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SPRING 2013 | VOL. 2 | NO. 3

IMMIGRANTS MEAN BUSINESS In Buckhorn village, immigrants keep the wheels of the economy spinning



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21 PROFILE Dr. Rodrigo De Luna

14 COVER STORY When Trent Lakes Mayor Janet Clarkson planned a thank-you event for immigrants in Buckhorn, little did she realize they were actually more than many people had initially thought.


In Buckhorn, immigrants represent more than a dozen countries and own the majority of the businesses. By estimates, they account for more than 80 percent of the economic activity in the village.



Several spots at the New Canadians Centre board will be filled during its annual general meeting on May 30, 2013 at the Market Hall. The deadline to submit expressions of interest is May 23. NORTHUMBERLAND

8 Immigration Portal Launch

Northumberland County’s immigration portal, an online-information gateway for prospective investors and skilled immigrants, is now up and running. A launch has been scheduled for April 26, 2013.   NATIONAL

9 New start-up visa

Canada has begun accepting applications for a new visa designed for start-up entrepreneurs with ideas for new business ventures and financial backing from Canadian investors. The start-up visa is a pilot program that will run for five years. 4


COLUMNS 11 Tax corner

Find out what benefits you can receive as a first-time home buyer. Know them and make a claim, says tax-consultant Forest Li, as the government does not automatically grant them.

  28 Off the beat

Don Sellar, a retired journalist who taught media law and ethics, writes about his class of foreign-trained journalists who aspires to re-start their careers in Canada.

PROFILES  21 Dr. Rodrigo de Luna

When he came to Canada in 1987 to join his parents, Dr. Rodrigo de Luna actually meant to cross the border into the United States – until a job came up for him in Newfoundland. That marked the start of his medical profession in Canada.

22 Melanie Horner

An occupational nurse for 22 years, Melanie Horner shifts gear and turns her pottery hobby into a business after she and her family relocated from the UK to Canada. She lives in Cobourg.

27 CLICK NB Forum


Altona Kabob City of Peterborough


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Lee’s Hi-Tec Computer Services


Manulife Securities


McConkey Real Estate Corp.


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New Canadians Centre

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MEDIAPLUS VILLAGE Unit LL5, 311 George Street North Peterborough, ON K9J 3H3 Phone: (705) 772-7172 EDITORIAL EDITOR Beverly Lomosad


nessman who immigrated through the United States.


or a good part of my life, I lived in countries where expatriates are virtually second-class citizens and deliberately excluded from mainstream life. More often, a two-layer society exists: one for the expats and another for the host country’s citizens. And one knew very little of the other.

Some of Buckhorn’s immigrants are very special. For one, Dick Persson, Pages 15-16, is one of a handful few in all of Canada who build and restore canoes using pre-1920s methods. For another, Esther Inglis, Pages 16-17, owns and manages arguably one of the largest retail art galleries in Canada.

The host country couldn’t care less about the expats. By the same token, expats stay in their cocoon and never make any real effort to have meaningful social contact with the people outside of their own ethnic community away from home, much less make a little investment of their lives where they live.

Beyond Buckhorn, a grassroots movement to build inclusive communities in Peterborough reached a crescendo in 2008, with the creation of the Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration, Pages 12-13. The notion that immigrants are drivers of business and major contributors to the Canadian economy became a rallying point for PPCII and its community partners.

I have friends who had lived, for example, in the Middle East for 30 years – some even longer – yet their sense of belonging is limited to the small circle of their own ethnic peers. They are as strangers to most of their neighbours as when they first came. What a contrast to the story of a bunch of immigrants we feature as part of our cover story, Pages 14-20. Theirs is a collective story of a successful integration – thanks, to the welcoming spirit of the people who live next door to them and to the Buckhorn community at large. The immigrants in Buckhorn, a village of about 500 people, represent more than a dozen countries, and all but a few are investing right where they live as entrepreneurs. “We depend on each other, and we purchase from one another – it’s a really nice family,” said Trent Lakes Mayor Janet Clarkson of the small village of Buckhorn, whose first settler in 1828 was an Irish busi6


TECHY WORLD After nearly 18 years, I had the pleasure again of working with multi-awarded cartoonist and illustrator Rene Elevera – whom I have the privilege of calling my friend. As proof of how today’s technology has put the world at our fingertips, Rene and I, who are thousands of miles apart, found each other online. Rene has so kindly agreed to draw a cartoon for our front cover. He also made the illustration artwork for Don Sellar’s column, Pages 28-29. A bunch of thanks also to Don Sellar, a 40-year veteran in journalism, who writes about his experience as a professor of a journalism class composed of foreign-trained journalists seeking to break into the media industry in Canada. I chuckled at some snippets of his column. You would too, I promise. n



Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, Mediaplus Village regrets that it cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publicatio n, which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the reader’s particular circumstances. The concept, content, style and design of this publication remain the exclusive property of Mediaplus Village. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publisher in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review.

LETTERS We welcome your comments. Write to us at All submissions must include name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for length, clarity and style. Submission constitutes permission to use.

Drain or boost? IF IMMIGRANTS WERE UTILIZED TO THE EXTENT THAT THEIR I like your recent cover story, (The Value of One – Pages 14-19, Winter 2013) which highlights the economic contribution of immigrants to Canada. Sometimes I feel that immigrants are being lumped together as one big drain to the Canadian economy. Nothing is further from the truth. You are correct in pointing out that immigrants are unfortunately under-utilized in the labour market. If immigrants were utilized to the extent that their qualifications should allow them, their economic contribution would cease to be in doubt. Emmanuel Echiverri Toronto

A nurse’s dream I was searching online for information about how to immigrate to Canada, and your website came up on Google Search. I was very inspired to read the story of Thelma Dillon. I am a Filipina nurse working in Saudi Arabia. My dream is to work in and move permanently to Canada. I am hard-working and have more than 11 years’ experience as an emergency nurse. I am hoping that your website will also publish job opportuni-

QUALIFICATIONS SHOULD ALLOW THEM, THEIR ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION WOULD CEASE TO BE IN DOUBT their families. However, the insurance-coverage requirement before one gets issued a super visa is prohibitively costly. For most of us, it means many years before we can invite our parents to come. Deepak A. Rahman Toronto

Volunteerism ties in Canada that interested applicants like me may apply online. I was encouraged after reading about Thelma Dillon. Her story is a good reminder that Canada has a place for persistent and hard-working individuals. Joycelyn Tomimbang Jeddah

Super-visa cost The government’s super-visa program is a good example of good intention gone bad. Super visa is a new family-reunification program that provides a quicker process for parents and grandparents to come to Canada and be reunited with

After living in Canada for almost six years now, I discover that in doing volunteer work we not only gain new friends but also learn more about our community as well as learn new skills. I really like your story about Carl and Ruth Hudson (The Power of Two – Page 24, Winter 2013) and their volunteer work in the community. I hope you will feature recent immigrants who have devoted time and effort to volunteer work. Ashley Pellegrino Cobourg

Canadian experience

(Can’t land a job? You may lack soft skills – Page 16, Winter 2013). Canadian experience is a big irony for many, if not all, newcomers. How could a typical newcomer be expected to have gained a Canadian experience after having been in Canada for only a short period of time? When I was very new to Canada, I was asked during my job interviews whether I had Canadian experience. To be honest, I didn’t know how to answer the question. To me, it sounded like a trick question until I realized the interviewer was actually seriously asking. Something must be put in place in order for newcomers to obtain Canadian experience soon after they arrived in Canada. Anthony Moulick Richmond Hill

Q&A section Thank you for a great magazine. Can I lobby for a Q&A section in your magazine where immigration questions are addressed? Sam Nabil Peterborough

Thank you for your discussion about Canadian experience

Thanks for the suggestion. We will look into it. – Editor




Northumberland launches web portal Strategy of Ontario; Bonnie Mah, of Maytree Foundation, who talked about municipalimmigration practices from different communities in Europe and North America; and Peter Weclaw, director of immigration policy and planning of Alberta, who talked about Alberta’s immigration policy and practices.

Dindin Villarino makes a presentation at a Metropolis conference


orthumberland County’s immigration issues and opportunities came into focus during a workshop held as part of the 15th National Metropolis Conference in Ottawa on March 14-16, 2013. Dindin Villarino, coordinator of the county’s immigration-portal project, led the conversation following a presentation. Northumberland County is one of three municipalities that received funding in

2012 from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration to develop the web portal under its Municipal Immigration Information Online program. The workshop, titled “Immigration and Sub-national Jurisdictions” looked at how local and regional communities are taking a larger role in immigration. Ms. Villarino presented along with MingYoung Tam, of MCI, who discussed the Immigration

Northumberland County’s immigration-web portal is now up and running, and a formal launch has been scheduled to take place on April 26, 2013. The online portal is a one-stop site of information on settlement and immigration for prospective investors as well as skilled immigrants to the county. A key feature of the portal is the inclusion of video testimonials by newcomers and long-term immigrants in the county. Countries such as Afghanistan, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Macau, South Korea, the Philippines, Sweden and the UK are represented in a section called “In Our Voices.” n

New Canadians Centre sets AGM on May 30


everal spots in the New Canadians Centre’s board will be filled during its annual general meeting on May 30, 2013.

Three-to-seven nominations will be made and voted upon during the event. The deadline to submit expressions of

interest is May 23. Financial and year-end reports will also be presented. n



That’s the increase in Ontario’s funding to settlement programs since 2003.


That’s Ontario’s share of immigrant landings each year. More newcomers settle in Ontario than any other province in Canada. Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Ontario increases settlement funding


ntario is increasing support for settlement programs and helping more than 80,000 newcomers get the services they need to settle and find jobs. Through the government’s Newcomer Settlement Program, 98 organizations across the province will receive support over the next two years to help connect new immigrants with language and job training, and other community services. Enhancing newcomer settlement services is part of the province’s immigration strategy. n

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New immigration pathway for start-up entrepreneurs


new visa, designed for start-up entrepreneurs with ideas for new business ventures and financial backing from Canadian investors, went into effect on April 1, 2013. “Canada is open for business to the world’s start-up entrepreneurs,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. “Innovation and entrepreneurship are essential drivers of the Canadian economy. That is why we are actively recruiting foreign entrepreneurs – those who can build companies in Canada that will create new jobs, spur economic growth and compete on a global scale – with our new start-up visa.” By providing entrepreneurs with permanent residency and access to a wide range of business partners, Canada hopes to become a destination of choice for start-up innovators. CIC has worked with two umbrella organizations to identify and designate the venture-capital funds and

angel-investor groups that are keen to participate in the program. Immigrant entrepreneurs hoping to launch cuttingedge businesses in Canada and attain permanent resident status need the support of participating Canadian investors. A full list of designated venture capital funds and angel investor groups is now available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. To apply for permanent resident status in Canada, the foreign entrepreneur must first secure a significant investment commitment from a designated Canadian angel investor group or venture capital fund. Applicants must also demonstrate language proficiency skills at a Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in listening, speaking, reading and writing, and have at least one year of education at a post-secondary institution. The start-up visa program is a pilot program that will run for five years. n

Super-visa approval rate at 86%


ore than 15,000 super visas have been issued since the program’s launch in December 2011, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada records. With more than 1,000 super visas issued every month, approval rates remain at 86%. The super visa-a multiple-entry visa valid for up to 10 years-allows parents and grandparents to visit Canada for up to two years at a time.

Applicants for the super visa must provide proof that the host child or grandchild meets a minimum income level, demonstrate that they have purchased comprehensive Canadian medical insurance and undergo the immigration medical examination. Almost 99% of super-visa applicants who met these requirements also went on to meet all other standard admissibility criteria, according to CIC. n

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BY THE NUMBERS Canadian visas issued in 2012 CHINA China



28,889 130,000 13,000 171,889

Permanent residents Visitors Students TOTAL


32,990 235,000 25,245 293,235

Permanent residents Visitors Students TOTAL


PHILIPPINES 32,704 44,000 941 77,645

Permanent residents Visitors Students TOTAL

Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

1,000 Bhutanese refugees to be resettled in Canada 

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anada will let in up to 1,000 additional Bhutanese refugees from Nepal, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has said. “Canada has a longstanding tradition of assisting refugees and welcomes one in 10 refugees resettled globally, more than almost any other country in the world,” Kenney said. “We recognize the importance of family reunification in this process, and resettling refugees who already have family in Canada will help them adjust much faster and more easily.” Bhutanese refugees have been living in seven camps in eastern Nepal since the early 1990s. Canada, along with Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway the United States and the United Kingdom, are resettling many of these refugees. In May 2007, Canada



announced that it would resettle up to 5,000 Bhutanese refugees over five years. In June 2012, it committed to resettling 500 more Bhutanese refugees who have family connections in Canada. Today’s announcement of an additional 1,000 Bhutanese refugees will bring the total number to 6,500. To date, 5,000 have already resettled in Canada. “We welcome the government’s decision to resettle more Bhutanese refugees,” said Furio De Angelis, the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canada. “By working in partnership with other countries, Canada has helped refugees who have been living in camps for more than two decades find a new home and start their lives anew.” The additional 1,000 Bhutanese refugees will be selected over two years. n





here are tax benefits you can claim when you buy a house. A first-time home buyer can claim up to $5,000 in tax benefit if both of the following apply: (1) You or your spouse or common-law partner acquired an eligible home; (2) You did not live in another home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or in the preceding four years. The tax credit would save you $750 in income tax, and you should claim it on your income tax return for the year the house was purchased. If you purchase or build a new house, you can claim a GST rebate (refund) for the GST you have paid. The maximum amount of the rebate is $24,000, and the maximum amount eligible for the purchase price of the house is normally $450,000. To claim the rebate, you need to file GST 190 or GST 191 and other forms, and you need to provide documents relating to the purchase of the house or construction materials. After the purchase of the house, depending on your total family income, you may be able to get the refundable property tax credit for the property tax you have paid. You shall try to claim this credit in your income tax return every year. If you need to use part of your house as an office, workshop, storage and so on for your employment or business, you may be able to claim a portion of the home expenses as businessuse-of-home (BUOH) expenses to save you income tax. The home expenses include property tax, insurance, interest on mortgage, repairs and maintenance, and use of heat, hydro, water/sewer, telephone, Internet, and so on. There are criteria on whether or not you can claim BUOH expenses, and you need to keep all the documents of the expenses. When you sell the house, you do not have to worry about the income tax, even if you have made some money because the sale price was higher than the purchase price. The capital gain from the sale of principal residence is tax-free; you do not have to pay tax for that. There are many tax benefits to claim when you purchase and own a house. The government does not automatically give the benefits to you. You have to claim them. If you need help, please phone Wensten Accounting Inc. at (705) 749-9288. n FOREST LI is a certified income-tax consultant.




PPCII: A DIVERSITY EXPERIENCE By CARMELA VALLES Success is a big word. And that was how a delegation from Peterborough described the five-year life of PPCII, or Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigration Integration, to a national audience attending the 15th Metropolis Conference in Ottawa on March 14-16, 2013. The Peterborough team was slotted on the final day of the conference, which drew more than 600 participants across Canada.


he Peterborough delegates were Becky Rogers, manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage Division of the City of Peterborough; Mike Ma, former coordinator of the Community Race Relations Committee; Andy Cragg, of the Trent Centre for Community Based Education; and Jason Stabler, interim executive director of the New Canadians Centre. They came to the conference to share Peterborough’s experience in forging strategic partnerships and initiating broad-based planning around the needs of newcomers to ease and fast-track their integration in the community. That Peterborough could now speak on a national platform about its experience of engaging its community for the successful integration of immigrants is proof of the collective force that PPCII, formed in 2008, has acquired over the years. That I am writing about it now, and you are reading it in a newcomer-focused magazine managed and edited by a newcomer, speaks volumes about the Peterborough of today as a host community for new Canadians.

RELEVANCE Let me take you a few years back – to a time when I was the executive director of the New Canadians Centre, the settlement agency in Peterborough. More than a few times in my 12 years with the agency, the notion had 12

Becky Rogers

crossed my mind about how easily the NCC could become irrelevant to the lives of the people it seeks to help if its program delivery is not in tune with the real needs of its clients and its leadership as the main provider of settlement and integration services for newcomers is not sustained. At the same time, I had also wished for a time in the future when Peterborough’s organizations in the business, health, education, social services, government, and faith communities become well able to assist and welcome newcomers who walk through their doors to seek support, volunteer, or purchase products or services. I would like to believe that, through the PPCII and its community partners, Peterborough has, in some measure, become that kind of a community today.


Peterborough has a good start; it has a collection of small but long-standing organizations that have global mandates in education, human rights, race relations, and civic action. Organizations such as Casa Maria Refugee Homes, Kawartha World Issues Centre, Jamaica SelfHelp, Amnesty International; Trent Centre for Community Based Education, Community Race Relations Committee, Trent International Program, Fleming College International Program, English as a Second Language training providers, and local Rotary Clubs have been in the community for decades, building community awareness on issues affecting immigrant and refugee families. But I’m getting ahead of my story. The idea of rallying the community and taking the conversation about immigrant-integration is-

sues beyond services and toward policy change gained momentum when the NCC started collaborating with the Workforce Development Board and the Peterborough Public Library. The NCC found two key champions in Gord Evans, then CEO of the Workforce Development Board, and Becky Rogers, then head librarian of the Peterborough Public Library. Mr. Evans led the conversation on immigrant integration in the business sector, while Ms. Rogers became the NCC champion inside City Hall. We wanted to challenge the notion of immigrants as siphoning off community resources to the disadvantage of others. We wanted to promote immigrants as community builders. After all, they represent a wide range of trades and professions – physicians, urban planners, museum curators, telecommunication engineers, childminders, artists, caregivers, journalists, musicians, welders, international students, farmers – and so on. In October 2006, a community-immigration forum called Building Common Visions took place at Fleming College. The forum provided another venue for a conversation about integrating immigrants in local businesses. At the forefront of that discussion were Debbie Harrison, of Fleming College; Julie Dotsch, of the NCC; Maureen Eggleton, of Northern Lights; Dawn Berry-Merriam, of the Peterborough Social Planning Council; Lou O’Hara, of the Regional Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration; Michael Alcott, of Trent University (Trent International Program); Brenda Dales, of United Way; and Mr. Evans. Culminating the forum was the mayoral debate on


Jason Stabler

sity issues in Peterborough for the municipal elections scheduled in Fall 2006. Stuart Harrison, of the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce; Andy Mitchell, of the Greater Peterborough and Area Economic Development Council; and Judy Heffernan, of the Community Futures Development Corp., took the immigrant-integration conversation deeper into the business sectors. The vision of immigrants as drivers of economic activity gained a sharper focus. With NCC’S strategic community partnerships, an understanding of a new definition of settlement and integration began to emerge. While it was a common expectation that immigrants need information, orientation, referral and access to their new home, the community also needed to prepare for the new cultural, religious and social infusion that new Canadians bring. In other words, for the full integration of newcomers to occur, the community needs to meet them halfway. The need to develop a cohesive approach for newcomer settlement and integration found provincial and national resonance. In early 2008, Ontario’s Ministry of Citizen-

Mike Ma

ship and Immigration as well as Citizenship and Immigration Canada issued a joint call for proposals for Local Immigration Partnerships, a program designed to include immigrant settlement and integration into the broader community-planning process as well as develop coordinated strategies in integrating new Canadians into an inclusive environment. The call for proposals could not have come at a better timing. In March 2008, the core group of WDB, TCCBE, CRRC and NCC called for a meeting to gauge community support to apply for the LIP funding. Twenty-eight organizations, representing major employers in Peterborough, training institutions, police services, city and county staff and councillors, faith communities, health-care providers, and service providers attended the meeting. Ken Doherty, director of Community Services, who is another key champion of immigrant integration inside City Hall, prepared a report and obtained approval from city council. PPPCII applied for and received LIP funding. Shortly after, the City of Peterborough also received

Peterborough’s immigration portal is accessible at

funding to develop an immigration portal, under the Municipal Immigrant Information Online program of the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. With the portal in place, potential immigrants could now access online settlement information even before they arrive in Peterborough. The portal promotes Peterborough as a welcoming community to live, study, work and invest.

CITY BACKING In Peterborough, immigration is part of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Division. Becky Rogers, the manager of that office, had asked for the immigration portfolio, noting that it was not one of the direct services provided by the municipal government. She also serves as the city’s representative at the PPCII. Recently, the city council also designated a diversity portfolio to one of its councillors, Dean Pappas. The city has demonstrated its commitment to newcomers by signing NCC as one of its service-contract organizations delivering immigrant-integration services to the community. What’s more, the city has adopted a Municipal Cultural Plan that underscores the strength of diversity in the community. When it started in 2008, PPCII had Citizenship and Immigration Canada as its

sole funder. Today, while it continues to receive CIC funding, it also enjoys support from Ontario Trillium Foundation, Community Futures Development Corp., City and County of Peterborough, Ontario Chamber of Commerce through the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, and the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough. If there’s one thing that the PPCII’s multisource funding speaks of, it is of belief in the work that it does in the community. When I started at the NCC, it was a two-person operation. I remember very well the afternoons that I would walk to a nearby donut shop to collect its donation of donuts, which we served to participants of the English-conversation classes and the board members when they came for their monthly meetings. Today, NCC is an organization with 18 staff and a satellite office in Cobourg, which opened in 2008. NCC still receives occasional food donations. However, this time, food and other donations come from many different sources. When an NCC staff went on Twitter with a need for baby supplies for a newcomer mother who needed some help, the NCC office, in no time, became a virtual baby shop. NCC volunteer base has swelled. The community has rallied behind the cause to attract and retain newcomers. PPCII continues to grow, and Peterborough continues to enjoy a surge of newcomer arrivals. In Peterborough, the place we call home, we do have a story to share. n

Carmela Valles is the principal of Carmela Valles Immigration Consulting in Peterborough.




“We always receive a flow of new people. I think that’s what makes Buckhorn friendly and welcoming,” says Trent Lakes Mayor Janet Clarkson.


he project brought the people together; it was the best thing that ever happened to us,” said Trent Lakes Mayor Janet Clarkson. By having a common goal, we got to know each other, and we got friendly with each other.” The success of the medicalcentre project has led to a pair of other community initiatives. First, the Heritage Day, held around the same time as the Family Day in February, was designed as much to increase tourist traffic to Buckhorn during the winter months, when the village’s tourism industry – its economic lifeblood 14

Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park


Trent Lakes*


Buckhorn Village

37 Douro Dummer

Smith Ennismore Lakefield


Buckhorn Community Centre

Buckhorn Outdoor Skating Rink and Sports Pad


Norwood Asphodel Peterborough Cavan Millbrook North Monaghan

Lower Buckhorn Lake

Otonabee South Managhan


Buckhorn Lake





Nearly six years ago, the village of Buckhorn set out to build its own medical centre. The village received municipal tax dollars amounting to $859,900 to construct the building. However, some of the money needed to purchase medical equipment was left for the community to raise – the village’s 500 or so residents must raise $350,000. And, through a variety of fund-raising activities, they did. The Buckhorn Regional Health Centre officially opened on June 21, 2008.

* Formerly Galway-Cavendish and Harvey

Buckhorn is a village of the municipality of Trent Lakes, formerly Galway-Cavendish and Harvey. The village has 500 or so residents, according to estimates. The village’s first settler was an Irish businessman named John Hall, who came in 1828 and established a saw mill as well as a gristmill. He also built a dam and a bridge. Buckhorn had been named in honour of Mr. Hall. The village used to be known as Hall’s Bridge until 1941, when it became known as Buckhorn, owing to the propensity of Mr. Hall, an avid hunter, to mount deer antlers or buck horns on the side of his mill for people to see.

SOME OF BUCKHORN’S IMMIGRANT–OWNED BUSINESSES BUSINESS Buckhaven Trailer & RV Parks Buckhorn Canoe Company Buckhorn Foodland Buckhorn General Store Buckhorn Remedy’s RX Pharmacy Cody Inn Gallery On The Lake Herb Guy’s Honey House Pizza Alloro Shady Point Resort Shambala Bed & Breakfast Sunrise Resort Sybil’s Foods Teddy’s Antiques The Birches Resort Three Castles Resort


OWNER ORIGINALLY FROM Barbados Sweden India South Korea India Hong Kong Guyana Philippines Albania India Germany Holland India Denmark Germany Trinidad and Tobago

– needed an extra boost, as for newcomers to be acquainted with the culture they have moved into. Second, the International Food Court festival was intended to give recognition to newcomers and immigrants for their contributions to the community. Event planners obviously are well aware that Buckhorn does have its share of immigrants. After all, the very first check donation Ms. Clarkson received in support of the medical-centre project was from a South Korean couple

COVER STORY who, with their difficulty to use the English language, stood out as unmistakably immigrants. What they were quite unsure of, when the idea for a food-court festival was hatched, was the extent of the immigrant community in their village. So, a little survey began, and a startling discovery emerged: the drugstore owner is from India, the Pizza-restaurant owner is from Albania, the man behind the well-known Buckhorn Canoe Company is from Sweden, the couple who run a general store are from South Korea, the Chinese-restaurant owner is from Hong Kong, and the art gallery owner is from Guyana. Several resort owners are immigrants too – they come from such countries as Germany, Holland and Trinidad and Tobago. And the list goes on. TOURISM In Buckhorn, whose first settler 185 years ago was an Irish entrepreneur named John Hall, immigrants represent more than a dozen countries and own most of the businesses. “By percentage, immigrants probably account for more than 80 percent of the economic activity in Buckhorn,” Ms. Clarkson said. “Tourism is our main industry, so we always receive a flow of new people. I think that’s what makes Buckhorn friendly and welcoming. We always have access to people coming from different places. I think it gives you a much broader opinion of the world. And if you look at Buckhorn, and the people coming into it, you can’t help expanding your knowledge of the world.” Meet some of Buckhorn’s immigrant entrepreneurs in the succeeding pages. n


and boat builder and returned to Sweden to retire. “I may not have learned all the intricacies of canoebuilding from that man, but I picked up enough to later make it a business and a trade,” Mr. Persson said. He took a serious look at canoe-building as a revenue earner, when a sluggish economy triggered a slowdown in the construction business, with very little work available in Toronto where he started working when he and his family first arrived in Canada in 1987 from Sweden through the United States.



Builder and restorer of traditional all-wood, wood-canvas canoes and small boats

If Dick Persson is not building a brand-new canoe, he is certainly restoring one – more likely a very old one. He is special. In all of Canada, he is one in perhaps only about 10 people who do exactly what he does for a living: builds and restores canoes the old way, meaning, applying the same canoe-building methods used since before the 1920s.


fter the1920s, Mr. Persson said, canoebuilding went on a downward spiral from its peak before the first-world war, when makers were churning out top-quality canoes. Later, the industry further took a beating with the outbreak of a severe worldwide economic

depression as well as the second-world war. In the 1950s, canoe-building had a resurgence; by then, he said, makers were mass-producing boats and canoes, “doing it as quickly as they could” to survive a stiff and competitive market. Mass production of canoes consequently replaced the traditional way of hand-crafting canoes. Canoe-building has been Mr. Persson’s long-time hobby, something he started on the side while he was running a homeconstruction business. He learned the trade as a young boy from a man who had lived for 40 years in North America, working for American and Canadian companies as a canoe

Retreating from big-city life, he moved to Buckhorn in 1991. With the construction business still in the throes of a protracted recession, he began building a canoe and put it out for sale on his front yard. Then he built another one. When they sold fairly quickly, it dawned on him that it could potentially become a business for him someday. Indeed, he made canoebuilding a full-time business starting in 1996. And what a journey it has been. In 1998, Mr. Persson was thrown into the national spotlight for a restoration work involving a canoe that has a lot of history behind it. The canoe was one of the few units that the now-defunct Peterborough Canoe Company imported from the United States in 1913 and examined as part of the company’s research into the canoe-building methods of other makers. An area cottage owner, whose father had acquired



COVER STORY the canoe from the Peterborough Canoe Company, brought it in for restoration. The restoration work was covered by Cottage Life magazine as well as filmed and aired on HGTV. Mr. Persson was also asked to restore a canoe given to Prince Andrew by the village of Lakefield as a gift on his graduation from Lakefield College School in 1978. WHERE IT STARTED “This area, the Peterborough area, is where canoe-building started in the 1850s. Peterborough is the birthplace of the manufactured canoe,” he said. There is no shortage of work for Mr. Persson now. “Sometimes I would get canoes shipped from Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo, New York and Boston for restoration or repair,” he said. On average, he repairs or restores 20-25 canoes – some requiring museum-quality restoration – and builds 5-10 new ones in a year. “Buckhorn, being a resort area, is good for my business,” he said. “A lot of families with old cottages around here have canoes. So, there is a market for me to repair and restore.” Business aside, Buckhorn is “a great place to live in,” Mr. Persson said. “On the day we moved in, I was carrying a big box, and someone stopped his car on the road and asked me: ‘Do you need a hand?’” A neighbour, a lady in her 80s, also came up with cookies and coffee. And she said “Welcome.” n 16


work I was doing. For some reason, they did not seem to hold it against me,” Ms. Inglis said.


That should account, she added, for why she was able to thrive and build a successful career in the stockbrokerage business – so much so that, within a year, she managed to bring four times as much business as her bosses had expected her to. “That shocked me, and it shocked them. But that was an indication of how much I was able to succeed in Peterborough,” she said.

Esther Inglis has seen how the racial landscape in Canada has evolved over the years. She remembers being “the only brown face” on the bus and on the subway each day when she commutes from home in Scarborough to her work in downtown Toronto. That was about 40 years ago.

hen work took her to Peterborough in 1998, she had less expectations of a faster integration in the community. “Somehow, I had an impression at the back of my mind that small towns in Canada are not particularly overly welcoming. And I think it has nothing to do with me being an immigrant. That’s just the way it is in small-town Ontario, or maybe small-town Canada. So, sometimes it takes a while to be integrated,” she said. But, to her surprise, Peterborough turned out to be “extraordinarily welcoming



THE GALLERY ON THE LAKE Offers a wide selection of originals, prints, sculptures and other art pieces; also home to an art school and a café

and good to me – to be honest.” “In Peterborough, I did not get the impression that the people saw my colour first. The people did not judge me by the colour of my skin and by the fact that I was a woman in a bit of a man’s world with the kind of

In 2002, Ms. Inglis and her husband purchased an old rundown art gallery in Buckhorn that had been closed for a number of years and needed extensive renovation. The Gallery on the Lake, right smack in the middle of tall pine trees and sitting on a gigantic granite rock overlooking the Lower Buckhorn Lake, came back to life. The Gallery on the Lake, which is housed in a 15,000-square-foot building, is arguably one of Canada’s largest retail art galleries,

COVER STORY representing and showcasing the work of some of the most-recognized and influential Canadian artists – painters, sculptors, jewellers, potters, wood turners and glass blowers. The first six years were lean years for the gallery, Ms. Inglis said. “For six difficult years, we carried it on our backs. But you really have to turn it around – it’s like taking something that had died and bringing it back to life,” she said. “For an entrepreneur to make it, you have to fight a lot of selfdoubt. You have to believe in yourself. You need to have a drive and a sense of optimism that brighter days are ahead of you.” The gallery turned the corner with an exhibit by the late Ojibway First Nations artist Norval Morrisseau in the summer of 2008. For the first time, the gallery turned a profit. “From that point on, we managed to not go back to the days when we were scraping bottom,” she said. And from that point on, “we have been taken seriously as a gallery by serious art buyers,” Ms. Inglis said. The gallery’s biggest patrons, she said, come mostly from the big cities such as Montreal, Toronto, Markham, Ottawa and Vancouver. Overseas orders also come through the gallery’s website – Holland, England, Scandinavia, Australia and the United States. The success of the Morrisseau exhibit has also lifted the spirits of the gallery’s other artists, Ms. Inglis said. “Now they know we can move good art. That was the reputation we were looking to achieve. If we are not 100% there, we are very much on the way there.” n

when Mr. Melizan was barely a month or two away from graduating at Trent University, where he studied economics with a minor in computer studies. Soon after graduation, he joined the family business. The business paved the way for their move to Buckhorn. LOUIS MELIZAN, Trinidad and Tobago


Offers 17 lakefront cottages and suites on 1,600 feet of shoreline on Lower Buckhorn Lake

PEOPLE-PERSON Louis Melizan is a nice guy or, in his own words, a people-person. Really. And so are the other cottage-business owners, like him, in Buckhorn.

He and his parents own and manage the Three Castles Resort, a 4-acre lakefront property on Lower Buckhorn Lake with a cluster of 17 cottages.


“We look after our customers really well, and that’s how we were able to grow our business,” he said. “We have a very loyal customer base. We have guests who have been our customers from way back since 60 years ago. We spend very little on advertising because our customers are our biggest advocates. Other cottage owners have also earned that level of loyalty from their customers, I believe.”

f you are a peopleperson, you won’t have a hard time running our kind of business – even if you know nothing about the tourism industry,” he said. “I did not know anything about the tourism business when we first started out about 26 years ago. But we are good with people; my parents are people-oriented.” Mr. Melizan has since grown into the business to a point that he now has “a good grasp of the business,” he said. And, today, he definitely knows more than a thing or two about the tourism industry. For about four years now, he has been the president of the 140-member Buckhorn District Tourist Association, whose formation dates back to the 1950s and now draws membership from businesses that, in one way or another, are connected with tourism.

Mr. Melizan’s parents purchased the Three Castles Resort in 1987, four years after they migrated to Canada from Trinidad and Tobago. The seasonal nature of a resort business suits them: at that time, they were in semi-retirement, and they were simply looking for a business that requires far less commitment than a full-time work. The acquisition of the business came at a time

“The thing that struck me about Buckhorn was that the people are very friendly and welcoming. The level of volunteerism is also extremely high. I think it’s because it has, for a long time, been a tourist town. When your livelihood depends on tourists, you have to be a welcoming community,” Mr. Melizan said. Over time, the tourist demographics in Buckhorn have changed: the majority of tourists used to come from the United States for leisure fishing. “Now,” he said, “we have people from all over the world come to Buckhorn. They come, and they like the area. So they buy a business and stay in Buckhorn.” Mr. Melizan is hoping Buckhorn’s tourism industry will continue to flourish, allowing business owners to stay open longer than the usual May-October season. In May 2011, Buckhorn’s tourism industry received a boost with the opening of a brand-new $400,000 welcome centre serving as a tourist-information centre. In 2012, the centre received 7,000 visitors over the May-October period. “I look forward to a more developed tourism industry in Buckhorn,” Mr. Melizan said. n



COVER STORY to make you feel included. Everyone seems to have the pre-conceived notion that rural Canada tends to be exclusive. I never felt that. Some people are just so caught up in all biases – the thinking that you will not be included. I think that if you reach out to people, they will reach out back to you.”



Provides pharmaceutical drugs and supplies

RURAL COMMUTE Buckhorn may be an hour-and-a-half drive from where Amish Pathak lives in Markham, but it is very close to his heart; for the past 20 years, Buckhorn has been the location of his pharmacy business and where it thrives on the strength of a caring and supportive community.


r. Pathak is a believer of the rural Canada as an investment site. “We’re

always looking for opportunities, but we’ve always gone to smaller communities. That has worked out better for us,” he said. Whereas many immigrants flock to the big cities in search of diversity and look at rural communities as tending to be more exclusive, Mr. Pathak thinks otherwise. “I think the reverse is true,” he said. “People in the rural communities actually make more effort


Where business is concerned, Mr. Pathak said, rural communities “actually did a better job, I think, of reaching out to businesses more so than probably the cities in general – people do try to support local businesses to keep the business within the local community.” He narrates fond stories about the good people of Buckhorn. In winter, when snow starts pouring, people would actually call, offering him a room for the night, because they did not want him to drive in bad weather and risk a traffic accident. Or, they would call in the morning to check if he arrived safely at work, because they heard how slippery the roads were. For Irma and Horst Klein, their permanent move to Canada in 1976 was an adventure – “it was fun, it was scary, and it was good,” Irma said.




Has 11 cottages, each one with its own dock and ideal for leisure fishing and family vacation



hey were quite young then: Irma was 34 and Horst, 39. And they had a 12-year-old son. They had some money, Horst said, so if, for whatever reason, it didn’t work out, they would go back to Germany and start all over again. They reckoned that the timing of their decision was perfect: if they had postponed it for later, time would not have been on their side, and they might not be young enough to start over

“Would that happen in the city?” he said, laughing. “Probably not.” On another occasion, someone came by his pharmacy with a piece of paper on which a car-licence plate was written. As the story goes, a car that did not belong to Mr. Pathak was spotted hanging around the pharmacy late at night. So, the spotter jotted down the number on the car-licence plate on a paper, which he then handed to Mr. Pathak the following morning. “In case you had a break-in or something,” the man said to Mr. Pathak. Mr. Pathak describes Buckhorn as one of the places where multiculturalism actually works. “You see it in other places as well, I guess. But it becomes more pronounced when you see it in a smaller community; it’s a really nice diversity, and that’s what makes Buckhorn unique,” he said. In Buckhorn, he added, “we got all the support that we wanted from the community.” n if their plan went awry. Back in Germany, the couple owned a gas station and a car-repair shop. “When we decided to move, we gave up the business, sold our house and put our stuff in a container to be shipped to Canada,” Irma said. “We had hectic lives in Germany because of the nature of our business. We put in a lot of hours in the business, and it came to a point that it became very stressful for us.” Four years earlier, the Kleins came to Canada on a three-week holiday. Irma has a sister who had lived in Canada since 1957. They

COVER STORY leave or expect their guests to leave at nine. “The evening is over at nine,” Cees said. “In Holland, guests leave, if you’re lucky, at one in the morning.” Gum-chewing also caught his attention. In Canada, it seems like everybody is chewing gum no matter who you talk to – “somebody from the bank, the car salesman” – while in the middle of a conversation, he said.



Offers 11 cottages on a lakefront property that provides a visually stunning view of the Buckhorn Lake

OH, A FEW LITTLE QUIRKS Aside from the vastness of Canada , there were also a few Canadian habits that Cees Slothouber had to get used to when he and wife Anya moved to the country from Holland in 2004. liked what they saw, and “after many thoughts back and forth, we decided to move,” Irma said. Language was quite a problem for both Irma and Horst in the beginning. “We came with no language,” Irma said. “I remember that, in the beginning, when I was dealing with our guests there was a lot of sign language involved,” she said, laughing. “On the phone, when people called, I would often ask them to repeat what they said – it gives me time to think.” So, they took English classes in Peterborough. “I


few comparisons are inevitable. “In Holland, you can walk or bike to almost everywhere. In Canada, everything is really far apart,” Cees said. OK, no big deal, right? Wrong. “We even lose some busi-

ness on the weekends because parents are busy driving their kids around.” In the beginning, he also noticed that when having a meal and a nice evening together with Canadians, they

think I catch on a little bit faster. After two or three years, I got comfortable speaking in English. We took it seriously because we had to run a business,” Irma said.

before the couple could put some money on the side after paying off their bills, since whatever revenue they made was plowed back into improving the 11 cottages on the property.

Within a short time of arriving in Canada, the couple purchased The Birches Resort, a 46-acre lakefront property in Buckhorn. “We like the business because it is a service business, and that is nothing new to us,” Irma said.

“We worked from morning till evening. But, on top of it, we had a lot of fun,” Irma said. “Everything just went smoothly. We knew what we were going to do when we decided to immigrate. We did not go into it blindly.”

There was a lot of hard work in the beginning, because the cottages were in rough shape, Horst said. And it took about five years

Over the years, business was good. “We have made lasting memories with many of our guests. Some of our guests have been

For Cees, the real shocker was the prominence of women in Canadian banks. “Women actually make the decisions in banks – decisions like who get to borrow money or not,” he said. “I was not used to that. In Holland, I always have to deal with a man in the bank. The higher you go in the corporate ladder, the more men you see.” Cees acknowledges though that “I love dealing with women because they don’t have that macho thing over them and they are often straightforward.” Cees and Anya own the with us since the very first year that we opened for business in 1976. After all these years, they still keep coming back,” Irma said. “We would fondly recall together the days when we were starting out, when we hardly spoke English. And we would laugh about it with their children and grandchildren.” Buckhorn has also been a good place to be in. “Buckhorn is a welcoming community to newcomers,” Irma said. “When we were starting out, other resort owners came, offering their help to us, saying: ‘If you need help, we’re here. Just call us.’” n



COVER STORY Sunrise Resort in Buckhorn, which they acquired in April 2004. The couple were looking for a lifestyle change, something that is more relaxed compared with the busy lives they led in Holland, where, for 25 years, they operated a business involving installations of kitchens, bathrooms and heating systems. “The business was very stressful,” Anya said. They were familiar with the Buckhorn area, where they usually went on fishing trips, along with Anya’s parents, when they came to Canada on short visits. Anya was seven when her parents moved to Canada. She was 19 and had barely completed high school when she went back to Holland, where she stayed after she got married to Cees. The idea to buy and run a resort came in one of those fishing trips – 12 years before Cees and Anya actually came to Canada. When their two sons moved out of their house and were on their own, they decided it was time to “get out of our routine and try something different.” They sold their house and business and went straight to Buckhorn. “We wanted to go to a place that’s out in the country. We knew the Buckhorn area from our holidays,” Anya said. “The first time we were up here, people actually came and offered to help. They came with salads, pastas and strawberries. They brought us all kinds of stuff.” The couple have everything also planned out the moment they decide to retire. “We would actually buy a house around here and be the tourists ourselves. We haven’t really seen much of the area; we were just too busy,” Cees said. n 20



Dr. Rodrigo de Luna in his office at The Peterborough Clinic

ALL IS WELL When Dr. Rodrigo de Luna joined his parents in Winnipeg, Manitoba in February 1987, he had already been a family-practice doctor in the Philippines for six years and working on his orthopedic-surgery specialty. Amid a dearth of jobs for foreign-trained physicians at that time in Canada, he had initially considered crossing the border into the United States.


e was on the thick of his review lessons in Toronto, when he got wind of a potential job for a medical doctor in Newfoundland. He applied and, within one week, received a job offer. “I was given a medical licence in Newfoundland right away,” he said. That marked the start of Dr. De Luna’s medical profession in Canada. In the meantime, his wife, Helen, also a physician in the

Dr. De Luna and wife Helen

Philippines with a specialty in obstetrics and gynecology, and their three kids – Katrina, Claudine and Raphael – were left momentarily behind in the Philippines. “That’s one of the key decisions we had to make: I would try Canada and give it sometime while they wait until I get settled and established before they would join me. If it didn’t go as planned, then I would go back and start over. I don’t really see any problem to re-start my medical practice in the Philippines. Besides, my wife is also a doctor,” he said.

Things did work out, and his family joined him in 1993. By then, Dr. De Luna was into his second year of full-time residency training in family medicine in Newfoundland, finishing in 1994. The residency training, along with writing the medical-licensure examination, allowed him to practice medicine beyond Newfoundland – the medical license issued in Newfoundland is recognized only within its jurisdiction, that’s why. In 1996, Dr. De Luna moved to Timmins District Hospital, where he worked until 2006. By then, their youngest, Raphael, had just finished high school, and Helen had shown interest to start working. After scouting around for the best potential places to relocate, they were drawn to Peterborough, which satisfies Dr. De Luna’s fondness for great outdoors. Peterborough is also fairly close to both Toronto and Ottawa. Most important of all, however, it was in Peterborough that Helen said she found “the ministry that I have been praying to God for.”

She was referring to her role as executive director of the Peterborough Pregnancy Support Services, which provides support to women and men facing unplanned pregnancies. “To me, it’s more than a job; it’s a ministry,” she said. The couple’s community service does extend beyond Peterborough. In February, Dr. De Luna travelled with a team of five doctors, six nurses and nine support crew from Peterborough for a two-week medical mission in central Philippines. The Peterborough Medical Brigade, led by Dr. Hardy Friesen, saw more than 2,000 patients and distributed more than $100,000 worth of medicines. Formed in 2001, the Peterborough Medical Brigade provides free medical and dental care in developing countries across the world. “Everything all worked out for us. I did not regret moving to Canada. Peterborough is where we plan to stay for good. Helen is happy here,” Dr. De Luna said. n



Q&A MELANIE HORNER and it has had a lot of repeat business through expats because he gave us a chance. Driving on the right side of the road is also challenge. In the UK, it’s on the left, so it took some getting used to. Also, the different traffic rules take time to get used to. Another challenge is getting used to being socially isolated in the beginning. I miss my friends from home and my family. On the positive side, I’ve made some new friends and built a new social network. The school system is very different to that of the UK. What did you wish you had known before coming to Canada? Having lived in Canada before helped us to avoid some of the pitfalls – for example, trying to set up a bank account while not having a permanent address. We arranged to set up a bank account in Canada while still in the UK. How expensive most things are. We find insurance very expensive, particularly for the car. We didn’t realize we would be treated as new drivers despite driving for 27 years in England. We also find that clothes and shoes are more expensive than in the UK.

Melanie Horner turns her pottery hobby into a business

LIVING IN COBOURG NEWCOMER BULLETIN: Please tell us why you chose Cobourg. MELANIE HORNER: I have always had an affinity with Canada. My aunt, uncle and cousins lived in Ontario, and we visited several times while I was growing up. Also, in 1990, I worked in Toronto for a year as a nurse. The company my husband works for wanted to expand in North America and decided to set up a manufacturing site in Cobourg. The company chose Cobourg because it was reasonably close to Toronto and also for financial considerations. When we saw the advert for a job in Canada, it just seemed to be sent from heaven. We looked up Cobourg on Google 22


Firing Time can be accessed online at

Maps and liked what we saw. Then, we came over for a visit and liked it even more (even though it was November). We moved to Cobourg in 2011. What were some of the challenges you encountered when you arrived? Getting a credit rating is hard. We were lucky that our bank was global, so they allowed us to have a meagre amount on a credit card. We needed to lease a car but found it very difficult to get the car companies to take us on. Eventually we found one company that did,

Tell us about your work or business. I used to work as an occupational health nurse for 22 years in the UK, working in industry not hospitals. But I have always done pottery as a hobby throughout my life and decided to turn my passion into a business and set up Firing Time. I had a small part-time business in the UK making children’s hand and feet impressions in clay while working as a nurse. Having looked at what was available in the marketplace already, I decided to focus on children as my market. I decided to make children’s clocks with the idea of personalising them with their name on. So far, I’ve made fire trucks, dolphins, princess castles and jungles. I also still take and make the hand and feet impressions for babies and children. I get immense satisfaction from capturing that special moment in time when the children are small and making it last forever. More recently, I organized children’s pottery workshops hosted at a children’s consignment shop in Cobourg. I have also recently expanded my line to making cute little tooth pots so kids can put their lost tooth out for the tooth fairy. n

ADVERTORIAL FLEMING COLLEGE shops and studios. With dozens of lakes surrounded by rolling hills and breathtaking vistas, you can relax, be inspired and explore your creativity. Bring the kids too. HSTA offers animation, archery/fencing, moviemaking, music, and visual arts as part of its menu of week-long summer arts courses for children and teens. If needed, HSTA is happy to help you and your family find accommodations.

ARTS COURSES AT FLEMING Ignite your creativity with an arts course or workshop being offered this spring at Fleming College’s main Sutherland campus.

LIVE ART HERE The Haliburton School of The Arts is also hosting a special one-day fundraising event - Live Art Here - at the Haliburton Campus on Saturday, April 27, 2013.


he college’s Haliburton School of The Arts (HSTA) is now offering its renowned arts courses in Peterborough throughout April and May. It’s a great opportunity to try something new or brush up on your expertise.

It’s a full day of immersion in the arts – the event includes breakfast, lunch, wine reception, art demonstrations, an auction, and participation in an arts workshop.

Courses and workshops include Environmental Art, Portrait Drawing, Abstract Painting, Artful Lettering, Grapevine Home and Garden Décor Workshop, Writing Life Stories, Guitar, and Felting. Full details on these and all of the courses being offered in Peterborough are available at www. SUMMER ARTS COURSES Looking for an out-of-town summer vacation? Fleming College offers the option of an affordable “arts” vacation for the whole family at its beautiful Haliburton Campus (home to the HSTA) situated on Head Lake in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands.

Registration for summer courses has opened and spaces are filling up. For the course calendar and registration details please visit, email or call 1-866-3536464 x 3.

Choose from hundreds of summer courses in a variety of media – everything from quilting to abstract art to jewellery making to sculpture. And no matter which course you choose, all of HSTA’s summer school students can experience the architecturally inspiring campus, creative energy, gallery receptions, art talks, and local galleries,

The workshops are taught by expert artists and cover a variety of media: Digital Photography with Rob Stimpson; Intermediate/Advanced Painting with Rod Prouse; Glassblowing Paperweight with Terry Craig; Felted Scarf with Susan MacDonald; Adobe Photo Shop with Michael Bainbridge; Sculpted Silver Jewellery with Sophia Tink; Sterling Silver Bracelet with Susan Watson Ellis; Rustic Planter with Maggie Longsworth; Wire Song Bird with Charles O’Neil; and Fascinator Workshop with Cheryl Ellis. The cost is $150 (it’s a $250 value) and space is limited. For more information or to reserve a space, please contact Arla Whalen at awhalen@ or Marcia Steeves at, or call 1-866-353-6464 x 1664. Proceeds from this event will provide bursaries and enhance the studio experience of students attending the Haliburton Campus. n




Greg Thompson of Informed Financial Growth

Forum participants

Caroline McNamara of Watton Employment Services


On March 5, 2013, the Newcomer Bulletin, in partnership with the New Canadians Centre and Northumberland County Immigration Portal, organized a forum for newcomers in Cobourg. The forum features speakers from Watton Employment Services, Royal Bank of Canada and Informed Financial Growth.

Rosa Ortega

Maria Victoria Guevara

Luz Ofelia Maya, Caroline McNamara and Lorena Arimon

Francisco Penagos

Jennifer Tennant of Royal Bank of Canada

Oswaldo Bacareza, Theresa Lang and Dennis Lusisa

Greg Thompson and Cory Brzozowski


RED CROSS Volunteer opportunities are available. • Disaster Management • First Aid 565 Water Street, Peterborough

(705) 745-8222 | 24



Mehran Monsef, Laura Jaramillo Carmela Valles and Jenny Santos

Evangelina Rodriguez and Rosy SalcidoSchmidt

Carmela Valles and Elizabeth Thipphawong


Carolyn Corp, Erica Cherney, Cheri Anderson, Jocasta Boone and Patience Gonouya

On February 13, 2013, the Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration hosted the Women’s Business Network of Peterborough event. Women entrepreneurs were featured. Participants also had the opportunity to learn about professional development opportunities and get handson experience making rice paper rolls.

Sharla Trudell, Wanda Clancy, Marilyn Cassidy, Tracy Huang and Bridget Leslie



Faye Shien Tan, Guye Boru and Kateryna Dushkevych

Gwyneth James, Betty Halman-Plumley and Cheri Anderson

Gabriela Revak, Jenny Santos, Carolina Orduz and Hajni Hos

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Payment enclosed (Please make check payable to Mediaplus Village) Bill me later Net proceeds from the sale of magazine subscriptions are earmarked for donation to organizations that provide services to newcomers. To subscribe by e-mail, write to

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On March 2, 2013, the New Canadians Centre and the Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration held the inaugural Masquerade Ball: One Night in Venice gala fund-raiser in which more than a hundred people attended. The event raised more than $9,000. The funds will be used to provide services that would help immigrants and refugees to become full and equal members of Canadian society as well as to provide community leadership to ensure cultural integration in a welcoming community. Next year’s gala will be on March 1, 2014.

The Pyroflyers’ finale performance

Gala guests Debbie Harrison and Kerstin Walsh with Hajni Hos and Jason Stabler

Carolina Orduz, Salwa Mirgani and Jenny Santos Living statue Mark Ross with guests from Carlson Wagonlit Stewart Travel

Guests peruse the array of silent-auction items Naser Miftari, Yvonne Lai and Safo Musta

NCC Executive Director Hajni Hos with Mayor Daryl Bennett and wife Jewell

Bill Boath with Bob and Theresia Laing


Gala ticket winners Garry and Noreen Lister and Benjamin and Lisa Newton

Dave and Kim Thompson and Bill Atkinson

Luz Ofelia Maya and husband Francisco Penagos


Rene and Maria Ferrer

Guests from Cobourg ready to party

Janet Hunter and husband Jean-Luc


Guests at The Venue (backdrop by Esther Vincent)

Singer Dominique Oh against a beautiful backdrop by Ken Powell

Bob and Theresia Laing, Carmela Valles and Joan Barrett

Dr. Rosana Pellizzari delivering the welcome address

Gabriel Ribadeniera and Tracy Huang

Emcees Catharine Hanrahan and Pete Dallliday with NCC interim Executive Director Jason Stabler

Guests from GPAEDC enjoying themselves

The Design Team that decorates the venue for the gala event

Faye Shien Tan paddling away with photographer Elizabeth Thipphawong

Live music with performers Carrie Chesnutt, Mike Graham and friends

Silvestre Delfin and Ramon Valles

Pete and Sarah Dalliday

NCC staff doing the conga line

Steve Ross and Hajni Hos

Singers Dominique Oh and Scott Shi SPRING 2013 | NEWCOMER BULLETIN




MEMORIES OF A SPECIAL CLASS  Before the group met the first time, I scanned the 23 names on the class list. Tazeen? Tahir? Male or female? To me, the names seemed confounding, a wild array of unpronounceable – well, foreign – syllables that tied my Anglo tongue in knots.


t was definitely an international group. The students, all adults, came from all corners of the globe: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Egypt, Nigeria, Eritrea, Tibet, Chile, Brazil, Peru and China. All were trained journalists, hoping to re-start their careers in Canada. For many, English was a significant barrier. It would be my job over the next 13 Tuesday evenings at Sheridan College in Oakville to help them learn something about media law and ethics in their newly adopted country. But those names. How would I learn them? When we met that first night, there was immediate relief, and a major revelation. “We can’t pronounce them either,” one student explained. Of course. Why had I assumed unity in such a diverse group? Obviously, the new professor had a great deal to learn from his students. 28

Already, I knew a bit. My students, many with families to support, were grinding out a living in Canada delivering pizzas, working as security guards or call-centre employees, and driving taxis. One sad-faced man, slight of build and frail, had been tortured in Peru, where good, aggressive journalism was then synonymous with bravery. Or foolishness.

media law and ethics class was inspiring. Scheduled to run three hours, it frequently ran overtime. Students overcame their tiredness to engage in spirited discussions – even arguments – about arcane ethics cases. There was laughter and even applause at times. After the livelier classes, I would lie in bed after my 300-km commute to Sheridan, unable to sleep, replaying the latest classroom adventures in a haze of adrenalin. Early in the course, we had

group presentations on big issues such as the collision between the public’s right to know and the need of some for privacy. I’ve long forgotten who presented what that particular night, but a larger lesson was unfolding in the room. A group of women students went first, with an elaborate, well-rehearsed presentation. It was multi-media, and very slick indeed.  When the baton was passed to the second group – all men – it was immediately evident from the present-

Another student had left his wife and three kids behind in Eritrea. The government had shut down his newspaper, a colleague murdered. When he crossed the border to safety, guns were firing at his back. (About six years were to pass before his family was re-united in Canada, but that’s another story.) And I had thought Washington, D.C. a rough assignment when the FBI invited me to an office at Buzzard Point to ask me a few questions about my informants and a couple of stories I’d written. Silly me. From the get-go, the weekly


Newcomer Bulletin Graphics

THE STUDENTS, ALL ADULTS, CAME FROM ALL CORNERS OF THE GLOBE. ALL WERE TRAINED JOURNALISTS, HOPING TO RE-START THEIR CAREERS IN CANADA. ers’ downcast faces, that the standard of excellence the women had set was not about to be repeated. If memory serves, the male team was even missing a presenter or two. I cringed. In many of the countries represented in the class list, women lack the educational opportunities open to men. And men are not as used to working with women. How were the men in my class going to handle the embarrassment of being shown up by a group of well-prepared women? No worry. The men handled the situation with humility and self-deprecating humour. They began their rather clumsy, incoherent presentation with words of high praise for the stalwart women who had preceded them. And they made it clear their show would not be of the same calibre. Everyone laughed, and a neophyte professor sweated buckets of relief. Not that we didn’t have an awkward moment or two in this United Nations gathering of motivated, sometimes competitive adults. Not everyone who comes to Canada is always able to rise above the enmities of old quarrels better left behind. “I won’t sit next to a Pakistani,” one gentleman from

India informed the Professor – an honorific that I never earned – one evening. “I don’t care where anyone sits in this class,” I shot back. On another occasion, an anti-Semitic remark briefly unsettled the class.  But in truth, those were isolated incidents long forgotten by the night of our last class, when we adjourned early for a farewell beer at a nearby pub, a Canadian tradition that offended no one in the class, even those whose lips will never taste alcohol. A few years have passed, but thanks to Facebook and the occasional e-mail, several class members stay in touch. Not many have found places in Canadian journalism: these are hard times in mainstream media, after all. But in the broader field of communication, some have found modest success. For sure, all earned my lasting respect and admiration for their courage and determination, even when written English remains a work in progress for some. They are building Canada. n Don Sellar is a retired journalist who taught media law and ethics in the Canadian Journalism for Internationally Trained Writers program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. He lives in Port Hope.

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ESL Spring term: 9 weeks intensive study – April 15-June 14 ESL Summer term: 9 weeks intensive study – June 24-August 23 For ESL students who hope to begin a degree in September, the following admission requirements will ensure September degree start: ESL 4: IELTS IE – 5.5 overall with 5.5 in writing; TOEFL iBT 70; PBT 525 ESL 5: IELTS – 6.0 overall with 6.0 in writing; TOEFL iBT 80; PBT 550 May degree start: arrive by May 13

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Newcomer Bulletin Spring 2013  

Newcomer Bulletin is a magazine resource for newcomers and longer-term immigrants to Ontario, Canada.

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