ARTFUL BLOGGER: Ghosts haunt book launch at famous pub



D’Arcy McGee’s Irish Pub on Sparks Street was named in honour of the Montreal MP fatally shot, mere steps away, in the early hours of April 7, 1868. Canada was not yet a year old when Thomas D’Arcy McGee was killed by a .32-calibre bullet as he tried to unlock the front door of Toronto House, a Sparks Street rooming house managed by the Widow Trotter.

Patrick James Whelan, an Irish-born tailor and a Fenian sympathizer, was convicted of the assassination and hanged Feb. 11, 1869 at the Carleton County Gaol, now a Nicholas Street youth hostel. The Fenians were American-based, anti-British, Irish nationalists — we’d call them terrorists today — who staged periodic raids on Canada to destabilize the Conservative government of Sir John A. Macdonald. McGee, an Irish-born Catholic, was perceived as a traitor by the Fenians for supporting Macdonald.

Whelan was convicted of McGee’s murder on circumstantial evidence and, to this day, his actual guilt is often questioned. His possible innocence was certainly raised in the one-man play, Blood on the Moon, written and performed by Ottawa actor Pierre Brault, first at the 1999 Ottawa Fringe Festival, later in an expanded nationally touring play, and also in a television drama.


Author Gordon Henderson. Photo by Jason van Bruggen

Now Toronto journalist and documentary film-maker Gordon Henderson has written a novel throwing more doubt on Whelan’s guilt. Man in the Shadows is Henderson’s first novel. He will launch it in Ottawa Sept. 30, naturally, at D’Arcy McGee’s Pub on Sparks Street. The ghosts of both McGee and Whelan will undoubtedly be haunting the event.

The central character in Man in the Shadows is a fictional young man of Irish descent named Conor O’Dea, who serves as an aide to McGee. The Catholic Conor is romantically involved with the equally fictional Meg Trotter, the protestant daughter of McGee’s landlady. But most of the characters in the book, such as McGee, Macdonald and Whelan are true historical figures and, under Henderson’s watch, never stray far from the historical record in thought, word, and deed.

And then there is the fictional unnamed man who is the titular Man in the Shadows. He is a Fenian who has come to Canada to wreak havoc — first by assassinating McGee and framing Whelan for the crime, and then by plotting the assassination of Macdonald.

Henderson’s book is a good, fast read that even young readers — especially young readers — will enjoy. The fictional characters, including Conor and Meg, are likable but rather one-dimensional. As well, some of the plot elements, especially the attempt to kill Sir John A. on a toboggan slide at Rideau Hall, are more farcical than serious fictional history. This is definitely literature-lite, but the book does help demonstrate that Canadian history can be as exciting as a CSI crime drama on television.

Gordon Henderson will launch Man in the Shadows Sept. 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at D’Arcy McGee’s Irish Pub at 44 Sparks St. There is no admission charge.

SOUND SEEKERS: Top 5 for O-Town Hoedown


Danny Duke and the Norther Stars by Chantal Levesque

Danny Duke and the Norther Stars play at the Rainbow Bistro on Oct. 3 as part of O-Town Hoedown. Photo by Chantal Levesque

“Ottawa’s longest running and least shady country music festival” kicks off tonight. The subtitle of the O-Town Hoedown is a provocative nod and lightly veiled reference to another country festival that used to take place in these parts.

A while back, O-Town Hoedown head-man Greg Harris (who goes by nom-de-twang Lefty McRighty) took to the blogosphere to detail his concerns with the Capital Hoedown, which made headlines during its existence. The man who runs that festival read Harris’ blog and took umbrage, which led to a libel claim and much consternation between the two parties.

The lawsuit has been settled out of court and Harris says he’s glad he can get on with his life and that he wasn’t bankrupted by the ordeal. Settlement details mean that’s pretty much all Harris can say about the matter, which is uncharacteristic as anyone who follows his lively Twitter feed will know (He’s rather open about everything in his life, i.e. read OTTAWA Magazine’s Sex Issue April 2014.)

With the legal matter settled, Harris is back in the saddle as head Hoedowner. Not only does he organize the festival, he’ll perform in various bands and he’ll DJ the closing party on October 5.

There are a dozen of alt- and country-etc. shows in each of the two weeks of the Hoedown. Get tickets at the door for each gig. Cover ranges from free to $10.

We picked our Top 5 Gigs for the O-Town Hoedown:

  • Toronto’s Doghouse Rose is a rebel country duo that blends sweet and sorrow. Oct. 3. Rainbow Bistro.
  • There’s a newish country band in town and we like their style. Cooper MacLaren and the Mean-Eyed Cats is led by a fellow named Jason Anderson who took a country-esque handle from two well-known Ottawa city streets — a la Greenfield Main. Sept. 30. Rainbow Bistro.
  • Tilda submitted their tunes to the O-Town Hoedown festival this year. Harris dug their songs and put them on the bill. We’re glad he did. We like their atmospheric take on folk. Oct. 4. Atomic Rooster. 
  • The kick-off! A big ol’ Hoedown get-down party takes place tonight (Thursday, Sept. 25) with Uncle Sean, Lefty McRighty, Ray Harris, Standup Steve, Peter Pritchard, Karolyne Lafortune and Ryan Barwin. 9 p.m. Lunenburg Pub.

The O-Town Hoedown runs Sept. 25 — Oct. 5. Visit here for the full lineup.


THE GIVER: For the gatherer, the camper, or the baby whisperer

The Giver is written by Ottawa Mag’s Dee Campbell, who knows that people prefer to volunteer in ways that speak to their interests. Dee has volunteered for the Terry Fox Run since she was a little girl and is a Brownie Leader of 15 years.

Do you have a volun-gig needing filled? Email

HHO Logo - Picnic VersionIt’s Apple-Picking Time

Do you have a fruit- or nut-bearing tree on your property, with bounty to share? Hidden Harvest  volunteers will come harvest your tree!

Would you like to help a local organization pick fruit and nuts off trees? You get to take some home, freshly picked-by-you!

Hidden Harvest accesses city trees growing fruits and nuts. Most grow on the roadway allowances in front of private homes. Volunteers collect the bounty, putting local food into the food system by way of canning workshops, food programs such as the Ottawa Food Bank, and more. Contact them to register your tree or to offer your picking services.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Around this time of year, girls aged 5+ are joining Sparks, Brownie, and Guide units, excited about doing crafts, exploring their community, selling cookies and going camping. And some are being turned away because their local unit doesn’t have volunteers to run it. [insert sad face]. If you have one evening per week to spare, it’s a great gig. And no, you definitely don’t need to have a child in the system to be a volunteer or any experience; you’ll be police-checked and given training. I’m a Brownie Leader to a unit of 16 girls, with two other leaders. We share responsibilities. The kids are a riot. And we know we’re helping them to create memories. In this video, my Brownie unit is singing after collecting garbage along the River. Contact Girl Guides of Canada to volunteer.

It Takes a Village


Is this little baby at Youville cute or WHAT?!

Youville Centre cares for infants and toddlers in a licensed early childhood development program, enabling adolescent mothers to complete their high school education on-site. As a volunteer, you might play with and read to the children (dibs on that gig), sort laundry, tidy, rock babies to sleep, assist with mealtimes… Wait a second, that’s what mothers do. Yup… babies are more than cuddles and nose-wiping.

“I know that whatever happens in their lives, the babies will always feel the love that was given to them in Youville Centre.” ~Yolande, Childcare Volunteer

WEEKENDER: Six things to do on the weekend of Sept. 25 to 28



Owen Pallett plays at the NAC Studio on Saturday, Sept. 27

One World Film Festival
This past weekend and into this week, people rallied and are rallying in droves to bring renewed attention to the approaching global crisis — climate change. It’s timely, then, that the One World Film Festival, Ottawa’s longest-running annual documentary film festival is following up this week’s sense of urgency with a plethora of films examining not just environmental concerns, but also addressing social justice and human rights issues. Beginning in the evening on Thursday, Sept. 25, the three-day festival presents five films, some of which include discussions, introductions, and panel discussions with directors and other key figures.
As for the films: Above All Else examines landowners and activists in East Texas who’ve attempted to defend their land and their rights from the XL Keystone Pipeline; Virunga looks at the threats posed to one of Africa’s oldest national parks and mountain guerrilla sanctuary; Songs from the Forest chronicles a man and his son’s journey from the jungles of Africa to the concrete jungles of New York; Watchers of the Sky interweaves four stories that converge on Raphael Lemkin, the man who created the term “genocide”; and On The Side of the Road re-examines the events of 1948 in relation to Palestinian refugees.
More on schedules and ticket prices, visit here. The screenings all take place at the Library and Archives Canada.
Library and Archives Canada is at 395 Wellington St.

Owen Pallett
Fighting Fantasy — not just one of the most successful video game series ever, but it was, for a time, the moniker for an extremely talented Canadian musician. Since winning the 2006 Polaris Prize (he was also a nominee this past year) Owen Pallett has ditched the name in favour of the one his mom gave him at birth. As just plain old Pallet, he’ll be showcasing much of his latest album, In Conflict, at the National Arts Centre on Saturday, Sept. 27, with guest Lydia Answorth. About the new album, Pallett has said: “Depression, addiction, gender trouble, and the creative state are presented as positive, loveable, empathetic ways of being. Not preferable, per se, but all as equal, valid positions that we experience, which make us human.” These themes are presented in combination with music that represents a classic-nod to pop, but with the experimentalism and innovation we’ve come to expect from the artist. Tickets are $33. The show’s in the NAC Studio and it begins at 8 p.m. More info, visit here.
NAC is at 53 Elgin St.

Love Parade FREE!
E.L.E. or Everybody Love Everybody — while the name of this event does conjure all sorts of sordid imaginings, a free music fest in support of those with Cancer is not one of them. Misstep aside, the festival’s lineup is good and it’s obvious that the organizer’s hearts are in the right place, since donations are being encouraged, which go towards Candlelighters Cancer Children’s Support Programs of Ottawa. And hey, we do all need to love and be loved, so…
The mostly all-day event (from 3 p.m. until probably midnight) on Saturday, Sept. 26 at the University of Ottawa includes such local up & coming talents as NDMA, Tall Trees, ZooLegacy, and others. Expect  some unique musical collaborations as well. Check out the times and lineup here.
The event is at 603 Cumberland St., UofO campus

Napkins & Tableclothes
Thanksgiving is fast approaching; then there’s Christmas, quickly followed by New Year’s — I realize I’m telling you something you already know, but the point is, that’s three major events  where having a set of napkins — yes, napkins and a stunning tablecloth for that matter — are essential. Home Decor 101 is a workshop event being held on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at EcoEquitable to help you prepare for said events. Bring your table’s measurements and you’ll be guided through the process on how to create your own tablecloth — from selecting the right fabrics, to creating that professional finishing for your tablecloth and napkins. You should have a basic level of sewing competency. It’s $50 (that includes the cost of fabric). EcoEquitable provides a bridge to those in need, especially immigrant women, while greening the community. More info, visit here.
EcoEquitable is at 404 McArthur Ave. in Vanier

Culture Days FREE!
Backstage Pass — no need to debase yourself to obtain one, this weekend’s province-wide/city-wide celebration, called Culture Days, offers a free peek into what goes on behind the scenes at the National Arts Centre. Visit the NAC on Sunday, September 28 for a full-day of bilingual family fun with tons of activities — from peering into the backstages, dressing rooms, and corridors to checking out some dance performances, photography, printmaking, theatre, dance — even circus! — workshops. There will be music and puppet activities for kids as well (Mezzanine/Panaorama Room) and an opportunity to watch the orchestra rehearse.
Most of the activities take place no earlier than noon, and run until 4 p.m., though check here for specifics.
NAC is at 53 Elgin St.

The Tempest
“What seest thou else, in the dark backward and abysm of time?” — Prospero, The Tempest
What seest thou? How about puppets. How about puppets performing one of Shakespeare’s notable plays, The Tempest? Rag and Bone Puppet Theatre continues the start of their 2014-15 season this Sunday, Sept. 28 with a family-fun opportunity to experience the bard’s magical masterpiece, which involves a shipwreck, a monster, a princess, a fairy, and a wizard. Music, laughs, and definitely some felt — the puppetry happens at the Shenkman Arts Centre at 1:30 p.m. and also at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 or four for $32. More info, visit here.
The Shenkman Arts Centre is at 245 Centrum Blvd, Orleans

ARTFUL BLOGGER: Transformation of “Ugly Duckling” Main into Swan



Main2 — Stuart Kinmond’s “windows” on Main Street, a future art installation (2017), which will be part of the redesign of that street

Commissioning artwork to enliven a busy commercial street is a good thing. Unfortunately, not all commissions by the city produce art that is all that suitable or memorable. Sometimes the street sculptures are too small, covered by snow in winter and, during the rest of the year, are simply lost amid a jumble of newspaper boxes, utility poles, and fire hydrants. And sometimes the art is just downright too baffling to be appreciated by passing pedestrians and motorists.

So, that’s why there was cause to celebrate when Ottawa artist Stuart Kinmond recently won the commission to add some pizzazz to Main Street, which is to be “renewed” and “redesigned” by the city starting in the spring of 2015. That work will take about two years, so don’t expect to see Kinmond’s handiwork until 2017.

The winning installation will be a new outdoor gathering place for people on Main near Hazel. This location is meant to capitalize on the pedestrian flow between Saint Paul University, the Main Farmers’ Market, and the various restaurants and businesses across the street.

Main2 - On the squareEntitled Main2 (Main Square), “the artwork will be comprised of blue and green geometric-shaped benches shaded by three, six-metre-tall towers, each framing colourful, multi-layered glass images of the surrounding landscape of Old Ottawa East: The Rideau Canal, the Rideau River, and the land between,” according to a city communique. “In researching his proposal, Kinmond looked at the community’s ecclesiastical heritage, in particular the prominent presence of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and Saint Paul University. The association of stained glass with these religious institutions influenced his choice of materials.”

Before settling on a design, Kinmond rode his bike around the community, noticing some “beautiful places” he had seen before but never associated with Main Street, a thoroughfare he calls an “ugly duckling” badly in need of some pedestrian-friendly revitalization.

“When you look at the map, Old Ottawa East is a linear community with the canal on one side and the river on the other, with Main Street running like a spine down the middle,” Kinmond said in an email interview. “Very close to downtown, the community has a wide variety of housing types — a sweet place to live. However, most of the attractive features are not evident when you drive along Main Street. So the concept originated to make these features visible, like windows onto the street.Main2 - Night view

“As I became more familiar with the area, Main Street seemed to be like a diamond in the rough — a neglected thoroughfare with a beautiful community around it. The street needs a strong infusion of pedestrian-oriented activities and opportunities. There is not a single public space along the whole length of the street for the pubic to sit and gather. So, the idea of a public square seemed like a desirable addition to the street. Hence the idea of Main2 (pronounced ‘main square’). My design became a mini-public square, including the benches, the paving, and shade structures, as well as the windows with coloured glass. The three windows have images of the canal, the river, and the land between,” he wrote.

This is Kinmond’s second public art commission in Ottawa. Last year, he was awarded a commission for artwork at the O-Train stop at Carleton University.

THE GIVER: Something for the world traveller, the grocery store lover, and the people person

The Giver is written by Ottawa Mag’s Dee Campbell, who knows that people prefer to volunteer in ways that speak to their interests. Dee has volunteered for the Terry Fox Run since she was a little girl and is a Brownie Leader of 15 years.

Do you have a volun-gig needing filled? Email



These Cuso International volunteers look pretty happy to have completed the Safari International Marathon in Arusha, Tanzania


What would you say to spending a few months in Tanzania, Nicaragua or Nigeria?
Departure Date: next month.

Intrigued? A few of the positions available right now: Counsellor/Psychologist, Agricultural Development Advisor, Fundraising Advisor, and the Under 5 Birth Registration Initiative.

Cuso International covers the costs of being an overseas volunteer, allowing you to enjoy a modest but healthy lifestyle while you volunteer abroad.



Grab a shopping cart, load it up with free food, and then walk around the Kanata Food Cupboard‘s small warehouse placing non-perishable foods in designated piles: baby food, beans, tomato sauce, etc. This is what I did with my Brownie unit last winter, as a community project (it would also make a great family event). They LOVED it. We’re already booked to do it again in January — but why not in December? Because I like the message it sends: adults and children are hungry every day — not just at Christmas.


C'mon. Even the cool kids are doing it.

C’mon. Even the cool kids are doing it.


Are you one of those people who defines him/herself as a ‘people person’? If so, have I got gigs for you — working in the café at The Ottawa Hospital; serving tea in the maternity ward at Riverside Hospital; providing companionship to patients at Queensway-Carleton Hospital. These hospitals need kind, friendly, team-oriented people, aged 16+. Commitment: 3-4 hours/week for a minimum eight-month period.

SOUND SEEKERS: NAC Presents lineup includes concert featuring Basia Bulat + Daniel Lanois + NAC Orchestra


Basia Bulat

Basia Bulat

The NAC will announce 30 new concerts today, adding to the lineup of 26 previously announced NAC Presents shows. They’re billing it as The Ultimate Canadian Musical Journey.

We here at Ottawa Mag have been fans of the all-Canadian music series — now in its fourth season and programmed by Simone Deneau and Xavier Forget — for some time.

The third season featured hometown hero Kalle Mattson and Can-rock icons Martha Wainwright and Rufus Wainwright, among others. We also saw Royal Wood head to the NAC to play a set with plenty of lighting cues and dramatics, befitting the venue. He even arranged wine pairings for that gig, as he’s also a sommelier.

Expect more pairings this season, including a sweet gig with Daniel Lanois, Basia Bulat, and the NAC Orchestra. Bulat will perform Lanois’ material and a few of her own songs accompanied by NACO’s arrangements. That show takes place April 30, 2015. It may seem far away yet, but best not to delay. (Sarah McLachlan’s November 14 show is long sold out.)

We’re also excited about the double bill with Stars and Hey Rosetta! (Feb. 7) and the return of Arianne Moffatt (April 16) and Whitehorse (May 14), who played NAC Presents in years past. Many artists come back to play the series in following seasons, and often in a larger-capacity venue, starting with the Fourth Stage and moving up to the larger studio and theatre stages.

NAC Orchestra. Photo by Dwayne Brown.

NAC Orchestra. Photo by Dwayne Brown.

“NAC Presents is a vehicle for artists to be featured on a national stage,” producer Deneau says. “Investing in an artist with great potential, then inviting them back to perform on bigger stages, for even larger audiences, speaks directly to our commitment to championing their work and supporting their creative growth.”

Here, the 2014-2015 NAC Presents lineup. Tweet us with your best bets and favourite picks! @OttawaMag

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WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of Sept. 18-21



A screenshot from Philip Eddolls’ Git Gob, screening at this year’s Ottawa International Animation Festival


Disney Made Me Do It
Aside from a plethora of cutting edge animation — including Philip Eddolls’ Git Gob, an awesome 1:33 sec. short (is flash a better word?) — Disney is in the Ottawa International Animation Festival’s crosshairs this year. And why not? Love it or hate it, the studio remains the heavyweight of the animation biz (think Frozen). Founded in 1923, the Disney animation behemoth has led the way, more or less, for almost a century. In light of this legacy, along with Disney’s impact on the industry — and us — this year’s animation festival is hosting several events within its five-day program that focus on the famed company. In particular, Disney Made Me Do It is an art exhibit at Arts Court (library, 2nd floor) by nine Ottawa artists who cite Disney’s impact/influence. It opens on Thursday, Sept. 18 (from 5 to 7:30 p.m.) and runs through to the end of the festival — it’s also part of Nuit Blanche (see below). Too many events to list here, so visit their website for info on the entire festival.

Hidden Harvest
Did You Know? An estimated $27 billion worth of food ends up in landfills every year in Canada. Bet you also didn’t know (but likely suspected) that one third of all food produced in the world goes to waste? How about here in Ottawa? — Next time you’re out for a city stroll, take a moment to notice how many crab apples or fruit in general are simply unpicked and left to rot on trees or strewn about on the ground — lots, but less so since Hidden Harvest Ottawa began. The local group harvests the unused fruit and veggies around the city, and, to that end, encourages the planting of more fruit trees. Want to learn more about what they’re up? Come out to a lecture by Harvest co-founders, Katrina Siks and Jason Garlough, on Friday, Sept. 19 at the Agriculture Museum. The talk will be followed by a screening of Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story, accompanied by tasty popcorn. The event takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $10; also, bring a non-perishable food item. More info, visit hereCanadian Agriculture Museum is at 901 Prince of Wales Dr.

Nuit Blanche Art Party FREE!
Construction. Most of this past year has been inundated with cones, signs, backhoes, a great deal of noise, and traffic congestion. Driving, even walking, has become a daily headache. It’s no wonder, then, that this year’s all-night art-party, Nuit Blanche, is launching their third year with the theme of “Bypass” — obviously, it’s meant to inspire ideas beyond the word’s definition, but it is, nevertheless, extremely fitting since there’s been many a day when I wish I could ‘bypass’ Ottawa — at least until this traffic nightmare ends.

If you’ve never experienced Nuit Blanche — either here or in Toronto, Montreal, or elsewhere — it’s a party that is unlike others. On the evening of Saturday, Sept. 19 and into the wee hours of Sunday, Sept. 20, meander in and out of art galleries (National Gallery, OAG, SAW, etc.) which will be open throughout the event, hang out at various art parties, bump into groups of people, and discover works of art, some curated specifically for this event and installed around the city.

One such installation that should not be missed is On-Air. Step inside an airplane cabin, and remain seated, while you experience crash scenes which are typically cut out from inflight movies (for obvious reasons) and the panicked voices of air traffic controllers dealing with emergencies — headphones help to recreate that ubiquitous airplane ‘hum’ as well as a slight air pressure to the ears. Not for everyone, the work, created by artist Geneviève Thauvette, will be at Plaza Bridge Underpass, at Elgin St. and Wellington St. from 6:20 p.m. to 4:21 a.m. More info on her specific installation, visit here. The official website of Nuit Blanche has more details, maps, times, etc. The whole thing is free.

House Gawker
Want to see how the one per cent live? Join this year’s annual Glebe House Tour on Sunday, Sept. 21 and stroll through five homes, old and new, decked out in various styles. There’s a shuttle bus you can hop off and on, and tickets are only (?!?) 30 bucks… And though that, in my estimation, seems a little hefty, proceeds do go towards the Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group. And there’s tea/coffee and cookies afterwards, so… there’s that. The tour happens rain or shine. This is a “shoes-off” tour, so sport some footwear you can slip on and off. Infants/kids aren’t particularly welcome, neither are large packs, so ditch that MEC backpack before coming.

Feast of Fields
Autumn weather is perfect for a fall drive into the countryside, and this Sunday, Sept. 21 offers a great opportunity to do just that… And to also eat and drink the best of this year’s organic harvest. Feast of Fields brings together talented chefs and local organic producers to create culinary delights to sample, which are paired with wines and beer. Stroll through the nearby Gatineau forest and enjoy some live music. It happens at the historic and very picturesque Wakefield Mill Inn, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Wakefield Village in Quebec. Tickets are $80. More info, and to purchase tickets, visit here.Wakefield Mill is at 60 Mill Rd., Wakefield, QC

FOUND: The Chinatown Museum at Jackpine Digital

This article first appeared in the September 2014 issue of Ottawa Magazine. Sign up for a subscription or order back issues here.


There’s a little design shop on Somerset Street West called Jackpine Digital. Here you’ll find the so-called Chinatown Museum — a collection of large signs that once graced neighbouring storefronts. Part decor, part memorabilia, the signs represent the changing streetscape — and what CEO and creative director Liam Mooney calls the “destructive nature” of the design process. After all, the cone of a jack pine tree needs the intense heat of a forest fire to open and release its potential.

Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen

Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen

Dumpster Diving
Mooney was waiting outside the office — he had lent his keys to another designer — when he spotted a large bright red sign behind a dumpster. Wa Kiu had closed months before; Phuket Royal had yet to open its doors. “Maybe [Wa Kiu] wasn’t the best grocery store, but it was part of the landscape,” Mooney says. After getting the A-OK from the new owner, he hauled the 3-by-14-foot sign in through the fire escape and installed it in one of the main work areas. Upon close examination, it’s clear that the sign was hand-painted, the pencil lines from the stencils still visible after all these years.

Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen

Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen

Fair Trade
Last year, Mooney traded design services for office space — and furnished it with borrowed pieces from Highjinx, a social enterprise that sells used furniture. Eventually he bought some pieces, but the move to Chinatown called for a new aesthetic (or, as Mooney says, they needed to “break the space”). Enter Malcolm Cairns of FoundDesign and Ken McKay of Furniture Affairs. Cairns gifted a few mid-century modern items to Jackpine; others are loaned on a consignment basis (“We have a strict coaster rule,” Mooney says). McKay will get design services in exchange for a huge custom table and bar. “The generosity — I can’t even begin to understand,” says Mooney. 

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ARTFUL BLOGGER: New book weighs in on controversial bombing of Germany



Tim Cook’s new book, The Necessary War, is is the first vol. of his two-part series examining Canada’s contributions to WW II.

Late on July 24, 1943, close to 800 Canadian and British bombers flew from England to Germany’s second largest city, Hamburg, to begin an unprecedented four-day aerial assault by the Allies on that industrial city. during the Second World War.

By July 28, approximately 42,600 residents of Hamburg were killed and 37,000 wounded. The city was destroyed. More people in that one city were killed than in all of the six-month Blitz of Britain during 1940-41. Germany began to fear defeat.

The much decorated Ottawa author and military historian, Tim Cook, recounts the horror visited upon Hamburg in his new book The Necessary War: Canadians Fighting the Second World War 1939-43, Volume I. Much of the book deals with the still controversial issue of Canada’s participation in Bomber Command, whose daily flights over Germany killed tens of thousands of civilians, like those in Hamburg. The goal was to crush morale, decimate factory workers, and pressure Germany to move troops, which were stationed from the Eastern Front in Russia, back to protect the homeland.

The debate over the morality of Bomber Command continues. Just seven years ago, the Canadian War Museum was embroiled in a very public controversy over a text panel in an exhibition about Bomber Command. Some veterans and politicians claimed the text panel turned the airmen into “war criminals” wantonly killing civilians. The text panel was eventually changed, but only after the museum’s director Joe Geurts lost his job, becoming yet one more casualty of Bomber Command.

By Sarah Cook

Ottawa’s Tim Cook, the author of a new book about Canada’s controversial role in Bomber Command in the Second World War. Photo by Sarah Cook

And now Tim Cook has joined the debate. Cook is a historian at the war museum and a much published author, mainly on the First World War. Now he’s turned his attention to the Second World War in the first of a planned two-volume book detailing major battles and issues involving Canadian troops. The book does not claim to speak for the war museum. Yet, one can not ignore the fact that Cook is a very influential historian at the museum and has input into the way history is treated there.

Cook does not pontificate in the book. Instead, he provides facts — the reasons for the aerial campaign and its bloody effects.

In the description of the destruction of Hamburg, Cook notes that unusual weather, combined with the incendiary bombs, created a massive firestorm sucking in oxygen from streets and buildings to fan the flames: “Entire blocks were consumed in the blaze, terrified civilians were cooked alive in the streets, cowering mothers and children suffocated from lack of oxygen in shelters and even those who dived into the canals for safety were later found boiled alive. In the scorched streets, corpses were reduced to charred bones, mummified remains and coagulated human body fat.”

The result was pure horror. But one must also remember that during the bombing of German cities, the Nazis were well into their program of ethnic cleansing, which killed six million Jews, plus millions of other groups and minorities. Germany had to be stopped. And eventually it was, at least partially by the actions of Bomber Command.