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Issue 90 • August 2009



Bethany Peckham’s warm, caring manner, hard work and unstinting sense of fairness are key to the quality of customer service at Roots

Issue 90 - August 2009

The Source • 1

I N S I D E ISSUE90 TAKING TO THE SILVER SCREEN Roots man-purse stars in hit movie, The Hangover ADVENTURES IN TV LAND Roots featured in live interview on Fox Television

THE HARDER THEY COME... Roots designs products for new reggae musical in Toronto THERE GOES THE NEIGHBOURHOOD? King of the Hill goes Canadian, sort of... THE MEDIUM AND THE MESSAGE Roots welcomes social media with open arms QUALITY TALK Bloor St. store hosts Luminato’s Lunchtime Conversations


Publishers MICHAEL BUDMAN, DON GREEN Editor ROBERT SARNER Editorial Assistant CAROLINE IWANOWSKI Intern PAVAN SANDHU The Source is published by Roots Canada Ltd. We welcome letters from readers for publication. Please address all correspondence to The Source, Letters to the Editor, Roots Canada, 1400 Castlefield Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M6B 4C4 or by email to Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Each issue of The Source is also available, both in blog and PDF formats, on the Roots website at

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Ilich Mejia

BOTHERED BY MY GREEN CONSCIENCE? Flagship store hosts Franke James book launch


A selection of recent letters from the world of Roots A REAL GEM

This is to inform you of the outstanding customer experience provided consistently by Shannyn McCulloch, your store manager at the Oshawa Centre in Oshawa, Ontario. Over the three years that we’ve been purchasing clothes at Roots for ourselves and now also for our baby son, we have found Shannon to be the consummate professional, and also an educated and experienced shopper. I’m not sure how you recognize above par service at Roots, but I wanted to make sure you are aware of the gem of an employee you have in Shannon. Tej Singh Hazra IBM Canada Ltd. Markham, Ontario AWESOME JAMIE

I’m sending you this letter to tell you about a fantastic experience that my friend and I recently had at one of your Toronto stores. While my friend and I were on our lunch, we visited your 369 Queen St. West location. The saleswoman who was in the store at the time was just awesome. She was so helpful and this is the reason that we will go back there. I love your products, and when you visit a store with such a friendly and helpful employee, it just makes

your visit that much more worthwhile. I did not think to ask the woman her name when we were there but on my receipt it says that the salesperson was Jamie Z. [Editor’s note: Her name is Jamie Zahorouski.] I hope that you can pass on this praise to Jamie and her manager. She was awesome. Keep up the great work. Laura Mittlefehldt Oakville, Ontario ON THE CASE

Last year, I purchased a Roots iPhone case, which has received a lot of use. Recently, I traveled from Toronto to San Francisco and had to deal with the frustration of delays and baggage issues. Upon arriving at the SF airport, I had a conference call before renting a car to drive to my final destination. While driving, I noticed that my phone was missing and quickly exited the highway. I searched in my luggage and inside the car to no avail, leaving me quite anxious. When I arrived at my destination, I removed my luggage from the car and as I was passing by the trunk I noticed that the iPhone was on the trunk, held by the magnets from the Roots case. It had stayed there for more than two

hours and 120 miles of driving. I don’t remember seeing that benefit listed on the packaging when I purchased the case. Perhaps it should be. Randy Custeau Ancaster, Ontario A WINNING COMBO

My mother and I recently went to the Metrotown Roots store in Vancouver and we ended up being really happy – not simply because of the products we bought there but also due to the great service we got from Susana So. She made us feel comfortable and provided us with very good help. Thank you Susana and congratulations to Roots for having hired her. My family and I love shopping at Roots. I have bought four leather purses. The quality of your products is excellent. No less important is the priority Roots puts on its customer care. Raquel Com Vancouver, BC

EXPRESS YOURSELF Please send your letters to Letters may be edited for length and clarity. At the same time, we also invite you to send us your most creative photos or illustrations for publication in The Source. Please send your submissions to

Issue 90 - August 2009


Bethany Peckham brings a special approach to her work with customers in search of answers and solutions, reflecting the importance Roots attaches to quality service, By ROBERT SARNER


ure as the sun rises in the east, there’s nothing like great (or terrible) customer service to get people talking about a company. In the retail world, if that talk is positive, it can only be good for business. It’s like an age-old law of nature. As a result, most companies pay lip service to the importance of good customer service – even if many don’t deliver on the promise, both before and especially after a sale. At Roots, excellent customer service has long been an integral part of the business. It’s a core value and source of pride. There’s little mystery as to why it has contributed so much to the success of the brand. Based on personal experience, we can all name companies that have shown scant regard for customers. At some point in our consumer careers, we’ve all encountered some surly, cold and otherwise officious company representative or in-store sales associate. We’ve all experienced the near-futility of trying to reach a live human being at certain companies and never hearing back after leaving a message. On-line forums and blogs are rife with customer rants about companies screwing up orders, dysfunctional products, obnoxious store associates, nerve-wracking automated phone systems, robotic call centre employees and just downright unpleasant individuals. “Ever since we began Roots in 1973, we have always understood that you ignore your customers at your peril,” says Roots Co-Founder Michael Budman. “Treat them well and they’re far more likely to buy your products and return again. It’s really that simple. A satisfied customer is your strongest asset. Conversely, a bitter, dissatisfied customer is like poison for a business.” Good customer service should not be complicated. Not

Issue 90 - August 2009

On the retail front, Roots employees show off their positive, attentive attitude to customers

Bethany Peckham knows how to respectfully engage customers

if the operating principle reflects a basic respect and appreciation for customers and what they represent for a company – namely the key to its existence and success. When Jarar Kazmi became Executive Director of Retail Operations in 2007, he made customer service one of his top priorities. Having been at Roots

since 2001, he knew it was essential that staff always be sensitive and attentive to customers as part of the company’s ethos. “I’ve always believed in the simple philosophy that happy customers equal repeat customers,” says Jarar. “When I took on my current role, one of the first things I did was to merge the Customer Service Department with Retail Operations and overhauled the existing processes to have a strong backend support for our clientele. I then focused on getting the entire retail team to believe and buy into the ‘every-customer-everytime’ philosophy and making it a cornerstone of the culture in our stores.” To be sure, every retail employee plays a vital role with customers. How store associates receive and attend to shoppers has a strong impact on their perception of Roots. Occasionally, something goes askew, creating a frustrated, and potentially alientated, customer. If Roots is lucky, that customer will take up the issue –

real or perceived – with the company. If not, the person will likely be lost as a customer and become a source of negative word-of-mouth banter about Roots. How Roots responds to the situation largely determines whether it retains or forfeits the customer. Often the person will first seek resolution at the store level but if not satisfied, he/she will turn to the Customer Service Department. Unlike many companies, Roots retail customer service is an integral part of the Head Office. Since January 2008, Bethany Peckham has fielded the majority of customer queries and dilemmas. Few people could do it better than Bethany. She really cares about both Roots and the customer. In seeking a fair and reasonable solution to an issue, she always tries to make customers feel better by the end of the conversation than they did at the beginning. To that end, Bethany is a great listener, extremely attentive Continued on next page

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Continued from previous page

to detail. When she speaks on the phone, she’s courteous, patient and compassionate. She knows the importance of engaging the customer in a respectful dialogue. She rarely, if ever, gets riled, despite the rude, aggressive behaviour to which she’s sometimes subjected. “I realize that customers who contact us have a reason for calling and if sometimes they’re less than pleasant, it’s not about you, even though it’s directed at you,” says Bethany, 31, who grew up in a small town in New Brunswick. “This is something I struggle with because I care so much about the company that I can almost become defensive and react as if they are insulting me personally when they attack Roots. It’s always important to take a step back and look at the situation in perspective before offering a resolution.” In serving as the chief liaison between customers and Head Office, there’s a lot more to customer service than most people realize. This includes answering a wide range of questions by phone and email about Roots, Roots 73 (and Roots-licensed products sold at Sears, The Bay, Future Shop, Best Buy, Canadian Tire, etc.). In addition, Bethany assists with product searches, special orders

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Friendly, helpful Roots employees are trained to put the customer first

and international sales. She attends to customer shipments returned for assessment, repair or refund. No less important, Bethany is also in regular contact with store managers to help them resolve issues with customers before they might escalate to Head Office. In her work, Bethany fields every imaginable type of query, complaint and demand. They can pertain to a garment with a broken zipper to a gift card enquiry to a request to purchase an old Roots product to charity solicitations to allegations that a store employee said something perceived as offensive. Experi-

ence has taught Bethany that in matters involving retail staff, they usually have a different version of the facts than what the customer claimed. That’s where her diplomatic and psychological skills come into play. It doesn’t make things easier that consumers today feel a greater sense of entitlement when it comes to dealing with companies. On certain matters, including those relating to issues of social responsibility, environmental policies and community involvement, she works closely with the Communication and Public Affairs Department. Much of Bethany’s work is done in follow-up correspondence (usually by email) with customers. Anne Theriault, who is bilingual and communicates in French with customers from Quebec and other francophone communities in Canada, also assists in the Customer Service Department. Bethany joined Roots in 2000, right out of university. Her first position was as a fulltime keyholder in Guelph, Ontario. She liked the retail environment and enjoyed assisting customers, which – given her caring nature and having majored in Child Studies and Family Counseling at university – came naturally to her. Bethany proved an excellent retail employee, eventually becoming the manager of the Roots store in Waterloo, Ontario. In late 2007, when a position opened in Customer Service, she decided to apply.

“I felt this was the next step for me with Roots,” says Bethany. “My role as a store manager was only drawing on a small part of my education. I felt that a customer service position would still give me the feel of running my own store, but allow me to focus mostly on the ‘helping’ aspect of the job instead of the financial and business side.” Bethany derives great satisfaction from her work. She never tires of finding solutions and converting someone who was upset about something into a satisfied customer who in turn becomes an ambassador for Roots. But one can’t satisfy everyone all the time. “I think I will always be optimistic that we can turn every customer around and it will continue to hurt on the rare occasions when we cannot,” says Bethany. “It can be hard when you really care about a customer and their experience, but you feel that you weren’t able to get that feeling across in your interactions with them and they still leave unhappy because the resolution you offer is not the one they anticipated.” Human nature being what it is, a frustrated customer is far more likely to contact Head Office than a satisfied one. But despite possible appearances to the contrary, not all incoming customer phone calls and emails stem from disgruntled shoppers. On many occasions, Bethany receives letters from people paying tribute to the quality of service they received in a Roots store or thanking her for the way she handled a particular situation. (The Source regularly publishes such letters in the Special Delivery section on Page 2). – R.S.

Issue 90 - August 2009

VILLAGE BAG ON THE SILVER SCREEN Roots man-purse has a leading role in hit movie of the summer

The Hangover’s Zach Galifianakis, (2nd from left), shows off his Roots bag as he walks with some of the cast


hey don’t say ‘different strokes for different folks’ for nothing. Show two men something and there’s a good chance you’ll receive varying reactions. Phil: “You’re not really wearing that, are you?” Alan: “Wearing what?” Phil: “The man-purse. You’re actually going to wear that?” Alan: “This is where I keep all my things. I get a lot of compliments on this. Plus, it’s not a man-purse. It’s called a satchel. Indiana Jones wears one.” If the above conversation seems familiar to you, it’s probably because you’re one of

several million people who’ve seen this summer’s hit movie The Hangover. The dialogue between Phil and Alan is from a scene in the dramatic comedy that topped the North American box office for several weeks. Alan (Zach Galifianakis) has emerged as the unlikely hero for men everywhere, encouraging them to forsake stuffing things into their pant pockets and instead adopt a handy, convenient bag like the one he wears in the movie. And it’s not just any bag. The Roots Village Bag comes in for an unexpected endorsement thanks to Alan. Even if you

haven’t seen the film, you may have already spotted the bag draped over the shoulder of Alan in promotional photos for The Hangover. “It’s always a great thing when a Roots product figures so prominently in a movie or TV show, especially when it’s such a runaway success like The Hangover,” says Roots CoFounder Michael Budman. “Usually we have advance notice from the producers but this time it was a complete surprise when the film came out. It didn’t take long for us to see the impact as the sales of the bag for men increased significantly.”

In the film itself, the Roots bag appears in several scenes. In one, Alan proudly walks out of the hotel room into the elevator ready to hit the town with his satchel. While his three friends tease him about his bag, Alan stays cool and defends his right to wear one, using Indiana Jones as a reference. The Village Bag had been a bestseller at Roots, especially among women since its launch in 2006, well before its unexpected appearance in The Hangover. Adding to its popularity among men, the so-called ‘man satchel’ was recently the focus of a special email promotion by Roots playing on the bag’s prominence in the movie. Released in early June, The Hangover stars Justin Bartha, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis. It’s set in Las Vegas where four friends try to remember and piece together the puzzle about their bachelor party the night before that goes terribly wrong. Roots has long had a knack for getting its products in the spotlight. Over the years, Roots merchandise has been featured in many movies and TV shows including Adam Sandler’s hit Reign Over Me, Santa Clause 3, Indian Summer, American Gigolo, and even on the popular daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives.


Roots the focus of feature interview on Fox Television


here’s nothing like a positive interview on a major TV network to help spread the good word of Roots. In late June, Roots CoFounder Michael Budman was featured live on the Fox TV network, which is widely seen in the United States. The interview was part of the Fox Business early afternoon show on the Fox Business channel. Co-hosts Liz Claman and David Asman asked Michael questions about Roots, especially its manufacturing in Canada and also showed video footage of the leather goods factory in Toronto. They were Issue 90 - August 2009

Fox News anchors question Michael Budman about his ‘man satchel’

particularly interested in how the Roots Village Bag came to figure so prominently in the recent hit movie The Hangover. Michael was well prepared, wearing the satchel and demonstrating its comfort and practicality on camera. Of course today, when a brand is featured on a TV program, it often benefits from added exposure thanks to the network’s website. You can find the Roots interview at (Go to their search window and type in “Michael Budman”). The Globe and Mail also did an item on the TV interview. The Source • 5

BOTHERED BY YOUR GREEN CONSCIENCE? Flagship store hosts book launch for author/artist Franke James


n early July, the environmentally concerned gathered at the Roots flagship store in Toronto to hear author/artist Franke James discuss her new book Bothered by My Green Conscience and to view her beautiful artwork that illustrates it. The evening featured a book reading, signing and a Q&A session with Franke who is currently traveling across North America giving educational talks about climate change and urging others to make an impact. The book, which features Franke’s colourful illustrations on every page, details the truestory of her journey to becoming green. It included selling her only car and then struggling to gain approval from Toronto’s City Hall to cover her driveway with grass. Franke, also a photographer, graphic designer and co-founder in 1989 of a successful design and advertising firm, The James Gang, has long been involved in visual communication. Her connection to Roots dates back nearly 15 years. She and her husband designed the first-ever Roots website which officially debuted in early 1996. When it comes to climate change, Franke feels that people are not aiming high enough. She insists that simply recycling or changing light bulbs are not enough. “We need to raise our sights because climate change is a serious problem and it’s already started,” says Franke. “We need to be aware of how the next generation will judge us. I think they are going to say we were selfish because we didn’t pay attention and take action while we had the chance.” Franke and her husband first began thinking about climate change in 2005 after an energy audit of their house revealed how much energy was lost carelessly. “It really shocked us and motivated us to take action by insulating our house and installing double and triple pane windows,” says Franke. “It also led me to read about energy 6 • The Source

Author/artist Franke James urges others to make an impact

efficiency and climate change – and to become increasingly concerned that we were not doing enough.” That’s when Franke decided to tell personal stories about climate change and the actions she was taking. “I wanted to do something that would make a big statement (selling our SUV) and make a difference,” she says. “I began to tell my story by simply

using words and pictures that form the basis of my book.” For people who want to begin to make a change, Franke advises each person to find his/ her own way. “Analyze your lifestyle and analyze where your major sources of carbon emissions come from,” she says. “Imagine the most ambitious thing that you can do to reduce those emissions. Something that will make a big difference in your life, something you’ll want to tell your future grandkids that you did. If you can do that, you’ll be on your way to being a green champion.” With one project complete, Franke and her husband are now looking to their next green initiative – insulating their garage and turning it into an outdoor entertainment area, and installing a new roof and a grey water system. • For more information about Franke James and her book Bothered by My Green Conscience ($16.95, New Society Publishers), go to

GOOD SOUNDS, GOOD CAUSE Roots supports anti-violence festival in Toronto


n June, the Koolhaus night club in Toronto hosted the inaugural Peace Dot Love Festival in support of anti-violence initiatives. Its main objective was to help educate, facilitate change and inspire hope in the community through art and music. The festival was also a musical tribute to Dylan Ellis and Oliver Stereos Martin who were murdered in Stereos Toronto in the summer of 2008. Roots was a supporter and sponsor of this initiative. Sophie Green, daughter of Roots CoFounder Don Green, took part in promoting the festival. “At a time when street crime seems to be growing, it’s natural

to feel concerned,” says Sophie, who was particularly affected by the tragic loss of Ellis and Martin, both personal friends of hers. “I felt it was important to get involved and help raise awareness of the issue of street violence and music is a great way to inspire people to affect change.” This year’s event featured Canadian and international musical talents including USS, Dragonette, Rebel Emergency, and Stereos. All the proceeds went to organizations working with youth at risk, helping to break the cycle of violence in Canada.

BRING OUT THE WELCOME WAGON King of the Hill goes Canadian, sort of...

The Hill’s new Canadian neighbour wears his Proots with pride


he laughs were plentiful on the season finale of the animated TV series King of the Hill as Canadians invaded the small Texan town of Arlen. Welcoming them, with beer in hand, were Hank, Dale and Bill. Missing was Boomhauer who swapped places with a Canadian family for the summer. But what began as a friendly reception for the just-arrived Canadian family quickly turned into the opposite as Hank and his pals realized just how different their new neighbours were. They said “eh” after almost every sentence, complained about American beer and were more interested in playing hockey than watching the Super Bowl. Not only did they talk and act differently, they also dressed unlike the locals. And the designer of choice for these Canucks was none other than Roots. Throughout the episode, Gordon and his son Ollie wore T-shirts and sweatshirts with the Canadian brand’s name in large capital letters. Actually, it said “PROOTS” but we know who they were referring to. The show did not use the official Roots name due to trademark considerations. Seen in both Canada and the US, King of the Hill centers on the Hills, a small-town Methodist family in Texas. This particular episode, which aired in late May, poked fun at Canadians, and played up many stereotypes associated with Canada. At one point, when Hank’s wife Peggy is angered by the behaviour of the newbies, he responds: “Canadians are not used to dealing with neighbours. Canada is so vast that they can go months without seeing other people.” Created by Mike Judge (of Beavis and Butt-Head fame) and Greg Daniels (writer for The Simpsons), King of the Hill recently concluded its 13th season on the Fox Network. Issue 90 - August 2009


Roots welcomes popular social media websites with open arms


preading like a pandemic, it’s taken the world by storm in recent years with a rate of growth that shows no sign of abating. Easy to use and driven by the internet, its highly accessible features attract millions of people every day. Increasingly, companies have also joined the club. Welcome to the world of “social media.” Activities such as reading blogs, sharing pictures and music and posting comments on “walls” have become as common as checking one’s email. Recent statistics show that the major social media are hugely popular. Facebook has 175 million members, YouTube attracts 100 million visitors a month, MySpace has 76 million users in the U.S. alone and the newbie Twitter receives more than 54 million visitors a month. With such massive numbers, it’s no surprise Roots is integrating social media as part of its marketing mix. Roots first used social media in 2006 when it launched a blog section (an online diary/commentary) on its website. Since then, it has added other networks. Roots fans now view videos on YouTube, join the Facebook page, follow Roots news on Twitter, rate products on

Social media have crossed borders and connected the world. No wonder so many companies are now becoming part of the craze

the company website, and sign up to receive weekly updates by email. These actions recently earned the praise of several online marketing magazines such as iMedia Connection and “There’s so much we can learn from our customers,” says Tanja Zelko, Manager of Online Marketing and Customer Experience. “The more open and authentic you are with them, the more they appreciate the brand and what you represent. And, if they feel connected, they’ll become personal ambassadors and spread the word on their own.” Tanja believes that social media play a vital role in today’s world and companies that adopt this new form of communication

as part of their involvement with the public stand to gain. A study by Pollara, a Canadian public opinion and market research firm, found that nearly two-thirds (65%) of Canadians who use social media say they are important for learning about products, services, organizations and brands. “Today, most customers are fairly tech savvy and social sites are just another new way to reach them,” says Tanja. “How often can you actually run a campaign or promote something and get feedback instantaneously? With print, it’s almost impossible.” Research shows that building a strong communication base with customers can have a positive impact on the organiza-

tion. A 2008 survey by Expo Communications, a video-based social network community, found that a company that engages and listens to consumers increases brand loyalty. It also revealed that positive experiences with a product and brand translate into word-of-mouth buzz. “If people feel they have a personal connection to a company, they are more likely to choose Roots over a competitor,” says James Connell, Senior Director of E-commerce and New Media. “We also look at social media as a tool to communicate with our customers and create buzz about the brand.” There are other benefits to using social media, which James cites as significant. “Roots content is indexed by search engines which in turn gives us a higher site authority,” he says. “This means that when a customer uses a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing to look for something related to Roots, what comes up will rank content higher in the search results.” Join the Roots Facebook page and keep up with the latest news. Go to for more details.


Roots plays prominent role in summer stage production out west


his summer, Roots is taking centre stage in more ways than one in a familyfriendly musical in western Canada. Christina Hardie, a theatre devotee and Roots employee at the South Edmonton Common store in Edmonton, is the Artistic Director and a cast member in the summer-long production of School House Rock Live! Another Roots staff member, Emily Oland from South Edmonton Common, is the Stage Manager. Roots is also playing a major role in outfitting the cast in comfortable, colourful costume pieces and props. The show is inspired by the 1970s Emmy Award-winning TV cartoon series, School House Issue 90 - August 2009

Rock, which summer at the taught history, Winnipeg, grammar, math, Saskatoon science and and Edmonpolitics through ton Fringe clever, tuneful Festivals. songs. The Roots story revolves products around Tom, a figure nerve-wracked prominently schoolteacher in the show. anxious about Most of the Christina Hardie, (in green), with his first day on her cast members costumes the job. He tries come from to relax by watching TV when Roots 73 including the various School House Rock Algonquin Hiking Short, the characters emerge from the TV Fooler Polo, the Ribbon Tie screen and show him how to win Capri and Pretty Flats. A Roots his students over with imaginabackpack also makes an appeartion and music. ance. The stage production is being “Choosing Roots clothing for performed throughout the the show made sense,” says

Christina, who’s been at Roots since 2004. “Not only because I could think about outfits while at work but also Roots compliments the camp counselor look I was going for. Bold, bright tops paired with khakis all around. The clothes keep my actors comfortable and looking good while they run around on stage teaching kids various subjects as part of the story.” Roots also helped raise funds for the production. Staff from South Edmonton Common and Mayfield Common stores, both in Edmonton, collected bottles and cans for recycling to raise money. • For more information including show times, go to The Source • 7


GUESS WHO JUST DROPPED IN Taking attendance of special guests at Roots stores

Big developments in the life of Roots staff

Sherri Lindsey, Manager of the Roots 73 store in New Westminster, BC, and her husband, Michael Lindsey, welcomed a baby boy, Jack Lindsey on March 19. Hearty congratulations to Sherri and Michael for this great moment in their lives. • Please send us similar good news and we’ll be happy to publish it in The Source. (

Annette Bening

Leeza Gibbons

Nancy Dolman

Pamela Gregg

STAYING POWER Saluting those who go the distance


ecently, many Roots employees marked major anniversaries of their time at the company. By ‘major,’ we mean benchmark achievements as in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years spent at Roots. We invite anyone celebrating such an anniversary to send the relevant information to The Source. Congratulations to the following employees for their significant contributions and enduring loyalty to Roots: Elizabeth Mawyin, Leather Stitcher, 25 years Maria Alves, Leather Stitcher, 15 years Zhen Wang, Leather Stamper, 15 years Melanie Thau Voong, Leather Stitcher, 15 years Jennifer Russell-Short, Director, Merchandise Planning, 15 years Mariana Suarez, Leather Repairs, 15 years Olive Brown, Technician, 10 years Linda Calero, Supervisor, Wholesale Ops, 10 years Helena Jecz, Leather Table Work, 10 years Veronica Johnson, DC Picker Packer, 10 years Alba Osorio, Leather Stitcher, 10 years Li Zhou, Leather Stitcher, 10 years Linda Dritsas, Buyer, 5 years Sergio Gomez, Manager Technical Services, 5 years Tom Hunt, Resource Protection Admin, 5 years Bonnie Rho, Supervisor, Accounts Recievable, 5 years Robert Sarner, Director, Communication and Public Affairs, 5 years

8 • The Source

Steven Bochco


elebrities have long made a point of shopping at Roots. Here are the latest sightings of prominent figures from the world of entertainment and sports who visited Roots stores recently: • Beverly Hills, Los Angeles Actress Annette Bening purchased sweats, shorts and hoodies for her children for camp. She picked up a Village Venetian bag in Tribe leather for herself and the Hall Basic Softshell jacket for her husband actor Warren Beatty. • Beverly Hills - Leeza Gibbons,

Jon Lovitz

John Leguizamo

former co-host of Entertainment Tonight, came into the store to pick up the Raiders Bag in Tribe as a gift for Father’s Day and two bags for herself – the Venetian and Village Venetian bag. She posed for photos and mentioned that Roots was her new favourite gift store. • Beverly Hills - Nancy Dolman, wife of actor and comedian Martin Short, and Pamela Gregg, wife of comedian and host of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Jeff Foxworthy, dropped by to purchase some Roots items, including a

leather bag. • Beverly Hills - Regular Roots shopper Steven Bochco, producer and writer of hit shows including NYPD Blue and L.A. Law, stopped in for some sweats • 100 Bloor St., Toronto – Actor/ comedian Jon Lovitz dropped in and posed for the cameras while wearing the Roots Original Village bag (a.k.a. The Man Satchel). • Bloor Street - Actor /comedian John Leguizamo stopped by and posed for a picture with the Original Village bag.


Spotlighting the top performing stores in recent months


oots is enjoying a good summer on the retail front. Two stores in particular are on a hot streak. Topping the pack in terms of company stores in June was the store in Quebec City on Rue de Buade (in Quebec’s Old City) that captured the ‘Store of the Month’ honours for the past two months in a row, beating its sales target by a wide margin. As for the Roots 73/Outlet category, the South Edmonton Common location in Edmonton

Quebec City’s Vincent Giguere, Elisabeth Mathieu, Laurie Girard and Doris Lamoureux

took first place for the past three months in a row with a score that far surpassed others in terms of its sales budget. Congratulations to Doris Lamoureux, Manager of the Quebec City store, and Johanne Chute, Manager of the South Edmonton Common Outlet, and to their respective teams, for their winning performances in recent months. Hats off to all of the other stores that surpassed their sales goals in May and June. Issue 90 - August 2009


…The better they look in a special collection made by Roots for new musical

Cast members of the musical The Harder They Come strike a pose


he Business-To-Business Department has risen to the occasion once again. Thanks to their efforts, Roots is the official clothing sponsor of The Harder They Come, a new reggae musical currently playing in Toronto at the Canon Theatre. Roots designed a special collection of clothing featuring the musical’s eye-catching logo. B2B Product Coordinator David Jackson handled the order in

collaboration with Mary Jane Saliba, B2B’s Senior Product Coordinator. The order included T-shirts, hoodies, long-sleeve Tshirts, pillow button caps, toques and bracelets. The special edition items are also available to the public and are being sold exclusively at three Roots stores in Toronto (Eaton Centre, Queen Street and Bloor Street) and at the Canon Theatre.

The onstage production of The Harder They Come is based on the 1972 Jamaican film of the same name. The film told the true-life story of a poor country boy (played by singer Jimmy Cliff) who moves to Kingston with dreams of making it as a reggae star. After struggling as a musician, he turns to a life of crime and violence. It’s no surprise that Roots is sponsoring this event, given the longtime connection between Roots and Jamaica. The tropical island is the inspiration behind many initiatives at Roots, including the Rock Reggae clothing line and the company’s sponsorship of Bob Marley Day in Canada. In addition, Roots produced The Roots of Reggae CD in 2006 which showcases the biggest names in reggae including Bob Marley and the Wailers, Toots and Greogory Isaacs. The Harder They Come is currently running until August 23 at the Canon Theatre. Tickets are available at the box office, or by phone at 416-872-1212.

MOVING FORWARD IN ASIA Two new Roots stores open in Taiwan


he great Canadian beaver is gaining new friends on distant shores as Roots expands its presence in Asia with new stores in Taiwan. In early July, Roots hosted the grand opening of a new flagship store in the Ximen quarter of Taipei. On the first two days, the store held a special promotion, offering its Cute Beaver T-shirts to the first 200 customers. More than 300 people lined up outside the store each morning to take advantage of the special deal. The opening also generated great media buzz as popular Asian celebrities, including MTV VJ Miranda Lu, and Taiwanese singer and actress Makiyo, posed for the cameras in their Roots gear. A few weeks earlier, Roots opened its newly renovated flagship store at Taipei 101. To celebrate the event, the store’s top 30 VIP customers enjoyed an exclusive fashion show. The Issue 90 - August 2009

Customers wait outside the newly opened Roots store in Taipei, Taiwan.

models presented this year’s hottest spring and summer looks. In attendance from the Head Office in Toronto were Melinda McDonald, Vice-President, Wholesale and Business Development, and Liz Doggett, Director of Wholesale Operations. The new stores carry many of the Roots products sold in North America including leather goods made at the Toronto factory, along with a specially designed Asian Collection made specifically for the market.

Currently, there are 38 Roots stores in Asia (31 in Taiwan, five in Hong Kong, two in China), with more planned for the coming year. Meanwhile, in other Roots Asia innovations, two new Roots websites for China, Taiwan and Hong Kong began operating in mid-June. Customers can view products (there’s no ecommerce for now), read about current news and events in the market and find information about the company, all in both simplified and traditional Chinese.

STARTING AT A YOUNG AGE Helping to instill the entrepreneurial spirit among students


oots Co-Founder Michael Budman was the guest speaker at a recent ceremony celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit of young Canadians. Held in early June at the First Canadian Place in the heart of Toronto’s business district, the annual event pays tribute to the achievements of students taking part in the Entrepreneurial Adventure program. Accompanied by their teachers, four hundred students from 10 public schools across the country attended the ceremony. Michael presented several BMO National Student Innovation Awards, which were created by The Learning Partnership. Ten awards were presented in total. Each winning school received a plaque and a $500 cash award to further the school’s entrepreneurial programs. In his remarks, Michael shared an inspiring message about what entrepreneurship really means and challenged the students to “never give up, to believe in your ideas and to work together with your peers to get the job done.” Launched in 1997, the Entrepreneurial Adventure program brings together students, teachers and volunteer business and community partners during the course of the school year to develop a venture and explore the entrepreneurial world together.


The Source wants to hear from you In addition to reporting on news at Roots, The Source also serves as a forum of ideas and commentary from readers. Please send your letters to for publication in our Special Delivery section. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

The Source • 9


A selection of coverage of Roots in the media


Roots asks Canadians to describe their country as part of innovative contest

Here are some recent sightings of Roots in the pages of newspapers and magazines: • Chatelaine, August issue. Spotlight on new Roots eco-fragrances. • Toronto Star, July 17. Article on actor Zach Galifianakis (star of The Hangover) talks about his role in film wearing Roots Satchel. • Flare, July. Spotlight on the MiniSaddle Bag in vanilla. Roots Carla Bag is featured in the online fashion blog. • Lou Lou, July. The Roots Source fragrance Red Tea is featured. • Toronto Star, July 11. Article on the soon to be launched line of Roots footwear. • National Post, July 11. Spotlight on the Mini Saddle Bag in rustler leather and the Peace Tote in tribe leather. • Glow, June 30. Highlights the Roots Source Bamboo perfume in ‘Beauty Talk’ section. • Lou Lou, June 30. Roots plaid handbag featured in “Hot Right Now” section. • 2 Magazine, June 30. Roots Gravity Watch for men featured in “Shopping” section. • Fit Parent, June 30. Spotlight on the Side Saddle Bag in lux leather. • Ottawa Magazine, June 30. Roots Lounge Pants and Kallie Organic Tote cited in article entitled “Lake Effect: clothes and accessories for the modern cottager.” • Toronto Sun, Edmonton Sun, Winnipeg Sun, Ottawa Sun, Calgary Sun, June 28. Article entitled “Wow Canada” features photo-spread of Roots clothing. • National Post, June 27. Article entitled “Back to their Roots” spotlights new line of Roots shoes. • Vancouver Sun, June 25. Features photo of Michael Budman and article about Roots return to making shoes. • Globe and Mail, June 24. Highlights the Fox-TV interview with Michael Budman. • Now (Toronto), June 24. Spotlight on the Roots Cargo Messenger Bag. • Toronto Star, June 20. Roots Messenger Case in rustler leather featured in the Living section. • Metro (Calgary, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver), June 18. Article entitled “Help him get his groom on” features Roots Cargo Bag in rustler pebble leather. •The Gazette (Montreal), June 16. Article entitled ‘Timely Dad’ highlights the Roots classic Hudson watch as a gift for Fathers Day. • Globe and Mail, June 13. Article entitled “Heritage heats up” focuses on the new Roots shoe line. • Moi & Cie (Montreal), June 6. Roots Bamboo and Red Tea perfumes featured in Beauty section. • Vancouver Sun, May 30. Spotlight on the opening of newly renovated Roots Robson St. store in ‘Town Talk’ section. • Where Vancouver, May 30. Spotlight on Roots in the Hot Shopping section. • Globe and Mail, May 14. The Roots Olivia Bag in mellow yellow featured in the Style section. • Globe and Mail, May 12. The Roots Mini Saddle Bag in rustler leather featured in the Style section. - Compiled by Pavan Sandhu

10 • The Source

Filled with patriotic spirit, Roots asks the nation a simple question


s a proudly Canadian business, Roots has long celebrated the country’s people, culture and physical beauty in different ways. In its latest tribute to the Great White North, Roots recently launched a contest, asking people: “What makes Canada priceless?” Organized by Roots and MasterCard Canada, the monthlong contest encouraged people across the country to answer the question by submitting a video or short story for a chance to win a grand prize of a $1,000shopping spree or one of four secondary prizes of $100 Roots gift cards. The contest was promoted in a variety of ways via online ads, the Roots blog, the Roots Facebook page, Twitter and by email. Before the late July

deadline, more than 200 people sent in submissions in hopes of winning. A team of Roots and MasterCard staff is reviewing the entries and will judge them according to three criteria – relevancy of the entry to the question; creativity and inspiration; and public ratings, based on evaluations from people going on who rate the stories out of five stars. The winners will be announced in mid-August. Although the contest deadline for submissions has passed, people are still welcome to send

in why they think Canada is priceless. They can also read a selection of the submissions featured on the website. Here are a few: “Canada is truly priceless because it’s the closest country in the world to peace on Earth,” says Unitaj from Saskatoon. “Canada is the best place for the most delicious bacon,” says Ghisl from Calgary. “Priceless = the Canadian scenery, from East to West,” says Caperboy from Nova Scotia.” Visit to submit your comments and to read and rate other answers.


Ottawa store recognized for special sales achievement


or decades, Roots has enjoyed a strong following in Ottawa and recently one of its stores in the capital came in for special recognition for its growth in sales. In early June, Allison Fortier, Manager of the Roots store in the Place d’Orleans mall in Ottawa, accepted an award presented to Roots for achieving the highest percentage increase in sales over the previous year. Along with Allison to accept the award was Mauricio Santos, District Manager of Ottawa and the Kingston area. Each year, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Place

Manager Allison Fortier is proud to have a great team d’Orleans mall holds special presentations outlining new innovations and pays tribute to the top performing retail tenants.


For the 7th year in a row, Roots supports Toronto meeting of the minds


s a company that has always been inspired by new ideas and fresh thinking, it’s little surprise that Roots is involved in Canada’s premier showcase of creative minds. Every year, IdeaCity brings together some of the world’s greatest thinkers for a three-day conference in Toronto. In June, IdeaCity celebrated its 10th anniversary. Dubbed “A meeting of the minds,” the event was founded by and is hosted by media innovator and CityTV cofounder Moses Znaimer. The 2009 lineup included presentations by 50 speakers who covered a wide range of subjects

Environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at the Opening

before 500 people. The influential crowd was comprised mostly of inventors, politicians, musicians, scientists, artists, authors, entertainers and filmmakers. Speakers included environmentalist Robert Kennedy Jr., Chairman of Waterkeeper

Alliance; political cartoonist Terry Mosher; former Canadian justice minister and human rights activist Irwin Cotler; medicinal cannabis advocate Michelle Rainey; and Facebook marketing executive Randi Zuckerberg. As one of the official sponsors, Roots provided bags and special discount cards for all the guests. The brown Raider bags, made at the Roots factory in Toronto, were customized for the event, featuring an IdeaCity anniversary logo on the front flap and a Roots logo on the back. • For details about next year’s event, go to Issue 90 - August 2009


Roots hosts “Lunchtime Conversation” series as part of 2009 Luminato Arts Festival


reativity was in the air as artists and performers from around the world took part in a week-long series of one-on-one cultural discussions at the Roots flagship store in Toronto. Entitled “Lunchtime Conversations,” the initiative was part of the annual Luminato Arts Festival held in June. While Roots has been a sponsor of Luminato since it began in 2007, this was the first time the company hosted one of its events. “The lounge at Roots on Bloor St. was a critical hub for the 2009 Luminato Festival,” says Artistic Director Chris Lorway. “Luminato was thrilled to have had such an intimate venue to host our Lunchtime Conversation speaking series during the festival. We look forward to continuing this relationship in the years to come.”

Mark Campbell, Lance Horne, Tom Allen, Mike Ross, Alexina Louie, and Mitchell Marcus take part in Lunchtime Conversations

The lineup for the ‘Lunchtime Conversations’ featured discussions with Canadian and international artists and performers including Jonathan Christenson, Artistic Director of Edmonton’s Catalyst Theatre;

Sandra Laronde, founding Artistic Director of Red Sky; Tzipi Pines, Artistic Director of Tel Aviv’s Lessin Theatre and Avery Saltzman, Artistic Director of the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company. The

conversations were moderated by members of the local arts and journalistic community. In another Luminato initiative at the Roots store, writer and broadcaster Jowi Taylor made a special appearance one evening to present Voyager: the Six String Nation Guitar. He shared stories and a photographic exhibition of his one-of-a-kind guitar built from pieces of historic material collected from across Canada including wood from NHL legend Wayne Gretzky’s hockey stick and former prime minister Pierre Trudeau’s canoe paddle. Another highlight was a panel discussion with the Dutch dance group, Nederlands Dans Theater. Luminato is an annual 10-day Toronto celebration of theatre, dance, classical and contemporary music, film, literature, art, and design.

OTTAWA TEAM PUTS BEST FOOT FORWARD Roots staff take part in annual Walk for Kids Help Phone

Inside look at the visual display at the new Robson St. store

Ottawa team hits the streets dressed in their Roots gear


taff members of the eight Roots stores in the Ottawa area recently took to the streets to raise funds to provide help for youth in need. As part of the 8th annual Walk for Kids Help Phone, store managers, assistant managers, key holders, and the district manager, marched 5-kilometers through the nation’s capital at the same time as thousands of other Canadians took part in similar Issue 90 - August 2009

walks in 55 towns and cities across the country. At the initiative of Mauricio Santos, District Manager for Ottawa and Kingston area in Ontario, who’s a great proponent of staff involvement in the community, the Roots retail team in Ottawa took part in the event for the first time. In all, they raised more than $1,200 in pledges from family and friends and donations from customers at

the local Roots stores. “There are a lot of kids out there who don’t have the support they need from their families,” says Mauricio, who joined Roots in 2005 and took on his current position earlier this year. “This is a good way to help make assistance possible for them. It’s also important to show people that our stores are a part of the community, and that Roots cares about helping.” More than 20,000 people participated in this year’s walk, raising $3 million for Kids Help Phone. Launched in 1989, it provides Canada’s only toll-free, confidential and anonymous phone and online counseling, in addition to information and a referral service for children and youth. Inspired by their participation in this year’s Walk, the Roots team in Ottawa vowed to also pursue other volunteering actions and to take part in another walkathon in 2010. • For information about next year’s event, go to


New employee engagement program forges ahead


n late September, as the first major action of the ‘Roots Cares’ program, staff will participate in the 2009 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (GCSC) in all regions of the country. Each employee who takes part in this environmental initiative will receive the day off to help remove trash from areas next to bodies of water. As part of the Roots Cares program, Roots will pay the salaries of all staff who take part in the GCSC. Liz Doggett, Director of Wholesale Operations, (pictured), has kindly volunteered to coordinate the Roots involvement in this year’s GCSC. Meanwhile, in another Roots Cares initiative, Roots stores are raising funds from customers in August for the Jane Goodall Institute’s ‘Roots and Shoots’ program. The Source • 11

GREEN TIP #55 Easy ways to help the environment


Introducing the people who make it happen at Roots stores As part of our continuing series of team pictures of all the stores in the Roots retail family, this issue of The Source is shining the spotlight on the South Edmonton Common store in Edmonton, Alberta. Back row: Sarah Edwards-Hoar, Christina Hardie, Ravneet Panech and Jo Chute (Manager). Front row: Neelum Mangat, Emily Oland, Manny Bhandal, Cassandra Hardie and Rubi Singh. (Missing in photo: Kam Sahota, Adella Chester and Hope Husmillo.)

SPEAK TO MY AGENT The littlest customers show their Roots Laila Fahmy, 6 years, Egypt

Vivi Fahmy, 5 years, Massachusetts

Ruby Wells, 4 months, Mississauga, Ontario


e often receive unsolicited photos from people eager to show us pictures of their children, cousins, grandchildren, or even pets, wearing Roots. Sometimes the senders ask if we could use the photos in a future advertising campaign for Roots. We can’t promise that but we are happy to publish them in The Source. Everyone is welcome to submit their favourite shots to be considered for publication. Please send your pictures to Be sure to include the name and age of each child or pet in the photo, where it was taken, place of residence and a sentence stating that you agree for the photos to be used in The Source. 12 • The Source

SAYING GOODBYE TO UNWANTED MEDS: Many people treat out-of-date or otherwise unwanted pharmaceuticals like dead goldfish. They flush them down the toilet or throw them in the trash. Not nice. Such discarding methods can be bad for both our health and the environment. Medication flushed down the toilet ends up at local waste treatment plants that are ill equipped to eliminate all the medicinal compounds that come through. So the polluted water often passes straight to the lakes and streams that are home to fish and other aquatic life. Prescription medicine thrown in the trash ends up at landfill sites. Although Ontario’s Environment Ministry insists that current standards ensure the safety of groundwater, some reports indicate polluted water can seep through the soil into the groundwater and affect residential water supplies. In 2002, the United States Geological Society conducted a nation-wide study of surface water. Of the 139 streams tested, 80% contained common pharmaceutical drugs such as antidepressants, hormones and antibiotics. It’s easy to avoid such pollution. Thanks to a “takeback” program at certain pharmacies in Canada (including Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall Pharma Plus), you can dispose of pharmaceuticals in an eco-friendly way. Bring unwanted medications to local pharmacies that deliver them to centres for hazardous waste disposal. For more information, or to find out whether a take-back program is available in your community, contact your local pharmacy. – Pavan Sandhu


Marshall Rocheleau, 7 months, Lakeshore, Ontario Samantha Kelzenberg, 3 months, Minneapolis, Minnesota

If you have any ideas for future articles in The Source, please contact us. Even better, if you would like to write for The Source, let us know. We welcome your involvement and look forward to hearing from you. Write to us at Issue 90 - August 2009

NEW & NOTEWORTHY A guide to just-launched Roots products



Forget sleeping pills and put on this amazing sweater

Flat-bag made for women and men


oming back into the spotlight attracting renewed interest is the Roots Original Village Bag in Vintage Tribe leather. Designed for both men and women, this practical hands-free shoulder flat-bag is well suited for everyday errands. Made in Canada of 100% leather, it has two external compartments for your cell phone or black-

njoy all the comforts of life in the Greta Over sized Cowlneck Sweatshirt. Made from cotton and modal French terry fabric, this soft and silky sweater feels luxurious and is the perfect piece to relax in. Pair the Greta with some yoga pants to hit the gym or with some sweatpants while you take it easy or chill out

C at home. Available in vintage white or black, in sizes XS-XL. Price: $98

MICROLINK SOLAR RADIO An essential tool for any trip


welcome addition this season to Roots is the Microlink Solar Radio (FR 160). Portable and multifunctional, it’s an ideal companion for travel and unexpected emergencies. Selfpowered by solar energy (meaning no wires or plugs), the Microlink will keep you informed with the AM/FM and NOAA weatherbands

and give you access to tune into the FCC and EAS public alert systems. Lightweight and small enough to fit in any backpack, this mighty device also comes with a built-in superbright LED flashlight, a cell phone charger and earphone jack. Available colours: White, green, blue and black. Price: $35

LEVIS BABY DENIM New denim jeans for babies


ew to the baby scene this fall are the Levi’s 517 Flare Jean and Levi’s Loose Fit Jean. Classic girl fit; these

Issue 90 - August 2009

Levi’s flare jeans have an adjustable waistband for all sizes, making it a perfect fit. Classic boy relaxed fit: these jeans are comfortable and also have an adjustable waistband for all sizes for ultra comfort. Available in a dark wash, both girl and boy styles look great paired up with a T-shirt for a casual look, or dress it up with a fall cardigan. Price: $32.95

berry and other smaller items. Thanks in no small part to its appearance in the recent hit movie The Hangover and the considerable media attention it generated, the Village bag, aka “The Man Satchel” is enjoying a new level of popularity and has been seen being worn by various celebrities. Price: $128

RUSTLER LEATHER IN NEW COLOURS New fall looks in the leather department


eet one of the latest members of the Roots leather family: The Michelle Bag in Rustler Leather is made in Canada. It features a magnet closure along with an oversized zipper pocket on the side. Available in Denim. Price: $298 Rustler leather in Pebble continues its extraordinary run. Look out for fresh new colours, Denim being the first for Fall 2009. Along with new colours,

August will also see the launch of new bags such as the Carla Bag, Luisa Bag and the Lola Bag.


Bright bags are huge success


ecently launched, Colours by Roots is an innovative collection of bright and bold bags made from 100% Italian Prince

leather. Perfect for any occasion, it’s little surprise the collection has been so well received by customers and staff. Make a statement in vivid colours such as Vanilla, Popsicle Pink, Blueberry, Grape and Orange Creamsicle. All colours available in various styles. Price from $98 to $238 The Source • 13

ROOTS DELIVERS THE GOODS Comedian Russell Peters and Il Divo quartet place custom orders for their tours

I Joel Seigel, (left), with Michael Budman at Gentec event


Roots licensee, Gentec International, celebrates opening of newly expanded HQ


eflecting the strength of the brand, Roots has long attracted highly professional licensees who make specialized quality products bearing the Roots name. Prominent among this coterie of excellent companies is Gentec International. Since 2002, Gentec has made a popular line of Roots-branded nylon camera bags and leather cases for computers. In recent years, it has also created highly successful protective cases for Blackberries and iPods. In late June, Joel Seigel, President and CEO of Gentec, and his staff hosted an Open House event to celebrate the expansion of its Markham, Ontario headquarters. With the addition of 26,000 square feet, the state-of-the-art facilities now give Gentec more than 100,000

square feet of space to service its retail partners with even greater efficiency. The event attracted industry members and business partners from across North America and Asia. Representing Roots was Co-Founder Michael Budman; Director of Licensees Rima Biback; and Director of Communication and Public Affairs Robert Sarner. Gentec is Canada’s leading consumer accessory products company, supplying a broad range of quality photo, video, digital, sports optics, home theatre, electronics and wireless products to retailers across the country. Last year, Gentec was selected as one of Canada’s 50 best-managed companies as part of one of Canada’s leading business awards programs.

n recent Business-To-Busi ness Department news, Roots has proven, yet again, that it’s the brand of choice for many in the entertainment industry as leading performers order customized Roots goods for use on their concert tours. Among the latest is Canadian star comedian Russell Peters who had special leather bags made as gifts for the crewmembers of his current tour which celebrates his 20 years in show business. B2B Product Coordinator David Jackson at the Roots head office, handled the order of the black cabin bags made at the leather factory in Toronto. Each bag was customized with each individual crewmember’s name. Russell began his tour in June, taking him to Canada, the US and the UK. It features performances of some his greatest hits, along with new material. For more details visit Meanwhile, in other B2B developments, Roots delivered customized leather bags to the

Il Divo

Russell Peters

crewmembers of Il Divo’s North American tour that kicked off in Halifax in the spring. Made at the leather factory in Toronto, the black bags were embroidered with the name of the popular singing quartet. Product Coordinator David Jackson, who handled the order, worked on it closely with Live Nation, the California-based concert promoter organizing the tour. David and Live Nation have worked together on other custom orders in the past, including leather bags for Nickelback’s Dark Horse Tour earlier this year. Created by American Idol judge Simon Cowell, Il Divo first burst onto the scene in 2004. Their latest CD, The Promise, released last winter, has been one of their most successful records in their career.


Roots responds to request from store manager to help in fight breast cancer


s part of its ongoing commitment to community support, Roots recently contributed to a fundraising event in Vancouver for the upcoming Weekend to End Breast Cancer. The annual 60-km walk, that takes place in mid-August, brings together thousands of Canadians in cities across the country to raise funds for cancer research. At the initiative of Debbie Scallion, Manager of the West 4rth store in Kitsilano, British 14 • The Source

Columbia, Roots became involved in the fundraiser. After event organizers approached her at the store seeking donations, Debbie contacted the Head Office and arranged for a Roots Village Pack to be part of the draw. Through the sale of the Village Pack and other items, the fundraiser raised more than $400. Debbie was especially predisposed to help this charity as several people in her personal and professional life have had

Debbie Scallion, takes initiative in fight against breast cancer

breast cancer. “For women, the statistics for this disease are really high,” says Debbie, who has worked at Roots since 1997. “Breast cancer is something we need to pay attention to, and educate ourselves about if we hope to improve the situation.” The Weekend to End Breast Cancer will take place in most regions across Canada on August 15-16. To register as a participant or to donate, visit Issue 90 - August 2009


This month, we spotlight the landmark Woodstock Music Festival on its 40th anniversary

Peace, love and great music (including Jimi Hendrix seen here) reigned at the historic Woodstock Festival in upstate New York


his summer, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the seminal musical event of the 1960s – the Woodstock music festival – a slew of new magazine articles, books, documentaries and CDs is reviving interest in this landmark episode in rock ‘n roll history. On August 15, 1969, half a million people gathered on a field (owned by farmer Max Yasgur) in upstate New York for a weekend of performances by many of the biggest names in rock music of the day. Officially called the Woodstock Music and

Art Fair, named for the town of Woodstock 65 km away, the festival would become recognized as one of the most significant and inspiring music events of its kind that helped defined a generation. Woodstock is widely associated with the rock-driven “hippie” counterculture of the late 1960s. This so-called counterculture was inspired by young people and their opposition to the Vietnam War, the fight for racial equality, women’s rights, artistic freedom and sexual liberation. Another influence was the hippie lifestyle, which encouraged “back to nature” communal living, an interest in Eastern spiritual teachings and widespread use of mind-altering drugs. By 1969, rock festivals had become major cultural and social events attracting huge crowds and prominent performers. Woodstock would prove the preeminent such festival, both for its musical lineup and due to the fact that 500,000 people spent three days together without major mishaps or violence and despite having to endure torrential rains, ankle-deep mud and limited sanitation facilities. The music of course is what held everything together. And what a roster of performers it was: Jimi Hendrix, The Who,

THE ROOTS TOP 10 A guide to the sounds of Roots for August

1. Somebody To Love, Jefferson Airplane 2. Star Spangled Banner, Jimi Hendrix 3. The Weight, The Band 4. Soul Sacrifice, Santana 5. Green River, Creedence Cleatwater Revival 6. Freedom, Richie Havens 7. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever, The Band 8. Dance To The Music, Sly & The Family Stone 9. With A Little Help From My Friends, Joe Cocker 10. Marrakesh Express, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Janis Joplin, The Jefferson Airplane, The Band, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Santana, the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joe Cocker, and many others played during the historic festival. Woodstock’s impact cannot be overstated. Rolling Stone magazine included it as part of its 50 Moments That Changed Rock and Roll. The festival lived on in a highly successful documentary movie Woodstock, an accompanying soundtrack album, and in Joni Mitchell’s song “Woodstock.” - Davin Bujalski • For more info on Woodstock, visit: and pick up the recent book Woodstock: 3 Days That Rocked The World. Listen to Roots Radio to hear more music from Woodstock


Easy ways to stay healthy... and not nod off while you’re at work POSITIVE ENERGY: We all go through it. You may be experiencing right now – that dreaded point in the day when the clock ticks slower, your eyelids feel heavier, and you find yourself drowning in the office chair. It’s called the afternoon slump. Many people fight it by indulging in caffeine or with a candy bar or other snack but such unhealthy options only provide a temporary boost. Better to increase your energy and combat the afternoon slump without caffeine or sugar. Here are a few ways: The big apple: Fruit can provide you a much-needed energy boost and is more easily digested than many other foods. Try some chopped peaches, an apple or some blueberries for a quick healthy fix. Be nutty: Nuts can be one of the

Issue 90 - August 2009

best sources for a fast energy fix. Try some almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnut or pistachios. Not feeling nutty? Then opt for dried fruits

such as apricots, cranberries, peaches, pears, pineapple, prunes, and raisins. Drink up: Dehydration is a major

cause of drowsiness. To stay fully hydrated, drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Skip the coffee or soft drink and get yourself a glass of cool water for a refreshing boost. Smaller is better: A big lunch can leave you feeling groggy and weighed down. Instead, opt for smaller meals throughout the day. Munch on some healthy snacks inbetween such as vegetables, yoghurt, or berries for a healthy fixer-upper. Shake a leg: When you start feeling tired, get up and go for a walk. Better yet, go outside for fresh air. It will get your blood circulating and provide much-needed oxygen and fuel to your body. • Source: 50 ways to boost your energy without caffeine, http://

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16 • The Source

Issue 90 - August 2009

The Source, August 2009, Issue 90