Pau Gasol visits Toronto

Last night, members of the Spanish Community in Canada welcomed Pau Gasol to Toronto where he will start a 3 game tour with his team, Los Angeles Lakers. The Spanish associations of Toronto offered the basketball player a plaque of the city recognizing his career and his  work as ambassador of Spain and the Spanish culture all over the world. Representatives of the Spanish Community included Javier Yébenes and Paloma Radovski from “Spaniards in Toronto”, Maria Dolores González from “Hispanic Club of Toronto. Gasol also received a basket of Canadian products like Maple Syrup, to have a taste of our roots and our culture.

During the event, the attendees had a chance to chat with the NBA superstar and ask some questions. Gasol was perfectly correct and friendly at all times and when being asked about his recent concussion, he said he is ready to play against the Raptors and that he is fully recovered.

Javi Yebenes y Pau Gasol en Toronto

Once the event ended, Gasol had a workout session and he got authorized by his team to leave the hotel to join for dinner with his friend and Spain team’s teammate Jose Manuel Calderón.

After spending some time with him and talking about people in common and sharing anecdotes, I can say that Gasol is a true ambassador of the Spanish culture and the country around the world, and he represents me out of our borders better than any politician.

Javi Yebenes and Pau Gasol Toronto

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Jane’s Journey – A night with Dr. Jane Goodall

“Every day of your life you make an impact and it is your choice to decide which kind of impact you want to make”.

Last night I had the privilege to attend the inaugural Toronto screening of the acclaimed documentary “Jane’s Journey”, and it was one of these moments that change your life. During the time I’ve been working for BOLD Magazine I was lucky enough to meet some of the most important artist, writers and scientists in the world, all of them charismatic, but none of them had an aura like the one Dr. Jane Goodall has.

Photography by Jane Goodall’s Institute of Canada

I always thought that a night at the Ontario Science Centre is a special night, and I always think to myself that lot of Torontonians don’t know what a treasure they have hidden in their own land. I invite all of you to discover what an inspiring and educational place the centre is.

Ontario Science Centre’s CEO, Lesley Lewis, gave a welcoming speech to the audience and introduced them to Andrew Westoll, primatologist and writer. Westoll shared the story of how he met Dr Goodall and expressed his admiration for the scientist. After that, Dr. Jane Goodall walked into the stage and the audience gave her an standing ovation.  The zoologist gave an inspiring speech about the importance of the  conservation of the environment and encouraged every single individual “to respect and protect the nature and the living beings”.

“If you work hard, you don’t give up and you take advantage of the opportunities, you will make your dreams come true”.

Without further ado and thanking the filmmakers and technicians, Dr Goodall gave way to the documentary, “Jane’s Journey”.

Fifty years ago, the young and intrepid Jane Goodall made her childhood dream come true, going to Africa, and she first set foot on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in what is now Tanzania’s Gombe National Park. Today, Dr. Goodall is a world-renowned zoologist and one of the best-known scientists of any kind. But that’s not all, she is also UN Messenger of Peace, conservationist, environmental and animal rights activist and she has more than 40 honorary doctorate degrees from universities all over the world.

Over the course of her life she spent 30 years studying the behavior of chimpanzees at Gombe, and she never stopped until an eye opening experience in Chicago, in 1986, pushed her to travel the world to raise environmental awareness and inspire action. Among her groundbreaking discoveries was the fact that humans are not the only animals with the capacity to make and use tools.

After the screening of the moving documentary,  Jane Lawton, Director of the JG Institute of Canada, gave members of the audience of all ages the opportunity to a Q&A with the scientist, and she replied to every single one of them naturally and sharing her knowledge gained through life experience. To end a wonderful evening, the primatologist stayed for more than 1 hour signing books and DVD’s to the guests.

Dr. Goodall is 77 years old and that doesn’t stop her from doing what she thinks is the best for our planet, making people from all over the world conscious about the delicate situation of our fauna and flora and most importantly, giving people hope.

Jane’s Journey Trailer:

Dr. Goodall’s discoveries and work are an inspiration, not just to every animal lover and every women, but also to every scientist and every dreamer.

- Written by Javi Yebenes -

Special thanks to:

PROM 2012: Circus

The Young Patron’s Circle presented its annual themed soiree PROM Circus this past March 31st at the Royal Ontario Museum. The event was co-chaired by Andrea Anders and Nicole Tuschak, along with a committee of Toronto’s top young arts and business leaders. Although museum fund-raising events have a tendency to be a little stuffy, this one was one of the most exquisite-top-notch fund-raising events of the season: live entertainment and dancing, strolling circus performers, fun-fair activities and gourmet carnival fare.

The Gents sported Vintage tuxedos and candy-coloured bow ties while the ladies wore darling dresses fit for a star performer while a few guests opted out for the more traditional tie and suit look and classic prom dresses.

The PROM Circus themed party opened its doors at 8:00 p.m. and began with a exclusive pre-party reception for VIP guests with hors d’oeuvres, an oyster shucking station, open bar and a wine sampling table sponsored by Wine Country Ontario. VIP guests also played for an spectacular necklace from Birks, by guessing the age or weight of a meteorite from out of the ROM’s vaults.

MTV Canada’s Sharlene Chiu and Johnny Hockin hosted the reception and presented an exclusive performance by the astounding illusionist Ray Chance, charming the guests with his tricks and his humour.

At 9:00 p.m. the gates were opened for the main event and VIP guests were joined under the big top by the couture crowd. Guests mixed and mingled with a cocktail in hand while tasting the delicious amuse-bouche prepared by Presidential Gourmet fine caterings. On the main room, there was a wide variety of activities, like a “Baker Street” pie stand, a fortune teller with a crystal ball and a ring toss game, complete with prizes. An incredible aerial performance took place on the dance-floor featuring the music of “Mecano” and guests had their personalized Circus picture taken; while others relaxed at the Moroccanoil lounge.

The PROM: Circus fund raiser was a great  opportunity to discover the spirit of YPC while supporting cutting-edge curatorial research and educational initiatives through the YPC Research Fund.

David Suzuki opens Toronto’s eyes

Last night, some of us had the privilege to attend David Suzuki’s inspiring speech as part of the We Canada Tour accross the country to engage young Canadians and civil society in a dialogue and action for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Earth Summit 2012 or Rio+20.

Aleksandra Nasteska representing We Canada , and Earth Summit engaged the crowd sharing information about the Earth Summit taking place in Rio in July 2012 and Canada’s role in the fight for the conservation of the biosphere. She discussed many issues and that Canadians needs “to work on creating a sustainable planet.” Also, she spoke about the responsibility young people have “standing up and demanding change from the people in power that are exploiting the Earth.” Aleksandra also made it clear that “those who are using up resources, polluting our communities are leaving nothing to future generations”, and “we are not doing anything about it.”

When Dr. Suzuki  was introduced, the audience gave him an standing ovation.  The scientist gave an inspiring speech about the importance of the biosphere and its conservation and encouraged every single individual “to protect our most valuable treasures, the air, the water and the living beings”.

Suzuki mentioned that he wasn’t concerned about the Earth as he stated it was here long before us and will be long after us.  His concern was for the biosphere and the health of all living things on our planet. One of the concerns of Dr. Suzuki was the importance we give in the present to Economy over Ecology and how people can be indifferent to the environment destruction.

“If we back off & give nature a chance maybe she will surprise us”

At the end of the interview, selected members of the audience had the opportunity to a Q&A with David Suzuki. I had the opportunity to ask him about past Earth Summits and that if all the past Environment Summits have failed, “what were the possibilities that the Rio Earth Summit 2012 might be any different?” To which he replied “these summits are necessary, but probably until a terrible catastrophe does take place, we won’t open our eyes and we won’t start facing the ugly truth about our environment’s situation.” Furthermore, that we needed “to raise our voices and and we should make our contribution to achieve biological stability.”

For more information about We Canada click on the link below:

HEIDI KLUM SHINES IN TORONTO

Photography by Laura Leon

Looking spectacular in a Red-hot Michael Kors pantsuit, Heidi Klum was in Toronto to expand her business empire, promoting her new fragrance SHINE. The former Victoria’s Secret “Angel” continues her transformation from supermodel to a business mogul. The launch hosted by none other than BT Dina Pugliese and in partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart, Klum shared with Dina and the audience that she has fond memories of Canada as her famous Husband had proposed to her on a trip to British Columbia.

SHINE, an effervescent floral oriental fusion and elegantly presented in a luxurious golden box, opens with fresh, juicy notes of mandarin and pear, enhanced with spicy pink peppercorn to invigorate the senses. At its base, warm notes of vanilla, tonka bean and musk create seductive, sensual undertones, making this fragrance wonderfully addictive.

Shine perfectly embodies Heidi’s sparkling vivacity and soft sensuality.

The fashionista confessed to BOLD Magazine her love for Argentina and Mexico, where she married Seal in 2005.

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Photography by Laura Leon

Did you know? Heidi Klum was discovered when she participated in a German modelling contest in 1992, organized by Petramagazine and a New York modeling agency. The competition received 250,000 resumes from girls wishing to participate in the grueling selection process. As the winner of the Model ’92 competition, Heidi appeared in the Petrol catalog and was offered a three-year modeling contract with Metropolitan worth $300,000. However, she rejected the offer in order to finish high school. Less than a year later, she was studying to be a fashion designer when she decided to drop out and pursue a modeling career. Today, Heidi’s net worth is estimated at $70,000,000 US dollars.

Hearing the Eco

Nineteenth-century Europe—from Turin to Prague to Paris—abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. Conspiracies rule history. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate Black Masses at night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres. From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Europe is in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies both real and imagined, lay one lone man? What if that evil genius created its most infamous document?

Detail of an illustration from The Prague Cemetery. From Umberto Eco’s collection.

Last night, the Toronto Reference Library’s Appel Salon was brighter than ever with the presence of International literary star, Umberto Eco, talking about his last novel,The Prague Cemetery. Even arriving early, we find an unending line of people waiting for rush seats for the event, hosted by CBC Radio’s Michael Enright and presented by Tina Srebotnjak, Manager of the Program Department of the Reference Library.

Eco’s sixth novel, The Prague Cemetery, published last year and already a bestseller in Europe, is rife with fabrications, conspiracy theories, fakery, espionage and political drama. It’s a complex exploration of xenophobia and religious fanaticism, revealing how certain events and widespread beliefs led to horrifying acts of persecution and war. Set in late-19th-century Europe, its protagonist is Captain Simone Simonini, an adventurer, forger, and secret agent. The fictional character’s anti-Semitic and misogynistic leanings have already incited controversy. The only fictional character in the novel, Simonini hobnobs with the likes of Sigmund Freud and Alexander Dumas, among others.

Eco explains, “Sometimes you have to use fiction because real stories are more difficult for the reader to believe.”

Despite how people may feel about his protagonist, it wasn’t long before Eco himself won his audience over. His dense, intricate and staid novels are in direct contrast with his likeable, friendly personality. The Italian essayist, novelist, semiotician, critic and philosopher surprised everybody when he talked about his work and himself with humor and modesty.

The Greatest Filipino Ball on Earth

Jeff Rustia, Preident & Head of Front TV speaks to the media about the event.

The Kol Hope Foundation For Children proudly presented the Most Glamorous Philippine Presidential Ball  in North America Hotel in Yorkville.  Over 400 of Toronto’s brightest starts, fashionistas, prominent members of the Filipino community, attended the red carpet soirée held on Friday November 11, 2001 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville. The Filipino Ball is a charity dinner and dance to help reaise funds for Children with disabilities. It is truly the first of its kind, all out Extravagant Cultural Showcase of the best in Filipine Culture, Fashion, Dance, Performance and Gastronomy.

The stellar line-up for the evening included from the country’s top Philippine Cultural Dance troupes in Canada, including award winning Fiesta Filipina and PCO, that performed their award winning Singkil and Tinikling and performance by Award Winning Filipino Opera Singer, Lilac Cana, and also Ballroom dance champ, 12 year old Filipino Colin Petierre!

The evening  also featured An Haute Couture and Ready to Wear Philippine Fashion Show presenting fashions by Joy Couture, one of the star designers in Fashion. Arts. Toronto, and Filipino-Canadian Designer, Amanda Lew Kee, the darling and main buzz of Toronto’s Fashion Week, and JP Rangel, NYC-Based Manila Designer, from Parsons Fashion Design.

The  soirée  began at p.m. and amongst the Who’s is Who: Toronto’s Former Mayor of Toronto Barbara Hall, Fashion Designer Baby Steinberg & Louie J. Manzo, Stephen Lynch make up artist for the acclaimed TV series Queer As Folk, Actress and Singer Ma-Anne Dionisio from the musical Miss Saigon, casting Director Karyn Fine, Kelechi Achonu Fashion Editor for RGM, Bradley K Schmale Head of Leading International Bank for HSBC.

And for the very first time ever in Four Seasons Hotel history, the hotel has launched an exclusive Filipino Fusion Menu, comprised of a three course meal starting with a Kalabaza Soup, followed by Traditional Adobo Chicken in a delicate Calamus Jus and finished with a Guimaras Mango Mousse.

Allan Reyes and Celebrity Make up Artist Stephen Lynch
Anne To & Carla Sotomayor
Actress and singer Ma-Anne Dionisio from the musical Miss Saigon & Marlon Moreno BOLD magazine
Fashion Designer Baby Steinberg & Louie J. Manzo
Wai-Yee Lam, Bradley Schmale Head of Leading International Bank HSBC & Hayley Schmale