“We are also thrilled to be working with Westgate to create our first Community Area in Leiden Square. This will be complete with a community stage featuring local acts that will also include a few well-known faces. The festival this year has the theme HoldTight, in response to a government survey in 2018 which showed that over 2/3 of LGBT+ people have avoided holding hands with others for fear of backlash from others. The Pride Festival is running between May 17 and June 2. It is described by Oxford Pride as “a fabulous festival celebrating queer life in Oxfordshire and our unique city of Oxford.” The festival is focused partly on showcasing the cultural output of Oxford’s queer community. Oxford Pride describes their goal as curating “an open group show and also promoting exhibitions arranged by other associated artists, galleries and venues around Oxford during the annual Oxford Pride Festival”. Events have included a Queer Arts Exhibition in the University Church, exploring the HoldTight theme. Debbie Brixey, chair of Oxford Pride, said: “Our Festival and events aim to encourage everyone to hold tight to those that they love and celebrate the good things we have accomplished so far. This year we are pleased to form new partnerships with a number of Faith groups. The affirmation service on Pride Day at Bonn Square has been created to celebrate all relationships in whatever form they take. Henna Khanom, Co-Chair of the OUSU LGBTQ+ campaign, told Cherwell: “This years’ Pride offers a chance for the city and student communities to come together to celebrate queer histories, movements and legacies. Particular highlights are the Alain Locke Memorial Lectures, the Beyond Brideshead: Queer Oxford talk at the Ashmolean, and of course the day itself, which thousands of people are expected to attend.” “#HoldTight is also to remind people that we should be holding onto our values and the fight for equal rights. Even in some parts of the UK equality still has a long way to go; in Northern Ireland same sex marriage has been vetoed five times by politicians there despite it being part of British law, and gender recognition, discrimination and conversion therapy all fail to match laws in the rest of the UK.” There will also be a comedy night, involving performances from the Oxford Imps and several of Oxfords stand-ups. The Pride march itself will culminate in a wide range of LGBT+ musical acts and other performers playing at Leiden square in Westgate. “The LGBTQ+ Campaign will be marching as while the Queer movement has accomplished so much, there is so much left to be done; something especially important given that this year is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.” Other speakers participating included Hannah Boschen, a Stonewall Role model at the University of Oxford. The event also involved two panels, including a Queer Panel considering how to move forward into a new era. Oxford Labour Councillor Tom Hayes participated in the panel, alongside Valentino Vechietti and Charlotte Stacey. Oxford Brookes also hosted the Oxford Pride Symposium on Thursday, inspired by 2019 being 50 years since the Stonewall riots. The symposium involved performance and debate from a lot of different groups. Ashanti, a poet, writer and actor, gave a spoken word performance at the event. As Oxford gears up for it’s sixteenth Pride parade on June 1st , a wide range of events to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community are running both within the University and across the city.
England Golf has re-affirmed its commitment to ensuring the game is fully-inclusive after a new survey indicated a strong desire among disabled people to become more engaged with sport.The Annual Disability and Activity survey, commissioned by the Activity Alliance and supported by Sport England, has produced findings which show disabled people are keen to increase their levels of sport participation, but many are frustrated with opportunities available.The survey of more than 2000 respondents published today details that 81% of disabled adults want to get into sport.Over 70% of those canvassed are looking to improve or maintain their physical health through sport.However, four in 10 of those questioned feel they are not given the chance to be as active as they would like to be compared to seven in 10 non-disabled people.England Golf’s Inclusion and Wellbeing Manager, Jamie Blair, is passionate about making sure golf is delivered to as wide an audience as possible.“We are very much of the opinion that golf is a sport for everyone,” he said.“It does not surprise me to learn disabled people are highly motivated when it comes to getting into sport or maintaining a link to their preferred activity. That has been our experience too.“As a governing body committed to being fully inclusive, it is down to us to make sure as many doors as possible are left open.“This year we have increased the scope of our English Amateur Championship for golfers with a disability.“For the 2020 edition at Whittlebury Park, competitors are being welcomed from all over the world and not just England.“There will also be a women’s net event taking place within the championship for the first time in recognition of the demand from competitors.“At golf club level, we are also working closely with organisations linked to Parkinson’s Disease and the Stroke Association.“Here we want to make sure golfers are encouraged to keep enjoying some format of the game or a link to their golf clubs even if their health has deteriorated.“An initiative with the Alzheimer’s Society is also now firmly established.“We want to make the game dementia friendly for the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK.“We have provided resources for clubs and professionals looking to work with people living with dementia.“Our Club Support Officer network is working hard up and down the country.“The CSOs not only make sure anyone with an interest in golf can get access to a facility, but that those who may worry about having to drift away from the game as a result of any form of disability or health condition are encouraged to find new ways to stay engaged.”Among the key recommendations made by the Activity Alliance report is for sport to challenge perceptions through inclusive communications and for governing bodies to design and lead a choice of accessible activities.Blair added: “At England Golf we are always striving to find new ways to include more people in the game.“We will continue to do this and communicate the message widely so that as many people can get into golf or stay involved with a sport they love.”For the full survey findings please click herePhotograph credit: Leaderboard 28 Jan 2020 England Golf drives on with sport for all policy
Facebook168Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Northwest BalletBallet Northwest’s The Nutcracker, Olympia’s holiday favorite for over 30 years, is returning to The Washington Center in December with breathtaking new sets for the Snow and Land of Sweets scenes, brilliantly created by local artist, Jill Carter.Photo courtesy: Jill CarterCarter’s first job in the theater was working backstage at Ballet Northwest’s 1987 production of The Nutcracker. She fell in love with live performance and attributes the magic of The Nutcracker as the inspiration for her career in theatrical design. She has been a part of Ballet Northwest’s production ever since and has done several scenic designs for them, including the previous Land of the Sweets set in 1996.According to Carter, art nouveau and French ironwork designs heavily inspired the new Land of the Sweets design. “The looping shapes and fluid curves were very inspiring and lent themselves naturally to be recreated into candy swirls. After playing with hundreds of design combinations and colors pallets, I finally settled on a colorful but very muted palate, one that looks lush, romantic and fantastical but is hopefully not so bright that it won’t overshadow the dancers. The main backdrop is a cut drop to look like a large gate in the palace, overlooking the snowy valley, to add a sense of depth to the stage,” she said.To create the Snow Kingdom, Carter studied the painting style of Japanese winter wood prints. “There was a simplicity to the style of painting the snow on the trees, and the trees were more pine then the typical northwest fir trees in most Nutcracker snow scenes, leaving a more open and lacey design to the snow-laden branches. I also wanted to add in the Land of the Sweets palace with its decorative iron gates, visible in the distance in the snow scene, the Prince and Clara’s destination,” said Carter.Photo courtesy: Jill CarterTo create all of these Snow Kingdom and the Land of the Sweets backdrops, Carter and her team used approximately:12,200 square feet of cotton muslin fabric10,300 square feet of plastic to protect the floor to lay out the drops67 gallons of paint615 hours to design both scenes and create all the paint elevations, drafting, and build the models.1,900 hours to paint it all, using 16 local professional scenic artists and hundreds of volunteers.Over two-hundred people make up the cast, which features local dancers as young as 8 years old plus Ballet Northwest company dancers. Ballet Northwest’s dance company is comprised of over 70 dancers age 12 and older, drawn from Thurston, Pierce, Mason, and Lewis counties. Dancers from the company recently studied at the summer programs of prestigious institutions such as American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theatre, among others.Ballet Northwest’s Artistic Directors Ken and Josie Johnson choreograph the production and it is sponsored by The Olympian, Andrew Kapust DDS, Kell-Chuck Glass and 94.5 ROXY.Photo courtesy: Ballet NorthwestWhat: Ballet Northwest’s The NutcrackerWhen: 7:30 p.m. on December 8, 9, 15, and 16; 2:00 p.m. on December 9, 10, 16, and 17.Where: The Washington Center for the Performing ArtsHow: Ticket Office – 360-753-8586 or order online at www.washingtoncenter.org/bnwAbout: Since 1970, Ballet Northwest has been a community-based group dedicated to promoting, teaching, and preserving the art of dance in Southwestern Washington. The company offers educational opportunities for local dancers as well as outreach throughout the community.
By Laura D.C. KolnoskiFORT MONMOUTH – Interest from two foreign entities has prompted the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) to pursue inclusion in the “EB-5 Program” sponsored by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).Known as EB-5 for the employment-based fifth preference visa granted participants, the federally-administered program makes entrepreneurs, their spouses, and unmarried children under 21 eligible to apply for a green card if they make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States, and create or preserve permanent full-time jobs for U.S. workers.The program was enacted by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Visas are also set aside for investors in Regional Centers promoting economic growth designated by USCIS. Hoping to make the fort a Regional Center, FMERA Executive Director Bruce Steadman announced on January 20 that Cushman & Wakefield, the fort’s master real estate broker, will create a marketing campaign to attract foreign business investment. He said, “Two groups have been entertained at the fort and we think it’s viable.” As per FMERA policy, officials declined to release details about the potential investors.“Cushman & Wakefield have contacts at the Regional Centers and work with international companies,” said Candace Valenti, FMERA senior planning officer. “Phone calls and emails have already begun. We will begin direct marketing to them to gauge interest.”“It looks like a great program,” said Oceanport Councilman John Patti, who sat in for Mayor John “Jay” Coffey at the January 20 FMERA meeting. “It’s a strong program and right up our alley.” All EB-5 businesses must invest in a new commercial enterprise defined as, “any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including, but not limited to a sole proprietorship, limited or general partnership, a holding company, joint venture, corporation, business trust or other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned.”Requirements include creating or preserving at least ten full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period), of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident. As of January 4, USCIS approved 716 Regional Centers nationwide. There are 64 designated centers in New Jersey listed on the program’s website: uscis.gov.In other fort news: FMERA officials are projecting May as the latest anticipated date for formal transfer of Fort Monmouth to the state from the U.S. Army. Outstanding environmental issues must be addressed in the Finding of Suitability to Transfer, or “FOST.” The Army is legally required to mitigate any lingering environmental issues at the fort in perpetuity.“The FOST needs to be finalized, leading to the last thing, the Memorandum of Agreement,” Steadman said. “The MOA opens the door to a closing. We are very close to a final draft on the MOA; everything is right there at the doorstep. If that passes the (FMERA) board in February, it will be a couple of months to a closing. Hopefully that happens the first of May.” Last month, Steadman stated, “the complexity of environmental concerns is the biggest reason for the delay” in the transfer process. During his January 20 report, FMERA member Kenneth Kloo, director of the Division of Remediation Management for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), said the remediation of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons is necessary throughout the fort and currently “under discussion” with Army representatives.“Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons are benzene rings common in the environment and found all over the world where there is combustion,” Kloo said. “The Army is anxious to address everything involved in moving the conveyance forward and doing everything they must do under federal law. The Army is motivated because they want to expedite the sale. They don’t want to have to come back to address that. But like anyone else, they only want to spend what they are required to spend.” Kloo, chairman of FMERA’s Environmental Staff Advisory Committee, stated in December that other remaining unresolved environmental issues include federal versus state remediation responsibilities, asbestos in some buildings, and timelines for addressing existing landfills.The McAfee Center, located on 7.25 acres in Oceanport, is being offered for sublease after no bids were received to a Request for Proposals due January 8. The authority is now seeking proposals to sublease one floor, two floors, or the entire two-story 89,492 square-foot building, built in 1997, that served as an Army research and development facility. Offers must include plans to use the property for scientific, engineering, and/or information technology-related purposes. Proposals are due February 5.
The Selkirk College Men’s Hockey program is pleased to announce that forward and team captain Jordan Wood has been named the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League’s Player of the Month for November. Wood scored four goals and added eight assists in six games during the month to lead all BCIHL skaters and maintain his grip on first place in league scoring overall with 12 goals and 26 points respectively.He also helped lead the Saints to six consecutive wins, with the team’s victory over the University of Victoria last Saturday tying the Vikes’ record for the longest-ever BCIHL winning streak at 12 games. “Jordan had another tremendous month both in terms of his individual performances and his overall leadership of our group,” said Saints head coach Jeff Dubois. “It’s become clear as we’ve gotten deeper into the season that opposing teams are putting more and more of a focus on stopping Jordan and his linemates, but they continue to get the job done and set the tone for us.”Woody is fully deserving of the award but it could just as easily have been Logan (Proulx) or Jackson (Garrett) based on the great months they had as well.” Wood put up four multi-point games during November, including a two-assist effort against Simon Fraser University on November 3rd that marked Selkirk’s first win over the Clan since the Saints joined the BCIHL in 2007. Selkirk resumes the 2012/13 season following an extended exam/holiday break against SFU on Saturday, January 12th at the Castlegar Recreation Complex. Face-off is set for 7:30 PM.