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Since 1981, Mayor Krantz has led the tradition that originated in 1967 of ringing in each New Year with pride and enthusiasm. Zainab Azim, the youngest ever “future astronaut” has made it her goal to inspire our girls to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Zainab is the founder of Global Initiative & Vision for Education (GIVE) which prootes STEM and access to education.

The United Nations Space4Women network selected Zainab as a mentor and UNOOSA selected Zainab as the Youngest Role Model for Gender Equality and STEM. Zainab inspires young girls to be actively involved in space sciences and collaborates with members of this network to connect young women with mentors through various forums. Zainab’s work is an inspiration at both a local and international level. In 2022, Zainab received the Milton Chamber of Commerce award for Citizen of the year. Zainab is also a student at the University of Toronto where she volunteers as a Research Assistant at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She is currently working at the House of Commons of Canada to improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

“On May 25th I performed at Massey Hall, it was an incredible experience. Her band was so wonderful,her tour manager took really good care of me. I got to meet her dog Poppy! Jann was awesome,she even took some time that night to film my sound check so I would have content for Tik Tok.”

Billianne belongs to a musical family:

“My mom sang in a choir … My dad plays guitar as a hobby and loves music and instruments of all kinds…. My brother taught himself piano, and was the first person I ever recorded a song with when I was 6…. My sister can sing and play the flute… My other brother has a wonderful voice and a very creative mind which I always looked up to…. I was always writing songs.”

Over the years, coaches and teacher: Erin Narain, Mrs Hobden, Mr Fournier, Mr Carson-Foster, Mr.Cummings, Mr. Foster, have inspired and encouraged her musical journey.

Billi has always been part of the Milton Music Scene: She was on the worship team at her local church – Southside; Helped with music for soccer camps during the summer; Performed on Open mic at Starbucks; Was a Shining Star at the 2022 Milton Strawberry Festival;

Music has played an important part in Billianne’s life, as she performed in recitals and talent shows. She learned the trombone and joined bands in middle school. In Milton District High School she focused more on her voice and performed as a singer with various bands.

Recently during a CTV interview, Billi described how she simply records all her songs in her room “with my 2 $15 monitors I got from Re-Store! But they worked! That’s all I needed!” The interviewer commented that “Billi’s humility is still intact!”

In 2019, she first started to post on TikTok: “It was pretty new. I liked it because it was short clips and I could post my originals and covers easily. In October 2021, I had my first real viral video, my cover of Simply the Best in the style of the Schitt’s Creek version that Patrick sings to David. (Noah Reid version).

“I had never experienced so many people outside of my family that made comments that were so thoughtful, like ‘your voice is like a campfire’ ‘your voice is like wearing cozy socks on a cool October night’ -things like that. It reached a million views in just a couple of weeks.”

A record label reached out to her (Selene under Avex USA) and after meeting with them a few times she signed with them. “We released my first cover and single on all streaming platforms February 2022.”

On this Giving Tuesday, a ‘global generosity movement’ held annually, the Townsend Smith Foundation (TSF) and our community came together to unveil signage that clearly proclaims the future home of North Halton’s first hospice residence.

“Today the momentum that has been achieved through the generosity of the local community continues with the TSF being able to loudly and proudly proclaim the first site of much-need hospice care for the residents of North Halton and area” said Astrid Lakats, Board Chair, and proud donor for TSF.

A variety of local dignitaries joined the TSF Board, leadership volunteers, donors, and other community leaders to celebrate the future for a state-ofthe- art hospice that will serve the community once completed

“The support from the community has and continues to make all the difference,” said Astrid, who also noted that the next step will be a fundraising campaign to raise what the province often calls the “community share” for this vital project. “Every donation has an impact, and the ability to help us in reaching our goal. There is a lot of work ahead of us, so the support of our community is key in building a hospice residence on the property”

Those wishing to learn more about hospice care in North Halton, the work of the Townsend Smith Foundation, or make a donation, on this Giving Tuesday are encouraged to visit: www. townsend-smith.ca

During a ceremony at the One King West Hotel and Residence in Toronto held on September 27, 2022, Mr. Don D’Souza from Milton received the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism.

The June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Volunteerism recognizes up to 20 individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to volunteerism in Ontario each year.

Don D’Souza is a proud Miltonian, an outstanding community leader dedicated and driven to building a brighter tomorrow by supporting those in his community. He has volunteered for more than 10 years with the Navy League of Canada, Milton Branch and supporting the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps CHAUDIERE. Appointed the organization’s president in 2014, he has worked tirelessly to create positive change in his community.

In January 2020, Don co-founded the Navy League Cadet Corps ADVENTURE, a program for youth between the ages of 9 and 12 that promotes teamwork, good citizenship, and leadership skills. Don helped raise over $50,000 through grants, donations, and sponsorships to create the Milton Cadet Centre, which offers a safe space for youth to come together and learn new skills. Through Don’s leadership and dedication, membership at the centre has more than doubled. The Milton Cadet Centre has become one of Ontario’s strongest and most engaged Navy League branches.

A tireless volunteer, Don also finds time to volunteer with the Halton Regional Police Service, the Milton Legion’s Poppy Drives, as well as to provide support to community celebrations, Meals on Wheels and Toys for Tots.

Annual event goes hybrid, with screenings in the theatre and online

The 10th Annual Milton Film Festival is celebrating this special year with a return to inperson screenings at the FirstOntario Arts Centre Milton, and a big VIP after-party at the prestigious Marquee Steakhouse.

The Festival was conceived in 2013 by Jennifer Smith and Katie Pearce, co-workers at the now-defunct Super ‘A’ Video store, who wanted to bring festival-quality independent and Canadian films to Milton in a theatre setting.

With the Town’s brand new arts centre available as a venue, and in partnership with the TIFF Film Circuit program, the first Milton Film Festival opened on January 11th, 2014 with the beautiful Spanish silent feature film BLANCANIEVES – still one of the best loved films in the festival’s history.

The 2023 Festival begins with five virtual screenings, available online January 25th through the 31st. Theatrical screenings open Friday January 27th with eight feature films being screened over course of the weekend. The film selections include some of the most highly acclaimed films of the year, with more than half by Canadian filmmakers and almost as many by women directors. Most films will feature interviews and Q&A sessions with special guests. The Opening Night Feature is, appropriately, I LIKE MOVIES – a funny and endearing portrait of a movie-obsessed teenager trying to pay his way into film school by working at a video store. Set in Burlington in the early 2000s, the film is the feature debut of film critic and former
Burlington video store clerk Chandler Levack, and has been chosen as one of Canada’s Top Ten 2022 films by TIFF.

As a fitting end, the closing film of the festival is the British documentary A BUNCH OF AMATEURS, about members of Britain’s oldest amateur filmmaking club as they struggle with a declining and aging membership, dwindling funds, a crumbling club house, and of course the pandemic.

Other theatrical feature films include:
• AFTERSUN – Saturday Night Gala – One of the most celebrated films of the year, about a young girl’s pivotal vacation with her father.
• THE SWEARING JAR – Acclaimed, heartwarming romantic drama by Lindsay MacKay (Wet Bum), with a remarkable supporting performance by Kathleen Turner
• THE LONG RIDER – Documentary about one man’s journey from Calgary to Brazil on a horse, with special guest filmmaker Sean Cisterna
• EO – Polish masterpiece about the journeys and tribulations of a donkey, shortlisted for the 2023 Oscars
• RICEBOY SLEEPS – One of Canada’s Top Ten Films, about a mother and son coping with their new home in Canada, starring Ethan Hwang (The Umbrella Academy)
• DRINKWATER – The ultimate Canadian comedy, starring Daniel
Doheny (Adventures in Public School) and Eric McCormack (Will and Grace) And the virtual screenings:
• THE ETERNAL DAUGHTER – A chilling ghost story starring Tilda Swinton in a dual role as mother and daughter
• LOVE IN THE TIME OF FENTANYL – Compassionate documentary about workers at a Vancouver safe injection site, produced by Robinder Uppal and Marc Serpa Francoeur (No Visible Trauma)
• REVIVAL69 – The forgotten story of Toronto’s 1969 Rock ‘n Roll Revival concert, dubbed ‘the second most important event in rock & roll history’
• GOLDEN ARM – A hilarious comedy about women arm wrestlers, with a 100% rating from Rotten Tomatoes As always, the festival will be showcasing a wide selection of short films by local and regional filmmakers, with a special focus on returning MFF ‘Alumni’ from past Festivals, including Roozbeh ‘Ray’ Noori (Fall), Antoine Rail (Currents), David Cartwright (The Perfect Game), Peter Riddihough (Sarah), Darcy Waite (You Did What?), and Milton’s own Steve Belford (Becoming Tom Thomson) who was another regular at Super ‘A’ Video. Most of the 19 short films will be included with a feature film screening, and all are available online as part of the Festival’s SHORT FILM EXTRAVAGANZA compilation. Tickets and passes are available at the FirstOntario Arts Centre Milton box office, or at miltonfilmfest10.eventive. org.

 

Earlier this year, the Government of Ontario passed Bill 45, “An Act to Proclaim Ontario Cadets Week” into law on April 11, 2022. To be celebrated on the first week of October of every year, Ontario cadets Week is an opportunity for the people of Ontario to “honour the outstanding young Canadians whose unique personal and collective development through cadet programs will help them be successful in Canadian society, as well as recognizing those who support the programs directly and indirectly.”

In February 2020, the Milton Players Theatre Group had just wrapped their hilarious production of “Perfect Wedding”. It was the second show of their 40th Anniversary season. Two of the three shows planned for the celebratory season, marking 4 decades of bringing award winning theatre to Milton, were now complete and they were gearing up to close the season with their May 2020 production. Little did they know that it would be their last time on stage entertaining live audiences for over two and a half years.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced them to cut their Anniversary Season short, and while they continued to entertain by focusing on online projects over the last two years, this November brings them back to the stage in front of live audiences once again!