World Cup kickoff bound to ignite ethnic extravaganza

The quadrennial World Cup that kicks off Friday may be the planet’s biggest excuse for a party, and Canadians will be joining in with gusto, wrote The Canadian Press June 10 in a story picked up by the Guelph Mercury and the Times & Transcript (Moncton). 

With its ethnic diversity and soccer-crazy immigrants, cities such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver become unique places to experience a month-long spectacle that dwarfs the Olympics.  

“Canada is a wonderful place to watch the game, partly because people shift allegiances as they go along,” said Pablo Idahosa, a social science professor in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. “People, once their team is out there’s that disappointment, but then they can go on to cheer for another team.”  

York could benefit if Hamilton, Ticats can’t agree over stadium location

Ian Troop, the CEO of the 2015 Toronto Pan American Games Organizing Committee, has confirmed the campus of York University is being considered as a possible location for a track-&-field stadium planned for Hamilton, reported the National Post June 11. 

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the city are currently locked in a dispute over where the stadium should be built. They have a July 8 deadline to resolve it. The Ticats would be the stadium’s primary tenant after the Pan Am Games end. "The first option is actually doing it in Hamilton,” Troop said in an interview. "We’re watching carefully, and we’re hoping they find a solution in Hamilton, but we are also examining a number of fallback options. York University’s campus is one option, but it’s only one and we’ll cross that bridge when we have to." 

Argos president & CEO Bob Nicholson said the team has not been contacted about the possibility of playing in a Pan Am stadium at York. "We have a lease at the Rogers Centre and that’s our focus," he said. "I expect the matter to be resolved by the parties in Hamilton."  

  • York University is a viable alternative to host the Pan-Am Games, according to CEO Ian Troop, if Hamilton and the Tiger-Cats can’t agree on a stadium site by July 8, reported CHAM-AM and CHCH-TV, Hamilton, June 10.  

Prof-led choir helps mark church anniversary

It wouldn’t be a birthday party without one of the kids coming home to celebrate, so when Shenstone Baptist Church hits 105 at the end of the month, the party will include Karen Burke and friends, reported The Expositor (Brantford) June 11.  

Burke – the co-founder and director of the Toronto Mass Choir and a music professor in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts – is the daughter of Doreen and Win Johnson, who are helping organize the special celebrations for Shenstone’s birthday.  

The party isn’t quite the same size as when the church hit 100 five years ago, but the Toronto choir, which hasn’t been in the city since 2004 when it played the Sanderson Centre, is bigger than ever. "Since the last time this group sang in Brantford, they’ve travelled to Italy, England, Romania, Hungary and Poland," says Doreen Johnson. “Their ministry not only takes them to churches but to other events such as Roy Thomson Hall with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, singing the national anthem for the Blue Jays and performing at jazz festivals around Ontario.”  

English prof wins literary award posthumously

The Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures (ACQL) awarded the 2009 Gabrielle Roy Prize (English Section) for Canadian literary criticism to Di Brandt of Brandon University and the late Barbara Godard of York University, reported the Brandon Sun June 10. 

Their winning book is titled Wider Boundaries of Daring: The Modernist Impulse in Canadian Women’s Poetry, published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press.  

The jury described Brandt’s and Godard’s essay collection as a productive, revealing critique of the masculinism of Canadian modernism. The essays, on a remarkably wide range of authors and texts, collectively draw attention to the ways in which women writers work against, resent and countermand Canadian modernism. Carefully edited and with an engaging introduction, the book is coherent in its cross-referencing without being univocal, producing a valuable and engaging scholarly study of women in Canadian modernism.