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Two Seriously Ill Children To Receive Shopping Sprees in Langley and Kamloops Toys”R”Us, Canada Stores this Summer

tarlight Children’s Foundation™ Canada and Toys”R”Us, Canada will gift shopping sprees to 10 seriously ill Canadian children to help them create much-needed positive memories away from the hospital.

VANCOUVER, B.C. (June 5, 2018)- This July, Toys”R”Us, Canada in partnership with Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada will provide nine-year-old Savanna from Kamloops (who suffers from Spastic Cerebral Palsy and Autism) and nine-year-old Charlie-Anne from Langley (who suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1) with a 3-Minute Dash shopping spree at their local Toys”R”Us stores. Both girls will have the chance to race through the store with their families and fill shopping carts with as many free toys as possible within a three-minute timeframe. The annual 3-Minute Dash program was designed to provide seriously ill children with much-needed positive memories away from the hospital.

The British Columbia 3-Minute Dash details are as follows:

    • Kamloops, B.C.: July 9, 2018 at 7:00 a.m. for Savanna at Columbia Place (100-500 Notredame Drive)
    • Langley, B.C.: July 10, 2018 at 7:00 a.m. for Charlie-Anne at Willowbrook Mall (19705 Fraser Highway)

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About Savanna from Kamloops:

Nine-year-old Savanna is a smart, chatty, social, funny child, who was born with Spastic Cerebral Palsy. Throughout her journey, Savanna was diagnosed with brain damage, autism and now relies on a wheelchair for transportation. A fan of singing, playing musical instruments and watching America’s Next Top Model, Savanna can’t wait to pick up a karaoke machine at her July 9th dash!

About Charlie-Anne from Langley:

When Charlie was just 6 months old she was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1 and given a few months to live. At nine-years-old, after many hospitalizations and close calls she is doing better than ever. Charlie-Anne loves to play video games, read and exploring the city. A big fan of My Little Pony, she can’t wait for her dash on July 10th!

The 3-Minute Dash program is donated by Toys”R”Us, Canada as part of their long-standing partnership with Starlight Canada and has been expanded to gift 10 Canadian families with shopping sprees in Barrie and Toronto in Ontario, Langley and Kamloops in British Columbia, Edmonton, Alberta, Pembina, Manitoba, Regina, Saskatchewan, Laval and Lasalle in Montreal and St. John’s, Newfoundland. For the past five years, dash recipients have been randomly selected as part of an internal Starlight Canada contest, in which families are asked to share the details of their child’s care journey and submit them to their local Starlight programs coordinator for entry.

“On a day-to-day basis, we witness the bravery, strength and struggles that seriously ill children and their families face,” says Starlight executive director, Brian Bringolf. “Throughout the course of the calendar year, Starlight aims to provide distractive programming to make children smile and help families cope. We are beyond thrilled to have generous partners in Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us, who have helped us create initiatives like the 3-Minute Dash for our very deserving Starlight families.”

Over the past 20 years, Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us Canada have been and continue to be one of Starlight’s most involved and valued partners. Through in-store and online campaigns, 3-Minute Dashes, Presenting Sponsor of the Starlight Gala and donations to in and out-of-hospital programs, they have donated an incredible $19 million to Starlight and are extraordinary advocates of Starlight’s cause.

“We are proud to partner with Starlight and are delighted to bring 10 Starlight Dashes to communities across Canada this year,” says Melanie Teed-Murch, President, Toys”R”Us Canada. “At Toys”R”Us Canada, we believe that play is a right and we will champion the power of play for children across the country.  Play inspires endless possibilities of fun, imagination and wonder and for the families who take part in the shopping sprees, the Dashes offer their children much needed moments of playful escape on their journey.”

 

This year, in addition to the 3-Minute Dash, Toys”R”Us has made a commitment to sponsor several Starlight Canada initiatives including: 

  • 85 Hospital Grants - Monetary funding to support distractive entertainment for hospitalized children.
  • 10,500 ER Admit Kits - A variety of care products for children and parents during unexpected hospital stays.
  • 7,000 Baby & Toddler Fun Kits - Cuddly toys and games to distract very young children during unpleasant hospital stays.
  • Baby Resources for Hospitals Program – Supplying easy to sanitize crib mobiles and activity centers along with special infant seats to cover 100 Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) across Canada.

 

For more information, media accreditation to attend dashes, photos or interview requests, please contact:

Cory Stewart, Embrace Disruption PR | cory@embracedisruption.com, 647.638.1586

 

About Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada:

Starlight Children’s Foundation® Canada brightens the lives of seriously ill Canadian children and their families by bringing them joy, laughter and relief. For close to 30 years, Starlight Canada has spread millions of smiles to sick kids through a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home. With your help, more kids and families will benefit from receiving a Starlight Comfort Kit in-hospital or relaxing at a Starlight Day Brightener out-of-hospital.

Support Starlight Canada’s work by visiting www.starlightcanada.org and by following Starlight on FacebookInstagram and Twitter and subscribing to our YouTube channel.

Hashtag: #StarDash

About Toys”R”Us, Canada:

Since 1983, Toys “R” Us Canada has been Canada’s leading dedicated specialty retailer of toys and baby products.  Recognized as Canada’s trend authority in toys and baby products, the company brings national brands, exclusive products, innovative loyalty programs and unique partnerships to Canadians at its 82 stores across Canada and through its e-commerce sites Toysrus.ca and Babiesrus.ca.  Committed to giving back to our communities, we focus our charity efforts on supporting children and their families whether enhancing resources and services, helping development through play or offering distraction and encouragement to seriously ill children.  Toys “R” Us Canada is a subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited. For store locations and convenient online shopping, visit www.toysrus.ca and www.babiesrus.ca.

    Toronto Girl Born with Spina Bifida To Receive Shopping Spree at Toys”R”Us, Canada Store this Summer

    Starlight Children’s Foundation® Canada and Toys”R”Us, Canada will gift shopping sprees to 10 seriously ill Canadian children to help them create much-needed positive memories away from the hospital.

    TORONTO, ON (May 31, 2018)- On June 28, 2018, Toys”R”Us, Canada in partnership with Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada will provide seven-year-old Alejandra, who suffers from spina bifida and hydrocephalus, from Toronto with a 3-Minute Dash shopping spree at Toys”R”Us (690 Evans Avenue, Etobicoke, M9C 1A1). Starting at 7:00 a.m., Alejandra will have the chance to race through the store with her family and fill shopping carts with as many free toys as possible within a three-minute timeframe. The annual 3-Minute Dash program was designed to provide seriously ill children with much-needed positive memories away from the hospital.

    Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 12.20.13 PM

    More about Alejandra

    Despite the physical and mental challenges of her condition, seven-year-old Alejandra always has a smile on her face that lights up any room. Born with spina bifida (a spinal cord condition) and hydrocephalus (a condition that accumulates in cerebrospinal fluid in the brain), Alejandra has overcome many struggles in her young life. She loves swimming, music, playing dress up or having a picnic with all her stuffies. In her down time, you can find her reading a book or watching movies.

    The 3-Minute Dash program is donated by Toys”R”Us, Canada as part of their long-standing partnership with Starlight Canada and has been expanded to gift 10 Canadian families with shopping sprees in Barrie and Toronto in Ontario, Langley and Kamloops in British Columbia, Edmonton, Alberta, Pembina, Manitoba, Regina, Saskatchewan, Laval and Lasalle in Montreal and St. John’s, Newfoundland. For the past five years, dash recipients have been randomly selected as part of an internal Starlight Canada contest, in which families are asked to share the details of their child’s care journey and submit them to their local Starlight programs coordinator for entry.

    “On a day-to-day basis, we witness the bravery, strength and struggles that seriously ill children and their families face,” says Starlight executive director, Brian Bringolf. “Throughout the course of the calendar year, Starlight aims to provide distractive programming to make children smile and help families cope. We are beyond thrilled to have generous partners in Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us, who have helped us create initiatives like the 3-Minute Dash for our very deserving Starlight families.”

    Over the past 20 years, Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us Canada have been and continue to be one of Starlight’s most involved and valued partners. Through in-store and online campaigns, 3-Minute Dashes, Presenting Sponsor of the Starlight Gala and donations to in and out-of-hospital programs, they have donated an incredible $19 million to Starlight and are extraordinary advocates of Starlight’s cause.

    “We are proud to partner with Starlight and are delighted to bring 10 Starlight Dashes to communities across Canada this year,” says Melanie Teed-Murch, President, Toys”R”Us Canada. “At Toys”R”Us Canada, we believe that play is a right and we will champion the power of play for children across the country.  Play inspires endless possibilities of fun, imagination and wonder and for the families who take part in the shopping sprees, the Dashes offer their children much needed moments of playful escape on their journey.”

    This year, in addition to the 3-Minute Dash, Toys”R”Us has made a commitment to sponsor several Starlight Canada initiatives including: 

    • 85 Hospital Grants - Monetary funding to support distractive entertainment for hospitalized children.
    • 10,500 ER Admit Kits - A variety of care products for children and parents during unexpected hospital stays.
    • 7,000 Baby & Toddler Fun Kits - Cuddly toys and games to distract very young children during unpleasant hospital stays.
    • Baby Resources for Hospitals Program – Supplying easy to sanitize crib mobiles and activity centers along with special infant seats to cover 100 Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) across Canada.

     

    For more information, media accreditation to attend dashes, photos or interview requests, please contact:

    Cory Stewart, Embrace Disruption PR | cory@embracedisruption.com, 647.638.1586

     

    About Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada:

    Starlight Children’s Foundation® Canada brightens the lives of seriously ill Canadian children and their families by bringing them joy, laughter and relief. For close to 30 years, Starlight Canada has spread millions of smiles to sick kids through a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home. With your help, more kids and families will benefit from receiving a Starlight Comfort Kit in-hospital or relaxing at a Starlight Day Brightener out-of-hospital.

    Support Starlight Canada’s work by visiting www.starlightcanada.org and by following Starlight on FacebookInstagram and Twitter and subscribing to our YouTube channel.

    Hashtag: #StarDash

    About Toys”R”Us, Canada:

    Since 1983, Toys “R” Us Canada has been Canada’s leading dedicated specialty retailer of toys and baby products.  Recognized as Canada’s trend authority in toys and baby products, the company brings national brands, exclusive products, innovative loyalty programs and unique partnerships to Canadians at its 82 stores across Canada and through its e-commerce sites Toysrus.ca and Babiesrus.ca.  Committed to giving back to our communities, we focus our charity efforts on supporting children and their families whether enhancing resources and services, helping development through play or offering distraction and encouragement to seriously ill children.   For store locations and convenient online shopping, visit www.toysrus.ca and www.babiesrus.ca.

      Young Barrie Boy with Heart Defect to Receive Shopping Spree at Toys”R”Us, Canada Store this Summer

      BARRIE, ON (May 31, 2018)- On June 26, 2018, Toys”R”Us, Canada in partnership with Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada will provide five-year-old Tyson, who suffers from tetralogy of fallout (a type of heart defect) with a 3-Minute Dash shopping spree at a Barrie Toys”R”Us store (30 North Village Way, Barrie, ON L4N 6P3). Starting at 7:00 a.m., Tyson will have the chance to race through the store with his family and fill shopping carts with as many free toys as possible within a three-minute timeframe. The annual 3-Minute Dash program was designed to provide seriously ill children with much-needed positive memories away from the hospital.

      Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 11.30.01 AM

      More about Tyson

      Five-year-old Tyson suffers from tetralogy of fallout, which is a type of heart defect present at birth. The condition results in low oxygenation of blood and is usually treated with open heart sugery in the first year of life. After recently being adopted, Tyson’s family enrolled him in Starlight’s programs — programs that Tyson’s own father was enrolled in when he was a child. Described by his family as smiley and easy to please, Tyson is a big fan of Star Wars and is very much looking forward to his upcoming dash.

      The 3-Minute Dash program is donated by Toys”R”Us, Canada as part of their long-standing partnership with Starlight Canada and has been expanded to gift 10 Canadian families with shopping sprees in Barrie and Toronto in Ontario, Langley and Kamloops in British Columbia, Edmonton, Alberta, Pembina, Manitoba, Regina, Saskatchewan, Laval and Lasalle in Montreal and St. John’s, Newfoundland. For the past five years, dash recipients have been randomly selected as part of an internal Starlight Canada contest, in which families are asked to share the details of their child’s care journey and submit them to their local Starlight programs coordinator for entry.

      “On a day-to-day basis, we witness the bravery, strength and struggles that seriously ill children and their families face,” says Starlight executive director, Brian Bringolf. “Throughout the course of the calendar year, Starlight aims to provide distractive programming to make children smile and help families cope. We are beyond thrilled to have generous partners in Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us, who have helped us create initiatives like the 3-Minute Dash for our very deserving Starlight families.”

      Over the past 20 years, Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us Canada have been and continue to be one of Starlight’s most involved and valued partners. Through in-store and online campaigns, 3-Minute Dashes, Presenting Sponsor of the Starlight Gala and donations to in and out-of-hospital programs, they have donated an incredible $19 million to Starlight and are extraordinary advocates of Starlight’s cause.

      “We are proud to partner with Starlight and are delighted to bring 10 Starlight Dashes to communities across Canada this year,” says Melanie Teed-Murch, President, Toys”R”Us Canada. “At Toys”R”Us Canada, we believe that play is a right and we will champion the power of play for children across the country.  Play inspires endless possibilities of fun, imagination and wonder and for the families who take part in the shopping sprees, the Dashes offer their children much needed moments of playful escape on their journey.”

      This year, in addition to the 3-Minute Dash, Toys”R”Us has made a commitment to sponsor several Starlight Canada initiatives including: 

      • 85 Hospital Grants - Monetary funding to support distractive entertainment for hospitalized children.
      • 10,500 ER Admit Kits - A variety of care products for children and parents during unexpected hospital stays.
      • 7,000 Baby & Toddler Fun Kits - Cuddly toys and games to distract very young children during unpleasant hospital stays.
      • Baby Resources for Hospitals Program – Supplying easy to sanitize crib mobiles and activity centers along with special infant seats to cover 100 Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) across Canada.

      For more information, media accreditation to attend dashes, photos or interview requests, please contact:

      Cory Stewart, Embrace Disruption PR | cory@embracedisruption.com, 647.638.1586

       

      About Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada:

      Starlight Children’s Foundation® Canada brightens the lives of seriously ill Canadian children and their families by bringing them joy, laughter and relief. For close to 30 years, Starlight Canada has spread millions of smiles to sick kids through a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home. With your help, more kids and families will benefit from receiving a Starlight Comfort Kit in-hospital or relaxing at a Starlight Day Brightener out-of-hospital.

      Support Starlight Canada’s work by visiting www.starlightcanada.org and by following Starlight on FacebookInstagram and Twitter and subscribing to our YouTube channel.

      Hashtag: #StarDash

      About Toys”R”Us, Canada:

      Since 1983, Toys “R” Us Canada has been Canada’s leading dedicated specialty retailer of toys and baby products.  Recognized as Canada’s trend authority in toys and baby products, the company brings national brands, exclusive products, innovative loyalty programs and unique partnerships to Canadians at its 82 stores across Canada and through its e-commerce sites Toysrus.ca and Babiesrus.ca.  Committed to giving back to our communities, we focus our charity efforts on supporting children and their families whether enhancing resources and services, helping development through play or offering distraction and encouragement to seriously ill children.   For store locations and convenient online shopping, visit www.toysrus.ca and www.babiesrus.ca.

        34th Annual Toronto AIDS Candlelight Vigil To Return to Barbara Hall Park this June

        vigil-logo

        Themed “Strengths in Communities”, recognizing HIV/AIDS activism, support and compassion within community groups, the annual commemorative event will take place on June 19, 2018 at 9 p.m.

        TORONTO, ON (May 16, 2018) – Just after dusk, on the evening of Tuesday, June 19, 2018, hundreds of LGBTTIQQ2S+ community members and allies will remember, honour and celebrate those who have passed from AIDS or AIDS related illnesses, or have given their lives in the fight against HIV/AIDS at the 34th annual Toronto AIDS Candlelight Vigil held in Barbara Hall Park (519 Church Street, Toronto) at 9:00 p.m.

        “Since its inception, the AIDS Candlelight Vigil has served as the annual community event for people living with HIV/AIDS, friends, family, allies and the broader communities to honor the lives lost to the disease, and to celebrate those who live with the virus,” says Karen Cohen, AIDS Vigil Committee of Toronto Co-Chair. “With this year’s theme of Strengths in Communities, we aim to celebrate the activism, support and compassion within communities affected by HIV/AIDS in Canada.”

        At the end of 2014, the estimated number of persons living with HIV in Canada was 75,500. It is estimated that 1 in every 5 Canadians infected with HIV has not been diagnosed (Public Health Canada, 2014). “The fight against HIV is not over, and we cannot be complacent when an average of 6.4 new HIV diagnoses are given daily.” (Canadian AIDS Society, 2016)

        vigil

        The evening will be hosted by Kay Roesslein and Haran Vijayanathan, and will include performances from LGBTQ2S+ chorus group Singing Out, cabaret trio Deaf That!, soprano Alexa Frankian and bass Wesley Hui. The event will close with a reading of the names of those who have passed from HIV/AIDS or AIDS related illnesses, followed by a candle lighting ceremony. The names read prior to the candle lighting ceremony will be engraved on the long-standing AIDS Memorial in the heart of Barbara Hall Park.

        “True community strengths are the bridges we build,” says vigil co-host Kay Roesslein. “It is important to build strength and respect our differences rather than assimilate and create negative feelings,” adds co-host Haran Vijayanathan.

        Event host Kay Roesslein has 26 years experience working with LOFT Community Services/McEwan Housing & Support Services: working with those who are HIV positive having mental health and substance use challenges, experience homelessness or complex care challenges, to provide stable housing and community outreach.  Co-host Haran Vijayanathan, Director at the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention,  founded the first LGBTQ+ organization in York Region, called My House: Rainbow Resources of York Region in 2012.

        For media accreditation, photos or interview requests, please contact: 

        Cory Stewart | Embrace Disruption PR
        p: 647.638.1586 | e: cory@embracedisruption.com

        About The Toronto Candlelight AIDS Vigil: 

        The AIDS Candlelight Vigil is an open community event held annually at the AIDS Memorial to remember, honour and celebrate the people who have died of AIDS or AIDS related illnesses, or who have given their lives in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Every year, thousands of candles are lighted to honour and remember those who have died, and to encourage and support the tens of thousands of others who live with this disease every day.

        The Vigil embraces diversity, accepting and respecting people of all cultures, faiths, traditions and communities. The Vigil welcomes all people who have been infected or affected by HIV/AIDS and embraces anyone who has experienced a loss or losses due to HIV/AIDS.

        Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AIDSVigilTor

        Twitter: https://twitter.com/AIDSVigilTor

        Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aidsvigilto/

        Hashtag: #AIDSVigil

          Starlight Children’s Foundation® Canada ‘Flies to the Moon’ at 23rd Annual Fundraising Gala

          Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 1.25.16 PM

          Starlight plans intergalactic celebrity-filled evening, raising funds to brighten the lives of seriously ill children.

          TORONTO, ON (March 21, 2018) - Prepare for takeoff! On April 21, 2018, Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada will blast into Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York ballroom (100 Front St. West) for their 23rd annual Gala, themed “Fly Me to the Moon”. Hosted by television personality Rick Campanelli and presented by Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® Canada, the Gala is one of Starlight’s largest fundraising initiatives, supporting their in-and-out-of-hospital programming for seriously ill children across the nation.

          Beginning at 5:30 p.m., guests of the event will check in with a Starlight attendant before moonwalking into a magnetic evening of moving and memorable moments. The out-of-this-world décor will be complemented with themed activities including a flavoured oxygen bar, wine conveyer belt, outer space photo booth and silent auction. Once seated for dinner, attendees will be treated to an all-star lineup of entertainment including a live auction and special performances by Twisted Ankles Dance Crew and JUNO-award-winning musician Simone Denny.

          9731655_sta rickcampanelli-620x350

          “Our annual gala is an opportunity for our guests to reflect and celebrate the strength and unbelievable resilience of the countless starlight families we help each year,” says Starlight executive director Brian Bringolf. “To meet these incredibly brave children and their family members in this intimate setting, and then hear the stories about how Starlight has impacted their lives, is a direct thank you to our attendees. It is rare one can see firsthand how a contribution is helping, but our gala shows our wonderful guests just how real and tangible their support is to these children and their families”

          Celebrities scheduled to attend this year’s gala include: Love It or List It’s Hilary Farr, Real Housewives of Toronto’s Ann Caplan, JUNO award winning musician Simone Denny, Kim’s Convenience’s Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Murdoch Mysteries’ Lachlan Murdoch, The Shape of Water’s Lauren Lee Smith among many others.

          Starlight Canada is pleased to welcome an extensive group of sponsors including Presenting Sponsor Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us Canada; Platinum Sponsor, Michaels; Gold Sponsors, Barrick Gold and Bloom Lanys Professional Corporation and Silver Sponsors, Hasbro and Mattel.

          “At Toys“R”Us Canada, we are committed to continuously giving back to children and families within the communities we serve. Through our 20-year partnership with Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada we’ve witnessed first-hand the ‘power of play’ that brings joy to seriously ill children and their families through distractive entertainment,” said Melanie Teed-Murch, President, Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us, Canada. “We are thrilled to again sponsor this year’s Gala, and look forward to the many exciting initiatives we have planned with Starlight.”

          Over the past 20 years, Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us Canada continue to be one of Starlight’s most involved and valued partners. Through in-store and online campaigns, 3-Minute Dashes, Starlight Gala sponsorship and donations to in-hospital, neonatal care and out-of-hospital programs, they have donated an incredible $17 million to Starlight and are extraordinary advocates of Starlight’s cause in all the Canadian communities they serve.

          Since its inception, the Starlight Gala has raised over $7.8 million, making it one of Starlight’s largest sources for fundraising. Tickets for this year’s event can be purchased online by visiting http://www.starlightcanadagala.com.

          For more information, media accreditation, photos or interview requests, please contact: Cory Stewart, Embrace Disruption PR | cory@embracedisruption.com 647.638.1586

           

          About Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada:

          Starlight Children’s Foundation® Canada brightens the lives of seriously ill Canadian children and their families by bringing them joy, laughter and relief. For close to 30 years, Starlight Canada has spread tens of thousands of smiles to sick kids through a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home. With your help, more kids and families will benefit from receiving a Starlight Comfort Kit in-hospital or relaxing at a Starlight Day Brightener out-of-hospital.

          Support Starlight Canada’s work by visiting www.starlightcanada.org and by following Starlight on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and subscribing to our YouTube channel.

          About Toys“R”Us, Canada:

          Toys“R”Us (Canada) Ltd. and Babies“R”Us (Canada) Ltd. are part of Toys“R”Us, Inc., the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer. Toys“R”Us, Canada operates over 80 stores across the country. For store locations and convenient online shopping visit www.toysrus.ca and www.babiesrus.ca.

          Follow Toys“R”Us, Canada on Facebook (Facebook.com/ToysRUsCanada), Twitter (@ToysRUsCanada) and Instagram (@ToysRUsCanada)

            5 Tips to Help You Destress During April’s National Stress Awareness Month

            grail-springs

            TORONTO, ON (March 15, 2018) – Stress in today’s society is more common than ever before, with top causes stemming from job pressure, financials, health, relationships and poor nutrition. In Canada, over 1 in 4 workers report being highly stressed (StatCan, 2010) every day of their lives. Recent studies have shown that stress has a direct impact on mental and physical wellbeing, sometimes even encouraging poor lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking, drug use or bad eating habits. Unsurprisingly, the problem of stress is now no longer just limited to the world of adults, with 49% of post secondary students reporting more than average stress levels in 2016.

            The art of meditation is a practice thousands of years old with origins rooted in the spiritual traditions of ancient India. Though making its way to North American in the 1960’s, only in the last decade has it become a method of approach amongst mainstream society, helped along greatly by the practice of yoga and celebrity doctors such as Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Mehmet Oz. Grail Springs Wellness Retreat owner and wellness guru Madeleine Marentette has dedicated her life to helping others in the art of meditation, assisting individuals on how to self-correct, gain clarity, and calm the nervous system: especially when feelings of frustration, panic and anxiety arise.
            With April being National Stress Awareness Month, here are five beginner meditation exercises Marentette recommends you do at home to destress, calm your nerves and feel a little more joy in your life:

            Immerse Yourself in a Relaxation Bath: Take a warm bath in Epsom salts, Dead Sea or Himalayan salt. Download some healing music such as the sounds of crystal bowls, specifically designed to calm the energetic system of the body. Light a few soy candles (no perfume), and drop some relaxation essential oils into the bath such as Lavender. Give yourself a 20-30 minute break and allow the warmth, the salts, the scents and sounds to envelop you in calm.

            Stop and Smell the Roses: Visit your local flower shop on your way home from work and treat yourself to a bouquet of flowers. This sounds far too simple to have an effect, but who doesn’t like to receive flowers and feel the joy they bring to us. Place the flowers somewhere where you will see them often; on the kitchen counter, living room table or on your bed table.  Inviting the beauty of nature in to the home can have an immediate calming and joyful effect from both the visual beauty and the aromas.

            Stay Clean and Organize:  It’s important that our home is treated like a sanctuary. After all it is where we spend most of our lives and it is the only environment we can truly control. It is interesting to note that our home, office and even the interior of our car is a reflection of how we might be thinking and feeling at a particular time in our life. Is your personal space organized, clean and inspiring, or is it in disarray, unclean and uninspiring? You may not recognize it, but your personal space may be adding to your stress. Take a day to address one space at time, which can be therapeutic in itself. Purge, donate, toss, clean, organize and smudge. Breathe new life in to the space, allow in some fresh air, and get things in order. This is highly beneficial to clearing a cluttered mind, enabling us to relax, be in the flow of creativity, and deal with issues more efficiently when they come up.

            Words, Mantras and Prayer: Adopt a mantra. We know words can provide positive affirmations and act as reminders to take action. Choose a few words that resonate with you, how you wish to feel, a goal you want to work on and an outcome you want achieve. Words are powerful symbols of thoughts, so choose those that will help you to stay calm, peaceful, and committed to your own wellbeing.  Prayer or an invocation is also a powerful way to redirect misguided energy, turn pessimism in to optimism, enact forgiveness of self or others, change feelings of disempowered to empowerment. Write your words, mantra or prayer down and keep them with you, close to you, post them on your bathroom mirror or fridge. Affirm yourself every day until it becomes a way of life.

            Noble Silence Practice: Once you have completed some of the simpler tips noted above, schedule a day when you are able to stay at home and really slow things down. Decide on a time between two and three hours where you will choose not to speak. Turn off the phone and shut down the computers. Go about your business doing chores, laundry or making a meal. Take this time to invoke silence, listen and just observe. Do not rush, but be gentle with your movements. Watch your incoming thoughts and allow them float away. Don’t give them any more thought. Take a deep breath and direct yourself back to silence. Keep a smile on your face. This practice can be profound and bring an individual endless realizations following. Make sure you have a journal handy so you can record them. Silence takes practice just like training a muscle. The benefits are tremendous to the mind, and will ultimately bring clarity and calm into our lives.

            About Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing:

            Located in the Mineral Capital of Canada, and the oldest exposed rock in the world, Grail Springs is close enough for an easy drive from Toronto International Airport, yet far enough to feel you have escaped to another world. With hundreds of acres of pristine forest, walking trails, crystal outcrop, abundant wildlife, meditation gardens and a curative spring-fed lake, individuals are inspired by the stunning natural beauty and are recharged by the potent healing environment that supports them.

            Website: https://www.grailsprings.com/

            Twitter: https://twitter.com/grailsprings

            Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GrailSpringsWellnessRetreat

            YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MadeleineGrail

            Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/grailspringswellnessretreat/

             

            For photos, interviews, media requests and additional information, please contact:

            Cory Stewart, EDPR, email: cory@embracedisruption.com, phone: 647.638.1586

              Newly Formed Global Wellness Tourism Association Welcomes Bancroft, Ontario’s Madeleine Marentette to Board of Directors

              Association aims to educate consumers and create a networking platform for qualifying members of the global $563 billion wellness tourism industry.

              TORONTO, ON (February 13, 2018) Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing (2004 Bay Lake Road, Bancroft, Ontario) founder Madeleine Marentette has joined the newly created Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) as a member of the board of directors. Launched this month, the WTA was created by a group of seasoned wellness industry executives who have joined forces to form this not-for-profit, privately-held organization established and designed to serve the booming $563 billion wellness travel sector.

              The new association will be a network of and for qualifying members of the wellness tourism industry. Its objectives will help to define the industry, as well as educate consumers to recognize legitimate and credible wellness suppliers and operators.

              Madeleine Marentette“I’m delighted to be included in this group of industry leaders who are dedicated to helping travellers locate the best destinations to nourish their mind, body and spirit,” says Grail Springs Retreat Centre founder and recipient of Canada’s Best Wellness Retreat 2016 and 2017, Madeleine Marentette.

              “Our mission is clear and concise,” says Co-Founder and Chairman Andrew Gibson, VP Wellbeing, Accor Hotels, “We plan to support and further the growth and development of the wellness tourism industry through networking, education, communication and marketing.”

              Co-Founding member Tom Klein, President & COO of Canyon Ranch stated, “The WTA will fill a gap in this  global industry by providing a credible and unified voice.” Klein added, “As with all associations, the goals and objectives will be determined by the members.”

              According to the Global Wellness Institute’s 2017 Global Wellness Economy Monitor, the Wellness Tourism segment is a $563 billion industry – growing faster than the tourism industry itself. “It makes perfect sense to have our own association,” says Co-Founder and President, Anne Dimon, Founder/CEO of TravelToWellness.com “Especially since there is some confusion with consumers and travel agents as to what constitutes legitimate ‘wellness travel’.”

              Wellness Tourism is not a new industry, as people have traveled both nationally and internationally with health or wellness the primary focus since the time of the Roman Baths. Today, the commitment to “health as your wealth” transcends borders, cultures and ages, with many new companies flocking to the sector.

              Membership will be open to qualifying destination marketing organizations, hotels and resorts, destination spas, tour operators, travel advisors, wellness educators and others with an interest in supporting the industry and helping shape its future and sustainability. Dimon adds that, “while ‘wellness’ is often thought to be a luxury category of travel, we also want to ensure we represent a diverse range of members across consumer segments.”

              About Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing:

              Located in the Mineral Capital of Canada, and the oldest exposed rock in the world, Grail Springs is close enough for an easy drive from Toronto International Airport, yet far enough to feel you have escaped to another world. With hundreds of acres of pristine forest, walking trails, crystal outcrop, abundant wildlife, meditation gardens and a curative spring-fed lake, individuals are inspired by the stunning natural beauty and are recharged by the potent healing environment that supports them.

              Website: https://www.grailsprings.com/

              Twitter: https://twitter.com/grailsprings

              Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GrailSpringsWellnessRetreat

              YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MadeleineGrail

              Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/grailspringswellnessretreat/

               

              About Madeleine Marentette:

              Madeleine Marentette is the founder and CEO of Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing, Canada’s leading holistic wellness destination. Bestselling author, designer, and speaker, she inspires and illuminates the path for individuals who are seeking a spiritual path to personal transformation and fulfillment.

               

              For over twenty-five years, Madeleine has studied and taught the human-soul connection, the separation more obvious than ever in today’s political climate. A dedicated life of service to people, planet, and the sacred animal kingdom, she continues to be an advocate, write, teach, and design programs for her centre. She is presently working on her third book, a semi-autobiography about the human condition as it relates to the sacred divine and the evolutionary track of soul consciousness on our planet.

               

              About The Wellness Tourism Association (WTA): 

              The WTA is a global network for qualifying destination marketing organizations, hotels and resorts, destination spas, tour operators, travel agencies/advisors, wellness practitioners/educators and others with an interest in supporting and growing the wellness tourism industry.  Our plan is to become the voice of the industry. For more information, please visit http://www.wellnesstourismassociation.org

              For photos, interviews, media requests and additional information, please contact:

              Cory Stewart, EDPR, email: cory@embracedisruption.com, phone: 647.638.1586

                World Spa Awards Names Bancroft, Ontario’s Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing as Canada’s Best Wellness Retreat for Second Consecutive Year

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                TORONTO, ON (January 16, 2018)Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing (2004 Bay Lake Road, Bancroft, Ontario) has been named winner of Canada’s Best Wellness Retreat for the second consecutive year, by the World Spa Awards, which acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across the rapidly evolving spa and wellness sector. For just over 24 years, Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing has been dedicated to improving the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of their guests with their holistic sanctuary, sprawled across one hundred acres in the heart of the Canadian Shield, just five minutes outside the mineral capital of Canada, Bancroft, Ontario.

                Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 1.52.12 PM“We are honoured and thankful to be recognized with this award for a second consecutive year by the World Spa Awards and our industry peers,” says Founder & CEO, Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing’s Madeline Marenette. “Grail Springs is a place where take-charge people retreat from the noise and pressures of everyday life to nourish their mind, body and spirit. For over two decades, we have been very grateful to provide this sanctuary for individuals to improve their lives, and I’m very much looking forward to the bright future that lies ahead for our facility.”

                Recognized for their educational component and specialized treatment processes such as the Cleanse and Energize Program and their signature Life Transformation Program, Grail Springs welcomes guests from all over the world to experience their healing alkaline waters, saunas, salt tubs and state-of-the-art spa. From yoga, meditation and spiritual enrichment, to a full menu of healthy plant-based eating options, the full-service retreat offers cutting edge treatments, delivered by a dedicated staff of highly regarded coaches, instructors, healers and therapists.

                Setting the retreat apart from others is their unique environment which boasts a vital spring-fed lake and meditation installations such as a labyrinth, volcanic ash healing bed, and a unique equine meditation experience. The group also worked with a professional Geomancer to optimize the rich deposits of minerals of the area. The property highlights the crystals and granite rocks which leads to a unique crystal outcrop meditation area.

                Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 1.45.25 PM

                No stranger to receiving accolades, Grail Springs will be adding this 2017 award to an impressive list of recognition including Canadian Spa & Wellness Award Winner, Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Award, Tripadvisor Winner Certificate of Excellence and SpaFinder Best Body, Mind & Spirit Spa, among many others. With over 35% of guests returning annually for an average stay of 5 to 21 nights, Grail Springs has become a popular healing ritual for guests from around the globe.

                To read more about Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing, please visit their website at: http://www.grailsprings.com

                 

                About Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing:

                Located in the Mineral Capital of Canada, and the oldest exposed rock in the world, Grail Springs is close enough for an easy drive from Toronto International Airport, yet far enough to feel you have escaped to another world. With hundreds of acres of pristine forest, walking trails, crystal outcrop, abundant wildlife, meditation gardens and a curative spring-fed lake, individuals are inspired by the stunning natural beauty and are recharged by the potent healing environment that supports them.

                Website: https://www.grailsprings.com/

                Twitter: https://twitter.com/grailsprings

                Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GrailSpringsWellnessRetreat

                YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MadeleineGrail

                Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/grailspringswellnessretreat/

                 

                For photos, interviews, media requests and additional information, please contact:

                Cory Stewart, EDPR, email: cory@embracedisruption.com, phone: 647.638.1586

                 

                  Ontario Sustainable Energy Association Announces Nominees of 8th Annual Powering for Prosperity Ontario Sustainable Energy Awards

                   

                  P4P2018-logoAssociation to honour communities, businesses, institutions, and public and private sector organizations for their commitment in creating jobs, resilient communities and healthy environments.

                  TORONTO, ON (January 11, 2018) – On Thursday, February 8, 2018, hundreds will gather at the Fontana Primavera Event Centre (77 Woodstream Boulevard, Vaughan, Ontario) to celebrate nominees of the 8th Annual Powering for Prosperity Ontario Sustainable Energy Awards, hosted by award-winning comedian, actress and author Carla Collins. 

                  The annual event, hosted by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) highlights nominees in the areas of leadership, sustainable projects, community projects, non-profit organizations and sustainable enterprises (a full list of nominees can be found below).  Starting at 5:00 p.m., attendees of the gala will be treated to a networking reception and silent auction, followed by a formal awards ceremony, keynote address from CEO and co-founder of Corporate Knights magazine, Toby A. A. Heaps and a talk from honoured guest speaker Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Dr. Dianne Saxe.

                   The nominees for this year’s awards are:

                  LEADER OF THE YEAR

                  ·        Joanna Osawe – Co-Founder and Chair, Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE)

                  ·        Sonja Winkelmann – Director Net Zero Housing, Canadian Home Builders Assocation

                  ·        Subhi Alsayed – Vice President of Sustainable Development, Mattamy Homes

                  ·         Mikele Brack – Founder, Urban Living Futures

                  ·         Matthew Britt – Co-Founder. SWITCH Energy

                  ·         Shohreh Sabaghpour – CEO, Lumesmart Inc

                  ·         Dana Decent – Manager, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, University of Waterloo

                   

                  NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR

                  ·         EcoBusiness Network (formerly Durham Sustain Ability)

                  ·         TREC Education

                  ·         Biomass North

                  ·         Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE)

                   

                  SUSTAINABLE ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR

                  ·         Windular Research & Technology Inc.

                  ·         Enwave Energy Corporation

                  ·         Greening Homes Ltd.

                  ·         GM Canada

                  ·         SWITCH Energy

                   

                  SMARTNet Alliance’s SMARTpreneur OF THE YEAR

                  ·         Warren Abar – iSolara

                  ·         Jerri Rodrigs – Rumidifier

                  ·         Matthew Jaglowitz – Exactus Energy

                  ·         Herb Lagois – Lagois Drafting and Construction Inc

                   

                  Enbridge’s COMMUNITY PROJECT OF THE YEAR

                  ·         Just Food – Solar Energy Project (co-sponsored by Bullfrog and Beau’s)

                  ·         Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-Op – Alfred Solar Energy Project

                  ·         Ottawa Salus – Karen’s Place Renewable Energy Project

                  ·         Mount Dennis Community Association – Metrolinx Energy Innovation Project

                  ·         Lumesmart – Various Community Workshops

                   

                  SUSTAINABLE PROJECT OF THE YEAR

                  ·         Windular – Nungesser Lake Tower (co-sponsored by Bell Canada)

                  ·         Sustainable Waterloo Region – Evolv1 Project (co-sponsored by The Cora Group)

                  ·         Mohawk College – The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation

                  ·         Greening Homes – The Morse Street Retrofit

                  ·         The Viessmann Group- Wood Biomass Boiler at Canadian Headquarters

                  “The Powering for Prosperity Ontario Sustainable Energy Awards are the industry standard in recognizing sustainable energy innovation and leadership throughout Ontario,” says OSEA Interim Executive Director Janis Wilkinson. “The individuals and organizations that will be recognized this year are significantly contributing to providing a sustainable future in Ontario through environmental stewardship, economic development, and social reform.”

                  Since it’s inception over 16 years ago, OSEA has been at the vanguard of the energy sector working with communities, businesses, institutions, and public and private sector organizations to champion it’s vision of a prosperous Ontario with thriving sustainable energy sector powered, heated, cooled and moved by portfolios of renewable energy, conservation and energy efficiency technologies, creating good jobs, resilient communities and healthy environments. With 2017 acting as a transition year, OSEA recently underwent a full strategic and tactical analysis of the association, in order to further drive communication initiatives for years to come.

                  OSEA is pleased to welcome an extensive group of sponsors in support of its 8th annual awards ceremony. Supporters include: Enbridge, SMARTNetAlliance.ca, Landmark Home Solutions, Polaron Solartech and Willms & Shier.

                  Tickets for this year’s event can be purchased at https://www.ontario-sea.org/powering-prosperity-awards, starting at $195.00 (OSEA members) and $295.00 (non-members).

                   

                  About Ontario Sustainable Energy Association:

                  The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) advocates for its members and the public to provide education and promote sustainable initiatives through policy development, B2B collaboration and public awareness campaigns.

                  OSEA strongly believes, that sustainable development all starts with education. It recognizes that the current market is sceptical to transition to renewable sources of energy due to a lack of holistic understanding. The key role of OSEA is to provide public awareness by working closely with primary, secondary and post-secondary schools and institutions, establishing forums for the residential, industrial and commercial marketplace and facilitating a more in-depth collaboration between distributors and manufacturers within Canada, while simultaneously, closely working with advising decision makers, policy members and government officials.

                  Website: https://www.ontario-sea.org/

                  Twitter: https://twitter.com/ontariosea

                  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ontariosea

                   

                  For media accreditation, photos or interview requests, please contact:

                  Cory Stewart | Embrace Disruption PR

                  p: 647.638.1586 | e: cory@embracedisruption.com

                   

                  About Carla Collins:

                  Named “The 2015 Comedian of the Year” by the Southern California Motion Picture Council, Carla Collins is an award-winning comedian, actress, television and radio host and author. She has appeared in numerous movies and television shows in both Canada and the US and performs comedy in clubs, theatres and festivals all over North America. Collins is also a highly sought after motivational and corporate speaker.

                  About Toby A. A Heaps:

                  Toby is the co-founder and CEO of Corporate Knights magazine. He spearheaded the first global ranking of the world’s sustainable corporations in 2005, and in 2007 he coined the term ‘clean capitalism’. He has been published in the Globe & Mail, Wall Street Journal, Financial times and the Toronto Star. Heaps works on developing business strategies that create value across the environmental, social, and economic spectrums. In 2008, he served as press secretary to Ralph Nader. He is a regular contributor to public debates in Canada and beyond about public policy and business responsibility, particularly related to environmental, developmental, and sustainable challenges.

                  About Dr. Dianne Saxe:

                  Dianne Saxe is the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), a tough but fair watchdog over government compliance with the Environmental Bill of Rights. The ECO is a bridge between the public and the government on environmental issues.

                  Before her appointment, Commissioner Saxe was one of Canada’s most respected environmental lawyers, with 40 years’ experience in environmental and energy law and litigation. After 14 years in the Ontario public service, plus experience in two major Bay Street law firms, she ran one of Canada’s top environmental law boutique law firms for 25 years. A Certified Specialist, Commissioner Saxe was recognized in every Canadian and international legal rating service, and as one of the world’s top 25 environmental lawyers by Best of the Best, 2008. She was Canada’s leading author on environmental law, through her books, columns and envirolaw.com blog, and Toronto’s first Environmental Lawyer of the Year. She received numerous other tributes, including Ontario Bar Association Distinguished Service Award and Osgoode Hall Lifetime Achievement Gold Key.

                    Young Girl with Life Threatening Gastrointestinal Motility Disorder Designs Teddy Bear To Raise Funds For Starlight Children’s Foundation™ Canada

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                    Five year old Starlight child Sloan created this year’s 9th collectible bear, available in-store and online through Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us Canada

                    TORONTO, ON (October 26, 2017) – Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada in collaboration with Toys”R”Us, Canada has released their 9th Limited Edition Collectible Starlight Bear, designed and named after five year old Starlight child Sloan. The bear is now available both online and in-store at Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us stores across the nation. A portion of the Sloan bear’s sales will go towards funding Starlight Canada’s in and out-of-hospital programming, which aims to brighten the lives of seriously ill children across the country.

                    Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 12.03.10 PM

                    Since birth, bear designer Sloan has been treated for gastrointestinal motility disorder. This illness will affect her large intestine (colon) for her entire life and will require a series of major surgeries that will deeply impact her quality of living. Her 14 year old sister Abby, who lives with the same illness, has had to endure 15 surgeries, including a stoma surgically created for antegrade enemas. Despite her condition, Sloan’s cheerful and animated personality has helped her to overcome any challenges in her path.

                    In designing the bear, Sloan was inspired by her love of everything purple and the comforting feeling of hugging something soft and cozy. The butterfly on the bear’s foot represents the magic Sloan finds within herself to spread her wings and soar above the obstacles she faces every day.

                    “Each year, our Starlight collectible bears provide an opportunity to share a seriously ill child’s story of strength and courage with Canadians,” said Starlight executive director, Brian Bringolf. “We feel honoured to highlight Sloan’s journey with the release of this year’s bear through our strong 19 year partnership with Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us, Canada.”

                    Through in-store and online campaigns, their Starlight Gala event sponsorship, and donations to in-hospital, neonatal care and out-of-hospital programs, Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us have donated an incredible $17 million to Starlight and have been extraordinary advocates in the community about Starlight’s work.

                    Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada’s collectible bear “Sloan” retails for $19.99 and is available in Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us stores across Canada and online at http://bit.ly/starlightsloan.

                     

                    For more information, photos or interview requests, please contact:

                    Cory Stewart, Embrace Disruption PR | cory@embracedisruption.com, 647.638.1586

                     

                    About Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada:

                    Starlight Children’s Foundation™ Canada is part of Starlight’s global network, serving seriously ill children and their families through partnerships with more than 160 healthcare facilities. Over the past 25 years, Starlight has become a leading global charity that partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world. Collaborating with innovators in pediatric healthcare, entertainment and technology, Starlight provides a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home.

                    Website: http://www.starlightcanada.org/

                    Twitter: @StarlightCanada #SloanBear

                    Facebook: http://facebook.com/starlightcanada

                    Instagram: @StarlightCanada

                     

                    About Toys”R”Us, Canada: 

                    Toys”R”Us (Canada) Ltd. and Babies”R”Us are part of Toys”R”Us, Inc., the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer. Toys”R”Us, Canada operates over 80 locations across the country. For store locations and convenient online shopping visit www.toysrus.ca and www.babiesrus.ca.

                     

                    Follow Toys”R”Us, Canada on Facebook (Facebook.com/ToysRUsCanada), Twitter (@ToysRUsCanada) and Instagram (@ToysRUsCanada)

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