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"When I agreed to put on a concert for Ukrainian soldiers defending Shchastya from Russian invasion, I did not envision lying on canvas sacks of second-hand sweaters and plush toys. Or being wedged between treadless tires and a WWII-era iron stove in the unheated back of an orange Mercedes transport truck on a treacherous road in a convoy of vehicles hauling missiles, rockets and a tank named Lucky. This is what volunteer humanitarian aid looks like in a country unofficially at war."

That's Mark Marczyk talking about his experiences as a musician who found himself in the middle of revolution and war over the past year in Ukraine. He's the violinist and ringleader of Toronto's popular, Juno-nominated band Lemon Bucket Orkestra, known for their street performances, sold out venues and impromptu parades.

Mark will share his stories and music at IMAGINATE 2015 in Port Hope, ON. He'll be joined in performance by Ukrainian singer/ethnomusicologist, Marichka Kudriavtseva. It will be a night of fascinating stories, stimulating thought and delights for the senses.

We're thrilled to be welcoming Steve Buist to IMAGINATE 2015 on February 14 at Trinity College School. Buist is an investigative reporter and feature writer at the Hamilton Spectator. He is responsible for producing large investigative projects, such as the highly-acclaimed Code Red project, which began in 2010 and has been examining the connections between health and poverty by mapping the health of Hamiltonians down to the level of neighbourhoods.

Buist has won three National Newspaper Awards and been nominated five other times. He’s also been named the Canadian Association of Journalists’ Investigative Journalist of the Year three times and been named Ontario’s Journalist of the Year four times. Last summer, Buist won one of the world’s most prestigious cancer journalism awards as he earned the 2014 Best Cancer Reporter Award from the European School of Oncology.

WHERE ARE THE HOMELESS HIDING? 1/24/2015 Since it's rare to see a person sleeping on the street in a community like Port Hope, a lot of people wonder if that means there is no homelessness here. The Homeless Hub at York University is doing a great job of answering questions like this, on their website ( and on Facebook.

Homelessness is basically invisible in our community. How do we get the message out that it really does exist even though we don't see people sleeping on park benches? - Ruth

Thanks for the question Ruth! First, I want to acknowledge that your community isn’t out of the ordinary. Most people experiencing homelessness fall under the “provisionally accommodated” category of homelessness and are what most people call the “hidden homeless.”

Those experiencing hidden homelessness are “people who live ‘temporarily with others but without guarantee of continued residency or immediate prospects for accessing permanent housing.” This includes people who are: staying with friends, family or even strangers; incarcerated with nowhere to go once released; “couch-surfing;” and living in cars, church basements, hotels, motels or hostels. Unfortunately, because these people don’t often access shelters or other housing resources, they’re not included in counts or statistics—rendering them “invisible.”

IMAGINATE 2015 to Stimulate Positive Thought and Action

Green Wood Coalition presents IMAGINATE 2015: An Evening of Possibility on Saturday, February 14, 7:30 pm (doors open 7:00 pm), at Trinity College School’s LeVan Theatre, in Port Hope, ON. The event’s theme, as suggested by its Valentine’s Day timing, is “All You Need is Love & …”. Join us in this intellectually engaging evening to help fill in the blank!

This second, annual event, hosted by nationally acclaimed writer and humourist Deborah Kimmett, will feature short, TED-style presentations by compelling speakers and performing artists, as well as a visual art exhibition. Locally-sourced food and drink, catered by The Social Bar & Table, will be on offer at a reception (and included in your $50 ticket).

Organizers of IMAGINATE 2015 hope to stimulate positive thought and action around the various challenges we face as a society, and to propose some possible community-based solutions to these issues. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the work of Green Wood Coalition, a street-level, charitable organization that uses a community model of caring to walk alongside people living with poverty, mental illness, addiction and disability in Port Hope, Ontario.

In addition to outstanding speakers such as broadcaster, Noah Richler, conservationist, Carmen Lishman and journalist, Steve Buist, IMAGINATE 2015 will include the premiere of both a contemporary dance performance and a short film by award-winning filmmaker, Rob Quartly.

Tickets for IMAGINATE 2015 at Trinity College School are available online at

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