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An engaging evening of orchestral enchantment

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Melissa McClelland singing through her telephone effect mic. All photos by Terry Steeves.Melissa McClelland singing through her telephone effect mic. All photos by Terry Steeves.

A drum kit, a collection of guitars and amps, bass, keyboards, and a series of mics on stands, stood in a tight formation in the center of the NAC’S Theatre stage. Naturally, one would have thought such a set-up was to be manned by several band members, but instead, a man and woman emerged from out of the darkness to take their place among the cluster of musical instruments. The two immediately got to work building a foundation of looped sounds – he on the drum kit, laying down a... | Continue reading article

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Musical chameleon Lindsay Ferguson releases album

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Photo of Lindsay Ferguson by David IrvinePhoto of Lindsay Ferguson by David Irvine

A month ago I was not familiar with Lindsay Ferguson.  Flash forward to today, and numerous times happily bebopping to her music, and I can say that I am officially a fan. Born in Bermuda to Canadian parents, the talented singer-songwriter writes melodic and catchy tunes.  Drawing from folk, pop, acoustic rock and other influences, her work is a pleasure to listen to.  (In fact, the past few days has seen me eagerly talk about her to my wife and children). Splitting her time between Bern, Switzerland and Wakefield, QC... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Music, Sights & Sounds

Alberta’s reggae winds blow into the Mercury Lounge

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Photo of Tasman Jude courtesy of FritzMediaPhoto of Tasman Jude courtesy of FritzMedia

“Life is a lot like jazz . . . it’s best when you improvise.”  - George Gershwin Musical legend George Gershwin would probably love the story behind Alberta reggae band Tasman Jude.  Two years ago on a January night, friends Caleb Hart and Al Peterson jumped onto a stage for an open mic night and improvised three songs.  The reaction of the crowd was so great, that Hart decided to make a Facebook page with the name Tasman Jude. (Note: Peterson’s 15-year-old birth mother named him Tasman Jude, and when he was later... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Music, Sights & Sounds

Write On Ottawa: Love fantasy? Read Caroline Fréchette.

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If you like fantasy novels then you should read the work of Gatineau-based writer Caroline Fréchette.  I am a big fan of her Family by Choice series, which revolves around the complex character of Alex Winters, a  brooding young man who can create fire with his thoughts. Having really enjoyed the first book, which came out in the fall of 2013, as well as the sequel that was published last year by Renaissance Press, it was with eager anticipation that I read Kindred Spirits, the third book in this five-part series.  (The... | Continue reading article

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Kickstarter campaign seeks to fund new card game

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Image taken from Renaissance Press web siteImage taken from Renaissance Press web site

Ottawa-based Renaissance Press is best known for publishing the works of up-and-coming authors. The company’s desire to promote creative works, however, is no longer limited to the printed page thanks to the launch of their new gaming division. The first game that the local publisher hopes to release is A Match Made in Austen, a card game based on the works of the legendary writer Jane Austen.  Drawing from her popular novels Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey, the aim of the game is to... | Continue reading article

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Tour de blogosphere: A Special Guide to Ottawa’s Literary Blogs (Part 2)

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Photo by Bust it Away Photography (Apt613 Flickr pool)Photo by Bust it Away Photography (Apt613 Flickr pool)

This is part two of our special guide to Ottawa’s online literary world blogosphere style. (See here for part 1).  In coming posts, expect champions of poetry, stories of small press, writers seeking writers, book clubs to notice, online journals, recaps, reviews and more. Today’s guide stop takes you to the individual multi-taskers, whose literary blogs cover a range of purposes from showcasing their work, reviewing other’s work, capturing day-to-day life, and highlighting events and conversations.  Here’s you’ll find stories of road trips, insider interviews, stunning poetry, narrative power, literary... | Continue reading article

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Foodie Friday: Brew Brahs interview Whitewater Brewing Company, *Spoiler new brewpub alert!

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All photos courtesy of Whitewater Brewing Company.All photos courtesy of Whitewater Brewing Company.

By now, the good beer-loving people of Ottawa have probably enjoyed the fine brews arriving from Whitewater Brewing Company from their roasted Midnight Stout to their even-keeled Whistling Paddler English Special Bitter. But for those who like to take their brew adventures to the next level, did you know that WBC has their own brewpub? It’s true. Roadtrip! Smartly, the entrepreneurial gentlemen behind the WBC have upped their game and created a destination brewpub that pairs craft beer with the area’s fantastic outdoors recreational offerings. With the number of visitors... | Continue reading article

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Community art show fundraiser honours mothers

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Joni Campbell and Chris Best. Photo by Marina Irick.Joni Campbell and Chris Best. Photo by Marina Irick.

Unseasonably humid weather didn’t stop about 200 people from crowding into a Westboro home on Saturday night to take part in unique celebration of mothers and a home-based art sale and fundraiser to support the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation (ORCF). Months of planning — and the involvement of 40 Ottawa-area artists — went into organizing the event, hosted by Chris Best and Joni Campbell in memory of Chris’s mother, Doreen Best, who died 23 years ago of cancer. “I lost my Mom to cancer when she was 54. I am... | Continue reading article

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Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire ce long weekend?

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Photos from GLITTERBOMB 2014 by Viktor S. de Vice.Photos from GLITTERBOMB 2014 by Viktor S. de Vice.

This weekend begins the tours and outdoor events that will last the rest of the summer. Music in the park, tours around monuments and of course more music! All weekend long, Decipher is holding their Everyday is Halloween Pop-up Shop full of punk, derby and psychobilly gear. If you love Hot topic, make sure to check out this amazing pop-up shop located in Westboro. Start your weekend tonight with Monopolatte’s 4th Annual Geek Slam – a geeky poetry competition. Or get schooled on disability rights with Ravi Malhotra and Morgan Rowe’s... | Continue reading article

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