Articles Tagged ‘festivals’

PLAYLIST! Stuntman Stu, Jim Watson, Mark Monahan, and more notable Ottawans reveal their Ultimate Summer Song


This sleek little speaker is made in Ottawa by PowerStick. The PowerSound operates with BlueTooth and near field audio to play music from a phone, tablet, laptop, or other media player — and can charge your electronics, so the party never stops. Photo by Christian Lalonde.

This sleek little speaker is made in Ottawa by PowerStick. The PowerSound operates with BlueTooth and near field audio to play music from a phone, tablet, laptop, or other media player — and can charge your electronics, so the party never stops. Photo by Christian Lalonde.

Summer songs have a sort of timeless quality. Their sunny vibes bring to mind the open road, late-night walks, cottage parties, and that tinge of bittersweetness in knowing that it’ll all be over by fall. We’re striking while it’s hot with this list of summer songs from Ottawans of note. Use it to compile your soundtrack to summer.


“Flashback” Jazzanova Remix – Fat Freddy’s Drop, 2005

“DJ Trevor Walker was playing a remix of this tune like mad that summer. It was just a must — I would drop everything I was doing, and I would run to the dance floor and dance to the whole track like a horny teenager.”
Claudia Balladelli, Music Programmer, Mercury Lounge



“Young Leaves” – Attack in Black, 2007

“Everyone in my hometown of Sudbury listened to Attack in Black’s album Marriage on repeat when it came out in the summer of 2007. “Young Leaves” reminds me of late-night barbecues, sloppy bush parties, and group hugs.”
Sarah Bradley, Musician, Fevers



“Here Come the Girls” – Ernie K-Doe, 1970

“I spent a lot of time in Louisiana during the summer of 2010, covering the aftermath of the BP oil spill. I constantly heard this song on the radio, fell in love with it, and that fall my bridesmaids made their grand entrance to a hooting and hollering crowd at our wedding. So fun!”
Robyn Bresnahan, Host, CBC Ottawa Morning



“Bobcaygeon” – The Tragically Hip, 1999

“Not only one of the most beautiful songs ever written but quintessentially summer in Canada — it evokes the pull of starry summer nights in cottage country, hot city nights, disquieting political unrest, life choices, and love.”
Simone Deneau, Producer –  NAC Presents, National Arts Centre




“Joppa Road” – Ween, 1994

“This song brings all the best of summer together for me. Road trips, slow drives, longing … very nostalgic, and what is summer if not an idea that rarely comes to pass? It’s also pretty danceable in a cheesy, carefree-hippie kind of way.”
Dayanti Karunaratne , Editor, Ottawa Magazine



“No Sleep Till Brooklyn” –  Beastie Boys, 1987

“While not necessarily my favourite song by them, it’s definitely an anthem that evokes road trips and fun times, part of which are necessary for a great summer.”
—Caitlin Kealey, Partner, MediaStyle




“Little Deuce Coupe” – The Beach Boys, 1963

“It’s the first tune that comes to mind when I’m asked what my favourite summer song is — it’s nice and catchy.”
Mark Monahan, Executive Director, Bluesfest



“Smooth” – Santana featuring Rob Thomas, 1999

“It’s my go-to summer song lately. It’s just a great tune!”
Catherine O’Grady, Executive Director, Ottawa Jazz Festival



“Places and Space” Donald Byrd , 1975

“Written and produced by the genius Mizell Brothers, this song has power, man. I close my eyes, and the chillest, most laid-back ’70s vibe comes over me. The lush, soaring strings, the groove, the jazz choir — I can feel the ocean breeze blowing in my hair, the beating hot sun, and peace and contentment. Ah, life is good.”
Marielle Rivard, Vocalist, The Souljazz Orchestra



“Power of Love” (Extended Dance Mix) – Huey Lewis and the News, 1985

“The classic song from Back to the Future has been on my radar ever since the movie came out almost 30 years ago. I crank it up every chance I get, especially on a warm summer day driving around the capital.”
Stuntman Stu Schwartz, Host, MAJIC 100




“Rockaway Beach” – The Ramones, 1977

“Although released almost 37 years ago, “Rockaway Beach” has become a timeless summer classic. I love this song because it’s part Beach Boys and part machine gun, and when it comes on the radio on a summer evening when I’m driving with the windows down … it’s absolutely perfect.”
Slo’ Tom Stewart, Musician




“Here Comes the Summer”  The Undertones, 1979

“Growing up in Ireland, two minutes of sunshine was always welcome. If it was okay by John Peel, then it was okay by me. Fantastic sleeve too.”
Shane Waldron, Co-Owner, The Wellington Gastropub




“Summer of ’69” – Bryan Adams, 1985

“I don’t actually remember the summer of  ’69 because I was so young then, but it’s always been a great summer song that still finds its way onto the playlists at events and parties. I saw Bryan Adams for the first concert at the Corel Centre, and I presented him the key to the city in the ’90s.”
Jim Watson, Mayor, Ottawa


WEEKENDER: Five things to do from June 19-22

One of the gardens featured in the Canadensis tour.

One of the gardens featured in the Canadensis tour.

Green (with Envy)
Sunshine, blue skies, and greenery as far as the eye can see. The short, sweet summer season is upon us and that means garden tour season — time for wannabe gardeners to see how it’s really done and get inspired to tackle their weed-filled beds. On Saturday, June 21, and Sunday, June 22, the Canadensis Botanical Garden Society’s “Over the Hedge” tour features a full lineup of 14 exceptional gardens in and around the city’s east end. Visit them all in one day or over the weekend. Some of the gardens are very natural, filled with native wildflowers or incorporating small ponds that have quickly become edged with bull rushes, swamp milkweed, blue flag, and Joe Pye weed. Others have a more structured, ornamental feel, blending annuals and perennials for a full season of colour. The tour booklet includes information about all the gardens, as well as suggestions for points of interest (think garden centres, walking trails, restaurants, and public gardens) along the tour route. $40. Booklet available at many stores around town (see for distribution points).

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SUMMER 2014: Get Outside! An al fresco summer

Sum14cover_400pxI shall not mention the winter months, but suffice it to say that I am welcoming summer with extra-wide-open arms this year. In fact, I’m betting that more people will spend more time outside this summer than ever before. I know I will be. Craving sunshine on my shoulders, I’ll be out the door at the break of dawn to explore the city, returning home to the laid-back satisfaction of a backyard barbecue. I’ll be building up my vitamin D, and my memory bank, for use during that season that shall not be mentioned.

Given this enthusiasm for enjoying the warmer months outside — and our growing food scene — we tasked our food writers with putting together their ultimate picnic spread, one that spoke to their favourite bites as well as their personal alfresco style. The results will treat readers to tastes from across the city and reveal the cravings of these four experts. We round out the “Take It Outside” feature (page 57) with products, events, and books, plus a playlist of favourite summer songs supplied by city notables, in an effort to help you maximize your picnicking pleasure.

And there’s no better way to immerse yourself in summer than by taking to the water. Its all-encompassing nature, its capacity to both scare and excite, and the way it stays with you after the fact — physically and in the mind’s eye — make it a crucial summer experience. In this issue, we explore local waters in a variety of ways, from Ron Corbett’s examination of water-quality issues (“What Lies Beneath,” page 28) to our water-sports pack (“Life Aquatic,” page 35), featuring stunning photography and plenty of tips to get you out on the water. And don’t miss Corbett’s ode to the Ottawa River in “Our Forgotten Soundtrack.”

I can’t close this letter without calling attention to the unique fiction offerings in this issue. Scott Randall takes us to all too familiar territory with a car-pooling story about retirement from the public service, while former Ottawan Peter Norman transports us to a mysterious empire with an excerpt from his debut novel, Emberton. It’s such a pleasure to indulge in short stories and novels. In fact, we had so much fun with it this year that we plan on hosting a short-story contest — the winners will be published in our Summer 2015 issue. Watch for details.

Dayanti Karunaratne, Editor

Secrets on the Hill • Printing paradigm with Ecotonus• The Juice on ByWard Market openings• Readying for the RedBlacks 

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SOUND SEEKERS: Festival season begins!

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani   

SABphoto crop

 Dave Forcier, Steve Adamyk, Davey Quesnelle. Steve Adamyk Band play Club SAW June 14 for Ottawa Explosion

Ottawa Explosion kicks things off, plus a new track from Steve Adamyk Band

Festival season is upon us. The following weeks offer plenty of opportunities to catch live music. The bouncing and beer-drinking starts with the annual punk fest known as Ottawa Explosion.

At that festival, which takes place June 12-15 at about 10 different venues in the city, you can catch a number of punk/grunge/rawk acts, including hometowners The Steve Adamyk Band.

The trio’s new album is called Dial Tone and their label, Dirtnap Records, recently posted this new tune called “Crash Course in Therapy.” Check it out. It’s a minute-and-a-half of Gabba Gabba goodness from the band’s fourth album, to be released July 1.

See the Steve Adamyk Bank at Club SAW Saturday, June 14 and find the full Ottawa Explosion lineup here .

On the subject of concert lineups, we took an office poll of Ottawa Magazine editors for hot picks from this year’s festival rosters. Here’s who we want to see.

Ottawa Explosion: Steve Adamyk Band, Big Dick, Pookie & the Poodlez, Mother’s Children, Kappa Chow

Westfest: Fevers, A Tribe Called Red, The Peptides, Pony Girl

Ottawa Jazz Festival: Austra, DJ Rekha, The Bad Plus does Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Bela Fleck & Brooklyn Rider, Holly Cole, Colin Stetson, Sandra Nkake, Socalled, Aretha Franklin

Bluesfest: Sly & Robbie, Drive By Truckers, St. Vincent, Andrew Bird, Blondie, The Killers

Ottawa Folk Fest: Lorde, Jill Zmud, M. Ward, Wooden Sky, Lora Bidner, The Milk Carton Kids.

What are you seeing on the live circuit this summer? Comment here or tweet us @ottawamag

WEEKENDER: Five things to do the weekend of June 12-15

Photo by | par: Robert Deleskie

Photo by | par: Robert Deleskie

Dancing Between Order & Chaos
For almost three decades, the Canada Dance Festival has presented some of the most talented and innovative dance performers — and their breathtaking performances — at the annual week-long festival. This year is no exception. Though it’s already underway, there’s still lots to take in before it ends. On Thursday, June 12, choreographer Danièle Desnoyers in Paradoxe Melodie asks: “How can dance be projected into life and how can life be reflected in a dancing body?” The answer is explored through her creations, which weave order and chaos. This world premiere includes music by renowned harpist Éveline Grégoire-Rousseau, music by composer Nicolas Bernier, and a cast of 10 performers. Tickets: $35 adults, $25 students. The show is at NAC Theatre, 53 Elgin St., and begins at 8:30 p.m. On Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14, Toronto’s Corpus Dance company presents Machina Nuptialis, a piece about the wedding ritual — three couples get married, kiss, dance, fight, make up, and strip off their clothes in anticipation of the honeymoon. This is an outdoor performance at Strathcona Park at 8 p.m. It’s pay-what-you-can.
For more info on all the other performances, visit Canada Dance Festival

Dress Code: Lederhosen (FREE! — mostly)
For those who won’t be travelling with Ottawa’s own Bach Choir to attend the centennial celebrations for the composer in the German town of Leipzig, there is KulturGarten — the German embassy is throwing a week-long Deutsch-bash until June 15. On Thursday, June 12, a wine tasting at 6 p.m. gets audiences in the mood for the talented and celebrated jazz pianist and composer, Joja Wendt at 7 p.m.; and a proper dance party (it starts with lounge music, sausages, and pizza) with German DJ Maschine Berlin happens on Friday, June 13 at 8 p.m. All of the events take place at the German Ambassador’s residence. All events are free, but guests must register here.
German Ambassador’s Residence is at 290 Coltrin Rd. 

Mamma Mia! (FREE! — mostly)
While it might be tempting to gorge on nothing but German sausages and beer during KulturGarten, don’t forget to save room for some olives and great wine because Italian Week Ottawa is also in full swing. On Thursday, June 12, there will  be an Ottawa River boat cruise, that includes (Italian) dining and dancing — and, oddly, the sounds of the Tequila Band. More details here. And on Saturday, June 14 come to Preston and Gladstone where the stage is set for live music, amusement rides, and fireworks. And there will likely be a TV screen somewhere showing Italy’s opening World Cup football match against England (6 p.m.).
Most events take place along Preston St.

Calling Agent “Dad”
Deep inside a hill in Carp, a top-secret mission is being formulated — to celebrate Dad with the Diefenbunker Cold War Bunker Museum’s first annual Operation: Father’s Day. This Saturday, June 14, drag the old man outta bed, buckle him in, and haul him off to Carp to go inside the bunker for a day of fun, including a military vehicle display by 
The Guild of the Royal Canadian Dragoons as well as cold beer and delicious food served up by local businesses. To satisfy Dad’s sweet tooth, 
a candy shop featuring retro treats from the 1950’s is sure to bring back fond memories. For the kids, a Kiddy Commando Training Course with prizes. Plus 100,00 sq. ft. of bunker to explore! Admission is $15 per individual; $40 for families; 6 and under, free. Visit here for tickets. The event is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Diefenbunker Museum is at 3911 Carp Rd., Carp.

Block Rockin’ Beats (FREE!)
Rockin’ a new metal-inspired logo (think 1980s iron-ons) Westfest fills the streets of Westboro for its annual street festival. Join the throngs up and down Richmond Road for buskers, treats, games, displays, and, of course, entertainment. As usual, Westfest pulls in some big names, both nationally and locally. Highlights this year include the phenomenal hip hop crew, A Tribe Called Red; a reformed Ashley MacIssac (that once troubled 90s alternative/fiddler); George Leach; The Peptides; The Fevers, Pony Girl, and lots more. The three-day event kicks off on the evening of Friday, June 13, and runs until Sunday, June 15. For more details, visit the website. Generally, music starts around 4 p.m. on most nights.



WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of June 6-8


1_smallest mother

World’s Smallest Mother, Ohio, 1976. Photo by Randal Levenson.
Part of a new exhibit of his work at La Petite Mort from June 6 to June 29

Killing Good Will
Philanthropy, or just being “that nice guy” isn’t always easy — especially when you try and give away your fortune to those in need, only to be thwarted in your efforts by your elitist wife, a hooker, your shrink, and a hit man — all who have other ideas about where that money should go. Hilarity ensues in this new dark comedy, The Burden of Self Awareness, from playwright George F. Walker, and director Arthur Milner. It’s playing until June 22 at the GCTC. Performances are weekly from Tuesday to Friday at 8 p.m., and on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Sunday matinee performances start at 2 p.m. Cost of admission varies. See website for details.

GCTC is at 1233 Wellingston St. W.

Burden of Self Awareness. Photo by GCTC’s Andrew Alexander.


Monster Vortex FREE!
It’s storm season — only this spring, in addition to rain, high winds and whatnot, we can also expect jagged teeth, fangs, hair, and claws. It’s what artist Tyson Bodnarchuk calls a “La Tempette Des Monstres” or a “Monster Storm” — and it’s almost upon us. On Friday, June 6 at 7 p.m., the Canadian artist, whose works have been exhibited at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts as part of the En Masse crew, will be showing new, beastly works at IdeaSpace. His work, influenced by a motley crew of monster lovers that includes Jim Henson and Maurice Sendak, can be seen here. . Not sure how long this exhibit is on until — so best check it out sooner rather than later.

IdeaSpace is at 131 Bank St., fourth floor.

Science of Shakespeare FREE!
Happy birthday, Bard! Shakespeare turns 450 this year, and in connection with this landmark, journalist and author, Dan Falks, examines whether the new scientific ideas of Shakespeare’s time influenced his writings — in spite of the prevalence of magic and superstition at the time. For example, in Romeo & Juliet, the Bard may have considered the notion of the “atom,” which was first put forward by Roman philosopher, Lucretius, in referring to the size of Queen Mab — “in shape no bigger than an agate stone,” Mercutio says, “drawn with a team of little atomi / Over men’s noses as they lie asleep.” This and many of Falks’ other ideas from his book, The Science of Shakespeare, will be discussed during a special lecture by the author at the Museum of Science and Technology on Friday, June 6 at 7 p.m.
The Museum of Science and Technology is at 1867 St. Laurent Blvd.

In Search of Monkey Girl FREE!
The “man monkey” was introduced to North American audiences more than 150 years ago. This “freak of nature” was actually William Henry Johnson, an African-American little person with a genetic deformity who spoke a made-up language created by the legendary entertainer, P.T. Barnum. Johnson was part of Barnum’s travelling show, which was popular throughout the U.S. and, in some form or another, has remained so, even today. Fascinated by the “spectacle of the road,” American photographer, Randal Levenson, spent 10 years travelling with sideshow performers, this time in search of monkey girl — a performer he photographed in Gatineau, Quebec. These photographs are on display in the exhibit, In Search of the Monkey Girl, at La Petite Mort from Friday, June 6 until June 19. There will be a vernissage at the gallery on that Friday where Levenson will be present for the opening. It starts at 7 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m. Levensen will be back the following evening — Saturday, June 7 — to talk about his work — at 5 p.m.
La Petite Mort is at 306 Cumberland St.

10_gorilla girl

Count Nicholas’ Gorilla Show, Gooding Amusements, Maumee, Ohio, 1974.
Photo by Randal Levenson


Small Press Fair FREE!
Twenty years ago, the Small Press Book Fair held its first event at the National Archives of Canada. Cut to 2014 and the fair continues to draw those looking for such local literary and pseudo-literary offerings as poetry, novels, graphic novels, cookbooks, posters, t-shirts, magazines, zines — even scraps of paper. This year’s Fair is being held at the Jack Purcell Community Centre (you know, that guy who’s famed for handing out badminton rackets to boys and girls — wink, wink) on Saturday, June 7, in Room 203 — from noon until 5 p.m.
Jack Purcell Community Centre is at 320 Jack Purcell Lane, just off of Elgin St.

SOUND SEEKERS: Concert hot list from A-Z! Best bets for the upcoming festival season

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani

A Austra: The band with the front woman who is occasionally compared to Kate Bush just released a new album called Olympia, which sounds like it’s made by classical music school dropouts and rebels. July 13, Bluesfest.

David Byrne & St. Vincent play

B Bjork: When she toured in the ‘90s, everyone came to her shows wearing those little buns all over their head in a moment of fan reverence expressed through fashion. Bring back the buns, I say. July 13, Bluesfest.

C Chris Hadfield: Astronaut-cum-social media darling becomes touring songwriter who teams up with one of the Barenaked Ladies. What can’t this dude do? Maybe @Cmdr_Hadfield will play a rendition of “Major Tom” at one of two Canada Day shows. July 1, Parliament Hill.

D David Byrne & St. Vincent: Icon of New Wave and darling of jagged-fuzz-toned pop collaborate to make beautiful weirdness and waltzes. Their current tour features eight choreographed bass players. Attention star-spotters. When on tour, the duo likes to gather their crew for a “band bicycle gang storming of local haunts.” June 23, Ottawa Jazz Festival.

E The Elwins: Just back from a UK tour, these four Ontario Gen Ys play ‘60s-inspired pop with sensi-man lyrics. June 27, Ottawa Fringe Festival Courtyard.

F Fun.: They call themselves “fun” with a period, because it doesn’t get much more complex than that. The band that you dance to naked comes out of the private confines of pop-rockers’ rooms everywhere to play the big stage. July 7, Bluesfest.

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WEB EXCLUSIVE: Chatting with Rolf Klausener, the man behind The Acorn, Silkken Laumann, and the Arboretum Festival

Rolf Klausener is someone who lets creativity guide him through life. Not only is he lead singer and principal songwriter of one of Ottawa’s strongest indie music exports of the last decade, The Acorn, but he’s also a unique personality that embodies the transformation of Ottawa’s arts and culture scene over the years. For the better part of a decade, Klausener has gone through the highs and lows of being a local musician — including at times questioning whether Ottawa is the right place for an artist to be.

But Klausener has stuck around O-town. And with the band going through a transition phase in the last few years, he’s taken the opportunity to explore his creative desires in different ways. Here, Klausener chats with Matias Muñoz about his other projects — including the Arboretum music, arts, and food festival, and his new musical venture Silkken Laumann — as well as how the city’s arts and culture scene has transformed over the past decade.

Rolf Klausener of The Acorn plays around on a ukulele in his studio in Centretown. Photo by Pat Bolduc.

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WEEKENDER: From an assortment of Christmas concerts to a Canadian take on The Nutcracker, holiday activities abound!

Prepare to be amazed! One World Arts is presenting this fun-filled evening of animations, slam poetry, theatre skits, dancing, and much more. Founded in 1972, this volunteer-based charitable organization aims to engage citizens of all ages and spread awareness of world issues through art and media. The Awesome Arts Youth program included 10 weeks of workshops and culminates in this festival, where young artists can show off their talents to the public. Emceed by well-known slam poet Jamaal Rogers, the program also includes performances from internationally-renowned beat-boxer Julia Dales and Triple A, the dynamic drumming group Baobab Youth PerformersYvon Soglo and his amazing hip hop dancers and more. Thursday, December 13, 6 p.m. Viscount Alexander Public School, 55 Mann Ave.,

Who knows, maybe that big white bearded fellow in the mall really is Mr. Claus. The Gladstone Theatre and Plosive Productions present the classic heartwarming holiday tale Miracle on 34th St. Keeping with the Gladstone Holiday Radio Show tradition, this new adaptation features singing, dancing, storytelling, and characters that will enchant show-goers all season long. The performance includes some of Ottawa’s favourite actors, such as Katie Bunting, Tom Charleboix, and Steve Martin, as well as young newcomers Kelty O’Brien and Ben Blacklock. Friday, December 14, to Sunday, December 23. Times/prices vary, see website for details. The Gladstone, 910 Gladstone Ave.,

Ballet Jörgen presents its annual showing of The Nutcracker with a Canadian twist. Photo by Pradeep Bhatia.

For 25 years, Ballet Jörgen Canada has gained national and international recognition for its repertoire of original works and astounding choreography. Once again, the company is stopping in Ottawa to perform the classic tale The Nutcracker – with a Canadian twist. Set to Tchaikovsky’s epic score and including sets inspired by Group of Seven paintings, along with other Canadiana touches, this show creates a truly magical atmosphere. Saturday, December 15, Monday, December 17, and Tuesday, December 18. $40-$50. Shows play at Centrepointe Theatre and Shenkman Theatre, depending on the day.

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WEEKENDER: December kicks off with a screening of Home Alone outdoors, the Ottawa Tea Festival, and five other festive events

Twenty years ago, actor and philanthropist Tom Jackson brought artists together to spread awareness and garner support for those in need – and the Huron Carole was born. Join Jackson and friends when this nationwide tour – which raises funds for food banks – comes to Ottawa. The event is a project of the Christmas and Winter Relief Association and includes songs and stories of peace and optimism from popular Canadian artists such as Sarah Slean, Del Barber, and Susan Aglukark. Thursday, November 29, 9 p.m. $60, VIP $110. Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd.,

Close to 1,000 minerals, rocks, and gems, most from the museum’s collections, are displayed in the Canadian Museum of Nature’s newly expanded Vale Earth Gallery. Photo by Martin Lipman, Canadian Museum of Nature.

Geology nerds, take note! After three months of improvements, the Vale Earth Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Nature is opening to the public once again. The gallery serves up a fascinating experience for young and old, bringing visitors on a journey through the earth’s geological formation, its shaping over billions of years, and demonstrating how geology and mineralogy are important in our daily lives. Some activities on the bill include building a volcano, causing an earthquake, exploring a limestone cave with a dripping waterfall, and making different kinds of rock by simulating geological forces. Now that’s what we call a rock star (ha ha!). Friday, November 30. $12, seniors $10, kids $8, infants (under two) free. Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St.,

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