Friday, 24 December 2010

Empowering Youth One Tour at a Time

Attending a largely white populated Ottawa high school was not easy, as Dawit recalls being the centre of discrimination.

Dawit, who is of Ethiopian, Ukrainian and Scottish descent, remembers being compared to children in developing countries who were being sponsored by Plan Canada.

Seeing that her peers misunderstood her background and had the wrong ideas about her culture, Dawit started a black history club with her principal when she was in Grade 11.

“We started doing the programming in high school because there were problems that we were noticing in the school system,” says Dawit. “I was one of two or three black students and I experienced a lot of discrimination and racism when I was in high school.”

After having graduated and pursued her post-secondary education at the Harris Institute for the Arts in Toronto, Dawit, 30, never thought the small club she started in high school would come back to life, let alone become her full-time job.

But it did, when it revived in 2004.

“I realized that there were a lot of other social justice issues. Not just looking at racism and equity issues, but in terms of human rights, children’s rights, and women’s rights. [Many] organizations wanted to communicate to young people about [these issues], but the organizations weren’t able to do it in a palatable or interesting format,” she says.

Joining forces with Anita Wong and Patrick McCormack, the club became 411 Initiative for a Change, a non-profit organization that uses arts and culture for young people to educate themselves on social justice issues.

“We look at and treat issues that affect young Canadians. It could be something like HIV/AIDs, violence against women, we look at children’s rights, and the stories of young people around the world who are also living in Canada,” Dawit says.

All three founding members have a background in the arts, allowing them to collaborate their skills to create arts programming, which Dawit says appeals more to students.

Dawit and Wong have worked together in international development as well as the music industry, while McCormack is an artist who has also worked in sound engineering and production.

“We were able to revive 411 because our formats use music, pop culture, and dance, which are much more interesting for young people.”

Six years later, 411 Initiative for a Change has reached over 300,000 students across Canada and focuses on other issues such as safe sex, gender equality and children’s rights.

Touring with professional musicians and artists, 411 Initiative for a Change works with students who are imprisoned or in inner city schools to give them a chance to express their ideas through their arts-creation programming that use different forms of art which include visual art, drama, and poetry.

The organization has also collaborated with other organizations such as Alicia Keys’ Keep a Child Alive, which provides AIDS care for families in developing countries, the AIDS Committee of Toronto and worked with music channel MTV to film documentaries surrounding youths living in Sudan, Colombia and Haiti.

Although, 411 Initiative for a Change has reached millions of people since it first started when Dawit was in high school, the main focus of her organization remains the same: to get students to speak out and raise awareness on social issues.

“We’re not an organization that asks you to join up with us or start a club. It’s more about encouraging discussion. So for the schools who bring us in, we’re an opportunity to get discussion started around topics that students may not have wanted to talk to their teachers about,” Dawit says.

Remembering her own experiences of sitting through school assemblies, Masia One, a Toronto-based rapper and producer, says she never felt connected to special presentations about global issues because she felt they were boring and out of touch with young people.

But after doing presentations and tours with 411 Initiative for a Change, Masia One, whose real name is Maysian Lim, is touched knowing that she has made an impact on students to make a difference.

“After tours, I’ve had kids come up to me crying. Even now and maybe six months after the last tour we did, I [still] have kids emailing me and telling me it was the best thing they’ve ever learned in school,” she says.

Having pursued an architecture degree with a minor in economics from the University of Toronto, Masia One thinks an organization like 411 Initiative for a Change is great, as it helps artists like her encourage students to go to school.

“I’m a rapper. This is my full-time job. There are a lot of kids that I meet that want to get into the music industry and want my record label to sign them, but at the end of the day, I try to put upon them that I also have an architecture degree. I have that option in case I want to go into it.”

Having had the opportunity to travel to World AIDS conferences in Sweden and Mexico as well as Ethiopia to meet and work with young children, Dawit plans to continue focusing on issues such as HIV/AIDS as well as introduce new issues such as bullying and raising self-esteem in young women.

“One of the things we are working on this fall is producing a program on girls. We’ll be looking at self-esteem, we’re looking at bullying, and especially online bullying. This is something that [many schools] have been having a lot of difficulty with.”
But on a grassroots level, Dawit also wants to focus on anti-racism, the topic that started 411 Initiative for a Change in the first place.

“It’s something we haven’t treated in the last five years and we’re going back and producing a program with MTV looking at racism in Canada and how young people experience it, where they experience it, and what you do if you experience racism.”

Masia One says that students should understand the importance of making a difference, noting that Dawit started this program at a young age.

“She took the effort to do something about [racism] and educate people instead of getting angry or becoming reclusive. I think that it’s very inspiring for these high school kids to learn and understand that Tamara started 411 in high school and now it’s a tour that goes across Canada. I think it’s one of the best arts education programs in Canada.”

Picture From:  Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation

Sunday, 19 December 2010

HELP?!?!?! How do I take these in??

I still haven't quite finished my Christmas shopping, but I wanted to avoid the mall at all costs due to a crazy rampage of shoppers.  I told my parents that I would buy them whatever they wanted when we go to our next road trip to the States...just so it would make all of our lives easier.  At least I have made some progress.  I DID buy my sister her gift already.

So in avoidance of the mall, what better way is it than to go spend my Saturday afternoon at the Salvation Army?  It's been too long since I've been there.  There were these beautiful witchy like boots, but unfortunately they were a size too small!! That makes me sad.

I wish I could have found more treasures, but I at least came out with something nice...I think.  I found these beautiful tie dye silk pleated shorts from Rachel Roy!

Unfortunately, they are a few sizes too big. But how could I resist such a buy? They were ONLY $4 and the texture was sooo soft and smooth!  And besides, the design, is just wild enough for me.

So my question here is, how do I take these in to make them slimmer? Any tips?  I know I could easily go to a tailor, but wouldn't it be cheaper and thriftier to do it on my own? Certainly wouldn't be too hard.  If anyone knows any good tutorials and tips, please share them with me!

I have a habit of buying clothes that are too big for me. Blame my mother who used to tell me that I'll eventually "grow into it". Tutorials would truly be helpful!!

 On another note, I beat QWOP!!!! I'm a national hero!!! It is honestly one of the hardest games. But I found a way to conquer it!! Always a track athlete =D

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Let's Back Up to my China Days.

It always excites me at the prospect of being able to go on vacation. Though as terrible as it seems, I was never a big fan of trips with my direct family. Of course I love and care about them, but being in a foreign place with no one but your family to turn to can be quite annoying. Not only that, there really isn't anyone your age to associate with or to make friends with!

A year ago, in the summer of Grade 11 (this sounds ages ago!), I was given the opportunity to travel to China with a group of students...with no parents!  Well of course there were teacher supervisors, but to know how easy it was to sneak out of the honestly a joke.

 To think that didn't want to go in the beginning with fears of being the oldest student, is something I deeply regret. China say the least...the single most amazing experience I have ever had in my life thus far. I went in thinking that I was one of the oldest, and that I wouldn't make any friends. I have no idea why I do this all the time, but I always have my self-doubts.

When I found out that a friend I knew since Grade 9 was going on the trip as well, some of the weight came off of my shoulders.  I was finally able to relax, take a chill pill and just enjoy! And besides, I ended up making many friends, for which I am grateful to have met.

However, this is not a post about making friends.  Although it does have a big part in this, this post is really about taking chances to travel alone without your family to gain more experiences.

During my two week trip to China, I not only saw several tourist attractions such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Bird's Nest, the WaterCube, and Tienanmen Square. What came with that were fun times and inside jokes (AWWWW CORNY) and several useful lessons such as how to properly cross a street full of crazy drivers, how to bargain with the locals, how McDonalds in China is so much better than the ones in Canada, how Wal-Mart in China is amazing, and of course how to take care of myself (*CUE MORE AWWWS*)

And the food...the food was amazing. I wish I had taken more photos of the food.  I sincerely regret that. However, the taste will always remain  in my memories (hehe).

Nevertheless, I have learned my lesson. Never pass by a traveling opportunity. I believe that everyone must take a pilgrimage to their home country at least once in their life.

 More awesome in real life I tell you!  Just wish I was there a year back when Usain Bolt beat the world record!
 Carson and I chilling with the Olympic Mascots. I wish I brought one home!!
 I assure you, I didn't eat any of that!  Only in China...

Why can't Canada have such goodness?

 Friends!!!! I think we should get together soon!! ? YES?

 This was when I conquered the Great Wall!! Well there is one thing for sure, I didn't like wearing these green shirts. We stood out like Christmas lights!!!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

So you want to be a journalist?

Today my fellow journalism friend sent me a funny video making fun of the career of an aspiring journalist.

Now of course this was a bit of an exaggeration, but I couldn't help but wonder a little bit about my career.  

I have always known that many, many journalists struggle with finding jobs after graduating from post-secondary education.  However, I always thought that if I tried really, really hard, I would be able to get by.

Now of course that would be the case for every single career but I always fear that my voice wouldn't be heard. That I, would not be able to make a difference in the world. 

And then there's the money factor which worries me a teeny bit about not being able to afford my own home and enough money to raise a family. I mean, I don't want to be 30 and living at home with my parents.

It would not be ideal for me to live the hermit life behind the computer screen in my parents' basement.  Already, living at home and not being to get into residence is making me feel this way.

But maybe I should stop worrying, because I'm only 18 and there is much to come in my future.  Instead, I should really study for French, and prepare for this presentation I have to do in front of high school students tomorrow.

And besides,perhaps if I can't get by with what I'm doing, maybe I can just marry a rich man. I mean, I'm charming right??

Just kidding. 
Though one thing is for sure, I will try not to fit into the above stereotype of the poor little piggie who wants to be a journalist.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Tis the Season to go

You know what I love about Christmas?

The act of presents to my loved ones that is.

However, my Christmas shopping progress hasn't been doing so great.  I only bought one gift.  The rest, were presents for me. 

Going to school downtown has seriously affected the way I spend my time and money.  Not a week goes by where I don't end up buying a little 'somethin somethin' for me.  It certainly doesn't help the fact that I there are so many sales taking place this time of the year.  Most especially, at H&M.

There's this crazy bonanza at the accessories section where many things are priced at $2, $5, $10, $15 and $20.  Knowing what a thrifty Asian I am, I rushed towards the $2 section...hehehehe.

I usually don't feel guilty for buying things on sale, but knowing that I have been spending a bit too much, the guilt started to kick in.

So the question I have here today is:  What's the use in Christmas shopping when I only buy things for myself?

I wonder if this is a tactic to lure us Christmas shoppers to SPEND SPEND SPEND!  Probably.  Or perhaps they're making Christmas shoppers buy more things by spending MORE money. 

My GOSH, H&M is such a marketing GENIUS...they're getting richer...while I get poorer...

But I couldn't help it.  I look too cute with my new hair accessories. (VANITY)

 Honestly, how can anyone resist a flower that makes her (or him) look like an Asian princess???

EAT YOUR HEART OUT KATE MIDDLETON!! There's a new princess in town.  STEP ASIDE, I'm going to be the next MULAN!!!!!!

 I'm totally joking.....I look like a complete idiot...but a cool one, I hope. 

Seriously.  This is what I call the face of a winner. 

P.S. I went to H&M yesterday and saw that beautiful ruffle and lace shirts were selling for $7!! I was going to buy one, but I decided to resist myself.  NO MORE SHOPPING UNTIL I AM DONE EXAMS!!!!

Note to self:  STEP FAR FAR AWAY FROM H&M.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Tumblr's down= OMG MY LIFE IS RUINED.

For those of you on Tumblr, the following image must be quite familiar to you. 

 For the past 24 hours, Tumblr was unavailable due to a maintenance issue that took down a critical database cluster (whatever that means...), thus bringing down the entire network.

Now as a Tumblr user, this posed as a small irritant when I wanted to procrastinate from studying. To others, the effect of Tumblr's "black-out" was much more dramatic.

All over my Facebook and Twitter feeds, I saw status updates complaining about the site's downfall.

"TUMBLR'S down.  Means life is down."
"I've been refreshing Tumblr for three hours now!!!"
"R.I.P. TUMBLR....."

I think you get the point.

But the bigger question I have is:  Why is Tumblr being down such a big inconvenience?

To me, Tumblr is just a place to reblog and re-post pictures, quotes, and funny memes. It becomes excessive spamming and nobody cares at all what original content you decide to put onto your blog  To me, Tumblr's just a bit of a distraction (although it is fun at times!) 

From observing everyone's frustrations to Tumblr's service fail to the happiness and "Hurrahs!" of the site being back up again, it really makes me wonder what kind of impact Tumblr has had in all of our lives.  Barely anything posted is original, you see things that have been posted five times already, and things are reblogged so often that it's gotten to the point where you don't know what the hell you've put onto your blog.

I realize I sound like some bitter fool over here, but I just want to ask if all this was really necessary.

Not to rain on anyone's parade...but there IS a world (GASP) that exists outside of Tumblr (YES, a world with life that is more than looking at memes, pretty pictures, GIFS, and blogs).

Perhaps, we might need to reevaluate the ways we spend our time.

Though enough with the ranting. The resurrection of Tumblr has brought many humourous memes and quotes that I would like to share with all of y'all.  

"I survived the Tumblr blackout of 2010." 

Your life is sad. I'm sorry.

LOVE the Spongebob reference.

And my absolute personal favourite...
I honestly have no words to describe this.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


Does it ever bother you when someone tells you that you've pronounced a word wrong?

It kind of bothers me.

No, actually it bothers me a lot. Especially, when it's on video for everyone to see.

Human mistake...

Maybe I need a phonics lesson. Who knows?  I did always find phonics fun in elementary school....

Anyways, I pronounced a word wrong in this corny video, and I will give you 10 points if you guess the word!!

This video is a reflection of the Big Question feature I was stressing over all last week!

Friday, 26 November 2010


I realize I'm a bit late, but I was very disappointed with Macleans after having read an article about Canadian universities being too Asian. In my mind, the reporting done was absolutely terrible as I found that the writer made race an issue, which is funny, coming out of a Canadian magazine.

 Click here for the article.

 As an Asian-Canadian, I was incredibly offended.

 From what I got from this article, I got a sense that the writer felt that Asians were being forced into school. Perhaps, even into certain programs.

First of all, I'm Asian. Second, I was never forced into a program that I had no interest in.
In fact, I'm studying Journalism, a fairly small program with not many Asians at all.

The article starts off with a girl named Alexandra, who chose to go to Western because schools such as UofT were "Too Asian."

 "“Too Asian” is not about racism, say students like Alexandra: many white students simply believe that competing with Asians—both Asian Canadians and international students—requires a sacrifice of time and freedom they’re not willing to make. They complain that they can’t compete for spots in the best schools and can’t party as much as they’d like (too bad for them, most will say)."

 Well if I ever meet this Alexandra girl, I would like to say my fair share of equally offensive things towards her. But of course, I won't.  Causing more racism would not solve anything!!

I find it ironic how she says the issue isn't about race, because the whole article being spoken about deals with race!

Living in a country as diverse as Canada, students of all races should not feel resentment from choosing the university of their choice. And also, why is it a bad thing that Asians choose to work hard and get to go to a good school/program?  Perhaps, students who weren't accepted aren't trying hard enough and want blame other people for their problems.


And the answer to why all Asians choose to stick together in groups? One will never know....

That’s not to say Asian students form any sort of monolithic presence on Canadian campuses. “The mainland China group tends to stick together,” says Anthony Wong, 19, a Waterloo software engineering student. “We can talk to them,” says Jonathan Ing, also 19 and in Waterloo’s software engineering program, “but we don’t mingle.” Complains Waterloo student Simon Wang, a Chinese national who is frustrated by the segregation at Waterloo: “Why bother to come to Canada and pay five times as much to speak Chinese?”

Although, I can take a crack at that answer: 
Seeing the way people think of them, I'd stick to my people too!

You see, if there weren't more ethnic people going to school in Canada, people would not be complaining about universities being "too white."

And besides, race shouldn't be an issue, as it doesn't completely make a person who he/she is. 

It is also terrible to say that Asians are taking away spots from people in university. I think that people have to take into consideration the work-ethic of people in general, and not people of a certain race. Of course, many Asians are hard-working, but just like every other human being, there are slackers as well. (YES, THERE ARE ASIANS WHO DON'T GO TO SCHOOL AND HAVE A CRAP JOB TOO! JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!!)

And from what I know from my other Asian friends, they tried REALLY hard to get into competitive programs.

So what's the big deal? It's a problem for them to work hard so they can set out a good future for themselves and their families?


It is clear that racism exists in Canada with the many stereotypes made of people of colour such as African-Americans, Latinos, Indians, etc. (forgive me if this sounds offensive).

However, Canadians also need to realize that East Asians are also victims of racism.
As Canadians, we need to fully reevaluate the way we see people in our society. People are going to keep coming into the country for a better future. Hardly anything can change that. So please, just accept it. 

Now having said that, I have decided that I need to refrain from being such an "overachieving Asian" and stop writing this blog post.

I think maybe I'll just go play some hockey and eat some poutine. I hope that's Canadian enough for you.

 People also get  the notion that Asians like to pose like this. I like to keep that stereotype alive.

P.S. I'd also like to think that Miley secretly want to be as awesome as us ASIANS. SORRY, NO CAN DO!!!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Me a Year Ago...

One year ago, I made a self-portrait for my film class. It's pretty self-explanatory, but it's really nice to see how things have changed since then.

I know I still look the same and act sort of the same, but I feel so much wiser and mature from that point in my life. 

Though this time around, I am no longer wearing uniform and I am attending school downtown! Not to mention, I'm actually ALWAYS at the mall! High school seems like such a long time ago. Yes, I do miss it, but I'm glad to be studying a program I really love! Mind you, I can do without the mandatory English course though...and perhaps the marks I have been getting...

It's nice to look back at things like these. I hope I can make an update soon! Stay tuned!!

What makes a SuperDog?

All it takes to make a SuperDog is motivation and a lot of cookies.

At least, that’s how Sue Trout’s Rottweiler Slinger learns.

Slinger, who’s three, twisted, hopped, and danced in front of a roaring crowd Tuesday afternoon.

Trout, along with her dog, is in Toronto for the 88th annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair to perform at the SuperDogs competition.

An owner of two Rottweilers, Trout, 58, prefers to train almost every day.

“I’m kind of a train-a-holic. I just enjoy spending the time with my dogs and seeing what I can come up with and what I can teach them.”

Having performed with her dogs in the SuperDogs show for 22 years, Trout says the best way to train a dog is to be very motivational, instead of getting frustrated and angry with them.

Alluding to shows such as The Dog Whisperer which uses choke chains to train dogs, Trout thinks the methods used are not the correct ways to help a dog learn.

“To anybody, who will take a dog and hang it till his breath has gone out of him and then put it on the ground and say ‘Look, I have control’, that’s not training. That’s abuse,” she said.

Instead, Trout advises dog owners to go to a proper dog training school.

She thinks that people abuse dogs because they don’t realize that dogs have to be taught to behave and learn from their mistakes.

“People expect that dogs just drop out of the womb knowing how to heel. Well they don’t. You have to teach them. So take a cookie, shove it in their nose and walk them up the driveway for three weeks saying, "This is where I want you to heel.”

For Trout, she prefers to spend time with each of her two dogs to give them the attention they need.

“I don’t want my dogs suppressed. I want them keen to be able to make a mistake and go: ‘I’m not going to get a reward for that,’ rather than being punished.”

Nicky Snook, a personal dog trainer, also says that a dog’s behaviour can be traced from how the owner acts.

“I believe what energy used and portrayed are what the dogs are going to feel. So if you’re scared, the animal is going to feel it. So you just need to be very calm, and be relaxed about it. They do better that way. They feel that you’re confident as well. That’s what I find with every dog I’ve worked with that have fear problems or aggression problems. You can’t get anxious. It just doesn’t work for them. Praise, telling them “Good Dog”, petting them at the right time, feeding them at the right time, you can get them over those obstacles.”

Snook, 38, says a lot of people are in too much of a hurry to train their dogs. She suggests taking small steps to show the dog to not be afraid and to learn.

“It’s taking the time to work with the dog. Taking the time to build that dog’s confidence. I want to help the people who want to help the dogs, and enjoy the dogs."

Sue Trout and her Rottweiler Slinger. 

Saturday, 13 November 2010


Last week, we had to go around downtown taking pictures for this pointless class I have to take. I don't know much about taking photos, but I felt the photos I took were pretty decent.

HOWEVER, all of my optimistic thoughts and dreams of being a GREAT (emphasize GREAT) photojournalist were shattered.  Today, the whole class (ALL 30 of us, yes) spent 21/2(or more, I don't know)  looking at all our pictures and listening to critiques.

I have heard "You need people in it," at least 20 times.
THEREFORE, this is what I have learned from the class today: 



Hmm...what would make this a bad photo? Oh, there are people in this photo!! ONE POINT. HOWEVER, there's no action. NEGATIVE 10 points...I'm sorry... THIS WOULD NOT BE PUBLISHED. 

1. There's action
2. There's people
3. Shows the sign "Fighing hunger"

However, won't be published because it's not zoomed in enough, and you can't see what people are doing. OH YEAH, RULE OF THIRDS. AND YOU DIDN'T GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES AND DO DIFFERENT ANGLES AND STUFF.GET A CLOSE-UP OF A PERSON.

 EUREKA! Two people in a picture!! But they're maybe it's not such a great photo. THEY NEED TO BE CANDID I TELL YOU!!!

(Don't be hatin' on this veteran though! He was the best, and he was so sweet! He was such a charmer!!)

I'm sorry. I still think film is so much better.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

How Twitter Changed my Life.

I used to hate Twitter. It was lame, stupid, pointless, and kind of stalkerish.

NOW, it's awesome! Want to know why?

It's because it's extremely helpful for a journalist to have one! Not only that, the love of my life also known as Patrick Chan  retweeted me. OKAY, I'm not that creepy! I PROMISE!

Too bad he doesn't know who I am. OH WELL. Take it in though, his "Shirtless Patrick Chan!" video is linked to this one!! 

Saturday, 6 November 2010

I don't want a pair of UGGly boots.

I cannot last any more Canadian winters without a steady pair of boots.

My current pair of winter boots have been super-glued, coloured-in, soaked, super-glued again, and torn to point that it's safe to say that I need to go boots shopping.

For the past two seasons, I haven't been able to spot a pair of nice boots. I don't want to sound picky but I don't want a pair of boots for the sake of fashion or those hefty, up-to-the-knees, Kodiak boots lumberjacks wear.

Uggs  are also not an option for me. First of all, they are generic because almost every girl (even some guys!) have a pair. Second of all, they are not even made for the winter season because they are made for sand. Thirdly, Uggs are also not for me because they are like outdoor slippers, therefore making them bad for my flat feet. I have seen people wear Uggs, and I can instantly tell that they are not fit to wear them. They walk in a crooked way, and it is actually quite unflattering. And lastly, I find them just plain atrocious.

But enough of the Uggs ranting. I want a pair of boots that is both stylish and water-resistant so that I will be fully satisfied for the winter season.


 Who knew Marks Work Wearhouse had such nice boots? No doubt that I would get a quality pair from that store, as IT IS linked to Canadian Tire. (I sound so's sad)
I think combat boots are pretty damn badass. I'm not sure how water-resistant they are, although the bottom pair is apparently water-proof. What do you think?

Or how about Tretorn wellies? They ARE for sure waterproof. But will they be able to withstand the Canadian winter?
Or how about Hunter wellies?

These are honestly the few pair of boots I would consider buying for the winter time, but I don't know! What kind of boots would you wear?

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Vote from Immigrants Crucial For Municipal Election in Ward 39

 Make way for the new Canadians.

With a surge of immigrants moving into the Scarborough-Agincourt area, Ward 39 will greatly rely on their votes during the October 25 municipal election.

Ward 39, in northeast Toronto, is one of the city’s most diverse neighbourhoods housing several Chinese immigrants.

Childcare, education, job opportunities, and city services, are the area’s main concerns and candidates are emphasizing the importance for everyone to vote, especially new Canadians.

Incumbent councillor Mike Del Grande says new citizens should vote because it exercises their rights as Canadians.

Del Grande, 56, who has represented Ward 39 since 2003, wants to ensure the quality of city services in the area.

“I want to make sure areas that need funding get it. This means for proper garbage pick-up, more playground equipment, and improvement to our parks. It’s getting down to the basics before we go and do more,” he says.

He is also campaigning on promises of responsible and balanced spending in the area and continuing to make L’Amoreaux Park a destination point.

Del Grande, a resident of the neighbourhood for 27 years, also hopes to provide sports facilities and wants to help the community establish a dog park.

Candidate Kevin Xu thinks he is better suited for the job as he can speak English and Mandarin fluently, plus a bit of Cantonese.

Xu, who is the president of a private high school, the Canada International College, wants new Canadians to become familiar with the neighbourhood.

Xu, 43, does not have a political background, but he was always interested in politics.

Although Xu promises prompt, punctual, public transit, less littering on private lawns and to create more job opportunities for residents, he stresses that he wants to cooperate with the Toronto District School Board to ensure better facilities for students.

“I want to work with the TDSB to make use of facilities and that public schools provide newly, updated textbooks.”

Diversity is also a key component of Xu’s campaign. He hopes to propose a Multicultural Week that would take place annually in August or September.

“We need to keep cultural activities and performances. We need to make sure the culture (in this city) is not lost.”

Xu also thinks it is very important for new citizens to be aware of Canadian politics.

“All Canadians have come to build a new country and a new life. I strongly encourage them to come out and vote,” he said.

Caldwell Williams, who grew up in the Scarborough-Agincourt area, is the third and youngest candidate running to be councillor of Ward 39 at 23-years-old.

Williams, who has volunteered for the United Way, Toronto Community Housing and Tropicana, says he wasn’t always interested in politics.

He says he decided to run for council so he can deal with all the unresolved issues happening in his neighbourhood, such as inadequate lighting, property improvements, community safety, and accessibility to immigrant services and clinics.

Daycare accessibility and job opportunities are also two of Williams’ main concerns.

“Ward 39 has one of the biggest youth populations. We need to be ready to accommodate these needs. Another thing is also employment. Businesses in our ward are hiring people who live in Mississauga as opposed to hiring the person who lives in the area. So definitely getting employers to invest more to the community and to its people,” he said.

Like the other candidates running to represent Ward 39, Williams also believes that it is vital for immigrants to participate in the municipal election.

“This is going to be the most immigrants within and the minority, which is generally the immigrant population, is now going to be the majority. Understanding that we need to invest in this group is crucial.”

Longtime local residents also think there are many improvements to be made in the neighbourhood.

Deacon Valentinus Danukarjanto, who serves at the Epiphany of Our Lord Parish, says he wants traffic problems in the Warden and Steeles area to be dealt with.

As a 28-year resident of the ward, he also wants a balance in attendance for local schools as he sees that class sizes are getting smaller and smaller.

“Schools like St. Maxamilian Kolbe have smaller classes while St. Henry’s is growing. Why do you have to close one school and have one that is bigger? There should be a balance,” he said.

Real estate agent Oliver Pereira, 53, wants owning a home to be more affordable.

“The property taxes need to go down. Many people cannot pay for homes and most of them don’t have enough money.”

Eric Sin, who is a municipal worker, suggests to see more events such as clean-up days, environmental awareness events and barbecues.

“This is so that the councillor can actually talk to their constituents and let the public know that the councillor is actually working for them by repping them at city hall.”

Danukarjanto encourages everyone to follow the election so they can choose the best candidate.

“It is very important because they are exercising their rights as a citizen.”

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

♥ LANVIN for H&M

As a big fan of video and fashion, I thought I would like to share a video with all of you.

Gorgeous prints, colours, silhouettes, lace, frills, and pouffes galore = COLLABORATION GOODNESS

THIS whole line is amazing, besides the fact that I really love how this video was filmed. I'm really digging fashion films nowadays...

I'm not very good at writing about fashion, but Lanvin's collaboration with H&M is something all fashionistas need to keep tabs on. With the right amount of elegance topped off with some badass appeal, this video is reason to make me feel like I need to go SHOPPING!! Thus, resulting in a huge hole in my wallet.

At least with H&M, you are always guaranteed affordable clothing. In this case, AFFORDABLE DESIGNER CLOTHING. 

Here are some pieces that I wouldn't mind having in my closet.

 Oh no biggie...just shopping and looking like fabulous. Way to make a girl feel jealous......
Oh no she didn't!!! What could be hotter than wearing this LBD to a party! Who cares for duplicates?!

AND HELLO THERE WELL-DRESSED MEN!!! Remember, being fashionable isn't only directed to women! So take note!!!

Some notable parts of the video:  

"Oh my GOD!! OH MY GOD!!!!"

Kind of ungrateful…but who can blame her?The clothes are nice!!!
But GIRLLL, just take the gifts seriously and ask your man to go shopping!!

Sunday, 31 October 2010


 "Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total sl-- and no other girls can say anything about it."
 -Mean Girls

Clearly I don't enjoy dressing that way, and clearly I wasn't invited to a Halloween party so that must mean that I'm a BIG FAT LONER.

But if I did have a Halloween party to go to, I don't think I would dress up in a revealing clothing either. Instead, I think I would dress up in something tacky, weird, or interesting...maybe that's why I don't have a boyfriend!! I'M TOO WEIRD!!!

JUST KIDDING., I'd rather be myself more than ever right?

BUT... if I DID have a Halloween party to go to..I would most likely dress up as Lady Gaga...since she is both weird, and tacky at the same time. Don't get me wrong though. I'm a big fan of GAGA.

RUN FAST, she's bleeding!!!!!! No wait, that's lace....
Okay so Lady Gaga isn't the most original idea, but since she has so many theatrical outfits that would be hard to dress up in the same thing at a party...right?  But I just have one question...isn't that lace itchy on her skin?
 Now how about the bird's nest hair? Sometimes with Gaga, the outfit can be normal, but it's all in the hair!! NOW, if I wanted any attention, all I would need would be some bird's nest hair....

but if I want a quick and easy solution......

What could be easier than sewing all of my stuffed animals onto a dress? BUT I CAN'T IMAGINE SEWING MY EEYORE!!!!!

So maybe I should opt for a......
SLUTTY EXCEPTION:  Because it's lady Gaga, I would give this revealing costume chance. But I can't help but think that people would be poking me all day because of these bubbles...And how about walking through doors? I had a similar experience when I was grapes for Halloween two years ago. it was one of the cheapest, last minute, and successful costumes I ever made. (THE REST WERE VERY FAIL LIKE THE TIME I WANTED TO BE HARRY POTTER....SO FAIL)
You can imagine how tough that was to get around school.  If you want to know how I did this, all I did was blow up the balloons and safety pinned the ends onto a purple cardigan so I could unbutton it anytime I wanted.


YEAH...I get that I look really stupid . But I think she would appreciate my effort!!! I AM ONE OF HER LITTLE MONSTERS!!!!

By the way, this took me a while to master. My hair is too short.