Sunday, 22 January 2023



Toronto dancer about to take to the big stage with Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre

Not only is it the first weekend for Black History Month in Toronto, it will also be two days of first for dance fans.  On February 3rd and 4th “America ‘s Cultural Ambassador to the World” the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre will kick off its 2023 North American tour with a trio of performances at the downtown Meridian Hall (formerly the Sony Centre).

The 32-member dance troop will be performing for the first time in Canada a new dance — Are You in Your Feelings  — that acclaimed  choreographer Kyle Abraham describes as a “celebration of Black culture, Black music, and the youthful spirit that perseveres in us all.”

Finally and probably most importantly dance lovers in the city are finally going to see Hannah Alissa Richardson perform live on stage with this famed Dance Theatre. This is the Toronto native’s inaugural season with the Company and the first time for her dancing here since before the Pandemic shut down.

This is a sweet homecoming,” Hannah Alissa Richardson told the Caribbean Camera today, “My first time watching Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was back in 2012, right here in the then “Sony Centre,” now “Meridian Hall". I feel honoured and blessed to make my touring debut with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater here in front of my family and friends. And what a privilege it is to kick off Black History Month in Toronto! “

“Apart from zoom performances throughout the pandemic, the last time I danced in Toronto was for several dance videos including one

Alvin Aileys Revelations

for Def Jam recording artist Teyana Taylor and another for Toronto based videographer Lee Zavitz,” the 20 something continued.  “Before moving to the US and graduating with honors from The Ailey School, I danced with a competitive dance company, Maple Academy of Dance. I was also part of the cast of Disney Channel’s “Backstage” and Family Channel’s “The Next Step,” both filmed in Toronto.”

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was founded by the late Alvin Ailey in New York city back in 1958. Since then they have performed for over 25 million people in 48 states, as well as 71 countries on six continents. Always a stop on their North American tours, if the three performances on Friday and Saturday in Toronto (matinee and evening shows) follow tradition and are sold out, over 9,000 will see Richardson.

You won’t have trouble figuring out who she is, just listen for the wave of applause when she steps on stage for the first time.  Richardson has deep ties in the city. “I attended Holy Trinity School in Richmond Hill before moving to New York for my post-secondary education at The Ailey School,” she explained “I come from a

Hannah Alissa Richardson

Trinidadian and Filipino background. My father was born in Port of Spain and my mother was born in Manilla. I am proud of my culture. It gives me the basis to appreciate a variety of dance styles and forms.”

Both the Friday and Saturday night evening performances begin at 8 pm. The curtain raises at 4pm for the Saturday matinee performance. At every performance, the inspiring finale will be Alvin Ailey’s American masterpiece Revelations acclaimed around the world for sending hearts soaring and lifting audiences to their feet. Since its debut in 1960, Revelations has been seen by more people around the world than any other modern dance work.

Saturday, 14 January 2023






Innocence Canada supports the Quewezance sisters’ application for bail before the Yorkton Court of King’s Bench, in Yorkton Saskatchewan.


Odelia and Nerissa Quewezance were 21 and 19 years old at the time of the offence. In 1994 they were convicted of second-degree murder in the 1993 death of 70-year-old Anthony Dolff and sentenced to life imprisonment. Their 14-year-old cousin and co-accused accepted responsibility for the killing of Mr. Dolff. 


Innocence Canada is currently waiting for a decision on the ministerial review application (s.696.1 application) submitted on behalf of the Quewezance sisters to the Minister of Justice on December 21, 2021. As detailed in the application, Innocence Canada believes that the Quewezance sisters are the victims of a miscarriage of justice.


Innocence Canada co-founder, board member and lawyer James Lockyer is representing Odelia and Nerissa along with local Saskatchewan counsel and Jerome Kennedy of Innocence Canada.

The sisters also have the support of high-profile advocates who include the late David Milgaard, Senator Kim Pate, retired Justices Harry LaForme and Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré and Kim Beaudin from the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.


Thursday, 22 September 2022


This weekend's free Scarborough's Multicultural Festival cancelled

It has been a tough summer for the Scarborough Community Multicultural Festival. The free 3-day summer festival was planning to come back big after the Covid shutdown by bringing the annual festival to the Scarborough Town Centre in mid-August.

According to Kinron, the company that produces the annual carnival arts festival (calypso singers, mas costume routines and pan performances), they ran into permit issues with both  the city and the mall and had to not only postpone the show but change the location as well.

Shortly after announcing the changes, the festival’s website was hijacked by spammers and the festival had to come up with a new persona on social media.

The new date was to be this weekend and the location was to be Confederation Park in Scarborough.

According to Kinron’s Steven McKinnon the September 23rd has had to be cancelled once again because their “permit wasn’t issued in time.  We are postponing it to 2023 'cause the weather is gonna be questionable going forward.”

Blink Equity regroups Intuit’s TurboTax event featuring Toronto Raptors Fred VanVleet and Derek Foil.

How Top Tech Employers are Partnering with Entrepreneurs to Create 
a More Diverse Talent Pipeline

More employers than ever before are partnering with entrepreneurs to drive growth for the tech talent pipeline.

From the basketball court to the boardroom, an All-Star Toronto Raptors player is helping the community by bringing people together for a shared mission.

Blink Equity regroups Intuit’s TurboTax event featuring Toronto Raptors Fred VanVleet and Derek Foil.

Toronto, ON, September 20 - Toronto has 52% diverse representation and is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Yet, if you go into many of the tech companies that are putting Toronto on the map today, multiculturalism is not always represented.

More and more, companies like Intuit Canada are leveraging brands such as Turbo Tax and Quickbooks to partner with like-minded corporations, community organizations and startups to address underrepresentation of BIPOC Talent within tech, fintech, and the financial services industries. The twist? They want to do it by increasing their support of BIPOC entrepreneurship through partnerships and collaborative industry-wide initiatives.

On September 21, 2022 Intuit Canada will be hosting an event in support of growing the Talent Pipeline in Tech through entrepreneurship. The event will be headlined by Toronto Raptors’ Fred VanVleet (pictured above) and his partner Derek Folk. The two influential entrepreneurs will gear up to announce season 2 of their “Bet on Yourself” podcast.

To make this event happen and jumpstart the initiative, the firm reached out to a former employee, Pako Tshiamala, Founder and CEO of Blink Equity who understood the challenge and exactly how to hit the ground running. Tshiamala, recently left a corporate job to solve a problem he deeply cared about; the lack of representation of BIPOC talent in the tech and related industries, and even more specifically, with senior leadership roles.

Paso Tshiamala (left)

“It was very important for us to program the event along a much larger initiative so the interaction with the BIPOC community is NOT episodic. Which is a pitfall of many well intended corporate initiatives start and drop. 

A number of community partnerships will be announced to solve the talent pipeline problem”, said Pako Tshiamala, Founder of Blink Equity.

The event will be taking over Toronto’s Rendez Views restaurant on September 21st and will transform the space into different experiences for the participants. There will be pop-up shops where team members of employers and the general public can purchase items such as jewelry, handmade soaps, and apparel from local BIPOC owned vendors from 11AM-8PM. Two open court basketball courts will be accessible for a little fun and play and will feature performances by BIPOC artists on the main stage. 

The event will also host a courtside chat on the subject of advancing the talent pipeline from an organizational perspective, as well as with the help of entrepreneurs in the community. That is, before VanVleet and Derek Folk take over the stage to drive the point home- Always bet on yourself!

About Blink Equity

Blink Equity is a one-stop shop for business equity solutions. Through their flagship programs, and initiatives Blink Equity transforms workplaces and produces equitable, success-focused opportunities for diverse candidates.
By embedding themselves in an organization, they develop customizable, comprehensive approaches to create scalable, sustainable, and replicable equity solutions

To learn more about Blink Equity:


For further information / media inquiries:
Pako Tshiamala
Founder / CEO
Tel: 647-802-8117

Sent by:
Craigg Slowly
Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships
Matrix Mortgage Global
Lic: ON #11108  |  BC #X300671  |  AB #6401473 
Canadian Administration of Private Lending Admin Lic # 13069
Direct: 647.572.2314  |  Fax: 1.888.833.4804
Head Office: 100 Consilium Place, Suite 200. Toronto, ON. M1H 3E3

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Tuesday, 7 June 2022


Ready for the Road 2022

9th Annual Walk With Excellence Celebration 

By Stephen Weir

2019  walk photograph by weir

For all the Grade 12 students in the Jane Finch corridor’s four High Schools who have successfully completed their final year it is almost, and we stress the word almost, all over. The last “No more pencils, no more books no more teachers’ dirty looks” have been sung, it is now time for 500 teenagers to end their high school days by dancing in the street.


Get on your walking shoes kids, a 9-year tradition is about to start a new.  Postponed for two June years in a row because of the Covid shutdown, the Walk With Excellence Celebration will once again hit Sentinel Rd the morning June 8th to introduce the new grads to nearby York University and their next level of higher education.


All are welcomed to celebrate this year’s graduates from the four high schools: CW Jeffreys, Westview, Emery and Downsview High. All four institutions are within walking distance of York University (north of Finch Avenue and Sentinel Rd.),


The event begins at 10 AM inside CW Jeffreys with a kick-off of student presentations on school auditorium,” organizer Itah Sadu explained to the Caribbean Camera.” Following this is the 5km graduating parade of approximately 500 students to York University where a celebratory lunch and student awards will be shared.” 


The Celebration March begins at 11am. The teenagers will carry school banners and signs will head up the street to York.  Making sure the graduating students arrive safely CUPE 4400 union members and volunteers from the Toronto Caribbean Carnival will act as parade marshals along Sentinel Road.


Once at York the students will gather in a courtyard and listen to live music and listen to brief speeches from organizer Itah Sadu and senior officials of the university.

After all the formal speeches have been given and  student friendly meals are served there will be Caribbean music in the air. “We are also pleased to welcome Pannist Earl La Pierre Jr with his vivacious musical energy to the celebrations,” said Itah Sadu.

The point of the annual parade is to mark the graduation of the students and to encourage them not to end their studies after Grade 12.  Many of the students have probably never toured York – this event will give them that opportunity.

The Walk With Excellence was started by Itah Sadu and the  Blackhurst Cultural Centre (Formerly A Different Booklist Cultural Centre)

Saturday, 4 June 2022


Major Celebration and Retrospective
Of the Challenging Drawings and Monoprints of 
Claire Weissman Wilks, 1933–2017


Toronto, June 4th – The Heliconian Club is presenting this retrospective The Genius of Claire Wilks. The official opening is at 1pm in Yorkville

The  official opening will take place today. There are several poets, artists, writers, and musicians who will take part in the opening. Two well known poets Anne Michaels, and Jessica Hiemstra, will read from their works.

Hiemstra will also read briefly from one of the late Claire Wilks’ books.   Curator Christian Bernard Singer will talk briefly at the works of art on display.  Wilks’ longtime partner, writer and publisher Barry Callaghan will also speak. 

Performing through the show will be jazz composer pianist Joe Sealy and Juno Award winning guitarist Dominic Mancuso.


This exhibition and a second exhibition of Wilks work that opens a few days later at the Gevik Gallery are presenting a mini survey of the startling, emotional drawings, monoprints and sculptures of the celebrated Toronto artist Claire Wilks (1933-2017). 

Wilks was a figurative artist and once called women’s bodies her 'chosen landscape,' but she did not consider this a political statement: "The female form is my line, the form lives in the brain of my finger." Yet, during the 1970s her erotic images of women were rarely accepted in conservative Toronto galleries because of their intense, carnal imagery. These drawings nonetheless contributed to a new dialogue about sexual desire from a female perspective, which happened to coincide with the first major wave of Feminism.

Wilk’s devotion to the naked female form kept her largely out of most Toronto galleries in the70s and 80’s. The novelist Timothy Findley wrote: “Looking at these drawings, women are going to know what it is to be a man; men are going to know what it is to be a woman. Nothing greater can be achieved but that we enter one another’s flesh through one another’s eyes. This is the ultimate compassion.”

Poet Anne Michaels writes: “Her figures embody every kind of dispossession - through sensation, communion, solitude, loneliness, muteness, grief, banishment. Ecstatic; bereft. Every kind of love.” 


The Toronto Heliconian Club, a non-profit association of women involved in the arts and letters It operates out of Heliconian Hall located in Yorkville. In existence for over 110 years, the Heliconian Club remains steadfast in its commitment to women living and working in the arts. It is located at 35 Hazelton Lanes in Yorkville.


Gallery Gevik, is devoted to exhibitions of established artists who represent Canadian art at its best. The Gallery is located at 12 Yorkville Avenue just down the street from Heliconian Club, the exhibition opens on June 11 at 1pm. 


Space is limited.


Heliconian Club 

35 Hazelton Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 2E3

(416) 922-3618  Issued by Stephen Weir 416-801-3101

stephen@stephen weir

Monday, 16 May 2022

Innocence Canada shares the news of David Milgaard’s untimely death


With profound sadness, Innocence Canada shares the news of David Milgaard’s untimely death. David died yesterday, May 15th, 2022. He was 69 years old. 

Innocence Canada and Innocence movement advocates are stunned and heart-broken by David’s death. He was a part of the Innocence Canada family and more, an honoured and respected leader in the Innocence movement.  Ron Dalton, Innocence Canada Co-President and exoneree expresses, “his death is a tragic loss to the Canadian Innocence movement and a personal blow to many of us at Innocence Canada.”

David contributed decades of time and energy advocating and lobbying for a Canadian post-conviction review commission.  David was instrumental in the recent consultation process for the development of a Miscarriages of Justice Commission in Canada. 

David was an incredibly generous and sweet man who is remembered for turning his suffering into a lifetime of helping others.  Those of us who knew and loved him best are struggling with the profound loss we feel.  We will do our best to continue the work David and his mother began. 

Innocence Canada extends our deepest and heartfelt condolences to David’s family, friends and legions of supporters across Canada and the world.