Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo Sponsors CFNs March 4th Fundraiser

Only five more days until CFNs A Laughing Matter and the list of very cool sponsors continues to grow. Yesterday The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo sponsored our event with an amazing package of tickets that will be up for grabs at our silent auction.

The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo is a four-day pop-culture convention held in annually each spring Calgary, Alberta at Stampede Park. Attendees can shop hundreds of vendors and exhibitors, check out panels and workshops, meet their favourite stars and creators, and celebrate what makes them geeky with thousands of other fans in cosplay. There is something for every fan at Calgary Expo.

The 2016 convention was the greatest yet, with over 105,000 attendees celebrating all that pop culture has to offer. As they head into their twelfth year we can expect to see all kinds of celebrity guests, comic book artists, writers, and creators, toy vendors, cosplayers and more.

CFN expresses our heartfelt thanks for the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo's support and be sure to join in on the four day celebration of science fiction, comic books, film, television, horror, fantasy, animation, pop culture, and so much more this April. For more information please visit their website. 

EthniCity Catering Reveals Ridiculously Awesome Menu for CFNs March 4th Fundraiser

Aside from live entertainment, comedy, music, a surprise guest or two, and the chance to both bid on some amazing auction items and enter a 50/50 draw, CFNs March 4th Fundraiser: A Laughing Matter has a menu right out of a 5 Star Hotel waiting when you arrive.

First off, we must admit we are spoiled here at CFN, as the Centre for Newcomers' Social Venture EthniCity Catering is one of the best catering services in all of Calgary. Having them right under our roof is pretty great and we are excited to share their delicious talents with you.

Head Chef and Program Manager Mark Sefton has come up with a menu sure to please. Chicken and Quail Scotch Eggs, Min Cottage Pie with Sour Cream & Chive Potato, Spiced Cod Slider with Avocado, Cilantro Aioli, and Tempura Vegetable Fingers with Sweet Chilli Dip.  Fill up plate up with that! Afterwards, grab your free drink up at the bar, settle in for some great entertainment and maybe take a shot at winning some prizes. Sounds like a pretty good night, eh? Get your tickets to the event today.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Stage West and Wildrose Sponsor CFNs March 4th Fundraiser

As Saturday March 4th draws closer, the list of sponsors for CFNs Fundraiser: A Laughing Matter continues to grow. Stage West Calgary and Wildrose Brewery recently offered us their support and we couldn't be happier to have them on-board

Stage West Theatre Restaurant entertains over 10,000 Calgarians a month. A ticket to a show gets you a superb dinner buffet with over 120 tantalizing recipes to choose from, including Calgary’s largest dessert selection; then the chance to enjoy hit Broadway productions right from your table. Wild Rose has been brewing beer right here in Alberta since 1996, making delicious beer in small batches and even with the larger brewery, you can only get it in Alberta.

CFN would like to extend our sincere thanks to both Stage West and Wildrose for the support and cant wait for March 4th!

Friday, February 24, 2017

CFN Podcast Centre - Social Media Breakfast and Podcast Conference 2017

CFN attended the Calgary Social Media Breakfast this morning - a volunteer driven, monthly meeting for social media types and community builders here in YYC that has been ongoing since November 2009.  Every month SMBYYC brings in guest speakers who talk about social media related topics and this week's main speaker was Ernest Barbaric. Ernest gave a presentation on podcasting and let everyone know about the upcoming first for not only Calgary, but all of Western Canada - the YYC Podcast Conference on May 6th, 2017. CFN will be on hand to learn and to lend a hand in media production for the conference and is truly looking forward to what should be a great event. For more tune into CFNs podcast centre here and for a full list of details check out podsummit.com.

Youth Possibilities Program Volunteerism

Volunteerism is a regular part of CFNs Youth Possibilities Program (YPP) and this past week they lent a hand at Calgary's Mustard Seed. YPP is 21-week full-time program for youth (funded by The Government of Canada's Skills Link Program)  for immigrant youth, or first generation Canadians, who have not yet been successful in work or school in Canada.  Youth clients are supported to develop and begin to act on a career plan, to develop Life Skills and Employability Skills, and to practice their skills in a supported work placement with a local employer. With these supports, participants develop the skills to enter and succeed in the labour market.

Those in attendance will receive training in Group-based Employability Skills as well as a 12 week paid work experience program. Immigrant youth and refugees who face barriers to employment are supported to develop their employability, communication, interpersonal and teamwork skills to a level where they can enter the labour market or engage in career-focused education.

A special thank you to the staff of the Mustard Seed for all the work they do for our community and for showing our young clients the importance of contributing to the well being of our city. For more information on the program visit our website.

YPP Volunteerism @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Jubilations Sponsors CFNs March 4th Fundraiser

Jubilations Dinner Theatre  has joined the list of sponsors for our March 4th Fundraiser: A Laughing Matter.  Jubilations has been a staple of the Calgary theatre scene for over 15 years. Their talented cast takes on the best in pop culture, crafting hilarious parodies of the biggest names in movies, music, and TV for an altogether unforgettable show. Tickets to a show allow you to take in the excitement and the stunning live vocals, while enjoying a four-course meal - served by the actors themselves.

Owners Janet Cunningham and Doug Stephen have been running the show since 1993, and are masters in the art of amusement. Their shows spotlight amazingly talented actors, original musical productions, and incredible choreography – all set against a backdrop of great costumes, spectacular sets, and state of the art light and sound.

CFN send out a big thank you to Jubilations for supporting us and for more information on this unique entertainment experience here in Calgary visit their website.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

CBC Sponsors March 4th CFN Fundraiser

CBC has joined our list of sponsors for our March 4th Fundraiser: A Laughing Matter. From where Canada’s been to where we’re going together, CBC/Radio-Canada has been there, informing, enlightening and entertaining, sharing Canada’s journey step by step, day by day, with the news, content and commentary and culture that Canadians need today, tomorrow and in the future.

As the country’s national public broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada is woven into the fabric of the country, rooted in the communities they serve and committed to sharing stories as Canadians live them, each and every day. As part of that role, CBC produces rich, diverse and overwhelmingly Canadian content. Striving to achieve continuous improvement, CBC/Radio-Canada strives to keep working to honour and strengthen the trust Canadians place in them by entrenching accountability and transparency in everything they do as a broadcaster and as a corporation. And how does CBC stay accountable? By reporting to Parliament, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the CRTC. Also by reporting directly to Canadians in their Quarterly and Annual Reports, and at their Annual Public Meeting.

CFN send out a big thank your to CBC for sponsoring our fundraiser and even more so for the important work they do for all of Canada, each and everyday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2016 United Way Campaign Tops $55 Million

The 2016 United Way Fundraising Campaign, made possible by the collective efforts of nearly 1000 workplace campaigns, 12,000 volunteers, and almost 35,00 individual donors, raised an amazing $55.7 million - plus a one-time special gift of $2 million invested in United Way’s Tomorrow Fund.

During a time when many are in need, Calgary stepped up and the efforts powered by the hearts of Calgarians everywhere ensures that the United Way can continue to invest in local programs and initiatives working towards overcoming poverty, helping kids thrive, and building strong communities.

All of us here at CFN are proud to have contributed to the the efforts of this year's campaign and would like to thank the United way for the leadership in the Calgary community. Most all, CFN would send out congratulations the city of Calgary! To view the highlights from this year’s campaign simply watch below.

International Ave BRZ Sponsors March 4th CFN Fundraiser

As the date to CFNs 2nd Annual Fundraiser: A Laughing Matter comes closer, our list of sponsors continues to grow. International Avenue's Business Revitalization Zone has donated several tickets for our silent auction to their amazing food tour - Calgary’s original and best food tour! First created in 1997, it has been delighting foodies for nearly 20 years.  Spend a Saturday afternoon on a world tour of the many fine shops and food markets from over five continents spanning 35 blocks.  “Tourists” will be treated to a bus tour "visiting" such areas as: Caribbean, Portugal, the Middle East, South East Asia, African and Latin America.

CFN send out a big thanks to International Ave's BRZ for their support and if you have any questions about the organization or their food tour, be sure to check out their website or give them a call at 403-248-7288. 

Major Minor Punk Rock Axe Throwing

Music is as culturally relevant as it gets in terms of the arts here in Canada, but pricey tickets, scalpers and over 18 venues often leave many unable to take in shows across the city. This simple truth was the inspiration for the non-profit Major-Minor Music Project.

Major Minor is an all-ages volunteer-fuelled music and arts event organization. By engaging participants at all levels of music production and community organizing, Major Minor seeks to fulfil its mission to foster a participatory, creative culture through popular music concerts, arts programs, experiential learning and volunteer opportunities for all ages - especially young people. Major Minor’s shows are always all ages, with a focus on young people, ages 14 to 24 and new Canadians. For highlights of their weekend show at Batl Ax Calgary and for more details on Major Minor watch below.

The Major Minor Music Project from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Theatre Calgary and Major Minor Music Project Sponsor March 4th CFN Fundraiser

As the date to CFNs 2nd Annual Fundraiser: A Laughing Matter comes closer, our list of sponsors continues to grow. Theatre Calgary and the Major Minor Music Project have donated tickets towards our silent auction and we couldn't be happier to receive their support.

On one end of the spectrum, Theatre Calgary has been delivering the arts to Calgary for nearly a half century, all the while being active community builders and contributing to the development of their city. On the other, the upstart Major Minor Music project is entering its second year of delivering volunteer fuelled music and arts events in an all ages environment, while seeking out opportunities to build community with others.

CFN has recently been working with Theatre Calgary in their initiative of sharing the stories Calgarian immigrant women in conjunction with their upcoming run of A Thousand Splendid Suns. CFN will be attending the latest incarnation of Major Minor, Punk Rock Axe Throwing at Calgary's one and only BATL - Yes, that wasn't a typo - this coming Sunday to pick up tickets for their March 18th show donated towards our silent auction - Punk Rock Dark Light Bowling Party at Paradise Lanes.

Both in terms of history and content. Theatre Calgary and Major Minor couldn be further apart. That said, at their very core, the spirit upon which the draw life dwells within the infinite hallway of the arts - a most vital part of the cultural landscape of our city. Arts and culture make considerable and necessary contributions to the well-being of our communities. Powerful tools with which to engage various levels of change and growth, they are a means to public dialogue, contribute to the development of a community’s creative learning, while fostering healthy communities capable of action. Moreover, the arts provide an avenue for community mobilization and activism, and perhaps, above all else, help build a community's capacity and develop it's leadership.

A big thank-you from all of us here at CFN to both Theatre Calgary and Major Minor for supporting our fundraiser and we hope to see you there! 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

CFN Attends Best Of Calgary 2017 Launch

Best of Calgary is a celebration of the people, places and voices that make Calgary an amazing place to live and call home, while at the same time looking at ways to make our city better. An online survey rolled out in four parts, The Best of Calgary categories are Food & Drink, Cityscape & People, Arts, Culture & Entertainment, along with Shopping & Services. With all four categories combined there are 100 questions in total.

Within each phase of the survey, bigger questions will be asked - questions developed through Best of Calgary's collaboration with the Calgary Foundation. These questions will provide a measurement of Calgarians sense of belonging and happiness with our city so contributions towards making positive changes for the future of Calgary and the people that live here can be made.

Best of Calgary has also developed partnerships with a wide variety of groups and organizations that should not only increase the number of responses received, but also bring a lot more diversification to those responses - The ultimate goal being the celebration the people, businesses and organizations that make this city great.

Best of Calgary invites you to visit their web site, fill out their survey, and sign up for their mailing list to ensure you are notified when each phase of the survey is released. To hear more about the Best of Calgary initiative watch below and to see a few photos from yesterday's launch click here. 

Best of Calgary from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

National Agricultural Day

Today is Canada’s Agriculture Day and with it comes an opportunity to get involved, celebrate and be a part of the conversation about food and farming. This year is the first time the industry has dedicated a day to celebrating agriculture nationwide. Every link in the food production chain – from the farm to the grocery store and restaurant – plays a vital role in bringing food to your table every day. Across the country numerous Canadian farmers, businesses and groups had the date on their calendars and were listing the ways they planned to mark the day.

Canada’s Agriculture Day follows a week after the release of 2016 Canada Census population data showing the intense urbanization of the population, with Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver now home to one-third of all Canadians (12.5 million). Less than three per cent of the Canadian population today have any link to agriculture today — in the 1930s more than 90 per cent of the population did.

It’s all about showing our love, pride and passion for an industry that puts food on our tables,” Hill said. We want to give everyone the opportunity to have a voice in the conversation and celebrate the industry that feeds the world.

An often overlooked area of potential for newcomers to Canada, CFN is currently in the process of creating an employment training program for immigrants that addresses the shortfall of 26,000 employees in the Canadian agriculture market. Partnering with employers in the agriculture industry and receiving support from the MLA for Olds, CFN are exploring a potential partnership with Olds College to implement this program. This initiative is designed to match agricultural workers who have arrived in Canada, with suitable work here in the Calgary Area. CBC News Radio talked about the importance and practicality of such an initiative to CFN CEO Anila Lee Yuen. To hear the story in its entirely simply CLICK HERE. 

From all of us here at CFN, a huge thank you to everyone within and attached to the agricultural industry. Happy Agricultural Day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Laugh Shop Sponsors CFNs March 4th Fundraiser

CFN wishes to send out a big thank you to the Laugh Shop, home to Calgary's best comedy for decades, for contributing to our March 4th Fundraiser. The Laugh Shop has generously donated tickets for a night of comedy to our silent auction.

Long time members of the Calgary entertainment landscape,  the Laugh Shop has been hosting premier, marquee talent in an intimate setting since the 1980s. One of the best comedy clubs in the country is also one of the most intimate for patrons and performers alike. Seating 300 people, the differences are huge when comparing The Laugh Shop to Saddledome or a even a theatre. As a result, comedians often stick around after the show to take pictures and sign autographs and just hang out with the crowd.

Rosanne Bar, Rob Schneider, Chris Tucker, Jim Belushi, along with any one of Wayans Brothers are just a few of the A-List comedians that have recently performed at the Laugh Shop and they, along with the entertainer of the week, are guaranteed to provide a performance that will leave you with a smile on your face.

Once again, thank you to the Laugh Shop from all of us here at CFN and keep up the great work!

Do Women Face Tougher Road Than Men in Politics?

People from all over the world come to Canada because we are amongst the most progressive countries on the planet. Immigrants often arrive to discover opportunities, services, and freedoms not afforded to them before. It is safe to say that Canada is an example to the world. By extension, it is important that we as Canadians, each and every one of us, always be conscious of the examples we set for the world to see.

Here in Alberta, Premier Rachel Notley has been subjected to threats of harm far more often than her recent predecessors. Newly released statistics confirm a disturbing escalation of security concerns over the last two years. Stats show that from 2003 to 2015 — a period that saw six different premiers — Alberta sheriffs recorded a total of 55 security incidents involving the premier. Nineteen of those came in the last half of 2015, which happened to be Premier Rachel Notley’s first months in office. At least three of those incidents required police intervention. In 2016 412 incidents of abuse and or threats were pointed at Notely .

Less than three months back both of the women running as PC leadership candidates ( Donna Kennedy-Glans and Sandra Jansen) dropped out of Alberta's PC leadership race, with Jansen citing she quit because she was harassed and later read out to the legislature examples of some of the viciousness she faced.

The Unconventional Panel on CBCs Calgary Eyeopener weighed in on this topic with CFN CEO Anila Lee Yuen, Wordfest general director Shelley Youngblut and engineer Ravin Moorthy offering their thoughts. To hear what they had to say simply click below.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Big Rock Sponsors CFN March 4th Fundraiser

CFN wishes to send out a big thank you to Big Rock Brewery for sponsoring our March 4th Fundraiser, A Laughing Matter, by stocking up our cash bar with a generous donation of beers and ciders. Long time members of the Calgary business landscape, Big Rock has readily contributed to the Calgary community from its very beginnings.

Founded by Ed McNally right here in Alberta, for more than 30 years Big Rock Brewery has been serving the community. Back in 1984 beer was either "lager A" or "lager B", but McNally was thirsty for a real choice. Rather than tracking down established import brews, he started his own local brewery. By 1985 McNally set up shop, hired brewmaster Bernd Pieper, and started creating the beers he liked. At the time McNally was quoted as saying his plan was to "make the beers that I want to drink, not what will be popular." That philosophy goes a long way to explaining why their first three beers were Bitter, Porter and Traditional. Of the three, Traditional was an instant hit, and continues to win praise today.

A few decades have passe since and Big Rock has become a staple of the Canadian economy. In return for providing Canadians with some of their favourite Craft Beers and his generous contributions to the community, McNally was honoured with the Order of Canada and inducted into the Calgary Business Hall of Fame.

Once again, thank you to Big Rock from all of us here at CFN and keep up the great work!

Monday, February 13, 2017

CFN to Attend YYC Podcast Conference

From its quiet beginnings in 2003, podcasting has become an undeniable force in content marketing and shows no signs of slowing down. A mix of increased app innovation, mobile accessibility, new content marketing potential, along with the evolving and organic work of audio storytellers and entrepreneurs has opened up near limitless possibilities for the medium. According to iTunes, in 2015 one in five people listen to at least one podcast, downloads increased 23%, and advertisers spent $30 million in advertising. Put all this together and its a perfect time for a podcast summit here Stampede City.

Western Canada's first podcast conference is coming to Calgary - Saturday May 6, 2017. Podcast production workshops will talk about gear, hardware, software, editing, and DIY tips. In terms of show development, we will talk about show structure, interview techniques, and content hooks. And lastly,  workshops will provide the opportunity to learn about podcast promotion, marketing, advertising, and audience engagement. Guest speakers will also offer their insight into this every growing medium.

The podcast summit is the brainchild of Ernest Barbaric. Social Media Marketing Instructor at Mount Royal University and Digital Marketing Instructor at the University of Calgary once a year, Barbaric is a trusted local authority on digital and social media marketing. His work has been featured in Forbes, Canadian Business, USA Today, Financial Post, Mashable and Social Media Today, among others and he regularly collaborates with leaders, entrepreneurs and marketing professionals to build online authority, increase qualified inbound traffic, improve conversions and develop brand awareness – all through digital marketing.

CFN will be there to learn, as well as to lend a hand in conference media production, and looks forward to connecting with fellow YYC podcasters. For more information visit podsummit.com 

Friday, February 10, 2017

CFN Podcast Centre: Why There Won't Be A Canadian Trump

Editorial Cartoon - Chronicle Herald
Even the casual user of social media, who keeps it at arm’s length, can see the liberties people are taking in terms of expressing some pretty vicious statements these days. It's out there in a way it hasn't been before and there are a number of reasons for that - only some of which would stem from down south and its emerging world of alternative facts.

Racist thought no doubt takes place in Canada. Anti-immigration sentiment no doubt takes place in Canada. That said, many Canadians are unaware of how commonly racially motivated acts occur in this country and that polls over the last few years suggest a sizeable portion of the population is at the very least resistant to immigration. For many however, the Quebec Mosque attack changed that. It was an attack that has shaken Canada to its core and revealed the ugliness that exists. It has also clearly galvanised the country into an almost maternal embrace of our Muslim community nationwide. Moreover, it has lowered the volume somewhat of those who, at the very least, had been taking a hard line on immigration, never mind those emboldened to unleash xenophobic racist commentary.

That said, why hasn't there been a Tea Party Movement matched by a political candidate who goes full blown xenophobic here in the Great White North?  It has a lot to do with the Canadian Political System and the balance it provides. To hear more about this question and how our unique political system addresses it, tune into this week's podcast.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

CFN to Attend SocialWest 2017 Conference

SocialWest is an exciting multi-day conference developed for those working in communications, marketing and social media professions. Attendees experience sessions, panels and workshops lead by the industry's foremost experts. Over the course of SocialWest, our speakers will share the elements of truly successful social media and digital strategies for businesses big and small.

SocialWest 2017 will feature more than 30 speakers and experts from across the country. Over the next couple of months, we'll have some more exciting details to share. Each of our speakers have been specifically chosen because they are exciting, dynamic and invested in using their sessions to educate our attendees.Social West will also introduce the first hashtage awareds. The inaugural awards will serve as the opening night of SocialWest, and will honour all those who work in the worlds of digital marketing and social media.

If you want more information about The Hashtag Awards and SocialWest as it becomes available, visit there website. 

Calgary is the Fastest Growing City in Canada... Again.

The first segment in a near year long roll out of Canadian census data was released yesterday and Canada's population was reported at 35.1 million.  Throughout the course of 2017 Stats-Can will release a variety of data that will eventually paint a detailed picture of the country, right down to the local level — including age breakdowns of the population, family makeup, languages spoken, immigration and ethnic origin, the level of education attained and income earned.

Calgary had the highest growth rate of any metropolitan area in the entire country over the past five years, despite being in the grip of an economic downturn and has surpassed Ottawa to become the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country. Several communities on the outer edges of reported explosive population growth since 2011, with Cochrane, Airdrie, and Chestermere leading the way.

Further census date release dates and topics from Statistics Canada are - May 3 age and sex as well as type of dwelling; May 10 census of agriculture; August 2 families, households and marital status, language; September 13 income, October 25 immigration and ethnocultural diversity, housing and Aboriginal peoples; November 29 education, labour, journey to work, language of work, mobility and migration. To download your own complete copy of Statistics Canada's census data on population and dwelling counts CLICK HERE. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Is Calgary a Divided City?

At a town hall meeting last year a resident of Woodbine had this to say about the City of Calgary's proposed BRT line. "If you're driving a Mercedes Benz and you can afford a Mercedes Benz, you're not going to take public transit to goddamn downtown Calgary or Mount Royal College." 

That rather pejorative statement brings us to the issues surrounding income inequality in Calgary and to the rather unique acronym NIMBY.

From 1980 to 2005, the gap between rich and poor neighbourhoods in Calgary deepened dramatically. While the city and surrounding area enjoyed a period of unprecedented prosperity, Census data reveals that the income differential between have and have-nots grew by whopping 81 per cent. The increase was enough to give Calgary the rather dubious distinction of leading the entire country in neighbourhood income inequality. Over that same period of time, the after-tax income in Calgary’s poorest neighbourhoods rose by 5 per cent, while in the city's wealthy neighbourhoods that figure increased by nearly 75 per cent. A study as recent as 2014 still listed Calgary as the nation's leader in income inequality.

And now for the term NIMBY -  according to Wikipedia Nimby (an acronym for the phrase "Not In My Back Yard") is a judgemental characterization of opposition by residents to a proposal for a new development because it is too close to them, often with the connotation that these residents do in fact believe these developments are needed by others in society, and so should be further away from them.

So is Calgary a divided City? Does Nimbyism play a role in how residents think?  To listen to Shelley Youngblut , general director of Wordfest, Ravin Moorthy, a Calgary engineer and CFN CEO Anila Lee Yuen take on these very questions any more simply click below.

Monday, February 6, 2017

CFN Productions - CFN Board Chair Charles Buchanan

CFN Productions had the chance to sit down with Centre For Newcomers Board Chair Charles Buchanan last week. Charles is an information technology and business leader who has been actively volunteering his skills and building community here in Calgary for several years. Recently he left the corporate sector to start IGNITECH, a non-profit committed to ending technology poverty and has served on CFNs board for 6 years.

In talking with Charles, it was easy to see the draw of volunteering to serve on a board, as non-profit members witness the social impact of their great causes while also offering advice, support, and oversight. In the end, channelling one`s productivity into a cause that is meaningful is intrinsically rewarding. You can watch our interview with Charles below.

Board Chair @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Friday, February 3, 2017

CFN Alumni - 10 Years Later

When an organization has been around for three decades, the stories and faces will be many. CFN has been a bedrock of the Calgary community for almost 30 years. The organisation currently serves approximately 10,000 clients per year and since its inception has employed hundreds of people, while enjoying the privilege of working with hundreds more volunteers.

Summer Cao and her family came by for a visit recently, almost 10 years after she left CFN and began her working life here in Calgary. Now married to husband Vince, with two children, Elsa 2 and Carson 6,  Calgary is undoubtedly her home.

Her husband Vince, born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, recently become yet another employment victim from the oil and gas sector and it was he in fact who gave us a call. "When she first moved here, she was completely dependant upon me." he said.

Now ten years later, Vince is laid off and it's Summer who goes to work everyday to fend for her family, while Vince looks for work. Proud of his wife, her transition from where she was when Summer first arrived in Canada, to where she is now is not lost on Vince. And so he gave us a call and we had the chance to sit and chat with the entire family.

Summer was a part of CFNs Youth Possibilities Program (YPP) back in 2006, where she learned language skills, became knowledgeable of Canadian workplace culture, and engaged the community through a wide verity of volunteer work. An interesting side bar - CFN CEO Anila Lee Yuen worked as a Community Development  Facilitator in the YPP program back then in what was her first job out of University - before moving on to other things and then returning as CEO a little over a year ago.

We would like to thank Summer and Vince for stopping by to say hello to their CFN family and wish them health and good fortune in the New Year. For more information on CFNs YPP Program CLICK HERE.

Youth Possibilities Program @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

3 Things for Canada Vol II

3 Things for Canada asks all Canadians what they would give to Canada for her 150th birthday. CFN is honoured and happy to take part in this initiative of the Mayor's Civic Engagement Committee which was itself inspired by Mayor Nenshi 3 Things for Calgary campaign.  Below is CFNs Board Chair Charles Buchanan with his three things. Watch for more coming soon and what are your three things?

3 Things For Canada - CFN Board Chair Charles Buchanan from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

All That We Share - Watch This. We All Need To These Days.

A promotional ad put together by Danish broadcaster TV2 has been shared by millions since the English version was released just a few days ago. ‘All That We Share’ opens with Danes walking onto a stage and stepping into squares outlined on the floor that divide them into archetype like categories such ‘upper class’, ‘lower class’, ‘lifelong citizens’ and ‘new citizens’. The is followed by a man who begins to ask questions like: “Who in this room was the class clown? Who are stepparents? Who is heartbroken? Who has been bullied? Who is lonely?”

What follows is truly amazing. People step out of their boxes, those frames of identity and judgement we put upon ourselves and others, and different members from each archetype end up standing together, finding common ground, seeing the humanity in those around them. It represents the undeniable truth that human beings all exist as inverted reflections of one another, more alike than different, more connected than alone, yet so many simply cannot see. The English-language version of  the video was posted to YouTube on January 27. It was the same day that US President Donald Trump released an executive order blocking citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for 90 days and halting the Syrian refugees program. Take a look below to not only get your guaranteed feel good moment for the day, but to be reminded of our shared humanity.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Theatre Calgary's A Thousand Splendid Suns & The Journeys of Many

Theatre Calgary strives to connect their productions to the everyday lives of citizens of Calgary and as a part of this initiative they are hoping to share stories of Calgarian immigrant women in conjunction with their upcoming run of A Thousand Splendid Suns. The play is based on Khaled Hosseini novel, a story that takes place in war-torn Afghanistan, where two women are brought together by fate.

Theatre Calgary has put out a call for immigrant women, who are living in Calgary and who would be interested in being interviewed about their journey to Canada. These interviews would be recorded, transcribed, summarized, and shared in a visual display in the Theatre Calgary lobby during the run of A Thousand Splendid Suns. In return, they would welcome each person who participates, as well as a guest, to see the show as a thank-you for sharing their stories.

Whether it be 1 year or 20, there is no preference for how long women have been in the country, as the goal of the initiative is to tell the stories of their journeys that brought them to Canada, and how they’ve made a life for themselves here in Calgary.

Khaled Hosseini, author of the haunting, and almost overwhelmingly impactful The Kite Runner (2003) followed this enormous success with A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007). A decade after its publication, the stage adaptation could not be better timed, as it is a reminder of our shared humanity.

The play is having its world premiere in San Francisco during a climate of intensified Islamophobia. With an American Presidential campaign fuelled by extremely divisive rhetoric, the controversial travel ban that followed and the recent act or terror in Quebec, stories that reveal universal human needs and impulses could not be more relevant.

CFN salutes Theatre Calgary for bringing such stories to our city and would also like to thank them for graciously donating tickets for the silent auction at our CFN Fundraiser March 4th. And if you, or someone you know, would like to share the story of your journey to Canada please contact us at info.centrefornewcomers.ca.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February is Canada's Black History Month

Alberta has become the fourth province in Canada to proclaim February as Black History Month. In December 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada following a motion introduced by the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine. The motion was carried unanimously by the House of Commons. The month-long celebration recognizes the contributions of people of African and Caribbean descent.

During Black History Month, Canadians celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today.

It was recently announced that Civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond will be immortalized on Canada’s $10 bill. When the new banknotes enter circulation in 2018, Desmond will be the first woman who is not a Royal to have her face featured on Canadian currency. Called the “Rosa Parks of Canada,” Desmond defied the colour barrier at a New Glasgow, N.S., movie house in 1946.

Whether it be politician Leonard Braithwaite, writer Claire Harris. musician Clarence Horatio Miller, hockey player Grant Fuhr, baseball player Ferguson Jenkins, filmmaker Sylvia Hamilton, the aforementioned pathfinder Jean Augustine, or dancer John Alleyne the names of Black Canadians who have excelled and contributed to the fabric of Canada's culture are many. For more information visit the Canadian Encyclopedia page on Black History Month and for a more detailed account of Viola Desmond watch below.