Sound bite: Ethnic fusion music makes composer a Hollywood hit

Born in India, raised in Scarborough, spent summers in Europe, and now living in L.A., composer Colin Aguiar has seen the world — and it resonates in his music.

Colin Aguiar has scored two Academy Award nominated films and recently composed the soundtrack for Rosie Takes the Train, an official Canadian Film Festival selection. He also wrote the music for critically acclaimed television series Traders and Harrison Bergeron.

Filmmaker Jigar Talati, who worked alongside Colin Aguiar in the Oscar nominated Fly, says Aguiar’s music is a “remix of sounds from different cultures.”

Immigration backlog

Canada wrongly wipes out immigration backlog

Canada blindly returned around 300,000 skilled labourer job applications before 2008 in order to get rid off its immigration backlog.

As a Canadian immigrant, I’m scandalized by this brash decision because it goes against Canada’s identity and its century-long practice of inclusivity and fairness. I’m mindful about how this will affect the country’s reputation in the world stage. Not to mention, the backlash that the government will undoubtedly experience because of this ruling.


Come to CAJ’s Ethnic Media panel!

I’ve been busy since November helping plan the Canadian Association of Journalist’s conference. I’m specifically working on the Ethnic Media panel.

The panel will explore the challenges of reaching a diverse audience like Canada’s. The event is scheduled on Friday, April 27 from 11:15-12:15 p.m.

Last day for registration is in April 27, would love to see you all there! However, if you’re unable to go, I will be liveblogging the event on Twitter.


Poll: Immigrant language test, a crass yet effective reality check

Minister Kenney announced two days ago that all immigrants who apply to semi- or low-skilled jobs, and some who are coming to the country through the provincial nominee program, have to undergo mandatory language tests.

The new ruling, which will start on July, has gained much notoriety.

A lot of people, especially those who agree, have been making their opinions known and surprisingly, I’m one of them.

Dave Cardozo

Taking a stand: Young immigrants striving to work in the arts

There is a growing trend among immigrant youth — more are pursuing careers in the arts instead of choosing jobs considered “practical” in their home countries.

More young people realize that there are more ways of being successful in the arts in Canada, says Julia Girmenia, project associate for U for Change, a government-funded organization that helps immigrants youth cultivate their passion for the arts.

Photographer Dave Cardozo, who recently moved from Colombia, says that back home, he was expected to choose a career in law, engineering, or business, and not the arts.

This expectation, Filipino parent Martin Rellin explains, roots from the perception that success can only be achieved through steady jobs that bring in a lot of money.

Fortunately, this doesn’t apply in Canada.

Rellin says that a different definition of success, outstanding support from the government, and constant encouragement to pursue one’s dream makes it possible for artists to also succeed in this country.


Graph: Why new Canadian immigrants settle in Scarborough

Scarborough has welcomed a wave of new immigrants for the past 25 years.

According to the 2006 census, 57 per cent of Scarborough’s population is made up of immigrants. For many, Scarborough has become a stepping stone for those who want to write a new chapter of their lives in Canada.

Rolan Coloma is an immigration expert who teaches sociology and equity studies at the University of Toronto. He said a combination of affordable housing, accessible transportation, and proximity to schools, stores and places of worship has made Scarborough the “ideal gateway community.”

Halo Halo

Wordle: Double standards on negative cultural comments

blogTO’s recent article on the Best Filipino Restaurants in Toronto has left a great number of the Canadian-Filipino community. The cause for the uproar? A line saying that “Filipino food is Thai food’s ugly sister.”

According to several blogTO commenters, the anonymous author is Filipino himself/herself. But should this matter? Why are there double standards when a person bashes his culture or people from the same race?

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