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Spring 2010 • Vol. 04 • No. 02

PLUS: »» Brazilian Carnival Ball 2010 »» Mario Lopez and Kat Graham at Luxy »» Trish Stratus at Winter Magazine Launch

Photo: Top Choice Magazine

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Shows & Clients Top Choice Awards • Caledon Breast Cancer Foundation • Luxy Night Club • Hyundai Canada • Insight for Living • Pakistan Canada Trade Show • Royal Le Page • Our Lady Peace • Hedley • Theory • 50 Cent • Marcello Neves • Carribana • Tastes of Danforth • Punjab Concerts Prod.

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Features:

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Top Choice Magazine Top Choice Magazine is dedicated to showcasing excellence. It features businesses, business professionals, entertainers, and media that are recognized with awards. Top Choice Magazine is produced by Top Choice Media Group Inc. The magazine is published 4 times a year and is a reliable guide to the top products and services

Mario Lopez @ Luxy

Top Choice Magazine Winter 2010 Launch

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in your community! More than 50,000 copies are distributed throughout Top Business and professionals in Canada, the magazine works like a promotional tool to the participants. Readership is estimated at more than 300,000 per issue.

Advertising Inquirers Only award-winning, reputable or recognized

Carla Tavares: 10 Great Reasons to use a Mortgage Broker

Event: The 4th Annual Multicultural Top Choice Awards

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businesses, entertainers, media providers, and business professionals are promoted in Top Choice Magazine. If you would like to advertise, call us at (416) 662-2123 or send an email to info@TopChoiceMagazine.com Media kits are available in print and digital format.

Copyright notice The content and photographs in this magazine are protected by copyright. Reproduction in

Humanitarian Kay Morris

Kat Graham @ Luxy

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any form, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of the publisher.

Contact us Top Choice Magazine 75 Four Winds Drive, Suite 103 M3J 1K7 Toronto, Ontario Canada

Wake up with Pombalense Bakery www.TopChoiceMagazine.com

Walmart accepts Top Choice Award

info@TopChoiceMagazine.com Toll-free: 1-866-771-9743 Tel. 416 662 2123 Fax. 647-351-6091

Top Choice SPRING 2010

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Message from

the

Photo by: Sonia Recchia

David Silvestre Publisher

Editor

Managing Editor Monica Couto Art Director Michael Fillier Accountant Executive Sal Verri Sales Manager Mindy Lacktin Graphic Designers Michael Fillier Julius Manalo Photography Sam Santos George Pimentel Sonia Recchia Writers Monica Couto David Silvestre Morris Luchesse Contributing Writers Dyvine Silvestre Amber Currier

Canada’s Best Dressed Crew? Mario Lopez at Luxy Entertainment Complex Hello everyone, once again I would like to thank you for taking your time to read the magazine. Hopefully you will learn something from it! Now that summer is almost here, it is time to “change” just like the weather, change for the better! I am reading this book written by Joel Osteen, and I am learning so much about myself. It is unbelievable how much one can learn about himself simply by reading! This is the message I would like to pass on to you, READ and learn as much as possible, it will not only keep your brain in shape, but can also help you become a better you! Become a Better You, is the name of the book I am reading. It is changing the way I look at things! These are the topics that the author goes into detail with and explains: Keep pressing forward, be positive towards yourself, form better habits, embrace the place where you are, develop your inner life, and to stay passionate towards life! Have you noticed how all of these points are so important in maintaining balance and to keep us in the “fight”? To keep us in the fight, Top Choice Media Group is going through a major internal reconstruction, I mean “ change”. We are always looking to improve our services and products. Want to see a proof of this statement? Take a look at www.TopChoiceMagazine.com and learn how to take advantage of this unique tool that we created for you! A magazine where you can find only the top business’ and professionals within your community or city! If you are looking to get better internally in any part of your life, do yourself a big favor. Stop reading this message right now, go online and find this book “ Become a Better you” by Joel Osteen and enjoy! Remember the only thing that never stops and never changes is “change” it self! Enjoy the weather and be happy, because happy people attract happy days! Hope I could help you with this message. Top regards, David Silvestre

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Top Choice Spring 2010

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


Different Cultures, Different Languages, Same Economy: Award winning bankruptcy trustee David Sklar on current economic conditions

don’t know where their family came from originally – they all have been hit hard by the down-turn in the economy.” We recently sat down with David Sklar, C.A., CIRP and President of David Sklar & Associates Inc. – one of the leading Consumer Proposal and Bankruptcy Trustees in the Greater Toronto Area, to get his view on the current economic conditions. Unlike ivory tower economists, David Sklar and his large staff of professionals deal with real people in the real economy, and in the last 18 months they have seen a lot of pain and fear. Many of their clients have been challenged and challenged again – losing jobs, experiencing layoffs, and then facing the prospect of losing it all.

When asked if he thought the economy was getting stronger, David said “Yes, in general it appears to be getting better, but in the Consumer Proposal and Bankruptcy area we’re still seeing the negative effects of the earlier economic problems.” He went on to explain that even once the economy has fully recovered, many people will still need to get a ‘fresh start’ to overcome the financial hole the poor economy has put them in.

“No group has been immune,” David told us “we have worked with people from every culture and background. From fairly recent immigrants, to second generation Canadians, to people who

We asked if he and his staff found it hard dealing with the fallout from the bad economy. “We are always touched by the pain our clients feel, but we are here to help our clients put all of that behind them – to make a better life for themselves and their families. We know that there is a reasonable way out – we identify their exact financial situation, explain their best options, and then

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Call: 416-498-9200

Top Choice Spring 2010

work with them to resolve their financial problems.” Given the vast cultural diversity of the Greater Toronto Area, we wondered how David Sklar & Associates Inc. is able to explain the options to all of their clients. “To start with,” David informed us, “we currently speak seven languages in our offices : English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Tagalog. If a client needs help in a different language, we use the services of professional translators. We know that many people who speak English as a second language, are more comfortable working in their original language – and we do everything we can to accommodate them.”

www.DavidSklar.com


Left to right: Cori Naron, Richard Sklar, David Sklar, Jason Sklar and Paula Flandez

Fresh start. David explained that the ‘fresh start’ options David Sklar & Associates Inc. offers are those found in the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act namely Consumer Proposals, Division I Proposals, and Bankruptcy. We asked David to explain what a Proposal is. “A Proposal”, according to David “is a legally binding agreement between an individual and their unsecured creditors to pay a portion of their debts off over a period of time - at the end of which time they will be released from their unsecured debts. If the qualified individual owes less than $250,000 in debt (not including their home mortgage) then they would file a Consumer Proposal. If they owe more they would file a Division I Proposal. The length of time for a Proposal is up to five years and the net amount paid to the creditors should be greater than if the person went into Bankruptcy.”

Why would someone choose a Proposal over a Bankruptcy we wondered. “That would depend on the person,” replied David “in general, most people try to avoid Bankruptcy because of the social stigma that can go with it. For some, choosing a Proposal is appealing because it means that they will keep their assets (ie home, vehicles and investments) and get out of debt.”

We asked what would be a good coping strategy for the improved economy. David recommended, “Live within your means, pay down all your credit cards, pay off all your loans as soon as you possibly can, and if you find yourself in severe financial difficulties, get professional help. We offer a free initial consultation – so there is no need to prolong your financial pain.”

Improving economy.

For more information visit the David Sklar & Associates Inc. website at

With signs pointing to an improving economy, is David Sklar & Associates Inc. looking towards a drop in the demand for their services? “It seems unlikely,” David advised us, “with the anticipated increases in interest rates, we know that many of the people who currently have high levels of debt will be unable to get new loans or pay down their existing credit cards and will end up needing our help.”

www.davidsklar.com David Sklar and Associates Inc., winner of the 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 Top Choice Award for Bankruptcy Trustee.

Locations In: Pickering · North York · Scarborough · Toronto · Etobicoke

Top Choice SPRING 2010

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You are always a winner Money Transfer • Buy and sell Euro • Excellent rates for buying US$

1458 Dundas St W Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6J 1Y6 Tel. 416 588 0749 Toll-free 1-866-588-0749 BrasilRemittance@bellnet.ca

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Event

Brazilian Carnival Ball 2010 David Silvestre

W

e have been proud supporters of the Brazilian Carnival Ball since 2007, the year we had the pleasure to meet the late Anna Maria de Souza, founder and remarkable driving force behind the event. Anna Maria de Souza passed away in September of 2007, but her positive energy and dedication still lives on in the hearts of everyone she touched with tireless love throughout her life. Together with her husband, Ivan, they have been trailblazers, raising more than $46 million over the course of 42 years of running the ball to support a variety of health, educational, cultural and research institutions. We all know that a picture says a thousand words, well in this case the breathtaking images say a million. Yet they cannot compare to sense awakening experience of actually being there! You can truly smell, feel, and taste Brazil, which I have experienced first hand. I am Portuguese and we consider Brazil and its people a part of our family. Listening to the Brazilian anthem in my language, being played for the most prestigious business owners in Canada, made me so proud and reminded me of the same inner-strength that Pedro Alvares Cabral had when navigated the unexplored ocean to discover Brazil in the 1500’s!!! For those who are looking to feel the thrill of carnival and help a good cause, I would suggest you be a part of the next Brazilian Carnival Ball! •

Monica Couto poses with a Navi look alike from Avatar

photos on next page

www.EnterVote.com

As part of our continuing support of this cause, Top Choice Magazine will dedicate a section in the coming issues to highlight the organizers and supporters of Brazilian Carnival Ball.

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Monica Couto with Ivan De Souza (Event CEO)

Monica Couto and Melissa Grelo, Mika Midolo and Nalini Sharmal from City Pulse with performer

Mindy Lacktin, Grace Dubery (From OMNI TV) and Monica Couto

Monica Couto and George Pimentel (Celebrity Photographer for Hello! Magazine)

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Top Choice Spring 2010

David Silvestre with Anabel Solis (Miss Mundo Mexico 2010)

California Sandwiches, Top Choice Award Winner

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


Event: Brazilian Carnival Ball 2010

Angela Mesquita (Owner of Brazil Remittance) and Luiza Brunet (Brazilian Carnival Queen) Mindy Lacktin (centre) with performers flown in from Brazil

“The Sopranos� Business Owners of Exquisite Jewellers, Paramount Ridge Homes, and Toronto East General Hospital

Luciana Reis (Miss Mundo Brazil 2009)

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com

Monica Couto, Howard Gillick (Executive Director of Brazil Carnival Ball) and Cindy Groner

Antonio Vieira (Owner of Antonio Vieira Import and Export) with Monica Couto

Top Choice SPRING 2010

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Since 1929

HigH Performance Vision™ The Bochner Eye Institute is internationally-recognized as the experts in Laser Eye Surgery. Celebrating its 80th anniversary, Bochner is the longest established laser eye treatment center in North America. “We have thousands of satisfied patients from all over the world— 40 countries and counting — to have laser eye surgery,” says Dr. Raymond Stein. “However, the most significant acknowledgement of our expertise comes from the fact that well over 300 eye doctors have chosen our Institute to have their eyes treated.” The father and son teams of Harold and Raymond Stein, and Albert and Jordan Cheskes trained at the world renowned Mayo Clinic. They also hold professorships at the University of Toronto and have collaborated on an impressive 35 texts — the most academic books attributed to a private institution in North America. “Our reputation as a center of excellence is attributable to the quality of our surgeons,” notes Dr. Harold Stein. “Patients considering a laser procedure can be rest assured that our surgeons are amongst the most skilled and experienced in the world,” explains Dr. Stein, “what really sets us apart is our expertise partnered with the most advanced laser technology available.” Technologies like the new Intralase® equipment. The Intralase® laser is the safest, most effective all laser LASIK technique. This technology provides improved safety, better vision, higher degrees of predictability and precision. Now with, new diagnostic equipment, the Bochner Eye Institute is now better able to detect and correct diseases and disorders of the eye at the earliest stages. “Innovation, safety, experience, dependability, and the longevity that comes with years of experience and thousands of happy patients are what keep the Bochner Eye Institute at the forefront of laser technology in Canada,” concludes Dr. Albert Cheskes.

Official Laser and Eye Centre for the Toronto Blue Jays

416.960.2020 • 1.800.665.1987

www.Bochner.com 14

Top Choice Spring 2010

A testament to its innovative approach and legacy of success, The Bochner Eye Institute is proud to be chosen as the official laser and eye centre for the Toronto Blue Jays.

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


SERVICES kERAToconus Keratoconus is a corneal disease that occurs when the normally round dome-shaped cornea (the clear outer area of the eye) progressively thins causing a conelike bulge to develop. New treatment modalities are offerred including corneal collagen crosslinking with Riboflavin and intracorneal rings.

InTRAocuLAR TEchnIquEs Intraocular techniques, as the name implies, are done within the eye. Three intraocular techniques are available at the Bochner Eye Institute: Phakic Intraocular Lenses - often referred to as an Implantable Contact Lens (ICL), Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) and Cataract Surgery

LAsIk LASIK, or Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, is a type of laser eye surgery for correcting myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. In order for light to focus more clearly on the retina, the outer window of the eye and the cornea must be of the proper curvature.

PRk During photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), the surface cells of the cornea, called the corneal epithelium, are removed instead of creating a LASIK flap. The excimer laser is applied to reshape the cornea and correct vision. Visual outcomes are equally as impressive as with LASIK, however, the healing time tends to be longer.

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Top Choice Spring 2010

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Community

Mario Lopez @ Luxy Monica Couto The next Multicultural Top Choice Awards will be held at Luxy Entertainment Complex, so was the Top Choice Magazine Launch for the Winter 2010 issue and this issue for Summer 2010. You must be wondering right now what any of this has to do with Mario Lopez? Well, we are strong believers in maintaining lasting business relationships with everyone we work with and our newest partner Luxy Entertainment Complex and Ramiro Productions are no different. Anyways lets start the actual story already! On April 3rd, 2010 Mario Lopez was making his first visit to Toronto and chose to pay a visit to Luxy. Our good friend Ramiro Villafuerte, the General Manager of Luxy, invited us to capture the appearance and spend the night in the VIP. You may remember Mario from his days in Saved by the Bell, but unlike most of his co-stars, Mr. Lopez is now back in the spotlight, as a host of Extra! and America’s Best Dance Crew. No matter what the role there is always something contagious about Mario’s smile and when the cameras calm down...same smile! We gave him a few copies of our latest issue of Top Choice Magazine to take back to the USA with him and we have already sent a few copies of this issue. If you want to see Mario win a Top Choice Award you should visit www. TopChoiceAwards.com/vote and cast your vote for him as Top Television Personality in the USA. We would love to bring Mario to Canada for the 5th Annual Multicultural Top Choice Awards, we think you know where we are holding it, right?

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Top Choice Spring 2010

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


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Welcome to the aWard Winning

Metcalfe & OsgOOde

Family Dental Centres We are very proud to once again be this year’s recipient of the Top Choice Award.

3 tiMe recipient Of the

tOp chOice award 2008, 2009 & 2010

Our team aims to provide superior dental health care in a relaxing, comfortable and friendly environment while discovering the uniqueness of each patient. Preventive dentistry, tooth coloured fillings, tooth

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Top Choice Spring 2010

whitening, orthodontics – including invisalign (invisible braces), bonding & veneers, 1 appointment crowns, bridges, implants and dentures are just some of the many professional services we offer to help you obtain a happy, healthy smile. With 2 locations to serve you better, it is always our pleasure to welcome your family and friends. www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


Dr. Karen Fung-Harris and Dr. Chev Harris

is there a dOctOr in the hOuse? yes, twO actually.

Our Family Dental Centres are owned by the husband and wife team of Dr. Chev Harris and Dr. Karen Fung-Harris. Dr. Harris was born in Nottingham, England and raised in Ottawa, while Dr. Fung-Harris, a native of Toronto, grew up in Windsor, Ontario. Over the last 12 years, since graduating from the University of Toronto School of Dentistry as classmates, they have expanded their practice to include 2 offices located in the south end of Ottawa. Being strong believers in continuing education, they continue to take several courses in order to offer their best to the patients who have entrusted them with their dental care. Not only do they hold themselves to a high degree of learning, they are big supporters of furthering education either through bursaries or directly through co-operative edwww.TopChoiceMagazine.com

ucation programs in neighbouring colleges and high schools. In this way, future members of the profession will be well prepared to carry on the mantle of self-service. Their practice philosophy centers around preventive dental care, codiagnosis with patients in order to understand their needs and the provision of a warm, caring family oriented practice setting. Through the use of technology, the concerns of yesterday give way to the comforts of today. Patients can feel more at ease as treatment can be rendered in a relaxed manner. Our aim is to provide for you, as we would our own family members ‌ at our Family Dental Centres, you are family. The doctors would like to thank all of their patients and team members for their continued support over these many years.

2 lOcatiOns tO better serve yOu, visit us tOday!

6844 banK st. Metcalfe, On 613-821-1257 3192 lOgan farM dr. OsgOOde, On 613-826-1638 MetcalfefaMilydental.cOM Top Choice SPRING 2010

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YUMMY! Just to clear things up, we’re talking about the Sushi!

Top Choice Magazine Winter 2010 Trish Stratus joins us at Luxy Entertainment Complex for a night of drinks, food and good times. Monica Couto

A

t Top Choice Media Group we love to keep in touch with our clients, whether it is an invitation to an event or simply a coffee, we are there! For us there is nothing better than getting to spend time with our clients, that is why whenever we have a new issue of Top Choice Magazine coming out we take it to the next level to make sure that everyone has a great time. On Friday, February 27, 2010 it was our pleasure to offer our clients an amazing venue and open bar (Courtesy of our partner Luxy Entertainment Complex), international appetizers and live entertainment. The 2010, Top Choice Magazine winter launch party was a special one, not only because of all

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Top Choice Spring 2010

of the top business owners in attendance but also because we had a very special guest, the 7-time World Wrestling Federation Womans Champion and successful business owner of Stratusphere Yoga in Vaughan, the lovely Trish Stratus! Trish arrived in style with a gorgeous limousine, from Erin Mills Limousine, and literally stole the show! Trish brings energy with her everywhere she goes and it was kind of her to take time out of her rigorous schedule to celebrate with us. In between signing autographs and taking pictures with other guests we managed to get her alone and chat some more, this time with no rush! The Wee Reporters were on-hand to interview Trish, among other guests,

Want to be at the next event? Visit www.TopChoiceMagazine.com and sign up for email alerts.

you can check it out on www. WeeReporters.com, another project by Top Choice Media Group! When we first met Trish to present her the Top Choice Award for New Business of the Year, at her Stratusphere Yoga Studio in Vaughan, we found out first hand why she was so successful and at the magazine launch the attendees did too! Let’s just say they were “Stratusfied”. At Top Choice Media if our events are good, then we are not trying hard enough! We strive to make our events “wow” attendees, they have to be amazing! We brought in Samba Brasil to light up the floor with a routine that made the temperature in the room rise. David and I spoke about

technology and how it is impacting our world, using examples of TopChoiceMagazine.com with its “flipping” issue archive and sharing features. “Social networking is not a gimmick, it is a reality. It enables you to keep in touch with your clients and learn from them and if you don’t seek ways to use these tools then its like you are walking backwards.” said David. In the end, everyone took many issues of the magazine and the Top Choice Magazine website got more hits then ever! I guess they were listening and sent an email to all their clients family and friends inviting them to learn more about the top businesses and professionals in the GTA!

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


Event

Ramiro Villafuerte, General Manager of Luxy

CHABAM!!! David Silvestre & Monica Couto from TCMG with Trish Stratus and Richard & Jason Sklar from David Sklar & Associates Bankruptcy Trustees

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com

Top Choice SPRING 2010

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Make it extra Special, with erinMillS liMouSine Erinmills Limousine is a growing luxury transportation company that has been serving the Greater Toronto Area for the last 9 years. Our highly trained chauffeurs and meticulously maintained vehicles ensure a memorable experience for all your special occasions. At Erinmills Limousine, our success is measured by your success. We understand the importance of each and every trip you entrust us with and so we work hard every day to delight you with our executive transportation services. Make it extra special, with Erinmills Limousine.

open 24 hourS to Serve You Better! 22

Top Choice Spring 2010

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INSIDE THE PARTY BUS

Peter Maslanka, owner of Erin Mills Limousine, kicks back with the company’s 3rd Top Choice Award.

“At Erin Mills we are the real deal, from the elegance of a Rolls Royce to the possibilities of a Party Bus, we’ve got you covered!” www.EnterVote.com

Top Choice Spring 2010

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www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


Cover Story How do you get your own TV show? It certainly isn’t as easy as just watching a lot of television is it? For Murtz Jaffer, it is. The world’s foremost reality television expert is the star of Reality Obsessed on TVTropolis and Global, a show that features Jaffer answering big picture questions about the shows we love to love and love to hate. The 30-year old has not only cultivated a business from his passion but he has also created his own celebrity status. How did he get here? Through a lot of hard work, passion, luck and forwardthinking. At the age of seventeen Murtz knew exactly what he wanted and how to get it. Still a highschool student, Jaffer wanted to write for The Sports Network. The aspiring journalist e-mailed the editor of the site everyday for a year until he finally broke the boss down and was brought on as a freelancer. Once he got the feel for writing articles on wrestling, he wanted to pursue his real passion... reality television. While he enjoyed the genre, his vision was primarily businessoriented as well. In online wrestling coverage, there was a lot of competition but there were no online resources dedicated to reality television because of how new it was. It didn’t take Jaffer long to recognize this and capitalize on it. He launched SurvivorCentral.com in 2001. The site started with just Jaffer and a few college buddies writing about the show. Jaffer somehow managed to get himself invited to the show’s finale parties and used these events to lure celebrities to actually come and write for his site. This resulted in the site receiving thousands of hits in just a few months, establishing it as the online home of former reality TV contestants with himself as the figurehead. When Jaffer realized that additional content was needed, he began using a variety of techniques (which he refuses to reveal!) to accurately predict the outcomes of the programs that he loved. From being spot-on about the American Idol winner to prognosticating who would be booted on Survivor’s third episode. He was never wrong. And the result was that his website became the little website that could. In 2004, Jaffer merged Survivor-Central with InsidePulse. com, an entertainment conglomerate that hired a staff of more than 200 writers and

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com

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Cont. from previous page • Murtz Jaffer: Unplugged receiving millions of hits per as the world’s foremost reality month. television expert and this helped In 2005, Jaffer was con- a lot because my opinion was sulted by at the always sought afToronto Sun to ter instead of me assist the televihaving to try “I was now looked sion critic with and sell it. It’s at as the fun party some reality TV just like the guy in the purple columns. The advice that I suit,” he said. give to any paper was so “Not the internet student. impressed that reporter looking I t d o e s n ’t they brought for dirt. It’s kind m a t t e r him on as a of like what Perez freelance writer what you Hilton has done, and Jaffer’s very want to be except in the reality first story made when you atmurtzphere.” the front page grow up. of the paper. Just pick one thing and Jaffer then went on to a become the best in the post-graduate journalism pro- world at it.” gram at Centennial College. In Branding is somea sense, he almost did things thing that this media icon in a reverse order, establishing is good at. When he first himself as an authority first went to reality television and then going back to school parties, he was automatito ensure his abilities weren’t cally stereotyped as being questioned. an ‘internet reporter.’ To After graduation, Jaffer ne- break this impression, Jafgotiated his own internship at fer took a unique route. Entertainment Tonight Canada, He bought his famous purrealizing that the show’s par- ple suit and matching fedora ent network, CanWest Global, hat (he claims that he told the was the home of many reality vendor he wanted the one suit programs including Survivor, that nobody else was wearing). Big Brother and The Appren- Calling it his ‘Arsenio Suit’ (aftice. Confident in his abilities ter the famed late-night talk as the leading expert in the field, show host), Jaffer started Murtz knew that it was only a wearing the suit to every rematter of time before the show’s ality event that he went to. execs realized he wasn’t just an The point? ordinary intern. It didn’t take “I was now looked at them long. Jaffer was pro- as the fun party guy in moted to a freelance story pro- the purple suit,” he said. ducer in the news department “Not the internet rejust months after he started porter looking for dirt. when his reality experience was It’s kind of like what discovered. Jaffer wrote ques- Perez Hilton has done, tions, edited and produced all except in the reality the Survivor satellite interview atmurtzphere.” segments for the show. Jaffer has now Jaffer is currently working worn the suit to over on developing other reality pro- 1000 reality show grams and when asked about premiere, finale and what he attributed his success charity parties. • to, he replied with a smile. “Branding,” he said. “With the media industry being hit Learn more about harder than almost any other Murtz Jaffer‘s show by the current economic cliReality Obsessed at mate, it’s a hard time for jourwww.RealityObsessed.com nalists. I established myself

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Top Choice Spring 2010

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


Customized Financial Solutions

P

roud to accept a Top Choice Award for being the best financial security advisor within Toronto’s Portuguese community for the third year in a row Pedro Maia, founder of Maia & Associates Inc has expanded his business and the services that he brings to his clients. Maia is all about customer service. He believes each client is unique and each situation is different. He believes that each client deserves a

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Top Choice Spring 2010

financial plan customized to meet his individual needs and requirements. He believes that “Knowledge is Power” and knowledgeable clients make better decisions. Joining him to make this happen is Sean Beneteau, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional with many years spent in management positions in the financial and insurance industry. Margot Bourque an Elder Planning Counselor and debt management expert

with nine years experience in the insurance industry and with over twenty-five years experience in the financial services industry. Together with Barry Stewart, an associated financial security advisor and member of the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table, associated advisors Seanna Magee and Carlos Almeida and marketing associates Jennifer Fernandes and Emily Cassidy they bring a wealth of knowledge and

experience to Maia’s clients. In March of 2009 the team moved to their new premises at 255 Duncan Mill Road, Suite 512, North York Ontario.

Maia invites anyone interested in improving their financial situation or someone who just wants a no obligation, second opinion to give him or his associates a call at 416-916-7400.

www.TopChoiceAwards.com


RRSP Life Insurance Disability & Critical Illness Insurance Registered Education Funds Estate Planning Investment Planning

Meet the President & Founder “The biggest misconception people have about insurance is that it’s expensive. It’s not. It’s expensive not to have it if something happens.”

Pedro M. Maia Born in Lisbon, Maia realized that many Portuguese people place undue trust in their Financial Security Advisors. Maia makes it his mission to educate customers on the products and services they have bought or are buying. He gives customers options and spends hours educating them. He compares himself to Mike Holmes, a contractor on television’s Holmes on Homes, who tries to fix the damage already inflicted on people’s homes. Similarly, Maia looks out for people and guides them to fix

www.EnterVote.com

potential problems and achieve their dreams. His firm provides full financial services including insurance, financial and estate planning and conservation, mortgages and loans. Well connected both inside and outside the Portuguese community, Maia helps his clients find many other services too. In regards to insurance, he says, “The biggest misconception people have about insurance is that it’s expensive. It’s not. It’s expensive not to have it if something happens.”

Three-time recipient for Financial Advisor of the year

T. 416.916.7400 F. 416.916.7676 Direct. 416.419.5954

We’ve Moved! 255 Duncan Mills Rd, Suite 512 North York, Ontario M3B 3H9

Top Choice Spring 2010

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Get independent advice on your financial options. A s independent mor tgage bro¬kers and mortgage agents, we’re not tied to any one lender or range of products. Our goal is to help you successfully finance your home or property. We’ll start by getting to know you and your homeownership goals. We’ll make a recom¬mendation, drawing from available mortgage products that match your needs, and we will decide together on what’s right for you.

2

Save time with one-stop shopping. It could take weeks for you to organize appointments with competing mortgage lenders — and we know you’d probably rather spend your time house-hunting! We work directly with dozens of lenders, and can quickly narrow down a list of those that suit you best. It makes comparison-shopping fast, easy, and convenient.

3

We negotiate on your behalf. Many people are uncertain or uncomfort¬able negotiating mortgages directly with their bank. Brokers negotiate mortgages each and every day on behalf of Canadian homebuyers. You can count on our market knowledge to secure com¬petitive rates and terms that benefit you.

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More choice means more competitive rates. We have access to a network of major lenders in Canada, so your options are extensive. In addition to traditional lenders, we also know what’s being offered by credit unions, trust compa¬nies, and other sources. And we can help you take care of other requirements before your closing date, such as sourcing mortgage default insurance if your down pay¬ment is less than 20% of the purchase price.

5

Ensure that you’re getting the best rates and terms. Even if you’ve already been pre-approved for a mortgage by your bank

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Top Choice Spring 2010

Advice

great reasons To use a Mortgage Broker

or another financial institution, you’re not obliged to stop shopping! Let us investigate to see if there is an alternative to better suit your needs.

6

Get access to special deals and add-ons. Many financial institutions would love to have you as a client, which is why they often offer incentives to attract creditworthy custom¬ers. These can include retail points programs, discounts on appliances, shopping clubs, and more. We do the math on which offers might be worth your attention when it comes to financing or mortgage insurance — so you get the perks you deserve.

7

Things move quickly! Our job isn’t done until your closing date goes smoothly. We’ll help ensure your mortgage transaction takes place on time and to your satisfaction.

Carla Tavares Mortgage Agent

MortgageBrokers.com *-10408

Tel: 647 283 6737 Office: 647 341 4901 Fax: 647 341 5910 Email: carla@mortgagebrokers.com Blackberry: carlita@rogers.blackberry.net Website: mortgagebrokers.com/carla

“Expect more than others think is possible...”

8

Get expert advice. When it comes to mort¬gages, rates, and the housing market, we’ll speak to you in plain language. We can explain the various mort¬gage terms and conditions so you can choose confidently.

9

No cost to you. There’s absolutely no charge for our services on typical residential mortgage transactions. How can we afford to do that? Like many other professional services, such as insurance, mortgage brokers are generally paid a finder’s fee when we introduce trustworthy, dependable customers to a financial institution. These fees are quite standard and nearly industrywide so that the focus remains on you, the customer.

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Ongoing support and consultation. Even once your mortgage is signed and paperwork is complete, we are here if you need any advice on closing details or even future referral needs. We are happy to be of assistance when you need it.

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


Precious Flowers N’ Things

Event Photo: SAM SANTOS / JC Pimentel Photography

Multicultural top choice awards 2009

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The search for the lost treasures of the multicultural communities in Toronto has begun...

Proudly Presents

Vote for your favourite businesses and professionals

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The winners will be awarded on November 6th, 2010 @ Luxy Entertainment Complex A Top Choice Media Group Production in Association with Luxy and Ramiro Productions


Event

Multicultural

Top Choice Awards

A

lthough we praise multiculturalism in Canada it is sometimes hard to surrender ourselves to the full enjoyment of the cultures that surround us, but on Friday, November 6th, 2009 all that changed! Ethnic businesses and professionals from across the cultural spectrum of the Greater Toronto Area gathered to celebrate excellence in business at the 4th Annual Multicultural Top Choice Awards. On the world stage, multiculturalism is often doubted and renowned all in the same breath. It brings hope of cultural integration and the optimism for cultural tolerance, but it is also faced with social and political bias and the issue of potentially diluting the heritages of the integrated cultures. Sometimes the idea as a whole seems unnecessary and nigh impossible. But there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel and countless individuals and

organizations who hold multiculturalism close to heart and fight for its continued adoption and acceptance. One of those organizations is Top Choice Awards and some of those individuals are David Silvestre, the company’s CEO and Monica Couto, President. “I have always taken great pride in my culture and valued the importance of sh a r i ng it with others, at the same time I always appreciated other cult u re s e qu a l ly and enjoyed learning from them. So when we started our award surveys back in 2004, it was natural for me to favour my own community, the Portuguese community, as the basis for the study.”

Photography by: Sam Santos / JC Pimentel Photography Stage production by: Sound Production and Lighting

says Mr. Silvestre. “Things were going great but I always had this multicultural idea sitting in the back of my mind, just waiting to get out – I thought that we should bring the survey to other communities and instead of separating them, mix them together.”- David Silvestre. ‘‘Our Goal is to create understanding and resonate national harmony by promoting the positive aspects and impacts of multiculturalism in Canada as well as promote Canada as a key destination to create and sustain businesses across all sectors of industry, despite race, colour, religion and cultural background.”Monica Couto, President of Top Choice Awards.

Upon entering the “universal” themed ballroom, guests marvelled over the ice sculpture centre pieces that adorned each table

This “hopeless” idea is now a reality as Top Choice Awards recently finished the annual awards gala, for the 4th consecutive year, named appropriately: The Multicultural Top Choice Awards. This annual awards gala celebrates the achievement of Top Businesses and Professionals in the Greater Toronto Area – with international ventures in the near future – from across the cultural fabric. Upon entering the “universal” themed ballroom, guests marvelled over the ice sculpture centre pieces that adorned each table. As they made their way to their seats the were greeted with energetic beams of light that danced around the room, made all the more vibrant by the haze that enveloped the stage. One-by-one nearly 60 awards were presented, each recipient was different than the last, but they all shared a moment of recognition in a room full of winners.

3-page photo gallery starts on next page www.EnterVote.com

Top Choice WINTER 2010

33


2

1 Dr. Draw (Eugene Draw) performing 1

2 Dick Howard (TSN) - Lifetime Achievement Award 3 AxĂŠ Capoeira

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5

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4 Breakfast Television (CityTV) - Top TV Morning Show 5 St. Clair Cosmetic & Laser Clinic - Event Sponsor 6 Sean Kearley (Canadian Linen & Uniform Service) 4

8 Toronto Sun - Top Newspaper (GTA) 9 Whatever Magazine 10 Danny Fernandes -

7 John Worden (Hakim Optical)

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11

Top Male Music Artist 11 ILAC - Event Sponsor

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9

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Top Choice WINTER 2010

www.TopChoiceAwards.com


Event

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14 15

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12 JC Pimentel Photography - Top Photography Studio 13 Samba Brasil Entertainment 14 The view of Toronto from the venue, the entire event was projected outside 15 The Z103.5 Morning Show - Top Radio Morning Show 16 Corpo e Alma (OMN) 17 Carlo Coppola - Top Italian Singer

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18 Izadora Izzi enjoys an appetizer with the live statue 19 TLN (Top Hispanic TV Programming) interview David Silvestre, CEO of Top Choice Awards and Monica Couto, President of Top Choice Awards 20 Henrik Cipriano - Top Portuguese Male Music Artist 21 Daniel Alvarez 22 Monica having a laugh with Chris Bowman and Andrew Tulk 18

(The Law Office of Andrew B. Tulk, Q.C.) 23 Rugcutterz Danz Artz - Top Dance Academy (GTA)

23

www.EnterVote.com

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Top Choice WINTER 2010

35


JP Pampena, “Man with the Vision”

Shares His Dream for a New Toronto If I’m elected Mayor of Toronto in 2010, I promise to always act in the best interests of the city and its citizens and to run my administration in an open and transparent way and to use common sense and logic in all my decisions. I will strive to accomplish my goals to the best of my abilities during my tenure as Mayor of this great city of ours. And as Mayor, I plan to assemble a team of the most creative and innovative minds in the city to help me achieve these goals.

To learn more about my initiatives visit To learn more about my initiatives visit www.JPForMayor.com

www.JPForMayor.ca or call 416-638-4995 ext 311


People

Kay Morris a.k.a. (Queen Nana Sika)

Profile of a Humanitarian

A

nointed minister, Benevo- clothing, books and toiletries to lent Queen, singer/song the children. In 2004 Kay visited writer, fashion designer, Lagos, Nigeria and partnered h u m a n i t a r i a n / m o t i v a t i o n a l with the Bridge Boys Interlink speaker - this multi-award win- Project (BIP) and provided hot ning internationally acclaimed meals to the children and troureggae Gospel artiste Kay Mor- bled youths in the ghetto area of ris is the President of Kay Mor- the Apapa Railway Compound. In August 2006 Kay Morris ris Foundation (KMF). She is a blazing new trail being the Voice impacted Ghana, after presentof the Voiceless for orphans & ing the first consignment of a people living with HIV/AIDS $1.5million donation of ARVs and Malaria in Africa and the (anti-retroviral HIV/AIDS drugs) Caribbean. She is recipient of to the Ghana Ministry of Health, the 2007 prestigious Nelson brokered through KMF for peoMandela Humanitarian Award, ple living with HIV/AIDS in West 2008 ACODEP Friends of Af- Africa. Kay also visited and made rica Awards, 2008 W.A.V.E. Hu- donations to the Village of Hope manitarian Award, and 2008 Orphanage and was invited to the C.R.M.A. Caribbean Community United Nations office in Ghana to Service Award. meet with UN officials to discuss Kay’s mission through her collaboration with KMF Ghana. foundation KMF is to give a The King & people in the region voice to the voiceless, to advo- decided to honor Kay for her hucate for PLWAs (people living manitarian work in Africa, she with HIV/AIDS), Malaria pre- was installed Queen Nana Sika vention, orphans, refugees, and of Berekuso, Ghana - benevolent street children. In response to Queen. In May 2007 Kay visited the crisis in Haiti, Kay through her organization & church held the United Nations (UNAIDS & an emergency benefit concert and UNDP) in Kingston to discuss the raised $10,000 for the people of current HIV/AIDS crisis in JamaiHaiti. She has participated in a ca and offered support through number of fundraising initiatives KMF. She also presented donagiving her support to the cause. In tion to the Father Ho Lung AIDS 2004 & 2005 mission, she visited hospice during her visit to Jamaithe Ghana AIDS ca. In summer of that same year Commission, UNHCR (United Kay collaboKay Morris Nations High rated with international reggae Commission for impacted Ghana, superstar LuRefugees) Liafter presenting the ciano and they berian Refugee both recorded Camp & donatfirst consignment her hit song ed medicine and of a $1.5million and released the medical supplies humanitarian to over 42,000 donation of ARVs single “When refugees. She (anti-retroviral You Cry.” Sales donated mediof the CD single cal supplies to HIV/AIDS drugs) goes to supportthe Ghana AIDS Commission and the Korle Bu ing humanitarian projects in AfHospital - HIV Fever’s Unit in rica and the Caribbean. Accra. KMF donated over 1,200 2007 medical missions to books from the Mississauga Ghana were very successful as she Central Library to Elementary donated medicines, computers, Schools in Ghana. She visited the books, clothing and educational Human Service Trust Orphanage materials to the people of Ghana. in Cape Coast where she donated She participated in TV and radio

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com

interviews and spoke to students at the Merton High School about HIV/AIDS. Kay also visited the UNHCR Refugee Camp as part of her annual visit and donated medicines. In 2008 Kay visited Uganda and helped to raise thousands of dollars for the Nyaka AIDS Orphan School. She also visited the Mild May Pediatric AIDS Hospital and gave a presentation. In 2008 Kay visited the Barbados Child Care Board during “Child Month” (in May) and presented them with clothing and toiletries for orphan children. She also visited an orphanage and sang for the children. In 2008 Kay was invited by the United Nations to attend the

Millennium Development Goal Awards “Flag Signing” ceremony, which was held at the Dundurn Castle in Hamilton, Canada and was acknowledged for her humanitarian work in the community. In 2008 Kay a.k.a. Queen Nana Sika carried out her humanitarian mission in Ghana and donated medicines to the Ghana AIDS Commission & the UNHCR Refugee camp. She was also invited by the Aburi King to celebrate his 20 year reign on the stool in Ghana. Queen Nana Sika represented Berekuso (the region she was crowned queen) and was carried high in a palanquin in the parade of great Kings and Queens in Africa.

Top Choice SPRING 2010

37


2009 Kay Morris was invited by world renown Chinese artist & UN Goodwill Ambassador, William Ho as special guest of honor at the Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts, where the world renowned United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) “One Heart Beat” Award, was displayed for the first time to the public. Kay & Mr. Ho have been collaborating on many UN related humanitarian initiatives to help people living with HIV/AIDs and orphans around the world. 2009 Kay Morris Foundation partnered with the Ministry of Local Government in Jamaica in support of the poor. The Hanover Infirmary, St. James Street People Program, and the Trelawny Infirmary were beneficiaries of items raised through KMF and shipped to Jamaica. She helped the Ministry of Local Government to organize a successful concert to benefit the poor at the Hanover Infirmary. 2010 upcoming mission “Dribble 2 Africa”: In July, 2010, Kay will be carrying out a humanitarian mission during the FIFA World Cup 2010 Games in Cape Town, South Africa. Humanitarian Awards & Recognition: • 2009 -Recipient of the Jamaica Day “People’s Choice Award” for dedication, excellence, & outstanding achievement • 2009 -Nominee in two categories of the 3rd Annual Reggae Music Achievement Awards • 2008 -Award and Certificate of Appreciation from St. Jude Children’s Hospital, New York • 2008 -Recipient of W.A.V.E.S. Inc. Humanitarian Award – New Jersey, USA • 2008- Recipient of ACODEP & “Friends of Africa Awards” • 2008-Received Special Appreciation Award from

38

Top Choice Spring 2010

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – NY, NY • 2007- Recipient of 1st Canadian Reggae Music Award – Special Award for Service to Caribbean Community in Canada. • 2007 -Recipient of the prestigious Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award presented by Planet Africa • 2007 -Recipient of Ghanaian Canadian Achievement Special Award • 2006 - Deloitte & Touche LLP Global “Spirit of Davos” Humanitarian Award • 2005 - Nominee UMAC Community Service Award • Magazines/Books

Interview with Wee Reporters in Toronto at Top Choice Magazine Winter 2010 Launch Photo: Sandi Destonis

• 2009 –2010 Stanford Business Magazine “Who’s Who” • 2009 – Silk Endress Magazine • 2008 – UG Pulse, Uganda • 2008 – 31 Ten Magazine • 2007 – Planet Africa Magazine • 2007 – Reggae Xclusive Magazine • Board of Director Appointment • 2009 - Kay Morris appointed to serve on the Board of World Peace Tour 4 Children (WPT4 C) as the Executive Vice President of Programs for Africa and Jamaica. Kay was also featured on Deloitte & Touche LLP –National Gateway website in October 2006 - highlighting her work in Africa and won the company’s global “Spirit of Davos” award for her humanitarian work in Africa.

MEDIA CONTACT: SANDI DESTONIS .  PUBLICIST . (1) 647-998-5807 freelance_sandi@hotmail.com www.kaymorrisfoundation.com

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


905.415.1636 • 20 Crown Steel Drive, Suite 10 • www.Separation.Ca

4-time recipient of the Top Choice Award for Family Law Services of the year; 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010 eldstein Family Law Group is comprised of a tea m of l aw yer s a nd law clerks, all of whom practise family law exclusively. As a re-

40

Top Choice Spring 2010

sult, all of the staff members are experts in their field. Each of the lawyers working on the Feldstein Family Law Group team are assisted by experienced Law Clerks who take great pride in ensur-

ing that each of their Clients receives as much attention, support and assistance as is necessary to satisfy the Client. It is the goal of the entire team at Feldstein Family Law Group to see that each of their Clients’ needs are met in the

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


most professional and helpful manner possible. If you are facing the prospect of divorce or separation, then you need someone to make you aware of and protect your LEGAL RIGHTS. Feldstein Family Law Group has an enviable record of success in fighting for their clients’ rights in all aspects of family law, including divorces, custody and access, spousal and child support, restraining orders and division of family property. They also negotiate separation agreements on behalf of their clients.

Feldstein Family Law Group is thankful to their clients for voting them their “Top Choice” 4 years in a row!

PRACTICE FOCUS Their job is to serve their clients by giving them sound professional advice and by using their aggressiveness, compassion and experience to seek a fair and comprehensive settlement promptly.

We provide family laW services in the folloWing areas: – Divorce and Separation Agreements – Mediation and Arbitration Services – Collaborative Family Law – Obtaining Child and Spousal Support Orders

Andrew Feldstein graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992. He used to work in corporate commercial law, which enhanced his ability to be effective in family law activities – in particular his experiences in disputes involving clients that are self-employed or have shares in a business. Prior to his legal career, Andrew Feldstein worked for the Metropolitan Toronto Social Services Department, evaluating and approving people for social assistance. His previous business experience includes work for an accounting firm, at which he prepared financial statements for small businesses.

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com

– Court Orders: Restraining, Harassment and Molestation – Custody, Access and Guardianship – Variation of Agreements and Court Orders – Division of Family Property and Orders Freezing Assets – Assist in Return of Abducted Children

put us in your corner and we will defend

YOUR RIGHTS! 905.415.1636 • 20 Crown Steel Drive, Suite 10 www.Separation.Ca

Top Choice SPRING 2010

41


Entertainment

Kat Graham @ Luxy Monica Couto Meeting Kat Graham was a very unique experience! Kat’s warm attitude makes you feel like you have known her for a long time. Kat had a long flight to Toronto, yet she was on the move non-stop since her plane touched down. She arrived at Luxy around 7pm, with Anthony (Kat’s manager) and Ramiro Villafuerte (General Manager of Luxy) to do a sound check and was interviewed on the spot with no preparation by the Wee Reporters. From there she attended a dinner for her fans and then returned to Luxy to perform at their Anniversary event. Despite an evening of preparation that would make most people call it a day, Kat was flawless during her performance. We were invited to come back later that night to see Kat perform and spend some time with her in the Luxy VIP lounge, everyone fell in love with her cheerful personality. We are going to keep in touch with her manager and, who knows, maybe she will return to Luxy on November 6th for the 5th Annual Multicultural Top Choice Awards. If you are a Kat Graham fan, why don’t you show her some love and vote for her on TopChoiceAwards.com. Do you think Kat is “Top Female Music Artist of the Year” material?

42

Top Choice Spring 2010

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


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It’ Always A Great Day At Priority Plumbing

P

riority Plumbing is a full service, one stop, Plumbing, Drainage, and Heating Service provider, making it an easy choice for all your plumbing needs! Serving Toronto for over 50 years, our highly skilled staff will provide a standard of service excellence, which you can only expect from licensed professionals. From the moment that we arrive to your home or business, it will be obvious that you’ve made the right choice in calling us. Our competitors claim to offer similar services to ours. Their staff usually work on sales motivated, commission based salaries. Do they really have your best interests at heart? Our team of technicians are proud Priority Plumbing employees, given every resource necessary to

44

Top Choice Spring 2010

ensure that you receive the best service at the best price. At Priority Plumbing our customers always come first! Priority Plumbing is a Toronto based family owned company specializing in plumbing, drainage and hot water heating repair and installation. We recognize the need for high quality service in the Toronto area. That’s why our company was built on a family tradition of quality craftsmanship and expert plumbing services. When you invite a Priority Plumbing technician to you home, you are inviting a highly skilled and trained professional who will always respect you and your home and is eager to resolve your problem quickly, efficiently, and affordably. •

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


“

We are proud to receive the Top Choice Award for Service Excellence for the 4th consecutive year.� - Austin Tsakopolous, President (2nd from left)

(416) 762-8662

www.priorityplumbing.ca www.TopChoiceMagazine.com

Top Choice SPRING 2010

45


You

Top Choice Magazine Top Choice Awards

Robert De Niro

George Pimentel

Eva Longoria & Anthony Parker Mike Myers

46

Top Choice Spring 2010

Tom Cruise

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


Living

Six Degrees of Separation

The theory that proves you know Jack Nicholson... and other celebrities Monica Couto

Quentin Tarantino

Heidi Klum

Jack Nicholson

Now you know

“Jack”

47

Top Choice Spring 2010

T

he Theory of Six degrees of separation says that anyone on the planet can be connected to one another through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. The theory was first proposed in 1929 by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy in a short story called “Chains”. Today we still use it to explain how we are all connected, and by thinking like this we are led to understand how important it is to treat everyone as we would like to be treated. Imagine you are looking for your chance to get into showbiz and you are on your way to a job interview. You are running late so you are driving pretty agressively and cut someone off on the highway. When you arrive at the interview you are shocked to find out that the personal assistant of your potential employer was the person you just cut off...there goes your opportunity out the window. We are going to take a look at the Six Degrees of Separation theory in action. I am pleased to introduce you to George Pimentel, one of the world’s premiere celebrity photographers. George is a (Luso-Canadian) from the Azorean Iaslands of Portugal, just like me, and since the day he decided to follow his father José Pimentel’s footsteps into the world of photography, he never looked back! Pimentel’s passion for photography is quite obvious, you can hear it in his voice, feel it in his actions, and see it in his eyes! Everything about his work screams perfection in photography. Although Robert De Niro was the first celebrity George ever photographed, it was his experience with Bruce Springsteen that changed his life forever. One day George discovered that Bruce Springsteen was going to be in town and, on a whim of pure passion, George put it in his mind that he was going to get his photo. So George takes off to the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Toronto and competes with the pros to capture Bruce’s photo. But Geroge is not satisfied there, he runs back to his studio (near Dundas and Lansdowne) and heads into the darkroom (we are talking pre-digital photography here) to develop the prized shot. Photo in-hand, it’s back down-

town for the hard part of the story, delivering it to Mr. Springsteen. This is the part where George discovers that it is easier to take a photo of a celebrity than to give a photo to a celebrity. But when others would call it a day and quit, George puts himself in high gear; screaming Bruce’s name and searching for a way to break through the barrier of body guards. He used the photo as a passport to anyone who attempted to stop his pursuit, maybe it was the photo raised high or the continuous calling of Bruce’s name that got his attention, but finally the most satisfying words George could ever hear escaped Mr. Springsteen’s lips, “Wait, let him pass”. As if from 100km/hour to 0km/hour, George calmly walks past the security and thanks Bruce as he gives him the photo. “Wow look at this...” Bruce says, and as he shakes George’s hand, he looks him in the eyes and continues “you are a hard working man”. Then Bruce walked into the nearby elevator, photo in hand; if only Bruce knew how his subtle words would inspire one on the worlds great photographers. Fast forward to the present and “hard working” is an understatement, want proof? Just visit Pimentel’s studio and get ready to pick your jaw off of the floor, because you are going find pictures of celebrities like Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney and (of course) Bruce Springsteen...just name it, and they’re there! What many people seem to believe is that George is paparazzi, which is a common misunderstanding; George is the actually quite the opposite! George is a red carpet photographer and an authorized personal photographer for the stars, capturing the private angles of their life that the public only wish they could see. So, if you haven’t figured out your connection with Bruce Springsteen and other celebrities, let me explain. Right now you are reading this story in Top Choice Magazine, so that is your connection to Top Choice Awards. Top Choice Awards has been great friends with George Pimentel, George has supported us with strong belief in the awards since day. George Pimentel is the personal photographer for many celebrities and covers red carpet venues and private celebrity gatherings frequently throughout the year.

Let’s recap: You » Top Choice Magazine (1) » Top Choice Awards (2) » George Pimentel (3) » Jack Nicholson Now you know “Jack”, in only 3 steps! 2 steps if you are a recipient of the Top Choice Award. So you are closer now than you ever imagined. With the right connections, and a little bit of George’s passion, you can make the impossible a reality.

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


THANK YOU BARRIE! For making us your Top Choice, 3 years in a row! 2007, 2008 & 2009 Serving all of Southern ontario, with ShowroomS in Barrie and new market: Barrie

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Commitment Northern Comfort windows and Doors are committed to providing consumers with the highest level of quality workmanship and service of such excellence that you would, without hesitation, recommend us to your friends, neighbours and relatives. You can be rest assured that your investment in your home is well protected. A satisfied customer is our greatest asset.

installation Your window is only as good as the installation. You can have the best window, but if it is not installed right, it won’t be energy efficient. All of our installers are Window Wise Certified and factory trained. As dedicated crafts people, they take great pride in their work and a job well done. With meticulous attention to detail, they strive to complete each job to your complete satisfaction.

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Top Choice SPRING 2010

49


A Legacy of Excellence *

5-time recipient of the Top Choice Award * Sam Santos / JC Pimentel Photography

*

1000 College St Toronto 416-539-8239 33 Hillcrest Ave Mississauga 905-273-9438 2293 St. Clair Ave Toronto 416-762-4279 50

Top Choice Spring 2010

Authentic Portuguese cuisine from an authentic Portuguese family, that’s why diners choose Bairrada Churrasqueira. Upon entering Bairrada Churrasqueira one finds an ambiance of casual family dining where authentic Portuguese cuisine can be savored in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. The food is anything but casual! Bairrada has an adventurous menu that presents Portuguese classics with a flavourful flare that will leaver your appetite satisfied and make you come back for more! In the summer months, the true feeling of Portugal’s culture can be experienced on the spacious outdoor patios, where you can savor delicious specialties right off the charcoal grill. You can choose the perfect companion for your meal from Bairrada’s fine selection of full-bodied Portuguese wines and cocktails and be sure to leave room for one of the tantilizing desserts or mouth watering Port wines! Family values are a strong part of Portuguese culture and at Bairrada it is no different. Bairrada is the top choice of families for Portuguese take-out in the GTA, so when you can’t get the family to Bairrada you can bring Bairrada to your family. Bairrada is a family owned and operated restaurant that was established in 1989 by Senhor Carlos Pires. Over the past 20 years, Carlos has developed the Bairrada Churrasquera legacy, working closely with his sons who will proudly continue its success and growth. Bairrada now has 3 locations in the GTA which have strengthened the upward momentum of the restaurant and have people of all backgrounds raising an eyebrow with genuine interest towards Portuguese cuisine and culture.

When dining at Bairrada Churrasqueira, a delicious meal and a great time is guaranteed. www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


Good Morning with Pombalense

W

ouldn’t it be nice if there was a place close to home to get fresh bread, have a coffee, enjoy a pastry, grab some groceries, deli meats and cheese. Now imagine being able to do that all in the same place, with caring people that make you feel at home. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, if you are close to Maple (in Vaughan), that place exists and its called Pombalense Bakery. Pombalense Bakery it not your average bakery, it is a one-stop shop that serves both the Italian and Portuguese communities. The owners, Fatima Freire and Joao Geraldes, have put their heart and soul into their business to make it a great place to meet new people and their friendly faces are what make customers visit everyday, sometimes more than once a day! Pombalense Bakery is a very active member of the community, donating time, money, food and energy without

asking anything in return! Here are some important events and organizations that they have supported and continue to support: • • • • • •

St. Davis & St. Joseph Churches in Maple Marino Maple Senior Club in Maple Vaughan’s Santa Clause Parade Vaughan in Motion to cure Cancer at Vaughan Mills Weekly Feeding the homeless with the “Church of Promise” “Church Touch of Love” & Heralds of Gospel in Nobelton!

They also constantly support all events for “Divino Espirito Santo” raising funds to build a Senior Centre in Maple! By now you should be on your way to Pombalense, but if you need any more convincing...the Cappuccino is great! See you there soon!

Pombalense bakes all of their bread on-site, including the Portuguese and Italian favourites we all know and love

Portuguese and Italian style bread

Baked fresh daily

Eats - Deli Trays, Hot Table, Pizza

Sweets - Cakes, Pastries, Home-made Ice Cream & Cafe

905-303-7900 • www.PombalenseBakery.com

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com

Jane St

20 Cranston Park Ave. in Maple

ham

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Dr

20

ie Dr

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r Mac

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d

nR

hto

ug

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Mc

Keele St

Cranston Park Ave

Visit us today! Open 7 days a week • 6am-8pm

Top Choice SPRING 2010

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” D E V O R P P “YOU’RE A At 2nd Chance Auto we say these words everyday! Whether you have credit problems, new credit or no credit at all...you will be approved. 2nd Chance Auto Leasing understands your situation and is here to help you get behind the wheel of a new vehicle and even improve your credit with the credit bureau. Open since 1994, in-house leasing, over 90 vehicles on location.

No wonder we are the #1 Used Car Dealer in Ottawa!


WE’RE WOMAN CERTIFIED I am proud to announce that 2nd Chance Auto Sales has become the very 1st Dealership in Ottawa to become WomenCertified®! This program has taught our entire team how to become a leader in the Automotive field by offering our customers superior service and a women friendly experience. We have earned the right to carry the “WomenCertified® Seal” by doing extensive on line and in house training. WomenCertified® is setting a new standard of customer service so that women everywhere can experience what they've been missing-100% satisfaction! We at 2nd Chance Auto Sales have also been awarded the Top Choice Award in 2009 and 2010, the Consumers Choice Award for Business Excellence for 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 and have always strived to be the best- now that we've become WomenCertified®, you can count on the ultimate buying experience. We guarantee you'll feel the difference!

Leona Kenny Leona Kenny, Co-owner

(613) 729-1440 | WWW.2NDCHANCEAUTO.COM | 1330 CARLING AVE,


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Hamilton 10 Barton St. E 905.523.7305

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Welcome to

The Tao of the

Top Choice Award Congratulations, you have won the Top Choice Award! You have attended the gala or had a presentation in your office. You have been featured in the magazine, seen on the TV, posted on the internet, released to the newspapers, heard on the radio and been recognized by your peers. Now you can sit back, relax, and wait for next year’s results...WRONG! It’s not enough to just win the award and go back to your regular business routine, you need to use the Top Choice Award for the reason it was created: to increase your business!

Your website It’s your 24 hour business information centre, do your website visitors know you have won the Top Choice Award?

Your vehicles You already know that vehicles are a great way to increase the visibility of your company around the city, but do your vehicles have the Top Choice Award logo on them?

Your storefront or office It is your job to let your clients know that you are the best! Make sure they know that they are making the right choice by choosing your products or services. Are your stickers on the door or window? Are your pop-up displays in the reception area, waiting area or point of sale areas? Is your trophy (or trophies for all the multi-award winners) on display where everyone can notice?

Your advertisements Have a commercial on TV? A commercial on Radio? An ad in the newspaper? If you have any of these, then you have a platform to use the Top Choice Award and a way to make your ad stand out from your competitors.

www.EnterVote.com

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Pose with a Punch!

Posing with your award is almost as important as winning it! You gotta’ work it! Crazy, adventurous, playful; the more memorable the pose, the better.

The “One-hander”

By Danny Fernandes

The “Wild Thing” By Reptilia

The “iNNER pi

By Trish Stra

tus

ece”

The “Mama Mia!” By Aurora Importing

Le “Chapelieaseu”

The “Party Like A Rockstar”

By Dina Pug

By JC Pimentel Photograp

hy

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Top Choice Spring 2010

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e r a s d a e h o w T “ e h T The “In your face!” By Jorge Gabriel better than one”

The “Pinky” By Herman José

By João Baião

!” t h ig f a t u o h it w t The “No w rning Sho By The Z103.5 Mo

Photos: Sam Santos / JC Pimentel Photography

The “Shooter”

By City TV & Kevin Frankish www.EnterVote.com

The “Anti-gravity” By Axé Capoeira

The “Brazilian” By Samba Brasil Top Choice SPRING 2010

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We don’t just promise quality. We deliver.

Residential

Duct Cleaning High-Powered Vacuum Trucks Direct Contact Cleaning Process Infrared Camera & Video Monitor Botanical Disinfectant & Sanitizer

PRoducts Heat Recovery Ventilators Ultraviolet Air Purifiers Electrostatic Air Filters Flow-thru Humidifiers HEPA Air Cleaners

commeRical

Robotic Duct Cleaning & Video Taping Hi-Rise Full System Cleaning Make-up Air Shafts A/C System Cleaning Laundry Room Exhausts

The Wiles family (Rick, Judy & Mark) from Stittsville, & their trained technicians have been proudly servicing your indoor air quality needs since 1993.

a multi-awaRd winning comPany!

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Top Choice Spring 2010

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com


Improve the air you breathe AAQ

is a family business with 15 years of experience serving the indoor air quality needs of both home and business owners. Rick Wiles, President, started out on the truck in 1993 cleaning ducts. Now he handles sales and customer service, and keeps on top of the advancements in this rapidly-growing industry. Rick’s wife Judy is the Office Manager and head of accounting, while their son Mark is Advanced Air Quality’s General Manager. Mark has been an integral part of the AAQ team since he was a high school student, cleaning ducts part-time. He has a keen interest in small business management, and is always increasing his knowledge of indoor air quality practices. Mark’s currently completing HRAI SkillTech Academy courses and has recently earned his Residential Air System Design Technician (RASDT) designation.

The business has expanded in recent years to include indoor air quality products such as Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV’s), HEPA Air Cleaners, Ultraviolet Air Purifiers (UV Lights), Electrostatic Air Filters, and Flow-Thru Humidifiers. The company has trained technicians to properly install these products as part of their Installation Division, which also offers maintenance services and technical assistance.

Mark Wiles - RASDT, General Manager ( left ) and Rick Wiles, President ( right )

“Every job is important to us, big or small,” says Rick. “Our technicians are professional and use the latest equipment. We guarantee our work because of our commitment to excellence.”

The team at Advanced Air Quality (AAQ) would like to take this opportunity to thank all of their customers for honouring them with the 2010 Top Choice Award for favourite Duct Cleaner in Ottawa.

Give us a call today for an estimate.

(613) 831-9695

Toll-free: 1-866-273-9016

www.advancedairquality.ca www.TopChoiceMagazine.com

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3 Top ChoiCe AwArds CAn’T be wrong! From the moment our customers enter W i t h t h e u se of o u r o n - l i n e p u rour home-like atmosphere at Auto ch a si n g pa g es, o u t- of-t ow n cu sGallery of Winnipeg or reach us online t o m ers ca n ea si l y ma ke t h ei r at AutoGalleryOfWinnipeg.com,they sel ec t i o n s. Au t o Ga l l er y of fers sense a noticeable difference from o u t of t ow n a n d a cross Ca na da experiences they may have had sh i p p i n g . I f a q u est i o n is n ot a n swered w i t h o u r o n elsewhere. Dealing with our skilled staff and “People that come in l i n e syst em, a t o l l f ree l i n e h a s been pre-shopped prices here often say they set u p fo r cu st o m makes the experience much more enjoyable. enjoyed purchasing er co nven i en ce at 1 - 8 8 8 - 895 -37 7 7. Our finance departa vehicle.” Au t o Ga l l er y a nt i ci ment deals with all major banks and offers extended pat es t h at t h e p u rch a se of yo u r warranties on all inventory! You can veh i cl e w i l l ma r k t h e beg i n n i n g of choose up to 7 years of FULL cover- a relat i o n sh i p b u i l t o n t r u st a n d age, with a “don’t use it, don’t lose co nven i en ce. W h en so m et h i n g it” option, which makes decision g ood h a p pen s t o yo u, i t ’s a l ways n i ce t o pa ss i t a l o n g ! making even easier. 62

Top Choice Spring 2010

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“Thank you WinniPeg for your conTinued suPPorT! We dedicate this award to our customers who have truly won it for us! since our inception in 2002, we have always stated that customer satisfaction dictates success. Winning this award is an indication that we are on the right track.”

Three-time recipient of the Top Choice Award for Used Car Dealership of the Year • 2008, 2009 & 2010

LOWEST PRICES, LOWEST KILOMETRES, BEST VALUE!!! www.Autogalleryofwinnipeg.com Auto gallery of winnipeg

Auto gallery of winnipeg souTh

1 888 895 3777 3777 Portage Ave Winnipeg, Manitoba

204 287-2445 2445 Pembina Hwy Winnipeg, Manitoba

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com

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Award

Sharing Statistics of Success Over 1,000 associates gather at the Wal-Mart head office in Mississauga, Ontario for Wal-Mart’s monthly meeting

Wal-Mart on Top!

Walmart voted Top Department Store by the Ethnic Communities of the GTA! Press Release January 5th, 2009 - Toronto Walmart has been known for their competitive prices, with their “Save money. Live better” slogan, so there’s really no doubt to why Walmart was voted Top Department Store by the ethnic communities of the GTA. Throughout the past few years, Walmart Canada has been increasing its initiatives to encourage diversity amongst its employees. By hiring individuals who reflect the local community, result in a team that is equipped to engage a nd ser ve lo ca l customers. Since the opening of its very first store back in 1962, Walmart has been providing discount prices on a variety of services from supercenters to restaurants to its customers, with products ranging from electronics to baby products and everything in between. Top Choice Awards is an important institution for the local and international business scene. Through research and democratic polling in top cities around the

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Top Choice Spring 2010

globe with the singular purpose of identifying and promoting businesses and professionals who have risen above their competition and earned the people’s vote. Walmart Canada is certainly a prime example of a top Business and it goes to show by winning the Top Choice Award for Top Department Store. Top Choice Awards welcomes Walmart Canada to the Top!

About Wal-Mart

Facing the crowd David Silvestre and Monica Couto present the award to a fired up crowd of over 1,000 Wal-Mart associates

Thanking the communities Wal-Mart accepts the award on behalf of retailers accross Canada

Walmart serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,159 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2009 sales of $401 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.1 million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine’s 2009 Most Admired Companies survey.

Another one For the Trophy Case!

(left to right) Monica Couto, Derek Rau - Vice President GMM Hardlines for Wal-Mart, Jim Pilkington and David Silvestre

www.TopChoiceMagazine.com



Top Choice Magazine - Spring 2010