Pollster praises York technology

York University has great online technology,” a prominent pollster told “Canada AM” host Seamus O’Regan Oct. 13 in a discussion on the CTV show about The Globe and Mail’s student ranking of Canadian universities. Students gave the top grade in the large university category to York and four others. Tim Woolstencroft, managing partner of The Strategic Counsel, which analyzed the Globe data, said York has “high-quality education” and “they get strong scores across the board.”

Speculation runs high over new stadium

A new home for the Toronto Argonauts could be announced early next week and it’s almost certain to be at York University, reported Canadian Press Oct. 14 in a story that was echoed in Toronto’s major newspapers and CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning” the same day.

The Toronto Star said a deal is imminent and Exhibition Place has been ruled out by the Canadian Football League team. “Nothing is happening with us,” deputy mayor and Exhibition Place chair Joe Pantalone said. “There’s no interest. As far as we can tell it’s full steam ahead at York.” Pantalone said the city called the Argos after the Varsity Stadium plans fell through a couple weeks ago but the team never returned the call. Argos co-owner David Cynamon said York and the Ex were the two remaining options for a 25,000-seat stadium.

The Star’s take on the choice was reflected in its headline: “Ex feels jilted by Argos”. The newspaper said Cynamon refused to tip his hand as to where the Argos were going, but he said there were a lot of factors to take into consideration, including parking, public transportation, ease of construction and what’s near the proposed site. Pantalone told the Star it’s been clear to him that York was the Argos’ preference for some time. “Nothing was going to budge them from that fixation. To me it’s a closed file.”

The Globe and Mail reported that Cynamon said the University’s board of governors has met to approve the concept of a new stadium. The approval clears the way for negotiations to begin on details of the project, he said. “There is no deal that’s done yet,” Cynamon said. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

Matt Dusk lauds York music prof

Jazz singer Matt Dusk, who has been compared to Frank Sinatra, attributed part of his current success to a York music instructor, reported Kitchener-Waterloo’s The Record Oct. 14 in a feature interview with the touring singer. In 1998, Dusk entered York University to study for a bachelor of fine arts degree in music with an emphasis on jazz and pop. “I was very lucky to have Bob Fenton [course director, Department of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts] as my jazz vocal teacher,” he said. “He had a long career in jazz, played for some of the greats like Billie Holliday and he taught me how to phrase and pay attention to the words. He still coaches me and challenges me.”

Jeans maker tries out old icon

In a bid to recapture a greater share of the highly fragmented jeans market, VF Corp., the parent company of Lee jeans, has gone back to its past to come up with an icon it hopes will resonate with young consumers, reported Canadian Press Oct. 13. Meet Buddy Lee, an impish looking redheaded boy doll dressed in a plaid shirt and jeans. Buddy Lee was originally created in the 1920s as a model for Lee clothing. Now, he’s on posters and transit shelters all over the Greater Toronto Area, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver as VF Corp. brings the Lee jeans brand back to Canada for the first time in six years. Though not well-known in Canada, the character could work here if consumers see it as a point of differentiation for the brand, said marketing expert Alan Middleton. Like cars, jeans are sold mainly on the basis of the image they project, said Middleton, who teaches at York University’s Schulich School of Business. Companies like Guess and Calvin Klein have emphasized their jeans’ sex appeal, Middleton noted. Others, such as Levi Strauss, have worked on creating legends about themselves, as in “we’re the original jeans maker from the [San Francisco] gold rush days,” he said.