VANCOUVER – A lawyer for a transgender woman who was forced to stay in a men’s jail says his client hopes her human rights case against the British Columbia government will change policies for other inmates.Dan Soiseth said his client Jaris Lovado, who calls herself Bianca, was incarcerated at the Surrey Pretrial Centre for five months last year before being moved to a women’s facility after filing multiple complaints.The Justice Ministry tried to have Lovado’s complaint to the BC Human Rights Tribunal dismissed, but the tribunal ruled the case is worthy of a further hearing.BC Corrections has a policy of housing inmates according to their self-identified gender unless health and safety concerns can’t be resolved.The ministry told the tribunal that during a previous stay at the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, Lovado engaged in inappropriate relationships with female inmates and posed a safety risk to women who may have experienced trauma.It also said Lovado displayed a “male persona.”“We don’t know exactly what that means,” Soiseth said.Soiseth, who represents the Community Legal Assistance Society, said there was no evidence provided of any safety concerns and it’s not unusual for inmates to have relationships.He said the main issue is that Lovado, who was serving time for fraud-related charges and breaching conditions of release, faced discrimination as a transgender person and her needs were not met until she complained.Lovado was moved to the women’s facility in Maple Ridge last September after she agreed to meet behavioural expectations.The tribunal’s written decision stated Alouette Correctional Centre initially declined to accept Lovado as a transfer based on information from BC Corrections that she’d been living in the community as a male.The decision said an April 26, 2016, email from the deputy warden to the assistant warden at Surrey Pretrial said Lovado refused to be skin frisked by a male but that the deputy said Lovado should undergo that procedure because she had “all the equipment of a male.”Lovado requested a “female Alouette Centre diet” while at Surrey Pretrial but was told that wasn’t possible, the ruling said. The tribunal noted BC Corrections branch did provide her with female underwear including bras and make-up from Alouette.Corrections said in its application for dismissal that staff at the Surrey Pretrial Centre ensured Lovado was placed in areas where she could have adequate privacy.“It says it also ensured Ms. Lovado’s physical and mental health-care needs were addressed in a timely manner,” the ruling said.Lovado did not respond to requests for comment, and the Justice Ministry said it could not provide information until the election writ is returned.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter
TORONTO – An Ontario man who travelled to Syria to support an Islamic militant group will spend another two years behind bars after pleading guilty to a terror charge, his lawyer said Tuesday.Kevin Omar Mohamed was sentenced in a Toronto court to 4 1/2 years in prison, with 2 1/2 years credit for time already served, his lawyer Paul Slansky said.Mohamed, 25, has been in custody since his arrest in March 2016 on weapons-related charges, which were later changed to a terror charge.He pleaded guilty in early June to one count of participating in or contributing to, directly or indirectly, any activity of a terrorist group for the purpose of enhancing the ability of any terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity.“Although there was no evidence presented to support this and, accordingly, no finding made to support this, my client did what he did to help the Syrian people to secure the overthrow of the (Bashar al-Assad) regime,” Slansky said in an email.“Obviously, this was not the way to proceed. He now recognizes this and accordingly pleaded guilty.”Details of the case were made public for the first time Monday at Mohamed’s sentencing hearing.An agreed statement of facts read in court laid out how the former University of Waterloo student flew to Turkey in the spring of 2014 and made his way into Syria, where he met with members of Jabhat-Al-Nusra, a listed terrorist group.“His purpose was to enhance the ability of that group to commit terrorist activity,” the statement said.Mohamed returned to Canada roughly a month later after his mother and brother convinced him to come home, it said.Court heard Mohamed also encouraged others to join militants in Syria through social media, which he used under several pseudonyms. On one of his accounts, he described himself as “a supporter of international terrorism,” the statement said.While overseas, he tweeted a public invitation for others to join him, stressing how easy it was to enter through Turkey, court heard. On another occasion, he suggested it was easy to avoid detection from “security agencies” when travelling to Syria.Later tweets urged those who share his beliefs to move to “lands of jihad” or consider carrying out attacks in their own communities, the statement said.Mohamed left his mother’s home in Whitby, Ont., east of Toronto, in February of last year and was put under police surveillance, the document said. But Mohamed caught on, withdrew $3,500 and went offline, managing to evade police for several days, it said.His mother reported him missing to both local police and RCMP later that month.Police tracked Mohamed in March of last year to the University of Waterloo campus, where he was sleeping in empty rooms, the statement said. He was arrested on March 25.Officers found a black computer bag that belonged to him and that contained a large hunting knife, heavy work gloves, a wallet and two sets of keys, court heard.They obtained a warrant to search lockers that matched they keys and found a number of items, including pages of handwritten notes marked with the Arabic word for assassination, the document said.
MONTREAL – The Montreal International Jazz Festival has cancelled the remaining presentations of a show that has been criticized because it features a white woman singing songs composed by black slaves.The festival said Wednesday it was apologizing to anyone who was hurt by the decision to put on the shows.“Since the beginning of SLAV performances, the festival team has been shaken and strongly affected by all comments received,” it said in a statement.“For the Festival international de Jazz de Montreal, inclusion and reconciliation between communities is essential. We made the decision with the artist Betty Bonifassi to cancel all performances of the show at the festival.”Bonifassi, a Montreal-based singer known for her Oscar-nominated work on the soundtrack of “Les Triplettes de Belleville,” was the main performer.The show, which was directed by renowned Quebec playwright Robert Lepage, has been mired in controversy since the get-go.At the premiere last week, about 75 protesters staged a demonstration outside the theatre that was hosting the performance.Police had to form a cordon to block protesters in order to allow people to enter.And on Tuesday, U.S. musician Moses Sumney cancelled a gig at the jazz festival to protest the SLAV shows.Both the jazz festival and Lepage’s public relations firm said there would be no interviews on the matter Wednesday.“We understand the position of the Montreal International Jazz Festival,” Edouard Garneau, a spokesman for the PR firm, said in an email.“Considering the current context, we do not wish to add any other comments for the time being.”In a later statement, the company said Lepage would comment before the end of the week.Black activist Vincent Mousseau, who spoke at the opening night protest, says the festival was forced to cancel SLAV because of pressure from artists who demonstrated against it and because of widespread media attention that included coverage in the New York Times.“The Montreal International Jazz Festival is the largest jazz festival in the world and we found it very irresponsible for the festival to put on the show without listening to the voices of those concerned,” he said in an interview Wednesday.“What we saw here were black communities and allies standing up and saying that we’re not OK with the ways in which black culture has been co-opted and put on a pedestal by folks who are not us.”Mousseau added he and Lucas Charlie Rose, a hip-hop artist who organized the protest, had received death threats.“I think our priority right now is ensuring that this violence is not being propagated like this piece of theatre that is extremely ignorant and, unfortunately, is very harmful,” he said.Rose says he’s relieved that SLAV has been cancelled — even though it took the festival a week to halt the shows, which were scheduled to run until July 14.But he wasn’t satisfied with the festival’s brief apology.“I don’t feel like it’s enough personally because they caused a lot of hurt, they caused a lot of harm,” Rose told The Canadian Press. “I’m waiting to see what else they have to say and if they’re actually serious about helping black communities in the future.”The artist pointed out that when people found out he was a transsexual, online comments against him were “really violent, really intense.”This isn’t the first controversy involving white people playing blacks in Quebec.A white actor blacked his face to play former Montreal Canadiens star P.K. Subban in a sketch that was part of a year-end comedy show by Montreal’s Theatre du Rideau Vert in December 2014.
OTTAWA – Justin Trudeau will shuffle his front benches today to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.Sources say the changes will expand the prime minister’s cabinet by adding new posts to showcase up-and-coming MPs and to broaden the profile of a party that has long pinned its fortunes to the Trudeau brand.The shuffle appears designed to ensure deft communicators are well-placed to spell out the government’s positions and defend policies on hot political issues leading up to the 2019 election campaign.Insiders have indicated there’s a possibility Ottawa will appoint a minister dedicated to seniors, a post that once existed in past federal cabinets.The mid-summer shakeup will give ministers a couple of months to get up to speed on their new portfolios before they return to Parliament this fall, and the Liberals will hope they can master their responsibilities ahead of the election.Nearly three years into its four-year mandate, the Liberal government has few remaining opportunities to rejig its cabinet lineup.
VANCOUVER – Shell Canada Ltd. has given up it offshore exploration rights, clearing the way for the creation of Canada’s first protected marine area under the Canada Wildlife Act.Shell voluntarily released about 50,000 square kilometres of permits in an area off northern Vancouver Island to allow for the creation of the Scott Islands marine National Wildlife Area.The permits cover an offshore area more than one-and-a-half times the size of Vancouver Island, and while Shell Canada president Michael Crothers says the cost to the company was a few million dollars, he’s hoping for “goodwill” in exchange.The wildlife area was established in June, and conserves a vital marine area for millions of seabirds, fish and mammals on the Pacific coast.Even as Shell continues to explore for oil and gas globally, Crothers says they have no plans to do so off coastal B.C., particularly since the west coast has been under an exploration moratorium since 1972.Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society welcomed the announcement, which comes after nearly 17 years of consultation with federal, provincial and First Nations governments.Companies in this story: (TSX:SHC.)
VANCOUVER — The British Columbia Court of Appeal has given the federal government more time to fix its solitary confinement law after a lower court declared the law unconstitutional last year.The B.C. Supreme Court ruling last January gave Ottawa a year to enact replacement legislation, and the Appeal Court has now extended the deadline to June 17, with conditions to protect prisoners’ constitutional rights in the meantime.Those conditions include that health-care professionals must complete daily visual observations of inmates in solitary confinement and advise the institutional head within 24 hours if they believe the inmate must be removed from segregation.The B.C. Civil Liberties Association and the John Howard Society of Canada launched the legal challenge, and the two groups also oppose a bill introduced in October that the government says would limit solitary confinement to 22 hours or fewer per day.The bill would allow segregated prisoners to spend four hours a day outside their cells, with a minimum of two hours to interact with others, but it does not include hard caps on how many days or months prisoners could be isolated from the general population.The Canadian Civil Liberties Association launched a separate case against solitary confinement in Ontario, and the Court of Appeal in that province has given the federal government until April 30 to enact new legislation.The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press VANCOUVER — Jurors have begun deliberations in the trial of a man accused of killing a 12-year-old girl in British Columbia over 40 years ago.Nine men and three women will decide the fate of Garry Handlen, who pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.Jurors will consider Handlen’s alleged confession to an undercover RCMP officer who heard the man say he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978.The alleged hidden-camera confession that jurors watched during the 11-week trial was characterized as false by Handlen’s defence team.Handlen told a supposed crime boss he grabbed Jack from a highway pullout in Merritt and drove up a hill where he killed her, burned her clothes and left her body.In his final instructions to jury members, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen said they would need to use their common sense to decide the reliability of the alleged confession.
WINDSOR, N.S. — The powerful storm that battered Eastern Canada Monday had an unexpected casualty — a Zamboni found in a ditch near Windsor, Nova Scotia, without a rink in sight.A bemused driver snapped a photo of the scene and it quickly spread on social media as a bizarre rural Canadian tableau.Jake Ross, who had bought the Zamboni at auction as a novelty, put it out on his lawn decorated with Christmas lights for the holidays.The strong winds that ripped shingles off his roof apparently also pushed his large lawn decoration off for a spin across the property.“The wind got it rocking and rolling and it just took off in the night,” Ross said on Tuesday. The sight took him by the surprise when he was leaving for work on Monday.“I just kinda glanced at the side and saw it sitting in the ditch and thought, no way. It was a couple hundred feet down the road,” Ross said.He was crunched for time, so he had to leave it and hope it wouldn’t be towed before he got home in the evening. “I was running late Monday morning, and I was like, ‘I don’t got time to deal with this.’ So I had to leave it,” he said.In the meantime the photos spread on Facebook, even catching the attention of comedian Larry the Cable Guy.The American comedian shared the photo with the caption: “You guys in Canada sure know how to party.”Ross said he found the incident and subsequent social media buzz funny, and he managed to tow the vehicle out of the ditch with his truck that evening.The Zamboni is now stored out back with its parking brake on.The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press VANCOUVER — The RCMP say a transit police officer has been shot and they were searching for what they believe to be an armed suspect near a Skytrain station in Surrey, B.C.Cpl. Elenore Sturko says officers were called to the area of the Scott Road SkyTrain at about 4:20 p.m. Wednesday.The RCMP established a containment zone, including the airspace, and was asking members of the public to stay away from the area.Sturko says trains were not being allowed into the station.The officer has been taken to hospital with unknown injuries.
WHITEHORSE (660 NEWS) — After disappearing a week ago in a snowmobiling accident in the Yukon, the body of a 36-year-old man was pulled out of Drury Lake. Jason Donald Keith of Morinville, Alberta went missing after a snowmobile he was travelling on plunged into Drury Lake on January 28. At the time, he was travelling with two other men and working for a local outfitting company when the men rode into open water.READ MORE: RCMP investigate presumed drowning of Alberta man near FaroKeith’s family recalled him being very passionate about hunting and guiding who preferred spending his time ‘on the land’.BC RCMP’s Underwater Recovery Team worked with Yukon Search and Rescue to recover Keith’s body on Feb. 3. His death is being investigated by Yukon’s Coroner’s Service, Faro RCMP, and Yukon Worker’s Compensation Health and Safety Board. The red point shows where Drury Lake in Yukon is located on a map. (Google Maps)
SQUAMISH, B.C. — The operators of the Sea-to-Sky Gondola say the popular tourist attraction near Squamish, B.C., likely won’t reopen until early next spring.In a message on the company’s Facebook page, they say the cleanup has started and it’s hoped the gondola can reopen in early 2020, but that depends on the delivery of a replacement cable and new cabins from Europe.When the attraction does restart, the post says it will feature a brand new haul rope and a completely new line of 30 cabins.No one was hurt last Saturday when the RCMP say someone deliberately cut the gondola’s main cable, sending all of the cars crashing to the ground.The company has said the damage will reach into the millions of dollars.The Sea to Sky Gondola officially opened in 2014 and carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people who visit the gondola every day during the summer season, with each cabin holding up to eight people. When in operation, it takes around 10 minutes to reach an elevation of 885 metres above Howe Sound.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The RCMP has charged one of its own with several offences under Canada’s official-secrets law.The national police force says Cameron Ortis was charged under three sections of the Security of Information Act, and with two Criminal Code offences.It says the charges stem from activities alleged to have occurred during his tenure as an RCMP employee, and it was not immediately clear whether he was still employed by the force. As the investigation is ongoing, the RCMP declined to make further comment.The Security of Information Act is law to safeguard sensitive government information.Naval officer Jeffrey Paul Delisle, who gave classified information to Russian military intelligence, pleaded guilty to offences under the act in 2012.The Canadian Press
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — A teenage boy is dead and five other people are in hospital after gunfire erupted Saturday evening in a residential area of Mississauga, Ont., just west of Toronto.Peel Regional Police Chief Chris McCord said that according to eyewitness accounts multiple suspects unleashed a barrage of gunfire from semi-automatic weapons near a parkette behind an apartment building at around 6:20 p.m.He said a 17-year-old old boy died at the scene and that five others — a 13-year-old, a 16-year-old, two 17-year-olds and a woman in her 50s — were wounded. McCord said one of the wounded was in serious condition and that the other four suffered non life-threatening injuries.The chief also noted that “a lot” of shell casings were found scattered over a wide area and that several vehicles had been hit by the gunfire, though police had yet to determine whether any of those vehicles belonged to the shooters.Speaking at a news conference late Saturday night, McCord said it was very early in the investigation and that many questions about the incident remained unanswered, including the motive, whether the victims were targeted and whether the shooting was gang related.No suspect information was immediately released as officers continued to canvass the area for surveillance camera video that might help answer at least some of those questions.Police were also asking anyone with information that could aid their investigation to contact them.McCord said investigators were talking to a number of people who ran from the scene as shots rang out, but the chief was quick to add that there was nothing to indicate, at this stage of the investigation, that any were possible suspects. “At present, with the police presence in the area tonight, there is no individual still in this area that should cause the residents cause for concern for their own personal safety,” he said.A music video was being filmed near the scene of the shooting, however, McCord said he didn’t know if it was in any way linked to the case. The Canadian Press
Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Submission format: Secure URL linkCompetitive: YesEntry fees: YesOfficial deadline : September 22, 2016Late deadline : October 20, 2016EligibilityFilms will be screened in the following categories: Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Narrative Short, Documentary Short, Animated Short, Experimental Short and Music Video.Competition is open to works completed in 2015, 2016 and early 2017;Works in competition must not have been shown previously in Austin (Texas);The maximum running time for short films presented is 40 minutes;SXSW Film does not accept trailers or works in progress. Rough-cuts are accepted but works must be finished at least two weeks before the festival begins.For more information please consult the film submission FAQs. Facebook Twitter Calls for entry(All film genres) The SXSW 2017 Film Festival is currently accepting entries.Please note that all films must be submitted directly to the festival. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Since 1987, South by Southwest (SXSW) has produced the internationally recognized Music and Media Conference & Festival. As the entertainment business adjusted to issues of future growth and development, in 1994, SXSW added conferences and festivals for the film industry (SXSW Film) as well as for the blossoming interactive media (SXSW Interactive Festival). Now three industry events converge in Austin during 10 days, mirroring the ever-increasing convergence of entertainment/media outlets.The SXSW Film Conference portion of SXSW Film has been described as a five-day crash course on guerrilla filmmaking and marketing for every level of filmmaker from novice to veteran. Panels, workshops and interviews are always peopled with knowledgeable experts and entertaining speakers offering unique access to the industry. Specialized sessions such as hands on workshops, mini-meetings and one-on-one meetings in the Mentor Program distinguish the SXSW experience.SXSW is a qualifying festival for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Short Film competition. The Best Animated Short Film, Best Narrative Short Film and Best Documentary Short Film winners become eligible for the Academy Awards. Telefilm Canada recognizes selection in the South by Southwest Film Festival as part of its Success Index and provides assistance through the International Festival Participation Program Industry Promotion Telefilm Canada, Montréal514 283-6363
Twitter So, consultants from the coast have been on the film set to advise on Cree language and culture.“Because it was so important for us, as much as humanly possible to not hit any false notes,” said Rob Blackie.Rob Blackie said it’s fair to say that Frontier aims to take a different perspective on Canadian history and shows the fur trade more as an “invasion” of first nations territory by the companies vying for a piece of the lucrative pelt business.He said they are aiming to tell a story that has some truths in it, while being sexy and exciting. The James Bay lowlands are the setting for a new TV drama that aims to tell Canada’s history from a first nations perspective.Frontier, which airs on the Discovery Channel Sunday nights and on Netflix next year, focuses on the fur trade in northern Ontario in the 1780s.Creators Rob and Peter Blackie said that even though Frontier is historical fiction, they wanted to make sure it was as accurate as possible, particularly in how the James Bay Cree are presented. Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
Advertisement SOURCE: THE IDOLATOR Twitter Advertisement It’s happening! After years of rumors and (broken) promises, Shania Twain’s comeback begins this week. The Canadian country legend is a new single called “Life’s About To Get Good” will be released on Friday (June 16). She is already booked to perform the uplifting anthem on The Today Show on the same day and has a major sync with the Winter Olympics. In fact, you can hear a snippet of the song in a commercial. “Life’s about joy, life’s about pain, it’s all about the giving and the will to walk away,” the enduring diva sings. “I’m ready to be loved and loved the way I should. Life’s about to get, life’s about to get good.”If that’s not exciting enough, the 51-year-old also revealed the cover and release date of her comeback LP. Let’s start with the black-and-white artwork. Shania Now pays tribute — in my mind, at least — to her iconic “That Don’t Impress Me Much” video with leopard-skin print gloves and a supermodel-worthy smize. The opus drops on September 29, 15 years after 2002’s mega-selling Up!. The music industry is a completely different beast these days (for starters, albums don’t sell), so it will be interesting to see if she can carve out a new niche.UK ??Tune into @achrisevans on @BBCRadio2 tomorrow morning for the first play of my new single #LifesAboutToGetGood pic.twitter.com/sH5IJTVC4t— Shania Twain (@ShaniaTwain) June 14, 2017 Shania NOW September 29th 2017 #ShaniaNOW pic.twitter.com/VsVgUiQbkS— Shania Twain (@ShaniaTwain) June 14, 2017 Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook
Advertisement James MarshallInstagram: @marshallxjamesHometown: Acton, Ont.Musical Genres: Pop, blues, rockThe singer/songwriter expresses his adventurous soul through his unique blend of pop, blues, and rock-infused music, learning over the years that no matter the scale of venue in which he is playing, music is something he will always love and cherish.Dream Musical Duo: Jimi HendrixFull Bio: CTV.ca/James-Marshall Zack LaneInstagram: @zack_lane1Hometown: Moncton, N.B.Musical Genres: Pop, pop-rock, folk-popMultiple award-winning Canadian songwriter, performer, and recording artist Zack Lane has shared the stage with artists including Jann Arden, Jeff Cook, and the iconic group Alabama, and he has garnered numerous grand prize wins at coveted vocal competitions, enthralling audiences across North America.Can’t Live Without: Pizza!Musical Inspiration: My family heritage, rooted in the musical and culturally-rich region of Newfoundland.Full Bio: CTV.ca/Zack-Lane Logan StaatsTwitter: @LoganStaatsInstagram: @Logan_StaatsHometown: Ohsweken, Six Nations Of The Grand River, Ont.Musical Genres: Folk/blues/soulRaised in the town of Brantford, Ont., Logan Staats started writing and performing music in his early teens. His haunting and distinct voice has provided opportunities to share the stage with acts such as Buffy Sainte-Marie, Keith Secola, and Mumford and Sons, to name just a few. Armed with his guitar and harmonica, the folk/blues/soul artist is determined to raise the bar for Indigenous/ mainstream crossover music.What inspires you musically? Culture, love, loss, desperation, and healingFull Bio: CTV.ca/Logan-Staats Login/Register With: Facebook Vivian HicksTwitter: @vivianhicksInstagram: @vivianhicksofficialHometown: Georgetown, Ont.Musical Genres: Pop, Broadway, jazzSinger, songwriter, dancer, actress, and model Vivian Hicks is truly a quintuple threat. Taking up singing and dancing at a very early age, Vivian has won numerous awards in her disciplines, including more than 11 U.S. scholarships.Musical.ly Inclined: Vivian has made a name for herself on social media with several of her raw videos going viral on Instagram and Facebook. She has more than 1 million fans on Musical.ly, receiving re-posts and accolades from her idols including Fifth Harmony, Bruno Mars, Meghan Trainor, The Chainsmokers, and more.Full Bio: CTV.ca/Vivian-Hicks LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Amy BishopHometown: Calgary, Alta.Musical Genre: Original bluesy pop-rockWith a voice that is a combination of smooth pavement and rough gravel, and the ability to charm listeners with her sweet tones, yet stun audiences with her ability to hit any high note, Amy’s spectacular performances to date include collaborations with Moby, April Wine, Farmer’s Daughter, and Chris Cummings.Dream Duet Partner: I would LOVE to perform with k.d. lang, I think our voices would blend so well together!Personal Motto: There’s always something to be thankful for.Full Bio: CTV.ca/Amy-Bishop The Revel BoysInstagram: @therevelboysHometown: TorontoMusical Genres: PopStarted by brothers Tyson and Myles Erlick in 2015, The Revel Boys began as a collective of friends making beats and YouTube cover videos and has been building steam ever since. The Revel Boys current lineup also includes GTA rapper/songwriter Akiel Julien, singer/beat maker Noah Zulfikar, and singer/keyboardist Josh Lamb.Collaborations To Date: Jocelyn Alice, Kojak, Walk Off the Earth, Commissioner Gordon and White Tiger Society, and Lionshead.Full Bio: CTV.ca/The-Revel-Boys Divine LightbodyTwitter: @DivineluvzzInstagram: @divineluvzzHometown: Brampton, Ont.Musical Genres: R&B, soul, hip-hop, pop, and reggae.The singer and multi-instrumentalist discovered her passion for music at a young age. The Brampton, Ont. teen was the lead in Broadway Bound’s “Grease” production in 2011.By The Numbers: Her YouTube™ channel received more than 14,000 hits only a few months after launching.Full Bio: CTV.ca/Divine-Lightbody Nicky MacKenzieTwitter: @mackenzienicky1Instagram: @nicky_mackenzieHometown: Salt Spring Island, B.C.Musical genres: R&B, jazz, alternative, popSinging before she could even talk, Nicky plays several instruments including piano, guitar, and harp. She never hesitates to take every opportunity she can to perform, with her jazzy vocals flowing beautifully over the alternative/R&B music she strives to write and perform.Can’t Live Without: Coffee!Full Bio: CTV.ca/Nicky-Mackenzie Advertisement (Top Row L-R: Amy Bishop, Divine Lightbody, Faiza, James Marshall, LITEYEARS) (Second Row L-R: Logan Staats, Nicky MacKenzie The Revel Boys, Vivian Hicks, Zach Lane) (CNW Group/CTV) TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2017 – With production now wrapped on the inaugural season of THE LAUNCH, CTV today unveiled the first 10 artists selected to participate in the all-new, six-part musical series slated to premiere in mid-season. Today’s announcement represents the first 10 of 30 artists to be revealed over the next three days, introducing Canadians from across the country to THE LAUNCH‘s astonishing array of aspiring artists.Hand-picked from among more than 10,000 emerging performers, the artists were selected to be on THE LAUNCH following an international casting call and completion of an extensive A&R and review process. Vying for the chance of a lifetime – the opportunity to record and perform a new original song written by a world famous songwriter/producer and mentored by a panel of internationally renowned music industry legends – the selected artists face the life-changing prospect of being catapulted from discovery to stardom in just 48 hours.Representing wildly diverse musical tastes, styles, and genres running the gamut from Blues to Broadway, Pop to Soul, R&B to Reggae, Hip Hop, Alternative, Rock, Folk, Jazz – and more, THE LAUNCH‘s emerging artists illustrate a vast array of styles and hybrids of genres both vocally and instrumentally, indicative of the platinum standard of talent taking part in the series’ inaugural season. A staggering roster of musical A-listers join THE LAUNCH co-creator and world-renowned music mogul Scott Borchetta in the series’ inaugural season to amplify the experience for the 30 selected artists with invaluable industry guidance and mentorship. Superstar mentors include Shania Twain, Fergie, Boy George, Alessia Cara, Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe, Julia Michaels, and Jennifer Nettles.In addition, award-winning producers/songwriters cast alongside Borchetta in the breakout season of THE LAUNCH include OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, busbee (P!nk, Shakira, Blake Shelton), Dann Huff (producer behind more than 50 #1 hit records), Ian Kirkpatrick (behind multi-platinum hit songs from Jason Derulo and Selena Gomez), and Canada’s own Stephan Moccio, the music mastermind behind massive, inescapable hits like the quintuple-platinum “Wrecking Ball”.Today’s announcement will be followed up tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov. 8) with the release of 10 additional artists selected to participate on THE LAUNCH. In addition, viewers are invited to catch interviews with some of the series’ participating artists today and over the next three days across Bell Media properties.THE LAUNCH was put into development in January 2016. The series was co-developed by and is produced by Bell Media in association with Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Label Group, Paul Franklin of Eureka (MASTERCHEF, THE BIGGEST LOSER), in partnership with John Brunton and Lindsay Cox of Insight Productions (THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, CANADIAN IDOL, THE JUNO AWARDS).THE LAUNCH is executive produced by Scott Borchetta, Randy Lennox and John Brunton; Lindsay Cox and Paul Franklin are Showrunners and Executive Producers; Executive producers for Bell Media are Robin Johnston and Corrie Coe, who is also Senior Vice-President, Original Programming, Bell Media. Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming, Mike Cosentino is President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media.SOCIAL MEDIA LINKSTwitter:@TheLaunchCTV @BellMediaPR@bigmachine@CTV_PR@CTV_Television@insightprod@iHeartRadioCAFacebook:www.facebook.com/CTVwww.facebook.com/TheLaunchCTViHeartRadio CanadaInstagram:@TheLaunchCTV @CTV_PR @ctv_televisioniHeartRadioCAWebsite:www.ctv.ca/TheLaunchAbout Big Machine Label GroupLed by Founder, President and CEO Scott Borchetta, the Big Machine Label Group encompasses Big Machine Records, The Valory Music Co., BMLG Records, Nash Icon Records and publishing company Big Machine Music as well as its own digital radio station, Big Machine Radio. BMLG artists include superstars Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Brantley Gilbert, Hank Williams Jr., Ronnie Dunn, Cheap Trick and Jennifer Nettles; chart-topping acts Justin Moore, Eli Young Band, Brett Young, Aaron Lewis, THE VOICE winner Danielle Bradbery; up-and-comers Midland, Carly Pearce, Delta Rae, The Cadillac Three, Drake White, Tucker Beathard, and Tara Thompson. BMLG also helms soundtracks for the hit TV show NASHVILLE. BMLG artists have received multiple GRAMMY, CMA, ACM, AMA, CMT, Teen Choice, MTV, Billboard, People’s Choice, and Brit Awards. Big Machine is the first-ever American label to align with terrestrial radio for performance royalty rights for its artists and is an industry leader in fighting for artist, songwriter, publisher and record company rights. Visit BigMachineLabelGroup.com for more information.About EurekaEureka is a next-generation production company combining the expertise, credibility and key relationships traditionally found within large multi-national production companies with the energy and nimbleness of a startup. Launched in January 2016, Eureka has offices in Los Angeles and Sydney and produces both unscripted and scripted programs. Within less than a year of opening Eurekahas over sixty hours of programming commissioned in 2017 with more series to be announced soon.About Insight Production Company, Ltd.Insight Productions, known for its award-winning ratings juggernauts, is Canada’s most established content producer. Headed by CEO John Brunton & COO Barbara Bowlby, Insight is an industry leader in the development, financing, and production of hit programming, both scripted and unscripted. THE TRAGICALLY HIP: A NATIONAL CELEBRATION; THE JUNO AWARDS; CANADA’S WALK OF FAME; BIG BROTHER CANADA; HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD; and THE AMAZING RACE CANADA – the most watched Canadian series on record – were collectively nominated for 31 Canadian Screen Awards in 2017 taking home 14 statues. Year after year, THE AMAZING RACE CANADA wins the Golden Screen, the CSA for the highest-rated reality program in Canada. Other productions include: CANADIAN IDOL; BATTLE OF THE BLADES; NEVER EVER DO THIS AT HOME; INTERVENTION; TOP CHEF CANADA; READY OR NOT; FALCON BEACH; and A CHRISTMAS FURY. Recently, Insight produced THE TRAGICALLY HIP: A NATIONAL CELEBRATION, a live concert special watched by one in three Canadians. Insight Productions was founded in 1979 and has since created thousands of hours of groundbreaking and multiplatform content for the global market in every genre. In 2015, Insight received the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s inaugural Icon Award in recognition of its 35th anniversary. For more information visit www.insighttv.com.About CTVCTV is Canada’s #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 16 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and Out-of-Home. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at CTV.ca. Advertisement FaizaInstagram: @blckgrlnxtdrTwitter: @blckgrlnxtdrHometown: Toronto, Ont.Musical Genres: R&B, hip-hopThe singer/songwriter released her first EP in 2014, garnering positive buzz from Toronto’s underground music scene for her seductive vocals and 90s-reminiscent vibe, and has been booking gigs ever since.Dream Performance Space: Madison Square GardenFull Bio: CTV.ca/Faiza LITEYEARSTwitter: @LITEYEARSmusicInstagram: @LITEYEARSmusicHometown: TorontoMusical Genres: Pop/alternative/rockMeet The Band: The high-energy, alt-pop group is comprised of brothers Brent and Brian Wirth, Nick Haberer, and Joey Muha.The Band’s Sound: Meshes programmed electronic loops, ethereal keyboards, and melodic guitar counterpoint with organic instrumentation bringing a refreshing, high-energy vibe to the alternative-pop genre.Debut EP: American Towns released in 2016, featuring debut single “Rhythm In The Stars”.Can’t Live Without: My piano and pizza (Brent); Coffee! (Brian)Dream Musical Venue: Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado (Nick)Hobbies: Being a full-time bunny parent! (Joey)Full Bio: CTV.ca/LITEYEARS “The driving force behind THE LAUNCH is disruption at every level – in reinventing the music television genre, in launching new artists, and in creating music’s next big songs,” said Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of Big Machine Label Group. “We can’t wait for audiences across the country to meet these artists and be blown away by their talent, just as our superstar mentors were week after week. We are proud to pioneer this new and unique television and music industry footprint.”Supporting today’s announcement across @CTV_PR social platforms is a companion #MeetTheArtists video – a compilation introducing Canadians to today’s wave of 10 announced artists on THE LAUNCH, available on Instagram and Twitter. Click here to view the first of three companion videos.More information about the first 10 announced artists featured in THE LAUNCH can be found below. Full bios and photos showcasing all of the artists are available on CTV.ca’s dedicated artist pages (available via links below). Twitter
Facebook Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment TORONTO – The sexual misconduct lawsuits filed this week against Soulpepper Theatre Company and its founding artistic director are serving as a wake-up call to similar organizations throughout Canada’s arts scene, industry members say.Companies said efforts to tackle sexual harassment in the field were under way long before four actresses levelled explosive allegations against Albert Schultz and Soulpepper last week.Diana Bentley, Hannah Miller, Patricia Fagan and Kristin Booth alleged in their statements of claim that Schultz groped them, exposed himself, pressed against them or otherwise behaved inappropriately. Schultz, who resigned from Soulpepper on Thursday, said he will “vigorously defend” himself against the allegations, which have not been tested in court.While concerns about harassment were already on the industry radar, the Soulpepper situation will probably ensure they receive more attention in the coming months, said Mark Aikman, director of development and communications at Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.“Certainly it’s a wake-up call and a reminder that no place, no industry, is immune from that kind of thing,” he said.Aikman, who said his organization is still reeling from the shock of the Soulpepper news, did not speculate on whether concrete changes were coming at the company. But he said Buddies in Bad Times will continue with a months-long initiative to provide resources to performers who have concerns or anxieties about sexual harassment on the job.Those resources are provided as part of a campaign launched by the Canadian Actors Equity Association, working in conjunction with the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres. The anti-harassment effort, dubbed Not in Our Space, came about after a survey of live performers across the country.Equity said in a statement that the results clearly indicated action was needed. Half of all participants reported experiencing some form of inappropriate behaviour in their workplace, with women twice as likely as men to report they’d been sexually harassed.Not in Our Space promotes a zero tolerance approach, with participating theatres adopting a statement to that effect on the first day of rehearsal for any new production. Theatres in the program must also prominently display brochures and posters that let performers know what help is available. Equity said the number of people coming forward has increased since the campaign began, but did not provide specific figures.Equity also said a meeting of people involved in the live performance sector will take place later this month to discuss an industry-wide response.Numerous theatre companies, including Toronto-based Factory Theatre, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Company and Ottawa’s National Arts Centre (NAC) have all signed up for the Not in Our Space program.Some, however, felt the need for further action.The NAC said it launched a review of its sexual harassment policy this week in response to the Schultz case.Communications director Carl Martin said issues around harassment are high priorities for the company, citing English theatre artistic director Jillian Keiley’s decision to hire an intimacy coach while working on past productions for other organizations.Intimacy coaches, Martin said, carefully choreograph scenes involving physical contact to ensure no boundaries are crossed. While no such coach has been hired for NAC productions, Martin said it would not be surprising to see such a move in the future.“The artistic leadership here is quite attuned to these issues and very forward-thinking about these issues,” he said.Keiley hired the intimacy coach while working at Ontario’s Stratford Festival. The move was one of several measures spokesperson Ann Swerdfager pointed to as part of that company’s effort to maintain a safe workplace.Other moves included establishing a discussion group for women in the theatre, she said.In 2018, Stratford plans to implement more staff training and tighten reporting protocols.“One of the things we are learning from recent events is the vital importance of ensuring that there are safe, sure and clear ways to report harassment, should it occur,” Swerdfager said in a statement. “As a result, not only are we working to strengthen the policy, but also to find effective communications measures to ensure everyone who works at the festival is aware of it and of how to raise a concern if the policy is not being followed.”Halifax-based Neptune Theatre said it, too, is reviewing its long-standing sexual harassment policies and reporting procedures.Spokesperson Michael Browne said the company’s artistic director, Jeremy Webb, is committed to making the theatre a more respectful space for all, starting with the performer audition process.“He has requested agents/artists stop the practice of listing an actor’s height, weight and other measurements on resumes,” Browne said.The Cultch in Vancouver has long offered anonymity to anyone wanting to report issues of harassment.Executive director Heather Redfern said the predominately female-run theatre organization gives staff a number of avenues to report problems, including speaking to the board of directors, so they can find someone they trust.Redfern said the recent allegations of sexual harassment in the industry also points to the lack of women in positions of power.“You don’t fix things until you actually start to see that shifting and you start to see some equality there,” she said. “I’m an optimist. It feels like real change is finally happening.”By MICHELLE MCQUIGGE – The Canadian Press Jillian Keiley hired an intimacy coach while working at the Stratford Festival to maintain a safe workplace. (CHRIS YOUNG / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO) Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With:
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