The Gem Expo hits Toronto again this weekend (July 25, 26, 27) at the Hyatt Regency on King Street West. This popular event, hosted and organized by Blue Sapphire Beads, is held 3 times a year in our great city. It is Canada’s premier show for beads, beading supplies, tools, gems & gemstones and more. Dozens of vendors will be on hand to display their wares and to answer your questions. There will also be a silent auction with proceeds going to Lupus Ontario. Tickets are $5 or $10 for all 3 days. Children 12 years and under get in free. Go to thegemexpo.com for more details and to buy your ticket(s).
Even an at-times steady rain could do nothing to dampen the spirits of those in attendance at Youth Day Toronto 2014 this past Sunday. Held at Yonge-Dundas Square from 11am to 11pm, the day truly belonged to all the young people there, showing off their creativity in all its forms, whether it was music, fashion, art, or photography. The 3SHAHS team was honoured to join in the festivites as well as accessoize some talented perfomers, from Sarah Fisher to Francesco Yates.
The talented Sarah Fisher from Degrassi: The Next Generation in 3SHAHS custom necklace and Iron Lady cocktail ring, in VIP Lounge post her performance
One of the day’s co-hosts, Kelly Lovell, also a successful Motivational Speaker, was very pleased with how the day progressed;
“I think it went great. I’m so happy to be part of an event that celebrates the potential of youth. That’s my mission to get into the hearts of young people, there’s so much potential in the young generation and they just need the opportunity to shine.”
Throngs of people crowded the Square and a stretch of Yonge street, closed from Dundas to Shuter Streets, despite the rain. Melissa Bessey, who has handled the PR for the event for the past two years, was thrilled with the turnout;
Sassy PR Gura Melissa Bessey
“We were expecting over 30,000 people today and I think we will hit that number. It’s so great to see so many people showing their support for Toronto’s youth and the arts. And now that it’s gone global, I think it makes everyone that much more proud to be associated with this event.”
Youth Day founder Tylaine Duggan, who took the stage to spearhead the 6pm moment of silence for all those youth lost to violence, pleaded with the young people there,
“for goodness sake, pick up a camera or a paintbrush, but whatever you do, don’t pick up a gun.”
VIPs in attendance included Mayor Rob Ford, Mayoral candidates Karen Stintz, David Soknacki, and Dewitt Lee. There was also a very special visiting dignitary; His Excellency Glendon Harris, the mayor of Montego Bay, Jamaica, where the first global Youth Day is set to take place in January 2015.
This incredible day was brought to a close when headlining music artist Francesco Yates took to the mic, bringing the house (or square) down with an electric performance, one he’d been waiting to give for a long time;
“It’s crazy……I tell everyone this, from age 12 when I was just starting to do this, I would drive by here with my parents thinking I want to play this place, it was always a goal of mine.”
Musician Francesco Yates with his custom 3SHAHS bracelet
3SHAHS was delighted to accessorize the models for a couple of the fashion shows organized by prominent local fashionista and hairstylist April Bessey. For more background information on Youth Day, please visit our pre-event post here.
Youth Day models pre-show, in 3SHAHS jewels
All in all, a wonderful day for the youth of the city of Toronto. We can’t wait for Youth Day Toronto 2015!
Founded after 2005’s “Summer of the Gun” - when gun homicides doubled from the previous year, Youth Day Toronto was and is intended to engage youth 14 to 29 years of age. Instead of resorting to violence, founder Tylaine Duggan wanted to foster their passion in art, film, photography, music, fashion and dance. Through peer and mentor networking and training in their field, young people can realize their potential and achieve success in life.
Free and non-profit, Youth Day is enabled by Corporate Champions and the tireless work of over 100 volunteers all year long to get things ready for the big day. This year, that day is Sunday, July 20th. Now in its eighth year, this 12 hour event has become iconic in downtown Toronto, and was proclaimed “an event of municipal significance” by the City of Toronto in 2012. This year, the City has arranged to have the CN Tower bathed in orange light to commemorate the day.
From approximately 5000 attendees in 2007, this year’s show is expected to welcome over 30,000 people. Over 100,000 people have taken in Youth Day annually since its inception. It is also going global; expanding to several new countries throughout 2015, starting with Youth Day Jamaica in January, 2015. Other great cities partaking in Youth Day next year will be Stockholm, Amsterdam, Barcelona, New York and London.
Youth Day begins at 11 am with the flag parade (showcasing the flags of Canada, Ontario, Toronto, and Youth Day) down Yonge Street. Over 350 young people will be participating in over 100 live concerts, fashion shows, and art showings. Youth Day alumni Kristen Anzelc, a Toronto-based singer/songwriter whose first CD is in preproduction, has fond memories;
"It's a great experience for young artists of all ages to have the opportunity to perform in front of a large audience in the heart of the city...I really believe it helps encourage young artists to go for their dreams."
The headliner this year is Toronto native Francesco Yates (see his official video for hot track "Call" below), a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose debut album will be out soon on Atlantic Records. Other big names coming to the festivities include singer and actor Sarah Fisher (Becky on Degrassi), Urban singer-songwriter Fito Blanko, and Lebanese-Canadian singer and multi-faceted talent Christine Saade.
Artisans, food vendors, information booths and corporate sponsors will have their wares on display along Yonge St. between Dundas and Shuter Sts, an area specifically closed off for the event. There will be a vigil at 6 pm for all the youth lost tragically to violence, and the day comes to a close at 11pm.
Our own Shah Emily Noaman and 3SHAHS is a proud sponsor and supporter of Youth Day Toronto 2014. 3SHAHS is gifting the VIP performers and Shah will be there personally outfitting the models for the fashion shows with her own unique creations. If you see something you like on the day, please feel free to contact us, and we'll be happy to accomodate your request. As described by Youth Day Toronto participants:
"[it] is not just a day, it is life changing.”
3SHAHS is thrilled to take part in this life changing day for Toronto's youth.
Rubies, the birthstone for the month of July, have a long and illustrious history in many cultures throughout the world. Taken from the Latin word “ruber,” meaning red, they’ve been mined for over 8000 years! There’s no better way to demonstrate your love than to give a ruby for a July birthday!
Did you know that ruby is a variety of the gem species corundum, and its colour is due to trace amounts of chromium in its structure?!! All other colours of this type of stone are called sapphires. It is second in strength only to a diamond, so they’re ideal for everyday use.
A wide variety of mystical and healing properties are attributed to this gem. They are said to provide safety to the wearer, even amongst enemies, so it was common to see them adorning armour, scabbards, and harnesses. They’re also rumoured to guarantee health, wisdom wealth and success in LOVE. Rubies were also traditionally placed within the foundation of new buildings to confer good fortune on the structure throughout its lifetime, and some would place them under their pillows to ward off bad dreams.
If your birthday, or that of a loved one is in July, 3SHAHS would like to wish you and your family and friends all the best on that special day. Please explore our website for many great gift ideas or contact us for more information on custom ordering a piece with rubies!!
Wishing all our North American friends a joyous celebration. Be it for Canada Day or Independence Day...accessorize in style!
We hope you have a wonderful time celebrating and that you get to see some fireworks! 3SHAHS is honoured be a Canadian based company in all that we do; from purchasing our materials locally to our Keeping it Local program. Thank you Canada for the endless opportunities!!