Archive for July, 2006

Prime Minister speaks out on diversity

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

(Canscene) – Long reticent on the subject of Multiculturalism, perhaps remembering the Reform Party’s early avowal to rescind the Multiculturalism Act and still suffering embarrassment from party members like Gwyn Morgan, his one time nominee for chair of the Appointments Committee, Prime Minister Stephen Harper at last spoke out on the subject of diversity as reported in Yahoo News in June. (more…)

Go, COC!

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

Four Seasons Centre
Four Seasons Centre — a distinctive presence in a crowded cityscape

(Canscene) — Wherever they’re performing on world stages at this moment, Canadian singers like Isabel Bayrakdarian, Russell Braun, Tracey Dahl, Frances Ginzer, Ben Heppner, Adrianne Pieczonka, Gidon Saks and Michael Schade must indeed be happy to know that the Canadian Opera Company’s new home has been so well received by the public.

Four Seasons Centre
Aerial Amphitheatre for mini-concerts, meetings and lectures

It was general director Richard Bradshaw’s early recognition of their talent and the maestro’s partnership with architect Jack Diamond plus the generosity of philanthropists like Isadore Sharp and the late R. Fraser Elliott in giving Canada the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts that has brought the COC to its present stature.


Ukrainian Canadians and Multiculturalism

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — The term “multiculturalism” came into being in Canada, springing from the heritage-proud Ukrainian Canadian community and enunciated as a policy in the fall of 1971 by Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. (more…)

Breaking down barriers for professionals

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — As many as 140,000 newcomers arrive in Ontario each year. In the past two years, more than half were university educated. Within five years, newcomers will account for all of the province’s net labour force growth.

The McGuinty government is introducing the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, 2006, which if passed, would break down barriers so that more internationally trained professionals can work in their field, Ontario Citizenship and Immigration Minister Mike Colle announced last month. (more…)

Multibashing recurs during an anniversary year

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — Is it coincidental that the current outbreak of contrarianism occurs during the 35th anniversary year of Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s declaration of multicuturalism as a national policy?

The animosity currently being fanned by some Canadian journalists; closet racists; 15-minute fame seekers and just plain fools is, in the present climate of apprehension, worrying. (more…)

And now —Socceranto

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — In a country which is the home of Canadians from all 32 of the World Cup countries we’re all aware of the language barriers the majority of newcomers must face on arrival here.

One of the great internatonal unifiers is love of soccer — futbol, football, calcio and so on — the world’s most internationally played game which every four years for a month turns entire communities into seas of waving flags. (more…)

TIFF releases first lineup for 2006 fest

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

(Canscene) –More than two dozen international films that have premiered elsewhere, including many of the winning movies from Cannes, will screen at this fall’s Toronto International Film Festival.

TIFF organizers have announced an initial slate of 26 international titles, including these from the Cannes Film Festival: (more…)

Toronto’s first Outdoor Art Exhibition: a personal memoir

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

Outdoor Exhibition
A recent outdoor exhibition at Nathan Phillips Square

(Canscene) — The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, an annual event that began when Toronto was just emerging from a cultural wasteland, opened with 106 artists, who have now grown to more than 500 yearly I was privileged to be there at the beginning.


Go gently into that good Tuscan kitchen

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

Piano, piano, pieno

Piano, piano, pieno
by Susan McKenna Grant,
Harper Collins, 435 pages. $34.95

(Canscene) –Thousands of Canadians have discovered an affinity for Tuscany in recent years, the majority renting villas for vacations, some buying property to which they return annually and a few even settling there permanently, in retirement.

But Canadian software expert Susan Mc Kenna Grant and her husband not only own a Tuscan farm, they’ve made it a paying concern producing a wealth of organic foods such as olives, grapes, wild boar and venison, and an agroturismo location offering meals and overnight accomodation. The farm, La Petraia, is located in the Chianti district. (more…)

Recipe for Tuscan Chestnut and fennel soup

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — One of La Petraia’s prized possessions is a 15-acre chestnut forest which gives birth to the following Tuscan recipe from Susan McKenna Grant. The recipe calls for either wild chestnuts and fennel or ingredients more easily purchased in our local fruit and vegetable sources


1 onion, minced
a few flakes of hot chili pepper
Olive oil to cover bottom of your sauté pan
1 fennel bulb and some of the stalk and green fronds, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1 lb shelled fresh chestnuts
6 cups of hot chicken or vegetable broth
2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
Truffle butter or whipped cream to finish
a few small fennel fronds to garnish.

Sautée the onion and chili flakes until they become translucent. Add the fennel, fennel seed and chestnuts. Cook for a few minutes until the fennel starts to wilt and then add hot broth. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the chestnuts and fennel are tender.

Purée the mixture in a food mill, passing it once through the large-holed disc and then through the smaller-holed disc. If you don’t own a food mill, use a blender or a food processor and then pass the mixture through a sieve, pressing on the solids. Add the butter and season with salt and pepper.

Place a few croutons at the bottom of a warm soup plate; add a ladle of the soup and top with a dollop of truffle butter or whipped cream. Garnish with a small fennel frond