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SPRING 2014 Issue No.5

ANNIVERSARY EDITION

www.smjmag.com

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16 Years Old And Can’t Miss...

Lifestyle A Different Kind of Island Life Fun...

BUSINESS

Report on the Spirit-Preneur Conference SPRING 2014 $4.99 CANADA

SJM

TESSANNE @ The CHIN Sony Centre

Journey

To A Voice


contents Image

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6.....From The Desk of Shelley 10....16 Years Old & Can’t Miss

Lifestyle

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13.....Queen of Afro Punk 16.....A Different Kind of Island Life Fun 27.....Moving Towards Getting Fit & Staying Fit

BUSINESS

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7.....A Report on Spirit-Preneur 28.....Three Faces of Radio 32.....Taking Event Planning To A Whole New Level 34.....The Woman Behind Canadian Small Business Women 36.....‘Tis The Season

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feature: 20

20.....Tessanne Chin: At The Sony Centre 24.....Tessanne Chin: Journey To A Voice

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Our Fleet

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Corporate Services, Weddings/Proms, Special Events

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image lifestyle business image lif Image. Lifestyle. Business

SPRING 2014 Issue No.5

ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Founder & Publisher Shelley Jarrett Editor-in-Chief Andrew Terry Pasieka

www.smjmag.com

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Creative Director Layout/Design Sheri L. Lake

16 Years Old And Can’t Miss...

Lifestyle BUSINESS

Report on the Spirit-Preneur Conference SPRING 2014 $4.99 CANADA

SJM

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A Different Kind of Island Life Fun...

TESSANNE @ The CHIN SONY CENTRE

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Journey

To A Voice

Web Manager Reuben R. Thiru Photographer Lubin Tasevski Staff Reporters Caroline Dinnall Contributors Shelley Jarrett Andrew Terry Pasieka Caroline Dinnall Therese Chambers Mark Steele Omar Morrison (photos)

FRONT COVER Photo by Lubin Tasevski Artwork by Sheri Lake Disclaimer: All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without the written permission from the publisher. We make concious efforts to ensure complete and accuracy in all editorial content, however we accept no liability for any inaccurate information. We do not necessarily support any products or service advertised herein. SMJ Magazine is published digitally with limited print editions three (3)times a year. To advertise in our publication, be featured, or for more infomation, please contact us at publisher@smjmag.com or visit www.sjmmag.com. For editorial contact at atp11th@gmail.com

The SMJ Team is G rowing!!

Publicity LIM Media Group Inc. Website www.sjimagecreations.com www.smjmag.com Contact publisher@smjmag.com SMJ Magazine is a division of Seventh House Publishing Arts. c 2013 Spring 2014 Anniversary Issue / No. 5

Sheri Lake

Sheri Lake is the talent behind “I Dezign Insideout”~ a Creative Consulting Boutique (www.idio.ca). Known for her elegant approach to design, Sheri has cultivated a reputation for delivering tasteful, clean visual solutions for her clients, as well as personal and reliable service that they can count on. “I am thrilled to be working with Shelley and the team at SMJ Magazine...and especially excited that my entrance to the SMJ family coincides with their one year anniversary.”

Reuben Thiru My name is Reuben R. Thiru. I’m owner/operator at #WebRangeSolutions. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Shelley Jarrett for her support. We’re a company that deals with your day to day demands when it comes to marketing of your business through power of WEB, GRAPHIC and PRINT solutions.We are a mobile company; we travel anywhere in Ontario, Canada. We are six member team who believe in helping and growing local businesses.

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SMJ MAGAZINE

From The Desk of

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Shelley

Our anniversary issue is here. We made it. What an exciting time! How did we do it? Focus, great team work, honesty, integrity and most importantly, publishing those ‘good news,’ inspiring stories. It is my love for sharing information and inspiring others that has kept things moving. SMJ Magazine has grown. Not only in the number of pages with each succeeding issue, but in our staff. We have added a few new faces and have dug deeper into the digital world of publishing with our new website (www.smjmag.com). I am inspired by the community entrepreneurs we are featuring in this issue, both near and far. I feel very privileged to bring you their stories. In previous issues of SMJ Magazine, we broke into the international sphere of fashion & design, by bringing you the work of Malene Grotrain and Sunil Ramchandani in our Fall Issue and John Ablaza in our Special Edition this past January. In this issue we are doing the same in the arts & entertainment industry. We are featuring two women who are both international stars in their own rite. Lunden De’Leon is a multifaceted woman, who owns her own record label and her own film studio and also spends time on stage and in front of the camera. And Tessanne Chin, well, what else can you say except ‘the most recognized face in the history of THE VOICE!!!’

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In all this, the direction of SMJ Magazine will remain consistent as we begin our second year. Our goal for the coming years is to expand our readership and followers, incorporate new partnerships , introduce new brands and stay current. As I have said in this space before, I want to encourage you to follow your dreams and creative abilities. Allow things to happen naturally. Do not spend time doing what your friends do or what you see others are doing simply because they are doing it. Try to find out what things you are good at and invest in your skills. It is information that will establish you. Remain focused, humble and seek out good mentors. Don’t ever lose track of where you are coming from or where you are going. My challenge every day is to be the best person I can be as a woman, a mother and a spouse. Becoming a businesswoman is a process; I live and breathe business. I look for opportunities as they present themselves, and sometimes opportunities look for me. My goal is to stand out from the crowd, take the harsh criticism and create change.

I feel the pressure daily, but I know where my strength comes from. I thank God for the anointing that has been placed on my life, for what He is doing in my life, and how He is using me to help others by creating opportunities and giving back in a positive way. I live in everything that God has blessed me with. Our sincere love and gratitude goes out to those people that support and believe in what we are doing. Thanks to all our readers and followers in the different social media platforms and elsewhere. Please enjoy these pages and let us know your thoughts and positive comments. Its about voice not choice. My vision will allow me to change my name. To reach me, email publisher@ SMJmag.com

Shelley


SMJ MAGAZINE

A REPORT ON

MY FIRST ANNUAL WOMEN’S CONFERENCE

Networking

Women’s Conference

By Shelley Jarrett

entrepreneurs have an intimate We are all born to be winners. We connection with their ‘flesh being.’ come with special gifts and talents. By However, to be a SPIRIT-PRENEUR, recognizing what they are and using our spiritual being is superimposed them to our utmost, we can fulfill our purpose here on earth. Tapping into the essence of who we are We wanted the conference to as individuals will allow us that emphasize that if we strive ultimate satisfaction.

to live as SPIRIT-PRENEURS,

My first ever SPIRIT-PRENEUR we can find true joy and live Networking Women’s Conference fulfilled lives that successful gave me that satisfaction of seeing a podium full of winners entrepreneurs only enjoy to a being well received by an limited extent. Our speakers enthusiastic group of “wannabe captured that essence. winning attendees.” It was a day filled with information and transformation. Lives were changed through networking and connecting with others business owners. Each speaker brought their own unique style and expertise to the table, as they helped define the connection from entrepreneur to SPIRIT-PRENEUR, or showed how their lives emulated growth from the former to the latter. The definition of the two terms helped to formulate the parameters of the conference. An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages their own business, assuming the risks for the sake of the profit. The most successful

over our flesh being and any risks are assumed by the prophet Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. By doing this we are aligning our two beings to live in harmony. Dr. Olufemi Adegun from The Centre Of Entrepreneurial Leadership set the stage by discussing the foundation that is entrepreneurship. He talked about starting your own business and setting realistic goals. The other speakers went from there and took the audience into the realm of SPIRIT-PRENEUR. Pastor Marcia Keane-Dawes introduced the topic of our spiritual side and how we should utilize our gifts and talents to fulfill our purpose here on earth. Jamie Pritchard from TD Canada Trust was compelling with his insights about women and entrepreneurship. Because of his business background he fully understood the role women entrepreneurs play in the business community. Rev. Nicole Salmon painted a picture of her life as a single mother in a dynamic speech, and how she has succeeded working both in the main stream community and in the church.

Guest Speaker Author Sandra Ward-Cooper.

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All Photos by: Omar Morrison

And last but not least was Sandra Ward-Cooper, an author who had us at the edge of our seats, with her story of love, survival, triumph, and overcoming. For me, I was moved by all the speakers. As for the conference as a whole, it was a dream come true. Cross Point Christian Reformed Church was an ideal setting for this event. The audience were engaged and even stayed behind to get more information from each speaker. Members of the audience were also lining up for prayers from the pastors. What’s next for this conference? My goal is to hold SPIRIT-PRENEUR on an annual basis, with a larger roster of speakers and a wider range of vendors among small business owners. Of course we trust our audiences will be even bigger and it will be a fulfilling experience for them, not only for the women who are the primary focus for the networking, but for the men who choose to come as well.

Testimonies

I was a vendor at the Spirit- Preneur event by Shelley Jarrett today! Such an awesome event...I learned so much from the various speakers...in a nut shell it was about putting God first, entrepreneurship, as well as finding & living out your passion...I may have primarily went there to sell, but the clarity, inspiration and motivation I left with is priceless. ~ Lishau Naturals

Spirit-Preneur with Shelley Jarrett was a fun filled, inspiring, motivational women’s networking event. This event is a must attend next year. You would leave feeling like you can acheive anything if you just believe in yourself and put your plan into action. This event was well organized with some amazing women speakers, great vendors with amazing products & people Shelley Jarrett thank you for the invitation. I forgot to mention lunch was included. ~Pauline Martin

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SMJ MAGAZINE

www.smjmag.com

PRE-REGISTER FOR Hosted by: Shelley Jarrett

Networking

2015

Women’s

CONFERENCE Register at : www. Shelux@hotmail.com

or call 416-839-2792 The definition of entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages their own business, assuming the risk for the sake of the profit. We become ‘SPIRIT-PRENEURS’ by superimposing our spirit beings over our flesh beings, allowing the risk to be assumed by THE prophet, Jesus Christ. By doing this, we are aligning our two beings to live in harmony.

This conference will ignite your passion and encourage you to take the steps to become a SPIRIT-PRENEUR!

SMJ Magazine is a division of Seventh House Publishing Arts. For publishiing or advertisting opportunities contact Andrew Terry Pasieka 647.221.0027 atp11th@gmail.com Shelley Jarrett is an award winning image/style consultant & Publisher of SMJ Magazine

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SMJ MAGAZINE

For the Onwumere family, baseball was just a backyard past time to stay active in the spring and summer. However, in just a few years, John and Barbara Onwumere were catapulted into the life of all-star leagues and out-of-town tournaments, as a testament to the outstanding abilities shown by all three sons of this family. If that wasn’t enough, their youngest son, sixteen-year-old Mark Onwumere, has reached the ultimate designation: can’t miss prospect for the major leagues.

the backyard so I usually followed them,” he said.

Mark’s interest in baseball started from a young age. At three-monthsold, his parents brought him to his older brothers’ games. “We always told them that they had to be doing something during the summer or winter that kept them busy and occupied, and they chose baseball,” said Barbara. When the summer season ended, the Onwumere boys joined basketball leagues for the winter.

SIXTEEN YEARS OLD AND

His love and knowledge for the sport grew rapidly. He has played more than one position, but “I especially enjoy pitching because of the little game within the game between the pitcher and the batter.”

Mark’s baseball career took an upward trajectory over the last seven seasons. He has played on teams what In some cases, training for sports scouts term “up;” that all year round might be considered is, where all of his team a dream come true. For Mark, it was mates have been older. In By Caroline Dinnall more of a punishment. His father 2007, when Mark was nine John observed, “I found that I had years old, he played for to push Mark to train more than his Etobicoke Titans. This was older brothers.” the first team that he was able to officially play “up” Over time Mark found that the ritual of practicing the game on. 1n 2008, the Titans changed their name to Etobicoke grew into an exciting routine after watching his older brothers Rangers, and their season and Mark’s improved. play in the backyard each night. “Being in the house by yourself usually isn’t as fun when your brothers are out in In 2009, the Rangers won their first OBA (Ontario Baseball Association) championship. This was also the year that Mark won his first MVP(Most Valuable Player) award. The Etobicoke Rangers won OBA championship the next two years, with Mark repeating as MVP. In 2011, the second of those two seasons, Mark was selected to play on Toronto’s All-Star team that played at the CNE. Mark hit two monster home runs over the Medieval Times building, and was named MVP of the game.

CAN’T MISS

The year 2012 brought Mark new challenges. He was elevated to the next level, playing with the North York Blues. No problem. He won his fourth team OBA, along with yet another MVP. Last year Mark went on to win his 5th consecutive OBA championship with the North York Blues. A former coach remarked, “It seems that everywhere you go the OBA follows you”.

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Mark’s team cleared an additional hurdle in 2013. They also were victorious in the National Finals. Mark pitched the last inning to close the victory for his team. Although his experiences recently have approached perfection, Mark says this incredible run has taught him a lot about discipline and how to properly deal with things when they do not always go his way. “I’ve learned to accept failure. When I was younger I never did, but now I understand that it could happen anytime and it’s up to me to use it and shape my character,” said Mark. And once he came to terms with accepting the fact that perfect games are rare, his character has followed the upward climb of his skill. This year, the “Can’t Miss Big-Time Pitcher” is training at Competitive Edge in Ajax, owned by Nigel Wilson, a Toronto Blue Jays Alumni. It’s quite the excursion for a family that lives in Etobicoke, but his parents say it’s worth the travel time and energy. “Every parent wants to see their child excel and as parents we try to do everything to make sure that is possible. It’s hard at times; we seldom have dinner on time and together, since we have to be on the road straight from work,” said Barbara.

His parents are anxious to see how far his “God-given talents” will take him. “We will probably have a second Canadian in two years that will be going number one in the NBA (professional basketball) draft,” says John. “It could be that Mark is the first Canadian to go number one in the Major League draft”. With a whole lot of life and decisions ahead of him, Mark is keeping his career options open. “Baseball is certainly something that I could see myself doing, but I’m not a hundred per cent sure yet. Either way, I would always want baseball to be a part of my life, whether it’s professional, or just playing for the fun of it.” According to anyone in baseball circles who know, Mark Onwumere will be having fun AND playing professional for a good long while. It will be up to his continued character development to see how high that natural talent will take him.

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Shelley Jarrett

Award winning Image/Style Consultant, Mentor, Speaker & Publisher

416-839-2792

w

www.sjimagecreations.com www.youtube.com/user/SMJMagazine pinterest.com/shellyspix/ twitter.com/SJImageCreation www.linkedin.com/in/sjimagecreations www.facebook.com/SJImageCreations

For Bookings Contact: LIM MEDIA GROUP INC. 905-858-8851 JUNE 2014 ANNIVERSARY ISSUE


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Lunden got her start in music, and the roots were in her family. She got her love of music from her dad and knew she wanted to be a musician from the first time she saw him on stage. Her dad was a gospel singer; Lunden is a punk singer. Isn’t one far removed from the other? Has she explored her family musical roots and delved into gospel a bit? “Absolutely! I grew up on gospel therefore it’s in my blood and will always be dear to my heart. I am a punk rock artist, but there is a little bit of gospel in punk rock. Check out some songs by the Dead Kennedys and you will recognize the genre. Funny enough, even though I don’t sing it, I have written a number of gospel and r&b songs.”

LUNDEN DE’LEON:

of

“QUEEN AFRO PUNK” By Andrew Terry Pasieka

Lunden De’Leon is a striking, dual-sided woman. She is a singer-songwriter-record label owner. Lunden is also an actress-producer-studio owner. A known music mogul developing a fascination for film. And she is doing it on both sides of the continental United States, but not where you would think. The music is in California; the movies are in Carolina. South Carolina. 13

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She was the typical ‘starving musician,’ and even took it one step farther, being homeless as well. When she was asked what helped her get through this period, and how long it lasted, Lunden holds nothing back. “My faith in God is what helped me get through it. I knew things could only get better. I was homeless for about three weeks before moving into a homeless shelter near downtown Los Angeles. I lived there for about two months.” Faith may not seem like an essential ingredient of punk rock, but it is to this punk rocker. She had a favorite saying in her formative days, that she was determined her‘stumbling blocks would become stepping stones.’ Sounds like a strong faith based statement. SMJ wanted to know if that was true? She was quick to reply in the affirmative. “I went through so much while in Hollywood and that comment is what gave me the strength to keep going.” It wasn’t any one story but the Hollywood mentality that reared its ugly head. It was the example of straddling that fine line that encompasses both Christian principles and secular goals. Lunden says matter-of-factly: “I’ve been in situations where people in JUNE 2014 ANNIVERSARY ISSUE

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Lunden says matter-of-factly: “I’ve been in situations where people in the industry (male and female) offer to help me if I slept with them. I knew God would open doors for me without me taking that route or ‘selling myself’. The entertainment industry is a very tough industry and you have to stay ‘prayed up’so you don’t get lost to the system.” The obstacles that Lunden faced as an aspiring punk rock artist were only exacerbated when she decided to form her own punk rock record label. She formed Dirrty Records by doing it all; business plan, private investors, marketing, publishing, etc. Every task was equally difficult, but one stood out from the rest. “It was tough finding investors. A number of people in the music industry did not believe that a black woman could start and run a punk label. Most people felt that I should have gone into Hip Hop or R&B. Therefore, finding investors who believed in me and my vision was really tough.” The ‘defining moment’ that got the investors to view her differently was her passion, and her determination not to give up on her dream. Her dream became her greatest accomplishment: becoming the first black woman to own a punk rock record label. She is a rare bird. When we asked how many women, black or otherwise,

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are the sole owners of any rock label, she proudly responded, “None that I know of. I’m very blessed.” In the eleven years since she launched Dirrty Records, there have been many releases from several artists all around the world. Lunden said it is very hard to put an exact number on each “Running a punk indie label is completely different from the majors. Everything is DIY (do it yourself). Most of our releases are aimed at a small devoted audience not relying on mass sales for success. We’ve released a number of singles, songs only for publishing and etc. We have to think outside the box. With that said, to give an exact number of releases would be almost impossible.” One release she can talk about was a dance song from 2009. “Turn It Up,” wound up in the Top Ten for most downloaded songs of the year in its genre. She shakes her head when asked how it became so successful. “I did that song as a joke in my studio with my engineer. It was a fun dance tune that people enjoyed.” Sounds like an original song born out of an ad lib/jam session, and very atypical of the way that Lunden writes. She quickly responds, “Very correct on both counts!” She goes on to say that writing is very important to her. It is also evident that this is the one area of her career where her daddy’s influence is most felt. Her approach to song writing is fairly simple and a throwback to him. “I write what I feel. I stay true to the art.” At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you are remembered for. With that being said, what congers up in Lunden De’Leon’s mind when she hears the phrase,

“the queen of Afro punk?” “That phrase reminds me that all the hard work and sacrifice over the years was well worth it. It’s truly an honor.” We cannot finish this interview without asking Lunden about her extensive film and TV credits. She was on the hit TV series “Vital Signs,” playing the character Joanne Mbutu. She starred in a movie opposite Jennifer Aniston. She formed Palmetto Film Studios five years ago in her home state of South Carolina. Is this where she thinks her future lies? How are she reconciling the two careers moving forward?

I refuse to limit myself. I don’t take any opportunity for granted. I enjoy acting and I’ve been very fortunate to have starred and co-starred in some amazing productions. I currently have three movies filming this summer, so God is truly opening doors for me. I also have a few bands releasing their albums this summer on my label so I’m very busy and looking forward to a productive 2014.

Is the on stage punker transforming into the on screen actor? A dualsided woman, but Lunden De’Leon is her own woman.


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A Different KIND OF ISLAND LIFE By Therese Chambers

FUN

It’s funny how people view Island life style as laid back, taking things easy, carefree, walking on the beach all day, meeting an island girl or boy, throwing caution to the wind, and running away together into the sunset. All those things can come true for our excited-to-experience-paradise visitors, but for the natives here it is a little different. You would think island life is all fun in the sun huh? Well let’s see, I grew up in a home where I had four siblings, of which I was the eldest. From we reached age eight we have list of chores to do around the house, and that list grew with each passing year. We would however get the time to do fun stuff. One of my many recollections was to stone mangoes off trees. This was really a skill, as you had to pick a stone that you could handle but heavy enough to hit the mango in the tree so it would fall. This skill, of course, had several degrees of success, as the stone could fall back down to you without the mango and may or may not hit you in your head, or it could come down with the mango and you then have to decide if you were going to run for cover and allow your mango to hit the ground or face the music and risk getting hit by the stone while saving your mango, or we could miss our mark all together and the stone could fly past the mango, leaving the mango staring back at you, laughing no doubt. I’m feeling nostalgic just thinking about it. Some of our proudest moments was suffering the hit and getting our prize mango in the process. Playing dolly house was fun for us too. Our version was that we were the dollies and we all had a chance to play parent, leaving the rest of us to act like the kids. We would order and boss each other round in our role as parent and the others as kids would actually obey. Pity we weren’t actually like that all the time in real life, but it was amusing how it worked in a game.

was a sturdy tree. Do I have to even say what happened? Yep, it gave way and we all fell. We couldn’t walk straight for about a week but we were laughing like crazy when we all went down. Our life was such, that when we saw something we liked but didn’t have, we made it for ourselves. We made our own kites, push carts, toys such as stick men, stick women and even stick kids. Yes, that’s right, “stick”, as in small branches off a tree. This one time we tried making a bicycle for ourselves, after finally getting tired of asking our parents for it at Christmas time and getting a resounding “no, we can’t afford it.” Let me state from now, it was a bad idea.....a real bad idea. Who makes a bicycle from tree branches, nails them together, and then uses wire to wrap pieces together when the nails ran out? Crazy people I tell you, and so we were. Down the hill we decided to test it with not one of us but two of us on this contraption, while the other two pushed it off. When that catastrophe broke apart under us, I thought we were goners, like we were going to die or something. We crashed to the ground and rolled down the hill a bit, while our brother and sister screamed and ran to help us up. We sure didn’t try making anything for a good while after that. Looking back on growing up in sweet Jamaica, I realise life was what we made of it. We were truly a happy lot. You would be surprised the little things that gave us happiness. Yes, island “fun in the sun” is real here. However, it can be very different based on your perspective.

One game our mom simply hated was when we used to use her garden flowers for play food. When we finished, we would throw the flowers in the garbage, not realizing we were giving ourselves away. How she knew flowers were missing from the garden each time was baffling to us!! Another thing we enjoyed was climbing trees. Sitting in a tree, eating a fruit and having a great view was a different kind of mind-blowing. There was this time when it was a sturdy but small tree, and we got it in our heads to all climb and sit in a small but what we thought Chambers family in Jamaica. 16

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OUR MISSION The Network of Black Business and Professional Women (NB2PW) connects, inspires, and supports the development of Black business and professional women, and entrepreneurs; and is committed to challenging members to strive for excellence in our professional, personal, and business endeavours, to increase wealth, and to engage in civic responsibility. OUR VISION Explore creative and innovative strategies to maximize local, national, and international business and professional opportunities. Expand the market share of organizations seeking to serve the full diversity of their customer base. Empower members to achieve their professional, business, and financial goals. Enhance the communities in which we live, work, and play through social responsibility. WHAT WE DO Personal and professional development focused on leveraging members’ knowledge, skills, and expertise through monthly meetings, speakers’ forums, educational products, social media, networking, and mentoring. Encourage community and civic engagement through philanthropic, and internal and external partnerships. Recognize and celebrate each other’s contributions and successes. COME, CONNECT, & BE INSPIRED

The Network of Black Business and Professional Women MISSION P.O. Box 516OURStation B Ottawa The Network of Black Business and Ontario K1P 5P6 Canada Professional Women (NB2PW) connects, info@nb2pw.net www.nb2pw.net inspires, and supports the

WHY HAVEN The group s members. M Ottawa in 20

WHY ANOTH 1. NB2PW 2. NB2PW profess media, 3. Frequen supporti accomp private or their 4. NB2PW support and dir 5. Our stu base of

HOW OFTEN Networking

HOW CAN I 1. From o membe applica fee by c 2. Join a t Marketi Social M Membe Events Treasur Registra Secreta Preside Product Honora

NB2PW is w dedicated v professiona deck = lighte outcomes.

WHY HAVEN The group s members. M Ottawa in 20

development of Black business and professional women, and entrepreneurs; WHY ANOTH and is committed to challenging members at Shelley will be speaking 1. NB2PW to strive for excellence in our the NBBPW Event this September,2. NB2PW professional, personal, and business profess “Women In The Media” endeavours, to increase wealth, and to media, in Ottawa. engage in civic responsibility. 3. Frequen Visit www.nb2pw.net for supporti accomp OUR VISION more information. private Explore creative and innovative strategies or their to maximize local, national, and 4. NB2PW international business and professional support opportunities. and dir


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t Town with All Photos By: Lubin TasevskiImage

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TESSANN

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TESSANNE CHIN:AT THE SONY CENTRE By Andrew Terry Pasieka

When Jamaica’s own Tessanne Chin bounded onto the Sony Centre stage in Toronto on May 17th, the sold out audience of 3000 plus were treated to the seemingly effortless soarings and stylings that won over an entire continent on NBC’s award-winning THE VOICE. Voted by the viewers as the winner of Season Five on the music reality show, Ms. Chin appears to be the real deal. She had the audience won over before the concert was five minutes old, doling out equal parts of the reggae chick, the blues & soul girl, the pop diva, the rocker babe, mixed in with a dash of singer/songwriter (she writes her own material). In between songs she chatted with the audience in a manner that could be described as a combination of easy-going with self-depreciating.

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Arguably the highest profile finalist THE VOICE has ever had, and its most marketable commodity, Tessanne is combining forces with fellow Season Five finalists Jacqui Lee and Will Chamblin for a U.S. tour

Wearing a moderately low-cut pink-patterned animal print top and black leather slacks, Tessanne worked her way effortlessly through a fourteen-song set that topped out at roughly 70 minutes. She took the people back to her B.T.V. career (Before THE VOICE), belting out some of the hits that made her a household name in Jamaica, songs like “My Secret Hideaway.” She invited the throng of new and established fans to join her while she crooned an emotional classic from home, Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” Chin introduced this anthem to tumultuous applause by saying “it has a message for all us Jamaicans that we are a resilient peoples in the face of our many struggles.” She started out sharing with the crowd the periods of loneliness and isolation that all artists face, which turned into a slightly naughty admission of how

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she, as one half of a young married couple, just outright “needs my man” when she gets home. She then playfully called out ‘her man,’ Michael Cuffe, who accompanied her to Toronto, to come out from back stage. When he did not emerge, she broke out into a strong rendition of “The Cure.” She lectured the young people among those in attendance about rising up above elders who tell them they can’t do anything. She wrote the song “Anything is Possible” in response to hearing those criticisms herself, and asked the youths to pay attention to the lyrics because they are a testimony of her life. Along the way, Tessanne reprised several songs from her victorious journey on THE VOICE. The song that encouraged her to try the North American stage; Pink’s “Try,” which was the song she auditioned with and got all four coaches’


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chairs to turn by the first chorus. Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” a threshold song that for Chin contained a message for mothers. A song she said she was at first too terrified to sing because of the singer, which she dedicated to her fans, Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Chin shared the stage with two guests. An entirely white-clad Kardinal Offishall made a reggae cameo appearance late in the set, but it was the first guests that brought the crowd to their feet. To hear her tell it, she first saw this group on the Oprah Winfrey show, but it was a chance personal meeting and a remark from Tessanne that she was going up to Toronto for this show that caused the group to come up to T.O. and join her onstage. Her reaction? “Stop punkin’ me! Don’t play with my heart like that!!” Whether or not it happened just that way we will never know, but it won brownie points with the audience. The group was the Canadian Tenors, they came on as Tessanne’s newest friends, and accompanied by the lady herself, tackled a bare bones acoustical version of “Hallelujah.” The result was both angelic and majestic. The effect in the venue? Electrifying. A definite highlight of the night. Chin came to Toronto in advance of what promises to be an interesting experiment this summer. Arguably the highest profile finalist THE VOICE has ever had, and its most marketable commodity, Tessanne is combining forces with fellow Season Five finalists Jacqui Lee and Will Chamblin for a U.S. tour sponsored by THE VOICE’S highest profile advertiser, Clear Hair Products. The tour will be an opportune time for her to showcase her first North American album, “Count on My Love,” which is dropping on June 24th. She previewed ”Everything Reminds Me Of You,” the first single, which was one of the prizes for winning THE VOICE. As she sang the tune, this writer was ‘reminded of everything’ that is good about reality shows like THE VOICE: the international music industry and the North American public may have not together discovered the phenomenon that is Tessanne Chin!

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TESSANNE CHIN:

JOURNEY to aVOICE By Andrew Terry Pasieka

The following is actually two stories. The first is a fish story. It is about the one that got away. SMJ Magazine had an exclusive front cover interview and photo shoot…well, we thought we had. It kept on getting reaffirmed, but never confirmed. Does it matter the number of times we re-hooked the fish? The second story is from the point of view of the fish. Or shall we say the star? It begins in the pandemonium of a concert night, a night that was to be the successful culmination of SMJ’s efforts on the first story. As this writer stood on a bench watching the crowd surge towards the star and her husband, something more was observed. The watcher saw a young couple, separated by only a few feet, with blank expressions on their faces until the next fan invaded their little space, looking for a photo op and possibly an autograph.

There was an entourage around her; a manager, promoter, security, all valiantly trying to do their job, showing the strain of unfamiliarity with the pressures of fame. Somewhere there is a manual on how to overcome stardom before it overwhelms you, but it was clear that everyone from the star on down were still unfamiliar with the text. That is no indictment on any of them; it is just an acknowledgment of the relative early point they were on their journey. Standing on that perch, understanding where the second story was, was also a realization that would not be admitted until a few days later. This writer would get no closer to the first story. We had come to the end of another journey. A journey to a voice.

“Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” (William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night) William Shakespeare knew how to turn a phrase, but in this particular case, it is open to conjecture. According to the

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Christian viewpoint, everyone is born to greatness or has greatness placed inside their being. Only some properly identify what theirs is and achieve it; the rest of us have greatness or opportunities for greatness thrust upon them at various stages of our lives. We either do not recognize when it comes or don’t know how to deal with it when we do. Take the case of Tessanne Chin. Born into a musical family, singing her first note about the same time she started first grade. As the girl grew into the young adolescent, the words of Alfred Tennyson, English Poet Laureate of the 19th century, became her raison d’etre: “I sing because I must.” In her home of Jamaica, the birthplace of reggae, music initially became a natural outlet, and then a livelihood. Tessanne took it as far as she could go. By the end of 2012, she felt she had scaled all the musical mountains she needed to conquer on the island jewel known as ‘the yard.’ There is a saying in the Jamaican dialect known as patois: “Go mek yuh bread and butta and turn it inna steak.” Encouraged by regge star and fellow Jamaician Shaggy, Tessanne decided to take the great leap of faith and step up to a new stage: America. Crossing a small sea and a large continent, then having one’s life dissected, checked and re-checked, forced to wait in communicative darkness before and after a late night call for an early morning audition. Talk about being ripped away from one’s comfort zone, the comforts of Kingston.

Tessanne had no reservations; she reached all the goals that were available to her in Jamaica. There was nothing to lose. Who was this seasoned performer who bravely entered a new season? One can imagine the words of 20th century author Alfred Noyes coming to life in Ms. Chin: “Down to the valley she came, Far below in the dreaming meadows, Pleaded the Voice of voices, So she arose from her home in the hills, Came down through the blossoms that danced with their shadows, Out of the blue into the dreaming distance.” Tessanne was deemed a winner right from the start. The coach who she chose the night she auditioned for THE VOICE, Adam Levine, predicted she would “win easily.” No pressure. Just the lead singer for the internationally acclaimed group Maroon 5 called her out. She had highs and her lows in the ensuing weeks. A Publisher and an Editor-in-Chief watched the rise and fall like so many other millions across North America and fell in love with her gracious and humble interior and her firecracker exterior. When she emerged victorious, the moment was serendipitous for the SMJ couple. As we watched the celebrations on the TV screen, we instantanially saw a connection with her and something we were working on that was unrelated to the magazine. SMJ’s journey to Tessanne Chin began, modestly enough, with a desire for a lifestyle feature story done as an email Q & A, or if we were lucky enough, a long distance phone interview.

Then, about two months after we put out initial feelers, we found out she would be in Toronto not once but twice in the space of seven weeks this spring. It was not hard to conjure up SMJ front cover story, exclusive interview, and photo shoot. Connecting these dots was the passion of two people who believed they had found their calling in this magazine. Just as Tessanne Chin had found in her precious gift of song. In the middle of March came the emotional moment when we landed the story just as we had dreamed. Over the next two months we lost and regained this plum package more time s than we cared to admit. But there was another factor that was becoming more prevalent. There was an interesting conflict developing between the actual concert and another major event we were committed to on the same day.

When things don’t go your way, the blame game is a very convenient defense to use. In this case, SMJ readers will find elsewhere in this issue a concert review, concert photos, post event photos, and of course, the front cover. Just no exclusive interview. Were we victims of bad timing or beneficiaries of a compromise? Look at the word compromise. It contains the phrase “com,” short for common or communication, and the word “promise.” So it is a promise to be communicative and work towards a common goal. In the final analysis, this writer had to admit that despite its somewhat haphazard nature, there was communication from those surrounding Tessanne Chin, and we had all got something out of the event in the end.

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Standing on a bench that night, watching the meet ‘n greet photo op unfold in its disorganized state, seeing our Publisher and the star embrace and the SMJ photographer snap the camera no more than thirty feet away, it struck the editor how near and yet how far apart we were. A wonderful compromise was being formed, but it was to be no more than that.

... a musical masterpiece in the making.

Tessanne Chin is a musical masterpiece in the making. How quickly this process is taking shape is beyond the control of a support team who are from time to time overwhelmed by the hype. The blame game card cannot be used. They are just a lot of very human people trying to manage an almost superhuman talent. In this instance, the Bard got it right. “The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” (William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar) There is no doubt that we saw a shining, soulful star singing on May 17th. We got as close as we were going to get. Leave it to the great 19th century French writer Jacques Thibault to bring the whole topic to a final resolution. “The good critic is he who relates the adventures of his soul among masterpieces.” This editor-in-chief could have not said it better.

Wedding Planning & Event Decor Stylist web: www.candyevents.ca Instagram:candy_events

Tel: 647-882-2639 Email: tricia@candyevents.ca


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i

MOVING Towards GETTING FITand STAYING FIT By Mark Steele

I’m sure we’ve all heard a few things about protein: Body builders drink protein shakes to bulk up; people only consume protein if they want to get big; protein is good for you. While those things are true, there is much more to this macronutrient. • Protein plays a significant part in the healthy growth of children. It assists in the building and growth of muscles, maintains healthy vision, and fortifies the immune system. • Protein is crucial for repairing and maintaining muscle. When muscles are broken down after a good workout, and even when your body endures regular wear and tear throughout the day, consuming protein is very important for repairing and improving the strength of your body. • Protein helps to improve muscle tone. Consuming protein alone won’t improve your physique, but paired with an effective, consistent exercise regimen, protein will help to improve the appearance and tone of your muscles. For all of you looking to tone up, protein plays an important part! • Protein helps to improve weight loss. When consumed, protein temporarily boosts metabolism and suppresses appetite. These can help to lose weight, burn fat, and maintain muscle. That will give you the tone you may be looking for.

Now that we understand some of the ways that nutrition can improve our bodies, here is a great at-home, bodyweight circuit you can do every second day to push your body without free weights or machines. In short, starting your fitness journey with convenience is a great way to build up momentum and make progress.

5

The five exercises you will complete in this circuit are: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)

Push-Ups Crunches Squats Jumping Jacks Mountain Climbers

The key to this circuit is to perform 30 repetitions of each exercise with as little break time as possible between each. This is going to give you both a great resistance training workout, as well as a cardio workout. If you have any questions about the best protein sources, further descriptions of and adjustments to the exercise circuit, feel free to email me at msteele@ steeleforce.com! I’m always available to help you become the best version of yourself! Mark Steele | Your Personal Trainer Steele Force Training Inc. msteele@steeleforce.com | www.steeleforce.ca 416-434-9029

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THREE FACES of RADIO Three women making a difference. Perhaps not pioneers or innovators. After all, radio is hardly new. Nonetheless they are bold, ready to take a leadership role in something they feel passionate about. And interestingly enough, they are achieving this in three very different facets of radio. Reporter Caroline Dinnall will take you into the worlds of Liz Triffo, Casandra London, and Pastor J. Rouse. (The Editor-in-Chief)

THREE FACES OF RADIO:

THE LIZYT RADIO SHOW

By Caroline Dinnall

Several years ago, Liz Triffo received a revelation that would change her whole life. She had been encouraging her nine and ten-year-old daughters, ‘No matter what you do, follow your dreams.’ Because of what she was going through herself at the time, Liz realized that she had not been living by her own advice. Born and raised in Chile, entrepreneurship and storytelling were skills that Liz had been exposed to from her father at a young age. She always pretended to interview people around her while sticking a fake microphone in their faces. These clues, however, were not enough of an indication to Liz regarding her early career choice. She studied dental hygiene for one year in Brazil, and later moved to Regina, Saskatchewan where she landed a job in dentistry. Although this career kept her more than financially stable, Liz felt that she was missing out on her true destiny. What held her back? Liz replied, “Sometimes people don’t follow their dreams out of fear that they aren’t good enough.”

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Now, in her early 40s, Liz has cast all fears aside and followed that dream. Two years in the making, the Lizyt Radio Show is a platform for singers, songwriters, coaches, officers, business owners, TV celebrities, child actors and many more. The radio show also reports on the latest global and international news, and features music requested by listeners around the globe. All of the magic happens in a small studio setup in her Etobicoke home. She shares this space with her husband, who is a selfemployed photographer. Liz first treated radio as a fun hobby to pass time on Sunday nights. At one point, her husband was the only listener, but over time, people started calling in regularly.


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THREE FACES OF RADIO:

CASANDRA LONDON NETWORK By Caroline Dinnall

When she was 12 years old, Casandra London wanted to be a famous singer, like Whitney Houston. Fourteen years later, Casandra London is the CEO of the Casandra London Network (CLN), reporter and producer at CHRY Radio.

Soon, one day a week just wasn’t enough time to go on air. “I think I’m starting to create my own kind of community!” said Liz. Each captivating interview starts off with this simple catch phrase created by her husband: Tell me who you are, what do you do, contact info, anything new? Liz says this is all she needs to ask to get a great conversation. Interviewing Wedding SOS host Jane Dayus Hitch twice was one of Liz’s fondest moments thus far. In terms of herself as an interviewer, Liz says, “I give 150 per cent of myself—I feel like I’ve run a marathon. It’s not about me, it’s about them. I do whatever I can to promote them.” At the beginning of each show, Liz takes five minutes to thank her faithful listeners for tuning in. “I started this in my 40s and I can’t see myself doing anything else. Do what you have to do to make your dream happen. It you don’t, you’ll wonder, ‘What if?’ ” Today, Liz wears many hats: a full-time mother, entrepreneur, real state investor, marathon runner, and partner of her husband’s photography business. Her daily motivation is to dream big—because it’s always free. How big? Liz’s newfound dream is to interview Oprah Winfrey.

Casandra knew that she chose the right career path in high school after realizing that each of her class presentations were set up as a newsroom. She usually took the reporter role. London researched the profession after she met a journalist from CTV while working as a facilitator at Urban Promise Summer Camp. Meeting the reporter allowed her interest in journalism to grow stronger. For the Warden and Finch resident, life has always been about trying new things. When she was eighteen, Casandra enrolled in a program called Planet in Focus, where her love for storytelling and theatrical performance was discovered. Her fondest memory at this program was meeting Debbie Young, lead actress from the hit show, ‘Da Kink In My Hair.’ Casandra studied Broadcast Journalism at the University of Guelph (Humber). She applied for numerous scholarships, and was fortunate enough to receive each one she applied for. During her studies, she also volunteered to the SNAP newspaper and Crossroads, a community show on Rogers Television. CHRY Radio was a dream job for the new graduate. She started off as a reporter, hosting news every Friday, and later became a producer. Casandra comments, “I love that place because it’s so inclusive and community based.” Her most exciting interview at CHRY involved the show ‘Da Kink In My Hair’ again. She got involved in discussing natural hair of black women with playwright Trey Anthony. The Remix Project was another program that prepared Casandra for the media industry. It was there, in 2010, where she created the idea to infuse her love for journalism and theatre through her own

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business—The Casandra London Network. Casandra says “I come from a marginalized community and mainstream media loves to talk about us. I thought that there must be a niche in that—that if it’s so popular, there have got to be positive things to say other than gun violence.”

THREE FACES OF RADIO:

PASTOR J. ROUSE SHOW By Caroline Dinnall

The program was unveiled at a boys and girls club in Driftwood in the Jane-Finch area, partnering with Arts with Children and Youth, the arts organization at Driftwood Public School. Every Wednesday morning and afternoon, CLN teaches eager-to-learn children to write monologues and plays, and challenges them to prepare interviews with peers and teachers at the school. The success from the first CLN program opened doors to newer programs in the Greater Toronto Area, based on real life experiences. Bullying and racism are two sensitive topics that linger throughout most of the productions. Casandra explains, “As a kid, I was bullied a lot. I went through a lot of heartache and I had witnessed abuse inside the home. My outlet was storytelling and poetry, so that now lives in everything that we do at CLN.” Casandra’s journey with “theatrical journalism” expands each day. She encourages those in search of change and effect in their lives to act positively, and act now. “Be the light that you want to be, be the change that you want to see—keep pushing and persevering!”

While living in between the two cities of Windsor and Toronto, Pastor J. Rouse manages and produces her own media network. She says it is unlike any other one out there. Rouse Ministries Broadcasting & Communications took off in 2013 and produces three different programs: The Pastor J. Rouse Show, Wright Point on Hot Topics and The Discussion. All of these are radio shows and appeal to a diversity of listeners. The Pastor J. Rouse Show airs every Wednesday, with a listening audience of 17, 000 worldwide. Rouse believes that the unique approach of the Christian radio show is the reason why the rate of listeners continues to grow in such short period of time. “We talk

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about everything that is not church and conference, so that both Christians and non-Christians can listen and enjoy the show,” she said. Wright Point on Hot Topic features panels of experts in the fields of sex, intimacy, or dysfunctional families who gather together to discuss these topics. The Discussion is another popular segment in which contentious material is discussed and debated. “Talking about these topics allows non-Christians to know that Christians fight the same battles that they do,” said Rouse. Through the media, Rouse has touched the lives of many non-believers. Some have called in with prayer requests, and others encourage her to keep the programs going because it helps them get through the day. Apart from ministerial tasks, The Pastor J. Rouse Show promotes budding artists who are in the process of distributing original music, and advertises upcoming arts and culture events. Pastor J. Rouse never knew that she would end up managing her own radio network. Initially she went to Ryerson University to study Law and Business Management. Intrigued by the art of creating voiceovers, she decided to take a course at the university’s National Institute of Broadcasting program at the time. In 2000, Rouse became a minister. Two years later, she founded Rouse Ministries. In 2012, after ten years of

dedicated work with people around the world, she became an author. Her pseudonym Wright Rouse has appeared on seven of the twelve published books of which she has contributed. It was also in 2012 that she expanded her thinking into the fascinating aura of broadcasting. She pursued it, knowing that “I got my orders from the Lord, and I realized that He was preparing me.” Pastor J. Rouse has sat down with big names such as the Soweto Gospel Choir and Reuben Studdard. Rouse is currently in the process of implementing live-to-air sermons and Bible application studies to the radio show. Now that her ministry is running on its own, she has the time to continue touring with her newly published books. Amidst several projects and constant travelling, Rouse says prayer is the only thing that keeps her grounded. “Without prayer, staying positive in everything I do and surrounding myself with positive people, none of this would be possible.”

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Contact: Dr. Olufem Adegun, (Ph.D., MBA, PMP)

170 Ambassador Drive, Unit 9, Mississauga ON, L5T 2H9 www.integrapreneur.org • olufemiadegun@yahoo.com


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taking EVENT planning to a Whole NEW LEVEL By Andrew Terry Pasieka

We are in an age of specialization. No one would think of staging a major event, whether it is a wedding or a trade show, without hiring someone to organize it. Every event has three main groups of people; those hosting it (or who have been hired to host it), those who are being invited to attend, and those who have been asked to assist in ‘selling’ or ‘supplying’ the event. Too often, these groups are unable to communicate efficiently. The most common complaint coming from event planning professionals center around their constant struggle to find the right formula or directory that can connect the event hosts they are representing with the right combination of vendors that can cater to their specific needs. As a result, vendors often find it challenging to be found online

by their target market. EventByMe is here to provide a solution for everybody involved! How refreshing to find a Canadian-owned company with headquarters based out of Vaughan, Ontario, that understands the different roles of hosts, vendors, guests, and the importance of connecting them in the most efficient manner. SMJ Magazine caught up with Director Sima Sadeghi to find out more. SMJ/Is EventByMe just another brainstorming inspiration, or does it have some substance? EventByMe is the product of four and a half years of careful research and thought. We wanted to identify current market inefficiencies and create a platform which would enable event hosts to save time, money and stress while planning their event. We wanted to ensure that all aspects of the event planning process were taken into account and facilitate easy, effective communication between the hosts and the companies they hire to execute their events. We have created the best tool in the industry, a onestop shop site where hosts can find exactly who and what they are looking for. The website had a Beta launch in January 2013 and was launched to the public last September. We are constantly updating the site, listening to feedback both from hosts and vendors, and keeping up with changing market trends. SMJ/What evidence did you receive from hosts, guests, and vendors that a service like this was needed? Collaboratively, we have decades of experience in the event industry and have seen time and time again the problems that arose due to lack of consistent communication between all parties involved. Unnecessary site visits, multiple agendas and information not being properly relayed to the relevant vendor causes time, energy and money to be wasted. We saw that these issues could be reduced by having a platform that would allow everyone to share information during the planning process and to be able to work synergistically.

EventByMe is reinventing event planning as we know it. They have built an easyto-use platform that empowers the most inexperienced event host to coordinate any event in the most efficient manner by reliably connecting hosts with guests and vendors.

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SMJ/What assumptions did you make in developing the logistics of this tool? Was the platform designed from any particular perspective?

platform for promoting their business, managing leads and events and connecting with clients. SMJ/What do you mean by ‘vendor customization?’

We were confident that creating a one-stop-shop where hosts, vendors, and guests could all connect and communicate would drastically improve the efficiency of their event planning process! The platform’s design was two-fold: to improve the experience for both the hosts and vendors by developing tools to save them time, money and stress and to create valuable connections between the two to make pulling off a well-orchestrated event a reality. SMJ/What co-operation are you getting in formulating the essentials of your data base which will enable the cross-referencing among hosts, guests, and vendors to take place? We approach both hosts and vendors through social media, bridal shows, and networking events to explain how being a part of EventByMe will greatly increase vendor awareness and streamline both the host and vendor event planning process. Guests are added through a unique token provided by the hosts that they enter through the EventByMe website. Increasing the guest experience is an important factor. Once they have RSVP’d these tools connect all parties involved in the event, and are updated in real-time.

Each business profile is completely customised, even down to the FAQ section. Each vendor has its own microsite where they are able to upload photos, videos, testimonials, etc. For venues, it includes highly detailed floor plans of each different room and setup that the location has to offer. Hosts can then use the drag and drop feature to create the layout they want and seat their guests accordingly. Hosts can also create idea boards in our “Inspirations” section and save images of the items that they like. With one click on a photo the host will be linked back to that vendor’s page and all details of that item. In addition, our site is the only event planning platform that takes into consideration the multicultural dimension of the Greater Toronto Area. Our song suggester tool is a great resource for guests, hosts and the DJ for weddings of people from different cultures. SMJ/ Could you explain your marketing strategy, its different facets, where you now are in process, and what have been the results up to now?

The only thing that is better than “Word of Mouth” is personal experience. With EventByMe, you can easily access the archived information from previous events that you have attended or hosted. This now provides long lasting exposure for our vendors, not only to the hosts who booked and used their business, but to all of their guests and other vendors as well.

We are utilizing all facets of marketing to increase our brand awareness. EventByMe is active on the major social media platforms, and we are present at various bridal and corporate trade shows in and around the GTA throughout the year. We are ensuring that users receive the full experience through instructional videos uploaded to our YouTube site. We use SEO and Google AdWords to increase traffic towards vendors in our database and have multiple printed ads and articles in both corporate and event-related magazines, such as yours.

We provide a lead management tool for new and current leads, a deals section to showcase current promotions, a customer review tool, and widgets linking their business profile on EventByMe with their current website and social media sites. These tools are very beneficial to businesses that do not have their own software. They can utilise our

Currently, we are working on expanding our vendor base by collaborating with event-related companies and organizations in the Greater Toronto Area. These strong partnerships introduce EventByMe to event planners and industry professionals, who will then share our platform with their hosts and colleagues.

SMJ/How do you demonstrate a ‘return on investment’ service to vendors?

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The

WOMAN

Behind Canadian Small Business Women

D

By Andrew Terry Pasieka

Dwania Peele is a Jamaican born immigrant who currently resides in Toronto. After moving to Canada in her late teens, Dwania attended The University of Windsor, where she earned Bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and in Political Science. Later she obtained a diploma from St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology in Chemical Laboratory Technology. With all that education in hand, Dwania decided to dive into the work force by finding a position in her field. After working as a Lab Technician in a pharmaceutical company for 3 years, Dwania was laid off due to the company going bankrupt. During that summer of 2008, her first business was born, and it was as far removed from her scholastic background as one could imagine. Tiny Delights Cupcakes and Pies Inc came about when she started baking for her husband and her friends. Although the cupcake fever had just hit Canada at the time, Windsor was well behind on the fad. Business was slow, and Dwania could not give it the proper edge needed because she didn’t know how to go about

making a proper business plan, a marketing plan, or even formulate the first steps to start a business. She put the cupcake business on hold and went back to work in her educated field, this time as a Research Scientist. She worked for about two years before moving from Windsor to the Regent Park area of Toronto. In Toronto, Dwania found the incentive to resurrect Tiny Delights Inc. After much research, she learned to write a business plan and also learned how to incorporate her business. During the process, she started to wonder why it seemed so difficult to get a business started. Why did so much information not appear to be accessible? Dwania put that thought aside, but came back to it late in 2012 when she

found herself helping a friend on a small business idea. After giving her advice and being able to point her in the right direction, Dwania decided that she would pool all the resources she had just used and store them in one place to help other women. More importantly, she wanted to create something that would break down the barriers and close the immigrant/language/ culture/gender gap. In January of 2013, Canadian Small Business Women was born. Canadian Small Business Women is a website and blog that aims to provide aspiring small business women of Canada a place to find all the resources required to start a business. It provides marketing tools for current business owners who wish to take their businesses to the next level.

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The blog feature provides a unique opportunity for experts to give advice to readers on different topics relating to small business. To date, the blog has received 10,000 hits. The blog offers a special feature called Canadian Small Business Woman of the Month. It also gives the reader the chance to receive advice from experts in various fields related to small business. In 2013, Dwania took her business one step further and organized her first Immigrant Woman’s Small Business Expo. A total of 500 people attended, which was an impressive number first time out. This year, she has no doubt that she will surpass that number as she is holding two expos. The first is at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa on October 4th. A month later, on November 9th, she will be in Toronto at Metro Hall.

The purpose of these expos is to connect, inspire, and teach women the path to become successful entrepreneurs by providing workshops, networking opportunities, and access to educational and start-up services. You can follow Dwania on Facebook @Dwania Peele or @Canadian Small Business Women. You can follow her business on Twitter @CdnSmallBizWmn. Website: www.canadiansmallbusinesswomen.ca Blog: www.canadiansmallbusinesswomen.wordpress.com Email: canadiansmallbusinesswomen@gmail.com Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com /groups?gid=4797176&trk=hb_side_g Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Canadian-Small -Business-Women-Business-to-Business-Events/

ness Women

seat arrangement

checklist manager

free event website ceremony &reception

guestlist manager

playlist manager

favorite vendors

budget manager

timeline manager

inspiration board

song suggester

vendor reviews


SMJ MAGAZINE

September has its back to school, and December has its Christmas. Both seasons are highly commercialized, and geared towards children and families. June, on the other hand, is known for its wedding season. Also highly commercialized, but very much an adult thing. All three seasons commence long before their respective ‘focus’ month. There is still a peak time for weddings in June, but popularity is spreading throughout the year, what with destination weddings and special location/occasion nuptials, which can be at any time of the year. There are probably as many wedding-related magazines as there are days in the month of June. More than ever, the modern bride has no excuse for not being well prepared. Dawn Fennell wants to ensure that every prospective bride she meets does not have to equate being well prepared with being overly stressed. Owner of Glourious Event, a company approaching ten years of service, Dawn has come up with an idea to take the ‘stress’ away from preparation. Co-ordinator of an event called the Multi Links Wedding Show, Ms. Fennell has created something unique. Unlike other bridal shows, where the vendors may barely be acquainted or in direct or competition with each other, in this show they have been pre-selected precisely because they know one another or work with Dawn’s company. A bride can customize her wedding day by picking and choosing among the vendors at Multi Links, knowing that they will all be ‘linked together’ by Dawn and Glourious Event. How did Ms. Fennell first envision this idea? Ms. Fennell has been astute in the way she has developed her business. Glourious Event is not limited to weddings. It also does anniversaries,

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JUNE 2014 ANNIVERSARY ISSUE

‘TIS THE

By Andrew Terry Pasieka

SEASON

birthdays, and corporate events. Glourious Event is a partnership of the best kind. Dawn has got her husband Garfield involved in her business. He is responsible for the logistics of set and tear down at trade shows, conferences, and special events like their Muliti Links. Together they create some original pieces that can be used as accessories by their clients. When Dawn got the calling to do event planning almost a decade ago, she left a 28-year hairdressing career behind. Despite the lack of formal

“I called my event the Multi Links Wedding Show because I wanted to have a place where all the vendors either knew each other or were linked with someone who knew and worked with all of them, like myself. I can be confident with any prospective bride in recommending a business dealing with any aspect of their wedding that they need, knowing that I have and still am working with these businesses. It truly is a one-stop shop.”


SMJ MAGAZINE

training, she received testimonials from clients from the outset. Over time, her role as an event planner evolved. With the anticipated success of the Multi Links Show concept, Dawn now sees herself as more of an event facilitator. One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is that most of her clients are women. Their involvement though, runs the gamut. Dawn states, “some want to plan every detail with me and be kept up to date on the progress; others just give me the color theme and say not to bother them until I have finished all preparations. I have never repeated any design or idea, and all my clients have been pleased.” Husband Garfield chimes in. “At the end of the day, you gotta make the bride happy.” So what is in the immediate future for Glourious Event? The purchase of a banquet hall, so their Multi Links show can become a continuous one-stop shop. Dawn anticipates that a permanent location will assist them greatly in the recognition factor of the name and accessibility. The result? Non-stop blessings!

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SMJ MAGAZINE

Photo By: Lubin Tasevski

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