SMJ Magazine Holiday issue #3 2013

Page 1








Five Amazing Community Stars

Women of

Style and


Your Finances: An Incentive to Get in Shape During 2014

An Update on FEATURE

Up Close and Personal

with the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Couture & Culture 2014

Summer 2013 Issue #1 ImagesLifestylesBusiness

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Your Image Your Brand Book Review


Becoming A Student of Life

Discovering My Purpose

SMJ Magazine is a division of Seventh House Publishing Arts. © 2013

Summer Trends:

Accessories that


Holiday 2013 Issue No. 3

Painting This Town RED H







Five Amazing Community Stars

Women of

Style and


Your Finances: An Incentive to Get in Shape During 2014

An Update on

Couture & Culture


Founder & Publisher Shelley Jarrett

Up Close and Personal


Front Cover Credits: Shelley Jarrett: Dress: “Enough About Me Collection” Leggings: Ashley Stewart USA. Jewelry: Shoes: Beyond The Rack Make-up: Wright Artistry Andrew Terry Pasieka: Shirt: Peter Miller Sweater: Serica sweater (Italy) Cotton Pants: Brax (Germany) Belt: Benchcraft - Ladner’s Clothiers Hair and Make-up: Michael’s Hair Body Mind Photo: Lubin Tasevski

with the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Printed By PrintingIcon SMJ Magazine is published digitally with limited print editions three times a year. To advertise in our publication, be featured, or for more information, please contact us at or visit For editorial content, contact

Editor-in-Chief Andrew Terry Pasieka Art Director Sharean Edwards Fairman Staff Reporter Andrea E. Levy Entertainment Reporter Caroline Dinnall Contributing Writers Shelley Jarrett Andrew Terry Pasieka Andrea E. Levy

Caroline Dinnall

Sharean Edwards Fairman Beverley Miller

Photographer Lubin Tasevski


LIM Media Group Inc.® Disclaimer All rights reserved, no part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without the written permission from the publisher. We make conscious efforts to ensure complete and accuracy in all editorial content. However, we accept no liability for any inaccurate information. We do not necessary support any products or services advertised herein.


SMJ Magazine | HOLIDAY 2013




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Contents Image



From the Desk of Shelley


Busty (Strawberry Shape) by Shelley Jarrett


Women of Style and Substance by Andrea E. Levy, Sharean Edwards Fairman and Caroline Dinnall

Lifestyle 12

Marcia Brown Productions’ Travelling Theatre Show by Andrew Terry Pasieka


Meeting a Member of the Cast from “I Need To Know My Father” by Andrew Terry Pasieka


It’s Flu Season by J. Beverly Edwards-Miller, BASc, RD


Two Book Reviews, One Conclusion by Andrew Terry Pasieka


Jackie Nugent: A Woman of Many Layers by Andrea E. Levy


Business 7

Five Community Stars: Vision+Excellence=Success by Andrew Terry Pasieka


An Update on Couture & Culture 2014 by Andrew Terry Pasieka


Your Finances: An Incentive to get in Shape during 2014 by Shelley Jarrett

Feature 10

Up Close and Personal with the Publisher and the Editor-in-Chief by Andrea E. Levy

SMJ Magazine | HOLIDAY 2013


Around The Town


SMJ Magazine | HOLIDAY 2013

From the Desk of


Let the celebrations begin…

A ride.

s we close off this year, I reflect on 2013. Oh what a year it was!! So much happened and so fast, that I figuratively had to hold on and go along for the

As planned, this is our 3rd issue in our 1st year. It is the issue of which I am most proud. Yes, it is that time of the year when the glitter and glamor of the holiday season, all the festive activities, that time when faith comes alive, families come together, and we share our many blessings with others. But this issue is more than that. We are pleased to showcase five amazing business leaders who are making a difference in the lives of others by giving back to the community. SMJ Magazine had the privilege to interview these wonderful leaders and their journeys to success. Then there is Andrew Terry Pasieka; the Editor-inChief and myself. We wanted to share some insights about our lives together as a couple and our accomplishments with the magazine thus far. We also have other members of the SMJ team giving insight about their work and why it is fun to be part of this journey. I love what I do for a living. It keeps me busy, active and relevant. I am operating in my calling. I feel blessed to be able to use my gifts and my talents to inspire others. It’s about the rush I get when I take an idea and turn it into reality. It’s great to know you’ve created something that others can aspire to. I strive to do and be the best I can be every day. My hope is that you will find this issue insightful and inspiring. A special thank you to all our followers, readers, advertisers, sponsors and partners, featured guests, contributors

and volunteers who continue to believe in us and have supported us in this exciting journey thus far. As we look forward to 2014, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the entire SMJ team, to wish everyone and their families the gift of faith, the blessing of hope and the peace of His love at this holiday season and always. 

Happy Holidays!

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Busty (Strawberry shape)

Shelley Jarrett Publisher SMJ Magazine This flirty dress, from the “Enough About Me Collection,” is economical at $195. It is brightly colored but discreetly cut; a beautiful bright red holiday dress flattering all the curves in the right places. Complete the look with black liquid leather leggings. (Ashley Stewart $19.50) The perfect versatile basic for fall and winter season.

If you are busty…

• Stick to one shade. It creates a head-to-toe sweep of color. You look longer and slimmer.

• Contain yourself. If wearing a tank, choose wider straps, which allow for a more supportive bra. Avoid strapless or backless dresses. • Don’t go with the flow. Tailored clothes that give the body a clear silhouette are more becoming. • Stretch out. Establish a strong vertical line with pleats, seams, or long necklaces and scarves.

There is nothing more attractive than confidence.

Once you see your own beauty, so will everyone else.

Beauty is a state of mind! 6

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VISION + EXCELLENCE= By Andrew Terry Pasieka The word “superstar” is an overworked term in the 21st century. It has been applied to a vast array of sports heros and heroines, Hollywood gods and goddesses, fashion and music hunks and divas, television celebrities, even reality show wannabees. You get the picture. Are even half of them worth the title? Probably not. On the other hand, we have today’s innovators, trend-setters or award winners in business. Chosen by industry peers, business associations, or boards of trade, they are usually called business leaders or leaders of tomorrow. They are hardly known to the average person. Not like the glittering line-up in the above paragraph. In this issue, our “Exclusive Interview” is with five people from vastly diverse fields. Yet it is this writer’s opinion that they can lay claim to the word “star.” They would probably all say they were not god or goddesses, hunks or divas. We at SMJ would say they are certainly not wannabees! But they are everything else! So pardon us as SMJ Magazine gives Prophet Kofi Danso, the Rev. Joanne Danso, Lina Morra-Lomangina, Lida Lindsey, and Cheryl Weber the “star” treatment.

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Five Amazing Community Stars

anointing, I can do a number of things. I can be a public speaker, a business mentor, a singer of any type of song. But I use my anointing in the church because that is what I was born to do.” The Rev. Joanne Danso takes it further. “The God who created me has given me the grace to do things according to my gifts. When you are called, it is that moment in time that God expects you to start doing the things you were born to do.” Prophet Kofi was the youngest of five siblings growing up in Ghana, West Africa. All four brothers and one sister were ministers, and his parents were very strongly spiritually led. He received his calling early to take over the home church from his sister. “My brothers were not available and I was not prepared, but it was my time. God did it supernaturally and I was ready. How did I know I was ready? In the Book of Romans (in the New Testament of the Bible), the Apostle Paul talks about the seriousness of a calling on your life. Anytime you have a calling, God gives you a sign, and that sign becomes a symbol which is repeated in the future. For me it was clouds. Angels coming down to my presence in clouds. It happened nineteen years ago.”

Prophet Kofi Danso and the Rev. Joanne Danso By Andrew Terry Pasieka


eople are constantly searching for meaning and purpose to life. Especially at this time of year, when family time is so important, the answers we seek are most often not materialistic. Things such as belonging, contentment, happiness…love. For many of us, the realities we have to endure as we stagger from one crisis to another disappointment can be too much. We need a miracle. SMJ Magazine introduces you to a highly gifted and spiritual couple who have no doubt how and when you can receive your miracle. If you meet them on the street or in the mall, they appear like any other couple in love. They have an adorable daughter not yet two years old named Destiny, and Joanne is expecting early next year. So far so normal. They work together in the same business. A little removed from the norm, but not unusual. Their business is a church. Oh, so he is a priest and she is a secretary? Uh…no. He is a prophetic healer, a life coach, a gospel artist and author. She is a powerful preacher, a promoter of discipleship, and an anointed intercessor. You the reader are probably looking at the photos of this couple with different eyes, but they would be the first to tell you they themselves are nothing out of the ordinary. What is out of the ordinary is their calling, and the use of their gifts and talents. Prophet Kofi Danso explains the difference. “With my


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For the Rev. Joanne, just as she calls herself an intercessor, her calling came, not directly from God, but through two intercessors. The first was the man that became her husband ten years after they met. The Rev. Joanne’s ancestors came from Ghana as well, but she was living in Canada with her mother when she met Prophet Kofi. She picks up the story. “I was going to church at the time, but it was sort of one foot in, one foot out. My mother was a similar Sunday Christian, but was going through some issues and wanted to get away to Ghana. She also wanted me to meet my grandparents whom I had never seen before. Well, when we got there, she was explaining her problems to a cousin, and he said, ‘I know a prophet who can help.’ That was when I met my future husband for the first time. I had never met anyone who was used to such a capacity as he was. At that first meeting, he told me that one day I would preach and intercede for others. I wanted to know that God. I left Ghana with such a hunger for what it was prophesized I would do that I never went back to the former me when I returned to Canada. No more smoke… no more drink…no more drugs.”

She returned to Ghana to visit him again, and then to Holland when he moved his ministry there. The visits were one to two years apart. In the meantime, a pastor of a local church in Toronto approached her and said he was told by God to assist her in training for the priesthood. By the time Prophet Kofi finally made his way to Canada, Joanne was now the Rev. Joanne, an assistant pastor for six years who preached on radio and television.

family from the ministry, but by God’s grace He gives us the ability to do both simultaneously”.  To learn more about this ministry at

Five Amazing Community Stars continues on page 14

Within a year of their marriage, another symbol of calling appeared. God was calling them in the Book of Revelation to gather all nations, as Prophet Kofi explained, “to bring all nations together in one place in one language of worship and prayer.” When they had attended sporting events or concerts in the Greater Toronto Area, they were invariably in some venue called an arena. From these supposed unrelated parts of their life, a name emerged: Miracle Arena for all Nations. Their church is now just past two years, and is growing by leaps and bounds. There are five weekly services, including a Thursday morning one on business and finance, a Friday all-night worship, culminating in the Sunday night service. They have radio spots on Joy 1250 AM, 1610 AM and on CMR 101.3 FM. They have a live broadcast on CTS television. They have a 1-800 crisis/prayer line that is not 24 hours, but is never really closed. There is a burning need to feed the hungry, help the poor, and minster to the incarcerated, both in Canada and back in Ghana. And what of worlds yet to conquer? They want a church without walls, both literally and figuratively, where true evangelism exists, and there are no barriers to spreading their message. Yet they are still that young couple with a young growing family. How do they balance the incredible responsibilities of their chosen “profession” with the more mundane ones of family life. Like a good husband, Prophet Kofi lets the Rev. Joanne have the final word. “God calls busy people, and He gives you the grace to handle it all. We don’t separate the

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February and I told Andrew and here we are.

agazine publishing has always been a very difficult and competitive field among women. Despite the risk, some women have taken the plunge and experience huge success in this undertaking. Topping this list of great achievers who have reach the mogul or tycoon level are Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey.

(Andrew) I liked Shelley’s idea of the magazine because I thought it was such a reflection of who Shelley is: a bright, positive person. So many magazines out there just gossip or print stories right out of the eleven o’clock news. I wanted to hear some good news.


Hoping to follow in their footsteps is one of Canada’s newest and promising publishers, Shelley Jarrett. Shelley is the Founder/ Publisher of SMJ Magazine, whose focus is in the areas of image, lifestyle and business. I spoke with Shelley and Editor-in-Chief, Andrew Terry Pasieka about this rapidly growing publication. (Andrea) I’m sure our readers would be interested in the story of how SMJ Magazine was born. Can you fill us in? (Shelley) It was my love for sharing information. I wanted to provide more information about image and how important it is to have a good image. I wanted to hear more about people using their gifts and talents. What are you using your gifts and talent to do? How are you helping others in the community develop their gifts and talents? I also wanted to highlight small businesses in the community. There are a lot of great businesses in our community doing positive things and people don’t know about them. I got this inspiration to do a magazine one day last


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(Andrea) Do you have any comments on the way SMJ Magazine has been received since the Launch Party and the inaugural issue in June? (Andrew) I think we are where we want to be as a magazine. The response has been beyond our expectations which took us off guard. We had 3000 followers on social media as we began planning our inaugural issue in the spring, around 9500 after our Launch Party in late June, and now we are at 16000 followers. (Andrea) Can you tell your followers what they can expect from SMJ in 2014? (Andrew) We will stay at three regular issues for the year-Spring, Fall and Holiday. We want to expand the quality of the magazine in terms of content. The reason for that is twofold: we wanted to develop a really strong relationship with our advertisers and we didn’t think that adding more issues, (which would mean more ads) was the way to go. And also, by

only doing three issues a year, we have an opportunity to do a “special edition” at anytime. (Andrea) When you say expand on quality, what exactly do you mean? (Andrew) I’m speaking of content – the magazine will get thicker before we have more issues. I would rather do three issues with 40 – 50 pages as opposed to six issues with 24 pages.

together side by side without hanging over each other and making a public display of affection. We’ve just always kept it professional. (Shelley) What’s private stays private. (Andrew) It seems like the right time to “come out of the closet” so to speak.

(Andrea) Speaking of expansion, any plans to take the magazine national or international?

(Andrea) Would you say that part of the publication’s success has to do with your compatibility as a couple in addition to your shared vision as publisher and editor-in-chief?

(Shelley) We want to focus on our branding here in the GTA first. Because it’s an online magazine, anything is possible. Already we are getting inquiries from the U.S.A., people want to be featured in the magazine. We will do that in a timely manner but right now we want to focus on branding here in Ontario.

(Shelley) Yes, Andrew knows a lot of my thinking and he is my best support. There is no ego between us – I’m the visionary and we compliment each other’s gift and abilities. I think we’re a perfect example that success is not about competing with your partner, but inspiring each other to be amazing together and helping people to transform their lives.

(Andrea) Working alongside you, I know that SMJ has been a labor of love from the start. Can you comment further on that?

(Andrew) I’ve always been fascinated with the dynamics of duets or couple of various sorts. Quite often, the extrovert on stage is usually the introvert in private. That’s how Shelley and I work. I’m the extrovert in public but with regards to the magazine, Shelley is the extrovert and I’m the introvert as the Editor-in-Chief. It’s like a human puzzle – pieces of her and pieces of me mesh together to make a beautiful circle.

(Shelley) What I’m doing now, I feel it’s my calling. I get a rush when I get an idea and I make it a reality. I feel it’s my calling to show people that you can use your gifts and talents and be successful. We are truly not comfortable in our lives unless we are using our gifts and talents in a positive way. Andrew was supportive of me using mine for SMJ right from the start, and it was easy to push ahead, knowing he had my back because we are a couple. (Andrew) I think one of the reasons why the magazine has been successful so far is because we just don’t have a personal relationship or just a typical Publisher/Editor relationship. When you know someone on a personal level, you gain insight in how they think in a way that is different than just on a business level. I think that gives us an advantage. (Andrea) By now, most of our readers may have figured out that you’re a couple. How long have you been together, and how did the two of you meet? (Shelley) We have been together 4 1/2 years and met at a local bank in the line up on a busy summer Friday afternoon. (Andrew) What are the chances of me standing in line; the main entrance door opens six times and six people go to different areas of the bank. The seventh person that opens the door was Shelley who comes into the line right behind me. That’s where fate and faith were intertwined. That’s the edited version; the rest we’ll save for the book.

(Andrea) What goals lie ahead for you as partners in business and partners in life? (Andrew) As far as business goes, print distribution is not in our near planning. We would like to look into subscription as early as next year, while building our brand and followers. We want to preface each future issue with a workshop featuring Shelley and continue to brand her as an Image Consultant. We may want to host some kind of event (i.e. productions, concerts, tradeshows, fashion shows) prior to an issue as well. (Shelley) We also want to give our advertisers and featured guests some additional spotlight on our social media pages. (Andrea) What about your personal goals? I’m sure your readers and followers would like to know –Is there a special date in the near future? (Shelley) Well, it’s in our planning. (smiles) (Andrew) Yes, it’s on the table. (more smiles)

(Andrea) Up to now, you have never made it a point of publicizing your relationship. Why are you doing so now? (Andrew) I don’t think we’ve made a conscious effort to publicize our relationship much in the last 4 1/2 years. I’m not sure if it’s because of the dynamics of the relationship being from different ethnic backgrounds or just the fact that we’re a mature couple. But I’ve always admired couples who work

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of taking part in the national pantomime auditions in 1982 in Kingston. She worked with many of the leading artists there over the next several years. However, when she came to Canada in 1989, she encountered more frustration than fruition. Marcia explains.


THEATRE SHOW By Andrew Terry Pasieka


e are sure our readers know what is meant by the term travelling road show. It is an entity that does not have a home, but keeps on showing up at different venues for presentation. On the one hand, it is stressful having to constantly set up and take down, and not having the comfort of having a place called your own that may cause less wear and tear on the people, the product, and the property involved. On the other hand, it is flattering that you are going to different places because people want to see you. When this has been going on for two and a half years, however, and shows no signs of slowing down, we are certain the travelling becomes a little more bearable. In the case of Marcia Brown Productions and the show entitled “I Need To Know My Father,” it may be that the theatre company has a hit on their hands. The namesake of the company is no stranger to hits, or to hard knocks either. In theatre, the two can be very much intertwined. Marcia directs all her productions, acts in them all, and has done virtually everything backstage, or in administration and promotion that needs to be done to bring a play to life and see it to the closing night’s performance. When she was writing “I Need To Know My Father”, she developed the characters’ story arc to sound believable, not only for a cast member to interpret it, but for an audience to relate to it. As a director, she has to have a vision of the entire show so she can visualize what type (or look) of actor is required for each role. As a producer, she has to judge the expertise of each crew member she needs based on the demands of the show. In addition, she has to decide if a venue can work for her play, based on adjustments of the set to the space. And finally, there is the potential audience that the venue (and/or the surrounding community) can draw, and what marketing strategy should be employed to gain maximum effect. Marcia Brown is a theatrical puppeteer working all these aspects of a production like so many marionettes. Does she ever weary of wearing so many hats? “First of all, I have a passion for what I do. It is so strong that no one can stop me from doing this, because I know that is what I was called to do. The other part of me is very practical; I have a standard that I will not compromise. I do not cut corners on any production, because I feel I am selling out my cast by cheapening them.” The road to “I Need To Know My Father” started in her homeland of Jamaica. A precursor to the type of strong-willed, confident woman she would become was shown when she founded the Ensom City Dance Club and became the dance instructor without any formal dance training. She constantly pushed herself to the point


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“I guess I expected a bed of roses because it was Canada, but I slowly came to realize there were certain dynamics at work that I could not overcome.” She could have chosen to play the racial card here, but demonstrates her classiness by not bringing it up. Instead she focused on the fact that her accent and her demeanor worked against her more than anything else. “I was in auditions where other actors were obviously ‘putting on an act’ even before their own audition. I just could not be so fake.” Her breakthrough came in 2000 when she began the process from which Marcia Brown Productions would be formed, with Austin Cooke’s “Country Duppy.” Marcia knew immediately with that production that she was on to something. “I developed a following right away, and people start asking me when my next show was going to be.” It was not a bed of roses from that point however; she suffered the pains of artistic success but commercial failure, of her credit cards being maxed, of being so far in debt after one show that she had no idea when she would be doing the next one. But through it all, Marcia Brown remained steadfast. Then came her inspiration which became “I Need To Know My Father,” one of her three favorite plays of all time. She said the inspiration came from God through her own personal experiences. She is passionate about the subject of absentee fathers, because she had one, and so does her son. She saw her father once, but never did develop any relationship with him. “I never pushed to find out about my father, but if a father is asked these questions by a child he should not deny that child the truth.” She knows the role of a father is crucial because of her son. “My son’s father and I separated when he was eight and I know he really missed out on not having his father grow up with him.” Her son actually confessed the same to Marcia once, and apologized both before and after telling her. Marcia did not mind her son’s honesty. “This show has been healer for both people who have been involved in this production and those who have seen it. I know there are big things in the future. God has been overseeing this project since I received the inspiration to write it.” Not bad for a survivor who has also survived breast cancer. Well done, good and faithful servant!  To reach Marcia Brown, go to:


“I NEED TO KNOW MY FATHER” By Andrew Terry Pasieka


evin Davis cuts a commanding figure. He could be a wrestler or a bouncer. Kevin himself says, “if you saw me coming down the street, and I look a certain way, you would not want to have anything to do with me.” Ironically then, that in Marcia Brown Productions’ “I Need To Know My Father,” Kevin plays a character who is somewhere between a pussycat and a wimp. How did this strange contrast come about? Kevin Davis, by his own admission, does not have a long resume in the performing arts. In fact, up to 2011, his last foray on stage was in high school plays. Marcia Brown had brought “Feminine Justice” to the church that he attends in December 2009. They met briefly after the performance. Kevin doesn’t recall anything of note being said, but Marcia distinctly remembers him saying something about “loving to act.” Months later Marcia is beginning to think of casting the new play she is putting the finishing touches to, and thinks of the large “white Jamaican.” Kevin provides more details. “Being set in Jamaica, there is a definite color dynamic at work, but I am reluctant to pigeonhole the role because I would be doing the same thing to the play. Many of the Caribbean islands have a multigenerational multicultural mix, historically more sophisticated than anything in the GTA, for example. Marcia wrote the part to be played by an imposing yet polished or refined Caucasian Jamaican and who behaves like a battered man. The resulting contradiction adds another layer of tension to the plot.” (A brief synopsis of the play tells of a young woman, born out of wedlock, who starts asking her family about her (until now) absentee father.) It took some time for Marcia to find Kevin. When she offered him the part, his first reaction was that it was an incredibly interesting opportunity. They both let each other know their expectations, and Kevin was up front about his lack of experience. “I told her I would be leaning on her a lot, and in the end, I’m sure she took a chance.” Once rehearsals commenced, Kevin was not made to feel like a new kid or a spare part. Her strategy was to bring him up to the level of the lead actors. “Marcia was not afraid to say I need more from you, to bring me as far as I could go for one production, then demand more the next time.” For her part, Marcia says that Kevin behaved like a professional from the outset. “Not only was he punctual, often being one of the first cast members to arrive, but he was disciplined, and that gave him instant credibility with other members of the cast.”

The uniqueness of the production, constantly moving from one venue to the other has actually not been as big a hindrance as one might think. Most of the cast are familiar with this type of theatre, and Kevin states the cast has become a family and more. “After doing so many shows, we are adding nuances to our characters that we might otherwise not be inclined to do. We cannot look at our characters any more without seeing pieces of ourselves.” Where a challenge exists is in the wide discrepancy of space from one venue to the next, and also in the quantity and quality of light and sound. “We always walk the space, first with the stage bare, then after the set is up. We have to be adaptable, which means our cue-to-cue must be spot on.” So how many performances and how many venues have there been? Kevin thinks at least 60 performances in about 40 different locations. Marcia is unsure of either, but knows the first performance was on Father’s Day, June 2011, just over two and a half years ago, making “I Need To Know My Father” is the longest running GTA production about Jamaica ever. It is obvious Kevin Davis has been struck by the acting bug. Has it impacted on his career with a large financial institution, or is it becoming a second career? Kevin replies that he has been able to take advantage of vacation time on occasions when the venue isn’t around the corner (one location was in Calgary, another a Caribbean cruise). He sees this show having a big upside. Possibly film? “I have been approached once already,” replies Marcia. Kevin smiles. “They say theatre actors adapt better to film than the other way around.” And what about that chance meeting and opportunity with Marcia Brown? Fate or faith? “You know, there are a lot of religious undertones in her play. Religion has always crosspollinated with our culture. Many times, fate makes us look at faith and wonder, was it God? In my case, I know it was.”  SMJ Magazine | HOLIDAY 2013


Five Amazing Community Stars cont’ from page 9

Lina Morra-Lomangina By Andrew Terry Pasieka


n our fall issue, Ladner’s Clothiers was our headline story. With Michael’s Hair Body Mind, who provided the makeover for three of our ‘Community Stars,’ we are for the second straight issue talking with the owner of a business that has been in operation since 1959: that’s fifty-four years! Lina Morra-Lomangino was not there right from the beginning, as was not Todd Ladner, but just like the Streetsville mens’ shop, the business was in the hands of a relative: in this case Lina’s cousin, Michael Morra, owner of one of Clarkson’s other venerable establishments, Michael’s Back Door Restaurant. Lina had worked in the industry for five years already when she joined her cousin in 1968. She loved the approach of the salon; to stay abreast of the trends in the beauty industry while staying thoroughly professional. She was offered the business outright in 1974. Her response? “It took me five minutes to say yes!” Right from the get-go, Michael’s Health and Beauty Salon, as it was known back then, provided visual evidence that they were carrying out their mandate. Services were regularly added every seven to ten years; the culmination of this strategy was the addition of the spa in 2007. It had been an independently run business prior to that date, and had never been able to properly mesh clients and services with Lina’s salon. It had been a long-standing goal of Lina to provide a “one stop beauty center,” as she called it. The change of the business to Michael’s Hair Body Mind reflected the accomplishment of that goal. Her clients have justified this achievement. Many of them spend nearly the entire day downstairs in the salon and upstairs in the spa. Some of the testimonials have been incredible. “I have had a couple of women who have said that I saved their lives!!”

into her weekly schedule. Each staff person gets to work with a maximum of other staffers; this strategy is especially employed for the newer employees, who are rotated with a maximum of senior staffers. Lina says it is not only a morale booster, but “it gives me a clearer understanding of the dynamics of my people. I am better able to determine who to send a client to when myself or another member of my staff who would be appropriate for that client are busy.” ‘Oops’ moments are kept to a minimum, but on the occasions when they do occur, it is discussed in the regular Friday meeting to ensure it is not repeated. Being successful for this long comes with industry awards. The Elite Guild of Hairdressers. The Golden Curl. And most recently, Euphora California’s award for Best International Beauty Team. It also means giving back to the community who have supported Michael’s all these decades. They have raised over $7000 in each of the past two years in a ‘cut-a-thon’ for a Euphora charity that assists abused children. They use Davines, an Italian company in business for over forty-five years, who produce eco-friendly fruit and vegetable-based products, and who plant tree seeds in recognition of the money saved by not using chemicals. Lina is so serious about this aspect of the industry that she was the second salon to sign up with Green Circles Salons, an organization that provides eco-friendly disposal of unused product and product containers. There are now almost a thousand members, and Lina has been so devoted to this cause that she has been recognized by Green Salons for her recruitment of other salons and spas. In the final analysis, Lina Morra-Lomangina wants to be inspired and motivated to do new things daily, like this makeover and photoshoot at Michael’s HBM, which involves three of our stars. “This is not a job for me. I am not going to work every day. I am going to create!” 

A necessary function of this growing family of over twenty staff are the weekly educational classes and meetings. Lina’s rationale is simple, and one that speaks volumes about her two-fold mandate of professionalism and trend-setting. Techniques can be refined and enhanced when staff share their skills and information. Lina then takes this classroom experience


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To reach Michael’s HBM, go to:

about it.” She says it is usually lack of time and aversion to the higher prices that puts many women off, but changeovers are happening more regularly. “I can remember one lady coming in, slamming the door, and saying, ‘I’d rather get a root canal than do this.’ My immediate thought was: ooh, a challenge! We made the experience as pleasant as possible, and when she left, she was now a client, laughing and saying, ‘it was not at all like I thought it was going to be.’ Oprah’s special was in 2008, the year of the big recession. It was my best year ever!”

Lida Lisney By Andrew Terry Pasieka


ida Lisney, owner of Inside Story, a fine lingerie boutique with locations in old Oakville and in the Sherwood Forest community of Mississauga, is another one of our stars that started out as an employee of the establishment she now calls hers. She didn’t even start out as full-time staff; she put in a few hours each week around her profession as an attendant for Air Canada. However, with every completed shift, those few hours made her feel like she accomplished something that particular day. “I could see that women were feeling better when they left that when they came in. They just liked themselves more.” This good feeling grew to the point that one day, she innocently asked the owners if they were planning to retire soon. It was misinterpreted, Lida claims sheepishly, as an offer to purchase the business. “I don’t think that was my intention for asking the question, but I wound up having a very different conversation than when I started out!” Long story short, Lida just celebrated ten years heading up Inside Story in November. The old Oakville location was the business she purchased; her growth strategy was to add a second location rather than expand the original one. Lida explains the rationale. “I run a business where intimacy is paramount, so I felt the best way to recognize that dynamic was to keep my stores intimate. It played a large part in choosing Sherwood Forest as her second location; a similar socio-economic status in the surrounding community, and growing numbers of her clients coming from Mississauga. “There was a bit of a cannibalization effect among my clients when we first opened our second location, but I felt it was the way to go if we wanted to expand our market numerically and geographically.” Time has proved her right. This writer started heading into uncharted waters when we asked Lida about the company’s two main claims, that over 80% of women today are not wearing a properly-fitted bra, and that physiological and psychological changes will result with a proper fitting. Lida smiles at my awkwardness, but says too many women feel just as awkward dealing with their situation. “Oprah Winfrey’s special on this topic made a big difference, not only in awareness, but in a willingness to do something

An enhancing service that Lida offers are private, in-store parties. (Ed. Note: This seems to be a trend in women’s fashion and beauty. Recall Malene Grotrian Design in our previous issue.) Lida’s reasoning for these after-hours evenings is to develop closer ties with key clients, and just give them an opportunity to reconnect with friends they may have not seen for a while in an unique setting. “We spend three or four hours with the ladies, provide them with wine and cheese, have an educational presentation, and a try-on session.” Inside Story hosts one or two of these evenings each month in both locations, and have held upwards of thirty to date. For Lida Lisney, thanking her customers doesn’t end with special events like the in-store parties. She gives back to the community through many of her best clients who are involved in particular charities. Causes she has supported very generously include the Darling Home for Children, the Lighthouse Program for Grieving Children, St. Christopher House for abused women, and the new Oakville Hospital. In this area of her business, she has a bold policy. “No matter what the cause, if it is something that one of our clients comes to us with, I tell my staff to always say yes. I tell them to get all the information, and not turn them away. I truly believe what goes around comes around; if we support our clientele in this manner, it will all come back to us twofold, and so on. I am not strongly religious, but I do believe in that Biblical principle.” Lida has been a multiple award winner; most recently an international recognition for European flair in the design of her boutiques by Intima Magazine. What gives her the most pleasure? Any worlds left to conquer? “I am very proud of my son who is in his last year of accounting at Queen’s University. He has helped me out with my financial books, but has already been hired by a large firm in Toronto, so I guess I will have to book time with him in the future like my clients book time with me!” Speaking of Toronto, she doesn’t mind revealing that ‘last world to conquer.’ A third location in Toronto. But exactly where and when she is not saying. However, this writer feels that Lida Lisney is the type of woman who already knows!  You can visit Lida at:

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troubling injustice of child trafficking. Her first exposure to the predicament was when, in the course of reporting about a disturbing ‘brothel for minors’ in Cambodia, some video footage that was recovered in another location was revealed to be the exact same building and room as was being broadcast by an American team of reporters.

Cheryl Weber By Andrew Terry Pasieka


heryl Weber is a proverbial ball of fire. A passionate prober, a committed Christian in the human sense as well as the religious sense. She is an investigative reporter, a public speaker, a philanthropist, as well as multimedia host, producer, and director. Her community is the world stage, especially the impoverished third world. Cheryl went to university for music but came out of it with a degree in broadcast journalism. “One of my professors said that media has the power to shape the way our culture thinks. I was immediately taken with the idea; it absolutely captured my imagination, and has been an integral part of my life ever since.” The type of broadcast journalism she entered was determined by an impactful moment when she was directing a Global production from 1999 to 2002 now called Context. Coverage of a civil war in the African country of Sierra Leone exposed the world to the brutality that war imposed on women and children. Cheryl met a man who made inexpensive limbs for the survivors and decided to raise money over Christmas that year to purchase limbs. They raised enough money to buy 300 limbs. Cheryl continues. “When I realized that our actions had actually helped 300 people who would have never had any chance improve their quality of life in this way, and it had started with that story we had reported on, I understood how we can provide a voice to those who have no voice.” Often Cheryl meets people who know what she does, and invariably the question comes up: ‘What can one person do? How can one person possibly make a difference?’ She prefers to turn the question around and reply: ‘How can we not? Why am I so lucky to be born and live in Canada?’ Cheryl feels we are put in a position of privilege; it is not an entitlement. We are being put to the test by our Creator to see how we can help our fellow man. Cheryl reasons, “I don’t think it is ever up to us, nor should it be, to try to change the world, or be overwhelmed by its problems. We are put in a position just to do our part, nothing more. We have a Creator who is in charge of everything else.” It is that attitude that moved Cheryl to become involved with Ratanak International. The founder, Brian McConachie, a firearms investigator, was well suited to handle this very


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Cheryl continues. “In no time the investigation went from somewhere in southeast Asia to one room in one building in one city in Cambodia. The incredible set of circumstances that brought the perpetrators to justice just blew me away. By 2010 I was working for Crossroads (the Christian television network). We went to Cambodia and interviewed 5 of the 7 girls who were saved by this footage in 2003. It was a very satisfying climax. Unfortunately, their story, and the story of so many others like them, is never over.” She has expanded her base of social justice issues to cover more than just child trafficking in Cambodia through a public speaking tour called Faithworks Media Group. “Through the power of media, we want to to empower people to change the world…one person at a time.” When Cheryl climbed Mount Killmanjaro, she was conquering more than just her fear of heights. The name means “freedom” in Swahili, and the 47 other women who joined her wanted to symbolically free the mothers of these children lured into the child trafficking trade; free these indirect victims whose children had been lured into the sex trade. Cheryl got altitude sickness on the third day, had to concentrate on every step, and could hardly breathe by the time she reached the summit. She puts it all in perspective. “What we took away from the experience was that we suffered for 5 ½ days, but that was just a moment in time compared to what the children and their mothers suffer through.” All her focus is not on the third world. In helping to celebrate fifty years of Crossroads Television, Cheryl has done some recent work back home in Canada through her Heart and Soul documentary series. In one film, she focused on a former white supremacist gang member and drug trafficker who has turned himself into a modern day evangelist. A second documentary looked at life in a northern Quebec aboriginal settlement which won an award for sustainability. The residents are inspired by their chief who is a man of faith and who has spearheaded their determination to live off the land. The reference to ‘heart and soul’ brought us to our last question. With her spiritual journey for the most part also being a worldwide geographical journey, how has Cheryl Weber remained grounded? Who has kept the home fires burning? She admits that the pace is a sure fire recipe for ‘burn out.” She finds time alone with God therapudic. She is single, has dated, and wants to get married some day, but until then, “I will celebrate my singleness.”Some strong final words from a woman with a single-minded purpose, which was shaped all those years ago from the lips of a former professor.  To contact Cheryl, go to:

It’s Flu Season! By J. Beverley Edwards-Miller, BASc, RD


t’s flu season; have you had your flu shot yet? That’s the question on everyone’s lips each year from early October through to the end of March. The question I’d prefer to ask, however, is this: how’s your immune system? Why? If you’ve been conscientious about keeping your immune system as healthy as possible throughout the rest of the year, you don’t have to worry as much when flu season comes around. Let’s look at a few ways of giving your system the boost it needs. First, you must have a healthy diet. In particular, you should be eating lots of plant-based foods. For example, juicy, brightly colored fruits and earthy, deeply colored vegetables; an assortment of fibre-rich and mineral-rich beans; whole grain breads, pastas, rice; and delicious, good-fat seeds and nuts. These are the foods that are filled to the brim with big words that are good for you! Words like: antioxidants and phytochemicals, which are substances in plant foods that help to keep your body strong and healthy. Today, there’s a huge variety of whole grains that you’ll find at your local grocery store, such as quinoa, spelt, and kamut. They are exoticsounding, but along with the “usual suspects” such as oats, barley, and wheat, they are fantastically good for you. There are so many beans to choose from: chick peas, lentils, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, black beans, and the list goes on. They contain plenty of protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, so be sure to have about a cup every day! Succulent, brightly hued fruits such as mangoes, cherries, apples, and cantaloupes are going to lend you their powerful disease-repelling properties as soon as you bite into them. Dark, leafy green vegetables are going to pump you up with their chlorophyll and help your immune system.

Now that it’s the Holiday Season, you will be tempted with all the cookie exchanges, yuletide parties, and holiday treats. Your body will thank you, though, for not indulging in too much of the sweet stuff. When it comes to every day eating, be sure to skip the processed foods. Drink plenty of water daily; six to ten cups. Next, your body is going to love you if you give it all the physical activity it craves. One doctor has said that if he had only one prescription to write, it would be to exercise! You don’t even need a fitness club membership to get yourself started! Try something as simple as walking to get your blood pumping, and will give your body that extra boost it needs to help safeguard you from unwanted flu bugs. Some other tips. Experts advise taking at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D every day for adults, and I’m inclined to agree! Wash your hands frequently throughout the day – this is important!! Also, get some sleep! Seven to eight hours nightly will keep your immune system nicely tuned. But, if you do feel like you’re coming down with something, try drinking my favorite get-well garlic and ginger tea. It’s so easy to make: boil two cloves of peeled garlic with a small piece of fresh ginger in three cups of water for around 10 minutes. Cool, and drink. It’s not the best-tasting tea, but it’s not the worst either! And, it’s going to help you feel better sooner rather than later. This flu season, combat illness naturally by boosting your immune system!  Website: Facebook: SMJ Magazine | HOLIDAY 2013


Your Finances AN INCENTIVE TO GET IN SHAPE DURING 2014 By Shelley Jarrett


ot long ago I came across on face book a group of motivated individuals who wanted to do more than just save some money. They wanted to do something on a regular basis that was habit-forming, motivating and supporting all in one.

(when and how much). I encourage you to set up the transfers in bulk, a month/4 at a time, or do the whole year. The scheduling should take a matter of minutes and this service is FREE! You don’t have to do the transfers manually each week, unless you think you may not have the funds available in your regular bank account and want to avoid over-drafting. 3) Make sure that you have the money available in your regular bank account each week. 4) Sit back and watch your money AUTOMATICALLY grow and grow and grow!  The creator of the chart is Kassondra Perry-Moreland...Join her by doing your own 52 Week Challenge!

What is it? How does it work? This was the idea: you save the same amount each week of the year as the number of the week; for example, $1 the first week, $2 the second week, $3 the third week, and so on. If you keep this up for the entire year, at the end of 52 weeks you will have saved $1,378.00. This is not a “get rich quick,” this is about getting into the habit of saving on a regular basis. This is a process that the entire family can participate. Students, churches, groups and organizations can also get involved, working towards this or any specific goal. You can start with any amount; $1 was just an easy way to start. The real goal is to develop discipline and encourage one another. You can start the old fashion way, by saving in a jar, or by simply going to your local bank and opening a saving deposit account. Making your finances a priority in your life is a huge step towards financial freedom for you and your family. As the New Year approaches, it’s a good time to start. Make it part of your New Year’s resolution. It is always important to take a look at where you are at with your finances. Financial responsibility begins in the home, so that is the best place to begin this challenge. Whether we have saved enough for retirement, children’s education, or that rainy day, it is a great way to make this plan a start for 2014. Even if all you have accumulated at the end of 52 weeks is $1,378.00. How to automate the weekly savings chart: 1) Open up a FREE, NO FEE, Savings Account. I suggest using an online account, so you won’t have easy access to your money. Online accounts typically take 2-5 business days to withdraw funds. This will discourage impulse spending. 2) Set up automated transfers (on the same day each week) from your regular bank, to your new Savings Account. Most banks have an online calendar where you can schedule transfers


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Women of Style and Substance SMJ Magazine is more than just its namesake, Ms. SMJ, whose beauty has been all over this publication in its three issues so far, including the previous pages. We want you to know about the other members of our team, Sharean Edwards Fairman, Andrea E. Levy, and introduce you to our newest member, Caroline Dinnall. They will tell you about what they bring to this force-of-nature-in-print, their thoughts on a makeover, and how their involvement with SMJ Magazine has affected them.--ATP makeover/photo shoot but I can’t really appreciate the gift of a makeover without actually knowing what exactly I’m making over. Am I making over the one crippling fear I’ve had for years, fear of public speaking? Yes, that’s right! I, Andrea E. Levy, life of the party, the journalist/ reporter, the actress/playwright/ comedienne, have dreaded speaking in public and most social settings most of my life. Isn’t that some form of oxymoron?

Andrea E. Levy


f all my scholastic experiences, from elementary to high school, then on to College and University, the memory of one particular teacher is permanently etched in mind. My Grade 7 teacher, Miss Linton. I don’t think she was a particularly great Math teacher or English teacher for that matter. But she taught me one thing that really didn’t come from any text book. It was a simple piece of advice that wherever I go in life, I must always display savior faire. What? What is that? At 13 years old, I had no clue what that meant. If I may be honest, many years after that and well into my adult life, I still didn’t know what savior faire meant. Until now….. trust me, I’m going somewhere with this!

Here is that definition. Savoir faire is the ability to act or speak appropriately in any social situation. Are you sensing the light bulb moment coming on? Miss Linton, God bless you!

up to now? Is this why I graduated at the top of my class in Broadcast-Journalism but did not pursue a career in television journalism? I think someone just turned the light on! If this makeover has done anything for me, it would be that it has allowed me to look introspectively at my life. I can now see other areas that needs making over. On the surface, it may appear to others that things are all right in Andreaville. I’m the mother to five wonderful kids. I’m actively involved in my community and church. Within the past year, I’ve become a new entrepreneur, and now a writer/reporter for this great magazine. Things couldn’t be better right? The truth is God is still hard at work in this construction zone called my life. He’s still working on me, teaching me to give and love a little more and worry a whole lot less. In the words of one of my favourite songs, I’ve been changed and it feels good. Thank you SMJ and Miss Linton! 

After almost three decades, I now know what she was trying to teach me. I was one of the top scholars in her class with above average writing skills. It was obvious that she saw the potential in me. But when it came time for presentations, she also saw the trepidation on my face. And now I wonder: was this dreaded fear the reason why I have held back, why I have fallen short in my own eyes

I know this article is primarily supposed to be about my


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Sharean Edwards Fairman


am on such an amazing journey. The last six months have been a time of challenges, victories and growth. My perspective on life, with respect to my talents and purpose has allowed me to come into my own and it all started with my involvement with SMJ Magazine. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever get to utilize my self-taught graphic design skills at such a level. I have had many opportunities to create flyers, brochures, moving on to posters and theatre programs, but a magazine, never. I am creative by nature, so I am in my element and this is where I thrive and excel. I was excited when our publisher advised me that she wanted the team to be featured in the Holiday Issue. But I am not writer; however, I accepted Shelley’s challenge.

Planning a photo shoot/makeover is not an easy task. After weeks of contacting several make-up artists, scheduling and rescheduling myself, Andrea, and photographer it all came together amazingly. The venue was Belleeny’s Martini and Lounge in Woodbridge. Visiting only a few months earlier for my birthday, I fell in love with its classy ambiance and the welcome from Jeff Browne, Co-owner/host. The photo shoot was on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I arrived excited and nervous, and confident that my makeover by “Faces by Pureness” would meet my expectations. Elizabeth Taylor, Make-up Artist and Owner, impressed me with her professionalism and a desire to make this experience amazing. When she was done with I made my way to the full length mirrored wall. I had not been transformed; instead, my natural beauty had been enhanced in such a way that all I could saw was ‘WOW’. This in turn propelled me to be part of a successful photo shoot. Having a talented and patient photographer such as Lubin Tasevski confirmed for me that a modeling career is possible. Since joining the SMJ Magazine as Art Director, my life has completely changed. I was hesitant at first, not familiar with the software or understanding of full colour magazine layout, but Shelley wasn’t taking no for an answer. She is truly the force behind my success always believing in my abilities even when I doubted myself. In two weeks the first issue was published, despite my ‘limited’ design Ryerson University, it is wonderful to break free from newsy reporting, and be exposed to lifestyle reporting. My most memorable project for SMJ Magazine thus far was when I partnered with Miss Black Beauty Canada 2013 candidate Desma Atoe.


Caroline Dinnall

’ve been given the privilege to join the SMJ Magazine team as an events reporter. As a journalism student at

Desma’s sponsor was our very own Shelley Jarrett, who requested that I meet one on one with Desma on location of a promotional video she was shooting. Collaborating with Desma was a blessing and really opened my eyes to a new field in journalism that I hadn’t considered doing in the past. When the opportunity arose for me to attend the Miss Black Beauty Canada 2013 Pageant, I was ecstatic! The closest

skills. What an accomplishment! Yet numerous feedbacks demanded the vast improvement of the look and layout of the magazine moved. With the Fall Issue, SMJ Magazine moved to another level. As for the Holiday Issue, I expect it to be my best work yet. The magazine has become a catalyst for showcasing my skills and launching my own business. The hidden entrepreneur has come alive. A year ago my life was a complete mess no direction, no purpose. I made some drastic decisions that have changed my life forever. I now teach MS Word at a basicintermediate level, still find some time to volunteer on a few committees, and just recently been given the title Motivational Speaker. I am a curvy, confident and strong woman and my outer beauty is the result of my beauty from within. I am mother to four wonderful children (16, 14, 9 and 5); they are the greatest gifts I have ever received and I love them dearly. I never expected my life to be so full of purpose and meaning as it has now. So many wonderful people have come into my life that made me realize, I was never really living, just existing. Negativity doesn’t live here anymore. My future with SMJ Magazine looks prosperous and bright. Psalms 41: 12. As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, and set me before Your face forever. 

I’ve ever been to a beauty pageant before attending this one was when I watched the annual Miss America beauty pageant on television. Taping Desma’s every move live was exhilarating! And might I add, the highlight reel was very amusing to edit! My journey with SMJ Magazine has just begun, and I am so excited for what the future holds. I am really looking forward to Couture and Culture, the multicultural fashion show coming up in January! Fashion & design is another art that stays close to my heart. I’m always interested in experimenting with old and new trends that I can make into my own. As a fashion, faith and lifestyle blogger, I cannot wait to report on this upcoming event that our SMJ Magazine team is working so hard on. The future looks bright! 

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Couture & Culture AN UPDATE

By Andrew Terry Pasieka


COCKTAIL GATHERING AND EVENT UPDATE was held on October 19 at The Loft Gallery, Port Credit Emporium, in the beautiful lakefront Village-in-the-City of Port Credit. The purpose of the occasion was to gather media, sponsors, potential sponsors, socialites, team and supporters for the latest update on Couture & Culture since its initial media announcement on August 25. Ron Batas, the finance and communications partner for Couture & Culture, first spoke to those assembled. He thanked all the individuals who have assisted the cause to this point, mentioning those who recently joined the team, and recapping what has transpired to date. Carel del Rosario, a relative of John Ablaza from Toronto, also spoke. She asked everyone to support her “Uncle John” by selling tickets, finding sponsors or becoming a sponsor, or just to promote the show. Co-Chair of Media Andrew Terry Pasieka then outlined future activities and strategies in support of this grand fashion show. In spite of the rain, the main floor of the venue was full of guests. Couture & Culture tickets and flyers were distributed to those in attendance. The evening was punctuated with the musical styling of Bong Castillo.

On November 23, Couture & Culture was to host a charity auction at 5050 Dufferin Street in the Steeles area of Toronto. Due to typhoon Haiyan, and its devastating effect on many of the Philippine islands, the event has had to be postponed. In its place, Couture & Culture will be holding a fundraising event at two different locations in Toronto to assist the homeless in the Philippines.

All of the funds which was hoped to be raised that night will instead be the initiative behind an early January 2014 The event was catered by Patissarie event, going towards the two charities Gallery. (contact 647-786-6634) that are partnered with Couture & Culture. The first charity is Interim Place, Since then, a special casting call was a shelter that has assisted over 38,000 held on November 9th for all aspir- abused women and children since its ing models who want to be selected to inception in 1981. The second charity is support the four professional models the Mangyan Tribe in the Philippines, headlining the event. Auditions took to provide training in dressmaking in place at Bavia Arts Cultural Centre, 898 support of these people’s raw couture 22Avenue West. SMJ Magazine | HOLIDAY 2013 St.Clair skills.

The date was first scheduled as a Photo Shoot and ‘mix ‘n mingle’ event for Headline Designer John Ablaza. Couture & Culture will be calling on ladies who have dreamt of being models and men and women who have imagined themselves as celebrity photographers. We will have bloggers there to start the hype leading to the 18th, and we also want this to be a fun night where amateurs get to rub shoulders with their professional counterparts. This is a chance to have a close encounter with real professional photographers and professional models. Couture & Culture is a gala fashion show, to take place on January 18, 2014 in the Grand Ballroom at Le Parc on Leslie Street in Thornhill. Couture & Culture is to be a celebration of the twenty-five year career of the innovative couture designer John Ablaza. Mr. Ablaza was a featured designer at the inaugural Canada Philippine Fashion Week, held at the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto in June of this year. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed book Ramp Diva Filipina, a publication which gives tribute to the international runway models from his homeland who rose to prominence during his career. There is no question this night will be a major runway event to remember. It is the goal of the producers to make the team and participants of Couture and Culture to be as diverse in background as possible. There will be other pre-selected designers present in support of John Ablaza from various parts of the world, making this a true multicultural event. For more info, contact our TICKET HOTLINE 647-980-2993 Check our website regularly as we update it very often for more developments. For media inquiries, please contact Andrew Terry Pasieka at 647-221-0027 or 

Jackie Nugent:

A Woman of Many Layers By Andrea E. Levy


he can be sophisticated, sometimes formal, most times chic & savvy, and at all times purposely panache. No matter whatever mood she is in, she is single-minded in her support of women’s wellness and empowerment by helping them awake their potential; unleash their power and fulfill their God given purpose. Her name, Jacqueline E. Nugent; her image, leadership personified! If you should meet Jacqueline (aka Jackie) for the first time, your initial thought would probably be that this is a woman full of style, glamour and prestige. You wouldn’t be completely wrong but you also wouldn’t be entirely right either. There is so much more to Jackie than just her eclectic style. She is resilient, determined and a community advocate. Jackie hasn’t always been the well-balanced woman she is today, but developed her resiliency because of it. Like most of us, Jackie in her teenage years was a defiant, self-willed teenager who danced to her own beat. And dance she did! After a life of partying, Jackie became pregnant and soon had to sober up to the reality of being a single mom. In spite of the social stigma and stereotype associated with her new role, Jackie refused to conform to the mass and be pigeonholed. Her determination has been most visibly displayed in her career. By profession, Jackie works in the healthcare field as an Infection Prevention and Control Practitioner. But that role didn’t come easy on a silver platter or handed down to her through any act of nepotism. She started on the ground floor working in nursing homes; sometimes travelling over 100km back and forth late night shifts. She continued to upgrade her education and became a Registered Nurse and was later hired by a local hospital. Most people would feel accomplished and satisfied in this job. Not Jackie! Just a couple weeks after the birth of her third child, she went back to school to complete her degree in nursing. She graduated with honors and a specialization. Her community advocacy reaches out to the greater community and is an extension of her passion for helping people exhibited in her chosen vocation. She is the Founding President of Embrace Women’s Services (EWS) a not-for-profit organization committed to embracing the complex issues that matter to women. Jackie and the

EWS organization are championing many causes in the community and abroad. They have partnered and traveled with aid relief agencies in support of women suffering with HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean. EWS also supports educational scholarships for high school girls, and have also taken on the challenge of raising awareness about Violence against Women. The group also partner with the women’s prison in Kitchener, Ontario through outreach initiatives with inmates as well as runs makeover sessions with local women’s shelters.Jackie and her group have been recognized and acknowledged by Mayor Hazel McCallion of Mississauga, and other local politicians for their compassionate, positive and sacrificial service. Jackie is also a conference speaker and facilitator whose practical teaching style allows for transparency that inspires women of diverse ages and cultures to seek personal, meaningful and lasting transformation. After wearing her many hats at work and in the community, when she is home, she proudly wears her crown as the queen of her castle to her husband Paul and three princes: Rishawn, Xavier and Isaac. Jackie E. Nugent, a multi-talented and multi-layered woman! 

SMJ Magazine | HOLIDAY 2013




ALL YOU NEED IS By Andrew Terry Pasieka


kwasi Afriyie is a young man originally from Ghana, West Africa, whom we at SMJ Magazine have come to know in the past few months. A resident of the GTA and employed in the field of business insurance, he has blossomed into a writer in his spare time. All writers have a passion, and Afriyie’s has come from influential scholars and preachers of the Bible. He has written two books whose subject matter is in keeping with this time of the year. When most of our attention and activities are centered on family and faith, the theme of Afriyie’s two books touch on a subject absolutely essential to both: love.

Afriyie’s second book, Principles of Divine Love, delves further into the topic of love. At the start of this book, the author is not second-guessing himself as he did in the first book. He realizes his journey in life is really no different than others who have been given the same opportunities. Where the differences are with each individual is in the unique set of circumstances that life throws us along the way. How we handle them goes a long way to determine the relative positive or negative experiences that result.

Afriyie calls these occurances measurements of our spiritual The first book is entitled The Agape Love of God Afriyie makes an fitness. Examples of these measurements are our ability to love admission in the Preface which sets the tone for the whole book. ourselves, to be obedient, to deny ourselves, and to renew our “All my life I have been missing the mark; I thought I was walking in minds daily. the love of God, not knowing I was operating in selfishness.” “Love is not based on color, for it is colorless. Love is a Once again, Afriyie writes in an uncomplicated style, much The author lists four kinds of reflection of God’s beautiful rainbow; it has all the colors a like the “compassionate and easy going individual” he is, love that exist in the world, as described in the Greek painter would need…A rainbow is not prejudiced against color as described by friends and language. The first kind is family members. storge (love among family), because it is full of…(all the colors)…and that’s how our love the second kind is phileo (love This format gets him into a should be—without prejudice towards any color.” among friends), the third is little bit of trouble in the section eros (intimate love among life of the book centered around partners or spouses), and the the phrase “love energy.” A fourth is agape (unconditional love that transcends the previous long list of energies are somewhat cumbersomely explained and three). Because there is a spiritual and eternal connotation related to one another. The author recovers by making a strong associated with this love, it is the one the author points out that final defining claim on love energy. “Love is not love until it is put most Biblical scholars have attributed to God. into action.” (p. 55) Afriyie writes in a simple and straightforward manner, almost as if he was writing a manual on Christian behaviour to the newly converted. No complicated philosophical discussion that might clog a book such as this, even to a more skilled writer. Yet he is bold enough to make a couple of assertions. He says the reason many Christians bely their faith and find it difficult to love unconditionally is because organized religion teaches us to love conditionally. It is probably the reason why true evangelism is lacking in most churches today. It is a theme that Afriyie returns to in his second book. His second statement is a still picture of love as it should be practised. “Love is not based on color, for it is colorless. Love is a reflection of God’s beautiful rainbow; it has all the colors a painter would need…A rainbow is not prejudiced against color because it is full of…(all the colors)…and that’s how our love should be—without prejudice towards any color.” (p. 14)


SMJ Magazine | HOLIDAY 2013

Afriyie returns to a theme in his first book. He makes the claim that today’s society’s lack of understanding on love being more than just a ‘carnal connection,’ has to do with the fact that it is primarily conditional love which is taught, condoned, and practised by organized religion. “Modern Love” is all too often a display of superficial feel-like mentality. “It is truly insane the things…people demand from those whom they say they love.” (p. 77) A person who has a fully developed, mature understanding of love has what the author calls a positive expression of their character. This expression can be described as the belief in a famous Biblical passage: “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13: 13) Many versions of the Bible substitute the word “charity” for “love,” which hearkens to agape, the unconditional, spiritual, and eternal love most closely associated with the Creator. Talking about agape brings us back to the first book. A neat full circle. Watch for Akwasi Afriyie’s new publications in 2014. 

AN AFTERNOON AT LADNER’S WITH THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Arriving for the afternoon at Ladner’s

Below: Peter Miller shirt, Brax cotton pant, Riviera Red sport coat, Serica V-neck sweater and Benchcraft belt.

Above 3 photos: Robert Graham shirt, Citizen of Humanity denim jeans, Robert Graham sport coat and Leather Island belt.

Left: Coppley navy suit, Serica shirt, Dion necktie and Pocket Square and Vernizzi belt.

Hair and Make-up: Michael’s Hair Body Mind All photos: Lubin Tasevski

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