Tag Archives: Canada

Father’s Day is Coming… Ahem… Chapters Indigo!


As mentioned probably a zillion times already, I’m a huge fan of anything Canadian, and I am a supporter of life-long-learning, which is why I recommend looking into Chapters Indigo for Father’s Day options. http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/

The folks at Indigo even prepared a great selection of cottage / BBQ / Father’s Day suggestions which were inspired by the great outdoors and life at the lake.

Tabletop items and pillows are adorned with an Indigo-exclusive canoe print. Retro-inspired trays, drink dispensers and mason jar mugs bring a vintage touch to home décor, while summer cookbooks offer tasty meal ideas for those warm summer evenings.

Check out our their Flickr page here and Father’s Day Suggestions!

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My Wife Will Be Happy: It’s Not Over For Degrassi. Next Class Debuts January 2016 on Family Channel


IT’S NOT OVER!
DEGRASSI: NEXT CLASS DEBUTS ON FAMILY CHANNEL IN JANUARY 2016

She may not admit it, but my wife loves Degrassi.  I’m not sure of it’s because they filmed it at the high school she attended, or if she knew some of the kids involved, but she is a fan of the show, and myself, while not having seen more than a couple of them, is a huge fan of anything Canadian – giving this show 2 thumbs up!

This press release came to me:

Toronto, June 9, 2015 – Whatever it takes. That’s what Family Channel is willing to do for fans and the network proves it by announcing Degrassi: Next Class, the newest version of the popular global franchise, will debut on Family in January 2016. After Thursday’s news sent shockwaves through the Internet, fans and media showed an outpouring of love for the highly celebrated Canadian teen series. Reassuring fans that Degrassi as they know it is alive and well, DHX Media’s Epitome Pictures will create 20 x 30-minute episodes of the series for Family.

“Both Family Channel and Degrassi have a longstanding place in the Canadian media landscape catering to youth and we look forward to welcoming Degrassi’s dedicated, loyal and vocal fan base as viewers,” said Joe Tedesco, Senior Vice President & General Manager, DHX Television. “By adding this series to our schedule we’ve been able to redefine what constitutes ‘family programming’ while maintaining our mandate to program series that are both relatable and relevant for the entire family. Degrassi explores sensitive issues in a responsible manner and allows us to continue identifying new ways to connect with families.”

Degrassi Gallery – June 24 2014

degrassiDegrassi: Next Class debuts on Family Channel in January 2016 featuring familiar faces.
For a snapshot of Degrassi over the years, click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PgcExzKuHw.

“Following an unprecedented and incredibly supportive 14-year relationship with Bell Media on Degrassi: The Next Generation, we are looking forward to reaching a fresh new audience with Degrassi: Next Class,” said Degrassi Executive Producer Linda Schuyler. “We are energized and excited to work with Family Channel as we tell stories for the new post-millennial teen cohort known as Generation Z, most of whom weren’t even born when Degrassi returned in 2001.”

Degrassi: Next Class is a pull-no-punches dramatic series that tackles the real-life issues of high school students. Telling the stories of “Generation Z,” the series focuses on a group of teens as they begin their journey into adulthood. Pushing their own limits and testing the bonds of family and friends, the students each find their own way to deal with a range of issues: from homophobia, racism, substance abuse and violence to burgeoning sexuality, body issues, heartbreak and the complications of dating in the social media age. The series strives to entertain its post-millennial audience while always reinforcing its core principle: You are not alone.

Keeping true to the spirit of Degrassi that generations have known and loved since 1980, Degrassi: Next Class takes the 485 episode franchise into its next iteration and remains the longest running dramatic television series in Canadian history.

The new installment will see popular cast members reprise their roles including:

  • Amanda Arcuri as Lola Pacini;
  • Reiya Downs as Shay Powers;
  • Ana Golja as Zoe Rivas;
  • Nikki Gould as Grace Cardinal;
  • Ricardo Hoyos as Zig Novak;
  • Ehren Kassam as Jonah Haak;
  • Andre Kim as Winston Chu;
  • Lyle Lettau as Tristan Milligan;
  • Spencer Macpherson as Hunter Hollingsworth;
  • Eric Osborne as Miles Hollingsworth III;
  • Olivia Scriven as Maya Matlin;
  • Sara Waisglass as Frankie Hollingsworth; and
  • Richard Walters as Deon “Tiny” Bell.

The Degrassi franchise is currently celebrating the 35th anniversary. Degrassi: Next Class is produced by DHX Media’s Epitome Pictures, in association with Family Channel and Netflix. The series was co-created by Linda Schuyler who is also Executive Producer with Stephen Stohn, Sarah Glinski and Matt Huether.

About Family Channel
Family Channel offers the best in family television entertainment in a premium, commercial-free environment. Dedicated to celebrating family life and providing a daily vacation for children and their families, Family airs a unique mix of top-rated Canadian and Disney series, movies and specials.

Family Channel subscribers also have access to Family OnDemand and Family OnLine at no additional cost, to see hit movies and series when they want them, where they want them.

Visit us at Family.ca. Family Channel is a part of DHX Television, a subsidiary of DHX Media.

About DHX Media
DHX Media Ltd. (www.dhxmedia.com), a key player internationally in the creation of content for families and children, is recognized globally for such brands as Yo Gabba Gabba!, Caillou, Teletubbies, In the Night Garden, Inspector Gadget, Johnny Test, Slugterra and the multi-award winning Degrassi franchise.

DHX Media Ltd. is the owner of Family Channel, the most-viewed children’s television channel in Canada, as well as the channels Disney Junior (English & French) and Disney XD in Canada.

The Company markets and distributes its library of more than 11,000 half-hours of entertainment programming worldwide, and licenses its owned properties through its dedicated consumer products business.

DHX Media Ltd.’s full-service international licensing agency, Copyright Promotions Licensing Group Ltd. (CPLG), represents numerous entertainment, sport and design brands.

DHX Media Ltd. has offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Munich and Amsterdam, and is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols DHX.A and DHX.B.

 

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Happy Victoria Day! But, why?


Happy Victoria Day!

Do you know why we celebrate “Victoria Day” or the “May 24 long weekend” here in Canada?  If not, then find comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

Tonight at dinner our kids asked us why we celebrate Victoria Day.

I took a shot and replied, “We celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday.”

My wife looked over at me with that look on her face trying to determine if I was correct or feeding the kids a line of B.S.

I nodded that this was correct, and I continued to fill my kids brains full of fun facts about Victoria Day, Canada’s oldest state holiday dating back to 1845, in which Canadians celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday.

“Why Queen Victoria and not Queen Elizabeth?” who is our current Queen, was the next question.

Well, Queen Victoria was Canada’s sovereign at the time of Confederation all the way back in 1867.  In fact, the Fathers of Confederation would not have been able to create this new country without her royal assent.

Fairly significant, one would agree.

Queen Victoria is also credited with selecting Ottawa to be Canada’s capital, based on its location on the border of English-speaking Canada and French-speaking Canada and being far from the US border better protected in case the US attacked.

Queen Victoria died in 1901 and the Federal government make Victoria Day a National holiday to be observed on May 24th each year (unless the 24th was a Sunday, then the holiday would be observed on a Monday).  In fact, in 1952, the parliament changed the holiday to be the Monday before May 24th which is why in some years it is very early (like this year).

“So why do we not celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s birthday?”

Well, we do!  Since 1953, Victoria Day has been recognized as the official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II in Canada. (In England, it’s celebrated in June, even though she was actually born in April.)  Scotland also celebrates Victoria Day on the Monday before May 24th as well.

I also explained that Victoria Day also represents the day to begin planting vegetables and into the garden as the last frost occurs in early May.  It’s also the time of year that people head out to open cottages, and enjoy the outdoors.

Victoria Day has come to represent the start of summer, the opening of the garden and eating dinners outdoors.  How fireworks tie into this is a whole other story!

#Don’tDrink&Drive #WearLifeJacket #StaySafe

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May The Fourth Be With You! May the 4th be with you! Star Wars Day 2015.


It doesn’t matter how you like to spell it, or whether you only say it to family and friends or write it on a cheque as I did this afternoon, but today is May the 4th, and I wish all my readers the same greeting today, “May the 4th be with you!”

In light of the upcoming Star Wars movies which appear to be a bit darker, slicker and with less animation and more actual robots, I have already found a lot more activity today on the Internet, in my Facebook feed and in the secret groups that I visit but am never allowed to talk about.

It’s been such a great day thus far – and yes, the force IS with me today – that I took my Jedi mind tricks with me to my kids school where I was the “celebrity” reader today.  (It’s called that, not just for an appearance by The Urban Daddy).

I read the kids a bit from a wonderful book called “Vader’s Little Princess” by Jeffrey Brown, and from “Kids are Weird”, also by Jeffrey Brown.  They were given to me for Father’s Day last year by the amazing folks at Indigo Books @chaptersindigo.

I picked the age appropriate pieces mainly from “Vader’s Little Princess” and with some cool voices and a lot of improvising, I entertained a class of SK’s for 20-25 minutes.

I ended by reminding the kids that Darth Vader is evil, because he hates and that they need to be nice to everyone, especially their teachers, parents and classmates, and that they need to be good to the planet, eat healthy food, exercise and say please and thank you.

I ended by saying; “The Force strong in you is it. Good you shall be. Nice you are.  Force be with you today it is, hmmph.”

The kids said I nailed my Yoda impression, but I felt it sounded like Cookie Monster.

Happy Star Wars Day Everyone!

May the 4th (Force) be with you!

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Michelin Canada Proves Tires are VERY Important to Keep Our Families Safe!


I cannot imagine what I consider to be more important to me than the safety of my family.  With that in mind, I was made very aware the other day that the brand of tires I choose to put on my car can have a significant impact on how safe they are when they are in the car with me.

Even more incredible is that while I can make my car safer by having the correct tires on my vehicle, it can help by also alerting people that as the weather warms up, driving around with your winter tires still on your car is dangerous to everyone inside and outside your vehicle?

I’ve never used winter tires, so I was not aware.

Now I know.

Now we all know!

On April 14th, I was invited to attend an information session put on my Michelin Canada to learn about the perils of driving with winter tires on their car in warmer weather, and to see Michelin’s newest tire, the Premier LTX.  The session was at the Woodbine Racetrack in Etobicoke, Ontario, and along with learning about winter tires, I was also educated about benefits of Michelin’s Premier LTX, and taken for a drive in a 2016 Kia Sorrento with these tires, in a variety of conditions.  To be more correct, I drove the vehicle with Michelin’s professional drivers who double as professional race car drivers competing all over the world.  These guys KNOW how to drive!

Let me begin by stating that I receive quite a lot of offers to experience, try, test and taste new products and while I would happily review and cover them all, my schedule – business and family priorities – do not allow the time for it all.  However, once I saw there would be an opportunity to speak with a professional driver about how to be a better driver, and to be honest, since I know very little about cars, I could not pass up this opportunity and I am thankful that I did not.

Upon my arrival, I met with Professional race car driver and Michelin driving expert Carl Nadeau, for a lively discussion with myself and Andrew Clarke, the Globe and Mail auto expert.  Nadeau encouraged us to get the word out to all Canadians to remain vigilant while driving this summer and reminds them of the importance of using tires adapted to the season: “As temperatures rise, some drivers don’t give a second thought to the state of their all-season or summer tires. Worse, some even decide to keep their winter tires on. With temperatures steadily above 7°C, winter tires decline in grip and control, requiring a much greater distance to come to a complete stop compared to all-season or summer tires. And the lack of traction and control only gets worse as temperatures rise.”

I certainly did not know that!

I asked the dumb question about the importance of having winter tires on a car because in my… 27 years driving a car, I have never had them.  I’m Canadian born and raised and thus learned to drive in the winter.  I see ice and laugh at it.  Do I really need winter tires?!?

“Yes” was the obvious response.

Then I learned about the tire… I know tires are rubber and have treads… That’s all.

Sylvaine Cuniberti the Marketing Director for Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. Explained the new Michelin tire and how it is different from any other tire available right now.  “The revolutionary MICHELIN® Premier™ LTX™  tire features the EverGrip™ tread, which evolves as it wears to prolong safety.”  In English (or French) as tires wear, they get bald, or the treads which hold them to the ground wear away and the car slips and slides in cold or wet.

So as the Michelin Premier LTX tires wear, the grooves get wider, so that the tire maintains it’s ability to provide traction and that means there tires stay as safe as they were when first purchased.

So smart!

Presently available to dealers for order, the MICHELIN® Premier™ LTX™ tire will be introduced to the general public as of June 1st and will initially be available in 30 sizes (from 16 to 22 inches) fitting a range of SUVs/CUVs/light trucks and utility vehicles such as the Ford Escape, Honda CRV, Toyota Rav4, and 2016 Kia Sorento among others.  To complete the Premier family expansion, the MICHELIN® Premier™ A/S will also be available in an additional 12 sizes (from 15 to 17 inches).

After the discussion, Mr. Nadeau gave us safety tips which I quickly jotted down while trying to visualize my own driving style and approach to my vehicle.

Michelin Canada encourages drivers to conduct proper safety checks and adhering to a few safe-driving tips.

Check Your Tires: After all, tires are the only part of your car that touch the road.

  • Check your tires for wear – Using the “Quarter Test’’, put the Quarter head first into your tread. The top part of the figurehead should be partially covered by the tread. If you can see the whole head, it’s time to replace the tire.
  • Check the air pressure – Tires can lose up to 1 psi (pounds per square inch) of pressure every month. Use a proper pressure gauge to check pressure when tires are cold (before driving or three hours after driving). Make sure your tires are inflated to the pressure that’s listed on the sticker inside the driver’s door of your car.  (My car has an electronic sensor which alerts me as to the amount of tire pressure each tire has compared to what it should have).

Other tips include, sitting straight up while driving – no leaning back – make sure your thumbs are inside the steering wheel for the best control, don’t hold the steering wheel in a death-grip, make sure you are far enough back from the brake pedal so that you can press it with your entire foot without having to extend your toes, or fully extend your leg in case of emergency.

More tips on safe driving, visit http://www.michelin.ca/tires-101/driving-and-safety-tips/driving-tips.page

Then I got to drive… Fast.  On tight turns.  I got to slam on the brakes with the car travelling over 60km/h and was shocked, yes shocked when the car just stopped.  No skidding or screeching, and there was no feeling that the car was still moving as I slammed my foot down.  The car just stopped.

It was unreal.

I tried in on curves, in wet conditions, and dry and time after time, the tires taught me a lesson.  They taught me that whatever tires I have on my car and not the right tires for my family.  They taught me that great tires DO make a difference and they taught me that I need to buy a set of winter tires for my car.

Michelin invited me to educate me, and they did far more than that.  They enlightened me, and I will no longer accept sub-par tires for my car, and that my family deserves better.

Thank you Michelin.

I was compensated for this post by getting the opportunity to learn to drive a car with incredible tires in all kinds of conditions and along with the safety tips, I will be a better driver on the road.  I also received a tire-shaped cooler to keep in my trunk.
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