Category Archives: Uncategorized

FIRE ON THE MTN + Elvis & Kresse

Fire on the Mountain

Photo Credit: Stuart Palley, @stuartpalley

CanadianMade Audio sends our heartfelt empathy to those in the western Canadian provinces, as well as those in the western portions of the U.S. who’ve suffered from the effects of this summer’s wildfires. We acknowledge all the hard work of every North American fire fighter combating the arduous wildfires and recognize that for the residents of the western provinces the complications of these fires are an ongoing concern.

John Reischman & the Jay BirdsWe reflect on all who are fighting fires at this time, by offering an excerpt of the song “Fire On The Mountain.”  Just last week Canadian firefighting agencies were currently sharing 488 personnel, 505 power pumps, and 826 km of fire hose along with a variety of other equipment. In the United States, they’re fighting some very large fires burning in Alaska, Arizona, California, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.  hose_4_web_2__97627With all the fires, we thought our excerpt would be appropriate. And, Canadian Made Audio is in the process of preparing our next two hour program, which will be heard on board Air Canada this coming fall and winter. 

KressHere’s an excerpt of our interview with Kresse Wesling, who is a native of Alberta (a western province of Canada).  Kresse is one half of Elvis & Kresse, a fashion accessories company which she set up with her long time companion and best friend,Elvis. New Yellow Accessories

Elvis & Kresse are environmental designers whose social enterprise manufactures  beautiful red hot (or yellow) accessories, luggage, bags, wallets, and belts from recycled fire hoses.   

They prevent more than TEN TONS of hosing a year from being sent to a dump, or in the case of the city of London, England, coiled up by the thousands of the roofs of buildings.

Elvis & Kresse donate 50% of their profits to a firefighters charity as a social investment, by giving back to those who work hard to save lives, fighting fires.

We’re hoping that as autumn rolls into winter, Kresse will be on board Air Canada, as she flies back to Canada from England.

You can follow Elvis & Kresse on Twitter @elvisandkresse. And, here’s a link explaining their great social enterprise and how they got started. People are on fire about social enterprise,and also talking about Elvis & KresseYou can also read another recent article written about their business by the Telegraph.

[The music for our podcast excerpt features Trisha Gagnon from British Columbia. She performs with a Blue Grass group, John Reischman and the Jay Birds, from the album Stellar Jays, and the song is called “Fire On The Mountain. If you like the music please tell John Reischman that Rita Rich sent you. You can write him via or  

And, our feature photo is of a current fire on the mountain, which was taken by Stuart Palley, @stuartpalley, a Los Angeles photographer covering the CA droughts, wildfires, back-roads, night sky]

  Please like CanadianMade Audio on Facebook and share this with your friends and family.

Written by: Alice M. Fisher

Special Olympian Wants To Meet Will Smith!

Listen to our latest interview with Tess Trojan.  She’s coming to Los Angeles, along with thousands of other athletes from 177 countries, to compete in the Special Olympics World Games, which runs from July 25th through August 2nd.  This 26 year old from St. Catherines, Ontario has the passion to win a medal or two for her country. But, if she cannot win, she’s proud to be able to say she was in L.A. She might even take in a studio tour or two to see where her favorite TV shows are made.  But, even better, she’d love to say hello to Will Smith. She adores in his character as played the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  Tess Trojan is a seasoned Olympian, having played women’s Ice Hockey for Canada in the Special Olympics. She’s coming to Los Angeles, along with thousands of other athletes from 177 countries, to compete in the Special Olympics World Games, which run from July 25th through August 2nd.

Special Olympics Ontario is proud to announce a new addition to the Special Olympics Board of Directors. Ms. Tessa Kathleen Trojan (Tess) will serve as a member of the Board of Directors as the Athlete Representative (2013-2014, 2014-2017, 2017-2021 respectively).

More About Tess
Tess Trojan is an inspiration and is the essence of all that is Special Olympics. The St. Catharines, Ontario native won the 2012 inaugural Special Olympics National Golf Tournament (Division 1, Women). A true champion with an infectious enthusiasm for Special Olympics and sport, 24-year-old Tess has been involved with Special Olympics programs for the past 13 years. She began her journey with Special Olympics in 2000 as a 5 pin bowling athlete and now participates in more than 5 sports. In addition to her golf title, Tess is an award-winning swimmer and powerlifter. 

Tess is More Than an Athlete
Tess is a trained Athlete Speaker and Ambassador for Special Olympics. Tess is very passionate about Special Olympics and in a recent a presentation to the Niagara Down Syndrome Caring Parents, she said, “I am grateful to Special Olympics for so many things. I have met many friends. We share a common bond, we all want to do our very best and support our friends to do the same.  Special Olympics offers us the opportunity to participate in sports which might not be possible if the organization wasn’t there. I’ve been lucky to have many great coaches and volunteers to help me with my sporting activities.”

Tess is a part-time student at Niagara College and graduated in May from the College Path Program (General Arts & Science). She is currently a student in the school’s Pre-Community Services Program, and her career goals are to work with children or seniors in recreation.

At the 2013 Special Olympics Ontario Provincial Games in York Region, Tess was a silver medalist. Tess was fortunate to be one of six Ontario Golfers who competed at the Special Olympics North America Invitational Tournament in Atlantic City this past October.

Special Olympian @ LA World Games

Canadian Made’s producer Rita Rich caught up with Canada’s power-lifter JACKIE BARRETT.  Jackie’s interview can be accessed here. He is a Special Olympics Veteran who set’s big goals and accomplishes them!  We encourage everyone in Canada and the USA  to cheer him on this summer!  #JackieBarrett, #TheMooseWay

“He says, “The only way is “The Moose’ way.”  He joined the Special Olympics in 1987, when he was just 13 years old.   He’s North America’s fifth High Functioning Autistic person to get a university degree. Jackie graduated from Saint Mary’s University on May 11, 1998.

Jackie is one of nine athletes in Special Olympics Canadian History to compete in the Special Olympics World Games three times for a particular sport.

He’s got some real tenur with Special Olympics Canada.  So much so that Special Olympics Canada and their Marketing Partner, Grey Canada, recently launched “There Is No Special Treatment” campaign aimed at raising awareness for Special Olympics Canada, and also to recruit volunteers, coaches, and athletes.  The messages sent from this campaign are that sport is an equalizer, sport doesn’t discriminate, and sport doesn’t care whom does that performance. To put it in perspective, 600 lbs. is 600 lbs., and a 100 metre Sprint in 11 seconds is a 100 metre sprint in 11 seconds.  

Corner Brook Vikings Powerlifter, Jackie Barrett, is one of the three feature athletes in this campaign.

The Los Angeles Games will also provide a venue for global discussions and action on the impact Special Olympics can have on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. More than 200 million people worldwide have an intellectual disability, making it the largest disability group worldwide. Intellectual disability crosses racial, ethnic, educational, social and economic lines, and can occur in any family.

Volunteers and supporters are also essential to make the World Games a success. To apply to be one of the 30,000 volunteers for the World Games please visit: To help raise funds to cover costs associated with the visiting athletes, please visit For more information about the World Games, please visit and on social with #ReachUpLA on Facebook, Twitter orInstagram.


  • National Games Appearances:1994 – Halifax, Nova Scotia (Swimming)
    1998 – Sudbury, Ontario (Powerlifting)
    2002 – Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (Powerlifting)
    2006 – Brandon, Manitoba (Powerlifting)
    2010 – London, Ontario (Powerlifting)
    2014 – Vancouver, British Columbia (Powerlifting)
    World Games Appearances:1999 – Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, USA (Powerlifting)
    2007 – Shanghai, China (Powerlifting)
    2011 – Athens, Greece (Powerlifting)

    Special Olympics Sports:

    Swimming – 1987-1996
    Powerlifting – 1995 – Present
    5 Pin Bowling – 2008 – Present
    28 Year Special Olympics Veteran

  • Awards
    Special Olympics Medals:Provincial Games (Nova Scotia) – 33 Medals (27 Gold, 2 Silver, 4 Bronze)
    Provincial Games (Newfoundland and Labrador) – 10 (7 Gold, 1, Silver, 2 Bronze)
    National Games – 25 Medals (22 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze)
    World Games – 11 Medals (10 Gold, 1 Silver, 0 Bronze)
    Awards and Honours:1991 Special Olympics Nova Scotia Summer Games “Oath Reader”
    1994 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games “Torch Bearer”
    1999 Special Olympics Nova Scotia Summer Games “Oath Reader”
    2000 Special Olympics Nova Scotia “Male Athlete of the Year”
    2000 Sport Nova Scotia “Male Athlete of the Year” Runner-up
    2000 Special Olympics Canada – “Male Athlete of the Year”
    2007 “The Chronicle Herald” – Top Ten Sports Story
    2007 “The Daily News” – Top Ten Sports Story
    2007 Sport Nova Scotia – “Individual Male Athlete of the Month – October 2007”
    2008 Sport Nova Scotia – “Individual Male Athlete of the Year” Runner-up
    2009 Vancouver 2010 “Torch Bearer” – Corner Brook Leg
    2011 The City of Corner Brook declared November 28, 2011 “Jackie Barrett Day”. First time in Special Olympics Canada history that an athlete has a day declared for him/her.
    2011 “The Wester Star” – Top Ten Sports “Highlights of 2011”.
    2012 City of Corner Brook “Achievement in Community Excellence – Male Athlete of the Year” Award Winner
    2012 Jackie Barrett’s 25th anniversary year in the Special Olympics. He joined Special Olympics in 1987 at only 13 years of age.

    Powerlifting Competition Personal Bests:
    Squat – 275.5 Kilograms
    Bench Press (Raw and Post Injury) – 137.5 Kilograms
    Bench Press (Raw and Pre Injury) – 153 Kilograms
    Deadlift – 300 Kilograms
    Overall – 697.5 Kilograms

     Powerlifting Milestones:
    Youngest Canadian Special Olympian to Deadlift 500 lbs.+ at 23.
    First Canadian Special Olympian to Bench Press 300 lbs.+ raw.
    First Canadian Special Olympian to Squat 500 lbs.+
    First Canadian Special Olympian to Squat 550 lbs.+
    First Canadian Special Olympian to Squat 600 lbs.+
    First Canadian Special Olympian to Deadlift 550 lbs.+
    First Canadian Special Olympian to Deadlift 600 lbs. +
    First Canadian Special Olympian to Deadlift 300 KGs.+
    Former Nova Scotia Powerlifting Association Men’s Open Super-
    Heavyweight Deadlift record holder at the 2006 Truro Fall Classic. Record was held for 28 years by Frank Yakimchuk.
    Set the Special Olympics World Squat Record with a 590 lb. lift at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens.
    Only Special Olympian to set Special Olympics provincial generic records in Junior, Open (Senior), and Master’s age categories.

The World Games will take place on July 25 – August 2, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.   Every two years, Special Olympics athletes come together to compete at the Special Olympics World Games. This summer, over 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will descend upon LA to show the true meaning of courage, joy and determination.  Athletes will be competing in 25 different sports at venues throughout Los Angeles, including USC and UCLA.

He’s Not A Chinese-Canadian Lesbian!

“Ian Hamilton, Author image 2012” by Ian Hamilton

Canadian Made Audio producer, Rita Rich talks with 67 year old Canadian author Ian Hamilton, about his popular Ava Lee novels. Rita asks Ian in this interview how is it that he can write about a young Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant, who is also a lesbian?  Rich says, “Ian, you Don’t look like an Asian Lesbian.” You know, they may not resemble each other much in appearance. But, Ian writes from what he knows, and that’s the seafood business. He made his first business trip to Asia, in pursuit of seafood, in 1989. Most of his stories center around the scams and scandals, which he intimately knows a lot about.

In another related article, Brian Bethune asked Ian in 2013, how Ava’s character was developed? We have included a small snippet from his article. “I don’t even remember where her name came from,” the Burlington, Ont., writer says, shrugging. The sexual orientation, though, was a deliberate touch. “As I kept writing,” says Hamilton, “I realized she was going to need more of a background. I got to thinking that in any relationship with a man she’d probably be dominant or he’d be like her and maybe she’d then be not so dominant; either way, I didn’t think it would suit her character. Then I had the brilliant idea to make her gay. So I went back into the first novel and set that out.”

As many may know (or not), the main character, Ava Lee, specializes in recovering massive debts that aren’t likely recovered through traditional methods.  And, Ian says he writes what he knows about,

In Ian’s first book about Ava Lee, The Water Rat of Wanchai, her character takes shape by learning about her traditional Chinese upbringing, her family dynamic and the people that are most important to Ava.  The Ava Lee series began after a life-threatening health scare in 2009, which prompted Ian to write his first in this series of novels. Just two days out of the hospital and recovering from surgery, Ian sat down at his computer and simply began writing. A few short weeks later, the first Ava Lee novel was completed. His inspiration for the Ava Lee series didn’t end when the first book was finished.  Half way through writing the first book, an idea for the second book came to Ian and he built it into the plot of the first.

He began writing the second book the day after the first book was finished. The same is true for the third and fourth books. Within eight months, all four books were complete. Ian secured a four-book deal from his publisher before the last two books were even read by the publisher. International rights have been sold into the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Germany and worldwide Spanish and French rights.  Ian is currently working on the continuation of the Ava Lee series and has already completed book number seven.

The seventh novel in the Ava Lee series finds Ava getting caught up in the election for the chairmanship of the Triad Societies.  Ava steps into her new business with May Ling Wong and her sister-in-law, Amanda. On a trip to Shanghai, Ava meets with Xu, a young man Uncle had been mentoring and who is also the head of the Triad in Shanghai. Xu makes a business proposal that she and May must consider but I do not want to give to much away for those who have not read it.

Before we end this blog article there are some news and updates from Ian, which he wrote about on his Facebook wall, “as the weather veered towards an unbelievably balmy plus 3 degrees…..”

1. Barry Award: It was announced yesterday that the US edition of The Water Rat has made the short list (5 books) for the award as Best Thriller published in the US in 2014. A great honor.

2. Hamilton Book Club – March 18, 7 p.m., at the Freeway Coffee House, 333 King Street East. Hope to see some of you there. It is an open kind of event. Lots of talk.

3. March 29 – Blue Heron Books, Uxbridge, is hosting a brunch at the Wooden Sticks Golf Course, 11 a.m. He’ll be reading and chatting at that location.

4. Gritlit in Hamilton and Blue Metropolis in Montreal have set dates and times…………Gritlit, April 19, 3 p.m., Hamilton Public Library with David Rotenberg………..and Blue Metropolis, April 25, 6 p.m., Le Petit Salon in Hotel 10 – a one on one interview.

5. Ian says he has started to work on the Couturier of Milan

6. And, Ava Lee is now available in audio format, in the US. They are narrated by the talented Jennifer Ikeda, The Disciple of Las Vegas and The Wild Beasts of Wuhan can be downloaded and enjoyed on your smartphone, tablet or computer. The audio was produced as a digital only title and is sold through various online retailers, including Audible, Barnes and NobleDownpour and iTunes. Want to hear a snippet of the audiobook? Head over to Audible and click “Play Audio Sample”.

Happy reading everyone!  To keep in touch with Ian Hamilton and all things related to Ava Lee, please visit some of the following social sites at:

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Tale of the Toonie Tails

Did you see the news?  A new 2015 Canadian Toonie was released in January, it’s a new two dollar coin. Have you gotten it yet in any change you’ve received?  The commemorative two-dollar coin features the 200th anniversary of the birth of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald on one side, and, as always, Queen Elizabeth II on the other. Is anyone else wondering what “heads” and “tails” is on this coin which features two heads? Which side do you think is the head or tails?  And, would you look at Queen Elizabeth? She’s resembling actress and Dame Helen Mirren more and more these days!  Sir MacDonald still looks like his colonial self.  Well, to be sure the Queen is not the backside of anything. So, heads you get the beer and tails I’ll get the chips.

You can obtain these coins at the Canadian Mint.

So what is “heads” and what is “tails” then? The Mint has the answer.  “The side which features the effigy of Her Majesty is called the ‘obverse’ in technical terms and has always been considered the ‘heads’ side of a coin,” a Mint spokesperson wrote in an email.  “The opposite side, officially called the ‘reverse,’ is always considered the tails side as it features a design different from the bust of the Canadian sovereign.”

The coin’s reverse image was designed by Canadian artist Glen Green and is inspired by archival photographs of Sir John A. Macdonald. Limited to a mintage of five million coins, Canadians can start looking for this coin in their change, attend coin exchanges at special events in select locations across Canada and at the Mint’s Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver boutiques, or obtain limited quantities through an online coin exchange at (limited to Canada only).

To further commemorate this milestone anniversary, related numismatic coins are also available to order now on and will be available at Mint boutiques as of January 13th:

•  A $10 silver coin with selective gold plating featuring an original
portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald by Canadian artist Joel Kimmel ($69.95);
•  A $20 ‎silver coin featuring a striking portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald
    by Canadian artist William Lazos, against the backdrop of the original
Parliament Buildings ($89.95); and
•  A $100 14-karat gold coin featuring an original portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald
by Glen Green along with one of Macdonald’s achievements,
the completion of the Canadian Pacific railway ($599.95).

So there you have it.

Nikki W Slept With a Towel

Nikki W WritingThis is a final segment of our four part series of podcasts featuring the 16 year old London, Ontario recording artist Nikki W.  Nikki reveals to CanadianMade’s Rita Rich about a poor decision she made not too long ago, and lived to tell about it, in a high crime area of London, Ontario, Canada.  Listen to our latest podcast about her here. All parents should be aware of this sort of story and the potential decisions their own teens could be making while at a party, when staying overnight somewhere else.   Nikki’s songs reflect the youthful decisions many teens make, who are finding their way in the world, and in hindsight they could have or should have made a different decision. This is life. This is the life of being a teenager. This is learning and Nikki’s songs reflect all of this and more.

Our many thanks to Nikki W for letting us dip our pens and our voices into your world and for the great music you are making.  Good luck and we hope to hear more great music from you in the next few years to come.

If you visit her Facebook page you can see she is starting to get some traction and pick up from others.  So, where can you find Nikki W and her music?



Soulful Sweet 16-Nikki W (Part 2)

nikki w2Nikki Whitehead (NIKKI W) is a London, Ontario based singer, songwriter and pop recording artist. This is Canadian Made Audio’s second podcast of a four part series about Nikki W, Take a few minutes to hear the perspective of a very honest sweet 16 year-old, right here.  This London, Ontario high school student explains in this personal interview about the trials of coping with the stresses of being at the bottom of the food chain, when she entered eight grade. Her powerful, yet vulnerable voice touches on love, doubt, sex, self-harm, and alienation – all themes common to Nikki and her peers.

“Transparent Hands” is her impressive debut single. Her songwriting is strong, with lyrics like, “Don’t know who to trust and who to doubt” and “Someone like you is much too wonderful, lovely for someone as sad as me.”  She voices her generation’s anxiety with honesty and poignancy, as can be seen in her video “Transparent Hands.”

This 16 year-old Canadian artist’s full length Extended Play (EP) album is called “Sad Generation,”, (produced by Gavin Brow) and it is out now.

She’s been compared to British pop singer Adele, with the soulful way she sings her own compositions.  Her big voice also harkens back to the day of women with guitars like Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks or Patti Smith.

She speaks on behalf of “gypsies, wallflowers, and those without a voice” about love, doubt, sex, self-harm, and alienation. Nikki describes her music as “pop music with cuts, tattoos, and honesty. Nikki projects an emotional honesty and wisdom beyond her years.

If by some small chance you missed Part I of this series of interview series with Nikki W, the following is a link to that first interview.

We are now on iTunes!

Canadian Made Audio Productions PodcastThis is just a brief announcement to all of our wonderful Canadian Made Audio followers, subscribers and friends everywhere. We are proud to announce that our Podcasts are now listed on iTunes for you to listen to from your Apple iPhone, iPod or iPad or iTunes from your desktop.  Here is the iTunes direct link pointing to our podcast about Canadian Made products and services.

We appreciate all our followers and friends and look forward to bringing you more great Canadian Made Audio stories in 2015! We simply love the Canadian entrepreneurial spirit of survival, hard work and endurance to make a difference in peoples lives. Give us a call or you can even text us if you have or know of a great story to help market Canadian businesses at (301) 404-9609 or (323) 939-08254. Emails can be sent to ritafrich (AT) gmail (DOT) com  &  dgcreative (AT) mindspring (DOT) com


Laura Robinson Releases A New Holiday Song


Put another log in the fireplace and think about keeping things warm, cozy, and simple this holiday season with some new music!
We have a news update, regarding Laura Robinson, the producer of TV’s Celebrity Name Game with Craig Ferguson just released a recording of a new song she composed, “Let’s Stay Home For Christmas.”   Take a listen, it can be seen via YouTube right here.

“Celebrity Name Game” Inventor Laura Robinson

Laura-Robinson-headshotEnjoy Laura Robinson’s chat with us via our latest CanadianMade Audio interview   Laura launched a new game, called ‘Identity Crisis: The Funniest Game About Famous Names’, in 2008.  She recently sold the 1-hour prime-time television game show based on her game “Identity Crises” to a major U.S. television network.  “The game show is based on the board game Identity Crisis, where Celebrities are teamed with contestants.

Thom Beers, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, commented, “Celebrity Name Game’ is a hilarious and innovative rapid-fire game show. It combines the best of pop culture with the best of comedy. We’ve had incredible success bringing world-class comedians to the world’s most successful game shows with talents such as Drew Carey, Steve Harvey and Wayne Brady. We are delighted to add the ultra-talented and witty Craig Ferguson to our family as he drives the competition and brings nonstop laughter to viewers at home…”

As further noted by Hollywood Reporter Article,  “Celebrity Name Game” was developed by Courteney Cox and David Arquette’s Coquette Productions along with showrunner Scott St. John, Laura Robinson and Richard Gerrits. Robinson and Gerrits, who will serve as producers on the series, run North 44 Productions. Executive producers are St. John, Thom Beers, Jennifer Mullin, Cox and Arquette…”

In 2009, Laura was a guest author for the bestselling book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings, all about the transformational power of gratitude, and co-created an inspiring family board game of the same name. She was featured in the book Women Invent, and has been a keynote speaker at numerous events.

In 2008,  She invented of the popular parlor game Balderdash which is CanadianMade!  By the way, that single board game ‘Balderdash’ has sold more than twenty-five million copies, worldwide.

Laura also consults and advises inventors on the trademark/copyright process and on creating cohesive brand strategies.

Laura Robinson is a Canadian actress, inventor, producer and mother of two. She has enjoyed a successful and varied career as an actress with many roles in film and television, both in Los Angeles and Toronto. She was a regular on the long-running CBS show Night Heat (1985), played the title character in Lifetime Television’s original detective drama Veronica Clare (1991), and guest-starred on many hit shows like Frasier (1993) and Cheers (1982). She has appeared as a guest on Entertainment Tonight Canada (2005), The Gill Deacon Show (2006) and “Rogers Ottawa Daytime”, on CBC TV.

You can follow Ms. Robinson via Twitter @balderdashgirl

Blackberry’s Passport Design Inspired by TD Building

The New Visually Pleasing Blackberry Passport

The New Visually Pleasing Blackberry Passport

The Toronto-Dominion Centre, (TD Building) is one of the  inspirations behind the Blackberry Passport’s design. Listen to our Canadian Made audio report about the BlackBerry to learn what else inspired this new device, with the classic push button QWERTY keyboard.

BlackBerry Limited, formerly known as Research In Motion Limited (RIM),is a Canadian telecommunication and wireless BlackBerry Logoequipment company best known to the general public as the developer of the BlackBerry brand of smartphones and tablets, but also well known worldwide as a provider of secure & high reliability software for industrial applications and Mobile Device Management (MDM).

See Our Big Canadian Made Product List

October 2, 2014 – This newly revised Canadian Made Product List can be downloaded as a PDF document. Please share this link with your friends in advance of their holiday shopping.