Volume 84. Issue 6.

Page 1



pp. 3. U of O announces international English scholarship

pp.4. International student program facing changes to acceptance numbers and financial requirements

pp.4. UOSU’s new main agreement with the University of Ottawa

pp.5. UOSU 2024 general election results


pp.7. Discussing the Ottawa Black Creatives Hub’s Performing Arts Showcase with Noni

pp.7. Bluesfest announces lineup for 30th edition

pp.9. The Ottawa Black Creatives Hub Performance Showcase: Telling your story is political

pp.11. The 2024 highlights of Ottawa’s Black History Month celebrations

pp.12. Review: Bob Marley: One Love


pp.13. Gee-Gees Basketball: Women eliminated despite valiant effort from Saumure

pp.14. Formula 1: Bahrain Grand Prix Preview

pp.15. Gee-Gees Hockey: Women take one game off undefeated Stingers but ultimately fall


pp.17. An Extreme act of protest: Aaron Bushnell


pp.19. Language Instructors and their unique position of power

pp. 20. The Rideau Canal’s shortest season in history –what does it mean for the future?

ISSUE 6, march 2024
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Participants and Hosts at the Ottawa Black Creatives Hub Performing Arts Showcase. Photo: Pavel Nangfack/Fulcrum.

U of O announces international English scholarship

At what cost?

On November 3, 2023, the University of Ottawa announced the International English Scholarship that will provide “average-based renewable scholarships for students from Africa, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, South Korea, India or Bangladesh studying in English” at the beginning of the fall 2024 term.

International anglophone students have the potential to earn both an entrance scholarship and excellence scholarships for maintaining an average of 90 per cent in their field of study.

“It will be offered for the first time in September 2024,” Jesse Robichaud, spokesperson for the University of Ottawa commented.

“Since September 2022, we have been offering a scholarship for newly admitted students studying in English in some specific programs and coming from African countries. This scholarship goes in the same direction, with additional programs and countries.”

The scholarship amounts are differentiated for students based on country of origin and program. Robichaud provided reasoning for both the genesis of the scholarship, as well as an explanation behind this variation.

“We have programs that attract many international students… and certain programs that attract fewer students

With this scholarship, we aim to diversify our student population in other programs.”

Robichaud also reiterated the university’s awareness of the financial challenges many international anglophone students face, with this scholarship also aiming to provide students with some assistance.

Robichaud also provided acceptance rates of international students over the past 5 years. Note that the highlighted boxes are areas where the previous English scholarship was offered in 2022 and 2023. Based on the data provided, it is difficult to say the former English scholarship had an affect on the acceptance rates of international students when compared to non-scholarship programs.

One thing to note is the large spikes across all faculties between 2021 and 2022, with most of the programs in the science faculty seeing an increased enrolment rate of at least 20 per cent, and some as high as 100 per cent.

When looking at social sciences, the largest faculty at the university, there have been stark increases in public administration and sociology over the past five years.

While the scholarship aims to both reward and support international students for their continued academic excellence, it has been criticized for not providing them with sufficient financial support, espe -

cially with the university announcing a 5-7 per cent tuition hike for international students following the application deadline.

“The more [the U of O] raises tuition, the higher the likelihood of students transferring.”

Anna Rezaigue, International House coordinator spoke on the situation.

“The timing of [the U of O’s announcement about the tuition hike this year, after most university applications had closed, was disheartening. Many had to switch because they could no longer afford [the U of O.”

While the International English Scholarship offers less than its Francophone counterpart, Rezaigue spoke on the effect this scholarship is having amidst everything happening right now, emphasizing the point that the University “reduced the French bursary and introduced an English counterpart.”

“I’m not fundamentally against this bursary, but I’m against it at this moment,” she said.

“Both [the U of O and its students can’t bear it right now. With inflation, rising living costs, and continually increasing tuition, it’s becoming unbearable.

The timing of this scholarship implementation couldn’t be worse. What [the university] really needs is a decrease in tuition. Realistically, we understand that might not happen, but at the very least, we’re asking for a freeze in tuition hikes for the coming years.”

NEWS EDITOR Shailee Shah news@thefulcrum.ca NEWS EDITOR Kavi Vidya Achar news.editor@thefulcrum.ca
Jesse Robichaud/University of Ottawa.

International student program facing changes to acceptance

numbers and financial requirements

Federal intervention on provincial mismanagement

Over the past two months, the federal government has made several major changes to international student policy across Canada. International students are now required to have access to over $20,000 in funding before they are permitted a student visa, and international student visas will now be capped for the next two years. The changes include modifications to post-grad work

cover the costs of studying in Canada. In addition, the federal government has capped the acceptance of international students to 360,000 international students, a 35 per cent reduction compared to 2023, for the next two years.

Starting this September, students starting a program part at an institution part of a curriculum licensing agreement (when one private college is allowed to teach the curricu-

a three-year work permit “soon”.

“The main intent of this change [to the financial requirements] is to protect students who arrive in Canada without enough money to support themselves,” Sofica Lukianenko, communications advisor for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), commented before the cap was announced.

“International students choosing to come to this country

permits (PGWP) as well.

As of January 1st, international students will now need to prove they have $20,635 in accessible funding to

lum of a public college) will not be eligible for a post-grad work permit, while graduates of “short graduate-level programs” will be able to apply for

need to be aware of the costs associated with life in Canada. A student who arrives without adequate funds is more vulnerable to being exploited by an

employer or might feel forced to accept a poor housing situation.”

The last time the financial requirements were changed was in the early 2000s. The recent changes come within two months of each other.

“I think that change [to the financial requirement] has now been overshadowed a bit by the new cap and the changes to the PGWP rules, particularly for students attending Public-Private Partnership campuses,” Iain Wilson, manager for Higher Education Strategy Associates commented.

In a press release for the changes to the acceptance numbers and PGWPs, Marc Miller insisted the federal government would have liked provincial governments to take action before they had to.

Regarding financial requirements, Lukianenko continued, “IRCC is undertaking a review of the International Student Program to strengthen program integrity and enhance protections to address student vulnerability, unethical recruitment and non-genuine actors in the program.

“The goal is to

ultimately protect international students and Canada’s interests, and to help modernize the program to better select and retain students that meet Canada’s economic and social-cultural goals, including francophone and regional immigration objectives. It is important to note that provinces and territories are responsible for the designation and de-designation of institutions.

“At the moment, we are in a stage of considerable uncertainty, which is probably not entirely desirable, simply because the federal government has effectively pushed a lot of the detailed decision-making down to the province by costing the ability to bring in international students but not setting the detailed rules, which of course, constitutionally is not really their position.”

Wilson additionally commented, “Both of those [recent changes] will have a big impact, especially in Ontario, but there is uncertainty at the moment while we wait to find out how the provinces are going to manage their allocations.”

UOSU’s new main agreement with the University of Ottawa Agreement will be in effect from May 1, 2024 to April 30, 2029

At the Jan. 21 meeting of the University of Ottawa Students’ Union’s (UOSU) Board of Directors (BOD), advocacy commissioner Maisy Elspeth shared the outcome of negotiations on the Union’s new main agreement with the Universi-

ty of Ottawa. This is the second main agreement between UOSU and the U of O, the first remaining in effect until April 30 2024.

During the meeting, Elspeth presented the newest version of the agreement for board approval, stating the newest draft was “the product of a lot of really hard work

and many many meetings.”

The 47-page document includes a breakdown of UOSU’s fees (Schedule A), a list of registered clubs (Schedule C) and terms for the use of University space by the Union (Section 8.2b), among many other sections.

The essence of the document lies in its recognition of UOSU as the voice for U of O’s undergraduate student body: “The University hereby recognizes the UOSU during the Term of this Agreement as the exclusive student association representing undergraduate students regis-

tered at the University.”

UOSU’s first main agreement was signed shortly after the collapse of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO).

This current draft of the agreement appears below. Once signed by parties representing both groups the

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Nicholas Socholotiuk Bridget Coady Image: Saffron Blaze/Fulcrum Archives.

agreement will be in effect from May 1, 2024 to April 30, 2029.

“Last board meeting on [Dec.] 28th, there was a discussion on the main agreement,” said Elspeth. “Some of the

a lot of wins in this document: [it has] clearer dates, clearer expectations, less ambiguity around the failed student choice initiative of the Ford Government.”

just to remove any mentions of that loan agreement, because it just no longer applies.”

Elspeth shared the pieces of the agreement that gave her reason to feel hopeful for the

things raised there such as the [general assembly] date was changed, as well as my name being misspelled, and ‘UOSU’ was changed to ‘the UOSU’ throughout the document, all minute changes.”

“We need to approve this. This establishes our relationship with the University for the next five years. Under Ontario law, it is obligatory that the University have a recognized association or union representing students, so they have to have a main agreement. I broadly think there are

The board passed a motion approving the signing of this document.

Union’s future at the U of O.

students pay a levy for the maintenance of that building and students’ voices have been pushed out of decision-making for a long time.”

In a later interview with the Fulcrum, Elspeth shared more on the process of updating the agreement to the current realities of the UOSU and U of O relationship.

“For example, when UOSU first started, the organization had absolutely no money. And so when that happens, we got a loan from the university, which we [have] entirely paid off. [S]ome of the changes specifically from that document are

UOSU 2024 general election results

Lower voter turnout than 2023 by-election

On Feb. 18, the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) published its 2024 general election results.

2,482 under-

graduate students voted in the elections; a turnout rate of 6.74 per cent. This is notably a point lower than the turnout for the most recent by-election which had 2,999 ballots cast for a 7.7 per cent

“There’s a few pieces that we’ve negotiated into this contract: [first,] the ability to have general assemblies [and have] the university automatically provide us a space. It’s also come on the back of some problems that happened [with] the last General Assembly, where it happened on a Hindu holiday [Diwali], and part of the reason it happened is because there was no availability for booking and the university wouldn’t give us priority.

So in this new agreement, we’ve included a clause [which] basically says we’re automatically going to get a room on this date. And because we know that ahead of time, we can look and make sure if there’s any conflict, we can go to them early and mak[e] sure that we can switch it, and make sure that everything’s all good. So that’s a big one.”

“Another one is not necessarily in our main agreement, but it’s in our license to use space, which is a tandem document and that’s called the University’s Center Building User Group (UCBUG). So with the UCBUG, the goal is that we become more in the loop about what’s happening with the University Center building, because

Elspeth shared her thoughts on the significance of this moment for UOSU:

“This is a momentous time and you will see history. We are still new, [so just] going into our second ‘five-year term of recognition’ is pretty big. And I think it’s really important to have good documentation of these negotiations and these processes to look back. So that’s something I’ve been focused on quite significantly. I’ve written a document that talks about the process of negotiation, hopefully in five years when someone’s doing this again, they can look back and learn from my process and what I’ve learned.”

University spokesperson Jesse Robichaud said of the negotiations on behalf of the school: “The current agreement between the University and UOSU is in place until April 30, 2024. The University and UOSU have been discussing a new agreement which is not yet finalized. However, we anticipate that we will reach a new agreement and look forward to continuing to work with the UOSU to support their continued services to students.”

turnout — the highest by-election turnout in UOSU’s brief history. UOSU’s 2023 general election had a 3.8 per cent turnout.

Referendum Results

Referendum questions to stop the collection of CHUO and Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) student levies won the consent of students for a second time, the first

successful campaign for these questions were run in the 2023 by-elections, but the results were not ratified at the Autumn General Assembly (AGA) after UOSU’s Board of Directors (BOD) received

Bridget Coady Image: Hannah Vigneux/Fulcrum Archives.

legal advice, which was relayed to the assembly. This non-ratification appears only to have angered students further, as 70.53 per cent of respondents voted to remove CHUO’s levies and 65.8 per cent voted to remove levies to OPIRG.

A referendum question on the addition of a $4.99/semester “club funding” levy passed with 54.27 per cent voting in favour.

The only referendum to fail was a proposed financial adjustment to the UOSU Health and Dental policy, moved by UOSU themselves.

UOSU Executive

Delphine Robitaille was elected president for a second term, receiving 1704 “Yes” votes and 250 “No” votes in an uncontested race. 528 students opened their ballots to abstain from this decision.

Current interim equity commissioner Imani Bunzigiye won a

full term in the same role with 1313 votes (81.18 per cent), beating out Eloïse Badin who received 292 votes (18.19 per cent). This race had 877 abstentions.

Daphnée Veilleux-Michaud won the francophone affairs commissioner over the current interim commissioner Tristan Maldonado-Rodriguez. Veilleux-Michaud garnered 1235 votes in comparison to Maldonado-Rodriguez’s 467 votes. 780 students choose to abstain.

Candidate for advocacy commissioner, Habiba Laoulidi, was disqualified during the voting period.

The roles of operations commissioner, the newly-established communications commissioner, student life commissioner, and advocacy commissioner will be vacant to start the term. Interim commissioners will likely be hired over the summer and fully elected in the October by-elec-


UOSU Board of Directors (BOD)

The BOD is elected by ranked ballot for faculties that have more candidates than seats.

In the faculty of Social Science (FSS), current director James Adair won a second term in the same role, while previous student life commissioner Rayne Daprato was elected to serve a term as director. Angel Geneau, Tatenda Musundire and Ian Reid won the remaining three FSS seats. Rhys Matthew and Megan Betsworth McNeil were not elected to the board. Find the Fulcrum’s interview with FSS candidates here.

For health sciences, Grace Tongue was elected for a second term as director and will be joined by newcomer to the board, Farah Mourad. Daniel Bersyniow was unsuccessful in his campaign for re-election, and Colton Chaput was also

not elected.

Alexander Kudryahova and Iacov Donos were elected to represent the Telfer School of Management, while two board seats remain vacant.

From the Faculty of Engineering, John Lopes, Jason Shum and Taha Riyaan were each elected.

Running uncontested, former ISA director Quanah Traviss was elected to represent the faculty of Arts.

Dana Ibrahim won the common law seat in another uncontested race.

The faculties of Education, Medicine and Civil law will each have one vacant seat to start the term. It is up to the BOD to appoint interim directors for the period between the start of the term and by-elections in October.

University Senate

In Uncontested races, Hanif Ehsani won

for Arts, Alexander Hnatovsky won for common law, Abigail Lyons won for Telfer, Jacky Lee won for Medicine, and Sandra Uhlrich won for the faculty of Social Science. In the only contested race for a Senate seat, Valmik Duvadie beat out Buse Loclar and Areeba Choudhry to win the seat for the faculty of Science.

University Board of Governors (BOG)

Current UOSU Common Law director Gabrielle Muzychka won the Board of Governors seat over Maryam Hussen, Arda Erbayav, Brandon Ly, and Othniel Gandonou. Muzychka was ranked number one by 614 (36.34 per cent) students. The race for BOG had 794 abstentions.

For full results, visit UOSU’s website.

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Image: UOSU/Provided.

Discussing the Ottawa Black Creatives Hub’s Performing Arts Showcase with Noni

“I know there’s for sure some people here who are going to be going to the Oscars in some way, shape or form.”

In academia, we often make the mistake of studying history as static events in

the past. But history is ever-evolving and dynamic. Black History Month asks every person to connect present events with the past and present histo-

ry and achievements of Black people worldwide. Black history is happening now in Ottawa. Students can celebrate Black History Month with Hors Pair Social on Feb. 20 by attending the Ottawa Black Creatives Hub’s Performing Arts Showcase. The showcase will be an art display featuring some of Ottawa’s top talent including musicians, dancers, poets, and more. Staged at the Algonquin Commons Theatre, the showcase will feature artists such as Grey Bisson, N’nerjie, Sommer Knight, Malaika Urbani, Chloe Bonnet, Miss Mcleod, Christjay, KingH509, Noni, Mxzy, Olivia Onuk, Carleton Afro Dance Crew, Jacqui Du Toit, and Fitch JeanKiera

Bluesfest announces lineup for 30th edition

Meeks. These artists will bring an exciting mix of dance, poetry, music and more.

Noni (Nonso Morah) spoke to the Fulcrum regarding the showcase and her performance. “What is unique about it is simply the fact that it’s a creative hub that’s created by the creative community that it’s trying to serve.”

While Ottawa is not known as a creative hub, this showcase allows everyone to exhibit and witness the talent of the city.

When asked what she is most excited to see Morah replied, “I think there are going to be screenings. I’m excited to see a friend of mine, John. He’s an amazing di-

Nickelback, 50 Cent, Maroon 5, and Zac Brown Band among names announced

the festival has filled out the calendar of performers.

The day has arrived, Bluesfest fans. With just under five months remaining until the 30th edition of the Lebreton Flats-hosted festival kicks off on July 4, the organizers have released the full lineup of artists.

Following the early announcements of Kentucky-born crooner Tyler Childers as July 12’s headliner, Stittsville-raised TALK as his opener, and the ever-iconic (but potentially over-the-hill) Mötley Crüe for the following night,

Mark Monahan, executive and artistic director of Ottawa Bluesfest, granted the Fulcrum an exclusive interview to discuss the upcoming festival, beginning with the lineup. “I think it’s just a really diverse lineup, with some obviously big names. But lots of different genres, lots of different artists, [so] that people [will] have a hard time not seeing something for them.”

The Fulcrum’s Andrew Wilimek (AW) and Annabel Holman (AH)

have rated each night’s docket, on a scale of 0 (stay home and let your liver recover) to 5 (get there early so you can be in the pit!).

Thursday, July 4: Mother Mother

Also performing: Orville Peck, Tokyo Police Club, Leith Ross, The Dip, Priyanka, Campbell & Johnston, Country Club Pool Boy, Funeral Lakes, LH Express, OK Naledi, Sandra Bouza, MELO-T

AW: 3.5 / 5, AH: 4 / 5

The Canadian rock band Mother Mother will be the “Little Pistol”

that starts the classic festival. Although the band’s fans have traditionally been older, they have gained traction from the younger generation from TikTok. It’s expected that the band will perform music from their recent album Grief Chapter. From their hit “Verbatim” to “Hayloft II”, Mother Mother has something for everyone at Bluesfest.

The familiar guitar chords of Orville Peck’s “Dead of Night” will be heard across Ottawa, as well as Canadian singer Leith Ross’s “(You) On My Arm”. New and upcoming artists like Country Club

rector, screenwriter and he’s going to be sharing one of his, I think, masterpieces, in my head.”

In terms of her own poetry performance, Morah left us wanting more. “I will be experimenting a bit more in terms of bridging my background in poetry and writing and music with where I am now.”

Overall, students can look forward to the showcase since it provides an opportunity to break into the creative community in Ottawa.

“I think this is a really great space to connect with people. And network with people who may just be the key to helping you,” Morah said.

Pool Boy and OK Naledi will take to the stage to perform their smooth and laid-back tunes.

Friday, July 5: Nickelback Also performing: Warren Zeiders, Noah Cyrus, Ziggy Alberts, Bywater Call, Aleksi Campagne, Danielle Allard, Jaclyn Kenyon, May Davis Mia Kelly, The Artichoke Hearts, MELO-T

AW: 4 / 5, AH: 3.5 / 5

One summer after performing at Oro-Medonte’s Boots and Hearts country music festival, the iconic Canadian rock band will perform at a festival perhaps a bit more

Grenier arts@thefulcrum.ca
Sydney Grenier Andrew Wilimek & Annabel Holman Noni with guitarist Iman. Photo: Pavel Nangfack/Fulcrum.

suited to their sound. Led by raspy frontman Chad Kroeger, the band has escaped a perplexing and possibly unpatriotic “bad” label in recent years, and is once again hip.

Preceding the inevitable mayhem at Lebreton Flats that will surely be had during bangers such as “Burn it to the Ground”, “This Afternoon”, and “Animals” will be country singer Warren Zeiders. Zeiders, who went viral on TikTok with his breakthrough single “Ride the Lightning”, has added heartfelt tunes like “Pretty Little Poison” and “Dark Night” to his repertoire.

Saturday, July 6: 50 Cent

Also performing: Mt. Joy, Killer Mike,

pit is a must have for the lineup for July 6! 50 Cent is an artist whose work is identified by most generations and has become a club staple. From “In da Club” to “Candy Shop”, 50 Cent boasts several iconic tracks which will create an upbeat vibe on the opening Saturday of the festival.

Folk and indie lovers will be happy to see Mt. Joy and will likely hear their hit song “Silver Lining”, as well as others like “Strangers” and “Julia”. Canadian artist Lynne Hanson will sing her folk, self identified “Porch music” to go along with the laidback energy of the lineup. For a bit of funk, Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers will perform in their unique zydeco style.

AW: 3 / 5, AH: 3 / 5

Maroon 5 will take the stage to throw the crowd back to the early 2010’s. Make sure to wear skinny jeans with funky patterns as they perform songs like their iconic hits “Payphone”, “Moves Like Jagger” and “Sugar”.

Future Islands will be performing and it is assumed that they will sing from their new pop album People Who Aren’t There Anymore. To go along with Bluefests’s pattern of country artists, the Indigenous Albertan jazz group Blue Moon Marquee will be performing their swing-like songs.

Wednesday, July 10: Zac Brown Band

Also perform-

AW: 4 / 5, AH: 3.5 / 5

Chicken fried, a cold beer on a Friday night, a pair of jeans that fit just right, and the radio up. Zac Brown Band’s music is ubiquitous, whether it be songs celebrating good times like “Knee Deep” or “Toes”, or on songs where the painful lyrics clash with the joyful beat like in ‘“Colder Weather”, “Highway 20 Ride”, or “As She’s Walking Away”.

Campistas, Kaya Fraser, Merle Marlow Band

AW: 3 / 5, AH: 3.5 / 5

Neil Young will put the audience under the moon with his country and folk-like discography. Alongside Young, his associated rock band Crazy Horse will be performing. This timeless duo have worked together on a variety of collaborations, but are most known for their hits “Down by the River” and “Cinnamon Girl”. Their music is what is needed for the warm nights of Bluesfest.

Country music enthusiasts will be excited for this day as many of the artists are rocking the cowboy style in their music. More specifically, the upcoming Canadian artist

Shred Kelly, Etran De L’Aïr, Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers, City Fidelia, Hopper, Lynne Hanson, Nice On Turbo Street Funk, MELO-T

AW: 4.5 / 5, AH: 5 / 5

The high score that means you should get there early to be in the

Sunday, July 7: Maroon 5

Also performing: Future Islands, Chelsea Cutler, Pokey LaFarge, Blue Moon Marquee, Hussy Hicks, ALAMUSIC, Cinzia & The Eclipse, Brooke Blackburn, FOG Blues & Brass Band

ing: Charley Crockett, Matthew Good, Medicine Singers ft. Lee Ranaldo, Yonatan Gat & Zoon, Texas King, Jon Muq, Nicolette & The Nobodies, Caroline Jones, Blackburn Brothers, ALAMUSIC, Murray Kinsley & Wicked Grin, Yarro

Joining the band on the first night of the second weekend is upand-coming country and Americana singer Charley Crockett, and Matthew Good, of former Canadian alternative rock band The Matthew Good Band. What a night for people who enjoy naming things after themselves.

Thursday, July 11: Neil Young/Crazy Horse

Also performing: Josh Ross, Corb Lund, Steph Strings, Chambers DesLauriers, ALAMUSIC, Alexa Goldie, Jessica Pearson and The East Wind, John Allaire and the

Josh Ross will be on the stage and performing his new album. In addition, the new artist John Allaire and the Campistas have a fresh sound to add to the country genre.

Friday, July 12: Tyler Childers

Also perform-

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Image: Ottawa Bluesfest 2024/Provided.

ing: Bahamas, TALK, Jerry Portnoy, Bombino Annie Raines & Paul Rishell, Brittany Kennell, Empress Nyiringango, Raphael Weinroth-Browne, summersets, Wild Remedy, DJ Eazy EL Dee

AW: 4.5 / 5, AH: 4 / 5 Country, bluegrass, or folk? Who cares. Childers is the real deal no matter which genre you label him with. One of the early announcements, Childers will stop in Ottawa as part of his sold-out Mule Pull ’24 tour.

At the time, Monahan said “Tyler has been on our wish list for several years now, and being able to bring him to the festival to perform for his legions of fans here in the Ottawa Valley is a real coup.”

Known for heartfelt tunes like “Feathered Indians”, “All Your’n”, “Lady May”, and “Shake the Frost”, Childers was one of the key figures in the resurgence of traditional country music. In an interview with The Guardian’s Rebecca Bengal, Childers railed against the commercialization of country music.

“The problem with country is we’ve turned the props into the play,” said Childers. “Let’s not just Solo cup and pickup truck it to death. Let’s handle this in a smart way. Nobody is thinking about lyrical content, or how we’re moving people, or what’s going on in the background of their minds.”

Before Childers, Stittsville-raised Nicholas Durocher — known as TALK — will take to the stage. The flashy and colourfully dressed TALK saw his debut single “Run Away to Mars” blow up in part thanks to TikTok during the pandemic, and now will perform in front of thousands of fans at his hometown festival.

Saturday, July 13: Mötley Crüe

Also performing: The Tea Party, JJ Wilde, Garret T. Willie, TJ Wheeler, Sean Pinchin, Tony D Band, Blues Harp Blow-Off, DJ Eazy EL Dee

AW: 3 / 5, AH: 4 / 5

The iconic heavy metal band will be perfect for those who want to be sent into a time loop to

The Ottawa Black Creatives

the early 1990s. Their hit songs like “Kickstart My Heart” and “Girls, Girls, Girls”, will likely be accompanied by headbanging and lots of guitar.

The Toronto-based band The Tea Party is perfect for those who need a bit of soft rock in their playlists. Since producing music from 1993, their music is nostalgic and ageless. Another Toronto artist, Sean Pinchin, will show off his blues and rock songs. More specifically, it is expected that he will perform his twangy single, “Bad Things”.

Sunday, July 14: Nas

Also performing: Ben Howard, Geneviève Racette, Le Winston Band, JW Jones, DJ Eazy EL Dee, Training Season

AW: 2.5 / 5, AH: 3 / 5

Closing out the festival will be iconic New York City rapper Nas. Ranked as the third-greatest rapper of all time by Billboard/Vibe in 2023, Nas engaged in a ferocious battle with JAY-Z for “The Big Apple” in the early 2000s, dropping the wild diss track “Ether” in

response to JAY-Z’s “Takeover”.

Now 50 years old, and still somewhat relevant more than 30 years after his debut, Nas released his 17th studio album in 2023, titled Magic 3. The album received an 86-of-100 review from Metacritic.

Country seems to be the theme at the 30th edition of Bluesfest, banking off the success of Canadian country superstar Shania Twain last summer. Monahan explained that they’ve always tried to provide quality artists for that demographic.

“I think we’ve always tried to cater to that crowd. Whether that was [ Twain], or Zach Bryan who we brought into CityFolk [in 2022], or you know, all the country artists we’ve had over the years. So this year, Zac Brown and Tyler Childers I would probably say are more or less appealing to that crowd. So yeah, we’re conscious of it and try to satisfy them.”

Monahan also touched on making sure the lineup is relevant to a wide variety of ages and demographics. “I think


there’s a conscious effort to obviously bring the big names, the Mötley Crües and Nickelbacks of the world, but also to try and bring acts that are [ more ] relevant or current to a new audience as well.”

Monahan went on to highlight some of the exciting talent that may not be on fan’s radars yet. “Could be Chelsea Cutler, [ Zeiders ], Charley Crockett, there’s a lot of acts that are buzzing right now that are on the lineup that people may not know of — but hopefully they will by the time Bluesfest comes around.”

The festival has also announced changes to the infrastructure at the festival, which has been criticized in the past for overcrowding concerns. The changes include a reconfiguration of the VIP area, the addition of a Crazy Horse sponsored Western-themed bar in place of the former Ferris wheel, and the addition of ‘Platinum Pit’: a new area beside the stage available exclusively to a new tier of customers.

story is political Algonquin Student Commons filled with eager audience members on the evening of Feb. 20, 2024

Sydney Grenier

The air buzzed with excitement as the Algonquin Student Commons filled with eager audience members on the evening of Feb. 20, 2024.

The newest Hors

Pair event, The Ottawa Black Creatives Hub Performance Showcase Panel featured incredible artists from across Ottawa.

The host of the event, Haitian-Canadian entertainer Sammy Blanco, welcomed the crowd

with a booming laugh and enthusiastic comments about the evening’s performers. Throughout the evening, Blanco brought a conversational element to the event by involving the audience in singing and questions such as asking for movie recommendations.

The show kicked off with a panel discussion on creative life in Ottawa and the unique challenges Black artists face. Panel members included Rose-Ingrid, Patrick Cormack and Axandre Lem-


The panellists discussed the importance of mentorship and the unique opportunity offered to creatives in Ot-

tawa – it is a place where you can afford to fail, learn and grow from your mistakes. Lemours shared a crucial piece of theatre advice saying “strong and

wrong”, meaning, don’t be afraid to fail, and do it with confidence.

All creatives were urged by the panellists to share their art in

Hub Performance Showcase:
CADC. Image: Pavel Nangfack/Fulcrum

support of social change. Notably, it was highlighted that telling your story is political.

Rose-Ingrid stated that even the happy, light work is essential for social change or activism. “It gives life for the work and, for each other,” they said.

Following the panel was a wide variety of student performances, which included…

Grey Brisson

The first musical artist of the night was Grey Brisson, a Carleton student and singer-songwriter. Reminiscent of Daniel Caesar, Brisson’s deep and soulful voice

shocked the audience into silence. Brisson played his single “Nobody” with The Lionyls, offering a wholesome and soulful sound. You can support Brisson on Instagram, Spotify and all other streaming platforms.

Malaika Urbani

Of Italian and Burundian descent, Urbani took the stage with a dreamy and regal stage presence. A student at the U of O studying Voice and Composition, her emotional yet powerful performance left the crowd speechless. Explore Urbani’s work here.

Noni Poet and advocate Noni, who is also a student at the U of O, delivered an ethereal, powerful performance.

Usually accustomed to performing slam poetry solo, Noni was accompanied by a guitarist, Iman. Together, they commanded attention effective -

ly wringing the hearts of every listener. Support Noni by following her Instagram.

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Grey Brisson. Image: Pavel Nangfack/Fulcrum Image: Pavel Nangfack/Fulcrum

The 2024 highlights of Ottawa’s Black History Month celebrations

Let’s take a look at some of the events Ottawa has to offer in celebration of Black History Month

Celebrating Black heritage, culture, and achievements, Black History Month (BHM) invites the many events and programs dedicated to celebrating people within the Black community. Opening doors for serious conversations that should be had year-round, Black History Month caters to celebrating the Black community’s talents and correctly educating the world on Black social issues previously distorted within history.

Around the world, different companies and institutions aim to promote the study of Black history and highlight the important roles the Black community holds within society. Through art and speech, people around the world can broaden their education about the many ac-

complishments and honours created throughout Black history.

Highlighting the importance of this month, Ottawa, Canada’s capital, warmly embraced the importance of Black History Month throughout the city. From thought-provoking lectures and panel discussions to art exhibits, musical performances, and film screenings, Ottawa offered a dynamic array of activities that educate, inspire, and foster dialogue around the experiences and struggles of Black people in and out of Canada. From beginning to end, there are many events and programs Canadians can visit as part of the city’s initiatives within this month.

Let’s take a look at some of the events Ottawa has to offer in celebration of Black History Month:

Reuniting Black LGBTQ+ People and African-Centered Thought: Overview of a Historic Association of Black Psychologists

Mbonging the mind and knowledge

On Feb. 6th, 2024, Scholar Dr. Michele K. Lewis hosted an open panel event at the University of Ottawa, discussing the many strategies she and her colleagues used with the Black LGBTQ+ communities concerning the decolonization of ‘inner life’. The presentation focused on disrupting Eurocentric narratives surrounding Black LGBTQIA+ individuals, thereby addressing the dynamics of oppression amongst the community. Hosted in the Social Science building of the university, students and researchers were provided insightful opinions into the lived experiences of Black LGBTQIA+ indi-

viduals while shedding light on the importance of creating inclusive spaces that honour diverse identities and perspectives.

Children’s Stories in the Diaspora

On Feb. 11, 2024, Black authors took the time to read their books to the many children of today. Hosted by Black History Ottawa, the Black Diaspora educates and celebrates the beauty of Black Canadians of African descent. If given the chance to listen to these authors at another one of the BHO events, audiences would meet many amazing Black authors, like Keisha Cuffie reading her book D is for Dazzling, or I Love My Beautiful Hair by illustrator Elissa Wentt.


On Feb. 13th, 2024, the arts and enter-

tainment company IN OUR TONGUES hosted the Black History Month Jazz and Poetry performances of Yanaminah Thullah, Sarah Kabamba, and Antoine L. Collins at the SAW Art Gallery. By amplifying the liberation of Black performers and artists, the IN OUR TONGUES production kicked off its fifth season of performances while opening up the conversation around Black history through art and literature. As a company dedicated to amplifying the voices of the historically misrepresented, these performances created a safe and nurturing environment while strengthening the importance of sharing Black history through expression.

Black Women leaders; Parliament Hill

On Feb. 29th, 2024, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Solange

Elyse Barker Image: Sanjida Rashid/Fulcrum.

Tuyishime, hosted her annual Black History Month closing celebration at Parliament Hill. Shared amongst students and political advocates for change, Solange opened a space to celebrate and bring recognition to the many accomplishments of black women that are often overlooked and ignored.

Remembering the importance of this constant issue, the event held speakers to speak on the growth of the Black community and what that reflects amongst the city of Ottawa. They included Anita Vandenbeld, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of international development; Helena Shimeles, the director

Review: Bob Marley: One Love

of social impact and innovation at the RBC; Cassandra Dorrington, the President and CEO of CAMSC; and the Honourable Greg Fergus, member of Parliament and speaker of the House of Commons.

This annual observance of Black heritage provides Canadians with a vital opportunity to honour the remark-

Bob Marley’s impact on music cannot be overstated

In a world often clashing with strife and division, the melodic strains of Bob Marley’s music resonate with unity and peace. On Feb. 14th, I found myself drawn into the captivating world of his life story through the new biopic Bob Marley: One Love. As someone who has long admired Marley for his unwavering commitment to peace and humanity, the film served as a moving reminder of his enduring influence on music, expression, and inner peace.

Bob Marley’s impact on music cannot be overstated. His pioneering role in popularizing reggae music catapulted the genre onto the international stage, forever altering the musical landscape. Having his children, Ziggy and Cedella, and his wife Rita Marley, as the film’s producers, Marley’s family was able to display the impact his music made across from the reggae genre. His music served as a rallying cry for oppressed peoples everywhere. Conveying messages of hope and solidarity, subjecting the movie to Bob’s life, past, and connection to spirit, shared his family and fans’ belief in the power of music as a force for proper change.

Kingsley BenAdir, who played Marley, did an amazing job of not duplicating the person that was Bob Marley but sharing the light that beamed through his spiritual and musical connections.

Quoted from his interview on the Zach Sang show about his part in portraying Bob, “I never felt like I found him. I felt that I was on an investigation to try and interpret every scene as best as I possibly could so that it represented some, even if it’s just a tad, of his spirit. You can not copy Bob. You can not copy him”. From the film, I truly found his dedication and interpretation of Bob Marley to be untouchable compared to the many adaptations made in the past. Though he couldn’t duplicate his image, the feeling Bob gave to those around the world could be felt in Kingsley’s work and his dedication to getting this story right.

Growing up with a Caribbean background, Bob Marley’s music was always a favourite within my household. From the moment I can remember, Bob Marley’s music was woven into the fabric of my upbringing. Whether it was the uplifting rhythms of “Jamming” playing in the background during family gatherings or the

able contributions and resilience of Black people. While also acknowledging the ongoing struggle for racial equality and justice, participating in the diverse array of events, discussions, and initiatives throughout February enriches the understanding of history and culture. Also, participation demonstrates

Canada’s commitment to fostering an inclusive and equitable society for all.

Make your Black History Month in Ottawa a time of learning, growth, and solidarity. It is never too late to learn.

soul-stirring lyrics of “Get Up, Stand Up” echoing throughout the house,

tance that comes with reconnecting with our core values.

Marley’s songs were a constant companion, offering solace and inspiration in equal measure. Despite us being from different parts of the Caribbean, his message of harmony never failed to spread within his music. Setting the scene of this movie around the amazing performance of his “One Love” peace concert in 1978, songs like “One Love” and “Redemption Song“, served as a keen reminder of the impor-

As I reflect on my experience of watching the biopic on Bob Marley, I am filled with a renewed sense of gratitude for the indelible mark he has left on the world. His music continues to serve as a source of inspiration and comfort for millions. Despite the fun tunes, his messages continue to remind us of the enduring power of harmony and compassion in the face of turmoil. In a world desperately in need of heal-

ing, Bob Marley’s timeless message of love and unity remains as vital as ever! Though his physical being is missed in more avenues than one, his music and spirit remind us of the world we can become if we stay united within humanity. So get up, buy your tickets, and enjoy his story in a theatre near you!

“In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”

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Elyse Barker Image: One Love/Provided.

Gee-Gees Basketball: Women eliminated despite valiant effort from Saumure

“What Saumure did today was all with her heart”

Three playoff games in seven days, including a trip to Waterloo. A date with the 21-1, nationally first-ranked Carleton Ravens at the always-thunderous Raven’s

guard. The bucket propelled the Ravens into the lead, a lead which they would build upon as the game continued, and ultimately would close out at 75-51.

Late in the second quarter, fellow First-

Urban would finish with a game-high 24 points and 17 rebounds on 12-of-18 shooting from the floor. The second-year touched on what went right in the second half postgame. “I think staying composed is

Nest. Sometimes, the odds are just too difficult to overcome.

The Gees took an early lead in Feb. 28’s OUA semi-final matchup against Carleton, in part thanks to an early corner three from fourth-year guard Ariane Saumure. But the Ravens, led by three-time OUA First Team All-Star Kali Pocrnic, had evened the score at 13 by the end of the first quarter.

With just over six minutes to play in the second frame, Pocrnic squared up from deep three-point range and drained a three, one of three makes from beyond the arc on the night for the fourth-year point

Team All-Star and fourthyear Gee-Gee Natsuki Szczokin would find firstyear Gee Allie McCarthy open from three below the right break, and following a Carleton timeout, would call her own number and hit from the right corner. Those would be the only points on the night for the Gee’s star, however.

Going into the half, the Gees were faced with a manageable 10-point deficit, but switching ends would do the visiting team no favours in the hostile environment. The Ravens, led by 2023 U SPORTS Rookie of the Year Jacqueline Urban, would go on an 8-0 run to begin the second half.

really important,” said the Ancaster native.

“I think for me, after seeing the first one fall I get confidence. But really, my teammates set me up really well. I don’t think I [received] one bad pass. I think that’s really helpful, when you get a good pass it’s [almost] like a good shot automatically.”

With just over two to play in the penultimate frame, Saumure would drain another three, one of her game-high four triples on the night. Following that, fifth-year Gee Alana Renon would bank in a three from the right break.

But the large deficit Urban and the

Ravens created was too much to overcome, despite Saumure’s intense hustle and active hands. The Ravens would cruise into the final quarter with a 24-point lead.

A Saumure stepthrough bucket from the top of the key, a layup from forward Emily Payne, and finally a steal from Saumure which created an open three for herself at the top of the arc would bring the Gees closer, but at this point, the result was all but finalized.

Saumure would finish with a team high 22 points on nine-of-20 shooting from the field, while adding two steals and countless more tipped balls. The Sudbury native was also named to the OUA Third Team AllStars prior to the game. The Western transfer talked postgame about the team’s season. “Obviously we didn’t get the outcome we wanted,” Saumure said. “Perhaps it just wasn’t in our cards this year to go all the way, but nonetheless our team had an incredible year this year. It’s not easy building a team with eight new players, but somehow we managed to do so really well.”

Saumure continued to talk about what her final game meant to her. “During that game, all I could think about was how it could be my last OUA game ever, and I didn’t want to go down without a fight. I wanted to play with pride and wanted to leave my heart and my all on that floor. For me, that meant play-

ing the hardest defence I could, fighting for 50/50 balls and trying to find the back of the net. At the end of the day, your effort is the only thing you can control.”

Pocrnic would leave the game after falling awkwardly while going up for a layup and leave the game, but Ravens head coach Dani Sinclair assured Ravens fans after the game that the superstar would be ready to go for the OUA finals on Saturday. “She’s good,” said Sinclair. “She’ll be good. There’s no way [Pocrnic’s] not playing that game.”

Sinclair, who led the Ravens to a 21-1 record during the regular season was named the OUA Coach of the Year prior to the game. She also spoke about what the honour meant to her. “I think it is a reflection of the team.

And I don’t say that as just a cliché thing, when you have players like [Pocrnic] and Dorcas Buisa as your leaders, and then young players like Kyana-Jade Poulin, [Urban], and Teresa Donato just taking it upon themselves to get better everyday.

As I say all the time, I was lucky enough to take over a program that was well-established by Taffe Charles. I’ve just been able to sneak in there and continue on with what the culture was before I arrived. Now being here four years, myself, Michelle Abella, Dean [Petridis], and Mackenzie [Ash-Smith] — we’ve

Wilimek sports@thefulcrum.ca
Andrew Wilimek Photo: Matt Osborne/Fulcrum.

been able as a group to put our own twist on it.” Sinclair even went so far as to call out praise for Saumure and Szczokin when asked how her team was able to shut them down. “I don’t think we did [shut them down],” said the coach. “Obviously we did it enough, but I don’t know if you truly can. They’re both such great players, and very experienced, and talented, and fast, and I think in a game like this, they’re going to put their team on their shoulders and try to make plays.

We’re not just sitting on the sidelines clapping away. There are a lot of things we could have done a lot better, and I think we gave up some open shots to those two and let them make plays that we shouldn’t have. But obviously, the other side of that is, we try against two players like

that to make them think [about] every possession. We did a pretty good job of that – at times.”

Gee-Gees head coach Rose-Anne Joly talked about the play from her backcourt. “What [Saumure] did today was all with her heart,” adding that the game was the two-time OUA Defensive Player of the Year’s last.

“You can tell that she takes pride in her defence and she wanted it on the offensive side. It’s a tough game, I mean Carleton, kudos to them, they had an amazing game and they had a great game plan against our defence. Obviously, when you’re a good team you have to have more than one or two people show up. That was the case on the Carleton side, wasn’t so much the case on our side.”

Saumure spoke glowingly about her

short, but memorable time with the program.

“I’m so glad to have experienced at least one year as a Gee-Gee,” said Saumure. “I feel like moving to Ottawa hasn’t only allowed me to become a better basketball player, but has also made me more resilient and an overall better person.

It was definitely an adjustment coming to a new team but there’s a lot of talent on this team and it was a thrill to be able to be a part of it for sure. We’re a bunch of competitors here and I think that’s a big reason we were able to steal a win from Carleton. We proved that when we can work together as a unit, great things can happen.”

Saumure finished by reflecting on her decorated career. “For now, I’m hanging it up and am just so thankful for the people, the lessons, the compe -

Formula 1: Bahrain Grand Prix Preview

titions, and everything that basketball has given me. It’s all about the journey, and wow, I wouldn’t change mine for a thing!”

Joly spoke excitedly about what next year will be like for Szczokin, who was named to an OUA All-Star team for the third time in her career. “Obviously she’s amazing. Today didn’t really represent her talent, but when she gets going there’s nothing stopping here. She can create with absolutely nothing, and [dish] assists, she’s not selfish and she looks for her players. She did grow a lot this year, mostly on the defensive side, she’s going to have a crazy year next year.”

Joly also reflected on what forward Victoria Brideau’s selection to the conference’s All-Rookie team meant. “I’m so excited about that award for her. I was afraid that

coaches weren’t going to vote for her, because compared to other recruits in the league she didn’t have the same numbers. But she was playing for a top-ten team, so I’m very happy the coaches voted for her.”

Brideau, a Quebec City native, made her only field goal attempt while racking up seven rebounds on the evening. The 6’3” forward finished with regular season averages of 5.1 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, while shooting 43.5 per cent from the field.

The Ravens will face off against the Queen’s Gaels in the OUA Critelli Cup Championship on March 2 at the Raven’s Nest. Both teams have already earned a spot in the U SPORTS Final 8, which will take place in Edmonton from March 7 to March 10.

Formula 1 is back. Let’s look ahead to the Bahrain Grand Prix and the 2024 season’s opening round.

The 2024 F1 season begins on the heels of a dramatic offseason, which saw Lewis Hamilton announce his departure from Mercedes to join Ferrari in 2025 after a decade with the team, and other big moves, including Haas parting ways with long-time team principal Gunther Steiner. With the Bahrain Grand Prix just hours away, let’s examine some major storylines heading into the opening race of the season.

Can Verstappen and Red Bull maintain dominance, and win fourth Drivers’ Championship?

For Red Bull and Max Verstappen, last year’s performance will

be hard to top. They won 21-of-22 races, with the Dutchman claiming 19 in his own right, and runaway wins in the drivers

and constructors’ championship. For them, the question becomes: can they do it again?

If pre-season testing is anything to off of, then all signs point to yes. Verstappen was able to push the new RB20 over

a second faster than the next-highest driver on the first day of testing. The team’s other driver, Sergio Perez, put in similar

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Rhys Matthew Image: Kai Holub/Fulcrum.

times on the second day, although he was beaten for the fastest lap time by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz. The new design of Red Bull’s car, the RB20, is certainly a bold concept put out by chief technical officer Adrian Newey and his team. The design is reminiscent of the Mercedes’ failed W14 concept, with Newey calling it “a third evolution of the 2022 car”, which successfully won a constructors’ championship and served as the basis for the 2023 car.

Who will challenge them?

Another contributing factor to Red Bull’s domination last season was the inability of any other team to challenge them effectively. For the other top constructors, being able to put together a complete season of results will be key in emerging as a competitor

for the top of the table.

For top rival Mercedes, 2023 was yet another year of disappointment with a car that struggled to be a top contender for most of the season. This, combined with the shock of Hamilton’s departure, might start the season off with uncertainty. However, in the aftermath of last season, Mercedes made several high-profile changes on the technical side of the team, including the reinstatement of James Allison as technical director. This, combined with ample resources, an elite driver pairing, and a strong engine, should leave Mercedes in a strong position to compete.

Other teams that cannot be counted out are Ferrari and McLaren, both of whom came on strong down the stretch last season and were able

to challenge Red Bull at times; with Ferrari being the only other team to pick up a race win in the 2023 campaign. Both teams showed strong results at pre-season testing this past week and will no doubt be fighting for those top positions.

Another team which will be vying for the top is Aston Martin. Early in last season, they appeared to be the consensus number two team before falling back and eventually finishing fifth in the constructors’ championship. With a strong driver pairing in Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll — and the backing of the latter’s father, Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll — Aston will certainly be looking to improve in this 2024 season.

Shakeup in the midfield and backmarkers?

Pre-season test-

ing revealed some very interesting news which could have major impacts on the lower end of the grid this season.

It has been reported that Alpine, who finished sixth in the constructor’s championship and stood on the podium three times last season, has reportedly struggled at testing, leaving room for other teams to move up into the midfield.

One team looking to take advantage will be Williams, who had a strong finish to the 2023 season, scoring 28 points and finishing seventh in the constructors’ championship. Veteran driver Alex Albon, responsible for 27 of those points, will be looking to follow up on a season where he increasingly looked like one of the best drivers on the grid. For Logan Sargeant, he will be entering his second season and

looking to move past the growing pains of being a rookie driver.

Another team looking to advance will be Racing Bulls, formerly known as Alpha Tauri. Driver Daniel Riccardo showed a strong performance on day one of testing, and with his reported ambition to reclaim his old Red Bull seat, he will be looking to put points on the board in bunches this season.

For their other driver, Yuki Tsunoda, this season will be critical in the fight to keep his seat in 2025, especially after strong performances from reserve driver Liam Lawson, who filled in for Riccardo during his injury last season.

The lights go out on the Bahrain Grand Prix at 10 AM, Saturday, March 2nd.

Gee-Gees Hockey: Women take one game off undefeated Stingers but ultimately fall

“It was almost like a goal we had set at some portion of the year, to be that team that ultimately knocked them off.”

Sometimes, the lowest of lows follow the highest of highs.

The Montreal Canadiens know the feeling all too well. Just one year after making the Stanley Cup Finals in 2021, the storied franchise flailed to a lastplace finish in the National Hockey League.

And just like the Canadiens, who were tasked with a burgeoning dynasty in the Tampa Bay Lightning in those finals, the Gee-Gees women’s hockey team were taking on a powerhouse in the RSEQ semi-finals in the undefeated Concordia Stingers on Feb. 24.

The Gee-Gees handed the Stingers their first loss of the season in Game Two, backed by a

58-save Carey Price-like performance from former Gee Aurélie Dubuc. Dubuc, who took the 202324 season off to focus on school, was called in as an emergency backup for the series after starter Mahika Sarrazin was injured.

But in Game

Three, the hopes of a David vs. Goliath-esque upset against the nationally top-ranked Stingers was put to rest. After the Gees failed to score on a pair of early breakaways, the Stingers began scoring and they did not stop.

The Julie Chuled Stingers ended up putting 13 goals in total in the back of the Gee-Gees net, which was shared by Dubuc and first-year Gee Lauren MacKay. Leading the Stingers in the win was third-year forward

Chloé Gendreau, who racked up two goals and five points. Jessymaude Drapeau finished with a hat trick, while six other Stingers scored multiple points.

The series wasn’t the first time this year that the Gee-Gees had challenged the Stinger’s perfect season. Back in November, the Gees had led the Stingers during a game at Minto, before ultimately falling to the team in double-overtime. More recently, the Gees had pushed Concordia to overtime for a second time, before Drapeau ended that game with a goal just 15 seconds into the extra frame.

Gees co-coach Greg Bowles talked postgame about what made the 8-17 Gees the team

to finally beat Concordia.

“I think we matched up well, our strengths complimented their weaknesses,” said Bowles.

“I think the biggest difference between the first and second game, was in the first game, it was almost a sideshow, we got so nervous about being up. In the second game, we were no longer surprised. We were doing it, and we had the confidence to say, ‘this isn’t by fluke, this is where we’re meant to be, let’s finish this dang thing’.”

Bowles also called Dubuc, who played to a 2.13 goals against average and .926 save percentage last season with the Gees, a perfect candidate to join the Gees after Sarrazin went down. “We had no choice but to

tap into any number of potential eligible goalies, and to have one that was the least disruptive to our chemistry and our team environment was to bring back somebody that had played for us before. To have her quickly knock the rust off and be that good in Game Two just speaks to her ability.”

Bowles took over as Gees co-coach alongside former Canadian Olympian Jennifer Wakefield after former head coach Stefanie McKeough joined the Professional Women’s Hockey League’s Boston franchise in October, after just six weeks after being named Gees head coach.

Joining the two on the bench in January was Hanna-Riikka Turpeinen, a former Finnish

Andrew Wilimek

player who moved to Ottawa in 2015 and then began coaching for the Ottawa Lady Senators.

Bowles identified Wakefield and Turpeinen as key cogs in the Gee-Gees organization during the turmoil. “[The coaching changes] are a lot for any 18–24-yearold to deal with. So to have [Wakefield] come in and contribute, and add foundation like she did, and then ultimately having [Turpeinen] join us in January, that’s just in line with what [the U of O] is doing from a coaching excellence perspective.”

The Gees, who

will see multiple veterans graduate this year, will be banking on younger players to lead the program next season. Leaving the Gees due after five seasons are defender Mikaila Kraczynski and forward Katherine Birkby.

Bowles identified other players leaving the Gees after graduating from the U of O, among them Kate McLean, Alèxe Clavelle, Shelby Calof, and Ariane Minville. “The one thing I want to say about that group was that they have promoted positive change like no group I’ve ever seen,” Bowles said.

“The transition

that people like Birkby and Kraczynski have led us through is program-defining. And I select those words very, very purposefully. They are the epitome of leaving a program in a better place than how they found it.”

Bowles singled out Birkby, a rare 100game Gee-Gee, as a great leader for the team. “In Game Three, we were down a whole lot to a whole little. And Birkby was playing like it was a one-one tie. [Her] legacy is just one she will leave for all who follow, and that’s just sensational.”

But Bowles is

confident that the team’s foundation, paired with a strong recruiting class, will help the Gee-Gees going forward. “We have some very strong younger players, whether it’s [Maëlle Laplante], [Alyssa Biesenthal], or [Keara Merriman], who we didn’t see much of this year. Even some second-year players, like [Reece Mepham], they’re growing up.”

“And then, we have a sensational young group of recruits coming in next year that we’re really excited about. We are definitely in a rebuild, but it’s going to be fun knowing that they’re walking

into a really positive culture and a program that is no longer trying to seek their identity.”

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Photo: Greg Kolz/Gee-Gees.


An Extreme act of protest: Aaron Bushnell

“This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal”

Content warning: This article includes descriptions of a specific instance of self-harm and suicide. If you or someone you know are/is experiencing thoughts of selfharm or suicide, please visit thelifelinecanada. ca or find more resources below. For immediate help, you can call 9-8-8 in Canada.

This article includes discussion of ongoing acts of genocide.

Feb. 25 — A young man walks up a Washington, DC street in his Air Force uniform. He is carrying an open thermos and talking to his phone.

“I am an active duty member of the United States Air Force,” he tells anyone watching his Twitch livestream, “and I will no longer be complicit in genocide.”

Still walking, he continues: “I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers it’s not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal.”

He sets down his phone and walks into the frame of his livestream. He is standing in front of the Israeli embassy.

He dumps the contents of the thermos over himself before putting his hat on.

“Free Palestine.” He first attempts to light

the match on his pant leg. Off-camera we hear a voice: “Hi sir, can I help you?”

He strikes the match on the concrete ground; he ignites himself.

“Free Palestine,” he yells as flames grow. You can hear deep-pained gasps between further screams: “Free Palestine. Free Palestine. Free Palestine.” He collapses.

One law-enforcement officer holds a gun aiming into the flames, another yells for an extinguisher to be brought.

Aaron Bushnell, 25 of Massachusetts, died of his injuries in a DC hospital that evening. His military contract was set to expire in May 2024.

Bushnell died on the 142nd day of the siege on Gaza. In that time, more than 29,000 Palestinians had been killed with munitions provided by Israeli allies like the US.

Almost three months earlier; Dec. 1 2023, a woman self-immolated in front of the Israeli embassy in Atlanta, Georgia. In a news conference, Atlanta police chief Darin Schierbaum was quoted by the Associated Press: “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.”

Self-immolation as a form of protest has a long history; the sight, or even the retelling of the events, are so horrific and incomprehensible that they demand attention.

What was Bushnell calling attention to in

his final moments of consciousness?

Author and activist Susan Abulhawa spoke about the two weeks she recently spent in Gaza with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now:

“I want to say that, the reality on the ground is infinitely worse than the worst videos and photos that we’re seeing in the West. There is a — you know — beyond people being buried alive on mass in their homes, their bodies being shredded to pieces, these kinds of videos and images that people are seeing, beyond that, there is this daily massive degradation of life. It is a total denigration of a whole society that was once high-functioning and proud.”

Abulhawa had just returned to Cairo after spending two weeks in late February/early March in Gaza. At that time she wrote:

“Nothing can truly prepare you for this dystopia. What reaches the rest of the world is a fraction of what I’ve seen so far, which is only a fraction of this horror’s totality.”

“Journalists and politicians call it war. The informed and honest call it genocide. What I see is a holocaust – the incomprehensible culmination of 75 years of Israeli impunity for persistent war crimes.”

Spending most of her time in Rafah, Abulhawa wrote of the stories trickling out of the North of Gaza:

“It’s worse in the

north. My friend Ahmad (not his real name) is one of a handful of people who have internet. It’s sporadic and weak, but we can still message each other. He sent me a photo of himself that looked to me like a shadow of the young man I knew. He has lost over 25 kg.”

This is the reality our ruling class has decided will be normal.

A note on reporting of Self-immolation:

When publishing articles intended for wide audiences one must be aware that a portion of their audience will be experiencing thoughts of self-harm. In such instances, it is the responsibility of those writing to provide resources to that segment of their audience.

Bushnell left behind family and friends who will be forever altered by the trauma of his death.

In the will Bushnell left behind, he wrote: “I am sorry to my brother and my friends for leaving you like this. Of course, if I was truly sorry, I wouldn’t be doing it. But the machine demands blood. None of this is fair,”

“I wish for my remains to be cremated. I do not wish for my ashes to be scattered or my remains to be buried as my body does not belong anywhere in this world. If a time comes when Palestinians regain control of their land, and if the people native to the land would be open to the possibility, I would love for my ashes to be scat-

tered in a free Palestine.”

What then becomes the duty of those left behind? For Americans, acknowledging the actions of Aaron Bushnell and understanding his actions as something more than suicide brought on by mental illness is crucial. Aaron’s loss is the result of horrific choices he felt forced to make. He used his final moments to tell you his intent, show you his state of mind, and to face death by accelerated fire, certain that it was “not extreme at all” when understood in the context of life in Gaza in the last 142 days.

Bushnell died to oppose the normalization of violence. Had he died in an American warzone he would have received posthumous honours from the military. They would bury him with a flag draped over his coffin and call him an American hero.

His legacy will almost certainly be further reaching and more heavily contested because of his final actions. He could not live with the atrocities he was seeing.

If you are concerned for your own well-being or that of another, please know that there are resources for you and a community to be built in organizing. Please stay with us to continue this fight. Further resources are listed below.

Levi Pierpont on Democracy Now

On Feb. 28, Goodman spoke with Levi Pierpont, a conscientious

Staff Writer Nicholas
Bridget Coady

objector who left the American Armed Forces in May 2023 and had met Bushnell in basic training. When Goodman asked what Pierpont what he wanted Bushnell to be remembered for:

“I want people to remember that his death is not in vain; that he died to spotlight this message.”

“I don’t want anyone else to die this

“But obviously we can’t get him back. And we have to honour the message that he left.”

“I would have told him that this wasn’t necessary to get the message out, I would have told him there were other ways. But seeing the way that the media responds now, now that this has happened, it’s hard not to feel like he was right. That this was exactly what was

want people to remember his message.”

In the two weeks since Bushnell died, the death toll from Gaza has surpassed 30,000, with thousands of people still missing and presumed dead under rubble in areas that have been heavily bombed.

On March 4, US Vice President Kamala Harris called for an immediate ceasefire of no

the United Nations Security Council.

Starvation has set in, there are children dying each day from lack of access to food, and it feels safe to assume, given the conditions on the ground, these numbers aren’t getting out in a timely manner.

This is manmade. It could all be stopped tomorrow. People have taken to the


Aaron Bushnell broadcasted his chilling death to magnify the suffering of Palestinians and bring the issue to the doorstep of Americans who might otherwise consider this to be a foreign conflict they personally have no part in.

To honour his memory and sacrifice we can organize, lend our bodies and time to pro-

way. If he had asked me about this, I would have begged him not to, I would have done anything I could to stop him”

necessary to get people’s attention about the genocide that’s happening in Palestine.”

“So I just — I

Local mental health resources

On campus…

University of Ottawa Health Services (UOHS), 100 Marie-Curie Private Student Academic Success Service (SASS), 100 Marie-Curie Private

Off campus…

Mental health hotlines… Drugs and Alcohol

Helpline: 1-866-531-2600

Canada Suicide Prevention Service phone available 24/7: 1-833-456-4566

Fem’aide: 1-877-3362433

Good2Talk: 1-866-925-


Kids Help Phone: 1-800668-6668 or text CONNECT to 686868

Mental Health Crisis Line: 613-722-6914

Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region: (613) 2383311

Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre: 613-562-2333

Tel-Aide Outaouais: 613-741-6433

Trans Life Line: 1-877330-6366

Walk-in counselling clinics (six Ottawa locations)…

Somerset West Community Health Centre (55 Eccles Street)

less than six weeks. This performance came two weeks after the US vetoed an Algerian resolution for a ceasefire presented to

streets of major cities and smaller communities around the world calling for it; demanding a ceasefire and more aid for civil-

tests, and continue to amplify the ongoing Israeli atrocities killing Palestinians. Please do not let despair consume you.

South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre (1355 Bank Street)

Family Services Ottawa (312 Parkdale Avenue)

Jewish Family Services of Ottawa (300-2255 Carling Avenue)

Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization(959 Wellington St. W)

CFS/SFC Ottawa (310 Olmstead Road)

Community health and resource centres (13 in Ottawa)

Carlington Community Health Centre (900 Merivale Road)

Eastern Ottawa Re-

source Centre (215-1980 Ogilvie Road)

Nepean, Rideau and Osgoode Community Resource Centre (1547 Merivale Road, Unit 240)

Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Health Centre (225 Donald Street)

Sandy Hill Community Health Centre (221 Nelson Street)

South East Ottawa Community Health Centre (1355 Bank Street)

Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (2 MacNeil Court)

Centretown Community Health Centre (420 Coo-

per Street)

Lowertown Community Resource Centre (40 Cobourg Street)

Orleans-Cumberland Community Health Centre (240 Centrum Boulevard)

Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre(1365 Richmond Road)

Somerset West Community Health Centre (55 Eccles Street)

Vanier Community Service Centre (270 Marier Avenue)

18 thefulcrum.ca
A sign depicting Aaron Bushnell on Parliament Hill, March 9 2024. Image: Bridget Coady/Fulcrum.


Language Instructors and their unique position of power

My experience feeling tried in translation

“Elle est très belle aujourd’hui,” I heard as I turned to leave my French class.

I laughed mindlessly as my professor repeatedly urged my classmate, “No? You don’t think so?” I remember repeat-

I have no doubt I would’ve spoken up if that comment was in English, but at that moment and for the following hours, I was too confused, embarrassed, and self-doubting to draw a conclusion.

Language instructors occupy a unique position of power over


Ears still ringing, I beelined straight to my best friend’s room, where it took over half an hour for me to spit out why I had been banging on her door at that hour. As I tried to recount what had happened, I found myself questioning my recollec-

what I was agreeing to. Even knowing logically that this situation was not my fault was not enough to quell my embarrassment.

I know that my experience is not unique. Over the past weeks, I’ve been exchanging stories like this one with nearly

out of the class, as the final was only a couple of weeks away and any of my retellings of this event would inevitably be inconsistent.

ing “What?” as I doubted my translation of the phrase. The blood rushed to my face as I managed to translate “She…is pretty?” and I was absolutely embarrassed by the grin that appeared on his face when he said “Oui.”

I recall looking out the small window, itching to leave the room as my classmate chuckled uncomfortably. It was really hot for 10 PM in December.

their students. Not only do they teach us what words to say, but also how to say them. They have the power to twist our words and in this case, make us doubt what we heard.

When you don’t know the language, there are infinite possibilities. Infinite excuses for the professor. Maybe I heard wrong. Maybe the phrase has another meaning. Maybe I said something that gave off the wrong

tion of the event. “Were those the exact words he said?” she asked.

“I think so. I’m pretty sure. Wait, you say it so I can see if it sounds the same.” She asked if anything like this had happened before, and I couldn’t even be sure.

If I think hard enough, I can recall sly glances when discussing the word “copine,” and times when I responded “oui” without knowing

all of my friends. Sometimes, it’s an offhand comment, but a lot of times it’s just a huge flurry of words or a joke that nobody understood.

My roommate’s first reaction was to look up the university’s complaint process. But as we tried to explore the limited options we had, all of which would require me to recount these events to multiple people, I felt like we had hit a dead end. It was too late to transfer

I knew that a simple “That’s not what I said” from the professor who taught French would carry much more weight than a student just starting to learn French. Unless we teach students and language instructors alike about the power imbalance inherent in language learning, we can not claim to have or begin to establish a safe learning environment.

“Elle est très belle aujourd’hui” I heard. Or at least I think I did. I can’t be sure.

Opinions EDITOR Keith de Silvia-Legault opinions@thefulcrum.ca
Kavi Vidya Achar Image: Kai Holub/Fulcrum.

The Rideau Canal’s shortest season in history – what does it mean for the future?

The Canal is dying, and so are we.

Angélique Pinto

Each winter, locals excitedly anticipate the Rideau Canal’s transformation into the world’s largest skating rink. Spanning over 7.8 kilometers and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the canal is the pride of the National Capital.

On Feb. 25, the canal closed after its shortest season ever in its history. Lasting a mere 10 days, it is a devastating contrast to a skating season usually lasting from January to early March. Not to mention that the Rideau Canal Skateway didn’t open at all last year. It is the shattering of a decades-long tradition in the capital.

This year’s feeble attempt at reviving the skateway, as well as a significant drop in tourism and revenues, are an effective whistleblower for the growing effects of climate change. Last year was the hottest year on record. Winters in Ottawa are getting warmer and wetter as temperatures rise, causing the ice quality to plummet.

Year-long research projects have begun on the Rideau Canal in order to improve our knowledge on the challenges we’re up against. In 2022, the National Capital Commission partnered with Carleton University to address the impacts of climate change on the Canal.

These projects will continue adding to the already towering mountain of evidence we have underlining the urgency of the climate crisis.

I fear that the unusual temperatures we have been experienc-

ing will become the new normal. Even worse, but hardly surprising, no one

fires in Québec last summer also created heavy smog that choked citizens

1.5-degree Paris Agreement global warming target.

pact. It’s the basic habits we build into our

seems to care. Aside from brief disappointment upon learning about the canal’s closure, it seems that everyone is moving on with their lives. In 2002, former French president Jacques Chirac aptly put it: “Our house is burning down and we’re blind to it.”

Over 20 years later, Western society has taken Chirac’s words and positively stamped on them. Increased production violating human rights and the merciless extraction of limited natural resources are just two of the catastrophic consequences of our society’s ever-growing demand; they have accelerated climate change astronomically.

Even though it’s February, over 100 wildfires are currently smouldering in Western Canada. Smoke from the

from Ottawa to New York, causing the air quality to plummet. Not to mention the floods in Nova Scotia, contributing to the wettest summer on record in the Maritimes, nor heat records being shattered in Alberta.

Even with the ruinous effects of climate change invading our daily lives, there appears to be general apathy and a lack of a sense of urgency. Our lifestyles, often involving rabid consumption of frivolous products and services, have only festered and grown.

Plans such as the 2030 Emissions Reductions Plan exist, but they aren’t being implemented fast enough; they are severely underfunded and don’t have clear objectives.

As a result, it seems highly unlikely that Canada will reach the

We are actively creating a more volatile and wild climate. We’re already being forced to adapt, and it’s going to keep getting worse. Some will argue that our individual acts won’t do anything to stop humanity from destroying the planet. Sure, billionaire celebrities are cruising in their gas-guzzling private jets while we drink from our paper straws, disintegrating themselves into our drinks.

However, we are on the brink of the point of no return. When I see garbage overflowing from the wrong bins in my university residence (entire bags of unsorted garbage stuffed into the recycling bin, with the compost bin standing nearly empty), I wonder if our society realizes that we each DO have an im-

lifestyles that could generate long-lasting, positive change: we must make a more conscious effort to limit and sort our trash, watch our water usage, and try to reuse or fix products before throwing them away.

We must denounce unsustainable and damaging practices by celebrities and multinationals, and ensure they don’t become normalized. If governments and international organizations won’t listen, we must “cancel” them through the power of the Internet. We’re so much more influential than we think.

I implore you: don’t admit defeat yet.ha

20 thefulcrum.ca
Photo: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum.



The Fulcrum would like to thank

Annabel Holman

Elyse Barker

Rhys Matthew

Angélique Pinto

Dasser Kamran

for their contributions to this issue.



Bridget Coady (she/her) editor@thefulcrum.ca


Amira Benjamin (they/she) managingeditor@thefulcrum.ca

Production Manager

Mattew McConkey (he/him) production@thefulcrum.ca

News Editors

Kavi Vidya Achar (they/them) news.editor@thefulcrum.ca

Shailee Shah (she/her) news@thefulcrum.ca

Arts & Culture Editor

Sydney Grenier (she/her) arts@thefulcrum.ca


Andrew Wilimek (he/him) sports@thefulcrum.ca


Emma Williams (she/her) science@thefulcrum.ca

Opinions EDITOR

Keith de Silvia-Legault (they/them) opinions@thefulcrum.ca

Staff Writer

Nicholas Socholotiuk (he/him) reporter@thefulcrum.ca

Graphic Designers

Kai Holub (they/he) multimedia@thefulcrum.ca

Sanjida Rashid (she/her) social@thefulcrum.ca


Matthew Osborne (he/him) photographer@thefulcrum.ca


Pavel Nangfack (he/him) videographer@thefulcrum.ca

Online Editor

Ayai Offor (she/her) online@thefulcrum.ca

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