Understanding Canada’s New Anti-Spam Law (CASL) – Free seminar May 6 Toronto

As of July 1st 2014 Canada’s new Anti-Spam Law (CASL) will be coming into effect. Have you been wondering what your organization will need to do to comply with this new legislation? Client relationship management including email communications will be affected and penalties will apply in the event of non-compliance!

I have just learned about an upcoming free event to address the needs of small business owners being organized by Lisette Andreyko of Kaleidoscope Consulting. Space is limited so register asap at the Eventbrite link below!

Understanding CASL: The new anti-spam law
Tues. May 6 2014 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (EDT)
ING Direct – Network Orange Cafe
221 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M5B 1M4
Presenter:  Jonathan MacKenzie of  Aluvion Law
Jonathan is a lawyer who works with small businesses and entrepreneurs, drawing on his former entrepreneurial experience. Jonathon will cover  the current law on sending business communications, summarize the upcoming changes with the CASL legislation, and how businesses can ensure that they stay compliant.

Click here to register and to contact Lisette Andreyko of Kaleidoscope Consulting.


This is part of a weekly meetup “Strategic Focus for Startups” that Kaleidoscope Consulting organizes. Group members provide peer support, sound advice, best practices and networking opportunities to improve focus.  Kaleidoscope Consulting offers start-up organizational advice and mentoring services to help you gain #strategicfocus and implement your unique business roadmap through personalized and practical workshops.

Glenda MacDonald
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Last updated: April 22, 2014


Social Media Manager School – not just a course but a community! Spring registration deadline at midnight


SMMSMarch 2014Last summer my career took an unexpected turn due to restructuring.   I packed up my desk after five years as the Relationship Manager for a national not-for-profit association. I had to do some quick thinking about where I wanted to put my energies next. I had a great resume, lots of education, broad experience – both paid and volunteer, and wonderful references.  I was old enough to have some level of maturity and young and energetic enough to take on exciting new challenges. I knew my next path would include writing, marketing, and social media (as well as a little more exercise).  While I am formally trained in writing and marketing I was just dabbling in social media.  I lacked the confidence to pursue opportunities in social media though I knew it was something I was very interested and would be a great complement to my other skills and interests.

As part of my job search I did a lot of networking both in person, through traditional methods, and through social media. I spent hours daily on LinkedIn, rebuilding my connections and joining special interest groups. AndreaandPhyllisIt was through a social media group that I met and became friends with Andrea Vahl and through her Phyllis Khare. These incredible women are the Co-Founders of the virtual Social Media Manager School which is destined to become the world’s largest organization for training social media managers.

They were offering an amazing, intensive, online course for under $300 U.S. so I signed up in October and I have never looked back. I immediately got lifetime access to their private Facebook group of students and alumni and am in touch with them all daily now. They supported me through the large learning curve of mastering the course materials, sharing best practices, and so much more. They come from the entertainment field and are some of the most fun people I know. Their enthusiasm and support is so infections that they have built a community of over 300 social media managers and students who are helping each other worldwide.

2014 01 SMMS Glenda MacDonald Certificate I completed my Certificate in Social Media Management in January and am now one of the alumni helping the newbies that have just joined for the Spring/Summer session. Registration deadline is midnight tonight, April 16 2014. Click here  for more info or to register. I am now an enthusiastic affiliate of the school and spreading the world!

Meeting Andrea and Phyllis has put me on an incredible path. I now have a long list of people who want to work with me and I am doing social media management and writing for some of the world’s most creative and worthwhile projects.  I now have the confidence to continue expanding my skills. I can’t thank Andrea and Phyllis enough and this is just one of the ways I am doing it!

Register online  by midnight EST today if you want to get into the session starting now. Many new students are already on board.  After that the doors will close after midnight until October 2014. I look forward to meeting you in the private Facebook group! If you have any questions about the course feel free to contact me at gm@glendamacdonald.com .

by Glenda MacDonald

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Last updated: April 16 2014 4:48 p.m.

Recap of the Thinking Out Loud Series re Creative Process at Concordia University

Last updated: April 12, 2014 (Original Post March 5, 2014).

“Thinking Out Loud”  is a series of talks which is a collaboration of Concordia University and The Globe and Mail focusing on the creative process. Admission was free though reservations were required for these events which took place on campus in Montreal. For full details about the series click here. You can also follow “Thinking Out Loud” on Facebook and the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using #CUtalks . Contact cutalks@concordia.ca to be added to the email list for future series. For links to the 2013 Conversation series “Living Well and Staying Healthy” click here .

At some point I plan to listen to the podcasts and watch the videos for the March 2014 “Thinking Out Loud” series as I was not able to travel from Toronto to attend. Here are details and links for the four presentations, reverse chronologically.

  • Tues., March 25, 2014, 7-8:15 p.m. +, “The Music of Creativity” featuring Sandeep Bhagwati of Concordia University and Q on CBC Radio’s  @Jian Ghomeshi.  Conversation followed by a book signing.  Click here to listen to the podcast.
  • Thurs., March 20, 2014, 7 – 8:15 p.m. +, “The Writing of Inspiration” featuring Josip Novakovich & Booker Prize winner Peter Carey. Conversation plus book signing. Click here to listen to the podcast.
  • Wed., March 12, 2014, 7 – 8 p.m., “On the  Academics of Circus” featuring Louis Patrick Leroux & Cirque du Soleil’s Lyn Heward . Conversation.   Click here to listen to the podcast.
  • Thurs., March 6, 2014, 7-8:15 p.m.+, “Strategies for Media Clutter”, featuring Charles Acland & CBC’s Terry O’Reilly; moderated by Ryan MacDonald, Political Editor of  The Globe and Mail.  Conversation plus book signing.  Click here to listen to the podcast.

For complete details see www.concordia.ca/cutalks


For other upcoming events listed on this blog see the Upcoming Events page.

Glenda MacDonald

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Alive Inside – awakening Alzheimer’s and dementia patients

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease rob individuals of the essence of their personalities, with devastating consequences for the stricken individuals and for all who love them. But does it have to?

The second-to-last time I saw Granny she was in a wheelchair still, in the apartment wing of the “rest home”, on a waiting list for a spot in the nursing wing. My mom, a nurse, ministered to all her physical needs. Granny didn’t know her anymore and seemed to be ‘gone’. But those blue eyes… as I looked into them I wondered with my undergrad degree in psychology, what if she is not gone. She locked eyes on me. I’m not sure why but I threw a “Nerf” ball at her, and damn –  she could have been at first base the way that arm flew up and caught it. Reflex? I believed that she was ‘still in there”.  But I lived far away and wouldn’t be able to test my theory.

The final time I saw her, so frail and tiny in her hospital bed, chin sharp in the absence of dentures, nose pointy, hair white and gray, I thought, what if there is more in there?  As I sat by her side, holding her hand, as she lay in a fetal position, we locked eyes for a final time, my blue eyes a reflection of hers.  I said “Granny, I will always remember you for the wonderful beautiful woman that you are.” A tear rolled down her cheek. I believe she heard me. I never saw her again.

Tonight I attended the first Canadian performance of Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory, a Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary by social worker Dan Cohen captured on film and directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett. The first of three showings at 6:30 p.m. this evening was sold out. It covers a three year period where Dan and Michael documented the incredible effect of putting iPods and headphones with personalized music selections based on individual histories into the hands of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.  The results were astounding as patient after patient came alive, swaying to the music, singing, crying, laughing, some dancing.  And the joy in those who witnessed it was viral. You can’t watch this movie and not want to go out and deliver this experience to every person that might benefit from it. While the music was delivered through headphones it did not preclude engagement with others, in fact  the intensity of the private music connection seemed to facilitate communication with others.

Music seems to access a part of the neural networks that is the first to develop and the last to be lost,  not so much affected by the diseases of aging.  And there were stories too of families discovering the value of music and how it might delay some of the symptoms, allowing them to keep their loved ones at home, engaging, loving, being a valuable part of the family and the community. If I had only known, maybe an old Finnish folk tune would have helped Granny.

AliveInsideHotDocsApr 2 2014 first show GMacDonaldFilmaker and producer Michael Rossato-Bennett and Mr. Hardy (whose wife Nell has lived at home for ten years on a steady diet of music, avoiding going to a nursing home)

This film has only played at Sundance, and tonight and tomorrow at Hot Docs / Doc Soup in Toronto. I’m sure the other two performances will be sold out too.

Mr. Rossato-Bennet and Mr. Hardy, as well as many fans and supporters need to raise $200k for the Canadian distribution of the film beginning in July.

Let’s bring the film to Canadian audiences. This is not just a film it is a social movement. For more info see aliveinsidemovie.com 

and click here to make your donation to the project now.

Glenda MacDonald


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Last updated April 4, 2014 8:23 p.m.