Maryam Monsef On Her Inspiring Chat With Angelina Jolie At TIFF

Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef and her mother Soriya Basir had an inspiring meet with actor/activist Angelina Jolie on Sunday (September 10th) at the TIFF screening of The Breadwinner, an animated film Jolie executive produced about an 11-year-old girl in Afghanistan living under Taliban rule.

MP Maryam Monsef and Angelina Jolie at TIFF screening of Jolie's  The Breadwinner

MP Maryam Monsef and Angelina Jolie at TIFF screening of Jolie's The Breadwinner

The film, about a headstrong young girl who disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family, is based on the bestselling book by Canadian writer Deborah Ellis.

Monsef says the book and movie speaks to her for many reasons: "It's the story of an 11-year-old Parvana's journey of survival in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and her attempt to help her family as the breadwinner. Breadwinner tells the story of Afghanistan through the eyes of a child. For years, Ellis has shined light on the struggles and resiliency of Afghan people and the strength of women and girls of Afghanistan. With the animation of The Breadwinner, we are all reminded once again to never underestimate the power of a girl."

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Monsef tells PTBOCanada that she and her mom had a memorable few minutes with Jolie: "She is proud of Canada's role in the world as we progress gender equality and promote diversity. She also said that of all the places she goes to, she is happiest when she is surrounded by the women of Afghanistan. She doesn't know what it is about them, she just feels connected to them."

Monsef's mother even received this hug from Angelina...

Photo courtesy Maryam Monsef

Photo courtesy Maryam Monsef

Monsef, who says Angelina is beautiful inside and out, adds that she told the actress this at the meeting: "I thanked her for helping to tell the story of Afghan people, and she said she would continue to do so."

Monsef also "fan-girled huge" when she met the Breadwinner author Ellis (pictured 2nd from left below)...

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Monsef came away very moved by her experience at the TIFF screening:

"Teachers in Peterborough often call me and Mom to come in and talk to their students after they read The Breadwinner," Monsef tells PTBOCanada. "The kids always had many questions and such compassion. Seeing all the kids in the audience yesterday and talking to Angelina and others involved made me appreciate the deliberate efforts to focus content like this on children as the audience. They will grow up to fix this broken world and it's never too early to teach compassion."

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"Lakefield: Sketches To Remember" About Town's Rich History Will Be A Must Read

UPDATE: June 22nd -> Lakefield: Sketches to Remember will be released on July 1st at the Lakefield Isabel Morris Park by the arena. Arnold and Ridpath will be there from 4-7 p.m. to sign the book, which retails for $30. It will also be sold at Happenstance in Lakefield and The Examiner building in Peterborough.

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ORIGINAL POST

Without a brother’s love, a family so important to Lakefield’s history may not have existed. Without the strength and courage of war veterans, the village would have not had its lumber company, insurance firm, hardware store and some strong family connections.

Those are just a few of the 40 stories and illustrations included in an upcoming book, Lakefield: Sketches to Remember, by author Ed Arnold and Lakefield-based artist Drew Ridpath. The two have been putting together their Canada 150th birthday gift to the village for more than a year.

The front cover image was taken by Ed's son, PTBOCanada's Scott Arnold...

Lakefield: Sketches to Remember is filled with explosive, emotional and hidden stories about some of the people behind the incredible black and white drawings of buildings displayed throughout the book—which is slated for release on Canada Day.

Arnold and Ridpath will be speaking to an audience at Christ Church in Lakefield at 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 21st about the book and a few of the buildings featured in it. They will also be announcing when and where it will be officially launched.

“When we moved to my family's hometown more than 40 years ago, I loved the people, history and beauty of this area," Ridpath says. "I started drawing pen and ink sketches to capture the unique character of our village. Ed's storytelling and the sketches combine to show how Lakefield has changed over time but still maintains the charm and feeling of a special village.”

The back cover and all the illustrations in the book are by Drew Ridpath...

Ed Arnold, an award-winning journalist who has written 16 local books, has this to say about the impact of writing, researching and collaborating on this book...

“When I started this journey with Drew, I had no idea how powerful the stories would be. Some made me laugh, others brought tears. It was an incredible trip through Lakefield’s past and present."

The Christ Church event on June 21st is a fundraiser for the museum with admission $10 at the door with limited seating.

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The Inside Story Of The 1916 Quaker Fire Released

A massive explosion and resulting fire levels the Quaker Oats plant in Peterborough, Ontario. In the wake of the disaster, 22 workers are dead—two more would later die as a result of their injuries—with the total damage set at a then unfathomable $2,250,000, not including an estimated $225,000 damage to neighbouring structures. 

As the Peterborough community rallies around shattered families and contemplates a possible future without the plant at its center, Quaker officials arrive from Chicago to survey the devastation firsthand, lend their assistance and investigate the opportunity to rebuild the plant.

Featuring a gripping you-are-there narrative as well as numerous archival photographs and newspaper clippings, A Dark Day In Peterborough: A Time To Remember December 11, 1916, is the most comprehensive account of the Quaker explosion and fire, and its aftermath, yet published.

Researched over a 12-year period and written by local historian Gord Young with the assistance of several Lakefield Heritage Research volunteers, its 200-plus pages recount a dark period in Peterborough’s history, the tragedy’s effects on the many the disaster touched and investigates the many theories as to what caused the explosion.    

A Dark Day In Peterborough: A Time To Remember December 11, 1916 will be launched Friday, November 18th, at 1 p.m., at the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce boardroom, 175 George Street North, and author Gord Young will be there.

A Dark Day In Peterborough: A Time To Remember December 11, 1916 is available for purchase for $30 at Chapters, 873 Lansdowne Street West; the Canadian Canoe Museum, 910 Monaghan Road; Sullivan’s Pharmacy, 71 Hunter Street East; Trent Valley Archives, 567 Carnegie Avenue; in Lakefield at Happenstance Books and Yarns, 44 Queen Street and Lakefield IDA Pharmacy, 32 Queen Street; and in Selwyn at Craftworks at The Barn, 124 Lindsay Road.

—guest post by Paul Rellinger

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