Ladies Corner Magazine, Winter Edition Volume 8

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LadiesCorner VISIBILITY

PUBLICITY

INSPIRATION

EMPOWERMENT

FOUNDER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Tee Adeyemo info@lccmediafoundation.ca

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Katie Robertson Lorrie Morales Tayo Elnathan Dotun Ayodele-Bamisaiye

DESIGN DESIGN DIRECTOR

PHOTOGRAPHER

Tunde Adeyemo

Paula Kirman

tundeadeyemo@citeay.com

BUSINESS DIRECTOR Tayo Elnathan Tayo.Elnathan@lccmediafoundation.ca

This magazine or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means - electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the publisher. Ladies Corner Canada Limited, 4230 Charles Close, Edmonton SE T6W OZ5.

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LadiesCorner — Winter 2021


LADY TEE’S DESK

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Happy Holidays!

s I write this, the trees have completely lost their leaves. We eagerly anticipate the arrival of the deep freeze here in Edmonton. Time flies in a steady and determined way. It has been a great year for us at LCCMedia. We would not have had a great year without your support and without the support of our benefactors: the Edmonton Community Foundation, the Africa Centre, the Edmonton Police Service Recruitment Division, and Italian Centre Shop, among others. It is with great excitement that I welcome you to our final edition of 2021. In this spicy edition, we have as our theme recipes for the holidays. Our cover story is an intimate conversation about food with Executive Chef Doreen Prei. I am confident that this will take your taste buds to another level. There is something spiritual about talking about the different ingredients that go into making a great meal. There is something for every woman in this edition: we have as specials Titilope Sonuga—Edmonton’s ninth poet laureate and a feature with Edmonton Symphony

Orchestra’s assistant conductor Cosette Justo Valdés. Our hope for 2022 is to carry on featuring women, to keep telling great stories within our communities. We hope to reinvent ourselves by becoming more Alberta-centric with our coverage. In 2022, we would like to update our readership by expanding our writer database. If you would like to write for us, we would love to hear from you. We would like to invite you to participate in our Readers Survey. We would love to hear what you think about our content. Do watch out for this from the middle of December from our social media pages. On behalf of the team, I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. Happy Holidays!

Tee Adeyemo Founder and Editor-in-Chief Ladies Corner Magazine

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Racial Justice & Feminism — Katie Robertson Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Star Conductor Cosette Justo Valdes Lights up Christmas

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Taste of Home — New Jamaican grocery store in South Edmonton offers shoppers a taste of home. Digital Focus — Kasey Machin

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Tenderly Healing Edmonton — Titilope Sonuga Ageism — Lorrie Morales The Art of African Dance & Fitness — Amida Eto Ginger — Halima Hussein Communication and


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Community — Paula Kirman Home for the Holidays — Katie Robertson Sensual Eating — Chef Doreen Prei Top Money Management & Budgeting Apps

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— Dotun AyodeleBamisaiye, CPA Human Rights and Advocacy — Adora Nwofor Holiday Recipes — Chef Doreen Prei

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Power Through Truth — Agnieszka Matejko Honoring the Leadership of Black Women in Alberta — Dunia Nur

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RACIAL JUSTICE & FEMINISM Exploring how the Intersection of Systemic Racism and the Justice System Affects the Family

By Katie Robertson

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t’s no secret there’s a disproportionate number of Indigenous and Black people in the Canadian justice system. The truth is, it is not uncommon for racialized groups who have experienced the effects of colonization or slavery to be over represented. Not only does overrepresentation exist, it’s on the rise. In 2018, 30% of incarcerated adults were Indigenous, compared to 21% only a decade prior, but they only represent 4% of the Canadian adult population. A similar picture is painted for Black people. One statistic shows that Black people are over-represented in federal and provincial prisons by more than 300% vs their population, while for Aboriginals the over-representation is nearly 500%. However, because Canada has traditionally neglected to track race and ethnicity and is even more hesitant to release data, the current statistics are difficult to pin down. These facts might seem shocking if you don’t have lived experience, or study this data; the reality is though, this data

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showing overrepresentation of Indigenous and Black people in jail and as victims of crime, suggests it’s actually by design. Of course, the reason why we see such disproportionate statistics varies, but one of the most prevalent indicators is systemic racism; a fact many in the justice system are still hesitant to admit exists. The truth lies in differentiating between who is being criminalized and who is ending up imprisoned, rather than examining the numbers alone or generalizing them across the board. One analysis of 10,000 arrests in Toronto showed that Black people were 50% more likely to be taken to a police station for processing after arrest, and 100% more likely to be held overnight than were white people, even taking into account criminal history and age. And, when given bail, they had more conditions imposed. A Family Sentence: The Hidden Effects of Incarceration Putting aside race and ethnicity for a moment, let’s exam-

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December, 2021 ine the hidden effect of incarceration on children and families. Incarceration and reintegration can have major impacts on the family and community. Again, there is so little Canadian information available for analysis that very little is known about the families, particularly children, of incarcerated people. This dearth of data translates to a lack of intervention, policy, and program development. Currently, there are more than 375,000 children in Canada with a parent involved in the justice system. The inability to respond to the children, and family members responsible for caretaking, creates a lasting and sometimes traumatic effect. Depending on the number of risk factors involved: poverty, stigma, self-esteem, family instability, race, and ethnicity, the risk of children experiencing adverse effects from parental incarceration increases dramatically. One statistic indicates that children of incarcerated parents are, on average, six times more likely to become incarcerated themselves. Regardless of which parent is incarcerated, the impact on children is significant. When a father goes to prison, it’s usually the mother who continues to care for the children which has its own challenges including and especially economic. However, when it’s the mother who is incarcerated, the risk factors for children, and family, go up and they tend to suffer a greater disruption. Children of mothers who are in prison are often forced into new living situations, school changes, greater isolation, and risk of abuse. The main reason for this is because the majority of women in prison are mothers, and most of them are the sole caregivers for their children. When looking at this from a race, specifically Black and Indigenous, perspective. A mother being incarcerated can spell disaster for a family where the father, or other male family member becomes the sole caregiver. According to Jason Gorman, MSW, and former Mental Health Therapist at Forensic Assessment and Community Services in Edmonton, AB, “From another perspective, when the woman or matriarch of the family is incarcerated, then it’s up to the male in the household [in a Cis-heterosexual partnership], and western society doesn’t accept men raising their kids, or raising them in a communal way. Euro-West-

ern culture is very individualized instead of looking at the family unit and how they raise children together.” The untold cost of not supporting children, and their families, while a parent is incarcerated is infinite, and includes an increased likelihood of: •• Children being placed in foster care, and disconnected from their families, culture, and traditions, what some have likened to the Residential School System with a new brand •• Developmental delays and learning challenges •• An increased likelihood of dropping out before grade 12 •• Drug use and addiction •• Poverty & homelessness •• Crime, including gang involvement, and incarceration later in life It’s worth noting that there is research suggesting the strength of the parent-child bond and the quality of the family’s social support system play a big role in the child’s ability to overcome many of the challenges, and ultimately be happy and healthy in their life. Knowing this, it’s critical that the justice system develops stronger understanding and supports for the unique dynamics of the family, to try and ensure a more resilient child both during and upon re-entry of the incarcerated parent. Changing Our Approach To Justice Knowing that the burden of incarceration falls squarely on families, how can we reshape the way justice is delivered and reduce the impact on children and the communities they live in? One approach is to remove the blindfold from lady justice, by looking at the effects of incarceration on the community as a whole, which could be achieved through a restorative justice model—an alternative approach to incarceration—wherever possible. Restorative Justice philosophy outlines that we need to identify root causes of crime and make amends for the harms done, by focusing on healing relationships among victims/ survivors, offenders and communities. Restorative Justice is extremely beneficial since it creates opportunities for dialogue between people involved in LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

harm, giving and receiving parties, as well as those impacted by that harm; all with the goal of preventing future crimes. Restorative justice can also mean ensuring the right supports are available for families and communities to assist in healing. Despite the fact that some forms of restorative justice have been used in the Canadian and U.S. justice system for several decades, Fania Davis writes in her work, The Little Book of Race & Restorative Justice that, “the restorative justice (RJ) community largely failed to address race, quite surprisingly given that it is people of color who overwhelmingly bear the brunt of our nation’s criminal justice system.” This fact is especially poignant given that, “restorative justice and the Indigenous ethos in which it is grounded are strongly relational in their orientation. Both deeply value entering into and maintaining “right relationship” as well as sharing one’s personal story,” says Davis. In Changing Lenses, Howard Zehr writes that, “we in the West view crime through a particular lens. The “criminal justice” process that uses that lens fails to meet many of the needs of either victim or offender… Such failures have led to a widespread sense of crisis today.” Enter the Gladue Reports One small step towards incorporating a racial and ethnic lens on justice are the Gladue Reports, named after a Supreme Court Case in which the court ruled judges must take into account an Indigenous offender’s history of systemic racism, over-incarceration and abuse when sentencing them. Gladue Restorative Justice practices have been documented as being extremely effective in reducing Indigenous recidivism rates. The Gladue case (also known as R. v. Gladue) was a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision, handed down on April 23, 1999, which advises that lower courts should consider an Indigenous offender’s background and make sentencing decisions accordingly, based on section 718.2 (e) of the Criminal Code. The Gladue Report is an attempt at Restorative Justice, serving as a type of pre-sentencing report that gives detailed circumstances about the offender’s life and also the history of coloniza-

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LadiesCorner

Katie Robertson is passionate about gender equality and racial justice

tion. The Gladue Report recommends how society should approach sentencing in order to help assist Indigenous offenders reintegrate into their communities in a positive way. Restorative justice also means that families of the offender can find some justice for Canada’s past actions against First Nations People. The program can also help prepare new offenders to return to their communities by helping create stronger family ties and cultural connections - key ingredients of strong societies according to many traditionalist perspectives. “An elder told me once, you have to know where you’re from to know where you’re going. Connecting to tradition and cultural practices has kept us going as a humanity; it resonates with our blueprint,” says Gorman, who prepares Gladue reports for the courts. Indigenous-led restorative justice programs are becoming increasingly common across Canada. Many First Nations communities have an extensive history of Restorative Justice practices handed down over generations. A number of studies have documented Restorative Justice conferences being held in Indigenous communities to resolve conflicts between individuals or families. The Gladue report formalizes this cultural as-

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pect of Indigneous justice within the Canadian justice system. Changing our approach to incarceration does not mean that people should go unpunished for their crimes or that it is necessary to be soft on crime. Restorative justice means that society takes responsibility for its past actions against First Nations People and other racialized people. Changing how we approach incarceration means acknowledging how oppressive systems, including white supremacy, play a role in our justice system and society as a whole, as well as how that affects how an offender can reintegrate into community. “Imagine a father who was incarcerated for a DUI, breaches because he’s the main provider for his family and his probation conditions don’t accommodate for his employment - the next step in that has been jail,” says Fabienne Javadli, a Gladue Report writer and resource support to Jason Gorman. “When we have the full picture, we can recommend incorporating traditional restorative practices including healing circles, Indigenous rehabilitation programs, and access to cultural communities.” The idea is that sentencing happens after taking into account a person’s life history - where they came from, their culture, and traditions, LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

which means that decision making is more informed and in line with restoration of a person, rather than simply ‘locking them up’. A New Outlook The Gladue Reports, as a means to restorative justice, is currently only available for those who identify as Indigenous and have access to legal representation who will advocate for the report to take place. Perhaps, someday, this type of action will include Black people, and eventually everyone who moves through the system. By taking into account trauma, mental health illnesses, poverty (which is trauma), and then putting together resources and roadmap to recovery likely has a far greater rate of success in terms of ‘rehabilitating’ someone and lessens the burden the family faces when a parent is incarcerated. The systemic issues that are prevalent in so many offender’s lives (racism, poverty, abuse, etc.) shouldn’t be the their burden to pay for - these issues are all of ours, and all of our responsibility to dismantle - changing our justice system to provide compassion, grace, and access to traditional and culturally appropriate support systems is vital for our entire society - if we truly wish for justice to be served.


December, 2021

Cosette Justo Valdés

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Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Star Conductor Cosette Justo Valdes Lights up Christmas

osette Justo Valdés is the Assistant Conductor and Community Ambassador of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Born and raised in San Germán, a small town in the Cuban Province of Holguín. She began learning piano, violin and music theory at the tender age of eight. She was sent off to boarding school by her parents who were both amateur musicians. Her mum was a dancer and a singer and her father a guitar teacher for Cuban popular music. With very fond memories of Cuba, her passion for music comes from an inherent love for music instilled through the Russian school of music which is the system for learning music in Cuba. Her country has an intensive musical educational system for children which Cosette was able to participate in. She remembers the struggle after the Soviet Union collapsed and how she was able to survive the harshness and deprivation of the government-subsidized music boarding school. She misses Cuba, especially people dancing in the streets, the ingenuity of people to survive, and stopping by friends’ homes without notice to have an espresso/coffee together. She remembers missing her mum who sacrificed a lot to help her get through school. And she says she still misses her because she never was able to live with her mum after she

left her at the age of eight. She started conducting as a career in 2002 at the University of the Arts in La Habana, and after graduating in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting she was appointed Music and Artistic Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Oriente (OSO) in Santiago Cuba. This is Cuba’s second most important orchestra. In 2012, Cosette was admitted to study her Masters Degree with Maestro Klaus Arp in the Mannheim Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst (State University for Music & Performing Arts) in Germany, to learn more about conducting classical repertoire from the European perspective, earning her Master’s Degree in 2018. In Germany, she had the opportunity to conduct many orchestral, choral, and chamber ensembles, while remaining Music & Artistic Director of the OSO in Cuba and returning often to conduct it. Her love for Russian composers inspired her to conduct a performance of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1 with the National Orchestra of Cuba in Havana for the first time in more than 30 years. She also organized several large projects combining the forces of the two major symphonic orchestras of Eastern Cuba, Orquesta Sinfónica de Holguín and Orquesta Sinfónica de Oriente. Cosette also brought to the OSO for the first time pieces like Shostakovich’s LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

Symphonies Nos. 1 and 5, West Side Story Suite by Leonard Bernstein (in his centenary, performed in January, 2018), Symphony No. 1 by Robert Schumann, Symphony No. 5 by Felix Mendelssohn, Pulcinella Suite by Igor Stravinsky, The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives, and others. She conducted concerts specifically for children to give them an opportunity to get to know an orchestra and its instruments. She also invited music students to listen to and play with chamber orchestras and/or symphony orchestras for the first time. In November 2018, she applied for the position she now holds at the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. She got the job on the same day and moved to Edmonton in January 2019. Since then, the rest is history. The Edmonton Journal describes her as a ‘rising star’. But, to us she is a star. The highlights of being a Community Ambassador includes having meaningful conversations with children from different communities in Edmonton. She recollects conversations with children who are keen to learn instruments, and specially one encounter with a little girl who had lost her mum, who, after listening to Cosette tell her story, wrote a letter to the Winspear expressing how she now understands that “it is ok to miss her mum, and that she wants to be a conductor”.

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Kim’s family owns a Jamaican Grocery Store in Edmonton

Taste of Home New Jamaican grocery store in South Edmonton offers shoppers a taste of home.

Entering Eat Jamaican you can’t help but be drawn in by the beautiful mural on the wall, capturing the culture of Jamaica, you’re then greeted with a ‘Wha gwan’ (What’s up), while soft reggae music plays in the background. We want to make sure you feel as though you landed at the airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica said Kim-Ann Wilson, Co-owner/Marketing Director. Eat Jamaican grocery store is the first Jamaican grocery store to open on the South Side of Edmonton since the 1970’s.Eat Jamaican supplies and delivers fresh Jamaican produce, wellknown food delicacies of Jamaica, spices, in-season fruits and vegetables to the Edmonton community. Eat Jamaican was birthed because of the lack of representation for this niche community, foods that are currently available in stores are marked ‘Jamaican’ but in fact are sourced from neighbouring Islands or even South America.

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After Kim-Ann Wilson and her family moved to the city in 2012, her mother, Olive Thompson struggled to find authentic Jamaican food in the city. More than 5,000 people in Edmonton have Jamaican heritage, according to Statistics Canada. The Canadian Encyclopedia says Edmonton has one of the largest concentrations of Jamaican immigrants in Canada. Eat Jamaican is the only store in Edmonton to carry some of Jamaica’s well loved foods and snacks, like CranWATA (cranberry water), Kiss Cupcakes, Tiki, Catch; not to mention the fruits and vegetables like Jamaican yellow yams, sweet potato, avocado, breadfruit, callaloo, fresh sorrel, plantain and seasonings. Everything is sourced from farmers in Jamaica. Because of the authenticity of the products and foods that Eat Jamaican brings into Edmonton, restaurants around the city frequent the store, coming from as far as Red Deer,

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they are also seeing supply requests from as far as Yukon and Nova Scotia. Eat Jamaican’s vision is to become the best provider of authentic Jamaican foods in Canada and we’re excited to announce that we’ll be opening a distribution centre in early 2022 to better meet the demand from restaurants, stores and other retail stores with authentic Jamaican foods across Canada. Location: 9518 Ellerslie Rd SW, Edmonton, AB, T6X 0K6 (in the same plaza as the Canadian Brewhouse and Starbucks) info@eatjamaican.ca www.eatjamaican.ca 587-754-2764 eatjamican eatjamaicanyeg


December, 2021

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LadiesCorner

Digital Focus

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asey Machin is the co-founder of Parity YEG and the Chief Operating Officer at Areto Labs. She and her colleagues at Areto Labs found that they could do something about trolls who attacked female candidates running for elections. She worked as a policy and communications adviser to Edmonton City Councillor Andrew Knack and witnessed first hand how nasty trolls are. She was resolved to change the vitriolic narrative for women who would like to serve in a political capacity but are damaged by these trolls emotionally. ParityBOT, a Twitter bot that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to track, measure, and analyze tweets sent to women candidates running for office and for every extremely toxic tweet sent, a positive message of support is automatically posted in response. The idea resonated with people and there was clearly a broader need for this type of technology so they decided to start Areto Labs as a social impact company in 2020. ParityBot has been used across Canada, Australia and the United States of America. They are on a mission to build a suite of culture-building apps and bots to help leaders foster more positive and inclusive digital communities. LCCMedia was excited to chat with Kasey about her work.

Kasey Machin witnessed the destructiveness of trolls.

May I ask what inspired the work you do at ParityYeg? Before we started ParityYEG, I had been volunteering on many campaigns and boards aiming to increase gender parity in politics, but after the 2017 municipal election where we saw just two women elected to city council, after almost 100 years of gender disparity on council, I became really motivated to get involved specifically at a local level. Founding ParityYEG was a way for us to pool our efforts, networks, and resources together with the sole mission of encouraging and supporting gender diverse candidates to run for office. Gender parity is critical to a healthy democracy and governments should reflect those they represent. For too long they haven’t and we wanted to do something about it. Are you pleased with the progress PartyYEG is making at the moment in Alberta? Absolutely! From a ParityYEG perspective, Edmonton not

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December, 2021 only elected our first gender parity city council since 1989, we also elected the first two BIPOC women councillors, and for the first time in a long time, Edmonton city council is going to look a whole lot more like the city it represents! We worked hard to not only recruit women to run for office, but support them along the way by developing a number of resources, including workshops and campaign resource kits. We were able to commission the City of Edmonton’s Historian Laureate to write a report on the history of gender representation in Edmonton’s municipal elections, which helps us understand some of the ways in which people from BIPOC and gender-diverse backgrounds have been systematically excluded from voting and running for office within municipal government. We’ve seen three of our own board members run for office, which I hope continues and only builds a larger funnel of candidates for future elections, and partnered with many other incredible organizations to make change. Lastly, we’ve managed to engage with most—if not all the candidates—to just congratulate them on their campaigns. It takes a lot of courage to put your name forward and we want to celebrate that—regardless of the outcome. This was a collective effort from so many volunteers and supporters, other great organizations working on similar goals, people in positions of power advocating for it, along with all the work so many people did long before us to get to this point. When I think about the fact that it was only around 1960 when ALL women were granted the right to vote, let alone run for office, I am amazed at how far we’ve come. While we’ve made gains, we still are not seeing the full diversity of our communities being reflected in those elected to represent us, so there is more work to do and certainly something ParityYEG needs to improve on in order to ensure our work is intersectional and representative of a broader group of people. How are you able to finance your excellent business ideas? As an early stage tech startup, we

rely on grants, investments, and our own finances to bootstrap our company while we scale. We’ve been fortunate to have received support early on from a variety of funding streams which has been critical to our growth. Why was there a need for Areto Labs? Can you explain what you do here and the concept behind the Areto Labs? Areto Labs was formed due to a lot of our work with ParityYEG. Lana, my co-founder, and I were recruiting women to run for office and more often than not we heard women say that online toxicity and abuse was a major barrier and deterrent to running for office. It was something we knew was a major problem and had all kinds of research to back up, but no real solutions for those impacted by it. That was what led us to invent ParityBOT—a Twitter bot that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to track, measure, and analyze tweets sent to women candidates running for office and for every extremely toxic tweet sent, a positive message of support is automatically posted in response. The idea resonated with people and there was clearly a broader need for this type of technology so we decided to start Areto Labs as a social impact company in 2020. It was through our market research that we realized digital inclusion and safety is critical for people to do their jobs effectively on both private and public digital platforms, and we’re on a mission to build a suite of culture-building apps and bots to help leaders foster more positive and inclusive digital communities. Does your digital work life ever end? It’s tough, some days are better than others, but I find it very tough to ‘turn off’ work for a variety of reasons (startups are a lot of work!) but especially because Areto Labs is a fully remote company with employees all over the world, which means my living room is my office and sometimes I have to work on New Zealand time!

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Gender parity is critical to a healthy democracy and governments should reflect those they represent. For too long they haven’t and we wanted to do something about it. What are your plans for 2022? I really hope to do some travelling and enjoy a bit of down time. I also hope to celebrate an Oilers Stanley Cup win (one can hope right?!) and see some family and friends I haven’t been able to see since March 2020. Do you ever rest? What do you do for your mental health? Yes! Not as much as I should, but I do carve out time daily to go for a walk with my dog, which is very good for my mental wellness. I see a therapist and business coach regularly, along with my mentors and advisors, which helps me navigate the challenges of work and personal life. And I spend as much time as possible with my family and friends who bring me joy and keep me smiling through tough times. What books are by your bedside table? Please share a poem or favorite quote with us. Right now I’m reading Radical Candor by Kim Scott and Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown. Both are related to work but I love reading novels the most. Fall On Your Knees by Ann Marie MacDonald and Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese are two of my favourites! The theme of our holiday edition is around recipes. Please can you kindly share a special holiday recipe with us? I don’t cook but I love a good holiday cocktail! Here is my recipe for Mistletoe Margarita which can be mocktail or cocktail style—cheers! To find out more please visit www.aretolabs.com

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Kasey Machin’s Mistletoe Margarita Recipe Ingredients 1/2 c. whole cranberries 1/4 c. granulated sugar, divided 2 tbsp. kosher salt 1 wedge lime, for rim 2 c. cranberry juice 12 oz. silver tequila 8 oz. Triple Sec 1/2 c. plus 1 tbsp. lime juice, divided 12 c. ice Mint, for garnish Directions •• In a medium bowl, toss cranberries with 1 tablespoon lime juice. Drain out lime juice, then toss with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Pour onto a baking sheet to dry. •• Combine remaining sugar with salt on a shallow plate and mix to combine. Using the lime wedge, wet rim of each glass, then dip in sugar salt mixture. •• Combine cranberry juice, tequila, Triple Sec, remaining 1/2 cup lime juice, and ice in a large blender, working in batches if necessary. Blend until smooth. •• Pour into prepared glasses and garnish with a sprig of mint and a couple of sugared cranberries.


Tenderly Healing Edmonton Edmonton Poet Laureate Titilope Sonuga Makes Her Debut at the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

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Nigerian-Canadian Titilope Sonuga is a brilliant spoken word performer, poet and playwright

i g e r i a n - Ca n a d i a n Titilope Sonuga is a brilliant spoken word performer, poet and playwright. She is a University of Alberta educated civil engineer who quickly became Edmonton’s leading poet with her mastery of human emotions and her ability to communicate to people. She is the author of several poetry collections including Down to Earth, Abscess, and This Is How We Disappear. She has released two spoken word albums: Mother Tongue and Swim. Sonuga was the writer and producer of Open, an interdisciplinary spoken word production which was performed to sold-out audiences in Edmonton, Calgary, London, Johannesburg, Abuja and Lagos. She has spoken extensively about her plans to bring tenderness and healing back into Edmonton. In 2015, she was the first Nigerian poet that was invited to the Presidential Inauguration. In 2021, she was named to serve as Edmonton’s ninth Poet Laureate by former mayor Don Iverson. She made her debut with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra on the 19th of November in an all female composer cast. She told LCCMedia: “I’ve experimented with all kinds of music over the span of my career. This has been a big bucket list item of mine and so it feels really special. I can’t wait”. She said: I’m inspired by love at the core of it. Our running toward or away from it. I want to be remembered as a poet who made room. Who made

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people feel less alone. Who reminded artists and non artists of the connective tissue that binds us”. “It’s an honour to represent the city where my poetry career began. It feels even more important in the wake of a really difficult last few years” she replied when we asked her what it meant to her to represent the city of Edmonton. “I began my career as a civil engineer before pivoting into the arts. I have always written, but I began experimenting with my voice and performance in high school and university. It was a hobby then, while I pursued engineering, but it quickly eclipsed my life and became the central thing. Page poetry and readings were well established in Edmonton, but spoken word or performance poetry as we know it now was just taking root. It feels really special to have been a part of those early days”. “I believe all art can be a force for good. Poetry holds up a mirror. It illuminates and challenges. It comforts. It heals. My tenure has only just begun, but the reception has been incredible so far. It has been particularly wonderful to read the submissions for my Tenderness YEG project and to feel connected to people in that way”. Writing the truth as authentically as she can is the way she lives her life on and off the stage: “I write the truth. I live my life as a Black woman, an African woman, as boldly and as authentically as I can. I make room for others to do the same. On and off the stage”.

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LadiesCorner

Ageism

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By Lorrie Morales

he entire world population is changing and Canada is no different. Canada’s demographics have been shifting. In 2015, the first version of the National Seniors Strategy publication was launched to recognize Canada’s policy response to our national aging population. By the year 2035, seniors over 65 years of age will represent one in four Canadians. As seniors, we are outnumbering children under 15 years of age and we are the fastest growing demographic. And yet, in Canada, we still do not have a national senior’s strategy. What exactly is that? Like an architect or builder uses plans to design and construct a home, building, or complex, we need a blueprint for ensuring that we are supporting our aging population by designing an integrated continuum of care that can continue across generations. What are the pillars that hold this foundation? The four cornerstones of the national senior’s strategy are: •• Independent, productive, and engaged seniors who are able to contribute to society •• Healthy and active lives to ensure that the health system is not burdened

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•• Care closer to home where seniors are near loved ones, and familiar surroundings •• Support for caregivers through mental health, finances, and training programs There have been some efforts to address these pillars. For example, Alberta Health Services has implemented “Conversations Matter” which is an online, interactive guide to help patients clarify advance care planning. Other provinces have similar personal directive material. But what about addressing elder abuse, isolation and loneliness, poverty, financial support, age-friendly environments—just to name a few of the other issues that need attention? October 1st was the International Day of Older Persons in Canada but because of the last almost 20 months—we have seen the consequences of the pandemic on seniors—this day was more significant than others from years gone by. Recently, the National Institute on Aging was commissioned by the Health Standards Organization to conduct a survey on long-term care homes in Canada. The results showed that 67.3% of the survey’s almost 17,000 responses indicated that long-term care homes in Canada are not providing safe, reliable or high-quality care. (bit.ly/3oofoau) LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

The government needs a plan both socially and economically for our elderly to reform systems of care. The National Institute on Ageing, which is a platform and think tank at Ryerson University in Ontario, continues to advocate for cooperation between provincial and federal governments. They address the challenges and point out the opportunities of Canada’s ageing population. This group feels that there is a great need for a national strategy to be put into place. So, what can we do to support this group and get others thinking about cooperation and advocacy? On September 22 of this year, the NIA just announced that they will be collaborating with TELUS Health to raise awareness about technologies that support seniors maintaining active and independent lives. I have also joined a volunteer group called Simply Compassion Advocacy Society that advocates for seniors and caregiver’s loved ones (simplycompassionadvocacy.com). What are actions that we can take? Here are a few suggestions: •• Have a positive mind set. Age is a number but thinking younger helps. You have experience and wisdom to share. •• Be physically and mentally active. Go for a walk, play scrabble, stay connected to loved ones. •• Join the conversations. Everyone has something to contribute. •• Be as independent as you can. Go shopping, take the bus alone, manage your finances. •• Find younger people to do things with and become friends. •• Volunteering for activities gives you purpose. All in all, ageism is not just about geriatric problems and memory lapses. It’s not about being hard of hearing or not knowing how to set up an account on Instagram. It’s about living a full life, so how are you going to contribute and advocate for seniors? You can make a difference. Lorrie Morales is the author of ‘We Can Do This’. Adult Children and Aging Parents Planning for Success She can be reached at www.lorriemorales.com


December, 2021

THE ART OF AFRICAN DANCE & FITNESS “We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams.” Angela Monet My name is Amida Eto. I am from the Bantu Kingdom by the Congo River, currently known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The art of dancing has always been part of our lives, from birth to death. African dances consist of rhythmic movements which are mostly accompanied with music, vocal sounds, percussions, and other kinds of traditional drums. Dancing plays a major part in our ceremonies, faith, and storytelling traditions. Some Traditional Dances in Africa •• Women in Guinea perform the Moribayassa dance. It is a very old African dance which “plays a major role in the life of African women”. This dance is usually performed at a mango tree, and it is performed by women who have overcome great adversity such as infertility and they dance to thank God for giving them a child. •• The Aduma dance (also called the “Jumping dance”) is one of the Massai’s traditional dances in Kenya and Tanzania. It is performed during the coming of age at the warrior’s ceremony (Eunoto). It is a competition between young men to see who can jump the highest. The winner displays his strength and masculinity to the community. •• The San Dance of Botswana is a religious healing ceremony which take place mostly at night. It is performed by clapping, danc-

ing and chanting around a fire. Continuously clapping, dancing and chatting brings one into trance and it is said that the healers are able to channel the healing energy to the sick. Even though, most African Dances are performed for healing or religious purposes, African dances are also used for entertainment. African dances used in entertainment are more modern and very popular with the new generation especially through different social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Tik-Tok and YouTube. My Journey to Dance: African Dance meet Fitness On a personal note, I was very young when I left my country and the limited time I lived there, I never heard of anyone going to the gym or participating in a fitness routine. This is because working out and exercising was unconsciously part of the daily lives as most people did not have cars. Back then, most people will walk or run to go to school, market, work church etc. However, life in North America has made working out more challenging as much of everyday life is sedentary. Fitness and its benefits are now well known internationally, and African Dances are now used in many fitness facilities and part of many fitness routines. The introduction of African dance classes enhances emotional, psychological, and physical wellbeing. The classes help participants to develop strength through effective warm up, toning and stretching with amazing benefits such as improving participant’s cardiovascular endurance, weight management and opportunities to educate and learn one’s cultures and traditions. LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

In the Edmonton area, there are few places where different types of African dance classes are conducted: African Aerobics at the Lion King­dom Studio, Samba Edmonton, J’adore Dance, Sugar Swing Ballroom. I am the instructor at Lion Kingdom Studio. I hope you can join me soon. Amida Eto African Aerobics’ Instructor Lion Kingdom Studio

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December, 2021

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Ginger

Sit with me a while in this ginger and clove scented kitchen The counters are flour stained The windows are foggy from the heat of the oven The apple cider is on a simmering boil and we have nothing but time I tell you about the traditions that seemed tedious The traditions that now fill me with joy The traditions of talent shows, cookies and falling asleep after a meal You tell me stories about a time where laughter filled the home you grew up in The home where the carpet was lined with wrapping paper and ribbon The home where the dough covered counter was the centerpiece of conversation We talk about the possibilities of Christmases to come and the treats that are must haves We debate the best way to make gravy and icing a gingerbread house We sparkle with hope of recipes being passed down the next generation

Poetry

As the buzzer goes off on the garland lined table, we are left with smiles The smiles of ease, warmth, joy and peace Smiles I pray you carry with you through the years and into the moments you find yourself lost in the memories of our ginger and clove scented kitchen. Bio Born in Edmonton, Halima is a writer and podcaster, being the creator of “What’s Your Hustle”—a podcast that explores people’s hustles, inspirations and passions. She believes that words and the stories of people hold a certain beauty and need to be shared with the world. Her experience includes writing for blogs as well as the podcast interviews. Halima Hussein whatsyourhustlepodcast@gmail.com whatsyourhustlepodcast Photographer: Tyler Blackwood tylerblackwoodphotography


Sponsored Content

Communication and Community By Paula Kirman

P

aula Kirman is an Edmonton-based freelance media and communications professional, digital content specialist, and storyteller who has been working with non-profit organizations, community media, and small businesses for the better part of three decades. Her website is called Words – Pictures – Music for good reason. Kirman is a writer, editor, photographer, videographer, website designer, social media strategist, musician, and community organizer. Most of her clients are in the non-profit sector, including organizations involved with labour, interfaith learning and dialogues, peace, and the advancement of rights for women and girls. “I like to work with clients whose values align with my own,” says Kirman, who has received a number of awards for her community involvement and activism, including the Edmonton Social Planning Council’s Award of Merit for Social Advocacy in 2018; the Human Rights Champion Award from the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights in 2016 for being a pioneering media arts activist; being named a Daughter of the Year in 2014 at the annual

Daughters Day celebration for being a role model to for women in activism; and receiving the Salvos Prelorentzos Peace Award in 2012 from Project Ploughshares Edmonton for her work connecting Edmonton’s activist community through social media and for her documentation of Edmonton’s activist scene. Documentation of local progressive and grassroots movements is something about which Kirman is very passionate. She has posted photographs and videos from hundreds of protests and rallies since 2005 at her blog RadicalCitizenMedia.com. Her work appears regularly in a variety of print and online publications, and can also be seen (and heard) in Voices of Protest and Reform, a permanent, curated exhibit in the Visitor’s Gallery of the Alberta Legislature’s Federal Building. Kirman is also passionate about community media, and has been involved with hyper-local publications throughout Edmonton, par­ti­cu­larly Boyle Street and McCauley, where she has edited Boyle McCauley News (bmcnews.org) since 2006. “Independent community newspapers are important because they give people a voice who otherwise may not have the opportunity to access the media,” she says. Her involvement in the inner city LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

has been the inspiration for several of Kirman’s short films, including one about social housing, as well as her music. Kirman is a folk singer/songwriter who writes original songs and performs at a variety of venues and events. “Summer,” a song about an unhoused woman, was a finalist in the 2017 International Songwriting Competition, the largest songwriting contest in the world. Her most recent release is the three-song EP Losstending, which can be found at Kirman’s Bandcamp site: paulaevekirman.bandcamp.com. The songs were inspired by conversations Kirman had with people who reached out to her to share their stories of grief and loss as part of a community care initiative in the spring of 2021. A full-length digital album is planned for release next year. Always looking to pursue opportunities with clients who share her passions, Kirman can provide a variety of services at competitive prices to meet your communications and marketing needs. You can reach Paula through her website wordspicturesmusic.com apaulagetics

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LadiesCorner

Home

for the Holidays Six Ways to Give Back to the Homeless During the Holidays By Katie Robertson

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t’s that time of year again. Shopping lists are being made, travel plans are being booked and festive decorations are beginning to appear in stores. But for many families, one issue looms large: how to feed, clothe and shelter their loved ones during the holidays. The fact is, there always seems to be a greater need at this time of year than any other. And while we know it isn’t possible for everyone to reach into their pockets and donate cash or goods to those who need them most, giving back in support of those experiencing homelessness doesn’t necessarily mean shelling out financial resources—in fact, opportunities exist for simply lending your time. We know many of our readers are always looking for ways to give back within their communities, but it’s especially true during the holiday season. Of course, there are children, family members, friends and neighbours we are thinking about giving to, but there’s another part of your community you may consider giving to this year—those experiencing homelessness. Homelessness is a major issue in Canada. Many people are experiencing financial difficulties at this time, and they might not have the necessary resources to support themselves and their families. Homelessness can affect anyone, no matter how much money they make or what social class

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they belong to. Many have volunteer programs that are full of opportunities for those looking to give back without spending a dime. Volunteering can take on many forms, from answering phones or sorting donations, to cooking meals and organizing events. This way, you can choose what you feel most comfortable doing while still making a huge difference for people experiencing homelessness. If you feel like hosting an event is too much of a commitment for this time of year, consider purchasing groceries or gently used clothing and dropping them off at a local food or shelter instead—or perhaps the idea of turning your turkey dinner into a fundraiser for your local shelter is right up your alley. Whether it’s volunteering, cooking a meal or donating clothes, you can find something in your community that moves you. Don’t wait until Christmas Eve to figure out what you want to do. Start now. Here are the top six ways you can get started with giving back in support of those experiencing homelesses. Food & Clothing Drives Many organizations, such as the food banks of Canada, host food drives during the holiday season. Look for your local food bank to see what items they are short on. According to Tania Little, Chief Development and Partnerships Officer, LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

Food Banks Canada, “Food Banks have been highly impacted by the pandemic and rely on the kindness of Canadians to keep the doors open. Food Banks Canada provides emergency help for those who need food today but also advocates for policy changes that will lower poverty rates and in turn, food bank use. Helping your neighbours is an act of empathy and kindness, not just during the holiday season but all year round and we are so grateful for those who step up to do so.” To support your neighbours in need you can donate funds, food or time to your local food bank which can be searched at www.foodbankscanada.ca Another way to support people experiencing homelessness is to donate clothing - especially warm socks, menstrual products, and essential winter items. Just make sure you call ahead to see what exactly the organization is in need of. Host a Fundraiser or Drive of Your Own Giving back is always expected but it’s much more rewarding when you help out those in need. So, if you are feeling really creative, why not host a fundraising event (e.g., bake sale, barbecue, or even a silent auction) and donate all proceeds to your favourite organization? The events need not be complicated, it can be as simple as doing a call out on your social media channels.


December, 2021 With social media and crowd-funding options like GoFundMe, it’s never been easier to solicit support for an organization or a cause. Give the Gift of Time This might seem like a no-brainer but volunteering your time is incredibly valuable, and so many organizations need help. Find out where your local soup kitchen, community centre, or even mutual aid groups are in your community, and offer up your time. The support services for homeless people are usually entirely volunteer run. In order for those services to be sustainable, volunteers are always needed. Put Your Shopping to Work Giving back can feel daunting when you don’t know where to start. Giving is a great way to help the homeless during the holidays, but it’s also an easy thing to forget in the flurry of shopping and entertainment. Luckily, there are many organizations around Canada that accept donations yearround, and points programs through

retailers that you can donate. By using your everyday purchases for good—usually through dedicated giving portals by companies or special promotions via retailers—you can give back without any extra effort on your part. Donate Money Of course, there is always the most common way of giving back. Simply donating money. You can make a onetime donation, or you might consider signing up for a monthly giving program. Many monthly giving programs cost less than a daily latte, or a gym membership, but make a big impact on enhancing and securing service delivery for organizations. Advocate This might not seem like the traditional way of giving back, but it’s likely one of the most effective ways of supporting people experiencing poverty, on a long-term basis. Look up who your representatives are on every level—municipal, provincial, and federal—and then send a mes-

LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

sage to let them know you want them to pay more attention to this growing issue. Visit organizations such as the Homeless Hub to learn more about support networks and advocacy groups across Canada. As you can see, there are lots of ways you can give back during the holidays (and year-round). You can volunteer at your local food bank and help serve meals around Christmas, donate clothing so that those in need have something warm to wear during the winter months, or even make a financial contribution to one of these organizations who are working hard all of the time to end homelessness. Imagine how good it will feel knowing that you’ve helped someone else this holiday season—and all without necessarily spending any extra cash! Homelessness is on the rise in Canada, particularly due to the upheaval caused by the pandemic. There are more than 235,000 people in Canada experiencing homelessness, with up to 40,000 of those considered youth, and an overrepresentation of Indigenous people.

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LadiesCorner

Sensual Eating

D

oreen Prei is the Executive Chef, May, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton. She is also a food columnist with CBC’s Radio Active. She is an award winning chef. In 2015, she won the Gold Medal Prize at the Canadian Food Championships. You get the impression that she allows ingredients to speak for themselves when she cooks. Chef Prei has an uncanny gift to make strangers feel comfortable with her. This was how we felt when she graciously allowed us to capture her work at the Art Gallery of Alberta. She brings out the sexiness of food, and the way she talked about food made our mouths water. Prei is a Michelin-star trained chef who has cooked in private restaurants and hotels in Germany, Ireland and Canada. Her earliest memory of cooking was with her great grandmother, who always involved her in cooking. Her great grandmother would say to her ‘come have a bite’. Her grandfather was also an influence. She tells a story of how much her family loved

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Chef Doreen Prei

I meet people I haven’t seen in many years who remember a dish I made for them. I won’t give people what I can’t eat. I find that I am authentic to my ingredients. I want to connect to where the food comes from. sharing food and eating together as eating together equates to love. She attributes her love for cooking also to her ex-father-in-law. He was a tea maker, who exposed her to different tastes and scents in food. She learnt from him the emotional connections to the ingredients in food. She got hooked on cooking when she decided to experiment with one of the cookbooks her father-in-law had given her. She is a firm believer in learning. This is why her management style is fluid and open. She described herself as a ‘lost cause’ as she studied everything from German literature to psychology, but it was in the kitchen at 25 that she found her true calling. She insists her team should be open and creative so ‘we can learn together’. Her mantra is ‘a year from now, you may wish you had started today’. “The person who kind of pushed LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

me is my ex-father-in-law and he passed away unfortunately. He was a tea maker and he was a big inspiration to me. I learned from just the way he treated everything: the way he tasted everything. I learned so much from him, like the emotional connection to the ingredients—and I felt so connected to that.” This was her response when we asked her about who inspired her to become a chef. “I am very concentrated on the ingredients. When I talk to farmers, I have a very strong connection to the farmers. And you know, I’m thinking about how he puts the seeds into the soil. How he goes there every single day and makes sure this grows for us. This goes so deep into my heart, I want to cherish that and I want to share that with people. Often, I meet people I haven’t seen in many years who remember a dish I made for them. I won’t give people what I can’t eat. I find that I am authentic to my ingredients. I want to connect to where the food comes from. The farmers can feed their families and they will be around next year if we support them” Her message to people who have no relationship with food is to go with what feels right. “Feel free to experiment and try new things. Go by your feel. Before you start, make sure you have all the ingredients”. On her style of cooking, she said “My style of cooking is to go with the flow. I have a strong base line. I know how to cook most things.”


December, 2021

How important is it for you to source local ingredients? Where possible and why? This is the most important thing for me. So you know we are opening fairly soon. So Shane and I, my sous chef, went to the farmers’ market. We asked them: what are you going to have in September, October, November? Then, we go back and create a menu around the ingredients and their availability. This is what I love about Edmonton. There are a lot of chefs who do that. We support the farmers’ market and the local economy. Right now we have something on the menu made from squash and carrots. This is how a dish is created. I have something on the menu that has smoked pine nuts, parsnips and essentially we cook from what the farmers have growing at this time.

What are some of your favorite ingredients to cook with? Mushrooms. Mushrooms. Mushrooms. I like nuts, pistachios and hazelnuts. I have a potato dish on the menu where basically I’m making almost like a potato puree and I add some Pancetta in it. Sometimes a little bit of flour, a little bit of nutmeg and some eggs and then I make these tiny little bundles of joy. And then I deep fry them and I serve them with a poached egg and some caviar. It’s deep fried mashed potato in a way. You know, it’s comfort food. I can make anything from any food. How did you arrive at the menu you have created for May at the Art Gallery of Alberta? Farmers’ market. They determine our menu. I have a lot of meals I have cooked during the pandemic that LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

I want to share with people now. I want people to come to my house and enjoy my meals. With my team, there is also creativity: asking them their interpretation of the menu and then creating that. Are there any books you would recommend for aspiring cooks? I really like The Chemistry Behind Cooking and Modernist Cuisine. There is the Flavour Bible. I would love to work with and learn more about Middle Eastern cuisine as they have powerful tastes. The May Restaurant at the Art Gallery of Alberta is now open.

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LadiesCorner

Top Money Management & Budgeting Apps By Dotun Ayodele-Bamisaiye, CPA

W

hat are Money Management and Budgeting Apps? Business and personal finance management apps link up to your accounts and track all your spending and things related to expenses, your savings account, taxes, and bills. As an individual or entrepreneur, you can benefit from these financial content measurement apps as they take away the stress of budgeting by trying to remember everything yourself. Not only can these apps track your spending and keep your budgeting on track with simple money management, but they can also ultimately help grow your net worth, too. 1. You Need a Budget (YNAB) The You Need a Budget business and personal finance application has lots of features to help you manage your personal or business budget. Graphs and charts let you track your progress over time plus you have real-time access to your budget information from any device. Compatible with: Web/iOS/Android 2. Mint Mint allows you to track all of your finances in one place. Mint’s features include balances and budgets and the ability to set credit health and

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financial goals. There are financial summaries and alerts sent via email or text message from Mint. In addition, you can get a free credit score courtesy of Equifax. The lack of investing features may limit the appeal of Mint, but Mint does currently boast around 24 million users. Compatible with: iOS/Android 3. Simplifi by Quicken Simplifi by Quicken keeps you in full view of the big picture financially. It allows you to see your bank accounts, loans, credit cards, and investment products in one place. Also, you can use Simplifi to see what’s left after paying bills and set useful spending limits to quickly check on overages at a glance. In addition, you can customize your savings goals, adjust spending categories and add earmark contributions to keep you on track. Compatible with: Web/iOS/Android/Desktop 4. Expensify Expensify has over 10 million users and features a pre-accounting process for expenses, bills, and invoices. You can use the app to scan receipts, track business and personal expenses, and book travel all from one place. Other useful features include multi-level approval workflows, mileage tracking, and corporate card reconciliation with consent choices. Compatible with: iOS/Android 5. Personal Capital Personal Capital links your bank LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

account and credit cards and allows you to track your entire net worth, along with various analysis tools. Also, it gives you access to an advisor who will help you devise your own personalized plan. The personal advice available through the app is one of its strongest selling points, allowing you to customize the management of your finances according to your unique situation. This is one of the best budgeting apps as it is completely free to use. Compatible with: iOS/Android 6. Credit Karma Credit Karma is another one of the top money management and budgeting apps. It allows you to check your free credit score on the go. Also, you can file your provincial and federal tax returns with the Credit Karma Tax feature, and save money with the Credit Karma Savings tool. Other cool features include an approval odds calculator, tips for financial progress, a relief roadmap creator, and free ID monitoring. Compatible with: iOS/Android 7. EveryDollar EveryDollar is a money management app that helps you create a monthly budget in order to keep track of your spending and achieve your money goals. It takes less than ten minutes to create your first budget, and the app is easy-to-use and intuitive. You simply add your monthly income and expected expenses, then track your spending with the app.


December, 2021

Human Rights and Advocacy Adora Nwofor

C

algarian Adora Nwofor is the President of Black Lives Matter in Calgary. She is a mother of three, a comedian, writer, entrepreneur and accidental influencer. “I was raised by feminist parents. I was contacted by the national organization. We became official here in January 2021. I am also founding co-organizer grand marshall for the march for women and widely involved in the community with campaigns, organizations and volunteering”. She says of her involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement. She doesn’t agree that much has changed a year after George Floyd: “The world watching a man murdered casually, without any immediate vigorous intervention live-streamed has only highlighted that oppression is firmly entwined into society and the place where this happened is not interested in changing. People are more aware that racism is a talking point.” She spoke at length about the changes she would like to see in Calgary: “Calgary is behind in anti-racism work on all fronts when it comes to impactful change that is led by marginalized communities. I would like to see any organization in support or service to a community look like that community and have experiences that speak to those issues. Organizations that reflect the community that is being supported are more successful. We know representation matters and Calgary is failing at this. I would like larger Black-focused events. Our population alone can support Afro-centric events and so the city should do more to ensure large scale events are consistent and evolv-

ing with the times. A campaign dedicated to interrupting racism and oppression. Many of the new protests that reference freedom or human rights are dog whistling anti-Blackness. When Calgary is serious about something they ensure it is changed and having closed door discussions is not helping marginalised people mitigate the trauma of these continued abuses”. Anti-racism initiatives/committees etc should never have white people included. The inclusion of whiteness in these spaces is to continue perpetuating a white-centric society based on colonialism which LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

is the harm we are trying to mitigate. Including people who benefit from what we are trying to dismantle are a distraction. Their participation should be limited to the review of what has been decided and that sharing only a formality for clarity”.

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LadiesCorner

Holiday Recipes

Bouillabaise

With Chef Doreen Prei Photos from Chef Doreen, May, Art Gallery of Alberta

Confit chicken and farro risotto

Barbecue grilled chicken in a Japanese marinade

Arctic char

Lettuce Wrap with Grilled Chicken

1 whole red snapper (use only bones, keep fish searing) 1 kg other fish bones (like cod, halibut), cut in big pieces 2 oranges, juiced 3 lemons, juiced 2 stalk of lemongrass, smashed 2 tomatoes, chopped 1 small red chili, cut in half ½ red bell pepper, cut in 3 pieces 1 shallot, roughly chopped 2 bulb fennel, roughly chopped (keep greens and use in stock) 1 large carrot, roughly chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped pinch of saffron 300 ml Pernod or Sambucca 3 pieces star anise 10 coriander seeds 20 fennel seeds 150 ml olive oil Salt to taste Lemon juice to taste water Method In a big stock pot, sear all the vegetables in the olive oil over medium high heat. They should be nicely caramelized before you add the fish bones. Sautee the fish bones in the vegetables for about two minutes and add garlic and the spices. Sautee everything for another two minutes and deglaze with Pernod or Sambucca. Reduce the alcohol by half and add the saffron and cover with water. Simmer the stock for about 30-45 minutes over medium low heat. Puree everything (including the fish bones) with a hand blender and strain through a fine sieve and bring the pureed and strained stock to a boil. Season with salt and lemon juice and serve. As a lovely garnish for the soup you can add pan seared scallops, halibut, sole, red snapper, sea bass and cod. Salt the fish and the scallops on both sides gently with sea salt. Heat up a non stick frying pan on high heat and once hot, add olive oil. Sautee the fish and or scallops to your liking. Place in a bowl and pour the hot bouillabaisse over. Serve with a warm baguette and enjoy.

Roasted cauliflower, lakeside farmstead cheddar cream sauce, sumac

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LadiesCorner — Winter 2021


December, 2021

Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin

Cinnamon Madeleine with Spiked Milk

100 g beef tenderloin, cut in cubes 6 slices bacon 60 g hazelnuts, crushed salt and pepper to taste canola or any vegetable oil toothpicks

3 eggs 112 g icing sugar 135 g butter, melted 15 g honey pinch of salt 10 g cinnamon 135 g all purpose flour 3 g baking powder

Method Season the beef with salt and pepper on all sides. Place each beef cube on one slice of bacon and roll. Poke a toothpick to secure the “bundle”. Heat up a frying pan to medium heat and add some canola oil and the bacon wrapped beef tenderloin (the frying process should start with a cold pan and cold oil; this will allow the bacon to crisp up nicely) Caramelize the bacon on all sides and remove from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve on the hot parsnip puree, drizzle with the pan sauce and add the crushed hazelnuts on top.

Method Heat up your oven to 350 F. Beat the eggs with icing sugar until creamy. Add the melted butter and honey. Combine salt, cinnamon, flour and baking powder. Add this slowly to the mixture. Fill in the molds and bake at 350 F until golden brown in your oven. Cool down and remove the madeleine from the molds. Dust with icing sugar and serve with the spiked milk shots.

Once you removed the beef out off the frying pan add the balsamic vinegar, garlic and the thyme. Bring this to a quick boil and take off from the heat. Add a little honey and slowly the butter cubes. Use a small whisk or spoon to emulsify the sauce. If the butter doesn’t melt, bring the sauce to a light simmer and again away from the heat. Your sauce might break if it gets too hot. Add salt and pepper if needed. Remove the thyme and garlic before serving.

Parsnip Puree

3 parsnips, peeled and diced 150 ml cream 200 ml water ½ stick butter, unsalted salt to taste

Method Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer until the parsnips are tender. Transfer them into a blender. Don’t pour all the liquid in at once. Add it gradually until there is a smooth puree. Season with salt as needed. Blend to a purée, adding more of the liquid as needed. Season to taste.

Spiked Milk 250 ml full fat organic milk 1 orange, juiced Sugar to taste 150 ml whipping cream, slightly whipped Splash Cointreau (optional) Splash Rum (optional) Method Combine all ingredients with a whisk. Add the slightly whipped cream last for a better texture. Fill into shot glasses and keep in your fridge before serving.

LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

Cinnamon Madeleine with Spiked Milk

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LadiesCorner Sponsored Content

Power Through Truth

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By Agnieszka Matejko

auren Crazybull is a Niitsítapi, Dené artist whose powerful portraits challenge colonial representations of First Nations People. Her work has been recognized with several prestigious awards including the 2020 Eldon and Anne Foote Visual Arts Prize. When Lauren Crazybull was nominated for the Eldon and Anne Foote Visual Arts Prize for her show, The Future All At Once, held at McMullen Gallery in 2019, she was barely in her mid-twenties and as a self-taught artist came onto the Alberta art scene like a shooting star. Crazybull dabbled in art throughout her youth and later held a few small shows in a record shop in Lethbridge, but her four-year stint in radio broadcasting kept her too busy to pursue art full time. It was only when she moved to Ed-

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monton to take on a job as an art coordinator at iHuman that she began to consider painting as a career. “I am going to try to make this happen,” she said. “I know I want to be an artist.” Just then a life-changing opportunity came up: Crazybull became the first recipient of an artist residency launched at McLuhan House. “It gave me time and space to create something more serious,” she said, and she proceeded to push the scope and scale of her work to new heights. The resulting larger-than-life portraits emanate a commanding presence but consist of ordinary people – mostly young Indigenous artists and musicians Crazybull met through her social media networks. “I felt that there wasn’t a whole lot of representation of contemporary Indigenous people just being themselves, not necessarily performing a settler understanding of Indigeneity. I want to humanize all Indigenous people and show that there isn’t just one way to be Indigenous,” she says. “I wanted to humanize regular Indigenous people.” It was exactly such peers and role models Crazybull lacked during her 16 years in the child welfare system. De-

LadiesCorner — Winter 2021


I open up about these things in order to try and share that knowledge and those experiences. I am doing that to show how much resiliency there is in Indigenous communities,” she says. “When people tell the truth they take power back in some way.”

spite frequent moves throughout rural Alberta, she met few Indigenous classmates. At the same time, her books were filled with generic and often nameless Native people: either mythical stereotypes or those struggling. “For me growing up without any actual Native people in my life those were the only two representations I could see,” she says. It was ordinary people, like herself, that deserved space on gallery walls. Her intensely intimate portraits are always titled with the name of the sitter, but Power & Vulnerability is an exception. In this work, Crazybull’s model and friend Elijah Cardinal-Whitford reverses centuries of colonial depictions by shifting his direct, interrogating gaze at the viewer. He shimmers with vibrant colour. Red and green highlights on each side of his face juxtapose power with vulnerability, and implicitly pose a question: “How can you find power in vulnerability?” asks Crazybull. Residential school survivors, who had the courage to tell their story, provide one answer and source of inspiration for Crazybull. But her own paintings also take control of the truth: “With a lot of my work, where I talk about my upbringing, I open up about these things in order to try and share that knowledge and those experiences. I am doing that to show how much resiliency there is in Indigenous communities,” she says. “When people tell the truth they take power back in some way.” Considering the significance of Cra-

LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

zybull’s message and quality of her work, it’s not surprising that recognition came with lightning speed. Her accomplishments include becoming Alberta’s first Artist in Residence and winning the 2020 Eldon & Anne Foote Visual Arts prize. These awards allowed Crazybull to work throughout the pandemic, complete enough work to present qualifications equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, and be accepted into the master’s program at Emily Carr University of Art + Design this fall. “I am so grateful to the Edmonton arts community,” she says. “I really feel like that environment helped me to do well.” For the past 10 years the Eldon + Anne Foote Edmonton Visual Arts Prize has recognized outstanding artists from the Capital region. To celebrate, the Art Gallery of St. Albert is hosting the first ever exhibition in association with this award. In Good Company features award winners Preston Pavlis, Lauren Crazybull, aAron Munson and Gillian Willans, alongside the artists from the 2021 short list, including Emmanuel Osahor, Sharon Rose Kootenay and Jason Symington. Work by these seven incredible artists hang side by side, connected by their shared experience with the award, while offering a glimpse into their individual practices. In Good Company runs November 9, 2021, to February 5, 2022. For visiting hours, visit artgalleryofstalbert.ca

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LadiesCorner

Honoring the Leadership of Black Women in Alberta Dunia Nur

D

unia Nur is a woman of African descent residing in Treaty 6 territory known as Edmonto, Alberta. She is the president of the African Canadian Civic Engagement Council (ACCEC), a national public affairs that protects and promotes people of African Descent’s dignity and human rights. Their work is intersectional and of a wide variety – at the heart of which lies the empowerment and development of people of African descent. ACCEC’s work as a grassroots organization meant that they carried on without support from governmental institutions for years. Their work was made possible thanks to the ongoing grassroots community support that supported ACCEC through social capital. Typically, the demographic that comes to ACCEC for support is community members who identify as African, Caribbean, and black, predominantly consisting of youths and women. Individuals come to ACCEC when they face challenges in navigating

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Dunia Nur is the cofounder of ACCEC

immigration, family, and criminal justice systems. ACCEC’S unique focus is on care models and intervention, emphasizing a cultural and intersectional lens. ACCEC court work program is recognized nationally, and people of African Descent, lawyers, social workers, mental health practitioners across the province reach out for ACCEC services which include advocacy, community reintegration, rehabilitation, an opportunity for employment, housing and a 24-hour support line for women and children fleeing violence. ACCEC’s court support program provides the following: bail plans, impact race and cultural assessment reports, assistance with pre-removal risk assessment from a cultural lens, support with family reunification by ensuring Black children apprehended are placed in kinship care that accommodates their developmental growth and cultural safety, ACCEC has a close relationship with the victim services department, ACCEC works closely with women targeted in the criminal justice system. LCCMedia spent some time with Dunia Nur recently. “We’ve been providing grassroots community court work programs, and we sustained it through commuLadiesCorner — Winter 2021

nity support and social capital. From there on, we went to do advocacy, and we collected data. There was the need to promote and protect people of African descent rights and dignity while also celebrating our history, and who we are as people; hence this became our mandate and purpose of existence.” Although Nur feels like they still have a long way to go, she has been doing this work for the past decade, and the only difference is society is finally catching up to the experience and realities of people of African Descent and in particular the experience of anti-black racism and the intersectional layers. In supporting and protecting the Black community, we intentionally celebrate our peoples’ significant contributions to society and worldwide in general. Nur states that all of ACCEC’s programs are designed from empowerment for all African descent people, particularly AfricanDiaspora youth, by bringing to their attention their ancestral lineage, heritage, and culture and how they have contributed to their contributions to the cultural and economic fabric of the Canadian society. Nur emphasized the significance of the embodiment of pre-colonial cul-


December, 2021 tural values. “To be successful and impactful in grassroots community-based services support, we need to embody the same cultural values that we speak of and tap into the diverse cultures and healing modalities that have been lost due to colonization, enslavement and displacement. We also need to look at statistics because data tells a story. The story we are reading in data now is that we come from communities over-represented in the justice system, discriminated against in the healthcare system, and underrepresented in community organizations. We came from communities where women of African descent are dying faster regarding domestic violence, structural violence, health and inequities. Nur’s organization is advocating and leading in disaggregated research data. They have pioneered during the pandemic of COVID -19, bridging special attention on how the virus disproportionately affects people of African descent, which caught national attention and contributed to some policy discussion and implementations. Nur states that their goal is to create awareness around anti-Black racism, anti-African racism and gender-based violence. Once the understanding has been completed, we approach problem-solving through an intersectional lens, and a community grassroots participatory approach”. Nur locates herself in practice sharing what motivates her work as she states, “ I am everything the system targets as I am a Muslim woman, of African descent from an immigrant family. Who continues to be a target of violence the purpose of mentioning this is the program of implementation that we employ are the same tools that have kept me safe. My work and legacy explicitly show the young African diaspora how to be their own agent of change from a place of strength instead of a place of deficiency and disparity. ACCEC supports people that are made vulnerable by systematic racism.

Nur’s goal is to create awareness around anti-Black racism, anti-African racism and gender-based violence.

To find more, please visit: www.accec.ca

LadiesCorner — Winter 2021

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Join us in launching Edmonton’s Black Community Fund

building

community together

“...built by the community, serving the community...”

For more details on how to contribute, visit www.ecfoundation.org