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September-October 2016 Vol. 11 Issue 5 $4.95

REFLECTING TODAY SHAPING TOMORROW

NEXT STOP… NEW DELHI

KEVIN HOWLETT OF AIR CANADA AND THEIR NEW DIRECT FLIGHTS TO INDIA

BLACK LIVES MATTER 10 THINGS TO KNOW FOR UNIVERSITY

ISSN 2371-2481

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FROM THE PUBLISHER Suki Pangalia CEO

As we end summer and go into fall, we reflect on the diversity of our Community, and look back on all the events and the cultural vibe that has spread throughout the community. We now look forward to the activities of fall, Classical Indian festivals, and of course, preparation for Diwali!

P: 604.590.0007 E: info@aajmag.ca AAJ Media Group Surrey, BC ISSN 2371-2481

AAJ Magazine is published by AAJ Media Group, doing business as AAJ Magazine Inc. AAJ is a magazine that is published every two months. Any reproduction of the magazine, editorial content, images or advertisements cannot be reproduced or reprinted in any form, without written permission of the Publishers. The views expressed by the writers in this publication are not the views of the Publishers or AAJ Media Group. The Publishers assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Copyright 2015 AAJ Magazine Incorporated. All rights reserved.

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For those heading back to school we should be thankful for the Canadian Public school system, which is inclusive of everyone. Now some might disagree, but let us all remember a common theme, “Whoever wants something, they will achieve,” If a child wants to study, they’ll study under the street lamp, if an entrepreneur wants to build a business, they will go out of their way to find someone to help them; and if the community is lacking a certain energy, there will individuals who will light the fire, so to speak.

Speaking of those who want to achieve, Cassius Khan and Amika Khushwaha, have strived for perfection and brilliance bringing it all together in the Mushtari Begum Festival of Indian and Classical Music & Dance, will come alive once again in September. Diwali: The festival of lights. One of the many Celebrations, which is celebrated across the community. Diwali occurs on the darkest day in the month of October, only to light up the night sky, with lamps, love, laughter, and fireworks! In the Indian Community, September brings about a realization, that some may not have booked their flight to India yet. No fear, the ticket you await, is near. After years of research, and planning, the Non-stop Vancouver to Delhi route is Launching on October 20th, 2016!

CORRECTION NOTICE: In the print publication of our March issue, featuring the Khare Family, we gave credit for the "Attack your Tax" article to the wrong Financial Advisor. This article was written by Bharathi Sandhu. Our e-magazine has been updated, and we apologize for the error.


IN THIS ISSUE H E A LT H Basic Principles of Intermittent Fasting Do You Care for Yourself?

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C OV E R S T O RY Next Stop New Delhi

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FA M I LY Adverse Childhood Experience

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YO U T H 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting University Saving for School

62 66

F E AT U R E 15 Querstions with Jazzy B 24 Sammy Toora The Jolly Good Fellow! 30

BUSINESS Due Diligence For Business Investors

P O LI T I C S & L AW Back Lives Matter 34 Dear Citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 38 Politicians Should Share Blame for Housing Crisis 42

PRO F I LE Interview with a Shy Beauty FromSurrey to Sechelt

C U LT U R E Five Reasons Why The World Loves Priyanka Chopra Sarod Maestro Rajeev Taranath Love & Life, Connecting through the Arts

BRUGGE BRUGGE DESIG DESIG NN

AAJ COMMUNIT Y AAJ On Scene

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THE TEAM Publishers Suki Pangalia Goldy Pataria Steve Sandhu

Medical Editors Dr. Paramjit Bhui Dr. Raj Bhui Dr. Dennis Bhu

Administration Preet Dhaliwal

Editorial Lima Abedin Jordan Bateman Jai Birdi Navkiran Brar Jaskiran Brar Preet Dhaliwal Dr. Suman Kollipara Sunny Mangat

Executive Assistant

Editors Navkiran Brar Matt WIlliams Investigative Journalist Salim Jiwa

Sasha Ramnarine Esha Singh Jahnavi Singh Matt Williams Arsheen Vishash Design & Layout Brugge Design Adrian Brugge Tina Theuer Mark Lewis Advertising & Sales Paul Baraich Kelly Uppal

Steve Sandhu Sonali Pangalia Suki Pangalia Jay Nair Jaswinder Saggi Jyotika Jasuja Distribution: Sahil Pangalia Photography Aziz Ladha Adrian Brugge Sonali Pangalia Imperial Photo Studio

Anthony Peres Travis Broxton Images Credits 123RF Pixabay Thank You! Sandiya Prasad Sasha Ramnarine Cassius Khan Kevin Howlett James Howey Alison Maclean

AAJ Magazine is published by AAJ Media Group, doing business as AAJ Magazine Inc. AAJ is a magazine that is published every two months. Any reproduction of the magazine, editorial content, images or advertisements cannot be reproduced or reprinted in any form, without written permission of the Publishers. The views expressed by the writers in this publication are not the views of the Publishers or AAJ Media Group. The Publishers assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Copyright 2015 AAJ Magazine Incorporated. All rights reserved.


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HEALTH

BASIC PRINCIPLES OF

INTERMITTENT FASTING In recent months, the concept of intermittent fasting has been gaining traction in both the media and within health circles. While fasting is not a new idea (this ancient yogic practice dates back thousands of years), intermittent fasting is quickly becoming one of this year’s most popular buzzwords. What is intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting is a scheduled pattern of eating that cycles between fed and fasted states, or ‘feast and famine’. This method of eating more closely matches the eating patterns of ancestors, and there is a growing body of research that recommends it over the standard “three-square

INTERMITTENT FASTING 14

March 2016

meals a day” pattern. While there are no hard and fast rules about the length of period that one should fast for, it generally agreed upon that no fast should exceed 36 hours. There are several proposed methods for the “right way” to do intermittent fasting, but the most basic pattern includes a 16 hour fast 5-7 days a week and an eating window of about 8 hours.

SLEEP

FAST

EAT

HOURS

HOURS

HOURS

= 8 + 8 + 8

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Benefits of intermittent fasting The purported benefits of intermittent fasting are many, but the most welldocumented benefits include: • Changes the function of cells, genes and hormones o Insulin levels decrease significantly, facilitating fat-burning o Human growth hormone increases up to 5-fold, which can facilitate fatburning and muscle gain o Your cells initiate cellular repair processes • Helps you lose weight o Intermittent fasting helps you eat less calories and slightly boosts metabolism. • Reduces insulin resistance, and effectively lower your risk of type 2 diabetes o The reduction of insulin levels and blood sugars can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. • Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the body • Beneficial for heart health o Intermittent fasting can reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and inflammatory markers. • Boosts brain health by increasing the growth of new neurons and protecting the body from damage • May be protective against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease • May increase longevity

Do’s and Don’ts of Intermittent Fasting DO make sure to stay well hydrated during the

fasting period with water, green juices, herbal teas, and coffee.

DO fill your eating-window with nutrient dense foods such as colorful vegetables, dark leafy greens, lean proteins, and healthy sources of fat

DON’T over-do the coffee or lace it with cream and sugar. Instead, look into adding healthy fats (such

DON’T consume processed foods and foods chock-full of refined sugar.

as coconut oil or MCT oil) in your coffee.

While intermittent fasting has many benefits, it is may not be suitable for those who have trouble controlling their blood sugar levels, have known thyroid and/or adrenal gland dysfunction and/or are pregnant. Individuals who undertake intermittent fasting should always pay close attention to their body and energy levels. Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, or treat. Optimal health is unique and it differs from person to person. Always consult with your primary care physician for advice on your wellness goals. a degree in Kinesiology and Psychology from Simon Fraser University and is Esha SinghESHA BSc. SINGH, Need bioiholds and pic. currently completing her final year in Naturopathic Medicine.

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HEALTH

DO YOU CARE FOR YOURSELF? She asked me one simple question that blew my mind, “What are you doing for yourself?”

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March 2016

Ten years ago my life was in a state of confusion, and I mean all aspects of it - physical, mental and emotional wellbeing in jeopardy. I was in search of answers for simple questions: “Who am I really? Why am I here in this world? And why should I suffer?” This search took me from Mt. Rainier to the Himalayas and all possible avenues in between, from Wine to Divine, Hollywood to Bollywood, Left to Right, North to South, West to East and back to West, straight to Vancouver, British Columbia. As if it was meant to be, I landed in this scenic city in 2006 for the perfect climax in the drama of my life. Within four weeks of my arrival here, I had met a Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Sunita Bapooji (www.sunita. ca). I went to her with scepticism and the same questions. I explained all of my problems and disasters of my life. She did not show much interest in people or events in my life. She asked me one simple question that blew

my mind, “What are you doing for yourself?” That one question revealed the path into the eternity of existence. I was here in Vancouver for a short trip and now after 10 years there is no looking back. And then she asked me if I wanted to practice a program aajmag.ca


that she pioneered called Sookshma meaning “Micro.” I hesitatingly took four Sookshma sessions. I started to notice a tremendous change in my life at all levels. I had health issues that were resolved within weeks; mentally I have become one pointed, focused and crystal clear. Emotionally I have become very balanced. I started to experience immense calm and serenity both inside and outside. The drama of life did not seem to affect me anymore even though I am an actor in it. I have found the treasure within myself, the infinite gold mine. All these years I wanted to create, innovate, make it big, with name, fame, and money; but as I dived deep into my microcosm, I found many jewels, diamonds and riches that are incomparable to anything outside. The essence of the Sookshma program is to dig deep within our Microcosm and figure out who we really are. This inner journey has been prescribed by many cultures all across the globe, by many seers, gurus and saints alike. But what Sunita had done was quite unique. She extracted all that ancient wisdom and packaged it into a small, subtle microcapsule called Sookshma, tailor-made for the modern hectic life style. She says, “Yes, there are many rules, rituals and regulations from ancient times, many paths to care for the self, but everyone is busy and has no time.” Yes, we are all caught up in the rat race of life, in a generation where everything is instant. For such a mindset which is wavy, wary and wimpy, Sunita created Sookshma to

empower yourself by “You”. She puts “You” in the center light. She removes all the unnecessary clutter from the mind and matter while taking you on an adventurous journey into your own self. And in this path you get to see yourself in a mirror, visit all the hidden dark corners filled with vices and the brightest of your side filled with virtues. Sookshma is to shift from

Vices to Virtues. In this, sometimes dreadful, journey she steps into your shoes with pure empathy, she holds your hand and walks with you compassionately, she sings the lullaby like a mother, she feeds you with not just the best food for the mind and body, but more importantly the Pure Love and Pure positive vibrations that nourish your heart and soul. I have seen many who have come to her with suffering of many kinds, simple to complex physical 17


ailments, mental blockages and emotional trauma. But all have left with not only solace to their souls, but discovering the innate power within to transform and steer their lives towards making their dreams c ome true. We are all so curious about everything outside, but forget the most precious resource that we are. We are bestowed with two amazing tools to create miracles in our life, the Mind and Body. Instead of sharpening, nurturing, caring, cleaning and beautifying these tools inside out, we are busy with everyone and everything else out there in the world. There is nothing wrong in indulging in the external world, but equally important is the internal world that is in fact the foundation of our life. Sookshma is learning to balance both. We forget to care for the resource, which performs innumerable functions without our knowledge, from a single cell zygote in the mother’s womb to becoming this complex body filled with trillions of cells. Each cell in our body is continuously working without a break, helping us in our day-today tasks. But are we showing any gratitude to these amazing friends of ours, who only know to give us anything we ask for? We put our Mind and Body through so much stress and turmoil in our lives. They cope with all that we dump in them and everything that we demand of, yet with no complaints, only to falter when

18

the imperative disease hits us with surprise and shock. We neglect these greatest gifts and run after external gifts that fade off with the passage of time. Sookshma is to start with the self, no matter what happens in life, caring for the self, loving and smiling for the self, showing appreciation and compassion to the self. With the inspiration derived from my inner revelation and transformation, I have cofounded a non-profit organization, Peace Tree Society (www.peacetree.ca) to share the Science and Wisdom behind Sookshma and empower the entire

No matter what, Love the Self, Purify the Self and “Be the Change.” When you become Pure Selfless Love, all that you see around is Love, just like a flower whose inherent scent becomes fragrance for humanity. human race to live life at a peak potential and unleash the power hidden within us. My background in Medical science, Technology and past 10 years of tutelage under an ancient master like Sunita helps me simplify the complex knowledge so that a common man can easily understand and implement this simple, subtle way of life. In a series of articles, I shall be sharing my journey of Self-realization, and many other aspects of Sookshma and its marvels.

Dr.DR. Suman Kollipara Need bio. Co-founder of Peace Tree Society, a group that organizes SUMAN KOLLIPARA workshops on overall well-being, using tools pioneered by Master Sunita. He comes with a unique background of Veterinary Medicine, Computer Science and 10 years of training in Meditation under Master Sunita.


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COVER STORY

NEXT STOP

NEW DELHI ‘All jet and no lag’ as Air Canada prepares to take off on its inaugural flight from Vancouver to New Delhi on its next generation Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Just as the community asked, but it is up to the community to keep the flight in the air.

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From Customer Service to Senior Vice President, Regional Markets and Government Relations, Kevin Howlett is a true example of hard work and dedication paying off. After graduating from University in 1973, Kevin began his career with Air Canada in the Customer Service department. The following years he oversaw the merger of many Airlines in Canada, some of which many of us have not even heard about. There were also many challenges that arose; challenges that we as a flying public would not even consider such as managing an airline during the threat of ongoing global geo-political unrest, public concern for safety during the SARS pandemic, H1N1, and now even the

One can say that many IndoCanadian businesses in British Columbia have been lobbying for this direct flight for the past 20 years, yet as Kevin explains it, the aircraft economics were not where they needed to be until now, with the introduction of the new Dreamliner. But one can also say that even though there was demand from the public, would it have been profitable enough to sustain its own route without having to carve into the profit of other flights? Now was deemed to be the right time for this new venture with its 14 hour* flight from Vancouver to Delhi. Business travelers will

…the airline is well on its way to becoming a Global Powerhouse with its sizeable international expansion from Vancouver,… Zika Virus. Kevin’s background has also included extensive experience in Human Resources & Industrial Relations, where he oversaw the evolution of Air Canada’s relationship with its unionized workforce during a period that witnessed significant transition within the airline Industry. And today, thanks to Air Canada’s strong belief of engagement with its employees and customers, the airline is well on its way to becoming a Global Powerhouse with its sizeable international expansion from Vancouver, leading to this new route: a non-stop flight from Vancouver to New Delhi.

benefit greatly from reduced travel time to Delhi and to connections beyond, as will the general South Asian community in Western Canada who want to avoid the traditionally long journey that used to require a connection in order to visit their family members and loved ones. AAJ Magazine had an opportunity to speak with Kevin Howlett recently who brought along Air Canada’s Manager, Business Development James Howey for the conversation.

Air Canada 787 Dreamliner Business Class 21


route-specific hot meals and snacks, newspapers from around the globe, and an amazing language-qualified cabin crew

The Introduction of this non-stop flight will be the catalyst of growth and bi-lateral cooperation between Canada & India

22

AAJ Magazine: Why did you choose the south Asian community to introduce this venture to? What made Delhi an appealing option; was it chosen on a local-population basis, statistics from previous years, or the growing trade with Canada and India? Kevin: A number of reasons. India is the world’s third largest economy, and is also home to the most populous democracy in the world. This is coupled with India’s highly educated and growing middle class who are seeking new destinations and greater access to global markets. British Columbia has also targeted India as a partner to increase trade with. The Introduction of this non-stop flight will be the catalyst of growth and bi-lateral cooperation between Canada & India. In fact, since 2010 both Canada & India have been in talks around a Comprehensive Economic

Partnership Agreement. In our view, investments such as our new service will help further accelerate these types of discussions. There is also lots of opportunity for the education system, for students to travel from India to BC. This flight will also be used to increase the growth of transportation of air cargo, another very important element of our business model. And for the traveling public, they can now enjoy the fasted elapsed time between British Columbia and India with our new service. With this new venture, they can be in India in less than a day’. With a departure time from Vancouver of 11:45 pm, landing locally in Delhi at 1:55am two calendar days later, customers have time to make connecting flights or prepare for meetings with the luxury of not being as jetlagged upon arrival. This is thanks to many great new features unique to the Dreamliner such as


the feeling of lower cabin altitude and higher humidity to reduce the effects of fatigue, as well as mood lighting that reflects the local time, so you know when to sleep, or when to rise. And one should not forget 600 hours of In-Flight Entertainment, route-specific hot meals and snacks, newspapers from around the globe, and an amazing language-qualified cabin crew (who by the way, have their own secret quarters on the plane to rest between destinations; but please don’t try to find it, we need them rested!).

For those of you wondering if this will be a year round service, James has an answer: “The majority of the Indo-Canadian community that travels is flying anywhere from October to April. Typically, from there we see demand drop off for

After many years of lobbying for this direct flight, it will finally be in service in the Fall of 2016, which is next month! But as with all good things, there is a small but important catch To keep this new flight running: We must understandably use it. As Kevin mentioned, “This is a use it or lose it opportunity: the company has tried to meet the needs of the market by offering the three classes of service now on board the Dreamliner: International Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy”. Kevin goes on to say, ‘Air Canada believes, that after years of pro-longed travel, people can appreciate the value and efficiency of a direct flight.” James Howey also states, “What this is, in our eyes, is a new level of engagement: Air Canada’s way of building greater ties with the community. With the upcoming Canada-India Business Council Partnership Summit in September for instance, now it’s about engaging the community, connecting with business, saving money, and increasing growth.”

Air Canada 787 Dreamliner which our customers are currently able to take advantage of our yearround service via Toronto with one easy connection.” Even so Kevin later comments, ‘Our hope is to take Vancouver-Delhi year-round, it will entirely depend on the demand of the market’. So Air Canada will fly as the market wishes them to. With the engagement of the community, with the market supporting this new route, this can be a way to lessen the distance between families and businesses. Air Canada has taken this risk upon themselves to deliver what the customer has asked of them, and in this case the customer has asked for a

October 20th, 2016, Air Canada and the 787 Dreamliner is set to take off on the inaugural non-stop flight from Vancouver British Columbia to New Delhi 23


non-sop flight. After years of thorough research, on October 20th, 2016, Air Canada and The 787 Dreamliner is set to take off on the inaugural nonstop flight from Vancouver British Columbia to New Delhi; just as the customer suggested and wanted! For more on this new service, contact your local travel agent or visit www. aircanada.com. I know that you, the reader, want as much information as you can get before you travel on a 14 hour flight. I was skeptical at first as well. What am I going to do in the air for 14

hours? Then you break it down, and Kevin gave a wonderful answer, “600 hours of in-flight entertainment.” You can binge watch an entire TV series, and no one can say anything to you. Want to watch 3 Blockbuster films? Go for it! Haven’t played Sudoku in a while? Why not begin now? Falling asleep? You have time. Need to stay awake to finish the report? Go right ahead! One of the wonderful cabin crew aboard will be happy to serve you refreshments all throughout the duration of the flight.

600 Hours of in-flight entertainment for you to enjoy

PREET DHALIWAL is the Executive Assistant at AAJ Magazine, holds a degree in History from UVic, and is a skilled soccer player. Originally from Duncan, BC, she now calls Surrey home.

“I’m very pleased to see Air Canada announce direct service to New Delhi. Not only will it help preserve existing cultural and family ties for British Colombians thriving South Asian community, it will create new connections in business, trade, research, and tourism. I’m looking forward to being on the inaugural flight on October 20th. My government and I have been working on this for some time and it’s great to see it take flight.”

Christy Clark Premier of British Columbia

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CELEBR ATE

DIWALI

WITH AAJ

MAGAZINE

For advertising info contact us at: 604.590.0007 or info@aajmag.ca www.aajmag.com


WITH

15 QUERSTIONS

JAZZY B

SPECIAL FEATURE

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March 2016

aajmag.ca


C

ongratulations to Jazzy B for being inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, alongside the likes of Michael J. Fox (a Hollywood star) and Michael Bublé (a Canadian singer, songwriter and actor). The BC Entertainment Hall of Fame honours British Columbians who have made outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry.

The inductees are featured with a plaque on the Walk of Fame on Granville Street, and a gallery in the Orpheum. Jazzy B, the Crown Prince of Bhangra, is the first South Asian to undergo such an achievement, and we couldn’t be prouder! Here’s what Jazzy B had to say about the adversities he has faced and his local and international success. AAJ: Congratulations on receiving such prestigious recognition as a Star Walk honoree by the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame! You’ve been inducted alongside other superstars such as Michael J. Fox, Marcus Mosely, Hal Beckett, and Joe Keithley. How does it feel to be recognized at this level? JAZZY B: I never really thought I would receive something like this – an award like this is a big deal. A few friends of mine, Bobby Nagra, Paul Dhillon and Varinder Saul, actually nominated me and didn’t even tell me that they did this, until they were sure that I was going to get it. They called me and told me they had news for me and I had to let it sink in for a bit when I found out. A huge thank you to them for nominating me. It’s a wonderful feeling. Coming from Surrey, growing up here, I always felt like I was a normal kid and if it wasn’t for the Punjabi language, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I always tell kids in our community to speak Punjabi. It feels great knowing that I’ve accomplished something like this.

It feels great knowing that I am the first South Asian to be recognized. No matter which South Asian gets this award next, they will always mention that Jazzy B was first.

AAJ: You are the first South Asian person to be recognized by the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. How does it feel to be first in line? JAZZY B: It feels great knowing that I am the first South Asian to be recognized. No matter which South Asian gets this award next, they will always mention that Jazzy B was first. It feels great to set up this pathway. My Ustaad used to say in Punjabi: “leehan paunian aukhian, maggar gadda jehda marji kichhi jaave.” It’s hard to make a trail, but anyone can walk on that trail. It feels great to know that I’m a trail blazer.

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AAJ: W a s receiving this recognition one of your goals during y o u r career, or is it just something awesome that happened? JAZZY B: I never even thought about this award. I didn’t even know it was possible for me to achieve this. Even in India, I was trying to explain what it was exactly, and I had to explain in Punjabi that they were going to put my name on Granville Street. That’s when people realized it was a big deal. It never crossed my mind that I might be recognized like this.

AAJ: Tell us about your new song, Dynamite. Where did you get inspiration for this song? JAZZY B: Roach Killa from Toronto always looked up to me when he was growing up, since we were both from Canada. He raps and does reggae. One day he said “Paaji, come on man, we have to do this” so I met up with him and we started talking and planning it out. The song is written by GV and I didn’t change anything in it. I liked it because it’s different. Anyone can understand it, whereas my stuff is usually a deep Punjabi and not many people get it. This song is a straightforward song and people really like it.

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AAJ: You’ve broken barriers and reached levels that some people only dream of. When you first started out, did you ever think you would reach the point at which where you are today? JAZZY B: No, I didn’t think I would ever reach the level I’ve reached today. There is no one else in my family that sings, and many people didn’t consider singing as a career. Some of them still don’t actually. My mom and dad, brother and sister, often said go to school and study but clearly God had different plans for me. I didn’t undergo any training. I followed Ustaad Kuldip Manak-ji from the very beginning. I always used to listen to his songs, cassettes, records back in the day. I used to work with a guy named Tarlok Singh Kooner, who used to live in our basement. I used to work with him on Friday, Saturday, Sunday for pocket money. I used to sing when I was working, and he is the one who recognized me and noticed that I could sing. He said “wow, Jazzy, teri awaaj vadhiya” (your voice is excellent), and “we should do something.” That is how we started our first album Ghugian da Jora. If he didn’t spot me, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now, talking to you guys. Back in the day, he spent $5000 on me - he was my boss, but he saw that talent in me. He is the one who planted that seed, and he didn’t do it for any money or to get something out of it; he just


saw the potential in me. A A J : What is your proudest moment to date? JAZZY B: There are many proud moments, but the one that tops the list is when my daughter was born. She’s a lucky charm for me. The same year that she was born, my album O Keri was released. For me, that is the biggest album. Naag was a huge hit. AAJ: You overcame so many obstacles when you were starting your career as a Punjabi singer. In the face of adversity, what pushed you to keep going? What motivates you to get up in the morning and keep doing great things? JAZZY B: My fans are my motivation. When I first started (I was born in India, but grew up here), I used to listen to Easy-E and NWA, Motley Crew and stuff like that. Fashion was the first thing for me - wacky hairdo, stuff like that; it was part of who I was. Even back in the day, a lot of people used to say “teeri awaaj vadhiya, par tere vaal ni teek; changi tera kaar” (your voice is

good, but your hair isn’t; do your hair properly) so I was used to that, but I believed in myself. Even now, times have changed, and it’s all about social media. You can say anything about anybody, and some people do diss me. I don’t mind that - I take that as a positive thing, as the fact that people are noticing me. Why are they looking at my account if they don’t like me? People, whether it be my fans or my haters, are where I get my energy from. It keeps me going. You need friends who tell you you can do better (this song could be better or this video could be better), but you also need those people on social media who say “you’re nothing now.” I say “okay, I’ll prove it to you with my music.” That’s what I do - I don’t talk back or write anything back on my social media. I just prove it with my work. I think that is the best medicine.

To read the full article go to www.aajmag.ca

NAVKIRAN BRAR, Editor of AAJ Magazine, is a well rounded professional, with a passion for writing, academics and entrepreneurship. 29


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31


JOLLY GOOD FELLOW!

SAMMY TOORA THE

SPECIAL FEATURE

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Originally from New Delhi, India, Toora moved to Vancouver (Canada) in 1988 and like a number of other immigrants, Toora feels pleased with his family’s decision to move to Canada and be reunited with his sister under Canada’s Family Reunification Program. “I have no regrets for moving to Canada; I had good opportunities in India, and, I have good opportunities in Canada,” says Toora. One of Toora’s passions is ‘powerlifting’ and the opportunity to continue with his passion for competing in Power-lifting is something Toora really feels pleased about. “Not all immigrants can say that they had the opportunity to carry on with their passions in a new country. I can,” continues Toora. Toora’s journey into the field of power-lifting was started in 1983 when he first entered and competed in the local tournament - the Government Colonies Tournament in New Delhi. Although his initial entry into the competition did not land any medals for Toora, his passion for Power-lifting was ignited. This initial entry also gave Toora the well-deserved recognition and he was inspired to dive deeper into the ocean of power-lifting. After immigrating to Canada and taking a short break, Toora once again immersed into his passion for the Power-lifting and he started competing in BC Championships in 1996. From 1996 to 2009, Toora explains with pride that he was the “only Indo Canadian power-lifter who competed

for 13 years in a row”. The first open Canadian powerlifting championship Toora competed was in 1998. Toora then also competed in the national championships in 2004 and 2006. “In 2005, I was pleased to set up new bench-press record and in 2006, a new National record (Master’s BC record) of Bench-press by lifting 405 pounds”. 2009 was the last year Toora competed in a tournament. “I did not quit… just taking some time off to spend quality time with my grownup twin children, Jason and Jasmine. I want to start competing by enrolling in the Master-2 age class (50-60 years) once I get settled down with my domestic responsibilities,” explains Toora.

Sammy is a legend in the powerlifting community in Vancouver and he's both an outspoken person and a gentelman. We recvently connected on the set of my film, The Fusion Generation, where he gladly helped out by playing bartender, and that is how he is to friends - generous and joyous to be around -Paul Dhillon

Taking a break is probably good approach for finding a balance between work, family, and leisure. Although preparing and competing in a tournament is not a leisurely activity, for Toora, power-lifting is his passion that he cannot stay away from for too long. Whether competing in a tournament, or living a domestic life, Toora lives his life as a proud human being. He is also a strong believer of the ‘self-respect movement’ and as such, he takes his passion and beliefs seriously. This was probably 33


one of the reasons why Paul Dhillon, journalist/editor (The Link Newspaper) described Toora as the ‘Tower of Power’ in his June 3rd, 2000 report published in The Tribune. In this report, Dhillon wrote:

discrimination by going public. Toora was pleased when Canadians from all walks of life came out and stood in solidarity and joined him in denouncing caste-based and all other forms of discriminations in Canada.

“They don’t call Indo-Canadian Sammy Toora ‘Tower of Power’ for nothing. The New Delhi-born well-known powerlifter who has been racking up victories in gyms in the Canadian province of British Columbia again took first place at the 2000 Provincial Powerlifting Championships.”

Being serious about his passion and his beliefs may lead one to wonder whether Toora is all seriousness and no fun!

Living in Canada does not mean that Toora has always lived in a ‘garden of roses’. There were times when Toora felt he was discriminated against - coincidently, not because of racism, but, because of casteism. “Being discriminated by people of your own community is much harder to accept and this experience, was indeed a difficult time for me to forget”, recalls Toora. Toora's first stint at facing discrimination in Canada was when his co-worker tried to intimidate and belittle him because of his ancestry. In face of this discrimination, Toora fought back and exposed this caste-based

Yes, Toora does have a lighter side. A quick review of his Facebook posts reveals that he indeed enjoys and lives every moment of his life. In his spare time, Toora is very active with his posts on Facebook and most of his posts are about him living a jolly-good life. No wonder, some of Toora’s close friends fondly call him: “a jolly good fellow!”

Some of Toora’s wellknown competitions and recognitions: • Competed in state (Delhi) and national level championships from 1984 to 1988: Madhya Pardesh (1985); Jaipur (1986); Tamil Nadu (1987), and, Bihar (1988). • Won bronze medal in Jaipur (1986). • Won silver medal and set up a new National Record in Bench-press (1987).

JAI BIRDI is the General Secretary for the Chetna Association of Canada. He is an activist and writes on social justice issues and concerns. 34


POLITICS & LAW

#BLACK LIVES MATTER The Black Lives Matter movement has become one of the most powerful social justice movements in the 21st century and it needs to be understood. This is a movement that has been criticized with counter statements of #AllLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter etc. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement started just over three years ago after the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by a volunteer neighborhood watchman named George Zimmerman. Later in 2014, the movement gained footing after the police shooting of Michael Brown Ferguson.

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I attempted to find the statistical data on the number of people killed by police, in particular of racial disparity. However, the data is unreliable as the police forces in the U.S.A. are not all required to provide racial demographics, although some do. However, a study was conducted by Ross (2015) who examined the U.S. Police-shooting Database (USPSD) in order to study the racial bias in the police shootings of civilians. This study indicated a significant bias in the killing of unarmed black Americans, in direct comparison to unarmed white Americans. More specifically, the study indicates that the odds of being black, unarmed and shot by the police is 3.49 times higher than of a white unarmed American. To be clear the USPSD database is collected through an open contribution campaign by Kyle Wagner in 2014. Furthermore, an independent analysis by the Washington Post indicated that the only significant predication on whether an unarmed civilian would be shot by the police in the U.S. was whether or not they were black. Lastly, a report by the San Francisco district attorney’s office on police practices reported racial disparities regarding S.F.P.D stops, searches, and arrests, in particular for black people. In 2015 black people accounted for over 42% of all non-consent searches whereas black people account for less than 15% of the population. Overall, the official raw data on the number of people being killed by the police is quite unreliable. However, what we do know is that the raw statistics cannot tell us whether there is an actual inherent bias in the way in which the police are treating black people. Nevertheless, what we can do is examine each case independently

and most importantly we can listen to the black community. More importantly, the BLM movement is not only about the partiality of police treatment but speaks to more than just that. This movement is about the social inequality faced by black people in all aspects of life: Education, more than 42% of black children are educated in poverty-stricken schools and neighborhoods. The unemployment rate for black highschool drop outs is 47% in comparison to 26% for white Americans. Homelessness, black people make up about 37% of the homeless given that they only make up 13% of the U.S. population. We need to hear their voices and their concerns, and what the Black Lives Matter movement is telling us is that there is a serious concern. The Black Lives Matter movement has been called into question, in particularly with the recent shooting and killing of five police officers during a BLM movement protest in Dallas. There have been outcries of #AllLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter and whilst both claims are undeniable so is the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Many are arguing that the statement of #BlackLivesMatter fuels division and has undertones of racism in itself. However, those arguing this are missing the most basic point – that apparently when it comes to social equality black lives do not matter.

We need to hear their voices and their concerns, and what the Black Lives Matter movement is telling us is that there is a serious concern.

We live in a world today where anything and everything is on for display, so we attempt to always put our best face forward. We want to believe that we have overcome racism and prejudice because the lynching and slavery of black people

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has stopped. We have established the right to vote for women and colored people and we don’t separate the whites from the colored. Yet we continue to silence the voices of the most vulnerable in society. Furthermore, racism is not always about white versus black, and we here in Vancouver can recognize that. As an Indo-Canadian I grew up during the times when racism was very explicit and in your face. Where I was once told as a child I could not use a restroom because it wasn’t for people ‘like me.’ I can also argue the number times I have heard of Indians being racist towards others, sometimes even their own ‘kind’. However, is it so hard for us to believe that possibly we have socially constructed the black community in a certain way; that may lead some police officers to be more tactically offensive when dealing with a black individual? The question is not why these social inequalities exist, but more so how these inequalities continue to exist and where do they stem from? I cannot speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself - as a young woman

who was born from immigrant parents in Nanaimo B.C., who grew up in Surrey and in the last three years moved to London, U.K. to pursue my PhD. My contact with the black community for the majority of my entire life was very limited, until I moved to London. It wasn’t until I moved to London, and I became friends with many black people that I had realized that I prejudged them before I knew them. These judgements were not all bad judgments but were based on what I had expected of them from the television shows I had watched, sports, movies and music. However, it was through ‘breaking bread’ and talking with my new friends and being open about my feelings and thoughts that I discovered that they too had similar judgements and expectations of the little ‘IndoCanadian girl’ that they had met in London. We all create expectations of others based on our existing knowledge, but what we need to do is question where that knowledge is coming from. To put this simply, we all construct ideas and thoughts about others and we may not even realize that we have.

But until we start talking and most importantly listening, we will never be able to overcome these unconscious constructions that we have created of others. Racism is not always explicit – in particular in today’s world. Sometimes we have prejudices that we do not even recognize but they then manifest through our behavior. Let us all stop pretending that inequalities do not exist, we need to challenge ourselves, to ‘dig-deep’ so to speak and to ask ourselves how we really truly think and feel – irrespective if it takes us to a place where we don’t want to go.

In order for us to become one human race we need to address the biases that we have constructed, the ones we feel are too uncomfortable to share or discuss. In order to make change, we need to continuously reflect on ourselves and challenge our beliefs.

SUNNY MANGAT, M.A. is a Human Rights Activist, and a PhD student researching sexual violence against women in India. 38


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POLITICS & LAW

DEAR CITIZENS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND As I write this letter I have a great sadness in both my heart and my mind. How did it come to this? And how will be both move forward in a manner that benefits us both?

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I understand that recent years have been difficult for us all. The world, as whole, is facing many challenges. There are wars being fought, there is geopolitical uncertainty and our natural resources are being used in a manner that is both unsustainable and damaging to our planet. But for the most part, our lives here in Europe are good. Although it hasn’t always been that way, it is now. Our continent has seen much conflict during its' history. Our nations have fought each other, alliances have been made and dissolved and the most destructive conflict in human history was played out right here on our soil. Its' an ugly part of our history but finally, we saw a better way. We saw a way to break down barriers and borders. A way were trade and commerce replaced war and conflict. A way where people moved freely. And a way were dialogue and discourse thrived. Whilst we didn't always agree and didn't always get along as well as perhaps we could have, we did achieve great things. We all enjoyed democratic representation. We built strong and robust economies. We created the best anti-trust legislation in the world. We better empowered the judiciary to protect the small guy. We advanced Human Rights and worker protection attacking gender discrimination, age discrimination, racial discrimination amongst others and in an act of brilliance, indirect discrimination. And we did

it all together in the most incredible meeting of minds in human history. The collective knowledge that we developed was literally quite astounding. We created an environment that was the envy of the entire world including North America. And we had so much more to achieve. Although, for many, expanding the union was unpopular in doing so we increased our reach. We brought peace and stability to many. We didn't simply secure our homes and our nations, we secured our environs. We were a force for good. But, democracy has spoken. And if you must leave, then leave you must. We must both look to the future and there is much to be decided. For you, you must decide which elements of EU law, the laws that we made together, you will keep and which elements you will discard. And how will you manage that? How will you replace the laws that you no longer want and how will you protect your citizens in the process? And for the laws that you keep, how will they be managed? Will you accept the modifications and adjustments that will inevitably made as the laws are developed? How will your wishes be considered regarding those where you have no democratic representation? Together, we must decide how we will trade with each other. Will the free trade agreement that we have continue to be appropriate as we

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both pursue different goals in life. And as you forge new agreements with nations around the world, I urge you to use caution. Please be aware that some nations will want to sell to you more than buy from you. Some will wish to profit from you more than you profit from them. And those relationships will be governed by dollars, not votes.

sought opportunities and now many are in a state of flux. And what of the identifiable and homogenous groups that voted by a clear majority to stay in the EU like the Scots. Is it morally right for them to leave the EU also. Here I ask you to be compassionate and I urge you to respect all those that reside in your nation and I pledge to do the same for all that reside with us.

And once you have decided what you wish to keep from the past we must decide what our future will be. What elements of EU membership will you retain? What would be fair for both you and us. After all, we will still be neighbours. But this is perhaps the most difficult part of our separation. We must work hard to establish what benefits of membership will continue to be appropriate but whatever we decide, whatever we agree, it must be appropriate to your ongoing political and economic contribution to the EU. It is only fair that reduced contribution corresponds to a reduced benefit.

Now that the dust settles, and wishing not to act in haste, as decisions made in haste are often regretted at leisure, we do need to act now. This is not a time to delay or to procrastinate. Your country is in a state of political turmoil, and to a lesser extent, so is our union. Geopolitical instability is good for no one, in fact, quite the opposite. It can be very damaging as just like nature, politics and the law abhor a vacuum which can be a precursor to terrible things. And with all of this in mind we must move fast and we must move responsibly. And we must act with maturity and grace.

On a more personal level we must also decide on the status of our citizens that live in your country and your citizens that live in our member states. Until now, we were all welcome in each other's homes and as a result people moved freely, they established homes, built careers and contributed to their communities. Retirees sought more agreeable climates and workers

We both have much to decide my friend, but I fear that you have more to decide than we do so I wish you well as you navigate your new path in the world wherever it may take you. With the sincere best wishes, you friend and neighbour,

Europe

MATT WILLIAMS is a Geopolitical Analyst, Military Veteran, Law Graduate, and Co-Founder of Global Intelligence Solutions. 42


PRESERVE • PREVAIL • PROGRESS W W W. B C M O D E R AT E S I K H S . C O M

Our goal is to Preserve the foundations laid in BC by our Sikh pioneers, to help the Sangat Prevail and succeed with guidance from Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and to Progress collectively for a better future for tomorrow’s generation.

Malkit Singh Dhami President

Mohan Singh Gill Sr. Vice President

Nasib Kaur Badyal Vice President

Jarnail Singh Bhandal General Secretary

Harbhajan Singh Sunner Asst. Secretary General

Sukwinder Singh Gill Treasurer

Pall Singh Beesla Senior Asst. Treasurer

Jarmanjit Singh Hundal Asst. Treasurer

Harismran Singh Aujla Recording Secretary

Gurdeep Singh Hayer Asst. Recording Secretary

Gurdiak Singh Gadey Member at Large

Tarseem Singh Bal Member at Large

Surjit Singh Minhas Member at Large

Raghbir Singh Kular Member at Large

Chuhar Singh Dhillon Member at Large


POLITICS & LAW

POLITICIANS SHOULD SHARE BLAME FOR HOUSING CRISIS What’s wrong with these people? Politicians and bureaucrats are different from the rest of us. When everyday folks look at homes, we see our future – a place to live, to raise a family, to

relax, and, eventually, to retire. It’s an investment that will help us, a safe spot that becomes the centre

of our world. We buy a home and we gather our family to us. As our children grow into adulthood,

we help them find one of their own (hopefully near us, so we can enjoy those grandkids!).

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When the politicians and bureaucrats look at those same homes, they see a cash cow to be milked. How else to explain why new housing in the City of Vancouver is now subject to at least 107 taxes, fees and levies, all of which drive up the cost of housing? Our leaders now tax new condos at a rate of at least 37 per cent, making a condo that should cost $294,691 come in at a final selling price of $403,809. At a time when real estate has become the dominant conversation in the Lower Mainland, when a news cycle can’t go by without another big affordability story, the politicians have gotten off nearly scot-free, even as they reach their hands deeper into the housing tax till. Their demands have become ridiculous and expensive. Tr a n s L i n k , fo r ex a mp l e , n ow requires builders to hire a Trolley Overhead Safety Watcher whenever a homebuilder is working near bus trolley lines. Someone is paid $90 per hour ($135 per hour for overtime shifts of longer than eight hours) to sit and watch the trolley bus wires. There are no special qualifications for this job; it is usually done by a retired bus driver, not an electrical expert. This individual (whose travel time to the site is also paid by the builder) usually sits in a lawn chair, watching the wires. But even if a crane inadvertently came close or even clipped the trolley wire, the watcher has no ability to contact the crane or anyone else on site. This useless requirement adds as much

as $300,000 to a building project in Vancouver. Another example is the expensive, high-end level 2 electric vehicle charging receptacles required by the City of Vancouver for 20 per cent of parking spaces. It’s worth remembering that there are only 3,100 electric and hybrid plugin vehicles in all of British Columbia. There are nearly 300,000 non-electric vehicles licensed in Vancouver. Even if every single one of those electric vehicles resides in Vancouver, that still works out to just 1 per cent of vehicles. Adding that level 2 charging requirement can increase a building cost by as much as $400,000. Read www.buildinginvancouver.com for a real-life example of the regulation and fees involved in building a singlefamily and laneway home near Main and 41st in the City of Vancouver. There is no reason why it should take a routine housing application like this one more than nine months to get a permit – adding more carrying costs for the builder. On top of that lengthy permitting process, single-family home builders face a myriad of ridiculous, costly requirements. Drains and plumbing for an accessible washroom and shower must be installed on the main floor of the house; even if there is no bedroom on the main floor. And that’s on top of an installed accessible shower on the floor with the bedrooms. All trees, even the dead ones, need a permit to be removed. And a tree plan, and an arborist review. And, 45


sometimes, a plumber’s report. And the city still sends a staffer to look at it. A certified energy advisor must also be hired to check plans and run a blower test when the home is built, even though it’s too late to change anything at that point. Rather than encourage new housing, city hall seems to act like it’s a nuisance that should be eradicated – or a cash cow that should be milked for every single nickel. Builders are charged to rent sidewalks and parking meters during construction. To rent the sidewalk, costs $2 per day per square metre of sidewalk. This can add as much as $100,000 to a total project cost.

“ ”

If there are parking meters along the building, that costs too: builders must rent parking meter space, paying the maximum daily parking charges for the duration of construction. This can add another $50,000 to $100,000 to the cost of the project. Rather than doing everything they can to encourage new housing – thus increasing supply and helping drive down prices – city mayors, councillors and planning departments act like housing is a nuisance to be eradicated. They seem to be trying to tax new housing out of existence, especially in the City of Vancouver.

Meanwhile, too many politicians and bureaucrats act like even more taxes is the solution to affordability problems in the Lower Mainland. Some have suggested speculation taxes and foreign investment taxes and higher taxes on pricier properties. Everyday taxpayers should be very reluctant to go down that path. Back in 1987, the Property Transfer Tax was brought in as a luxury tax – it applied to just the top 5 per cent of property purchases. Today, it’s a major cost driver in new housing. Today’s luxury taxes have a way of turning into tomorrow’s everyone taxes. And any increased cost, including higher taxes, makes things more expensive, not cheaper. There are many causes of housing unaffordability in the Lower Mainland, and many need to be addressed. But politicians should not be allowed to wriggle off the hook for their contributions, and should instead aggressively cut taxes, speed up regulatory processes and help get more homes into the market.

JORDAN BATEMAN is BC Director at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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CULTURE

FIVE REASONS WHY THE WORLD LOVES PRIYANKA CHOPRA

1

She’s

a self-made woman

Unlike other actors in her league, Priyanka Chopra made a name for herself on her own. No famous father backing this girl up! She created her empire by means of her own hard work and determination. Her career began in pageants, then later breaking through to the film industry. Chopra is now one of Bollywood’s highest paid actresses, as well as one of the most popular and high profile.

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2

Treading

international waters

Not only is she a Bollywood superstar, our very own PC has been taking Hollywood by storm with her TV drama, Quantico, leading role in Baywatch, and several appearances on late night talk shows. Her deviance from typical Indian stereotypes and fun personality has made her loveable in the eyes of a worldwide audience.

3

She’s

a musician

Can you say triple threat? PC isn’t just a gorgeous actress, she can sing too. She joined the ranks of the many talented females who have worked with American rapper, Pitbull, in 2013 when they released their single ‘Exotic.’ But that isn't the start of her career in music. She has recorded several songs in the past for her movies, and released two other singles since 2012.

4

She

cares

Priyanka is a philanthropist, who supports various causes, specifically those concerning girls’ and women’s rights through her foundation “The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education.” She works to provide underprivileged girls with both education and health care. Ten

percent of her earnings go towards the foundation, and she is currently taking care of the expenses for the health care and education of seventy children in India. Not only is she

incredibly involved with the welfare of women and children, Chopra also supports environmental charities. Chopra is a brand ambassador for NDTV Greenathon, which provides

solar power to rural villages and supports eco-friendliness. If you think that’s a lot, we’ve just barely scratched he surface of her philanthropic work. You go, girl! 49


5

She’s

just another one of the girls

Ask anyone who knows the star and you’ll hear that she is one of the most humble people they’ve ever met. Just like Yo Yo, you can consider her to be “aap ka aapna” PC. In fact, her co-stars on Quantico have revealed her love of food. She’s even known as the Baconator! If you’ve seen her on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, you’d know that she can down wings like nobody’s business. Take that Tina; you can be P.H.A.T. (pretty, hot, and tempting) and still get your grub on.

The world is falling fast for Priyanka Chopra, and you should be too. JAHNAVI SINGH is a student studying science at the University of British Columbia. She has learned Carnatic and Hindustani styles of music as well as Bharatanatyam. Jahnavi teaches a Bollywood fitness class at the Langara Family YMCA. 50


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SAROD MAESTRO RAJEEV TARANATH


One of India’s renowned classical music masters, Rajeev Taranath brings high caliber concert performances of classical Indian music during both his fall and spring tours of the United States and Canada. Taranath is a master of the sarod, a central instrument in the field of Hindustani classical music. His musicianship in concert, spanning over four decades, has drawn accolades from critics and audiences throughout the world. A distinguished disciple of the late legendary maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, he also received important guidance from the great sitarists Ravi Shankar and Shrimati Annapurna Devi . Rajeev Taranath is the recipient of many honors including India's highest government award in the arts, the esteemed Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2000. He has received critical acclaim for his deep introspection, imagination and emotional range, profound technical skill, and his highly disciplined approach to the development of a raga. "Rajeev Taranath's sarod improvisations mixed the spiritual and the spirited... the raga began with introspective meditation and proceeded into an exuberant rhythmic celebration." Edward Rothstein, The New York Times A noted linguist, he speaks eight languages fluently. From 1995 to 2005 Taranath served on the music faculty of the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. Currently living in Mysore, India, Rajeev Taranath travels worldwide teaching and performing. We have gathered this acclaimed elder statesman's replies to important questions regarding his life and the music itself.

You grew up in a musical family? My father was deeply interested in music. He used to sing and play the tabla. Although he was not a professional musician, I grew up with a lot of music. He started me with very easy songs. When I was 3-plus, he made me listen to a lot of classical and vocal records and performances. I started singing and gave my first public performance at 10.

So, how did you leave singing for the sarod? The most vivid moment in music I remember is the first experience of hearing Ali Akbar Khan, it was electrifying. I was and am a great admirer of Ravi Shankar’s music, so I used to attend every performance of his when he came to Bangalore, the city in which I stayed. This time, he came with Akbar Ali Khan, who said he would play the sarod along with him. I had heard little before that of the sarod and had not heard Akbar Ali Khan. It was a life-changing experience when he played his first movement on the sarod. That was my moment of epiphany, a moment of

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total grace. As I was listening, my life changed. Music moved to the centre of the universe. I was hooked and never looked back.

Can you explain why it spoke to you so much? Well, you know, it’s like falling in love. How can you explain it?

So, one performance changed your life?

At that point, I was a beggar. I couldn’t find a job, but there was a benefactor. This man had nothing to do with music, but he gave me a room, and not very much later, he and his wife insisted I should have my meals with him. I had some sort of job afterward to keep me going, but they took care of me for six more years. That gave me an opportunity to practice many, many hours a day.

You had a very successful career as a vocalist when you were young. You were even described as a child prodigy. I have heard that you were and are profoundly moved when listening to the great vocalist Abdul Karim Khan. Why did you decide to switch to sarod? Many people say that the Please describe the training. voice is the ultimate instrument It was daily, sometimes twice for Indian music.

My life changed direction after that point. After I heard Akbar Ali Khan for the first time, it was a year and a half or more for me to get some sort of introduction with him. I was just past 20 when I went to him and he accepted me as a disciple.

a day, but then there would be periods with no lessons for a month or more, because he would be away, performing. By the time I went to him, the demand for his public performances was very high. I started practicing one hour, two hours. Then, for some time, it went up to about 12 hours a day.

How do you work when you’re practicing music for 12 hours a day? 54

There is no doubt that vocals are at the center of our music. But Ali Akbar Khan is for me the paradigmatic example of excellence. I would say that in his sarod playing there is a kind of impending vocalism. He has a flexibility and versatility to his imagination, all of which have vocal sources. It’s not that he actually plays vocal bandishes. There are sarod players that do that, but he is not one of them. Vocalism is for him an abstract,

silent, but immediate storehouse for the movements of the raga. It’s the thing that makes a raga more than a scale. I can almost say that given two very good instrumentalists, the person who is the better vocalist— in this special metaphorical sense—is the one whose music will have more “juice.” He might not be the fastest, but that’s because he would have no need to be the fastest.

Has Hindustani music changed over the years? To answer that question, I think it’s helpful to compare music to both language and physics. If you compare the English of Shakespeare’s time to modern English, you can see that it’s essentially the same. There are noticeable differences, but we can still understand Shakespeare. The physics of Shakespeare’s time, however, has been completely replaced by modern science. Throughout the history of Hindustani music, there’s been the same kind of growth and change that you can see in a language. But you don’t have the new completely replacing the old, as is the norm with scientific progress. For example, Ali Akbar Khan made profound changes in the sarod. Before


him, the instrument sounded quick and staccato, with lots of trills. Khansahib still uses those trills, but his innovative use of sustain gives the instrument a new profundity and depth.

at the frontiers of the raga, and yet see that it doesn’t break. If the raga breaks, you are in a kind of melodic anonymity, which ultimately breaks you as a musician.

What do you think is the biggest challenge in playing Hindustani music?

Have you managed to stretch the borders of any of the ragas you play?

First, of course, you must practice and study diligently. If you do that, you will become either a competent or an incompetent player, and you will get to know which very soon. But once you have crossed the bar of competence, in about three or four years, what do you do then? You know how to play the raga correctly, but then what? At that point, playing the raga is rather like spreading butter on bread. You’ve got to see how well you can spread it, and how widely you can spread it. You must push

I try. When I play Patdeep, it’s difficult to make it long. You can feel very comfortable playing Yaman long, because it’s quite spacious and flexible. So is Bhairavi. But Patdeep is very brittle, and can’t be stretched easily. The rules for Patdeep are very strict, which is why it makes such an immediate effect. Once you’ve heard the identifying phrases, you know exactly what it is. But that’s a double-edged sword, because the audience is immediately “Patdeeped,” and it seems to be near closing time

right away. Then you’re left with the challenge of where to go from there. For Patdeep, I try to unfold the scale of the raga a little bit at a time, so you can hear every nuance. You have to hold the raga back, stop it from exploding through you. That enables me to stay inside the raga, and not let the raga go, even when I’m playing for a long period of time. Last month I did a concert in which I played Patdeep for the alap-jor-jhala, and then switched to Madhuvanti for the gat. Madhuvanti has almost the same notes as Patdeep, and many of the same note arrangements. But Madhuvanti has tivra ma (raised fourth) and Patdeep doesn’t. Even though the notes are similar, the mood is very different, and these differences have to be kept. I wanted to create a natural change in mood, while still

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maintaining a sense of unity in the performance.

When you play two ragas together, how do you decide which ragas to combine? There’s a kind of dialectic involved between a technical closeness, and yet the need and challenge to keep the moods different while playing in very similar scales. There are also other factors not as capable of tidy articulation. You might combine a raga that has a certain kind of gravitas with something that is not quite so serious—moods that are contrasting, yet still very close.

Can you speak about your approach to developing a raga throughout the many years of riyaz? There’s a kind of patience that you learn to take with you to the raga. If you’re patient, the raga will speak to you eventually.

Can you discuss the ideas you have regarding teaching Indian classical music? When it comes to teaching of music, there is a trio – a teacher, a learner and an instrument. The teacher demonstrates how he has put the instrument to use and what he has been able to achieve. The attempt here is a give and take of such experience. This exploration of possibilities, initially in the form of bits and pieces, as alankaras or tabla bols or whatever, later on turns into an exercise in bringing together these little experiences to construct a creative whole. Further on, it is a kind of invitation to the learner to live with the teacher in the common world of

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music and in this journey together, the learner may even reach beyond. Each one’s style of playing is guided by one’s own possibilities, difficulties and impossibilities.

What is special about your gharana? Unlike other gharanas which for many years remained closed-door, teaching freely with openness is a major preoccupation with the Maihar. Allauddin Khan, the Paramahamsalike saint-musician took to vigorous teaching. This can perhaps be traced to the difficulty he encountered in learning and the fact that Allauddin was compelled to choose the sarod in a veena-dominated tradition which confined its veena–teaching to its kin alone. But his ingenuity incorporated the possibilities of veena into the sarod, remodelling it for the purpose. Several nuances of the veena came into sarod-baaj and later years saw the promotion of sitar, sur-bahar and sursingar. Maihar which traces its lineage to Tansen’s daughter Saraswathi, was then the only school that taught women music.

In the context of our guru-sishya parampara and the oral/aural tradition, you once mentioned the ‘mediation of the eye’ in western classical music. Don’t you think a guru’s role is equally vital there in guiding....? Mediation of the eye is important there in Western classical music because of the reliance on the system of notation. The journey is from note to note but nothing as much may happens between the gaps. It is in the movement between notes that one’s culture operates. Mimesis is the basis of our music-teaching. Our music

fills up with meends, gamaks, bols and these cannot be written down. We clutch the guru’s imagination, his mind that is so private. A guru gives good active seeds... but can one teach creativity?’ The artist or maestro, as T.S. Eliot says, lives at a conscious point where past and future are gathered. He has all the richness of the past, waiting to pass it on to the future, for his students to gather it all. So I try to teach, but a problem which I have repeatedly faced is this: I can transfer musical information but I don’t know yet, how to transfer the sense of relish. This is important in the kind of music we play and teach because the given is so tenuous.

Can you explain the artist's process or desire for mastery? To make better music– there is a desire, which is a life-long process- to create a match - to bring the thought and performance nearer and nearer. Actually it is the desire to translate what is happening in your mind into your fingers – even without that gap. The finger itself becomes imagination. But curiously the more you master, the more your imagination becomes active. Because what strikes you or me is seriously limited by what we can execute in singing or playing. And as that capacity improves, your imagination improves. The more you go toward mastery the more you see, the more you climb, the more you see. So there is no end to that – they feed on each other. Because you see, you want to climb more. Because you climb more you see much more. And so it goes on. And that act itself is a matter of very profound satisfaction – a fullness, which I suppose is why you are really after this exploration of mastery. In music it is more obvious


perhaps, but it is there in everything. And also there is a desire to find more and more substantiality in a contentment that you get in music, not only in performing in a hall but in simply playing music, as finally, performing is only a subsidiary of playing. And it is this mastery which enables you to make more and more in-depth music. In the education of a performing art, there is the finding of greater and greater satisfaction in the possession of the knowledge you are seeking. The same art can be treated as a discipline or can be treated more casually, mechanically

as a subject. When music becomes a discipline, that’s your life, when music is a minor subject, it’s very different. If anything becomes a discipline, you seek a fuller kind of satisfaction. Simply being well- trained in something is not enough. Often many are welltrained for a purpose which quite often lies outside the central subject. Their own interests are elsewhere. When something becomes a discipline, that becomes a center of interest. If it isn’t, it shows. And in some artists it becomes obsessive. And when it isn’t obsessive or the central interest you can make out at some stage. Somebody might be an expert kind of person yet you

can see that he or she is not involved fully, especially when you have seen or had an experience of involvement elsewhere.

How would you describe mastery in this art form? If given more time, I will go more and more toward radiant simplicities. Those simplicities, are the product of a lifetime. Any durable experience has to arrive into a state of simplicity. Courtship is complex, a durable marriage is simple.

LESLIE SCHNEIDER is an accountant for non-profit organizations by trade, has studied Indian classical music for many years and is an ardent advocate for its presence in the world.

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Family

LOVE & LIFE, CONNECTING THROUGH THE ARTS The Mushtari Begum Festival of Indian Classical Music and

Dance: A showcase of dedication for what was once a dying art, brought back to life in Canada by two devotees of the passion within the rhythm. It’s not often that you feel someone’s soul erupting from every piece of themselves, as it is when you enter the home of Cassius and Amika. The love and devotion they have for the arts is visible in everything they do. As you step in, the essence of India lingers in the air, and the smile that Cassius and Amika give can light a burnt lamp. From a constant searching and wandering through life, and to be able to play the tabla in whichever medium it must have been, wasn’t the worst thing for Cassius Khan. Instead, regardless of where, he was 58

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still playing his heart out at every performance. It’s true when they say that love never dies, no matter what kind; it is also true that passion always wins. Amika told us that she practiced Kathak growing up, but never fell in love with it until her early-teens. That was when she devoted herself to the art. She states that, “my Guru was the art, my Spiritual Guidance was the art.” One will always end up where they are meant to. As they say all throughout India, ‘Dane Dane pe mor,’ so its only right that that is reflected here in our society. Cassius says, that although he was much

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loved, he was also somewhat of a social outcast in the early 2000’s with his love of the arts. At that time, no one wanted their child to pursue the Indian arts as a career. Asked how he felt, “it never mattered to me, I was, am doing what I love.” Thought to be the black sheep of the society he knew, following his dreams, and not the societal norm of becoming a doctor or lawyer, Cassius was distracted while pursuing his university education by utilizing whatever time he could afford to practice his passion, play his music where he could, and devote himself to his art. Amika on the complete opposite scope, was doing her masters in Chemical Engineering. I know what you’re thinking, but it also makes sense. The person who can move every single part of her body, a being so complex, she should be the one who would also Master in the art of Science. So, an English Major and Chemical Engineering Masters student end up in West Edmonton Mall one day, there’s no punchline, that was where Amika first saw Cassius; she followed the sounds that are carried through her; the sound of the Tabla. It would be months before they were introduced by mutual friends at a performance in Edmonton. Months again before they realized that beyond education, beyond the Dhun (tune) of the Ghazal or the Tala ( Rhythm) of Kathak, it would be their passion for a dying art in Canada that had

alienated them from the community, that would eventually unite them. This unification and lack of respect in our community for Classical Indian Music and Dance and its practitioners, was one of the strings of the sitar, so to use a horrible pun, which brought together these two souls resulting in the eventual creation of the Mushtari Begum Festival of Indian Classical Music and Dance. A stage for the ‘World Musicians and Dancers’ to showcase themselves on a reputable stage, where their hard work and dedication can be honoured, and appreciated. The struggles that they were leading alone was what brought them together; the struggle to find Classical Indian arts in Canada, was what brought together the Mushtari Begum Festival. A unique platform for Classical Indian Music and Dance, to be showcased in a respectable manner, where the guest has the opportunity to be mesmerized by the lost sound. Long before the Mushtari Begum Festival would even be a fleeting thought, Cassius Khan, and Amika Kushwaha, were two young people, who after vast travels, studies, and experience with Latin bands, would find each other at the University of Alberta, doing what they both love; finding a way to support and promote Indian Classical Music in world which was trying to withdraw themselves from a land of

rich culture, and colonize themselves. I suppose we have the year 2002 to thank for any exposure we have to the Classical Indian Scene that we see today. The Mushtari Begum Festival was named after Cassius’s guru, the late Mushtari Begum, who was the force behind his training in Ghazal gayaki or singing style. After she died in 2004, Cassius decided to name his festival after Mushtari Begum, as she had fine taste in Indian Classical Music and Dance. A number of local organizations who have come about have been inspired by the Mushtari Begum Festival, both in Canada and abroad. Voted New Westminster’s “Best Arts Festival” in 2015 and being mentioned in Via Rail’s brochure as a must see destination event, The MBF is making huge waves in the Classical music scene. From being classified, and thrown under the umbrella of World Music, Cassius and Amika are to us, as there Guru’s were to them; supportive, and encouraging. Allowing for the new artist to play for those who appreciate the work, dedication, and self-motivation is takes to compose the 6 minute dance and music art we see on stage.

PREET DHALIWAL is the Executive Assistant at AAJ Magazine, holds a degree in History from UVic, and is a skilled soccer player. Originally from Duncan, BC, she now calls Surrey home. 59


Family

ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCE

What is the Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACE) and how does it play out in our lives? Bear with me as I detail some technical, but important information. ACE is one of the most crucial and important studies conducted to date, that illustrates how exposure to repeated doses of trauma, adverse experiences and toxic stress in childhood affects our health as adults. The research was led by Dr. Vincent Kaiser and Dr. Robert Anda. The study invited over 13, 000 adults to complete a standard medical evaluation and fill out seven categories of adverse childhood experiences. The categories included, physical, verbal, sexual abuse; neglect; drug and alcohol abuse; and witnessing their mother being abused, to name a few. The lowest score possible is 0 and the highest is 10. 60

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According to the study, the higher our ACE score, the more health risks we are likely to have in adulthood. The major risks later in life include, depression, anxiety, alcoholism, alcohol abuse, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, maternal depression, death, diminished health-related quality of life, illicit drug use, heart disease, poor work performance, financial stress, risk for intimate partner violence, multiple sexual partners, sexually transmitted diseases, smoking, suicide attempts, unintended pregnancies, early initiation of smoking, early initiation of sexual activity, adolescent pregnancy, risk for sexual violence and poor academic achievement, and the list goes on. It is a well known fact that early experiences of toxic and repeated stress can cause major chronic health issues. “Hundreds of studies have shown that childhood adversity hurts our mental and physical health, putting us at greater risk for learning disorders, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, depression, obesity, suicide, substance abuse, failed relationships, violence, poor parenting, and early death,” writes Donna Jackson Nakazawa in Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology and How You Can Heal. There is no doubt that early childhood stress leads to lifelong impairments in learning, behaviour, and both physical and mental health.

It has expansive consequences. Stress completely changes our brain. Toxic stress in children can lead to permanent changes in brain structure and function! It leaves a massive wear and tear effect on our organs as well. The regulation of our stress hormones basically gets altered which causes dysregulation in the network (our nervous system, adrenal system, brain circuitry and our genome). The disruption in these networks causes physical and mental illnesses. Early toxic stress can alter the size of brain structures such as amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex; these structures are paramount for mediating anger, learning, memory, mood control and executive functioning. The American Academy of Pediatrics released a major study called ‘The lifelong effects of early childhood adversity and toxic stress’ in 2012. Their paper converges the multidisplinary science of neuroscience, molecular biology, genomics, developmental psychology, epidemiology, sociology and economics and has posited that early experiences and environmental influences can leave “lasting signature on the brain architecture and long term health.” The paper explained that “significant stress in early childhood can trigger amygdala hypertrophy and result in a hyper responsive or chronically activated physiologic stress response, along with increased potential for fear and anxiety. It is in this way that a child’s environment and early experiences get under the

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skin. Chronic stress diminishes its capacity to turn off elevated cortisol and it leads to impairments in memory and mood related functions.” Now this may all seem a bit scary and we may think that all the damage is irreversible. To begin a recovery process, we may want to welcome into awareness all the toxic stress we went through in our childhood and accept how it has affected us. Ask yourself what stresses were present in your childhood and how that stress may have affected you in your development (physically, emotionally, mentally). Here is the great news - our brains can change! In the 50’s it was believed that our brains could not change. This was a misconception that is still believed by many even today. Another misconception is that we don’t use all of our brain. We do! Our brain has over 200 billion neurons and hundreds of trillions of connections. This is remarkable because we literally create a new pathway of neurons when we are learning something new and the more we practice that behaviour, the stronger that pathway of neurons become. Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Our brain is an exquisitely adaptive plastic machine; it is a growing machine. The science of

neuroplasticity explains that we can re-wire our brain for the good. We are not stuck with what has happened to us. Our brain is extremely resilient and so are we. Through extensive gentle introspection therapy, meditation and mindfulness we can overcome various mental unhealthy conditions. If you suffer from depression and anxiety, know that you can heal from it. Dr. Lara Boyd, neuroscientist at UBC, concludes, through her research, that you can indeed change your brain. She explains that there are three ways our brain supports neuroplasticity: through chemical signals in neurons; through altering its structures; through altering its functions. The amalgam of all 3 works in concerted effort to help the brain change. Seeking personal therapy helps us navigate and understand how our childhood has affected us in our lives and how we can change it for the better. Therapy is personalized because there is no one size fits all approach- what works for me may not work for you. Be aware that no two brains are same and everybody learns differently. So, even neuroplasticity is variable from person to person. The secret is the primary drive of our motivational behaviour. As Dr. Boyd says, “nothing is more important than practice and you have to do the work.”

LIMA ABEDIN is s a healer with a spiritually driven practice. She believes that healing entails introspection, presence and practice.

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… in sickness and in health These days, many people are living longer. And while many couples will enjoy good health in later years, some may get sick and may not be able to care for themselves. Have you considered this when planning for your retirement and future? Are you prepared to manage the expenses of long term care? Manulife can help! Their LivingCare Shared Coverage offers a long term care insurance plan designed for couples. Share in the comfort that should one or both of you face serious health issues and require care, you’ll be prepared.

Get your plan in place for the future, today. Let’s talk! Sudesh Kalia Tel: 604-728-6740 | Email: kaliafinancial@gmail.com www.KaliaFinancial.com

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Youh

10 THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE STARTING UNIVERSITY

Tips and Tricks for Post-Secondary Students

Entering the world of post-secondary education can be overwhelming.

You are no longer “spoon-fed� in terms of keeping up with homework, utilizing resources, attending class or even getting to school. Whereas

in high school your teachers may have given you detailed instructions for each assignment, stayed on top of your attendance by calling your

parents when you skipped, and so forth; in university or college, you

are left to fend for yourself. You need to figure out your assignments

on your own and get to campus on your own. Not every professor cares if you skip class; failing grades are your own responsibility. Assignments may be vague, and you are responsible for figuring

things out. Maneuvering your way through these stressful years can be difficult, so here are some tips and tricks to make your transition easier. 64

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1.

2.

3.

Always back your notes up using a cloud-based program, such as OneDrive or Google Drive. This will come in handy in case you lose your computer or notebook. The best thing to do is create your notes on this software itself, instead of using a traditional paper and pen. That way, you can’t lose anything. Through my own experience, I have realized that USBs can be more trouble than they are worth - they can easily be lost or fried. Do not take everything on yourself - join study groups! However, be selective. Do not join a group that you know just meets up as an excuse to socialize. You will find yourself falling way behind. Instead, join a dedicated and hard-working group, that focuses on helping each other. Always check the used bookstore for textbooks or look for e-books, as early as you possibly can. It’s pretty frustrating, but most courses designate a book as mandatory but only end up using a tiny fraction of the publication for teaching purposes. As such, save your money!

4.

Do some research on your instructors or professors. Websites like www. ratemyprof.com are great for this. Most courses have multiple teachers, and finding the best-rated one could be the difference between an A and an F.

5.

Work-life balance is extremely important or else you will definitely burn out. Study as hard as you possibly can during the week, and relax and have fun during the weekends. Your post-secondary years are the best time to meet new and interesting people.

6.

If you get a parking pass, make sure it’s actually close to your classes. Passes are usually pretty expensive, and if you have to walk really far from your car, it may not even be worth it. Some campuses have free transportation from the lot to the campus. Plan it out.

7.

8.

It’s better to cram all your classes into a couple days during the week, than to have one course per day over five days. For example, if you cram your classes into Tuesdays and Thursdays only, you have Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday off with lots of time to study!

9.

Look into booking study rooms on campus, if you know that you cannot study at home. If you are disciplined and focused, great! If not, rooms are usually available for study purposes when classes are not in session.

are overly 10. Librarians helpful. It’s their job! Use

this resource as much as you can, especially when making bibliographies or reference lists that can become hard to figure out. Always cite your sources!

Print your notes at school. It’s usually cheaper to do this, than to print at home. Most campuses have a copy and print centre with good rates.

JASKIRAN BRAR is a Law student at the University of Manitoba, and sports and fitness enthusiast. 65


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Youh

SAVING FOR SCHOOL Beyond RESPs – options to help what you’re saving match what you’ll need

You want the best for your child – and for plenty of powerful reasons, a college or university education is one of the best things you can do to give your child a great start in life. There’s the increased earning potential, of course – the average university graduate earns almost twice as much as someone with a high school diploma. Over a 30-year career, that could add up to $1.2 million of additional income1. 68

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KEY PIONTS • Proper saving and planning could enable your child to choose the post-secondary school of their choice. • RESPs are an important part of saving for your child’s education, but they may not cover your child’s total education bill. • Consider other tax-efficient strategies, like a TFSA, taxadvantaged mutual funds or an Age 40 trust. If you have any questions about other ways to save for your child’s education, I would be glad to help.

There’s the increased opportunity for employment – seven out of ten jobs now require a post-secondary education and having a degree or diploma is bound to become even more important in the future2. And there are the valuable life lessons and relationships that are an essential part of the post-secondary experience.

RESPs are the first choice But you already know all that – which is why you contribute to a registered education savings plan (RESP) for your child. After all, for the vast majority of Canadians, an RESP is the most effective way to create an education fund that grows to offset the future cost of education. However, when was the last time you checked to see how much of the total education bill your RESP will actually cover?

Add books, supplies, transportation, and other living expenses and university students living at home spend an average of $4,500 on non-educational items, while students living away from home spend an average of $8,160 on non-educational items4.

The cost of mandatory supplies and equipment for college and trade schools varies widely and can be between $50 and $5,0002.

Schools are increasing fees for programs that may offer a larger financial payback upon graduation, such as law, medicine, engineering and dentistry2.

Nearly 50 per cent of Canadian college and university graduates leave school owing money for their education – with college graduates owing about $13,000 and university graduates almost $20,0005.

It is estimated that by 2025, the total cost of four years of undergraduate education away from home may be between $75,000 and $100,0002.

Here are some sobering facts about the dramatically escalating cost of a post-secondary education: •

On average, undergraduate tuition fees have almost tripled s i n c e 1 9 9 0 -9 1 3 . A s t u d e n t attending a full-time college or university program today can expect to pay an average of $4,500 a year in tuition alone2.

There’s the increased opportunity for employment – seven out of ten jobs now require a post-secondary education and having a degree or diploma is bound to become even more important in the future2.

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Beyond RESPs – further Tax-efficient saving strategies All this means is you need every advantage you can get when saving to help your children pay for a postsecondary education – to avoid burdening them with huge student loans or the extra stress of a part-time job during the school year. Consider the following investment strategies that can deliver important savings beyond RESPs.

Tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) TFSAs are very versatile. You can accumulate funds within your TFSA on a tax-free basis, and when your child goes to school, you can withdraw the money (plus any subsequent growth) on a tax-free basis to help finance your child’s education. Moreover, the amount you withdraw in a given year will be added to your TFSA contribution limit for the following year.

Insurance Most people think of life insurance as basic financial protection for loved ones but a universal life insurance policy can also help fund your child’s education.

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A universal life insurance policy is a blend of life insurance protection and investment accounts. As the owner, you select a face amount of the life insurance, the type of coverage needed, and the name of the insured – your child, in this case. You pay the insurance premiums, which are usually quite low for a minor, and within certain limits you can make additional payments. Those additional dollars are then invested in a variety of investment funds to grow over the life of the policy on a tax-deferred basis – making this accumulation the policy’s primary benefit. At any point after your child turns 18, you can choose to suspend further premium payments and transfer ownership of the policy to the child. This is a tax-deferred transfer that gives the child the ability to draw on the policy’s cash values to pay university costs. And, since the policy is now owned by the child, the taxable portion of any cash withdrawals is taxed at the usually lower marginal tax rate of the child.

Tax-advantaged mutual funds This unique mutual fund structure gives you the freedom to rebalance the investments in your non-registered portfolio, without triggering capital gains and incurring an immediate tax liability as a result of the switch. You enjoy the substantial benefits of compound, tax-deferred fund growth and the ability to choose a date to utilize the tax-efficient withdrawals that can be used to supplement your child’s education budget.

Monthly Income Portfolios This mutual fund option allows you to create a stable, tax-efficient, monthly cash flow that can be used to support your child. A portion of the monthly payout is treated as a return of capital and is not taxed in the year that it is paid out. This tax-deferral feature can reduce the amount of tax that you would pay compared to withdrawing funds from other types of investment vehicles.


Age 40 trust If you are planning to put away a large sum of money, a properly structured “age 40 trust” can be an effective means of accumulating capital for education. It provides income-splitting opportunities so that capital appreciation may be taxed in the beneficiary’s hands, typically at a lower rate than you would pay. And when funded with a loan, you can retain access to the principal, giving you the flexibility to decide how the principal should be used, regardless of whether the beneficiary pursues a post-secondary education.

2001 Census Data – Statistics Canada. Average earnings for a High School graduate: $34,631; for a University graduate: $61,156. Assuming an average annual inflation rate of 2.69% (following the historical period of 1986-2005). The difference over 30 working years will total $1,259,248.

1

Statistics Canada, The Daily, October 18, 2007

2

Statistics Canada, The Daily, September 1, 2005

3

Statistics Canada, The Daily, September 10, 2003

4

Statistics Canada, The Daily, April 26, 2004

5

Insurance products and services distributed through I.G. Insurance Services Inc. Insurance license sponsored by The Great-West Life Assurance Company. The Canada Education Savings Grant and Canada Learning Bond (CLB) are provided by the Government of Canada. CLB eligibility depends on family income levels. Some provinces make education savings grants available to their residents. Commissions, fees and expenses may be associated with mutual fund investments. Read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Written and published by Investors Group as a general source of information only. Not intended as a solicitation to buy or sell specific investments, or to provide tax, legal or investment advice. Seek advice on your specific circumstances from an Investors Group Consultant. Trademarks, including Investors Group, are owned by IGM Financial Inc. and licensed to its subsidiary corporations. © Investors Group Inc. 2013 MP1363 (05/2013)

When the time comes, you want your children to be able to afford the college or university program of their choice, to follow the career they want and to obtain the earning power they desire. We can help you make the best RESP and beyond RESP investment choices for your life and theirs.

ARSHEEN VISHASH is a Consultant focusing on wealth creation and preservation for Canadians. 71


BUSINESS

DUE DILIGENCE FOR BUSINESS INVESTORS It is important that all investors and acquirers of small to medium/large businesses conduct proper due diligence prior to advancing funds or committing to make investments. Due diligence reviews are critical. We have always recommended that a qualified independent professional be engaged to conduct due diligence, separate and apart from any salesperson involved. Below, we have outlined the preliminary documents, questions and issues that you must review with the target company (the “Company�) prior to discussing the investment or project with your lawyer or accountant. Please note that further research and investigation, beyond the 10 items listed below, is required. 72

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FIRST 10 THINGS YOU MUST DO: 1. 2.

3.

4.

Obtain a current business plan (3-5 year) and a current marketing/sales plan;

5.

Do searches of the Company and its directors at the Court Registry, Land Title Office, Corporate Registry and all relevant government bodies; Obtain four complete sets of all standard marketing materials that are currently used. For example: product brochures, testimonials, information sheets, slide presentations, electronic presentations, videos, demos, etc.; Obtain audited Consolidated Financial Statements for the last five years, including the Management Discussion and Analysis (the MD&A ) that accompanied each year’s performance, as presented to the board of directors and company. The MD&A should discuss each year’s actual performance to budget and should provide particular focus on occurrences outside the normal course of business, trends that have been experienced in the business and industry, margins by product, sales force productivity, and timing of new production introductions;

6.

7.

Obtain the quarterly financial statement for the previous eight years, including the MD&A that accompanied each quarter’s performance as presented to the board of directors of the Company the MD&A should discuss each quarter’s actual performance to budget; Obtain Forecast Financial Statements for the next three years, including, specifically, the next eight quarters. Forecasts should include income statements, balance sheets and statements of changes in financial position. This forecast should have two versions: (1) a version assuming the completion of the contemplated financing, and (ii) a version assuming no financing is completed; Ask that the Company provide any recent, or relevant, internal or third party studies or research that they may have on the industry in which the Company operates and the markets for the Company’s products. Are you aware of any other studies or research that you should seek to obtain for your due diligence?

8.

Contact certain external parties to discuss their experience with the Company. Ask that they provide a contact names and telephone numbers for the following: a. Auditors b. Bankers c. Five of the most significant customers d. Significant suppliers

9.

e. Companies/firms with whom they have significant strategic relationships Describe the Company’s products or services in detail. Have the Company consider how the Company distinguishes its products or services from that of its competitors? Do research.

will need to interview 10. You the senior management

personnel of the Company. Each interview will centre on that individual’s scope or responsibilities within the Company and how he/she contributes to the Company’s success.

SASHA RAMNARINE is a business lawyer with Remedios and Company, and former Member o Parliament Candidate New Westminster-Burnaby 2015 with the Liberal Party of Canada. 73


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COLDWELL BANKER UNIVERSE REALTY 13301 72 Avenue Surrey BC V3W 2N5

OFFICE: 604.584.1444 CELL: 604.328.5511

JAG

BHANDARI Jag Bhandari (JB), is the dynamic leader of Coldwell Banker Universe Realty with over 270 Realtors. JB has trained over 2,000 Realtors, Mortgage Brokers and Insurance Brokers who graduated through his ‘Helping Hands’ and JBC Institute of Learning.

MULTI-FACETED LEADER!

JB has built over 20 companies, some of which include: Coldwell Banker Universe Realty, ODF Realty, Jollywood Productions, Helping Hands, JBC Institute of Learning, Top Brass Renovation and Restoration and several others. JB and his Coldwell Banker team are proud sponsors of the Vancouver Whitecaps Team.

BE INSPIRED!

JB and his Coldwell Banker Team of Realtors provides clients first time home buying services, and also specialize in buying and selling luxury homes and commercial properties. They are active in property development services, as well as providing E-services and more. In 2015, JB was ranked #2 Leader of the President Club Medallion Group, which is an exclusive club of realtors who are the top 10% producers among 13,000 realtors in the Lower Mainland.

JUST DO IT! (JB’S MOTTO)

JB is the leader of his political party ‘BC Vision’ and he is looking for dynamic candidates by the first week of April 2016 in the following age categories: Ages18-30 =25 candidates Ages 30-50 =30 candidates and additional candidates age 50+ Call JB today!

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SPECIAL FEATURE

INTERVIEW WITH AFROMSHY BEAUTY SURREYTO SECHELT

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I’ve never met someone before who was so happy to be recognized. After c o m i n g a c ro s s m a n y individuals who always gave the answer “I Know” or “I’m so glad you were able to meet me,” you forget about the Humanity that exists in the world.

Then in walks Sabrina Samy and her husband Zane; a man who is so proud and supportive of his wife’s dream and goals, that he does what he can, what she needs of him to do, to help her achieve those dreams. Whether it be waking up in the early hours of the morning to help her set up her booth at a Yoga Festival, or packing up the car to come to bridal henna and makeup Appointments here on the mainland. It is the kind of support Sabrina needed to take that big step. From their home in Sechelt, British Columbia, Sabrina and her family

have now built a thriving beauty business. Although its bookings only, Sabrina never says no to any client if they wish to bring their families, or animals to her space. Born in New Zealand, and ethnically Fijian, Sabrina moved to Surrey when she was 9 years old, once traveling back to New Zealand before realizing that following her dreams lay in Canada. From a young age, Sabrina would apply henna on her family members for fun, and fun soon became her essence, which soon led her to being booked as an artist while she was still in High school. She would ask to do the makeup for family, social and community events, practicing her craft constantly. After graduation from John Casablanca, getting started in the beauty industry was really tough and a lot of which included negativity from people that didn't believe she had what it took to be a successful artist. Sabrina decided to never give up on what she wanted to pursue in and to continue perfecting her skills to become a professional artist. After marriage, she moved to Sechelt, on the Sunshine coast, where her Husband grew up. During her pregnancy, at her husband’s support and invitation, she took up threading, invitation, she took up threading, adding to her repertoire. Coming from the city where threading was a very common technique, was something that nobody offered on the Sunshine coast. Not knowing anyone was hard

at first, but then Sabrina began to work in a salon after her child was born, to build up her clientele. The work was commission based, so she strived to find new clients, and bring them into the salon. Privately, she was being booked for small wedding parties, then gradually larger ones, and as her reputation grew, she was able to leave the salon, in pursuit of her own studio. During the wedding seasons Sabrina travels to some beautiful resorts on the Sunshine Coast where many of them have been awarded Luxury Resort of the Year. Since Sabrina and her husband have created her studio working from home and raising their daughter Shyla has been something they feel so fortunate to be able to do. On a daily bases Sabrina has clients coming in for everything from cuts, colors, threading , makeup , or henna. Having such a beautiful view of the Sechelt Inlet, Sabrina is able to create Art in all forms. Having organized a Dinner & Dance in support of the Fijian Cyclone that happened earlier this year, Sabrina is known as a Local Celebrity, as her Husband says. Her portfolio includes, Elfina Luk, a Vancouver Actress, and also an Album Cover for KoraLee. Sabrina is by far one of the next big names to know in the Indian Beauty Industry; an individual who does it all, by staying true to who and what she believes in, “Never doubt yourself, find that one thing you love, and never give up on it.”

PREET DHALIWAL is the Executive Assistant at AAJ Magazine, holds a degree in History from UVic, and is a skilled soccer player. Originally from Duncan, BC, she now calls Surrey home. 77


On Scene

Vancouver South Punjabi Mela Congrats to Kashmir S. Dhaliwal, Namtez Sohal (Babbu), Raman Hundal Jarman Hundal, and Harjinder Jassal of Vancouver Punjabi Mela Society for a very successful 5th Annual Mela. Vancouver Punjabi Mela was a big success, over 15,000 people attended the event where international, National and local artists displayed some of their best performances. AAJ Magazine is always a proud sponsor.

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CIBC Pakistan Festival

Indian Independance Day

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Volunteer Appreciation with Hon. Dominc LeBlanc

KVP Entertainers Honour Local Bollywood Celebrities

SAFA Hosts IndiaLive with Malkit Singh

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CFOFO Summer BBQ

Gujarati Festival Hosted By GSBC

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Bruce Kehler, and Alison Maclean, have come together to raise money and awareness, for Women in the Afghanistan Police Force. The funds that are raised, will be matched by Bruce, and Canex Building Supplies, which will in turn, be used to send the women in the police force, bullet proof vest, proper uniforms, and supplies for the Police Stations.

Mission to Afganistan

Alison has visited the region twice before but is now afraid, that if she goes back again, then the (insurgents) might see her this time

bringing in goods to help, which can lead to greater, more unfortunate consequences. Keen to help, Alison has also spent time with children in an orphanage nearby, which is full of a reality we forget from all the terror in the former occupied country. She tries to send up to 6 months of supplies, from simple bandages, to coloured pencils, school workbooks, colouring books, toys, anything that a child would need. Her great work is also costly, but with the help of Canex and Aaj Magazine, Alison was able to raise the funds from the community, that were needed to send all the items to The Afghanistan Police Women, and orphanage.

Janmashtami 2016

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Festival of Lights WHITE ROCK

Diwali Integration White Rock Welcomes the World

White Rock Waterfront October 1, 2016 | 10am - 10pm FREE PARKING AVAILABLE SEMIAHMOO FIRST NATION LOT: 15782 MARINE DR, EAST BEACH FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE EVERY 15 MINUTES

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hospice

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Presenting Sponsors INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS SOCIETY OF BC

Community Partners

Media Partners BRUGGE DE SIGN

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KAMAL’S KVP ENTERTAINERS

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Saturday, November 5 Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown

Please join members of the South Asian community and help BC Children’s Hospital acquire vital operating room equipment for the care of children during surgical procedures. For more information please contact anom@bcchf.ca or call 604-875-2444

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Profile for AAJ Magazine

AAJ Magazine September-October 2016  

Kevin Howlett of Air Canada discusses direct flights to New Delhi, we look at the Black Lives Matter movement and what it is important and l...

AAJ Magazine September-October 2016  

Kevin Howlett of Air Canada discusses direct flights to New Delhi, we look at the Black Lives Matter movement and what it is important and l...