EMSB Daycare News

27 02 2013

I helped write and put together the new issue of Touching Base on Daycare Matters newspaper. It features an article on a friend of mine who runs an amazing program called PAWsitive Leadership as well as an article on Nutrition Month with tips for parents and their kids. It’s full of great Green Initiatives many elementary schools are implementing – I wish there had been that kind of stuff when I was in school, such as the composting program at John Caboto!

Working in English Montreal School Board (EMSB) daycares makes me hopeful for when I have kids and eventually want to go back to work. EMSB offers many different programs to keep the students busy after school and with programs including Filmmaking, Songwriting, Sports and more, I kind of wish I could be in daycare all day!

front page


The Noise of Words

6 12 2011

I just discovered this web-documentary “Le bruit des mots” by Catherine Therrien, thanks to OffQC (another discovery from today)!

Now, my French isn’t that fabulous but from the parts of the slam that I do understand, I’m blown away by the talent of these 16 year old kids! I don’t think I have anything in my little notebooks of my own poetry that strikes as powerfully or makes as much “noise” as the poems of these young people.

Hard issues such as racism, drug addiction and immigration are beautifully explored in a beautiful language. What better way to fall in love again with a language? I need to work on my French (and Spanish for that matter) and though poetry is probably a difficult road to take, it may be the more interesting.

Words from 100 Thousand Poets for Change

24 09 2011

Fight with words

Since my camera died and I couldn’t film the whole event in Montreal (many more sound bites as well as interviews with the performers will be available next week on CUTV), I tried to write down phrases that caught my attention. Some of my favourite poems I couldn’t write a thing down because I was too caught up, so I look forward to seeing the sound bites later this week from CUTV!

I erase violence from my dictionary.

No one is really alive here anymore, there are only ghosts.

…this damn frailty we’ve inherited…

Peace…where? when? how?

Some of the items from “What I’ve Prayed For:” a dog, a bike, better parents, a bra, my parents to let me be, my parents to get involved, to lose weight, to stop puking, to get out of this damn college with a fucking degree, talent, implants, fame, a baby, a baby, a baby, a full night’s sleep, a babysitter who isn’t a psycho, a family doctor, a pension, peace in our time…

What a tangled web we whirl…

Watch this new Nagasaki burn…

Give me one more chance… next time I’ll take a bike.

…higher minds that are constantly pressed…

There will be a day of reckoning…Stephen.

Revolution will be a bold flower growing amidst the blackened remains of the Boreal Forrest.

Were you at the pub in Montreal? Were there any other phrases, moments, words that struck you? Please share! 🙂

100 Thousand Poets for Change in Montreal

24 09 2011

It’s hard to imagine being part of something world-wide when you’re sitting in a dimly lit bar with a smattering of people staring at a spotlighted stage. But in that moment, in fact, 95 countries are linked through 700 similar events happening in 550 cities. On September 24, 2011, people came together to share words, music and ideas on Peace and Sustainability in the largest poetry reading event in the world, 100 Thousand Poets for Change.

Montreal poets for change event

At a downtown pub in Montreal, 20 some creative people performed their poetry in various styles to an enthusiastic audience. Including Spanish, English and French, long time Montrealers, new Montrealers and former Montrealers weren’t afraid to rant, rave, rap and rhyme on many difficult topics.

Here are some snippits of a few of the performances I managed to capture before my camera died.

And, here’s my partial summary of the performances:

  • Betty Esperanza performed the poem “Why” by Bob Flanagan, a performance artist who had cystic fibrosis and died in 1996.
  • Claudia Cortes read her work in French about violence.
  • LB da Wizard performed “It’s The Big Bang,” which was adopted as the anthem of 100 Thousand Poets for Change.
  • Xavier performed in Spanish and French, rapping/singing to the guitar played by Pierre Luc (in video above).
  • Native Son dedicated his poem to abused women all over the world (see video above).
  • Susan Shulman, a visual artist, payed tribute to all musicians and creative people.
  • Kevin Lo a graphic designer and organizer, said, “These are words I’ve organized,” before performing his piece.
  • Reginald Kambale talked about hope for Africa (listen to an excerpt in the above video).
  • A lady named Deborah wrote a lovely, short poem about “prevailing peace,” partly inspired by the peace garden made for the anniversary of the Dawson shooting.
  • Beverly Akerman, author of The Meaning of Children, read an excerpt called “What I pray for” that was an amazing journey through all the different stages of life one can experience.
  • Mickey Boston, an underground hip hop artist, performed the last 16 bars of his track called “America.”
  • A young, new student named Ethan read his poem “Squirrel” from his phone.
  • Megan Ann Ward, after getting lost trying to find the pub, performed “Classroom,” talking about the youth of today and their bravery.
  • A young woman from Edmonton (didn’t catch her name) performed her reaction to the media’s definitions and portrayals of activists in her poem “What’s an Activist?”
  • Alessandra Naccarato performed “Bold Flower Growing” written around election time.
  • Finally, the event ended with a spontaneous performance by Michael Farkas who got the crowd to keep the beat for him while he performed a homage to John Lennon.

The Magic of Laterns in Montreal

20 09 2011

For the first time in all my years of living in Montreal, I went to the Botanical Gardens and saw the Chinese Garden‘s Magic of Lanterns exhibition! It was great! Especially because the First Emperor was visiting which reminded me of seeing the Terracotta warriors in England!

Seen while visiting Montreal's Botanical Garden's The Magic of Lanterns

I love that they look like they're floating on the water!

These guys remind me of my rottweiler puppy Maximus! 🙂

The Olympic Stadium tries to outshine the Chinese Lanterns!


Loved the Bonsai Trees


We also stopped by the Insectarium!

Getting Lost in the Virtual World

19 08 2011

Here is my first attempt at using Storify. It’s pretty cool! I’m still figuring it out though, let me know what you think!

Oh, and I can’t seem to embed it properly so here’s one of the photos within the story 😦 any ideas on how to make the whole storify appear here?

[View the story “Getting Lost in the Virtual World” on Storify]

Montreal Music Scene

28 02 2011

So, I know that there is a hopping music scene in Montreal and I even have a cousin who has his own recording studio and produces several artists and bands, but I don’t really know much more than that. Now, however, I know at least one amazing band that’s starting to make some waves.

The same night as Nuit Blanche, in the tiny Crobar on Crescent, all-girl band Line Spectra launched their first music video of their song City Stars, an ode to Montreal. The version they chose for their launch night was the French one – Les Etoiles. So fun!

Line Spectra is off to the Canadian Music Fest in Toronto. They will be performing March 12. I hope they do well!