Kris Allen Performs At Scholarship Concert

first_imgAmerican Idol winner Kris Allen and 97 talented youth from around the US performed their hearts out during the Berklee City Music Scholarship Concert earlier this week.American Idol Kris Allen performs at the Berklee City Music Scholarship Concert.An annual event that showcases the accomplishments of Berklee City Music youth in the final week of Berklee College of Music’s Five-Week Summer Performance Program and awards students with 2012 City Music College Scholarships to attend Berklee College of Music.“My passion is music education and my work with Music Empowers Foundation introduced me to this amazing network connected by Berklee City Music. These kids are beyond talented, but it takes organizations like Berklee City Music to help them turn talent into a tool for success in life,” Kris Allen said.Berklee City Music is a nonprofit program that harnesses the energy of contemporary music to provide music education to 4th through 12th graders in underserved communities at 38 Network sites, educating more than 10,000 students across the country, and bringing as many as 100 of them to Boston each summer. Each year, Berklee City Music awards scholarships to attend Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Performance Program as well as four-year scholarships to attend Berklee College of Music.2012 City Music College Scholarship: Full four-year scholarships for study at Berklee College of Music, beginning fall 2012, were awarded to City Music Summer Scholarship recipients who have been accepted by the college and completed the Berklee College of Music Five-Week Summer Performance Program.With the ongoing struggle to provide access to music education in the United States, Berklee City Music Network is providing a pathway to higher education by engaging passionate, talented youth in underserved communities in a contemporary music education program.“Every year, for the last 20 years, I am blown away by the power of music. When these kids develop their talents and skills in music, you can see their confidence grow too and with that, the potential for success is just limitless,” J. Curtis Warner, Jr., Executive Director, Berklee City Music, said.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Stars To Help Feed The Homeless At LA Mission Thanksgiving Event

first_imgHomeless men, women and children will gather at the Los Angeles Mission for a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday, November 27 from 8am.Sponsor Wells Fargo Bank will drive its iconic stagecoach to Skid Row to deliver their donations. Los Angeles Christian Health Centers will provide free foot care and exams at the event.Chef Michael Voltaggio will lead a team of Los Angeles’ top chefs to create the menu. Joining him will be Suzanne Goin (The A.O.C. and Lucques), Josiah Citrin (Mélisse), Steve Samson (Sotto), Ray Garcia (FIG), Josef Centeno (Bäco Mercat) and Duff Goldman (Charm City Cakes). Neil Patrick Harris is scheduled to help in the kitchen from 9:30-10:30am.Celebrities, political leaders and chefs listed above and other notables will be there to serve the homeless and support the Mission. Scheduled to appear: Bella Thorne (Shake it Up), Maitland Ward (Boy Meets Girl), Kaitlyn Dever (Last Man Standing), Robert Davi (The Profiler), Lindsey McKeon (Guiding Light), Andrea Bowen (Desperate Housewives), Landry Bender (the Sitter), Rick Schroder (NYPD Blue), Kevin Nealon (Weeds), Susan Yeagley (Parks and Recreation), Jen Lilley (Days of Our Lives), Brandon Molale (Granite Falls), Allie Gonino (The Lying Game), Emma Kenney (Shameless), Chrissie Fit (Teen Beach Movie), Kristian Alfonso (Days of Our Lives), Della Reese (Touched by an Angel), Kelli Goss (Big Time Rush), Savannah Jayde (Big Time Rush), Kate Mansi (Days of Our Lives), Gretchen Rossi & Slade Smiley (Real Housewives of OC), Pamela Bach-Hasselhoff (Baywatch), GG (The Shahs of Sunset), Mary Beth Evens (Days of Our Lives), Aeriel Miranda (Pretty Little Liars), McKinley Freeman (Hit the Floor), Arianny Celeste (Overhaulin’), Octavius Johnson (Ray Donovan), Jo Frost (Supernanny), Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer and Police Chief Charlie Beck are also exected.Los Angeles Mission, 303 E. 5th Street (Corner of Fifth and Wall St.) Los Angeles (Skid Row) CA 90013last_img read more

Nashville Star Charles Esten Brings Light to the Dark World of Cancer

first_imgEvery three minutes someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer. No one knows this better than “Nashville” star Charles Esten and his wife Patty. Esten’s 15-year-old daughter, Addie, was diagnosed with leukemia at age 2 ½.Charles Esten and leukemia survivor daughter Addie to join thousands across the country for Light The Night Walks to raise funds for cancer curesNaturally, their world was turned upside down. But, they quickly learned that there was hope, based on research to advance new treatments and cures for leukemia, much of it funded by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).Esten and his family Light The NightEsten and his family’s dedication to LLS has grown stronger each year and, today, LLS announced Esten is the 2015 National Light The Night Walk Honorary Chair. Since 1999, LLS has held Light The Night Walks in almost 200 cities across the country, to raise funds for its mission and pay tribute to those lost to blood cancers and honor those who are survivors.“It was a dark and scary day when we found out that our Addie had leukemia,” stated Esten. “The first ray of light was the reassurance from our doctor that there was hope – there were medicines and procedures that could help our little girl. All that hope, and all that help, came from research…research made possible with funds raised by LLS and other organizations. That’s why it’s so important for our family to participate in Light The Night, and to inspire people all over the country to join us.”LLS’s Light The Night walks have raised more than $495 million since they began 16 years ago, and have helped LLS invest more than $1 billion in research to advance lifesaving treatments for people with blood cancers.George Omiros, LLS executive vice president, chief campaign & field development officer, stated, “This year, with Charles Esten at the helm, along with his daughter Addie, and the rest of their family, we are aiming to increase the awareness for LLS and inspire more individuals, families and teams to join us. Addie is living proof that funds raised for research do result in lifesaving treatments and cures. We are extremely grateful that Charles and his family are helping us spread the word about the urgent need for patients with blood cancer.”LLS is set to maximize Esten’s role through a national Public Service Announcement, a Radio News Release and extensive educational materials to promote the Light The Night campaign, from early April through September. Esten and his family will lead the way at the Light The Night Walk in Nashville on October 9, 2015. Fans and those who want to donate to LLS can visit Esten’s personal donation page.“Walking in the Light The Night Walk, with thousands of people carrying lanterns, you can’t help but feel the support. To have all those people out there, together, holding lanterns, nobody there is alone,” Esten explained. “I know it’s The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s hope that every year there are fewer gold lanterns (commemorating those lost to the disease). Your lantern will make a difference. It will be a little brighter on that night because you and the team you created brought your lanterns. Start a team. Join a team.”Friends, families and co-workers form fundraising teams and millions of consumers help by donating at retail outlets. These efforts culminate in inspirational, memorable evening walks in nearly 200 communities across North America each fall. Participants carry illuminated lanterns – white for survivors, red for supporters and gold in memory of loved ones lost to cancer. Anyone big, small, young and old can shine a light on the importance of finding cures and ensuring access to treatments for blood cancer patients.Today, LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to finding cures for leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other blood cancers. Through its efforts it has invested more than $1 billion in cutting-edge research to advance therapies. Thanks to research, survival rates for patients with many blood cancers have doubled, tripled and even quadrupled since the early 1960s. Yet, despite these advances, about one third of patients with blood cancer still do not survive even five years after their diagnosis.To form a team or to learn more, call 877.LTN.WALK or visit www.lightthenight.org.Source:LLS.orglast_img read more

Stars Hit The Phones For BTIG Charity Day 2015

first_imgBTIG, LLC, the global financial services firm specializing in institutional trading, investment banking and related brokerage services with main offices in New York and San Francisco, announced today that the firm is donating over five million dollars to charities as a result of its annual BTIG Charity Day held Tuesday, April 28, 2015.Hosting all-star athletes, actors and actresses from film and television, celebrity chefs and other cultural icons that acted as guest traders, BTIG donated the day’s revenues to a variety of well-deserving organizations, many of them supporting programs that improve the lives of children. This was a record-breaking year for BTIG in terms of total dollars donated.“BTIG Charity Day is an event that everyone at BTIG looks forward to each year. Yesterday was our most successful Charity Day since the event’s inception in 2003. We are honored by the support we receive from our clients, celebrity guests and industry partners. And, we are proud of the effort put forth by our employees,” said Steven Starker, Co-Founder of BTIG.This year more than 200 charities worldwide will be the beneficiaries of BTIG Charity Day. Over 50 celebrities acting as ambassadors for charities contributed to this year’s event including Allan Houston, Alex Rodriguez, Beth Ostrosky, Bobby Valentine, Bode Miller, Brooke Shields, CC Sabathia, Charles Oakley, Chris Mullin, Damaris Lewis, Doug Ellin, Eduardo Garcia, Eli Manning, Eric LeGrand, Geoffrey Zakarian, Hannah Davis, Hannah Storm, Jeremy Roenick, Joe Girardi, Joe Namath, John Starks, John Sterling, Josh Capon, K. Lee Graham, Kelly Rutherford, Kristin Davis, Lawrence Taylor, Mariano Rivera, Mark Messier, Mark Teixeira, Mike Maccagnan, Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Nia Sanchez, Padma Lakshmi, Rachel Robinson, Rebecca Jarvis, Rick DiPietro, Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Weatherford, Tom Coughlin, Tommy Hilfiger, Tutan Reyes and Woody Johnson in New York, Barry Bonds, Damon Bruce, Joe Morgan, Reggie Jackson, Ronnie Lott and Vida Blue in San Francisco, Jason Collins, Marcus Allen, Michelle Monaghan and Tony Gonzalez in Los Angeles and Charlie Webster, Francine Lewis, Jamie Laing, Mike Gatting OBE, Miles Jupp, Pandora, Sinitta and Vogue Williams in London.“We are grateful to be able to make a difference for a wide range of important causes. By delivering over five million dollars to charities, we hope to make a positive impact in the lives of many in need,” said Scott Kovalik, CEO and Co-Founder of BTIG.last_img read more

PULSE FILMS EXEC SAM SNIDERMAN JOINS BLUE ANT MEDIA

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Prior to joining Blue Ant, Sniderman served as global chief operating officer and MD, film and entertainment, at Vice Media’s Pulse Films. In these roles, he was responsible for Pulse’s film, TV and branded content output, including 20,000 Days on Earth and Shut Up and Play the Hits. The hire comes after Blue Ant’s May acquisition of international media co The Racat Group, which included NHNZ, Beach House Pictures, Northern Pictures, as well as children’s broadcaster ZooMoo Networks and indie mobile game developer Runaway Play.Blue Ant has been working to build its international production and development capabilities for some time now. In October 2016, the company launched Antenna Pictures in London, U.K., with a focus on creating premium factual content. Earlier that year, Blue Ant fully acquired L.A.-based MCN Omnia Media and hired David Brown in December to oversee original content and publishing for the company. Toronto-based Blue Ant Media has added a new exec to its team to help oversee its growing international production business.  Sam Sniderman has been appointed to the newly created position of global head, commercial affairs, production.In his role, Sniderman will oversee the commercial and financial performance of Blue Ant’s international production businesses: London, U.K.-based Antenna Pictures, Dunedin, New Zealand’s NHNZ and Sydney, Australia’s Northern Pictures. Sniderman will work with leadership at each of the prodcos to develop new global business opportunities. He will also have oversight, on behalf of Blue Ant, of Singapore-based Beach House Pictures, a joint venture with company founders Jocelyn Little and Donovan Chan.Sniderman, who joins the company’s senior management team, will operate out of the company’s U.K. office and report to Blue Ant’s CEO of television and digital, Raja Khanna. Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Drake just celebrated his birthday at Casa Loma

first_imgToday in “parties I wish I’d been invited to,” Drake just celebrated his 31st birthday with an intimate, yet lavish bash at Toronto’s Casa Loma.The Saturday night festivities started out with a Raptors game for Drizzy and his friends – some of whom sat court side and some of whom were on the court. Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, members of Drake’s OVO crew and other close friends then joined the hip hop mogul at Casa Loma’s fancy new BlueBlood Steakhouse for a private dinner. Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebookcenter_img Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement READ MORElast_img

ASKING FOR IT Playwright Brings World Premiere Of WHAT I CALL HER

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement One year after the sold-out run of Asking For It, playwright Ellie Moon returns to Crow’s Theatre with her sophomore play What I call her, directed by Sarah Kitz (winner of Crow’s Theatre’s 2017 RBC Emerging Director Prize).The estranged mother of 25-year old Kate is on her deathbed. A Facebook post becomes the subject of heated debate. Then, a knock on the door. What I call her is a play about gaps in how people perceive and understand the world they live in, female generational rage, and the loneliness of holding onto one’s own truth.Ellie Moon describes What I call her as “post-MeToo, because it presupposes a world in which women have power. It’s striking to hear people say they understand why something they experienced as benign was considered abuse by someone else. I began to think about how the same experiences are processed so differently by people-and how many people have different experiences within the same family.” Twitter Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With: What I call her features a dynamite cast of emerging talent: Michael Ayres (Chariots of Fire / Grand Theatre, We Are Proud to Present… / Theatre Centre) Ellie Ellwand (The Nails / Summerworks, National Theatre School Class of 2017) and Charlie Gould as Kate (Richard III / Shakespeare in the Ruff, The Tempest / Theatre Calgary/Shakespeare by the Bow).Ellie Moon’s playwriting debut, Asking For It, opened Crow’s Theatre and Nightwood Theatre’s 2017/18 seasons, produced independently by In Association. Asking For It sold out its run and was called “a sly, intelligent piece of documentary theatre” (Globe & Mail), “timely, personal and riveting” (NOW), and “a vital piece of theatre” (Intermission). Ellie is Tarragon Theatre’s Bulmash-Siegal playwright-in-residence, as well as a Dora-nominated actor, appearing next in A Doll’s House, Part 2 at Montreal’s Segal Centre in November 2018.last_img read more

KATHERINE MCNAMARA AND HARRY SHUM JR GIVE SHADOWHUNTERS FANS A NEW NAME

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement It’s a good day to be a Shadowhunters fan.When nominations for the E! People’s Choice Awards were announced this year, the show was nominated in just one category, as the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2018. Fans then rallied and through write-ins, they managed to get the show and its stars nominated in four other categories, including the Show of 2018, the Bingeworthy Show of 2018, Katherine McNamara as Female TV Star of 2018, and Harry Shum Jr. as Male TV Star of 2018.That’s somewhat insane, and both Shum and McNamara are fully aware of how dedicated their fandom has been. The stars hit the E! Red Carpet ahead of the show tonight and opened up to Giuliana Rancic about how it felt to get that recognition from the fans. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisementcenter_img Login/Register With: Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

WHATS SHOOTING IN BC – AS OF JUN0119 – LINKS BY UBCPACTRA

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Sign-up for the eBOSS Newsletter.WHAT’S SHOOTING IN BC – AS OF JUN-01-19CREATIVE BC – CLICK HERE LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment UBCP/ACTRA – FILM/TV PRODUCTIONS – CLICK HERE – 4-PAGE PDFUBCP/ACTRA – ULTRA LOW BUDGET PRODUCTIONS – CLICK HERE – 2-PAGE PDF.LOOKING FOR A JOB?  CHECK OUT OUR CASTING, JOB & CREW NOTICESCASTING A PRODUCTION? HIRING CREW? POST YOUR NOTICE TO VIEW OR POST CASTING NOTICES: CLICK HERETO VIEW OR POST CREW & JOB NOTICES: CLICK HERE.ADD YOUR COMPANY (OR YOUR SERVICES) TO THE PRODUCTION DIRECTORYARE YOU A FREELANCER?  CREW?DO YOU WORK BEHIND THE SCENES?ARE YOU A PRODUCTION COMPANY?DO YOU PROVIDE A SERVICE TO THE INDUSTRY?FREE TO SEARCH – FREE TO REGISTERCLICK HERE to Register & List your company in the eBOSS PRODUCTION DIRECTORY.FOLLOW eBOSS CANADA ON SOCIAL MEDIA  The Entertainment Business One-Stop ShopFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/eboss.canada/Twitter: https://twitter.com/eBOSSCanadaInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/eBOSSCanada/YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/ebosscanadaDOWNLOAD THE eBOSS CANADA APPFor up-to-date News, Job Notices, Casting Notices, Events, and much more Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

ALIEN INVASION HITS PANGNIRTUNG IN FILMING OF SCIFI FILM

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Writer/director Nyla Innuksuk is filming a feature about an alien invasion in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. (Guy Godfrey) Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Twitter Teen girls are fighting against an alien invasion in the first feature movie to ever be filmed in Pangnirtung, Nunavut.Writer and director Nyla Innuksuk and a film crew of 50 people have descended on the Baffin Island community to begin filming Slash Back this week.“I loved watching movies like E.T. and I grew up with horror movies,” said Innuksuk. “So I had this idea about making a horror sci-fi movie that’s [also] an adventure movie with a bunch of girls.”last_img

Lawyer Takeitorleaveit offer is a complete breach of faith

first_imgAPTN National NewsSources say the federal government is planning to end all outstanding specific land claims with a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ offer that must be accepted by October 16th, 2011.Lawyer Alan Pratt joins APTN National News anchor Michael Hutchinson from Montreal to discuss the specific claims process, and how First Nations and claims professionals are reacting to the government’s plans.last_img

Cost of doing crime going up

first_imgAPTN National NewsAnyone convicted of a crime will soon have to pay the fine or do the time.The Conservative government has proposed amendments to Bill C-37 that will increase victim surcharge fines and make them mandatory.In fact, the changes will double the fines and take away the judge’s ability to waive the fee.The surcharge is supposed to fund provincial programs to help assist victims but it’s been routinely waived by judges in the past.Critics say it will bring further anguish to the lives of the less fortunate.APTN National News reporter Annette Francis has more on the story.last_img

MP Hunter Tootoo says he quit caucus cabinet over consensual relationship

first_imgThe Canadian PressOTTAWA — Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo, who cited an alcohol problems for leaving the Liberal caucus and cabinet earlier this year, apologized Wednesday for what he called a “consensual but inappropriate” relationship with an unidentified person.Tootoo, who declared his return to politics late last month after a two-month hiatus to seek treatment for addiction, has been at the centre of persistent rumours that he had been involved with a staff member.He acknowledged the relationship in a videotaped statement that was delivered at the CBC’s Iqaluit studios and posted to the broadcaster’s regional Facebook page.“I let my judgment be clouded and I also let alcohol take over my life,” Tootoo said, reading from a portfolio on his lap.“”I am ashamed and I apologize to all involved, especially the people of Nunavut. I am deeply sorry.”Tootoo said he informed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on May 31 of the relationship, then promptly quit the party and checked himself into rehab.A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office corroborated Tootoo’s version of events, noting that the MP “took full and sole responsibility for his inappropriate workplace conduct.”Last week, Tootoo came under pressure from constituents and critics in his Nunavut riding for failing to disclose more details about his decision to step down and sit as an Independent.Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern urged him to come forward and clear the air.“It puts him – and it puts us – in an extremely difficult position,”Redfern said in an interview at the time. “We only have one member of Parliament.”Redfern could not be immediately reached for comment, but a series of tweets sent in the wake of Tootoo’s announcement made it clear she’s paying attention.Several tweets cited legal decisions that discussed consent as it pertains to relationships in the workplace. Added Redfern: “So unanswered question remains … who or how was this inappropriate?”Tootoo, 52, declared in May he would be stepping down as fisheries minister and leaving the Liberal caucus before beginning a leave of absence to seek treatment for an alcohol problem.That leave of absence ended July 27 when he invited local residents and journalists to his office in Iqaluit for a news conference and open house, billed as a chance for constituents to “address their concerns.”“I know I let people down _ my family, friends, and the people of this riding _ and myself,” he said at the time. “I have work to do to regain their trust and respect. That work begins now.”Nunavut, a territory the size of western Europe, only has a single federal seat. It is the largest but least populous of all of Canada’s provinces and territories. It’s home to about 34,000 people, 84 per cent are Inuit.During his July 27 news conference, Tootoo attributed his drinking to “deeply personal and private issues,” saying he used alcohol as a coping mechanism. In his statement, Tootoo intimated it was the relationship to which he was referring.“On May 31, I voluntarily informed the prime minister that I made a mistake and regrettably engaged in a consensual but inappropriate relationship,” Tootoo said.“That is why I resigned my cabinet post and my position in caucus. I then checked myself into rehab for my addiction.”He also said he would not name the other party in an effort to protect the person’s privacy.last_img read more

Highlights of the weekends Manito Ahbee festival in Winnipeg

first_imgBrittany Hobson APTN National NewsWinnipeg played host to Canada’s largest pow wow over the weekend.The two day international pow wow was part of the 12th annual Manito Ahbee festival. Bobson@aptn.ca <>last_img

Manitoba First Nation has 865K in unsupported ineligible spending

first_imgJohn MurrayAPTN National News A Rolling River First Nation official took home nearly $200,000 in ‘unsupported or ineligible’ payments for travel, sundry, and ‘admin fees’ according to an audit obtained by APTN National News.In early May Ernst & Young completed a forensic audit of Rolling River First Nation (RRFN) for the period from Apr. 1, 2009 until Dec. 31, 2014.The audit found $865,627 in possibly unsupported or ineligible payments for the audit period.The audit found that RRFN’s financial administration “lacked appropriate oversight, financial controls, policies and procedures.”According to the document, Ernst & Young found signatories on cheques were sometimes also payees, a single bank account was used for all revenue, and some salaries, holiday pay, and bonuses were overpaid or undocumented.Money earmarked for post-secondary education was also targeted, with almost $25,000 in ineligible or unsupported payments.Many payments made in the category of ‘admin fees’ did not have any accompanying approvals.One individual took over $122,000 in admin fees.Because of the single bank account, auditors in some instances, had difficulty determining whether funds were sourced from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada or from the band.Many expenditures that may be ineligible were called Band Support Funding (BSF).Ernst & Young wrote “due to co-mingling of INAC and band source funds, we were unable to determine which funds were used to cover deficits in BSF as such INAC funds earmarked for other programs may have been used to cover them.”In another document obtained by APTN National News, Rolling River First Nation seems to have established laws around financial administration including stringent requirements on bank accounts and payments.The document was signed by council on October 9, 2014, well ahead of the audits release.APTN National News reached out to Rolling River First Nation officials but did not receive a response before publication.jmurray@aptn.calast_img read more

Treaty annuity case livestreamed from Sudbury

first_imgAPTN NewsIn 1850 Anishinabek leaders and the British Crown signed the Robinson Huron Treaty.It stipulated an annual annuity of four dollars.But it also promised that if revenues increased so would the annuity.That never happened so nearly two dozen First Nations brought the case to court in 2014.It has been heard in Ontario Superior Court since September with the First Nations presenting their case.last_img

Florida Panthers sign Manitoba product

first_imgAshley BrandsonAPTN NewsA First Nations hockey player has signed a pro contract with the NHL’s Florida Panthers.Brady Keeper, 22, hails from Pimicikamak (Cross Lake) in northern Manitoba and plays defence for the University of Maine Black Bears.Prior to signing the two-year deal, Keeper played for the Opaskwayak Cree Nation Blizzard and was named most- valuable player in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.last_img

Locking in your mortgage could save you money but it depends on

first_imgOTTAWA – Homeowners with variable-rate mortgages have seen their rates go up over the past year as the Bank of Canada has raised its key interest rate target four times.And now, with economists expecting the central bank to hike its target interest rate again next week, those who have continued to stick with the variable-rate option may again be thinking about converting to a fixed-rate mortgage.Scott Evans, a financial planner at BlueShore Financial in North Vancouver, B.C., says you should ask yourself why you decided to choose a variable-rate mortgage in the first place and if anything has changed.“Was it something that you really thought about or was it something that you just chose because it was the lower rate at the time,” he said.The Bank of Canada has raised its key interest rate target by a quarter of a percentage point four times since July 2017, increasing it by a total of one percentage point to 1.5 per cent.Those moves by the central bank have prompted the country’s big banks to raise their prime lending rates, taking the amount charged on variable-rate mortgages higher.“Historically, you’ve been better off in a variable rate as far as rates go, but rates do fluctuate and if you see rates go up, more of your payment will be going toward interest rather than principal,” Evans said.“If that’s something that keeps you up at night then I think, yes, you should be looking at a fixed.”Omar Abouzaher, regional vice-president at Bank of Montreal, says the majority of the bank’s customers go for fixed-rate mortgages, opting for the certainty they provide over the term of the loan.“We are in a rising interest rate environment and it is always good to have a pulse check basically and have a mortgage review with your bank just to review where you are and assess your options,” he said.Abouzaher said switching to a fixed-rate mortgage can give you peace of mind because you will know what the interest rate you will be charged for the term of your loan.“You are not subjected to any fluctuations or surprises,” he said.But converting to a fixed-rate mortgage does not come without down sides.A fixed-rate mortgage will have a higher rate than you are currently paying. The savings come if rates continue to rise, but if you lock in and rates don’t continue to rise or even reverse course, you could end up paying more in interest than you would have if you stuck with the variable-rate loan.The penalty to break a fixed-rate mortgage before it is up is also generally higher than the cost to get out of a variable-rate loan early.“If you’re planning on selling your house and you’re planning on purchasing a new property, if you want to get out of your mortgage and break your mortgage, definitely the penalties are a bit cheaper on variable mortgages,” he said.Evans, who locked his own mortgage in last year, noted that a lot of people locked in at the time in part because the difference between variable and fixed-rate mortgages was quite narrow.“As rates have climbed we’ve seen that spread grow a little bit,” he said.But Evans says you shouldn’t try to predict where interest rates are going to go because even the experts get it wrong.“You shouldn’t be making your decision based on the outlook for interest rates that you’re reading in the newspaper. You should be making it on your own situation, your own personality, how it works with your overall financial plan.”last_img read more

Hopes for USChina trade talks help push Asian shares higher

first_imgTOKYO — Asian shares rose Wednesday amid hopes for progress in U.S.-China trade talks.ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 2.2 per cent to 21,602.75. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 1.4 per cent to 5,653.50. South Korea’s Kospi was up 1.4 per cent at 2,082.57. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.7 per cent to 26,216.08, while the Shanghai Composite index rose 0.3 per cent to 2,602.15. Shares also rose in Taiwan, India and most Southeast Asian markets.TRADE TALKS: Recent media reports say China has agreed to reduce tariffs on U.S. autos. That has raised hopes the two countries can make progress on their trade dispute. Investors worry weaker global trade would dent economic growth and corporate profits around the world.WALL STREET: The S&P 500 dipped by 0.94 points, or less than 0.1 per cent, to 2,636.78, while the Dow Jones industrial average fell 53.02, or 0.2 per cent, to 24,370.24, and the Nasdaq composite rose 11.31, or 0.2 per cent, to 7,031.83. Slightly more stocks fell on the New York Stock Exchange than rose.THE QUOTE: “U.S.-China trade developments appear to be the outstanding item set to aid Asia markets,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore. “Much needed positive news in the form of auto tariff reduction underpinned the early optimism.”ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 45 cents to $52.10 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 65 cents to settle at $51.65 per barrel Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 57 cents to $60.77 per barrel.CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.41 Japanese yen from 113.08 yen late Tuesday. The euro slipped to $1.1329 from $1.1384.___Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyamaOn Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=enYuri Kageyama, The Associated Presslast_img read more