OcSMJ MAGAZINE to Iss F ber ue al 20 19 No l .2 6
The Toronto 8 Finalists The PHOTO SHOOT in Manhattan
The Final Five DUAL Winners in Paris
FASHION EXCLUSIVE AFRICAN FASHION WEEK TORONTO 2019 FALL 2019 $6.99 CANADA
INDUSTRY AWARDS CO-FOUNDER Ebony Anita Ghadafi Award-Winning Designer Zeen Kay Roxanne La Kinoiseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Delayed Dream And....Two Look Books from ADEBAYO JONES
CCA EDITORIAL MODEL SEARCH 2019 CREDITS (Front Cover) Look A1-This fall/winter vintage inspired look featured statement jewelry made of gemstones and pearls. The bejeweled belt was styled into a necklace for Dallas. Liu Yang: Tops: Forever 21 Jewelry: Jewels Box Skirt: Sirens
Dallas Ricci : Jacket: Dolce and Gabbana Statement Jewelry: Jewels Box Pants and shoes: Zara
(Dual Winnersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Story) Look A2-This fall/winter vintage casual look hints at a wealthy rural look. Liu is dressed in fancy silk long dress with layers to brace the cold. Dallas is in all black with gold accent accessories. Liu Yang: Shawl: Artisans from Pakistan Dress: Giulia Pure Silk from Italy JewelJewelry: Jewels Box Footwear: Harlow
Dallas Ricci: Cardigan: Calvin Klein Jewelry: Jewels Box Belt, pants and shoes: Zara
Wardrobe credits for the Final Five story Liu Yang: Vintage over coat: Stylist Collection Dress: Second Self from Australia Jewelry: Jewels Box Socks: Memoi Footwear: YSL
Dallas Ricci: Vintage Overcoat|: Stylist Collection Red Shirt: Drill Clothing Jewelry: Jewels Box Pants and shoes: Zara
Benjamin Lagace: Coat: Burberry Red Shirt: Drill Clothing Jewelry: Jewels Box Pants: Le 31 Shoes: Boutique Spring
Rhea Cormier : Vintage Trench Coat: Stylist Collection Dress: H and M Jewelry: Jewels Box Socks: Memoi Footwear: Le Chateau
Lita Bates: Blue Vintage Cape: Stylist Collection Dress: H and M Jewelry: Jewels Box Socks: Memoi Footwear: Forever 21
Image 7. From The Desk of Shelley ... by Shelley Jarrett SMJ BEAUTY CLOSET 8. A Hair-y Situation ... by Karlene Millwood 38. Fall and a Chance at Teaching Lessons ... by Leandra Vanessa Louis
11. Music Night at the Caribbean Tales International Film Festival ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 30. Cosplay: Something Unique in Art and Fashion ... by Claris M. Manglicmot 37. Your Health is Your Wealth ... by Dr. Lisa Ramsackal 39. Affairs of the Heart: A Time to be Thankful ... by Akua Hinds
32. Kartia Velino: Overcoming and Continuing ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka
AFRICAN FASHION WEEK TORONTO 2019 13. Industry Awards ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 14. The Adebayo Jones 2019 AFWT Look Book 25. Ebony Anita Ghadafi: Co-Founder of AFWT ... by Michelle Moore 26. Award-Winning Designer Zeena Kay ... by Michelle Moore 27. Shoe Designer Babacar Seye ... by Michelle Moore 28. Roxanne La Kinoise’s Delayed Dream ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka
CCA EDITORIAL MODEL SEARCH 2019 18. Toronto’s Top 8 Finalists Photo Shoot ... by Meghan Durnford 20. NYC Photo Shoot in Manhattan ... by Meghan Durnford 22. The Final Five ... by Meghan Durnford 23. Dual Winners in Paris ... by Claris M. Manglicmot
8 .1 No
Founder & Publisher Shelley Jarrett
The HISTORY Behind
Being Culturally Appropriate
BUSINESS The Business of DAVID WOJCIK
SUMMER 2017 $4.99 CANADA
Editor-in-Chief Andrew Terry Pasieka
AMATO COUTURE: Canadian Premiere in Toronto
Layout Sheri L. Lake
The CARIBBEAN Tales International Film Festival • • • •
CEO Frances-Anne Solomon Director Sharon Lewis Director Shakirah Bourne Review of A Caribbean Dream
Chief Photographer Lubin Tasevski
Fashion & Design Editor Claris Minas Manglicmot Contributors Shelley Jarrett Andrew Terry Pasieka Claris Minas Manglicmot Dr. Lisa Ramsackal Akua Hinds Leandra Vanessa Louis Karlene Millwood Michelle Moore Meghan Durnford Photos Maria Bokhari RJ Ensalada Nick Merzetti Jorge Padron Jerimi Jones Lady’s Studio
Claris M. Manglicmot’s journey to CCA PRICE CHANGE In our last issue, with our special two season regular issue featuring the release of our first documentary and our front cover feature, W’AT ABOWT US, we initiated our first price increase since our launch six years ago. We had a onetime price of $9.99. After a visual survey of magazines on drugstore newsstands about a year ago, the new price of $6.99 was initiated as of Summer Issue No. 25. To our readers, thank you for your patronage in the past. We hope you continue to support SMJ Magazine in the future; a diverse, ‘good news’ publication of inspiring and uplifting stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things; to dream bigger, reach higher and achieve greater. (Editor-in-Chief )
Website www.smjmag.com Contact email@example.com SMJ Magazine is a division of 1994903 Ont. Corp.. 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 produced 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 with limited print editions four (4) times a year. To advertise in our publication, be featured or for more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.smjmag.com. For editorials contact email@example.com
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in Drumheller, Alberta. A local women’s advocate found me online, discovered we were coming out West, and one thing led to another. Next thing I knew, we were driving three hours south-west of Edmonton to a depression in the middle of the prairie that looked like a ‘mini Grand Canyon’ but what Albertans call the Badlands. I got a new appreciation of how big Canada is in a trip that covered six hours, but only about one-third of one province, and also the diversity of women we can reach with this film highlighted by a diverse cast.
We celebrate this new season of fall with the gratitude that comes with Thanksgiving. By the time we print this magazine we would have elected either a new Prime Minister for Canada with a fresh vision, or re-elected the same Government with hopefully a renewed sense of the needs of the nation. The summer came late and left quickly, but not before the second annual Waterfront Awards made its big splash in Toronto. I was nominated in the Film TV and media Arts category. The awards celebrations were an evening of glam, networking and high energy women achievers from across the Toronto area. The evening focused on women excelling in many areas of business. Awards were given out in 15 different categories. The Hon. Jean Augustine was awarded with a Lifetime achievement award. She received a standing ovation for her exceptional work in bringing about change for black women and women in general. I was the recipient of two more awards, one in media and film and the other entrepreneur of the year. But my biggest achievement was producing an award-winning documentary W’AT ABOWT US. It drew a sizable crowd on a rainy Thursday evening May in Toronto with red carpet and all. I am proud to say that we lined up further screenings this fall which began in a place I didn’t even know about. We drew a very different crowd on September 21st when we showed the film
Back home, our stories in this issue put the spotlight on fashion & design, which has been a dominant theme in at least four previous issues. Our front cover story was coordinated by our Fashion & Design Editor Claris M. Manglicmot, who staged her second annual Editorial Model Search. Last year’s winner Aaron McQuaid had an exclusive photo shoot in Barcelona, Spain. This year’s search produced a tie. Dual winners Liu Yang and Dallas Ricci were whisked off to the City of Lights and had their exclusive photo shoot in Paris. As we near the end of 2019, I can pat myself on the back and say “Great job, keep going Shelley; you have not even touched the surface. “ Yes, I have achieved, but there is so much more work to be done. My heart hurts for women that are struggling just to put food on the table, or women who are afraid to leave their unhealthy, abusive partners. I need others to join forces with me to make our voices relevant to end the struggle of violence against women. Let’s speak up and speak out, so it can reach every community in this great country. A very special thanks to all our readers and followers; we love and appreciate you all. Please tell your family, friends and colleagues about us. And continue to follow us on all social media platforms.
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CLOSET I had the privilege of speaking to Alicia before the start of the event. To my delight, Jillian Danford from the reality TV series Auntie Jillian joined in the conversation. How often do you get an opportunity to talk to a producer and actress spontaneously? I shared their thoughts below.
In September, Toronto was abuzz with a plethora of film festivals. Movie lovers and movie-goers flocked to Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) that showcased premier filmmakers and actors, Caribbean Tales International Film Festival (CTFF) that focused on Indy filmmakers with Caribbean content, and the Christian International Faith and Family Film Festival (CIFF) geared towards a nonsecular audience. Among these heavy-weights a rising star twinkled. Borne from an idea among friends a year ago, the Rogers Inclusion Film Festival (RIFF) appeared on the scene as a one-day invitation-only event that highlights films with outstanding Canadian content. The feature this year was a short film, Pick, directed by emerging filmmaker, Alicia K. Harris. The Scarborough native and her twin sister, Venessa, are descendants of Jamaican and Maltese-Irish parents. Venessa co-produced the film with Rebeca Ortiz through their production company, Sugar Glass Films. Pick is the first production that Harris undertook after graduating from the Film Production program at Ryerson University. The short film is the first in a trilogy about black hair and the title makes reference to the afro pick, a type of comb used by many people of African descent to detangle our natural curls. The film poignantly addresses the stigma in our society surrounding black women’s choice to wear their natural locks.
KM: I’m with Jillian Danford, who plays Auntie Jillian on the first Black only reality TV show on Canadian Television and Alicia K. Harris whose short film, Pick, we are screening today. Alicia, tell us about your film and why you did it. AKH: …it’s about a young girl who wears her afro to school on picture day. The film follows her as she deals with micro-aggressions and racism from her peers and her educators. When it comes time to take her class photo she has to decide if she wants to wear her hair in her afro. It’s inspired by all the micro-aggressions that I was dealing with as a child and internalized over a long period of time which eventually led me to straighten my hair for 12 years. KM: Were you that young girl here in Canada or in your native country? AKH: I was born in Canada. Don’t let the dress fool you (laughing). My dad just brought this back from Jamaica (more laughter). KM: So Canada is your native country… AKH: I’m glad you asked that because I feel that a lot of people in Canada don’t acknowledge that racism exists. We compare ourselves to the United States and we’re like, oh we’re not as bad as the States. There’s no racism here. KM: Canada is well-known for putting on blinders. JD: For sure.
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AKH: I set the film in Canada. It’s very obvious by the background because I really wanted to show that this happens here. JD: It’s a universal story. AKH: Yes, it’s a universal story but very Canadian. This happens all the time…it happens to me…it’s a common thing for black women to constantly be subjected to people’s questions, people’s ignorance, and people reaching out to touch our hair… JD: What I really love about your film is that it’s geared towards younger, vulnerable girls who want to show their [natural] hair and wear their afros. While watching your movie I was thinking that it is about me because this is exactly what I went through. I had to make similar decisions. My parents would let my hair out. I’d go to school the only little black girl and people would say, Oh its helmet head! They’d think it was cool and want to touch it, and then for class photos, I’d get my mom to put [my hair] up or braid it. KM: I was saying to someone the other day, as we were talking about the different aspects of racism and how it exists in society. One of the things that I said
and the person chimed in and agreed is how people are always trying to shame us out of whom we really are. They’re shaming us for our hair, our figures, cause we’re so voluptuous. I’m kind of slender...an exception. JD: All of a sudden, we’re in style. We’re trending…you’re seeing a lot of women going to surgery to get what I got… to look how I look…we’ve always been the ones to set the trend. I congratulate you for doing this movie. KM: Did you have anything else you want to add?
PICK: UPCOMING SCREENINGS • October 2 & 9: Vancouver International Film Festival, Vancouver, BC Tickets: https://www.viff.org/Online/default.asp?BOparam::WSconten t::loadArticle::permalink=f37576-no-small-parts • October 5: Bushwick Film Festival, New York, NY Tickets: https://www.bushwickfilmfestival. com/2019program/2019/9/3/short-film-block-dont-touch-my-hair • October 13 & 17: Festival du noveau cinéma, Montreal, QC: https://nouveaucinema.ca/en • October 19: Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival, New York, NY Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reel-sisters-section-c-335-pm445-pm-tickets-73915155219 PICK: SOCIAL AND DIGITAL MEDIA LINKS Website: www.sugarglassfilms.com Instagram: www.instagram.com/ sugarglassfilms www.instagram.com/PICKshortfilm Facebook:www.facebook.com/Pick2017 Twitter: www.twitter.com/PICKshortfilm Karlene Millwood Instagram: @karlenemillwood Facebook: facebook.com/KarleneMillwood and @Jazzdvine Linkedin: linkedin.com/kmillwood Twitter: @SweetlyDVine
AKH: I made the film to educate people about what we experience…there’s not a lot of films that authentically capture what it’s like to be a black woman in Canada, and especially a young black girl. I’m hoping that when people see the film that they’ll learn that this is the impact of your words, this is the impact of your ignorance…hopefully we can change that behaviour. KM: Hopefully…it takes a lot of re-education for some people… even among our culture. There’s a lot of un-learning needed in order to re-educate. Congratulations on using your craft to educate, and empower and inspire. I’m really proud of you. We wish Alicia much success in her future endeavours. The second installment of the trilogy, On a Sunday, is currently in production. For Jillian Danford, Auntie Jillian season one is currently available for purchase at www.itsarealting.com. Season two airs in spring 2020 on Bell Fibe TV1.
“The sea bounds us together, and the sea tears us apart.” Sergio Aparicio Olivas With that symbiotic phrasing, it neatly culminated the poetic symmetry that was contained in The Language of Souls (El Lenguaje De Las Almas), and brought us to the end of another evening at the 14th annual Caribbean Tales International Film Festival. It was a night like no other at this increasingly recognized event, sprawled out over nearly four months. From early June to late September, there are separate themes and titles to 16 dates. Our date was Saturday, September 14th, and our theme was ‘Music Night.’ When one thinks of music and movies, it conjures up two thoughts. The first is the history of classical musicals captured forever by cinema; timeless titles like ‘Singing in the Rain,’ “West Side Story,’ ‘Mary
Poppins,’ and of course, ‘The Sound of Music.’ The second thought is the recent run of box office smashes that were ‘musical biopics or stories;’ Bradley Cooper’s ‘A Star is Born,’
Freddie Mercury’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ and Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man.’ With this trifecta of films at CTFF, music is being used not to put the spotlight on stars, but to explain a way of life. We start with Walker Simon’s short doc entitled Antonio Norales: Garifuna Guardian. Walker Simon was born in New York and is a member of the Reuters News Agency, which hardly sounds like an appropriate background for a director which follows a Honduran-born man living in the United States who is campaigning to keep alive the tradition of the Wanaragua dance of the Garifuna people, descendants of the intermingling of Africans and the Arawak Indians of Central America. However, Simon was raised in Mexico from the age of one, and spent most of his 35-year reporting career covering stories from Latin America and the Caribbean. The next slightly longer film of the evening was Pierre Huberson’s Karukera Blues. Huberson was born in Guadeloupe and became an international musical artist His work is best known in the Caribbean, the United States, and France. For this film, which could almost be called a geographic biopic, Huberson returns to his native Guadeloupe, and travels among the various islands that make up his homeland, delving into what ‘home’ means from a diasporic vantage point. FALL 2019
The evening’s feature film was not centered in any one location. For Galsen: The Language of Souls (El Lenguaje De Las Almas), director and narrator Sergio Aparicio Olivas takes us on a geographic journey from Africa (Senegal and Gambia) to Spain (Barcelona) and America (New York). It is also a search for identity, and through uniquely-staged video-ettes which regularly highlight the 60-minute film, we are taken to the celebration of black woman, a ‘jungalese’ village market, an incredible elongated relay race-type of hip hop session that
AFRICAN FASHION WEEK AFRICAN FASHION WEEK
is echoed by a classroom of children maestro’d by the director/narrator, and the final haunting scene of a beach bungalow along an ocean shoreline where the final line quoted at the top of this piece was spoken. Throughout the narration and many of the interviews, the viewer is given the impression that the scripting is one long poem in free verse. The source of expression from these various sources helps us to understand that there is a single communication, ‘the language of souls.’ 12
Celebrating its 7th anniversary, this year’s edition of African Fashion Week Toronto (AFWT), occurred from Thursday, August 22 to Sunday, August 25, at Branksome Hall, 3 Elm Avenue, in Toronto. To mark the final day of the event, AFWT celebrated achievements in the Pan-African fashion industry. The King of Couture himself, Adebayo Jones, both started and ended the evening by hosting the awards and then, as has been the tradition for the past few years, culminated AFWT 2019 with his own runway presentation. The Londonbased celebrity designer looked every inch the Hollywood celebrity himself, decked out in black tux and black tie, and adding a resplendent touch with gold matching boutonnière, pocket square, and shoes. Describing himself as a “lifestyle entertainer,” he said he has been a proud supporter of AFWT ever since their inception. “It may sound simplistic but can never be understated that African Fashion Week Toronto has, for the past seven years, provided a platform for designers, models, stylists and the like of the African diaspora that would otherwise never had the opportunity for such a large showcase.”
2019 Accessories Designer of the year (JV Accessories); 2019 Beauty Professional of the year (Ashhhh Beauty); 2019 Blogger of the year (Staymagnifique); 2019 Emerging Designer of the year (Nykwale); 2019 Fashion Photographer of the year (Osato Erebor); 2019 International Designer of the year (Fatumah Asha); 2019 Ladies Wear Designer of the year (Kaela Kay); 2019 Men’s Wear Designer of the year (Pheo Couture); 2019 Online Retail store of the year (Kuwala); 2019 Stylist of the year (Stylez by Zee); Rising Star Male Model of the year (Damilola Omotayo); Rising Star Female Model of the year (a tie between Kelechi Ofoha & Roxanne La Kinoise).
There were three specialty recognitions during the proceedings. Three-time Academy Award nominee and Black Panther movie Oscar-winning Costume Designer, Ruth E. Carter, was honored with the 2019 Black Excellence Award. Speaking on her behalf, the Hon. Celina Caesar-Chevannes quoted from her Oscar acceptance speech, “now that I have presented African royalty on screen, I can show how women of African can look and lead…” Nigerian royal family member Princess Modupe Ozolua was singled out with the 2019 Global Humanitarian Award. Moses and Patricia Mawa from Afroglobal TV gave a glowing synopsis of her work: CEO of her own cosmetic company and dedicated philanthropist, helping underprivileged women and refugees. The final specialty award of the evening went to Jessica Okaoki & Derick Asiedu, recipients of the 2019 Recognition Award. As for the awards themselves, there were twelve categories, and some were repeat winners. FALL 2019
THE ABEDAYO JONES 2019 AFWT Look Book SMJ MAGAZINE
THE ABEDAYO JONES 2019 AFWT Look Book
THE ABEDAYO JONES 2019 AFWT Look Book SMJ MAGAZINE
THE ABEDAYO JONES 2019 AFWT Look Book
This summer, the creative forces behind Couture Culture & Arts (CCA) began casting once again for their Editorial Model Search. Last year’s inaugural search led to a grand prize trip for the winner to Girona and Barcelona, Spain for an editorial photo shoot. For the second year’s grand prize, the winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris, France during Paris Fashion Week. There they will not only get to take in all of the sights that the City of Lights has to offer, but will also be featured in an editorial fashion shoot set in the Parisian cityscape. CCA conducted castings in both Toronto and New York City. The Top Toronto Finalists were selected and came to the city on August 24th for an editorial photo shoot and a chance to compete for the grand prize. Our Top Toronto 8 was made up of finalists: Lita Bates, Roxanne Bilski, Rhea Cormier, Karen Davidson, Olivia Kiley, Benjamin Legacé, Dallas Ricci, and Faye Yang. While some of the models are local Torontonians, a few made a long trek to the shoot to participate in the competition. For our younger competitors, we were grateful to chaperones Cathy DiFilippo-Kiley and Holly Sherlock-Cormier for attending the shoot, and able to make the models as comfortable as possible. The photographer shot the 2018 Finalists for the CCA Editorial Model Search the previous summer. The talented Maria (Mia) Bokhari was behind the lens for the day, making each of the models feel at ease and relaxed in front of her camera. For our behind-thescenes photographer, CCA turned to Jorge Padron to record the goings-on over the course of the shoot day. He managed to get some great photos of the typically unseen moments, from the styling and preparations to the models enjoying some downtime between shots. The entire photo shoot would not have been possible without the Couture Culture & Arts Creative & Production Team, led by founder and Creative Director Claris Minas Manglicmot. Claris also took the lead on the styling and accessorizing for the various looks shot over the course of the day. Our on the set shoot coach was Sands LCP who assisted the finalists in their poses and movement in front of the camera. Creative
Aug 24th 2019 Creative Team/ Wardrobe Credits: Creative Team: Producer/Creative Director: Claris M. Manglicmot Photographer: Maria Bokhari
Shoot Coach: Sands LCP On-Set Creative & Styling Support: Tristan Licud Hair and Makeup: Candace David PR and Production Manager: Meghan Durnford
Logistic and Wardrobe: Balbir Pabila Wardrobe and Accessories: Polaroid: Models personal wardrobe Goodnight Toronto: UGG, Calvin Klein, Cynthia
support was also given by designer Tristan Licud, whose gorgeous pieces were used in some of the looks from the day. Hair and make-up was beautifully done by Candace David and her team, creating four distinct looks. Production assistance and PR duties were handled by myself, Meghan Durnford, along with production support from the genial and helpful Balbir Pabila. Tipu Bhatti, to whom we are very grateful, sponsored a part of the studio cost. Each of our Top 8 Finalists had four separate individual set-ups for the photo shoot, in addition to three intricate and dynamic group shots. The first look of the day was simple and basic. The models each wore all black and showcased their natural beauty in these Digital Polaroid shots. The first group shot was taken with the models in this look. Later looks included outdoor picnic vibes, props such as fresh fruit and vibrant flowers, and backgrounds like a colourful blanket. The resulting images were fabulous! On another look, each model showcased a plunging neckline while wearing only a strongsilhouetted blazer with sleek bottoms- either silk shorts or slim-fitting pants. The location of this shot was the beautiful grounds of the Aga Khan Museum. The juxtaposition of the lush greenery, flowing water, fields of lavender, and contemporary concrete with the strong and structured outfitting created a beautiful contrast. The final group shot was taken with a backdrop of a white stone slab. Styling for this look was dramatic, making the modelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; structured suits pop.
The next portion of the competition will see the finalists narrowed down to the Final Five, from the Toronto group and from New York City. There will be a photo shoot for the Final Five in Toronto before the winner of the CCA Editorial Model Search 2019 can be chosen. Couture Culture & Arts is infinitely grateful to our sponsors, designers, team, and of course, our participants who have shone brightly throughout the contest thus far. We look forward to the next phase and the selection of our 2019 Winner! Rowley, Rachel Ashwel, Bench, Saxx, Picnic Breeze: H&M, TFL, Bebe, Calvin Klein, Oakley, Mango, Banana Republic, Zara, Madden Girl, Dr. Martens, Nine West Sexy Suiting: TFL, Calvin Klein, H and M, Guess, JM
Trends, Tahari, Carolina Belle, Anne Klein All Jewelry by: Jewels Box Bags, purses and clutches: artisans from around the world
By Meghan Durnford
Couture Culture and Arts (CCA) headed to Manhattan from August 30th to September 3rd to shoot our finalist models in New York. The combined finalists from both the Toronto and Manhattan shoots will be scored based on their online votes on social media, as well as votes from the CCA Creative Team, and our three special guest judges, in order to see who will win the CCA Editorial Model Search 2019. The winner will receive a trip to Paris, France during Paris Fashion Week and will participate in an editorial photo shoot in the French capital. Our CCA Creative Director, Claris Manglicmot, and her creative support Tristan Licud together with our Toronto hair and makeup, Candace David joined our Manhattan team for the late summer shoot. Our Manhattan editorial photographer, RJ Ensalada, helped us as well in our pre-shoot requirements and model scouting. We were joined on the shoot day by our Production Assistant and Dresser, Rellene Bides. For this shoot in the Big Apple, we had three new finalists shooting with us: Carolyn Antal, Samantha Nitting, and Danichu Oyual. We also had a guest model, Kiarra Solomon, as CCA opened up the doors to young aspiring models. She was accompanied by her mother, Kelly Solomon, who showed support for her daughter’s chance to gain experience. Benjamin Lagacé, a finalist from Toronto, sponsored by his generous agency LCP, was able to travel to New York in order to gain more modeling experience. There were four looks shot over the course of the day. The first, Polaroid, was a stripped-down photograph of the models in all black outfits. These were taken in the hallways of the historic Pennsylvania Hotel, in the heart of Manhattan. The hotel dates back to 1919 and features classic art deco design. The second, Sleepless in New York, was photographed inside the hotel room with the models wearing sleepwear. There was a group shot set on a hotel bed. The third sequence of the day saw the models posing in the streets of Manhattan. For this theme, the models wore brightly coloured ensembles and accessories. The photos were set around The Vessel, the landmark structure of Hudson Yards Development in Manhattan designed by Thomas Heatherwick, and fittingly dubbed the “Eiffel Tower of Manhattan”. For the final fashion story of the day, the models toured various city spots 20
including The Manhattan Fashion District, Penn Station, and the James A. Farley Post Office in Manhattan. They each wore structured coats or blazers with nothing underneath. For this look’s group shot, the models dashed onto a cross-walk in the middle of a major intersection during a brief break in traffic. They were surrounded by dozens of yellow cabs and countless billboards in the background as they stood together in front of the Hotel Pennsylvania. The combination of the chaotic backdrop and the models’ intensity created some impressive and dynamic photos. The bustle of the pedestrians was another obstacle that the team had to navigate around to strike their poses. Claris and the CCA Creative Team will narrow down the competition to the Final Five along with the help of the judges from the fashion glitterati, as well as the online fan votes. Couture Culture and Arts expresses gratitude to our Manhattan team for the successful editorial shoot in the Big Apple, and looks forward to the next portion of the model search.
Who will make it to the Final Five? Creative Team: Creative Director and Organizer: Claris Minas Manglicmot NYC Shoot Trip Co-Creative: Tristan Licud Editorial Photographer: RJ Ensalada Hair and Make Up: Candace David Production Support and Dresser: Rellene Bides Wardrobe and Accessories; Brands and labels: Calvin Klein, Simons, Gucci, Call It Spring, Forever 21, H and M, Adrienne Papel, Pink Tartan, Candie’s, MEXX, Danier, Dr. Martens, Max Studio, Chinese Laundry, Banana Republic, Wild Diva, Nine West, Kenar, Abercrombie, To The Max, Zara, Domique Nicole, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Madden Girl Designers: Nico Bloodo of Nico Designs (Montreal), Tristan Licud of TFL Couture (Toronto), Finezza (Montreal) Others: Artisans Creations from Nepal Vintage Collections of the Stylist FALL 2019
The Final Five finalists for the Couture Culture & Arts (CCA) Editorial Model Search 2019 were selected in September, after the first two photo shoots of both the Toronto and New York competitors were held in each respective city. Once all of the competitors had their photos, they were scored based on online votes, votes from the CCA Team, and from three guest judges who are prominent members of the international fashion community; world-renowned designer Furne Amato of Amato Haute Couture; contributor to Vogue Italia Vincent Law; and Art Director for Dress to Kill Magazine César Ochoa. The Final Five were Lita Bates, Rhea Cormier, Benjamin Lagacé, Dallas Ricci, and Liu Yang. They would continue to compete against each other for an opportunity of a lifetime: an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris, France during Paris Fashion Week for an editorial fashion photo shoot in the City of Lights. The CCA Team held the photo shoot for the Final Five in Toronto in September at Merzetti Studio, where they were photographed by the artistic and innovative Nick Merzetti. Nick made sure to have an individual meeting with each model, and his specific directions inspired many fantastic photos. Merzetti Studio’s skilled in-house make-up artist, Angela Lee, did double duty as she painted the faces and coiffed the hair of each of the models. Jorge Padron shot some great behind-the-scenes pictures of the five. . Couture Culture & Arts founder and Creative Director Claris Minas Manglicmot was the organizer, producer, director, and stylist for the shoot. She was joined in styling duties by designer Tristan Licud, who also provided on-set direction for the models. PR duties and production were handled by myself, Meghan Durnford, and the invaluable and indispensable Judith Chu-Bualat assisted in production and logistics. For those of our younger participants in the competition, we had chaperones Priya Bates and Holly Sherlock-Cormier on-set. There were seven separate looks as well as six group shots. The natural light was perfect that day and shone into the downtown studio through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The first three shoots were dedicated to the autumnal seasonal in terms of fabrics and selected garments. The second phase of the day was comprised 22
By Meghan Durnford
of three summer seasonal looks, and showcased lighter fabrics and less clothing. The final set-up was a standalone and stand-out for its unique cultural garb with extravagant styling as well as impactful make-up. The three autumnal set-ups were themed “Vintage Mix”, “Gemstone Couture”, and “High Fashion Farmers”. The three summer set-ups were themed “Ibiza”, “Bright Ideas”, and “Sartorial Surf”. The final set-up of the day was “Beautiful Warriors”, homage to the Filipino culture with the use of the traditional Filipino tube skirt, “Malong”, which has multi-color patterns or geometrical designs resembling the rich culture of the Southern Philippines. After shooting all seven looks, everyone on-set was exhilarated but exhausted. Clear front-runners in the competition were established over the course of the day. Nevertheless, it was evident to the CCA Team throughout the shoot that all of the final five have bright modelling futures ahead of them.
By Claris Minas Manglicmot The hectic schedule of the CCA Editorial Search 2019, taking candidates from casting to a succession of photo shoots lasting most of the summer finally ended last September 2019. This year the CCA Creative team and the extra judges surprised our models and followers by awarding two winners! I am so excited to announce that Liu Yang is our female model winner and Dallas Ricci is our male model winner. Last year we were inspired by Game of Thrones shoot in Spain. This year we picked Paris, selecting iconic movie and television series locations for four looks that made up the dual winners’ photo shoot.
As an aside, CCA also was present at Paris Fashion Week to expose our winners to European fashion. It will be featured in the next SMJ issue, Holiday/Winter.
Couture Culture & Arts is grateful to all who participated in our second Editorial Model Search, topped off, of course, by our models. We hope to continue the search annually. Good luck to all, and may the best model win!
Credits for both stories on pages 22 & 23 Organizer/Creative Director: Claris Manglicmot Editorial Photographer: Nick Merzetti Co-Styling/Onset Direction Support: Tristan Licud Hair/Makeup: Angela Lee PR/Production Manager: Meghan Durnford BTS Photographer: Jorge Padron Logistic/Dresser: Judith Bualat
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AFRICAN FASHION WEEK
I had the pleasure of speaking with Anita Ghadafi about several topics, from how African Fashion Week came to be to managing being a single mother & insightful tips on how to grow into a powerful influential woman! I consider Anita a friend and over the years I have gotten to know her personally and professionally and it is my pleasure to give her this opportunity to shine and allow others to know more about her! As a child she was full of imagination, not needing any toys to play with only needing a quiet space, due to her love of books which allowed her to focus in on her creative abilities. Anita had a dream as a 5 year old girl to become a Fashion Runway Model. Yet she was told “she was too short” and “she will never be a model.” Anita did not let these negative comments stop her from dreaming...and years later African Fashion Week was born! Below are some direct insights from Anita. SMJ/What do you think is needed for AFWT to get to the next level? What is the vision you have for next year and for years to come? AG: Securing a Title Sponsor, who would remain in partnership with AFWT each year, is paramount. Hosting AFWT every year without having a Major/Title sponsor is extremely difficult, in terms of financial support. I strongly feel that any entity that chooses to partner with AFWT would see several benefits. My vision is for AFWT to become a home for people to celebrate African/Caribbean Fashion, Art, and Culture and Heritage! SMJ/What are three lessons you have learned that have propelled you to success? AG: #1/Plan in silence. Sometimes the wrong people are listening when you speak about your dreams, visions, or aspirations. Instead hold the dream in your heart and watch it grow and come to life. #2/ Be Grateful, for your mistakes, for your experiences...in the end they are both extremely valuable in this game called life. #3/Nothing great comes easy, but don’t forget who you are or where you come from. SMJ/Do you feel that your faith, friends/family, and even obstacles assisted you in obtaining/achieving your goals? AG: Although I won’t directly reference faith, what I do employ is to selectively surround myself with like-minded people. I have the support from my family, who I lean on when things go upside down and share joyful moments when things are good. Without family there is no foundation or motivation.
SMJ/Do you think there is room to grow lasting relationships in this “cut throat” type of industry? What are your views on building lasting relationships? AG: Absolutely, although this industry (Fashion/Media/Arts) can be seen as shallow, lasting relationships can be formed and maintained if both people put in the work. SMJ/Being a single mother comes with many hats to wear and responsibilities to juggle. What advise can you share to encourage other single mothers regarding their aspirations/dreams? AG: Do not be a statistic. Do not let society shut you out of thinking that you shouldn’t have aspirations or dreams. I believe that struggles are necessary in life in order to overcome, especially if you are a single mother. SMJ/Share with us any fun/interesting facts or other experiences that you would like our readers to know! AG: Aside from being a fashionista and a mother, I would like to do stand-up comedy one day. On Instagram I am a natural healer: igoddessheru (healer using what nature gives us...I am also a musician (HipJazz) writing poetry.My favourite books are How to influence Friends & People , Rich Dad Poor Dad, and The Richest Man in Babylon. I believe in meditation and enjoy dancing. My last words are,
By Michelle Moore
Let’s find out more from one of the hottest African Fashion Designers. SMJ/ Why did you want to be a part of African Fashion Week Toronto? ZK: I believe it’s an opportunity for me to explore my creativity and I get to meet and mingle with people who have the same objectives like me. SMJ/What made you want to start your own business and when was that? ZK: I decided to start my own business after a lot of local folk started showing interest in my work and recommending me. I started in 2013. SMJ/What are three lessons you have learned that have propelled you to success? ZK: Always put all into what you do; if not, you will not obtain satisfactory results. Not everyone is going to see your worth, but still believe in yourself. Always think outside the box. SMJ/Do you feel that your faith, friends/family, and even obstacles assisted you in obtaining/achieving your goals? ZK: Yes, absolutely! Had I given up, I’d never have made it this far. My very first orders were from friends and family. They made me very confident in what I was doing and kept encouraging me, even when I wasn’t sure of myself! I had no real capital to do all the things I was trying to do in order to move up. That prevented me and slowed me down from achieving my goals any earlier! 26
SMJ/Do you actually mass produce your own products or are they imported? ZK: I manufacture everything myself from scratch. SMJ/Share with us any fun/interesting facts or other experiences that you would like our readers to know! ZK: I always think back to when I was eight. I grew up in the church since my dad was a Pastor, so we had a lot of missionaries from Europe and all over the world. One of these missionaries was a lady we called Miss Buckstella from Switzerland. We lived not far from church and she lived next to us for about 4 years. I always helped her in feeding her cat and we developed kind of a friendship. When it was time for her to go back to her country, she came over to our house and gave me a basket which comprised of needles, thread, little pieces of fabric and dolls. That was when it all started! I began hand sewing little dresses for my dolls (so cute) and as I grew a little older, it materialized into making clothes for some of the neighbourhood kids, myself and anyone who showed interest. I have never forgotten this and I will always be grateful to my friend, Miss Bukstella. She must have seen it in me! SMJ/Where is your business located and do you have a website for our readers to check out? ZKay: I’m currently located in Kitchener Ontario and you can also find my work on my website, shop.zeenakay.com and on Etsy etsy.com/shop/znakdesigns
SHOE DESIGNER BABACAR SEYE By Michelle Moore
I had a very pleasant interview with a designer that has the runway all to him, but not in the way you would think. Shoe Designer Babacar Seye literally has his product on the runway floor, no matter what ensembles the models are wearing! Babacar is originally from Dakar, Senegal, and talked with me about his passion! I knew I had to give this young man space to tell his story.
SMJ/Why did you want to be a part of African Fashion Week Toronto 2019? BSeye: I love to support all that is Africa and being a part of African Fashion Week Toronto is doing exactly that! I saw it as an opportunity to present my African print shoes since it is an area often overlooked in shows but not in individually styling. One of the first things people notice when you walk in a room is your shoes. Let’s show them MIA Designs! SMJ/What made you want to start your own business? BSeye: I own a dance school called Kizo Love Kizomba in Montreal and Toronto. We host lesson and dance social every Sundays in Montreal and every Thursdays in Toronto. We teach Kizomba, semba, Afro-house and Urban-kiz, all of which originated in Africa. The dance community is quite large in North America and Europe and the dancers tend to embrace the African roots of the dances wearing African clothing and accessories. I saw an opportunity to combine dance shoes with African print material to embrace this even more. It was a niche market and an exciting opportunity. SMJ/What are three lessons you have learned that have propelled you to success? BSeye: These are more like characteristics that I follow. Optimism – Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of guts. There are so many directions that things can go and so
many reasons why we think we shouldn’t take the next step. My optimism has helped me set aside the fear that comes from being “on your own” and allows me to believe whole heartedly in my vision. Determination – I played American Football for 16 years and won 10 championship rings! Losing is not an option! This training has propelled my determination for success. I’m not just “trying this out”, I want to be the best in what I’m doing, and I will. Observation – I’ve always been an observant person. I watch people, trends, statistics, I find what people want and I make it happen. This is a major part of my success as it means vision will constantly evolve for the better. SMJ/Do you actually manufacture your own products or do you import your product? BSeye: We choose the fabric, design of each shoe, and selection all the material we choose to our specifications! They are hand-made and imported. All our shoes have an African Queen Name to also educate people about our ancestor. For example we have Queen Cleo for Cleopatra, Queen Nzinga, Queen Makeda and more. You can contact Babacar though Facebook @miadesigns and Instagram @miadesignscanada. MIA Designs https://www.facebook.com/MIADesignss/ Kizo Love Kizomba https://www.facebook.com/kizolovekizomba/ Kizo Festival Montreal https://www.facebook.com/ kizofestivalmontreal/
The social media profile says that Roxanne La Kinoise is a Congolese model and actress. She comes by the moniker honestly, but she has waited over half her life for this dream to come true. By Andrew Terry Pasieka
What is also honest about Roxanne is her inherent love of fashion, the basis of which has come from her heritage. “Congo is known as the mother and father of fapologie, which is a dandified or dapper way of dressing. There is a great deal of importance placed on every detail of clothing, and emphasis placed on how one dresses in public. The French definition of the term is ‘living art in style.’” Roxanne comes from a family of seven siblings, but she is the only child of her father and mother. Her father had five children with another woman, and her mother had one child with another man. The love of arts that was instilled in her came from her mother, so much so that she spent thousands of dollars when Roxanne was 14 on a modelling agency. Alas, nothing came of it. It wasn’t until several years later in her early 20s that Roxanne was able to find another opening. This opportunity, strangely enough, came from an architectural firm. Roxanne was opened up into a whole new world of design, and she developed this interest into what she calls “a weekend hustle” called ‘best studio flats.’ She repurposes small residential units to get maximum value out of the space. During the week Roxanne works for a medical device firm that involves extensive travel in Ontario and Quebec. All the while, Roxanne was looking for another way to get back into modelling and the arts. It all started innocently enough, at a party, when she was mistaken for a model. Weeks later she walked 28
in two south east Asian fashion shows. Because of her painful past experience, Roxanne was firmly resolved not to go the agency route this time. She went on Eventbrite and put out inquiries for any event that might need more models. Ironically, the two events she wound up selecting, even though they sounded different, were actually organized by Isaac Ansah and Erika Enyolu, two of the executives behind African Fashion Week Toronto. Long story short, she walked for four of the best designers in AFWT 2018; months later, she was still admiring her photos. Her strategy throughout 2018 and to this day, is to not say no to any opportunity that comes her way. She learned that a great part of her success was showing up at an event and being fully present. She had to put aside any fears of rejection and be ready to seriously network. Her introduction into acting came by this means. A Venezuelan shoe designer she had walked for named Chavez, who is best known for sponsoring the Miss Universe shoe collections, had a partner that was somehow involved in production of a movie at that time. She was asked if she wanted to be an extra. Saying yes without any hesitation resulted in a call back a few weeks later for the same production; this time Roxanne landed a coveted speaking role.
Roxanne admits that was probably the most surreal day of her life to this point. She was a hostess, she was a nominee for Rising Female Model of the Year, and she was walking for the renowned designer Adebayo Jones in the collection that was the closing event of AFWT 2019. She remembers praying as she went up the stairs to the ceremony that she was grateful for the nomination no matter what happened, and then she hears Erika saying backstage ‘we’re waiting…’ She had won! Roxanne had fantasized about what she would do if she won an award, but as reality sunk in, she said she had a mind blank, and then just spewed out everything she had overcome to get to this place. She was a refugee without a home or any status for the first 10-12 years of her life. Going from Congo to Angola to Belgium to Holland and finally to Canada in the winter of 199697, where it all changed. Being told at 14 by an agent at the modelling agency where her mother spent all that money that she wasn’t pretty enough; that she wasn’t slim enough. Having her world shattered on August 23rd, 2017, throwing her into a personal crisis and a depression that lasted several months. Finally, winning this first modelling award at 32, despite the fact her competition and previous winners have all been under 25. That party Roxanne attended in early 2018, and those two south east Asian fashion shows that she walked in February 2018 marked a turning point in her life. It was the right time to meet the right people. And now, Roxanne is getting ready to launch a self-produced TV show on You Tube. It will take a modern look at the African diaspora from a Canadian perspective, and will be called Congo Modem.
The Congolese model and actress has come full circle.
Flushed with that success, Roxanne was approached by Erika of AFWT with what she thought was confirmation of the number of designers she would be walking for in 2019. Instead she was asked if she wanted to host the Opening Night. Once again, Roxanne accepted without hesitation, and went out without a script just being herself, and hoping she wouldn’t disgrace herself or disappoint AFWT. It turned out so well that she was offered the red carpet interviews on the final night of the Industry Awards.
To follow Roxanne, go to @roxannelakinoise.
I am a fan of art in so many forms. I focus on fashion & design but I remain appreciative of so many other art forms in my own private time. My kids are into cosplay. They have been doing it for years. They converted our basement into a workshop. They make their own costumes from clothing to accessories such as swords, helmets, etc. They go to Fan Expo every year in full costumes. In one of those cosplay conventions, my son, Clarc Manglicmot, was spotted and was invited to collaborate and shoot with this amazing photographer and artist named Joe. I was there chaperoning Clarc and filmed his shoot with Joe. After it was over I just felt that I had to know more. SMJ/Joe, please tell me about yourself. I am Joe Tamko. I am driven by a unique mindset and an unstoppable vision. I made my way out of the most dangerous and under-resourced ghetto in France, overcoming racism, poverty and other inequalities by dreaming big, believing in myself and following my heart. My resilience has led me to become a celebrity in Japan on a regular prime time TV showâ&#x20AC;Ś I have taken my passion from Japan throughout Europe and North America for more than 20 years... I am an extra ordinary creative consultant. I help and coach clients to strategize and develop engaging content that can communicate to their target market or audience. SMJ/How does your work and lifestyle connect with your passion in cosplay? In my role as an extra ordinary creative consultant I often have to come up with a concept and content to help my client communicate their message to their audience on their terms. I create pictures, animation, slideshows, documentary shorts, and promotional videos. Name it and I probably did it. At a certain point of my life I started to focus on cosplay. I had that feeling that cosplayers hard work was often ruined by the random photo sessions with poor location selection and poorly edited pictures. I felt that with my skills and creativity, I could bring more value to cosplayers in term of visual storytelling and image development.
In 2017, as my concept started to slowly take form in my mind, I had a strong feeling that this could impact people. So I invested over $8000 in a new computer and worked more on my VFX and CG skills beside my regular consulting activities while working from home and taking care of my newborn baby. I gave birth to VFX COSPLAY: a studio that creates content aiming to empower and inspire people to be whoever they want to be. They can challenge the status-quo while being true to themselves. I want people to be the hero of their own life story. SMJ/Where were you born? Are there any geographical or family influences growing up that gave rise to your passion in cosplay? I was born in France and my background is from Cameroon. My life mission is to empower others and inspire people to follow their dream so that they can be happy and contribute to make the world a better place.
I know it sounds corny but that is who I am. It was that mindset that took me out of the most dangerous ghetto in France and allowed me to work with a rock star on Japanese prime time TV that I used to listen to in my rat infested bed room. I lived in Japan for 3 years and I speak fluently Japanese. I was familiar with cosplay since 1997. In France, all my generation were inundated with Japanese animation. I’m a part of what we call there the generation Club Dorothee. That the name of the kids show that we were watching every single day before going to school, at lunch time if you were eating at home and when you were coming back from school. And in France kids do not have school on Wednesday so the show was almost nonstop from 9am to 6pm. That was a big deal since we didn’t even have cable. I was the only one who was into Japanese pop culture and into cosplay in my family. (I have 2 older sisters and 2 younger sisters.)
others despite living in a system fostering racism, poverty and inequalities. She showed me how to keep going when everything was collapsing around me. But most of all she gave me space to experience new things even if it wasn’t making any sense to her. It was her way to show me unconditional love. SMJ/How do you make collaborations with young cosplay artists like Clarc possible? Why did you choose Clarc? To be able to keep supporting young artists like Clarc, we need our businesses to stay highly profitable.
SMJ/What is your educational and professional background? I did all my education in France. I studied literature in high school, and economy and management in university. I’m self-taught in Graphic Design & Communications (20+ years), Video (10+ years), Photography (5+ years), Motion Graphics & VFX (4+ years), 3D (3+ years), and Fashion Design (5+ years). SMJ/What is the one thing that inspired you to acquire all these skills? Being raised by an incredible single mom is definitely what made me who I am today. She showed me how to love, care and respect
I met Clarc at Toronto Comic Con. I was blown away by the quality of the costume he made, the way he embodied his character,r and his posing skills. I talked to him and when I confirmed he was a good fit, I asked him to come over for a photo session. Contact VFX COSPLAY website (www.vfx-cosplay.com), Facebook page (@vfxcosplay4ever) or I nstagram (@vfx_cosplay). On Youtube search for: VFX COSPLAY SPEEDART Also contact: www.soulfulphotostudio.com FB: @ soulfulphotostudio IG: @ soulful_photostudio Phone: 416-875-2775
by Andrew Terry Pasieka
If you watch Kartia Velino or if you speak with her, you soon come to realize you are in the presence of energy personified. There is nothing understated about Kartia. She is an ‘it’ girl who puts it all ‘out’ there. So it is not surprising to hear Kartia tell SMJ Magazine that growing up in eastern Nigeria, the 6th oldest of 10 siblings and 9 of them being girls, she stood out among all the sisters.
“Often mama would say ‘don’t do this,’ but I always wondered what would happen if I did it, so often I would wind up doing just that. I would regularly do the opposite of what I was being told. I think I was born to be in the limelight.” For example, Kartia was the school girl that would always make additions or alterations to her school uniform. At various times as a young girl, Kartia wanted to be a model, a flight attendant, and then a T.V. personality. She remembers crying at six years old because she wanted to be in this ’moving picture box’ with the people who were in the show she was watching. Long before reality TV became the rage, Kartia recalled a show called Soul Train starring Tina Turner. The biopic really made an impression on her as she wanted to dye her hair and dance like Tina. The bright lights were beckoning, but it would be some time before she got any closer. Kartia arrived to Canada at age 20 as a refugee and stayed at a place called ‘Welcome Home’ at Spadina & Bloor in Toronto. She came with her future husband who was then her boyfriend.
“We came with only backpacks on our back. We had to apply immediately for refugee status, and were homeless for a short time on Queen’s Park. We couldn’t say the real reason for our trip to Canada; we came because we wanted to see and feel snow!” It took two years to get landed papers, but by the grace of God and some inattentiveness Kartia got her first job and they got their first apartment. She got the job without a work permit by just filling in some numbers she got in her journal for her Social Insurance Number, and pulled the same trick with her first landlord. In both cases Kartia said with a straight face that it was a temporary number. Either they believed her or they took pity on her because she wasn’t questioned further. Her first modelling gig as a facial model for a commercial was shot with Kartia having no proper ID.
She said one of the happiest experiences she ever had was making the rounds and giving employers, landlords, etc. the official ID once she and her husband got legal status in Canada. Kartia Velino has been in Canada for 28 years. She has already celebrated her 25th/Silver Wedding Anniversary. She has three sons who couldn’t be more ‘Canadianized’ than this: two of them play in the CFL (Canadian Football League). The road to reality show started about three years ago. Kartia had been blogging in social media for four years, and she did it in the areas that interested her growing up: fashion and design; arts and entertainment. She soon wanted to broaden her platform and began to do a little designing on the side. Within a year she did her first fullfledged fashion runway and that is where SMJ Magazine first met up with her. (See “Meet Kartia Velino,” pages 13 & 14, Summer 2016, Issue No. 14.) She soon realized that designing wasn’t all that she fantasized it to be: for one thing, it is a very capital intensive profession, and for another, sales did not match the product. Kartia says she still has a number of pieces from her shows in 2016 that never sold. Her next strategy was to get her own You Tube portal and turn fashion stylist. Kartia took clothes from her own closet, some as much as ten years old, and showed her audience how it could be altered to match current styles. She was that girl altering her school uniform all over again! FALL 2019
By the beginning of 2018 Kartia’s followers/subscribers had reached 300,000. She thought she was about halfway to her goal. A reality show would take her the rest of the way. Looking at television almost two years ago, there were very few women of color on reality TV, and no shows where women of color were the principal characters. However, traditional TV was changing as well, and Kartia has become aware of how fickle both the market and potential co-stars can be. Even now, two years later, an initial foray into reality TV has resulted in other realities. Ever prudent, Kartia looks to focus her promotion on her own lifestyle show this fall while continuing to explore opportunities. She has been very proud of her husband’s position in all this.
“My husband told me from the start, ‘Baby, go for it. This has been your dream ever since you were a teenager. He has supported me all the way.” Kartia ended our interview with three points. First, she is confident in the future and in herself. Second, she has a man who stands solidly behind her, one who has been there ever since they arrived in Canada all those years ago. And third…
‘If you are going to be an entrepreneur, it is more important to make business partnerships and collaborations than it is to just parachute friends into those roles. Grow with like-minded people; not people who just like you.’ Now that’s reality.
By Dr. Lisa Ramsackal
Have you ever thought about the one thing that you are most thankful for? I’m sure you have been asked, written about it or given thanks during daily prayers. I think that we can all agree that being thankful for our health tops most of our lists. Being in the healthcare field, I see a lot of people who have pain, disabilities, mobility issues, and general declining health. Just like the rest of you, I also have had my own challenges with health. Having a baby, getting older and working in a physically demanding job all takes a toll not just physically but also emotionally and mentally. Let’s face it: life is not always a bed of roses. The truth is, at one point or another we will all face health issues. In fact, eight out of ten Canadians will experience back pain at some point in their life, and at least one third of people in Ontario will have back pain at any given time.* * (Ontario Chiropractic Association (n.d.). When Should I See a Chiropractor? Retrieved from https:// www.chiropractic.on.ca/public/faq/) So does the act of giving thanks somehow protect us from declining health and stave off illnesses? Of course not! But, on the other hand, taking our health for granted is not the recommended alternative to preventing disease and illnesses. While giving thanks places our health as a priority in our minds, what more do you need to do to ensure your health is being cared for and protected? After all, this regular SMJ feature is entitled ‘your health is your greatest wealth’ for a reason! When it comes to health there is no one diet, exercise, detox, yoga practice or supplement that can ensure ultimate or lasting health. Your health is a complex
and dynamic state constantly influenced by factors such as diet/nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep, environment, genetics, habits, and relationships. So, with all of these influencing factors it’s no surprise that our health does fluctuate and we become ill at times. How can you be more proactive in your health than reactive? What are you missing other than eating well and exercising regularly? Start with seeing your family doctor annually for a physical. Having a baseline of your blood work and other tests are a good way to track changes over time and to help put in place strategies to prevent disease before they set in. Visit practitioners such as a chiropractor, physiotherapist, and osteopath or massage therapist for those aches and pains that you’ve been ignoring, working through or waiting until they disappear. Pain is a signal that something is happening and needs to be addressed. Don’t wait until pain impacts your daily activities before you seek care. The longer the pain persists the longer time your body will take to eliminate it.
work that way. Depriving yourself of sleep is like depriving your health plain and simple. It’s never too late to start a healthier lifestyle. Work with your healthcare providers towards your health goals and living a healthier life. Your body will thank you for it. Innova Integrated Wellness Centre (905-814-9355) 49 Queen St. South Unit #8, Miss, ON, L5M 1K5 W: www.innovaintegratedwellness.ca W: www.chiropractor-drlisa.ca E: firstname.lastname@example.org E: email@example.com Facebook: @InnovaIntegratedWellness Instagram:innova_wellness
Don’t ignore your mental health. If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, in a difficult relationship, are having difficulty coping or are facing challenges talk to a professional. As little as the issue may seem, working through these challenges can significantly improve your mental and even physical well-being, allowing you to be more engaged and productive in your day to day activities. Get some good quality consistent sleep. This is not negotiable. Studies show that our quality of sleep or lack thereof can directly affect our health. Good sleep hygiene is crucial to our daily physical functioning. Sleep is a way our body restores itself, a time when cellular growth and repair occurs. Don’t believe the saying that you can catch up on sleep, it doesn’t FALL 2019
It is time to enjoy the beauty that is fall, the multitude of warm tones and darker hues. All too soon the leaves will go from the warm shades of yellow and orange to the colder hues of brown, purple, and black. Traditionally the changing of the colors coincides with the earlier setting sun and the cool breezes that signify the transition of the season. It is also time to get ready for sweater weather that accompanies the cooler temperatures. Yet with the arrival of a new season comes a new appreciation of life. I love fall and the multitude of feelings she evokes. It puts me in a thankful, grateful and mellow mood. The
On our family get away, we had the opportunity to visit the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was a poignant moment shared with my kids and they got to realize that the freedom which they enjoy came at a cost. In fact, they have been taught that everything in life comes with costs attached. While standing at the tomb and paying respects I made them understand the reason why we have Remembrance Day. It is because of these brave men, we are all able to enjoy this great land. The lesson went further. It was an opportune moment to also teach about thankfulness and appreciation. They learnt that as a parent I make sacrifices to ensure that they are safe, fed and clothed. For that reason, they should be thankful and appreciative. They should express ‘thanks’ for my ‘giving.’ As a black family in Canada, our history is complex and filled with generational stories of slavery and both the fight for freedom and the flight from enslavement. As first generation Canadians, I’m grateful that they get to enjoy a greater freedom than I ever did at that age.
year will almost be over and it is my time for reflection. It is my time for appreciating everything which has transpired, to assess how far I’ve come, and to regroup and strategize around what is left to be done for the year ahead. I especially love the celebrations of the holidays in the fall season: Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day. These are the days in the year when the message of the day is in the name. For me, everything seems to be in balance. And this past summer, I got a chance to prepare my little ones for both in a way I never could have anticipated. 38
With Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day approaching, I as an immigrant Canadian appreciate the lifestyle I have now embraced. The celebrations I get to plan, the family togetherness I get to build, and the lessons I can continuously teach my children will help them understand what ‘thanks’ and ‘giving’ really mean and will help them ‘remember’ the fight of the Unknown Soldier. So, as the leaves continue to change and nature takes its course, I look forward to all the beauty that fall brings. Vanessa can be contacted via email firstname.lastname@example.org or through her blog www.stylelikeyourrich.com
By Akua Hinds
A Time to be Thankful When the seasons change, we see evidence of those changes. Leaves on trees change color. Streets are covered with blankets of snow. With spring and summer, the snow melts, and the flowers, plants and trees start to bloom again. There are so many reminders through the change of the seasons about how life changes constantly as well. Sometimes, the changes are slight and we do not even notice them in the way that we should. Other times, the changes are obvious and hard to ignore or avoid. With the holiday season of Thanksgiving upon us, this is a good time to reflect and give thanks for everything that has taken place this year. This year was the first in which I had actively participated in vision board workshops. I had often seen social media posts promoting vision board workshops, but despite my curiosity about creating a vision board, I had never participated in a workshop. The two that I had attended this year were amazing, and through those workshops, I realized that there are so many things that I can feel thankful about. I am thankful and feel blessed for the many opportunities that I have been given to embrace and enhance my life. Like everyone else, I have experienced challenges. However, I have learned that there is a lesson to be learned in each and every situation. Negative situations in life will show you what you can and cannot accept. It is up to each person to determine what that is. One of the things that I feel we should be most thankful for in this country is the power that we each have to make any changes at all with regards to what we want and who we want to be with. In Saudi Arabia, women have had to fight for the right to drive, and this right has only been granted to women within the past twelve months. Most women living in Saudi Arabia have arranged marriages where they have no say at all in who they will wed, and the law in that country does not respect or acknowledge the individual rights of women; only men. Here in Canada, men and women have equal rights, including the right to choose their partner. If there are things about your relationship status that you want to change, I encourage you to create a vision board that will help you to bring your goals to life. Vision boards are great tools for giving you courage and motivation to plan out the life that you hope to achieve personally and professionally. Every great accomplishment first started with an idea followed by action. Post pictures and words on your vision board about the kind of love life that you envision for yourself. What you think about, you bring about. When you focus on what you want, your actions will lead you towards your ideal love match. Having a vision is important, but you need to encourage yourself to have courage to pursue all of the goals that you post on your vision board. Keeping a gratitude journal in which you write all of the things that you feel grateful for daily is a great way to start your day off right and focus on what you want to achieve. Review what you wrote each day, and remind yourself of all of your blessings. Each day is an opportunity to give thanks, and it all starts with you. Focus on your vision, create a plan, and give thanks. When you do these things daily, the changes that you want will start to happen. Then you can really celebrate Thanksgiving!!
Akua Hinds, journalist, actress, music performer & instructor, founder & marketing owner of dating sites www.InterracialDesires.net, www. RichSinglesDate.net, www.ChristianPartner.co & independent business owner at www.PureRomance.ca/AkuaHinds and www.PureRomance.com/ AkuaHinds. Please visit www.AkuaHinds.com
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