Author Archive

BY THE NUMBERS: Summer of ’54 – a road trip across Canada, some of America, with 4 ladies and a Plymouth



Day 20: Helen Salkeld and Audrey James enjoying the sunshine and a picnic lunch, near Cache Creek, British Columbia, August 19, 1954. Photo credit: Rosemary Gilliat Eaton

On July 31st, 1954, freelance photographer Rosemary Gilliat and her three girlfriends, Anna Brown, Audrey James and Helen Salkeld, left Ottawa in a Plymouth station wagon.

Day 1: Helen Salkeld, Audrey James, Anna Brown and Rosemary Gilliat (left to right) getting ready to leave for their Trans-Canada Highway trip, Ottawa, Ontario, July 31, 1954  Photo credit: Rosemary Gilliat Eaton

Day 1: Helen Salkeld, Audrey James, Anna Brown and Rosemary Gilliat (left to right) getting ready to leave for their Trans-Canada Highway trip, Ottawa, Ontario, July 31, 1954
Photo credit: Rosemary Gilliat Eaton

Bound for Vancouver, British Columbia, they travelled through Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Washington, Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota, and returned to Ottawa on September 6.

The trip was quite a feet at the time, as the Trans-Canada highway was not yet complete. Rosemary described the roads near Cochrane, Ontario as “dirt and rutted and huge bumps which could easily break a spring.” At the border of Manitoba and Saskatchewan “the average road turned into a downright bad road, dried mud, stones lying on the road, dips & holes.”

Somehow, the Plymouth suffered only a few cracks from flying rocks and remained intact until the women returned to Ottawa, when it was replaced.

Day 26: Anna Brown at Garibaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia, August 25, 1954 Photo credit: Rosemary Gilliat Eaton

Day 26: Anna Brown at Garibaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia, August 25, 1954. Photo credit: Rosemary Gilliat Eaton

The girls did not have a means to preserve food,  so part of their daily routine included picking up groceries and finding drinking water while getting gas for the car. They were not stereotypical women, or even conventional tourists, for their era. Despite possible amenities available along the way, such as motels and public camping grounds, the women preferred to have lunch and camp in wooded and secluded areas off the beaten path. As Rosemary put it, “one wonders at all the days of the year one spends in bed—when it is so perfect camping—every morning and every evening being a revelation.” They were seeking an authentic wilderness experience and were not discouraged by insects, rain or possible encounters with wildlife.

This Sunday will mark 61 years since the trip ended on Sept. 6, 1954. Rosemary kept a diary, logging the date and place she was in each night. You can visit this blog post for more details on their trip, but here’s a quick list on how their trip breaks down by the numbers:

The stats

1:  Plymouth station wagon

4: girlfriends

4: states

5: provinces

38: days of travelling

61: years ago

12,000: kilometres travelled

The packing list – this was not a luxury vacation… 

1: spade

1: axe

1: bucket

1: hunting knife

1: Coleman cooking stove and container for gas

1: frying pan

1: of each: knife, fork, spoon, mug (per person)

1: of each: ground sheet, air mattress, sleeping bag, blanket (per person)

2: tents

2: water containers

3: saucepans

And some other things: candles, matches, tent poles, jeans or slacks, windbreaker, Mac raincoat, shoes, sandals

On July 31, 2015, Library and Archives Canada launched Road trip—summer of ’54 on Facebook, featuring a selection of Rosemary Gilliat’s photos and diary excerpts. Visit Facebook daily to see where she and her friends travelled and who they met along their journey. At the end of each week, these photographs will be added to Flickr.



A list of all the towns they visited during the 38 day excursion. Photo credit: Library and Archives Canada



Rosemary usually wrote her diary in the evening and titled it the place where they camped or stayed. For July 31 (Day 1), that includes Ottawa and is labelled Timagami (Temagami). Photo credit: Library and Archives Canada



The original packing list. Photo credit: Library and Archives Canada


WEEKENDER: Six things to do in Ottawa for the long weekend (September 3 – 7)


ACDC: 1990's

ACDC: 1990’s

“We just want to make the walls cave in and the ceiling collapse. Music is meant to be played as loudly as possible, really raw and punchy, and I’ll punch out anyone who doesn’t like it the way I do.” Bon Scott (R.I.P)

Absolutely gone are the days when Ottawa was seen as the city that music tours forgot. Among other big names such as Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, and Kanye West (to name a few from just this year), we are preparing to welcome legends. AC/DC will be playing at T.D. Place Thursday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m.

Starting out as young, unknown boys in Australia, only teenagers, their success and growth is unquantifiable. As any sort of indicator, the bands last tour six years ago (seeing the members all over 50) was viewed by five million people in 29 countries.

The line-up from the Quebec City and Montreals showing provide promising reviews and feature some of their biggest hits: Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Whole Lotta Rosie, Thunderstruck (who hasn’t used this tune to amp up a workout?), as well as songs from the latest album, Rock or Bust.

Michael Hann wrote in The Guardian after the London show, “Rock ’n’ roll reduced to its purest essence, in doses of flavour so concentrated they seem to set the world alight. If it’s farewell, it’s a glorious one.”

Basically? Do not miss. Tickets starting at $99.50. Forgot to get yours? Head down to Bank St. – according to Bon Scott, I don’t think you’ll have any problem hearing them from the street.
TD Place, 1015 Bank St., 613-232-6767,

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SHOP TALK: Back to school for the little ones


Back-to-school can be a stressful time of the year… for the parents! New clothes, supplies, lunch paraphernalia – the lists rival that of Christmas! To help you in your quest for an A+ start, we’ve got you covered with the coolest stuff that you and your little ones will love.


First Day of School Outfits

Back to School Outfits V2-2

Clockwise from top left:

VICHY DRESS BY ELECTRIK KIDS (0-5 years), $45 – Workshop Boutique, 242 1/2 Dalhousie St, 613-789-5534

SKIP HOP ZOO FOX BACKPACK, $25 – Fab Baby Gear, two locations: 1244 Wellington St West & 755 Bank St, 613-729-8838

PUPPY STARDUST TEE (6-12mo – 12 years), $28 – Workshop Boutique, 242 1/2 Dalhousie St, 613-789-5534

MINI MIOCHE 100% ORGANIC COTTON SHORTS, $21 – Mini Mioche (online store)

HERSCHEL SUPPLY KIDS SETTLEMENT BACKPACK IN ETON BLUE, $40 – Fab Baby Gear, two locations: 1244 Wellington St West & 755 Bank St, 613-729-8838

VANS CLASSIC SLIP ON, $48 – Nordstrom, 50 Rideau St, 613-567-7005


Lunch Time

Lunch Time


SKIP HOP ZOO INSULATED FOOD JAR, $23 – Fab Baby Gear, two locations: 1244 Wellington St West & 755 Bank St, 613-729-8838

BAMBU KID’S FORK & SPOON, $11 – terra20, two locations: 2685 Iris St & 1304 Wellington St West, 1-855-837-7220

SKIP HOP CLIX BENTO CONTAINERS (3 pk), $9 – Fab Baby Gear, two locations: 1244 Wellington St West & 755 Bank St, 613-729-8838

FLUF SNACK PACKS, $18 – terra20, two locations: 2685 Iris St & 1304 Wellington St West, 1-855-837-7220

ORANGE DRINK IN THE BOX, $11.20 – terra20, two locations: 2685 Iris St & 1304 Wellington St West, 1-855-837-7220


Arts & Crafts

Arts & Crafts

FUN FLAGS COLOURING BOOK, $14 – Workshop Boutique, 242 1/2 Dalhousie St, 613-789-5534

P’KOLINO 16 COLOURED PENCILES, $12 – terra20, two locations: 2685 Iris St & 1304 Wellington St West, 1-855-837-7220

MADE BY HUMANS RECYCLED ERASERS, $3 – terra20, two locations: 2685 Iris St & 1304 Wellington St West, 1-855-837-7220

COLIBRI MONKEYS PENCIL CASE, $6 – terra20, two locations: 2685 Iris St & 1304 Wellington St West, 1-855-837-7220


Recess in Session

Recess In Session

GREEN TOYS JUMP ROPE, $15 – terra20, two locations: 2685 Iris St & 1304 Wellington St West, 1-855-837-7220

HATLEY SUN HAT, $20 – Fab Baby Gear, two locations: 1244 Wellington St West & 755 Bank St, 613-729-8838

LENA ECO ACTIVE BULLDOZER, $22 – Mrs. Tiggy Winkles, four locations (see website)

GREEN BEAVER SPF 30 CERTIFIED ORGANIC SUNSCREEN, $23 – Fab Baby Gear, two locations: 1244 Wellington St West & 755 Bank St, 613-729-8838

ARTFUL BLOGGER: Indigenous portraits and copper mementoes



Sayward Johnson uses knitted copper or brass wire to create his complicated pieces of art like these, the Mementos


Black and white photographic portraits of several prominent Ottawa artists and curators have been placed on the walls of Saskatchewan’s main art gallery – the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina.


Lee-Ann Martin, Curator of Contemporary Aboriginal Art at the Canadian Museum of Civilization

These Ottawans include Barry Ace, Frank Shebageget, Lee-Ann Martin, Ron Noganosh, Linda Grussani, Jeff Thomas, Greg Hill, Bear Witness and Claude Latour. The one common factor is that they all have indigenous origins and were photographed by Ottawa’s Rosalie Favell, who has been assembling since 2008 a collection of portraits of important aboriginal artists and curators from across North America. The purpose is to create a photographic record of the movers and shakers in the indigenous art community of our times.

“This is her community,” Michelle LaVallee, the exhibition curator, says of Favell. “This is the community that helped her to come to terms with her own identity.”

Favell is a Metis originally from Manitoba. As a child, Favell was not aware of her own indigenous heritage. In fact, she has started painting pictures, inspired by family photographs, showing young Rosalie wearing feathered headdresses, not to honour her heritage but to dress up in exotic attire, just as kids will don a Spiderman costume. Four of these paintings have been added to the Regina exhibition of 283 photographs. The show is titled Rosalie Favell: (Re)facing the Camera. More of Favell’s paintings will be exhibited in Ottawa at Cube Gallery Oct. 27-Nov. 22.


Artist Ron Noganosh

The portrait project began in 2008 when Favell found herself part of a welcoming “community” of aboriginal artists all doing residencies at the Banff Centre.. She decided to shoot portraits of these fellow artists, including Alex Janvier, Nadia Myre and Frank Shebageget. For the next seven years, wherever Favell went, she continued to shoot portraits of aboriginal artists, curators and other cultural figures she encountered. The “community” just kept growing.

Some of the portraits, all shot against a plain white background, were exhibited in earlier shows at the Karsh-Masson Gallery in Ottawa in 2012, when Favell won the biennial City of Ottawa Karsh Award, and in 2011 at Urban Shaman in Winnipeg.

This is the first time all 283 portraits have been shown together. Seeing all the portraits at once is a powerful statement. It shows the strength and diversity of North American aboriginal creativity.

Clearly, Favell knows how to make her subjects relax. Most are smiling very naturally. Few strike artificial poses. There’s a definite lack of attitude. The portraits are like interrupted conversations among friends.

“That’s the look I am comfortable with,” says Favell. The point of the project is simply: “Here we are and this is what we look like.”

Favell’s exhibition continues in Regina until Nov. 22.


Sayward Johnson uses knitted copper or brass wire to create his complicated pieces of art like these, the Mementos

A most unusual pair of knitted stockings hangs on the wall of Sayward Johnson’s studio in the Enriched Bread Artist complex on Gladstone Avenue.

The stockings were made from copper wire and then moulded around Johnson’s own feet. It looks like Johnson, or someone else, just stepped out of the socks, which have held their shape, frozen in time, possibly awaiting some Cinderella to try them on and, with a perfect fit, to claim them before running off with Prince Charming.

It is easy to create a narrative for the ghostly stockings. Most of Johnson’s artworks created from knitted copper or brass wire are more complicated; the storylines form only after considerable contemplation.

One wall of the studio is filled with sculptural objects Johnson calls Mementos: “They deal with fragments of memory and how it changes over time.”


Johnson uses a loom with woven copper and red felt to create the dramatic look

The Mementos are roughly circular, hollow objects, fitting nicely in the palm of your hand. They are created by using ordinary knitting needles and spools of thin copper wire as delicate as dental floss. Johnson shapes the Mementos and bathes them in a green patina solution to quicken the rusting process. For the first two weeks or so, the colours and shapes slowly change as the copper starts to deteriorate. Johnson then coats the objects in wax or shellac to stop the evolution. (The copper roofs of the Parliament Buildings go through a similar process in oxidation, changing from an orange-golden colour to green.)

The Mementos were being prepared to for an installation in Johnson’s solo exhibition at Espace Pierre-Debain in Aylmer called Woven Stories and Knitted Mementos. The exhibition runs from Sept. 2 to Oct. 11. This art venue in an old stone court house is normally used for exhibiting fine craft. The quality of the shows is usually high and the exhibiting artists usually established. Johnson, a resident of Chelsea, Que. calls herself an “emerging” artist and is grateful for the opportunity to introduce her unique work to the national capital area.


Another piece from the collection: Woven Stories and Knitted Mementos

A loom sits in one corner of Johnson’s studio. It is the same kind of loom used to create textiles. On the loom, Johnson produces squares of woven copper that, after receiving the green patina treatment, are mounted on felt backing and placed on the wall, looking for all the world like highly textured paintings or cloth. Red embroidery or bits of red cloth peeking through the copper wire add dramatic touches to the resulting abstract images.

Now, it is up to the viewer to create a storyline for the artwork.

Sayward Johnson’s exhibition is at Espace Pierre-Debain, 120 rue Principale, in the Aylmer sector of Gatineau. There is no admission charge. For info, phone 819-685-5033.

Some other shows worth catching:

Russell Yuristy: an Ottawa print-maker, painter and sculptor, has a solo show at Cube Gallery from Sept. 1 to Oct. 4.

The Debutantes: A solo show by Ottawa painter Sharon Van Starkenburg at Wall Space Gallery from Sept. 12-Oct. 4.

CITY BITES: Industria Brasserie Italienne – pizza & scissors



Pizza and scissors, a sight many Italians will recognize

Industria Brasserie Italienne is the second in the family (first being in Montreal) and has taken its residence in Lansdowne.

Chef Sergio Mattoscio, a previous contestant on Top Chef Canada and famous for his gnocchi poutine, welcomed a group of writers, bloggers, and T.V. personalities to his restaurant last week for a group dinner, famiglia style.

Chef Sergio Mattoscio greeting his guests and a nice close up of my peach Ciroc sangria (food from front to back: meatballs, the industria pizza, tacos)

Front to back: peach Ciroc sangria, meatballs, the industria pizza, tacos, Chef Mattoscio

We were greeted with beverages and led to the back corner of the restaurant, that was roped (red velvet rope at that) off. There was a long, communal wooden table laden with food, phones, and drinks, as everyone chatted, ate, and took photos.

We tried the crab wonton taco and some calamari served with a chipotle dip to compliment our Ciroc peach sangrias.

Mattoscio joined us not long after we arrived, bringing the buzz of the socialites to a halt. He told us about the restaurant, the menu, the food: the sfizi (Italian-style tapas), the pasta and pizza made fresh daily. He told us how the scissors served with the pizza were a part of his heritage. How he would constantly think “How would my mother do it?”

It was a very touching talk, punctuated only by his daughter’s shout, “Hi daddy!” from the staircase above. He finished to applause, anticipatory stomachs, and a reminder from the one of the marketing managers, no doubt, to mention the “Giovedì Grasso” or “Fat Thursday”. An unfortunately placed addition taking away from the charm of Mattoscio’s talk, but such is life in the industry (or industria). However, it did come with a charming story from the chef: Giovedì Grasso is the Italian tradition of eating in abundance the day before Lent starts so you can get your fill of your favourite things: chocolate, wine, cheeses – before giving them up for 40 days.


Objects in photo are much, much cuter than they appear

Encouraged to sit in the large, black booths by the charming publicist who introduced herself as Mimi, we shared ours with two other couples: a home design blogger, a copy editor from Ottawa Life, and their respective dates. The camaraderie was pleasant, and it was apparent that we had been placed in booths rather than long tables for that reason. My only complaint about it? I got very sweaty, very quickly. The entire front of the restaurant can be opened, but the fresh air was not reaching our back corner.


The ceiling piece above us

We were offered the choice of the “hamburger di porchetta” (pulled pork burger), the “orecchiette saisiccia e rapine” (Italian sausage and rapini pasta), and the “prosciutto e rucola” (prosciutto and arugula pizza). I chose the pizza.

As everyone’s meals arrived, there was shameless food photography as we all whipped out our phones.

“I like this event,” said Eric, from Ottawa Life, “you can unselfconsciously take pictures of your food.”

Then there was silence as we ate. I enjoyed my pizza, especially cutting it with the scissors as I hadn’t done so in years. There was more prosciutto than cheese (shaved parmesan) which is not generally my taste, but I know I’m a minority in that.


Nutella pizza: fried dough, nutella drizzle, ricotta sweet cream, icing sugar dusting

Italian food in Ottawa (or anywhere other than Italy for that matter) is a tricky thing. Long ago I gave up the search for equality. It is not the quality of the chef that is sub par, nor the food. It is the nature of the ingredients. Yes, we can use local, organic, grown-in-our-neighbours-backyard food – but it still will not meet the taste that is found in Italy. Maybe it is the sun or the soil, I’m not quite sure, but if  you abandon your quest for the perfect Italian tomato, I promise you will enjoy your experience in Italian eateries that much more. It’s just the way it is. But as far as Italian experiences in restaurants go (I’m talking the laid-back familial-type Italians), this was taking the cake for me.

Dessert came unannounced, it was a Nutella pizza with sweet ricotta. More pictures, but this time more hurried as we all were excited to dive in – it came without scissors and was blessedly pre-sliced.

As we finished off our slices (and seconds, for some of us), we all slowly made our way out. As we neared the door, I spotted Sergio and wiped my sweaty forehead before making my way over to him.

“Auguri e mille grazie,” I said. He returned my pleasantries and we parted the way traditional Italians do: a kiss on each cheek.

I left very full of good food, good feelings, and into the thankfully fresh air.

CITY BITES: Fantasy Food Trucks

This article first appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Ottawa Magazine.

*Yawn* It’s 9 a.m. on Friday, the last Friday of August, and oh how you wish it was 5 p.m. Soon my friends, soon. In the mean time, here are some Fantasy Food Trucks thought up by a few of our illustrators to amuse you while you drink your coffee. Can you think up any you’d like to roam the Ottawa streets?


Illustration by Michael Zeke Zavacky

Imagine, if you will, a food truck that allows you to take a sweet stroll down memory lane, back to a time and place where you enjoyed the best meal of your life — perhaps in the company of a loved one. Zeke’s Memory Lane food truck allows you to do just that. Put on the unique headgear, which will tap into your memory bank and project a visual of that special scene right on the side of the truck. What’s more, the truck also serves up the exact meal you enjoyed. Do you dream of that unforgettable night in Paris 50 years ago when you shared that amazing glass of pinot noir over a bowl of pasta with the love of your life? Voilà! Memory Lane recreates your incredible meal of a lifetime, allowing you to experience it anew. And all for a very affordable food-truck price. Think about it: if Zeke’s Memory Lane food truck pulled up outside your door, what would you order? —Michael Zeke Zavacky



Illustration by Kyle Brownrigg

Beeraoke: Two of my favourite things in this world are beer and karaoke. This food truck would provide specialty beers and a stage on which to perform your favourite karaoke songs. Don’t have the guts to sing? No problem. Have a few more! —Kyle Brownrigg



Illustration by Dave Merritt

LOTS OF LOX: Enjoy hot gourmet bagels with lox and cream cheese!
“There’s nothing like fresh cream cheese on a bagel topped with smoked salmon, fresh off the smoker. I wish this food truck existed so I could eat one of these satisfying treats whenever I had a craving. It would also be cool to look at.” —Dave Merritt



ashleymadisoncopyLest you have hidden yourself beneath a celibate rock, you have heard some whisperings of the scandals surrounding Ashley Madison: how Ottawa has been branded as the city with the most users (although, if you check out Global News’ story from today, apparently Calgarians are more frisky), the stories of T.V. celebrities like the Duggars and Snooki, or even the pure power behind the group of hackers, the Impact Team,  for their ability to take over a website, steal credit card numbers, and instill fear in the millions of website subscribers.

It seemed an appropriate time to pull our piece on Ashley Madison from the archives where we cover the numbers, not only the city, but how the neighbourhoods within it stack up.

Originally published in the April 2014 issue of Ottawa Magazine.


Parsing the latest Ashley Madison stats for clues on the status of the capital’s extramarital liaisons

Sure, there’s that buttoned-down reputation trotted out by every other city in the country whenever the capital is mentioned. But Ottawa is actually tops in the country when it comes to carefree two-timing.

Ottawa Magazine checked in with Ashley Madison — you know, the website for married people looking to cheat (catchy slogan, Life Is Short. Have an Affair) — to see whether the capital remained as unfaithful as ever. The short answer: you bet. Public moralizing and complicated secret lives — what could be more Ottawa than that?

Hereto, a “state of the union” address revealing the latest stats on how many of us are double-dealing (or looking to) and which neighbourhoods have wandering eyes.

As of January 2014, Ottawa retained its crown as the top city for cheaters, ranking first in terms of membership per capita (though behind the bigger cities of Toronto and Calgary in terms of total membership). Some 175,321 aspiring local philanderers were signed up, with an average age of 39 for men and 37 for women. That’s interesting, but the stats scrutiny gets a little more titillating (and addictive) when it’s broken down into neighbourhoods. That’s when you can start eyeing up your neighbours and letting your dirty mind wander.

Top 10 cheating neighbourhoods in Ottawa — drum roll, please — and in the category of No Surprise, the winning “neighbourhood” is Parliament Hill, whose postal code accounts for nearly 11 percent of Ashley Madison’s local clientele. Take note, Frank magazine. Another Hill — Sandy Hill, just down the road — holds down second spot for urban cheaters. Kanata runs a close third, followed by Hunt Club, Glebe, Queensway, Riverview, Overbrook, Centretown, and Dalhousie. A 2012 Ashley Madison poll saw Rockcliffe Park in top spot, with Kanata, Nepean, Sandy Hill, and Westboro rounding out the top-five list of philanderer wannabes.

SHOP TALK: A Little Pampering at Smudge Beauty Bar

By Kelsey Kromodimoeljo


Smudge Beauty Bar not only offers the traditional salon essentials like manis and pedis, they also do henna tattooing.

We can all agree that a little pampering every now and then is more than a luxury – it is a necessity. And with the new concept of express beauty bars, a quick-fix for indulgence and beautification has become easier than ever. Smudge Beauty Bar is one such boutique salon that opened this year, taking over the beautiful two-story Dalhousie Street loft that once housed Young Janes vintage store.

Smudge Storefront

“Where everyone knows your name.”

Smudge offers express services for those on-the-go and more involved spa beauty treatments if you have some time to relax. Owned and operated by Inaas Kiryakos (co-owner of Milk Shop) and hairstylist Mark Mignault, Smudge Beauty Bar offers the typical manicures, pedicures, massage treatments, waxing, tinting, and eyelash extensions (with facials coming soon!) as well as some of the not-so-typical like henna. In addition to its services, Smudge carries a well-curated range of soaps, lotions, bath bombs, candles and other apothecary goods from independent Canadian beauty lines.

Look for workshops, special events and deals on Tuesdays and Fridays – the relaxed and social atmosphere makes the Beauty Bar a perfect setting to unwind with your girl (or guy) friends. Or treat yourself: $50 for an express mani + pedi, head and shoulder massage.
Smudge Beauty Bar, 223 Dalhousie St., 613-680-2309


WEEKENDER: 7 things to do in Ottawa for your last August weekend (Aug. 27-30)


08-27-Moonface credit Tero Ahonen

Spencer Krug. Photo by Tero Ahonen

Frog Eyes, Wolf Parade, Fifths of Seven — these are just a few of the music projects songwriter and keyboardist Spencer Krug has been involved with over his career. He’s an amazingly prolific musician who has been credited on almost two dozen releases since 2003. So it’s safe to say he knows a few things about making good music.

His latest project, Moonface, is a (mostly) solo endeavour. In several of his albums, he relies heavily on the piano as he waxes lonesome about everything from the collapse of a relationship to disillusionment with a once-loved city. He also collaborated with Finnish band Siinai to create Heartbreaking Bravery, an indie rock-tinged album with a brooding, melancholic atmosphere.

He performs at Pressed on Thursday, Aug. 27. Tickets from $13. See Facebook event page for  details.
Pressed, 750 Gladstone Ave., 613-680-9294,


The Norman Conquests
In 1973, playwright Alan Ayckbourn set himself an ambitious task: to write a trilogy of plays wherein the events in each happen simultaneously. And so, The Norman Conquests was born.

The play follows the character of Norman as he attempts, on three separate occasions, to seduce his wife, Ruth; her sister, Annie; and their sister-in-law, Sarah. The setting is a country house belonging to Ruth and Annie’s invalid mother, with whom Annie lives and for whom she cares. The action takes place over a single weekend as all three women react to Norman’s charms.

The trilogy begins on Friday, Aug. 28 at The Gladstone. It runs until Saturday, Oct. 10. The plays can be viewed independently, but if you want to see all three, consider purchasing a package. Tickets start at $18. See website for more info.
The Gladstone, 910 Gladstone Ave., 613-233-4523,


Ottawa Craft Beer Festival
The National Capital Region has seen an explosion in craft brewing in recent years, with breweries such as Beau’s All-Natural Brewing Company, Kichesippi Beer Co., and Bicycle Craft Brewery popping up in the area.

For its fourth year, the Ottawa Craft Beer Festival is bringing in 40 craft breweries, international beers, delicious food from local eateries, and live music. It’s also running brewmaster seminars, holding a 5K run (or walk!), introducing the winners of the National Capital Home Brew Competition, and more.

The brews start pouring on Friday, Aug. 28 and the festival continues until Sunday, Aug. 30. Admission starts at $15. Please note that the event is restricted to ages 19+. See website for ticket prices.
Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne Park, 1015 Bank St.,


CFL Fans Fight Cancer teams up with RiderGirl Productions to raise some money for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. Friday, Aug. 28 and Saturday, Aug. 29 join fellow CFL and theatre fans –  not only will there be a show (of which $1/ticket sold will go to the foundation), there will be a Tailgate Party (where more funds will be raised) – which is arguably the best part of football. The pre-show will have a cash bar as well as hot dogs and sausages to purchase. Tailgate Party at 6:30 p.m., show time 7:30 p.m., and a post-game party to follow the show.

However, this one-woman show (two-time Rideau Award nominee Colleen Sutton) offers fair competition to the typical tailgate.

“A prairie girl is seduced into sports fandom and discovers the rules don’t just apply to the game. Colleen Sutton throws herself into multiple characters as she fights for first downs and flags begin to fly. Loaded with laughs, it’s a fast-paced, physical and trash-talking march down the field that will haul your heart into the game.”

Come in your CFL gear and colours! If you intend to bring your kidlets, keep in mind that there will be some swearing – this is football after all. Tickets start at $26 (tailgate included in ticket cost).
Arts Court, 2 Daly Ave., 613-765-5555,


You had me at fried dough.

You had me at fried dough.

Palestinian Festival Ottawa
Did you know the Palestinian region, the area located between the east shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, was one of the earliest in the world to see human habitation, agricultural communities and civilization?

As I’ve been saying it all summer long, I will say it again: one of the best parts of summer in Ottawa is the plethora of cultural festivals. Let us welcome Ottawa’s Palestinian Festival, returning for the second time to City Hall’s Marion Dewar Plaza!

Running from Friday, Aug. 28 to Sunday, Aug. 30, take part in this free event and learn about Palestine’s language and people, take part in the dance and music, and taste all of the food. Follow the festival on Facebook to keep up-to-date. Family encouraged! Event runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Marion Dewar Park, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W.,



Montreal band Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – the look will fit right in at Zaphods

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
Montreal band Yamantaka // Sonic Titan was born when drummer Alaska B and vocalist Ruby Kato Attwood decided to bridge their two cultures through music (Alaska is of Chinese-Irish descent, while Attwood is of Japanese-Scottish descent). They playfully dubbed the resulting sound Noh-wave, after the 14th century Japanese theatre art whose defining characteristic is the use of masks.

Their music is often referred to as prog-rock, but the term doesn’t adequately describe their sound. They bring together eastern and western music styles, and stir the pot further with hints of metal, punk, grunge, and psychedelic.

They perform at Zaphod Beeblebrox on Saturday, Aug. 29. Tickets are $12. See Facebook event page for more info.
Zaphod Beeblebrox, 27 York St., 613-562-1010,



Harvest Table 2013

Harvest Table 2015 – Savour Ottawa
Harvest Table has grown over the last four years, in attendance and food. For the fifth annual event, courtesy of Savour Ottawa, it will be no different. Held Sunday, Aug. 30 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park, beside the Ottawa Farmers’ Market (a fitting location), come celebrate the local harvest with a multi-course, gourmet luncheon. Harvest Table sees some of the city’s finest chefs partner with local farmers to create fresh, seasonal dishes. Enjoy a family-style feast sharing the company of producers, chefs and other guests.

Tickets are only sold in advance, and it always sells out so don’t delay! Regular tickets are $75, or get the VIP treatment – “Cream of the Crop” – for $90. The extra $15 will get you a guided tour of the Ottawa Farmers’ Market with C’est Bon Cooking and appetizers and cocktails to start the afternoon in style. Purchase online here.

Check out some of the featured local restaurants to get your mouth watering in advance: The Albion Rooms
, le café at the National Arts Centre
, Courtyard Restaurant, 
Fairmont Château Laurier, Thyme and Again,  Creative Catering
, The Red Apron.
Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park, 1015 Bank St., 613 699 6850 ext. 10,

GREAT SPACE: Globetrotting educators revamp, then put up for sale, their one-of-a-kind bungalow


They thought it would be their forever home, but though they remain smitten, Roy and Carol Kirby are moving on. “There will be no mourning,” says Carol. “We’ve truly loved this house for four years, but we’ve realized that we’re just too busy to commit the time to it.”


The kitchen island helps define the workspace that Carol needs, “I don’t like anyone in the kitchen when I’m cooking.” Photo by Gordon King

The brief but bright love affair began in the fall of 2011 when the Kirbys, then living in a Westboro townhome, toured the 1970s bungalow, immediately falling head over heels for its modern vibe. They were enthralled with the bold triangular skylights, which are positioned to create a show-stopping geometric ceiling that floods the main living area with light. They also valued the location on the bank of the Jock River and looked forward to waking up each morning surrounded by nature.


The dining room boasts beautiful, nature-filled views. Photo by Gordon King

Just a week after taking possession, they began an extensive renovation to make it truly their own. “We wanted to preserve its character,” explains Roy, “but have it fit our sense of style.” The couple teamed up with design-builder Gerhard Linse, whom they credit with helping them craft a vision for the space. He counselled removing the various half walls that broke up the living, kitchen, and dining areas, opening up the room to take advantage of the signature skylight and iconic fireplace. The Kirbys’ design sensibility was already modern, so their furniture — most of it from Phillip Van Leeuwen — moved with them from the townhouse.


The open display cabinet showcases keepsakes collected over the couple’s years together. Photo by Gordon King

Ample wall space allowed the couple to display their favourite paintings and prints, many by local artists, while an open shelving unit that partitions off the dining room showcases keepsakes collected over five decades of adventure — soapstone carvings from Labrador, where the couple met 56 years ago; sculptures from Kenya, where Carol set up a school for the Aga Khan Education Service in the 1990s; and a graceful tea set from China, where they now teach part-time. The many mementoes are evidence of a wanderlust that has kept them on the move throughout their marriage. And that is the reason their forever house is up for sale.

“Though we are very happy here, when we thought about how we wanted to spend our time, it really isn’t gardening,” says Carol with a smile. Now in their mid-70s, the couple continues to spend a good part of each year in China, where they teach at a North American-affiliated university while also endeavouring to keep up with children and grandchildren living in Europe. So although Ottawa remains home base, they’re now looking for a condo with a view. “We had so much fun with this project and this house,” says Carol. “We really hope that the next family that moves in enjoys it as much as we have.”

This article first appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Ottawa Magazine.