LeAnn Rimes To Perform At Gay Mens Chorus Of Los Angeles Event

first_imgThe Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) kicks off its nationwide production, it gets better tour, inspired by the It Gets Better Project on Friday, February 1st at The Wilshire Ebell Theatre at 8pm, with a solo performance by LeAnn Rimes, along with GMCLA to perform two songs and celebrity attendance.LeAnn Rimes to perform at It Gets Better Tour for one time only performance, February 1st at Ebell TheatreCredit/Copyright: PRNewsFoto/Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles“It is so important to continue to get the message that ‘It Gets Better’ to everyone out there that has ever felt like an outcast, struggled with their sense of self or felt alone,” Rimes said. “As a longtime supporter of the GMCLA, I jumped at the chance to be a part of this night and this significant message.”Written and directed by Liesel Reinhart with musical direction by Morton Kier , the it gets better tour features an ensemble cast of six actors ( Jason Currie, Tyler Houston, Tod Macofsky, Mario Mosley, Sacha Sacket, and Drew Tablak) whose real-life stories of growing up gay are woven into the production.In the week leading up to the performance of the musical it gets better, the creative team will work in the community and at LA area schools with an outreach program designed exclusively for this production.The it gets better tour features a combination of original songs and songs by a who’s who of popular recording artists, including Rimes, Gnarls Barkley, Kelly Clarkson, Alanis Morissette, and songwriter Diane Warren. The show premiered at the University of Iowa in October to rave reviews and goes on a nationwide tour following the LA performance with stops including Lawrence, Kansas; Seattle, Washington; and at Penn State in University Park, Pennsylvania, among others.Tickets range from $50 – 150; for more information: www.itgetsbettertour.org.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Celebrities Want You To Move Your Body For Michelle Obama

first_imgWAT-AAH! Foundation, an organization founded by WAT-AAH!, a brand of functional bottled water for kids and teens, aimed at improving kids’ health through working with youth focused creative and physical activity groups, announces the 3rd annual Move Your Body 2013 event, taking place in New York City and Los Angeles, Wednesday, May 1st at 1:42pm EDT/10:42am PDT.Video: WAT-AAH!’s Move Your Body 2013 PSAExciting 250,000 kids in over 600 schools, the annual nationwide youth exercise event supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative with a motivational Public Service Announcement (PSA) featuring some of today’s biggest celebrities such as Austin Mahone, Bella Thorne, Blake Michael, Carly Rae Jepsen, Coco Jones, Eve, Jacob Latimore, Jada Grace, Jessica Sanchez, Luke James, Madison Beer, Mindless Behavior, Perez Hilton and The Wanted.Through their commitment to the Let’s Move! program, the WAT-AAH! Foundation continues their pledge to fight childhood obesity. The foundation raises awareness not only through this PSA video but also through billboards and media across major markets such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. The PSA, directed by Charles Nordeen of Light of Day Productions, features the celebrities dancing and moving to Beyonce’s flash workout theme song “Move Your Body.” The celebrities share encouraging messages, such as “You’ve got it!” and “Keep it going,” to inspire the young viewers to keep dancing.On May 1st at 1:42pm EDT, Move Your Body’s national initiative will kick off with hubs in New York City and Los Angeles accompanied by schools all across the nation including Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, San Diego, Phoenix, Portland and Jacksonville. The special events will feature celebrity appearances and performances by Hollywood Records artists Bella Thorne and Coco Jones, teen heartthrob Jacob Latimore, as well as pop group Mindless Behavior (Streamline/Conjunction/Interscope) amongst others.In 2011, WAT-AAH! joined The National Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation (NABEF), who teamed up with Beyonce as she debuted “Move Your Body,” for the Let’s Move! Flash Workout. The song and music video instructed a pre-choreographed dance routine re-recorded from her hit single “Get Me Bodied.” It was performed simultaneously by thousands of school children on May 3rd. The event gained global recognition as Beyonce surprised students at Harlem’s P.S.161 and First Lady Michelle Obama surprised students at Alice Deal Middle School in Washington, D.C..In 2012, due to the overwhelming requests from both students and teachers, WAT-AAH! took on the challenge and spearheaded the event. Not wanting to disappoint the kids, WAT-AAH! strived to make it an even bigger event involving thousands of kids and NFL/NBA athletes in its nationwide Move Your Body 2012 event.“Thanks to the kids, Move Your Body has taken on a life of its own,” says Rose Cameron, CEO and Founder of WAT-AAH!. “The WAT-AAH! Foundation is committed to facilitating this event for the thousands of participating students, acknowledging their hard work and their desire to live healthy lives. It has become more than a fun, well-choreographed exercise routine with great music, it is a celebration of the children’s efforts to stay healthy and the WAT-AAH! Foundation will not abandon them. May 1st is the day we celebrate the children and applaud their efforts,” she adds.Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese. Studies have shown that chronic obesity-related health problems can cause such diseases as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma among children.This year, the WAT-AAH! Foundation looks to encourage even more schools to take part in the campaign and spread the message of healthy hydration and physical activity to even more students. To resonate with kids and teens, WAT-AAH!, recently profiled in Forbes as one of the fastest growing functional water brands in the U.S. and Billboard for their fun and contemporary marketing approaches in their initiatives and their exclusive celebrity affiliations. Some of its major partnerships have included young celebrities such as The OMG Girlz, Diggy Simmons, Willow Smith, Nick Cannon, Ryan Beatty, Cody Simpson, along with NFL/NBA athletes such as Marques Colston of the New Orleans Saints, Pat Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals and Lou Williams of the Atlanta Hawks, who have come together to take a stand for kid’s health.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Prince William Attends Wildlife Conservation Symposium

first_imgThe Duke of Cambridge addressed a symposium of leading conservationists gathered together by his United For Wildlife umbrella organisation yesterday in support of ending the illegal wildlife trade which is threatening a number of endangered species.The Duke of Cambridge attends a symposium at ZSLCredit/Copyright: DukeAndDuchessOfCambridge.orgThe Duke made a speech at a conference held at the National History Museum last night and today will join his father The Prince of Wales at an international summit which aims to address the threat to animals like tigers, elephants and rhinos.Their Royal Highnesses have already released a video message calling on the world to turn its back on illegally traded animal parts like ivory and rhino horn.Video: Unite for wildlifeThe Duke told the symposium which met at the headquarters of one of its members the Zoological Society of London: “The Forces that are currently destroying some of the world’s endangered species are sophisticated and powerful. But this week, we are seeing the creation of an equally powerful alliance, coming together to help fight them.“The commitments set out today will begin to address the challenges of protection, enforcement and demand reduction. We will use our combined resources to ensure they succeed.”Will Travers, President of the Born Free Foundation founded by his parents the actors Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, also attended the symposium.Source:dukeandduchessofcambridge.orglast_img read more

Kristin Chenoweth Backs Asthma Campaign

first_imgThe Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Teva Respiratory have announced the launch of a national awareness campaign – Know Your Count – aimed at raising awareness of the seriousness of asthma and educating asthma patients and caregivers about the importance of keeping track of the remaining doses in their rescue inhalers.The campaign features award-winning singer and actress, Kristin Chenoweth, who is speaking publicly for the first time about the impact her asthma has had on her professional career and busy lifestyle. For more information about the Know Your Count campaign, Kristin’s experience with asthma and to view an important public service announcement (PSA), visit www.KnowYourCount.com.“I have struggled with asthma for more than a decade and am excited to be part of the Know Your Count campaign” said Kristin Chenoweth, Know Your Count spokesperson. “As a singer and actress, my schedule can be quite hectic at times and I simply can’t afford to let my asthma symptoms slow me down. To ensure I’m prepared in the event of an asthma attack, I count on my rescue inhaler with a dose counter to help me keep track of my remaining doses. It is my hope that by sharing my personal experience, I can encourage patients to know their count when it comes to asthma management.”Approximately 25 million Americans are living with asthma, a common chronic disease of the lungs, in which the airways become blocked or narrowed causing breathing difficulty. Asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or rapid breathing, and chest tightness. During an asthma attack, the airways can narrow to the point that not enough oxygen can get into the blood and travel to vital organs. In very severe cases, asthma can be life threatening.Children and adults with asthma need to rely on a quick-relief (or “rescue”) inhaler during an attack, so having enough medication in an inhaler when they need it is critical. Despite the life-saving nature of these medicines, a recent survey co-sponsored by AAFA and Teva of approximately 590 patients with asthma revealed that nearly half of respondents reported their rescue inhaler was empty when needed at least once in the past, requiring one-out-of-ten of them to go to the emergency room and one-out-of-five to go without treatment during the asthma attack.“Each year, asthma attacks account for nearly two million emergency room visits in the U.S.,” said Mike Tringale, Senior Vice President at AAFA. “The findings from our survey reveal that there is a significant need to educate patients about the importance of tracking the remaining doses in their rescue inhalers, so they have access to medication when needed. Using rescue inhalers with a dose counter is a great way to do just that. By joining forces with Kristin Chenoweth and Teva Respiratory, it is our hope that together we can encourage patients to know their count when it comes to safely managing their asthma.”Visit www.KnowYourCount.com for more information.last_img read more

Soledad OBrien To Host New Orleans To New York City Gala

first_imgAward-winning Journalist Soledad O’Brien – along with her husband Brad Raymond – will host the annual fundraising event, “New Orleans to New York City Gala” on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at Espace in New York.The celebration is the biggest night of the year for the Starfish Foundation, created to provide promising young women a bridge between obstacles and opportunities. Party guests will enjoy a cocktail reception followed by the evening’s festivities which will include a special music performance by members of the Grammy Award-Winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and members of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. The event is proudly sponsored by American Family Insurance.“We are excited to host The New Orleans to New York City Gala for the fourth consecutive year,” said O’Brien. “It is always a great gathering as we honor our scholars and the commitment they’ve shown to pursuing their education. I look forward to celebrating with them and our supporters in a festive evening.”The annual gala will begin with an outdoor cocktail reception at 6:00 p.m., preceded by main event and concert at 7:00 p.m. All proceeds from ticket sales for the “New Orleans to New York City Gala” will fund scholarships for young women awarded by the Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Starfish Foundation.After witnessing the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2006, O’Brien and Raymond began privately awarding scholarships to young women who didn’t have the resources for success. As their efforts grew, they officially formed the Starfish Foundation to expand their reach and help even more young women. Today the Starfish Foundation provides scholarships to disadvantaged young women in under-served communities and is committed to giving more than just financial assistance to its scholarship honorees. The Foundation creates a customized support program for each participant that reflects that person’s specific needs. To date, they have provided support to 28 young women.O’Brien is an award-winning journalist – she has been a writer, producer, reporter and a TV news anchor for NBC stations locally, NBC network news and CNN. About a year ago, O’Brien left CNN to start her own production and distribution company called Starfish Media Group. The company focuses on telling stories that often fly under the radar. O’Brien has won many awards including three Emmys she won for reporting in Haiti, Hurricane Katrina and the 2012 election. She’s travelled the globe telling stories, but her two favorite places are New Orleans where her Foundation was launched after Hurricane Katrina and New York City where she lives with her husband and four kids.For more information and ticket sales, please contact info@obrienraymondfoundation.orgSource:PR Newswirelast_img read more

AARP Foundation Announces Movies For Grownups Gala Host Committee

first_imgAARP Foundation has announced the esteemed members of the host committee for the AARP The Magazine’s 15th annual Movies for Grownups Gala.The 2016 host committee will be co-chaired by Rob Friedman and Sherry Lansing. Committee members include Ed Asner, June Squibb, Ed Begley Jr., Jeff Bridges, Blythe Danner, Robert Forster, Sid and Nancy Hult Ganis, Ken Scherer and Jane Seymour.“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our Movies for Grownups Gala host committee members for their support of this event,” said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, AARP Foundation president. “There are millions of vulnerable adults 50 and older facing housing, hunger, income and isolation challenges. This important event will help draw attention to these issues and create new opportunities for struggling seniors.”The annual awards gala supports AARP’s charitable affiliate, AARP Foundation, which helps struggling people 50 and older in Los Angeles and around the country transform their lives through programs that focus on functional and affordable housing, adequate and nutritious food, steady income, and strong and sustaining social bonds. AARP Foundation serves more than three million low-income seniors every year.AARP The Magazine will host the 15th annual Movies for Grownups Gala on Monday, February 8, 2016, at the Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles. Several awards will be presented, including best actor, best actress and best director. Chase Card Services will be the Premier sponsor of the event.“Chase is a proud supporter of AARP Foundation’s hunger programs and we are excited to come together on this event to highlight the importance of addressing senior hunger as a basic health issue,” said Richard Quigley, president of Chase’s partner card business. The event aligns with Chase’s commitment to donate up to $1.1 million to AARP Foundation in 2016 through a cause-marketing campaign with the AARP Credit Card from Chase.For more information, click here.last_img read more

Adrian Grenier Asks You To StopSucking On Plastic Straws In New Social

first_imgAmericans alone use approximately 500 million plastic straws everyday, polluting the ocean and harming sea life.Video: Lonely Whale Foundation’s #StopSucking PSATo change the dialogue about the impact of single-use plastics, the Lonely Whale Foundation debuted a new PSA on August 1 encouraging people to #StopSucking on plastic straws.Co-founder of Lonely Whale Foundation and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador, Adrian Grenier says it is critical to help all people understand the very real consequences our consumption has on the environment.“By the year 2050, it’s estimated there will be more plastic in the ocean by weight than fish. Our ocean and marine life are suffering and it’s only going to get worse if we don’t take immediate collective action,” explains Grenier. We see straws as a “gateway plastic” in understanding the pollution problem and a simple way to motivate consumers and industry leaders to take greater action against all single-use plastics,” says Grenier.Influencers appearing in the social awareness project include Adrian Grenier, Van Jones, Amy Smart, Kendrick Sampson, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Daniel Franzese among others asking viewers to pledge to “#StopSucking” and “go plastic strawless.”Visit www.StrawlessOcean.org to take the pledge to #StopSucking plastic straws. The website includes a guidebook for establishments to make the switch from plastic to a marine-friendly option like paper, bamboo, stainless steel and reed straws.Foundation Executive Director Dune Ives explains the “campaign isn’t just about plastic straws, it’s about building a connected and motivated global audience focused on the issue of ocean health.”“We depend on the ocean for our sustenance and the oxygen we breath,” says Grenier. “It is in our best interest to ensure the health of the ocean so that we can ensure the health of all marine species and ourselves.”last_img read more

TIFF 2018 CBC Indigenous lists 6 films to watch

first_img Facebook Login/Register With: The Toronto International Film Festival begins next week and CBC Indigenous has compiled a list of must-watch films screening at the festival that feature Indigenous talent from across the country (including multiple appearances from Tantoo Cardinal).This year Cree-Métis filmmaker Danis Goulet will be the Canadian features programmer. Her films have appeared in festivals across the globe and this year she was invited to join the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences alongside 982 other individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds and countries.Edge of the KnifeEdge of the Knife, directed by Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown, is the first feature film made in two dialects of the endangered Haida language. The film was made in collaboration with Isuma, the team behind Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner.   Advertisement Advertisement Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Edge of the Knife is the first feature film to be made in two dialects of the endangered Haida language. (TIFF) Set in the 19th century on the island of Haida Gwaii, a man is forced to retreat into the wilderness after an accident. He then becomes gaagiixiid/gaagiid or a wildman. The title is rooted in the Haida saying “The world is as sharp as the edge of a knife; as you go along, you have to be careful or you will fall off one side or the other.”This is Edenshaw’s debut as a co-director of a feature film with Haig-Brown, an award winning Tsilhqot’in filmmaker. Her past films include My Legacy (2014), ?E?ANX (The Cave) (2011) and Su naa (My Big Brother) (2005).Through Black SpruceThrough Black Spruce is the film adaptation of the novel by controversial author Joseph Boyden. The story follows the journey of Annie Bird, played by Tanaya Beatty, as she travels from her community in Moosonee, Ont., to Toronto in a search for her sister who has been missing for over a year.The film features a rich cast of Indigenous talent including Graham Greene, Tantoo Cardinal and Brandon Oakes. It’s produced by Tina Keeper.Directed by Don McKellar, the film explores the deep-seated pain of losing a family member and how that reverberates through bloodlines, a reality all too true for many Indigenous families in Canada.last_img read more

THE CANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS AND CBCRADIOCANADA TO INVEST IN CANADIAN

first_imgThe Creation Accelerator (CNW Group/Canada Council for the Arts) Twitter OTTAWA, May 28, 2019 – Today, the Canada Council for the Arts, together with CBC/Radio-Canada, announced plans to launch a new $1 million catalyst tool to amplify digital creation in Canada.This initiative, called the Creation Accelerator, will support projects in a sequence of production stages. Successful applicants will receive an initial grant to work with a producer, along with the mentorship of CBC/Radio-Canada, on the development of an original idea. Following this incubation stage, the Canada Council and CBC/Radio-Canada will select concepts for production and potential distribution on CBC/Radio-Canada’s platforms.Speaking on the Creation Accelerator initiative, Simon Brault, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts, said, “This initiative is a significant step towards supporting artists and arts organizations in the digital world. We are providing the arts sector with a new, innovative entry point to digital platforms offered by the CBC/Radio-Canada. It will give the arts sector access to an unprecedented number of Canadians. We believe there is a real appetite for original Canadian content rooted in this country’s inventive, diverse and dynamic arts sector.” Facebook “As a cornerstone of Canadian culture, the public broadcaster is very excited to be working alongside the Canada Council for the Arts to help Canadian artists  tell their stories in new ways on a national scale, and reach new audiences,” added Catherine Tait, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada. “We firmly believe that collaboration, like this partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts, is key to strengthening and amplifying our engagement with Canadians.”The Creation Accelerator is the first initiative of its kind for the Canada Council for the Arts, which—as part of its commitment to amplify the quality, scale and sharing of art through digital technology—has made a strong investment to increase the digital literacy of the arts sector with its Digital Strategy Fund.This pilot project will be open to artists and arts organizations across the country, in all fields of practice, including early career artists. No prior digital experience will be required.The Canada Council for the Arts will share full guidelines and details for the Creation Accelerator in late June, when the initiative opens for applications on the Council’s online granting portal. Until then, the Canada Council for the Arts and CBC/Radio-Canada encourage artists and arts organizations to push their creative boundaries and imagine innovative and impactful digital projects for this remarkable opportunity to connect with Canadian audiences.For more information, please consult canadacouncil.ca in late June 2019.ABOUT THE CANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTSThe Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s public arts funder, with a mandate to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts. The Council champions and invests in artistic excellence through a broad range of grants, services, prizes and payments to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations. Its work ensures that excellent, vibrant and diverse art and literature engages Canadians, enriches their communities and reaches markets around the world. The Council also raises public awareness and appreciation of the arts through its communications, research and arts promotion activities. It is responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO in Canada to contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable future. The Canada Council Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts.ABOUT CBC/RADIO-CANADACBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisementlast_img read more

Chartier reelected Metis president

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Metis National Council held its annual general assembly in Saskatoon this weekend.Along with several matters at hand for the Metis, leaders also came together to elect the Metis National Council president.APTN National News reporter Larissa Burnouf was there and files this report.last_img

Nunavut afflicted by dire health statistics

first_imgAPTN National NewsNew numbers are confirming what Nunavut residents have claimed for years, that they have the worst health problems in the country.According to numbers published by the Canadian institute for health information, if you live in Nunavut, you are twice as likely to die of something that you could have received treatment.Worse than that, you are three times more likely than other Canadians to die from a preventable cause, like smoking or excessive drinking.The study also pointed out Nunavut’s low rate of mental health treatment, because of few mental health resources in the territory.last_img read more

Toys R Us files for bankruptcy protection in Canada

first_imgTORONTO – Toys “R” Us Canada has initiated bankruptcy proceedings in an Ontario court a day after it filed for creditor protection in the U.S.The company said Tuesday its 82 stores across Canada, as well as its e-commerce sites will continue to operate as usual during its restructuring process under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.“The restructuring is intended to facilitate the continued success of our iconic brands; building a stronger company for our customers, business partners and team members,” Melanie Teed-Murch, president of Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us Canada said in a statement.The move comes at a critical time leading into the holiday season that is crucial to retailers’ bottom lines.The company has financing commitments to ensure normal operations throughout the CCAA proceedings, including stocking the hottest toys for the holidays and honouring all gift cards, warranties and returns, Teed-Murch said.“We are confident that this process will enable us to leverage Toys “R” Us’ existing strengths to succeed.”Toys “R” Us filed Chapter 11 documents late Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Virginia.The company said its approximately 1,600 Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores around the world – the “vast majority of which are profitable” – and its web portals continue to operate as usual.The chain also said it had secured US$3 billion in financing to stay open while it restructures its outstanding debt and establishes a sustainable capital structure to invest in long-term growth.Toys “R” Us is the latest brick-and-mortar retailer to struggle amid growing competition from online merchants and changing consumer preferences, with Sears Canada filing for CCAA protection this past June.if Toys “R” Us had offered a better online offering “perhaps they could have avoided such fate,” said Ryerson University business professor Seung Hwan Lee.“A lot of physical stores and brick-and-mortar stores are struggling with this concept because Amazon is really taking over,” said Lee, an associate professor at the Ted Rogers School of Retail Management.Meanwhile, children are increasingly gravitating towards digital toys rather than physical trinkets, he added.“There are consumer trends that are changing from both the parents’ side and the children’s side, and I don’t know if Toys “R” Us was innovative enough to adapt to that,” Lee said.This comes as Canadian retailer Mastermind Toys announced its continued expansion, with its 56th store opening in Orleans, Ont. on Tuesday. It said it plans to open four more stores across the country later this year, on top of the seven stores it had already launched in 2017.Lee says some brick-and-mortar retailers have been able to lure in customers by offering a more interactive experience in their stores.“Toys “R” Us, when you go in there, it looks exactly the same as, perhaps, 10, 20 years ago,” he said. “It’s aisles of toys, and you get to maybe try out some of the things, but there is nothing innovative about the physical store itself that draws people in.”Toys “R” Us Canada said Tuesday it is extending a “customer-centric store format that opened in Langley, British Columbia in July to a new store in Barrie, Ont. that will open in November. The format includes dedicated play areas, interactive stations for kid, mobile pay and Wi-Fi into the parking lot to make curbsite pick up easier.The company, which is headquartered in Wayne, N.J., and has nearly 65,000 employees worldwide, says it is committed to working with its vendors to ensure inventory levels are maintained and products continue to be delivered.Toys “R” Us, a major force in toy retailing in the 1980s and early 1990s, started losing shoppers to discounters like Walmart and Target and then to Amazon. GlobalData Retail estimates that in 2016 about 13.7 per cent of toy sales were made online, up from 6.5 per cent five years ago.While toy sales overall have held up fairly well, they are shifting toward discounters and online companies. U.S. toy sales rose 6 per cent last year on top of a seven per cent increase in the prior year, says NPD Group Inc., a market research firm. That was the biggest increase since 1999 and was fuelled by several blockbuster movies.—With files from the Associated Presslast_img read more

Pilots picket WestJet annual meeting as profit streak threatened by strike

first_imgCALGARY – The CEO of WestJet Airlines Ltd. warned Tuesday a potential strike could end its 13-year streak of quarterly profits as about 150 picketing pilots in uniform greeted shareholders at the company’s annual meeting.The airline’s shares plummeted to a two-year intraday low after it issued first-quarter results that cautioned its revenue per available seat mile will be flat or fall by two per cent in the current quarter partly due to a possible pilots’ strike.The stock closed at $19.94, its lowest since April 2016, after trading as low as $19.30 earlier in the day.“What we have seen over the last two weeks is a significant deferral of bookings, while some guests will either postpone travel plans or make other decisions,” CEO Ed Sims said Tuesday morning during a conference call.WestJet has agreed to give refunds if job action results in travel disruptions, he added.The Calgary-based airline and its pilots have been in contract negotiations since September. However, negotiations have been fraught as the union takes issue with the company’s hiring of outside pilots for its new ultra-low cost carrier Swoop, which is set to launch in June.After the annual meeting at the company’s Calgary International Airport headquarters, Sims said he doesn’t see the share price drop as a comment on his leadership since unexpectedly being appointed to replace retiring Gregg Saretsky in March.“It’s always challenging to go through a tough quarter and potentially to be advising on a future tough quarter but it is part of the headwinds that come in the aviation industry… I don’t tend to personalize those sort of reactions,” he told reporters.Analysts on the call challenged Sims for maintaining the same strategy despite an abrupt change in CEO. He defended the strategy, saying it was developed by a team and not one person.The airline is committed to remaining at the negotiating table with pilots until a sustainable agreement is reached, Sims said, noting there has been some progress.On the sidewalk outside, WestJet 230 YYC chairman Capt. David Colquhoun agreed the quality and frequency of negotiations has improved since the pilots commenced a strike vote late last month.The voting is expected to wrap up by May 10 and, if strike action is endorsed, job action could be taken after a cooling off period ends May 18.The pilots’ main concern, said Colquhoun, is job security. They fear that WestJet will move planes and jobs to Swoop after it begins operations in June.Earlier Tuesday, WestJet reported it earned $37.2 million or 32 cents per diluted share in its latest quarter, down from a profit of $46.7 million or 40 cents per diluted share a year ago.The results fell short of analysts’ expectations for earnings of 36 cents per share, according to data from Thomson Reuters Eikon.The airline attributed the drop to factors including heightened spending to prepare for the introduction of Swoop, the introduction of Boeing 787s for international routes, increased domestic competition, winter weather disruptions and an increase in fuel costs.Its charter business also slowed as construction on Suncor Energy Inc.’s Fort Hills oilsands mine came to a close and partnership revenue fell due to the loss of its codeshare relationship with American Airlines.WestJet is expanding its relationship with Delta Airlines and exploring partnerships for new regions including the transatlantic.It also moved up its goal of finding $200 million in annual savings by two years to 2020 from 2022.Revenue for the three-month period totalled $1.19 billion, up from $1.11 billion in the same quarter last year.The increase in revenue came as capacity increased 4.3 per cent and revenue passenger miles — a measure of traffic — increased 6.5 per cent.Revenue for non-fare ancillary services like checked baggage and upgrades increased 7.4 per cent to $109.5 million in the quarter or $18.58 per passenger.WestJet said it raised prices three times in its first quarter and five times since November to partially adjust to rising fuel costs, which rose 14.1 per cent in the quarter compared with the same period last year.However, it is cautious about raising fares too much and causing demand to falter.Still, Sims said the fundamentals of the airline’s business remain strong. WestJet’s load factor, a measure of how full its aircraft were, increased to 84.8 per cent compared with 83 per cent a year ago.— With files from Ross Marowits in Montreal.Follow @HealingSlowly on TwitterCompanies in this story: (TSX:WJA, TSX:SU)last_img read more

Markets Right Now Retailers lead early slump on Wall Street

first_imgNEW YORK — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):___9:35 a.m.Stocks are slumping in early trading on Wall Street led by steep drops in Macy’s and other retailers after several of the companies reported weak holiday sales.Macy’s plunged 18 per cent in early trading Thursday and Kohl’s dropped 10 per cent.Airlines were also taking a hit after American Airlines released a weak forecast for its fourth-quarter results.The losses, if they hold, would end a four-day winning streak for the market, its longest since September.The S&P 500 index fell 15 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 2,569.The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 111 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 23,773. The Nasdaq gave up 50 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 6,906.Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.70 per cent.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Freezing rain warning issued for Grande Prairie and the Alberta Peace

first_imgFor updates on road conditions in Alberta, visit 511.alberta.caThe full warning from Environment Canada is below.Issued at 2018-12-17 03:46 UTC by Environment Canada:Freezing rain warning issued for:Co. of Grande Prairie near Beaverlodge Hythe and Demmitt, Alta. (077111)Co. of Grande Prairie near Sexsmith and La Glace, Alta. (077112)Co. of Grande Prairie near Grande Prairie and Wembley, Alta. (077113)Current details:Freezing rain is expected or occurring.An area of freezing rain is forecast to develop over the Grande Prairie and southern Peace River regions overnight. The freezing rain will move eastwards into portions of the Red Earth and Slave Lake regions by Monday morning. Freezing rain will end by noon.Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery. UPDATE – The warning ended at 10:30 a.m. on December 17.GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning for Grande Prairie, Sexsmith and the rest of the Alberta Peace.Freezing rain could develop overnight Sunday into Monday before moving into the Slave Lake region.  Freezing rain warnings are issued when rain falling in sub-zero temperatures creates ice build-up and icy surfaces. Take extra care when walking or driving in affected areas.Freezing rain warnings are issued when rain falling in sub-zero temperatures creates ice build-up and icy surfaces.Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to ABstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #ABStorm.last_img read more

Peace Arts Gallery Society – Harvest Moon Gala and Auction

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Peace Arts Gallery Society (PAGS) is hosting its 36th Art Auction, the primary fundraising event for the society.The Harvest Moon Gala and Auction is the opportunity for PAGS to fundraise to support the Gallery, the Let’s Art Program for youth 6 – 18 years of age and support of bursaries for school students going into art programs.Saturday, October, 5th, 2019 the Auction starts at 5:00 pm and runs through to 10:00 pm, with the cost of tickets at $75 person. Doors Open at 5:00 pm – With refreshments and music by Landis Dell and his Jazz GuitarDinner is at 6:30 pm by the Cultured CafeAuction to Follow by Rhythm AuctionsThe North Peace Cultural Centre is transformed for the event to be a venue for the dinner service of turkey and ham and auctions of artisan art pieces.38 pieces of art have been donated to the live auction for attendees to auction upon as well as silent auctions.Two photographers will be on-site with one taking complimentary portrait photographs.Tickets for the evening can be purchased from the North Peace Cultural Centre Box Office or online; CLICK HERETo view the FB Event; CLICK HERElast_img read more

Living under constant threat

first_imgMass shootings seem to have become a sad new normal in societies these days. On Friday morning, two shooting incidents were reported from the al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue and Linwood Masjid in Linwood, both in Christchurch, New Zealand, resulting in multiple fatalities. The Bangladesh cricket team members were present at the mosque when the shoot-out happened. Fortunately, they escaped unhurt. The third Test, which was scheduled to start at Hagley Oval on Saturday, has been cancelled. Players took to social media to express shock. Mass shootings are happening too often and at extremely unexpected venues like concerts, places of worship, even cafes and schools. And who are the targets? Anybody, actually. These incidents leave a deep impact on people including post-traumatic stress disorder. Certain debilitating psychiatric conditions may get chronic, like the survivor’s guilt, which can aggravate over time and become more difficult to treat. It is thus important to understand and consider the fears and feelings of not only children but also adults who are involved in such incidents. Very often, they have lifelong influences. Mass shootings definitely contribute to heightened societal anxiety, posing a hindrance towards effective solutions. Firsthand experience of gun violence in what should be a ‘safe place’ for them can be indeed challenging and overbearing. Violence and criminality are pervasive in popular social themes and mass murderers gain notoriety through non-stop deliberations, resulting in a culture where narratives of such shootings spread and gain momentum. Undoubtedly, such episodes evoke raw emotions. For prevention, the world has adopted a number of measures that are also endorsed by researchers and doctors. Some of them include tightening gun laws, identifying potentially dangerous people in a community, learning self-defence mechanisms, restricting depictions of mayhem in video games, social media or on prime-time television, a crackdown on bullying in schools and working towards a peaceful conflict resolution. But hate crimes are rising. And each time, such frightening cases have either close or distant association with white supremacy and far-right extremism. Regrettably, they are motivated by the victim’s ethnicity, religion, race and even gender. It is a very complicated and stubborn phenomenon where the perpetrators feel emboldened enough to disobey the law and carry out their acts of violence. Thus, only prayers are not enough. What we need are stricter laws against such acts of violence, regulations which can set a precedence of its own and be an emblematic example to society, taking us towards an enhanced pervasiveness of investigation and study of each of such acts. Behind every such action, the hate is real. And so is the threat.last_img read more

Variety key to succeed in T20 cricket Varun Aaron

first_imgNew Delhi: Rajasthan Royals pacer Varun Aaron feels the gentleman’s game is changing swiftly as batsmen today have many innovations in their kitty to cope with the bowlers. As a result, he feels that the bowlers should also come with new tricks and techniques, a thing he has focussed on in recent times. After being on the bench for most of the first-half, Aaron bowled a magnificent spell against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and played an instrumental role in his side’s three-wicket win. The Jharkhand pacer hogged the limelight after bowling an excellent inswinger to get rid of KKR opener Shubman Gill, who was completely beaten by a brilliant in-swinging knuckle ball. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuThe delivery from Aaron took a sharp turn and crashed into the stumps after taking a slight edge from Gill’s bat. Aaron felt the variations in his bowling is a result of his hard work and the better understanding of the game. The 29-year-old admitted that not featuring in the IPL last year helped him improve his bowling variations. “I think not playing IPL previous year really benefitted me. I used to do these (variations) all things before but as I had to play regular cricket, I didn’t get enough time to perfect it to the degree I wanted. Playing county cricket last year and getting lot of time from the mainstream Indian cricket gave me that time and platform to practise and perfect my variations. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai Masters”I really enjoyed my time with Leicestershire. Yes, I am looking to play more county cricket,” he added. Aaron also believed the game of cricket is changing and along with the batsmen, bowlers also need to emerge with innovative ideas. “My bowling has evolved in the last one year. The game is changing rapidly as batsmen are coming with innovative shots and I feel the bowlers also need to step up and should have tricks under their sleeves, a thing which I have worked on since a while and I am glad it is coming out well now,” he revealed. Asked about not being given enough chance in the playing eleven of the Royals, Aaron said: “Yes, I was given a chance after ten games and was really looking to play since the start of the season. I did get a game before but just bowled one over. I was waiting for this chance and had been preparing from a long time.” Speaking on the wicket of Gill, which grabbed everyone’s attention, he said: “I just stuck to the basics and knew the Eden (Garden) wicket was going to suit the way I bowl because there was pace and carry. I bowled a knuckle ball as I knew it would swing with the new ball. I had been bowling it for quite some time. I just feel that it happened at the right time and the wicket also helped.” Aaron however, didn’t looked disappointed after not getting much chance. “I wouldn’t say I was disappointed as in any team the management thinks of certain permutations and combinations to win a game and if they thought of making other guys play, that is fine because at the end of the day it is their call.” “I still feel we have a good chance to qualify and if I can play a major role in making my team win the trophy, missing the first ten matches wouldn’t matter,” he added. The Royals had switched captains mid-way during this season as Ajinkya Rahane had to make way for Steve Smith but Aaron said their below par performance was not because of leadership. “Both Smith and Rahane are really good captains. We didn’t do well in the first half and I don’t think that was because of leadership issue. We lost games by small margins and a captain can’t control that,” he said.last_img read more

Can be differences in ideology but PMs post must be respected Krishna

first_imgKolkata: There can be differences in ideology but one should respect the prime minister’s post, former TMC MP and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s kin Krishna Bose said, amid a war of words between Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee. The octogenarian said Modi, too, should not forget that state governments are elected and have powers. “I may not agree with the ideology of the BJP but as long as Narendra Modi is the elected prime minister of the country, I have to be respectful towards him. I will respect him as the PM of the country but not as the head of a political party with whom I do not agree,” Bose told PTI in an interview. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja Referring to Modi’s “speed-breaker didi” jibe at Banerjee and her “expiry prime minister” retort, the former four-time Lok Sabha MP said the remarks were absolutely unnecessary. “I do not take it only as a part of a speech of an election campaign saying who is a speed breaker or who is not a prime minister at all. It is much more serious than that… But I do not think such comments should not have come from both the sides… Otherwise a federal government will not be able to function properly. Both the governments are elected ones,” she said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway When pointed to the BJP’s allegations that Banerjee was appeasing the Muslims in West Bengal, Bose said leaders should refrain from blaming head of another elected government. She said “everyone should remember that India is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious country and if you do not follow that ideal then you cannot really rule India. In that way, Modi has to remember this and not blame others for what they are doing or not doing”. “And if you are talking about appeasing the Muslims, that is not new but it had been going on for a very very long time and that is why the community is left behind. Had the political parties thought of the real good of them then something else should have been done,” she said. She said how can one just blame Banerjee. “Everybody has been doing it. Everyone is questioning it at the time of the elections. I cannot blame Mamata for that,” Bose opined. On the rise of the BJP in West Bengal, Bose reasoned the growing dissatisfaction among the people of the state with the TMC government. Bose claimed Mamata has done certain good things for the development of West Bengal, but all her good work has been spoilt by some people around her. “People here are also unhappy with two things, the syndicate and secondly that they could not vote in the last panchayat election held here. The present government should have taken strong steps,” Bose said. She added the BJP was quickly filling up the vacuum in the state created by little presence of the CPI(M) and the Congress. Bose, however, was critical about the manner the ruling Trinamool Congress was “trying to stop” the rise of the BJP in West Bengal. “Today’s ruling party in Delhi has a particular ideology. They say it openly. They want Hindutva. But in Bengal, the manner we are trying to stop that by competing with them is not the way.Think of Netaji and Gandhiji and how they fought this thing by not competing,” Bose said. When asked whether the Election Commission was biased towards the BJP-led central government, Bose said, “The EC, the judiciary, the Army never came into our political process. The EC must be free, independent, so it can do whatever it wants to. These were checks which had kept the election alive”. The EC had curtailed the campaigning on Thursday, a day before its scheduled deadline, in the wake of violence between BJP and TMC workers in Kolkata during a rally of BJP chief Amit Shah. “By what is happening, it seems they are unable to control the situation. It looks like they are either afraid of being independent or they are partisan to different parties in different situation,” she said. Bose said if bodies like the EC gets “diluted and were not allowed to function independently” then the future was not far away when this would become a “threat to the Indian democracy”. “Now you sort of dilute these bodies and if the EC is afraid to do their own work and do not have the independence or they fall to such a level that they listen to certain parties then you cannot keep democracy any more and free and fair elections now look like a joke to us,” she pointed out. Bose, who has witnessed polling since the first elections in the country, questioned the need of deploying central forces almost in every polling booths in West Bengal. “Why should we at all need central forces or police or the state police. This itself means that we are unable to control the election and organise a free and fair polling. I have been seeing the elections since 1952 and at the beginning we did not have these problems. “In a democracy, people want free and fair elections. But that is not happening. Our Constitution is very good and that is the reason we could keep our democracy intact for so long. But I am sceptical for how long our democracy will be intact,” she said. On the chances of ‘Mahagatbandhan’ (grand alliance), Bose said, “I believe they definitely have a chance. I cannot deny that, but we have to wait for that. But if they come together and preserve unity and not fight among themselves I think they may have a good future”. More than 20 parties had come together during a rally hosted by the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata in January, vowing to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party in Lok Sabha polls.last_img read more

Egypt arrests head of Iranian TV channels Cairo bureau

first_imgCAIRO – Egypt’s “Journalists for reform” group, meanwhile, condemned the arrest as a “new blow to journalists.”Egyptian security forces on Thursday arrested the Cairo bureau director of Iranian satellite TV news channel Alalam.“Security forces raided the home of Ahmed al-Siyoufi and arrested him,” a security source told Anadolu Agency.The reason for al-Siyoufi’s arrest, however, remains unclear.The news channel confirmed the arrest, saying talks were currently underway with Egyptian Journalists Syndicate head Diaa Rashwan to determine the reason for al-Siyoufi’s sudden arrest.Egypt’s “Journalists for reform” group, meanwhile, condemned the arrest as a “new blow to journalists.”In a statement, the group described al-Siyoufi – an Egyptian national – as “an outspoken opponent of the [July 3] coup” that unseated elected president Mohamed Morsi and “a staunch supporter of constitutional legitimacy.”Egyptian security forces had briefly detained al-Siyoufi in July and confiscated broadcast equipment from Alalam’s Cairo office on allegations that the channel lacked official permission to operate in Egypt.last_img read more