Author Archive

WEEKENDER Thanksgiving weekend in Ottawa: eat, drink, arts, repeat.



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This WEEKENDER is brought to you by the ByWard Market 



Ottawa Maker’s Market
Ottawa has a thriving artisan community, and Ottawa Maker’s Market is proof of that. On Thursday, Oct. 8, head over to Orange Art Gallery for After Hours, a special late night edition of the market. Peruse skin care products (Scrub Inspired), jewellery (Strut and Wildtree), pottery (Clay Pigeon Design), ice cream truffles (Moo Shu), preserves (Lowertown Canning Co.), and more, all while you chow down on gourmet Asian food by Angry Dragonz and delicious plantain chips by Plátanos. Admission is pay-what-you-can. See Facebook event page for more info.
Orange Art Gallery, 290 City Centre Ave., 613-761-1500,


Dave Trattles

Cycle Touring with David Trattles
Do you enjoy cycling? Photography? It’s time to combine those passions. On Thursday, Oct. 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., head to MEC for a free session from David Trattles as he shares his experiences about bicycle touring and photography. For 20 years, Trattles has been traveling by bicycle through 60 countries, and working as a social documentary photographer (Canadian Geographic, Macleans, Elle). Why should you travel by bicycle? Dave will tell you. He shares the joy of human relations, by learning who the people are and how they live their lives, rather than focusing on what they are doing, you will see the ordinary become extraordinary (Muslim girl boxers of Calcutta, German cowboys, cheese rollers of Sicily, Tomato throwers of Bunol, marathoners of Calcutta). Don’t miss, it appeals to all levels of cyclists. And it’s free!
Mountain Equipment Co-op, 366 Richmond Rd., 613-729-2700,


Fringe performance: I Think My boyfriend should have an accent. Photo by Joshua Pearlman

Fringe Encore
Missed some of the shows you wanted to see at Ottawa Fringe? Don’t worry. Fringe Encore is here to give you a second chance. Beginning Thursday, Oct. 8, two acclaimed plays are returning to the stage at Arts Court for a double bill. In the first, I think my boyfriend should have an accent, playwright and performer Emily Pearlman tells stories that, among other things, caution against the romanticization of strangers. In the second, Moonlight After Midnight by Fringe darling Martin Dockery, a complex layering of scenes slowly unravels the mystery of a meeting between a man and a woman in a hotel room. The double bill continues until Saturday, Oct. 10. Tickets are from $15. See website for more info.
Arts Court, 2 Daly Ave., 613-765-5555,


Laura Demers piece: Where is north from here

Laura Demers piece: Where is north from here

Laura Demers
Laura Demers’ work explores conundrums between surface and space in painting, and how the medium can be a filter for our vision of the world. Demers enjoys working with painting and collage and combines both strengths for her latest exhibit, Unknown Destinations, showing Thursday, Oct. 8 to October 25. Landscapes become fragmented and unusual details are accentuated, creating a beautiful canvas of colour and texture. Unknown Destinations speaks about the land, and illustrates how one may envision and experience it, physically, psychologically and metaphorically.
Studio Sixty Six, 202-66 Muriel St., 613-800-1641,


Sean McCann

Séan McCann
In 2013, Séan McCann left Great Big Sea after 20 successful years as one of its founding members. When asked why, he told CBC’s Bob Mersereau, “the band was where [he] hid” from his problems with alcohol. In his latest solo album, Help Your Self, he faces down his demons and charts a path to a brighter future. He performs on Saturday, Oct. 10, with a second show on Sunday, Oct. 11. Tickets from $25. See website for more info.
The Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., 819-459-3228,

Harvest Festival
Right after the farmer’s market (starting at 8:30 a.m.), stick around for Harvest Fest on Saturday, Oct. 10. Running all day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., join the celebration of all things fall at Watson Mill: pumpkin decorating, children’s crafts, games and toys, and much more. Free wagon rides around the village will be provided by the Manotick BIA, and live music will be playing on the Dickinson House lawn from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This weekend also marks the final Carriage Shed Used Book Sale, the Manotick Farmer’s Market, and the live milling demonstrations.
Mill, 5525 Dickinson St, Manotick 613-692-6455,


CAF museum thanksgiving-weekend

Thanksgiving Weekend at the Agriculture and Food Museum
At this time of year, many Canadian farms are harvesting the crops that will sustain us throughout the colder months. To celebrate the harvest, head to the Agriculture and Food Museum from Saturday, Oct. 10 to Monday, Oct. 12 and learn how to make a hearty fall soup and apple spice caramel cake. Learn about a pumpkin’s life cycle and make/taste apple cider. Cost is included with admission. Once you’ve had your fill of fall activities (but can you ever?) check out the rest of the museum. See the website for a daily schedule.
901 Prince of Wales Dr., 613-991-3044 ,

Harvest Brunch at the Museum of Nature
Not your typical brunch option for your Thanksgiving Sunday (or any day for that matter), but a very unique opportunity nonetheless. Head to the Museum of Nature on Sunday, Oct. 11 for fall fare – more than just bacon and eggs, a sample of the buffet selection includes an omelette station, turkey with all the fixings, sour caramel-glazed ham, assorted harvest salads and soup, and desserts from the pumpkin and apple pantry. Once you’ve had your fair share, walk it off and check out the exhibits. Each brunch includes general admission to the museum, as well as the tip. Cost: $39.99.
Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St., 613-566-4700,

And don’t miss:

Sens home opener vs Montreal Canadiens: Scotiabank Place. $32+. Sunday, Oct 11, 7 p.m.

Ottawa Fall Colours Run: half marathon, 10 km, 5km, 3km – charity run benefitting the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Day of registration available, check website for details. Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. Sunday, Oct 11.

SHOP TALK: High (heel) alert—Town Shoes announces DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse expansion in 2016 (and YES! We’re getting one!)

DSW Store - Photo


I remember my first DSW experience. A friend and I were cross-boarder-shopping in the then-named Carousel Mall. Our first mistake was cramming it all into 12 hours. Our second was saving DSW for our last stop. I hadn’t heard of the brand before that day, but my friend insisted that we went. Tired and almost reaching the peak of shop-’til-you-drop, she brought me into the store. I was overwhelmed. Rows upon rows of flats, heels, boots, sandals, runners. Brands that I loved and coveted: Steve Madden, Nine West, Sperry, Ugg (yes I like Uggs, sue me). I mustered as much energy as I could to take it all in, inspect every heel, compare every deal, find every secret corner that could be hiding the perfect pair of nude pumps – but to this day I regret not visiting the store first.

Luckily for me (and you), Town Shoes Limited has announced four DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse locations set to open spring 2016 and, guess what? Ottawa is on the list of recipients!

Our new DSW will be in the Train Yards Shopping Centre, about 20,000 square feet in size, making it among the largest shoe stores in Canada. Shoppers will be able to select from over 22,000 pairs of designer and name brand shoes at up to 40 per cent off suggested retail prices

Other lucky regions receiving a DSW include Oakville (in the Oakville Town Centre), Halifax (Chain Lake Drive Plaza), and Regina (Grasslands Shopping Centre).

See you there! (First thing in the morning. With coffee and snacks.)

WEEKENDER: 9+ things to do for your first October weekend (Oct. 1-4)

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 This WEEKENDER is brought to you by the ByWard Market 


Mike Evin 3 (web-res)


Mike Evin
The following fact might either make you cringe or pique your curiosity — Montreal-based (via Halifax/Toronto) songwriter Mike Evin has, in the past, worked with members of the Barenaked Ladies. Regardless of your initial reaction, this should, at the very least, be a big nod to Evin’s pop sensibilities, which shine on his latest Life As A Lover. Sticking mainly to piano/synth (and drums for live shows) and his signature smooth-sounding vocals, Evin crafts out a recording akin, perhaps, to Phoenix’s earlier works, Beck, even some Hall & Oats. He’s playing, alongside Ottawa’s own Jill Zmud at the Black Sheep Inn on Sunday, October 4 — in the afternoon (4 p.m.). $10 adv. Watch “Have I Ever Loved?”

Black Sheep Inn, 753 Chemin Riverside Dr., 819-459-3228,

Craig Ferguson
One of late night’s most hilarious personalities comes to the National Arts Centre for an evening of stand-up. Craig Ferguson, the Glaswegian comedian who spent 10 years hosting The Late Late Show, brings his trademark monologues and storytelling charm to political observations, social musings, and pop culture commentary. He hits the stage at the National Arts Centre on Thursday, Oct. 1. Tickets from $44.
National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787,

metcalfe midway-14

Photo credit: Jim Wright

Metcalfe Fair
If there is one thing I learned this summer while doing the Weekender, it is this: most of our rural fairs are older than our country. The Metcalfe Fair will be celebrating its 159th anniversary this year on Thursday, Oct. 1 to Sunday, Oct. 4. Look forward to a dairy cattle show, midway and games, demolition derby, musical performances, a kid’s tent, pony show, dancing, and even a wrestling match. Daily rates and event passes vary in cost, check the website for a detailed schedule and price list.
2821 8th Line Rd., Metcalfe, 613-821-0591,

Farmers’ Appreciation
Autumn is synonymous with harvest, and what better time to celebrate the people who put food on our tables? Ottawa’s Farmers’ Appreciation Week kicks off on Friday, Oct. 2 with an outdoor screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas. On Saturday, Oct. 3, get out your sharpie for a pumpkin carving demo with local artist Mowafak Nema — plus the opportunity to decorate your own pumpkin! On Sunday, Oct. 4, tuck in to a farmer’s breakfast from 9.30am to 11.30am, then check out a live cooking demo by chef Eva Bee and partake in some family friendly programming such as face painting, giant pumpkin displays, a photo booth, and more. The fun continues next weekend, too! Events are free (excluding Farmers’ Breakfast, which is $5). See website for more info.
ByWard Market, 613-244-4410,


Mac My Cheese Fest
Is it possible to have too much St. Albert’s cheese? I think not. Friday, Oct. 2 to Sunday, Oct. 4 is Mac My Cheese Fest. And, not that you need more than cheese curds and macaroni to be happy, there will also be musical entertainment and eating contests. “Three days of ooey gooey awesomeness featuring Gourmet, tradish and exotic mac and cheese!” as the website says. You had me at ooey. Admission is free, pay for what you eat. Prices range from $6 to $15 (cash only, ATM’s on site) Gluten free options available.
110 Laurier St. W., 613-851-5752,

Beau’s Oktoberfest
Prost! Raise a glass at Beau’s Oktoberfest, the Ottawa region’s version of the famous Bavarian beer bash. And Beau’s has a lot more going on at this sudsy party than just lederhosen and schnitzel. The family owned Vankleek Hill brewery pours 14 of its creative brews — like Weiss O’Lantern and Return of the Mumme — at a massive cask haus. Food by a swath of Ottawa eateries, as well as a sausage eating contest, a keg toss, and a skate stage, are highlights. Musical acts include Yukon Blonde, Alvvays, The Dears, and The Beaches, plus a guest appearance by comedian Tom Green. Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3, tickets from $27.
Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds, 92 Main St. W., Vankleek Hill, 866-585-2337,

harvest noir 2013

Harvest Noir
Saturday, Oct. 3 marks the 5th and FINAL pop-up event for Harvest Noir: the outdoor picnic event that is black-tie (all black, actually) and a twist on the European tradition of celebrating the autumn harvest. There will be three parts: a farmer’s market and vintage funfair, followed by a farm-to-table chic picnic, and capped off by “Ottawa’s sexiest” dance after-party. There will be music of all kinds: orchestra, DJing, and even karaoke. Philanthropy is also involved; Harvest Noir supports local farms and raises funds for Bioregional’s work on sustainable communities in Ottawa, the international One Planet Living program as well as a food drive for the Ottawa Food Bank. Check the website for details like what to bring. Starts at 2 p.m., the location will remain a mystery until the day of. Stay tuned… Cost: $29 to $59.

Ottawa Geek Market
Calling all cosplayers, gamers, and comic book aficionados: the Ottawa Geek Market is back in town from Saturday, Oct. 3 to Sunday, Oct. 4. The event includes dozens of exhibitors, featured media guests (including a stand-up act by Andrew Ivimey, creator of the popular website, cosplay and costume contests, a craft room, a scavenger hunt, and video games. The Geek Market has also acquired the Capital Gaming Expo, which means you can roll the dice against other fans of tabletop games, partake in trading card tournaments, or take your Bard or Barbarian on a quest in Dungeons & Dragons. Tickets from $15; see website for details.
Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Ave., 613-862-3556,

12 String Chamber Music in Chelsea
We have a unique opportunity to see and hear some of the most well-known music that was ever written as three internationally-renowned soloists come together for an afternoon to pay tribute to some of the greats. Sunday, Oct. 4 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., violinist Yehonatan Berick, Canadian cellist Rachel Mercer, and Vancouver-born violist Jethro Marks will play the likes of Mozart and Bach with a portion of ticket sales being donated to OrKidstra, a local organization dedicated to empowering kids and building community through music by offering programs to children aged five – 18 in the under-served areas of Ottawa. $20 in advance through eventbrite, $24 at the door.
Chelsea Community Events, 8 rue mill Chelsea.

And don’t miss:
Panda Game 2015: Ottawa GGs vs. Carleton Ravens (football). TD Place. $20+. Saturday, Oct

Oktoberfest Ottawa (Barrhaven): The world’s longest bier tent, contests and a performance by High Valley. Clarke Fields Park. $20+. Thursday, Oct 1-3.

Zombie Run for Humanity: 5km run with obstacle “corpses”. Runners are attempting to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Log Farm (Nepean). $59.50+. Saturday, Oct 3.

CIBC Run for the Cure: 5km and 1km run or walk for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Tunney’s Pasture. $40+. Sunday, Oct

WEEKENDER: Nine things to do Sept. 24 to 27

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This WEEKENDER is brought to you by the ByWard Market 


The Carp Fair celebrates its 152 birthday

The Carp Fair celebrates its 152 birthday


Carp Fair
When I think of Carp, I think of three things: the fish, the bakery, and the fair. For 152 years Carp Fair has been keeping us entertained with music, animals, games, food, drink (it’s licensed), rides, and raffles. Thursday, Sept. 24 to Sunday, Sept. 27 check out the program of events for the full list of what and when to do it. Thursday admission is donation based: give a toonie to the Ottawa Hospital Trauma Unit and CHEO. The rest of the week: Adults $10 in advance and $12 at the gate, children 6 to 12 $5 advance and $6 on site. Ride and entertainment tickets sold separately.
3790 Carp Rd., 613-839-2172,


Haida Gwaii - on the edge of the world

Haida Gwaii – on the edge of the world

One World Film Festival
Off the coast of British Columbia, the archipelago of Haida Gwaii is the ancestral home of the Haida people, who have inhabited its twin islands for more than 10,000 years. Their recent history has been turbulent: diseases spread by European colonists in the 1800s wiped out 90 percent of the population; in the ensuing decades, unsustainable logging and over-fishing have wrought further havoc on the land’s pristine beauty. But the Haida people are fighting back. In Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World, director Charles Wilkinson shows how they have exerted their sovereignty to stop industry from running roughshod all over the islands — including Enbridge, with its proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline. It’s just one of several documentaries with a social justice bent that will be screened at this year’s One World Film Festival, which launches on Thursday, Sept. 24.  Admission is pay-what-you can. Films screen at the National Gallery of Canada from Thursday, Sept. 24 to Saturday, Sept. 26, and Saint Paul University on Sunday, Sept. 27. See website for complete schedule.
National Gallery of Canada: 380 Sussex Dr., 613-990-1985. Saint Paul University: 223 Main St., 613-236-1393.



Glamorous shades will be available for the first time at Ladies night for a cause: Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind

Ladies night
The second ladies night for a cause will take place this Thursday, Sept. 24 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Merivale Optometric Centre. Enjoy food and drink, five minutes manicures, quick makeup applications, and free samples whilst perusing brands such as Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs, Jimmy Choo and Max Mara eye wear collections – a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Canadian Guide Dog for the Blind. It will be the first and possible only time some of these glasses will be available in Ottawa. Can you say guilt-free splurge? Last year’s event raised enough to sponsor and train a guide dog and they are hoping to do it again.
Merivale Optometric Centre, 1547 Merivale Rd. Suite 8A, 613-226-8446.


Art Battle Ottawa 2014 champ Diane Fontaine

Art Battle Ottawa 2014 champ Diane Fontaine

Art Battle 309
Take part in a truly unique and artistic experience: Art Battle returns to Ottawa Friday, Sept. 25, 7 p.m. to 11:55 p.m. Last year’s winner, Diane Fontaine, represented the capital region at the International Live Painting Championships at the Toronto Pan-Am Games and came in first! There will be some real talent to watch at this year’s show as well. General admission: $20, early online $15, students $10.
Arts Court Theatre,
2 Daly Ave.,

Walking With Our Sisters
The Highway of Tears — it’s an appropriate name for the lonely, 720-km stretch of road in British Columbia where dozens of Aboriginal women and girls have been murdered or vanished without a trace since the 1960s. According to a report by the RCMP, 1,000 others between 1980 and 2012 have met the same fate. That statistic is 4.5 times higher than the national average. On Friday, Sept. 25, an installation that honours them opens at the Carleton University Art Gallery. Walk alongside a winding path made of more than 1,800 moccasin vamps (the top part of a shoe) in a show of solidarity. The vamps, purposely not sewn into moccasins, represent the victims’ unfinished lives. The exhibition is on display until Friday, Oct. 16. Admission is free. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Mondays.
Carleton University Art Gallery, St. Patrick’s Building, 1125 Colonel By Dr., 613-520-2120,

Artists in Their Environment Studio Tour
The 27th annual Artists In Their Environment Studio Tour kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 26 in the spectacular Gatineau Hills. Seventeen artists working in paint, mixed media, photography, woodworking, fibre arts, sculpture, and ceramics display their work at their studios in the beautiful villages of Chelsea and Wakefield. At the same time, exhibitions are taking place at Chelsea’s Galerie La Fab (until Oct. 4) and the Wakefield Community Centre (Oct. 1 to 4). The tour continues until Sunday, Sept. 27, then resumes on Oct. 3 and 4. Admission is free. See website for brochure and tour map.

Maple Beer Tasting
On Saturday, Sept. 26, the Vanier Museopark — known for its Sugar Shack and March maple sugar festival — is hosting a maple-themed beer tasting, so drop by and sample some craft brews by local breweries. Admission cost: $35.
Vanier Museopark, 200-300 des Pères Blancs Ave., 613-580-2424 ext. 32001, 


Food Truck Rally 2013 - Photo by Natalie Lyle photography

Food Truck Rally 2013 – Photo by Natalie Lyle photography

Ottawa Food Truck Rally
Let us put all of the amazing food trucks that have come to call Ottawa home in one place so we can sample everything. Best idea ever. Saturday, Sept. 26 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. head to the former St. Charles Church and bring your appetite. Some of the food fare purveyors on site include Ad Mare Mobile Seafood, Angry Dragonz, Big D’s Dog House & Poutine Emporium, Gongfu bao, Ottawa Streat Gourmet, Rico Peru, Relish Food Truck, Sula Wok, The Grilled Cheeserie, The Merry Dairy, and What the Truck? The rally is a fundraiser – money raised supports the OCH Foundation, a local organization that helps Ottawa residents break the cycle of poverty through education and employment success – and the driving force behind the $7,500 scholarship awarded annually to an OCH tenant looking for financial aid to attend the Algonquin College Culinary Management Program. Entry is $10 per person, which is directed straight to the scholarship program. All food will be priced between $4 and $10 per plate. Bring cash!
The former St. Charles Church – 135 Barrette St.,


Full moon yoga at Lansdowne with a charitable twist

Full moon yoga at Lansdowne with a charitable twist

Full Moon Yoga
Free full moon yoga has been going on at Lansdowne throughout the year in conjunction with Rama Lotus. This Sunday Sept. 27 session in particular will have an added bonus to the health of your body: exercise your heart strings as well and bring a donation to the UNHCR Syrian Refugee Emergency fund. There will be a stand for collections on site and if you can’t make it but would like to donate to the cause, you can visit In case of rain, the event will proceed indoors. These classes are open to all levels. Some yoga mats will be available but it’s best to bring your own.
Lansdowne Park, 1015 Bank St., 613-234-7974 (Rama Lotus).

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,

Read the rest of this entry »

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