Archive for July, 2009

Ben Viccari’s Canscene

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Vol 9 No.7 — July, 2009

Advisory

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

You may reprint any item appearing in this blog with credit to Canscene and, with permission, to the author of a signed article. The publisher wishes to inform you that any opinions expressed in articles from sources outside Canscene do not necessarily reflect Ben Viccari’s thoughts or opinions.

CHIMO !

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Ignatieff achieves goal of meetings with Harper

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

(Canscene) — Last month, Michael Ignatieff, meeting with the Canadian Ethnic Media Association, introduced his session with the remark ”you (ethnic media) are a crucial line of communication between our political system and the communities that make up Canada.”

His replies to questions are pertinent to much of the content of this issue.

For instance, Ignatieff regretted that Harper had turned down his request to meet to decide what mutual action could be taken to help Canada weather the current crises, but Harper had refused to meet: then. Now under the threat of a summer election meetings have taken place.

We recommend that should you not have heard the entire content of Ignatieff’s. session, you’ll find it by mousing the archives column to the right of this page and click.
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Disturbing signs

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

(Canscene) — Thunder on the left, secrecy and subterfuge on the right lead one to hope that contrary to Yeats’ dire, predictive poem The Second Coming, the centre will hold. For democracy’s sake — because that’s what’s at stake right now.

Generally, Labour’s demands selfishly deny that the crisis in which we find ourselves requires sacrifices on the part of everyone in society. Similarly old-style capitalists still cling to the trickle down mirage of laissez faire.

In spite of assurances that Canada is weathering the recession that, according to Stephen Harper a few months ago, “never was” but has proven all too real, Democracy is at stake in Canada.

The tabling of Bill 47: technical assistance to law enforcement officers is a genuine threat to the civil rights of any Canadian who operates a web site. While the internet is being used to some extent for undeniably subversive purposes, this new act opens the door to a widespread closing down of sites disapproved by the PMO.

Wake up, Canada!
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CEMA Awards Gala

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

(Canscene) The 31st annual Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) Awards were presented at a gala Friday, June 26 in Toronto

This year eight CEMA Awards were presented att the Velma Rogers Graham Theatre.333 Bloor St. E. In addition, the Sierhey Khmara Ziniak Award, named for CEMA’s founder, went to the person who through journalism has spoken for Canadian multiculturalism.

Winners ranged from Stephen Hui for an aricle in Georgia Straight on the plight of the In-Shuck-chs on a reserve near Vancouver to a documentary by Lalita Krishna on a Toronto photographer’s work with at-risk youth of the Peruvian rain forest. More »

Arctic Front

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

By Ken D. Coates, P Whitney Lackenbauer, William R.Morrison and Greg Poelzer*
Thomas Allen Publisher
261 pages $29.95

arctic-front(Canscene) Four of Canada’s leading Northern specialists have won this year’s Donner Prize of $50,000 for 2008’s best book on public policy with a work addressing a matter of high importance to all Canadians; our presence in our much neglected Far North. The authors’ well-integrated presentation speaks well for their common resolve and also perhaps, for their editor’s ability to recognize the importance of their book. More »

Norman Bethune

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

by Adrienne Clarkson
Penguin Books
200 pages $26.00
bethune(Canscene) – Whatever future political direction The People’s Republic of China takes, one thing is certain: a Canadian surgeon will remain a hero to the Chinese people, as he has done since his death in China in 1939 at the age of forty-nine.

One of the latest releases in Penguin’s Extraordinary Canadians series is this biography of Norman Bethune. Its author, Adrienne Clarkson, presents the Ontario-born doctor, warts and all, but in the process destroys some of the myths about him to reveal a loner who stubbornly combined a dedication for the rights of all to medical help with an arrogant behaviour toward fellow professionals.

Bethune’s larger than life character might have been invented by a novelist. More »

CD captures Africa’s sounds and rhythyms

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

hennie-bekker(Canscene) — In Toronto new age singer/musician Hennie Bekker recently launched African Tapestries, comprising five of his best known CD’s, evocative of the Africa in which he grew up. An alternative title could have been To Africa with Love.

Raised in a Zambian copper-mining town ten miles south of the Congolese border (Mufulira), Bekker became entranced early on by such sounds as tribal chanting and drumming, perking up his interest in music. Shortly thereafter, Bekker taught himself how to play the piano, and at the age of 15, began playing with various jazz fusion bands in Zambia, Zaire, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. More »

Allan King: passing of a documentary giant

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

By Colin Browne
(Canscene) — John Grierson, founder of our National Film Board, Ralph Foster, who left NFB to get the Australian Film Board started and Allan King who died last month, are some of the persons who helped place Canada in the front ranks of worldwide documentary film making. Another key figure in documentary is Colin Browne who offers these words in praise of King’s work:

Allan King and Thomas Riedelsheimer were mentors at our first Art of the Documentary workshop in Vancouver in 2006. It was a marvellous session, as Brett has reported. On the evening of the public presentation, May 26, 2006, I offered the following words of welcome  to Allan, a poet of the cinema, whose fierceness, compassion and friendship were gifts beyond compare. Reading them over, I wouldn’t  change a word. More »

From Scarface to the Sopranos — and others

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

scarface(Canscene) — Here’s Paul Muni as Tony Carmonte shouting defiance at the cops as he makes his last stand firing his tommy gun out the window. And Eddie Robinson’s hood ending his days with “Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico? And here’s James Gandolfini driving home to New Jersey as the opening titles of The Sopranos roll.

They bookend the documentary Beyond Wiseguys — Italian Americans and the Movies, a film which records how frequently actors of Italian background have been cast as mobsters often with deleterious effects on their off screen lives. More »