Archive | November, 2015

Sinthu Kula aka Sin City

Posted on 26 November 2015 by admin

KAAVIA 

Sinthu Kula is her name, but she is also known as the stylist Sin City. You can see Sinthu’s most recent work in OHM magazine. Here is her story.

Sinthu began styling when she realized her passion for helping friends and family put together outfits through the years. In 2014, she launched her blog 1022, where she had the opportunity to delve deeper into the world of fashion and style. Blogging and styling is a way for her to showcase her “crazy” ideas to the universe, inspire others and have fun with fashion.

Says Sinthu, “Emphasis on the ideas brought forth by fashion can be found anywhere and everywhere. It is truly about how you wear it versus where it’s from. The best part about fashion is that there is so much room to be creative and make something your own. The possibilities are truly endless!”

Sinthu works alone and is determined to take the fashion world by storm. Each of her posts are unique and creative. She is always finding ways to make current fashion trends her own by infusing a little bit of Sin City to her posts.

Growing up, she believed that stepping out of her comfort zone was something she needed to do, and her blog allowed exactly that. She has hopes to be found deeper in the fashion industry, and that her creativity and passion will open those doors for her.

Sinthu’s first memory is when she was watching the Oscars Red Carpet show. She fell in love with the various gowns she saw and imagined herself in those gowns as well. She would then draw these gowns with her own flair. Sinthu knew from then on that fashion would be in her future.

The most challenging aspect of styling is that sometimes bringing a vision to life comes with a budget. This is where Sinthu likes to use to the term “#DivaOnADime”.

A memorable moment for Sinthu was the opportunity to work with individuals to bring her visions to life. She worked with various photoshoots as a stylist and was honoured to have full creative control in those shoots. She also organized and styled her first runway show for OHM magazine. It was an experience like no other and gave her a glimpse into the process involved.

Says Sinthu, “Styling isn’t just a ‘let’s go shopping and that’s it’ kind of job. It actually takes a lot of thought and preparation for each style piece.”

With this said, Sinthu has met several talented individuals along the way, which helps her stay motivated in the industry. As a stylist, it can be a tough world out there as she is always sought for fashion advice from friends and family. But she encourages everyone to pursue their passion in fashion. Dare to be different!

Sinthu’s day job is as an occupational therapist, and she is a fashion blogger by night. She loves the gym, is a foodie at heart, a traveler by storm, has the soul of a dancer and is a shopaholic. But really, who isn’t right?

In the next few months, you can see Sinthu taking her blog to a whole new level, and she will be creating and collaborating with several like-minded individuals.

This is indeed a space to watch so stay tuned for more of Sin City!

You can find Sinthu’s stylings here:
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Kaavia

Kaavia has a passion for helping others and bringing the right attention to talented souls. She’s really bad at singing, resisting chocolate temptations, controlling her love for her puppy, instagramming and hiding her feelings. You can email her at kaavia@tamilculture.com.

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Make police chiefs obey board policies: Editorial

Posted on 26 November 2015 by admin

A major issue remains unresolved even as regulations to fix “carding” move well beyond the halfway point of a 45-day public review. It doesn’t involve specific proposed reforms, but rather the power of local police boards to implement change.

Simply put, some police chiefs have blatantly refused to carry out modifications to carding. And as a result, there needs to be clarity on precisely who is in charge of Ontario’s municipal police forces — civilian governing boards or the chiefs themselves?

It will be hard to deliver lasting improvement if chiefs remain free to obfuscate and block reform at the local level. That’s why the Ontario Association of Police Services Boards is right to call for more authority for its members. Civilian oversight boards need clear and explicit power to ensure that their policy directives are, in fact, carried out.

That hasn’t happened in the past, especially on the divisive issue of carding or “street checks.” When members of the Peel Police Services Board voted to suspend the controversial practice this fall, Chief Jennifer Evans flatly refused to obey the group’s instruction. “Street checks will continue in Peel,” she informed the board.

Former Toronto police chief Bill Blair wasn’t quite so blunt when his board passed a series of carding policy reforms last year. The changes would have required officers to have a valid public safety reason for stopping people to ask a series of often-intrusive questions. Individuals who were stopped were to be informed of their right to walk away without giving answers, and officers were supposed to issue a receipt to anyone who was carded, recording details of the interaction.

Ironically, such changes form the basis of new Ontario regulations designed to “expressly prohibit the random and arbitrary collection of identifying information by police.” This is a sound and long overdue policy shift. But when Blair was presented with similar reforms in April, 2014, he failed to carry them out. He waffled and dithered for almost a year and then attempted a watered-down compromise that succeeded only in angering advocates who were demanding real change.

Alok Mukherjee, former chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, explained that he initially backed Blair’s inadequate half-measure in order to end a “standoff” that could have resulted in costly litigation. “Nobody wants to go to war with the chief,” Mukherjee said. But nobody should have to do that – certainly not the members of a civilian board who have been given the specific task of overseeing a police service.

Unfortunately, there’s a jurisdictional grey area in policing that’s causing this confusion. Civilian boards aren’t supposed to meddle in the day-to-day operation of a police service. This makes good sense — a civilian panel doesn’t have the expertise, for example, to investigate a homicide. But intransigent chiefs have cited their operational independence to resist policies they don’t like, such as reform of carding, and that goes too far.

As reported by the Star’s Wendy Gillis, Ontario’s police services boards want the province to end the vagueness that now exists and make it explicitly clear that chiefs must implement policies set by the boards that oversee them. Queen’s Park shouldn’t hesitate to do so.

The principle of civilian oversight of police is poorly served when top officers are allowed to ignore policy directives issued by a duly empowered board. Chiefs shouldn’t set the rules; their job is to enforce them.

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We will welcome Syrian refugees – Premier Wynn says at an Ottawa mosque

Posted on 26 November 2015 by admin

These are excerpts of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s speech at an Ottawa mosque. She was accompanied by MPP Yasir Naqvi

We’ve all been touched, every single one of us have been touched by this tragedy directly or indirectly. And it’s our responsibility to support and pray for world leaders as they make decisions. It’s almost impossible for any of us not feel anger at this kind of violence. But it’s our responsibility as Canadian to make sure that we guard against the fear and that we resist blame that can lead to racism and to hatred. In these moments, it’s extremely important that we reinforce our Canadians values that are inclusive, that are based in compassion and that understand that as human beings we all want to find a way to live peacefully together. That is the Canadian value system. The reason I’m here today is that I know you share those values and I want to be here to say to you we are with you and we want make sure that all of the reasons that all of us came to this country because except for our aboriginal people every one of us came from somewhere else; some of us came six generation ago; some of us came six months ago; some of us came six days ago. But we all came from somewhere else to build a harmonious diverse society that values inclusion and compassion. In my riding in Toronto, I was shocked to hear about the young Muslim mother who was viciously attack while she picking up her children from school. I had the opportunity meet with her last night. I went to her home; I sat with her and with her children and I could feel the fear that is in that household because she was attacked outside her school, her children’s school. She was punched, she was called a terrorist. She was told to go home. She was born in Toronto. She was born and raised in Toronto. So that kind of hatred is what we have to guard against right now at this moment in our history because you know and I know that hatred is not going to defeat hatred. Only love is going to defeat hatred. And so hard as it is, angry as we feel about the violence, we have to find a way to tap into that love, that compassion that makes us Canadian, that makes us who we are. So I want to just say to you that that is why being welcoming and open and inclusive, those Canadian values, that’s why Ontario was one of the first provinces to call for Canada to open its doors to Syrian refugees. That that humanitarian crisis calls on us to demonstrate who we are in the world. We remain committed to welcoming thousands of the refugees that our federal government has said that they will bring to Canada in the near future. We are in the process right now, Minister Naqvi is one of the members of our government who is engaged in making sure that we are ready to receive those refugees.

We remain determined to welcome thousands of refugees and are in solidarity with our federal counterpart, which is preparing to welcome refugees in the near future.

The attacks in Paris were an act of terrorists. They were not born of religion because religion has no place for hate. It has no place for hate. So that is why I wanted to come today. It is now more important than ever to show kindness and love to one another. I want to thank everyone in the Muslim community for your compassion, your openness, your immense contributions to our society.

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Balanced approach needed, say Conservatives

Posted on 26 November 2015 by admin

The Hon. Ed Fast, Official Opposition Critic for Environment and Climate Change, has challenged the Liberal government to ensure that Canada’s economic interests aren’t sacrificed as the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris approaches. Prime Minister Trudeau is meeting with provincial and territorial leaders today to discuss, among other things, what contributions the provinces and territories will make towards achieving Canada’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

The Conservative Party has always said that reducing greenhouse gas emissions must be done in a balanced way,” said Fast. “Addressing the challenges of climate change and preserving our environment for future generations must always be balanced with protecting ongoing economic growth and job creation.”

Fast pointed out that the Liberal government is using the INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) targets the Conservative government set, namely a 30% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030 over 2005 levels. This is an ambitious goal that reflects Canada’s willingness to do its part in addressing global GHG emissions.

“We are pleased that the Liberal government has adopted the Conservative greenhouse gas emission reduction targets,” said Fast. “At the same time, Canadians have a right to expect that any new national commitments taken in Paris are part of a larger global agreement that includes all major emitters, does not unfairly penalize Canada’s energy industry, and maintains our economic competitiveness.”

Fast encouraged the Canadian delegation at COP21 to take seriously the concerns raised by some provincial and territorial governments with respect to the negative impacts COP21 commitments might have on their economies. He noted the harsh economic consequences which the decline in global oil prices has had and continues to have on the energy sector. “Now is not the time to impose further punitive measures on an industry that is currently struggling with low global prices, yet still employs hundreds of thousands of Canadians,” said Fast.

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The War Against ISIL Begins With The Battle For The Refugees

Posted on 26 November 2015 by admin

Reut Amit

Toronto

In 1939, 907 Jewish refugees made the harrowing journey to Canada aboard the transatlantic liner, the St. Louis. Women. Children. Innocent people. They were, of course, seeking life. Life which was promptly denied by the Canadian Government of Mackenzie King as they were turned back to Germany to be tortured, raped, gassed, murdered. Because they were Jews. As many people believe about Syrians and Iraqis running for their lives today, it was widely believed at the time that Jews could not conform to the laws of the land and could not change their cultural and religious beliefs in order to assimilate into Canadian society.

Only 5,000 Jewish refugees were permitted to enter Canada during the twelve years of the Nazi regime. I remember learning, as a child, about Prime Minister Mackenzie King and my country’s general policy of “none is too many”. Learning that I was one of the too many. I can still feel the distinct sting of that betrayal.

Today, people in positions of leadership and power are equating refugees with the terrorists they are fleeing simply because they are Muslims. Indeed, the only correlation between the Syrian and Iraqi refugees and the Paris murderers is that they identify as Muslims. It appears that most and possibly all of the terrorists in Paris were Belgian and French nationals. Nevertheless, many continue to conflate the two and to urge our governments to close our doors. Like the statesmen of 1938, including the American President at the time, they see a fifth column among the sea of the suffering.

The cruelty of ISIL is matched only by its shrewd assessment of the West. The masterminds of the Paris attacks were keenly aware of the seething anti-Muslim bigotry that bubbles just below the surface of our society. This knowledge allowed them to recruit us in their mission, to make us an accessory to the operation, which continues to play out. Like all ISIL operations, the intention of Paris was not a hit-and-run styled murder. It was thoughtful, intended to invoke psychological and emotional pain, intended to threaten the very ideals we presume to be fighting for, undercutting. It was intended to confirm for these refugees that they cannot escape the long-reaching arm of ISIL; that even if their children have escaped the blades of ISIL’s swords, they will not escape the West’s leveraged hatred in what is becoming a two-front war against these victims. It was intended to make us live up to the cruel effigy of the West that ISIL propagates to their followers, to use our reaction to the refugees as promotional material in their recruitment endeavors and radicalization agenda.

Our fear and hatred of the “other” is so dependable that they factored it into their strategy so that, once again, innocents will be delivered into the hands of murderers.

A fake Syrian passport left at the scene of the attack by one of the attackers was all that was needed. A moment of common sense reflection should have suggested that this was a mere ploy to stigmatize innocent refugees who had escaped the grasp of ISIL. The attacker certainly wouldn’t need it where he was going. Moments after the passport emerged, experts and academics took to the media telling us that it would have been uncharacteristic and inefficient for ISIL to smuggle its own through the refugee channels rather than activate an agent already abroad, because as we learned from the Paris attackers, many members of ISIL hold Western passports. Not that this reasoning would have any bearing on those eager to justify their hatred. A fake passport. Almost childish in its simplicity.

But they believed it would be enough. These murderers believed that all they needed was to provide the spark. We had prepared the kindling on the hearth. They believed that we would lay the blame at the refugees’ feet in spite of ISIL’s agenda of ethnic cleansing of Shia Muslims. They believed that our assessment of the fault would ignore the fact that 130 innocent Muslim civilians killed at the hands of ISIL in Syria and Iraq is a number that has long been deemed too small to warrant an international headline. They believed that we would be blind to the orphans, the amputees, the families and see only Muslims. That we would equate the term Muslim — the belief system of 1.6 billion people on this earth — with the term terrorist. Our fear and hatred of the “other” is so dependable that they factored it into their strategy so that, once again, innocents will be delivered into the hands of murderers.

The ease with which so many of us surrender the very ideals we purport to be fighting for is chilling. This war against ISIL is a battle for our humanity. And victory begins with self-reflection. It begins with understanding the toxicity within our society. If we fail to recognize and address the hatred and the bigotry within that allows us to become the tools of our worst enemies, we are, in fact, executing our intended role in their operation.

For this one of many reasons, we must open our hearts and our doors to these innocent victims. If we become the slaves of our own reactions, mindlessly firing no matter at whom we direct our scourge, abandoning our humanity, equating the murderers with those they have murdered, then we have become foot soldiers in their holy war and there remains no battle left to fight. We lose this war by allowing the cancer of this hatred to expand until those values we seek to protect become unrecognizable. Until we become unrecognizable.

I listen to the vitriol spouted at Muslims. I read headlines telling me that my fellow citizens have been attacked in our streets, that mosques have been burned. And I find myself on the St. Louis in 1939. I imagine myself holding my seasick shaking child, revoking the promises of a merciful new land, telling her that perhaps this world is not meant for the innocent. I imagine how I would pray to my God for mercy as Canadian authorities redirect us to the Nazi ovens.

One day, when my child will ask me why the Jews were turned away and sent to their deaths, as I asked my own mother, how will I be prepared to answer? How will I ever again utter the words, “Never Again,” if I do not help today?

Reut Amit

Lawyer writing about gender, public policy, law and politics. Follow her on Twitter @reutamit

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SECOND PHASE OF LOCAL ELECTIONS IN PAKISAN

Posted on 26 November 2015 by admin

Dr. Hasan Askari

  The second round of local government elections was held on November 19, 2015 in 12 districts of Punjab and 14 districts of Sindh. The first round was held on October 31 and the third and final round will be held on December 5, which will complete local government elections in these two provinces. Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa held these elections earlier.

 There was no major surprise in the election results. The PMLN and the PPP maintained their lead in Punjab and Sindh respectively, followed by independents and other political parties.

 In the Punjab, the PMLN secure 1167 seats out of 2399 seats. Independent candidates won 920 seats. Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) obtained 332 seats. The PPP got only 16 seats. The Pakistan AwamiTehrik of Dr. TahirulQadri secured 40 seats. The PMLQ, Jamaat-i-Islami and others also got some seats, ranging from 12 and below.

 In Sindh, it was the PPP that repeated its good performance of the first round. It secured 3274 seats. Independent candidates got 600 seats. The MQM got 499 seats. The PMLN got 75 seats, the PML-Functional obtained 50 seats. The PPP won all district councils in 14 districts. The PPP received one setback. Zulfikar Mirza who defied the PPP leadership to float his group, obtained 230 seats in Badin district. Most of these seats were at the expense of the PPP. Being extremely happy over the performance of his group, Zulfikar Mirza promised to set up a new political party to challenge the PPP in Sindh. The PTI got only 8 seats in Sindh.

 Though the PTI came number three in Punjab, its performance was better than the first round. The PTI leadership complained about the advantage of the ruling party in local elections in the form of availability of state machinery and material resources of the state which they used to their advantage. It expressed satisfaction that it performed better than the first round. However, the PTI is not in position to directly challenge the PMLN in the Punjab. In Sindh, the PTI has not been able to make any noticeable impact on politics.

 In many places in Punjab, the real contest was between the factions of the ruling PMLN. It was in a way the PMLN versus PMLN election because different factions of the party competed with one another. In a situation of factionalism within the PMLN, no one was given the party ticket. All of them contested the election as independent candidates. In the Punjab, there were several instances of the PPP activists contesting elections as independent candidates. They did not seek the PPP ticket. This is understandable because the PPP political standing and reputation has declined in the Punjab.

 It may be mentioned that elections in 76 local councils in Sindh was postponed by the Election Commission a day before the polling. This decision was bitterly criticized by the PPP which was expected to win most of these councils.

 There were more complaints of poor management of the affairs on the polling day. The complaints pertained to inadequate facilities in the polling station, delay in the arrival of the polling staff that delayed the start of voting, printing mistakes on the ballot papers like missing names or signs of the candidates, poor security arrangements.

 There were more incident of violence in and around the polling stations than was the case in the first round. In many places, the voting had to be stopped due to conflict among the supporters of different candidates. However, there were only two deaths on the polling day. This number was far less than the first round. Violence was also reported when the winning candidates celebrated their victories. A few people were injured but no deaths.

 Like the first round of the election, there were instances of exchange of money for votes. This was not a widespread practice but, in many constituencies, the extremely poor families sough money for the votes of the members of the family.

 Similarly, the ruling parties, the PMLN in the Punjab and the PPP in Sindh, had a clear advantage over their political rivals. Their organizational network was strong and effective for mobilization of the voters. They had the advantage of the open or quiet support of local administration like AC, Patwari and Police Station. The opposition candidates face another disadvantage. As the main task of local councils and councilors is to work for welfare of the community, improvement of living conditions and provision of civic facilities, such services cannot be provided without getting funding from the provincial government. The widely shared feeling in the political circles is that the opposition councilors will have problems in getting funds from the provincial government. For example, in the Punjab, the PTI councilor will not get that much cooperation of the provincial government. Therefore, a large number of voters have shown a tendency to vote for the ruling party candidates. Furthermore, the opposition parties did not come forward with a socio-economic program radically different from the PMLN and the PPP. It was therefore understandable that the ruling parties would have an advantage over the opposition.

 The repeat performance of the ruling parties in the two provinces raises one fundamental question that a radical change may not be possible from within the system. The two ruling parties, the PMLN and the PPP, are expected to become overconfident after the completion of local elections and may not change their governance system marked by inefficiency, corruption and using state resources on political consideration. This leaves hardly any room for the improvement of socio-economic conditions of the ordinary people. This can also create a perception of popular support in the PMLN and its leadership may try to push back the military from the current expanded role. If this happens, Pakistan can experience instability and the future of Pakistani democracy can become uncertain.

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Is Narendra Modi facing a mutiny?

Posted on 26 November 2015 by admin

US founding father Thomas Jefferson once said a “little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world, as storms in the physical”.

After suffering two consecutive – and humiliating – defeats in the Delhi and Bihar elections, India’s ruling BJP, many believe, also needed a small rebellion to shake it out of its complacency.

On Tuesday evening, four senior party leaders, led by India’s former deputy prime minister LK Advani, fired what was clearly a broadside against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.

“The principal reason for the latest defeat is the way the party has been emasculated in the last year,” said the leaders in a statement, criticising the party’s campaign strategy after Sunday’s humiliating defeat in Bihar. “A thorough review must be done of the reasons for the defeat as well as the way the party is being forced to kow-tow… and how its consensual character has been destroyed.”

The scathing missive was strategically timed: it came hours after the government eased regulations for foreign direct investment in at least 15 sectors to boost reforms and inject some feel-good before a gloomy Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

The challenge also came ahead of Mr Modi’s much-hyped three-day visit to Britain. It was clearly intended to embarrass the prime minister.

Controversial politician

NilanjanMukhopadhyay, who has written a biography of Mr Modi, says revolt by the party elders – “oldies come out of cocoon”, headlined The Economic Times – is mainly aimed at scuttling BJP president and Mr Modi’s closest aide, Amit Shah‘s chances of beginning a fresh term as party president in January.

Mr Shah, a ruthless tactician, is often described as Mr Modi’s Karl Rove and the man behind the party’s sweeping win in last year’s general election. At 50, he is also one of the youngest presidents of the Hindu nationalist party.

He is also a controversial politician, who is accused of sanctioning the killing of a Muslim civilian in 2005, when he was the home minister of Gujarat state. He spent more than three months in jail after which he was released on bail. Mr Shah denies the charges.

Critics say Mr Modi and Mr Shah, both from Gujarat, have completely taken over the BJP, and are running what used to be a loose, collective and largely democratic party as their private fief.

The duo have also successfully managed to sideline the old guard.

MrAdvani, one of BJP’s architects, was removed from the party’s parliamentary board last year, and kicked upstairs to a newly formed Margdarshak Mandal(guidance committee) an ineffectual body of elders, along with other veterans like former minister, Murli Manohar Joshi, and former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Mr Joshi, still remembered for his incendiary rhetoric in the run up to the 1992 demolition of the Babri mosque by Hindu hardliners, was forced to vacate his parliamentary constituency, Varanasi, to make way for Mr Modi last year.

‘Yesterday’s people’

Clearly, Tuesday’s revolt was initiated by some of the party’s most experienced leaders, but they are in their autumn of their lives, marginalised and ignored by the party – supporters of Mr Modi uncharitably call them yesterday’s people.

They have been seething against what they think is the takeover of the party and government by two upstart outsiders from Gujarat. They are upset with what they – and many in the BJP and government – believe is their centralised, take-no-prisoners style of working. “But they do have moral authority and they have been ignored. They have nothing to lose, and they have spoken,” says analyst Shekhar Gupta.

This rebellion doesn’t really mean that the old guard has been resurrected. “The moral authority of the four elders is being overestimated,” says commentator Ashok Malik. Beyond embarrassing Mr Modi and Mr Shah, it is not clear whether they will be able to force a change in the leadership of the BJP, unless they are joined by the party’s younger and more significant leaders. Mr Modi will be loathe to let go of Mr Shah, who remains his most trusted aide.

Also, despite the recent setbacks, Mr Modi remains the BJP’s most powerful leader, and would possibly win – albeit by a diminished margin – if a general election was held today.

But most believe that this missive may spur the leadership and the party to undergo a course correction: less bombast and hubris while campaigning for votes, listening to and promoting more local leaders, and returning to good old fashioned realpolitik of political give and take.

After all, a small rebellion can be a blessing in disguise.

 

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MARKHAM ARTS COUNCIL RAISES OVER $20,000 AT THEIR INAUGURAL FUNDRAISING GALA – AN AFFAIR FOR THE ARTS

Posted on 26 November 2015 by admin

It was a memorable evening for many of Markham’s dignitaries, business owners, artists and residents. An evening of glamour and glitz, where many gathered to support the inaugural fundraising initiative of the Markham Arts Council, helping raise over $20,000 to support Markham Arts Council’s diverse arts and cultural programs.

Aptly titled “An Affair With the Arts”, the event was attended by as many as 400 guests, and took place at the Grand York Ballroom, Sheraton Parkway Hotel in Richmond Hill on November 20.

“My heartfelt thanks to all the artists, friends and community stakeholders who dedicated their time, energy and creativity to the event. I want to extend my gratitude to the sponsors, donors and guests for their generous and enthusiastic support that helped us raise over $20,000 for a very important cause,” said Gala co-Chair Deepti Aurora, who has in the past raised funds for CNIB, AWIC, Lions Club and The Scarborough Hospital.

The event was also attended by a number of political dignitaries in Markham including Mayor of Markham Frank Scarpitti, who also served as the Honorary Chair for the Gala. “I commend the Markham Arts Council for their dedication to enhancing our community by promoting and fostering the arts, in all its forms. Through their efforts we realize a common appreciation of history and culture that is so essential in our multi-cultural society. As Mayor and Honorary Chair, I am very proud of our community’s strong connection to the arts. I encourage our residents to support the many initiatives of the Markham Arts Council.”

Hosted by Markham’s local celebrities, Keith Chan and AngelieSood, the gala began with a cocktail reception, light jazz music, a display of visual art and a silent auction and had some exquisite performances including dances by the Shiamak Toronto dance team, the Orient Dance Company and fashion shows by local celebrity designers Elina Ten and ShibaniSahney. The Gala also had a live auction segment, with one of the rounds being led by the Mayor of Markham – Frank Scarpitti himself.

“The Markham Arts Council is a non-profit, charitable organization that serves, promotes and cultivates both emerging and established artists”, said Council Chair Jane Milrose. “We enrich the lives of the residents of the City of Markham through arts related experiences and events. Your (the community) support of tonight’s event will allow us to continue to pursue our mandate to build a stronger, more unified arts community that encourages cultural exchange and includes all ages and all forms of art.”

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How Much Sex Should You Have Per Week?

Posted on 26 November 2015 by admin

How much sex is enough? Just once a week is all it takes for optimal happiness among married heterosexual couples and those in long-term relationships, said a U.S. study Thursday.

The findings are based on surveys of more than 30,000 Americans collected over four decades, and are published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

“Although more frequent sex is associated with greater happiness, this link was no longer significant at a frequency of more than once a week,” said lead researcher Amy Muise, a social psychologist and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto-Mississauga.

“Our findings suggest that it’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but you don’t need to have sex everyday as long as you’re maintaining that connection.”

Researchers noted that the study was not designed to show cause-and-effect, so it remains unknown whether happiness leads to weekly sex, or if weekly sex arouses more joy in life.

The study was also limited to people in romantic relationships, not single people.

“In fact, there was no association between sexual frequency and well-being for single people,” said Muise.

The findings were also consistent across age groups, gender and the length of the relationship — whether months or decades.

Muise said couples should discuss whether their sexual needs are being met, rather than simply press for more sex.

“It’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner without putting too much pressure on engaging in sex as frequently as possible,” she said.

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One Weird Trick to Stay asleep All Night

Posted on 26 November 2015 by admin

A new natural sleep aid is helping thousands of sleep better.

Did you know that people who get enough sleep (about 7–9 hours a night) are more likely to have higher productivity, feel more energetic throughout the day, and experience less stress? Sleep is crucial for concentration, memory formation, and repairing and rejuvenating the cells of the body. Both mentally and physically, a good night’s sleep is essential for your health and your energy.

The Problem — Waking Up at Night

Unfortunately, experts estimate that more than 70 million Americans have persistent trouble falling or staying asleep. If you are one of the millions of people who suffer, you know how frustrating it can be to lie awake in bed at night, tossing and turning.

Finding an effective remedy is difficult. Some sleep aids require a visit to your doctor, dealing with unpleasant side effects, and facing the possibility of becoming dependent on the drugs. Even over-the-counter sleep aids can be habit-forming. But don’t worry, you don’t have to suffer through another sluggish morning.

The Solution — Staying Asleep, and Waking Up Refreshed

In contrast, many sleep aid supplements are safe, natural, and quickly gaining popularity. They typically contain melatonin, a naturally-occurring compound that regulates sleeping cycles and also has value as a possible antioxidant. You should look for a sleep aid that contains more than melatonin alone. Essential herbal ingredients further promote calming effects leading to quality sleep. The better you sleep, the more energetic and awake you will feel in the morning and throughout the day. There are a variety of sleep supplements available to help promote relaxing and refreshing sleep, but not all brands are equal in quality.

The Benefits of Natural Sleep Supplements

Fall Asleep Faster

Stay Asleep Longer

Wake up Feeling Refreshed and Rejuvenated

Safe and Effective All Natural Ingredients

Non-Habit Forming

Chamomile and passionflower, which have a calming effect on the body, in addition to melatonin. This supplement is gentle but effective; it helps you get back into a healthy sleeping routine.

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