June 28, 2018: Camp Anticipation; Sleeping bags, snacks and candy.

June 28, 2018: Camp Anticipation;
Sleeping bags, snacks and candy.

By Anna Borris.

“My application for camp just came in the mail” Judy’s voice yelled from the phone. “Why don’t you and Karen come too?”

I was doubtful. “I don’t know, what’s it like?”

“We swim in the lake every day, go boating, hiking, play baseball and make up skits. We sleep in cabins in bunk beds and the counsellors are terrific. I know you’d love it. It’s in Barry’s Bay, for two weeks, and we go on the train!” Judy’s excitement was contagious.

“How’s the food?” I asked the very important question.

Macaroni and cheese, shepherd’s pie; sometimes we have hot dogs and Kool-Aid around the campfire, it’s absolutely great.

“I’ll talk to Mom and Dad. Call Karen and see if she can go..

My dad told me to find out the cost, and Karen’s parents said camps were expensive and they probably couldn’t afford to send her. Judy found out that campers paid only what they could afford. All our parents agreed and the three of us were in.

While we rode the number 2 bus downtown to pick up applications, Karen was reading the list of things to bring. “I’ll have to find a sleeping bag somewhere, mine ifds too small.”

“Dave or Mike might have one you can borrow. If not, Canadian Tire down on Richmond Rd will have sleeping bags. We can walk down there tomorrow,” I suggested.

Karen preferred to have a new sleeping bag, so the next morning we headed for Canadian Tire. We bought bug spray, suntan lotion, flashlights and batteries. Karen found an inexpensive sleeping bag, and we carted everything home down Wellington Street in the broiling sun.

That afternoon we hit United Stores and picked up little plastic boxes for our toiletries, film for Judy’s camera and a new bathing suit for me. We each bought a new tee-shirt and went home with our loot.

“There, we’re done shopping.” Karen flopped down on our front steps.

“No, not yet.” said expert Judy. “We’ll need to bring snacks. It’s a long trip on the train .”

We dragged ourselves to our feet and headed for the corner store to stock up with Humpty Dumpty chips, cheezies, chocolate bars and life savers. Judy suddenly remembered just one more thing, Fizzies.

We had never heard of them, but Judy explained that at camp they were a necessity. At lunch we would be given water to drink, but Fizzies were little sugary tablets that, when dropped into water, fizzed into a drink something like fruit punch. We would be the envy of the camp.

Our final shopping trip was to Malham’s Smoke Shop to pick up several flavours of Fizzies. After that, all that remained was to pack our suitcases and wait for the day we would leave Ottawa from Union Station downtown, on our way to Barry’s Bay and two weeks of fun, games, and new friendships.


June 28, 2018: Community Calendar Plus.

June 28, 2018: Community Calendar Plus.

DRAFT UPDATED June 28th. See bottom for late additions.
(Suggestion: Bookmark the Coming-Events category or the Calendar tag so you can quickly return to see late additions/updates )

++++ => extra/notices not in print issue.

Newswest Volunteers. ++++
Newswest is seeking volunteers to help with its monthly digital on-line content. Experience with Facebook or WordPress ideal, but eager learners welcome. Email editor@newswest.org or come to a board meeting. (Next meeting is Tuesday July 24, 2018 at 7p.m. in the Hintonburg Community Centre.)

July 5 – Strawberry Social.
Woodroffe United Church (207 Woodroffe Ave.) invites you to our annual Strawberry Social on Thursday, July 5. Between 5 and 7 p.m., we will be serving a ham and salad supper and one of the best treats the season has to offer: strawberry shortcake. $15 per person, children 10 and under free, family max $40. Tickets are available through the church office at 613-722-9250 .

July to September – Ottawa Tool Library Events. ++++
July 8th – Maker Day,
July 30th – Community and Demo Night (topic to be determined),
August 18th – Repair Café at the Overbrook Community Centre – part of the Overbrook Community Day Celebration!,
September 24th – Learn to Mend (it’s so popular that we’ve added it to our regular rotation!).

July 9 – Summer Teen Cooking 101.
Jacklyn Villeneuve, Registered Dietitian from Loblaws, will be teaching teens how to make a quick and easy one-pot meal at the Carlingwood branch of the Ottawa Public Library on Monday July 9 at 5 p.m.until 6.p.m. Registration is required. For more information go to https://biblioottawalibrary.ca .

July 10 – Songwriting Basics: Workshop for Teens.
Workshop presenter Amanda Balsys has played and taught the violin for over twenty-five years. She has also worked as a touring and studio musician as a violinist, guitarist and vocalist throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. This workshop will introduce Teens to some basic songwriting techniques including lyrics and 3-chord composition using a standard acoustic guitar or ukulele. No experience necessary and ukuleles will be provided at the Carlingwood Branch of the Ottawa Public Library on Tuesday July 10 from 5 p.m until 7 p.m. Registration is required. For more information go to https://biblioottawalibrary.ca .

July 14 – Raspberry Pi Teen Programming Workshop.
FIRST Robotics Team 2706 will teach you how to program a robot driven by a Raspberry Pi mini computer at the Carlingwood Branch of the Ottawa Public Library on Saturday July 14 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Registration is required. For more information go to https://biblioottawalibrary.ca .

July 12, 14 & 20 – 3 Guided Arboretum Tree Tours. ++++
Thursday July 12 at 3:30p.m. Canadian Institute of Forestry Tree Tour at 3:30pm Bldg 72, Arboretum. The Ottawa Valley Section of the CIF’s AGM will be followed by a tree tour. Free, open to the public. Saturday July 14 at 8p.m. “Got Bats?”. Learn about Ottawa’s bat species and tips to encourage their survival. Bring flashlights. Free, public welcome. Friday July 20 at 8:30p.m. “A Night With the Moths”. Learn about the nightlife of moths and their diversity. Bring flashlights. Free, public welcome. All tours start at Building 72 in the Arboretum. Although the tours are free and open to the public, please register in advance on each tree tour website page. Donations to the Friends of the Farm are gratefully accepted during the tour. Visit http://friendsofthefarm.ca/arboretum-tree-tours/ for more info.

July 15 – Hintonburg 5k/Newswest 1k Race. ++++
The annual Hintonburg 5k/1k Race is taking place on Sunday, July 15th. You can register for the race here. Race day Volunteers are still needed.

July 22 – Friends of the Farm Victorian Tea. ++++
from 2p.m. to 4p.m. Classic tea is served on the lawns of the Arboretum. Dress in full Victorian garb, (optional), listen to live music, enter the best hat and costume contest. Formal Tea $13 at Bldg 72, CEF Arboretum east exit off Prince of Wales roundabout. Call 613-230-3276 or visit http://friendsofthefarm.ca/fcef-annual-events/ for more info.

August 11 – Art on the Farm. ++++
You are invited to exhibit at Art on the Farm. Saturday August 11 from 10a.m. to 4p.m. in the Arboretum. Rain Date: Sunday Aug 12th. Friends of the Farm’s premier summer event Art on the Farm showcases local and regional artists. There isn’t a more beautiful and peaceful setting in Ottawa than under the luxurious canopy of the Arboretum next to Building 72 on the Central Experimental Farm. A wide range of original media is accepted. The event is Free! to the public. If this natural setting is the place for your artwork, please visit Art on the Farm for information and registration material or call 613-230-3276 or email info@friendsofthefarm.ca . Visit http://friendsofthefarm.ca/fcef-annual-events/ for more info.

October 16 – Friends of the Farm Master Gardener Lecture. ++++
Normally from 7 to 9p.m. Topic “Bulbs for Year Round Enjoyment” with Mary Reid. FCEF members $12, non-members $15, For more info check http://friendsofthefarm.ca/master-gardener-lectures-2018/ .

November 6 – Friends of the Farm Master Gardener Lecture. ++++
Normally from 7 to 9p.m. Topic “History of English Country House Gardens” with Heather Clemenson. FCEF members $12, non-members $15, For more info check http://friendsofthefarm.ca/master-gardener-lectures-2018/ .

Ottawa Family Cinema. ++++
Is closed until September Please visit http://www.familycinema.ca for more info.

Volunteers Needed!
OWCS has openings for volunteers to help on our Shopping Buses. Shopping Bus volunteers work with the OWCS Driver to assist client in the store and to carry groceries into their homes. For more information please email info@owcs.ca or call 613-728-6016 .

Spirit of Rasputin’s Open Stage. ++++
Each Monday night at 7:00 pm we hold our Open Stage at the Whispers pub in Westboro. And on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm it’s the Folk-along Jam at the Vimy Brewing Company.

Westboro Legion’s Bingo and Leagues.
Bingo every Wednesday night at the Westboro Legion. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for Ric’s@480 food service. Games begin at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Join us with your friends, or come and meet new friends. Funds raised are donated back to community organizations. We also have bid euchre, darts, pool and sandbag leagues on a weekly basis starting in the Fall. For more information visit http://www.rcl480.com or call 613-725-2778 .

Westboro Legion’s Saturday and Sunday Pooll.
Free pool from noon to closing upstairs at the Westboro Legion on Saturdays and Sundays. Everyone is welcome. For more information visit http://www.rcl480.com or call 613-725-2778 .

Learn confidence and hone your leadership skills. Above and Beyond Toastmasters will help you get there. We meet every Monday at 7 p.m. except holidays at the Civic campus of The Ottawa Hospital in the Bickell Room on the main floor (across from Tim Hortons). Everyone is welcome. For more information, please see http://abottawa.toastmastersclubs.org or contact toastmasters.iwona.bm@gmail.com .

Churchill Seniors Centre.
Drop-in bridge and mahjong at the Churchill Seniors Centre (345 Richmond Rd.) every Wednesday from noon to 3 p.m. Come and play. No partner required in either of these games Cost: $1.75. For more information, please call 613-798-8927 .

Drop-in Ukulele.
at the Churchill Seniors Centre on the last Wednesday of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Bring your own ukulele. This is a beginner drop-in but all players welcome! Cost: $2.00 .

The OWCS Grocery Bus. ++++
A Call for Volunteers to help with this service is currently in effect (see Notice above).
For Seniors in Hintonburg, Carlington and Westboro who need assistance with grocery shopping. For only $6 Ottawa West Community Support (OWCS) provides door to door transportation and help with bagging and carrying of purchases. Each Tuesday and Wednesday, the bus departs OWCS at 9a.m., picks up seniors from their homes and takes them shopping at local supermarkets. For more information about the Grocery Bus and other OWCS programs, please contact the office at 613-728-6016 ( and read their article in Newswest On-line ).

Ottawa Tool Library – Shop Night. ++++
Every first Wednesday of the month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. come book our benches to grind away at your projects with tools from our library. Book on line at http://www.ottawatoollibrary.com and then come to your bench for the might in Makerspace North, 250 City Centre Avenue, Bay 216 (upper level). Just $5 for members and free for members 55 or older, with lots of parking.

Ottawa Tool Library – Community and Demo night. ++++
Connect and chat with other makers around Ottawa at our tool library. Learn and observe with live demonstrations starting at 6 p.m. on topics such as Bikes, Gardening, Carpentry, Painting, Canning, Wiring etc. We are a volunteer-run nonprofit providing endless opportunities to create, garden and cook. Located in Makerspace north, 250 City Centre Avenue in Bay 216 (upper level), we are open Mondays 6 to 9 p.m., Wednesdays 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Find us on Twitter and Facebook, @yowtoollibrary.

Bytown Swing. ++++
Come dance Lindy Hop and West Coast Swing with us on Saturday nights in Ottawa. Grab a pair of indoor shoes and get ready to hit the dance floor. Non-profit, holds a dance every Saturday at Studio X, 122-250 City Center Avenue ( 3 minute walk from the Bayview Transitway stop ). Parking available. Beginner lessons start at 8:15 p.m., DJ’d social dancing starts at 9:00 p.m. Cost is just $7 cash at the door and $5 for students and seniors.
Starting in 2017 there will be no more bi-weekly dances: we’re moving to one-off Lindy Hop events like bar nights, pop-up dances, and special live band events. The Westie Underground will be hosting bi-weekly WCS dances under a new name. Stay tuned for future announcements on dates and details! See http://bytownswing.com or https://www.facebook.com/bytownswing/ .

Friends of the Farm’s new book ‘Blooms’ ++++
Is about the Ornamental Gardens at Ottawa’s Central Experimental Farm A wonderful gift for anyone who loves gardens and flowers, as well as a treat for those interested in Canadian history. Friends of the Farm has several books now available for purchase highlighting Ottawa’s Farm, Ornamental Gardens, and Arboretum at the Central Experimental Farm. By local authors, they are for anyone who loves gardens and flowers, as well as a treat for those interested in Canadian horticultural history. Available at http://friendsofthefarm.ca/ and local bookstores.

Friends of the Farm’s “Join Us”. ++++
Join the Friends of the Farm to influence decision-makers to preserve the integrity of this cherished National Historic Site and its exceptional setting in the heart of Ottawa.
The future of the Farm as we know it is more important than ever. While the core research areas remain, the Farm lands, Dominion Arboretum, Ornamental Gardens and historical buildings still need constant care and protection. If lost, this jewel can never be replaced.
Become a member today and support the Friends’ mission to bring the Arboretum and Ornamental Gardens to their full potential. Membership benefits include free admission to the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, a quarterly newsletter, discounted events, and more. http://friendsofthefarm.ca/

Your Community Associations.
For up-to-date news on your neighbourhood, stay in touch with your community association. Information about events, traffic changes, development, neighbourhood clubs, volunteer opportunities and board meetings is available from the following Community Association websites.

Champlain Park Community Association

Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association

Friends of Churchill Seniors Centre

Hintonburg Community Association

Hampton-Iona Community Group

Island Park Community Association

McKellar Park Community Association

Mechanicsville Community Association

Wellington Village Community Association

Westboro Beach Community Association

Westboro Community Association

Late Additions:

Web-extra (June 28, 2018): Cymbeline in the Park; Bear & Co. present Shakespeare summer fare.

Web-extra (June 28, 2018): Cymbeline in the Park;.
Bear & Co. present Shakespeare summer fare.

By Rachel Eugster.

Set out a lawn chair or a blanket, as Bear & Co. brings you a summer outdoor touring production of Shakespeare’s ridiculously over-the-top Cymbeline. Follow a pair of lovers as they react to the mad world around them in a 90-minute version of the play Shakespeare packed with every plot device he could think of: star-crossed lovers, a wicked stepmother, a befuddled king, a loyal servant, separated siblings, wild men, exiled kin, cross-dressing, kidnapping, murder plots, and a Roman invasion.

“The first time I read Cymbeline, I developed the irreverent but perhaps not altogether inaccurate idea that Shakespeare must have been up against a deadline, madly drawing on tropes he knew to be successful and linking them together in a way that made the best sense possible,” says director Sharon King-Campell. “It quickly became my favourite of Shakespeare’s works..

A Canterbury High School grad, King-Campbell now lives and works in Newfoundland. She returns to Ottawa twice this season, first to direct Cymbeline, then to assistant direct (with NAC English Theatre artistic director Jillian Keiley) when Between Breaths hits the stage at the NAC.

Cymbeline’s cast of six actors tackles its 40-odd characters full-on or in composite. Megan Carty (recently at the NAC in Up to Low) plays the heart-breaking and redoubtable heroine Imogen, while Ian Campbell (recently artistic director of Shakespeare by the Sea in St. John’s) plays the hero, Posthumous Leonatus. William Beddoe’s multiple roles include King Cymbeline, while Rebecca Benson’s include his wicked second wife. Phillip Merriman (last summer’s Romeo) doubles as her unlovely son Cloten and the fascinating Italian lover Jachimo. Ellen Manchee is both the gruff but kindly loyal servant, and the invading Roman army.

Join us outdoors to celebrate the long evenings and warm weather and enjoy theatre that stands the test of time. Bear & Co. brings you an experience close to the touring companies of four hundred years ago. Bring a cool drink or a full picnic, raingear in case it mizzles, and bug spray, and watch six actors conjure the deliciously weird world of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline in the open air.

The show tours Ottawa’s parks from July 3 (dress rehearsal) to August 5. West-end shows include July 5 and 19 in Clare Gardens Park, July 12 at Westboro Bearch, July 13 and 27 at Hintonburg Park, Aug 1 at Fairmont Park, and Aug 2 at Alexander Park in Carlington. View the full schedule at http://www.bearandcompany.ca/ .

All performances begin at 7:00 p.m., with a suggested donation of $20 per person.
Photo Caption: Megan Carty plays Imogen in Bear & Co.’s outdoor production of Cybeline. Photo provided by Bear and Company.

NOTE! Locations can change due to forces beyond our control, so please check back here to confirm before heading to a show. Dates with a * are recent changes.

(Schedule as appeared on the the web July 6th)
Tues July 3 DRESS REHEARSAL: Fire Station #12 park–The Glebe
Wed July 4 OPENING: Central Park–The Glebe
Thurs July 5 Clare Gardens Park–Westboro)
Fri July 6 Strathcona Park–Sandy Hill (at the willow grove
*Sat July 7 Walter Baker Park–Kanata
Sun July 8 Briargreen Park–Centrepointe

Tues July 10 Applewood Acres Park–Alta Vista
Wed July 11 Windsor Park–Old Ottawa South
Thurs July 12 Westboro Beach–Westboro
Fri July 13 Hintonburg Park–Hintonburg (behind the community centre)
Sat July 14 Stonecrest Park–Chapman Mills
Sun July 15 Dickinson Square–Manotick (near Watson’s Mill)

Tues July 17 Hiawatha Park–Orleans
Wed July 18 Central Park–The Glebe
Thurs July 19 Clare Gardens Park–Westboro
Fri July 20 Strathcona Park–Sandy Hill (at the willow grove)
*Sat July 21 Britannia Park–Britannia (at the gazebo)
Sun July 22 Bordeleau Park–Lowertown

Tues July 24 Fisher Heights Park–Fisher Heights
Wed July 25 Windsor Park–Old Ottawa South
Thurs July 26 Glabar Park–Carlingwood
Fri July 27 Hintonburg Park–Hintonburg (behind the community centre)
*Sat July 28 Carp Fairgrounds–Carp
Sun July 29 Fairbairn House Heritage Centre–Wakefield, QC

Tues July 31 Fairmont Park–Civic Hospital
Wed Aug 1 Central Park–The Glebe
*Thurs Aug 2 Carlington Park–Carlington
Fri Aug 3 Overbrook Park–Overbrook
Sat Aug 4 Station Park–Killaloe (Lion’s Hall, in case of rain)
*Sun Aug 5 Stanley Park–New Edinburgh

All shows begin at 7. Bring the family, a picnic, something to sit on, bug spray–and rain gear, if it mizzles. (The show will go on, unless conditions turn unsafe.) Suggested donation: $20 per person.

Web-extra (May 31, 2018) Why Should I Vote?; A Canadian’s Question.

Web-extra (May 31, 2018) Why Should I Vote?;
A Canadian’s Question.

When I think about voting, “is it worth the time?” I ask.

“Compared to what? Doing the dishes?”

Dishes? OK I’ll do the vote thing instead. But what about missing out on something I want to do. Like vegging in front of a screen with something unhealthy in one hand and something electronic in the other. Or maybe I have to do homework I could not do elsewhere because… oh well somebody I won’t name procrastinated.

A recent election we all seem obsessed with does give pause to think about what you get when you don’t participate. We all hope things will turn out alright in the World just the same. Unfortunately we find ourselves not only reading about the novel goings-on, but like characters in a novel… we are unsure about how the plot will end.

First time I voted I had the unlikely chance to pigeon-hole the next Prime Minister with a question that well… He had not been briefed on. He did his honest best to answer, within the moment fate gave him, and then he was off to whatever was his next Bus stop. Nothing much changed, but I voted with the majority (if that is the right mathematical term for 39%), and waited to see how Canada’s future might change. Reflecting on that old question we still have a first-past-the-post system that was first designed for the British Landowners and the Infamous Rotten Boroughs ( which might make a great name for a band ). But the ‘Company Store is the only one in Town’ as they say, so I have voted for the best choice on the shelf even when the inventory seemed a little bare.

What was in store for a Franco-Ontarian in 1913 was their voice was not wanted in Schools, and for them life got a whole lot more costly. That generation sent their young sons to Poppy covered Fields of Flanders with Hope, Concern and Mis-information. Their boy’s badly made kit fell apart, the shovels were unable to move the liquid mud out of the trenches and their boy’s rifles were jamming ( not music to anyone’s ears ). But our Leaders made fake news and Women couldn’t vote so nothing much changed for years. Even when my great grandmother got to vote in 1917 others could not! And so it was for more than a decade because those ‘people’ were born to the ‘wrong sort’ of parents. Canada was their ‘Rotten Borough’ I guess.

But I got lucky… I guess. For me Canada has never been a ‘Rotten Borough’. I have voted for those who changed the “Canadian Question” and I have voted to ensure that a “Canadian Question” endured. The closest I ever came to lying in a trench was the election I slipped on some ice. Now that is a Canadian’s Question …When Should We Vote!

So on June 7th I will go out to vote… I wonder what the weather will be doing?

A Kitchissippi Procrastinator.

May 24, 2018: When is the best time to plant a tree?; The upside of casting shade.

May 24, 2018: When is the best time to plant a tree?;
The upside of casting shade.

By Cheryl Parrott, Hintonburg resident.

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “No shade tree? Blame not the sun, but yourself.”

The once very shady Bayview Friendship Park is today less shady than it used to be. A particularly strong storm on May 4th uprooted one large tree which broke the top off of the tree next to it.

The fallen tree destroyed the steps in the pathway leading from Hilda to Bayview, as well as wiping out part of the park’s fence. At this writing, it is too early to tell if the kids’ play structure is damaged since the downed tree has completely engulfed that structure.

The April 16th ice storm resulted in another tree coming down in the park, and with it, branches of 2 other trees had split and later, had to be removed. One of the play structures was also damaged in that storm. In all, this park has suffered a great deal of storm damage over the past winter.

Over the last seven years eight trees have been lost in the Bayview Friendship Park alone. Several other parks have suffered similar set backs.

McCormick Park has suffered a similar fate and has lost a lot of trees through storms and also as a result selective cutting to reduce the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. Several trees have been replanted in McCormick Park but it will take many years before they can provide any significant shade.

Many parents have talked about how ideal Bayview and McCormick Parks were as playgrounds precisely because of the shade on the playground structure for a good part of the day. Now, some of the best and most-used area parks will have the play structures subject to direct sunlight for most of the day.

In an era where community growth demands more intense infill, often at the expense of existing trees and foliage, it seems like this would be a good time to plant more trees so that in the future, the parks will return to providing some shade, other environmental benefits beyond cleaner air, and new nesting opportunities for birds and smaller urban wildlife.

It is worth noting that in Paris, France, every tree in the city has an individual number. A department in charge of taking care of all of Paris’ urban trees has been managing the city’s greenery for decades. This includes having added a cement support for an Acacia, the oldest tree in Paris, on the banks of the Seine, just a two minute walk from Notre Dame Cathedral.

Although Ottawa is only about one tenth the size of Paris, and has been established as an urban centre for much less time, it is still well worth our trouble to keep a watchful eye on our city’s greenery and to take steps to protect, and replace when necessary, our constantly threatened urban forest. We would do well to remember another ancient wisdom which says, “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

Photo Caption: Uprooted tree beside the wood fench it crushed. Photo by Tim Thibeault.

Photo Caption: Bayview Friendship Park in 2012.
[ED: to see more of Bayview Friendship Park as it was 6-years ago, go to the parks page in newswest.org]

Web-extra (May 24, 2018): Cymbeline (from July 4 to August 6); Bear and Company in Westboro and Hintonburg.

Web-extra (May 24, 2018): Cymbeline (from July 4 to August 6);
Bear and Company in Westboro and Hintonburg.

By Eleanor Crowder.

“Ottawa is lucky in its wonderful summer evenings. Our outdoor shows offer people across the city an opportunity to see theatre right in their own back yards.”

Thursday nights in Westboro and Hintonburg, a special show at Westboro Beach on July 12: it’s show-time for “Cymbeline”, this summer’s offering as Bear & Co. brings Shakespeare to your park. Check out http://bearandcompany.ca to see when your closest park hosts a performance (the full tour will be posted shortly).

Bear & Co. is a collective formed by actors and theatre artists living in Ottawa, and sometimes from across the country. This year Sharon King–Campbell comes to Ottawa to direct Bear’s summer show. A Canterbury High School grad, she settled in Newfoundland in her early twenties and is returning twice in this next season, to direct “Cymbeline” in all its crazy plot twists this summer and then to assistant direct with Jillian Keiley when “Between Breaths” hits the stage at the NAC.

Bear & Co. recreates the strolling players of Shakespeare’s time in this parks tour each summer. Here are the backdrops of our outdoor natural beauty in its unadorned appeal. Here is the collusion of a crowd eager for a story and a theatrical delight in the long evening. Here are the laughs, the groans at his roller coaster of plot twists… even the hat passed at the end of the show to make sure the actors eat and can move on to work another day. In Shakespeare’s time, actors escaped the dirt and disease of summer in the City to play in the smaller towns and at great houses. Our Shakespeare in the Park brings you top talent and an escape into the green spaces which sustain our neighbourhoods all summer long.

This summer’s cast includes William Beddoe as Cymbeline, and Rebecca Benson as his wicked second wife. Phillip Merriman doubles as her unlovely son, Cloten, and as the fascinating Italian lover, Jachimo. Ian Campbell, also from Newfoundland, plays Posthumous Leonatus, the hero of the story, and Megan Carty is the heart-breaking and redoubtable heroine, Imogen. Ellen Manchee plays the gruff but kindly loyal servant, and also the invading Roman army.

The cast list alone gives the clue to the story: here is Shakespeare’s take on the pre-history of his island. He turns his gaze on the winning back of Britain from the Roman invaders. Certainly, there is a historical record of that invasion in 55 BCE.

Julius Caesar came, saw, conquered. But Shakespeare plays here with the mythic moment of devolution, when the island recovers its essential wildness and shucks the Roman yoke. The hero, Posthumous, is that central mongrel: a Roman-named, dispossessed lowly Briton, who fights for the Romans as they attempt to re-stake their claim, and then for British independence. In the course of the play, the necessary home-grown muscles belong to wild men raised in a Welsh cave. Their brawn wins the day. It is only accidentally that they are revealed to be the true heirs of Cymbeline, the king, stolen away in early childhood.

Fairy tale elements abound in this story. The wicked stepmother tries to poison her enemies. The seductive lover hides in a trunk. The king himself has wild rages and makes pronouncements that he regrets. The wild men are upstanding and noble souls. This play belongs very late in Shakespeare’s work, and ties together his favourite plot devices with elements of the old tales he must have heard around the fire as a child. For us, it has the same fun mix of plot elements recognizable from “Romeo & Juliet” and from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, intercut with slapstick and outright fantastical elements.

One of Bear & Co.‘s founding artists, Rachel Eugster, revels in precisely this zany mix. She first brought Shakespeare performances by teens to the Hintonburg Community Centre when her own kids were that age. A decade later, she has appeared in most of Bear’s productions, indoors and out, and served as music director for many. Newswest readers know her most recently for her appearance in “No Way to Say Good-Bye”, the company’s tribute to Leonard Cohen that played The Gladstone a year after his death. Rachel’s own vocal pyrotechnics and music arrangements paid homage to Cohen’s work, and took a delighted audience with her in appreciation of his music. She will again collaborate with fellow musicians Scott Richardson, Robin Guy and Pierre Brault in next October’s show to honour Joni Mitchell; in “This Flight Tonight”. Tickets for the next Gladstone season go on sale after the May long weekend.

Rachel says, “Ottawa is lucky in its wonderful summer evenings. Our outdoor shows offer people across the city an opportunity to see theatre right in their own back yards.”

Be sure to catch Cymbeline, running July 4 to August 6th. Show start is 7 p.m., but come early: you’ll want a perfect place for your picnic and your lawn chair.


Web-extra (May 24, 2018) A Newswest – How To Vote; New Words for New Ontario Voters.

Web-extra (May 24, 2018) A Newswest – How To Vote;
New Words for New Ontario Voters.

With more Canadians than ever being new to our election process, here are some words and terms you as a new Ontarian voter may need to know.

Ballot – Normally referring to a piece of specially printed paper where a voter marks their choice for local candidate in an election. “Casting a ballot” is neither a magical nor a fishy term. Voters cast a ballot when they mark their choice and put it in the “Ballot Box”. In Canada a Ballot box is normally just a cardboard box made specially to be used for a single day of the election (after that busy day the cardboard is retired).

Candidates – Pronounced like “Candy Dates” the sometimes sorry lot of potential political representatives who can never be as sweet. In Canadian elections, voters get to chose just one candidate for Provincial MPP/MLA ( and just one for Federal MP ). That elected representative MPP is responsible for elevating their party leader to the head of Government position we know as Premier (assuming the Lieutenant Governor can keep it together when presented with the ‘choice’).

Polls – This word may confuse some because it is used to both describe un-official surveys of potential voters, and to describe the official place where about a couple of hundred nearby voters will cast their votes on a ballot. And when the “Polls Close” the word poll is also used in the counting of ballots that is later reported on TV.

Polling Station – The location where a number of Official Polls are held. Typically it is in a public school or a community centre, or a meeting room in a place of worship close to the homes of the voters for those Polls. Some stations may be put in Old-age-Homes/Seniors Residences and have just one Official Poll for the station. Other special stations may be in Hospitals***, Colleges and Universities, and deal with voters whose Official Polls are far far away. Polling Stations are never held in Gas Bars nor Subway Train stations…AFAIK.

Riding – A word you might think of as a verb but used as a noun for elections. The Riding is the area of land where resident voters chose a single political representative. “Riding Associations” are not for Horses but are for “Political Parties” (and not the most fun sort of parties IMO). Those associations act locally to chose and assist candidates in local elections. For those of you into Horses however the term “First Past the Post” (describing our odd election format) does comes from Horse racing. An alternate term is Electoral District.

Returning Officer – This person is not a Police Officer, not a Military Person nor any other Government Official. The Returning Officer is a person you might even know from your street. They signup to work a full day helping people vote and making sure the voting goes properly. They are trained and sworn in by Elections Ontario to take responsibility for keeping an orderly Poll and have powers the Poll Clerk does not. The term Returning Officer is also used for a person higher in rank responsible for a Polling Station, and for a single person responsible for the whole Riding.

Poll Clerk – The Elections Ontario hired assistant to the Returning Officer for a given Poll. This person sits beside the Returning Officer for that Poll and does much (but not all) of the paperwork. The Poll Clerk does not handle the Ballots, but may handle other things and ask the voter questions to help find their place in the Official Voters Register.

Scrutineer – Are observers from the political parties who act as agents for their Candidates. Elections Ontario allows them to be present after making them swear an oath to act with-in the rules, and to maintain the privacy of voters. Scrutineers should not speak to voters nor do anything else to influence voting. Used mostly to help parties see if their likely voters make it to the Polls, Scrutineers also monitor the counting of votes, the determination of spoiled ballots, and any apparent mistakes in the application of Elections Ontario Rules. Their observations may be important if a recount is needed to determine the winning candidate for the Riding.

Voter Card – A postcard mailed to registered voters in Provincial and Federal Elections typically marked with;

    1. Name of Registered voter,
    2. Home Address of voter (Your Address),
    3. The Number of The Poll that voter should vote in. (Poll / Bureau de Vote),
    4. The Place and Address of the Polling Station for that Poll Number (You vote at),
    5. The Date for Polling (Election Day),
    6. The time the Poll Opens and the time the Poll Closes
    7. The name given to the Riding (Electoral District)
    8. Information on how to contact the authority for the election ( Elections Ontario elections.on.ca ).


Your card should be with you when you go to vote to save time and bother. You will also need one other piece of identification with your name and current address.

[Ed: don’t forget to look for the card in your mail box this week and visit elections.on.ca to verify if you are registered to vote, (preferably before May 29th 2018).]

Federal MP – Member of Parliament.

MPP/MLA – Member of Provincial Parliament / Legislative Assembly (some assembly is always required).

Commentary appearing in italics should not be taken too seriously, as in…
Lexicographer: A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge…” Samuel Johnston.

*** Note: The three day Hospital Program for patient voting was from May 21 to May 23rd 2018.