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September-October 2017 Vol. 12 Issue 5 $4.95






ISSN 2371-2481


27843 65722





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FROM THE PUBLISHER As summer comes to a close, the team at AAJ Magazine have been looking back at what an incredible summer we have had. I want to thank everyone that has supported us in going national, and our cross-Canada #AAJ150Tour. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience to explore the beauty of Canada and to meet many good samaritans along the way. We are also looking forward to what the future holds for us as we dive into the Fall season. We are excited for the festivals

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 2017 AAJ Magazine Incorporated. All rights reserved.


of Diwali and Navratri, as well as embarking on even bigger and better projects as we continue to grow and elevate the South Asian community across Canada. This issue of AAJ Magazine continues to reflect our growth with incredible articles, such as our insightful interview with Bindi Bains as she wins her final Canadian Bodybuilding title, as well as a look back at our Canada 150 adventures.

Suki Pangalia CEO

THE TEAM Publishers Suki Pangalia Goldy Pataria Steve Sandhu Administration Reshma Mohammed Executive Assistant

Editors Navkiran Brar Jen Fishcer Investigative Journalist Salim Jiwa Medical Editors Dr. Paramjit Bhui Dr. Raj Bhui Dr. Dennis Bhui Editorial Paarull Bakshi Zakiyah Shafique Neelam Gandevia Ferzana Jamani Sharon Dhaliwal Pooja Patel Imtiaz Popat Navkiran Brar Nalini Bhui

Ricky Kej Ken Herar Dr. Paramjit Bhui Peter Hall Chris Gardner Barbara Bell Olson Jai Birdi Aman Gill Anna Jorgensen Narges Nirumvala Karin Rai Pete Poovanna Mandy Sanghera Advertising & Sales Sonali Pangalia Jay Nair Atika Bano Bhinda Jaswinder Saggi Aman Gill Mike Brar Sunny Singh Melina Pham Navkiran Brar JP Budwal Sal Rafi Manvir Singh Kelly Uppal

SALES Design & Layout Adrian Brugge Tina Theuer Distribution Sahil Pangalia Photography Thinqx Creative Mark Lewis Silvester Law Shahzad Shah Aziz Ladha Images Credits 123RF Pixabay istockphoto Thank You! Harpaul Lehry Dr Suman Kollipara Tennis BC Bilal Cheema The Bhui Family Jordan Bateman And all of our volunteers!

British Columbia Greater Vancouver Atika Bano 778.686.1588 Melina Pham 778.955.8839 Victoria Sonali Pangalia 604-341-3016 Bhinda Jaswinder Saggi 250.891.3174 Kamloops Krishna Lakkineni 250-574-7988 Alberta Edmonton Aman Gill 780-907-2207 Mike Brar 780-339-4477 Calgary Sunny Singh 587-501-4804

Saskatchewan, Manitoba Winnipeg Karen Brar 204.510.9298 Ontario Toronto JP Budwal 647.887.6031 Ottawa Sal Rafi 613.889.5682 QuebĂŠc MontrĂŠal Manvir Singh 514.770.7465

Canada Summer Games


ISSUE Bindi Bains Building The Mind, Body And Soul 8 150 Amazing Things To Do Across Canada 14 Celebrating Canada 150 24 Aaj Magazine 150 Bus Tour 28 Canada Summer Games Celebrates 50 Years 32 Happy 375Th Montreal! 34 Sangeet In Nature The Big Cat! 36 Shelina Mawani: Living For Others 40 Fall Hindu Festivals 44 The Art Of Mannmukti: Mental Liberation 48 Life After S.I.D.S. 52 Lessons I’ve Learnt Being A Mentor 56 Living The Canadian Values In Your Business 58 The 2017 World Entrepreneur Forum 62 The Single Biggest Issue With LED Light Sources Today 66 An Interview With Pav Dharia 70 Shen Yun Revives Middle Kingdom’s Rich Culture 74 Entanglement To Enlightenment 78 A Veterinarian With The Secret To Happiness 84 Bc Team Wins Medal At Junior America's Cup Golf Tournament 88


Shelina Mawani

Bindi Bains

Lessons Of Being A Mentor

8 56

The Issue With LED Lights

Celebrating Canada 150





Vet With The Secret To Happiness




After 11 years of competing and 5 national level Canadian women’s figure championships, Bindi Bains Mackoruk is ready to step away from bodybuilding. Bindi was one of the first South Asian women to venture into this sport and is often considered a pioneer, paving the way for and inspiring other South Asian women to follow in her footsteps. For Bindi, her recent and final title is the successful completion of a long journey before moving on to other ventures. Bindi Bains also publicly speaks about her journey and struggles with OCD and is a leader in the South Asian community when it comes to inspiring the community to open up about mental health. AAJ Magazine connected with Bindi to hear more about her life, journey, and future adventures. "My bodybuilding journey began when I decided to get back into shape after having my first son. I had gained a lot of weight from my pregnancy and started to let myself go. Becoming a mother for the first time was very overwhelming and I just didn't have the time or motivation to get back to training. As every mother probably knows, there is so much to do in one day and taking care of your child becomes your life. It wasn't until I saw myself in a video one day that I realized I was not the same person anymore. I was unhealthy, unfit and unhappy with what I was becoming. Having been overweight as a teenager, I was afraid I may be heading down that road again. So when my son was 6 months old I decided to get my body back. I started a clean diet and I hit the gym! I started to see results immediately

and even noticed muscle definition. While training one day, I watched a few women practicing posing routines and became very interested in finding out more. After learning that they were getting ready for a bodybuilding show, I decided that I, too, would like to enter a competition. A few years later I had my second son which put my dream on hold for a bit longer. In November 2006 I entered my first bodybuilding competition where I walked away with 4 trophies and never looked back." Bindi summarizes her journey into the world of amateur bodybuilding. It’s the story many people have heard before and it describes one of those life-changing moments that are usually drawn upon for reflection and discussion. It’s a story-line that people like to talk about and discuss as a motivational anecdote to help others accomplish goals and dreams of their own. It’s a story Bindi loves to talk about and it brings a smile to her face, but when you dig deeper you discover that it does not come without some costs. "I believe that every dream comes with sacrifices and I have had to make many of my own. This is one of the main reasons I decided to walk away from this passion of mine after 11 years. Being both a mom and a bodybuilder can definitely be challenging at times. As a mother my kids are my priority but I'd be lying if I said I've never had to put them second during prep time. I'm just so thankful that I've had a husband who has stepped up and played both my role and his when needed. I try to do it all while prep: the cooking, the cleaning, the kid's activities, working aajmag.ca


I believe that success feels so much greater when the people you love are behind you

my job and all the other things a mom does. Somewhere in there, I manage to get in my training and cardio and my many meals. So yes, bodybuilding has definitely taken some important time away from my family. In addition, preparation for me usually falls during Spring/Summer so I have had to miss out on several family/social functions. The life of competing can also create tension in a home as the stress of prep can become unbearable and not only for the competitor, at times the entire household can suffer. My constant absence from home due to my training commitments s t a r t e d to create problems within my family and my husband began to resent the sport. I believe that success feels so much greater when the people you love are behind you and not against you." If you spend some time around these athletes you will find that these stress factors are experienced by many bodybuilders and can be a common topic of conversation within the bodybuilding community. In this respect Bindi is no exception and would freely discuss it with anyone willing to listen. While her intense love for this


sport came with inherent challenges it also offered her a silent relief that was rarely discussed in public. Bindi kept a secret and very few people knew that her intense training regimen both helped her and hurt her. Up until recently, Bindi silently struggled with a debilitating psychological condition known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that not only affects her ability to train but it can also cause stress in her day-today life. "A few years ago, I decided to come forward about my obsessive compulsive disorder ( O C D ) . Growing up I lived with a mother who suffered from both depression and OCD and it affected the whole family. Back in those days, people didn't know much about mental illness and how to deal with it. My mom was not able to talk about it and there was a time when it was also difficult for me. But today I am a very different person. I am very open about it as it is a part of who I am and people need to know that. For me personally, I find training helps me cope. After a great workout, I usually feel that I've alleviated some stress and anxiety. That being said,

sometimes getting through a long training session can be very difficult as I become obsessed with certain rituals during the workout. This can be very mentally draining. It really just depends on the day; there are good ones and bad ones. I recently started Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which really seems to help and currently I am also in an OCD support group. I believe the best therapy for any personal issue is to be able to talk about it. By creating a dialogue we can share our thoughts and feelings with others which help us accept who we are and what we are dealing with. Communication also helps others to understand us and can often lead to them opening up about their own issues."

allowed me to pursue the things that made me happy even if they weren't the 'norm' in our society. As young women, they allowed my sisters and I to have a social life because there was mutual trust and respect. Later in life, I married outside of my culture and they accepted it without any quarrels. Then at the age of 35, as a mother of two, I told them about my choice to compete and they backed me up and even came to watch my shows. Sadly, I lost both parents within one year not too long ago. I was blessed to have such open minded parents as I know that pursuing your dreams is much easier when you have support from your loved ones. I also have a very close relationship with both of my sisters and I know that I can count on them for anything. They have been and always will be my biggest supporters. My husband and kids have also been there with me through all of life's ups and downs. They have supported me throughout this long venture in competitive bodybuilding. They have put up with me during the pressures of prep by allowing me the time to train, prepare meals, practice posing and much more. They've been my biggest cheerleaders. That said, I could not possibly hand out credit without including my trainers who have set me up for success each year and all of my close friends and supporters who came to my shows and cheered their

I was blessed to have such open minded parents as I know that pursuing your dreams is much easier when you have support from your loved ones.

When you sit and talk with Bindi you get a clear understanding that family and personal relationships are very important to her. Despite her obvious strong will and determination, she is quick to give credit to the significant influences in her life. As much as she beats the drum of internal fortitude, she also recognizes that she has had vital support along the way. "My family has played a big part in my success, both personal and professional. Growing up, my parents

heads off at each competition. I truly have a special memory of each and every one of them. All people and personal influences aside I know my faith also played a strong role in my success. I believe everything that happens to us is ultimately in God's hands. Although I have worked very hard and feel I deserve my wins, I don't believe I could have achieved them without God in my life. Yes, I was disappointed when after 5 National titles I was still not awarded my Procard, but I just have to believe that this is as far as I am supposed to go in my bodybuilding journey. I believe that God has another plan for me now so I will just wait for him to give me the signal. Whatever he has planned for me, I know I will do it well." Now that Bindi has officially retired from competitive bodybuilding she carries with her a mixed bag of memories that mostly favour the positive. She has achieved an enormous amount of success but was left still searching for that elusive “Procard”. Despite the vast number of trophies and titles she has accumulated along the way, personal growth seems to be the brightest badge she wears with pride. "For the most part, bodybuilding has had a positive impact on my life. I have learned first-hand, what true discipline and dedication means and how hard one must work to achieve his or her goals and dreams. It has given me confidence and strength as a wife, mother and overall human being. Not only am I physically fit as a result of 12

this sport, but I am also much stronger both mentally and emotionally. "I also know my kids are proud of me as I hear them tell their friends how their mom is a celebrity. I find that so cute. It's definitely not easy to play both roles, but I love knowing it also has a positive impact on them. Ask anyone involved with bodybuilding and they will tell you that it is one of the most demanding competitive activities that almost anyone can try. To achieve success at the National level takes almost everything a person has to give. In the end the only guarantee you have is that you will get to stand on that stage and let the judges tell you if you are good enough to be called a “Champion”. Bindi will tell you that it is an amazing experience and even a little addictive but in the end she has no regrets. So now she has decided to turn the page and start a new chapter in her life. Her personal growth and accomplishments are now going to be used to help others as she continues with her newly founded Sahaara Wellness Society, her ongoing Personal Training Company and of course, her family. "I think it is time now to focus on other ventures in life. I'm the cofounder of Sahaara Wellness Society which was founded two years ago in hopes of helping people living with mental illness. I would like to spend more time on growing this charity as mental health is very dear to my heart. I also love my job as a personal trainer and feel blessed to be able to help others become more healthy and fit; and of course, spending more time with my family is definitely up there on the list. I’m excited to spend

more time with my boys and watch them grow through their adolescent years and become young men."

hopes to be a source of inspiration and encouragement for all and with that she leaves us with one last thought:

And so we wish Bindi good fortune as she walks away from a successful run in a difficult sport. Her story may inspire some to enter the ring while others may heed her warnings of sacrifice and keep their distance. In either case she

"I feel truly blessed to have 5 National wins under my belt and I've been very fortunate to have done so well in all of my competitions. That being said, I am very still very humbled because I believe that anyone can

achieve such accomplishments if they truly want to. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication but if I can do it, anyone can. People ask me all the time how I do it. I tell them, "You just do."

NEELAM GANDEVIA, is the General Manager at AAJ Magazine, and is completing her Communications degree at SFU.

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To celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday, AAJ Magazine has carefully compiled a list of typical and atypical things to do, see, and explore across Canada. Check out our last issue for things to do in British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Here are 60 more activities to enjoy. Become a tourist in your own country! Save this list and check off the activities as you complete them! Share your experiences with us or send us more ideas via #AAJ150Tour.


150 14

SASKATCHEWAN 51. Visit Kinsmen Park This is Saskatoon’s oldest park development and features an antique old-fashioned carousel. The PotashCorp Playland within the park features a train and a Ferris wheel, among other delights. 51. Visit the T-Rex Discovery Centre This museum, located in Eastend, was built to contain the remains of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

MANITOBA 52. Explore the Forks Located where the Red River and the Assiniboine River converge, The Forks is a designated National Historic Site of Canada. Featuring a unique marketplace with a complete food court, as well as a museum and theatre for children, this is a must-see tourist hotspot in Winnipeg. aajmag.ca


53. Dine at Mon Ami Louis

58. Skate along the Red River

You have to eat here! Not only is the food great, but the setting is too. This French restaurant is located on the Esplanade Riel Bridge in Winnipeg.

Winnipeggers are proud to say that the Red River Mutual Trail is the longest naturally frozen skating trail in the world.

54. Make a trip to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights This museum, the first of its’ kind in Canada, hosts exhibits that have been created to enhance the public’s understanding of human rights, through education about the atrocities that happened in the past, with a goal of promoting respect for others. The architectural design of the building is a must-see itself! 55. Visit the Royal Canadian Mint This is where coins are made! All Canadian coins are created at the Royal Canadian Mint, as well as coins for approximately 75 additional countries. Similar to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, this building reflects unique architecture. 56. Explore Osborne Village Osborne Village is the most densely populated neighbourhood in Winnipeg, as well as urban and artistic. There are various local shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants to explore in the area, including Jenna Rae Cakes and Baked Expectations. 57. Walk down Corydon Street Corydon Street is very popular among Winnipeggers and comes alive in the evenings with an abundance of great restaurants, bars and music.



Attend the Festival du Voyageur

This annual 10-day winter festival celebrates Canada’s history of furtrading and French heritage and culture. The festival takes place in February every year and features live entertainment, arts and crafts, music, exhibits and more. 60.

Visit the Mennonite Heritage Village

Travel back in time to experience the story of Russian Mennonites and their contributions to Manitoba. The village attracts thousands of visitors each year, both tourists and locals, and is most famous for its old school windmill. 61.

Crash a Wedding Social

Apparently, wedding socials are a Manitoban thing. A social in Manitoba is basically a fundraiser or pre-party for a wedding – with great food, DJs, and door prizes. 62.

Explore Pisew Falls Provincial Park

These waterfalls are a unique natural beauty in the otherwise plain prairie landscape. Although camping is not permitted, there are two hiking trails available. They are very rugged, and are only recommended for experienced hikers. Black bears, wolves and cougars are known to frequent the area.


Unwind at Grand Beach or Winnipeg Beach

Grand Beach has large white sand dunes and ancient beaches from the end of the last ice age and is a very popular tourist destination. It features food and merchandise vendors, biking, hiking and ski trails, a fishing dock, boardwalk and camping facilities. Winnipeg Beach is nearby and similar.


Visit Birds Hill Provincial Park

This 8300 acre park has a large campground, a horse stable, and numerous trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. 65.

Have a Slurpee!

The province of Manitoba is the Slurpee Capital of the World, with 7-Eleven stores across the city of Winnipeg selling almost 200,000 drinks per month.


View Inukshuks at the Enukso Point

Inukshuks are human made stone landmarks and a series of them (over 100 to be exact) can be found at Enukso Point on Baffin Island.


Experience the isolation of the Canadian Arctic via a cruise to Ellesmere Island

Ellesmere Island can only be seen by tourists via an Arctic cruise. It Is Canada’s 3rd largest island, and the 10th largest island in the world. You may be able to spot Arctic hare, musk ox and polar bears.




Visit Niagara Falls

The Horseshoe Falls are Canada’s portion of America’s Niagara Falls. There are three waterfalls that collectively form Niagara Falls. Get up close and personal via a Maid of the Mist Boat Tour from the American side, or via Hornblower Niagara Cruises on the Canadian side. 69.

Journey Behind the Falls

The Journey consists of the opportunity to take in the beauty of the Niagara Falls via an observation platform and a group of tunnels. The tunnels extend behind the waterfalls and allow people to view the water falling down in front of the open entrances. 70.

Explore the Cave of the Winds

This is another way to experience the Niagara Falls, and and it will impress your Instagram friends. The Cave of the Winds takes you closer to


the waterfalls than you ever thought possible. An elevator takes tourists to the base of the falls, and a series of decks and platforms allow people to walk up to the crashing water. 71.

Experience the Falls via Whirlpool Aero Car

This cable car transports passengers over a section of the Niagara River known as the Niagara Whirlpool, a natural whirlpool which spins in a counterclockwise motion during normal flow. 72.

Walk on the roof of the CN Tower

Challenge yourself and experience the thrill of lifetime. Take a walk outside, around the circumference of the roof of the third tallest tower in the world. 73.

Visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Located in downtown Toronto, southeast of the CN Tower, the aquarium has 13,500 exotic sea and

freshwater specimens; and is one of three aquariums owned and run by Ripley Entertainment. 74.

Visit Canada’s Wonderland

Canada’s largest theme park, located in Vaughan, is a great experience for all age groups. With endless rides, games and rollercoasters, there are plenty of things to do for everyone. 75.

Check out the African Lion Safari

Stay at a 150-year-old former jail that is thought to be haunted. Some of the rooms have been modified to give the feel of a welcoming hotel room, while others provide an authentic jail experience. You can sleep among stone walls and iron doors, or choose a solitary confinement cell. 79.

Explore Ouimet Canyon

This is Canada’s version of the Grand Canyon, featuring a 150 metre wide gorge and cliffs that drop down over 100 metres. Two lookout platforms provide spectacular views.

This family-owned safari park located in Hamilton features more than 1,000 animals (including giraffes, lions, cheetahs and elephants). The animals roam freely in large contained areas, and visitors can get an up close look with their own vehicles, or via designated tour buses.

This is a lavish outdoor bar and lounge that centres around a large pool and private cabanas, excellent DJs and great food. Cabana packages start at $1000



Snowshoe down the Rideau Canal

This waterway connects the city of Ottawa to the city of Kingston. During the winter months, it is a great place to snowshoe, canoe, skate or ski. 77.

Make a trip to the Thousand Islands

These are a group of over 1800 islands found in the St. Lawrence River, between the border of United States and Canada. Take a guided trip, go fishing or diving; visit lighthouses, castles, museums; or experience on-the-water dining. 78.


Experience the Cabana Pool Bar

Walk down Canada’s Longest Suspension Bridge

Located in Southern Ontario, this is a 420’ suspension bridge that offers views of: Georgia Bay, Blue Mountain, Wasaga Beach, Christian Island and the shores of Penetanguishine Peninsula. 82.

Rent a Private Island with your friends

According to Narcity Toronto, there are a number of reasonably priced private islands available for rent in the Ontario area.

Stay overnight at the Ottawa Jail Hostel




Go to a Raptor’s Game

Supporting Canada's only professional basketball team is a definite must! You may even be able to spot Drake. 87.


Throw a Party at a Mansion

This is another great idea courtesy of Narcity Toronto. Check out their list of affordable and beautiful residences available for rent at: https://www.narcity.com/ca/ on/toronto/lifestyle/7-mansions-youcan-rent-for-super-cheap-in-ontario

Even more beautiful in the Autumn with their different coloured trees, these parks feature: lakes, hills, rocky ridges, numerous trails and an abundance of wildlife. 88.

Visit Point Pelee National Park

This park is a 10 kilometre sandspit and the southernmost part of Canada. Its southern point is equal in latitude to the northern border of California! 89.

See the Sleeping Giant

Top spas include: St. Anne’s Spa, Scandinave Spa, Lakeside Spa, 100 Fountain Spa, Spa Rosseau, Touchstone on Lake Muskoka and Shizen Spa.

A formation of mesas and sills in Thunder Bay resemble a giant laying on its’ back from certain viewpoints. Surprisingly forgotten and overridden by the hype around other Canadian attractions, the Sleeping Giant was actually voted number one in a list of “Seven Wonders of Canada.”




Rejuvenate and relax at one of Ontario’s Luxurious Spas

Shop at the Eaton Centre

If you’re exploring Ontario, you can’t miss out on shopping at Toronto’s most popular mall.


Go camping at Algonquin Provincial Park or Killarney Provincial Park

Drive across the Rainbow Bridge

This is the bridge that connects the province of Ontario to New York State.


Start with the Club Scene if you’re 18+

Montreal is known to be Canada’s version of Vegas, so why not start off with a crazy night out? Apparently, the people there are aesthetically blessed, the legal age is 18 and drinks are relatively cheap. 92.

Grab a bite …or four

Montreal is also labelled as the culinary capital of Canada. With an abundance of restaurants to choose from, there’s something for everyone. 93.

Take a walk through Plateau Mont-Royal

This amazing neighbourhood in Montreal features beautiful Instagram-worthy architecture. 94.

Take in the best views of Montreal from Mount Royal

Featuring a panaromic view of the city’s skyline, as well as excellent reviews on Tripadvisor, exploring this park is a definite must. 95.

Go on a guided tour of Montreal’s best Breweries

popularity across Canada, and Montrealers are super serious about the way they brew theirs. Their pubs are always packed, which a sign that they must be good! 96.

Take a horse and carriage ride through Old Montreal

This is a great way to take in the beautiful architecture and learn about the city’s history. Some people find this area similar to Brussels, with its ambiance and European vibe. 97.

Go to the Montreal Olympic Stadium

This stadium features one of the world’s tallest leaning towers and was the official location of the 1976 Summer Olympics 98.

Visit Basilique NotreDame

This is one of the most luxurious religious buildings in Canada, and quite possibly the world. Celine Dion got married here, and a stunning must-see Casavant organ is featured within the chapel.

Beer is gaining more and more aajmag.ca



Visit Montmorency Falls

These falls are taller than the Niagara Falls, making them the tallest waterfall in Canada. Located a few minutes away from Quebec City, you can gaze at them on foot, via cable car, or from a nearby restaurant. 100. Go on an Old Quebec Food Tour

Check out our next issue for the conclusion to this article of fun and interesting things to do in Canada.

104. Visit Place Royale The place where Quebec City was founded in 1608 features beautiful New France architecture. 105. Visit the Morrin Centre and Maison De La Litterature

For only $54 you will get to eat at five eateries that are both culturally and culinarily important to Quebec’s European heritage and creativity.

The Morrin Centre is a former prison turned library, which features stories of old inmates and 25,000 books from the Victorian era. Maison De La Litterature is a creatively designed building with a Scandinavian feel to it.

101. Explore Petit-Champlain

106. Grab some poutine!

This quaint district of Old Quebec has some of the most pictureworthy streets in Canada. Dotted with colourful townhouses and cobblestone alleys, this is a great place to take a nice Instagram picture!

Poutine originated from rural Quebec in the 1950s …You can’t leave it’s birth province without having some!

102. Get the best view of Quebec City

The Laurentian Mountain range, located in southern Quebec, are one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world.

Take a ferry away from the city, to Levis, and take in the view that unfolds in front of you. 103. Have a drink or a meal at the Chateau Frontenac The Chateau Frontenac looks like a castle but was never a castle. Guided tours of Quebec’s most visited tourist hotspot are no longer available because it is now owned by Fairmont and operates as a hotel; however, it is definitely worth a stay, or at least a drink or meal.

107. Explore the Laurentian Mountains

108. Visit the Citadelle of Quebec Even if you don’t enjoy museums, you’ll enjoy the views from this fort as it overlooks the St. Lawrence River. 109. Spend a day at La Ronde Owned and operated by Six Flags, this is Montreal’s best amusement park.

NAVKIRAN BRAR, Editor of AAJ Magazine, is a well rounded professional, with a passion for writing, academics and entrepreneurship. 22


Join members of the South Asian community to celebrate the ninth annual A Night of Miracles gala and raise funds to support an innovative Point-of-Care Ultrasound Program within the Ledcor Children’s Emergency Department at BC Children's Hospital. For more information, please contact anom@bcchf.ca or 604.875.2444 CO-PRESENTED BY






July 1st, 2017 was a significant, exciting moment in Canada’s history – the 150th anniversary of the birth of our nation. Once a Confederation of four provinces, today we are a thriving country that stretches from coast to coast to coast and home to a diverse, remarkable population. For Canada’s 150th birthday year, I hope you will join me in celebrating the historical, cultural and natural treasures that make Canada such a vibrant place to call home.

Canada’s 150th anniversary offered and will continue to offer numerous opportunities for community involvement in celebration of the values that unite us all. These events will focus on Canada’s commitments to diversity and inclusion, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, youth engagement and our environment. From community activities to distinguished exhibits, Canada 150 is sure to offer something that will captivate the interest of you and your family. We strongly encourage Canadians to take advantage of exploring our history, diversity and multicultural heritage during this special time. There are a variety of activities taking place this year in our museums, heritage spaces, historic sites and

national parks. Every Canadian family is encouraged to experience the great outdoors with FREE admission to Parks Canada locations all year long. Exploring Canada’s beloved culture and natural resources is an exciting way to stay active, learn something new and celebrate the beauty of our nation. We a l s o u r g e C a n a d i a n s everywhere to experience exhibits throughout the nation that are open during the celebration of Canada 150. Whether you are interested in hockey, history, human rights, science, agriculture or art, there is something available for Canadians of all ages and backgrounds. Do not miss out on paying tribute to the important people and moments that have made Canada the amazing place it is today.



Canada’s 150th birthday also came with many exciting festivities throughout the month of June, in preparation for July 1st. Celebrate Canada Days 2017 took place on June 21st with National Aboriginal Day. This date corresponds with the summer solstice and was dedicated to the celebration of Inuit, Metis, and First Nations culture and heritage. Events focused on the important ways Indigenous culture has contributed to Canadian society, from music and the arts to agriculture and the environment. Experiencing the vibrant performances taking place in eight different Canadian cities was an incredible opportunity. On June 27th, cities everywhere celebrated Canada’s diversity with Canadian Multiculturalism Day. Parades, festivals and events took

place in communities across the country with live performances, food, music and entertainment in order to showcase and appreciate the multitude of cultural groups that contribute to our colorful nation. I n m y r i d i n g , C l o ve r d a l e Langley City, numerous community gatherings and events will be taking place that will showcase both our national and civic pride throughout the year. Our government announced substantial investment in cultural infrastructure and Canada 150 support, which will offer concerts, festivals and community events free to the public in celebration of Canada Day. The Township of Langley played host to a Canada 150 summer concert series in their brand new amphitheater in celebration of cultural experiences and local talent.

Overall, Canada 150 is sure to be an exciting time to be part of CloverdaleLangley City’s vibrant community. I encourage you to gather in your community in celebration of our achievements and unity. Events are taking place in 19 cities across the country, and will have something to offer for Canadian families everywhere. This special day is a time to remember Canada’s past, while also looking forward to our bright future. On Canada’s 150th birthday, we come together as Canadians in recognition of our achievements in science, art, technology and business, as well as the differences among us that make our communities so rich in cultural diversity. Our 150th years as Canada will be an amazing experience, one I’m sure every Canadian will enjoy.

JOHN ALDAG is a Member of Parliament for Cloverdale-Langley City and has worked coast to coast with Parks Canada for 32 years. 26


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It’s 3AM and I feel the bus come to a stop. Bright lights stream in through the windows and the lack of that sleepinducing rocking motion of the AAJ Magazine Canada 150 Tour Bus wakes me up. I look around and realise that we are stopped at a truck stop in Kamloops. But something isn't quite right, and the air smells funny. This doesn't seem like a normal fuel stop. I get off the bus to stretch my legs and discover the source of the problem. There's black smoke coming from the rear of our bus. The expressions of my coworkers all have the same worry: is this the end of our tour? On the other side of the parking lot, I see an old pickup truck with two young men sitting in the back, just chatting and passing the time - on a hot summer night in Kamloops, they figured it was the best way to cool off. They observe us from where they are and eventually come over, offering to take a look underneath. Before I know it, there are two complete strangers wiggling underneath the chassis of

the tour bus with keychain flashlights in hand.

“Reminds me of that truck of yours we worked on,” one comments to the other. “Oh man, it is red hot down here,” replies the other. I, meanwhile, pace back and forth nervously. Eventually, the two strangers reach the conclusion that one of the brake lines needs a slight



adjustment to stop the brake disc from overheating, and they set to work carefully adjusting things while trying not to get burned by the hot metal. Eventually, they emerge with greasy hands and satisfied smiles, assuring us that the bus should be okay once the brake cooled off. Sure enough, they were right and the brakes never troubled us again on the tour. We thanked the two strangers and in the days following, I realised one thing - I never got their names. These were the sorts of good samaritans the AAJ Magazine team and I met as we toured across the


country. In my eyes, they were true Canadians - friendly, and willing to help out a stranger in need without hesitation. We met these true Canadians everywhere from gas stations to Gurdwaras, in big towns and small ones. We met the most incredible people across the country in every province, and I believe AAJ Magazine’s #AAJ150Tour wouldn’t have been the same without these incredible people. The tour itself stretched from Vancouver to Montreal, with stops in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and a very important Canada Day stop in Ottawa. Along the way we saw the incredible sights of the rocky mountains, the vast, flat prairies, the charm of Quebec, and the stunning scenery of Ottawa and so much more. We hunted for the best poutines and made friends all across the country. To me, AAJ Magazine’s Canada 150 Tour was the unforgettable experience of a lifetime. As stunning as our country is, it’s the people that make it so. I returned home with a sense of pride in Canada - we truly are a land of incredible freedom and opportunity. I hope that 150 years from now, this spirit of kindness and warmth remains in all Canadians.

NEELAM GANDEVIA, is the General Manager at AAJ Magazine, and is completing her Communications degree at SFU.




CANADA SUMMER GAMES CELEBRATES 50 YEARS AAJ Magazine had the exciting opportunity to witness the Canada Summer Games live in Winnipeg, Manitoba this year. This high-level multi-sport event is held every two years in Canada, and is the largest multi-sport event for young athletes in the country.


4,000 athletes and over 20,000 visitors travelled to the prairies to take in the “hottest summer” in half a century, and experience the games in Winnipeg, Gimli and Kenora.Two milestones, the 50th anniversary of the Canada Summer Games and the 150th anniversary of Confederation, added to the excitement and festivities. Week number one (July 28 to August 5th) ended with Ontario in first place, British Columbia in second, and Quebec in third. B y Au g u s t 1 1 t h , Q u e b e c h a d overtaken British Columbia. It was a tight race, but in the end, British Columbia persevered. The Games ended on August 13th with the following standings: Ontario in first place, followed by British Columbia in second, and Quebec in third. Subsequent placings were as follows: Alberta, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon. There were a number of South Asian participants in the Canada Summer Games, including Arjot Gill, Harbans Gill, Juggy Gakhal, Karan Gill, Pritpaul Johal, Parmjot Sidhu and Tanjot Kahlon from B.C., who took home Silver medals in wrestling. Jasneet Nijjar, from Surrey, took home a Silver in the 200m sprint for females. Jovan Sihota, from North Vancouver, won a Bronze medal for tennis. Jaskaran Singh, from Montreal, received a Bronze

medal in wrestling. Jora Saran, Rajan Bains, and Sahil Dhindsa (from Surrey) placed eighth with their team in soccer. Manveer Saggi, from Manitoba, placed sixth with her team in soccer. Navreet Singh, from Mississauga, received a gold medal for indoor volleyball. Nick Sarai, from Kamloops, placed fourth in basketball. Saje Brar, from Surrey, placed fifth with her team in soccer. Sangam Sandhu and Sheldon Prasad, from Alberta, received Silver medals in soccer. Sehajvir Singh, from New Westminster, placed fifth in the 400m swimming medley for males. Shourya Verma, from Calgary, placed fourth in tennis. These are just some of the amazing South Asian athletes that participated in the Canada Summer Games. As stated by Hubert Mesman, Co-Chair of the Canada Summer Games Host Society: “Throughout the Games athletes inspired us with their talent, spirit and the sheer joy they brought to the task of competing and sharing this experience with fellow athletes from around the country. Their grace under pressure speaks to their character and leadership potential while their performances here have inspired and moved us! We wish them continued success in both their athletic careers and life aspirations.” Congratulations from AAJ Magazine to all of the athletes from near and far who travelled to Manitoba for such an epic event!





375 MONTREAL! th

Did you know? Montreal was founded on May 17th, 1642, and was known at the time as Ville-Marie. It got its current name from Mount Royal, the mountain near the city. This year, Montreal is celebrating it’s 375th birthday all year around, and in honour of this milestone, here is some history as well as some places you should visit in this beautiful city! Montréal was incorporated as a city in 1832, and is home to nearly half of the province of Québec’s population. Once home to the First Nations people, this city is actually an island gem on the magnificent St. Lawrence River. Over Montreal’s many years, it has seen travellers from far and wide land on its shores. The French colonists were the first to arrive, followed by the English, 34

the Scottish and the Irish, and has since transformed into a bustling port city. Thanks to it’s rich history, Montreal is the world’s second largest francophone city after Paris. In 2006, Montréal was named a UNESCO City of Design, and is well known for many vibrant festivals. With beautiful architecture, deep historical roots, and a metropolitan vibe, there is so much that makes Montreal worth visiting!

Often the best way to get to know a city is on foot: walking through any of Montréal's vibrant neighbourhoods will allow you to discover markets, boutiques, restaurants and local cafés - perfect for an opportunity to practice your French!

and check out the colourfully painted Victorian homes. 2. Visit St. Joseph’s Oratory - city law dictates that this mountaintop cathedral containing the heart of a saint is to remain the tallest building in town!

Getting the travel bug? Here are 5 unusual things to 3. Pick up a treat at Kem CoBa ice do in Montreal in honour of cream parlour - Join the coolest ice cream line up in Mile End, made up it’s 375th! 1. Admire the architecture - look up #SaintLouisSquare on instagram

of families and friends, and admire the hot pink and neon green façade. Be sure to try some of the unique flavours!

4. Do the Tam-Tam - every Sunday at Mount Royal park near the monument of Sir George-Étienne Cartier, you’ll find hippies, circus performers, groups of friends and families enjoying the sound of the drums. 5. Check out the Satosphere - Get ready for amazing 360° creative experiences! The Satosphere is an 18 meter dome that is able to provide an immersive experience for the viewer. From dance parties with live DJs and visuals, to art festivals, you are sure to experience something unique.

NEELAM GANDEVIA, is the General Manager at AAJ Magazine, and is completing her Communications degree at SFU.


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A jungle cat is, well, usually seen in the jungle. The Asian leopard hails from the dense forests of South India. This big, stocky cat with short limbs and a fairly large head, flaunts a coat that ranges from pale yellow to golden brown, with distinct darker designs, and white tipped tails and underbellies.


These cats hunt under cover of night, using their sharp visual and olfactory senses. They stalk their prey, get really close and ambush it. They are masters of stealth and can hide themselves really well. Their hunting and camouflage skills make it easy for them to live on the edges of cities and villages! In fact, leopards have been co-existing with humans for a while now without really causing much of a hostile environment. Many leopards have made the outskirts of Mumbai their home.

They hunt domesticated animals in these areas as they are easy prey and are in abundance. Some village dwellers even worship the leopards, allowing them the space to co-exist in harmony. It is a wonder to see wild cats like the Asian Leopards adapting to urbanization and recognizing the advantages of living closer to human habitations. Photo credits: All photographs by Amoghavarsha.

RICKY KEJ is a GrammyÂŽ Award Winning Composer, Billboard #1 Artist, Conservationist and Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, India.



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I recently had an opportunity to speak with Shelina Mawani after her trip to Delhi where she spoke at the Women's Economic Forum. Shelina has an inspirational outlook on life and I have the utmost respect and admiration for her. The first time that I met her, she told me about her philosophy of truly believing in herself as well as how her successes were as equally important as her failures on her pathway to success. I was looking forward to talking to her about her exciting new ventures, not only in her business but also in the community, as well as why she is known as a community activist. Born and raised in Mwazana, in East Africa, Shelina states that she was born into a business-oriented family. At the age of 21, she first started community work. She started the leprosy project in Tanzania in 1979, which was a fast spreading illness of that time. She also became a chairperson of the Lioness club in Mwanza in that same year. She helped establish Ear, Nose and Throat camps as well as would send children suffering from heart murmurs to England for heart surgery. She was also involved in opening Watoto Wa Africa which is an orphanage that she still continues to support. Her willingness to assist has helped her community thrive.

"Living for yourself is not living. You have to live for other," she told me. This belief has followed Shelina across the waters, as she left her home in Africa and moved to Canada. In 2, Shelina and her sister, Nasim, set up Nana's kitchen which has blossomed into a large manufacturing facility. They take great pride in the work that went into creating the only HACCP and BRC federally inspected plant in British Columbia in this category of food manufacturing. Today, Nana’s Kitchen produces over 25,000 hand made mouthwatering samosas daily. Their Convenient Comfort Foods with a Global Taste are sold in the Deli section of major grocery stores all across North America. But what I love most about Nana’s Kitchen is are the employees - they’re almost all women.

Empowering women is Shelina’s passion. She can be found at many events, sharing her “failures are the building blocks to success” story.

Empowering women is Shelina’s passion. She can be found at many events, sharing her “failures are the building blocks to success” story as well as her story about the power of “now”. In addition to sharing her story at WEF, she will be speaking in October at the Immigrant Professionals Conference by MOSAIC BC to talk about the critical challenges of immigrating to a new community and launching a business.



“Your million dollar idea is nothing if you do not have a plan to execute that idea. Your failures are

“Your million dollar idea is nothing if you do not have a plan to execute that idea. Your failures are your building blocks to your success."

Photo - Amit Midda of

Midda Photography & Films"

your building blocks to your success. Write down your goals, work on your weaknesses, and look for for strengths in others. These are the sorts of things I talk about, I want to share my knowledge, and learn from others. By empowering women, I empower myself. And my message to men is that if they have a partner that wants to get out there and make her goals come true, then help her - support her, and empower her.” Shelina credits her husband Nawaz as her mentor, supporter, and a key part of her success, “He tells me, ‘You are a strong woman, you can do it and you should do it’.”

NEELAM GANDEVIA, is the General Manager at AAJ Magazine, and is completing her Communications degree at SFU. 42

In addition to her speaking engagements and work, Shelina is often seen in the community in Metro Vancouver. She takes great pride in supporting people that are breaking down barriers in the South Asian community as she feels that there are many topics that seemingly go untouched or are unspoken. Shelina's passion is outreach and her intent is to bring different parts of the South Asian community together. “I feel that the puzzle of the South Asian community is incomplete. We need to bring all sides of the community together - Ismaili, Gujarati, Punjabi, and so on. We are all under the banner of the South Asian community, and when we all come together our five or ten fingers make a fist, instead of being on our own. We are so fortunate that Canada has embraced us. Multiculturalism is our strength, not our weakness.”


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Garba - 8:00 pm Snacks & Dandiya to follow!


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When the weather turns colder and students of all ages head back to school, most people start thinking about Halloween, Remembrance Day, and the fact that Christmas is somehow already around the corner! I look forward to all of these days in the calendar too, but as a practicing Hindu of Gujarati heritage, I’m looking forward to a few important Hindu festivals that take place in the Fall season too! A m o n g t h e s e f e s t i va l s , o r ‘tyohar’s, is Shradh, Navratri, and the world famous festival of lights - Diwali. Here’s the details of when these festivals are taking place and what they represent. Shradh September 5th to 19th In Hindu mythology, it is believed

smells of delicious food and offerings being prepared for ancestors. If you have never heard of Shradh before, a good equivalent to this festival is Dia De Los Muertos, of the Day of The Dead festival, which is a celebration that originates in Mexico that also focuses on remembering friends and family members who have died. Navratri - September 20 to 30th The vibrant nine day festival of Sharad Navratri celebrates goddess Durga. There are many rituals that are observed all across the faith, from Durga Puja to fasting, but the one I look forward to most is Navratri Garba! This is a form of folk dance native to Gujarat where people of all ages join and form circles and dance the night away! These concentric

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SPECIALTIES: Weddings Anniversaries Banquets Conventions Corporate Functions, that our ancestors are with us and that they protect us from the hurdles of time. During Shradh, Hindus will perform rituals that pay tribute and gratitude to our ancestors. During this time, my house is full of the

circles can grow or shrink and fit as many people as you have space for. Most attendees of a Garba celebration at Navratri dress colourfully in traditional costumes, and everyone

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is welcome to join and learn how to dance along. If you have never attended a Navratri garba festival, I guarantee you’ll have a lot of fun - it’s like a crazy dance party that lasts for nine nights! The tenth day is known as Dussehra and is a celebration of good over evil. Diwali - October 19th Diwali, or Deepavali, (which literally means ‘row of lights’) is

a worldwide phenomenon, with festivals all around the world marking the occasion. Diwali is the Hindu new year and marks the triumph of light over darkness, but is also significant in the Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist faiths. To celebrate Diwali, people set off fireworks, and light candles called diyas. Diwali is actually a five day festival, with Diwali being the third day. It is known as Amavasya and


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falls on the same day as the new moon (the Hindu calendar uses the lunar calendar). This is the darkest day of the month and Lakshmi is worshipped with a Lakshmi Puja in the evening. The day after Diwali, or the fourth day, is considered the first day of the new year and many families visit and celebrate the new year together. Diwali is always a joyous and colourful occasion

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Nana’s Kitchen wishes everyone a very Happy Canada 150! Nana’s Kitchen is proudly Canadian and we are so privileged to call Canada our home. We are proud of how Canada embraces diversity. Our diversity makes us stronger as a country.

Congratulations Canada on 150 years of prosperity! aajmag.ca



It’s time to liberate ourselves!


MENTAL LIBERATION Regardless of your age, gender, faith or cultural background, mental health is the giant elephant in the room - unacknowledged, misunderstood, and often ridiculed. Unlike with your heart, where your cardiologist is able to see potential issues and fix them, mental health issues are not as simple. The brain, although visible with modern day technology like MRIs and PET scans, remains a puzzle to psychologists and common people alike. What is the mind? What are thoughts and 48

emotions? What constitutes abnormal thoughts and emotions? These are still questions we’re trying to answer. So when it comes to mental health, it is no surprise that our lack of knowledge relates to the stigma that is created about the mysteries of the mind. Although we often cannot

see mental illnesses visibly, they do exist, just ask someone dealing with one.. They alter a person’s livelihood and have a profound impact on our experiences and identity. As ups and downs are common in life, most people will face forms of a mental health issue at some point in their lives. In fact, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association, “20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime. That's thousands of people, the likelihood is, it is someone you know. Despite its prevalence, the one thing we cannot seem to talk about and support openly is mental health. If I break my arm, my friends and family will rush over to see me and sign my cast with hopeful messages of recovery. If I’m facing a mental illness, no one seems to want to talk, let alone offer a helping hand. Employers may not give you sick leave as mental illness is not viewed the same as physical illness. Mental illnesses that don’t manifest themselves physically are disregarded. Many people are suffering alone simply because of the shame and stigma that surrounds mental illness. Instead of acknowledging them headon, we’ve simply turned them into movie tropes, tweets and memes, which propagates the stereotypes that mental illnesses just mean you’re lazy, sad, crazy or “psycho.” All these myths prevent people from seeking professional help, which is viewed as a failure to cope on your own.

Being South Asian, mental health becomes even more blurred. We live in a shame and “izzat” focused culture where talking about your feelings is discouraged and issues are brushed under the rug in order to protect your family name. Bottling emotions and hiding problems rather than confronting them is rather common, whether it’s not letting “ghar ki bhaat” or family matters spill outside, or leaving family tensions unaddressed. Everything we do is to protect our family name. Naturally, openly addressing your mental health issues probably doesn’t fit into the picture too well. As a South Asian, sometimes it’s easier to tell your parents you're dropping out of school rather than depressed because dropping out is tangible, but mental illnesses are too often seen as a clouded myth or an excuse for laziness and self pity. Even South Asian health professionals are not exempt from this strong stigma. Ideas such as “Medication is a failure to cope,” and “Depression and 49

anxiety are just all in your head,” are bounced around in the South Asian community of North America. These dangerous ideas have held many people back from getting the support they need and deserve. In our community, there are a multitude of barriers to seeking help such as the classic “log kya kahenge” meaning “what will people say?”, family pressures to hide your issues from the outside world, and lack of culturally attuned mental health resources. So what can we do to change this?

I recently came in contact with MannMukti, a South Asian mental health movement that’s trying to get people to speak up about mental health. The phrase “MannMukti” roughly translates to “mental liberation,” and their mission is to encourage healthy, open dialogue of mental health issues in an effort to remove stigma, improve awareness and promote self-care. The MannMukti website is a one-stop resource for South Asians to learn about and address mental health concerns with each other.

It offers a diverse array of testimonials from other South Asians who've lived with mental illness and want you to know that you’re not alone. The website also has:

• B a c k g r o u n d i n f o r m a t i o n on mental conditions and treatments to help keep you informed and aware • An open forum for connecting with others, enabling you to normalize conversations about mental health and defeat stigma.

• Options for addressing your mental health with professionals in your area • Research and articles to keep you updated about scientific developments on the link between immigration, South Asian culture, and mental health. • I n f o r m a t i o n o n n a t i o n a l advocacy groups and other South Asian organizations

• A podcast series, titled Stories of Stigma, that connects interested listeners with experts on South Asian mental health, through interviews hosted by the MannMukti team.

POOJA PATEL is a second generation Gujarati Canadian, and a Psychology and Counselling undergraduate student at SFU. 50

Although focused on the South Asian community, MannMukti is accessible for everyone of all ages and ethnic groups to use. It’s run by a team of open-minded, creative, and diverse individuals who are all passionate about mental health issues. None of them are medical experts, and the website doesn’t diagnose or provide treatment. Rather, MannMukti concentrates on providing social support and mental health resources. As a community, we need to use our connectivity and closeness as a strength. We need to come together and support our brothers and sisters who are suffering in silence and uplift the dark veil of mental health stigma. Let’s seek MannMukti and liberate our minds once and for all. Let’s speak up. You can follow Pooja Patel’s work on IG & Twitter @thepoojaproject or contact her at thepoojaproject@gmail.com

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LIFE AFTER S.I.D.S. On February 19th, 2011, Rob and Tanya Gill were getting ready to celebrate the birth of their son Azaan Singh Gill, when the unthinkable happened. It was a normal day for the Gill family. They had been preparing to throw a party with family and friends and put Azaan down for a nap early that afternoon in preparation. 52

“I went to go check up on him and he was sleeping fine,” says Tanya. “And we didn’t put down any extra blankets, or bumper pads, or stuffed animals, just like how they tell you not to do things and to make sure you put him on his back. It was the same crib that [my daughter] Azaria slept in as a baby too... but I just felt weird when I paused there.” Tanya left soon after with her daughter Azaria, who was 4 years old at the time, to go and pick up Tanya’s mother from the airport, while Rob remained at home with Azaan. However, Tanya could not shake off a weird feeling of anxious mother’s intuition, and called home, asking Rob to check on Azaan. At home, Rob checked on Azaan multiple times throughout his nap, and it was when he stopped to check on Azaan a further time that he noticed that something was not right. “His eyes were open, but it just wasn’t right,” says Rob, “He wasn’t there. When I picked him up, his eyes rolled back and I immediately called 911 and said my son isn’t responding.” Rob began to perform CPR while on the phone with 911 until police and ambulance arrived and took over. By the time Tanya arrived back home, first responders had already told Rob that it was too late for them to save Azaan. “I went into shock mode,” She says. “I wanted answers, I was only gone for an hour and a half.” A coroner was called from BC Children’s Hospital, but the

investigation proved only that Azaan was completely normal and healthy. They concluded that this was an inexplicable case of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. “[The coroner] said he basically turned off like a light switch, and that there was nothing we could have done to revive him.” Azaan was one day shy of becoming six months old when he passed away.

SIDS is an unexplainable illness that happens to kids typically before age one but can affect children all the way up until the age of two.

SIDS is an unexplainable illness that happens to kids typically before age one but can affect children all the way up until the age of two. It is incredibly frustrating and heartbreaking for parents and families who are unable to find any sort of explanation about why or how their children are suddenly no longer with them. Much like cancer, Rob explains, SIDS is something that medical scientists around the world are searching for a cure for. It’s for this reason that the Gill family 53

decided to host a walk-a-thon called Steps for SIDS on August 25th, 2017 to raise funds for SIDS research and to increase awareness. “Our goal is to stop another family from going through the pain and suffering that we did.”

“I’m surprised,” Tanya adds, “that nobody really knows what SIDS is. I tell people, ‘we lost our middle son to SIDS’, and they’re like, ‘oh, what’s that?’. And the year that he passed away, we had so many people saying, ‘what did you do wrong?’ or coming up with their own assumptions that we didn’t burp him, or we gave him an extra blanket or something.”

The Gill family’s grief over the loss of Azaan and the frustration from the lack of answers was compounded by the assumptions of people around them who chalked the death up to a mistake or a hidden illness. Having already raised their daughter Azaria, the dismissal of Azaan’s death as some sort of rookie mistake on

NEELAM GANDEVIA, is the General Manager at AAJ Magazine, and is completing her Communications degree at SFU. 54

their part was incredibly upsetting. They recounted numerous stories of friends and other people approaching them with pseudo-scientific stories and alternative explanations, or people who simply asked them to stop talking about Azaan and displaying his image in their home and on social media because it made them uncomfortable. Today, the Gill family is still grieving the loss of Azaan, but they also see their son as an angel who has changed their lives. Azaanek, Tanya and Rob’s third son was born after Azaan’s passing and named in honor of his sibling who passed away. Their daughter Azaria is now 11 and is following in her parent's footsteps when it comes to community service by donating to Wigs for Kids and raising over $3000 by herself. Rob and Tanya continue to share their story and worked tirelessly over the course of a year to make Steps for SIDS a reality. Their goal in sharing their story is twofold: first, to help raise awareness of what SIDS is, and to help fund a cure so that no parent ever has to go through what they did.




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1. To teach and learn at the same time: There is something to learn from everyone – I’ve learnt over a period of time that everyone has something that they can teach us. As I teach, it’s important to listen as one cannot force their methods on anyone, they may have simpler ways of doing a task which I may have complicated for no reason. 2. Being empathetic towards others needs: Empathy goes a long way as I usually mentor people who come from all walks of life, some have the financial need for this work while others are burdened by responsibilities which are far beyond what the reality of working a regular job can meet. No one person is the same and they all have different needs, wants, and goals. It’s important to have a different way of dealing with everyone as no one is the same. 3. Patience: When dealing with so many people on a daily basis, patience becomes a very important virtue as everyone wants something all the time. Some need guidance on a specific deal while others need training on training others. It’s not always easy but it’s very important to always remain calm. I take small breaks such

as small getaways and that helps me focus back to working with everyone again. Being patient never hurt anyone 4. Trust: Having trust is also a very important factor in being a mentor as when you don’t trust your student, nothing really gets done. You must teach and then let them work and have faith that they are able to complete the task as intended. You cannot build anything without trust which, I know, can be broken at times but we must forget and learn to trust again. 5. Build more leaders: There’s a lot of people who believe in being the only leader and having people follow them. I think of it as the other way around! I believe in building more and more leaders and that’s been the key factor to my business becoming a success. As a mentor, you must recognize leadership qualities when you see them, you must appreciate it rather than being threatened by them. 6. Be fun: Always be fun to learn from as people like 'Fun' people. They must enjoy your company to want to learn from you.




LIVING THE CANADIAN VALUES IN YOUR BUSINESS When the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau took office in 2015, he eloquently defined what it means to be Canadian: “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada.... There are shared values — openness, respect, 58

compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice.” What an amazing ro a d m a p f o r u s t o consider in our business dealings as well. Let us consider some and how they apply in business.


Gartner, the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, conducted a survey which discovered that 89% of businesses are soon expected to compete mainly on customer experience. As part of a genuine customer experience, being open and fair to them in essential to win their trust, which encourages them to refer you and come back for future business.


Canada has a long-standing reputation of being one of the most compassionate nations. This is not a mechanical metric which was made but reflects the collective hearts of the people of our country. We are fortunate to be living in a country which allows us to conduct our lives positively with hope, which then allows us to act compassionately. Bringing this mindset to your business involves reflecting on how we treat our employees, our customers, and our physical environment. The opportunities to continuously improve surround us, if we imbibe the Canadian value of being com-passionate to all and everything.


Oxford University did a study in late 2016 which predicted that 47% of jobs will disappear in the next 25 years because of emerging

technologies, How does this relate to us and artificial intelligence, and our business? We must develop robotics. This reality a mindset which is open to all the of automation is opportunities around us, which allow not new, but it does provoke us us to progress in an open, honest, to reassess how and compassionate way. we are defining hard-work and How does this relate to us and where we are putting our efforts. our business? We must develop a It is important that we analyze our business processes and continuously mindset which is open to all the find areas which can modernize to opportunities around us, which keep us competitive. As part of this, it allow us to progress in an open, is also essential to elevate your team’s honest, and compassionate way. skills which will alter the metrics you We need to find individuals in measure their value and will likely our teams that deserve to move also open new opportunities for your up and invest in their growth and development. Sometimes this means business. getting out of our comfort zone but in business we need to hedge our risk EQUALITY When the Right Honourable and the wider our perspective, the Justin Trudeau selected his first more options we will allow ourselves cabinet, with an equal split between to consider. Equality is not just about women and men, the world took sex or race, but also about how much notice. But the message he sent was we pay individuals, how we judge deeper than that, when he appointed people, and how we treat people, four individuals of South Asian regardless of where they sit in the organizational ladder. decent to his cabinet. The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

As we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Canada with our family and friends, we also have an opportunity to reflect on all our wonderful achievements being in Canada. The Canadian values are made up by all of us therefore we should celebrate this collectively and continue conducting business in an open, compassionate, hard working, and equal manner.

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y journey towards a healthy lifestyle began back in April 2005 after I lost my granddad to diabetes. This came as a massive shock to me because he was not just my role model but my best friend. It was hard for me to talk to anybody about my feelings which led me to a depressed state of mind. I just wanted to be left alone. I was driving taxis at the time and this provided me relief as I was working with people I didn't know, which allowed me to vent without being judged. In July 2007, I had a major health issue. My depression had caused me a 90 pound weight gain.

My cholesterol level was at 6.7 and I was at risk of developing other conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. My doctor's advice was to take action before it's too late. While I was getting deeper into depression thinking about my declining health, I received a call from one of my friends who was working for a well known cookware company in London, England. After chatting for a while and learning about my health issues, she asked if it was okay for her to cook me a free meal one evening. Being a bit of a foodie I couldn't turn down the offer. She came over and cooked me a three-course meal. I was pretty impressed with how she cooked without using any oil or water when cooking vegetables which was a big buying point for me considering

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my current situation. Without any hesitation, I made the investment. A few months later I noticed I was losing weight, feeling better and happier than I had in months. I couldn't understand it because I wasn't going to the gym or making an effort to eat healthy. Friends and families noticed the transformation as well, which motivated me to lose more weight. I went from 252 pounds down to a healthy 175 pounds and the best part is that the weight hasn't come back! I wish somebody had told me about this 20 years ago. Now I have a clean bill of health and still enjoy being a foodie. I regret not being able to save my granddad in 2005, as I didn't have the knowledge nor the tools I have gathered since 2007. My mission and passion is to save others who are in similar situations now. My move to Canada in 2013 gave birth to my passion www.nutrachefs.com. The rest is history...


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One the best things about being a professional keynote speaker, is the amazing events I get to attend. In July, I was honored to be one of the opening keynote speakers, for the World Entrepreneur Forum (WEF) being held in Downtown Vancouver this year. This event is hosted by Venture Development Canucks in partnership with UBC, and was held at UBC Robson Square. It really was an outstanding two days, bringing together the best minds in both business and innovation, from all over the world, into one impressive event. WEF was also home to the annual prestigious “Tommy” Award, presented by the Thomas Edison Innovation Foundation.


The Keynote Speakers at an event often set the tone, so I was thrilled to learn that I would be sharing the stage with two other exceptional individuals. First we had Lisa Wang, Olympic-level gymnast, 4x US National Champion

and founder of SheWorx, a global platform empowering 20,000+ female entrepreneurs. We also had the amazing Peter H. Thomas who is a serial entrepreneur, bestselling author of “Never Fight with a Pig” “Be Great” and “Business Ground Rules.” He has developed billions of dollars in real estate projectors in North America, and was also responsible for bringing the Century 21 franchise to Canada, among many other accomplishments. We also had an interview and performance by the outstanding musical talent, Rosemary Siemens. A world-class violinist, she has performed 4 times at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and is the only violinist who has performed at both the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. We also had some amazing business luminaries and venture capitalists as panelists, such as Praveen Varshney, Director of Varshney Capital Corp. who said of the event, “I’ve been attending this conference annually for 7 years; it’s one of those ‘must attend’ events for me – the learning, experiencing, sharing, networking; it’s amazing and it’s fun!”

* Results will vary by individual.


The charity of choice for the event was CanLyme, the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, and we had the unique opportunity to learn about Lyme disease from both experts in the field and people who have been affected by this awful disease. According to data from the Government of Canada, there aajmag.ca


were 987 reported cases of Lyme disease in Canada in 2016. One of our speakers was Jim Wilson, the Founder and President of CanLyme, who actually contracted the disease himself in 1991, and shared his inspiring story of struggle and strength with us.


One theme that did emerge during the two days of pitches a n d p r e s e n t a t i o n s wa s h o w innovation and technology is changing medicine in the future. This was particularly visible in the areas of diagnosis and diagnostic data. Another theme was social entrepreneurship and social innovation, which focuses on using entrepreneurship to solve the world’s problems. The question isn’t what does your product or service do, but what problem does it solve?

present, followed by 15-minutes of questions by a panel of venture capitalist and business strategists. We saw some amazing and diverse technologies that solved a range of problems in the world, from clean water to sustainable energy and advanced medical diagnostic solutions. The winner of the “Tommy” Award was Henry Lee of ADC Energy. As one attendee said to me, it was “exciting to see a convergence of ideas”. As my favorite Dragon Robert Herjavec, says, “Don’t start a business. Find a problem, solve a problem, the business comes second.” I left with renewed faith, that innovation and entrepreneurship will solve the most urgent problems we have in the world.


One focus of the conference is “Find the Next Edison,” and throughout the two days, we had presentations from exciting fast growth innovative companies, talking about their cutting edge technologies and competing for the coveted “Tommy” Award. Each company had 20-minutes to

NARGES NIRUMVALA is Canada’s leading executive speech coach, an award winning entrepreneur, author of the Amazon bestselling book Capture the Spotlight and a humanitarian. 64

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THE SINGLE BIGGEST ISSUE WITH LED LIGHT SOURCES TODAY Is cost the biggest issue? Well ... that applies to the entire lighting package which includes the actual light, housing & mounting parts, controls and other accessories + labor; I am only referring to the light source - the LED chip or engine.


OK then‌ Is it the blueish-white color? Well ... this issue is bothersome, but only because owners allow it. This issue will either virtually disappear or become ubiquitous because of cost advantage. We digress, but a perfect analogy is the evolution of fluorescent lighting systems; poor color rendering did not deter them from being the industry leader. Many other concerns, like the ones above, are valid; however, from a lighting designer's perspective, one issue dominates them all. The answer is optics; Glare to be specific.


In the context of lighting design, Glare is a subjective visual sensation, referring to high contrast between the light source and the surrounding ambient lighting levels that the source itself generates. Since it is a subjective perception, many definitions and sub-segments of Glare exist; discussion of which is beyond the scope of this article.


As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, take a look at the below picture, which incandescent-looking bulb is LED? The bulb to the left is 800 lumens and the bulb to the right is 950 lumens. So, why does the LED bulb (to the left) appear brighter? Technical data is suggesting that the incandescent bulb is brighter.


Next, I took out both bulbs and then performed light output level calculations for each one, independently, by placing the light meter centered directly below the bulb and then again, on a task surface, further below (E.g. work desk, dining table, kitchen counter etc). The below figure summarizes this setup and findings.

Figure 1: Left (LED - 60W replacement) vs Right (Incandescent - 100W)

In other words, a simple experiment shows us that the less bright LED bulb appears to be more bright, when you look at it, than a comparable incandescent; while both sources give the same lighting output level at the desired task surface.


Figure 2: LED vs Incandescent light level output comparison

The missing piece is the technical fact that LEDs are a point source emitter while incandescent filaments are not. Lighting optics are different and hence the reality varies. This fact is further exacerbated when LED optics are ignored and the least expensive system is put in place. A comparable analogy can be drawn from the shower head experience. For instance, depending on the current setting of the dial (think - mist to massage), one might feel that the water distribution is slower (or faster ). However, the water flow rate remains the same across all settings. aajmag.ca


In other words, incandescent bulbs (akin to the gentle mist shower) provide a softer visual experience while LEDs (much like the massage water jet) can be discomforting, when viewed directly.


minimized by pro-active control. Indirect lights and other cut-off optics, higher mounting heights, brighter ceilings, dimming and many more strategies are all practical measures, when combined together, produce an effective lighting design that minimizes Glare.

Since the source is the problem, Glare cannot be eliminated - only

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Q: Your song "Na Ja" is a huge success and the music video itself is so creative and unique to our culture and music industry. Where/ how did you come up with ideas/ creative concepts for the music video? A: This track was made by my best mate from high school and I, while we were driving. It was inspired by another track that we had already produced and in talking about the music video for that track, we stumbled upon the composition and a lyrical concept for Na Ja. The line "Fer Rotian Pakai" is the anchor for the music video. The video was built around that line and the themes happened to combine to be so coherent. The idea for the Arab dancers was quite random but I thought would be very entertaining. Luckily I managed to get a hold of those costumes from eBay. Q: Your website states that you are from Sydney, Australia. Were you born and raised there? A: I was born in Batala in Punjab and migrated to Sydney at the age of 10. I was brought up in Sydney but my musical career started when I moved to live on my own in Melbourne. Q: Do you have any plans to come to Canada any time soon? A: I do. I've been there before and really enjoy the atmosphere the country has to offer as well as how scenic it is. I'll be doing a North America tour in the

near future. Q: Your website also states that you have the ability to play numerous musical instruments. What do you play? A: Just the usual. Dhol, tumbi, dholki, a bit of piano and a bit of guitar. Jack of all trades master of none unfortunately. Q: In reference to our question above, where did you acquire such talent? A: Genetics I guess. Q: Who is your artistic muse? A: I have too many to count and to say one would be a lie. I'm definitely hugely influenced by the music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Noor Jahan, Reshma and Surinder Kaur. Q : W h o w o u l d y o u l o ve t o collaborate with but haven't had the opportunity to yet? A: There's a fair few artists I'd like to work with, but being on a big island 1400 km away from the rest of the world is probably the main reason I haven't been able to work with them. Good music requires time spent face to face and that's the one thing very difficult for me to do being based in Sydney. Q: Have you travelled a lot? If yes, what was your favourite place to visit? A: I have travelled, but I wouldn't say a lot. Japan would probably be my favourite place.



Q: Describe your perfect day? A: Wake up without an alarm clock, take my dog for a walk, then work for 10 hours straight without knowing where the day went. The projects that make you sit for that long are very hard to come by, but they're also the ones that drive me to do what I do.

Q: Do you have siblings? I have an identical twin brother who's 5 minutes older than me. Though he acts like the difference is 5 years.

Q: Could you tell us a little bit about your upbringing/family?

Q: At what point/age did you realize you wanted to create music?

A: I was raised by my mum for the first 9 years of my life. That's due to my dad having migrated to Australia right after I was born. He hustled his way alone in Sydney for 7 years before becoming a permanent resident and bringing us over here. My family is a major reason as to why I'm doing music. My dad's a singer, my mum can sing, my mama can sing, my maasi can sing (you get the point).

A: After I trained to become a pilot, I realised it wasn't a career path I wanted to pursue. By then, however, I had been making music as a hobby for about 2 years on the side. I decided to take the plunge into music full time at that point. This would have been in 2011.

Dad spent a big chunk of his teenage years learning from the great Lal Chand Yamla Jatt and has a phenomenal voice. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to pursue his career in music due to the events in the 80's in Punjab so I've stolen the name "Dharia" from him and decided to complete a journey he started. My mum and dad have always been there for me and supported every decision I've made. Though I've made some bad ones they've never done the classic "told you so" to me, which I think is the reason I've come so far. I cannot stand the idea of forcing kids into career paths they're not passionate about only 72

because it's "safe" or someone's son is a doctor, etc. I know far too many people earning over $100k who are depressed in their chosen careers.

Q: If you weren't a musical artist, what would you choose as a career? A: A psychologist. I'm fascinated by the human mind and behaviour. I would love to be able to help people with their emotional issues. Q: Do you have any advice for Indo-Canadian youth? (whether it be for their goals, their careers, their development as people . . . it is increasingly becoming apparent that it is hard to blend Indian and western culture, and many youth are struggling). A: I agree. The traditional Indian culture is extremely conservative and limiting especially to women. I think there needs to be a overhaul and reform of our cultural and religious beliefs to fit in more

with a democratic society (not necessarily "western" as there's a big chunk of the west who's just as bad at integrating with the rest of the world as traditionalist). Though India is the world's biggest democracy, we simply do not understand democratic principles. This is a topic that probably requires an article rather than a short answer.

My advice would be to be passionate. It doesn't matter where that passion lies as long as you wake up to do what you want to, not always what you have to. I respect people that have a passion for something (may it even be knitting) because it is passion which leads us to do things no one else has done before.

I think increasingly the youth is going into unskilled labour as way of living without really having any dreams. This was fine for our fathers and grandfathers who had no other choice, but they haven't migrated thousands of miles away from their home for us to sit on our ass and reap the rewards for their hard work.

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Dance and music extravaganza portrays the essence of Chinese traditional culture Shen Yun Performing Arts came into being in 2006 when a group of leading classical Chinese artists living overseas came together in New York with one wish: to revive the authentic culture of China and share it with the world. These artists knew that ancient C h i n e s e c u l t u r e wa s r i c h i n qualities and wisdom that would 74

benefit humankind. But it needed a renaissance as it had been all but wiped out by various communist campaigns like the Cultural Revolution, which uprooted traditional beliefs and destroyed ancient treasures, bringing the Middle Kingdom’s traditional 5,000 years of civilization to the brink of extinction. In ancient times, China was known as “The Land of the Divine.” It refers to the belief that the divine,

through the various dynasties over the ages, transmitted a rich and abundant culture to the Chinese people. Chinese culture is thus considered to be “divinely inspired.” For thousands of years, China was profoundly spiritual; Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism were at the heart of society. In those times, people believed that by following the teachings of these three disciplines they could elevate their mind and gradually bring their internal realm

to a divine state. In Chinese, this process is called cultivation. At its core, Chinese culture is a culture of cultivation, a tradition of spiritual self-discipline and veneration for the divine. In fact, Chinese medicine, astronomy, dance, music, painting, literature, poetry, food, and architecture are, at their highest realms, based on the teachings of these three disciplines. While Shen Yun showcases this profound culture through music and dance, its performances seek to portray the essence of the culture and the beauty, goodness, and truth inherent in it. Every storydance embodies and celebrates the virtues that were at the heart of Chinese civilization for thousands of years, such as loyalty, courage, truthfulness, compassion, and piety.

Audiences pick up on this, and are often left feeling uplifted and inspired by the show. India Connection During the Tang Dynasty, a young monk named Xuan Zang (also known as Tang Monk and Tripitaka) set out on foot on a journey to what is now India to bring the Buddhist scriptures back to China. Tang Monk’s long and perilous pilgrimage was told in the classic Chinese novel “Journey to the West,” published in the 16th century. The Tang Dynasty is often considered China’s cultural golden age. It was a time of great prosperity, military prowess, religious pluralism, and a flourishing of the arts and sciences. T h e g r e a t e m p e r o r Ta n g Taizong personally asked Tang Monk to travel to India across the

mountains, collect the sacred texts, and bring them back to China. It took the monk 17 years to complete the journey, and he brought back with him 657 scriptures written in Sanskrit. He then spent the rest of his life translating them. In the novel, as in history, the Tang Monk is a symbol of pious devotion. He overcomes 81 tribulations, which are metaphors for the trials a person encounters on a spiritual path. Over the years, Shen Yun has portrayed various aspects of Tang Monk’s arduous journey to India with his special group of bodyguards: the valiant but impetuous Monkey King (also known as Sun Wukong), the lustful Pigsy, the taciturn Sand Monk, and the White Dragon Horse. Shen Yun’s story-telling dances are like little excerpts from



Chinese history. They may be about the Yellow Emperor of antiquity, a modern-day tale, heroes, deities, or colourful characters that have appeared throughout the millennia of dynasties. Shen Yun also presents dances from some of China’s more than 50 ethnic groups—such as Mongolian, Tibetan, and Manchurian—as well as Chinese folk dance. A Show Like No Other Classical Chinese dance, an ancient art form refined over the ages, is what enables Shen Yun to tell these stories so well. It consists of gravitydefying leaps, spins, high-flying jumps, and tumbles, and is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world, according to Shen Yun’s website. “Both emotive and energetic, it transcends the barriers of nationality and language. It is the perfect medium for sharing the wisdom and values of five millennia of Chinese civilization,” the website says. Shen Yun’s digitally animated backdrops serve to extend the stage and enhance the story-telling, even portraying underwater kingdoms and heavenly realms. Its success depends largely on the performers’ split-second timing—and they get it right every time. The music is provided by the Shen Yun Orchestra, which is unique

in that it combines classical Western and Chinese instruments. Alongside Western symphonic mainstays like brass, woodwinds, strings, and percussion, Shen Yun incorporates ancient Chinese instruments such as the pipa (Chinese lute), the dizi (bamboo flute) the pengling (handbells), and the erhu, a two-stringed instrument played with a bow. The costumes, which often draw gasps of admiration from audience members for their vivid colours and graceful, flowing styles, are all handmade. Shen Yun’s costume artists collect countless designs of traditional attire, ranging from those of emperors, ministers, and generals to the everyday clothing of the common people. Celestial fairies, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Daos, and other deities are also portrayed in their respective regalia. Shen Yun’s vocal soloists use the bel canto technique to sing Chinese text—something unparalleled in the modern world, according to the website. The original lyrics, which are translated on the backdrop, brim with philosophical reflection about human life and contain deep layers of meaning, often moving audience members to tears. Each show also has a solo erhu performance—a huge crowd-pleaser. The erhu is one of the most important Chinese instruments, with a history



of over 4,000 years. Though it has only two strings, it can convey a wide range of emotions. She also managed the start-up process and later project-managed the design and construction of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, where Shen Yun will be playing four shows from Feb. 28 to March 2. N e w Yo r k - b a s e d S h e n Yun Performing Arts has five touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts. Reporting by Chen Si & Cindy Chan




ENTANGLEMENT TO ENLIGHTENMENT As a child growing up, I heard lots of stories of many enlightened souls. I used to think Enlightenment or Nirvana is a certain state of Zen that one aspires to reach and once we reach that state, we become enlightened, founts of wisdom, our aura inspired, and a shining halo perhaps? I carried this idea of enlightenment for years, until my thirties when I met Master Sunita here in Vancouver. I had many questions on the What, How and Why of Enlightenment. 78

A few meditation sessions later we are mired in leads to self-inflicted with her, I realized that Enlightenment suffering and then eventually, to Selfis not a destination, but a moment destruction in the form of an illness to moment journey living with or a disease at a physical/mental Constant Integrated Awareness of level. Toxic thoughts, emotions, and our true Self. Infact entanglement prolonged stress levels lead to physical and enlightenment are just two ends ailments, a result of our physical body rebelling and trying to tell us that it of the same spectrum, one leading cannot function optimally with a toxic to darkness and the other to the mind. revelation of an inner light, an inner In my inner Sookshma awakening. In our day to day life, (Microcosmic) journey for the past we constantly oscillate between Pain and Pleasure, going through severe decade under Master Sunita, I have mental stress and emotional turmoil. realized that Enlightenment is a state Pain and Pleasure are an outcome of where we liberate ourselves from the entanglement of negative emotions identification with the limited body and false identification with our body and the mind that imprison us. We and mind. There is a misconception get excited when there is success and that Enlightenment means running pleasure; we get depressed when away from this world’s challenges there is pain and failure. Ninety and hiding in a cave. I remember I percent of the problems in our life used to tell Master Sunita many times are caused by our own thoughts and that I wanted to leave everything and actions. Our unlimited expectations stay isolated in a forest, to protect confine us within our self-inflicted myself from having to deal with all the stress bubble, and each new desire just negative issues in my life, and basically live in denial. The makes this bubble’s “No one has control forest was meant walls stronger and to be a sanctuary stronger. These over you other than away from anyone t h o u g h t s a r e your own thoughts or bothering me. She usually tainted by never encouraged emotions.” the six vices; Excess that though. She Desire, Anger, Greed, Delusion, Pride always replied with the words, “No and Jealousy. We become victim to one has control over you other than these thoughts but usually blame the your own thoughts or emotions.” I resulting pain on people and situations have realized that any turbulence in around us. This entanglement that my mind is a result of me allowing

Ms.Swetha Ranasuriya

High School Teacher and Art Therapist: "Sookshma is the vessel that carries us towards enlightenment. How far and how fast we go depends on how we untangle ourselves and embrace Sookshma, and how much of ourselves we invest in this practice and ancient knowledge. When we give Sookshma enough of ourselves, it will break barriers for our souls and take us the distance"



Ambassador Rajiv Chander

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Geneva: “Sookshma immediately transports you to a state of bliss and wellbeing in which your body and mind are in harmony with and connected

Simona Niculescu

to the universal energy that is around us. It gives you

Sr.Technology Professional

equanimity and a higher and deeper perspective on life. The presentation on Sookshma program by Dr. Suman Kollipara, during the Namaste Canada cultural festival organized in Vancouver in September 2016 by the Indian Consulate was very well received. His session on Sookshma yoga at the Consulate in April 2017 greatly benefitted all those attending.”

"I met Master Sunita at a very difficult time of my life. Sickness and depression were taking the best part of me. Master Sunita and the amazing vibrations of Sookshma transformed me inside out – body and mind. I am grateful and happy that I have now the opportunity to practice Sookshma. The love and power of Master Sunita changed my life."

Mr.Harpreet Singh

TV Journalist, ‘The Harpreet Singh Show’: "The crisis we are in today is that the mind remains in conflict of the past and

Dr.Shalini Chander

future. Sookshma helps in being in the present, to flow

WHO Consultant:

with life as it comes and live in Joy. Abundance flows

“Sookshma is answer to my endless

when we start realizing our true potential of oneness with nature"

questions about everything, from what is God, who am I, what is the purpose of my life, how to navigate life with a higher purpose and beyond. It gave me peace by eliminating all the mental clutters. I became energetic and life is full of positive results after Sookshma of Master Sunita. I started to live in Eternal Bliss. I am more enlightened and focussed now. I feel like I have reached home and search for everything ended.”


it to happen. It is an illusion to think Purification and Self Realization. that our suffering and pain is caused Enlightenment means taking care of by the undesirable actions of people the precious resource we were born around us, or our relationships or the with, our Body. Sookshma teaches stressful environment around us. This us to take care of it by ensuring that tenet of wisdom is the foundation of we do not let it suffer due to our toxic the Sookshma program pioneered thoughts and habits. It is to realize the Pure Self which is by Master Sunita w h o s e v e r y ...it will inspire and beyond the changing thoughts/emotions essence is to work motivate the hearts and travails of the on the self, no matter what the o f f e l l o w h u m a n physical body. It is to situations you beings to become attain liberation from the jail of our mind are faced with in the change. and the cage of this life. Sookshma body. This state does is to cleanse the mind from all the vices and free us not allow you to sit idle, but steers you from bondage with our self-inflicted into action for a greater purpose in life. miseries. It allows us to go beyond It is a state of fullness and pure bliss the walls of conditioned habits that which inspires the self and everyone we have created and to experience around you. This radiating energy the amazing feeling of living in the may not show up as a halo around moment, free from any negativity, your head, but it will inspire and and function at our highest optimal motivate the hearts of fellow human level mentally, emotionally and beings to become the change. physically. It frees us from this People like Mahatma Gandhi imaginary captivity to realize a third and Nelson Mandela went through dimension in us, the True Self which extremely difficult life experiences, is Simple Pure Awareness. In this state surrounded by the most unfavorable of Enlightenment, your mind will be environment and society during their single pointed, concentrated, and struggles for freedom. However, they living in the moment, in the present, were fearless because they realized not worried about imaginary fears of that no external situation could the past or the future. entangle them enough or dissuade The foundation of the Sookshma them enough from not fighting for program is Self-Compassion, what they believed in. They knew Self-Love, Self-Acceptance, Self- that we all have the freedom to make

Ms.Verena Weigle

Psychologist at Daytox, Vancouver: "Suman’s Meditation work at Daytox was so valuable. His compassion and kindness made it so easy for him to connect with both the clients at Daytox as well as the staff. His personality was a hit with everyone! His workshop of mindfulness was very relevant for our clients. The material was really informative and accessible to our clients. We had very positive feedback from all of the participants. We would love to be able to have Suman come back and offer his workshop"


Regardless of external factors, the freedom within is enlightenment. choices at any time. Regardless of external factors, the freedom within is enlightenment. Many people come to Master Sunita with deeply entangled minds wallowing in self-inflicted turmoil. But as they progress through the Sookshma Inner journey, they leave with their newly found self, the Pure Self, full of energy ready to face life with a balanced mind and an energized body. Sookshma helps you to realize that every pain is an opportunity to grow and gain a wiser understanding of life. It brings control back to you and empowers you instead of giving away power to the vices of the mind. Sookshma is to focus on you, no matter what situations you’re faced with. No matter what you do, how successful or unsuccessful you think you are in various aspects of life, it does not matter. Sookshma will transform and elevate you. Enlightenment is to live in a natural state of bliss. An infant, ignorant to the worries of this world, is always in this state. As we grow, we get


conditioned by our environment and life situations, and soon start running after our desires. Achieving our goals and fulfilling our desires is important, but it is equally important to take care of our internal health. Our mental and emotional wellbeing is paramount to leading a happy life. Sookshma takes you back to the source. Enlightenment is to come back to the sweet home within, become an enlightened warrior with life’s struggles and experience the state of Pure Bliss. Enlightenment is to realize and experience that you are an infinite pure energy beyond the entanglement of mind and body, no matter what we do in life. Enlightenment is to share this bliss and pure love with all and grow beyond transitory situations in life. It doesn’t mean to run away and meditate on some remote mountain far away from life’s struggles, it is to experience the bliss of Pure Self in action while using the Mind and Body as tools for a greater purpose, beyond our selfish desires. Sookshma is Bliss in Action. Enlightenment is to always be Alert, Aware and Awake to the Pure Self within. Enlightenment leads to Wellness, Fullness and Oneness.

Ms.Narges Adab

Occupational therapist at Concurrent Disorders Inpatient Unit, Vancouver General Hospital: “Suman has translated his wealth of knowledge and expertise into a very unique, passionate and playful approach to the practice of mindfulness meditation. I have observed patients walk away from the experience feeling enlightened, uplifted and more compassionate towards themselves and others“

DR. SUMAN KOLLIPARA Co-founder of Peace Tree Society, a group that organizes 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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A VETERINARIAN WITH THE SECRET TO HAPPINESS Dr. Parmjit Dhillon, the man behind Burrard Animal Hospital, is incredibly charismatic. Upon first meeting him it’s clear that not only is he passionate about what he does, he’s incredibly happy doing it. “Live a life where every day is satisfying. If you are scared of death, then you have not lived life,” he says with a smile. His profound wisdom hints at a deeper story about how caring for the most treasured member of our families has led him to a life of fulfillment. 84

Dr. Dhillon grew up on a farm in Punjab and attributes his time there with his bond with animals. After moving to Canada, Dr. Dhillon opened his first venture into practicing health through science and compassionate care in 1999. This venture was Oak Animal Hospital.

His philosophy at Oak Animal Hospital was, and continues to be, to provide peace of mind to his clients by ensuring there is a doctor available 24 hours a day for whatever their pet may need. Dr. Dhillon strongly believes in quality care, and taking the time to give clients answers to their questions about their pet’s health. “You’re not just taking care of someone’s pet. You’re taking care of that family’s peace of mind when they know that their pet is being looked after, and in turn you’re looking after that family. It’s the human touch.” This passion for compassionate care and enhancing the lives of his clients through looking after their pets led Dr. Dhillon to open Burrard Animal Hospital + Emergency in 2015, offering low cost emergency

and routine care 24 hours a day with no emergency fee. The hospital is state of the art, with an in-house lab, ICU, and anything else a hospital may require to look after any pet. Dr. Dhillon believes in keeping up with changing times and respecting the fact that not everyone’s lifestyle fits into the 8AM-8PM hours. He wanted to build an animal hospital that reflected this vision of respecting both the pet and client’s convenience and comfort, and it shows in all of the small details of the hospital. “Animals have been an integral part of our lives throughout the history of civilisation. They are our link to God, and although animals cannot speak, they too have a soul just like we do. It’s incredible how much you can communicate with them through the power of touch. And when clients come with their

"Animals have been an integral part of our lives throughout the history of civilisation. They are our link to God, and although animals cannot speak, they too have a soul just like we do."



Think about why you get up every day, and live in the present moment.That’s how you win, by making yourself and your community proud of what you do.”

pets and see that they don’t need to worry about them while they’re here, they continue to come back because they know they will find answers and quality care here.” Dr. Dhillon believes that hard work fueled by passion is the key to his success, and that the more he gives, the more he gains. He infuses kindness into every aspect of his practice, including with the people he works with and the students he mentors. His philosophies of having fun at work, and taking the time to

ensure both the pet and client are cared for are just a few of the things that makes Dr. Dhillon’s animal hospitals unique. There is a certain spark in Dr. Dhillon, and he finds happiness in planting the seeds of that same spark in his employees and encouraging them to give back by inspiring others in the same way. Dr. Dhillon finds happiness in pursuing his passion and living it to the fullest. He’s excited about the future of veterinary care, and feels that technology and changing times will continue to change his field of work. He plans to embrace all of it. His parting advice, however, is universal and especially relevant to young people picking career paths: “Work hard, no matter which field you go into, but make sure you know why you are doing it. You must answer that sincerely. You cannot do things solely for society or your parents. You need to have passion. You will make mistakes along the way, so learn from your mistakes and from other’s mistakes. And most of all, be happy at the end of the day. Think about why you get up every day, and live in the present moment. That’s how you win, by making yourself and your community proud of what you do.”

NEELAM GANDEVIA, is the General Manager at AAJ Magazine, and is completing her Communications degree at SFU. 86


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A team from British Columbia has won the Junior America's Cup this year. The team consists of Team Captain and Coach Nitro (of nitrogolf.ca), Tristan Mandur, Nolan Thoroughood; Keaton Gudz and Callum Davison. They shot a team record of 645 in 3 rounds, and team member Nolan Thoroughood won the best overall score of -8 under a total of 208, with 67 in the second round to take individual top honors. The team stayed with the Bains

family in DuPont, Washington, and had the pleasure of meeting the family and their two up and coming golfers, aged 14 and 16. Coach Nitro is proud to be a part of the winning team and is also a golf instructor to the blind and disabled. His company, Nitro Golf, is a highly trusted golf instruction organization located in Langley, British Columbia. The JAC began decades ago with matches between Mexican, Albertan and Southern Californian Junior Golf Associations. In 1972 the decision was made to expand the JAC to include: British Columbia, Idaho, Mexico, Nevada, Northern California, Oregon, San Diego, Southern California, Washington and Utah. Next year's Junior America's Cup will be hosted in Montana. For further information visit www.junioramericacup.net

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BC Canada Day Western Canada's Biggest Canada Day Celebration

It’s back to school and Halloween season! Check out these exciting events happening across Canada in September and October! If you have any events upcoming in your province or community that you’d like us to share, please email us at info@ aajmag.ca with the details!


Luxury & Supercar Weekend

September 9 & 10 11AM 5PM VanDusen Botanical Gardens, Vancouver General admission is $75 www.luxurysupercar.com Vancouver Fringe Festival

September 7-17 Various locations on and around Granville Island & East Vancouver Various pricing packages, with some FREE Fringe events, too! www.vancouverfringe.com Vancouver International Film Festival

September 28-October 13 Various venues in downtown 90

Vancouver Tickets come in various packages, with the cheapest around $15 www.viff.org Diwali Fest 2017

October 1 - 17 Various venues in Surrey and Vancouver Over half of the events are free, others have minimal fees from $5-$20 diwalifest.ca Fright Nights at the PNE

October 6-31 PlayLand at the PNE, Vancouver General admission tickets range from $25-$39, with RapidPass tickets selling closer to $75 frightnights.ca

AB Beakerhead

September 13-17 Citywide, Calgary Free and ticketed events, with a full program TBA. beakerhead.com Mid-Autumn Festival

September 23 from 2-9pm Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton Free!

www.cbaedmonton.com/ mid-autumn-festival Up + Downtown Music Festival

October 6-8 Various venues, Edmonton Tickets are around $20 with day passes starting at $50, and the full festival pass is over $100 updt.ca WordFest

October 10-15 Various venues, Calgary Free to $30. wordfest.com Calgary International Burlesque Festival

October 13-15 Multiple Venues, Calgary Tickets start around $35 www.cibf.ca BreakOut West Music Festival

September 13-17 Multiple Venues, Edmonton Tickets range from $20-30 breakoutwest.ca

MB ManyFest

September 8-10 Broadway, Winnipeg FREE! www.manyfest.ca

Winnipeg Irish Festival

Aurora’s Haunted Forest

September 22-24 Various Venues, Winnipeg Tickets vary by event from free to $25 http://www.irishfest.ca/

October 28th Aurora, Ontario Wristbands are only $5! www.aurora.ca/Thingstodo/ Pages/Special%20Events/ Haunted-Forest.aspx

Reel Pride Film Festival

October 16-21 Park Theatre, Winnipeg Tickets start at $10 per show reelpride.org

ON Toronto International Film Festival

September 7-17 Various Venues, Toronto Tickets start around $28 www.tiff.net The Word on The Street

September 24th Harbourfront Centre, Toronto FREE! thewordonthestreet.ca/toronto/

QC POP Montreal International Music Festival

September 13-17 Multiple venues, Montreal Single show tickets range from $10-60 popmontreal.com/en/ Montreal International Black Film Festival

September 27 - October 1 Various venues, Montreal Tickets TBA montrealblackfilm.com The OFF Festival of Jazz

October 5-14 Montreal Details, program, and ticket Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest prices TBA www.lofffestivaldejazz.com/ October 6 – 14 Various venues, Kitchener Ticket prices vary by event, but are around $15 www.oktoberfest.ca





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Profile for AAJ Magazine

Aaj magazine 2017 01 issue 5  

September October 2017 Issue

Aaj magazine 2017 01 issue 5  

September October 2017 Issue