Damage amount reportable to police after a collision raised to $2,000

The dollar value of damage caused in a collision, and requiring police involvement, is doubling.

In Ontario, since 1998, the financial amount of damage during a collision requiring the involved drivers to report the crash to police has been $1,000. As of Sept. 1, this amount increases to $2,000.

That means, when a collision occurs and the cumulative amount of damage to all vehicles involved is reasonably expected (guestimated) to be less than $2,000, the police don’t need to be involved.

The involved drivers simply exchange their names, vehicle information, insurance information and either work it out amongst themselves or go through their respective insurance companies. Failure to exchange this information could lead to charges.

Although this change will reduce the number of reported collisions to police, it does not affect collisions where, no matter how minor the damage amount, a crash results in an injury.

When an injury occurs, the collision must be reported to the police.

This change also doesn’t change the fact that if a collision involves damage to other property such as fences, posts, trees, etc., they too must be reported to police regardless of the amount of damage.

These incidents must be reported immediately as there is no such thing as 24-hour grace period.

This change, according to London Police Sgt. Tom O’Brien, is a good opportunity for all motorists to review their legislated obligations when they find themselves involved in a collision and ensure that they have all their documents with them at all times to make the unpleasant situation of a collision less aggravating.

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Sport and recreation fund helping Londoners get active

The Ontario government is helping people of all ages and abilities in London lead active and healthy lives.

Through the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund, the province is providing $139,117 to the London Cross Cultural Learning Centre (LCCLC) to deliver COACH: Culturally Diverse Organized Activities for Community Health.

This project will certify 36 newcomer youth as coaches and train 40 youth volunteers in physical literacy so they can develop and lead physical activity programs for 420 new immigrants in four London neighbourhoods.

“The London Cross Cultural Learner Centre and newcomer youth are thrilled to receive Ontario funding for the new COACH program,” said Valerian Marochko, LCCLC executive director. “The program will train and certify newcomer youth throughout London to become community coaches, mentors, referees and leaders in the sport and recreation sector and will locally empower new leaders for Canada’s future.”

In addition, $119,749 is being provided to the YMCA of Western Ontario to train 135 staff in physical literacy and align programs with the Canadian Sport for Life Framework.

“With our structured lives, children just don’t have enough opportunity for unstructured play. This means that often they don’t gain an appreciation for physical skills and physical literacy,” said Shaun Elliott, YMCA of Western Ontario CEO. “This grant will allow us to educate our staff and parents on the best ways to develop physical literacy in our kids. The grant will provide impact long after it expires and it will last a lifetime for our children.”

The fund supports the government’s Healthy Kids strategy, which is aimed at reducing childhood obesity, its Stepping Up framework, which encourages a shared approach to improving the wellbeing of young people, and builds on the positive legacy of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games.

“I’m delighted that our government is investing in physical literacy here in London. Being active is important in maintaining our health, but it can be a challenge to do alone without support,” said London North Centre MPP and Deputy Premier Deb Matthews. “This investment will encourage a healthy lifestyle, help people become more active and build a feeling of community in our city and across the province.”

The Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund supported 117 projects across the province in 2014-15, providing programs and services to over 280,000 participants.

Children of Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths gather for Peace Camp

Rooted in the shared values of Abrahamic traditions — Christian, Jewish, and Muslim — the third annual London Interfaith Peace Camp (LIPC) is now underway at King’s University College.

Running through Friday, Aug. 28, the LIPC is a collective community project where understanding, cooperation, and friendship building among faith groups is encouraged.

Temple Israel (of London), the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario, and Valleyview Mennonite Church are co-organizers of the event. The camp is open to children of all religious traditions.

The day camp is based on the model developed at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia.

Approximately 60 elementary and secondary age students, leaders, and volunteers will participate in LIPC.

“Bringing a message of peace-making to our campers, teenage leaders, and their families has been a powerful experience,” said co-host Rabbi Debra Dressler. “Learning about each other’s faiths, and recognizing our shared values has fostered enduring understanding and friendships among groups who rarely have the opportunity to learn from each other. We truly believe in the power of sincere dialogue and shared experiences to bring peace and justice to our world.”

The campers will visit local synagogues, mosques and churches including Al-Mahdi Islamic Centre, Or Shalom Congregation, and St. John the Divine Roman Catholic Church.

As well the program looks to engage participants in projects including group work, cultural art, theater and music, healthy food and recreational activities, and service learning projects.

King’s will host the group for activities in the Vitali Student Lounge, located in Wemple, King’s University College (266 Epworth Ave.). King’s is open to students of all faith backgrounds, with its community centered on the values of social justice, equality and the education of the whole person.

Full details can be found at www.templeisraellondon.ca/community/interfaith.

Fanshawe wins global awards, children’s museum will receive $15,000 prize

For the second year in a row, Fanshawe College is a first place winner for the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC).

The global award secures the college’s partner organization, the London Children’s Museum, a $15,000 donation from Google.

The team of Tess Bobbie, Nick Broadley, Shannon Cross and Emily Matlovich, under the tutelage of professor Liz Gray, won first place for the AdWords Social Impact Awards and was also the Americas winner for the Google+ Social Media Marketing Awards.

“It’s rewarding to see students take what they have learned in the classroom to make a difference in their community,” Gray said. “I’m incredibly proud of all the teams who participated in the challenge. This is an exciting win for Fanshawe and the London Children’s Museum.”

The team developed a search engine advertising campaign to increase the London Children’s Museum’s enrollment for camps, birthday parties and memberships.

“At the London Children’s Museum we value learning. We are thrilled and grateful to partner with Fanshawe College and their talented students,” said Amanda Conlon, London Children’s Museum executive director. “Their work has helped us evolve our marketing which is now almost completely focused on digital efforts. We are very proud that the students’ efforts won them first place.”

Children’s museum officials will use the Google donation from for website enhancements and to continue the digital marketing efforts.

The GOMC is an opportunity for students to experience and create online marketing campaigns using Google AdWords and Google+.

Over 100,000 students and professors from almost 100 countries have participated in the past eight years.

With a $250 AdWords advertising budget provided by Google, students develop and run an online advertising campaign for a business or non-profit organization over a three-week period.

Each year over 30 organizations approach Fanshawe to be assigned a team of graduate-level students taking a dedicated course in search engine marketing, in which GOMC is the central project, as a means of improving their online visibility and gaining traffic to their websites.

NHLPA gift to support concussion research at Western University

NHL players are stepping up to support concussion research at Western University.

Western officials announced on Aug. 12 the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) is making a challenge gift of $500,000 to support concussion research at Western.

The announcement was made at See the Line, an annual daylong event focused on concussion research and awareness at Western.

Medical experts agree concussions are serious injuries to the brain, and may be associated with long-term conditions such as depression, early-onset dementia and even Alzheimer’s.

“Whether it’s your child, sibling or parent — head injury is an important topic,” said Eric Lindros, honorary chair of See the Line. “Although predominant in sport and recreational activity, concussions are a common injury suffered also in less expected environments such as transport, including cycling or motor vehicle collision. The collaborative research conducted by Arthur Brown and his team has many benefactors that include, but are not limited to the athlete.”

The funding will serve as the foundation for a $3.125 million fund that will enable a team of researchers, led by Brown, at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and Robarts, to investigate and develop new ways to treat concussions and to arrest the short- and long-term devastating consequences of concussions.

Brown is an associate professor and a principal scientist at Robarts working collaboratively with Greg Dekaban, director Molecular Medicine at Robarts, and Dr. Michael Strong, dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

Their work has led to the development of a research program focused on three key areas: immunomodulation (treatment of injury-induced inflammation), neuro-restoration (maximizing the regenerative capacity of nerves after injury has occurred) and prevention of concussion-related dementia.

“We are fortunate to have a collaborative research environment in London dedicated to investigating all aspects of concussions, from the arena and lab to the patient’s bedside,” Strong said. “The strength of the research being conducted by Arthur Brown and an interdisciplinary team of researchers is putting us on a path to actively and effectively treat people with concussions.”

This announcement begins a one-year challenge to Canadians across the country, as well as the global community, to raise an additional $2.625 million to support the development of novel strategies that stop the damage driven by inflammation caused by a concussion, as well as increase regenerative nerve growth and improve long-term outcomes.

In Canada, more than 160,000 people experience a concussion every year, and half of all concussions are sports-related.

There are currently no treatments to ensure recovery from concussion or clinical indices to determine when an injured athlete can safely return to play.

“Enhancing the ability to diagnose and treat concussions would obviously be important achievements, and we hope that this contribution goes a long way to further research in this area,” said Don Fehr, NHLPA executive director. “We are pleased to provide support to Western in this critical area.”

Lindros, together with a group of committed volunteers, is building a team of concerned parents, athletes and philanthropists to support this innovative research.

In its third year, nearly 1,000 people attended See the Line events, including a concussion education workshop, a continuing medical education seminar, a Community Information Symposium featuring an all-star athlete panel, and an Armchair Discussion.

New space for live arts opening in downtown London

Accessible space for groups and individuals in the arts industry in London has been hard to find and secure in recent years.

The group behind the newly formed Elevation Arts Venue community group has committed themselves to making a difference in the local arts industry through working with local artists and curating all-inclusive, multi-purpose venues in the city.

Elevation Arts Venue organizers were contacted by Lavish Night Club, a seven-year-old establishment, about expanding their programming throughout the week.

Through the Elevation Arts Venue, groups or individuals will be able to book the space at 238 Dundas St. at low rates, but also through a simplified process and — best of all — no red tape.

“We’re opening this space up, not just to artists, but to everyone. We are a venue that caters to all crowds and we believe that our distinct space is something all Londoners should enjoy and experience,” said Greg Midgley, marketing and communications director at Lavish. “I believe it’s important to support the arts, especially here in this city because Londoners should continue to embrace diversity and appreciate alternative tastes.”

To kick off this innovative idea for growth within the local arts industry, Elevation Arts Venue are hosting a group arts show at Lavish on Thursday, Aug. 6, from 5 pm to midnight.

This celebration event will showcase what the venue can provide to prospective groups while also displaying artwork from some of London’s most well known artists.

From the fine art of Steve Tracy to the urban styles of Brad Biederman, and reaching out to London-based artists who are working abroad in Korea (Justin Thomas) and the Dominican Republic (Samantha Chilvers), this first in a series of group shows features something for all Londoners to enjoy at no cost.

“It gives local artists a chance to share work in a gallery setting,” said artist and show participant, Darryn Rae. “Having a gallery space that brings together artists in the community really helps your art to be seen.”

Mantis festival focuses on art, music and urban sustainability

This weekend sees the return of a festival designed to mix art, eco venders and live music with plenty of hands-on learning opportunities for the children.

The third annual Mantis Arts & Eco Festival will be held at Boler Mountain on Saturday, Aug. 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In addition to the presence of local artists, eco venders and live music, the festival also offers a hands-on children’s area, a cycling zone, eco workshops, film showings and more.

Attendees will learn hands-on, positive ways to live in balance with nature by engaging with eco organizations and businesses and attending eco workshops.

“We want to show that cities, even suburbs, can be culturally vibrant and environmentally sustainable,” said Mantis festival co-founder Sean Kaiser. “Mantis festival is a celebration of the possibilities for green, connected communities that support local artists.”

Over 50 artisan vendors will be present showing casing their work from yarn spinners to painters; jewelery-makers to aromatherapists. Local musicians including Allison Brown, Westminster Park, Beams, the Aforementioned, Mark Henning and Bruce Hansen, and Scally Wag will play throughout the day.

The children’s area includes crafts and activities provided by Sprouts Children’s Garden Program, a Dynamic Dozen dance workshop, face painting, a Lefty Smudges postcard making station and more. The popular Kid’s Art Show & Sale sponsored by Libro Credit Union happens from 1-3 p.m.

This year Mantis Festival will offer environmental film showings sponsored by LOMAA (London Ontario Media Arts Association), cycling workshops and activities provided by London Cycle Link, a foraging workshop, and family yoga.

The London Gallery Painting Group will be onsite painting the festivities of the day as well as capturing the beautiful natural surroundings of Boler Mountain.