The other day I was supposed to go to my advocacy mentors retirement party that started at five. Shortly after three o'clock I received a twitter message from someone at CBC News requesting a meet up in the next hour to discuss Toronto Community Housing's interim CEO Greg Spearn stepping down.
That led to an immediate change in plans. I contacted the peeps organizing the retirement party, sent my regrets, and a GIANT thank you to my mentor, I know that without her support in the past I never would have felt safe enough to voice my opinion about anything. Never mind taking the opportunity to be the lead story on CBC News at six o'clock.
In those few hours I went through many different scenarios in my head as to how they wanted me to answer some key questions. Once the camera crew arrived I ran through a few more scenarios. Then once the live segment started I realized I could zoom right in on one of my key Manifesto points. The interview began focusing on the reporter listing the defaults of several of the previous CEO's at TCH. That many people being disgraced in the same position speaks to the inadequacy of the position not the individual people.
So I led the CBC News at six o'clock Tuesday evening with the following quote""Maybe it shouldn't be just one person at the top handling the whole portfolio ,.. Maybe they should be dividing it up and making it more manageable, because I think (that), would hopefully, prevent some of the catastrophes that have been happening financially."
What did I mean by that?
Well, Toronto Community Housing is the largest social housing provider in Canada and second largest in North America. To put the management responsibility of such a huge diverse portfolio on any one individual is cruel. It's setting them up for failure.
So how about creating a team. Admittedly, the details of my following suggestion are going to sound far fetched at first. But. why not bring in tenants as co-board members. Give the tenants equal representation at the Board of Directors level. There is a built in suspicion between Toronto Community Housing tenants and board members. That would act as an automatic deterrent to allowing the other side to squander money. With equal representation of tenants versus outside interests at the board of directors level there is less likelihood of misspent funds. We certainly couldn't do any worse than what has happened in the past, still happens today and will continue to happen, if appropriate balancing mechanisms are not put in place.
In addition, I do still believe in abolishing the current tenant rep system. I believe we should have some type of tenant system that reports to the board on a quarterly basis from each sector of the city providing basic stats and developments within their specific geographic area. Admittedly, this reporting system would work best if TCH operating unit management staff were part of the equation. They have access to information that the tenants may not.
This would effectively eliminate the need for last ditch efforts to include tenant voices like the Tenant's First Advisory Panel which I still haven't heard a peep from. Have you?
Whether one, or both, of my ideas are even considered remains to be seen. But either way TCH needs to begin working collaboratively with it's tenants. The medieval system at Toronto Community Housing does not work. There has been enough blood letting. I'm tired of seeing the CEO's drained of pallor and of valor. It's time we give them a team It's time we bring the governance structure at Toronto Community Housing into the 21rst century. It's not about whose "First". It's about working together.
Michael Wekerle and El Mocambo Entertainment Inc. are proud to announce the signing of iconic Canadian alt-rockers 54•40 to their new artist and label services arm, El Mocambo Records. The signing includes the release of 54•40’s new single, “Keep on Walking,” and coincides with the band’s induction into the Halls of Fame of both the Independent Music Awards (The Indies) and the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards.
“This is a great first signing for us,” says Andy Curran, the newly appointed General Manager/Head of A&R for El Mocambo Entertainment. “54•40 is a band with a serious pedigree.”
This summer, El Mocambo Records and 54•40 Music Ltd. will release 54•40’s new album, "Keep On Walking", with tour dates to follow. “Wek is a passionate supporter of Canadian music, and we are thrilled to be part of this new venture,” says Neil Osborne, lead singer of 54•40.
El Mocambo Entertainment was founded by Michael Wekerle, owner of the legendary El Mocambo, one of Toronto’s oldest live music establishments. The El Mo is undergoing a major renovation (led by Walters–Storyk Design Group) that will transform the historic venue into a state-of-the-art entertainment, recording, and production facility. It is expected to reopen in the fall of 2017.
SAVE THE DATE: IF I RULED T.O. (IIRTO) Youth Summit 2017
Date: May 6th, 2017 s Venue: City Hall (100 Queen Street West)
If I Ruled T.O. is back this year, and we are excited to continue the tradition of engaging youth to talk about what matters to them! The City of Toronto, Social Development and Finance Division in partnership with Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), Resident and Community Services Division, will hold the conference for 250 youth. In the fifth annual edition of the If I Ruled T.O., youth from across the city will be invited to present their thoughts and opinions regarding matters such as education, civic engagement, violence in community, mental health, and housing.
The day will include a large group plenary, followed by a choice to participate in various themed workshops in the afternoon. Each workshop will be led by a community agency or city division that works closely with the topic of discussion. The agenda this year is structured to allow youth the opportunity to deeply engage in one topic with the focus on generating an interactive experience and solution oriented discussion.
Here are all the details you need:
Date: Saturday, May 6th, 2016
Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Address: 100 Queen Street West (City Hall)
Ages: 16 years to 29 years
Registration Details: please click this EventBrite link to open registration>> https://www.eventbrite.ca/o/city-of-toronto-toronto-community-housing-corp-13153857947
*Please note registration is now open, and will be closed on April 28th, 2016*
We are excited for this year’s event, and very appreciative of your support in sharing this information with your networks. Please stay tuned in the coming weeks for more details.
Today is the last day of Canadian Music Week. If you are looking for a way to wind down from your amplified, high intensity, intoxicating audio/visual experiences may I suggest Fred Penner's CD release party for Hear The Music this afternoon at Lulu Lounge 1585 Dundas St W. Doors open at 2pm.
Hear The Music features a roll call of marquee Canadian talent including Ron Sexsmith, Alex Cuba, Basia Bulat, The Good Lovelies, Terra Lightfoot, Afie Jurvanen (a.k.a Bahamas) plus backup vocals from Fred’s own family, all tethered to the sterling production of long-time collaborator Ken Whiteley.
The messages on Fred Penner's new album are reminders of things we as adults occasionally forget. "I Hear The Music ... I can hear it all around me." "Working Together ... Helping each other grow.." "Humility ... Don't try to be someone that you're not." "Hold Your Head Up ... Be proud of who you are.." "Courage is waiting."
There are many things that I believe should be included in our children's school curriculum like gratitude journals, money management, and ethics. (Imagine how different our world would be!) This album should be added to our schools music curriculum. Hear The Music by Fred Penner et al is an album created in the best interest of the children. No matter how old we are.
In between the M88/Strut social and the New Electric opening for Courage My Love I had some time to kill. Like the Pizzaville ad says "It was a rainy day .... " Still there has been one particular photo that I have been trying to capture any time I am in the vicinity of Nathan Phillips Square. The rain removed a number of obstacles to a clean shot.
You can find many more of my banner photos on my Absolutely FREE Facebook Banner Photos page. Enjoy!
The Command Sisters were front and center for an invitation only acoustic performance as part of an industry social co-sponsored by M88 and Strut Entertainment. Charlotte (on the left) and Sarah (on the right) have understandably garnered some comparison to the other famous Canadian female musical duo sisters Tegan and Sara.
The Command Sisters ooze talent and have a synchronicity that rivals many musicians of any age. They will most certainly "command" your attention. Back To You ... I'm gonna get out of the way and let you check them out for yourself.
The country music showcase on the opening night of Canadian Music Week that was co-hosting by the Boots and Hearts Festival (Is it just me or do other people think they should just call it the Broken Hearts Festival? It;s probably just me. But, I had to share. It was on my mind all night cuz every country singer has their own heart break song.) & KX Country Hot Shots Concert Series was held at the Phoenix Concert Theatre again this year.. Many artist and audience members appeared to be Livin' the Dream Andrew Hyatt had to have been on cloud nine as he was the only one with a fan devoted enough to show up with a hand made sign stating :I'm Here For Andrew Hyatt."
Alee (Gottabealee on all her social media. Very creative.)
Alee was thrilled to officially announce ... drum roll please ... that she would be performing at this summers Boots and Hearts Music Festival. I know music festival are great party experiences but I'm not sure is her taste for Moonshine will be catered to.
Drake White and The Big Fire
I'm glad that I was shooting from the rafters at the Phoenix Concert Theatre last night. I had a birds eye view of all the action in the crowd below. There gets to be a certain time during every concert that demands a solid slow dance Last night the song for that dance was Drake White's Makin' Me Look Good Again.. The couples just wrapped themselves up in each other like no one else was watching. Now that's Livin' the Dream.
JKA Entertainment presents
An Intimate Concert
A Celebration of 50 Years
Toronto - REBEL
Friday June 9 at 7 pm
Tickets on sale Thursday, April 20 at 10:00 am
Pre-sale tickets available Tuesday, April 18 at 10:00 am
All Ages Show
TORONTO, ON - The Jacksons, quite possibly the most recognizable family in music history, are celebrating 50 years at REBEL on Friday June 9, 2017.
The iconic Motown group was recently announced as part of the Glastonbury 2017 lineup where they will be playing alongside headliners; Radiohead, Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran.
With the songs: "I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There", the Jackson 5 made history in 1970 as the first recording act whose first four singles reached No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. They ultimately scored 17 top forty singles on the Hot 100, following with hits such as "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Dancing Machine".
The group can be said to find many of its music inspirations in groups like The Temptations, The Supremes, James Brown, and Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, and came to eventually serve as the inspiration for several generations of boy bands, including Backstreet Boys, New Edition, N*SYNC, New Kids on the Block, and of more recent vintage, the Jonas Brothers, One Direction, and many more.
An Intimate Concert
A Celebration of 50 Years
Toronto - REBEL - Friday June 9 - 7 pm
Tickets start at $75.00 and are available at ticketmaster.ca
Pre-sale tickets are available on Tuesday, April 18 at 10:00 a.m. EST
Tickets will go on sale to the public on Thursday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. EST
TORONTO, ON - Today, the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), in partnership with BuzzAngle Music, launched Canadian independent-only music charts, the CIMA 20 and CIMA 40. The two charts available every Tuesday represent the market success of independent artists in Canada, by ranking their current album packages encompassing music sales, downloads and streams. This week Mario Pelchat's Agnus Dei (MP3 Disques) topped the CIMA 20 and CIMA 40 charts.
BuzzAngle Music's comprehensive consumption analytics these new charts will offer data at a more granular level, in a much more timely manner than the most commonly used measurement of sales and streaming available up until this point
"We believe these weekly charts will serve to graphically illustrate the deep pool of talent we have here in Canada." - Stuart Johnston, President of CIMA.
The complete CIMA 20 and CIMA 40 charts can found here and here respectively.