CALGARY – Allison Lockhart is one strong woman.Actually when it comes to Canada, she is the strong woman.The 35-year-old Calgary resident has won the Canada’s Strongest Woman competition three times in a row and is one of competitors at this week’s Strongman competition at the Calgary Stampede.At five feet seven inches and with muscular shoulders and arms, her powerlifting background is obvious.“I’m a little bit bigger so people usually ask what I do and what sport I play,” Lockhart told The Canadian Press. “They look a little bit confused and then I tell them and usually have to explain what it is.”She was invited to try the strongwoman competition in 2014 — the first year it was introduced in Canada.“I came out and tried it and absolutely loved it and it just sort of steamrolled from there,” said Lockhart.“I want to know how strong I am. I want to know how strong I can get. As far as sports goes, this is just right up my alley. This is just what floats my boat.”Strongman originated in the U.S. in 1977 with the first “World’s Strongest Man” competition, and the sport has continued to grow since then.Over the three-day competition, competitors are expected to lift, carry, push, and pull various oddly shaped, large, heavy items — including the truck of the Stampede president — in a race against one another to determine who has the greatest mix of overall strength and athleticism.The events include the famous atlas stone lift and the bale yoke carry.“My weakest link is probably the yoke. It’s where you have it across your back and it kind of hangs down along your side and there’s a weight on it and you have to walk,” said Lockhart.“My strongest event? The atlas stones. Those are the cement stones you pick up and lift on to a podium. The ones in this competition start at about 100 pounds and go up to 260.”Although the strongwoman competition is growing in popularity, Lockhard said it is much lesser known than the men’s competition.“It’s not quite as marketable because not a lot of women want to lift really heavy weights,” she said. “We don’t get that much press so a lot of people don’t know that it exists.”Lockhart will be joined by fellow Calgarian James Loach who is currently Western Canada’s strongest man. Loach, 29, began his strongman training when he was 24 but it’s something he was always interested in.“I’ve been watching strongmen on TV and kind of following it since I was four or five years old,” he said.It’s also a big hit with the science and math junior high school students he teaches in Calgary.“Some of the boys are pretty starstruck when I tell them what I lift and show them videos. The kids, whether they actually enjoy it or because it’s a break from science or math, seem to like it,” he said.Loach said he hopes to inspire his young charges to get involved and often holds up Lockhart as a role model to his female students.“For a lot of kids who struggle with self confidence or body issues, it’s so accessible. You don’t need to rely on anybody but yourself and a gym membership and a good pair of shoes. I kind of hope to set an example.”The three-day competition begins Friday.— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter
TORONTO – An online posting for a nationalist rally planned at the University of Toronto, which came to light days after a deadly clash between protesters and white supremacists in Virginia, has raised questions about how such events could play out in Canada.The Canadian Nationalist Party, a political organization that claims to support ethnic nationalism, has said on a Facebook event page that it plans to host the rally on the university’s campus next month, where it will “discuss the nationalist movement in Canada and the future of our country.” The group didn’t respond to a request for comment.The posting sparked considerable backlash from observers on social media but the university, the city, police and an expert say there are many factors at play. Here are their views.THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTOThe university has said the Canadian Nationalist Party has not requested to hold the rally it says it is planning. The university has asked Facebook to pull the event page down, although it still existed as of Tuesday afternoon.A university spokeswoman said the school wouldn’t speculate on its response to a request that hasn’t been made.She pointed to a five-page policy on booking space at the school that states the use of school space must abide by the university’s principles.The policy states there is a balancing act between freedom of expression and mutual respect and civility. The first principle points to the school being on private property and the university “reserves the right the right to control access to its campuses, and to the use of its space and facilities.”THE CITY OF TORONTOSpokeswoman Wynna Brown said the city “will not tolerate, ignore, or condone illegal discrimination or harassment and is committed to promoting respectful conduct, tolerance and inclusion when permitting the use of public space and city facilities.”She said groups who use city facilities through a permit must sign a declaration of compliance with anti-harassment and discrimination legislation.TORONTO POLICEConst. Victor Kwong said officers’ jobs at any demonstration, including contentious ones, is to keep the peace and their primary concern is public safety.Within each division, there are community response officers who are trained to work protests, he said.Police are constantly monitoring current and historical events in order to plan and prepare for protests and said they are keenly aware of the explosion of violence in Charlottesville, Va., that left one woman dead when protesters and white supremacists clashed over the weekend.While at a protest, officers will also be monitoring and assessing any possible hate speech that occurs, collecting evidence and building a case. Then, he said, police consult with the Crown and would require consent from the Attorney General in order to lay a hate speech charge.THE LEGAL EXPERTRichard Moon, a law professor with the University of Windsor, said the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the protection of freedom of expression doesn’t apply to universities.“The charter rights are only rights against government or government action,” Moon said. “The Supreme Court of Canada has decided that universities, despite being public institutions, are not government actors.”If the group moves their protest to Toronto’s city hall, they’d have protection of the charter, within limits, he said. That limit is the hate speech law.“The courts have said that hatred is extreme emotion, not just something that is offensive and contrary to people’s expectations,” Moon said. “It has to be some kind of speech that vilifies a group.”Finding that distinction between freedom of speech and hate speech can be difficult, legally, he said.“In a meeting like this, and they just say, for example, ‘white people are being badly treated’ and ‘there needs to be more pride in white culture’ and they say all those things … and there is some implicit message about other cultures and their belongingness, that won’t be hate speech,” Moon said. “But when you start saying these other people shouldn’t be here, or are dangerous or should be killed, then that’s different.”
TORONTO – Canada’s so-called rape-shield law, which aims to protect sexual-assault complainants from unfair and irrelevant scrutiny of their sex lives, cannot be used to prevent an accused from mounting a reasonable defence, Ontario’s top court ruled on Wednesday.As a result, the court quashed the sexual-assault conviction of a man whose lawyer was barred from cross-examining a woman on her pregnancy and ordered a new trial.In its ruling, the court acknowledged the critical importance of protecting complainants from questioning about their sexual activity when that activity does not form the subject matter of the charge. Among other things, the court said, the rule takes into account the privacy interests of a complainant and was prompted by concerns about deterring victims from going to police and about feeding rape myths.“Notwithstanding these powerful considerations, there are times when such questioning must be permitted,” the Appeal Court said. “This is one of those cases where a proper balancing … requires that such questioning be permitted.”According to court documents, the accused, then 20 years old who can only be identified as R.V., was on a family camping trip in July 2013 when his cousin, 15, said he lured her to a washroom and sexually assaulted her in a shower stall. She then said she blacked out. R.V. denied any sexual contact with her.A key part of the prosecution’s case was that the teen’s subsequent pregnancy corroborated her allegations — that only the accused could be the father. The young woman subsequently terminated her pregnancy and the fetal remains were destroyed, making it impossible to confirm paternity through DNA testing, court records show.The defence applied in a pre-trial motion to cross-examine her on her other sexual activity as a way to attempt to refute the proposition that R.V. had impregnated her during the sexual assault. However, the judge hearing the application refused to allow the cross-examination.In October 2016, Judge Robert Gee convicted R.V. after upholding the earlier ruling as binding on him.Both those decisions were in error, the Appeal Court said.While the prosecution did not dispute the relevance of questioning the teen about whether others might have made her pregnant, it argued the proposed defence questioning would have been excessive.“The Crown’s position amounted to this: ‘We say you are the only one who could have impregnated the complainant but you are not allowed to question her about whether this is true’,” the Appeal Court said. “This is a patently unfair outcome that cannot be justified in the circumstances of this case.”The higher court said the pre-trial judge was wrong in finding that R.V.’s attempt to question the teen amounted to a “fishing expedition” despite knowing exactly what the cross-examination would have entailed.“The urgency of vetting the Crown’s paternity allegation during trial was simply too great, and there was nothing in the circumstances of this case to diminish it,” the Appeal Court said. “The prejudice to the administration of justice of permitting the cross-examination, although real, was not intense enough to overcome that need.”The Appeal Court also rejected the prosecution’s argument that R.V.’s lawyer had nevertheless managed a solid defence by skirting the cross-examination ruling and asking the complainant about her virginity.While the questions were improper and should not have been allowed, the ruling still prevented the defence from asking further relevant questions, the court said.“What occurred was not a fair substitute for the cross-examination that should have been allowed,” the Appeal Court said. “A substantial wrong or miscarriage of justice occurred.”
SAINT JOHN, N.B. – A New Brunswick judge has confirmed a narrow Liberal win in a recount for a Saint John riding, but further legal challenges are still possible.The judicial recount means the results of the Sept. 24 provincial election remain virtually deadlocked at 22 seats for the Progressive Conservatives, and 21 for the Liberals.A spokesman for the chief electoral officer said the Saint John Harbour recount concluded Thursday the Liberals still hold a 10-vote margin of victory.Judge Hugh McLellan oversaw the count in a Court of Queen’s Bench courtroom that took the rare step of allowing television cameras in to record the process.“We’ve come to the conclusion through this exercise that the votes counted for each of the candidates in Saint John Harbour on election night are in fact exactly right,” said the judge.Progressive Conservative candidate Barry Ogden remained in second place, while Liberal candidate Gerry Lowe retained the narrow victory. The two men shook hands after the recount was complete on Thursday morning.However a lawyer for the Progressive Conservative candidate had alleged in a notice of application filed on Monday — later withdrawn to await the results of the recount — that about 40 voters cast their ballots twice in the Saint John district.On Tuesday, the lawyer said he may reinstate an application for the result to be thrown out by early next week. However, lawyers for the party weren’t available for further comment following Thursday’s recount.Recounts were also continuing Thursday afternoon in a Moncton court in an 11-vote victory for the Green party in the riding of Memramcook-Tantramar, and a recount in a 93-vote victory for the Tories in Oromocto-Lincoln-Fredericton was to continue into Friday.The Liberals have said they plan to proceed to a throne speech in just over two weeks, as the Tories have continued to call for Premier Brian Gallant to resign immediately and allow Tory Leader Blaine Higgs to form a government.The Green party and the People’s Alliance party each have three seats.The right-leaning People’s Alliance has said it has an informal plan to support a Progressive Conservative government for up to 18 months.The Liberals have said they will not negotiate with the People’s Alliance due to its linguistic policies — which include scrapping the office of the commissioner of official languages.Meanwhile, the Green party has been holding talks this week with both the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives, with leader David Coon saying the meetings are in the early stages.Political scientist Thomas Bateman said in an interview that if the Tories do manage to have the Saint John Harbour result thrown out at a later date, it strengthens their ability to take and hold power.However, he said he still expects Gallant to proceed with a throne speech on Oct. 23 with what will likely be a campaign-style document.As it stands, Gallant’s ability to hold onto government is “unlikely,” said the political scientist, adding it would require a Tory or People’s Alliance member of the legislature to either break ranks or accept the role of Speaker — who by convention would vote with the government.“I’m sure that Mr. Higgs is thinking ‘We’re just going through the motions here because this government will fall and we will become the government,’” he said.— By Michael Tutton in Halifax.Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.
Calgary’s bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics was rebuffed on Tuesday when local voters said “no” in a nonbinding referendum.Unofficial results showed that 56 per cent voted against bidding for the Olympics. Results showed that out of 767,734 eligible voters, 304,774 cast ballots and 171,750 of those voted against the Olympic bid.The city council is expected to address the results on Monday, but there is little doubt the bid seems dead. The council has already shown skepticism, with eight of 15 members voting on Oct. 31 to scuttle the public vote. Ten votes were required for the vote not to be held.The defeat is a huge blow to the International Olympic Committee, which has only two candidates officially declared: Stockholm, Sweden, and a joint Italian bid from Milan and Cortina D’Ampezzo. Both bids also face opposition and financing problems.Three other cities withdrew earlier this year — Sapporo, Japan; Sion, Switzerland; Graz, Austria — and Turkey’s Erzurum was eliminated last month by the IOC.The IOC was left in a similar spot for the 2022 Winter Olympics when numerous bidders withdrew. Only two unlikely cities expressed final interest, with Beijing, China, winning narrowly in an IOC vote over Almtay, Kazakhstan.The host for 2026 will be selected by the IOC in a vote on June 24 in Lausanne, Switzerland.The Canadian Olympic Committee said in a statement it was disappointed by the results. Calgary was the host for the 1988 Winter Olympics.“The opportunity to welcome the world to Canada, where people can experience the uniting power of the Games and within our nation’s culture of peace and inclusion, would have offered countless benefits to all,” the statement said. “This would have been a unique opportunity for Canadians to be leaders in fulfilling the promise of a renewed vision for the Games.”The results won’t be declared official until Friday. But the opposition was already celebrating.“I think that people had enough of the establishment, telling us what to do, what to think,” local councillor Sean Chu said.Mary Moran, CEO of Calgary 2026, called the issue “very divisive” and said it was time “to put that behind us.”“We really wanted this dream for Calgary to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Moran said. “We learned so much about our community. We learned so much about each other.”The Alberta government made its funding of a bid conditional on holding a vote and provided $2 million to pay for it.“We fought many, many obstacles along the way,” said Scott Hutcheson, board chair of Calgary 2026. “We had three government partners that stepped up with billions of dollars to invest in this dream.”Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi voted for continuing with a bid. Calgary 2026 was hampered by last-minute negotiations over a cost-sharing agreement between the federal, provincial and city governments.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press
BEIJING — China is issuing fresh demands that the U.S. abandon its request that Canada extradite a senior telecom executive who was detained in Vancouver last month.Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in Beijing today that Meng Wanzhou’s case was out of the ordinary and Canada’s extradition treaty with the U.S. infringed on the “safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.”Hua says China wants the U.S. to withdraw the arrest warrant against the Huawei Technologies executive and “not make a formal extradition request to the Canadian side.”The demand comes a day after 140 international China experts — including five former Canadian ambassadors — urged President Xi Jinping to free two Canadians detained in apparent retaliation for Meng’s arrest.The letter praises former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor as bridge-builders between China and the world, and said their detentions will make its authors “more cautious” about travelling to China.Meng’s arrest has infuriated China, which also sentenced Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to death last week for a previous drug-smuggling conviction.— With files from The Associated PressThe Canadian Press
Actress, multiplatinum recording artist, and fashion designer Selena Gomez hosted a concert benefiting the U.S. Fund for UNICEF on Saturday, January 19 at the Best Buy Theater in New York City.The third annual Acoustic Charity Concert hosted by Gomez, a UNICEF Ambassador and avid supporter of the organization, raised more than $150,000 to support UNICEF’s programs that provide nutrition, clean water, medicine, education and more to children worldwide.“I have worked with UNICEF since I was 17 years old, and I’ve seen first-hand the results of their critical support for children all over the world,” she said. “When I first started with the organization, 24,000 children died every day of causes we can prevent, and that number has now been reduced to 19,000. It’s amazing to see the progress and I’m thrilled to help bring awareness to UNICEF’s lifesaving work.”During her show, Gomez performed hits including “Love You Like A Love Song,” “Naturally,” and “Who Says” as well as fan favorite cover songs such as Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time” and Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” The concert also featured performers Bridgit Mendler, Noah Guthrie, and Nat and Alex Wolff.Gomez was appointed a UNICEF Ambassador in September 2009, and she has enthusiastically used her talents to advocate for the world’s most vulnerable children. In total, Gomez’s three Acoustic Charity Concerts for UNICEF have raised nearly $400,000 for UNICEF programs worldwide.Gomez recently attended the annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball in New York City where she auctioned off two backstage packages to her benefit concert for the highest bidders, raising $40,000 for UNICEF.
Luxury consignment service eDrop-Off has teamed up with some of Country Music’s biggest stars to auction off a one-of-a-kind collection of items donated by the stars.Stars include Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Jason Aldean with proceeds donated to the American Red Cross 2013 Oklahoma Spring Storms fund.The items will be auctioned off on www.shopedropoff.com from August 9th – 18th with prices starting at $18.99.“Country Music has such a loving and supportive community and I am honored to be part of this amazing project and donate eDrop-Off’s services to raise money to help rebuild Oklahoma.” Corri McFadden, Owner and Founder of eDrop-Off.Some of the most memorable items include: • Carrie Underwood’s Georges Chakra 2-piece, mint green outfit from the 2013 CMT Awards where she won Video of the Year • Blake Shelton’s custom made Chrome jacket and Sand Shirt worn during The Voice, Season 4 Blind Auditions • Miranda Lambert’s coveted Jovani black chain dress worn during her 2013 ACM performance of “Mama’s Broken Heart” and acceptance of her award for Female Vocalist of Year. • Brad Paisley’s Sand Jacquard jacket worn on the 2010 CMA Awards where he won Entertainer of the Year.eDrop-Off is a Chicago based company founded by Corri McFadden. The service specializes in reselling authentic designer clothing, handbags, shoes, jewelry, and accessories with free nationwide pick-up. Since 2004, eDrop-Off has recycled nearly 300,000 lbs. of clothing for over 3,000 consignors across the country. Through an extensive knowledge of the luxury marketplace and impeccable customer service, eDrop-Off has earned ebay’s power seller status, posting approximately 2,500 items each week and completing over 350,000 successful transactions to date.
Action star Bruce Willis’s fourth bike is currently under the hammer in a charitybuzz auction benefitting the Boot Campaign.The Die Hard hero earmarked five of his bikes to raise funds for the grassroots initiative, which raises awareness for U.S. troops.Bid now to bring home this amazing Cushman motorcycle from Bruce Willis’ personal collection!So far, the 1988 Yamaha TW, 1991 Yamaha XT 350 and the 2005 Ducati 1000DS have gone, leaving only the 1972 Harley Davidson Ironhead Sportster XLH after this auction finishes on September 25th.Willis, born on a military base in Germany, has had a long-standing commitment to supporting veterans and wounded combat troops, and he is not alone.Just last month, Boot Campaign supporters and actors Steven Grayhm (White Chicks and The Five People You Meet In Heaven), Matt Dallas (Kyle XY) and Charlie Bewley (Twilight and Vampire) hit the road to spread awareness and encourage Americans to get behind them in the quest to make the film, Thunder Road, which raises awareness for PTSD.The actors need support from the public to make this film happen, however. To find out how you can help spread the message and support returning troops, visit ThunderRoadFilm.com.
Al Gore and Pharrell Williams have announced that 2015 will see a return of Live Earth – seven concerts to raise awareness of climate change.The pair made the announcement at the World Economic Forum in Davos.On June 18, 2015, together with the United Nations, Live Earth will once again create a global series of events over 24 hours, on six continents, anchored from Paris and New York. Live Earth Road to Paris will be broadcast across all major media platforms and supported by a yearlong campaign in partnership with the world’s leading brands, NGOs and non-profits. A seventh concert is planned in Antarctica, with a band of scientists at a research station playing to a global audience.The events aim to bring together a billion voices to shine a global spotlight on the nations convening in Paris this year and deliver a single message to all leaders – Take Climate Action Now.Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Al Gore described some of the deadly, destabilizing and destructive “costs of carbon” that occurred over the last year – the hottest in recorded history, and the latest in a 14 out of the last 15 years’ warming trend. He then focused on clean solutions, arguing that the danger of our current trajectory is offset only by the enormous opportunity, led by the business community, to change the course of history.Al Gore framed the climate crisis facing humanity as two questions: “Do we want to change our current course? If we do, can we? The danger of first question is masked by opportunity of second,” he said.To find out more about the Live Earth concerts, click here.
Barrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions, raised close to $1 million for local and national charities during its Palm Beach auction April 17-19, 2015, at the South Florida Fairgrounds.On Saturday, WWE Hall of Fame member Hulk Hogan took center stage and, in true “Hulkamania” fashion, ripped the shirt off his back to help Barrett-Jackson raise much-needed funds for U.S. veterans, children, cancer patients and others across the country. A few generous, philanthropic car dealers combined to raise $400,000 for the Achilles Freedom Team. David Flynn purchased the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro COPO Race Car VIN #001 for $300,000 followed by an additional $100,000 pledge from Jeanette and John Staluppi.Watch a video of Hulk Hogan at the event here.“I appreciate the opportunity to host people at our auctions who leverage their celebrity status to bring greater awareness to the needs of charitable organizations,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “It was exciting to have Hulk Hogan, a legend, join us on stage to help auction that ‘69 Camaro Z/28. He used his contagious charisma to help energize the crowd in a way that only he can. With Hogan’s help we raised $150,000 to benefit Connor’s Cure, A HERO Foundation and The Grace Project.”WWE Hall of Fame member Hulk Hogan is one of the most popular wrestlers of all time. He is a 12-time world champion, being a six-time WWF/E (World Heavyweight) Champion and six-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion.In total, five cars and one boat crossed the block in Palm Beach to support charity, which included: • 2015 Chevrolet Camaro COPO Race Car VIN #001 (Lot #3003) – Raised $400,000 to benefit the Achilles Freedom Team with a $300,000 sale and an additional $100,000 pledge • 2016 Cadillac CT6 Sedan (Lot #3001) – Sold for $200,000 to benefit the Karmanos Cancer Institute • 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Custom (Lot #3003.1) – Hammered in for $150,000 to benefit Connor’s Cure, A HERO Foundation and The Grace Project • 2015 Bennington 2375 GCW (Lot #3004) – Sold for $100,000 to benefit the Foundation for Exceptional Warriors (FEW) • A one-of-a-kind Tony Stewart “Smoke” Edition 1969 Chevelle (Lot #3000) – Raised $75,000 to benefit The Darrell Gwynn Foundation • 1996 GMC Sierra Custom Pickup (Lot #3002) – Sold for $41,000 to help send underprivileged boys to a Boy Scouts of America summer camp“Every Barrett-Jackson auction brings with it an opportunity to improve the lives of deserving individuals and organizations through the sale of charity cars,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “We truly appreciate the consignors who donate their vehicles and the bidders who bid from their heart. I’m confident that some wonderful opportunities will open up for those in need with the nearly $1 million in charity auction sales in Palm Beach.”Other well known personalities in attendance during the Palm Beach auction included world-renowned car collectors, Jeanette and John Staluppi. Their car collection is maintained in the Cars of Dreams Museum located in Palm Beach County, Florida. American rapper, actor and television host Vanilla Ice attended Friday night’s opening gala.Source:BusinessWire.com
Mark your calendars for the Fashion and Arts Humanity Fete (FAHF).Fashion and Arts Humanity FeteFAHF confirmed award presenters are: • Kyra Kyles, Vice President and Head of Digital at Ebony.com and Jet.com • Barbara Bates, CEO of Barbara Bates Designs and Founder of The Barbara Bates Foundation • Cesar Rolon, Co-Founder of Latino Fashion Week • Louis Kaufman of Chicago Dentistry • Chrishon Lampley, of Love, Cork, Screw and more!The event takes place at Parkway Ballroom, Chicago, on December 12.#FAHFAwards, which is being filmed for major cable network interest, will commence with a full Black Carpet experience and live media interviews including confirmed media photographer Chan C. Smith of Jet and Ebony Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Empire Life Magazine, plus more. Music will be provided by the popular DJ CJ Buckets, who will be co-hosting alongside FAHF Awards Show host for the evening, Tony B., a model and actor who has been featured in McDonald’s billboard campaigns and Disney Chanel. The show will open with a fashion presentation by The Little Dapper Collection and will conclude with headlining designer, Lydia Endora.Humanitarian categories for this year include Written Arts, Performance Arts, Fashion and Beauty Arts, Technical Arts, Visual Arts and Crafts, and Nationals. The new CARES category includes all honorees, but attendees choose this recipient via a live vote. The winner receives a prize package valued at over $1,000.“This is our 5th year and it is anticipated to be our largest production to date,” said Renita S. Manley-Garrett, Executive Director of FAHF and The Arts of Humanity, and LookToTheStars.org team member. “The entire FAHF Team has been working overtime to put together something like nothing else in Chicago, the Mid West, and on a national scale. We are so excited for our honorees this year and for the remarkable award presenters who will honor them.”Tickets are available here.Major supporting sponsors: Dr. Louis Kaufman of Chicago Dentistry and Kaufman and Kaufman Smile Design Studio LLC and Bar Louie.Fashion and Arts Humanity Fete Awards (FAHF Awards) is presented by The Arts of Humanity, a 501c3 that develops, teaches, and recognizes creative humanitarians. All ticket sales are 100% tax deductible and proceeds go to furthering the organization mission and to the support and development of local up and coming artists and non-profits. #FAHFAwards honors entities that use the arts to advance their local community and humanity. For more information, please visit theartsofhumanity.org.
Housing Works celebrated another successful year of its popular annual interior design event, Design on a Dime, and awards dinner, the Groundbreaker Awards, raising $1.2 million to provide supportive services and housing to New Yorkers living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and homelessness.Rose McGowan attends 2016 Housing Works Design On A DimeCredit/Copyright: Gary Gershoff/Getty ImagesThe events kicked off April 20th at the Groundbreaker Awards, which can be seen here.The Design on a Dime Opening Night Reception followed on April 21st, where nearly 1,300 attendees came together to get first access at shopping the inspirational room vignettes created by more than 68 of the world’s top interior designers, including 513 Design Studio, Carl Barnett Design/Studio, Kureck Jones, Shawn Henderson Interior Design Studio, Willey Design and Christopher Maya Inc. Guests also shopped for new high-end merchandise discounted up to 80 percent off retail prices from brands including Urban Furniture, Davide Art, Uhuru Design, WICZNY Furniture and Interiors, RedNoir and The Art of Alex. Actor Billy Eichner kicked off the sale, ringing the opening night bell. The Opening Night Reception was followed by 2 days of public sale.Also in attendance were Rose McGowan, Adrienne Moore, ELLE DECOR editor-in-chief Michael Boodro, Alessandra Branca, Marisol Deluna, Nicole Gibbons, Marjorie Gubelmann, Douglas Friedman, Ken Fulk, James ‘Ford’ Huniford (Founding Chair of Design on a Dime), Charles King (CEO of Housing Works), George and Zoe Oliphant, Miles Redd, Lynn Whitfield and more.Design on a Dime was founded in New York City in 2004 by Designer James Huniford. At the time, the event included seven interior designers and took place at Housing Works’ Gramercy Thrift Shop. Now, its 12th year, the national event has grown to include more than 100 top interior designers and attracts more than 5,000 guests annually. 2015 marked the benefits’ most successful year, raising a record-breaking $1.3 million which was followed by the inaugural Design on a Dime Miami in early 2016, taking the event national for the first time. Since inception the event has raised more than $10 million for the organization’s mission.James Huniford is the Founding Chair of Design on a Dime. This year’s Co-Chairs were Alessandra Branca, Michael Boodro, Nicole Gibbons, George Oliphant, Marisa Tomei and Social Chair Douglas Friedman.Support for Design on a Dime was provided by ELLE DECOR, Lowe’s, Benjamin Moore, Chateau D’esclans, Whispering Angel, Hendrick’s Gin, Milagro Tequila, AirSea Packing, Gilead Sciences, Inc., Viacom and the New York Design Center (200 Lex).Support for the Groundbreaker Awards was provided by ELLE DECOR, Chateau D’Esclans, Double Cross Vodka, Whispering Angel, Playmates Toys and DRAKE/ANDERSON.Housing Works is a New York-based organization that provides supportive services and stable housing to the homeless and individuals living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. The non-profit works with advocacy offices across the country and abroad to fight for funding and legislation to ensure all people living with HIV/AIDS have access to quality housing, healthcare, prevention information and other life-sustaining services.For more information on Housing Works and their initiatives throughout the year, visit www.housingworks.org.
Actress, comedian, and author Lilly Singh was appointed UNICEF’s newest Goodwill Ambassador at a special event during the weekend in New Delhi.Lilly, who is known by her digital alias Superwoman, was in India to meet children and young people being supported by UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation.In her role as a Goodwill Ambassador, Lilly will use her unique digital presence to engage children and young people and empower them to speak out about the challenges they face.“I am honoured to join UNICEF as a Goodwill Ambassador, and to use my voice to support its mission of reaching every child,” Lilly said. “The children I have met here are overcoming so many challenges – and they are living proof of what a child can achieve, if given a chance,” she added.Lilly travelled with UNICEF to Madhya Pradesh State in Central India, where she met with adolescents and young people growing up in challenging circumstances including extreme poverty, but who have been able to bring positive changes to their lives.One of the many projects that Lilly visited was the UNICEF supported Youth4Change initiative, a leadership programme for young people that brings them together to support their peers and communities in taking action on the issues that impact them most such as of health and hygiene, protection from violence and exploitation, gender equality and the importance of a quality education.“It was beyond impressive to see the ‘Change Loomers,’ as they called themselves, create so many diverse and impactful initiatives to help improve their community,” Lilly said. “It was also incredibly inspiring to see free karate lessons for girls that not only build their self-confidence, but teaches them self-defense tactics to help them face the real-life threat of violence and harassment,” she added.“Lilly Singh is already a Superwoman, helping empower girls around the world – and we are delighted that she will lend her passion and her powerful voice to speak up on behalf of the most vulnerable children,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth.Lilly, 28, has gained a huge fan base of over 11 million YouTube subscribers. This year, she released her international and New York Times bestselling book How To Be A Bawse, and was recently cast in HBO’s film adaptation of “Fahrenheit 451.” Additionally, Lilly was ranked 1st on the Forbes Magazine Top Influencers List in the entertainment category.As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Lilly will use her platforms to showcase UNICEF’s work and to engage her millions of supporters in advocating for children’s rights. Her new role with UNICEF is complemented by her Girl Love initiative, which aims to end to girl-on-girl hate and instead focuses on positivity by encouraging support of women and girls.Lilly was joined at the launch event by Ms. Yasmin Haque, UNICEF’s Representative in India, who officially welcomed her to the UNICEF family.“Lilly is a role model to so many young people, especially girls, and we look forward to the role she will play in generating greater discussion – and greater action – around the value of girls in India and everywhere,” Haque said.More than 50 per cent of India’s population are below the age of 25 and India is already the second largest market for YouTube, Facebook, and many other video platforms.Lilly joins an impressive list of other UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors that includes David Beckham, Orlando Bloom, Jackie Chan, Muzoon Almellehan, Danny Glover, Liam Neeson, Priyanka Chopra, Ricky Martin and Shakira.
Feminist activists, journalists, and authors, Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes, announced the release of a limited-edition charity T-shirt, Gloria and Dorothy’s Equal Rights Now Tee, to raise funds to support the growing momentum behind passage of the long-sought-for Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes wear #EqualRightsNow t-shirtsERA supporters across the U.S. are joining Steinem and Pitman Hughes, posting their own fist-pumping photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #equalrightsnow.The ERA is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that would expressly prohibit discrimination against girls and women on the basis of gender. Today, the Constitution does not guarantee equal rights for women. As the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia stated: “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.”In 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment was passed by the House and the Senate but fell short of the required number of states for ratification by the 1982 deadline. Earlier this year, Nevada became the first state in 40 years to vote for ratification of the ERA.Nevada’s action highlights the growing awareness of and support for the Equal Rights Amendment, which is needed to help women secure justice when they face gender-based discrimination and violence. Women get paid on average 80 cents for every dollar a white man makes, according to the American Association of University Women, even less for women of color. Over half a million of women are subjected to domestic violence every year, more than 1,600 of whom lose their lives as a result, as reported by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.Since 1971, the iconic photo of Steinem and Pitman Hughes raising their fists in solidarity has been recognized as an enduring symbol of women’s empowerment and the ongoing fight for constitutional equality. The image, by photographer Dan Wynn, now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery and in the Black Power section of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Release of the iconic image comes in conjunction with the national Women’s Equality Day, August 26, 2017, which was also established in 1971.In the 46 years since the photo was taken, Steinem and Pitman Hughes continue to advocate for the ERA and are inspiring support across generations of women and men. Gillian Anderson, Patricia Arquette, Kristin Bauer, Kelen Coleman, Lena Dunham, America Ferrera, Jane Fonda, Josh Gad, Chelsea Handler, Christine Lahti, Cyndi Lauper, Debra Messing, Bette Midler, Jennifer Morrison, Amy Schumer, Rainn Wilson, Joss Whedon, Jamia Wilson and Robin Wright are among the celebrities who have taken to Twitter and Instagram to share photos of themselves wearing the T-shirts and raising their fists in solidarity.100 percent of the net proceeds from the charity T-shirt sales will go to support the ERA Coalition, a national organization working for passage and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to guarantee equality under the Constitution for women and girls. The ERA Coalition supports ERA initiatives in Congress and works with local and national organizations across the country to build a public constituency for the ERA, through outreach and education.“After that photo was taken, it was sent out to campuses and neighborhood groups where Dorothy and I were speaking on equal rights,” said Steinem. “Today hundreds of thousands of us stand together, especially the new generations of women and men who are becoming powerful voices for the ERA.”“The passage of the ERA will help women — and when you help women, you help everybody,” said Pitman Hughes. “Today I work in underserved communities to help stimulate business growth, create jobs, and develop a vibrant ecosystem where diversity thrives. To really make that sustainable, we need the ERA. When women get equal pay and equal protection, their families, their communities, and our economy will certainly benefit.”“Gloria and Dorothy’s Equal Rights Now Tee” can be purchased immediately at Represent.com/equalrights. The shirts, which come in several styles for women and men, will be available for a limited time only. Since the 2016 presidential election, support for the ERA is surging, as growing numbers of Americans seek to address pay inequity, pregnancy discrimination, and gender-based violence. 94 percent of Americans polled in a 2016 survey said they would support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees equal rights for both men and women.“More and more Americans are beginning to understand that the ERA would provide a constitutional framework to promote equality and a more effective remedy for all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination,” said Jessica Neuwirth, president of the ERA Coalition. “So many young women and men are working at a grassroots level for passage of the ERA. Middle school, high school, and college students are reaching out to ask what they can do to support constitutional equality. Their awareness and activism make us confident that the ERA will finally be put into the Constitution.” Women’s Equality Day was originally created in 1971 by Rep. Bella Abzug of New York City, to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but it also calls attention to the movement for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, which will guarantee equality under the Constitution for women and girls.Bringing together more than a hundred organizations and millions of women and men, the ERA Coalition is a national organization that is building a successful coalition for passage and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and promoting greater public understanding of the need for equal treatment of women under the law. Go to www.eracoalition.org for more information.
Grammy winner P!nk spoke out against SeaWorld during its online annual shareholder meeting this week by calling on the company to build coastal sanctuaries for the long-suffering orcas it holds captive.In a question submitted on behalf of PETA, she wrote, “As a mother, I would never take my kids anywhere that keeps intelligent, sensitive beings in intensive confinement. Children are impressionable, and the last thing I would want to teach my kids is that ‘might makes right’ or that it’s OK to bully and exploit someone just because they look different from us. But that’s exactly what SeaWorld does by locking up animals who, in their ocean homes, would swim up to 140 miles a day, dive to great depths, cooperate with their pods to find food, communicate in their own dialects, and transmit their own culture from generation to generation. At SeaWorld, all these animals are able to do is swim in endless circles. Some are so frustrated that they break their teeth by gnawing on the concrete corners and metal bars of their tiny tanks.“But you have a chance to change that …. When will SeaWorld transfer its orcas and other marine mammals to seaside sanctuaries to save them — and itself?”PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” — has owned stock in SeaWorld since the company went public in 2013 in order to inform stakeholders of animal-welfare issues and propose policy changes. To date, at least 40 orcas have died at the abusement park and dozens more have been sentenced to miserable lives inside concrete tanks.P!nk has been an active PETA supporter for more than 15 years: She helped PETA pressure Ringling Bros. circus to close and appeared on a Times Square billboard proclaiming, “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur.” She joins a long list of celebrities — including Bob Barker, Jessica Biel, Nick Cannon, Noah Cyrus, James Cromwell, Krysten Ritter, Joan Jett, Tommy Lee, and Pamela Anderson, who confronted SeaWorld executives on PETA’s behalf at last year’s annual meeting — who have spoken out against SeaWorld.For more information, please visit SeaWorldOfHurt.com.
Login/Register With: Advertisement Exciting news out of Austin, Texas: The South by Southwest Conference & Festivals (SXSW) announced its 2018 lineup and we are pleased to share that the latest feature developed through the Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange, The New Romantic, will see its World Premiere in the Narrative Feature Competition. The film, now the ninth Comedy Exchange film to be produced, is from Carly Stone (writer/director) and Kyle Mann (writer/producer), is edited by Editors’ Lab alumna Christine Armstrong and also features music by the Slaight Family Music Lab alumnus Matthew O’Halloran.The New Romantic follows the story of a college senior who is frustrated with the lack of chivalrous guys her own age so gives up on dating for love to date an older man in exchange for gifts instead. It stars Jessica Barden (The End of the F***ing World), Hayley Law (Riverdale), Brett Dier (Jane the Virgin), Avan Jogia (Son of Shaft), Timm Sharp (Enlightened) and Camila Mendes (Riverdale).With the support of lead partner Telefilm Canada and associate partner Just For Laughs, the Comedy Exchange is a high-level, cross-border project and business accelerator that supports a customized approach to advanced project development, packaging and strategic marketplace positioning. Up to four feature projects are invited into the Exchange by an international advisory each year. The Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange has helped accelerate nine Canadian comedies, including last year’s critically acclaimed feature Adventures in Public School, from CFC alumni writer/director Kyle Rideoutand writer/producer Josh Epstein, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), was honoured as one of Canada’s top ten features of 2017, and was recently nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Original Screenplay. Additionally, Don’t Talk to Irene, from writer/director Pat Mills and producers Alyson Richards and Michael MacMillan, also made its World Premiere at TIFF 2017 before continuing on a successful festival run, winning the 2017 Comedy Vanguard Feature award from the Austin Film Festival. Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Twitter
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, second left, wore a Hazel Mae Design dress during a welcoming ceremony in Mexico City in October with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and his wife Angelica Rivera. (SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS) Twitter Advertisement Made of a four-way stretch synthetic fabric and designed to flatter the female figure, her eponymous brand of dresses come in several jewel-toned colours.They’ve been selling on The Shopping Channel (TSC) since 2013, through Mae’s website since last August, and Gotstyle, in Toronto’s Distillery District, will carry them this summer. Facebook Blue Jays sportscaster Hazel Mae can’t say she doesn’t have a thing to wear to a ballgame.The Sportsnet reporter has designed a line of dresses expressly for working the sidelines during televised games. They are comfortable, colourful but not too busy to distract viewers from what she’s saying.And they are popular. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement
Carl Montoya had been a fan of “Supernatural” from the beginning and had his dream come true with his guest role in Thursday night’s episode ‘The Thing‘ which aired on Apr. 5, 2018. The Ecuadorian-Canadian actor landed the guest spot on the hit CW show just after getting married in his home country. What a wedding gift! After watching “Back to the Future” and Christopher Reeve’s “Superman”, he knew he wanted to be an actor. Montoya is known for his roles in “Impastor”, “What We Once Were”, “The Flash”, and soon to be released “It’s a Rough Life.”Colleen Bement: “Supernatural” fans would love to hear about your experience on the set of this Thursday’s episode ‘The Thing‘. What are you allowed to share?Carl Montoya: Unfortunately I can’t share too much about the episode itself, what I can tell you is that I’ve been a big fan of the show since the very beginning of it and I always dreamed on being in it. My amazing agent got me multiple auditions for different roles and a couple call backs with the producers and directors in the previous years until I finally landed a role this year; shorty after I returned from getting married in my home country. I took it as a wedding gift! Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitter Facebook Other than that, on the day of shooting everyone both the crew and the fellow cast members was very professional and fun to work with. It was definitely a great day on set and I can’t wait to watch it!CB: What can you tell us about your film “It’s a Rough Life?” I read that it’s Batman without the money or the morals. That has my attention.CM: Yes. I like your analogy! It was a very interesting project to work on. I got to be a bad guy which is always fun to play and it has some green screen visual effects that has the influence of the film “Sin City”.Carl Montoya on the set of Impastor with Michael Rosenbaum. Photo courtesy of Carl Montoya.CB: You’ve lived all over the place: Ecuador, Canada, Australia. Ecuador happens to be on my list to visit in the next few years. What was life like growing up there, and what inspired you to become an actor?