"Made in Canada" Choreography for National Ballet Transcends the Classics

Mesmerizing Ode to Lawren HarrisLawren Harris, Robert Binet, Lubomyr Melnyk, and dancers of the National Ballet of Canada, will the dreamers ever leave you? The Company's final performance of Made in Canada yesterday at The Four Seasons Centre in Toronto was a testament to the power of nature in the Canadian psyche. Canadian choreographers, composers, lighting designers, set designers, costume designers and dancers came together to celebrate a bond that we Canadians innately feel but rarely articulate. A pre-performance announcement by Artistic Director Karen Kain expressed gratitude towards the indigenous people of yesteryear on whose land the ballet company now operates at the Lake Ontario waterfront. When you look south across the lake from where the company's astounding artistry is now created, you can almost see Lewiston, NY beyond what is a relatively new border. After you've seen "Made in Canada" choreography however, you'll probably agree that our bo…

Stress Management Over 40

Revisit Your Own Idealism to Handle Work Stress What are the best ways to handle stress as a baby boomer still dealing with demanding clients, high-pressure days and daily operation in the thick of the rat race? When your kids are grown up, when bar-hopping after work with colleagues is too unhealthy an option, and when retirement is not in your plans any time in the foreseeable future, how do you unwind? The answer may be to revisit who you were at 15 or 20. The seeds of old dreams are still there, sitting in time capsules waiting to be opened and reclaimed. The difference now is that you can actually pursue them.

Dialing Down Stress Means Focusing on Positive Mechanisms
The "fight and flight" instinct that helped you respond so well to emergencies and perform so well at work for so long is actually on a timer. The stress response has an effect on our bodies in a way that can compromise health and well-being in a very big way. According to the American Psychological Associa…

Walking in a Wildlife Sanctuary Across the Lake from a City

A Bird Sanctuary as Well as a Healthy Getaway for City Dwellers
Have you ever walked just outside a city's perimeter where the air is so fresh that you feel dizzy? At Leslie Spit/ Tommy Thompson Park on the waters of Lake Ontario, it is possible to completely escape the air pollution of 3-million strong Toronto just a short distance away. You are literally on the water looking into the city from across a lake. The fresh breeze that blows across the lake feels fresh and pollution-free.

Tommy Thompson Park is a former dump site that grew into a wildlife bird sanctuary on an isthmus in Toronto. It is entirely human-made. As described in its history, "the natural processes that evolved during the long construction and planning of the site had shaped [the park] into a truly "accidental wilderness".   A map from shows where the park is situated in relation to the City of Toronto.

Leave It For The Birds
If you walk the 2+ hours to the end of the Spit, y…

The Real Meaning of Farm to Table

Declining Number of Fruit Farms in Niagara Region Affect Supply

Whenever I eat a fresh peach, cherry, plum, nectarine or pear in Niagara in the summertime, I notice how much better it tastes than the fruit I buy at home in Toronto stores, just an hour and a half's drive north.

If Niagara fruit farms still exist (which I found they do) why can't we purchase their produce in the urban outlets in Toronto? When I tried to find out more, I found a great list of fruit farms in the Niagara area, as well as another helpful resource about where to pick your own fruits and vegetables in the Niagara region, but no real explanation of why this natural wealth isn't part of the major distribution networks supplying our urban supermarkets.

It turns out that many of the various fruit orchards that filled the Niagara countryside have become endless rows of grape vines. If the larger Niagara fruit farms were supplanted by the needs of the grape-growing and winery industries in the Niagara …

How to Handle Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

The Effects of Sun Deprivation After getting through the -25 C (-13 F) cold spell last week, conversation among a few of us who live in the world's northern hemisphere turned to SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. The effects of sun deprivation in the long winter months can include:
loss of energydecreased desire to socializeshort-term memory lossfatiguedepression We don't always need to read an article to know that our energy levels are waning annually around mid February to early March. But Seasonal Affective Disorder is very real for people who experience prolonged depression every winter. Approximately 2-3% of Canadians experience the full effects of SAD, and 15% experience a milder form of it. It is estimated by NHS Choices that SAD affects about 2 million people in the UK, and more than 12 million people across Northern Europe. According to Psych Central, approximately half a million Americans are affected by SAD.

Sun deprivation is also associated with Vitamin D deficie…

Anger and Social Change

Angry Film Characters in Winter Sleep and Corbo Profoundly Affect Those Closest to Them In two completely different films produced in different cultures about different political eras, a deep-seated anger spills over to affect and take root in central characters who dominate the story. These two films share the same root element of misplaced anger causing social change that goes wrong. The anger, pain and disappointment in the protagonists slowly move central characters into zones of irrationality, while their own repressed anger causes them to carry on unaware of the effect that they have on people around them. The two films were screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in January 2015.

In Winter Sleep, directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan and set in a small village in Cappadocia, a failed actor controls others through his education and amassed wealth as a landowner, oblivious to the debilitating poverty around him. He has a particularly suffocating effect on his young wi…

How Our Own Wellness Involves the Wellness of Our World

How Greenpeace Helps Save Our Forests
Canada recently emerged as the world’s worst country for loss of intact forests, largely in the Boreal Forest. After putting it off for quite a while, I decided to join Greenpeace and do something to help change this. I wanted to help save our forests and raise awareness of what we need to do to help slow down climate change too.
Many Canadians Feel the Same Way I Do About Urgent Environmental Concerns At the end of November I took part in Greenpeace's Best Buy activity to stop the store's current purchasing arrangement from Resolute Forest Products, which sources its forest products from the Boreal Forest in an unsustainable way. Resolute Forest Products is a controversial Canadian pulp and paper company that has previously been exposed for logging in endangered forests and for repeatedly violating forestry regulations.

Our Greenpeace group talked to people on the street outside the Best Buy store at Yonge and Dundas streets in downtown Toron…