Sway Magazine http://swaymag.ca Fri, 09 Mar 2012 21:57:27 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v= Community Connex: Lost Lyrics launch Saturday workshops http://swaymag.ca/people-community/community-connex-lost-lyrics-launch-saturday-workshops/ http://swaymag.ca/people-community/community-connex-lost-lyrics-launch-saturday-workshops/#comments Fri, 09 Mar 2012 21:44:27 +0000 swaymag http://swaymag.ca/?p=23505

Along with staff and volunteers, Lost Lyrics’ Amanda Parris and Natasha Daniel will be launching their next series of artistic development workshops beginning on March 10 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm on Saturdays.

By True Daley
In 2006, gun violence was at an all-time high in Toronto’s low-income neighbourhoods. Dubbed, “The Summer of the Gun” by mainstream media, local citizens were desperate for new resolutions to a growing crisis. It was also around this time, best friends Amanda Parris and Natasha Daniel, felt the desire to support youth who were falling through the cracks of the municipal school system. They instinctively drew on their mutual passions of hip hop culture and human rights to create Lost Lyrics.

At first, they had a simple goal in mind: to build community, promote literacy, and offer life skills to at-risk youth.  Parris says, eventually they were able to develop a curriculum that was both relevant and engaging by incorporating the ideas, opinions and criticisms of their students. Now celebrating its fifth year, Lost Lyrics has broadened its scope to include traveling workshops, artistic development programs, and their annual event entitled, The Live Report Card, where graduates share their experiences with the larger community through various forms of creative expression. According to Parris, the key to their success is their ability to address socio-political issues through pop culture.

“If we’re invited by schools or community centres to come in and do a workshop, a lot of times they give us really general guidelines on a topic like Success,” says Parris.  “I don’t want to do a corny workshop on success. I’d rather do a workshop that questions success in the sphere of capitalism and how we define success. I want to bring Wu Tang Clan into that conversation. So we’ll remix these general themes that people give to us. If we’re asked to give a workshop on gender and violence I want to have a conversation about what it means to have consent, because a lot of women don’t know what that means. Then I’d use a modern day parallel between Rihanna and Chris Brown and Ike and Tina Turner.’’

Over the years, their fresh ideas and creative techniques have proven to be successful with ongoing partnerships, support from notable funders and strong relationships with members of the Jane-Finch and Malvern communities. The program gives youth a voice and supports their desire to challenge an education system, which leaves little room for innovation, diversity, or varying learning styles. Despite their successes, the future of the organization can no longer hinge on government grants or private investors.

“We never planned on creating Lost Lyrics and we never planned on making an organization so we weren’t necessarily the most strategic in our funding,” says Parris. “We just applied on a year-to-year basis, and that was okay for us at the time. Now we’re at the point where we’re more stable and we realize this is definitely something that we want to do for the long-term. We also realize that the climate has changed. The attention has turned away from youth issues.”

For this reason, Parris and Daniel have decided to focus on specific initiatives which include a fundraising committee, an event planning committee and a parent/guardian council. Although they will continue to seek funding, Lost Lyrics aims to establish a solidified network of individuals willing to dedicate their time, financial resources and skills to their ongoing objectives. Their recent request for volunteers and financial support inspired an all-girls private school, Havergale College, to donate approximately $3,000 worth of ticket sales from their annual Beat Stock concert.

In celebration of their fifth anniversary, Lost Lyrics is also in the midst of organizing an event focused on alternative education the weekend of June 2 to 3. Hosted and partially sponsored by Ryerson University, Parris says they hope to draw more attention to their cause.

“We’re going to be putting together a concert/conference about what it means to build an alternative education movement from the ground up. It’s really amazing that spaces are being created within the TDSB around alternative education, the most popular one being of course, the Africentric Alternative School. However, that’s still a top-down process because you have to go through so much bureaucracy. So we’re really interested in what it looks like when you try to build alternative education from the community first. Where the community is informed and defining it from the beginning.”

For workshop bookings, volunteer opportunities or more info, visit: lostlyrics.ca Twitter: @lost_lyrics  Blog: lostlyricsblog.wordpress.com

True Daley is a Toronto-based journalist. Her work has appeared in Peace! Magazine, Macleans and the Toronto Star. True is also the Editor-In-Chief of thedivamag.com and co-founder of the media literacy and arts training program – D.I.V.A. (Diversity In Video, Audio & Arts).



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Work it Out: 5 key steps to starting a business http://swaymag.ca/money-careers/work-it-out-5-key-steps-to-starting-a-business/ http://swaymag.ca/money-careers/work-it-out-5-key-steps-to-starting-a-business/#comments Fri, 09 Mar 2012 12:01:20 +0000 swaymag http://swaymag.ca/?p=23363

Photo: Stuart Miles

By Chellie Mejia, B.Sc.

Being an entrepreneur is a dream for so many people. The idea of being your own boss and working in a field that you’re interested in and passionate about is a luxury that many don’t get to live in their 9 to 5. The truth is a lot of new businesses fail within the first three years. So I thought I’d share five key tips for planning a successful start to your entrepreneurial journey.

1. Think it through. The first thing you need to figure out is whether being an entrepreneur is right for you. Every successful business owner I know works above and beyond the 40 hour work week and more conventional jobs. There are, of course, benefits to being your own boss. You can put your own ideas into motion, make decisions that define the course of your company, and enjoy the limitless potential to earn more. So take your time and think it through. Make sure you’re the kind of person who likes to give yourself challenges taking on a new project and sees possibilities where others see problems. Dreams play a role, but what counts is action, and if you’re willing to put in the work, it is absolutely possible to influence your destiny.

2. Put pen to paper and plan. Develop your ideas and your business plan.This is where the work begins. A dynamic business plan can help you determine the path you plan to take with your company, turn ideas into a tangible constructed business, and is even necessary in securing financing from lenders and investors. It can help in identifying weaknesses in terms of capabilities or local competition, and can communicate your vision to potential colleagues or partners. If you want to be a business owner, regardless of the industry, your first capability should be your product or service, but your second capability should always be business itself.  If you don’t know what an Executive Summary or an Operational Plan is, Google it, research it, and learn! It’ll be the first of many hats you’ll have to wear as a small business owner.

3. Make it legit. Choose a name for your business – something unique and easy to remember – and register your business with the necessary levels of government. You’ll need a Business Number, which will serve as your account number for dealing with the government regarding payroll, taxes, and other activities. You can use this Business Number to open a business bank account so you can start keeping personal money away from business money. Do it right from the start to avoid potentially devastating complications down the line.

4. Money, money, money. Financing is often the most challenging aspect of starting a business, but there are so many resources available out there to get your business off the ground. The government provides financing to help start-up businesses, some that need to be repaid and some that don’t. There are also various private sector financing opportunities that you might be able to secure.  Do your research and take advantage of the resources that exist.

5. Get to work! Put your dreams into action, and get ready to roll your sleeves up and delve right in! This is your moment to shine and to build an empire out of nothing! It won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen without some sleepless nights and stressful moments, but if you’re willing to put in the work, the sky’s the limit! Good luck!

Chellie Mejia is a freelance writer, real estate developer and lifestyle coach. Follow Chellie on Twi tter @chelliemejia. Visit her new website www.chelliemejia.com.


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Event Spotlight: Africa Unveiled March 24 http://swaymag.ca/a-e/event-spotlight-africa-unveiled-march-24/ http://swaymag.ca/a-e/event-spotlight-africa-unveiled-march-24/#comments Fri, 09 Mar 2012 12:00:20 +0000 swaymag http://swaymag.ca/?p=23394 Afrofest: Africa Unveiled, from the same people who brought you Hands on War, Faces of Africa and This is my Africa. Afrofest is hosted by the McMaster University African Student’s Association to recognize and celebrate African’s true heritage through, music, dance, fashion, theater and more. The goal of the show is to educate while entertaining and engaging the audience. It is easily the most anticipated shows of the year.


- Inter Continental Fashion Show featuring designs by
Emua Fashions, Andrea Iyamah, Todun Designs, and more
- African Dances
- Musical performances
- Spoken word and poetry
- Theatrical Performances depicting several African Cultures
- Make-Up by Cynthia Boyede
- Music by DJ HYPNOTIC

Hamilton Convention Centre
1 Summers Lane, Hamilton ON
Coat Check Service will be made available

TICKETS: $20. $25 AFTER MARCH 11th (so get yours soon!) $30 at the door
- Tickets can be purchased from any of members of the MASA executive team,
or online from the CollegeTix website: http://sylverpro.com/collegetix/products-page/cultural/africa-unveiled

For more information and ticket inquiries contact
Tobi Odueke – (289) 921-5113
Olamide Akinwumi – (905) 869-8128
Joelle Beya – (905) 807-2006
Ehima Osazuwa – (289) 700-8149





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That’s What She Said: Bullying Tragedy, Under the Influence http://swaymag.ca/opinion/that%e2%80%99s-what-she-said-bullying-tragedy-under-the-influence/ http://swaymag.ca/opinion/that%e2%80%99s-what-she-said-bullying-tragedy-under-the-influence/#comments Fri, 09 Mar 2012 11:00:46 +0000 swaymag http://swaymag.ca/?p=23145 Sway’s online recap of this week’s current events by Darling Nicky

Not Guilty in Bullying Case

Questionable Act + Compelling Victim Statements + Media Distortion can often lead to Condemned Defendants before due process. via @darlingnicky999 on Twitter

The news reported that the young boy accused of attacking and robbing Mitchell Wilson, the 11-year old Pickering, ON boy who struggled with muscular dystrophy, and committed suicide ahead of having to face his alleged attacker in court, was found NOT GUILTY on the charges of assault and robbery.

Great lengths were taken posthumously to make sure Mitchell’s testimony would be admissible in the form of previously taken oral and written statements.  But the same judge concluded that in the absence of other credible eyewitnesses, it was impossible to convict the 13-year old boy and of the charges, connecting him to one of the most tragic stories of bullying in the province.

This story, about a helpless little boy, who was so overwhelmed by the death of his mother from cancer when he was 8, his subsequent diagnosis of a debilitating muscular disease, the brutal attack for his father’s iPhone that left him face-down on the pavement with broken teeth as we went for one of his therapeutic walks, and later his tragic suicide following the subpoena to appear in court as a witness and face his alleged attacker had my heart twisted with emotion over his turmoil and that of his family’s.

But there is another victim here.

The accused boy, just 13, was removed from his school by the principal immediately after charges were laid, and he and his family have also had to endure the scrutiny of being associated with this very sad case, even if his name is protected by the Young Offender’s Act, everybody at the school still knows which student was suddenly no longer enrolled there.  But not many readers will sympathize with him or his family because of course it pales in comparison to the loss suffered by Mitchell Wilson’s family.

We have a tendency of doing that.  Convicting people in the media fueled by a desire to make someone accountable for violating something that goes against our moral fabric.  Even if the person accused is guilty and faces the consequences stated by the law (i.e. Chris Brown), we want them to be penalized forever out of some need to make them the poster child for said moral violation.

I hope everyone involved in this situation gets some much needed closure.


The Herb Made Me Do It!

“A recent study in Ohio shows that weed smokers are more likely to be bullies than non-weed smokers. #NoComment” via @darlingnicky999 on Twitter

When I stumbled across the story about an Ohio State University study that indicated that people who smoke weed and drink alcohol are more likely to be bullies or bully-victims, I had to pay attention.

74,247 middle school and high school students at public, private and Catholic schools in Ohio were asked 152 questions about bullying behaviours both as an aggressor and a victim, and about drinking and smoking patterns.  Where drug use is considered a “user” even at just one instance a month, the study showed that 30% of those in middle school were bullies or bully-victims and between the two groups combined, 17.5% reported smoking pot, while only 1.6% in the group not involved in bullying.  About 23% of those in high school were bullies or bully-victims, and nearly 61% of them were marijuana users.

I’m a parent of two teenage children (one in high-school, one in middle school) and the harsh reality that drugs are a part of our children’s school experience is even MORE clear to me as a parent then it was just 20 years ago when I was in high school.  Some parents may be so busy looking for the signs of drug use that they could be missing signs of associated problems as this survey suggests.

The sad part is that one behavior fuels the other; the more bullying behavior a child is subjected to or engages in, the more likely they will turn to weed or alcohol to deal with it.

Can’t we all just duke it out in a nice game of Red Rover?

Darling Nicky is an entertainment writer, blogger and publicist.  Check out her out at www.darlingnicky.ca



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Simply Natural Ideas: How to get more sleep http://swaymag.ca/lifestyle/health/simply-natural-ideas-how-to-get-more-sleep/ http://swaymag.ca/lifestyle/health/simply-natural-ideas-how-to-get-more-sleep/#comments Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:00:48 +0000 swaymag http://swaymag.ca/?p=23224  

By Rochelle Hanson

Last week in this column, we talked about how to listen to your body. How’s that going for you? Are you becoming more aware of what’s happening inside? One of the first things we ignore about our bodies is the instinct to get more sleep. We get up early and stay up late because we’re trying to be super productive. But does this really work in our favour?

Studies have shown that if you get more sleep you will be more productive during the day time and you will improve your health overall. According to Statistics Canada, lack of sleep is associated with increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and depression. When you sleep at night you also train your body to keep your hormones in balance, which is especially important if you have cravings or you’re storing excess fat.

More often than not, we’re running on E and we tell ourselves that we’re fine. But deep inside, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know that more sleep would be a good thing. If getting more sleep is a challenge for you, keep reading. I have three practical tips to share.

Get organized

Before you do anything else, ask yourself why you don’t get enough sleep. If you’re up late because of work, or because you didn’t finish off your to-do list, maybe it’s time to get organized. Everything under the sun has a time slot on your calendar. Why not schedule in sleep?

Bedtime is for kids, you say. Hmmm. Let’s stop and think about that. Look at how much energy children have. Look at their youthful glow and vitality. Is age really the factor that makes people sick and tired? Or are people getting sick and tired because they don’t get enough sleep? What will it take for you to change your priorities? The work you don’t finish tonight will be there in the morning. Do your best to organize your day so that you accomplish as much as possible, then accept that what you’ve done is enough. Who’s going to take care of work and your family when you crash? Hmmmm? Put your health first and go to bed.

Start Journaling

So you organized your schedule and you set your bedtime for 10:30PM. When the time comes to go to bed, you’re laying there with your eyes wide open. Your brain is buzzing. You can’t turn off the noise in your head. You’re thinking about everything that has yet to be accomplished and the stress that will come tomorrow. How on earth do you expect to go to sleep with all that stuff going on in your mind?

Before you lay your head on your pillow, get a pen and a paper and start writing. No one is going to read this so there’s no need to aim for perfection. Write your thoughts, write your fears, write a list, write it all! When the buzz in your brain has died down, tuck yourself in, and dream sweetly. Try this tonight. It works.

Set a pattern

If your body knows when it’s time to relax, you will find it easier to get more sleep. You’re organized, you’ve written in your journal, maybe you had a cup of ginger tea. You do this same thing every night and your body understands the rhythm. Health is about balance. You can’t balance without rhythm. You must be able to feel and anticipate what is coming next. So do yourself a favour, get a bedtime routine, and set a pattern. Your body will say, thank you.

If you make the choice to be more organized, and you become conscious about your actions. When night time rolls around, you’ll be ready for that sweet journaling release. Repeat the pattern that works best for you day in and day out until it’s natural. Follow these three practical tips and you’ll be on your way to dreamland. That’s how to get more sleep.

Rochelle Hanson is the author of the free ebook, Breaking Cravings. She is a Certified Natural Health Coach and is currently enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Rochelle offers practical tips on natural health and wellness both in this column and on her blog Simply Natural Ideas. Write to rochelle@simplynaturalideas.com for a free health consultation or connect with her on Facebook.

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Ottawa group recognizes women achievers http://swaymag.ca/people-community/ottawa-group-recognizes-women-achievers/ http://swaymag.ca/people-community/ottawa-group-recognizes-women-achievers/#comments Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:00:45 +0000 swaymag http://swaymag.ca/?p=23244

Members of Ottawa's Black Women's Civic Engagement Network










By Samuel Getachew

This evening, the Black Women Civic Engagement Network will be honouring outstanding black women from the Ottawa area. Stachen Frederick tells Sway about the latest recipients, reflects on the legacy of the awards, and explains the long-term vision of the organization.

Tell us about the Black Women Civic Engagement Network (BWCEN)

BWCEN is a network of Black women who have an interest in promoting and supporting the legacy and contributions of other Black women in Canadian society. It was started in 2008 by women activists in Ottawa. Denise Siele, Sarah Onyango, Jocelyne Constant, June Girvan, Pat Harewood,  Joanne St. Lewis and myself. Since then, it has grown to include other women such as Marcia Wiltshire, Maxine Ifill, Suzette Weekes, Jenine Grand- Pierre and Lilly Obina .

The network is strengthened through the invaluable support of our founding patron, The Honourable Marlene Jennings.

The Network has a very noble mission of paying tribute to outstanding Black women whose achievements help to inspire and motivate. Please explain.

Each year, we recognize the contributions of two women with the BWCEN Leadership Award and the BWCEN Champion Award.

The Leadership Award is awarded to a woman whose leadership, influence and achievements convey a legacy of success for Canadian women and whose body of work helps enrich the standard of success for women in all spheres of Canadian life.

The Champion Award is awarded to a woman who has advocated on behalf of all women and whose hard work, excellence, professionalism and service has made a profound difference in the lives of women.

Tell us about some of the previous BWCEN Award recipients

Our first award ceremony was held in 2009 where the Leadership Award recognized Dr. Jean Augustine, the first African Canadian woman elected to the Parliament of Canada. In 2010, we recognized Dr. Rita Sheldon Deverell, the first woman to lead a journalism program in Canada and founder of Vision TV. In 2011, we recognized Dominique Anglade for her various leadership roles in business.

In 2009, our Champion Award recognized the contributions of Paulette Senior, CEO of YWCA and past Executive Director of the women’s shelter Yellow Brick House, for improving the lives of women. In 2010, Dr. Glenda Simms was awarded for her contributions to women in the role of Founding Member of the Congress of Black Women of Canada and the National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women in Canada. In 2011, we recognized Lucya Spencer, long standing Executive Director of Immigrant Women Services Ottawa.

Who will be the recipients of your 2012 awards this evening?

This year, the Leadership Award will be presented to Patricia Bebia Mawa for her role as Host on DBN Television; as Managing Editor of Planet Africa Magazine; her award-winning efforts as Host and Producer of Planet Africa Television and as a Producer of the “Luminaries and Visionaries” Biography series and for the establishment of the Crossover Mentorship Program.

We are proud to give the Champion Award to Staff Sergeant Isobel Granger for her role as the first Black officer to join the ranks with the British South Africa Police in Zimbabwe, as the first Black female officer with the Ottawa Police Service; as a leader of a platoon; her supervision of the OPS Partner Assault Unit (Domestic Violence) and Diversity and Race Relations and for her work delivering gender-based sexual violence training to UN personnel in peace operations.

Her lifelong commitment to empowering individuals – often with an emphasis on women of color – towards better lives and social change is truly extraordinary.

What is the long term goal of the Network?

The network will continue recognizing the contributions of African Canadian/Black women to Canadian Society and internationally. It will continue to provide leadership and mentorship opportunities for women, particularly young women like myself. We will also look into sponsorship opportunities to help promote the work and leadership of Black women Canada.


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Diaspora Diaries: The List http://swaymag.ca/people-community/diaspora-diaries-the-list/ http://swaymag.ca/people-community/diaspora-diaries-the-list/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2012 14:23:24 +0000 swaymag http://swaymag.ca/?p=23198 By Abena A. Green

Like most mothers who’ve done the hard work of raising children, my mom is looking forward to the excitement and newness of having grandkids from me. However, most people my age are trying to make something of their lives career-wise while trying to balance the idea of starting families. We have a lot of things we want to do before babies: get a promotion, climb Mount Everest, tour Thailand, buy a house, maybe even become a YouTube sensation. With all my mom’s eagerness for me to have kids, there’s one thing I’d really like to do: find The List.

The List is a list of things that my parents did when raising me that I promised myself that I would never do to my own children. Yes, I documented many of their “mistakes,” determined to not repeat them myself.

As a kid, when I felt wronged, I would add the injustice to The List, doubly angered that I held no power to do anything about it. My graphite scrawlings would penetrate two or three pages deep in my notebook. Hot tears would plop onto the page affirming my emotions and warping the paper. I would promise myself that I would read it again so that one day I would be a better parent. Now here I am 20-some years later wondering where that list is. I figure now might be a good time to start looking it over again.

What did I write back then between the ages of about 10 and 15 sitting on my bedroom floor? Probably things like:  1) Don’t keep comparing your kids to other children. It’s not inspiring. 2) Don’t go on and on scolding your child about something they did wrong. They’ll feel remorse in the beginning then stop listening because it loses its effectiveness.

My list probably addressed a lot of the remarks made in those Stuff African/Black/Caribbean Parents Say videos that are hilarious because they’re so spot on — Abenaaaaa! How many times do I have to call you? Am I your mate? But The List can’t be re-created now. It would be tainted with my evolution into adulthood. I no longer see what I saw as a child.

That’s because a number of years ago it hit me that my parents are mere human beings. Though it was a betraying revelation at the time (What? I trusted these people with my life!), it was freeing.  It also reconciled the conflict between my childhood expectations and my parents not always being “right”. The discovery made me both forgiving and thankful for them, and made me realize that the responsibility for how I turned out lay in my hands. The most important thing I see now is that, as a mere human being with all my faults and unknowing, it will take the grace of God and a village for me to raise a child. Maybe I’ll jot down a few more notes to self, and this time remember where I put them.

Abena A. Green is a freelance writer, poet, dancer and co-founder of Tempo Magazine, a publication that celebrates the contributions Africans of all backgrounds are making to re-define the future of the continent.


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Say I do… to a Wedding Planner http://swaymag.ca/lifestyle/say-i-do%e2%80%a6-to-a-wedding-planner/ http://swaymag.ca/lifestyle/say-i-do%e2%80%a6-to-a-wedding-planner/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2012 13:00:22 +0000 swaymag http://swaymag.ca/?p=22832 By Suzzette Patten, WPICC

You’re engaged!

One difficult question, plus one easy answer and suddenly your world is about to change. You are in love, excited and should really savour this time. There’ll be plenty of planning, preparation and hard work to be done in the months to come.

You will quickly discover what hundreds of brides before you have found: preparing for your wedding takes time, energy and a lot of patience. From announcing your engagement, finding your dream gown; picking out the perfect flowers, reception venues, caterers, musicians, menu and seating arrangements, your “to do” list will at times seem endless.

Should I hire a wedding planner?

In today’s society most couples have full time jobs, children, second jobs, or other commitments. Can you find an extra 250+ hours to tend to vendor meetings, phone calls, emails and other planning details? It all adds up…and quickly becomes tiring. The question is: will it be possible to pull off your dream wedding, within budget while maintaining your sanity?

Along comes a wedding planner. She or he will take care of the stress and burdens that are associated with your big day, making it possible for you and your fiancé to actually enjoy the day you’ve always dreamed of.

Can I afford it?

Many couples use the excuse that their budget is too tight to hire a wedding planner, they really can’t afford the luxury of having a wedding planner, “my aunt will help me plan my wedding”, or “my sister planned her wedding and it went well”…etc. Would you have your sister or aunt perform brain surgery on you? Hopefully the answer is NO, and you would get a professional to perform such a delicate task. Then why wouldn’t you hire a professional to help you plan your wedding.

How can a wedding planner really help me?

Do you know a violinist that can play R &B or hip hop? Do you know where to find break dancers to perform ? What about a Caribbean comedian? A wedding planner can help with all these things and much more:

  • Saves you money
  • Saves you time
  • Working on your budget – it’s part of their job.
  • Itinerary for the wedding day, with copies going to the venue, caterer, musician, make-up amd hair
    artist etc.
  • A creative source, professional and up to date on the latest trends and themes
  • Superb organizational skills and the benefits of their experience to help make your vision a reality.
  • Narrow down your choices, weeding out all of the vendors that do not fit your criteria.
  • Provide you with an established network of quality vendors, and know who to go to for the best
    services and prices within your budget.
  • Use of past experience with specific companies to make recommendations or to heed warning.

Wedding planner vs an on-site coordinator

I know what you’re thinking, “the venue has an on-site planner/coordinator already, and best of all its free. When they tell you this ask them: Will you come to the vendor meetings with me? Will you negotiate with my florist for a better price? Will you return my groom’s tux the day after the wedding? Will you, will you, will you…

I can guarantee you that the answer to all those questions will be NO. An on-site planner/coordinator is only responsible for things that happen in the building and nothing else. They usually don’t assist with things like scheduling and timing with your transportation, assisting in rounding up important family members for certain ceremonial responsibilities, and making last minute payments on behalf of the couple, just to name of few.

Weddings are their expertise; it’s their passion and profession. They’ve done the training, researched the vendors, gone to see the venues and odds are they have already worked with a lot of them. Let their education and experience work to your benefit in creating your personal dream wedding.

Take a breath and let someone else stress about the smaller details… Remember what this day is really about a celebration of love and a life together.

Suzzette Patten is a Certified Wedding and Event Planner, and the owner of Exquisite Occasions. Do you have a question about planning your wedding? Please send your question to Suzzette at suzzette@exquisiteoccasions.ca Your question may appear on swaymag.ca. We would love to feature you and your wedding day. If you are interested, please contact Suzzette by email.


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Event Spotlight: Ballet Creole performs Exodus March 8-10 http://swaymag.ca/a-e/spotlight-event-ballet-creole-performs-exodus-march-8-10/ http://swaymag.ca/a-e/spotlight-event-ballet-creole-performs-exodus-march-8-10/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 17:34:57 +0000 swaymag http://swaymag.ca/?p=23157 Don’t miss Ballet Creole’s unique and celebrative 21st Season of Dance, which continues its artistic tradition of fusing African-Caribbean aesthetic with contemporary dance. EXODUS will be a final farewell for celebrated contemporary dancer, Almond Small, featuring two remounted works by Debbie Wilson of OMO Dance Company. Along with the remounted “Ritual” by Artistic Director, Patrick Parson, and  “Mmele wa hao o keo rantang” by Associate Choreographer, Gabby Kamino, EXODUS promises to be an exhilarating farewell to one of Canada’s memorable dancers. Visit www.balletcreole.org for more information.

March 8 -10, 2012 | 8:00 pm
Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre
207 Queens Quay West, Toronto
BOX OFFICE: 416-973-4000



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Black Daddies Club: You Will Recognize Your Brothers http://swaymag.ca/people-community/parenting-people-community/black-daddies-club/black-daddies-club-you-will-recognize-your-brothers/ http://swaymag.ca/people-community/parenting-people-community/black-daddies-club/black-daddies-club-you-will-recognize-your-brothers/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 14:00:42 +0000 swaymag http://swaymag.ca/?p=22831

A poem by Haki Madhubuti

You will recognize your brothers
by the way they act and move throughout the world.
there will be a strange force about them,
there will be unspoken answers in them.
this will be obvious not only to you but to many.
the confidence they have in themselves and in
their people will be evident in their quiet saneness.
the way they relate to women will be
clean, complimentary, responsible, with honesty and as
the way they relate to children will be
strong and soft full of positive direction and as example.
the way they relate to men
will be that of questioning our position in this world,
will be one of planning for movement and change,
will be one of working for their people,
will be one of gaining and maintaining trust within the culture.
these men at first will seem strange and unusual but
this will not be the case for long.
they will train others and the discipline they display
will be a way of life for many.
they know that this is difficult
but this is the life that they have chosen
for themselves, for us, for life:
they will be the examples,
they will be the answers, they will be the first line builders,
they will be the creators,
they will be the first to give up the weakening pleasures,
they will be the first to share a black value system,
they will be the workers,
they will be the scholars,
they will be the providers,
they will be the historians,
they will be the doctors, lawyers, farmers, priests
and all that is needed for development and growth.
you will recognize these brothers
they will not betray you.

GroundWork: New and Selected Poems of Don L. Lee and Haki Madhubuti

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