Irish Dancing at EC Toronto!!

To celebrate St. Patrick’s day EC Toronto invited a professional Irish dance group to put on a show for us!! The dancing was amazing and all of our students were very impressed. After the show the dance group even taught us a few dance steps. Some of us were very talented and some of us just had fun trying! 🙂

Introducing you to our very own professional clown!

We would like to introduce you to one of our very well known students (and well liked!) Chisato Yoshikawa who is in Low Intermediate. Chisato came to EC Toronto on November 19, 2012 and has been studying for 16 weeks. Chisato is known for her energy, bubbly personality and big smile. We recently learned that Chisato is a professional clown and today we had the opportunity to ask her about her career as a clown. How did you become a clown? My major in university was fashion design and when I finished school I got a job in fashion design. The job was very stressful and I wasn’t very happy. While I was working I became sick and had to have treatment for 6 months. During the treatment I met a clown and it was very inspiring.  Instead of returning to my job I decided to join a circus team!!! That was about 3 years ago now. Does a clown have to go to college or receive special training? It’s not necessary to go to school to learn Most clowns learn on the job from professional clowns with many years of experience. My clown team had more than 30 clowns! Each had different skills – balloon making, plate spinning, pantomiming. One of my clown colleagues was even 73 years old! It was a very diverse group and I learned a lot.           I was really lucky with my circus team. My teacher was friends with Patch Adams and I had the opportunity to meet him. It was a really great experience. What is your most memorable experience? I met a four-year-old girl while I was volunteering at a hospital. She was very sick and very sad. She was scared of the hospital. I was able to make her smile and bring … Read more

Family Day – Time for Your Family and Yourself

The original idea of Family Day was to give people a day that they can spend time with their families and have a day off between New Year’s Day and Good Friday. Common activities on Family Day are skating, skiing/snowboarding, playing hockey and going to winter festivals and of course eating a lot of pancakes with too much maple syrup! Family Day is celebrated in only some provinces in Canada – Alberta, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and of course here in Ontario. Our province started to have Family Day in 2007 when Dalton McGuinty promised to establish a provincial holiday in February if he was re-elected. So the whole EC Toronto family enjoyed its spare time on Family Day last Monday. Also our EC Toronto mascot, Günther, celebrated Family Day and took a day off! What did you do on last Monday when EC Toronto was closed due Family Day? Did you spend time with your homestay family and friends? Your EC Toronto Team

National Flag Day of Canada

source: www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/flagday 1921: Red and white were named the official colours of Canada. 1965: The red and white Canadian flag was raised on Parliament Hill where our Federal parliament meets. Canada is not a very old country. Canada officially became a country in 1867 – that means we are only 146 years old! We celebrate Canada’s birthday on July 1st every year. How old is your country?? Your EC Toronto Team wishes you a happy ‘National Flag of Canada Day’!

Black History Month 2013 in Toronto

Each February, everybody – Canadians and tourists in Canada – are invited to celebrate Black History Month. People honour ‘Canadians of African and Caribbean descent’ with many festivities and events. This year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is focussing on the past and present achievements of black Canadians in law enforcement. Some Activities in Toronto: REGGAE OR NOT: The birth of Dancehall culture in Jamaica and Toronto (February 1 – 28; Gladstone Hotel: 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto) KUUMBA: Celebrating Black History Month through the arts (February 1 – 3; Harbourfront Centre: 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto) TOUNKANDE: A Black History Month performance by Ballet Creole (February 1 – 28); various locations) L.A. Rebellion: Creating a new black cinema (January 31 – February 19; TIFF Bell Lightbox: 350 King Street West, Toronto) IN CONVERSATION WITH JULIE DASH (January 31; TIFF Bell Lightbox: 350 King Street West, Toronto) DRUM BEATS: As part of the Mutadi International Drumming Festival in honour of Black History Month (January 30 – February 28; various locations) And here the link to explore the virtual Canadian Black History Museum: http://goo.gl/QFkcQ – You have to try it. It’s fantastic! Your EC Toronto Team

Have you been considering post-secondary education in Canada?

Have you been considering post-secondary education in Canada? Unsure of what to expect? University students (native and non-native English speaking students alike) face many challenges at school. EC Toronto offers ‘study skills’ courses, which are designed to help with some of these difficulties and help you hit the ground running. The courses aim to improve general skills found in different disciplines: note-taking, how to follow key themes in lectures, contributing in group seminars, and of course, academic writing. In most university or college courses, almost all of your grades are based on written work. Thus, the ability to plan, brainstorm, synthesize information, edit, and re-edit your work is essential. By the end of your course, at EC Toronto you will have a better grasp of, and better ability to do, what is expected of students at this level of education in Canada. So don’t forget, study abroad courses are more than just about learning English – they can also be part of your goal of getting the university education that will open doors for the rest of your life!