Being part of a winning situation certainly qualifies as a special moment; and if this moment addresses and includes a lot of people then it gains a bit of importance. Canada is still young enough to have a few "firsts", like the new opera house on University Avenue and Queen Street in Toronto that was recently completed. The all-important ribbon cutting ceremony took place one hot summer morning in June. Guests arrived in all sorts of manner of dress, from casual to formal and roamed the huge and lofty lobby, champagne glass in hand, and enjoyed gargantuan shrimps and many other delicacies.
Richard Bradshaw was seen greeting arrivals, most of which were supporters of the fundraising efforts and of course the media, which also turned out in droves to inspect Canada’s first purpose-built opera house with acoustics and sightlines designed to showcase the full glory and range of opera. Built by the he award-winning Toronto based firm Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc. there is nothing quite like it anywhere on the planet.
On stage the most important players from various levels of politics, the arts and other industries in this project were seated and acknowledged. Even the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable Mr. Bartleman was present to lend importance to this Canadian moment.
A Canadian Moment
This opera house comes at a time of a major remodelling trend in the arts and culture arena in Toronto. The Royal Ontario Museum is nearing more its end of a major addition, as are the Gardiner Museum of Ceramics and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Toronto is truly becoming an important cultural Mecca with very cosmopolitan flair. The architecture in this city is reflective of many different influences and mirrors the multitude of people that came here from all over the world to make their home here.
For more information you can go to www.fourseasonscentre.ca . Be ready for an incredible inaugural program that starts with Wagner’s complete Ring cycle.
Ethnic Media Awards
What is more Canadian than a gathering of Canadian media celebrating excellence? When the media is specifically catering to distinct ethnic groups then such an occasion is a truly Canadian moment, and one of magnitude.
No longer are ethnic media outlets taking a back seat in the nations journalistic circles. They themselves certainly do not think of themselves as ethnic and rightfully so. Doesn’t everyone have an ethnic background? Canada’s diversity has created a strength that cannot be overlooked and is perhaps one of its most valuable assets. Nowhere else can a reader or an audience be more openly and honestly informed of their rights, their privileges, their contributions, than in the so called ethnic media. These important contributions are annually being acknowledged and celebrated by the Ethnic Journalist and Writers Club, recently renamed Canadian Ethnic Media Association or CEMA.
15 years ago Echo Germanica was honoured with a citation for Excellence in Journalistic Development of a Bilingual Monthly Publication. This year we stood by Barbara Jones of Sailor Jones Media for an award winning project on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, produced in 7 languages, one of them being German. This is the segment I had the great honour and pleasure to contribute to as an assistant director responsible for the German segment.
Barbara Jones took on this project on a dare, she told the assembly and is indeed very happy to have pursued it. Currently she is working on a digital version to be used as a teaching tool. The first languages, English and French, were released just in time for Canada’s Birthday.
Now there were a couple of Canadian moments, as the recipients were called to the stage
The 28th annual Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) Awards were presented Friday, June 23,2006, Toronto, in the Velma Rogers Graham Theatre. 333 Bloor St. E. at 7:15 p.m. In addition, the Sierhey Khmara Ziniak Award, named for CEMA’s founder, will be presented to the person who through journalism has spoken for Canadian multiculturalism.
CEMA (formerly the Canadian Ethnic Journalists’ and Writers’ Club), which was founded in 1978 as an inclusive organization for print, radio and television media now includes Internet categories. CEMA publishes a website at www.canadianethnicmedia.com
ASHOKE DASGUPTA, for culturally sensitive article "Hyphenated Canadians, Mixing Cultures, Blending Identities" in "The New Canadian."
CLAIRE TSOLKAS, EDITOR CMHL PROGRAM for winning enthusiastic public support by demonstrating ideals and objectives of the Canadian Multicultural Hockey League.
ZELDA YOUNG , HOST "ZELDA’S SHOW" -- CHIN RADIO for an informative phone-in discussion on the nature of democracy and its implications to Canadian society.
+JAI OJAH MAHARAJ, PRODUCER "CARIBBEAN CONNECTIONS," CHIN RADIO for producing an impassioned plea by Clyde McNeil for action against gang crime in Toronto’s Black community.
SADIA ZAMAN, PRODUCER 360 degrees, VISION TV for "CSIS in the Mosque" a revealing investigation of government intelligence activities in the Muslim community.
SHAHID SHAFIQ, WEBMASTER CANADIAN MULTICULTURAL HOCKEY LEAGUE for creating a web site and reporting on the first tournament of the CMHL TRICIA HYLTON, WEBMASTER, PALPITATIONS for "A Looming Crisis, " a searching and informative opinion piece on AIDS in Canada’s Black communities."
SIERHEY KHMARA ZINIAK AWARD
CEMA’s President Ben Viccari reminded all present of the importance of accurate and honest reporting, minus hype and filters, something that can always be counted on by the many media outlets that represent most Canadians.
The evening ended with a posh rooftop terrace reception, providing a fabulous view of Toronto.
Surely there are many more Canadian moments. Some of them might be highly personal and only important to a few people; others are of great importance to many.
What ever it was for you deserves celebrating, not just on Canada Day but every day!
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