Eva Bee’s Jamboree: Local Cooking Show with Musical Twist Launches Website

December 18, 2012 10:31 am

Eva Bee’s Jamboree (www.evabee.com), an inventive new local cooking show that combines music and food, launched its new website on December 5.

Episodes of Eva Bee’s Jamboree air on the first Thursday of every month, and feature musicians cooking up a storm with the show’s host, Ivana Borojevic, an eccentric and colorful gal who has been on the foodie and music scene in town for years. Borojevic interviews guests on the show, finding out their influences and what inspires them to make music, while cracking jokes in a lighthearted sketch comedy style. When the dishes are ready to cook for an extended period of time, the musician(s) perform a song. What a delicious concept!

“Our goal is to feature up-and-coming musicians of all styles and entertain youth and others that cooking locally is easy and fun,” Borojevic explains. Her show will include acts like Devon Atherton, an Ottawa DJ and hip-hop musician, Tara Porter, a folksinger and yoga instructor, and Zoo Legacy, a local indie hip-hop group.

Filmed entirely in Ottawa at a variety of locations such as Rama Lotus, friends’ loaned-out kitchens and artisan producer workshops, episodes run about 12-15 minutes in length. Artists on the show base their cooking creations on their heritage or favorite foods, with Borojevic putting a local and seasonal spin on each dish.

In addition to placing a focus on cooking with local ingredients, Eva Bee Jamboree’s website will also have vignettes that look behind the scenes, including interviews with area farmers, producers of the show, and related comedy sketches, bonus recipes, as well as songs by musicians who have appeared on the show.

For more information, contact Luca Fiore, Valkaline Productions, 613.852.4407; luca@valkaline.com

Saga Back in Ottawa this February

December 17, 2012 9:47 am

Michael Sadler Returns to Front the Legendary Rockers

The progressive rock band Saga will be at Ottawa’s Centrepointe Theatre on February 7 for a single 8pm performance to showcase their latest album 20/20.

This album is Saga’s first since the return of singer Michael Sadler to the band. The founding member left in 2007 to take a break from the stress of long tours and to spend time with his family. In Michael’s absence, one album was released in 2009 with his replacement, Rob Moratti. At the beginning of 2011, Michael Sadler returned to Saga. 20/20 is Saga’s 21st studio album. The band has had radio hits such as On the Loose, The Flyer and Scratching the Surface. The multi-award-winning group has toured the globe countless times, and has sold over eight million albums worldwide.

Founded in 1977, Saga has a unique sound. Their musical style is defined by prominent guitar riffs, often in harmony with a synthesizer and complex keyboard arrangements, sometimes bringing in three musicians to create the band’s signature chords.

With their European tour of 24 cities now behind them, Saga looks forward to rocking out in Ottawa. They last performed here in 2007. Mystery, a progressive rock band from Montreal, opens for Saga at Centrepointe. Mystery’s lead singer, Benoît David, was a member of Yes from 2009 to 2012.

Tickets for the show are on sale at the Centrepointe box office: call 613.580.2700 or visit www.centrepointetheatre.com

ROYAL WOOD – Saturday, January 12, 2013 – NAC

December 14, 2012 11:11 am
Royal Wood

Royal Wood has kept himself busy since the release of his new album, We Were Born To Glory, in July 2012, with many amazing summer festivals and his recent European tour. Prior to kicking off his tour, Royal relocated to Montreal to spend some time there this fall. He has just finished an amazing Eastern Canadian leg of The Glory Tour and is getting ready to wrap up his 2012 tour dates. He will kick off 2013 with a show in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre on Saturday, January 12.

The new album, featuring the first single Not Giving Up, has received
glowing reviews. Royal also spent a few weeks with the most online votes from fans
on CBC Radio 2 Top 20 with the song I Want Your Love, was recently featured in
Toronto Life’s Stylebook as one of the most stylish people in Canada, and also passed
an exam that is taking him one step closer to becoming a sommelier.



Royal Wood’s album is a standout achievement for an artist who is only just hitting his stride. His wonderful and melodic lyrics are brought to life by a talented singer whose effortlessly haunting vocals  cross  back and forth  between strong ballads and accessible pop songs – making him one of today’s most promising, entertaining and talented singer/songwriters.


For more information, contact:
Indoor Recess Inc.
Beth Cavanagh – ph. 416.803.7685 / e. beth@indoorrecess.com


Ernie Cox’s Christmas Gospel Celebration

December 4, 2012 4:51 pm
Ernie Cox Featured?

After two sold-out Christmas concerts in the past two years at the National Arts Centre Studio, Ernie Cox has brought his band and choir to Parkdale United Church for two more unforgettable evenings of Black Gospel music.

Ask anyone who’s been to a carol sing with a Black Gospel choir. When you hear how gospel music can transform those classic old Christmas songs — there’s no forgetting it.

Black Gospel music, in spite of the hardships, the racism, the prejudice, the poverty and the inequality, manages to convey with an ever hopeful sense of resiliency the themes of hope, joy and gratitude common to all of us, religious or not. Along with the infectious rhythms of Black Gospel music, this sense of hope and optimism in spite of the struggle, is what Ernie Cox believes attracts the religious and non-religious to the music.

People last year said these concerts were inspirational, rousing, upbeat, wonderful, celebratory music for the Christmas season. And it’s not just carols, either — some classic gospel and Christmas gospel numbers are getting the full treatment from Ernie, his band and choir.

See the poster for more information.




My Neighbourhood Bites!

November 30, 2012 10:48 am
My Neighbourhood Bites

Taboo Eats presents My Neighbourhood Bites – an amateur cooking competition celebrating local foodies and their dishes across Ottawa. There will be up to 12 events this winter/early spring in various neighbourhoods with local amateur cooks competing with their best recipes, culminating in a finale bake-off between the winning cooks from each neighbourhood competition. The series kicks off with Wellington West on December 15 (6-10pm) at Cube Gallery, and will be followed by Centretown on January 12 (6-10pm) at Babylon Nightclub, Greely on January 25 (5-9pm) at A Visitation Centre, a Kitchissippi Catch-All on February 2 (5-10pm) at Kitchissippi Brewery, and Vanier on February 16 (5-10pm) at the Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre. More events will be announced at a later date.

Admission is $5 (kids get in free), and tasting cards are priced at two for $10 or five for $20. Local chapters of the Ottawa Food Bank will be on hand at each event to accept donations, and winning recipes will be published in a cookbook, with proceeds going to the Ottawa Food Bank.


The Canadian Museum of Nature unveils the new Vale Earth Gallery

November 29, 2012 12:39 pm
50cm wide

The Canadian Museum of Nature is reopening the Vale Earth Gallery tomorrow, after an extensive renovation. The new gallery has been expanded to 8,000 square feet and showcases new displays, activities, and interactive elements about the geological makeup of our planet.

Meg Beckel, the museum’s President and CEO, expressed her excitement over the gallery’s expansion. “We are confident it will be very popular with our visitors,” she said. According to Beckel, the team behind the gallery’s creation took a subject that is very challenging to present and made it fun and accessible to the public.

Dr. Scott Ercit, the museum’s resident mineralogical researcher, said the new Vale Gallery is not just an expansion of the old exhibit, but “truly a whole new gallery.”

A 6-foot interactive globe allows visitors to control the movement of the continents and tectonic plates.

Visitors are taken on a “journey through time,” as the gallery begins with the origins of the universe, the formation of the planets, and the inner and outer structure of the Earth. A massive six-foot-tall interactive globe gives visitors a chance to view and interact with the shifting of the tectonic plates, while new machines – like the Sedimentator, the Magmanator and the Metamorphicator – allow visitors to make their own kinds of rock. Interactive games, like make-your-own-volcano and cause-an-earthquake, let guests control the devastating power of our moving planet. A giant wall of sediment comes complete with dinosaur fossils. A walk-in limestone cave replica is adorned with a dripping waterfall, stalagmites, stalactites, and a few hidden bats.

Display cases contain almost 1,000 different mineral samples and are accompanied by touch-screen information panels that offer aspiring geologists and curious visitors a chance to know more about each sample, from the atomic makeup of quartz to where the name quartz came from in the first place. Dr. Ercit, whose extensive experience in the field of mineralogy has led to a mineral sample being named after him, said the museum’s collection is “one of the best in the world. “

Dan Boivin, head of exhibit design at the museum, observed that the Vale Gallery is “the most complicated exhibit in the museum to date.” For Boivin and the entire design team, creating the new exhibit was a “communication exercise,” mixing all types of media together to present an exhibit that is just as interesting to children as it is to university students.  “There are things you can touch, things you can do, things you can see, and all of it comes together to create an immersive experience.”

New machines – like the Sedimentator, the Magmanator and the Metamorphicator – allow visitors to use heat and pressure to create different types of rocks.


Explore a walk-in limestone cave replica, adorned with a dripping waterfall and a few hidden bats.

The gallery holds nearly 1,000 different minerals, gems, and rock samples, ranging between a few pounds to 225 kg.

The Vale Earth Gallery will be open to the public on November 30. For more information, visit nature.ca

TOP PHOTO: Michael Bainbridge, Canadian Museum of Nature.

ALL OTHER PHOTOS: Jamie Kronick, Canadian Museum of Nature.

Café Ex Celebrates Ottawa Filmmaker Roger Wilson

10:10 am
Camera Paint

The Canadian Film Institute (CFI) is presenting the latest installment of its guest artist series, Café Ex, with special guest Roger Wilson. On December 6, the Ottawa-based filmmaker will introduce his films and engage in a discussion with audience members at Ottawa’s Club SAW. Admission for this event will be “pay-what-you-can.”

Wilson has been producing some of the most daring and inventive experimental films in Canada by “pushing the boundaries of image construction and investigating how moving images make meaning,” according to CFI.

Wilson has lived and worked in Calgary, Winnipeg and Ottawa and held a variety of positions in the film industry, including Technical Director at The Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa. His film Camera Paint won the Best Experimental Award at the 2008 Niagara Film Festival in St. Catharines, Ontario, while Knotashed: an Alderson Oasis was one of six finalists for The 2011 Georges-Laoun-Opticien- OBORO Super Short Film Prize presented in Montreal.

“Roger Wilson’s films boast remarkably perceptive approaches to ideas of landscape, sound and silence, memory and identity,” says CFI Executive Director Tom McSorley. “We’re thrilled to be celebrating the career of one of Ottawa’s great filmmakers.”

Still from Knotashed

For details, contact Tom McSorley (mcsorley@cfi-icf.ca) or CFI Programmer Jerrett Zaroski (zaroski@cfi-icf.ca) at 613-232-8769.


Rare artifacts reveal the real meaning of Haiti’s Vodou tradition

November 26, 2012 12:45 pm
Musée canadien des civilisations, Artefacts = Canadian Museum of Civilization, Artifacts

A powerful new exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (CMC) brings to Canada, for the first time, over 300 objects from one of the world’s most important collections of Vodou artifacts. (“Vodou” is the new politically correct word for “voodoo”.)

Vodou, which runs from November 15, 2012 all the way to February 23, 2014 (!), is a stunning exhibition that looks beyond the myths and manufactured Hollywood images that are commonly associated with “hot voodoo” to reveal a vital spiritual and social force that remains, for many, an important part of daily life in Haiti. Visitors will see that Vodou has very little to do with the Hollywood version of voodoo – with its enslaved zombies/walking dead, premature burials, and pins stuck in dolls. Voodoo dolls, said to unleash evil forces when stuck with pins, are a fictional creation manufactured by an entertainment industry eager to appeal to audiences’ fearful fascination with so-called “primitive” African-influenced religions, says Mauro Peressini, CMC’s co-curator of the exhibition. In actual fact, voodooists call upon the gods to cure illness, to protect the people from bad fortune… not to inflict pain, death or a mind-controlling trance upon them.

Vodou is a religion with rituals that remember the horrors of slavery and honor the spirit of resistance that has sustained Haiti through centuries of unbelievable hardship.

At the heart of the Vodou exhibit are more than 300 objects – including altars, drums and vivid representations of Iwa (or gods) used in Vodou ceremonies. In the room of mirrors, six ornate and macabre mirrors are elaborately carved with dark and fiercely exclamative voodoo figures and shapes. It’s all rather unsettling, but thrilling. So come on down to the CMC for a shuddering good time.

For more information about the Vodou exhibition, visit civilization.ca

ALL PHOTOS: Musée canadien des civilisations, Artefacts     = Canadian Museum of Civilization, Artifacts



Capital Clips: Experience Culture & Tremendous Athleticism

November 19, 2012 10:14 am

The world-class Shen Yun Performing Arts returns to the National Arts Centre over the December holiday season. As part of the New York-based dance company’s annual global tour, there will be five shows at the NAC December 27-30, 2012. Shen Yun Performing Arts offers an exhilarating production that celebrates the pure excellence and grandeur of classical Chinese dance and music. The show attempts to renew a largely lost cultural tradition that pays honour to timeless virtues and human dignity. The universal themes of compassion, courage and hope are hallmarks of Shen Yun. “Shen Yun presents 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture and history through beautiful dance and music and an uplifting spirit,” said Dr. Jean Zhi, speaking on behalf of the Ottawa local presenters. Tickets may be purchased at www.shen-yun.tickets-center.com


Ryan’s Well® Foundation Launches Holiday Campaign Bringing Clean Water and Better Health to 2,974 People in West Africa

November 15, 2012 12:26 pm
Awatame nursery school girl

In one of the poorest schools in Lomé, Togo, children in pink gingham uniforms cook in a make-believe kitchen, take books from a play library and shop at a “store.” Learning life skills is part of the curriculum at Awatame nursery school. But when it’s time to go to the bathroom, these kids scamper outside and squat in the dirt. This school has no latrine. There’s no well or proper handwashing station either.

Based in Kemptville, Ontario, the Ryan’s Well Foundation announces its 2012 Holiday Campaign, bringing clean water, sanitation and hygiene to three schools in Togo, including the Awatame nursery school. With funds raised, a well will be drilled, yard taps installed, and latrines and handwashing stations built at each school. Children and teachers at all three schools will also receive lessons in sanitation and hygiene.

Every day, 4,000 children around the world die from preventable diseases associated with inadequate sanitation, poor hygiene and unsafe water.

The Ryan’s Well 2012 Holiday Campaign offers an opportunity to make a real difference. Donors are encouraged to give meaningful gifts in the name of family and friends this holiday season… gifts that will put 2,974 children and teachers on a path to clean water and brighter futures.

A water tank that Ryan’s Well funded in 2011 at a nearby school is similar to what will be built at the schools featured in the holiday campaign.

Jane Baird, executive director of the Ryan’s Well Foundation, travelled to West Africa this fall to visit the water projects for the first time since joining the foundation a year ago. “It was incredible – hearing from villagers, teachers, students – what it means to have a clean water well or a latrine. They’re no longer sick. The women don’t spend all day walking for dirty water. The kids are able to go to school regularly. It changes everything. ‘Water is life’, that’s exactly what they said to me.”

This handwashing photo is from the Awatame nursery school. The teacher actually buys that water every morning. She knows that a dozen little hands in the same basin of water isn’t ideal, but it’s better than nothing.

Visit www.ryanswell.ca or e-mail info@ryanswell.ca for more information.



David Usher – Ushering in the End of the World

November 14, 2012 10:30 am

Songs From the Last Day on Earth is David Usher’s eighth solo release since the heady days of Canadian super-group Moist, and seemingly the most sober in terms of subject matter and content.

Usher has said that Songs From the Last Day on Earth is a “theme” record in terms of all the material reflecting the same overall subject matter… namely, a group of friends gathering for the last time at the end of the world. The record centers on the idea of growth in relationships, and is a somewhat alternative-sounding – but adult-radio-friendly – record.

Usher’s approach on each of his albums has always been somewhat understated, but Songs From the Last Day on Earth reflects a true sense of minimalism insofar as Usher’s approach to songwriting and arranging is concerned. Usher says that having had the opportunity to tour as a three-piece, and play more intimate venues in support of his previous acoustic album, really illustrated how much more of a vulnerable and open experience that can be, and he says this experience very much informed the process of how the album was recorded.

The production is very light-handed, and there is also a certain rawness to it, which gives the songs more room to breathe. On the other hand, the lyric content is rather heavy and dark, as I suppose the title of the record would imply. “It’s not about the end of the world in a literal sense,” Usher clarifies. “It’s more about the idea that if you found yourself at the end of your life, in that final instant, how would you distill all your experiences down to the few moments that really mattered? If you read about people who find themselves at the end of their lives, and you hear what they talk about, it’s usually very specific and very similar. They talk about family and friends. They talk about the personal things they wished they’d taken the time to do, or of the things they wished they hadn’t been afraid to do. This record is a mixture of those ideas. The idea of being less afraid of the things that we’re afraid of, usually for the wrong reasons, and at the same time, keeping the moments that matter close.”

Usher’s distinctive and plaintive voice and vocal approach is what drives these songs, and his unique timbre and delivery really shines on tracks like City of Light and All These Simple Things. And while the arrangements on Songs From the Last Day on Earth are not particularly groundbreaking, Usher’s lyrics and vocals are solidly anchored and earnestly delivered. One of the standout tracks on this record – the piano-driven Stay – is a truly lovely piece of music. A repetitive piano line lies beneath Usher’s understated vocal, embracing it and giving it forward movement and warmth. The heartfelt and sincere lyrics to the chorus – Here in my arms, just stay – encapsulate and illustrate what really becomes important at the end of the world: connection. But with the advent of so many new forms of communication, how does one establish a genuine and real relationship in these fast-moving times?

The irony, of course, is that the same advances in technology that enable these instantaneous connections also potentially keep us more disconnected and further apart than ever.

Usher says: “I’ve always been very much a first-adopter of new technology. I’ve always been very into it and aware of its impact, and I find the act of social media very interesting overall. The world today seems to sometimes move like a Facebook thread, in that our experiences all kind of float by us now. So much of this record is about flashes of memory, and trying to hold onto them; so much of it is about our inability to stay in, and really appreciate, the moment as it’s happening.

“There’s so little time for context these days, and we now all have to be so cautious of the ‘small information byte.’ There’s very little time to place things in some sort of conceptual space, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing either. There’s a lot of amazing things about the technology. It gives us so many new and amazing ways to communicate; it can be very connective as well.”

And having another language at his disposal, in this case French, widens the opportunity for Usher to make even more connections. Songs From the Last Day on Earth has two French-language version tracks on it: Partir ailleurs (Go Somewhere Else) and Répondez-moi (Answer Me). Usher’s decision to once again record a track that isn’t in his native tongue is a sincere one. “It’s pretty personal for me,” Usher confesses. “I live in a French neighbourhood, my kids go to a French school, and I’m endlessly taking French lessons and working hard on getting better at it. I did (the recording) because of where I live, and because of the fact that it was a fun and challenging thing to do. That’s always the goal for me with every record, to find new things to challenge myself with.” And having another language to draw from certainly gives Usher another potent tool to communicate with, and to help get his message across.

The theme of Songs From the Last Day on Earth is clearly illustrated in the video for the single – Rice Paper. The video summarizes six years in the life of a couple, all boiled down into a three-minute video; from meeting, to dating, to breaking up, to getting back together, and finally, to having a child. Rice Paper is shot using a uniquely point of view perspective, giving the watcher the opportunity to become more immersed and attached to the story and video. And while the choice to shoot the video from a first-person angle also gives the video a strange sense of distance, the story itself, conversely, draws the listener in. It’s an interesting effect and dichotomy in terms of establishing an emotional connection to the material.

“I feel connected to the record in the sense that it really is written about my experiences, my friends and family, and about my life here (in Montreal),” Usher says. “I’ve been very lucky to find myself in a position where I can write and record with my best friends. Songs was done in kind of a shambled way – partly at my house, partly in the studio – but we made sure it was always made in a way and in a place that we were all very comfortable with.

“Every record has been about change and transition, and that’s the nature and crux of the human condition. But we also tend to constantly work ahead and behind that change. We focus on the past or the future, but rarely do we work in the moment. I know it’s something that I struggle with. It’s something that’s very hard to do, now more than ever.” And with the release of Songs From the Last Day on Earth, Usher is reminding us to enjoy and appreciate being in the moment.

David Usher will be at The Bronson Centre Theatre in Ottawa on Friday, November 16.


The Canadian Mentorship Challenge Event: A Highlight of Global Entrepreneurship Week

November 10, 2012 7:56 pm
Ethos Logo 2.0

Living at One™ and Ethos Networking™ are partnering with Startup Canada, CATAAlliance, and the Canadian Youth Business Foundation to host “Ethos Mentorship 2.0,” a local event for the Canadian Mentorship Challenge, a national initiative to mentor 10,000 enterprising Canadians over the course of Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 12-18, 2012).

This free local event will take place on Thursday, November 15, from 1pm to 10pm at Living at One™ (160 Bank Street). The jam-packed day of mentorship includes a trade show from 1pm to 4pm where successful entrepreneurs receive the opportunity to “pay it forward” by inspiring those who are thinking about branching out on their own or who have already taken the entrepreneurial plunge.

From 5pm to 7pm, five panel experts will answer attendees’ questions during the two-hour live question-and-answer session. From 7pm to 10pm, the Open Networking segment of the event gives all attendees the chance to meet and mingle in a relaxed atmosphere complete with live music, drinks and appetizers. “Mentorship 2.0” speaks to the opportunities in mentoring that technology and social media have created in the new millennium.

Attendees will have the unique opportunity to meet New York Times best-selling author and trainer Peggy McColl;

Peggy McColl

Peggy McColl


esteemed restaurateur and entrepreneur Ion Aimers;

Ion Aimers

Ion Aimers


famed nutritionist, author and TV host Kathy Smart;

Kathy Smart

Kathy Smart


co-founder of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company Tim Beauchesne;

Tim Beauchesne

Tim Beauchesne (right)


speaker/author Majeed Moghaarban;

Majeed Mogharreban

Majeed Mogharreban

and many others at this incredibly powerful mentorship event.

According to Roger Deveau, founder of Ethos Networking: “Our goal at this event is to provide a forum for successful business  owners to share some of their knowledge and experience in order to educate, motivate, empower and inspire people to follow their passion through entrepreneurship.”

“Mentorship is an essential ingredient for building a more collaborative and sustainable entrepreneurial culture in Canada,” said Victoria Lennox, co-founder of Startup Canada. “The transfer of knowledge and ideas is inspiring for everyone involved and contributes to the success of future startups.”

For more information on this event, visit www.ethosmentorship.com. To find out more about the Canadian Mentorship Challenge, visit www.mentorshipchallenge.ca.

Lest We Forget

November 9, 2012 12:49 pm

Many years ago, I used to go to the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the War Memorial on Elgin Street, but once Canada became embroiled in international conflicts, the huge crowds of spectators on Confederation Square made it impossible to see, hear or park. Then I discovered Remembrance Day in Russell and Vars and other small communities. My personal favourite is Russell’s, which is held at the traditional time and date of 11pm, November 11 at the Legion (on Legion Lane) in Russell Village. It’s a big ceremony and includes a parade with OPP, RCMP, Air Cadets, Scouts, Guides and Legionnaires, among others. For the last two years, those paying their respects have also seen the CF-18 flypast out of Ottawa.

The RCMP lay a wreath during the Remembrance Day service in Russell in 2011, with the 5 Cyclone Squadron Air Cadets and over 200 Canadian Forces Men and Women on parade.

There are several other services, however, and since the ones just east of the city are mostly organized by the Legionnaires in Russell (Branch #372), they have staggered times and dates, starting last weekend.

The first one was in Casselman at the Cenotaph beside Ste-Euphémie Roman Catholic Church – a beautiful old stone building – and the Cenotaph and rue Principale provide lots of space. There are even bleachers to sit on. This ceremony was held on Sunday, November 4, at 10am.

On the same day, the Vars service was held at 2pm at the Cenotaph. The recently refurbished Cenotaph is set in a little park which provides a beautiful and quiet setting.

On November 11, besides the Russell service, the Limoges service will be at that community’s Cenotaph at 1pm and the Embrun service will be at 3pm at the Cenotaph in front of the Township Hall.

Legion branches in other rural areas also offer Remembrance Day Services, including Bells Corners Branch 593, South Carleton Branch 314 in Manotick, Orleans Branch 632, Osgoode Branch 589, Richmond Branch 625, Greely Branch 627 (which is near Edwards on Mitch Owens Road), and Stittsville Branch 618. Not all are at 11am on 11/11 so check online for times and dates.

If you don’t want to brave the crowds downtown, attend one of these Services of Remembrance. Elgin Street may have the Prime Minister, but sometimes the solemnity of war is best commemorated in a small and peaceful place.

Photo Credit: Candice Vetter

The Casselman Knights of Columbus form a striking honour guard at the village’s Remembrance Day services, which this year were held on November 4.



The Legacy Conference opens doors for Generation Y

9:30 am
Legacy Conference Featured

On Saturday, November 17, The Legacy Conference will be held at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre. The Legacy Conference is a meeting of like-minded individuals dedicated to creating open dialogue about the worlds of entrepreneurship and business. The conference is aimed at Generation Y in order to give these young people the skills, ideas and connections they need to survive and thrive in the postmodern world.

The conference was founded in 2010 by Mohammad Al Azzouni, a University of Ottawa student. Azzouni wanted to bring together a group of talented and intelligent individuals to discover what it takes to be truly remarkable in the world of today. The conference started small with 60 in attendance, but doubled in size by 2011.

This year, The Legacy Conference will feature talks from the owners and founders of several local businesses and a motivational entrepreneurial speaker. The keynote speaker this year is Saul Colt, the founder of SAUL! – The Idea Integration Company, a key instigator of Freshbooks.com, and the man responsible for introducing Zipcars to Canada. Colt will be discussing the tension between inspiration and influence within the business world.

Also scheduled are panel discussions about failure in entrepreneurship, a necessary topic that is rarely discussed. These panels will feature the founders and owners of online retailers Frank & Oak, Chide.it Inc, CanvasPop, DNA 11 and NoNotes.com, as well as the founder of Fight for the Cure, the charity-boxing match put on this past March that featured Liberal MP Justin Trudeau and Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau.

According to Azzouni, the conference is about balancing knowledge and experience with imagination to help individuals exceed their own expectations and achieve great things for their communities. This year, the Legacy team is aiming to bridge the gap between different disciplines and industries to promote the sharing of ideas and innovation in the business community. Young people not directly involved in business or entrepreneurship are encouraged to attend as well.

The Legacy Conference is a not-for-profit organization that is run entirely by volunteers from Carleton University and uOttawa who are passionately excited about the unique learning opportunities afforded by this event.

 The Legacy Conference will be held at the National Arts Centre on November 17 from 8:30am to 6pm (EST). Tickets are available at legacycan.eventbrite.com

The Ottawa Pet Expo – The FIRST-EVER Ottawa festival for pets and their owners

November 7, 2012 2:14 pm
3 musketeers

Ottawa-Gatineau pet lovers unite to celebrate their love of pets on November 10 and 11 at the CE Centre. The Ottawa Pet Expo, in support of the Ottawa Humane Society, welcomes your whole family to the show, including four-legged family members. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a weekend with your pets!

Have you ever seen dogs fly?
Check out the spectacular Ontario DockDogs competition! Watch as dogs compete in this high-flying canine competition. With four exciting events including Big Air, Speed Retrieve, Extreme Vertical and Irondog, see if your dog has what it takes to be a DockDogs champion. With no pre-registration required, your dog is welcome to participate in the public dog Charity Jump with proceeds going to the Ottawa Humane Society.

See Cub Carson from 93.9 BOB FM compete against the dogs in the big pool! If that isn’t enough canine canoodleing for you, watch the Airborne Disc Dog Club’s amazing demonstration of dog tricks with Frisbees, and the Treibball (ball herding) demonstration.

Shop for the latest in pet toys and accessories
With Christmas on its merry way, this is the perfect time to shop for your pet. Find the latest in pet toys and accessories, from LED light-up leashes and collars, to winter coats and booties for your fashionable furry friends.

Protect your pet at the microchip clinics
The safety of animals is always a top priority so The Ottawa Humane Society is running an on-site, microchip clinic from 11am to 2pm, on Saturday and Sunday. The Ottawa Pet Expo is also offering doggy first-aid workshops during the show.

Learn from the pet experts
A wide range of exhibitors are on hand to provide information on the health and nutrition of your pet along with educational seminars running all weekend on dogs, cats, rabbits, parrots, exotic pets and even little pigs. Many breeders will be at the show, ready to answer whatever questions you may have about your animal companion’s health and nutritional needs!

Educational demos for kids of all ages
Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo will be at the show, presenting the zoo’s famous critters – from snakes and lizards to tarantulas and the world’s smallest crocodile babies! Bring the kids – Ray has an interactive demo for them too! Also, check out the family-friendly Kids’ Zone featuring crafts, activities and face painting, all with an animal theme. And best of all, kids get in FREE!!

Lots of fun extras for pets and owners alike
Do you think your animal is hiding something? Get to the bottom of it by checking in with Wendy the Pet Psychic. Don’t miss the pet fashion show, and the pet and owner look-a-like contest, both hosted by BOB FM’s Sandy Sharkey. And to complete a fun-filled day at the show, be sure to visit the charity photo booth for a happy snap of your best friend.

So, walk, run, fly, slither, hop, lurch, crawl, pounce or swim your way to the Ottawa Pet Expo this November 10-11. Your pets will thank you!

Tickets are available at the door for $12, or you can get discount tickets online at ottawapetexpo.ca.
Kids 17 and under get in for free. The show is open from 10am-6pm on Saturday, and 10am-5pm on



Well, That’s The Kind of Life It’s Been — Lloyd Robertson at the Ottawa Writers Festival

October 30, 2012 11:20 am
Lloyd - Featured image

On October 26, Knox Presbyterian was filled with people excited to once again hear the familiar voice of former CTV News chief anchor Lloyd Robertson. Robertson appeared to do a talk about his impressive career as the longest-serving news anchor in Canadian and international history. Over his 59-year career in broadcasting, Robertson has covered Expo 67, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the death of Princess Dianna, Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope, the September 11th World Trade Centre attacks and the War in Afghanistan, as well as numerous elections, referendums and Olympic events. Robertson has also won the Order of Canada and was the first journalist to be inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.

In spite of his impressive accolades, Robertson focused his talk on his own personal journey. He joked about being in a church as a “slightly lapsed Presbyterian.” Robertson then read an excerpt from his new book, The Kind of Life It’s Been (HarperCollins Canada), which is about the trials of growing up with a mother who suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness and a father who had severe stomach disorders. Robertson shared personal anecdotes about his “dreary home life” and the images of hospitals “forever etched in [his] mind.”

Despite the morose aspects of his upbringing, Robertson explained that his early life experiences gave him a deep compassion for the sick and unhealthy, and a “lifelong commitment to help those with mental illnesses.” On stage, he recalled one of the most memorable things his father said to him about the mentally ill: “You’ve got to learn, boy, that these people deserve a life too.” Those words have stuck with Robertson to this day, influencing him throughout his lengthy career to approach all those he encounters with sympathy and compassion, regardless of their physical or mental predispositions. Robertson’s book is dedicated to his father, who taught him the importance of wisdom and compassion.

Early on in his life, Robertson felt a pull towards broadcasting. “News was always an interest of mine,” he told the audience. “As a child, I knew the names of all the local radio personalities.” In school, Robertson asked his teachers if he could read the public announcements every day, and later became the narrator for a number of school plays to work on his voice projection. He started his broadcasting career working for his local Stratford radio station, CJCS, but quickly moved up to CJOY in Guelph. He started working for the CBC in Windsor, but was eager to move to Toronto, which was “the apex of quality in [the] industry at the time. One you’d got there, you’d made it.”

Robertson worked as an announcer for CBC in Toronto until he began encountering difficulties with the corporation. Not being allowed to edit his articles, Robertson became frustrated because he “could report, but couldn’t write.” Eventually, he was offered a new position at CTV, but was still conflicted over leaving, due to his loyalty to CBC and its broadcasting mission. However, CTV gave him his first opportunity to go out in the field to write and broadcast his own reports, and Robertson stuck with CTV for 35 years.

Robertson talked about the challenges of maintaining a “public personality” while on the air, which sometimes conflicted with his true feelings on a subject. Robertson talked about the difficulty of reporting on 9/11, which was one of the most memorable days of his career. Robertson recalled being woken up early in the morning by a call from his boss, saying “Get your pants on, Robertson, turn on the TV and see what’s going on.” He rushed to work and got on the air to report on the attack, trying to channel what Peter Jennings described to him as “an absence of emotion” in order to keep composed. “There are some moments when you have to remain composed,” Robertson said, “but you instinctively know when you reach your audience emotionally.” Robertson remained emotionally stoic in public until three days later, when he attended the memorial service on Parliament Hill. Robertson described the absolute silence of the crowd and how it caused him to weep for the first time since the attack.

After a lengthy career working in radio and television, Robertson retired in 2011. As he described it: “I wanted to get out while the voice was intact and the looks were relatively still intact.” Robertson described feeling simultaneously grateful and saddened on his last day at CTV. “There was a sense of emptiness during my last broadcast, but I certainly don’t miss being there at 11 o’clock every night.”

Reflecting on his career, Robertson concluded that there was very little he would change. He regrets never attending university, yet “working in news, in a lot of ways, was like getting a Liberal Arts Degree. I was never held back in my career because I continued to learn on the job.” He always felt at home in broadcasting, and turned down the offer of a Senate seat. “I had fought so hard to be this newsperson who spoke from outside all the political parties… I wanted to maintain the independent voice of the service.”

For Robertson, the independence that comes from journalism is essential. He briefly discussed the problems of the all-news channels in the US and how they confuse people by intermingling talk shows with news broadcasts. According to Robertson, politicians and pundits are given “the bias of their choice,” leading to polarization full of “rants, but no talking.” Despite this growing trend, Robertson maintains hope in the tradition of the professional news broadcast. “There will always be room for the professionals. People always need reliable sources to know what is really going on. People are smart enough to know that what they get [on all news channels and the internet] is just gossip.”

 Robertson’s memoir, The Kind of Life It’s Been, is now available in bookstores everywhere.



The Gospel of Nick Drake — Coming to a church near you

10:29 am

British poet and singer-songwriter Nick Drake was not the kind of musician, admittedly, that I’d had much exposure to, or even had much knowledge of, when my appetite for music first kicked in. My exposure to Drake had always consisted primarily of other songwriters’ mentions of him: people like Elvis Costello, Billy Bragg, Paul Weller and Kate Bush, artists who spoke of their love and admiration for Drake and his work in respectful, reverent tones. So years later, when my curiosity finally got the better of me, I borrowed some Nick Drake records from a friend.

After a few listens, I was a convert to the Church of Nick Drake. Listening to Northern Sky, Day is Done or any of his other songs in my room that day, I was struck by how, well, gentle, the whole thing was, how reserved. Keep in mind, that at that point of my life, I was deeply into bands like Faith No More and Bad Brains, and I had grown up listening to Frank Sinatra, so bombastic and over-the-top were pretty much par for the course for me in terms of what I was familiar with musically.

Drake’s earnest, honest, laid-back approach was jarring and foreign to me, striking in how Drake could put across so much in an understated way. There was something about his unrelenting earnestness and vulnerability that struck a chord with me. What I heard that day wasn’t anything like I’d ever heard before. There was definitely a strength and courage in his music, but all couched in a gentleness and openness that wasn’t the musical norm for me at that time. Drake has been referred to as a “musician’s musician.” The kind of songwriter who for one reason or another flies just under the radar of mainstream recognition and success. The kind of songwriter people inevitably discover, but slowly and in their own time, and that same discovery becomes richer and more worthwhile because of it.

In spite of the lack of any outright commercial success, Drake’s music is still just as relevant and vital as ever, as his style and approach have influenced countless singer-songwriters through the years. I dare you to try name a band where the singer hasn’t co-opted and borrowed from Drake’s subdued, reserved yet urgently immediate writing approach. Everyone from Patrick Watson to Radiohead to Elliot Smith to Jeff Buckley have Drake to thank in some way for his contribution. The Dream Academy song, “Life in a Northern Town,” for example, is actually a tribute to Drake. The Nick Drake song that most people seem to claim a familiarity with is “Pink Moon,” a beautifully evocative song, used a few years back as a musical backdrop for a VW Golf ad campaign. But Drake’s catalogue has also been used in movies and ad campaigns many times since. His music and lyrics are observational, thoughtful, literary, expansive, welcoming – and they tug at your heart. His material lingers in your brain and spirit. It connects and grounds you, and that’s why new generations of music fans are continually rediscovering his work.

Coming to the First Baptist Church Ottawa on Friday November 9, The Songs of Nick Drake Tour is designed to celebrate Drake’s life and songs. The brainchild of British-born musician Luke Jackson, the show was first produced at Toronto’s Trinity St. Paul United Church in November 2010, paying tribute to Drake and his extremely accomplished and talented composer, arranger and friend, Robert Kirby. Kirby’s tasteful and moving string arrangements became a big part of Drake’s songs live, and truly added an extra dimension of depth, warmth and lushness to the feel of the material. Sadly, Kirby unexpectedly died a week before the show was announced, and while his loss is tremendous, it also served to further inspire Jackson to honor Drake and Kirby. The show that night was recorded and broadcast by the CBC, and was an unqualified and resounding success.

Check out some of it here.

The musicians joining Jackson on tour reads like a veritable who’s who of Canadian music: Toronto alt-country darling Oh Susanna,the wonderful Kurt Swinghammer, Kevin Kane of The Grapes of Wrath, drummer Don Kerr (Rheostatics, Ron Sexsmith) and double-bassist Jason Mercer (Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Ani DiFranco).

Swinghammer, a Canadian musical legend and artist in his own right, says that his attraction and appreciation for Nick Drake started via Toronto’s legendary CHUM-FM radio station: “They used to play him a lot in those days, and I was transfixed by his voice and his music. It was this hybrid of jazz, folk, sometimes even bordering on easy-listening. At that time, it was the norm for male singers to be more aggressive, and he was a really refreshing backlash to that kind of rock-and-roll thing that had taken over blues-based singing. He was coming to it from a very gentle place, and I think that has influenced a lot of contemporary singers. (His style) was an original blend of things, and that’s the kind of artist I’m drawn to. He was a real singular kind of voice at the time. He was a very striking presence, and it’s a pleasure to get to perform the material live.” To coincide with the tour, Swinghammer is releasing Two Portraits: a limited-edition 12″ single of his version of Nick Drake’s “River Man” backed by a version of Donovan’s “Sunny Goodge Street.” The sleeve will feature Swinghammer’s portraits of both singer/songwriters.

The tour has been intentionally organized and booked to play unique venues, in churches for example, eschewing the traditional “soft-seat” theatre route. Jackson explains: “The show at St. Paul’s had such a good vibe, and there are certain benefits to playing in those types of venues. There’s a beautiful built-in ambiance. Nick’s music sounds great in a church, and we were able to sidestep all the politics and goings-on that usually take place when dealing with theatre venues. It was really refreshing to be able to do that. This is something that I’m taking very seriously. It’s something I would like to take out and tour every year. But it’s a matter of making this tour a success. I’ve been working on it pretty much non-stop for a year, giving my all and pulling out all the stops to prove it can be done. I want to know that I haven’t cut any corners in trying to make sure that this tour is a success.”

Another unique aspect of this tour is that Jackson has invited local musicians from each city they will be playing in to join the band on stage. The lovely and hyper-talented Jim Bryson, Marie-Jo Thério and Marc Robert Nelson will be joining The Songs of Nick Drake Tour in Ottawa.

That was something that made a lot of sense from a production point of view,” Jackson said. “Inviting musicians who are fellow Nick Drake fans from those cities keeps the show fresh and different every night. We’ll never have the same show twice. For the ten of us on the tour who are playing each night, we get into a groove with our own thing. But then some real magic will happen when we have the guests and throw them into the mix. We’re all coming at it with a good degree of musicianship but with very little in the way of rehearsal, and I think that’s a good recipe for something more organic. I wanted to do something that honored Nick’s musical legacy and took everything in a slightly different direction as well.”

And this approach guarantees that the shows will evolve and change from venue to venue, delivering a new and unique musical experience at every performance.

The Songs of Nick Drake Tour will take place at the First Baptist Church Ottawa on Friday, November 9. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door. Available at Vertigo Records, Legends, Ottawa Folklore Centre, Compact Music Inc. or online at ticketbreak.com

Keep up with the tour on facebook


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