Big dreams pay off for international TV personality

Like many children, Ismael Cala knew what he wanted to do when he grew up: he wanted to be a television broadcaster. Through a combination of determination, ambition and a little luck, Cala has built that dream into a successful career as an international television personality on Toronto’s Telelatino Network (TLN), CNN en Español, and the US-based Univision, the largest Spanish-speaking network in the US, reported The Toronto Sun Aug. 17. A popular TV host in Cuba before he defected, Cala had a hard time during his first two years in Canada. Things improved after he got a part-time job as a waiter and was accepted at York University, after studying English intensely for months in order to pass the English proficiency test. While enrolled in a joint York University/Seneca College communications program, Cala pursued an internship position at CNN in Atlanta where he gained invaluable experience at the news network. Cala, who graduated from York in 2002 with a BA in communication studies, says newcomers should consider education and career-building as long-term investments, rather than expecting success and recognition to come overnight.

Professionals drop careers to try teaching

Colin Wilkie of Bolton, Ont., worked as an accountant before realizing he wanted to pursue a teaching career, reported Canadian Press Aug. 17. As a father of two small children, it was a decision not without risk, CP said in a feature about a growing number of professionals who have left lucrative jobs to give teaching a try. But Wilkie’s wife, who works for Bell Mobility, supported the move, and Wilkie sold his business to enrol at York University last year. He graduated with a bachelor of education in June.

Competitors fill void left by CBC labour dispute

Tennis fans attending the Rogers Cup will have to get up an hour earlier on Saturday, reported The Toronto Sun Aug. 17. It’s a price that has to be paid to keep the event on television. TSN, Sportsnet and CTV have filled a last-minute TV void left by CBC, which is in the midst of a massive labour dispute. The Rogers Cup semi-finals on Saturday and the final on Sunday from the Rexall Centre at York University had been slated to be televised by CBC. “To not have Canada’s international (women’s) tennis championship on TV in this country really would have been disappointing,” Tennis Canada tournament director Stacey Allaster said. “The world would have seen it live and Canadians would not have.”

  • The Sun also reported that even though Serena Williams perservered to win her gruelling opening match at the Rogers Cup Tuesday night, she aggravated her previously injured left knee and admitted her future in the tournament is cloudy. “I’m going to talk with my therapist and see what the best thing for me to do is,” Williams said following her 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over a surprisingly tough Stephanie Cohen-Aloro of France at the Rexall Centre at York University.
  • On Tuesday, Toronto-area TV and radio stations aired tournament updates, reported that Mary Pierce had also dropped out, showed a racquet stringer at work and a Tennis Open junior demonstrating a perfect service.