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Closing the Knowledge Gap One Film at a Time

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Tell me more about yourself…. “I’m a writer, director, and a partner at Dunya Media, an agency that is focusing on closing the knowledge gap between South Asians and their health care with culturally relevant, medically reliable, and entertaining content.”

Meet Kashif Pasta, proud Surrey citizen, Simon Fraser University graduate and force to be reckoned with in the local film scene – using his passion for filmmaking to truly make a difference in our local community.

“Surrey is where I was born and raised, so it does and always will hold a special place in my heart,” “it’s home” says Pasta. “My background as a filmmaker plays in to that a ton, in terms of creating relevant and engaging stories.”

When asked what Surrey means to Pasta, he keeps it plain and simple – “unpretentious”. “Surrey has thousands of incredibly talented people working earnestly and achieving a ton, whether it’s individuals in almost every industry, or the city itself, winning national innovation awards.

But because we still have a cloud of stereotypes hovering over us, we’re not too concerned about showing off. We focus, put our heads down, and have built literally tens of thousands of businesses in less than 30 years as a municipality.”

So how does one find themselves evolving their filmmaking craft in Surrey into a nation-wide initiative such as that of Cities Changing Diabetes? Pasta explains that his creative agency, Dunya Media was a part of the SFU RADIUS Slingshot Accelerator startup,

a six-month program based out of the Beedie School of Business at SFU, which was designed with the aim to assist social impact ventures navigate their early stages of their launches.

The accelerator combines the concepts of cohort based learning, individualized mentorship, and equity investment, in order to make the biggest impact. “Cities Changing Diabetes is connected to SFU, so we came up on each other’s radars and started talking.

They had already identified the fact that the South Asian community has been hit particularly hard by diabetes here, and with our focus on the same audience and innovative ways of communicating within it, it was a perfect match.” After formally partnering, RADIUS came in to the fund the campaign which developed into mithaas.org – an online platform that “creates entertaining, educational, and culturally-relevant digital content to connect South Asian families in BC and Ontario with conversation-starters about health and wellness.”

“Stories make it a lot easier to process information” states Pasta, when provided a question regarding effective film making within the public health sector. “We’ve all struggled to stay awake during a PowerPoint presentation that we know is “important”, but not only is pure information hard to get through, but it can be hard to see how it applies to your life.

Stories, and, by extension, films help us see the nuance and variations in an issue. It also makes it a lot easier to start a conversation by showing a friend or family member a film.” And this in fact, is exactly what the team at Dunya aimed to achieve with their most recent launch of a short film focused on empowering South Asian Families to take action against diabetes.

As per a recent press release focused on the short film release, it explains how “Cities Changing Diabetes and Dunya Media are disrupting public health communication”.

They are using stories to create action, and hopefully make a large impact on health epidemics that which the statistics show alarming realties for the future if action is not taken promptly. By creating compelling stories, they can more easily spark conversation and curiosities which will prompt change. You can see for yourself. It is relatable, it is powerful, and most importantly, it is effective.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=Oxnro1EErDk%3Fenablejsapi%3D1

So, what is next for Kashif Pasta and his team at Dunya Media? More great health content on @MithaasLife to look forward to! “We just shot over a dozen really simple, clean recipes with Fraser Health that will start coming out this month. And some exciting film projects in the pipeline that we can’t talk about just yet…” You heard it first #SR3Y –  stay tuned!

Robyn is a status-quo disruptor, an old-soul, and has a serious passion towards continuous learning driven by a curiosity for the unknown. A creative and equally analytical thinker with experience in leadership, project management and marketing strategy. When she’s not working you can find her in the kitchen, searching for new music, or meandering local thrift stores, antique stores, or flea markets for a unique find.

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Arts and Entertainment

Surrey Celebrates Multiculturalism With Virtual Surrey Fusion Festival And Cultural Video Series

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Surrey, BC – In participation with Culture Days, this year’s Surrey Fusion Festival took place virtually followed by a month-long interactive cultural video series on social media. The livestream surpassed 60,000 views on Facebook and YouTube Live, and cultural video series collectively garnered over 45,000 views on Facebook and Instagram.

“This year’s Surrey Fusion Festival celebrations reminded us about the importance of community connection and coming together to celebrate our culturally diverse City,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “We were able to bring our community together during this uncertain time by providing a virtual interactive, inclusive, and accessible platform to celebrate the food, music and culture of this great city of ours.”

Presented by Coast Capital Savings, the free family-friendly livestream featured cultural entertainment by 20 performers including BC World Music Collective, Buckman Coe, Mad Riddim, and Indigenous hoop dancer and influencer James Jones.

Additional highlights included musical entertainment, Surrey history, Indigenous education, kids craft making, cooking segments, and participation from the City of Surrey’s Museum, Heritage and Civic Theatres departments. The livestream also included personal photos and videos submitted by residents across Surrey and the Lower Mainland.

“This event could not be possible without the support of our long-time presenting sponsor of Surrey Fusion Festival, Coast Capital Savings,” said Councillor Laurie Guerra, Chair of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Committee. “We are thankful for their continuous support and contributions over the years that make this wonderfully diverse event possible.”

Following the livestream, Surrey Fusion Festival continued the festivities through an online cultural video series featuring 30 educational videos posted on Surrey Fusion Festival’s social media accounts. The series featured a variety of cooking tutorials including how to make Ecuadorian ceviche, Nepalese momos, Indigenous bannock, Guatemalan horchata, as well as dance, arts and crafts tutorials such as how to Metis jig, tie an Indian sari, make Japanese origami and play the traditional Nigerian game Ayo. All videos posted from September 25 to October 25 are available online at surreyfusionfestival.ca.

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada in addition to community sponsors. For more information including a full list of videos, visit surreyfusionfestival.ca

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Arts and Entertainment

Halloween Spooky Cans

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Get the kids involved with Halloween decorations this year with these easy-to-make “spooky cans” resembling a bat, Frankenstein and a mummy.

For more craft ideas, visit eLivingtoday.com.

Watch video to see how to make this craft!

Spooky Bat

  • 1 soup can
  • 1 paint brush
  • 1 bottle black acrylic paint
  • 1 white fabric marker
  • 1 black foam sheet
  • 1 scissors
  • 1 white foam sheet
  • 1-2 hot glue sticks
  • 1 hot glue gun
  • 2 googly eyes
  1. Remove label from soup can.
  2. Using paint brush, paint soup can with black paint. Let dry. Apply more coats, if needed, drying between each coat.
  3. Using white fabric marker, draw bat wings and bat ears on black foam sheet. Using scissors, cut out bat wings and bat ears. Set aside.
  4. Using scissors, cut two small triangles from white foam sheet for bat fangs.
  5. Load hot glue stick into gun and allow to heat up. Apply glue on large edge of bat wing and press onto soup can. Repeat with second wing. Apply hot glue to bottoms of bat ears and apply to front inside of soup can. Apply hot glue to bottoms of bat fangs, turn upside down with points toward bottom and press onto soup can. Apply hot glue to backs of googly eyes and press onto soup can.

Frankenstein

  • 1 soup can
  • 2 paint brushes
  • 1  bottle green acrylic paint
  • pinking shears
  • 1  black felt sheet
  • 1  white foam sheet
  • 1  bottle white acrylic paint
  • 2  cork screws
  • 1-2 hot glue gun sticks
  • 1   hot glue gun
  • 2   googly eyes
  1. Remove label from soup can.
  2. Using one paint brush, paint soup can with green paint. Let dry. Apply more coats, if needed, drying between each coat.
  3. Using pinking shears, cut one circle from black felt sheet 1/4-inch larger than soup can.
  4. Cut two small rectangles, one slightly shorter than other, from white foam sheet for teeth.
  5. Using other paint brush and white paint, paint cork screws. Allow to dry.
  6. Load hot glue stick into gun and allow to heat up. Apply glue to teeth and place on soup can.
  7. Cut thin sliver of black felt for lip line. Glue above teeth.
  8. Glue googly eyes onto can above mouth.
  9. Put line of glue along top of soup can. Place felt circle on top of glue area. Place glue bead along upper side of can to bend over felt to create hairline.
  10. Glue cork screws to either side of bottom of can.

Mummy

  • 1 soup can
  • 1 paint brush
  • 1 bottle white acrylic paint
  • 1 hot glue gun stick
  • 1 hot glue gun
  • gauze dressing (enough to wrap around can)
  • 2 googly eyes
  1. Remove label from soup can.
  2. Using paint brush, paint soup can with white paint. Let dry. Apply more coats, if needed, drying between each coat.
  3. Load hot glue stick into gun and allow to heat up. Apply glue to top of can and place start of gauze dressing. Wrap gauze dressing around can, applying glue and more gauze as needed. Glue end of gauze to soup can.
  4. Allow for space in eye area to apply eyes.
  5. Glue googly eyes to space left within gauze.
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Arts and Entertainment

An Outside-the-Box, DIY Halloween Costume Combination

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Even though Halloween may look a little different this year for many families, there are still ways to make the most of popular seasonal traditions, like costumes, spooky decor and festive treats.

Rather than venturing out to look for a costume, get creative at home with everyday craft supplies and delivery boxes to make unique, low-cost costumes – or “boxtumes.” Not only are boxtumes a simple way to save money by upcycling delivery boxes you’ve accumulated, but making them can be a fun activity for the whole family.

Your creations can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like. Turn an everyday hero into a Halloween superhero this year with a DIY Fire Truck Boxtume, or make it a duo costume perfect for siblings by adding a DIY Fire Hydrant Boxtume to match. With Amazon Prime’s fast, free shipping, any crafting supplies or candy you may need – and the box for your DIY creation – could be just one order away.

Share your upcycled box creations on social media using #Boxtumes, and find more inspiration and simple how-to guides at amazon.com/boxtumes2020. Members can also extend their spooktacular fun with Halloween-themed movies, books and music available through Amazon Prime’s entertainment benefits.

DIY Duo Firefighting Boxtumes

Projects courtesy of Michelle Nhu

Fire Truck Supplies and Instructions:

  • Amazon Prime boxes, variety of sizes
  • Scissors
  • Paint brushes
  • Red acrylic paint
  • White acrylic paint
  • Gray acrylic paint
  • Hot glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Markers, variety of colors (optional)
  1. Have your child sit in different size boxes to find one that fits comfortably. Save other boxes for later.
  2. Using scissors, cut out top and bottom of box to create truck shape.
  3. Using reserved boxes and scissors, cut out two ladders, six medium circles and six smaller circles for wheels, rectangles for front and back windshields, six small squares for windows and equipment doors, four circles for headlights and seven thin rectangles for grill.
  4. Using paint brush, paint large box mostly red or get creative and use separate paint brushes to paint white stripes down sides of box and half of front gray for grill. Then paint ladders, grill pieces and medium wheel circles black. Paint small wheel circles and equipment doors gray and windows and lights white.
  5. Once paint dries, use hot glue and glue gun to adhere each piece to fire truck as desired. Use markers to outline windows and add dots to small wheel circles and equipment door handles, if desired.

Fire Hydrant Supplies and Instructions:

  • 2 Amazon Prime boxes
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • 3 empty tape rolls
  • 1 cotton headband
  • Red acrylic paint
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Blue pants or skirt
  • Blue tulle (optional)
  • Blue felt pieces (optional)
  1. Select box that fits around your child’s torso.
  2. Using scissors, cut box into eight equal-sized rectangles.
  3. Assemble rectangles vertically into octagon and glue together using hot glue and glue gun.
  4. Using scissors, cut holes for arms on two sides of octagon. Glue two empty tape rolls to outside of arm holes and one on front to mimic nut on fire hydrant.
  5. On flat piece of another box, draw dome shape that will fit your child’s head. Use scissors to cut it out then glue bottom to stretchy, cotton headband.
  6. Using paint brush, paint cardboard pieces red. Use separate brush to paint black stripes on corners of octagon.
  7. Once paint dries, boxtume is complete. On blue pants or skirt meant to mimic water, glue pieces of blue tulle and blue felt pieces to look like water droplets, if desired.

Source:

Amazon

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Arts and Entertainment

Group of Seven Paintings Depicting Vancouver Go Virtual Through McMichael Canadian Art Collection And Google Arts & Culture Partnership

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McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Today, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and Google Arts & Culture released a digital collection of Canadian art, including iconic pieces from Canada’s Group of Seven. As part of a global effort to make art more accessible, citizens around the world can now enjoy pieces of the McMichael permanent collection on the Google Arts & Culture website, including Sawmills, Vancouver by Emily Carr and Night Ferry, Vancouver by Fredrick Varley.

The Group of Seven were drawn to Vancouver and the beauty of Canada’s west coast landscapes. In fact, Frederick Varley accepted a teaching job in Vancouver in 1926. There he became involved with one of his students, Vera Weatherbie, who inspired many of his paintings and influenced his use of colour.

The Group of Seven brought Canadian art to the forefront internationally with their depictions of Canada’s rugged wilderness. The group is a source of pride for Canadians, with many people visiting the real-life Canadian locations that inspired their paintings. Here are some of the highlights from the virtual collection:

Night Ferry, Vancouver by Fredrick Varley

Sawmills, Vancouver by Emily Carr

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Che’ Semiahmah-Sen, Che’ Shesh Whe Weleq-sen Si’am: Semiahmoo First Nation Exhibit Comes to Museum of Surrey

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Surrey, BC – A dynamic new exhibit curated by Semiahmoo First Nation opens October 22 in the Museum of Surrey’s Indigenous Hall. Che’ Semiahmah-Sen, Che’ Shesh Whe Weleq-sen Si’am (I am Semiahmoo, I am Survivor of the Flood) explores the ways that the Nation has flourished since the Great Flood at the end of the last Ice Age.

The exhibit features two large dioramas created by archaeologist Don Welsh, showing the sophisticated technology of reef net fishing and a summer fishing village. Also, on display will be several woven cedar pieces, including a violin case made by Matilda Charles of Semiahmoo First Nation on loan from Museum of Anthropology, video interviews and more.

“Semiahmoo has and will continue to flourish on our land. We have always been here. We will always be here,” said Chief Harley Chappell.

The Indigenous Hall is a designated space at the museum designed and programmed with consent by Semiahmoo, Katzie and Kwantlen First Nations.

“With respect and gratitude, we acknowledge that the Museum of Surrey is built on the traditional unsuceeded territories of the Semiahmoo, Kwantlen, and Katzie Nations,” said Museum of Surrey Manager, Lynn Saffery. “We are honoured to work and learn on land they have stewarded since time immemorial. We recognize their enduring presence on this ancient land.”

Free pre-registered, one-hour self-guided tours of the museum are available from Wednesday to Saturday. The museum follows all citywide COVID-19 safety protocols.

Museum of Surrey is a dynamic and accessible community hub and cultural space that reflects the City of Surrey’s innovation and creativity. It is a people museum, with a mission to connect people and stories through engaging events, interactive exhibits, programs, textiles and local, national and international exhibitions, as well as public space for rentals.

The site, located at 17710 56A Avenue in Surrey, is also home to Veterans Square, where the Anderson Cabin, 1881 Town Hall and Anniedale School are situated.

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