Sunday, March 13, 2011

VERSe Fest 2011: Long Live Poetry!

Hi Everyone:

Today marks the eighth and final day of VERSe Fest - Ottawa's new annual poetry festival and the first of its kind.

I've been to regular poetry readings before but only experienced my first poetry slam last Friday.

In a slam, poets read or recite their work in front of five judges and receive numeric scores over multiple rounds until the winner is declared. There were two rounds on Friday night.

Not only did I admire the beauty of the poetic language but the way the poets were able to memorize their work. I also enjoyed the energy of the crowd, which did things that included snapping fingers, cheering and clapping.

Although I do not like rap music, I found myself enjoying and even appreciating the kind of rap-like way (I guess it's because the poets didn't focus on pimpin' the hos among other things) in which many of the poets performed their poetry. Some were more dramatic than others with their tone and gestures, and each poet found a method that worked for him or herself.

Writing this post makes me wish that I had attended more of the VERSe Fest ( events, but the great thing is that the festival will happen again next year.

Congrats to the VERSe Fest 2011 organizers and volunteers who pulled off the wonderful festival, and long live poetry!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy International Women's Day!

Happy International Women's Day, everyone!

Do you know that it's been 100 years since this day was first celebrated?

"The last century has seen an unprecedented expansion of women's legal rights and entitlements," former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said, pointing to virtually universal voting rights for women, major inroads for women in professions from which they were banned, laws penalizing domestic violence in two-thirds of the world's nations, and U.N. Security Council recognition of sexual violence as a deliberate tactic of war

However, the head of the new U.N. women's agency added that the fight for equality is far from over.

"Girls are still less likely to be in school than boys, almost two-thirds of illiterate adults are women, and every 90 seconds a woman dies in pregnancy or due to childbirth-related complications despite the knowledge and resources to make births safe, she said, and women continue to earn less than men for the same work and have unequal inheritance rights and access to land" (

But Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the U.N. Population Fund, pointed out that "equal rights are advanced when girls can avoid child marriage and enjoy equal access to education, both men and women can plan their families, and pregnant women no longer fear losing their jobs" (

For more information about International Women's Day, please check out:


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Encouraging Mental Health News for Cops

Hi Everyone:

Say what you will about cops, but they do an important and dangerous job that not only puts their lives at risk but has a significant impact on their health (physical and mental).

It is encouraging then to hear that they will be receiving more mental health support (

"What we want to do is save our members' lives," Canadian Police Association president Charles Momy said at a news conference on Parliament Hill" (

I appreciate the work that cops do and am happy to hear that this support is available to them. They need it too after all!

Just wanted to share the good news with you!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy 1st Year Anniversary, Red Chair HR!

Happy 1st year anniversary, Red Chair HR!

It was exactly a year ago, Kimberley, that you opened your staffing agency and didn't look back! You were determined to help people with disabilities find employment and are doing just that.

I commend you for not allowing your MS to prevent you from pursuing your dream.

I also admire your and Sandra's hard work, enthusiasm and the way you treat people with dignity and respect. Yours is truly an example to follow!

Here's to many more years of continued success!