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VIDEO: Interview with Chris Hadfield: Canadian Astronaut-Celebrity

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In this insightful interview, Surrey604’s Esmir Milavic sits down with pioneering Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield via Skype to discuss his experience in space, life and the future of space exploration.

Chris Hadfield, first Canadian to walk in space, became a global celebrity through his Twitter feed while aboard the International Space Station in 2013. Now a published author and musician, Hadfield started his career as an engineer and Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot. He flew two successful space shuttle missions and served as commander of the International Space Station.

Born in Bosnia, Esmir’s interests are in journalism, politics, communications, history, culture, sports, books and technology. He has contributed to some of the most innovative independent media projects to come out of Bosnia and Herzegovina. One of the earliest members of Surrey604, Esmir now resides in Sarajevo working with Bosnian FACE TV.

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Interview with DJ Heer for the Canucks Diwali Night

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On October 25th, the Vancouver Canucks will be celebrating their 3rd annual Diwali Night before and during the game against the Washington Capitals. There will be a flashmob, and live performances by Jazzy B, DJ Heer, and DJ BIG. And also complimentary South Asian food samples in the concourses.

Diwali is one of the world’s most celebrated festivals and the name itself means “row of lighted lamps” with light symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, prosperity over poverty and knowledge over ignorance.

We’ve interviewed DJ Jovan Heer, who now lives in Surrey, to learn more about him and the upcoming Diwali Night.

Being a huge passionate fan of the Canucks and of music, you’ve combined both to help spearhead the Diwali Night. How did that happen and what motivated you to take action?

I’ve always been a fan of Punjabi and Bollywood music ever since I was a kid. I saw a huge opportunity to do something with the Canucks as their is such a big South Asian community in the Vancouver area. 3 years ago I reached out to Ryan from the Canucks, who was in charge of organizing special events, on Twitter saying that we needed to have a night that celebrated the South Asian community in a way.

A few months later, I received an email from him asking me if I wanted to DJ on the plaza outside of Rogers Arena and I was shocked that it was actually going to happen and that I would have the opportunity to DJ for my favourite team. The first year was an amazing experience, after I DJ’ed on the plaza I was able to go to where Jay Swing was DJing and was able to see how everything operated up there and also got to share the floor with the likes of Jim Benning, Trevor Linden and many more prominent Canucks figures up in the press box during intermissions and at the end of the game.

Last year was even bigger when E3 Entertainment got involved and they made the event even bigger and better with the addition of more performances and the Crown Prince of Bhangra Jazzy B, myself and the Q-Town Productions team also DJ’ed on the Plaza along with a Bhangra flashmob. Diwali night has become a huge deal and is making news all over as this is an event everyone wants to attend. The Hockey Night In Punjabi team is also another huge factor in this night as they have grown very much in the past few years and have brought in a whole new demographic of fans with the Punjabi commentary as now families are now all gathering together watching games.

How did you get into DJ’ing and who are your main influencers?

I’ve always had a passion for music growing up as a child, my parents would play music and I would dance for hours listening to it and singing along. When I realized that I could do what I love and be the life of the party with the music I play it was something that I just couldn’t pass up. I had mentors in Edmonton who I worked with under the Pure Entertainment name and I also took some classes with Night Vision Music as well that helped excel my skill level. My main influencers have to be Jazzy B, Malkit Singh and Notorious BIG as they’ve made me a huge Bhangra and Hip Hop fan.

You get booked to perform in different countries. How does that feel?

It’s honestly a surreal feeling having the chance to not only travel but to perform in front of sold out crowds of hundreds to thousands of people along with performing alongside some of the biggest performers in the Punjabi music industry.

What would you like to see more of in terms of both the music and hockey culture in Surrey?

I think right now everything is going great with the culture. We have Hockey Night in Punjabi with Punjabi commentary and broadcasting, there are many South Asian players on ice and ball hockey teams so parents are now investing the money and putting their kids in these leagues. E3 Entertainment has done a great job working with the Canucks making sure the experience of the entire night is a success and fans are enjoying the entire night.

What is one piece of advice you can give to aspiring and rookie DJ’s and music producers?

Marketing is everything in today’s day and age. The harder you work, the more you put out there, the more successful you will be. There are plenty of talented DJ’s out there but so many are so resistant and don’t make the time to put out mixes that fans can listen to.

How do you balance being a DJ, working a full time job, and the rest of life?

It’s all about balance. It’s a lot of juggling things and a lot of nights with no sleep but in the end if it’s going to make you successful and set you up for the future then it is all worth it. Not only am I working full time and DJing but I also have my own radio show on Rukus Avenue Radio and am a music journalist for Simply Bhangra the world’s largest South Asian music website as well. It’s tough to handle at times but it’s something I enjoy doing.

What can fans expect at the Diwali Night?

Fans can expect another Diwali night full of music and dance. We will be performing on the plaza outside of Rogers Arena prior to the game and their will be many other plans for the night as well. The highlight of the night will be the performance of Jazzy B who is one of the top Punjabi music artists of all time.

What are your predictions for the game against the Capitals?

I predict a 4-2 win for the Canucks, we are 2-0 on Diwali Night.

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One of BC’s first female fire fighters retires after 27 years with the Surrey Fire Service

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Surrey – In 1992, Nancy Innes was playing and coaching basketball at SFU when she saw a recruitment flyer for the Surrey Fire Service (SFS). The then 26-year-old student applied and soon realized women firefighters were a rarity. In fact, at that time, there was no glass ceiling to break because there were no full-time female fire fighters in the Metro Vancouver area. On September 14, 1992, Nancy Innes became the first of two full-time female fire fighters to join the Surrey Fire Service and eventually rising to the rank of Fire Suppression Captain.

“Women fire fighters are not uncommon today, but 27 years ago they were non-existent in Lower Mainland fire departments,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “Nancy Innes is truly a trail blazer and inspiration for women who want to make a career out of firefighting. I want to congratulate Captain Innes for the long, distinguished and groundbreaking career she has had with our Surrey Fire Service.”

The Surrey Fire Service is proud of its progressive and barrier-free approach to its recruitment.

“I want to commend Captain Innes for her contributions to the Surrey Fire Service,” said Fire Chief, Larry Thomas. “Nancy is proof that women can have long and fulfilling careers as fire fighters. As Nancy moves into a well-earned retirement, I know her pioneering work will inspire other women to fill her place within the ranks of the Surrey Fire Service.”

Currently, the SFS has 40 women in its uniformed ranks in roles ranging from frontline firefighting and dispatch to Assistant Fire Chief. The SFS offer “Women in Firefighting” workshops designed to enhance recruitment of women to the fire service.

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Is Your House Haunted? Call Paranormal Spectrum Investigations BC

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paranormal investigations bc

The definition of the word paranormal is that which can not be explained by science. But what is the paranormal? Sure, the first thing that comes to mind is ghosts or spirits. But there is so much more to it than just that. In fact, there is quite a broad spectrum to the subject and there really is quite a bit that science can’t explain. That’s where Paranormal Spectrum Investigations BC comes in.

We are a non-profit team of paranormal investigators that have many years of experience investigating and researching the paranormal field. The team is co-founded by friends, Aimée Bucholtz and Mike Lutke. Aimée brings over 10 years experience as a lead investigator, researcher and case manager. Mike comes to the team with 3 years of investigative experience as a lead investigator and social media manager. Both of us have an unparalleled passion for not only the paranormal but also for helping people find answers for things that go bump in the night (or day). It’s our goal to do what it takes in order for our clients to feel comfortable in their homes or businesses. ]

We like to take a scientific approach using some of the latest paranormal investigative tools but also keep it simple by using some very common household items. We are not afraid to try new methods of investigation nor will we dismiss theories and ideas that have not proven to work well in the past. It’s our ideology that just because something didn’t work before doesn’t mean it won’t work now. When it comes to the paranormal, the more creative you are, the better. At least that’s what we believe.

Our team also has a healthy dose of skepticism and belief in the paranormal. But, that being said, we’ve had enough unexplained events happen to us that it keeps us coming back for more. We’ve been touched by unseen presences, heard disembodied voices and seen things with our own eyes that many would not believe unless they were there too. And this is all in the confines of the Lower Mainland area!! To say that this region is a paranormal hot spot would be an understatement.

While it is not up to us to tell our clients if their home or business is “haunted”, we will provide them with peace of mind and some suggestions on what we believe may be the cause of their concerns. Sometimes all it is, is an overactive imagination or noisy pipes in the walls!

Our team is the newest to join the paranormal landscape in the Lower Mainland. We are based in the Surrey/Langley area, but also willing and able to accept possible residential, historical or business investigations in other communities in the region. We plan to begin operations on October 1st.

For those that would like to follow along and see what the team is up to or just have a general interest in the paranormal, we can be found on Twitter @ParanormalSI_BC on Instagram @paranormalspectrumbc and on Facebook at Paranormal Spectrum Investigations British Columbia. We can also be found on the web at https://www.paranormalspectruminvestigationsbc.com where we provide information for everyone’s paranormal needs in Surrey and the rest of the Lower Mainland.

Not to sound like a certain movie from the 80’s but if there is something strange in your neighbourhood… well, we will leave the rest up to you but we wouldn’t rule out being contacted. We are Paranormal Spectrum Investigations BC and we are ready to help find answers for you.

~ Mike Lutke

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Surrey receives honours at British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association Excellence Awards

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City of Surrey’s Manager of Parks, Neal Aven, accepts the BCRPA Excellence Award for Forsyth Park along with the parks planning team, Mickella Sjoquist, Ted Uhrich and Tim Neufeld.

Surrey, BC | On May 2, 2019 the City of Surrey was honoured at the 2019 British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) Excellence Awards, winning two awards in recreation and parks leadership. The awards ceremony, held in Whistler, B.C., recognizes innovation and service excellence that enhances the quality of life for British Columbians though the power of recreation and parks.

“The City of Surrey is committed in its vision of creating a healthy, green, and inclusive community for our residents and all who use our parks and recreational facilities,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “We are honoured to receive these awards from the British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association. Never to rest on our laurels, we will always be looking for opportunities to improve the quality of life for our residents through our parks and recreation programs.

Surrey’s MYzone afterschool drop-in program was recognized with the prestigious award for excellence in fostering healthy child development and community connectedness. MYzone is a drop-in program provided to children during the critical after school hours to create safe, affordable and high-quality programming for children, aged eight to 12. BCRPA noted that the city’s commitment to extensive public consultation for the MYzone program was considered for the award, which resulted in growing the program from pilot project to permanent program, aligning with Surrey’s ten-year strategic plan.

The Forsyth Park transformation project was also recognized and awarded at the ceremony, celebrating the city’s work in transforming the 7.5 acres of unused parkland, to a social destination that attracts and brings together the whole community. In late 2017, the new Forsyth Park was formally unveiled, which includes the TD Nature Play Area and off-leash dog park, creating an area to be enjoyed by Surrey families for years to come.

For more information on Forsyth Park, visit: surrey.ca/parks
For more information on MYzone, visit: surrey.ca/myzone

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Nine Canadian women honoured at global women’s forum held in India

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Seven Canadian women were honoured with awards of excellence at the Women Economic Forum in New Delhi last week. Two others shared their experience with the audience and presented the awards to the seven along with the host and WEF chairperson Dr. Harbeen Arora.

The forum is a celebration of women’s empowerment and provides a platform for women from all walks of life — enabling connections with inspiring women entrepreneurs and thought leaders from around the world. The theme for the 2019 conference was “Reimagining Societies: Reclaiming Humanity with Gender Equality”, and marked a milestone for WEF, as the 25th global edition.

The Canadians on the panel, who all have their roots in India, represented different industries and their talks were among one of the most diverse panels at the forum: Raj Arneja of Nanak Foods, ethnic fashion designer Pammi Singh, author and domestic violence survivor Kamal Dhillon, Simon Fraser University Associate Vice President Sobhana Jaya-Madhavan, marketing and public relations specialist Paarull JS Bakshi, former journalist and communications professional Almas Meherally, entrepreneur and South Asian Fashion Week producer Cindy Khella, creative consultant and cultural strategist Tasleem Somji, and former Miss British Columbia Navneet Kaur Nanan.

Each presented a distinctive voice and vision that’s innovating a new narrative of leadership:

Arneja spoke about her upcoming book on her experience about adopting her children in India. The story explains her mindset, on why she wanted to adopt and how her family situation was while she was growing up, which ultimately led her to adoption. Her warmth and emotions flowed as she spoke from her heart to the audience.

Singh shared a personal story of loss and perseverance that taught her how to value life and pursue only happiness.

Dhillon shared her story of survival, her book and how returning to India was an emotional experience.

Jaya-Madhavan recalled incidents from her life where acceptance of disruption and getting over obstacles was the only way forward.

Bakshi elaborated on the importance of public perception, brand building and the challenges of creating a celebrity persona.

Meherally highlighted how authentic journalism is more about recording our history and less about intruding in people’s lives.

Khella told the audience to follow their heart, as entrepreneurship is all about building upon your dreams.

Somji told a beautiful allegory that explored ideas around why we do what we do, questioning the nature of existence and how we define our lives.

Nanan, former National Canadian Miss British Columbia and Miss Canada Top 5 spoke on how her accomplishments are hinged upon her passion to work with and uplift women and girls in her community and beyond.

The tenth woman on the panel wasn’t a Canadian but having lived in Canada for many years, Dr. Shalini Chander, came to support the women from the land she loves, she was also honoured for her accomplishments coming from the medical field. Actress and producer of the Vancouver South Asian Film Festival, Mannu Sandhu, who heads the Vancouver chapter of WEF, was instrumental in bringing this Canadian delegation to Delhi.

While in Delhi, the women were also hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner Nadir Patel. They spent some quality time with Patel, discussing the possibilities of enhancing Indo-Canadian exchange of ideas, trade and education.

For more information, please visit wef.org.in

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