A Legacy Of Sport

May 17, 2016 1:55 pm

What makes sports heroes legends can sometimes involve what they do off the field, or what they do to get there, as much as what they do when they are on it. Their determination, their will power and their dedication to what they do is always inspiring. When Russ Jackson broke a rib during his legendary career with the Ottawa Rough Riders, he didn’t let it destroy him. He only took one game off to recover. That was the only game he missed in his 12-year football career.

Jackson led the Ottawa Rough Riders through the team’s golden age from 1958 to 1969, winning the Grey Cup three times. He is also considered the ‘last Canadian quarterback,’ as that position has been dominated by American players ever since he retired.

Feb2016_page30_Russ Jackson Photo (1)

Photo courtesy of CFHF.

“I had already been inducted a couple years earlier into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame,” says Jackson, now 83. “But when you get inducted in with people who have represented all of the sports at the Olympic level and the dominion level, national level and so on, it’s one step higher.”

Elizabeth Manley is best known for her bold and energetic freestyle figure skating. In the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games, Manley’s skating ranged from elegant to almost frantically precise, and it ultimately won her a silver medal and national adoration. She won silver again at the world championships that same year and moved on to professional figure skating in 1989.

She says that her induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is “truly is an honour.”

“You spend your whole life working so hard and trying to excel in a sport, being recognized and [having] my legacy remembered for years to come, even long after I’m gone…it’s just such a true honour.”

However, an athlete’s legacy can stretch well beyond athletic careers.

When Manley started talking about her depression in the 1980s, many people ran out on her. “People weren’t ready to put Canada’s sweetheart and depression in the same category,” she says. “1983 going into ’84, I was at the lowest point in my life,” she says. “I was diagnosed with depression, I’d had a nervous breakdown, I’d lost all my hair and gained a tremendous amount of weight. I quit skating.” In such a short period of time, Manley watched her Olympic chances crumble, and realized her dream had been taken away. “I really felt at that moment that there wasn’t anything good for me,” she says.


Photo Courtesy of Jim Watson.

But Manley reached out for help, and four years later she was standing on a podium in Calgary, silver medal around her neck. Now, Manley is the sort of person someone can reach out to, and she isn’t afraid to share her story. In the 1980s, many people shut the door on her because they didn’t understand the realities of depression. The fact that mental health understanding is so much better today is largely due to people like Elizabeth Manley who speak out. For this reason, her work in mental health deserves as much recognition as what she’s achieved on ice.

Of course, skating still plays a very large role in Manley’s life. After a successful career in the United States with organizations like the Ice Capades, she’s since returned to Canada to train the country’s next generation of figure skaters.

Russ Jackson has always maintained that football was his hobby, something he did alongside his real profession, teaching. It was common in the 1960s for athletes to hold a second job. Sports didn’t pay nearly as well as they do today. Still though, Jackson says the 60s and early 70s were the golden years.

“The fans were behind you,” he says. “They almost felt like they had a part of you.”

Back then everyone knew the local players, and Jackson’s fame made teaching a little more interesting for himself, students and even the parents. “On parents’ night some of the parents would come in and they wanted to talk more about football than their kid’s progress,” he laughs. However, teaching was a real passion for him and there is no doubt he changed the lives of many children.

When asked about his legacy, Jackson believes that as the last Canadian quarterback, his is already written. “I don’t think there’s anything to add to it now,” he says.”It was a great life, and I was thoroughly pleased to have the opportunity to play professional sport.”

From Learning through Pleasure to Healing through Pleasure

May 16, 2016 3:14 pm

In early fall 2014, Saint Paul University celebrated the 40th anniversary of its Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre. Since its inception, the Centre has provided services in both official languages to thousands of people from a diversity of socio-cultural and religious backgrounds. One of the Centre’s founders, Father Yvon Saint-Arnaud, OMI (1918–2009), was Canada’s leading figure in the development of pastoral counselling, known today as counselling and spirituality. One of his contributions to psychotherapy is a work of great depth, published in 2002, La guérison par le plaisir (“healing through pleasure”). This volume continues to inform researchers, intellectuals and psychotherapists both here and abroad. Professor Saint-Arnaud was also a renowned clinician and a highly sought-after speaker in Canada, France and Belgium.

Saint-Arnaud’s contributions complement the works of other famous researchers in the field of positive psychology (such as Seligman, Csikszentmihalyi and Lyubomirsky). Positive psychology emerged about 15 years ago to study the conditions and processes that contribute to the flourishing or optimal functioning of people, groups and institutions. It examines concepts that are closely related to spirituality, such as virtues, human strengths, optimism, hope, gratitude, forgiveness, altruism and humour. All of these themes echo the attitude and teachings of Saint-Arnaud, who was known as much for his intellectual rigour as for his contagious laugh. Indeed, those who knew him recall that he could always have fun and knew how to live life to the fullest. For him, any real pleasure was linked to the capacity to enjoy it. He would refer to Assagioli’s notion of will to explain that human beings can revel in (as an act of will) the beautiful, the true and the good in their surroundings.

But what is healing through pleasure? According to Saint-Arnaud, there is a possibility of healing when we become aware of the relationship between our potential to heal and our beliefs, feelings and behaviours regarding the disease and its cure. His concept of pleasure is also closely associated with values: for him, authentic, lasting pleasure is always consistent with one’s values. Pleasure and values go hand in hand, since both are defined by what is good for the human person. Having authentic fun is always linked to enjoying the good—for example, admiring a beautiful sunset, or enjoying a conversation with a dear friend.This quote says it all: “Pleasure is essentially the enjoyment of what we find good for us.” (Saint-Arnaud, 2002, p. 222, our translation.)

According to Saint-Arnaud, authentic pleasures are a healing force. They have a combined effect on our values, which in turn have an impact on our health systems overall: they produce balance in our body, mind and spirit. Furthermore, authentic pleasure remains profoundly human, since it favours continued self-transcendent growth. He acknowledged all forms of pleasure, but he especially valued spiritual pleasures arising from intelligence.The joy of learning is the ultimate intellectual pleasure, for there is great satisfaction in discovering life artistically, philosophically and/ or scientifically. And, of course, he recognized the many pleasures associated with love, such as mutual validation, self-transcendence, security, creativity, spontaneity, friendship, intimacy and commitment.

In tribute to Professor Saint-Arnaud’s remarkable contributions to the field of counselling, psychotherapy and spirituality, Saint Paul University’s School of Counselling, Psychotherapy and Spirituality, together with the Society for Pastoral Counselling Research (SPCR) and l’Association canadienne des intervenants psychospirituels (formerly the Association des Psychothérapeutes Pastoraux du Canada, founded by Saint-Arnaud), will hold an international conference on March 17–19, 2016, entitled Positive Psychology: Healing through Pleasure. One of our featured speakers is noted psychologist Dr. Kenneth Pargament, who along with many other interesting presenters will engage you with fascinating topics chosen for your learning pleasure.

Christian Bellehumeur, Ph.D., is a psychologist, associate professor and director of the School of Counselling, Psychotherapy and Spirituality at the Faculty of Human Sciences, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Ontario.


Fury Bring Home First Win of the Season

May 2, 2016 3:07 pm

All photos by Meagan Simpson. 

Ottawa Fury wowed fans Saturday, taking their first win of the season, and at home nonetheless.

The season home-opening game was just what the team needed after playing their first four games on the road without a win.

It’s hard to say whether it was playing for a home crowd, or players starting to click, but the Fury were able to beat the Miami FC 2-0. Their first goal came 25 minutes into the game, when newcomer James Bailey crossed the ball into the box from a freekick, tapped in by fellow newcomer Fernando (Timbo) Sanfelice, making the score 1-0.

The Fury held onto their lead after the first half, keeping Miami at bay.  Then after some great saves by Miami keeper Daniel Vega, Ottawa substitute Dennis Chin booted one into the top corner of Miami’s net in the last minutes of the game.


Chin, also playing his first season with the Fury, says getting that goal was just what he needed for himself and the fans.

Before coming into the home-opener on Saturday, the Fury had only scored one goal this season. Their first four games ended in one draw and three loses.

“We got (our first win) off our backs now, we know how to play, we tweaked some things during the week and it worked today,” says Chin.

New head coach Paul Dalglish says he wasn’t worried though. “I knew it was coming,” he told reporters after the match, “I’ve got complete trust in these players, the first four games were my fault.”

Dalglish says he was extremely pleased with how the team played today from a solid defence to shots on net. He says it took him some time to understand and learn the league, but now that he has he believes the team will start getting back to the success they saw at the end of last season.

The Fury saw many changes in the off season after their 3-2 loss in last season’s finals to the New York Cosmos. They lost head coach Marc Dos Santos, captain Ritchie Ryan and leading scorer Tom Heinemann.


Despite showing a fairly new group of players and coaching staff, Dalglish and his players believe they have what it takes to continue what they had last season.

“We have very experienced players, we don’t have any real rookies on our team so we’ve all been here,” says Chin, “and we have good leadership starting from the top down and we came in knowing we had to fight for the win.”

Fury moved up two spots after their win, placing them ninth overall, ahead of Miami FC.

Dalglish believes it’s only a matter of time before the team starts climbing up the standings.

Fans will find out if that’s true next weekend, when the Fury play their next home game, May 7th against Minnesota United FC before heading back on the road.

Breaking New Ground with Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2016

April 29, 2016 1:44 pm

Photo courtesy of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. 

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce the seven astounding athletes that will be receiving the country’s highest sporting honour. These inductees have not only made a huge impact in their field of sport, but have utilized their influence in making Canada a better place for all.

“We are proud to be able to share the stories of the achievements of the Class of 2016 so that we can inspire all Canadians to be the best they can be in all aspects of life,” said Mario Siciliano, the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame’s President and CEO.

The Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Tire Corporation have come together to honour, celebrate and encourage Canadian values and the inspiring behaviour that each of these athletes possess. The class of 2016 has broken new ground when it comes to embodying Canadian ideals.

The newest inductees include Michael “Pinball” Clemons, four-time Grey Cup Champion with the Toronto Argonauts. Also inducted, Stephanie Dixon is a 19-time Paralympic medalist and world record holder in Para-swimming. Dr. Frank Hayden was inducted for creating the worldwide Special Olympics Movement. Sue Holloway is distinguished in her field as a four-time Olympian and the first woman to represent Canada at back to back Summer and Winter Olympic Games, competing in both Kayaking and Cross Country Skiing. Also inducted in the 2016 class is Colleen Jones, a two-time World Champion and youngest skip to ever win a Canadian Women’s Curling Championship. Alongside her is Annie Perreault, a three-time Olympian and double Olympic Gold medalist for Speed Skating. Last but not least, Bryan Trottier is a seven-time Stanley Cup winner.

The honour will be officially given to these extraordinary people on November 1, when Canadian Tire presents the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame 2016 Induction Ceremony at its new venue, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

The athlete’s awards will then be showcased at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park, where Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame honours the talented and inspirational athletes that have shaped our country in many ways. The seven new inductees will find their place among the 12 galleries, over 50 hands-on, interactive experiences and 100,000 artefacts that the award winning facilities has on display to show our country’s appreciation for its outstanding citizens.

Ottawa Boxers Bring Home Gold

April 20, 2016 1:45 pm

Photo Courtesy of Erica Adjei.

Two local boxers are putting Ottawa’s name on the boxing-world map, bringing home a national title and medals from this year’s boxing championships in Quebec City.

Erica Adjei (26) and Dave O’Reilly (28) competed at the 2016 National Canadian Boxing Championships earlier this month. When they returned, Adjei brought home her second gold medal and O’Reilly sported a bronze.

Adjei is the two-time elite women’s national champion in her weight class. This was her fourth time competing at nationals but first time defending her national title. After moving to a lower weight class a couple years ago, she found success and was crowned Canadian champion for the first time in 2015.

“Coming into nationals this [year] I was nervous because my coach always tells me it’s hard to get to the top, but it’s even harder to stay on top,” said Adjei.

This was O’Reilly’s first time qualifying for nationals. He says that even though he lost his fight and finished third, it was a good experience for his first time.

Both amateur boxers represent and train with Final Round Boxing. The Ottawa based club was founded by Eric Belanger, and as owner and coach he helps train Adjei and O’Reilly. He says it makes him happy to see their success and how it helps to improve Ottawa boxing’s local reputation.

Final Round has been around for 10 years and trains all kinds of boxers, from those just looking for a good workout, to amateurs like Adjei and O’Reilly and even professional boxers.

“[Ottawa is] a tough town to be boxing in,” says Belanger, “It’s not a boxing city but we’re making it work.” He has been working to improve the sport’s reputation and says that since he’s opened the club, interest and success appears to be in the ‘upswing’.

“There’s more boxing going on than there has been since the ’70s and ’80s,” he says.

Erica Adjei and Eric Belanger, owner of Final Round Boxing shows off the gold medal she received after her final match in Quebec City.

Erica Adjei shows off the gold medal she received after her final match in Quebec City. Eric Belanger (left) is the owner of Final Round Boxing. Photo Courtesy of Erica Adjei.

For Adjei and O’Reilly, boxing in Ottawa and training at Final Round has helped them find personal success.

Adjei has been boxing for about eight years. It all started in her last year of high school when a friend of hers was talking about joining a boxing gym with some other friends. Adjei chimed in, saying it was a good idea and they should all join together. The boy laughed at her, saying girls can’t box and even went as far as saying that even if she did join she wouldn’t be good anyway. Feeling stubborn and competitive, Adjei says she walked into a boxing gym a couple months later and hasn’t looked back since.

When’s she’s not working as a full time business analysts for a Canadian software company, Adjei is at the gym, spending every weeknight and Saturday running, boxing, training and sparring. She says moving to Final Round with her longtime coach, former champion boxer Greg Gayle, has helped provide her a with a more structured training program, pushing her to work harder.

It seems to be paying off, as two time Canadian champion Adjei is a part of the Canadian national team that competes internationally. She is travelling to her first world championships in a month in Kazakhstan, where she will be competing in her 54kg weight class.

“I want to see what I can do internationally, I want to see how many medals I can get, how many belts and wins I can get at that level,” Adjei says. “I would love to be on the podium, gold medal around my neck and the Canadian national anthem playing.”

For female amateur boxers in Adjei’s weight class, it doesn’t get much bigger than that. Women’s boxing was only introduced into the Olympics in 2012, with only three weight classes, not including Adjei’s. And funding for amateur boxers not in the three Olympic weight classes is almost non-existent.

Male boxers like O’Reilly have it a bit easier with more weight classes in the Olympics and the opportunity to move into professional boxing. O’Reilly says his goal is to become a professional boxer and make a career out of it.

He has been boxing for three years and joined Final Round over a year ago. O’Reilly lives in Quebec but trains at Final Round. He says he hopes to improve his technical treating and ring smarts then go back to nationals and take home the gold next year before trying to move pro.

“It means a lot [competing at nationals] because they’re telling you that you’re one of the best boxers in Canada, it’s fun to hear.”

Belanger says, “Hopefully as we develop and gets more [boxers like] Erica and Dave…people will realize it’s not just small, little, club level regional stuff. We’re competing in world class elite sports right here in our backyard.”

Senators Get a New GM

April 12, 2016 9:57 am

 A faceoff during the first playoff game between the Ottawa Senators and the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 2006 Stanley Cup.

After seven years as general manager, Bryan Murray (73) has announced he is stepping down from his role with the Ottawa Senators.

At a press conference on Sunday, Murray says he will be taking a more advisory role with the team while assistant general manager Pierre Dorion takes over as GM.

Update: Dorion’s first act as general manager has been the firing of the senators’ head coach, Dave Cameron. Dorion also let go of assistants Rick Wamsley and Andre Tourigny.

The position of head coach has not yet been filled, and Dorion will be keeping his eyes out for someone with NHL experience. Some have suggested that the club is looking at Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien as a replacement, but swinging that will be a anything but easy.

“We just felt we needed to make a full change,” Dorion said at a press conference on Tuesday morning. “we needed to have a clean slate.”

The coaching staff had been under evaluation for the past month according to Dorion. He says he was disappointed in the way the team played this season, giving up too many shots, and falling short defensively.

“We have a team that underachieved this year.”

Murray’s resignation does not come as a surprise. It was rumored that after a tough season for the Senators, changes were going to be made. Murray himself even mentioned a year ago that this would likely be his last season in the position.

He has been with the team since the 2005, and spent two-plus years as head coach. He led the Senators to their only appearance in a Stanley Cup final in 2007 where they played the Anaheim Ducks but ultimately lost after five games.

Midway through the 2007-08 season, Murray transitioned to GM and has been in the position ever since, making him the longest reigning Senators GM to date.


Ottawa Senators former general manager, Bryan Murray in 2013.

In November of 2014 Murray announced that he had been diagnosed with inoperable Stage 4 colon cancer. With the support of the team and his two assistant general managers, Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee, he was able to stay on.

This was Murray’s 34th year working in the NHL, before coming to the Senators he worked with Washington, Anaheim, Detroit and Florida.

As Murray now moves into an advisory role, Ottawa-native Dorion (43) is ready to take over. This past season marked Dorion’s ninth year with the Senators. Before that, he had spent two years as a scout for the New York Rangers and 11 years with the Montreal Canadiens.

Dorion told reporters at the press conference that the position did not come as a surprise to him, and that he’s known he’d be getting it, and was prepared. Murray had already been delegating duties to both Lee and Dorion, with Dorion playing a large role in contract negotiations and making trade decisions.

He said at the press conference his goal for the Sens is to build on the strong core that they have already created, but key changes will be made.

After a season plagued by injuries and inconsistencies, the Senators finished 11th in the Eastern Conference. Unlike last year, they were unable to pull off an end-of-season comeback, the Senators fell short and did not clinch a playoff spot.

This off-season may prove to be an interesting one, as the Senators led by Dorion try to get back to being a winning team.

Quick Ottawa Fury Facts Before the Season Opener

April 1, 2016 2:48 pm
What you need to know about Ottawa Fury-image1

Two seems to have been Ottawa’s lucky number in 2015. Ottawa Fury FC, much like the Redblacks, made it to the North American Soccer League championships (or Soccer Bowl) after only two seasons together.

Whether you’re new to Ottawa or were inspired to start cheering for the team after their successful year, here are a few things to know about the Ottawa Fury FC.

Fury plays in the North American Soccer League (NASL), which consists of 11 teams across Canada and the United States. Home games are played at TD Place with regular season games starting April till October.

The year is broken down into two seasons, spring and fall, with a month long break from June to July. After playoffs, four teams make it to the Championship tournament. These teams are made up of the spring and fall champions plus the two other teams with the next-highest records. These teams then play for the Soccer Bowl trophy.

What you need to know about Ottawa Fury-image2In 2014, Fury players started their first season together. They finished with an average record, placing sixth overall and falling short of the playoffs.

While Fury and its management had been hoping for a better entry into the league, the season was not a complete loss. It gave the team experience and the building blocks they needed to develop for year two.

During the off-season, the franchise made minor changes but stuck with its veteran players. Starting 2015 with a strong core of players helped bring around a whole new season.

The first half of the year had Fury in eighth place, but in the fall, Fury astounded fans and newcomers alike by winning 13 of 20 games. This astounding streak landed them a spot in playoffs.

Much like the Redblacks, Fury FC made it all the way to the end, playing the New York Cosmos in the championship game. Unfortunately, also mirroring their football counterparts, Fury lost their championship dreams after the Cosmos came out on top 3-2.

Coach Marc Dos Santos was one reason for the team’s success. He created a stable and goal oriented environment for players to strive in. The NASL didn’t overlook his efforts, and Dos Santos was named Coach of the Year.

Players like the team’s top scoring striker Tom Heinemann and goalkeeper Romuald Peiser also contributed to the team’s success. Romuald was even awarded the Golden Glove by the NASL, naming him the top keeper in 2015.

Since losing to the Cosmos, Ottawa Fury has gone through many changes: most notably Dos Santos leaving, replaced by new head coach Paul Dalglish. A slew of players also left, including captain Richie Ryan.

With a successful year under their belt but many changes in the air, this year promises to be an interesting one for Fury soccer fans. All eyes will be on the team during the season’s first game, which takes place Sunday April 3 against the team that defeated them last year, the New York Cosmos. Stay tuned to Ottawa Life Magazine for continuing regular season coverage.

Art Competition Announced for Stanley Cup Memorial

March 30, 2016 2:00 pm
Stanley Cup exhibited at the Hockey Hall of Fame. (13 May 2008)
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stanly_Cup_in_Hockey_Hall_of_Fame_(may_2008).jpg

The Stanley Cup will soon find its home in Ottawa, or at least a monument dedicated to the trophy will.

The Lord Stanley Memorial Monument Inc., has announced a public art competition to design and build the memorial which will be donated to the City of Ottawa and revealed in 2017.

The big reveal is timed to commemorate the trophy’s 125th birthday. Lord Stanley of Preston donated the cup to the It was given to the “the championship hockey club of the Dominion of Canada” on March 18, 1892 in Ottawa. Stanley was known for his passion for the game, which many of his sons and daughters played in Ottawa.

The reveal also coincides with 100th anniversary of the NHL and Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations. It will be placed at Sparks Street and Elgin, facing Confederation Square, where Lord Stanley originally announced the Cup in what was formerly the Russell House Hotel.

Art competition announced for Stanley Cup memorial-image2 (1)

Portrait of Lord Stanley of Preston May 1889 Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 Lord Stanley Memorial Monument Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization that was created in 2010 by the late Paul Kitchen, (a local hockey historian) with the purpose of creating the monument and commemorating the historical event.

 The cost of the monument is to be $4.5 million with contributions from the federal government, the Senators, the NHL and the City of Ottawa.

 The group is currently calling for interested design teams from all over Canada to submit their qualifications and experience. Up to eight teams will be selected to submit design ideas and proposals.

 The winning team will be announced October 28th, with the monument being revealed in December 2017.

 Details of the competition can be found at lordstanleygift.com.

Hammond Stars as Senators Edge Closer to Playoffs

March 21, 2016 11:03 am

Photo courtesy Losangeles.cbslocal.com

Saturday was a great night all around for the Ottawa Senators as they romped to a 5-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens to strengthen their push for a playoff spot.

As well as sending off one of their main rivals in a game that saw the Sens score three shorthanded goals, Ottawa also showed just what Andrew Hammond is capable of. The goalie produced his first shutout of the season in a sensational performance.

Having been thrust into action following Craig Anderson’s injury, Hammond has gone a long way towards proving that his incredible streak last season — in which the goalie went 20-1 with the Senators – was not luck alone.

While plenty of Ottawa fans felt there was a good chance Anderson’s injury would be the final nail in the franchise’s playoffs hopes, Hammond’s recent displays have sent out a message that Senators will still be playing hard over the next few weeks.

Having spent a month on the sidelines, 28-year-old Hammond made an immediate impression after stepping on the ice to replace Anderson at the beginning of March. Ottawa might still have a lot of work to do if they are going to squeak into the playoffs, but they’ll feel a lot better about their chances with Hammond in this sort of form.

"New York Islanders vs. Ottawa Senators -" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Dougtone

“New York Islanders vs. Ottawa Senators -” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Dougtone

Despite Montreal throwing everything they had at Hammond in the Senators goal, the Canadiens were frustrated time and again by the Ottawa stand-in keeper.

They watched as 30 shots bounced off an immaculate all-round performance by a player who is beginning to fulfil his NHL dream after spending years working his way up the lower leagues.

Since the Senators are coming up against a string of fellow playoff-chasing teams between now and the end of the current campaign, maintaining this form will be essential. Nowhere will this be more true than when they end the regular season against the Boston Bruins, a team priced at the time of writing at around 20/1 at http://extra.bet365.com/news/en/US-Sports/NHL.  

With Hammond working miracles between the posts, the Senators were able to focus on offence and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Curtis Lazar, and Alex Chiasson all scored short-handed goals for the visitors, with Marc Methot and Mika Zibanejad adding the other goals in a game the Canadiens will be keen to forget.

In what was just the fourth time in franchise history, and first time since April 2008, Ottawa’s three short-handed goals highlighted just how dangerous the Senators are during a powerplay.

Ben Scrivens in the Canadiens’ goal more than held his own on the opposite side of the ice to Hammond, making 39 saves despite conceding five goals in a tough night at the office. But the fact the Ottawa offence managed to score five goals past such an inspired goalie really shows how dominant they were in a successful trip across Ontario.

Currently fifth in the Atlantic Division, time is running out for the Senators to book their place in the playoffs. But with a number of very winnable games coming up, there is still a chance the franchise could upset the odds and sneak into the post season at the last minute.

Article By David Harrison. 

The Future Looks Bright for One Ottawa Curling Team

March 3, 2016 12:56 pm
Future looks bright for one Ottawa curling team – image 1

Team Ontario members at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts 2016, Grand Prairie Alberta (from top left to right), Pascale Letendre alternate, Bob Hanna coach. (from bottom left to right) Jenn Hanna skip, Brit O’Neill third, Stephanie Hanna second and Karen Sagle lead. Photo courtesy of Pascale Letendre.

An unexpected successful season for the Ottawa Curling Club’s Jenn Hanna and her team ended on the national stage this past week.

Hanna (skip) and her team comprising of her younger sister Stephanie (second), Karen Sagle (lead), Brit O’Neill (third), and alternate Pascale Letendre competed as Team Ontario at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts held in Grande Prairie, Alberta.

In just their first year playing together, Team Hanna placed 5th overall on Friday, just shy of securing a playoff spot.

O’Neill says they are not at all disappointed with the results. “The experience itself was incredible. This is the dream; this is why I’ve curled my whole life to get to the big show here. It’s just unbelievably amazing to experience it and to represent your province.”

“Coming into this week, we’re a new team, we’re a rookie team,” explained O’Neill. “A lot of the teams here, it’s almost (as if) they curl as a profession. They’re on the tour, they’re traveling all season (with) lots of sponsorship and opportunity and time to train.”

O’Neill is a full time dental hygienist student at Algonquin College, Sagle works full time, and the Hanna sisters are both moms with young kids. With these factors in mind, the team decided to set realistic goals for the Scotties Tournament. The team decided to shoot for more wins than losses, and believed that it might sneak them into a playoff spot. The team turned the goal into a reality, ending the week with a 6-5 record.

This was O’Neill and Sagle’s first time competing at the Scotties, but for skip Hanna (36) and her sister (33), this was familiar territory. The sisters had last been at the Scotties in 2005 with a different group of women, where their team lost in the finals. They came back this year to competitive curling after a three-year hiatus to compete with O’Neill (29) and Sagle (29).

It was a surprising win earlier this year at provincials where they beat two-time Canada champion Rachel Homan and her team, winning them a spot representing Ontario at nationals.

Homan, also from the Ottawa Curling Club and 2013 national champion, was a favourite to win and represent Ontario at the Scotties. It was a surprise to many when Hanna and her team took the game.

“To come out of that game it just put our names on the map. It woke a few people up, and woke us up too, realizing what we’re capable of as a team,” says O’Neill.

The team’s unique dynamic is one reason for their quick success according to O’Neill. The Hanna sisters function as a strong duo, and O’Neill and Sagle have been dating for four years.

“Some people would think that would be detrimental but it absolutely wasn’t, not one bit,” declared O’Neill, “(The Hanna’s) are very comfortable with each other, obviously, and (Sagle) and I are (as well). You can say things you just might not be able to say to strangers.”

She says it was partially their unique dynamic what made them comfortable as a team much quicker than usual.

Another unique factor about Team Hanna is that all of their team members live in Ottawa.

According to O’Neill, most of the time players are from across the province. Having all their members in the same city makes it easier to practice and play together.

It just may have been that comfort level that helped them achieve their goal this past week. While they fell just short of playoffs, they were able to boast significant wins against Team Alberta and Team Northern Ontario, who respectively placed first and second.

Team Alberta started off the tournament with six straight wins and was undefeated until they faced Team Hanna, winning that match 7-5. Alberta, led by skip Chelsea Carey, only lost two games the entire week and finished overall champions with a record of 9-2.

Team Hanna also beat Team Northern Ontario 6-4. Northern Ontario later went on to play defending national champions led by Jennifer Jones, winning 7-5 and beating Team Canada out of a spot in the championship match.

O’Neill says that her team is very happy with how they played even if things could have gone a bit better. “There are some games that we let go that we should have won. One in particular that would have got us in for sure, so it’s disappointing knowing it’s just right there. (However) I’m not at all disappointed with how the week went.”

After a long week, the Ottawa curlers flew home from Alberta Sunday morning. Though O’Neill says they haven’t talked about the future yet, she sees good things ahead.

“The season obviously went very well, it’s not very often that a first year team goes to a national championship. So there are obviously great things to build on.”

A Beginners Guide to the Ottawa Redblacks

February 26, 2016 10:03 am
Begineers Guide to the Ottawa Redblacks-image2

With two seasons under their belt, the Ottawa Redblacks have shown this city what they’re all about.

The professional football team went from winning only a couple games in their opening season to making it all the way to the Grey Cup this past year.

For those of you new to Ottawa, or anyone who wants to support the team in the upcoming season but would like to know a little more, here’s your guide to the Ottawa Redblacks.

The Redblacks are a professional football team playing in the CFL. Their run started in 2014, and the Redblacks are the third CFL franchise to play in Ottawa. The former teams were the Ottawa Rough Riders, who played from 1876 to 1996 and the Renegades, who had an unsuccessful stint between 2002 and 2005.

The team plays home games at the TD Place Stadium, where lumberjack mascot Big Joe is a crowd favourite. It has become a tradition for a team of woodcutters to chop off the end of a log every time the Redblacks score a touchdown.

In their first season, the team finished last in the East Division with only two wins the entire year. It was a building year and in the off-season trades were made, players were acquired and the Redblacks came back strong.

The Redblacks took 12 games this past season, winning the chance to play the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the East Division Championship. They beat the Tiger-Cats 35-28 to the cheers of a home crowd at TD Place. For the first time in 34 years an Ottawa team was on its way to the Grey Cup.

In November, the Redblacks and fans travelled to Winnipeg in pursuit of the championship. But their dream was not to be. After a tough 26-20 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos, the Redblacks ended their second season.

A new attitude, successful player development and small changes made in the off-season contributed to the Redblack’s success this past year.

Beginners Guide to the Ottawa Redblacks-image1

Coach Rick Campbell’s team-first attitude helped transform the Redblacks into a cohesive field on and off the field. His work helped change the Redblacks from a last place team to the winning team fans adored in only one year. He was named 2015 CFL coach of the year.

Top quarterback Henry Burris also led his team to success. After a troubled year in 2014, the 40-year-old quarterback came back a renewed player. He led the league in passing with 5,703 yards, set a new CFL record with 481 pass completions and won the league’s outstanding player of the year.

Now in the off-season, the Redblacks are making changes and fans are looking forward to cheering on their team for another great year.

Make sure to stay tuned to Ottawa Life Magazine for off season updates and continuing coverage.

Gee-Gees Dream of Winning National Championship

February 23, 2016 11:55 am
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Gee-Gees team and fans rush the court to celebrate their victory at the Capital Hoops Classic, February 5th. All photos by Meagan Simpson.

They say the third time’s the charm, and that just might be true for the Ottawa Gee-Gees. After losing in the championship game to the Ravens two years in a row, they are itching to take home the title.

Head coach James Derouin says he and his group of veteran players have set their sights on becoming Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) national champions.

“The team’s goal this year is to win a National Championship,” says Derouin. “But unlike the past we are trying hard to focus on getting better throughout the season and focus more on being at our best when it matters most.”

Gee-Gees dreaming of winning national champoinship-image2

Gee-Gees point guard Mike L’Africain dribbles past Ravens forward Ryan Ejim at the Capital Hoops Classic, February 5th.

They have won the last two games this season against Carleton University men’s basketball team, the most recent at the Canadian Tire Place on February 5th. The University of Ottawa’s team won this year’s 10th annual Capital Hoops Classic 78-72.

It has been eight years since the Gee-Gees men took home the Capital Hoops trophy and Derouin says the win was extra special for them and definitely helped get rid of some of their ‘ghosts’ in the building.

“Winning the Capital Hoops means a lot for our team and our program,” Derouin says. “Carleton has dominated that game in the past, and despite the fact that is only a league game, for a lot of fans in this city, it might be the game they remember the most.”

However the team has their sights set higher Derouin told Ottawa Life Magazine, “We’re different this year and we’re focusing on the future. We’re happy with the win but we want to win [nationals] in March.”

With an almost perfect season, the Gee-Gees may have what it takes to unseat the 11 time national champion Ravens. With only two losses in 15 games this season, they are leading the CIS Northern Division with 26 points.

Though the Ravens are not far behind with 24 points and only three losses this season, two of which were against the Gee-Gees.

Both teams have been going back and forth, vying for top spot all season and the latest statistics from CIS have Carleton ranked 2nd and the University of Ottawa 3rd after the Ryerson Rams.

The difference for the Gee-Gees this year? Derouin believes it is his team’s experience and size that sets them apart and makes them stronger compared to previous years.

More than half of the team consists of veterans, fourth and fifth year students, including point guard Mike L’Africain, forwards Matt Plunkett, Nathan McCarthy and guard Caleb Agada who is just coming back from an ankle injury.

Gee-Gees point guard Mike L'Africain about to shoot a three-pointer at the Capital Hoops Classic, February 5th Photo by Meagan Simpson

Gee-Gees point guard Mike L’Africain about to shoot a three-pointer at the Capital Hoops Classic, February 5th.

After the Capital Hoops game L’Africain told reporters that their team motto is ‘FMB’ – For My Brothers – and their success doesn’t just come from lead players but a collective effort and sacrifice from the whole team.

Agada, who has helped bring his team to many victories, was back on the court this weekend, though Derouin says he was not one hundred percent yet and hopes to see him fully recovered in the next few weeks leading up to playoffs.

With only four games left in the regular season he says, “[Our] team needs to keep focusing on getting better and improve right to the end. Defence and rebounding are still the key for us moving forward.”

Over the weekend the Gee-Gees played away two games, losing 96-90 to McMaster but taking their game against Brock 89-82.

Derouin says, “We have shown signs of being great and also signs of being extremely vulnerable. This makes a coach very uneasy. We hope to have the best version of our team come March. If we can do that, [we’ve] got a shot.”

He notes that be believes there are six to eight teams who he thinks have a chance to win nationals this year and he counts his team among them. The CIS Final 8 championship tournament that will decide this year’s victor is being held at the University of British Colombia, March 17-20th.

If the Gee-Gees succeed in achieving their goals it would be the first ever time for the University of Ottawa men’s basketball team to bring home the national championship trophy.

How Future Doctors See Social Factors Shaping Their Medical Practice

February 22, 2016 9:33 am

Medical students learn how to manage and treat disease. But once they start meeting patients in clinics and hospitals, they are also confronted with the fact that social factors have a huge impact on health and that their medical interventions might sometimes be limited.

Two medical residents, Laura Stymiest and Lita Cameron, and medical student, Chris Harper, explain how they hope to shape their medical practice to include social determinants of health and how they will work with the community to offer the best care possible for their patients.

You can find their talk on Soundcloud or download the podcast here. You can also find it on YouTube by checking out the video below.


Lita Cameron is a Family Medicine resident at McMaster University. She completed her Masters in Global Health Science at Oxford University. She worked previously for the Public Health Agency of Canada and has been involved in aboriginal health research.

Laura Stymiest is a paediatrics resident at Dalhousie University. She previously completed training at the Coady International Institute and has been involved in research in the area of Social Paediatrics.

Chris Harper is a medical student at the University of Toronto and camp director in his hometown of Saint John, New Brunswick – two cities deeply affected by child poverty.

Interview by Mélanie Meloche-Holubowski, journalist intern at EvidenceNetwork.ca, and journalist with Radio-Canada.

Selecting the Right Combat Archery Parts Supplier

February 19, 2016 11:46 am

Playing with combat archery equipment can be a great way to both pass time and relieve some of the stress you have in your life. Just like any other hobby, eventually the tools you use in the combat archery matches will start to show signs of wear. When a bow, easily the most important archery tool, breaks, finding the right OEM Replacement Parts is the only way to get it going again. Finding the right supplier and Toronto archery range is the only way you will be able to get the right parts. The following are a few things to consider when trying to find the right supplier for your combat archery part needs.

How Well Do They Know Their Industry?

The first thing to think about when trying to find the right archery supplier is how well they know their own industry. You want to find a supplier who has been around for a while and is able to offer the help you need to find the right parts. Most newcomers to the world of combat archery parts do not know what they are looking for. There are a number of different parts out there and in order to get the right one you will need to know the exact make and model of the bow you have. The professionals will be able to help you get this type of information.

What Parts Do They Have In Stock?

Another thing to think about when trying to find the right supplier is what parts they have in stock. When a part for a combat bow is needed, the faster it can be gotten the better. Having to wait on a part to be ordered can lead to a lot of frustration and stress on the part of the owner. Calling around to the various suppliers in an area will allow the bow owner to figure out who has it and for how much.

Will They Install the Part?

When trying to find the right supplier for your combat bow parts, you will have to see if they can install it as well. Trying to handle the repair work on a combat bow without the right experience can lead to the creation of even more problems. A professional will be able to get the part installed the right way in no time.

The right archery supplier will have no problem helping a person get ready for their combat matches.

Article by Vivian R. Smith.

Catching Up with Travis Konecny During His Race to the Top

February 4, 2016 11:25 am

Photo by Valerie Wutti. 

2015 was definitely the year of Travis Konecny. When it began, Konecny was halfway through his second season with the Ottawa 67s. Now, the former 67s captain is headed to the Sarnia Sting, he’s a draft pick for the Philadelphia Flyers and a World Juniors veteran.

“It’s been an amazing year,” he says, sitting with his back to the 67s’ home ice in the TD place arena. Konecny is dressed for afternoon practice, with a thick grey hoodie and gym shorts. He doesn’t flinch when Paul the goalie coach sends a puck right into the glass behind his head and the sound of it echoes through the empty stands.

I caught up with Konecny a couple weeks before he was traded to Sarnia and just days before he left for Team Canada’s world juniors training camp. At that point his role with the national team was still up in the air, but whatever nerves Konecny may have felt didn’t show.

“I’m really excited. It’s an opportunity of a life time,” he said. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about.”

Konecny grew up and started honing his lightning-fast stick handling and pinpoint shots in Clachan, Ontario, a town that didn’t even have its own rink. He admits that there wasn’t a lot of hockey around the town then, but Konecny made up for it by practising on ponds close to his house and watching whatever hockey he could.


Travis Konecny at the Flyers’ draft. Photo by Chris Crawford.

“I remember Christmas and holidays when you wake up at all hours of the night just to catch a (world juniors) game across seas, and you’re rooting for them (Canada).”

“And now that I have the opportunity to go I know that the whole country is behind me,” he added. “It’s pretty special.”

In an interview with Chris Crawford from Ottawa67s.com while he was competing in Finland for Team Canada, Konecny said “the World Juniors have been something special to experience, seeing the crowds, the fans coming over to support us has been awesome.”

Konecny’s family played a huge role in getting him to where he is today. His dad knew what it would take to get to the professional leagues and pointed Travis in the right direction whenever he could. Konecny’s brother was always up to play goalie and his mother was the “bearer of bad news.”

“She was the tough one,” Konecny laughed. “If there’s a bad game she’s the one who speaks up.”

So far, all this work has paid off. After the 67s snatched him up, Konecny scored a combined 55 goals in his first two seasons with the team. In his first year with the OHL, Konecny led all rookies in goals and was subsequently made rookie of the year. Clearly, Ottawa has been holding onto a potential superstar.

Despite growing up in a small town, Konecny didn’t find moving to the Capital much of a shock.

“When I heard Ottawa I was thinking ‘big city’ but when I got here it felt like a small town,” he said. “The people were all welcoming, it’s just awesome. I love it here.”

Konecny doesn’t seem too nervous about the possibility of moving to Philadelphia, either. In fact, after a few minutes of speaking with him, I had a pretty solid sense that Konecny doesn’t get too nervous about many things at all. Even though he was in a pivotal point in his career with the World Juniors approaching fast, his main concern seemed to be making it onto the ice in time for practice. When I asked if he was feeling any pressure, he said that he’s “just really looking forward to it.”

“You know, you just live it in the moment and make the best of the opportunities.”

After that I moved onto the most important question of all: Which NHL team does Konecny and his family root for?

“Toronto. We’re big Toronto fans,” he said with a laugh. “Maybe moving along to Philadelphia now.”

Ottawa to Host Figure Skating Nationals in 2017

February 3, 2016 11:49 am

By: Meagan Simpson

Alaine Chartrand competing at 2015 Four Continents Figure Skating Championship in Seoul, South Korea

Alaine Chartrand competing at 2015 Four Continents Figure Skating Championship in Seoul, South Korea

Reigning national figure skating champion Alaine Chartrand will be defending her title on home ice next year.

Gathering outside the TD Place arena on Monday, Skate Canada announced that Ottawa will host the 2017 figure skating nationals. Chartrand stood among the skaters present at the announcement, where Dan Thompson, CEO of Skate Canada, said his organization is proud kick-off ‘Ottawa 2017’ and help the city celebrate its 150th birthday.

This will be the 15th time Ottawa has hosted the figure skating nationals.

19-year-old Chartrand took home her first-ever national title after winning gold in the senior women’s division at the nationals in Halifax last month.

The local figure skater trains out of Prescott and Nepean skating clubs. She was touted as a favourite to win after placing second last year, and with a strong season under her belt she was able to beat out reigning 2015 champion Gabby Daleman from Newmarket, Ontario.

Ottawa last hosted the event two years ago at the Canadian Tire Centre, where Chartrand placed fifth, losing the opportunity to skate for Canada at the Sochi Olympics.

But this time around she has a few years of international experience and boasts the title of Canada’s top female skater.

She told reporters at Landsdowne, where the championship will be held, that she is excited to have nationals back in the nation’s capital next year, and for her family and friends to be able to come out and support her.

While the Ottawa Senator’s home rink may have been too big a venue for the event two years ago, the TD Place arena is a smaller, more intimate setting for the skaters and fans who will be attending.

Fans from Ottawa and all over Canada will have the opportunity to watch over 250 skaters who will be compete in junior, novice and senior for men’s, women’s, pairs and ice dance categories.

The 2017 Canadian Tire Skating Championships will take place next January from the 16th to the 22nd.

According to Skate Canada’s website, tickets go on sale later this year. Fans are currently able to register for pre-sale tickets.

Eating Disorders and Men: a Silent Epidemic?

January 14, 2016 12:57 pm

By Brooke Peloquin.

For Troy Roness, body image was something he struggled with for his whole life. The divorce of his parents and the pressure of perfection had a dangerous effect on the reflection he saw in the mirror.

When Roness was just 18, he began restricting food and compulsively exercising as a way to transform his body into the one he thought he’d always wanted.

But in 2009 when his obsession over the perfect body resulted in a life threatening eating disorder, Roness’s parents stepped in and contacted the Dr. Phil show for help.

“To me…I wasn’t sick enough and I could do it on my own,” said Roness, now 28 and a North Dakota advocate for health and social issues. “I don’t think men are brought up to talk about feelings. I think most of us are given instructions when we’re really young to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, push your feelings under the rug, you’re fine.”

Roness is just one of the 10 million American men who fall victim to an eating disorder in their lifetimes, but unlike some, Roness was able to get the help he needed to recover and finally feel comfortable in his own skin.

According to the American National Eating Disorders Association, up to 43 per cent of men are dissatisfied with their bodies. These men make up a third of the total population of people suffering from an eating disorder. And so the question is, why are men with eating disorders overlooked in society when they are such a large portion of the population of sufferers and could fill over 500 NHL sized hockey rinks?

Despite not knowing he would be the star of the show, Roness said his appearance on Dr. Phil “kind of pushed me into the direction of treatment.”

But treatment didn’t come without hesitation. “I thought that if I went for treatment people would question my sexuality,” said Roness.

Dr. Shari Mayman, a clinical psychologist at Anchor Psychological Services in Ottawa, said the dismissal of men with eating disorders is due in part to the stigma that eating disorders are “female” diseases.

“The numbers over time have indicated that women struggle with this more than men,” explained Mayman. “I do think that there is a perception of it being a female disorder and so there’s a reluctance to present as a man with a ‘girly’ problem.”

At the 2013 International Conference on Eating Disorders in Montreal, Leigh Cohn, a featured guest speaker, said the number of men suffering from an eating disorder is actually much higher than estimated, as men are often too stigmatized to seek treatment for “women’s problems.”

This stigmatization is not only based on the 10-to-one ratio of females to males suffering from eating disorders that Mayman referenced, but also on deeply rooted societal ideals that men have to be muscular.

As the traditional family breadwinners, men with eating disorders go unnoticed because they have always been expected to be strong and masculine, said Danielle Kinsey, a history professor at Carleton University.

“I thought that if I went for treatment people would question my sexuality,” — Troy Roness

“Having men refusing food doesn’t make sense in terms of mainstream cultural points,” said Kinsey. “It seems like a very strange role for them, which is probably why you don’t see men owning the disorder as much.”

Studies have shown the muscularity of ideal male body images in media has increased over the past several decades. And despite eating disorders being coined “female” diseases, according to Cohn, the media objectifies and sexualizes men just as much as women.

Media has traditionally told women they have to be a size zero to be beautiful, but the male ideal is just as unobtainable, asserted Nick Hrynyk, a Carleton PhD student studying Toronto gay male culture.

“For men it is often seen that there is one standard of beauty, it’s always the muscled body,” explained Hrynyk. “Men are not seen as being victims of eating disorders primarily because for so long the narrative has been women have to achieve the size zero, men aren’t.”

Meanwhile, for male sufferers who choose to seek treatment despite the preconception that eating disorders are a female disease, they are faced with a lack of resources dedicated specifically to men with eating disorders.

Lucyna Neville is all too familiar with the struggles men face when it comes to the gap in the medical system and how eating disorders are treated.

As co-founder and now board member of Hopewell, Ontario’s only eating disorder support centre, Neville worked front-of-the-line for years, giving support to people suffering from the disease.

When men walked through Hopewell’s doors or called the helpline, their questions always revolved around what male specific resources were available, said Neville.

But in a society where the face of eating disorders is a young female, Neville found that the resources for men just weren’t there during her time at Hopewell. “Personally, we had nothing to offer them,” she said.

A 2011 study on binge eating from the University of Wesleyan concluded both the number of studies that include men is far fewer and the number of men who receive treatment is well below the number of women who get treated.

Robin Green, of the National Eating Disorder Information Centre in Canada, said these numbers exist because there are fewer programs in place focused solely on men and medical practitioners still need help understanding the nature of the disease from a man’s standpoint.

As a result, men are often too intimidated to seek treatment and get help.

“I think there are two pieces,” said Green. “The stigma that’s preventing them from asking for help, then there’s the system that maybe isn’t fully equipped to support them.”

Luckily for Roness, he was able to find the help he needed despite a system that has often overlooked other men. After his appearance on Dr. Phil, Roness sought residential treatment at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, Wis., in an eating disorder program dedicated solely to men.

Now fully recovered, Roness devotes his time to raising awareness about eating disorders. He said that if society is going to start recognizing men as victims of the disease, discussions on the issue have to start.

“It’s very easy to say the longer a person struggles with an eating disorder without getting any treatment, the longer the recovery’s going to be,” explained Roness. “It’s the same thing when we don’t talk about it, the longer it’s going to be on the recovery road back as well.”

IMG_2202Brooke Peloquin is third year student at Carleton University pursuing a degree in journalism with a minor in art history. Originally from a small rural town, Ottawa has become Brooke’s new home and source for inspiration and news.

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