Wednesday 6 July 2011

Price or Wills for Habs play by play?

This is not a July in which TEAM 990 radio station general manager Wayne Bews will truly be able to relax. Upon receiving the exciting news two weeks ago that his station had wrested the radio broadcasting of Montreal Canadiens games from CJAD, with a seven year contract, it has been operation talent hunt.
Is morning show co-host Elliott Price (right) the odds on favorite to do play by play? Does he actually want the job. Price was outstanding fulfilling his lifelong dream of doing Expos play by play. He has done some Canadiens in the past with CJAD, a little Impact and Alouettes and of course junior hockey for the past three years.
Wills (picture below right) is the director of broadcasting and communications for the Hamilton Bulldogs and their play by play man on radio for the past 10 years. Hamilton is the Habs' top farm team. Wills has stated publicly that his goal is move to the NHL.
Bews plans to announce his team in August.

Tuesday 5 July 2011

World Under 21 Snooker Championships headed to Montreal

St. Laurent resident Patrick Guigui (left) is on a mission to raise the profile of professional snooker in Canada. With this in mind he successfully pursued the opportunity to host the International Billiards & Snooker Federation Under 21 World Championships. They will take place July 12 to 23 at The Sheraton Montreal Airport Hotel in Dorval.

Players from over 40 different countries will be here, competing for the ultimate prize of getting a coveted spot on the professional snooker tour. On Monday the very careful process of setting up 10 snooker tables for competitive play began. It will last the rest of the week.

“The format begins with a round robin stage, and is followed by the nerve racking knock off stage until it eventually reaches the final two,” explains Guigui, noting that there is a nominal admission charge to watch the action and it will also be streamed live online at “This promises to have a spectator base from all demographics to attend and enjoy watching the future generation of snooker.”

Former professional Kirk Stevens will be attending the opening ceremony of the event, which should prove to be a big treat for all the young international snooker players. Guigui has also communicated with boxing guru Russ Anber, himself a noted snooker player. Matthew Ross from THE TEAM 990 will emcee the opening ceremonies.

“I met the president of the International Federation about six months ago and asked about hosting the championships in Montreal.” Guigui said. “He is from France. So he came down to visit, I took him to the Habs game, showed him some of the potential venues and we had a deal. I am really hoping this event will jumpstart more youngsters taking up this game.”

For a look at past championships, click here .

Guigui notes that Montreal has a long history of snooker players and fans that date back over 50 years. “Mordecai Richler, an avid snooker fan, even wrote a book about it,” he said. “I am in talks with Richler's family right now about organizing a tournament with
his name attached to it.”

A new snooker academy has recently opened up here with the goal of teaching the younger generation new snooker skills.

According to, Snooker is best described as a billiards game, or cue sport, that — like most forms of billiards — is of British origin. Snooker is a slightly more modern version of 16th century billiards and is played using 22 balls – one cue ball, 15 red balls, and six different coloured balls with different point valuations. A regulation snooker table measures 6 feet (1.86 meters) by 12 feet (3.66 meters) and has four corner and two side pockets. Points are scored by striking the cue ball with the result being a successful pocketing of the other balls into one of the six pockets according to game rules. The game is played in matches, which are comprised of a predetermined number of frames. The object is to score the most points per frame to win the majority of frames in the match.

Though snooker is played recreationally, it is also a professional sport with numerous tournaments held annually and the elite World Championship match held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. Professional snooker has a governing body that sets the rules and regulation for play. Following a brief hiatus in the popularity of the sport during the mid 1960s, The World Snooker Association was founded in 1968. Today, snooker is a popular and well-respected sport with professional standings kept and followed by many fans.

For a look at places to play snooker in Quebec click here.

Log on to for more details.

Four Quebecers make Dance Top 22

It was bad news for West Islander Jenny Dailey, who on her third try was unsuccessful in reaching CTV's So You Think You Can Dance Canada's (SYTYCDC) coveted top 20 finalists. But when the judges, including charismatic Montrealer Jean-Marc Genereaux, gave their final word there was actually a top 22 and four Quebecers among them.

After a cross-country audition tour which included a stop in Montreal last November, the judges selected 11 girls and 11 guys to perform for Canada’s votes and compete for the coveted title of Canada’s Favourite Dancer. Quebec is the home of SYTYCD Season 1 Winner, Nico Archambault, and this season Quebec is well-represented with competitors Christian Millette, 28 from Montreal; JP Dubé, 19, from Montreal; Denitsa Ikonomova, 24, of Laval, and Francois Pruneau, 26, from Trois-Rivières (pictured above). These competitors will take to the stage for the first time on Monday, July 11 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV, with voting beginning following the conclusion of the two-hour performance show. For full voting details, visit

Here is a look at the Quebec representatives:

• Millette, is a ballroom dancer. Growing up in a house of dancers, he was destined to become a performer. He has performed in countries such as England, France, Germany and Ukraine. When not on the dance floor, he also works as an ambulance dispatcher in Montreal.

• Ikonomova, also a ballroom dancer, grew up in Bulgaria watching her older brother dance on stage, and it was because of him she started dancing herself. Once she moved to Canada, she trained in Montreal, focusing on ballroom. Her dance skills have taken her to countries including England, Italy, France, Holland, Germany and Russia.

• Pruneau, yes another ballroom dancer, started doing so at the age of five. He also trained in Latin and standard dance and has participated in several competitions in Quebec and in cities around the world including New York City.

• Dubé , a hip-hop dance, has quickly become the heartthrob of he competition. He has trained at various studios in Montreal and is skilled in hip-hop, ballet and ballroom. JP has actually been dancing since he was 13, and as an aspiring hip-hop master, he’s looking forward to working with judge and choreographer Luther Brown. He told viewers that he is more than just "the little cute boy."

Canada’s newest dance hopefuls will pair into 11 couples and work with some of the world’s top choreographers, learning a new dance routine and style each week. Voting begins Monday, July 11, as viewer votes determine the bottom three couples, with the judges selecting who goes home. Once the show reaches the Top 10, viewer votes determine the fate of the finalists. Voting occurs following the conclusion of the performance shows, and is restricted to one, two-hour voting window in each region of broadcast. Voting can be cast for free via landline telephones. For full details about voting, visit

During the first live results show on Tuesday, July 12 at 8 p.m. ET, the three couples with the fewest number of votes are announced. Each dancer will then have one final chance to impress the judges and “dance for their life” with a solo routine of his or her choosing. After all six dancers have performed, the judges decide who continues their dream of becoming Canada’s Favourite Dancer, and who goes home.

An encore episide of the top 22 reveal airs on MuchMusic Friday, July 8 at 7 p.m. ET. Also catch weekly encores of the performance and results shows airing back-to-back Fridays at 7 p.m. ET beginning July 13 on MuchMusic (visit to confirm local broadcast times).

Sunday 3 July 2011

Will U2's Bono support social housing in Montreal?

On the eve of the historic back to back U2 concerts at the former Blue Bonnets Raceway on Decarie Boulevard July 8 and 9, the Federation CJA Social Advocacy Committee is seeking the media’s assistance in raising the issue of social housing being built at this location.

More specifically, the committee’s Leah Berger is putting a call out to any media who will have a chance to interview U2 lead singer Bono (left) to raise this issue – one that he actually embraces.

In its effort to remind the provincial and municipal governments of their responsibility to combat poverty and to ensure that sufficient social housing units are made available to Côte-des-Neiges families and individuals living below the poverty line, the committee has been trying to reach Bono with the hope that he might lend his resonant voice to this cause.

“When U2 announced that its Montreal concert would take place on the Hippodrome site within the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood the committee knew it had to contact Bono,” said Michael Chervin, chair of the Federation CJA Social Advocacy Committee and executive director of Project Genesis. “For years, local organizations have been pursuing a common goal of ensuring that 2,500 social housing units are constructed within the wider development of the huge Hippodrome site. The province and the city need to make this long-term solution to poverty a practical reality. This is a diverse neighbourhood where over 40 percent of households live below the poverty line, 82% percentof households are tenants, and rapidly-climbing rents for local apartments are pushing people further into poverty.”

Susan Karpman, a member of the Federation CJA Social Advocacy Committee and director of community service and immigration for Agence Ometz added: “Bono’s venerable commitment to international human rights and environmental campaigns and to offering support for local communities is as well-known as his musical talent. The current situation in Côte-des-Neiges is a housing crisis of growing proportion in our own backyards. More than 1 in10 households living in this neighbourhood pay 80 percent or more of their monthly income on rent, often for sub-standard housing, including apartments with mould, vermin, and insufficient heating during the frigid winter months.”

Berger, the coordinator of the Federation CJA Social Advocacy Committee commented: “Our intention is to appeal to Bono’s social conscience and celebrity influence to make a public statement directed at both the provincial and municipal governments, encouraging them to take action and address the housing needs of individuals and families living in poverty. With all of the publicity devoted to the U2 concert, we see the concert as an opportunity to do something meaningful and draw attention to the enormous potential of this land to meet the housing needs of Cote des Neiges residents living in poverty.”

For more than a year now Berger has been trying to reach Bono. She contacted Evenko, the promoters of the concert. They were sympathetic to her efforts and agreed to pass on her letter to Live Nation. “I have tried many, many different ways of reaching Bono,” she says. “I even wrote to Oprah and asked her to pass on my letter, but to date, we have been unable to reach him directly so I am proceeding with my second strategy- asking the media for their help.”