A creative project made with household items.
A creative project made with household items.
Editor's note: This story was first published on Nov. 29, 2020 Medical masks are being added to the annual Barrie police mitten tree this year to help people stay warm and keep safe. The annual campaign was started by retired Const. Janet Schefter 20 years ago. If you would like to donate to the campaign, visit Barrie Police Service Headquarters at 110 Fairview Rd. A tree donated by Sommerville Nurseries is located in the lobby. Thousands of hats, mittens, gloves, and scarves will go to: • Youth Haven • David Busby Centre / Out of the Cold • The Women and Children's Shelter of Barrie • Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre Cancer Care • CARAH House • Salvation Army Barrie • Hospice Simcoe Many families, including seniors, are faced with low income, high rent, and everyday living expenses, making it a struggle to make ends meet. For health reasons, all donated items must be newly purchased or made. Donations will be accepted until Dec. 20. All inquiries can be directed to 705-725-7025, ext. 2907.Rick Vanderlinde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
A new, accessible housing project was announced for Yellowknife on Thursday.The NWT Disabilities Council, which made the announcement, saysthe project would includeaccessible living spaces and units that are available at a sliding scale, aligned with people's income, according to a news release.The project was announced with the support of DeBeers Group and the NWT Housing Corporation.There were no details immediately available on the number of units or the project's completion date. However, the council says in the coming year, it will begin assessing the project and building a business case for it, according to the release.The announcement comes on the same day as the United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities."The Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to ensuring that more affordable housing is constructed to support the housing needs of our residents," said Paulie Chinna, the minister responsible for the N.W.T.'s housing corporation."This project supports the need for more purpose-built rental housing, especially accommodations that are appropriate for persons with disabilities."Chinna added that once the infrastructure is in place, it will be a "blueprint" for future housing development."This will be a shining example of how multiple levels of stakeholders including private industry, NGO and government and more can address housing needs in the N.W.T.," Chinna said.She said the Housing Corporation will keep working to ensure the project has "timely consideration and review."Lyndon Clark, general manager of Gahcho Kué Mine, says building inclusive communities is a "foundational objective" for De Beers Group."That means we need to find ways to provide equal opportunities for all," Clark said.
Editor's note: This story was first published on Nov. 19, 2020 A 51-year-old Innisfil woman is charged with impaired driving after her vehicle collided with two parked cars, then veered off the road into a ditch Nov. 17. She was not injured. South Simcoe Police say the vehicles sustained “significant” damage in the collision on 25th Sideroad at about 11:30 p.m. The driver was arrested at the scene and taken to the North Division station in Innisfil where she was charged. Her licence was suspended for 90 days and her vehicle impounded for seven days. Rick Vanderlinde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
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Uxbridge resident Gordon Hicks has been named one of the 114 new appointees to the Order of Canada, one of Canada's highest civilian honours. Last Friday, Governor General Julie Payette announced 114 new appointments to the Order, including eight Companions, 21 Officers, one Honorary Member, and 84 Members. Among those Members was Gordon Hicks, co-founder of Cam's Kids Foundation, a locally run non-profit focused on providing support to youth struggling with anxiety. Hicks is also chief executive officer of the global real estate management services company,Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions. According to the governor general’s website, Hicks was appointed this honour “For his environmental leadership in the real estate industry, for his mental health advocacy, and for his community engagement.” Hicks will be entitled to sign the initials ‘CM’ after his name. Those who have been appointed this honour, are said to “take to heart the motto of the Order: Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam - They desire a better country.” Others to have been appointed this year include Olympic champion figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. The recipients will be celebrated during a ceremony at a future date, where they will receive the notable snowflake insignia. It is a six point, enamel pin, which they wear to symbolise Canada’s northern heritage and diversity of the Order’s appointees, as no two snowflakes are alike. Hicks was not available for comment on receipt of the prestigious award by press time Tuesday. Created in 1967, the Order of Canada recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. More than 7,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order of Canada. Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos
The Yukon government is closing its flu shot clinic at the Whitehorse Convention Centre two weeks ahead of schedule, as demand for the vaccine subsides.More than 14,000 Yukoners got the flu shot this year, the government said. That's the highest number since 2009 during the H1N1 pandemic, according to Pat Living, director of communications for Yukon Health and Social Services."While we saw tremendous uptake at the very beginning of the flu clinic, the number of people showing up has slowed dramatically in the last little while," Living said.The clinic will end on Friday at 4:30 p.m. local time.People can still get the flu shot at Whitehorse pharmacies, however. There will also be two final clinics for children under five on Dec. 9 and 16.Flu shot clinics in rural communities will continue as planned.This is the first year Yukon has tried having one centralized flu shot clinic in Whitehorse, instead of moving between locations.Living said government is still working on its COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan, but she said they wanted to see if a mass, centralized clinic would be a good vaccination method.After closing the clinic, Living said staff will be redeployed to help with the COVID-19 response, such as contact tracing, follow-up calls or giving other staff a break."In anticipation of any kind of COVID[-19] vaccine clinics that may come, we want to make sure that people have a bit of a rest before then," said Living.Living encouraged people to get their flu shot if they have not yet done so.
The Commissioner of Yukon has announced this year's inductees to the Order of Yukon.In a news release sent Wednesday, Commissioner Angélique Bernard gave the names of the ten inductees from the territory who were chosen from nominations submitted to an advisory council. "2020 inductees were chosen for their demonstrated excellence and achievement and their outstanding contributions to the social, cultural or economic well-being of Yukon and its residents," the release states. This year's recipients include:Bess Cooley, who is known as a master of the Tlingit language, and has done significant work on the genealogy of the inland Tlingit. Keith Byram, known for being a big supporter of multiple community organizations and working with many local businesses in Yukon. Byram founded Pelly Construction and employs a large number of Yukoners.Doug Phillips, who served as an MLA from 1985 to 2000, and then as the territory's commissioner from 2010 to 2018. He lobbied to have the Taylor House in Whitehorse designated as Yukon's Government House. Philips has also been small-business owner, and a volunteer on many Yukon boards and committees. Jack Cable, a Liberal MLA from 1992 to 2000, and commissioner of Yukon from 2000 to 2005. He has also been involved in volunteer organizations including the Learning Disabilities Association of Yukon and the Law Society of Yukon.William Klassen, who has worn many hats in his career, including as an RCMP officer in Teslin, a conservation officer, a wildlife biologist, and deputy minister with the Yukon government. He has also been involved with the Riverdale Baptist Church since the early 1970's, the Whitehorse Gun Club, Yukon Agriculture Association and the Salvation Army. Frances Woolsey, a respected Ta'an Kwäch'än elder and a leader in promoting Indigenous culture. Dr. Sally MacDonald, who has been a family physician in Whitehorse and several Yukon communities since 1980, delivering over 1,000 babies in the territory. She has also taken on the role of assisting people at the end of their lives. Gertie Tom, who has contributed to First Nations language revitalization throughout the territory. She used the details of her speech patterns to provide a basis for a practical writing system for the previously-unwritten Northern Tutchone language. From 1961 to 1965, she worked as a part-time translator and broadcaster for CBC Radio in Whitehorse.Agnes Mills, a Vuntut Gwitchin elder who has worked to advance the rights of Indigenous people as the National Elder of the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, and was the First Nations elder at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. The Honourable Ron Veale who was the first to have the title of Chief Justice of Yukon, and initiated the earliest civil actions about the abuses suffered by Indigenous children in residential schools. The commissioner's office says it will be posting a video recognizing this year's recipients on its Facebook page on Jan. 1.
Editor's note: This story was first published on Nov. 19, 2020 South Simcoe Police officers are asking you for help identifying three suspects following thefts at an LCBO in Innisfil. Police say “numerous” bottles of alcohol were stolen from the Innisfil Beach Road store in Alcona. Officers believe the thefts were “orchestrated” by three male suspects between 1 and 2 p.m. Nov. 7. The suspects are described as: • Small build, 5'6'', 130 lbs, brown eyes, 25-30 years old, with black hair, wearing a mask, black jacket, blue jeans, large black backpack and a white ear piece. • Medium build, 5'11'', 175 lbs, brown eyes, 30-40 years old, with black hair, wearing a mask, grey sweater and jeans. • Small build, 5'6'', 125 lbs, brown eyes, 30-40 years old, black hair, wearing a mask, track pants with red stripe down the side, and a red ball cap. Anyone who recognizes these men or has any information about this occurrence is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Crime Stoppers. Rick Vanderlinde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
Air Design location, Ballon Design et les Gâteaux MB se réuniront sous le même toit à compter de janvier. Une préouverture ponctuelle est prévue dès jeudi, afin de permettre aux gens de se procurer décorations et cadeaux juste avant le début du temps des Fêtes. Les trois entreprises voulaient, en se réunissant, offrir aux clients la possibilité de ne faire qu’un seul arrêt pour l’organisation de leur événement spécial. Selon Jennifer Fournier, propriétaire de Ballon Design, ce partenariat est unique dans la région et très rare dans la province. « On s’est rendu compte qu’avec des ballons, des jeux gonflables, des gâteaux et des petits cadeaux, ça faisait vraiment un beau ‘mix’. Le concept qu’on a voulu créer, c’est vraiment d’avoir tout pour un événement, sous un même toit », s’est réjouie la propriétaire de Ballon Design. En parlant avec Mélina Dubé-Boily, de Gâteaux MB, les deux femmes ont remarqué qu’elles partageaient beaucoup de clients en commun. L’ouverture est prévue jeudi. Pour débuter, le commerce n’ouvrira que ponctuellement. L’ouverture complète à temps plein avec l’arrivée de la pâtissière n’est à l’horaire qu’au retour des Fêtes. Jennifer souhaite tout de même ouvrir dès le début du mois afin de faire profiter les clients des cadeaux et des ballons pour les préparations du temps des Fêtes. Le commerce d’Air Design location est ouvert, et il est possible pour les intéressés de voir l’inventaire en ligne. Pour ce qui est des Gâteaux MB, même si l’arrivée de la pâtissière à temps plein n’aura lieu qu’en janvier, les clients pourront venir chercher leurs gâteaux précommandés sur place. De tout en boutique Chaque entreprise qui s’installera dans ce nouveau local situé au 1247 boulevard Ste-Geneviève, à Chicoutimi-Nord, dispose d’une impressionnante gamme de produits. Air Design location a dans son inventaire plus de 125 structures gonflables, de toute sorte. Pour Gateaux MB, on comptera évidemment des gâteaux, mais aussi de gros biscuits, des cupcakes, et bien plus. Ballon Design se spécialise dans les bouquets de ballons et les petits cadeaux. Son créneau est le ballon personnalisé. « Je voulais faire quelque chose de différent de ce qu’on retrouvait déjà. Avec les ballons personnalisés, je peux écrire des prénoms, des phrases ou même recréer des dessins sur des ballons, ce qui est vraiment apprécié des clients », souligne Jennifer. Elle est fière d’amener ce concept ici dans la région et encore plus à Chicoutimi-Nord. Impacts de la Covid Bien évidemment, les derniers mois ont été difficiles pour tous ceux qui oeuvrent dans l’événementiel. L’annulation des fêtes, des mariages, des partys de bureau a difficilement touché le commerce de Jennifer. La jeune femme de 30 ans a dû se réinventer. « Nous nous sommes vraiment tournés vers les livraisons. Nous sommes allés livrer des petites touches de bonheur chez les gens. Plus ça allait, plus les gens me demandaient si j’avais des petits items cadeaux, qu’on pouvait joindre aux ballons », explique-t-elle. C’est ce qui fait que depuis environ un mois, on retrouve dans la boutique en ligne des cadeaux de tout genre : jouets pour enfants, produits pour le corps, items pour la maison, et bien plus. Certaines de ces surprises peuvent même être mises dans des ballons ! Ces produits seront bien sûr mis en valeur dans la nouvelle boutique. Pour tout savoir sur les heures d’ouverture et sur les items que l’on retrouve en boutique, les personnes intéressées peuvent visiter le site Internet ou la page Facebook de Ballon Design.Myriam Arsenault, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
A recently released study details the number of Ontario health-care workers who have been infected by COVID-19, and the psychological stress that comes along with being on the frontline of a pandemic. The 15-page study, titled Sacrificed: Ontario Healthcare Workers in the Time of COVID-19, was authored by Dr. James T. Brophy, Dr. Margaret M. Keith, Michael Hurley and Jane E. McArthur. It was presented by Hurley at a news conference in Sudbury on Thursday morning. Hurley introduced Brophy and Keith, who he said were the two principal authors of the report and took part in the news conference through an online video connection. "Health-care workers in Ontario are suffering from much higher rates of COVID infection than the general public," said Brophy. "According to a report published in September, Canada's health-care workers make up almost 20 per cent of confirmed cases." "While we are all experiencing COVID fatigue and worry, health-care workers are suffering disproportionately from serious psychological distress," Brophy said. In her comments to the news event, Dr. Keith said not only has the regulatory system failed to protect the workers, but there has also been a failure by some of the joint management-employee health and safety committees, at a time when they are so urgently needed. "The health-care worker's experience is that the Ministry of Labour is not functioning as mandated, leaving them feeling unsupported and unprotected," said Keith. She said it was important to note that women make up the overwhelming majority of frontline health-care workers in Ontario. She said a lot of those workers were immigrants, part-timers and in precarious work positions that left them vulnerable to being exploited or losing their jobs. "They are burning out from stress. They are overworked and have unrelenting fear and anxiety," she added. "In April and May, we conducted in-depth anonymous interviews with 10 frontline health-care workers from hospitals and long-term care facilities across the province. We talked to nurses, personal support workers, clerical staff and cleaners." Keith added that the interviews took place in real-time as the pandemic was reaching its highest sense of urgency in the first wave. Brophy said the findings from the study interviews were consistent with a poll carried out in March by CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) which surveyed 3,000 members. "The poll revealed that an overwhelming majority believed they were not being adequately protected. Eighty-seven per cent said there was not enough PPE (personal protective equipment) on hand to keep them safe and 91 per cent responded that they feel abandoned by the provincial government," he said. Brophy said many workers experienced intense anxiety of becoming infected and bringing the COVID virus home with them at the end of their shift. "A nurse told us, ‘I've come home and cried many times. I am stressed out. I can't sleep at night'," Brophy revealed. "Fear, coupled with understaffing and increased workload, has resulted in exhaustion and burnout. Ontario's health-care system is underfunded and understaffed. It has the fewest hospital beds and nursing hours per patient in the country," Brophy added. Another concern is that health and safety legislation does not give full protection to frontline health-care workers. Hurley said a nurse or a PSW cannot refuse to go into a situation they believe might be unsafe for them personally if it means that a patient or resident urgently needs care. Brophy explained it in detail saying any health and safety concerns must be declared before a worker engages with a patient. "If a work refusal might have an implication or endanger a patient for instance, they (health workers) are not allowed to exercise that right at that point. The examples we heard from health-care workers would be things like before they were actually engaged with a patient, or before they went in and cleaned up a room or before they put a person's CPAP machine on in long-term care, they would raise the questions and say I am exercising my right to refuse unsafe work because I am not properly protected," said Brophy. He said it was interesting to be commenting on Ontario's health and safety laws given that the genesis of those laws came from protecting the rights of hardrock miners in Northern Ontario. "It is ironic that 40 years after the historic breakthrough that they spear-headed for all workers in Ontario, and really across the country, that we now find in the midst of one of the worst occupational health and safety disasters and crises in modern memory, that these workers have been systematically denied the most basic protections and their legal rights," said Brophy. It was also mentioned that in many instances Ministry of Labour inspectors have not visited the long-term care homes as they feared for their own safety. Keith told the news conference that the plea on behalf of frontline workers was a simple one. Give them what they need to go to work safe and healthy and to let them go home at the end of the day, safe and healthy, she said.Len Gillis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
Editor's note: This story was first published on Oct. 30, 2020 Police seized $75,000 in drugs and a loaded handgun after officers searched a Springwater home Oct. 29. Huronia West OPP officers executed an early morning search warrant in connection with an ongoing investigation. About 500 grams of cocaine and 7,000 Percocet pills were found in the house along with a “large” amount of cash. Three Springwater Township men and two Barrie women, all in their 20s, are charged with numerous firearm and drug trafficking offences. The three male suspects were held for bail court in Barrie. Rick Vanderlinde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
NEW YORK — There's theatre on Broadway. You just have to adjust your sights.More than a hundred blocks north of Manhattan's shuttered theatre district but on that same famed thoroughfare, an actor recently read his lines from a huge stage.But there was no applause. Instead, all that was heard was a strange command for the theatre: “And cut!”Tony Award-winner Jefferson Mays was performing multiple roles for a high-tech “A Christmas Carol” that was being filmed for streaming this month at the empty 3,000-seat United Palace.The one-man show is an example of how many who work in theatre are increasingly defying COVID-19 by refusing to let it stop their art, often creating new hybrid forms.“Because it’s such a roll-up-your-sleeves business, theatre people figure it out,” said Tony Award-winning producer Hunter Arnold, while watching Mays onstage. “Of everything I’ve ever done in my life, it’s the place where people lead from ‘how?’ instead of leading from ‘why not?’”The coronavirus pandemic shut down theatre and the TV/movie industries in the spring. Film and TV production have slowly resumed. Live theatre is uniquely tested by the virus, one reason it will be among the last sectors to return to normal. Props and costumes are usually touched by dozens each night, an orchestra is crammed into a pit, backstage areas are small and shared, and audiences are usually packed into seats. New ways are needed.Mays' “A Christmas Carol,” which was filmed on a high-tech LED set, veers much more filmic than most other streaming theatre options and is raising money for suffering regional theatres — one stage production helping others during the pandemic.Other green shoots include radio plays, virtual readings, online variety shows and drive-in experiences that combine live singing with movies. The cast of the musical “Diana” reunited on Broadway to film the show for Netflix before it opens on Broadway.The San Francisco Playhouse recently offered screenings of Yasmina Reza’s play “Art,” an onstage production captured live by multiple cameras, with a crucial wrestling scene reimagined to keep social distancing. A musical version of the animated film “Ratatouille” is being explored on TikTok.“We will conquer it. We are theatre people. By God, we will conquer it and get it done,” says Charlotte Moore, the artistic director and co-founder of the acclaimed Irish Repertory Theatre in New York City.Her company has put on a free streaming holiday production of “Meet Me in St. Louis” with a dozen cast members, each filmed remotely and then digitally stitched together. Moore directed it — appropriately enough — from St. Louis. Other theatre pros are calling to ask how she did it.The cast was mailed or hand-delivered props, costumes and a green screen. They rehearsed via Zoom and FaceTime. A masked and socially distant orchestra recorded the score, and the sets were beamed onto the actors' screens.“You learn minute by minute by minute along the way what works, what doesn’t, what to do, what not to do,” said Moore, who starred in the original Broadway run of “Meet Me in St. Louis” in 1989. “It’s torture and it’s thrilling — thrilling torture.”Like many other theatrical hybrids venturing into the digital world these days, it's not clear what to call it. It's not technically live theatre, but its soul is theatrical.“It’s not definable in our current vocabulary,” Moore said. “It has to have a new definition, truly, because it’s certainly unlike anything that has been done.”One of the companies to show the way forward was Berkshire Theater Group in western Massachusetts, whose “Godspell” in August became the first outdoor musical with union actors since the pandemic shut down productions.Artistic director and CEO Kate Maguire refused to entertain the notion that the company — established in 1928 — would have an asterisk beside 2020 that said no shows were produced that year.“We’re theatre makers, we’re creators, she said. ”We should be able to figure out how to create something.”So they used plexiglass partitions between each masked actor. The performers were tested regularly — at a cost of close to $50,000 — and had their own props and a single costume. Each was housed in their own living space — bedroom, living area and little kitchenette. In an open-air tent, they managed to pull off a crucifixion scene without any touching or lifting, itself a miracle.Audiences underwent temperature checks and were separated by seats. Staff were placed in three protective bubbles: artistic, production and front-of-house. And there was monitoring: Last year it was an intimacy officer; this year it was a COVID-19 one.Maguire thrashed out a 40-page agreement with the stage union Actor’s Equity Association. “We never had a positive test,” Maguire said. “We had five false positive tests,” which was “harrowing.”She thanked grants for allowing her to keep her staff on payroll, making the stress level tolerable. It was clear audiences were hungry for theatre: “I would watch people shoulders shaking as the show started because they were weeping,” she said. They're doing another outdoor show now — “Holiday Memories.”Since that first brave step, other theatre companies have plunged into the void. Play and musical licensor Concord Theatricals says theatre companies across the country are looking for flexibility in case of virus restrictions.“We’re seeing many groups applying for small cast, easy to produce, plays and musicals. They’re even seeking casting flexibility and asking for permission to perform with or without an ensemble,” said Sean Patrick Flahaven, chief theatricals executive.“There’s also a trend for groups to apply for both live performance and streaming rights. Many amateur theatres are producing single virtual performances to keep revenue flowing.”Playwright Natalie Margolin decided to write a new play during the pandemic but not a conventional one. She imagined what the world would look like when it was a given that all social life existed on Zoom.Hence “The Party Hop,” a play specifically to be performed on Zoom that's set three years into quarantine in which three college girls hit the town — online. It became her first published play, and she got stars such as Ben Platt, Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein and Ashley Park to perform in an online version, currently on YouTube. She hopes high schools and colleges will be attracted to a play reflecting the era.“It was just exciting to take part in something where it wasn’t a placeholder or a replacement, and no one needed to imagine they were anywhere else than where they were to fully realize the piece,” she said. “It’s been exciting and heartwarming to see different ways theatre has reinvented itself during this time.”Theater makers have also leaned into the storytelling part of their craft, making The Broadway Podcast Network a hub for everything from audition advice to behind-the-scenes stories.Launched shortly before the pandemic with 15 podcasts, the theatre shutdown initially wiped out its revenue streams, advertising and sponsorship. The network has since righted itself and is growing with some 100 podcasts — from the likes of Tim Rice and Tonya Pinkins — plus benefits, show reunions and original programs, like the digital theatre-based frothy soap opera, “As the Curtain Rises” with stars Alex Brightman, Sarah Stiles and Michael Urie.“Even though we had lost all of our advertising, we just knew that this was important to our community, to keep our community connected and continue to tell stories," said Dori Berinstein, co-founder of the network and a four-time Tony-winning Broadway producer. “It’s not anything that will ever replace live theatre, but it’s an extension. It’s a different way of doing that.”___Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwitsMark Kennedy, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — In the most seismic shift by a Hollywood studio yet during the pandemic, Warner Bros. Pictures on Thursday announced that all of its 2021 film slate — including a new “Matrix” movie, “Godzilla vs. Kong” and the Lin-Manuel Miranda adaptation “In the Heights” — will stream on HBO Max at the same time they play in theatres.Among the myriad release plan changes wrought by the pandemic, no studio has so fully embraced streaming as a lifeline. But after disappointing domestic ticket sales for “Tenet," and with the majority of U.S. theatres currently closed, Warner Bros. will turn to a hybrid distribution model. Films will debut simultaneously in theatres and on HBO Max in the U.S. After one month, they will stop streaming and continue to play only in theatres.As HBO Max is only available in the U.S., in Canada the studio's films will launch theatrically along with other worldwide territories, Warner Bros. Canada said.The move follows Warner Bros.' decision to put “Wonder Woman 1984” on HBO Max next December, in addition to in theatres. If that pivot sent shockwaves through the industry, Thursday's announcement was likely to rattle Hollywood to the core. It amounts to an acknowledgement that any full rebound for theatres is still a year or more away.“No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do," said Ann Sarnoff, chief executive of WarnerMedia Studios in a statement. "We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theatres in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021."Warner Bros. called it a “unique one-year plan.” The studio has generally ranked among the top two studios in market share over the past decade — most recently dwarfed only by Walt Disney. Warner's films typically account for $1.5-2 billion annual in ticket sales in North America — a lot of money to compensate for in HBO Max subscribers. A spokesperson for Warner Bros. confirmed the films will be available to subscribers with no further charge.Warner Bros.' 2021 slate of 17 films includes many of the expected top movies of the year, including “Dune,” “The Suicide Squad,” “Tom & Jerry,” “The Conjuring: The Devil Make Me Do It,” “King Richard” and “Judas and the Black Messiah.”The move by Warner Bros. only makes the pain being felt by exhibitors all the more acute. Having been shuttered for much of the year, cinemas reopened nationwide in late summer except in some key locations, including Los Angeles and New York. But with most major releases postponed and surging virus cases, about 60% of theatres have since closed again. Regal Cinemas, the country's second largest chain, has shut all its doors. The National Association of Theater Owners didn't immediately comment Thursday.Under chief executive Jason Kilar, the former Hulu chief, the AT&T-owned WarnerMedia recently reorganized to further prioritize its streaming service. He has moved aggressively to boost HBO Max, even if it comes at the expense of the theatrical marketplace.“Our content is extremely valuable, unless it’s sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone,” said Kilar in a statement. “We believe this approach serves our fans, supports exhibitors and filmmakers, and enhances the HBO Max experience, creating value for all.”Jake Coyle, The Associated Press
Bay Roberts mayor Phillip Wood has received a Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for his work with the Branch 32 Legion. Having taught for over 30 years in schools across the province, and acting as current mayor of Bay Roberts, Philip Wood is a well-known in Conception Bay North. And anybody who knows Wood knows that he’s passionate about his work with the Legion. Now, Wood has received national recognition for his long-time work, something he said he was rather surprised to receive. “It’s an honour to receive this,” Wood said about the award. “I’m very surprised, because you don’t apply for theses awards, someone has to nominate you, and as a part of the nomination process, you’re also not supposed to tell the nominee that you’ve nominated them. So, to receive it was quite a surprise…When you go into any service organization, you don’t go in it to win awards, but it’s also nice to receive a little nod of approval, and it’s humbling also.” But for those who know about his work it should come as little surprise. Wood has been a member of The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 32 for over 26 years, holding various positions on the board, including secretary and president. Currently, Wood holds the position as 2nd vice-president of Provincial Command, Newfoundland and Labrador. It’s been a lengthy career of service in the Legion for Wood. He was part of the original committee that planned and developed the Veterans Quay Marina in Bay Roberts, and was involved in the recent refurbishment of the Bay Roberts cenotaph. Wood also served as liaison between the Legion and Heritage Society during the installation of the military exhibit in the Cable Building. Wood’s work with the Legion follows a military career which began when he completed his basic officer training in Chilliwack, BC. In the late 70’s he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Mlitary service is a tradition deeply established in Wood’s family. His son, Paul, is currently serving with the PPCLI Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and has done a number of duty tours over seas, while his father, Eric, served in WWII. It means that, for Wood, honouring the sacrifices of those who have served is of the utmost importance. Following Wood’s retirement as an educator, he visited the battlefields of Europe, and has walked the Trail of The Caribou as a student chaperon. Wood said he is grateful that someone recognized him for his work with the Legion and nominated him. “I would certainly like to thank them,” he said. “It’s a great honour to know that they would take the time to fill out the nomination forum. And that’s why its humbling, because you don’t go out and solicit someone to do this. So, when someone takes the time to go out of their own initiative and say, ‘Philip Wood would be a very worthy recipient of this,’ it’s very humbling.” Like all organizations, Legions have had to adjust to COVID-19 restrictions and have had to cancel a number of events, Wood noted. “They’ve been struggling. Some branches haven’t opened up. Other branches are rebounding; however they are working very hard to keep everything going,” he said. Perhaps the most difficult decision made by the Legion across the country was to limit the number of attendees at remembrance ceremonies, or, in some case, to cancel them altogether. “It was very sad, July 1 and Nov. 11, to participate in the Remembrance Day ceremonies without the crowds this year,” said Wood. “But it’s all you can do. Hopefully next year we’ll be back. But the different legions have done an excellent job, and people working hard and doing the best they can.” Initial reports for the Poppy campaign, both from Branch 32 and the province as a whole, are positive, Wood, said, though numbers seem to be down slightly. “There were far more bills put in the cans then in previous years, versus coins, which was good to hear, because all funds collected go towards supporting veterans and their families,” Wood said.Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News
Editor's note: This story was first published on Oct. 23, 2020 Barrie police has pulled the plug on a sexual-assault investigation that included the circulation of an artist’s sketch of a possible suspect. The sketch was widely publicized by local media outlets, and police created a direct tip line for information from the public. But police closed the case without charges following a three-week “thorough, detailed and comprehensive investigation,” according to a media release. “Investigators have determined that there was never a threat to public safety and, as a result, there will be no further details or updates provided regarding this investigation,” police stated. Police were called Oct. 1 about a sexual assault that was reported to have taken place in Hurst Park while a woman was walking her dog. Rick Vanderlinde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
Editor's note: This story was first published on Oct. 11, 2020 Megan O’Donnell of Barrie, a freshman classical voice major at the University of Toronto, joins the online concert première of the new musical Sticks & Stones on Oct. 16, as part of National Bullying Prevention Month. The stream, which starts at 8 p.m., can be seen at broadwayworld.com and broadwaycares.org. It will be available through 8 p.m. Oct 20. Sticks & Stones adapts the Biblical story of David and his triumph over Goliath to address the issue of teen bullying. During the free stream, donations will be accepted for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Born This Way Foundation, founded by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta. Rick Vanderlinde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance