Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Beyoncè & Jay Z On the Run Tour

Beyoncè and Jay-Z's On the Run Tour was very well thought out and put together. There were lots of costume changes, they sang over 40 songs, some in small parts. The audio visuals were very tantalizing to the senses. Even the back up dancers were top notch. But it lacked one thing...there was no intimacy. I did not feel that magic connection. People started congregating in the washrooms and foyers half an hour before the concert was over. Maybe it was the venue. The stage just seemed so far and I wasn't even in the nose bleed section. Maybe there was no chemistry between the Carters despite them trying so hard to keep it together. Beyoncè sang Halo while facing the big screen that projected a video of her child. The whole time Jay-Z was holding her waist but she did not turn to look at him even once. Not till the song was over and reality sunk in. The show must go on. And so they kissed. Am I reading too much into this?

For more photos, view my Beyonce & Jay Z Album on Facebook. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival

I had the privilege to be a photographer for CBC at the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival held at Globe Theatre. I was assigned to take photos of guests on the red carpet. Here is a link .
The screening is from Nov 20- 24. If you have time, try and catch one of these shows.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sneak Peak into Human Rights Museum

Editors gather before their tour inside the museum still under construction. 

Newspaper editors from across Canada who attended the Journalism Symposium organized by La Liberte last week were treated to an exclusive tour of the Canadian Museum For Human Rights.
The building is an architectural marvel from inside and outside although construction is still ongoing.
The $351-million structure was declared a national museum in 2008 by the Canadian Government, with a mandate to explore human rights issues with special but not exclusive reference to Canada. The museum is scheduled to be open to the public next year.
Meanwhile, free summer tours are being offered to the public till the end of August. For more information,click here.

Up along the watchtower

From inside looking up: an architectural marvel. 

Looking out over Esplanade Riel and the Provencher Bridge.

The Museum is expected to open in 2014

No Ordinary Family

Terry with her children Darren and Michelle

Not many women would want to deal with diapers and milk bottles at 53. But Terry Houlston, is no ordinary woman. The retired educator made a decision to adopt a child 11 years ago and she has since single-handedly raised three other children.
“I got Trey and Dylan when they were just two-and-a-half years old. They are brothers who desperately needed a home when I decided to take them in,” said Terry.
Two years later, she got Michelle and then came little Darren who was nine months old when she brought him home. Dylan, Trey and Michelle are now 13 years old while Darren, her youngest child is seven.
All four children have high needs and are on medication for different conditions.  One child has global developmental delays, another has Oppositional Defiant Disorder. The other children have ADHD, attachment disorder and conduct disorder.
Terry spends a lot of time attending classes and workshops run by Child and Family Services (CFS) to help her cope with the different needs of her children.
“Being a parent has its challenges. In the case of my kids, no one medication is an answer to all the problems. We just have to see what works and what doesn’t work,” said Terry.
Despite the challenges, she says, there is nothing more wonderful than being with her children. “It is such a joy and privilege having them in my life and hearing them calling me mom,” she said.
Terry and her kids went on a Disney cruise in February. “It was their first time on a flight, our first on a ship and at 64, it was my first holiday,” she said.  The moment Terry started talking about the cruise, Michelle and Darren’s faces lit up.
“The waiters were so nice to us,” quipped Michelle. “There were fireworks on top of the ship,” said Darren adding that his favourite part of the trip was going to the live theatre every night.
The siblings had been patiently waiting for Terry to finish this interview so they could go attend a picnic at The Forks National Historic Site. The picnic is organized by Child and Family Services with the assistance of The General Authority.
Foster home social worker and picnic committee member Leslie Johnston said this annual event was expected to draw over 600 families and their kids. Watch interview with Leslie Johnston. 

Supermoon Lights Up Night Sky

The year’s largest, brightest moon lit the sky on June 23rd, 2013. 
Published in Community News Commons 

The moon a few days before...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Grand Opening for Investors Group Field

Photo by Sangeetha Nair 
The much anticipated “opening ceremony” for Investors Group Field was nothing short of grand.

One Heart Winnipeg, a massive gathering of 85 churches was the first event to be held at this venue. This event was also an opportunity for the venue to test out their ticket scanning system as 20,000 free tickets were printed and handed out at the main gate.

Venue Staff, Gordon Harry handing out free tickets.
Photo by Sangeetha Nair  
Event organizers went all out at making the event memorable and enjoyable to not just Christians but any proud Winnipegger who was there to get a peak of the new stadium.

There was a special appearance by former Blue Bomber Milt Stegall, 35 different Disney and Marvel comic characters and clowns. There were also performances by rapper Fresh I.E and YouTube sensation Sean Quigley.

In his speech, Stegall said that it was great that the first event held at the stadium was dedicated to God and joked that this would not guarantee that Bombers will win all the games.
In the middle of the afternoon, during the sermon, a cluster of jet planes launched from behind the big screen and flew past the stadium, making the crowd cheer. The experience was certainly overwhelming.
Sean Quigley                             Greaves and Kowalczuk
                                                 Photo by Sangeetha Nair 
Throughout the event, Bomber fans lined up to take photographs with players Chris Greaves and Chris Kowalczuk and the rest of us just had a hard time putting down our smartphones and cameras. #investorsgroupfield was the tag of the day.

For the past three years, One Heart Winnipeg was held at the MTS Centre in January. This year, the organizers could not get an available date and the Blue Bombers had come to their rescue by offering them this new venue. After this experience, one wonders if the event organizers would ever go back to MTS Centre.

Photo by Sangeetha Nair 
Photo by Sangeetha Nair
Many thanks to Community News Commons for publishing this article. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Future Without Discrimination for People with Schizophrenia

Photo by Sangeetha Nair 
Schizophrenia has always been a very misunderstood mental illness. Some blame the media who relentlessly publish gruesome stories of murders committed by people with this mental disorder. Other's blame the mental health system for not having enough staff and facilities to help people with schizophrenia get better treatment. But pointing fingers is not going to solve anything. 

Advocates like the Schizophrenia Society have been organizing public education and awareness campaigns for over three decades now. But we still have people who think that those with schizophrenia are violent and should be put behind bars. 

The million dollar question is, how do we teach people to be more compassionate? Values like love, acceptance and kindness are taught to us at a very young age. It molds us into the human beings we are today. So let's teach our children about mental health while they are young.

You may think that mental illness will not affect your family. Or you may think that your kids do not need to be exposed to such information. But think again. Statistics show that 1 in 5 Canadians will suffer from a mental illness. The average age of onset for schizophrenia is between 18 to 25.

Photo by Sangeetha Nair 
So when you prepare yourself for that talk about  the birds and the bees, might as well throw in a crash course on mental health. Mental illness may not affect them in their lifetime and I hope and pray that it doesn't. But it might happen to a family  member or friend at school. 

Let them know its okay to talk about it. Tell them that having a mental illness is not the end of   the world. There are many who have battled mental illness, even schizophrenia and have become successful, respectable people in society. There is hope. Teach them to love and accept a person with mental illness just like they would a person with a physical illness. This will hopefully change how the future generation views schizophrenia and mental health in general. 

Picnic in the Park - May 24
Photo by Sangeetha Nair 

The Manitoba Schizophrenia Society recently organized a picnic in the Bonnycastle Park to celebrate National Schizophrenia and Psychosis Awareness Day.

Over 80 people from all walks of life had come to join in the celebration. There were two little girls with their young fathers. There were families and friends. There was a six month old baby with her young mother and there were volunteers who came because they believe in hope.

MSS Peer Group facilitator Karen Kaplen with Jane
Jane Burpee, the public education coordinator for MSS said, " It isn't about statistics. It isn't about the DSM 5. It is about the individual journeys of courage and success which we so humbly admire.

"Having young children at the celebration gives hope that they will grow up with an understanding of mental illness, which, in turn will give us a generation that will change stigma into compassion in the future."

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