The Brighter Side


The Brighter Side

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The Brighter Side
Celebrating GOOD News, GREAT Ideas and AMAZING People!

  • Kids Helping Kids 100 Kids Who Care Calgary 31 August 2017 by Christina Rowsell
    @RadioChristina
    YouTube – Christina Rowsell

    You only hope that your child grows up caring and giving. You hope they become people who make a difference in the world. One way to set them on that path is through the gift of giving. We, as parents, are responsible for teaching our children how to do that.

    One way is through 100 Kids Calgary. It’s a movement inspiring the next generation to GIVE!

    Based on the same model as 100 Women Who Care Calgary, 100 Kids Who Care Calgary donate $10 to a local charity four times a year. The process teaches kids how to nominate a charity of their choice, talk about that charity and vote on who they thing is deserving of their own, hard earned, money!

    Tristan and Zach, children of the founders Mike and Danielle Donovan had a chance to talk to Christina Rowsell on soft rock 97.7 to explain how it all works and why they want to give back.

    You can see the YouTube video here.

    To find out more visit www.100kidscalgary.com.

    Next event is September 23, 2017 at Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics. Details here www.100kidscalgary.com.

    Click to Tweet

    Tweet: #KidsHelpingKids @100KidsCalgary is a movement inspiring the next generation to #GIVE! https://ctt.ec/fe236+
    #KidsHelpingKids @100KidsCalgary is a movement inspiring the next generation to #GIVE! http://ow.ly/CY1v30ePd5g

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    Christina Rowsell – Radio AnnouncerBloggerPhotographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… part time cook (only when she has time – in between driving to the hockey rink, lacrosse and volunteering…)

    The Brighter Side Blog is a blog that shares Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People. If you have a story to share, feel free to contact Christina. Subscribe YouTube Here, Follow on Twitter @RadioChristina@BrighterSideyyc and LIKE on Facebook ChristinaRowsellMedia and TheBrighterSideyycwww.christinarowsell.com

    Additionally, Christina and her husband Chad are working on a documentary about Lyme Disease in Alberta called The Tiny Tick


  • Ethan Gamer Thanks 28 August 2017 by Christina Rowsell
    @RadioChristina
    YouTube – Christina Rowsell

    You know that saying, “If you don’t ask you don’t know.” Sometimes it’s fear of being rejected or the fear of asking for something that you shouldn’t have asked for.

    My son has been asking forever if he can get his own YouTube channel. I finally said yes, under one condition, he doesn’t show his face. He doesn’t need that right now. I want to see if he can first make his own videos, and if he can handle the pressure that comes with posting.

    His first video was a success. On his own he found a company that can get a teaser video done for him as he only has QuickTime on his computer, and no video producing programs on is computer. And he did a GREAT job.

    But, when it came to do his first audio video, he was terrified at the way he sounded. You know that feeling when you hear yourself for the first time and say, “Whoa… that’s not my voice…is it?” He was disappointed that he sounded so young. I explained to him that the more he does it the more he’ll get used to the sound of his voice and be able to record with confidence. (This from his mother who has 25 years experience as a radio announcer.)

    But, advice from his mother wasn’t what he wanted. He then showed me a young YouTube star called Ethan Gamer out of the UK with over a million subscribers. He wanted to know how he could be as good as him, as he’s also 10, just like him. I explained that this little boy has been doing this for 3 years and that it took time for him to build up his audience.

    So I thought, maybe a message from Ethan Gamer would help build up my sons confidence. I know that his Ethan Gamer TV twitter was monitored through his parents, so I thought it was worth a shot to send a tweet out… to see if maybe…just maybe I’d get a reply to pass onto my son! And I did!! And he replied to my son, leaving my son with a GREAT BIG SMILE on his face and the positive energy to continue! Thank you Ethan Gamer! You make my little YouTuber happy! More importantly…you inspired him to believe in himself!

    Here’s my YouTuber sons first produced video How To Install Minecraft Mods…caution to parents…you may not know what the heck he’s talking about… but all the kids today are huge into Minecraft! LOL!

    In appreciation to Ethan Gamer TV!

    Click To Tweet

    Tweet: If you don't ask you don't know. Believe in yourself! One #Gamer at a time. @EthanGamerTV via @RadioChristina https://ctt.ec/S622H+
    If you don’t ask you don’t know. Believe in yourself! One #Gamer at a time. @EthanGamerTV via @RadioChristina http://ow.ly/qmOM30eJCE8.

    Follow @BrighterSideyyc


    Christina Rowsell – Radio AnnouncerBloggerPhotographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… part time cook (only when she has time – in between driving to the hockey rink, lacrosse and volunteering…)

    The Brighter Side Blog is a blog that shares Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People. If you have a story to share, feel free to contact Christina. Follow on Twitter @RadioChristina@BrighterSideyyc and LIKE on Facebook ChristinaRowsellMedia and TheBrighterSideyycwww.christinarowsell.com

    Additionally, Christina and her husband Chad are working on a documentary about Lyme Disease in Alberta called The Tiny Tick


  • YYC Xpress Yourself The Power of Validation 17 August 2017 by Christina Rowsell
    @RadioChristina

    The power of validation allows us to accept our feelings, thoughts and experiences. It’s also so very powerful for others to be validated. Sometimes that validation comes through others expressing their experiences which then navigates us to a place of acknowledgment for our own emotional journey.

    Helping to move people forward, YYC Xpress Yourself is a new event in Calgary. It’s a platform that gives people an opportunity to express themselves without judgement. Focusing on mental, spiritual, physical, financial and emotional health – this an event that invites speakers that have the tools to help others to have a happier life.

    People want to feel human, accepted and loved. The events is also about giving people the support they need to grow and become who they were meant to be.

    Here’s the conversation I had with the founding members of YYC Xpress Yourself Uriel Light and Ella Clarens.

    At YYC Xpress Yourself you can tell your story, do poetry, music, dance, comedy and more. 

    At this event, the headliner is a Hay House Speaker. The next event in Calgary is Monday August 22, 2017 at the Triwood Community Association. For information click HERE.

    There will also be a panel of 6 individuals who will share their success stories. 

    Philosophy: We believe every human needs to express themselves freely without judgement.

    Mission: Our mission is to heal people through words and create a safe strong support system.

    Vision: Our vision is to raise awareness for mental, physical, spiritual, financial and emotional health by connecting individuals to the right TOOLS helping elevate their life.

    Be sure to register at Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/yyc-xpress-yourself-open-seminar-tickets-36810053862.

    Click To Tweet
    Tweet: #YYCXpressYourself is a platform for you to express yourself without judgement. #BeYou via @RadioChristina https://ctt.ec/6OFK6+
    #YYCXpressYourself is a platform for you to express yourself without judgement. #BeYou via @RadioChristina http://ow.ly/s2CC30eu7p4

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    Christina Rowsell – Radio AnnouncerBloggerPhotographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… part time cook (only when she has time – in between driving to the hockey rink, lacrosse and volunteering…)

    The Brighter Side Blog is a blog that shares Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People. If you have a story to share, feel free to contact Christina. Follow on Twitter @RadioChristina@BrighterSideyyc and LIKE on Facebook ChristinaRowsellMedia and TheBrighterSideyycwww.christinarowsell.com

    Additionally, Christina and her husband Chad are working on a documentary about Lyme Disease in Alberta called The Tiny Tick


  • New Year for New Calgary Stampede Royalty Contest 15 August 2017 by Christina Rowsell
    @RadioChristina
    The Brighter Side YYC
    https://www.facebook.com/CalgaryStampedeQueenandPrincesses/

    Being a part of our Western Heritage is something everyone can do. However, being a part of the Calgary Stampede Royalty takes special skills that are found through the Stampede Queen and Princess Contest.

    Applications are due August 18, 2017 for the 2018 competition. In order to make it to through to the competition, you need pass the application process. You must be able to ride a horse and be able demonstrate your abilities by sending in a video or getting a riding instructor to sign and submit a letter with your application. For more questions visit their FAQ page here.

    The 2017 Stampede Royalty Trio, Stampede Queen Meagan Peters, Princess Brittany Lloyd and Princess Lizzie Ryman are ready to hand over their crowns. I spoke with Lizzie who recalls her year on duty. Besides highlighting the many trips the Trio get to take over the course of the year, Ryman shares her favourite moment as a Stampede Princess – which includes a visit to the seniors home where she met a gentleman who was a past member of the Calgary Police service for 45 years.

    https://www.facebook.com/CalgaryStampedeQueenandPrincesses/

    Ryman has aspirations to become a member of the Calgary Police force and explained that this senior was giving her tips on what to expect when she enters that field. When I spoke with Ryman she tells me more about her visit with this wonderful man, “He asked me to dance and after we sat down he told me about his wife who passed away five years ago and how they used to go out dancing all the time. He was thankful and grateful that he got to go for another dance [with me]. I was just teary eyed and I didn’t want to leave because he was one of the most special people I met throughout my entire year. It’s those little moments that really stick with you.”

    What a wonderful memory to share and cherish for the rest of her life. You just never know what the journey could look like if you have the opportunity to become Stampede Royalty.

    Ryman shares with me her tip and advice she has for anyone who’s looking to enter the competition, “Be genuine and be you! There is nothing else you can be and nothing else you can be better at. They’re [Stampede Royalty Committee] not looking for a specific type of person. They’re not looking for blond hair, brunette hair…none of that matters. Be you and let that personality shine through.”

    If you know someone who wants to experience the Calgary Stampede Royalty life, have them apply today! For more information you can visit their website at http://www.csroyalty.com/ and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    Listen to the full interview with Lizzie Ryman, Calgary Stampede Princess HERE.

    Click to Tweet
    Tweet: Application deadline @calgarystampede @StampedeQandP is Aug.18. Princess Lizzie Ryman tells me about her reign at https://ctt.ec/jRSt8+
    Application deadline @calgarystampede @StampedeQandP is Aug.18. Princess Lizzie Ryman tells me about her reign at http://ow.ly/EUtY30eql2F.

    Follow @BrighterSideyyc


    Christina Rowsell – Radio AnnouncerBloggerPhotographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… part time cook (only when she has time – in between driving to the hockey rink, lacrosse and volunteering…)

    The Brighter Side Blog is a blog that shares Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People. If you have a story to share, feel free to contact Christina. Follow on Twitter @RadioChristina@BrighterSideyyc and LIKE on Facebook ChristinaRowsellMedia and TheBrighterSideyycwww.christinarowsell.com

    Additionally, Christina and her husband Chad are working on a documentary about Lyme Disease in Alberta called The Tiny Tick


  • The Phantom of The Opera 2017 | Broadway Across Canada 14 August 2017 by Christina Rowsell
    @RadioChristina
    The Brighter Side YYC

    The first time you see a breathtaking Broadway show you walk away in awe and amazement. Back in 1992, The Phantom of The Opera was the first Broadway musical I had ever seen. It was a high school trip to Vancouver to see the production. I remember sitting in awe the whole time, on the edge of my seat mesmerized at the magical production Andrew Lloyd Webber brought to life.

    Christina Rowsell Soft Rock Host
    The Phantom of The Opera Calgary 2017

    That was 25 years ago. As soon as I heard Broadway Across Canada was bringing the phenomenal masterpiece to Calgary I knew I had to go – but I wanted to experience it again for the first time – so I decided to bring my children. Although I was 19 when I saw it the first time, my boys aged 10 and 7 were not disappointed. In fact, my youngest told me, “This is the best play I’ve ever seen in my life.” My giggle of the night came when they covered their eyes during the kissing scene asking, “Is it over yet!”

    I love that my children had the opportunity to experience this show.

    I was in awe of how much the production has grown with the stunning and spectacular scenery to the movement of each scene.

    Phantom of The Opera – Masquerade – Photo by Alastair Muir
    Photo permission via Broadway Across Canada
    The Phantom of The Opera – Hannibal – Photo by Matthew Murphy
    Photo permission via Broadway Across Canada

    The vivid consumes, through the legacy of the meticulous designer Maria Björnson, truly shone through, bringing the romantic yet dark production alive. We saw a flawless production that left us with goosebumps. The spectacular chandelier is always a highlight and did not disappoint as it descends on the audience.

    Concluding with a well deserved standing ovation as Christine and The Phantom of the Opera shared their final bow. Derrick Davis who graced the stage as The Phantom, left me with goosebumps through his powerful performance.

    The Phantom of The Opera – Derrick Davis and Eva Tavares – Photo Matthew Murphy
    Photo permission via Broadway Across Canada

    In the last 30 years, The Phantom of the Opera has broken box office records worldwide. It’s a must see show for every generation.

    Phantom of the Opera is in Calgary until August 20th. Learn more through Broadway Across Canada HERE. Tickets available through Ticketmaster HERE.

    Click To Tweet
    Tweet: #PhantomOfTheOpera @BACTouring is a flawless production that left us w/ goosebumps. @dreamclimber is exceptional! https://ctt.ec/2nlwq+
    #PhantomOfTheOpera @BACTouring is a flawless production that left us w/ goosebumps. @dreamclimber is exceptional! http://ow.ly/aSCv30eoSXi

    Follow @BrighterSideyyc


    Christina Rowsell – Radio AnnouncerBloggerPhotographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… part time cook (only when she has time – in between driving to the hockey rink, lacrosse and volunteering…)

    The Brighter Side Blog is a blog that shares Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People. If you have a story to share, feel free to contact Christina. Follow on Twitter @RadioChristina@BrighterSideyyc and LIKE on Facebook ChristinaRowsellMedia and TheBrighterSideyycwww.christinarowsell.com

    Additionally, Christina and her husband Chad are working on a documentary about Lyme Disease in Alberta called The Tiny Tick


  • Puck Off Mental Illness | Kyle Patterson 11 August 2017 by Christina Rowsell
    @RadioChristina

    While growing up, anxiety and depression became the normal for Kyle Patterson. Today, at 24, Patterson is doing something about it so others don’t have to suffer. His anxiety was triggered by food allergies. When he was s child he was told that eating certain foods could literally kill him. At such a young age Patterson was scared of eating anything, bringing on the anxiety – turning into depression.

    Patterson says, “Anxiety and depression took over my life at one point – and there’s no worse feeling than that. This led me to missing classes and social events for many days in a row. Depression followed soon after. I missed out on countless opportunities in my life due to this. There would be days and sometimes weeks then I didn’t have the strength to leave my own bedroom.”

    Fortunately for Patterson he has an amazing support group from his family and friends. They’re also the ones standing behind him on his walk from Vancouver to Calgary for his awareness campaign Puck Off Mental Illness.

    I had the chance to catch up with Patterson at the beginning of his journey. He explains some of the challenges he’s going through to accomplish this walk. We also find out what he thinks about while he’s walking and what gets him through day-by-day.

    You can listen and watch the interview HERE on YouTube.

    To donate to Puck Off Mental Health click HERE at GoFundMe. Plus find out more from https://puckoff.org/ and follow his journey on social media Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    Click To Tweet
    Tweet: #Anxiety and #depression took over his life at one point. Learn more about @PuckOffMI #MentalHealth @radiochristina https://ctt.ec/fI82M+

    #Anxiety and #depression took over his life at one point. Learn more about @PuckOffMI #MentalHealth @radiochristina http://ow.ly/jOkm30elc0Z

    Follow @BrighterSideyyc


    Christina Rowsell – Radio AnnouncerBloggerPhotographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… part time cook (only when she has time – in between driving to the hockey rink, lacrosse and volunteering…)

    The Brighter Side Blog is a blog that shares Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People. If you have a story to share, feel free to contact Christina. Follow on Twitter @RadioChristina@BrighterSideyyc and LIKE on Facebook ChristinaRowsellMedia and TheBrighterSideyycwww.christinarowsell.com

    Additionally, Christina and her husband Chad are working on a documentary about Lyme Disease in Alberta called The Tiny Tick


  • Celebrate with Anne Murray Canada 150 28 June 2017 by Christina Rowsell
    @RadioChristina
    In conversation with Anne Murray and Christina Rowsell

    Anne Murray completed her final public performance in Toronto in May 2008. She now spends most of her time with family and friends. Occasionally you’ll find her swinging a club on the golf course. (Boasting a hole in one by the way.) Murray says, “I still play, whether I play badly or not.” (I’m thinking she’s probably pretty good!) She says there’s a golf course a kilometre from her door called Northumberland Links in Nova Scotia. So…I’m thinking she polishes up now and then.

    In my 20 (plus) years in radio, never did I ever think I’d have the opportunity to interview a Canadian icon such as Anne Murray. Growing up I’d listen to Anne on the radio with my family. Especially her amazing Christmas collections. Thank you Anne for taking the time to talk to me – as she explained that she doesn’t do many interviews anymore.

    Anne Murray has had a very successful music career. Some say she paved the way for other international Canadian artists such as K.D. Lang, Céline Dion, Shania Twain, to name a few. Murray was the first Canadian solo singer to reach number one on the U.S. charts and also the first to earn a gold record for one of her signature songs, “Snowbird” from 1970. I asked her to tell me her thoughts on where she thinks Canadian music is headed. She explains, “I think it’s great! I’ve heard some very talented people in the last couple of years.” Murray continues to say, “I’m very impressed!”

    For her Canada 150 celebration she’s thrilled to be joined by her family and friends, but also a get together with her band. Although she doesn’t perform in public anymore she still loves to reminisce about the music that makes her heart sing.

    One song that really makes her smile is one of her own, “Song For the Mira” – first recorded on her album The Hottest Night of The Year 1982. Murray explains, “It’s about a very special place in Nova Scotia, the Mira River. It’s a place I’ve seen, and it’s beautiful. It’s a song everyone can relate to because everybody has a place he or she feels is very special to them.” It’s a place that’s home. For Murray she says, “Nova Scotia will always be home. So when I hear that song it transports me back there.”

    Murray recalls performing that song during her last Canadian tour in the Maritimes and explains the euphoric feeling she had when the crowd sang along, “It’s pretty amazing to hear 10,000 people singing the chorus. It’s almost an anthem for them in the Maritimes and in Newfoundland. I would sing that song all over the world and people reacted the same way.”

    Besides her song “Song For The Mira” I asked her if there’s any other song, from any other artist that touches her heart. Murray fondly remembers other Canadian artists that she loved to perform with, including Gordon Lightfoot, “I’m partial to Gordon Lightfoot songs. If You Could Read My Mind, Song for a Winter Night, Sundown – he’s just a great writer.”

    Murray is also excited to share that she has a Greatest Hits package coming out this summer. It’ll be released on Universal Records. Keep an eye on her website for the release date here http://www.annemurray.com.

    Anne Murray, in gratitude for you taking the time to talk to me. Happy Canada 150 Anne Murray. Thank you for generations of music. To listen to the full interview click here.

    Click To Tweet
    Tweet: In conversation with @annemurray1. Celebrating #CanadianMusic with Anne Murray for #Canada150 with @radiochristina https://ctt.ec/77d5f+
    In conversation with @annemurray1. Celebrating #CanadianMusic with Anne Murray for #Canada150 with @radiochristina http://ow.ly/exv930d3uXs.


    Christina Rowsell – Radio AnnouncerBloggerPhotographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… part time cook (only when she has time – in between driving to the hockey rink, lacrosse and volunteering…)

    The Brighter Side Blog is a blog that shares Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People. If you have a story to share, feel free to contact Christina. Follow on Twitter @RadioChristina@BrighterSideyyc and LIKE on Facebook ChristinaRowsellMedia and TheBrighterSideyycwww.christinarowsell.com

    Additionally, Christina and her husband Chad are working on a documentary about Lyme Disease in Alberta called The Tiny Tick


  • Feeding The 5000 YYC Leftovers Calgary 16 June 2017

    We all know there’s a guilt when we throw out our leftovers. Close to half of the food produced worldwide is wasted. Something needs to be done! Something is being done!

    Leftovers Calgary is an organization that rescues food from being thrown in the garbage and ensures it gets to service agencies in need. Lourdes Juan from Leftovers Calgary says, “The food is surplus, or excess food from local suppliers like grocery stores, restaurants and vendors.”

    In Calgary, 23,165 households live in poverty with income less than $20,000. Having a meal is comforting. Having a meal that didn’t need to thrown out is peace of mind.

    In an attempt to show that it can be done and you can feed plenty of people leftovers they had a successful event in downtown Calgary that offered a free lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m and fed over 6700 people.  Listen to the interview with Lordes Juan here.


    Christina Rowsell – Radio Announcer, Blogger, Photographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… part time cook (only when she has time – in between driving to the hockey rink, lacrosse and volunteering…)

    The Brighter Side Blog is a blog that shares Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People. If you have a story to share, feel free to contact Christina. Follow on Twitter @RadioChristina, @BrighterSideyyc and LIKE on Facebook ChristinaRowsellMedia and TheBrighterSideyyc. www.christinarowsell.com

    Additionally, Christina and her husband Chad are working on a documentary about Lyme Disease in Alberta called The Tiny Tick


  • HomeFront Calgary | Fashion Forward YYC 2017 6 June 2017 by Christina Rowsell
    @RadioChristina

    HomeFront Is The Next Step After A Call to Police 

    for Domestic Violence


    Last year, the Calgary Police Service received over 25,000 domestic conflict related calls. According to Stats Canada, Alberta has the third-highest rate of police-reported intimate partner violence in the country. Not only is this disturbing, but it’s costly too. A Justice Canada study suggests that spousal violence costs Canadians $7.4 billion per year (2012).

    Most women enter into relationships with the idea of having a loving connection. An abusive relationship that leads to domestic conflict is never expected. Knowing when to say something is next. But, getting the courage up for someone to say something is never easy.


    After someone makes the call to police for domestic violence, there’s the “what’s next?” phase. This is where HomeFront steps in. HomeFront is a non-profit organization in Calgary that takes women onto the “next” step. After someone makes the call to police for domestic violence they are referred to HomeFront – who ensures they have the support, information and resources they need to break the cycle of abuse and move their life into a positive and healthy direction. Here’s The Brighter Side – over the last 15 years, HomeFront has helped more than 30,000 victims and their families, giving them the resources and support they need to break the cycle of abuse.


    HomeFront works alongside a host of community services to ensure the proper assistance and treatment for those who need it most. You can have peace of mind knowing that together with justice, legal aid, Calgary Police Service, counselling centres and shelters, 24-hour support is available in Calgary and surrounding area.


    Funding certainly plays an integral part in what HomeFront can do for women. Fashion Forward YYC believes in using fashion as a tool to inspire families to build awareness. The fourth annual Fashion Forward YYC  event will take place June 15, 2017 at McArthur Fine Furniture, featuring a runway fashion show along with culinary treats and a silent auction. 


    Last year more than $80,000 was raised. Maggie MacKillop, Executive Director with HomeFront says, “This amazing donation has allowed HomeFront to continue to meet the needs of families in our community. Sadly, domestic violence continues to raise in Calgary and has increased 30 per cent over the average. The funds raised by Fashion Forward YYC last year’s event allowed us to provide direct services to over 160 families throughout Calgary.” 

    To get your tickets for this remarkable and unforgettable evening you can visit Eventbrite HERE https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fashion-forward-yyc-2017-tickets-31934000455

    For more information on HomeFront visit www.homefrontcalgary.com

    Tweet: An evening of #empowerment & #fashion! @FashionForwardY June 15 in support @HomeFrontYYC via @RadioChristina https://ctt.ec/UgFKy+


    Christina Rowsell – Radio Announcer, Blogger, Photographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… part time cook (only when she has time – in between driving to the hockey rink, lacrosse and volunteering…)

    The Brighter Side Blog is a blog that shares Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People. If you have a story to share, feel free to contact Christina. Follow on Twitter @RadioChristina, @BrighterSideyyc and LIKE on Facebook ChristinaRowsellMedia and TheBrighterSideyyc. www.christinarowsell.com

    Additionally, Christina and her husband Chad are working on a documentary about Lyme Disease in Alberta called The Tiny Tick


  • Discover The Power of Story with Christina Rowsell 10 April 2017 by Christina Rowsell
    @RadioChristina

    Deep down inside we all have a story to tell. Sometimes it takes some digging and soul searching to peel back the layers to find out what that story really is. I’ve been on a quest to share some powerful stories from people who have shared their stories and to prove that the Power Of Story can move forward in business and in life.

    Lisa Longball Vlooswyk – https://youtu.be/uPBLDAy8KoA

    Besides having a ridiculous drive in her golf game, Lisa Longball Vlooyswk has an amazing drive to motivate people. She has an infectious personality that leaves you wanting more – which is why she’s so good at her talk Drive Determines Distance. I connected with Lisa at Golf Canada Centre to talk about her DRIVE to motivate and The Power of Story.

    Tammy Johnston – The Financial Guides – https://youtu.be/Pg2m8W9f93M

    Tammy Johnston is so much more than just a financial advisor. She is literally a cheerleader in my back pocket. Tammy has been encouraging me FOREVER to share my story and here I am sharing hers. (It’s what I do!) Tammy is the author of The Financial Foundation set of books for kids. It’s a series of books to teach kids about money, goal setting and living a balanced life! YES finally. I met up with Tammy to talk about The Power of Story.

    It’s true, people want the real, true, authentic you! And here’s an amazing woman who also tells a GREAT story! Tina Varughese​ from TWorks​ (and President CAPS Calgary) talks to me about finding that story and coming together as a community to motivate each other. 

    Join Gair Maxwell for “The Branding Highway” by visiting Eventbrite link here – http://bit.ly/2oBHKi8
    This high voltage presentation follows the route of a metaphorical road trip – complete with a killer playlist! THE BRANDING HIGHWAY inspires businesses of any size, in any category, to create a strategy based on clear, unparalleled Differentiation, inspire Customer Advocation and establish a Brand Legacy that rivals some of the best in the world.

    Christina Rowsell










    Radio AnnouncerMedia Relations DirectorBloggerPhotographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… Part Time Cook (only when she has time). Looking for The Brighter Side of life sharing Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People.  Sitting still is something Christina knows nothing about.  If you have a story to share feel free to contact Christina.  Follow on Twitter, @BrighterSideyyc @RadioChristina and LIKE on Facebook The Brighter Side and Christina Rowsell Media.

  • Calgary’s Drop In Centre Shares Virtual Reality of 1200 Roommates 25 March 2017 by Christina Rowsell
    @RadioChristina

    If you take a moment to silence yourself and just listen to your surroundings, within your own walls, what do you hear?

    Tickering of a laptop computer. Tapping of the dogs toes as he crosses the hardwood floor. The bells and dings of a cell phone alert and the silence of my home. That’s what I hear mid afternoon.

    1200 Roommates is a virtual reality (VR) experience that wants you to value each room. Value your space. Value your own noise. Because… you don’t have that option with 1200 Roommates.

    Christina Rowsell VR Experience

    I had the privilege to attend an evening at the National Music Centre, downtown Calgary, to take in a VR experience that reminded me of what we take for granted each and every day. The goal of 1200 Roommates is to take you though the world of homelessness evoking empathy.

    The Calgary Drop In Centre exists to alleviate poverty. They care for chronically homeless people through community support, resources and housing.

    Listening to the spoken word of Talia Hume, through the artistic expression of Mandy Stobo in the Mammoth VR video, I felt her desperation for solace and silence. Something that you can’t have when you’re in a room with 1200 other people. Your own space and your own emotions. There’s a quote that I took away from this, “Find yourself within your walls and then tomorrow go out and love someone.”

    Matt Wright, Founder Mammoth VR

    Matt Wright, Founder Mammoth VR expressed his deep emotion for this piece, “My perspective of homelessness has changed while working on 1200 Roommates.” He too says he now has more empathy when he looks at someone who is homeless.

    While you can I can find some time to enjoy The Brighter Side, other’s are still search for their little bit of sunshine. There are nearly 4,000 Calgarians experiencing homelessness and The Drop In Centre is there for those who need a safe place to stay.

    You can watch the video here https://youtu.be/hvRV_eNfFfY.

    However to experience it in 3D download the App here https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/1200-roommates/id1211878030?mt=8.

    Mandy Stobo in Mammoth VR

    Christina Rowsell and Talia Hume
    Talia Hume and Mandy Stobo



    Christina Rowsell










    Radio AnnouncerMedia Relations DirectorBloggerPhotographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… Part Time Cook (only when she has time). Looking for The Brighter Side of life sharing Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People.  Sitting still is something Christina knows nothing about.  If you have a story to share feel free to contact Christina.  Follow on Twitter, @BrighterSideyyc @RadioChristina and LIKE on Facebook The Brighter Side and Christina Rowsell Media.

  • International Women’s Day – Women Who Inspire 8 March 2017 by Christina Rowsell
    @RadioChristina

    This is for the women who are…
    Our cheerleaders when we’re down and need to be picked up…
    Our friends who know just what to say…
    Our sisters who cry when we share our deepest thoughts…

    This is for the women who…
    Breathe each breath for their children…
    Sacrifice their being to help others…
    Love unconditionally…

    For every woman who finds a way to make it work. For every woman who challenges herself to give more. For every woman who is the best she knows how.

    Thank you!

    A dedication to all the women who inspire us. #BeBoldForChange. Yes there IS such a day. As stated on the United Nation’s website – “It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. The history dates us back to the early 1900’s.”

    International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations.

    This is the day we celebrate women. The women we are and women we love. The strength we have together.

    Today, March 8, 2017 listen to www.softrock977.com to hear ALL WOMEN ARTISTS ALL DAY LONG!




    Christina Rowsell










    Radio AnnouncerMedia Relations DirectorBloggerPhotographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… Part Time Cook (only when she has time). Looking for The Brighter Side of life sharing Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People.  Sitting still is something Christina knows nothing about.  If you have a story to share feel free to contact Christina.  Follow on Twitter, @BrighterSideyyc @RadioChristina and LIKE on Facebook The Brighter Side and Christina Rowsell Media.

  • Good News, Great Ideas and Amazing People for 2017 8 February 2017 by Christina Rowsell
    @RadioChristina

    Good news isn’t always easy to find in the world today. I believe it’s how you look at each and every situation. There’s a saying that goes, “Life is 10% of what happens and 90% of how you react to it.”

    You’ve come to the right place to find good news. Here’s some good news stories I found that you might like and…may just lift your spirit.

    Good News Story –  i.am.heart 

    Photo ©ChristinaRowsell – www.christinarowsell.com

    As a mother of two boys, I know that there is a sensitive side to them. There is hope for boys. There’s a secret “boy code” that suggests that boys need to keep their emotions in-check. What does that mean? Every human being has feelings, vulnerable feels and feelings that need to be validated. 

    i.am.heart is an organization that looking to break that code. They offer programs for teen and pre-teen boys that are focused on empathy, compassion and emotional awareness that promotes individual confidence, self-esteem and self-acceptance based on emotional empowerment.

    Lance Drozda is the founder of i.am.heart. Since 2011, Drozda has been working with various non-profit organizations aligned to support the emotional growth and safety of children and adults. Along with Drozda is Rebecca Stares, a clinical social worker. Stares focuses on clinical interventions with children and families. Her goal is to help people increase their feelings of self-efficacy and self-esteem as they overcome their challenges and achieve their true potential. Stares currently has six therapy horses through Spirited Connections.

    “The three most destructive words that every man receives when he’s a boy is when he’s told to ‘be a man,’” —Joe Ehrmann

    Learn more about i.am.heart at http://www.iamheart.ca/.

    Follow I.Am.Heart
    Facebook
    Twitter
    YouTube

    Emotional Empowerment Workshop For Boys

    Great Idea – Feng Shui

    Myrna Brown is a Feng Shui consultant. I met up with Brown for a coffee and I walked away feeling that I needed to improve the flow of my home. Brown says, “I want to inspire people to live the life they were meant to live.”
    Feng Shui isn’t new. Dating back some 3000 years ago, Feng Shui is a science that reads the energy of a space, incorporating the art of creating balance and harmony. This artistry was created to make it easier for us to succeed in life. 
    Have you ever noticed how your are affected and influenced by the energy of our environment? We spend so much time in our homes and offices. These spaces deserve to be harmonious, and in turn gives us support in love, family, prosperity, travel, career and health.

    Myrna Brown explains more in her blog. She also explains how Feng Shui can help in your love life!
    Learn more about Feng Shui at http://www.myrnabrown.com/
    Follow Myrna Brown 

    Amazing People – Bonnie Earl

    Another coffee get together found me sitting with the lovely Bonnie Earl. I first met her at an EWomen Network Event where I was the guest speaker. She was soft spoken, but with a powerful message. 
    Bonnie Earl is a women’s empowerment coach, certified Art of Feminine Presence Teacher and an inspirational speaker. Earl empowers women to stand up, be seen and heard, and inspires change. 
    But, where did her courage to speak up come from? Earl spent 35 years working as a teacher, counsellor and school principal. After the passing of her husband to ALS, Earl felt that she needed to have a life outside of work. Now, as a school principal, as well as a single mother and caring for her husband’s elderly mom, plus doing her masters and building a women’s wellness centre she was past the point of exhaustion. 
    She took the courageous leap of faith to take early retirement. She knew she needed to follow her passion of empowering women to thrive. 
    I felt an instant connection to Earl. She understands the pains women have trying to keep it ALL together in this ever-changing and challenging. I understand the pains and the pressure we face. It’s real and we can’t always do it all! 
    Earl invites you to connect with your feminine power. Ask yourself this, “Are ready to move from a stressful, pressure-filled life to peace, ease and quality time?” Bonnie Earl teaches women how to develop their personal presence and increase their feminine energy so that they can walk into any room and be seen and heard in the way they want to be seen and heard. 
    For more information visit http://bonnie-earl.com/. 
    Follow Bonnie Earl
    For more good news, this is a GREAT source https://twitter.com/goodnews.



    Christina Rowsell










    Radio AnnouncerMedia Relations DirectorBloggerPhotographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… Part Time Cook (only when she has time). Looking for The Brighter Side of life sharing Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People.  Sitting still is something Christina knows nothing about.  If you have a story to share feel free to contact Christina.  Follow on Twitter, @BrighterSideyyc @RadioChristina and LIKE on Facebook The Brighter Side and Christina Rowsell Media.

  • Eagle in the Owl’s Nest by Marlana Williams 1 December 2016
    ©Eagle In the Owl’s Nest
    If you’re looking for a book over the holidays, I recommend Eagle in the Owl’s Nest by Marlana Williams. The emotional opening took my breath away. The opening features a biography for Sanford Williams (Master Carver) that takes us through some of his powerful experiences that made him the remarkable artist he is today. Eagle in the Owl’s Nest is based on Sanford’s most popular pieces that are given characters and adventures. 
    It’s a hard book to put down because I’m anxious to find out what happens when a team of contrasting Mowachaht characters play a riveting final game of hide-the-bones – an ancient westcoast pastime called Lahal – against their bullying adversaries from tribe nearby.

    That’s just one of the several, centuries-old stories that are joined together as a work of fiction when Marlana Williams introduces an eagle and owl as the primary characters, who become friends after the owl’s migration path sends her reeling to Nootka Island.

    This book is so different from Marlana’s first novel, Doll of Dawson which was set in the gold rush era of the Klondike.  But I wasn’t disappointed.  Eagle in the Owl’s Nest has all of the elements of her familiar storytelling voice that I find charming. 

    Photo © Marlana Williams

    Each chapter (or short-story, depending on how you approach the book) is based on her husband’s work as a master carver.  Sanford Williams has spent decades creating traditional west coast art, and all of the pieces tell a tale.  Whether the carvings are about his own personal experiences or stories passed down from his family, each work of art is represented at the forefront of each chapter.

    I’ll confess, a few of the stories made me emotional, but for the most part this is a joyful read.  I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Marlana Williams’ writing, and for those who have interests in Western Canadian indigenous art.

    You can download or purchase Eagle in the Owl’s Nest HERE.
    You can download or purchase Doll of Dawson HERE.
    For more information on Marlana Williams visit http://www.marlanawilliams.com/
    Christina Rowsell
    Radio AnnouncerMedia Relations DirectorBloggerPhotographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… Part Time Cook (only when she has time). Looking for The Brighter Side of life sharing Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People.  Sitting still is something Christina knows nothing about.  If you have a story to share feel free to contact Christina.  Follow on Twitter, @BrighterSideyyc @RadioChristina and LIKE on Facebook The Brighter Side and Christina Rowsell Media.
  • I Am A Mom First – Affirmation Designs 22 November 2016
    I am a mom first. True! But does being a mom first mean I have to stop doing everything I ever did for myself? NO! If I don’t continue to do the things I love or the things I need to do, then I’m not me at all.

    Before I was a mom, I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, a niece, a friend and a radio announcer. Aside from the person I am to others like a wife and a sister, a huge part of my life has always been my career. And being a mom doesn’t mean I give up my dreams or my passion. Radio was a part of my life since I was 18 years old. Before I was in radio, I always knew I would do something that allowed me to share stories, to share music, to evoke emotion and to validate people by letting them know they were heard. You can still hear me on the radio on Soft Rock 97.7 on the weekends, but full time I’m helping business owners tell their stories through earned media at CR Media. I spent over 22 years being the voice, now I help others have a voice.

    All of these life experiences, passions and dreams are what make me up to who I am today. And today, I am a mom first. A mom embodies courage, strength and love. By encompassing who I was before I was a mom – and showing my children the real me – allows me to be the best mom I know how. Don’t get me wrong, being a mom has presented challenges that I never anticipated. But, part of who I want to become as a mom is someone who allows those challenges to help me grow and help me learn. I never want that to stop and I want my children to see that.




    Affirmation Designs – Born To Be Me 

    I love my children more than anything in this world and they have taught me patience and unconditional love. In return, I try to fill their hearts with the life lessons I’ve been presented with. I want my children to understand that everyone has a story. I want my children to understand compassion and kindness. I want my children to know what it means to work hard and achieve greatness.

    © Christina Rowsell

    By identifying myself as a mom first, I can’t know who that mom is until I know who I am first. I never expected to give up everything and not do anything. As a mom first, I believe it’s my job to stay strong to who I’ve become.

    Affirmation Designs – I’m A Mom First

    From the first breath in the morning, I wake my children with a hug. Send them off to school with a full tummy and encouraging words. After school I pick them up and ask them about their day and talk about the good and the bad. We either head off to hockey practice or home for homework. Hockey usually gets the loudest cheers. When we can, we have dinner together as a family with conversations about our day. To wrap up our day, it’s off to bed with the last breath whispering I love you.

    © Christina Rowsell

    I am a mom first. A mom who instills the importance of being real. A mom who works, a mom who has dreams and a mom who loves her children with every breath she takes. 


    ***






    Affirmation designs

    Vision: To have people realize their full potential and live their purpose through wearing  positive affirmations.

    Mission: When you wear Affirmation Designs, you are living your true potential allowing you to wear it, embody it and become.

    Philosophy: Our philosophy embodies our logo. We are GREATER than we realize and we are all EQUAL.

    Follow @BrighterSideyyc
    Follow @RadioChristina

    by Christina Rowsell ~


    © Christina Rowsell

    Radio AnnouncerMedia Relations DirectorBloggerPhotographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… Part Time Cook (only when she has time). Looking for The Brighter Side of life sharing Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People.  Sitting still is something Christina knows nothing about.  If you have a story to share feel free to contact Christina.  Follow on Twitter, @BrighterSideyyc @RadioChristina and LIKE on Facebook The Brighter Side and ChristinaRowsell.com.


  • Artistic Expression of Inner Strength, Hope and Courage with Uli Ostermann 4 July 2016
    via Christina Rowsell Media
    “Meaning”© Uli Ostermann 39″ x 39” Acrylic on Canvas

    If art is meant to represent the essence of emotion and express what lies in the depths of an artist’s soul, then Uli Ostermann’s work is the epitome of that definition. 

    The artist’s minimalist approach to her work reflects the purity and simplicity of her values. Focusing on developing a language that consists of symbols and colours to convey her powerful messages, Ostermann’s work speaks of the importance of such themes as discovering our individuality and creativity, finding inner strength, self-belief, hope and courage.
    “Believing in yourself…knowing what you can do, who you are, getting back to self-respect…a lot of people don’t learn that any more,” says Ostermann with obvious concern for the human condition. 
    A perfect example of her art conveying a connected and spiritual message is in a piece entitled, “The One You Feed.” Based on the well-known parable of the two wolves that live inside each of us, Ostermann’s painting depicts a wolf in a semi-circle (representing a bowl). “The bowl is a symbol for an open soul, just to let things come to you, just to learn, not to lose hope…believe in yourself, have courage, let go and be open for something new.”

    “The One You Feed”by Uli Ostermann 96″ x 48” Acrylic on Canvas
    Immigrating from Germany in 1997 with three children, Ostermann has had occasion to experience and interpret through art the many changes and adaptations required to successfully adjust to life in a new country.
    “It was an interesting journey,” she remarks. “You have to have an open mind to emigrate; you have to have flexibility to deal with circumstances, think out of the box…You have to find a balance to adjust and still be yourself…You make new friends, your thinking changes in a new country and you lose old friends; they don’t understand you any more.”
    Of the many inspiring messages in Ostermann’s work, one of the most common themes is that of change. “Dealing with changes, that’s certainly in my paintings,” she acknowledges. “Life is always in constant change, being in the flow, developing…” 
    Ostermann is deliberate in her use of specific shapes and colours. For example, she uses loops to represent social interactions, such as the intensity of relationships in crowds. “Grey is a problem zone,” she explains, adding that she uses “…special colours like orange or black [to] transport emotion.” 
    With compassion and empathy for humanity being central to her life, Ostermann’s paintings reflect the challenges we face in navigating our complex world. And more importantly, the powerful yet simple values to which we must return if we are to find true connection – or reconnection – to ourselves and others. 
    Featuring Uli Ostermann, Solo Exhibition runs July 7 to 28 at Michelangelo Gallery of Fine Art 908, 17 Avenue S.W. “Ostermann says, “You will not find one typical style in my paintings – although you can recognize my ” handwriting” – but there is one typical theme in them and that is mainly the individual. I believe in the therapeutic power of colours. I’m also interested in the concept of an art work as well as being spontaneous while painting, but always trying to pursue a rather minimalist style.”

    About Uli Ostermann

    © Uli Ostermann
    Her art was once called a mixture of meditation, poetry and a kind of examination of psychological processes. It is the belief in the therapeutic power of colours that fascinates her, using this medium and combining abstract painting with symbolism. If it is not about pure abstraction, then it is predominantly about inner psychological processes and changes of an individual in social systems. In this case she often uses loops standing for relationships, for connections of all kinds or for networking, and especially as a symbol for the density of social interactions. The latter, she calls the space of not knowing everything – in which misunderstandings lead to mistrust, to tension and possible destruction. Watch for grey loops with black background. Visit http://www.uliostermann.com/ for more information.
  • Former Speed Skater Talks about Life and Love Through Art – Todd Lachance 4 June 2016
    ChristinaRowsell.com
    @RadioChristina
    @ToddLachance


    Landscapes & Figures at Michelangelo Gallery of Fine Art

    Painting © Todd Lachance www.toddlachance.ca
    It seems that life speeds past us faster and faster all the time. We blink and another week or another month has passed. It doesn’t help that our culture has developed an unhealthy relationship with its devices that are meant to keep us connected but in fact, they are a huge distraction, making us miss too many precious moments in real time, and in person.
    Calgary artist, Todd Lachance, knows all about speeding through life, albeit as a former nationally-ranked long track speed skater. He made it as far as Olympic trials before his lifelong passion for art became his career focus. 
    Painting © Todd Lachance www.toddlachance.ca
    Lachance’s stunning paintings capture the essence and heart of moments in time, like precious snippets that once gone would never be witnessed again. Whether the striking Alberta landscape or the faces of his beloved children, Lachance’s art evokes a depth of emotion that mere words cannot express. A forgotten memory, perhaps bittersweet the innocence of childhood the very threads of life and love that touch all of us are masterfully and powerfully portrayed in every stroke of this gifted artist’s brush.
    Lachance’s story-telling art will be exhibited at Michelangelo Fine Art Gallery for most of June. “I think a lot of our stories are told for us all the time now,” he offers somewhat wistfully, “whereas maybe a couple hundred years ago, people were looking at a Rembrandt. They didn’t have television or movies or cell phones. They didn’t even have photography. Now I think it’s a real challenge to try to grab that person’s attention and hold it, and make up a story in their head.”
    http://michelangelofineart.com/
    During the exhibition, Lachance will tell part of the story of his relationship with his father. The two have always been close and on the afternoon of June 4, Lachance will paint his father’s portrait at the gallery where the public can enjoy witnessing the process as well as the love and the sense of humour that these two men share.
    Barbara La Pointe, owner of the gallery, says, “Todd Lachance’s representational Realism revolutionizes Alberta landscape painting. He is a master at expanding basic compositional techniques and portraying the contemporary while timeless realities of the landscape in majestic Alberta.”

    Timeless, indeed, not just in his magnificent landscape paintings but in capturing those precious moments in life that might otherwise slip past, unnoticed. 
    Exhibition runs from June 2nd to June 30th, 2016 at Michelangelo Gallery of Fine Art, #112, 908 17 Avenue SW.

    Follow @BrighterSideyyc
    Follow @RadioChristina

    by Christina Rowsell ~

    http://www.christinarowsell.com
    © Christina Rowsell

    Radio Announcer, Magazine Editor, Blogger, Photographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… Part Time Cook (only when she has time). Looking for The Brighter Side of life sharing Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People.  Sitting still is something Christina knows nothing about.  If you have a story to share feel free to contact Christina.  Follow on Twitter, @BrighterSideyyc @RadioChristina and LIKE on Facebook The Brighter Side and ChristinaRowsell.com.

  • More Than A Roof Over by Yohan Ricardo Michelangelo Gallery of Fine Art 6 May 2016
    ChristinaRowsell.com
    @RadioChristina

    The famous artist, Edgar Degas, said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” This has never been more true than in the works of Yohan Ricardo, a Cuban artist who made Canada his home 15 years ago. Ricardo, a deep-thinking, philosophical and keenly observant man, finds profound meaning in virtually all aspects of life, and in particular, in architecture and his environment.
    © Yohan Ricardo via Michelangelo Gallery of Fine Art
    “The Truth of Greatness”
    “I realized when I first arrived to Canada, I needed to find a new identity,” he offers. “I was no longer in my own country and homeland.” Wondering how he could incorporate both cultures that were powerful parts of his life, he used his lifelong love of architectural structure and elements to bring the two worlds together in his vibrant, colourful art.
    At least as important to Ricardo is that his art is meaningful. “I want my work to be thought-provoking. I want to have a message in there…to capture that attention…I want a philosophy behind the piece.”
    © Yohan Ricardo
    via Michelangelo Gallery of Fine Art

    “Tower of Hope”
    Socially aware and deeply principled, Ricardo’s opinions and experiences are expressed in his art. Many of his pieces have taken years to produce as he works his magic, layering shapes and textures along with vivid colours that ultimately convey what was in his heart. 
    About the bright colours in many of his pieces, Ricardo explains, “[It] lifts spirits. The colour represents my identity. [It presents] a strong point of view. I want to be original; my presentation has to be different.”
    Ricardo knew from early childhood that he wanted to pursue art but his parents insisted that he must focus on traditional academics instead. It was years before he found his way to following his heart and his passion, ultimately finishing university in 1997 with a degree in Fine Arts and Pedagogical Sciences, and later teaching students with varied backgrounds and challenges.
    When asked why he is so passionate about art, he explains, “To be able to create art is a gift from God…people can change society through art…”
    © Yohan Ricardo via Michelangelo Gallery of Fine Art
    “Portrait In Red”
    Ricardo’s intricate and highly symbolic paintings make us see what he sees in society, culture, in life for all it is — and isn’t. Every image, indeed every brush stroke has significance and represents a message, a thought or an idea that Ricardo feels compelled to share, validating the words of Degas from so many years ago.

    From April 29 to May 20, 2016, Michelangelo Fine Art is featuring the works of Yohan Ricardo in an exhibition entitled “More Than A Roof Over.” The artist will be in attendance at the opening reception, affording a perfect opportunity to learn about the complex and interesting man behind the thought-provoking art that he so loves — and needs —  to create.
  • Her Name Is Ashley – She’s Homeless 6 March 2016 by Christina Rowsell
    The Brighter Side
    © Photo: Christina Rowsell
    Her name is Ashley.
    I met her in the parking lot.  I was coming out of Chapters.  My boys and I were looking for new books that they could enjoy and bring home. My youngest picked out yet another dinosaur book.  He has at least a hundred other dinosaur books at home. But, this one has a DVD movie that it comes with.  My oldest son is into chapter books.  He’s so much more advanced at reading than I was at his age.  He picked out a Star Wars book.  He’s so excited because it has 412 pages.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with 412 pages. Not when I was 8 years old that’s for sure.
    As we were walking across the dark parking lot at 7:00 at night, a young woman came up to us and spoke in a very soft voice. “Excuse me,” she said politely. “I’m homeless and I’m looking for enough money so I can get a place to stay tonight.”
    She stopped me right in my tracks. I walked my boys over to the side, out of the way from any traffic that might come up.  I asked her, reiterating what she just said, “You’re looking for money so you can have a place to stay tonight?” She replied, “Yes.”  I said, “What about the homeless shelter?” She came back with, “I usually get turned away from most shelters because I don’t have any children. I’ve been using the system to get on wait lists, but there’s a three-year list. If I go to the emergency shelter, they usually reserve spots for anyone who has been abused or have children.”
    I started to look into her eyes.  I was trying to see if I could tell if she was telling the truth.  I asked her how old she was. “23,” she replied. She went on to say that several months ago she lost her job and that she has arthritis and scoliosis. She explained that it was difficult for her to find a job because of her health limitations. “I usually do office jobs, and it’s very difficult for me because of my arthritis.”
    She has such a pretty face. She didn’t seem high or like she was ‘on’ anything. I trusted her. I opened my wallet and said to her, “Please use this money to get yourself some help and a place to stay. Use this money to help yourself.” Then I handed her $20. She gave me a simple, “Thank you.”
    My boys and I then walked away. My youngest asked me, “Why is she homeless? Why don’t we just bring her home and help her.” I replied saying, “Well, we don’t really know her.  We don’t know much about her.” I went on to say, “You can’t always trust someone you meet on the street.” But those words made me feel sad.  I want to trust her and help her.  I can’t help but think of my brother who always came to me asking for help. My mind started to wonder, thinking about my brother who I lost almost 9 years ago now. There are days where I ask myself if I did enough to help my brother. And now I’m wondering if I did enough to help Ashley.
    The boys and I got back into the car. The boys were buckled and wanted to hold onto their new books. So I took a moment to open our new books, take the stickers and wrapping off and hand them to the boys in the back. Just as I put the car in reverse and was looking backwards my youngest looked right at me and said, “There she is.” I turned around, and there was Ashley, right in front of my car. Partially pulled out of the parking spot, I put the car in park. I rolled down the window and in a polite voice she said, “Excuse me. I’m homeless and I’m looking for enough money so I can get a place to stay tonight.” She said it as if she never met me. She said it as if she said it a million times that day. I said to her, “Ashley it’s me. I just helped you and gave you $20.” She said, “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m blind in one eye.”
    I took this time to learn a bit more.  She talked about the system and how she’s been trying to get help.  How she’s on waiting lists and how she can’t get much help because she’s young, no children and not in an abusive situation.  Pretty much that same conversation as we had before. I asked her if she tried welfare. Having been on welfare when I was 19, I know it’s not much, but it’s something.  She replied saying, “They won’t give it to me because I don’t have a home.  I need to have an address.” So I asked her if she had family? Without much emotion, like she’s told this story before too, she said her father has a drug addiction. She doesn’t have much of a relationship with her mother.  She dropped out of school when she was 14 and left home at the same time. I asked if she had any siblings. To which she replied, “I have two younger sisters. They live with my mother.” Still prying, I asked her if she thought about leaving Alberta, while the economy is so bad.  She said, “I’ve lived here my whole life, “But lots of people ask me if I’ve ever thought of going west.”
    Realizing I was partially blocking traffic, I pulled forward. I looked Ashley in the eye and said to her, “I need you to know why I want to help you. I lost my brother. And he too went through some tough times, and I often wonder if I did enough to help him.” For the first time I saw a bit of emotion in her face. Not much, but enough to know that I’ve made a connection with this young lady. 

    Now I want to know how I can find her again. In my mind, I want to make sure she’s okay, and want to check up on her. I asked her, “If I want to find you again, how can I do that? Where will you be?” She said, “Here. I’m here most of the time. Right now all I need is $15 more to get my place for the night.” I asked, “How do you get a place.” She answered, “I go on kijiji and find places that people rent for the night. I usually spend 8 hours a day here trying to get enough money for one night.” At this point I’m not about to ask her how she goes on kijiji. I open my wallet and give her another $20. This time her thank-you was heartfelt. She looked a little surprised. She was very grateful. It’s as though I felt a load lifted off her shoulders.
    Looking over her attire I said to her, “You’re very lucky that the weather has been quite warm this winter.” She went on to tell me that it’s been pretty good. There was one woman who came back to her to give her a winter coat.  She said it was perfect timing because the next day it was -25. I suggested to her that she should take her hood off, so that she wouldn’t come across as hiding something. She said, “I can’t. My hair is so matted, I don’t want people to see that.” I asked, “Because you haven’t cleaned it?” She nodded. I also noticed that her gloves had a hole in the thumb. I then turned on my interior light. I had a winter headband in my center console. I’ve only warn it once. When the wind is strong I need to cover up my ears or I get a headache. I have 3 more at home. I gave it to her. She was extremely grateful. I said, I have some gloves too. She holds up her glove with the hole in it and says, “Yes, these ones are pretty worn.” I have a pair of gloves I keep in my car for those bitter days walking my boys to school. I gave them to her. Again, she’s grateful. Next, I look on the passenger seat and there’s some nacho chips. They’re my oldest sons chips. I ask him if I can give them to her. He says, “Sure.” I look out at her and ask her if she’s hungry and show her the chips. Her eyes light up and says, “Are you sure? Yes please.” I also had some chocolate Kit Kat bites and hand them to her. “Oh I like chocolate.”

    I leave her with some last thoughts. “Stay strong. Know that you’ll be great. There’s so much for you to do in this world. Stay away from drugs. Stay away from bad men. Stay strong.” She smiles and says, “I will.”

    She walks away into the parking lot of cars.  I will go back and check on her. But, what I want to know, is there more I can do?

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    by Christina Rowsell ~

    http://www.christinarowsell.com
    © Christina Rowsell

    Radio Announcer, Magazine Editor, Blogger, Photographer, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and… Part Time Cook (only when she has time). Looking for The Brighter Side of life sharing Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People.  Sitting still is something Christina knows nothing about.  If you have a story to share feel free to contact Christina.  Follow on Twitter, @BrighterSideyyc @RadioChristina and LIKE on Facebook The Brighter Side and ChristinaRowsell.com.

  • Sanford Williams Master Carver 3 February 2016 by Christina Rowsell
    via www.sanfordwilliams.com

    His heart as a boy was torn. Those he loved and trusted abused not only him, but his friends and loved ones. He found peace through his love of carving.

    Sanford Williams is a master carver.

    © www.sanfordwilliams.com

    © www.sanfordwilliams.com
    © www.sanfordwilliams.com 
    © www.sanfordwilliams.com

    His work is carved through heart, soul, passion and a place of healing. After enduring abuse from a residential school in the 70’s, Williams chose carving instead of substance when it came to coping.

    Ironically, the deep cuts in his carvings were what lead him to heal. For over 30 years Williams has perfected his art. The precision in these magnificent carvings is like no other. With no books or others to emulate, Williams learned how to create his craft knowing only the ways of his ancestors.

    Watch this beautiful five minute video that describes the talent that has become Sanford Williams.  From the backwoods of Friendly Cove to suddenly finding attention from big city collectors — including the Vancouver Canucks. Williams has retained the charm and authenticity of being “the real deal” — a trait that so many people have come to love about his work and character.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGV4GqKP7HE

    Follow @BrighterSideyyc



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