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Showing posts from 2021

Two Caribbean Canadian authors got the Zoom calls of their lives.

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$410,000 later Brand and Lubrin are still gobsmacked (and then some) AfroToronto.com  What do you say when you find out you have just on $205,000? For two Caribbean Canadian authors, Canisia Lubrin and Dionne Brand, when they learned via Zoom that each of them had just won one of eight Windham-Campbell Prizes, it was short and sweet.  “Wow” said Brand, and “this is thoroughly shocking,” echoed Lubrin. By Stephen Weir: On Monday, Yale University on March 22 announced the eight recipients of the 2021 Windham-Campbell Prizes. The writers, whose work explores matters both personal and political, were honoured for their literary achievement or promise. Each will receive $165,000 US ($205,000 Cdn) to support their work. Canadian Trinidad & Tobago Dionne Brand won for her fiction writing. Canadian St Lucia’s Canisia Lubrin was honoured for her poetry. Dionne Brand left “Through original and intensely moving work that challenges what we think we know about genre and style, these extraordi

Front Page Testimony About Systemic Racism - York Regional Police Force

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  Detective Constable Neil Dixon  Four officers gave Zoom testimony about systemic racism within the York Regional Police Force   By Stephen Weir : It was Canada Day; 2018,  Detective Constable Neil Dixon  was at work at the York Regional Police Headquarters in Aurora.  He was in civilian clothes (and wearing a police issued weapon)  when he and a fellow armed Black officer took an almost fatal lunch break. The pair visited the Popeye cop favourite restaurant two blocks from Police Headquarters.  When he left, he believes that he was  almost shot by members of his York Force who didn’t believe the Jamaican Canadian man was a fellow officer even after showing badges, and the police issued car they were about to get in. “ I thought to myself, I’m going to die today,” Dixon recalled, after testifying this morning (Wednesday) at a York Regional Police Board ( YRPSB ) meeting.   He is  a 19-year veteran  is currently on leave as a result of suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The

The Jab Jab About To Begin

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St. Kitts and Nevis receive shipment of the Vaccine   By Stephen Weir:  Get ready to roll up your sleeves Kittitians and Nevisians. If all goes as planned, there will be a whole lot of jabbing go on next week!  The St Kitts and Nevis’ Covid Vaccine programme is about to start in full force. During a Tuesday afternoon zoom press conference, Lindsey Grant (pictured above), the Federation’s Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports told travel journalists from around the world that his country’s first shipment of vaccine has just arrived and inoculations will begin soon. “Our Oxford  AstraZeneca  vaccines are here,” said a smiling Minister Grant. “ We will roll it out starting next week.” Not all of the 52,000 residents of the two-island nation will receive the vaccine immediately. According to  Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws, the first shipment received by her office contains just 21,600 doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine. Talking last week to the Basseterre Observer newspaper, Dr. Laws

Province of Ontario lifts fishing licence requirements for Family Day Weekend

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BaitCloud photo  Free Family Fishing all weekend  (Monday too)

Art Bites: CRTC Says No to Ajax and Pickering New FM Radio Station

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 CRTC Says No to Ajax and Pickering New FM Radio Stations sweirsweir Art Bites: It happened this morning.  The Canadian Radio and Television Commission issued a ruling Wednesday that officially puts the kibosh on a bid to operate an ethnic radio station in Ajax and Pickering.  As well, the CRTC said that it will not accept any applications for new ethnic radio stations in Ajax and Pickering for the next two years. Durham Diversity Radio (DDR) approached the CRTC in January 2020 just prior to the Covid shutdown with an application to operate an 880-watt ethnic station at 91.7 FM servicing the communities of Ajax and Pickering. The FM station was to broadcast programmes in a variety of different languages for people living in the community. The Federal government agency turned the application down because the GTA already has 35 radio stations, of which 10 are considered to be ethnic stations. The CRTC  believes that the Ajax and Pickering market can’t sustain another commercial radio st

Art Bites: Beyond the Carnival Exhibition has Gone Beyond the Station Gallery

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CCAP photographers Beyond the Carnival Exhibition has Gone Beyond the Station Gallery Art Bites by Stephen Weir:  The Whitby Station Gallery has closed its gallery doors because of the Pandemic lock-down. However, that doesn’t mean that the non-profit public art gallery has forgotten about the Black History Month , in fact last week the Station Gallery opened, albeit virtually, Beyond the Carnival 4 a new photographic exhibition. “ This photographic exhibition brings together a group of photographers whose mission is to capture and present images that focus on the Pan-Caribbean culture and to create a legacy that highlights the excellent work of Canadian Caribbean photographers,” said gallery curator Olex Wlasenko. In lieu of the shut-down, Wlasenko has filmed a half-hour walk through the exhibition. This video is available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/117228666896210/ . Beyond the Carnival 4 features the works of seven seasoned professionals who are members of the

Art Bites: Happy Birthday Bob Marley From Toronto, Legends of Reggae Tribute presents the Bob Marley Edition

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Art Bites:  Happy Birthday Bob! One Love Wishes From The 6Ix.  Saturday was Bob Marley Day in the city of Toronto. For the 30th year in a row, the city has issued an official proclamation in honour of Jamaica’s reggae icon. Marley, who was born on February 6th, 1945 died in 1981, is honoured around the globe on the 6th for his music and his legacy of promoting peace.  “ Bob Marley always tried to use his influence to help tear down the walls of apartheid and promote unity,” said John Tory, the mayor of Toronto, as he read the city proclamation on camera ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQwcfgBR_IU&feature=youtu.be ). “Today his music continues to inspire and uplift people throughout the world.” Every year the Bob Marley Day Committee holds a ceremony in Toronto to mark February 6th.  During the ceremony the committee, headed up by Toronto lawyer Courtney Betty, always recognize individuals for their contribution in “building our City and our country.” In 2021, because of the Cov

ART BITES: Number 22 has a $20 Coin for $100. Evangelistic Association wants to get on the air in Scarborough

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Black History Month  The # 22 Willie Coin Is Worth $20 And Sells For A C-Note Art Bites: By Stephen Weir: Fresh on last week’s announcement that Canada Post has issued a new stamp to honour Black History Month, the Royal Canada Mint matched their Ottawa crosstown rivals by releasing a $20 pure silver coin in tribute to Willie O’Ree , the first Black hockey player to appear in the National Hockey League.    Willie O'Ree's determination to play at the highest level of professional hockey has inspired generations of Black players to carve their own paths as NHL legends.   “The Mint is delighted to immortalize his special place in history on a skillfully crafted silver coin," explained Marie Lemay, President of the Royal Canadian Mint. O’Ree had a very short NHL career – just 43 games with the Boston Bruins –  but that was all it took to take down the NHL colour barrier and open the doors for Black players.  He was called up as a short-term replacement player in 1958 and agai

Cicely Tyson passes just days before Canadian doc drops

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Abbey Lincoln (above) Canadian movie about six iconic Black female stars coming to Canadian TV Feb By Stephen Weir Yes when you look south you realize it is a tough time to be anything but white in the Land Of The Free these days. But, as veteran American actress Pam Grier says “ our culture is revered and it inspires people all around the world."   Pam Grier (left) in Hit Man How It Feels to Be Free  is a new documentary movie that airs on CBC’s GEM TV on February first. The full-length movie celebrates  six iconic Black female singers and actresses (including Grier)   and documents their fight for diversity and inclusion. Toronto’s  Yap Films  worked with singer  Alicia Keys  to produce this revealing look at the American dream machine.     How It Feels to Be Free ,  tells how six trailblazing performers,  Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Diahann Carroll, Nina Simone, Cicely Tyson,  and  Pam Grier , changed American culture through their films, fashion, music, and their politics.   Di