Other News

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

October 20, 2016 1:07 pm
It’s a Hat Trick! Introducing OLM’s New Sports Team!

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.


OLM Pet of the Week- Meet Toby

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OLM Pet of the Week- Meet Toby

For this week’s OLM Pet of the Week, we’ve got another beautiful feline we want to introduce! Meet Toby, a big four-year-old boy who is currently up for adoption with Cat Rescue Network.

Toby is a big guy who weighs just under 15 pounds, and there’s more to this handsome fellow that meets the eye. First of all, he’s got more toes than your average cat. He likes to use his large paws to play with ping pong balls, or to chase that mysterious red laser light! Toby is a sensitive dude who certainly has a presence. He loves to be around his people and loves getting snuggles even more. Head scratches and neck rubs are his favourite, and you can hear him purring loudly as a result.

Toby has made a huge transformation thanks to the love and care from Cat Rescue Network!

Toby would thrive in a home with another playful cat, or even a cat-friendly dog, as he enjoys the company of the dog in his foster home. He does have the habit of giving gentle love bites when playing with people, but his foster family is working on getting him out of that habit. Due to this habit, he would do better in an adult-only home, or one without small children. Toby is neutered, and has had surgery to correct entropion in one eye, a dental cleaning, and two ingrown nails removed.

Toby can be found on Petfinder for more details. If you have room in your heart and home for Toby, you can download an adoption contract here, and email it to flora_louise@yahoo.ca.

About the Rescue:

Established in 1999, Cat Rescue Network is an Ottawa-based non-profit run solely with the help of volunteers. They are dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and adopting-out homeless kittens and cats in the Ottawa area. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter.

OLM Pet of the Week is a weekly segment on our site which showcases adoptable pets in our Capital. Each week a new pet will be featured in order to help them find a loving forever home. Any Ottawa-based animal rescue interested in having an adoptable pet featured can email isabel@ottawalife.com.

Now You Can Touch a Van Gogh Thanks to Verus Art

October 19, 2016 1:25 pm
Now You Can Touch a Van Gogh Thanks to Verus Art

All photos by Isabel Payne.

Ever loved a painting so much that you wanted to feel each brushstroke? Now you can thanks to advanced 3D scanning and printing technology. Unveiled last night at the National Gallery of Canada were 3D printed reproductions from Verus Art so real that each brush stroke was exact to the artist’s original. Verus Art is a collaboration between Vancouver-based Arius Technology, Océ, a leader in digital imaging, and framing powerhouse Larson-Juhl. What started off as a science project in the conservation of art, transformed quickly into a game-changer in the art production industry.


Up-close and personal with a 3D replica of Bowl of Zinnias and Other Flowers by Vincent Van Gogh.

Verus Art is the first in the world to use this advanced technology to create art reproductions with a belief they can change the multi-billion dollar art reproduction industry. Instead of buying a reproduction from another artist, where the painting is merely their own impression of what the original artist intended, you can now purchase an exact replica with the artist’s original intentions in each movement of their brush stroke. The scan of the original painting can measure the surface down to an incredible 10 microns, meaning that they can get every detail of the painting such as the depth of the brush stroke and even cracks, big or small, which appear in the paint over time.

Over the past year, Verus Art has been working closely with the National Gallery of Canada to scan, digitize, and recreate 12 paintings from famous artist such as Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet as well several works from the Group of Seven including paintings by Tom Thompson and Frederick Varley. These scans pick up every detail of the painting including depth of stroke and colour, and can be used by participating museums to conduct in-depth studies of the masterpiece. Marc Mayer, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada began his speech last night commenting how it is both “exciting and scary” when he sees the reproductions and how he is “quite staggered” by this technology.


A 3D replica of Woman with an Umbrella by Degas.

Mr. Mayer also announced last night that these reproductions will be used as a part of the NGC’s educational outreach programs for distance learning. They will be sent to schools where students can learn about the artworks up-close and personal, rather than through a screen or 2D print. Now teachers can show them something they can actually touch. These 3D reproductions also hold huge potential in connecting the visually-impaired with artwork that extends far beyond a verbal description.

These works were so stunningly accurate that my friend and art-enthusiast believed at first that the originals were actually being showcased. “I actually thought they were real and I was like ‘where are the 3D prints?’” She said. “I felt privileged to be able to see these works up close and be able to actually touch them.”

“I actually thought they were real and I was like ‘where are the 3D prints?’” She said. “I felt privileged to be able to see these works up close and be able to actually touch them.”


Feeling the brush strokes on Iris by Vincent van Gogh.

The National Gallery of Canada will receive royalties from each sale of a 3D reproduction which will go towards these educational programs. Art enthusiasts who lack the several million dollars to purchase an original Van Gogh can now buy an exact reproduction ranging from $4,000 upwards. Purchases can be made at the NGC or online on the Verus Art website.

After spending the evening marveling at the exactness and beauty of these reproductions, it occurred to me that this showcase will likely be one of the only times I’m told to “please feel free to touch the Van Gogh.”

Why ‘frailty’ Matters

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Nurse and elderly man spending time together --- Image by © Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc./Blend Images/Corbis

Addressing the specific needs of Canada’s frail older adults would improve health outcomes and quality of life — and reduce health costs

When a frail older patient has an acute health crisis in Canada, our health system usually delivers excellent service.  That’s good news.  But health – and quality health care – is determined by more than just response to medical emergencies.

The truth is, our health system often fails when it comes to addressing the complex care needs of frail patients between urgent health events.  We rarely deliver quality chronic care, comprehensive home care or continuous care, and in particular, poorly handle transitions between care settings and providers.

We also often neglect more cost-effective interventions with proven health and quality of life benefits, such as social supports that can help people age in place.

Our over-emphasis on acute care needs to the consequent neglect of other aspects of the health system has serious consequences – especially for those who are frail.  These consequences include both worsened health outcomes and increased health costs.


The burden of ‘frailty’ in Canada is steadily growing. Today, approximately 25 percent of those over age 65, and 50 percent of those over 85 – over one million Canadians – are medically frail.In 10 years, well over two million Canadians may be living with frailty.

Frailty is specifically defined as a state of increased vulnerability, with reduced reserve and loss of function across multiple body systems. Frailty reduces the ability to cope with normal or minor stresses, such as infections, which can cause rapid and dramatic changes in health.

Frail people are at higher risk for worsened health outcomes and death than we would expect based on their age alone. Frailty isn’t simply about getting older. The risk of becoming frail increases with age, but the two are not the same.

Why does the concept of ‘frailty’ matter?

Frail Canadians are the major consumers of healthcare in all settings. Of the $220 billion spent on healthcare annually in Canada (11 percent of GDP), 45 percent is spent on those over 65 years old, although they only represent 15 percent of the population.

In spite of higher utilization of healthcare resources for those who are frail, many current therapies have not been evaluated in this population and we don’t know if they are beneficial, cause harm, are cost-effective, or waste scarce healthcare resources.

Are we over-treating frailty in some instances with ineffective, burdensome therapies and tests, yet not providing adequate social and medical supports in other areas?  The evidence suggests the answer is almost certainly yes.

It’s time we improved the quality and quantity of care delivered for frail Canadians – and improve the health system for everyone in the process.  Here’s how it can be done.

First, we need to break down silos of care based on single diseases, single organ failure, settings of care or clinical disciplines. Addressing frailty requires a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach.  Instead of having multiple specialist appointments and replicating tests across different facilities, we could have ‘one stop shops’ that cater to the needs of patients, not providers.

Secondly, we need to address the needs of Canada’s frail elderly in a more equitable healthcare system across the country.  As we outlined in our recent brief submitted to the Finance Committee 2017 pre-budget consultations, this can be accomplished by establishing a Health Accord funding model based on age and considering frailty instead of the current per capita funding model.

Funding enhancements should be directed towards strengthening primary healthcare along with social and economic supports. Most frail adults live in the community; strengthening primary care and community supports are crucial to help them age in their preferred settings.

Thirdly, we need to provide patients, clinicians and healthcare system decision-makers with high-quality evidence on the effectiveness of treatments in those who are frail.  Most clinical research systematically excludes both the very sick and the elderly. Without evidence, aggressive and expensive therapies are often over-used without improvement in outcomes resulting in poor quality of life and wasted healthcare resources.

Finally, we also need to improve the recognition and assessment of frailty in our healthcare system to aid in the implementation of more appropriate care plans including better medication management and advance care planning.

To better address the healthcare needs of our aging population, we need to recognize that not all aging is the same. By identifying the most vulnerable of our aging population or those who are frail, we can institute appropriate care plans along with improved supports thereby improving outcomes, quality of life and healthcare resource utilization.

muscedere_john-2016-05-12John Muscedere is the Scientific Director and CEO of the Canadian Frailty Network (CFN), a not-for-profit organization funded in 2012 by the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. CFN’s mandate is to improve the care for frail elderly Canadians and their families within the Canadian healthcare system by developing, rigorously evaluating and ethically implementing care strategies and practices founded on the best available evidence. CFN is up for NCE renewal in 2017.


fred_horne_d3s_1987editFred Horne is a health policy consultant and Adjunct Professor with the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health. He was Alberta Minister of Health from 2011 to 2014 and also served as Chair of the Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health. He is a member of the CFN Board of Directors.

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