Tag Archives: Canada

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 www.thejaybirds.com or www.johnreischman.com.  

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]

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Written by: Alice M. Fisher

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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Nikki Whitehead Shares Her Soul & Music (Part 1)

In our latest podcast, Canadian Made Audio interviews sixteen year-old London, Ontario based singer, songwriter and pop recording artist Nikki Whitehead (NIKKI W).  She’s been reviewed by music press here and abroad and shares her insights, in this 4 part interview series. She explains to Canadian Made Audio’s Producer Rita Rich why she named her first EP (extended play) collection of songs, “Sad Generation.”

Rich say, “It’s not all doom and gloom.  But, if you’ve ever wondered what’s up with some of your friends take a listen and click here and tune into this latest podcast story,  plus you will love Nikki’s voice. She is quickly being compared to the likes of Lana Del Ray and Metric. Canadians have much to be proud of when it comes to the creativity of its young adults. But, growing up in Canada, like everyplace else, requires bravery and a willingness to embrace the truth. She also has a big voice that harkens back to the day of women with guitars like Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks or Patti Smith. Nikki projects an emotional honesty and wisdom beyond her years. Like every preceding generation, hers is filled with distinct loneliness and fear. Her powerful, yet vulnerable voice touches on love, doubt, sex, self-harm, and alienation – all themes common to Nikki and her peers.

Nikki W

“I think I’m an old soul,” she says. “I’ve always been mature for my age. And I get what it’s like to be the wallflower. I know what all that stuff feels like, so with this album I’m trying to show people that it’s okay to be different.” “I was eleven when I joined my first band” she continues. “I was really into Joan Jett and AC/DC and Metallica. Then I got into punk, like The Sex Pistols and The Ramones.  And then it all kinda just morphed from there, and I found my own sound.” She co-wrote her self-titled EP with producer Gavin Brown, who has worked with Barenaked Ladies, Metric, and Lady Gaga. Although working with someone with Brown’s credentials was at first intimidating, Nikki credits him with allowing her to grow through the songwriting and recording process. “I’ve been in and out of studios since I was 12,” says Nikki.  “It’s kind of like a second home to me”. Her booking agent can be reached via an email to Jeff Rogers at jeff@rraammpp.com. She is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and has a website.

“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

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.