Fine arts and education grad leads children’s music program

Lorne Lampert (BFA Spec. Hons. ’00, BEd ’02) has been a drummer since the age of 12 and studied at the postsecondary level in Toronto under master Indian drummer Trichy Sankaran, [instructor in York University’s Department of Music in the Faculty of Fine Arts], wrote Kenora’s Daily Miner & News Nov. 18, in a story about the latest production by children’s music education program Mystic Drumz.

Playing with a cultural pomegranate of international players, Lampert gradually learned the intricate differences between international drumming forms and an appreciation for the cultural roots of the sounds. After he graduated from York’s Faculty of Education, Lampert went on to establish a chain of Mystic Drumz one-man shows in New York, Mexico and French-speaking eastern Ontario. When he comes to Kenora this weekend, he’ll be bringing the original show that concludes with a cliffhanger finale.

“I’ve always had an amazing rapport with children,” he said. “I’ve always had a unique talent for engaging the kids, making things fun and being one step ahead. As a drummer, you try to be quick and play fast. It’s the same thing with the thought process working with children. You need to be two or three songs ahead of them and guide where the story and ‘edutainment’ is going…If we can engage, then we can entertain, then we can educate.”

Campaign highlights value, need for mentors

Shanika Mallawaratchi was the type of student who was keen to get involved with choir, the yearbook committee, reading club and mural painting among her extracurricular activities, wrote  Edmonton’s Metro Nov. 18 in a story about the volunteer coaching organization

Despite being active in school life, Mallawaratchi admits there were certain parts of her life where she lacked confidence.

She found herself discouraged when pursuing opportunities, like vying for a spot on student council, only to find the same people being selected each year.

While in Grade 8, she got the confidence boost she needed as a participant in a program created by, a national group-mentoring charity that helps young people build life success skills.

Now 21, and a student at York University, Mallawaratchi plans to pursue a career in teaching. In the meantime, she hopes to be able to give back to another generation of youngsters as a newly minted mentor with

The Pilarski brothers celebrate 25 years

The person who first said, “it takes two men to make one brother” could have been describing Richard and Alex Pilarski (BSc ’73), the broker/owner siblings of Markham-based Re/Max Realtron Realty, wrote Real Estate Magazine online Nov. 19. The brothers, who started selling real estate separately in 1972-1973, and are marking their 25th year in business together, are known as “the hard-working nice guys.”

In 1973, Alex graduated from York University with BSc degree. Later, with the elder brother working for an international computer firm and the younger brother making more money selling real estate part-time, it didn’t take long for the two men to decide to make real estate a full-time career.

Today the company has more than 500 agents, and the brotherly brokers/owners have created a firm that is consistently in the Top 20 Re/Max companies worldwide.

Professor takes on WestJet baggage compensation

The crusading professor who took on WestJet’s baggage will have to wait a while longer for a final decision in the case, wrote The Canadian Press Nov. 18. York grad Gábor Lukács (PhD ‘03), a 27-year-old mathematics professor from the University of Manitoba, filed a complaint about WestJet with the Canadian Transportation Agency.

He wants the airline to pay more than the $250 limit the company places on compensation for lost or damaged luggage.

Lukács…is making a name for himself as a legal crusader. A child prodigy who started going to university when he was 12, Lukács earned his master’s degree at 16 before going on to a PhD from York University at 20.

Last May, he won a victory over Air Canada and its policy that it was not responsible for minor damage to his baggage after he returned to Winnipeg from a trip. Four years ago he agreed to a $6,000 settlement in a Nova Scotia court after he missed a conference because of a cancelled Continental Airlines flight.

In the WestJet case, Lukács went after the airline even though he himself had not lost his luggage; he simply decided the amount of compensation was inadequate and set out to do something about it.

And it’s not just airlines that draw his ire. He is in the process of taking his own employer, the University of Manitoba, to court over its decision to waive some requirements and award a doctorate to a math student.

Osgoode grad will run for Queen’s Park seat in 2011

Already declared for the Conservative nomination is lawyer and Osgoode Hall Law School grad Geoff Janoscik (LLB ’07), who was born and raised in Mississauga South, wrote the Mississauga News Nov. 18, in a story about candidates for the 2011 provincial election.

On air

  • York grad Rev. Dorian Baxter (BA ’78), a candidate in the Vaughan federal byelection and an Elvis impersonator, was featured on Rogers Television in Richmond Hill, Nov. 18.