• 5 unique and useful wedding gift ideas

    Here are some creative ideas being seen in wedding catalogues and registry wish lists across Canada this year.

    1. The gift of choice. Nowadays, many couples have been living together for years before tying the knot, meaning they won't need basics like plates and cutlery. They'd probably prefer a cash gift to help pay for the wedding, or a gift card for a nice restaurant or home store.

    2. Kitchen memories. While many couples will have the basics, most won't have splurged on quality, high-performance appliances that stand the test of time. Encourage them to make new memories in the kitchen together with a tool they can use to prepare delicious meals, like the Cuisinart Precision Master Stand Mixer. The powerful appliance comes with step-by-step instructions for dozens of recipes, for making everything from a spinach and feta soufflé to chocolate chunk cookies.

    3. A weekend getaway. The first year of marriage can be stressful, so give them a chance to unwind and reconnect with a long weekend away from home a few months after the wedding. A nice bed and breakfast an hour away is an affordable but very thoughtful gift that will be well received.

    4. Luxurious linens. No one can ever have too many well-appointed linens. High thread-count sheets and comfy pillows are great options for new and established couples.

    5. Monogramed anything. Matching his and hers items are cute and commemorate the special occasion. Think monogramed towels, bathrooms or coffee mugs for a personalized touch.



  • How to be money-smart in retirement

    Many of us look forward to retirement as an opportunity to pursue new goals or reactivate life-long interests. With the right financial planning, you can be on track to achieve the financial security you need to realize your vision of a comfortable retirement.

    By staying informed and taking steps to protect your savings, you are setting yourself on the path to becoming a money-smart retiree. Here are some tips to get you started on the right path:

    1. Review your investments based on the timing of when you plan to withdraw your money. As you approach retirement, talk to your financial advisor regularly about your goals and any changes that could affect them.

    2. If you're still working, maximize your pension contributions to give your savings a boost.

    3. Assign a power of attorney to someone you trust to handle financial and legal matters on your behalf as you age.

    4. Learn about tax credits available to seniors, including pension income credits and disability credits.

    5. Educate yourself on elder abuse and fraud. Common forms include burglary, telephone fraud and identity theft. Sadly, most financial fraud committed against older adults involves friends, family, caregivers or social contacts. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself.

    For more information, visit IFIC.CA > Investors


  • New TIFF-CBC screenwriting grant recognizes and supports under-represented Canadian storytellers

    New screenwriting grant offering $10,000 to recipient

    TIFF and CBC Breaking Barriers Film Fund today announced a new screenwriting grant created to support Canada’s diverse screenwriting talent, and discover a great Canadian screenplay. The TIFF-CBC Diverse Screenwriters Grant will provide $10,000 to a Canadian writer of an outstanding feature film screenplay, supporting them to further develop their project.The TIFF-CBC Diverse Screenwriters Grant is open to screenwriters who are female, Indigenous, belong to visible minorities, or identify with a disability. Applicants must have an existing writer or director credit on at least one feature film that has been presented at TIFF. Full eligibility requirements and application details are available at tiff.net/industry .

    “Our stories are only as rich and authentic as the voices that tell them. Screenwriting is a key focus of TIFF’s talent development activities, and this grant recognizes the tremendous value that diversity brings to the film-writing process, while celebrating outstanding Canadian storytelling,” said Kathleen Drumm, TIFF Industry Director.

    “With their reputation for showcasing great Canadian creators, TIFF is a natural partner for CBC to work with to further our shared commitment to nurture and promote underrepresented storytellers in this country," said Helen du Toit, Interim Senior Director, CBC Breaking Barriers Film Fund. "Through this new grant, we hope to discover the next great Canadian story that will celebrate Canada's rich, diverse culture and resonate both at home and abroad.”

    Submissions for the grant are now open (for screenplays between 85 and 120 pages) and will close on August 21, 2017. A jury will determine the winner based on the quality of the screenplay. The winner will be announced in November.

    Social Media: 

    About TIFF 
    TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world, through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net. 

    About CBC Breaking Barriers Film Fund 
    Offering new opportunities for filmmakers who have historically been at a disadvantage in accessing financing and making their unique voices heard, the CBC Breaking Barriers Film Fund helps finance English-language feature film projects that are written or directed by Canadian women, Indigenous persons, visible minorities and persons with a disability who have had at least one feature-length film showcased at a recognized film festival. Submissions are now being accepted an on ongoing basis with no formal deadlines. Further information and application guidelines are available at www.cbc.ca/breakingbarriers/ 

    About CBC/Radio-Canada 
    CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective. In 2017, CBC/Radio-Canada will at the heart of the celebrations and conversations with special 2017-themed multiplatform programming and events across Canada.

    The Toronto International Film Festival is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC, L’Oréal Paris and Visa, and Major Supporters the Government of Ontario, The Government of Canada and the City of Toronto.

  • Understand “readvanceable mortgages” when house hunting

    You've saved up a 20 per cent down payment and are eager to get into the real estate market. For the remaining amount, it's likely your bank will offer you a readvanceable mortgage. But should you take it?

    This popular product, marketed under different names from one bank to another, combines term mortgages with home equity lines of credit. Like a credit card, the amount of money available in your line of credit decreases as you borrow and increases as you pay it back. Your credit limit may also increase automatically as you pay down your mortgage. Some lenders bundle other financial products like car loans or credit cards together under a readvanceable mortgage, typically at an attractive interest rate.

    At first glance, this may seem appealing. But keep in mind any applicable fees and the risks of tying different credit products together before signing on the dotted line.

    Readvanceable mortgages make it more complicated and expensive to switch lenders to get a better interest rate when your mortgage is up for renewal. You may need to repay all credit products tied together under the readvanceable mortgage. And because it's secured by a collateral charge against your home, there are additional legal fees you wouldn't incur when moving a traditional mortgage.

    “Lenders can demand that you repay your home equity line of credit, lower your credit limit or increase your interest rate at any time,” cautions Lucie Tedesco, commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. “This would impact all credit products bundled together in your readvanceable mortgage.”

    Remember that a home equity line of credit is secured using your home as collateral — meaning if you can't pay back the money you owe, your lender can take possession of it.

    Find more information online at canada.ca/money.


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