THE MAN BEHIND THE
CAMERA LIFESTYLE | CULTURE | PEOPLE | TRENDS
REACH H IGH E R
MOVATI ATHLETIC AMHERSTBURG
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CONTRIBUTORS SYX LANGEMANN Photographer MARNIE ROBILLARD
DARK ROAST DIGITAL
ALLEY L. BINIARZ
DANIELLE NICHOLSON Interior designer Copy editor
THE MAN BEHIND THE
On the cover: Sarorn Sim A six-time winner of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers Award for Excellence.
LIFESTYLE | CULTURE | PEOPLE | TRENDS
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CONTENTS FALL II 2018
PSYCH DRIVE Stigma Enigma
34 PEOPLE DRIVE Drew Dilkens
COCKTAIL DRIVE Windsor’s cocktail culture
38 PEOPLE DRIVE Matt Marchand
PEOPLE DRIVE Sarorn Sim
WELCOME 6 Editor’s Letter TREND DRIVE 9 Trends to watch
EDUCATION DRIVE 10 Social Enterprise: GreenerBins COCKTAIL DRIVE 14 Windsor’s cocktail culture
ART DRIVE 19 Madison Young PEOPLE DRIVE 26 Sarorn Sim 34 Drew Dilkens 38 Matt Marchand PSYCH DRIVE 44 Stigma Enigma
SPORTS DRIVE 50 The Detroit Tigers EXPAT DRIVE 52 Danielle Wade HOME DRIVE 54 Fall must-haves LIFE DRIVE 56 Cool Dads
EDITOR’S LETTER With six issues actualized and your consistent feedback to keep The DRIVE magazine your favourite Windsor publication, we are closing in on the end of the year and we couldn’t be more proud, more humbled, and more in love with our community. I remember meeting with a potential writer to see if there was a good fit between their heart and soul and ours. When they said, “You’re going to run out of people to write about,” I knew they wouldn’t be a good fit. What we at The DRIVE see in people compared to others is paramount—it’s the key to profound humanity and is exactly what allows us to keep bringing you engaging editorials about the people who walk among us. We are all extraordinary in our own ordinary ways. People are humble by nature—we all think that we don’t have a story. Yet we all do. It can be daunting to share it and it can be frightening to think people will judge us or consider our words ‘nonsense.’ One of my favourite quotes of all time is by Eleanor Roosevelt: “What other people think of me is none of my business.” I believe it—and we are honoured to share with you this issue and illustrate the courage it took for some to open up and share their lives with us. This issue continues to collaborate and authenticate our community. What started out as a passion has become a movement for many of our stories. With our mayoral election coming up on October 22, we felt it would be perfect timing to get a closer look at some of our candidates. No political agendas or biases, just a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the men and their personal stories. As you read each section, I invite you to take in the content with fresh eyes and open thoughts. The reality is, sharing inspires others to reflect. So, dig deep as we will take you places that you have never been. Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to celebrating the stories of many more extraordinary people from our community. Sabine Main
Editorial + Creative Director
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Robots are here to stay. Not only do we have companion robots that help us go to sleep while the ever-popular Roomba does our housework, but robots will now also provide entertainment and companionship using today’s changing technology. Honda recently revealed at the Las Vegas tech convention robotic concepts that focus on AI supporting humans while showing compassion through facial expressions. Find this article online for more.
Smart Home Devices have become one of the hottest items on the gift list, even after invasive marketing tactics, as seen with Burger King. In 2018, competition increased from products that can connect to the big three—Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit. So what’s in store for 2019? Get ready for technology that supports smart home integration, with a focus on surveillance, data sharing, and customization. Find this article online for more.
NUT-MILK YOGURT. Poised to be the next big trend. Like almond milk, which went from playing the role of dairy substitute for vegans and the lactose-intolerant to an option so universal that local coffee shops all took notice, now yogurt is the change that’s coming.
Why this major surge? We can point to the millennials who are generally health-conscious and likely to embrace the “nut-milk” as a non-dairy product—and they’re willing to pay for them.
Fashion This fall is all about expressive and playful fashion. There is an explosion of colours, shapes, and materials seen on the runways. You’ll see mostly solid plain colours that utilize solid pieces and forms to give an avant-garde, simplistic look and keep silhouettes playful. Orange takes centre stage with winter brights. Yellow glow, chestnut, peacock, bright and soft blue, charcoal greys, and whites are all the latest rage to keep you on trend. D.
EDUCATION DRIVE Anushree Dave and Layan Barakat work at the University of Windsor’s EPICentre. This three-part series aims to highlight the stories and capture the emotions behind inspiring social enterprises in our community. To learn more about how you can get involved with social impact initiatives in the area or start a social enterprise of your own, please visit: www.epicentreuwindsor.ca/libro-epic-social-impact-initiative
One person can make a
Dane Fader didn’t always know he wanted to be an entrepreneur, but he did know early on that he was going to make a difference in the world. “I wanted to actively be doing work that would positively impact the negative situation that I was seeing all around me,” said Fader, referring to news about climate change that he kept seeing after the 2016 Presidential Election. Fader, 21, is the founder and CEO of GreenerBins Composting Company, a weekly curbside waste pickup company in Windsor-Essex with residential and commercial compost pickup. Every week, participants receive a bucket to fill with food scraps. The following week, the bucket is picked up and a clean one is left behind. In the final step of this three-step process, compost is given back 10
difference. GREENERBINS TELLS US HOW By Anushree Dave and Layan Barakat Photography: Syx Langemann
and the cycle is repeated. In just under three months since the company’s launch, Fader has received wide interest from local residents and companies and has 127 signed customers in Windsor-Essex—that’s over quadruple the goal that Fader had set for himself before launching GreenerBins Composting in June of this year. Though the success seems immediate, Fader says it took a lot more than just three months to actually get the company off the ground. “A lot of people have said, ‘Dane, you basically had overnight success, how did that feel?’ I always say no I didn’t, at all. It took me two years of very hard work and very, very aggressive searching and research to have overnight success. So it took me two, almost three years to achieve that success.”
Fader’s journey started in Toronto. After graduating high school, he enrolled in a musical theatre program where he studied for a year and a half before realizing it wasn’t his true calling. “I had a lot of fun but I was feeling an emptiness that I couldn’t fill with that field. I had a big passion for environmentalism.” It was 2016, and Fader was going from job to job and province to province trying to find fulfillment in the work he was doing. “I wanted something more stable,” he recalled. “I wanted something that was mine.” With the political and environmental climate continuing to change, Fader has his ear to the ground, paying attention to national and international headlines that speak further to his passion. “The rainforest is being cut down, the oceans are filling with plastic and climate change is real. I was thinking wow, this is not good at all,” recalls Fader. His growing curiosity for addressing environmental systems issues eventually led him to enroll at University of Windsor’s Environmental Studies and Entrepreneurship program to learn more. Growing up in Windsor, Fader was aware of the lack of organic waste management systems we had in our community compared to other cities like Halifax and Toronto, where he briefly lived.
from its ideation stage to execution wasn’t simple. “I moved from Halifax in August and started school in September. I already had the idea but I filled my time with other thoughts and distractions and really blew the idea up to massive proportions—perhaps in an attempt to not start it. I was terrified! It took me almost a year to actually start doing work.” The seed had been planted and Fader continued to mull over the idea but all that changed during one fateful road trip. Fader had agreed to join his professor along with some classmates to a World Wildlife Fund event in Toronto. Surrounded by like-minded peers looking to make an impact in the world through their passion for environmentalism, Fader shared his idea for an organic waste management system in Windsor-Essex. “I told everyone the whole idea was about how to make our campus more sustainable,” says Fader. “I had all the facts and figures, I even had waste audits from the university.” With the support and encouragement of his peers, Fader hit the ground running figuring out just how to make his vision into a reality.
His road to launching the business had its naysayers—many people discouraged Fader, reminding him that if the city hasn’t The process of taking this concept been able to launch a composting program,
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then what makes him think he could do it successfully? He let his inner voice be his guiding force and ignored the noise around him. “Nothing that anyone said was louder than what I was already saying to myself,” he explains, “so I just took it as another opinion and did it anyway.” His environmental knowledge allowed him to realize exactly what needed to be done in order to make a real impact. When asked about his business knowledge at the time, Fader laughed recalling buying books and devouring them within hours. He took it upon himself to learn every aspect of his business from finance to marketing and everything in between. His passion for environmentalism shines through every aspect of his career— whether he’s in an office or making his rounds collecting compost, Fader does it with a smile on his face. Throughout his journey, Dane has grown from an ambitious student with big ideas to a business mogul with a company that is rapidly scaling. Though his path wasn’t straight and narrow, every bump in his road taught him new lessons and led him to where he is today. “I wouldn’t have changed a thing, not one step, not one of those crappy jobs, not one minute of it.” D.
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Behind every good woman…is another good woman and a bunch of good guys. We all know it takes a team to do anything big. Bonnie certainly is a good woman, and she is quick to praise the excellent team she has built around her. She has attracted some of the very best people in the roofing business because of her loyalty and vision for the company.
DS60 "My Wally"
The first of many amazing employees—she calls them friends— is Wally Drouillard. Wally has been with Bonnie from the very start and they have known each other for over 25 years. Bonnie loves to call him “my Wally” and they have had a long-standing practice of having an early morning coffee before the business of the day begins. When you hear Bonnie talk about Wally, this tough lady’s eyes sparkle. It’s apparent that their friendship is deep, and when you ask Bonnie, she fills your ears with story after story of how Wally was always there to lend a helping hand with her son, Garry, as she travelled frequently. She appreciated Wally’s kind nature towards Garry and laughs at the thought of the two always getting into mischief. The memories of the family dog, Diesel, riding his skateboard up and down the driveway along with his football humping shenanigans, make for some hilarious stories! Bonnie believes that there would be no DS60 today if it weren’t for Wally helping her with the job of estimating and ordering in the early days.
DS60 Roofing & Siding 13325 Sylvestre Drive Windsor, ON N8N 2L9 519. 979. 6827 DS60.ca
Alas, all things change. Wally will be retiring this year to enjoy time with his wife of 40 years, Angie, along with his children and many grandchildren. But Bonnie is quick to remind Wally that he can’t completely retire. There is still morning coffee and long-time family and friends that will need roof and siding repairs with Wally being integral to the projects. As you sit with Bonnie, coffee in hand, and chat, she knows all her employees’ stories and she is grateful for all their efforts, but Wally is particularly special to her. With all the sentiment out and on display, it’s time to get back to business. She is off and running to visit a lady who is 93 years old and has a wonky eavestrough corner. DS60 provides roofing and renovations for residential, commercial, and industrial services. With over 120 years of experience combined, they have seen products come and go and know what works. Sponsored by DS60
F&B Bartenders Torie & Travis The Blind Owl Bartender Ricardo
Panache Bartender Martin
Exploring Windsor’s Cocktail Culture IT MAY HAVE BEEN “ON THE ROCKS” TO BEGIN WITH, BUT THESE TALENTED MIXOLOGISTS ARE “SHAKING THINGS UP” IN YQG By Suzy Kendrick | Photography: Syx Langemann
From James Bond’s request for a shaken, not stirred, martini to the four fabulous females of Sex and the City sipping on cosmopolitans at a Manhattan hotspot, the appreciation and enjoyment of cocktails has been a poignant part of popular culture for quite some time. People have always found occasion to drink—to celebrate, to socialize, to curb sadness, or simply to escape. In the ancient Egyptian and Grecian cultures, it was believed that alcoholic intoxication provided a gateway to the gods. As most trends develop in Europe, spirits were no different. They first appeared in upmarket Parisian restaurants in 1792. At the start of the 19th century, vermouth gained popularity in Milan. Point being, cocktails were around long before the first stateside bar opened in Manhattan. However, cocktail culture was developed in the U.S. in the second half of the 19th century. By the 1920s, cocktail bars had become an American institution. That THEDRIVEMAGAZINE.COM
concept was then imitated in Europe, and tically. The cocktail haven was even given the rest of the world. notable recognition on a national scale: Here in our fair border city, local cocktail an honourable mention by Canada’s 50 enthusiasts have often ventured to the Best Bars of 2018 presented by American other side of the Detroit River to imbibe, Express. It was the only place in Windsor especially if their palates demanded more to make the highly respected list.
than a beer or bar rail selection. That is, A new cocktail bar is in the works for until recently. the Dutka/Tourangeau duo. Dutka hints it will be opening this fall. A “laboratory for Did you know? Vodka didn’t appear on the cocktails,” they will feature unique variaspirit scene until the 1970s. This new neutraltions on 100-year-old recipes along with an tasting option, opposed to the previously most extensive wine program. popular choices of gin, rum, and whisk(e)y, took “The trend in drinking is changing,” over the alcohol portion of many mixed drinks. Dutka says. “People are drinking less, but Windsor’s Mark Dutka is a third-genera- they’re drinking better. I’ve always wanted tion career bartender. His family, who used to keep people in Windsor, but I understand to own and run Riverside Drive’s Abars, that they want variety.” may have played a part in the illegal crossTom Scully has been bartending in the border transit of alcohol during Prohibition, area since he was 18 years old. He started by but you didn’t hear that from us. Dutka says working in downtown establishments and he learned to walk behind the bar, literally. says he remembers well that at that time “[Bartending] is just in me,” Dutka says bargoers didn’t care about quality; it was proudly. “I spent my childhood there. I’ve quantity that was demanded. done other things but I’ve always come back “Bartending was about manufacturing, to it. I love meeting new people every night just like Windsor was—whether you were and making them happy.” working on the line at Chrysler or on the Along with business partner, Lucas line at the bar, you were just pumping out Tourangeau, Dutka opened Windsor’s first product,” Scully says. true cocktail bar, The Blind Owl, a mere It was beer and simple two-ingredient three years ago. At their “hidden in plain mixed drinks that were ordered, making sight” location on Ouelette Street, they it tough for truly passionate bartenders focus solely on making craft cocktails with with dreams of creating and serving more the freshest of accoutrements. Herbs are elaborate recipes to spread their wings. As harvested daily from community gardens. a result, many flew the coop to bigger cities All syrups are made in-house. Citrus is where cocktail culture was already alive juiced by hand. They even make their own and thriving. bitters with flavour variations like rose, Scully was living in Toronto when The firewater, ginger, honeycomb, and lavender. Blind Owl opened in 2015. Inspired by what “[When we opened], people who Dutka was doing with cocktails, he decided were already into cocktails were going to to move back to Windsor and join the Detroit,” says Dutka. “Other Windsor movement. Along with his business partner, business owners told us we were crazy for John Alvarez, Scully opened F&B, known opening this place and that the concept for their cocktails and small plates, in 2016. would never sell. They said it was too fancy, that the drink recipes would go right over “Essentially we had to work together to people’s heads.” develop the cocktail culture here,” Scully says. “Our first menu at F&B had a lot “People who follow the crowd will usually go no of classics with a lot of twists, just to get further than the crowd. The person who walks Windsor to understand what was possible. alone is likely to find himself in places no one It was part education, part creativity.” has ever seen before.”—Albert Einstein (who, it Scully’s far-reaching knowledge of is said, enjoyed sipping on a glass of cognac now spirits and passion for exploring all facets and again) of mixology led him to enter the Bacardi Fast forward to today. Business-wise Legacy Cocktail Competition that same Dutka says The Blind Owl is doing fantas- year. With his rum-based concoction, “The
COCKTAIL DRIVE Ambassador”, he won the Ontario regional final, beating eight Torontonians in the process. Since, his recipe has been shared internationally with bars and restaurants in Canada, the United States and Australia serving up his unique, award-winning cocktail. Locally, you can enjoy it at F&B. When it came to cocktail aptitude and ability, Scully says he believes winning that portion of the international competition was a point of legitimization—not only for himself, but also for Windsor. The city now had a platform of accomplishment and recognition that could be built upon. “Windsor is finally being taken seriously,” Scully says. “Today, we definitely want to be on par with Montreal and Halifax.”
to try something new. In comparison to a process to figure out what they may like.” simple bar rail–mixed drink, like vodka soda, “I like when people come in and they’re high-end cocktails tend to cost $14 and up. hesitant to try, or have never had a cocktail “We’ve definitely noticed a shift in the before,” says Dutka. “Their reaction is usually last few years,” Jody says. “People’s palates something like ‘Wow! I had no idea I could have changed. They’re more willing to try get a drink like this in Windsor.’” something new, especially in social situaIn an effort to bring bar industry profestions where, for example, their friends have sionals and enthusiasts together, Dutka experienced a new drink and encourage and Scully created the Windsor Ontario them to try it.” Bartenders Guild. It currently has 30 Whether it’s peer pressure or general members and growing. awareness, the Stojcics say they’re seeing, “We want to build a community that first-hand, the development and expansion shares,” says Scully. of Windsor’s cocktail culture. Jody creates For an annual fee of $120, anyone can new cocktail lists every three months to acquire an open membership that gives keep clients engaged and excited about exclusive access to upcoming events and what’s possible. tastings. Industry memberships are open
Over on Pitt Street, just a stone’s throw So, what’s driving this in Windsor? from the Detroit River and the casino, Panache has catered to a mature, profesIt’s the bartenders. sional crowd for the last eight years. Owners “People like the familiar face of their Jody and Mike Stojcic say they’ve witnessed bartender,” says Mike. trends come and go when it comes popular “It’s trust. Pair that with the bartender’s spirit preferences; vodka to gin to bourbon passion for mixology and it’s contagious to tequila. to want to try to experiment.” While they’ve been developing cocktails since they opened, the couple says the “I’m a creative with liquids and spirits,” struggle, until now, was convincing people Scully says. “We can walk people through the
F&B Bartender Tom
Visit www.windsorbartendersguild.com to join. “I foresee a lot more cocktail bars opening in Windsor in the next five years,” Scully says. “[Windsor] is always going to be a small blue-collar town; that’s what differentiates us. But, no matter what colour your collar, everyone likes to drink cocktails.” Tom Scully of F&B mixes the perfect cocktail for The DRIVE magazine with the concept of ‘less is more’ to complement our look and feel in the magazine. Watch our how-to-video as Tom Scully shows us how to make this fresh, light, and oh-so-delicious cocktail on our website or YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/ channel/UCiQnVgDkcPvyC0Jn4qcQZsQ The DRIVE cocktail recipe: • 1.5 oz (45 mL) Beefeater Gin • 1 oz (30 mL) St. Germain Liqueur • 0.75 oz (22 mL) fresh lemon juice
I foresee a lot more cocktail bars opening in Windsor in the next five years.
to current front-of-house service industry professionals for $100.
• 1 egg white • 3 dashes Dillon’s Pear Bitters (available at Behind the Wood) • ** DRY SHAKE ** •A dd ice and shake again for seven seconds • Double strain • Garnish with toasted thyme We would love to hear how you enjoyed The DRIVE cocktail. Email us at: email@example.com D.
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Poised with a pencil MADISON YOUNG FLOURISHING AS AN ART-TREPRENEUR By Tita Kyrtsakas | Photography: Syx Langemann
How does a 16-year-old entrepreneur have over 70,000 followers on Instagram (more than triple that of two years ago), donate works to Hospice and Transition to Betterness for their auctions, and have a month-long art exhibition where she sells seven original pieces? It all started with a cupcake.
ART DRIVE an easel where she can paint and a counter where she can get lost in her drawings and sign her prints, but Sharon explains that Madison’s work has taken over the house like “tentacles.” No one in the house minds, though. Not even her younger brother, Jacob. “She’s a good kid and she works really hard. The money she makes she doesn’t blow. She invests in herself and her business. She’s investing in her future,” Sharon explains. Last summer, Madison was accepted to the Windsor-Essex Small Business summer company program funded by the Ontario government. The requirements are that you have to be a full-time student between the ages of 15 and 29. Madison had to complete a business proposal and estimates. She learned how to handle money, promote her business, and after a successful completion, was awarded $1,500 to begin. She bought In grade eight, Madison was going on a camera to film videos on YouTube and a family vacation and decided to draw to to photograph her own artwork, business occupy herself on the plane. She had dabbled cards, and banners. in art her whole life, but it was at 35,000 feet When I met Madison, she had just when her parents and the onboard service finished her month-long exhibition at the members knew she had a gift. Gibson Gallery, a historic railroad station Madison was already an Instagram user, in Amherstburg repurposed as a gallery. sharing a few personal photos and a little She was also collaborating on a project bit of her artwork, but when she noticed with a number of artists across the world her peers’ attempts at drawing a cupcake, on Instagram. she thought she’d give it a try on the plane. The collaboration involved having She illustrated a smooth chocolate a shaded rainbow across the eye of their cupcake with pink frosting and a juicy chosen photo of the week. Think Ariana raspberry on top. The drawing looks like Grande with a glittering rainbow across a photograph. You almost wish you could her face. Madison didn't necessarily like reach into the print and take a big bite. how her piece was turning out, but because Madison’s parents, Sharon and Colin, she posted the progress pictures on Instakept looking over as Madison created, and gram, she forced herself to finish it. shared glances of wonder. When Madison was done, Sharon gushes that the “stewardesses were picking it up and showing people.” Humble but honest, Madison knew she had an ability she had to nurture. “At that point, I decided to dedicate more time to my art and pursue realism,” she explains. Now, Madison is in eleventh grade at St. Thomas of Villanova High School. She elects to take the sciences and art, and she has an above 90% cumulative average. She draws every day in her basement studio, but she says “it goes in waves,” depending on her level of motivation and inspiration. In August, she averaged about two to three hours a day. Madison’s studio is a small space with 20
“The photo was also a part of a collaboration. I don’t want to let the others down that are working with me.” She didn’t let her team or her fans down. She finished the project with over 4,000 likes. Her struggle is evocative of the time she drew a portrait of model Cara Delevingne, a photo you can see on her Instagram. She tried adding texture to her forehead using white ink, but it spilled and turned the drawing dark because of the graphite. She had to cover the mark up with a rose headband. She’s still not 100% happy with the final product, but struggle is a part of being an artist. And it didn’t stop her from continuing to create or having her first show. Madison ran her first exhibition with the help of her family and the fantastic staff at the Gibson Gallery. Sharon explains that the gallery “reached out last
year to do a show, but at the time we didn’t know if her portfolio was large enough, so we booked for this year. Madison worked on all her pictures and then you rent the gallery for the month. It’s staffed and they take care of the transactions with a commission.” Madison and Sharon spent the first day curating, placing the pictures where they thought they’d look best. They held an opening reception the following weekend, and throughout the month, people would drop in for free and explore Madison’s distinctive world. Eighteen original works and their prints, created by Sooters Photography, were on display. She limits each run to about 100 prints per artwork, and numbers and signs them. Once she sells out of her current prints, she plans to print 250
ART DRIVE and keep increasing the number as her customers increase. As of now, the prints are available in a 5x7 ($15), an 8x10 ($30), and an 11x14 ($50). Her original artwork has sold for $250 to $350. At the time of the interview, Madison was still waiting to hear back from the gallery for a final count of the number of prints sold. She was told that her large sale of originals is a key distinguisher of her talent: patrons buy originals because they see them as an investment knowing Madison will continue honing her skill. I grew up with family members who drew and painted, and I wondered if Madison felt pain when she sells her original works. “There are certain pieces that are really special to me that I don’t want to give up, like the first cupcake and my eye drawings because they’re especially challenging. But with my other pieces, I’m happy they’re going to someone who will take care of them,” she smiles. For Sharon, it’s a little more bittersweet. “When someone buys them it tugs at my heartstrings. It’s gone.” But she sees the beauty in letting them go to the buyers. “Something spoke to them, and inspired them and they felt they needed that in their home. When you’re decorating your home with artwork, it’s very personal. You pick out a picture for a specific reason. As a parent, I feel so honoured.” Another gratifying part of the exhibition was that Madison interacted with a number of different people, some of them artists, and a handful of kids “who are fans on Instagram.” “It’s such an honour to give back to the community because when I was younger I would look up to a lot of artists who inspired me and got me to the point where I am today,” says Madison. “I see myself in these young kids who are fans and encourage them to pursue artwork.” I explain to Madison that 10 years ago, when I was in high school, there wasn’t an Instagram. She can’t imagine. She attributes her success to the platform because it keeps her motivated and inspired. “I honestly don’t think I’d be where I am without Instagram. So many people have inspired me to keep going and if I hadn’t been on Instagram I wouldn’t have seen the cupcakes. I’m sure I’d always be drawing, but I honestly don’t think I’d be at the point where I am today.” She also uses the platform to challenge THEDRIVEMAGAZINE.COM
herself to create a new drawing every week. It doesn’t always work out, but she tries. As for the future, Madison still wants to go into the sciences, whether to end up as a surgeon or an engineer. She knows there are programs at the University of Windsor like SMART (Science Meets ART), and she keeps science as her priority. Wherever she ends up, she will continue pursuing art. And her parents are on board no matter what. “If it did take off, I would absolutely support it,” promises Sharon. “It’s a difficult career. We’ve been supporting her all along and you have to do what you’re happy with so for her, if she gets into engineering and she hates it and says, ‘I want to be an artist,’ then she can pursue an art career.” For now, Madison will continue enjoying her teenage years: keeping up a social life, working in colour pencil while blasting Drake and Nicki Minaj, creating oil paintings of animals to donate 50% of the profits to World Wildlife Fund, of support behind her, and who wants to cooking, and dreaming of the next place give back to the community and make the she wants to see again: Japan. world a better place. I leave the interview in awe of this Madison has included an outline of her humble young woman who knows that her sunflower portrait so that you can relish in success is due in large part to the village creating a piece of art. (see next page)
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The other side
of the camera WINDSOR’S OWN WORLD-CLASS CINEMATOGRAPHER SHINES LIGHT ON THE HUMANITY AT THE ROOT OF SOME OF THE WORLD’S MOST INTERESTING STORIES— INCLUDING HIS OWN By Jesse Ziter | Photography: Syx Langemann
PEOPLE DRIVE When Sarorn Sim—you can call him Ron—was a child, he spent a lot of time sitting and waiting in front of the family television in Windsor. Back then, you were never more than 10 minutes away from the next commercial break. “When I was a kid, I couldn’t understand English,” shares Sim today, a few decades older but no less full of wonder. “Commercials were always the most visual form available. I could understand what they were talking about in 30 seconds. I used to love watching commercials.” These days, he makes them—among a great many other things. A six-time winner of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers Award for excellence in corporate branding and educational cinematography, Sim shoots widely across genres. He’s worked productively in advertising, television, web films, documentaries, and special assignments in remote and hostile environments, capturing everything from down-the-middle television spots for trendy yoga pants and Russian breakfast sausages to boots-on-the-ground documentaries on survivors of genocide and deadly natural disasters.
One day, Sim’s eyes in particular were transfixed by a similarly shocking development at ground level: a white man, holding the largest camera he had ever seen. Sim watched him for hours. On September 25, 1985, the Sim family emigrated to Canada and settled in Windsor. Soon after, he saw what looked like a familiar image on the family television. He was watching The Killing Fields, a British biographical drama about those very same camps. Of course: the man behind the camera. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sim became something of a news junkie. “Every morning I’d wake up at 6 am,” says the former Begley Public School student. “I remember I was in second grade, and I would wake up to watch the local news, then I’d wait for CTV Morning to have the international news flash. And I loved it. They were short stories; I would understand everything! At 10 years old, I would go to school, and the teacher would ask me, ‘What’s in the news today?’”
Sim agrees he must have internalized the rules of non-fiction film grammar during those countless captive hours. “It was my morning ritual,” he notes. “Not cartoons, His portfolio is, above all else, moving not anything else.” evidence of the human capacity for empathy. Scene: The harsh fluorescence of a secondIn his own words, Sim’s enthusiasm for hand store. Small, tomato-stained fingers storytelling is “fuelled by my desire to bring trace the contours of a makeshift shelving viewers into different worlds, expanding unit supporting small piles of disowned and their perspective, and gaining a better under- abandoned electronics, eventually stopping at a standing of the people and places that make handheld VHS video recorder. up our planet.” It’s a good line, and the work When Sim was 13, he spent his summer supports it. To Sim, only through understanding the broader human experience do mornings and afternoons picking tomatoes we come to understand ourselves. Stories on a Leamington farm. Before the school year reflect and represent our reality, but they also reappeared over the horizon, he’d managed to save $220. It was enough to take to his shape and coax it. neighbourhood Goodwill store and leave Sim’s Rolodex includes multinational with his first camera. “My biggest concern at corporations, news and non-governmental that time,” he recalls, “was how I could afford organizations, and television networks from tape every week.” around the world—the National Geographic Years later, Sim convinced his parents, Channel, Outdoor Life Network, BBC, APTN, and CTV—but also Ford, LG, with the help of a supportive teacher, to allow McDonald’s, Lululemon, and Kraft. He’s him to enroll in Sheridan College’s Media even found a successful line of work filming Arts–Film and Television program. It wasn’t immersive 360-degree virtual reality installa- easy: back in Cambodia, they’d witnessed tions for trade show booths. There’s a lot of artists and educators routinely murdered in their home country in an attempt to quell any world out there to shoot. subversive influence. None of this was ever very likely. Sim “Convincing my parents to let me go to grew up in a refugee camp along the border of Thailand and Cambodia, during one of film school was a very big ordeal,” Sim recalls. the worst periods of mass killing of the 20th “Their dream was for me to work at Chrysler century. His family subsisted on rations of on the assembly line. Have kids, build a rice, cans of tuna, and United Nations– house. They finally let me go, thinking that branded water jugs, eyes frequently fixed on I would get it out of my system, come back, and work at Chrysler.” the bomber-dotted sky above.
PEOPLE DRIVE As a freshman at Sheridan, Sim was assigned to produce a short documentary about a topic of his choice. So, he chose the best one he knew. “I’d always wanted to tell my story,” he relates. “I pitched a concept about the story of a little boy coming to Canada for the first time and learning about himself and his own past. It was called Forgotten Past. It was a way for me to find out about myself.” To this end, Sim showed up in his parents’ living room with a student film crew, and later ventured out across the city to gather B-roll. The project won “best documentary” at Sheridan’s end-of-year awards. It was the first time a first-year student had ever captured that honour. But Sim was just getting started. Shortly thereafter, he and a friend-cum-production partner began knocking on the doors of some of the country’s biggest television networks. Sim’s parents were planning a return trip to Cambodia for the first time in a quarter-century, and he wanted to send a camera crew. Sim laughs at the memory. “The networks all looked at us like, ‘You guys are nuts. You’re 18 years old. We’re not going to give you hundreds of thousands of dollars to tell this story and risk not making any of it!” In the end, the duo scrounged everything they could, stretching their paper-thin film-student budget to as far as it would go and asking tape, battery, and camera manufacturers for handouts. Their grit and industry took them to Asia, and they came back with the one-hour documentary that effectively represented Sim’s entrance into professional filmmaking.” “That was my stepping stone to telling human stories,” he shares. “It’s not my best work, I don’t think, but it’s the best story I’ve ever told.” Scene: Across a desk in a CTV production office, an email flashes onto the screen of a low-level employee: war has broken out in Afghanistan, and the network is looking for intrepid reporters willing to travel to cover it. A few months after September 11, 2001, everything changed. “Nobody wanted to go, so I said, I’m going to go,” recalls Sim. “Because I’d have a job! I didn’t want to be one of those film school graduates without a job.” His parents didn’t speak to him for six months. “It was a huge conflict, but I felt a calling,” Sim now insists. “I felt that the general audience here had no inkling of what had 28
PEOPLE DRIVE happened. Because, when you look at where I come from, the genocide happened because nobody in the outside world knew what was going on in this little country in southeast Asia. I felt very strongly that if there was something I could shed some light on, then that would be my contribution. “War is a very weird dichotomy,” he continues. “You go there, and you’re scared shitless. And in that split second where you’re getting shot at, you say you’ll never do it again. And then you come back to Windsor, you have a hard time settling back in, and you’ve just gotta go back. And so I went back, many times.” Scene: A plane touches down just as night falls over Lahore, Pakistan, a handful of hours from the Afghani border. A travel bag, heavy with lights and cameras wrapped in shirts and towels and so made, for the moment, invisible. Peeking out from a bulletproof vest: a smooth, eastern face with little hope of blending in. A van waiting to leave under the cover of darkness. Sim’s most harrowing assignment was a project for a religious non-profit called Voice of the Martyrs. He was commissioned to tell the story of a young Christian girl who had escaped Taliban kidnappers on foot.
head and entering his mouth, ears, nose. Sim these things, situations like that, I forget. doesn’t take the photo. That’s my biggest fear in this life: forgetting Sim spent plenty of time shooting in Haiti those moments that I’ve had.”
in the wake of the country’s crippling earthScenes: An idiosyncratic black and white quake. At times, the tough assignment forced sketch of a French-accented jazz scat musician with him to grapple for the dividing line between a penchant for Motown reveals itself to be an ad documentation and exploitation. for Shure Audio. A piece of LG is ostensibly about “I don’t know why I didn’t take the cellphones, but it really tells a story, backdropped picture,” Sim recalls. “That was years ago, by a recognizable Shins instrumental, about the and I still think about it to this day. In the ways technology connects families. A sentimental back of my head, I was thinking, if I take this spot traces a young woman as she wades into the working world after earning her first job; it happens photo, in what way would I contribute?” to be at McDonald’s. The story, one that Sim told as part of Over the past six or seven years, Sim has his successful TEDxWindsor talk earlier this transferred himself all-but-completely over year, unearths a similar memory. “I remember to commercial work. “It’s a different kind of another time walking through the streets of storytelling,” Sim offers, not quite supressing Haiti,” he recollects. “I met this woman who a laugh. “I’m selling a brand now as opposed had just given birth to her son two days after to trying to buy hearts and minds.” the earthquake. And I said to her, ‘Hey, I was born in a refugee camp as well, and I’m doing Sim, who takes on between 30 and 50 fine; there’s a future for me. Just because your projects in a normal year, now frequently son was born in the middle of chaos, don’t finds himself criss-crossing the globe to tell ever think anything less of him. If he travels human stories on behalf of multinational the right path and believes in himself, and corporations. “Having that understanding of you support him, he could get somewhere.’” the human experience and bringing that to Visibly emotional, Sim has touched on a brand is what a lot of companies now seek what must be a fundamental fear of erasure to do,” he explains. “To humanize a brand that motivates all good documentarians. In a is very important, and that’s the specialty I curious way, this anecdote brings more terror bring. It allows me to use what I’ve learned in to the surface than anything that happened the past and bring that to a commercial level.”
After landing in Pakistan, Sim’s crew backtracked into Afghanistan to interview the girl and her family and to retrace her in Afghanistan. “As I get older,” Sim explains, Sim’s commercial pieces tend to tell steps across the border. The crew drove “because I don’t usually talk to people about small, empathetic stories about humanity. though Abbottabad, almost always after dark to avoid detection by the Taliban, likely coming within walking distance of Osama Bin Laden. “When you’re around war, it’s very boring,” Sim relates. “It’s not like in the movies, where it’s gunfire every minute, where you think you’re going to get killed. That’s scary! But what’s scarier, what made this project more dangerous for me, is the unknown.” As Sim explains, there was no active conflict—no war war—on the Pakistani side of the border. In the moment, there’s no gunfire, and only the occasional bomb in the distance. But the threat of kidnapping, torture, or worse is constant. “It’s in the back of your head,” he shivers, “and you think it can happen at any second.” Scene: Haiti, 2010. Sim peers through his viewfinder, panning carefully but not purposefully across an earthquake-razed neighbourhood. As if out of nowhere, a young Haitian boy appears, alone, sitting in a small red chair. A perfect composition. The boy notices and stares directly, a broad smile spreading out across the width of his face. There are flies hovering all about, swarming his THEDRIVEMAGAZINE.COM
Khemara Buddhist Temple
Khemara Buddhist Temple
Often stretching over a minute in length, the spots generally employ a familiar, recognizable aesthetic: clear human faces in front of the camera; swathes of natural light; the soft, steady thrum of pleasant but propulsive background music. “A cinematographer is the person that captures the visuals to help paint the story,” he explains. “If I can tell a story visually, before the words are added, then I’ve done my job very well.”
Highway 3 home that has served for the past While Sim is currently based in Bloomdozen or so years as a place of worship and ington, Indiana, where his wife attends sanctuary for the 80 to 100 families that medical school, he hopes to soon land back comprise the southwestern Ontario Cambo- in Windsor, to stay. dian diaspora. “I’ve always wanted to settle back in Outside of work, Sim now spends a Windsor,” says Sim. “It’s my hometown. fair amount of his time galvanizing the It means a lot to me, to come back and second-generation Cambodian community hopefully raise a family here and have them to reach for greater heights. He hopes to one understand some of what I’ve been through. day consolidate the temple’s holdings, sell the I’m very fortunate in that I’m at a stage in property, and commission the construction of a proper temple—one recognizable from my career where I can practise my craft the road as a traditional Cambodian place anywhere.” of worship. Then, the real work can begin.
Scene: Sim’s white BMW meanders around the streets of Windsor, retracing the tracks of what became a welcomingly normal Canadian youth: an elementary school; a vacant alley that doubles “Having a place like this to come back to perfectly as a bicycle thoroughfare; a convenience makes me more grounded,” says Sim, who store with a history of brisk penny candy sales. was raised in the faith. “I believe it makes me In his professional life, Sim has always become a better person. When you’re dealing been attracted to the ability to transform an with big sets, big egos, big lights, and the big environment without really ever touching Hollywood world, you kind of forget you’re it, like a magician must presume to do. “I human! Coming back to a city like this and have an infatuation with flashlights,” he having a place of worship, a family, and a confesses. “I paint with light. That’s what I community that supports me and that knows do. I never understood why, but I remember me—it’s priceless.
once pointing one at something dark, and I “Our parents brought us here, and exposed that area; I felt that image that was established a base for us here to thrive,” he being exposed then had a purpose.” continues. “But how do we use that to make Going forward, he hopes to effect trans- a base for our children? What’s our stamp here? What kind of place are we going to formation in a more material way. When Sim’s family arrived among the leave behind here in Windsor? When I drive first wave of Cambodian immigrants to our by Dominion Boulevard every day, and I see area, there was no Cambodian Buddhist that Muslim mosque, I am so proud to see temple in Windsor to greet them. Today, that here. I want that same feeling for our Sim is sitting across from me at Khemara community. If I’m able to do that in my Buddhist Temple, a modest, retrofitted lifetime here in Windsor, I would love to.” 30
Scene: In an unremarkable theatre inside a conventional suburban cinema, a man and wife sink softly into their seats, waiting patiently as a Ford pickup truck powers across the frame. Ten seconds pass, and then twenty, and then maybe five more. The man adjusts himself, straightens his back, and widens his eyes. “Hey,” he exclaims, almost involuntarily. “I shot that commercial!” Find Ron's online work at: http://www.sarornsim.com https://www.instagram.com/rondondingdong/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/ron-sarorn-sim-csc76212ab/ https://www.facebook.com/sarorn.sim TEDxWindsor talk: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=qJqRZ9GpyXs D.
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Family Man, Traveller, and just Drew STOPPING FOR EVERY CONVERSATION, DREW DILKENS IS A MAN OF THE PEOPLE By Alley L. Biniarz | Photography: Syx Langemann
It isn’t often that Drew Dilkens shuts off After that, he decided to become a lawyer. his role as mayor and honestly, after speaking There was satisfaction in completing law to him, I can see why. He is genuinely the school, and then in finishing his doctorate “Windsor Man” right to the core. degree. It took sacrifice, but it still wasn’t I catch him glancing out the City Hall Drew’s passion project. windows that overlook the Detroit skyline, Drew’s passion was the city. and even as the view is murky and covered And watching him sitting in his light with rainy fog, Drew looks delighted to be shirt all done up neatly, pinned together here, looking at our neighbouring cities and with his signature red tie, still he seems seeing what they have both become in the 12 comfortable and relaxed, as if this is exactly years that he has sat on city council. where he loves to be and is most himself Before his time in this job, Drew was always involved in the community. He says when representing the city. He’d almost missed out on it, right that even back in high school when he and his wife Jane Deneau were dating, he was the before he ran for city council again in stereotypical guy on student council, while 2006. He and his wife Jane nearly moved to Belgium for a year. As lovers of travel and leading other clubs and organizations. other cultures, they figured they could live “Some parents worry about their kids there for one year and return with a new doing drugs, but I don’t know that my language under their belts. He especially parents ever had that worry. It was, ‘Oh he’s wanted to go because of his father’s Belgian coming home as the president of Crime roots. But when Drew got the call that there Stoppers… at 19,’” he laughs. would be space opening up for city council, Like most teenagers, Drew’s interests Jane knew he would regret it if they ever left. were always changing. He once decided that This was his dream, and he’d worked too he was going to become a police officer. hard to just leave. He had applied a few times while in And she would have been right. Drew university and passed the physical. But belongs in Windsor. Even as he fulfills his his interviews never lasted more than two other passion of travel, he looks for ways to minutes. They kept telling him to come back bring insight and culture right back to his once he was done university. hometown. He didn’t understand. He’d passed, “I love my city, and I love Canada. But I what else was he missing? The experience love seeing other things, feeling something did something for him though—it pushed different, smelling other smells. All of the him to finish his education. In the course of senses are engaged in a different way when finishing his degree, Drew realized it wasn’t the career he wanted to pursue after all.
you step out of an airport into a place where you’ve never been before,” he says. Travelling sparked in him a craving to go out and see something new, and it opened his mind to other schools of thought that he otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to experience. Now, he and Jane try to get their two kids out to become citizens of the world. “I want them to feel like they’re not constrained to stay in Windsor. That they can go anywhere and do anything and feel like the world is open to them,” he says. Both his son Jack (14) and daughter Madison (17) were born in Detroit and have dual citizenships, along with having their EU passports. The parents have created opportunities for their kids to be able to travel anywhere in the modern world, especially having enrolled Jack and Madison in fully French schools right from kindergarten. These travels expose Jack and Madison to fresh ideas and unusual conversations, which is exactly why Drew and Jane love to just hop in the car and drive off for the day. “Let’s use the Tecumseh-Brock Monument for example,” Drew begins. “There was a lot of pushback from the community that we shouldn’t be investing in our history or spending our money on a statue. Many people didn’t see why it would be important, and I think a lot of that criticism came from people who haven’t been to cities that do it and haven’t seen what it
It was all thanks to one particular call while he was volunteering with the Windsor Police Auxiliary. “We got a call on the west end in the middle of winter. It was so cold and when we pulled up all we could hear were people yelling and a baby crying. Inside, the kitchen had white walls. Now imagine taking a sponge and dipping it in red paint, then putting it into a towel and swinging it around. Ceiling to floor: it was all blood. So unbelievable. I still get goosebumps telling the story.” It was the chaos of that call where all Drew could remember thinking was, “I can’t do this as a career.” He worked for 10 more years under this unique experience of being able to stand briefly in police officer’s shoes, of going for ridealongs every winter. He has a deep respect for what officers do—he’s seen the work firsthand. But it just wasn’t for him. THEDRIVEMAGAZINE.COM
means. Especially in European cities where statues are everywhere. It becomes part of the fabric of the community.” Drew believes that these monuments, especially historic public art, tell an authentic story that makes up our city. If his children experience the world, they won’t shut down an idea right out of the gate just because they can’t picture it in their own minds. “We have to think of Windsor but also think bigger. We need to bring the best ideas back and think how you can incorporate them here in our community in an authentic way.” Aside from travel, there isn’t much spare time while living as the mayor, especially between having kids and getting things done around the house. It’s one of those jobs that Drew says, if done right, becomes a part of you. When he’s out, he doesn’t get recognized as “Drew”; he’s “The Mayor.” Even when he’s shopping at Costco. “It’s not a bad thing actually, you become accustomed to it. Frankly, for me, those conversations are nice, and people will rarely come up to you and be ignorant. It energizes me that we can talk about the city,” he says, as long as they can have a rational and civil conversation. But actually, the most common comment that Drew hears when people first see him is, “Wow, you’re so tall.” They don’t expect his 6’4” stature because Drew is normally caught sitting at a desk, or only half of him is captured in a photo. When I ask him, “What is the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t know from your resumé alone?” he says that he feels so un-Canadian in talking about himself, so he decides to call his chief of staff, Norma Coleman. “I have no audience to ask and I can’t do a 50-50, so I’m phoning in a friend,” Drew jokes. Norma’s answer is almost immediate. “In spite of your height, you were never a basketball or volleyball player, but a swimmer,” she says. We all laugh as our long conversation fades. Most of Drew’s campaign team even teases that he takes too long when he goes door-to-door, that he would happily talk to someone for 20 minutes. And they’re right. Despite how hectic his life is, he’s never too busy to have a good, engaging conversation with someone. D. 36
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Focusing on the task at hand: An Inside Peek at the Life of Matt Marchand WHO IS THIS POLITICIAN OUTSIDE OF HIS CAMPAIGN? By Alley L. Biniarz | Photography: Syx Langemann
Sitting in the Riverside Pie Café, Matt Matt jokes that the only excuse for Marchand lifts his hair to show me the minis- missing practice was death, and that was your cule hockey scars that decorate his forehead. own. Even then, you were expected to haunt your team. “We practised twice a day, every Growing up, his family had a hockey day, for seven days. You’re playing when you rink in their backyard, and by age five Matt don’t want to play, playing when you’re hurt, had been taken to the emergency room playing when you’re sick. It’s about taking three times. His mom cried that he would yourself to a place in your mind to overcome never live a normal life—that he’d just obstacles. When the obstacle is in front of become one big stitch by age 10. His dad you, it’s your job to remove it. There are no thought it was great—this meant he’d grow excuses when you step out onto that field,” to become a great athlete. he says. There was this interesting dynamic As extreme as it seemed, this mindset present in Matt’s childhood. With a Windsor- formed a basis for Matt’s professional life and Essex Sports Hall of Fame father, and an art encouraged him to constantly step out of his history major mother, Matt’s days were split comfort zone and to push himself further. down the middle. In the morning, he went “A lot of my experiences in life happen off to the art galleries and in the evening, it this way. It’s not about the particular thing was to the football field. for me, but the broader teaching lesson. It’s “Well, at age five, it’s pretty much being about doing stuff you normally thought you dragged to the art galleries,” says Matt couldn’t do and then just having to go do Marchand, mayoral candidate. “From a it,” he says. young age, my mom was very adamant that Matt’s philosophy comes down to making we be exposed to the arts early.” yourself uncomfortable. The importance of From Toledo to Toronto, the kids visited stepping out of his comfort zone is exactly each gallery their mom had in mind, and it why he began competing in triathlons in the carried forward and transformed and trans- first place. posed itself into Matt’s love for architecture. “I used to either bike, run, or swim. So I thought, why not do all three? It was totally “Look at me: one side is art and archiout of my comfort zone. I said, ‘Let’s just do tecture, and the other is athletic. It melts it. Let’s just get it done.’ And I began training together into one person. We can have a very for it.” eclectic conversation—in the same sentence I can mention both architecture and then It all goes back to what his coach would triathlons,” he says about his dual passions. say in practice: “Focus on the task at hand.”
He had never visited London and he didn’t know anyone there. He had two bags and a carry-on. As he stared up at his new ceiling in his London flat, he tried focusing on the task at hand.
Matt’s life with athletics took off with baseball, hockey, and playing on W.C. Kennedy’s football team in high school. But it was never about the sport itself; it was about a mindset that was formed from playing them.
It meant that even if you had 200 problems, you had to focus on problem 2 first. Once you figured it out, then you could move onto problem 3, and work downstream until you got to them all.
With one call, his old football coach gave him one more task: to go work for Mike Hearst. His coach was running the campaign for the mayor at the time, and Matt agreed to report for duty the next day.
“Sports are about discipline,” says Matt. “It’s about what happens when everyone comes together on that field. It’s about what you learn and take away from the sport.” This mindset was one that the entire team would get behind, and once they did, the coach knew the commitment the team would bring to the field. “Sore. Rain. Cold. Tired. You name it, and we still played.”
Matt would keep these words with him And that’s how he ended up serving as when his childhood friend convinced him to Policy Assistant to the mayor from 1992 to apply to graduate school in the UK. 2003. From there, he continued to work Matt’s grades were good throughout his within Government Affairs, and eventually Honours Bachelor of Commerce at the Univer- became President and CEO of the Windsorsity of Windsor, so his friend thought it was a Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“If you look at the whole picture at once, you get intimidated by it. Just chunk it all down to small pieces and do the first thing first,” he tells me. The LSE challenged Matt in a similar way as his sports teams did. It brought together powerful people from schools all over Europe, but it didn’t matter where you’d come from. Everyone was at this school, and they were expected to perform at a certain standard and level. The school challenged Matt to go places he didn’t know he could. Being in London was also architecturally stimulating for Matt. When he looked at the buildings in Europe, he could see Rome’s impact on how the roads were laid out in London. He was fascinated by the Tower of London and how it resembled the Ancient Roman court. Much of his recent interest in Roman history was sparked from living abroad. You wouldn’t know offhand that Matt is an armchair historian, but once you get him started he can speak endlessly about the impact of that time on Europe and on today’s society. Coming back from his studies abroad in 1992, Matt had no plan. But as luck—and having good contacts—would have it, things came full circle for him.
great idea. Matt wasn’t so sure at first, but he “Sometimes life is about serendipity, ended up applying to the London School of but most of the time it’s just about building Economics (LSE) anyway, and got in. connections and relationships,” Matt says.
HISTORY DRIVE That’s how he continues to build most of his team now that he’s running for mayor. Once Matt has pulled someone in, they’re stuck with him for life. Including his executive assistant Lindsey Rivait. She sits at the Pie Café with us, and jokes about being dragged into his morning routine of waking at 5:30 am, but in defiance, she sends him grumpy Garfield GIFs. Lindsey jokes that the latest she can sleep in anymore is 8 am, but adds that the campaign has been an incredible ride so far. Ever since delivering the Globe and Mail as a kid, Matt has been a morning person. He never snoozes his alarm as his favourite thing to do is watch the sunrise, whether he watches it from his boat or during his morning workout. Aside from being an avid reader, Matt continues to clear his mind through fitness. Once or twice a week, he and his partner Charlotte Loaring get a workout in together and then enjoy a treat at the Riverside Pie Café. Charlotte is a fitness enthusiast as well, having even participated in an Iron Man competition in South America. Matt says that when the two had first met, Matt had asked her to go for a swim. He had no clue about Charlotte’s impressive swimming past as the captain of the Toronto swim team. She’d never lost a race. Matt was exhausted by the end of the length, and as he looked back he saw that Charlotte continued. Effortlessly. “She completely crushed me.” When I ask if they’re highly competitive as a dynamic sporty duo, he says, “Oh no, she kicks my derrière.” Charlotte pulls Matt into the water for their workouts, and they usually swim about 2000-3000 metres together. What Matt does in 90 minutes, she does in under an hour. But instead of being intimidated by it, he looks at the whole picture and chunks it down. He continues to push himself outside of his comfort zone by “focusing on the task at hand.” D.
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When I was in grade 12, two of my classmates, a pair of twin sisters, gave a presentation on mental health and the word â€œstigma.â€? I sat there bewildered. I had no idea what this word meant and was amazed that my two friends did; I had also never heard anyone speak openly about mental health. This was only seven years ago. The same month I graduated high school in June 2011, the Ontario government released a document that addressed mental health and addiction for recognition in the classroom. Today this document is called Supporting Minds, and is a comprehensive text that aids teachers in early intervention and offers resources for classroom use. This text is available online, and as Iâ€™m finishing my second
FIVE YEARS OF MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS IN WINDSOR-ESSEX By Tita Kyrtsakas | Photography: Syx Langemann
year in the education program at the University of Windsor, I realize the importance of utilizing this document. My high school cohort, and all the ones before me, never had education on our mental health. It’s today’s youth who are encouraged to reach out and ask for help, to be honest about how they’re feeling. However, even with this progress, there is still a stigma surrounding mental health. “Stigma” is defined as a mark of disgrace. Mental health is stigmatized. People are still plagued to talk about their mental health because it’s not something you can see, like a sprained ankle. There’s no quick fix. The generations before us, including mine, never spoke about our mental health, meaning the vast majority of the population still sees mental illness as something shameful. So where do we start to break down these walls? Enter Dr. Patrick Smith. In 2013, Smith started a group called Stigma Enigma to increase awareness of mental healthcare in Windsor-Essex. Smith, a general practitioner, lost both his niece and nephew, Sophie and Geoff Smith, to suicide. He’s also lost friends
Dr. Patrick Smith
and patients over the years and the heartbreak was mounting. It was at Geoff’s wake that Smith’s friend, the late Honourable Paul Joseph French, expressed his anger and frustration towards the lack of understanding and recognition of mental health. Dr. Smith and French promised to start working towards educating the public on mental health care. Each year, Stigma Enigma hosts an event, Mingle for Mental Health, to bring the community together for an evening of educating and fundraising. Past speakers have included Silken Laumann, Margaret Trudeau, Dave Bing, Eric Hipple, Michael Landsberg, Ginger Zee Aisha Alfa, Jordan Smith, Eddie Murray, and Ted Ball.
in her early twenties. Her mom urged her to do in-patient treatments, wanting her daughter to learn skills so that she wouldn’t hurt herself. But Zee consistently told her ‘no.’ She wasn’t ready for help.
my serious struggles, I’ve been two people.” She’s the passionate meteorologist, smiling and informing the public, “covering the storm, the Hurricane Katrinas and the Sandys.” But then she’s the person who has “these internal storms” she continues She was finishing college when she to fight. tried to commit suicide. She describes it “And even though mine’s more public, as feeling “vacant.” Nothing mattered, a lot of people do this, a lot of people including herself. It was “like blacking out.” have two sides of themselves and it’s their The next morning, she looked at herself in responsibility to put on a face and then the mirror and she couldn’t believe “the they compare themselves to the next face. same person did that. I was like ‘what?! And that weighs on you. Especially on What was that?’ young people.”
This year, Ginger Zee, Good Morning America’s chief meteorologist, will make her way to Windsor to speak about her own struggles with depression. When I first saw the poster for the event, I couldn’t believe the woman I watched growing up, telling me and the rest of the world about hurricanes, torrential downpours, or days filled sunshine, struggled with her mental health. Dr. Smith mirrors my sentiment, saying, “Ginger has a combination of beauty and brains. She’s the whole package, yet how can she struggle from mental illness? When she comes forward, other people can come forward with their problems too. They won’t be as embarrassed.” I spoke to Ginger Zee on September 10: World Suicide Prevention Day. I told her I’ve watched her since she started at Good Morning America. “We get in trouble with ourselves, She’s a woman who lives in New York, who especially with depression. For me the has a fantastic job. I thought her life was low point was when I shut down, turned perfect because why wouldn’t it be? internal, and didn’t share what was going But Zee, 37, says she is the antithesis on. Saying ‘I have a problem, I need help’— of who she was at 17. She was so nice to that gets you 50% there. You’ve said it out everyone “that it was impossible for me not loud. Now, it can’t sit in there and fester.” to be homecoming queen because I needed Zee released her first memoir, Natural everybody to love me. So as an adult I was Disaster: I Cover Them. I Am One, last year. like, listen, your homecoming queen tried It’s within the honest pages of this book to kill herself.” that she reveals there is no perfect when it Zee struggled with anorexia in her comes to her life. teens and her depression was at its highest “I think most of my career and through 46
In addition to understanding our own mental health, Zee wants us to be able to understand “the mental health of others around you and the responsibilities of what our actions and words do.” It’s in open conversations, where we silence our judgment, in which people can begin to share their stories and nurture human connection. Since writing her book, people she’s worked with for years have confided in her. “This type of opening up has actually opened me up in ways I couldn’t have imagined and it’s allowed me to have really frank conversations with people that I had no idea had the same experience I did.” So what techniques does she use? Every morning during her drive to work (she gets picked up), she meditates for about 10 minutes to get focused for the day. When there’s a moment where she starts to feel overwhelmed, she asks herself, “is this going to matter tomorrow?” If the answer is yes, she asks if it’s going to matter a week from now. If it’s still yes, she’s asks if it’s going to matter a year from now. “If it’s yes at the end of the third question, I’m allowed to put emotion towards it and allowed to feel all the frustration and anger. If it’s not going to matter tomorrow, I let it go.” Before therapy, she also absorbed people’s negative emotions around her and then she would spiral down. “I’ve created this fence, an actual
boundary I put up in my mind, and I say to myself, that’s them, those are their emotions, and I have to keep myself out of it. I can be upset for them, especially if I had something to do with that anger. I can tell them that I’m sorry that they’re feeling that way, but I do not need to take that on because then we’re both going down.” These mental exercises help regulate her emotions, and it’s just like doing push-ups, but for your brain. As a young girl, Zee explains, “I learned how to throw a football, and play basketball, and soccer, but didn’t learn how to check my own emotions.” She believes she could have been taught these tools as a child in school and at home, to promote her emotional health. But she knows them now, and she’s hopeful and realistic about her progress. “I don’t think depression goes away. I don’t think I’m cured right now. You learn how to live with it, you learn how to be honest with yourself and that’s where healing is and that’s where the healthiest place for me has been. It’s been in the past couple of years, and that happens to come along with children and a husband.” And if she could speak to her younger self? “You have no idea what great things can come ahead of you. I know today sucks and I know you feel like the last five years have been horrible, and there were times where five full years in a row were just horrible, but storms don’t last forever. Clouds don’t last forever; that’s not how the atmosphere works. That’s not how life works. There will be sunshine and then there will be clouds again. I’m realistic about that because that’s how our planet works and that’s how life works.” After my conversation with Zee, I’m amazed by her courage of coming forward about her mental health struggles because of the stigma that still thrives on misconception and unawareness. Zee hopes that one day we can “get to the place where we’re talking about it daily, where you hear about it just as much as we talk about cancer. Where people can say, ‘today is the day where I can ask for help.’” Dr. Jennifer Grbevski, one of the twins who first taught me about stigma, is in her first year of residency through Western Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry and is working towards fighting the stigma. She’s becoming a psychiatrist and she is also the recipient of the Sophie Smith Scholarship—an annual grant given to a medical student who plans to stay THEDRIVEMAGAZINE.COM
Dr. Jennifer Grbevski
in Windsor and practise in our community when their residency is complete. Ultimately, the scholarship will bring more practising psychiatrists to our area, which is in desperate need of mental healthcare practitioners due to the long waitlists. But why are waitlists long and why are we lacking practitioners in this area? As Dr. Grbevksi explains, psychiatry is not “a flashy field” because psychiatrists are paid on the lower end of the scale. She says, “With psychiatry you can’t do a blood test; you have to use all your senses. It’s not a snap judgment to give a diagnosis. You have to have time, establish a therapeutic relationship so that you can give a full diagnosis. That’s what makes psychiatry also difficult and not as attractive.” However, the more we talk about our mental health, the more of us realize that we could use the help.
when he heard that layoffs were happening at Maryvale, while the waitlists and the needs of children in emotional despair were on the rise. Maryvale is 90% provincially funded and has an official school run through the Greater Essex Country District School Board, so that while children are receiving medical care, they continue with their normal day-to-day lives. Schools and family doctors will normally refer children to Maryvale.
Martin, a social worker, has worked at Maryvale for 35 years and her work there is her passion. What’s changed the most over the years is the research and how people work with children with mental illness. “When I started, people just did what they thought was kind. There wasn’t a lot of research then about effective approaches. Martin explains, “The most mentally Now we have a lot of approaches of how to healthy thing to do with a child is keep go about things.” to their normal routine—they still have to Dr. Smith sees Maryvale as a place of go to school and earn their credits while opportunity to treat children early. Where they learn their triggers and see why their some are going through temporary problems, emotions are escalating. We teach them others are developing something that may last about their own limitations because we’ve a lifetime. “At Maryvale, we can catch it early, all got them.” prevent, and treat at a young age, before it Funding from the government has becomes a bigger problem.”
“Mental health doesn’t discriminate increased only 13% in the last 20 years. against race, sex, or socioeconomic status. She explains, “children’s mental health has It affects everybody,” Dr. Grbevski clarifies. no law that it has to be funded whereas children with physical disabilities, cancer, Dr. Smith agrees, explaining, “Everyone or young offenders have laws that say you would benefit from talking to someone. are obligated to provide a service if they Mental illness is so common. They say 1 come to your door. There’s nothing for in 5, but there are a lot of people who don’t children’s mental health.” admit their illness. Same with suicide rates. Maryvale is a part of discretionary If there’s a stigma with mental illness, it’s funding and it’s up to the government to even worse with suicide.” decide on increases, which is why Mingle Originally, the country had “institu- for Mental Health is essential for the centre tions for the chronically mentally ill, like the Lakeshore Psychiatric Unit, and then there was a concept that these weren’t that helpful or they cost too much, and they shut them down and now these people have nowhere to go,” Dr. Smith explains. Many of the homeless we see have mental illness. And being open about mental health is not only a Windsor problem. Dr. Grbevski comments, “It’s a global issue. Speaking to friends from Germany, they tell me the same thing. Adam, my fiancé, is from Sweden, and it’s a problem everywhere.”
I wonder how Martin works in this environment for so long, seeing the children come and go with their struggles. “You don’t get thicker skin, but you feel for them, and you know it can be changed and if we can get them a little earlier or be around them when they’re that desperate, you change the way they think, and they’ll say years later, ‘this place saved my life.’”
There are other resources in our community, places like the Transitional Stability Centre where people struggling with mental health or addiction can go for services such as skill classes on how to cope with mood or anxiety disorders. There is also the Positive Parenting Program, run at different places in our community, to help parents manage specific problems. Dr. Smith says, “We’re helping the community. I see what amazing work is happening with hospice and cancer in our area, and if we can do that with mental health, that would be amazing.” If you’re interested in supporting Maryvale, listening to Zee speak and sign copies of her book, meeting others in the community, and enjoying great food and music, Smith promises, “It’s not a downer night. Of course it’s a dark subject, but it’s an uplifting night.”
One hundred percent of the proceeds from Mingle for Mental Health go to Maryvale, Windsor-Essex’s children’s mental health centre, for the hiring of counsellors. Founded in 1929, the centre sees 800 teens per year, and Maryvale is only centre in the province that has off-site hospital care—nine beds, and 24-hour care from doctors and nurses. Connie Martin, the executive director, partnered with Dr. Smith five years ago
to fund counsellors and support children in the community. With 150 children on the waitlist to see a therapist, this event is more important than ever.
The event is on November 3, 2018, and tickets are for sale.
Call Maryvale Adolescent Mental Health Centre 519.258.0484 or Riverside Medical Centre 519.819.1119 for more information. D.
1968 Detroit Tigers Helped Heal a City By Chris Edwards | Photo courtesy Chris Edwards
The events that led to the Detroit riots began routinely: at 3:30 am on July 23, 1967, Detroit’s 10th precinct police raided a private club hosting a party for two Vietnam War GIs returning home. The Blind Pig—an unlicensed place to get a drink after the bars closed—was above the Economy Printing Co. at 9125 12th Street (renamed Rosa Parks Boulevard) near Grand River. It was a typical hot, steamy Motor City July night. More than 200 onlookers gathered to witness the raid and arrest of 82 patrons; business as usual, as far as Detroit cops were concerned. The crowd became agitated as rumours swirled that police had used excessive force during the bust. Despite the late hour, word spread like wildfire throughout the neighbourhood, and someone hurled a bottle at a cop. The horde swelled as the danger 50
level escalated. People began smashing shop windows and tossing Molotov cocktails, snatching loot, furniture, TVs, clothing, and food—in the blink of an eye, the entire district was ablaze.
as many were on vacation.
The situation on 12th Street was out of control, yet authorities did not immediately dispatch reinforcements—the plan was to “contain” the troubles by cordoning off the neighbourhood. Notably, there were only 200 Detroit patrolmen on duty that evening,
Contrary to perception, both blacks and whites participated in looting, vandalism, mayhem, and anarchy.
A small police squad attempted to quell the situation, based on presumed lessons from previous disturbances, by persuading local media to impose a temporary news Hostilities had been building for some blackout. But as looting and shooting time. In the spring and summer of 1966, escalated, the National Guard and eventually numerous incidents of looting, shooting, and United States Army Troops were deployed. burning swept across American cities. In the The “troubles” soon encompassed more Motor City, tensions had been simmering than 14 square miles within the city. Unlike between police and African-American earlier outbreaks, the ’67 riots were indisDetroiters for years, with police being criminate: mobs torched and plundered accused of regularly ‘overreacting’ to minor black businesses as freely as they did white incidents. ones, burning down numerous black homes.
Half of those arrested had never been charged with a crime. Three Patricia percentBurkow of those incarcerated went to trial; half of those were
acquitted. A month after the Detroit riots, the tally was released: 388 families homeless or displaced; 412 buildings burned or damaged. Estimated losses from arson and looting ranged from $40 million to $200 million. Mel Butsicaris is the son of Johnny Butsicaris, who was the founder of Detroit’s original sports bar, the Lindell AC. He remembers an iconic moment that happened the following year.
coming to break up the crowd. “Rather, the convoy was escorting the Tiger bus to the Lindell AC! The entire team agreed they wanted to celebrate the pennant victory at our family bar. The Lindell AC was a favourite haunt for professional athletes, sportswriters, and fans. Celebrity photographs lined the wall featuring past Lindell guests, along with a veritable museum of sports memorabilia.
“In the 1950s, a bar regular suggested hanging autographed photographs of athletes on the walls; my dad was an avid photographer and loved to attend professional games to take photos of the players in action. Soon, famous players’ bats, baseballs, hockey sticks, and pucks joined the photos hanging on the walls, along with jerseys from sports gods “And then, our prayers were answered: including Kaline, Cash, Howe, Bing, Mantle, the ’68 Detroit Tigers! That team united Maris, and many others. our city when we needed it most. When the “With the arrival of the Tigers team baseball season began, black and white folks bus, we had a slight problem: where were weren’t speaking to each other. But then the we going to put them? My father Johnny entire town began to focus on the Tigers’ and Uncle Jimmy locked the register and winning season, and Detroiters discovered the players squeezed behind the bar to loud common ground. cheers. For six hours, as Lindell employees “The Tigers weren’t just winning ball sat on the stairs leading to the upper office games—they enjoyed each other’s company behind the bar, 22 Detroit Tigers celebrated on and off the field. They set an example by serving drinks to Lindell AC patrons. of how to work, live, and play together. By They doled out over 250 cases of beer and the Fourth of July, it didn’t matter what poured 100 bottles of liquor. “In the spring of 1968, Detroiters were still reeling from the effects of the ’67 riots. And everyone was focused on racial divisions within the city; the whole town seemed to be walking on eggshells. We needed something to bring us together, instead of pulling us apart.
neighbourhood you lived in, people were cheering, “Sock it to ’em, Tigers!” More than anything else, that rallying cry helped heal our city through the summer of 1968, the people of Detroit united by their passion for the Tigers and the calming radio voice of Tigers broadcaster, Ernie Harwell. “Near the end of the season, the Tigers clinched the American League pennant. The city erupted, but not in a horrible way like in’ 67—rather, a celebration to end all celebrations. “People who were there still talk about it. From Tiger Stadium to downtown Detroit [about a mile] thousands of people lined the streets. You could not drive down Michigan Avenue in either direction, it was wall to wall— or should I say, curb to curb—people. “The doormen at the Lindell AC on Cass and Michigan Avenue couldn’t contain the crowd. People were packed in like sardines, standing on chairs and tables, yelling, “Sock it to ’em, Tigers!” A waitress retreated behind the bar, as she couldn’t move through the crowd. Suddenly, the joint grew quiet as we heard a huge wail of police and fire truck sirens. We figured they were THEDRIVEMAGAZINE.COM
in the fifth inning of this pivotal elimination game. Speedster Lou Brock doubled, and the Cardinals had a chance to break the game wide open and finish off the Tigers. Brock tried to score from second base on a single to left field, but left fielder Willie Horton fired a perfect bullet to catcher Bill Freehan at home plate. Brock, who had elected not to slide, was tagged out in a collision with Freehan. Brock later remarked he never slid because no one had ever tried to throw him out at home. The Tigers went on to win Game 5 and 6 to force one final game. Game 7 turned into a classic duel between Cardinal fireballer Bob Gibson and Tiger Mickey Lolich; Lolich was pitching his third game of the series on only two days' rest. In a pre-game pep talk, coach Mayo Smith reminded his team that Bob Gibson wasn’t Superman, prompting Norm Cash to ask, “What was he doing in a telephone booth changing his clothes?” The game remained scoreless for six innings. In the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers broke through on a triple by Jim Northrup that sailed over centre fielder Curt Flood's head, driving in Norm Cash and Willie Horton. Curt Flood misread Northrup's hit, taking a step in and then slipping as his arms flailed. Flood was tagged a “goat” for misplaying the ball. The Tigers won Game 7 by a score of 4–1.
“Well, in all honesty, they didn’t give it Beloved Detroit Free Press columnist Joe Falls all away—they consumed a good portion of it summarized the impact of the ’68 Tigers: themselves. It was one of the greatest honours ever bestowed upon the Butsicaris family. “My town, as you know, had the worst riot in our nation's history in the summer “But more than anything, that magic of 1967, and it left scars which may never team of ’68 helped heal our city.” fully heal. . . . And so, as 1968 dawned and In the World Series, facing the powerful we all started thinking ahead to the hot St. Louis Cardinals, the Tigers found summer nights in Detroit, the mood of our themselves going into Game 5 down three city was taut. It was apprehensive. But then games to one, looking like dead fish in the something started happening in the middle water. The 1968 Tigers had earned a reputa- of 1968. You could pull up to a light at the tion for dramatic comebacks, often with corner of Clairmount and 12th, which was late-inning home runs. They had won 40 the hub of last year's riot, and the guy in games from the seventh inning onward, and the next car would have his radio turned 30 games in their last at bat. The Detroit up—‘McLain looks in for the sign, he's set faithful hoped their team had one more …here's the pitch…’ It was a year when an comeback left in their bag of tricks. entire community, an entire city, was caught The ’68 World Series turned on one play up in a wild, wonderful frenzy.” D.
Chris Edwards is the owner of Walkerville Publishing, along with his partner Elaine Weeks; their latest book is 5,000 Ways You Know You’re From Detroit. https://www.detroit5000.com
EXPAT DRIVE A SERIES DEDICATED TO SHARING STORIES OF LOCALS WHO MOVED ON TO SPREAD THEIR WINGS AND SHARE THEIR GIFTS WITH OTHERS.
Ruby Red Slippers
DANIELLE WADE IS FOLLOWING HER YELLOW BRICK ROAD FROM LASALLE TO NYC By Alley L. Biniarz | Photography: Syx Langemann “Danielle… You’re safe.” Danielle Wade hears these words as she runs back to embrace her group of Dorothys. She’s safe. They’re all safe, for now. The 19-year-old Lasalle local would wait for these words throughout the course of the 2012 CBC reality show Over the Rainbow. The winner of the competition would have the pleasure of playing Dorothy from the classic show Wizard of Oz for the full tour run. The young women relied on viewers’ votes, and eventually the “safe” group dwindled down from 100 Dorothys, to 20. The top 20 girls would fly to Barbados to sing for theatre mogul Andrew Lloyd Webber. What could be scarier than performing for the famous composer responsible for The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, and Evita? Getting locked in his bathroom right before the performance. 52
In this moment, trapped and waiting, all of Danielle’s worries about her performance escaped her. “I was just worried that I’d never make it out alive, but it did help me forget about the audition part,” Danielle tells me from her apartment in Stratford, Ontario. She is running around doing laundry on her day off, and even in the midst of chaos she is incredibly lovely and charming over the phone. “I couldn’t even bang on the door because they were recording. I just prayed that someone had to pee soon! They eventually couldn’t find me, and because I had a microphone on, I started yelling, ‘I’m in the bathroom!’” She laughs, and it is completely infectious. It’s the kind of laugh that immediately brings me into her world. Danielle never let this wholesome kindness of hers fade throughout the competition, even when it came down to
the final two: Danielle and her best friend Stephanie. The two girls hadn’t known each other before the reality show, but became close friends and even lived together after the experience was over. Danielle tells me to watch her face in the final video of the competition. The two girls have so many features in common, which is something that makes these competitions so difficult. Either girl could win. But as the two stood hand-in-hand, Danielle tells me that she wanted Stephanie to win. “We only had one vote, and I used mine on Steph. I thought she had done so well, and I was so proud of her. I really did think that she would win.” But Danielle would hear her name on the safe list one last time. “And the girl who will wear the Ruby Slippers is…
success so early on, she thinks fondly of her Danielle says it’s amazing to see what time doing community theatre in Windsor. Windsor has become, and how it leaves its Her mouth falls open as Steph quickly mark on people who have visited. But it’s grabs her into a fierce hug. Danielle begins Being a part of local group Windsor especially nice to see how certain things stay to cry. Light Music Theatre (WLMT), Danielle had the same. participated in several shows, including A Her life is about to change, and her every Christmas Carol, Legally Blonde, and Into the “Like grocery stores. It’s silly, but it’s nice dream is becoming a reality. Woods. She says she couldn’t be where she is to know your way around the grocery store. Danielle continues to repeat the word now without WLMT. When you’re travelling, you’re in a new “crazy.” That this moment was crazy, the grocery store each week. There’s something “With Windsor Light, I auditioned for whole experience was crazy. “It’s the best shows and actually didn’t get in right away. so comforting about knowing where you’re way to describe it… this whole process. It taught me to practise, rehearse, prepare for going and seeing familiar faces.” You’re just waiting the whole time, wanting the next show, and try again. When you get something to happen, and then it does.” Soon, Danielle will be wandering around things handed to you, it’s easier, but working the grocery store in NYC—her dream spot. In her winning moment, Danielle tells for it makes it worth it. I worked harder and me that she had to snap out of her state then got my chance to do a few shows in She’s been in and out of the city visiting of shock and realize that it was her name a row. It was so exciting, and I loved the her partner, who is also an actor, but says it being called. community aspect of it. I still have friends will be nice to be 10 minutes away from him in the new year. “I was like, ‘Wait. What? That’s me! from Windsor Light,” she says. Oh…Oh!’” Even now, her WLMT family comes She can’t say what her next project is— After that, there was no rest for the to see her in the Stratford Festival, where yet—but she can say she’s doing well and wicked. She had to pack up and move to she currently plays Marian Paroo in The having fun. Toronto the very next day. Danielle tells me Music Man. Some days, Danielle does question why that sometimes she wonders, “How did I Her schedule is tight as she performs eight she picked this job. survive? How did I make it out alive?” shows in one week, with just one day off. “It’s such a strange thing to sell yourself. From moving away from her childhood It’s not just the time on stage, but the Kind of like ‘let me just prove to you that I’m home, to dropping out of her BFA in Acting preparation time as well. The Stratford at the University of Windsor, Danielle had Festival provides singing coaches and dialect better than that person… even though we’re to grow up really quickly. She would start coaching that helps the performers to give wearing the same thing and probably sound the same! We are the exact same!’” rehearsals for Wizard of Oz that following the audience the best possible show. Tuesday, and continue on the road playing It’s been hard, Danielle says, but she’s been Danielle has her own pre-show ritual of working at this goal since high school, back Dorothy for nearly two years. not eating two hours before the show as she “Touring showed me that I could travel heads down to the theatre early. She then when she didn’t get in when auditioning for to a different country and feel okay. To checks in with how she’s feeling, she warms High School Musical, but eventually landed the not be worried about getting around. I’ve up, and then does her makeup and wig prep role of Sandy in Grease. Immediately, during that first moment on stage she thought, “Well, been pretty fortunate since then. I’ve been close to the half-hour mark. I can’t do anything else but this.” working steadily in the field, which is not “There are weird, gross things that you always the case for acting. You’re always She did what she had to do, and have to be aware of when you sing. There floating from job to job,” she says. continues to push through. She hasn’t done are so many things that can affect your Danielle’s brief time at the U of W performance. One time it was so dry in the anything else since. prepared her for what she was going to get theatre I had a coughing fit right on stage! “I can’t begin to explain it. Every car ride into but working in the field has taught her I laughed and thought, ‘Well, thank you, that my grandma gave me to rehearsal, every far more. In theatre, and most creative arts, patrons. You’re going to watch me die here.’ penny my parents spent—my teachers, voice you can learn all of the tools in school, but But everything feels worse for the actor. It’s teachers—everything was worth it. I used to it’s not until you’re out there doing it that you never nearly as bad as they think.” go to the Stratford Festival as a kid in class, actually start to get a grip on them, she says. It’s been a busy lifestyle for Danielle, and and now I’m the person people go to see. Landing the lead role in a very popular for the first time in a long time she gets to be How did that happen?” musical gave Danielle a bit of direction in home for the Christmas season. She comes Danielle hopes that it’s like this forever. her career. While enrolled at the university, back for visits as often as she can, but this This passion. she knew there were no professional theatre is the longest stretch before she makes her “I don’t foresee it changing. I do love it options within the city of Windsor, so she’d next career leap. so much. have to move eventually. She never thought “It’s great being in new places all the time she would land her first professional audition “When you’re passionate about with my career. It’s awesome, but also taxing. something, it doesn’t really fade. in Toronto. It had all happened so suddenly. “I didn’t know—I still don’t know every- You want your own things and your own Especially with acting. The hard times thing. I don’t think I ever will.” Danielle’s place, your own parents. The theatre life is make it hard, but working through humility still shines through her voice, a busy life, but I’m one of those people who makes it all the better in the end.” Instagram: daniewade and even though she has seen tremendous is okay with the quiet when I’m at home.” THEDRIVEMAGAZINE.COM
Celebrating 30 years of peace of mind.
DANIELLE NICHOLSON: FALL MUST-HAVES Fall is here and entertaining season is on its way. Let’s talk trends! I have selected a few of my must-haves to help you get started. It’s all about warmth and texture this season. Keep it simple and elegant. From the clean soft white sophisticated pillow that has a touch of whimsy with its playful ruffles to the rich blue velvet tub chair, you will see how these pieces will give your room the “on trend” feel you are craving this season. Why stop there? Don’t forget to have a little fun with it all. Keep your guests talking and bring in some great pieces for entertaining. I chose the flight tray as one of my favourites because who doesn’t love variety? It’s all about making your home a place to gather, while you host with confidence.
Shop this look at www.thedrivemagazine.com/posts/fall-must-haves Danielle Nicholson Design is an interior design firm and furniture boutique. Whether you are building a new home, renovating an existing space, or looking to refresh a room, we are committed to bringing your vision to life. Danielle Nicholson Design 3055 Dougall Ave | Windsor, ON | N9E 1S3 519-564-9695 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow your holiday guests with an assorted variety of bourbons and whiskyâ€ŚLet them have a taste and decide which one they love the best! Tasting flight tray shot glass set $80 dND Nicholson Home Collection
Chanel tub chair $929 Marble nesting side tables $699
Blue is the on-trend colour of the season and we love it in this rich velvet fabric. Mix it with gold and marble nesting tables and you are right on track.
dND Nicholson Home Collection
Texture texture texture! Itâ€™s all about fringe and ruffles this season. Layer a simple velvet chair with a textured fringed throw and a beautiful soft white ruffled pillow to give your room visual interest.
Charlene wingback chair $629 Jed tall planter-white high gloss $359 dND Nicholson Home Collection
Courtney table lamp $359 dND Nicholson Home Collection
Fringed throw $105 Ruffled toss pillow $120 Beddazzle Bedroom & Bathroom Studio
Use matte black and gold to add sophistication and warmth to any room. It never hurts to mix metals and the best part of this piece is the metal shade. THEDRIVEMAGAZINE.COM
Jeff and Ryan Bosley
Jeff, Anne, Ryan and Kevin Bosley at the Windsor Pride Parade
COOL DADS Dads are like superheroes. As children, we look up to them, are inspired by them, and, more often than not, want to be exactly like them. As we grow older, we want to make them proud of the young men and women we become, but sometimes their idea of the son or daughter they’ve always wanted doesn’t match the reality of who their son or daughter actually is. The thought of telling my father I was gay terrified me. I was at a point where I had come to terms with my own sexuality but kept it hidden. I lacked the confidence to come out to my parents. I had an idea of how those conversations would go, but I was still afraid of how they might respond. If my parents refused to accept the fact their son was gay, would they disown me? Or even still love me? If my parents accepted it, would our relationship change? Those were questions I had been asking myself. 56
The internal battle I fought with myself lasted for many years, but I eventually built up the courage I needed. After I told my dad, the weight I carried on my shoulders for so long was gone. And what I learned was that he didn’t care that I was gay; he just wanted me to be happy. The sad truth is, not everyone gets to have a great experience coming out. Some parents choose to refuse their children for who they are. But, if we can talk about the positive stories, hopefully it will give people the courage to love themselves and for parents to be proud and supportive of their children, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender with which they identify.
FANTASTIC FATHERS WHO ARE MORE THAN JUST PROUD OF THEIR CHILDREN By Millar Hill | Photography: Syx Langemann
dad,” he said. “He asked if I wanted to walk in the Pride Parade. His work, Concours Mold Inc., had purchased a big float for the parade because the owner’s sons are both gay. I was like, ‘okay, if you are asking me to go, I definitely should say yes.’ “It’s one of those things we all hope will happen and it did. I began to think back 13 years ago and I would never have thought he would ask me this question,” he added. Ryan came out to his family at the age of 19. It was a good experience. However, his sexual orientation was never brought up after the fact, especially from his father.
“I think some of the frustration my dad had was that he might have thought he was the only one. That no other guy at work has a gay child,” he said. “But, when Concours put a float in the parade, he was able to bring his family and see the 80 other people show up with their families and create this “It started with a phone call from my positive atmosphere.”
For the past 13 years, Ryan Bosley has been out of the closet, but for the first time, he finally feels like himself. Over the summer, the unexpected happened—an opportunity that made the bond between father and son a lot stronger.
LIFE DRIVE Ryan and his husband Jeff have been married for three years. Together, they own Bosley Hair Co. in Tecumseh. When they announced their engagement, some family members didn’t realize he was gay . . . even though Ryan and Jeff had been dating for three years. “Our wedding was in three months and just before I had to explain to my grandparents that Jeff, he’s not just a roommate, he’s my partner,” he said. “They were probably shocked, thinking everything is happening so fast but it wasn’t—we had been together for three years prior to our engagement.” The relationship the two have with Ryan’s dad has grown over the years. They do almost everything together and that has become the norm. Thirteen years ago, that might not have been the case.
just been completely open and comfortable with myself.”
Steve Brown is a single father to his daughter, Alyssa, who is four years old. He’s got this unshakeable commitment to be the best father to Alyssa, which led him on a wild journey he has embraced. It started by being a single father. He took parenting classes, but he still had questions and sought advice. Doing so, he realized a lot of the advice being received was from women or mother-focused groups. “As a dad, I wanted to hear what other dads had to say,” he said. “I started thinking to myself, all of my good friends are fathers themselves and I have never thought to talk to them.” So, Steve decided to do something no other dad has done here in Windsor. He created a Facebook group named Fantastic Fathers: an online space for dads to talk, ask questions, and share advice.
Prior to coming out, Ryan was never particularly close to his dad. His father was always busy between work and his brother’s travel hockey. So, Ryan’s mother took him under her wing. Since Ryan came out, his “I found something I am good at and I dad has gotten closer to him by talking, embraced it,” he said confidently. going for walks, exercising, and even Steve launched the Facebook group in attending Ryan’s parties. February 2016. In the beginning the page “The best part for me was that I opened consisted of 44 members, which rapidly up to him and he’s opened up to me,” he said. “Some dads might not know the direction to go in, but by being there, it means so much.” In the book The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World, written by Alan Downs, it states the first man we’ll ever love is our father. Regardless of being a male or female, if that man decides he won’t love you for coming out, it will set a damaging trend for the rest of your life, where you may associate that with any other man who comes into your life. “I would like to see dads spend more time with their sons,” Ryan said. “They don’t have to understand the ins and outs of same-sex relationships or talk about it. Just stay close, spend time together, and be there.” When asked if there was anything he could have done differently, Ryan wished he had spent more time with his family growing up. “Now that I’m older, family is so important to me and I feel like I missed out on some things. I was there, but it never felt like I was there and I wish I could press rewind on that,” he said. “I feel like I got robbed, in a sense. I would have had more time with my family if I had THEDRIVEMAGAZINE.COM
LIFE DRIVE grew to more than 2,000 members. The group’s success took it in a direction beyond the Facebook page. It has become a registered local non-profit organization fully committed to encouraging, promoting, and supporting parents to be involved in their children’s growth and development— whatever that may look like. His own drive to becoming the best father possible exceeded his own expectations. In return, he and everyone behind Fantastic Fathers has been able to engage the community by bringing families together and creating moments for their children that will have a positive impact on their lives.
“My daughter depends and relies on me and assist one another in becoming the best and I love that feeling. I want to be the best parental figures they can for their children. parent I can be,” he said. To the dads who unconditionally love Fantastic Fathers curates annual and and support their children, you are the monthly events for families to bring their real superheroes. And for those who might children and participate in activities that be confused about themselves or afraid to require not only the children's but the speak out, it gets better. parent’s involvement as well. Learn to love yourself and the rest will In a sociably conscious society, it truly fall into place. doesn’t matter if you are gay or straight, have Further information about Fantastic biological children or adopted. Fantastic Fathers can be found at: Fathers is dedicated to every parent and www.facebook.com/fantasticfathers. D. their children. What matters is that there are parents out there who want to be present
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