Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]


Fans revelling in glory of Raptors’ win, rush to secure team gear


TORONTO — Fans basking in the glory of the Toronto Raptors’ historic NBA championship win rushed to cement the memory with official merchandise Friday as the city prepared for a massive public celebration next week.

People lined up outside several stores peddling Raptors championship gear hours after the sole Canadian team in the NBA beat the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., Thursday night. It was the first time an NBA team outside the U.S. clinched the title.

In some locations — including a store at Scotiabank Arena where the Raptors play their home games — would-be shoppers at times waited in a line longer than a city block. Some stores set a limit on how many items each person could buy.

Many of those waiting wore Raptors shirts and hats but said getting their hands on new designs, which commemorate the team’s victory, is part of celebrating the big win.

Andrea Chrysanthou said she bought championship shirts online at 1 a.m. but felt the need to purchase more for family and friends, as well as some hats. As she stood in line outside a downtown Toronto store, Chrysanthou said her husband was on standby to hit another shop in case the one she was at sold out.

“This is the time to splurge — it’s a collector’s item, it’s one of a kind,” she said. “This is being part of that win, we are actually paying our little $50 to be part of something that is a huge collective across Canada. It’s sort of our membership fee.”

Ahead of Chrysanthou in line, Atiqa Mohammad said she hoped to purchase as many items as possible, wearing some and saving others as pristine keepsakes.

“It’s all part of the experience,” she said. “It’s waiting 24 years, it’s actually witnessing them win, it’s standing in line to get merch on the first day, the parade.”

A parade and public celebration are planned for Monday in downtown Toronto and Mohammad said she had already made arrangements to attend.

“I’ve already rescheduled my meetings and blocked off the morning and most of the afternoon,” she said. “I cleared my day.”

Christian Isleta, who bought two shirts and two hats after a roughly 30-minute wait, said he also planned to attend Monday’s events. The 24-year-old said he has the day off from work but would have pleaded with his managers had that not been the case.

“This doesn’t happen too often,” he said of the championship win. “We don’t know if we’ll get this chance again.”

The parade, which will be televised, is expected to begin near the lakeshore at 10 a.m. Monday and wind its way towards city hall, where a rally will take place. A parade-viewing party is also planned in a nearby park to relieve congestion along the route.

The Raptors will travel in the parade in open-air double-decker buses with the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, according to team owner Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said the city was “so proud” of the team.

“On Monday, we get to come together as a city to celebrate the team,” he said in a statement. “On behalf of the residents of Toronto, I want to congratulate and thank the players, coaches and the entire Toronto Raptors organization for bringing home our city’s first NBA championship!”

The excitement throughout the Finals has been a boon for local bars, restaurants and hotels, but the long-term economic impact of the Raptors’ playoff run will affect tourism and entertainment even beyond Toronto, said sports marketing expert Richard Powers, the national academic director at the Rotman School of Management.

The Raptors are marketed as Canada’s, not Toronto’s, team and that has put the country as a whole on the map, he said.

As for merchandise, the timing of the championship may also help boost initial sales, Powers said. “What do you think the most popular Father’s Day gift is going to be this Sunday?” he said.

Jubilant crowds spent hours celebrating across the country after the Raptors clinched the title in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

The win also marks the first time Canada wins a major title since the Toronto Blue Jays won the 1993 World Series.

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press


151st Cowichan Exhibition includes new category: best home-grown pot



VICTORIA — One of Canada’s oldest fall fairs is putting a new twist on its annual showcase of local livestock, produce and fruit by adding a new category for best home-grown marijuana.

The Cowichan Exhibition in Duncan, B.C., which dates back to 1868, has created a best cannabis category to embrace legalization and celebrate local pot growers, said exhibition vice-president Bud James.

The fair starts Friday and the cannabis entries will be on display in the main hall at the Cowichan Exhibition Grounds along with the region’s top vegetables, fruits and baked goods. First prize is $5, second is $3 and third place gets a ribbon.

“We just decided this year, because it’s an agricultural product, and it’s been grown in the valley for years, and now that it’s finally legally grown, we would allow people to win a ribbon for the best,” said James.

He said fair officials believe the Cowichan cannabis category is the first of its kind in Canada.

An official at the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions, a non-profit organization representing rural and urban fairs, said she had not heard of any other cannabis judging contests prior to the Cowichan Exhibition, but couldn’t confirm it was the first.

A fall fair in Grand Forks, B.C., is also judging local cannabis, but the event starts Saturday, one day after Cowichan’s fair. Those who enter the competition in Grand Forks can compete for best indoor- and outdoor-grown cannabis.

James said fair organizers contacted the local council and RCMP prior to adding the cannabis category. The mayor and council did not oppose the contest and the RCMP referred organizers to B.C.’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, the agency monitoring retail sales of non-medical cannabis, he said.

Organizers decided to go ahead with the event after its plans were not rejected, James said.

“Our interpretation of the rules are you can’t make it attractive to people under 19 years and we are not making it attractive,” he said.

James said the cannabis entries will be placed in a glass display case and the individual entries will be sealed in clear zip lock plastic bags.

“It’s being judged to the same standard of judging garden and field produce,” he said. “It’s done by uniformity. You want all three buds to be the same size, same shape, same colour. It’s also the dryness, texture and smell. It’s exactly the same way you would judge apples or carrots or hay bales. It’s all done the same way.”

James said the contest doesn’t involve sampling the product.

Bree Tweet, the manager of a medical cannabis dispensary in nearby Ladysmith, will judge the marijuana entries, said James.

The exhibition received 18 cannabis entries and James said the contest created a buzz at the fair.

“The enthusiasm of the entrants, the people bringing their entry forms, they are so enthusiastic it’s unbelievable,” he said. “They are so thrilled that it’s happening, that we’re doing it because they’ve been waiting for years for legalization and now, they finally got it and now they have a chance to show what they can do.”

James, who has entered his prized Dahlia flowers at past fairs, said the addition of the cannabis category has exceeded expectations with the 18 entries.









Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

Continue Reading


School board defends book pictured on principal’s desk after online uproar



A Toronto-area Catholic school board says an online firestorm that erupted after a book on how to teach black students was photographed on a principal’s desk stems from a misunderstanding over the book’s contents.

The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board says the book, titled “The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys,” has a provocative title but is actually a helpful resource on tackling racial and cultural oppression in education.

Michelle Coutinho, the board’s principal of equity and inclusive education, says such materials are a particularly useful reference given how diverse the student population is in the district and at that specific school.

The controversy emerged this week after a Brampton, Ont., high school, Cardinal Ambrozic Catholic Secondary School, posted a photo of its new principal on Twitter.

The photo, which shows the book on her desk, set off heated debate, with some suggesting it was a sign of racism or incompetence, or a prop meant to bolster the school’s image.

The image was also shared on instagram by 6ixBuzzTV, a popular account with roughly 1.2 million followers.

“LOOOOL. No principal should make it this far while subsequently needing a book like this,” one person wrote on Twitter. “She a bad principal,” wrote another.

Some defended the book, however, and the principal’s efforts to educate herself. “She’s making an effort to connect with her students, it’s more than most principals do,” another tweet read.

The board said it was surprised by the uproar and hoped people would look up the book before jumping to conclusions based on its title.

The principal intends to address the photo in a public announcement and invite any students with lingering questions to see her, said Bruce Campbell, the board’s spokesman.

The book, written by three researchers and published in 2017, aims to improve outcomes for black students by helping teachers create learning environments in which they feel nurtured and engaged. The title references the fact that white women make up the bulk of the teaching force in the U.S.

Coutinho said the book asks educators to challenge the biases they may bring into the classroom.

“We know that we’re steeped in a colonized kind of world view and how do we break out of that in our everyday practices?” she said, noting it has been used in the board’s anti-oppression training in the past.

Cardinal Ambrozic’s new principal was involved in a book study at several schools that delved deeply into the text last year, Coutinho said.

“If we’re going to make any changes to the education system, we have to start talking about these things and talking about them openly and honestly without shame or blame.”






Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

september, 2019

tue06augAll Daysun29sepHot Mess - Erin Boake featured at Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery(All Day)