2014 Back Issues



ISSUE 18 (hard copy) December 2014

Graham William Walker was born in Dublin, April 4, 1963 famous for being one of the UK’s most flamboyant and outrageous talk show is an Irish television presenter and comedian. After some time studying at University College Cork, he dropped out of his studies, in order to move to San Francisco. On his return to Great Britain, Graham Norton attended London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. In 1992, he took his comedy / drag act to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, playing a tea-towel-wearing Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
ABOUT Host of the BBC Two’s comedy program The Graham Norton Show. He became known for his over the top style and risque dialogue.

BEFORE FAME He rose to national attention when his appearance in drag as Mother Theresa fooled correspondents on Scottish Television.

TRIVIA He hosted dance many contest shows and talent shows as well as the Live Earth Concert from London and The British Academy Television Awards.

FAMILY LIFE He grew up in a suburb of Dublin, Ireland.

ASSOCIATED WITH In a rare crossover to the United States he made a cameo in an episode of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.

AWARDS 2014, BAFTA Television Awards — Best Entertainment Performance: Nominee.
2014, BAFTA Television Awards — Best Comedy and Comedy Entertainment Programme: Nominee.
2015, National Television Awards — Chat Show Host: Nominee.

Graham Norton: A Career in Show-business. In the early 1990s, Graham Norton made his broadcasting debut when he had a regular slot on BBC radio 4’s Loose Ends. When Channel 5 first started up, Graham Norton was one of its earliest stars, winning an award for his work standing in for Jack Docherty on a late night chat show.

Graham Norton then hosted a comedy quiz show entitled Bring Me the Head of Light Entertainment, as well as another quiz show, Carnal Knowledge, with Maria McErlane.

In 1996, Graham Norton appeared in three episodes of the sitcom Father Ted, which starred Dermot Morgan and Ardal O’Hanlan. Norton then moved to Channel 4, hosting his own chat shows, such as So Graham Norton and V Graham Norton, during which his flamboyant presenting style became increasingly pronounced. In 2003, however, he was the subject of an inquiry by the Independent Television Commission, when he made an on-air joke about the death of Maurice Gibb, singer of the Bee Gees.

Graham Norton was made to apologise in person. 2004 saw Graham Norton venture across the Atlantic to launch a career on the US. He began hosting The Graham Norton Effect on Comedy Central but he failed to gain the popularity that he has in the UK.

Graham Norton’s next move was to the BBC, where he was chosen as the host of the Saturday evening series Strictly Dance Fever and Graham Norton’s Bigger Picture, which included guests such as Jenny Eclair, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood and Davina McCall. Norton also read a number of bedtime stories on Bedtime Hour, part of the schedule on the children’s channel CBeebies.

In 2006, Graham Norton landed the role of Mr. Puckov in the 2006 spoof Another Gay Movie, as well as hosting the BBC’s How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? The show was a public search for an actress to play the lead in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s own version of The Sound of Music.

The eventual winner was Connie Fisher. Norton also hosted the follow-up shows, Any Dream Will Do (in which Lee Mead landed a role in Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat) and I’d Do Anything (earning a place in Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Oliver! for Jodie Prenger). Graham Norton then hosted the annual Eurovision Dance Contest with Claudia Winkleman in September 2007 and both presenters resumed the role the following year. In 2008, it was announced that Graham Norton would replace Terry Wogan as the presenter of the Eurovision Song Contest preliminaries, Your Country Needs You. Later that year, it was announced that he would also become the presenter of the Eurovision Song Contest. Graham Norton also featured in the video for the Comic Relief single by Sugababes and Girls Aloud. The single was a cover of ‘Walk This Way’ by Aerosmith. Norton’s most recent chat show also began in 2007 on BBC Two. The show moved to BBC One in 2009 and when Jonathan Ross announced that he would not be renewing his contract with the BBC in 2010, there were a number of media speculations that Graham Norton’s show would be considered the replacement for Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.

In January 2009, Graham Norton appeared in the West End, in a production of La Cage Aux Folles. It was his stage debut, not counting his earlier drag and comedy appearances. by Jeremy McNally


ISSUE 17 (hard copy) November 2014

By: Claire Riley
photo by Dan Lim – Toronto

“Music is food for the soul.” I hold this adage most dear. Music has nourished and rejuvenated my spirit throughout my life and I consider myself blessed to be a vocalist. Through both triumph and challenge, music has cradled me in its loving embrace. The first seed of my love for music was planted when I sang in an elementary school play in my hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia at the age of six. Following that inspiriting experience, I sang in a string of school choirs and glee clubs – the Blue Birds, Yellow Birds, Jay Birds and Robins – where I first spread my vocal wings. I continued the pursuit of music throughout my high school years in Montreal with performances in holiday concerts and talent shows. In my early twenties, I sang top-40 songs while performing with two local bands in popular nightclubs in Montreal and Quebec City. After traveling many different life paths, in 2008, my spirit called out to reignite my passion to sing. And it was while living in the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia that I started putting together my repertoire of jazz standards. In this cool west coast haven, jazz was in the air and jazz was in my heart.

There’s a myriad of complex styles and intricate interpretations of jazz. My heartstrings were pulled toward singing jazz standards, inspired by the legends whose velvety, rich voices cast their amazing magic still today. These vocal masters of the Great American Songbook remain forever treasured and continue to influence generations: Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, Rosemary Clooney, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé – to name but a few virtuosos. My love affair with singing jazz lies in the simplicity and sophistication of the lyrics, and the classicality and purity of the music. I enjoy taking a stroll down memory lane and sharing the musical saunter with an audience. I feel fortunate to sing classic songs that stand the test of time; songs of old that still bring such joy. What a delight to sing timeless jazz standards that seamlessly cross the ages. Yesterday or today, love remains the same. It feels great to watch an audience member’s reaction when I sing one of their favorite standards; I see and sense their pleasure.

Quite simply, I’m so grateful to be singing and performing to my heart’s content in this great cosmopolitan city of Toronto.

Building a repertoire is an intimate process. With literally hundreds of jazz standards to choose from, a vocalist will certainly relate to those songs that best express their life experience. I also have a few choice blues, pop and country songs in my line-up. I have approximately 200 songs in my repertoire, which may be minimal compared to many other vocalists. Some singers have 400 songs or more in their repertoire, especially those singers who perform regularly on cruise ships, in casinos or hotels. I have to admit that I envy these numbers, but one has to start somewhere. Singing is a multi-faceted phenomenon – physically and emotionally. Every song tells a story and every singer applies their personal style and sense of interpretation. Breathing may sound like a simple process, but it is complex when it comes to singing. Without proper breathing techniques a song can become a train wreck! Without the right key in which to sing a song, well, that translates into a head-on collision! I have had my fair share of wrecks and collisions along the way and I thank my lucky stars that I now experience considerably less. What I’ve come to understand along this musical journey is that every note I sing demands nothing less than the utmost respect. I consider each note within the song a separate entity, an individual living force. A note can either “make me or break me.”

Each time I rehearse a song, I discover yet another nuance. It’s amazing how this happens. There’s always a place to travel within a song. Even changing the rhythm and tempo can lead to other realms of wonderful discovery. Learning a new song is like going out on a date – the first one may not go all that well, but after the fourth or fifth date, things become a little friendlier, more intimate. Memorizing lyrics is an art form. I have had prior experience with memorization through acting in television and film productions. As a principal actor, I often had several lines to memorize and this has helped me enormously when it comes to memorizing lyrics. When performing, focus is key. I cannot jump ahead of myself even for a millisecond, which can be Challenging at times. Regardless of the level of audience conversation or spontaneous laughter, or inadvertent ringing of cell phones, the clicking of glasses and cutlery, or the sound of steam from the espresso machine, I have to remain in the moment if I want to avoid that train wreck. People often ask whether it’s difficult to sing in front of a small audience. Not at all. Even if there’s only one person in the room (and there has been at times), the show goes on with the same love, the same passion. Anytime I have the opportunity to sing and share the gift of music, I feel blessed, with or without a full house.

Connecting with compatible musicians is indispensible. I equate finding musicians to perform with to finding a loving, compatible spouse or partner. Performing together is akin to walking down the aisle to experience that moment of bliss when we exclaim a resounding “Yes, I do.” As it is with finding that special spouse, playing with musicians has to be a harmonious relationship. I don’t take musicians for granted and nothing about performing is ever routine. Even though I have my preferences as to how I want to interpret a song, I always remain open to the musicians’ input. That’s simply respect and compromise – the basis for any happy relationship. Trust is another aspect. I trust the musicians I perform with “to have my back,” so to speak. When performing live, there can be slight mishaps, everything from missing cues to quickly adapting to singing in precarious keys on the fringe of my vocal range. I have to know that I can depend on the musicians to help me get back into the flow of things. An audience expects the performance to be flawless and performing with astute, talented musicians almost guarantees it. And lest we forget the power of improvisation. A singer often travels along this road. While on stage, I consider the rapport with musicians as a lifeline.

After years of residing in Montreal and Quebec City, I packed up and drove across the country to beautiful Vancouver. (I’ll never forget the marvel of a glorious Saskatchewan sunset. What a breathtaking sight.) The west coast vibes definitely reignited my passion to sing and perform again. Call it synergy or the therapeutic effects of the Pacific Ocean, I find the west coast folks more laid-back than their counterparts in the east. The atmosphere was perfect motivation to set up the microphone once more. I met a few musicians with whom I jammed on occasion; I got my feet wet at “open mics” singing a cappella; I performed periodically at weddings and holiday celebrations. One of my most memorable highlights was the opportunity to sing at an engagement party in a spectacular dining room with a stunning panoramic view of Granville Island. It was a magical, romantic night with such an abundance of love in the room. I sang directly to the celebrated couple. What an unforgettable experience. While in Vancouver, I was fortunate to hone my singing skills with a renowned Russian voice coach, Nikolai Kolesnikov. He was formerly a voice professor at the prestigious State Institute of Theatrical Arts in Moscow. He was most definitely a teacher from the “old school,” and I was excited to be his student. At the time, he was 83 years old. Whenever I attended a lesson, I couldn’t help but think of the rich history he represented.

I imagined the extensive list of talented, notable students he must have taught and fostered over the years. He was a delightfully gracious, charming gentleman; soft-spoken but firm in his instruction. He would often respectfully chastise me for not freely jumping off the precipice to reach for those notes outside of my comfort zone. During one special session, I took on the challenge of singing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic “Memory.” During my rendition, with his eyes closed, he gently waved his hand from side to side. I couldn’t help but think that he was reminiscing about the old country, his Russian homeland. I did notice that he became somewhat emotional when hearing the phrases of the lyric, “I can smile at the old days. I was beautiful then. I remember the time I knew what happiness was. Let the memory live again.” This session is frozen in time. I’ll never forget the conversation we had in the tranquility of his salon at the end of the session. In a calm, assuring voice he told me to believe in myself, in my abilities, and in my dreams. We sat quietly talking as the afternoon sunlight streamed through the lace curtains swaying in the summer breeze. It was an emotional exchange and I allowed my tears to flow. For a few fleeting moments, it felt as though I was in the spiritual presence of my dear departed grandfather. That treasured session became so much more than a singing lesson; it was indeed a life lesson. “Professor Nikolai, it was an honour to be your student. I extend my sincere gratitude for your invaluable encouragement to trust myself, to find my true voice, and to reach for that star.”

I left Vancouver in 2008 and, again, drove across the country to take up residence in the bustling city of Toronto. Approaching the city, I realized then and there that my life would be much more accelerated. That west coast, laid-back energy was behind me and one sure indication was the yellow school bus that passed me on the 401 Express. The pace of life was about to pick up in Toronto – a city where you have little choice but to get your act together. It took a while to transition from Vancouver’s energy to that of Toronto’s. I actually underestimated the time it would take to adjust to the vastness of the city, its scope of people and multiple cultures. Although I was living in a vibrant metropolis, at first, I couldn’t understand why I was feeling unfulfilled. I had to do some major soul-searching. Shortly thereafter, I realized quite simply that music was calling out to me again. I needed to fill the void by reconnecting with my first love – singing jazz.

I chose Jazzforia as a stage name for performances with musicians. The suffix “phoria” relates to feelings, an emotional state, as in euphoria. I added “Jazz” to the mix and changed the spelling of the suffix to “foria.” Et viola. Jazzforia came to light. In a world of inspiring music, I think the name is ideal.

I sing in English, French and Spanish. Singing in Italian is also on my wish-to-do-list. One addition to my performances that I’m pleased about is incorporating short verses of poetry as introductions to certain song. I believe a few words of poetry add even more romance and drama to love ballads in particular.
In 2012, I began to reap the fruits of my efforts with performances at Toronto venues in Little Italy, the Beaches, High Park and downtown. It’s an ongoing process of marketing and promotion, which in itself is a full-time job. Albeit, I’m happily on the path to expanding my horizons. Onward and upward.

With the nature of the live music industry today, local bands and singers not only pursue opportunities to perform, they’re also responsible for finding mediums through which to publicize their shows, to get “peeps” in the seats. One has to be skilled in the application and use of social media. Exposure, exposure, exposure. So there’s definitely additional time and pressure as a lead vocalist to secure that next contract, over-and-above honing my voice and performance. In order to support an agent and, in particular, a manager, a vocalist has to commit to music and develop his or her craft on a full-time basis. In order to be in the upper echelons of the entertainment world, total dedication and commitment is key. No matter what the juggling act in order to open doors, the desire to attain artistic success and creative fulfillment outweigh all of the hurdles to leap. And then there’s that indomitable force of perseverance. As Professor Nikolai instilled in me, “Never give up on reaching for that star.”

I wrote three songs – two in English and one in French. The next step is to work with an ace arranger to bring the songs to fruition. I look forward to this major achievement. Naturally, an artist attains another level of creative recognition when writing their own songs. My main goal in 2015 is the production of my first jazz CD. It’s definitely exciting to be moving toward this milestone, toward making a dream come true, with every beat of my heart.
Sing, sing sing. That’s all I long to do. Singing jazz enriches my life. Not only is music my saving grace through life’s high and low notes, it’s a lifelong friend. I thoroughly enjoy performing. For those brief hours, I get to share a special connection with the audience, to establish a bond through the gift of wonderful music whereby we become kindred souls. It’s pure magic and my story continues.
Viva el espíritu de jazz. Long live the spirit of jazz.

Bookings: Claire Riley
Next performance: December 9, 2014
Gate 403 – Toronto, ON, Canada


ISSUE 16 (hard copy) October 2014

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH
Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, became Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in June 2009. Dr. Frieden has worked to control health threats from infectious diseases, respond to emergencies, and battle the leading causes of suffering and death in our nation and around the world.

Dr. Frieden speaks Spanish and graduated from Oberlin College. He received both his medical degree and master’s of public health degree from Columbia University and completed infectious disease training at Yale University.

He has received many awards and honors and has published more than 200 scientific articles.

As the director of our nation’s health protection agency, he is leading CDC to address these challenging health priorities:

Improving health security at home and around the world – by preparing for, detecting, rapidly responding to and preventing health threats 24/7 to save lives and safeguard communities. These include global disease threats, antimicrobial resistance, foodborne illness and health care-acquired infections.

Reducing the leading causes of death and illness – by focusing on reducing disease that sap the quality of life and longevity of Americans, including tobacco, uncontrolled blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, motor vehicle safety, prescription drug overdoses, and HIV/AIDS.

Strengthening public health & health care collaboration – by aligning, coordinating and integrating public health and health care to improve health outcomes.

A physician with training in internal medicine, infectious diseases, public health, and epidemiology, Dr. Frieden is especially known for his expertise in tuberculosis control. Dr. Frieden worked for CDC from 1990 until 2002. He began his career at CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at the New York City Health Department.

CDC’s response to Ebola is the largest international outbreak response in CDC’s history.

Today, CDC has more than 230 staff on the ground in West Africa and in the U.S., supported by hundreds of public health emergency response experts.

CDC teams are deployed from the CDC 24/7 Emergency Operations Center (EOC), activated at Level 1, its highest level, because of the significance of this outbreak.

Each team is flexibly composed to match talents and expertise with critical needs in the field

Contact CDC
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)


ISSUE 15 (hard copy) September 2014

Photos by Mitchel Raphael
Data by Eiman Zarrug

The next municipal election in Toronto is Monday, October 27, 2014. Olivia Chow understands our city. Let’s put her to work as mayor so we can invest now to make progress now. Like many of us, Olivia immigrated to Canada, from Hong Kong when she was 13. She knows what it’s like to live in a home where jobs are hard to come by, and what it’s like to try and fit in. It’s a unique perspective and formed the values she’s acted on for her entire career.

Olivia was elected to the school board in the 1980s and to city council in 1991, and quickly proved she could make change happen. Working with people from all walks of life, she helped introduce nutritious food to our schools and started after-school recreation programs for kids. Today, after-school recreation programs give working parents peace of mind and help our kids grow up strong.

“It’s time for a change. Let’s invest now to make progress now. So we can build a city that reflects who are we are today, and where we want to go tomorrow.” —Olivia

Among her other accomplishments are helping deliver 911 emergency service in 140 languages. After the new city was created, she led the effort to expand children’s and senior’s dental programs beyond the old city of Toronto. These are still in place today, city-wide.

Her time on council, the budget committee, police board and vice-chair of the TTC provide her with unmatched experience.

Olivia was elected an MP in 2006, and was a leading voice for national transit investment. She helped change the law to stop business owners being prosecuted for protecting their stores from thieves.

She championed rail safety and the need to safeguard cities from dangerous goods being sent through, as well as common-sense ways to make cycling safer, such as
wheel-guards on trucks. She lives with her mother, Ho Sze, and helps care for her father, Wilson Wai Sun.

At both city council and in Parliament, she served alongside her late husband, Jack Layton, and helped raise Mike and Sarah Layton. She is the grandmother of Beatrice and Solace.

Recognition for being one of our city’s most effective leaders include a Toronto Sun readers’ choice gold award for being a Top Torontonian, being named Canada’s Woman of the Year by Consumer Choice and best city councillor nine times by Now Magazine.

She was also named one of Canada’s top 25 immigrants by Immigrant Canada, and is the author of My Journey, published in 2014.



ISSUE 14: August 2014


Daniel is founder and Director of the Pan American Food Festival. He was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, where he had a successful career as a marketer of consumer products.

He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Universidad del Norte, with a specialization in marketing.

Since 2008, he has lived in Toronto and completed a diploma in Meeting & Event Management from George Brown College.

An avid supporter of many Latin American community organizations in Toronto, Daniel is co-founder of ArtsXplosion, a non-profit organization that produces cultural events to bring diverse people together.

ArtsXplosion’s first major project, the Pan American Food Festival, made its debut at Harbourfront Centre in September 2013 and recently had a successful second presentation at Daniels Spectrum, Toronto, from August 8 to 10, 2014.
Honors & Awards
Lideres Hispanos que Inspiran 2013
Nominated for Visionary Arts & Culture of the year 2013 by the Toronto
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Nominated for Entrepreneur of the year 2013 by OYE Magazine
*Most Successful Newcomer in 2010, by The Toronto District School Board

By Rodrigo Baak

What is the Pan American Food Festival?
The Pan American Food Festival is an annual festival in the City of Toronto that showcases the rich diversity of cuisine and culture of the Western Hemisphere, including North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. The Pan American Food Festival celebrates good food, art, music, dance and folklore in a unique event with children’s activities and more. Each year, one country is the focus of the celebration; in 2013 the featured country was Colombia, and in 2014 it was Peru.

What were the origins of the event?
Since I arrived in Toronto five years ago, I became aware that most Canadians have little knowledge about the diversity of Latin American food. They thought that, from Mexico to Argentina, all that we eat are taco and burritos. I realized there was a need to create a large festival to show the huge range of our cuisines, and that is what I’m doing with the Pan American Food Festival.

Where and when will the 2014 Pan American Food Festival take place?
The second annual Pan American Food Festival – the only festival in the world that celebrates the best food and culture of the Western Hemisphere – returned to Toronto from August 8 to 10, 2014 at Daniels Spectrum, a vibrant new cultural hub in the heart of downtown Toronto. This year’s festival featured a roster of impressive chefs, fun food competitions and entertainment for the whole family. Launching with a private Opening Reception on Friday, August 8, the Festival was again entirely free to the public on Saturday August 9 and Sunday August 10, presenting food demonstrations by international chefs, kids’ activities, and a Pan American vendors market. Events were held inside Daniels Spectrum and on the neighbouring streets, with a large outdoor street fair for visitors to discover the delicious and diverse cuisine of the region.

How many people attended?
With the fantastic weather we had that weekend, we welcomed 25,000 visitors over the 3-day Festival.

Which Pan American countries participated in the Festival this year?
Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Cuba, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela and Peru (our Host Country for 2014) all took part this year.

Who were the international chefs?
We were pleased to welcome two international chefs: Norman Van Aken from Miami, Florida, and Roger Arakaki, from Lima, Peru. This year’s special invited guest, Norman Van Aken, is the internationally renowned father of New World “fusion” cuisine, and one of North America’s most famous chefs. Our host country, Peru, sponsored the participation of Peruvian chef Roger Arakaki, who specializes in Peruvian-Japanese cooking, as well as hosting our Opening Reception. Both chefs presented informative food demonstrations.

A total of 18 Pan American chefs demonstrated delicious specialty dishes, including:
– Top Chef Canada finalist Rich Francis serving Seared Lake Erie Pickerel with Stone Fruit Gazpacho & Duck Bacon
– Chef Selwyn Richards demonstrating the finest Jamaican Jerk Chicken
– Colombian Chef Steven Gonzalez of Valdez Restaurant preparing Choripapa
– Urban Acorn serving Haitian Vegan Accra Fritters

As part of the Pan American Food Festival, a new exhibition of visual art titled Pan/orama is on view at Daniels Spectrum for the month of August 2014. Curated by Francisco Alvarez, the show features diverse and colourful new works from Canada (by G N’ S Projects), Cuba (by Alejandro Santiago), Colombia (by Abstractus) and Chile (by Rafael Yaluff).

Also new to this year’s festival was the first annual Wine & Spirits Salon on Saturday, August 9th in Ada Slaight Hall, from 7:30pm to 11pm. The Salon brought the tropical taste of Latin American beverages to Toronto. The influence of Latin American culture is very visible in what Canadians are drinking every day: margaritas, mojitos, caipirinhas and pisco sours, not to mention Argentinean and Chilean wines. The Wine & Spirits salon featured pisco from the host country, Peru, as well as tequila, mezcal and rum from participating producers and distributors. The 2014 Pan American Food Festival delivered fun for the whole family. At Nelson Mandela Public School’s green playing field, children 15 and under and welcome took part in the first ever Youth World Cup. This eight-game soccer tournament took place over the course of the weekend with the final game at 3 pm on Sunday, August 10. The team representing Canada was crowned the Champion of the Youth World Cup.

What’s next for the Festival?
The 2015 Pan American Food Festival will take place over six days, coinciding with the Pan Am Games, from July 15 to 20. Our production company, ArtsXplosion, will also present the first ever Pan American Parade in Toronto in 2015.
What message do you have for our readers?
It is an honour to demonstrate the extraordinarily rich culinary and cultural traditions of our Latin American and Pan American countries to the Canadian public, and to see everyone’s acceptance and collaboration. As Toronto prepares to host the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, this is the perfect moment to shine in Canada. We should always remain proud of our roots.

This Festival is possible thanks to the incredible support of my partner, my family, my marvelous planning team, our generous sponsors and, of course, the public that has so strongly supported us.

What else was new in 2014?
New to this year’s Festival was the popular Totalmente Tamales Competition. Our culinary curator, Mary Luz Mejía said, “Totalmente Tamales pitted some of the city’s best tamal makers for a friendly competition to determine whose tamal was be crowned most delicioso!” Six competitors from Canada, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela and Panama took to the outdoor stage at Daniels Spectrum on Saturday August 9, at 6:30pm and the public judged that Chile’s Cristian Heise was the top contender. As part of the Pan American Food Festival, a new exhibition of visual art titled Pan/orama is on view at Daniels Spectrum for the month of August 2014.

Curated by Francisco Alvarez, the show features diverse and colourful new works from Canada (by G N’ S Projects), Cuba (by Alejandro Santiago), Colombia (by Abstractus) and Chile (by Rafael Yaluff). Also new to this year’s festival was the first annual Wine & Spirits Salon on Saturday, August 9th in Ada Slaight Hall, from 7:30pm to 11pm. The Salon brought the tropical taste of Latin American beverages to Toronto. The influence of Latin American culture is very visible in what Canadians are drinking every day: margaritas, mojitos, caipirinhas and pisco sours, not to mention Argentinean and Chilean wines. The Wine & Spirits salon featured pisco from the host country, Peru, as well as tequila, mezcal and rum from participating producers and distributors.

The 2014 Pan American Food Festival delivered fun for the whole family. At Nelson Mandela Public School’s green playing field, children 15 and under and welcome took part in the first ever Youth World Cup. This eight-game soccer tournament took place over the course of the weekend with the final game at 3 pm on Sunday, August 10. The team representing Canada was crowned the Champion of the Youth World Cup.

What’s next for the Festival?
The 2015 Pan American Food Festival will take place over six days, coinciding with the Pan Am Games, from July 15 to 20. Our production company, ArtsXplosion, will also present the first ever Pan American Parade in Toronto in 2015.

What message do you have for our readers?
It is an honour to demonstrate the extraordinarily rich culinary and cultural traditions of our Latin American and Pan American countries to the Canadian public, and to see everyone’s acceptance and collaboration. As Toronto prepares to host the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, this is the perfect moment to shine in Canada. We should always remain proud of our roots. This Festival is possible thanks to the incredible support of my partner, my family, my marvelous planning team, our generous sponsors and, of course, the public that has so strongly supported us.


ISSUE 13 JULY 2014

Yara Vasconcelos is a multidisciplinary artist. Best known for her passionate, creative expressions through dance, choreography, and Art.

Born in Huambo, Angola, Yara comes from a family where arts and self expression was an integral part of daily life. Creativity runs in her family, with relatives who are teachers, actors, musicians and crafters.

Even at six years of age, adults were astounded by her skill, not believing that she had drawn such intricate pieces herself. At 11, Yara moved to Canada where her passion and skills blossomed. When she arrived, she did not speak English. She used the language of art and dance to express herself.

Yara’s teacher pointed to the stage, put on music and invited her to dance, and so she did. Very quickly, she was teaching the other children in her class to dance. This was her first experience with choreography. To connect with the young girl with minimum English, teachers gave her responsibility for creating the illustrations in her school’s yearbook. The yearbook was her passion during her school years. For years Yara has been pursuing her career in dance and choreography, as a principal dancer, choreographer, and artistic director for The Samba Connection Dance Company (formerly Brazil Nativa Dance Company), and all the while Yara continued to paint, draw, work on costumes, sets and make up creating elaborate vivid shows for audiences across Canada. Yara was a finalist at the “So you think you can dance” Canada edition, where she captivated the sympathy of the judges and viewers.

YARA VASCONCELOS Artist/ Choreographer / modeling coach/ TV Host Artist/painter: Raízes, which means “roots” in Portuguese, was her first debut solo show featuring her paintings on canvas and body art. Choreographer: Yara Vasconcelos is the Artistic director and choreographer for the Samba connection dance company.

Her work as a choreographer include: Miss Angola Canada. The First Miss brazil Canada 2011. Brazilian Day Canada: Carnaval on the Square show. Brazilian Start D.snows first Brazilian day Live Concert, and many more including corporate events, music videos and live concerts for International and local artists all across Canada.

Modeling Coach: With a very big group of models and dancers under her belt, Yara Vasconcelos was also the Coach and trainer of the New Miss Brazil Canada 2013/2014 Ana Giuliano. TV Host of the Show Yara & Voce on NTVC (Rogers & CityTV) (Yara & Voce is a talk show dedicated to the Portuguese speaking community in Canada and the world).

Her Inspiration
Yara draws inspiration from a myriad of sources. Her daily encounters with people, her dreams, music, her movement, emotions, nature and popular culture, all feed into her art work.

Her style is playful, adventurous, diverse, fluid and organic. Her paintings are alive with movement. Yara plays with both figurative and abstract elements in her paintings. Elements of her culture are evident throughout her work, as she uses bright, bold colours, rich textures and bead work of the Angolan people. Yara is also influenced by her maternal grandfather; a First Nations Brazilian. She identifies a concern for young women who have lost their connection with their roots. She struggles not to lose the connection to her culture and country.

My thoughts
“Toronto is such an amazing city, culture is everywhere, it’s really hard not to get inspired here, everywhere you look you see faces from all over the world, so I’m truly blessed to be able to live here and share my talent and love for art.”


ISSUE 12 June 2014

By Rodrigo Baak

exclusive interview for DOSmagazine, Joseph said:

I am a professional cellist, and am fortunate enough to travel the world playing great music with great musicians in the world’s leading concert halls and cities. I live in Toronto, and am the Principal Cellist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

I grew up in Chicago, and knew right away that I wanted to be a musician. I heard the Chicago Symphony play a concert when I was in grade five, and thought that the sound coming from stage was the most amazing thing I had ever heard. And I wanted to be able to do that!

After going to the Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University, I won my first audition with the Minnesota Orchestra when I was 21, and performed with them for 11 years.

I then won the position of Principal Cellist with the Milwaukee Symphony for three years before joining the Toronto Symphony in 2010. Now I enjoy playing concerts with the orchestra, and traveling the world playing solo concerts as well as chamber music.

About moments:

I’ve been lucky enough to perform in all kinds of places and situations, whether it be with orchestra, as a soloist, or chamber music.

I’ve played Carnegie Hall many times, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Proms in London, and many other leading concert halls around the world; while those concerts are incredibly fun, high profile, and intense, it’s the more crazy venues that provide me with the happiest memories.

I’ve played in wine cellars in Napa Valley and the Okanagan Region, I’ve played live with A Prarie Home Companion on NPRT with a microphone right next to you, knowing that millions of people are listening right at that moment! One of the most rewarding concerts I gave was of solo Bach and Britten Suites, on a beach in St. John in the Caribbean.

I was on my electric cello, and I think everyone sitting in the sand was stoned, as I could smell the wafts coming at me during the concert. I loved it! I’ve been lucky enough to play with my childhood idol, Yo-Yo Ma, many times. Even when we are playing just the two of us, I look over at him just to make sure I’m not dreaming. He is an incredible artist and human being, and deserves everything he has.

This life has provided me the opportunity to feed my addiction of travel and meeting people. And while on the road, I love sampling the local food. I think music and food go hand in hand. Food is also an art form, and I love trying new dishes and experiencing different cultures.

Toronto – World Pride 2014

As for being “out,” I feel very lucky to live in such an incredible city like Toronto. I’m also happy to be involved in a field that is completely supportive of all preferences, races, etc. We’re all just making music, no matter who we are or where we are from. It’s all the same language. My family has been so supportive from the moment I came out, and they all love me and my partner.


ISSUE 11 MAY 2014

Phoebe is excited to be part of the MTV Canada team where she co-hosts After Degrassi with Lauren Toyota. Her charm and bubbly personality can also be seen weekly on MTV News!

Through it Phoebe offers her fans advice, whether it’s providing moral support when fans gets their first tattoo, helping to plan a romantic anniversary, or assisting a cheerleader prep for a world championship. With unmatched positive energy, Phoebe brings her knowledge of music and tell-it-like-it-is attitude to NEW.MUSIC.LIVE. and TODAY’s TOP 10.

The small farm she grew up on in Balmoral, Manitoba, couldn’t contain the big dreams of Phoebe Dykstra. She quickly set her sights on Toronto, not only because it was the city that housed MuchMusic HQ, but also home to one of the world’s most vibrant music scenes. Phoebe was determined to take her passion for music to the next level and take a leap into the world of music and entertainment.

After two years of working behind the scenes in the music industry, Phoebe was certain she was working in the world she had always wanted to be a part of. When MuchMusic announced the iconic MuchMusic VJ Search, Phoebe jumped at the chance to make her dreams a reality.

After making the Top 16, Phoebe quickly became a fan favourite. Although she didn’t land the job on that occasion, she quickly grew a supportive fan base, reminding her not to give up. A year later, Phoebe landed the much-coveted job as a MuchMusic VJ, and she attributes this to both her hard work and her fans. As one of the originating members of MuchMusic’s flagship series NEW.MUSIC.LIVE., Phoebe was instrumental to its success, interviewing mega-star acts including Justin Bieber, Hugh Jackman, Ed Sheeran, and Avril Lavigne.

NAME Phoebe Lizanne Dykstra


BIRTH DATE July 29th, 1988 (Age: 25)

LIKEIT Animal-loving, Vegetarian

PLACE OF BIRTH Balmoral, Manitoba, Canada

LIVE D/T Toronto near at Queen/John St.

HEIGHT 5’3” (1.62cm)

WEBSITE phoebedykstra

By Amanda Morgan



ISSUE No.10 April 2014

Since the age of 6 years old, Matthew Taylor has been chasing greatness. He first got a taste of the spotlight as a public speaker and actor at school, then as a musician and poet all before the age of 9 years old. Matthew then went on to grow a passion for sports.

He displayed qualities of a leader by his adolescence and went on to captain both his volleyball and basketball teams. His early teenage years consisted of him becoming an international soccer champion. The discipline he got from those years of training he says helped lay the foundation for much of the things he is accomplishing today.

Although his early years showed much promise, his teenage years came with some rough patches. In his first few years of high-school Matthew struggled to focus in school and keep his grades up. His enthusiasm for school began to wane, and the newfound freedom and different environment seemed to be a bit much for Matthew to handle. His grades suffered as well as his attendance and this did not make things very comfortable for his home life either being it that his parents were very serious about education. Matthew was at risk of jeopardizing his future.

By 17, with a child on the way, Matthew re-discovered his passion for music and re-emerged himself in music this time as a writer and lyricist. He spent the next few years making a name for himself around the city and performing at local showcases, selling cd’s. He took a few temporary jobs here and there as a dishwasher and painter, but most jobs he applied for he was declined the position due to lack of experience. The grind was rough, people told Matthew he was too much of a dreamer and should settle for a “real job” but Matthew didn’t quit striving for more, and that persistence soon brought change.

In his early 20’s Matthew’s passion for words made him a voracious reader. Books on philosophy, English, personal development and finance joined his reading collection adding valuable insights to him and opening his mind to new possibilities. Though he didn’t finish high-school, he figured he might as well go to college since he had such a love for knowledge. It was a wise decision because he graduated in 2009 even writing a few assignments on which he scored 100%-All this after being out of school for about half a decade.

The school experience was a priceless one because it added confidence to Matthew in his abilities. After graduating from college Matthew continued writing and eventually penned the book “Student of Life: My Lessons Are Yours.” The ups and downs of Matthew’s life left him with valuable lessons and a story to share, and the essay writing in college assured him he had a great command of the English language. These factors were major contributors to the creation of his book, which has impacted many lives since its inception and has also changed Matthew’s life.

By Amanda Morgan



ISSUE 9 (March 2014)
NAME Ellen Lee DeGeneres
OCCUPATION Talk Show Host, Animal Rights Activist, Comedian,
BIRTH DATE January 26, 1958 (Age: 56)
EDUCATION University of New Orleans
PLACE OF BIRTH Metairie, Louisiana, USA
HEIGHT 5′ 7½” (1.71 m)

Emmy-winning talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres was born in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. Her father, insurance salesman Elliot De Generes and her mother, a real-estate agent, were divorced when she was 16 years old. Her mother remarried, and her new husband, salesman Roy Gruessendorf, moved the family (which included Ellen’s brother) to Atlanta, Texas.

After graduating from Atlanta High School in 1976, Ellen attended the University of New Orleans as a communication major, but she dropped out after one semester. She held a wide variety of jobs until she turned to stand-up comedy, making her bones at small clubs and coffeehouses before working her way up to emcee Clyde’s Comedy Club by 1981.

Her comedy was described as a distaff version of Bob Newhart. Beginning in the early 1980s, she toured nationally and was named the funniest person in America after winning a competition sponsored by the cable network Showtime. This led to better gigs, including her first appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) in 1986.

Though DeGeneres’s early forays into series television were not successful (she appeared as a supporting player in two short-lived TV situation comedies in the period 1989-92, Open House (1989) and Laurie Hill (1992)), she scored a hit headlining her own 1994 sitcom on ABC “These Friends of Mine” (later renamed Ellen (1994) after its first season). She made TV history in April 1997 when her character, and DeGeneres herself personally, revealed that she was a lesbian.
However, the show was canceled the following season due to declining ratings, after which DeGeneres returned to the stand-up circuit. In 2001, DeGeneres launched a new series, The Ellen Show (2001), on CBS, but it suffered from poor ratings and was canceled.

Redemption as a television artiste came in 2003, when DeGeneres’s daytime talk show, Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003) proved to be both a critical hit and a commercial success. Along with good ratings, the show has won unprecedented kudos from the industry, winning 15 Emmy Awards in its first three seasons on the air and becoming the first talk show in TV history to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show in its first three seasons.

DeGeneres has also made a name for herself as a host of awards shows. She hosted the Grammy Awards in 1996 and 1997, as well as the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2001 and 2005. In February 2007, she had the ultimate TV awards show gig, hosting the Oscars.

Television icon Ellen DeGeneres will return to host the Oscars® for a second time, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Academy Awards® will be broadcast live on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, on the ABC Television Network.

“We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres host the Oscars,” said Zadan and Meron. “As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars. There are few stars today who have Ellen’s gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theater, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are.”

“I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say – the third time’s the charm,” said DeGeneres. “I agreed with Craig and Neil immediately that Ellen is the ideal host for this year’s show,” said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President. “We’re looking forward to an entertaining, engaging and fun show.”

“Ellen is talented, wonderfully spontaneous, and knows how to entertain a worldwide audience,” said Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO. “She’s a big fan of the Oscars; we’re huge fans of hers. It’s a perfect match.”

“It is an honor to welcome back Ellen DeGeneres as the host of the biggest entertainment celebration of the year,” said Paul Lee, president, ABC Entertainment Group. “She is the consummate entertainer, equally beloved by her peers in the industry, movie fans and television viewers. We very much look forward to having her back on ABC for Oscar Sunday.”

DeGeneres hosted the 79th Academy Awards in 2007, for which she received a Primetime Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.”

DeGeneres has made a home for herself in daytime with her hit syndicated talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which has earned a total of 45 Daytime Emmys during its 10 seasons.

DeGeneres’ began her career as an emcee at a local comedy club in her hometown of New Orleans. Her acting career in television included roles in several successful sitcoms before being offered a part on “These Friends of Mine” by ABC. After the first season, the show was renamed “Ellen.” Running from 1994 to 1998, the show garnered record ratings, with DeGeneres receiving Emmy® nominations each season in the Best Actress category. In 1997, DeGeneres was the recipient of the coveted Peabody Award as well as earning an Emmy® for writing the critically acclaimed “Puppy Episode” when her character came out as a gay woman to a record 46 million viewers.

DeGeneres has also been successful in her feature film work. DeGeneres scored unprecedented popular and critical response to her character, Dory, the fish with extreme short-term memory, in the blockbuster Pixar animated feature “Finding Nemo.” DeGeneres recently announced the highly anticipated sequel to “Finding Nemo,” Disney-Pixar’s “Finding Dory,” currently scheduled to be released in November 2015.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar® Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

ABOUT THE ACADEMY The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards–in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners–Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies. By Sanjit Das


ISSUE 8 (February 2014)

Author and Bible Teacher: CHARLES PRICE
At Living Truth, we are committed to the unchanging Truth of the Word of God as the basis for everything we declare.

40th Anniversary: Television is a phenomenon in the lifetime of anyone over sixty five years of age today. By the end of the first year of broadcasting in 1948 there were one million TV sets in the USA less than one for every 150 members of the population.

It was introduced in Canada in 1952 with 85,000 sets sold in the first year, one for every 180 of the total population. But televisions influence and power mushroomed to become the dominant media of the second half of the twentieth century. By the 21st century, the internet became a strong contender for that role, and who knows what marvels (or evils) of technology the rest of the century will bring.

Forty years ago, The Peoples Church in Toronto, which had the largest congregation of any protestant church in Canada, began broadcasting its Sunday morning service on CTV throughout southern Ontario. It was at first live, but very soon became recorded to transmit one week later. Its attempt was to provide a Sunday morning worship experience for people at home who are not attending church. And it worked. Before long it became regular viewing for many people across the area, and its reach began to grow.

By the end of the 1990’s it was being seen across Canada. In 2011 Charles Price became the pastor of The Peoples Church and soon after the name of the program was changed from ‘The Peoples Worship Hour’ to ‘Living Truth’ and its scope began to grow internationally.

First an outlet on Ugandan television was made available, then in India, then the UK, then Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, the USA and it continued to grow until today Living Truth is broadcast in more than 60 countries on every continent. There are Spanish versions that now go to every Latin American country, and Arabic version that covers the whole Middle East and North Africa, plus programs that carry subtitles in local languages elsewhere.

The Peoples Church has invested heavily throughout its eighty year history in Christian mission and humanitarian projects all over the world. About ten years ago we realised the power of television to alert people to some specific needs they might want to identify with and to provide people with opportunity of involvement.

Since then, every year, we have run an annual ‘telethon’ over a three week period where we tell the story of some need and opportunity and ask people to respond financially and often to physically be getting involved with skills and abilities they might have. We have since sent literally millions of dollars, for example, to build ‘Life Centres’ for HIV devastated communities in Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

We have established children’s homes, a refuge for street children and a college for those who would otherwise be denied education, in the vast land of India. We built a high school in Uganda.

We invested more than a million dollars in retrofitting a medical boat and building clinics in remote communities up the Amazon River in Brazil, and are helping expand and retrofit mission hospitals in India. We have discovered there are many people who want to be involved in meeting such needs around the world, and respond generously and enthusiastically to these opportunities.

Above all, our desire is to deepen people’s relationship with God. The deepest need of the human heart is to connect with God and to experience his presence in their daily lives. This is why around four thousand people regularly attend services at The Peoples Church in Toronto each week, and why probably many millions tune in around the world each week. The basis of the church and broadcast ministry is the explaining of the bible in relevant terms, and leading people to a living and deep relationship with Jesus Christ. You can connect with us on livingtruth.ca


ISSUE # 7 January 2014

Welcome back to DOSmagazine!

I am pleased to introduce the next edition of the international magazine. In this edition, we offer some new topics as well as articles expanding on themes from recent issues.

I Hope you enjoy this issue of DM. We look forward to receiving your comments and your article submissions:
No.1 July 2013
No.2 August 2013
No.3 September 2013
No.4 October 2013
No.5 November 2013
No.6 December 2013