Flashback to BHM Events, 2017 Raw Colours & Stream Wpg Concert, Favourited.

March 4, 2017

By Shondell Orinthia Babb

February 24, 2017

CKUW Raw Colours show and Stream Wpg, collaborated and showcased some of Winnipeg’s most phenomenal R&B, spoken word, rap and beat-boxing artists on Friday, February 24.


Cisha’s sultry voice caught everyone’s attention as they sat craving more.


NDU Delta (left) and Mc Woke (right) performing during the show.

Spoken word artist, Word Smith, shared a Black History themed poem and was a bonus addition to the show when he graced the stage with MC Woke.

The female artists brought vast range in vocal ability and their own personal style that had the crowd sipping beers and bobbing their heads to the sweet sounds of their voices.

Cisha had a special quality to her voice that was attention grabbing and Lisa Bell’s ability to flirt with the camera during her performance, added to the good vibes in the evening.

“That was some really awesome talent,” said Student Kelvin Mkwate, 28, after the show.

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The show was only $5 if you registered and was well worth the original $10 fee.

Steam Wpg was created by Red River College Student, Joy Balmana. Stream Wpg has live streamed local hip-hop, R&B, soul and experimental emerging musicians since the fall of 2016.


Flashback to BHM Events 2017, Tye Tribbett, Favourited.

March 3, 2017

By Shondell Orinthia Babb

February 20, 2017 – Tye Tribbett Concert


Feb 20/17, Artist Tye Tribbett performing at NextGen Worship Centre.

GRAMMY Award-Winning gospel superstar Tye Tribbett dropped into Winnipeg on February 20, for a FREE concert at NextGen Worship Centre. The line-up started before 5:00 p.m. and it curved well down the Chevrier Blvd. sidewalk. Thrilled concert goers were grateful for the mild weather.

The small venue crammed about 400 people into the facility and people were still waiting outside 2 hours after the service proceedings started. Ushers, usherettes, and organizers had to get creative by giving up their designated seats for guests and they even set up an extra T.V. and seating area by the kitchen lobby.

“This is a very emotional time for me. Some of you may not understand it, but I know what God has brought me through,” said Andrew Bawa, Lead Pastor. The congregation had just moved into the facility in the fall of 2016, after the stress of being church nomads for months.

As they announced Tye Tribbett was about the enter the stage, the crowd swarmed towards the stage and dance floor area. Tye Tribbett exploded onto the scene with feverish energy and sang “Bless The Lord (Son Of Man)” and as the crowds screamed, he gave them more amazing entertainment. “If He Did it Before…Same God” was another crowd pleaser.

Tribbett didn’t disappoint with his trademark, high-energy style, live band and coordinated routines with three back-ups performers, known as G.A., that doubled as singers and dancers.

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NextGen Church, celebrating their one year anniversary with their first annual convention, made a huge thundering clap about it throughout the Winnipeg church community, by bringing Tye Tribbett to town.

Tye Tribbett won two  GRAMMY Awards in 2014:

  • Best Gospel Song, If He Did it Before…Same God (Live).
  • Best Gospel Album, Greater Than (Live).

Tye Tribbett, up-close and personal.

As the natural build up and excitement started to the familiar “He Turned It” song, fans screamed the lyrics in concert with the artist. The show was lit, as Tye Tribbett & some G.A. members set the crowd on fire as he introduced “Victory”, running back and forth on the stage and dancing.

 “That event was just awesome!” said Alexandra Robinson, 21, Student.

The organizers reported that Tribbett was only supposed to perform for 45 minutes but, he continued for one hour and fifteen minutes because he loved the vibe from the crowd.

It was announced that Tye Tribbett will be returning again in 2018 for another FREE anniversary concert. The crowds went wild cheering with jubilation at the news.

Favourited: Swiss Gear® Wheeled Laptop Backpack

February 12, 2017

Shondell Babb

College and university students have a different type of load to bear, other than their course or debt load. Certain programs require individuals to bring their own personal laptop to class, which can weigh up to 10 pounds. Some educational programs that require a personal laptop at Red River College include:

  • Graphic Design
  • Computer Applications for Business
  • Creative Communications
  • Introduction to Business Information Technology

A regular backpack, including a laptop, books, binders, pens, other stationary, and a standard water bottle, can weigh from 25-30lbs on average. This weight is equivalent to porting a three-year-old child around on your back for 18-27 hours a week. Excluding transportation time.

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“Carrying around that weight on a daily basis can cause damage to your spine,” said Dr. Daniel Schaffer, Chiropractor at Southwood Chiropractic Centre. “Most people don’t wear their backpacks properly. Backpacks should be strapped up high and right against your back. You should also have a strap across the chest for added support,” said Dr. Schaffer.


“Most people don’t wear their backpacks properly. Backpacks should be strapped up high and right against your back. You should also have a strap across the chest for added support.” – Dr. Dan Schaffer, Chiropractor.

Enter the genius of a wheeled laptop backpack. Some programs at Red River College, for example, require students to purchase a 15.5″ Apple MacBook Pro for their program. Some students with existing smaller Apple laptops are OK to use them. However, an Apple computer is mandatory, due to the required Adobe software that students learn to use in the program, that interfaces supremely with the operating system.

I have personally trekked this backpack through Winnipeg’s winter weather and it has stayed intact since it is of good quality and sturdy. I have even lifted the entire bag by the retractable luggage handle that I pull to roll it around and it is still in perfect condition.

The rollerblade wheels help it to roll smoothly at all times and it also has regular backpack straps neatly zipped away in the back where the straps usually are (but I have never used them).

I highly recommend the Swiss Gear® Wheeled Laptop Backpack. Do yourself a favour and save your back unnecessary loads. It’s worth the investment.


The Red River Bookstore regularly stocks the Swiss Army Wheeled Laptop backpack.

Some features of the backpack are:

  • $99.00 CAD (average)
  • Fits laptops up to 15.6 inches
  • Made of polyester
  • Push-button locking handle
  • 2 wheels (roller-blade style)
  • 2 Main zippered compartment
  • 2 front zippered pockets
  • Side mesh pockets
  • Inside organizer
  • Top handle
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • RFID protection

Swiss Gear Wheeled Laptop Backpack


Favourited: Black History Month – February

The Canada you never knew – now including Black History.

February 4, 2017

Shondell Babb

Attendees sat captivated as they learned that during the 1930s, the City of Halifax denied residents of Africville essential services like running water, a road system and sewage disposal. Yet they collected taxes from Africville residents, who were forced to live outside the city, about 2 kilometers away.

University of Winnipeg student Sidonia Deng noted how everyone sees Canada positively,  but then you hear that the City of Halifax had put an open garbage dump and a slaughter house in Africville. Learning that many homes were expropriated and destroyed to build a railway, without compensating residents for their loss-you find that Canada’s history was not always so inclusive.

The purpose of this year’s format was, “To get more people exposed to black history, the method was to do research and presentations,” said Lead Organizer of the Youth Symposium 2017 Research Challenge, Victor Vaughan, 58.

Black History Month Celebrations Committee, Inc.

Youth Symposium 2017 Research Challenge Presentations:

Now in it’s 36th year in Winnipeg, the Black History Month Celebrations Committee, Inc. (BHMCC) is encouraging youth to dig into their history and learn more about Canadian black history.

“It was eye-opening…our world has been connected for a very long time, but we don’t often hear the black perspective,” said University of Manitoba student Michael Archer, who presented on The Berlin Conference of 1884-1885. Archer was amazed to find out that during the industrial revolution, from one side of the world, there were demands for rubber and different metals to produce cars. But on the other side of the world, Belgium was forcibly enslaving the people of the Congo to make the rubber and metals required for vehicles, from their land’s natural resources.

“It was eye-opening…our world has been connected for a very long time, but we don’t often hear the black perspective” -Michael Archer

Held at Truth and Life Worship Center Church and emceed by Red River College student, Sappfyre McLeod, the event was youth-led and empowering.

“The focus was to have it (be) more interactive and encourage networking, socializing, and being more of a connection with each other,” said BHMCC Inc., Chair, Nadia Thompson.


February 4, 2017, BHMCC Inc., Youth Symposium participants have a discussion about incorporating Black history into the Winnipeg education system.

Black History Month Winnipeg Events 2017

In the afternoon, participants delved into group research, making fascinating discoveries about the contributions of historical black trailblazers, then presented the knowledge they unearthed in 30 minutes. The participants were enlightened about:

Dr. Sebi (Born November 26, 1933) – A Naturopathic doctor and genius famed for curing all diseases including diabetes, cancer and AIDS.

Vivien Thomas (Born August 29, 1910) – Helped devise a way to correct a congenital heart defect know as Blue Baby syndrome.

Madam C.J. Walker (Born December 23, 1867) – Entrepreneur that created specialized products for African-American hair and was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire.

Harry Jerome (Born September 30, 1940) – Famous Canadian athlete who won a Gold Medal for 100m (10.2 sec) at the Pan-Am Games in Winnipeg, 1967.

Mary McLeod Bethune (Born July 10, 1875) – Educator and activist that formed the National Association of Colored Women and the National Council of Negro Women

Patrice Lumumba (Born July 2, 1925) – The first Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Fannie Lou Hamer (Born October 6, 1917) – Civil rights activist who helped African Americans to register to vote and co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

Hamilton Naki (Born June 26, 1926) – Renowned, self-taught surgeon and surgical instructor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Toussaint L’Ouvertyre (Born May 20, 1743) – A former slave who rose to become the leader of the only successful slave revolt in modern history, the Haitian Revolution.

Viola Desmond (Born July 6, 1914) – Entrepreneur, in esthetics that also formed her own beauty school and civil libertarian.

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Black History Month – Winnipeg Events

Eventually, The Black History Month Celebrations Committee Inc., would like to see the richness of Black History taught throughout the school systems across Canada.

The Government of Canada Celebrates Black History Month Annually

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

 – President Barack Obama

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99 pieces of art on the wall

Winnipeggers support local artists in droves, despite cold weather

Shondell Babb, CONTRIBUTOR
January 23, 2017  By The Projector

99 Pieces of Art on the Wall, The Projector

img_8172First Fridays, 99 Pieces of Art on the Wall Exhibit on Friday, January 6, 2017. Lorial Todd, 50, and Anthony Kenny Charles, 60, contemplating the sunset in Kerry Knudson’s Gone Fishing portrait, 2016.

img_8182First Fridays, 99 Pieces of Art on the Wall Exhibit on Friday, January 6, 2017. Jennifer LaBella, 63, (left) and Shirley Myren, 70, admiring The Shield of Shaka Zulu vase, by artist C. Wawruck-Hemmett.

Showcasing various artwork since 2010, First Fridays in the Exchange District has become one of the best days of the month.

The first First Fridays of the New Year took place on Jan. 6. There were dozens of events happening throughout the Exchange District that included some new exhibits.

Jennifer LaBella was one of 40 First Fridays feature artists at the packed Cre8ery Gallery & Studio’s opening reception for the 99 Pieces of Art on the Wall exhibit and sale. LaBella saw the vase called, The Shield of Shaka Zulu, by C. Wawruck-Hemmett, and said the vase distinguished itself as something that should belong to her.

“I was admiring the vase. I’ve been to East Africa, in Kenya and Tanzania a number of times and so that piece really spoke to me,” said LaBella. “I like the motifs that she put on the vase: she put zebra print on it, which is a favourite animal of mine I saw in Africa.”

“This is the first 99 Pieces of Art on the Wall that has been juried, where three members are chosen as ‘anonymous jurors’ that select the best 99 pieces of art for the exhibition, out of the 140 pieces that applied to be part of the event,” said Jordan Miller, the executive director of Cre8ery Gallery & Studio.

Through the First Fridays exhibits, various artists get more public exposure by being featured in a permanent gallery like Gurevich Fine Art, or they can be part of an artist-run centre like aceartinc.

Sue Gordon is one of the co-founders of First Fridays who saw the shows on a trip to Kansas City and decided to bring the First Fridays concept to Winnipeg. There is a $50 membership fee to have your event included on the monthly brochure.

In February, First Fridays will host the Art Talk/Art Walk event at the Winnipeg Free Press News Café. Artist Derek Brueckner and curator Andrew Kear will discuss “Art and Tears,” a talk about emotional responses to artwork.



Women’s March on Washington – Winnipeg – Grassroots Activism – Shondell’s Favourite Things.

Women’s March on Washington sends global message of solidarity.

January 21, 2017

Shondell Babb

It was a phenomenal feeling to be a part of the Women’s March on Washington – Winnipeg today. Brothers, sisters, children and elders of all nationalities stood in unity against the general attack on human rights represented by Trump’s Presidency. Well over 1,000 Winnipeggers took over Portage Place Center Court at 11:00 AM for the rally.

Alexa Joy Potashnik, the Founder of Black Space Winnipeg, was the articulate host that kept the crowd’s energy alive. When speaking to the large crowd, Potashnik encouraged everyone to get more involved, “This is a great turn out. We need to have this kind of support for all of our protests and events to raise awareness,” said Potashnik.


January 21, 2017, Women’s March on Washington – Winnipeg. Over 1,000 people crowd Portage Place Center Court.

Protesters, activists and allies were encouraged to state their reasons for joining in solidarity by using the hashtag: #whyimarch. I was marching for women’s rights and general human rights.


Postashnik, the Racialized Student Commissioner at Canadian Federation of Students – MB, isn’t afraid to speak out on issues, stating that the event planning needs to be inclusive for all people. The founder of grassroots organization Black Space, said that her organization wasn’t initially invited as a coordinator of the event, but she took the initiative and got involved. www.womensmarchwpg.com.

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“It’s the women who have the power to

heal the families.” – Elder May Louise

Elder May Louise was the first speaker that inspired the crowd to ignite movements to help and protect women and children. Elder May Louise sat on a task force for human trafficking for a year and spoke specifically to men, urging them to ‘stop the madness by speaking to other men’. “‘We must challenge the men…and we have to say to them, ‘Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop having sex with children. Stop it.'”, said May Louise.

After the emblazoned speeches by various activists, the crowd was led through the misty rain by the Buffalo Girl Drum Group, who’s powerful sounds burst through the air-demanding that we be seen and heard. Portage Avenue was shut down to traffic during the proceedings. Protesters uttered numerous chants: “Hey hey! Ho Ho! Gender violence has got to go” and “say it once say it again, no excuse for violent men,” said the crowd in unison.


The January 21, 2017, March on Washington – Winnipeg. Portage Avenue was shut down to traffic, as over 1,000 people marched in solidarity to Main Street and back.


January 21, 2017, March on Washington – Winnipeg. Protesters gathered in front of Portage Place and some went inside for the closing ceremonies. Photo: Lori Todd.

There were some bolder, racier signs created to send clear messages in response to Trump’s scandalous recordings, where he was normalizing sexual harassment.

There was a feeling of unity and empowerment that came with being part of a global demonstration, that garnered media attention in every city. There is a movement called the uprising as well that is representative of this new generation that will not tolerate racism, homophobia, sexism, xenophobia and hate.

We made our voices heard today on an international level and we won’t stop speaking.

I have participated in other protests and believe peaceful community activism is important to evoke change. On July 20, 2016, I attended and performed spoken word poetry at the #blacklivesmatter protest at the Manitoba Legislative building. Black Space organized this event to stand in solidarity across North America, for the black men and women across the continent unjustly slain by police forces.

Below is a list of the 7 core organizing groups of March on Washington – Winnipeg:

Women’s Health Clinic www.facebook.com/whcwpg

IRCOM Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba

WGSSA – Women’s and Gender Studies Student Association of University of Manitoba https://www.facebook.com/UMWGSSA

Black Space Winnipeg https://www.facebook.com/BlackSpace204

CUPE Local 2348 https://www.facebook.com/cupe2348

Winnipeg Labour Council https://www.facebook.com/Winnipeg-Labour-Council-291591290865352/

Rainbow Resource Centre https://www.facebook.com/RainbowResourceCentr

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Shondell’s Favourite Things: Remote Car Starter

January 14, 2017

Shondell Babb

Every week, I will feature one of my ‘Favourite Things’, in hopes of sharing some of the wonders of life, as well as incredible products and services that some brilliant minds have created.

Favourite Winter Things: Remote Car Starter

Extreme weather warnings were issued for the blizzard that pummeled Winnipeg on Thursday, January 12, including frostbite and hypothermia risks. The video above, courtesy of the University of Manitoba’s Instagram page, captured the blowing snow that whipped around the city with -43° celsius wind chills and wind gusts up to 90 km/h, which reduced visibility to near zero.


In -43° conditions, who really wants to bundle up to brush mounds of snow off of a freezing cold vehicle with leather seats, start the car, then run back inside, finish getting ready, then bundle up to finally leave again? No one. But many people still do it.

Enter the automatic car starter that will change your life! My Toyota RAV4 has a car starter — which is one of the best inventions — ever!


Toyota RAV4 – Started with Astrostart remote car starter


Astrostart remote car starter

Particularly in Winnipeg’s extreme weather conditions, having the luxury of starting my car remotely is a dream.

The main benefit of investing in a car starter is that you can start the car from the comfort of your home for 1-20 minutes, from up to 1,500 – 2,000 feet away. Heating up your vehicle in Winnipeg’s sub-zero and extreme temperatures is essential, to avoid damaging the mechanical and moving parts. The benefits of remote starters definitely outweigh costs, that range from $399.00 – $799.00. The cost includes installation, comes with two key fobs and various other options like an LCD screen, or multi-vehicle operation, etc.

Of course, you can enter a warm car when you’re ready to leave and drive away.

Below I profile the Astrostart remote car starter since that’s the brand in my vehicle. There are many options available like 1-way, 2-way, Smart Start and Luxury remote starters.

Product Description: Digital 1-way RF system with up to one-mile range. Product Features:

  • One, 1-way, 5-button SST transmitter 
  • 2-way antenna
  • Multi-vehicle operation
  • Manual transmission compatible

I recommend Absolute Autoguard, which specializes in car starters, if you are want to make your winter experience easier. If you have an older vehicle and just need to replace the key fob or get a key cut, they offer that service. The prices are substantially cheaper than a dealership, that may charge up to $100.00 to replace the key alone. At Absolute Autoguard, the key fob case, batteries, and getting my chip key cut cost me only $65.00. They also stock the plastic cases for key fobs, batteries, etc, so if the internal computer chips and parts work well, you can save money by just replacing the plastic case alone. I booked an appointment and the service was fast and friendly.


So, if you don’t have a car yet or a car starter installed in your vehicle, I highly recommend it. Like myself, you will realize the convenience and comfort of investing in a remote car starter and it will become one of your favourite things too!