informal settlements. Additionally, he met adolescents attending life-skills training, provided by UNICEF and partners, where girls and boys are given vocational training and learning support.UNICEF is working closely with the Government institutions, as well as local and international partners, to meet the needs of over 800,000 vulnerable children who have sought refuge in the country with a focus on health and nutrition; education; child protection; water, sanitation and hygiene; and support services that specifically target adolescents.“I am inspired by the courage of these children. They are gaining the knowledge and skills they need to contribute to their families, communities and societies when they reach adulthood. Investing in their present is an investment in the future of the region,” said Martin.In his role as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2003, Martin has been a passionate defender of children’s rights with a focus on advocating for the protection of children against exploitation, abuse and trafficking. Additionally, UNICEF and the Ricky Martin Foundation have collaborated to end atrocities against children such as child trafficking and child labour.
The New York City Mission Society held its annual Champions for Children fundraising Gala at the Mandarin Oriental in Manhattan on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, raising approximately $520,000.This year’s event honored real estate mogul, investor and philanthropist Don Peebles and legendary actress and singer Diahann Carroll, as well as recognizing two lifetime members of the Mission Society’s Board of Directors: Dina Merrill Hartley and Lloyd W. Brown II. Co-chaired by Katrina Peebles and Jean Shafiroff, the benefit supported the Mission Society’s programs and services that help youth and families in our city’s most underserved communities break the cycle of poverty and achieve success. Notable attendees included television personality Gayle King, actress Cicely Tyson, former Mayor of New York City David Dinkins and theater producer Arny Granata.The evening started with cocktails, followed by a program with dinner, music, and dancing. The Gala was emceed by WABC News Anchor Bill Ritter, a longtime supporter of the Mission Society. Performers included Kathy Sledge, the legendary voice of Sister Sledge; acclaimed singer Alex Donner and his Orchestra, and students enrolled in the Mission Society’s free afterschool music education program, GRIOT. Event Co-Chairs Katrina Peebles and Jean Shafiroff welcomed the attendees and highlighted some of the accomplishments The Mission Society has achieved in the past year. Mrs. Peebles congratulated the audience on a record breaking dinner as the attendance was nearly 50% larger than last year and the event sold out. The evening resumed with Donahue Peebles III called to the stage. He gave a passionate and warm introduction of his father, before presenting Don Peebles with his award.Don Peebles gave a warm and inspiring speech, asking the audience to imagine if it were their kids in the position of so many NYC children who live in poverty and are served by the Mission Society and challenged them to give and continue to support its important efforts. He mentioned the three best days of his life, September 12, 1994 the day he married Katrina Peebles “the love of my life, my best friend and partner in life”; November 11, 2002 the day his daughter Chloe Alexandra Peebles was born and “today April 5th – not only because I am receiving this award but it’s the day Donahue was born in 1994!” He then went on to wish his son a happy 23rd birthday. His speech perpetuated the thought of him entering the NYC Mayoral race.Diahann Carroll gave warm and thoughtful remarks remembering her time in NYC at the Mission School, her parents and her life in NYC. She remarked on the impressive diversity in the five star hotel ballroom and how she never sees this in LA. She was warmly embraced by the audience.In addition to Gala Co-Chairs Katrina Peebles and Jean Shafiroff, this year’s Gala Committee included: Tommie Pegues (Gala Vice Chair), Peggy and John Bader, and Leah and Stanley Rumbough. Benefit Committee Members are: Alston & Bird, LLP, American Securities Foundation, Flo Anthony, Elaine Bernanke Appelle, Kim Bingham, Sophia Bishop, Jerry Bonura, Geoffrey Bradfield, Henry Buhl, Victor de Souza, Lee Fryd, Penny Grant, Jo’Vion (J.D.) Greer, Shannon Hales, Michelle Herbert, Missy Kilroy & Jay Moorhead, Barbara and Francis Kairson, Jr., Margo Langenberg, Brian Monroe, Riki Kane Larimer, Dustin Lujan, Lauren & James Peterson, Kim Renk & Greg Dyer, Natalie S. Ross, Helen Shelton, and Brooke and Derek Steinhiser.
Ahead of World AIDS Day 2017, (RED) – the AIDS organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver – announces it has delivered a total of $500 million to The Global Fund, to fund HIV/AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa.Since (RED)’s founding in 2006, the money raised through special events and campaigns led by more than 100 private sector partners, supporters and creative collaborators has benefited the lives of 110 million people through treatment, prevention, testing, counseling and care services.Bono, co-founder, (RED), said; “Half a billion dollars to prevent and treat AIDS – now that’s a reason to punch the sky. When Bobby Shriver and I started (RED) just over a decade ago we had big goals, but even our big heads couldn’t have dreamed up a number like that. This achievement belongs to the (RED) companies and consumers who have supported (RED) and raised a load of money and a load of awareness about AIDS – which is more the point because our experience is if there isn’t heat and excitement around an issue, big government budgets get cut and people die.”(RED) is fortunate to have had the transformational support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has generously provided matching funds for key campaigns to multiply the impact of individual and corporate donations. For the third year in a row, the Gates Foundation will be matching every dollar raised for (RED)’s SHOPATHON, up to $15 million.U2, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon & TAEYEON among stars offering winnable experiences on OmazeBringing further heat to the AIDS fight, (RED) is once again teaming-up with fundraising platform Omaze, to offer fans chances to win extraordinary experiences with their favorite stars, for as little as a $10 donation. Winnable (SHOPATHON)RED experiences on Omaze.com/RED include: • Swing into action and play mini golf with U2’s Bono, The Edge, Adam and Larry • Get you’re a** kicked by Charlize Theron at a workout session • Hit the red carpet with Reese Witherspoon at the premiere of ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ • Head to Seoul with K-Pop sensation, TAEYEON, for the ultimate music, food & fun experienceBuy gifts that keep giving with more than 150 spectacular (RED) products on amazon.com/RED(RED) and Amazon have teamed-up for special holiday shopping offering brilliant (RED) products that raise money for the Global Fund to fight AIDS. Shoppers can choose from more than 150 (RED) products including fashion, cosmetics, kitchen goods, tech and more at Amazon.com/RED or via the Amazon App.Sharing smart ways to shop and give back, stars including Neil Patrick Harris, Tyra Banks, DJ Khaled, Ricardo Kaka, Allison Williams, Javier Muñoz, Jay Ellis, and Yvonne Orji highlight their favorite (RED) products to give – and get – on amazon.com/RED.As the Official Payment Provider of (SHOPATHON)RED, long-standing (RED) partner Bank of America is making every dollar spent go even further. For every dollar spent on Amazon.com/RED from November 20 until December 31, Bank of America will donate 30 cents – the daily cost of life-saving HIV/AIDS medication in sub-Saharan Africa – up to $1.5 million.
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment CBC, Muse Entertainment and Back Alley Film Productions today announced that Academy® and Golden Globe® award-winning actress Anna Paquin (True Blood, Roots, Margaret, Alias Grace) will star in BELLEVUE, a new 8 x one-hour drama series premiering on CBC in winter 2017. Actors Allen Leech (Downton Abbey, The Imitation Game, Rome) and Shawn Doyle (House of Cards, Big Love, Fargo) will star alongside Paquin in the series. Created by exciting new voice Jane Maggs and veteran producer/director Adrienne Mitchell, BELLEVUE is commissioned by CBC and produced by Muse Entertainment (The Kennedys, Tut) and Back Alley Film Productions (Durham County, Bomb Girls). Filming begins September 19 in and around Montreal.Thrilling and eerie, BELLEVUE is a mystery set in a small blue-collar town with a lot of ‘good people’ who ‘live right’ and take it upon themselves to make sure the neighbours do too. Driving the series is Detective Annie Ryder (Paquin), a cop whose intense and brazen personality has always been at odds with her hometown. When a transgender teen goes missing, Annie dives in to unravel the disappearance that suggests foul play, despite finding herself in a difficult position as she must cast suspicion on people she has known all her life. As the case pulls her further away from her family, she is also confronted by a mysterious person from her past with disturbing answers and a terrifying need to get inside her head. Leech will star as Annie’s on again, off again ex, Eddie, while Doyle will take on the role of Annie’s superior, Police Chief Peter Welland.“Bellevue is a bold addition to CBC’s drama slate,” said Sally Catto, general manager, programming, CBC Television. “This series is a prime example of the distinct, premium storytelling we strive to deliver our audiences, anchored by extraordinary talent both behind and on the screen.” Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Award-winning actress Anna Paquin is best known for her seven-season starring role as Sookie Stackhouse in the hit series True Blood. Born in Canada and raised in New Zealand, Paquin began acting at the age of 11 with her breakout role in The Piano, which earned her an Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress, making her the second youngest winner in Oscar history. She has since had a successful career, boasting high profile roles in the X-Men film franchise, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, The Squid and The Whale;25th Hour; Finding Forester; Almost Famous; Amistad; Buffalo Soldiers; A Walk on the Moon; Fly Away Home; Jane Eyre; The Romantics; Margaret; Straight A’s; and HISTORY’s remake of Roots. Paquin also stars in the upcoming CBC and Netflix mini-series Alias Grace. Paquin is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners, WME and Sloane Offer Weber and Dern.Allen Leech is an Irish stage, television and film actor best known for his role as chauffeur-turned-son-in-law Tom Branson on the Golden Globe and Emmy-winning historical drama Downton Abbey. Leech is a three-time SAG award winner and has appeared in television series The Tudors and Rome. He also starred in The Imitation Game opposite Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, which was nominated for 5 Golden Globes and 8 Academy Awards. Leech can next be seen in Jonathan Mostow’s The Hunter’s Prayer with Sam Worthington.Canadian actor Shawn Doyle was born and raised in Wabush, Newfoundland. He has won two ACTRA awards for his performance in The Eleventh Hour and The Disappeared; a Gemini award for Eight Days to Live; and a Canadian Screen Award forJohn A: Birth of a Country. Other TV credits include the series Lost, CSI, Hannibal, Lie to Me, End Game, Republic of Doyle, Rookie Blue, 24, Desperate Housewives, Reign and Big Love. Doyle can currently be seen in the CBC drama series This Life; the Syfy series The Expanse; and the upcoming Netflix series Frontier.“Anna Paquin is the perfect actress to bring this brilliant and complex detective to life,” says Executive Producer Michael Prupas, president of Muse Entertainment. “Anna, Allen Leech and Shawn Doyle are internationally recognized actors whose strong talents will draw audiences from across the globe into the rich world of Bellevue.”“We are so excited by Anna’s passion and enthusiasm for the series and know that she’ll bring her signature artistry to this deliciously fraught and driven character,” said Executive Producers Janis Lundman and Adrienne Mitchell of Back Alley Film Productions.Commissioned by CBC, Bellevue is produced by Muse Entertainment Enterprises and Back Alley Film Productions Ltd. The series was created by Jane Maggs and Adrienne Mitchell, with Maggs serving as senior writer, executive producer and co-showrunner with Mitchell, who is pilot director and executive producer. Executive producers are Janis Lundman, Michael Prupas, Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope, Rookie Blue) and Jesse Prupas. Muse Distribution International is handling the series’ international distribution.About CBC/Radio-CanadaCBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective. About Muse Entertainment Enterprises Muse Entertainment is a leading film and television production company and international distributor known for its well-crafted and high-quality productions. Since its founding in 1998, Muse Entertainment has won over 100 awards and garnered over 300 international award nominations. Currently, Muse is producing The Kennedys: After Camelot, the 4-hour follow up to the award winning miniseries The Kennedys; the 2nd season of The Art of More series for Sony Pictures for whom it also produced two seasons of the sci-fi series Helix; as well as the France/Canada coproduced, animated, children’s series Helen’s Place. Muse is also producing multiple mystery movies for Hallmark’s Movies and Mysteries Channel as well as the documentary series Collision Course for Reelz Channel. Muse recently produced the 6-hour event television series Tut for Spike Channel, about the life of the famous pharaoh Tutankhamen. The company’s recent productions include four seasons of the supernatural seriesBeing Human, the dramedy series Signed, Sealed, Delivered, the wartime dramatic series Bomb Girls, the dramatic series Pillars of the Earth, Ben Hur, Durham County, and several TV movies for Disney and Hallmark channels. Muse Entertainment maintains production and development operations in Montreal, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver. For more information, please visit www.muse.ca About Back Alley Film Productions Back Alley Film Productions Ltd, founded by Janis Lundman and Adrienne Mitchell, has been producing entertaining and provocative film and television in Canada for over 20 years. The company’s most recent project was WWII drama Bomb Girls starring Meg Tilly, which won Outstanding Drama at the 2013 Gracie Awards and 9 Canadian Screen Awards over the series’ run. Back Alley’s other series include the critically acclaimed crime series Durham County, billed by the New York Times as “entirely addictive,” and recently named “Top Canadian Series of All Time,” by TV-Eh. Mitchell and Lundman are recipients of the Production Award for Excellence from Women in Film & Television. Back Alley has offices in Toronto and Montreal. For more information visit www.backalleyfilms.ca Twitter
Vancouver filmmaker Jeff Cassidy’s life is unfolding like a feel good movie.You know the kind of film where the protagonist works hard, his friends are supportive and in the end he gets the big break.Cassidy, 34, moved from Ottawa to Vancouver at age 19 and studied film. He volunteered (they call it interning these days) on various movie sets. Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “I’ve worked in film in the camera department since I was 20,” said Cassidy. “I joined that particular department so I could stand next to the directors/actors/cameramen and learn every aspect of filmmaking so when I one day decided to direct I would be an expert in all things!”Cassidy’s plan has paid off as he just signed on with William Morris a.k.a. WME, one of Hollywood’s top talent agencies.Cassidy got in the door at WME on the strength of a very good cinematic calling card. Twitter Advertisement
Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement The talk was all #OscarsSoWhite at the beginning of the year, a critical and passionate response to the second round of pure vanilla nominees at the Academy Awards. The controversy opened up a necessary conversation about diversity in media and gave Nate Parker’s The Birth Of A Nation the steam it needed to rise to the top at the Sundance Film Festival in January.The standing ovations, celebratory ink, record-breaking distribution deal and Oscar predictions over Parker’s incendiary account of Nat Turner’s slave rebellion were doubtless a reaction to the moment. The movie itself doesn’t have the artistry or insight to deserve more than a passing notice, but its hot take on race relations at a time when #BlackLivesMatter and #OscarsSoWhite were trending made it seem like the movie of the year, despite the fact that it premiered opposite Manchester By The Sea and Certain Women.That talk changed in August. Parker’s history re-emerged in the media, and a broader public was made aware that he and his BOTN collaborator Jean Celestin had been charged with rape. Parker was acquitted, Celestin convicted, despite the fact that the college roommates allegedly acted together. Celestin’s conviction was overturned on appeal, because the prosecution could not re-gather the witnesses. The victim, years later, committed suicide. The conversation suddenly shifted from race to rape, and Parker’s film was torn down just as easily as it was propped up. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter
On Tuesday night, The Weeknd (a.k.a. Abel Tesfaye) headlined an intimate show at Toronto’s Rebel nightclub to launch his newest project, HXOUSE. He headlined a with a 14-song set featuring a handful of special guests, including Bryson Tiller, NAV and the Neighbourhood.Towards the end of the night, Tesfaye hinted that his fourth album is coming. “I want you guys to be the first to know that I’m working on my new album right now,” he admitted to the crowd. (The Open HXOUSE concert was live-streamed on Twitter.)The I Feel it Coming singer revealed the possible title for the album during a brief intermission. “Chapter VI coming soon. Let’s get it,” he said before breaking out into another song. The applause was fierce. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitter Advertisement
Demi Lovato (Shutterstock, Courtesy of NBC) Advertisement Facebook DEMI LOVATO ANNOUNCES RETURN TO ACTING IN NEW ‘WILL & GRACE’ ROLEShe’s back. Demi Lovato announced her return to acting in a mysterious role for the new season of Will & Grace.The “Sorry Not Sorry” singer, 27, took to her Instagram on Tuesday, August 27, to reveal that she will star on season 11 of the Emmy-winning sitcom. NBC confirmed to Us Weekly that the former Disney Channel star will play Jenny, a guarded woman who comes into the life of Will (Eric McCormack) in an unexpected way. Lovato will appear in three episodes sometime in 2020, when the next season airs. READ MORE WILL & GRACE CASTS DEMI LOVATO IN MYSTERIOUS ROLE OPPOSITE ERIC MCCORMACKLook who’s coming to play with TV’s favorite platonic couple?EW has learned that Demi Lovato has been cast as a guest star in the upcoming season of NBC’s Will & Grace. The singer-actress will play the role of Jenny, a guarded gal who comes into the life of Will (Eric McCormack) in an unexpected way.Lovato will appear in three episodes sometime in 2020, when the third season is expected to air as part of NBC’s midseason lineup. READ MORE LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement DEMI LOVATO JOINS WILL & GRACE’S FINAL SEASON: WHAT’S HER CONNECTION TO WILL?Will & Grace‘s newest addition comes with a side of mystery. Demi Lovato will appear in three episodes of the NBC revival’s final season, EW reports, though the details surrounding her character are a bit foggy.All we know about Lovato’s “guarded” character Jenny is that she enters Will’s life in an “unexpected way.” READ MORE Advertisement
APTN National NewsThe Yukon’s largest First Nation and the territorial government have started working together on child welfare.The Kwanlin Dun First Nation has had a rocky history with Yukon’s child services, but a new agreement is helping to ease the tense relationship.APTN National News reporter Shirley McLean has this story.