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The latest HOK: a car-free family who loves their vinyl

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The Spirit of Kitchissippi

February 5, 2015 The launch of Brenda Chapman’s latest book is taking place Feb. 8 at Whispers (249 Richmond Rd.). Photo by Kate Settle.

The makings of a mystery



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Winter cycling, family style

Westboro author launches new book

By Judith van Berkom

Westboro’s Brenda Chapman has always loved mystery stories. As a child, she read mystery classics by Enid Blyton, and in her teens, was deeply influenced by Hemingway, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. “I read to get out of doing housework,” she says with a smile. As an adult, she likes to read about police procedures – books by

author Michael Connelly are among her favourites – where the life of the police officers are developed in as much detail as the lives and actions of criminals. Chapman’s lifetime interest in the mystery genre combined with an investigative mind and years of honing her writing skills, has resulted in the publication of 14 books thus far, with many more to come. “Nothing gives me more pleasure

in my professional life than writing,” she says. “I like to think of people reading what I’ve written.” Chapman grew up in a small town in Northern Ontario, on the north shore of Lake Superior. She attended Lakehead University, majoring in English literature. In her third year she took a year-long creative writing course and started writing poetry and short stories. Continued on page 3



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Kitchissippi Times

Book sale lands literary headliners Frances Itani, to read at Elmdale BookFest

Special to KT by Claus Anthonisen Frances Itani, the multiple awardwinning author of books for children and adults, whose latest work, Tell, was short-listed for a Giller, will be reading from her work at the Elmdale BookFest. While it will surprise no one that, after nearly 25 years of annual festivities, Elmdale Public School’s BookFest will be returning on Feb. 27-28, this year, organizers have found a way to highlight the literary aspect of the festival. “We felt that, over time, fundraising had maybe taken priority over reading and writing at BookFest, and that we should think more about hands-on book-related activities for the kids,” says Peter Laughton, festival organizer. “We’d also heard that author readings were once a prominent part of the celebration, and that this would be a good way to shift the emphasis back.”

Butterfly Kills Continued from page 1 In Kingston, the setting of her latest mystery novel, Butterfly Kills, Chapman attended teacher’s college. She moved to Ottawa in 1983 and taught special education for the next 15 years in a private school, working with children and adults – adults she says were often quite brilliant, but not literate. She met her husband, Ted, in Ottawa and stayed at home with her two daughters while continuing her English literature studies part-time at Carleton. While at Carleton, the university awarded her a prize for outstanding parttime student of English. During this time, Chapman wrote humorous articles for Homebase, an Ottawa magazine for parents at home, and completed her first children’s mystery

“Every year the kids and the community get pretty involved, but this year will be something special.” This year, Elmdale students will once again join with the community in a race to collect books to raise funds for a variety of causes, including the school’s many programs. But just down the hall from the sale, several prominent authors will read from their work. Expected to appear are: Frances Itani; Mark Sutcliffe, author of Why I Run; Bob Plamondon, author The Truth about Trudeau; Robert McMechan, the author of

novel, Running Scared, in 2004. She also made a dramatic change in her career in 1997, shifting from work as a teacher to writer/ editor with various departments in the federal government – in communications with the Department of Justice, as a complaints and investigations officer with the Canadian Transportation Agency, and a briefing analyst and communications advisor at Health Canada. Today she continues to work full-time with the government, authoring in the evenings and on weekends. Butterfly Kills is a work of fiction, however, in her acknowledgements, Chapman describes how her work in communications in the federal government introduced her to issues of family violence. This sparked the germ of an idea for the overarching story line.



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Allison’s Brain; and Charles Gordon, journalist and author of At the Cottage and The Canadian Trip. In the lead up to BookFest, kids will participate in a variety of literacy oriented activities including a ‘Make your own Book’ project so that kids can add their own literary projects to the school library. BookFest will take place in the school gymnasium from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday Feb. 27, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28. “Every year the kids and the community get pretty involved, but this year will be something special,” says Laughton. More information about the author readings and BookFest itself, can be found at, or by emailing Pete Laughton at Book donations are gladly picked up by contacting

The second in her Stonechild and Rouleau series, Butterfly Kills is set in Kingston. The first in the series, Cold Mourning, takes place in Ottawa. “When I was writing [Butterfly Kills] I had three plot lines going. I knew how two were going to intersect, but wasn’t sure how the third would fit it. I didn’t see the linkages.” During the writing of Butterfly Kills, Chapman and her husband, Ted, travelled to Kingston in search of the murder scene. The murder takes place in a basement, she explains, but many of the houses in Kingston don’t have basements. “We searched until we found it,” says Chapman. “A street with old houses with basements.” Chapman develops her mystery novels starting with the crime – and they’re usually based on a news item that sticks with her.

“Years later a story emerges,” she says. “I like to underwrite, like Hemmingway,” she adds. Her mystery novels have quite a few characters and Chapman sees the emergence of these characters as the story evolves as part of the creative process. Her third, forthcoming novel in the Stonechild and Rouleau series, Tumbled Graves, is expected to be on the shelf next January. Book bloggers are invited to download an advance copy on her website. Chapman is also writing a literacy series, set in Hintonburg and Westboro, which has won several awards. Brenda Chapman’s launch of Butterfly Kills will take place Feb. 8 at Whispers (249 Richmond Rd.), from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about the author, go to

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Kitchissippi Times


250 City Centre Ave., Suite 500 Ottawa ON K1R-6K7 Kitchissippi, meaning “the Grand River,” is the former Algonquin name for the Ottawa River. The name now identifies the urban community to the west of downtown Ottawa. Newswest is a not-forprofit community-owned publication that is distributed 12 times per year inside the Kitchissippi Times.

Editor Andrea Tomkins Contributors Claus Anthonisen, Judith van Berkom, Maxine BetteridgeMoes, Anne Boys-Hope, Craig Lord, Kate Settle, Michael Napiorkowski, Maayke Schurer Proofreader Judith van Berkom Vice-president of Sales Don Mersereau Advertising Sales Lori Sharpe 613-238-1818 x274 Donna Roney 613-238-1818 x273 Publisher Mark Sutcliffe Creative Director Tanya Connolly-Holmes Production Regan Van Dusen Jamie Dean Advertising 613-238-1818 x268

Meet Stephanie Leger Collected by Kate Settle

I used to tour around going to see concerts – I’ve always loved music since I was a child – but now that I have kids I can’t do that any more, so I get my satisfaction from collecting vinyl. I listen to it often through the day. I have kids’ albums, as well as my own, and the kids are becoming discerning. They will pick records out, and they are excited when I come home with new vinyl. Because I have kids all day, I can’t listen to music on headphones and this is a great way to

support the artists, and it’s really music from the raw source – it sounds so much better. The local stores are really bringing back that ‘record store vibe’ that has sort of been lost with all this digital downloading. You can connect to people in there who really have a passion for the music. If I’m listening just for me, lately I’ve been into newer, folky Jazz, like The Wood Brothers, but I also love alternative stuff too, so it’s really all over the place. I’m also really liking Umphrey’s McGee but I don’t listen to them

as much with the kids as they have a bit of a heavier side! [Ed: At this point 3-year-old Abbey chimes in to say that her favourite is “Let it Go” from the Frozen soundtrack. Stephanie quickly intervenes to say they definitely do NOT have it on vinyl.] Hey – can you put a tidbit in that we don’t own a car? People think they could never live without their car, but I have three of my own kids and it’s totally doable in this neighbourhood with walking and transit. Everything is so close.”

Finance Jackie Whalen 613-238-1818 x250 All other enquiries 613-238-1818 x230 Distribution A minimum of 17,600 copies distributed from the Ottawa River to Carling Avenue between the O-Train tracks and Woodroffe Avenue. Most residents in this area will receive the Kitchissippi Times directly to their door through Ottawa Citizen or Flyer Force. If you did not receive your copy, or would like additional copies, please contact us and we’ll deliver to you. Bulk copies delivered to multi-unit dwellings and retail locations. Copies available at Dovercourt Recreation Centre and Hintonburg Community Centre. 613-238-1818 x248 Tips and ideas We want to hear from you about what’s happening in our community. Contact the Editor. The Kitchissippi Times is published by


Mark Sutcliffe PRESIDENT

Michael Curran The next issue of your Kitchissippi Times:

February 19

Humans of Kitchissippi is a special street photography project designed to introduce readers to some of the people who live, work, and play in Kitchissippi. Each instalment of HOK contains three elements: a photo, a name, and a quote from the subject that reveals a little bit about who they are. Go to to view our ongoing collection of humans.

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Reserve by February 10

1/2 page ad for KT Feb. 5, 2015 issue | Dovercourt Rec Cen Kitchissippi Times

KT LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Wither Westboro: Planning by a thousand cuts

fication. What is then open for discussion is how those multi-unit homes fit into the “character” of the existing neighbourhood. What has also happened is the increasing trend around this neighbourhood for Dear Editor, Ottawans with deep pockets to buy one On January 14, 2015, I was able to wit- or more single homes, or even showpiece ness democracy in action at a City of 70- 90-year-old homes on double lots, Ottawa Committee of Adjustment hear- and then proceed to demolish them and ing on the proposed redevelopment at build a new house that makes their per526 Kenwood Ave. For those not famil- sonal design statement. On my block iar with the 10,140 square foot prop- alone, 526 Kenwood will be the second, erty, it is a two story, 3,500 square foot, million dollar “teardown” in as many red brick house that sits on a prominent years. hill at the southeast corner of Kenwood Apparently, we are the victims of our and Hillcrest Avenues. This house was own success. People want to live here. built 90’ish years ago and has been a I’m sure the new owners would say that well-maintained family home until its they love the neighbourhood. So what is recent sale, with a list price of over $1 it exactly about the neighbourhood that million. they love? Is it the character of the existThe reason for the hearing was to ing homes (one or more of which you are consider an application for a minor vari- demolishing), is it the lot size and open greenspace (which you are filling with house to the limit of all the maximum permitted setbacks and height limits, and even asking for variances), is it the large mature trees (one or more of which you are taking down), is it the friendly neighbours (one or more of which you have alienated by ignoring their This is what a teardown concerns)? Some people will make in Westboro looks like in 2015. the case that if you can afford to buy a property ance by the new owner. His proposal for a million dollars, and hire namewould see the demolition of this long brand architects and builders, you should standing piece of the local streetscape in be entitled to demolish whatever is there order to build a new home that will be to build a large, lavish house. Others 21 percent higher than the existing by- would argue that what is there now is law allows (increasing from 8 to 9.7 what defines the character of the existing metres, hence the minor variance appli- neighbourhood and like Cadbury Eggs, cation), in addition to increasing the once they’re gone, they’re gone. These floor space by 40 percent to 4,900 views define the debate about what we square feet. The architectural firm want our city streetscapes to look like, designing the new home is Barry J. do we want 4 feet from the side lot lines, Hobin & Associates Architects Inc. flat-roofed, steel, glass and concrete 526 Kenwood was late in the agenda cubes or traditional homes? Should and it was interesting to hear discussions architectural styles be allowed to evolve, from other presenters about how their should neighbourhoods remain frozen in proposed development fit into existing time? Do we want to permit more purely streetscapes, and efforts to determine the for the sake of more? level of support from surrounding neighTo address the statement “The City bours. The architects presented their has no business telling me what I can do proposal, designed as it should be to on my property,” I would say that the focus on what they felt were the high- City does this all the time. Want to lights of the proposal. Opposing the enlarge parking on your front lawn, proposal were a group of eight local there’s a by-law for that. Take down a neighbours, who were supported by pre- large tree? The City has a say in that too. viously written opposition from other If your 1940’s house is too close to the neighbours; newly elected Ward front yard setback, and you want to put Councillor Jeff Leiper; and the Westboro a small roof over your front step landing, Community Association. you are required to apply for a minor Considerable discussion followed variance, subject to review and comment with detailed questions from the by surrounding neighbours and a group Committee of Adjustment, ultimately of professionals at the Committee of resulting in them reserving a decision. Adjustment. This represents the delicate Approximately nine days later, the balance between individual property Committee of Adjustment supported the rights and public good. minor variance application; a very interMy understanding is that currently, esting and eye-opening insight into the you can demolish and build whatever world of development in Ottawa. you want as long as you respect the overWestboro, McKellar Park and all envelope defined by the setback and Highland Park have seen a fair share of height rules. This can get you a pretty existing single family homes demolished big house in this part of the City without and rebuilt as multi-family units for the need to apply for a variance, requirresale. Hardly a block has not been ing buy-in from the Committee of affected on some streets. Whether or not Adjustment. Some may view this as you agree, at least this type of develop- progress, but those who don’t have no ment supports the City’s goal of intensiContinued on page 13

February 5, 2015 • 5 Trish Stolte

6 • February 5, 2015

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It’s cold, snowy, and worth it A few years ago we voluntarily changed our mobility habits to make the bicycle our central transportation choice. As fairly new parents of a toddler (and another on the way), we wanted to adopt a lifestyle that allowed our family to grow without the daily need, cost or burden of automobile ownership or the negative impact this places on others who share our streets. We wanted to be outdoors, active, healthy, connected, feel alive and of course, save money. These are all things the bicycle easily brings into ones’ life. With this choice however, we also needed to be practical and learn how to embrace and love the winter climate in Ottawa with its heavy snow, ice and cold for at least four months of the year. Because Ottawa has almost no winter-maintained bicycle infrastructure, bicycling as a family with young children is especially difficult. However, with some planning, patience, flexibility and a Dutch cargo bicycle we’ve continued to learn how to make it all work. This of course is all propped up by the naturally positive aspects inherent in bicycling that have become the backbone of daily trips filled with joy, adventure, fun and of course cold! Focusing on the positives There is no perfect way to travel in the winter. Each mode of transportation

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Winter cycling as a family in Kitchissippi and beyond, part 1

Here to help you!


has positive and negative attributes, whether it’s a car, bus, O-train, bicycle or walking. One thing is for certain: no mode of transportation can beat bicycling for its connection to the community, efficient speed, extremely low cost and enjoyment – even through winter. On snowy days we have the opportunity to stop to have conversations with friends and enjoy being fully immersed in our environment along the way. We get to feel the falling snow, crisp cold air, wind and sun while developing an appreciation for our community. This would all be missed if we were sealed off in a soundproof car or bus. There is also an incredible sense of adventure when embarking on winter trips, especially when travelling with our young daughter who is almost two years old. One can just imagine the excitement felt through the eyes of a toddler when fully connected to the environment and moving at a speed that allows us to take it all in. In our minds, this is comparable to nature exposure but with an urban twist. Kids get to interact with the world around them in a whole new way that has a positive effect on their cognitive development. The diversity of stimuli flooding the senses, with all the smells, sights, tastes and sounds is so much more enriching compared to the sealed off vacuum of a motor vehicle, and as a direct by product we get daily doses of fresh air and exercise. It keeps us

Maayke Schurer and her daughter, Yfke Schurer-Napiorkowski (2), are all-season cyclists. Read on to see what they’ve learned about winter cycling as a family. Photo by Michael Napiorkowski.

healthy, allows us to enjoy each other’s company, and troubleshoot obstacles together – all positive aspects that help build a stronger family unit. Patience, flexibility, strategic planning and proximity In addition to these very positive experiences, there are some practical steps that need to be taken to bicycle through the winter. While travelling with a toddler in the winter keeps most our trips short, we are brought closer to the local business community, which in turn results in support for local shops. This is also why we chose to live in a location close to everything without

Read the second part of this piece at kitchissippi. com. Are you a winter cyclist? Or do you save it for the summer months? We’d love to hear from you. Send your email to

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needing a car. In the winter, our family bicycling distance is reduced to about a 6 km radius and 12 km for work. This is a limitation that we actually appreciate, as it simplifies our life and causes us to care more about areas that have become a part of our daily experience.

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Kitchissippi Times

Theatre that gives hope Peter Duschenes is the newest Chalmers Arts Fellowship award winner worked as a conductor and pioneered interaction in young audiences between the audience and performers. Platypus Theatre presents theatrical symphony concerts to young audiences. Founded in 1989, with his brother, Michael, who provided the musical background, Platypus Theatre has performed more than 500 times. They have worked with more than sixty orchestras, and performed for almost one million audience members worldwide. A recent show in Montreal had 10,000 kids in the audience. “It’s not very intimate,” Duschenes explains, adding that his objective is to get away from big orchestra shows and return to a more intimate connection with the audience. “Children will be more involved in the creation of the show [in the future] – blurring the line between audience and performers,” says Duschenes Duschenes is an award-winning playwright, mostly writing his own work, with some exceptions. Recently, he adapted Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. Platypus Theatre’s production was originally created in collaboration with the Toronto

By Judith van Berkom

Co-founder and artistic director of Platypus Theatre and Kitchissippi resident, Peter Duschenes, is a new recipient of a 2015 Chalmers Arts Fellowship from the Ontario Arts Council. Chalmers Arts Fellowships support artists in Ontario to examine, investigate, explore and/or experiment with style, technique, process, method, content, or an issue of concern in their arts practice. The program allows artists to dedicate themselves to their arts practice, impacting their career beyond a single project. The award allows Duschenes a two-year period in which he can focus on an artistic project. It’s a time to rejuvenate in mid-career. “You can spend so much time on your career, instead of being an artist,” says Duchenes as he reflects on his 25 years with Platypus Theatre touring company. Duschenes trained as an actor in California, and grew up in a musical family in Montreal. His mother was a child psychologist who valued the role of the arts in education. His father

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Symphony Orchestra, and premiered in 2014 at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. In the play, two dancers portray a myriad of characters featuring music in the role of character and storyteller.  Platypus Theatre worked with the National Arts Centre here in Ottawa for many years on their Family Adventures and Student Matinee series. In 2001, the NAC Orchestra commissioned Music Under a Midnight Moon, a collaboration that allowed the theatre to create a piece in which much of the music was written specifically for the show by Ottawa composer, Patrick Cardy. The show contained no spoken words – for neither the actors nor the conductor – and travelled all over Canada, the United States and overseas to Hong Kong and Malaysia. Now a father of two, Duschenes has lived in Ottawa since 1999. He often sees his children in parts of the projects he writes. “I see bits of my son in the character I’m writing right now,” he says, adding that parenthood “definitely informs” his work.

Danielle Desormeaux and Peter Duschenes, performing in Rhythm in Your Rubbish. “I love the combination of music and theatre,” says Duschenes. Photo by Terry Manzo

His artistic work in theatre with young people often explores difficult issues such as finding one’s identity and place – in society and the world. “I’ve always been interested in the struggles children face,” says Duschenes. Part of his two-year grant time will be spent learning from other theatre groups in the world. He will spend time with Denmark’s Teatre Refleksion, who have performed in Ottawa at the Children’s Festival and whose work he admires. An artist in Switzerland who does puppetry set to music will also inspire his future work. Duschenes will travel across Europe and North America working with some of the

world’s most respected musicians, puppeteers and storytellers during the two-year period, researching new models for interactive audience experiences that combine music and theatre. The shows coming out of the Chalmer’s grant, he hopes, will help prevent kids from lapsing into despair. “They are surrounded by environmental and political disasters,” he says, adding that he would like to help children find hope and see the beauty that shines within them. “How do you foster that?” he adds. For a listing of Platypus Theatre productions, go to

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Kitchissippi Times

Who’s going to steal the show this year? Local residents to participate in cabaret-style fundraiser Story and photo by Craig Lord

A few local Kitchissippi residents will be taking to the stage as part of the annual Don’t Quit Your Day Job cabaret fundraiser at the NAC on Feb. 11. The show puts some familiar faces in unfamiliar territory as they sing, dance, or show off whatever talent they have in front of a captive audience. The night’s proceeds go towards funding the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. Last year, Randy Fitzpatrick of Petit Bill’s Bistro performed an Elton John number for the audience. The restaurateur received critical acclaim. “I got told by a few that I stole the show,” he recalls. It will be a tough act to follow for his brother and bistro co-owner Terry, who steps into the spotlight this year. Though he has performed in the past at Yuk Yuk’s, Terry Fitzpatrick admits having some pre-performance jitters. “I honestly just hope I entertain the people for the three minutes I’m up there,” he says. Eric Coates of the Great Canadian Theatre Company will return as the lead judge, his third time at the panel. He says he’ll be playing up the “sibling rivalry”

past Ottawa performers have production.” told about their lives. For Terry Fitzpatrick, helping Other local entertainers will support local arts is reason include the Cube Gallery’s Don enough to participate. Monet laying down the title “One of my issues about number from the musical Ottawa is that we don’t give a lot “Oklahoma,” and visual artist to the arts community in this city Andrew King. Though King isn’t compared to other cities across certain what his performance Canada. This is one of the ways will be yet, he’s happy to perform. [Magnetic North] can generate a His usual charitable contributions little bit of money for themselves. consist of his artwork. It’s not And if we can help in any way, always easy to give away his that’s even better.” livelihood. If next year’s show is in need “When you do this for a of any extra talent, the Fitzpatrick living, have to pay the bills with brothers know who they would the artwork, you can’t really give recommend: their younger to every single charity that asks,” brother Sean Fitzpatrick, a media King notes. director with the National Arts “This is a charity that’s not Centre. asking for artwork, they’re just “We may try to get him to asking for time. And I’m more bust a move next year,” Terry than happy to donate that.” says. And it’s time well spent, Don’t Quit Your Day Job will according to Coates. He says the be sure to provide a memorable Randy and Terry Fitzpatrick are ready to take the stage at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, evening of laughter and National Arts Centre, although they won’t be quitting their day jobs just yet. which travels from city to city performance. It’s worth noting each year to give a variety of Terry Fitzpatrick is currently between the Fitzpatricks, not attends, where “something theatre companies a stage, is an looking for a jumpsuit worthy of that they would acknowledge outrageous” will always happen. invaluable chance to be seen. the King of Rock n’ Roll himself, any such friction. More often, though, Coates says “It creates a really fantastic Elvis Presley. “We’re brothers. We always it’s the quality of many of the opportunity for a lot of Tickets for the show are $75, get along ’til we don’t,” says pieces that astounds him. companies from across the and include food and beverages Randy. “It’s truly refreshing when country to be seen by a wider from Thyme and Again and The KT Feb. 5, 2015 issueThere’s 1/4 no page standard ad for Dovercourt Any competition between people do something unexpected audience. way for me Clocktower Brew Pub. For more performers isn’t necessarily the and you find yourself having a to stress strongly enough how information, or to purchase a focus for Coates. He guarantees big emotional reaction,” he says, important it is for those involved. ticket, go to magneticnorthfestival. a fun night for anyone who reflecting on some of the stories It can change the trajectory of a ca/dqydj.


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Kitchissippi Times

“I love my work,” says Mona Kalra of MapleCare Physiotherapy. She’s pictured here with her mother, Sharda Luthra, who travelled from India to attend the ceremony on Jan. 29. Photo by Girish Luthra

Hope, dreams, hard work Physiotherapist receives entrepreneur award

By Anne Boys-Hope

When Mona Kalra immigrated to Canada in 2002, she brought with her the hopes and dreams of her family in India. “It was my father’s dream for me to become a physiotherapist and open my own clinic,” says Kalra. Ten years later, she owns not one, but two clinics, and her success has been acknowledged with a prestigious Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneur Award. Every year, the City of Ottawa celebrates and recognizes local business people who have immigrated to Canada, achieved success in their entrepreneurial endeavours and contributed their time and support to make a difference in the community. The awards were presented on Jan. 29 in partnership with the Economic Club of Canada. “Today’s recipients demonstrate how important immigration is to our city, our cultural vitality and our economic prosperity,” says Mayor Jim Watson. The four 2014 recipients include Anand Aggarwal of Manor Park Development, Abdul Haseeb Awan of BitAccess Inc., Peyman Yazdani of Subway Restaurants, and Mona Kalra of MapleCare Physiotherapy. “I was surprised and pleased to receive this award, and I felt thankful for everyone who supported and encouraged me to become an entrepreneur,” says Kalra. Kalra was born in Surat, which is now the second largest city in the state of Gujarat, and the eighth largest city in India. Her father was an entrepreneur, working in the textile business. Before immigrating to Canada, Kalra operated a physiotherapy clinic for seven years in Surat, and later in Bombay. In Canada, she obtained her licence to practice physiotherapy and started to build a new business. She did all this while settling into a new country and raising two children. In 2012, Kalra and her husband, Sanjiv, opened their first MapleCare Physiotherapy Clinic in Nepean. Last May, they opened a second clinic on Holland Avenue in Wellington West. Kalra, along with a growing team of physiotherapists, provide care to patients with neurological, orthopedic and geriatric conditions. Her work is clearly a labour of love.


1. Accept support and give back to others. 2. Be open to learning. 3. Be positive. 4. Don’t give up on your dreams. “It’s a pleasure. I love my work,” she says with a grin. “If you love your job, your inspiration travels.” Her positivity must be infectious, because her circle of support is large: she credits her husband, children, neighbours, friends, and the Buddhist community to which she belongs for helping her on her journey. Though her family lives in India, their support is constant. “My mother-in-law stays with us often, so she is a big support. My father, my mother, brother, all have encouraged me.” Kalra also has high praise for the health care community. “Physiotherapists and other health professionals have supported me through the curve of getting my licence to helping me get where I am today—at every stage,” says Kalra. Kalra gives back to the community that has given her so much. She volunteers at her school, is actively involved in the Buddhist community, and supports aspiring entrepreneurs. “It can be through giving donations or time, or just encouraging somebody because that was what I most needed when I started out. You are ready to do things, but you need support.” Kalra sees the Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneur Award as a testament to those who have supported her. It seems appropriate then, that her mother, brother and sister-in-law travelled from India to attend the award ceremony—braving the January cold. Sadly, Kalra’s father passed away in December, just one month before she received the award, but she knows he’d be proud: “I think he would say, ‘I knew you could do it.’”

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Acts of kindness

Practicing good deeds on Mitzvah Day

By Maxine Betteridge-Moes

The Jewish Federation of Ottawa will host its ninth annual Mitzvah Day on Sunday, Feb. 8 to raise money for local charities and give back to the community. Mitzvah Day will be held at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre and the day begins with a free breakfast at 9 a.m. followed by the opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. The event is an opportunity for members of Ottawa’s Jewish community to come together and perform mitzvot, or good deeds, in the spirit of charity and kindness. The Federation says the event is a fun-filled day of activities for the whole family. Activities will include making sandwiches for the homeless at the Ottawa Mission, preparing and serving meals at Shepherds of Good Hope, and braiding challah bread for the Kosher Food Bank. Participants can also prepare “warmth packages” of gently used hats, gloves and scarves to distribute to the city’s homeless through Jewish Family Services. More than 600 people participated in Mitzvah Day last year and organizers hope to draw another big crowd with a wide range of activities. Last year’s ‘extreme football challenge’ will be repeated this year to raise money for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada. A new event will be a dance-a-thon workshop run by the Capital City Dance Team as well as an activity to create care packages for Canadian troops serving overseas. Tamara Scarowsky, a

Jeffrey Miller, a partner with Ginsberg Gluzman Fage & Levitz (GGFL) Chartered Accountants, pictured here with Ariel Fainer, last year’s Mitzvah Day Coordinator. Photo by Alex Sarna

committee member from the Kitchissippi area, says she is very excited to be involved with the planning of the event this year. Scarowsky volunteered with her husband last year but she said she is especially looking forward to spending some time at a challah baking activity. “We hope the event will both inspire people to do mitzvot throughout the year and to educate our own community about the emphasis our tradition puts on giving back,” says Scarowsky. She adds that her two young children are also excited to make crafts to decorate the rooms of residents of the Hillel Lodge, a long-term care facility on the Jewish Community Campus. Mitzvah Day is being sponsored by the accounting firm Ginsberg,

Gluzman, Fage & Levitz, LLP for the sixth consecutive year. “We’ve always felt that part of our responsibility as accountants is to give back to the community, and what better way to do that than by doing good deeds?” says Jeffrey Miller, a partner at the firm. Miller says he wants to encourage more involvement, and would love to see Mitzvah Day grow into a citywide event. Donations of canned fish, canola and olive oil, jam, nut butters and toiletries will be accepted for the Kosher Food Bank, as well as new toys for the Make a Wish Foundation and dish and laundry soap for the Ronald McDonald House. For a full list of activities and to register, visit or contact Rena Garshowitz at 613-798-4696, ext. 241.

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February 5, 2015 • 13

Kitchissippi Times

Telling tales

Local storytellers captivate eager listeners

Story and photo by Judith van Berkom

Kitchissippi resident, Cambridge Public School teacher and storyteller, Ruth Stewart-Verger, grew up with stories told by her mother and grandmother. As Stewart-Verger’s mother, Donna Stewart recalls, everyone told stories back in the day. Both mother and daughter belong to Ottawa StoryTellers (OST), a not-for-profit organization that has been in existence for over 30 years. Both Donna Stewart and Niki diVito – a retired teacher – are among the original seven members who started Ottawa StoryTellers in the early 1980s. diVito grew up in Italy, in a place and time when school ended at 1 p.m. and her neighbour swapped stories while hanging up the wash. diVito has also taken courses from Dan Yashinsky in Toronto – a prolific author and teacher on the subject of storytelling. The OST began with seven members and now have over seventy. Their initial ‘story swap’ – open to tellers and listeners alike – continues to this day, as does their ‘Epic Tales’ – the telling of longer traditional stories. Many older folks may remember this series, which took place at Rasputin’s Café on Bronson Avenue. OST hosts storytelling sessions in schools, museums, festivals, arts days, in libraries, and on school PD days. They also used to teach teachers the art of storytelling. “The Board of Education went from being quite open to very closed,” explains Stewart-Verger. Now it’s the teachers who tell stories to the children. “As libraries dispensed with volunteers and became more

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professional, library staff took over the storytelling role. We always got paid to do these things [in the past],” says Stewart-Verger. “It takes a lot of time to become a storyteller and become confident in presenting. How many hours do you have at the end of a workday to [learn the art of storytelling]?” Although Stewart-Verger likes to tell stories to children, the art of storytelling isn’t necessarily reserved for audiences of young people. When a storyteller or tellers engage their audience, age disappears. OST tales range from children’s stories, to literary adaptations, to classical texts, traditional tales and personal stories of transformation and discovery. Donna Stewart researches local history and makes up stories based on her research. One of the newer members of OST, Colette Laplante, uses the art of storytelling to enhance her work as a tour guide here in Ottawa. OST presents at over 100 events a

Westboro teardown Continued from page 5 voice, no dispute process, that home is gone. Is this how we want development to continue in Kitchissippi? The current process is designed to look at what is going up, not what is coming down. There is no City approval mechanism to determine the greater good of demolishing an existing home. If the City is concerned about which side of the fence the posts go on, surely it should be concerned about the steady razing of

our neighbourhoods. As one longtime neighbour said, this is “planning by a thousand cuts.” My understanding is that there are new infill guidelines and a by-law that are pending, but regardless, I believe that they only talk about what happens with the new construction, not the demolition. Heritage designation is another possibility either for individual properties or entire districts, but I am not sure that designating an entire ward

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LISTEN UP Stories for Children & Families is a free program that takes place every third Sunday of the month from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the West End Well (969 Wellington St. W.). Captivating tales told by Ruth StewartVerger, her mother, Donna Stewart, Colette Laplante, and Niki diVito will transport visitors to their childhoods. Special ‘guest tellers’ also present on a monthly basis. year, and their annual festival attracts hundreds of people. OST hosts a myriad of storytelling workshops, seasonal events at Bytown Museum, and free storytelling sessions at the West End Well. For information about OST, go to Ruth StewartVerger’s website is at ruth.htm.

is the solution. Not every home in the Kitchissippi area is a heritage home, but that doesn’t mean that every one is worthy of demolition either. I believe that a debate needs to take place within the City government to address the impact that unrestricted demolition is having on the character of our existing neighbourhoods. Communities deserve to be more than simply a commodity to be exploited. John Preston Westboro



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FEBRUARY 5 - BREASTFEEDING WORKSHOP FOR EXPECTANT PARENTS Getting ready for your baby? Come to Mothercraft Ottawa (474 Evered Ave).  from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm and learn about infant feeding from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Learn how to get comfortable, how to know if your baby is getting enough to eat, how babies know just what to do and what you can do to help them do it. Partners are welcome and encouraged to attend. Registration is required. Please call Cathy at 613-728-1839 ext.248. For more information, go to FEBRUARY 7 - PARKDALE UNITED CHURCH ORCHESTRA PERFORMANCE This concert will be taking place at Parkdale United Church, (Parkdale Avenue at Gladstone) at 7:30 p.m. The Parkdale United Church Orchestra will present a concert entitled “Breaking Away.” The program includes Richard Wagner’s Overture from The Flying Dutchman, Camille Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto in A minor, featuring Daniel Wade as soloist, and will conclude with Antonin Dvorak’s New World Symphony.  A reception will follow. Tickets will be available at the door: $15 adults; $10 students/ seniors; free for ages 12 and under.  For more information go to or call 613-7496715. FEBRUARY 8 – VALENTINE TEA Join the Westboro Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary for Sunday tea from 2-4 p.m. at 389 Richmond Rd.  Donations will be accepted for the refreshments, including sandwiches and desserts. While you’re there, browse for bargains at the book sale table or pick up some delicious baked goods. For information call 613-725-2778. FEBRUARY 8, 15, AND 22 - YOGA FOR HEART Santosha Yoga (346 Richmond Rd. at Churchill Avenue) is offering classes by donation every Sunday in February at 1 p.m. All proceeds will go to the Ottawa Heart Institute. For more information go to FEBRUARY 13 - CASINO NIGHT FUNDRAISER This event at the Ukrainian Banquet Hall (1000 Byron Ave.) promises to be a great night out for a worthwhile cause. All funds raised at this event go towards Hospice Care Ottawa. Admission includes play money for gaming tables (craps, blackjack, poker, Crown & Anchor, War, roulette). There’ll be music and entertainment by George Thomas, food stations, a cash bar, and prizes of trips including: 100-

level hockey tickets to see the Sens, sailing on the Ottawa River, show tickets, and more. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 with a $40 tax receipt and can be purchased from Ruddy-Shenkman or May Court Hospice sites, or online via PayPal at For more information, or to purchase tickets over the phone, call Ruth at 613-591-6002 ext. 27.  For more information about Hospice Care Ottawa, please visit FEBRUARY 13 - LEGO BLOCK PARTY It’s a building boom! Kids between the ages of 6 and 12 are invited to show off their architectural creativity at the Carlingwood branch of the Ottawa Public Library at this free, hour-long session. For more information or to register, go to biblioottawalibrary. ca. FEBRUARY 14 - GARDENING TALK Three short talks on a crevice garden, a stone wall garden and a primula garden by members of the Ottawa Valley Rock Garden & Horticultural Society. The public is welcome! Free for non-members. Annual membership is $20. Westboro Masonic Hall (430 Churchill Ave.) at 1:30 p.m. For info go to FEBRUARY 14 - DIGITAL HOME RECORDING DEMYSTIFIED Are you a closet home-recordist or musician? This workshop at the Carlingwood branch of the Ottawa Public Library will provide an overview of the technology and practices involved in basic digital recording. Simple digital recording systems will be demonstrated, and the function and best use of each will be discussed. Registration is required. For more information or to register, go to FEBRUARY 22 – COUNTRY JAM FOR OTTAWA HEART INSTITUTE More than 15 Ottawa Valley country entertainers will take to the stage for Lorne Daley’s annual ‘From the Heart, For the Heart’ fundraiser from 1:30-7:30 p.m. at the Westboro Legion, 389 Richmond Rd. The line-up includes such well-known performers as the Ricochet Riders, Jan McCambley, Andy Clarke, Stella Gallagher, Mike Cloutier, and Fred Ducharme. Emcee: CTV’s Terry Marcotte. Advance tickets ($10) are available at the branch’s upstairs bar. At the door: $15. For information 613-725-2778. FEBRUARY 22  - BORSHCH COOK OFF FUNDRAISER A friendly competition for the People’s Choice “Best



Borshch” to raise funds to support the needs of the orphanage in Kryviy Rih, Ukraine. Come and enjoy borshch of all types, vote for your favorite, and take an opportunity to support the orphanage with a freewill donation. The fun begins at noon, at the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral (1000 Byron Ave.) Do you want to test your culinary skills? Contact the committee members to enter: Fr. Ihor at or 613-325-3903, Olena Stetskevych at, or Iryna Carman at You can also visit our website: FEBRUARY 25 - TRACING YOUR CANADIAN ANCESTORS IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR Discover websites and databases that are useful in tracing your Canadian military ancestors and understanding the context of their experience of the Great War. This session is two hours long and will begin at 6:15 p.m., at the Rosemount branch of the Ottawa Public Library. Registration is required. For more information or to register, go to biblioottawalibrary. ca. FEBRUARY 27 - TRIVIA CHALLENGE FOR CHARITY Get a team together (maximum six players) and compete for cash donations to your favourite charity at the Westboro Legion, 389 Richmond Rd. The door and bar open at 6 p.m. and the tournament begins at 7:30. Pre-game food will be available and prizes will be awarded to the winners of the contest for best team name, judged by Kitchissippi Times editor Andrea Tomkins. The cost is $10 per player and all are eligible for the door prizes. For information, call 613-262-8647. MARCH 7 - A CELEBRATION OF ST. PATRICK A Celebration of St. Patrick is hosted by The Catholic Women’s League of Canada, Our Lady of Fatima Parish (153 Woodroffe Ave.) and will be taking place at 6 pm. Live Irish traditional music, Irish stew, soda bread, rolls, tea coffee and dessert for $20. Advance sales only. This fundraiser covers social justice programs, including the women’s shelter and women in need. For information call 613-726-7583. SOCIAL SENIORS Join in an afternoon of cards, bridge, euchre, board games and socializing every Wednesday from 1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Parish Hall, 153 Woodroffe Ave. All seniors are welcome to attend this weekly non-denominational social gathering.  For more information contact Ellena 613-7284018 or Celine 613-234-0853.

FRIDAY OPEN MIC NIGHTS Show off your musical chops and bask in the applause at the Westboro Legion! We have the sound equipment so just bring your talent and instrument(s). For information, call the branch any afternoon: 613725-2778. YOUR COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS For up-to-date news on your neighbourhood, stay in touch with your community association. Information about events, traffic changes, development, neighbourhood clubs, volunteer opportunities and board meetings is available from the following Community Association websites. Champlain Park Community Association Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association Hintonburg Community Association Hampton-Iona Community Group Island Park Community Association McKellar Park Community Association Mechanicsville Community Association Wellington Village Community Association Westboro Beach Community Association Westboro Community Association

Deadline for submissions:

February 10 Please include “Community Calendar” in the subject line of your email.

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February 5, 2015 • 15

Kitchissippi Times

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Kitchissippi Times | February 5, 2015  

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Kitchissippi Times | February 5, 2015  

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