Storyteller Jan Andrews Organ Pillaging for Profit My Kidney’s Second Life
Paying it Forward
Hélène CampbelL Turning the Tide
Rosane Doré Lefebvre Living Her Dream
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his past May, Le Chateau Montebello was the site of an illustrious gathering. One hundred and forty women travelled from other countries and across our own to attend the ULTIMATE GIRLS GETAWAY weekend! They burst into the lobby from automobiles and from buses— rehearsing lines and tugging on their newly-acquired matching outfits. I counted four Mother and Daughter teams and wished my own was with me. Every few minutes the decibel level hit nine as returning guests spotted one another. Some were already decked out in their “dream duds” to get a jump start on the Friday Night Pyjama Party. It didn’t look like there were many outfits made for sleeping—especially the Stetsons sported by an Alberta contingent and the Fascinators created by another nimble-fingered lass from Aylmer. Fifteen years ago, Nadja Piatka organized her first getaway for women, the Ultimate Pyjama Party, and the fun hasn’t stopped since. Veronica Piatka, Nadja’s daughter, has worked with her mother for the past several years to help plan the weekend’s events. For those more inclined
to movement, there’s Zumba dancing or a scenic hike. Guests can attend a wide range of talks and sessions from The Magic Power of Style to The Clout of Social Media to Heavenly Hormones. And if you can’t find anyone you want to talk with at your table, you might want to attend Nan O’Brien’s session to talk with those “on the other side.” One thing is certain: there’s no excuse for boredom! Amidst the information and excitement is the ever-flowing undercurrent of camaraderie and compassion. It’s this bond of caring that motivates women to attend the ULTIMATE GIRLS GETAWAY and it’s the beauty and the benefit of that caring, camaraderie and compassion that keeps them returning year after year. Why don’t you consider next year’s event? You can sign up for the Ultimate Girls Getaway Newsletter and Facebook Fan Page at ultimategirlsgetaway.com.
Veronica and Nadja Piatka
Turning the Tide on Parliament Hill
14 Rosane Doré Lefebvre
BY NICOLA MAULE
Living Her Dream
16 NADIA PETRELLA
BY DOSI COTRONEO
Involuntary Organ Donations
18 ORGAN PILLAGING FOR PROFIT
Hon. DAVID KILGOUR AND DAVID MATAS
Myths and Misconceptions
Photography by Manon Campbell
ON THE COVER
Paying it Forward
20 ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION
BY JOANNE LASKOSKI
10 Hélène CampbeLL
BY SHERRI YAZDANI
“A Little Hélène That Won’t Give Up”
12 Hélène CampbeLL
BY SHERRI YAZDANI
22 MY KIDNEY’s SECOND LIFE 4
CAPITAL WOMAN MAGAZINE
BY HEATHER DUNCAN
TABLE OF CONTENTS VOLUME THREE
IN EVERY ISSUE
6 FROM THE EDITOR
36 HEALTHY LIVING
9 FROM THE FOUNDER
High Protein Pancakes
38 MY VOICE
24 FEATURED ARTIST
A Sense of Community in Ottawa
Storyteller Jan Andrews
40 EXTRAORDINARY WOMAN
27 6 KIDS AND STILL STANDING
28 The ability in DISABILITY
The Artist in Me My Fascination with Music and Words
29 HOLISTIC WELLNESS
The Artist in All of Us
30 LEGAL QUESTIONS
Demystifying Property and Title Insurance
31 YOUNG, GIFTED AND FEMALE
The Power of the Spoken Word
32 MENTAL HEALTH The French Immersion Dilemma
33 ABORIGINAL ISSUES
Discovering True Potential
34 MONEY WISE
Seven Habits of Highly Effective Women
35 A DISCERNING AGE
Views and Perspectives
Photography by Melissa Leroux
From the Editor With the distribution of the third volume of CAPITAL WOMAN, I want to thank each of you for your feedback and support. CAPITAL WOMAN is your voice, and we are listening. A number of women and men inquired about subscribing to the magazine. We are pleased to now offer a subscription service. Details are below and on capitalwoman.ca. Please continue to write to us with your ideas and comments. You inspire us to continuously strive to make each issue better than the one before. Inspiration. What a glorious word! Did you know the medical definition of inspiration is “the drawing of air into the lungs”? Which brings me to the spunky, intelligent, articulate and beautiful young woman on our front cover: Hélène Campbell. This modern crusader, with a computer as her sword, launched the #BeAnOrganDonor campaign. Back home in Ottawa since July 16, Hélène continues to recover from her double lung transplant and raise awareness about organ donation. Our very own Heather Duncan shares her experience donating a kidney. My gratitude goes to Heather for telling her story and offering a personal perspective on the merits of voluntary organ donation. At the other end of the spectrum, the Honourable David Kilgour
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and David Matas open our eyes and hearts to the tragedy and injustice of involuntary organ harvesting of Falun Gong prisoners in China. Madeleine L’Engle was on the mark when she said, “Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.” It is my hope that the articles in CAPITAL WOMAN will continue to motivate and challenge our readers. Sherri Yazdani is fortunate to meet and write about the women nominated for “Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives.” The stories of these women are truly inspirational, as evident with the remarkable Marie-Eve Chainey. The Honourable Rosane Doré Lefebvre, one of the young “rookie MPs,” will inspire other young women to pursue a career in politics. Featured artists, Nadia Petrella and Jan Andrews, are accomplished artists in their respective fields of opera and writing/story telling. Our youth columnist, Chelby Daigle, opens our eyes (and hopefully our ears) to the spoken word scene. Regular columnists, Wendy Knight Agard and Kim Kilpatrick, encourage us to explore our creativity, no matter the depth of our talent (or perhaps in spite of it!). As Barbara Streisand said, “Art does not exist only to entertain, but also to challenge one to think, to provoke, even to disturb, in a constant search for truth.” Let’s continue to challenge and inspire each other to make this world a better place for all.
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CONTRIBUTORS VOLUME THREE
DOSI COTRONEO WRITER Dosi Cotroneo was born and raised in Ottawa’s Little Italy. After compiling many short stories based on her big fat Italian family, Cotroneo approached her local newspaper and soon became a widely-read weekly columnist, reporter, magazine contributor and photographer. Cotroneo’s love of family, traditions and fine Italian leathers, particularly shoes and purses, tend to be at the centre of her column writing. She is the author of the chic-lit humour novel, The Secret Diary of an Italian Girl. Her articles have been published nationally in the Ottawa Citizen, the Vancouver Sun, the Edmonton Journal, and the Calgary Herald.
HON. DAVID KILGOUR
A former Canadian cabinet minister and Crown Prosecutor, Kilgour was Secretary of State for Latin America & Africa, and Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific. David remains active on issues of human dignity. In 2009, he and David Matas, a human rights lawyer, published Bloody Harvest—The Killing of Falun Gong for their Organs. Kilgour and Matas were awarded the 2009 Human Rights Award of the International Society for Human Rights and in 2010, both were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for their work in raising awareness of statesponsored organ pillaging in China. david-kilgour.com
Heather was born and raised in Toronto, attended the University of Ottawa and then returned to Ottawa 15 years ago. Passionate about financial planning for women, Heather also enjoys writing. She wrote and published the book, There’s Always Something You Can Do, and is a regular contributor to CAPITAL WOMAN magazine (see her column, “A Discerning Age,” on page 35). Heather shares with us in this issue her frank, and often humourous outlook of her experience as a kidney donor. Her favourite role is being Auntie Heather to her four nieces and one “favourite” nephew. heatherduncan.ca
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CAPITAL WOMAN magazine Founder/Publisher: Delila Andison Editor-in-Chief: Joanne Laskoski Design: Shannon Kalyniak In-house Photographer: Renée Kimlova
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From the Founder “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” –Maya Angelou While legislators and netizens alike are concerned with the challenges of the Information Age, one of its undisputed benefits is global giving. Whether it concerns an international appeal for organ and tissue donations or the needs of a neighborhood family in distress, our immediate access to information and rapid response system is an incredible asset the world has not previously known. It’s true the Information Age is radically affecting our lives on political, economic, cultural and social levels; however, it’s the Age of Networking that is affecting our connectivity on personal and community levels; on global and grassroots levels. It’s how we share information and communicate. It’s a forum for dialogue and debate. It’s a current and unprecedented opportunity to come together as a community for the greater good. Communities have long depended on givers—that vast army of volunteers who donate their time and talent at every level of community life. They’re the candy stripers at the hospital, the monitors at the ice arena and the social pillars at every fundraising event. Equally important is the individual giver such as Heather Duncan. When you read her story I think you’ll agree her donation of a kidney involved two organs: a kidney and a great big heart! Surely, in the annals of giving, saving a life is without parallel; doing so without a second thought is heroic—an inspiration! Stories of such epic proportions don’t come along every day and often inspire an epic response—such as Heather’s friend who became a donor herself. It is our hope that many readers will be inspired to make the life-giving decision to fill out a Record of Donation form. For those of us who have never mapped out a masterful web wonder nor saved a life, endless opportunities for giving remain. Often it’s the little gifts that have the greatest value—a warm smile, an encouraging word, a small gesture of respect. We can choose to reach out to others with whatever gifts we possess. Our hearts are made for it!
MISSION CAPITAL WOMAN is a magazine dedicated to the women who live in Ottawa and its surrounding region ~women of all ages, ethnicities and lifestyles. Our mission is to provide both a sounding board and a safety net for her issues and aspirations; to feature mentors and models to inspire her as she pursues her hopes, dreams and goals; and to extend networks and resources to assist her in achieving a more beautiful, successful and fulfilling life. CAPITAL WOMAN shares in her search and celebrates her uniqueness and immense value ~ to herself, her family, her community, and the world.
We’re women helping women. We extend an invitation to each of you to join us in the journey.
Delila Andison Founder
BY SHERRI YAZDANI
n late March—only days before she would receive her transplant—Hélène and her mother Manon invited CAPITAL WOMAN into their Toronto apartment to talk about the twists and turns life had brought them over the past year. Writer Sherri Yazdani shares her experience of that day.
s I entered their tiny, temporary A apartment, Hélène and I shook hands awkwardly. Her eyes sparkled just as brightly as they did in her videos. She grinned, welcomed me in, then grinned and asked, “Are you allergic to peanuts?” She then gestured to a generous assortment
Hélène’s illness was quite of REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups advanced; her breathing was spilling out of a basket. “Have laboured and her oxygen machine some! I mean, not just one or quietly hummed in the background. two—have a few bags!” I protested Yet our conversation that day was gently; these treats were for her— relaxed. There was much laughter. the courageous young woman who was waiting for a double lung trans- Hélène spoke openly about her approach to the circumstances in plant, and who had shared through which she found herself. her blog how her favourite candy made her happy. But she insisted, “I’m not going to change just “This is how I pay it forward.” because I’m sick. I guess you learn Moments after, all awkwardness things about yourself, and you had dissolved, and she was giving know who are and what you want me the hug she had cautiously held to be going through life. You have back when I arrived. to stay positive. One of my big things is you don’t control what’s Hélène Campbell. Her name has happening to you, but you control become closely associated with the how you deal with what’s hapcause for organ and tissue donation. pening to you. “A lot of people But it is equally associated with thought this would change who I creativity. Charm. Spunk. Laughter. am. I think it has just shown more Joy. After only of who I am.” five minutes with her, I knew Hélène has stayed positive, in why. Her physipart through her focus on organ cal presence was donation awareness. She explained small, but her that her work for this cause was spirit barely fit in itself a part-time job. But never in the room. for a moment did she think her
CAPITAL WOMAN MAGAZINE
COVER STORY Hélène CampbelL
Photography by Sherri Yazdani
message would travel as far and as wide as it has. From her first video (which had 20,000 views in two days), to getting Justin Bieber on board and appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Hélène has increased organ donor registrations by 500% in Ontario alone. However, she is quick to point out that she didn’t achieve this on her own. We can add humble to her list of attributes. “People see they can make a difference. We want to be heroes. It shows everybody has a purpose. It’s not me that did that. Every person made a difference.” Helen’s face lit up when she remembered her time in Spain— only a year ago—when she was studying Spanish. Her doctor had prescribed new inhalers just before she left, and she took them religiously. But they never seemed to help. She realizes now that all the years doctors thought she had asthma, a simple chest x-ray would have alerted them to the
“PEOPLE SEE THEY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. WE WANT TO BE HEROES. IT SHOWS EVERYBODY HAS A PURPOSE.” deadly disease which took them by surprise. I wondered if she was bitter about the misdiagnosis that robbed her of the opportunity to prepare for the way her disease would change her life. Not Hélène. “We could have caught it much sooner…but I wouldn’t have done all the things I did; I wouldn’t have worked that long; and I wouldn’t be who I am today going through this if I hadn’t met, traveled, seen, and done all those things. I’m just so happy that nothing happened. I am so fortunate. It was the journey I was meant to take.” She spoke about living in Toronto with her mom, away from her two sisters and her brother, who stayed in Ottawa with their father. The separation of the family was difficult. Yet, amidst the challenges, she
found the gifts. And the humour. “You’re used to living in this environment of family—with three siblings and two parents—all of a sudden it becomes just the two of you. I found out she loves Jujubes! I didn’t know that before. What REESE’S are to me, Jujubes are to her. She ate so many she had a Jujube overdose! Now we have Jujubes too.” When it was time to leave, we parted like old friends. I was deeply moved by the young woman with such charisma, and the grounding strength of her mother. Theirs is a journey that was not of their choosing. But they have embraced all of the blessings it has brought with every turn. As I drove home to Ottawa, my mind replayed the afternoon’s conversation. I munched on the bag of REESE’S Sticks Minis Hélène had given me for the road. I knew she had given me much more. And now it was my turn to follow her example, and pay it forward. SUMMER 2012
“A little Hélène
that won’t give up” O
unofficial spokesperson for organ and tissue donation, and the centre of a media storm. She is now known across Canada and beyond: a Google search produces 36 million results; over 16 thousand people follow her on Twitter; some of her appearances on YouTube have over 200,000 views.
n May 24, Hélène Campbell made her first public appearance since undergoing a double lung transplant seven weeks earlier. Sitting beside her parents, she spoke confidently to the television cameras and journalists gathered for the press conference at the Toronto General Hospital. “Going through this journey, has been an experience of a lifetime,” she began. She then spoke about her second chance at life, and her tremendous gratitude to her donor’s family. As she spoke, she smiled and laughed. And then, with her parents and her surgeons joining at her side, she danced.
Hélène was always curious about the world. While working at two jobs, and saving for university, she set out to read five different subjects a week—with the goal of being able to make conversation on any given topic. She realized there were so many fascinating things to study!
It was a moment of joy—and it was exactly what we had come to expect from the young Ottawa woman who has captured the hearts of people around the world with her indomitable spirit.
AS SHE SPOKE, SHE SMILED AND LAUGHED. AND THEN, WITH HER PARENTS AND HER SURGEONS JOINING AT HER SIDE, SHE DANCED.
Only a year and a half ago, she was studying abroad, thinking her shortness of breath was caused by asthma. In September 2011 she was diagnosed with a rare and deadly lung disease—idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis—and in the months that followed, her health deteriorated to the point where a double lung transplant was her only hope for survival. On April 6, 2012, Hélène underwent the long and gruelling procedure. In addition to the very profound medical circumstances Hélène has experienced, she has also gone from being known among friends and colleagues, to becoming the
It’s not surprising that, when a friend suggested to Hélène they travel to Spain to study Spanish for six weeks, Hélène was easily convinced. While there, she took her inhalers dutifully, but never felt any improvement. She was out of breath, but chalked it up to being out of shape. While in Spain, the travel bug bit Hélène hard, and only three days after she arrived home, she asked her mom to drive her back to the airport. This time she was backpacking across England for two weeks. Hélène loved England. “I loved what I saw. What I felt wasn’t so good.” How could she
CAPITAL WOMAN MAGAZINE
have known that while lugging a 50-pound backpack around, she only had 26% lung capacity? When Hélène returned home, she had lost weight, and lost hair. She was always tired and cold. She coughed frequently. Yet somehow she still didn’t slow down. She was hiking with friends when she realized something was wrong; she simply couldn’t keep up with the others. One of her friends had to carry her. Her mom insisted she have a chest x-ray. Two days later a physician called Hélène and told her to present herself to emergency; her lungs had collapsed. But even then she was reluctant to slow down. She politely explained she had a friend visiting from California, and they were about to leave for Niagara Falls. She offered to go to the hospital after they returned. But the physician was adamant—this was serious; she needed to go to the hospital today. Hélène spent two weeks in hospital, and another two months undergoing various tests, before being diagnosed with advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Her lungs were like those of someone who had been a chain smoker for sixty years. Things began to change quickly for Hélène. She could no longer work, and she needed pulmonary rehabilitation. She needed to learn to slow down. Right then, she decided that while the disease would indeed slow her down, she would not let it bring her down.
COVER STORY Hélène CampbelL
Once she learned more about Canada’s low organ donor rate, Hélène had a cause. She decided to do everything she could to raise awareness and encourage people to become organ and tissue donors. Focusing her energy on something that would benefit others helped her stay positive. She launched her website—alungstory.ca—and began to blog about her experiences. Hélène was intrigued by social media, but couldn’t understand how it might be used to help a cause. Then her good friend Kelly Logan created a Facebook group encouraging people to become organ donors. Hélène posted a thought she had about tweeting Justin Bieber, and almost a hundred people “liked” it right away. It was all the encouragement she needed. On January 19, 2012, Hélène and her mom moved to Toronto to be close to the hospital where the transplant surgery would happen. It was a scary time for Hélène. But instead of focusing on all the unknowns before her, she thought about the tremendous opportunity created by the long car ride—she could tweet all day! January 19 became the day she urged everyone to tweet Justin Bieber. To get her idea across quickly, she made a video.
“WE HAD THE PERFECT RECIPE. EVERYONE WANTED TO HELP. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT IS NOT HELPING ME, BUT HELPING OTHERS.”
Photography by Manon Campbell
It captured her sparkle and charm, and ended with her singing away to Justin’s song, “Baby.” In two days it had 20,000 views, and it caught the interest of newspapers, radio, and television. Hélène’s work was beginning to gather momentum. “We had the perfect recipe. Everyone wanted to help. This is something that is not helping me, but helping others.” When news of Hélène’s campaign hit the media, registrations on the Ontario organ donor registry spiked. A few days later, when Justin Bieber retweeted her message, the registry saw an even higher spike in registrations. Building on that success, she made another video, appealing to Ellen DeGeneres. Not long after, she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show via Skype, spreading the message of organ donation.
She is excited to one day travel to California to dance beside Ellen on the show—and even more excited to see how many people will register as organ donors that day. Hélène remembers that ever since she was a child, she wanted to do something of importance. At the young age of only 21, it seems she is doing just that. During the May press conference, Hélène was asked whether there had been any difficult days during her recovery when she wanted to give up. She recalled one day, when she was suffering from infection and rejection, she became discouraged. At that moment her father looked at her and said something he used to say when she was a child: “Une petite Hélène qui ne lâche pas.” (“A little Hélène that won’t give up.”) Indeed, she won’t. And we are all the better for it. SUMMER 2012
Rosane Doré Lefebvre Turning the Tide on Parliament Hill BY NICOLA MAULE
The federal election in May 2011, nicknamed the “Orange Crush,” has nothing to do with the carbonated soft drink! It refers to the record 101 New Democratic Party (NDP) Members of Parliament (MPs), 58 of them from Quebec. At age twenty-six, Rosane Doré Lefebvre was one of the newly elected Quebec NDP MPs for the rural riding of Alfred-Pellan, just north of Montreal. She had been a year in office when I sat down with this articulate, confident, and intelligent young woman to find out how she became an NDP candidate, her reflections on her first year in office, and what is it like to be a female twenty-something in Canada’s House of Commons.
to continue the discussion and they captured our attention with their ideas. They looked us in the eye with sincerity, talked about their vision of Canada, and then told us their personal life stories. Tom and Jack were so open and positive and encouraged us to take an active role in the future of Canada. It was so refreshing to see that these successful politicians were real and caring people. Their energy was infectious and I decided then and there that I wanted to be a part of the NDP.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN POLITICS AND WHY WERE YOU DRAWN TO THE NDP?
The NDP party was looking to run candidates in all the Quebec ridings. I was an active member of the party while at university and so when they came to my riding, Alfred-Pellan, I was a good fit. I remember getting the call from the party and being offered the nomination. It was a long-shot to win the seat as we were only 12 per cent in the polls. However, I was up for the challenge and thought that maybe I could get up to 15 per cent of the vote. At that time I had no idea that we would be far more successful.
I first became interested in politics when I was involved in the newspaper at my CEGEP in 2005. I then went on to study political science at the University of Montreal. In 2007, I was extremely fortunate to attend a university conference where Jack Layton and Tom Mulcair were keynote speakers. A group of fellow students took Tom and Jack out for some drinks
CAPITAL WOMAN MAGAZINE
How did you get the NDP nomination for your riding?
FEATURE Rosane DorĂŠ Lefebvre
What was it like on the campaign trail?
What is a major challenge that you face?
Well, first of all if you want to campaign you have to like meeting and listening to people! Luckily I love doing this and I love politics. It was amazing how many people wanted to help canvas with me door-to-door and put up signs and deliver flyers. As the campaign went on, people kept telling me they were tired of the Bloc Quebecois, they did not trust the Liberals and they could not vote Conservative, and so the NDP was looking like their only option. But it was still a real shock when I won my riding along with 57 other NDP candidates in Quebec!
I find that I have very little time for myself, but that is what I expected. I try to schedule one weekend a month off just to recharge my batteries. I am not alone in trying to find the work-life balance.
What did the MP job orientation consist of? It was a full month of intense learning. There were over a hundred rookie MPs so they created a sort of boot camp for us, and it was actually a great bonding experience. We went on tours of the Hill, attended lectures given by seasoned MPs about how committees work, learned about all the protocol involved in the House of Commons, and we were given media training. We also had to get our offices set up and staffed. I am very fortunate to have energetic and supportive staff in my Ottawa and constituency offices, which I think is one of the keys to being a productive MP.
What has surprised you most about being an MP? I think I am most surprised about the congeniality among the MPs of all parties. Everyone is very respectful and friendly towards one another. It is not like what goes on in Question Period.
DO YOU THINK HAVING AN INFLUX OF YOUNG FEMALE MPs HAS CHANGED THE FACE OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS? Nearly half of the NDP MPs are female, and I think this gives us an advantage as we are a true representation of the Canadian population. Whenever a female MP of any party speaks in the House of Commons I am proud, as they are all extremely articulate and confident women and their voices are being heard. However, we have to keep encouraging women to run for public office at all levels of government. I know it becomes a very stressful job once women start a family, and accommodations need to be made to assist mothers in public office.
What has been the most memorable moment for you in your first year as an MP? It was an extremely emotional year for the NDP party with the death of our respected leader, Jack Layton, followed by the leadership convention where I had the privilege of being a Master of Ceremonies. The year has just flown by, but one good thing that emerged is that the NDP MPs have become a true family. We are all extremely close, and I know I can count on any of them for moral support at any time. I think that is what Jack would have wanted.
What are the main issues for the constituents in your riding? We have large federal prisons in my riding so the new budget has people concerned as there are many changes that have been announced at Correctional Services Canada. I have just become the critic for Public Safety in the shadow cabinet and Deputy Chair of the Public Safety Committee so I am engaged heavily in this file. Immigration and agricultural issues are also issues that my staff and I spend a considerable amount of time on. I get a lot of satisfaction from being an advocate for people, finding solutions and improving the lives of my constituents.
How do you like living in Ottawa? I have found Ottawa to be a beautiful and friendly city. I grew up in the country so I decided to live in the downtown core so that I can walk to work and get my groceries nearby. I go home to my riding every weekend to attend events and see my family, but during the week I try to get out in Ottawa with fellow MPs and friends.
I spent the best part of a morning speaking with Rosane and her warmth and smile were infectious. I came away thinking that Canadians are in good hands with such a sincere and caring young woman in the House of Commons. She is changing the face of the House of Commons to orange, young and female!
Living her dream
Petrella Photography by Melissa Leroux
BY DOSI COTRONEO
adia Petrella is living her dream. Born and raised in Ottawa, the gifted soprano singer is completing her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at the world-renowned Manhatten School of Music (MSM). She is under the guidance of Catherine Malfitano, who is generally considered to be one of America’s leading operatic sopranos.
As a young girl, Nadia Petrella
CAPITAL WOMAN MAGAZINE
would wander through her house singing. Passionate about playing piano, it wasn’t until Petrella was 15 years old that she discovered the world of opera. Voice lessons ensued and before long, it became evident that Petrella had a gift that had to be shared on the stage. Under the guidance of David MacAdam, tenor, stage director,
and associate performance instructor at Ottawa’s Carleton University, Petrella literally found her voice, and earned her Bachelor of Music with Honours Degree in Vocal Performance. “He taught me how to sing,” said Petrella. “I credit him with my voice.” Petrella performed her first opera at the age of 21 when she was given a supporting role in a University of Ottawa production of Poulenc’s Les
FEATURE NADIA PETRELLA
Dialogues des Carmelites, singing “Soeur Constance.” While on stage during this performance she realized this is where she felt her happiest. “I didn’t get into opera,” shared Petrella, “opera got into me. I was very musical growing up, and once I took voice lessons, it kind of snowballed from there.” And snowballed it did. After being accepted into the music programs at both McGill University and MSM, Petrella’s next set of obstacles lay ahead. “It was a challenge to figure out where I wanted to go. I decided on the Manhatten School of Music, although scholarships are very difficult to receive and I didn’t have the funds to cover the tuition and boarding fees.” A gifted singer, talent alone was not enough to make Petrella’s dream of attending the Manhatten School of Music a reality. With an annual tuition and boarding fee of $50,000 USD, Petrella had to face the daunting task of finding a sponsor. Through a chance meeting at Ottawa’s Kiwanis Music Festival, Petrella crossed paths with Rosalyn Bern, president of the Leacross Foundation, a family foundation whose mission is to support educating women and children in Canada. “I spoke to her and told her about my situation. I had been accepted to two prestigious schools and was searching for sponsorship. Her foundation decided to sponsor me, and that is how I got here. It was incredible and she’s a wonderful woman and I am incredibly fortunate.”
This past spring, Petrella was thrilled to return to her hometown of Ottawa as she rejoined Ottawa Pocket Opera to perform the role of “Lucy” in Gian Caro Menotitti’s one-act opera The Telephone. In May, she was back again on the stage in the Pellegrini Opera production of Bizet’s Carmen, where she sang “Michaela.” Today, Petrella shares an apartment in New York City with her roommates and two cats. After a tough year of adjustment, Petrella says she has fallen in love with New York City, and considers it home. Yet, as exciting as life in the Big Apple sounds, it is a far cry from Nadia’s close-knit ItalianCanadian upbringing in suburban Orleans. “It was hard that first year. It wasn’t easy being away from home,” said Petrella. “I was worried about being really homesick since I’ve been a homebody and I had a few instances where it did hit. I love my family and see them and spend time with them and although it’s hard to leave them to come back, New York has become my home right now, and I no longer feel that loneliness. This is where I am supposed to be, and the phone and Skype are like a miracle.” In those moments of longing for her family, Petrella says she tells herself that she cannot see herself doing anything else that will make her this happy, and attributes her strength and will to the undying support she receives from her family, friends and her sponsors.
“It’s a lot of hard work along the way and it’s very challenging, both emotionally and physically. I get my ups and I get my downs, but I have to keep going and believing in myself, convincing myself that I will get to where I want to be. I don’t see it as an option after everything I have gone through, and most especially after all the people who believe in me and have shown me their support. I know that music can change people. It can inspire people and give them strength or comfort, but most of all, it can bring them joy. I know that I’ve been able to inspire such emotions in those who have heard me sing, and it is this knowledge which encourages me to pursue my dreams, even when I may be facing hardships. I have a gift worth sharing with the world—a gift I truly want to share with others.” Right now Petrella is in the middle of completing young artist applications for programs geared towards artists at her level who are just out of graduate school and preparing to begin their careers. “Everybody’s path is different. You never know what path you will be taking until you take it,” said Petrella. “This applies to everything—anything that you really want to do and do well. Those challenges and obstacles will always be there. You need to make a decision—if this is what I really want, then I need to just keep going and not give up.”
“I KNOW THAT MUSIC CAN CHANGE PEOPLE. IT CAN INSPIRE PEOPLE AND GIVE THEM STRENGTH OR COMFORT, BUT MOST OF ALL, IT CAN BRING THEM JOY. I KNOW THAT I’VE BEEN ABLE TO INSPIRE SUCH EMOTIONS IN THOSE WHO HAVE HEARD ME SING, AND IT IS THIS KNOWLEDGE WHICH ENCOURAGES ME TO PURSUE MY DREAMS, EVEN WHEN I MAY BE FACING HARDSHIPS. I HAVE A GIFT WORTH SHARING WITH THE WORLD—A GIFT I TRULY WANT TO SHARE WITH OTHERS.” SUMMER 2012
HON. DAVID KILGOUR AND DAVID MATAS
ORGAN Pillaging of Falun Gong Prisoners I
n Canada, organ and tissue donations are voluntary or they are not made at all. There is no recourse if there is insufficient voluntary donations; patients remain sick and may die. In China, insufficient voluntary donations mean involuntary donations. Prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, are killed for their organs. Proponents of the international campaign to stop organ pillaging in China strongly favour voluntary organ donations such has saved the much-loved and admired Hélène Campbell’s life. The more voluntary donations that are made in Canada and elsewhere, the less will be the demand for involuntary ones which have cost the lives of many thousands of Falun Gong practitioners across China since 2001.
F alun Gong
Falun Gong is a set of exercises with a spiritual foundation which began in China only in 1992. The belief system behind the exercises is an updating of Chinese Buddhist and Tao traditions. China’s Communist Party leaders at first encouraged the exercises because they are clearly healthful, but the belief system spread so rapidly across China that there were within seven years more practitioners than members of the Party by the government’s own estimate. In June 1999, the Party banned Falun Gong and labelled it a cult. When practitioners peacefully persisted, the Party-state, in November 1999, began its vilification of them with propaganda, massive arrests, and torture to elicit recantations. Practitioners disappeared if they did not recant.
alun Gong practitioners quickly became the number F one victims of repression in China: two-thirds of the total torture victims, according to the United Nations rapporteur on torture; half of those in the slave labour camps, according to U.S. Department of State Human Rights reports. The dehumanization of Falun Gong, their huge numbers in detention and their vulnerability as an unidentified population combined to make it easy for them to become a large source of organs for sale. S everal years ago, we inquired at three transplant hospitals across Canada (Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto) attempting to estimate how many Canadians were going to China for organs. We informally obtained data that about 100 had gone during the previous two years in terms of obtaining aftercare from the three hospitals.
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However, we spoke to a kidney recipient in an Asian country who in two visits to the #1 Peoples’ Hospital in Shanghai was provided with kidneys from eight donors before the last proved compatible. He’s now doing fine, but eight Falun Gong or executed convicted criminals are dead. When Party-state spokesmen say that 90% of transplant organs come from executed prisoners, they are no doubt including Falun Gong practitioners who, once arrested and sent to labour camps, are prisoners. However, unlike other prisoners, Falun Gong practitioners have not passed through the “court” system, and belong to a group which has been portrayed as subhuman by massive Party propaganda. We assert immediately our longtime admiration for the people of China. Our differences are with the Communist Party over organ pillaging and other violations of human rights within and outside China. Only last month, a new report by the US State Department indicated that human rights have deteriorated as Beijing’s Party-state engaged in widespread and expanding severe repression of its own people and ethnic minorities in 2011. Such sentiments compel friends of China around the world to speak up for the dignity of its people. The Party accuses critics of being “anti-China,” but it has continued to abuse many Chinese in myriad ways during six decades. Chinese human rights advocates, such as the twice Nobel Peace Prize-nominated and currently imprisoned Gao Zhisheng, and their international supporters care deeply about the well-being of the Chinese people. According to our research (a July 2006 report, updated in January 2007 and available in 18 languages at organharvestinvestigation.net; a 2009 book titled Bloody Harvest; and a book of essays released in August 2012, State Organs, to which we both contributed), we concluded that Falun Gong were killed in the tens of thousands so that their organs could be sold, often to foreigners, generating a billion dollar business for China. We launched a global campaign to attempt to end the abuse we identified, speaking in over forty countries and eighty cities about our research.
FEATURE ORGAN PILLAGING FOR PROFIT
How did we come to the conclusion that prisoners of conscience were being killed in China for their organs? One estimate of the number of the camps across China as of 2005 was 340, having a capacity of about 300,000 inmates. In 2007, a US government report estimated that at least half of the inmates in the camps were Falun Gong. It is the combination of totalitarian governance and ‘anything is permitted’ economics that allows such inhuman practices to persist. Consider: •
nly Falun Gong practitioners in the labour camps O are routinely blood tested and physically examined with ultra sounds and other tests on the quality of their organs. Since they are systematically tortured, the testing cannot be motivated by health concerns. Testing is necessary to ensure blood and tissue compatibility between the organ source and the recipient.
raditional sources of transplants—persons conT victed of capital offences and executed, voluntary donors, the brain dead/cardiac alive—don’t explain the total number of transplants done since 1999. Deputy health minister Huang Jeifu was reported to have said in 2005 that as many as 95% of the transplanted organs in China derived from executions. Their volume went up dramatically after the banning of Falun Gong, yet the numbers of persons sentenced to death and then executed did not increase.
he main conclusion of Bloody Harvest is that the T involuntary large-scale organ pillaging resulting in the death of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience continues. Their organs (kidneys, livers, hearts and corneas) are being trafficked, sometimes still to foreigners who face long waits for voluntary donations in their own countries.
Sources informed us that some organs from practitioners who died during detention had been sold illegally for organ transplants. We reviewed death cases collected after President Jiang Zemin’s regime initiated the persecution of Falun Gong. According to investigation reports, holes and knife wounds were discovered on the corpses of some Falun Gong practitioners. Some were dissected without the consent of family members, and the organs from some of the corpses were removed. Jiang’s regime and its followers committed new crimes against humanity against Falun Gong practitioners, and illegally sold human organs. Our opinion was not formed from any single piece of evidence, but rather from the cumulative effect of 52 kinds of proof. Each is verifiable and most are incontestable.
By deducting the organ transplants which came from executed criminals and other explained sources from the 90,000 which a government spokesman said were done over the period 1999 to 2005, we estimate that the remaining 41,500 transplants during those years came from incarcerated Falun Gong.
Live Organ Harvest
According to investigations conducted by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), organ transplant facilities in many provinces as well as most military hospitals in China are suspected of involvement in harvesting organs from live Falun Gong practitioners. After the existence of the Sujiatun Camp was exposed in March 2006, some hospitals in northeast China received notices instructing them temporarily to halt organ transplantation. However, after the Ministry of Health published “Provisional Regulations on the Clinical Application of Human Organ Transplant” on March 27, 2006, to be implemented on July 1, 2006, large transplant centres and hospitals throughout the country not only resumed organ transplantation, but the number of surgeries also increased dramatically. Witness testimonies, investigations, concerns and condemnations from the international community followed the exposure of the atrocities in 2006. As a result, the regime was forced to cut back but not completely end organ harvesting from live Falun Gong practitioners. Since we began our work, the number of persons sentenced to death and then executed has decreased, but the number of transplants, after a slight decline, has risen to earlier levels. Since the only substantial source of organs for transplants in China is prisoners sentenced to death, a decrease of sourcing from that population indicates a tragic increase in Falun Gong victims. Nonetheless, one way to end the killing of prisoners in China for their organs is to increase voluntary donations. Donors in the West save a life, the life of the patient. Donors in China save two lives, the life of the patient and the life of a prisoner who would otherwise be killed for an organ. The Hélène Campbell story is an inspiration to would be donors everywhere; in China it can have a multiplier effect. SUMMER 2012
Myths and Misconceptions BY JOANNE LASKOSKI
rgan and tissue donation is the ultimate act of charity. One organ donor can save the life of up to eight people, and enhance the lives of 75 others through tissue donation. And yet, according to the International Registry of Organ Donation & Transplantation, Canada has one of the lowest organ donor rates in the western world. Currently in Canada, there are over 4,000 people on the organ transplant waiting list—sadly, one person on that list will die every five days because a suitable donor organ will not be found. A report released in February 2012 from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) indicates the gap between the number of donations and the need for transplants is growing. Only 21 per cent of Ontario residents are registered as organ donors.
hy? Myths and misconceptions, W for the most part. J ennifer Chandler is an Associate Professor of Law in the Faculty of Law (Common Law) at the University of Ottawa, whose research includes regulatory policy related to medical practices such as organ donation and transplantation. She indicates that some people fear doctors will not try vigorously to save them if they are a registered donor, especially if their organs can be salvaged. Jennifer is quick to point out there are two separate teams of doctors: “One to save life and one to procure organs. The doctors’ primary obligation is to their patients
and to do whatever possible to save their patients’ lives. It would otherwise be a serious violation of medical ethics.”
Many people believe organ donation is against their religion. In fact, organ donation is in keeping with the beliefs and teachings of most religions, including Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam and most branches of Judaism. For a more detailed list by denomination, visit the Frequently Asked Questions on Trillium Gift of Life Network at giftoflife.on.ca. Another common myth is that age or medical conditions such as diabetes or poor vision disqualify people from being donors. There is no set cutoff age for donating organs, and very few medical conditions will prematurely disqualify a person from donating. After a person is pronounced dead, medical professionals will perform tests to determine whether the organs are suitable for transplantation, based on strict medical criteria.
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On the other hand, many youth are too young to consent to be a donor. Donors must be over 16 years old to register. However, there are children under the age of 16 who have expressed their wishes to donate organs. As painful and uncomfortable as the topic certainly is, parents should talk it over with their child when they feel the child is mature enough to handle the discussion. In the event of a tragic situation, parents will be able to give their
consent knowing it’s what their child wanted. In addition, the tragic reality is that children are in need of organ transplants too; and they usually require organs smaller than those an adult can provide. Some people are under the false impression that an open-casket funeral is not an option for those who have donated tissues or organs. However, there are no visible signs of the organ or tissue donation since the donor’s body is clothed. Skin donations involve a very thin layer of skin, like a sunburn peel, taken from the donor’s back. The donor is clothed and lying on his or her back in the casket, so it is impossible to see the difference. Should the donation be a bone, the bone is replaced by a rod. One of the biggest misconceptions about organ donation is that signing a donor card is fait accompli. However, a signed donor card is not enough. The information is not recorded in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s provincial database. People need to register their consent to donate tissue and organs with the Gift of Life Network at giftoflife.on.ca. Simply clicking on the “Register Now” button will bring you to ServiceOntario’s Online Organ and Tissue
FEATURE ORGAN DONATION
ONE ORGAN DONOR CAN SAVE THE LIFE OF UP TO EIGHT PEOPLE, AND ENHANCE THE LIVES OF 75 OTHERS THROUGH TISSUE DONATION. CURRENTLY IN CANADA, THERE ARE OVER 4,000 PEOPLE ON THE ORGAN TRANSPLANT WAITING LIST—SADLY, ONE PERSON ON THAT LIST WILL DIE EVERY FIVE DAYS BECAUSE A SUITABLE DONOR ORGAN WILL NOT BE FOUND. Donor Registration. Alternatively, you can register by downloading the Gift of Life consent form from giftoflife.on.ca, in person at any ServiceOntario Centre, or online at beadonor.ca. Once you register your consent, information about your donation decision will be available and accessible, if ever required. Increasing the number of organ donations is critical. Kidneys, heart, eyes, bone, liver, lungs, skin and pancreas can be donated. There are over 1500 people in Ontario alone, suffering needlessly—and some dying—while waiting for a donor match. That number is expected to grow, especially as more people require a kidney transplant due to the rising rate of diabetes.
Canadian Society of Transplantation: transplant.ca ServiceOntario’s Online Organ and Tissue Registration: ontario.ca The Bertram Loeb Chair in Organ and Tissue Donation at the University of Ottawa (the first academic chair in the world dedicated to research in the field of organ and tissue donation): loeborgandonationresearch.com
Easy-to-follow instructions guide users to set up a customized page that can be shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and email. Each Gift of 8 page includes a counter that tracks visits generated from the page to the online donor registration site. Users can choose to set a goal of how many people they hope to reach. The personal webpages also provide a place where individuals can talk about why organ donation is important to them, or to tell a story of someone they know who has given or received organs.
Social media is playing an increasing role in generating public awareness and encouraging people to sign up as organ and tissue donors. Hélène Campbell’s campaign on Twitter is a prime example, catching the interest of celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Ellen DeGeneres.
On May 1, 2012, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched an upgrade to its Timeline structure, allowing users in the U.S. and U.K. to put their organ donor status on their Facebook wall, alongside their religious and political views. Priscilla Chan, a paediatrician and Zuckerberg’s wife, helped inspire the initiative after seeing how social media helped Japan after the 2011 disaster. The late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs was also an influence as he was close to Zuckerberg and had received a liver transplant. The Timeline upgrade proved to be successful for organ donation awareness. By the end of the first launch day, 100,000 users declared themselves organ donors on Facebook and 10,000 had linked through Facebook to sign-up directly with their state organ donation registries. The organ donor tool should be available in Canada within a few months.
The Trillium Gift of Life Network recently launched an online campaign called the Gift of 8 Movement, which can be found at beadonor.ca. It is another avenue for people to encourage their friends, family and colleagues to register their consent for organ and tissue donation.
In this day and age, it makes sense to harness the power of social media. One thing is for certain: Canadians are in need of increased organ donors. It is imperative that we spread awareness of organ donation and encourage others to become donors.
The medical community is also striving to keep people off the transplant list through identification and treatment of the contributing diseases at earlier stages. One example of this is widespread testing for hepatitis C, which is currently the leading cause of liver transplants in Canada. The implementation of a Canadian donor registry for living kidney donors has facilitated paired kidney exchanges involving multiple donors and recipients across the nation.
LYNN B.CAIN, CFP, EPC
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BY HEATHER DUNCAN
My Kidney’s Second life B
est vacation I ever had? Well I once spent nine days at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, Scotland, three of which I was hooked up to an epidural. Did I give birth? Sort of. I gave birth to a kidney. In September 2007, my right kidney went from doing its job in the body of a 5’ 2” woman to doing the same job (but now all on its own) in the body of a 6’ 2” man. You can see why I am rather proud. That was almost five years ago and since then my right kidney has travelled to places I will probably never see and it has consumed food and drink I will probably never try (nor want to). I happily live vicariously through that donated organ.
I can’t remember when I first heard that my second cousin, Dominic, was unwell. I was included in a “reply all” family email exchange. At the time I thought, “He’s active and outdoorsy; I’m sure he’ll be fine.” I knew it was serious when I read in a subsequent email that his Mom had been rejected as a possible kidney donor. My first thought was, “What about me? Could I be considered?” That was my first thought, and I’ve never had a second thought since. While I knew I couldn’t control the outcome, I felt sure that if I was accepted as a living donor Dominic would have a chance of a normal life again and I would be fine. ou are less fearful when you have familiarity. I was Y not the first person at my work to donate a kidney. A colleague, Gerry, did the same for a cousin of his two years prior to my donation. When I went to him and said, “Guess what I want to do?” he stood up and gave me a big hug. We still have a special smile for each other when we pass in the hallways. Of course we don’t want our club to be exclusive, the more members the better. Also, my Mom is a retired Sick Kids’ Hospital operating room nurse. The idea of an operating room was never scary, even as kid, because I knew that’s where my Mom worked. ospitals, operating rooms, surgery … none of these H was an issue. Although when the person who wants to donate a kidney is on one side of the Atlantic and the person who needs a kidney is on the other, it can make for interesting medical and administrative hoops to jump through. As I completed each required test or examination the Royal Infirmary would then let me know the next step. The examination which I was least looking forward to required no blood or
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needles. It was the psychiatric exam. I “passed” but again it all depends on what you are used to. Since I had no preparation for the questions the psychiatrist would ask, I found the interview to be stressful, but having gone through it once I would think nothing of it now. And when I had to arrange to have a certain quantity of my blood shipped to Edinburgh within 48 hours, it was frustrating finding the packaging which would be acceptable to both the Royal Infirmary and Canada Post. In the summer of 2007 I was cleared to travel to Scotland for in-person medical tests and to meet with the transplant professionals, while having the chance to spend time with Dominic and his/my family. As part of the next round of testing I had to collect my urine for 24 hours. I wasn’t to stay at the Royal Infirmary; they gave me the equivalent of a clean, big, vinegar jug and sent me on my way. I put my jug in a plastic shopping bag and I was off to be a tourist for the day. Even the weather co-operated; it was a glorious day. I walked and walked and walked, shopped and ate. It was fun but not relaxing because I kept thinking I’d forget my jug somewhere. When I stopped at a pub for lunch I made sure the jug in the plastic bag was touching my leg so I couldn’t get up without picking it up (or knocking it over). I was most fearful when trying on clothes at Jenners department store. I envisioned some dignified Scottish lady coming into the change room after me and peeking inside the parcel left behind! What moved me most was seeing the dialysis treatment that Dominic had to go through at the hospital for hours at a time, at least three days a week. Dialysis can be painful and is such an invasive process. As I sat with him I was aware of the other twenty-four patients in the room undergoing the same procedure. That was in one hospital, in one city, and during a single shift. How many people in total underwent dialysis at that hospital every day, year in and year out? How many other hospitals were there in Scotland, the UK, the world? Dialysis must be the lot of thousands and thousands of people on a daily basis. As I watched Dominic’s blood leave his body via tubes, go into a machine and then be pumped back into his body again, I wished that I could spare him one more day of such a procedure. The good news was that shortly after returning to Canada we got the “OK” and a surgery date was set for about six weeks later. I had incredible support from family, friends, co-workers and clients as I organized
FEATURE Michaëlle Jean
Dominic and his son Benjamin in Egypt. Riding a camel was never something my left kidney needed to do. The two kidneys now have different bucket lists.
to be away from home and work for some time. I was relieved, happy, excited, but never scared—it was all worthwhile. I can’t say enough about the level of attention I received from the medical staff in Edinburgh. My Canadian accent was a give-away that our story was a little different. I knew that Dominic and I were in good and caring hands. In the end the transplant was a success! Over time Dominic, his wife and his children had their normal lives back: juggling work, school, sports, holidays, and all the other day-to-day obligations which those of us who are healthy take for granted. I am fine. Physically I feel absolutely no different with one kidney than I did with two. I don’t usually think about the donation now, unless a client asks, “How’s your cousin doing?” That always touches me. They will never meet Dominic and time has passed, but they ask because they continue to hold him in their thoughts. I confess on my terrible days when I can’t wind-down at night because I feel I have not accomplished enough, my “to do” list is too long, or I am feeling as though I do not do anything well enough, I console myself with the thought, “Well, at least I donated a kidney.” Recently the power of living donations was brought home again. My friend Anne said she had been inspired by me and just a few months ago she flew to Winnipeg and made an anonymous kidney donation. I take my hat off to Anne because in some ways I think that
situation is harder. At least I know where my kidney is, how Dominic’s doing and what he’s up to. For Anne, she doesn’t know who received her kidney, if the recipient’s surgery and recovery went well, or how her recipient’s life has changed. Her actions were truly selfless. Ironically, when it looked as though Anne would be accepted as a donor she came to me with a confession. Apparently, when I told her some years before that I hoped to be a donor for my cousin overseas, she secretly hoped I would be rejected. She was scared for me. Of course I tease her now. She was praying I would not be successful and now she has gone and done the exact same thing. One more quick anecdote: On my return to Ottawa following the transplant I was asked to speak to a group of young children at an after-school program. They were learning about the concept of paying it forward. The message I wanted to get across was that our human bodies are amazing. We are lucky to have healthy bodies and they are worth looking after. As an example, I explained that even though I was all grown-up, I was told that my left kidney could still grow a bit more to make up for my right kidney which was missing. A young boy put his hand up and asked, “What happens if your left kidney grows so much it starts coming out your ears?” I can say I have not suffered from such a side-effect—although occasionally I do check in the mirror, just to be sure. SUMMER 2012
hen Jan Andrews was young, it never crossed her mind to become a writer. In her words, “When I was a kid it was a dream you couldn’t even have. Writers were famous people. I wasn’t famous.” Nor had it ever occurred to her to become a storyteller. Today, Jan is both a well-loved author, and one of Canada’s preeminent storytellers. It’s a rare combination. While Jan always loved literature, she didn’t start making up stories
until her children were small. One story seemed like it could belong in a book, so Jan wrote it down, and that opened a door. Since then, Jan has written several books for young people, many of which have been shortlisted for awards. Jan has an abiding appreciation for the wisdom found in folktales. In Out of Everywhere, she took stories that had come from around the world and settled them in Canada. She found the work of writing them in a new context fascinating. In 2011 Jan wrote When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew:
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Tales of Ti-Jean, in which she gives a contemporary telling of stories of Quebec’s traditional folktale hero. To her delight, it was nominated for both the Silver Birch Express Award (Grades 3-4), and the Canadian Library Association Children’s Book of the Year. This past May, Jan was thrilled to attend The Festival of Trees ™, Canada’s largest literary event for children. The Harbourfront Centre in Toronto was crowded with enthusiastic young readers, generating deafening applause for their favourite authors.
FEATUREd ARTIST JAN ANDREWS
Jan’s love of literature and traditional stories carries over into her work as a storyteller. Her audiences span all ages, with much of her telling being for adult listeners, and her repertoire of stories is diverse; from folktales to great epics, from literary tales to deeply personal stories. Jan never thought a book of folktales could win the Silver Birch Express Award—but she was proven wrong. The award was particularly meaningful as it is voted for by the readers. In her category alone, 10,000 children voted—a third of them for her book! This summer she saw yet another first, as her book The Auction—the story of a young boy with his grandfather before the sale of the family farm—was performed at Westben Arts Festival Theatre as a Canadian folk opera. The best part for her was that she only needed to show up! Jan’s love of literature and traditional stories carries over into her work as a storyteller. Her audiences span all ages, with much of her telling being for adult listeners, and her repertoire of stories is diverse; from folktales to great epics, from literary tales to deeply personal stories.
artistic direction, working with 16 storytellers to bring the story to life the way Homer intended for it to be. Of course, she tells stories for children too, and has recently launched Jan’s Storytelling Club online, where kids can go to listen to her stories. When asked about the relationship between her writing and her storytelling, Jan cannot imagine it any other way. “Both of them are very import to me. It doesn’t always make for a very good balance. But I need both.” Should you happen across one of Jan’s stories—either written or told—you can be sure you will be deeply moved. As she says, “I like things that really stir people’s souls.” Jan Andrews accepting the Silver Birch Express Award at the Harbourfront Centre. Photography by Emmett Snyder
One of her favourite storytelling pieces is The Book of Spells. A Love Story, a concert crafted and performed with her partner, Jennifer Cayley. The stories explore the difficulties of learning to live together, and are woven around the literary stories of Sara Maitland. They have performed this at the NAC’s Fourth Stage, and also in Melbourne, Australia, at the Midsumma Festival. After touring The Book of Spells, Jan and Jennifer launched 2 Women Productions—a company dedicated to bringing highest quality storytelling to adult audiences. Their second season recently wrapped up successfully, and they are beginning to nurture audiences in places where the performance art was virtually unknown. In June, 2 Women Productions partnered with Ottawa StoryTellers to present a twelve hour storytelling of Homer’s Odyssey at the NAC’s Fourth Stage. This was something Jan had always wanted to work on. Together with Jennifer she took on the SUMMER 2012
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KIDS And Still Standing
Making Mistakes BY SHANNON BAGG
Shannon Bagg lives with her husband and six children in Nepean. Her children range in age from eleven years to fourteen months. In her “spare time” (read every other year or so), she lectures in the ﬁelds of museum studies and Inuit art history and pursues her own work as a visual artist. Find out more about Shannon at shannonbagg.com. Write Shannon with a question or article idea at email@example.com.
ome of my best parenting ideas have grown out of my dumbest mistakes. When my eldest daughter was two, we lost sight of her for two or three excruciatingly long minutes at the Canada Day children’s festivities at Jacques Cartier Park. I spent that time frantically searching for her in a sea of other small children all dressed in pretty much the same thing. Since then, when we go on outings to crowded places like amusement parks and festivals, my kids all wear the same colour t-shirt or rashguard—the brighter and more distinctive the better. It makes head counts easy and the whole endeavour significantly less taxing.
Another time, that same daughter stood up on her carseat while I was driving. I was so alarmed that I hit the brakes which sent her careening off her chair and onto the floor. I had forgotten to strap her in. “Helping” with seatbelts is now part of my children’s allowance. If I start backing up the van and someone hasn’t done up their seatbelt, I hear, “WAIT!!” from multiple children every time. In fact, my van is a virtual failsafeon-wheels. It’s stocked with a potty, diapers, wipes, food, sunscreen, water, bandaids, a back-up stroller, extra underwear, clothing, a blanket, colouring books, and crayons. Inevitably, I will forget one or more of these items when it matters most. What can I say? I’m realistic.
Interestingly, the mistakes I made as a first-time mom stand out most in my mind. I’m fairly confident that this is not because I’ve made progressively fewer mistakes over the years but rather, that I was harder on myself back then. I still remember when my firstborn fell out of her baby swing as I was undoing the buckle. Even though she was largely unharmed, I felt like a complete failure. For days. Now I realize that mishaps come with the territory of being a parent and beating yourself up over them accomplishes very little. So if you’re going to drop the proverbial parenting ball— and, mark my words, you will—here is my advice:
1 Admit it. Be a role model for your kids and show them that everyone makes mistakes.
2 Cut yourself some slack. There’s no such thing as
a perfect parent. If I’m wrong, I’d rather not know that person anyway. They sound annoying.
3 Don’t judge others for their mistakes. Even if it’s a
doozie (shout out to my husband!), you never know when the tables might turn.
4 Live and learn. Maybe it’s a good idea to put a safety latch on the puzzle and game cupboard.
5 Share your newfound wisdom. Hey, did you know that the code for lost children at Chapters is 99?
6 Keep calm and carry on. Your kids need you even on your less-than-stellar days.
7 Learn to laugh at yourself. Okay, so a Happy Meal
toy for show-and-tell might not have been the best choice. Next time, I’ll check her knapsack before she leaves for school. SUMMER 2012
THE ABILITY IN
The Artist in Me My Fascination with Music and Words BY KIM KILPATRICK
Kim loves writing, reading, and has always had a huge sense of curiosity about the world and everyone in it. She wrote stories and poems from a young age and is now a professional storyteller and blogger. Kim has been totally blind since birth and travels with her fourth guide dog, Tulia, a female black labrador retriever. Read her blog about great things about being blind at kimgia3. blogspot.com. Kim has worked as a music therapist, storyteller, volunteer services manager, and disability awareness presenter. Please write and ask her questions about disability related topics or suggest story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
have always been a very creative person. My first memories are of fascinating timbres of musical instruments. The pictures painted by voices and words. The textures of fabrics and clay. I wanted to play instruments, to read and tell stories, to form those fabrics and clay into shapes. I loved to read and write braille, to write and to tell stories. Reading helped me to know more about the world; what it felt like to be in different lands both real and imagined.
able to combine my love of music and the arts with my passion for working with and assisting others. And now, I am a music therapist, and a storyteller, and a blogger and writer. These artistic passions have continued to enrich my life and provide me with meaningful and interesting work. People with disabilities who have the desire to create art, find ways to do so. Sometimes the art form is very accessible for that person: a musician who is blind, a visual artist who is deaf. Sometimes the chosen art form seems particularly inaccessible: the painter who paints with her feet, the musician or composer who is deaf, the blind photographer. If the person is drawn to the art form, they find a way to make it accessible to them and others.
I have never seen colours or far away things like the stars or the moon. But musical instruments gave me sounds that could represent the colours I could not see. The deep, rich boom of a gong or cello sounded like dark, rich colours. The high, clear sounds of bells were like bright, light colours or shining stars. Each instrument had a colour and timbre all its own. I loved the feel of them in my hands; their shapes and unique smells.
I recently discovered the joy of photography. I take pictures according to the sounds I hear. Whatever artistic path the person with the disability chooses, their art not only entertains but also illustrates the world as they experience it. People are often nervous about interacting with someone with a disability. Creative arts can break the ice and educate people without disabilities in an entertaining and enlightening way. When people hear my stories, read my articles, listen to my music, the awkwardness about approaching and talking with someone who is blind often disappears. I become someone who is like them, someone with interests and skills, who also happens to be blind. Barriers come down, lines of communication are opened.
I began taking music lessons at age five and continue to learn new instruments. Revelling in new learning experiences; in the feel and sound of each instrument. It felt natural to me after high school to study music and then music therapy. With this career choice, I was
Last year I created my first full evening one-woman storytelling show about my life called Flying in the Dark. Besides being a work of art, the stories showed others what my world is like and also that it is a world rich with sounds, scents, textures and words.
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HOLISTIC WELLNESS The Artist in All of Us BY WENDY KNIGHT AGARD, Everyday GeniusTM, DHM
Wendy Knight Agard helps people ignite their Everyday GeniusTM through transformational coaching at the physical, emotional and soul/spiritual levels. She facilitates successful transformations through individual guidance, corporate “play” shops and keynote speaking. Please submit your questions or comments to Wendy at email@example.com.
often hear people say about themselves, “I have no artistic talent!” or “I am not an artist.” These comments stem from the idea that art is something that is judged by others to qualify as art. In reality we are all artists of one form or another and this creative capacity is not dependent on the approval of others. It may be that your painting abilities would not be admired by a professional artist, but perhaps you are a creative problem solver or you find amazingly creative ways to communicate ideas. The ways in which our creative abilities can manifest are endless.
e all have this creative capacity within us, although W we often forget that it is there. We have become so results-oriented that we mistakenly assume that our creative capacities do not contribute to anything concrete or valuable. Of course, the exact opposite is true. It is the creative element that brings true meaning to our experiences and brings life to things that would otherwise be flat, dull or uninspiring. Our creative potential needs to be nurtured and supported because it is the place from which new ideas, new ways of doing things and new solutions to longstanding issues arise. hen was the last time you doodled on a piece of W paper, with no specific goal in mind for your art? Since we now develop most of our written content
on computers, we have fewer opportunities to doodle. Try keeping a pad of paper and a favourite pen beside your computer. Doodle on the paper when you’re taking a break or trying to think of a solution to a work-related issue. For the next few weeks, whenever you do need to write a handwritten note, try using your non-dominant hand. Stepping outside of what is comfortable creates healthy chaos that stimulates creativity. What would happen if you sat with a paint brush and a piece of paper and started to move the brush over the paper without thinking about what you are painting? How about working a ball of clay in your hands with your eyes closed and just letting the form take shape with no specific intention? These ideas are easy ways to open up your creative capacity. The key in these exercises is not to become attached to what you create, because as soon as you start judging the result, you may stifle your creativity. You can look for other areas in your life aside from typically artistic pursuits to stimulate your creative capacity. Make a conscious effort to approach a work project in a different way than you normally would. Take a moment to consider a different way to address a parenting issue. Break some planting rules in your garden. Maybe you like wildflowers mixed in with sculpted evergreens—oh my! Nurturing our creative capacity is an essential component of a holistic approach to health and to developing our consciousness. There is an artist of some kind in each of us. Why not start exploring your creativity? SUMMER 2012
LEGAL QUESTIONS Demystifying Property and Title Insurance by Deidre S. Powell, B.Sc., LL.B., and LL.M.
Deidre S. Powell is a Lawyer, Mediator and Notary Public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario bars, with offices located at 102-760 Chapman Mills Drive and Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre (Wednesdays only). Her areas of practice are in Real Estate, Immigration, Wills, Administration of Estates, and Collaborative Family Law. She is on the roster of Mediators for Ottawa, Toronto and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
s a real estate lawyer, I am consistently asked, “Why do I need title insurance when I already have property insurance?” The answer is that property insurance, also known as homeowner’s insurance, is completely different from title insurance. Both are usually required by a mortgage company before they issue your mortgage.
property or homeowner’s insurance policy protects A you against damage or total loss to your home, its structure or contents as a result of accidental fire, sewer backup, earthquake, flooding and theft. It may also cover liability for any accidents that may happen to visitors whilst they are on your property. Speak to your insurance agent to ensure that you are getting the right policy to protect your needs. At the very least, your mortgage company will insist on a policy that covers the balance of your mortgage should it become necessary to replace or repair your home after a major accident. hen purchasing a new property, or if you are an W existing property home owner, it is recommended that you purchase title insurance to protect yourself from losses which deal specifically with the legal ownership of your property. Upon purchase of your property, you receive a “deed” or title which shows that the property has been legally transferred from the seller to you. Before this process can be completed, your lawyer is
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required to do a search of the title to ensure there are no encumbrances on the title and that the root of title is legitimate. It is usually at this stage that lawyers come upon problems such as outstanding liens (unpaid debts or other charges), errors, omissions, other unknown title defects such as a husband selling a property 10 years ago without the wife’s formal signed authorization, and even fraudulent transfers such as forged signatures or falsified powers of attorney. If you have title insurance, you can then make a claim under your policy to deal with issues that are covered. Title insurance does not cover unrecorded liens and other issues that are not listed in public records; and changes in bylaws and zoning violations which result from renovations and additions to the property done by you. Nor does title insurance cover known title defects which you were advised of prior to the closing of the deal, environmental hazards, Native land claims, and property taxes which were not yet due or where the bill received prior to closing was an interim or estimate of the taxes due. A home insurance policy protects you from events that occur after the purchase of the property and is an annual or monthly fee. Title insurance is a one-time fee which protects you from issues which may have occurred or developed prior to purchasing the property. It can be purchased at the same time you buy a residential or commercial property. If you are an existing homeowner you may also purchase title insurance to protect against the possibility there are title defects which may hinder your ability to sell the property in the future. Many people scoff at the need for title insurance, since their lawyer has conducted a title search. However, it is a small one-time price to pay for peace of mind for yourself and your heirs, as long as you own the property.
Young, Gifted and Female The Power of the Spoken Word BY CHELBY DAIGLE
Chelby Marie Daigle is of French Canadian, German, Yoruba, and Ijaw ancestry. Being of mixed race has given her a unique perspective on issues of multiculturalism, ”race,” identity, and belonging in Canada. Getting paid to “chat” with over 75 teenage girls a week has given her a unique perspective on youth engagement and the need for multigenerational dialogue. Chelby currently works as the Administrator of the Community Police Action Committee of the Ottawa Police Service, as a Facilitator of the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre’s Girls’ Chat Program and as the Ottawa Regional Coordinator of the United Nations Association in Canada’s Multimedia and Multiculturalism Initiative. Follow Chelby on Twitter @ChelbyDaigle or write her at email@example.com.
id you know that Ottawa has one of Canada’s leading Spoken Word scenes? Wait a minute! I should explain what Spoken Word is. Although Spoken Word artists are now being invited to perform at events all over the city, not everyone is familiar with the art form. Put simply, it’s poetry spoken aloud, each poet expressing his or her own rhythm which, along with the words, captivates the audience. Listeners are directly engaged by the artists and, if the artists are good, their poetry will elicit not only applause at the end of the performance but lots of finger snapping while they speak, as their words resonate with the audience and make a real impact.
he Spoken Word scene can appear quite male-domiT nated, particularly within the arena of slams—poetry shows where poets compete and the audience chooses the winner. However, the Ottawa scene provides an amazing forum for women to express themselves and discover their own voices both in mainstream Spoken Word spaces, like Urban Legends and Capital Slam, and in spaces entirely devoted to female performers, like Voices of Venus. Back in 2010, I was able to get funding to do a project
which had been something of a dream of mine. Racialized high school students had the opportunity to learn the art of Spoken Word from some of Ottawa’s top poets as a way of developing their literacy skills. The project was called Speaking for Ourselves. One of the project’s alumni, Sarah Musa, has gone on to make quite a name for herself, tying for 9th place at Versefest’s Women’s Slam Championship. Recently, I had the opportunity to reconnect with Sarah and members of Project Reclamation, an artsbased collective made up of young women, mostly Spoken Word poets, that she co-founded. I wanted to get their perspective on how creating a collective focus on artistic expression could empower young women. Here is their “collective” response: We need love, acknowledgement and beauty that comes from the union of women. Our initiatives create a legacy by which other women can feel supported for their creative work. It is all about making connections with each other through our individual creativity. Art connects us personally; it is about self-nurturance which then leads to our sense of cultural empowerment. Art is something that challenges one’s creativity and gives the freedom to explore yourself in ways that you wouldn’t regularly do. Young people need to celebrate who they are and what better way to do that than through art. Art requires you to be original. Art allows you to set your boundaries. Art allows you to accept yourself in whatever shape or form instead of being molded by others. I continue to be inspired by the work of young women in Ottawa’s Spoken Word scene and I hope this article inspires you to go out and discover their voices. To learn more about Project Reclamation, visit their site: projectreclamation.tumblr.com. SUMMER 2012
MENTAL HEALTH The French Immersion Dilemma BY JAMIE D. BROOKS, M.Sc., C. Psych. Assoc. & SANDRA M. BURNS, Ph.D., C. Psych. Jamie Brooks and Sandra Burns are licensed to provide psychological services to children, adolescents and adults in the areas of counseling, assessment and clinical psychology. Their private practices at 1900-130 Albert Street focus on providing cognitive therapy to adolescents and young adults with symptoms of anxiety, depression, ADHD and other psychosocial adjustment issues like stress management, relationship difficulties and career development. They specialize in assessment, evaluation and intervention for children, adolescents and adults with learning and behavioural style differences that impact their level of functioning in the school and work environments. Submit any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ilemma, you say, what dilemma? Who wouldn’t want their child to speak two languages? Doesn’t the research say multilingual children have better cognitive flexibility and problem solving skills? How about all the job opportunities my child will have if they become bilingual? Don’t many children with behaviour problems end up in English Core?
s professionals who regularly conduct psycho-educaA tional assessments to determine learning and behavioural styles for students, the above statements represent some of the most commonly held parent assumptions and concerns regarding bilingual learning programs. Similar to many aspects of life, there is no single path that is best for everyone. French Immersion is an excellent choice for students whose learning and behavioural profiles support success in a bilingual program. If a student has trouble achieving grade expectations in a bilingual program, they could end up with subpar skills in both English and French; subsequently inhibiting cognitive development and job opportunities in any language, and negatively impacting the development of self-esteem. I n order to be successful in a French Immersion program, it is ideal for a student to have strong oral language and
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auditory information processing skills, and a reasonable ability to sustain focus on tasks and to persist with challenging work. It is also helpful if at least one parent possesses strong enough French Language skills to assist with homework and monitor academic progress. Students with weaker language and/or attention skills (particularly those with language delays or attention problems during early childhood) tend to struggle in bilingual programs. Children inherently want to please adults and to fit in with their peers. When they have trouble meeting academic standards, they can become so stressed they develop high levels of anxiety, low selfesteem, aggressive behaviours (in response to feelings of frustration) and patterns of school refusal. As parents, one of the most difficult things for us to accept is our children’s developmental variations and limitations. Even if your child is not ready for an Early French Immersion program at the age of five, she might be an enthusiastic second language learner at another stage of her life. We want to set sufficiently high expectations for our children so they learn to believe in themselves and work up to their potential, but we must not internalize the faulty logic that their success is our success or that their limitations are our fault. Perhaps good educational decisions involve refusing to allow societal pressures to dictate the academic demands on young children who can’t make these decisions for themselves. From a psychological standpoint, providing children with a learning environment that allows them to obtain a sense of success and productivity will help them to foster a love of learning and develop strong self-esteem as a learner. These types of positive educational foundations have the potential to enhance many aspects of a child’s social and emotional well-being.
ABORIGINAL ISSUES Discovering True Potential BY JENNIFER DAVID
Jennifer David’s career has supported Aboriginal communications at Television Northern Canada and as Director of Communications for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. She is a member of the Chapleau Cree First Nation and has a Bachelor of Journalism and a B.A. from Carleton University. Jennifer currently runs an Aboriginal management consulting company called Stonecircle Consulting and lives in Ottawa with her husband and two children. Contact Jennifer at email@example.com with your comments.
t the start of another school year, I want to acknowledge the Aboriginal women who are studying at Ottawa’s post-secondary institutions. Since the Aboriginal population in Canada is much younger than the Canadian population (nearly 50% of Aboriginal people in Canada are under the age of 24, compared to about 30% of the general population), it is hoped the statistics will translate into more Aboriginal people pursuing post-secondary education. Aboriginal people currently make up less than 1% of the student population. I t can often be difficult for Aboriginal women to go to college or university. There is a popular misconception that all Aboriginal people get a free education. There are funds available to status Indians. However, students must apply to their education department on reserve, there are more applicants than funds, and not everyone is able to get funding. Then consider the high cost of tuition; the distances that many people in remote regions have to travel to attend school; the levels of poverty on many reserves; barriers for young mothers; and the sheer culture shock of living in a big city like Ottawa, trying to fit in and navigate this new world. arleton University offers an Aboriginal Enriched C Support Program (AESP). It is a one-year transition program for students who want to attend the university but are experiencing barriers such as being out of school for
a long time or not meeting the entrance requirements. They get the support they need to hopefully succeed. Each of the universities and colleges in Ottawa have support systems and resource centres to help Aboriginal students. Here is where you’ll find a lot of students with drive, ambition and determination to succeed; students like Geraldine King. She is the first person in her family to get a post-secondary education. She was born in a small First Nation in northwestern Ontario, didn’t finish high school, had a baby when she was a teenager, worked for several years in Ottawa, and then realized she needed to go back to school. So she made the leap and is now in her third year studying Canadian Studies and History at Carleton. She works two to four jobs throughout the school year, and still maintains a perfect GPA. She says it feels like a whole new world of opportunities has opened up for her. And while not technically true, when Geraldine’s son wrote her a Mother’s Day poem that read “My mommy is the smartest person in her university,” she said the fact that “this little person recognized my hard work; it was all I could ask for. I want to leave my son a legacy of academic excellence driven by Indigenous ways of knowing so he too can make his dreams a reality.” Now, Geraldine is doing so well that she was recently awarded the Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club scholarship. So here’s to all the Aboriginal women just starting out on their educational journey in Ottawa and those who are continuing on; may you find success and fulfilment in all you do (and get the support you need to do it!). Youth are not the future of tomorrow; they really are the leaders of today, and we have award-winning educational institutions here in Ottawa that are helping Aboriginal youth take their places and make a difference in the world around them. SUMMER 2012
Money Wise Seven Habits of Highly Effective Women BY ELCHO STEWART Elcho holds a commerce degree from Concordia University and started her practice in the eighties with a major life insurance company. She is now an independent Financial Security Advisor and the managing partner with Weblife Financial, a Life Insurance and Investment Brokerage. She is a speaker and writer on the subject of financial freedom and is the President of the Network of Black Business and Professional Women.
ifestyle is the number one reason why most people struggle with their finances. Stay on track by:
1 Saying No to Friends and Family: I know of four
ladies who met weekly for breakfast for their girls’ get together. When one woman wished to celebrate a birthday in the Caribbean with the group, feelings got hurt when most chose not to go on the trip. • Even adults have to stand up to peer-pressure. Real friends don’t push friends to overspend.
2 Saying No to Your Lovely Children: Women who can’t
say no to their children are doing them a disservice as they are not being taught about managing money and handling peer pressure. • Your teens can earn their wish list items through meaningful work around the home—or use the opportunity to assist them with their résumé writing and job search.
3 Prioritizing: According to a 2011 Nielson study, 66% of
Canadian women said they would spend extra money on vacations and 59% would spend it on clothes. • Extra money should be used to pay off credit card debts, reduce the mortgage, or save for large ticket-items.
4 Having an Emergency Fund: More and more women
are heading households as single individuals or single mothers. We must be prepared for car repairs, home repairs, unemployment, and other emergencies.
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S et aside 3-6 months (some say 6-8 months) of living expenses for emergencies.
5 Having Enough Insurance: Did you know that heart
disease and heart-related diseases are our number one killer—not breast cancer? • With so many women in charge of household spending, we need to make life, disability, critical illness and long-term care insurance a budget priority. And if we have partners whose income is vital to our household finances and our lifestyle, they also should be adequately insured.
6 Saying No to Shopping Therapy: Impulse shopping
to temporarily relieve stresses from relationships, weight gain or job loss can result in overspending. • The dopamine deluge delivered to our brains from impulse shopping can also be experienced by spending 15 minutes in the gym, and it is less expensive. Another good habit to risk overspending is to only carry the exact amount of cash necessary to get through each day.
7 In a December 2010 survey on advisor.ca, most
women agreed having a financial plan is important; yet 71% admit they do not have one. • Women should manage their households like a business, with help from professional financial advisors (as opposed to gal pals or spouses) to help formulate their short, medium, and long-term goals, and examine the results.
Financial planning means different things to different people. Whatever you choose to do, it will take a conscious effort on your part to incorporate these strategies into your daily life. But all good habits yield great results—guaranteed. Please contact me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Views and Perspectives
BY HEATHER DUNCAN, CFP Heather Duncan is a Certified Financial Planner who works with a large, Canadian company providing planning advice to clients of all ages. She wrote and published the book, There’s Always Something You Can Do which addresses the financial concerns of women at different life stages. Write her at email@example.com or visit heatherduncan.ca.
lients have heard me say, “It’s not your first 15 years in retirement I’m concerned about; it’s the second 15 years.” The focus of financial planning for retirement is often on how to live without a pay cheque and still afford the things one has dreamt of doing. Depending on the cost of those activities, for example international travel versus volunteering locally, we can gauge the income needed from ages 65 to 80—but from 80 to 95 and onwards the crystal ball becomes murkier. Instead of asking, “What do we think the rate of return, taxation and inflation will be?”, the big questions for everyone are, “What will my healthcare needs be? How much assistance will I require? What will be covered under OHIP, and what will not?” Those are daunting questions. I f you see a group of 7-year-olds you have a good idea of where they’re at in life. Some may be taller than others and some may be more exuberant; being 87 is entirely different. Some 87-year-olds have freedom and mobility and others are dealing with frailty or difficult health issues. Some folks never get to celebrate their 87th birthday. So to counterbalance the fear of the unknown, I put my 82-year-old mother to work and asked her to survey her friends. As a reminder that life is full of unexpected joy, I wanted to know why these women were happy to be living today. My Mom reported back via email from her iPad that the question itself brought forth funny stories and comments. The following are some of their responses:
hey enjoy listening to their grown children who are T now parents or grandparents and hearing them unconsciously and exactly repeat their words of wisdom uttered many years before.
hey are glad to be free to make some personal choices T and to learn for the sheer enjoyment of learning.
hey like meeting a friend or classmate from a long T time ago, sharing memories and feeling wonderfully comfortable in the reacquaintance. They like rediscovering old books and good reads.
hey accept that some things are no longer their T responsibility and that’s how it should be.
hey enjoy planting trees which they hope others T will appreciate. They enjoy the first scent of lilacs in the spring and tasting just-picked strawberries warm from the sun.
hey are glad to have an unexpected chance to go T somewhere and to be able to say “yes.” They enjoy being part of all-generation gatherings. And they love finding people who make them feel inspired; it renews their hope for the future and the future of their families.
his over-80 crowd is glad there are still areas of peace T and privacy despite the noise of the world. They really do wonder about things but realize no one can be sure of the answers.
nd they like not fussing about whether they have the A perfect outfit or what to wear to a wedding or other major event.
So while the rest of us worry about how we’ll cope with life’s many challenges down the road, others are already there enjoying both the view and the perspective. SUMMER 2012
reakfast... it really is B the MOST important meal of the day! BY KATHY SMART
With over 14 years experience in the health and fitness sectors, Kathy teaches, motivates and inspires others to live smarter, providing healthy recipes and healthy living tips. The author of four cookbooks specializing in gluten free recipes, she is host and chef of Live The Smart Way on Rogers TV, and appears as a chef and nutritionist on CTV and radio. She excels at menu specialization and recipe modifications and has designed hundreds of personalized programs for clients with diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease and food allergies. Kathy is a registered nutritional consultant with the Canadian Examining Board of Health Care Practitioners, a Registered Sports Nutrition Advisor, a Holistic Teaching Chef with the Holistic Cooking Academy of Canada and a Registered Personal Fitness Trainer with the Canadian Association of Fitness Professionals. livethesmartway.com
The high protein pancakes are easy to make and taste AMAZING! My clients often make up a batch and freeze them.
ere are some interesting statistics H on breakfast eating for all you ladies:
1 Those who eat breakfast away from home have a 137% increased risk of becoming obese.
2 Those who did not eat breakfast at all had
a 450% increased risk of becoming obese.
s a nutritionist for over 16 years now (whew... where has the time gone?!), I see so many people who skip breakfast. In this fast-paced society we so often forget to fuel ourselves at the most important meal of the day... breakfast. Breakfast is really Break the Fast, as our bodies have been sleeping and recovering during the night. We need that fuel first thing in the morning to give our body the nutrients that it needs for optimal energy, mental clarity and blood sugar regulation. Many times I see people who either skip breakfast, eat breakfast very late in the morning or eat a simple carbohydraterich breakfast. It is not just eating breakfast that is so important; it is the type of breakfast. As we see in statistic #6, a protein-rich breakfast is vital for optimal blood sugar regulation, increased metabolism and energy.
I have created 2 amazing protein rich breakfasts that my clients, readers and TV show fans have grown to love!
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3 Those who did not eat breakfast had a higher body mass index (BMI), and had less energy during the day.
4 Those who ate breakfast were less inclined to snack compulsively than those who skipped
5 Those who skipped breakfast wound up eating 40% more calories during the day.
6 Those who ate a protein-based breakfast such
as eggs, toast and jelly, felt fuller longer, and consumed fewer calories for at least 24 hours afterwards. Two groups were compared: one
group, which ate a bagel, cream cheese, and yogurt, consumed a daily average of 2,035 calories. The egg-based group ate 1,761 calories daily.
HEALTHY LIVING RECIPE by KATHY SMART
High Protein Pancakes Ingredients:
(Makes two medium-sized pancakes) 1/2 cup quick cooking gluten-free oatmeal 1/2 cup cottage cheese 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon cinnamon 2 eggs
Directions: Purée all ingredients in a blender. eat a non-stick skillet to medium, brush bottom H lightly with butter or oil and fry pancakes on both sides until golden. op with your favorite pancake topping such as pure T maple syrup, fresh berries, almond butter or yogurt.
Smart Facts: Studies have shown that just ½ teaspoon of cinnamon daily can significantly reduce LDL (bad cholesterol). Studies also show that cinnamon has regulatory effects on blood sugar levels—making it an excellent addition for anyone with Type 2 diabetes or any other blood sugar issues. These protein pancakes are an excellent way to balance your blood sugar using both cinnamon and protein!
Protein first thing in the morning helps stabilize blood sugar levels and increases metabolism. These pancakes are a great way to start the day or make a perfect pre- or post-workout snack. These pancakes also freeze well and can be toasted just before serving for a quick breakfast. Nutritional Analysis Amount Per Serving (per pancake)
Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Cholesterol Sodium Potassium Total Carbohydrates
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Fibre Sugar Protein
189 6.9g 2.1g 213.8g 249mg 189mg 15.6g 2.1g 2.07g 16.7g
Recipe Accolades: Simple and Quick No Added Refined Sugars Gluten and Wheat Free Vegetarian Low Glycemic Diabetic Friendly High in Protein and Fibre
a sense of
COMMUNITYin Ottawa U
pon recently returning to live in the city of Ottawa, I have been inspired by the sense of community that underlies the nature of business and politics in our national capital. My experience with philanthropy in this city started with my volunteer experience at Roger’s House, featuring over 400 regular volunteers helping with every capacity of running a medical-care family house, from gardening to maintaining their saltwater fish tank.
hen, during my work contract at a non-governmental T organization last summer, I met regularly with over 20 local volunteers, many of whom were retired intellectuals. These philanthropists were interested in continuing their works in international development, believing in the legacy they wished to leave and the celebration they wished to implement during their 50th anniversary: creating from scratch a conference for the next 50 years. I was invited to join the organization’s dragon boat team. I immediately said yes. I thought it was highly unlikely I would ever have such an opportunity again and I was game to try anything once. I recruited my sister to the team and we enjoyed our practices at the Rideau Canoe Club, rain or shine. Four practices under our belt, we competed in two races on the Saturday. Finding the rhythm and with a somewhat
Shona Fleming (center in grey) with the 2012 Draggin Docs
CAPITAL WOMAN MAGAZINE
BY SHONA FLEMING
competitive urge to win, our team did a fine job in the first race. As we lined up in the team staging tent for our second race, the atmosphere was very festive. The teams had great spirit and I vividly recall Alien Superhero costumes worn by one team all day! Feeling quite confident with our first race well executed, our team prepared to give it all to improve our time and be eligible for the Sunday races. Our drummer called the start. Paddles ready, we entered and stroked in unison, feeling the power of our harmony. Was our start too strong? Suddenly, we were veering off course: our dragon boat was beelining at great speed for the nearest team’s dragon boat! We managed to prevent any capsizing, although we did hit our opponent’s boat gently. We finished the race but were disqualified for failing to maintain control of our dragon boat. Winding down later with a frosty beer, listening to Steven Page, I could feel the energy and passion for the sport and the charities it supports, the camaraderie amongst teams and opponents, and generally how much fun this event is. I decided to commit to the team to repeat the event in 2012. Little did I know then I would not only be returning as a paddler, but would also be on the staff team, directing Ottawa Dragon Boat Foundation activities. I continue to collaborate with many smart, caring, inspiring Ottawa citizens who include not only the members of our staff but extend well beyond into our neighbours and friends and the seven charities our paddlers support with their fundraising. One of the top 10 fundraising teams, My Arms Hurt!, shared a May practice session with our staff, demonstrating how consistent team practice makes a profound difference in performance. Our dragon boat paddlers’ desire to achieve more for their local community further fuels growing funds for the Ottawa Dragon Boat Foundation. Since 1998, over 2.5 million dollars has been raised in aid of 29 charities. I was stoked to learn that our newest Foundation
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Shona Fleming (center) in the 2011 Dragon Boat Race
beneficiary this year is the Youth Services Bureau Foundation which will benefit by extending hours for its youth mental health drop-in clinic in Kanata. My family has had assistance from one of their programs and through work, I benefit regularly from help of their senior staff. We enjoy excellent support from our Honourary Chair, Kanata South Councillor Allan Hubley1. It is an honour and a privilege to work alongside this dedicated, committed individual. Many will be aware of his son Jamie’s tragic death by suicide on October 14, 2011. My daughter attends his former high school and I have seen firsthand the impact of Jamie’s passing on his friends. I am further inspired by the time and energy local citizens put forward in support of the Ottawa Dragon Boat Foundation charities and now, in particular, in support of mental health. I have seen so many selfless donations of the precious gift of time from a great many people. Local musician, Drake Jensen, dedicated the video for his song, On My Way to Finding You, to Jamie and kindly joined our Foundation Breakfast Launch to play it live. Allan, with friend and colleague Mayor Jim Watson, gave time to record personal greetings to local paddlers and our community who support the event and raise funds to enhance community services.
It was a privilege to meet many of the enthusiastic Draggin Docs team members who participated in creating the inaugural Dragon Boat Israel (DBI) event2 last May and remained committed to being our top fundraising team for a second year running. Humble about their efforts, team organizer Dr Radka Lenz said, “We like having our VIP parking as part of the top prize!” This achieving all-women team of 27 physicians raised a phenomenal $32,500 last year and not at all curtailed by the enormous efforts and resources dedicated to DBI, they then raised $41,700 for the Ottawa Dragon Boat Foundation in about four weeks. Meanwhile, for four months straight, our board chair, Sandy Foote and his team, Fleete of Foote, Left Foote topped the fundraising race, followed by our board vice chair, Jason Vanderzwan’s team, Scotia Spitfires Too. Sandy was our top individual fundraiser ($12,010). Both gentlemen led by example throughout the 2012 campaign. This collaborative team has raised a stupendous $400,000 to date with the help of over 500 festival site volunteers and 5,000 paddlers in the races. To all who contribute to ensuring positive change in Ottawa’s neighbourhoods and as an example to all Canadians, sincere thanks—words could never say enough!
1 www.dragonboatfoundation.net/news--events/special-greetings.aspx 2 www.dragonboatisrael.com/en/online-registration.aspx
ORDINARY WOMEN, EXTRAORDINARY LIVES
ChaineySTRIVE ALIVE TO
BY SHERRI YAZDANI
arie-Eve beamed as she watched individuals and M teams line up to begin the 1 km, 5 km, and 10 km races. As one of the event’s principal organizers, she had started preparations months earlier. In the final weeks, she had sacrificed much sleep to ensure everything went smoothly. Seeing the race participants and hearing their stories fought off any fatigue which might have overtaken her.
BY SHERRI YAZDANI
She was particularly moved by one dialysis patient who walked the 1 km race. His leg had been amputated due to complications from diabetes. Only one month earlier his illness had kept him in bed, but he had set a personal goal to finish the race. Marie-Eve walked half of the course with him, and later watched as he gallantly crossed the finish line, long after all the others. The day was a huge success by every measure. I t is hard to imagine how Marie-Eve found the time to help organize the race day. She is in her fourth year of nursing at the University of Ottawa, and competes on the university’s track and field team in high jump. She trains up to three hours, six days a week in the gym. She also works as a personal trainer, and volunteers with the kidney peer mentoring program and as a coach to high school track athletes. Marie-Eve also co-founded and is president of Alive to Strive, an organization dedicated to assisting those with chronic kidney disease live active, healthy lifestyles.
n April 29 close to 500 people participated in the second annual Alive to Strive “Race for Kidney Health,” as an excited crowd gathered to cheer them on. Among those keenly watching the events of the day unfold was Marie-Eve Chainey.
CAPITAL WOMAN MAGAZINE
Marie-Eve’s passion for athletics began during her childhood in Kapuskasing, Ontario. In grade seven she started high jumping. A few years later, a coach from Toronto invited her to train with him. By the time she graduated from grade twelve, she had plans for an athletic scholarship to an American university. But first, she would spend a year studying in Spain, learning a new language and obtaining her OAC credits—all the while continuing with her training.
AS THE COMPETITORS WERE PRESENTED TO THE CROWD, MARIE-EVE PROUDLY STOOD BESIDE WOMEN SHE HAD COMPETED AGAINST NINE YEARS EARLIER.
While in Spain, her life changed. Marie-Eve became very ill. It started with weight gain and unexplained bruises. By the time she was hospitalized in January 2002, she had gained 50 pounds of water. Marie-Eve was suffering from kidney failure, caused by a rare blood disorder. Her family was called to her side. Marie-Eve spent four months in a Spanish hospital before she was well enough to travel home. She continued to receive normal dialysis treatments, but still she could not function. She was dependent on a wheelchair, and did not even have the energy to wash her own hair. In her words, she was alive, but not living. After two years, she began nocturnal home hemodialysis. This treatment gave Marie-Eve her life back. After only a few days, she washed her hair on her own for the first time in nearly three years. She still remembers that day—she washed her hair for an hour and a half, just because she could!
Eventually she joined a gym. The first day she started with only twenty seconds on the bike. It took her two days to recover. But those twenty seconds were the highlight of her day. She kept going back. Five years later, she made the track team at the University of Ottawa. And in 2010, she accomplished what had seemed impossible—she competed at the Canadian national track and field championships in high jump. As the competitors were presented to the crowd, Marie-Eve proudly stood beside women she had competed against nine years earlier. Shortly afterwards, the idea for Alive to Strive was born. As she
thought about her long journey back to fitness, she realized it would be even more difficult for someone who had not been active before becoming ill. Her nephrologist and a triathlete immediately came on board. In January 2012, Alive to Strive awarded its first fitness grant. The annual “Race for Kidney Health” will continue to provide funding to support fitness grants, and to motivate those with chronic kidney disease to set a new fitness goal. Some may start their training with only twenty seconds of exertion. But they will know that on the day of the race Marie-Eve will be there to cheer them on.
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PSAC National Capital Region In Budget 2012, the Conservative government of Stephen Harper introduced changes to the Old Age Security (OAS) benefit. Under the new scheme, seniors will have to wait an additional two years—until they are 67, rather than 65—to become eligible for OAS payments. This change has been pushed through even though the Parliamentary Budget Officer has said that the OAS program is sustainable. The OAS program is key to ensuring that Canadian seniors avoid poverty. According to research commissioned by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, on average, OAS represents 26 per cent,
or around $7,000, of seniors’ annual income. Moreover, the research shows that without OAS the number of women between 65 and 69 living below Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off would rise from 14 per cent to 35.4 per cent. So why are the Harper Conservatives attacking a sustainable program that helps reduce poverty? Why are they ignoring the interests of ordinary Canadians? Canadian women deserve better. Hold your Conservative Members of Parliament accountable for this ideological attack. PSAC National Capital Region
Meet CANDACE POWER, Director of Operations for LEVANTE, the New York-style bistro and lounge which opened its doors on June 22 at 180 Rideau Street. Managing any new business might seem a daunting challenge to most of us; however, challenges are parfor-the-course for Candace! Born and raised in Chelsea, Quebec, she attended Bishops University and graduated in Business and Economics. At the prompting of a fellow student and friend, she left for Shanghai where she spent the next three-and-a-half years immersed in a new culture, a new language and a burgeoning interest in cuisine and fine dining. Candace returned to Canada and completed her first two levels of WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust). While she doesn’t feel entitled to be called a Sommelier yet, that’s where she’s headed. It doesn’t take a long time in Candace’s company to know she’ll meet that challenge too! While we talked, every detail of LEVANTE’s operation was under her watchful eye. She’s proud of the eclectic and seasonal menu. Local produce is used with an eye to healthier alternatives—such as succotash. Several nights a week, musicians arrive to the delight of diners. Open to the street, the soft sound of jazz is irresistible. A group of customers edge through the doors and eye the booth with the pillows. Candace has it covered.
Members of the CAPITAL WOMAN team celebrating at Levante Bistro & Lounge. Lynn Cain, Renée Kimlova, Shannon Kalyniak, Del Andison, and Joanne Laskoski
180 Rideau Street 613.789 1821
Ottawa’s newest stylistic restaurant and jazz lounge, located in the heart of the Nation's Capital Visit our website to learn more
Open Now For the Cultural Creative
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CAPITAL WOMAN is a magazine dedicated to the women who live in Ottawa and its surrounding region~women of all ages, ethnicities and lifestyl...
Published on Sep 21, 2012
CAPITAL WOMAN is a magazine dedicated to the women who live in Ottawa and its surrounding region~women of all ages, ethnicities and lifestyl...