Saturday, August 22, 2015


There is no way the main street of Canada's largest city would close down for vendors, but here in Huntsville, Ontario a few times over the summer it does. Life in smaller communities is rich and colourful. Neighbours stroll the street with coffee and fresh baked goods chatting with people they have not seen for a while. It is an intimate and connecting day for small-town Ontario.

On a perfect hot sunny day Kristen Long, 25, of the Muskoka Dance Academy spends the day introducing children, big and small, to the fun of aerial silk. You may have seen similar acrobatics at Cirque du Soleil. This is it on a smaller scale in the middle of the main street, but no less filled with potential along the 20 foot lengths of silk.

Of the aerial silks, Kirsten explains, "I first saw them when I went to Vegas. I was intrigued with how strong they were and how fast they were doing these acrobatic moves. I wanted to try that too". She enrolled in classes at the Toronto Circus Arts and has been taking lessons for several years. She now teaches these skills to children pointing out that it is also a full body workout as well as something special and artistic.

Kristen teaches much more than the the aerial silks. The school teaches all forms of dance at their studio in Huntsville ontario.

KRISTEN FUN FACT: A 17 year old student, who has trained on the aerial silks was executing a sequence upside down and got herself completely entangled and could not get out of it. After they had a bit of a laugh, Kristen had to unwind the spiderweb of fabric and the student flopped to the ground remembering the part where she went wrong – with a smile!


Friday, August 21, 2015


One of Toronto's most beautiful walking paths and places to escape the busy city is along the Don River. It is here that Tryphena and Kevin  Magoffin stop to have a late lunch by the river. 

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Tryphena is a First Nations woman who came to Toronto in 2013, "I came to Toronto because I wanted to experience a different scenery and experience to try to change my life around," she says of her decision to leave her past behind.

Kevin, born in Barrie, Ontario is between jobs. He met Tryphena not long ago. Together they are traveling and exploring. They will go to Winnipeg together in a month. "It's going to be a new insight for me because I've never been out there," Kevin tells about his first trip to Winnipeg. This trip will reconnect Tryphena with her family and community and Kevin will be there for moral support.


Thursday, August 20, 2015


After a photoshoot modelling a line of clothing on a sticky hot day in Arrowhead Provincial Park, there really was only one way to truly cool down and refresh for Kandis Dacosta and Dylan Hewitt.

Raised in Huntsville, Ontario, minutes away from Stubb's Falls, Kandis went to the University of Ottawa for a double major in criminology and sociology. She has been spending her time working with youth both in the Huntsville area and in Grimsby, Ontario. Growing up, Kandis always had an interest in journalism, so it is not surprising one of her interests is expressing herself through writing. In the winter she snowboards and enjoys other outdoor activities in this beautiful and sometimes wild area of the country.

From the niagara region of Ontario, Dylan was born and raised in the small town of Beamsville. He ended up far from home in Huntsville playing Junior A hockey for the Hunstville Otters for two years. Returning to Niagara, he played for the Junior Canadians in Welland as well as graduating from Niagara College in Body Mechanics. Dylan continues the family tradition of carpentry. He spent time in northwestern Canada building giant oil tanks to store synthetic oil, building civil structures and is now putting his skills to work locally in the Huntsville region.

KANDIS FUN FACT: "I can lick my elbow! I can," she says laughing of a quirky skill that she possess! With that, she demonstrates! Its true! She really can!

DYLAN FUN FACT: "I was born with six toes!" Another first for The Hello Project as he describes his left foot. After some corrective surgery to fix the crowding of his toes, he's happy it does not slow him down in his continued passion for hockey.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015


With a wry smile and a body always in motion, Kevin O'leary glides through the chummed waters of investment and finance looking for a meal. Today we find him checking out visiting investors at Toronto's Ripley's Aquarium.

Seen on CBC's The Dragon's Den, as well as the American version, wait for it... Shark Tank, Kevin is a top-tier predator in the business world, not suffering fools gladly. When he is not staring down his next meal, he can be found enjoying the waters around his cottage, playing guitar and traveling.

KEVIN FUN FACT: He enjoys long swims in the lagoon pretending not to notice the slower and underachieving species. We have yet to determine if his favourite food is... sushi!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015


A two-time Olympic athlete, 35 year old Bo Hedges is one of the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball players in the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games held in Toronto this summer.

Born in the northern British Columbia community of Fort St. John but living in Wonowon B.C., Bo Hedges earned a gold medal in the London Olympics and a silver from Beijing. This night he and his team mates take on Puerto Rico in the men's quarter finals.

(From left) Kate and Megan are Bo's cousin's children from Mississauga, just west of Toronto. Amanda, Rachel, Caitlin, Chris and Bo's cousin, George Hedges are from western Canada, from Edmonton and Calgary.

Enjoying front row seats directly behind the Canadian bench, Bo's dedicated cheering section help the entire team cheer the men to their 73 - 34 defeat of Puerto Rico.


Bo Hedges during the
Canada vs Puerto Rico quarter finals

Monday, August 17, 2015


Toronto natives, Thalia Godbout and her friend David Huynh pause to refresh at the Yonge and Dundas Square fountain to try to get some relief from the heat of the summer. High school students heading into grade 11, they are enjoying a summer off.

Thalia has been spending the summer preparing for, and attending some conventions. Foolishly, the Hello Project assumed these conventions were for school or other professional purposes. How wrong one can be! With laughs outnumbering spoken words, Thalia corrects the misconception. "Anime conventions! Yeah! I dress up in costumes. Laughter." She says of her love of dressing up as fictional characters. Asked what one would see if one were to open her closet, "Wigs, lots of wigs. Well over 20 wigs for my costumes. Laughter. 

In her spare time, Thalia like s to dress up and go to "cons". With a look of seriousness, Thalia says that if one were to call these events, "conventions", it would reveal them to be one who is not exactly into the scene. Word to live by!

David, more reserved, is interested in photography, specifically street photography. Ever since meeting Thalia he has begun to be sucked into black hole of her world of cons and anime. Thalia is laughing – almost uncontrollably. Splitting his time between cons and photography, David has been spending his summer relaxing and enjoying his friends.

THALIA FUN FACT: Laughing, she digs through her bag for a homemade card. "I have a Facebook card. You can find me there. Its a public page." Laughing. Thalia Thi is the Facebook page. Laughing. "I made a full body suite. Its a favourite. The character is Rei. It's on my Facebook page." 

DAVID FUN FACT: "People call me. Dumpling," he says of his nickname. I recently made a web page called Dumpling Photography. I don't know why people call me that," he says, also laughing.