Capital Clips – He Does Design

November 23, 2012 12:00 pm
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Tim Sherstyuk took an Ontario Summer Company grant for a driveway sealing business and turned it into a web design agency. Confused? It goes like this. His driveway business needed an online presence and, while creating it himself, he realized his real gift was generating on-line traffic.

Tim describes Elonta Design like this: “I take the same principle into the web design business as I did with the driveway sealing. What I saw the competition doing was work quickly, spray down the black asphalt sealer and leave as quickly as possible. I wanted to differentiate myself from the others, so I focused on quality. Because I did a good job, people were really satisfied so they told their friends and neighbours and I got plenty of business. I still get calls, even though I’m no longer in the sealing business. I learned my lesson though – quality counts – and I adopted the same principles for my current business.”

The word Elonta comes from the universal language of Esperanto. Elonta is made up of two root words and means “from the future.” This is a constant reminder that innovation is key to the success of any business, and that in order for Elonta to keep on expanding, Tim and his team of web designers must constantly work to be at the forefront of the on-line design world.  And that’s exactly what they do.

613.261.7968 • tim@elonta.com

Capital Clips – Ottawa’s Randy Shaughnessy named Photographic Artist of the Year

November 20, 2012 10:00 am
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Ottawa-based photographer Randy Shaughnessy has received the award for the Ontario Photographic Artist of the Year at the 2012 Annual Awards Banquet of the Professional Photographers of Canada – Ontario (PPOC-ON). Randy also received an award for Best in Class in the Animal-Wild/Domestic Category. The noted photographer is an accredited member of the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) in the categories: Wedding Story, Portraiture, Fine Art/Photo Decor, Architecture, Pictorial/Scenic, Nature, Wildlife, Night Photography and Animals. When asked about his craft, Shaughnessy told Ottawa Life: “I live to create something special every time I peek through the viewfinder. I am constantly refining my techniques to develop a fresh approach to set myself apart and create a defining style for Shaughnessy Photography.”

Professional Photographers of Canada – Ontario

Ottawa’s Shaughnessy Photography is a husband-and-wife team who loves working with people and capturing the moment with an emphasis on personal service. They specialize in corporate events, portraits and weddings. Their passion is the secret to their success in creating timeless memories for their clients. You may also view Shaughnessy Photography’s Fine Art, available for purchase, in their private gallery. www.ShaughnessyPhotography.com

 

Capital Clips: Experience Culture & Tremendous Athleticism

November 19, 2012 10:14 am
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The world-class Shen Yun Performing Arts returns to the National Arts Centre over the December holiday season. As part of the New York-based dance company’s annual global tour, there will be five shows at the NAC December 27-30, 2012. Shen Yun Performing Arts offers an exhilarating production that celebrates the pure excellence and grandeur of classical Chinese dance and music. The show attempts to renew a largely lost cultural tradition that pays honour to timeless virtues and human dignity. The universal themes of compassion, courage and hope are hallmarks of Shen Yun. “Shen Yun presents 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture and history through beautiful dance and music and an uplifting spirit,” said Dr. Jean Zhi, speaking on behalf of the Ottawa local presenters. Tickets may be purchased at www.shen-yun.tickets-center.com

 

Adrienne Clarkson: Room for All of Us

January 10, 2012 9:29 am
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In her latest book, Room for all of Us, Canada’s former Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, shares her poignant views on immigration, displacement and belonging. The novel follows the lives of ten extraordinary individuals, revealing some of the most harrowing experiences in their journey to get to Canada.  The book shares their arrival and ultimately their success. An immigrant herself, Clarkson provides encouraging and optimistic stories of struggle and survival from the perspective of some remarkable people who have come to transform our nation despite their hardships. Room for All of Us is an intimate and insightful narrative, reflective of Canada’s rich immigration past and present.

Adrienne Clarkson. Photo: Calgary Herald

Recently I had the chance to sit down with Ms. Clarkson and discuss the motivation behind her work. When asked what inspired her to write a novel about the Canadian immigration experience from the perspective of others, Ms. Clarkson revealed two specific reasons for writing Room for all of Us. First, after writing her autobiography, many people approached the author about the extraordinary nature of her life story. “I thought right away, well no, it’s not that extraordinary but there are people who have had the most extraordinary experiences in our country and I wanted to tell some of them!” she claims. Seeing as Clarkson knew most of the people already, she decided to put together a collective of the most unusual and inspiring tales from some of these remarkable individuals.  Moreover, Clarkson felt identification with these people, that on many levels they were not only just like her but their lives somehow overlapped.

The second inspiration for her book came out of her identification with loss, shock and brutality. As Clarkson points out, “I lived through a war, where we lived we were afraid. All of those were common things I really understood.”  She goes on to note that without the stories of people’s struggles it is hard to understand the peace of Canada, which we are so fortunate to have. What’s more, with so many overlapping immigrant experiences, there is a sense of commonality between the people that help shape and transform the Canadian landscape. When asked why she chose the specific group of individuals who appear in her book, Clarkson didn’t hesitate and responded: “as you know I’ve had a long career in television, then I did a lot of public service, then I was Governor General so I wanted to cover certain events in the world that had brought us immigrants, but these people all had to be living.” Essentially, her book details specific world events that brought people to the Canadian shores.

“I wanted the readers to feel as if I was telling them a story.”

Throughout the book, the author makes references to various tragic events, including the Holocaust, the Vietnam War and the Exodus from East Africa. When asked about these, Clarkson points out that these events were especially important not only in transforming the world but shaping Canada as a nation.  She states,  “at one point, I said to myself, ‘well I have got to cover this’ because I noticed how they (immigrant communities) are adding so much to our Canadian communities.” More importantly, however is the fact that each of these individuals comes out of a situation where Canada has had some sort of involvement, as a result, the author’s main goal was to try and “show the human side of each of these altercations.”

Although the book does a great job in providing a comprehensive sample of individuals from varying backgrounds, I wanted to know who was missing from the narrative. Clarkson felt that there were many voices she could have included, for example survivors of the Rwanda genocide, but she “wanted to make the book very readable to people, something that you could pick up and you would understand.” What she really wanted was for her readers to feel as though she was “telling you their story.” She is adamant about the fact that the book is not a history book, or an academic look at immigration but rather it is about an extraordinary group of people and “how they opened their lives to me (Clarkson) and I was able to tell their story.” And that certainly comes across in the book.

Room for All of Us is available at all major bookstores across Canada.

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