Working With Those Who Give So Much To Our Communities

Radiant Star is a local grass roots community-based organization, which provides quality, affordable tutoring to middle school aged children. It was started by Cheyne Singh, one of Radiant Stars tutors, in 2011 in the St. James Town neighborhood of Toronto. St. James Town comprises of 18 high-rise apartment buildings housing 20,000 people within 13 hectares and is Canada’s most densely populated neighborhood. After Radiant Star’s first successful year, they were able to expand and offer services additionally to the nearby communities of Regent Park and Moss Park.

Radiant Star’s program requires students to attend 2-4 hours per week of tutoring sessions, where they are systematically guided through the curriculum set out by the Government of Ontario. The focus on developing the students problem solving and reasoning abilities has been key to their overall success.

As Radiant Star is now in the process of registering as a non-profit organization, they found the need to create an identity and a brand to help with fundraising, increasingly important. This crucial step was needed for them to achieve their long term goal of continuing to expand their network of tutors and in doing so, give more children the help they so desperately need. They came to us with the request of creating an annual report that outlined the work that they have been doing, highlighting the effectiveness of their tutors and presenting their financial information in a clean, professional manner.

Working within a very restricted budget, Ricksticks created a logo and annual report for Radiant Star that will be the first step in helping them build their identity.

After some research, our design team came up with a concept that incorporates six different figures into their logo. The logo reflects the community-based nature of the organization by showing children coming together to create the image of the brightest star – The Sun. The hues of yellow and orange lend themselves naturally to the concept.


For the annual report, it was important to present critical information clearly and professionally, and within context of the vital services they bring to some of the more vulnerable members of our communities. Images of the tutors, students and classrooms were included to help visually tell their story.


We’ve done our best to provide Radiant Star with better tools to go after funding that will help take their organization to the next level, allowing them to continue to reach their goal of giving students the opportunity to succeed and helping to transform Toronto one neighborhood at a time.

CASL is coming. Are you ready?

The new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation goes into effect July 1st, 2014.

CASL outlines changes to the rules and regulations pertaining to many day to day electronic communications currently being sent out by organizations of all kinds. After July 1st of this year any Commercial Electronic Messages (CEMs) such as email, instant messages, social media postings as well newsletters will be subject to the new legislation.

Here is a quick overview of the legislation and how it will affect you:


  • You must have the consent of a person before sending any Commercial Electronic Messages to them.
  • The consent must be the result of an affirmative action. For example, you can no longer use a pre-checked box on forms as consent.
  • You must be able to prove and track that you have received the consent.


  • The identification of the sender must be clearly stated and include both the physical and email address of the sender in every communication.
  • If you are sending CEMs on behalf of another individual or organization, both parties must be identified.
  • You cannot use any false or misleading subject lines.


  • An unsubscribe mechanism, that takes effect within 10 days must be included in every message.
  • The unsubscribe link must be valid for 60 days after the send date.
  • You can no longer send an “are you sure you want to unsubscribe?” email.

Remember, you must gain consent prior to July 1st, 2014 from your existing contacts in order to continue sending electronic messages such as your organization’s newsletter to your clients.

To learn more about how the new legislation will affect both individuals and organizations visit the Government of Canada’s website at

CASL and your newsletter-two things you must do

With CASL’s new regulations, two things that will be paramount to the survival and ongoing success of your company newsletter will be getting consent and keeping consent.

Get Consent

As outlined above, you must get explicit consent from your readers. You will want to make sure you add a CASL compliant consent form to the subscription links in your emails, newsletters, social media pages and website. You should clearly state the kinds of communication you will be sending out to your subscribers. Remember to make it equally easy to unsubscribe with a link to do so in every piece of communication.

Keep Consent

Getting consent from readers is one thing, but keeping them interested in what you have to say is another. Your reader base might shrink initially. Keeping your remaining readers engaged will be paramount. Knowing your audience and what types of articles they would find value in reading will be key. If your content doesn’t hold any real value for your readers you will lose them. You should focus on less selling and more articles where you establish yourself as an industry expert in your field.

Ricksticks Interactive

I’d like to announce the launch of our new website for Ricksticks Interactive! went live earlier this week.

While our original Ricksticks Creative site focuses on branding and print communications, the Ricksticks Interactive site was designed to showcase a growing portfolio of web-based work. Ricksticks has been helping organizations create online communication strategies, interactive websites and web applications for over 15 years, but with trends shifting to web-based solutions there is a growing demand for this work and we thought it was important to create an entire site dedicated to highlighting our web products and services.

Ricksticks Interactive provides results driven, long-term strategy and consulting services to both public and private sector organizations, as well as SEO and social media marketing solutions to businesses of all sizes. Our team is in-house which allows us to offer full service web design and development customized to your exacting needs including easy to use WordPress sites and web development applications of all kinds.

We believe web applications should simplify your work by performing and automating tasks for you. Our programmers can create custom web applications and backend solutions to meet any web-based need.

Some examples of web applications we have built for our clients are:

-       Online registration applications
-       Conference scheduling applications
-       E-commerce capabilities
-       Mortgage calculators
-       Debt repayment calculators
-       Job search management
-       HR Surveys
-       Performance management software

You can try out some of our free web app demos through our services page.

To learn more or to find out what we can do for you please visit our new site or contact us for a free consultation.

Stay connected! We love feedback; following us on Twitter or like us on Facebook and leave us a comment on the new Interactive website.