photo credit: Rob Loud
TORONTO, ON - On February 6, acclaimed multi-JUNO Award-winning rock band Arkells, joined MusiCounts to celebrate the 2018 MusiCounts Passion Prize recipient, Calgary Arts Academy. The band surprised students by joining them for a special collaborative performance of their winning entry, a cover of Arkells’ hit “People’s Champ”. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi then helped Arkells present the school with a $5,000 MusiCounts Band Aid Program instrument grant.
“MusiCounts was impressed with the passion, skill and student engagement Calgary Arts Academy demonstrated with their cover of ‘People’s Champ’,” said MusiCounts Executive Director, Kristy Fletcher. “It was inspiring to see the performance come to life with Arkells today. Thank you to Arkells and Mayor Nenshi for joining MusiCounts in presenting the school with new instruments that will benefit generations of students.”
Currently on their nationwide Rally Cry tour, Arkells treated the auditorium to an acoustic performance of their #1 smash “Knocking At The Door”, followed by a Q&A with the excited students before unveiling the new instruments for their program.
"Thank you to the students from Calgary Arts Academy for that amazing performance of "People's Champ" - it blew us away!" said Arkells frontman, Max Kerman. "We were thrilled to join MusiCounts to celebrate the importance of music education, and present the school with new instruments that will inspire students to continue to create."
Watch Calgary Arts Academy cover of “Peoples Champ” here.
Canadian rapper Duane (D.O.) Gibson, an Ontario based motivational speaker and certified artist will be celebrating Black History Month by embarking on the Stay Driven, Black Canadian 36-date school tour. Each show is a one-hour assembly that combines speaking with live performances to engage the audience while delivering a solid message.
Stay Driven, the Black Canadian presentation specializes in Black Canadian History. D.O. talks about Viola Desmond who stood up for her rights by sitting down at a segregated movie theatre in Nova Scotia. Desmonds’ likeness is now featured on the Canadian ten-dollar bill. He talks about freedom fighter Josiah Henson, a slave that travelled the Underground Railroad for freedom in Canada, became a land owner, and helped other free and empower other blacks. The presentation is interactive, and he gets the students rapping along to a negro spiritual. Finally, he calls upon volunteers to play a game of “name that tune” to highlight black music contributors.
Doubling as a successful record label executive and a socially active community ambassador, D.O. Gibson sees no limitations when chasing his goals and is bound only by the hours in a day.
D.O. Gibson will be doing a show in connection with the School Tour at the Rivoli the afternoon of February 16th, 2019. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
Photo Credit: Yann Orhan
Nakhane has unveiled his transcendent new song ‘New Brighton’, which features guest vocals from ANOHNI. ‘New Brighton’ see’s Nakhane and ANOHNI distinctive and powerful vocals combine for a truly vibrant and celebratory track, that perfectly showcases Nakhane’s impeccable songwriting.
‘New Brighton’ is taken from You Will Not Die: Deluxe Edition, an extended version of his acclaimed 2018 album You Will Not Die First released in March 2018, You Will Not Die was written as Nakhane embarked on a new life. Having renounced his conservative Christian upbringing in South Africa, Nakhane embraced his sexuality, writing openly and honestly about the pain, as well as the joy, of being black and openly queer. An outspoken LGBTQ trailblazer, Nakhane’s intelligence and charm saw him profiled by the likes of GQ, i-D, Guardian and Observer, as well as being chosen as one 2018’s Dazed 100
You Will Not Die: Deluxe Edition is set to be released on February 22nd via BMG and available to pre-order now.
Roxodus Music Fest announced that punk pioneer and global superstar Billy Idol, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Blondie, have been added to the star-studded festival lineup. Both Idol and Blondie will hit the stage alongside Kid Rock, Nickelback, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alice Cooper, Peter Frampton, and Cheap Trick during the three-day concert series running July 11-13, 2019.
Click here for more Roxodus Music Fest information.
The level of your discomfort during the play An Unsafe Space will depend greatly on which fence or fences you're sitting on. Be prepared to be at least somewhat uncomfortable for at least part of this play ... If you dare to attend at all that is.
An Unsafe Space reminds us that mechanisms of political correctness are not necessarily as corrective as they appear to be. Some are designed to make the offending party feel less guilty about their existence, than they are about actually correcting anything politically.
Now who'd have thunk that the practice of Land Acknowledgements wouldn't be a home run. Well, me, the first time I heard about the practice happening in our public schools. Partly because my grandson is Indigenous on his father's side.
Considering his "In" status does that not exempt him from standing there as the other students espouse a mantra that basically has their eyes glazing over like the Lord's Prayer once did mine?
I fully agree with the plays sentiment that Land Acknowledgements at public gatherings don't do anything. If you truly want to make up for theft you start by returning the object that you stole. You don't apologize for taking it ... (*cough* … Justin) … Then decide to build a oil pipeline through it. (*cough" ... *cough* … Trudeau)
At the very least you could start by making sure that Canada's Indigenous people's have drinkable water. Now there's a pipeline for ya!
Otherwise, An Unsafe Space deals with a myriad of those politically correct issues that you don't talk about in polite society. An Unsafe Space doesn't tell you how to think. It doesn't tell you what to think. It simply reminds you to think.
The World Premier of An Unsafe Space will be on stage at the Tranzac Club until January 20th, 2019. Click here for more information and tickets.
Are you ready for the hottest singles party to kick off the New Year? Toronto's "Elite Divorce Party" - www.carmeliaray.com/elite-divorce-party - kicks off 2019 with new “relationship goals” at the Thompson Hotel Lobby Bar, 550 Wellington Street West on Friday, January 18, 2019 from 7:00pm to 12:00am.
TV & Radio Personality Rob Pagetto, Celebrity Matchmaker and Online Dating Expert, Carmelia Ray and Corporate Event Planner Amber Walker, team up to throw the hottest singles party in the New Year! This action packed event will celebrate and inspire divorced singles to step into dating with a positive attitude plus build community. This event celebrates and educates divorcees plus the singles who are now dating during or after divorce.
General Early-Bird admission is $50.00, which includes a free drink & appetizers. Early Bird VIP Tickets are $125.00 for free drink & appetizers, and a chance to win the "Matchmaking Grand Prize" valued over $5,000.00 in gifts and services from the generous sponsors! The winner will be announced at 11:00pm. Tickets can be purchased at www.carmeliaray.com/elite-divorce-party/ and for more information call: 1-855-321-LOVE (5683).
TORONTO, ON – Following a nearly five-year break from touring, Rush returned to the stage in 2002 to support the trio’s seventeenth studio album, Vapor Trails. During the tour, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart played to some of the biggest crowds of the band’s career, including 40,000 people at the tour’s final stop in Rio de Janeiro. That concert was released in 2003 as RUSH IN RIO, which was certified gold in the U.S. and Canada.
That live album was originally released on CD and DVD but has never appeared on vinyl – until now. RUSH IN RIO will be available on January 18 via Anthem/ole label group as four 180-gram LPs. The set is presented in a heavyweight gatefold jacket and comes with a code that allows the music to be downloaded digitally.
Back on August 27th, 2018 I sent an email to a member of the management team at Toronto Community Housing jokingly suggesting that they "hire me as a media consultant". I would be thrilled to help them formulate a method of highlighting TCHC tenants and events with media releases, as well as, social media posts that distribute positive messaging about life in their hoods.
Little did I know how profitable that could be. Not until they hired their Change Management Consultant for 1.3 million dollars. Admittedly, the Change Management Consultant would be a temporary position ending when the desired change had taken place. A media consultant, on the other hand, would be a long term position as the Toronto Housing Corporation seems to be in need of someone to run triage on the negative publicity on top of formulating some independent in-house content.
Recently, Toronto Community Housing added me to their approved vendors list as a photographer. Theoretically, that's one foot in the door. Unfortunately, I can already feel the squeeze as they lean on that door. There is the desire of some staff to bring me in to the communications department. Not exactly a consultant but definitely up my alley. The naysayers in the organization would ease up on that door if I signed a Non Disclosure Agreement.
Signing on that dotted line is not something I can or will do. But, it does make me wonder if all employees at Toronto Community Housing have had to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement. What about all the peeps on their approved vendors list? Most importantly what about that Change Management Consultant - the 1.3 Million Dollar Man?
Never mind the fact that I believe that Toronto Community Housing is being very hypocritical in hiring him to begin with. Ever since Kathy Milsom was christened the new CEO at TCHC we have heard the phrase ad nauseum "tenant-centric". It's hopeful in theory. Yet misleading in practice.
There are some highly motivated TCHC tenant advocates that have been participating in a number of tenant-centric related events dealing with engagement that I am hoping leads to something closer to tenant empowerment. Tenants have been actively involved in defining what a volunteer is within TCHC and making some thoughtful recommendations when it comes to the Tenant Engagement System Refresh.
These discussions have involved defining the roles of Tenant Volunteers (Tenant Rep Tenant Leader, Key Holder, Community Garden Coordinator … ) - Mind you they stayed relatively clear of any definition of a tenant advocate that would have any teeth.
The dialogue also involved the types of training that tenants felt was necessary to fulfill their duties. Everything from community organization, to marketing, to public speaking, to conflict resolution, to grant writing. - I requested that training sessions be treated as combined staff/tenant learning opportunities. I can't see anything but positives resulting from such an approach.
The final issue was volunteer recognition. Whether that recognition should take the shape of plaques/awards, appreciation dinners, or honorariums among other items. There seemed to be a great deal of hesitancy when it came to honorariums. Staff wouldn't even commit to advocating for positive monetary reinforcement for tenants.
Meanwhile, someone at TCHC signed on the dotted line for an outside change management consultant to the tune of 1.3 million dollars? Shame on Kathy Milsom. Shame on TCHC.
Maybe the next round of consultations could be about defining "tenant-centric". Cuz TCHC doesn't have a red hot clue.
Yesterday Matt Dusk sang a few Christmas tunes over lunchtime to an appreciative audience at the First Canadian Place in downtown Toronto. When I sent the event link to my mom with a youtube link she immediately said yes. But, she questioned whether or not I would get anything out of the experience myself. .
Well, this was, once again, a time where Mom and I could combine two of my favourite things (food and music). Then, there was the caramel apple pie crisp at Denny' after I wolfed down my brunch omelette before I even thought to take a picture of it. LOL Not to mention that I actually do like Matt Dusk and his crooner vocal styles. (I can appreciate good music no matter what genre.)