'You Are Here'
30"h x 24"w
acrylic on canvas
Brandy Saturley, 2017
Original photo submitted by the Mazotta family and resulting painted portrait by Brandy Saturley.
Ben and daughter Naia, Toronto Ontario
1. Where we you born?
2. Where do you call home now?
3. What are your occupations?
Ben: TV director and writer
Naia: I go to school, I'm in Grade 1.
4. Where is your favourite place to eat, other than home?
Ben: my parents
Naia: Subway Restaurant
Naia: McDonald's Happy Meal
5. How many languages do you speak?
Ben: two (English, Italian)
6. Who is your favourite Canadian music artist?
Ben: Cowboy Junkies
Naia: Shawn Mendes
7. What is your favourite thing to do on a Sunday?
Ben: play video games with my son and go for walks
Naia: visit Nonna (grandma)
8. Politically speaking, which way do you lean?
Ben: liberal/to the left
9. Do you play any sports? Favourite sports to watch?
Ben: ball hockey. hockey!
Naia: No. My favourite sport to watch is hockey.
10. Do you have a hidden talent or hobby that you enjoy?
Ben: making balsam wood model planes
Naia: Drawing but it's not a secret
11. How do you celebrate your culture?
Ben: enjoying hockey, producing Canadian children's TV
Naia: At school we sing O Canada.
Specific holidays, traditions, games?
Ben: going to the movies as a family
Naia: Christmas, and birthdays because you feel special
12. What is the most important issue to you as a Canadian citizen?
Ben: Economy and how it applies to the film/tv industry
Naia: my family
13. Where do you go to be in nature?
Ben: High Park or camping at Rockwood Conservation Area
Naia: High Park
Is this important to you?
14. I have three days in your neighborhood, what must I not miss to get a real sense of life in your part of Canada?
Ben: Toronto city hall/Nathan Phillips Square, Eaton's Centre for shopping, Little Italy/Chinatown/Greektown/little Korea for walking
Naia: CN Tower, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Toronto Harbourfront
15. Do you have a favourite museum or art gallery?
Naia: ROM (Royal Ontario Museum)
16. Mounties, hockey, maple syrup, beer, maple leafs and eh…do you partake?
Do you wish Canada would get over all the stereotypical icons of Canadiana?
Ben: No, not at all.
17. What does being Canadian mean to you?
Ben: Being nice, polite, and being tolerant of everyone and all cultures
Naia: to be living in Canada with my family and spending time with my friends.
18. I see you holding Tim Horton’s? How often do you enjoy Timmy’s?
Ben: Almost every day.
Naia: When Matteo and I go out for walks with my mom and dad, sometimes they get me a hot chocolate if it's cold.
19. Where in Canada would you like to explore that you have not yet?
Ben: British Columbia
Naia: Quebec to practice my french
20. Do you volunteer your time or support any Canadian organizations?
Ben: Every year I do a cartoon drawing class at my children's primary school in Toronto. I help my parents-in-law with their annual book-drive (they send children's books to build children's libraries in the Philippines.
Naia: I play at the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club every day.
Canada is a patchwork nation made of many cultures, colours, vistas and stories. Every story shared is another chance to know and appreciate each other on a deeper level. Thank you to Maria for sending in the photo, and to Ben and Naia for sharing a bit of their Canada with us. Ben & Maria are the creative minds behind Little Engine Moving Pictures and just launched a new trailer for their preschool series all about Canada, 'Canada Crew'. Watch the trailer here.