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  • This article originally appeared on The Creative Hive Blog on May 15, 2019.

    Season Of Hope Fundraiser: A Fine Art, Fine Jewellery, and Fashion Show

    Spring is the ultimate season of hope…right?  Seeds get planted and there is anticipation about what will grow, how it will grow and how strong the roots will be to steady it when life comes roaring through.  Having hope or being in a season of hope is powerful for Sonja Deklerk.  It means there is a future and it means there is a chance for beauty to shine brightly.

    Sonja exudes kindness…it was flowing from her the first time we met and I instantly knew she was special.  She like so many others popped in to The Creative Hive to see what was going on, but with an idea it may be the right space to host her upcoming Fashion & Art show.  That was it.  I was wrong about that because it was the beginning of getting to know a person who is inspiring in most everything she does.  I hope in the next few paragraphs I can give you some insight in to the inner workings of this Mom, Wife, Creative Soul, Artist, and Entrepreneur who has her own story to tell.

    There was a slight chuckle when Sonja described how long art has been an important part of her life and she clearly remembers selling her drawings on the corner in her cul-de-sac at 4 years old.  Sonja has never been scared of sharing her art…actually she says it’s the most rewarding thing in the world when you see an idea or concept come to life.  For the most part, Sonja describes herself as a very joyful person, but there is another side of her…depression.  It’s that side of her she is most nervous to share, but confidently admits “there is a part of me that is good…a part that is bad…the healthy and the sad…it’s all me.”

    There is an innate strength in standing up and sharing your story.  Sonja shares hers to help connect her to the community and wants to be an example or advocate to anyone else who struggles with depression.  She first noticed something in grade 6 when she suffered long stretches of not feeling right and not sleeping .  By 14, she was seeing a doctor, but it wasn’t until after her second child was born at 22 years old, Sonja was diagnosed as bipolar.

    The diagnosis wasn’t all bad…it gave some answers to everything she was thinking and feeling, but at the same time Sonja says she still very strongly felt it was her fault.  That if she just tried harder or was more positive she would be able to manage this.  The diagnosis was hard on her entire family…her husband was still a student and they had a one year old son and a newborn.  Then her dad passed.  It all added up to Sonja realizing she had to get up and share to save her life.  She had to reach out.

    While she knew that, the feeling of isolation was strong.  She explains she felt like she didn’t belong and the negative self talk was overwhelming.  It came to a point where she attempted suicide.  She was in the ICU for a week.  Family came to say their goodbyes.  It was touch and go and when she came out of it she was low enough to be admitted on the psychiatric unit.  She had extreme guilt that she had attempted suicide and says she just wanted to shrivel up and isolate herself because she was too afraid to face the world.  Sonja says matter-of-factly that there is no way to sugar coat this… it happened, but at the lowest of lows she found the strength to fight her way back.  Her strength came from talking.  Sharing her story and opening up about what she struggles with each and every day.

    That isn’t the end of the story.  It does’t just stop there.  For Sonja some days are great, some days are okay and some days are awful.  It’s how she deals with each and takes care of herself that allows her to continue to move forward and live her life to the fullest.

    Her online blog sharing her journey back to health allowed her to connect with a supportive group that she could also help.  In the past 7 years her mission has bent advocate for mental health breaking down the stigma through art, singing and writing.

    Her show The Seasons of Hope is happening at The Creative Hive on Saturday, June 22.  It’s a collection of very joyful pieces and the unveiling of a new style of painting Sonja has fallen in love with.  It’s also a showcase of her jewelry pieces that she’s crafted for more than a decade.  The latest line with inspirational messages…affirmations you can touch daily to make you feel stronger.

    Sonja says it’s important for her to make sure people know they matter.  Just by your very nature you are a living breathing soul with value.  Believe in yourself.  Have the confidence and courage to seek help or help others.  Life is better when you surround yourself with love.  Life is better with hope.

    Learn more about Sonja Deklerk here.

    Get tickets to Season of Hope here.

     


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    Arts

    Commons committee calls for strict rules on streaming services, online piracy

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    OTTAWA — An all-party committee of MPs is recommending the government set stricter rules for Canadian content on foreign streaming services and a crackdown on internet piracy.
    The House of Commons heritage committee’s final report on its review of the …


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  • OTTAWA — An all-party committee of MPs is recommending the government set stricter rules for Canadian content on foreign streaming services and a crackdown on internet piracy.

    The House of Commons heritage committee’s final report on its review of the federal Copyright Act asks the federal government to make foreign-based streaming services such as those run by Netflix, Amazon and Apple contribute to the creation of Canadian content.

    The report says while those platforms have simplified the way that Canadians consume film and television, the shift to digital has meant a decline in payments to domestic artists.

    There are no policies requiring digital streaming services based outside the country to help fund the production of content in this country, the committee noted.

    The effect has been an erosion of artists’ ability to earn middle-class livings thanks to a system that has “diverted wealth from creators to large digital intermediaries,” the committee said.

    The committee also asks the government to crack down harder on people sharing content illegally, noting that witnesses asked the government to increase punishments and fines.

    The committee also recommends the federal government look at crafting new rules and laws so that internet service providers can be held accountable for the illegal distribution of copyrighted material on their networks.

    However, the NDP’s heritage critic was critical of some inconsistencies in the majority report. Montreal-area MP Pierre Nantel wrote that the committee’s report addresses several concerns from cultural industries, but also objects that it suggests tighter regulations for music services like Spotify and YouTube Music than for video streaming services like Netflix or YouTube.

    The committee’s report is the latest in a series that have called on the government to make legislative changes to copyright and Canadian content rules.

    One year ago, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission recommended the Liberals regulate any online video or music service and have them pay to create and promote more domestic content.

    The Canadian Press


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    Arts

    Canadian director and choreographer of Temptations musical nominated for Tonys

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    NEW YORK — Several Canadian theatre-makers have been nominated at the Tony Awards for their work on a musical based on the story of the Temptations.
    According to Toronto-raised choreographer Sergio Trujillo, it’s all part of a Canadian p…


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  • NEW YORK — Several Canadian theatre-makers have been nominated at the Tony Awards for their work on a musical based on the story of the Temptations.

    According to Toronto-raised choreographer Sergio Trujillo, it’s all part of a Canadian plot to reign over the Great White Way.

    “We (Canadians) do try to stick together,” said Trujillo, who was nominated alongside American-Canadian director Des McAnuff, for “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations.”

    “I keep on telling Des that we’re spies and we’re slowly trying to take over Broadway.”

    As the Tony nominations were announced Tuesday morning, Trujillo said he was engrossed in drama of a different sort — trying to convince his one-year-old to eat his breakfast.

    But then Trujillo heard his husband, who was watching the awards broadcast, screaming for him in the other room of their New York home. 

    He said the news he had received a nod for best choreography, his second Tony nomination, sent him “levitating” with joy. But it wasn’t long before his son’s nutritional needs brought him back down to earth.

    “My son required feeding, and that was the most important thing,” said Trujillo. “He continues to ground me all day.”

    Trujillo said he called up McAnuff, former artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, to congratulate him on his nomination for best direction of a musical in “Ain’t Too Proud.”

    The two staged a brief run of the Motown-inspired musical at Mirvish’s Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto last fall, and previously worked together on the Tony-winning musical “Jersey Boys.” 

    “We’re such great collaborators … and I think this show is just a true reflection of our collaboration,” said Trujillo

    “Ain’t Too Proud” racked up a total of 12 Tony nods, including best musical and best book, which Trujillo sees as validation that the show is more than just a “jukebox musical.”

    “I think this particular story speaks volumes to North American history. For us Canadians, we’re very connected to it, especially in Toronto. Detroit is right next door, so we’re very connected to this music,” said Trujillo.

    “I’m just very proud of this moment, and proud to celebrate being part of the Canadian culture and the musical theatre community.”

    Toronto-born theatre projection designer Peter Nigrini is also being recognized for best scenic design of a musical in “Ain’t Too Proud,” a nomination he shares with set designer Robert Brill, and best lighting design of a musical for “Beetlejuice” alongside Kenneth Posner.

    Toronto’s Bob Martin and collaborator Chad Beguelin are also vying for best book of a musical for “The Prom.”

    “Hadestown” earned a leading 14 Tony nominations Tuesday. The show, which intertwines the myths of Orpheus and Eurydice and Hades and Persephone, enjoyed a brief run at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre in late 2017 before making its Broadway debut earlier this year.

    The Tony Awards will be handed out in New York City on Sunday, June 9 during a three-hour broadcast hosted by James Corden.

    — By Adina Bresge in Toronto

    The Canadian Press



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