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Librarian in Residence: Holiday gift list part II, kids’ picks!

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Picture Books

Jessica Green is a book addict and library card holder since the age of 3. She’s a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library and currently the Apartment613 Librarian-in-Residence, sharing a compendium of literary thoughts and tips. As promised, here is part two of my Christmas list picks. This list features children’s books, with ten picture books, three graphic novels, and five chapter books all linked up for your reading pleasure. Most of the picture books were selected as they were fun to read out loud and have great illustrations. The... | Continue reading article

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Galleon: Setting sail again after 30 years

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It was an era that existed sometime after the Beatles and before video killed the radio star. One that had flash pots, fog machines, strobe lights, tight pants, plenty of hair, guitars turned up to eleven, bone-rattling bass, drum solo madness, and the proverbial rock god lead singer. I’m talking about the big, bold, and brazen days of 70’s and early 80’s rock bands, and the Ottawa scene oozed with them. In and around the capital, loud and proud bands blazed the stages and filled up many a venue with... | Continue reading article

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Little Black Spiders: A Belgian gem at the EU film festival

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Still from Little Black Spiders.Still from Little Black Spiders.

This 2012 film co-written and directed by Patrice Toye is so much more than a coming of age story. Set in the late seventies in Belgium, the film follows Katja, whose real name is Katerina, a 17-year old orphan who is pregnant and living in hiding with other teenage moms-to-be in the attic of a hospital. This hiding spot is like a convent, managed by a woman who wears a pin of the cross on her collar at all times. You suspect the dark undertones right away; you know intuitively... | Continue reading article

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Montreal’s Das Blankout play the Mercury Lounge on Thursday

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Das Blankout. Photo courtesy of Indie Montréal.Das Blankout. Photo courtesy of Indie Montréal.

Vanessa Rotondo is an Ottawa-based freelance writer, National spoken word artist and youth educator. You can follow her on Twitter. Three-piece Montreal rock band, Das Blankout, stops in Ottawa this Wednesday as part of their Quebec-Ontario Invasion tour. In anticipation of their show, Apt613 spoke with Matt Burghardt, lead singer and guitarist, about their recent album release, Everything Diamonds. Much to the effect of what its name reflects, Burghardt shares the inspiration behind their debut recording. “The songs were about our perspective on life. We look at life the same... | Continue reading article

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Book launch, Trans Activism in Canada at Octopus Books

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Photo by chasdobie on Flickr.Photo by chasdobie on Flickr.

This Friday, the Centretown location of Octopus Books is hosting a launch for a new book that collects the experiences of those who are at the forefront of efforts to improve the lives of trans and gender variant people in Canada. Dr. Dan Irving, an associate professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University, co-edited Trans Activism in Canada along with Rupert Raj, a Toronto psychotherapist. Dr. Irving generously spoke to me for over an hour about the book and his own experiences with and views on trans activism in Canada.... | Continue reading article

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Nonprofit Band plays for greater good at House of Targ

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Nonprofit Band at House of Targ on November 13, 2014. All photos by Kelsey Sunstrum.Nonprofit Band at House of Targ on November 13, 2014. All photos by Kelsey Sunstrum.

If you were skeptical when reading my preview piece about a rock ‘n roll band sans electric guitar, you’re not alone. Although majorly intrigued, I definitely had a few reservations when learning about Nonprofit Band. Lead singer Michael Greilsammer explained that they originally planned to include the electric guitar in the album but, after the musician cancelled at the last minute, he felt this was a sign. He proposed the idea to fellow band members – Uriel Sverdin on drums and Ohad Eilam on bass – that they go forward with... | Continue reading article

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Craigslist Cantata is clever and quirky exploration of humanity

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Photo courtesy of the National Arts Centre.Photo courtesy of the National Arts Centre.

For most people, Craiglist is the online version of a massive market.  Whether you are looking for a used couch, a mechanic to fix your car or a cheap apartment, this popular website is a one-stop destination for a wide range of goods and services. For CBC radio broadcaster and playwright Bill Richardson, on the other hand, Craiglist is a sociological goldmine that shines a light into our very souls. In his highly clever piece Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata, Richardson assembles a collection of... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Garden plants things deep in the brain

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Photo courtesy of Monty Reid.Photo courtesy of Monty Reid.

“Wow, you really kicked Nature’s butt,” that’s what a friend told me after we finally tamed our rear garden. It was wildly overgrown. There were gooseberry shrubs, a swath of ostrich ferns, Manitoba maple saplings, and half a dozen other weeds that thrive on neglect. I love gardens. I love admiring gardens from afar. They seem to embody order, balance and beauty. Or utility, if they’re vegetable gardens. Gardens are an illusion. You never kick Nature’s butt for long. This is what Monty Reid’s book Garden is about. It is... | Continue reading article

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The Gilded Cage, a Portuguese comedy at the EU film festival

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Still from The Gilded Cage.Still from The Gilded Cage.

The European Union Film Festival kicked off on the 13th with a lineup that highlights the best and never-before-seen-in-Ottawa contemporary cinema from – you guessed it, the European Union. The festival showcases 27 films in 23 languages over 18 days – possibly the most diverse fest of its kind. Screenings take place in the auditorium at Library and Archives (395 Wellington St). For the full schedule, and ticket information, click here. The Gilded Cage plays tomorrow night at 7pm. There’s nothing like a good comedy to secrete some endorphins and... | Continue reading article

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Alex Silas celebrates launch of Roots at Ritual Saturday night

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Still from the video, "Mouton Noir" by Alex Silas, featuring Katie Bourque.Still from the video, "Mouton Noir" by Alex Silas, featuring Katie Bourque.

Earlier this year, Ottawa’s hip hop hippie, Alex Silas, put out his first full length album, Roots. And the much awaited launch party is finally happening this Saturday at Ritual. A culmination of many years of growth, this album is a belle of a blossom. Alex began rapping at the age of 15, as a way of expressing himself. He spent most of his high school life staying up all night writing songs – all of which were garbage – but it was a start of something so much more.... | Continue reading article

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