Wednesday, 14 February 2018

New Mentorship Program announced for Emerging Writers

RBC Foundation and the RBC Taylor Prize launch 
RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writers Mentorship Program

The RBC Foundation and the RBC Taylor Prize are launching the new RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writers Mentorship Program, a professional development program designed to support the next generation of Canadian writers on their career journeys. The program will be part of the RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writers Award, a distinction that is given annually to a Canadian author whose work embodies the pursuit of excellence in literary non-fiction.
The Mentorship program will be made available to five Canadian non-fiction writers, who are selected in partnership with a national network of university and college writing programs. These students will then be paired with RBC Taylor Prize shortlisted authors, who will help support their career development and growth.
Nadina Taylor, a trustee of the Charles Taylor Foundation, and daughter of the late Charles Taylor, is one of the main champions of the new program. "We've seen great successes with the RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writers Award and realized that perhaps a more dedicated focus on how best to prepare these talented writers for the competitive world of writing and publishing could be effective. As we've seen in all professions, the impact and benefit of mentorship can be potent and mutually beneficial."
The five students selected will be required to have an existing body of work and a non-fiction manuscript that is close to completion. As part of the program, they will attend several meetings with their mentor and participate in an intensive agenda of professional development seminars focusing on the business of writing and publishing in Canada.
Students and mentors will connect several times prior to the RBC Taylor Prize event. They will also have the unique opportunity to travel to Toronto for the weekend of the RBC Taylor Prize awards (February 22-26, 2018). While in Toronto, they will meet with their mentors and be part of several sessions on professional development with individuals from Canadian cultural industries. In addition, students will accompany their mentors to various events scheduled for the shortlisted authors, including the IFOA/TPL roundtable and various media engagements.
"At RBC Wealth Management, we recognize the value of mentorship and its importance to enhancing career development," said Vijay Parmar, President of RBC PH&N Investment Counsel. "This award is an important part of RBC's larger commitment to bridging the gap between emerging and established artists – which will no doubt help the next generation of writers."
At a gala luncheon on February 26, 2018, the members of the inaugural RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writers Mentorship Program will be introduced, and then the winner of this year's RBC Taylor Prize will be announced.

2018 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writers Mentorship Program

The five participants in this year's Mentorship Program are:
Christopher Brown

Christopher Brown — University of Calgary
Born and raised on the Prairies, Brown is pursuing his PhD in English Literature. His intimate family history, linked to the Canadian North, has led to an interest in the spectre of the Indian Agent, the Hudson Bay Company, the RCMP, and the impact and aftermath of the Residential School system. His most recent writing can be found in The Feathertale Review and Road Maps & Life Rafts Lit Magazine, and his current project seeks to interrogate Indian Affairs archival documentation from the '50s and '60s through the space of the lyric essay.
Michael Downing

Antonio Michael Downing — University of Waterloo
Antonio Michael Downing grew up in southern Trinidad, Northern Ontario, Brooklyn and Kitchener. He is now a musician, writer and activist based in Toronto. His 2010 debut novel, Molasses, was published to critical acclaim. His nonfiction manuscript, Buttahfly, is a memoir of his obsession for radical identity transformations and how a tragic fire forced him to invent his '"baddest, boldest self: John Orpheus".
Gena Ellet

Gena Ellett — UBC
Ellett's writing has appeared across North America including Malahat Review, Slice, Canthius, EVENT and SubTerrain. She won the 2015 EVENT NonFiction Prize and was nominated for a 2016 National Magazine Award for Personal Journalism. Her work-in-progress, The Backroads, is an essay collection that explores the finite years of young-adulthood as characterised by first encounters with death, loss, relationships, identity. She lives and writes in Vancouver.
Stephanie Harrington

Stephanie Harrington
University of Victoria
Harrington has worked as a journalist in Canada, Hong Kong and Australia, and recently completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Victoria.  Her manuscript in progress, Four Blows, explores the effect of a violent crime from the perspective of the accused's family. The incident landed her brother in prison and displaced her family, prompting them to leave their home in Hamilton, ON. Her brother later successfully appealed his conviction, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was released. She asks, "What do we do as a society with violent people?"

Martha Roberts

Martha Roberts — Dalhousie (Kings)
Having grown up in Kingston, Roberts has an MA in sociology from Queens, specializing in crime & research methodology. She now lives in North Central Regina, which Maclean's labeled Canada's Worst Neighbourhood in 2007. The article inspired her to undergo a sobering re-examination of her home. Her manuscript, "Wounded" details the historical and social forces that have shaped the neighbourhood, the relationships she developed with 5 Indigenous residents whom she followed for two years and ultimately, her understanding of herself as a non-Indigenous Canadian.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Canadian Jamaican Medical Marijuana company has plants in the ground in Jamaica

Timeless Herbal Care Unveils Global Market Strategy at the Jamaica Stock Exchange Investments & Capital Markets Conference
Company is positioned to become Jamaica’s leading cannabis brand
Kingston, Jamaica January  24, 2018 Timeless Herbal Care (THC) (, one of the first three licensed medical marijuana companies in Jamaica, announced that company CEO, Courtney Betty, will be a moderator at the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Investments & Capital Markets Conference.
 Time Herbal Care CEO Courtney Betty (left) inside
a Jamaican Medical Marijuana laboratory
Mr. Betty will be unveiling the THC global market strategy to qualified investors, and outlining the opportunities that exist in the Jamaican legal medical marijuana market. Timeless is uniquely positioned to offer both Jamaican and international companies a gateway into the island’s medical marijuana industry. THC is the face of Jamaican  medical cannabis, with a global brand providing products and services to the domestic market, tourism visitors, and international medical marijuana patients.
The company has already planted its first crop, and has access to tremendous acreage through its partnership with the Jamaican Government. Timeless partnership with O.penVAPE and Organa Brands provides Timeless with the best international expertise to produce extracted oil and value added products. Furthermore, THC has the only  greenhouses in the Caribbean that has  been certified to grow medical cannabis. According to Jamaica’s Honourable Minister of Finance Audley Shaw; Timeless has been a trailblazer in helping Jamaica to  become the medical marijuana hub for the world”.
We are ushering in a new era of unprecedented growth and opportunity in Jamaica,” Mr. Betty said. With our committed partners, a powerful brand strategy, and vertical integration, we are positioned to become one of Jamaica’s and the world’s leading brands for medical cannabis.”
Mr. Betty will be the moderator at the JSE Conference on February 24, 2018 at 2:25 p.m. on a panel titled, Monetizing the Plant-Based Medicine Industry. For more information, visit:
For more information on Timeless Herbal Care, visit:, or call: (876) 754-2121.
Connect with THC:

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Batabano and Tribal Too. Costume Launch for Cayman’s Big One

Carnival coming to Grand Cayman ... with Canadian help

By Stephen Weir for the Caribbean Camera

Tribal Carnival will be taking Grand Cayman Island over this May 5th one Mas costume at a time.  The Toronto based Mas Arts Club travelled to the British colony last weekend to hold its annual costume launch  in  the capital of Georgetown. Early reports are calling the Friday night showcase  a huge success!
“Last year we had 400 people sign up to go down the road with us in Cayman’s Batabano,” said Tribal founder Dexter Seusahai.  “ This year we are looking at 600 or more people buying costumes and jumping up!”
Dexter Seusahai.

Dexter and his daughter and partner Celena Seusahai  were in Grand Cayman to act as ring masters in the large Friday night band launch which showcased the costumes that Tribal Carnival will be wearing in the 34th annual  Batabano parade.
This year Tribal Carnival used the huge Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant to put their colourful costumes and equally colourful model and dancers in front of the locals and curious tourists.
In 2018 Tribal Carnival is going with a Pirate theme (with new sponsor Appleton supplying the Pirate’s’ Rum) and will have six sections of swashbuckling revellers.  
Appleton Rum, the new sponsor
It is not just Cayman residents signing up with Tribal Carnival, there will be many Canadians and Americans heading down to Grand Cayman for the May  5th afternoon parade.
On stage in Grand Cayman
Cayman Carnival Batabano is the annual national carnival of the Cayman Islands, held in late April and  early May. The outdoor festival includes an all night J’ouvert , a Calypso Monarch competition, a Junior Batabano parade for the children (April 28th) and afternoon parade that takes thousands of masqueraders and steel pan players on a route from the Seven Mile Beach to downtown Georgetown.

According to the organizers, the annual festival’s name “ is a salute to Cayman’s turtling heritage – the word “Batabano ” refers to the tracks left in the sand by sea turtles as they crawl onto the beach to nest.”
Pictures Bandlaunch photos Courtesy of Cortez Vernon, Roy Williams and Steve.
Cayman photoshoot pictures by Steve.