Group: # 1 Blog post #7

Our second last week at Focus was an eventful one. The beginning of the week was filled with editing for our Criminal Harassment and Neighbourhood Police videos. Wednesday was the most exciting day. Over the weekend, a bunch of Focus members participated in the 24 hr Film Challenge by TIFF. Wednesday was the screening where 18 films were shown on the big screen, including Focus’s own film “Sweet Deal”.

It was so amazing to see the wide variety of entries, and how creative people were when implementing the required shots and props from TIFF. Even though Focus didn’t win, the bonding experience the team had and the final product is something they are proud of. I will definitely be part of that team next year.

But we also had a bit of filming this week too. We had two interviews with Julie Fiddes from the Women’s Shelter discussing their role in helping victims of criminal harassment. Our big filming session was filming Rob and Amber on their patrols in the gay village and St. James Town…

Catch da Flava - Opiod Epidemic in Canada - Group: #1 Radio Blog #6

This is the sixth radio blog of Catch Da Flava Youth Radio Show hosted by Vanessa, Andre and Iman. The topic is about Opioid and the opioid epidemic here in Canada. Our guest is Sheena Taha from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. She gave information about the topic and her opinion about it. This radio show showed the negative side effects of opioid overdoses and how to help others if they are struggling with opioid addiction. This is Iman from Catch Da Flava and hope you tune in for next week's radio show.

Date: August 14, 2019
Name: Iman Rajabi

Group: #2 – Radio Blog #6

On this weeks radio show we had a discussion about Lifestyle (Veganism Vs Meat Eaters). We
had our guests Stephan, Raymondo & Diego speak about their experiences and the different
lifestyles they live. On the vegan side we had Elise and Stephan and on the meat eater side we
had Raymondo and Diego. Both sides had GREAT arguments but its still unsolved as to which
lifestyle is better. Elise Ardizzi hosted this weeks show. I (Xavier Ricketts) and Minerva
Navasca did the technical work for the show. Overall I enjoyed it this week and I look forward to
my last radio show next week!!!

Date: August 14, 2019
Name: Xavier Ricketts

French Radio Show on Online Data Protection - Blog #6

Cette semaine, nous sommes avons animé une émission de radio sur la protection de données en ligne. Nous sommes donc entrés en contact avec un homme qui travaillait dans ce domaine afin qu’il nous explique plus en détail le fonctionnement de la vente de données en ligne avec google, facebook et apple. Nous sommes également entrés en contact avec des membres de différents partis politiques québécois peu connus afin de connaître leur position sur différents sujets. Cette semaine est notre dernière a regent park focus, nous avons vécu des expériences extraordinaire, rencontrer des gens super sympathique et appris plusieurs choses. Pour nous, le groupe 3, nous sommes très reconnaissant et recommandons amplement ce programme!

This week, we hosted a radio show on online data protection. So we got in touch with a man who worked in this area to explain more about how online sales of data works with Google, Facebook and Apple. We also got in touch with members of various less known Quebec pol…

Legal Aid Convention and Radio Show on Technology - Group: #2 – Blog #6

This week at Regent Park Focus was very productive! We edited a lot of the footage we got from the Legal Aid Convention and board meetings. We are still continuing to edit and finish the feature before summer comes to an end.

We also had our radio show that focused on technology of the future, and the positive and negative impacts that it could potentially have. We had Danny Nolivos who spoke about the dark web which got a bit eerie, but definitely interesting! We also had Christian Waddell (a.k.a Pants) who is the best Virtual Reality gamer in the world! He spoke a lot about VR and AR, his experience with it, and how he thinks it will benefit the future. We spoke about TV show, Black Mirror and how it does a good representation of how the future can potentially look like.

Looking forward to finishing up the Legal Aid film and the last week at Regent Park Focus.

Date: August 9, 2019
Name: Elise Ardizzi

French Radio Show on Lesser-known Political Parties in Quebec - Blog #5.2

Pour la dernière émission de radio, nous avons parlé des partis politiques québécois méconnus. Nous sommes entrés en contact avec un membre du Bloc Pot, un parti qui veut la décriminalisation du cannabis, un membre du parti Marxiste Léniniste, un parti qui veut  faire respecter les droits des travailleurs québécois, et un membre du parti Citoyens au Pouvoir, un parti qui souhaite que le système québécois devienne comme le système suisse, beaucoup plus démocratique. Nous avons également parlé quelque temps du parti culinaire, du parti communiste et du parti nul.

For the last radio show, we talked about the unknown political parties in Quebec. We got in touch with a member of the Bloc Pot, a party that wants to decriminalize cannabis, a member of the Marxist Leninist party, a party that wants to uphold the rights of Quebec workers, and a member of the Citizens in Power Party, a party that wants the Quebec system to become like the Swiss system, much more democratic. We also talked for …

Catch da Flava - Gender Inequality - Group: #1 Radio Blog #5

Our fifth radio show on Catch Da Flava was taken over by myself, Vanessa. I kicked the other guys out to have an all girls show (with Matthew Avolio coming in as a later guest) with my fellow girls. I had Minerva Navasca and Lorena Florea with me from 11 am to 12 pm to spill the tea.

Opening with Run the World by Beyoncé, our conversation started off hot with discussions about the inequality of how women have to constantly buy products for periods when men get condoms for free. We also discussed false information about periods, how the blame is often heavily placed on the woman when accidental pregnancies happen, and the statement “women who wear revealing clothing are asking to get raped”.

After listening to 7 Rings by Ariana Grande, we continued our conversation with Matthew to provide a guy voice during our ranting. We discussed cat calling, men commenting about women and guys playing the victim when being rejected by a girl. With a quick break to Demi Lovato’s Confident, we conti…

Catch da Flava - Income Inequality - Group #3 – Radio Blog #5

This week on our radio show, we talked about Income Inequality, with special guests Laura McDonough and David Hulchanski. We decided to message them specifically to see if they would come on our show because Laura is a United Way researcher and David is a UofT professor, and both are very informed on the topic and talk about it daily in their workplaces. We discussed topics revolving around what problems they face, residential segregation, the gini coefficient, and many more. We also looked at the different incomes communities have had over the years. We found that in 1980, there were five very low-income neighbourhoods in Toronto and in 2015, the number grew to 88. Overall, it was a very interesting topic to handle and think about. Laura and David told us that they had previously worked together combatting income inequality, which made the radio show even better and made it run much more smoothly. Next week we plan on talking about Skin Bleaching and the effects it has had on people…

French Radio Show - Quebec Religious Symbol Bans - Regent Park Focus Blog 1

Today was an exciting day! We had the opportunity to visit Yonge Dundas Square to create a Vox Pop with the residents of Toronto. We asked them a series of questions about the new law passed in Quebec which bans public workers in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols. We also asked them about the changes that were made to O’ Canada in 2018.

Aujourd'hui était une journée passionnante! Nous avons eu l’occasion de visiter Yonge Dundas Square pour enregistrer un Vox Pop avec les habitants de Toronto. Nous leur avons posé une série de questions sur la nouvelle loi adoptée au Québec, qui interdit aux fonctionnaires occupant des postes d'autorité de porter des symboles religieux. Nous leur avons également demandé quelles modifications avaient été apportées à O ’Canada en 2018.

Catch da Flava - Travel and Tourism, The Good, The Bad, The Dirty - Group: #2 – Blog #5

This week at Regent Park Focus was very productive. We visited the Legal Aid Clinic and interviewed the staff members to get their opinions on the legal aid cuts that Doug Ford is implementing. We learned that this will, unfortunately, impact low-income individuals putting them at even more risk of homelessness, jail and to be hospitalized. Ultiumatley this will cost the government more in the end. We also went to a rally on Tuesday to film and interview individuals who have used the legal aid services, and also staff memebers who are being effected by these cuts as well. The footage we got of everyone was very good and now starting to edit and sync the audio in the lab. We are super excited to see how the final video comes out!
We also had our radio show on Wednesday. Our topic of discussion was "Travel and Tourism, the good, the bad, the dirty". We had Nino Ace as our guest who is a professional traveller, having travelled to 36 countries and 6 continents. We were very kn…

Regent Park Focus Blog 5

This week, we filmed the last episode of the “Lloyd Show”. Meeting Lloyd was an interesting experience and for it to come to an end is a little bit sad as we will miss working with him. In this episode, Lloyd interviewed a friend of his, Ines, who talked about what stores she thinks should be put up in Regent Park and etc. Overall, the scenery was a nice touch to the video, and we’ll surely be coming again to film or take photos.

Besides the show, we also conducted our fourth radio show, talking about Eating Disorders with two special guests from NEDIC. They talked about signs to look out for and what to do if you know someone is dealing with the problem. It was very educational and we hope our listeners enjoyed it just as much as we did.

Listen to Podcast:

In the end, it was an easy going week. Next week, we plan on focusing on just editing the videos now that we’ve finished filming altogether.

Group #1 Blog #5

The last week of July had been a busy week for us with filming sessions and important guest speakers. Monday July 29th had Deputy Police Chief Peter Yuen discussing the future plans for the Neighbourhood Community Officer Program. The meeting took place at the Regent Park Community Centre with an amazing turnout from residents. The new program will be rolled out in September to 35 communities, including Regent Park. Our team filmed the meeting and interviewed a few guests to get their opinions about the expanded program.

Wednesday had our usual Catch da Flava radio show, with our specialist being Mary Wu from SE Health to discuss tips for Job Hunting and Ergonomics. But beforehand we had a special guest speaker. Nigel H. from Etalk came to talk to us about his career in the industry, and even his own time in Regent Park Focus. Nigel gave great advice about how to get an internship and shared his tips on how to make a lasting impression that will open more doors (you should have a goo…

Catch da Flava - Eating Discorders - Regent Park Focus Radio Blog 4

This week, we discussed Eating Disorders with special guests, Jennifer and Arya, from NEDIC. We talked about how the media affects people and how it could lead to having the disorder, as well as who founded NEDIC and why. They also mentioned their personal experiences with eating disorders and how it inspired them to get involved in working with NEDIC. While talking to them, you could feel the compassion they had for the people suffering from the disorder, and how they really tailored their program to each specific person. We were so happy they emailed back so fast and agreed to come to Regent Park Focus because they were the best possible people we could’ve interviewed for this topic. Stay tuned for next week, where we tackle the topic of Income Inequality!
Listen to Podcast:

Group #1 Blog #4

Group #1 Blog #4

This week was full of interviews and filming. On top of our Wednesday radio show, we had two filming sessions interviewing speakers for our Criminal Harassment video, and our new Neighbourhood police video. On Monday we met with Julie S. Lalonde, creator of Outside of the Shadows, to hear her opinion about criminal harassment in Canada. That was followed by a meeting with St. James Town Neighbourhood Police Officers Rob Chevalier and Amber Smith. We got to know the officers and discussed ideas for the neighbourhood police video. Tuesday was our first filming session with Rob and Amber. We got a tour of the 51 division and filmed an interview session in “The Space”, a space the police acquired and turned into a community centre. Our Wednesday radio show was about abortion with a surprise birthday party for Lorena. We shouted her out on air and had cake to celebrate later. What an interesting week!

Listen to Podcast:

Hosts: Iman Rajabi and Vanessa Wu

Group # 2 Blog #4

Group # 2 Blog #4

This week at Regent Park Focus was very busy! We started off with our radio show, had to find a guest speaker that our discussion. This was a bit difficult but in the end, had a guest come from Regent Park Film Festival to talk about diversity in the film industry. 

We also started working on our promotional video for the Legal Aid Clinics in Ontario. Here we are focusing on the residents that live and use the service, and also trying to raise awareness to the general public of Doug Ford's cuts. We went to Ryerson University, and Moss Park to interview people.

We just got new equipment so it was a lot of fun working with such high-quality camera gear. 

Loving and learning a lot here!

Date: July 26, 2019

Name: Elise Ardizzi

Crminal Harassment Video and Neighbourhood Police

Group #1 Blog #4

This week was full of interviews and filming. On top of our Wednesday radio show, we had two filming sessions interviewing speakers for our Criminal Harassment video and our new Neighbourhood police video. On Monday we met with Julie S. Lalonde, creator of Outside of the Shadows, to hear her opinion about criminal harassment in Canada. That was followed by a meeting with St. James Town Neighbourhood Police Officers Rob Chevalier and Amber Smith. We got to know the officers and discussed ideas for the neighbourhood police video. Tuesday was our first filming session with Rob and Amber. We got a tour of the 51 division and filmed an interview session in “The Space”, a space the police acquired and turned into a community centre. Our Wednesday radio show was about abortion with a surprise birthday party for Lorena. We shouted her out on air and had cake to celebrate later. What an interesting week!

Date: July 26, 2019
Names: Iman Rajabi and Vanessa Wu

Legal Aid Clinics in Ontario

Group # 2 Blog #4
This week at Regent Park Focus was very busy! We started off with our radio show, had to find a guest speaker that our discussion. This was a bit difficult but in the end had a guest come from Regent Park Film Festival to talk about diversity in the film industry. 
We also started working on our promotional video for the Legal Aid Clinics in Ontario. Here we are focusing on the residents that live and use the service, and also trying to raise awareness to the general public of Doug Ford's cuts. We went to Ryerson University, and Moss Park to interview people.
We just got new equipment so it was a lot of fun working with such high quality camera gear. 
Loving and learning a lot here!
Date: July 26, 2019 Name: Elise Ardizzi

French radio blog # 3

French radio blog # 3

Pour l'émission de radio de la semaine 3, nous avons fait un résumé de ce qu’a fait Justin Trudeau pendant qu’il était premier ministre. Nous avons également parlé de l’adaptation de films pour la bien-pensance de 2019. Thomas a animé, Sheni a posé les questions et Elwin a décrypté les sujets.

For the week 3 radio show, we did a resume of what Justin Trudeau did during the 4 last years. We talked to about color washing in movies like The little mermaid or 007. Thomas was hosting, Shani introduced subjects and Elwin talked about subjects with Thomas.

Listen to Podcast:

Date: July 24, 2019

Name: Alwin Atangana

Catch da Flava - Pro-Life and Pro-Choice

3rd Radio Blog

Group # 1

Catch da Flava’s topic for our third week was abortion, from how to get an abortion in Canada, the Unplanned pro-life film, and people’s personal opinions about pro-life and pro-choice. The hosting was done by André and Iman since I lost my voice, but I was still there listening to the conversation.

Our 11 am to 12 pm timeslot was slightly hijacked in the beginning by our guest Minerva Navasca, who wished a very happy 19th birthday to our other guest Lorena Florea. Happy birthday Lorena, you’re finally 19!

After we got the show back on track Minerva and Lorena gave their opinions about being pro-choice, and how the pro-life side is adapting to the times. We also discussed the Unplanned movie, an adaptation about Abby Johnson’s switch from pro-choice to pro-life.

After Lorena and Minerva, we had Carolyn Egan from Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada to answer some questions about the current abortion system in Canada and what their organization is doing to help…

Powerful by Nature: Sex Work is Work

Date: July 23rd, 2019 Hosts:  Kai & Chantal Guests: @Exotic.Cancer, Shorty & More Topic: Sex work is Work 

Sex work is simultaneously one of the world’s oldest and most criminalized and stigmatized professions. In the latest episode of Powerful by Nature, your hosts openly explore the realities of sex work and stripping today through a roundtable discussion and interviews with a variety of different women who work or have worked as strippers.

We talk why stripping and sex work are often the best option for work for people living in poverty, facing discrimination and violence and living in places without affordable housing or a minimum wage that's anywhere near a living wage. We talk about the importance of respecting the bodily autonomy of people who work in the industry and explore the violence and entitlement of many men who pay for the services of sex workers and strippers. We explore anti-black racism and other forms of discrimination that operate within the industry and …

Criminal Harassment and Abortion and Ergonomics Projects

Group: # 1

This week our group not only broadcast our second radio show “Catch da Flava” but also did a
lot of activities related to the next weeks’ radio shows and to the short documentary on Criminal
Harassment that we are producing.

On Monday we went to the streets to ask Regent Park streeters’ opinion about the changes that
Ontario province is making for the accessibility of alcohol beverages and retail and convenience
stores and its consumption in public areas. The next day we edited their answers into two audio
clips that were played on our radio show on Wednesday.

Throughout the week we also edited footage of the testimonials from criminal harassment
victims for the short documentary that we are making. We also reached out to experts on the
subject, police officers and lawyers as potential interviewees for this project. We plan to film our
first interview next week.

Meanwhile, we researched and gathered the information that will guide our scripts for our radio
shows for the next two weeks.…

Catch da Flava - Raptors Chamionshoip

Group #2 - blog #3

Last week at Regent Park Focus we were working on our radio show on Radio Regent, "CATCH
DA FLAVA"! It was a lot of fun, our topic of discussion was about the positive and negative
impacts that the Raptors Championship had on the City of Toronto. We chose to focus on the
socioeconomic impacts such as the increase in tourism and money that the championship
brought, but also the negatives such as pollution and danger that come with winning a
championship. It was a lot of fun putting together the script and working together as a team, we
chose hip-hop music to go with the vibe of the show and brought a super-fan as our guest.
Overall the radio show was a success.

For the rest of the week we were prepping for our promotional video we are doing for Neighbourhood Legal Services. Doug Ford has cut funding to the legal clinics in Ontario and we
want to raise awareness of this problem because legal aid clinics help the lower income families
and refugees immensely I also lea…

Regent Park Focus Blog 3

This week we worked hard on writing the scripts for the radio show up until Friday, where we interviewed Ismail Afrah for the Revitalization Project. Ismail had a lot to share about his work in the neighborhood as he is the co-chair of TCHC. Later in the day, we went out to film Lloyd and his friend Yousuf Ismail for the “Lloyd Show”. They had a discussion on how the revitalization has affected everyday life as longtime residents of Regent Park. So far, the week consisted of a lot of filming and script writing. Very excited for next week’s radio show where we talk about DUI’s.

Summer Radio - Physical and Psychological Effects of Mental Health

This week, our third working in Regent Park Focus this summer, we broadcast our first radio show. It was an episode of Catch da Flava, one of the most traditional and long-going shows at Radio Regent.

We went live on Wednesday, July 10, at 11 am, for an hour-long show. The topic this week was Mental Health -  the physical and psychological effect of mental health problems, the broad scale of mental health, what to watch for and where to find help.

To discuss all that, we had two guest interviews. In the first half, we talked with two undergraduate students, Christine Nastor and Diana DeLeon, about their struggles with mental health, especially in high school.

After that, we interviewed Mike Stroh, founder of Starts With Me, a company that offers services for promoting mental health at schools and workplaces along with empowering families and individuals to increase their capacity for well-being. Mike answered our questions around the subject, talking about what are the…

Powerful By Nature - Pride!!!

Date:  July 8th, 2019 Hosts:  Kay, Chantal & Rhiannon Guests: Berkha Gupta, ED at LGBTYouthline
Topic: Pride Show

This is our show about all things LGBTQ+. We start off taking a deep dive in to the history of Pride and then we interview Berkha Gupta, the Executive Director of LGBT Youthline about the organization’s incredible work supporting LGBTQ+  youth across Ontario through their confidential and non-judgemental peer support telephone, text and chat services.  Kay, Chantal and Rhiannon end off the show with a round table discussion about sexuality, identity, coming out and more!

Listen here:

To learn more about Jessie’s Centre and/or the Community Education Program, please visit:

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @PowerfulXNature

To talk to one of LGBTYouthLine’s trained queer and/or trans peer volunteers, call them toll-free at 1.800.268.9688 or if you’re i…
This week, we got new cameras! It was very interesting to see how the settings worked and how much more advanced they were compared to the old equipment we had previously. Besides this, we also did our third radio show so far on Driving Under the Influence, with special guest, Carolyn Swinson. She talked to us a ton about MADD Canada and how they help enforce safe driving. Other than that, we continued working on writing the script for next week’s radio show, as well as started to edit the “Lloyd Show”. So far, so good! Next week, we plan to film some more with Lloyd as well as start editing the Revitalization Project.

Summer Blog - Week of July 2-5th, 2019

Summer Blog 2019
I Week of July 2 – 5, 2019
This is the 2nd week working in Regent Park Focus for the Summer Media Assistant Production Program, and it is a blast working on numerous projects for this job. My co-workers are fun, energetic and diverse. Everyone works their hardest during projects to ensure they leave their mark at Regent Park. Our most recent project was short films about gentrification. All of my group members had a blast during production and the whole filming experience was super fun. We ended up making two videos called “Invasive”, and “Grandmami”. And this is just the beginning of the summer with more projects waiting for us to produce.
By: Iman Rajabi Date: July 5, 2019

Little Divas' Blog Post - May 30th (Celebration)

This was the last sessions the Divas will be attending until fall. The session started out with a couple of games the girls played together. Some examples of the games the girls played included: charades, interview, riddles, and more.  The girls also decided they wanted to host a dance competition.
We then had a pizza party and talked about their plans for the summer. Seeing these girls grow and become aware of issues and the power they have has been amazing, they are very excited for the sessions to start again in October. When they had first arrived in the program they seemed very shy and remained fairly quiet, now it's clear to see how their level of confidence has gone up and many of them mentioned that it has helped them at school.
Thank you for this amazing year!

Little Divas' Blog Post - May 16th & 23rd (Photography)

The session on the 16th of May was used as a round table discussion to talk about the girls' opinion about the program so far.

After starting with a quick game, the girls started mentioning things they liked and things they would like improved about the program. They then completed their evaluations and started talking about things they would want to learn in future sessions.

On the 23rd, the girls went back to taking pictures, this time they were given even more control of how they wanted it to come out and therefore, they spent a long time situating themselves in places where the sun hit them the way they wanted it to.
They also played around a lot with their surroundings finding creative ways to take pictures. The pictures are shown below:


Little Divas' Blog Post - May 9th (Message to My Future Self)

This session the girls worked on creating letters they would write to their future selves. This got them really thinking about their future and what they would like to do.  This somewhat stressed the girls out because they suddenly felt pressured to have their life and future figured out. After some discussion, they felt much more comfortable leaving things unplanned and many stuck to little life lessons they wanted to state. Something the girls each agreed with was that no matter what, they needed to stick together. 
The purpose of this activity was for the girls to find values and characteristics of themselves that they would like to keep with them even when they got older. Many talked about positivity and bouncing back from negativity. 
While writing this and brainstorming the girls also found a way to pass time by doing riddles, they seemed to know a lot and had a few laughs trying to solve them together. 

The girls also mentioned taking a video of these messages so they could pu…

Little Divas' Blog post - May 2nd (Photography)

This session, the girls worked on photography. Since the weather was so nice we decided it would be best to go outside and get natural lighting for the pictures. The girls planned and took each picture, they worked on directing each other while also keeping lighting and the atmosphere of the picture in mind.

Near the end of the session, the girls talked about how much they enjoyed taking these pictures and started planning what they would do if they were to film a video instead. One of the girls was really excited about filming videos, she offered a step by step plan about what it would be about and who she would want in it.   Some of the other planned ideas that had to do with fashion and awareness, though we may not have time to do it this year, the girls are already planning for it when programs resume in fall.

Powerful X Nature - #DestigmaDepression

Date:  June 6th, 2019

Hosts:  Shakaila
Guests: Shanika, Doula & Mary Rella, Director of Community and Counselling Services at Skylark
Topic: #DestigmatizeDepression

On June 6th, our show was all about depression. Depression is a mental illness, specifically a mood disorder, with commonly occurring symptoms including feelings of sadness, irritability, anger and/or hopelessness, fatigue, insomnia, changes in weight in appetite, loss of energy and aches and pain. 11% of Canadian adults have had, have or will have symptoms that meet the criteria for major depression sometime in their life. Studies show that women are more likely to get depression than men and young people aged 15 to 24 are more likely to experience mental illness, including depression, than other age groups.

We started the show off by interviewing Shanika, a doula, about her experience working with pregnant people and new parents with perinatal and postnatal depression. Then we interviewed Mary Rella, the Director of Comm…

Little Divas' Blog Post - April 25th (Magazine Writing)

This session the girls worked on creating magazines.  They picked topics and created a cover and began writing articles for it. Some topics picked included: Anti-bullying, fashion, feminism, and more!
The purpose of this project was to see how much they already knew about issues and what they wanted to continue working on and talking about.  It also helped to get a glimpse of the girls' interests. They were offered many different things to complete the project, these being pencil crayons, markers, magazines, paint, etc.
 When asked why they picked what they did, many mentioned how their topic impacts them.  For example, one of the girls talked about bullying, stating that she would like to educate people on things to do if they feel like they're being bullied. One of the other girls picked the topic of Feminism, she talked about how important feminism is and why it can help many people around the world.  The girls also mentioned being able to type up what they need to on the …

Photography Workshop Blog: April - May


Agally is an aspiring young man. He is eager to learn and already aware of the idea of photography and has creative perspective. We started with my curriculum I prepared for introduction to photography with detailed notes including the meaning of photography; why do we photograph; the different genres of photography; and the most major of all, Understanding Light.

The workshop is filled with video tutorials from critiqued YouTube and Agally was given homework to watch the videos in his convenience and to take notes of what he learnt and presented it in the next class.


After enough lecture and understanding of how camera works and its technical adjustments, Agally took the first shot in a studio setup and learned how to light your subject and adjust your camera to get the right photograph. On the following, we went out in Regent Park neighborhood and Agally has taken landscape, street and a few portrait pictures after proper approach and explaining why we are doing this. May w…

Music Production - March 14th

Today was the first day I had the pleasure of working with The Diva Girls. Up until this week students had been coming in and working on their own projects but the girls had something else in mind. They wanted to prepare two songs for a showcase they were putting on. After spending some time showing them the ins and outs of Logic, and the capabilities it has as a recording program, they informed me they had chosen to record "Girl On Fire" by Alicia Keys.
    Right off the bat I was impressed at how self confident these young women were. For students who had never recorded professionally or spent any substantial amount of time in a recording studio they were undaunted by the task at hand. Rather they approached recording vocals with such joy and enthusiasm, laughing during takes, and encouraging one another to do more, and push themselves further. They took turns singing choruses and verses, carefully practicing their parts to themselves before it was their turn to step…

Powerful By Nature - Weed Legalization & Criminalization

Date:  May 13th, 2019

Hosts:  Shuhita & Nicole

Guests: Caryma Sa'd, Criminal Lawyer
Topic: Weed Legalization & Criminalization
On May 13th, we decided to talk about weed legalization and criminalization. Recreational cannabis was legalized on October 17, 2018 in Canada however, it was not decriminalized. For example, it is illegal to possess more than 30 grams of dried cannabis, to grow more than 4 plants per residence, and it remains illegal to sell cannabis. 
An estimated 500,000 Canadians already have a criminal record for possessing this now-legal drug. Although the federal government has said they will pardon Canadians with a record for simple pot possession, how accessible and just that process will be remains questionable. Charges for marijuana possession have disproportionality effected racialized communities, especially black and Indigenous people, and black and Indigenous people are given longer criminal sentences for cannabis related offenses. For example, a 2017 Tor…

Diva Girls' Blog Post - April 26th & 29th (Music Production Continued)

This session the Divas continued working on their music with the help of Glama. The girls divided themselves unto groups, 2 decided to do music production while the other girls decided they would like to create videos.
After some contemplating the girls decided they would like to change the song they were going to sing. They had 3 songs in mind and ended up choosing "Girl On Fire" by Alicia Keys, due to the very empowering lyrics.

The girls got through most of the song but will continue the rest next week. The other group of girls decided they would create their own song which they will record on the 29th.
The Divas who were working on the video were having a harder time on discovering what they wanted to film, after some talking they decided they would be making instructional videos, some examples being: hijab tutorials, clothing hacks, dances, etc. 
The session on the 29th was done with the assistance of John, he talked to the girls about creating audio and helped lead them i…

Diva Girls' Blog Post - April 15th & 22nd (Brain Storming + Music Production)

This session was used to brainstorm future project ideas. The girls talked about projects they would like to work on, this being podcasts and videos while also taking the radio into consideration. The girls then worked on creating a playlist they would like to play in the background during the showcase, some even asked if they would be allowed to film their own music video/record something.
Some ideas they had for podcasts revolved around mental health, gender-based discrimination, Islamophobia, the media and its impacts, and identity.
The following week (April 22nd) the girls worked on creating their own music with the help of John, the music producer at Focus. Working with logic they not only made their own beat, but some of them also sang some covers of songs they picked.
These will be on display during the showcase.

Amna Quaid Azam

Little Divas' Blog Post - April 18th

This session is the Little Divas' first session without the presence of Canvas.  Many of the girls mentioned that they would miss both the coordinators, but are still looking forward to the sessions coming up.  The girls came in and after having some snacks, began introducing themselves and went around the room showing the projects they had created and added more information on why each was important to them.
They then began to not only discuss what they had previously learned but also, discussed what they wanted to learn from the future sessions.  These being activities revolving around mindfulness and breathing, meditation, podcasts and radio shows, videos, photography and much more.
They also stated that they would like more in-depth information on being independent
One of them also stated that they would like to have sessions where they can talk with the older divas about the program and offer advice, this idea will be explored more in the coming days.

Amna Quaid Azam

Diva Girls' Blog Post - April 12th (Little Divas Showcase)

This session the Little Divas had a showcase and the older Divas were invited to watch!
While the Little Divas were getting ready the older Divas and I talked about the UofT Showcase and how they felt it turned out at the end. We then talked about the sessions leading up to it and how everyone's experience went throughout it.
Soon after, we were all invited into the room the showcase was happening at and the Little Divas talked about the work they created and we were able to listen to a song the girls had created and then watched a dance they came up with together which had the message of empowerment implemented into it.

Some of the pieces the girls worked on was a wall titled "Black Girl Magic", which included letters the girls had created to people they think embody Black Girl Magic. There was also a section titled The Future which included Time Capsules the girls created. More work created was on advertising, self-portraits, Taking back Stereotypes, the word feminist…