Thursday 13 December 2018

Press Conference in Toronto for new Money Transfer company

Like a bolt of lighting, PayPal’s Xoom jumps out of the starting blocks on Tuesday in Toronto

By Stephen Weir

PayPal fired a bolt over the bow of Jamaica’s GraceKennedy Currency Trading Services (Western Union).  Yesterday PayPal’s money transfer company, Xoom launched a new Canadian service by announcing it had just signed eight-time Olympic Jamaican gold medalist Usain Bolt as its global brand ambassador.
“At Xoom, we’re deeply committed to delivering the fastest possible money transfer experience to our customers, so Mr. Bolt was a natural fit to be our global brand ambassador,” Julian King, Vice President and General Manager of Xoom told the Caribbean Camera at the company’s Canadian launch.
“We look forward to working with Mr. Bolt during an exciting time as we expand our services. He will be appearing in our marketing materials and representing us at selected events,” King continued. “Is he coming to Canada? Nothing that I can announce ….  just yet!”
 On Tuesday PayPal and Xoom hosted a packed late morning press briefing in a conference room at the Bayview Mall in North Toronto. In addition to announcing the hiring of Usain Bolt, PayPal and Xoom laid out to the media what the companies are bringing to Canada.

Xoom’s owner, PayPal, is an American company operating a worldwide online payments system that supports online money transfers. The young company’s services are an electronic alternative to moving money using traditional paper methods like cheques and money orders
The press were told that Canadian immigrants can now use Xoom to quickly and securely send money, pay bills and reload phones for loved ones living in more than 130 countries globally, including all Caribbean islands except one!  “ No, you can’t use Xoom to transfer money to Cuba. We don’t have any partners on the island, and we are a US based company!”
Using a Smart phone, tablet or desktop computer, Canadians can use Xoom to send money on-line fast and line-up free to friends and family members around the world.  Media at the press conference were shown how a Xoom phone app could take money from Canada to the Caribbean in less than 30-seconds.
Xoom allows users to send up to $12,500 CAD in a single transaction to the Caribbean, and multiple transactions can be made in a single day. Senders choose from a number options: deposit money to a bank account, send cash for pick-up or have cash delivered directly to the recipient’s door.
According to PayPal, this is one of the world’s most diverse countries and is home to more than 7.5 million foreign-born people from more than 200 countries. Canadian immigrant families send nearly $24 billion annually to support family and friends back home.
Mr. King photo by sweir
Julian King is a Jamaican American based in California and understands how important money transfers are to the economy of the Caribbean.  He believes that Xoom will be able to gain a foothold in the business of moving P-to-P (person to person) money by offering low service charges, competitive currency exchange rates and guaranteeing all transactions.
Hiring Jamaica’s favourite son makes a bold statement one that Western Union, the world’s leading money transfer company, is sure to hear.  But it will take more than a famous runner to overtake Western Union’s grip on the Caribbean. Back in 2014, the company’s 25th anniversary in Jamaica, Western Union moved the equivalent of more than US$14 billion into Jamaica in collaboration with GraceKennedy Money Services.

Tuesday 11 December 2018

PayPals launches Xoom in Canada - international money transfer service

PayPal launches Xoom, a fast and secure international money transfer service to make sending money back home easier for Canadian immigrants
- PayPal introduces Xoom, a fast way to send money, pay bills and reload phones to more than 130 countries, including Jamaica, at competitive ra
TORONTO, December 11, 2018 – Today, PayPal launched Xoom, its international money transfer service in Canada. Canadian immigrants can now use Xoom to quickly and securely send money, pay bills and reload phones fast for loved ones living in more than 130 countries globally, including Jamaica. To send money abroad in a few simple steps, download Xoom’s mobile app on Android and iOS or go to Canadian immigrant families remit nearly $24 billion[i] annually to support family and friends back home.

 “At Xoom, we are focused on making the process of sending money home to loved ones in another country fast and convenient for hardworking immigrants. Sending money abroad is often expensive and time consuming,” said Julian King, Xoom’s Vice President and General Manager. “Bringing Xoom’s digital remittance services to Canada will help eliminate these inconveniences so it’s fast and easy for Canadians to send bank deposits, reload prepaid phones and pay bills to support loved ones back home.”
Canada is one of the world’s most diverse countries and is home to more than 7.5 million foreign-born people from more than 200 places of birth[ii]. Introducing PayPal’s Xoom will benefit more than one in five people living in Canada – many of whom support family members overseas for things like medical bills, education, utility bills and other financial needs.
Xoom offers fast money transfer services abroad to more than 130 countries, including Jamaica, many with limited access to digital remittance services, offering fast options including: cash pickup, bank deposits, bill pays and reload of prepaid phones. Xoom customers can also enjoy high send amounts in a single transaction, at competitive rates to conveniently send large bank deposits wherever they are, whenever they want, using only a mobile phone. 

Cost-effective digital money transfer services for a global market
Canadians can now send up to $12,500 CAD in a single transaction[iii] to JamaicaFor send money transactions, depending on the receiver country, users can choose from a range of options: deposit money to a bank account, send cash for pick-up or have cash delivered directly to their recipient’s door.
Xoom transfers can be tracked quickly and easily via text updates, email notifications or directly from the mobile app and website. Those who send money abroad can get their questions answered from customer support staff in English, French, Spanish and Filipino.
Xoom partners with highly credible banks and partners around the world to provide fast, secure and affordable money transfers. According to the ‘Migration and Remittances’ April 2018 report by the World Bank, globally, the top three receiver remittance countries are India, China and the Philippines. Xoom provides money transfer services to these key corridors in addition to the UK, Eurozone and many other countries in Eastern Europe and Africa.
Historically, the cost of securely and efficiently managing and moving money across borders has been high but advances in digital technology—in particular mobile—are enabling a significant reduction in remittances costs. Sending money overseas through a digital service like Xoom costs nearly half (3.93%) of the amount sent compared to the average cost of traditional remittances services (7.45%)[iv]
“Two billion people around the world are underserved by traditional financial institutions. Some must stand in line for over an hour just to cash a cheque,” adds King. “With Xoom, Canadians can now get a fast, painless and secure way to support loved ones back home.”
With this launch, PayPal and Xoom are helping to improve the financial health of Canadians and millions of people worldwide. Xoom’s increased presence in North America is an important milestone, signifying PayPal’s goal of democratizing the management and movement of money for people globally.
About PayPal
Fueled by a fundamental belief that having access to financial services creates opportunity, PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) is committed to democratizing financial services and empowering people and businesses to join and thrive in the global economy. Our open digital payments platform gives PayPal’s 254 million active account holders the confidence to connect and transact in new and powerful ways, whether they are online, on a mobile device, in an app, or in person. Through a combination of technological innovation and strategic partnerships, PayPal creates better ways to manage and move money, and offers choice and flexibility when sending payments, paying or getting paid. Available in more than 200 markets around the world, the PayPal platform, including Braintree, Venmo and Xoom, enables consumers and merchants to receive money in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds in 56 currencies and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in 25 currencies. For more information on PayPal Canada visit
 Media Contacts
Malini Mitra                                                       
PayPal Canada 

Nicole Aikman-Smith
Marnic Solutions

Issued by Stephen Weir December 11, 2018

[i] Source: World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief.
[iii] Subject to Know Your Customer requirements. Sending more than $10,000 CAD in 24 hours takes additional days. The speed of transaction is dependent on partner processing hours, good funds availability, approval by Xoom’s proprietary verification system, and our partner’s systems availability. May not be available for all transactions.

Wednesday 5 December 2018

December 5, 2018 • Toronto, Ontario: For immediate Release
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RBC Taylor Prize 2019 Longlist Revealed
The 2019 RBC Taylor Prize jury announces ten essential titles
that should be on every Canadian’s reading list this year

RBC Taylor Prize 2019 Jurors Camilla Gibb, Roy MacGregor and Beverley McLachlin today shared the longlist for the eighteenth awarding of Canada’s most prestigious non-fiction prize.
The jury reviewed over 100 books to reach this longlist and state that “It was no small task whittling down to this longlist of ten, and we anticipate many hours of re-reading and debate before we produce our short list, and, ultimately, the winner.
We found the books breath-taking in their range of topics, and happily found so many of them serve as a useful barometer for current issues, from reconciliation to political trust. There is remarkable achievement here and we hope readers will celebrate that with us.”

The longlist books for the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize are:

1.   Son of a Critch: A Childish Newfoundland Memoir, by Mark Critch, published by Viking/Penguin Canada
2.   Just Let Me Look at You: On Fatherhood, by Bill Gaston, published by Hamish Hamilton/Penguin Canada
3.   Jan in 35 Pieces: A Memoir in Music, by Ian Hampton, published by Porcupine’s Quill
4.   Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Roads, by Kate Harris, published by Knopf Canada.
5.   All Things Consoled: A Daughter’s Memoir, by Elizabeth Hay, published by McClelland & Stewart
6.   Trust: Twenty Ways to Build a Better Country, by David Johnston, published Signal/M&S **
7.   Seeking the Fabled City: The Canadian Jewish Experience, by Allan Levine, published by McClelland and Stewart
8.   Power, Prime Ministers and the Press: The Battle for Truth on Parliament Hill, by Robert Lewis, published by Dundurn Press.
9.   Heart Berries: A Memoir, by Terese Marie Mailhot, published by Doubleday Canada
10. Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age, by Darrel McLeod, published by Douglas & McIntyre.

Noreen Taylor, chair of the Charles Taylor Foundation and founder of the Prize, commented: “What an amazing breadth of offerings this year. I can hardly wait to dive into the books I haven’t already read! Looking at this list it’s definitely going to be a busy holiday. What is so interesting is that this list reflects what Canadians are experiencing, worrying about and/or enjoying currently, and reminds Canadian readers how fortunate we are to have amongst us so many gifted and unique storytellers. Here’s to our publishers and their many distinct imprints for releasing a panorama of fascinating titles, and bravo to our jurors who performed the Herculean task of selecting this remarkable long list from amongst over 100 titles.”
Vijay Parmarpresident of RBC PH&N Investment Counsel, added: “Once again, we have a longlist that showcases our national collective voice and the power that storytelling has to change our understanding and challenge our perspectives. Congratulations to the 2019 longlisted authors and thanks to our esteemed jurors for their time, dedication and reflection.”
Key Dates:
 The RBC Taylor Prize Shortlist will be announced at a news conference on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, and the winner revealed at a gala luncheon on Monday March 4, 2019.
About The RBC Taylor Prize
Established in 1998 by the trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation and first awarded in 2000, 2019 marks the eighteenth awarding of the RBC Taylor Prize, which commemorates Charles Taylor’s pursuit of excellence in the field of literary non-fiction. Awarded to the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception, each finalist for the Prize receives $5,000 and the winner receives a further $25,000. All authors are presented with a custom leather-bound version of their shortlisted book at the awards ceremony. All finalists receive promotional support for their nominated titles.
The trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation are: Vijay Parmar, David Staines, Edward Taylor, Nadina Taylor, and Noreen Taylor. The Prize Manager is Sheila Kay.
The presenting sponsor of the RBC Taylor Prize is RBC Wealth Management. Its media sponsors are The Globe and Mail, Cision, The Huffington Post CanadaQuill & Quire magazine; its in-kind sponsors are Ben McNally Books, Event Source, Toronto International Festival of Authors and the Omni King Edward Hotel.
To download high-resolution images of the longlisted authors and their book covers please go to:
To download high-resolution images of the trustees and the jury please go to:
For general information about the Prize please go to:
Follow the RBC Taylor Prize on Twitter at
Like the RBC Taylor Prize on Facebook At
** Please note that juror Beverley McLachlin recused herself from discussion on this title, as she had contributed the Foreword.
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For further information:
Media contact: Stephen Weir & Associates
Stephen Weir: 416-489-5868 | cell: 416-801-3101 |

Tuesday 4 December 2018

Rediscovering Peter Clapham Sheppard

Rediscovering Peter Clapham Sheppard at Ben McNally’s Books & Brunch This Sunday

TORONTO - This Sunday December 9th Ben McNally’s Books & Brunch will give Toronto book lovers a rare opportunity to hear a talk from Art Collector and Co-Biographer Louis Gagliardi about the nearly forgotten Canadian Master Painter Peter Clapham Sheppard.  Gagliardi is one of four featured authors speaking in the Vanity Fair Ballroom of the Omni King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto.
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Peter Clapham Sheppard: His Life and Work, written by Canadian Art Expert Tom Smart with foreword by Louis Gagliardi, is a celebration of the rediscovery of the masterworks of Toronto-born Peter Clapham Sheppard (1879-1965), an artist who played a leading role in the founding of Canada's national school of art. A contemporary and colleague of the Group of Seven, he was one of the finest artists of his generation.
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Although he was widely exhibited in national and important international exhibitions in his early career, over the last century Sheppard has fallen into the shadow cast by the Group of Seven. From occupying a place among a generation of artists who established a national school, he died in obscurity. Smart and Gagliardi cast light on a unique talent, an artist of his times, whose art matched the quality of the Group, but found inspiration beyond the sources that inspired his more famous contemporaries. This book is the culmination of a 30-year effort to bring Sheppard's name and art to its rightful place in this country's art history.
The Books and Brunch Series, a ticketed event from 10am – 12.30pm, is an opportunity to meet Louis Gagliardi and hear him discuss the new book and the rediscovery of the masterworks of Toronto-born artist, Peter Clapham Sheppard. He and the other authors will be signing books immediately following the Brunch.
1. The Making of the October Crisis by D’Arcy Jenish, published by Doubleday Canada.
2. Boy Wonders by Cathal Kelly, published by Doubleday Canada.
3. Machine Without Horses by Helen Humphries, published by HarperCollins
4. Peter Clapham Sheppard His Life and Work, by Tom Smart, foreword by Louis Gagliardi, published by Firefly Books
What: Books & Brunch presented by Ben McNally Books
When: Sunday December 9th2018 at 10:00 am
Where: Vanity Fair Ballroom, 2nd Floor, Omni King Edward Hotel. King St. East
Tickets: $55  - Must be purchased in advance Ben McNally Books 416.361.0032
A Toronto tradition this event always sells out. Tickets are now on sale

MEDIA: For further information: Media contact: Stephen Weir & Associates, Stephen Weir: 416.489.5868 | cell: 416.801.3101 |

Friday 23 November 2018

Esi Does It On Winning Book Prizes

Edugyan Wins the Giller Again for Her Novel About A Bajan Slave.

 By Stephen Weir

Esi Edugyan has won Canada’s most prestigious fiction book prize again!  Earlier this week the young novelist captured the Giller Prize for her new book Washington Black, it is the second time that she has captured the $100,000 award.
She won the prize at a black tie dinner event in Toronto on Monday. The announcement was made in front of nearly 500 members of the publishing, media and arts communities.
Washington Black tells the story of George Washington Black; an eleven-year-old field slave living on a Barbados sugar plantation. From the brutal cane plantations to the icy waters of the Canadian Arctic, from the mud-filled streets of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, Washington Black is the tale – inspired by a true story – of a world destroyed by slavery and the search to make it whole again.
Although the book is a work of fiction, the author told the CBC that details about slavery are unfortunately true. “"I was doing a lot of research into the history of slavery in the Caribbean. The acts of brutality described in the novel are things that came directly from history. There's nothing I made up."

"I just have to say that in a climate in which so many forms of truth telling are under siege this feels like a wonderful and important celebration of words," Esi Edugyan said shortly after she learned that she had once again won Canada’s top fiction award.
Esi Edugyan made history in 2011 by being the first Black woman to win the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel Half-Blood Blues The four other finalists were;
  • Patrick deWitt for his novel French Exit,
  • Eric Dupont for his novel Songs for the Cold of Heart, translated by Peter McCambridge,
  • Sheila Heti for her novel Motherhood,
  • Thea Lim for her novel An Ocean of Minutes, 
Ms Edugyan is currently Canada’s most successful fiction writer. She has won the Giller twice, was the winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, was a finalist for the Writer’s Trust Prize and was shortlisted for the world’s leading literature award, the UK’s Man Booker Prize.
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, to Ghanaian immigrant parents, Edugyan studied creative writing at the University of Victoria BC.  She lives and writes in Victoria, she and her husband poet Steven Price are the parents of a 7-year old child.  

Thursday 22 November 2018

Canadian Manda Group, Baker & Taylor sign on with Sutherland

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Sutherland House announces sales and distribution agreements in Canada and USA

(Toronto) Sutherland House, Canada’s newest publisher of quality non-fiction, is pleased to announce its sales and distribution agreements in Canada and the United States.
Domestically, Sutherland House will be distributed by the University of Toronto Press. The press’s exclusive sales agent in Canada will be Canadian Manda Group. Founded in 1977, Manda has offices in every region of the country and one of the largest sales forces anywhere in North America.
“Canadian Manda is very excited to begin working for Ken Whyte and Sutherland House,” says Carey Low, vice-president and partner at Manda. “We are proud play a part in bringing to market books that will enrich the dialog around timely and important conversations, and look forward to many bestselling books in the years to come.”
In the United States, Sutherland House will be represented for distribution and sales by Baker & Taylor, a premier publishing services agency founded in 1828.
“We are pleased to be representing Sutherland House,” says Mark Suchomel, senior vice-president. “This small publisher stands out among thousands of others due to the high level of sophistication and sharp instincts of Ken Whyte. Like Ken, the list is smart and focused and a great addition to the book industry.”
Says Kenneth Whyte, publisher and editor of Sutherland House, “We are most appreciative of the support and enthusiasm of UTP, Manda, and Baker & Taylor. To reach sales and distribution agreements with these pillars of the industry simply on the strength of our list, without having produced any sales figures yet, is gratifying. We have put a lot of work into our list.”
Sutherland House, based in Toronto, will release eight books in 2019. It is accepting proposals and manuscripts from writers everywhere.

For more information contact:
Stephen Weir & Associates |
109 Castlefield Avenue, Toronto, ON
Tel: 416-489-5868 | cell: 416-801-3101 twitter: sweirsweir