Jon Kaplan was all heart no ego

first_img Facebook Advertisement People in the Toronto theatre community have been doing a lot of hugging this week.And that’s appropriate. Because we’ve all lost one of our dearest, kindest, most supportive friends. And he was a hugger.In fact, I can’t remember simply shaking Jon’s hand, but we must have when we first met. It was almost 20 years ago, and I had just been hired as a theatre writer at NOW. Jon took me out for lunch on the Danforth (where NOW was then located), and we talked about how we would cover the busy Toronto scene together. Notice that word: “together.” Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Jon was never territorial about what he wanted to review. No “first-string” or “chief” theatre critic ego. We always evenly divided up what we would review. Why? Firstly, because he was just nice. Secondly, he would catch whatever show I was reviewing himself, later. But finally, and most importantly, Jon knew that great theatre could be found anywhere. Not just in the big and medium-sized houses, but in a theatre school graduation production, in a theatre-for-young-audiences show, in a clown show. And especially in the thriving indepen­dent scene, which he championed from the start. Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

KPCC president congratulates BJP for Lok Sabha elections win heres how Twitter

first_imgDinesh Gundu RaoTwitter [Representational Image]Being the only state in South India that had favoured the victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Karnataka has surely seen some ups and downs in its political history. But Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao’s tweet congratulating the BJP for its victory has certainly sparked a row.The BJP has given an outstanding performance in Karnataka as the exit polls had predicted. And this victory for the saffron party means a clean sweep in the state. Maybe that’s why Dinesh Gundu Rao resorted to the final political play of applauding the BJP’s victory through social media.”Congratulations to BJP for a resounding victory, both in India and Karnataka. In a democracy people’s verdict is sacrosanct. I wish Mr Modi the very best and hope in his second term as PM will build a stronger, more prosperous and inclusive India,” read the tweet by Rao. Why though? twitterThat would be good! Why this drama? Was he actually right? This tweet comes just two days after Shivajinagar MLA Roshan Baig accused Rao of Congress’s defeat in the state. Baig had also asked the Muslim community in Karnataka to join hands with the NDA if needed.Many people have reacted to this tweet by saying that Rao accepted defeat with grace, while some have blamed the age-old dirty politics and power play in the party that has led the UPA government’s defeat.Here are some reactions:-last_img read more

Baltimore Man Could Face 20 Years for Fires Set During April Unrest

first_img21-year-old Darius Raymond StewartA Baltimore man could face up to 20 years in prison for a fire he allegedly set at a city liquor store during last April’s unrest. Federal and state agents on Sept. 24 charged 21-year-old Darius Raymond Stewart with setting the fire. He was arrested on September 28 on unrelated charges, and was due to appear in court on October 2.The incident happened the night of April 27 at approximately 8:30 p.m. Federal officials said Stewart was caught on surveillance cameras setting multiple fires inside the store, which is located in the 2200 block of West North Avenue. They said that several witnesses were able to confirm that the man in the tape was indeed Stewart.One person was seriously injured in the blaze. Another person was able to escape with minor injuries.In a press release, federal agents painted the picture of the evening’s chaotic events, saying that two waves of looters attacked the store that night. The first group, who banged on the store with pipes and crowbars, were run off by other people in the neighborhood. The second group looted the store and attacked the owner, who was standing outside.“There are recordings and other evidence of people looting businesses, starting fires and attacking innocent victims, and it is our duty to prosecute the perpetrators,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Citizens need to know that the rule of law will be upheld, and criminals who destroy property and jeopardize lives will be held accountable.”last_img read more

Queen of Ndebele music enchants

first_imgThe colours and sounds of Africa came alive here last week through the mesmerising music of Peki Emelia Nothembia Mkhwebane, known as the African queen of Ndebele music.The Ndebele musical tradition derives from the culture of the ethnic Zulu people of South Africa.Makhwebane enthralled a near-full house at the FICCI auditorium Saturday evening on the final day of the Days of South Africa in India festival, organised jointly by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and South Africa’s Department of Art and Culture. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’To repeated cries of encore, Mkhwenabe and her band gave a spectacular performance combining music and song with an energetic, spellbinding dance. She led the performance with her high pitched, soulful voice and electric guitar while the dancers entranced with their traditional costumes, coloured in vivid hues with intricate bead and metalwork.With songs like Angekhe Angijhiye (Jesus is great, will always be with me) and Igama (I have worked for my name), all sung in Ndebele with backup vocals, the performance was a vivid demonstration of how South African music is a dialogue with various forms and their hybridisation. ‘My music takes from both rural and urban traditions,’ Mkhwebane, who composes her songs, said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘Music is a vital part of everyday life in Africa. It is always there in religious ceremonies, festivals, and social rituals. Everyone plays an active part in the musical life of the community,’ she said.For someone who has taken Ndebele culture to the world, Mkhwebane’s life mirrors the history of multicultural South Africa. Orphaned at the age of five, and unable to have a formal education, she learnt to play the reed flute from her grandmother and the guitar from her uncle.Mkhwebane has travelled extensively abroad, performing in the United States, Europe and Australia. She has many awards to her credit. These include the Tourism Ambassador for South Africa, the South African Music Award and more.last_img read more

Origin DApp A decentralized marketplace on Ethereum mainnet aims to disrupt gig

first_imgThe Origin DApp is a decentralized marketplace on the blockchain mainnet. It launched last week and is in the beta stage. Purpose of the Origin DApp Large organizations like Airbnb or Uber often charge 20-30% as commission for providing a service. One of the goals of Origin mainnet is to host such services that are peer-to-peer. This will eliminate the middleman and the cost of services will go down. Think of it like Craigslist, but Ethereum based and decentralized on a blockchain network. Your account would be your Ethereum wallet. To transact on the Origin DApp, a crypto wallet needs to be attached to your browser. For doing this, the Metamask extension is a good option which available for both Chrome and Firefox. Also, communication is done via Origin Messaging directly between the seller and the buyer. Features of Origin DApp Some of the important features of this DApp are: Smart contract for the marketplace The marketplace contract implements transactions in multiple steps, dispute management, and optional affiliate commissions. It uses ETH and/or any ERC-20 tokens as currency. The Origin token OGN is an ERC-20 token integrated with the marketplace smart contracts. The token is meant to incentivize behaviors that will bootstrap the network and also protect against negative behaviors. The Origin token is meant to reward behaviors that will help the network flourish and safeguard against bad actions. Search You can use the search bar at the top to query listing data by keyword, category, and price. The listings are loaded directly from the blockchain. Resolving conflicts In case of a conflict between a seller and buyer, there is a workflow for dispute resolution. As of now, Origin is the only arbitrator on the platform, but more decentralized solutions are expected in the future. Future work Currently, listings like rentals, ticketing, and e-commerce are not supported. There is no mobile app, advanced search, and no JS SDK for third-party developers to build DApps on the platform. Future plans include enabling third-party developer partners to build on Origin, improving user experience, launching a mobile app/wallet, support for more types of listings, and hardening the infrastructure for greater security and scalability. Since Origin is in the beta stage, currently there are no push or email notifications available. There is a team to resolve any disputes. There needs to be enough abstraction to hide away the complexities of using a service on a blockchain to see mainstream adoption. It can take years for that to happen, for a regular cabbie or hotel owner to understand and use a ‘decentralized marketplace’. For more details, visit the Origin post on Medium and the beta website. To get started, here’s a demo video. Read next Vitalik Buterin says Ethereum 2.0 research has stabilized and might launch next year Ethereum Constantinople hard fork to move Ethereum from PoW (proof-of-work) to PoS (proof-of-stake) model Vitalik Buterin’s new consensus algorithm to make Ethereum 99% fault tolerantlast_img read more

Register now for ACVs Mega Fams in Cuba Mexico DR and Saint

first_img Posted by Tags: Air Canada Vacations, FAMs Travelweek Group Share MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations is bringing back its popular Mega Fams in Mexico & the Caribbean.The four fams range in price from $329 and $359, double occupancy, including taxes and other fees, and take place in the following destinations:Santa Clara or Cayo Coco from Montreal (three nights)Puerto Vallarta from Calgary (two nights)Saint Lucia from Toronto (two nights)Puerto Plata and Samana from Toronto (three nights)Connector flights will also be available.For agents who wish to add more luxury to the trip, upgrades to Premium Rouge will be available for $125 roundtrip, but spots are limited.During the Mega Fams, agents will enjoy special events on site, site inspections in various resorts including some that are exclusive to Air Canada Vacations, and a few local attractions.According to Dana Gain, Senior Director, Sales and Partnerships at Air Canada Vacations, “awareness and experience” are the main reasons why ACV brings travel agents to destinations.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise Collection“There is nothing better than to experience a product firsthand in order to really understand it and present it effectively to customers,” she said. “The Mega Fams are an incredible way to achieve this, plus we guarantee you’ll have lots of fun!”To confirm their request, agents can register via the links below:YUL-SNU: https://aircanadavacations.formstack.com/forms/mega_fam_2018_registration_form_snuYUL-CCC: https://aircanadavacations.formstack.com/forms/mega_fam_2018_registration_form_cccYYC-PVR: https://aircanadavacations.formstack.com/forms/mega_fam_2018_registration_form_pvrYYZ-UVF: https://aircanadavacations.formstack.com/forms/mega_fam_2018_registration_form_uvfYYZ-AZS: https://aircanadavacations.formstack.com/forms/mega_fam_2018_registration_form_drcenter_img Tuesday, September 25, 2018 Register now for ACV’s Mega Fams in Cuba, Mexico, D.R. and Saint Lucia << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Overcapacity concerns downward pressure on fares No worries say Carnival Corp RCCL

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by This story originally ran in the Oct. 4, 2018 issue of Travelweek magazine. To get Travelweek delivered to your agency for free, subscribe here.TORONTO — Cruise companies have finally realized that it’s just as important, if not more so, to keep your travel agent partners onside as it is to build up and market your own call centre and direct booking channels.The relationship hasn’t been without its ups and downs but for the most part cruise lines have been a steadfast partner for the trade.It’s at the point where cruise bookings are such a core product for so many agencies that success (or lack of it) for the cruise industry can make or break travel agencies heavily invested in cruise sales.When cruise companies falter, travel agents feel it.While cruise fares have dipped slightly for the world’s biggest cruise company, Carnival Corporation & plc President and CEO Arnold Donald says there’s no cause for concern.Carnival Corp. recently posted its highest-ever quarterly performance, and that’s saying something, considering the cruise giant has been on a tear for the past few years with increasingly strong results.With 10 cruise line brands, and 11.5 million passengers a year – that’s half the entire global cruise market – Carnival Corp. and its ships cut a sizeable wake. Cruise lines including Carnival Corp., especially with its core brand Carnival Cruise Line, have been working hard in recent years to maintain price integrity and keep yields up, and to make bargain-basement cruise fares a thing of the past.Starting in June Carnival Corporation’s booking volumes for the first half of 2019 were running significantly higher than the prior year, at lower prices.But more recently, during the first half of September, booking volumes for the first half of next year were still running higher than last year and at higher prices too.Based on these booking trends, Carnival Corp. says it expects continued improvement when it comes to net revenue yields for the first half of 2019.More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthGross revenue yields were up 4% in Q3. Net income for the company clocked in at US$1.7 billion, up from $1.3 billion. Revenues for the third quarter of 2018 were $5.8 billion, up from $5.5 billion.High fuel costs are an ongoing concern and Carnival, like every other company keeping an eye on fuel prices, has warned that climbing costs will put a dent in its Q4 results. Carnival Corp.’s Q3 2018 fuel bill was $434 million, up from $307 million in Q3 2017.For now at least, strong execution is overcoming fuel (and currency) headwinds, says Donald.Carnival and other cruise companies have been known to levy fuel surcharges, but so far haven’t resorted to this unpopular measure despite escalating fuel bills.Royal Caribbean Chairman and CEO Richard Fain acknowledges that rising fuel costs are a concern for Royal Caribbean too – RCCL hedges about 50% of its fuel needs. While keeping an eye on fuel costs, RCCL, parent company of Royal Caribbean, is going full steam ahead with its $1 billion investment to upgrade RCI ships, transform private island CocoCay in the Bahamas and attract more Millennials.Just like Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is raking in the dollars, with revenues of US$2.3 billion for Q2.In an interview with CNBC, Fain said new ships like Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, heading into its first full year of sailing in 2019, and the much anticipated and soon to be launched Celebrity Edge with its cantilevered floating platform, have created a lot of good momentum “and that’s carrying us nicely into 2019.”“We’re constantly improving our ships. New features attract more customers, they pay more, and that gives us the money to build and enhance our ships,” says Fain.RCCL, already with several brands under its belt including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara, is now even bigger with its majority stake purchase of luxury line Silversea Cruises this summer, with three new ships on the way.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTMeanwhile Carnival Corp.’s capacity increases come with concerns about too many berths driving down prices and yields but Donald says there’s no cause for alarm.Carnival Corp. is spreading its capacity growth over a number of its brands and geographical regions “and we’re careful when and where we add capacity,” says Donald. Any over-concentration of capacity in individual markets will be temporary, he adds, and alleviated by new demand from the undersaturated cruise market.He adds: “We’re working aggressively to grow demand for our brands which will allow us to continue to fill our ships at increasingly attractive rates, while still providing a better value to the equivalent land-based alternative.”And while he first attributes Carnival Corp.’s performance to the Carnival Corp. team, he doesn’t forget the cruise company’s other, equally important team: travel agents. The record-breaking Q3 results, he says, “are a testament to the tens of thousands of travel professionals who so enthusiastically support our brand.” Overcapacity concerns, downward pressure on fares? No worries, say Carnival Corp., RCCL Kathryn Folliott Friday, October 12, 2018 Tags: Carnival Corporation, Carnival Cruise Line Share About Latest Posts Kathryn FolliottEditor at TravelweekKathryn is Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 1995. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Hong Kong, Jerusalem, the Swiss Alps and the Galapagos Islands among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Kathryn Folliott (see all) “They need to go where the bucks are”: Agents on ACTA partnership – April 18, 2019 As the cost of doing business climbs, host agencies, retail groups say they have options – April 4, 2019 As of 2021 Europe-bound clients will need to apply online for a visa waiver and pay a fee – April 3, 2019last_img read more