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A Canadian Who is Persevering Captain Simon Mailloux

All around us, there are heros and great people. They could be our next door neighbor or someone we know well.

One of these Canadians is probably well known in his home city, most certainly in the Canadian Military and definitely with his family and friends., B.A. (Hons), CMR (French: College militaire royal du Canada or Royal Military Colllege of Canada) is a current member of the Canadian Armed Forces and the first Canadian soldier to return to Afghanistan as an amputee.

In his studies, he was given an international exchange scholarship from the Canada Corps. With this scholarship, he earned his Bachelor of Military and Strategic Studies from CMR. For 4 months, he performed research on Post-Conflict Security and was involved in peacekeeping staff training plans.

When he graduated in 2006, he was posted to the 3rd Battalion Royal 22nd Regiment in Valcartier, Quebec. Soon after, they were deployed to Afghanistan and he was assigned as platoon commander. On November 16, 2007, in a road side bomb attack, he lost his lower left leg, two companion soldiers, and an interpreter. Two other soldiers were injured in the explosion. They were on a patrol in the western Zhari District, where there had been a number of Taliban insurgents, Captain Mailloux and some the soldiers were trying to create a police checkpoint, when the IED (Improvised Explosive Device) exploded.

He was sent to US Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany to start his recovery. In an interview with “The Maple Leaf”, a military newspaper, he states that he does remember telling his major that he was going to be back in a couple of weeks and he felt guilty that he had to leave the platoon he was commanding. The next few days were a blur.

After he woke up in Germany and was told that he had lost the lower half of his left leg, he had no idea where to go from there. To him, it seemed that nothing was left for him. It wasn’t so much that he had lost his leg, it was the mental part. What to do next?

He went through numerous surgeries and months of difficult rehabilitation and was then back at work in March 2008, in the Governor General’s Foot Guards. A year later, he was promoted to Captain, then in July 2009, it was stipulated that as long as he succeeded in passing the requirements for deployment, he could return to Afghanistan, as he wished.

So, with a prosthetic leg, he did his EXPRES physical and his battle fitness test (15 km walk with gear), he passed and was given the ok to be deployed. He felt that he needed to return to Afghanistan to show others that even if a soldier has been injured, they could still be a functional member of society and especially, be a useful member of the Canadian Forces.

Before deployment, Captain Mailloux was one of 46 people to receive the Sacrifice medal (November 2009), most of the people to receive this medal, receive it after they have been killed or have died in action.

January 2010, he returned to active duty in Afghanistan, as the first Canadian soldier amputee to do so. He is part of a team that is based out of the Kandahar headquarters where they are planning future operations in Afghanistan. The only thing he really regrets is that he is unable to lead a platoon into the field. He says he will really miss that.

He has shown that perseverance is still alive in the world and we all need to remember: What we set our minds to do, we will do, whether it is a tiny first step towards a goal, or whether it is to do nothing to achieve what we seek.

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Great Canadian Festival The Montreal Jazz Festival

The Montreal Jazz Festival (Now in its 32nd year) is set in the spectacular heart of downtown Montreal. It’s the world largest jazz festival hosting 3000+ artists from over 50 counties. For over thirty years the festival has hosted incredible artists. In 1983 Ray Charles took to the stage (watch a clip HERE). And In 1985 Miles Davis graced the festival with his presence (watch a clip HERE). More recently Diana Krall, Ben Harper, and Herbie Hancock have preformed.

Yearly when they close down the streets, millions of people from Canada and around the world head to Montreal to stand like sardines in the crowded streets and love it. Other than famous jazz musicians you’ll find street performers, clowns, foodies, and travelers. No matter what you are in the mood for you’ll find something at this festival.

The festival is backed by the Canadian government with over 3 million dollars of funding each year. It falls into the “tourism” budget and frankly I’m happy as a pig in shit about it! If your out this year, you can catch these plus many more artists: B52′s, KD Lang, Ron Sexsmith and The Roots.

Get your tickets or more info at the jazz festivals website HERE

The Great Canadian Thrifting Theory

The secret to obtaining affordable and inspiring vintage clothing came to me while studying Fashion Design at Lethbridge College. Okay, so in this case the “studying” was taking place at a residence party (don’t tell my instructors) and the quiz was a simple, “Where are you from?”

After living in Regina for 18 years I’ve become accustomed to the genitalia reference, the forced interest, the half hearted ‘Oh… Cool’ that inevitably comes along with getting-to-know-you conversations. However, this particular response shocked me more than a snowfall in April (which is actually not surprising at all for Saskatchewanians.)

“No way! Regina has the best Value Village in Canada.”

This reaction, like the apple falling on Newton’s head, instantly spawned The Great Thrifting Theory. As I’m sure my fellow fashionable Canadians already know, what the north lacks in high-end availability we make up for with an abundance of second hand treasures. Value Village, or Village des Valeurs as our friends in Quebec know it, dubbed themselves Canada’s Favourite Thrift Store and as a professional thrift addict I can affirm this statement. Value Village is like the X-Marks-The-Spot for said second hand treasures, but with over 100 locations across Canada where is a travelling style fiend to begin? Enter: The Great Thrifting Theory.

City Size / Vintage Stores = Probability Of Thrifting Success

For example, plug-in Toronto. Big city, lots of potential for high fashion hand me downs. But when you divide the population by the number of vintage stores scoping and snatching the goods, only to go off and double the price, you’re left with a lot of warped fitting t-shirts and not nearly enough gems. Enter: Regina, or any other locale with a Little City/ Big Town status. The city is just big enough to have style potential, but just small enough to veto those pesky vintage stores from picking over the product.

So next time you go searching for the perfect steal, or your home town solicits an eye roll from a stylish uppity, remember the Great Thrifting Theory and your true, patriot love. Our home and native land will provide us with sartorial goodness yet.

Great Canadian Musician Dallas Green

Dallas Green’s melodic acoustic rock and soulful vocals are what make him a superstar among his followers. Born in the southern Ontario city of St. Catharines (Canada’s biggest little city) he honed his art and recorded a demo with some “simple songs” that would later circulate the Internet and show up on some of his albums.

He has collaborated with great artists such as the Tragically Hip’s Gordon Downie, Ron Sexsmith and the Never-ending White Lights. But he is most well known for his time with the hardcore rock band Alexisonfire, and his folky acoustic band City and Colour.

Dallas is happily married to Canadian TV host Leah Miller and can be found year round touring his home country, Canada. This summer he is playing the Calgary Folk Festival, Osheaga in Montreal, and summer in the Park Festival in North Bay. If you can’t catch any of these shows you can listen online HERE

Listen to City And Colour’s Fragile Bird

Listen to Alexisonfire’s This Could Be Anywhere In The World

Who would you like to hear Dallas collaborate with? Leave a comment and let us know.

Stanley Cup Play-offs Vancouver Boston

The Vancouver Canucks are looking good with some of the best forwards in the world right now. Hendrik and Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler worked hard Tonight in game one of the Stanley Cup playoffs at Rogers Arena. But it was Raffi Torres that scored the winning goal with 26 seconds left in the game!

The heroes of this game were the goaltenders. A few more games like that and Boston Pizza will have to change their name for good to Vancouver Pizza. You can see the next game in the series on June Fourth, 8 pm Eastern time. Get all the news at