Saturday, August 6, 2016

University of Guelph Gets $460,000 from Nestlé for Groundwater Research

GUELPH, Ontario August 5, 2016 - U of G News Release -  The University of Guelph has received a $460,000 donation from Nestlé Waters Canada to conduct leading-edge groundwater research in Wellington County.

The funds will go to the U of G-based G360 Centre for Applied Groundwater Research. Led by engineering professor Beth Parker, G360 involves studying groundwater and surface water interaction in fractured sedimentary bedrock, with the goal of ensuring safe and sustainable groundwater drinking supplies.

“Protecting drinking water from harmful contamination and exploitation is a shared responsibility,” said Parker, who holds a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Industrial Research Chair. “These municipalities are facing significant water demands through residential and industrial growth.”
More than one million people living in some of southern Ontario’s fastest-growing communities, including Guelph, rely on bedrock aquifers for their water.
“Southern Wellington County will greatly benefit from this research, as the scientific knowledge of the local groundwater resources and their sustainable management is essential for the development of the region,” Parker said.

The Township of Puslinch expressed support for the initiative. “This generous donation from Nestlé Waters Canada will support an important research project that will help us better understand this key resource,” said mayor Dennis Lever.
Nestlé’s contribution will be used to enhance G360 research and community outreach, and to develop groundwater-sourced water protection and monitoring initiatives in collaboration with the communities involved.
The funding will mobilize the Southern Wellington County Groundwater Study, which will examine groundwater sustainability issues facing small to moderately-sized suburban communities.
“The ultimate goal is improved groundwater resource utilization polices and public awareness of the importance of sustainable source water protection strategies,” Parker said.
Andreanne Simard, natural resources manager for Nestlé Waters Canada, said: “Nestlé strives to add value to the community, not only through its operations. Water sustainability is Nestlé’s NO. 1 priority and we are proud to support this research program that will contribute to the protection of this vital resource.”

G360 researchers hope to leverage this funding to obtain a federal municipal infrastructure grant. Researchers will be creating high resolution, multi-level groundwater monitoring networks, providing critical information to environmental scientists, planners, policy-makers, and the public.

Nestlé’s contribution was provided through the University Consortium for Field Focused Groundwater Research which operates through G360. Including professors, industry sponsors, scientists, practitioners, government representatives and students, it’s been a global leader in research, international collaborations, and training for nearly 30 years.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Warner Bros. Suicide Squad spent over $80 million, boosting Ontario's economy

Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sport, and Motion Picture Association-Canada announces release of Behind the Scenes look at the people and businesses in Ontario who contributed to the production
TORONTO, Ontario August 5, 2016 /Canada NewsWire/ - Warner Bros. Suicide Squad brought excitement to the City of Toronto well before its opening in theatres today: Thousands of fans flocked to downtown to try to catch a glimpse of Deadshot rappelling off the side of a Front Street building, the bat mobile racing up Yonge Street, or the helicopter crash in the financial district.  During the 98 days of filming, and 168 days of pre and post shoot work, the production created 4,707 jobs, spending well over $80 million in Ontario. 
To coincide with Suicide Squad's release in theatres, an exclusive "behind the scenes" video released today celebrates five Ontario businesses who contributed to the production. From a sheet metal business to caterers, an electrical and lighting supplier to the company that provides the fasteners and bolts to put it all together—these are just a handful of the people and businesses in Ontario who benefit from making movie magic happen.  Some of the key local expenditures include:
  • Over $12.5 million on all rentals, including truck and car rentals;
  • More than $4.2 million on lumber and construction supplies;
  • Close to $2 million on catering, bakery goods, and other food items;
  • Over $2.6 million on location fees; and
  • More than $785,000 on local wardrobe and dry cleaning services.
"I am thrilled that blockbuster films such as Suicide Squad are choosing to film inOntario, reinforcing our province's reputation as a world class hub for film and TV production. Last year, Ontario's film industry had its best year ever and movies like Suicide Squad are an important part of this growth - generating spending and creating jobs," said Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport."Our government is a proud supporter of the creative industries and I am glad to see that this important sector is thriving‎."
"Productions like Suicide Squad are not only an opportunity to showcase Ontario'stalented cast and crew, but also support thousands of local businesses who play a significant role behind the scenes," said Wendy Noss, President, Motion Picture Association-Canada. "With Suicide Squad spending over $80 million in the province, it is easy to understand why the film and television industry is a critical part of Ontario's economy."
"Toronto provided the perfect backdrop for some of the high intensity scenes inSuicide Squad. We had access to top cast, crew and extras, and fantastic small businesses throughout the province that supplied everything a large-scale production like Suicide Squad requires," said Bill Draper, President, Worldwide Physical Production, Warner BrosPictures. "We are thankful for our partnership with the Government of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and all of our local partners who we work with to create world-class entertainment."
"We have been in business for over 40 years and working with the people in the film and TV industry is a phenomenal experience," said Steve Howes, President, Demtra Sheet Metal Industries Ltd. "The movie business means a lot of work to us and to a lot of other people, creating a number of off-shoot jobs from truck drivers to rentals to food services and hospitality. It is a feather in my cap to say I've worked on productions like Suicide Squad and it is an incredibly rewarding experience."
About MPA-Canada:

The Motion Picture Association – Canada (MPA-Canada) serves as the voice and advocate of the major international producers and distributors of movies, home entertainment and television programming in Canada and is an affiliate of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA). The motion picture studios we serve are: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
*All figures are in Canadian dollars.
Check out our Behind the Scenes video with Ontario businesses.
Follow us on Twitter.  @MPACanada
SOURCE Motion Picture Association - Canada 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

RCMP Musical Ride Touring Southern Ontario

OTTAWA, Ontario August 4, 2016 /Canada NewsWire/ - Hey Ontarians, the RCMP Musical Ride is touring through your province over the next 46 days.  Come out and see our 32 world-renowned horses and riders in your communities. To find out where we are going to be, please see our 2016 Musical Ride tour schedule. 
"We are excited to have the Musical Ride back in Southern Ontario this year," says Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Strachan, Commanding Officer for O Division (Ontario) RCMP. "There are great events planned across the province, including a stop in London at Metroland Media Agriplex in support of the 'Bethanys Hope Foundation.'  This show is honouring all the first responders that have helped over the last 20 years with the Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD) research program."
The Musical Ride provides the public with an opportunity to experience the heritage and traditions of the RCMP. It also helps raise funds for local charities and initiatives across Canada.
Quick Facts
  • The first recorded public display of the Musical Ride was in Regina, Saskatchewan, in 1901.
  • The 2016 tour schedule includes stops in GrassieErin and Kingston, Ontario.

  • North American highlights this year include the Youthdale Riding Program  (August 26), Ancaster Fair (September 23 and 24) and a visit to the oldest agricultural fair in North America — the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts.

  • In 2017, the Musical Ride tour is going across Canada in celebration of Canada's150th anniversary.
"We are looking for big crowds this year and I invite everyone to come out and catch a show and also help raise funds for local charities," adds Assistant Commissioner Strachan, Commanding Officer for "O Division" (Ontario) RCMP.
SOURCE Royal Canadian Mounted Police  

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

University of Guelph to Host Global Conference on Diseases

GUELPH, Ontario Tuesday, August 2, 2016 - News Release  - The Zika virus outbreak and the re-emergence of raccoon rabies are among the topics that will be discussed during an international gathering at the University of Guelph.
The 71st International Conference on Diseases in Nature Communicable to Man will bring together experts from the medical, veterinary and public health communities.
They will address a variety of diseases that are acquired from natural sources, which include wild and domestic animals, contaminated water or food supplies, arthropod vectors and other sources.
The event will be held at the University of Guelph Aug. 7 to 9, and is co-hosted by the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and U of G’s Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses.
Claire Jardine, a professor in Ontario Veterinary College’s Department of Pathobiology, says old diseases are re-emerging and new ones need to be addressed, making the conference a critical meeting point.
“Zoonoses and emerging diseases, they’re not going away,” she says. “Human encroachment into wild areas and climate change are some of the factors bringing these diseases into the forefront.”
The keynote speaker for the conference, Dr. Nicholas Ogden, will address causes, consequences and how we can respond to the emerging zoonoses in the R.R. Parker Memorial Lecture.
Other speakers include OVC Prof. Sherilee Harper, Department of Population Medicine, and Victoria Edge from the Public Health Agency of Canada. Both will discuss foodborne and waterborne diseases in the Canadian Arctic.
Robbin Lindsay, a research scientist from the Public Health Agency of Canada, will discuss the current Zika virus outbreak and Ken Gage of the Centers for Disease Control’s Bacterial Zoonoses Branch in Fort Collins, Colorado, will lecture on the plague.
“This is an opportunity to bring people together internationally to discuss issues associated with zoonotic diseases,” Jardine says.
“We are able to talk about old and new issues, and what we can do to effectively deal with them in the future.”

Nautical needs for a day on the water!

TORONTO, Ontario  August 3, 2016 /Canada NewsWire/ - Boating is becoming increasingly popular among Canadians with over 12.4 million Canadians having participated in boating in 2015, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
Trying to figure out what to bring with you on a boat can be a daunting task. Discover Boating Canada compiled a list of "nautical needs" that will help make your boating experience more enjoyable.
Sunshine Essentials
Sunglasses protect your peepers and improve visibility and comfort on the water by reducing light intensity. A pair with polarized lenses to help reduce the glare of the sun off the water and provides a better view. Grab a chic pair to combine fashion and functionality.
Swimwear and towels are a must because there is no better way to cool off. Grab a lush towel and cute swimsuit and you're all set to take the plunge. Make sure it's a zone cleared for swimming, drop your anchor and jump in!
A camera is a must-have item since sightseeing can't be beat on a boat! Bring a camera or camera phone to capture the beauty of nature or snap some selfies while cruising the waters. Grab a waterproof case that will help protect your phone and your precious memories.
Nautical Essentials for The Captain
Happy Captain, happy cruising. The captain has a list of nautical needs to help the trip run smoothly. A pre-departure passenger safety briefing checklist (available, charts of where to cruise, radio for weather updates, pleasure craft operators card and proof of ownership of the boat are some must-haves for the captain.
More Items for Fun On the Water
Music is the soundtrack to our lives. There's nothing better than cruising the waters while listening to your favourite crooner, so make sure that you bring some fun tunes to enjoy while on the boat.
Find the right footwear. The perfect boat shoe can help make your boating experience more enjoyable. Make sure they have non-marking soles with good grip and no heels.
A fan of fishing? You can fish right off your boat! Check out for tips on what equipment you need to get started inCanada.
And finally - one of the most important things to complement these essentials is your nautical wear! Anchors, stripes and boats are popular patterns in summer fashion so put on your boating best and get on the water!

SOURCE Discover Boating Canada

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tawse Winery captures 2016 Canadian Winery of the year award

Victory marks the 4th win in the last 7 years
VINELAND, OntarioAug. 2, 2016 /Canada NewsWire/ - Tawse Winery is thrilled to announce that it has been named Canadian Winery of the year by WineAlign National Wine Awards ofCanada. The annual competition recognizes the best in Canadian wines as well as the top performing wineries in the nation's industry. This exciting honour is not the first for Tawse having been awarded Winery of the Year in three consecutive years; 2010, 2011 and 2012. In all this year, the medal count was 17 including 5 gold and 8 silver.
"With more than 230 wineries entering the competition it really is overwhelming to be recognized as number one. This success would not be possible without the passion and hard work of our dedicated winery team.  We are extremely proud of this achievement and truly believe that this honour belongs not only to us, but to all of those in our industry who work hard each year to raise the bar in Canadian wines," says proprietor Moray Tawse when asked to comment on the announcement.
This year's accolade comes once again under the watch of the winemaking duo of Paul Pender and Rene Van Ede
"Our commitment to producing expressive wines really begins in the vineyard. The health of our vines is paramount in every decision that we make. We truly believe that the way we're farming allows us to produce fruit of the highest quality, at the same time giving back to the soil for future harvests," says Pender of the winery's organic and biodynamic farming philosophies.
For more information and a complete list of the award-winning wines, including where to find them at a store near you, visit
About Tawse Winery:  Tawse Winery is an ultra-premium Niagara winery whose portfolio is comprised of the Tawse and Sketches wine brands. Owned and operated by the Tawse family, Tawse wines are sold nationally direct-to-consumer as well as in the LCBO and other provincial liquor jurisdiction stores. Paul Pender and Rene Van Ede handcraft all of the wines within the Tawse Winery portfolio.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pokémon Go Hashtag Boosts Interest in Biodiversity

U of G student’s #PokeBlitz hashtag connects biologists and gamers to help identify wildlife

GUELPH, Ontario - July 27, 2016 - University of Guelph Campus NewsA Pokémon Go player in California noticed “a big blob of red-and-white goo” near the river where she was hunting for Pokémon characters. Wondering what it was, she tweeted a photo to University of Guelph PhD student Morgan Jackson with the #PokeBlitz hashtag. Jackson didn’t recognize it but sent it to another scientist who identified the “goo” as a clump of snail eggs.
In the first week after Nintendo’s Pokémon Go mobile game was launched, Jackson and his fellow “wildlife identifiers” helped put names to various insects, birds and other animals for players from Europe, Asia and South America, as well as Canada and the United States.
Jackson is an entomology student studying stilt-legged flies in the U of G’s insect collection. He says his current work reminds him of the original Pokémon game he played as a child. “I try to catch them all, figure out how they are related to each other, and give those that need it a new name,” he says of the flies he studies.
Even before the game was released, Jackson saw the possibilities to connect Pokémon fandom with real biology. People playing the game are outdoors exploring their surroundings more than they normally would be, he explains, and that means they’ll naturally run into more insects and animals than they otherwise would. On the U of G campus alone, there are 55 PokéStops and five gyms.
To play, participants have to physically walk around their neighbourhoods to find and collect monsters, and battle other players. The game’s augmented reality projects the cartoon creatures into the real world around players by engaging smartphone cameras. “That means if you see an actual wild animal, it’s easy to snap a photo of it,” Jackson says.
Morgan Jackson
Wildlife experts such as Jackson already answer many tweeted questions about animals online. To make the connection with the game, Jackson created the #PokeBlitz hashtag as a rallying point for naturalists to follow and for people to post their photos and questions. The tag is a take-off on BioBlitz where people search for and identify all the wildlife in a particular area.

@moietymouse: Anyone know what this is? #bugs #pokeblitz Ontario
@thonoir : You’ve caught an elm sawfly (Cimbex Americana) larva! #pokeblitz
Several media outlets interviewed Jackson soon after he created the hashtag, and it was promoted in a video by ASAP Science, a YouTube channel created by two U of G grads. The publicity has boosted use of the hashtag by both game players and wildlife experts.
Will colder weather and back-to-school schedules slow the enthusiasm for Pokémon Go? Jackson says we’ll have to wait and see, but he’s optimistic about the potential for future developments within the game. Meanwhile, he’s excited about the way people are discovering the natural world as they hunt for imaginary creatures.
“My wife and I take our kids out for a walk most evenings, and we usually don’t see many other people,” says Jackson. “But since Pokémon Go launched, there are all these other people outdoors and walking around. That has to be a good thing. They come out because of the game, but they are getting some exercise and enjoying the natural world.”

Government Invests $180-Million in High-Speed Internet Project, U of G a Partner

GUELPH, Ontario Tuesday July 26, 2016 - University of Guelph News ReleaseThe federal and provincial governments announced today they will invest $180 million in a broadband network for southwestern Ontario, a digital initiative involving the University of Guelph.

The funding will support the Southwest Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) network, which aims to provide open-access, high-speed fibre optic network capacity to more than 3.5 million people in 300 rural communities, from the Town of Caledon to the Niagara Region to Grey County.
Through Prof. Helen Hambly and the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), U of G has provided community engagement, evaluation and research support for the project since 2011.
“It became apparent that the future of Ontario’s rural and remote areas was going to be highly influenced by digital development opportunities or the lack thereof,” said Hambly, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development.
“Our work at U of G in areas such as precision agriculture and knowledge mobilization for agri-food innovation are entirely linked to the underlying broadband infrastructure that makes the uptake of new digital technologies possible.”Hambly, a rural extension expert, heads the Regional and Rural Broadband (R2B2) research unit. As a member of the SWIFT advisory committee, she works with public-sector organizations, businesses, farmers and residents on providing ultra-high-speed broadband and network infrastructure.
Through R2B2, she works with researchers and universities across Canada on baseline modelling, quantitative data collection and analysis, GIS mapping and outcome assessment.
“Communities across Canada are seeking ways to measure and monitor their progress in digital development,” Hambly said.
Canada was once a leader in Internet capacity, but about one in five Canadians — most of them in rural areas — still lack basic Internet access, said Hambly.
Improved rural infrastructure will yield new economic opportunities and efficiencies, and have educational and social benefits, she said.
“The development of connectivity is tremendously important to enabling province-wide innovation that benefits both rural and urban areas.”
The governments of Canada and Ontario will each contribute up to $90 million through the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component-Small Communities Fund.
In making the announcement today in London, Bob Chiarelli, minister of infrastructure, said bringing critical broadband infrastructure to southwestern Ontario will strengthen the province’s economy.
“High-speed internet will connect people and businesses to the resources they need to compete in the global marketplace and strengthen our economy. Equipping people in the province with the tools they need to succeed is one of the ways we’re helping to build Ontario up.”
The total estimated project cost is $281 million; the remaining funds will come from municipal and private contributions via the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, which initially proposed the SWIFT initiative.
Prof. Helen Hambly
School of Environmental Design & Rural Development
19-824-4120, Ext. 53408

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Saint Elizabeth Health Care Showcases Hope And Happiness

MARKHAM, Ontario, July 26, 2016 /Canada NewsWire/ - Saint Elizabeth today announced the official opening of a Hope and Happiness showcase at its corporate office in Markham.  
Bringing together elements of strategy, storytelling and experiential design, the 2,000-square foot installation was designed and produced in partnership with Central Station, a Toronto-based agency that specializes in bringing brands to life. An accompanying video shows the creation and build out of the space.
"As a not-for-profit charity, we connect with so many people nationally and internationally who want to visit, learn and share ideas with us," said Shirlee Sharkey, CEO of Saint Elizabeth. "With the recent expansion of our corporate office, we wanted to capture – in a surprising and inspiring way – our passion and uniqueness within the healthcare ecosystem."
The inaugural showcase features some of Saint Elizabeth's most powerful and innovative initiatives, including Elizz, Canada's go-to-place for all things caregiving, and the award-winning Hope and Happiness campaign that is inspiring a global movement.
As the finishing touches are put in place, guided tours of the showcase are already being provided to a growing number of health systems, community groups, students, entrepreneurs and others interested in innovating health care.
Earlier this month, nearly 120 staff convened in the new space and online to mark their graduation from the UK's School for Health and Care Radicals, a virtual learning program for change activists, backed by the National Health Service.
"After more than a century of caring, we continue to be inspired by the power of people, and all the ways we can work together to be a catalyst for positive change," said Sharkey.
About Saint Elizabeth 

Saint Elizabeth is a national health care provider that has been opening the door to new possibilities and care experiences for more than a century. Recognized as Canada's largest social enterprise, we employ 8,000 people and visit 18,000 clients every day. With Elizz, our breakthrough brand dedicated to all things caregiving, we are bringing fresh thinking, exceptional services and positive change to caregivers nationally. Through the Saint Elizabeth Research Centre, our Health Career Colleges and the Saint Elizabeth Foundation, we are helping to make the future of health care brighter and stronger. 
SOURCE Saint Elizabeth Health Care

WayHome Surpasses All Expectations in Sophomore Year

 Music and Arts Festival Attracts 40,000 Fans For 2016 
MEDONTE, Ontario, July 25, 2016 /Canada NewsWire/ - Republic Live announced a second successful year for WayHome Music and Arts Festival with 40,000 fans in attendance. The festival attracted fans from every Canadian province, territory, 32 states in the and eight foreign countries and featured headliners LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire and The Killers along with 65 more artists. The music and arts festival presented multiple stages with a variety of late night displays, art installations, unique partner activations and fine international and local cuisine.  Set against the backdrop of the lush fields of Burl's Creek Event Grounds this created a complete immersive festival experience for fans.
"In two years we have been able to create a festival that been recognized as a world-class event that we can all be proud of," said Ryan Howes, Creative Director, Republic Live. "We really wanted to excite our fans with the on-site experience and their reactions when they first walked into the main entertainment space is exactly what we were hoping to achieve. We are very grateful to all of the artists, industry partners, sponsors, media, staff and volunteers that made this festival experience possible for the thousands of fans that attended WayHome 2016. We've already started the planning process for next year and encourage everyone to save the dates, July 28 – 30, 2017, for another memorable WayHome."
The event saw 35,000 fans camping on-site, others availed of hotel shuttle packages which sold out in early May, and 2,000 fans commuted daily. Despite 2016 being a difficult year for ticket sales for many music festivals in North America, WayHome was fortunate to see an increase in sales across all product offerings from year one to year two. This year the festival introduced a new fan-friendly cashless payment system to streamline the on-site experience. Free water ensured that fans stayed hydrated with over 2 million litres of water being utilized and 40,000 bags of ice supplied to festival goers over the weekend.
WayHome Music and Arts, produced by Republic Live, featured headliners LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire and The Killers, along with by Major Lazer, M83, HAIM, Metric, Chvrches, Ray LaMontagne, and an additional 60+ artists.  The festival offered multiple stages, a variety of late-night spectacles and experiences, original art installations, fine international and local cuisine, an on-site farmers market and more. Save the date for 2017 as WayHome will be taking place July 28th – 30th, 2017 at Burl's Creek Event Grounds.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

University of Guelph Professor Earns Prestigious UK Award for Animal Welfare Research

GUELPH, Ontario Thursday, July 21, 2016 - News In Brief - A University of Guelph professor has been honoured with a top award from the British Society of Animal Science and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Prof. Georgia Mason, Animal Biosciences, received the RSPCA/BSAS Award for Innovative Developments in Animal Welfare at the International Society for Applied Ethology conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Mason, a behavioural biologist and Canada Research Chair, was recognized for her pioneering research, which has led to a better understanding of the effects of captivity on animals and how their welfare can be improved.
She studies how animals cope with captive housing conditions and is currently researching the cage size of farmed mink.