What you need to see at Nuit Blanche 2016

This weekend the arts are taking over the city as Nuit
Blanche lands in Toronto in full force. Taking place from 7 p.m. on Saturday Oct 1
to 7 a.m. Oct 2 this celebration of art includes 90 installations scattered
around the city. Whether you plan on sticking it out throughout the night or
heading out for a few hours, here are some installations you can’t miss.

Handheld

Located at the Church of the Holy Trinity is David Rokeby’s
interactive installation that is invisible at first sight; however as you walks
into it the installation comes alive. An image of an object begins to be projected
on your skin as you move through.

New Project   

Montreal artist, Rebecca Belmore, is debuting a new
performance piece inside Walker Court at the AGO. Belmore is world renowned
multi-disciplinary artist with international acclaim and received the Govenor
General’s Award in Visual Arts.

Literature vs.
Traffic

Brought to you by the anonymous collective Luzinterruptus
from Madrid Spain this installation features piles of donated books laid out
like a river of books floating at Old City Hall.

White lanes

This massive sculpture is completely made out of lit up
buckets that you can walk around and explore. This installation by New Yorker,
Jason Peters, will be on display at The Drake.

Ascension

Julie C. Fortier brings her expertise in perfumery and
visual arts to this installation that allows locals to smell the different
scents of Toronto. This olfactory installation is located at 33 Harbour Square.

Alterna Savings offering licensed cannabis-related businesses banking services

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Earlier this week Alterna Savings made an announcement that they’re supportive of offering banking services to licensed cannabis-related businesses. In 2014 the Ontario government introduced new regulations to license producers of medicinal marijuana, so they can provide products to many critically ill Canadians in need. However legally licensed cannabis-related businesses have been turned away by financial institutions refusing to offer them basic banking services. On BNN the CEO of Alterna Savings, Robert Paterson, talked about the credit union’s reasoning to provide banking to these businesses and their rigorous risk management process. Here are the main points you need to know about their decision. You can check out the full BNN interview here.  

Making the decision

On the BNN interview Paterson talks about how Alterna carefully assessed the situation after they were approached by a client who was turned away by another financial institution.

“We were approached a year ago by one of the newly licensed businesses that were turned away by the big banks and we took a hard look to open up the dialogue. When we looked at the downstream, it’s there to help critically ill Canadians going through diseases.”

Before working with their first client, the credit union went through the long task of fully understanding Health Canada’s licensing process, which includes the RCMP checks that businesses go through. They then did onsite inspections and set their own risk management process to monitor and measure the client’s business. Now after serving that first client, Alterna Savings provides banking services to half-a-dozen licensed cannabis related business of the 35 in the country.

Alterna’s risk management process

Like any new business financial institutions take on, risk must be assessed. For licensed cannabis-related business Alterna has a special risk management process in place. Paterson explained this rigorous process to BNN.

“Again the businesses we are dealing with are licensed by Health Canada and that in itself is a rigorous process that the RCMP is involved in. We then do our own process post-licensing. We do on-site inspections to take a look at how they are producing and the security of their facilities. We check the principles of the business, how they are raising their money and monitor it as it comes into their accounts. We do a detailed assessment of their business plan to understand how their cash flow is going. We put a rigorous three party monitoring process including branch managers, risk management and compliance teams monitoring it.”

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TIFF must-sees

Tiff has officially landed in the city and the who’s who of Hollywood is gracing Toronto with their presence and it has many locals excited. Although celebrity spotting is a huge part of TIFF, the festival is the perfect opportunity to catch great films that are debuting. Here is our list of must-see movies at TIFF, who knows you may even spot a celebrity too!

Snowden

This biographical political thriller stars Jospeh Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Zachary Quinto, Nicolas Cage and more. This film is the controversial story of Edward Snowden an American computer professional who leaked classified information from National Security Agency to The Guardian.

Magnificent 7

This star studded movie opened TIFF last night and if you missed it you can still see it. Magnificent 7 is a western starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Haley Bennett and more. It takes place in the town of Rose Creek that is under the control of Bartholomew Bogue. Desperate, the residences seek protection from seven outlaws who prepare for a savage showdown to free the town.

United Kingdom

This film has been catching a lot of people’s attention for its promise of being nominated for an Oscar. Based off the book “Colour Bar” by Susan Williams, United Kingdom, is a British biographical romantic drama about Prince of Botswana causing an international stir when he marries a white woman from London in the 1940s.

Paterson

Starring Star Wars own Adam Driver as Paterson, a bus driver who lives in a small town in New Jersey. He lives a pretty ordinary life that is set in routine of waking up at 6:00 a.m. to get ready for work and gets back in time for dinner. Despite living a normal life Paterson is a poet and his wife is a repressed artist that always has quirky surprises. Paterson is a movie to watch as it has been buzzed to be a potential Oscar contender.  

Fan Expo 2016 is here!

Yesterday Fan Expo 2016 kicked off at the Metro Convention
Centre and it is taking over Toronto from September 1 – 4. Fan Expo is Canada’s
largest sci-fi, horror, comic, gaming, and anime event and the third largest
pop culture event in North America. This massive celebration of everything geek
culture attracts over 129,000 people from all around the world. So we decided to
help you let your nerd flag fly this weekend, with our top 5 things you need to
check out this weekend.

Celebrity Spotting

Fan Expo is known for bringing in some of the top stars in
television, movies, comics, gaming and anime; and this year is no different. Some
of the celebrities attending Fan Expo this year are William Shatner, John
Cusack, Adam West, Mark Hamill and comic book legend Stan Lee. You can get up
close with them by purchasing tickets for autographs and photo ops. However you
don’t need to cough up the big bucks to see celebrities, you will often spot
them while you’re walking on the show floor.

Take in all the attractions

Sometimes people that are new to the convention scene overlook
the events that are happening off the show floor. Some of these attractions include
celebrity panels, cosplay classes, exclusive screenings and gaming tournaments.
This year you need to check out professional eSports gamers face off for money
in the Northern Arena Finals presented by Bell Canada. Or you can even buy
tickets to join Stan Lee for brunch on Sunday morning. If none of the attractions
at Fan Expo tickles your fancy, also keep your eyes out for events around the
city inspired by Fan Expo.  

Artist Alley

Of course Fan Expo attracts big name comic artist; but it
also attracts some of the city’s best talent. Artist Alley allows independent
artist to showcase their work and fandom. It is also the perfect opportunity to
pick up new unique and sometimes customizable artwork for your place.

Cosplay

This one is a no brainer, with cosplaying becoming more
popular it’s only natural that you should take in and grab a few pictures with
people that are attending the expo in cosplay. It’s the perfect way to relive
your childhood, as you see your childhood heroes come to life. Also, some of
these cosplays are elaborate and will keep you in awe.

Sunday Sales

Fan Expo has no shortage of merchandise, whether it is
action figures, prints, t-shirts or video games there is a lot to buy when at
Fan Expo. It can be overwhelming and quite expensive sometimes. However the
best deals happens on Sunday, the last day of the expo, and it is the best time
to pick up last minute merchandise.