Archive for January 2019

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked for it, Bryan Adams delivered.

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Sunday night’s Juno Awards opened with a skit that had the prime minister phoning in a request for “Summer of ’69” and the show closed with an all-star performance that also included Sarah McLachlan, Alessia Cara and members of rock bands Billy Talent and the Arkells.

Earlier, the show mixed comedy from co-host Russell Peters and sombre tributes to two of the year’s big winners, Gord Downie and the late Leonard Cohen.

READ MORE: Trudeau makes cameo in Junos skit with co-hosts Bryan Adams, Russell Peters

Cohen won album of the year for “You Want It Darker,” making it the second posthumous Juno honour for Montreal’s poet laureate. Cohen, who died in November, also won artist of the year during a Juno gala dinner on Saturday.

Trudeau introduced a tribute performance for Cohen – who he called “one of the greatest artists Canada has ever produced” – by recalling when the Montreal poet-songwriter was an honorary pallbearer for his father Pierre Trudeau’s funeral.

“I remember a gathering the night before the funeral…. That was the night I learned Leonard – a great man – but not a big hugger.”

WATCH: Justin Trudeau, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau pay homage to the late Canadian icon Leonard Cohen

Feist, accompanied by two other singers, performed a cover of Cohen’s 1967 song “Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye,” backed by a slideshow of black and white photos of the musician.

Downie did not attend the show but appeared in a pre-recorded acceptance speech after being named the winner of the songwriter of the year Juno for his “Secret Path” solo project, which recounts the life of 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack, who died in 1966 after running away from a residential school. “Secret Path” also won the best adult alternative album and recording package of the year awards.

“Thank you for stepping into the wind, for following the sound you’ve been sort of hearing your entire life. For looking to see what has been bothering you a little bit,” Downie said in a pre-recorded acceptance speech for the songwriter award.

READ MORE: Tragically Hip, Drake, Leonard Cohen collect hardware at Juno gala

“For recognizing that we’re not completely Canada yet. For seeing we have friends, our fellow countrymen and women, who are in big trouble. For recognizing our friends who were here before us, at least for thousands of years.

WATCH: 10-year-old with autism becomes viral hit with her stirring rendition of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’

“First Nations have many, many stories like this one,” he said in reference to Chanie’s story. “My dream would be that this record with Jeff Lemire’s drawings might help people. Might give teachers something to help teach our young ones.”

Among the more surprising moments of the evening came when Tragically Hip member Paul Langois took the stage to accept the band’s win for group of the year. The guitarist launched into a lengthy speech thanking his family and crew before Juno producers started playing him off.

“Go to commercial, go ahead. This is my arena, not yours,” he said before turning his back to the cameras.

READ MORE: Gord Downie joins Blue Rodeo on stage for surprise appearance in Toronto

“I want to shout out to Gord Downie and I want -” he continued before his microphone was cut.

Other winners included Ruth B who took home breakthrough artist of the year after her song “Lost Boy” elevated her from a Vine star to a Billboard chart success.

Cara won pop album for “Know-It-All,” her breakout which includes hits singles like “Here” and “Wild Things.”

Saskatchewan musician Jess Moskaluke’s “Kiss Me Quiet” won the country album award.

READ MORE: Juno winner pays the bills working as a Hamilton school teacher

Peters opened the show with a somewhat off-colour monologue in which he proclaimed the audience of young girls was a “felony waiting to happen,” and gave a shout out to Canada’s sesquicentennial, calling the country “still sexy at 150.”

“The United States is 241 and they’re aging horribly – especially since January,” Peters said, in reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration. “It’s almost like the U.S. has a really bad spray tan all over it.”

Peters also joked about the Canadian musical superstars who weren’t in attendance.

READ MORE: Commentary: Junos have come a long way

“Drake is on tour,” Peters noted, to groans from the audience. “The Weeknd is dating (Justin) Bieber’s ex, and the Biebs is in Brazil, probably punching a fan right now.”

Peters adopted a more serious tone for a moment to recognize that he was subbing in for Michael Buble, who bowed out of hosting duties last month to care for his young son Noah, who’s fighting cancer.

“My thoughts are with you Mikey and I love you buddy,” Peters said.

Calgarians marked World Autism Day at Olympic Plaza Sunday and participants didn’t let a little rain or snow dampen their spirits.

The 4th annual event was held in partnership with Autism Calgary, Autism Asperger’s Friendship Society, Allies for Autism and the Autism Community Network.

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    “It just creates a deeper understanding that when you come across someone who has disabilities, whether it’s autism or something else, just to be able to take a moment and be able to help them, or be able to have some understanding if there’s a behavioural issue that has presented itself, and a greater understanding of who they are as a person,” said Kent Chapman who has a daughter with autism.

    It’s been a challenging journey for Tracy Mendoza’s son through various Calgary schools.  Her son was diagnosed with autism at an early age and has been in public, Catholic and private classrooms. The family finally settled on Quest, a Calgary special education private school.

    “I think in my experience, we’ve had some bullying going on. Instances where people threw rocks at him and called him names and there were anti-bullying posters all over the walls. I brought it up to the principal and it really didn’t work out the way that they like to say that it would,” Mendoza said.

    READ MORE: World Autism Awareness Day: 5 things you didn’t know about autism

    Lyndon Parakin, executive director of Autism Calgary, says awareness among school administrators and students has grown – but there is still a long way to go.

    “I don’t think there is knowledge of what that really means, what that looks like and how to embrace it or how to support people – how to make them feel a part of that community in that school,” Parakin said.

    Parakin adds children with autism are often misunderstood.

    To help get the word out to schools, a national campaign will be introduced next year called “Inside out for Autism.” Students will be asked to wear their shirts inside out as a way to foster acceptance.

    ”It’s really a symbol of daring to be different. It’s a real reflection of life with autism which is to be socially awkward and socially a little bit different. Getting people to step into that.  Wear the shoes of someone with autism and to be a little bit socially awkward for the day is kind of the target,” Parakin said.

    In addition to helping other students better understand the needs and strengths of children with autism, parents would like to see more resources available in schools.

    “The lack of aid time is the number one thing that parents of children with autism will say,” Mendoza said.

    World Autism Awareness day is held each year on April 2.

Students from across southern Alberta put their science skills to the test at the Lethbridge Regional Science Fair and Science Olympics Saturday.

“I always joke that the days of the baking soda volcano are gone,” event chair Arlan Schultz said. “Although I did see a project on volcanoes but it had nothing to do with baking soda, it was tectonic shifts.”

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    Schultz says every year the projects get better and more scientific with grades one to twelve divided into junior and senior divisions. Medals are awarded to participants in each grade.

    “We give away almost $4,000 in awards and scholarships to kids and we also have some donated awards as well,” Schultz said.

    The top three projects from the senior division are also eligible for the national science fair.

    “In the past, per capita we do better than almost any other city in the county,” Schultz explained. “Lethbridge has a tremendous history with the Canada wide science fair and it’s a testament to how good our fair is.”

    Marin Schultz was last year’s silver medal winner nation-wide, where he hopes to compete again this year with his project on the development of the prosthetic auto-grasp control system and advanced human prosthetic interface.

    “Prosthetics usually can only do things like grasp or release and it’s hard for them to do anything extra because for every sensory input you can only have one possible action,” Marin explained. “What I’m doing is increasing the actions that are possible by increasing the autonomy of the system.”

    Kiana Jans was hoping to grab the judges attention with her love of popcorn.

    “My project is about where you should store your popcorn,” Jans said. “My procedure is you put six bags, two in the fridge, two in freezer and two in the cupboard.”

    Jans says her results showed the best place for popcorn was the cupboard.

    “Every little kernel has some moisture in it and if you put it in the fridge or the freezer the moisture lowers, compared to the cupboard,” Jans explained. “When you put it in the microwave, the moisture mixes and creates steam which helps it pop better.”

    If you thought colouring was just for kids, grade five students Sean Hazell and Tyler Munnings from Our Lady of the Assumption School, set out to see if the activity is actually calming, improves memory and how it affects reaction times.

    “From the sample of people we used, it appears that colouring improves short term memory,” Munnings said. “Memory improved by 58 per cent of those tested.”

    The day long event included Science Olympics in the afternoon, breaking the kids into teams to see who could build the fastest elastic powered car.

    “It’s a really exciting way for children to be awarded for their scientific work, we try to make it as positive as possible,” Schultz said.

Edmonton city staff are recommending a one-time funding package for three long-time festivals that are relocating in summer 2018 due to construction at Churchill Square.

The public venue will be impacted by construction projects from September 2017 to April 2019. It has been the location for The Works Art and Design Festival for more than 30 years, the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival for nearly 30 years and Taste of Edmonton for 32 years.

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    IN PHOTOS: Edmonton International Street Performers Festival 2016

    City staff are recommending a funding package of up to $372,500 for all three festivals – up to $110,000 for The Works, up to $90,000 for the Street Performers Festival and up to $172,500 for Taste of Edmonton. The money will be used for incremental operating expenses, additional staff, marketing and communications.

    “Relocation off the square is a risk for these organizations and will result in additional operating costs,” reads the report headed to the Community and Public Services Committee.

    “For this reason they are seeking funding support for direct incremental operating costs that will be incurred as a result of the relocation including equipment, utilities, facility rental fees, temporary infrastructure and additional staff to plan and deliver these festivals in new locations.”

    The Works currently has an interim location of the Legislature grounds for summer 2018 while the Street Performers Festival’s interim location is Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Park.

    The Taste of Edmonton has not yet revealed its interim location.

    Councillors heard Monday that Taste of Edmonton was hoping to use the Federal Building for its 2018 event.

    Organizers were told the provincial space is not an appropriate temporary home for the festival next summer due to its food and drink rules.

    Events Edmonton GM Paul Lucas told 630 CHED a meeting with legislature staff two years ago did not go well because they believed food and drink “takes away from the dignity” of the grounds.

    However, later Monday afternoon, Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason said the province will grant an exemption to allow the festival to operate outside the Federal Building.

    READ MORE: Taste of Edmonton 2016 includes Mac & Cheese Balls and Veg Kurkuri 

    The festivals should be returning to Churchill Square in 2019.

    The issue will be discussed at Monday’s committee meeting. If it receives support, it will then require council approval.

    With files from Emily Mertz, Global News and 630 CHED

Mike Hall is looking to sell his five-acre property in Tappen, B.C., and he’s willing to throw in something extra to sweeten the deal: 340-plus vintage cars.

Hall plans on retiring, and in an effort to simplify his life, wants to sell his auto-wrecking business — along with the hundreds of classic cars he never found time to restore.

“I’m still in good health,” he said. “If they can go to a good home and I could walk away, it would make my life a whole lot simpler.

“I used to think that my whole dream would be to retire and restore cars. Well, I’d have to live to be 200 to restore all the cars I’ve got.”

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The property — located about 10 minutes from Salmon Arm in B.C.’s Shuswap region — includes “a 900-square-foot restoration shop, a 1,200-square-foot steel building and enough steel beams and rafters to build 8,000 square feet of covered space,” according to the real-estate listing.

The asking price: $1.45 million.

“People say $1.4 million is a lot of money,” Hall said. “Not when a condo in Vancouver is going for $2 million.”

Hall said his realtor has fielded about 100 inquiries — including five or six he considered to be serious — but he won’t start counting his money until a solid offer is on the table.

“Buyers are liars, as my buddy used to say. Show me the money.”

A B.C. man is selling his property in Tappen, B.C. along with more than 300 vintage cars.

Century 21

He said he would love to sell to someone “who can do mechanical and body work, because if you can do all the work in-house and not pay anybody, then there’s a lot of money to be made.”

Hall’s car collection consists almost entirely of vintage two-door vehicles that run the gamut from 1940s trucks to old-school ’70s muscle cars. Highlights include a 1927 Ford Model T truck, a 1947 Mercury Ute from Australia, and a 1964 Chevrolet Malibu convertible. Perhaps the rarest vehicle in his collection is a 1966 Pontiac Beaumont, one of only 45 ever made.

“It’s pretty hard to accumulate a pile like this anymore, because they’re all gone,” Hall said.

Hall spent decades scaling rocks for a living and collecting cars was a labour of love. But now he says it’s time to move on.

“You think you own sh–t, and you realize it owns you,” he said.

“Everything you own attaches a spider web to you, and one day you’ve got so many spider webs you can’t move and you can’t breathe.”

That may not sound like much of a sales pitch, but Hall says his offer is ideal for a gearhead who wants nothing more than to work on cars and enjoy the quiet beauty of the south-central British Columbia.

“If you come up here, you’ve got a lifetime worth of work and you’re only five minutes from Shuswap Lake,” he said.