JUNO awards 2015 news conference, in pics

by Shannon Skinner on January 28, 2015

The JUNO Awards, Canada’s Music Awards, yesterday announced their list of nominees for 2015. I was invited to the media conference at the Danforth Music Hall. Here’s some snapshots:




A number of female artists , in particular, are up for awards, including Lights, Nikky Yankofsy, Marianne Trudel, Sarah McLachlan, Molly Johnson, Diana Panton, Elizabeth Shepherd, Julie Crochetiere, Kira Isabella, Melanie Durrant, Natalie Rae Robinson, among others. Congrats to all nominees!

You can find the full list of nominees here.







Fred in the world

Where in the World is Fred Penner, who is also up for a JUNO?

Well, he’s in the house!:

fred penner

Allan Reid, President and CEO, CARA/The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts, being interviewed. I think I got in the way somehow.


Throng of news cameras.


JUNO TV getting ready to do interviews with the nominees.


Allan Reid welcoming the media and getting the news conference underway.


Unfortunately, I had to leave early. So I wasn’t able to capture the performances.

Congrats, again, to all nominees. Let’s support Canadian talent! We’ve got oodles of it!


INTERVIEW: Heather Sinclair, Web Stores Canada

by Shannon Skinner on January 23, 2015

I have a growing appreciation for the online shopping industry. Time is something people don’t have, so any business that can cater to providing convenience has a leg-up in this crazy busy world. There are a growing number of entrepreneurial visionaries who recognize this.

Enter, Heather Sinclair.


Heather Sinclair is the owner of Web Stores Canada, an umbrella name for her online shopping mall websites, which includes OnlineShoppingMallCanada.ca, and other sites such as CyberMondayDeals.ca and BlackFridayDeals.ca. For the past five years, Sinclair, along with her husband, Bill, has been building the business of the future. Her online mall has many of the big brands you know and trust. It’s like having your favourite shopping mall under one website banner – where you can shop from the comfort of your kitchen table.

Online shopping is undoubtedly growing, with Canadians spending $136 billion last year alone. That’s a lot of dough.

Sinclair has been an entrepreneur since she was 18. She began modelling, until the age of thirty five, and in 1996, she started her first online business, which was listed as one of the top on Yahoo (among other sites). She has been a successful real estate agent and has been ranked in the top 100 agents in Toronto. But it is her online shopping business that is her passion. With that infectious passion, her husband, Bill, left his government job and joined his wife in her venture.

I was curious about what it takes to have a successful online business. Sinclair provides some insight:

What’s the key to having a successful online business?

The key to this business is to not be gimmicky. Give the Canadians a smooth shopping experience they can trust with the online stores themselves who really care about customer service and their customers.

What does the future hold?

The trend for online shopping by Canadians is growing. Every week there are more brick and mortar stores applying to be part of our online mall.

The younger generation will grow into shopping online for most goods, and view going to the bricks and mortar mall as a social outing,  rather than for the day to day needs. Groceries, diapers and other goods will also be shopped for online and delivered to the door.

Curious, I wanted to know what some of the insights are to having a successful online business.

What are you marketing strategies?

Social, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and even You Tube.


* * *

If you have a online shopping business success story, I’d love to hear from you.


Freedom of expression is never free

January 13, 2015

The tragic events in Paris, France this past week have sparked an important discussion around the world about the freedom of expression and speech. Freedom of expression is one of the pillars, so to speak, of democracy. Given this topic, I felt the need to add my two cents worth. (The pen is mightier than the sword) As a […]

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New Year’s Eve alternatives for party poopers (like me)

December 31, 2014

New Year’s Eve is one of the most popular nights during the year to go out with loved ones to party, have a nice dinner, or do something else that is fun, like skating if you’re Canadian. But unlike many people, I don’t like New Year’s Eve. I never have. I’m a New Year’s Eve […]

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10 Gems of Geneva

December 22, 2014

SHANNON’S TRAVEL BAG: travel tips for women Shannon Skinner visits Geneva, Switzerland, a small city with a big heart.        Geneva is small city with a big heart. With a population of nearly 200,000, it is the world’s capital of peace. While many visitors come to Switzerland’s second largest city for business, there […]

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Mandarin Oriental, Geneva: hotel review

December 19, 2014

SHANNON’S TRAVEL BAG: travel tips for women Shannon Skinner visits Mandarin Oriental, Geneva, a luxury 5-star hotel offering lovely view, modern design and acclaimed dining, peaceful city-centre location, close to the historical Old Town.     The first time I visited Geneva, Switzerland, I was in my early twenties and back-packing across Europe one summer […]

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Season 3, Episode 6 of Extraordinary Women TV airs tonight on Rogers TV

December 2, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     TORONTO,  Dec. 2, 2014 – Season three, episode six of Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner airs tonight featuring on-location interviews with several Toronto entrepreneurs and artists including: designers Linda Varekamp, owner, Stitch and Spoke; Nadya Asti-Rose, owner, Taska handbags; and Devorah Miller, owner, Red Thread Design, a children’s clothing line. Plus artists […]

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Season 3, episode 5 of Extraordinary Women TV airs tonight on Rogers TV

November 25, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     TORONTO, Nov. 25, 2014 – Season 3, episode five of Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner airs tonight featuring on-location interviews with Toronto’s iconic art entrepreneur, Jane Corkin, founder/director, Corkin Gallery; and Fay Athari, founder/director, Arta Gallery. Both guests share insights into the business of art. The show airs tonight at 7pm […]

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The rise of the women helping women movement

November 20, 2014

In case you have not noticed, there is a growing trend of women’s empowerment organizations springing up everywhere that are geared to helping professional women achieve success and fulfillment. Some are industry-specific, like entertainment, technology and media, and others are more diverse or general, such as women entrepreneurs. With so many popping up, it begs […]

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Season 3, Episode 4 airs tonight on Extraordinary Women TV on Rogers TV

November 18, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     TORONTO, Nov. 18, 2014 – Season 3, episode four, of Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner airs tonight featuring special coverage and interviews from the Canadian Beauty Innovation Awards. Shannon speaks with Natalie Lewis, founder, Canadian Beauty Innovation Awards; Linda Leatherdale, VP Marketing and Business Development, Cambria and financial columnist; Mary Tripi, […]

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