Looking forward to another year on The Brighter Side

by Christina Rowsell
The Brighter Side

2013 was a year we all needed to hear some good news, look for great ideas and meet some amazing people.  We're looking forward to doing more and more of that in 2014.  To celebrate our new year we're doing a give a way!  

We want to you to relax and take some time to yourself.  Click HERE if you'd like a Brighter Side mug AND a copy of "Doll of Dawson" by Holly Dutch.  (While supplies last).  Earlier we introduced you to Holly Dutch.  

And now get a FREE copy of her book. 

Doll of Dawson - More than forty years after the Klondike gold rush, Helen--a young reporter for an Alaskan publication is determined to interview an aging, former dancehall girl to secure her place as a professional journalist. 

Though the elderly woman's story of survival seems closely guarded, the memories of friendship and betrayal remain sharp within her mind.

As a new bride struggling to maintain the image of perfection from high society Minneapolis, Mae recounts the last gold rush expedition that promised to make thousands of men rich--including her husband Arthur, if only they could withstand the cold and treachery of the Chilkoot Trail, and of each other. Mae recalls several colourful characters including heroes, scoundrels, 
prostitutes--even an exotic bird!

However, when greed and corruption set in, Mae's husband leaves her stranded in Dawson City to fend for herself. It's then that she became the town's beloved "Doll of Dawson", melting the coldest hearts, and finding wealth beyond gold.

Based on the true events of a woman who lived in Dawson, Yukon at the time of the Klondike gold rush named Mae Field, and the actual article written four decades later entitled The Doll of Dawson by Helen Berg.

Not only that, but we want you to enjoy a cup of your favourite beverage in a Brighter Side Mug!  

Our gift to you!  Get your book "Doll of Dawson" and Brighter Side Mug HERE!  Supplies are limited, first come first serve!  Happy New Year!

The Brighter Side Team!


WestJet Christmas

by Christina Rowsell
Via - WestJet Christmas YouTube

The Spirit of Christmas is alive and well!  Especially when you deal with the amazing staff at WestJet.  Here's a heartwarming story that will certainly make you cry.  A good cry!  But it's not only this, it gets better!!!  WestJet wants you to share it!  Why would you want to share?  Because once they reach 200,000 views WestJet will GIVE EVEN MORE!!

This year, WestJet Cares for Kids will continue this tradition by donating flights through Ronald McDonald House Charities, one of WestJet's six partner charities, once the video reaches 200,000 views. Canadians can help to reach this goal by sharing the WestJet Christmas Miracle video with friends and family.

On Twitter be sure to use the #(hashtag) #WestJetChristmas using this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIEIvi2MuEkFollow WestJet on Twitter and LIKE them on Facebook.



Drawings Brought To Life

by Christina Rowsell
The Brighter Side
 via: imgur.com

I remember when I was a kid I thought I did the coolest pictures EVER!  Then as I got older and looked back, they weren't that awesome.  BUT what if you had a dad like this, that brought your pictures to life!  

Here's a dad that flies out of state to work 10 days out of each month. When he goes, his kids give him pictures they've drawn. He colours them on the plane and then gives the pictures back to them when he returns. He says, "Nothing fancy. The kids love them. My wife wants me to put them up. " He wanted to know your thoughts.

Ummm.... AMAZING!  I love it!  He brings them to life! 

Details HERE!

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Moments to Fill Your Heart, Ellen DeGeneres

by Christina Rowsell
The Brighter Side
via: EllenTV.com

Ellen DeGeneres is one of those people who fills up your heart just by watching her energy and her passion for life.  Her show is one of those shows that makes me smile every time.  If you're having a rough day, trying to find that moment of happiness, tune into Ellen.  Caution though, you may find yourself in a gut wrenching laugh from time to time.

You don't really need me to tell you who this woman is, you probably already know.  But The Brighter Side just wanted to celebrate her and recognize her as an Amazing Person!  We're all about Good News, Great Ideas and Amazing People.  Thank you Ellen for putting a smile on our faces to remind us that life is about living, loving and LAUGHING.  You fill our hearts.  Thank you!

Now if someone could just tell me how to NOT cry when I watch this!  Truly, these are moments that will Fill Up Your Heart too!

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ConnecTeen - Hearing YOUth, Helping YOUth

by Christina Rowsell
The Brighter Side
The Distress Centre

"Being a teen can be tough. You have more independence than ever before, but you probably have more questions than ever before too. If you ever have a question, a problem or just need someone to talk to, give us a call, drop us an email, send us a text or chat with us online."  This from the Distress Centre of Calgary with ConnecTeen.

Image © 123rf.com
They have launched an amazing program that gives teens an opportunity to just talk!  Boy do I ever wish this was around when I was a teen. They will connect you directly with a peer who understands your unique perspective and can help talk through your problems. TEXT or CHAT!

Call 403.264.TEEN (8336)
Text at 587.333.2724

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Empower with Shelley Streit

by Christina Rowsell via Shelley Streit
The Brighter Side

We all know the world is full of wonderful people!  Why don't we celebrate them more?  Now's your chance.  We were first introduced to "Silent Celebrities" by Shelley Streit.  Shelley Streit is a passionate entrepreneur, speaker, financial advisor, and author. Known for her sincerity and candid, but non-judgmental style, Shelley is a sassy dynamo who gets fired up by empowering women to live life to its full potential. Experience drawn from a difficult life as a youth taught her the value of learning, making tough but intelligent choices, and hard work.

Silent Celebrities is for anyone who makes the space they occupy a little bit of a better place.  Someone who just gives to give.  Those who inspires others because they can!  Stands up for believes and empowers others.  They are someone who doesn't look for accolades and often has no clue of the impact they make on the world around them.

Silent Celebrities are someone who knows when to give to others and is learning when to give to themselves.  Someone who simply makes the world a better place because they are in it.  They are someone who faces adversity with optimism.  You can count on them to help you out when you had a need and never thought twice about it.

Shelley Streit wants to hear about these people.  She is running a blog series where she will celebrate and honor individuals who inspire, empower, connect with, support and love others!

This is not a popularity contest.  There is no nomination.  The stores don't have to be tragic.  It's a celebration of everyone.  There is no one winner!  Everyone is celebrated!

Shelley Streit EmpowermentThe glitz and the glam is the simple thank you that they will see when they are honored – often how silent celebrities want it. After all saying thank you is one of the highest gifts you can give.

If you know someone like this and want to join in celebrating these incredible people from all over the world who bring so much joy please tell us about them HERE.

P.S. We they have chosen not to have any photos of these individuals to honor them and allow them to continue to be a silent celebrity if they wish.

And be sure to sign up for the blog to receive the updates in your email box so you don’t miss your “Silent Celebrities’ “ day!

More information here http://shelleystreit.com/
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Katy Perry, Jodi DiPiazza Sing at Night of Too Many Stars

by Christina Rowsell
The Brighter Side

 I'll be honest I had a hard time holding back the tears while watching this. A true testament that ANYTHING is possible. Jodi DiPiazza is an 11-year-old girl living with autism, who uses her music to make a connection to the world.

Recently at Comedy Central's Night Of Too Many Stars, this beautiful young lady had the chance to amaze everyone in a duet with one of her favorite singers, Katy Perry.

Katy Perry you are truly a beautiful woman!  And thank you Jodi DiPiazza for sharing your AMAZING story!

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LegUp.ca Giving Back

by Christina Rowsell
The Brighter Side

We all know that helping our communities, arts and social causes is the right thing to do.  But fundraising for those causes near and dear to your heart is not an easy task.  But what if someone gave you a "LegUp" and helped you through the process?  Thanks to the LegUp.ca team, crowdfunding for Canadians just got easier!  
Founder Michelle Young commented that “crowdfunding for projects both big and small is an ideal solution for groups that really don’t have or desire to build or own the infrastructure needed to make this a sustainable and easy to launch way to launch new fundraising efforts.”

With LegUp.ca, donors are able to quickly contribute to these campaigns and causes that really do matter most.  Your special project can receive funding within days.  A new project can be posted within minutes and live the very same day.

Young goes on to explain that "Early examples of groups taking advantage of the LegUp.ca platform include a grassroots pond hockey rink for a community or a project offering support for the kids hurt in a recent school bus crash north of Calgary.  The demand is growing and we are excited to fill the void.”

Groups using the platform cover any credit card processing fees and pay a very small percentage of what is collected to support the growth and development of the platform.  Donors are not subject to any fees of any kind.

LegUp.ca wants to work with you and support WHAT MATTERS MOST!  Crowdfunding is an alternative means of funding that allows individuals and causes to take their ideas forward and make them a reality with the power of the crowd and change the world around them.

Everyone has a great idea for a fundraising campaign and at LegUp.ca they want to make as many ideas as possible succeed.  Whether you are a school, need funds for a social enterprise, are a charity, or are just an individual with a fantastic idea then they can help you raise the funds needed for your project. 

They strive to provide their campaign owners with the best tools to help them reach their crowdfunding targets and no project is too big or small. Join the LegUp.ca revolution today!

Here are some current fundraising project with LegUp.ca

1.) Students at Chestermere Lake Middle School are teaming up with the ‘Me to We’ initiative to try to raise $10 000 this year.  This money will go towards the ‘Free the Children’ campaign, which will help build schools and classrooms in areas of the world where education is most needed.  If we can raise ten thousand dollars, we can build a whole school through our donation! Details HERE.


2.) Children’s Birthday Miracles, CBM, is a nonprofit organization founded in January 2013. The organization was started by a philanthropic 16-year-old Calgarian, Sheliza Kassam. Sheliza’s vision was to create an initiative that provided less fortunate children with the opportunity to celebrate their own birthday party. They now successfully throw birthday parties that are celebrated monthly at Inn from the Cold in Calgary, a local family homeless shelter. CBM went international in June where they hosted their first birthday party in the Mother Teresa Home, an orphanage located in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.  Details HERE.

3.) Based on personal experiences, and the stories that we've heard while working with many courageous women who have experienced domestic violence, I have decided to create an App that will provide women access to a wealth of information, enable them to effectively plot themselves on the cycle of abuse over time, gain insight to their unique situation while appreciating that they are not alone, replace victim self-blame with self-compassion, empower women to start taking action to protect themselves, and ultimately provide women with the resources to break the cycle of abuse. Our App empowers women experiencing an abusive relationship to defend their safety by providing the information and tools that foster insight into the impact of abuse, nurture self-compassion, and connect them to a community of resources.  Details HERE.

The Brighter Side LOVES this idea! Full of Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People! For more information visit LegUp.ca.

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Get your company on the Social Media Boat!

By Brighter Business Empower Inc.
Empowering Individuals to Succeed in Business
You’re a business owner.  You have a GREAT idea.  You have a website and a home office.  Now get to work.  One of the easiest and CHEAPEST ways to promote your company is through social media.  But doesn’t Facebook just take up too much time?  You don’t have the time or energy to see what everyone is up to.  You don’t need to see your friend’s kids Halloween costumes, too distracting.  And the last thing you need is to see what your best friend had for lunch.  Newsflash!  That’s NOT was social media for business is all about!  If you’re not on social media for your business YOU ARE MISSING THE BOAT!  

A recent survey from BMO found that more and more Canadian small business owners are turning to social media.  BMO says that these small companies are using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to look for ideas or suggestions, track feedback and to check out their competition.  BMO says 57% of about 300 business owners contracted for the study said they use Social Media.  Which is up 17 points from last year’s survey.  Half of all businesses (46 %) use social media to promote their company's brand, while 38% use them to sell their products and services.

So how do you effectively use Social Media to your advantage?  First get yourself a business Facebook Page, a business Twitter account and add your company to your personal LinkedIn Account.  If three is too many to handle, pick just one!  Get the hang of one first then move onto more.  

If you’re already familiar with Facebook, start there.  But start a new business page.  Start by getting your friends to like your page and ask them to share.  It’ll grow from there!  But how do you manage to keep up with posting to this page.  This is where you’re organizing business skills come into play.  The great thing about Social Media is that you can schedule in your posts.  Here’s a great link from Facebook on How To Schedule Facebook Posts.  Then schedule a time to go in and ENGAGE with your followers.  If your followers know that you care about you’re posting they’re more likely to come back.    

What to post?  You know your business best!  Pick things that will educate them on what you do.  Post ideas that they can use on their own.  Find things that will evoke their emotions as well.  And yes even recipes!  What?  Seems odd.  You’re a business, why would you want to post a recipe?  People LOVE posting food online.  We all need to eat, and if you’ve got a great recipe, post it.  Most importantly, engage with your followers.

As a Brighter Business Empower member we just posted a BONUS for you!  We have “5 Tips to Creating A Social Media Calendar” with ideas on specific content.  This is an excellent guide on how to organize your posts.  If you’re not a Brighter Business Empower member, join NOW, details HERE

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Safe Trick or Treating - Calgary's Child Magazine

For the 19th year, The Calgary Partners for Safety will be on patrol. More than 800 vehicles will patrol Calgary streets from 6pm to 8pm, making sure this will be a safe Halloween. 

The program is designed to take a proactive approach to Halloween safety and has two objectives: 
1. To Provide Halloween Safety Information to Parents and Children; and 
2. To patrol Communities on Halloween Night.

The Partners for Safety include:

Calgary Police Service

Emergency Medical Services

Calgary Fire Department

Calgary Transit

Shaw TV

Calgary’s Child Magazine

Calgary Animal and Bylaw Services.

Any child experiencing a problem can go to a partner for help. Between calls, Calgary Police Service and Emergency Medical Services will have units patrolling residential neighborhoods. This will provide a high visibility for the youngsters trick-or-treating. Calgary Fire Department will also have vehicles on patrol and fire stations will be open as a safe place for our youngsters.

Calgary Transit’s buses and C-Trains are in the community providing transit service from early morning until late at night. If young trick-or-treaters need assistance, they can approach any transit vehicle they spot. Each vehicle has a radio and in an emergency, the bus or C-Train operator can contact the appropriate emergency personnel.

 Halloween safety tips:

Tell your parents which area you will visit and when you will be back.

Stay out of houses and cars unless parents permit.

Travel in groups down one side of the street before crossing to the other.

Look both ways before crossing the street and cross only at intersections.

Avoid short cuts through alleys, lanes or private property.

Check treats with an adult before eating them.

Wear bright, reflective clothing.

Use makeup instead of masks which can limit your vision.

Carry a flashlight.

The safety of children on Halloween is still a major parental concern, and the Partners would like to remind all motorists to be extra cautious when driving on Halloween night.

Happy Trick or Treating!! 
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Women Talk - Women Sharing Ideas

by Christina Rowsell

We all know that there are some pretty amazing women in this world.  And here's an opportunity to hear some of these spectacular individuals speak.  Women Talk!

Women Talk is an annual evening gathering, where women share their inspiring thoughts, ideas and experiences.  It's fast-paced, informative, and motivating with each presenter speaking for 15 minutes, “Ted Talk” style.  You'll laugh, you'll learn and you'll be entertained by amazing Women Talk-ers!

This inaugural evening will feature Global TV anchor, reporter and personal trainer, Cara Fullerton as the Keynote Speaker, sharing her passion for living a healthy lifestyle. Other presenters include police officer Lynn McDonald (Personal Safety Training), Rica Shae (Burlesque Performer),  Lisa Simone (Recovery Advocate), Jane Crowshaw (Business Coach) and  Karen Turner (Efficiency Coach). The MC for the evening is longtime Calgary radio and tv host, Sue Deyell!
Founder of Women Talk, Brigitte Lessard, says “by sharing ideas and knowledge, we strengthen our selves and our community. I believe every woman should speak in public at some time in their life; it’s very empowering!”

It's an evening you don't want to miss, AND it's all for a GREAT cause!  All proceeds from this event are going to the YWCA of Calgary!  Tickets for Women Talk are available at: www.womentalk.ca  
Event date: Thursday October 24th 
At: 7pm at Cardel Theater (180 Quarry Park Blvd SE, Calgary)

WOMEN TALK strives to showcase AMAZING women and the AMAZING things women do!
Brigitte Lessard
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Geena Davis and The Canadian Women's Foundation

by Christina Rowsell 
The Brighter Side

She's an award winning actress in movies like "Beetlejuice", "A League of Their Own" and "Thelma & Louise", to name a few. Geena Davis is also the founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (GDIGM), which works to combat the unequal portrayal of women in media through extensive research and education. 

Davis was in Calgary in support of the Canadian Women's Foundation for the Calgary Breakfast at the Hyatt Regency. This morning alone, an incredible $620,000 was raised. Davis also wrote out her own personal cheque to make a donation. Funds raised will help the Canadian Women's Foundation fund life-changing programs that empower low income women to move out of poverty and into confidence! And at the start of the breakfast we were giving the run down of what this means. Their commitment is to not only help women and children, but to educate. Educate women and children, but to educate you and I. 

1.) Stop the Violence - At the Canadian Women’s Foundation, they want every woman to live free from violence. 
2.) End Poverty - At the Canadian Women’s Foundation, they want every low-income woman to have the chance to move herself and her children out of poverty. 
3.) Empower Girls - At the Canadian Women’s Foundation, we want every girl to believe in herself and realize she matters.

And who better to get the word out than Geena Davis. Who too has been working tirelessly on her own organization the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at http://www.seejane.org/ - Improving Gender Portrayals in Children's Media. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is the only research-based organization working within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate, and influence the need for gender balance, reducing stereotyping and creating a wide variety of female characters for entertainment targeting children 11 and under. 

I was a bit in awe watching the actress speak this morning. I mean, come on... she's Geena Davis. They listed off the movies she'd done and I've seen almost all of them! And once she began to speak she, for me, turned into a real person. Not to say I don't still see her as a star, but I love that moment when a celebrity becomes just like the rest of us. Telling stories of her childhood and making her way in her chosen field of work. And in that field of work, being an actress, that's when she was awaken to the lack of female roles in the media, especially in children's television programming.

Davis went on to tell a story where judges attempted to hold gender-blind auditions for their orchestra but were put off by the sound of the female musicians’ heels. When the women auditioned walking out onto the stage with heels on, the results were skewed in favor of male musicians. BUT, when the women took their shoes off the final results were equally split between men and women. WHAT!? I was shocked to hear this. To be honest with you, when I hear a pair of heels coming down the hallway I think, power, confidence and presence. 

(My own side story about heels here: I was in my early 30's working at a radio station with an amazing woman who co-hosted the morning show. Every time I saw her, either at work or out in the public I noticed how beautifully she dressed, right down to her high heels. I already respected her, but I admired her more for making the effort to look her best and that included her heels. (say what you will about the health problems related to wearing heels). But those heels really showed me her strength, her courage, her beauty AND her confidence. And since working with this beautiful and talented woman I wear heels everyday. (Unless of course flip-flops are appropriate! LOL). 

So when I heard this story that women had to take their heels off to make it into the orchestra, it blew me away. So what kind of message are we sending our children? In Geena Davis’ opinion, the best way to change bias against women is to change the representations from the source. Suggesting that the Media itself can be the starting point in fixing the problems it’s creating. And hopefully, being in the media I can help paint that picture. 

I do think we are making strides, but we have a long way to go. Canadian Business just published The Power 50 - Canada's Most Powerful Business People August 2013. See the story here, - and on that list only 2 are women. That's 8%!! 6th Place is Julie Dickson - Superintendent, Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Age 56 and in 24th spot is Heather Reisman - CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc., Age 65. WOW! Only 2 women out of 25 made the list. My question is why? What stops women from getting to the top? 

I certainly know many successful business women. They may not make millions, but they have passion and drive for what they do. We should celebrate them all! I might just do my own list of business women who make a difference in our own city. I'll work on that. This way we can start celebrating the accomplishments of beautiful and talented women just because they are just that. It's not about how much money they make, but about the difference they make. And mentioned before, it starts with you. You standing up and believing what women have to offer. "Helping women and girls is not only the right thing to do, it's an intelligent investment in a better future." ~ Canadian Women's Foundation - www.canadianwomen.org

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