Weekly News Recap: June 14, 2019

Tantoo Cardinal (Jackie Dives)

I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned. -- Richard Feynman

Highlights of this week's recap

  • Why Canada has become a basketball factory...#YesISaidCanada

  • A sobering photo collage from Chernobyl #NeverAgain

  • Radiohead says no to paying lowlife scammers, does something great instead

  • Free pizza, anytime you want it; dancing in a box; a white bus driver learns Punjabi; and the Slurpee capital of the world! #ILoveMyCountry

  • Tantoo Cardinal as the headliner #AboutTime

  • Lagom, Hygge, Lykke, and Sisu #FourImportantConceptsICantPronounce

  • Oxfam fired 79 people and lost $27 million in donations #MeToo

  • Turns out, there is more to the story about the U of Alabama gift return #ALotMore

  • A ten-year Olympic saviour #ManCanSheShred

  • The rise of the rural community foundation #TellPeopleWhatsReallyGoingOn

  • Stratford Festival gets a boost, TD is all about community, Montreal benefits from Canada's largest purveyor of cheese, and Regina hospitals are thanking Mosaic #NiceGiftsCanada

  • And so much more...


  • Thousands of Raptors fans celebrate 'unbelievable' NBA championship win (CBC) CANADIAN STORY Congratulations to the Toronto Raptors. You galvanized a nation. We are grateful. "Dozens of cities across Ontario also held packed viewing events, as did many other places from coast to coast, including Halifax, which threw a massive outdoor block party. Montreal shut down two city blocks to allow the improbable: people cheering a team from Toronto. Thousands braved the rain, forming a red tide, as organizers [handed] out 'We the North" T-shirts.' 6/14/19

  • Canada Becomes a Basketball Factory (New York Times) CANADIAN STORY Well, the game was invented in here... "Toronto and Mississauga, Ontario, are sprouting youth hoops prospects. Sorry, New York and other hotbeds. These players might be better." 6/8/19

Events and activities

  • Make the Leaf - The World's Largest Human Maple Leaf (All Events) CALGARY STORY Hey, do you want to be in the Guinness Book of Records? "All Calgarians are invited to come together on Labour Day weekend [Saturday, August 31 -- See event details in story link] in an attempt to create the world’s largest human maple leaf. The Guinness World Record for the largest number of people standing in the shape of a maple leaf is 1589 people, and we think Calgary has what it takes to break this record." June 2019


  • Photos From the 1986 Chernobyl Disaster (The Atlantic) No, these are not cheery. But they are important. And every person in these photos is a hero of the human race, whether they wanted to be or not. As a side note, I was in a grocery store in Kiev in 2012 and vegetables from the Chernobyl region were still being sold at a discount. "As the HBO miniseries Chernobyl comes to a conclusion [...] viewers will have been taken on a dramatic trip back to 1986, experiencing the horror and dread unleashed by the world’s worst-ever civil nuclear disaster. Thirty-three years ago, on April 26, 1986, a series of explosions destroyed Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4, and several hundred staff and firefighters tackled a blaze that burned for 10 days and sent a plume of radiation around the world. 6/3/19


  • Radiohead Donates Money to Climate Change Group Instead of Paying Ransom to Hackers (GQ) That will teach these creeps. Nice work Radiohead. "[An] unnamed hacker stole a cache of unreleased Radiohead recordings. Lead singer Thom Yorke had 18 MiniDisc recordings, mostly an hour long each, of music the band made while working on the seminal 1997 album, OK Computer, and the hacker threatened to release the recordings online unless they paid a ransom of $150,000. Instead of paying the ransom, the band put all the music online themselves." 6/11/19

  • Halifax libraries to offer free tampons, pads in every bathroom (CBC) HALIFAX STORY Nice. More please. "Halifax Public Libraries will soon offer free menstrual products in all its bathrooms at its 14 branches, joining efforts across Canada to supply them for anyone needing them." 6/11/19

  • Fort McMurray Salvation Army faces $75,000 deficit in food budget (CBC) FORT MCMURRAY STORY "With a $75,000 funding deficit and an increase in demand, the Fort McMurray Salvation Army is finding new ways to raise money. Typically the non-profit gets money for its food program from the United Way. But this year, the Salvation Army only received about two-thirds of the funding it normally receives from the organization." 6/10/19

  • 'They want to bless each other': New Winnipeg pizzeria lets customers donate a slice to others in need (CBC) WINNIPEG STORY As if we needed another reason to love Winnipeg! "North End Winnipeg takeout pizza place is using sticky notes and the generosity of strangers to help feed hungry people who can't afford their food. Vikas Sanger opened SFC Pizzeria on Salter Street near Selkirk Avenue in May. Right away, he started getting customers coming in hungry who didn't have enough to pay for a $1 piece of pizza." 6/6/19

  • The fine art of survival: 'Dance should exist anywhere,' including container trucks (CBC) VANCOUVER STORY Dance is life. "Vancouver dancers Katie Lowen and Diego Romero were on the hunt for cheap rehearsal space when a Craigslist ad caught their eye. It was for a container truck meant to store and ship furniture. [...] The container, about 16 meters long by three meters tall and three meters wide, is now an informal rehearsal and performance space Lowen and Romero call Boombox. It's parked in a secret location." 6/6/19

  • This Brampton, Ont., bus driver is delighting passengers with the Punjabi he's picked up along the way (CBC) BRAMPTON STORY I am fan. I know a few phrases in about ten languages. It's always been appreciated. "Mike Landry has picked up a lot of passengers in his 19 years as a bus driver — but something else he's picked up has delighted his Brampton, Ont., riders and made him something of a local celebrity. With the help of passengers, Landry has been learning Punjabi, one of the most widely spoken languages in the Toronto-area city. " 6/6/19

  • Man who can't work due to disability says $100K Calgary treasure hunt win 'doesn't feel real' (CBC) CALGARY STORY Very cool. And talk about the universe doing what the universe does! "A treasure hunt that sent Calgarians scurrying around the city in search of a reported $100,000 prize has come to an end. The treasure, hidden by a company called Gold Hunt, was found by Edmontonian Jeff Lerue, who has been off work due to a disability for two years, waiting for a knee replacement." 6/5/19

  • How One of Canada's Coldest Cities Became the Slurpee Capital of the World (Thrillist) WINNIPEG STORY I am not the least bit surprised. Are you a multi-mixer or a a solo flavour aficionado? "WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT WINNIPEG, the perennial little brother of Canada? If you’re a hockey fan, you know of the Winnipeg Jets, a team that left Canada in 1996, only to return in 2011 to a nearly apoplectic fan base. You might know that Winnie the Pooh is named after Winnipeg. But perhaps the most important fact about Winnipeg, the frigid and flat city of 800,000 people, is that it is also the Slurpee capital of the world." 6/3/19

First Peoples of Canada

  • Sask. Polytech offering free online Indigenous studies course as part of new strategy (CBC) SASKATOON STORY I love it. I am going to try and take it in. "Saskatchewan Polytechnic is making it easier than ever to learn about the history and culture of Indigenous peoples in Saskatchewan. The post-secondary school is offering a free online course that covers Indigenous history and culture, along with colonization and reconciliation." 6/5/19

  • Tantoo Cardinal finally gets the recognition she deserves (Macleans) CANADIAN STORY This is wonderful. I can't wait to see her movie, Falls Around Her. "The veteran Cree/Métis actor has spent most of her career in stereotypical Indigenous cameos. Now she’s the headliner." 6/3/19

Films to watch

Seven life and career hacks (one for each day of the upcoming week -- you're welcome

  1. It’s a Huge Mistake to Memorize Your Passwords (OneZero) I used to be one of those people that had a "password system" 47 passwords (and counting) in and I had to give this up. Too many failure points. I chose to move to a password manager. I now have 46 extra memory slots in my brain. How great is that? 6/4/19

  2. How to Not Suck at Color (Modus) I don't suck at colour. Mainly because I read stuff like this :-) 6/15/19

  3. How To Elevate Your Creativity And Sharpen Your Focus In 60 Seconds (Creativity) "Tactical tricks and tips that worked for me...in less than 60 seconds actually." 5/13/19

  4. Seven Ways To Bounce Back When Your Fundraising Campaign Falls Flat (Forbes) Meeting with donors to ask for advice after a campaign has failed is good advice. The rest is too. 6/7/19

  5. Scandinavian Life Philosophies For a Long, Happy, And Meaningful life (Personal Growth) No, lagom, hygge, lykke, and sisu are not a nordic quartet. But, in a way...they are. 6/6/19

  6. How To Learn Programming if You Are Over 50 (The Startup) Arguably, the most important hack in the list. 12/7/18

  7. Naked, Drunk, and Very Tired (Self) Yes, the title is correct. I've said too much...11/29/18


Philanthropic personalities

  • From student cold-caller to foundation president, a career dedicated to philanthropy (San Diego Union-Tribune) "'They asked me if I could place telephone calls to graduates and parents to support the annual fund. I replied, ‘How hard is it to ask people with whom I share something in common, to support an organization I have already come to love!' he says. 'Now, 34 years later, I am doing the exact same thing.'" 6/8/19

Philanthropic controversy

  • Scathing probe of Oxfam GB slams aid group's failure to stop sexual, physical misconduct (CBC) 300 complaints, 79 staff dismissed, and $27 million in donation losses. "No charity is more important than the people it serves or the mission it pursues,' the report says. [Oxfam GB's] governance and culture with regard to safeguarding has repeatedly fallen below standards expected and failed to meet promises made [...]. But when the story became public at the beginning of 2018, dozens of other victims came forward and allegations were raised about staff sexual misconduct on projects in Chad and the Philippines. It was also reported that the aid worker at the centre of the Haiti scandal, Roland van Hauwermeiren, had left a job with another British charity in 2004 after concerns were raised about sex parties in Liberia. Oxfam GB saw more than 7,000 donors cancel their gifts following the revelations and had to slice $27 million from its 2019 program budget. The group's chief executive stepped down, and under threat of a funding freeze by the U.K. government, the organization agreed not to apply for any new aid money until the allegations were fully investigated. Last month, Oxfam disclosed that it has dismissed 79 staff since the spring of 2018 after receiving more than 300 complaints of sexual harassment, bullying and sexual exploitation." 6/11/19

  • UA releases emails showing evidence Culverhouse decision was not influenced by abortion, boycott comments (NBC) This is an update to the story we shared in last week's recap. It would appear that the return of the funds was not related to Mr. Culverhouse's abortion stance. "The University of Alabama System released detailed information days following accepting the resolution to return a record $26.5 million donation from Hugh Culverhouse Jr., and remove Culverhouse’s name from the School of Law [...]. The document states the decision was based on Culverhouse attempting to influence student admissions, scholarship awards, the hiring and firing of faculty and the employment status of the law school dean. The document includes emails from Chancellor Finnis St. John IV on May 25 (four days prior to Culverhouse’s initial comments) that recommend the donations be returned and Culverhouse’s name be removed from the school." 6/7/19*

  • Several questions but few firm answers for Vancouver Art Gallery's future after director's departure (CBC) VANCOUVER STORY "Stephen Sondheim once wrote that 'art isn't easy' — and neither, apparently, is finding out information about the Vancouver Art Gallery's future. In the week since Kathleen Bartels stepped down as director of the Vancouver Art Gallery after 18 years, few details about why she left — or what comes next for the gallery — have been forthcoming." 6/5/19

Trends and shifts

  • Can This 10-Year-Old Girl Save the Olympics? (Bloomberg) Seems like a step in the right direction. "The Olympic Games have long been among the world’s premier marketing events, with hundreds of millions of people worldwide tuning in to watch the human drama as athletes from more than 200 nations compete for the gold. Yet this decidedly mass-market broadcast event has been losing younger viewers, who increasingly spend time on social media and online entertainment." 6/5/19

  • Rural Philanthropy in Canada: 21st Century Strategies Bloom in Canada’s Hinterland (The Philanthropist) This is a very interesting and timely case study. Thank you to Andrea McManus for sharing. "When a group of Prince Edward County residents decided to establish a community foundation for the pastoral rural island region in eastern Ontario in 2008, they began not with an endowment, as is typically the case, but only a concept and, well, crossed fingers [...]. Brian Beiles, The County Foundation’s president, recalls that the founders had talked up the idea to affluent and long-established local farming families. Yet the organization struggled along with a very small asset base for about five years, until the release of its first Vital Signs assessment in 2013. That report card, Beiles recalls, caused 'a furor' because it laid bare some of the County’s simmering social issues: inadequate local transportation, lack of a high school, and, to the shock of many, food insecurity [...]. The County Foundation now has $4 million in assets, much of which it has raised in the past three years, notes Beiles, who leads its board." 6/3/19

Large gifts

  • Maine Medical Center receives largest donation from family in hospital's history (ABC) "Two prominent Maine families have donated more than $10 million to Maine Medical Center in Portland. Paul and Giselaine Coulombe and their daughter, Michelle Coulombe-Hagerty donated $7.5 million to the hospital." 6/11/19

  • Stratford Festival receives $5 million donation for new Tom Patterson Theatre (My Stratford Now) STRATFORD STORY Someday I am going to this festival #BucketList. "Stratford Festival officials are celebrating a $5 million dollar donation for the new Tom Patterson Theatre Centre. The donation from Kelly and Michael Meighen and the T.R. Meighen Family Foundation is for the festival’s Tent Campaign for the new theatre bringing the $100-million Spirit of the Tent Campaign to a total of $90 million." 6/10/19

  • York University receives new donation to further reduce barriers to skills training and education for the Jane-Finch community (York University) TORONTO STORY Nice! Thanks TD! "[York] University announced a new donation from TD to support the TD Community Engagement Centre at Yorkgate Mall in the Black Creek Community." 6/10/19

  • Man whose donation helped start Park Nicollet's Melrose Center makes another $18.7 million gift (ABC) "The man whose donation originally helped establish the Melrose Center at Park Nicollet is now donating $18.7 million to continue to expand eating disorder treatment there. [Ken] Melrose's donation will be used for two primary purposes: Establishing the Kendrick B. Melrose Leadership and Excellence Endowment Fund [...] and supporting expansion and growth projects at Melrose Center's main campus and satellite locations." 6/10/19

  • HKUST Receives HK$100 Million Donation from Yuexiu for University’s Development (Mirage News) I am all about this gift but..."talent grooming"? Maybe this was lost in translation. "The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) held the 'Yuexiu Group Donation Presentation cum HKUST-Yuexiu Group One Million Dollar International Entrepreneurship Competition Grand Final Sponsorship Ceremony' today, to express its gratitude for a HK$100 million [$17 million CAD] donation made by Yuexiu Group (Yuexiu) in support of the University’s efforts in research, innovation and talent grooming." 6/10/19

  • Jewish Care’s record $5m donation (Jewish News) "JEWISH Care Victoria [...] received what is believed to be the equal-largest donation in the history of the Victorian Jewish community. Charles Holckner has given $5 million as part of the organisation’s 'Growing. For our community' capital campaign." 6/6/19

  • Mount receives $6M donation for new athletic center (Frederick News-Post) "Receiving a $6 million donation from members of the Rooney family, the majority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mount St. Mary’s will construct an athletic performance center on its main campus in Emmitsburg." Some Trivia: The Rooneys are also related to the Mara family, part-owners of the New York Giants. The Mara family name used to be O'Mara and their Rooney family ancestors originate in Newry, County Down.Actresses Kate Mara and Rooney Mara are the daughters of Timothy Christopher Mara, the vice president of player evaluation for the New York Giants, and Kathleen McNulty (née Rooney). 6/6/19

  • Catholic University gets record $20M nursing school donation (WTOP) More nursing school naming please. This is #Awesome. "The Catholic University of America has received a $20 million donation from William Conway Jr., co-founder of D.C.-based investment firm The Carlyle Group, and his wife, Joanne. The school will use the donation to establish the Conway School of Nursing." 6/6/19

  • Philadelphia Orchestra receives $55 million donation (ABC) "There is huge news that will be music to the ears of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The orchestra has received two gifts worth $55 million. A $50 million gift comes from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and will be used to bolster the orchestra's endowment. A $5 million gift will go to orchestra operations." 6/6/19

  • $10M Saputo donation aims to help kids with musculoskeletal disorders (CTV) MONTREAL STORY I love the collaborative nature of this gift. "A $10-million donation is bringing together Montreal's four leading pediatric institutions to help children with musculoskeletal disorders. The goal of the collaboration is to help improve communication between Shriners Hospitals for Children Canada, the Montreal Children’s Hospital, and CHU Sainte-Justine and its Marie-Enfant Rehabilitation Centre as they treat children who have complex conditions and are often followed by several hospitals at once. Called MUSCO, the initiative is made possible by a donation from the Lino and Mirella Saputo Foundation." 6/5/19

  • Hospitals of Regina Foundation announces $1-million donation from Mosaic (Regina Leader Post) REGINA STORY Thank you Mosaic! "The partnership between the Hospitals of Regina Foundation and the Mosaic Company will benefit the foundation’s Cardiac Care Campaign — to the tune of $1 million from Mosaic as a match for community donations." 6/5/19

  • Engineering school receives $100 M donation from Samuelis, largest in its history (Daily Bruin) "The namesakes of the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science donated a record-breaking $100 million to the school Tuesday. Henry and Susan Samueli’s donation, made through the Samueli Foundation, is the largest gift ever made to the engineering school. UCLA named the engineering school after Henry Samueli after a $30 million donation in 2000." 6/4/19

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