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Month: October 2019


first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Facebook TORONTO’S SOMALI MUSLIM R&B SINGER AMAAL ON EMBRACING SONGS ABOUT ‘SEXUALITY AND INTIMACY’Amaal Nuux’s is, admittedly, kind of an ideal “Toronto” story: a former refugee of Somali-Muslim extraction defies the deeply embedded socio-cultural codes against women making music in her home country by flirting with mainstream R&B success at the international level, from her adopted home base in a far more pluralistic and permissive Canadian city. READ MORE AMAAL NUUX IS THE TORONTO R&B ARTIST YOU NEED TO KNOWToday, Toronto singer Amaal Nuux shared with us what she has been so diligently working on for the last two years: her EP, Black Dove. The R&B singer first caught our attention with her stunning visuals for her single “Not What I Thought,” a video shot throughout the beautifully rugged landscapes of Iceland, and we’ve found ourselves following her every move since. One Thursday night in March, we found ourselves at an intimate show she held at Soho House in downtown Toronto, and as we sat sipping our Cab Merlot, listening to her croon through her mic a few feet away, it became obvious that we were going to be lifelong fans. READ MORE AMAAL – BLACK DOVEBased on the six tracks that comprise her Black Dove EP, wider recognition for Toronto singer songwriter Amaal is inevitable. The artist formerly known as Amaal Nuux caught ears, by way of social media platforms, back in 2012 with tracks “Mufasa,” “With You” and “Words Revealed.” READ MOREFOLLOW AMAAL ON SOCIAL MEDIA:INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/amaalnuux/?hl=enFACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/AmaalNuux/TWITTER: https://twitter.com/AmaalNuuxSPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/artist/303QuG0TpJTXGxf8B9Jf47 Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: Q&A | AMAAL NUUXA beautiful weekday morning in Manhattan is the ideal time for a leisurely stroll towards SoHo’s Elizabeth Street Garden. Everything is pleasantly tranquil and undisturbed: sales clerks aimlessly move about the little shops down the street, neighborhood locals languidly walk their dogs while picking up a morning cup of joe. In the garden, I find the enchanting Amaal Nuux posing by tamed greenery — her soft skin glowing, her eyes glistening in the rays of sunlight. She smiles, “It’s gorgeous over here, isn’t it?” READ MOREAmaal – Photo by Renata Kaveh LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more


first_img“An Undiscovered Shakespeare” is billed as 30 unique performances in which improvisers will dramatize an audience member’s love story in iambic pentameter, a poetic rhythm used by Shakespeare.The festival is also set to debut a new musical from former Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page, playwright Daniel MacIvor and director Donna Feore about the highs and lows of a rock duo in “Here’s What It Takes.”Other musical offerings include mountings of Broadway hits “Chicago” and “Monty Python’s Spamalot.”Acclaimed actor Colm Feore, who is returning to the festival for his 18th season, will help unveil the Tom Patterson Theatre Centre with a tribute to the past.Organizers say Feore will deliver the first words on the stage as he assumes the leading role in Shakespeare’s “Richard III” in a nod to the festival’s inaugural play in 1953.Also announced Tuesday are classics honouring the festival’s roots such as “All’s Well That Ends Well,” “Hamlet” and “Much Ado About Nothing.”Additional highlights include “Frankenstein Revived,” a new work from playwright and composer David Coulter that will focus on the horror story’s young author Mary Shelley; a staging of Tomson Highway’s “The Rez Sisters”; and Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women.”The Canadian Press Twitter Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Advertisementcenter_img STRATFORD, Ont. — The Stratford Festival in southwestern Ontario is looking to put a modern spin on the classics as it launches a new theatre venue for its 2020 season.Two shows are drawing from the Bard’s canon to tell new kinds of stories.“Hamlet-911,” from notable theatre-makers Ann-Marie MacDonald and Alisa Palmer, is set to recast the tragedy of the Danish prince to touch on issues young people face today. Login/Register With: Actor Colm Feore, pictured at the new Tom Patterson Theatre Centre in Stratford, will play Richard III at the Stratford Festival in 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Startford Festival-Chris Young MANDATORY CREDIT LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more


first_imgAPTN National NewsProduction is underway for a featured film called Empire of Dirt.The award-winning producer for Moccasin Flats, Jennifer Podemski takes on her feature film producing debut.APTN National News reporter Delaney Windigo has this story.last_img


first_imgAPTN National NewsAPTN first told you the story of Evan Maud in December 2010.At the time Maud alleged the Winnipeg police took him on what is known as a “starlight tour” where police pick someone up and drop them off outside of city limits forcing them to walk back.An investigation determined the complaint was untrue and Maud was charged with mischief.Thursday, he made a public apology to police.last_img


first_img(Clockwise from the top left: Amber Tuccaro, Delores Browers, Katie Ballentyne and Edna Bernard)Brandi MorinAPTN National NewsThe remains of four Indigenous women have been found over the last 13 years within a small rural area near Leduc, Alta. that police suspect could be a lone killer’s dumping ground.Just last week the skull of Delores Browers was found after the Metis woman went missing over 10 years ago.The discovery was made east of Leduc in a wooded area along Range Road 241 near Rolley View road.Browers was 33 when she was last seen hitchhiking a ride in May of 2000.Edna Bernard, 28, was found in 2002 in a wooded area on Range Road 245 just north of Rolley View road.Katie Ballentyne, 40, was found in 2003 in a farmer’s field near Range Road 235, north of Township Road 500.Amber Tuccaro, 20, was found in 2012 in a wooden area east of Leduc near Range Road 241 and Highway 623.[wooslider slideshow_speed=”2.5″ slider_type=”attachments” limit=”10″]In the cases of Browers, Bernard and Ballentyne they worked as sex trade workers but Tuccaro did not.Several media outlets have suggested the rural area where these bodies have been found could be a dumping ground. The RCMP have not denied this or the possibility that one person could be responsible for all four murders.“Certainly it is a consideration and a possibility that’s being explored,” said Mary Schlosser, communications advisor for Edmonton RCMP. “These are high priority files and the investigators are working on them.”She also said it’s possible that given the close proximity of where the remains were found, the RCMP may be conducting more searches for other bodies in the area.Browers’ family waited a long time for answers in her disappearance and issued a statement expressing relief to have finally learned what happened.“While we are saddened to have confirmation that Delores’ remains have been found, there is a sense of thankfulness as well. We loved Delores and are grateful to have some closure,” the statement read.“While we are grieving with some sense of relief, we know there are many families who have yet to find the answers they are seeking.”Bernard’s family is still waiting for answers.Bernard was found dead shortly after her body had been set on fire. She was the mother to six boys and struggled with an addiction to cocaine. Bernard also worked in the sex trade in Edmonton to support her habit.Her sister Caroline Bernard remembers her as “the best sister anyone can have” and expressed sorrow for Delores’s family.“That’s painful…I hope the other families that are mourning their loss- I hope they stay strong and remember the good things about their lost loved one,” said Caroline Bernard. “I hope they catch the bastard (who did it).”Ballentyne was mother of four when reported missing in April 2003.Ballentyne also struggled with a drug addiction and sold her body for money on the streets of Edmonton.In July 2003 her badly decomposed body was found in a field in Leduc County.Tuccaro, of Fort Chipewyan, was last seen getting into an unknown man’s vehicle during a visit to Edmonton in August 2010.Tuccaro was also a mother to a 14-month-old son when she disappeared.A group of horseback riders discovered her skull in September 2012.No one has yet been charged in any of the four women’s deaths. Over the years there have been some leads and investigators have at times believe they came close to solving these crimes.According to court documents, the RCMP at one time believed Bernard and Ballantyne were victims of the same killer.In 2007, Thomas Svekla, of Edmonton was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of two Edmonton street workers. However, he was only convicted of second-degree murder in the death of one of them and is now serving a life sentence.Syekla was also considered a suspect in several other homicide investigations including those of Bernard and Ballantyne.In 2012, the RCMP released a cell phone recording of Tuccaro and an unidentified man who was in her company when she disappeared in the hopes that someone would recognize his voice.Then in 2013, the RCMP put up giant billboards in Leduc featuring her image with the slogan “Have you heard the voice?” further hoping that it help them to find out what happened to her. The billboards have since been removed.There are two common trends in the killings that apply to all four women: they were all Indigenous and they were all hitchhiking.Hitchhiking is a common way to get around in a lot of Aboriginal communities, however, the RCMP said it’s considered high-risk behavior when done in an urban setting.“One of the messages we are trying to get out is getting into a car with someone you don’t know is not a good idea. Hitchhiking is really high risk behaviour because it makes you vulnerable,” said Schlosser.Julie Kaye, director of community engaged research and assistant professor of sociology at Kings University in Edmonton said this circumstance does arouse suspicion about the possibility of a serial killer on the loose.“How can it not?” said Kaye.After all, Canada has had serial killers before.“When you see it’s not the first time that we’ve had serial killers in this way in Canada,” she said while referencing notorious B.C. murderer Robert Pickton who targeted a large amount of Indigenous women who worked in the sex trade.However, she went on to say that regardless of whether or not a serial killer is involved there are broader questions to be addressed. That is, the long-standing issue of missing and murdered Indigenous Women in Canada and the targeting of Indigenous women for these types of crimes reflective of the broader pattern seen across the country.“It’s horrific and another example of the disproportionate violence that Indigenous women face and especially Indigenous women involved in the sex industry,” said Kaye. “They’re not consenting to violence or harm just because they’re working in the sex industry.”The tragedy of the loss of all of these women will not be forgotten until justice is served, if the Stolen Sisters and Brothers Awareness Movement (SSBAM) has anything to do with it.The Edmonton based grassroots organization has been working with the victims’ families to provide support and to assist in raising awareness to help solve the murders.“I think the fact that these were Indigenous women kind of verifies what we’ve thought all along,” said April Wiberg of SSBAM. “When women are targeted to be victims of violence there is a racial element involved… If they had not visibly been Aboriginal would they still be alive today?”bmorin@aptn.calast_img read more


first_img(NDP leader Thomas Mulcair during a recent stop in Iqaluit. APTN/Photo)APTN National News OTTAWA—The NDP will be releasing its platform Wednesday on Indigenous issues within a “nation to nation framework.”NDP candidate Niki Ashton said during a sparsely-attended press conference Saturday in Ottawa that NDP leader Thomas Mulcair would be making the announcement detailing how the party would invest $2.3 billion in new money for Indigenous communities.“This is new money, on top of money Aboriginal Affairs has allocated and allocates every year to First Nations,” said Ashton.The NDP’s press conference was held to again target the Liberal party’s promised new dollars for First Nation education.The NDP says an about $1.7 billion gap exists between Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s August announcement for First Nations education and the money earmarked for the issue in the party’s costing document. During the August announcement, Trudeau said the party would be putting $2.6 billion in new money for First Nations education, but only $900 million was set aside in the costing document.Trudeau told APTN National News that his party’s education promise includes the about $1.25 billion the previous Conservative government had pencilled into the fiscal framework that was tied to passage of the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act, which died on the order paper.NDP candidate Charlie Angus said it’s irresponsible for the Liberals to hinge a promise on money that “doesn’t exist” in publicly available government budget documents. Angus said the Stephen Harper government squeezed dollars from every budget corner to balance the budget and he doubts those dollars are still there.“This is money that they will have to find,” said Angus. “The idea that the money is sitting under a desk isn’t simply credible…Mr. Trudeau needs to say where is that envelope of money he is counting on.”The Liberals immediately fired back Saturday with a press release again stating their promise includes money the Conservative government set-aside.The federal Finance department said in an emailed statement to APTN that the money does still exist.“The funds remain in the fiscal framework. Following the federal election, the government will determine the best use of these funds,” said the statement.Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt’s office also said the money is there. The government has already committed $500 million from the initial $1.9 billion for infrastructure along $200 million for K to 12 education on First Nation communities, said Valcourt’s office.news@aptn.ca@APTNNewslast_img read more


first_img(TsuuT’ina Chief Roy Whitney, left, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stand together Friday after naming ceremony. Brandi Morin/Photo)Brandi Morin APTN National NewsPrime Minister Justin Trudeau and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde were honoured side by side in a historic ceremony Friday on the TsuuT’ina Nation in Alberta.TsuuT’ina Chief Roy Whitney called it “The Thundebird’s Awakening.”Whitney said it was time to “seize this moment” because it was “important for the survival” of First Nations.“Canada has failed. Failed on a scale so unimaginably huge…but there’s always hope. There was progress and survival for us. First Nations have arrived at a historic moment in time,” said Whitney.Whitney thanked Trudeau for making a priority the need to end the crisis created by the high number of missing and murdered Indigenous women.“I give you thanks in recognizing the importance for justice for our women,” said Whitney.In a ceremony held at the Grey Eagle Resort conference center on TsuuT’ina land adjacent to Calgary, Trudeau and Bellegarde were given gifts and fitted with war bonnets. They also received names in the TsuuT’ina language from elders.Chief Whitney said the bestowing of the honour was considered a sacred exchange.Trudeau was renamed Gumistiyi, which means “He Who Keeps Trying.”The prime minister said he was honoured by the name.“You can be guaranteed that I will wear both the title and the TsuuT’ina feather hat with the upmost pride and respect,” said Trudeau. “I will remember this ceremony and cherish this experience always. And I will remember the responsibility that comes with the great honour that you bestow on me today.”Trudeau reiterated past remarks that no relationship is more important to him and to Canada than the one with First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples.“A relationship built on a recognition of the constitutionally guaranteed rights of First Nations in Canada are a sacred obligation. A relationship that is guided by the spirit and intent of the original Treaty relationship respectful of inherent rights, Treaties and of jurisdictions,” said Trudeau. “And a relationship committed to making progress on the essential work of rebuilding a partnership based on cooperation, respect and trust. This is something that we will work on together. We will make significant achievements in the coming days and months. This is a work that will go on for years, for decades and for generations.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde, right, stand facing each other following naming ceremony Friday. Brandi Morin/PhotoBellegarde was named Xani-tii Sido?i which means “Sitting Buffalo.”In his speech, Bellegarde took the opportunity to remind the Prime Minister of the promises he made to Indigenous people during his campaign.“The removal of the 2 per cent cap on funding, which has been in place for 20 years—they (Liberals) said it’s going to be gone, so on March 22 we are watching. We have our fingers and toes crossed. Because that cap was a cap on growth and a cap on potential,” said Bellegarde, who added that a new era was unfolding for Canada’s First Nations.“We are starting to rise up and get healthy as nations again. And so when we hear that Victory song, we stand and dance,” he said.Over one hundred Treaty Chiefs from across Canada attended the event.Following the ceremony Trudeau joined hands with Whitney, Bellegarde, other nation members and chiefs to participate in a victory song and dance around the room.The ceremony was held on the heels of a climate change meeting in Vancouver between the prime minister, premiers and Indigenous leaders. Many First Nation leaders called the meeting a “failure” and expressed frustration with Trudeau and his government.Last fall TsuuT’ina hosted a polling station on reserve during the federal election for the first time ever in the belief the community needed to influence mainstream politics. The First Nation had expressed disappointment with the former Conservative government of Stephen Harper.bmorin@aptn.ca@songstress28last_img read more


first_imgShaneen Robinson APTN National NewsA judge has reserved his decision on whether a Saskatchewan farmer accused of fatally shooting a First Nations man should be granted bail.Gerald Stanley is charged with second-degree murder in the Aug. 9 death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie of the Red Pheasant First Nation.Hundreds gathered outside the courthouse in North Battleford, Sask, Thursday. Many in support of the Boushie family.Stanley’s bail hearing ended with the judge saying he will release a written decision on Friday or sometime next week.All evidence presented at the hearing is subject to a publication ban.srobinson@aptn.calast_img


first_imgBrittany Hobson APTN National NewsThe family of Azraya Ackabee-Kokopenace are still searching for answers a year after her death.The 14-year-old disappeared from a Kenora Ontario hospital in northwestern Ontario last April.Two days later, she was found dead.A vigil was held for the young girl where family and supporters continued their push for an inquest.bhobson@aptn.calast_img


first_imgBrittany Hobson APTN News Saturday A new documentary chronicling the life of iconic Aboriginal musician Errol Ranville is debuting in Winnipeg at a local film festival.The Last Ride documents Ranville’s career that has spanned decades.As frontman of the country rock group C-Weed Bans the musician has released 19 albums and has received two lifetime achievement awards including one from the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards.“The documentary is the story of my life but they’ve picked, of course, a very dramatic portion of my life where a deadly car accident happened,” Ranville told APTN News at an event promoting the documentary. “But they cover a lot of my life leading up to that- my music career and then carry on after the accident.”In 2010 Ranville’s life was forever altered after he was involved in a deadly car crash.He was the lone survivor. Five others were killed including his wife, Marcie Ranville, who was in the car with him.Ranville was driving along a highway near The Pas, Manitoba when he collided with another car. Four teenagers were in the other car. None of them survived.Ranville spent more than two months in the hospital recovering from his injuries.He was charged with careless driving – but the charges were eventually stayed.Rick Skene, the director of the documentary, says the film examines larger forces in Ranville’s life.“I was wondering where is the story? What is it?” said Skene. “It became a story of love, family, and community. And of the amazing power of music to heal.”Ranville says he spent the better part of the year after the crash in a deep depression. His journey of healing began when he picked up a guitar and a pen.“I started writing all the songs for [the album] Forever and just getting back to writing again I knew that I was whole again. I was functioning and I was ok,” he said.The film recently debuted at the Edmonton International Film Festival where it won best Canadian documentary short.The film is premiering in Winnipeg as part of the Gimme Some Truth film festival.The crew behind the film hope to turn the 15-minute piece into a full-length documentary.“We’d like to press forward and do a feature-length version of this story because it really deserves it,” said producer of the film Gary Zubeck. “So much of the interesting parts of Errol’s life aren’t even in the 15 minutes.” Contact Brittany here: bhobson@aptn.calast_img read more


first_imgAPTN NewsWinnipeg police pulled the body of 23-year-old April Carpenter from the Red River in Winnipeg Thursday.Police say it’s not clear how the woman died and an autopsy has been scheduled.They say no further information is available and the investigation is continuing.Member of the legislature Nahanni Fontaine confirmed Carpenter’s identity who has been missing since April 26.Fontaine says Carpenter’s mother wanted people to know her daughter’s body was found.“We encourage anyone with any information to come forward so we can find justice for April,” she posted Thursday on Facebook.news@aptn.ca@aptnnews-with files from the Canadian Presslast_img


first_imgTORONTO – A new stress test for all uninsured mortgages is unnecessary and could increase costs for homebuyers, a report by the Fraser Institute said Wednesday.Study author Neil Mohindra wrote the proposed stress test “will do more harm than good” by limiting access to mortgages for some homebuyers.“The mandatory standard for stress testing could result in a less competitive and more concentrated mortgage market,” he wrote in the report.The study comes as the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions finalizes new lending guidelines.Among the changes being contemplated is a requirement that homebuyers who have a down payment of 20 per cent or more and do not require mortgage insurance still have to show they can make their payments if interest rates rise.The head of OSFI has said that Canada’s banking regulator wants to reduce the risk of mortgage defaults because of high levels of household debt.“We are not waiting to see those risks crystallize in rising arrears and defaults before we act,” OSFI head Jeremy Rudin said last week.Canadian household debt compared with disposable income hit a record high in the second quarter. Statistics Canada reported last month that household credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income increased to 167.8 per cent, up from 166.6 per cent in the first quarter.However, Mohindra said that instead of a prescriptive test, OSFI could use its existing powers to fix what it believes are deficiencies in policies and procedures.The Bank of Canada has raised its key interest rate target by a quarter of a percentage point twice this year.The increases have pushed up the big bank prime lending rates which are used to determine rates for variable-rate mortgages and lines of credit.The Fraser Institute is an independent, non-partisan organization that tends to prefer free-market policies over government regulation.last_img read more


first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia Business Minister Geoff MacLellan says word of 49 layoffs at Cape Breton’s Donkin coal mine is tough news for the families affected.However, MacLellan says the layoffs are a “temporary bump in the road” for the operation, which had grown to a workforce of 130 people since production began in March.He says while the mine has made tremendous investments in the operation, it has reached a point where its costs aren’t matching its revenues.MacLellan says the rising value of the Canadian dollar isn’t hurting Donkin, although the company had hoped to be further along in its production schedule and the amount of coal sold on international markets.He says he’s confident the mine will rebound because the long-term market for coal is viable and the mine’s product in terms of quantity and quantity is “top shelf.”MacLellan says Kameron Coal Management will be bringing in new equipment that will be subject to a regulatory process the province is willing to help with, although he stressed there would be “no back doors” used to speed things up.last_img read more


first_imgCALGARY – Oilsands producer Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd. has won court approval for a process to find a buyer or investor that could allow it to emerge from Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act protection after nearly two years.A court ruling Wednesday approves the Calgary-based company’s agreement with its first lien lenders — owed about $141 million — to launch a process that envisions a May 23 initial bid deadline and court approval of a transaction in July.An attempt to sell the company soon after it filed for court protection from creditors in 2016 attracted several bids, but Connacher and its lenders ruled none was acceptable.“In light of the company’s improved financial performance resulting from cost efficiencies realized during the CCAA process and the improvement in oil prices, Connacher believes that it is appropriate to exit from CCAA in the short term, either through a third-party sale or investment transaction or a creditor-driven restructuring,” it stated in a news release.It added it has appointed investment bank Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. to solicit proposals that will provide net sale or investment proceeds of at least $90 million, plus an amount sufficient to pay other claims with similar ranking to the first lien debtholders.If no qualified bidder emerges, the company would be sold to its lenders in return for cancellation of some of what they are owed.Justin Zammit, a vice-president with Los Angeles-based Houlihan Lokey, said he’s optimistic that a buyer can be found, adding marketing will expose the company to an international pool of potential investors.“The market is much more favourable. There are still some challenges but we think the outlook is much better than it was in 2016,” he said.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:CLC)last_img read more


first_imgCALGARY – The Alberta Energy Regulator says it has suspended the licences of an oil and gas producer after no one answered its 1-800 emergency phone line when one of its hydrocarbon handling facilities appeared to be leaking.In a notice on its website, the regulator says it has yanked licences for nearly 30 wells, a similar number of pipeline segments and four facilities from Insch Commodity Ltd., a Warburg, Alta.-based company.It says the apparent leak was reported in an anonymous call to the Drayton Valley, Alta., office of the AER on March 13.An AER inspector visited the site west of Edmonton on March 20 and observed hydrocarbon pooling on soil and vegetation which potentially could migrate into a nearby waterbody. The inspector called the emergency number on a sign on the site and no one answered.The AER has ordered Insch to hire an environmental contractor to clean the affected site. The company is also to inspect, clean and shut down all of its other sites, and is being given 14 days to confirm it has done so.The AER says in its order the company also has failed to provide a security deposit or pay its 2017 contribution to the Alberta orphan well fund, which is used to reclaim oil and gas sites left behind by operators who can’t or won’t do the work.There was no immediate response to messages left at Insch’s Warburg contact number on Monday.last_img read more


first_imgCALGARY – Bryan de Lottinville’s relationship with charities is complicated.As the founder and CEO of Calgary-based Benevity Inc., the 58-year-old wants to help as much as he can by providing his multinational corporate clients like Nike, Coca-Cola, Google and Apple with software solutions that more efficiently extract money, volunteer hours and general “goodness” from employees.But he really wishes there were fewer than two million charitable organizations from around the world in his cloud-based database. And that they could be a little more organized in how they collect and spend money.“Charities, there are way too many of them,” he says during an interview.“If they were companies, they wouldn’t survive. Someone would come along and roll them up into an efficient infrastructure. But in the not-for-profit sector, all it takes is one or two well-intentioned donors to keep something alive that would be better combined with something else.”The giving business is giving back for Benevity, which took over three floors of a brand new seven-storey building on the north side of the Bow River in downtown Calgary late last year and is already looking to expand into a fourth floor.The company has come a long way from 2008 when de Lottinville decided to execute his idea to reinvent corporate giving.From four software developers working in a tiny office over a shawarma shop, the company has grown to employ 425 people, mainly in Calgary, but also in offices in Victoria, San Mateo, Calif. and Gloucester, U.K.This year it expects to distribute about $1.2 billion to 150,000 charities around the world.The Benevity system is all about choice and options, de Lottinville says.Participant companies can design their programs to allow any level of matching for any term by any group of employees. They can support as many or as few charities as they wish. They can also use the system to handle grant requests.About 87 per cent of donations via Benevity are distributed electronically, compared with only about eight per cent of the $390 billion per year in donations to charities in North America.Most of Benevity’s revenue comes from extracting a 2.9 per cent “support fee” from donations made by about 300 big corporate clients, with the fee capped for large individual transactions.Like many software-as-a-service businesses, Benevity isn’t making profits — yet. De Lottinville says the equity investments allow the company to grow bigger, more efficient and, hopefully, profitable.Last year, Benevity was hired to track a program at Telus Corp. through which the telecommunications company gives $1 per volunteer project hour worked to a charity of the employee’s choice. This year, it asked Benevity to organize its donation-matching program for its 28,000 staff in Canada.“They have created this system where they already interface directly with charities,” said Jill Schnarr, Telus vice-president of corporate citizenship. “Before … there was a huge administrative burden.”In January, the company announced that General Atlantic, a US$25-billion New York-based growth equity investment firm founded by American philanthropist Chuck Feeney, had become a major owner and partner with an undisclosed investment.Since then, Benevity bought companies in the U.K. and California to expand its geographic reach and gain access to their brand name clients.The financial injection allowed de Lottinville to pay back with interest the 40 or so small private investors who initially invested in Benevity — he jokes they thought they were making a charitable donation at the time. The company was also able to reduce the stake held by JMI Equity of Baltimore, which initially invested $38 million in 2015.Alex Crisses, managing director at General Atlantic, said it decided to invest in Benevity because it is “truly different” than the other companies in the space.“It’s really about employee engagement and making sure employees feel valued,” he said.He said General Atlantic is a long-term investor with no pre-set targets or liquidity timetable. It has a presence on Benevity’s board of directors but fully supports de Lottinville’s vision.De Lottinville is talkative when discussing business but turns quiet when asked if his childhood growing up in Ottawa shaped his interest in helping others. When pressed, he concedes it’s a factor, and part of the reason he volunteers with YWCA Calgary.“I grew up with a single mom and she was a vulnerable person, so some of that is personal resonance,” he said.His business resume starts with training as a lawyer in Ottawa and working in Toronto with a corporate finance practice.There he met Mogens Smed, founder of a company that made modular construction components in Calgary.The two hit it off and he joined Smed International as an executive in the mid-1990s. He helped grow it from $20 million in annual revenue and 200 workers to $300 million and 2,500 staff before it was taken over by a competitor in 2000.De Lottinville then joined iStockPhoto as chief operating officer. It was one of first multi-sided platform businesses to employ user-generated content and crowdsourcing. It was sold for $50 million to Getty Images in 2006.Building and selling businesses paid handsomely but the “recovering lawyer” said he yearned to do something to make the world a better place.He decided he lacked the skill and patience to work directly for a charity. He made an angel investment in a “consuming for good” software loyalty program startup but it failed miserably.Benevity satisfies both his entrepreneurial and philanthropist sides.De Lottinville said his latest goal is to find a way to help companies work together on big projects — water conservation, for example — instead of donating to multiple charities all trying to do the same thing.The efficiency appeals to him.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more


first_imgWASHINGTON – U.S. employers posted the most jobs in two decades in August, and hiring also reached a record high, fresh evidence that companies are desperate to staff up amid solid economic growth.Job openings rose a slight 0.8 per cent to 7.14 million, the highest on records dating back to December 2000, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That is also far more than the 6.2 million of people who were unemployed that month.The number of available jobs has swamped the number of unemployed for five straight months. Hiring has been solid, which has pushed down the unemployment rate to a nearly five-decade low of 3.7 per cent. Strong demand for workers when so few are out of work may force more companies to raise pay in the coming months.President Donald Trump celebrated the report on Twitter, tweeting: “Incredible number just out… Astonishing! It’s all working!” Trump added that the stock market was “up big” and referenced “Strong Profits.”Yet so far, pay raises have been modest. Average hourly earnings rose 2.8 per cent in September compared with a year earlier. That’s much higher than several years ago, but below the roughly 4 per cent gain that is typical when unemployment is so low.It’s a sharp turnaround from the Great Recession and its aftermath. In 2009, there were as many as six unemployed workers for each available job. Now, that number has fallen below one.Employers hired roughly 5.8 million people in August, the report showed. That is also the most on record, but that increase partly reflects population growth. The percentage of the workforce that found jobs in August ticked up to 3.9 per cent from 3.8 per cent in July. That matched an 11-year high first reached in May.Job openings rose in August in professional and business services, which include mostly higher-paying positions in engineering, accounting and architecture, as well as temporary help. Postings in that category have jumped 27 per cent from a year ago.Construction firms are also desperate for workers, posting 298,000 open jobs. That’s nearly 39 per cent more than a year ago. Job openings also increased in finance and insurance and health care.Openings fell in August from the previous month in manufacturing, retail, and slipped slightly in hotels and restaurants.last_img read more


first_imgInvestigators are interested in speaking with anyone who may have been near the scene of either fire, in the Highway 29/Hannaford Road area or along the Golf Course Road on March 30, 2018 between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. Anyone with information is asked to call their local police or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The RCMP have not released any new details into the disappearance of a Charlie Lake man whose house burned to the ground the same night he was last seen.North District RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Madonna Saunderson said this morning that police will not be releasing any more information about their investigation into the disappearance of 55-year-old John Banky, who has not been seen since a fire occurred at his home on Hannaford Road in the Charlie Lake area. The RCMP were called out to a report of a fire at Banky’s home at around 3:15 a.m. on March 30th. Police said that Banky was not found at the home, but that his late model red Toyota Tundra pickup was found on fire on the road heading to Lakepoint Golf and Country Club at around 6:30 that same morning. Friends of Banky’s concerned for his well-being began posting over the Easter long weekend asking whether Banky had turned up over the weekend. A Facebook said that Bank’y dog had turned up on the morning of Monday, April 2nd, though that hasn’t been confirmed by police.last_img read more


first_imgCALGARY — The Alberta government says it will again ease its crude oil curtailment program for September.In a news release, it says it will allow the maximum amount to be produced by the province’s senior oil companies to rise to 3.76 million barrels per day, an increase of 25,000 barrels per day over the August limit, in recognition of lower oil storage levels and more volumes shipped by rail and pipeline.That’s about 200,000 barrels per day higher than the initial quota allowed under the curtailment program when it began in January. The release makes no mention of a recent call by several producers to ease curtailments for companies that improve export market access from Alberta by adding crude-by-rail capacity.Producers have indicated they would be more interested in buying 120,000 barrels per day of crude-by-rail contracts negotiated by the previous NDP government and put on the block by the current United Conservative government if they were allowed to produce more oil.The first 10,000 barrels per day a company produces are exempt from production limits, meaning they affect only 29 of more than 300 producers in Alberta.The Canadian Presslast_img read more


first_imgTAYLOR, B.C. – At a District of Taylor Regular Council meeting on Tuesday, Councillors passed the third reading of a Bylaw that would allow for Micro Breweries, Craft Distilleries, and Cannabis Retail within the District.Earlier this year, the District had been contacted by local business investors that showed interest in developing a small scale craft brewery within the municipality.According to District Staff, after reviewing the District’s Zoning Bylaw, it was determined that the proposed use is not permitted in any of Taylor’s commercial zones. Since revising the Bylaw, it was decided that breweries and cannabis-related businesses would be allowed to operate on 100 and 100A streets along the Alaska Highway to ensure that such businesses are not near children or schools.Now that Council has passed the third reading, the Bylaw will be adopted and take effect at a later date.last_img read more