Minutes of the Monthly Meeting held on March 14, 2022, through video conference via Zoom
Thomas S. Saras
Hon. Basilio Giordano
Leila Monteiro Lins
Sandie De Freitas
Kathy L. L. Li
Hon. Joe Volpe
Gezahegn Mekonnen Demissie
Muhammad Naeem Ul Islam
Mohammed Mominul Haque
Agenda of the day:
- Welcome Remarks by the chair.
- Minutes of the previous meeting
- President’s Report/Discussions
- Presentation by Doug Clarke – President, Tekan.
- Presentation by John Boynton- Vice- Chair Nordstar Capital Group
- Presentation by Dave Harkness snf Josee Shank, Canadian Heritage
- New Members/New Business
Welcome Remarks by the Chair:
Mohammed Tajdolati chaired the virtual monthly meeting and declared the meeting open. Hon Giodarno Bassilo moved a motion to approve the agenda. Paul Ngyuen seconded it. The motion was carried unanimously.
Minutes of the previous meeting:
Demetris Voahaitis moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting and Helen Wang and Mohammed Samimi seconded it. Minutes of the previous monthly meeting were approved unanimously.
Thomas Saras welcomed everyone to the monthly meeting of March 14, 2022. He highlighted the achievements of the council over the past few years and specially during the pandemic when members faced additional challenges. He praised the arduous work and dedication of all members who contributed towards its success and specially mentioned Maria Saras Voutsinas who has been tirelessly working for the members during the pandemic. Maria Saras-Voutsinas informed the internship programme has started this year.
President Thomas Saras reminded members the annual membership fees for 2022. Many members mentioned the significance and benefits of being a NEPMCC member. NEPMCC has tirelessly worked for decades to educate and influence Governments to take Ethnic Media industry very seriously.
President Thomas Saras mentioned that next year NEMCC will host a 3–4-day educational seminar in Toronto.
NEPMCC will participate at CNE Ethnic Press Festival and will also observe Freedom of the Press Week in May.
Motion: There was motion on the floor to authorize the office of the President to participate in the CNE this year. George Guzmas moved the motion, Athanasios Kourtesis and Roberto Hausman seconded it. The motion was approved unanimously.
President Thomas Saras suggested in creating a fund to help international journalists who are being persecuted and tortured in various countries worldwide.
Mr. Saras informed the members that the LJI budget has been increased for the current year and for the next business year. He encouraged members that have not already done so to apply for funding. He also explained that the Internship Program will continue and that NEPMCC is currently waiting for its approval. Once the approval is received for the next cycle, all qualifying members will be encouraged to apply for it. He mentioned that NEPMCC has already received several applications on file and those that are approved will be funded once the program begins.
President Saras emphasized that funds allocated under various projects would only be distributed to members who qualify for it
Mr. Saras informed members on the upcoming events and projects for NEPMCC. Mr. Saras will try to organize meeting with Lieutenant Governor of Quebec to discuss on the issues of ethnic media in Quebec.
President Thomas Saras thanked all the members who generously donated to NEPMCC. Although the industry and our members are struggling financially, he encouraged everyone that can do so to donate.
Thomas Saras urged the members to participate in different projects that are available. If there is lack of adequate participation, the funds would go back to its source and in future the allocations of such funds could be limited.
Members who wish to participate in projects undertaken by NEPMCC (other than the LJI) must be in good standing and abide by all the codes governing the council. They should also pay all membership dues.
The President is in touch with Federal Government and Provincial Government for funding members of NEPMCC during the ongoing Pandemic. President is scheduled to meet with representatives of both Federal and Provincial Government to request more funds for the struggling ethnic media industry.
President Thomas Saras mentioned that LJI payments will be made in 2 weeks.
President Thomas Saras continued to educate members on various projects undertaken by NEPMCC and especially on the LJI. President Thomas Saras informed about the local initiative program The Local Journalism Initiative (LJI) supports the creation of original civic journalism that covers the diverse needs of underserved communities across Canada. Funding is available to eligible Canadian media organizations to hire an unemployed journalist or pay freelance journalists to produce civic journalism for underserved communities. The content produced will be made available to media organizations through a Creative Commons license so that Canadians can be better informed. He mentioned under this program a publisher can hire qualified journalist or a journalistic student in the final year and get up to a maximum of $30,000 per year. He mentioned that the program has been phenomenally successful. He hoped that the program will continue to receive funds in future. The program also pays for mailing expenses of the copies of the publication to remote communities and provides special prepaid kits to members participating in the program.
The president also encouraged all the members to apply for an ID or Media Pass of the organization. There are so many benefits; the president said that it is to one’s advantage to have it.
Presentation by Doug Clarke – President, Tekan.
Presentation by John Boynton- Vice- Chair Nordstar Capital Group
The chair introduced both the speakers John Boynton and Doug Clarke and invited them to speak to the members of NEPMCC
Doug Clarke is a senior digital media executive in Canada with deep expertise in the areas of business transformation, sales and marketing, strategy development and execution. Doug is a specialist in corporate turnarounds and the building of strong, dynamic management teams. Doug has been involved in multiple mergers and acquisition activities and orchestrated digital transformations in companies such as Trader Corporation and YPG. Doug has had executive roles in companies such as Vertical Scope Inc. as Chief Operating Officer; Yellow Pages / Pages Jaunes as Chief Operating Officer; AutoTrader.ca as President; and Bell Canada as Director Business to Business Sales Director. He mentioned that he had partnered with Ozone Project Canada and Town News Canada. The Ozone Project is a transparent and easy way for advertisers to reach highly attentive audiences at broadcast scale, in brand safe, known environments that are trusted and proven to deliver real business results He spoke about how Ozone Project works and how Ton News Canada helps in content management.
John Boynton is Vice-Chair of NordStar Capital, a holding company for Canadian media company Torstar Corporation. Mr. Boynton was appointed to the position of Vice-Chair in April 2021, prior to that he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Torstar and Publisher of the Toronto Star since March 2017. Mr. Boynton previously served as Chief Marketing Officer of Aimia Inc. since 2014. Before joining Aimia, was with Rogers Communications Inc. for 12 years, most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to working for Rogers Communications, he held senior executive positions with several companies including Sprint Canada, AT&T Canada, Scott's Hospitality and PepsiCo. John is currently first Vice Chair of the board of Canadian Cancer Society and sits on the boards of INMA (International News Media Association) GRB Restaurants and Dynamic Brands Restaurants. He was Co-Vice Chair of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Vice Chair of the Canadian Marketing Association, a member of the boards of Prostate Cancer Canada, Blue Ant, Canadian Press, Vertical Scope, Black Press, and Mobility View.
The Ozone Project is a transparent and easy way for advertisers to reach highly attentive audiences at broadcast scale, in brand safe, known environments that are trusted and proven to deliver real business results. The Ozone Project was created to change the world of digital advertising for advertisers, publishers, and consumers an ecosystem where all three can thrive. This means a more effective future where a brand’s advertising results are inextricably linked to overall business performance, a more sustainable future where publishers are recognised and rewarded for the high attention environments they create for their loyal readers, and a fairer future where consumers clearly understand and value their role in the advertising exchange. The Better Future Series is a way of introducing, investigating, and interpreting the changes that are happening within the world of digital advertising.
Both the speakers encouraged members to join the new journey in digital advertising and monetizing content.
Said Henry, Maria Sweitorzecki, Dimitri Papadopolous, Bakoyannis, Manan Gupta and others participated in the discussions and asked pertinent questions to the speakers.
Presentation by Dave Harkness and Josee Shank Canadian Heritage
Canada Periodical fund- Business Innovation Component for Print Magazines and Digital Periodicals
The Business Innovation component of the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) provides financial support to eligible small and mid-sized printed magazine and digital periodical publishers. This component of the CPF encourages innovation to adapt to changing market conditions and contributes to the diversity of content sought by Canadian readers.
- To be eligible for funding, your publishing firm and any affiliated companies must:
- be in operation throughout the application process and until the completion of the project.
- be majority owned and controlled by Canadians.
- be private‑sector entities, including corporations, not‑for‑profit organizations,
- partnerships and sole proprietorships (Note: All applicants, including for start‑up projects, must have a Business Number (BN)); and
- have their principal place of business in Canada.
Business Innovation can provide up to $5,000 in start‑up funding to help aspiring or emerging publishers plan, launch or further develop a digital periodical. Eligibility criteria for the start‑up project are detailed in the Application Guidelines.
Applications for projects starting in the current fiscal year will be accepted on an ongoing basis until September 15.
Dave Harkness encouraged qualifying members to apply for this fund and encouraged members to contact a member of the team for Canada Periodical Fund in the event the members needed any further clarification
Fiza, Manan Gupta, Dimitri Papadapolous, Tom Bijovet, and others participated I the discussions following the presentation.
Presentation by Jey Rasathurai – Etaxcan
Etaxcan is a professional accounting company, that provides income taxes & Accounting Services in Canada. In honour of the Covid warriors, Etaxcan is providing free income tax filing service for all health care workers. www.etaxcan.ca
President Saras hoped that the restrictions will be lifted soon so that members can begin meeting in person at City Hall again. Till Public Health restrictions are in place NEPMCC will continue to stream the meetings live over zoom for the members across Canada.
Maria Saras Voutsinas informed that the office of NEPMCC has K95 masks and rapid test kits. Members interested in getting the masks can contact the office of NEPMCC. She informed on the Bill C-11 which amends the broadcasting act. She will be meeting with the industry partners and other stakeholders to make some suggestions and recommendations to the Federal Government.
Maria Saras -Voutsinas updated on the various steps taken by NEPMCC to further the cause of the members. She mentioned that NEPMCC is working with industry partners to bring free newspapers under the ambit of Aid to Publishers this year.
Mr. Saras also expressed his hope that we will be able to host an Educational Seminar in 2022.
Roberto Hausman moved a motion to adjourn the meeting and Yuri Natchetoi seconded it. The motion was carried. The Chair Dr. Tajdolati adjourned the meeting at 8:15 PM. The next monthly meeting will take place on Monday, April 11, 2022, via Zoom.
The above notes from the meeting of March 14, 2022, were prepared by Secretary General and Senior VP of the NEPMCC, Neel Nanda.