If you are feeling blue about the election results and need a comforting treat (to be enjoyed while watching a distracting rom-com or a healthy dose of Gilmore Girls), homemade caramel popcorn with nuts will do the trick. Here is the delicious Canadian alternative that uses maple syrup — designed to cheer up any weary soul awaiting doomsday now that President Trump is in power.
2 cups popping kernels
½ cup maple syrup
1 cup nuts of choice (slivered almonds or cashews)
A dash of cinnamon
Dash of sea salt
1 ¼ tsp vanilla
Begin by making homemade popping corn. It is easy and much cheaper than buying the packaged popcorn full of unnecessary additives. Simply place three kernels and a tablespoon of olive or coconut oil in a pot and heat on medium-high. Once they pop, remove from the heat and fill the pot with the remaining kernels. Cover and count to 30 seconds before placing back on the burner. Shake the pot while the kernels pop and remove from heat once the popping slows. Place the popcorn in a pan.
Slice almonds or cashews and toast for seven to ten minutes.
In another saucepan, heat maple syrup until it is boiling. Once boiling, let the syrup boil for two and a half minutes and remove from heat. Don’t let it burn! Pour onto popcorn and sprinkle with cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt.
Optional: add cranberries, coconut shavings or chocolate chips for an extra kick.
Bake at 350 degrees for six minutes. Add roasted nuts and enjoy!
All it takes is a few layers of absolute sugary sweetness to get rid of the post-election blues. Plus, it gets rid of that nasty case of the munchies too! Enjoy!
If the environment wasn’t under imminent threat before, it most certainly is now that the United States elected Donald Trump as their newest president.
President, Donald Trump (I can’t believe that string of words in now a reality) has proposed to cancel President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, threatened to pull out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and famously claimed in a tweet that climate change was a ‘Chinese Hoax’. Trump’s various claims do not bode well for the planet and its future.
So what does Trump’s presidential win mean for the environment? Essentially, it means that the planet is in peril.
Trump represents an American ideology that focuses solely on the economy at the expense of lowering carbon emissions. At a conference in Bismarck, North Dakota in May 2016, he supported oil fracking and also stated he would minimize the U.S commitments to the Paris Agreement. The U.S is currently the second largest producer of oil and Trump’s agenda to push fossil fuels even more will increase carbon emissions tenfold. He hinted that the failing oil economy can be resolved if the United States exploited the lands that have been previously considered off limits, including the Outer Continental Shelf. He also wants to push more production in the non-renewable energy sector. This would be a short-term solution and would harm the economy, not to mention the environment, in the long term. By over-flooding the energy sector with more oil through fracking, it would further lower the value per barrel of oil and would decimate even more land that is already threatened in the United States.
Trump has publicly stated several times that he would wipe Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which was a fruit of labour for the democratic president. Within the Clean Power Plan, the environmental protection agency (EPA) gave each state the power to decide for themselves how to lower carbon emissions in power plants by using renewables or nuclear energy instead of carbon pricing. States were supposed to submit plans by 2016-2018 and would start cutting emissions by 2022 at latest. The EPA estimated that the plan would lower power plant emissions by 32 per cent by 2030 as compared to rates in 2005. Trump has claimed he intends to cancel this plan and has vaguely threatened to get rid of the EPA all together. He has not recommended any alternative plans to lower carbon emissions.
The future of the environment in the United States looks dark, but there is hope. Strong environmental advocacy groups such as the Sierra Club, one of the largest environmental advocacy groups in the United States that has been fighting to protect the earth since 1892, are not going to give up.
But we are not licking our wounds, we are preparing for the fights to come.
There are many other groups that are preparing to continue the fight for climate change despite this unwelcome change of leadership in the country.
Trump may surprise his citizens by not canceling environmental agreements, though I won’t be holding my breath. It is a historical and frightening time to be living in such close proximity to a country that has a leader who cares so little about climate change. We all breathe the same air and drink the same water. We can only hope he was serious about creating clean air and clean water (the only vague environmental commitments he has made), and is willing to see that climate change goals are inextricably linked to providing those very things.
Otherwise, Canada may want to start building that wall.
With winter on its way (or so we hear), many people are preparing themselves to be cooped up indoors for months on end without reprieve. Instead, why not outfit your bike for winter and get some fresh air while commuting to work? Sure, it may seem like a silly idea. Who would possibly want to ride their bikes in the snow, right? While it’s true that winter cycling is a brave adventure, with the right preparations, it can be a great way to get through the winter months. Canada has been lucky enough to get a pretty long fall, so before winter hits hard, prep your bicycle so that you do not slip and die when the snow finally arrives.
First and foremost: protective winter clothing is essential to make sure you don’t get too cold while cycling. High winds can be harmful (especially to fingers and toes). A thermal layer for your legs and cycling gloves are the most important pieces of winter clothing you can buy. Cycling gloves specifically are built to be wind resistant, but are still flexible enough that you can still use your hands properly in the case of a flat tire. Wearing layers is the best way to ride comfortably in low temperatures, but at the same time too many bulky sweaters will prevent you from riding properly — not to mention it will cause you to sweat, which will further decrease your body temperature. Instead, look into buying thinner thermal layers that help contain core heat that will still allow you to move easily on the bike.
Your next task is to consider what kind of tires you would like to ride with in the winter season. If winter has a light snow fall, it is possible to reduce the air pressure in your regular tires and ride at 50 psi, though this is often considered the ‘poor man’s’ approach and not highly recommended. Instead, I recommend purchasing studded tires or trying out a fat bike for the winter. These bikes have the thickest and strongest tires and will prevent slipping and sliding on the wet roads. Road bike tires, a popular commuting tire that is quite thin, are to be avoided at all costs. If you don’t slide and fall first, your tires will go flat easily in rough winter road conditions. Be sure to get your brakes checked prior to winter riding to make sure you have the best braking system possible for slippery hills.
Fenders, side panels that block the wheels from the seat post, are a must for winter riding in slushy conditions. Getting splashed by snow and mud is distracting and unpleasant. The salt and snow from the roads can get stuck in hard to reach places,which can damage your bike. Fenders can be costly, but the added safety makes them worth it.
Once you are all set up with your new winter gear and are ready to ride, make sure you have cleaning supplies waiting at home near the door. Wiping down your bike after each ride will ensure it will be usable after the winter season is over. Winter can be really hard on bikes and I recommended not using a high-end bike during the colder months. Your bike chain will rust if you don’t dry it after each ride. Choose a cheaper bike if possible and be diligent about maintaining your machine so that you can keep using it.
Good luck on your winter ride and remember to be prepared and wear a helmet! Extreme winter conditions may seem intimidating for cyclists, but if you take the proper steps you will enjoy your commute. It is refreshing to be outside once you adjust to the cold, and cycling will keep your blood pumping.
What are your winter cycling essentials? Let Women’s Post know in the comments below.
People are constantly distracted and surrounded by other people all the time — talking, thinking, and spending time with people. Maybe you are collaborating on a project, working with a team, or eating dinner with family or friends. Someone else is always there!! So, let us ask you this: doesn’t it make you exhausted? When are you able to spend some quality time with the one person you wake and go to sleep with? Yes, yours truly!
I asked myself this very question. Though most of these human interactions were special and lovely, I found myself growing more exhausted because I wasn’t replenishing myself with any much-needed ‘me’ time. I decided I was going to take myself on a date. Instead of inviting someone out with me for an evening, I challenged myself to hang out on my own. Though this is initially very uncomfortable, I knew it was necessary.
I embarked out on my own for the evening with no set plan, but I was excited and nervous for the realm of possibilities. I was walking down the street in the drizzling rain, feeling a bit lonely, and I nearly pulled out my phone to call someone to distract myself. I stopped myself just in time, and that’s when something caught my eye; a tattoo parlour.
Right then and there, I knew what to do. I was planning to get a second tattoo on my wrist for years, but had put it off due to financial constraints and fear. With my previous tattoos, I had always brought a friend or partner with me for support and to hold my hand. I resisted the urge to call a friend that lived nearby and forged ahead bravely. I opened the door, linked up with a great tattoo artist and signed the consent.
That’s when the panic set in.
I was alone — who would hold my hand? I almost walked out of the salon right there and then, but a voice in the back of my head said no. I knew I had to stay and do this on my own.
I needed an opportunity to show myself that I could be my own support. I breathed deeply and coached myself through the pain. I told myself I could handle it and everything was okay. I knew that I was capable. I calmed down and in no time, the tattoo was complete and I felt amazing. I walked out of the tattoo place with more than a new tattoo on my wrist. I had a new sense of being grounded in my own life.
We all choose where we go and what we do each day. It may seem like circumstances are out of your control, like you have to spend most of your time living for others, but this is a choice. Supporting yourself through something scary or new without needing another person to be there is strengthening and creates spiritual renewal. So, get out there and take yourself for a night on the town! Start with someone simple like a movie on your own (and a giant bag of popcorn), and work your way up to a dinner out. Then, if you are feeling brave, try something new and fresh solo (as long as it is safe to do alone, no hiking trips up a mountain!).
After I left with my new tattoo, I treated myself to a dinner at my favourite restaurant, which I only attend alone. I make a point to have a secret restaurant that I only go to when I have date nights with myself. It’s a place where I order a meal and eat it nice and slowly. I let my thoughts take over. These nights are always a time of peace and solitude. Find a secret spot you love and keep it for you.
If you have personal time, you will learn to really love yourself — there is always time for that.
Mixing oil and water has never been a good idea, and oil companies should remember that rule of thumb. The thought of another pipeline blowing up in a fresh water source in North America leaves many environmentalists shuddering in fear — and for good reason.
People are joining together to demand that the Canadian and US governments put an end to this practice. Oil pipelines are coming under fire this week with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation protests in North Dakota and the Kinder Morgan protest at Parliament Hill. Social media has blown up with over one million people “checking in” to Standing Rock on Facebook to show support for the protests and deter police from trying to gain background information about protesters on social media and knowing who to target for arrest at the protest. On a slightly smaller scale, but nevertheless equally important, was the protest north of the border, in which over 100 protesters gathered in Parliament Hill and 50 were arrested for storming the fences to demonstrate that this pipeline is not wanted in British Columbia.
The Dakota Access pipeline is a project that is set to be built near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota and crosses under the Missouri River. The pipeline would carry 470,000 barrels of crude oil and any oil spills would leave the reservation without clean water. In April 2016, a few representatives of Standing Rock Sioux Nation set up camp to block the pipeline from beginning construction on their land, and in the last few months the camp has increased by the thousands. The police have made several arrests and the tension is escalating at Standing Rock, but the protestors continue to protect their land.
Across the prairies and into Canada, the Kinder Morgan’s Trans-Mountain pipeline transports 300,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta to British Columbia and Washington. The new leg of pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby would increase crude oil transport to 890,000 barrels per day, a formidable number. The National Energy Board (NEB) approved the project with 157 conditions. Though the federal ministerial panel is conducting a series of public consultations about pipeline, the time is prime to protest Kinder Morgan because the federal government is set to end public consultations and make a final decision in December. Among many other protesters, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has strongly opposed the proposal. The expanded pipeline goes right into Vancouver at the Burnaby Chevron Refinery and if an oil explosion occurred, it would be dangerous to local residents and would cost millions in repairs. Ocean tankers having more access to increased amounts of oil is dangerous for the ocean if a spill were to occur as well. Robertson also argues that the pipeline threatens the green sector, a growing industry in Vancouver. Protestors crossed the fence to gain Prime Minister Trudeau’s attention and were subsequently banned from Parliament Hill.
Both demonstrations show a growing concern for the devastating environmental effects of oil spills in waterways. The public outcry against pipelines is the result of years of unkept promises by oil companies, who all say they will protect the waterways and then claim little responsibility when detrimental oil spills occur. This was certainly the case in 2010, when Enbridge’s Line 6B pipeline burst in the Kalamazoo River and leaked thousands of gallons of oil into the river, contaminating the water source and harming wildlife. Enbridge has another pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac that was built in the 1950’s and is growing old, heightening the threat of it breaking down. If this pipeline were to burst, it would spread oil into the Great Lakes, the largest fresh body of water in the world, at a rapid rate.
Building pipelines under water requires a lot of maintenance and the threat of leaking oil is consistently an issue. Alternatives to oil pipelines needs to considered because the threat of environmental disaster is extremely high. Furthermore, the ability for oil companies to carry unprecedented levels of the product is unsustainable and dangerous because it allows them to exploit the earth to an even larger extent.
The solution — end the reign of oil.
Currently oil is a necessity for the transportation sector. Instead, more sustainable technologies need to be embraced. This can include biofuels and electric vehicles. Biofuels are made most often with ethanol, and are highly available because they are made most often from corn, a common North American crop. This form of renewable energy has a closed carbon cycle where carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is recaptured by the plant material used to make the biofuels. It is then used to produce more fuel. Cars can use biodiesels, which are a bi-product of biofuels. Another alternative is embracing electric vehicles that would make cars fuelled with oil obsolete and are a step forward to being rid of the dirty product.
On Nov. 5, protestors are joining together at Queen’s Park to peacefully march for the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and call to everyone who cares for land and water to unite with them. The march will stop at TD Bank, RBC, and Scotiabank, companies that are funding the pipeline, and then end at the US Consulate. Protests will be happening worldwide to honour the efforts of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. The time to act is now before all of our waterways are contaminated. Putting in an effort to end pipeline use is the only option for a healthy future living in North America.
Imagine yourself sitting in the house alone day after day, jumping at every noise and wincing at bright lights. You finally get up the courage to step out the house and go to the hospital to ask for help. Getting there is painful. You have to deal with the crowds of people on the subway and the constant fear of being watched walking down the street. Finally, you get to the hospital and wait for several hours before seeing a physician. You are given a list of phone numbers and then asked to leave. Clutching the piece of paper, you retreat back to your home and close the door.
In Toronto, people are turned away every day at hospitals and health centres and sent home with a list of contacts to call, only to be forced to sort through the maze of mental health on their own, oftentimes ending up on long waitlists with no aid. The issue in part has to do with the history of mental health in Canada. In the 1980s, mental health reforms across the world deinstitutionalized people from mental hospitals and many countries failed to provide a strong alternative. Many sick people fell into chronic homelessness, and a lack of replacement funding was offered.
In Canada, this is certainly the case. Other countries worldwide did implement strong healthcare systems that work to this day. Trieste in Italy created a network of 24-hour mental health facilities with inpatient beds and group home facilities for people with mental health in need of housing support. Because of constant access to mental health care, Trieste is known worldwide as the example to follow in managing the mental health needs of a population adequately.
It is no longer acceptable to place mental health as a secondary concern in health care. In Canada, mental health is a leading disability and affects one in five Canadians annually. According to the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), by the time the average Canadian reaches 40, one in two having been diagnosed with a mental illness. Finally, mental illness burdens individuals 1.5 times higher than all cancers, and more then seven times of infectious diseases. This is due to the number of years living with mental illness and a higher rate of early death.
How is turning people away from receiving help for mental health issues a proper response to a severe medical concern? If someone can’t leave their house due to aggressive anxiety, or is so depressed they are contemplating suicide, how is it remotely appropriate to put people on a waitlist?
CAMH alone has an eight-to-ten-week processing time once a doctor referral is submitted. If someone has a debilitating mental illness, it is left up to them alone to make a mental health plan. It often falls to families and friends to help strategize what to do, and finding resources and filling out forms for long waitlists is exhausting.How many people simply fall off the grid and never receive the help they need? If the person who needs mental health aid does not have anyone to support them, they have to shoulder to burden themselves with no help in sight.
The federal government has promised to make mental health a priority, but has come under criticism as of late for cutting the Canada Health Transfer annual increase from six per cent to three per cent. Health Minister Jane Philpott has said she is committed to supporting mental health help, but the federal government has yet to provide any specific amount of funding.
Mental health needs to be a primary concern in Canada. It is no longer a conversation to have in hushed tones in the corner, but a public discourse that needs to be dealt with in the immediate future. There is nothing shameful about living with a mental illness. Can you imagine a society where each person living in Toronto had access to free counselling in every neighbourhood? It could be the change our society needs, to put people’s mental health first and foremost in a world that definitely needs it.
Finding a winter coat appropriate for vegans is similar to spotting a koala in downtown Toronto. There are very few options to choose from, especially considering most winter jackets are filled with down or made of wool. Many popular coats have fur collars and use water repellent sprays that are high in chemical usage. As a vegan, I find it frustrating looking for clothing that will keep me warm in the winter, especially coats. They are one of the most obvious examples of animal cruelty in the frivolous fashion industry. But, they are necessary in this wondrous Canadian winter.
Here are five vegan options I found during my search:
Patagonia Women’s Better Sweater Coat
Patagonia’s sweater coat was by far the best pick when considering style, cost, being cruelty-free, and environmental sustainable. The coat is made of polyester fleece instead of wool, and does not have a down stuffing interior. It has a soft fleece inner lining, which increases warmth of the coat. It comes in black, white, or burgundy and is dyed with a low-impact process that is environmentally sustainable. The coat is a fair trade sewing product and contains no animal product whatsoever. To boot, it is on sale for $89. Patagonia has several eco-friendly and cruelty-free jacket options and the prices are the most affordable out of any of the environmental conscious coats available in Toronto.
Hemp Hoodlamb Ladies Parka jacket
This parka jacket is can be found at the Hemp Store on Yonge St. in Toronto. This jacket is available in black and has a vegan faux fur collar. It is made from hemp and organic cotton, and costs $484.95. It is fair-trade and is well-made, which means it this jacket should last years. There are several more options available online if the parka jacket isn’t the right fit, and all the available jackets are eco-friendly and vegan-approved.
Mammoth Outerwear Doe Parka
The Doe Parka is made from a poly-cotton water resistant shell and has Primaloft insulation. Primaloft is a vegan replacement for down and is made from recycled fibres. It is one of the best down replacements in the eco-fashion market and is sought after by sustainable jacket companies. Wully Outerwear (formerly Mammoth Outerwear) is a Toronto-based, animal-free jacket company. Wully Outerwear donates $10 of each purchase to the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals. The Doe Parka is $699, but is the top quality animal-friendly jacket that is made and sold locally.
The Belden Future Vaute Couture Coat
The Belden Future coat by Vaute Couture is a trendy dress jacket that will make heads turn on Yonge St. The jacket is available online and ships to Canada with no extra fees. Vaute Couture is one of the largest vegan jacket producers and is based out of New York. The company uses primaloft lining and organic moleskin on the exterior. This is a cruelty-free product and is water resistant. Vaute Couture are trend-setters in eco-fashion and no other dress coat comes close. The Belden Future is on sale for $371.50.
Free People Faux-fur coat
Free People produce some of the most trendy fashion items at affordable prices. The company also has a line of faux fur and vegan jackets that are funky and environmentally conscious. These jackets deviate from the norm, and don’t follow the traditional look of a winter coat. They are fashion-forward and are reminiscent of coats from the 60’s and 70’s. There are several jacket options ranging from $300 to $600. The Lady Lane Fur Collar Jacket is $298, making it one of the more affordable Free People jackets and eco-friendly.
Do you wear vegan-friendly winter wear? If so, let us know where you got it from in the comments below!
Can you imagine if every woman stood up at her desk and left work mid-afternoon to unite against gender discrimination in the workplace?
Women in Iceland are doing just that — and Women’s Post loves them for it.
Thousands of women left work at 2:38 p.m on Oct. 24 because, when comparing their salary to men, after that time their work would be unpaid. Women make 72 per cent of what men are paid to do similar jobs. At the same time, Iceland is the lead ranking country in gender balance worldwide according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), so the fact that they are leading the fight for gender equality is impressive and inspirational.
Canadian women also make 72 per cent of what are male counterparts earn, and yet there are no protests or demonstrations being organized to show that we don’t accept sexism in the workplace. Canada falls in 19th place for gender balance according to the WEF, scoring low points in politics and in economic participation and opportunity. Despite Canada’s attempts to be inclusive, we are significantly behind countries like Iceland that make gender equality a priority.
This is not the first time Iceland has protested the wage gap. Forty years earlier on Oct. 24, 1975, women joined together to march out of the office and make it clear they won’t work for free. On this commemorated day, 90 per cent of women left their jobs and homes to protest inequality and this left the men to take care of children and work. Ninety per cent! That is an unheard number of participation in any demonstration.
Since then, women have protested twice more about the wage gap in an attempt to get equal pay faster. On October 24, 2005, women left at 2:08 p.m and in 2010, they left at 2:23 p.m. This year, women in Iceland left work at 2:38 p.m, which shows that the wage gap is slowly closing, but not fast enough. If the wage gap trend continues at this rate, women will achieve equal pay in 50 years. Imagine waiting 50 years until a you get paid the same as your male co-workers? This fact is absolutely unacceptable.
Women’s Post would like to commend Iceland for their persistence. In fact, women in Canada should take note of this persistence and do some of their own protesting. What do you think will happen if we all stood up and walked away from our desks at 2:38 p.m.? Would our employers take notice?
The fact that people have to say “Women deserve equal pay” in 2016 is starting and disgusting. If Iceland, a country that is ranked as one of the best in gender equality in the world, is putting in this much effort to close the wage gap, then Canada should be working twice as hard.
Tell us what you think women should do to encourage the government (and large corporations) to put an end to wage discrimination. Leave us a comment below.
Without a doubt, rental housing in Toronto is a problem, but are short-term rentals the cause?
The City of Toronto is investigating short-term rentals such as Airbnb, Flip Key and Roomorama to see whether these temporary stays are taking available homes away from people who live in Toronto. In Wednesday’s Executive Committee meeting, the council voted to report back with recommended regulations in Spring 2017.
What is in the city report?
The Executive Committee wants to create a database that provides a breakdown of every service provider and unit type, including a list of landlords running short-term rentals. The city also wants to look into cases of sexual violence in short-term stays, safety standards, and working conditions for employees. The city will look into regulating and possibly restricting temporary rentals through zoning bylaws and licensing. Another solution presented in the study is to tax companies such as Airbnb and similar businesses as hotels.
Currently, Airbnb has 9,460 units or rooms in Toronto that were rented in 2015. These rooms were run by 7,320 hosts. Sixty-eight per cent of the rentals are held in apartments and the rest consist of a single room rental. This shows that not all rentals are taking up entire residences, but also include single rooms in people’s primary homes. Research also determined that 68 per cent of rentals were hosted by people who owned a single home and 37 per cent of short-term rentals were owned by people with more than one house. The high average of people who are renting from their primary residence also shows that not many people in Toronto are trying to make a business from Airbnb, but instead use it as a way to make extra money if they are not staying in the home.
How is Airbnb reacting?
Airbnb has released a report to refute the claims that the City of Toronto needs to regulate their short-term rental stays. Airbnb report says there are 8,200 active participants using the short-term rental program, which accounts for o.7 per cent of Toronto’s housing market. The company also relayed that 46 per cent of the rentals were less than 30 days annually. This shows that people most likely use Airbnb to rent out their homes while they work abroad or are on vacation. Airbnb proves that it differs from a hotel service because most hosts are only using the service occasionally rather than as a principal business. Airbnb also pointed out that the typical home listing earned $6.650 in the last year, which would divide into $550 per month. A long-term rental would make a landlord substantially more money, which further shows that hosts are not using the Airbnb service in place of renting out their home to a possible tenant.
How are other cities approaching Airbnb?
Other cities have adopted regulation approaches, with the most extreme being New York having outright banned short-term rentals. Chicago, Seattle and Philadelphia have introduced regulations that ensure short-term rental hosts pay hotel and sales taxes for using the service. Chicago, London and San Francisco have put a cap on the number of nights per year that a property can be rented short-term. Vancouver is also in the process of introducing regulations to license short-term rentals that will allow an unlimited number of stays as long as it is the principal residence of a host.
Toronto is set to regulate temporary rentals in Spring 2017, although the details are still unknown. Licensing the various business ventures could have its merits, but restricting short-term rentals to avert the housing crisis will not work. By mandating that a host only use their principal residence, and limit the number of nights for short-term stay, it ensures that a host is not using their own home as a hotel, but is instead trying to make an extra buck when they are away from work. On the other hand, strict measures such as banning or taxing short-term rentals prevents people living in an expensive city like Toronto from profiting from their already pricey homes. Either way, the housing crisis remains and focusing on controlling short-term rentals seems to be merely a distraction from the lack of affordable housing that plagues Toronto’s future.
Singer and song-writer Chantal Kreviazuk is a Canadian icon who never fails to bring her listeners home. She is someone who loves the euphoria of performing, which is why after a seven year hiatus, she will be back to touring, promoting her new album Hard Sail. “To get to that moment [on stage], it is what we call enlightenment. It is so outer-worldly for me. It is like Christmas every day when touring. It’s scary as hell and exciting,” Kreviazuk says.
Kreviazuk began her career in 1997 with the launch of her debut album Under these Rocks and Stones. This album was critically acclaimed and led to Kreviazuk’s first Juno Award nomination as Best New Artist. In the following year, Kreviazuk’s cover of “Leaving on a Jet Plane”, originally written by John Denver, was featured in the hit movie Armageddon. This song was arguably the turning point of her career and put her on the international stage.
Kreviazuk went on to create six albums, winning two Junos in 2000 for best pop album and best female artist. She also received an Order of Canada, one of the most prestigious awards a Canadian can be given, for her non-profit work and contributions to Canadian society. Kreviazuk is the honourary founder of War Child Canada and has traveled to Iraq, Ethiopia and Dafur to provide humanitarian assistance. She has contributed to several albums for the charity and also created the song “Na Miso” for the Enough project, another initiative to end genocide and war worldwide. Kreviazuk has also been a champion supporter for Sick Kids Hospital and Children’s Hospital Foundation in Winnipeg.
“I see myself as a human being and a global citizen,” Kreviazuk says. “I think the most important thing is to respond to that call to action. We all have that in us.” Kreviazuk intends to teach her children the importance of charity work as well. Prior to beginning her tour in November, Kreviazuk will be taking her oldest son to Peru with the Starkey Foundation to help doctors install hearing aids for low-income children.
One of the tracks on Hard Sail that has gained attention is ‘Vicious’. The main chorus of the song is “Please forgive me, I’m trying to survive/The wolves are vicious over here on my side/And I’m sorry, I’m sorry/There’s nothing else anybody can do/This is the life some say we all choose/And I’m sorry, I’m sorry”, reflecting the desperation of living in a war-torn world.
It has been rumoured that the song was made about girls who were being sold as sex slaves by ISIS, but Kreviazuk was on hand to set the record straight. “The reason I wrote the song is because of the work I’ve done over the course of twenty years that directly correlates with the girls at risk,” she says. “It talks about the science of war mortality. We are all in this high alarm action process and we need to calm down. We need to calm down before we hit the button and drop the bomb.” She goes on to explain that the song is about the wars that we fight in our daily lives as well as the larger wars that plague humanity, and how they are interconnected.
Kreviazuk has also performed songs on many notable movie soundtracks, including a cover of Randy Newman’s ballad, ‘Feels Like Home’ that was used on Dawson’s Creek and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. She also recorded the song of “In My Life” for the TV show Providence. Lastly, she performed the song Time in the movie, Uptown Girls. She has also done song writing for other artists including Pink and Kendrick Lamar. “I really enjoyed working with Pink, and Kendrick Lamar,” Kreviazuk says. “It is a really cool experience to work with someone who lives their craft. They really encapsulate being an artist. They are our ‘Dylans’ and ‘Jonis’”.
Kreviazuk is also an active supporter of young women musicians looking to break into the industry. When her husband, Our Lady Peace frontman, Raine Maida forwarded her a couple tracks from one of his friends in Alberta who was looking to launch her singing career, Kreviazuk saw the talent of the young singer and immediately took her under her wing.
“I got through one verse of one song, and I felt like she did something so different from me. I invited her to work with me in my studio in L.A.,” Kreviazuk says. “This is a young woman who is committed to music. It is such a risk and there is no guarantees. It is easy for me to say don’t do it, but she has fire. She will do it anyways, so how can I help her? What information can I give her that took me 30 years to learn? Some things you can’t teach, you have to go through it, but other things you can teach a young person.”
Kreviazuk likes to read on her own time and is currently reading Democracy of America by Alexis de Tocqueville. When on the road, she also always takes a candle and takes a break to do yoga when she has can.
Kreviazuk released a new album called Hard Sail recently in June 2016 and will be touring with her new album starting in November.