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Nominations open for Alberta’s most prestigious (and lucrative) arts award(s)

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Alberta has amazing artists!  If you know someone deserving, then don’t let this chance get away on you.  Nominations are now open for the 2019 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Awards.  These are Alberta’s most prestigious artistic award, and 3 recipients will each receive a ,000 cash prize.

Alberta artists (from all disciplines) and those now working elsewhere, but maintaining a strong connection to Alberta, are eligible and anyone may nominate through a simple online process, see link below.

Here  is a list of Distinguished Artists already awarded: John Estacio (music – composer); Alice Major (literary arts); Alex Janvier (visual arts); Frances Ginzer (music); Ronnie Burkett (theatre arts); Peter von Tiesenhausen (visual arts); Old Trout Puppet Workshop (theatre arts); Aritha van Herk (literary arts); Robert Kroetsch (literary arts); Jane Ash Poitras (visual arts); Joan Stebbins (visual arts – curator); Rudy Wiebe (literary arts); Greg Hollingshead (literary arts); One Yellow Rabbit (theatre arts); Isobel and Tom Rolston (music); Douglas Cardinal (architecture); John Murrell (theatre arts – playwright).

The 2019 recipients will receive their $30,000 awards from the award’s patron, the Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Alberta, at a celebration in Maskwacis, Alberta on Saturday, September 21, 2019.

The nomination process closes midnight, March 31, 2019. Click here to nominate someone.

To prepare for the nomination:
* Ensure the nominee is a Canadian citizen, lives in Alberta, or has had a significant connection to Alberta over time.
* Speak to your nominee, let them know you will be nominating them, ask for a current CV and their complete contact information.
* Write a document of no more than three pages, single spaced, explaining why this nominee merits Alberta’s top recognition for artistic achievement. Include highlights of the nominee’s artistic achievements and/or their contribution to advancing their artistic discipline. If the nominee does not currently reside in Alberta, clearly outline their connection to Alberta and their contribution to growing our province’s arts and culture.

Fill out the contact information online and upload the nomination and CV documents.

About the Awards:  The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation was established in 2003 to celebrate excellence in the arts and to underline the importance of the arts in Alberta. The Foundation administers two programs of awards to Alberta artists.

The Distinguished Artist Awards program gives up to three awards of $30,000 each in recognition of outstanding achievement in the arts by Albertans or significant contribution to the arts in Alberta.

The Emerging Artist Awards program gives up to ten awards of $10,000 each to support and encourage promising artists early in their careers, who have created a modest body of work, and are recognized by established artists in the same field of artistic endeavour as having potential to achieve excellence in their discipline.

The Awards Programs of the Foundation were established under the founding patronage of The Late Honourable Dr. Lois E. Hole, C.M., A.O.E., Lieutenant Governor of Alberta from 2000 – 2005, and continue under the patronage of Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

Learn more.

President Todayville Inc., Honorary Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Director Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) musician, photographer, former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.

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Alberta

Judge decides ‘Freedom Convoy’ organizer Tamara Lich stays out on bail

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OTTAWA — Tamara Lich, a key organizer of the “Freedom Convoy” protest that gridlocked Ottawa for weeks, will remain released on bail while awaiting trial, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips said he made his decision because she has followed her bail conditions, her surety has supervised her well and she’s already had a “taste of jail,” which he said lowered her risk to reoffend.

The judge said he does not accept that Lich breached her release conditions by agreeing to receive an award, and added Lich can be trusted to respect the conditions of her release.

She was released in March with a long list of conditions, including a ban from all social media and an order not to “support anything related to the Freedom Convoy.”

The terms of Lich’s release were intended to prevent a similar protest from happening in the national capital, the judge said, adding the court does not seek to control people’s political views.

“The courts are not a thought police. We seek only to control conduct to the extent that certain behaviour will violate or likely lead to violation of the law,” he said.

The protest is over and has left Ottawa, he said, adding it would be “practically impossible” to mount a similar protest in the city again.

Lich’s lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, said in an interview Wednesday that he was pleased with the decision.

“She’ll be able to conduct her life in a lot more normal fashion as a result of the judge’s ruling,” said Greenspon.

Moiz Karimjee, a Crown prosecutor, said last week that Lich violated one of her bail conditions by agreeing to accept an award for her leadership during the Ottawa protest, and should be sent back behind bars to wait for her trial.

Greenspon argued last week her bail conditions should be loosened to allow her to come to Ontario and use social media.

He told the court that the social media ban imposed on Lich was unnecessarily broad and has had a huge impact on her life while she’s been out of custody.

However, Phillips said Wednesday the ban on Lich’s access to social media is warranted.

“Social media can be a problematic feedback loop where people get egged on and caught up in group activity they would never perform on their own,” he said.

Social media “undoubtedly contributed to and even drove” Lich’s conduct related to the protest, and her separation from it is necessary to lower her risk of reoffending, said Phillips.

Noting that Lich is in her late 40s, Phillips said she should be able to remember “how to use the social skills she surely built up before the advent of the internet.”

Lich is able to communicate by many other means, including email, phone or meeting in person, he said.

Greenspon said while he would have liked to see the social media ban reversed, “the most important thing was the rejection of the Crown’s efforts to to put her back in jail for agreeing to accept an award.”

The judge did amend her release conditions to allow her to visit Ottawa.

Lich’s motivation for coming to the city cannot be disclosed because it is under a court-ordered publication ban.

Phillips reiterated the high unlikelihood that Lich could organize an event resembling the convoy protest.

While she’s permitted to come to Ottawa, Lich is not allowed to visit the downtown core so as not “to walk around the very neighbourhoods she is alleged to have traumatized,” he said, except to attend court or meet with legal counsel.

Lich and fellow protest organizer Chris Barber are jointly accused of mischief, obstructing police, counselling others to commit mischief and intimidation.

The “Freedom Convoy” protest evolved into a weeks-long demonstration that congested the streets of Ottawa in February.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Erika Ibrahim, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

OSC withdraws some charges against former CannTrust leaders at pretrial hearing

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VAUGHAN, Ont. — Three former CannTrust Holdings Inc. leaders accused of securities offences have had some charges dropped, the Ontario Securities Commission said Tuesday, though the fraud charges remain.

The withdrawn charges against Peter Aceto, Mark Litwin and Eric Paul were linked to making false or misleading statements to the Ontario Securities Commission through CannTrust press releases, OSC spokesperson JP Vecsi said in an email.

The charges were withdrawn to reduce the length of the upcoming trial and help “focus the issues” because of what’s expected to be a “complex” prosecution, said Ontario Securities Commission lawyer Dihim Emami, in a virtual pretrial hearing held Tuesday.

“By doing so, we will save trial time and distraction that would be required to argue the securities law issue related to those counts,” Emami told judge Tim Lipson over a Zoom video conference.

Aceto, Paul and Litwin still face charges of fraud and ofauthorizing, permitting or acquiescing in the commission of an offence.

Litwin and Paul are also facing insider trading charges and Litwin and Aceto are charged with making a false prospectus and false preliminary prospectus.

The charges were first laid by the OSC in June 2021, roughly three years after CannTrust was found to be growing thousands of kilograms of cannabis in unlicensed rooms.

The OSC and Royal Canadian Mounted Police allege Litwin, Aceto and Paul did not disclose to investors that about 50 per cent of the growing space at CannTrust’s Pelham, Ont. facility was not licensed by Health Canada. They say the men used corporate disclosures to assert that they were compliant with regulatory approvals.

They also allege that Litwin and Aceto signed off on prospectuses used to raise money in the U.S., which stated that CannTrust was fully licensed and compliant with regulatory requirements, and that Litwin and Paul traded shares of CannTrust while in possession of material, undisclosed information regarding the unlicensed growing.

Aceto, who served as chief executive, was terminated for cause by CannTrust’s board in July 2019. Former chairman Paul resigned in response to a demand from the company’s board at the same time and former vice-chairman Litwin resigned in March 2021.

Scott Fenton, Litwin’s lawyer, said in an email to The Canadian Press that he and his client are “pleased” with the withdrawal of some charges and expect those remaining to be “vigorously contested at trial.”

Aceto and Paul’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Aceto’s counsel previously said “the evidence will show that he acted with integrity at all times.“ Paul’s counsel has said “the evidence will show (Paul) did nothing wrong.”

Their trial is set to begin in October and is expected to last until mid-December.

In the wake of the allegations, CannTrust was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange and filed for creditor protection.

It has since been trying to stage a comeback and exited creditor protection in March, after receiving $17 million in financing from a subsidiary of Kenzoll B.V., a Netherlands -based private equity investment company.

In May, it renamed itself Phoena Holdings Inc. and said it will continue to review alternatives to obtaining a stock exchange listing for its common shares.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2022.

Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press

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