The Grey Cup is back in Toronto and four ex-Marauders are getting rings, one of which played for McMaster just last year 

It was one year ago that Hamiltonians watched their hometown Tiger Cats suffer a Grey Cup defeat to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. While the Ti-Cats failed to make a Grey Cup return this year, the defending Canadian Football League champion Blue Bombers once again found their way.  

The 2022 Grey Cup matchup wound up being the two top seeded teams in each conference, the Blue Bombers and the Toronto Argonauts. For Hamiltonians, this matchup is about as bad as it gets, having to choose between the team who beat them in the Grey Cup in each of the last two seasons, or their long-time rival Argonauts — the longest rivalry the league has ever had.  

For McMaster students, it may have been a little bit easier to determine the lesser of the two evils, as the Argos featured four ex-Marauders in fullback Declan Cross (2012-2016), wide receiver Tommy Nield (2017-2019), defensive lineman Fabion Foote (2013-2016) and linebacker Enoch Penney-Laryea (2017-2022).  

Penney-Laryea may be the most familiar name for Marauders fans, as he graduated following the 2021-2022 season and is now just in his rookie year as an Argonaut. In just a three year span, he is both an Ontario University Athletics provincial champion, and a Grey Cup champion after the Argonauts put an end to the Blue Bombers three-peat attempt in a nail biting 24-23 victory.  

“The Yates Cup was unreal when it happened at the university level — to a lot of us it was the highest level we had achieved at the time. But honestly, I can’t say it in any way compares to winning the Grey Cup. The stakes were higher, the sacrifices everyone made [were] higher, and we all understood that . . . The Yates Cup, that was an unreal experience, but the Grey Cup definitely tops it,” said Penney-Laryea.  

"The Yates Cup was unreal when it happened at the university level — to a lot of us it was the highest level we had achieved at the time. But honestly, I can’t say it in any way compares to winning the Grey Cup. The stakes were higher, the sacrifices everyone made [were] higher, and we all understood that."

Enoch Penney-Laryea, Toronto Argonauts

The championship victory is the Argonauts first since the 2017 season, which ex-Marauder Declan Cross, the highest paid member of the team, was also a part of. The 2022 championship makes him a two time CFL champion after just six years in the league.  

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The expectations on the Argonauts were high from the season start - in 2021 they finished atop their conference, but lost in the division final. People knew that this was a team who had a shot at the title.  

“When you take it to the pros it’s just like man, these guys are freaks of nature. That’s my first memory from my first practice, just seeing how gifted everyone was . . . From the very start it was instilled in us, this was it, man. We had to go get it done,” explained Penney-Laryea. 

“When you take it to the pros it’s just like man, these guys are freaks of nature. That’s my first memory from my first practice, just seeing how gifted everyone was . . . From the very start it was instilled in us, this was it, man. We had to go get it done."

Enoch Penney-Laryea

The Argonauts were confident from the start, and come time to perform, they were ready to go. Some had done it before, but it was a whole new experience for others. Regardless, the team was able to take it in stride and hit the ground running.  

“I wouldn’t say I sensed a lot of nervousness. If anything, it was more excitement, definitely a lot of confidence. Guys couldn’t wait to get going, you know? They put it all out there — even some guys who were injured, the season had taken a toll on their bodies, they were ready to go. Knowing this was the last game you could really give everything,” said Penney-Laryea. 

The game was very back and forth, but Winnipeg pulled ahead early in the fourth to a score of 23-14. Toronto fought back to a 24-23 lead and in the final minute Robbie Smith made a huge play, blocking a field goal attempt to save and win the game. 

“As soon as it happened I was jumping. Everyone around me was jumping. Guys were running up and down the sidelines, everyone just burst into pure happiness and excitement. That was a crazy play to make. In the moment we were all just celebrating because we knew it was pretty much over . . . I remember thinking wow, we did it. It felt really good to defeat a team like Winnipeg,” explained Penny-Laryea. 

“As soon as it happened I was jumping. Everyone around me was jumping. Guys were running up and down the sidelines, everyone just burst into pure happiness and excitement. That was a crazy play to make. In the moment we were all just celebrating because we knew it was pretty much over."

Enoch Penney-Laryea

With the season complete, the team will have several months to celebrate the victory before starting up again next year. Congratulations to ex-Marauders Declan Cross, Tommy Nield, Fabion Foote and Enoch Penney-Laryea. 

Cross country head coach received national honours after first victory at U Sports championship since 1963 

McMaster cross country head coach Paula Schnurr was named the U Sports men’s Fox 40 Coach of the Year following this year’s national championships on Nov. 12. Winning their first title since 1963, the men placed first in the country while the women finished seventh overall.  

Before leading the cross country staff, Schnurr was a decorated athlete for the Marauders, earning 28 provincial medals in the Ontario Women’s Interuniversity Athletic Association.  

In 1988, Schnurr set the national record for the women’s 1,500 metre race with her time of 4:16:41. That same year, Schnurr was named the top performer at the Canadian Inter-university Athletic Union championships, she was given her fourth Thérèse Quigley award for McMaster’s best female athlete of the year and was inducted into the McMaster athletics hall of fame.  

Schnurr’s talents brought her to the international stage, making two appearances for Canada’s Summer Olympics team in 1992 and 1996. At the 1994 Commonwealth Games, Schnurr collected a silver medal in the 1,500 metre event.  

In 2010, Schnurr assumed the role of head coach for McMaster’s cross country program. Over the last few years, Schnurr and the men’s cross-country team have developed into household names atop the national leaderboards. 

The men recorded their first Ontario University Athletics gold under Schnurr’s tenure in 2018, led by a gold medal outing from then-sophomore runner Max Turek. Following their performance, Schnurr received the OUA award for the men’s cross country coach of the year, making history as the award’s first-ever female recipient.  

That season, the men earned bronze at the national U Sports championships, missing second place by a five point margin to the Guelph Gryphons. Most recently, the men captured provincial silver and national bronze in 2021 to continue an illustrious stretch of seasons for the team. 

Prior to this year’s championships, Schnurr brought the men and women’s teams to OUA excellence, winning gold and silver respectively before heading into nationals. Coming in as the top team in the national power rankings, the men closed out a phenomenal season by securing the U Sports title.  

On route to his third U Sports athlete of the week award, Turek completed an exceptional year after finishing the race in first with a time of 24:21. His run marks a perfect season for the Marauders, who also received gold medals in the Western Invitational, the Marauder Bayfront Open and the OUA championships

Andrew Davies and Alex Drover placed third and fifth respectively to give the Marauders  three runners in the top five. Dylan Alick finished the race in thirteenth place with a time of 25:10, while Sam Nusselder’s showing of 25:14 was good for fifteenth overall. Self-titled “The Flying V”, the five’s total of 37 was good for 78 points above the second-placed Laval Rouge et Or.  

“It’s been a four, five year process for this group because they’ve come through the team together. Each year they were improving and getting so close . . . so [winning nationals] was really the focus all season,” said Schnurr.  

It’s been a four, five year process for this group because they’ve come through the team together. Each year they were improving and getting so close. . . so [winning nationals] was really the focus all season.

Paula Schnurr, Head Coach

On the women’s side, OUA bronze medalist Rosalyn Barrett was the top runner for McMaster, coming in thirtieth with a time of 30:20. Hannah Goodjohn and Sarah Nolan recorded thirty-sixth and fifty-first finishes on the way to a seventh place team performance with 222 points. The Rouge et Or scored 49 points to win the women’s title.  

After the races, Turek, Davies and Drover were named First Team All-Canadians, while Alick was awarded Second Team honours. Schnurr was given the Fox 40 Coach of the Year award for helping the Marauders to their first national title in 59 years.  

“The goal is to help my athletes get better and the team get better. If I get recognized for the little part I play because they were the ones out running, then it’s a nice honour . . . When you have talented athletes, they make any coach look good,” said Schnurr. 

The goal is to help my athletes get better and the team get better. If I get recognized for the little part I play because they were the ones out running, then it’s a nice honour. . . When you have talented athletes, they make any coach look good.

Paula Schnurr, Head Coach

With their top five runners graduating this year, the men’s team successfully capitalized on their immense wealth of talent with a championship banner. Going forward, the program looks to continue its dominance and develop its youth under Schnurr’s expertise and mentorship. 

A new initiative at 541 Eatery & Exchange creates a safe space for folks who are unhoused to share their stories and become better storytellers

Stories are powerful tools. They can shape, heal or challenge people in unexpected ways and help us better understand ourselves and others. At 541 Eatery & Exchange, a not-for-profit charity café, a new storytelling circle, Concrete Tales, is helping to instill this powerful tool in its community.  

The premise of 541 Eatery & Exchange lies in the vision that all people deserve access to food and should be able to choose what they want to eat. Their goal is to provide an opportunity for people to help their community by paying it forward through its button system and making sure everyone has access to good food. They also hope to provide a sense of dignity and respect that is too often stripped away from those who are stigmatized in society, such as those who are unhoused or dealing with addictions.  

“541 Eatery & Exchange is a beautiful way for people, who have more resources, to come and see and interact with people who are actually very, very strong and resilient—people who have lived on the streets and have seen and experienced tough, tough things—and see them for who they really are,” said Carmen Cooper, staff at 541 Eatery & Exchange and organizer of Concrete Tales.  

Concrete Tales is the latest initiative at 541 Eatery & Exchange funded by Keeping Six, an organization focused on harm reduction in Hamilton. Its first session was held on Nov. 18 at the café and it will continue to occur every Friday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. with dinner provided. Every week, one of the facilitators or guest speakers will exchange stories — some personal, some folk tales — of resilience and strength.  

Cooper came up with the idea of starting a storytelling group and then later recruited facilitators to help run the sessions, including Carl Lambert whom she got to know through 541 Eatery & Exchange. Both their connections to the café and its mission run deep and long.  

Cooper started working at the eatery four years ago but has been part of its family for a long time as a volunteer. She was drawn to this space by the sense of integrity, dignity and inclusivity offered by its community and while working here, she was able to learn the stories of folks who have had very difficult experiences and found herself healing and growing through listening to their stories. Concrete Tales came about because she wanted to extend this opportunity to others in the community and provide a dedicated safe space for folks to share stories. 

“Because I’ve been [working] here for four years, in some ways, I have earned the privilege and honour of getting to know some people who have had very hard lives and because I myself found healing and growing through storytelling, I wanted to offer that opportunity to other people,” said Cooper.  

Because I’ve been [working] here for four years, in some ways, I have earned the privilege and honour of getting to know some people who have had very hard lives and because I myself found healing and growing through storytelling, I wanted to offer that opportunity to other people.

Carmen Cooper, staff at 541 Eatery & Exchange

Lambert is a long-time customer at 541 Eatery & Exchange and someone with lived experiences of being unhoused. Coming to the café for the past 6 years has been helpful for him in dealing with his addictions and getting a chance to socialize with the local community.  

“[541 Eatery & Exchange] has been a wonderful place for me in terms of dealing with my addictions and re-socializing with people,” said Lambert.  

Despite Concrete Tales being a fresh and new initiative, the response from the attendees has been powerful and encouraging. At the first session, the group established rules of engagement, such as respect, trust and how they use a piece of concrete as the talking stick. It was crucial to establish these rules as soon as possible to emphasize the fact it is a safe space where people accept each other and can feel comfortable offloading their experiences and personal struggles.  

During the first session, Cooper also shared an African folktale to ease the group into storytelling before delving into too personal stories which can be tragic and triggering for some folks. As the closing remark, she read a poem followed by a moment of silence for reflection which she hopes will be a tradition the group will continue every week. Afterwards, many folks shared they were looking forward to coming back for more and showed enthusiasm for future events.  

“Everyone said they are coming back . . . [And] the community at large is supportive of [Concrete Tales] too as well as the [attendees]. It’s wonderful,” said Lambert.  

Looking further ahead to where the group would like to take these sorties and conversations. In February 2023, they hope to facilitate an 8-week workshop to teach folks how to develop their own stories, including proper structure, body language and effective delivery. At the end of the workshop, they will host a debut event for all the storytellers to share with the general public.  

Teaching people, especially those who are unhoused, how to be strong storytellers is important in Lambert and Cooper’s perspectives because it is an essential skill and can be therapeutic and dignifying. 

“Let’s say something happens and you’ve got to talk to a banker, you've got to talk to a cop, you’ve got to talk to a fireman about [how] your kid [fell] into the water — it's a story and the more effective you can do it, especially as a street person who tends to lose those social skills, it’s huge . . . Also, it’s therapeutic,” said Lambert. 

“I think that the idea that even though you’ve lived a difficult life, [knowing] that you matter, your story matters — like there is substance there — it dignifies your life which I think is rare,” said Cooper.  

Additionally, by sharing these stories, they hope to help the community unlearn harmful stigmas against people who are unhoused, such as that they are on the streets because they are lazy.  

“I think the assumption is always like, "Oh, they are just so lazy, not hard working, drug addicts and have loose morals." There are reasons for these things . . . So far from the people that came [on Nov. 18], I think there’s an eagerness to be heard. They just need an audience; they need people to listen,” said Cooper.  

I think there’s an eagerness to be heard. They just need an audience; they need people to listen.

Carmen Cooper, staff at 541 Eatery & Exchange

To support Concrete Tales and initiatives alike, they encourage people to support community organizations like Keeping Six. Anyone can also attend future Concrete Tales events by emailing concretetales541@gmail.com to reserve a spot and learn to develop their own stories. Additionally, 541 Eatery & Exchange is currently looking for socks and gloves donations.  

Everyone is closer to being unhoused than they think. Currently, extraordinary stories are being shared at Concrete Tales to destigmatize street people and normalize experiences of tragedy and hardship. Even if it is not at Concrete Tales, reflect on your narrative and try listening to someone else’s story to learn the power of storytelling and gain a new perspective.  

‘Tis the season to visit these five Instagram-worthy murals in Hamilton. 

As we enter early December, winter is beginning to loom over us. This means the sun sets earlier, signifying the end of daylight-saving hours and our days are bleaker with dropping temperatures. Visiting these murals around Hamilton could be a way to brighten your day with their vibrant and unique art styles and interesting backstories as well as an excellent opportunity to explore Hamilton.   

Charlton Avenue 

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This colourful mural featuring a girl with a squirrel, raccoon and bird was designed by Robyn Lightwalker and painted by Natasha Rose, Anthony Haley and Felipe Encina over a four-day period. Lightwalker attempted to portray a version of how humans and animals could be living in harmony in an urban environment.  

Durand Coffee building 

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This mural was painted by Tyler Van Holst. He recently repainted this over his previous “Greetings Hamilton” mural, which has been weathered over the past several years. This new mural, featuring dogs and a cat, tie in more to the idea of what makes this neighbourhood a great place to live in and they hope that the mural will put a smile on everyone’s face

Concession Street 

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This mural was painted by Kyle Joedicke, a local Haudenosaunee artist who primarily focuses on Indigenous art, specifically Woodland-style art. This mural portrays the teachings of the seven grandfathers: respect, symbolized by a buffalo; truth, symbolized by a turtle; love, symbolized by a bald eagle; wisdom, symbolized by a beaver; courage, symbolized by a bear; humility, symbolized by a wolf; and honesty, symbolized by a sabe. Through his art, he wants to promote a strong sense of community and share his culture. 

John Street 

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This mural, created by local street artist Scott McDonald, is designated for Hamilton Tiger-Cat fans who adore Angelo Mosca like him. McDonald grew up watching every game with his parents and wanted to use one of his favourite childhood memories to represent an iconic Hamilton figure. He is a former graffiti artist who now creates mesmerizing murals

West Avenue South 

C/O Lester Coloma

This mural “Raise” was painted by a local brother duo, Norman and Lester Coloma, to represent an ambitious city. It illustrates men and women attempting to raise a giant hammer with the help of red ropes against a white background. In the piece, the hammer represents the city and Hamiltonians are working together to lift Hamilton, suggesting the city’s optimistic future

Overall, these murals are worth a visit and provide you a chance to explore Hamilton and its hidden artistic side. You will find local talent you may not have come across before. Studies have shown that immersing yourself in art will improve your overall mood and mental well-being. Immersing yourself in art is a great way to uplift your mood in the middle of the winter through Hamilton’s signature, bright art style. 

After more than four years, the world's largest tournament is back on the main stage, and McMaster had multiple venues hosting watch parties that you can tune into  

It’s been over four years since the last world cup in Russia, held in the summer of 2018. Since then, there have been many fans who have been awaiting the return of this event and finally the time has come. A world cup during winter. Over the course of the month, soccer fans at McMaster University had and will have the opportunity to tune into numerous events and watch parties that will be occurring throughout the course of the event.   

While it has already passed, the “World Cup with the Dean” event had been organized for Nov. 23, where students had the opportunity to join the dean of DeGroote School of Business to watch the opening Canada game against Belgium. The rare opportunity features complimentary food and snacks for the attendees.   

Another source for watch parties occurring around campus is the OSCARplus website, which has been helpful for students all the way through. On the website, students will be able to find over a dozen watch parties that are offered by International Student Services and for the time being are only showing the group stage games, with a view of expanding during the play-off stages. Although no prior registration is required for each game, it is a first-come first-serve basis for all students, with most of the games being broadcasted in the Student Centre (MUSC B118).   

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A third opportunity for soccer fans at McMaster to tune into the World Cup comes via the McMaster Sports Community, a regular watch party host at the school. The club intends to hold their final World Cup watch party on Dec. 2 at 2:00 p.m., viewing the Serbia vs Switzerland affair. Food and drinks will be provided to attendees free of charge, and the event will be held in Burke Science Building, room 115.  

There is no doubt that there are soccer fans among the student population that will be tuning into this year's biggest sports event, and although it is the first world cup ever being hosted in the winter, it opens the opportunity for McMaster to offer as many student-led events for the matches as possible.   

TAs and RAs in-lieu are now one week into a strike after an agreement wasn’t reached in their negotiations with CUPE 3906

Since April 2022, CUPE Local 3906 has been negotiating on the behalf of McMaster University teaching assistants and research assistants. However, in a historic vote in late October, 90 per cent of workers voted to strike if necessary. On Monday Nov. 21 at 7:00 a.m., after negotiations had stalled on Friday, picketing started at several entrances to McMaster University in attempts to disturb incoming traffic. 

In McMaster’s official announcement, they warned students to allow extra time to get to campus, as all parking entrances would be blocked by picketers and bus routes would be rerouted to off-campus drop-offs. In this email, McMaster also mentioned TAs can continue working, if they indicate this preference on a form. Professors were required to have a contingency plan, which may have altered the workload of TAs and RAs choosing not to strike.  

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The CUPE Local 3906, the union that represents teaching assistants and research assistants in-lieu, is fighting for key issues including greater financial security, better overall wellness and health care reimbursements, and improved working conditions that properly track number of hours worked. 

PhD candidate and elected CUPE 3906 health and safety officer, Anastasia Sol, explained why she supports the strike. She explained that the cost of living is rising and that many TAs and RAs in-lieu are lacking financial security. Sol is currently employed as a research assistant in-lieu, which is an option for graduate students who are not currently appointed to a teaching assistant position.  

“Every [cost] involved with living is higher than it once was and so this really has to do with issues of financial insecurity for teaching assistants and research assistants,” said Sol.  

She also explained that, although she was in support of the strike, she recognized the disruptive effect that it had on TAs and their students, especially approaching the end of the semester. 

“The strike is a last resort if we can’t [reach] a fair agreement, so striking isn’t beneficial for really anybody,” said Sol. 

Undergraduate TA Navya Sheth, who would usually spend 10 hours a week on her TA job, explained that she’s striking to ensure fair working conditions and higher wages for TAs that will follow her. 

“I think that ultimately, it’s not really about the people who are TAing right now. It’s less about the TAs that are working right now and more about making McMaster a good work environment going forward”, said Sheth. 

On the wage gap between undergraduate and graduate TAs, Sol said that equal work should see equal pay. Sheth spoke about how she did not realize before striking how large the pay gap was. 

“Before we went on strike I wasn’t aware of how big that gap was. I think that there are quite a few classes where undergraduate and graduate TAs are doing the same work,” said Sheth. 

In compensation for money lost during the strike, TAs and RAs in-lieu are being paid up to $300 by CUPE 3906 for 20 hours of picketing. TAs who are not able to picket for 20 hours can either request accommodations from CUPE3906 or they can choose not to picket and receive no strike pay.  

CUPE 3906 urged unit one workers to support the strike, as their rights would not be protected if they continued to work during the strike.  

Updates on the strike can be found at McMaster’s Labour Updates page, and updates on bargaining can be found at bettermac.ca and students will receive email updates for McMaster as the strike continues. 

This is an ongoing story. 

The McMaster men’s baseball and rugby team lead the way in fundraising for men’s health issues 

Raising money for men’s health is an annual November initiative for athletes at McMaster University. As the end of this year's Movember campaign nears, Marauder sports teams have quietly raised over $25,000.  

The McMaster men’s baseball team and men’s rugby team spearheaded this year’s fundraising efforts, with over $11,900 and $9600 in donations respectively. In addition, the McMaster men’s volleyball team and wrestling teams fundraised over $3600 and $1100 each. Other participating teams include the McMaster rowing team, swimming team and men’s soccer team. 

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The McMaster teams primarily fundraise through the Movember campaign website. Established in 2003, the international campaign looks to allocate resources to various areas of men’s health such as mental health, testicular cancer and prostate cancer. Over $19 million was donated to men’s health projects in Canada just last year.  

Though growing a mustache and fundraising for Movember is a tradition amongst McMaster sports teams, the movement has not lost its meaning to repeat participants such as Marco Dilaudo, Maclean Van Raay, Josh Kalmain and Aiden Muldoon. 

“We just want to give back to the community and continue to support those that have been supportive to us as athletes, especially here at McMaster and abroad, while also paying respect to those that are fighting everyday to continue – whether that’s against cancer or mental health,” explained Marco Dilaudo, the first baseman for the McMaster men’s baseball team.  

We just want to give back to the community and continue to support those that have been supportive to us as athletes, especially here at McMaster and abroad, while also paying respect to those that are fighting everyday to continue – whether that’s against cancer or mental health.

Marco Dilaudo, the first baseman for the McMaster men’s baseball team

In addition to leading the baseball team’s fundraising efforts with over $2,000 raised individually, Dilaudo plans to bike 300 kilometres over the month of November – an opportunity for Dilaudo to embrace a challenge and support others that are battling illnesses in their day-to-day lives. 

“Everyone struggles with mental health in some way. Being an athlete, it becomes really stressful trying to balance school and athletics. The mental health part of it definitely plays a factor [wanting to raise money] as well,” said Maclean Van Raay, third year student and middle infielder for the McMaster men’s baseball team. 

For some McMaster athletes, raising money and awareness is especially important because of personal experiences with loved ones. Participating for his fifth in a row, Aiden Muldoon became particularly connected to the cause after experiencing the loss of his father to cancer in 2021. 

“It’s nice to know that there’s a movement for something that’s affected me so dearly [and] that it’s a movement that we can progress towards as a team. I know guys are thinking about other [teammates] that have also lost people to different illnesses. When we’re raising money, it’s good to know that it’s with a direction,” explained Muldoon, a fullback for the McMaster men’s rugby team. 

It’s nice to know that there’s a movement for something that’s affected me so dearly [and] that it’s a movement that we can progress towards as a team. I know guys are thinking about other [teammates] that have also lost people to different illnesses. When we’re raising money, it’s good to know that it’s with a direction.

Aiden Muldoon, a fullback for the McMaster men’s rugby team

As club captain for the McMaster men’s rugby, Muldoon organizes various fundraising events with other members of the team. The rugby team held a Touch 7s Rugby Tournament that took place earlier this month where all profits from the event were donated to Movember. In the past, the team has also welcomed guest speakers or held raffles to raise money

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“For us, as much as it is a serious issue, we do like to make fun of each other’s mustaches a little bit . . . It’s another way to encourage one another to not only support the cause but also support each other in raising money for a good cause,” said Kalmin, a third year student and pitcher for the baseball team. 

Along with raising awareness and fundraising, Movember is a chance for McMaster teams to bond and boost team morale. The competitive aspect that McMaster athletes bring into sport also translates into friendly competition to raise the most money. 

To learn more about the Movember movement, visit their website. To donate or keep up with the fundraising teams, visit their Instagram pages or link here.  

The return of Hamilton’s Santa Claus Parade encouraged the holiday spirit and joy in attendees of all ages.

On Nov. 19 at 6:00 p.m., the Hamilton Santa Claus Parade was held in the downtown of the city. This is the first year the full scale parade has run since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Hamilton Santa Claus Parade is a not-for-profit organization run by volunteers. Its mission is to bring holiday cheer to all people, including children and seniors from charities who are unable to afford traditional Christmas activities on their own.  

Doug Hobson, the current chair of the Hamilton Santa Claus Parade, described last year’s turnout where they hosted a mini-parade with just one float. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus drove through various neighbourhoods on the float as people watched from a distance due to the pandemic restrictions. 

“The turnout was amazing. Absolutely amazing . . . About eight blocks or six blocks [of people came out] and it was like we were doing a full parade. There were so many people,” said Hobson. 

This year, they resumed the regular parades with multiple floats, sponsors and live musical bands. 

Hobson described what organizing the parade meant for the volunteers. Being able to facilitate a festive time for everyone of all ages is what the parade is all about. 

“As you see Mrs. Claus go by, or as you see a band go by, watching the little ones’ faces light up and [the] moms and dads start dancing to the Christmas carols—that's [what] we take away from [the parade],” he explained. 

“As you see Mrs. Claus go by, or as you see a band go by, watching the little ones’ faces light up and [the] moms and dads start dancing to the Christmas carols—that's [what] we take away from [the parade]."

Doug Hobson, chair of the Hamilton Santa Claus Parade

As a festive and fun way to start off the holidays in Hamilton this year, the Santa Claus parade continued to make sure everyone found a way to celebrate some Christmas spirit. 

The City of Hamilton and the Downtown BIA are bringing Barton Village back to its former glory through local art installations. 

Hamilton is well known as a steel town. Back in the industrial days, most steel factories were located around Barton St. and as such it was quite a popular district. However, once factories started closing, many stores also followed and people began moving out of the neighbourhood and it became a street people avoided

Barton St. is currently going through a transition period where various projects and initiatives are changing tides and bringing the street back to what it once was. Among these projects, the City of Hamilton and the Downtown Hamilton BIA team launched an art project between Ferguson Ave. and Sherman Ave. in Barton Village. 

The art project features installations from 15 local artists in vacant storefronts along the street. Artists were selected based on how well they represent the artistic side of Hamilton using the people, places and history of Barton St.  

Currently the project features works from a variety of artists. Kayla Whitney, an artist and muralist who created a piece titled “Alive and Well” to highlight the legacy of Barton St. amidst its rough history. Allison + Cam, an illustration duo who aimed to portray their vision of Barton Street’s bright future through their art installation titled “Ring Out, Barton!”.  

David Trautimas, a multimedia artist who drew a large-scale Aloe Vera plant titled “Occupational Salve” to mirror Barton Street’s history and future as the plant is dependent on periods of rest and successive active growth. Edgardo Moreno, a composer and sound designer who filmed a video about the attempted revitalizations of Barton St. titled “A Fragile Balance.”  

Kyle Stewart, a visual artist highlights the theme of “Anything is possible on Barton” through his work titled “Sunnyside of the Street” which emphasizes the strong community in Barton Village. Gram + Laura, who are independent artists that collaborated to produce an art installation titled “Barton Bright/Barton Night” which aims to convey its quirky and vibrant night life as opposed to a street that should be avoided at night.  

Sunny Singh, an illustrator and cartoonist depicted a hazy memory (the past) or a dream (the future) in his piece “A Place to Play” to provide a sense of community and playfulness. Quinn Rockliff, an interdisciplinary artist who portrayed the unexpected everyday moments of tenderness and care that he encountered in Barton Village through his piece titled “Round Corners.” Chris Perez, an artist who created abstracted images using mundane objects in his mural titled “Everywhere you Enjoy.”  

Jordan Gorle, an artist and blacksmith who honoured Hamilton’s industrial heritage through his piece “steel IS art”, which brings steel back to Barton Village. Julianna Biernacki and Dayna Gedney (Hamilton Craft Studios), an artist duo who created a collaborative tufted rug installation representing Barton Village’s communal spaces changing over time.  

Sonny Bean, an illustrator who took pictures that highlight the past, present and future of Barton Village through his work titled “Intersect” which features a tiger, gardens, ladders that read for the stars and transformation. Andrew O'Connor, a multidisciplinary artist and designed who compiled Barton Street’s evolution from its celebrated industrial past to its hopeful future through his work titled “Our will to build and rebuild.”  

Par Nair, an interdisciplinary artist who wrote letters on silk sarees using hand embroidery to the “mother” in her piece titled “Letters of haunting” to represent the mute history of Barton Village. Anthony Haley, a visual artist who combined the revival and what is yet to come for Barton Street in his art installation titled “None of them knew they were Robots”. 

The team behind the Barton St. revitalization project hopes these pop-up window installations will help share the story of this community and foster a sense that it is a place that values art and culture.  

“We have a nice collection of small, independent businesses and we hope to grow that. We hope that your experience on Barton is much different than any of the other main strips in Hamilton,” said Jessica Myers, the Executive Director of the Barton Village Business Improvement Area

During the revitalization of Barton St., the team also wants to make sure they maintain the neighbourhood’s essence it had back in the day in Hamilton. 

“[Barton Village] has a grittiness that people do enjoy, kind of [like it] hasn't been scrubbed clean just yet . . . people like that original Hamilton vibe that's a bit lost in other neighbourhoods right now . . . and it’s what we want to maintain,” said Myers. 

“[Barton Village] has a grittiness that people do enjoy, kind of [like it] hasn't been scrubbed clean just yet . . . people like that original Hamilton vibe that's a bit lost in other neighbourhoods right now . . . and it’s what we want to maintain."

Jessica Myers, Executive Director of Barton Village Business Improvement Area

Moving forward, the City of Hamilton and Downtown BIA teams hope to attract more investors to continue funding projects aimed at creating a visually appealing streetscape for Barton’s businesses and residents. 

A fiery start for the McMaster men's volleyball team yields their fourth consecutive win

The McMaster University men’s volleyball team continues to impress. The reigning provincial champions and U Sports national contenders finished strong against the Waterloo Warriors for a perfect record of four wins and zero losses on Nov. 12.  

The early season success comes with little surprise considering McMaster’s perfect regular season record the year prior and an experienced core unit with returning players such as outside hitter, Sam Cooper, and middle, Tyler Pavelic. Both players came up big in McMaster’s most recent four-set victory over the Warriors. 

The Marauders swiftly won the first set by a score of 25-20. However, the team lost their initial momentum early into the second set. Despite fighting back from a McMaster time-out, the red and grey team lost the set 23-25. 

“I think we started off strong, we were doing everything we said we were going to do. Second set, they came out firing and I think we let off a little bit. Right there, it was clear we had to switch it up,” said Pavelic. 

With McMaster landing fewer defensive blocks than usual and a crafty Warriors offence, the team sought to make some changes. The Marauders were able to adapt with a few in-game adjustments and finished with a strong second half

“After that set, I think we just picked [the energy] up, we just communicated more about what we needed to do before the whistle even blew. At that point, we were able to build some more momentum into that set,” explained Cooper. 

"After that set, I think we just picked [the energy] up, we just communicated more about what we needed to do before the whistle even blew. At that point, we were able to build some more momentum into that set,"

Sam Cooper, Outside Hitter

McMaster won the third set by a large margin of 25-16 and ran with the momentum to a final set score of 25-18 for an emphatic finish. Cooper led the team’s offensive effort with 13 total kills or unreturned attacks. Pavelic finished with four defensive blocks and six offensive kills. Returning players, Maxime Gratton and Mateusz Wlodarski, also came up big on the offensive end. 

Despite the perfect record thus far, the McMaster team remains level-headed. The team still has a long season ahead of them with 18 scheduled games, including two exhibition games against Long Beach State University

“We’re trying to stay realistic. We’re obviously happy about our wins and that’s what we’re looking to do – win as much, secure as much home court advantage as possible – but also trying to keep the balance of not getting too cocky so we’re ready for any opponent. We prepare the exact same for every opponent that we take on,” said Cooper. 

McMaster continues to level up their defensive and offensive strategies with a focus on high-ball attacking, service pressure, service reception, small-ball defence and block defence. With most of their games taking place over the weekend, the team can regroup and identify areas of improvement during the week. 

“It’s definitely a good feeling to go undefeated so far. I think we just got to keep learning from our mistakes, what’s not going well and kind of fix it throughout the week and be able to execute it on the weekends so we can come out and continue on that pace run,” explained Pavelic. 

“It’s definitely a good feeling to go undefeated so far. I think we just got to keep learning from our mistakes, what’s not going well and kind of fix it throughout the week and be able to execute it on the weekends so we can come out and continue on that pace run.”

Tyler Pavelic, Middle

There’s lots more in store for this McMaster team and its fans. Looking ahead, McMaster is on the road for two away games against Toronto Metropolitan University on Nov. 18 and Brock University on Nov. 20. The fan-favourite team will return on Nov. 25 for a six-game home stand

To keep up with the team, visit their website or Instagram. Students of McMaster University can attend games free of charge in Burridge Gym, only needing their student cards for entry.  

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