Web-extra (February 15, 2018): Ten Tips For Managing Stress; Celebrate Heart Month by living healthier, happier.

Web-extra (February 15, 2018): Ten Tips For Managing Stress;
Celebrate Heart Month by living healthier, happier.

P.S.A. from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

The one thing we can rely on in the 21st century is stress. Whether happy eustress, or unhappy, distress, we do need some degree of stress to keep us alert and alive. But too much stress can have a damaging effect on our minds and bodies. In a world of constant noises, lights, screens and increasingly intrusive stimuli, stress has an easy entrance into modern lives.

Esther Doucette, social worker in Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation at The University of Ottawa Heart Institute offers these 10 tips to reduce stress in day-to-day life:

  • Exercise regularly. Exercising at least three to five times a week helps to relax and condition your body and mind.
  • Breathe deeply. Take a few deep breaths. Notice how it changes how you feel.
  • Be aware of quick fixes. Try to avoid the tendency to consume more alcohol and non-prescribed drugs in stressful times.
  • Notice your thoughts. Reflect on how you think about what’s causing you stress. A trusted person or a counsellor can help you see things in a new way.
  • Relax the muscles in your body. Stress can make your body tense. Try to relax the areas where you carry the most stress.
  • Recognize what you can’t control. Reflect on what you can control, and let go of things beyond your control.
  • Take a break. Give yourself permission to nap, listen to music, read, meditate or just have some quiet time.
  • Make time for things you enjoy. Set time aside for hobbies or learning something new.
  • Avoid exposure to stress. If possible, avoid unnecessary triggers for stress, such as distressing TV shows.
  • Evaluate your commitments. Consider how you spend your time and letting go of some committments.

With these tips and mindful awareness of our surroundings and how we are reacting to daily stresses, we can enhance the duration of our lives and our loves.



Web-extra (January 25, 2018): Theatre Review: What a Young Wife Ought to Know; at the GCTC until February 4, 2018.

Web-extra (January 25, 2018): What a Young Wife Ought to Know ;
at the GCTC until February 4, 2018.

By Allyson Domanski, Newswest Theatre Reviewer.

Greeting you on arrival is beguiling illumination that blankets an eerily smoky set. Plain antique furnishing indicates that this is neither a contemporary piece nor a story about the well-to-do. The set by Andrew Cull and lighting by Leigh Ann Vardy befit both the period and the apparition alluded to from the start of GCTC’s latest offering, What a Young Wife Ought to Know.

Sophie, the young wife in question, opens the play by addressing the audience in a disarmingly forthright manner, her diction a throwback to a bygone era. Dressed in a fetching old-fashioned frock (costumes by Leesa Hamilton), the young lady speaks as if intimately acquainted with us.

Her sister’s taken to talking to her, she tells us, but since her sister’s dead, Sophie thinks she may be going mad. That doesn’t worry her; the insane asylum is just down the road so luckily, she won’t have to go far. Supplicating to us as if soliciting advice from a physician or a wizened woman-friend, Sophie dares to share the otherwise unspeakable. What troubles her is a sin: she knows it’s wicked to use unnatural means to stop a natural child from coming into the world.

Her dilemma in those opening lines had to arch a brow or two for how unthinkingly commonplace such ‘unnatural means’ prevent childbirth today. They not only thwart reproduction, they permit desire as justification alone for sex, known as ‘the marital act’ in the first decades of the twentieth century, the backdrop for this play penned by celebrated Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch.

Indeed, back in the day, birth prevention was illegal and talk of sex was taboo. All a young wife like Sophie knew was learned from an older sister like Alma. Alma is hardly worldly – let’s get real, this is a play about fuddy-duddy Ottawa – but her work at the hotel has taught her a thing or two about men. She berates and beats Sophie for mercy-kissing the post-boy who’s about to die of consumption, and for ogling the handsome stable-hand with the Irish brogue named Johnny who asks if she’s a “feckin’ eejit for staring so”. Alma, admonishing Sophie for such brazenness but also to show that she has the upper hand, imparts to innocent Sophie some rather vital technical information: when you have union with a man, you lie down, he puts his organ in and you have a child.

More detailed mechanics of the act would be unavailable for another half century until publication of “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask.”

Sophie later finds Alma vomiting but she’s not sick. Either having flouted her own good advice while working at the hotel, or having decided to snag Johnny before her prettier, younger sister does, Alma lies to Sophie that she had union with a Mr. Sutherland and for doing something God didn’t like, she now finds herself in the family way.

Desperate not to be found out, Alma beseeches Sophie for help to scrape it out. (Such were the options at the time.) Bewildered Sophie pokes around until she feels something dislodge. What follows, the audience is thankfully left to only presume, are the catastrophic flows of the red sea.

By then, you could’ve heard the proverbial pin-drop in the packed house of the theatre, such were we gripped.

Re-enter Johnny. Distraught, feeling as responsible for Alma’s death as Sophie, he is suddenly more attractive to Sophie for the emotional sensitivity he displays than for his physical attributes (which are ample, I might add). The two find solace in each other and the play’s unflinching look at love, sex, and fertility shifts to focus on Sophie and Johnny, whose knowledge of how that all works is abysmal and attests that We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby.

Christian Barry directs this extraordinary 2b Theatre Company production. Liisa Repo-Martell as Sophie is movingly rendered, transforming Sophie from inexperienced naïveté to weathered resilience in all of 75 intermission-less minutes. Her terrific performance not only conveys the affect of yore and has the down-home lilt of an Ottawa Valley-girl down pat, but she lustily sizzles in what can rightly be called sex scenes with Johnny. He is interpreted by David Patrick Fleming with spot-on emotion, physicality and the nimble timing of a comic. Rebecca Parent astutely portrays Alma, both keenly cunning when alive and guileless when dead, haunting Sophie as the apparition.

This small cast of new faces to the GCTC stage compellingly delivers Moscovitch’s vision inspired by real stories from the bedrooms and lives of young mothers of a century ago. By the end, you’re left wondering how similar the circumstances faced by our great- or great-great-grandmothers, many of whom bore six, eight, sometimes twelve children, not all of them surviving, were to those captured on stage.

Taut, heavy-hitting, yet imbued with moments of tenderness and levity, this play is very well done. Highly recommended.

What a Young Wife Ought to Know runs at the GCTC until February 4, 2018.

CAST (Actor: character):

  • David Patrick Fleming: Johnny;
  • Rebecca Parent: Alma;
  • Liisa Repo-Martell: Sophie.


  • Hannah Moscovitch: Playwright;
  • Christian Barry: Director;
  • Leigh Ann Vardy: Lighting Designer;
  • Leesa Hamilton: Costume Designer;
  • Andrew Cull: Set Designer;
  • Fiona Jones: Stage Manager;
  • Daniel Oulton: Production Manager;
  • Louisa Adamson: Director of Production.

January 18, 2018: Meals, Music and Christmas Magic; Carleton Tavern Dinner 2017.

January 18, 2018: Meals, Music and Christmas Magic;
Carleton Tavern Dinner 2017.

By Hintonburg Economic Development Committee.

How do you turn one of the loneliest days of the year into a day filled with good food, kindness, wonderful human interaction and live music? You work with the amazing Saikaley family, owners of the Carleton Tavern, to throw open the doors and invite everyone in for the best Christmas Day possible.

The Carleton has opened their doors for 17 years now to provide a free meal to those in the community right on Christmas Day. Lots of great food is provided but possibly more important is the companionship and fellowship that happens there that day. There are only a few locations that provide a meal right on Dec. 25. Christmas used to be the only day in the year the Carleton closed, now as opposed to a day off, the owners are there at 5:00 a.m. getting ready for the day.

What does it take to make this day happen? 35 cooked turkeys, 25 kg of ham, 18 giant tortieres, baked beans, a vegetarian meal, lots of home baked goodies, 18 musicians, lots of volunteers, the generosity of this community (businesses and residents) to donate food and gifts and of course what would Christmas be without Santa and Mrs. Claus.

How many people had a better Christmas? Close to 1000 meals were provided. There were at least 465 meals served to people who came in, another 100 meals delivered and about 250 meals taken out for those who could not come. Any food left at the end of the day was distributed within the local community to the local shelter and several rooming houses.

Many, many volunteers are required to make this day happen – about 125 volunteers starting a month in advance. By 3:00 p.m. on Christmas Day the weariness of the volunteers melts away and the comments that come through that day from those attending or having a meal delivered make you realize that this effort has made someone else’s day much better, as well as your own.

It is an entire community who make this day happen. Thanks to: Allegro, Artistic Cake Design, Bridgehead at Fairmont, Canadian Linen & Uniform Service, Carleton Tavern Hockey Leagues, Carlingwood Dental Centre, City of Ottawa, CYR, Devonshire Grade 6 Class, Farm Boy, Fil’s Diner, Global Pet Food, Grafik Visuals, GT Express, Happy Goat Coffee, Herb & Spice, Hintonburg Economic Devel.Committee, Holland’s Cake & Shake, Holland Cross Dental Centre, Holy Rosary Church, Indian Express, Karma Cravings, Laroche Park Sports Assoc., Merge Design Print & Promo, Metro Island Park, Musicians from Open Stage Revue, Ottawa Fit, Ottawa Nepean Sports Club, Pasticceria Gelateria, Precision Snow Removal, Purple Dog Consulting, Rideau Bakery, Royal Lepage Gale Real Estate, SDM Albert & O’Connor, SDM Rockland, Tannis Food Distributors, Transition House, WWBIA, Yuk Yuk’s (Elgin St), 10061620 Canada Inc., Collin & Michelle and the very many individual “Friends of the Carleton”. Thanks to you all.
Photo Caption: Mr and Mrs Claus dropped by the Carleton Tavern on Christmas Day to bring smiles and good wishes to nearly 500 guests. Photo by T. Hairbach.


January 18, 2018: How Well Do We Regard Our Past?; Taking Stock of Our Built Heritage.

January 18, 2018: How Well Do We Regard Our Past?;
Taking Stock of Our Built Heritage.

By A. Marsha.ll, A. Phillips and A. Polywkan, Built Heritage Researchers, City of Ottawa.

The goal of the Heritage Inventory Project is to create certainty around Ottawa’s heritage resources.

The City of Ottawa is undertaking a major project identifying buildings, structures and other built resources of cultural heritage value.

The ‘Heritage Inventory Project’ is a city-wide project involving the surveying and evaluation of a vast array of Ottawa’s built resources, from the modest worker’s houses of Lowertown, to the fine Arts and Crafts homes in Brantwood Place, to the century-old barns of Kinburn, and even the numerous bridges that span our city’s many waterways.

The goal of the Heritage Inventory Project is to create certainty around Ottawa’s heritage resources. Properties identified through the project will not be designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, rather they will be added to the City’s Heritage Register.

A rigorous update to the City’s Heritage Register will be beneficial for property owners, developers, heritage advocates, elected officials, planning staff, community groups and all concerned residents.

The research method for the project includes photographing, describing architectural characteristics and evaluating thousands of built resources throughout the city.

We’re asking Newswest readers to share information about their properties or other buildings or structures in their neighbourhood. We would love to know who designed your home or the original use of a particular building.

Please connect with the City of Ottawa’s built heritage researchers: Avery Marshall, Adrian Phillips and Amber Polywkan at HeritageInventory@ottawa.ca or say hello if you see us in the neighbourhood.

More information about the Heritage Inventory Project is available at ottawa.ca/heritageinventory.

The City of Ottawa Heritage Inventory Project uses a GIS software tool to collect heritage data on neighbourhood buildings. Readers are invited to get in touch with the authors and share information about your house and your neighbourhood.


January 18, 2018: Wellington Village Community Association; Logo Design Contest.

January 18, 2018: Wellington Village Community Association; Logo Design Contest.

Text in Image: PRIZE = $100. HERE’S OUR OLD LOGO:. WHAT SHOULD THE NEW LOGO LOOK LIKE?  No more than THREE colours. Must work in black and white. It can be COMPLETELY different. Will go on a banner, t-shirts, etc. Can be any format:.pdf .jpg, .png, .ai, etc. Check out website at http://www.wvca.ca and DEADLINE is JAN. 31, 2018 . Send to wvca.ottawa.president@gmail.com , Please include your contact information.


January 18, 2018: Trustee’s Report; OCSB School News.

January 18, 2018: Trustee’s Report;
OCSB School News.

By Jeremy Wittet, OCSB Trustee Kitchissippi/Bay.

Happy New Year! Wishing you and your family the very best for a safe, healthy and happy 2018.

Team Canada Special Olympics Visit – Notre Dame High School:
On November 29th, the Canadian Special Olympic Team visited Notre Dame High School to join staff and students for a pep rally in the gym along with the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. The school community helped celebrate the outstanding achievements of our athletes and students with special needs. An exhibition basketball game was also held between the NDHS Eagles and Glebe Collegiate Institute.

Lighting up the Grace:
The Salvation Army’s Grace Manor held its annual “Light up the Grace” on December 1. It was a pleasure to attend along with MPP Yasir Naqvi and Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper. Everyone was in the festive spirit with hot cocoa and Christmas carols accompanied by the Salvation Army Band.

Advent Mass and Christmas Potluck St George’s Parish:
St. George’s Parish held its annual Christmas Potluck and Advent Mass on December 17th. Many Kitchissippi families were in attendance to enjoy the children’s concert as part of the third Sunday of Advent which culminated with a delicious potluck meal in the parish hall.

OCSB Childrens’ Choir Christmas Concert – St. Basil’s Church:
On December 18th, the award winning Ottawa Catholic School Board Children’s Choir along with the St. Basil’s Church Choir put on a Christmas concert to remember. Many well-known pieces were performed, as well as some new numbers for the packed house to enjoy. One notable selection featured the OCSB Boys Choir teaming up with their dads to perform some holiday favourites.

Christmas Lunch – St. Rose of Lima School:
As 2017 ended and the Christmas Break was on the horizon, St. Rose of Lima School in Bayshore hosted their annual Christmas Lunch for students. Parents and community members were kind enough to prepare a lunch with all the fixings. It was a pleasure to help serve lunch on and chat with over 150 students, staff and community volunteers.

Jeremy Wittet is the Zone 7 (Kitchissippi /Bay Wards) Trustee for the Ottawa Catholic School Board. He can be reached by email at Jeremy.Wittet@ocsb.ca , or telephone 613–721-2376 . Jeremy Wittet is also accessible on Twitter: @OCSBWittet .
Photo Caption: Ottawa Catholic School Board Trustee Jeremy Wittet. Photo courtesy of OCSB.


January 18, 2018: Provincial Report; OC150 Award.

January 18, 2018: Provincial Report;
OC150 Award.

By Yasir Naqvi MPP, Ottawa Centre.

On December 2nd, I was proud to recognize 50 women, 50 men and 50 youth with the #OC150 Award.

2017 has been a very special year for our country as we commemorated 150 years of Canada’s Confederation. Much like Expo ’67 was for Canada’s 100th birthday, 2017 has been a historic year and one to be remembered for generations to come.

In the past 150 years Canada has grown to become one of the most welcoming, diverse and peaceful nations in the world. This would not have been possible without nation’s most important asset — our people.

In a year focused on celebrating our province and country, as your MPP I wanted to honour local residents who embody the qualities and values that make Ottawa, Ontario and Canada great.

On December 2nd, I was proud to recognize 50 women, 50 men and 50 youth with the #OC150 Award. These dedicated volunteers have committed their time and talent to our community and continue to serve Ottawa Centre making Canada one of the greatest country to live in.

The award ceremony was emceed by CTV Ottawa’s Stefan Keyes, and the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, delivered a keynote speech at a special reception hosted by Carleton University.

#OC150 Award recognized community members who have contributed Ottawa Centre in one of the following ways:

  1. Celebrating diversity/inclusion,
  2. Building community/capacity,
  3. Protecting the heritage of,
  4. Promoting a healthy community.

The 150 recipients we have recognized are true community builders whose contributions have made our national capital a place we are all proud to call home. It is thanks to them that we can enjoy Ottawa Centre as one of the most welcoming, diverse and accessible communities in Canada.
A full list of recipients is available at http://www.yasirnaqvimpp.ca .

Thank you to all the nominators for taking the time to help recognize the efforts of many deserving community leaders in Ottawa Centre. It has been an honour to celebrate our recipients vital contributions to our community.

Please accept my best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2018. As always, do not hesitate to contact me at the Community Office at 613-722-6414 or email at ynaqvi.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org .
Photo Caption: The #OC150 Awards recognized contributions from community members to improve life in communities across Canada. Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi recognozsed 150 recipients. Photos courtesy of Y. Naqvi.