Posted by: jackie19 | July 22, 2010

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That

Pre school network Treehouse is proud to announce the arrival of a new show

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! premieres Saturday, August 7 on Treehouse.

One of Dr. Seuss’s amazing children’s books is coming to a television near you. The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That will premiere on Saturday, August 7 at 5:30 p.m. ET starring popular comedic actor Martin Short as the voice of the Cat. Alexa Torrington and Jacob Ewaniuk are also part of the show, voicing characters Sally and Nick. Both the young stars are really excited to be a part of television history.

The Cat in the Hat is most likely Dr. Seuss’s most famous book. The story was written in 1957 and to this day, appeals to readers of all ages. This iconic book has lead to five Cat in the Hat sequels and was adapted for film in 2003 drawing such Hollywood hotshots as Mike Myers, Alec Baldwin, Kelly Preston and Dakota Fanning.

Dr. Seuss’s classic children’s books have proven to be timeless and will continue to be everlasting, perhaps even more so with the help of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That.

“I am over the top excited to be a part of the show,” said Torrington. Torrington and Ewaniuk are both big Dr. Seuss fans.“I’ve seen How the Grinch Stole Christmas 15 times,” said Ewaniuk. Neither Torrington or Ewaniuk have met Martin Short personally but they say he sounds so funny. “He’s an amazing and nice guy,” said Ewaniuk.

In the first episode, Show Me the Honey, Sally and Nick have run out of honey. Fortunately, the Cat knows where to get more. They visit Queen Priscilla Buzzoo who invites them to join her in the bee dance to learn how honey is made. “[The show] is entertaining and funny,” said Torrington. “I’m thirteen and my friends love it. It is educational, really funny and cute.”

Posted by: jackie19 | July 15, 2010

An awesome event this summer

The tenth annual TELETOON Most Awesome Summer tour is coming to a city near you.

The tour kicks off in Vancouver on Canada Day and ends in Toronto on September 6th.

The popular cartoon network will be bringing in non-stop fun for three months such as the Johnny Test Lab-O-Mania game inspired by the hit television show Johnny Test.

“It’s a race where you have to put Johnny back together. Whoever puts the pieces back first wins,” said Karen Touma TELETOON Marketing Director.

Also from the hit series, Touma says, Johnny’s sisters Susan and Mary will be on tour to meet and greet with fans.

Another fantastic feature of the tour is the Total Drama World Tour Karaoke Contest.

Based off the television series Total Drama World Tour, kids can perform the theme song and a video of their performance will be sent to their e-mail accounts. From there, the young superstars can have the option to enter their video in the contest for a chance at an amazing $5,000 grand prize.

Those who cannot visit the TELETOON Most Awesome Summer tour still have the option of entering the contest online.

Touma says another feature on the tour will be the exciting Spin to Win Wheel which offers another chance at great prizes. “We want to hit as many markets as we can across country. This year [the tour] will be bigger than ever reaching more kids and families.”

Tour listing of the TELETOON Most Awesome Summer tour can be found here.

Posted by: jackie19 | June 26, 2010

Ahoy Mateys

TS Playfair & STV Pathfinder

Attention Torontonian pirates! Here’s yer chance to sail the great lakes.

The Toronto Brigantine has a summer program which teaches youth 13-18 years old how to sail and explore horizons.

Julian Schroer Captain of the Pathfinder, says what he loves about the summer program is how everybody on board becomes your family for that period of time.

“You work together and really have to get stuff done as a team and make sure your home [the boat] keeps going and gets to the place where it needs to be,” muses Schroer.

The Captain has been part of the Toronto Brigantine program since 1999.

The program he says, offers a unique experience to sail on a tall ship.

“Everybody on board is a teenager—unlike a lot of programs out there you don’t have an adult telling you what to do. You have a peer who’s close to your own age,” explains Schroer.

The Captain says another exclusive part of the program is that you travel as you sail.

“We’re going to some cool places this summer; (we’ll see) Chicago and spend time up in Georgian Bay. So you get to see a lot of small town Ontario and also the States,” explains Schroer. “It’s that extra added bonus.”

The Captain also says, sailing appeals to young people because there is a sense of adventure and excitement that goes with it.

“When you’re sailing with 15 knots of wind and all you have is water around you, a nice breeze going and sunny skies, it’s pretty thrilling and just relaxing. It really gives you the chance to connect with the world around you in a different way,” said Schroer. “You’re actually using this force to drive you and it’s a pretty cool experience. It’s pretty awesome to do it with a bunch of other people who really work together.”

Tessa Rianne McKinnell Alexanian is a Toronto Brigantine Youth Officer and says the summer program is amazing.

“It’s an opportunity to do something really meaningful,” said Alexanian.  “Strong connections are built and you feel like you’re doing something responsible.”

The Youth Officer also says when she first started out she ended up in Lake Huron not knowing anyone that was with her, but the connections she made with her peers was amazing.

“It was really wonderful,” offered Alexanian. “It’s an amazing community. You become a full fledged member and they can’t sail without you.”

Posted by: jackie19 | June 24, 2010

Rare Earthquake Shakes Ontario

A 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit Ontario, Quebec and the Northern United States this afternoon.

No serious injuries, damage or major destruction was reported although residents remain a little shaken up.

Alison Mokracki 23, was working at her desk in Markham when the quake hit. “The floor below was renovating so we all thought they were destroying things. Either that or a truck went by,” stated Mokracki. “It lasted about 30 seconds. It wasn’t big jolts it was a lot of shakes.”

Almonte resident Janet Major who lives twenty minutes west of Ottawa says, she knew it was an earthquake right away. “We’ve [family] lived in California for several years so we knew what to do,” reports Major. “We were outside having lunch when we jumped from the table and stood by the arch of the doorway when we heard the rumbling noise. Luckily, no damage was done.”

Andrea Hynes, 22 says she definitely felt the earthquake hit in Sarnia, “It was weird, but I wasn’t scared,” said Hynes.

With the city of Toronto on high alert with the upcoming G20 summit and protests that have already begun, the residents here were reasonably worried that the tremors may have been from terrorist threats.

Toronto has been making headlines now for several weeks with the much-hyped Much Music Video Awards on Sunday and the many preparations for the G20 Summit. With the earthquake there is no doubt the city will be making even more front page news.

Posted by: jackie19 | June 22, 2010

Kids discover the jungle of their imaginations

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the kids will read this summer.

Not only will the children read more, they will also get posters, stickers and activity books that can help make their summer holidays unforgettable.

The theme for the annual TD Summer Reading Club is “Destination Jungle”.

“We want the kids to get involved, have fun reading and discovering jungle explorations,” said Ken Setterington the Children and Youth Advocate for Library Services with the Toronto Public Library (TPL).

Every summer the TPL along with Library and Archives Canada partner up to encourage kids between the ages of 4-13 to explore the joy of reading.

Sponsored by TD Canada Trust Branches, this summer program is now in its fifteenth year and has been successful since its inception.

Setterington says, last year 30,637 children registered for the TD Summer Reading Club and
48,835 children attended the 1,548 programs at branches in the TPL.

“Kids that joined last year want to come back,” said Setterington. “It’s fun to do something with friends and discover the pleasures of reading.”

The library Children and Youth Advocate says he wishes the TD Summer Reading Club was around when he was a kid.

“I wasn’t a reader and it was not until grade 4 and 5 when the library got me started on the joys of reading,” said Setterington. “I absolutely know what a difference it makes.”

All eager participants have to do is go to their local public library and travel through the jungle of their vivid imaginations.

Alan Convery, a TD Bank representative says the program is good for all kids coast to coast.

“One of the best ways to get kids interested in reading is to get them at an early age,” said Convery. “Reading is core to education and kids who read more will study harder in school and get better marks.”

Children's book illustrator, Stephane Jorisch (front left) and David Ross (right), vice president, TD Commercial Banking, are joined by grade 2 and 3 students of St. Catherine Elementary school during the launch of the TD Summer Reading Club at the Stanley Milner Public Library in Edmonton, Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

Posted by: jackie19 | June 3, 2010

Children Choose award winner

Students from Huttonville Public School in Brampton were jurors of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards. The awards were announced last Wednesday and identify artistic excellence in writing and illustration in Canadian children’s literature. They are also worth a whopping total of $6000 each.

The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were created in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz in memory of her sister, Ruth Schwartz, a Toronto bookseller.

Candidates are nominated by the Canadian Booksellers Association and members of the Awards Committee. The committee organizes a list of the selected applicants for the student jurors.

Among the list, children in grades three and four picked author Jane Barclay and illustrator Renné Benoit’s Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion to win the children’s picture book award while students in grade seven and eight chose Shane Peacock’s Vanishing Girl: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His Third Case as the victor of the young adult/middle reader award.

Barclay says this was her first Schwartz award and she was honoured to win. “The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz award is very special because the jurors are school children,” said Barclay who along with Benoit and Peacock was present to accept the awards at Huttonville Public School.

The student jurors said Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion taught them about Remembrance Day and they really liked the pictures with the animals behind the characters.

Barclay says she thinks the kids picked Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion because they understood and empathized with the loving relationship between the two characters and the extraordinary illustrations by Benoit. “I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision. Young children are most appreciative and enthusiastic. The quality of the other books on the short list was amazing.”

2010 Ruth and Sylvia Children's Book Award

Posted by: jackie19 | May 29, 2010

Think East

Cabot Trail Coast

This summer, instead of travelling north to cottage country, I suggest travelling east. The east coast of Canada is absolutely stunning in the summer with plenty of activities to see and do.

The Maritimes consist of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Within these three provinces there are amazing tourist attractions and hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.

New Brunswick’s most popular tourist attractions are located in the three major cities: Saint John, Moncton and the capital, Fredericton.

Saint John is Canada’s first incorporated city. The city is right in between the north shore of the Bay of Fundy and the Saint John River. As New Brunswick’s largest city, there is plenty to do such as visit the well-known Cherry Brook Zoo. This zoo features endangered and exotic animals as well as a grand birthday-party facility. Irving Nature Park is also a popular tourist destination where families go to have picnics and walk the trail on the Bay of Fundy.

Moncton is home to Université de Moncton, the only French-language university in the east coast. The city is also home to Magic Mountain Water Park, the indoor amusement park Crystal Palace and the incredible Magnetic Hill where your car will roll up hill.

Downtown Fredericton

Fredericton is the capital of New Brunswick and is situated by the Saint John River. This city is filled with much to do and explore such as the historical settlement Kings Landing. The Saturday Morning Farmer’s Market is one of Canada’s best and is a must. September’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival is very popular and great for teenagers and adults. Musicians such as Joel Plaskett, Bloc Party and many more have performed in the epic festival.

Nova Scotia’s most popular tourist attractions include Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery for the adults, Atlantic Playland, Cabot Trail in Cape Breton and of course the many beaches the ocean-side province has to offer.  Nova Scotia is also home to the popular Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest province. The small but mighty province is home to Lucy Maud Montgomery’s creation Anne of Green Gables. This summer’s Cavendish Beach Music Festival is also popular on the island. Performers such as Taylor Swift and Keith Urban will be attending. Don’t forget to hit up the ice cream joint Cows and pick up a funny T-shirt such as ‘Cowches Corner’ and ‘Edward Cowllen.’

Get your 'Edward Cowllen' T's at Cows Ice Creamery

Lastly, one of the Maritime’s popular tourist attractions would have to be the Bay of Fundy. The Bay of Fundy is right in between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.This extraordinary tourist attraction is home to the highest tides in the world. During high tide you can kayak your way through the bay and during low tide you can walk along the rocks.

These are just a few of the wonderful activities the East Coast of Canada offers you. So this summer head out east because who doesn’t want to say they’ve been to the hometown of Sidney Crosby?

Posted by: jackie19 | May 21, 2010

TVOKids coming to a city near you

Something I wrote for TheSceneInTO

Having trouble getting your kids to eat healthy? TVOKids has the solution. The popular children’s show is putting on a free stage-show tour.

The TVOKids 2010 Don’t Sit Still Tour aspires to encourage children to make healthier food choices and get more active.

TVOKids co-host Kara Harun says the tour will include a game show, entertaining skits, hit songs from the show and will inspire kids and even parents to get up and dance. “The goal is to get kids from all across Ontario to get up and active,” said Harun.

The co-host says the tour is successful because it is educational and informative. “It’s great that we’re pushing healthy eating choices,” said Harun. “It’s hard for kids to get up and be active when there are so many unhealthy food choices and distractions like video games.”

Harun’s advice for parents who are struggling with their children’s unhealthy eating habits is to get them more involved in the planning process. “Invite them grocery shopping and get their input. Let them make meals with you and inform and educate them that way,” suggests Harun. “If parents work with them then it’s more of a family activity. It’s all about the examples you set.”

This weekend the tour will be hitting London and Stratford. “Every show is a success no matter how many people attend. The kids always have fun.”

For a complete list of the TVOKids 2010 Don’t Sit Still Tour spots visit:

Posted by: jackie19 | April 19, 2010

Let the magic begin

Harry Potter has arrived in Fredericton.

Well, the Harry Potter fans have arrived at the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University.

The fans are taking their love for their favourite fantasy book series and applying it to real life.

Robbie Dumaresq a first year student at UNB came up with the idea of staring up a Dumbledore’s Army group in Fredericton.

In the Harry Potter series, Dumbledore is headmaster of Hogwarts the magical school Harry Potter attends.

“Dumbledore’s Army is where people can come and talk about Harry Potter,” said Dumaresq. “We’ll be talking about characters, different twists and faults in the plot, what we like best about each book and movie. We’ll also be discussing things that have come from Harry Potter, like the theme park, wizard rock, parodies, and even muggle Quidditch.”

Along with Dumbledore’s Army starting up in Fredericton, muggle Quidditch is also planning to start within the residences of STU and UNB in fall.

Christopher Fournier a first year student at STU is one of the co-founders of the St. Thomas University Quidditch Association.

Fournier says, he came up with the idea on a whim.

“I was thinking something like… Harry Potter is so lucky, he gets to play Quidditch, then I realized that it isn’t much of a stretch to do it,” said Fournier. “We made the constitution on that same night.”

Although, there has been some negative feedback about starting up Dumbledore’s Army and Quidditch most of the feedback is positive.

Dumaresq says, his friends thought it was bad idea at first, but now he has gotten many responses and a total of 50 members in the official Dumbledore’s Army Facebook group.

“I’m pretty happy I started this,” said Dumaresq. “The more people laugh at it, the worse I feel for them not embracing their childhood fantasies. I’ve loved Harry Potter since it came out, and I’m not going to put down the book that I’ve read hundreds of times just because it’s viewed at as childish.”

Fournier says, there is much support for Quidditch.

“Not everyone wants to play but Harrington alone has enough interested to form two teams and an off-campus team that was created faster than you can say expelliarmus,” said Fournier.

Dumaresq says, he was surprised that UNB and STU did not already have a Harry Potter group because most universities have them.

“I found out that they existed through a site called Average Wizard at the start of the school year and wanted to join one or make one,” said Dumaresq.

So far Dumbledore’s Army has met once but they plan to be in full gear by next year.

“A girl I met through the facebook group is planning to help me a lot. She goes to STU and we’re working together to make this a great time for everyone involved,” said Dumaresq.

Fournier says, he hopes Quidditch will be successful with the STU residences in fall.

“UNB has a Dumbledore’s Army that encompasses all of Fredericton and if all of Fredericton would watch Quidditch games, then this town is surely magical. I just want everyone to feel like Harry Potter books are not a work of fiction, but a biography.”

Posted by: jackie19 | March 25, 2010

Sue lectures at STU again

Usually the first thing that comes out of Sue Johanson’s mouth is sexual.  As soon as Canada’s best “sexpert”  graced the stage with her presence she made a comment about how it was a good thing she didn’t get the type of microphone that St. Thomas University’s Student Union President, Mark Henick had because she could do things with it.

Of course, an audience filled with 20 year old University students would immediately catch the sexual innuendo. Students lined up an hour early Thursday night to see the former host of the “Sunday Night Sex Show,” address sex education in an entertaining way. The “sexpert” even started out her lecture by explaining how Grade 9 sex education lacks important information like the availability of birth control.

“No wonder we [Canada] have such a high teenage pregnancy rate. We deny you the information,” said Johanson. “All that is taught is the anatomy.”

The registered nurse says, it’s very difficult for parents to talk to their children about sex. She says it would have been have been wonderful if you get the information at an early age.

“It’s embarrassing and scary for parents to talk to their children about sex,” said Johanson. “Parents gloss over it and deny that their kids are sexual.”

Johanson says, learning about sex is the hardest thing you will ever do. Talking is harder than ‘doing’ it.

Not only did Johanson talk about sex education, she also showed sex toys and answered the audience’s questions on anonymous postcards.

Meredith Gills a first year at STU says, she learned a great deal from Johanson.

“It was very enjoyable,” said Gills. .  “To have it presented in such a forthright manner was a little bit shocking though. Very different from how it was taught in the Catholic School I went to growing up.”

Ashley Charlton a fourth year at STU says, Sue Johanson had a very important message that everyone could benefit from.

“Even though questions about sex have never been hush hush at home for me, I still learned a lot from what she had to say,” said Charlton.

Johanson’s main point of the lecture was to promote safe sex, although she says there is no such thing as safe sex.

“The best we can do is safer sex with a condom,” advised Johanson. “They didn’t teach you that in school.”

Kat Flynn a first year at STU says, she found what Johanson had to say very helpful and really interesting.

“She knows all the facts, insecurities and questions that people want to know the answers to,” said Flynn. “She presents all the facts in a humorous way which I think got through to her listeners more than anything else would.”

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