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Lifestyle Meet

Kartia Velino

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A Modern Day

First NationsWarrior and Survivor

A HOLLYWOOD STAR IS BORN

just North of Toronto smjmag.com SUMMER 2016 $4.99 CANADA

SJM

FEATURE:

Tasha Cobbs

Grammy Award Winner LIVE in Toronto


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Table of

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7. From The Desk of Shelley ... by Shelley Jarrett 24. Being Candid with Sabine Daniel ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 29. Celina Caesar-Chavannes on Loss, Lessons and Legacies ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka

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8. SMJ BEAUTY CLOSET 8. A Hollywood Star is Born Just North of Toronto ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 11. Curveaceous Models Rock The Runway 33 ... by Claris M. Manglicmot 13. Meet Kartia Velino... by Shelley Jarrett 15. Sensuelle et Chic ... by Shelley Jarrett 16. The Dynamite Coming of Simone Denny ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 26. Inspirational Corner ... by Josephine Casey 27. Your Health is Your Wealth ... by Dr. Lisa Ramsackal 32. Overcoming the Wall ... by Fatima Gould 33. 22nd Annual MARTY Awards... Andrew Terry Pasieka 34. Affairs of the Heart ... by Akua Hinds

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BUSINESS 30. Starting A Business ... by Victoria A. Morgan 31. The Face of Social Media is Changing ... by Kelly Farrell

features 18

18. Tasha Cobbs: A Supernatural Story ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 19. Tasha Cobbs: The Concert Review ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 22. EXCLUSIVE Bridget Perrier: A Modern Day First Nations Warrior

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Founder & Publisher Shelley Jarrett Editor-in-Chief Andrew Terry Pasieka Creative Director/Layout Sheri L. Lake Chief Photographer Lubin Tasevski Fashion & Design Editor Claris Minas Manglicmot Contributors Shelley Jarrett Andrew Terry Pasieka Claris Minas Manglicmot Jospehine Casey Dr. Lisa Ramsackal Akua Hinds Victoria A Morgan Kelly Farrell Fatima Gould 4C Photography Ricky Manh (photos) Publicity LIM Media Group Inc. Website www.sjimagecreations.com www.smjmag.com Contact publisher@smjmag.com SMJ Magazine is a division of Seventh House Publishing Arts. Summer 2016 Issue No. 14

FRONT COVER: Gospel Artist Tasha Cobbs: Courtesy of Farrah Parker Management, Atlanta GA / Layout: Sheri Lake

DISCLAIMER: We reserve the right to edit all content for space and clarity. All submissions when edited become the property of Seventh House Publishing Arts. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher. We make a conscious effort to ensure complete accuracy of all content; however, we accept no liability for any inaccurate information. SMJ Magazine is published digitally with limited print editions four (4) times a year. To advertise in our publication, be featured, or for more information, please contact us at publisher@smjmag.com or visit www.smjmag.com. For editorials contact atp11th@gmail.com

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THE In This Issue.....

Althea Morgan Althea (Victoria) Morgan is the founder of Finistra Canada Inc., a legal recruitment firm and L’adorer, a Jewelry and Accessories e-store. She holds a BA from York University, a Bachelor of Laws Honors from Coventry University and a Master of Laws at University of Southern California-Gould School of Law. She has worked as a legal adviser on issues relating to business, family, administrative law and policy concerns; also as a legal researcher on many high profile cases. She is a current member of The National Lawyers Guild. Her philanthropy project is Brighter Minds Youth Initiative, a non-profit organization established to empower young people of Jamaican heritage.

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SMJ TEAM IS GROWING

In This Issue.....

Kelly Farrell Kelly Farrell is the Director of Teach Me Social, a social media marketing and training agency based in Toronto. Kelly is passionate about empowering business owners to embrace changes in technology to bring their business into the 21st century. Her diverse teaching background and business experience lends a unique approach to training those eager to seek help with adopting the world of social media for their business. She is also an author. Visit teachmesocial.ca to learn more.

For Next Issue.....

Maliaka Bryce Maliaka Bryce, aka “Your Sweet Senorita,” is an award-winning Comedian, nominated Actress, Master of Ceremonies, and Founder of Senorita Productions; an Event Planning and Media Production Company. Born in Toronto, Canada to Jamaican parents, Maliaka has made a name for herself as a top female Comedic Host/Comedy Producer in Canada and the Caribbean. Motherhood doesn’t slow her down as she has an impressive client roaster including corporate and nonprofit organizations such as Jaguar Canada, Acura Canada, The Children’s Aid Society, Caribbean Cultural Committee, and the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals. Maliaka holds a diploma in Public Relations from Humber College, studied at the Armstrong Acting Studio and Second City in Toronto, and received theater training at the Fairfield Theater in Montego Bay, Jamaica where she lived for 11 years.

For Next Issue.....

Mical Kasweka Mical Kasweka is a 21-year old hailing from Toronto, Ontario with hopes to become a well-rounded multimedia creator and personality. Mical has been featured on Rogers TV, Omni TV and CBC as an inspirational artist, panelist, speaker or host while sharing her perspective and on faith through creativity. Experiences and exposures she has gained have allowed her to share her voice, work and talent with people all over the country. Mical hopes to inspire people with her outgoing and vibrant personality to let their light shine while following their God-given purposes!


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Greetings, and happy summer to you all. As we enjoy the beautiful season, it gives me great pleasure to bring you a true summer issue for the first time since we started this publication. I will get right into it and explain why this issue is extraordinary. It didn’t start out that way but it is all about women overcoming and celebrating. You will read about each one of them and their stories, but I want to focus on the five influential women that grace our front cover. I will start with Cheryl Luciani, She is a single mother with a son who owns several businesses and from what I have been told has a real nose for business. Then there is Kartia Velino who is a personal as well as business colleague of mind. She is an angel that I met about one year ago through a very interesting encounter a winter afternoon, in a Toronto fashion boutique. It was like we were meant to be doing business together. We have the same self-motivation and passion for business. Sabine Daniel is a woman I met at a celebration for women in the media in Ottawa where I was the guest speaker and

she was being honored. I immediately felt a connection. Sabine is exactly what her picture shows; vivacious, bright, energetic and positive, full of possibilities. If anybody can be described as a survivor, it’s Bridget Perrier. She has been named one of the top 12 activists in Canada. Most of us can’t even imagine what she has gone through. But for her to take almost a decade to heal herself begins to tell you that ordeal. Tasha Cobbs is someone I connected with spiritually by just learning of her music and ministry. I also read about her bouts of depression and how she managed to overcome anxiety attacks while flying. Tasha is someone I truly admire and I am inspired by. The evening I met her was like an out of body experience. The concert was electrifying. It was a night of overflow and outpouring of oneself. An experience I will never forget. Five years ago I was a different woman. Since then I found my true purpose and I must say I am proud of how my journey has developed. I discovered so much about myself which is why I am able to identify with these women. I hope as you read this you all get inspired by these stories and move into your purpose. May destiny locate you! There is something that you were born to do, try to discover what it is…

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Beauty CLOSET

A Hollywood Star is Born Just North of Toronto By Andrew Terry Pasieka

Montreal born, single mom Cheryl Luciani always had the entrepreneurial bug and a definite taste for Hollywood since she was a little girl. From real estate to owning her modelling agency in addition to other endeavors, Luciani dabbled in front of the camera but her passion was really behind the scenes. It wasn’t until 2000 when she had her own designer clothing store just north of Toronto, that she went on a buying trip to Hollywood and to visit her father. While lying around the pool, jokingly her father said “I’m so good looking, if I could only do something about these bags under my eyes….” Naturally Luciani’s first instinct was to think business. They had used a chemist years ago for a Vitamin E cream that simply didn’t pan out. They went back to the chemist determined to find the solution. Despite running a successful clothing store, Luciani suffered a few break-ins. Finally in 2003, thieves drove a truck through her store in the middle of night and cleaned her out. At almost the same time, after three and a half long years of experimenting with the serum, the

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chemist called and said “this is the last try, we can’t invest anymore time and money. ” Well, the saying be careful what you wish for… was her blessing. Luciani wanted the cumulative effect of a quick fix and treatment. She wanted the WOW FACTOR when people saw the results right before their eyes! The formula sent was a dream come true. It was perfect. As one door closed another one opened. Having the Hollywood connection, as she says, Luciani named her miracle in a bottle, Hollywood Eye Magic. As so many of us need and want to look younger and more refreshed, she designed a product in demand for both men and women of all ages and skin types. When asked what the “puffiness” under our eyes was that it deals with, she replied, “it’s just water retention”. The Hollywood Eye Magic treatment combats unattractive puffiness, wrinkles and dark circles INSTANTLY by reducing the swelling, redistributing the water back to where it belongs. Her dad is now one of the poster boys for the product, so baggy and saggy, he is not. Her mom was the test model until the ‘star’ was born in 2003. Like hundreds of thousands of happy (and better looking, lol) clients, Cheryl’s mom doesn’t leave home without it. She loves how everyone thinks she’s at least ten years younger! The product was promoted at trade shows globally and was getting branding recognition, but got a significant boost, ironically, from Hollywood. A woman called and asked if Luciani would be interested in showcasing the product in


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The Oscars gifting suite. Since the phone call was not very professional, Luciani thought it was a prank and hung up. She admits this now. She then received an email stating that they got cut off and Luciani realized this was not a hoax. As her son Nicholas is a photographer and head of her design team here and in Los Angeles, he had one of his partners videotape his mom in the gifting suite with all the celebrities where she was able to perform live demonstrations on them. Suddenly the photographer went silent and Luciani asked him what was wrong. He replied “Oh my God, Hercules just walked in”. Hercules, as in six foot-four Kevin Sorbo with the deep baritone voice to match. Intrigued by the reactions of other celebs, Mr. Sorbo hung around the gifting suite to find out more. Kevin invited Cheryl to his golf tournament and Cheryl invited Kevin to a distributor event. After seeing the plan and hearing how single mom Cheryl Luciani got it all going, he said…” I love your product. I love what you’re doing.

How do I get involved?” As Cheryl succinctly put it, “we became instant best friends!” While Cheryl knew that it was inevitable that women would buy the product, having Kevin Sorbo being the voice (and face) would definitely get the attention of all men. Feeling the need to bring the Hollywood touch just north of Toronto, Cheryl and her son designed a stunning 2 story end unit office, showroom and warehouse that anyone would want to live in. He designed it from head to toe with custom and unique pieces, even finding a vintage Hollywood pinball machine. Cheryl admits that Nicholas is a huge part of her success. We asked Luciani what’s next for Hollywood Eye Magic. She answered, “While this product has solved a problem for men and women worldwide and transforms your look in minutes, it truly stands alone…but stay tuned for another hero product that we may be working on.” Keep in touch at www.hollywoodeyemagic.com

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Models Curvaceous ROCK the RUNWAY

SMJ MAGAZINE

By Claris M. Manglicmot

On May 14th the publisher of SMJ Magazine and this writer braved the weather for a unique fashion expo and fabulous runway presentations all-in-one in Mississauga. The goal of Curvy Expo is to inspire and celebrate the plus-size woman. The attendance and the presentation at the event were both very promising. We almost forgot we had just come in from the cold, wind and rain. The theme wasn’t built around seasons, the way most fashion shows are. It was all about how you need to assemble a styled and dynamic woman’s closet all year round. The concept included everything a woman needs, ranging from everyday clothing to swim wear, casual cuts, gym gear, lingerie, and evening ensembles. The runway ended with the fabulous wedding collections. These collections and segments were the collaborations of Penningtons, Addition Elle, Toni Plus and Callista Bridal. Looking at the collections and the beautiful curvaceous models, the clothing sizes really didn’t seem that important. The models and the collections were superb, and carried themselves in all aspects just like any high end fashion show. SUMMER 2016

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What impressed us the most was the energetic mix of participants, volunteers and attendees. Retailers and designers alike are recognizing this market as an opportunity which up to now has been mostly untapped. After enjoying the runway show and the vendor booths, it was time to sit and chat with the brains and founder of the event, Meghan Bradley. Meghan’s award-winning success in sales and marketing makes her the right person to head up Curvy Expo. For 20 years, Meghan was vice president, sales, for Family Communications’ 12 consumer magazines. Her passion, however, was being both a plus size model (with Ford and currently with B&M) and spokesperson for the curvy woman. She joined DARE magazine, Canada’s only plus size fashion and beauty magazine in 2014. Her goal is to work with media and venues to make retailers and consumers more aware of the curvy community. During our conversation, she remarked that despite this being the very first Curvy Expo, It had been the aim of the organizers to give the show the impression that it had been running for years. They succeeded in spades!! To see more of the goals and aims of CurvyExpo, please log on their links: www.curvyexpo.com / facebook – curvyexpo

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MEET KARTIA VELINO By Shelley Jarrett

Kartia Velino is a Toronto fashion blogger whose motto is: If I can style it, blog it, write it, I can make it happen! I spoke to Kartia moments after coming off stage from a very glamorous and exciting fashion show this past May. SMJ: You are what they call a true fashionista. Growing up, where did your interest for fashion originate? KV: You know what? I think I am born with that name. Growing up as a little girl, I always had passion for fashion. The love and flare for fashion was always part of me all the way in school. I did not go to school to learn this, It’s just in me. SMJ: Great! When did you first get the idea to do a fashion show? How did it come about? KV: I have always been thinking of doing this but did not know where to start. So what I did was to start going to fashion shows and different fashion events to get ideas of what to do. Really! My main reason for doing the fashion show was to raise money for uterine cancer research. After my flyers and invitation we were out, about three months, I decided to produce my own clothing for the show. Why wait? I have been dreaming about this, and with having the opportunity to fundraise and be involved with other fashion designers, it was time.

THE KARTIA VELINO COLLECTION WORLD OF BEAUTY AND SKINCARE PRODUCTS NOW INCLUDES THE PRODUCTION OF A CLOTHING LINE. SMJ: Very inspiring. This being your first time as you stated; what have been your greatest challenges? What are some of the things you had to overcome in putting this show together? KV: Making a lot of mistakes. I had no sense of direction. I took some wrong steps. I lost some money, but God picked me up, channeled me through the right path and helped me learn from my mistakes.

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SMJ: Support is a big deal in major events like fashion shows. Did the Cancer Society support all the way? KV: Yes! I would say I had full support through their emails even though the Cancer Society was not at the event. I would surely do this again. My friends, my family they believe in me and I also believe in them. SMJ: I see you had great attendance. What is next on your horizon? : Another fashion show in the near future? KV: Sure, this is just the first one. But I just launched my fashion line, so in the immediate future I need to kick-start that. I am looking for buyers, customers, meeting other designers, and trying to take things to the next level, to see how I can develop in the fashion industry.

KARTIA WAS SELECTED ONE OF 100 BLACK WOMEN TO WATCH IN CANADA 2016 BY WWW. CIBWE.CA IN THE CATEGORIES OF BEST FASHION BLOG AND BEST STYLE.

www.facebook.com/mystylebykartia www.facebook.com/fansofkartiavelino www.Instagram.com/mystylebykartia www.kartiavelino.com

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Sensuelle et Chic SMJ MAGAZINE

Sensuelle et Chic By Shelley Jarrett

Sensuelle et Chic is a luxury Canadian line featuring lingerie, bras, underwear, loungewear and swimwear.

Owner and founder Ghada Hamadan’s designs graced the runway at Kartia’s Velino’s fashion show held in Toronto across the street from the original posh urban Canadian mall, Yorkdale. She has a motto: putting it on should be as much fun as taking it off. If that doesn’t sound racey, the name of the company adds to the mystique, with its French origin.

Ms. Hamadan remarked that while it was true about the name, she is originally from the Middle East and is trying to bring some of her culture here. She wants to align eastern with western. She goes on to say,

It’s good to bring something to Canada from other parts of the world because we are a multicultural country. I can see there are some gaps especially in lingerie. Everything in my line is produced in Canada. I am trying to get some unique markets for us.

Ms. Hamadan’s bio said she has designed theatre costumes and evening wear as well. How did she settle on lingerie for her company in Canada? “What I found is that you have to study the market well before you take any steps. We came across a couple of competitors in lingerie and swimwear, but they are not couture and only into mass production. None were Canadian labels so I decided to do our own Canadian design.” We wondered about Victoria’s Secret. Aren’t they competitors? Or more to the point, what makes the Sensuelle et Chic design unique?

Ms. Hamadan answered that Victoria’s Secret is mass produced in China and the difference can be seen in the fabric. She says Sensuelle et Chic provide higher quality fabric which is Canadian made. WWW.SENSUELLEETCHIC.COM

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THE DYNAMITE COMING OF

SIMONE DENNY

By Andrew Terry Pasieka

At the Curvy Expo held at The International Centre in May, Publisher Shelley Jarrett had a similar experience to one the Editor-in-Chief had at Hamilton’s only World Music Festival in July 2014. She heard a sound she couldn’t deny. A singer that demanded to be heard. One thing led to another, and just the old freelancing days, the Editor had a CD brought home to review.

And what a CD. It has been called “Soulful. Devine. Spellbinding.” If there are better words to describe this generous slice of jazz, r & b, and soul, they are not found in any dictionary. Simone Deny’s Stereo Dynamite Vol. I cut a swath through Detroit Motown harmony, Chicago Big Smoke soul, Memphis Beale Street r& b, and New Orleans bayou blues and Big Easy jazz. The ten tracks, from the exquisite “Your Love Fades Away” (the video will be an award winner) to the infectious “Shelter in my Arms” to the soaring “Look of Love” to the high haunt of “Breathe Again” feels like a purposeful march through the history of urban roots music. Over the phone, Denny remarked that the album was “a great amalgamation of all the musical styles I was exposed to growing up.” What came out in the studio she was quoted as commenting, “I get pretty deep. I’m exposing my vulnerable side.” Three men were responsible for the final product; Producer and principal composer Adam Sewell, whom Denny has known for twenty years, coproducer and secondary writer Justin Allen

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McWilliams, and engineer Jon Drew, who was primarily responsible for the award-worthy final mix. To this writer, the record is a definite 4 ½ stars out of 5, and should be hands down Denny’s best work to date in twenty-three years of recording. Not so according to the singer.

“For me, every project I undertake is my best one. ‘Stereo Dynamite’ is part throwback to my parents’ record collection, and it is part full circle for me. I wanted to shift the focus with this record where it was just me on the tracks and that lower register in my voice.”


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For most of her career, Simone Denney had been the main or lead female voice on her records. And she has been more than a fairly successful one, already garnering FIVE Junos, FOUR Much Music Awards, and ONE SOCAN co-writing award over four different genres.

Simone says she is honored to command that sort of respect from peers and fans. “A lot of my projects have done really well, but even after a win, I am constantly re-inventing myself, because I would not like to limit myself to one genre.” Her first coming was rap and reggae in the early and mid-1990s, winning Junos for “Keep It Slammin’ and “Astroplane.” What she remembers about that time is she went on her first cross Canada tour as the little sister, since the she was in a band with 12 to 14 guys. She also did a lot of session work at that time, which is how she met Chris Sheppard. Being open to new things was a contributing factor in her second Juno.

The late 1990s saw Denny as part of the dance/pop group Love Inc. Two more Junos, Much Music awards and the SOCAN recognition all occurred during this time. Despite international hits like “Broken Bones,” “Here comes the Sunshine,” and ”You’re A Superstar,” Denny doesn’t consider the period any kind of a peak. “I feel like a superstar every day.” was how she put it. However, she does acknowledge that this may have been the time when she was most visible. For instance, she feels she recorded an anthem, not just a hit when she cut “You’re A Superstar.” Years later she still gets recognized because of the song, and is often told the story of how it affected the party who had stopped her. Possibly her most revealing and raw period was the decade that followed the breakup of Love, Inc. Characterized by off-beat highlights such as a being part of a “Lady Marmalade” 2004 trio with Patti Labelle and Jocelyn Brown, garnering her fifth Juno for the theme song for the TV show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and making appearances at Gay Calgary and Edmonton Pure Pride, Simone was championing causes out of nothing but love, and the fact as she says, “I just see people. I don’t see black, white, gay, straight,.” The way she was raised by her parents has resulted in this attitude more so than just by being involved in the arts. As was mentioned earlier in the article, Simone and Shelley met at the Curvy Expo, two stories of which appear elsewhere in this issue. Both are big supporters of the Body Diversity movement, which encourage women to embrace the best they can be with the body shape they have, even to the extent of being a runway model. In fact, Simone says she supported the movement before knowing there was one. A last but telling point. We found out that just like our Publisher, Simone is of Guyanese background and last visited the place of her parents’ birth in 2008. In addition, both her mother and Shelley’s mother came to Canada after a decade in England. An incredible coincidence? DyNOmite!!

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TASHACOBBS: A SUPERNATURAL STORY By Andrew Terry Pasieka

To say Tasha Cobbs burst onto the gospel music scene would be putting it mildly. Her February 5th, 2013 release simply called “Grace” went straight to the top of Billboard’s Gospel Music chart and stayed in the Top Ten for one year! It not only made it on to Billboard’s premier Hot 100 Albums chart as well, it peaked at No. 2.

The album produced the international gospel sensation “Break Every Chain,” the lead single that was No.1 on the Gospel Singles Chart for twelve straight weeks. To prove that was no fluke, the follow-up single, “For Your Glory,” also went to No 1. Three Stellar awards, three Dove awards (including 2015’s Gospel Artist of the Year), and to top it off, a 2014 Grammy for Best Gospel/Christian Contemporary Performance were all the result of this ground-breaking record. Tasha has had some supernatural concert numbers to go with those regarding her record. She has played in front of 40,000 at Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston not once but twice, and the video from the first concert is approaching 1.2 million views already. She has been quoted before as saying, “(God) will do above what you can even think or imagine…” ‘ Yet what is impressive about the lady is how she is humbled by any numbers. Even though the 5000 that packed The Prayer Palace in Toronto might pale in comparison to

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Lakewood, she termed it small but mighty. Her humility and sincerity came through loud and clear as she talked with SMJ Magazine. “All these people that come to see me, all those that buy my records, it all keeps me humble because there’s nothing I could have done alone to achieve these numbers. It’s the grace of God that gives you those things you can’t earn. Tonight I was very much impressed by the standing room and the way the people got into the show. It was mighty to serve and save.” With a statement like that we just had to ask, did she find it almost too much at times keeping up with her own fame. Tasha answered it starts with preparation and mentorship. Preparation so one doesn’t get overwhelmed by their own star power and mentorship so there is always someone in her life that keeps her grounded. For the longest time, it was her father, Bishop Fritz Cobbs, founder of New Life Ministries in her home town of Jesup, Georgia. He passed away in 2014, and since


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then her mentor has been Father William Murphy, Pastor at her home church in Atlanta called dReam Center. Through them Tasha has developed what she calls a servant’s heart. Tasha is a minister herself at her home church, and was a worship leader at her father’s church where her mother has now taken over. She celebrated her 35th birthday earlier this summer, and jokes “when I go back home and walk into New Life my mother still gives me the mic!” Tasha and her mother share something else unique besides the mic. Her follow-up album “One Place Live” was recorded live and the title track took seventeen years to write! Tasha’s mother got the chorus in the middle of the night, and waited for another dream, another vision, that wouldn’t come. Then all of a sudden God gave the verses to Tasha one day last year in a burst of inspiration. Mother and daughter sing it together on the album. Another important aspect of Tasha’s influence on her fans is her own mentorship program called I Lead Escape, running for five years now. It started with a conference call, developed into a monthly chat, and attracted 3000 worshippers in a face-to-face conference last March. One last question. Her greatest hit “Break Every Chain,” came from victory over a battle with depression in 2007. We wondered if she still found the song cathartic for her every time she sang the lyrics. Her answer doesn’t really surprise us. “The chains of depression were broken off my life forever with that song. So when I sing it I minister from the spirit that has released me. I don’t have to know I am helping others. That spirit tells me I am.”

TASHA COBBS: THE CONCERT REVIEW By Andrew Terry Pasieka If this was back in the hippie and Flower Power days of the late 1960s, the May 27th Tasha Cobbs concert at the Prayer Palace in Toronto, a co-production of Gospel Connection and Church at the Well, would have been described as a love-in. From the time the native of Jesup, Georgia strode onto the stage in a striking white dress shirt* with black tights and black boots, topped off with a distinctive tightly-braided blonde ponytail weave, pandemonium reined among the standing room 5000 plus who crammed into venue. Almost all of them stood throughout the 56-minute set, from the moment just prior to the first

song when a large portion of the audience surged towards the edge of the stage to try and nab one of the half-dozen CDs Tasha tossed into the crowd. Tasha soared her way through the hits that have made her an international gospel sensation over the past three years, among them For Your Glory. Fill Me Up, and of course, the anthem of all anthems, Break Every Chain. The fact that her set consisted of only six songs was surprising after it was all over, but Tasha and her three backup singers led the audience into a praise and worship experience with every song. She warned the crowd early on what they were in for when she exclaimed, “I hope you didn’t come here just to sit and listen. You better have brought

your best praise and worship voice with you tonight!” She needn’t have said anything. She had the people in the palm of her hand as soon as she appeared on stage, and they were with her for the entire set. Mixed in the audience were some of the Greater Toronto Area’s finest gospel and Christian contemporary artists, local pastors and politicians, federal senators and other dignitaries, but on this night, there was no distinction from the blue collar worker, the homemaker, and the student. Under the aura that is Tasha Cobbs, they were all of one spirit. *On & Off the Runway Boutique

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A MODERN DAY FIRST NATIONS WARRIOR…AND SURVIVOR By Andrew Terry Pasieka

Bridget Perrier has gone through a h*** and come out again, and after almost a decade, “I try to walk in this universe as a strong woman, in the way of the anishnaabe,” the good people on the right road given to them by the Great Spirit Gichi-Manidoo. Her fight is for equality and assimilation, much like the other visible minorities of the world. She has survived sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, and has become an abolitionist, because what she went through in her opinion was slavery. Bridget wants to break the myth that prostitution is a choice. As an indigenous woman, she feels her goal is to protect her community. She has raised her children in as much of the culture as she has preserved, but her womanhood also has a natural nurturing spirit. It is that spirit that built her four girls, two adopted and two of her own, into women. This despite the two older daughters, who were adopted, knowing that their natural mother was Brenda Wolfe, a marginalized woman and the first targeted victim of notorious serial killer and B.C. pig farmer Robert Picton. “Violence doesn’t just happen; it descends on society where it is glorified in music, books, and video games. We live in a rapecondoning culture where it is OK to degrade women, to abuse women, to enslave women. This horrible cycle has to stop with the education of boys and of men learning to be men.” In other words, it’s not just that we change the conversation from ‘the woman somehow invited the assault,’ but that we go into

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a prevention mode, teaching males how to behave around females and doing away with the stigmas of bullying and sexism. For Bridget, it all started too early. Born Ojibway, she was given up for adoption at five weeks of age, and placed in a strong Catholic family of French-Canadian/Ukrainian background. They were very loving, but also too trusting. When they were asked to help another family who had a son with some mental health issues; in her words, “they let a monster into the house.” The sexual abuse started at age eight, and she is convinced that was the cause of her behavioral problems. She still has love for her adoptive parents, and realizes there is no manual for adoption that is the be all and end all. However, she is disappointed that they listened to the Child Welfare Workers and not their gut reaction. Soon Bridget became a ‘high needs’ case, switched to foster homes, and eventually an all girls’ facility. It was there that the sexual exploitation began. Bridget shrugs. “I just followed the older girls and started doing what they were doing. Pimps and predators started coming around within six


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months. The staff had no idea what was going on.” Bridget was very resilient and fought against it every step of the way, but then fell in with a biker group and met what she termed a ‘bad son’ (“this is all off the record; I can’t tell you his name”), got pregnant, and had an 11lb. 15oz son named Tanner. She turned to prostitution to support the two of them, even after he was diagnosed with leukemia at age nine months. Looking back on that time now, she has no doubt that Tanner was an angel, sent by God to save her life. Another angel, this one more earthly, was her biological uncle, who loved her unconditionally, and moved her to Red Lake on McKenzie Island. It was during this period that she experienced a lifeshattering experience. “My uncle was a traditional Ojibway man who was very involved in sacred practices such as the smoking lodge and the shaking tent. There was a shaking tent ceremony held for a young man who went missing and whose mother knew instinctively that he was dead. I was there helping out. All of a sudden during the ceremony the tent went super windy and I saw it levitate. I got scared, ran home, and went to bed. That night my grandmother, who had passed away many years earlier, appeared to me in a dream. She spoke in Ojibway and I understood. She said ‘your road is very winding and there are a lot of steep hills, but the road you are trying to take is straight and leads to destruction.” She also appeared to Bridget’s uncle and told both of them that Tanner was in danger. They made the 6 to 7-hour

trek back to Thunder Bay, and then she spent the next few years between there and Toronto, on the streets, incarcerated, and feeding an escalating drug habit. The final call came ironically, as she was being arrested for what turned out to be the last time. As she was being driven to where he was, she was told her son was speaking in tongues. They spent his last three days together. Tanner died in Bridget’s arms and she spent the next four hours holding him. One might think it was a mother losing her mind with her loss, but to this writer, knowing the whole story, it was something else. She was holding on to the ‘pinkie swear’ she promised her son just before he died, saying she would be good. She was gaining her strength from holding him one last time because she knew her life had changed forever. The first proof of this was her first thought after leaving the hospital. She wanted to commit suicide, but couldn’t even attempt it. She signed herself into rehab, but there were no supports on the streets after she got out, so she spent an agonizing eight years plus healing day by day, and trying to figure out “what the h*** happened to me?” Ten years later she is a community worker graduate from George Brown College with a B.Sc. in Social Work and a YWCA Woman of Distinction Turning Point Award in 2006. She has raised her children since Tanner on her own, and successfully lobbied for the passing of Bill C-36, changing the law regarding the purchasing of sexual services, adopting the Nordic principle found in one of her websites SPACE International (Survivors of Prostitution Abuse Calling for Enlightenment), which criminalizes the purchasers of sex while decriminalizing those that sell it. Her summary comment says it

all. “Real men don’t buy sex.” (Her other website is www.sextrade.com) Bridget Perrier has spoken on the status of women at the United Nations no less than five times, and has had an audience with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. But for her, it comes down to, not “her home and native land,” as says a certain anthem, but “her home and stolen native land.” She says that first thing that should be done is to abolish the Indian Act. Aboriginal leaders must be given a higher place in the Canadian political hierarchy, to the extent that the Grand Chief should almost be a partner of the Prime Minister. For communities up north and for the young people who seem to be killing themselves in alarming numbers, Bridget says they need much more in the way of direct services and much less in the way of the ‘ring of fire,’ deadly open pit mining which Bridget says is a direct contributor to aboriginal mental health and general health issues.

We have a fractured community. I am sick of hearing that Indians are lazy and are all on welfare. What do you do where you are alienated in the land that has always been yours, and you are left to live in the middle of nowhere with parents and grandparents who are the products of the residential school experiment.” Another cause for this modern day warrior to go on a different kind of warpath.

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SABINE DANIEL Being Candid with

By Shelley Jarrett

Sabine and I met two and a half years ago, at “The Women in the Media” event in Ottawa where I was the guest speaker. She was stunning and stood out among the other ladies that received awards that night. I knew there was something special about her so I continued to follow her closely on social media. I caught up with her recently for this story.

SMJ: Can you tell me what you have been doing since we last saw each other? SD: It was great meeting you that day, because it was a blessing for me. SMJ: How so? Can you tell me? SD: That event started the recognition for me. It’s interesting, because I had been in the business for 15 years trying to make a name for myself. After that event, I became a fully engaged woman dealing with issues that reflect the diversity, of not only black women but women as a whole, such as entrepreneurs and those who are confined in their roles as mothers, wives, etc. Women who would love to explore things, but are not capable or just daring enough. So I pushed that aspect of being more daring to the forefront. Today I am more authentic to myself which attracts the right people for me to work with. This approach paid off big time when I was approached 24

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by Bell Media last summer and offered a talk show only three weeks after I had just come out of surgery for Fibroids (abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman’s uterus commonly found among Black women between ages 30 and 40). SMJ: Can you tell me a little more about the show? SD: Definitely! It’s about the social surge. I found out there are a lot of entrepreneur men and mostly women using the internet to showcase, not only their talent, but to uplift, empower and inspire other people and most of all create a side hustle. Suivez-moi was created to really showcase these women who were using YouTube and blogs and find out what it was that inspired them to launch their careers online. Suivez-moi is our stories to share and inspire. Sometimes on a limited budget, your creativity can do the same as the big box and the big networks. I have found if you don’t try things out, or make

things happen, you may miss the boat. People are inspired by people that come from nothing and make something of themselves. SMJ: Ordinary people doing extraordinary things! That is our motto here at SMJ Magazine. SD: You got it, just like you. One of the major shifts for me is that I have always been around people that inspire me. I have a mom that created her own organization for francophone black women, and she got many nominations and has been recognized in the local as well as international media. That inspired me very much. SMJ: What would you say to young black girls that want to go into media? SD: Be encouraged, be inspired. What’s stopping the younger generation today is money. What’s fun about this era is that young women are tapping into social


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media to create their blogs and their platforms. Things are slowly changing. . SMJ: Sometimes women are not succeeding as fast as they should. SD: Women are under a lot of pressure these days. We are expected to be perfect at home, and be perfect physically. What is the ideal “black women”? People have this idea that everyone woman should be a Beyoncé. For me I find that what Beyoncé is saying is that she has an international platform and that all of us are unique and if we tap into our secret power, It can bring you to a point of sharing that gift with everyone, because you don’t know how that gift can impact someone. We are all connectors. SMJ: Exactly. We as women have to take our roles very seriously and do a good job at it. SD: Definitely! That is the reason I want to create a platform where women would have access to workshops, leadership roles and mentors, where people would be able to explore their creativity to the maximum. My dream is to have it in every major city in Canada, the Caribbean and Africa. If women are in a position of power, we wouldn’t need to provide supports. Like resources that are accessible, affordable and central; essentials to succeed in accounting, branding, and webmaster for both men and women. I would like a test pilot by 2017. The idea is to have three hubs; in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto where people can come and shoot their YouTubes, blog segment & shows at a low cost.

I want to return to Toronto this summer to do that pilot. We need an ambassador in Toronto who would oversee the hub for female entrepreneurs. We got a grant from the Canadian government so we will be testing out to see how people would adapt to the different cities. We will start in Montreal; the idea is that every hub would have a gym. Women can come with the children if they don’t have resources like babysitting. SMJ: You have won a few awards recently. Can you tell us what some of those awards are for? And what does it mean to you? SD: The most recent one is the Nelson Mandela and that was a Godsend, because it opened doors on having the first female hub in Ottawa for entrepreneurs of different backgrounds and from different walks of life. It’s what I always wanted. As a minority, a francophone woman and a black woman it’s hard to make it in a competitive environment. SMJ: I think it’s a good thing, it can be an advantage. SD: it’s definitely an advantage if you use it. At first I was afraid of what people thought but now I am focusing working hard and working with other females who have the same mind set. SMJ: What’s next for Sabine Daniel? What can we look for in the coming years? SD: I am working on the second season of Suivez-moi a talk show interviewing social media stars.

And I am launching my book. But the biggest project is the first female hub. My legacy is to create an organization such as Habitat for Humanity but for female entrepreneurs! This said, I am actively looking for investors that would support this project take off here in Ottawa and elsewhere. Sabine Daniel is a bilingual speaker, social entrepreneur &, TV & Radio Host born in Montreal of Haitian background. With degrees in communications and public relations, Sabine has worked for over 15 years in front and behind the camera. This multi-talented woman has been a researcher for many television and reality shows and for organizations such as the City of Gatineau and the National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA. Nowadays, you can catch Sabine at one of speaking engagement empowering women or in her cutting edge, selfproduced and first talk-show entirely dedicated on social media titled, Suivez-moi, which airs on Bell Media.

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS • 2016 – Honouree of the Nelson Mandela Legacy Award; • 2015 – Haïti en fête: Honoured during the celebration of the 400th Anniversary of Francophone presence in Ontario; • 2014 – La Bonne affaire du RDÉE Ontario : Entrepreneur of the Year Award ; • 2014 – Fête du Drapeau Haïtien : Great Leader in the Community; • 2013 – Jeune Chambre de commerce Haïtienne : Nomination for Personnality of the Decade • 2006 – Gala Révélation Contest: Nominated in the Host Category. • 2005 – RogersTV: Volunteer of the Month and best reporter of the year

To follow her progress visit: www.sabinedaniel.com

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INSPIRATIONAL CORNER Letting Go By Josephine Casey

Letting go of past situations Letting go of hurt, pain, anger and shame For there’s no one to blame Just let go and sustain Release resentment and the pain It’s hard to but you have to maintain Stay calm and not vain Reduce rage, tantrum and vexation Embrace joy, peace, and happiness Relax be calm and of good nature Show pleasantness Letting go is hard to do If you don’t it will consume you Let go today And no dismay Take a deep breath Free, liberate

SHELLEY JARRETT AWARD WINNING IMAGE/STYLE CONSULTANT, MENTOR, SPEAKER & PUBLISHER

416-839-2792

Get in that mind state You’ll feel relieved, appeased and at ease Let go

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By Dr. Lisa Ramsackal

Have you ever thought about Stretching for Success? Stretching has many health benefits such as improved circulation, mobility, and improved lower back pain. Keeping our bodies mobile, injury and pain free can keep us moving better, feeling better and living better, longer and healthier. To me that’s the ultimate success. Being in the health care field, I often see patients with chronic pain that eventually impacts their livelihood. It often starts with working through the pain, waiting for things to “go away”. Over time the pain persists and patients get accustomed living with it (which for the majority can be addressed with early intervention). In the end when the pain becomes overwhelming, taking time off work is the next step sought after. Pain affects us on many levels. It distracts us from our daily tasks at work and at home, it affects our mood, our productivity and even our relationships, clouding our path to success. In addition, our posture affects how we feel and how we are perceived by others. Good posture makes us look and feel more confident. What if you could prevent the onset of pain or symptoms from becoming worse and improve the way that you look and feel?

Dr. Lisa Ramsackal H.BSc., D.C., R.Ac. Chiropractor & Acupuncturist

Here are 4 of my favourite Stretches for Success:

Pectoral Stretch – Standing at 90 degrees to a wall place the palm of your hand on the wall with your fingers pointing behind you. With the foot closest to the wall take a step forward while the other foot remains planted. Rotate your hips and upper body of the arm on the wall away from the wall so that you feel a stretch in the chest area. Hold for 90 seconds. Stretch other side and repeat 2-3 times.

Upper Trapezius Stretch – Sitting tall tilt the head to one shoulder so that your ear is leaning towards the other shoulder. Use the weight of your head to feel a gentle stretch in the opposite side neck and shoulder area. Hold for 90 seconds. Stretch other side and repeat 2-3 times. To stretch a little more, place the hand of the opposite side of the muscle being stretched on top of the head and gently pull the head towards the ear in the direction being stretched.

Green Health Clinic 3-265 Queen St South, Miss, ON, L5M 1L9

Shoulder Stretch – Sitting tall reach forward with one arm so that the elbow is extended. Bring the arm across the body towards the opposite shoulder. Use the opposite arm to gently pull in the direction of the stretch. Hold for 90 seconds. Stretch other side and repeat 2-3 times.

Upper Back Stretch – Sitting tall reach both arms forward so that the elbows are extended. Cross the hands over so that both palms are facing each other and reach forward with the finger tips so that you feel a stretch in the muscles in between the shoulder blades and upper back. Make sure that you stretch to the point where you feel comfortable and maintain good breathing. Hold for 90 seconds. Practice good technique for maximum benefit and injury prevention. Following these tips can help clear your path and stretch you way to success!

T: 905-997-4468/M: 647-234-3747 W: www.chiropractor-drlisa.ca E: drramsackal@gmail.com

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CELINA CAESARCHAVANNES on Loss, Lessons and Legacies By Andrew Terry Pasieka

As a follow up to the in-depth interview SMJ Magazine conducted with the Hon. Celina Caesar-Chavannes for our Spring Issue, we were invited to the Whitby constituency office of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister for another sit down for the Canadian International Black Women Event, published in SMJ Special Edition Issue No. 13. Our Publisher attended the gala where the Hon. Caesar-Chavannes was the keynote speaker. When she was introduced by CIBWE founder Rose Cathy Handy as “the greatest story here today,” she did not treat it as a time to share ‘good news week.’ The MP spoke frankly about the challenge that this opportunity and office has given her. Several times during her thirty-minute address, she mentioned how hard her new job is. “It is so critically important when I go to a place like Parliament Hill, that I remember what celebrations like tonight are all about when I walk down the halls and I don’t see anyone who looks like me…We know where we came from. Some of us did not make it. But some did. And that gives us all a little bit of a boost.” The Hon Caesar-Chavannes went on to say that so much has been written about her election in October 2015 and the appointment afterward as her greatest triumph. However, she shared for the first time a victory made bittersweet because of a by-election defeat the previous November, and a subsequent spiral into deep depression. How ironic that she would suffer the consequences of a condition she studied for almost two years, requested and funded by the previous federal government. In the Whitby interview, we talked about her company Resolve Solutions and that research project.

Although Celina was forced to sell her company to her husband Vidal due to political conflict of interest rules, the mapping connections study she completed while at its helm can be accessed by her as part of her ongoing work in developing a National Brain Strategy. She can use its recommendations to form an action plan for people with neurological disorders or mental health issues. The study will help to reduce the stigma behind mental illness for the public and for victims. As Celina says, “Those that suffer from one of the fourteen neurological conditions that make up mental illness have to be told that it is OK to feel the way they do, and it is OK to seek help.” She went even further at the CIBWE gala. “It’s something we don’t talk about in our community but I am going to make sure that we talk about it. This summer I’ll be traveling across the country on behalf of our government talking to marginalized people, those who normally don’t get a say at the table.” She has also taken Ms. Handy’s comments about award winners literally raising others up, starting her own Young Women’s Circle. It is now fifteen strong; one of the women is her constituency assistant who was able to place a worth on herself based on her bilingual skills, and another is learning what it takes to become a Rhodes Scholar. She left us with three gems from a list of lessons learned over the up and downs of the previous decade of her life. To whom much is given, much is expected. Nothing that is meant for you will pass you by. If it doesn’t make you want to vomit, then it’s not worth doing! SUMMER 2016

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Starting A Business By Victoria A. Morgan BA. LLB. LLM

Before starting a business there are some basic business lessons that any aspiring entrepreneur will need to know. Entrepreneurship is a journey and one requires the right mindset, effort, passion and commitment to navigate it successfully. Here are five questions that must be answered and mastered before starting a business.

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1. What will my business offer? You must be familiar with what you will be offering the public and how you will be accomplishing it. For instance, if you plan to offer a training course, identify how you will solve problems, how you will update and tweak your program as you go, and what format you will use to teach this course.

2. What does the competition or counterpart offer? You must know what similar types of services, programs or products already exist in the marketplace. Identify them and be aware of the differences. If a product or service already exists exactly the way you envisioned yours, how then can you make yours unique? Investors will often ask you this question.

3. Can you survey your audience? Identify who is your target market. What do they want and need? Also, what price point speaks to them? This is important, as you do not want to enter the marketplace overpriced or undervalued. Know your audience.

4. Is your product idea or service testable? Before you invest your time and money creating a product or service, it is a good idea to create an interest form or flyer and do a survey. The results from the survey will help you decide whether or not your product or service is marketable immediately. You can then create your product based on what your audience believes they want and need now.

5. Have you done market or industry research? Completing a market or industry research will help you understand what the industry says about how your demographic prefers information and education. When doing an industry research, find studies that prove your product or service is necessary or would be beneficial. This information will help you with marketing and financing your business. Likewise, it will provide a useful guide as to how much your audience will pay for what you are offering.

Building a successful business does not happen overnight but with the right mindset, effort and commitment, success is possible. Knowing and understanding your product or service, how it differs from your competitor, knowing who is your target audience, doing your research and testing your product before you offer it to the public are all important aspects of creating a successful and profitable business.

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THE FACE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IS CHANGING By Kelly Farrell

With the rise of video, social networks have become an everchanging landscape for small business owners. Live video streaming from smartphones launched onto the scene little more than a year ago, and in that short amount of time, has taken over social media newsfeeds. Even for the most camera-shy, the time has come to turn your smartphone camera around on yourself and press record!

THE RISE OF LIVE STREAMING Less than two weeks into the second half of 2016, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all released statements confirming that live video streaming is a focus of their engagement strategy for users. Facebook has opened up Live Video streaming to all of its users and business pages while Twitter is pursuing at least 10 partnerships with major networks to offer news and sports live streaming on their platform. YouTube is upping the game with coverage of the US political conventions in 360° live streaming. The consensus among experts in digital media is that this is just the beginning of real-time and immersive video experiences that are both user-generated and published by media outlets in the same forum. SNAP AND CHAT IN REAL-TIME When Snapchat was launched, it was meant as a “fun” and “ethereal” platform where users could send a picture or video of what they were experiencing in live time. The allure of Snapchat was also that the pictures sent would only be seen for a number of seconds before disappearing and erasing the memory. This expanded on the popularity of Instagram’s instant photo-sharing purpose and has quickly become the most active app for daily usage among 18-24 year olds. Snapchat’s new feature, Memories, lets you save snaps you take directly into the camera roll, and moves away from its initial value prop by adding features like video, picture, text, call all in one. This allows a platform with a wider

reach that is appealing to a wider audience. PRODUCING VIDEO CONTENT It can be extremely intimidating to put yourself out there on live video. The prospect of learning new technology to edit the video and create thumbnails to help promote your videos after the filming can be challenging. Below are a few tips to help get you started on the path to live video streaming and video promotion for your business. 1. WELL BEGUN IS HALF DONE A well-prepared outline for your video goes a long way to ensuring your video is going to be easy for people to follow, either live or recorded. You don’t have to write out a whole script, but jot down the main points you want to cover in logical order. 2. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT We miss 100% of the shots we never take - so take a shot and let the camera roll! It may take a dozen or more takes (my first video took almost 20 takes!) but repeating the process makes it easier while also increasing the motivation to just get it done. Speak clearly and with natural expression, make eye contact with the lens of the camera, and review each take. 3. ADD SOME SPARKLE Once you get the perfect video clip, the next step is to edit the video, add some captions, keywords, logo, and website link. There are great apps for smartphones that come with both free and paid versions that will add text and graphic elements to your videos with minimal effort or tech knowledge!

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Overcoming The Wall By Fatima Gould

In everyday life, Fatima Gould is an effective strategic analyst, process engineer, networking and project manager with over 27 years of excellence in the IT Industry. After two decades of continued growth inside a rapidly expanding global market, Fatima has transformed her life to be a catalyst of hope unleashing a new path of leadership in the world of personal growth and development. As a community ambassador for change, speaker, author and communication coach, she has taken the lid off of what others believe is impossible. Her commitments are fourfold: inspiring today’s youth, leading adult life groups, working with church organizations, and belonging to toast masters. This is just a portion of her ongoing contribution.

Go to www.iamoverthewall.com

Today, she is spearheading a project called I AM OVER the WALL, a community and on-line destination to unleash your faith, freedom and fearlessness and get over the walls that stop you. Fatima’s organization will be uniting powerful leaders to take a stand to show others how to give up being a victim of their circumstances declare and renew their life. Fatima is celebrating the anticipated release of her personal memoir that documents her triumph of shifting pain into purpose, Over the Wall.

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TWENTY-SECOND

ANNUAL MARTY AWARDS By Andrew Terry Pasieka

The 22nd annual MARTY Awards, celebrating the best in the Mississauga arts scene, saw marked changes. For the first time in six years, the location was moved from the Living Arts Centre (LAC) to the Mississauga Convention Centre (MCC) to accentuate a new wrinkle. A sit-down dinner was held between the red carpet and the actual awards show. Three new categories were added for 2016: culinary, creative community, and fashion & beauty. The MCC was packed with upwards of 1000 people attending the dinner and awards. This was almost twice the attendance at LAC in previous years. The highlight of the awards was a double posthumous presentation to the family of Ron Lenyk, longtime publisher of The Mississauga News , and most recently, CEO of LAC, of the Laurie Pallett Patron of the Arts and the Lifetime Achievement Award. With most award shows, nominees regularly express the standard line (or variation of it) that they are just happy to be nominated, although it is obvious it is the victory that will really bring them joy. So it was refreshing to be walking on and around the red carpet and hear nominees actually sound like winners long before any envelope had been opened. The first pair of nominees highlighted had backgrounds diametrically

opposite: Sachi Nag (Established Literary Arts) developed his craft of poetry in India, and has found new perspectives in writing since coming to Canada 15 years ago. Katarzyna Kochany (Established Media Arts) on the other hand, has had her work speak for itself outside Canada, as she had had 150 projects nominated in various festivals and juried competitions around the world. The second pair of nominees had a ‘blood’ experience shape their destiny to this night. Bruce Teel (triple nominee in Visual, Literary, and Fashion & Beauty) said the life altering stroke he suffered a few years ago caused him to take stock and commit to becoming a full time artist. Elyse Saunders (Established Music) came by her country music roots honestly as her mother was a singer-songwriter.

Different ends of the career spectrum showed up in the next pair of nominees that SMJ Magazine spoke with. Jules Collarile (Emerging Music) was a wide-eyed 18 year-old and was enthusiastically saying that her nomination felt like an endorsement of the entire Mississauga artistic community. Rob Tardik (Established Music) is already a veteran of several records, and music that has been charted on Billboard. His dream? To find that catchy tune among his repertoire of jazz fusion, Latin, calypso, Spanish, or an idea that hasn’t been composed yet, and make it into his first No. 1 record. The final two red carpet interviewees were both from the new category of Fashion & Beauty. Shirley Wu was caught up in the passion of her profession, overcome with emotion at seeing so many people at MCC, and overjoyed that the work which has come from her heart has been recognized. On the other hand, Tabi G, the eventual winner in the Fashion & Beauty category, was very matter—of–fact about her success to date stemming from a drastic career change to fashion from interior design.

There is a certain segment of the artistic community, some of them quite famous, who are against the plethora of award shows, because they are against the concept of rating one artist ahead of a group of others at any one time. All in TW all, one can certainly make the argument EN TY that after talking with and taking in the -SE 22nd annual MARTYS, like any employee, CO ND nominees love the recognition of a phantom employer saying ‘job well done; here is your nomination; keep up the good work!’

AN N MA U R AW TY AR D SUMMER 2016

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By Akua Hinds

AFFAIRS of the heart Having More Than One Soulmate Have you ever questioned what society and your family taught you about love? Humans are wired to question things that don’t make sense to them. And, for some people, the idea of having only one love soulmate in life does not make sense to them. A soulmate is someone who you feel you are destined to be with in spite of any obstacles that you face. Each individual on the planet has a life path. For some, their life paths will lead them to the realization that they have more than one person to choose as life partners. It is best to be monogamous with one person at a time, but when one relationship ends, there are future possibilities to consider.

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Being in a romantic relationship with the same person from the time you meet each other until death parts you is a romantic notion and tradition. There is certainly nothing wrong with remaining in a faithful and loving partnership. There is, however, something wrong with staying committed to someone who is not the right person for you even though you might have been a great pair together once. There is little to be gained when you use your pride as a reason to refuse to part ways with someone who you no longer love. And, unfortunately, pride is one of the many reasons why some people choose to stay in loveless relationships. I remember answers to an Internet poll question years ago, and the question was posed to readers to find out if they regretted getting divorced. I was shocked when the majority of responses from men and women regretted not getting divorced sooner. Most of those commenters

had also expressed their happiness with finding new partners who were more suitable for them. As I reflect on my own past relationship triumphs and trials, I’m literally grateful to God that I didn’t marry them because I know that if I had, I might have felt mentally and emotionally stuck with those people. Getting a divorce is such a time-consuming process in which emotions run wild. I usually delay filing my income taxes until the very last week of April because I want to put off having to deal with all of the paperwork for as long as I can before I’m forced to face the April 30th deadline date. I can only imagine how long I would drag out having to file for a divorce if I was in that position. Having to pay court costs to get out of a relationship, presenting my case in front of strangers in a court room, and dealing with all of the emotional drama sounds as unappealing to me as having to eat squash (I don’t like


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squash). But, when it’s necessary to move on with your life, you must do whatever it takes. I personally feel that each person’s number one job is to take care of themselves first before they take care of someone else. Keep your eyes open and recognize the signs that your relationship with your partner is showing you. After you have tried everything you could, it might be time to move on from a union that is not serving you the way that you deserve. You might have more than one soulmate.

possibilities and be focused on whether or not your connection is healthy. Just like it is your job to find food, clothing and shelter for yourself, it is also your task to find the right person for you. You need to make the effort on a daily basis to be in the relationship of your dreams. You might feel tired, disappointed, and discouraged, but ask yourself this; if you applied for a job and you didn’t get it, are you going to stop searching for work? If you stop seeking, then you stop receiving. It’s your job to find and recognize your next soulmate!

One of the three online dating companies that I own is a Christian dating site. I have always believed that God blesses many remarriages, and that He gives people as many chances as they need. I also feel that the Lord always teaches humans lessons through our experiences, and He will let us know whether or not we passed or failed. When we fail, I think He always wants us to get back up and try again until we learn our lessons. When we learn and understand, that is when we have succeeded. I know there are Christians who feel that God doesn’t bless divorce and remarriage unless adultery is involved, but I feel differently about that. I believe that there are different forms of betrayal other than just fornication. Gambling, abuse, irresponsibility, emotional unavailability, and deliberate cruelties are strong and justifiable reasons to reconsider being involved with someone. You need to stay open to the

SUMMER 2016

35


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SMJ Magazine summer 2016 issue #14  

SMJ Magazine is a diverse and unique publication. Our focus is image, lifestyle and business, reporting in the fields of fashion & design, a...

SMJ Magazine summer 2016 issue #14  

SMJ Magazine is a diverse and unique publication. Our focus is image, lifestyle and business, reporting in the fields of fashion & design, a...

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