Marty Awards 2017

Mississauga’s very own MARTY Awards honour Top Artists

–by N.Jatin

Mississauga’s very own MARTY Awards was celebrated mid-last month. Leading artists were honoured at the 2017 MARTY awards ceremony by the Mississauga Arts Council (MAC). The awards were presented on Thursday May 18, at the Mississauga Convention Centre. A large number of nominated artists walked the carpet and mingled with the numerous media personnel covering the event. The Mississauga Arts Council was pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 MARTY Awards in the following categories :

Festival of the Year – TD Mosaic

Lifetime Achievement – Robert J. Sawyer
Hazel McCallion Volunteer of the Year – Jake Dheer
Emerging Literary Arts – Rebecca Zseder
Established Literary Arts – Larrisa Fleurette Ho
Emerging Media Arts – Shazia Javed
Established Media Arts – Rosa Wang
Emerging Music Solo – Vocalists – Nicholas Cunha
Established Music Solo – Vocalists – Chuck Jackson
Established Music Solo – Vocalists – Alx Veliz

Emerging Music Solo – Instrumental – Naoko Sakata
Established Music Solo – Instrumental – Yi-Jia Susanne Hou
Emerging Music Group – Keys to Belfast
Established Music Group  – Billy Talent
Emerging Visual Arts – Angela Chao
Established Visual Arts – Laura Beaton
Emerging Theatre – Adriana Serra
Established Theatre – City Centre Musical Production
Established Dance – Frog in Hand Company
Creative Design – David Dixon Continue reading “Marty Awards 2017”

Little India, Enormous Dreams

Success is a beautiful thing. Whether in business, school, sports or any endeavour. Filmmaker Nina Beveridge, successfully captures the essence of Little India, in her film A Village of Dreams. The film, unsurprisingly, is more a paean to Toronto’s beloved Indian bazaar on Gerrard Street. The documentary is loaded with nostalgia and Did-You-Know trivia that keeps viewers sated. Ultimately one walks out knowing little more about the little India.

For most part Little India, a Village of Dreams, runs a highlight reel, revisiting the key milestones of the entrepreneurs, the culture, the atmosphere that form the essence of what Gerrard Street is all about.

Over the years, the few blocks stretch of Gerrard has acquired the noteworthy status of being one of the most charming, beguiling and multicultural streets in Canada. Walking in there, especially in the summer is like entering a movie set.

It’s an amazing journey to just watch the restaurants and stores evolve. It’s fascinating, it’s forever changing, evolving and it’s a mini India. Watching the beautiful film, will want you to visit and revisit this village of dreams.

Voices of the family members of the business owners recalling anecdotes, sharing their personal stories acknowledge the collective dreams, vision and passion. There are several aww-worthy moments, and the one that lingers most is when Mr. Multani who learnt to speak English when he arrived in Canada, by watching cartoons on TV. Today, both his sons are medical doctors.

The musical score is very impressive. The film also briefly manages to make viewers aware of the diversity, the peaceful co-existence among different ethnicities. Documentaries made with the support and participation of the subject’s families can be informative and insightful.

It took Nina and her partner Paul Hart of Beevision Productions more than a year to document the eclectic neighbourhood’s history. Continue reading “Little India, Enormous Dreams”

Akram Khan’s Until the Lions Roars at Luminato Festival in Toronto!

By Nita Balani

Akram Khan Company’s interpretation of a small story from the Hindu epic poem the Mahabharata stands up as a monumental show on the modern dance/theatre stage.

Until the Lions is originally written by author Karthika Nair, who had the brilliance of mind to draw from the male-dominated, war-themed Mahabharata to focus on the lesser known female characters and make them shine strongly through her collection of stories.

Akram Khan has taken a leaf out of her book to interpret the story of warrior princess Amba ( award winning danseuse Ching-Ying Chien) and her kidnapping by Prince Bheeshma (Akram Khan) through the powerful art of dance. Bheeshma wants her to marry his brother but Amba says she loves someone else and thus Bheeshma releases her back to her family. However as per customs of her time she is rejected by the family and her suitor as she is considered ‘spoils of war” and tainted. She then goes back to Bheeshma and demands he does the right thing and marry her; Bheeshma refuses as he has taken a vow of celibacy which he cannot break. Amba then swears to get her revenge and goes into deep penance wherein Lord Shiva grants her wish of finding revenge in her next life as a warrior. To hasten her rebirth she self immolates to end her life. She then returns in her male form as Shikhandi (Joy Alpuerto Ritter) to fight Bheeshma on the battlefield. As he recognizes her as the reincarnation of Amba and a female, he lays down his weapon. He is then killed by Shikhandi and the female triumphs. Continue reading “Akram Khan’s Until the Lions Roars at Luminato Festival in Toronto!”

Living Inside Out: How NOT to Let Circumstances Affect You

The Inside-Out Approach to Positivity: Five Ways to Face Challenges Without Giving Them the Power to Define You
We tend to believe that external forces have the power to shape our lives. Not true. When we choose to live from the inside-out, rather than the outside-in, we can face even the most daunting challenges without getting pulled into negativity and pessimism.

By Jon Gordon

In a world dominated by negativity, how do you build a life around optimism and hope? After all, pessimism comes at us from all angles, from social media to the news to “naysaying” colleagues, friends, and family members. It’s all too easy to get preoccupied with challenges involving work, health, family, and other problem areas. But no matter what outside forces seem to be shaping your fate, you have the ultimate control over your thoughts and actions—and realizing this simple fact can transform your life.

People think success and happiness descend on them from the outside, but that’s not true. Your circumstances don’t have the power to define you. The power is on the inside. You can create your life—a great life—from the inside-out, not the outside-in.

When Superman took off his cape, who was he? People say he was Clark Kent, but no—he was still Superman. He was Superman on the inside. That’s where his power was.

True, external challenges, events, and circumstances exist—and we all have to deal with them—but they don’t have to drag you down into negativity and pessimism.

Let’s take traffic, for example. One day traffic really bothers you. Another day you are listening to a great song or podcast, you’re in a great mood, and the traffic doesn’t bother you. Is it the circumstance—the traffic—or your state of mind that is producing how you feel? Continue reading “Living Inside Out: How NOT to Let Circumstances Affect You”

Finding inner equilibrium through yoga

By Dr. Gagan Bhalla

In the west, yoga has enjoyed an ever-rising popularity and acceptance for more than a century. It may appear mystifying to many that a tradition that traces its roots back to thousands of years and one that lays emphasis on spiritual rather than the material should find such tremendous resonance in a society that is quintessentially at the opposite end of the spiritual-material spectrum.

However, this seeming paradox has a simple and straightforward answer. In societies where materialism has held sway for hundreds of years, and scientific determinism has become a prevailing dogma, many fundamental answers about the individual’s mind, body and soul have, while over analysed, remained unanswered or unaddressed.

And that is where yoga, mindfulness and well being acquire importance. This is because material well being doesn’t automatically lead to mental equilibrium. As the adage goes, “Wealth is not happiness.” The extra bit that would satiate the mind and soul and enrich the body can be provided by yoga.

Yoga is essentially a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body. It is an art and science for healthy living. The word ‘yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ meaning to join. According to yogic scriptures, the practice of yoga leads to the union of an individual’s consciousness with the universal consciousness.

According to scientists, everything in the universe is a manifestation of the same quantum firmament. One who experiences this oneness of existence is said to be ‘in yoga’ and is termed as a yogi who has attained a state of freedom, referred to as mukti, nirvana, kaivalya or moksha.

Yoga refers to an inner science comprising of a variety of methods through which human beings can achieve union between the body and mind to attain self-realization. The aim of yoga practice is to overcome all kinds of sufferings that lead to a sense of freedom in every walk of life with holistic health, happiness and harmony.

Yoga expects two Ds from the practitioner – dedication and discipline, everything else can be self-taught. As the Indian Prime Minister Honourable Narendra Modi has said, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well being. Yoga is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with ourselves, the world and Nature. By changing out lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us to deal with climate change.” Continue reading “Finding inner equilibrium through yoga”

Seven Ways to Rise Above the Negativity in Social Media, Politics…and Your Own Head

Is the cultural tsunami of negativity wearing down your ability to stay hopeful and optimistic? Here, I explain how to overpower these voices, change your circumstances for the better, and become a positive leader and influencer to those around you.

By Jon Gordon

You’ve probably noticed: Negativity has pervaded our culture and daily lives. Whether you love or hate the current political climate, it’s hard to deny that our nation has ever been as divided, fearful, and vocal as it is today. Add in the avalanche of complaining that dominates social media and it’s not easy to be positive or happy right now.

There is a solution. You absolutely can rise above the negativity all around you. It’s not easy but it can be done.

Throughout history, there have been times of extreme negativity, pessimism, and fear. Those who rose above it were able to change their circumstances for the better instead of allowing their circumstances to change them for the worse.

It turns out that positivity doesn’t just make you feel better in the moment; it makes you more successful too. Research conducted by Manju Puri and David Robinson, business professors at Duke University, shows that optimistic people work harder, get paid more, are elected to office more often, and win at sports more regularly (1. Puri, M. & Robinson, D. (2007). Optimism and economic choice. Journal of Financial Economics, 86, 71-99.). They also have stronger relationships. And not surprisingly, when positive energy is shared in the workplace, teams perform better.

Being positive doesn’t just make you better. It makes everyone around you better.

Former Ford CEO Alan Mulally is a shining example of a positive leader who rose above negativity to create a better world. When he stepped into the CEO role in 2006, Ford had just suffered an annual loss of $12.7 billion and was on the verge of bankruptcy. But he managed to put Ford back in the black in just a few short years, and then the Great Recession hit. In these dire circumstances, it seemed like his efforts had been in vain—and plenty of people doubted his ability to save the struggling company. But Mulally proceeded with optimism and saved Ford and thousands of jobs in the process, while positively impacting the American economy and country as a whole. Continue reading “Seven Ways to Rise Above the Negativity in Social Media, Politics…and Your Own Head”

Naya Horizons, Navya Destinations!

It’s summertime. The sun is up. Now is the perfect time to unwind at an exotic resort! Serene. Peaceful. Rejuvenating. Blissful.

Imagine yourself vacationing in a relaxingly balmy atmosphere, a garden igniting with vibrant colors, a bird park, an enthralling forest, spectacular view of the city, and scrumptious buffet of organically grown vegetables for lunch. Do it all in style!

How about cruising in turquoise seas, sipping fresh coconut juice, feeling the heat of the sun and enjoying the striking scenery of your choicest island? Is it enough to revive your spirit? Sounds exciting?

For North Americans, South America is a place of wonder—from idyllic beaches and rainforests to its vibrant culture. From the zealous dances in the tango parlors, to the calm, golden churches that line the streets. Truly, it is an exciting time to experience the beauty that holds it all.

These are just few of the things that you would experience when you’re one with nature despite the stress life has given you.

So take the dust off your luggage and get ready!   We can make your summer, fall, winter, spring, weekends and every other day more enjoyable.  We have several choices or options of must-experience destinations. Continue reading “Naya Horizons, Navya Destinations!”

At the End of the Day…Business Clichés Are Lazy Language!

Five Clichés and “Don’t Says” to Avoid Like the (Well, You Know)

Those pointless little phrases you use at work might be sending exactly the wrong message (for instance, that you’re too lazy to come up with something better). Here, I explain why it’s time to ditch those business clichés.

By Richard Moran

Look up “business buzzwords” or “business clichés” and you’ll find article after article about these irritating, overused phrases. In fact, new ones come out each year documenting the latest crop that’s flourishing in workplaces across America. In a world drowning in buzzwords, tweets, and hashtags, spouting mindless clichés in the workplace may seem harmless. But using too many professional platitudes could be more problematic than you thought.

Not only can business clichés be annoying to others who hear them day in and day out, they are the language of laziness. When you use them, you effectively fail to focus your thoughts and really identify what you’re trying to communicate and accomplish.

Language that is “mindless” isn’t also “harmless.” The risks of vague language aren’t just practical detail mix-ups between coworkers. Many of these phrases are actually actively promoting terrible morale that shoves projects and careers into stagnation. By abusing clichés, you might be projecting an apathetic and lazy attitude without even realizing it.

If you’re too lazy to come up with a way to say something other than resorting to a trite buzzword, isn’t that a sign that you’ll be lazy in other areas at work as well? Whether it’s true or not, that’s the message you’re broadcasting.

Accessible for all working generations and speaking from the most traditional of suited workplaces to the domains (and domain names) of Zuckerberg hoodies and office dogs, my new book The Thing About Work: Showing Up and Other Important Mattersoffers tips for what not to say in your day-to-day. For instance:

“It is what it is” is the sound of defeat. The subtext of “it is what it is” is: “I give up.” That negativity enforces the kind of thinking that kills projects and how coworkers understand your attitude. It makes you the Debbie Downer in business clothing. You might as well say, “Life sucks and work is even worse,” and this attitude gets old very fast. Continue reading “At the End of the Day…Business Clichés Are Lazy Language!”

Experience Streetsville’s Bread and Honey Festival this weekend!

Streetsville Memorial Park is abuzz with activity this weekend, as it kicked off the Bread and Honey Festival in its 45th year. Since 1973, this annual festival happens in the first weekend in June, in the Village of Streetsville, Mississauga, Ontario

This year the emphasis is on helping grow the bee population which has been dwindling due to several reasons. Pearson International Airport has donated 15,000 wild flower seeds that is being distributed at the festival. The festival, which has been named to Festivals and Events Ontario’s 2017 top 100 list, is marking a milestone this year. The focus is also to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

There’s a singing contest, Teens Got Talent at the mainstage. Make sure you do not miss the talented line-up of live performers for children and adults alike; a wide selection of carnival rides, games and hands-on educational demonstrations for the whole family… and of course, FREE Bread and Honey.

Many fun activities including live entertainment, a fishing derby,  food vendors, a petting zoo, axe throwing, a flight simulator  are all part of the festival.

The Bread & Honey Festival continues to be the manifestation of Streetsville’s roots and culture. The Lions Club, Rotary Club and Kismen Club have been huge participants and contributors of the Festival since the beginning. Over the years, the festival has continued to attract people of all ages, from all over GTA. Continue reading “Experience Streetsville’s Bread and Honey Festival this weekend!”

Advice for College Grads on Adjusting To “Real Life”

College Grads: Survive “Real Life” By Being Yourself
by Brian Connor, author of From Bud To Blow

College life is fake life. Class three hours a day (if you even go), nothing on Fridays, smoking and binge watching an entire TV show or drinking till bar close on a Tuesday. It’s a young adult utopia. So how do you transition out of that? How could you possibly survive in the real world? Simple. Tone it down a little.

People act like leaving that lifestyle is some big mystery. I go on recruiting visits to different colleges and get asked all the time “how do I prepare myself for the real world?” or “what can I do to better myself moving forward?” And I just look at these kids and want to tell them “well I’m hungover as shit sitting here right now, so you tell me?” As if I volunteered to go on the recruiting trip to actually recruit and not just drink on my company’s dime at a college campus again. And let’s not even talk about the recruiters themselves. Most were such big partiers in college they couldn’t get the actual job, so they joined the recruiting team.

At some point the phrase “the real life” was created, and since then people have looked down on college kids like they are these incompetent and immature idiots. But how long has it been since you were on the other side of that hate? One year? Three years? Weren’t we all those college kids at some point?

See, the biggest problem I have with “real life” is that the people are actually fake. You can call college life fake all you want. Because it is. It’s a bubble that 18-22 year olds live in for four years, then it pops and they go back to having normal schedules and responsibilities. So sure, it’s fake. But what you can’t say is the people themselves are fake. They are as real as it gets. If I had a group project in college, there was no beating around the bush with scheduling. We would tell each other if we had party plans, admit if we were hungover, call people out if they didn’t do their work, we were real. And we always got everything done on time.

In “real life” people walk around the office like robots and act like they’ve been these true-blood professionals their entire lives. It’s as if their personality is sucked from their body every time they walk in the office. But just three years ago those same people were probably Googling if their company drug tested while waiting to be interviewed by a hungover recruiter. So what happened in three years? Where did their personality go? You ever wonder why company parties get out of control? Because the alcohol turns everyone back from robots to real. And people just aren’t used to being real in the real world.

So ok, yes, you will have to adjust to waking up before noon on a weekday. But you did that from ages 6 to 18. The only difference is now you’ll be getting paid to wake up early. So you’ll live. All you need to do is tone it down a little. Party twice a week not four times. But even then, the older you get the less you want to party. That’s not just Hollywood talk about “getting old.” That shit’s real. It’ll hit you too. Continue reading “Advice for College Grads on Adjusting To “Real Life””