Wednesday, 4 March 2015

New reality TV Show: Up Close and Personal with Brandon Prust and Maripier Morin

Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust and his beautiful girlfriend, French language television star Maripier Morin, are about to become reality TV stars. Hockey Wives will premiere on  Wednesday March 18 at 10 p.m. on the W Network. 
Brandon Prust and Maripier Morin
The cast includes also includes  Nicole Brown, wife of Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown; Hollywood  actress Noureen DeWulf (Anger Management, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past), wife of Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller;  fashion designer Tiffany Parros, married to recently retired and former Hab George Parros; model and new mom Martine Forget, engaged to Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier; Hockey wives’ connector Brijet Whitney, married to recently retired Ray Whitney; social activist Kodette LaBarbera, wife of Anaheim Ducks goalie Jason LaBarbera; former Intelligence Specialist for the U.S. Military Emilie Blum, wife of Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonathon Blum; athlete and Communications expert Jenny Scrivens, wife of Edmonton Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens; and Arizona real estate maven Wendy Tippett, wife of Arizona Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett.
 
Judging from the preview this looks like one “must watch” series and I was lucky enough to get to talk to Prust and Morin.
Montreal hockey fans all adore Prust , the rugged forward now in the third of a four year  contract he signed for $10 million. The Habs number eight is known for keeping the other teams honest, always ready to drop his gloves to protect a teammate. He and Morin actually met when in 2009 in New York. Prust was then playing for the Rangers. “I was at a bar with my friends and I did not speak English,” Morin recalls. “I had a little too much to drink, so  I did not even remember meeting him. The clue was that I had a new contact in my phone. I had no idea who he was. Brandon ended up coming to Montreal and he invited to go with him to a UFC  fight card. Well, it was a ‘bloody’ first date and I kind of wondered ‘what kind of guy asks a girl to a UFC fight for their first date?’ But it worked.”
 
 
That summer Prust invited Morin to his native London, Ontario to meet the family. “I was embarrassed because I went with his sister for a spa day and I could not speak English,” he said. “I wondered what people were thinking about me.”
“Her English was a lot better than she thinks,” Prust chirped in.
Morin is  a former figure skater who gas graced the small screen since 2007 on a number of different shows for TVA and V. She is currently the co-host of Ménage à trois on V télé. She was a face for Revlon in Quebec, a partner with Prust in the Montreal restaurant Laurea in Mile-End  a partner in the Canadian cocktail line UNIK. She actually became close friends with Tiffany Parros during enforcer George’s brief  one season stay here. Tiffany, the mom of twins, runs her own fashion line, with celebrity clientele including Mariah Carey, Lindsay Lohan, Amy Smart and  DeWulf.
Hockey Wives delivers a rare opportunity for fans to meet ten sexy, accomplished “captains” off the ice and explores the meaning of being married to the game.
With an exclusive look into the high-stakes lives of WAGs (wives and girlfriends) of the NHL®, the series reveals that it takes an incredible woman to manage fulfilling personal careers and stick handle life off of the ice with some of today’s top pro athletes. There are incredible perks to being a hockey wife, but, make no mistake, balancing the pressure of trades, relentless travel, long periods of separation, injury, retirement and living for the game takes an extraordinary and self-sufficient woman. Though they are based in cities all over North America, the wives cross paths throughout the course of the regular NHL season and are deeply affected by one another. From wives who are new to the league, to those whose partners are Stanley Cup winning superstars or entering retirement, these women form a team of their own, supporting and encourage one another through personal and professional highs and lows.
Morin and Prust already passed the true test of commitment, with a two year long distance relationship. Not only was Prust living and playing in New York City, but during the hockey season he of course travelled a lot. “I was basically going to New York every other week and doing so by bus,” Morin explains. “It was only six hours overnight and less expensive than flying.”
When Prust was a free-agent two years ago he had good offers from many teams, but his relationship with Morin clearly played a role in his final decision. “I knew it would be a good place for me to play,” Prust said. “Obviously it was good for Maripier and her career. It was really a perfect match for me and I think the Canadiens knew it too.”
So how did the happy couple, who generally enjoy their privacy residing in the Plateau, end up on reality TV. Morin said it was Tiffany Parros who recommended her to the producers. It was quite a commitment as the cameras began recording them in September and only stopped filming in December. “To be honest, when she first told me about it I did not grasp the concept,” Prust said. “I thought it would be one weekend.”
“The cameraman they assigned to us was super,” Morin intervened. “I would basically tell him what we were doing each week and we’d make a schedule. It was a blast! Once you get into a project like this you just need to have some trust.”
There is one clip from the preview where Morin asks Prust why he doesn’t want to marry her. “It is funny what the camera picks up,” Morin laughs. “We are not engaged or close to being engaged. I am always teasing Brandon about marriage, but I want to say that I am really comfortable with our present situation. I think Brandon says that I have not passed all of his tests yet."
 
Morin’s English is excellent now. The gal from Rivière-du-Loup  credits Prust and her early trips to New York for that. Prust, meanwhile, co-stars with her in a TV commercial for St. Hubert BBQ in which he orders a poutine. “I am working on my French,” said Prust. “I can pick up some of the language. Speaking it is still pretty difficult.”
 
The Hockey Wives. Morin is  fourth from the right.
 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

CAMERA and CIJR Reschedule Garneau talk on Israel in friendlier territory

True to their word, The  Committee forAccuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA) and the Canadian Institute forJewish Research (CIJR) have indeed reschedule a talk on Canada-Israel Relations in Montreal.  Back on January 12, the program was cancelled due to concerns over a possible demonstration.

This time, rather than have it in the immediate vicinity of the downtown campus of Concordia University, it will be held on Friday, March 20 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at the Gelber Conference Centre and feature the original intended speaker, Liberal Member of Parliament for Westmount-Ville Marie Marc Garneau.  Now that it is slated to occur in the heart of the Jewish community, there is not likely to be any controversy for it moves from the hornet's nest to a scene of calm where these kind of talks happen regularly. 
 
Marc Garneau
The CIJR, which originally agreed to host the CAMERA-sponsored talk, wishes clearly to state that it will not be intimidated by the kind of violent and threatening tactics used on, and off, campus by pro-Palestinian and pro-"BDS" groups.  In a statement they said: "Especially after the recent, violent Islamic murders at the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher sites in Paris, such undemocratic tactics, which threaten fundamental Canadian rights to free speech and free assembly, must not only be opposed but ruled out of order, on- and off-campus.  Individuals and groups, Jewish and non-Jewish, have the right to speak out and to assemble. The forces of public order  (campus, municipal, provincial and federal) must not only warn of violent 'protest,' but when necessary enforce the ability of those exercising their guaranteed rights to do so in an open and secure manner."

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Chinese New Year Spectacular Show headed to Montreal

The Chinese New Year Spectacular Show heads back to Montreal for a fifth consecutive year, with evening performances set for Friday, February 27 and Saturday, February 28 at the Place des Arts. This is all part of a seven city Canadian tour and coincides with the Chinese New Year and the closing weekend of  Montréal en Lumière

Noted for incredible acrobatic as well as dance and music numbers executed with the precision and the aesthetic tradition China is famous for, this show already has a loyal following. Chinese New Year Celebrations began February 19 and concludes March 17. The Celebration 2015 Montreal performances are placed squarely in the middle. In China, the event traditionally marks the beginning of Spring. It is a month long festival that harks back to those of antiquity surrounding the celebration of the winter solstice (much like Christmas), marking the end of the coldest part of the year and the arrival of sunnier days. In Asia, it remains as essential as the celebration of Christmas and New Year’s Eve do in the West. It also remains the most important festival for Chinese communities around the world.


A total of 50 artists will be on stage to participate in this spectacular evening filled with surprises and discoveries including the daredevil Guangzou Acrobatic Troupe.  This Internationally recognized troupe has dazzled thousands of spectators during numerous  tours in Germany, France, Portugal and Australia. Graceful dancers, singers and musicians of great talent will perform in spectacular costumes and staging to present different forms of original artistic expression, exploring new ways of presenting traditional Chinese art. For the third successive year Quebec cellist Vincent Bélanger is serving as the  soloist for the Canadian tour. 

The year 2015 in the Chinese horoscope is under the sign of the Wood Sheep symbol of fantasy and joy of life and is known to be especially favorable for artists.

For ticket information call 514-842-2112 or 1-800-842-2112 or log on to www.placedesarts.com.  Below is a look at what you can expect to see.