SNAPSHOT: Photos from the launch of the 10th annual Ottawa Mag Interiors issue at Alteriors

The bright blue cover image beckoned revellers — including artists, architects, writers, photographers, builders, and others from the community — to Alteriors, a snazzy modern furniture store in Old Ottawa South. Inside, a bright yellow wall, as well as sushi from Festival Japan, Balderson cheese, treats from Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut, and Broadhead beer, made for a spirited evening of socializing.

There wasn’t a speech to say as much, but the issue marked the tenth anniversary of Ottawa Magazine‘s blockbuster Interiors issue, which has grown from 80 pages to over 160 pages of breathtaking photography and intriguing editorial. Used to be that you had to travel to Toronto or Montreal to experience great design; the Interiors issue proves this is no longer the case.

Here’s to all the people who continue to make this possible! From the architects who design amazing spaces to the people who tell their stories to the advertisers who support our vision — cheers!


NEW YEAR’S EVE ROUNDUP: Events for the dancehall star, the fashionista, the PG crowd, and everyone else looking to ring in 2014

By Anastasia Philopoulos

If you’re looking for an epic dance party
Want to leave 2013 on the dance floor? If so, Mugshots New Years Eve Party might be the ticket for you. DJ Hobo & Sweetcheeks (Kitchen Party) will team up with Eric Roberts (TIMEKODE) and DJ LambRabbit to bring you the ultimate dance party experience. Tuesday, Dec. 31. 9 p.m. $5 advance tickets/$10 at the door. Mugshots Jail Hostel Bar, 75 Nicholas St.

If you’re looking for an excuse to dress up
It’s all that jazz but without the prohibition. Dig out your best Gatsby attire (think suspenders and sparkle) and step into the hot world of the Roaring Twenties with a dazzling evening of DJs, dancing and live entertainment. The Gatsby New Year’s Ball will be held at the former Ottawa Union Station, established in 1912. The evening is sure to pay spectacular homage to a time of loose morals and rising hemlines. Tuesday, Dec. 31. 8 p.m. $75/$95 VIP ticket. Government Conference Centre, 2 Rideau St.

If you’re looking for something laid back
Start 2014 off right by laughing your way into it at the third annual New Year’s Eve Comedy Night. Canadian comedians Andy Chapman, DeAnne Smith, and Amanda Brooke Perrin will have you in stitches all-night! Tuesday, Dec. 2013. 9 p.m. Adults $42.25/Students $12. Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd.

Silken Laumen

SilkKen Laumann launches their debut album on Dec. 31 at Babylon.

If you’re looking for an epic dance party (part deux)
Three-piece electro dance/punk band Silkken Laumann will launch their debut album, Not Forever Enough, with a festive and fabulous New Year x Album Party x Dance Party. The band will perform their new album, followed by a sweaty dance floor dedication to some of the best hip hop, R&B, and indie rock anthems of all time. Champagne, and midnight snacks will be provided by food blog The Gouda Life and Harrow (Kelly Brisson and Katie Worobeck). Tuesday, Dec. 31. 10 p.m. $15 advance tickets/$20 at the door. Babylon Nightclub, 317 Bank St. 

If you’re looking for a rowdy NYE party
Want to ring in a new year with true merriment, revelry and celebration? Drink, clap, and sing your evening away to Irish ballads and foot stomping Quebecois rhythms, with the Irish Bastards at their NYE dinner and show. Grab a pint and a dancing partner because this Montreal-based Celtic folk band, comprising of banjo, guitar, mandolin, and violin, will have you singing, dancing and partying the night away. Tuesday, Dec. 31. 7:30 p.m. $75 with dinner/$20 show only. Les Brasseurs du Temps, 170 Montcalm St.

Sparks Street hosts a family-friendly countdown New Year's Eve party.

Sparks Street hosts a family-friendly countdown New Year’s Eve party.

If you’re looking for something to do with the family (Free!)
Take in the classic sights and sounds of the maple leaf drop, fireworks at midnight, DJs, door prizes, and plenty of noisemakers at the New Year’s Eve Capital Countdown. Juno award winner K-OS will perform along with Ottawa bands Loon Choir and Cardboard Crowns. Family friendly, with lots of hot spots for bubbly and beers (to warm up of course!). Tuesday, Dec. 31. 6 p.m. Free Admission. Sparks St., 100 Sparks St.

If you’re looking for a glamorous evening
Grab your watch-fob, mink, and a cherished group of your ‘in’ friends for FlyBar’s 2014 NYE Gala. Intimate and upscale, this evening includes champagne and midnight performances by Ottawa’s best in burlesque, Koston Kreme, Rhapsody Blue and Audrey Hipturn. Tuesday, Dec. 31. See website for various prices and package deals. FlyBar, 158½ Rideau St.




COUNTDOWN TO THE RETURN OF ALFIE (today!): 11 essays on #11 (essay #11 — Daniel Alfredsson as chant)

In April 2013, Ottawa Magazine honoured the captain with the “Alfie Pack,” deconstructing the Senators’ icon with 11 essays on No. 11. By July, he was a Detroit Red Wing.

Today, Alfie and the Red Wings visit the Canadian Tire Centre for the first time since the deal was done. In the lead-up to the big event, Ottawa Magazine has spent the past 11 days revisiting our 11 essays — one essay per day for 11 days. Find them all on the site with a quick search for “Alfredsson.” (Want a copy? Back issues for sale here.)

Turning It up to 11: Alfie as Chant

Also known as the Alfie Countdown. Three times a game, no matter the score or what else is happening on the ice. As the game clock ticks down from 11:11 of each period, fans begin their own countdown to the 11-minute mark.

Eleven, 10, nine, eight … the countdown gets louder and rowdier as the crowds catch on to the time. Seven, six, five, four … their voices swell as one as all eyes zero in on the captain, whether he be on the ice or on the bench. Three, two, one …. and, in unison, Alfie! Alfie! Alfie! Alfie! Alfie!

It’s a funny thing to witness, those few seconds when the actual game becomes secondary to the 11:11 ritual. Three times a night, a chance to serenade the captain, each time just a little bit sweeter, a little bit more poignant as it begins to sink in that even Alfie won’t be playing forever.

Photography by Brent Gervais

Photography by Brent Gervais

FILM PREVIEW: The Giants is an eerie and intense coming of age story

By Sanita Fejzic

If you’re in the mood for an eerie and intense coming-of age story, The Giants delivers without any pretence. The film’s strength is in its honest and straightforward depiction of the pain and resilience of adolescence. Check it out on November 30 as the 28th European Union Film Festival, which has brought us films from 27 countries across the European Union, wraps up.


The Giants tells the story of

The Giants tells the story of two brothers, and their friend, and is set in the woods of Belgium.

The Giants, a Belgium gem, plays on Saturday night at 9 p.m. The French language film with English subtitles is a coming of age story of two brothers, Seth and Zak, and their friend Danny, as they struggle to survive the summer in the woods of Belgium. Seth and Zak’s mother, the only parent we know of, is nothing more than a voice over the cell phone: she is never seen and is either too busy or too broke to take care of her sons.

The young actors’ performances are incredible — unselfconscious in their delivery of banal and complex adolescent moments, including scenes of goofiness but also of violence and isolation.

Between smoking weed and shooting a gun, the boys face an impressive landscape. Actor-turned-director Bouli Lanners has made river, sky, and forest into a fourth character, one whose presence is pivotal and whose role may be the most mystical of all.

The movement of the film is slow, reflecting the vastness and timelessness of the setting. While the middle may feel like it’s dragging along, I think it adds to the aesthetic quality of the whole piece, one that echoes the tranquil strength of rural Belgium.

The Giants captured two prizes on its debut in the prestigious Director’s Fortnight section of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. It is showcased the night before the festival ends and well worth the night out, as you won’t be able to see it elsewhere in the region.

The GiantsSaturday, Nov. 30. 9 p.m.
Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St.

FILM PREVIEW: Eat Sleep Die explores unemployment and immigration in Sweden

By Sanita Fejzic

This week at the European Union Film Festival, which showcases award-winning and Oscar-submitted films from 27 countries across the European Union, Eat Sleep Die is this critic’s top choice. It plays on Friday, November 22, and if this movie doesn’t win the Oscar for best Foreign Film, I’m certain it will be a runner-up. Check out the trailer trailer here.

A scene from Eat Sleep Die, a Swedish film that will be screen as part of the European Union Film Festival.

A scene from Eat Sleep Die, a Swedish film that will be screen as part of the European Union Film Festival.

The film is set in Sweden, and explores such social problems as unemployment and immigration issues while maintaining a strong narrative about individual and familial realities. It manages to tell the story of personal and collective struggles with a balance of simplicity and urgency.

The handheld camera, natural lighting, and minimal sound help to tell the story of Raša (newcomer Nemina Lukac), a young woman originally from Montenegro, who gets laid off from the factory where she works to support herself and her father.

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FILM PREVIEW: European Union Film Festival brings insight about young offenders in Shifting the Blame

By Sanita Fejzic

The European Union Film Festival is back this year, with award-winning and Oscar-submitted films from 27 countries across the European Union. This is a unique film festival that showcases movies you won’t see elsewhere, not even at Bytowne Cinema. Ambassadors and filmmakers often introduce the films and mingle at receptions afterward, and there is definitely a foreign atmosphere that goes beyond English subtitles.

A scene from the film Shifting Blame.

A scene from the film Shifting the Blame, which will be shown on Nov. 28 as part of the European Union Film Festival.

The movies are beautifully filmed, covering complex human dramas with undertones of social issues. One of my favourites is Shifting the Blame, which airs November 28 at 7 p.m. Check out the trailer here.

This German film is director Vita Lars-Gunnar Lotz’s first full-length movie and is a complex, gripping and tender story of a young criminal, Ben, who eventually comes face to face with one of his victims.

The immediacy of the action coupled with the intensity and brevity of the opening scene of the film are contrasted with slow, long scenes and moments of silence. The strength of the cinematography and choice of music balance the difficult social themes addressed in Shifting the Blame.

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THE INSIDER: The zombies are back! 20 questions with Jim Dean, manager of The Haunted Walk’s zombie adventure at the Diefenbunker

This interview is part of our October issue, which is on newsstands and can be ordered online here.

Truly terrifying! Photography by Jonathan Hobin.

Truly terrifying! The Haunted Walk and Diefenbunker bring a zombie film to life to create an immersive, frightening, and memorable experience. Photography by Jonathan Hobin.

What are you most excited for with The Haunted Walk’s Incident at the Bunker: A Zombie Adventure?
We have built upon the great success of last year and have improved and added to the experience. Most notably, a lot more zombies!

What are you most proud of?
By combining the skills and talents of the Haunted Walk, the Diefenbunker and all our zombie volunteers, we are able to bring a zombie film to life and create a truly immersive, frightening and memorable experience.

Five words to describe the zombie adventure at Diefenbunker:
Unforgettable, Terrifying, Once-A-Year, Fun, BRAAAAAAAAAAINS!

How do you describe the zombie adventure at Diefenbunker to your grandmother?
Grandma do you remember that time Papi cut the head off the chicken and it ran around for a while even though it was already dead? Zombies are like that, but also very hungry for human flesh. So, hopefully none of our groups will run into them.

Best kept secret to making the zombie adventure at Diefenbunker run smoothly:
The spirit and dedication of our zombie volunteers who donate their time and energy in the never-ending pursuit as terrifying people in dark and, of course, eating brains. Perhaps surprisingly, zombie enthusiasts tend to be a really great bunch of people.

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SNAPSHOT: Photos from Nuit Blanche Ottawa-Gatineau, an all-night, soaked-through, genre-bending party

It was a wet one, that’s for sure, but Nuit Blanche 2.0 — the dusk-till-dawn city-wide celebration of arts and culture — will also be remembered as a blockbuster spectacle that brought out artists of all genres, lured art lovers out of their comfy abodes, and pushed the large-scale public art envelope.

The theme for this year’s event — Supernova! — was interpreted widely and with great enthusiasm: blimps took flight, balloons lit up the night sky, and circuit-board fireflies buzzed with excitement. Perhaps most notably, the streets were busy and the galleries were packed on a very rainy night — solid signs that Nuit Blanche Ottawa-Gatineau has every reason to be optimistic about its future.

THE INSIDER: 20 Questions with Nina Bains, executive director, Ottawa International Film Festival (Oct. 2 to 6)

This interview is part of our October issue, which is on newsstands and can be ordered online here.

Photography by Jonathan Hobin.

Photography by Jonathan Hobin.

What are you most excited about for the Ottawa International Film Festival?
I’m excited about something every single day!  Hard to pinpoint exactly one thing that excites me.

What are you most proud of?
My two beautiful children.

Five words to describe Ottawa International Film Festival:
Film, Style, Inspiration, Celebration, Festival

How do you describe OIFF to your grandmother?
Bibiji, it’s a really fun night. Everyone gets together to watch movies on the really big screen.  People usually clap after to show their support and acknowledge the hard work of the filmmakers, cast and crew. It’s only a couple of hours long and I’ll make sure to reserve you a ticket for our early show so that you are home in time for bed.

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THE INSIDER: 20 Questions with Steve Beauchesne, co-founder, Beau’s Oktoberfest (Oct. 4 and 5)


Jonathan Hobin

Are we having fun yet? Beau’s Oktoberfest founder Steve Beauchesne was photographed by Jonathan Hobin.

This interview is part of our October issue, which is on newsstands and can be ordered online here.

What are you most proud of?
My team. Oktoberfest is a huge undertaking and I’m amazed at how great everybody does and all the enthusiasm that everyone at the brewery has for the event. From Lyndell and Jordan who really lead the Oktoberfest planning, to the folks who might be working in packaging or in the retail shop normally, and pitch in to the few hundred Beau’s fans who give up their time to “volunbeer.”

Five words to describe Oktoberfest:
Beer, music, food — oh my!

How do you describe Oktoberfest to your grandmother?
12,000 people come to a town of 1,800 to have an amazing party and raise a lot of money for charity.

Best kept secret to making the event run smoothly:
Asking for help. The picnic tables come from the NCC, we move around on ATV’s supplied by Carriere Poirier Equipment, our township provides support too, and so do lots of other local businesses.

What should I bring?
Appropriate footwear (you will be in a field in the country), appropriate clothing (this time of year can be really variable, so check the weather), and light gloves to hold cold beer in the cool weather when the sun goes down.

Who should I bring?
Everyone! It is kid-friendly (on Saturday there is a whole section for kids), and really, we’ve heard it all. People bring their co-workers, their dates, their fiancée (we actually have one couple getting married at Oktoberfest on Friday), their parents, their friends, their relatives. We’ve worked really hard to make an event that everyone can enjoy.

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