It’s Mansbrige Bitch

Posted On May 11, 2011

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Yes, Peter Mansbrige is my homeboy. He just doesn’t know it yet.


Berger Blanc has blood on their hands– Enquete report reveals animal cruelty

A dog at Berger Blanc captured by hidden camera on Enquete. Animals are euthanized on the floor, by unskilled workers without analgesics

Never have I been so shocked after watching a hidden-camera investigative report on television.

Yes, I’ve seen elephants being brutally domesticated in Thailand and savage seal hunt tactics, but never have I seen something like this.

Radio-Canada’s investigative television show, Enquete, went undercover and entered deep inside Le Berger Blanc to reveal some of the most atrocious abuse of animals I’ve ever seen. The privately-run, Montreal animal shelter is used by 10 Montreal boroughs to control the animal population. But what Enquete discovered was that the Berger Blanc is more like a death chamber than the local SPCA. Cats and dogs are brought there when lost, but few return to their owners (less than 40 per cent of dogs, almost no cats returned to owners).

Worse yet, the Berger Blanc claims to euthanize the animals respectfully,  giving analgesics to ease the pain , in the hands of a veterinarian. None of which is the true. The cats and dogs are killed at the hand of unskilled employees, who give the animals lethal injections without analgesics, letting them die slowly and painfully on the floor or in their cages. The Enquete report shows cats leaping across their cages, screaming in pain, sometimes tumbling across the floor until the poison has set in.

The animals are then dragged out to garbage bins outback, that are then stored in a large fridge.

This is beyond cruelty, it is torture.

In response to the report and a protest held in Montreal on April 23, 2011, Agriculture Minister Pierre Corbeil has asked departmental inspectors to look into alleged inhumane practices in euthanizing abandoned pets. In Montreal, the city says it will ask inspectors to increase the number of spot checks at the pound on Henri Bourassa Blvd.

This isn’t enough. Obviously, inspecting the place hasn’t worked, as inspectors have frequented Le Berger Blanc and not seen anything the matter. Either they are blind, woefully ignorant or complicit in animal torture.  Laws need to be changed in Quebec, not just regarding animal control but animal rights. Quebec has puppy mills and idiots who torture and kill their own animals and get off with a mere fine. Animals need rights in the province and in this country and it’s high time we take a stand.

The first step is to sign the petition floating around online thanks to the Humane Society International/Canada, which is demanding effective, more humane animal control services. .
Next step is to start emailing city councilors who are employing Le Berger Blanc. Email them directly and let them know how you feel. The bouroughs that employ Le Berger Blanc are: Cote-Des-Neige, NDG, Anjou, Montreal East, the Plateau, Rivieres des Prairies, Rosemont and St-Leonard. A list of email addresses can be found here.

Music as good as Sex according to McGill Study

Posted On March 28, 2011

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Yes, you read that headline correctly. According to research done by Valorie Salimpoor and her fellow researchers at McGill University and the Montreal Neurological Institute,  music releases dopamine in the brain, just as sex does.

Pretty fascinating stuff. See my report below.

SSU formally invites Rebecca Black on CJLO

Posted On March 27, 2011

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Rebecca Black loves the end of the week.

So this is a formal invite to Ms Black,

Sunny Side Up and the folks at CJLO would love for you to make an appearance on our show on Sunday mornings.

We know you prefer friday. But we’d love to have you on regardless.



Incendies sweeps Jutra awards, director is ‘brulé’

Posted On March 14, 2011

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The cast and creative team of incedies show-off their nine statuettes including Best Picture at the 13th Annual Jutra Awards. By Adam Avrashi

Here is the article I wrote for the Canadian University Press (CUP). I had a blast covering la soirée des Jutra and taking the photos.

By: Adam Avrashi

MONTREAL (CUP) — Incendies was the big winner at last night’s 13th annual Soirée des Jutra, picking up nine awards including Best Picture.

While the cast and creative team were all smiles, director Denis Villeneuve said he was just happy the March 13 ceremony meant the awards season had come to a close.

“Now, I am sincerely tired,” said Villeneuve, winner of Best Director and Best Screenplay, after posing for photos with his cast. “I have only slept one hour in the last 36. People ask me how I am: Je suis brulé.”

Villeneuve is understandably burnt out. In the past month he has been doing continual press for Incendies and attending the Oscars, the Genies and now the Jutras.

Incendies made waves across Quebec and the rest of the world, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. The film is about twins Jeanne and Simon who embark on a journey to the Middle East to uncover the secrets their dying mother left behind. In the process, they find out who their real father and unknown brother are.

Incendies was nominated for 10 awards, but collected only nine Jutra statuettes as both the film’s matriarch Lubna Azabal and her onscreen daughter, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, were nominated in the Best Actress category. All was rectified, however, when the Belgian actress Azabal won the award, inviting her co-star to join her onstage and say a few words.

“I’m supposed to say thank you and I didn’t even win,” said a baffled Désormeaux-Poulin in front of the podium, who went on to thank the film’s producers and director.

Incendies may have swept the night, receiving awards for cinematography, costumes and art direction, among others, but the remaining acting categories shed a spotlight on some other well-deserving Quebec cinema.

Claude Legault won for Best Actor for his dramatic turn in 10 ½, where he played a rehabilitation counsellor for disturbed kids in the youth-protection program.

Best Supporting Actress went to Dorothée Berryman, winning her first Jutra statuette ever, for her role in the severely underrated comedy Cabotins, about a group of aging theatre actors on the decline that put on one last show.

Dorothée Berryman won Best Supporting Actress for Cabotins at the 13th annual Jutra. By Adam Avrashi

In her acceptance speech, Berryman mentioned that Cabotins went mostly unseen when it came out in theatres and she hopes people get a chance to take it out on DVD.

Dressed in black and clutching her Jutra, she elaborated on this point backstage, specifically about anglophones watching French Quebec cinema.

“You can’t force anybody to see anything, but I wish that as in jazz, [French Quebec cinema] would be more universal and appeal to everybody,” said Berryman. “I’ve been lucky to be in films that have been seen around the world, The Decline of the American Empire or Les Invasions Barbares, so whether I’m in Toronto or Buenos Aires or New York, people know what that is, so then the language isn’t important.”

Berryman said the July release date wasn’t ideal for this film about misfits that includes actors Rémy Girard and Yves Jacques, the latter playing a drag queen.

“When we released Cabotins, it was the middle of the summer, I’m not sure it was a summer movie,” said Berryman. “It’s sentimental in a way; I feel it should have come out on Valentine’s Day. I hope people just get to see it and rent it at home.”

Taking home the award for Best Supporting Actor was the grandpapa of Quebec film, Jean Lapointe for his role in À l’origine d’un cri, about a young man who is forced to take a road trip with his grandfather to find his father who took off with the body of his dead wife. Lapointe was also honoured with the Jutra-Hommage, the lifetime achievement award.

Jean Lapointe won Best Supporting Actor at the 13th annual Jutra awards by Adam Avrashi

Xavier Dolan was noticeably absent from the soirée, but picked up one award for his film, Les Amours Imaginaires. Dolan, who made last year’s Cannes favourite J’ai Tué Ma Mère, won a Jutra for the film that had the most success outside of Quebec.

As the evening drew to a close, and actors and directors got a chance to head to the Théâtre St. Denis bar, it was clear the celebration would continue into the night, but that the real prize would be relaxing after one of Quebec’s most acclaimed seasons in film.

Claude Legault (left) after his win for Best Actor with his presenter in drag, Yves Jacques, from the film Cabotins.

Lubna Azabal won Best Actress and Denis Villeneuve Best Director for Incendies which earned a total of nine Jutra including Best Picture by Adam Avrashi

Working hard even down in the Sunshine State

Looks like Nona, and her sister Nonda, are hard at work preparing for their appearance on Sunny Side Up this week.

Also, Nonda is turned the big 80 this week, and I hear there is a party in store. Careful partygoers, these two can–and will– drink you under the table.

Happy Birthday!

Nonda (left) and Nona playing an intense round of wha appears to be Go Fish

Its an SSU Oscar-travaganza! Gossip, Predictions and Movie talk the whole show!

Sunny Side Up is going all out for the Oscars this year– the whole show is dedicated to everything film and golden!

From the lack of black actors nominated this year to why Oscar co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco are mad at Ricky Gervais for interfering with their show.

Also Chris Hanna joins Adam live in studio for all the fun and predictions– every category will be predicted from Best Screenplay to Best Make-Up.

And don’t forget to root for Montrealers at the Oscars:  make-up artist Adrien Morot is nominated for Barney’s Version and Denis Villeneuve’s film, Incendies, is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.

All the action takes place Sunday February 27th from 9 to 10:30 am on CJLO 1690 AM , and live on iTunes.


Don’t forget that Chris and I will be live tweeting during tonight’s Oscars, follow us @SunnySideUpCJLO and @Chris_Hanna

Feb 20th: Bedbugs the play comes to SSU

Posted On February 19, 2011

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If you live in Montreal, or any big city, you’ve probably heard about the recent surge in bed bugs and the mattresses they plague. But instead of just complaining, sometimes the best way to deal with this bedbug trauma is to put pen to pad and write a play about it. That’s what Concordia student Rachael Picard did, and now her new show BEDBUGS will be playing at The Freestanding Room on St Laurent from March 3 to March 5th.

Every year, the Concordia Association of Students in English (C.A.S.E) invites young playwrights to submit a play they’ve written as part of a competition, with the winner getting to have their work put up as a full production. Picard was the big winner this year “The topic of bedbugs is relevant and in the news these days, especially for Montrealers,” said Picard. “In a city that defines itself as bohemian, and boasts such a large population, bedbugs are very much a new part of the city’s consciousness. You can’t walk down St. Laurent Blvd. without bumping into someone who’s had an experience or knows someone who’s had to deal with an exterminator.”

Rachael Picard appears on CJLO February 20th 2011 at 9:30 am

Listen at CJLO 1690 AM or

Bedbugs, the play. Pictured: Matthew Xhignesse, Heather Caplap. Photo by Louise Callier

This weekend: Clowns performing Macbeth in MöcShplat

Posted On February 3, 2011

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I’ll bet you’ve never seen Macbeth confront Macduff wearing a clown noise.

This weekend one of the main clowns from MöcShplat, a gibberish clown adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, will join me to talk about clowning around on the Centaur stage with the Bard in mind.

Marcel Jeannin ( who plays Macbeth– a Scottish army general whose ego gets inflated when he meets up with some clairvoyant witches) joins me at 9:30 am on CJLO 1690 AM and at this Sunday, February 6th to discuss the gibberish he mutters throughout the show and how he went from a traditional theatre performer to a clown.

BTW: no English or French requirement is needed for the show, just a fluent understanding of gibberish (even knowing the play isn’t required, although having a good sense of humour is).

The original production of MöcShplat was a hit at the Montreal Fringe, participated in Centaur’s first Wildside Series and was presented at Just for Laughs Festival. Cast includes Danielle Desormeaux, Marcel Jeannin, Michel Perron and John Sheridan .

Gingerbread Facebook Walls!! nothing so crafty can taste this good!

Posted On February 1, 2011

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Have you ever wanted to recreate your Facebook wall out of cookies, jellybeans and frosting? Well now you can, thanks to festive crafter WIll Pulos ( youtube: spurnalist). He stops by Sunny Side Up to talk about his crafting technique, and if there will be an edible Hannukah tweet anytime soon.

The interview is from December 2010


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