Friday 5 September 2014

Popular event with a twist : The Mega Challah Bake is coming

The Mega Challah Bake is coming to Montreal on Thursday, September 11. It is expected to attract 1,000 women from all walks of life and affiliations. Equipped with apron, flour, water and eggs, attendees will each knead and shape their own challah, in what is being billed as an evening of “inspiration, celebration and solidarity with Israel.”

The Mega Challah Bake has become cultural phenomenon, selling out in cities across the US and Canada, including Toronto, which recently sold out with 1,500 attendees. The popularity of these events seems to reflect a trend to a newfound interest in the ancient ritual of making challah. “Challah represents a universal nurturing element, one that brings blessing into a home” says Shterna Samama, one of the organizers of the Montreal event. “As an ancient mitzvah, it has important cultural and emotional significance.” 

Creating together as a group, Samama says, allows women to tap into that meaning, while making a statement of solidarity as a community. 

Given the difficult summer that Israel, and by extension the Jewish community worldwide has experienced, organizers feel that an evening of unity and solidarity with Israel before the Jewish High Holidays is timely and important.  “A mitzvah for Israel that is wonderful and nurturing”, asks Samama with a smile, “is there anything better?”

The Montreal Mega Challah Bake is being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on 6600 Cote De Liesse, and is co-sponsored by all Chabadcenters in the greater Montreal area.  The event is open to women and girls aged 16 and up. Tickets are $20 if purchased before September 1 or $25 after that date. Tickets are by advance purchase only.  As the event has sold-out in previous cities, organizers advise early reservations to avoid disappointment.   For more info, go to  or

Here is a look at a previous such event.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Infinitely More coming to St. Philip's Church September 10

Three-time Covenant Award Nominee, Infinitely More, will be coming to St. Philip’s Church at 25 Brock North in  Montreal West for a concert on Wednesday evening, September 10. 

Husband and wife duo, Gerald Flemming and Allison Lynn, have with a desire to share the love and light of God through song. This year, this full-time touring ministry will travel over 15,000 kilometres,  visiting churches of all sizes and denominations. Combining prodigious finger-style guitar and signature vocal harmonies, the couple creates music that is uplifting, spirit-filled, and cross-generational. 

Blending new Songs, favourite Hymns, Praise & Worship, and a hint of Country, Infinitely More creates a fresh new sound for the church. Their original songs and fresh interpretations of the classics will encourage and inspire both the seeker and the lifelong Christian.

Within a year of their 2006 marriage, Allison and Gerald moved to Nashville, TN, to spend three years performing, studying with music greats, and writing songs. In that time, Allison recorded two solo Gospel CDs and worked with many Gaither Homecoming artists. Gerald wrote songs with Grammy winning and Hall of Fame songwriters, and worked with several Nashville publishers.

In 2013, Infinitely More received its first Covenant Award Nominations. Awarded by The Gospel Music Association of Canada, the Covenants honour the best in Canadian Christian Music. Infinitely More was nominated for Inspirational Song Of The Year, Country Song Of The Year, and Country Album Of The Year.

The year 2013 also brought Infinitely More two nominations in the distinguished Words Awards, celebrating the best in Canadian Christian writing. Gerald received nominations for his songs “You Are…” and “If They Knew It Was Me.”

This fall, Infinitely More is releasing two brand new CDs! “How The Light Gets In” showcases Allison and Gerald’s soulful songwriting and performance style on nine brand new songs and two fresh arrangements of favourite hymns. “Tonight, Everywhere Is Bethlehem” is the duo’s long awaited Christmas project, combining sweeping studio recordings with beautiful live performances.

Combining prodigious finger-style guitar and signature vocal harmonies, Allison and Gerald create music that is uplifting, Spirit-filled, and cross-generational. Whether performing for a secular music festival, a joyous church event, or an intimate house concert, Infinitely More is always entertaining, inspiring, and lots of fun.

Tickets are $10. For more information call 514-481-4871.

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Free digital television by antenna still exists in Montreal

Marking an anniversary
While folks like me have drifted towards Fibe TV, there are still those who watch the small screen with the assistance of a good old fashioned antenna. On Monday,  September 1  Kirkland’s John Lancer marked the third anniversary of Canada’s analog-to-digital transition. “Many enthusiasts such as myself mark this anniversary to show appreciation to local broadcasters and raise awareness of free digital television by antenna,” he says. “The benefits of good-old TV by antenna is  still completely legal, free and now in stunning digital HD quality, yet few people know about it!”
According to Lancer, the Montreal over-the-air (OTA) TV community has been progressively growing since the "DTV renaissance" of broadcast TV, especially on social media. “There is a very active and growing community forum on, where users share tips and help others find antennas that work best in their area,” he says. “There is even a Twitter account  dedicated to informing Montrealers of the status of local stations and providing other OTA news.”
John Lancer and his antenna.

Lancer points to new products that have come out making it easier for people to cut the cord from Bell and Videotron. For example, new PVR models are on the market that hook up directly to an antenna and provide nice program guides, allowing people to mesh antenna TV with on-demand streaming services. “You no longer need to pay big bucks or subscribe to pay TV just to record your favorite shows in HD,” he insists. “Although existing antennas still work with DTV signals, new digital antennas are much more compact, powerful and discrete. Rabbit ears have been replaced by paper-thin indoor antennas and an outdoor antenna the size of a barbeque grill  will bring in most if not all Montreal and US channels when mounted on a roof.”
“People think they have to pay for satellite or cable to get HD television when in fact a modest antenna can bring in most of the major broadcast networks,” Lancer continues. “Free over-the-air channel selection in Montreal has actually increased since 2009 and bit-by-bit more people are going back to antenna TV, and if desired, complementing this with streaming on-demand content such as Netflix over the internet. The people that are going for this more affordable alternative to cable TV are called  cordcutters.  This past year  new devices came out that allow you to add your coax antenna to your home WiFi network. This means you can turn a computer or laptop into a DVR, and watch live TV from your antenna on your mobile devices using downloadable apps or media programs. For example, I watch Jimmy Fallon in bed on my iPad, streamed directly from my antenna-not the internet - so there is no hit to my internet data caps.

Live sports will still be coming to Montreal via over-the-air as Roger's CityTV will be carrying two hockey games per weekend,  as well as NFL football, racing circuits, MLB and the NBA. “The best part of having an antenna for the NFL is getting the SuperBowl American feed directly from the Burlington stations with the  real  Superbowl commercials,” Lancer notes, who says Côte-St-Luc, NDG, Lachine and other areas of the West Island are goldmines for free TV. A modest antenna setup will  easily get 20 plus  channels, pulling in even the American networks from the US border such as CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, PBS, CREATE, PBS+, CW, MeTV and PBS World. All stations are digital and most in either 720p or 1080i HD. All of this is free once you've paid for your antenna setup.

I wish to thank John for this education.