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C loseLook


Making a Difference...


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About the Publisher

Simmy Cheema

In an era of strong male dominated society, in the part of the world known as Punjab, India, a girl is born in an Army man’s home. Simmy, as you will hear everyone calling her, is known by her many creative and altruistic acts. A radio broadcaster, a social worker, a social entrepreneur, accomplished sitar player and a fan of fine arts; every bit of these roles has a story to tell about her. This confident and adventurous woman never stopped from changing the status quo from her childhood. Her implacable acts of evolving the views of society on the so-called limitations of what a girl should be, is where it all started. Her courageous act of moving to Canada all by herself in her early years and smashing her way through obstacles - one brick at a time was the beginning of her golden journey. A proud mother of two very talented kids, she decided to live a separate life with a sense of true strength and freedom. This meant, freedom from being just a wife, or just a mother packed into the four walls of the house, instead, she decided to focus on nurturing her own individuality. Simmy is a book of tales by herself. If you ever get a chance to have a chat with her, you will realize how life can be so fertile and barren at the same time. Yet, you’ve got to be the gardener of your own land to reap its rewards. Moving through struggles and passion one day at a time, she also manages to find happiness through her profession by helping abused women. Not to forget, she loves to feed people. Being around a wonderful cook definitely has some advantages.

“If you can conceive it, you can achieve it” Today, as a co-founder of the award winning social enterprise, Close Look Productions, she works hard with purpose, love, determination and collaboration. Anyone wants to know her secret of unstoppable passion? Read the previous sentence again. For over 6 years this project has changed how hundreds of young Canadians look at themselves. They see value in their being, which is one of the most important aspects of living a purposeful life. From one program to another and one channel to another, Close Look TV show has acted as an unfurling underground movement bringing the stories of youth and immigrants to the surface of consciousness, where they are appreciated. Diving into her exciting heart and mind, full of ideas and gratitude, it’s one rejuvenating rendezvous after another. Her latest project, CloseLook Magazine, will now provide her viewers with in-depth interviews about many young Canadians who are pursuing the arts, and or, business. You’ll often hear her saying her belief out loud, “if you can conceive it, you can achieve it” (with a hint of her beautiful dimpled smile). CloseLook Magazine |


Talent 7

Argel Monte de Ramos

8 Nishant 10 Richard

Success Stories 18 Sam Bhatnagar 20 Ria Jade


Close Look TV in Action



Biography of Make Up Artist Naichal Choongh


Close Look TV & Desi Close Look TV at various events

16 Natalia Padalis

I Support Access 26

Access - Youth Outreach Services


Money Matters

Feature Story

The Circle of Kindness




Career/ Employment


Words of Wisdom




For the love of Money - 10 ways to stay out of debt

Mono - The Kissing Disease

The Kindness Circle

I Support In Action

Body, Mind & Spirit 39

Spirituality in the Modern Way: My perspective by Krishna


Career Planning

Speakup - What’s on your mind?


CloseLook Magazine |

“Talk to us”

This too shall pass

Email: Phone: 6049991433 Website:


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Close Look Team


Marketing Manager

Born and brought up in India, Sunny completed his MBA in Finance and Marketing in Chandigarh before deciding to come to Canada to explore new opportunities. Sunny believes in taking chances and making his dreams come true through hard work, persistence and dedication. He believes in openness and adaptation to change. Sunny’s life took a new direction when he became involved in Close Look Productions. By listening to motivational stories of youngsters, he also decided to pursue his true passion. He has become a very important part of Close Look team now. He always says, “if there is a problem, there is a solution.”

Harvinder Sandhu Editor & Realtor

Harvinder Sandhu is a Realtor who’s passionate about real estate and helping people find their dream home. In her past work with non-profit she assisted many in the community on settling in Canada. She still continues to help, giving her time and sharing her knowledge. Now she assists newcomers to buy their dream home by first sharing her extensive knowledge in the real estate field. She currently volunteers with the Surrey International Writer’s Conference, and with NEVR (Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships).

Dilraj Singh Layout Designer

Dilraj Singh, our designer extraordinaire, is a passionate techie who takes inspiration from nature, infusing it in his designs. Through his knowledge of design, its history, and culture along with necessary skills, he creates original high quality solutions. He strives to make each creation come to life. This quest for achieving the perfect balance in each of his designs is what keeps the creative fire alive in him. He holds a Bachelor of Design Arts with major in graphic design and sub-major in photo media from Melbourne, Australia, as well as a Diploma in Visual Effects and Film-making from Vancouver. Dilraj loves travelling, exploring new places, hiking, movies, music, photography and painting.

Aziz Ladha Photographer

Aziz Ladha is a well-established and highly respected photographer in Metro Vancouver with over 25 years of industry experience to his name. He can be found capturing priceless moments at weddings and high-profile events as the lead photographer for many A-list celebrities. Photography for Aziz is not just his passion, it’s his life. He works his charm to truly connect with people and he has received rave reviews from all of who continuously book him for subsequent events. Currently as the Director of Photography for Miss World Canada since 2014, Aziz works his magic ensuring all delegates put their best face forward. CloseLook Magazine |


Endorsements Endorsements

“Close Look Productions has been creating a positive impact on youth in the community through its television shows, Desi Close Look and Close Look TV for the last six years. Its purpose of providing a platform for youth to promote each other and glean information through participation while instilling a sense of community and responsibility has been a success. I look forward to the positive impact Close Look Magazine will have for the youth.

Harry Bains MLA

Close Look Productions have been doing a wonderful job with South Asian youth, creating a positive vibe for them by promoting their talent. We are sure that they will have tremendous success with their Close Look Magazine as well. Congratulations Close Look on taking the incentive to start a much needed magazine.

Dave Sidhu General Manager Patrika Media Ltd.

I strongly endorse Close Look Productions newest initiative, Close Look Magazine, because of their focus to build more just and inclusive communities. I like their focus on youth and using the youth lens to explore growing challenges faced by youth, specifically South Asian youth. The challenges and opportunities confronting our youth - peer pressure, unrealistic expectations, substance abuse, making quick money, cultural conflicts and growing concerns about mental health makes it imperative to have the voice of youth heard, and reflected in all forms of media. Thank you Close Look Productions for what you do.

Jinni Sims I am currently the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Kids Play Youth Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing sports and educational related programming for youth. I am currently a detective in Financial Crime with my respective police agency, and have been in law enforcement the past 17 years. I have known Simmy Cheema since 2012 and am inspired by Close Look TV show. I believe in her vision to build community through community. I am sure that Close Look Productions new initiative, Close Look Magazine will help our youth to build their confidence and selfesteem. I wish this team all the best!

Kalwinder Dosanjh Founder and CEO Kids Play 6

CloseLook Magazine |


A Volume 1

by Harvinder Sandhu

Here at CloseLook Magazine we strive to highlight stories of young men and women who have worked hard to achieve their dream. In every issue CloseLook Magazine will dedicate a page each to 4 deserving Talents. Here are the stories of the Talents for CloseLook Magazine’s inaugural issue.

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ukulele, Argel dreams of one day performing in big plays like the Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables.

Talking to Argel CloseLook Magazine learns that this young man did not let challenges stop him from achieving his goals.He auditioned and was chosen to be a soloist to sing the song “Let Us Fight For Our Faith In God” at the Closing Centennial Ceremony Concert that was held at Verizon Center, Washington D.C. Being a part of the church opened doors for him to sing in front of hundreds of people and having won the nomination, he also learned if don’t you try, you Argel Monte de Ramos is a young man from Surrey never know how high you can go. who is a budding actor, singer, musician, and Student Ambassador for his university, Kwantlen This philosophy of working hard and entering Polytechnic University. Born and raised in the contests has worked for him tremendously. He Philipines, Argel came here in 2012 with his family. recently competed at the World Championships In the few short years he has been here, Argel has of Performing Arts, where he was one of fourteen worked at his dreams of acting and singing, going delegates from Canada who were sent to Los on to win many awards for his hard work. Angeles, California for the competition. His hard work and dedication won him 6 awards, including From an early age he showed interest in music an Industry Award of $10,000 per year scholarship and acting, prompting his parents to recognise for New York Film Academy. The other awards his desire and to support him in it. Self-taught on he won at World Championships of Performing playing piano, reading musical notes and playing Arts were for: Song-writing Gold Medalist Gold Vocal with Self Accompaniment - Original Work “I couldn’t believe – Leave Your Lies, 2 Silver Awards for World and Rock music categories, a Bronze for Pop I got this opportunity category, 2 Bonze Awards in Acting in Comical and I knew I had and Contemporary categories.

Argel Monte de Ramos

to just take it.”

He is also a recipient for SASSY (Service Above Self Surrey Youth) Awards NOMINEE (City of Surrey) of Overcoming Adversity. This category recognizes youth who have overcome difficult circumstances, reached personal goals, and who have gone on to take on a leadership role. Argel is currently in the United Kingdom on an exchange program through KPU, another competition he entered and won, much to his own surprise, “I couldn’t believe I got this opportunity and I knew I had to just take it.” He will be studying at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston UK for the Fall Semester. He is very excited for this once a lifetime opportunity to live in another country and is looking forward to traveling through Europe before heading home. CloseLook Magazine |


Nishant Sharma by Harvinder Sandhu

The sublime voice singing favorite oldies, both Hindi and Punjabi songs, mixed in with new Bollywood music is who Nishant Sharma is. Listening to Nishant sing, one just need to close ones eyes and one is transported back to the first time one heard that particular song, he’s voice reminds you of classic Bollywood singers, especially when he sings the vintage songs. He considers himself an artist with a diverse portfolio in music, dance, acting and modelling. Born in India and brought up in Vancouver, Nishant has trained in various styles including contemporary dance, improvisation, hip hop, and Bollywood jazz. Musically he is inspired by Mohammad Rafi, Sonu Nigam, and Michael Jackson, among many other.

While at UBC he had the opportunity to perform at several UBC Cultural events where he was able to showcase his talents, while honing his skills on the stage. He has been well received CloseLook Magazine |

In 2015 he made his acting debut in a stage play as the lead for the musical, Chapter 1 at Michael J Fox Theatre. Same year also saw him participating in Team Salama’s 6th Annual Arabian Nights Gala where he was able to showcase all his talents,


“I have always been passionate about singing and dancing, however, since I have never had any formal training, I kept it as a leisure activity,”

“I have always been passionate about singing and dancing, however, since I have never had any formal training, I kept it as a leisure activity,” shares Nishant with CloseLook Magazine. He continues to explain how with support from his family and friends, he was able to pursue his passion part time while studying engineering at UBC. He goes on to emphasize his parents outlook to his art, “My parents have never forced me to pursue engineering; they have always supported all my decisions.”


everywhere he has performed, each performance introducing him to more people and eventually adding to his local fan base. He has since graduated from engineering school, now choosing to pursue his artistic desires full-time leading him to be out there performing in Metro Vancouver’s many cultural events.

dancing, modelling and singing his way into more people’s hearts.

Surprisingly he only started performing as a singer this year even though it had been his passion for many years. “I was given an opportunity to perform as a singer and I took that chance. It was a challenge,” he says to CloseLook Magazine, “but luckily, people loved it and I kept getting more and more gigs.”

This year he had the good fortune to meet his idol, Sonu Nigam, and also the opportunity to perform at the same event where Malkit Singh also performed, India Live Festival on Granville Street. He plans to continue his journey as an artist with future events already lined up in all artistic fields he’s pursuing. As a singer, he’s planning to, “expand his horizons, learning something new everyday.”


Richard Tichelman compiled by Harvinder Sandhu

Too often we look towards the US to hear about the next rising star in the arts, be it music or in the acting genre. We, in Canada, forget some of the best talent has come from here in Canada, case in point, Justin Bieber and Drake.

“I’m the happiest when performing, whether busking at White Rock beach or on stage at local venues,”

CloseLook Magazine found one young man we should have our eyes on: Richard Tichelman. He’s not only a Canadian; in fact, he’s from right here, Surrey.

At seventeen years of age, Richard has already won many awards, and traveled out of the province to perform. His many performances include him performing in Toronto’s Hard Rock Café, and at Celebrities Night Club in, ‘The RAW’, artist showcase in Vancouver. One of the prizes of his Abbotsford Idol win was performing the opening set for headliners, Aaron Pritchett, Emerson by Red Gown Photography Drive, when they performed at the Canada Day Kickoff concert on June 30th at Abbotsford Centre. He also did justice to ‘Oh Canada’, singing our At the age of nine after having been at the Fraser national anthem along with the US anthem at the Academy over a year, he heard James Blunt’s Abbotsford Air show. song ‘You’re Beautiful’ for the first time. The song triggered something in this young boy who went Recently he traveled to Quebec City and Toronto from not liking music to wanting to sing this song to record original songs and work on his artistic at a ‘parents’ tea’ event. This transformation was development contract with Talent Nation Elite. He not lost on his family. also traveled to LA for a 10-day workshop with Dave Stroud’s Vocalize U Artist Intensive where he had His accomplishments are piling up, winning 2nd the opportunity to work with several producers. place in ‘eveRIAthing’ 2015 Wall of Stars in a song writing completion of his own song ‘Dream’. The All this from a kid, who when he was little, hated song has since been recorded and is on ITunes. music, didn’t want his mom singing nursery Chosen from over 4000 children from across rhymes to him, or to hear his sister singing around Canada in 2014, he made it to the top 12 on YTV’s the house. Having been diagnosed with a learning season seven of the Next Star, and placing second disability that limited verbal self-expression, he in 2015’s Teen Fest in Cloverdale. now is a confident young man with stage presence who’s writing his own music. Behind his success “I’m the happiest when performing, whether are his parents, who once the diagnosis came busking at White Rock beach or on stage at through, found the right school with the right local venues,” says Richard. We will definitely be teachers to help him. He was placed at the Fraser following this young talent watching him work hard Academy where teachers have expertise in dealing at his dream. with students who have learning disabilities. 10 CloseLook Magazine |

Natalia Pardalis

Apart from all that, Natalia is also the youth coordinator at the Greek Community of Surrey and Fraser Valley where she coordinate music and by Harvinder Sandhu Greek Dance programs as well as religious, Greek Since her interview with Close Look TV, Natalia language, and Greek heritage study programs. has been very busy working on growing her Natalia finds it very rewarding watching youth business of training and mentoring young artists. gain leadership skill and become outstanding The studio she started is fast becoming a success individuals. through hard work in helping artists not only in their creative development, but also about the business aspects of the arts industry.

N Natalia has continued her solo music career and has had her music played on the radio all over Europe. Her last single release, ‘Cup of Tea’, had over 30 thousand views on YouTube and was played quite a bit on the radio. Her new album, ‘I’m in Love with fairy tales’, will be released in the near future.

“My goals for the future are to inspire people through everything I do.

“I’m excited to share this new album of all original music which is an exploration of a young woman’s adventures in finding love. I can’t wait to share this album,” says Natalia to CloseLook Magazine. Natalia also recently re-branded her studio, calling it now Pardalis Studio for Music and Performing Arts. The name change was to reflect all that the studio offers to budding artists. It’s not only focused on training and mentoring, but also helping artists who are wanting to take the next step in their creative development, from learning the basics to learning the business aspect of the industry. The latter part is very crucial for artists as many overlook the business part as their passion is creating and sharing their work. Not knowing that the business part is detrimental to artists who want to do this full time says Natalia.

“My goals for the future are to inspire people through everything I do. So many amazing people inspired me to take that plunge to create music and not be afraid, so if I can pass that knowledge on to anyone, I will do everything in my power to do so regardless of the medium they are in, be it music, acting, judging, or mentoring,” says Natalia in her Currently she is a mentor and guest judge on the desire to give back. popular radio show Cyber Academy with fellow Close Look TV winner Mann and Canadian Idol To keep up on what Natalia is doing and winner Theo Tams. They have completed two to follow her: Twitter:@nataliapardalis, seasons and their third season will start in the FB:NataliaPardalisMusicStudio | Instagram: spring. Natalia has also organized a local “idol” @natavivi competition for the Surrey Greek Festival which enabled them to find some amazing talent.

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Success Stories by Harvinder Sandhu

Sam Bhatnagar

the organization, he was able to retire his mother. Currently all his family members, including his wife are in business with him. The latest person to join him in business is his younger brother who never looked at working anywhere else after finishing his accounting degree from Simon Fraser University.

He explains to CloseLook Magazine what WFG is, “WFG is like a Wal-Mart, it’s all about distribution Born in Chandigarh, India, but growing up in – Wal Mart does not manufacture anything, it Kenya, Sam Bhatnagar is an incredible young distributes many brands. Just like Wal Mart, man who has “made it” in Canada within a few WFG is an organization that distributes financial short years of migrating here. Recently CloseLook services from brands like BMO, TD, and many Magazine had the pleasure of sitting down with others, where the products available are financial Sam to hear his success story and what motivated services like mortgages, insurance, mutual funds him then, and what motivates him now, in building etc.” his financial business. “When we came to Canada, my family and I, my dad sat us down and let us know that this was it. That the small amount of money we came with after selling my dad’s business in Kenya was all we had,” says Sam, “that there was no inheritance to fall back on.” So he got a job to support the home finances.

Sam is on the fast track to building a huge business within the World Financial Group organization with offices in Surrey and Abbotsford. To further explain the business model, Sam uses the concept of Tim Horton’s business model. “Where do you think Tim Hortons profit will be more? To sell ten different types of coffees in one location or 1 type of coffee in many locations?”

He continues to relate how his mother who had never worked outside the family home was “I was 19 when we came here and I started to also now working in a grocery work while going to school and my goal was to store with her bad back, “I was 19 when we came here and retire my mom.” I started to work while going to school and my goal was to retire my mom.” The answer was obvious. That is exactly what WFG He worked hard, at times he was working three is doing today. When Sam started in business there different jobs to try to replace his mom’s income was only one office here in Surrey, now there are so she could quit. twelve offices. Many locations mean the revenue is steady. He goes on to say being in business is He realized very soon that was not going to happen good, but to do it where you can walk away for unless he could find a job that paid a lot more than a while and your business keeps building as the his three jobs combined. He knew he was working foundation is such that if you choose to build a hard, but now started to think how he could work huge business, you can. smart. Sam goes on to say how immigrants are always looking for a better opportunity and living Being so young when he started and becoming in North America, the land of opportunity we have a leader earning a six figure income by the time to tap into. he was 24, CloseLook Magazine asks how he achieved this feat as he was not only young, but It was around this time that he was introduced to also looked very young. How did he convince WFG. He soon realized that here was an opportunity people to allow him to help them with their that he could run with. Within months of joining finances? Did people look at his age and wonder 18 CloseLook Magazine |


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“Every appointment I went to I looked at it as if this is my family member, how can I assist them the best, that’s how I work the business.”

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if he has the experience and expertise to manage their money and wealth? “I got a lot of that. I knew I had to be thorough; I prepared, planned and learned strategies before presenting. Every appointment I went to I looked at it as if this is my family member, how can I assist them the best, that’s how I work the business.” He goes on to say to overcome the challenges he read a lot of good books. His favorite right now is ‘Who Moved My Cheese’, a great book for anyone thinking about going into business for themselves.

“I had to be mentally prepared to handle the challenges and objections, to do that I surrounded myself with good positive people and read a lot.” Books he read and that helped are The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari, Awaken the Giant Within, Think and Grow Rich, and books by John Maxwell. Sam shares a few tips with CloseLook Magazine on money and what he feels are a few basic money

habits everyone should have. He emphasize we need to change how we spend money, here are the tips:

1. Save first – the habit now for most people borrowing money to pay for it. Liability is is to spend first and then try to save after, that something that depreciates over time; usually means not much left, if anything to best example is buying a car. save. Save 10 percent at least. 5. Have proper protection - Here Sam 2. Learn how to manage your debt talks about insurance, whether it be life, properly – if you don’t have the money, critical illness or RESP. don’t spend it from credit card.

6. Preserve your estate for the next 3. Have an emergency fund – you never generation – this is a crucial step as you know when you might need it.

want your hard work to be the foundation for the next generation to build upon. Talk 4. Building your asset – assets appreciates to a financial advisor on how to accomplish over time, best example is buying a home, it this goal. appreciate over time even though you are CloseLook Magazine |



Ria Jade

by Harvinder Sandhu

Ria Jade is a singer, songwriter, musician and philanthropist who, since she came on to the music scene, has won multiple awards. It takes passion and strong work ethic to achieve what Ria has achieved. Even though she’s been singing from a very young age, she only started taking it seriously at the tender age of thirteen. Ria contributes her ‘Moments’ cover video for One Direction at the host and the name behind the SHAW TV show, on age of fifteen to putting her in the limelight and the SHAW Multicultural Channel, and a reporter/ co-host for Indie Mixtape TV on SHAW Channel have people notice her. 4. Ria’s biggest hosting credits include hosting the “I was a huge One Direction fan for years and 2014 Miss World Canada Coronation Pageant Top getting my ‘Moments’ cover on their website as 16 Question and Answer Portion at sixteen years one of their favourite covers was such an honour, old; followed by hosting the 2015 Miss World and dream come true to me,” shares Ria. By the Canada Top Five and Top Sixteen Question and way, she still loves Harry Styles, especially his hair. Answer Portion. Her biggest live speaking and singing event so far was the Balancing Our Minds Ria expresses how her love for singing is part (BOM) Summit, Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC in of her love for everything artistic, be it writing, February 2016. visuals, or dance or acting. Singing to her is a form of expression, where the artist and the audience Life has not been easy, from being bullied at are one, drawing from each other, mutually feeling a young age to dealing with an eating disorder, and appreciating the art. Ria also describes her Anorexia Nervosa, Ria also struggles with severe sound as a mix of alternative, blues, rock and indie anxiety. She openly discusses her struggles as she wants to help remove the stigma that “revolves pop. around mental health”. These issues have the CloseLook Magazine first came to know about Ria potential to make it extremely difficult for anyone when they showcased her on their television show, to pursue dreams of becoming an artist, and Ria CloseLook TV, a community based inspirational understands this. She shares her thoughts here, TV show that captures the local talented, younger “One thing about me is that I am a fighter, I refuse generation and provides them with a media to give up. I want to strengthen myself and hope platform to promote their talent. Since their first that inspires others to feel empowered too. At the meeting they have kept in touch, with CloseLook end of the day, ultimately, the only person who can closely following this talented young woman control who you are and how things affect you and through her journey of self-discovery and growing your journey, is yourself.” musically to where she is now. Profound words from someone so young. Ria “CloseLook has always been so supportive of me, recognizes how the support from her family has I consider the team there like my “media family,” helped her to achieve what she has so far. Her shares Ria, going on to say how thinks it’s great mother is her manager, or has she calls her, “momthat they also give recognition to the youth in the ager”, who is a tremendous help to Ria along with her dad and sister. Her mom supports her in any community that are doing great things. way she can, helping out in the projects Ria is Ria also went on to open her own television show working on. CloseLook asked if her parents would with the same philosophy as CloseLook called be okay for her to quit school and pursue music eveRIAthing. As a TV personality, Ria is the main full-time. 20 CloseLook Magazine |

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“If halfway through any course, I decided to drop out and focus on music, I think my entire family would be supportive. I think what matters most to them is having a goal and plan in life and working towards fulfilling it.” Her awards reflect the person she is. Here’s a list of her achievements and projects she is working on. 2016 Music and Sound Award from Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for her music video ‘Snowflakes’, 2016 Kelty Champion of Wellness Award for Community Involvement, 2016 Hammer’s Heroes Award from Vancouver Canucks Defenceman Dan Hamhuis, a nomination for the 2016 Fraser Valley Music Awards and a nomination for the 2016 Joey Awards for her performance in the Snowflakes video.

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more I write, the more I feel like I am finding who I truly am as an artist and finding the sound that I was born to have, so definitely stay turned with that with me on my social media. I plan to release a couple of sneak peeks of these songs before the end of the year and hopefully a second EP some time before the end of mid 2017! Thank you so much to everyone also for all the support, I can’t wait to give it back to you with that secret project that I mentioned.” Ria invites everyone to join in and follow her on social media, Ria Jade on Facebook, @ riajademusic on Twitter, Instagram, SoundCloud and through her show, eveRIAthing/@everiathing to keep posted.

Ria is also eager to share with CloseLook Magazine about her new projects coming up in 2017, she’s billed it as something “very big and exciting” that is going to incorporate what she loves most, music, expression, individuality and philanthropy. “I have something coming up that I’ve been working on with my family, fellow artists, and all sorts of people in the community and even you (the readers) can get involved.” “I also have been writing a lot and the

“One thing about me is that I am a fighter, I refuse to give up. I want to strengthen myself and hope that inspires others to feel empowered too. At the end of the day, ultimately, the only person who can control who you are and how things affect you and your journey, is yourself.” CloseLook Magazine |



Make Up Artist

Naichal Choongh.

it for a while that it was the only hobby I had for a long time. I also wanted to pursue this as my dream job. As I got older, I became interested in different things. I Hi I’m Naichal Choongh. I’m 16 and love makeup and everything about makeup. My journey of falling in love with makeup started when I was 2, sitting on the bathroom counter watching my mom put on her eyeliner, and wishing I could do it as well. When I was old enough to get makeup, the first product I got was the eyeliner! I created so many looks with 22 CloseLook Magazine |



now want to do criminology, but makeup will always be in my heart, and something I do for fun as it makes me happy, and others as well. I find that if a person takes time to put on some makeup, what is right for them, they will see an immediate difference, and in most cases, what they see will make them happy. Many girls and women are afraid to put makeup on as they are not sure how to do it right, or they put on makeup that is not flattering to their look. I also find the cost of makeup can put many off from buying the right product for them. I really feel that when a girl or woman looks good, she will also feel good about herself, and have more confidence in herself as well. I really like to

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encourage them to go on youtube and see videos by makeup artists showing how to do any look a person may be interested in. They also provide info on the products they use, so it’s a great way to learn about makeup and experimenting with it will teach you how to apply it right for you. Go have fun with it!

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Close Look TV in Action Close Look is an “AWARD WINNING” community based inspirational TV show that captures the local talented, younger generation of Vancouver & the lower mainland & uncover their stories!

Watch on Shaw on Thursday and Saturday Interviews can be watched at 24 CloseLook Magazine |

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Desi Close Look TV in Action ​ esi Close Look brings you the inspirational D immigrant stories in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and English. Our focus in this program is people that have set an example for others, have something inspirational to share with the world or had the courage to do things that were challenging for them while they moved to a new country, which is Canada. Desi Close Look invites people of diverse occupational background like tradesmen, cab drivers, businessmen, entrepreneurs, etc. with no age bar as such.

Watch on Shaw and Omni on Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday. Interviews can be watched at

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I Support by Harvinder Sandhu

“I love the bus program, it is truly amazing and life changing. I think every community should have one, it is so amazing. I have connected with all the staff, and I love them all, this has made me more accepting of myself and others. It is amazing.” Mandy (13 years old) Mandy is talking about an outreach program called Project Reach Out (PRO). PRO is an award-winning program consisting of a bus from which multiple services are offered to youth. Its mandate is to identify with youth, youth who are involved in at-risk behaviours, or youth who are maybe exploring at-risk behaviours, create connections, relationships, and provide support services. This bus is mobile, meeting up with youth where ever they are. The mobility of the bus allows it to provide resources to youth who need help, but are not able to acquire it in a comfortable space that makes them feel safe 26 CloseLook Magazine |

and heard. PRO hopes to connect with youth and works on minimizing the number of at-risk youth in the Tri-Cities. Since its conception in 2004, Project Reach Out has made over 25,000 connections with street involved youth. Jerome Bouvier shared with CloseLook Magazine how he came about in starting this program. It was based on a model in Australia that Jerome Bouvier came across at a National Conference. At the time he was working in Northern California (Mendocino County) as the Director of a county wide program for Runaway and Homeless Youth program. A 40,000 square mile county created barriers for youth to access services. So, taking a page from the Australian model, Jerome put into action a modified handy dart bus, and outreach workers drove throughout the county connecting with youth. Upon returning to BC in the fall of 2004, Jerome

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connected with ACCESS Youth Outreach Services and suggested the program model. Along with Ted Kuntz and sitting in a coffee shop, grants were written and a pilot program was born. It has grown into the program it is today, connecting with an average of 2000 youth annually over the past 12 years. The program is successful because it meets youth where they are, bringing services to them. “The youth are always expecting to see the bus each weekend. They have come to rely on it and the outreach team,” says Jerome. In the beginning providing service to youth in this “different and progressive” way was a bit of a challenge for the community as they embraced this unique idea cautiously. The youth on the other hand, immediately accepted this approach. The other big challenge was funding. Being a very different model of outreach, funders were not sure how to understand it. “So when I started writing grants, it was very important to be as clear and specific as possible in an attempt for the government funders to best understand it and fund it,” says Jerome. “ACCESS Youth Outreach Services relies solely on grants, fundraisers and donations to fund all their programs. So funding was, and is an ongoing challenge.” PRO is very successful, winning awards for the work it has done in helping youth. CloseLook Magazine asked Jerome what he attributes PRO’s success. “It is successful because of its unique way of providing outreach. The bus is kind of a prop,” he

says, “it gets youth’s attention, and in turn creates circumstances for the outreach staff to connect and support with street involved youth.” Further, it’s after-hours operating time on Friday and Saturday nights from 7pm to midnight is crucial as it meets youth at vulnerable times and assists in keeping them safe, as well as providing a safe haven. In addition, the program is non-judgemental, accepting of all, and provides an array of services to youth, from drug and sexual health education, to basic needs and referrals to community resources. Jerome shares how they created “friendships”, built relationships and trust. “Often youth will call the bus as the shift starts,” says Jerome, “It’s pretty telling when youth will call a program to come to them.”  CloseLook Magazine wanted to know more about these wonderful youth workers who are out there in the bus and what they may face on any given weekend. CloseLook Magazine |


“Each weekend is unpredictable. Workers can be found playing soccer in a field with a group of youth, handing out positive passes to youth for being responsible as the ‘youth are doing youth things’, having one to one conversations with youth, all the way to the more intense situations. Responding to gang issues and/or youth overdoses.” CloseLook Magazine also learnt about a youth that first started to use this program. During the original pilot program, PRO came across a 16 year old young woman who was intoxicated, out of school, and trying to fund her way. In assisting her over the next few weeks, and months, a strong relationship was built. She had expressed interest in being a youth mentor on the bus. She was informed what was expected from her and within a couple months she had enrolled in an alternative program for 6 months. She ended up graduating with her grade 12 diploma. To celebrate, PRO offered her a volunteer mentor position which made a huge impact on her self- esteem and confidence. She went on to work with PRO for 7 years, during that time enrolling in a Child and Youth Care Counselling program where she 28 CloseLook Magazine |

began to pursue her BA. “We are extremely proud of her.”  “They say it takes a whole village to raise a child; however, we have come to discover it takes the troubles of youth to raise a village. Hear them and they will guide us,” shares Jerome, continuing, “What has been clear to us is that youth JUST WANT TO KNOW THEY ARE CARED FOR. That they are valued and accepted for who they are. That is at the heart of our programs.”

“Words of wisdom to live by when communicating with youth.”

by Harvinder Sandhu

For more information about to  For information about the to





I Support in Action Harvinder & Mrs. Sekhon

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Discussion on Depression

Discussing about Settlement Issues in Canada.


Discussion on “Do Looks Matter” Sunny/Balwant/Rita

Discussion on Financial Literacy


Discussion on challenges faced by Immigrants Tanvir/Harry Bains/Alex

Discussion on Youth and politics and Housing

Real People... Real Views... CloseLook Magazine |


Close Look Karaoke Night


Tel: 604-580-6477 Jack’s Public House, where you can Sip, Taste and Socialize in style!

9082 152nd Street, Surrey, BC V3R 4E7 Facebook: Jack’s Public House | Twitter: @jackspublic Instagram: jackspublichouse

Money Matters In this section CloseLook Magazine will bring informative articles on money and our relationship with money. We By Erin Huffstetler strive to provide information, ideas and solutions on money and how Here are ten ways to put that bad habit to rest and get and stay out of debt.  we can be better served by the money we earn 1. Go Cash-Only through our hard work. Credit cards make it easy to overspend, but you can’t use them if you don’t have them with you. Leave your credit cards at home, and stick to cash or debit for all of your purchases.

Battling a spending habit?

2. Set Long-term Goals Find yourself blowing big bucks on small purchases like coffee and vending machine snacks? Here’s a simple way to crush the habit: Pick something that you really want, a vacation, a fat emergency fund, to get out of debt and remind yourself of this goal each time you feel tempted to blow money on a nonessential. Then, take the money you would have blown, and put it towards your goal. Before long you’ll be sunning yourself on a tropical shore or sitting on top of a mound of money. Who knew breaking bad habits could be so rewarding?

3. Distinguish Between Needs and Wants Do you need those new shoes or do you just want them? Ask yourself this question each time you find yourself contemplating a purchase. If it’s a need (and it fits within your budget), go ahead and buy them. If it’s a want, spend some time weighing the impact of your purchase. What will these 32 CloseLook Magazine |

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shoes do for you? Will they make you happy? Fill a hole in your wardrobe? Can you afford to buy them? Is there something else that you want more? Be honest about how your purchase will impact your life, and then decide if that “want” is really worth the asking price.

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4. Shop with a List Ever gone into a store for a few items, and emerged with bags and bags of stuff? Yeah, we all have. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this common spending trap: shop with a list. Jot down everything that you need from the store, then only shop for the items that are on your list. Tempted by something extra? Then, make a note to add it to your next shopping list.

5. Give Yourself an Allowance Look over your budget, and decide how much money you can afford to blow each week. Then, withdraw this amount from your checking account at the beginning of the week, and spend guiltfree. Just remember: When the money’s gone, the spending stops no exceptions.

6. Institute a Cooling Off Period Coveting the latest bobble or gadget? Time to head for the nearest exit! Institute a 24-hour cooling off period before buying any big-ticket item. This will give you time to decide whether you really need and can afford the object of your affection. Still smitten after 24-hours? Then, go back to the store and buy it.

7. Find a Shopping Buddy Do you have a hard time saying no to your shopping impulses? Then, find someone who can talk you down. Designate a friend or family member your “Voice of Reason” and only shop when they can go with you. Have a cell phone? Then, go ahead and shop alone, but call your friend whenever you find yourself worked into a shopping frenzy.

8. Shop without a Cart Have you noticed how big shopping carts are getting? Those babies are designed to keep you shopping! Avoid this clever spending trap by only taking a cart when you have a lot to buy. Otherwise, grab a shopping basket or carry your items. You’ll be less tempted to shop when you don’t have anywhere to put your selections.

9. Let Someone Else Shop for You Looking for an easy way to break your spending habit? Here’s one: let someone else shop for you. Make out your shopping list, and then hand it off to someone you trust. You won’t be able to add impulse items if you’re sitting at home.

10. Survey Your Selections Before you head to the check-out line, take a minute to look over your selections. Do you need everything that yo’e about to buy? Are there items that you should put back or think about for next time? Keep editing your selections until you feel good about them. Then, check out with a clear conscience.

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Feature Story


Kissing Disease

Ever heard about a young adult who sleeps a lot and still complains of tiredness, especially in their first year of college? No, it’s not puberty, that’s past, now it’s the college disease popularly known as the “kissing disease”. The scientific term is Infectious Mononucleosis, also known as “mono”. What exactly is mono? It’s a fairly common viral disease that usually affects adolescents and young adults, including college students. The infection is typically caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, but may be caused by other related viruses.

Many college students have already developed immunity or resistance by the time they reach college age because many teens nowadays are dating at an earlier age. The good thing is once you have had mono, it is unlikely that you will ever get it again. Symptoms usually appear 20-50 days after infection and the severity of symptoms varies greatly between individuals. Symptoms may be so mild that one can have mono without knowing it. In other cases, symptoms may be severe enough to require hospitalization. These common symptoms include, severe sore throat, which is almost always present and lasts about 6-10 days. The throat may be very red, with white spots or pus on the tonsils. There’s fever

What exactly is MONO?

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It’s a fairly common viral disease that usually affects adolescents and young adults, including college students. The infection is typically caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, but may be caused by other related viruses.

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of 37.8-39.4°C, which is usually worst during the first week and seems to worsen at night. Swollen, tender glands (lymph nodes) in the neck, lasting up to one month after you are feeling well. And the most common symptoms are fatigue and headaches. If you have any of the symptoms described above, and are concerned that you may have mono, you should visit a doctor even if your friends suggest that it is nothing. The doctor will perform a physical exam, including of the throat and glands as mono symptoms are similar to those of other infections. The doctor will try to determine whether your symptoms are those of mono, strep throat or another viral infection by swabbing the back of your throat to check for the following: • If streptococcus (strep) is present, you will be treated with an antibiotic. • If streptococcus is not present and your symptoms continue for 7-10 days, you should return to your doctor for possible further testing. • Blood tests for mono measure antibodies to the virus and therefore are not usually positive until symptoms have been present for one week or more. Like the common cold, mono is a viral infection with no cure and antibiotics do not work as a treatment for mono. You can also follow these self-care measures to feel better. To remove pus from the tonsils and reduce throat pain, gargle with one teaspoon of salt (or baking soda) dissolved in a glass of very warm water. You can purchase non-prescription medications like Chloraseptic gargle or lozenges, or your doctor may write a prescription for gargles that reduce throat pain and make swallowing easier. Apply a heating pad or a warm washcloth to swollen neck glands to help relieve tenderness. You can take medications such as, ibuprofen or naproxen (Aleve), which is available without prescription, for fever, sore throat, head and body aches. Follow directions on packaging. Do avoid acetaminophen (Tylenol) because of possible liver inflammation that is sometimes associated with

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mono. In addition, you need to take special care of yourself during recovery, this means refrain from vigorous activities. Why? Mono affects the entire lymph system, including the spleen (located under your left lower rib cage), you should avoid activities such as, football, soccer or running. Do not play contact sports until at least two weeks after symptoms resolve. You can do mild exercises such as, walking or swimming, as long as the activity doesn’t increase fatigue. You should also rest at least eight hours per night. Do attend classes if you feel able to, but plan to rest often. Eat small amounts of food frequently, especially if your appetite is decreased. Milkshakes (or supplement drinks such as Boost or Ensure) between meals are a good addition, as are snacks of peanut butter, eggs and cheese. If you have a sore throat, blend foods or eat them with liquid to make them easier to swallow. Do drink plenty of non-caffeinated fluids to avoid dehydration, and definitely avoid alcoholic beverages and drugs not prescribed by your doctor for at least six weeks, because of possible liver inflammation. You will probably feel most of the symptoms for the first two weeks of the infection. After this time you should gradually improve, but expect your energy level to be reduced longer. The recovery process varies from person to person, so base your activities and check-ups on how you feel. The infection is not highly contagious and does not usually spread to roommates, it is usually spread by close contact from one person to another, hence the name “kissing disease”. As a precaution, you should avoid sharing drinking glasses and kissing until your sore throat and other symptoms have disappeared for several (4-6) weeks. Be sure to cover coughs and sneezes, and wash your hands thoroughly and often. By courtesy of University Health Services, University of Michigan. CloseLook Magazine |


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Circle of Kindness

s s e n ! d n cle i K ir C A BLANKET e h T

By Ira Saini

Altruism isn’t for a day. It isn’t even for cause. It really is a habit; one that spreads the smile in its own special way. It touches people. It creates an unspoken, untold bond that has the power to bind strangers, even if for just a moment, and cause the ripple effect to follow through. And this is why we bring to you the Kindness Circle, to recount the stories you can be inspired from, stories you can pass along and stories that will melt your heart.

When I was a student, I would often sign up for the night shift work to accommodate my classes and of course, to pay my bills. I would take the 10:30pm bus from White Rock into Surrey and would often arrive at my stop early and have to wait. It so happened that this one night, as I reached the bus stop, I noticed a poor, homeless person sitting there, shivering and staring in the distance. As I stood there constantly transitioning between looking at my watch and the road to watch for any sign of the bus, a young fellow walked by with a plastic bag in his hand. He headed straight towards the homeless guy and sat right next to him and began engaging him in conversation. He asked him about his life and genuinely seemed interested. As the bus neared our stop, the young guy took out a blanket and left it there for the homeless guy to take home. This simple gesture really melted my heart that night. While this random act of kindness was not geared towards me, it made me feel so touched and I can only imagine how it made the homeless guy feel. It motivated me to be kind and generous and really made my day, without even really being a part of my life. - Moumita Malik, 21

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You know when you have one of those days when everyone and everything in this world seems to be against you and you can’t wait for the day to just end. It was one of those days for me. My day had started with me getting burnt by my own coffee and then getting in late to work because I had a flat tire in the middle of the highway. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a big stack of rejections greeted me as soon I got in to work.

Really, the day couldn’t get worse. I sat there grumbling, venting out my frustration to whoever made the mistake of asking me how I was in the pleasant, customary manner that they do. I had a few meetings lined up for the day and I decided to not talk to anyone in the hope to avoid any more trouble. As the day neared its end and I headed back to my desk, ready to stay another two hours to make up for the missed time from the morning, I noticed a big KitKat on my desk with a sticky note asking me to smile and hoping that my day gets better. To this day, I don’t know who it was, or how they knew that KitKat was my favorite chocolate, but it genuinely made me feel so much better. Thank you, stranger at my office. Your random act of kindness left me with a big smile and helped me get through the day. - Jasmine Root, 26 Do you have stories of kindness that you would like to share? Would you like to get published and inspire fellow readers to be kind? Email us your personal “Kindness Story”, or one that you know about and we will select two for every issue.

No Act of Kindness, no matter how small,

is ever wasted. by Aesop

About the author: Ira is a freelance writer and travellers, who work’s to inspire and be inspired every day. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Information Technology from Fairleigh Dickinson University Vancouver. She has also been involved in organizing, leading and winning contests at Model United Nation (Vancouver Model United Nations (VMUN) is one of Canada’s premier educational simulations) at an international level. A philanthropist at heart, she truly believes in helping people grow, and aspires to be a motivational speaker one day. 38 CloseLook Magazine |

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Body, Mind & Spirit


in the modern day:

My perspective

by Krishna

The term spirituality is interpreted in umpteen number of ways. This is my attempt to say what it means to me and how I think it fits the modern day life. Irrespective of the various versions of its definitions, one common understanding is spirituality is to be content with one’s own self. There are several ways in which this notion is manifested. In my opinion, religion is one of the ways, and not the only one! It is human innate nature to ponder over numerous thoughts. One huge aspect in the process of

spiritual evolution would be to train the mind to focus. The means to this training are many, and two of those many ways which I try to use in my life are music and prayer. Here is a simple example, imagine a happy baby. If one goes to the baby and talk softly and smiles at the baby, the chances that the baby start to cry is small. However, if the same person yell at the baby, we can be sure that the baby would start crying. Does it mean the baby understands what the person said? Maybe, maybe not. It is the sound that the baby responds to. This simple example explains how sound has power and we often tend not to recognize that. Music is nothing, but a systematic and organized form of sound. It has a profound influence on one’s mood and attitude. I learnt Indian classical vocal music at the Pandit Jasraj School of Music Foundation in Vancouver where I generally had classes every Thursday evening. By Thursday, most of us are tired with the week’s work and the thought to just skip the music class CloseLook Magazine |


and relax is not far from my mind, but I just push myself and go. By the end of the two-hours class, the kind of relaxation and peace I experience is inexplicable. Two hours full of good music, good people, good thoughts and good energy. What else do we define spirituality with? If I were to speak about music and education, I would say music has always helped me with my studies. My previous music teacher in India once mentioned that what one could study normally could be studied in half of the time with some form of music in the student’s life. This doesn’t mean that one should listen to music while studying. But what this meant was that with the kind of training one receives while learning music, one can improve one’s memory and learning ability. I do not have a scientific evidence for this, however, it is my personal experience and I also observed it in my friends who study music. My other means of practicing spirituality is prayer. What or who do I pray to? Maybe a supreme power, sitting in the sky, watching us, controlling us, listening to our prayers and punishing us for our sins? Not at all! I personally don’t believe in the concept of some person sitting above us. Prayer, in my opinion, is a process in which we could acknowledge the immense power within us. We all have goals and aspirations in life. How many of us really sit down everyday and remind ourselves of these goals? Do we actually take the time to reflect? For me, prayer time is my reflection time. However, with so many things happening in life, it is very difficult to make the time to focus on reflection. That is when I feel some kind of chants come into play. I don’t think one needs any idols, or any physical objects to pray to. These could be a good starting point, but the focus should be on growing beyond these and be able to control the mind whenever we want to. Prayer chants, being a form of music in my opinion, helps me focus. After the practice of chants, I think of my goals, what have I done to meet them, what else do I need to do, etc. I feel I can focus on these aspects more after my prayer than at any other time.

40 CloseLook Magazine |

So what to chant? Which God to pray to? Which religion to follow? My answer to these questions would be, it doesn’t matter. Prayer and the concepts of God and religion, in my opinion, are only a few of the many means to harness the power within us and to discipline ourselves. Until this purpose is met, the actual name we give to these practices is totally unnecessary. So, this is my understanding of what spirituality is.

About the author: Krishna is a student at UBC, currently pursuing his PhD in Bio-energy supply chain management. He did his Masters in Mathematics from Simon Fraser University. Originally from Hyderabad, India, Krishna moved to Vancouver in 2011 for his Masters Degree. Since 2011, he is a student of Pandit Jasraj School of Music Foundation, Vancouver where he learns Hindustani classical music. He is also a student of Pandit Pritam Bhattacharjee, Pandit Jasraj School, Atlanta, USA. He serves as one of the Directors of Pandit Jasraj School of Music Foundation in Vancouver since 2015.

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Career/ Employment

Career Planning

What You Should Consider Before Investing Your Time, Energy and Money Choosing a career can be a daunting task for many. Gone are the days when you chose a career or landed a job and remained there for 30-40 years. With the world rapidly changing, and some jobs being phased out, it is important to take the time to reflect on what makes you tick. Looking back on my younger days when I was trying to pave my career path, I always knew that I was creative, a communicator and supportive to others. Having said that, if I had the tools then that I do now, I’m sure it would have helped me achieve my goals a lot sooner. There are several career assessments available which can offer some career options based on the participant’s responses, however, that is just a piece of the puzzle. Here are some additional things to consider… Dr.





Find Your


When you are aligned with your passion, magical things can occur. Since childhood, I was always passionate about people, helping others and entertaining. This has led me down the social services and media path. When you identify and follow your passions, positive emotions resonate. The times when I am working on creative projects or doing something I love, I have an abundance of positive energy and feel good about all aspects of my life.

creative visualization

Visualization is an extremely powerful tool which you can use to train your brain to manifest what you want in life. When you visualize regularly with intention, your subconscious will begin to believe that you have already attained the goal and then present you with the resources you need to seal the deal. I personally use this practice and know it works. It is important to know that visualization can also work against you if you are not careful. Do not think about experiences that have held you back or make you feel negative as this gives your subconscious the wrong message. It is important to focus on the positive. Use words like,

“I will …” “I can …”

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Writing your goals and reading them everyday can also be a great way to keep your eye on the prize. Surrounding yourself with positive people is one of the best things you can do for your career and

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mental health. Avoid naysayers and toxic people. We are all connected by energy and positivity is contagious! It can feed and energize your soul which in return can allow incredible things to happen. A good mentor can be one of the greatest gifts you could have when trying to choose your career. They can provide insight, experience, guidance and friendship. A good mentor will be honest with you and motivate you towards reaching your goals.


INFLUENCER/MENTORS Once you have decided on the career you want, it is important to do the research before forking out your time, energy and money. I have worked with many clients who have pursued their education in a specific career, and after getting a job and working for a period of time, they realize that it was not the right choice for them.


you to obtain real life information rather than just reading about it. Speaking to a variety of people is also valuable in order to gather information. Create approximately five questions targeting on the key areas you want to learn about. Writing the responses to the questions will help when reviewing your interviews. Resource:

JOB SHADOWING By taking the time to learn about yourself, identify realistic career options and plan your career, it is likely that you will have gained all the necessary tools required to make an informed choice. Having said that, it is also important to be open-minded and flexible as opportunities can come knocking on your door leading you down an unexpected avenue.

The SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities, Threats) analysis helps to identify what strengths you bring to a particular career/ job, and understanding your weaknesses. It also identifies potential opportunities which you may not been aware of which will help you manage potential threats. Read more on this analysis below. Resource: h t t p s : / / w w w. m i n d t o o l s . c o m / p a g e s / a r t i c l e / newTMC_05_1.html Taking the time to speak to people who work in your career line is well worth your time as it allows 44 CloseLook Magazine |

About the author:

Anu Pala is a Certified Life Coach and Vocational Consultant. She has worked in the social services field for over twenty years inspiring and empowering individuals to reach their goals, and live their best life. Anu has also been involved in various media and public relations initiatives, including radio broadcasting, freelance writing, public speaking, stage performances and media coordination for fund raising events. Anu’s philosophy is to experience life with enthusiasm, positivity and a glass half-full attitude.

SPEAKUP! Volume 1

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Speak Up! What’s on your Mind …

lives, technology is not worth having around for the benefits that we gain from it. CloseLook Magazine has dedicated this page for By Ayush 15yrs old their readers to post their concerns, issues and thoughts to share with all so anyone with similar Kids and Relationships … issues or questions will know they are not alone… Here are our first posts…

Technologies ... We all have many ways to access it now days, in the form of PC’s, cell phones, video games and many other devices. Although technology has helped us in many ways, it now has come to a point that we are isolating ourselves due to it. Extensive use of technology effects relationships in a negative way due to the fact that there are many ways to communicate with one another without having the other person present. It creates less of a need for people to meet face to face because you can practically chat, play and connect with one another with just the click of a button. As the years have passed and technology has advanced, parents have found it harder to form strong and stable relationships with their children. Technology can be very dangerous because it can become an addiction, and lead to overall social isolation. When it comes to extreme case of social isolation, we have to ask ourselves; are the benefits we receive from technology really worth what it takes away from us? In conclusion, technology can be great in many ways, but when it gets to a point, where it becomes a strong influence over our

As a parent of two boys I am looking forward to them having girlfriends. Relationships teach us responsibility. Kids don’t want to do any chores around the house, but if they are in a relationship, they are willing to do a lot of things for their partners. People learn to have patience while in relationships. In a lot of circumstance, girls and boys teach their partners to be respectful to the opposite sex. By A Concerned Mom

Job Prospects …. As a BCIT student I was clear in my head that once I finish my course, I can easily start earning enough to meet my expenses, like my student loan, a one room place, a car, mobile, etc. My dreams were shattered when I saw my friend working for McDonalds like me. He could not get the expected job after completing his studies. I would like to ask the government, “Is it fair for to us, who are Canadian born, to compete with immigrants and international students?” By Concerned Student

Student Grades … In the 2016/17 school year, the Ministry of Education in BC changed how students are to be graded. Students from K - 9 do not get marked by percentage or letter grade anymore. Teachers just write comments how students are doing. These CloseLook Magazine |


comments seem like copy and paste with different student names. Being a parent of kids who bring home mostly A’s its very heart breaking. It was a great way to monitor my kid’s efforts at school. There is competition in sports, but why not academically? By Concerned Parent

Worried … I’m fifteen and am dating an older guy. I really love him and he loves me too. I didn’t want to have sex yet, but since I love him and he loves me, I decided to have sex with him. We have been doing this for a while now. My concern is he won’t use condom and I am scared I will get pregnant. Don’t know what to do …. By Very Worried

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Lack of affordable housing … I’m a university student and living at home. My concern is even after finishing my studies and hopefully getting a job in my field, I still won’t be able to afford to live in the lower mainland. I know the government has introduced an initiative to help first time home owners raise money for down payment, but that is just another loan I will have to pay back. What else can the government do make it affordable for us younger generation to continue to live here… By Worried I Have To Move To Very Cold Parts Of Canada

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Check out City of Surrey’s exciting programs for youth. See Winter 2017 Recreation Guide available at all recreation centers to learn detailed information about programs listed below, or check out:

The Teen Book Review Project

Counts Toward Your Volunteer Hours! Starting January 2, you can read and review new teen books while getting volunteer hours! Bring home a new or never been published novel, read it, and then write a short review for Surrey Libraries. Each 100 pages and the written review count for one volunteer hour. Participate a little or a lot. Sign up at the Fleetwood or Cloverdale Library. or

Teen Calligraphy Club City Centre Library Love calligraphy? Come practice making beautiful art with words. Call City Centre Library to save your spot at 604-598- 7418.

Teen Writing Club Semiahmoo Library Meet other young writers, get help with your work and play with prompts. Hosted by Semiahmoo Teen Library Council. Drop in. Guildford Library This group will encourage you to keep writing, as well as challenge and stretch your imagination. Register: 604-598- 7367 CloseLook Magazine |

FREE! Writing Workshop Newtown Cultural Centre Join us for a writing workshop focusing on improving your writing, playwriting and publishing your work with Barbra Gould and Ellie King! For youth ages 13–21. For more info and registration,

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Surrey Youth Stewardship Squad

Get FREE Drop-in Activities with a FREE Youth Membership!

We’re looking for new members (ages 13–17) to join the Surrey Youth Stewardship Squad. If you are in high school, want to make a difference in your community and have a passion for the environment, then we want YOU to join SYSS! No need to complete an interview, submit references, or complete a criminal record check; just Sign Up and get started! Counts toward volunteer hours. Info: / 604.591.4076.

I AM GAME Drop-in Coach-facilitated gym time focused on building fitness, sport skills, and confidence to help you feel ready to play a variety of sports. Sport Drop-in Open gym time to play a variety of gym sports while developing your skills. All skill levels welcome. Youth Engagement Program (YEP) Drop-In Games, activities, and more. Come meet with the YEP Teams and talk about any project ideas you may have! Read more to check out your local recreation centre for drop-in times.

Want to try something new for 2017?

Auditioning for Film, TV and Stage Surrey Arts Centre Work with sides, scenes, and soliloquies, as you learn the various ways of getting in the door, whether you want to get on stage or in front of a camera. Classes for children and youth 9–15 years old. 8 sessions for $149.

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Art Together: Make art and share your ideas! Surrey Art Gallery If you’re a youth or young adult, the Gallery wants your help planning upcoming projects, programs, and events. This is a unique opportunity to design the type of art activities you envision, and to create do-it- together art projects with mentoring artists. Contact to get involved.

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When This Keeps Yo u A w a k e At Night!

Issue 1

By Sahil Sharma

That’s the question, we have been asking a lot of people. Apart from our own ongoing research with professionals & especially, young professionals; it was eye opening to see what one of the latest researches done by a reputed media enterprise brought out. According to them, job security, future financial security, & general uncertainty & unhappiness were amongst top ten broad worries of people. As per our expertise, it all belongs to the 4 areas of life that MATTER.





D o Yo u F e e l A n y O f T h e s e ? • • • • • • • • • •

New job - what am I supposed to do? Unsure about what’s going to happen next? I will have no chance of promotion for some reason Others are better than me I am hardworking but no one appreciates my work My stakeholders are not happy with me I need a mentor I want to shine in my organization & get ready for new challenges My boss hates me I have other leadership challenges

“Top 10 Worries fall in to the 4 major areas of life.”

W h at ’s N ex t ? Come & meet your development-partners at LEDx - a social enterprise that supports young & senior professionals move ahead in their game. Coming with several years of global handson experience in talent & leadership development, LEDx believes in getting practical results to real life problems. Who delays success? *Research done by


ONE-ON-ONE Personalized Coaching

Practical Solutions

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Words Of Wisdom

I was asked to share “words of wisdom” that have helped me stay strong during adversity in my life. Here’s a personal experience which I have shared with many friends and acquaintances and will continue doing so, especially if it can help someone to get through rough times ... I will never forget those days when I use to think my life was meaningless. I felt like a lost child in a big fair. I had no money or support from anybody, including my own family. I thought of ending my life, but the thought that it would be painful stopped me.

This too shall pass

One day I arrived at work and my co-worker saw the pain in my eyes. When she asked, what was wrong, I burst into tears and shared all. She hugged me and told me a story of a king … There was a king who had everything, but no control over his emotions. If he lost a battle, or something bad happened in his kingdom, he would cry and be very sad, and if something good happened, he would be very happy. He thought he should do something to stabilize his emotions. He called his goldsmith and asked him to make him a bracelet which will help him control his emotions. The jeweller came back after 3-4 days and handed him a beautifully wrapped gift. When the king opened it, he was surprised to see a beautiful gold bracelet which had, “This too, shall pass” engraved on it!

by Simmy Cheema

So my friends, as they say, “Time never stays the same”, during tough times always remember one thing: “This too, shall pass”! 50 CloseLook Magazine |

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NO ONE KNOWS YOUR INFINITI BETTER THAN WE DO. OpenRoad Infiniti Langley 5995 Collection Drive (5 minutes from Willowbrook Shopping Centre)

Moe Khan General Manager


Selling price for a new 2017 QX80 AWD/2017 QX60 3.5 AWD is $75,650/$47,890. Price excludes $1,995 Freight and PDI, $395 document fee, and all applicable levies and charges. License, registration, insurance, duties and applicable taxes are extra. Retailer order/trade may be necessary. Vehicle and wheels may not be exactly as shown. See OpenRoad Infiniti for details. Dealer#0Q135.


Closelook Magazine | January, 2017  

Welcome to the first edition of CloseLook Magazine! A one of a kind magazine that brings the real people & their real inspirational stories...

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