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CULTURE ISSUE • thegazette • Friday, October 18, 2013

Mike Laine GAZETTE

Welcome to your London

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Every year, thousands of students are dropped off on the precipice of an entirely new experience. A different school, with different people, in a different town. Naturally, the administration and droves of sophs attempt to rapidly familiarize the horde. Typically, this results in the creation of an incredibly small comfort zone around the campus, which is referred to as “The Western Bubble.”

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ondon can be a big, frightening, rather odd place for those accustomed to the comfort of the suburbs, the closeness of a small town or the familiarity of a bustling city. Sometimes it just seems easier to stay on campus, or yo-yo up and down Richmond Row. But that is exactly what The Gazette is trying to change with this Culture Issue: The mentality that this city is merely a waiting room in the office of life. No, instead, this city is your life, at least for the duration of your school tenure. And it’s got a culture you’ll never find anywhere else. It exists in a crush between big corporations, small local entrepreneurs, two enormous

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Chiropractic Career Information Session Are you looking for a career that makes a difference? Interested in studying abroad?

Chiropractic is a fast-growing wellness profession with great earning potential and work-life balance. What’s more, you’ll make a difference to others every day of your career. Gain insight into the philosophy, art and science of chiropractic. You’ll also learn more about the student experience and world-class curriculum we offer at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, and will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. WHEN: Wednesday 23 LOCATION: Room 373,

October 2013 at 7.00PM University Community Centre (UCC)

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Burst out of the comfy Western bubble

CROSSWORD By Eugene Sheffer

post-secondary schools, and thousands of London residents trying to exist in the hubbub. This volatile mixture leads to an incredibly stratified culture, one with amenities that appeal to every type of person. The music and theatre scene in London is tremendous. From classical music, to indie bands, to dirty, sweat-soaked punk rockers, there’s always a show to go see. Looking for a drink? London has one of the best bar scenes of any town in Canada, whether you’re after the most exclusive craft beer, a quiet wine-tasting or a cheap cocktail at a club. And the food. Oh the food. Worldclass restaurants dot the downtown, beckoning date nights, or just a good meal with some friends. If you prefer something a bit more down-to-earth, artisanal craft vendors, markets, and other local vendors flourish in London, providing a needed respite from the mire of corporate culture. Not only that, but the literary community in London is expansive, with used bookstores proliferating the downtown core. There really is something for everyone. The front cover of this year’s Culture Issue provides a unique vantage point of London. Looking down on the city from the top of One London Place, you can see all the little alleys scurrying off the page, as cars the size of Hot-Wheels skirt along the streets. It ceases to look so intimidating (as Dundas and Richmond occasionally does at street level). Instead, it looks like a map of possibilities. What you can only see in miniature on The Gazette’s pages is life-sized and vivid a mere 10 minutes away from campus. So, open up our Culture Issue and dive in headlong. Our editors have spent years exploring the city that is our mutual home, and want to share some of the many positive experiences we’ve had. It’s time to burst out of the comfortable, milquetoast Western Bubble and explore the roots and crags of a truly amazing city. Let us be your guide.

The Cryptoquip is a substitution cipher in which one letter stands for another. If you think that X equals O, it will equal O throughout the puzzle. Single letters, short words and words using an apostrophe give you clues to locating vowels. Solution is by trial and error. © 2002 by Kings Features Syndicate, Inc.

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thegazette • Friday, October 18, 2013 • CULTURE ISSUE

Greeks: putting the phi in philanthropy Megan Devlin NEWS EDITOR Everyone’s familiar with fraternity parties in the movies, but not as many students are aware of fraternities and sororities on campus at Western. These Greek-letter organizations are better known in the United States, but Greek culture is alive and well at Western. In London, Greeks are known for their community philanthropy events — not just their keg-stands. “A lot of the media portrayals are of American Greek life. There’s a pretty big difference between American Greek life and Greek life here,” McKenzie Edwards, public relations chair of the inter-fraternity council, says. “I like parties, whatever. But that’s not the main reason I got involved. I got involved for leadership positions — to do stuff in the community,” he continues. One of the main philanthropy events Edwards’ fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, engages in every year is their food drive for the London Food Bank. Last year, they raised 15,250 pounds of food. “It’s something we take great pride in […] How many student groups raise 15,000 pounds of food in a day? Not many,” Edwards says. Anne McDonald, philanthropy coordinator for Alpha Gamma Delta, took pride in her sorority’s Get Swabbed event, which is run in conjunction with the fraternity brothers of Phi Gamma Delta, Canadian Blood Services, and One Match Canada. Get Swabbed was started after former sorority president Jessica Grossman’s father passed away while waiting for a bone marrow donation. The event collects cell samples from the inner cheek of as many potential bone marrow donors as possible to increase the registry in order to find matches for people

awaiting a bone marrow transplant. Greeks are also known for their charity sport and dance competitions. The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity’s peak week hosts various events pitting fraternities and sororities in friendly competition, with all proceeds going towards the Children’s Health Foundation. “We decided to go towards a more local [charity] that Londoners will know about,” Harrison Lau, philanthropy chair of Pi Kappa Alpha, says. Last year, the weeklong event raised $10,000 after cost. Fraternities and sororities are constantly striving to come up with new initiatives to help the community. “Move Your Phi’t was a 5 km run or walk we organized to raise money women’s heart health,” Denise Liu, a sister of Alpha Phi, says. “We really wanted to try new ways to support our philanthropy and thought that hosting a run could reach out to a diverse group of individuals.”

Courtest of Jay Hong

GREEKS JUST WANNA DO MORE THAN HAVE FUN. Fraternity brothers and sorority sisters team up to collect non-perishable food donations from Londoners during their annual food drive for the London Food Bank.

Courtesy of Jay Hong

Mike Laine GAZETTE

Tempting new theatre co. Tempting Tree Theatre comes to London Brent Holmes ARTS & LIFE EDITOR A new theatre company is putting down its roots in London. Sprouting from the critically-acclaimed Western-based theatre company Richmond and Tower, Tempting Tree Theatre Collective is a professional theatre company bridging the gap between community theatre and the Grand Theatre in London. The collective grew out of a reenvisioned version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream this past summer. Western student and co-artistic director for Tempting Tree, Ryan Cole, planted the seeds for Tempting Tree with Fanshawe Graduates and co-artistic directors Charlene Wolf and Ximena Huizi. “[It’s a] new brand,” Cole says. “I have two new partners, both are Fanshawe graduates and I was doing a show in the summer under my own name and met them through that, and decided to put this company together.” Planting themselves in the real world and London community, Cole, Wolf and Huizi have an added challenge with being a fully professional company — including paying

professional and student actors for their work. “You get what you pay for, I think. We are looking to hire actors whether they are students or professional actors and to pay them what they are due, which is something new for us. Usually, we are of the steal-and-run-away tactic,” Cole says. Putting aside a planned show for October has allowed Tempting Tree to prepare a three show season for the coming year including new retellings of classic Shakespeare shows — The Bairn and Titus — and a show that was unused from Richmond and Tower’s previous season, called Reasons to be Pretty. “[Reasons to be Pretty] is a great, funny, but sort of messed up antiromantic comedy and we are doing that over Valentine’s Day. It looks at first glance like it is on the lighter side but it’s actually a pretty gritty tale of young people in love,” Cole explains. For the Tempting Tree Theatre Collective, London is an important soil to be a part of. With support from the local arts community and The Arts Project, Cole hopes the new company will bear fruit.

“This year we are the young company in residence at the Arts Project, which is nice because we have our own studio there,” Cole says, adding that they hope to be a proud part of the London community. “We will continue to try and bring professional theatre outside of the Grand to London. Here, either it’s community theatre or it’s the Grand, there’s nothing in between. There’s no sort of off-Broadway of London — that’s the niche we are looking to fill.” For the new theatre company, watching the seed they’ve planted in London grow has been a surprisingly fast experience. “It’s all come together so quickly. We decided we would have a company one day. The next thing you know we have a name and a logo and its up and running and we will see where it goes,” Cole says. With the twisted sensibilities of Richmond and Tower made into a fully professional company integrated into the London community, Cole hopes that The Tempting Tree Theatre Collective will be a way for theatre goers to encounter new perspectives.

Your Weekly Horoscope

The week of Sept. 20 – 26 This horoscope is intended for entertainment purposes only.

ARIES - Mar 21/Apr 20 Aries, it’s important to know that someone close to you supports you no matter what. Don’t let selfdoubt overwhelm you. Others support you for a reason.

LIBRA – Sept 23/Oct 23 Expect a self-esteem boost when you begin to feel better about all of your options, Libra. Although you may not be in love with all of the possibilities, many are very appealing.

TAURUS – Apr 21/May 21 Set your long-term goals and work hard to make them a reality, Taurus. Goals can help you stay on track and provide much-needed motivation when you hit rough patches.

SCORPIO – Oct 24/Nov 22 Scorpio, you have an uncanny sense of imagination and your creativity will be running strong this week. Share some of your ideas with a trusted friend or family member.

GEMINI – May 22/Jun 21 SAGITTARIUS – Nov 23/Dec 21 Gemini, even though you may not be getting all of There are many cosmic energies working in your the recognition you hoped at work, others are paying corner, Sagittarius. You just need to be in tune with attention to your accomplishments. Just be a little the changes that are happening all around you. patient. CANCER – Jun 22/Jul 22 Romance could be heading in your direction, Cancer. If you are in a relationship, then that relationship might grow even stronger. Plan a romantic getaway soon.

CAPRICORN – Dec 22/Jan 20 Capricorn, anticipate some confusion regarding your social life this week. This can grow into a stressful situation if you let it. Instead, keep a level head and trust that things will work out.

LEO – Jul 23/Aug 23 Leo, you may want to keep some thoughts to yourself this week. Others may not be fond of you rocking the boat at this time, so let things settle down.

AQUARIUS – Jan 21/Feb 18 Aquarius, career concerns dominate your thoughts these next few days, but you have other things on your mind as well. Devote ample time to all of your concerns.

VIRGO – Aug 24/Sept 22 Surround yourself with people who can make you feel good and provide lots of support, Virgo. This week you may need all of the encouragement you can get.

PISCES – Feb 19/Mar 20 Pisces, exotic thoughts creep into your head, but you have some mundane chores that need tending to as well.

FAMOUS BIRTHDAYS OCT. 20 – Tom Petty, Singer (63)) OCT. 21 – Carrie Fisher, Actress (57) OCT. 22 – Jeff Goldblum, Actor (61)

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OCT. 23 – Ang Lee, Director (60) OCT. 24 – B.D. Wong, Actor (53) OCT. 25 – Adam Pascal, Singer/Actor (43)

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CULTURE ISSUE • thegazette • Friday, October 18, 2013

Using craft beer to create community Cam Smith DEPUTY EDITOR It’s generally a point of contention in any city: “What’s the best place to grab a beer?” But in London, it’s no competition.  If you’re a patron of the pint, an imbiber of the brew, a connoisseur of craft, Milos’ Craft Beer Emporium on the corner of Carling and Talbot Streets is the only pub for you. With a constantly cycling draught list of well over 20 craft beers and an ample bottle list, Pub Milos is London’s Mecca for craft beer enthusiasts who need a respite from the deluge of macro-domestic offers at the Beer Store. At the helm of this cultural engine is Milos Kral, a charming and passionate man originally hailing from the Czech Republic, who has been in the beer-purveying business since the early 90s at a variety of locations in London. “When you come from the Czech Republic, [beer drinking] starts from the age you can safely walk as a child,” he says with a smile. “I was about four years old.” Kral notes that his perception of craft beer is different. He explains that where he’s from, the beer is so consistently good that “craft” delineation isn’t required for their beer, where here it’s necessary to separate it from the crap.

When Kral first arrived in Canada he was appalled at the beer offering. “When I came to Canada I was shocked at what people called beer,” he says. “I’m, in a way, a purist. If you say you’re making beer, you use barley or wheat, hops, water and yeast. Fermented corn syrup just doesn’t appeal to me.” It wasn’t Toronto or Montreal that Kral decided to settle in, but rather London, a city he says met all his needs. “I really liked it here. I went back to my job in North Bay and told them I was moving. They asked ‘do you have a job?’ and I told them ‘no.’ If you’re willing to work, there is work for you,” he says. Not everybody was as optimistic about Kral’s chances in London, a town dominated by Labatt’s Brewery. It would be a tough community to crack into, with macro domestics being the brew of choice for most Londoners. “I think I would be a rich man if I had a coin for every time somebody told me ‘you can’t do this here. This is Labatt’s town.’ But if you really believe in something go for it. It’s not easy, if it was, everyone would be doing it. Someone has to get on the soapbox and preach, and I’m happy to do it. Somebody has to carry the torch,” he explains. Kral doesn’t merely dwell in London selling beer. For him, the

Kelly Samuel GAZETTE

POURING PINTS OF CULTURE. Milos Kral has been in London for decades, working to demystify those under the spell of macro-domestic beer, and building a close community while doing so.

culture of London hinges on community building and patron interaction, and that is what defines Milos��� Craft Beer Emporium. “My mission is to try to get people to rediscover the idea of neighbour and community. I like the idea of

dealing with people,” Kral explains. “Everybody has a face and a name. I don’t want to be some faceless number on a spreadsheet. That’s what we try to do. I think that’s the way we can ensure our community is thriving.”

If you’re looking for a truly cultural and community-driven experience, stop by Pub Milos for a pint. It truly is the best place to grab a beer in town.

Barakat provides Mediterranean quality Nusaiba Al-Azem SPORTS EDITOR Mediterranean cuisine is a food style that’s recently made some headway in the London food industry, and one local business owner has led the charge. Jamil Barakat, owner of Barakat Restaurant on Western Road, recalls the forces behind his decision to open a Middle Eastern, family-run restaurant in the city.

“It [had been] for a long time actually that Middle Eastern food in London [didn’t] exist. In the late 90s I started looking into establishing a Middle Eastern restaurant in London, and in 2000 we started,” Barakat says. The restaurant has been operating for 13 years now, and has quickly become a London staple. While the original store opened in downtown on Richmond Street, the Barakats had a bigger vision for the

restaurant, which the old location could not sustain. “I could not work with [the old location] the way it should be because the building is old and not meant to be a [sit-down] restaurant,” Barakat explains. “We sold the location downtown [to] an independent buyer. They can keep the name as long as they keep the quality and the standard the way it was before, when we had the store.” Quality is extremely important

Kelly Samuel

thegazette

Volume 107, Issue 0 www.westerngazette.ca

Julian Uzielli Editor-In-Chief Cameron M. Smith Deputy Editor Jason Sinukoff Managing Editor

Contact: www.westerngazette.ca University Community Centre Rm. 263 The University of Western Ontario London, ON, CANADA N6A 3K7 Editorial Offices: (519) 661-3580 Advertising Dept.: (519) 661-3579

The Gazette is owned and published by the University Students’ Council.

Editorials are decided by a majority of the editorial board and are written by a member of the editorial board but are not necessarily the expressed opinion of each editorial board member. All other opinions are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the USC, The Gazette, its editors or staff. To submit a letter, go to westerngazette.ca and click on “Contact.” All articles, letters, photographs, graphics, illustrations and cartoons published in The Gazette, both in the newspaper and online versions, are the property of The Gazette. By submitting any such material to The Gazette for publication, you grant to The Gazette a non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty-free, irrevocable license to publish such material in perpetuity in any media, including but not limited to, The Gazette‘s hard copy and online archives.

GAZETTE

to Barakat. According to him, that’s what sets their restaurant apart from other Middle Eastern eateries. “The food we have, the standard of quality, it’s top quality. If you take it to the Middle East, it would be top quality. It’s not downgraded quality made for [the] Canadian public. We do it the way it should be in the Middle East exactly.” Anne-Marie Dystra, a local construction worker and electrician working on a nearby building, comes to the restaurant for convenience and stays for the taste. “It’s pretty good, yeah,” she affirms. “This is the first [Middle Eastern] place I’ve been to.” Barakat introduced her to Mediterranean cuisine and she’s quickly become a regular customer, returning weekly. The loyalty of customers could be due to the owners’ dedication. Open every day until midnight, the store always has a family member present. “I am seven days in the store. Seven days,” Barakat says. “It’s a completely family-run business. It’s got its own touch on it. It’s my name on the line. It’s my family name, my last name actually. And we’ll attempt to keep it that way for a long time hopefully.” The restaurant has a strong connection to London culture as Barakat continues to work within the community.

Gazette Composing & Gazette Advertising Ian Greaves, Manager Maja Anjoli-Bilic

Diana Watson

Gazette Staff 2012-2013

Danielle Bozinoff, Jaclyn Carbone, Jonathan Dunn, Andrew Evans, Chelsey Gauthier, Ross Hamilton, Danny Huang, Amanda Law, Jared MacAdam, Sarah Mai Chitty, Sarah Manning, Kaitlyn Oh, Sarah Prince, Chen Rao, Herb Richardson, Nathan Robbins-Kanter, Lily Robinson, Katie Roseman, Jasleen Sembhi, Nathan TeBokkel, Jacqueline Ting, Caroline Wang, Kate Wilkinson, Zoe Woods, Usman Zahid, Mason Zimmer

News Richard Raycraft Megan Devlin Iain Boekhoff Jeremiah Rodriguez Arts & Life Brent Holmes Mary Ann Ciosk Bradley Metlin Sports Daniel Weryha Nusaiba Al-Azem Caitlin Martin Newnham Opinions Kevin Hurren

“We help all kinds of groups, from cancer to diabetes to United Way to different churches to student groups on campus. We do a lot of events for multiple purposes,” Barakat says. Enhancing the London community is something the owner appreciates. “Let’s say I had a certain group approach us from any student group that does work for their community and their culture — we help them to cater for them,” he says. “We give them either food by cost or we donate a certain amount of the food or the whole portion of the food.” The Barakat family is taking advantage of the restaurant’s popularity by franchising. While scouting for premium locations in Toronto, they remain confident that London’s Barakat will always be special. London is not merely special to Barakat because it happened to be the city of the first restaurant location. Though he is originally from Lebanon, the business owner has solid roots in London. He left Lebanon in 1988 to join his Londoner wife. Three of their children have attended university at Western, and the family is deeply immersed in London life. “I love London. London is home for me. I’ve been in London for 26 years, and I’m 49. That means 23 years in Lebanon, 26 in Canada. I am in London, Ontario. London is home.”

Associate Kaitlyn McGrath Aaron Zaltzman Photography Logan Ly Bill Wang Kelly Samuel Graphics Naira Ahmed Illustrations Christopher Miszczak John Prata Online Jesica Hurst Graphics/Video Mike Laine

• Please recycle this newspaper •


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thegazette • Friday, October 18, 2013 • CULTURE ISSUE

food&drink New diner Ish & Chips doesn’t give an F Kevin Hurren OPINIONS EDITOR Something fishy is going to be happening this weekend in downtown London, with the opening of Ish and Chips. No, they’re not missing a letter, but creative director Kamil Mytnik sometimes likes to joke they are. “When people are passing by and ask me what happened to the ‘f,’ I always tell them we couldn’t afford the last letter,” said Mytnik, who, along with his parents, run the new diner opening downtown this weekend. Ish & Chips may be missing a letter, but its former home of Waterloo will miss the diner even more. Having been set up there for about two years, the eatery was forced to shut down last year after a fire spread through the building complex, compromising the structural integrity. “There was nothing the fire fighters could do to salvage the building, so eventually the whole property got flattened,” Mytnik explained. What was Waterloo’s loss will soon be London’s gain as Ish & Chips, known for its homemade burgers and battered fish courses,

When people are passing by and ask me what happened to the ‘f,’ I always tell them we couldn’t afford the last letter. – Kamil Mytnik,

owner of Ish and Chips

becomes a welcome addition to London’s core at 633 Richmond Street. The Mytnik family set their eyes on the Forest City as the restaurant’s new home after it became clear they wouldn’t be able to rebuild their Waterloo location. “I’ve visited London a few times on a Saturday night and it’s impressive with how much night life there is,” Mytnik said. In addition to the evening buzz on Richmond Row, Mytnik admires the beauty of the downtown core. “I have to give major props to the city planners of London — they’ve done an amazing job in making the

Courtesy of Kamil Mytnik

city very beautiful.” Described as somewhat lofty, the decor of Ish & Chips incorporates exposed brick walls and an open concept layout, equipped with a viewable kitchen and custom furniture pieces. Looking beyond the static location on Richmond Street, Mytnik hopes that in the next few years Ish

& Chips will become mobile with its own food truck. “I see London as a pretty happening city, and you can’t reach out to the entire community from being in just one spot so the food truck kind of gives you a leg up on that.” After just missing Homecoming weekend as an opening debut, the diner decided to wait through the

Mary Ann Ciosk ARTS & LIFE EDITOR Hasbeans The Covent Garden Market (130 King St.) is a trendy local mainstay for Londoners, satisfying grocery, restaurant, and most importantly, coffee needs. Conveniently located and always reliable, Hasbeans provides an incredible assortment of specialty coffees, hot chocolate and treats in the bustling marketplace. Anyone who frequents Hasbeans will be familiar with manager Joel McMillan. Often dressed in an eccentric collage of clothing items with a long braided ponytail, McMillan prefers to cheerfully bid farewell to patrons with comments such as “have wonderful moments,” rather than the typical and inauthentic “have a nice day.” “My mom and grandpa own the business, and I’ve been working here for 14 years. My grandpa is still working here — he does a lot of the behind the scenes things. He’s amazing,” McMillan says. Founded in 1969, Hasbeans has been a family-owned and run London business in the Covent Garden Market for over four decades. “We’ve chosen to be small. We’re iconic for London because we’ve been around for so long and we were doing things that were original in North America,” McMillan says. As Hasbeans has gained its reputation for excellence, its client base has steadily grown as it continues to provide a bright and lively atmosphere in the sometimes-bleak downtown core.

Caitlin Martin Newnham GAZETTE

LONDON’S LIVELY CAFFEINE SCENE. Joel McMillan, manager of Hasbeans and grandson of its founder, is pictured here in London’s oldest locally owned coffee shop. Several new cafés have recently sprung up similarly supporting fair-trade and organic blends.

Black Walnut Bakery Café Off the beaten track in the heart of Wortley Village, the family-owned Black Walnut (134 Wortley Rd.) is a favourite in the neighbourhood. The small café has a chic yet homey feel — well-worn wood tables and chairs inside offer a comfortable place to chat with a friend, cozy up with a book, or people-watch through the wide windows while swanky jazz music lightly filters through the background. “We get lot of regulars — they’re about 80 per cent of our customers,” says Jackie Dudley, employee at Black Walnut for the past three years.

“I really love working here. I love knowing all my clients by name and their orders. When I’m walking through the village I say hi to them — it’s really nice.” Although Black Walnut has only been open for five years now, it has made its mark in the community and is sure to be an integral part of Wortley for many years to come. Despite having the competition of Little Red Roaster almost next door, Dudley is pleased to say that Black Walnut has come out on top. “I’ll walk by in the village and see that this place is packed when the other restaurants are all dead,”

Dudley says. Part of the allure of Black Walnut is its array of savoury items including healthy lunches, snacks and baked goods, made fresh on location every day. “Everything is made fresh from scratch in the kitchen. No preservatives, no additives,” Dudley says. For a quieter location away from the masses of stressed students glued to their laptops, Black Walnut is a local, fair-trade alternative to Starbucks. Fire Roasted Coffee Although Fire Roasted Coffee’s

Thanksgiving holiday when so many students left the city. They plan to open this weekend at some point. With the return of students, Mytnik is excited to finally open the doors of Ish & Chips and once again start doing what they do best which is serving quality food — no ‘f’s, ‘ands,’ or ‘buts.’

location at 900 King Street is brand new, founder Dave Cook has been supplying coffee at the Western Fair Farmers’ Market since 2007. FRC continues to make its own blends in the Farmers’ Market roasterie but due to their popularity, Cook opened the new café. Cook is thrilled to be rooted in London’s eclectic culture. “I put it here because I love London — it’s really grown on me as a city and I think there’s a lot of opportunity here,” Cook said in an interview with The Gazette in September. “We’re a social entrepreneur business so we’ve always been really focused on community building — we’ve developed a really good rapport with a lot of the community,” says Cook. Fire Roasted Coffee’s new location is already a hit — the glass windows on two sides of the café are constantly filled with students sipping on lattés. “If there’s one group in the city that I really want to engage with it’s the students. When you look at the campus there’s an opportunity to give a unique coffee experience to the students and for some reason that hasn’t totally developed. So it’s great that we’re in a location that will offer easy transportation for students to come down and try us,” Cook says. Fair-trade and organic coffee being the essence of their image, Cook travels far and wide to find new, tasty roasts from ecologically conscious companies. — With files from Caitlin Martin Newnham


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CULTURE ISSUE • thegazette • Friday, October 18, 2013

placestogo The arts have always possessed the ability to enlighten and inspire the public. They evoke emotion and memory, and in special cases, have the ability to help build the community. London is lucky to have many venues that are proud to offer all of these. Among them are Aeolian Hall, London Music Hall, and Orchestra London.

London Music Hall

Bill Wang GAZETTE

London Music Hall, which is located at 185 Queens Ave., has made a name for itself since it moved into the Forest City in 2006. Perhaps the biggest venue of the three, London Music Hall boasts acts from some of the biggest names in music. Such acts include The Sheepdogs, The Trews and Gord Downie. Additionally, the London Music Hall flexes its production muscles when they occasionally create outdoor concerts for big-name artists like Snoop Dogg and NOFX. However, they also believe it is important to showcase local, homegrown talent. “A lot of our local artists open up for headlining acts. We do have CD release parties and we do shows for local bands on occasion as well,” Demetri Manuel, vice-president of operations at London Music Hall, says. “[Local artists playing here] helps the scene grow and continue to grow. It allows people coming out to shows to see bands in their backyard they may not have heard of.” Besides helping out local artists, the London Music Hall’s success helps local businesses around London succeed as well. Whether it is hotels, restaurants, chains or one-of-a-kind stores, when a big name comes to play in London, they get a boost in business because of the London Music Hall. “It brings people from out of town to London for shows. I like to think it helps local businesses surrounding us as well […] Hotels are consistently booked from people coming into town watching concerts. Restaurants, other merchandise [and] clothing shops [also] gets business from us putting on these shows.

Aeolian Hall The Aeolian, as it is affectionately known, located on 795 Dudas St. East, is a multi-disciplinary arts centre. Because of this, they offer many distinct acts that can’t be found elsewhere. “We present a very diverse offering of artistic events including multigenre music, dance, drama and plenty of community events. The Aeolian has something for everyone,” Clark Bryan, executive and artistic director at Aeolian Hall, says. Besides just hosting events, the Aeolian prides themselves on helping to foster the local and regional communities around them. They do this in a variety of ways, including after-school music programs and by hosting many community events. The Aeolian was also the former town hall, so they know how important it is to plan events that will bring in patrons. “As the former town hall, the Aeolian hosts events which draw in and foster local and regional community. Unlike the pre-packaged American entertainment of many larger venues, the Aeolian presents both emerging and retro artists,” Bryan says. It hosts regular visual art exhibitions and has an amazing school of music featuring the TED and UNESCO award-winning program “El Sistema.” “This free, intensive after-school music program fills the gaps between those who get a first-rate music education and those who don’t. With a strong volunteer base, the Aeolian accomplishes as much or more than many organizations with large resources,” he continues. Because of their accomplishments and their dedication to the community, the Aeolian has been the recipient of the Jack Richardson Music Award for the best live venue three times in the past six years. “The community voted us the best live venue three times. We focus on a vision of strong community using art and culture as the vehicles for fostering it. We are strongly engaged in social challenges and the betterment of community. The true vision is the impact of art and culture on social change,” Bryan says.

Bill Wang GAZETTE

Orchestra London

Bill Wang GAZETTE

Orchestra London’s main office is located at 609 Wellington St., while most of their performances are at Centennial Hall. It is the only professional orchestra in the London community. Instead of taking advantage of this by gouging prospective customers with steep prices, they offer affordable tickets and deals for patrons to enjoy what they bring to the Forest City. “Orchestra London is the only professional orchestra in our community and we are most fortunate to have the level of expertise and enjoyment that the Orchestra brings to our audiences,” Sonia Wolf, marketing manager for Orchestra London, says. “We offer a student bottomless pass which allows the pass holder to experience over 30 concerts for a one time low fee. We have just introduced SoundEscape sponsored by Siskinds, which is a membership program that offers special deals and discounts for people who have never attended Orchestra London in the past and are beyond the student era.” In concordance with entertaining patrons, Orchestra London also collaborates with other arts juggernauts to help further the culture of London by providing arts entertainment for everybody. “Orchestra London collaborates with the Grand Theatre, Museum London and London Arts Council to promote London’s cultural scene. We serve professional music of all tastes and for all ages.” Just like The Aeolian, which provides an extensive after-school program, Orchestra London performs in 20 schools for thousands of students around London to try and imbue in them the love for the orchestra early on. “We work with teachers to tie our program to the Ontario curriculum and work side-by-side with students in mentorship programs. Just like kids who play hockey and dream to be in the NHL, we foster the love of classical music for children who one day want to be professional musicians,” Wolf says. — Jason Sinukoff


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thegazette • Friday, October 18, 2013 • CULTURE ISSUE

Used books fill these cultured nooks Richard Raycraft NEWS EDITOR Books. Whether you love them or hate them, one cannot deny that they have conveyed and preserved the greatest of humanity’s ideas and stories throughout for centuries. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword, and no single aspect of culture has proven this more effectively than the printed and bound book. Often overlooked in their cultural contribution, the used bookstores of London have distributed classical and influential works of literature for decades. For many bookworms, the used bookstore is a special place — a place to add to their collection affordably, yes — but also one where there is something for every type of reader, with any sort of interest. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re bound to find it somewhere in the hundreds of thousands of used books housed in London. Located in downtown London, City Lights Bookshop (356 Richmond St.) has been selling used books for over three decades. In fact, its slogan is “defending culture since 1975.” “It’s one we’ve taken on recently, perhaps for the last five years,” Tyler Smith, Manager of City Lights, says of the slogan. “We felt that bookstores have a responsibility as storehouses of culture, it’s up to us as a purveyor and seller of cultural artifacts like books to house them.” “It’s our job as a used bookstore to collect [culture], and thereby defend it,” he explains. City Lights has been a favourite among London residents since its establishment, and doesn’t limit itself to books — the store also carries old records, movies and music. Smith explains that City Lights’ massive selection is only possible through the contribution of the people of London. “City Lights Bookshop has been here for many years because of the people of this city, because of the people who contribute to its culture […] and that’s the reason we can operate,” he said. Smith elaborates that City Lights receives the majority of its stock through book trading. People bring in books and exchange them for more books or for store credit. “That’s how we acquire the majority of our stock; occasionally

we’ll go out on book buys, but very, very seldom will we do that because there’s so much of an influx of books from the people here in London,” he explains. City Lights isn’t the only used bookstore in town, however. Only a couple of blocks east Attic Books also deals in literature. Established only a year after City Lights in 1976, Attic Books houses a collection of somewhere around 100,000 books, according to Jason Dickson, a bookseller who has worked there for over a decade. “I’ve worked in new book stores and I’ve worked at used book stores, and the difference is that new book stores are bound to sell what’s new on the market,” he says. “An advantage that we have is that we have over 500 years of publishing history available in our marketplace, essentially.” Like City Lights, Attic Books (240 Dundas St.) carries a number of other antique items, and even has a sister store that houses a number of them. Dickson explains that used bookstores have a certain personal feel that customers enjoy. “I can say to the customer: ‘You collect Jane Austen and this is what we have in,’” he says. “[Finding a book] is like when you go into that used clothing store and find the jacket that’s the perfect fit.” It’s a point that Smith agreed with wholeheartedly. “I think everyone has a little corner of this store that they can call their own,” he explains. “There is a passion amongst them, I think, that has kept their love of reading alive — I think our regulars identify as much with the books they buy as they do with the atmosphere of this store, and that’s what keeps them coming back.” And come back they do — according to Dickson, a substantial portion of Attic Books customers are regulars, who purchase books there on a weekly basis. Dickson expressed his belief that used books will always have this sort of appeal, even in an age of technological change. “The camera didn’t wipe out paintings, and the radio didn’t take out music,” he explains. If he’s right, the bookstores of London are set to contribute to its intellectual culture for many years to come.

Kelly Samuel GAZETTE

Kelly Samuel GAZETTE

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CULTURE ISSUE • thegazette • Friday, October 18, 2013

Meet the vendors of Covent Garden Market

Havaris Produce Havaris Produce is one of three produce shops in the market, but holds an impressive legacy. They have been in the King Street location since the original market in 1912 — an astounding 101 years. “[Culture] changes. Over the last hundred years, that’s evolved. At the beginning a lot of the Europeans came over and this is where they came. Basically, we just continued to evolve as the market grew,” Chris Havaris, owner of Havaris Produce, says. Their growth includes being competitive with the other produce shops within the market. Havaris, the soft-spoken leader, explains

that trying to increase the amount of local harvest is only part of the competitive edge. “[We] just try to bring a better product, better service and get to know our customers. We try to be as competitive with our price as well, too,” Havaris says. The product speaks for itself. The plump peppers and crisp lettuce inspire ideas for potential gourmet meals that are affordable to boot. Students and young families alike faithfully frequent Havaris Produce for their fresh food needs. “Saturday is our busiest day. People make it a destination point to do their shopping, you know, the ‘faithfuls’ come to the market,” Havaris says.

Hot Oven This simple bakery doesn’t need flash or flare to draw in its customers. The smell of their succulent bureks has been more than enough to attract Londoners for the last 14 years. Zoran Sehovac came from Bosnia hoping to share the beloved pastry with Canadians, and has certainly succeeded. “People love it. It’s been the same since day one. People just keep coming and enjoying Burek,” Violetta, one of Hot Oven’s pastry chefs, says. Burek is a mouthwatering fried phyllo pastry filled with a variety of ingredients. Hot Oven offers cheese and spinach, cheese and

meat and plain bureks. If you’re still not full after one of these generously sized swirls of magic, Hot Oven offers a wonderful apple cinnamon dessert strudel. This pastry dish has a rich history, originating in Turkey. After Turkey invaded countries such as former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Romania, the burek recipe was shared and accepted by these countries as a favourite. “The best thing is we make it from scratch. We make our dough — the cheese we don’t make, but we mix it here — meat, everything is made here. That’s why it’s so tasty because it’s made with love and from scratch — like your grandma would make,” Violetta explains.

Photos by Caitlin Martin Newnham GAZETTE

Chris’ Country Cuts Chris Lyons, founder of Country Cuts, is an entity within himself. He is metaphorically equivalent to a butcher, baker and candlestick maker with the sum of his many talents. Not only has he been a butcher since the age of 16, but he also cracks jokes like a professional comedian and is the announcer for the Mustangs football team. That deep voice you hear over the megaphones in TD Stadium is that of your humble neighbourhood butcher. “If you go to a game you unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on how you look at it — have to listen to me. My fun job is announcing football games,” Lyons laughs. His ‘get-your-hands-dirty’ job at Chris’ Country Cuts involves making local meats available to Londoners. “Everything is local, which is really

important to most people now. Everything is grain-fed, no antibiotics, no growth hormones, all that sort of stuff. So it’s as close to “organic” as you can get without actually being certified organic and having to jump through all the hoops that they have to jump through. It’s ridiculous,” Lyons explains. With consumers demanding so many different parameters for their meat to fulfill, farmers have been scrambling to keep up. “There’s nothing wrong with the old school way. [Farmers] changed the way they were doing things, and now we’re finding out its not necessarily for the better. So we’re going back to the way things used to be — works for me,” Lyons says. Lyons’ high quality meats paired with jokes in his Barry White-style voice makes visiting Chris’ Country Cuts a splendid experience.

Paul Smith Cheese Glenda Smith, the granddaughter of Paul Smith, dons an apron and leans over the refrigerated display that’s brimming with cheese. The shop offering hundreds of varieties of cheese was founded in 1959. Smith, however, has only worked there for just shy half of the years the shop has been operating. Smith explains that there has been a notable difference in what customers have bought over the years with the availability of the Internet. “It used to be university students didn’t have a clue. They bought a piece of cheddar and that was it. Now they’re all — because of the Internet — getting more informed and more variety into their diet,” Glenda says. The content of the cold displays will be

changing with the recent free-trade agreement between the Canadian government and the European Union that could double the import of EU cheese into Canada. “What’s going to happen mostly is it’s going to open up the quota system from Europe, which means they’re going to influx us with a whole bunch of cheeses,” Glenda explains. “It will get rid of the quota for the [Canadian] farmer. So now we can produce more cheese here in Ontario. Right now there’s a quota system, which means we cannot produce enough cheese. Most of it comes from Quebec because they don’t have a quota system.” Be prepared to see an invasion of Ontarian and European cheeses in the already vast selection of Paul Smith Cheeses. — Caitlin Martin Newnham


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thegazette • Friday, October 18, 2013 • CULTURE ISSUE

Ditch the rec centre for these local gyms Finding time to exercise is easier said than done, especially for students. Even on the days when you’ve got no class, your time is often spent studying or catching up on readings, leaving little time to hit the gym. It’s the perennial student dilemma: When the time comes to buckle down, exercise is one of the first things many students cut out of their routines. Luckily, Western has made it exceedingly easy to stay in shape, even if you’ve only got an hour or two to spare

between classes. The Western Student Recreation Centre is within walking distance from most campus buildings, meaning you can drop in for a quick 20-minute cardio session between classes. Best of all, membership is built in to your tuition cost (motivation not included). But the rec centre isn’t suitable for everyone. Some people live too far from campus to make it convenient, and it can get incredibly crowded during peak hours — and when the New Year’s resolution crowd comes in January, it’s best to stay away entirely. Here are a few other off-campus options to get your fitness fix.

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Julian Uzielli EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

The YMCA Locations in London: Three. Centre Branch (382 Wellington St.), Stony Creek (920 Sunningdale Rd. E) and Bob Hayward Branch (1050 Hamilton Rd., east of Highbury). Highlights: Though it may have a reputation for being the more down-

market gym, you wouldn’t know it by walking inside. The Y offers facilities to rival the rec centre, including squash and basketball courts and a pool. “Our fitness programs and equipment are state of the art, and best-inclass,” said Geoff Vogt, vice-president of health, fitness and recreation for the YMCA of Western Ontario. The Centre Branch location is great for downtown-dwellers, and parking is free for members.

Drawbacks: The gyms close at night, meaning night owls will have to get their workout in before night class, not after. Cost: $20.05 biweekly after tax for members under 24. But if that’s still

too high, the Y will not turn you away — they offer financial assistance for their members who can’t afford the full fee. “We’re open and accessible to all, and certainly financial barriers aren’t a reason not to be with the Y,” Vogt said, explaining that lower-cost memberships can be worked out for those in financial need on a case-by-case basis.

More than just a gym The YMCA has plenty of exercise equipment and facilities, but unlike the other establishments on this list, the YMCA puts a big focus on community. “They have a lot of services that you can’t get at a gym,” says Mikaela Ferguson, a first-year engineering student and longtime member at the London Y. Beyond offering daily workout classes, the Y puts on regular community events and offers social services to help their members in need. Ferguson works at a YMCA summer camp, and has been a member for 12 years. “They have the gym and everything that you can get at Western’s rec centre, but if you were a western student who has a child, they’ve got services there for that,” she says. “If you’re someone who is having difficulty in any kind of economic or social situation, they can help, you can go there and you can get help.” “It’s often regarded as just a gym, but it’s a community centre before it’s a gym.”

Bill Wang GAZETTE

The Athletic Club Locations in London: Two. North (755 Wonderland Rd. N) and South (3198 Wonderland Rd. S).

Highlights: The best perk for student members at the Athletic Club is

the option to put your membership on hold over the summer when you leave town. The Athletic Club’s long list of fitness classes are also a point of pride for them; members can sign up for classes like hot yoga, P90X, boxing, Zumba and Aquafit. They also have a lot of student members, so you won’t feel too far removed from the Western community. “The majority of our signups in September are from Western. It’s not that far,” Kim Waller, sales manager for the London Athletic Clubs, said. “A lot of our classes draw our students to the club, and the 24 hour access that we offer.” The Athletic Club also has two cardio areas, a pool and free parking for members.

Drawbacks: Both locations are a little off the beaten path for most Western students, making them difficult to access if you don’t have personal transportation.

Courtesy of Google Maps

Cost: The Athletic Club offers a special student rate of $40.62 per month after tax. That’s $7 lower than the regular rate.

Goodlife Fitness Locations in London: Ten, including one at Masonville, one downtown and one at Adelaide and Oxford.

Highlights: The biggest selling point for Goodlife is their ubiquity. No matter where you live in London, there’s probably a Goodlife nearby, and your membership is transferable, meaning you can work out at any Goodlife gym with one membership. Another perk of being one of Canada’s biggest fitness chains is at any Goodlife you’re virtually guaranteed access to state-of-the-art equipment. Some of the London locations also offer a women-only gym, so you can “Be your best self in an environment exclusively for women,” according to the website. Drawbacks: Goodlife is the most expensive gym on this list, but it will also be the most convenient for some students, since they have the most locations and transferable membership. But for some students, the convenience is worth the extra cost. Cost: $23.73 biweekly after tax.

Bill Wang GAZETTE



Friday, October 18, 2013 — Culture Issue