Smj magazine issue no 12 (spring 2016)

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A Postive Look At Mental Illness:

Margaret Trudeau

Lifestyle Fourth Annual Toronto Black Film Festival


Rays of Hope Gala




Celina Caesar-Chavannes: An MP “Four”Our Times



Make-up: Wright Artistry Photo: Lubin Tasevski SPRING 2016


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Table of



7. From The Desk of Shelley ... by Shelley Jarrett 21. Newsflash: SMJ Publisher MARTY’S Double Nominee ... by Shelley Jarrett 30. Having Your Health Pay For You ... by Steven Weisberg 32. My Journey To Better Health Melissa Dann 33. FOURTH ANNUAL RAYS OF HOPE GALAOurth 33. A Grand Night at the Embassy Grand ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 34. Offering Rays of Hope for Thirty-Five Years ... by Shelley Jarrett

19 8. SMJ BEAUTY CLOSET 8. Dr. Nadine Wong:Alabaster in Science and Spirit ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 14. TOM: Now A Fashion Event Institurtion in Toronto ... by Claris M. Manglicmot 15. TOM Photo Gallery ... by Ricky Manh 17. FOURTH ANNUAL TORONTO BLACK FILM FESTIVAL 17. Fabienne Colas:The Festival Maker ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 18. Still Passing The Torch ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 19. Adrian Holmes: From Barron to Barrow ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 26. A Positive Look at Mental Illness/Part Five: Margaret Trudeau ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 29. Your Health is Your Wealth ... by Dr. Lisa Ramsackal 37. Inspirational Corner ... by Josephine Casey 38 38. Jump Theme at Third Annual Spirit-Preneur Conference ... by Shelley Jarrett & Robin Wright 40. Spirit-Preneur Photo Gallery 46. Affairs of the Heart ... by Akua Hinds



BUSINESS 11. Fifth Generation at SIMONS ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 42. Life Insurance: What Mom Needs to Know ... by Karen Baker 43. A Day In The Life: In Coversation with Julia Katsivo ... by Sheralyn Roman





22. Celina Caesar - Chavannes: An MP “Four” Our Times ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 25. Celina Caesar - Chavannes : On Wife & Motherhood ... by Shelley Jarrett

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

SPRING 2014 Issue No.5


Creative Director/Layout Sheri L. Lake


Chief Photographer Lubin Tasevski

16 Years Old And Can’t Miss...

Lifestyle A Different Kind of Island Life Fun...


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


Fashion & Design Editor Claris Minas Manglicmot




To A Voice

Shelley Jarrett Andrew Terry Pasieka Claris Minas Manglicmot Jospehine Casey Dr. Lisa Ramsackal Sheralyn Roman Akua Hinds Karen Baker Steven Weisberg Melissa Dann Robin Wright Ricky Manh (photos) Fotografia Boutique (photos)

HO W LID IN A T Y ISS ER 20 UE 20 14 #7 15

My Day MY WAY My Style WINTER 2015 $4.99 CANADA


Jane Daylis-Hinch


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Publicity LIM Media Group Inc. Website Contact

SMJ Magazine: now in its FRONT COVER: Celina Caesar-Chavannes Photo by Lubin Tasevski Layout: Sheri Lake


rd year!

SMJ Magazine is a division of Seventh House Publishing Arts. Spring 2016 Issue No. 12




So far this year has been a test of our faith, in every aspect of our family life. With each challenge, our solution was always prayers and working through each and every situation with grace and precision. As SMJ Magazine continues to brand, our focus becomes clearer while we maneuver closer to our niche market. In the fast changing environment that is the multimedia industry, opportunity and timing are major factors in determining how to position ourselves. We are proud of each issue and all the original work that went into it. You may have noted a subtle change in our layout commencing with the Holiday/Winter issue. SMJ Beauty Closet will be featuring beauty experts right after From the Desk of... In this issue we highlight Dr. Nadine Wong and Minki Lashes. Generally speaking, our fashion & design articles and our arts & entertainment stories will precede our center page headline feature, and health & wellness and faith & community pieces will follow the front cover story. Part of our branding journey involves developing collaborations with organizations or events that are getting more recognition themselves. We spent a wonderful evening in March at Interim Place’s fourth Annual Rays of Hope Gala. Besides reporting on the event, we had the opportunity to speak with Executive Director Sharon Floyd. An incredible bonus was meeting and interviewing Keynote Speaker Margaret Trudeau. We had the privilege of attending the fourth annual Toronto Black Film Festival. Editor-in-Chief Andrew Terry Pasieka has three stories relating to the event, and we are looking forward to greater liaisons with TBFF in the future. Spirit-Prenuer 2016 was a tremendous success. It is one month later and people are still talking about it on several social media platforms. I provide a full report on the day’s activities, with help from a special source! Affairs of the Heart, written by Akua Hinds, makes its debut in this issue after being introduced in a three-way dialogue last issue. And finally, I am so pleased to report that SMJ Magazine and myself as Publisher are once again nominated for two MARTY awards in Literary Arts and Media Arts. The content contained in Spring 2016 would be enough to make most publishers proud. However, SMJ Magazine, by having ‘a nose for the story,’ has additionally landed two amazing exclusives in one issue.

Andrew had a personal one-on-one with CEO Peter Simons of major retail store La Maison Simons (pronounced sye-mons, not see-mo) as it moves in Ontario for the first time, after having been founded in Quebec one hundred and seventy-six years ago!! Our headline story came from a cozy sit down in our home with the lovely Celina Rayonne Caesar-Chavannes, Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. We first met last May when we were both named one of the 100 Black Women to Watch at the CIBWE event in Toronto. We had a brief but warm exchange, never knowing our journeys would take us where we are today. MP for Whitby, Ontario, she is clearly the “Woman on the Rise” in Canadian federal politics. It was an amazing experience getting to know more about Celina, her family, her work in Ottawa, and about being in the public eye. I feel so privileged to share the results of our time together with you. What’s next for SMJ Magazine? I am in awe of all the accomplishments in this issue alone, but there is still much more to do. Over the years I have learned what works and what doesn’t. As much as I am the founder of this magazine and more in the public eye than ever before, I am in reality a behind the scenes person. I love to see dreams come through for others. Thank you to my team. None of this work is possible without the professionalism that goes into each issue. To all our social media followers and readers, advertisers, sponsors, partners, we welcome you to grow with us and tell others about us. My goal is to keep growing, learning, and striving to become a better woman and the business woman I was destined to be. I have learned that the knowledge I have acquired was not to just get me to the top but to impact others. Remember, all you need is a plan and a will to succeed.





To say that Dr. Nadine Wong is educated is a gross understatement. Her scholastic path took her from a certification in psychology to a hairdressing diploma to a cosmetology and ethnic hair degree to a doctorate in cosmetology to a doctorate in trichology (hair loss/scalp disorder/skin issues) to psychotherapy accreditations to doctorate of Integrated & humanitarian medicine. When asked how she would react to people (or interviewers!) approaching her with a combination of wonderment, awe and ignorance, she laughs and says “you’re getting it!” An immigrant to Canada from Jamaica as an adolescent in 1989, she is an exotic third generation CantoneseMaroon (very dark)-Indian (east), She has spent nearly twenty years of her twenty-seven in this country on this seemingly never-ending post-secondary route. For the most part this walk was planned; there was a conscious strategy to undertake a certain course of study in order to be eligible for the next one. But all the while there was a tug-of war going on, and it was twofold.



Beauty CLOSET The first one was artist vs. scientist. In her words, “I had a flair for style because I have modeled and I have danced. I have always been creative, always on stage.” It has been therapeutic as well, since Dr. Wong was dyslexic as a child and her creativity helped to cure her of the problem. It was still prevalent when she first started her career training. Her artistry wanted to create styles, but she started to develop hypotheses centered on ‘why’ questions in her studies which was the scientist coming out. As time has gone on, her tug-of-war is now spiritual vs. scientific. “My scientific journey is to always ask why; my spiritual journey is not to question why. These worlds collide, and they are my ‘big bang.’ Scientists create things and take credit for them, using hybrid elements for the most part. Spiritually we read that we were created from natural elements because we came from the earth and God was the only Creator. That is why there is a clash.” Her theories found their way into her book If Your Hair Could Speak, What Would It Say? What the reader will find, she says, is a book that not only deals with some of the scientific hypotheses but the spiritual intimacies on the state of health of our hair. Natural elements form the basis of Dr. Nadine’s business. She has a wellness clinic where she practices her three doctorates: trichology, psycho-therapy, and integrated medicine. “Your hair tells a story. Some women don’t know how transparent they are by their hair choice.” She continues that they often using it as a starting point of creating an entire ensemble. She agrees that it is hard to bring God in it directly without preaching, but often there is a point in time when her client wonders if there


isn’t anything more to her analysis and recommendations. “That’s when I open up.” Her spirit vs. science approach to business reaches its zenith when the subject of cosmetics come up. Her Beauty Ointment, like her wellness clinic, begins with the name Alabaster. A strong spiritual significance. A Biblical story of a mineral jar and a street lady, a lady of the night. Using her income from sin to buy a box of redemption. Pouring out precious oils over Jesus’ feet, some spilling on the ground. Returning to the earth what is the earth’s. Wiping the Master’s Feet. With her hair. Dr. Wong sees it as a perfect metaphor for all that she puts into the product. The ingredients are like seeds from the ground from where Man was created.

Dr. Nadine is a member of several boards and an ambassador and associate of two radio stations. She is also very active in her church. So how does she manage time? Has she found the elixir of fitting in more than 24 hours into 24 hours?! She laughs, as she did at the beginning. ‘Your time is the most important thing that you can offer to other people and even yourself. Time management is the key. Always show self-discipline, and always strive to do better.” Sounds like Dr. Nadine Wong is talking about another educational pursuit. Contact Dr. Wong at The address of her new clinic is 1400 Bayly Street, Suite 8A, Pickering, Ontario, L1W 3R2, and is opening June 1st.

The ingredients for the Beauty Ointment include broccoli, pumpkin, onion, and cane sugar. These plants are all chlorophylls which release oxygen into the atmosphere and absorb carbon monoxide. The science behind what these plants offer tells us clinically what we need to do in order to keep our skin healthy. Finally, our discussion turns to Dr. Wong’s charitable foundation called Alabaster Gates Children’s Charity. Founded in 2011 when a need arose back in Kingston, Jamaica at Dr. Wong’s family school, Franklintown Primary, to provide supplies, uniforms, and complete renovation projects, it has now grown all over the world to provide a missing link of connection. The idea is to educate children on similarities and differences with other children in the world. “My foundation is giving them a passport to travel in their mind.”




of By Andrew Terry Pasieka One of the few thriving family businesses left in Canada is a twelve-store, cross-Canada, $400 million dollar empire that started out in 1840 in Quebec City when a 17-year old lad by the name of John Simons started a dry goods store out of necessity because his father Peter had gone blind. So says father Peter’s namesake, who, five generations later, has been at helm of La Maison Simons (pronounce syemons, not see-mo) since 1996. Peter Simons, whom we first met when Simons at Square One in Mississauga opened on March 17th, is back in town for an interesting store-to-store partnership he initiated with Douglas Copeland, mapping 3D sculptures of 2000 Canadians to put in place as the art piece for the Yorkdale store opening in Toronto in 2019. We sit down with the lanky six foot plus chief executive, nattily dressed in a narrow lapel suit, in the privacy of a back office In doing background on the recent explosive growth of the firm (there were only three Quebec City stores when Peter Simons became CEO twenty years ago), there was a strong correlation between fashion and art. Brothers Peter and Richard (who is VP of women’s merchandising) have been quoted as saying the following:

“…we have a commitment to art and design… great relationships with people is an art… we don’t present a brand but a fashion… we see ourselves as a fashion authority. The merchandising should speak to customers as if we were fashion editors.” It is a known fact that the buyer-seller relationship is steeped in emotion. It is also a fact that artists are among the most emotional human beings on earth. Has Simons

found the key stimulus which triggers the emotions of its customers. Could that be the art of merchandising? Peter replies that it could be a combination of things. The focus on art is a way for Simons to participate in the surrounding community. (For example, they presented a gift of ‘Le Fountaine de Tournay’ statue to Quebec City on the occasion of their 400th anniversary). However, they don’t want to stray from their core, which is a human connection on the floor between staff and customers, or with staff who share in the company values. Simons has gone the extra mile in recognizing their market and in emphasizing their brand. In their nine store expansion over the past twenty years, they have made it a point not only to be at the openings, but often roll up their sleeves and help out in the days and weeks leading up to the opening. Peter says matter-of-factly that when your name is on the front door, you care about things like that in a deeper, more meaningful way.




That is probably the same reasoning they used three and a half years ago when they approved across-the-board pay increase for every staff member, which was followed two years later by the doubling of sales. Or was it a daring but calculated strategy? Peter thinks for a moment and then reminds us that although they are passionate about art, the bottom line is that they are primarily... in a people business. The move, he said, was done to say that Simons shouldn’t have to set their standards on some trend or some law or government symposium, but can set their own standards because they have the privilege and freedom of being a family company. They have made it a major focus to design their buildings in such a way that it somehow both fits the market environment and blends in with the surrounding architecture. Peter says that they may have been too extravagant in a couple of instances, and mentions the stores at the West Edmonton Mall and Sherbrooke, but says he felt vindicated recently when he was in Sherbrooke. A cabbie went out of his way to comment that he really enjoyed the building, both in its scale and how it fit into the urban landscape. Even so, he throws up a cautionary flag at any future excesses in bricks and mortar because of the taxes they accrue. “We just have to be careful about how we conduct ourselves going forward because the world is changing.” About he and his brother Richard, who is seen in public far less often, Peter offers, “When we build a new store, we can argue about what we are trying to build but we’re not arguing about whether we want to be proud of it.” Family seems a good way to end our time together. Has there been something about the successive generations of leaders, from 17year old John down to Peter Simons today that is intrinsically tied to the Simons brand, and has kept Simons not only surviving but thriving? Peter Simons is candid. “Look, family businesses, even the best ones, can be fragile. There are other factors that drive the business or derail it that have nothing to do with economics. We have survived two world wars, a major depression, and several recessions. We have our skeletons, but we have had a great ride. We were neighbours to the first Birks and Holt Renfrew. We stayed open to the world, and have tried to bring the best of what the world had to offer.”

Spoken like an artistic retail chief executive.


SPRING 2016 12

Sheri L. Lake (647) 272-3624





By Claris Minas Manglicmot

Toronto Men’s Fashion Week (TOM) is in its third season and has proven that it is now an institution. It has turned into a fashion runway event the community looks forward to twice a year in Toronto. I had so much fun covering the Fall/Winter runway shows at the end of February this year. TOM is one of eight fashion weeks for men that we know of in the world. It is the most influential platform in Canada for menswear designers and brands. It is a semi-annual event showcasing Spring/Summer in August and Fall/Winter in February, featuring cutting edge runway presentations, TOM Talks, power brunches, industry meet n’ greets, trunk shows and showrooms has given men a fashion face and a name: TOM.

disabled children. GOTSTYLE™ celebrity models included Andrew Haley (Paraolympic swimmer), Anthony Lemke (actor), Bill Coulter (CP24 meteorologist), David Raccuglia (American Crew founder), Gurdeep Ahluwalia (TSN Sports anchor), Henk Van der Kolk (TIFF co-founder), Kevin Rempel (Sledge Hockey Paraolympian), Leslie Roberts (journalist and TV personality), Norm Kelly (City of Toronto councillor), Paul Mason (Fashion Santa), Shai DeLuca-Tamasi (Cityline design expert), and Vinay Virmani (actor). In two seasons, MensFashion4Hope has raised over $10,000 for the Kol Hope Fund at SickKids, which has now brought its cumulative total to $117,500.I love the glam that runways bring to fashion shows, but what I really like about TOM* is the support it gives to charity. That money and those checks are real. Just like anything, the end result can be seen in its founder. Who is behind the birth of TOM? Jeff Rustia is a man you cannot not miss, as he is a fashionista himself. One of his looks this season wass his red boots and red coat he would consistently wear outside or in where he frequents at College Park! I am looking forward for more from TOM this coming August for the Spring/Summer 2017 collections.

TOM showcased the Fall/Winter 2016 collections from established designers and introduced emerging menswear designers. Among the names: Caffery Van Horne, Candace Daniela, Christopher Bates, Dalla, Diodati by Luca Galardo, Finezza, Hip and Bone, Jaan Choxi, Just Ta, L’Momo, Maxivive, Travelling Tailor, Tuck Shop, Xian, Zane Barlas, and Kenneth Barlis from California. In addition, TOM featured Mensfashion4hope, TOM’s charitable initiative. Mensfashion4hope presented Canadian celebrities wearing the latest menswear from from GOTSTYLE™ with proceeds raised going to The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) through the Kol Hope Foundation for Children, a charitable organization dedicated to supporting sick and

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Fourth Annual TBFF



By Andrew Terry Pasieka

It all began twelve years ago with a young woman from the Caribbean island of Haiti who had a film she wanted to screen in her newly adopted home of Montreal. Because there was a fairly significant population from the islands in her area, she knew she would have an audience for the film. Yet no one was willing to buy into her project. So like any resourceful person would, she decided to take matters into her own hands. However, the young woman was more than just resourceful. Over the last twelve years, Fabienne Colas has founded not one, not two, but three successful film festivals! The first one, the Haitian Film Festival, proved to be the toughest hurdle for obvious reasons. As she said, “no one believed in me, no one trusted my ability in forming a film festival because no one trusted my judgement in selecting films for the event. They saw me only as a young actress.” She then used a good anecdote to explain her motive and her drive. “There was once this young politician who wanted to run for governor, but was advised that he should work his way up to the task by seeking election in less demanding offices. He answered that he wanted to be governor for one reason. When asked what that reason was, he simply replied, ‘I just want to be governor!’ I knew I could stage these festivals because I was more than just this young actress that people saw.” Another motivation factor for Ms. Colas was that the first festival was not borne out of a long-standing dream, but an urgent necessity. She had a product that she wanted to showcase. Five years after the first festival was launched, the Montreal Black Film Festival evolved, growing to be the largest film festival for blacks in Canada. Three years after that came the daring decision to expand to the Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF). {go to

With each new festival there came an ‘aha moment.’ In Montreal the turning point occurred when they decided to hold a tribute to Harry Belafonte. With Toronto, Fabienne took ‘the leap of faith’ when Shaw Media agreed to help her through Global News, who have remained a major sponsor. The cherry on top this year came when TBFF became part of Toronto Dominion Bank’s Now And Then Series for Black History Month. TD has become the second major sponsor for TBFF, heightening credibility evidenced in the crowds and the long lineups at the Carlton Cinema, the main venue for the weekend event. Is there time to get in front of the camera again? What about returning to the runway in her past life as a model? Her answer is that her time must be spent on her priorities. She is not finished expanding yet. Fabienne has initiated a program called “Cinema Without Borders,” for young film-making students who come up from the Caribbean to screen their work and to spend time honing their craft with some of the best technical and production minds in the business. This project is her way of giving back to the community through the Fabienne Colas Foundation. Another priority is to expand her festivals into a world class event, and she surprises us by saying that TBFF has the most promise. “The diversity of the city, the enthusiasm of the audiences, and the type of film I have attracted in the four years here is just breath-taking!” Bravo, Fabienne; un entrepreneur par excellence!!





The main story line was that of a young man’s journey in his last year of major junior hockey to NHL draft day. According to Director Kwame, that was in a sense secondary to the arrival of black athletes in the sport. Yes, the torch has been passed from Herb Carnegie (possibly the greatest player never to play in the NHL) to Willie O’Ree (the first black in the NHL) to Mike Mason to Grant Fuhr to Jerome Iginla to P.K. Subban. In Kwame’s opinion, the day when black athletes can rival Canadians, Americans, and Europeans in equal proportions in the NHL “is fifteen to twenty years away. Some of those players are just starting to play today at ages five and six.”

was the great support from friends and family that saw him through.

Soul On Ice: Past, Present & Future is the first film project of Kwame’s 7 & EHI Dream Productions, formed in 2012 in Edmonton where he was a DJ. It was a three-year labor of love, on a budget that appeared and disappeared as funds became available. Kwame sold his condo in Edmonton, moved to Toronto, and used whatever resources he could. Being his first film, no one was going to support him just on his say so, and he frankly said, “I felt depressed at times; I felt defeated at times.” It

It was that much worse 70 years ago. Herb Carnegie, the original ‘torch bearer,’ so to speak, averaged 66 points a season for 10 years. A teenage Jean Beliveau went to see him play whenever he could, and the Hall of Famer said he learned how to pass from watching Herb Carnegie. So why didn’t he make it into the NHL? A tryout with the New York Rangers in the summer of 1948 resulted in three minor pro offers, but no ticket to the big leagues.


In doing the film, he discovered the reason that there is still a racial stigma associated with the sport on the part of black parents. “A lot of them look around the community where they live and question why their sons are taking up a sport where no one playing looks like them. A lot of black families still pigeon hole their children, raising them to think ‘you eat this type of food, not that type of food;’ ‘you listen to this type of music, not type of music;’ ‘you play this sport, not that sport.’”

It was another ten years before Willie O’Ree had a ‘cup of coffee’ with the Boston Bruins in 1958, and then played almost the entire 1960-61 campaign with the Bruins. At a Washington screening of Kwame’s film in January of this year, O’Ree grabbed Kwame afterward and had tears in his eyes. This was a man that played 60 games in the NHL and won two scoring titles in minor pro hockey with only 5% vision in one eye. It could never happen in any major sport today. The film cemented O’Ree’s legacy. Soul On Ice won the Viewer’s Choice Award at the Edmonton International Film Festival. Kwame is still negotiating with the NHL for general release of the film, and his next projects may involve two other hockey topics: the emergence of women’s hockey, and the history of the Colored Hockey League of Nova Scotia, which existed from 1895 to 1925. He laughs when reminded of an almost forgotten dream to create a comedy series, but says he is in no rush. His black heritage, and living in hockey mad Edmonton caught up with him.

Fourth Annual TBFF



FROM BARRON TO BARROW By Andrew Terry Pasieka

As he developed his craft, he particularly studied the work of Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington, explaining, ``I loved what they stood for, not only as artists, but as men.`` Having this balanced view of the arts as more than just performing helped him realize fairly early on in his development about art being a business. Adrian pointed out, ``you got to have a brand, you actually have to be a brand.`` In other words, every artist needs to know what are the unique qualities they bring to each project. Once they get a handle on that, they must stretch out to determine their versatility. As Holmes concluded, ``you don`t want to be put in a box.``

The Toronto Black Film Festival Press Conference was held a few weeks before the actual mid-February event. One of the attendees could hold his own festival, considering the vast array of film, TV, and stage credits he has had since his first break with Neon Rider in 1991. Born in England but raised in Vancouver, Adrian Holmes has a resume that is getting as long as his six foot plus frame. Best recognized as the character ``Basqat`` on the long running series Smallville, Holmes was in town fresh off his Canadian Screen Awards nomination as best lead in a dramatic series for the English version of the Quebec hit 19-2. (Ed. Note: He didn`t win the award but 19-2 won best dramatic series, as did Daniel Grou for Best Director.) Asked how he got interested in the performing arts, Adrian answered, ``I always like to hide behind a character, put a mask on, and play make believe.`` Interesting that he mentioned the word mask, as he was known in his youth to give impersonations of Michael Jackson. Adrian’s career started out as a hobby but turned serious when he saw fellow Vancouver-raised Michael J. Fox star in Back to the Future.

He goes on to say he never takes his gift for granted. He has to respect it, be accountable for it, and pay it forward. That goes for all the roles he has got to play over the past twenty-five years. It has come around full circle for him. He is the son of parents who came from Barbados, and he returning to the land of his heritage to play the country`s first prime minister in a biopic. We wondered how he felt going from the hard line cop Nick Barron on 19-2 to a galvanizing politician Errol Barrow. Adrian believes every actor has a character that they were born to play, and Errol Barrow has been it for him. ``It`s been a challenging role for me to get into,`` not only picking up the nuances of personality, the voice, accent, and vocabulary, but knowing how many people from his parents on down in his homeland could be judging him. He shrugs, not because he feels exposed, but because that is what happens ever time he steps on stage or gets in front of a camera.



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e h T SMJ, S Y T MAR ! ! ! e &M

By Shelley Jarrett

It was one late February afternoon when I made my way to the offices of the Mississauga Arts Council, and was informed that SMJ Magazine and myself were nominated for a second year in a row in the dual categories of Emerging Literary Arts and Emerging Media Arts. When it happened last year I felt a rush coming on, but this year I am calmer about the whole thing. Nonetheless, when the nominees went to take our portraits for the program in early April, and I attended the Press Conference a week later, I could feel the excitement starting to build. At the photo shoot, we participated in a video, explaining what it means to be nominated for a MARTY. We were also asked to prerecord a 30-second message of thanks in the event we should win. The MARTY AWARDS will be held this year as part of a sit down dinner at the Mississauga Convention Center on May 19th. Seeing my name and picture on the large monitor at the press conference brought back those feelings of pride I felt when I saw my name up on the screen at the awards last year. However, even though I will be the one making my way to the podium should SMJ be victorious, I do not wish to take all the credit. Where we are now has only been made possible by the grace of God, the vision I have been given, and an awesome team around me. I feel blessed and favoured every day to provide a platform for people to tell their stories, promote their businesses, and showcase their gift and talents. In closing, I thank God for the breathe of life, and the creative spirit in me which helps live my life to the fullest. I thank my editor-in-chief and husband for his support and encouragement. I do not want to forget our advertisers, sponsors, writers, and others who have used their talents to assist us, but I would be remiss if I did not single out the incredible skills of Chief Photographer Lubin Tasevski, Creative Director Sheri Lake, and Make-up Artist Robin Wright (fellow MARTY nominee and co-writer of the Spirit-Preneur article found in this issue!!)




If there ever was a feel-good story in Canadian federal politics, it is Celina Caesar-Chavannes. Her story has been well documented in the press. Arriving in Canada from Grenada at age two, Celina earned two post-secondary degrees, met her husband while at university, and went through some hard times due to an ill-advised business venture in the U.K. A decade later, Celina made a well-advised career correction, got involved in politics for the first in her life, was elected MP for Whitby, Ontario, and became Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It is too early to predict how far Ms. CaesarChavannes will go in Ottawa, but there is no doubt she is a star on the rise.




SMJ Magazine was honored in April to be granted time to bring in the Hon. Caesar-Chavannes for a private photo shoot and an intimate one-on-one. We asked questions on four topics that probably haven’t been posed in quite that way before. (Ed. Note: For purposes of space, this interview was edited. To view the entire interview, go to

SMJ: The first time or event we want to touch on is Washington, D.C. not too many weeks ago. The first official State Visit by a Canadian prime minister in nineteen years. And you were there. That must have felt very special. Celina Caesar-Chavannes: Yes it was. We were there for three days. It was awesome. SMJ: What thoughts and emotions were going through your mind during that weekend? When you think back on your life journey, where you have come from, all you’ve been through, and whom you represent, how high the bar has been set with Washington? Can you describe how that felt? C C-C: So it started when we got on the plane with the Prime Minister…for me that was extraordinary. It’s just not something that you can do every day; just skip U.S. Customs and get on a plane with the Prime Minister. I just wanted to soak it all in. I never wanted to have a moment when I thought, oh, this is going to get old someday. I remember calling my husband Vidal and saying, oh my God, I can’t believe that this is all happening. I guess I sounded giddy because he said ‘don’t act like a tourist,’ and I said, oh I won’t, but I’m going to take a ton of pictures like one. When we landed on the tarmac at Washington, we saw Air Force One. It’s a huge plane, so we were taking all sorts of pictures…I am trying to balance my giddiness with professionalism, and saying to myself, try to act like you’ve been here before, but I failed, because well, I haven’t been here before. The first item on the agenda was the welcome with the President. Just knowing he was coming around the corner…you have to realize that I’ve waited eight years to say ‘hello, Mr. President.’ President Obama means so much to me. Growing up we were told you can be anything you want to be, and the moment really brought it home. The Prime Minister introduced us and then the President and I shared a little joke. It’s funny, but the media picked it up as one of the most genuinely spontaneous moments between a head of state and an elected official from another country. That picture of the President and the Prime Minister on either side of me…one of the most powerful moments of my life. We felt a warmness from the President and Mrs. Obama on down. Everyone was genuinely happy to have us there.

SMJ: Let’s yank you back to a day you received a cheque…a fairly substantial one. It was the down payment on your home. How long did you have to wait for that cheque? C C-C: My company was incorporated in November 2014 and we got the cheque the following May, but the company was actually started a lot earlier in 2014, so we were waiting about a year and a bit. Vidal had taken on three jobs while we waited. SMJ: You arrived from Grenada at age two. Your father raised you to be independent. How did that teaching resonate with you later when you and your husband had faith in each other to make it work? C C-C: I remember the day when Vidal said to me, ‘no babe, you have to stay the course with the company. I have faith that this is going to work.’ To hear him say that, especially when at the time I didn’t have a lot, he was kind of refilling my cup with his reserve. When you know someone has your back, it allows you to spread your wings and fly a little, even though you don’t know what the outcome is going to be. You might crash and burn or you might succeed...The day we got the cheque was euphoric. It’s a funny story, because the house closing date was on a Thursday, and there was still no money in the company account on the previous Friday We had to call Vidal’s parents to borrow the money but then the cheque came in on the following Monday, so we had two down payments. But there’s more…we can’t have smooth sailing…the bank wouldn’t clear the cheque right away because our account was empty for so long…it’s a significant U.S. cheque, six figures. I’m thinking, why can’t this be simple? I begged the bank to release a portion of the cheque that covered the down payment, and they said ‘sure.’ After all that, it was that simple! SMJ: Now a third day. You have been politically active until a few years ago. In fact, your older daughter Desiray taught you a lot from her high school assignments. You joined the Liberal Party in February 2014, and one month later, in March, you received an email that began with the words, “Do you know a woman who has a great idea…? You’re from Grenada…in 1960 a young woman named Jean Augustine arrived in Canada from Grenada.




She became the first Afro-Canadian female MP, her first position was as Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Jean Chretien. The same as you. What is that? Serendipitous? Coincidence? C C-C: I’ve actually said it must be something in the water! The odds of two women from Grenada following the same political path in one generation…serendipitous? Yes, and a lot of hard work and value that was placed on education, on perseverance, on not settling. I think it’s also a testament to authenticity. The reason that Justin chose me was because we had built up a relationship over the course of the election campaign…I sometimes second guess myself, but then I fall back into myself, and that is the brilliance of authenticity. SMJ: Now the fourth day, one where you weren’t present.…We had the opportunity to attend Interim Place’s 4th Annual Rays of Hope Gala a month ago, and the Keynote Speaker was your boss’ mother, Margaret Trudeau. As you know, she’s a major advocate for mental health. One of your major goals as MP is to develop a National Brain Strategy…I want you to talk a little bit about the study you did called ‘mapping connections’ and how that is going to lead to a National Brain Strategy. 24


C C-C: I was co-Chair of that research study, which was the first ever national epidemiology study on neurological conditions. We were looking across Canada at the scope and impact of health services and risk factors associated with fourteen neurological conditions, things like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, epilepsy, and so on. There were some commonalities among these conditions, and one of them was depression and mental health issues. This affects not only the afflicted but the caregiver…we need to do better. SMJ: Can you comment on the role that Ms. Trudeau can play as an advocate? The science behind this work goes over most people’s heads, so how important is it that you can put a famous face on to this condition? C C-C: I think it is very important on a couple of fronts. One, it creates the awareness that there are people who can live with this condition, and two, having a person like Margaret Trudeau as a spokesperson, it takes away the isolation. I mean, for someone like her to come forward and say, ‘I have a mental health problem,’ (is crucial)…so people who have been isolated will now know it is OK to get up from their darkness and seek the help they need.




(Ed. Note: The Publisher asked the Hon. Caesar-Chavannes one question on a topic they both share.) THE PUBLISHER: My bio starts out with the phrase, “I am a devoted wife and mother…” You have been allowed, as I have, to build your own business. You have been allowed to shine in the public eye, all the while with the support of your husband and children. Even though more women are being given this opportunity, it is still not the norm. How do you rationalize this phrase, first in the way your family supports you, and second, in the way you support your family? CELINA CAESAR-CHAVANNES: People have often asked me about family and balance. I have my company, now this public service, a husband, and three kids. How do I balance all that? I say to them quite candidly, I don’t…I remember once my daughter had to do this school interview, and she asked, ‘how do you create a work/life balance? I answered her, when you balance something, how much do you give to each side? She said 50%. I said if I balanced work and life, I’d be giving them each 50%. We’ve put systems in place to make things work. My husband resigned from his position as vice-president of a private college, and is now completing his doctorate at home while doing some side consulting. So when I am in Ottawa, I told my daughter I can give it 100% because Daddy is at home, and everything is in place to work out. When I return home, I can now shift and give my family life 100%. I had to make some tough decisions when I got elected. I thought of Johnny who is 7, Candace who is 11, and Desiray who is 16, where they would be in four years, and was I OK to be missing some important family stuff. I answered yes, because we live in a technical savvy world where we can be in constant communication in some form. And being in Ottawa, I am only 3 and one-half hours away from a weekend at home.




A Positive Look At

Mental illness: 5 Part Series by Andrew Terry Pasieka

Part Five:

Margaret Trudeau Earlier in this five-part series, our Publisher got as clinical as we get here at SMJ Magazine discussing the various forms of the disease, but switched to a personal report in our previous issue. In this final installment, we get even more personal.

It took place for the most part in the glare of the public eye, and it wasn’t always pretty. Diagnosed as bi-polar while married to Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, she still showed scars of her four decades long battle at the speakers’ podium; however, her daunting spirit carried her through and easily won over her audience. Her story reads like the peaks and valleys of the condition

We were privileged to hear the keynote address at the recent Rays Hope of Gala delivered by a great champion for the cause, Margaret Trudeau. Long considered an advocate for removing the social stigma associated with mental illness, Ms. Trudeau shared her life’s journey.



she fought. She led an idyllic life in British Columbia as one of five daughters to a provincial politician, then was courted and wed Canada’s head of state at the tender age of 21. A first son was born on Christmas Day two years later, but after the birth of her second son, she developed postpartum depression, which then flared into mania after the following year’s federal election campaign and a side trip to Montreal became a European jaunt to Crete.


Her condition contributed to the end of the marriage. Corrective prescriptions seemed to cure her, and she had a second marriage to real estate broker, but postpartum came back with a vengeance after the birth of her fifth and final child (her only daughter). A new prescription on the market called Prozac took care of the depression but pushed her into mania, back into a Vancouver psych ward, and brought an end to the second marriage. She suffered from the death of her third son and then the death of her ex-first husband Mr. Trudeau, swinging between depression and mania, finally slipping into psychosis, not caring about anything, with the death of the former Prime Minister. It was at that point Ms. Trudeau finally met a doctor who really helped, who got her over the two biggest detriments to mental illness: denial and blame. Ms. Trudeau went through her personal war chest so easily and matter-of-factual that one couldn’t help but admire her ability to put on a cheery spin on what for many would be a troubling past. In fact, she offered poignant insights that she has gained from her anguish along the way.

Later on in a quiet moment, we asked her if that was the main reason for writing her 2010 chronicles Changing My Mind. She replied that she felt she had to find a voice for many who for so many years didn’t have one. How does she feel when she bares so much of herself in speaking to the Rays of Hope Gala audience? “I feel like a musician sharing a difficult but familiar piece of music; some movements are beautiful, and some are not.” She shared an anecdote from a family outing to a restaurant where her grandson was doodling with crayons. He drew his grandmother with lines all over her face and when asked what they were, he declared that they were “grandma’s cracks.” His father Justin Trudeau replied, “Well, you know why Grandma has those. She’s laughed all her life!” She said that son Justin, a second generation Trudeau prime minister, has inherited the gift of communication and statesmanship from his father, and the “art of nurturing from his mother.” She is once again in public circles, though not center stage. She is part of a very close family, although she told SMJ not all of her extended family have accepted her for who she is.

“One in three will suffer from mental illness in their life; only one in three will get help… depression is not sadness nor sorrow, but a form of mental illness…Serotonin is the feel good hormone in our brains that tells us to react positively when we see a beautiful sunset…mental illness robs the victim of serotonin…a manic depressive is like a car that starts over-revving and cannot shift back…substance abuse goes hand-in-hand with mental illness, whether it is drugs that get you high or alcohol that bring you down…” Ms. Trudeau concluded her address by saying she is not cured. “I thought I had to put up with my crazy mind…it was my cross to bear…Everyone who is here tonight is part of the change, part of the revolution we need in society. We need to keep the conversation going.”

We asked her later if she felt more like a winner or a survivor. She said she hasn’t won anything; more than ever, she now has purpose to her life. Perhaps Margaret Trudeau is a special kind of mentor, for she has done an extraordinary job in giving mental illness a very human face.




By Dr. Lisa Ramsackal

As a Chiropractor and Health and Wellness Educator, I often get questions about how to get in shape, what activities are good, and where to start. Spring is the perfect time to take advantage of the great outdoors and being active. Being active can help you maintain a healthy weight, improve flexibility, build strong bones, and even improve stress. Recreational activities are a great way to have fun and at the same time get moving.

tasks with ease and comfort. Stiff muscles and joints can hinder your technique and lead to strains and sprains.

for more than a week, consult a chiropractor or a qualified health care professional who can treat your pain and speed up your recovery.


Just fifteen minutes a day can establish your fitness habit and deliver health benefits! The key is having a routine. Pick a time of day that works for you and stick with that time; first thing in the morning, during a break at work or in the evening after dinner. Do something you enjoy! We all tend to make time for things we like, and remember, you don’t need to purchase an expensive gym membership to be active. Find a workout buddy. Having a friend with similar goals will keep you motivated and on track.

Here are some tips to keep your body healthy as you exercise and enjoy the great outdoors this spring.

Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after physical activity. Dehydration affects your energy levels and physical functioning. Hydration is important on overcast days not just when the sun is hot and shinning. Remember, that once you are thirsty, you are already starting to dehydrate. Keep a bottle of water close to you and sip regularly.



Do gentle stretches to loosen up muscles and joints before diving into gardening, hiking or swinging that golf club. If your tasks requires hours of movement, take breaks every half hour to stretch to help blood and oxygen get to worked muscles and minimize injuries such as strains.

Cooling down after any physical activity is just as important as warming up. Take 20 minutes for a brisk walk and stretch out your muscles before heading for the shower.

LEARN PROPER TECHNIQUES RIGHT FROM THE START Poor technique can cause injury to joints and muscles. For example, if you garden be sure to kneel, not bend, when planting. If you’re taking up a new sport such as golf or tennis, take professional lessons to avoid bad habits in your swing that could eventually lead to muscle or joint injuries. IMPROVE YOUR FLEXIBILITY Maintaining good mobility of your muscles and joints helps enhance athletic ability and perform household

DON’T OVERDO IT Don’t do too much too soon or too fast. Gradually work up your activity level. Listen to your body. If you feel fatigued or out of breath, that is a sign that you are pushing yourself too long without taking a break and need to slow down. Taking frequent small breaks can help to minimize injuries and help your body restore itself. TREAT INJURIES PROMPTLY AND SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP

The rewards of physical activity are numerous and include; reduced stress, increased energy, improved strength and flexibility, not to mention simply feeling good about doing something for yourself. Fifteen minutes a day can be the beginning of a healthy lifestyle that can help you achieve your fitness goals. Most importantly, you’ll feel good about yourself, and that is an important factor in your overall health. Dr. Lisa Ramsackal H.BSc., D.C., R.Ac. Chiropractor & Acupuncturist Green Health Clinic 3-265 Queen St S., Mississauga, L5M 1L9 T: 905-997-4468 / M: 647-234-3747 W: E:

If you suffer an injury or experience pain from your recreational activities, do not continue to play or work through injuries as this may lead to further damage. If pain persists SPRING 2016




Healthy Body, Healthy Pocketbook! By Steven Weisberg

Have you ever looked into the cost of a weight loss program? Undoubtedly, people would be happier to lose weight, if it was not so expensive. Gyms can easily be over $100 a month. With a weakened Canadian dollar of late, shredding body fat wouldn’t be so bad, if it didn’t take our wallets with it. Fortunately, for our clients, Tania and I, here at Edenbrookwellness are economical alchemists, transferring the fat in your belly to the fat in your wallet!

Our unique weight loss program promotes losing 5-20 lbs. in all of 21 days, by improving your body composition via monitoring your glycemic intake and enhancing your body’s natural ability to shred body fat through our supplemental products. The secret is reconditioning your body by shifting your mental paradigm through a whole new lifestyle choice. In time, one finds that cravings deplete, and triggers are managed that have us often going to our dangerous comfort foods where we find little else but the salvation to our problems in an ice cream container. But what really makes this program as sexy as you will be when you finally find yourself back into that special little bathing suit number for this summer is that weight loss program allows you to earn while you shred. We can do this through what we call our Shopping Annuity program. This unique secondary revenue vehicle permits for an ongoing income while converting your spending into actual earning. Like any investment vehicle, a shopping annuity works much like a diet, but in reverse. Both use time + effort, which are usually the key factors in an effective weight loss program. The shopping annuity works the same way, but it shrinks your time commitment while increasing your bottom line. We are an e-commerce company, foregoing the “brick and mortar” for “click and order”. No overhead brings the cost down on our weight loss supplemental products, which in turn allows us to reduce our margins and pass the savings onto our customers. Unlike other health product providers, we actually pay our clients cash for purchasing our products. We have affiliated ourselves with over 4,000 retail partners, which allow for our customers to acquire all the products and groceries they need to sustain a healthy lifestyle, but also earn cash back and commission.

The Shopping Annuity allows our customers to get healthy by purchasing their weight loss products, their exercise outfits, or their exercise equipment at a discount, and generate cash back that can pay them almost that much money right back in their pocket book on a monthly basis! 30



When you look beyond the edge of your newspaper at your surrounding community, you will notice how the middle class is shrinking. Alas, if only our weight would go as so quickly. Many of us are finding it harder to keep a full time job. Thanks to globalization and technology, two incomes under one roof just doesn’t cut the mustard anymore. Fitness should not be a luxury, but a necessity. With the Shopping Annuity, by purchasing our supplements and other household products from your favorite retailer, we can show you how you can bring in very decent supplementary income! The supplements with our weight loss coaching helps you keep the weight off; the money you earn from the cash back incentive helps put the greenback where it belongs – in your own bank account! They say if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Well let me tell you, this is a shopping experience that represents an idea whose time has come. For more details on how you can look good, and finally have the financial freedom you have always been seeking, our number is on our ad. We would love to coach you! edenbrookwelnes




My Journey to Better Health By Melissa Dann

Nutritionists usually have stories about why they got into nutrition, and it’s often due to their own health issues or those of loved ones. My health issues led me to take control of my health and to become a holistic nutritionist. It was a challenging time in 2012, when after years of commuting from Oakville to Toronto, it got to be too much. I felt stressed most of the time and suffered from low energy, frequent migraines, colds, and digestive problems. It got to the point where I did not want to feel unwell any longer. I used to have no problem taking pills for whatever ailed me, but I wanted a change. Rather than continue to succumb to the pain and debilitation of the migraines and digestive problems, I wanted to get to the bottom of it.

I admit I wasn’t eating the best at the time. I cannot have caffeine as it causes migraines, so I would reach for sugary foods such as cookies, other baked goods, and lattes with extra sweeteners to perk me up. I was often bloated and felt briefs moments of energy from the sugar followed by crashes. I finally decided to go to a naturopath. This was one of the best things I could have ever done, since she got me to change the way I ate. Rather than continue to suppress my symptoms, I did an elimination diet for three weeks. I stopped eating gluten, eggs, and dairy. At first it was stressful, and I didn’t think I could live without bagels, lattes, sugary yogurt, or eggs. Nonetheless, I made it through. When it was time to reintroduce those foods, I realized I could live without them. I ordered a small latte for my train ride home, and actually lost my taste for it. I couldn’t finish the whole thing; it was just too sweet! I knew I was lactose intolerant, so I thought if I used lactose-free milk and took Lactaid pills, I was fine. I was wrong. I didn’t realize how cow’s milk actually



affected me until I did the elimination diet. When you remove foods you’re sensitive to from your diet for three weeks, the symptoms you experience when you re-introduce them scream at you. There’s no denying it. I started to take more of an interest in what I was eating and started eating more whole foods and less processed food. I noticed I was getting fewer colds and migraines, and I wasn’t as bloated as I used to be. After sharing this with others, I wanted to learn more. I started researching nutrition schools and audited classes at two different schools. The second school I went to was the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. I soon knew I wanted to be a nutritionist. The knowledge I got and put into practice further improved my health. We do the best with what we know. By studying nutrition, I realized just how much I didn’t know. It was a lot of work but worth it because I helped myself and many others get healthier. It was exciting and satisfying to know that I could help

my body do what it does by choosing what I put into it. I ate more organic produce (especially those on the Dirty Dozen list/see below). It caused me to make other changes in my life, such as not using chemical-laden perfumes (which I used to wear all the time). I decided to start my own business and help others get healthier, too. As a holistic nutritionist, I look at the whole person. This goes beyond merely what you eat. It includes lifestyle, level of stress, sleep, physical activity, family medical history, whether you’re a smoker, alcohol intake, etc. We’re all works in progress. Do I eat perfectly all the time? No. I’m human. But about 80% of the time I make healthy choices. Sometimes you just need guidance to help you make the right choices. My guidance led me to where I am today—eating and feeling a lot better than I did a few years ago. EWG’s Dirty Dozen list 2015: http://www.


By Andrew Terry Pasieka



Fourth Annual Rays of Hope Gala

Interim Place has been a fixture of hope in the Mississauga landscape since 1981, providing a safe house for over 40,000 women and children fleeing abusive and violent homes. And so it was that upwards of 200 guests representing the caring elite of the GTA paid $200 a plate to attend the fourth annual Rays of Hope Gala. The theme of this year’s event was ‘Fire And Ice,’ reflected in the décor of fiery reds and icy blues, and in the performance of a fire artist during the four-course meal. The goal of the gala was to raise $25,000 for the upgrading of kitchens and dining rooms in the safe houses by a combination of silent auction and live auction. The live auction proved to be an entertainment highlight in itself, centered on auctioneer extraordinaire Linda Leja, who bills herself as the Auctionista. She is described as a bold and innovative event revenue specialist who delivers intuitive live fundraising experiences. After witnessing her performance, we would have to add that she brings a particular comic bent to her show that keeps her audience engaged.

And it worked. In a little over twenty minutes, the certified BAS (Benefit Auctioneer Specialist) with the National Auctioneers’ Association raised $13,500, or 54% of the evening’s total. With an earlier pledge of $5000 and the 45 silent auction totals to be added later, the evening seemed certain to be a financial success. Having the Woman of Courage award winner Margaret Trudeau as the Keynote Speaker topped off the evening, and gave further credence as to why there are events such as these. In the words of Auctionista Leja, “philanthropy brings greater good to our world.”




Hopefor by Shelley Jarrett

SMJ Magazine: How long have you been associated with Interim Place? Sharon Floyd: I started with Interim Place in 2003. I began as a manager and became the Executive Director in 2012. Violence Against Women is an important issue and one that I am passionate about. Every day I go to work I am honored to be working with women and the staff. It’s important work and I feel honored to be there. Every day I come to work I feel like I can make an difference in the lives of women and their children.



SMJ: Interim Place has assisted over 40,000 women and children since our doors opened in 1981. Has there been any change in priorities over the years? SF: Women who come through our doors are facing multiple barriers. We had Margaret Trudeau here tonight talking about mental health and the issues of mental health. It is so unfortunate that many women who seek us out are dealing with the impact of the violence that they are experiencing, and then have to deal with mental health as a tragic by-product of that violence. When women make that decision to leave an abusive partner, they are


also often making a decision to live a life of poverty at first until they can get back on their feet. Women have to ask themselves: do I stay in an abusive relationship? If I leave, do I have the means to feed and clothe my children? Those are very difficult questions for women to answer. Many have to deal with issues of poverty, homelessness, and low self-esteem, especially if they are raising their child while seeking full time employment.ent or full time education. SMJ: This is the 4th Annual Rays of Hope Gala. What was the reason it was first staged?

SF: Affordable housing in the Region of Peel is a major obstacle for women. Years ago women would come to the shelter and stay until they got housing, but now women have to leave the shelter to go to a temporary home, sometimes a friend’s or family member’s couch. This is not safe affordable housing. They may return to Interim Place or may need to go to a homeless shelter. It’s really difficult.

SF: Interim Place wanted to have an event to raise awareness on the issue of violence against women and to publicly acknowledge our donors and supporters. We have a section of our gala that is focused on recognition of those people and those doing important work to support survivors in the community. That is why Margaret Trudeau was the keynote speaker and was a recipient of the woman of courage award. The Rays of Hope Gala raises awareness and acknowledges women of courage.

SF: Most definitely. Individuals can contact our developmental coordinator Julia Robinson by calling 905-403-9691 (ext: 2223), or by going to our website at, and clicking on the donate button. We also accept credit cards or cheques

SMJ: Can you comment on how much was the financial goal this year? SF: Our goal this year was to raise $50,000 which included a “fund the need initiative.” We needed assistance to renovate our dining room and kitchen area. We were hoping to reach a goal of $25,000. I am confident we are going to meet that, because we raised $18,000 tonight A couple of individuals came up to me later tonight and said. “If you don’t make the $25,000 let us know and we will make up the difference.”

SMJ: So donations are the key?

SMJ: One last question, If we as a society could lessen the violence against women and children, what would that be? SF: I think it’s about speaking out when we see a woman in distress or being mistreated. It’s also about creating opportunities for social, economic and political equality for women. This is clearly a societal issue, not just a woman’s issue. We really need to raise awareness and educate everyone that this is a pervasive problem that eventually impacts on us all.

SMJ: Interim Place provides a safe home for women and children 24 hours a day. How long are they allowed to stay? SF: The average stay is four months, but some women may stay longer, especially women who are from marginalized communities, such as LBGTQ women, racial identified women or women living with a disability. Some women may need to stay longer.But really, it’s about meeting individual needs of women, and supporting them to get back on their feet. SMJ: When I spoke to Julia at the shelter she said “stays are getting longer because of the GTA housing crisis.” Is that the main challenge facing Interim Place?



Safe, reliable electricity is just the beginning. At Enersource, we believe in providing more than just safe, reliable energy. It’s about delivering outstanding service, empowering people and giving back to the community. We are committed to helping Mississauga achieve its full potential by providing innovative, sustainable services, contributing to vital programs and protecting our environment. Learn more at : Enersource : @EnersourceNews



Winter has passed and Spring has begun, It is a time and new season to see the bright shining sun, The flowers are bloomingAnd how beautiful they areSo intriguing from a distance afar; Pink and purple: red, yellow and blueThe colours of Spring can make you feel renewed, In a season of refreshingColourful and beautiful these flowers can beHow glorious and wonderful can they be to see; This is a new season to flourish: This is a new season to nourish; A new season for us to be flourishing in faith, With a faith so strong we keep pressing on, With a faith so strong and an enduring bond, Trusting that God’s faith is eternally long, And from that believe you are flourishing in faith; Just as the flowers of Spring are brightly blooming, So growing in faith shall God keep you moving, In order to achieve the greater things in life, To reach your goals and accomplish things right, This is the season to start flourishing in faith-You don’t need a reason to flourish in faith. SPRING 2016



One of the greatest joys in my work over the last few years has been mentoring women. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to see them take my advice and flourish. I reported on the first and second Annual Spirit-Prenuer Networking & Women’s Conference , and had all the intentions of writing on this year’s event. It was when I saw a blog from one of my panelists that I realized I really am helping women to find purpose and strength within themselves. So, with that, I give you a report on my third conference from the pen of Robin Wright of Wright Artistry. I have discovered someone who is a spiritually-motivated writer in her own ‘Wright!’ (Shelley)

by Shelley Jarrett and Robin Wright

By Robin Wright On April 2nd I attended the Spirit-Preneur Women’s Conference. Not only was the day inspiring and informative, I had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people on their journey towards fulfilling their dreams and destiny. I loved the topic of the day, it was called ‘JUMP’. We started off by watching a brief video clip of Steve Harvey talking about taking the risk to pursue your passion in doing what you enjoy and what you were created to do. The entire conference was based on using our gifts and talents to help and serve others. It was truly motivational and confirming. I learned that once we make the decision to ‘Jump,’ we have to trust that the parachute will open. It may not open right away, but eventually it will open. It may be that we will be blessed with wings to assist us, and we’ll soar without any need for the parachute, landing safely on the path God has destined for us. I love this quote:

Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God. In attendance were women of all different professions, ranging from jewelry consultants, craft services, fashion bloggers, real estate agents, social media experts and much more. It was great to learn about the other women and their stories. As a panelist I had the opportunity to share my story as well, and what I found was that each one of us had different circumstances and challenges to overcome but we were similar in the way of being determined and faithful in pushing through our adversities. The day was a huge success; I’m looking forward to next year’s Spirit-Preneur Conference! The Steve Harvey video clip: https://youtube/kILVFRlUtT8




Adding a little to Robin’s comments, our conference was held once again at Cross Point Christian Reformed Church in Brampton. I have to say that we couldn’t have a better location for the first three years of the Conference. The main portion of the event is held in the Rotunda Room, a delightful south-facing circular space that feels like God is smiling down on us whenever the sun is out. I was ably assisted by my cohost and moderator Barbara Chambers (shown at right). The panel Robin spoke of also consisted of Dagma Koyi, founder and CEO of R.E.S.T. Centre (Restoration and Empowerment for Social Transition). The powerful effect of the love of God in her life is her motivator to alleviate the living condition of under-served youth. Her years as a counselor to homeless youth in the city of Toronto gave her penetrating insight into some of the challenges of a streetinvolved life. She is currently an advocate for school-aged children in her home country of St. Lucia; where, through fund-raising support, she transports barrels of food and other items to specific communities to ensure that every child has a breakfast meal. Jackie Nugent is the president and founder of EMBRACE Women’s Services (EWS), a not-for-profit organization, commissioned to help women transition through personal hardships and hurts to a renewed state of hope and healing. Ultimately, EWS creates ‘cycles of help’, as women are equipped and released to extend ‘cycles of help, hope and healing’ to others. Her life’s mission is to see the awakening of potential, the unleashing of power, and the fulfillment of God’s purpose in the lives of others! To that end, Under Construction Personal Growth and Development Consulting is her recently launched

company, created as a vehicle to help individuals and groups achieve confidence and purpose-filled living. “We are ALL a work in progress” says Jackie… therefore Jackie says she is her first client! Ophilia Alleyne is the founder of Ophilia Enterprises, which is a multifaceted company specializing in confidence based services and products. After being bullied by fellow classmates as a young girl, suffering abuse from a former boyfriend, she experienced discrimination as a young woman by a popular Canadian retailer who called her “too fat” to model. Ophilia carved a spot in the unforgiving fashion industry by being one of the few size 20 models signed to a major model agency in Canada (B&M Models). Ophilia has defied the masses by redefining beauty through candid conversation and her popular speech entitled “Let’s Talk Confidence”. Looking ahead, I echo Robin’s last sentence!! (Shelley)

Go to International plus size model signed with B&M Models http://




2016 Photo Gallery







Life Insurance – what Mom needs to know! From walks in the park to well-timed hugs, Mom is someone we depend on for many things. Because we depend on her so much, it’s important for her to have life insurance. Typically, men own more life insurance than women. This is due to a common misconception around the roles that women play and also because they may not be the primary breadwinner. This thinking often prevents Mom from getting the coverage she needs to have whether she’s married, single or a stay-at-home parent. MARRIED MOMS IN A TWO-INCOME FAMILY Many families rely on two incomes, yet working wives are not as likely to have life insurance coverage as are their husbands. Consider this – if you died suddenly, would your family be able to maintain their standard of living on your husband’s income alone? Remember – life insurance makes child-care and household help/management possible so that your plans for your family don’t die if you do.

Consider this – childcare, cleaning, cooking, and household management are all important and much-needed contributions to your family’s well-being. The value of these services has been estimated by at a yearly cost of $45,697 if you were to be compensated for a 40-hour work week, and at a whopping $134,121 if you accounted for all of the overtime. Remember – there would be a huge replacement cost if you were not there to manage these responsibilities. It could be very difficult for your husband to pay for these services or to take them upon himself while working full-time.

SINGLE MOMS As the primary breadwinner and caregiver, you have a lot resting on your shoulders. One in three single moms do not have any life insurance and/or they don’t have enough coverage. Consider this – if you weren’t living, how would your extended family or others care for your children in the manner they are accustomed to? Remember – it is critical for single parents to have enough life insurance for child-care and to protect their children’s financial future.

The gift of a hug and some flowers will put a smile on a mom’s face but the gift of life insurance will deliver peace of mind – allowing Mom to know that her family’s quality of life would be maintained if something happened to her. Mother’s make our world a great place to be with hugs when we’re scared and with wisdom when we don’t know what to do. Share this important information with other moms you know today, because life insurance is really about “living” without wasting a single moment on unnecessary worries about your family’s financial future.

STAY-AT-HOME MOMS Even though you don’t earn a salary, you are still making a big financial contribution to your family each and every day.

To learn more about the various life insurance options available, please contact:



About Karen A. Baker, FSCI, FIC, FMA, CLU A graduate of Ryerson University, Karen continues to pursue her passion for working with families and business owners in the financial services arena. With over 14 years in the financial and insurance services industry, she combines her knowledge for estate planning, wealth preservation and cash flow to build solid holistic financial plans for her clients.


OFFICE 905. 366. 3829






In Conversation with Julia Katsivo, a Woman on a Mission By Sheralyn Roman

Julia Katsivo is a woman on a mission, one of “helping others unlock the gift of their own potential.” In an organic, natural way, Julia does this by giving back to the community that embraced her as an immigrant child. Passionate, engaging and bubbling over with personality, Julia shares her infectious brand of positivity through a combination of working with clients, both one on one and in group coaching sessions, engaging in a variety of community initiatives and support programs. She has plenty on the go right now and just catching up for a chat was hard work but worth every effort! Julia describes her business and her life in the following manner. “We all have a gift to share with the world. I help people recognize and call out their excellence so they can share that gift with others.” As a Motivational Speaker and Personal Strategist, Julia ensures clients find their inner joy and passion “leaning into their essence.” She guides people through the process of tapping into their motivation and talents that helped them to be successful in their professional life, but “in a more holistic, natural way.” Offering programs like “Drop the Bad Habits” and “How to live your Dream Life,” Julia helps people get in touch with their real identity. Much of her motivation comes from her own personal experiences as an immigrant to Canada. She volunteers much of her time to programs that help recent arrivals rebuild selfesteem and recognize their self-worth, neither of which should be directly tied to occupation. “More than 56% of Canada population is deeply unhappy with the work that they do” Julia exclaims, “and work often (incorrectly) determines our self-esteem.” Unfortunately, the immigrant experience is often one where they are not working in positions that best reflect their skill sets. Engineers are driving cabs and this, she remarks, creates a series of disconnects, making people sick and often depressed. Through her work, Julia tries to reconnect them with whom they are as human beings first…taking the focus away from the profession and shifting it instead to how to be excellent in anything.

Describing herself as a saved Christian, Julia takes a faith - based approach to her work, but from a “street-savvy” perspective. She talks about having overcome some of her own bad habits and demons as just one part of what motivates her to work with others. After migrating to Canada in her 17th year, almost immediately she began volunteering, working first with the Alzheimer’s Society in London, in part because she missed her grandparents. Since that time she has worked together with Habitat for Humanity, as a volunteer home builder and with the Region of Peel and their “Global Health Peel” event (focused in part on helping Syrian refugees). What really brings her joy however, is teaching Communications to new immigrants. Partnered with a retired teacher and utilizing her Toastmasters skills and “Speechcraft” training, Julia helps co-ordinate an 8 week course that helps new immigrants, young adults and professionals from other backgrounds to complete a Communications Course which helps them adapt to the English language, get ahead and to be successful. One further analogy was used by Julia to describe another aspect of her work, regarding the recently downsized or re-organized employee. Again, self-esteem can be an issue. She described it this way. “ Trees in the forest don’t all grow straight, tall and reaching for the sun. Some are smaller but have deeper roots, still others are twisted, perhaps bent and yet, they are all trees that together comprise the forest. Each plays an important, individual and critical role in the ecological system as a whole.” Her message then is for us to embrace who we truly are: all of life experiences that make us unique, discovering our inner gift and then sharing that gift passionately with the world. Julia Katsivo makes it her mission to help you embrace yours!










By Akua Hinds

AFFAIRS of the heart The Value of Like-Minded People The clichéd saying that “Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness” is not necessarily true. Having money is not a guarantee that you will be happy, but it can provide more choices. Of the three niche dating websites that I own, I get the most questions about rich singles. Some people don’t understand why people who are wealthy would prefer to seek other wealthy people to connect with, but I have always understood the meaning that birds of a feather flock together. There is everything right about wanting to connect with someone who shares your values, and there is nothing wrong with selecting a mate who can afford and appreciate the lifestyle that you want. All human beings were created to be equal, however, we were not all created to do or to want the same things. A relationship has a better chance of surviving when both people in the union are striving towards similar goals. While it is true that opposites attract, two people will have more to talk about and fewer arguments when they understand each other. Compatibility is key to any lasting and loving relationship, and that includes compatible income streams. I have dated some wealthy people in the past, and I loved those experiences. Those men thought and acted differently than other men I’d dated who were having difficulties making ends meet. The men who were struggling financially were stressed about their situations, and they had negative attitudes because they allowed their financial difficulties to dominate their thoughts and beliefs in themselves. The wealthier men had more self-confidence and were generally more polite, and I appreciated the attention that the welleducated and well-established men showed to me. Who



WOULDN’T appreciate being lavished with gifts, attention, and opportunities? Being in a financially secure position expands a person’s view of how they can make positive impacts on many lives, including their own. I have a friend who works as a relationship coach, and she and I have had several conversations about the proper way for single people to invite the right people into their lives. We both believe that a person needs to mentally prepare themselves to receive happiness, but where my friend and I differ is that I believe that it’s perfectly normal to prefer being with someone who is in a good financial place, and my friend doesn’t feel that finances should play a part in attracting love. Fortunes are not forever, because fortunes come and go, but relationships are easier to establish at the outset when there is little to no stress. Lack of money can cause a lot of stress that a couple does not need when they are trying to establish a relationship. Money is a reward for a service, an incentive for a project, to support someone and to show gratitude. Money can also be an investment which brings more money in return. Money is your return from gainful employment, and that should be a source of JOY, not a source of misery. The Biblical scripture from 2 Thessalonians 3:10 states that if you don’t work, you won’t eat. We all need to eat healthy food in order to survive. It makes sense to partner with someone who understands the value of creating positive opportunities for themselves and for others, starting with healthy food. Some people aren’t comfortable with being their own bosses, but there are also people who are uncomfortable


with surrendering control over their careers to an employer. It can be tough for someone who is entrepreneurial-minded to relate to someone who believes that job security is only achievable through receiving a paycheque from an employer. In the final analysis, building a life with someone requires investments of time, love, energy, willingness, and yes, money. Money is necessary to help move a relationship and a family forward in today’s world. If you’re single, you need to ask yourself what kind of person can help you to achieve your goals? Keep your eyes on the prize. The prize for you might vary. Perhaps you value having the freedom and flexibility to take two family vacations each year or some other symbol of financial independence. Whatever your goals are, keep them current in your mind’s eye as you seek a partner who is willing and ready to fulfill your wish list. While it is completely fine to appreciate the finer things in life, it is never right to use someone strictly for their money. People were created to be in relationship with each other and to work together. It’s important to find someone who you are compatible with, but that person should continually inspire you to greatness. A partner who refuses to improve his or her own life can hardly provide support to you to improve your own life. You’ll never regret striving to be the best that you can be. And, you’ll never regret having a partner by your side who has the right priorities and wants to partner with you to build the best life possible together. The fortune you seek is within your reach.

Akua Hinds enjoys working as a journalist, actress, music teacher, performer, and owner of 3 dating websites. Please visit for more details about her work.



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