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‘I belong to all of Hamilton now’: What 1 woman learned by walking every street in the city

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Anita Joldersma says she’s lazy.

But if you ask, she’ll roll out a battered transit map of Hamilton covered in purple and black squiggles that trace just about every street in the city. 

Over the past four years she’s walked them all — highways and private industrial roads excluded. All told, she’s covered an estimated 3,200 km.

Not bad for someone who says she’s not some « marathon chickie » and makes no claims of being an athlete.

« I’m just a frumpy housewife who decided to get off her couch and explore her city, » she says.

 Getting out of the car and onto my feet gave me a chance to examine the city in a very special way.– Anita Joldersma

Joldersma already knows what you’re going to ask before you say it. Why?

For the 56-year-old the answer is simple; she wanted to see more of her neighbourhood, but when she started walking she had trouble tracking which streets she had travelled.

So she started marking them on a map. She admits to being « a little OCD » and said those lonely lines soon started bugging her. She became determined to finish the map.

« My husband says I’m stubborn. I call it determined, » she said with a laugh.

Joldersma kept track of the ground she covered by tracing the streets in purple and black permanent marker. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Travelling with her own two feet didn’t come naturally to the mother of six who said before she started walking she was the type of person who considered a trip to the mailbox worthy of hopping in her car.

In fact, after her first-ever stroll she was tempted to throw in the towel.

« I hated it. I came back almost crying because I had worn the wrong shoes, I had blisters, I was thirsty and it was just terrible… and I had only walked around the block. »

Waking up a walker

Two days later she tried again, and as she huffed and puffed along Acadia Drive, she says a woman driving by told her to « keep it up. »

That was all the motivation she needed. The next morning, Joldersma says she woke up a walker.

Her journey covered all the streets within Hamilton’s historic city limits, before amalgamation it 2000.

It started on the Mountain before leading her through overgrown trails where she dodged poison ivy, into blinding snowstorms that froze her phone and along Barton Street the night after police taped off a section of the road to investigate a violent incident.

Joldersma said she never felt unsafe, but added walking past a crime scene the morning after and seeing the residents were just regular people taking their kids to school taught her not to stereotype.

While walking, she wore through a pair of shoes while meeting interesting characters and curious kids children who asked her about her mission.

The 56-year-old plans to keep walking in Dundas, Ancaster and some parts of Stoney Creek. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

The effort was never about weight loss, but she burned a lot of calories along the way. That said, Joldersma did discover she « cannot out-walk my fork. »

She also learned a little bit about the city she calls home.

« On main streets people don’t say ‘Hi,’ everyone just goes about their business, but once you get into a neighbourhood they think you belong and you start to feel like you do because they nod at you and acknowledge you, » she explained. « You start to feel like a friend almost because you’re in their neighbourhood. »

On September 29 Joldersma completed her four years of walking with a trip down Carrick Street along with Mayor Fred Eisenberger who just so happened to be politicking at the Tiger-Cat game nearby.

As she crossed a finish line made of colourful pennants strung around a parking sign she was hugged by friends and family.

« You can’t do this without it touching your heart, » she said. « Getting out of the car and onto my feet gave me a chance to examine the city in a very special way.

I feel like I belong to all of Hamilton now. »

After completing her project, Joldersma said she finds herself enjoying more stamina and walking to the store or the bank, trips she never would have considered before.

Confessions of a Streetwalker

The map may be filled in, but Joldersma isn’t finished. She plans to keep walking in Dundas, Ancaster and some parts of Stoney Creek.

She’s also working on a short story about her wanderings called Confessions of a Streetwalker — a suggestive title with pun fully intended.

Joldersma speaks fondly of her journey and what she learned along the way, but as she sketches out her next steps she stops.

« I was about to say I’d do it again, » she laughs. « But I don’t know that I would. »

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Anglais

Nostalgia and much more with Starburst XXXtreme

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Get a taste of adventure with Starburst XXXtreme based on the legendary NetEnt Game. The nostalgic themes are sure to capture fans of the classic version as they get treated to higher intensity, better visuals, and features. The most significant element of the game is its volatility. Patience will not be an essential virtue considering the insane gameplay, and there is a lot of win potential involved. It retains the original makeup of the previous game while adding a healthy dose of adrenaline. 

Starburst Visuals and Symbols

The game is definitely more conspicuous than before. The setting happens over a 5-reel, 3-row game grid with nine fixed win lines, which function if a succession from the left to the right reel is present. Only those players that that attain the highest win per bet line are paid. From a visual standpoint, the Starburst XXXtreme slots illustrates lightning effects behind the reels, which is not surprising as it is inherited from the original version. Available themes include Classic, Jewels, and Space. The game is also available in both desktop and mobile versions, which is advantageous for players considering the global pandemic. According to Techguide, American gamers are increasingly having more engaging gaming experiences to socialize to fill the gap of in-person interaction. Starburst XXXtreme allows them to fill the social void at a time when there is so much time to be had indoors. 

Starburst XXXTreme Features

Players get to alternate on three features which are Starburst Wilds, XXXtreme Spins, and Random Wilds. The first appears on reels 2,3, or 4. When these land, they expand to cover all positions while also calculating the wins. They are also locked for a respin. If a new one hits, it also becomes locked while awarding another respin. Starburst XXXtreme offers a choice between two scenarios for a higher stake. In one scenario with a ten times stake, the Starburst Wild is set on random on reels 2,3, or 4, and a multiplier starts the respin. The second scenario, which has a 95 times stake, starts with two guaranteed starburst wilds on reels 2,3, or 4. it also plays out using respin game sequence and features. The game also increases the potential with the Random Wilds feature to add Starburst Wilds to a vacant reel at the end of a spin. Every Starburst Wild gives a random multiplier with potential wins of x2, x3, x5, x10, x25, x50, x100, or even x150.

The new feature is sure to be a big hit with the gaming market as online gambling has shown significant growth during the lockdown. AdAge indicates the current casino customer base is an estimated one in five Americans, so Starburst XXXtreme’s additional features will achieve considerable popularity. 

What We Think About The Game

The gambling market has continued to diversify post-pandemic, so it is one of the most opportune times to release an online casino-based game. Thankfully Starburst XXXtreme features eye-catching visuals, including the jewels and space themes. These attract audience participation and make the gameplay inviting. The game also has a nostalgic edge. The previous NetEnt iteration featured similar visuals and gameplay, so the audience has some familiarity with it. The producers have revamped this version by tweaking the features to improve the volatility and engagement. 

That is characterized by the potential win cap of 200,000 times the bet. Starburst XXXtreme does not just give betting alternatives for players that want to go big. The increase of multipliers also provides a great experience. If the respins in the previous version were great, knowing that multipliers can go hundreds of times overtakes the game to a new level. 

Players should get excited about this offering. All of the features can be triggered within a single spin. Whether one plays the standard game or takes the XXXtreme spin route, it is possible to activate all of the features. Of course, the potential 200,000 times potential is a huge carrot. However, the bet size is probably going to be restricted and vary depending on the casino. It is also worth pointing out that a malfunction during the gameplay will void all of the payouts and progress. Overall, the game itself has been designed to provide a capped win of 200,000 times the original bet. 

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Anglais

‘We’re back’: Montreal festival promoters happy to return but looking to next year

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In downtown Montreal, it’s festival season.

In the city’s entertainment district, a musical act was conducting a sound check on stage Friday evening — the second day of the French-language version of the renowned Just For Laughs comedy festival. Tickets for many of the festival’s free outdoor shows — limited by COVID-19 regulations — were sold out.

Two blocks away, more than 100 people were watching an acoustic performance by the Isaac Neto Trio — part of the last weekend of the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique, a celebration of music from the African continent and the African diaspora.

With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to limit capacity, festival organizers say they’re glad to be back but looking forward to next year when they hope border restrictions and capacity limits won’t affect their plans.

Charles Décarie, Just For Laughs’ CEO and president, said this is a “transition year.”

“Even though we have major constraints from the public health group in Montreal, we’ve managed to design a festival that can navigate through those constraints,” Décarie said.

The French-language Juste pour rire festival began on July 15 and is followed by the English-language festival until July 31.

When planning began in February and March, Décarie said, organizers came up with a variety of scenarios for different crowd sizes, ranging from no spectators to 50 per cent of usual capacity.

“You’ve got to build scenarios,” he said. “You do have to plan a little bit more than usual because you have to have alternatives.”

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Anglais

MELS new major movie studio to be built in Montreal

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MONTREAL — MELS Studios will build a new film studio in Montreal, filling some of the gap in supply to meet the demand of Hollywood productions.

MELS president Martin Carrier said on Friday that MELS 4 studio construction will begin « as soon as possible », either in the fall or winter of next year. The studio could host productions as early as spring 2023.

The total investment for the project is $76 million, with the Quebec government contributing a $25 million loan. The project will create 110 jobs, according to the company.

The TVA Group subsidiary’s project will enable it to stand out « even more » internationally, according to Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau. In the past, MELS Studios has hosted several major productions, including chapters of the X-Men franchise. The next Transformers movie is shooting this summer in Montreal.

Péladeau insisted that local cultural productions would also benefit from the new facility, adding that the studio ensures foreign revenues and to showcase talent and maintain an industry of Quebec producers.

STUDIO SHORTAGE

The film industry is cramped in Montreal.

According to a report published last May by the Bureau du cinéma et de la télévision du Québec (BCTQ), there is a shortage of nearly 400,000 square feet of studio space.

With the addition of MELS 4, which will be 160,000 square feet, the company is filling part of the gap.

Carrier admitted that he has had to turn down contracts because of the lack of space, representing missed opportunities of « tens of millions of dollars, not only for MELS, but also for the Quebec economy. »

« Montreal’s expertise is in high demand, » said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, who was present at the announcement.

She said she received great testimonials from « Netflix, Disney, HBO and company » during an economic mission to Los Angeles in 2019.

« What stands out is that they love Montreal because of its expertise, knowledge and beauty. We need more space, like MELS 4, » she said.

There is still not enough capacity in Quebec, acknowledged Minister of Finance, the Economy and Innovation Eric Girard.

« It is certain that the government is concerned about fairness and balance, so if other requests come in, we will study them with the same seriousness as we have studied this one, » he said.

Grandé Studios is the second-largest player in the industry. Last May, the company said it had expansion plans that should begin in 2022. Investissement Québec and Bell are minority shareholders in the company.

For its part, MELS will have 400,000 square feet of production space once MELS 4 is completed. The company employs 450 people in Quebec and offers a range of services including studio and equipment rentals, image and sound postproduction, visual effects and a virtual production platform.

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