Sunday, June 21, 2015

La Floret

The Flower Shop with the Loveliest Flowers and Owner

Reviewed by Nancy Snipper

When I moved to Verdun, something drew me into La Floret. As soon as I walked in, a splendid array of flowers greeted my senses, and along with this, the winning sweet smile of the store’s owner, Antonia. No hard sell with her; she just oozes sublime gentleness and humility.
Antonia has a Greek background, and as we all know, the Greeks are known for their generosity and hospitality. Every time I need a flower boost and a chance to feel happy by chatting with her, I always go to la Floret.
I end up walking out with my favourite flower: Casablanca lilies, and her prices are a steal.
Antonia donated heaps of bouquets and arrangements to the launch of my poetry/short story book, Beyond the Dream, Epic Solitude (see SMR Culture Plus). I honestly think it was her spirit of giving and the floral arrangements she made for the event helped get my book off the ground and into dream land.
Immerse yourself in the calming atmosphere of La Floret, meet Antonia and take time to smell the flowers. I am sure, you will not walk out of there empty handed.
She can handle any occasion: weddings, graduation, birthdays and more.

The address is: 5117 Rue de Verdun, QC, H4G
Call (514) 270-0088

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

MMM… Muthins!

Eating my favourite muffin and feeling thin

by Nancy Snipper

The other day I was at the Monkland Street Fair in Montreal where a ton of activities were going on, including tastings of new products.

I indulged myself, but there was one foodie that I can’t forget: Muthins

Ali (left) and Nancy (right) at the Monkland Street Fair

It’s a muffin that is so tasty and yet is only 90 calories. Everything inside is natural too. Of course, it is. That’s because the recipe goes back to 1985, and Ali Beloff, who has just started the company told me her mom is a nutritionist, and her inspiration to get these wonderful 100% all-natural bran muffins into everyone’s diet. There are seven different kinds and each one is as tasty as the next. I loved the lemon poppy seed one and the raisin. I can hardly wait to go back and purchase the other fruit flavours. Nothing was dry in texture!

I was so curious about this MUthin magnificent muffin, I asked Ali to tell me all about this muffin and why it is so different than those other health ones. Here’s what she said:
“What makes MUthins different than all the other healthy "muffin men”? Well first off, we’re muffin women, but more importantly, ours don’t taste like saw dust – they’re actually quite moist! Our secret recipe is a derivative of our mother’s, Leslie Beloff  – a certified nutritionist – thus adding an element of authenticity to everything that we do. 

Lesley (left), Ali (right)
Our flavours include: carrot, raisin, banana, chocolate-chip, lemon-poppy seed, apple-cinnamon and blueberry! With a MUthin in hand, you know you’re snacking the healthy way. Our mission is to help our community attain and maintain healthier lifestyles, one MUthin at a time”.

The MUthin Muffin story – a real girlie one
I asked her how it got started. Here is her “big MUthin reveal.

“Growing up in the Beloff household, the promotion of health, nutrition and the appreciation for local, fresh whole foods was always at the forefront”. Ali said that all of these essential values were instilled by founders, Chelsea and Ali’s mother, Leslie Beloff – the original MUthin women.
“Studying nutrition at McGill in her early 20’s and graduating as a certified nutritionist, our mom recognized the high need and empty gap in the Montreal food market for healthy snacking. Starting in 1985, she began her very own health muffin company with a line of ground-breaking 56-calorie muffins.” 

In 2011, Chelsea and Ali, along with a best friend, Jennifer, revamped their mother’s recipe – adding a few more calories with a whole-lot more flavor.
And thus, the MUthin was born! 
Keeping her mother’s values dear to her heart, Ali grabbed the steering wheel in the MUthins kitchen in 2015, with an everlasting urge to innovate with new MUthin flavours, shapes and derivatives to accommodate her community’s wants and needs.
Muthins is currently distributing to local health food stores, grocery stores, gyms, cafés, fitness centers, business offices and homes all across Montreal and the greater Quebec area. 

Visit: You can order your favorite muffin off the website. They come in a six-pack or are individually wrapped for on-the-go gals.
Wholesalers welcome!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Tashme Project: The Living Archives

MAI (Montréal, Arts Interculturels) in association with Festival Accès Asie presents a Tashme Production produced in association with Playwrights' Workshop Montréal 
MAI (Montréal, Arts Interculturels) en association avec le Festival Accès Asie présente une Production Tashme produit en association avec Playwrights 'Workshop Montréal

Performances at MAI (3680 rue Jeanne-Mance) until Sunday, May 17, 2015
Représentations au MAI ((3680 rue Jeanne-Mance) jusqu'au Dimanche 17 Mai 2015

Wednesday - Saturday at 8pm, Sunday matinee at 3pm
Du Mercredi au Samedi à 20h00, le Dimanche en matinée à 15h00

Post show Artist Talk on Fridays May 8 & 15 and Sunday May 10
Les Vendredis 8 et 15 Mai et Dimanche 10 Mai – discussions avec les artistes âpres le spectacle

Tickets:  25$ Regular; 20$ Students and Seniors; 15$ for groups of ten or more
Billets: 25 $ régulier; 20 $ étudiants et aînés; 15 $ pour les groupes de dix ou plus
Reservations / Réservations: (514) 982-3386 or ONLINE  / ou EN LIGNE
(+ service charge / + frais de service)

Created and performed by / Créé et interprété par: Julie Tamiko Manning and / et Matt Miwa
Directed by /
Mise en scène: Mieko Ouchi

A deeply personal documentary-style theatrical piece that gives voice to the previously silent testimonies of the survivors of the many thousands of second-generation (Nisei) Japanese-Canadians, who after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, were rounded up, stripped of their property and  sent to internment camps. Prime Minister McKenzie King feared internal sabotage. Tashme, now called Sunshine Valley, was one of those camps. Creators Julie (Sansei – third generation) and Matt (Yonsei – fourth generation) interviewed 30 Nisei who were children at the time and are now senior citizens in their 70s and 80s. Over seventy hours of interview time distilled into a ninety minute performance with such fluidity and finesse that made one feel as if the ‘interviewees’ were making an appearance themselves on stage. The individual memories of their experiences with internment and disenfranchisement come alive and will go a long way towards healing the wounds and reconnect the younger generations of Japanese-Canadians with their roots. The doors of communication have been opened.

 Une pièce de théâtre de style documentaire profondément personnelle qui donne une voix aux témoignages préalablement silencieuses des survivants des milliers de deuxième génération (Nisei) Japonais-Canadiens, qui, après le bombardement Japonais de Pearl Harbour en 1941, ont été arrêtés, dépouillé de leurs biens et envoyés dans des camps d'internement. Le Premier Ministre McKenzie King craignait le sabotage interne. Tashme, maintenant appelé Sunshine Valley, était un de ces camps. Les créateurs Julie (Sansei - troisième génération) et Matt (Yonsei - quatrième génération) ont interrogé 30 Nisei qui étaient enfants à l'époque et sont maintenant des personnes âgées dans leurs années 70 et 80. Plus de 70 heures de temps d'entrevue distillée dans une performance de quatre-vingt dix minutes avec une telle fluidité et la finesse qui a fait une sensation comme si les «personnes interrogées» se faisaient une apparition sur scène. Les mémoires individuelles de leurs expériences avec l'internement et la privation des droits civiques sont vivants et ira loin vers la guérison des blessures et de reconnecter la jeune  génération de Canadiens d'origine Japonaise avec leurs racines. Les portes de la communication ont été ouvertes.

This review has also been posted on CULTUREPLUS (without the Japanese-Canadian History Timeline which follows. It was scanned to PDF 'as is' from program notes and then converted to Word using OCR.  

Ce critique a également été posté sur CULTUREPLUS  (sans le Chronorama Historique Nippo-Canadienne – en Anglais seulement – qui suit. Il a été numérisé au format PDF directement
des notes du  programme et ensuite converti en Word à l'aide d’un logicielle OCR.

Japanese Canadian History Timeline

1877    Manzo Nagano, first Japanese individual known to land and settle in Canada.
1890s Issei, Japanese immigrants, establish stores, boarding houses and other businesses along Powell Street. This neighbourhood becomes the major settlement of Japanese Canadians until WWII.
1938 - 40 RCMP kept surveillance on the Japanese community. However, they recorded no subversive activity.
Dec. 8 1,200 fishing boats «rre impounded and put under the control of the Japanese Fishing Vessel Disposal Committee. Japanese language newspapers and schools closed.
Feb.7All male "enemy aliens" between the ages of18-45 are forced to leave the protected coastal area before April 1. Most are sent to work on road camps in the Rockies.
Mar.16 First arrival at Vancouver's Hastings Park holding center. All Japanese Cana­dian. mail is censored from this date.
Mar.25 B.C. Security Commission initiates a program of assiqning men to road camps and women and children to ghost town detention camps.
Oct. 22,000 persons of whom 75% are Canadian citizens (60% Canadian born, 15% • naturalized) have been uprooted forcibly from the coast.
1943Jan  Order in Council grants the Custodian of Enemy Alien Property the right to dispose of Japanese Canadian properties in his care without the owners' consent,
1944Aug. 4Prime Minister King states it is desirable that Japanese Canadians are dispersed across Canada. Applications for “voluntarq repatriation" to Japan are sought by the.Canadian government. Those who do not must move east of the Rockies to prove their loyalty to Canada. "Repatriation" for many means.exile to a country they have never seen before.

Sept. 2 Japan surrenders. All internment camps, except New Denver are ordered closed and settlements of shacks bulldozed

1947Jan Deportation orders are cancelled. 4,000 Japanese Canadians have already been "repatriated".

1949Mar Restrictions imposed under the War Measures Act are lifted and franchise is   given to Japanese Canadians.
1984JanTheNational.Association. of Japanese Canadian Council meeting in Winnipeg unanimously passes resolutions seeking an official acknowledgement and redress for the injustices committed against JC during and after World War II.
1986 May 9 Price Waterhouse Associates assesses income and-property losses at not less than $443 million in 1986 dollars.
 1988 Sept. 22   Acknowledgement, apology and compensation.
1996                   The Census of Canada shows a Japanese Canadian population of 77,130, indicating an intermarriage rate of over 90% in recent decades.