As representative (and resident), of the Algoma District, I am extremely proud to say that the largest wind farm in Canada resides in our region. The construction of the Prince Wind Farm began as a project of Brookfield Renewable Power in September2005 and was completed in December 2006. Comprising of an impressive 126 turbines, its total installed capacity was 189 megawatts. This esteemed source of renewable energy is extremely important to the Algoma District. Not only does it help generate jobs for people in Northern Ontario, it also effectively demonstrates what our area stands for; a connection with the environment. Although Northern Ontario may not be the most prestigious celebrated part of the world for industrial life, its citizens will always be able to pride themselves in their connection to the natural environment.
On top of benefiting the region of the Algoma District, this power plant has a significant and positive impact on Ontario as a whole. Since the creation of Algoma’s wind farm, Ontario has become the leading source of wind generation in Canada. This is due to the fact that the plant’s first project brought its capacity up to a whopping 3,800 megawatts, which increased Ontario’s renewable power in general by 1200 megawatts.
Wind power is important on a global scale. The greenhouse effect has quickly climbed in importance to an international crisis. It is a naturally occurring phenomenon and is actually necessary to keep the world warm enough for human life. This effect, however, has been sent into hyper mode by reckless human activity. About 61% of this hyper-action has been cause by fossil fuels, which are the main source of energy internationally. There are more flaws to the use of fossil fuels, including their finite existence (because of the thousands of years that it takes to produce fossil fuels). Mankind has indulged in the benefits of this power source to the point that it is consumed faster than it is produced. It won’t be long, at this point, until the resource completely runs out. In order to maintain mankind’s current lifestyle, reliance on fossil fuels must be reduced, and renewable energy must be promoted in place.
Because wind energy is the leading renewable power source in the world, it is a valuable asset to the Algoma District,Canada, and the globe. We must recognize that, as citizens,we are responsible for much of the detrimental effects on our surrounding natural environment. We can help reduce our effect and have a more positive impact by supporting renewable energy plants such as the “Prince Wind Farm”. There has been some worldwide conflict over wind energy, as is arguably a reality for all revolutionary fields of work. Those who oppose the idea pull upon the concepts that they can be visually displeasing and sometimes disturbingly loud. Many also argue about the jeopardized safety of birds in the area. The “Provincial New Renewable Energy Program” sees the benefit of this business, however. They have awarded the plant a twenty year power supply agreement which should keep it going strong for a long time yet to come.

Written by: Hannah Simard
Leave a comment

With my advertisement, for “Signature Towels”, which is a company that creates and sells personalized towels for their customers, I decided to target middle-aged women. This is because I see the mothers of a house-hold to be the most likely group to be in charge of buying towels. For this reason, I have a middle-aged woman casted as the primary (and only), character in my 30 second advertisement. Ideally, she will be a fairly attractive (but unintimidating), and friendly looking woman. These characteristics will encourage the audience to associate better with the woman in the ad. I decided to use Eva Longoria, as she’s an attractive and likeable woman with a good reputation and the image of a successful middle-aged woman.

In my first scene, this woman sits alone in an in-home comfortable looking office. It’s sometime in the evening (maybe after the kids have gone to bed). The room is well furnished and welcoming looking, without appearing to belong to a wealthy family. This way the audience will associate the commercial with a comfortable life that they would enjoy, without feeling that it’s out of their grasp. Here’s an example of a possible set:

The main character is on the computer, doing some late night online shopping. She considers two different towels and we see each of them for about two seconds as she changes internet tabs and back. This is just long enough to register that one is “Signature Towels“, and the other just a basic brand. The woman considers her choice and the scene switches its focus on to her face as she does so. This entire description encompasses about the first seven seconds. Now, we hear her thoughts for the next 7 seconds :
“I can get the signature towels… Only $45 for a personalized bath set and they’re so gorgeous. Or maybe I should just be practical…”
The scene switches back to the screen and we watch as the woman’s mouse move to click “Purchase” on the screen of the basic towels. This action takes about two seconds, meaning that the ad has been on for about sixteen when the woman pauses and the scene changes.
Now, it illustrates a daydream that she has of the personalized towels in a steamy and somewhat luxurious looking bathroom. The camera focuses on the towels next to a fogged mirror and zooms in as the song “Could’ve Had Me” by “Lex Land” plays. Lyrics “Yeah if you wanted me, you could’ve had me baby…” Here’s an example of a bathroom:

Now, we hear a female voice of what one would imagine to be the towel, explaining why it’s so desirable.
“Are you sure you want those other towels? I, like the other signature towels, am made from highest quality materials and crafted for the best presentation. With very reasonable prices and luxuriously soft feel, I’m the kind of chance you don’t want to miss.”
This entire bathroom scene takes about 10 seconds.
The ad flashes back to the woman for a quick, four second scene of her moving the mouse to buy the Signature Towels. To take a look for yourself at personalized towels,

Written by: Hannah Simard Tagged with:
Leave a comment

Having lived my childhood years in the northern Ontario community of Wawa, the question, “What is your hometown’s main attraction?” is basically a no-brainer to me. Wawa is known as “land of the big goose”, which is suiting considering that we have a 150,000 pound statue of a goose right at the entrance to our town. This 27 foot tall statue was built in September, 1960 to be a monument to the geese who made this place their migratory home, living alongside the native people long before the arrival of the first white man in 1622. Our town’s name, “Wawa”, Ojibwe for the word “goose”, is paying tribute to both, the first inhabitants of this land and the migratory bird making its biannual passage.
The original goose was built from plaster over a chicken wire frame in September of 1960, which marked the opening of the TransCanada Highway. This section of highway from Wawa to Sault Ste. Marie was the last section of the TransCanada to be completed, connecting Eastern and Western Canada. Being a most difficult section with many steep hills and sharp turns, discussion ensued to run the highway inland away from Lake Superior. However, spirited people of Wawa walked through the bush to Sault Ste. Marie, 240 km away, to prove to the government that the route was passable, and that the highway should follow the scenic shoreline of the Great Lake. This began the era of Wawa’s tourism industry, as our town was now strategically located on the Lake Superior Circle Route. To be sure no one would miss our town, the Wawa Goose beckons to tourist driving by on the Trans Canada highway, inviting them to take a break at the Tourist Information Centre, and take a photo with the Goose which has become one of the most photographed landmarks in Northern Ontario. Its image was even used on the 2010 postage stamp for Canadian Post. Once having stopped, tourists and passers-by will discover the treasure of our small town and its surrounding natural beauty.

The original statue of the Goose needed to be replaced after three years by a replica made from rolled cold steel. Now this statue added to its significance by representing the iron-ore industry and Algoma Ore Division which was the main employer of the town, supplying Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie. With replacement of the first models, Wawa has become a breeding ground of sorts for goose statues, and one can count atleast 3 large model geese while driving through town.
Unfortunately the Wawa Goose is once again requiring replacement, having weathered many winter storms, spring floods, and hot sunny summer days. This time there is no major industry to help fund the project. Algoma Ore closed in 1998, and while numerous gold mines and lumber based industries have come and gone over the years, a general decline in the economy and population has become a reality for Wawa as it has for many other small northern communities. As well the increased price of gas and increased border crossing security requiring passports for both Canadians and Americans has caused a decline in tourism.
For these reasons, we face a bit of a financial challenge in replacing our Goose once more, which has begun to look a little rugged all over again. While the naked eye may only detect a few rust stains on the outside, which are disguised to some degree by the beautiful long red scarf it wears in the winter months, the engineers claim that the inside structure is showing its age. The municipality is working hard to raise funds to bring a new Goose to town, keeping Wawa on the map and in the minds of people everywhere. Information about fundraising for this cause can be found in the following link:

Wawa has been a gorgeous place to grow up. The close-knit community provides a safety and freedom to children that can only be offered by a small town. Although the present economic state of Wawa may sound bleak, Wawa has always been described as a boom and bust town. We are now on the brink of another boom. The Argonaut/Prodigy gold mine is a promising project being explored in the Wawa area . As well, the Rentech pellet mill is scheduled to open in 2014. These projects alone estimate 300 to 400 direct jobs, and numerous secondary jobs, restoring Wawa to its stature of a bustling and thriving community. And of course, you may remember that diamonds have been found in our streams and shorelines, and diamond exploration continues to this day. Maybe the next Wawa Goose will be made of gold with diamonds for eyes.
Thanks to Niagara Falls for sponsoring the Miss Teen Canada World 2nd blog challenge!

Written by: Hannah Simard
Leave a comment

As anyone who has read the “About Me” section of my blog will know, I recently became an eleventh grade student and vocal-music major at Sudbury Secondary School, and have thoroughly enjoyed my past year as a student there. My decision to attend this school was a big one for me, which caused me to move away from my family and home town where I had lived for sixteen comfortable years. What made it worth it for me to make such a change to my life? A few things, which included a thirst for practice in vocal music, and a belief in the quality of the performance arts program that is offered at Sudbury Secondary School.
As you will find on their website, Sudbury Secondary School’s goal is to “value, cultivate and support life-long learning; foster compassion and respect for all members of society; provide a safe and nurturing environment; recognize accomplishments; understand and demonstrate the importance of shared responsibility; and strive for excellence in teaching to ensure learning for all.” I will admit, this may just sound like the classic hype that school board officials make up to promote their school. I truly find, however, that the claims made in this statement have been extensively true as far as my experience at this school goes.
Every teacher I’ve had all year, whether part of the arts program or not, has been genuinely enthusiastic and supportive in my quest for further knowledge and high grades. They are always willing to spend extra time with me beyond school hours in order to ensure that I get as much out of my education is possible. In addition, all staff involved with the arts program work hard to keep their students involved with the community. As a vocal music major, I was automatically involved in performances with the school choir. This included taking part in the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Sudbury Arena and competing at the Kiwanas Festival, where we earned a Diamond Award and were chosen to go on to Provincials. Dance majors also become very involved in the community with what they do. Their experience ranges from local Christmas shows to ceremonies such as the “Breast Cancer Walk” last October. Band majors become involved in many annual festivals including “Music Fest Canada” and the “Northern Ontario Music Festival”. Drama majors are always the main craftsmen in an annual play at our school. These plays have always been very successful, entertaining a public audience and selling out the Sheridan auditorium in the process. This year, the entire cast of a play called “Black Dog” comprised, by chance, of Sudbury Secondary theater majors. All performance arts majors are kept aware of local opportunities in their domain, whether that’s a choir or a show that is running auditions.
More than anything, I can say that exceptional talent has been obvious to me at this school. Every day upon arriving at school, I witness singers who make shows like “American Idol” seem boring, musicians who out-shadow my favorite bands, actors who clearly belong on Broadway and dancers who seem to belong in the ballet. The one difficult thing about being a student at this school is dealing with the drive to try and fairly demonstrate these talents to the rest of the world. It can often be hard to organize enough events to show a majority of people just how much of these students’ potential is used through this program. It’s for this reason that I’ve organized a talent show at Sudbury Secondary School on Wednesday, June 12, from 7-9pm. For those of you who are interested in coming, tickets will be sold at the door; $7 for children and seniors and $9 for adults. Please email for more information.

Written by: Hannah Simard
Leave a comment

Upon deciding to enter the Miss North Ontario Regional Canada Pageant last October, a part of me thought I was crazy. “What are you doing?” I asked myself, “You’re not a pageant girl”. That is, after all, the most common response that girls offer when I ask them if they would ever consider being in a pageant. It is mind boggling isn’t it? So many people are fascinated watching pageant ceremonies on TV or live from the audience; in awe of the gorgeous girls, elegant gowns and finely honed talents. These spectators, however, are the very same people that want nothing to do with being on the stage. “I’m just not a pageant girl” they will say. But “pageant girl”… what does that mean?
Before I experienced the reality of MNORCP a few weeks ago, I’ll admit, I thought everyone other than me was going to be perfect. I expected to see only girls coming from affluent families that face few life problems and are constantly wearing the newest clothes and exchanging the latest gossip. I am so thankful for the wakeup call that I received upon my arrival. There was not one type of girl at this pageant. In fact, there weren’t several different types either. Every single girl was so unique. There were girls from big cities and small towns; girls who had formerly attended pageants and girls who had never been in any. There were girls who loved sports and girls who were afraid of the ball. There were girls who danced ballet and girls who excelled in science class or on the shooting range. The only thing that we seemed to all have in common was a drive and passion to reach our full potential in everything we do; a drive that was nurtured and supported by the environment created during those few, life-changing days of the MNORCP. Our time was short but enough, however, to form friendships amongst all of us. Fourty-three delegates and there was not one single rumour or cat-fight… I don’t even recall a single argument! Clearly, the stereo-typical diva is not a valid definition of “pageant girl”.
So what are pageant girls? From my experience at Miss North, they are the girls that find time in their busy lives to raise money for charities; the girls that summon the courage to take a risk and try a new competition. They are the girls that make friends, not cliques. They are the girls that are willing to help another contestant in any way they can; dispelling the “every girl for her-self” attitude. These are the girls that understand the importance of embracing their own individuality, knowing that they are of most benefit to the world when they are fully expressing themselves. They are the ones that put themselves in a state of utmost vulnerability – answering questions up on that stage- with the faith that this openness is what they need to succeed. Best of all, these girls are the ones that get to develop their skills and confidence through a comprehensive schedule of workshops, experience moments of a lifetime through planned activities and have the chance to represent their own community in a very honourable candidacy. If these aren’t great reasons to get up on that stage and be a “pageant girl”, then I don’t know what is.

Written by: Hannah Simard
Leave a comment

Unhealthy Relationships and Domestic Violence
In the commercialized world of North America, romantic relationships have been glamorized above all others; but what happens when this glorified passion gets out of hand? The development of strong emotions and commitment with an absence of trust can be hazardous, as it is often the cause for negative emotions that instigate irrational, harmful and sometimes even malicious behaviour. Romantic affairs that are distressed by these factors are deemed as “unhealthy relationships” or sometimes “domestic violence” if one partner takes the roll of the victim. These are causes for lasting harm to many individuals and their families and have become accepted as commonly used terms in our society. However, the reality of these posed threats is unknown to most.
For example, were you aware that approximately one quarter of women in the world experience domestic violence through an abusive relationship? Three women a day are killed by their abusive partner. Although abuse can also be directed against men, an estimated 90% of victims of Intimate Partner Violence are women. This has caused many women’s homes to be the most dangerous place for them and has mounted the danger of domestic violence above cancer, rape, car accidents and many other commonly perceived threats.
So how do we stop domestic violence and unhealthy relationships? For starters, we need to make sure women can see the warning signs of an abusive relationship. Abuse, which generally means the harmful or offensive treatment of someone, can be anything from physical violence to irrational accusations caused by a lack of trust. The first offences, which manifest as warning signs, are crucial to recognize so one can avoid naivety and leave or work on the relationship before things get worse. The signs are abundant, being anything from isolation (you no longer spend time with your friends and family), instilled fear (any kind of threat), jealousy (may make irrational accusations about the time you spend with others), uncontrolled anger (your partner throwing tantrums, hitting things, hitting you) and many more.
It can be difficult for many women to recognize these signs, as they have learned to trust their partner under any circumstances. Also, abusers often have an impressive capacity for making their victim feel responsible, as if they brought the punishment upon themselves. Some victims are pushed to a point where they believe that their partner’s behavior is expected and/or even normal. This type of situation can have many other negative effects on the mindset of the victim. For example, many begin to internalize the critical voice of their abuser which can result in a diminished sense of confidence and self-worth. Some lose so much trust in themselves that they will begin to doubt their own perceptions; thinking that their unhappiness is irrational and that they’re simply too sensitive. Some may believe that they are crazy and even restrain themselves from coming to their own conclusions. Some feel that they’re missing something from their lives and desire to run away, whereas many spend their time dreaming of the future with their partner and imagining how the situation will improve after upcoming events. They often relive moments before an abusive encounter and attempt to justify what caused it. Even after leaving this kind of relationship, many women have intense issues in trusting future partners.
However difficult it is for the victim to accept the reality of their relationship, it is also the most crucial step towards fixing the problem. After making this realization they can reach out for help from other people, such as a family member they trust or a help line to call. There are also shelters in most areas where abuse victims can be away from their partner. After escaping one abusive relationship, it is important to make the journey worthwhile by escaping the abusive cycle altogether. This is the time to reflect and analyze your-self. Figure out what it is that drew you to the relationship in the first place. Many who find themselves victimized in a relationship come from a past that caused them to lack self-worth and feel unloved. Those who grew up witnessing the unhealthy relationship of their parents often feel a sense of familiarity and comfort in the aspect of abuse in their relationships. After developing this degrading relationship, their self-esteem diminishes further and they often find themselves in a state of depression where they are indecisive and without hope. This hope, however, is necessary.
So much is on the line when one finds themself in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. They may be completely oblivious to the fact that their quality of life is jeopardized. In opening one’s eyes they can see beyond such a cold world and find the lighted way towards the better life available. The bottom line is that everyone deserves to know they’re worth something and be treated as a valued partner in all of the relationships they may have.

Written by: Hannah Simard
Leave a comment

My name is Hannah Marie Simard. I was born in Wawa Ontario (yes, Land of the Big Goose), in 1996. I have been blessed to have lived there for sixteen years surrounded by beautiful natural beaches and scenic locations. This small community is full of friendly people and it is a wonderful feeling to know everyone I meet on the street. I was raised with a consciousness of my role as a member of the community, knowing that even as a youth, I can have a positive influence and make a difference.
This was emphasized during my elementary school years, during which I developed a foundation that I thrived upon. With organizational skills and a strong work ethic, I have remained at the top of my class while involved in numerous school clubs and teams. These have included, but have not been limited to: drama club, soccer, volley-ball, floor hockey, badminton, cribbage club, reading club, character club and choir. I also spent several years as a member of student’s council, becoming the youngest president in my school, a responsibility and honour I achieved in seventh grade.
Upon graduation from elementary school, I was ready to take on a new challenge, and decided to attend a French Catholic high school, even though my background and education had been solely English. Recognizing the challenge ahead of me, I prepared by using Rosetta Stone, and spending two weeks in Quebec immersed in the French language. I was successful in passing the French comprehension test upon return to Wawa, and began my high school career, knowing that the long term benefit of being bilingual would outweigh the extra work I would have to do in the short term to stay on top of my classes. Attending École Secondaire Catholique Saint-Joseph was one of the best decisions of my life. The most profound sense of community and belonging can be found within the walls of this school.
In spite of my love and devotion to my hometown, I made the decision to move away from home and family in search of a better arts education. I am currently attending the Performance Arts Program at Sudbury Secondary School. While my extensive experience in dance would have been helpful had I chosen to major in dance, I chose instead to have a new challenge and to study vocal music.
As well as wide-ranging involvement in school extra-curricular activities, I have also been broadly involved in activities outside of school. These have included eight years of piano lessons, four years of vocal music lessons, three years of figure-skating and ten years of dance classes. When I began dance classes at age seven it was just for fun, however I soon developed a passion and found myself spending up to eleven hours a week at the studio. Dancing has always kept me active, motivated and involved in the community, as we participated in many fundraisers and community shows. I excelled in dance and, in 2010, was awarded a scholarship to compete in the Dance World Cup in Vancouver, British Columbia, where I earned third place in my category! I continue to dance with a dance studio and at my school as well. I am truly honoured to represent Algoma District as a Miss Teen Canada delegate. I plan to make my district proud and have a positive influence on my community, and beyond.

Written by: Hannah Simard
Leave a comment
Written by: MTC Blog Team
Leave a comment