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Get ready to stay up all night for Nuit Blanche 2017

Nuit Blanche is back for the 12th annual city wide art show. On Sept. 30 from sunset to sunrise, Toronto’s downtown core is transformed into an artistic wonderland, with installations, exhibits, and live performances being carried out throughout the city. This year, the festival will Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday under the theme entitled: “Many Possible Futures.”

This is the first time there is a specific theme at Nuit Blanche. The festival will host 35 art immersive projects, with four set to run from dusk till dawn. Over all there will be 300-plus independent artists and 90 different art projects to experience in the city.

Here are five exhibitions to look out for at this year’s festival:


Monument to the Century of Revolutions- Nathan Phillips Square ( all night)
Curated by Nato Thompson

This exhibition features 21 different showcases within one project. The installation is a reflection of Russian history and the Bolshevik Revolution, which led to the rise of the Soviet Union. The display will feature an array of different shipping containers that essentially form a village. In this village, different shipping containers will display moments throughout history from the Mexican Revolution to the French Revolution. One section will address issues of indigenous peoples, sex workers, queer activism and African diaspora. In all, this village is a social space that represents history and the narrative of global justice.


Calculating Upon The Unforeseen- AGO (6:58PM- 2:00AM) Indoors
The Forest- Curated by Clara Halpern

This performance at the AGO will feature Canadian artist Will Kwan, and addresses how inequality is created through economics and cultural discussions.The performance will address the “force and fragility” of the human voice through words. These spoken words will reflect on human history and poetic stories, and will only be conveyed through human and voice connection.


Taking To The Streets- Wellesley Street West & Queen’s Park Crescent West
Automobile- Curated by Barbara Fischer

Artist Joseph Namy will feature a translation of sound using the bass system of various cars. Clusters of cars will be parked under a bridge near Wellesley St., featuring an amplified sound that can be heard even before the display is seen. The goal of this installation is to see how people listen to music versus how they feel when they hear music. The loud bass is powerful and is meant to transmit this power to a large audience.


Netflix’s Red Forest- Spadina Courthouse Rotunda

For the first time, Netflix will be creating the “Upside Down” world that is featured in the popular Netflix series, Stranger Things. Expected to be one of the most popular attractions, explorers have a chance to explore the ‘Red Forest’ that reflects the upside down world. Guests even wear a hazmat when entering the forest to reflect the nature of the show. This is a big promotional effort for the show Stranger Things, but understandably is very appealing.

Fly By Night- The Gladstone Hotel
Curated by Lukus Toane

This celebration at the Gladstone Hotel on Queen Street Wes, is an all-night event that will showcase this hotel as one of Toronto’s oldest cultural hubs. The Gladstone is already known for their unique and artistic rooms, but the celebration will take place on the second floor public space and will feature live performances and a visual transformation of the environment. There will also be karaoke at the Melody Bar on the first floor.

As per usual the TTC will be operating all night to ensure the easy transport of persons around the city. For more information visit nbto.com


Hope you have an enjoyable Nuit Blanche 2017!

Things I wish I knew in my first year of university

Every September I get a little nostalgic. I loved my university days — wearing sweatpants to class, toonie Tuesdays at the campus pub, and of course, my days on the student newspaper. But more than that, I loved the university experience. Every day I learned something new and was able to experience something completely different. That first year was incredibly special. I met some of my best friends, found out I hated philosophy, and learned that I was able to be an independent human being, capable of making my own decisions (whether they were the right ones is still debatable).

But first year can also be a little overwhelming. However, if you listen to those with a little more experience (ahem me), you’ll be fine! Here is what I wish I knew when I started university:

Make sure to participate in Frosh Week: I knew a few people who did not participate in any Frosh (or 101-week) celebrations, and honestly, that was a big shame. Frosh week is the perfect time to get to know your campus and the other people in your program. I met some of my best friends during that crazy week and they helped me get through the next four years. It’s also a great distraction before you have to delve into the textbooks.

Have fun, but not too much fun: It’s every students prerogative to have fun during their first year of university. Whether that means hitting the bars or a residence party — make sure you go and mingle with new people. It’s also important to de-stress and take your mind off of school. But remember to make your studies a priority. Most universities and colleges offer grants to first year students that can be renewed if your grade point average is high enough. It’s also plausible that you will have the same professor in your second and third year, so it’s important to make those good first impressions. Don’t goof off too much. Instead of going out with your roommates every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, just go for one of those days. That way you can go all out and have a blast without regretting the decision later.

*Note: It took me a while to learn that Thursday is like a Friday in university speak.

Look for older versions of textbooks: University is expensive. There is tuition, housing, supplies, food, and then textbooks on top of it all. While most first year students want their textbooks new and shiny, make sure to ask the professor what has changed from the older version. If it’s just a few pictures or citations, purchased the older version. Also, don’t rule out used textbook. Most people don’t highlight in their books and the used books usually just have a few bent pages —nothing that can hinder your academic success.

Make your room (or your half) personal: For most, your room has always been an escape. It’s the place where you went when you were mad at your parents, upset about a relationship, or even when you just wanted some peace and quiet. However, residence can be a bit different. First of all, you may be sharing a room with another person, something most of us haven’t done since we were five years old. Make sure that your space really is your own. Find posters, pictures of family and friends, decorate with pillows or add your own blankets. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but make sure the room represents your personality and is able to act as a safe haven from the craziness of university life.

Do your readings: This seems like a lame piece of advice — but honestly, if I had done all my readings during the semester in first year it would have saved me a lot of cramming come exam days. Try using Sundays to catch up on readings. Get off campus, go to a restaurant, café, or even sit outdoors and power them.

Go to a sports game: Sports may not be your thing, but the sense of community and spirit that can be found at a university sports game is incredible. Not only is it a chance to dress up in your school colours and grab a few drinks with friends, the high you get from cheering a winning (or even a loosing) team is really unique. You may even gain a small appreciation of the sport of your choice. My only other piece of advice would be to dress appropriately.  Football begins in the fall and it can get pretty cool in those stadiums so make sure to wear layers.

Don’t be afraid to get help: University can be overwhelming. You may only have five or six classes, but each one has an extensive reading list and many assignments. Not to mention there is the pressure of living on your own, working a part-time job, and any other life commitments. It’s okay to be stressed and anxious. Make sure to keep in contact with family and friends who can support you throughout your first year, and remember that nothing is the end of the world. If you need help, ask for it! There are lots of services available on campus and your professors will welcome you during their office hours if there is something you don’t understand. Feel free to take advantage of the on-campus health care, especially counsellors. Remember that it will be tough, but university is a fun experience. Take advantage of these moments while you can!

 

What advice would you give to those starting their first year of university or college this week?

Holiday Baking: Jalapeno Poppers

New Year’s Eve parties are all about the appetizers, well that and the beverages.

While wine or champaign may seem like the most socially-acceptable gift for a host of a New Year’s party, why not pair it with a delicious and hot appetizer — like Jalapeno Poppers. Because seriously, who doesn’t love something with a little bit of heat and a whole lot of cheese?

There are many ways to make Jalapeno Poppers. You can wrap them with cheddar and dough, and then fry them in hot oil. You can even wrap the jalapenos with cheese and bacon! But, the easiest way to make these delicious morsels is to use — and don’t laugh! — Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.

Yes, I’m serious! And if you mock, I dare you to try it! Not only is it so simple there are hardly any measurements, but you really can’t screw it up.

Here’s what you’ll need:

A tube of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

6 Jalapenos

Half a container of herb cream cheese

Lemon

Cilantro

*Note, this recipe makes about a dozen poppers. Double recipe if you want more.

Instructions

Cut the jalapenos in half and remove all the seeds. Mix herb cream cheese in a bowl with a handful of cilantro and a dash of lemon. Add pepper and salt if you desire. Make sure you can taste the cilantro in the mix. Fill each jalapeno with the cream cheese mixture.

Open the Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and cut along the lines of the triangles. Depending on the size of your jalapenos, you may need to cut these triangles in half. Take the dough and wrap it around the jalapenos. Bake as instructed on the container.

Let cool and serve.

That’s it! It’s so easy and is bound to be a crowd pleaser. The fluffy dough is a perfect contrast to the heat of the jalapenos and the sweetness of the cream cheese mixture. And it goes perfectly with either a glass of wine or a pint of beer. Plus, the dough is great to soak up the alcohol, so maybe make a double batch just to be safe?

Sure, you can order these from any restaurant and they will come with lots of melted cheese and fried goodness — but this slightly healthier and cheaper version is perfect for that New Year’s Eve party. Enjoy!

 

5 outfits for that holiday party

Even though winter fashion is all about cozy sweaters and warm blankets, sometimes, it needs a little bit of glam. You don’t want to be that person at the holiday party with the ugly sweater and converse shoes while everyone else is dressed to the nines.

Here are five outfits that are sure to impress your guests:

The little black dress: This is a classic, elegant, and flirtatious outfit that is perfect for any holiday affair. It’s sleek and form fitting, yet their is a hint of embellishment — just enough to make people look twice. Pair it with black or silver jewelry for a classier look, or with coloured, chunky accessories. Just make sure that if you choose the colour route, all the accessories match (even the shoes if you don’t go with a black pump).

Le Chateau, $189.95

The “casual” sweater: The grey knit sweater can be worn with jeans to a casual holiday get together or with a skirt and heels to an office party. The best part about this outfit is the comfort. Want to add a touch of elegance? Try a messy up-do with some large silver ear rings and a bold lipstick. Who says comfort can’t also be stylish?

H&M, $29.99

The sparkling jumper: This year has been all about the jumper, and Women’s Post loves that! This outfit is comfortable and forgiving if you are eating a meal.  They are also deceivingly comfortable. If your jumper is full of sequins and sparkly details, don’t bother with any jewelry. Let your outfit make the statement. Make sure to plan accordingly if you opt for the short-jumper — hypothermia is not sexy, even at Christmas.

Simons, $69.95

The funky silver top: Not feeling like a dress or a skirt? Try pairing a funky silver top with black pants and some sparkly flats. It’s festive and wintery — yet stylish. It says “I just threw on this casual outfit, but it looks amazing and I’m ready for anything.” This is a great outfit for a night out with friends or an office party.

Additionelle, $48.00

The classy red dress: Nothing says the holidays like a red fitted dress. This is another classic look that just exudes confidence. You can wear this dress with some red or black pumps and some black or silver jewelry. This look is very professional and great for a night out at the ballet or at a nice restaurant.

Banana Republic, $145.00

 

What will you be wearing this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!

 

How to survive the dreaded office holiday party

The invites are starting to come in, and there it is — the dreaded office party. That one time of year when you are forced to mingle with your coworkers and suck up to your boss. What could go wrong?

The answer: so many things! That’s why Women’s Post has put together a few rules to help you navigate this awkward and potentially hazardous social custom.

Rule #1: Go! For those of you who are introverts, don’t get along with your coworkers, or just dread going into the office on a regular basis, this is your time to shine. It may not be your idea of a fun time, but mingling with your coworkers and your boss is integral to your professional success. Think of it as the ultimate networking opportunity. Not only can you discuss your vision for the company, but you can also get to know your superiors as individuals — and this can lead to a closer relationship between you all.

If you don’t attend, you may be singled out later in the new year. There may be inside jokes floating around that you can’t comprehend! Don’t be the one people talk about at the water cooler.

Rule #2: Dress to impress. No, that does not mean wear your low-cut dress that just manages to cover your ass with your six-inch stilettos. My suggestion would be to go classy. If you want to wear something skin-tight to show off your amazing body, feel free — just make sure it is still work appropriate. It is an office party after all. Try a black cocktail dress with some sexy red lipstick. Professional, yet flirty and fun. Avoid white if you plan on drinking red wine!

If classy just isn’t your thing, go all-out cheesy with an ugly Christmas sweater paired with an bold lip colour (purple, blue, or gold). Note — this will give the impression that you want to be the life of the party. Only choose this option if you want to stand out!

Rule #3: Actually talk to people. Sure, attending is good and all, but if you don’t make yourself visible, there is no point. Make sure your boss notices you — and not in an “oops I tripped over a chair and knocked over the Christmas tree” kind of way. Go up to him/her and say hello. If you don’t know anything about their personal life, ask them what their plans are for the holiday.  Be genuinely interested in their life outside of work. Ask questions and actually listen to the answers so you can follow up at a later date. Don’t bring up reports or your last business meeting unless your coworker or boss does first. Try to keep the conversation casual and really get to know the people you work with.

If you get nervous talking to people you don’t really know, come up with a few conversation topics ahead of time that you can throw out in case of awkward silence. Holiday plans are a staple conversation starter, but you can also try complimenting a person’s outfit, talking about the music, or asking what they are drinking. Don’t be afraid to say “Oh, I see someone I haven’t spoken with for a while” if the conversation is really dull and you want to get the hell out of there.

Rule #4: Don’t get smashed. This may seem like a silly, obvious rule. Who would get drunk at an office holiday party?? The answer may surprise you. When surrounded by superiors, some people turn to a glass of wine, pint of beer or a cocktail to ease the nerves. But, know this, the more you drink, the less aware you are of your actions. It’s easy to use alcohol as a way to loosen up, but it’s just as easy to lose track of how much you are actually drinking. My suggestion would be to get to the point where conversation flows, but you can still walk in a straight line. Pro tip — order wine or beer instead of the mystery holiday cocktail the bar is serving. Who knows how much alcohol is actually in it!

Don’t be the person who kisses their boss in a fit of passion or starts to do the Macarena on the bar. There’s no coming back from that.

Rule #5: Time your entrance and exit depending on what you want out of the party. If you are dreading this office celebration, decide what you want out of the evening and plan accordingly. For some, this may involve taking advantage of the free drinks and appetizers, saying hi to the boss, and then quietly making your escape — just enough to show your face so people know you were there.

If you want to network in the hopes of getting more involved in your company, try to go mid-evening after your coworkers are a bit more loose and ensure you actually mingle. Hang out around the bar so you can catch people as they are waiting for their refreshments. If you just want to have fun, arrive late when the “networking” aspect is done and the only ones left are the partiers. Maybe suggest a nightcap with the few stragglers still going strong around midnight.

Remember that above all else, enjoy the party. This is your chance to get to know Sue from the cubicle next door; to meet your boss face-to-face in a casual environment; and to show your coworkers your personality. Enjoy the free food, the company, and don’t forget to have fun!

It is a party after all!