If the bleak, desolate gloom of the recession has brought anything to the table, it’s that it has inevitably brought people closer to one another. Whether it’s lending that helping hand or working closely to accomplish a linked cause, people have without a doubt been more ardent in contributing to communities.
Community DIY 

The Birthday Project and 33 Wishes

Birthdays are a special time and are definitely a cause for celebration! Many people like to call upon their good friends and family to join them in sharing their special day, while others prefer to stay low-key and simply enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Either way, you or someone close to you spends the days before your big day to help you plan a memorable event. This year, for my birthday (which happens to be on New Years Day), I decided to do something a little different than the years passed. I came across the idea of The Birthday Project just a month before my 2012 birthday and it immediately inspired me to get planning on what I would do for my ‘big day’.

Back to Basics Community 

Ecriture Infinie

We’ve all heard of time capsules, those tin boxes that people bury with their most prized possessions only to dig them up years later. The items inside the capsule bring meaning and life to days passed, mostly to the individual who buried it in the first place. But what if you could leave your mark in the world for all to see? Something that you or those who come after you could look at and learn from?

Back in 2006, artist Bili Bidjocka and curator Simon Njami began travelling the world and inviting various creative personalities to write in blank pages of enormous books. They started in Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum and from there, went on a journey around the world.

Community The Great Outdoors 

American Express Contest: Room for Thought

There should always be room for thought. My favourite days are the days spent thinking about what my next project, great adventure or agenda will be. But with thought, should come a plan of action. American Express has put together the Room for Thought project to help make our ideas…happen! They will be providing the means and the space for lucky individuals who have great ideas and help make them a reality in Toronto, Canada in November of this year. After hearing about the contest from our friends at HUG, Vidafine is so excited to share with you the 9 finalist for the contest that started this summer. Now, American Express is taking public votes to help determine the three final winners. Once chosen, the finalist will then be directed, mentored and supported by three very distinguished individuals in the categories of Community, Travel and Adventure and Music.


StoryCorps: Human Relationships Post 9 11

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Just 10 years ago, the tragic events that occurred in New York City changed the lives of many forever. Whether or not you personally knew someone who died from the fallen Twin Towers, the world stopped and our hearts stiffened for the emotional and physical lost that crippled our minds and our souls. It’s sad to say, but it’s moments like these that act as a reminder to us about the value of family, companionship and human relationships, and the fragility of life on earth. Previously, we shared with you StoryCorps and their goal of preserving life’s precious moments through animated shorts. Here I present to you one related to 9/11, that I think is quite thoughtful.

You can see other shorts that have been created in remembrance of those lost during the September 11th attacks here.

Community Synergy 

Visionaries: Amy McLaren from Write to Give

I really admire those people who are able to find a way to use their passion to not only satisfy their own internal ambitions but to change the lives of others…forever. As a Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni, I was browsing through our alumni magazine a few months back and came across an organization that sparked my interest. Known as Write to Give (clever play on words no?), this project was started by Amy McLaren of Ontario, Canada who founded World Teacher Aid, a Canadian charity committed to improving education throughout the developing world. Since 2009, Write to Give has since grown to become internationally recognized, and continues to bring students from all over the world together by promoting literacy for a well deserved cause. The organization used funds raised to complete their first school this past May in Kenya!

Community Sustainability 

TARAgram in India

TARAgram, India

I recently returned from an unforgettable adventure in India. There was colour, chaos, crowds, and a whole lot of culture. The food put every one of my taste buds to work and the sights and sounds were unlike anything I’ve witnessed before, but the most unique tour occurred at TARAgram in the city of Orchha in Madhya Pradesh, India.

Community Synergy 

Theatrical Philanthropy: RENT


Fallen Rock Productions is a socially-conscious theatre company that combines philanthropy with the performing arts. Every year, the company produces a large-scale musical to raise funds and awareness for a charitable organization. Fallen Rock musicals are a great option for Torontonians looking for high caliber musical theatre without the sky-high ticket prices of Mirvish productions. This June, Fallen Rock will grace the Bathurst Street Theatre stage with its highly-anticipated production of RENT.

Back to Basics Community 

Students Fold Paper Cranes for Japan


Part of my job as an educator is to teach students how to be proactive citizens who stay informed about what’s happening in the world around them. My goal is to teach them that anything is possible and that they have the power to bring change. After learning about the devastating earthquakes and tsunamis that struck Japan this past March, I felt it was important to inform my students of the tragic events and encourage them to make a difference for the people of Japan.