Newsroom 106 results

Politics, Journalism, Opinion, and Sports from veteran journalists Rod Mickleburgh, Charley Gordon, Carla McClain, Shelley Page, Katherine Monk, and others.

Penetrating Helen Gurley Brown

Books: Not Pretty Enough - The Unlikely Triumph of Helen Gurley Brown New biography of the woman who recreated Cosmopolitan as a vehicle of sexual empowerment reveals lifelong insecurities and a penchant for moisturizing with baking lard

Telefilm touts diversity as key to future

News Brief: Canadian Film Industry Telefilm Canada announces a new diversity initiative designed to increase representation within the "Canadian Film Portfolio" by 2020 through new initiatives and industry partnerships By The Ex-Press Right now, it's all just words on a press release, but by 2020 the Canadian film landscape will look a lot different if Telefilm makes good on a promise of "diversity" they made earlier today (Thursday, September 8) in Montreal. Seeking to increase the field of representation to better reflect the population of Canada, Telefilm Executive Director Carolle Brabant declared the following objective:  "By 2020, [to] have a more representative and diversified feature film portfolio that better reflects gender, diversity and Canada’s Indigenous communities." To realize the long-term goal, Telefilm will partner with the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) and the Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM) to create ...

The Day the Unions died – almost

Labour History: Social Credit's lasting debit What happens when an economically strapped general public elect a right-wing proponent of 'restraint'? Human rights, employment standards and social services get steamrolled by arrogance masquerading as fiscal austerity By Rod Mickleburgh Thirty-three years ago, the newly-relected Social Credit government of Bill Bennett brought down the most dramatic, yay outlandish, budget and “restraint” package in B.C. history. What happened next is detailed here in an essay I wrote a year or so ago. On July 7, 1983, Bill Bennett and his Social Credit government, freshly elected to a third successive term in office, unleashed a revolution in British Columbia. This was a revolution from the right. Fueled by the radical conservatism of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and Milton Friedman’s economic neo-liberalism, the Socreds took aim at all those elements in society they had never liked. With no advance notice, a total of 26 repressive ...

Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, Sarah McLachlan to jury new refugee film prize

News: VIFF, Radcliffe Foundation sponsor new short film competition Former mining entrepreneur Frank Giustra hopes to inspire and engage Canadians about the 'greatest humanitarian catastrophe of our generation' through original, 'call-to-action' short films By The Ex-Press Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, Sarah McLachlan and Atom Egoyan are just a few of the big names putting their clout behind a new film competition conceived as a “call to action” for the global refugee crisis. Sponsored by the Radcliffe Foundation in collaboration with the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Refugee Crisis Film Competition will award a $20,000 prize to the best short film – up to 60 seconds in length – to a film that “inspires, engages and empowers Canadians to take action on the global refugee crisis.” The competition is open to all filmmakers across all genres and will feature a nine-member jury that includes the Prime Minister’s partner, McLachlan and Egoyan, as well as ...

Hot Docs gets million-dollar boost from Rogers

News: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund Rogers Foundation partners with Hot Docs, Canada's leading documentary festival, to create new production fund named after late Canadian communications mogul Ted Rogers By The Ex-Press The cash-strapped world of documentary film just got a million dollars richer: Hot Docs and The Rogers Foundation announced the creation of a new fund to help filmmakers realize their non-fiction visions through production grants worth up to $35,000 Thursday. Part of a $5-million dollar endowment from The Rogers Foundation that also includes a $4 million gift to buy the Hot Docs theatre on Toronto’s Bloor Street, the new Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund will be administered by Hot Docs and support up to three or four projects each year. “Hot Docs has a remarkable history of strengthening the documentary industry and supporting documentary filmmakers,” said Martha Rogers, chair of the Rogers Foundation. “We are proud to join their tradition with the establishm...

Muhammad Ali: The Greatest, in All Ways, Always

Tribute: Muhammad Ali No one can quantify the extent of outrage and villification that spewed down on Ali when he turned his back on everything American. Yet, with everything to lose, Ali stood up for his rights as a black man, loudly and unabashedly. By Rod Mickleburgh A tough week for us sports fans of another generation. Losing two great heroes of our youth: Muhammad Ali, and now, Gordie Howe (he never changed his name to Gordon..). This is about the champ. It’s been said many, many times, but it remains true. Never again will we see the likes of Muhammad Ali. “For all you kids out there”, it’s difficult to convey just how dominant a figure he was during those first 20 years he reigned as by far the most beloved and admired athlete in the world. Evidence of his unsurpassed skill and courage in the rink are easily found on YouTube. And most accounts written after Ali’s death relate in great detail his bold, in-your-face defiance of white America. He stuck it to ...

TIFF announces STUDIO slate

News: TIFF talent development A lucky dozen writer-directors get their hands metaphorically dirty with development sessions and skills workshops at this year's TIFF STUDIO programme By Katherine Monk “Writer-director” sounds good, but in the world of Canadian Film, it often means a hand-to-mouth existence without external support. The Toronto International Film Festival wants to change that, and this year, it refocused its STUDIO programme to assist writer-directors with a series of professional workshops designed to empower the nation’s storytellers. The monthly modules began Friday with sessions that include peer review, project development, packaging and talent, working with actors and casting agents as well as the requisite art of the pitch pep talk. “Since its launch in 2013, STUDIO has boasted immense success in readying Canadian producers for the global film industry,” said TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey in an announcement released Monday. ...

Typewriters, newspapers now retro cool

Column: Mickleburgh An old scribe ventures back to the future on a recent trip to Seattle where old-fashioned print media and analog typing contraptions still have a place and a meaningful, if sentimental, sense of purpose By Rod Mickleburgh Hey, kids! Montreal Expos caps and vinyl aren’t the only hip retro around. Be the first in your group to read a print newspaper. Take time out from your busy online life, relax and turn the pages. Impress your friends. You never know what unexpected treasures of information and features might lurk deep within. As the late, great David Carr (sigh) did during all his visits outside New York, I still peruse the local newspapers whenever I venture beyond Van, man. Here are some print gleanings from a recent weekend baseball venture to Seattle. You, too, can be a newspaper explorer. 1. Let’s start with a joke. You’re probably one of those who think Boise, Idaho is no laughing matter. Well, you’d be wrong. The lede of an enticing ...

Xavier the Great crushes Cannes skeptics

News: Xavier Dolan wins Grand Prix, Ecumenical Prize at Cannes 2016 Quebec's golden boy picks up second-highest honour at Cannes, but his quest for the coveted golden palm continues, as does his battle with critics By Katherine Monk He didn’t win the Palme D’Or, but Xavier Dolan’s double win at this year’s Cannes Film Festival marks the best performance by a Canadian on the Croisette since Atom Egoyan scored a triple with The Sweet Hereafter back in 1997. Dolan won the Grand Prix and the Ecumenical Prize for his latest film Juste la fin du mode (It’s Only the End of the World), a drama that follows a writer with a terminal illness on his final journey home. Based on the stage play by the late Jean-Luc Lagarce, It’s Only the End of the World is Dolan’s sixth feature, and fifth title to be invited to France’s red carpet extravaganza. “Dolan’s two latest awards at Cannes are renewed recognition of his immense talent, of course, but also of the determined ...

Is it too late to say sorry for Komagata Maru?

News: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologizes for racism Though many know the outline of an ugly chapter in Canadian history, the truth of the Komagata Maru is both an indictment of institutional prejudice, and a testament to the strength and pride of the passengers aboard the infamous vessel By Rod Mickleburgh At long last, a formal apology is being delivered in the House of Commons for Canada’s racist behaviour in its shameful treatment of Sikh passengers aboard the Komagata Maru who had the effrontery to seek immigration to the West Coast more than a hundred years ago. Not only were they denied entry, they were subjected to two months of exceptionally inhumane treatment by unflinching immigration officers. While many now know the basics of the ill-fated voyage, the story has many elements that are less well known. To fill in the gaps, we can look to Hugh Johnston and his definitive book, The Voyage of the Komagata Maru. Just days before the outbreak of World War ...