St Lucian recording artist Mecca’s song FLAT STOMACH to hit Paris fashion runway

Saint Lucian Parisian fashion celebrity, Vincent Mc Doom has just announced that recording artist, Keen Cotter aka The Mecca, who hails from the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia will have his song,  “Flat Stomach” (also referred as “Runway Walk”) featured at the upcoming 2014 Labo Ethnik Fashion Trade Show in Paris, France this May.  Flat Stomach is an upbeat, hip and edgy song perfect for the runway.

“When I was putting together the playlist for HotCouture 2013 I asked the local models who the best DJs on the island were and one model Denise Lay spoke to me about Mecca’s album,” said Vincent McDoom who is the casting and artistic director of this years Labo Ethnik. “I listen to the entire album but one song stood out for runway walking, and so I trained the models for six weeks on that song. We also had Cotter perform the song live on the runway during the show.”

Flat Stomach will be mixed by American Fritz “djFRiTZo” Celestin of New York, who was invited by McDoom to provide the music for the fashion show on May 22nd which takes place at the Les Docks, Cite de la Mode in Paris. Expect to see high fashion designers such as Franck Sorbier, Romero Bryan, Taibo Barca, Heather Jones, Ziad Ghanem, and fashion newcomer Lisi Liu.  Fashions from St. Lucia, Trinidad, Guyana, Martinique, Gaudaloupe, Barbados, Jamaica, China, Japan, Africa, Europe, and the USA will also be represented.

“This is what the song was created for,” said an excited Cotter, after agreeing to have his song played in the Paris show. “I’m happy Vincent likes it enough to make it a part of an event of this magnitude. I am grateful to have my song featured on the catwalk in the fashion capital of the world, where models, designers, Dj’s and other noteworthy persons will be present is an awesome accomplishment for someone from a small island somewhere in the Caribbean.”

When asked what inspired the infectious song, Flat Stomach the YouthStar 2009 (St. Lucia) winner known for his Hip Hop, Pop, Electro and Dance sounds said, “Models. I wanted to do a song they could strut to, vibe to, party to. I also wanted it to be a song all females could enjoy. Some even work out to it and that’s a good look.”

Spinning "Flat Stomach" during Labo Ethnik will be djFRiTZo who is a Haitian-American dj and filmmaker living in Brooklyn, NY.djFritzo began djing in Cornell University to help pay his tuition and after graduation he returned to NY to work on films and dj in some of NY's most memorable venues like Nells, Lotus, and Club Cheetah. (Photo: Margarita Corporan)
Spinning “Flat Stomach” during Labo Ethnik will be djFRiTZo who is a Haitian-American dj and filmmaker living in Brooklyn, NY.djFritzo began djing in Cornell University to help pay his tuition and after graduation he returned to NY to work on films and dj in some of NY’s most memorable venues like Nells, Lotus, and Club Cheetah. (Photo: Margarita Corporan)

With a passion for highlighting Caribbean talent, McDoom said, “We are happy to again promote and collaborate with Mecca this season.  This is the essence of what the Labo Ethnik represents, discovering world talents and giving them a platform to express themselves, along with providing them a network of opportunity and potential to grow in the international scene.”

The Mecca, who is presently working on his debut album has released numerous mixtapes over the years – 12 to be exact, has plans to take Flat Stomach even further, working with djFRiTZo  on a remix for the album set for a late 2014 release. His single Zoom Zoom was just featured on TV in the March 17 episode of VH1′s Queen Latifah produced comedy-drama series “Single Ladies.”

Raised on a solid diet of Hip Hop, R&B, Dancehall and Soca, Mecca, a musical sponge to this day, embraces all the technology that modern music has to offer. As likely to be inspired by Jay-Z or Michael Jackson as he is by Pitbull and Flo Rida, Mecca will surely move your head, your heart and entire body.

“I would like to thank Vincent McDoom for this opportunity and my producer Sherwinn ‘Dupes’ Brice for the production on Flat Stomach. A big thanks to everyone who wishes me well.”

More information on The Mecca: www.youngmecca.com.
More information on djFRiTZo: www.djfritzo.com

For more information on Labo Ethnik visit: laboethnik.com,  or on Facebook: facebook.com/labo.ethnik

 

Aboriginals in Toronto Dying at Average Age of 37: Report

Aboriginals in Toronto Dying at Average Age of 37 says Report

“Indigenous people living in Toronto are dying much sooner than the city’s non-aboriginal population, according to a new health report.

…the average age of death for indigenous people is 37 years old as compared to 75 years old for non-aboriginal residents. The numbers are based on people who used the AHT clinic and three other facilities in the city.

Twenty-two of the deaths were babies or children who died before the age of 11, Metro News reported.”

 

Bangladesh Rana Plaza Anniversary: Fashion Revolution Day

PA Photos

Bangladesh Rana Plaza Anniversary Fashion Revolution Day (Vogue.com UK).

It took tragedy on an epic scale to take the subject of ethical fashion from the specialist pages of the liberal press and make it headline news across the world. The factory collapse on April 24, 2013 left 1,133 men, women and children dead, over 2500 injured and at least 800 children orphaned. Subsequent headlines detailed untold horrors: illegally run, poorly-built factories, desperately bad pay, foul mistreatment of (mainly female, often underage) workers and a system of mind-numbingly slow bureaucracy which would prevent compensation getting to the survivors. By the year’s end Bangladesh was rife with violent protests and the outcry surrounding the politics of garment manufacture sent tremors around the world.

On the global stage, fair-trade pioneer Carry Somers, fashion activist Lucy Siegel and Livia Firth have declared April 24th an annual Fashion Revolution Day – for which people all over the world will be encouraged to wear their clothes inside-out. “We want people talking about the provenance of clothes,” says Somers, “raising awareness of the fact that we aren’t just purchasing a garment, but a whole chain of value and relationships. FRD will become a platform for best practice – for brands to show off what they are doing to improve things.”

…Click title link for full story.

Conquering The Crunch

I live in the beautiful city of Coquitlam, and we are surrounded by hills,  mountains and nature.  My latest fitness challenge is to master The Coquitlam Crunch which is a fairly steep ascension up a trail on the cut-line, or under the power lines which serve the area.

Although I do not think that walking under that much energy is good for you, I am excited to live close enough to take part in this fitness challenge, and on a daily basis if I want. The walk to get to the base is about 15 minutes and uphill, then it gets intense once you are on The Crunch.

The City of Coquitlam just put in new staircases (437 steps) in areas that are the steepest. We do have an extremely wet climate, and young and old use the trails, so better safe than sorry I am guessing.  The great thing is you can still use the gravel portion to one side if you prefer the natural climb or descent.

I first came upon the improvement walking down The Crunch and all that shiny new metal starts to wear at your brain after awhile. You have to take it slow as every so many stairs their is a landing stair, or stair with a difference size, so you can’t just barrel down in a solid rhythm as you have to be checking your footing as the stairs change in length. I really hope the City can put a stripping or put paint at the edge of each stair, as then you could speedup your descent being more sure of your footing.

As for going up, I like both the gravel and the stairs and have found intermingling them gives me an interesting work out. I am only getting started and I do need my momentary break along the way to calm my wildly beating heart, but I hope to be able to first walk up the entire way from “Lower Lansdowne to David” without stopping within the next two weeks.  Once I’ve mastered that, I will go higher up the trail. The walk back to my home from the top can be 30 minutes or half that if I jog downhill.

Once I have conquered The Crunch, then I hope to take in the Grouse Grind which is famous in Vancouver for a killer and picturesque workout.  Add to that all the great places one can hike in the area or the Vancouver area, there is so much to explore, all the while getting in a great workout.


(Photos: Looking down The Crunch and looking up The Crunch  Photos: Robbin Whachell)

 

 

Horsetail: A Medicinal ‘Weed’

Spring Horsetail (also called Shavegrass) growing in abundance along a forest line in B.C., Canada.

Known for its abundant source of silica, and its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, astringent and diuretic properties.

“Equisetum arvense, the field horsetail or common horsetail, is a herbaceous perennial plant, native throughout the arctic and temperate regions of the northern hemisphere.” – Wikipedia (more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equisetum)

A Clean Little Story!

Home cleaning has changed over the years, with the coming of the more natural home products that are non-toxic or non-caustic.  Our home is our haven and we try and spend the good majority of our time there, and in fact we do by the mere fact we sleep at night.

Some 10 years ago, when I was living in The Bahamas, a friend told me about her vacuum, and even let me borrow it one day when mine had died.  It was a system that required no bags and all the dirt you sucked up was pushed through water, so when you were done, all you had to do was empty the dirty water out. No dust, no hot smell, none of that.  I was so impressed, I swore that one day I’d own one too.

Fast forward ten years, and I do now own something even better! I’ve purchased a Pro Aqua, and I’ve never been happier.  Not only is it a kick-butt  vacuum, but I can get the dust mites out of my bed, and clean stuffed animals, cushions, clothes that  need dusting, all with this amazing device.

It’s also a wet-vac, and it saved our wood floors when we moved into our new place. Our washing machine had flooded over and the water went across the tile and onto the wood flooring. Within minutes we had it all sucked up.

The greatest thing about the Pro Aqua is that it cleans the air in your home.  An interesting statistic is that “studies of human exposure to air pollutants by EPA indicate that indoor levels of pollutants may be 2 to 5 times – and occasionally more than 100 times – higher than outdoor pollutant levels.

Let’s face it our home is a contained (often closed) vessel for the most part.  Outside air may seem fresh, but when we open our windows the outside allergens, and pollutants also come inside. Add to that dust, cooking molecules, candle chemicals, etc, and our home can be a toxic place.

I run my Pro Aqua ever day for about a half hour and it sucks in the air, and pushes out clean air. It comes with natural fragrances (oils) that you can drop into the water, so when you are either vacuuming, or ‘cleaning the air’, your home smells wonderful.  It runs cool and the motor is very powerful, manufactured in Germany by leading manufacturers.

Who hasn’t burned toast, or food while cooking, and sometimes we wish our home would not smell like the food we just cooked.  Pro Aqua helps there too. I just put it on low in the kitchen while I am cooking, or after we’ve enjoyed dinner and my home is fresh smelling again in minutes.

Valued for its diversity; the Pro-Aqua is a multi-talented power house! It can hold up to the toughest applications either commercial or residential.
My R2D2! lol… Valued for its diversity; the Pro-Aqua is a multi-talented power house! It can hold up to the toughest applications either commercial or residential.

With Pro Aqua there is no more dusty, germ laden vacuum bags to deal with, which get heated and fluff  allergens and bacteria back into the air like with regular vacuum systems.  My Pro Aqua blows cool clean air, and after I am done,  I just empty the water basin which has collected all the dirt.  Although I do have to come face to face with dust particles, hair, and dirt I just cleaned up, at least it’s not in my home, and I can throw it down the toilet or dispose of it into my garden.  It may not seem pleasant, but we separate our trash (food waste) for recycling, and this is no different.

Once a month I clean my mattress with the Pro Aqua. You’d be amazed how fast dust mites multiply and how many live in our pillows and beds! No one is exempt no matter how clean you think you are.  If you suffer from dust allergies you may likely have an allergy to the dust mite’s feces (excrement). I would highly recommend  a Pro Aqua for persons suffering with allergies.

The Pro Aqua does all the following for me: Wet vacuuming; Dry vacuuming; Air purifying (removal of allergens);  Room scenting; Bed and mattress cleaning; Carpet cleaning; Upholstery cleaning; Stain removal; Drain unclogging; Intlation/deflation (balls, air mattresses, bags of clothes for traveling etc); Vacuum-sealing; Humidification. It comes with all the great little attachments and nozzles and the hose never tangles.

We are in a new age of cleaning.  I remember the sci fi movie “Gattaca” with Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke.  There is a scene where Ethan finishes his morning routine in his bathroom, and he hits a switch upon leaving the room and there’s a flash and all the room is sanitized completely, even his skin cells he’s shed off, hair, etc, is gone.  We are not quite there yet, but Pro Aqua has us pretty close!

Interested in learning more? Pro Aqua is not sold in stores, but is sold in 50 countries and is new to Canada and distributed through http://www.sirey.ca/.  We liked ours so much, my son Nathen Blower joined their company!  Check out the  Pro-Aqua Room Cleaning System on Facebook.  Tell ’em Robbin sent ya!

 

Battle Scars

I walk through life.. no, sometimes I run, scratch, crawl, cycle, kick and scream through life.. and along the way, I get these scars… my battle scars of life.

I also can breath, sleep, sing, dance, glide and make my walk look effortless.

I still get those battle scars…

They make me real, remind me I am real, human, woman, mother, doer, activist, keeper of the fire.

Scars tell us stories.. I have many.

Are scars unsightly, like stains? or are they reminders that we are alive, real and living….?

What is amazing, is the body’s ability to heal, the skin anyhow.. and often the scar gently remains.. deep inside the tissue… it is the unseen that is often ignored…

“Issues in the tissues” they say… the skin can heal, but so much more lies within…often unhealed and hidden.

What is perfect? …who is perfect?

 

Not me…

16-yr-old Saint Lucian model to walk the runway in Paris

Meet 16 year old Brittany Noon, a Saint Lucian model who will have the honor of being first to walk down the runway at the 2014 Laboethnik Fashion Trade Show in Paris, France this May.  Quite an achievement for her first international runway show!

Noon was presented the opportunity by Saint Lucian-Parisian fashion celebrity Vincent Mc Doom who is the artistic and casting director of this year’s Labo Ethnik which will be held at Les Docks, Cite de la Mode in Paris.

Born to a Saint Lucian father, Dominic Noon and French mother, Carole Noon the Noons have been living in Antigua for the past 12 years where both parents work. Brittany’s father grew up with Vincent Mc Doom in St Lucia. “We’ve known each other for years, but our professions took us both in different directions and we have not seen each other in 25 years since I left the Caribbean to further myself in the fashion industry here in Paris,” said Mc Doom who is is a permanent judge on Russia’s Next Top Model. He’s also been involved in France and Poland’s Next Top Model, and has appeared as a guest judge on Germany’s Next Top Model.

It all came together when a mutual friend of the Noon family and Mc Doom was visiting Paris. “Diane and I met for tea and she showed me a photo of Brittany when I mentioned I was involved in Labo Ethnik and that I will later this year be producing my own Caribbean show in St. Lucia,” continued Mc Doom.

“Diane suggested that I contact Brittany’s father Dominic. We spoke and I told him I wanted to work with Brittany on the Paris catwalk of Labo Ethnik, and after putting any fears he may have had to to rest, he spoke to his wife Carole and they both called back to give me the great news that they’d agreed.”

Brittany’s dreams are coming true, likely faster than she’d thought, and the high school student who started modeling at age 14 is excited to have the opportunity to be working with seasoned professionals in the international arena, and plans to make modeling her profession after completing school.

“When I posted Brittany’s photo to my Facebook page announcing she will be the face of not only Labo Ethnik in Paris, but also my upcoming event in St. Lucia, I’ve had requests to present her to the esteemed Metropolitan Models international agency in Paris,” said Mc Doom. “This girl’s definitely got ‘the look’.”

Other St. Lucian models who will walk at Labo Ethnik on May 22nd are Tarah Edwards, Tangie Butcher, and Ed Richards, all from Divine Models Agency in St Lucia. They will be modeling for such high fashion designers as Franck Sorbier, Romero Bryan, Taibo Barca, Heather Jones, Ziad Ghanem, and fashion newcomer Lisi Liu.  St Lucian designers also will be represented for the first time in Paris, with Lyn Bristol among them.  Fashions from Trinidad, Guyana, Martinique, Gaudaloupe, Barbados, Jamaica, China, Japan, Africa, Europe, and the USA will also be represented.

With a passion for highlighting Caribbean talent, McDoom said,” It’s a great pleasure for me to work with St Lucian and Caribbean hopefuls, and Brittany has all it takes to be a supermodel like Cindy Bruna or a Maria Borges, the top models of the moment.”

For more information on Labo Ethnik visit the website: laboethnik.com,  or on Facebook: facebook.com/labo.ethnik

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Hector Picard recaps his Triathlon for Grand Bahama’s Beacon School

Double-arm amputee puts in a 2.4 mile swim – 112 mile bike ride
–  26.2 mile run in Grand Bahama

American paratriathlete, Hector Picard has returned back to the USA after spending a good week or so in The Bahamas where he participated in the Great Abaco Fitness Weekend and then led his own triathlon in Grand Bahama in aid of The Beacon School. The following are his own words recapping the event which took place last weekend in Freeport:

The Triathlon for the Beacon School was a complete success. I arrived on Grand Bahama island on the 24th and for 5 days I presented at various venues throughout the island that included churches, schools and support groups.  I inspired with my story, but more importantly I made those that attended, aware of The Beacon School and the special children there.

SWIM-Alfa-HI woke up on Saturday morning (March 29th) and was anticipating a long day.  Unfortunately due to certain circumstances I didn’t eat breakfast.  I got to the 2.4 mile swim start at Taino Beach and I was welcomed by a 4 foot choppy surf.  I was supposed to start at 7am but it was still dark resulting in a 7:35am start.  Several local athletes and spectators were there to participate including Ray Cumberbatch who would be doing the entire triathlon with me.  The swim was tough at first until I was able to time the waves and kick in between them. I finished in 1 hour and 30 minutes.

The 112 mile bike ride started at 9:05am.  The route took us from Taino Beach to the Grand Lucayan, to Lookout Point to High Rock, then back for two loops.  We encountered some difficult winds making for a 7-hour ride but having a number of the local cyclists joining us throughout, in addition to the beautiful natural scenery of the island, made for an enjoyable time.

We started the 26.2 mile run at the Midshipman roundabout, where we were greeted by a multitude of runners that included several children.  We started jogging for a few miles, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep up the pace.  Feeling exhausted after the swim and bike and lack of a nutrition, I still pressed on at a fast walking pace with short runs in between.  The support of my running companions, along with thoughts of The Beacon School and it’s special children helped me battle the occasional dizziness and focus on finishing.  At mile 20 the thunderstorm added another obstacle to our long day, but didn’t “damper” our spirits.  Upon entering the Pelican Bay Hotel property we were greeted by cheers from a large group of supporters at the finish line.  I ended the night with new friends at the fundraiser at Bones Bar and a much needed cold Bahamian beer.

Hector on his 7 hour bike ride (Photo: Tito Cardenas)
Hector on his 7 hour bike ride (Photo: Tito Cardenas)

The event was capped off with an emotional presentation at The Beacon School where we donated the triathlon shirt and almost $1,000 with more donations to come.

I want to thank Coach Bert Bell for his assistance for the entire week and for setting up the course as well as keeping us safe throughout the long 16 hour day.

Thank you to my sponsors The Pelican Bay Hotel, Balearia Bahamas Express, Kelly’s Freeport Ltd, The Spellers and TheBahamasWeekly.com for supporting this first and hopefully annual event.

Finally, I would like to thank my wife Wendy and my new friends on Grand Bahama island.  You listened to my story or swam or cycled or ran or cheered.  Your donations of time and/or money will go a long way to help the children of The Beacon School.  You have a friend for life in me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

With God’s blessing I hope to see you all at the Second Annual Triathlon for The Beacon School.

Hectors website: www.dontstopliving.org

Some of the local community join in on Midshipman Road for a portion of the 26.2 mile run. (Photo: Tito Cardenas)
Some of the local community join in on Midshipman Road for a portion of the 26.2 mile run. (Photo: Tito Cardenas)

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Top feature image: Supporters and members of The Beacon School come out to cheer paratriathlete Hector Picard on in the morning of March 29th at Taino Beach. He completed his 16 hour triathlon for The Beacon School at Pelican Bay Hotel. (Photo: Tito Cardenas)

Pope Francis canonizes two Canadian church pioneers as saints

canadian
Blessed Marie de l’Incarnation, known as the Mother of the Canadian Church, is one of three pioneers of the Catholic Church in the Americas that will be canonized on April 2, according to a Jesuit working on the cause. – CNS photo/courtesy of Jesuit postulation

On April 3rd, 2014 in Vatican City, Rome, Pope Francis canonized three blesseds by the process of “equivalent canonization,” two of which are Canadian church pioneers.  “The procedure  requires a thorough study of the candidates’ life and writings, fame of holiness and reports of favours granted through their intercession, but not the verification of a miracle through their intercession, nor further studies by historians and theologians working for the Congregation for Saints’ Causes,” said CatholicCulture.org.

The two new Canadian saints  are Blessed François de Laval (1623-1708), the first bishop of Quebec;  and Blessed Marie of the Incarnation (1599-1672), who introduced the Ursuline order in Canada.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper  issued the following statement :

“Today, I welcome the very exciting news from the Vatican that His Holiness Pope Francis has officially proclaimed Canadians Marie de l’Incarnation and François de Laval as Saints.

“It is entirely fitting that this recognition be given to two outstanding Canadians who were pillars of the early Church in Canada and whose lives exemplified faith and piety.

“This is a tremendous honour for Canada and a wonderful day for Catholics.”

Saint Marie de l’Incarnation, often referred to as the “Mother of the Canadian Church,” was an Ursuline nun who founded Canada’s first school. Fluent in local languages, she taught the children of both the settlers and the Aboriginal population.

Saint François de Laval was the second Catholic bishop in North America and laid the foundations for the Church in French Canada. As a missionary to New France, he rejected his family’s wealth to faithfully pursue his spiritual vocation.

Both were beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1980 and declared Saints by Pope Francis on April 3, 2014. They served and died in what is today QuébecCity, where they are buried.