SMJ magazine Winter 2016-17 issue #16

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Becoming Warrior: A Book Review Canadian Mens’ Designers Take Over NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

Truth Symposium: Dealing with Depression


The FUTURE of Retail HOLIDAY/WINTER 2016: CANADA $4.99


Nikki Clarke:

Her Journey to the Presidency of


An Overview of the OBHS

Kick-Off Brunch 2017


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contents Table of


7. From The Desk of Shelley Shelley Jarrett 34. Becoming Warrior: A Book Review Andrew Terry Pasieka

SMJ BEAUTY CLOSET 8. Keep Your Hair Glowing and Your Skin Soft During Winter Barbara Onwumere 9. Malia Indigo: Bringing Attention to Plus Sized Modelsl in the Fashion Industry ... by Shelley jarrett 11. Catching Up with John Ablaza Andrew Terry Pasieka 12. Canadian Mens’ Designers Take Over New York Fashion Week Claris M. Manglicmot 23. Your Health Is Your Wealth Dr. Lisa Ramsackal 27. Inspirational Corner Josephine Casey 30. Truth Symposium: Dealing With Depression Shelley Jarrett & Andrew Terry Pasieka 32. Affairs Of The Heart: When Work and Love Combine Akua Hinds

14. The Future of Retail: From Merchandising to a Media Experience Andrew Terry Pasieka 28. Insight on Developing Your Business in 2017 Victoria A. Morgan 29. Common Mistakes Made by Small Businesses Shalini Dharna

24 25 FUNDRAISING WITH A CAUSE Photos by 4c Photography Designs by Sensuelle & Chic andMagazine My Mama’s Closet2017 SMJ WINTER EDITION 4

features 18. Nikki Clarke: Her Journey to the Presidency of Ontario Black History Society Shelley Jarrett 20. An Overview of the OBHS Kick-Off Brunch Andrew Terry Pasieka

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Image. Lifestyle. Business

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Founder & Publisher Shelley Jarrett Editor-in-Chief Andrew Terry Pasieka Creative Director/Graphic Layout Sheri L. Lake Chief Photographer Lubin Tasevski Fashion/Design Editor Claris Minas Manglicmot Contributors Shelley Jarrett Andrew Terry Pasieka Claris Minas Manglicmot Josephine Casey Dr. Lisa Ramsackal Shalini Dharna Barbara Ownumere Victoria A. Morgan Akua Hinds 4C Photography Publicity LIM Media Group Inc. Website Contact

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 or visit www.smjmag. com. For editorials contact

SMJ Magazine is a division of Seventh House Publishing Arts. Winter 2017 Issue No. 16


Presented By Hosted by Shelley Jarrett



Women’s Conference

We are all born to be winners. We come with special gifts and talents. By recognizing what they are and using them to our utmost, we can fulfill our purpose here on earth. Tapping into the e ssence of who we are as individuals will allow us that ultimate satisfaction. We are first and foremost flesh beings with a mind that governs how we communicate with our human body. The decisions we make and the actions we take are based on factual information that we are presented with. People who can do this at a high level and under constant pressure or deadlines are usually among the most successful in their particular field of endeavor. However, we are also spirit beings with a soul and a conscience. The definition of entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages their own business, assuming all the risk for the sake of the profit. Men and women that can combine a maximum level of organization with maximum efficiency of management, while taking on the highest allowable risk, will wind up making the greatest profit, and in that context are the most successful entrepreneurs. However, we can rise to greater heights than where our ‘flesh beings’ can take us by incorporating our ‘spirit beings’ supernaturally. When we listen to our conscience, or that ‘still, small voice within,’ we make decisions and take actions, based not on our body functions or thoughts in our mind, but on revelations in our spirit. We become ‘SPIRIT-PRENEURS’ by superimposing our spirit beings over our flesh beings, and allow the risk to be assumed by THE prophet, Jesus Christ. We align our two beings in a harmonious union. As SPIRIT-PRENEURS, we can find true joy and live fulfilled lives. The most successful entrepreneurs all too often experience this to a limited extent. Our hope is that this conference will ignite your passion and encourage you to take the steps to become a SPIRIT-PRENEUR!

2 017 CONFERENCE INFO COMING SOON! Follow Shelley Jarrett


to stay informed

The message we want to leave you, our readers with, is that SMJ is more than just a brand; it is becoming a cutting edge experience.

This year 2017 is a very special year with Canada celebrating its 150th anniversary. This month of February our nation celebrates the heritage of an important segment in our diverse population, Black History month. Our headline story and sidebar feature the Ontario Black History Society, its KickOff Brunch, and its current President, Nikki Clarke. Later this year we will be recognizing the start of our 5th year of publishing SMJ Magazine. As we start our new business year, we want to promise our readers and followers that we are going to work harder than ever. We have put together a dynamic team to help us stay focused and balanced with an eye on the prize. Passion and determination is good but the numbers tell it all. Like all businesses we have to pay attention to our bottom line. We are not quite there yet, but we are working hard to get where we want to be with strategic partnerships and collaborations. Our future here at SMJ Magazine looks brighter than ever, but we have much further to go. We are gearing up for some awesome projects this year and in the future. I want to thank you all for staying on this journey with us, believing in us while we try to make our mark in this world. We will continue publishing four regular issues per year with the intention of leaving room for special editions, special events, productions, partnerships and collaborations.

As you know, we have for some time wanted to move into the realm of television. However, being patient and not jumping at the first offer that came along, and then not jumping at the second, has been a prudent strategy. Television has changed in a big way over the past twelve to eighteen months with new CRTC regulations. There has been shocking fallout from that change with significant layoffs among major respected television networks. The wave of the future is digital TV and beyond; options such as Livestream, You Tube and Facebook Live. We have also come to realize that owning our content is a precious thing, because we can do things like follow up articles, or focus on the story behind the story. Doing that has evolved into our move into a truly multi-media experience with our interest in film. Our focus moving forward will still be themes of diversity, good news stories on ordinary people doing extraordinary things. At present we are working on documentaries about indigenous people and marginalized communities. We will continue to give voice to their stories and provide a platform to bring awareness and in some cases closure to a life event. As you can see we are venturing into new areas and with God’s help we will persevere. I have always said to be an effective business person, it takes vision and planning. Nothing happens overnight.

encouraged to push through. I look where I am today and marvel. My advice for you is: know thyself, so you can identify with God in your life. He will help you to realize the full scope of your gifts and talents. Live a life that is pleasing to God and keep life simple. And remember Philippians 4:13 ‌..I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

My goal is to live in a space of expectations. It keeps my dreams alive. It was never my desire to write, but an opportunity materialized and I was WINTER EDITION 2017 SMJ Magazine


CLOSET Keep Your Hair Glowing and Your Skin Soft During Winter By Barbara Onwumere Hair maintenance is very important during the winter months, especially when you are wearing weaves, wigs, extensions and winter hats. Start with a proper shampoo, and then use a cleansing or clarifying shampoo to remove build-up on your hair and scalp. Conditioners need to be light and full of moisturizers to help hydrate your hair. You can protect your hair from harsh winter weather by wearing a hat or a scarf over it. To avoid breakage visit your salon more frequently than you would in the summer; about every two weeks is good. This is a good time to give your hair a break from harsh damaging chemicals such as relaxers, permanent colors, bleach, and lighteners. Giving your hair a well- deserved break will allow it to grow strong and healthy. Think about using semi-permanent hair colors throughout the winter months. These colors are brighter, more vivid, ammonia free and last four to six weeks, and will still allow you to express your true inner self. During the winter month’s it’s a great idea to treat your hair once a week to a deep conditioning treatment to replenish the moisture lost. Shampoo your hair once or twice a week to prevent your hair from drying out. A good cleansing shampoo can be used to remove build-up on your hair and scalp. Conditioners need to be light and full of moisturizers to help keep your hair hydrated. Dry your hair completely before you going outside. There is a possibility that you can get a cold; furthermore, the moisture in your hair mixed with the cold air will add further damage and dry out your hair.



Trimming (removing dry, damaged split ends) your hair when needed is a great way to keep your hair looking healthy. To prevent dryness and breakage add a little oil or moisture to the ends of your hair each day. Winter weather can be harsh on your skin. Cold weather, low humidity levels can steal moisture away from the skin every second of the day. Without immediate care, dry skin can lead to redness, itching, cracking and bleeding. Additional moisture can help you counteract these effects and keep skin looking youthful, soft and smooth. Remember though, skin care is more than just using lotion; it includes maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and exercise. Wash your face twice daily in the morning and evening using a mild face cleanser and warm water to clean and refresh. Avoid using hot water to wash your face it can it can remove your natural oils and cause excessive dryness. This routine will help improve your complexion and prevent acne breakouts. At night it is important that you remove all trace of makeup before going to bed, not doing so can cause skin breakouts and a blotchy complexion. Here are some final tips to help your skin in winter and all year round. Use products that are fragrance-free if you have sensitive skin. Drink lots of water; eat lots of fruits and vegetables. They are good for the body and great for your skin. Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! Not getting enough sleep can make your skin look tired. Your body will thank you. Smart Choice Hairstyling Centre /Hair Stylist: Barbara Onwumere/ Makeup Artist: Diane Sain

Malia Indigo :

Bringing Attention to Plus Size Models in the Fashion Industry By Shelley Jarrett

Plus size model Josiane Laure Modjom known as Malia Indigo officially launched her plus size directory last January 27th 2017. Malia Indigo Corporation was formed to bring all the plus size professionals together as a show of strength in the fashion industry. This formation has been quite the achievement for this strong-willed woman who has said, “I joined this industry as model in 2014 and didn’t know from where to start. Passion, willingness was not enough to face the lack of professional structure and organization. I had to go through so many frustrations and rejections. “ The event was well attended, with guests listening attentively on how they could get more visibility in the industry, and how the industry could contribute to career and personal enhancement.

Malia Indigo Corporation is a premier media and directory platform that offers high-end bundled services in plus-size fashion. With the rapidly increasing demand for “all things plus-sized”, Malia Indigo targets this demographic in a revolutionary way, creating a space that has, for far too long, been non-existent for plus-sized individuals. Although founded in Canada and registered under the Canada Business Corporation Act, Malia Indigo Corporation is an accessible international online database that allows users to benefit from the top-tier plussize services.

At Malia Indigo Corporation all your beauty needs are packaged under this plus-size umbrella. While the goal of the company is to cultivate a reliable plus-size community in an industry where petite reigns, it is imperative that every user and client recognize that plus size is beautiful. With this platform, Malia Indigo Corporation hopes to increase access, catapult careers, and make the plus-size discourse a transcendental one. “Love yourself first, so you can accept love from others.”(Josiane Laure Modjom A.K.A Malia Indigo) Malia Indigo can be reached

The Corporation targets a multiplicity of users; designers, stylists, actors, models, make-up artists, bloggers, photographers and accessory businesses. International users benefit from the ongoing online exposure that derives from the publication, the sharing and distribution of portfolios, business opportunities, and the like. Local users, besides the ongoing online exposure, can benefit from fashion shows and networking events that facilitate career-growth, building connections, and educational discourse. WINTER EDITION 2017 SMJ Magazine




Catching Up With

JOHN ABLAZA By Andrew Terry Pasieka

Filipino fashion designer John Ablaza, whose 2014 Couture & Culture show became our first Special Edition (see SMJ Magazine Issue No. 4, February 2014), returned to the GTA for the first time in two and a half years last October. We thought it appropriate that he came at perhaps the most colorful time of the year in southern Ontario. No so, John replied in his usual gentle manner. He exclaimed that he loves the color in Canada all year ‘round because he never got the chance to experience the four seasons in his homeland of the Philippines. John is basking in the glow of an amazing adventure in Africa. Early in 2016, Harry K. Thomas, former U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe by President Barak Obama. His wife, who is Filipino and a big fan of John’s growing couture legacy, was instrumental in getting her husband to hire John to conduct workshops in Zimbabwe under the 2016 Fashion Entrepreneurship Exchange Program sponsored by the U.S. Embassy,

in partnership with cultural champions Kusika Design Centre. The couple was also influential in getting John his first formal American runway show in 2015. Also involved in this exchange was the Zimbabwe International Film & Festival Trust, Mustard Seed Africa, Zed Label, Hunnar Management Agency and National Gallery of Zimbabwe. The overall initiative that ran from July 19th thru August 17th also included a photography group practicum facilitated by US-based Filipino photographer extraordinaire Jhenny Morales Evans, models networking and meet-ups joined by US-based fashion journalist/model Sheila Vidamo-Vertuno, an orphanage visit for a future charity fundraiser, and several meeting consults. It was very gratifying to John to act in a role of mentor, and he felt it his greatest accomplishment, second only to his stupendous 2011 copy collection of his country’s ‘first national hero,’ Dr. Jose Rizal. John was most proud of the growing confidence he felt he instilled in the artists that were assembled.

“They just needed to be encouraged and motivated into believing that they belonged and that they were good enough to compete at a mainstream level. I wanted to leave them with the message that they should be confident in using natural products from their country as couture finishers to a design or as fashion accessories, while at the same time impressing on them that each one of us has a responsibility to protect our environment and use what it gives us.” His showcase in Mississauga that October evening was only a precursor to something much bigger next year. John will be celebrating 30 years in the fashion industry in 2018, and in this next year, he will be developing a new show of his collections. He wants to premiere it in Toronto before taking on the road to New York. Is it a culmination of a career? No, it is more like the next milestone in the journey of a great designer with a greater heart! WINTER EDITION 2017 SMJ Magazine





To my great surprise, I witnessed how our very own Canadian men designers took over the runway in New York Fashion Week on January 31, 2017, the last day of the event. Designer Curtis Eliot suits from Calgary were amazing. The fur and the velvet materials used in their suits is awesome. It is not just any other suits you can find even in posh stores. Curtis Eliot suits can be worn by young and old alike. Eliot is been an established brand and has been doing very well in the market with his own marketing team. 12


by Claris M. Manglicmot

The young designer Trist Licud ( TFL) from Toronto collections targets the young millennials who wants glamorous street clothes. Licud’s collection is not just any street clothing. Imagine Justine Beiber wearing it.Couture Culture and Arts (CCA) https://couturecultureandarts. com/ is a proud co-producer of Designer Licud’s in New York Fashion Week. As the Founder and Creative Director of CCA, I decided to allot time and support this young designer who stepped on to his very first International runway in New York. Any fashionista would be excited to be a part of New York Fashion Week. I am one of them. I made sure I was there to watch and observe the two-day men’s experience. My objective was to get the first-hand knowledge on the difference or similarities of the New York runway and the recent Master Card Toronto Fashion weeks. On January 29, 2017 I was with Designer Licud for the fitting. Having been an event organizer I sense that the feel is different in New York. The volunteers are very efficient. They have unpacked all the suitcases of collections and have it hanged in no time. I found out later that they are not just any volunteers. They are future designers, stylists and fashion business individuals who will soon graduate from prestigious schools not just from New York but around the world. One of them is a volunteer stylist from Sweden. The models all set and lined up half naked ready to fit whatever clothing is assigned to them.

It took no time at all to have all the collections labelled and officially assigned to each of the models. The fitting day end up like a mini-rehearsal with models sorted in sequence and advised on how to highlight the features of the clothing assigned to them. January 31, 2017 is the big runway day. I was there with the team early at 7:00am and had full access at the backstage. The backstage and production area is way more spacious than that of the runway. I was able to meet designers and production people at the backstage. I must say the real action and show is backstage during the preparations. It is very grand and the total opposite of the simple garage look and rustic runway. I rushed out at 10:00 am to find my spot in the runway. The runway is very simple but looking around the audience I can see that a great many among the audience are serious people who are more than interested in fashion. They are there to watch not just for entertainment but with a purpose. They are big time media, buyers, retailers, and designers in the making. There was no unnecessary noise or cheering except towards the end during the designers’ walk. The runway shows is the place where serious business begins to happen. As a fashion event organizer, I picked up something and it has inspired me all the more. In Toronto we are not far off nor left behind; our shows are awesome. We may not have the impression that we are a fashion center just like New York. We need to open doors for designers and artists around the world in our runways. We can do this and make Toronto a world fashion hub. (Ed. Note: African Fashion Week Toronto’s unofficial moto is, “taking African fashion from Toronto to the world!”) Here are some of the collections video and links of Designer Curtis Eliot and Trist Licud featured in New York Fashion Week: Designer Curtis Eliot: bubble Designer Trist Licud: WINTER EDITION 2017 SMJ Magazine




We first noticed the trend when SMJ Magazine did an exclusive interview with Peter Simons of Quebec’s La Maison Simons upon the opening of their first Ontario store at Mississauga’s Square One. We saw it again a few months later at the same mall when Holt Renfrew opened their flagship store. We saw evidence of it most recently a few months after that when Nordstrom opened their newest store at Toronto’s prestigious Yorkdale Mall. We saw a new kind of retail, usurping the old style department store. Instead of piles of merchandise in shelves, on racks, and on tables with jarring breaks from one ‘department’ to the next, we were seeing seamless links of quasi living spaces within one ‘grouped’ area and the next. Putting on figurative and literal arms and legs which entice the prospective buyer into thinking that, yes, they could see themselves purchasing this item. The advertising and promotional strategy of these stores is in the form of displays that are as slick and as modern as the latest in communicative devices or in social media platforms. What forward-thinking stores such as Simons, Holt Renfrew, and Nordstrom have grasped is that they are addressing a monumental problem facing retail which is not discussed publically. It’s that the way

retailers plan their revenue and profitability in terms of the physical appearance of their stores. The long standing model is no longer is the correct one, given the shopping habits of primary and secondary retail markets. 14


And who are the people that comprise these markets? In 2017 they are upwardly mobile, social media savvy 25 to 45 year olds, mostly women. Just below them are the 16 to 24 teens and young adults. However, we can no longer say that these two groups represent strictly the high

end market, just like we can no longer say that there is a strong and large middle class. These markets are also characterized by their continued pervasiveness of online retail. It has been predicted that upwards of 30 percent or more of the total retail economy will be transacted online by 2025. Doug Stephens, a retail industry futurist and the founder of Retail Prophet, has said this about the subject, “Our dependence on stores to serve as distribution points for products is rapidly diminishing as digital media, in all forms, becomes remarkably effective at serving our basic shopping and distribution needs which, until recently, could only be fulfilled by physical stores. Now, just about anything we buy can be on our doorstep in a matter of days, if not hours, via a myriad of online shopping options.” There is a reason that stores such as Eaton’s could not survive, why stores such as Sears and Macy’s are struggling mightily. Their financial models for retail revenue and profit haven’t changed significantly since they opened. Their physical stores don’t look appealing to a

consumer who has a growing myriad of social media options through which to buy those very same products. It was inevitable that at some point at least some retailers came to the realization that a new model was needed; one better suited to the fragmented market they find themselves in. This does not, however, mean an end to physical retail stores but rather a repurposing. Simons, Holt Renfrew, and Nordstrom have understood what that means: to become a sort of experiential retailer who will use their physical stores to perfect the consumer experience across complimentary groupings of products, as opposed to separate departments. All these stores employ a type of “product ambassadors” (some are called “concierges” or “hosts”) to deliver something so memorable that it leaves a lasting imprint on the shopper. We go back to Doug Stephens.

That is why the successful retailer of the 21st century will replace skids of products and rows of shelving with more galleryesque store designs and artful merchandising, allowing space for in-store media and interactivity between people and product. The result will be stores that become “an immersive and experiential advertisement” for the products they display. The most successful of these retailers will build their revenue model around delivering a live in-store experience around their products. It will come down to store chains like Simons, Holt Renfrew, and Nordstrom having an astute understanding of the profile and behavior of the customers that walk into their spaces. These will be the retailers that will truly succeed in the backdrop of the digital age.

“Given their innately live, sensorial and experiential quality, physical stores have the potential to become powerful media points from which retailers can articulate their brand story, excite consumers about products and then funnel their purchase to any number of channels, devices and distributors. In fact, as I’ve often argued, the physical store has the potential to be the most powerful and effective form of media available to a brand because it offers an experience.” WINTER EDITION 2017 SMJ Magazine










HER io Bl Jou ac r k H ney ist TO T or y S HE Pr oc e iet side y nc


The Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) is a non-profit registered Canadian charity, dedicated to the study,

preservation and promotion of Black

History and heritage. TheSociety aims to foster public interest and encourage

Nik ki C of lark On tar e:

the interest of Black History. I had the privilege of attending a sold out Ontario Black History Society annual brunch, Sunday, January 29th, 2017 and was fortunate to catch up with the very busy Nikki Clarke, who is the



President of the OBHS.

Who is Nikki Clarke? Nikki is originally from the beautiful island of Jamaica, West Indies. She immigrated to Montreal, Quebec as at a young age with her parents. She is bilingual and currently resides in Toronto. I first met Nikki many years ago but in a different role, as a TV interviewer hosting her own talk show, The Nikki Clarke Network. This Sunday in January she is wearing a different hat. I wanted to find out more about her role and the type of work the organization provides .

SMJ: What is your role at the OBHS and what is your mandate? Nikki Clarke: First of all, I was honored to be elected as president on November 9th, 2015. Since then it has been a very busy and rewarding time for me personally. Our mandate here at OBHS is to preserve, protect and promote black history, in Ontario and regions of Canada. During the transition, there were a lot of amazing things that we implemented. We hit the ground running. We want our youths to carry on our legacy and to provide inclusive opportunities for French and Spanish black people. We are dedicated to the month of February first of all because of the Black History designation, which pays homage to the achievements of our leaders past and present in the community. However, we want black history celebrated every month of the year. We want to make our presence felt all 365 days of the year, so this fundraiser today at our 29th annual black history brunch is for all the activities we will be trying to do throughout the year. SMJ: So how did you find out about this position? Did they seek you out, or did you seek them out? Nikki Clarke: I have been involved with the organization for a number of years. I stepped in as a volunteer for one of their events. I became a member, and then 5 years later, there was an opening for the position of president. I prayed about it and searched within my heart to see if this was something that I could fulfill, because these were big shoes to fill. I was elected in November 2015. I am so thankful for the faith people have in me. I am really proud of the really big strides we have made. SMJ: So how do you feel as a TV host diving into this position? Does this new role help to enhance your career? Nikki Clarke: I think this position is another platform that would help people connect with each other. My television show is about making authentic connections, and to reach people who are trying to make a difference. That’s really what it is all about. After serving just over one year as president of OBHS, I along with the board of directors feel we have made great strides. SMJ: I myself did not know much about the OBHS. If people want to find out more about the society, or to get involved by volunteering etc., how can they do that? Nikki Clarke: One of our long term goals is to provide an internet application where people can go and download trivia and important facts about black history.

To reach Nikki Clarke you can contact her via email Or visit website; The Nikki Clarke TV network was launched October 2012,merging entertainment and inspirational stories to inform and transform. You can contact her at: WINTER EDITION 2017 SMJ Magazine


AN OVERVIEW OF THE OBHS KICK-OFF BRUNCH By Andrew Terry Pasieka The Ontario Black History Society hosted its 29th annual Kick-Off Brunch at the Metro Convention Centre last January 29th. A veritable who’s who of celebrities and politicians from all three levels of government in the Greater Toronto Area were in attendance. There was a flurry of activity in the Lower Level leading up to the 1pm meal time as attendees and honorees hob-knobbed with organizers and a dozen or so vendors that had booths outside Constitution Hall. Inside, the festivities were co-hosted CITY TV News anchor Tammie Sutherland and author/pop artist Abel Maxwell. OBHS President Nikki Clarke addressed the audience a year after her election to the post, and spoke of the great strides the organization has made over the past twelve months. She was especially pleased to have launched the Dirigeants de Demain conference which is the French extension of the Leaders of Tomorrow. Among the award winners for 2017 were Bryan and Shannon Prince, the Harriet Tubman Award for Commitment to Purpose, named after a conductor of the Underground Railroad, for their unceasing publicizing and storytelling of this critical ticket to freedom for generations of slaves. Other winners included Dwight Drummond of CBC News Toronto, the Mathieu DaCosta Award as Facilitator and Communicator; Lawrence Hill, noted author and son of OBHS co-founders Dr. Daniel and Donna Hill, the Anderson Abbott Award for High Achievement; Olympic medal winner Andre De Grasse, the



Olivier Le Jeune Trailblazing Award; youth motivational speaker Spider Jones, the Rose Fortune Strength of Character & Firm Resolve Award. The final award, named after co-founder Dr. Daniel G. Hill, for Community Service, was given to the Hon. Celina CaesarChavannes, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, who also gave the keynote address. She mentioned Canada’s celebration this year for 150 years of history. She also gave us cause to reflect not just during the month of February, but throughout the year, on a proud and peaceful history, and one which embraces and re-affirms the long-held belief that our country is stronger because of, and not in spite of, our diversity. Although the OBHS was founded in 1978 and initiated its first formal Black History Month in Toronto in 1979, it would take until 1993 for the first Black History Month to be formally recognized in Ontario, and until 1996 when the Society spearheaded the first federal declaration of Black History Month throughout Canada. These are long overdue markers on the equality and inclusiveness road, but ones that have been firmly entrenched for over twenty years now, and which confirm our country’s leadership role in racial and religious tolerance.






is your

By Dr. Lisa Ramsackal

Bring on 2017; it’s time to let go of 2016! Each New Year feels like a clean slate has been given us. So it’s time to begin our strategies for a successful healthy 2017! You may have been a bit indulgent enjoying all those holiday dinners, parties and social gatherings. As a result, a good New Year’s resolution is to improve our diet. Even though we have good intentions, diet changes can be hard, especially when we make big changes abruptly. So how do you make impactful changes that can be sustained as a regular lifestyle change rather than a New Year’s resolution that is doomed to fail by the end of the first month? Start with knowing what to look for in the foods you buy. Hidden sugars have the same impact on your health as those sugary snacks we treat ourselves to. Sugar reduction not only helps with controlling weight, but sugar can be linked to many common health conditions such as tooth decay, obesity, nutrient deficiencies, hypoglycemia, diabetes and more. All reasons why you might want to consider assessing your intake. Dr. Lisa Ramsackal Sugar is found in almostByeverything we eat like spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, crackers, breads, canned soups and vegetables. So even if you don’t have a raging sweet tooth you may be eating more sugar than you think. Here are a few tips to help you minimize your dietary sugar intake.

Avoid foods with sugar or sweeteners listed as one of the first ingredients. Ingredients are listed on packaged foods by weight in decreasing order. Choose foods with sugars and sweeteners listed toward the end of ingredients to help minimize unwanted sugar intake. Beware of the hidden sugars. There are many different names for sweeteners including high fructose corn syrup, fructose, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, barley malt, dextrose, glucose, molasses, sorbitol and evaporated cane juice. Some of these sugars may sound natural however at the end of the day they do all add up to contribute to overall sugar intake. Choose lower glycemic index natural sweeteners that don’t cause a spike in blood sugar, such as fruit or fruit juice, stevia, agave nectar, or date sugar. Limit the use of artificial sweeteners, which

Sugar is found in almost everything we eat like spaghetti sauce!

can disrupt the body’s ability to gauge calories and lead to overeating or encourage our taste buds to desire sweeter foods. Finally, try eating dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Dark chocolate has a higher cocoa content and lower sugar content. It is also a great source of antioxidants, good fatty acids, and can satisfy that sweet tooth quicker than milk chocolate. Removing or minimizing your intake of sugar can lead to improved energy, decreased joint or muscle pain and more. If you think your diet is impacting your health speak to a qualified professional such as you family doctor or chiropractor who can help you get on track to better health.

Dr. Lisa Ramsackal /H.BSc., D.C., R.Ac. Chiropractor & Acupuncturist Green Health Clinic, 3-265 Queen St South, Mississauga T: 905-997-4468/M: 647-234-3747 W: E: twitter@DrLisaRamsackal WINTER EDITION 2017 SMJ Magazine


Fundraising with a Cause


Fundraising with a Cause




Motivation, concentration Feel the power of this salvation Striving always to do your best Succeeding at the impossible test Showing ambition When obstacles arise on difficult missions That’s a tremendous decision Doubts, fears, weary, tiredness This is what some may confess As the journey prolongs some think less But stay focused Redeem that attention No need for contemplation Just motivate, stimulate, innervate Stay strong despite the worst of situations Show that intuition Acknowledge that inspiration Unleash that exaltation For it’s your motivation Author of Life’s Poetry|© 2013 Josephine Casey

BOOK LAUNCH DATE: Saturday April 29, 2017 For more information: Website - Instagram - Afriyie.akwasi Email -



Insights on DEVELOPING Your BUSINESS in 2017 By Victoria A. Morgan

So it’s a new year and hopefully your business has made it through. But how did it level up? Did you struggle with managing daily tasks? How about gaining new customers and clients? Or did you lose focus and momentum? Whatever your answer is, or whatever you struggled with in your business; here are some insights on how to take your business to the next level in 2017. DELEGATING The first thing is to realize you cannot do and be everything. If you want your business to grow and be successful, then you must learn to delegate. For instance, if you are not skilled in accounting then it is better to hire an accountant to assist you than wasting valuable time that you could spend on gaining new clients. Speak with other business colleagues and ask them to provide references or you can also use sources such as Fiverr (https://www.fiverr. com ), where you are able to find quality work without being too costly. NETWORKING Yes, I said it! Networking. I know networking was something I had to get used to. It was not easy for me. However, after attending various events I can now say I have mastered the trick in making



a networking event productive, which is making sure you understand your business and can say what your business is about in one sentence. You must know who you are, what you do, and who your market is. For example, when I go to a networking event my line is, “Hi! My name is Victoria, I am the owner of Finistra Canada. I help professionals and small businesses develop strategies for success.” In one sentence, I’m able to state who, what, and how I provide value. Find what phrase works for you. STRATEGIZING I can’t stress this enough. You have to have a good plan for your business and you must be able to communicate that plan effectively. You must understand who your customer is and who isn’t. Know your competition and understand the markets that you serve. In this way you can provide more value to your customer than your competitors. Once you have developed your business strategy you will need to communicate this to your team so everyone will be on the same level. For instance, if you are providing a staffing service, you may want to carve out a niche instead of serving everyone in Canada. Instead, focus on Ontario or even the Greater Toronto Area and a Business Sector like IT. In this example, you will be able to give your clients more value than if your market was too broad. CREATING THE BEST TEAM Finally, you want to ensure you have the best team to be able to achieve your strategy. Your team should be committed and possess the combination of skills required to make the company successful. Invest in your team so you will be in a better position to compete with other businesses. Encourage and develop your team daily. Being successful in business requires you to lead. You have to have a good team that is committed and receptive to great leadership. In the final analysis, to build a great company or be a successful entrepreneur, you have to build a strong foundation using the above headings. Victoria A. Morgan is an author and CEO of Finistra Canada Inc.


You have this fabulous idea to start a business, and you go for it! But then the reality sinks in that running a business is so much more than just selling your product and service. There’s HR and Marketing and IT and the worst of them all…ugh...accounting! As an accountant, I see small business owners making a few critical mistakes all the time. And as a result they either pay too much in taxes, do not have money to pay themselves, or worst of all - go out of business. Unfortunately accounting is as important as any other aspect of running a business, and it has a direct financial impact to your business! Following are four top mistakes made by small business owners. NOT HAVING A BUDGET You obviously do not start a business thinking it will fail, but in the beginning there WILL be more expenses than income. Until your brand and client list grows your budget is extremely important to sustain you. There will be tough calls to make; however, without a clear budget, you won’t know how to spread out your expenses.

CPP & EI when in reality they are employees and subject to payroll deductions. There are a few factors to consider when making this difference but a big red flag is control – who controls their work and schedule? A legitimate contractor likely will not be reporting to someone else who is controlling and reviewing their work. NOT HAVING AN ACCURATE PICTURE OF PERSONAL CONTRIBUTIONS

NOT KEEPING UP-TO-DATE RECORDS A budget is fine as a guide but how do you know if you are sticking to it if you only do your bookkeeping once a year for tax time? Monthly is ideal, but at a minimum do your bookkeeping quarterly to track progress and adjust your path accordingly. Doing your bookkeeping ONLY at tax time means it is often too late to make any informed decisions and take corrective action.

If you ask most entrepreneurs how much money have they put into their business the answer is usually “a lot”…but when you ask them to give you a number they cannot quantify it. This can have significant tax impacts when both taking money out of the business to pay yourself and when you are looking to sell the business. “Behind Every Great Business is a Great Accountant”

IF THEY WALK, TALK AND LOOK LIKE AN EMPLOYEE… THEY ARE AN EMPLOYEE Employee vs contractor is a huge area of audit with the CRA. Many employers will classify workers as contractors to avoid paying into

For more information on how to keep your business tax efficient, or to get a consultation on whether you are making all the right tax choices for your business, contact Dharna CPA. www.



TRUTH SYMPOSIUM: DEALING WITH DEPRESSION By Shelley Jarrett and Andrew Terry Pasieka

Truth. People look for it, need it, want it. Those of us who have spent a significant time on this Earth know how hard it is get, and sometimes for all of us, how hard it is to give. So when an organization has the name ‘Truth’ in it, the skeptic in us rises up. We almost want to quote Pontius Pilate when he asked Jesus the question of questions: “What is truth?” If you asked Nadine Miller and Cheryl-Ann Philip however, chances are they would have an answer at the ready. Truth is part of the title of a special event which is something SMJ Magazine could not turn our back on.



In 2014, 2015, and 2016, SMJ Magazine did a five-part series on mental illness which culminated with an intimate interview with Margaret Trudeau, and a headline story with Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who wants to develop a National Brain Strategy (see Issue No. 12, Spring 2016). Truth and Depression almost never get mentioned in the same sentence. We had to talk with the organizers whose goal is to make it part of the same conversation. Our pre-Symposium interview was conducted with Ms. Philip, who along with Ms. Miller are part of Naked Truth Gospel, a notfor-profit organization founded in 2013 dedicated to promoting healthy thinking and lifestyles.

As this important event almost passed SMJ by, we wanted to speak for people who may not be able to attend the conference or find out about it too late how can they get information on coping with depression? Ms. Philip says that they have connected with the Canadian Mental Health Association (Dufferin-Peel Branch) who has made available a wide array of literature at www. An individual may also connect directly with them at to receive information. In terms of any information on coping mechanisms for individuals or family members, who may not want

We wanted to know from the outset what this Symposium is about. The event is a forum for individuals to address questions they may have about mental illness. There is an educational component; real life scenarios from the expert coaches followed by a panel Q&A. The panel is made up of an educator from the Canadian Mental Health Association, a clinical psychologist from Mississauga Psychology Centre, a pastor and social worker at Seaton House, a pain management specialist from Korini Pain Management Clinic, and a baby care specialist from Zealous Baby Care Services.

to visit their doctor or tell anyone about their condition, Ms. Philip has this reply. “One of the major barriers to recovery is overcoming the stigma associated with mental illness. So often we trap ourselves in a box and all we can think about is “What will people think?” In today’s world I encourage you to take a bold leap of faith and check out organizations like the Canadian Mental Health Association; they conduct ongoing workshops. Many famous celebrities have suffered from mental illness.” We end on a bit of a sensitive note. Naked Truth Gospel is obviously a Christian based organization. Many times church members perceive depression or mental illness as a demonic attack, and that people should just pray to God to be healed. SMJ wondered what their views were on medication verses prayers to cure depression. Ms. Philip gives us a final word. I believe that when there is a physiological condition is it needful to seek medical help. However, it does not mean that one cannot still pray about the condition. I believe that prayer and medicine can work together as they both play an important role in recovery depending on the nature of the condition.

Together, to break down those iron bars that fence in our brain.

The symposium was launched in 2013. Its purpose is to host programs which are designed to empower and equip people with practical tools through workshops, discussions, multimedia shows and other events to live a fulfilled and purposeful life. The flagship program Truth Conference takes place in September in Niagara Falls. WINTER EDITION 2017 SMJ Magazine


When Work and Love Combine By Akua Hinds



Couples who work together often thrive together. Not everyone has the interest in working with their spouse, but for married couple Christine Reid and Richard Kildare, working together on their writing business has proved to be successful. Reid and Kildare’s business is called The Write of Way Services with clients in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. The pair launched their business in the year 2012 to both capitalize on their clients and their own talents and abilities. Christine Reid explains. “I enjoy writing. I find that it’s one of the methods that I’ve used to express myself and to really enhance and put to life what I have inside of me.” And, Richard as well; he’s a very passionate writer. He enjoys writing musical lyrics and poems, but when I approached him about creating a company where we could provide writing services for a diverse clientele, whether it is eulogies for funerals, or resumes, cover letters, or business proposals, he was definitely on board. He thought it was something that not only would provide us the opportunity to embark on something lucrative, but as well as providing the opportunity for us to really showcase our writing abilities. It’s something that we’re very passionate about, and we have some plans in place for taking The Write of Way Services to another level in 2017.”

“I know for myself that it’s really difficult to find people that have the same work ethic as you. Sometimes a person isn’t putting in one hundred percent, or you want to see that project fulfilled to its completion. Other people just want to put in ten percent or twenty percent. With Richard, I find that he’s very dedicated and he’s very passionate, and he likes to see projects through. And I do enjoy working with him. We’ve written music together, we’ve recorded songs together in the studio. We’ve worked with different people who needed different writing services due to particular clients. Just knowing that he matches my drive and I match his drive, it’s really refreshing working with someone and having a partner who has a very strong work ethic and believes in doing things with integrity.”

Kildare and Reid each have separate businesses in addition to their company. Although they have friends who are married and prefer not to work with their spouses, Kildare and Reid believe in encouraging couples to consider becoming workmates. “Don’t go out and buy the largest franchise. Start with something small. Build a little project and then move up. You don’t have to do a huge gigantic thing. You learn a lot just by just deciding to do a little project,” said Kildare.

Some couples prefer to keep their distance from each other during working hours because they have difficulties blending their personal and professional lives. However, both Reid and Kildare feel that they flourish from working side by side.

You will also learn that you have more than just things in common; you are truly compatible. To find out more about this couple’s business, go to:

“It’s good to know the person that you’re working with. When certain situations come up, you can kind of have an idea as to what the person might be thinking or what they might not be thinking. Or, what might work and what might not work,” said Kildare. One of the benefits that Kildare and Reid derive from working together is relying on their strengths. Reid continues.




A BOOK REVIEW By Andrew Terry Pasieka

The word warrior is defined as a brave or experienced fighter; men and women who are fearless, strong, and skilled in the art of battle. The photos on the back and especially on the front cover of Becoming Warrior congers up images of the television heroine Xena: Warrior Princess. But Belinda Kamshuka Barrocks already has admitted in our previous issue that she emulates Lucy Lawless’ famous cult figure. Kamshuka certainly sounds like a warrior from these two passages early in the book. “…we are not defined by how we fight, but by who we fight for…” “…warriors are made the hardships we face (and) survive…” However, at the beginning of the book she has a one page listing of the traits that identify with ‘becoming warrior.’ Eighty-one of them. Among them are Adored, Blissful, Divine, Joyful, Optimistic, Peaceful, Serene, Tender, Lovable (and Loveable), Quiet Queen. Doesn’t sound like fighting words at all. Obviously there are multifaceted sides to Becoming Warrior. It starts with the dedication to her father, the ultimate protector, to her mother, the prayer warrior, to her husband the rock, and to her four children, her ‘Arrows of Love’. A further clue is found in the woman herself, who has lived through two armed conflicts (Ugandan Bush Wars and Arabian Gulf War), was an exotic dancer, was on the edge of suicide three times, and grew up hating her middle name, Kamshuka. In our interview for the previous issue, we touched on her 34


background, and her comments parallel what she wrote about those times. Bad things happen in order to make us better. Challenges occur to prepare for bigger ones ahead. We have to rise above it all and live the best life we can. Kamshuka’s father was Ugandan, the youngest of 15 siblings and without footwear until age ten, but rose up to win a university scholarship in India. Her mother was Anglo-East Indian, almost dying at birth, but became a model and was crowned a beauty queen. They met in India and moved to Uganda in April 1979 just as Dictator Idi Amin was fleeing the country. In the aftermath, people were arrested without warning at gunpoint, people including school age children were being shot on the street, and terror reigned at night.

Kamshuka remembers that the Bush Wars were reaching a climax and curfews were earlier. The military were killing indiscriminately…

“…my memory takes me back to those three days and three nights I always talk about; when we were barricaded for protection from the bullets by a mattress in a room about 6’ by 9,’ the size of a washroom closet. There were times we had to stay still and pretend we were dead. There were five of us; my father, my brother and I, and my aunt and her son. The three children were all under five years of age. Imagine trying to keep three preschoolers quiet for three days! Father had been an atheist, but had just converted to Christianity. He had his Bible open nearly the entire time, constantly reading Psalm 91—‘The Secret Place of the Lord Most High’— ‘the Lord is my refuge and my fortress’… I remember asking my father what was happening and if we were going to die. We could hear the soldiers talking, laughing, the gun fire, the screams of the women and children…Everyone who lived on our street was killed…they came into our house, shot through the windows, and left…we ventured out on the fourth day and saw the shattered glass, the destroyed buildings, the dead bodies…” She was almost five at the time, and when she asked her father if she was going to die, she recalls that he told her that she would live and would become great. Years later Belinda went back to her village. She stood on that street, looked through that window, and put her hands on the wall of that room. It may not have seemed it at the time, but the strength that makes warriors was being transferred to her from the memories of those walls. As she discussed the book with SMJ, she reveals the warrior that was imparted to her. She tells us that she probably makes no sense to ordinary people, so she is content to stay extraordinary. She also understands that her detractors are reminded of their weaknesses when she shows her strengths. Okay, so Kamshuka has become a warrior. How will she stay one? The book answers that in these three steps, taken from two separate passages. “…write down all the lies you’ve ever believed…” “…write down the names of the people who are feeding the lies and negative mindsets…” “Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly; it’s your Masterpiece.” For more info, go to (images by @capturedbyshani)


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