Author Archive

WEEKENDER: Seven things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of March 27—30

By CINDY OLBERG

ottawa-weekender-march-28

A scene from Serra Pelada, one of the films that will be screening at the Latin Film Festival this weekend

In this issue of the Weekender: VERSeFest, Ottawa Theatre Challenge, and five other things to do in Ottawa this weekend.

Dope poets
This year’s VERSeFest features quite the who’s who of local and international poets! There will be readings from Parliamentary Poet Laureate, Michel Pleau; Scotland’s national poet Liz Lochead; and 2 Dope Boys in a Cadillac, the duo who created the world’s first “psychedelic talk opera.” VERSeFest will be on until Sunday, March 30. Check their website for event times and locations. Tickets from $10.

Annual Rubber Chicken award
Catcall the competition, bribe the judges, and laugh until your sides hurt at this year’s Ottawa Theatre Challenge on Thursday, March 27. Theatre companies from all over Ottawa will be given 48 hours, three “items of inspiration,” and one chance to showcase their impromptu production as they vie for the coveted Rubber Chicken Award and the title of Best Theatre Company in Ottawa. Proceeds from this year’s event, which is hosted by A Company of Fools, will be donated to the Actor’s Fund of Canada. The Challenge takes place at the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage at 7:30 p.m. Tickets from $20. The National Arts Centre is located at 53 Elgin St.

Big in Japan
There will be lots to see, taste, and admire at the Canadian Museum of Nature on Friday, March 28. Inspired by the Museum’s 30-year partnership with Ikebana International Ottawa, this month’s Nature Nocturne party will feature demonstrations of Ikebana, the ancient art of Japanese floral design, as well as a variety of Japanese music, and animation. If you get peckish on your way to the dance floor, stop by the Zen Lounge for some sushi. But don’t leave without trying one of the Japanese-inspired cocktails and taking a picture with one of the evening’s costumed characters — especially if you’re also in costume! The event is from 8 p.m. until midnight. The Canadian Museum of Nature is located at 240 McLeod St.

Decade old!
On Saturday, March 29, Guerilla will be hosting a night of live music, collage making, and burlesque at the new Gallery 101 space in Little Italy to launch their special 10-year print edition. Saturday’s event will be the last stop on GuerillaCRAWL, Guerilla’s 10-part series of community-centric events held on 10 consecutive nights, celebrating their 10th anniversary. Saturday’s event goes from 8 p.m. to midnight, with food and drink available at their cash bar. Tickets $10 at the door. Gallery 101 is located at 51-B Young St.

Latin celebration (FREE)
The Latin American Film Festival is an annual event that highlights the best of contemporary Latin American cinema — and this year, they’re offering food! As part of the film festival, ¡Fiesta Latina! will showcase  Latin American food, wine, and culture, featuring specialties made by local and embassy chefs. There will also be performances of Latin American music and dance, and a visual arts display. The ¡Fiesta Latina! takes place at Library and Archives Canada on Saturday, March 29 from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. Admission is free. The Latin American Film Festival will be hosting screenings of films from countries throughout South America from March 27 to April 13. Admission for the film festival starts at $12. The Library and Archives Canada building is at 395 Wellington St.

Warehouse party
Still dazed from their sold-out debut album release show, Silkken Laumann will be throwing a bumpin’ dance party at the City Centre warehouse facility this Saturday, March 29. Download their album Not Forever Enough online (it’s technically free, but it would be kind of you to pay what you can) and check out the other acts: DJ Matt Tamblyn (of Open Air Social Club fame) and Cabaal from Montreal to get a taste of what’s to come. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $8. The event is licensed. Gabba Hey is located at 250 City Centre Ave. unit #202.

Where art thou?
Almost everyone has a soft spot for Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet — a tale of love and love lost. This Saturday, March 29 — for one night only — ballet choreographer, Bengt Jörgen brings his internationally toured adaptation of the timeless classic to Centrepointe Theatre. The ballet starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets from $51. Centrepointe Theatre is located at 101 Centrepointe Dr.

INTERIORS 2014: Keeping it Surreal with Diane Woodward

This is an excerpt that originally appeared in Ottawa Magazine Interiors 2014. See more of Woodward’s dazzling art at The Urban Pear, where her exhibit Easter Egg Hunt is on view until April 20.

By CINDY DEACHMAN

diane-woodward

These three-foot-long ferocious-looking fish swim through Woodward’s studio in her Madoc home. (Photo: Rémi Thériault)

It’s hard to imagine indefatigable artist Diane Woodward leaving this world of ours. But, she says, “When I’m sick and old, I wanna see colour when I go out. I want someone to paint a room red.” In another sense, though, leaving this world — at least temporarily — is what Woodward is all about.

Let go of the white, the beige, the grey. Leave behind the vacuous and the plain. Bring on the nail-biting reds, the smiley yellows, the preposterous purples, the swirly spirals, the eye-popping checks, and the dizzying waves (and these are simply the backdrops in Woodward’s paintings). Because you mustn’t overlook — impossible to — the subjects of her work — the frogs, parrots, elephants, tigers, giraffes, and kangaroos. Generously represented are Woodward’s favourites, the zebras: she has been painting these since 1982. Oh, and the gentle lambs. They showed up in her art 28 years later. “I’ve never liked anything ‘cute,’ ” Woodward says, “But the little lambs are, and it’s true and good. When they are four days old discovering how to hop — that’s more beautiful than anything I could make.”

Walk into Woodward’s house in Madoc, 2½ hours southwest of Ottawa, and you’re bowled over, simply bombarded, by all that you see. Almost every square inch of the walls, floors, and ceilings is plastered with cacophonic patterns, leaping animals, and in-your-face portraits. Even the itty-bitty travel alarm clock by her bed has been painted with a yellow and magenta sunburst. Are you hallucinating? Is this an acid flashback? No. Rather, welcome to the world of Diane Woodward. Her decor motto: More Is Not Enough

Wander through the unusual and animated home of Diane Woodward for a glimpse of jungle animals reminiscent of post-Impressionist painter Henri Rousseau, illusionistic op-art prints that echo Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely, and intricate works that recall classical Indian painting.

 

KITCHEN CHRONICLES: Blast from the past meets a frosty reception PLUS Best ever cottage pie

Kitchen Chronicles is a weekly series by Barbara Sibbald — novelist, award-winning journalist, and long-time contributor to Ottawa Magazine. Visit Kitchen Chronicles every Sunday for a new instalment — and a tested recipe.

Charles redux

Fiona wishes she hadn’t thawed out the hamburger; now she has to make her mother’s cottage pie,* when all she really feels like doing is throwing together a salad and a simple pasta. Still, the pie’s the ultimate comfort food. That’s what she needs after today. The publisher is pressuring her to run an article on Domestic Houses Inc., a local developer and frequent advertiser. He has no clue about journalism ethics, she thinks angrily as she chops the onion. Tears well up in her eyes. I’ve told him so many times: People see the ad, they see the article, and they assume it’s biased. You’re not doing anyone any favours.

Read the rest of this entry »

INTERIORS 2014: Artist Jennifer Stead meditates on water at the François Dupuis Recreation Centre

This post is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared in Ottawa Magazine Interiors 2014

By PATRICK LANGSTON

Jennifer-Stead-François-Dupuis

Jennifer Stead at the François Dupuis Recreation Centre (Photo: Justin van Leeuwen)

Midway along Jennifer Stead’s 160-foot water-themed sculpture, there’s an image of a boat. It’s a stylized vessel that sidesteps your efforts to determine what kind of boat it is or, depending on how long you look at it, whether it’s even a boat at all. That’s exactly what the Ottawa artist says she intended. “I wanted it as an image that wasn’t a canoe or a rowboat or anything in particular but would take you into the imaginative experience of this watery world.”

That it does. Walk along the charcoal-grey metal sculpture — called Water, it hangs down over the floor-to-ceiling windows that separate the swimming pools at the François Dupuis Recreation Centre from the rest of the building — and you’re swept away by the fish and eddies and lily pads and raindrops.

Take a virtual tour of the sculpture — and the snazzy new facility — in this gallery of photos from doublespace photography.

 

WEEKENDER: Seven things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of March 21—23

By CINDY OLBERG

Ottawa-weekender-March-21

Three and a half tons of rice will be used on stage in Songs of the Wanderers at the National Arts Centre this weekend (Photo: YU Hui-hung)

In this issue of the Weekender: Dancing with Rage, Ikebana at the Canadian Museum of Nature, and five other things to do in Ottawa this weekend.

East Coast Firebrand
One of Canada’s brightest comedic luminaries, Mary Walsh, is coming to the Great Canadian Theatre Company for the start of spring. In Dancing With Rage the East Coast firebrand travels across the country as Marg Delahunty, her alter ego, in a quest for truth, justice, and her Expo ’67 lovechild. Co-directed by Walsh and Andy Jones, the play is a bit political, a bit of a rant, but all-around hilarious! The show will be playing from March 18 to April 6. Single ticket prices will vary with demand. The Great Canadian Theatre Company is located at 1233 Wellington St. W.

Read the rest of this entry »

QUEST: Korean delicacies catching on in Ottawa

By CINDY DEACHMAN

Ottawa-Korean-Food

Korean BBQ pork in a bento box from The Swan at Carp (Photo: Photoluxstudio.com/Christian Lalonde)

All things Korean seem to be catching on in Ottawa. Burgeoning Korean restaurants, for instance, offer good eating — bulgogi (grilled beef) or bibimbap (a rice dish often made with raw egg). What’s the deal? Well, we can think of a couple of reasons. South Korea is definitely on the radar nowadays — last year saw celebrations of two anniversaries that brought South Korea into the limelight: the 50th of our mutual diplomatic relations and the 60th of the Korean Armistice.

Read the rest of this entry »

KITCHEN CHRONICLES: Jacen’s HIV fall-out PLUS comforting chickpea soup

Kitchen Chronicles is a weekly series by Barbara Sibbald — novelist, award-winning journalist, and long-time contributor to Ottawa Magazine. Visit Kitchen Chronicles every Sunday for a new instalment — and a tested recipe.

Nothing positive

The blue table top is covered with neat stacks of VISA slips and bills that Fiona is adding and organizing by category: food, drug store, clothes, eating out…. Luc is poised over his laptop, entering the numbers as Fiona calls them out: hydro $152.73; phone $102.34…. It’s their monthly accounting; they both hate it, but Luc insists that they have to keep on top of things. They recognize that this is his way of controlling his anxiety over having a mortgage, over debt.

There is a tap at the back door and they look at each other.

— I’m not expecting anyone, says Fiona.

Luc gets up and opens the door.

— Jacen! he says. Good to see you. Come in, come in. It’s a frosty one tonight.

Fiona’s first impulse is to leave the two guys alone, but then she remembers that Jacen is HIV positive and she feels a wave of compassion — and gratitude that her family is well. She stands up and gives him a hug.

Kitchen-Chronicles— Jacen, it’s so good to see you, she says. Soup’s* almost ready if you’re hungry.

— No thanks, he mutters.

— How are you doing? she asks. Here let me take your coat.

— I guess you know, he says, shrugging off his boiled-wool jacket. I’m not so bad, all things considered. I’ve started on my meds so there’s a little nausea, diarrhea, the usual, but not as bad as it could be. It’s the head trip. I’m sorry for barging in like this, but I’m really upset. I just ran into the guy who infected me.

Jacen sits down. Luc raises his eyebrow at Fiona.

— It turns out he knew he was positive. He knew and he’d decided not to tell his partners. Thought if he used a condom he didn’t need to. And I guess, technically…. But then he took it off. He says he didn’t. He says it broke, but I don’t think so. And even if it did, he should have told me. The prick. Oh sorry. Is Gavin around?

— He’s gone to see a movie, says Fee. Don’t worry.

— Are you going to press charges or anything, asks Luc. I mean isn’t there some law against.

Jacen shakes his head.

— A friend of mine went to court — well, not really my friend, a friend of a friend. Anyway, it ended up costing him about six grand in time off work and fees. And the case was dropped — not enough evidence. He said, she said. I mean he said, he said. Really, to get someone, you need more than one example. They have to be serial spreaders.

— But shouldn’t you at least try? asks Luc. I mean you wouldn’t want someone else to go through this, would you? And if the guy’s out there, practising unsafe sex…

— Yeah, I know, I know. I have thought about it. I mean he might infect someone else. He says he’s on HAART, which reduces the chances by a lot. If he is on it.

— What does public health say? asks Fiona.

— They’ll get in touch with him, tell him that he should disclose before sex, but he probably won’t and there’s nothing they can do about it.

— Unless they get more complaints.

Kitchen-Chronicles— Exactly. And if they do, and if they come back to me and want me to testify or whatever, well, I’ll decide then. Right now, I’ve got other fish to fry, as my dear papa would say.

— What’s up? asks Luc.

— I’m worried about work. I won’t be able to stay in emerg. I love it there — the pace, the action.

— Because you’re HIV positive? Isn’t that discrimination?

— Not really, says Luc, shrugging. It’s a question of the type of work. People are bleeding and it gets really invasive. And sometimes people get violent. It’s just too unpredictable. I mean something could happen. They’re just trying to be safe. It’s for my sake too. I mean I’d hate to infect someone. The problem for me is that I find most of the other work — the counselling and all that — really kind of dull.

— What if you worked in an HIV clinic? asks Fiona.

— I thought of that, but it’s too depressing. I’d be seeing into my future every day.

— Of course, I never thought of that, says Fiona.

— I’m looking around. Meanwhile, I’m stuck at the front desk in emerg, but they want me out of there ASAP. Ils voudraient que je foute le camp!**

— As if you didn’t have enough changes in your life, says Luc. Is there anything we can do?

— Not really, the union’s helping me. I’ll be okay. I just need to talk, a sympathetic ear. It’s like you say, Luc, too many changes all at once. And I’m on my own. Although the union’s being great; they’ll help me find a new position.

He pauses.

— Thank God I’ve got you guys.

— Anytime, my friend, says Luc.

— Take some soup home with you, says Fiona.

*Comforting chickpea soup

2 garlic cloves, put through a press
½ onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
19-ounce can of diced tomatoes
19-ounce can of chick peas with liquid
2 cups of vegetable broth (make your own or use bouillon cubes)
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup shell or little elbow pasta

1. Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and stir onion is translucent.
2. Stir in jalapeno pepper, Worcestershire and tomatoes. Mix well.
3. Add beans and broth and lots of pepper.
4. Twenty minutes before serving, add pasta. Cook until tender (20 minutes or so).
5. Serve with green salad, cheese of your choice and baguette. A complete meal.

Derived from The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas (Vintage Books, 1972).

**Means they would like me to disappear as soon as possible.

INTERIORS 2014: Bespoke furniture with a global narrative

This story appears in Ottawa Magazine’s Interiors 2014 issue, on newsstands now. Click here to subscribe to the print or digital versions.

Ottawa-Bespoke-Furniture

This beautiful walnut chair incorporates techniques developed around the world (Photo: Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio)

When one wood artist commissions a piece from another, it’s high praise, indeed.

Working with richly grained walnut, Daniel Marciano designed the original version of this chair five years ago as a signature piece for an exhibition. As soon as he saw it, wood turner Malcolm Zander commissioned two more for his home. Although at first glance these pieces have a modern Danish sensibility, Marciano notes that a global narrative runs through them.

Look closely, and you can just spot the artistry of the four joints connecting the five pieces that make up the armrests, a technique developed in China and known as a keyed scarf joint. The backrests are also inspired by China. “I chose pieces with a strong grain that reminded me of a Chinese landscape painting,” Marciano says.

The gorgeous planes and finish he credits to Japan, where he spent three months apprenticing in 1993 and took his hand-planing skills to the next level with sculpting tools specific to chair making. Bringing it all back full circle, Marciano notes that Scandinavian designers were heavily influenced by furniture designed during the Ming dynasty in China.

WEEKENDER: Seven things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of March 14—16

By CINDY OLBERG

Andrew Moncrief, sitting with some of the works featured in his show at La Petite Mort Gallery, DE/GENERATE

Andrew Moncrief sitting with some of the works featured in his show DE/GENERATE at La Petite Mort Gallery

In this edition of the Weekender: Andrew Moncrief, The Magician’s Nephew, Outaouais Film Festival, and four more things to do in Ottawa this weekend.

Scarface (FREE!)
Have you ever been told by someone that they can tell how you’re feeling because it’s written on your face? That connection between our faces and what lies beneath is what Montreal artist Andrew Moncrief explores in DE/GENERATE at La Petite Mort Gallery. The exhibit is a collection that takes on this idea by turning the process of painting itself into a violent act. Through the application of layers of paint — and ultimately the energies of Moncrief himself — the artist leaves marks and scars; wounds that come to define the figure. The exhibit runs until March 29. La Petite Mort Gallery is located at 306 Cumberland St.

Chronicles of Narnia
In this upcoming 9th Hour Theatre Company production, you’ll meet Jadis, the White Witch, and watch the creation of Narnia — all in the span of an hour. This dramatization of The Magician’s Nephewthe first of seven stories in The Chronicles of Narniawritten by C.S. Lewis and adapted by Aurand Harris, tells the story about Digory and his friend Polly who are tricked into going on magical adventures by Digory’s uncle, Andrew. The show is playing at Centrepointe Theatre, from Wednesday, March 12 to Sunday, March 16 (Wednesday at 7 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday at 2p.m. and 7p.m., and Sunday at 3p.m.). Tickets from $27.50. Centrepointe Theatre is at 101 Centrepointe Dr.

La lumière, la caméra, l’action!
Featuring screenings of more than 100 feature-length, short, and documentary films from around the world, the Outaouais Film Festival kicks off Friday, March 14. Opening night at the Canadian Museum of History will debut Albert Dupontel’s comedy Neuf mois fermes, which has been nominated for the Césars Awards. The seven-day festival, hosted by Denise Robert, will also include cinematography workshops and master classes, as well as a quick flick contest in partnership with the Ottawa International Short Film Festival. Tickets are $9 per film; $48 for six tickets. Visit the festival’s website for the full schedule.

Ottawa-Weekender-March-14

Ottawa’s neo-soul band The Split plays The Black Sheep Inn this Saturday, March 15 (Photo: Kris Chandroo)

On the Road Again (FREE!)
Do you remember the road trips you took with your parents when you were a kid? Do you ever wish you could go back? Sarah Anderson, a photography student from the School of Photographic Arts: Ottawa (SPAO) did just that. She drove down California’s Pacific Coast Highway where she’d gone with her parents 25 years earlier — by herself, this time — journaling her trip with photographs. Her solo exhibit, Return to the Pacific Coast Highway Photographs, will feature 50-plus colour prints and two short videos, all from her trip down memory lane. Anderson will be giving a talk at SPAO on Friday, March 14 at 3 p.m. The show runs until March 20. SPAO is located at 168 Dalhousie St.

Urban Craft (FREE!)
In the mood for a craft show? On Saturday, March 15, 50 vendors from across Eastern Canada will be offering a wide array of handcrafted clothes, soaps, jewellery, flowers, and homemade edibles at the Urban Craft Market. Sip on gourmet soda while you shop, and sample tasty treats at the St. Patrick’s Day-themed Auntie Loo’s Treats’ pop-up diner. Also, be sure to check out the new Mash Up Project: Morsel Artisan Caramels and Purple Urchin have teamed up to create a special new line of products inspired by each other’s companies, and rumour has it their creations are beer inspired! Urban Craft Market is being held at The Glebe Community Centre, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., which is located at 175 Third Ave.

Ottawa’s Got (New) Soul
Ottawa’s newest neo-soul band The Split has steadily grown their fanbase by way of their neo-soul sound that’s influenced by such artists as Prince and James Brown. The group grabbed an enviable spot at last year’s Ottawa Bluesfest festival, and now they’re ready to unleash their bumpin’, bass-driven debut EP Can’t Get Enough at The Black Sheep Inn on Saturday, March 15. Tickets are $10 in advance and doors open at 8:30 p.m. The Black Sheep Inn is located at 753 Riverside Drive, Wakefield.

Seed to Table
Looking to grow your own vegetables this season? Gatineau’s Seedy Sunday event on Sunday, March 16 will be a great place to learn all about organic food and pick up the seeds you’ll need to start your own organic garden. Marie Dulude, of the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada, will be around to talk about organic food and their international work. The event is at the Maison du citoyen, which is located at 25 rue Laurier in Gatineau, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under 16.

INTERIORS 2014: Ross Nicholson lights up the University of Ottawa

By PATRICK LANGSTON

Ross-Nicholson-University-Ottawa-Lighting

The Faculty of Social Sciences building at the University of Ottawa had to have lighting designed for after dark, which is when many students finally get down to studying (Photo: Doublespace Photography)

Light Fantastic

Next time you’re in the podium of the University of Ottawa’s splendid new Faculty of Social Sciences building, check out the wood panelling beside the six-storey living wall. It’s subtle, but the wood is lit in a mottled fashion that echoes the natural variations in the greenery near it. A gobo — a specialized lighting device — creates the mottling, and Ross Nicholson gets a bang out of the result.

Read the rest of this entry »