It’s a Hat Trick! Introducing OLM’s New Sports Team!

October 20, 2016 1:07 pm

We here at Ottawa Life Magazine are happy to announce our new sports writing team.

Dave Gross brings with him over 20 years of successful journalism credentials including work in press, television, and radio. He has written for the Ottawa Sun and Ottawa Citizen as well as national publications such as The Hockey News and National Post. He has been seen on A Channel and heard on TSN 1200.

Carlos Verde is a Carleton University journalism student and staff writer for the CFL. He hosts a weekly sports-talk radio show on CKCU FM and is the Communications Director for hockey at the University of Ottawa.

Brennan MacDonald is a Carleton University journalism graduate who grew up in the Capital Region. He has written features, profiles, and recaps for many city pro-sports teams. Along with a voracious appetite for covering sports, he also brings a political writing edge to Ottawa Life having covered politics on the Hill as well as elections and debates.

Exciting times to come for Ottawa sports fan here at Ottawa Life.


A Matter of Time for the Senators

October 3, 2016 11:35 am

The old saying “Better late than never” worked in favour of the Montreal Canadians Saturday but for two Ottawa Senators players the message from new coach Guy Boucher was pretty clear: don’t be late at all.

Defenceman Cody Ceci and right winger Bobby Ryan had a pretty good view when the Canadians Paul Byron slipped the puck by Andrew Hammond within 37 seconds of the opening face-off. Ceci and Ryan, who arrived late for a meeting earlier in the day, had been benched for the first time in as long as they could remember. The point was hammered home early in the season: Boucher will have no problem doling out consequences and rules will be strongly enforced with very little leeway.


Couch Guy Boucher. Image courtesy of

“It’s pretty simple: you’re on time or you’re not on time,” Boucher told reporters after the Sens 3-2 overtime loss to the Canadians. “I talked to the players and we addressed it internally the way we’re supposed to address it.”

“We were late and we paid the price,” Ryan said. Ceci agreed and both players would eventually get to hit the ice for some shifts in the second and third.

“We let down teammates…we have to check the schedule. There’s new times, new coaches, so we’ve got to get used to that,” Ceci added.


Images courtesy of,

Timing, unfortunately, was not working for the rest of the team either as, along with the early goal, the Habs bookended it with one in the final seconds of the game driving some momentum into overtime where, in only 46 seconds, Phillip Danault put away the winner for the Canadians.

It was an arena divided for this pre-season game with just as many united in white as they were in red. For Sens fans, however, teamwork was the focus they feel Boucher needs to work on this season.

“They need to work in building the team, as a team, not just functioning as individual players,” said long-time fan Kate Kerr before the game, a statement echoed by others as they filled into the Canadian Tire Centre.

“They need to play together and have chemistry,” said Kinni Duquette. “I think they have to develop more of a relationship on the ice together.”


Images courtesy of,

Still, there were signs of that as the team didn’t let the early goal and rocky first period trip them up too much. A short brawl to end the first period between Montreal’s Bobby Farnham and Ottawa’s Ryan Dzingel perked up the mostly silent Senators fans and showed the team wasn’t going down without a fight. They rallied in the second with an early period goal of their own when Mike Hoffman slipped it by Al Montoya in just under a minute and a half. A Kyle Turruis falling backhander a few minutes later finally put the Sens in the lead and those in red on their feet in what would be the loudest crowd eruption of the afternoon.

“I love the Sens. I’ve seen a lot of hockey games live and I’m just really excited to see the Senators play,” said an elated nine-year-old Aiden Brennan.

Watching that time tick by in the third, it looked like the Sens had the game wrapped but it only took a few seconds to turn tide in favor of the Habs. Despite the loss, Boucher remains hopeful for the coming season and said this pre-season game shouldn’t be a reflection of what the team can do once the regular season kicks off on October 12 against the Maple Leafs.

“We’re looking at these games. We’re not looking at scores, I’ll be honest. Whether we win 6-1 or we lose. We’re looking at every individual facet of the game,” said Boucher. “The things we’ve focused on we got better at.”

The Power of Giving Back: Beyond the Buzz of Boobyball

September 7, 2016 10:57 am
Fall2016_Boobyball_4305 By Valerie Keeler Photography-1

Photo by by Valerie Keeler.

A new generation of philanthropists are here and they’re not holding back. A bold and daring campaign has made its way to Ottawa and people are taking notice. Returning for a second year, Boobyball offers a fresh twist on the traditional and sometimes stodgy Ottawa fundraiser all while bringing an unconventional approachability to the topic of breast health.

Boobyball is Rethink Breast Cancer’s principal fundraising event which fosters a new generation of young and influential breast cancer supporters and brings relevant awareness to the 40s and under crowd. By approaching the cause with style and sass, Rethink has been successful in helping young people be proactive about their health while also attending one of the hottest tickets in town.

The Ottawa Boobyball Committee is made up of over twenty women who hope their efforts help to take some of the fear out of the conversation. Co-chairs Kathleen McGuire and Rachel Kerr are the leading force within the committee and boast of the diverse skill set of the volunteers and how they have become an asset in making an impact across the community.

“We have a really strong team with a wide array of skills. It was easy to place people with tasks that they would knock out of the park. We have event planners, marketing and PR professionals and students, sales specialists, you name it, we have the women for the job!” says Kerr.

Many young women who are starting careers or that have small children, although they belong to a smaller cancer demographic, they too can have lives shaken by the disease.

“When we started planning the inaugural event in Ottawa, someone near and dear to me relapsed with breast cancer. She was originally diagnosed when she was young. It hit home” says McGuire.

Revolutionizing the breast cancer movement takes a “group of smart, fun, creative women. Everyone who’s been a part of it over the past two years have inspired me — they come together with passion to make a difference” says McGuire.

FAll2016_Booby Call outRethink Breast Cancer founder and executive director MJ DeCoteau is proud that Boobyball has become one of the most coveted and high profile fundraising events, raising over $3.8 million dollars since 2002. “After fifteen years the fundraiser has officially become — not just a party —but a movement, with events all across Canada that stimulate breast awareness conversation and engage thousands of young people in the cause.”

As the movement gains momentum, it may be no surprise that last year, when Ottawa kicked off the first annual charity bash, they raised $58,000 dollars for Rethink.

“The funds raised through Boobyball support Rethink Breast Cancer’s work for young people concerned about and affected by breast cancer including education, advocacy, support and resources” says DeCoteau who expects the second year in Ottawa to be a sold-out success.

Clay Shooting Requires an Eagle Eye

September 6, 2016 12:58 pm

I first toted a gun when I was 10-years-old growing up in Calgary.

A childhood friend introduced me to his birthday present BB rifle and we quickly high-tailed it to a vacant lot and shot pellets at cans.  It was fun even though we had no thoughts or concerns about anyone’s safety (including our own) or other people’s property.

Six decades passed and for first time in my life I’m aiming a shotgun at clay targets from a stand at Fox Harb’r Resort in Wallace, Nova Scotia.  Much more challenging and  much more fun.

The Resort’s director of sport shooting, Peter Phillips, showed me the ropes while stressing safety first.


“Clay shooting is a totally safe sport here, because you have a stand from which to shoot, and the clay is presented to you in a direction that is safe. In our controlled environment, people enjoy the challenge without the worry.”

Many things about this experience surprised me, including the fact that clay shooting is such a popular sport across North America.

About a two hour drive from Halifax, on Nova Scotia’s North Shore, Fox Harb’r Resort features a 15-acre sporting clay course with five stands, plus 350 acres of private hunting grounds. Their facilities are considered among the top locations in North America. Every year they hold four competitions and the Tiger Woods or Gordie Howe of sport shooting, George Digweed MBE,  a 26-time World Champion in the sport, consults with the Resort’s team.

“He has an encyclopedic knowledge of clay shooting and trophies to boot,” Phillips says, “and manages to put our residents and guests at ease, which is exactly the kind of no-pressure atmosphere we foster.”

This weekend (September 9 to 11) Digweed hosts Canada’s Atlantic Cup and will tutor many shooters looking to improve their skills, just ahead of pheasant hunting season.

My clay-shooting lesson started in the Sporting Lodge, an impressive post-and-beam structure in the on-property woods, with a welcoming stone fireplace.  All the equipment you’ll  need is stored next to the 5-stand course. While relaxing in the Lodge, I was somewhat nervous.  But Phillips provided a “plain English” introduction to the sport and explained the extensive safety procedures in place. I was outfitted with a safety vest, glasses, shoulder padding and ear plugs, and learned how to mount the gun properly for minimal shoulder impact.

“We take special care to prepare people,” Phillips adds. “Many, like you, have never really fired a gun like this in their lives, so we have them hold the gun at their side while one of us holds on as well, and we fire off one shell. I quickly saw, heard and felt the effect and my shoulder didn’t hurt.

To shoot clay targets, you place your cheek on top of the gun so your eye looks in the same direction as the barrel.  Phillips told me that some folks take to it right away and others are reluctant.

“We never force anyone to shoot. Most people are glad they came out and experienced it.”

Clay shooting at Fox Harb’r is open to men, women and children who are big enough to sturdily hold the gun. Peter Phillips has helped kids as young as nine take part.

“Our shotguns weigh about five pounds each, and lifting a gun is a movement that is new to most people. Even a half-hour of instruction is tiring, so we make sure they rest in between.”

Clay shooting is a bit like playing a round of golf, for which the Resort’s reputation is renowned.  You have a shotgun cocked and ready, as one of the facility’s six trap machines throws bread-and-butter plate-size target clays at different angles and speeds. You hold the gun stock against your chin, almost like a violinist, and point it in the air. Hitting the clays takes some skill and that was proof positive since I didn’t hit a clay that morning although many of the other novices that were with me at the Sporting Lodge did.

Fox Harb’r is a licensed shooting facility so as a Resort resident or guest you don’t need a permit to participate. Some years ago, Phillips trained with Don Currie through the National Sporting Clays Association and became certified to teach novice and beginners.

“Don visits us every year for a few days to offer lessons. Everyone learns a lot from his teaching, and so do I.”

Clay shooting is one of the many recreational activities at the Resort. There are also facilities for fall wing shooting on the private hunting reserve.

“It’s a great way to warm up for ring-necked pheasant and Hungarian partridge season,” said Phillips.

Certainly, clay shooting is more fun than aiming at targets on a smart phone or tablet computer and it beats shooting at those tin cans of my youth.  Easy to understand why people take it on as a lifetime pastime.

(David Eisenstadt is the Founding Partner of tcgpr, the Toronto-based Partner firm of IPREX Global Communications.  His firm represents Fox Harb’r Resort)

Pokémon Go Shows There is a Better Way to Promote Healthy Behaviours

September 1, 2016 3:48 pm

By Tanishq Suryavanshi and Steven J. Hoffman

The recent release of Pokémon Go, the mobile phone augmented reality game, has taken the world by storm. The game has become a fitness icon, requiring players to walk or run around in the real world to catch Pokémon creatures in their virtual world.

While evidence on the long-term health benefits is not clear, it is apparent that the game does more than just allow players to live out their childhood dreams of becoming Pokémon Masters. Pokémon Go serves as an important reminder that more and more evidence about the benefits of exercise will never be enough to get Canadians moving, and that any enduring solution to our expanding waistlines depends on figuring out how to integrate healthy behaviours into our daily lives.

Today, non-communicable diseases are responsible for 88 per cent of deaths in Canada, including chronic conditions like stroke, diabetes and cancer. Increased risk of these diseases is strongly associated with lifestyle factors, such as unhealthy diets, tobacco use, physical inactivity and alcohol over-consumption.

pokemon-1575825_960_720To combat chronic disease, advocates in medicine and public health have long-tried to promote healthy behaviours among Canadians. For example, many are familiar with the recommendation to walk 10,000 steps a day and to get 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. Yet despite widespread knowledge about what we should all do, the results have not been promising. Based on American data, we can estimate that the average Canadian walks around 4000-6000 steps a day and only half of us exercise for 150 minutes weekly.

The good news is that stories like the Pokémon Go phenomenon show us that large-scale changes in healthy behaviours  – like physical activity – are possible if we are more creative in how we encourage them.

Pokémon Go isn’t the first time that the entertainment industry has inspired such changes to health-related behaviours. Many other instances, both good and bad, have been noted.

For example, public health authorities are well-acquainted with the “Angelina Jolie effect” which describes the surge in genetic testing for breast cancer and inquiries about risk-reducing surgeries that first occurred after Jolie announced her preventative double mastectomy in 2013. Our own research has shown how Hollywood celebrities frequently drive the popularisation of fad diets and lifestyle gimmicks – sometimes for the better, too often for the worse – highlighting how our decisions are shaped by factors beyond scientific evidence of effectiveness.

This disconnect between what the evidence says we should do, and what we as a society actually do, is a major pain point for those advocating for healthier lifestyles. Our country spends enormous amounts of money on the science behind lifestyle practices, so it’s naturally disheartening when the evidence is ignored. But the Pokémon Go phenomenon suggests we may just need to change our approach to the problem.


Promoting healthy diets and urging people to go to the gym multiple times a week can have short-term benefits. However, for the majority, these practices may  not be affordable or soon become unsustainable. Healthy behaviours more likely for long-term success need to include activities we want to engage in.

Ultimately, promoting healthy lifestyles must be less about waving the evidence in front of people, and more about making these practices easy, normal, and even fun. We must engage in the science of what motivates people to act, and study how to nudge people towards healthy habits by designing them into our work routines, as part of the places in which we live, and the activities we undertake with family and friends.

Pokémon Go is an example of making physical activity enjoyable. We need more creative approaches like it. Now is the time to invest in developing these new approaches, and rigorously evaluate whether they actually work.

TanishqTanishq Suryavanshi (@nishqy) is a medical student at McMaster University and a research assistant with the Global Strategy Lab at the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Health Law, Policy & Ethics.





Hoffman-30_vlSteven J. Hoffman (@shoffmania) is an Associate Professor of Law and the Director of the Global Strategy Lab at the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Health Law, Policy & Ethics.

Ottawa to Host Grey Cup for Birthday Celebrations

August 2, 2016 7:16 pm

CFL Commissioner Jeff Orridge, Redblacks ownership Jeff Hunt and Mayor Jim Watson pose with the cup.

The Grey Cup is coming to Ottawa. In an on-field announcement Sunday the CFL officially told fans that the city will be hosting the 2017 Grey Cup.

The game is the newest addition in a lineup of events scheduled in the nation’s capital to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

Dignitaries including Mayor Jim Watson, Yasir Naqvi and 1976 Grey Cup winning Ottawa Roughrider alumni were on hand for the presentation of the cup at the TD Place.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even took part via video, seen handing off the cup to RCMP officers followed by a chain of the Lumber Joes in a canoe, mascot Big Joe, and Roughriders hero Tony Gabriel carrying the cup to centre field.

CFL commissioner Jeffrey Orridge was on hand to make the announcement before the Redblacks game. He says because of the 2017 celebrations Ottawa was the perfect choice to hold the game.

“It’s the perfect confluence of circumstances. It’s a great stadium, great environment, great ownership group and certainly the fan base is incredible.”

Watson says this will be a great influx for the city, and he is excited to be hosting the cup again.

“I’ve been hounding the commissioner and his predecessor for the last three years to make sure that we were given due consideration to have the Grey Cup played here in 2017 because obviously that year is pretty special for our city and our country. It’s going to cap off an amazing year of celebrations.”


Mayor Jim Watson holds the Grey Cup above his head after its announced that Ottawa will be host to the 105th Grey Cup in 2017.

Jeff Hunt, member of the Redblacks ownership says they will be adding an additional 10,000 seats to accommodate more fans. He also says they are trying to keep younger fans in mind. He wants to make the 2017 Grey Cup the “youngest grey cup ever.”

When it comes to tickets, he says that “we’re going to have to have seats that are accessible for a younger fan audience. We’re going to have to do something on the price of tickets to do something to make it affordable.”

After the announcement, the Ottawa Redblacks went on to lose to the Toronto Argonauts 23-20, in what was only their second loss of the season.

This was quarterback Henry Burris’ first game starting back after missing four games due to an injury in their season opener.

It was a disappointing return for Burris who made 20 completions but was intercepted a couple times and wasn’t able to bring home the win.

This game knocked the Redblacks from first in the East Division, replaced by the Argos who are now 4-2-0.

An OSEG rep says the team still has their sights set on winning the Grey Cup this season but would also enjoy seeing the Redblacks playing in a Grey Cup game at home in Ottawa.

The team plays their next three games at home, facing the Edmonton Eskimos on August 6th.


Reinventing the Wheel: How E-bikes Are Revolutionizing Cycling

July 26, 2016 10:00 am
Bike Image

The crisp March air filled Julie’s lungs as she walked along the sidewalk.  One unsure step brought a crack: the sound of her leg snapping as she fell sprawled across the ice. Two years later, she can still only take about 20 steps at a time as she recovers from a long string of surgeries. But in 2012, about a year before her accident, Julie Albers made a purchase that would put her back in the driver’s seat after her injury. She bought an electric bike.

“I like to walk places, but after breaking my leg I can’t go as far anymore. But with my e-bike I can,” she said, speaking fondly of her spunky blue scooter.
Julie isn’t the only e-bike convert out there.

Worldwide e-bike sales reached over $30 million in 2013, according to the 2015 Electric Bikes Worldwide Report. There are more than 200 million on the roads today and global e-bike sales are estimated to reach two billion units by 2050, according to the report. The Canadian market sees about 20,000 e-bike sales per year –about a tenth the size of the US market– and it’s growing as more people make the switch.

E-cycling allows much of the older population, as well as those with mobility issues, to shred the pavement the way they did as children. Recharging the battery costs a fraction of the price of a tank of gas – only a few cents a day.

But recently e-bikes have come under fire in Ottawa from traditional cyclists and policy makers, including officials at the National Capital Commission, calling them “dangerous” because of their speed and weight.


Photo by Geneva Schulzke.

There are two types of electric-assisted bikes. One resembles a traditional bicycle with a battery attached to the post, while the second version, called an eScooter, looks like a small motorcycle. While this seems like an obvious distinction, cities often classify most forms of two-wheeled transportation under the same category. The City of Ottawa currently lumps data for e-bikes and traditional bikes together.  Because different rules apply to different kinds of bikes, the city’s thinking makes accident data ambiguous.

E-bike riders aren’t required to have a licence or insurance, and are allowed many places buzzing with pedestrians and other cyclists. This has people crying foul over the safety implications, saying the legal requirements of being over 16 years old and wearing a helmet aren’t enough.

With the growing number of e-bikes on the streets, do cities need better safety regulations?

In 2012, the NCC took a step in this direction, banning eScooters from their 236 kilometres of pathways.  The City of Ottawa’s e-bike regulations, which took effect in 2009, allow scooter-type bikes on bike lanes that are physically separated from pedestrians as long as they don’t interfere with other cyclists.

Before the 2012 ruling, during the NCC’s public e-bike consultations, many people said that weight and speed concerns were put to rest by the powered brakes that come installed on e-bikes. Still, the NCC decided that if the line wasn’t drawn, it would open up the pathways for other motorized vehicles.

“The NCC was facing a situation where there were e-bikes on the recreational pathways, so there became a need for a policy,” said Jasmine Leduc, a spokesperson for the NCC, saying that e-bikes are often twice the weight of traditional bikes and their speed can exceed the pathway limit of 20 km/h.

Electric bikes have a maximum speed of 32 km/h, which many athletic cyclists can reach without a motor. But because they are heavier than regular bikes, with many eScooters weighing in at a whopping 75 lbs, the damage sustained in accidents can be worse. An e-cyclist died this January in the Byward Market after his scooter was hit by the opening door of a parked car.


Photo by Geneva Schulzke.

But does putting scooter-type e-bikes on the roads really make things safer?

Even the changes proposed in Ottawa’s 2013 cycling plan–like wider bike lanes–make few accommodations for motorized bikes, often forcing them into traffic with vehicles bustling by at nearly double their speed.

In recent years, city planners have been making sizable leaps in improving bike safety. “We’re spending more money on cycling than we ever have before,” said Keith Egli, the City of Ottawa transportation committee chair. In fact, the city plans to invest some $110 million in cycling infrastructure, such as bike lanes and “complete streets”–roads with designated space for all users– until 2031, according to a 2015 report by the cycling advocacy group Bike Ottawa. But even with these investments, cycling and e-cycling aren’t necessarily getting safer. There were more than 270 cyclist injuries due to collisions in 2013, up 17 per cent from the previous year, according to the City of Ottawa’s Road Safety Reports.

A 2015 report by the Pembina Institute found that there were three collisions per 100,000 cycling trips in Ottawa, compared to Vancouver’s one. Given the population, if every person in Ottawa got on a bike, there would be 27 collisions every day.

Don Grant, executive director of the Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict, a group advocating for an environmentally sustainable city centre, blames the city’s patchwork of bike paths for the collision rate.  Ottawa’s paths don’t connect into a continuous corridor, forcing riders onto busy roads when their lane abruptly ends. Last year the EcoDistrict mapped 20 popular cycling routes around the downtown core. “None of them were (cycle-safe) infrastructure from start to finish,” Grant said. “They’re not safe enough that you would feel comfortable letting your sixth-grader ride their bike along these pathways.”

The year Julie Albers bought her e-bike, she was “doored” by a parked car. Her pedal and mirror were slashed off and the impact spiraled the bike around 180 degrees before slamming her into the body of the car.

The knee-jerk reaction is to build more bike lanes, but Egli said there isn’t always enough space on the existing roads for bike lanes, though the city is trying. And since scooter e-bikes are banned from pedestrian-populated lanes, you’ll still have cyclists on the roads.


Photo by Geneva Schulzke.

“Cycling can’t be seen as just a parallel activity to someone in a car who just presses a pedal,” said Andrew Furman, a cycling infrastructure specialist at Ryerson University. While the government of Ontario has ruled that cyclists behave like cars when on the roads, Furman thinks that’s a dangerous message to send.  “As a cyclist if you really pretended you were a motor vehicle, you wouldn’t survive very long,” he said.

Despite these safety concerns, the benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by 20 to one, estimates Dr. Chris Cavacuiti in a 2013 cycling injury report by the University of Toronto. Cyclists seem to agree with Cavacuiti as the League of American Bicyclists, a cycling advocacy group in the U.S., found that 80 per cent of cyclists thought e-bikes were a great mode of transportation.

“E-bikes aren’t that much different from regular bikes, but people get intimidated by (the term) ‘electric’, said Claudio Wensel, co-founder of Pedal Easy Electric Bikes in Ottawa. “As soon as people get on the e-bike, they realize it’s no different from what they’re used to.”

Related: Ten Reasons to Start Biking this Spring

It’s not just the American market that’s booming. China produces over 30 million e-bikes annually, and Europe was enthusiastic about the bike early on. Many cities worldwide are taking after the Netherlands in integrating e-bikes into daily life by offering free parking and public charging stations as incentives for e-bike users.

Egli and the Ottawa transportation committee recently met with infrastructure specialists from the European nation to discuss how to build better cycling infrastructure. Even with this progress, it will be a slow ride to Ottawa’s 2031 goals – “complete streets” and bike lanes– to better protect cyclists.


Photo by Geneva Schulzke.

For e-bikes, building the market in Canada will be an uphill battle.  According to a 2013 survey by the City of Toronto, the majority of respondents want a distinction between scooter and conventional e-bikes to make sure each gets their respective –and different– safety regulations. For example, people thought e-bike riders should require a licence and insurance, but almost all respondents said e-bikes should be encouraged as environmentally friendly transportation.

The future of Ottawa cycling is bright. A 2011 StatsCan survey found that more than six per cent of trips made in the Ottawa-Gatineau area were on bikes, landing the nation’s capital in the top five per cent of cycle-savvy Canadian cities.

Though e-bikes are still trying to safely find their place on roads, cycling experts like Furman are optimistic that e-bikes will be worth the time and resources. “It’s about planting those seeds for the next generation,” he said.

Article by Elise von Scheel.

Redblacks Undefeated

July 11, 2016 2:30 pm

In a nail-biting, overtime finish, the Ottawa Redblacks tied the Calgary Stampeders in their first home game of the season. The game ended 26-26, making the Redblacks the only undefeated team so far this season, securing the first place position in the CFL standings.

“This tie might really help us out in their big picture down the road,” said head coach Rick Campbell. “[It will] help us out in the standings, so I wanted to be smart.”

The Redblacks had the opportunity to secure a win in the final minutes of the 4th quarter when Calgary committed three consecutive penalties, bringing the Redblacks within 5 yards of the end zone.
With one yard left running back Nic Grigsby fumbled the ball, which was retrieved by Calgary, bringing the game to overtime. After going back and forth neither team was able to gain the advantage.

“We were close, but [the game] kind of left everybody wanting for more, the fans the players everybody.”

Campbell told reporters after the game that they could have gone for the touchdown and potential win in the end, but it was more important to take the point.

Despite the unsatisfying end, the sold out crowd was still wowed by quarterback Trevor Harris, who completed 35 of 43 passes for 361 total yards. All three of his touchdown receptions were caught by Chris Williams.

Harris continued his impressive track record since he took over for an injured Henry Burris in the season opener against the Edmonton Eskimos. In just under three games he has completed 72 of 88 passes for over 1,000 yards.

The Redblacks came into this game with a 2-0 record on the road and a notable win against the Edmonton Eskimos, a well needed redemption after losing last year’s Grey Cup championship.

With the best start in the CFL so far, a deep offence and punishing defence, it looks like it is going to be a promising season for our Ottawa team.

They play five of their next seven games at home, with an upcoming game Wednesday against the Toronto Argonauts (who will probably be wishing they hadn’t traded Harris).

The Benefits of Airsoft Gaming

June 22, 2016 10:07 am

One of the most popular gaming experiences around involves airsoft guns, and people from all walks of life love to play. In most cases, ex-military and law enforcement professionals like to play airsoft games because it helps them keep their skills sharpened. There is a fair amount of equipment that you have to purchase to play these games, but it will be worth it when you see how much fun you can have. You need to find a good airsoft facility to use because this can enhance the experience greatly. The following are a few of the many benefits of playing airsoft games.

maxresdefaultStaying Active

One of the biggest benefits of playing airsoft games is that they allow you to stay physically active while enjoying the games. This is great for people who are looking to lose a few pounds or tighten up their physique. In most matches, you will be moving constantly to avoid the enemy and to keep from getting shot by the opposing team. Many people use a good airsoft match to do cardio and get in a great work out while doing something that’s lots of fun.

Many Accessories

Another benefit of playing airsoft games is that there are so many accessories to use during the gameplay. Tactical Gear like a vest and a universal shoulder holster are great ways to customize your experience and get lost in the airsoft world. The accessories that you choose for your gaming experience allow you to create a persona that you can utilize during game play, which will make the whole experience more pleasurable. The accessories can also make the game play easier on you due to the convenience that the holsters and vests provide during combat.

Many Options Available

For many people, the best part of playing airsoft games is the many options that are available during game play. During an airsoft match you can choose to be a variety of different players, which changes the weapons that you will use. Due to the popularity of airsoft games, there are many different businesses who offer a variety of different courses for you to play on. Playing on new courses is a great way to make sure that the game stays fresh and fun. The more you play the game, the better you will get and the more accessories you will want to purchase.

If you are ready to take up this hobby, then you will have to take the time to find the right supplier.

Article by Vivian Smith. 

From Playground to Podium and Everything that Comes After

June 13, 2016 11:55 am

Everyone knows that podium moment.

You’re watching the Olympics late at night and the Canadian is facing the final jump, or the last lap or the breakaway goal. You hold your breath, they go for it, and after a few tense seconds…it’s perfect.

“Gooooooold!” someone inevitably yells.

Then it’s the podium, the medal ceremony, and everyone celebrates. But what happens once the lights have gone out and the games are over? Well, that’s when Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame steps in.

Although Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame certainly isn’t alone in honouring our country’s sporting history, it’s one of the only organizations that celebrates athletes throughout their entire journey. From playground to podium and through everything that comes after, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame tells our sports heroes’ entire stories.

“That’s one of the things that makes (us) very unique,” says Mario Siciliano, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame’s President and CEO. “It’s probably safe to say that 99 per cent of attention is happening from playground to podium, and that’s fantastic. What we’re saying is there’s a piece that happens post-podium and it’s really important.”

Once their glorious moment on the podium is over, some athletes turn around and start training for the next games, others start coaching, others go pro and many dedicate their time and image to charity.

After Canadian figure-skating legend Elizabeth Manley won silver in the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, she began skating professionally with the Ice Capades and toured across the US. She’s also been an active advocate for mental health awareness, and isn’t afraid to talk about the depression that almost ruined her Olympic hopes.

If you end Manley’s story with her silver medal, you miss out on so many of the fantastic and inspiring things that came later on. Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame has accumulated hundreds of athletes’ stories, many of them just as interesting as Manley’s.

“Nobody was handed a medal, nobody bought a medal,” Siciliano says. “They all have their stories, and that’s the beauty of it.”

Siciliano hopes these amazing stories will inspire Canadians, but not in the way you might think.

Related: A Legacy of Sport.

“This may sound funny coming from Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, but it isn’t our primary mandate to turn every Canadian into a gold medalist,” he says. “There are organizations that do that. Our role is to look at how every Canadian can celebrate, learn or benefit from these stories.”

Stories about athletes overcoming things like physical barriers or discrimination do not only inspire other athletes, they can inspire anyone facing those same problems. “You might not even know how to skate…that isn’t the point,” says Siciliano. “The point is if you’re struggling with depression, and you’re struggling getting up for work…here’s this person who has overcome this debilitating mental illness to not only get up out of bed, but they’ve actually gone so far as to win gold or silver medals,” explains Siciliano.

“The idea is that you can see yourself and your own struggles in these athletes’ stories and be inspired to be your best in your own life.”

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame shares its stories in Calgary, the home base of the national institution, and across the nation through a number of educational programs and projects. The next generation of sport heroes, the Class of 2016, will be announced on April 27, 2016.

Slideshow: Whitecaps Sweep Fury in Championship Lead-Up

June 9, 2016 10:02 am
Haworth upended, no call given.

Carl Haworth is upended during last night’s game. All photos by Stewart Johnstone.

Last night was a disappointing outing for Ottawa Fury FC, who fell the the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0 at the B.C. Place Stadium. This came after the Fury took a 2-0 lead in the series’ opening match played on Ottawa’s home turf. But last night Fury was facing a more veteran line-up from the Whitecaps, and the difference in experience quickly started to show.

Photographer Stewart Johnstone from was there to catch all the action Tuesday night. Flip through our slideshow to get a close up view of the match.

The win brings the Whitecaps to the Amway Canadian Championship final where they will face Toronto FC.

Slideshow: CanWNT Beats Brazil at TD Place

June 8, 2016 4:15 pm
Soccer WNT-9

During last night’s ‘Road to Rio’ match in the TD Place,  Canada’s Women’s National Soccer Team swept Brazil with a penalty-time goal that ended the match 1-0.

Ottawa’s face-off was a chance for the Canadian team to even the score with Brazil after the yellow-clad team beat the Canadians 2-0 in Toronto on June 4.

Photographer Michael Wing from Mike’s Media was there to catch all the action Tuesday night. Flip through our slideshow to get a close up view of the tense and thrilling match.

Ottawa Fury Advance to Canadian Championship Semifinals

May 19, 2016 4:13 pm

Ottawa Fury FC vs. Edmonton FC, Wednesday May 18th, 2016, photo by Meagan Simpson.

After winning a two game series against Edmonton FC, the Ottawa Fury FC have secured their spot in the semifinals of the Amway Canadian Championships.

The Fury won the first game played in Edmonton 3-0 and despite losing to Edmonton 2-0 on Wednesday night, they won the series 3-2 based on the aggregate of goals scored.

Coming into the second game with three goals in hand is what saved the team after coming out slow and giving up two goals before the half.

“The first half was the complete opposite of what we wanted to do,” said coach Dalglish. He felt his team sat back in the beginning of the game. “The minute you get complacent you don’t play with a competitive edge.”

Edmonton was not going to give up easy, putting pressure on the Fury from the outset. Edmonton FC’s Dustin Corea scored the first goal 27 minutes into the game, placing it in the top corner just out of reach of Fury keeper Marcel DeBellis. The second came just before half on a free kick from the 30 yard line by Edmonton’s Adam Eckersley.

After a good talking to during halftime, the Fury came out stronger in the second half, keeping Edmonton at bay.

Defender Lance Rozeboom said, “[Dalglish] laid into us a little and we absolutely deserved it. Coming out lethargic at home and going into halftime down two zero at home is unacceptable. He got us going and gave us a good speech and we got going in the second half.”

Fury were able to hold even after few close calls, including a free kick saved by DeBellis and a heart-stopping close call halted by Ottawa’s Fernando Timbo.

In the last five minutes of the game the 3,946 strong crowd rallied behind their team, chanting loudly and roaring when the final whistle blew.

“We got through. I have to give credit to the players in the second half, we changed it,” said Dalglish. “We saw the energy in the second half was better, this was a great learning experience for us as a new team.”

This is the first season the Fury have been able to advance in the Amway. The championship features five professional Canadian teams: Ottawa Fury, Edmonton FC and three MLS teams, Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Impact Montreal. The winner represents Canada in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

Fury now go on to face the Vancouver Whitecaps FC June 1 and 8 in the semifinals.

This is the first time in the team’s history that Ottawa Fury are advancing in the tournament. It will also be their first time facing a MLS team.

Dalglish says this is a great opportunity for his players to test themselves beside MLS players. He says that’s where many NASL players want to be. “If they want to be there, they have to be better than the guys that play there.”

DeBellis said that as a Canadian the win is even more special to him.

“It’s a new experience to play a MLS team, and it’s the first time we’re moving on in our club history. I think for myself and the guys who were here the first year it will probably hit home a little more.”

Ottawa Fury currently have a 1-2-3 (Win-Draw-Loss) record and are ninth in the NASL. They play their next league game against Jacksonville Armada FC this Sunday at TD Place.

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.

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