A sprinkling of magic

Gatineau film producer Luc Déry (MBA ’92) was living near the Outremont rep theatre in Montreal and “fell in love with cinema,” he told the Ottawa Citizen Feb. 18, in a story about a recent Oscar nomination – Déry’s second in two years – for himself and director Philippe Falardeau for the film Monsieur Lazhar. Déry started to work in films and then went to York University to get an MBA with a focus on arts and media administration, said the Citizen. One day, a not-quite-familiar face from Hull – Falardeau – walked through his office door. The two men barely knew each other, and Déry rejected Falardeau’s first movie pitch. A second pitch hit the strike zone and it became Falardeau’s first film, the “mockumentary” The Left Side of the Fridge. “It was just a very pleasant and rich collaboration, and we never looked back from there,” Déry said. Read full story.

Learning your native language is tricky, say adult offspring of immigrants
According to Maria Figueredo, professor in the Department of Languages, Literature & Linguistics at York, the urge to recover an abandoned mother tongue resonates more powerfully in some immigrant communities than others, reported the Toronto Star Feb. 18. Roughly half of those studying Spanish at York, she said, fall into this category. Read full story.

The next generation gap: equity and fairness
“In the not-too-distant future, we will look back at existing governance frameworks (public as well as private) and think of them as having been, at best, quaint,” wrote Ed Waitzer, Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Corporate Governance in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business, in The Globe and Mail Feb. 21. “How did we allow privatized returns to become so untethered from socialized risks?” Read full story.

Fix CPP, not OAS, to head off a pension crisis
The proposal by the federal government to increase the age of eligibility for Old Age Security from age 65 fails to address the problem facing Canadians, wrote York Professor Thomas Klassen of the School of Public Policy & Administration, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, in the Toronto Star Feb. 20. The trouble is that Canadians are starting their working lives later than ever, living longer than ever and wish to retire – with lots of money – while in their late 50s or early 60s, Klassen said. Read full story.

Filmmaker discusses Hawks Nest Tunnel tragedy
Wilburn Hayden
, a professor of social work in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and a scholar of blacks in Appalachia, spoke of omissions and exclusions from history at a discussion about  the upcoming documentary film Hawks Nest: Blood Beneath Our Feet.  The film will explore the tragedy and triumph of African-American workers who moved to Fayette County in the early 1930s to dig a three-mile tunnel through Gauley Mountain, reported Beckley, West Virginia’s Register-Herald Feb. 21. Read full story.

York University delegation to visit UMT
A three-member delegation from Canada, including Joseph Palumbo, executive director of the Career Development Centre in York’s Schulich School of Business, will visit Pakistan’s University of Management and Technology in Lahore on Feb. 21 to explore possibilities of establishing world-class bilateral relations in the fields of business education, skill development and provision of health facilities on the Canadian model, reported the Pakistan Observer Feb. 21. During the visit, said the Observer, Canadian delegates and UMT officials will discuss the modalities of split degree programs with York University. Read full story.

Meet Leora Shemesh: the police force’s enemy No. 1 in court
For some police officers and Crown attorneys in the Greater Toronto Region, defence lawyer Leora Shemesh (BA Hons. ’97, LLB ’00) is public enemy No. 1, wrote the Toronto Star Feb. 21, in a story about the Osgoode grad. “She stood out in the first week because she challenged me on some issue,” says Professor Alan Young. “It’s rare that early on in law school, but cooling her jets is not Leora’s nature.” Read full story.

Irving Layton to be remembered with readings in 20 cities
To mark the centennial of former York Professor Irving Layton‘s birth in Tirgu Neamt, Romania, there will be poetry readings from his work in 20 cities across Canada, including Montreal, reported that city’s TheMetropolitan.ca Feb. 20. Once described as being both “the Picasso and the Mae West of poetry”, Layton is being celebrated for his often-erotic verse, his abrasive ego, his outrageous opinions, his  entertaining love life and his bitter feuds. Read full story.

East end actors explore ‘free love’ in The Open Couple
Ellwand (née Loraso BFA Spec. Hons. ’81) credited her drama teacher, Mrs. Smith, for encouraging her to audition for York University’s theatre school in the Faculty of Fine Arts, in a story in InsideToronto.com Feb. 18 about a new show with her husband Greg. “The minute I got accepted, that was it. It was like a sign,” laughed Ellwand, who has gone on to star in countless film, television and theatre productions. Read full story.

Church to coach Canada at women’s world hockey championship
After coaching the Canadian women’s hockey team in two international hockey tournaments this season,York Lions women’s coach Dan Church was given the nod Friday by Hockey Canada for the upcoming women’s world championship, reported The Canadian Press Feb. 17. Read full story.

High school athletes will suffer with loss of fifth-year ‘Victory Lap’, experts say
For many top-tier athletes in Ontario, the fifth year of high school – known as the “victory lap” –  is often the launching point for university basketball, football or hockey careers, wrote the Toronto Star Feb. 18, in a story about a recommendation that the province scrap funding for this extra year. “And what do we do with these kids who’ve played four years of high school basketball … but need the fifth year to try and get into university?” asked York Lions basketball coach Tom Oliveri. Read full story.

Sculptor exhibit at Mike’s Tattoo and Piercing
Peterborough native Ilona Peel (BFA Hons. ’84) described her unique anthropomorphic series of sculptures as an expression of feelings and emotions in animal and human form during an exhibit of her work at Mike’s Tattoo and Piercing on Water Street Saturday, according to The Peterborough Examiner Feb. 20. The Fine Arts honours program graduate of York University, currently an apprentice and teaching at the Art School of Peterborough, featured three of her works. Read full story.

Keeshig-Tobias also storyteller
“I remember writing a science paper and using the first person pronoun – “Hi, my name is Sockeye and I am a salmon,” York grad Lenore Keeshig-Tobias (BFA Hons. ’84) told the Owen Sound Sun Times in an interview published Feb. 21. “It was then I realized what creative writing could be. Many years later, I was taking a poetry workshop at York University and that is when I started calling myself a poet.” Read full story.

Being prepared for a second career is a must for pro athletes
For Toronto Argonauts linebacker Jason Pottinger, 28, earning his MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business has taken on even greater importance because of the inherent dangers of his sport and its short career window, wrote the Toronto Star Feb. 19. “I don’t want to suddenly end up doing something I don’t want,” Pottinger said. “It’s very important that I set up my life after football exactly the way I want it to be.” Read full story.