fm_tor_butler_r_wA toast to Rich our fabulous pro-bono lawyer, connector and coordinator with all the proper legal services we require. Rich’s prodigious legal skills have helped us get and stay ship shape as the Little Grape That Could sails into the new year. Cheers Rich!

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fm_tor_teehan_a_wAndrew is our outstanding pro-bono lawyer who makes sure everything here at the Little Grape that Could is done with proper due diligence. He’s so committed he’s even done extensive sampling to make sure nothing in legally amiss in the bottles of the Little Grape That Could. Here’s to Andrew for making sure all our i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed!

Alla is a wonderful friend who pays attention to the details in life. I met her three years ago at the AGO where she devotes her time to sharing her love of art with the world. She finds the connections in the gallery that no one else does, weaving magnificent narratives often missed. She brings still paintings alive right in front of your eyes. More importantly, she also pays attention to detail in her gestures. Like a second Mom she always remembers to ask me how I’m doing and to give me great life advice. When she travels she always returns with souvenirs to share a little piece of her journey with me. A mentor and friend, I could not feel more blessed to have Alla in my life.  Love is in the details and this one is for you, Alla – Cheers! Jessy

 

[If you happen to find a bottle of special edition Alla Yanivker The Little Grape That Could, you might become extra considerate of those around you and find the beauty in the smallest of details. When your walk home from the LCBO is suddenly that much more beautiful as a result, crack open that bottle and make a toast to Alla!]

Mrs. Cotter was my high school’s librarian. But she was unlike any other librarian I’ve met. She instilled a passion for life in me that she demonstrated by example every day I saw her. She taught me more than any other teacher ever did, and I never even had a class with her.  She was the kind of librarian that would spend months organizing an annual arts and crafts show at my high school, bringing together over 600 vendors from across the province, and then she’d take the money she raised, fill up a bus with kids in Whitby and take them to World’s Biggest Book Store in Toronto to buy whatever books they wanted. She filled our high school library with the books WE wanted! We got to pick them! Have you ever gone to a bookstore and been told to get anything you want? It’s a pretty wonderful experience.  To this empowering leader in education and one of my greatest mentors, as well as to all the teachers that care this much about their students– all my love and cheers!  Jessy

 

[If you happen to find a special-edition Nancy Cotter The Little Grape That Could, you might feel the strength to move earth and mountains for a good cause, and when you do take a breather and drink to Mrs. Cotter!]

Ty is not only a brilliant and passionate doctor, he is also the founder of Samba Elégua, an open and free community band in Toronto that brings people from all walks of life together to play music whether they have musical experience or not. Some of my best friends are in this band. Ty went to many lengths to start our band and form it according to a vision that regular people could come together, be taught how to play instruments and sound good together. He succeeded! Hundreds have played in our band and now it boasts almost 80 active players. Ty has more passion than anyone else I know and he fills you with mischievous joy every time you’re around him. He is an excellent teacher and he fits my definition of an artist perfectly – someone who cannot live life without creating, and in doing so makes people see the world through a completely new perspective. Cheers, Ty! You have changed my life and I love seeing the world through your eyes.

 

[If you happen to find a special-edition Itay Keshet The Little Grape That Could, your hands will begin playing beats on every hard surface they can find and your life will be filled with music. You’re welcome.]

George is one of my best friends and I love him for very simple but amazing qualities.

Firstly, he loves to walk and I’d say that at least half of our friendship developed through walks around Toronto. Kilometres of jokes, theorizing, window shopping, people watching, and political discussion in both French and English, went by like nobody else in the world but us existed. Secondly, he cannot sing in tune but insists on singing anyway, out loud, on the street, everywhere. I love listening to him sing in public. I’ll never forget walking down the Toronto waterfront with George sharing one pair of headphones and my iPod one night. L.O.V.E. by Nat King Cole came on and knowing that I loved it so much George burst into song and even clicked his heels in the air. To George, for his ballsy out of tune singing in public. Cheers!

[If you happen to find a limited edition George Szabo The Little Grape That Could, you may  burst into song wherever you are, and after you finish your song, make a toast to George!]

When Fran and I were girls, we lived in a boarding school on the Lake Ontario waterfront. Having no parents around and a lot of time to fantasize, we dreamt of great adventure. Then, in our spare time, we took those dreams and made them into a reality within the bounds of the campus. One of our favourite adventures was to walk from rock to rock along the shore of Lake Ontario stripping our uniform one piece at a time until we were in boxers and t-shirts and reached our final destination – the downtown Oakville pier. It was the surest way of getting out of school grounds without asking permission or signing out. With Fran I learned that no matter the destination you want to arrive to, the fun is always on the rocky path that you could take to make a great adventure out of the seemingly mundane. Thanks for filling my life with magic, Franchu!  Cheers!

 

[If you happen to find a limited edition Frances Darwin The Little Grape That Could, you might start finding beauty in the most unusual places, and when you do, make  a toast to Fran!]

Chad is one of those Renaissance Men that will fill your world with current events, pop culture, and even obscure information that you don’t really know you need until he tells you about it and then you wonder how you could have ever lived without it. He’s a connector – the guy that everyone knows and everyone loves, and therefore the guy that makes you love all the other people that love him.  Chad could end up all alone on a desert island and somehow still manage to establish a community of any creature available in the area.  Cheers to you for connecting me to the world and giving me the “street smarts” I could never get on the street. I love you, Chad! Jess

 

[If you happen to find a limited edition Chad Craig The Little Grape That Could,  you might feel compelled to talk to everyone you meet from that point on and to tell them about it (and we hope you do)]

Aaron has the uncanny ability to genuinely see the inner beauty of people. Three years ago I undertook a long journey to lose weight, during which I lost 100 lbs. The magic of Aaron is that around him I always felt beautiful no matter what. He was a positive force the whole time I was on a diet, not making a big deal out of anything but always joyfully declaring when my jeans got baggy that they were! He is someone I can be completely myself around and never feel judged. Cheers, my friend, for loving me unconditionally. – Jess

Back CameraJessica Perkins is the most selfless person I know. She will not only help you move, paint your apartment, clean your house, re-file your e-mail and fix your resume – she’ll gladly do all those things for several people, simultaneously. She is a juggler of good deeds. But who cares about that?! The best part about Jess is that she makes me laugh. Jess has a knack for finding the most unusual and funniest facial expressions for every occasion. A couple of years ago she was the Maid of Honour at our friends’, Chad and Lucas, wedding. When the photographer came around to capture the serious moment in which she signed the wedding documents, she broke into a spectacularly goofy face resembling a suave James Bond. All the guests cracked up. I can only imagine what facial expression you’ll make when you read this. I love you, J-Puh – Cheers!

[If you happen to find a limited edition bottle of Jessica Perkins The Little Grape That Could you will probably make a goofy face and then be filled up with so much selflessness that by the time you’re through at the LCBO check-out counter, you’ll probably have volunteered to go visit the cashier’s grandma at the nursing home]

Vincent-HannaWe would like to toast Vincent Hanna, the wise man whose sage advice guided us through our long journey to the LCBO shelves. We would like you to raise a glass to the wise people among us who give meaningful advice to those who crave it.

Cheers to Vincent! The man on top of  the mountain.

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Vincent Hanna” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself delivering sage advice. And when you do, make a toast to Vincent.)

 

Lindsay-RamasI recognize that this isn’t the forum for inside jokes, but I wanted to toast my overly generous, and loving wife, by saying – “There are never enough “I love you’s” – my wife”.

Raise a glass to the fabulous Lindsay Ramas and her endearing crooked smile. I love you more than I love myself.

Your infamous lover-in-chief Stephen James

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Lindsay Ramas” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself curiously sporting a crooked smile and saying I love you. And when you do, make a toast to Lindsay.)

Dexter“Goooooal!!” Dexter “Ocean” Harrison has not been affected by the NHL strike. He usually wanders around the living room with a charming smile and big grin, asking to play “Hockey” (with unusual stress on “key”) with you. It’s impossible to say no to such an incredibly good natured and joyous little hockey star !!!

I would like to raise a glass to a little bundle of amazing that gives us immense joy. Goal!

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Dexter Harrison” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself yelling “goal” more often than you might like. And when you do, make a toast to young Dexter.)

 

BarryWaiteI cannot emphasize to you enough the importance of a good teacher. Barry is the kind of person that can peel back your eyelids and allow you to see something special, very special, for the first time. It’s like he exposed you to a whole new world, literally – “Whamo – New world”. He’s the berry on top of our scoop of ice cream. Cheers to Barry!!

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Barry Waite” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself with sore eyes and entering a new world. And when you do, make a toast to Barry.)

 

ShellyPringleGeorge Carlin once said that “the caterpillar does all the work but the butterfly gets all the publicity”. We may be the butterfly but Shelley Pringle is our beautifully generous caterpillar. We would like to raise a glass to Shelley and her team for helping us to spread our butterfly wings.

Cheers to Shelley!!

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Shelley Pringle” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself curiously getting noticed for your efforts. And when you do, make a toast to Shelley.)

 

Mike-Adams“Some days you’re the dog and sometimes you’re the hydrant” is Mike’s pragmatic, yet intelligent approach to life. Mike is a crazy bright, engaging lawyer who can answer any skill testing IP related question without hesitation. We appreciate his help, his generosity and his talented work in the corners without the puck. Raise a glass to Mike!!
Cheers!!

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Mike Adams” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself handling the puck more skillfully. And when you do, make a toast to Mike.)

 

SethBersteinSeth Berstein is someone who would stand out in the Star Wars Cantina bar scene. Match his awe inspiring vibrancy with an infuriating “I may not be right, but I’m never wrong” attitude and you have the makings for endless entertainment and joy. Let’s raise a glass to Seth for being Seth and allowing us to use tracks from the Modern Men.

Cheers Seth! We love you. And, we are still waiting for our song..

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Seth Berstein” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself unwittingly unable to agree with people. And when you do, make a toast to Seth.)

NancyManiasI would like to make a toast to Nancy Manias for the immense joy and laughter she brings to our lives. They say that there is little success where there is little laughter. By this measure, and many others, Nancy is a terrific success. The truth is that everybody loves to laugh and Nancy makes us laugh – hard.

So let’s raise a glass to Nancy. Cheers!

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Nancy Manias” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself laughing without explanation. And when you do, make a toast to Nancy.)

Annie-DangI submit this toast with great respect and appreciation to Annie Dang. She is a beautiful person with a big heart and a quiet determination. If I have learned anything in this life, it’s that you should never underestimate the determination of a seemingly quiet woman. Raise a glass to Annie!

Something fantastic is always brewing inside Annie and we are grateful to be around it.

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Annie Dang” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself with a new found quiet determination. And when you do, make a toast to Annie.)

NJ1She is an amazing women, and deserves a “toast” to her free spirit (she spent years in Nunavut fighting for justice and has finally come home) and commitment to living life as it should be lived.

To my sister:

I’ve heard people talk about family, as people who you have to love, but this is definitely not the case with my Sister. We would love her whether she was family or not – she’s the kind of person you can’t help but love. Add to that an adventurous spirit, intellect and a trusting heart and you have instant magic.
Cheers to my sister, my best friend and “fun” co-pilot!”Cheers!” to Jeanette G and her fun co-pilot, Natasha!


(We are now officially looking for a fun co-pilot for our Little Grape – interested?)

papatomHusband, brother, father, grandfather, great–grandfather, teacher, friend, philosopher, professor, civil rights activist; Thomas Langan filled many roles for many people. He loved and pursued truth and took every opportunity to share it with as many people as he could.

Remembered for many achievements, including becoming a Knight of Saint Sylvester in his latter years, his greatest achievement was the mark he left on every individual he met; from the great minds he had the opportunity to discourse with, to the strangers he’d often strike up a conversation with, to his students and readers of his books, to the young growing minds of his youngest grandchildren, Thomas Langan was able to connect with everyone on a profound level and broaden their knowledge and appreciation of goodness and truth.

Always filled with a passion for life and good humour, Thomas Langan was surrounded by his loving wife and family until the day he passed away. His love for them and their love for him and the mark he has left on this world will continue forever.

Much love to our dear Papa Tom.

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Thomas Langan” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself inspired to strike up a conversation with a stranger. And when you do, make a toast to Thomas.)

 

 

Deanna Lambert Whenever I think about you and a fitting toast, I am reminded of my favourite Dr. Seuss book “How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” Thanks for being such a good friend and making such a valuable contribution to this grand project, I greatly appreciate it. You are the best! Cheers, Brett

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Deanna Lambert” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself inspired to laugh and with a strange desire to play scrabble in an odd location outdoors. And when you do, make a toast to Deanna.)

You can have a bad day, but as soon as you meet up with Nadine it’s joyous. To the most outrageously joyous and creative person I have ever met, we celebrate you for your insanely awesome contribution to this project and for being so amazingly fabulous. Cheers!

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Nadine Blum” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself curiously inspired to create (or to sign-up for glow in the dark bowling). And when you do, make a toast to Nadine.)

If there is power in self sacrifice than Elizabeth would be a super hero. She volunteers her time at both Access Community Capital Fund (a micro finance organization in Toronto) and Metro Mothers Network (they provide valuable services to mothers). We would like raise a glass to Elizabeth for her amazing contributions to the community. Thank-you

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Elizabeth Qualben” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself curiously volunteering your time to others. And when you do, make a toast to Elizabeth.)

DSC01962Here’s to my brother and soon to be sister-in-law. I have been lucky enough to be the recipient of their generosity of time and spirit on many occasions. I am especially grateful for their gift of stylishness that keeps me looking more or less presentable and less like I’m mowing the lawn. Congratulations!

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Kate and Brian” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself looking curiously stylish. And when you do, make a toast to Kate & Brian.)

People who love cats have some of the biggest hearts around. The owner of stripes is no exception. She is responsible for naming “The Little Grape That Could…” and also for playing a big part in bringing this project to life. Raise a glass to both the most adorable cat to walk this planet and his owner. No cat or person deserves this more than you two. Thank-you.

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Stripes Fuhrmann” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself strangely affectionate towards plus size cats with purrs that pack a punch. And when you do, make a toast to Stripes.)

 

IMG_0681To my father – Hurricane Harry. I have yet to meet anyone with more energy and enthusiasm – who was not on some sort of substance. Witty, learned, “focused”, and always a force of nature. Here’s to you Dad.

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Harry McPherson” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself curiously contemplating some unthinkably amazing task. And when you do, make a toast to Harry.)

KeithBradbury Are you familiar with the term “gentle giant”? Keith, in many ways, defines what I imagine a gentle giant to be. He is a large mild-mannered man with a generous spirit. A big softie with a calming effect on the people around him. It’s a real treat to spend time with Keith. Our wishes and love are with him as he battles prostate cancer. I would like to raise a glass to all those “gentle giants” out there and especially one named Keith. We all love you. Cheers, Bev

 

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Keith Bradbury” The Little Grape That Could, you might find your heart a little bit larger than it normally is. And when you do, make a toast to Keith.)

Justyn2We would like to raise a glass to the man who truly appreciates a fabulous glass of wine. If we could only find some way to bottle your energy and enthusiasm – the world would be an even brighter and more vibrant place. Thanks for your amazing contribution to the project. Cheers!!

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Justyn Szymczyk” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself experiencing a surge of positive energy. And when you do, make a toast to Justyn.)

 

RS302_AnnaMarieHatayer-10The aim of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but rather their inward significance (Aristotle – I think). Anna Marie and the team at Davis designs perfectly captured the inward significance of what we were trying to achieve with the Little Grape That Could… bright, fun, creative and full of life. Amazing. We would like to raise a glass to Anna Marie for her creating the essence of the Little Grape That Could.

(If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of special edition “Anna Marie” The Little Grape that Could, you might find yourself perfectly capturing what you wanted to say or feel. And when you do, make a toast to Anna Marie.)