Ottawa Life Magazine - Mar/Apr 2015

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with Brandelyn



Buena Vista Flooring Provides Quality Flooring for Your Home

Ambassador of Style Vicki Heyman Brings Some Class and Sass to the U.S. Residence in Ottawa

The Door Company

Ottawa's Award-Winning Company Installs Garage Doors, Floors and more‌

SERIES Display until April 30, 2015

Buiding a Better Canada Series * Rail Series * Reason to Smile Series * Wales * Ellis Kirkland


Elegance at Your Feet




Join U.S. Ambassador Bruce Heyman and his wife Vicki Heyman for a tour of the Art in Embassies program.


Join Angie Prudhomme on a weight loss journey. Learn how she changed her lifestyle and dropped 140 lbs. PHOTO: PAUL COUVRETTE

Reason to Smile Series


Ottawa's ‘GumDocs’ have been serving patients and creating smiles for 20 years.

Women, Wages & the Workplace Series


Women in the public service generally make about 10 per cent less than their male colleagues. In the private sector, however, the gap is about 13.5 per cent. In this first issue of the series OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says the private sector can learn from the public sector when it comes to wages and pay equity.

Métis Nation


Celebrate the culture that is Métis. Beautiful arts, crafts, music and dance are just part of the tradition.




columns & stories

contents Self Renovation


Travel the great outdoors. Close to home or far away. Follow OLM on a journey through Wales and a weekend in Mont Tremblant.

Publisher’s Message ..................... 4 Capital Clip ................................. 5 Best Picks ................................... 6 Gallery: Kitigan ........................... 9 In Search of Style ........................ 11 Savvy Selections ........................... 13 John’s Reno Tips............................ 27 Pipelines....................................... 35 Aboriginal Pathways..................... 37 Building a Better Canada............... 46 Rail Series ....................................49 IBEW ........................................... 39 Education..................................... 54

11 11


Art Full Embassies

Frank Diaz, owner of Buena Vista Flooring is Ottawa's Custom Floor Impresario. His success is all about craftsmanship and the pride he takes in the quality and beauty of his work.

publisher’s message by Dan Donovan

publisher/managing editor

Dan Donovan copy editor/features writer

Jennifer Hartley

Poilievre Deserves A Shot

director of operations

Alessandra Gerebizza

art director Karen Temple web & graphics manager

Mariana Fernandez Magnou

Pierre Poilievre was first elected to Parliament in 2004 for the riding of Nepean-Carleton at the young age of 25, upsetting then Liberal Defence Minister David Pratt. As a parliamentarian, he has demonstrated an unwavering loyalty to Prime Minister Harper, Conservative values and a centre-right ideology. He has been very feisty, opinionated and is never shy to duke it out in the House of Commons, in interviews or in debates with opponents. Poilievre made a few missteps in his first parliamentary session. He quickly recanted and apologized for some ill-timed comments about Aboriginal people on the very same day the Prime Minister made a heartfelt apology to Canada’s First Nations for the decades of abuse and neglect they suffered at residential schools. It was an early sign of political maturity that did not go unrecognized. In 2006, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to John Baird, who, at the time was President of the Treasury Board. He also served as Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Minister of Transport. In the 2006, 2008 and 2011 elections, Poilievre beat his opponents by a margin of almost 20,000 votes each time. He is popular with his constituents and his colleagues and after 9 years of hard work and paying his dues in the trenches, in July 2013, Poilievre was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister of State for Democratic Reform. John Baird served as a mentor to Poilievre and for the past decade has involved Poilievre in many of the key files he was working on in the national capital region. Whether it’s been federal money for the Queensway Carleton Hospital, Strandherd Bridge, O-Train expansion or other money to fix critical environmental and infrastructure projects, Pierre Poilievre has been involved. The Harper government made Poilievre its point man when it decided to go after the big unions to try to stop them from providing funds to political campaigns. PSAC, PIPSC and other unions were rankled by the young MP’s zealous attacks on their contributions to political campaigns as undemocratic, while rank and file Conservatives lapped it up and cheered him on. With the sudden departure of his friend and mentor John Baird, Pierre Poilievre has been passed the mantle as the political ‘go-to’ minister for our region. Poilievre has matured greatly on the job in the past decade as both a national politician and constituency MP and he deserves a chance to see what he can do in the role. n


web copy editor/features writer Marie Waine print & web coordinator Madelaine Manson cover photo

Brittany Gawley, Throne Photography MAKE-UP: Chantal Sarkisian, Go-to-Girl JEWELLERY: Designo Fine Jewellery, 100 Murray Street Brandelyn is wearing: Censer solid 18k rose gold set with 29.07 ct rutilated quartz, 18k rose gold chain Singing Bowl solid 18k green gold and 18k rose gold ring Trio of Heavy Round rings, solid 18k yellow, rose and white gold photographers

Paul Couvrette, Brittany Gawley, Natalie Mireault, Tim Richmond, Karen Temple fashion editor Alexandra Gunn accounts Joe Colas C.G.A web developer Ben Chung contributing writers

Candace Amis, Brandelyn Cameron, Michael Coren, Dan Donovan, Kevin Flynn, Alessandra Gerrebiza, Alexandra Gunn, Madelaine Manson, Bob Pipe, Lucy Screnci, Karen Temple, Warren (Smokey) Thomas, Debbie Trenholm, Candice Vetter, Marie Waine corporate advisor J. Paul Harquail, Charles Franklin corporate counsel Paul Champagne editor emeritus Harvey F. Chartrand student intern Katie Hartai advertising information

For information on advertising rates, visit call (613) 688-LIFE (5433) or e-mail Canadian Publication Mail Product Sales Agreement #1199056. Ottawa Life Magazine, 301 Metcalfe St. Lower Level, Ottawa. Ontario K2P 1R9 tel: (613) 688-5433 fax: (613) 688 -1994 e-mail: Web site: Follow us on Twitter @ottawalifers Like us at Ottawa Life is listed in Canadian Advertising Rates & Data (CARD). Ottawa Life subscription rates: one year $30.00, includes postage, plus HST (six issues). Two years $50.00, includes postage, plus HST (12 issues). Add $20 per year for postage outside Canada. Subscriber service is 613-688-LIFE (5433) Ottawa Life Magazine is printed in Canada on recycled paper.

capital clip


Architectural Art

Observe one of Ottawa’s newest architectural wonders from an entirely new perspective. From May 8 to 23, Wallack Galleries will feature a solo exhibition by local artist Sheryl Luxenburg entitled The Elusive Window Reflections Of The Ottawa Convention Centre. Luxenburg specializes in hyper-realistic watercolour and acrylic painting. Her paintings, which can easily be mistaken for photographs, are visually astounding. The intricate precision, detail and skill that go into every piece reflect Luxenburg’s dedication to the technique for over three decades. This collection of work studies the aesthetic interaction between the surfaces of the Ottawa Convention Centre and the Westin Hotel. On each canvas, Luxenburg captures the patterns created on the reflective glass surface of the Convention Centre’s exterior. A portion of the proceeds from painting sales will be donated to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation. Whether you are an art aficionado or a newcomer to Ottawa’s art scene, Luxenburg’s talent is sure to impress n 5 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

best picks

Whirl, Whirl‌ Done For the foodie in your family, The Moulinex 12-Cup Food Processor brings modern technology to your dinner table. Forego the cutting board, chop, mince, slice, and shred with ease. Featuring a wide feeding tube, a stainless steel blade and discs. This is the perfect dishwasher-friendly food processor. Keep it simple with a food processor that gets the job done.

USB Air Purifier & Fan

Measure On Sleek, lightweight and accurate, the digital kitchen scale from Procizion is simple to use. Its durable glass surface makes it easy to clean and its smart technology, including touch-sensitive buttons and energy saving mode make it easy to use.

Sounds Convenient The BRAVEN Mira speaker is equipped with an integrated kickstand that doubles as a hook, giving users the flexibility of using it absolutely anywhere. Hang it in the garage, by the grill, on the deck or even in the showe. This multi-purpose water-resistant bluetooth speaker offers convenient portability and outstanding sound quality.

Yummy Shavings Add the finishing touch to any dish with the Procizion vegetable slicer. It works like a pencil sharpener creating spiral shavings of garnish out of any vegetable. Dishwasher safe and easy to clean, the slicer is made out of durable plastic and stainless steel. 6 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

Take a deep breath, this 2-in-1 air purifier and fan eradicates odours and irritants from any space. The compact, travel-friendly and quiet device flawlessly circulates purified air in hotel rooms, offices and other enclosed spaces. It also acts as a fan to provide additional ventilation and a refreshing breeze.

Break Out the Records The retro design Signature Retro HiFi Stereo System is a high quality vinyl record, CD, MP3 player and AM/FM radio. Made with real wood and a rich walnut finish, amber lighting on the tuning dial and antique patina faceplate. A truly vintage system.

Kitchen Bling A well-organized, easily accessible and spacious refrigerator is the unsung hero of every kitchen. An elegant stainless steel finish doesn’t hurt, either. LG’s sleek, extra capacity Door-in-Door refrigerator saves both energy and effort by adding a third door for easy access to your go-to items. Store your most used items in the outer door, leaving the inner fridge for larger, less-accessed foods. Make your fridge work for you.

Italian Style When it comes to accessorizing, you can’t go wrong with a chic pair of sunglasses. Manufactured in Italy, Velvet Eyewear sunglasses feature outstanding quality and craftsmanship. Velvet Eyewear designs epitomize sexy sophistication.

Angel Reinares Handbag A good handbag is a staple in any wardrobe. Angel Reinares luxury handcrafted leather handbags fuse fashion and practicality for a timeless look.

Plant Power Harsh winter weather takes a toll on the skin. Nourish and soothe dehydrated, irritated skin with Aveda’s new line of Botanical Kinetics Intense skin care. Formulated with luxurious ingredients, these new products will soothe dry skin instantly and help it retain moisture for 24 hours.

Colour Correction SkinCeuticals' Advanced Skin Discoloration Corrector is a powerful correcting treatment that is a highly effective and safe for fading stubborn skin discoloration, preventing unwanted pigmentation and boosting natural radiance. 7 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015


OAG Expansion 2017: A Cultural Legacy For Ottawa

Join us in our exciting journey to grow a new Ottawa Art Gallery for everyone. 8 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

Visit to find out more.

gallery by Madelaine Manson





or native artist Peter Bighetty, art begins with memory. Hailing from Nelson House, Manitoba, Bighetty’s family is originally from Pukatawagan Cree Nation. “Growing up I was always fishing, trapping and hunting, out and about in the wilderness. That’s where I get the ideas for most of my paintings,” Bighetty explains. “In the reservation, you’re surrounded by nature all the time. For me, nature represents my memories of the past. Bringing those memories onto canvas is something I really enjoy.” It was in high school in Winnipeg when Bighetty began to experiment with painting and drawing, building upon his skills throughout his teenage years. “When I first started painting on canvas, it was a completely new experience for me, I had never done anything like that before. It was a chance to try out something new and see if I had a knack for it. I got great feedback straight away,” he recalls. Bighetty’s unique work features paintings of Canadian landscape within the silhouettes of wildlife. The stunning use of bold colours perfectly

complements his designs. “I gravitate towards red, orange and yellow tones because they remind me of the sunset.” When describing his artistic process, Bighetty says he use freestyle with some pre-planning. “I try not to think too much and just go with it. I plan ahead what kind of silhouette I’m going to work with, as well as the general colour range, but after that it’s more of a freestyle flow,” he says. “I don’t know exactly how to describe my own work. People tell me it’s contemporary and abstract. For me, it’s more about playing around with the colours and seeing an idea come to life.” It is important for Bighetty to represent what it means to be a native artist in a positive way, and aims to utilize his artistic success as a way to encourage others. “Being a native artist is about showing my kids that they can do something different with their life, they can pursue something that interests them. Just work hard at whatever it is you choose to do.”

With “N”

Bighetty is adapting more advanced techniques to take his work to the next level. “This year I’m going to be doing something new to me, which is painting with oils. I’m also learning how to create a 3-D appearance on canvas, which is a completely different style from my other work. I’ve been wanting to do it for many years now, but this year I’m going to get it done.” With Bighetty’s natural talent and dedication to supporting himself through work he is passionate about, this self-taught artist is bound for continued success n 9 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

Solid Hardwood • Exotic Hardwood Flooring Engineered Flooring • Laminate• Tile • Vinyl • Cork Railing & Staircases • Recapping Staircase • Refacing Staircase


in search of style by Alexandra Gunn t Winners Designer Blazer $129.99

In Full Bloom

NEVER HAVE FLORALS FOR SPRING FELT FRESHER. From Kate Spade to Michael Kors, floral prints are all over the spring/summer runways. From graphic to abstract, the trend is easy to incorporate into your current wardrobe and can be applied by wearing the print all over or simply by adding pretty blossoms into accessories.To wear this runway look in the office, pick a vibrant print and pair it with neutral separates. A blazer is an easy addition and can change your entire look while maintaining a professional appeal.

t Winners graphic pant $49.99

Michael Kors

Kate Spade

Michael Kors

Expect to see bright blossoms at the new Nordstrom in the Rideau Centre this season. Gregg Andrews, Nordstrom’s Fashion Creative Director, says “Fashionable flowers will bloom in every variety imaginable, from retro roses and countrified posies, to exotic jungle orchids and bright bold blossoms. Footwear and bags will also be part of the growing floral trend, so a woman can start with a few flowers to accent her solid apparel pieces.”

Kate Spade

Cynthia Steffe

Kate Spade

The natural beauty of flowers is a fresh and fast way to add an instant pop of bright and bold colour to your current day or weekend look. Make the pattern the focus of your outfit with a sleeveless dress, like the above drop waist option from Cece by Cynthia Steffe found at Nordstrom. 11 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

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savvy selections by Debbie Trenholm

DIY Wine Tasting This month’s issue is full of DIY ideas and we can help you to showcase your new kitchen, deck or living space reno.Why not invite friends and neighbours over for a do-it-yourself wine tasting? Like hiring a designer or contractor, you can call on a sommelier (there are 17 sommeliers at Savvy Company) to take care of all the details and work with a caterer to prepare a menu paired with each wine. Here are our tips and tricks on hosting your own wine tasting. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE

Depending on how formal and structured you would like the experience to be, a wine tasting can be conducted at a large dining room table with rows of wine glasses waiting to be sampled. For a more casual experience, host it in your family room. Guests can help themselves to a table full of different wines and platters of hors d’oeuvres throughout the evening. WHAT’S YOUR THEME?

Your wine tasting can focus on exploring wines of a certain country or region or can examine one type of wine such as Pinot Noirs, Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnays from various wine regions around the world. The top 5 themes for wine tastings that our sommeliers design & host are: A Trip Around the World in 5 Glasses, Cheese, Chocolate & Wine, An Endless Night of Bubbles, Passionate about Pinot, Be Adventurous - Wines under $20. WINE SHOPPING MADE SIMPLE

With your theme in mind, now comes the fun part of selecting the wines. Whatever choice you make, welcome your guests with a glass of sparkling wine.The popping of the cork sets the mood for a party and a glass of bubbly cleanses and refreshes your palette, preparing it for the evening ahead of delicious wines and foods n


profile by Marie Waine

Self Renovation


Angie Prudhomme loves food. Unfortunately, it is not the type of food that stabilizes your blood sugar levels and contributes to good heart health. However, the 36-year-old also loves herself. Two years ago, Prudhomme looked in the mirror and decided it was time for a major lifestyle makeover. At 270 lbs., she knew she couldn’t wait much longer.



“One day, I was just sick of it. I was sick of not wearing what I wanted to wear. Sick of not dating who I wanted to date,” says Prudhomme. “One day I just went, ‘I’m done.’” Now, Prudhomme is standing tall and full of confidence. She has lost over half of her starting weight: an amazing 140 lbs. “I was feeling way too big, sloppy, lazy and not worth it. Now I stand up for myself and feel rejuvenated.” Prudhomme began her weight loss journey by tracking her food intake using the Weight Watchers phone application. She learned how she could continue to eat a lot over the course of a day and still lose weight. It was about choosing the right foods. “I eat more now than I did before. But instead of a lot of starches, I eat a lot of protein,” says Prudhomme. “I was taught to still have grains, but to choose the healthy grains. I know I need oil, fats and water, so I have those too.”

Just do it. Convince yourself that you have had enough. Try it for a month and if nothing happens, then fine. her friends and family because of her lifestyle change. “I took control, my personality changed. I started standing up for myself more.” Prudhomme met her current boyfriend about 40 lbs. ago and says he has helped keep her eyes on the prize. “It’s huge to have someone there for support, not just to tell you not to eat something, but to indulge in the good things with you as well.”

Prudhomme says she feels amazing every single day. “I love food, but I like feeling healthy too. Knowing what to eat and learning everything I have so far has been really powerful.” Prudhomme has advice for anyone looking to join her on her journey. “Just do it. Convince yourself that you have had enough. Try it for a month and if nothing happens, then fine. But if you are overweight, it is impossible that it won’t work. Once you start to see results, you won’t want to stop. Best of all, you will feel great.” Prudhomme has no plans of turning back. Her new life is working for her. The best part about it? “I can still eat all of my favourite foods. I just enjoy the pizza, burgers and ice cream in moderation.” n

The pounds came off quickly for Prudhomme after she changed her eating habits. “The second you see changes being made, it’s really easy to stick to it.” Although she was proud of her progress, she knew she still had many challenges. She needed to get moving and get active to see results in her overall health. “I was carrying around another whole half of me. I had loose skin and it wasn’t changing the way I wanted it to. So one day I just walked into a gym and said, ‘Hi, what can you do for me?’ I signed up right then.” She now works with a trainer to keep her motivated. “I’m naturally lazy. It’s hard. I have to convince myself to get up and do things. So to have someone that you have to see two or three times a week that says you look great and are getting stronger, it’s awesome.” Not every step of the journey has been a piece of cake. Prudhomme says she has gone through rough patches with

In celebration of Saab Salon Spa’s 25th anniversary, the Aveda lifestyle salon and spa on Bank Street gave Angie the makeover of her dreams. Owners Frank and Nina Saab welcomed Angie with open arms and big ideas. First up, hair colour. Frank wanted to add some life into Angie’s already blonde hair. By adding highlights and touching up her roots, Angie’s entire complexion brightened up. She was given a quick blow-dry before being sent off to makeup. Danielle was in charge of bringing some colour to Angie’s fair skin. She gave Angie a light smoky eye, added false lashes and used bright pinks to bring attention to her cheeks and lips. If you are looking for an instant pick-me-up, Danielle says to the three most important products to use are concealer, mascara and blush. Before the big reveal, Angie was sent back to hair where Frank added extensions and big, bouncy curls. Angie was smiling ear to ear as she left Saab Salon Spa and headed to the photoshoot. Thank you to everyone at Saab for a great time and a beautiful look. Angie says she could not have been a happier and the staff could not have been more generous and excited. Here’s to another 25 years n PHOTO OF ANGIE BY: Paul Couvrette, Couvrette Studio 430 Gladstone Ave. CLOTHING PROVIDED BY: BGGO BOUTIQUE, 751 Bank Street. ACCESSORIES BY: Disegno Fine Jewellery, 100 Murray Street 15 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

homes by Marie Waine

Beauty Beneath Buena Vista Flooring



o the average person, Tornillo, Sapelle, Marupa and Ipe might seem like the names European soccer players. However, they are actually the names of art materials to Frank Diaz, owner of Buena Vista Flooring.

this, but not a lot offer what we have.”

“When you’re working with wood, stain, colours and custom designs, you can do anything.When the job is done, we take pride in what we do. In the end, it’s like a piece of art.”

“The only way you can compete with the giants here is to offer something different like quality products and quality workmanship. Otherwise, if you offer the same that they offer, you will be out of business.”

Great service, as well as quality are important to the BuenaVista team. Diaz says it is what separates his company from many of the big stores.

Originally from Havana, Cuba, Diaz travelled to Europe to study mechanical engineering. When he moved to Ottawa, he continued his studies and earned a diploma in mechanical engineering technology from Algonquin College. After a few years of subcontracting for large companies, he opened Buena Vista Flooring in 1992. “I learned all about this business here in Canada. I got to know a lot of people in the business in the Ottawa region,” he says. “At that time I got offered jobs from what I was studying, but I decided to keep working in the flooring business.” However, connections only got Diaz and his company so far. He still faced the challenges any new company does when trying to break into the industry. “It was hard to get into the market at the beginning,” he says. “At first, you are very small in comparison to other companies. But we have the quality and that’s how we did it.” Buena Vista came out of Diaz’s desire to add elegance and luxury to people’s homes. The company has worked on Minto Group Inc. custom homes, construction projects and with custom homebuilders. Diaz says


Diaz knew he loved to work with his hands and immediately took summer jobs as a workman laying down hardwood floors when he immigrated to Canada in 1989.

We take pride in what we do. In the end, it’s like a piece of art. Frank Diaz, Owner, Buena Vista Flooring

custom work allows for true talent to shine through. The Buena Vista team works with a wide selection of products, both local and exotic. The selection of exotic hardwood flooring from the forests of Peru is one of the biggest in the Ottawa area. Cork, Peruvian Cherry and Cumaru are just some of the options clients. “I love the exotic wood from the Amazon. Everything that comes from the Amazon is beautiful,” he says. “And the domestic products can be great too.” Diaz prides himself on showcasing these beautiful products by ensuring they are of great quality. “We only deal with high-end manufacturers and products,” he says. “A lot of companies out there are doing

Buena Vista has a high understanding of all of the materials they offer and share these facts with their customers. Diaz must run a tight ship to keep the company’s competitive edge. Everyone who works for the company is a known industry professional. “We have experience and many years in the market,” he says. “We have guys that have been with us for a long time. We’ve been together for five or six years.” If Diaz and his team cannot find what a client is looking for, chances are he knows someone who can. “I know most of the people in the business here in Ottawa. I can refer them to a good guy that I know.” Over the past 20 plus years of business, Diaz says he has worked with some amazing clients and on some beautiful projects. “We did a $25 million house five or six years ago which was amazing to work on,” he says. “We also worked on Corel’s Michael Cowpland’s house in Rockcliffe Park.” At the end of each day, Diaz is grateful knowing he chose to follow his passion and work with his hands. “There are too many things I like about my job to pick a favourite,” he says. “We work on a different project almost every day. It keeps it new and interesting.” n 17 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

homes by Brandelyn Cameron


Hang Out


Exposed wooden beams are growing in popularity with the massive prevalence of using reclaimed wood in modern décor. Within this dated mid-century space, the design stage boasts minimalism and functionality, yet the homeowner desired elements of traditional adornment, so our beams are the perfect complement to the dramatic fireplace.


TIME: Weekend PRICE RANGE: $100 - $350 DIFFICULTY: Moderate to Hard

Our homeowner chose to a more extensive reno that included resurfacing the fireplace, redoing the flooring and a fresh coat of paint but you can get the exposed beam look in a weekend.

Step 1

Measure and Create a Pattern Proper preparation is key. You want to determine your ceiling pattern in advance of hitting the lumber store (or your local lumber mill as I prefer) and picking up your supplies. Are you looking for a coffered ceiling (wafflelike grid) or beams that run in parallel? Once you determine the pattern, you can calculate how much lumber you will need.

the drywall) where the u-channel faux beams would eventually sit.

Step 2

Step 4

Measure and Mark Ceiling Since the ceiling is already closed, you will need to mark your pattern on the drywall, attempting to find as many of the existing joists beneath the drywall as possible in order to support the weight of the faux beams. Use a chalk box to snap grid lines where your beams will be attached.

Step 3

Add Support Beams to Ceiling You will need to affix the faux beams to the ceiling in an inconspicuous as possible fashion since you are attempting to create the look that these decorative beams were actually part of the original space. For our ‘support beams’, we simply used lengths of 2x4 screwed to the ceiling (catching the original joists where possible through

Construct Faux-Beams Using 1x4 rough pine planks (milled at a local lumber mill) we created our three-sided (or “U” shaped) channels by first applying glue on the edges of the pine plank and then nailing the 2 sides on.

Step 5

Prepare for Finish Once the wood beams are fully assembled, you will need to fill all nail holes with stainable wood filler and do some light sanding with a finegrit sandpaper. Once this step has been completed be sure to remove all remnant sawdust from your beams in preparation for the next step.

Step 6

Stain the Beams Depending upon the other features

within the space (such as any existing stone or wood work), you want to select a stain that is in keeping with the total look you are trying to achieve. In this case, we were going for a rustic look so we selected a stain that mimicked weathered barn board.

Step 7

Install Faux-Beams Once the stain on your beams has dried completely (I usually wait 24 hours), you can begin the installation. Simply slip the open end of your u-channel over the 2x4 support beams that you installed using a nail gun.

Step 8

Make Final Touchups When the install is complete, fill the nail holes with stainable wood putty and make any touchups to the fauxbeams as required. Voila...Your very own, affordable open-beam rustic look n 19 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

Freyja’s Wedding, 60” x 48” $6000




homes by Brandelyn Cameron

Taxidermy TREND

The resurgence of taxidermy as a desirable element of home décor is something to be embraced. Over the past several years, we have witnessed the design trend incorporated into commercial spaces and it finally is making a dramatic appearance in homes. With animal pelts, skulls and heads plastered on the walls of the hippest new establishments, magazine pages and retailers’ shelves, we can’t seem to avoid it. But why would anyone other than a hunter take to mounting animal parts throughout their home? It has been said that taxidermy gained great popularity during the Victorian Era as a means of ‘momento mori’ which is the Latin theory and practice of reflection on mortality. So perhaps through incorporating decorative nostalgia in the form of items which once carried life we are welcoming the aura that is attached to them. Though I have been told that my decorative pieces resemble “mystery critter antlers”, it is ultimately the representation of the energy these pieces would have carried if they were authentic that appeals to me. I like every space that I create to have a story to tell and although I try really hard to acquire bona fide pieces that have withstood the sands of time, I turned to mass production retailers for the antlers and skulls in my latest vision. They are also more reasonably priced. In this design, the eclectic mix of the contemporary microsuede parson chairs combined with the Louis dining chairs help balance the union of modern minimalist with rustic charm while the aura of the animals surrounds the occupants n PHOTO:NATALIE MIREAULT PHOTOGRAPHY

RECREATE THE TREND FAUX ANTLERS - Home Sense: $49.99 FAUX RAM SKULL - Joss & Main: $29.99 FAUX STEER SKULl - Joss & Main: $31.95 BERKLEY DINING TABLE TOP & BASE - The Brick: $870.00 LOUIS DINING CHAIRS - Structube: $239.00 each ALLAN & ROTH PENDANT LIGHT - $198.00



homes by Marie Waine

LEFT Eric Fischl, Tumbling Woman, 2001, Watercolour on Paper. Courtesy of the artist, New York, and HEXTON modern and contemporary, Chicago. BELOW: Marie Watt, Skywalker/ Skyscraper (Babel), 2012, reclaimed wool blankets and steel. Courtesy of the artist and PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, Oregon. (Left side of room) Theaster Gates, Ole Spangled Banner, Decommissioned fire hoses and wood, Courtesy of Michael and Barbara Gamson, Houston, Texas.


Art Knock on the door of U.S. Ambassador Bruce Heyman and his wife Vicki, at Lornado, the official residence in Rockcliffe, and you are greeted by the beautiful work of American artist Eric Fischl.


Back in the 1960s, Former U.S. President John F. Kennedy launched The Art in Embassies (AIE) program. It shares American art around the world by displaying it in embassies and residences, creating conversation and telling an American story. Mrs. Heyman is passionate about the AIE and the opportunity it provides to build bridges between the two countries. “I met with gallerists and artists to find out what Canadians would respond to and what they would like to talk about.�


She personally curated the exhibition in Ottawa. She pulled two pieces from her own private collection and found six artists willing to donate their work to the embassy for the period of the exhibition. The National Gallery of Canada is working with Mrs. Heyman to make the AIE program interactive with the Ottawa community. In the first collaborative exhibition of its kind, four of the eight American artists will be brought to Canada to engage in a free public conversation program aptly 23 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

called Contemporary Conversations. This community outreach program will enrich and expand the Ottawa exhibition. Contemporary Conversations will explore important themes common to the U.S. and Canada. The Ottawa exhibition includes art from Eric Fischl, Nick Cave, Marie Watt, Stephen Wilkes, Chuck Close, Theaster Gates, Alex Kates and Hung Lui. The selected pieces include paintings, sculptures, mixed media and more. “I chose art from different mediums to give a multi-dimensional look,” says Mrs. Heyman “I wanted to see how each artist created an image that evokes a conversation about social justice.” Conversation is exactly what happens as you walk from room to room at the Lornado residence. Each piece of art tells its own story. 24 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

“I think it’s an awesome tool for cultural diplomacy and in my role here, I am really viewing myself as a cultural diplomat,” says Mrs. Heyman. “And I’m working very much in partnership with the ambassador in the cultural diplomacy platform.” Mrs. Heyman embraced the role whole heartedly since moving from Chicago to Ottawa. In Chicago, she is a well-known philanthropist, community builder and political fundraiser. She has worked on U.S. President Barack Obama’s campaign, dedicated her time to local children’s hospitals and engaged in programs to help take kids off of the streets of the city. She says she always had a passion for people and community. Now, by opening up to Canadians in a new and innovative way, Mrs. Heyman says she is hoping to show how she

represents her country, contemporary American lifestyle and herself. “These things are kind of a window into my soul that allows me to open up to others and hopefully they will do the same so that we can break down those walls you might have if you’re in a diplomatic discussion or a formal setting,” says Mrs. Heyman. “People can come in, they respond to the work and really interesting conversations can happen.” Mrs. Heyman says her passion for all areas of art began when she was young and she continues to grow and learn more. She studied art history in university and photography is now a hobby. “The intellectual piece is really fascinating to me. It is the process of how a piece was conceptualized, why artists chose to express themselves that way.” PHOTOS: PAUL COUVRETTE

Mrs. Heyman uses this question to promote a variety of styles of art as tools for diplomacy outside of the AIE program. She says there is a way to capture the attention of almost everyone through different mediums of the arts. She supports entrepreneurship and social innovators who are working on ventures to make the world a better place. Through the culinary arts, she says there is collaboration with great American chefs who have been brought up to Montréal. Education is also a main priority for as a cultural diplomat. Mrs. Heyman is working on campuses such as Carleton University, University of Ottawa and Université de Montréal for a speaker series to engage students in thought leadership. In fact, through the AIE program, some artists are

ABOVE: Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2008, mixed media (metal, cloth, beads), Marilyn and Larry Fields Collection, Chicago, Illinois

participating in a forum within local school communities. This outreach aims to link the perspective of the arts and academic communities. Mrs. Heyman says she hopes to look at thematic areas and engage individuals culturally and across borders from various realms. “I can’t wait to see the reaction as we continue to create more conversations,” she says. Over the past year, Mrs. Heyman says she has learned much of where the U.S. and Canada can partner and improve the global landscape. “We share so much with Canada in terms of ideals and it binds us.” Travelling through 30 cities, multiple provinces and even one territory, Mrs.

Heyman continues to see what Canada has to offer. “It’s this mosaic of people and conversations. It’s the notion of the land, the people, the warmth of the people, the openness, the way we can learn about each other and from each other.” As Mrs. Heyman continues her diplomacy, she is able to gain a better understanding of what she can offer Canada with the AIE program. She hopes that through her work, she will help foster further understanding that will “create more connections across issues of importance” and “highlight the art and the voice of the artist as a driver for conversation.” There is no doubt she will be successful in her endeavour n 25 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

Inspiring Canadians - In Sport & Life

2015 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

The 40,000 square foot international award winning facility came to life in Calgary in July 2011 after a long history in Toronto. With state-of the art technology and truly unique architecture, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is a great place to host a corporate retreat. A powerful and inspiring convergence of shared values and examples exist between Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and Corporate Canada. Visit our website for more details: W W W. S P O RT S H A L L . C A




homes by John Gordon and Lucy Screnci

How to go about choosing a contractor is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly but it doesn’t have to be an intimidating one. By arming yourself with a plan, you can be sure to land the perfect contractor to execute your type of renovation.

John’s Reno Tips


Don’t simply rely on one positive online review. It’s great to find a contractor with an online presence, but even more helpful to directly speak with past clients. Obtain references to validate what the contractor has told you about prior projects. Ask as many questions to a contractor’s former clients as you possibly can. Was the project completed to your satisfaction? Were the contractor and his crew professional throughout the project? Don’t forget to tap into another important resource – word of mouth referrals. Ask friends, family, co-workers and neighbours about the positive experiences they’ve had with contractors and see who they would recommend. Meet with two to three contractors before making a decision. Shopping around for any big purchase is key and the same rule applies when searching for a contractor. After narrowing down your list to two or three contractors, meet with them and compare the prices offered by each. Choose the quote that best suits your budget. Don’t release more money than the materials or services provided. If a contractor requests the majority of the project’s total cost upfront, it’s a huge red flag. Legitimate contractors will not ask for this huge portion of money right away, even if a project is large in scope or very complex. It’s key to provide payments in installments as the work is

being done and the materials ordered. Inquire about the insurance and qualifications of all tradespeople working on the reno. Be sure to ask about the type of insurance policy the contractor has in place for his company and the tradespeople he hires for the project. As well, inquire about the qualifications of all sub-trades contractors working on the project. On this note, ask if permits are necessary in order to complete your reno. Don’t negotiate and agree to terms verbally. It’s very important that you request a written estimate detailing all materials to be procured and all sub-trade contractors that will be working on the project. Once you and your contractor have agreed to the terms and cost, ask that it be drawn up in a formal contract. Be sure to ask about the status of the project. A contractor should always be upfront should an unforeseen circumstance arise during your renovation. If a delay occurs, or more materials are needed than previously thought, a reputable contractor will explain the situation and seek your approval. Clear lines of communication are key and a legitimate contractor will actively update you on the project’s progress. Finally, give honest feedback to the contractor after the project is done. If you’re pleased with the work, offer to serve as a reference. You just might be called by prospective client’s in the future and make their search a little easier n

John Gordon, owner of Your Reno Guys, has been a renovations contractor for 19 years. He frequently speaks at home shows and events and was featured as one of the magazine’s ‘Top 25 People in the Capital’ last year. Your Reno Guys was recently named Service and Sales Business of the Year by the Orléans Chamber of Commerce. Visit for more information about John and the services he offers. 27 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015


homes by Candice Vetter

A Cave No Longer Doors, Floors and Garages Like You’ve Never Imagined


hen you think of a garage, does disorganized, dark and dirty spring to mind? What if it could be transformed into a clean, warm, bright and organized space? That’s what the professionals at The Floor Company can do. The start to any garage renovation often begins with a floor coating.Their unique processes restore damaged concrete, remove stains, repair cracks and voids, preparing the surface for a durable floor coating that provides a beautiful finish. Choose from a combination of one or multiple colours, adding colour flakes, anti-slip options, patterns, borders, or a natural eco-polish finish. The possibilities are endless. The Floor Company services all of Eastern Ontario and is a division of The Door Company, which has 35 years of service. “Our know-how and service are what sets us apart,” said president and owner Greg Bell. “Our team’s experience can design and specify the most effective concrete finish for your project.”

Garage fit-ups are a growing part of the business. Customers can now create their ultimate garage with cabinetry and wall organizers specifically suited to their needs, making the Company a real one-stop shop. “We help people rethink the way they use their garage space,” says

If you have ever wanted to extend your living space with a clean, functional garage, we have solutions.

Corinne Fisher, head designer with the Company. She also says that often people don’t realize that renovating and improving that space is even possible. “Our company creates beautiful garages from the ground up, with improved electrical, lighting, flooring, organizers, heating, cabinetry, and more. A garage is not just a shell to park the car in the winter,” she says. Some of the options available to gain the best use of the space include overhead storage systems to keep items off the floor, slat-wall organizers specifically designed for items commonly used in the garage, cabinets and lockers to hide tools and supplies, and diamond plate walls, which Fisher says are the “final touch on your dream garage.” “The garage is one of the least valued areas of the home,” Bell says. “If you have ever wanted to extend your living space with a clean, functional garage, we have solutions. With floors clean enough to go barefoot, tool chests, car storage lifts, work bench counters, even audio/visual, we can provide everything to complete your vision.” 29 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

Polished concrete is a popular floor finish which results in a natural, very durable surface. This process involves large diamond grinders honing and flattening the concrete with various grits much like sanding wood to bring the floor to the desired level of sheen. This technology is not restricted to the garage. “A good percentage of what we do is within the home, from basements to complete homes with polished concrete from end to end,” says Jean Marc Begin, Flooring Sales Manager. “We recently completed two homes that included bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen and the living area, all with radiant underfloor heating.” Floors with radiant heating are warmed by hot water running through pipes laid in the floor at the time the slab is poured. The resulting concrete is then kept warm and comfortable and the heating is very efficient. Polished basement floors are brighter and stand the test of time, while being cost effective and very eco-friendly. Many of The Floor Company’s clients are residential, but it also provides commercial services, such as concrete repair and decorative finishes for retail shops, restaurants, and parking garages. The Door Company installs garage doors of all shapes, sizes and styles. It was the original company which branched off into flooring and garage fit-ups. The Door Company is the largest supplier of garage doors in Eastern Ontario. Its service area extends from Oshawa to Ottawa and Gatineau. Like The Floor Company, The Door Company has design, sales, installation and service crews that are able to provide experienced advice on garage doors, door openers and entry doors best suited for your needs. The size of the company also allows it to buy in volume, resulting in price savings that are passed on to customers, in addition to having a large inventory to choose from. As customization is an important aspect of the business, 30 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

a varied selection is crucial. Door experts will also bring the showroom to the home or site, rather than having clients come to them. Projects range from garage doors in cozy downtown bistros, allowing the flow of a summer breeze, to keeping Ottawa’s fire station’s doors in working order. They will create a custom high lift door that allows room for a car-lift as part of a homeowner’s garage makeover.

In many homes, the garage door can represent up to 25 per cent of the home’s front façade. Attractive garage doors greatly increase a home’s curb appeal thereby upping its potential saleability. The company offers hundreds of styles and colours, as well as insulated doors, which can result in significant heating savings. You can't beat the combination of these two comapnies for your door, floor and garage needs n

For more information and to see more of the door, floor and garage options available, visit For a sneak peek, the company will be exhibiting at upcoming auto and home shows. There are offices in Ottawa, Trenton and Oshawa. Call for more information 1-800-461-3121, or 613-821-2130.

homes by Alessandra Gerebizza

The Community Fore You N

estled in the quaint town of Bath, Ontario, only two hours from Ottawa and 25 minutes from Kingston, lies the picturesque Loyalist community development. Loyalist is a signature golf course community with scenic fairways bordering residents’ backyards. With just a short stroll, residents can access the Bay of Quinte for boating, fishing and watersports. There is something on the list of activities to suit every lifestyle. The community offers a variety of models to suit any circumstance. There are detached bungalows and bungalows with lofts to newly-built freehold townhomes, all specializing in innovative, functional design. There’s a certain feeling of elegance topped with comfort that has been integrated into every floor plan. Loyalist was built by the reputable Kaitlin Corporation, which boasts 25 years plus experience of building communities across Ontario such as Aurora, Midland, Kawarthas, Newcastle, Bowmanville, to name a few. The town of Bath itself is steeped in history. Settled by United Empire Loyalists in 1784, Bath was, at the time, a shipping port and centre of commerce. Today, you can still see the


old heritage buildings, some are among the oldest still standing in Ontario. Close to major centres, it is also just an hour north of the American border. Paul Hunter, Sales Representative for the Loyalist Community, says that people choose to relocate to Loyalist because of its “location, its quality homes and unique luxury designs that cater to the client base. It’s the best kept secret for miles.”

with the purchase of a new home. With that comes access to the fullyequipped fitness centre with pool, a dining room, games room, numerous social activities and of course golf. The 20,000 sq. ft. stone club house allows for both formal dining services and more casual styles.

Homeowners receive a free club house membership to the Loyalist Golf & Country Club with the purchase of a new home.

There is a real community feel to Loyalist. “It truly is close knit and residents really feel like they belong. There are a collection of Canadians and everyone seems to get along so well,” according to Hunter. People are also always willing to join together and help out when needed. “Last summer, Loyalist hosted a PGA event where the residents pulled together and helped with all logistical aspects of the tournament, mostly working gates or caddying. The residents have a huge pride of ownership.” says Hunter.

In addition to craftsmanship and attention to detail, residents also enjoy a wide range of amenities. Homeowners receive a free club house membership to the Loyalist Golf & Country Club,

At the end of the day, it’s nice to settle into a place where you know and trust your neighbours, a place where you feel welcome, and most importantly a place you’re proud to call home n

Detached bungalows and bungalow lofts at Loyalist range from 1,498 to 2,879 square feet with prices starting at $382,490. Townhomes range from 1,269 to 1,703 square feet with prices starting at $262,490. For more information on the Kaitlin Corporation or prices please call 1-800-353-2066 or visit 31 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015


reason to smile by Lucy Screnci

‘GumDocs’ Serving Patients & Creating Smiles for 20 Years

When it comes to anniversaries, twenty years is a special one for businesses. This of a brownstone at Catherine and Bank is marking that special milestone. While the space has had a few makeovers over the years, one thing has not changed. The GumDocs are committed to patients and to provide care with the latest technology and techniques in the dental industry. Dr. Cameron Jones established the clinic in 1995 after deciding to venture out on his own.While he had practiced around town in various clinics, he wanted to set up his own shop. This led to an eventual partnership with Dr. Gordon Schwartz and then team grew. Between 2007 to present, four other doctors joined the practice, diversifying the services the clinic has to offer, including gum & bone grafts, surgical extractions including wisdom teeth removal, and a wide range of implant procedures. Care for patients and remaining innovative converge at the clinic. The doctors adopted the LANAP system, which is used to treat gum disease in a less invasive fashion. This new technique is a much more comfortable procedure to more traditional methods that are less patient-friendly. Patient-focused care extends to the clinic’s implant solutions as well. Normally a temporary healing cap is affixed to a surgically placed implant, and then replaced with a permanent crown after three to six months. Instead of the healing cap, the clinic mills and places a temporary crown on the implant for an improved look aesthetically. A much more complex process that

the clinic dubs “Teeth-in-a-Day” involves the restoration of one or both arches for patients with poor dentition or who have dentures. In this procedure, a minimum of four implants are placed which hold in place a temporary prosthesis. This allows patients to leave the clinic with a temporary set of teeth, which serve as an interim solution until a permanent set is affixed. If patients are uncomfortable sitting through a long procedure, sedation is offered and the procedure is performed in conjunction with another medical doctor.


year, GumDocs, the periodontal and implant clinic located on the fourth floor

lectures delivered by the clinic’s doctors to general dentists, hygienists and support staff. This engagement within the community and in the field is also important to the doctors – some of them also serve in posts at hospitals in the city. The team is poised to develop dental implant-specific courses for institutions in order to align with the current and future requirements of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario and the Ordre des dentistes du Québec, respectively. Both colleges have mandated a minimum amount of training for members who want to place or restore implants.

Similar to the manner in which the team has expanded, so has the clinic’s size. The practice originally took up only a fraction of the space it currently does. Since its initial years in operation, surgical suites and a postsurgery waiting room have been built, as well as a fully-equipped lab outfitted to produce dental solutions, including temporary implant solutions.

The practice also uses technology in communicating with its patients.They can be notified of an appointment through a text, email or traditional phone call. It is critical to keep in touch with patients in a way that works for them, but even more crucial to make each patient feel at ease once they enter the clinic. It’s all in order to ensure the 100 patients that enter the clinic daily feel attended to, and it’s been that way at GumDocs for the past two decades and will be in the decades to come n

The main waiting room also doubles as a venue after business hours for

For a full list of services and for more information, visit 33 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

pipelines people and progress op-ed, the Canadian Energy Pipelines Association

Protecting Bodies of Water

A TOP PRIORITY FOR THE PIPELINE INDUSTRY ver 100 biologists, engineers, government officials and other experts are currently working with the pipeline industry as it updates its comprehensive guidelines for constructing pipelines that cross bodies of water.

being covered in the comprehensive Pipeline Associated Watercourse Crossings Manual, 5th Edition, which the pipeline industry is currently developing, to expand and update its already comprehensive practices for watercourse crossings.

And for good reason – Canada has an extensive pipeline network; in fact, the members of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) operate over 115,000 kilometres of pipeline. As lakes, streams and rivers make up approximately nine per cent of the country, it can be necessary for these pipelines to cross bodies of water in order to deliver the oil and gas products Canadian use everyday.

These science-based guidelines help pipeline operators improve their understanding and share knowledge of how best to design and build a

Pipelines are a safe and efficient way to transport energy over long distances. And when they go through rivers and streams (known as watercourses), special care is taken throughout the pipeline lifecycle – which includes planning, construction, operations and maintenance, and retirement – to protect the ecosystems in those environments. Science-based guidelines

Greg Bryant is a senior environmental planner at CH2M Hill, a firm that works with pipeline companies to reduce the environmental impact of their projects. He outlined some of the many environmental concerns that need to be taken into account when a pipeline crosses water. Some of the factors that are considered include the presence or absence of fish, the sensitivity of species of fish that are observed, the stability and erosion of bed and banks, water quality and quantity, and traditional land use by Aboriginal communities. These elements and others are all

improved self-assessment processes and technical information. Specialized construction, operations and reclamation

The manual provides extensive insight for watercourse crossings, including where to start. Bryant explained that choosing a location best suited to maintaining the stability and the integrity of the pipeline is the “first



Horizontal Directional Drilling is one trenchless method the industry uses. It involves drilling a path underneath a river or other obstacle (like a road) and basically threading the pipeline underneath.

pipeline around water and ensure construction has minimal impact on the environment.

and foremost consideration” when planning where a pipeline will cross water.

With input from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, pipeline regulators, biologists, engineers and other experts, the fifth edition of these guidelines analyze the variety of factors that companies must consider for watercourse crossings, and suggest the best possible action. The guidelines also include tools for

“The crossing needs to be geotechnically sound (i.e. stable slopes and banks),” said Bryant. “The preference is to cross at a straight stretch of the river as opposed to locating the crossing on a meander bend.”

continued >> page 37 35 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

i 705-474-3450 ext. ext. 4357 4357 705-474-3450



• •


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aboriginal pathways by Candice Vetter

Protecting Bodies of Water >> from page 35

Thomsen D’Hont

Aboriginal Initiatives at Nipissing University The Aboriginal Initiatives Program at Nipissing University provides a supportive environment to Aboriginal students in a welcoming and understanding way, sensitive to their culture.

Although many of the students come from Ontario and Quebec, some are from much further away, such as Thomsen D’Hont, a Métis from Yellowknife. D’Hont chose Nipissing partly because the university is flexible. He is a champion crosscountry ski racer and for several years took one or two courses a year in different universities while pursuing racing full-time. “I was hoping to balance skiing and school,” says D’Hont. “Here we have a good varsity ski team and lots of ski trails on campus, and North Bay has a real winter so it’s a good ski season.” He is studying Liberal Science, which combines science and the humanities, and is not a combination found in many other institutions. “There are broad requirements in both areas. Because Nipissing University has a really flexible program, with lots of accommodation from professors, I could apply credits and prerequisites I already had.” After his degree, he intends to apply to medical school. Another reason he chose Nipissing was the Aboriginal Initiatives Office. “It’s a great initiative to have a special office devoted to Aboriginal programming. Here, there are a lot of Aboriginal students, lots from northern and rural areas and lots from North Bay itself. It’s a tight-knit program with a strong sense of community. It’s also a great way to get involved in the local Aboriginal community.” Autumn Varley agrees. She transferred from the University of Ottawa where she took the first two years of her undergraduate degree. “There was a lack of cultural support at Ottawa U,” she says. “I didn’t realize I needed that, but after two years there I knew I did.”

continued >> page 39

Generally, a crew who specializes in watercourse crossings is used during installation, Bryant explained. Companies adhere to timing restrictions when working instream, to avoid periods when fish and/or their eggs are present at the crossing or within the zone of disturbance downstream of the crossing. If the geological conditions are suitable, trenchless crossing methods, such as horizontal direction drilling, can be used. This construction method eliminates the need to clear vegetation, grade the banks and excavate a trench in the bed of the watercourse. Minimal clearing of vegetation and grading reduces the potential for erosion and sediments entering the watercourse. Special reclamation practices can be used to reduce the potential for erosion of the stream banks and to re-establish or enhance fish habitat that was present prior to construction. In addition to the precautions taken during construction, the physical design and operations of the pipeline are also adapted to take into account sensitive ecological areas. When pipelines cross water bodies, operators can use thicker pipe walls, special pipeline coatings, and occasionally, special cables, bolts and weights to secure the pipeline. In larger water bodies, automated block valves, which stop the flow of product in the pipeline, are installed on one or both sides of the watercourse crossing, further reducing the possibility of an accidental spill or leak. The pipeline industry continues to advance its practices to ensure that at each phase of the pipeline lifecycle to make sure watercourse crossings are protected, potential damage is mitigated and disturbed areas restored n 37 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

It’s not power lines that keep the lights on. It’s not cables that keep the communication flowing. It’s people. Hardworking highly skilled workers. We’re the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. IBEW for short. Today, we represent over 65,000 members from coast to coast to coast – in every province and territory. And we’ve come along way from our electricity focused origins. We now represent members in all kinds of industries, including utilities, manufacturing, construction, telecommunications, cablevision, radio and television, shipyards, railroads, pulp and paper mills, mining, and government. When disaster strikes. When blackouts happen. When everyday life gets interrupted. We’re there for you to get things back on track, safely and efficiently. IBEW has been there for Canada since 1899. And we always will be there. To find out more about what we’re doing out there, go to 38 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

building a better canada by Marie Waine

Aboriginal Initiatives >> from page 37

Autumn Varley


Rick Wallace Rick Wallace is a construction and maintenance coordinator with Hydro Ottawa. Over the last 34 years, Wallace has been working in a career he loves and cannot imagine doing anything else. He says the best part about his job is being able to work outside with a great team that takes pride in getting a job done safely and on time. The camaraderie that has developed between Wallace and his team members over the years keeps him excited about going to work every day. He says it also creates a productive and successful work environment. Wallace loves to see the results of a job well done. He says it is also gratifying to have others see the end results for years to come. It is Wallace’s personal effort, from start to finish, that makes him truly appreciate his craft. As part of the IBEW, Wallace works and learns from others in the electrical trade. He says the IBEW provides him with fairness in the workplace and protection through job security. Wallace is also able to constantly gain invaluable experience and expertise from other industry workers. Wallace can quickly apply the knowledge he gains. This could be done on a job site or when he is training young apprentices. Wallace works to ensure new teams learn to complete work safely, and get home at the end of the day. Being able to teach others his passion is a challenging but satisfying experience. Looking back on a busy, full career, Wallace knows his work has made a difference in the Ottawa community. He is also thankful for the community he has made by being part of the IBEW. Wallace says he has had a very rewarding career and could not be more proud n PHOTOS: COURTESY IBEW

She says, “As soon as I walked into the Aboriginal Initiatives Office I felt welcome. The campus here is beautiful, it’s closer to my home (Tiny, Ontario), and the difference in culture is important.” She says the transition from Ottawa to Nipissing was seamless, even though her studies in Ottawa were in French and in Nipissing she works in English. She also enjoys the smaller class sizes. “The professors know you on a personal basis.” One of her areas of study she considers most important is the intergenerational effects of residential schools. Another is oral history, which has only been considered a primary historical source for the last 15 years. “I would not have had that opportunity at Ottawa U.” She is also keenly interested in researching child welfare and the disproportionate number of Aboriginal children who end up in care. “It’s common for kids to be moved out of a province, and if that happens there’s not a lot of followthrough in the next province,” a trend which concerns her. Her own grandmother was moved far from her home as a child, so Varley has a deep understanding of outcomes resulting from that kind of interference. She is also passionate about blending what is seen as Aboriginal traditions and culture with institutions of higher learning. “There is a strong need for more Aboriginal voices in scholarly fields.” n 39 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

aboriginal pathways op-ed by Bob Pipe with Liz Cohen

Sharing Knowledge — Building Relationships on Anishinaabe Territory: Community and University Working in Partnership


enturies-old land claim disputes. Armed standoffs. Treaty agreements marred by deceit. Terror, abuse and confinement. The history of the relationship between Canada’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is fraught with mistrust, misunderstanding and multiple challenges. That’s no way to build a future. But there is hope. There is a way forward. We can and must work to rebuild integrity, renew trust and strengthen our collective relationship. When people build positive relationships with one another, when they establish trust and respect, their ability to define and work towards common goals increases dramatically. Through mutual understanding, what once seemed insurmountable can seem possible. For Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to work together on Turtle Island (North America) to advance their needs collectively and individually, good working relationships are essential, and it starts with understanding. On the traditional territory of Nipissing First Nation, Dr. Katrina Srigley is working in partnership with Anishinaabe and Ininiw community members to change the stories we tell about our pasts. Together they are exploring the dynamics of memory making and storytelling through decolonized research practice. Her current Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)-funded project, developed with Nipissing First Nation: Nbisiing Anishinabeg Biimadiziwin: to understand the past and shape the future mobilizes Anishinaabe stories and understandings of the past. She


is co-authoring a book with Glenna Beaucage, the Cultural Planning Coordinator for Nipissing First Nation, titled Gaa-Bii Kidwaad The Story of Nipissing. In partnership with the North Bay Friendship Centre, Srigley is also working with Indigenous storytelling methodologies in an exploration of the history of homelessness, poverty and migration in northeastern Ontario. This work informed the provincially-mandated ten-year housing planning for the District of Nipissing and is highlighted in the Friendship Centre’s publication, Following the Red Road.

Sharing knowledge and honouring Indigenous understandings of the past build empathy… It forces us to think critically as citizens, as community members with a part to play in the stories of Canada, past and present. This innovative and partnership-rich research is changing the way history is taught in high school and university classrooms, honouring Indigenous perspectives and histories to the benefit of all. Working with Nipissing First Nation and local high school teachers, Srigley is developing high school curriculum units. Two recent units tell the story of the Nipissing Warriors Hockey Team, a famed and highly successful Anishinaabe team from the 1960s and 1970s. The units are framed by Anishnaabe ways

Dr. Katrina Srigley

of understanding the world. They forefront the expertise of Elders and introduce students to silenced narratives of their pasts, of community cohesion and success. Through this work Srigley, an associate professor of History at Nipissing University, has developed the trust necessary to involve Elders in her university classrooms, an approach described as “innovative” and “pathbreaking” by community leaders. In Srigley’s classrooms, students are introduced to key concepts and approaches to the study of history from different intellectual traditions, those traditional to the Anishinaabe land on which the university sits and European theories of knowledge and history, which frame the discipline.This is achieved in various ways, but particularly through collaborative teaching with Elders and community members. “These relationships already exist. People are working together in a good way setting goals and making change,” says Srigley. “Sharing knowledge and honouring Indigenous understandings of the past builds empathy and understanding in our classrooms. It forces us to think critically as citizens, as community members with a part to play in the stories of Canada, past and present.” Work remains to be done. Mistrust and misunderstanding have, unfortunately, darkened the relationship for years, but the communities, people and especially the students that Dr. Srigley and her colleagues engage with are sharing a journey forward together. Perhaps a new Spring is indeed around the next corner n Bob Pipe is the communications officer at Nipissing University.

métis series by Candice Vetter

Métis Nation

— Celebrating the cultural fusion of the Métis


étis arts, language and symbols are expressions of a unique cultural fusion. The people of the Métis Nation are distinct from other Aboriginal peoples. Their culture and traditions come from the combination of Aboriginal peoples and Europeans who travelled and settled widely in the north and west.

to be a prominent aspect of Métis culture. This display of tradition has influenced many histories and artistic works by non-Métis as well, including famed American artist and sculptor Frederic Remington whose paintings faithfully documented the lives of peoples in Canada and the western USA in the late 1800s.

Métis artists and musicians are making a mark for themselves in Canadian arts communities. This blended heritage of ancient North American peoples’ traditional arts, French voyageur customs from centuries ago, and modern media and styles can be seen and heard in many places. Far from being considered a folk art of interest only to those of the same heritage, Métis art and music peppers Canada’s cultural landscape.

By the late 20th century it had become a proud symbol of Métis identity.

Perhaps the most widely recognized symbol of Métis heritage is the Métis sash. Sashes evolved from the bright scarves of French Canadians which Voyageurs brought to western Canada. The finger-weaving technique used to make the sash came from Eastern Woodland peoples’ traditions. They had woven plant fibres for tumplines, clothing, and other household articles. Europeans introduced wool as a fiber and a sash worn as a garment to the Six Nations Confederacy, Potawatomi and other nearby nations of the Woodland peoples, and that combination of ideas resulted in the distinctive sash. The sash served as a way to carry items, as a towel and washcloth, as a saddle blanket, rope, or bridle, was worn ornamentally, and also hinted at the joie-de-vivre which continues

Purely traditional art forms are a thriving aspect of Métis arts. Beadwork and embroidery are practiced today, still using the styles, colours and often materials of the past. Some of this historically accurate work is created by Jennine Krauchi and her mother Jenny Meyer.Their knowledge and expertise are admired around the world, and

Our people will sleep for a hundred years, and when they arise it will be their arts and their culture that will bring their spirit back. Louis Riel

their products incorporate techniques passed down for generations. Krauchi works extensively with museums, creating both historical reproductions and new works in the old style, but with her own designs. She also does

ABOVE: Internationally-acclaimed troupe, the Asham Stompers promote the richness of Métis culture through dance.

commissioned work in which she portrays her clients’ stories. The patterns are a mélange of ancient French embroidery patterns combined with Indigenous images and stories from nature. “The Sioux called the Métis the Flower Beadwork People,” says Krauche. “For me this is not a hobby. It’s a very important part of my life.” Making a living in the arts is an accomplishment in itself, and even when her works command high prices she says the selling price doesn’t really reflect all the time spent on research, sourcing materials and doing the intricate work. One of her clients has been the Hudson’s Bay Company, for whom she made Christmas stockings out of HBC blanket pieces decorated with traditional Métis beading, trimmed with deerskin, fur and woollen pompoms. It was an intensive project but a rewarding one, that also tied in with her museum experience. “Years ago the Bay donated their collection to the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg. I did replica work on that exhibit and was able to look at the original pieces, and many years later I was given this great opportunity.” She finished a significant and large project, currently on display in the new Human Rights Museum. The Octopus bag (45 inches wide by 23 feet high) symbolizes the Road Allowance People who were forced out of their homes by the government in the late 1800s. She also goes to schools and teaches children about the craft and the history that goes with it. 41 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

The Métis culture also has vibrant music and language. The Michif language is different than other language fusions in that, rather than being a patois like Créole in Louisiana, the oral language uses French grammar and nouns, and most other words are Cree. One of the champions of the language is Norman Fleury. He teaches Michif at the University of Brandon in Manitoba, is a frequent guest lecturer at other universities and is the translator or author of several books. Michif has been codified as a written language for about 20 years. Yet it is a language formed many generations ago. Fleury says his mother, who lived to be 108, spoke it, her parents (born in 1887 and 1880) spoke it, and their parents spoke it. The Gabriel Dumont Institute in Saskatoon carries many of his books and has strong collaborations with other Michif specialists. The Institute promotes the use of the language and provides resources for students from kindergarten to Grade 12. Its plans include devoting additional resources to preserving Michif. Tradition is also evident in the fiddle music associated with Métis culture. The foot-stomping, rollicking joy of the music, and the fast step dancing that accompanies it, are instantly recognizable. Songs such as the famous Red River Jig (oayache mannin in Michif) have been played at concerts, dances and parties across the country for generations.The high-energy steps and intricate patterns have elements of Cree, Ojibwe, Highland Scots, French, Acadian, Irish, and Scandinavian dance styles. Dance competitions are often part of dance festivals which include other traditional dances such as square dancing, Ottawa Valley step dancing, or round dancing. Some of the best dancers are the Asham Stompers, founded by Arnold Asham. He felt it was important to help preserve and celebrate the music he’d grown up with as a child near Reedy Creek in Manitoba. Asham also thinks promoting jigging brings the richness 42 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

ABOVE: Called "the Flower and Beadwork People" by the Sioux, Métis beadwork is still done using the style and techniques of the past. The sash is a proud symbol of Métis identity.

of Métis traditions to people in a fun way. The group has performed at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, in concert halls across the country, and in music festivals in Mexico and Europe. Many members have won world dance championships. “I fundamentally believe that dance is going to bring us all together,” says Asham. “Louis Riel said, ‘Our people will sleep for a hundred years, and when they arise it will be their arts and their culture that will bring their spirit back,’ and that is exactly what is happening today with the pow-wows and the dance.” In the fields of painting and design, successful Métis artist Christi Belcourt stands out. One of her designs, executed in stained glass by Vision Art Glass Studio, was unanimously chosen by a selection committee to commemorate the legacy of residential schools and the historic apology from the Government of Canada in 2008. The design was unveiled early in 2012 and the window, titled Giniigaaniimenaaning (Looking Ahead), is installed in the Centre Block on Parliament Hill.

Belcourt has received other recognition, including the Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award, which included a prize of $10,000. Her artwork hangs in the Museum of History, the National Gallery of Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and many other institutions and galleries. The largest collection of her work can be seen in the Gabriel Dumont Institute. Her paintings incorporate designs from nature reflective of traditional beadwork, which Belcourt says she was exposed to since childhood. Her interests include medicinal plants. In fact, she authored and illustrated a book about them. She is also leading the Walking with Our Sisters project, an installation of 1700 pairs of moccasins made by people of all ages and cultural backgrounds, which honours murdered and missing indigenous women. The show will visit 32 North American locations in 2020. Métis artists greatly contribute to the social and cultural fabric of Canada and will no doubt continue to do so in the generations to come n

Women, Wages The Workplace


by Candice Vetter

The year is 2015. Do women still make less money than men? Generally, yes, although the discrepancies are no longer the huge yawning gaps of the 1960s. A recent paper by Richard Shillington of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has analyzed public sector v. private sector wages. Shillington found some interesting patterns. It is in the low end of public sector wages that the gap between public and private is most apparent, which result in a reduced gender gap in public employment. He says that in the public service women generally make about 10 per cent less than their male colleagues. In the private sector, however, the gap is about 13.5 per cent. These percentages are based at looking at overall wages and do not include benefits. The difference in female wages is partly caused by the larger number of women in financially low-end jobs. His paper suggests that the 3.5 per cent difference between public and private is due to better wages for entry positions and those requiring fewer qualifications where women are over represented in both the public and private sectors. “The overall public sector wage premium is due to three factors: a smaller wage gap for women in the public sector, fewer low-wage positions in the public sector, and a higher effective minimum wage in the public sector.� (Effective minimum wage refers to industry standards used in 2011, which was about $15 per hour for public servants compared to the legislated $10.25 per hour in private industry.)


Shillington cautions, however, that there were limitations to using the Labour Force Survey for his analysis, as sample sizes limit the occupational categories available in published data. He states long-form census data (which is no longer collected) would have provided greater detail and more reliability. However, it seems reasonable to conclude that the barriers of education and experience are still more significant and more difficult to overcome for women than they are for men. His paper does not address why, but there are many societal factors which play havoc with a woman’s earning power, including, of course, family commitments. In this series we will attempt to unravel some of those issues affecting women, wages and work n 43 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015






Kozue Ando, Japan Saskia Bartusiak, Germany









JUNE 7, 11, 17, 20, 22 & 26


* Ticket prices include taxes and are subject to applicable fees. All prices are in Canadian dollars. Some conditions apply.



women, wages & the workplace by Warren (Smokey) Thomas

Wage Equality:

Lessons From The Public Sector As a general rule, women get paid less than men do. It doesn’t matter how you measure it. If you go by the average annual pay of all women in Ontario, women make 69 cents for every dollar men make. On an hourly basis, the average woman makes $3.44 less than the average man. That’s a 13 per cent penalty – just for being female. This is not acceptable. We have to do better. Fortunately, there are a couple of bright spots on the grey landscape of women’s wages. The brightest is unionization.

About 27 per cent of employees in Ontario are unionized, and here’s the good news for women: the average unionized woman makes ten per cent more per hour than the average nonunion man. That’s significant. What is just as significant is where these union women are. They’re in the public sector, mostly. Ontario’s public sector is 62 per cent female and 71 per cent unionized. That’s a higher unionization rate than the overall rate in Sweden. In the private sector, on the other hand, just 11.5 per cent of Ontario women are unionized. That’s lower than the overall rate in Alabama. When it comes to unions, the public and private sectors in Ontario are like two different countries. Private sector workers have taken a lot of hits over the last 30 years or so. They’ve been bashed around by global competition and laissez-faire economics. Freer trade, which was supposed to bring prosperity, has instead sapped our industrial power.

Unionization rates have fallen, and real wages have fallen with them. Make no mistake: the public sector has faced its own challenges. The provincial government’s current “austerity” program, like others before it, is cutting public sector jobs and driving down wages. Even so, the unionization rate remains high. Why? Two reasons: working people like unions; and Ontarians want public services to stay public. The people of Ontario have little appetite for privatization. They don’t trust the private sector to run our hospitals, schools, and courts. They see a strong role for direct government oversight in these areas and many others.

Given the state of women’s wages, it's easy to forget that it's against the law in this country to pay women less, but it is.

All of which is good for women’s wages, especially for those in lowerincome jobs. Through unionization, public sector women have succeeded in two key areas: collective bargaining; and enforcement of Ontario’s Pay Equity Act. Given the state of women’s wages, it’s easy to forget that it’s against the law in this country to pay women less, but it is. Unfortunately, the Pay Equity

Act is notoriously hard to enforce. It demands painstaking comparisons and complex calculations, and employers have been known to drag their heels. Negotiations can take years – or even decades. Realistically, no individual has the time or the resources to enforce pay equity. The only workers who can achieve it are those who have a union. So the largely female and highly unionized public sector is where we, as a province, have made the most progress towards wage equality. Policy-makers, take note. There are voices out there today who are calling on governments to slash public sector wages even more than they already have. Groups like the Fraser Institute say that, in the name of equity between the public and private sectors, public sector wages must come down. What they don’t say is this: they want women’s wages to come down. In truth, they want to move away from equity, not towards it.

What Ontario needs now is a commitment from government to apply the lessons learned in the public sector to the private sector. We need to remove barriers to unionization in the private sector. Just as importantly, we need government support for enforcing pay equity in all workplaces, unionized or not. Ontario has a long way to go to achieve wage equality, but one thing is for sure: pushing down public sector wages takes us in the wrong direction altogether – no matter how you measure it n Warren (Smokey) Thomas is president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. 45 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

building a better canada by Marie Waine



nfrastructure works when it is actually supporting people,” says Ellis Kirkland of Kirkland Capital Inc. It may seem like an obvious, logical statement and approach if you were developing a large project. Surprisingly, it is not always the case.The difference between many successful and unsuccessful large-scale infrastructure projects, explains Ellis, is the ability for the project to support present life. “There are fundamental perceptions you cannot go against.You can support change. You cannot impose change,” says Kirkland. Take, for example, the large urban housing project of Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis, Missouri. The 33 buildings of 11-storeys each aimed to replace sprawling housing with vertical neighbourhoods. All of the buildings were demolished in the mid-1970s after many failed attempts to create a successful living environment. Simply put, Pruitt-Igoe imposed change on its occupants. “It tried to re-engineer how people lived and that’s why it had to be blown up,” says Kirkland. “It tried to change natural patterns people have, but change with people happens gradually.” Successful large-scale infrastructure projects must introduce people to new technology and buildings while supporting the current way of life. The small changes must be adoptable with what is considered normal life. A more modern approach to change is creating sustainable cities. The plans introduce new technology and buildings with a combined vision of the client, developer and government, 46 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

while focusing on people and the environment. “What we do is introduce some small changes, incrementally and gradually,” says Kirkland. “We could bring in to the city some buildings, parks and gardens.” Kirkland has worked on urban renewal projects in many places, including China. It has a dense population and she says green space is not often included in city plans. However, green space is a large contributing factor to the success of new developments, says Kirkland. It helps create the idea of a beautiful space with room to escape.

Green space is a large contributing factor to the success of new developments. It helps create the idea of a beautiful space with room to escape. “The induction of elements that make an environment more hospitable is significant,” says Kirkland. “People begin to see that it is a better quality environment.” That is why Kirkland’s project in China included the sought-after areas of escape from the busy city. However, the benefits of green space are two-fold. A higher percentage of trees, shrubbery and green space also minimizes environmental impact by reducing greenhouse gases in densely populated cities.

Urban renewal in Shanghai, China.

“The introduction of sustainable technology also takes time,” says Kirkland. She references Marshall McLuhan, the media guru from the 1960s. McLuhan popularized the idea of the impact technology could have on life and culture. He believed every household would one day own a computer. At the time, this idea was seen as almost impossible. Kirkland says if computers were forced upon people when this idea emerged, they may not have the same success rate as today. However, computers have developed with people over the years. They have become smaller and faster. Computers slowly grew in popularity as they supported the way people lived. “That is the distinction between successful large-scale infrastructure and infrastructure that diminishes,” says Kirkland. Toronto’s waterfront is a current example of urban renewal that is improving the city and also improving residents’ lives. Highly-populated places must be slowly exposed to new technology and sustainability ideas. Although Kirkland says it is easier to get it wrong than it is to get it right, it is important to take the time to guarantee a new infrastructure project will be successful. The key to success? “People need to see that their lives will be improved.” n


Supporting the People

building a better canada op-ed by Michael Coren

Silencing a Voice



t’s been a few weeks now since the Friday the 13th that I will never forget. That was the day – 5 a.m. to be precise – that Sun News closed down. I hosted a nightly show called The Arena on the network for almost four years, having been dragged over from what was then CTS and is now YES TV screaming and crying. Well, not actually screaming or crying really because both parties were immensely generous and kind. Quebecor too showed the same courtesies while I worked for them and since I left. There has been a great deal written about it all, some of it accurate and compassionate, some ill-informed and mean-spirited. There should be no particular sorrow for the prime-time hosts; we were well paid and all of us have alternative sources of work. I am even now writing another book for Random House – two of the last four have been best sellers - and I have numerous columns, radio work and speaking gigs. It’s the backroom people who we should consider, who are looking for employment in a shrinking market and didn’t necessarily share our horrible, unCanadian, disgusting views. Here’s the point of course. Sun was conservative and we expressed conservative opinions. Joking aside, these views are far from heretical and are shared by millions of Canadians. I wasn’t, perhaps, as partisan as my colleagues but I’m certainly not always mainstream and I am proud of it. I also featured guests who boasted an expertise and honesty not always replicated in other Canadian media. I don’t think there was a show that

discussed, for example, the Middle East or issues of faith and morality with as much balance and empathy as mine. While Sun News was certainly conservative, we also gave platforms to Liberal and NDP politicians. Former NDP President Adam Giambrone was a frequent guest and Warren Kinsella, a key player in many left of centre political campaigns, appeared several times a week. The station employed 200 people and cost the best part of $20million a year to maintain. Our owners were losing too much to continue and I fully

In a Canadian landscape where an often consensusdriven television world frequently fails to provide room for authentic dissent and a wider purview of opinion, another independent voice has been lost. appreciate their decision. It’s a simple issue of math. Our audience was limited by cable access but in the first months of our existence, when we were lower on the dial, we sometimes reached 100,000 documented viewers. By the end, with placement up in the hundreds, we were down to under 20,000.

This, however, was not the reason for our demise. Our on-line presence was extremely healthy and as someone who speaks throughout Canada, I was constantly astounded at how many Canadians watched Sun News every night. The problem was income, distribution and, as a consequence, advertising. If the cable companies had given us what we and the CRTC had agreed upon, the future would have been bright. Some, but not all, did but we needed all and not some. There are networks in Canada that have what is known as a must-carry arrangement, meaning that even if nobody watches them at all, the cable companies pay them enough to keep those networks on-air for as long as they want. You, in fact, pay for them even if you’ve never watched and never will. The tragedy of the closing is that in a Canadian landscape where an often consensus-driven television world frequently fails to provide room for authentic dissent and a wider purview of opinion, another independent voice has been lost. In the greater scheme of things we move on and I suppose the world doesn’t change very much. There are broken hearts out there, as I’ve seen from the more than a thousand emails and notes I have received from saddened viewers, but day still follows night. Problem is, the Sun doesn’t shine any longer when that day does dawn. Will it be resurrected? Not as a television network but perhaps in an alternative form – keep watching and reading n


Service Professionalism Safety


railway and safe transit series by Candice Vetter

Moving the Crops



ne of the romantic visions often held of Canadian railways (and American for that matter) is that of the long lines of hopper cars filled with gleaming golden wheat and other grain and oilseed crops, on their way to feed people all over the world.

In the end, the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission estimates that western grain producers lost over $3-billion in 2013-2014 and could lose an additional $2-billion over 2014-2015 because of failures in the transportation and handling systems.

That vision was challenged in 2013 when media across the country reported that the two major rail shippers, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP) and Canadian National Railway Co. (CN) were choosing to ship higher-value oil as cargo rather than shipping grain. Rail companies publicly stated that an exceptional crop year was the reason the 2013 harvest sat in bins well into 2014. However, the bumper crop had been predicted for months. The railways also blamed bad winter weather over 2013-2014, and it was a truly bad winter across the country. But this is Canada, winter comes every year, and it’s often bad, so that excuse was not well received.

Unlike oil, stored crops have a limited life and the longer the storage period, the higher the likelihood of deterioration, sometimes to the point of complete loss. Not only farmers pay the price for that, of course. Letting the crops that feed the world go bad and become worthless while oil is given priority has been characterized as unethical.

It took an order and threats of large fines from the Canadian government, which was acting on complaints from agribusiness lobbyists, to get grain, oilseeds and pulse harvests moving again. A year and a half later, many farmers are still feeling the backlog. CP and CN officials have stated that significantly more grain was moved in the fall/winter of 2014/2015 than the previous year. As good as that statement sounds, the backlog left over from 2013 was part of the reason more grain had to be moved. Some estimates say as much as $20-billion worth of Canadian crops was stuck on farms last winter instead of being sold and consumed. PHOTO:SHUTTERSTOCK

Not only farmers pay the price for that, of course. Letting the crops that feed the world go bad and become worthless while oil is given priority has been characterized as unethical. Even after the railways were told to get the grain moving, the damage had been done to the U.S. market. Numerous farm and agribusiness publications estimated losses of Canadian grain sales to the American and Mexican markets to be as high as 35 per cent, partly because when the needed grains weren’t available, food processing companies turned

to other sources. Another factor is the direction grain was moved. Although ordered to ship hundreds of thousands of tonnes per week, the ultimate destination was not ordered. Railways may find it easier and cheaper to move grain to ports at Thunder Bay and Vancouver to be shipped by sea, rather than directly to American destinations. Individual farmers in this country, most of whom are already under stress due to many factors beyond their control, end up losing good prices for their crops, which are a fluctuating commodity at the best of times. It is also individual farmers who must pay for grain storage, either on their own farm or at an elevator, and it is those same farmers who must pay additional fees when their grain sits in a port terminal instead of being sold. The Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission recommends the formation of a rail oversight group within the Canada Transportation Act which would include representatives from agricultural producers. Since the federal government order, both shippers have been fined for non-compliance. In January, CP announced it would appeal a $50,000 fine levied for failing to meet weekly mandatory shipping volumes, stating that the railway should not be responsible for every glitch in the supply chain. CN, which was charged twice, stated it would pay the two fines and move on. For the sake of farmers and their clients, one can only hope the railways will work more closely and cooperatively with producers to improve transportation time of that gleaming golden wheat and other crops. Time will tell n 49 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

travel by Karen Temple

Get Outdoors:

Mont Tremblant

railway and safe transit series profile by Candice Vetter

travel by Jennifer Hartley

Don Ashley


s kids skiing in Québec, my friends and I heard tales of the legendary Jackrabbit Johannsen, who was instrumental in cutting trails in the Laurentians. Even though he was quite elderly, we had hoped to sneak a peek of him gliding through the forest. We never did see him but his passion for the outdoors, and that of the many other trailblazers who envisioned a world-class ski destination, lives on in the names of ski runs like the Lowell Thomas, the Ryan and the Duncan at Mont Tremblant.

Visitors come from all over to ski the “trembling mountain”. It is the most popular hill in the east. With 268 hectares and 96 runs on 4 different faces, you can literally follow the sun around the mountain. If skiing through the trees is your thing, make sure you head to the Edge. Opened in 2013, this side will challenge even the best skier. Not sure if you can handle it? No problem, pop out of the trees onto Action, a nice wide trail that you can take down to the Edge chair. If you live on the wild side, the hill offers 3 separate snowparks, including the Adrenaline Park. Make sure to dress warmly. It can be down right freezing at the top. An extra layer, a balaclava and goggles will ensure a great day on the slopes. For more kid-friendly skiing, hit the newly-opened Tam-Tam trail on the south side that includes sculptures of animals and a play area. The idea is to ABOVE: A view of the summit from the Village. RIGHT: Mascot Toufou hits the slopes. 50 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

give kids a place where they can have fun and learn about the mountain code of conduct, (aka ski etiquette). After you wear out the wee ones, drop them off at the Kidz Zone in the village. This day care does not come cheap but it offers mom and dad full and half-day care so they can hit the big runs. Stop for lunch at Microbrasserie La Diable in the Pedestrian Village. It is one hip, hustling and bustling place. It

brews all of its own beers and offers menu items that include Québec favourites like poutine and smoked meat. Make sure to order a sampling of beer. Located slope side in Place Saint-Bernard, Le Forge Bistro-Bar & Grill is another great lunch location. It also offers Québec comfort foods but has a luxe, white-linen steakhouse on the second floor that is open only for dinner. It boasts the most extensive wine list north of Montréal and has three on-staff sommeliers. Steaks are all Angus AA and grilled on a woodburning grill. For the best scenic views, stop for lunch on the summit at Le Grand Manitou. This cafeteria-style eatery offers soups, a pasta bar and lots of hot chocolate. It can get pretty busy up there so plan to stop for an early or late lunch. When IntraWest bought Mont Tremblant in the 1980s, it immediately set out to build the Pedestrian Village on the south side of the mountain. With 15 hotels offering a total of 1900 rooms for rent, including a new Holiday Inn Express and the renovated Westin Resort and Spa, there is no shortage of places to stay slope side. The Village makes Tremblant a unique destination. It’s a well-manicured, picture-perfect, full-service ski town. PHOTOS: KAREN TEMPLE

PHOTO: Martin Girard

For a truly different dining experience, sign up for the snowshoe and fondue tour. Meet your group at the Expedition shop to rent snowshoes and get your head lamps before heading up the gondola. Once at the summit, guides take you on an hour and a half trek. It’s so beautiful inside the forest. You quickly realize how you take the mountain totally for granted when downhill skiing. Slightly out of breath, you reach the Refuge du Trappeur for a hearty fondue and flowing wine served by candlelight. Our night included local talent Pierre who played the guitar and got everyone singing. Don’t overindulge too much as there is still an hour-long moonlit walk down to the Village. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The magical scene Snowshoe and Fondue Tour. Without a doubt,

Le Scandinave Spa is rejuvenation central. You don't have to be a high roller to visit Casino Mont Tremblant. Take advantage of the outdoor rink as complimentary skates are available to all guests staying in the Village. Making new friends at Expédition Wolf.

The peppering of original heritage buildings, multiple wood-burning fire pits and a skating rink adds to the Pedestrian Village’s charm. On the main street, you will find a movie theatre and the AquaClub pool which features slides, a rope swing, jumping wall and hot tubs. If you feel the need to express yourself, Le Studio Créatif offers ceramic painting. Hop on the free shuttle from the Village and head to the Casino de Mont Tremblant to try your luck at one of the 425 slot machines or the gaming tables. Not sure what to do? Visit the Activity Centre in Place SaintBernard. They help you find suitable activities and will coordinate all the details. Consider spending half a day dog sledding with Expédition Wolf. Drive

yourself there or have the shuttle pick you up at your hotel. The dogs are friendly. They will win over even the most reluctant person. The handlers know all 250 dogs by name and rhyme them off as you help harness up the sleds. Make sure you are ready for a little running as the musher has to help the dogs by running up any inclines. If cardio is not your thing, ride in the toboggan. Either choice, it is a thrilling experience. Remember, these are French canines so a firm ‘allez!’ will set them off running. Once the sledding is over, you are encouraged to interact with them. They all appreciate the attention. Expédition Wolf does not breed its dogs but rescues them from city shelters. You will be hard pressed to leave without one. At least you can buy a CD of images to take the memories home with you.

The Scandinave Spa is not a facial or mani-pedi destination but a total detox, relaxation zone. Described as a “unique thermotherapy experience”, the goal is to detox your body, warming up in the hot pools, sauna or steam room before plunging into a cold pool, the river or the waterfall for a refreshing rinse before relaxing in front of an outdoor fireplace or inside a relaxation room. Then repeat the cycle. Total silence is the rule while soothing music softly plays in the background. With our hectic daily lives, it’s wonderful to have meditative time all to yourself. The setting with multiple buildings beautifully landscaped into the mountain side and deer roaming freely adds to the wonderfully rejuvenating experience. More than simply a ski hill, Mont Tremblant is a place full of possibilities. So get out there and embrace what is left of winter. The abundance of activities celebrating the Canadian outdoors ensures that there is something to suit everyone. Jackrabbit Johannsen is certainly smiling down on Tremblant n 51 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015


travel by Dan Donovan



he combination of rich history, ruggedly beautiful coastlines and rich landscapes dotted with sheep combine to make Wales an unforgettable escape. The Welsh are at the top of their game when it comes to hosting tourists and travelers alike. They are proud of their heritage and understand why after spending a week walking through the Welsh countryside visiting historic castles, monasteries, landmarks, small towns and coastal villages. Wales was first settled between 600100 BC. by the Celts, a nomadic warrior people whose origins can be traced around the coasts of Italy, Spain and Portugal. The Celts were sophisticated in the use of iron tools and early weaponry which they used to conquer and control lands. They had a strong religious streak led by priests (druids). In 43 AD, the Romans invaded Wales and established a network of forts to control the Celtic tribes. Often, towns grew up outside the forts as the soldiers provided a market for the townspeople’s goods. Many of these forts remain standing today. In the fourth century, when the Roman Empire went into decline, Wales split into separate kingdoms until the Normans established themselves in Britain following the Battle of Hastings, in 1066. At that time, when William the Conqueror became king of England he did not attempt to conquer Wales. Instead, he granted land along the English-Welsh border to powerful Norman lords. Skip ahead to 1283, Edward was now the 52 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

ruler and English law was imposed. For the next several centuries, there would be a continuum of rebellions and battles between the Welsh and the English. There are many unique cultural, historical and nature experiences to be found in Wales, especially in the countryside and in the small coastal villages. It is a short three hours to Wales from London, either by car or train. As you cross the river Severn from England and enter the Wye Valley, the landscape changes from being flat to mountainous and the language from unilingual English to bilingual Welsh. Commercial trips down the Wye in boats to local resorts started in 1760. Famous figures such as William Wordsworth, J.M.W. Turner and Admiral Nelson made the tour, which soon became de rigueur for English high society. A must stop is Tintern Abbey, one of the most spectacular ruins in all of England. Brecon Beacons National is one of Wales’s three National Parks. This place is a hiker's paradise with big skies, deep, wooded gorges, lakes, ravines and rivers that cut through limestone rocks with ease. There are lots of sheep that

Welsh ‘cottonballs’ dot the landscape.

Wales is part of the United Kingdom. It's situated to the west of England and is around 256 km long by 96 km wide — that's about the same size as the state of Massachusetts or half the size of Switzerland.

speckle the rich green landscape like cottonballs. The Bear Hotel in Crickhowell, in the heart of the park, is picture-book perfect and the ideal place to lay your head or have a great meal. Wales has plenty of great places to eat. Gastronomes will delight at the range of superb Welsh eateries offering locally-sourced meats, seafood and other ingredients, alongside established restaurants offering international and fine cuisine. The Walnut Tree Inn on the outskirts of Abergavenny, located in Brecon Beacons, is a Michelinstar restaurant that was voted best restaurant in Wales at the National Restaurant Awards. The last thing I ever expected to see in Wales was a winery. However, Welsh winemakers are gaining a reputation after winning several awards. Ancre Hill Estates makes phenomenal wines and garnered a gold medal at the 2013 China Wine & Spirits Awards for its 2009 sparkling rosé and a silver medal for its 2009 sparkling white.

The town of Abergavenny proper is known for its annual food festival and local market. Afternoon tea at the Angel Hotel is a must. It’s a member of the prestigious UK Tea Guild and in 2011, won the Guild’s top national award (the Oscar of the tea world). Their teas are served with freshly prepared sandwiches, savouries, cakes and scones . Get a taste of “Downton Abbey” at the Gliffaes Country House Hotel in Crickhowell. Retire to a grand private room with all the modern amenities or grab a glass of wine from the lounge and its impressive wine list. The hotel restaurant will not disappoint. The staff were attentive and polite and the very hospitable owner joined us for an after-dinner drink, sharing much of his knowledge and history of the area. Walk off your amazing meal through the wooded gardens and surrounding forest of this breathtaking property along the River Usk. It's worth the drive to Hay-on-Wye, a quirky town next to the Brecon Beacons that is famous for its book festival. Nearby you can enjoy a traditional British Sunday at the Felin Fach Griffin dining pub. Its menu includes Welsh beef, lamb and game from local estates and cheeses from

world-renowned dairies.

Coastal villages which jut in and out of the cliffs are one of the most spectacular features of Wales. An overnight stay and dinner stay at the Harbourmaster in picturesque Aberaeron harbourside, was definitely a highlight of the trip. A fun touristy thing to do is to take a steam engine journey on the Great Little Train of Wales, which showcases the spectacular countryside as you climb up through Aberyswyth to Devil’s Bridge.

The Penderyn Whisky Distillery shows you the ancient art of distilling whisky and demonstrates the differences between the Welsh process and that which produces Scottish, Irish and American whiskies. A nice lunch (and maybe a shot or two of whisky) certainly help if are going to make the trek up a challenging incline to Carreg Cennen Castle. It's worth the hike to see the view of the valley below and the town of Llandovery. Overnight was comfortable at the Castle Hotel in Llandovery.

Mount Snowdon isWales and England’s highest mountain at 1085m and it can be found in Snowdonia National Park. Its trails make the summit accessible to hikers of all abilities. The Park also contains rivers, lakes, waterfalls, forests, moorlands, glacial valleys, a stunning coastline and ancient burial chambers. There are Roman forts, world heritage-listed Norman and Welsh castles, steam railways and relics of the country's mining heritage. Ynyshir Hall in Machynlleth is the park’s world-renowned AA Hotel and was recently awarded its first Michelin star. Snowdonia is also famous for the rather odd but entirely pleasant village of Portmeirion. Portmeirion was the built over a 50-year period by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, an architect who acquired the property in 1925 and spent the rest of his life building the village. It was known as ‘the Village’ in the 1960’s cult TV series The Prisoner and today serves as a big tourist attraction and site for weddings and conferences.

Spend a day in the beautiful coastal town of Cardigan.A highlight is visiting the restored Cardigan Castle, which played a vital role in Welsh history and was the site of the first National Eisteddfod, in 1176. An eisteddfod is a Welsh festival of literature, music and performance. A chair at the Lord's table was awarded to the best poet and musician, a tradition that prevails to this day. Stop for lunch at the Ferry Inn, a beautiful, historic pub and restaurant in the picturesque village of St. Dogmael. Take an afternoon stroll on Mwnt Beach in Ceredigion, voted one of Europe’s top ten loveliest hidden beaches.


If you are an adventurous sort, you won't want to miss the Zip World Titan in Blaenau Ffestiniog. The site includes a pair of a mile-long zip lines where riders can exceed 100mph at 500ft high. It’s got to be the nearest thing to flying. Exhilarating is an understatement.

CLOCKWISE: The Penderyn Whisky Distillery. Low tide in the seaside town of Cardigan. The picture perfect village of Portmeirion. Afternoon tea at the Angel Hotel in Abergavenny.

After a week of hiking through the Welsh countryside and meandering through the rugged peaks of Snowdonia National Park, the spectacular terrain of the Brecon Beacons National Park and marveling at the endless beauty of the coastline, we ended up at St. George's Hotel in the famous resort village of Llandudno. This hotel and town were an exceptional end to a wonderful walk through Wales n 53 OTTAWALIFE MARCH/APRIL 2015

education by Kevin Flynn

Faith Seeking Understanding


o many people, the presence of a faculty of theology within a modern, public university seems, at best an odd anachronism, perhaps useful for the training of future priests or other religious professionals, but not much else. Since it should be obvious that religion is not going to disappear from the human scene in any foreseeable future – despite its regular but premature obituaries – might not the phenomenon of religion be better examined through Religious Studies, an avowedly non-confessional discipline? Religious Studies do, in fact, contribute enormously to an informed understanding of religion. What they do not and cannot do is include the dimension of belief itself. A faculty of theology is dedicated to critical reflection on faith. This could be any faith, though I write from the perspective of Christian faith. To use a classic expression, theology is “faith seeking understanding.” Among the fruits of such a search is the university itself, an outgrowth during the Middle Ages of cathedral and monastic schools. People came to see the value to society as a whole of people whose expertise could solve difficult problems. But the university has never been merely a trade school. It has aimed at fostering people who are able to participate in intelligent public discourse. A university education cultivates a critical edge, an ability to discern between good, bad, relevant, and irrelevant arguments. It also fosters a breadth of vision that


allows for a diversity of viewpoints and questions. Christian theology has reflected deeply on the nature of knowledge itself. Thus, theologians have identified the questing, boundary-breaking quality of human intelligence as a key way in which our intelligence is a mirror of God’s intelligence. Our freedom to imagine and create new possibilities is akin to God’s own freedom. A perhaps still more astonishing claim is that our intelligence’s capacity to make connections, overcome divisions, achieve reconciliations is in fact related to love. Love, too, is all about connections and reconciliations. For Christian theology then, intellectual endeavour is a holistic one even as love’s desire is to take the widest, most generous view of context. Not surprisingly, then, theology today is inevitably interdisciplinary. It draws on the insights of history, sociology, psychology, physics, etc. It raises questions and converses with other intellectual traditions and cultures. It is a dialogue partner with other great faith traditions. And in its own quest for self-understanding, it engages in faithful critique of its own tradition, not as some inert past, but as a crucial part of its own dynamic inner life. Theology returns constantly to the question of what a meaningful human life entails. For example, in the face of neo-liberal ideologies that would reduce people to consumers, theology

insists on a more holistic vision of the human person. If an argument is marked by reductively materialistic models, theology will ask “Why those questions? Why those presuppositions? Is this adequate to what human life really is?” Much of our present life is founded on specialization, professionalism, and competition. These qualities have allowed for human wealth and mastery beyond the imagination of most of our forebears. What these qualities have lacked – as we are slowly and painfully coming to realize in the face of the environmental crisis around us – is an ability to recognize the complex web of relations between ecology, medicine, food, fuel and so forth. A theological vision attends to those connections. It resists the forces that would turn students into passive consumers, forming instead canny critics, capable of using their minds in their own defense against the numbing forces of consumerism and the vengeful manipulations of political populists. Yes, theology continues to assist in the formation of servant leaders for the churches. But it does so primarily as a compelling way of seeing the world with a vision informed by love. Far from irrelevant or quaint, this is a vision as urgently necessary now as it has ever been n Kevin Flynn is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Theology at Saint Paul University, Ottawa.