Page 1






by Kevin Brubaker

etting news from newspapers, radio and tele-

Twenty-first-century media companies have to

vision meant that generations of readers and viewers

be able to deliver news and information on demand to

had to wait hours, days or weeks for updates on world

remain relevant and make money. So, say the experts, do

events. Today, people can access any amount of infor-

young people who want to break into this rapidly chang-

mation with just a few clicks. But as the speed of data

ing new, new media landscape.

flow increases, so does customer impatience–and with it, pressure on traditional news organizations.

“Media companies need to evolve and grow with their readership.”


The transition of traditional news sources to a digital platform is great news for consumers. But what does this change mean for students looking to score a job in the media?

“What I have always believed is that newspapers and

There are plenty of opportunities for people who are willing to

magazines are living, breathing entities,” says Charlotte Empey,

put in the work to get them. “Journalism is not dead,” Empey says. “I

editor-in-chief of Toronto’s Metro News. “Media companies

believe this like I believe I will take my next breath. The only differ-

need to evolve and grow with their readership. They need to

ence is the kind of work is shifting. Students have to be hungrier,

not fuss about what they’re supposed to be; that way they can

they have to know people, and maybe have a stroke of serendipity.”

respond more easily to what their audience wants.”

The key for media students and graduates is to hone their writ-

That’s exactly what media companies such as Metro and

ing skills so that they can show employers they bring quality content

Rogers TV are doing: shifting to a digital landscape while retain-

to the digital landscape. “Being average doesn’t work anymore,”

ing the newsgathering and production processes that have made

Sache says, suggesting that would-be producers find workplaces

both organizations industry leaders.

that will enable them to volunteer in their chosen areas. “No one will

Most if not all news organizations have websites allowing

hire you out of school, that’s a reality.”

producers and editors to post up-to-the-minute information and

Students need to “be aggressive but always remain humble,”

schedule updates, as well as enabling users to access content

the Rogers TV producer advises–and just like the media landscape

online. But just having a website is no longer enough, media

they want to work in, “understand that you can learn something new

managers say. Leading-edge content providers must also offer

every day.”

mobile apps that users can use to download content on their smartphones and tablet devices, regardless of their location. “Newspapers need to evolve with technology,” says Sonia Sache, a producer at Rogers TV. Delivering what was once exclusively print content using tablets is the perfect example, she says.


“If they charge a fee to use their app and have subscribers, then


they will make a profit.”




$1.7 billion

Rogers’ $1.7 billion 2013 revenue source: Rogers Communications Inc.

14% 13%
















8 10 12 18

BY ERIC LEAMEN Bye, bye smartphone. Wearable gadgets are the next big thing in technology.

PHOTO GALLERY A collection of photographs that aims to give a glimpse into the future through everyday peoples perceptions of this decade.


BY PETER SANFILIPPO Will perusing your passions in post-secondary lead to the job you’ve always dreamed of?


BYJESSICA MAIORANO Working part-time jobs, paying off student loans and moving back home.


BY BRIANNA PUNCH Has pop culture made the world more nerdy?


BY PAYGE GLASS-SMITH & CLINTON FUDGE Breaking down the complicated of the popular cryptocurrency and its many facets.







46 48

BY VERONICA SHEPPARD Computers and food unite—bringing another layer of creativity into the culinary arts.

BY KATE SCHREITER Cellphones and social media—leading the charge in the fight for women’s rights.

BY EVAN FRENCH Exploring the current state of Canada’s media landscape through the lense of the ethnic press.


BY DANICA SAMUEL A look at the slang words that are filling our modern dictionaries.


BY MICHAEL BROWN A brief forecast of the changes we expect to see by the year 2020.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michael Brown M ANAGING EDITORS Danielle Schalk, Dina Zayed EDITOR-AT-L ARGE/COPY CHIEF Veronica Sheppard COPY EDITORS Adam Hearty, Jessica Maiorano, Elizabeth Nguyen, Kevin Scace HEAD OF R ESEARCH Aleksander Bajrak R ESEARCH A SSISTANTS Kate Schreiter, Ritchea Hodge PRODUCTION EDITOR Brianna Punch CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jaclyne Peters CREATIVE L IASION Sam Hume L AYOUT EDITOR Sarah de Schulthess PHOTO EDITOR Kaity Theriault SOCIAL MEDIA HEAD OF SOCIAL Robin Ghosh A SSISTANTS Carly Gasparotto, Alexa Lewis

The 2014 Emerge Conference was created, developed and executed by students at the University of Guelph-Humber. The project, completed as part of a fourth-year course, provided students with tangible experiences to take with them into the working world through the production of their own multidisciplinary conference. This year’s conference featured a range of speakers from different industries looking to explore what the future of the decade is looking like for Gen Y. The keynote speakers for the day were Jesse Brown, media critic and founder of Bitstrips, and Director X, the world renowned music video director and producer. Other prominent speakers included news anchor and iconic journalist, Christine Bentley; Eric Alper, media relations director at eOne Music Canada; restaurateur and food truck pioneer Zane Caplansky, and many more.

BRANDED CONTENT CONTENT DIRECTOR Farah Abokhraibey DESIGNER Dustin Cordeiro WEB EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Alex Steep HEAD OF DIGITAL Eric Leamen FACULTY PUBLISHER Jerry Chomyn EDITORIAL A DVISORS Kimberley Noble, Kathy Ullyott DESIGN CONSULTANTS John Bullock, Jasmine Kabiling University of Guelph-Humber 207 Humber College Boulevard Toronto, ON M9W 5L7

Coinciding with this year’s conference was the official launch of the Emerge Student Media Awards (EMA) program. This first-of-its-kind awards program will recognize unique and innovative uses of new digital media by post-secondary students in Ontario.

ON THE COVER The cover model, so to speak, is a 3D printed model provided by Makelab. The photo was taken by Anysia Solarski. First off, we need to provide a big thank you to Makelab for providing us with not one, not two, but three amazing 3D printed models for our cover.

For our 2014 cover, fitting in with our theme of exploring the future of the decade, we felt that using a 3D printed model would be both eyecatching and thought-provoking. Many people have heard the phrase 3D printing, but have never actually seen a 3D printed model. Well, not any more. We had to reshoot the cover multiple times to get an image we were fully satisfied with, but in the end, we’re exceptionally pleased with the result!

EDITOR WHAT’S THE FUTURE OF THIS DECADE? Where will we be by the year 2020? These are the questions we set out to answer with this issue of Emerge. For four years we were told that the media landscape around us was transforming and that there was no guarantee of a job—was there ever really? So this year, instead of publishing an issue that is an all angles examination of the issues that Gen Y-ers face (although we do still examine one of the most pertinent topics in “The Financial Struggles of Generation Y” p. 10), we decided to publish a top notch publication that reached for a more general audience. Who’s included in our generation proved to be a hot topic. Some mainstream publications label us (the class of 2014) as Millennials; many of us disagree. The Millennials label, we felt, refers to people born after the year 2000, or at least close to it. That meant we must be a part of the previous generation. Was that Gen Y? Was it Gen Z? Was there even a Gen Z? As we delved into the multitude of generational definitions, there seemed to be a common theme. If you were born in the 80s, you are definitely Gen Y. However, most of us were born in the very early 90s, and are what many classify as the end of Generation Y. After much research and discussion, we defined our generation as people born between 1977 and 1994, an era when everyone in it has memories of the time before the Internet was so readily available, even in schools. This brings me to one of the biggest changes of the recent decades—the Internet. Although there’s no doubt how transformative it was in the late 90s, in today’s society the Internet offers possibilities that even the greatest minds would never have thought possible a few decades ago. It is helping to lead a revolution to fight for equal rights around the world (“Technology for Equality” p. 34); allowed us to create new forms of money that only exist on the web (“The Bitcoin Story” p. 20); and in the last couple of years mobile connectivity has worked itself into the clothing and accessories we wear (“Wearable Tech” p. 5). One of the events that transformed the last decade was the Great Recession. Canada road out the financial crisis well compared to its neighbours, but we lost 431,000 jobs, making university students and recent graduates worried about finding work. Generation Y was raised with the mantra of




“do what you love,” coupled with the expectation that compensation will follow. This isn’t always the case and it’s starting to make graduates question whether or not certain post-secondary programs have as much merit as others (“Drawing Blanks” p. 8). That said, this decade has seen other transformations. We want to showcase some of the most pertinent changes occurring in Canada and around the world. Although 3D printing has been around for three decades, in the last five or so years it has gained major traction and has become one of the biggest buzzwords of the decade (speaking of buzzwords, check out “The Era of Slanguage” p. 46). Now, as this technology advances, we are entering an era in which we can print food (“Bringing 3D Printing to the Kitchen” p. 24), and may hold the potential to usher in new methods for fighting hunger worldwide. Another change: the prevalence of ethnic press. As people migrate across the globe, they turn to media more geared to their native culture and language. These publications are attracting a large and dedicated readership and are beginning to worry the mainstream press (“News by Any Other Name” p. 38). Finally, a story that has been receiving major mainstream press coverage in the last five years, the popularization of the nerd. Through shows like The Big Bang Theory, nerd culture—previously confined to small conventions and basement gatherings—has found a new life, much to the delight (and chagrin) of fans around the world, in popular culture (“Geek to Chic” p. 12). There’s no telling what may change by the end of this decade, but one thing’s for sure: we’re all going to look a whole hell of a lot different on the other side.

MICHAEL BROWN Editor-in-Chief


BY ERIC LEAMEN THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF the original iPhone by late Apple CEO Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, paved the way for the modern smartphone. These tiny pocket computers have opened up a world of possibilities, and today 1 in every 5 people on earth use a smartphone, a truly remarkable accomplishment for a market that is just seven years old. Now imagine what comes next. While there is plenty of room for growth in the smartphone market, technology giants like Apple and Google are already looking ahead to the next big thing. One new type of gadget seems to have become the de-facto winner: wearable technology. The Pebble smartwatch burst onto the scene in 2012, raising over $10.2 million through crowd-funding site Kickstarter and has sold 400,000 units to date. Samsung has already released four variations of their “Gear” smartwatch, while Apple is rumoured to be preparing a fitness-focused “iWatch” for launch sometime this year. Google, of course, has attracted a lot of attention with their controversial “Glass” smart glasses. Tech gurus are excited by the impending insurgence of wearables on the market and what it could mean for daily life. “By dismantling the computer, re-imaging it and recreating it on our bodies we can [simultaneously] interact with the digital and the physical world in a much more natural manner,” explained Tom Emrich, Toronto-based tech enthusiast and founder of We Are Wearables, a club dedicated to the discussion and celebration of wearable technology. Though wrist-worn devices seem to be the predominant focus of the tech giants, Canadian-based companies such as Hexoskin, OmSignal and Plantiga are producing smart clothing and footwear that take wearability to a whole other level.



“Like no old fashioned stuff. Books, they’ll just be like a book and then you touch it and then it just automatically reads it for you…and all you have to do is touch it to turn the page. I kind of think that technology is kind of futuristic. Because they didn’t have any of it in the past.”



FUTURE GAZING FUTURE GAZING IS a collection of photographs that aims to give a glimpse into the future through everyday people’s perceptions of the current decade. Emerge asked pedestrians on the streets of Toronto to answer a handful of questions concerning the importance of this decade and what the future may hold. The quotes that you will see over each photo reflect the answers we received, and cover a wide range of topics that display just how self-aware and critical people are of their own surroundings and lifestyles. From kindergarteners to college students to working adults, the quotes attempt to capture the skepticisms, anxieties and optimism of the upcoming years. While the questions Emerge asked were simple enough, many of the responses were complex and insightful—especially for on-the-spot answers. Each person was unaware of the questions they were about to be asked, but managed to produce thought-provoking ideas that are worthy of discussion. The entire gallery is featured in black and white throughout the magazine to set itself apart from the rest of the content. Keep an eye out for the photos below for unique perspectives, stories and faces.







BY PETER SANFILIPPO NOT ALL POST-SECONDARY degrees are created equal—especially when it comes to the ones that are supposed to lead to an arts-based careers. That’s one of the cold, hard facts facing the generation containing people born between 1977 and 1994. Generation Y has been encouraged to follow its dreams, yet is constantly reminded that those dreams are impractical. Educators and corporate employers both trumpet the enduring value of critical thinking. But studies show that arts graduates are under-employed, and earn less money than their science, technology, math and engineering counterparts. This raises some of the great questions of the millennial era: what is the true value of an arts degree? How do you measure the relative worth of medieval studies versus, say, medicine? Is there anything that outweighs practicality? Does accumulation of knowledge for its own sake really help you in life? The answer appears to depend on what you want out of life. No question, an arts degree is no guarantee of a job. Researchers for the Center on Education and the Workforce at Washington, D.C.-based Georgetown University concluded that unemployment rates are significantly higher in non-technical majors. As of 2010, unemployment in the arts stood at 11.1 per cent, humanities and liberal arts at 9.4 per cent, social science at 8.9 per cent and law and public policy at 8.1 per cent. In contrast, the study found that only 7.8 per cent of computer science and 6.0 per cent of math grads were unemployed. Painters, musicians and writers are commonly paid on a


freelance basis. Even people who do find work in these fields end up with a lack to financial stability. Fine and applied arts degrees tend to be the least lucrative, earning an average of $34,653 a year, according to a survey of 2008 university graduates conducted by the Council of Ontario Universities, behind theology at $35,000 and humanities at $38,407.

“IF YOU DON’T LOVE IT, YOU SHOULDN’T BE DOING IT” Yet arts educators and bureaucrats insist that arts programs can ultimately pay off in different ways. Liberal arts degrees don’t necessarily fit into the same categories as more direct-toworkplace educations with clear skill sets that apply to specific tasks. Liz Coleman, president of Bennington College in Vermont is a firm believer in liberal arts education. In a recent TED Talk, Coleman said that part of the value of liberal arts is in the ability to think critically and to look at the way the world functions. Kerry Swanson, an outreach and evaluation officer with the Toronto Arts Council, said the arts ultimately serve a deeper goal, whether or not there is formal training involved. “There is a huge spectrum of artists who pursue their work in


$61K $70K


different ways, in different disciplines, at different pay scales, with both formal and informal training,” Swanson said. “What we can say is that artists are essential to the vitality of our city, and that the arts provide proven value both to the economy and our daily lives.” Most people working in these fields agree. Nicole Hillier, a drawing and painting student at OCAD University, said the arts offer rewarding careers for those who are passionate. “If you don’t have the passion for it, it’s almost like ‘Why are you doing it?’” Hillier asked. “If you don’t love it, you shouldn’t be doing it.” That said, Rebecca Schechter, a television screenwriter and professor at York University, said students need to be prepared for what’s ahead of them. Immediate financial success cannot be the draw. Prospective writers “have to want to be in this field very, very badly because they’ll need that powerful desire to keep them steady through the bad times, and there will always be bad times,” said Schechter. This means

Nicole Hillier, a drawing and painting student at OCAD University, says passion is crucial in the arts industry.

“they need to be good with money, because the big financial successes aren’t going to be constant, even in the most successful careers.” It’s worth noting that these days, such provisos do not only apply to arts graduates. In fact, graduates from some of the most practical fields of study are also encountering trouble in the search for employment in their fields. The Georgetown study, called Hard Times: Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal, found that post-graduate employment was higher in degrees aimed at specified or technical occupations, such as healthcare, education, electrical engineering and mathematics. However, the highest rate of recent unemployment was found to be among architecture students, whose job prospects disappeared when t he U.S. construction industry collapsed. The bottom line: every person has to do what gives her or him a sense of accomplishment—even if, in the end, this means not earning a university degree. Magenta MacLeod is the perfect example. After years at the University of Toronto, dabbling in various majors and specializations that ranged from medieval history and archaeology, to film studies, she failed to find anything that felt like the right fit. She told her brother about her frustration, and he suggested that, since she was tired of theory, she consider something completely different: technical college. MacLeod followed his advice, and switched to video game art & design at RCC Institute of Technology, a post-secondary institution offering hands-on training in technology and design fields. “Writing a long essay didn’t feel like an achievement to me no matter what mark I got on it,” MacLeod said. “Drawing a character, or coding a game, however, felt like an accomplishment I could see and experience, and show off to others with pride—and that’s what made it valuable to me.”

EMERGE 2014 | 9




As the tail-end of Gen Y graduates from university, the idea of home ownership becomes an increasingly lofty dream.


F ALL THE ANXIETIES facing twenty-somethings, nothing looms larger than the prospect of financial independence. And, among the expenses that start to pile up for people between the ages of 24 and 29, the most basic–covering the cost of living–can in fact be the most daunting. Emerge contacted some of last year’s University of Guelph-Humber graduates to find out if, and how, they were making ends meet. We also asked what they felt about their problems and solutions. People who agreed to be interviewed identified the biggest financial hurdles that face people in their 20s as being: shelter; transportation (car or public transit); payment of student loans; the cost of communication (phone and Internet); secondary health care (primarily dental); saving for a future goal; and having enough left over for socializing and entertainment.


They also fretted over the source, as well as the amount, of money they are making. Interview respondents said they worried that they were not making enough use of their university degrees—and that this, on top of budgeting for basics, was in itself a source of stress. “I don’t make enough money,” said Emerge 2013’s editor-in-chief George Pereira, who, after interning with CBC, backed away from a professional commitment for which he did not feel ready. For the time being, he earns his living working with children, “and I don’t make it doing what I want to do. So of course I get a great deal of anxiety from that.” As it turns out, Emerge’s survey respondents are typical of their age and generation. Anxiety is not only common among people in their 20s, but it is the psychological issue that defines this demographic. Whereas teenagers suffer from the highest rate of depression of any age group, the Mood Disorders Society of Canada has found that people between 20 to 29 years of age have the highest rate of anxiety symptoms. Partly, this stress comes from one of life’s major transitions, said Andrew Tibbetts, a counsellor at Humber College. “From 12 to 24, you are looking for peers, so that’s how to connect with people, how to make friends, how to create that network,” he explained. Then, before that stage is finished, young people are told that it’s time to abandon their support systems and move on, to strange places in which they must build a whole new group of peers. “When you feel all alone with your problems, your problems seem even bigger.” The biggest transitional challenge for people in their mid-20s is supporting themselves. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said the unemployment rate for Ontario youth between the ages 15 and 24 was as high as 17.1 per cent in 2013, making its youth unemployment rate second only to that

“I DON’T KNOW A STUDENT THAT FEELS LIKE THEY ARE GOING TO BE FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT YET” in Atlantic Canada. Toronto had the worst unemployment rate (18.1 per cent in that age bracket), compared with a national average of between 13.5 to 14.5 per cent. Many people at the high end of this demographic have recently finished school. “They hope they are going to take their degree and secure themselves a really good job and be on their way to financial independence,” Tibbetts said. “But nobody feels like that–not that I’ve met–that’s for sure, so everyone is a little bit worried about it.” A number handle this monetary anxiety by living at home, where they can pay for their own public transportation and phone, and put money aside to pay off student loans or finance a long-term plan, Emerge found. Twenty-somethings also take on part-time jobs to help support debt repayment, future plans or lifestyles. Statsca n’s Nat iona l Household Survey concluded that lower-earning individuals, including Emerge’s interview subjects, are left with limited disposable income. If they are self-supporting, most of their money goes to basic necessities such as groceries and other household expenses. “People who have a lower income just do day-to-day things,” said Nick Martino, a client care manager at the Royal Bank of Canada. Mostly, he said, they just “pay their bills.” U of GH grads agree. “You need to pay for the things that you need,” said

Jovana Mitrovic, who lives at home, splits the cost of a car and the Internet with a sibling, and works as a personal trainer. “You go to school, you pay all this money to get a degree,” she said, but “you don’t really get taught to be an adult.” In university, she added, you are given time to figure things out and get them done. “But once you are out in the real world, there are no extensions.” Mitrovic liked the freedom of living on her own, but like others of her generation, moved back in with her family for practical reasons. “It is just too expensive,” she says. According to Statscan’s NHS, the affordability of housing affects young people more than other age groups: 26.7 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 25 and 44 are spending more than the federal government’s 30 per cent affordability threshold for shelter. (Comparatively, just 21.9 per cent of 45 to 64 year olds breach the 30 per cent marker.) “The cost of housing has increased so much that even for the average person, it is out of reach,” Martino said. For Generation Y, that could mean many more years before attaining financial independence. Interview respondents–who are, again, typical of the 20 to 29-year-old demographic–said they’re looking for ways to set manageable goals. Pereira is thinking about using his savings to help finance a new career path, possibly one that involves teaching English overseas. Mitrovic would like a better job, but for now she said she is saving money for what she calls “a measurable goal,” which is to open her own studio. “Basically, I opened up a savings account with my bank so every time I swipe my debit card, it puts aside 50 cents or 75 cents.” She said this past year has been tough, but she is encouraged by the money that is accumulating in her new bank account. “Have goals, organize yourself, visualize what you need to do,” she said. “Things will start looking up.”

EMERGE 2014 | 11



T SEEMS LIKE EVERYWHERE you look today, people are getting nerdy. Flashback to ten years ago when donning horned rimmed glasses made someone a “four eyes,” or to when Marvel, DC Comics, Star Wars or Star Trek logo t-shirts had to be hidden under sweater vests. Then why is it so acceptable to act like a nerd in this decade? It would seem that media, more specifically television and the Internet, is responsible for this wave of pocket-protecting, costume-creating, and fan-fiction writing that the world is currently experiencing. Is the fact that everyone is succumbing to the influence of social platforms promoting the age of the nerd? Was there such a thing as a ‘true nerd,’ and do they still exist? The nerd has become cool in Western society today and their impact has molded and supported some of the most powerful and rapidly expanding forms of entertainment. The Hollywood film industry is supported by a large variety of special effects films like The Avengers, which had an over $200 million production budget and became the third highest-grossing movie of all time. Meanwhile, the video game

industry has gained widespread cultural acceptance, with titles like Grand Theft Auto V earning over $800 million in just 24 hours. George Zotti, co-owner of the Silver Snail comic book store and a self-proclaimed nerd, feels that fandom and nerd-dom are finally embraced in today’s society. “Fandom is pretty strong,” he said. “There’re more and more people specifically looking for this stuff. We have people who actively search us out.” A-list actors, movie producers, game developers, novelists, and fans of all kinds venture to California every year for the San Diego Comic-Con. The event is responsible for attracting over 120,000 people from around the world each year and is building a foundation of nerd-dom like never before. The Internet has also been instrumental in making fan-created content accessible to the masses, not just small groups of die-hard fans. “Facebook and Twitter fundamentally changed [this dynamic] because now you can connect with people, and you can do it so quickly,” said Mark Askwith, co-founding producer of the Space Channel. “It was wild that someone with a very

obscure question about a very specific fandom can go on the Internet and almost instantly get a response to their questions.” These online communities gained traction and provided new entry and communications points for interested fans. The problem, or at least what is considered a problem to some, is the movement of the “popular nerd.” Long-time fans find themselves trying to conserve their domain, defending their territory from “non-believers” of fiction and fantasy, or those who would normally taint or tarnish what they have created. Some hard-core and longtime fans feel that this surge in popularity is largely driven by the bandwagon effect. Everyone wants to be a part of what’s popular. The non-believers may be quick to recite the history of a comic or gaming franchise, yet those opposed feel this interest is almost forced or fleeting. “Everyone has to start somewhere, and I think of it as why make it a niche club when nerdy people have been kicked out of those?” said Dalton Risser, an avid comic book and video game fan and game programming graduate. >>










From his point of view, fans should do what they do best, which is to make art, fiction and stories, and to create comics and dress up as the characters from the shows and series that they love. Zotti is undecided on the matter, but believes the popularization of nerd culture is a step in the right direction as heroes like Superman, Iron Man and other now-popular characters have become cultural references. “Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, [in their respective television shows], do a spectacular job,” he said. “I honestly feel the original medium of comics and novelizations are better, but this reaches a larger audience.” “Bringing fandom to a popular level where [anybody] would understand it is great,” said Zotti. “You have to build your foundation on stereotypes I suppose, but if it’s love/hate, it’s mostly love.” But Zotti also added that the only problem w it h nerd c u lt u re a nd

fandom becoming so mainstream is that consumers and businesses alike are jumping on the bandwagon. Some music stores now carry Big Bang Theory and comic book merchandise, while Zotti points out that the Silver Snail has been carrying these items for years. Askwith also has some mixed feelings, claiming he doesn’t like it when a fandom feels artificial or forced. “What I really like is a show like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones—or going back to The X-Files—the fans were really passionate and it felt that the fans were outside of the corporate interest. “I think it’s often very dangerous for a company to get involved with fandom,” he added, “because it is so fickle and fans will bite the hand that feeds them all the time.” Askwith’s role in fandom began as being an advocate for science fiction and fantasy. In 1972, his first job in publishing, at 15 years old, further sparked his love of books and his

interest in meeting authors and artists. “I became very interested in comic books, and I could go to a comic book convention and meet all of these writers and artists, which fascinated me,” he explained. “All of these people felt like my tribe,” said Askwith, ref lecting on the first convention he ever went to, Maple Con III, which was held in Ottawa in 1979. “I just couldn’t believe it. These were people who were passionate about what I was passionate about, and it encouraged me to write comics and create comics and get involved.” When Askwith became the manager of the Silver Snail in the early 1980s, he gained an even bigger appreciation for nerds and their love for their fandoms. “The best thing is when people go to a convention, they meet an author and then they become one, or they go to a comic book convention and then they become an artist,” he said. “It’s wonderful to see that evolution.”

At that point in time, comics were far from the mainstream. Not nearly as many people were interested back then as they are now. “Comics were not getting mainstream acceptance. Nobody understood how great they were. Books had a certain level of the Pantheon, music was being discussed, but that was not true with comics,” said Askwith. “There was no really good comic book journalism, and when you did see comics on television or heard of them on the radio, they were treated as a goof and not as an art form.” “Everything ebbs and flows,” said Zotti. “Comic books are still really strong. I feel like we’re working through the last generation of people where the first thing they read was a book.” Perhaps comic books, graphic novels and video games will become just as accepted as books and music. Zotti added that it may be a bit of a challenge to attract younger readers into regularly purchasing comic books, but as

long as there is interest for the product, people will keep writing. “Geek is chic and it doesn’t even matter what your ‘nerd’ is,” said Zotti. “It’s become way more acceptable whether it’s computers, games, comic books, or even cosplay, which is huge right now.” The age of the nerd being a negative status symbol seems to be finished. There will always be “true nerds” who have been life-long followers of their specific fandoms, and “popular” nerds who may just be in it for the fad. But there’s no denying that this mainstream exposure has brought about new lifelong fans and a general curiosity around the industry. “Jump in, it is kind of scary to walk into a comic shop and see everything that’s out there,” said Risser, “but just ask people who know more about issues and [trade paperbacks]. They’ll be more than happy to help you find your niches.”

EMERGE 2014 | 15



WHAT WILL OR HAS INFLUENCED YOU THIS DECADE? “With the readily available information and education via the Internet I feel it has impacted my life for the better. Amazingly, it helped me find who I am. So thanks, technology!”




Ways to use Social Media to get the job that you want


by Camellia Sarafian

Social media aren’t just for posting selfies, following celebrities and creeping your exes (and their exes). If used properly, they can be great resources for expanding your social network, establishing your personal brand and finding the job you want.


BR AND YOURSELF Think of your job search as a personal sales campaign. First, figure out what type of employers you want to attract and target this audience. Lauren Friese, founder of TalentEgg.ca—a popular online career resource for recent graduates—suggests starting an industry-related website or a blog. “You’ll be able to reach out to those influential people with some credibility,” says Friese. Next, identify your social media brand “voice”. Your character can be playful or inspiring; your tone can be personal or direct; you can use language that is complex or fun; and your purpose can either entertain or educate. Just make sure your message is professional and consistent across all platforms, including all personal accounts.

R 2


“Influence is not the same thing as popularity - you don’t need 5,000 followers to be influential online.”

In a competitive job market, where you stand in the social

influence hierarchy can be what lands you a dream job. Influ-

ence is not the same thing as popularity—you don’t need 5,000 followers to be influential online. What you do need is to create meaningful content that strikes a chord with your followers and motivates them to share your website, Twitter feed, and more. Unless an employer is recruiting for a role that requires promotion, the number of followers you have is not important, says Friese. “What is important is the quality of your online presence and what it says about you in

- Lauren Friese

turn.” A great tool for measuring your social influence is Klout, a website that

(Founder of TalentEgg.ca)

calculates your online reach by using data from your social networks to gauge your Klout score.



Jeff Gaulin, who runs one of Canada’s leading online media job boards—Jeff Gaulin’s Journalism Job Board—says that more people are recruited online, via LinkedIn, than through all other social media channels combined. “Every employer these days al most certainly does two online searches of any prospective employee: Google and LinkedIn,” says Gaulin. “Early in your career you want to minimize the appearance of any risk associated with your employment and maximize the opportunity.”




Gaulin advises job-hunters to always keep their LinkedIn profile polished and professional. A completed profile that includes your headshot, contact information, and a full listing of jobs and education, sends a very positive message to employers. Also make sure your profile can be found easily by adjusting your settings to make it visible on search engines such as Google and Yahoo.




Social proof—the testimonials, recommendations and endorse-

Online ‘privacy settings’ are things of the past; if

ments of your skills—significantly enhances your credibility as a

you don’t want employers to see photos of you winning

candidate. Why? Because companies have a very low level of risk

a beer pong competition—don’t post it! Warns Gaulin:

tolerance when hiring employees. By including endorsements and

“Your crazy antics on Facebook could be given as

testimonials on your LinkedIn and other social networking profiles,

much—if not more—credence by a prospective employ-

you will reduce the perceived risk of you as a candidate.

er than your new LinkedIn profile. Create an online identity and stick to it.”



Do you know people who know people? Networking has always been the most successful way people find jobs, and digital networking




Don’t hijack celebrities’ latest hashtags to promote

your URL or use irrelevant trending topics just to #get

makes it even easier. Tap into your social network to figure out who your

#some #followers. That type of behaviour will only annoy

second- and third-degree connections are. Use apps like BranchOut,

people, not intrigue them. Instead, use Twitter to locate

BeKnown and InTheDoor to leverage your Facebook networks by

job opportunities by searching for terms that apply to

discovering which employers your friends are connected to.

the job you want and the location; for example, “photographer” and “Toronto”. You can also search hashtags to


find general career advice or to network with recruiting


managers at companies you want to work for.

9 E

Use your favourite online personalities as your e-mentors (a Kardashian doesn’t count). Figure out their social media styles and what

makes them influential. What brand voice do they use? Are they witty,


sarcastic or shrewd? What are they doing that makes them stand out

from the rest? Some suggestions: Sean Gardner, Jessica Northey and

University of Guelph-Humber alumna Adara

Doherty landed her job as Online Content Coordinator

Aaron Lee.

for View The Vibe in an unconventional way: “I used an


electronic portfolio, instead of a traditional resume, to


“If you want the content on your social media website to go viral,

include all of my best written material and work from my time at Guelph-Humber,” she explains. Doherty’s portfolio includes an “About Me” that functions as a cover letter, a resume page, as well as links to her social networking profiles and blog. Doherty also suggests creating a video to introduce yourself and using YouTube to promote it.

you need to make sure all your different profiles are connected,” says Doherty. “Make sure you have social buttons that can lead your followers to all your different accounts, such as your Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, your website and so on.” Doherty suggests that the most important strategy is making sure your online persona is consistent throughout all these avenues—you want to appear as the same person on Facebook as you do on LinkedIn. Another tip: Content maintenance—keep your content updated by covering the latest trending topics and current events that will engage your audience and have them coming back for more.

“Once you start to build credibility in an industry or career path, it’s easy to make connections as you’ll be able to reach out to those influential people with some credibility.”







IN THE FALL OF 2008, the world was in a state of chaos as it spiraled into the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. Even Canada, a country that weathered this recession relatively well, lost 431,000 jobs in just 10 months. It was the perfect backdrop for businesses and consumers to consider different economic thinking. Bitcoin, the first of many electronic currencies (frequently called “cryptocurrencies”), would emerge—and for the next six years its popularity continued to flourish as the lingering effects of the crash continued to be felt. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have become so intriguing to people because they are digital money, a virtual medium of exchange. Bitcoin is operated under an open-source model, meaning nobody owns it. This unique format, which features universal access and a lack of government and corporate interference, sets Bitcoin apart from any ordinary bank or other financial institution. Transactions are verified through the same advanced encryption services used by military and government applications. Bitcoins can be transferred from person to person over the Internet without using a bank or any third party. Bitcoin may label itself as a currency, but it behaves more like a stock. It fluctuates greatly from day to day—unlike traditional currencies— its highest valuation being $1,242 USD, but that quickly dropped by 50 per cent in less than a month. While volatile, Bitcoin can be an effective tool for those who wish to eliminate the middleman when making any kind of financial transaction.


Jan. 9


Bitcoin Version 0.1 released; three days later, original currency transaction occurs between Nakamoto and cryptographic 32 | activist EMERGEMAGAZINE.CA Hal Finney

April 25

Bitcoin starts to be traded publicly (as BTC), worth 0.3 cents to the US dollar

May 22

Programmer Lazlo Haynecz makes first ‘real-world’ transaction of goods with Bitcoin, spending 10,000 BTC on a $30 pizza order in Florida

Bitcoins are generated through a process called “mining,” which occurs when a computer or a network of computers runs Bitcoin software. The protocol is designed to create 21 million bitcoins—ever, that’s it—at a steady pace, over a long period of time. All available bitcoins are expected to be mined by 2140. During mining, computers solve a mathematical problem to generate new entries in Bitcoin’s public transaction log, called the “block chain.” A new transaction block is completed approximately once every 10 minutes. When this occurs, new bitcoins are produced—but in response to demand and stronger mining hardware, the amount of bitcoins per block becomes progressively smaller. So, why use Bitcoin? Considering there are already numerous ways to handle your finances online, that question is one that the general public is still asking. The main reason Bitcoin was introduced, and subsequently rose in popularity, was because of the lack of trust fueled by struggling banks. Because Bitcoin is entirely decentralized, users have full control when using it. “It is a great way for people to be their own bank and secure their own transactions,” said Anthony Di Iorio, executive director of the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada. “You don’t have to be exchanging your local currencies if you are traveling,” said Di Iorio, explaining that anyone can take their bitcoins with them anywhere in the world without having to worry about the rules and costs of transferring money, such as credit card fees or wire payment delays. In a way, Bitcoin is expected to combat the establishment.

July 17

Software hacker Jed McCaleb reorganizes his Magic: The Gathering Online card trading site into a Bitcoin exchange market, naming it Mt. Gox

Dec. 12

Nakamoto makes last post on Bitcoin Talk forum after shifting core developer responsibilities to Gavin Andresen and handing off Bitcoin.org domain


Feb. 9

Bitcoin reaches parity with the US dollar for the first time

Feb. 11

Silk Road is launched with the intention of buying and selling drugs anonymously on the black market; Bitcoin users are main clientele

BIG B, LITTLE B: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? Capital ‘B’ Bitcoin is the name of the currency, like Canadian dollars, it is also the title of the entity.


The term bitcoin(s) with a lowercase ‘b’ is used to describe the unit or an amount (of the currency). It represents the individual, spendable “coins” that can be mined, bought, and carried as a balance in a digital wallet.


STREET “The last I heard about Bitcoin is that those twin brothers from The Social Network are funding a trip to the moon with bitcoin money.”

Bitcoin VS.





“Bitcoin is like a black market money exchange system that occurs online. It seems like its main use is for drugs and other illegal activities.” JOHN QUINN NEWMARKET, ON

When people first hear about Bitcoin, a question many ask is “How do you use it for small purchases?” With recent valuations in the hundreds of dollars, it can be hard to wrap your head around the process. Do you pay in 1/68 (or another fraction) of a Bitcoin? The answer is yes!

“I am interested in Bitcoin because I sell a lot on eBay… Maybe in a year or two this company will meet its potential that I think it has.”

Let’s say you want to pay for a pizza with Bitcoin, at this point in time you’ve really only got one option, and that’s PizzaForCoins.com. The site lets you select from a couple of pizza chains like Domino’s & Pizza Hut. For instance, a medium two-topping pan pizza from Domino’s (usually $7.99 USD) costs $0.03000 BTC, but that price could fluctuate depending on Bitcoin’s value that day.


“Every week we are hearing something new about Bitcoin. It is too confusing! I’ll stick with regular banking.” ANNA COLLETTE TORONTO, ON

April 16-23

Time and Forbes publish articles on Bitcoin’s potential, fuels BTC meeting parity with the Euro ($1.45) and British pound ($1.65)

Where and when you can pay with Bitcoin depends on the individual vendor. PizzaForCoins.com is closer to a fulfillment service for those specifically interested in buying pizza. Domino’s and Pizza Hut currently don’t accept Bitcoins as actual payment. If you wanted to skip out on the middle man, your other alternative would be to go to a Bitcoin ATM, exchange your bitcoins into your local currency and subsequently use that for the purchase.

June 8

June 13

June 19

Gawker exposé on Silk Road spikes Bitcoin’s value to a 31.91 BTC/ USD in just a week, leading to concerns over a ‘speculative bubble’ – “the Great Bubble of 2011”

First significant Bitcoin robbery occurs, with user ‘allinvain’ losing 25,000 bitcoins (around $500,000 at market rates) due to an unencrypted digital wallet file

60,000 accounts in Mt. Gox database are compromised in a security breach; intruder simulates a huge sell-off of Bitcoins and price crashes from a peak of $35 back to 1¢


May 9

An FBI internal report is leaked, indicating the agency is worried that Bitcoin is being used for money-laundering and other criminal activity

BITCOIN USERS C A N pu rch a s e a ny t h i ng w it h bitcoins. Unfortunately, this means that illegal transactions can be carried out using the cryptocurrency. As of May 2014, there are an estimated 12.7 million bitcoins in circulation. Though Bitcoin was designed with good intentions, its potential benefits have become overshadowed by its reputation as encouraging an environment for operations in the black market. Bitcoins are not a physical currency by any means, and the result is an incentive for Bitcoin ATMs to be distributed around the world. The ATM can exchange Canadian dollars for bitcoins, or bitcoins for cash; this makes it more susceptible to hackers and security breaches. According to the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation, stolen credit card numbers, drugs, guns, and other illegal goods can be bought and sold on the Internet using the currency to ensure a nameless transaction. >>

Sept. 27

Bitcoin Foundation is formed to evangelize the cryptocurrency, founding members including Nakamoto, Andresen, Karpelès and Charlie Schrem

Dec. 6

Nov. 15

WordPress becomes the first top 100 website to accept bitcoins, specifically for blogging upgrades

France’s BitcoinCentral becomes the first fullylicensed Bitcoin bank

EMERGE 2014 | 33

THE DARKSIDE Because the encr yption codes are anonymous, a Bitcoin user can keep his/her identity hidden. Money laundering using cryptocurrency gained widespread public attention during a scandal involving Ross William Ulbricht, the founder of an illicit online marketplace called Silk Road (nicknamed the “Amazon.com of illegal drugs”). Ulbricht was accused of overseeing the billion-dollar business that consisted of clandestine online purchases of contraband using Bitcoin. Following his arrest on October 1, 2013, Ulbricht pleaded not guilty to a string of charges that included money-laundering, conspiracy to traffic narcotics, and attempted murder. After his arrest, the FBI revealed that they had seized up to 174,000 bitcoins from the Silk Road’s servers, worth over $33.6 million USD. The corruption involved with Silk Road has led to the opinion that Bitcoin promotes the use of the currency for criminal purposes. In 2012, CNN called Bitcoin a “shady online currency [that is] starting to gain legitimacy in certain parts of the world.” “Though I don’t think it was the creator’s original intention, cryptocurrencies have become a really dirty form of money,” said Michael Mulvey, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Ottawa. Silk Road wasn’t the only scandal to hurt Bitcoin’s reputation. In February 2014, Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based Bitcoin


Mar. 18

Mar. 28

Bitcoin market The US Treasury’s cap surpasses $1 Financial Crimes billion, 1000 times Enforcement Network (FinCEN) clarifies stance its size in 2010 on Bitcoin, saying that cryptocurrency users are exempt from its business 34 | EMERGEMAGAZINE.CA guidelines but exchanges and miners are not

exchange, collapsed after $480 million worth of its customers’ digital currency disappeared. Mt. Gox, which is short for “Magic: The Gathering Online eXchange”—yes, as in the trading card game—was a website originally used as an online service to let users trade cards like stocks. Mt. Gox used to handle the vast majority of the world’s Bitcoin trades, and acted as the Bitcoin’s exchange market’s most recognizable brand, but was later overtaken by the Chinese market. The company did not use version control software, making it possible for any coder to overwrite a colleague’s code. According to skeptics, “hackers” that were stealing from Mt. Gox were just taking advantage of the fact that the exchange system was leaving records open to anyone who was capable of decoding the transactions. Mt. Gox was subpoenaed for its records, which brought suspicion into whether the missing bitcoins were being hidden within Mt. Gox itself. The collapse of the exchange came as no surprise to some individuals closely involved with Bitcoin. “I really feel for the people who lost money,” said Di Iorio. “There were signals that Mt. Gox wasn’t secure and had issues.” At the end of April 2014, Mt. Gox agreed to settle class action lawsuits tabled by Canadian and American customers who were allegedly defrauded of hundreds of millions of dollars.

April 10

Spurred on by the financial crisis in Cyprus, Bitcoin’s value surges to 266 BTC/ USD, then plummets to less than $60 in two days, sparking fears of more volatility

May 17

The Winklevoss twins, owning 1% of all bitcoins, give $1 million in seed money to payment processor BitInstant (whose owners include Schrem and Eric Voorhees)

Aug. 9

Bloomberg terminals on Wall Street now carry BTC historical price tickers; New York banking regulators send subpoenas to 22 Bitcoin companies three days later, declaring the currency a “virtual Wild West”

Mt. Gox is set to be liquidated after it abandoned plans to revive its business under the jurisdiction of Japanese courts. According to Reuters, Sunlot Holdings (a group of investors) have offered to buy Mt. Gox for one bitcoin, or $500 USD at the time of the offer. Their plan involves splitting 200,000 bitcoins, which Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès claimed the exchange found after the attack, with approximately 127,000 creditors. They would also split an additional $20 million USD in regular currency. Because of Bitcoin’s inconsistency, many are still undecided on its legitimacy. In March 2014, the U.S. Interna l Revenue Ser v ice a n nou nced that Bitcoin will not be tax exempt and bitcoins will not be accepted as payment for taxes. Bitcoin’s trustworthiness will now be constantly questioned and scrutinized, especially when one of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges has lost millions of dollars with little explanation. This problem, argued Di Iorio, lies with third parties such as Mt. Gox, not the actual Bitcoin network itself. Di Iorio suggested never using an exchange or letting anyone hold onto your bitcoins. The risk of disaster comes when third parties act as intermediaries when holding other people’s funds. “If they fail, or if something happens to them, you’re out of luck,” he said.

Oct. 1

FBI busts Silk Road and arrests founder Ross William Ulbricht for trafficking illegal narcotics and attempting to hire hitmen; 174,000 bitcoins (close to $34.5 million) are eventually seized

Oct. 29

First Bitcoin ATM, produced by Robocoin, opens in Vancouver; a similar kiosk that works with Bitcoin debit cards is installed in Toronto and Ottawa in January 2014





THE PRICE OF BITCOIN stock has fallen almost 60 per cent from the start of the year and both advocates and critics are left wondering what’s next. The FBI said that Bitcoin “will likely continue to attract cyber-criminals who view it as a means to move or steal funds.” But will that turn both prospective and invested users away? “[People] want to have this alternative currency that’s more global and less tied to a particular nation,” Mulvey explained, “and the fact that it’s a little bit rebellious doesn’t hurt.” He believes that the invisibility and lack of traceability are part of what has really driven the rise of Bitcoin. “I don’t think the biggest threat to Bitcoin will be a better economy,” Mulvey said. “It’s going to be from the government, because they are going to look at it as a challenge to existing currency systems, which are highly regulated and traceable.” The Bitcoin software is only a few years old, which makes it difficult to predict the significance that cryptocurrencies will have in the future. Di Iorio believes that within 10 years we might see other types of currencies that offer many more features than Bitcoin. For those wishing to try out the latest trend in online finance, he suggests not getting involved with it for the wrong reasons, such as the hype surrounding it. “Make sure you really understand the system and understand the fundamentals,” he said. For now, we will have to wait and see if Bitcoin, or any other cryptocurrency, is a technological fad or something that is here to stay. Who knows? Maybe one day physical money will be a thing of the past. Di Iorio, for one, believes in this form of financial service. “Whether it is Bitcoin or another type of cryptocurrency,” he said, “it’s going to be the way that people transact in the future.”

Currently the lead Bitcoin developer and one of the founding members of the Bitcoin Foundation in Washington. Andresen told Forbes in April 2011 that Bitcoin “is designed to bring us back to a decentralized currency of the people,” and “this is like better gold than gold.”

GAVIN ANDRESEN A French-born CEO of a Bitcoin exchange in Tokyo, Japan. The exchange, Mt. Gox, handed nearly 70% of all Bitcoin transactions around the world but has since filed for bankruptcy. According to a press release from Reuters, Karpelès resigned from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation in February 2014.

MARK KARPELES Otherwise known as “Dead Pirate Roberts” (or DPR), was the creator of the illicit online marketplace called Silk Road, nicknamed the “Amazon.com of illegal drugs.” In an interview with Forbes from August 2013, Ulbricht said: “We’ve won the State’s War on Drugs because of Bitcoin.” ROSS WILLIAM ULBRICHT


Nov. 29

After months of Bitcoin hovering in the $100 range, Bitcoin has skyrocketed to the all-time record price, 1,242 BTC/ USD (worth as much as gold)

Dec. 2

Sheep Marketplace, a competitor of Silk Road, goes offline as 96,000 bitcoins (little over $100 million) vanish, the largest theft on the ‘Deep Web’

Dec. 17

China temporarily blocks Bitcoin exchanges from new deposits via yuan, all but banning BTC China in the country; Bitcoin bubble bursts and drops by 50% overnight

Either a person or group of people who created the Bitcoin software. Nakamoto is believed to be a Japanese male, however his true identity and nationality remain under constant international speculation. According to an article in Wired magazine, it’s possible that Nakamoto is not Japanese due to his fluent use of English within the Bitcoin software.


Jan .27

Schrem is arrested in New York on moneylaundering charges, accused of funnelling $1 million to Silk Road customers

Feb. 23-28

Mt. Gox hacked in one of the largest cyberthefts in history, with 850,000 BTC (7% of all minted bitcoins in existence, worth over $450 million) lost; Karpelès files for bankruptcy

American Internet entrepreneurs, Cameron and Tyler, were made famous following a lawsuit against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. They are both venture capitalists who have invested over a million dollars in BitInstant – a bitcoin payment processor. In March 2014, the twins purchased seats on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic shuttle using the profits they made from Bitcoin.

Feb. 26

Autumn Radtke, CEO of Bitcoin exchange First Meta, is found dead in her home in Singapore in an apparent suicide

Mar. 5

Mar. 20

Payment for The ‘Winklevii’ a $500,000 buy tickets luxury villa on $250,000 each using bitcoins for a the Indonesian island of Bali is the future trip to space biggest publicly on SpaceShip Two reported Bitcoin (owned by Richard | 35to date purchase Branson’sEMERGE Virgin 2014 Galactic)




D PRINTING IS one of the biggest buzzwords of the decade. It started off with 3D printed materials such as plastics, ceramics and metals, and has now evolved into foods like pizza, chocolate and lasagna. Edible 3D printing is booming, and along with it comes a surge of innovative ideas for design, taste, materials and uses that have the potential to revolutionize the culinary arts. This is no longer a distant dream for sci-fi enthusiasts and forward-thinking chefs—it’s here. Before honing in on the rapidly expanding field of food printing, an understanding of 3D printing in general needs to be established. Bi-Ying Miao, co-founder of the 3D printing company Hot Pop Factory, which has been featured at the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario, said the technology is counter-intuitive to what most people are used to because it builds shapes by adding layers instead of sculpting them away. Miao said common reactions when people initially hear of 3D printing are shock, awe, and wonder about the process and materials. To help clarify how they work, she distinguished between two different types of 3D printers. The first type are MakerBots, which are user-friendly which makes them great for demonstrations. The second are selective laser sintering (SLS) printers which require more knowledge and professional skill, but generally produce higher-quality products as a result. “Because 3D printing is a very young technology, it is not like printing, like pressing print and out comes something, that’s not how it works. It actually involves a set of very niche kind of esoteric skills,” said Miao. “The exciting thing about 3D printing—the ideal—is that you can print anything.” Enter edible 3D printing, a potential game-changer for the food production industry. This innovation has the capability to demolish the limitations of creative food aesthetics, meet


custom dietary needs and explore new flavours. An up-and-coming 3D printer specializing in edible printing is Foodini, developed by Barcelona-based Natural Machines, which uses only fresh ingredients. The food is loaded into capsules and printed into shapes; anything from basic geometric shapes to dinosaurs and ghosts is possible. “We are using what we call an open capsule model, meaning the consumer prepares and places fresh ingredients in Foodini,” said Lynette Kucsma, the chief marketing officer and co-founder of Natural Machines. “Once the user chooses the recipe they want to print… Foodini will instruct what fresh food to put in each capsule, and then printing can begin.” So far, Foodini has successfully printed chickpea patties, pizzas, burgers, and ravioli, to name a few. That being said, not all foods can be successfully printed at this point in time. “Foods do have to be of a certain texture to work in Foodini. Take a tomato sauce as an example. It can’t be too watery; otherwise it will drip or free-flow out of the capsule. It can’t be overly chunky; otherwise it will clog up the nozzle and won’t print,” said Kucsma. Like most technologies, Foodini will have to undergo many iterations of trial-and-error before it is fully figured out. While the team at Natural Machines wants people to experiment with the printers in their homes, they also had to do some tinkering themselves. “We tried printing a lasagna one day, including freshly printed pasta layer,” said Kucsma. “It didn’t quite work out as planned, as the pasta layers didn’t cook properly as we didn’t let them dry out first as you would normally do when making pasta by hand. As we had four layers of fillings prepared for the lasagna—individual tomato, spinach, cheese, and artichoke mixtures—we decided to print cubes of layered vegetables using our lasagna mixtures, and serve them as appetizers. >>

Explore a variety of edible products created using 3D printers. Seen here:3D printed sugar cubes

Photo courtesy of 3D Systems

We also printed up breadsticks in the shape of little spoons to serve with the cubes.” As for the cost and availability, Foodini should be hitting stores by the end of 2014 and will cost an estimated $1,300. On the sweeter side of the f lavour spectrum, there is a 3D printer which specializes in printing one commonly-craved food: chocolate. A group of students from the University of Waterloo who call themselves 3D Chocolateering developed their chocolate printer with the tag line “Taking Chocolate to the Third Dimension.” Unlike Foodini, their printer works from powdered chocolate—an 85 per cent cocoa chocolate powder that they manufacture themselves. Brian Luptak, project manager of 3D Chocolateering, explains that their

Photos courtesy of 3D Systems


machine is an SLS 3D printer. “This is a fancy way to say it uses a laser beam to melt powdered chocolate into a solid shape, which it does in stacked 2D layers to form your 3D object,” said Luptak. “There is a certain difference in terms of the texture and, therefore, the appearance. Our chocolate powder is quite literally gourmet chocolate bars which we hand-grind and sift into a fine power. The final object has the texture somewhat of an AERO Bar—bubbles and all.” Contrary to the opinions of many in his field, Luptak’s views on printed edibles are more on the conservative side. He believes the optimal use for 3D printers will be customizing foods— not mass producing them. “I believe 3D printed food will remain only as a novelty. Mass production of

foodstuffs is not where 3D printing shines; rather, its bread-and-butter is in customization,” he said. “For everyday use, realism kicks in and the average person seems to be happy with quickfix meals that fit their busy lives. The thought that 3D printers could unlock exotic ingredients like seaweed and insects is quite interesting; but surely any process incorporating these ingredients into a 3D printer could be done much cheaper using mass-production techniques.” Luptak believes that by using 3D printers, people can create almost any shape they can imagine. For example, on Valentine’s Day he printed his girlfriend one of her favourite things— figure skates, made of chocolate. Luptak said that the biggest setback for this technology will not be the printers

themselves, but rather the computer software that is required to build the files due to its level of difficulty. He also mentioned that his team has performed ma ny demonst rat ions, including ones to both then-Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and XPRIZE founder Peter Diamandis, both of whom were shocked at the prospect of 3D printing chocolate. Not dissimilar to Luptak’s views, the Dutch research organization TNO also sees the value in nutritional and aesthetic customization. Kjeld van Bommel is the project leader at TNO, which recently developed a prototype for a fast-paced and fully functional pasta printer. (The printer can produce roughly 15-20 pieces of pasta every two minutes.) Bommel spoke at a TEDx event in 2012 where he went into detail about the potential of this machine, and all of its conceivable uses. Instead of thinking how consumers will use their printers, Bommel focused on how synthesized food will affect the restaurant industry. “Guests can just bring their own designs. For example, you could surprise your wife with pasta in the shape of a rose for your marriage anniversary. You can simply save your design in a USB and bring it to the restaurant,” said Bommel. “The 3D food printer there will print it on site.” Along with TNO’s passion for personalized pasta shapes, they also plan to develop customizable nutritional values based on each person’s needs. In a short video they released in 2012 called “3D Printing: Now Printing Food Too”, they show the dietary needs of seniors, athletes and pregnant women. Since the nutritional requirements for each group vary, the ingredients used in the printing process could be adjusted so that they are optimized for each individual. For example, a pregnant woman needs higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids and calcium than an athlete does. TNO’s printer

could make that kind of customizability a reality. Arthur W hitmore, a trade press officer for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said that if 3D printing companies are able to customize nutrients on a per-person basis, they will be responsible for labeling their foods in a non-misleading way. “That would be up to the manufacturer, to determine what elements/ingredients of the product would support a claim that it is for a certain subset of a market.” Given the chance to eat 3D printed food, W hitmore said he might try it.

and oils, in hopes of reducing waste on spacecrafts. The 3D printing company Systems & Materials Research Corporation (SMRC) was granted $125,000 to develop a prototype for the 3D food printer in 2013. David Steitz, the senior public affairs officer for NASA, said it would be inappropriate for NASA to speculate on the use of 3D printing on a global scale because their investigation is limited strictly to space exploration.

Much of the skepticism surrounding printed food concerns what it’s made of. For some printers, household ingredients such as sugar and vegetables can be loaded in to create ready-toeat meals. For others, powdered foods and oils are combined to make different types of dishes. As the technology develops, more alternative ingredients are being experimented with, such as algae and insect paste. 3D printing is trending more each day. The Digital Innovation Hub at the Toronto Public Library has even begun to offer certification classes in order to educate people on the software, materials, rules, and restrictions of additive manufacturing. Although the library’s printers are only capable of printing plastic for the time being, this is a sign of how many people have expressed interest in 3D printing and how it will allow people to gain a better understanding of the machines. The possibilities of 3D printed food are seemingly endless at this point in time. Even large companies such as NASA have jumped on board. The space agency funded a 3D printer that can print pizza from powdered foods

Malcolm Prouty, president and director of commercialization at SMRC, said that their team is “currently waiting on additional funding to continue this development.” That being said, if aspirations of customizing nutrition values for printed foods are realized, it could mean major breakthroughs such as specialized nutritious meals for astronauts that don’t come from a bag. A common myth about 3D printing is that it is an invention of the 2000s. The first ever working 3D printer was developed by a man named Chuck Hull in 1986—it is just the innovations and new uses that have come since then that have sparked so much media attention. Hull is the co-founder of 3D Systems, which is now noted as one of the biggest players in the 3D printing field, with a range of printers meant for waxes, plastics, metals, and of course, food. One of their newest machines, the ChefJet, has the ability to print multi-coloured and flavoured candies, chocolates and sugars. “The ChefJet uses powdered sugar or chocolate materials that are spread on a build tray that lowers after each successive pass of the binding liquids,” >>


EMERGE 2014 | 27



said Liz von Hasseln, creative director of food products at 3D Systems. “The liquids react with the sugar or chocolate materials and crystallize them in place according to the design. If the materials are not supposed to connect, they are left loose and support the final sugar structure throughout the build.” Besides the technological appeal of 3D printing, von Hasseln points out the cultural aspects as well. “Food is deeply cultural and personal,” said von Hasseln. “3D printing adds a layer of intimacy to the experience of food by enabling chefs to explore a new facet of the culinary arts.” Though their technologies are not yet commercially available, 3D Systems recently paired up with Hershey’s to collaborate on several printing initiatives, including creating custom candies and marketing food printers to the public. “We are just beginning this multiyear development agreement with 3D Systems to explore the possibilities for using 3D printing technology in creating edible foods in the future,” said Jeff Beckman, director of corporate communications for The Hershey Company. T here a re some food pr i nters currently on the market for consumers.


A chocolate-only printer named the Choc Creator sells for roughly $5,300. The UK-based company, Choc Edge Limited, works with melted down Belgian chocolate instead of working from powdered materials so there is no difference in taste or texture compared to a store-bought chocolate bar. Some of the shapes they have successfully printed include full-sized faces, intricate lettering and images, and 3D geometrical shapes. Based on the current state of edible 3D printed materials and food printers, they could not yet act as a sustainable, continuous source for issues such as famine, but have the potential to serve as a creative tool for nutrition and design. The costs are still relatively high, the maintenance needs are frequent, and the foods being produced have yet to be refined. That being said, the technology is rapidly developing, and with more minds conceptualizing what can be done with the printers, the more these ideas can be made a reality. “[When people ask] ‘What can you do with this?’ The answer is always ‘You can do anything!’” said Miao. “And that’s the kind of thought that boggles peoples’ minds.”

Photos courtesy of Natural Machines

EMERGE 2014 | 29


Wine Cave Wonder &Muscadet Magic




A n e w w a v e of To r o n t o w i n e c u l t u re i s o n t h e r i s e

b y Ta s h a Tay l o r

n any given night in downtown Toronto amateurs

has travelled from the French Loire Valley to lead this exclu-

and oenophiles alike throng a Queen Street West back

sive vintage Muscadet event (the grape is known as Melon

alley to experience the city’s hottest new offering – a wine

de Bourgogne). As he leads us through a structured tasting

cave. Tucked away in trendy downtown Queen Street West

featuring six different Muscadets, he proudly calls himself

between Simcoe and Duncan, the wine cave is easy to miss:

‘Façonneur de Plaisir’ – a pleasure craftsman, reminding us

the only thing that gives it away is the distinguishing graffi-

that wine and learning about wine is a pleasure. He continues

ti on the door.

to explain the differences that sub-appellations and micro-

As I enter the cave on a Friday night, the back alley atmosphere disappears and I’m transported to an aficionado’s paradise: select vintages from world-class wine producing regions

climates have on the specific vintages in the western part of the Loire Valley. If enjoying wine is a pleasure, then enjoying wine in a bona fide ‘wine cave’ is the definition of pure bliss.

line the walls. Plush chairs and wine books scattered through-

The wine cave is the central hub of iYellow Wine Club -

out create an inviting environment for curious guests. I spot a

Toronto’s premier urban wine club for the young and afflu-

record player in the corner and imagine it emitting a soft back-

ent (or wanna be affluent!). The wine cave is differentiating

ground jazz that adds to the already electric ambiance.

the landscape for consumers to participate in fun, interac-

The cave is packed with connoisseurs and wine lovers alike as the fragrant and light floral aroma of Muscadet fills the

tive and engaging wine based events. Wine clubs make learning about wine fun and accessible (well at least this one does),

air. Oysters are served and wine is poured as the excitement in the room mounts. Esteemed winemaker Pierre-Jean Sauvion

TA S TE LE ARN MEE T Founded by wine woman and young entrepreneur Angela Aiello, iYellow Wine Club of fers wine education classes and social events that seek to inform and engage Torontonians who are wine curious.


they offer a more dynamic experience than your typical night out. “iYellow Wine Club never fails to throw an amazing event or an epic party, I love going to iYellow events,” says Katie Durant, a fellow Muscadet lover at the iYellow Wine Cave. “It is the perfect way to taste and discover new wines that I wouldn’t normally get a chance to try.” Founded by Angela Aiello, iYellow Wine Club is creating unique wine experiences that are actively changing the history of modern wine culture – you might even say she’s leading a wine revolution in the new world. iYellow offers regular trips to wine country (from local to abroad), industry led tutored tastings in their wine cave and great events all over the city in cool new spots and venues. “It doesn’t matter if you are a novice or seasoned wine expert, being an iYellow Wine Club member is all about discovering and tasting new local and domestic wines while meeting like-minded wine lovers in Toronto,” says Aiello. “We offer the perfect environment to build your personal wine confidence. We teach you the basics of wine tasting right at the beginning, and make our events accessible to everyone with an open mind for learning more about the fantastic world of wine.” In recent years, there has been a pragmatic shift in the way wine clubs now operate. Wine clubs used to be simply ‘wine in the mail’ clubs, but the new type of wine club, trailblazed by Aiello is robust and socially integrated. The new wine club is inclusive and acts as a collective experience – a community, a tribe, and a circle of friends with common interests. As I enjoy the magic of a Muscadet and oyster pairing, I am encouraged to share my wine cave experience as live-tweets and Instagram pictures are displayed on a media screen in the cave. With interactive new media techniques that speak to the social aspects of wine enjoyment, the iYellow Wine Club wine cave is taking wine appreciation to the next level. There has never been a better time to discover and appreciate great wine in Toronto.


THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO yyyy DISCOVER & APPRECIATE GREAT WINE IN TORONTO. The Ontario Wine Society knows this all too well. As the oldest wine club dedicated to promoting Ontario wine, it regularly hosts Ontariofocused, winemaker-led, tutored wine tastings for its members. “We are so lucky to have a great, and growing, wine industry right here in Ontario,” says President Ken Burford. “The quality, selection and value for money of Ontario wines has improved immensely in the past 20 years.” The success and hype of the wine cave is a testament to the evolution of wine clubs and consumer preferences. “Wine consumption is at an alltime high,” says Tara DeMattos, a Wine Rack store Manager. “According the Global Agricultural Information Network, as of July 2013, Canada’s wine sales are growing at a rate triple that of average growth.” As I exit the wine cave and back into the dark alley, the magic of Muscadet lingers and I feel my new wine confidence shining through. I know I will be attending another iYellow event - it really is a wine cave wonder. Plus, joining the club is free! You can sign up online at www.iyel-


lowwineclub.com and then pick and choose the events that you are able


to make it to. With close to 80 events over the course of the year, there is bound to be something that will excite your palate.

Location: 243 Queen St. West, Toronto ON info@iyellow wineclub.com


@iYellowWineClub w w w.iyellow wineclub.com



WHAT WILL DEFINE THIS DECADE IN GENERAL? “The division between people who are suffering, and people who don’t care. I came from China two years ago so I’ve lived in two different worlds and I’ve seen different aspects of life and can see that a slight difference in geography can bring a totally different mentality to people’s life. On one side it’s suffering, and on the other side it’s so quiet and nice and people just don’t care.”




MALALA YOUSAFZAI, a young Pakistani girl, was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for being vocal advocate for girls’ education. Since her story received global attention, the now 16 year-old has become an internationally-recognized spokeswoman for girls’ education rights, been named one of Time Magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2013 and has been twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. T he ex ten sive med ia cover age of Yousafzai’s story ignited a flame in many countries. Through the global network of news—online, on television, and in print— her story reached millions of people and helped expose the very real and present issues of gender inequality. Yousafzai used these media platforms to speak out even further, and educate as many people as she had access to about the struggles still faced by millions of girls in developing countries. Women’s organizations around the world are following in her footsteps using technological advancements to reach out to struggling women and show them they are not alone. Technologies such as smartphones, social networking sites and increased access to the Internet are all tools that women are using to connect with one another both locally and internationally.

“What has really changed through new technology is that you can engage audiences globally—that was not possible before,” said Nanette Braun, chief of communications and advocacy for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. “We use these platforms to engage a large audience to advance the discussion on gender equality and women’s empowerment.” Women have been fighting for centuries for gender equality. So what is different now? In most developed countries, equal pay acts and civil rights legislation are written into the law. Women can vote, drive, go to university, buy their own house and, for all intents and purposes, have access to all of the same opportunities as men. This, however, is not the case for millions of women and girls in developing countries, who are living in poverty and denied an education because of their gender. For instance, in early 2014 over 200 schoolgirls were abducted in Nigeria by a militant group known as Boko Haram. The group (whose name means “Western education is sinful”) has said that one of the reasons they kidnapped the girls was simply because they were going to school. Acts and reasoning like these are destroying the progress being made by the girls who are attending school, becoming more educated and fighting for their rights. This is a serious problem. ‘Because I am a Girl,’ an initiative founded by Plan International to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and help millions of girls out of poverty, reports that for every extra year a girl stays in school, her income can increase by 15 to 25 per cent. >>

EMERGE 2014 | 35

It also states that a country’s Gross Domestic Product increases an average of three per cent when 10 per cent more of its girls go to school.




Girls who receive an education marry later, have fewer children, and are more likely to seek healthcare for themselves and their children. Women from all walks of life are realizing they can come together for one shared goal: equality. In developing countries, 50 to 90 per cent of citizens have a cell phone (although smartphone penetration still remains relatively low), thus allowing access to variations of social networking and communication sites like Facebook. For instance, Facebook for Every Phone, created by Facebook itself, to maximize global penetration has over 100 million users as of mid-2013. While social media’s popularity has been on the rise since the early 2000s, its growth in the last five years has reached record numbers, with global social media users reaching 1.73 billion in 2013. In the case of the Nigerian schoolgirls, the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls has been used to spread worldwide awareness around the issue, and has been paramount in getting countries like France, the United States and Canada to assist in the rescue efforts. For instance, a tweet by U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama using the hashtag has received over 58,000 retweets. Technological advancements such as these are not only giving users in developed countries access to others around the world; they are giving those in developing countries access to an expanded view of the rest of the world. “W hat has totally changed with social media and new online media is that there is a dialogue now going on—it is a two-way conversation,” said Braun. “People can comment on things. People can contribute their own thoughts and their own ideas, 36 | EMERGEMAGAZINE.CA

which is a great means to take the pulse of our audience and public opinion.” According to eMa rketer, a d ig it a l ma rket i ng research firm, in their repor t released last year, they found social net work ing now reaches nearly one in four people around the globe. “When you look at social media, you see at least 50 per cent of women on all platforms,” said Braun. “There are new platforms and ways to engage in the conversation that are provided through social media, and that is a space that women claim. It is an incredible opportunity.” The UN is getting on board with social media to reach out to millions of women. “More women engage in social media than men to a large extent, so the opportunity now is to then use these platforms to discuss the issues of women’s rights, women’s empower ment, a nd gender inequality,” said Braun. The United Nat ion s E nt it y for Gender

Equality and the Empowerment of Women was created in July 2010. It was created to build on four previously separate parts of the UN, which all focused on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Braun said that information and communication technologies have played a huge role in sharing the message not only of women, but also for people across the globe fighting for rights those in developed countries take for granted. “All of a sudden we had the Internet,” she said, “and all of a sudden we could inform a global audience about the issues that we are working on and that are important to us.” The past decade has seen more global action through connectivity than ever in human history. In its 2013 Human Development Repor t, t he United Nations Development Programme said the rise of developing countries is unprecedented in speed and scale. “Never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people c h a nge d s o dramatically




and so fast,” the report stated. This is not just a growing number of individuals on the Internet; this is a growth in global movements and initiatives. As the numbers of people who have access to these technologies grow, so does the number of connections that people can form. For example, technology is giving women access to information that was otherwise impossible to get, and in turn giving them the platform to educate themselves and find strength in numbers. The 60 Million Girls Foundation is an organization devoted to raising awareness and funding education projects for girls in developing countries. Currently, 60 Million Girls is undertaking a pilot project designed to help give schoolgirls in Sierra Leone access to math tutorials. “This pilot project, which began in the fall of last year, was a great success,” said Lesley Stewart, head of communications for the organization. “It began with 60 high school students who are part of a peer literacy program that our foundation is supporting in Sierra Leone.” The girls have access to a computer lab of just 15 computers, where they load the offline math program from a USB key. “The aim of the program was to improve their math competency autonomously. The first phase of the project was very successful,” said Stewart. “The girls returned over and over to the lab and wanted more.” The second phase of t he





use the internet occassionally or own a cellphone*

project—which aims to bring science videos to the girls—is currently under way, but the results are expected to be just as positive. “One of the aims of the project is to help the girls improve their marks in the end-of-year exams, thereby offering the students more avenues of opportunity,” Stewart explained. There are many more organizations with the similar goals to 60 Million Girls. The Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF), launched in 1991, is dedicated to helping the lives of women and girls across Canada. In its own words, its mission is to “invest in the strength of women a nd t he drea ms of g irls.” They raise money to help end violence against women, help them out of poverty and “build strong, resilient girls.” Anuradha Dugal, director of violence prevention at the CWF, said that one of its main goals for the current decade is to educate young people about violence in relationships and how to stop human trafficking in Canada. “One of the biggest issues that is going to mark this decade is human trafficking and the way that women are disproportionately affected by that in both labour trafficking and sexual exploitation trafficking,” said Dugal. “Hopefully for the next five to seven years we will see a lot more research being done on human trafficking because most policy makers

won’t do anything until they see how many people it’s affecting.” A girl’s understanding of inequality starts at a young age, Dugal said, which is why she believes that having girls programs is an essential part to making progress in the next 10 years. Girls need to know that they have a choice in how they want to be viewed and treated by society. It’s not just her organization, others believe same thing. Global women’s campaigns, such as 60 Million Girls, are stressing that an investment in




today’s girls is an investment in the future. Information and communication technologies give girls the opportunity and access to build their confidence, complete their education, and learn about the issues that face them. When girls learn what they are worth, and are given the tools to help them succeed, there is no limit to what they can accomplish. “If we can have an effect on her early thoughts or early conceptualizations of what it is to be a girl or woman,” said Dugal, “then we can change those embedded inequalities and change how they see their place in the world.” EMERGE 2014 | 37



Who says print is dying? This question was posed by Rakhee Prabhakar, owner-editor of The Asian Connections newspaper, an English-language newspaper catering to Toronto’s South Asian community. Prabhakar, recently back from a trip to India, questions the logic behind the discourse that’s shaped the prevailing view of printed news in North America. The world, we keep being told, has lost interest in print publications. Shrinking advertising revenues are threatening the large daily, weekly, and even monthly newspapers. Except, Prabhakar said, that common knowledge is actually not accurate. In countries like India, she said, the story is different. “In India print is booming. It’s everywhere you look.” It’s not just India. It’s also true of Canada, home to at least 660 publications, including 400 newspapers and magazines, in 110 languages that describe themselves as belonging to the country’s ethnic press. Ranging from The Afghan Post to the Jamaican Weekly Gleaner, they have their own press council and reach. According to the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada’s (NEPMCC) circulation numbers, their members serve more than 12 million Canadians from around the world. It’s true that the media is fragmenting. One size no longer fits all. Since the mid-2000s, consumers have been deserting traditional omnibus publications and broadcasters for digital media options that they can summon on demand, without what feels like any cost. But on the flip side, there are all the new media products that have attracted readers and viewers.

Mostly, they are the ones with the cheapest, or the most convenient, delivery platforms. But they are also the media that deliver what, specifically, each media market wants. Ethnic publications have been doing this for decades, many with 10 or fewer full-time employees. Their products have always been designed to serve a niche market. In a time of media turmoil and disruption they are thus decades ahead of the mainstream market. That said, they are not without challenges, which include the whims of government policy as well as the cultural assimilation of new generations, but they have more than held their own during the most tumultuous period their mainstream competitors have ever known. The self-described ethnic press— w h i c h i n c l u d e s m e d i a p r i m a r ily published in languages other than English or French, known as “third-language” papers, and ethnically focused English-language papers—serves information-hungry diasporas such as Canada’s South and East Asian, as well as African, Caribbean, European, Filipino, Jewish, Latin communities and those representing other faiths, cultures and international origins. “When you talk

about ethnic newspapers, it’s categorized into two parts,” Prabhakar explained. “One is the colloquial language that is the language newspapers. The mother tongue.” The other subdivision she said is made up of English-language newspapers that service these groups, such as her own. Prabhakar and her husband Sandeep have published The Asian Connections since 2007. Prabhakar studied both English and journalism, and earned an MA in English, before working as a hospital worker and institutional administrator. But, she said, she had news in her blood. “I’ve always had that in me, even though it sort of took a backseat while I was living in India.” When she joined Sandeep in Canada, he was already working in marketing for an ethnic newspaper. “Everyone used to tell us, ‘Why don’t you start your own publication?’” she recounted. “We thought: why not?” The newspaper they acquired had been started by someone else who could not continue running it, so Prabhakar and her husband took it over. “From there, for the last seven years, that’s how it’s been.” They publish an online edition, as well as 25,000 print copies, distributed in dropboxes. Publishing in English enables them to span the linguistic scope of the South Asian community. “When you talk about South Asia, it’s a very vast community,” she said. “It’s not just India, it’s got Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh” as well as Afghans and other Central-Asian cultures. It’s a big region encompassing different countries, different cultures, and different religions, Prabhakar added. >>

EMERGE 2014 | 39

Thomas Saras is the editor-in-chief of Patrides and president of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada.

But there are also many similarities and shared interests, she said, including food, physical appearances and, most important, family values. “The biggest similarity among south Asians is the feeling of family, love, how families stick together,” Prabhakar said. “We are very close-knit.” This is the key reason why ethnic newspapers remain so resilient in the face of the forces that have been devastating the mainstream business. “The mainstream media is working with broad society, Anglophone or Francophone, and the ethnic publications market within the perimetres of their own community,” said Thomas Saras, president of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, adding that this applies “whether they are Portuguese, Italian, French, Greek, German, Pakistani or anything else.” In other words, not only have ethnic newspapers carved out territory that distinguishes their product from the mainstream media, but their competition is also limited to other papers that serve the same tiny niche market. For example, he said that while there might be 25 publications of Pakistani origin, which compete with one another for readers and advertisers, “they have nothing to do with the Sri Lankan market or the Filipino or the European market.” There is research suggesting that 40 | EMERGEMAGAZINE.CA

mainstream publishers are in fact losing advertising revenue to the ethnic press. A 2010 report by NEPMCC researcher Gabriel Houston concluded that this is a concern for Canada’s big news organizations. “Mainstream media and third-lang uage media compete for advertising dollars,” Houston wrote. Saras said in an interview that any revenue diverted to the ethnic press, however significant for these small newspapers, represents only a “fraction of the advertising dollars” that go to the larger mainstream newspapers. Saras, who received mainstream media attention t his past w inter after representatives from the ethnic press council had a much-publicized meeting w it h Toronto Mayor Rob Ford the afternoon before Ford was caught on tape rambling in an inebriated version of a Jamaican patois, runs a Greek-language newspaper called Patrides, published monthly in Toronto, Vancouver and Tampa. Saras fled Greece after the military coup d’etat of 1967 and landed in Toronto with bachelor’s degrees in Greek law and international business. Ryerson

University, then a degree-granting polytechnic, would only grant him a couple of credits toward a degree in Canadian law and journalism. “I had to completely start over,” he said. Ethnic newspapers such as his own end up being more than just a source of news and information, Saras said. They also provide tools that new immigrants can use when faced with the many challenges posed by adjusting to a new lifestyle and culture, including a consumer protection role on behalf of new arrivals. “There are people that take advantage of new immigrants,” he said, “but the ethnic press is here [to help].” In addition, ethnic newspapers can tap into markets that other publications do not reach, Prabhakar said.

“WE OFFER A PODIUM TO PEOPLE TO WRITE ABOUT ANYTHING & EVERYTHING” RAKHEE PRABHAKAR One reason: mainstream papers are too wordy, too heavy and too analytical in their approach to the news. Her readers feel lost. On top of that, Prabhakar believes mainstream newspapers are filling their pages with information her readers don’t always find useful. In covering major news events like the







*based off of Gabriel Huston’s report for the NEPMCC

crisis in Ukraine, or the ongoing civil war in Syria, they publish too much speculation. Houston, an international business professor at Seneca College, concluded the lack of corporate or media conglomerate control is a feature that distinguishes the ethnic from mainstream media. “Third-language media tend to broadcast/publish news content unfiltered,” he wrote in the 2010 NEPMCC report. Prabhakar said this is a competitive advantage. “They have all the ministers and MPPs commenting, but you don’t have to put all that in the paper,” she said. Her readers don’t want comment and opinion. “Just write the facts. Write what’s happening. Write what Canada’s standpoint is. Write what Putin is saying. Write what the United Nations is saying. That’s it.” Holding up her latest front page– which features with a close-up of a Canadian senator facing allegations of sexual harassment, alongside Russian president Vladimir Putin and an update on growing tensions in Ukraine–she said her readers like the tried-and-tested inverted pyramid, packaged with a South Asian angle. “People make an effort to come and pick it up,” she said, and “they read it because it is precise. It is selective news. And we know what probably would interest them.” They include a lot about politics, and offer an opportunity for people who want

87% 18% 23% 23% 5%

their voices heard. “We offer a podium to people to write about anything and everything,” she said. This is not to say that running a n et hnic publicat ion is w it hout its challenges. Federal budget cuts has meant no government advertising in third-language newspapers in the past year. Canada still welcomes more immigrants than any country in the world–and political expediency favours that policy–but the on-going

report that they outsource at least part of one or more job functions report their form of ownership to be Canadian-controlled private corporations are sole-proprietorships

are family and non-family partnerships

are owned by foreign companies

debate about curbing immigration continues to create anxiety. More worrisome is the prospect that, without the influx of immigrants seen a half-century ago, the interest in unfiltered foreign news, especially what is delivered in “mother tongues,” will dwindle with an aging population. “The first generation who do not speak English as comfortably as the next generation are reading the ethnic news,” Saras said, “but the younger ones do not speak the old language, so they are reading the Toronto Star.” Prabhakar is more optimistic about the future of English-language ethnic papers. The ethnic press will lose relevance if immigration is significantly reduced, she acknowledged, but for the time being it appears steady enough. In fact, as the next generation is raised in English, she expects her readership to slowly build. Young people are unlikely to take the time to read a large 80-page daily newspaper, but they might be drawn to an ethnic publication – so long, Prabhakar predicted, as it is published in English. “They read English. They may speak the [foreign] language, because it is spoken at home, but they read and write in English. You can’t dismiss the younger generation. We cater to the younger generation. Twenty-five to 30,” she said. “That’s where the buying power is.”

EMERGE 2014 | 41

Design Your Dream D ECO R AT I N G YO U R A PA R T M E N T O N A T I G H T B U D G E T by Cherelle Bhoorasingh

Congratulations! You’ve just graduated and are


now a young professional about to move into your first place. There are so many expenses to calculate when living on your own, plus, tuition has left a dent in your bank account and you still have student loans to pay off. With an entry-level salary, you’re now realizing that the reality of living on your own is far from glamorous.


Creating a stylish and

what you need is key. “A bed, couch and table were on top of

cozy space on a budget is

my list.” Knowing exactly what you need and how much it will

easier than you think and in

cost can help you figure out which items to purchase first and

this case, convenient. The

where the bulk of money should go toward.

key to creating a beautiful apartment without break-

ing the bank is to, BARGAIN, BARGAIN, BARGAIN! Alan Wisniewski, creative leader and designer at Umbra recommends that you not tackle it all at once. Start with a budget and stick to it. “I suggest you really plan out how much space you have and make the right decisions on what to purchase,” he said.

CO LO UR IS YO UR FRIEN D Next, is starting with a single jumping off point. Determine what your colour pallet will consist of and be sure to incorporate them in your accessories. Go through your belongings and pick out your favourite items. Pull out one colour as your bold accent, and then add a neutral colour, for example white and voila you have created a colour scheme.


Once your colours are chosen, try playing around with online

For example, a bed, sufficient lighting and a couch, are de

simulators to see what they look like together.

rigueur. You will find yourself needing to fill a lot of space, so plan

Paint can also freshen up your space and transform a

what essential items you need and write out a list. Trishelle Reyn-

room. Make sure to ask permission from your landlord first

olds, a recent graduate and new homeowner, says that deciding

because some places do not allow the walls to be painted.



SPICE UP YOUR SPACE If you are not allowed to paint the walls or have no inter-


est in doing so, get creative. Canadian Living home and garden

Wisniewski says that it can be a hit or miss but if you frequently visit

director, Brett Walther shares a great DIY tip on how to hang art,

thrift stores, you are bound to find some treasures! Remember, everything

gallery style. “I love finding new uses for old things and repurpos-

in your new home does not have to be expensive. Take the extra effort to

ing them. Choose a bunch of photos and artwork, put them in

check out thrift shops such as Goodwill and Value Village or raid your

inexpensive frames and hang them up on your wall. Not only are

parents basement, you will be surprised to see how second- hand items

you being budget savvy, but you put a personal stamp on your

can spice up your space.

place,� says Walther.

DOLL AR STORE GR ABS Dollar stores are also a great place for budget friendly finds and inexpensive household goods. Items such as kitchen supplies, glassware, hangers and cleaning products are available at many dollar stores. --

Glass cup: $1.25 each Wine glass: $1.25 each Forks, knives & spoons: $1.00 each Broom: $2.00 each Dust pan: $1.25 each Bath mat: $3.00 each Photos by Sergio Romero



SHOPPING TIPS: Set limits. Bring a set amount of cash with you per trip because many thrift stores do not accept credit or debit cards. Ask an employee if there are any special deals going on. A few thrift stores offer discount weekly on certain items. Have an idea of the items you are looking for, it will make the trip easier.

W H AT T O L O O K F O R : Keep an open mind, some items that are basic, can be updated to your taste. •

When you find an item you like, make sure to thor-

oughly inspect the seams, joints and cracks before buying •

Items that look old can be brought back to life with

some spray paint

DIY Do it yourself ideas are the best way to add to your personal style to a room. Find creative ways to revamp items you already have and combine them with new accessories, it will help you cut costs as you design your new place.

“Mixing and matching is in,” says Walther. When looking

There are endless ways to incorporate your personal style into

for furniture, at thrift stores, it is in your best interest to pay

home décor. Create your own custom mix. That is how your person-

close attention to its form. “Try to look past the pure aesthet-

ality shines through in your personal décor. Walther emphasizes that

ics of a piece and focus on its bones and silhouettes, it could

your space should tell your story at the end of the day.

be an investment piece in the long run,” adds Walther.

Always keep in mind that a beautiful home takes time and patience. Therefore, do not expect to find everything you need all at once. Give yourself a monthly budget of how much money you can spend on home essentials, that way you avoid feeling pressured


if you can’t find everything you need all at once. Gradually you will


find more things to make you feel at home. “Make sure you love every piece you add because you are paying for it and do not want to grow tired of it too quickly,” says Wisniewski. There are endless ways to incorporate your personal style into home décor and before you know it, you will be able to enjoy your beautiful home without breaking the bank.

Location: 165 John St., Toronto ON (416) 599- 0 088


@Umbra _ltd w w w.umbra.com




“I’d say worldwide equalized prosperity, equal distribution of wealth, less emphasis on extreme wealth…that’s what I look forward to but I’m not holding out a whole lot of hope for that.“




WITH MORE CONNECTIVITY and interactivity than ever, words are being invented by humans that are shorter, simpler and sometimes utter gibberish, all in order to communicate efficiently amongst various social groups. Katherine Barber, the founding editor-in-chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, and better known as “Canada’s Word Lady,” said it is a matter of building identity. “People use slang to identify themselves as part of an ‘in-group,’” said Barber. “People from outside the ‘in-group’ start using the slang words so that they can add some spice and variety to their language and also sound hip and cool.” There is a continuous focus on looking for a simpler and easier way to get definitions across. Newer technologies like instant messaging and social media have also sparked the creation of online dictionaries that are constantly updated by user-generated content. Slang is the reason words like hashtag, bestie and LOL have been added to modern dictionaries. Even if some moder n word s a re not ack now ledged in classic dict iona r ies li ke


Launch of Oxford English Dictionary Online on March 14

OED and the BBC launch Wordhunt, a national appeal in the United Kingdom to discover the origins of 50 modern words




Merriam-Webster, there are still online platforms that allow user submitted words. Urban Dictionary is a website that caters specifically to slang, allows anyone to submit words and definitions, which in turn are voted on by other users. The top-voted word is seen as the most accurate definition—as opposed to traditional dictionaries, the users decide which definition is the most suitable and not a group of professionals. Words like Bazinga and sexting have been incorporated into Urban Dictionary to please a wider demographic, and to give users a better understanding of these perhaps unfamiliar terms. Barber said the recycling and redevelopment of words into slang will always be prominent. “It’s a permanent phenomenon in languages,” she explained. “Slang words spread through personal interaction and mass media.” We can now utilize dictionaries when participating in the use of slang and the evolution of English words through in-groups. This is the result of living in a society that is more plugged-in than ever.

Words added include Master of the Universe, newsgroup, webcast and Y2K

FOOD BABY noun. A protruding stomach caused by eating too much. The quantity of food creates a heavy feeling and one’s belly resembles the early stages of pregnancy.

NOM NOM exclamation. A phrase used to express the pleasure at eating delicious food, when one cannot think of any other adjectives to use.

SELFIE noun. A photograph taken of oneself, usually taken with a mobile device. The photo is then posted to social media websites.

TWERK verb. Gyrating of one’s butt and thighs to popular music. The dance involves thrusting hip movements, a squatting stance, and can be done upside down or on your head. Popular music to dance to involves rap and trap music.



After two decades of production and just 28 per cent complete, the multi-volume OED Third Edition may go all-digital

OED Online reaches a total of 870,000 words, phrases, compounds and meanings


























“For me it would be the satisfaction of multimedia. As they were growing into unbelievable size and as they are getting very fragmented I think it is very difficult to access real [journalism] because [journalism] gets more sensational and the multimedia offers a lot of singular point of view or subjective or that so-called blogs are usually run by other people who are into media. So, I find that it is disappointing the way it grew and how little good information exists.”




VR Technology Even before Facebook acquired virtual reality company Oculus Rift for $2 billion USD, tech and gaming companies were hard at work on creating their own virtual reality devices. By the year 2020, we predict VR technology will be widely available to consumers, with uses beyond gaming to include multiple forms of entertainment, such as movies and tourist attractions.


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3D Printed Organs Throughout this issue, we’ve examined how 3D printing will change the ways we can eat and produce food (and even our cover model was 3D printed). There’s no doubt that this technology will be widely prevalent. Where it will see the largest developments is in the space of 3D printed functioning organs. Currently, scientists have been able to print blood vessels and skin grafts—even a functioning ear. By the year 2020, 3D printed organs will no longer be restricted to scientific proofs of concept; the first handful of people will have received a transplant.

Facebook & Twitter Both of these companies are synonymous with the phrase “social media,” but does that mean that they’ll still be around by the end of the decade? We predict that Twitter will still be going strong as a link-sharing and news resource across the globe; whereas Facebook, while still popular among users aged 30 and up, will find new success in developing nations.

Lab-grown Meat Sometimes known as “smeat,” by the end of the decade lab-grown meat will become less of a insanely costly science experiment and more available to small groups of consumers interested in the man-made food. That said, it will still be very expensive for the average consumer and at this point you’ll be unlikely to find it in your local grocery store. EMERGEMAGAZINE.CA



With wireless Internet hotspots in public places and pretty much every coffee shop around, you might think that we’ve reached Internet saturation. Guess again. Over the past decade, researchers have been exploring how we can transmit data and an Internet connection through light—or through “LiFi”—by using special types of LED bulbs. By 2020, LiFi will be start to be used by notable technology and research companies, but it won’t be until the middle of the next decade that we start to see full market penetration of the new technology.

Canada Post


By 2019, Canada Post is expected to have stopped home mail delivery, opting to use community mailboxes instead. As the amount of mail Canadians continue to send and receive drops, Canada Post will primarily become the delivery person for online shopping. The average Canadian will no longer use Canada Post for sending letters, and as a result, the price of sending mail will dramatically increase per use. Businesses will be the main customers of the post office.

Arta Gallery

Arta Gallery is nestled in the heart of Toronto’s Historic Distillery District. This important cultural and artistic center in Toronto has been home to Arta since it was established in 2003. With an outstanding vision to promote art in our daily lives and make many talented artists accessible to the Toronto international artists. Under the leadership of Director, Fay Athari, Arta Gallery under went a major expansion in June 2008. By creating a larger space to display professional commercial art for collectors, artists and the public, the gallery is now also a fully operational event space, giving weddings, fundraisers and corporate events a unique backdrop and a way to promote art to a larger and varied audience. Arta Gallery is proud to have been a part of the Distillery District since it opened in 2003 and continues to thrive in its unique ambience and culture. Being one of the longest standing galleries in The Distillery community. Arta Gallery welcomes the opportunity to work and support upcoming artists who study any form of artistic practice, whether it is new media, photography, painting or sculpting.

Your journey’s just beginning. We’re still here to help you shine.

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Profile for Miguel Agawin

EMERGE Magazine 2014  

EMERGE Magazine 2014