East&West Dialogue with Tony and Jane Preston: A Western Couple Met and Lived in Asia

East&West Dialogue is our monthly program where guest speakers of different cultural backgrounds come as volunteers and share their life stories, knowledge, thoughts, and have conversations with our audience. We hope this individual-level communication will promote mutual understanding among people of different heritages, and the experiences of guest speakers can help the audience, mostly but not limited to first-generation immigrants, to live in their new country with a bit more ease and grace. For that, we truly thank our guest speakers for their time, expertise, and warm hearts for immigrants!

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EAWLC stories: Kai Black and Canada in music 东西联学社嘉宾故事之 Kai Black与“音乐中的加拿大”

                                      作者:汪洋
          Kai是我去年五六月间碰到的。那时我在上一门radio broadcasting的兴趣课,老师请了他来演讲。他在讲座最后播放了一个自己制作的广播小品,讲述小时候父母互不说话,父亲经常在家中放一首“让我走吧”的歌。长大后有一次和朋友去k歌,他唱了这一首,朋友们纷纷叫好。他第一次知道自己唱歌还不错,但其实也许只是因为这歌萦绕在他记忆里太深,让他太有感触而已。故事很短很简单,因为真实,在音乐中变得格外动人。Kai有视障,事业上倒并未受到多少影响,现在是加拿大广播公司CBC的音乐制片总监,开创了很多有影响力的节目和音乐节。他身边都是生龙活虎好手好脚的人,平时很少能接触到残障人士。有一天,他想到这个问题,就抓起电话打到CNIB(加拿大最大的盲人机构),了解其他盲人的生活和工作状态,看有什么可以帮忙的。后来他在CBC推动设立了CAPE项目,每年招收几名残障人才带薪实习,帮助他们积累工作经验。我当时并没有跟他交流,但印象深刻。Kai让我想起Tuesdays with Morrie这本书里的Morrie。他们都出身于有缺憾的家庭,缺少爱的环境,但并没有落入恶性循环,反而长成一个特别富于爱心的人。
         夏天里我给他发去一封邮件,介绍东西联学社,邀请他来做嘉宾。结果立刻得到一个自动回复,说他正在一年休假中,有急事请找某某某。我心想这个“一年休假”是个啥?难道他也有教授们的sabbatical,要云游一年才会回来?不管怎么说,我的邀请多半没戏了。出乎意料,第二天收到了他本人的回复,感谢我热情洋溢的邀请信,说他觉得我们做的事很棒,他愿意来做一个义务嘉宾。我开心坏了。后来在与他的聊天中,曾好奇地问他是不是有中国血统?因为“Kai”听上去太像一个中国名字了。他说以前也听人说起过,但其实他是葡萄牙裔,“Kai”在夏威夷语里是海洋的意思。我跟他开玩笑,说既然你是制片总监,就没我什么事了,一切后果由你负责。他说放心,我一定拿出一台好节目。秋天的时候,他来到我们的对话节目,分享人生故事、工作经历、他的制片作品等。我很感动。他和妻子工作都很忙,家里还有一个小朋友需要照顾。我很少联系他,怕占用他的宝贵时间。但他还是花了不少精力,用制片人的才能和专业精神,在一个周末的晚上,给我们贡献了那样一场精彩的讲座。而我们只是一个本来素不相识的小小的公益组织。感兴趣的可以去我们的YouTube频道上看讲座录像。

         正是在这次对话中,Kai讲道CBC面对全国的学校发起Music Class Challenge项目,鼓励学生老师排演加拿大歌曲,参与竞赛,加强学校的音乐教育。这给了我灵感。我对音乐感兴趣,但不熟悉,对加拿大的音乐历史和现状就更加不了解。如果有机会接受音乐教育,加强对加拿大音乐和文化的了解,那就太好了。如果是免费的,对新移民来说就更好了。于是我提议Kai和我们合作,为移民社区开展一个音乐教育项目。他思考了一会儿,答应了,并且担当起总指挥的职责,找到相关资源,建议从原住民音乐开始。这个资源其实是对公众免费开放的,但如果不是他介绍,我们不会知道。Musicounts是加拿大录制艺术科学院以及最高音乐奖项Juno Awards旗下的音乐教育机构,网站提供大量优质的音乐教育资源。他们刚刚上线一个原住民主题板块,Kai当时正要和他们合作,在CBC制作相关节目。我们近水楼台先得月,搭上这趟特别列车。从去年10月开始,我们一起组织策划讲座,Kai和几位会员义工多次分别开会,确定内容,指导她们如何更好地呈现、演绎讲座。他还担纲主持,介绍并评论相关音乐作品,回答观众提问。以上这些工作,他和我们的会员一样,全是义务的。
         上周五,5月6号晚上,第一期终于开幕。整晚下来,怎么说呢,我被惊到了:原住民在加拿大的历史遭遇,人们的诉求与心声,音乐的种类、风格,获奖歌手Jeremy Dutcher把土著民谣融合进美声音乐的创新以及他美妙的歌喉……Kai、Lily和Agnes的分享、介绍和视频片段有机地结合在一起,交相辉映,张弛有度,强有力地抓住了我的心,让我不想错过每一个或感人或美妙的时刻;中间的5分钟休息和最后的开放环节里,大家通过提问互动,讨论了一些很有意思的问题。比如:Kai的孩子在听完原住民小孩被抢走、远离父母的故事后,吓得很长时间不敢自己睡,怕睡着了以后被什么人带走了。我们就此讨论了接受原住民历史教育的必要性,以及在什么年龄阶段接受这种教育比较好的问题;再比如非原住民在艺术创作中,如涉及原住民的艺术元素,该如何避免落入“文化侵权”这个当下比较敏感的领域,等等。总之,这样度过一个周五的夜晚太享受了。
         5月13号晚上,Kai和另外两位会员义工–胜男和Jovial将介绍另外几位当代原住民歌手的作品和相关历史文化;最后还将由原住民歌手Tara Williamson带领我们学唱她自己创作的歌谣。

         说到我们这几位会员义工,他们来自各行各业,有Richmond Hill一家Toastermasters Club的主席,有Markham 12年级的高中生,有Toronto的人力资源白领和口笔译的自由职业者。Kai对她们赞扬有加,说她们个个聪慧,都比他强。哈哈,东西联学社的会员们确实各具才能,又都热心公益,才会从天南海北自愿加入,走在一起为社区做点有意思的事,自己也乐在其中,比如做这个“音乐中的加拿大”系列节目,其实我也想跟Kai学两首,无奈被他拒绝参与他们单独的讨论和排演,他跟我说,如果我想要参与,只有等下次志愿者机会了。这让我又好奇又期待,想看到他们出品的节目是什么样的。事实证明,Kai是一个功力深厚的音乐制片人,一位良师益友;他对几位会员的表扬也绝非谬赞。
         现在,就等着参加13号晚上的这场活动了。上一场的开场介绍,自我感觉还算精炼,这场介绍似乎更具挑战性,因为也不想太重复上一次讲过的,我需要再想想……

East & West Dialogue with Samantha Kaine and Ian Steaman: Voices of Under-represented Community in Film and Television

Poster designer: Erica Liu

The first East & West Dialogue of Year 2022 is coming! In the monthly dialogue, guest speakers of different cultural backgrounds come to the East and West Learning Connections as volunteers, share their life experiences, thoughts, suggestions, and answer questions from the audience.  With deep gratitude to the guest speakers, we hope these individual-level dialogues can promote mutual understanding among people of different heritages, and help immigrants learn more about Canadian society, people, and culture. Continue reading “East & West Dialogue with Samantha Kaine and Ian Steaman: Voices of Under-represented Community in Film and Television”

Inter-personal Communications Coaching Hour @EAWLC 2022

Personal communication skills coach Eleanor James will be sitting in to chat with our audience, AND ANSWER questions ON dealing with co-workers or bosses at work, peers or teachers in school, or neighbors, acquaintances, or even strangers on the street; things like how to make small talks, how to approach people, asking questions, dealing with difficult people, or diffusing situations, and being generous. 

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5 Poets Breaking into Song: #3

Brought to you by national poet laureate George Elliott Clarke

At the East and West Learning Connections

With debut of the song of special guest Leonard Cohen’s poem

And 4 remarkable poets and 2 stunning musicians!

Time: Friday, December 10, 2021, at 7-9 P.M. (EST)

Free Online event to the public

Zoom registration link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZApduCurz4jHNY2Cb1hp0DqIRIJrdgQu82A

Floor will open at 6:45 P.M.

For inquiries, please send email to: info@eawlc.org.

(Poster designed by Shirley Chen )

Poets:

Paul Zemokhol has unpardonably forged two chapbooks and one full-length book. In this fabrication, he has been aided by Luciano Iacobelli and abetted by George Elliott Clarke.

Luciano Iacobelli is a Toronto poet, publisher, and visual artist. He is the owner and editor of Lyricalmyrical Press, specializing in handmade poetry chapbooks. He was also a founder and owner of Quattro Books, which issues novellas.

Amatoritsero Ede won the All Africa Okigbo Prize for Literature–for his first book–in 1998; his second book was a  Nigerian Literature Prize nominee in 2013. In 2004, he won second prize for the inaugural May Ayim Award. Prof. Ede teaches English lit at Mount Allison U.

George Elliott Clarke was the 4th Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15) and the 7th P.L. of Canada (2016-17).  He’s writ 7 collections, 5 verse-plays, 5 story-suites, 4 epic tomes, 3 verse-novels, 3 libretti, 1 children’s work, and 1 title each in Chinese, Italian, and Romanian.

Special guest star Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) was a global superstar singer/songwriter, novelist, and poet.  His honours are legion: Induction into several musical Halls of Fame,  plus the Order of Canada at top rank, plus winning 3 Grammys, a Genie,  a Juno, the Glenn Gould Prize, the Governor-General’s Performing Arts Award, and the Prince of Asturias Literary Prize (Spain), etc. Cohen also won—but refused—the 1968 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Poetry.

Composer & Singer:

James Rolfe’s music has been performed by ensembles, orchestras, choirs, and opera companies in Canada and abroad, and recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Jules Léger Prize, and Dora and JUNO Award nominations.

 

Pianist:

Juliet Palmer’s music has found its way to a highway off-ramp, a swimming pool, a boxing ring, and to concert halls across North America, Europe, and Oceania. From Aotearoa New Zealand, Juliet makes her home in Toronto.

 

Co-Hosts: Giovanna Riccio and Jovial Si

Sponsors: George Elliott Clarke & East and West Learning Connections

 

Everyone is welcome.  Let’s mark this holiday season together with shining poetic, musical spirits!

 

East&West Dialogue: The Healing Creativity

This will be the last East&West Dialogue in the year 2021.  A monthly program (except for the winter and summer breaks) at the East and West Learning Connections, the Dialogue promotes life experience sharing among people of different heritages.  In this session, Urban Hero Honey Novick, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medalist Ruth (Ruth) Stackhouse will tell their life stories, the ups and downs, achievements, challenges, and their passion about the Mad creativity!

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