MY LOOK: Alexander Shelley

This story first appeared in the May 2015 issue of Ottawa Magazine.
BY SARAH BROWN

Alexander Shelley is wearing a Hugo Boss shirt, Armani pants, and a vest by The Kooples. His shoes are Tiger of Sweden, and his watch is a Rolex Datejust. Photo by Rémi Thériault

Alexander Shelley is wearing a Hugo Boss shirt, Armani pants, and a vest by The Kooples. His shoes are Tiger of Sweden, and his watch is a Rolex Datejust. Photo by Rémi Thériault

 

Your musical travels have taken you around Europe, as well as to North America and Asia. Does your exposure to so many cities and cultures play into your style at home?
Absolutely — it is one of the joys of my profession that I am able to travel so much and to revel in the diversity that makes our world so very rich and colourful. I love observing the subtly different trends and looks from country to country, sometimes even from city to city. Without doubt, they all have their influence on my own style.

You have been chief conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra since 2009. What style trends have you picked up on while in Germany?
Germans have a nice line in smart casual clothing — a little like the Scandinavians — which is a style that has always appealed to me. Hugo Boss and Armani are trusty go-tos for suits, I find.

You’ve been lauded for thinking outside the box in terms of initiatives to attract young adults to the concert hall. Does that connection to youth mean a more casual style on and off the stage?
At 35, I don’t yet feel that old myself, but it is true that my various projects have helped to keep me connected with youth culture. I have to be a little bit of a chameleon in professional life, as what we perform is so astonishingly diverse.

Tell me about your performance tuxes.
I have quite a few different options for concert attire, and which option I go for depends on the occasion and the climate. I have a few tuxedos: a couple from Hugo and a couple from The Kooples. I of course have a couple of pairs of tails (penguin suits!), and then I have a black high-collared suit from Shanghai Tang in Hong Kong.

How would you describe your personal style?
Although I love variety, I would say that my default is smart. I like a crisp shirt and nicely tailored trousers or suit.

What item of clothing can you not live without?
Even though they count as accessories and not clothing, I would have to say my watches — I have been collecting for a few years now and enjoy the finesse of a beautifully crafted timepiece. Something about conducting and keeping time, I guess.

What do you wear on a lazy Sunday morning, assuming you get those every once in a while?
Sweatpants, T-shirt, and some big comfy socks.

What’s your favourite city in which to people-watch?
Oh, gosh, there are so many possibilities … New York or Berlin for the sheer diversity of styles, Tokyo for something completely different, and perhaps Rome for pure elegance. Ultimately maybe it has to be my hometown of London, but then I’m biased!

MY LOOK: Tommie Amber Pirie

This article was originally published in the April 2015 print edition Ottawa Magazine

By Di Golding

Tommie Amber Pirie. Photo by Miv Fournier

Tommie Amber Pirie wears Value Village finds — a pair of vintage high-waisted Gap jean shorts and an orange top. Purse and belt, also form Value Village, are wardrobe staples. Figure skates replace a pair of Sorel leather Slimboots; on hanger, a green blazer from H&M. Photo by Miv Fournier

You live in Toronto now, but the CBC comedy Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays was filmed in Ottawa. Did you enjoy filming here?
Generally, it was pretty low-key. The hustle and bustle is a little bit less in Ottawa. That’s why I live in the Beaches district in Toronto. It’s calm and near nature, close to the water.

Your first time performing for people wasn’t on the stage. You were a competitive figure skater from the Minto Skating Club. Skaters are known for being flamboyant. Did that impact your style?
I was always the weirdo in high school wearing five different eyeliner colours at the same time and wearing mismatched tights with big sweaters. I don’t have any fear when it comes to style. That does come from skating. Being wrapped in spandex for 15 years of your life changes something in you.

You recently starred with two famous Zoes (Zoë Kravitz in Pretend We’re Kissing and Zoe Kazan in The F Word). Both have really distinct styles. Did you take anything away from them?
Kravitz is so eclectic, so bohemian! I love her style, especially the red carpet stuff that she’s been doing lately. Kazan is quirky and weird and amazing; she has some really awesome conservative pieces and funky pieces too. I want to be influenced by the people around me, but I want to find my own vibe. Everybody’s style is a version of somebody else’s style. So it’s about finding your uniqueness within that and bringing your part into it.

What are your style must-haves?
I have to have a blazer — a good fitted suit jacket. I like dressing androgynous. I love suits but in a modern way. I like a good pair of black boots that go with everything, like skirts and dress pants. I love baggy generic T-shirts. I always mix super-casual with super-dressy.

You play the witch Paige Winterbourne in the second season of the Space channel series Bitten. Was that a chance to relive your teenage goth years?
I didn’t really go through a goth period. Maybe a goth week or a vampire weekend. On Bitten, I was wearing these high, kick-ass-crazy John Fluevog boots all season. They felt about eight inches tall, and they were so sexy and bad-ass. I was running up hills and fighting people in these boots for 3½ months, so now I can tell John Fluevog that his boots are witch-proof.

Speaking of the supernatural, you were in The F Word with Harry Potter himself. What was it like working with Daniel Radcliffe?
It was one of those pinch-me moments. It was only about 10 years ago, and I wanted to be an actress. I’ve always wanted to be an actress, but I had closed the chapter with skating, so acting became my number one focus. Anyway, I had been watching Harry Potter movies in my living room in Ottawa. Dan’s so down-to-earth and willing to connect and talk like a cool, normal, average dude. All this, despite the fact that he’s walking around with three bodyguards. I learn from everyone I work with — from him, it was about humility and always reminding yourself where you came from.

FOUND: Buried treasure uncovered at LeBreton Flats

BY MATT HARRISON
This article was originally published in the April 2015 print edition of Ottawa Magazine

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The Lilias W. Fleck Fountain: the fountain stands 157 cm high, the bowl measures 106 cm in diameter, and the wall is 35 cm high. The lily spout and lily pad motif are in recognition of Lilias, whose name is related to the Latin word for lily. Photo: courtesy of the NCC

It’s not often that buried treasure is discovered in Ottawa. But the Lilias W. Fleck fountain, which once graced a small park at the north end of Bronson and provided drinking water for “man, horse, and dog,” was moved, then lost — perhaps even demolished by vandals. Rediscovered during soil work in advance of development in Lebreton Flats, the fountain is undergoing a makeover, and the NCC plans to reinstall it. This time, however, it may quench the thirst of man, woman, and Sens fan.

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REASON TO LOVE: Because the city breeds actors, professional athletes, and literary icons

BY DI GOLDING

This article was originally published in the April 2015 print edition of Ottawa Magazine

The one thing that stars of our favourite comics, novels, and movies have in common? A compelling origin story. But how many of us picture that journey including the Rideau Canal? A peak in the success of Ottawa natives reminds us that stars aren’t necessarily training in some fictional Gotham — they might be sitting beside you on the O-train.

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PROFILE: Ottawa’s Villain-Next-Door discusses Marathons, The Flash, and Cherry’s Reaction to a Gay Maple Leaf

BY: DI GOLDING

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Photo: Daniel Pancotto

Even though he’s spent much of his life and livelihood globe-hopping, Tom Cavanagh is still the quintessential Ottawa boy next door. He charmed us on shows like Scrubs, Providence, and as the star of Ed. Now he’s playing against type as the villainous scientist Dr. Harrison Wells on the hit show The Flash. Though he splits his time between work in Vancouver and home in New York City, Tom still gets back to the Nation’s Capital as often as possible. Di Golding caught up with Tom about his leap into the superhero genre, and the benefit of embracing and overcoming stereotypes. He even shares some advice for the Ottawa marathoners.

Di Golding: You’re an Ottawa-native but you moved around a lot didn’t you?

Tom Cavanagh: I was born in Ottawa and spent the first few years of my life in a house on Willard Street. We moved to British Columbia, and then from there we moved to Africa. So there’s a few classic Canadian memories of a rink in the backyard in Ottawa, and then the snow of Trail B.C., and then off we went to Africa.

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PROFILE: With LOVE + HATE PepTides pave way to Broadway

BY JOSEPH MATHIEU

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What it means to be human “livin’ at the end of the world” — that’s the self-described theme behind LOVE + HATE, a three-part play by Ottawa’s The PepTides, a nine-member pop group that will have its second showing this Thursday in the Arts Court Theatre on the first night of the Undercurrents Theatre Festival.

The PepTides’ move to the theatre stage shouldn’t be a surprise.

In concert, The PepTides have made it their mission to electrify audiences with a form of entertainment that seems perfect for the stage. The voices of Claude Marquis, DeeDee Butters, Dale Waterman, Rebecca Noelle, and Olexandra Pruchnicky harmonize dramatically without competition. Keyboardist Scott Irving, new guitarist Juan Miguel Gómez Montant, bassist Andrew Burns, and percussionist Alexandre Wickham play both nostalgic and futuristic anthems in the styles of blues, funk, and soul that get crowds dancing.

But LOVE + HATE marks a milestone for the nonet, because it represents  a new stage in The PepTides’ evolution — from a solo project to a choreographed band.

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PROFILE: Ski Kiting in the Hills with Drew Haughton

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This article was originally featured in the Nov./Dec. 2014 issue of Ottawa Magazine.

It’s Ingmar Bergman country here, just north of High-way 50 in Gatineau. Before me are snow-covered fields and a ruined barn as grey as wasp paper; above me, a sky like breath-clouded steel. You could almost imagine Death and the Knight, out of the classic Bergman film The Seventh Seal, meeting here for their final contest. But they wouldn’t be playing chess. They’d be pulling themselves across the snow by means of brightly coloured kites and yelling at each other (in Swedish): “Tear it up, dude!”

It’s hard to be introspective when you’re ski kiting.

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Throwback Thursday: Seven Ways to Get in Shape this New Year

This article originally appeared in Dec/Jan 2007/8 Ottawa Magazine print edition.
BY DAYANTI KARUNARATNE
All photos by David Kawai

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Jacqueline Ethier Photo: David Kawai

IT’S A NEW YEAR, and with it come new ways to get fit and fabulous. Forget the gym craze of the premillennium. Such mind-numbing step routines are the old codger to the ahead-of-the-curve activity-based routines of the young.
Here are seven sporty Svengalis with kicks, skates, and new moves to get you in gear:

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MY LOOK: Kate Klenavic

This article originally appeared in the Nov/Dec print edition of Ottawa Magazine

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Kate Klenavic is wearing the Rouched Marigold Coat by Tracy Reese and Sam Edelman boots. Tights and dress are from Wilfred; earrings and gloves are Etsy finds. Photo: Andrew Carson

How would you describe your personal style?
As a chef, I have to be pretty functional, but I also switch from kitchen to floor a lot — as catering chef for The Whalesbone, I supervise the kitchen but also interact with event guests. So it’s a mix of functionality and style. Ballet flats are good for instantly making a look chic. Booties are great because they look like you’re wearing heels but you’re not. And black. I wear a lot of black. Off-site, I’m usually in cook’s clothing, but that can be tricky because halfway through the day, I might have to meet a client. Then I slip on ballet flats and a bracelet, and I’m good to go. Blazers are also a super way to easily transform an outfit.

Does your own style affect the way you present the food?
It definitely does. My style can be trendy, and things in the catering world change often. Plus, I see a lot of the same people at different events. So I’m always looking on Pinterest and reading magazines for ways to present food while still keeping the food delicious. These days I use a lot of wood accents and stainless steel. Brown paper bags are great because they’re so simple and functional. And mid-century is coming back in style, so that style of glassware is both hipster cool and old-school cool, so it appeals to different groups, which is especially good at weddings, where you see grandparents and young people. These days I do a lot of the event styling too, so it’s about combining your personal vision for the event with that of the client and finding a good balance between the two. In the end, I always feel good food should look like you want to eat it and not like a piece of art — a little bit rustic, a little bit messy.

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NORTHERN CONTACT: Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre: Igniting cultural pride

This series first appeared in the print edition of the Winter 2014 issue of Ottawa Magazine.

By DAN RUBINSTEIN

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Sparking interest Ina Zakal shows a child the traditional practice of lighting the oil lamp called a qulliq. The qulliq was important to the survival of Inuit as it provided a source of heat and light. Photo by David Kawai

 

In a bright yellow room, a dozen energetic kindergarten students play with wooden blocks, draw geometric shapes, and flip through picture books while a pair of teachers circulate around the sunny space, tidying toys and trying to keep a handle on the organized chaos. One floor below, seven preschoolers snack on red peppers and broccoli. A boy in a blue sweatshirt slips away to stare at the fish tank. “Okay, I’ve got six of them in chairs now,” their teacher says. “That’s not bad.”

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