Page 1

SPECIAL EDITION • APRIL.18.2O12

VOL#84 • ISSUE#29 • UWINDSORLANCE.CA

ideas issue

the

HOW DO WE

FIX OUR CITY?


VOL.84 • ISSUE29

WINDSOR KNOT

the

ideas issue

APRIL 18 2O12

DEAR WINDSOR,

2O12staff

editor-in-chief • natasha marar uwlance@uwindsor.ca • ext.3909 advertising manager • lanceads@uwindsor.ca • ext.3604 production manager • stephen hargreaves uwlance@uwindsor.ca • ext.3932 CHRYSLER WINDSOR

WINDSOR SALT

WINDSOR CASTLE

WINDSOR FAMILY

business manager • obie odunukwe lanceads@uwindsor.ca • ext.3905 news editor • stephen hargreaves lnews@uwindsor.ca • ext.3906

This inaugural edition of the Ideas Issue is the culmination of the Lance’s efforts this year to re-envision the role and importance of locallyproduced media both on and off the University of Windsor campus. Since the Lance’s relaunch last September, the newspaper has been embraced by university and community members alike. The newspaper is entirely grateful to the encouragement, loyalty and support of our readers and local advertisers. With the announcement that the Lance is moving from monthly to biweekly publishing this summer, it is our intention to bridge the gap that exist between our readers and their awareness of this city. There are a wealth of ideas, issues, problems and success stories within our neighbourhoods that are waiting to be explored. When the Lance’s editorial board planned its publishing schedule last year, it never included a special issue on ideas for Windsor. It was after long days at work, over a pints of beer at Phog

Lounge did the Lance’s editors overhear the ideas, as well as concerns, of the our diverse community. There, the concept of an Ideas Issue was born with the goal of giving a voice to everyone from students to professionals, artists, politicians, business owners and activists. The Ideas Issue doesn’t reflect an end to the academic year and the Lance’s weekly publishing schedule, but rather the beginning of a greater dialogue among our readers. The Lance welcomes your ideas for Windsor, or just about anything else, throughout the year. The Lance has many ideas for the summer months and beyond. Thank you for your continued readership.

Natasha Marar Editor-in-Chief

arts editor • josh kolm larts@uwindsor.ca • ext.3910 sports editor • john doherty lsports@uwindsor.ca • ext.3923 multimedia editor • uwlance@uwindsor.ca • ext.3932 tel. 519.253.3000 fax. 519.971.3624 ads. 519.971.3604

uwindsorlance.ca thelance • university of windsor 401 SUNSET AVE. WINDSOR, ON CANADA N9B3P4

h. g. watson • lance reporter m.n. malik • lance photographer matthew a. terry • lance illustrator h. g. watson • features reporter • circulation manager

mission statement The goal of the Lance is to produce a weekly news paper

that provides informative and accurate accounts of events and issues relevant to the University of Windsor, its students and the surrounding community. The Lance acknowledges its privileged position in being free from commercial and administrative controls. We strive to protect that position by vigorously defending our editorial autonomy.

CHANGE IS EASY LEAN ABOUT WINDSOR’S HISTORY AT THE LIBRARY, ON A DISTILLERY TOUR OR BY TALKING TO THE OLD WOMAN WHO LIVES NEXT DOOR. WALK A DIFFERENT WAY TO THE SAME DESTINATION AND LOOK AROUND AT THE GOOD AND THE BAD. (IF YOU ARE LATE, RIDE YOUR BICYCLE) SPEND MORE TIME IN DETROIT. REMEMBER, MALLS ARE NOT DETROIT. MALLS ARE MALLS. CUT THROUGH CITY PARKS AND SAY “HI” TO PEOPLE.

the ideas issue • theLANCE • APRIL.18.2O12 • O2

GIVE YOUR MONEY TO A NEIGHBOUR; EAT, DRINK AND SHOP LOCAL.

YOUR CAMPUS & COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER

PUBLISHED BIWEEKLY ALL SUMMER LONG

GO TO TORONTO AND TELL STRANGERS THAT EVERYTHING THEY THINK THEY KNOW ABOUT WINDSOR (AND DETROIT) IS A LIE; THEM TELL THEM SOMETHING REAL. LEARN SOMETHING NEW ABOUT WINDSOR EVERY DAY. IF YOU CAN CHANGE IT, WORK TO CHANGE IT. IF YOU CAN’T, MOVE ON. STOP BELIEVING THE AUTO INDUSTRY WILL SAVE US.

BEGINING MAY.O2.2O12

IN THE CITY, ON CAMPUS & ONLINE @ UWINDSORLANCE.CA

REMEMBER THAT WE DON’T NEED TO GROW TO SUCCEED. REDEFINE SUCCESS.

Our mandate is to cover issues that affect students. However, we believe that no subject need fall outside the grasp of the student press, and that we best serve our purpose when we help widen the boundaries of debate on educational, social economic, environmental and political issues. The Lance and its staff shall, at all times, strive to adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Canadian University Press. Any material containing a racist, sexist or otherwise prejudicial substance or tone will not be printed. The Lance is published by the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance and prints every Tuesday of the fall and winter semesters. Its offices are located in the basement of the CAW Student Centre. Unsigned editorials are produced by the Lance editorial board, or printed with their permission, and may not reflect the beliefs of all its members. Opinions expressed in the Lance are not necessarily those of the University of Windsor or the Students’ Alliance. Submissions are welcome and become the property of the news pa per. Submissions must be e-mailed. The editor reserves the right to edit for space and clarity. Letters will be accepted until the Thursday before publication and must include the writer’s name, major of study and phone number. Contents ©2012. Reproduction in any way is forbidden without the written permission of the Editor-inChief. The Lance is a member of the Canadian University Press.

complaints

Comments, concerns or complaints about The Lance’s content are to be e-mailed to the Editor-in-Chief at the address above. If the Editor-in-Chief is unable to resolve a complaint it may be taken to the Lance Editorial Board. If the Editorial Board is unable to resolve a complaint it may be taken to the non-partisan University Ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson can be reached at 519.253.3000 ext.3400.


the

ideas issue

ILLUSTRATION • MATTHEW A. TERRY u

MAYOR OVERLOOKS WINDSOR’S TALENT editorial by STEPHENHARGREAVES news editor n his annual State of the City address last Friday at the Giovanni Caboto Club, Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis promised the future of Windsor was bright.

I

“You’ll hear more about this real soon, I promise,” said Francis repeatedly regarding “exciting opportunities” that have kept the mayor’s office busy. Francis invoked the “people of our city” when talking about international press coverage of a city that was beyond the brink of recovery. He said, when looking beyond the quantifiable one realizes that it’s the people of Windsor that make it great. He compared the city to Ford and Chrysler, who “bounced back” from the depths of the global financial crisis. He said that Windsor too has bounced back, later admitting that “the overall unemployment rate hasn’t changed.” For the rest of the mayor’s hourlong address, to a room of about 800 of the city’s rich and powerful, he spoke about money rather than people. “We need to focus of the basics,” said Francis over and over, it was clear that the basics to Francis were attracting employers to the city. “Everything is about jobs,” said the mayor who unveiled a seven-point plan to save our city. In every point he looked outside of the city for a saviour. Point one, was the securing of Premier Aviation of Trois-Rivieres, Que. The company will set up an airline maintenance hub at Windsor Airport, which according to Francis, will create “300 jobs over seven years.” The second point was Francis’ hope to secure a medical isotope company, with whom the city is competing with other cities for investment. Thirdly, the mayor joked about his “jet-setting to secret locations,” mainly China to bring electric buses to Windsor as part of a pilot project from manufacturer BYD, a project that he said will be underway by early summer 2012. He didn’t mention any further changes to Transit Windsor. His fourth point was tourism. He spoke of downtwon aquatic

centre, a proposed Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island Culinary Experience Alliance project, aimed to turn the area into a epicures vacation destination “like Quebec City, Chicago, Niagara-on-the-Lake, regions of Italy …,” and working with Caesars Windsor to bring in Korean tourists. Francis failed to mention anything about arts or culture. His penultimate point involved going to Frankfurt, Germany to partner with “think-tank” House of Logistics and Mobility (HOLM) to better manage Windsor Airport.

In the mayor’s final point, he toted an agreement with a small UK firm, KM&T, who have made plans to set up shop in Windsor. Though the mayor didn’t say how many jobs would be created, he did say that it was “our story” that won KM&T over. “When I meet with potential investors, I share our story with them,” said Francis. “And when they comment about some of the negative things they might have read or heard about us, I tell them this, ‘Spend some time with us. Get to know us, and you will quickly see that we live in the

greatest city in Canada.’” If Francis believes that this is the “greatest city in Canada,” why does he keep looking around the world to solve our problems? Francis made no mention of working with the University of Windsor and St. Clair College to retain our graduates or any other plans to harness the people of Windsor in the city’s gentrification. Windsor has thousands of people with great ideas for the city, perhaps he just hasn’t taken the time to get to know us.

29 $ave big

95

$

*

For just $29.95, walk in with your taxes, walk out with your refund. Instantly. You’ll also get a free SPC Card to save big at your favourite retailers.*

instant cash back

& free SPC Card*

we make taxes painle $$

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

hrblock.ca | 800-HRBLOCK (472-5625)

© 2012 H&R Block Canada, Inc. *$29.95 valid for regular student tax preparation only. Cash Back service included. To qualify for student pricing, student must present either (i) a T2202a documenting 4 or more months of full-time attendance at a college or university during 2011 or (ii) a valid high school identification card. Expires July 31, 2012. Valid only at participating H&R Block locations in Canada. SPC Card offers valid from 08/01/11 to 07/31/12 at participating locations in Canada only. For Cardholder only. Offers may vary, restrictions may apply. Usage may be restricted when used in conjunction with any other offer or retailer loyalty card discounts. Cannot be used towards the purchase of gift cards or certificates.


the

ideas issue

ILLUSTRATION • MATTHEW A. TERRY u

LIBRARY EVOLUTION

NATASHAMARAR editor-in-chief

O

think a library is.”

ver the past two years, the Windsor Public Library has attempted to modernize its services and facilities and attract a new generation of readers.

In 2011, the library started supporting smart phone users by offering mobile applications and allowing them to swap their library cards by checking out materials digitally. The library also took the lead to abolish library fines in January, resulting in an increase in circulation and decline in overdue books. “It sends a message that we’re willing to work with our customers,” said WPL chief executive officer Barry Holmes. The Central library branch downtown is bringing in a self-publishing book machine called Espresso starting in May. The device, which is already in use at the University of Windsor’s bookstore, is a first for a Canadian library. “The library has a lot going for it. It’s a brand everyone recognizes,” said Holmes. “We have to challenge

ourselves to ensure we’re doing things that are really relevant to what people need today. There is a tough struggle around that because people have a strong sense of what they

Holmes said WPL wants to introduce self checkout machines. “We’re a little behind ... we’re the only library of this size in the country that doesn’t have that yet. If we can put that in place, we can free up a lot of staff to deliver other kinds of services.” Beyond the book stacks, the library offers access to electronic databases, DVDs, video games and downloaded music. Today’s librarians are also walking around with iPads to assist people who have questions or research needs. “We’re one of the few libraries in the country doing that right now,” Holmes explained. “We can free [librarians] from the desk and have them mobile. It even means they can go beyond that and reach out into the ... schools and community centres; taking the library out to places where people are.” The WPL is partnering with the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board to bring librarians to schools starting this fall. Librarians would help students with research, talk to them about library services and facilitate book programs, said Mary-Lou Gelis-

TERESAPIRUZZA mpp for windsor west

i I dream of a region that manufactures the latest technologies I dream of a region that arts flourish I dream of a region that green energy powers our homes I dream of a region that information technology is a way of life I dream of a region that never gives up I dream of a region that embraces multiculturalism

the ideas issue • theLANCE • APRIL.18.2O12 • O4

I dream of a region that nnovates the boldest and best ideas

I imagine Windsor

Essex

sen, a librarian at the Central location. In an effort to captivate a new generation of patrons, the WPL has poured energy into new programming and physical spaces. Last September, Teen Zones were introduced at the Central, Riverside and Budimir branches. The areas, which are staffed after school Tuesday through Thursday, feature trendy seating, snacks, homework space and video gaming consoles. There are future plans to expand the Teen Zones to other locations. “You see these kids coming in from different areas of the community and they get to interact, get a snack and hang out. You get 20-25 kids showing up sometimes, and gets packed in there. But it’s a really, really positive, safe environment,” said Gelissen during a Saturday visit to the Teen Zone. Gelissen highlighted the popular Comic Book Club, which is geared toward youths aged 11 to 18. Through this free monthly art program, participants enhance their drawing and writing skills with the help of local comic artist George Rizok. The group is currently working with a local printer to have the youth-created comics produced in a zene, according to Gelissen. Library patron Moe Moain has been bringing his five children to the downtown branch since he moved to neighbouring Erie Street 10 years ago. “It’s like our second home,” he said.

“We like the people here.” Moain’s family accesses many of library services from borrowing movies and video games to using the Internet and databases to perform research for school projects. The library goer is concerned, however, with the City of Windsor’s proposal to move the Central library into the main floor of the Art Gallery of Windsor. The move would coincide with the development of a neighbouring community aquatic centre. “It is not good for me, but maybe for the other neighbourhoods (near the proposed site),” said Moain. “I have no car, but I’ll walk and take the bus there in the Winter.” Holmes views a move to the west end of downtown differently, citing a closer proximity to recreational activities and the Transit Windsor station. “I think it’s a great opportunity. I’m a strong believer that libraries need to go to space where there are a number of activities are going.” While a final decision hasn’t been made regarding a move-in date to the cityowned art gallery, Holmes said, “We are prepared to look at any opportunities that come forward.” “The library for today, moving forward, needs to evolve,” he added. “The challenge of being what you’ve always been, but evolving yourself for what you need to be this century.”


the

ideas issue

KEEP THE CITY TIDY • ECOCITY STEVEPALENKAS windsorite An acquaintance from Michigan (former co-worker) once told me during a visit to Toronto he noticed not even a bubble-gum wrapper floating in the air or laying on a surface. He said it was “the cleanest city he had ever seen.” That was a little over a decade ago, and I myself have not been there for several years. A massive initiative needs to be pursued to clean up all the stray garbage in this city. Along busy thoroughfares such as Ottawa Street and Tecumseh Road, there are trash cans on almost every corner; yet debris, ranging from large to small, litters the sidewalks and grass. More remote sections of the city have ditches and other nooks suffering the same. I applaud the city’s expansion of recycling and reusables technology, though it is often trumped by basic laziness and inconsideration. One of my favourite places in the city is the approximately one-kilometre radius surrounding Jackson Park and Queen Elizabeth Gardens. They do a magnificent job botanically; there are athletic and other health-related accommodations, as well as historical memorials such as the antique airplanes and sundial, all nestled amongst a bustling urban centre. Though random abuses and atrocities occur (some serious), I am glad to live in a place that for the most part does not embrace violence and iniquity.

JANEMCARTHUR windsorite

consultations from community members of all ages and backgrounds.

In 2008-2009, a project entitled “Reducing Chemical Exposures” undertook a community information gathering and idea-sharing project in Windsor and Essex County.

It is clear that the participating residents of Windsor-Essex want a cleaner environment, better environmental laws and stricter enforcement, a more fair and just economy, better mass transit, more bike paths, improved natural surroundings, access to local healthy foods, greater use of wind and solar power and greener, healthier jobs.

Why was this public awareness raising and consultation process important? While some information about the risks related to pollution and hazardous industrial chemicals does reach us through the media and other sources, it is nevertheless often fragmented and difficult to decipher. Moreover there is very little focused community dialogue about these environmental concerns. It was the intention of the project to increase community members’ understanding of health risks related to chemical exposures and ultimately to influence change in personal and institutional practices. It was also meant to open the door for grassroots dialogue regarding greener technology, which may have broader benefits for the economically challenged Windsor-Essex region. After exploring relevant scientific evidence, a series of community knowledge sharing events were held. There were several themes voiced over and over again in the various

A significant outcome of this project was the formation of a local group who call themselves Windsor on Watch (WOW). The group evolved out of a community roundtable of 26 activists who came together to discuss the seemingly impossible choices facing the Windsor area community of jobs versus the environment. The discussion that day focused on reducing chemical exposures by reducing the environmental and social costs of the tar sands oil extraction. Of concern were the implications of the continuing dependency on oil for Canada’s economy and, more specifically, its impacts on manufacturing job losses in southwestern Ontario. Since its formation, WOW has held a number of local actions, which reflect the mission of the group.

live & learn s in th e he a r t o f c a m pu

“Our goal is to educate the community around us and create awareness of environmental problems and solutions through ongoing acts of creative contention and community events.” While WOW started around the tar sands issue, its focus has broadened to include climate change, human health and pollution, and environmental justice. WOW uses a shared leadership approach and decisions are made on a consensus basis. WOW’s numerous actions have included a candlelight vigil shining a spotlight on the Marathon oil refinery in Michigan, film screenings including “Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands,” a Toxic Tour of west end Windsor polluters, about which a documentary short was produced, a People’s Assembly on Climate Justice and an art walk through Windsor’s sculpture garden linking environmental issues with the sculptures. WOW will hold its next action this coming Earth Day. Could WOW and its ideas be the start of a new, local movement? What impact will this working coalition have on the issues of climate change and human health? And how will Windsor be different because of it? Only time will tell.

taking classes this summer? Consider staying on campus – close, convenient & affordable! Summer residence is in Clark Residence which has full cooking facilities & a fun outdoor community environment. Come to Residence where you...

❑ have a 5-minute walk to class ❑ eliminate the rising cost of a daily commute ❑ have no monthly bills to worry about

All yours for only $100.00 per week (no meal plan required for Inter/Summer)

signing up is easy! Go to www.uwindsor.ca/residence


WINDSOR’S SKYLINE IS NOT DETROIT’S SKYLINE

the

ideas issue

♥ OF THE CITY STEVEGREEN windsor-essex community supported agriculture

The heart of the city is the riverfront and the neighbourhoods along the river, east to west. You can’t help but smile and feel good inside walking along the river, watching the water, the people, wondering who is looking back at you from the Detroit riverfront. Sure, it gets a little rowdy sometimes, but the alternative is a deafening quiet heard in the suburbs with neighbours who don’t even know each other. The ‘heart’ of the City of Windsor is ‘the river and land’ that sustains us. The heart of Windsor, though, is the people of Windsor as we come together and celebrate. Damn the naysayers, I love Windsor! We may not have the ‘best’ employment, houses, government or air quality, but we have great people, great fighting spirit and great individual character. CLAYTONSMITH dean of students, university of windsor Last week, I had the pleasure of representing the University of Windsor at a meeting of university international educators abroad in Bangkok, Thailand. While there, I got to thinking about how well we are doing at the University of Windsor in the whole international area. Clearly, we are doing some great things. In the past year alone, we have opened a new international student centre and multi-faith space. We also continue to lead Canada by attracting students from every continent (except Antarctica!) and more than 100 countries. We are also in the process of working toward the development of some great cuttingedge international partnerships with universities in many parts of the world. But how are we doing? Take a moment and share your thoughts on how you view the international student experience at the University of Windsor. Improvement is an important part of excellence. Send your thoughts along. We want to know what you think!

JONATHONLIEDTKE co-chair, mayor’s youth advisory committee What is the heart of Windsor? While this seems like a simple question, the answer tends to be far more complicated than one would expect. Is downtown the heart of the city, or are the suburbs? How do you define the heart of the city: is it commercial, residential or cultural? Is it a geographical location which can be plotted to a map, or is it a feeling of something, a notion if you will? As I sat down to answer the question, immediately I began thinking about all the places that I love in Windsor: the riverfront, Jackson Park, Walkerville, Askin Avenue, Malden Park and the downtown all came to mind. As I thought about it more and more, the answer seemingly eluded me. I kept getting stuck in the definition: What is a heart of a city? Thus, I decided that for my answer, the heart of the city would have to be classified as my favourite place. My favourite place cannot be pegged to a map, nor can you open a door and enter it. It is Windsor as a whole; the heart of the city is the city itself. You cannot define it by one simple place, because the reality is, Windsor is far more complicated than that. As Windsor is transitioning into a post-manufacturing town, our roots dig deep in the industrial and blue collar sector. Industry built this town to

what it is today, and for this reason, it is industry that is the heart of the city. Industry provided the capital for expansion and the tools to do so. But the residents who live in Windsor are also indeed the heart of the city; they work, live and play here. Without the residents, there would be no Windsor; the converse is true as well. While one may not think that a suburb is the heart of a city, I would challenge that notion. Another example of the heart of the city would be the cultural community. Culture provides the ability for a community to transform into something new, or simply embrace the talent which already exists. Windsor has an incredible cultural sector that thrives because of the citizens who appreciate it. Whether visual art or live music, Windsor can give any major city a run for its money when it comes to a cohesive arts community. So where is the heart of the city? That’s entirely up to you. For me, it is the entire community as a whole. There isn’t one area which is any better than another. Each separate component of the city helps to increase the value of the whole: synergy, isn’t it a beautiful thing. And indeed, Windsor is the perfect example of synergy: a composite of many different groups of people, businesses and sectors all working to benefit the city at large. We need to embrace what it is which makes Windsor amazing: the people. By working together, we can further enhance what already exists in our community, while providing the groundwork for the future.


ideas issue

DEAR CITY

LOCAL INNOVATION YVONNEPILON we-tech alliance

STEPHENHARGREAVES

Windsor is full ideas. Here is a partial list of the many ideas that originated here.

GUMMY BEAR

BRIAN’S PADS

CHILD RESISTANT CAPS

JOE ‘FRESH‘ MIMRAN

GUMMY BEARS CONTROL: Radix Controls has their eye on quality, with advanced vision inspections to ensure the highest levels of safety and quality in the cars you drive, the cell phones you stay connected with, the food you eat and the candy you love! Radix Controls has worked with several candy producers, including Cadbury, to deliver the highest quality in Gummy Bears and Sour Worms. TRANSFORMERS MICROSITE: Revenge of the Fallen: Perhaps you were eating gummy bears when you saw Transformers on the big screen. If so, local creative company, Airgid Media Inc., was behind creating the interactive microsite for the launch of the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen DVD. Airgid Media is also linked with WWF Canada and TSN and Pepsi. WINNIPEG JETS GOALIE PADS: The Jets’ goaltender, Chris Mason, is wearing goalie pads that were made in Kingsville, Ont. The pads were created by Brian Customs Sport, who specializes in custom hockey goalie equipment since 1984. OLYMPICS MONITORING: Netmon Inc., a local network and environmental monitoring firm, was recently selected to provide environmental monitoring systems during the London 2012 Olympics for event venues across the British capital. PUMA MOBILE APP: Did you know that a Windsor company helped create the mobile app behind PUMA’s brand new Faas shoe model. The creator, Red Piston, has also worked with other Fortune 500 brands, including Lowes, Dodge and Universal Music Group.

ROUNDTAIL

CHILD-PROOF CAPS: The next time you grab a Tylenol or an

HGWATSON windsorite Grey. That’s what I saw when I first came to Windsor. I called a friend sobbing from my hotel room. “How can I live here?” I moaned. “There’s nothing here.” I grew up in Toronto, and went on to live in Hamilton. I traveled; a lot, and often. Windsor felt like a dead end. What stories would I get from here? As it turns out, plenty. When I go to a bar on College Street in Toronto, I tell my friends about The Loop. “There wouldn’t be a line there,” I say. “It’s big and they play good music. The beer is cheap, and it’s all a craft brew.”

Aspirin, know that a Tecumseh born inventor is the man behind the child proof cap. Dr. Henri J. Breault developed the first child-proof container, which was adopted in the Windsor area in 1967. ROUNDTAIL BICYCLE: Local inventor Lou Tortola recently created the RoundTail family of bikes. Unlike convention diamond geometry, the RoundTail features continuous rings beneath the rider, helping better absorb road vibrations without compromising performance or lateral stiffness. In addition to being on the cover of Road Bike Magazine in January, RoundTail was also featured in the Popular Science Magazine last August. JOE FRESH CLOTHING: The Joe behind the Loblaws stores line of Joe Fresh fashion and also the creator of Club Monaco is none other than University of Windsor alumni Joe Mimran. Mimran is a 1976 Bachelor’s of Commerce graduate. So the next time you put on your Joe Fresh, wear it proudly. MADDEN NFL 2012: I bet you?re wondering how this one connects with Windsor-Essex. Well, it’s another Windsor alumnus. Wolfgang Hamann is now the president / executive producer of a successful video gaming company in Vancouver called Koolhaus Games. Koolhaus Games has four successive top three charted titles, with three of these going to number one. 2012 OSCARS COVERAGE: Odette School of Business professor Vincent Georgie wasn’t the only Windsorite mingling with the stars. Local businesswoman Sharon Purtill of Visible Treasures, a direct sales jewellery company, was also in attendance. The company was invited to participate in the gifting lounge at the Oscars, where Pirtill gifted her fabulous jewellery pieces to this year’s Oscar nominees.

DETROIT IS A BROTHER

windsorite

Dear Windsor, I fell in love with you from the moment I met you. You were not like the others; Toronto always trying and failing to be New York, London the wishy of washiness, in the beigest of trousers, and Chatham? Has anything ever happened in Chatham? You were honest, true and dirty. People who didn’t know you insulted you and I empathized. And now it’s been 10 years since I moved in with you, 10 rosy and thorny years. I’m sure it will come as little surprise to you that all is not well between us. We haven’t talked in ages and in light of you recent history of violence, I’ve opted to tell you this with ink and paper. Your hygiene is terrible, in certain areas you fragrance brings more tears to my eyes than the thought of leaving you. You’ve forgotten the things that I loved you for, you’ve neglected your artistic side for ages, you’ve become so angry, so desperate and now, most of your friends have gone. Rest assured, I am very aware of the state of your bank account and the anguish this causes you, but I do remember before you dedicated your life to the factory when you painted, wrote and still enjoyed music. I know somewhere inside you, you do too. You are not dying, you are simply so incredibly afraid of change you can’t see the future. As you suspected, I’ve been seeing other cities. Though I’ll spare you the details of our sordid evenings together, I’d hoped, wished and tried to convince myself that I was ‘coming home’ every morning I came back to you. Yet upon every return I’ve felt more a stranger every time. Keep your car, but ride your bicycle sometimes. Watch the sunset, the pollution you and your brother have set skyward has made for the most sublime sunsets. Talk to your big brother, he’s going through the same things as you and you need each other. Ask your children what they think; calling Toronto every time you have a decision to make will never help. Toronto is a whore, Detroit is brother and Ottawa is a stranger. This will never change. Let me leave quietly. You may soon replace me, but you’ll never forget me and I could never you, even if I tried my whole life. I may come back to visit when the dust has settled between us, but until then take care of your children. You may not realize it but you have ushered some of the most talented, beautiful, intelligent, creative and lovely people I’ve ever met into this world. At the very least, let them know that you know they are still here with you. Windsor, I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel. You philistine.

When I’m waiting in line to see a band at Lee’s Palace, I tell the people behind me about the time I saw Young Rival at Phog Lounge. “They were this far away from me,” I say, stretching my arms apart, “and they stayed for drinks after the show.”

blow their horns at the trucks on the bridge.”

Hamilton, I am reminded of Windsor’s future.

In London, England I read a book in Kensington Gardens and think about too many afternoons in Riverside Park watching the world drift by.

Every time I sit on a patio I am reminded of hot days in Windsor, too numerous to choose, sitting on a patio and laughing with friends new and old.

In Berlin, Germany I toured an abandoned building. I tell our tour guide about a skyline littered with them. “There’s a train station you can see right through in Detroit,” I say. “It’s an urban skeleton.”

In Hamilton, Ont. over coffee on James Street North I am reminded of my home away from home, the Green Bean, where I poured over school notes for hours on end. When I drive by the silent steel furnaces in the east end, I am reminded of Windsor’s slowly dying car plants. When I drive past the art galleries and new stores in West

Every time I leave, I miss my little apartment in the west end. It’s in an old building and the wiring doesn’t always work, but it was my first place I ever lived that I could truly call my home. It was mine, right down to the walls I painted on a hot August day.

In Lyon, France I walk along the Rhone river and a friend asks me if the Detroit River is bigger. “Way bigger!” I say. “It has barges that

I will be leaving. The time and reason isn’t determined, yet the day will come when I pack up my old little apartment and say goodbye. And I’ll cry again that day; for all the stories that I’ll miss in my home.

the ideas issue • theLANCE • APRIL.18.2O12 • O7

the


CITY SCOPE EXPLORING CITIES ON FOOT

W

N

qPHOTO • COURTESY SHAWN MICALLEF | ILLUSTRATIONS • MARLENA ZUBER

CA MI

F LLE

THROUGH PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY SH

A

HGWATSON features reporter When talking about city building, it’s hard not to bring up Shawn Micallef’s name. The native son of Windsor left for Toronto after completing his master’s of arts at the University at Windsor and went on to co-found Spacing magazine, a quarterly publication about urbanism in Canadian cities. He is also the author of Stroll: Pyschogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto, a book that uses the French Situationists philosophy to encourage people to engage with their cities and surroundings through aimless wanderings.

the ideas issue • theLANCE • APRIL.18.2O12 • O8

W

H.G. Watson spoke to Micallef about the rise of urbanism and why Windsor has good bones. HGW: Why did you decide to leave Windsor and as a follow-up, why did you fall in love with Toronto after that? SM: Opportunities in Windsor, unless you want to go into car making or that sort of thing, are kind of limited. It was ... the opportunity for working in a creative economy, whether that means writing, weird art projects, that sort of thing. I still love Windsor and go back often. But I was always very obsessed with Toronto. It was this shining, futuristic Blade Runner-like city off the (Highway) 401. Windsor is smaller, but we have Detroit across the way. Growing up looking at a city like Detroit is one thing … it’s shrinking and decaying in front of our eyes over the decades. Toronto, there’s a buzz to the city. To-

ronto didn’t fall apart but was growing and evolving like a working city should. HGW: I think there’s a lot of interest, especially in the last 10 years, with the idea of urbanism and trying to build cities. Do you think there’s a reason that people are taking greater interest? SM: I moved here in 2000, and the first year and a bit that I was here the city was in another funk. It was only two years before that the Mike Harris government amalgamated Toronto, which threw the city into disarray as it tried to reorganize itself. Somewhere around 2002, there was a reawakening of a love of Toronto and love of urbanism; a celebration of it and a critique of it. That’s around when we started Spacing magazine, and across the city there were other projects. Rob Ford was the reaction against a lot of things, including city building and urbanism. In the last four years, we’ve really noted a global urbanist awakening. There’s an excitement about cities. Cities have become the cultural and economic drivers of the world. I think there’s been recognition of this. That’s why people are moving to them. HGW: In terms of encouraging civic activism and civic pride─ I know there are people in Windsor trying to do this, but my sense in living here is that there’s apathy, maybe because the city is spread out. What do you think it takes to get that going in a smaller urban centre like Windsor? SM: A smaller city has less critical mass so it’s much harder to get excitement

around that. You have a really small group of active people doing stuff, whether it’s hosting town halls, doing art projects or writing blogs. ... Whereas in Toronto, you have 2.5 million people in the city itself … the amount of people you get who are involved in that is huge, so its much easier to get things started in Toronto. You have the first challenge of getting your voice heard, but once you get good at that you can pick up support. In Windsor, Tom (Lucier, co-owner) at Phog Lounge is a great guy who does all kinds of civic initiatives and I think, “Wow he has such a challenge,” not because it’s Windsor, but because it’s such a small city. But I think frankly the potential is people realizing that the city has wonderful urban bones that haven’t been lost. Wyandotte Street, Ottawa Street, Drouillard Road have all the stuff that urbanists everywhere in any big alpha city would lust over. I think slowly all these ideas that come quicker in a big city will trickle into Windsor and more people will be onboard. They’ll find a walking lifestyle that is really desirable. They can walk down Ottawa Street and do all their shopping and not have to go to Costco or Walmart. But it’s a slower process and much more of a challenge for people who want to get something done. HGW: When you organized a pyschogeographic walk in Windsor, was there any interesting things you discovered while doing it? SM: Walking is a funny thing in Wind-

sor. I always thought of myself as a walker … but I go back to Windsor and I realize that’s not true. My experience of Windsor is seeing the city from a car. I grew up outside the city, in Tecumseh, and I always had to have a car. If my car broke down I was stuck in suburbia. So I thought I knew the city intimately, but when I go back and walk it I see all this stuff that I didn’t notice before because I was flying by at 40 kilometres an hour. Every time I go back and do a walk in Windsor, I rediscover Windsor that I missed. Even riding a bike, you miss stuff because you’re paying attention to riding. When you’re walking you’re not thinking about walking so your eyes are free to look everywhere. I feel slightly ashamed because I thought I knew the city. Now it’s fun to come back and discover it on a much deeper level by walking. Anyone can do it … but they might need a little bit of push to go for a walk. It’s neat because you can find your city and you find a bit of yourself. You can find your place in the city and your place in Canada if you walk around and know your territory much more intimately. For more of our interview with Shawn Micallef visit uwindsorlance.ca.


the

ideas issue

JOHNDOHERTY sports editor

DIGGING IN • COMMUNITY GARDENING qILLUSTRATION • ANTHONY ZIERHUT

he idea of growing one’s own food is a lost skill and foreign to most people these days. Almost everything we consume comes to us from somewhere else, has been genetically modified for looks and transport and possibly lacks the nutrients of it’s unmodified counterpart, which is become increasing unavailable to us.

T

Steve Green of the Ford City Community Garden wants to change that. But his concept goes even farther to self-sustainability. To Steve, the idea of the community garden is also about creating stronger community ties. “The reason I started the community garden was to reconnect people to growing their own food,” Green said. “It’s to introduce food sovereignty and sustainability and to have a positive place in the community where folks in the neighbourhood could gather together and get to know one another. To get people to stop and talk and participate.

EAT OUR CITY

The garden, which takes up three city lots on Drouillard Road, is roughly 38 metres long and extends 30 metres to an alleyway at the back.

“We took three city lots that have been sitting there abandoned for as long as I know,” Green said. “Instead of growing fridges and old tires and beer bottles we started growing food.” When Green opened the garden to the community at the start of last season, it was immediately well received. “There are probably about 50 people that are active now,” Green said. “Twothirds of those people live locally in the neighbourhood and some outside people who are really keen come help us out when we have a big work project. Organizations and businesses really get involved in a spontaneous way as well. United Way will bring high school students over once every year to work in the garden.” The City of Windsor gave the garden a boost recently when it approved a onetime seed and feed grant in support of community garden expansion projects in Windsor and Essex County. The money will allow Green and the Ford City Community Garden expand it’s number of plots and accept more gardeners. “We consider it a success that someone would even think about growing their own food,” Green said. “It’s such a lost skill and foreign concept these days. We’re reintroducing the concept that people don’t have to be completely reliant on food that got shipped in from

GIOVANNIESPOSITO blogger @ dinersdish.ca After hearing the Mayor’s State of the City address, I have to say I was a little bit excited. Finally, Windsor starts to get its recognition as a culinary destination. I remember when I was an undergraduate student at the University

‘‘ who knows where that is not as nutritious and expensive. That will only encourage them to explore more options.”

“This garden project is a major success,” said Haase. “I started off going to classrooms asking students if they wanted to participate ... From initially Another gardening initiative, set at the University of Windsor, was started start- about 10 people working on a very regular basis in the garden that number ed in 2010 by education and women’s increased three-fold. Now, there are studies instructor Rita Haase. about 30 people that are actively The Campus involved, aside for many Commuother people from the nity campus and community that come to our events.” The garden, located behind the education building on California Avenue grows about 40 varieties of vegetables and 10 varieties of fruits. -Steve Green, Ford City Community Garden GarThose interested den in the Campus ComProject has munity Garden Project can a three part visit their website at uwindsor.ca/ mandate: to create ccgpa. For information about the Ford a more sustainable campus, build a City Community Garden visit fordcityhealthy community and empower and education people on food production in communitygarden.blogspot.ca. urban areas.

of Windsor, one of my American housemates decided to accept her graduate studies awt the University of Windsor instead of her home country. One of the drawing factors for her wasn’t the scholarships, the small community-like campus, or even the close-proximity to Detroit, it was the wide range of food and culture this city has to offer. Having recently returned from a two-year stint in Melbourne, argu-

We’re re-introducing the concept that people

don’t have to be completely reliant on food that got shipped in from who knows where.

ably Australia’s food capital (just don’t tell Sydney), Windsor has the chance to be just as much of a foodie-destination. The two cities have a lot of similarities, especially when it comes to the multicultural mix of immigrants. This multicultural mosaic provides a smorgasbord of food options for residents and visitors alike. We need to market this aspect of the city. You want Italian? We have it. Turkish? Yup, that too. Ethiopian?

Only some of the best. But if Windsor is truly going to market itself as a foodie-destination, it has to be in partnership with Essex County. The county is home to some of the freshest agricultural produce and even some of the best vineyards Ontario has to offer. Let’s do this Windsor. Let’s brag to the world about how amazing Windsor’s food experience truly is.

the ideas issue • theLANCE • APRIL.18.2O12 • O9

JOHNDOHERTY sports editor


the

ideas issue

W.E. CYCLE HGWATSON features reporter

B

ike culture is partly social movement and partly a way of life. Those that advocate for a bike culture dream of cities where people rely more on twowheel transportation then cars.

“We’re asking city council to increase funding for cycling infrastructure,” said Gignac. The are also presenting a number of other recommendations at the city council capital budget meeting on April 23.

“When we walk and bike more, so many things will improve” said Kari Gignac, a member of Windsor Bicycling Committee, which advises Windsor’s city council on bike issues. “The environmental benefits, the health benefits,” she continued, “you save so much money with gas being so expensive right now.” In Amsterdam, the Netherlands─ long considered one of the dream cities for cyclists─ bicycles easily outnumber cars on the road. Designated lanes for bikes and scooters snake all over the city and pedestrians have to keep their eyes and ears open for bikers whizzing by at high speeds. Dense urban centres are favourable for the creation of cycling infrastructure. Windsor, by contrast, is a sprawl connected by several different suburbs. It’s a challenge for people like Gignac who are trying to educate people how to share the road with bicycles. Steve Konkle, president of the board of directors of Bike Friendly Windsor, knows first hand what an issue it can be. He was recently hit by a car while biking in a visible area. “It seemed like the person purposely did not give me space and managed just to nudge me as I went by,” he said. “It seemed fairly obvious to me that person hit me on purpose.”

YOUNG STREETS

the ideas issue • theLANCE • APRIL.18.2O12 • 1O

The bikes on the road has been a contentious issue in the media of late, as there’s been a number of high profile deaths of cyclists in Toronto. “Cyclists have a right to be on the road,” said Konkle, “and a right for driver’s to respect them when they’re on the road.”

65%

OF WINDSOR HOUSEHOLDS OWN BICYCLES DATA • BUMP (WINDSOR BICYCLE USE MASTER PLAN)

The rest is simply left to how open minded people are. “It’s a lot about education,” said Gignac, “and just being patient; that goes both ways for cyclists and drivers.” A BIKE LANE ON UNIVERSITY AVENUE WEST • PHOTO STEPHEN HARGREAVES

“It’s not just in Windsor,” said Gignac of the sometimes combative relationship between cyclists and drivers. “It’s in every city where people have to share the road.” It’s a tough battle for bike advocates trying to create space for bikes on the road, especially in a city like Windsor that has a long history as an automobile town. However, strides have been made towards creating a local bike culture. Windsor was recently designated a bronze level award from the Bicycle Friendly Community program, an initiative of the provincial Share the Road Coalition. Gignac and the Windsor Bicycling Committee are now working on a campaign to reach the silver level for the next competition.

SARAHDAVIDSON co-chair, mayor’s youth advisory committee Recognizing youth for their efforts to better the community is essential. Youth play a vital role in their community. Indeed, they are the future leaders who will eventually grow up to become community leaders many times over. Regardless of the career path youth decide upon, each member of the community plays an important role in the sustainment of the community itself.

Both Gignac and Konkle encourage people to get out on their own bikes for a spin. Getting started is easy. “Go to one of the local bike shops and tell them what your interest is in biking, whether you just want to go down to the riverfront or if you want to do long rides out to the county,” said Konkle. “They can fit you for a bike.” Gignac also encourages people to speak up for cyclists rights and support infrastructure programs. “Come to the capital budget meeting on April 23 to show support,” said Gignac. “Otherwise call your councillor and let them know you support cycling funding.” To do so, said Gignac, is to support citizens health and Windsor.

The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee emphatically believes that youth who actively work towards affecting change in their community need to be recognized for their efforts. Be it community building through community involvement, volunteerism or civic engagement, we want to recognize youth who are making a difference in the community. Being a youth is no easy matter; everybody knows that it is a period of rapid change and development. Transitioning through educational institutions, entering the workforce and, indeed, developing a true notion of self causes much stress. Youth who are engaged in affecting change in their community, on top of dealing with the general day-to-day

affairs of being a youth, are actively demonstrating leadership capacities. They care about the community and are committed to its future sustainability. For these reasons, we kindly request youth who are actively involved in the community to apply at windsoryouth.com. If you know of a youth who matches these criteria please pass this information along. Indeed, youth will grow up to become the community leaders who set the direction that the city moves towards. Recognizing them for their efforts at a young age helps to foster a feeling of attachment and belonging to their community.

99% 67% 65% 6% FEEL SAFE ON TRAILS & PATHS

FEEL SAFE ON MAJOR ROADS WITH BIKE LANES

FEEL SAFE ON RESIDENTIAL STREETS

FEEL SAFE ON MAJOR ROADS WITHOUT BIKE LANES


ideas issue

the

HYPER LOC AL SHOPPING had an idea for a better, more ecofriendly toothbrush a few years back. The concept consisted of a reusable body with a slot for replaceable heads. There are plastic ones on the market, I know. But mine would be locally made of polished and gleaming stainless steel, quite elegant in design. Something you wouldn’t mind forgetting out on the sink when guests came by. The replacement heads were to be made of wood while the bristles ... well, I never got that far. I never got so far as to realize the material of the bristles. Horsehair. Didn’t they use horsehair for almost everything back in the day? I don’t know.

I

Anyhow, I thought it was a great idea. As for selling it, I didn’t give that much thought. I didn’t know how I was going to make it, let alone sell it. I had a vague idea that it would line the shelves of stores such as the ecologically-minded ShopEco in Walkerville, where I sometimes bought my daughters’ bubble bath. “To be successful in retail you have to understand how retail works,” said Anita Kasier, who co-owns ShopEco with her husband Richard Adshead.

Both local producers, Faerhaven makes different varieties of soap, while Ecological Economical makes shampoos and the Boris the Hippo’s bubble bath I buy for my kids. Both sell successfully at ShopEco. Sweet Pits is another locally-made product carried by the store. It’s made by local pharmacist Vikki Columbus, who came up with the idea after several of her friends and family expressed the desire for a more health-friendly deodorant. For Columbus, producing Sweet Pits deodorant is a combined altruistic and money-generating endeavour. “I’ve become a lot more health conscious in terms of what I’m eating, in terms of what I’m putting on my skin,” Columbus told me. “I started using natural deodorant products, but there wasn’t anything out there that I liked. So, I researched and started making my own. I played around with the formula and found something that I was happy with.” When her friends expressed an interest in her product, Vicki started making small batches and selling them through ShopEco. “I simply approached Anita about selling some there. And that’s how it came to fruition.” Columbus isn’t a traditional pharmacist. She works for a pharmacist benefit management company in the U.S. that arms her with a fair amount of experience in business plans, recall plans, risk management plans and all the sort of plans that make going into business for oneself a little less trepidatious.

Ok. Those were details I hadn’t considered. My toothbrush idea didn’t have any actual marketing plan. It didn’t even have proper bristles.

She’ll use her arsenal of knowledge if she decides to take her product outside of Windsor. But for now, she’ll keep things small.

“There are definitely products that just don’t sell,” Kasier continued. “When your talking handmade or when it’s more artisan, it’s a higher price point. That has to come into consideration. There is a threshold, there’s a line where people aren’t going to pay for the product. You have to take that into consideration as well when you are making something.

“My vision is to use this area as a test market before I do anything formal in terms of a business plan,” she said. “I want it to see what the level of interest is before I go through all the work”

“People like Faerhaven, people like Ecological Economical, they figured this out and it works.”

Treasures and Trinkets in Olde Sandwich Towne is owned by Melissa Piva. The store operates as a collective. One-hundred per cent of sales go to the maker, but the maker must also pay for a portion of the stores rent and utilities each month.

“It’s an opportunity for (sellers) to establish themselves and build up a clientele by having their stuff somewhere where people can actually find it, instead of chasing them from show to show. We’re basically operating as a non-profit.” Participants have grown from eight when the store opened in November to over 25. It’s up to the seller to advertise their product as the collective has no budget for marketing.

Kaiser of ShopEco did tell me one interesting fact that pretty much sounded its death knell. We were talking about stainless steel water bottles. Now a bottle isn’t a toothbrush, I know, but I can assume that the production of the one item is fairly similar to the production of the other. “Canada doesn’t make stainless steel bottles,” she told me. “If you made a stainless steel bottle in Canada it would be $50 to $60. Nobody’s willing to pay that.” I’ll hazard the same goes for stainless steel toothbrushes. Nobody’s going to pay that money for a toothbrush. Treasures and Trinkets in Olde Sandwich Towne is located at 3214 Sandwich St. ShopEco is at 624 Chilver Rd.

“Some of the people that we have, they’ve been doing craft shows for years. They have clientele that they can send to us,” Piva remarked. “Some of them are brand new and haven’t even set up a sale before. Some of them are just trying it for the first time ever to see if what they’re making will sell. I can’t judge whether or not their stuff is going to sell. I can give them feedback if they want my opinion on it.” Piva said the store has generated a lot of interest and new sellers approach her all the time. “Most of them are pretty interested because it costs less for them to have their stuff in the shop for a month than it is for them to set up at one to two craft shows.”

qLOCALY MADE AND SOLD PRODUCTS • PHOTO STEPHEN HARGREAVES

“Lots of people think they can come in with a product and I get 10 per cent and that’s how it works. When you set retail pricing you have to work back to wholesale pricing and you have to make sure you have enough margin in there for yourself and that it’s worth your while.”

“We’re trying to help people in the craft show (circuit),” Piva told me at the Sandwich Street store. “There are a lot of people setting up and taking down every weekend and setting up the next weekend, and they had nowhere to put their stuff during the week. So, the purpose of this shop is to offer people a place to have their stuff displayed on a monthly basis.”

Getting back to my locally-made metal toothbrush idea,

IF IT AINT BROKE ... LOUISEJONES owner, jones & co. vintage, dig windsor Fix Windsor? The word fix alludes to something that is broken. Instead, I see the current state of Windsor as a blank canvas. I believe we face a similar question that has confronted many great North American cities searching for an identity in a post industrial society. Windsor and her industry economy

have nurtured and supported residents and their families for generations. Starting as far back as the 1920s, people migrated to Windsor for a better life. A factory or construction paycheck could afford a family a home, car, medical and even dental care, and the possibility of future considerations for their children. And that wasn’t just enough, that was the dream. A lot has been forgotten in a few short years; prosperity has changed us. The

world has changed rapidly, and so has Windsor and its inhabitants. We not only want more, we expect more. Windsor is unique among other Canadian cities; a person can carve out the life of their choosing here. Windsorites enjoy a city with a low crime rate, affordable real estate and a comparatively low cost of living. Residents can buy a home, have the size of family of their choosing and enjoy a quality of life often unattainable in other Canadian cities. As well, our proximity to Detroit grants us unparalleled access

to world class arts and entertainment. The complaining that is commonplace in our city (and in our world) too often takes the place of action. Our modern penchant for instant results has us lacking the patience and drive that is required to effect lasting changes in our city. The answer lies within us. To paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, ‘be the change you want to see.’

the ideas issue • theLANCE • APRIL.18.2O12 • 11

JOHNDOHERTY sports editor


the

ideas issue

HOW DO WE FIX OUR CITY? MARKBOSCARIOL owner, tecumseh roadhouse & walkermole founder, windsor international film festival To help Windsor, we must start in the centre and work our way outwards just like Detroit is doing by focusing on its downtown, Midtown and Tech Town. Begin with the area from Sandwich Street to the eastern edge of Pillette Village, south to Tecumseh Road. It’s not coincidental that this footprint envelops all the BIAs, whose business owners and residents volunteer time and money to show their pride in their neighbourhoods. Pride is the foundation on which to build a better city. Those BIAs contain the majority of arts, heritage and pride-filled local independent businesses which are Windsor’s cultural identity. How can we help these areas? Easy. Repopulate them. The best subsidy the arts, cultural or business sectors can be given is by having more patrons walk through their doors. Residents who live in walkable neighbourhoods will choose businesses and arts and cultural institutions and groups they find in those neighbourhoods. You put those people through those doors and you will make them sustainable and independent of taxpayer subsidies. No matter what the problem the core faces, whether it be crime, fractured vision, unmanaged nightlife or any other problem, more residents in the core is part of the solution. This is why I believe the province was right to demand residential intensification plans from its municipalities and why it has been wrong for Windsor to only pay lip service to those plans. London, Ont. has built four large residential towers since it offered downtown residential focused Tax Incentive Financing decades ago. Those towers deliver valuable income to the city’s tax rolls.

the ideas issue • theLANCE • APRIL.18.2O12 • 12

This letter isn’t the cheap vitriol spit out by those who only criticize and demonize targets of their hatred and collective self loathing. No, I am writing to identify a root problem and offer solutions. Windsor needs to set specific targets of how many more residents it wants to gain and come up with a specific plan on how to bring them to the core. We need to survey casino and downtown workers to identify why they are choosing not to live downtown instead of speculating with anecdotal evidence. Then the city and volunteers must address those concerns. It must concretely address any impediments identified by statistical evidence from surveys instead of looking for the next magic bullet in some crystal ball. The appropriate city departments and organizations must work with the University of Windsor and with resident and business groups to market and promote the benefits of living in walkable neighbourhoods; neighbourhoods that provide not only healthy, fun, cultural and educational amenities, but save the drive time.

TOMLUCIER co-owner, phog lounge Windsor isn’t short on ideas. It’s short on action.

JASONRANKIN university of windsor student Windsor needs jobs. Finding a job in the City of Roses can be a pain. It has the highest unemployment rate in the country, a whopping 10.7 per cent as of March. Adding to this, job venues in the city are shutting down. Zellers on Huron Church Road is set to close on June 2. On the bright side, that means amazing bargains. But the precious savings come at a price of about 80 workers losing their jobs. Several more jobs went up in flames on April 9, when the Dollarama of the East Park Centre plaza burned to the ground. Several other buildings were damaged as well. The entire plaza has been shut down. A workplace being shut down or burned down means no work for the employees. What can the city do about this? Well, nobody can go back and stop the fire from occurring in the first place. A speedy recovery and support to those who were affected is the most that can be done. Take a walk down Wyandotte Street from the University of Windsor to the city’s centre. Too lazy? Well, drive or bus it. Take note of the boarded up buildings. Those are spaces where business can take place. Each building ripe with business means jobs are up for grabs. The city has to shake hands with the big businesses, wink a little to entice them, and open its arms to the jobs they’ll bring in. The city has to also convince its people to take a risk with it. Take subsidies for example, they’re great for encouraging people to take a gamble and start their own business. What’s the city have to lose? Now, back to hunting for a job.

JEANNEDESLIPPE centre for enterprise and law, university of windsor Windsor needs to focus on its historical importance, as one of the first communities in Upper Canada. It also needs charm in a big way. I would like to see University Avenue and Sandwich Street full of European style bistros, awnings, sidewalk cafes and other small businesses, with quaint streetscaping and light fixtures, along with street banners proclaiming ‘historic Windsor’ or something to that effect. The area was first settled by the French, the Hurons and Assumption Church, which I believe is the oldest Catholic Church established in Upper Canada. Why does the city not focus on these facts? People from all over cruise right on through to go to historic Amherstburg on a sunny day. University Avenue and the west end have been sorely neglected. The proximity of the University of Windsor to University Avenue would encourage more staff and faculty to reside in this end of town if it wasn’t so bleak looking.

Many would suspect that I’d ramble on and on about how to make the cultural scene stronger, or how independent music isn’t being appreciated enough. Forget that. The cultural scene, creatively, is healthy. Bands come and go. Great music, art and theatre is being produced daily. Bureaucracy, funding and municipal involvement is garbage. We don’t need it. You, creative person reading this ... you don’t need it. The things that come along with it, the games and butt-kissing ... you don’t want it, trust me. Grassroots and collaboration all the way. It’s the only way I’ve done anything in Windsor that made me feel good about my time spent on a project. What Windsor needs, in my humble opinion, is to be livable. It isn’t. It’s not a place a young person with any sense would want to stay and live within. Everything is so far apart. Bike-living (especially for a new parent) is almost impossible. It’s an environmental nightmare. No one thinking of having a family should even consider this town for the simple fact that the one thing that needs the most attention (having a livable, breathable community) is the one thing we do almost nothing to improve. Children born into this city have higher chances of countless sicknesses, asthma and cancer. A young creative person that knows jobs are scarce in the higher-skilled workforce (especially tech) that want to raise a HEALTHY family should turn tail and RUN, not walk, away from this city. Until the city government and residents of this town make our health and high-skilled jobs an issue, talent (youth) retention will be a futile attempt. Anyone without ties to this town is a flight risk, and for good reason. That reason has nothing to do with a lack of cultural robustness or access to an amazing lifestyle. It has to do with being able to get a job despite nepotism and favouritism, being paid what you’re worth, and living in the knowledge that you can raise a family without the fear of getting very sick while very young. Windsor needs to address these two major issues to keep the brightest from fleeing. If I wasn’t riveted here with my child, family and business, I’d be long gone.


the

ideas issue

A VIDEO TALE OF 2 CITIES IN 12 MUSIC VIDEOS JOSHKOLM arts editor t the beginning of March, a pair of Windsor-based filmmakers sent out an open call for submissions to Le Twelve, a project that will produce 12 music videos for 12 different Toronto- and Windsor-based musicians at no cost.

A

Both recent graduates of the University of Windsor’s Communication, Media and Film program, Catrina Franzoi and Daniela Bumbacco started LadyMeta Productions in the summer of 2011. LadyMeta began with the understanding that they were entering an industry where there has generally been a lack of female perspective behind the camera. “That was part of the reason for the name, to emphasize the point that we are females doing what has typically been a male job,” Franzoi said. Le Twelve project is also being produced in conjunction with Envoi Entertainment, a company started by former Windsor business students Chris Connelly and Francesco Loshiavo. “We are doing this for free, but at the same time, we don’t want to go broke,” Franzoi said. Bands stand to benefit from the free service, but LadyMeta have their own

gains in mind for the Le Twelve project. While they don’t want to be making music videos forever, it provides them with a chance to develop artistically and professionally. “Music videos are a step to get up to what we want to do, a way to get better with our skills and hone in on what our style is,” Bumbacco said. “Eventually, we want to work on short films and feature films, and then we want to change the Canadian film industry.” While that last part was said in jest, the realities of being filmmakers in Canada— and being part of a contingent that helps make sure “the talent we have in Canada stays in Canada”— have been constant considerations for the pair. “It feels like for a lot of the talent in Canada, we’re here but no one knows we’re here,” Franzoi said, comparing the Canadian and American industries. “In Canada, we don’t have the audiences or the financial means to really get things done.” The “us vs. America” frame that many Canadian filmmakers think within could also be applied to filmmakers in Windsor, who often have to compete with perceptions that the city is a less legitimate home for filmmakers compared to Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver. But in light of that, music videos have

TWO WINDSOR FILMMAKERS HOPE TO MAKE 12 MUSIC VIDEOS FOR $0 • PHOTO JOSH KOLM

become an increasingly popular phenomenon in Windsor in recent years. “All the resources are easier to get in Windsor,” Bumbacco said. “In Toronto, everything is bigger and nobody cares, and people are really concerned more with themselves. It’s more segregated and they think, ‘what can you offer us?’ In Windsor, it’s a community, where people are more willing to help because they’re building the arts.” Franzoi said music videos seem like a more obtainable goal for Windsorites. “I think when it comes to filmmaking— not music video making, but filmmaking— in Windsor, people aren’t used to that yet. I feel like because so many mu-

sic videos get made here, you’re getting more used to hearing it. When you tell someone you’re making a film, it’s like, ‘oh, cool.’ But when it’s a music video, they say, ‘that’s so cool, what band?’” The pair is hoping to get musicians from a wide an array of genres to explore as many creative possibilities as they can. Six bands have been chosen for the project, but they are leaving the remaining spots open for different stylistic opportunities that may arise after the videos start getting released. Franzoi said that stylistic difference is what will allow them to hopefully stand out from the increasingly crowded output of videos in the city.


ideas issue

OPPORTUNITIES FOR A BROKEN CITY JUSTINLANGLOIS research director, broken city lab Dear Windsor,

100 WAYS TO SAVE THE CITY PROJECTION (2009)

MAKE THIS BETTER (2010 – ONGOING)

…AND THEN THE CITY: BRAND NEW ENDINGS FOR CITIES TELLING THE SAME OLD STORIES (2010)

As you well know, over the past few years there are many things that may have seemed like crises. There has been considerable time, effort and resources spent in attempting to articulate a response to these crises— a vision of sorts to help us find a way forward. However, what you may not know is that in many cases, the crises were really opportunities in disguise. So, understandably, it may be that over the past few years, we missed out on those particular opportunities. So, to follow that line of thinking, it may be that there has been too much time spent on a vision of sorts that concerns itself only with opportunities that are based upon economic plans, tax bases and bureaucratic infrastructures. And, certainly, these kinds of opportunities were likely invented as needed, and so, this kind of vision is actually quite dull and ineffective. Now, the opportunities that come directly from crises are actually true responses, and the vision that might come from those opportunities could be worth pursuing, if we can avoid missing the cues. In hopes of not missing out on further cues of opportunities as crises, it may be helpful to make a short list of some ideas that are in the spirit of the latter kind of vision mentioned above. But, in doing so, we would be presented with a new complication, as one kind of vision is certainly not “the vision.” So, instead, it may be more helpful to offer some general themes that could lead towards a conversation about the idea of vision. But then, in that generality is almost certainly suffocation and inevitable frustration. So, it may actually be most helpful to stop trying to orchestrate things that are subsequently framed as vision and instead turn to the small things already happening across the city as a site of vision(s).

tBROKEN CITY LAB PROJECTS {BROKENCITYLAB.ORG}

A city like Windsor misses out on an opportunity that may have looked like a crisis because there’s a deeprooted belief in the idea of a vision— that is, a sweeping, politically-articulated, economically-tethered all-encompassing plan of sorts. However, to look at other cities that are widely and collectively appreciated (from both those inside and from the outside), it is clear that there would be no way to orchestrate the small, incredible things that happened over time and made these cities the places they are today. And, as you can imagine, in many cases these small, incredible things are now desperately trying to work against instances of vision that threaten to disrupt the very thing that made them so incredible (and in turn, so valuable to the vision) in the first place. So, perhaps instead of framing vision as a large umbrella that attempts to bring all things under its shield, we need to think about vision as a foundation upon which new, strange, complex, unrecognizable things can be built and supported— a vision that moves to where these things are, rather than trying to bring these things to it. Opportunities that arise today and tomorrow will likely be the result of something going wrong, in an immediate sense. Opportunities are not necessarily to be taken advantage of, but are to be the basis upon which we can start having new conversations. Not every crisis can lead to an immediately recognizable opportunity, and not every opportunity is worth conversing over, but if we are going to indeed think about this city as not just a place that exists (and certainly, we must absolutely think about the city in this way), but a place that is produced, collectively, every day, through every relationship, and with every action, then the one thing the city can do is to stop pretending to create a vision that waits for everything to move closer to it and instead offer deep and committed support to the small, incredible things already happening here. With sincerity, Justin A. Langlois

tILLUSTRATION • MATTHEW A. TERRY

NEVERENDING IDEAS DANIELVICTOR musician, neverending white lights

3. A QUALITY 24-HOUR DOWNTOWN RESTAURANT

Dear Windsor,

Windsor has a reputation for being Sin City, with a plentiful district of bars, nightlife and booming Mexico-like streets of action and partying. After hours, where do all these people shuffle to? Shwarma joints or fast food. Most cities have some type of dinner or restaurant that can do all types of food, 24-7. When I toured this country with my band, we were always looking for great late-night spots. Or at least something that’s not fast food at 3 a.m. It’s a staple of a memorable city, and something that there is a huge demand for.

When I think about my hometown, it always brings warm memories and pride. It’s my favourite place to go back to when I’m travelling or on the road, not just because I grew up here, but because it genuinely feels like no place else. Today, I wanted to share some ideas that could potentially make this city even stronger. What could Windsor benefit from? 1. AN ART FILM THEATRE I’m a movie lover, and I can tell you there is an increasing demand to see movies that are critically acclaimed, limited released and film festival-type in nature. The major blockbusters will always have their place and business. What we don’t have is a place to see all the other films, just slightly off the radar. For example, The Artist won Best Picture Of The Year at the 2012 Oscars, yet, it was barely available to watch in theatres anywhere in Windsor. I went to the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak to see it, and other fantastic pictures last year. There’s an obvious market for these movies but we have no access to them. The Windsor International Film Festival is great for the city and boasts bigger crowds every year, but it’s incredibly shortlived, lasting only a weekend. If we’ve established an audience for film in Windsor, we should offer a place to see these more limited-release movies. The theatre could be used to show classics on special nights or weekends. This is a tactic used by a number of these places to reach a wider audience and offer a special movie going experience to the city. 2. BETTER RETAIL STORES In my personal opinion and experience with my hometown of Windsor, I can never quite remember a time when it had it’s fair share of good clothing stores. Devonshire Mall is a staple to our community, and it provides a lot of convenient options for the public, but really nothing in the way of quality men’s fashion. I think I speak for a majority of people in the 20 to 40 age bracket who spend a lot of money and time shopping across the border at the Somerset Collection. The choice of stores in our mall has always been puzzling to me. Besides the basics and the casual, there’s not much there for men, and a lot of people agree our options are slim. Of course, Freeds has always been the main stay department store of the city, but with its rich history and older clientele, it’s not quite a hotspot with the newer generation. Windsor Crossing Outlet Mall is a beautiful outdoor environment, but with very few options again. The pricey Hugo Boss caters to a middle age demographic, and the Guess outlet is predominately women’s fare. A lot of these places also feel dated to me. Where is the good shopping? Shouldn’t we have something?

A 24-hr downtown area diner would be a great addition to the city, such as Fran’s Diner in Toronto, Coney Island in Michigan, Dunn’s Famous in Montreal, etc. I can’t express how many times I’ve been driving around on a Tuesday night after midnight with no place to eat! I know from spending time in downtown Royal Oak, Mich., the 24-hr Leo’s Coney Island is absolutely jammed packed with business on the weekends all night long. And on weeknights, after the dinner rush, you’ll find students and casual folks hanging out, munching down. In my travel experiences, this sort of thing seems to be a staple for most communities, so I’ve always thought Windsor needed one. 4. MID-SIZE CONCERT VENUES & PROMOTERS Over the years we’ve been left off the concert map for the most part. Being involved in this industry myself, my agency always tells me that “Canada ends at London, and Detroit takes the rest.” When the casino began bringing in major acts, it lifted our cities morale, business and status immensely. For the upper echelon of touring acts, this is one of my favourite additions to Windsor over the years. However, what we’re still without is a proper small- to mid-size venue that could accommodate the huge number of acts that fall into this category. We’ve tried the Capitol Theatre, but it’s too big and it’s a soft-seated theatre. Phog Lounge is the leading venue in the city for small indie acts, but its size renders it too small for any audience larger than 80. The Loop is a great venue, but used for live entertainment very infrequently. With a proper and consistent venue, our local acts will have a ‘go-to’ place to put on local shows and bring in outside bands. The bands I often go to Detroit to see with friends are the ones we’d love to have here in Windsor. Venues like St. Andrews Hall, Clutch Cargos, The Crowfoot, The Magic Stick, and The Majestic have a world-wide reputation and bring in fans around the 200-500 crowd mark. Now that we’re booming with bigger concerts, why ignore this huge market of artists and bands. Let’s bring them into the city! It will give our local scene some new life, and some new blood.

the ideas issue • theLANCE • APRIL.18.2O12 • 15

the


live & learn s in t he he a r t o f c a m pu

Who doesn't want to sleep in every morning? When you live on campus you can just keep pressing the snooze button.

yet another great reason to live in rez. Come to Residence where you...

❑ have a 5-minute walk to class ❑ eliminate the rising cost of a daily commute ❑ have no monthly bills to worry about

Fully furnished single rooms availabe in Alumni Hall, Electa Hall and Clark Residence

signing up is easy! Go to www.uwindsor.ca/residence

Issue 29, Volume 84 - The Lance  

The Lance is the official student newspaper of the University of Windsor and the second largest newspaper in the city! The newspaper offers...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you