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All In Hand

ArtsPark: Call to artists!

Miss Vicky Fri Feb 17, 2006

ArtsPark is a great annual event, and a fine way to promote the arts in our community. I hope some of you artsy folk who read the blog will consider participating!

You'll find the call and more info here

Call to artists, photographers and fine art jewellers for ArtsPark 2006
The Arts Committee of the Hintonburg Community Association invites artists and photographers to participate in the third annual ArtsPark at Parkdale Park on Sunday, May 14, 2006 (Mother's Day). This outdoor event will feature a juried show from those who live or work in the area around Hintonburg's QUAD arts district and one artist will be selected for a feature exhibit. Other activities planned for the day include a children's art activity, live music and heritage walking tours.

ArtsPark has created a loyal following and people seem to like the low-key, old-time village fair atmosphere. Last year's ArtsPark featured work from about 30 local artists which was viewed by about 3000 people. Although some pieces were available for purchase, it was primarily an exhibit. There were also a number of fine art jewellers onsite and sales were brisk. (A limited number of tables are available again this year for only $50.)

Deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, March 24
There is no fee for exhibiting but artists are expected to attend and participate in the event. Please submit no more than three images by email to arts@hintonburg.com with a maximum total file size of 200kb and be sure to include your name and telephone number. Depictions of life in Hintonburg are particularly welcome.

Get noticed! ArtsPark promotional artwork
Submissions are also welcome for a theme illustration or photograph which will be used to promote the event on posters (last year's poster is shown at right) and other media. The creator of the artwork chosen will receive credit and an honourarium. With the artist's permission, the work may be auctioned onsite and the artist will receive 60% of the proceeds. To participate, please email a JPG image of the work (maximum size 300kb) to arts@hintonburg.com no later than Friday, March 3.
166 Comments

Oh what a beautiful morning.....

Miss Vicky Thu Feb 16, 2006

5:15am Get up. Drag tired butt out of bed. Shower. Brush Teeth
5:40am Leave for airport. Am reminded that CBC's early morning business news is the most boring show on radio.
6:00am Arrive at airport. Check that flight hasn't been cancelled. Check in.
6:10am Wait in line at security.
6:15am Wait in line at security.
6:20am Wait in line at security
6:25am Wait in line at security
6:35am Arrive at gate. Plane is boarding.
8:15am Arrive in Toronto.
8:25am Secure much needed Timmy's and bagel.
8:30am Walk with determination to car rental section of Pearson. Rent car.
8:35 am Receive call on cell from staff member of faculty association I am on the way to visit. Am informed that University in question has closed, including the building where our meeting was to take place.
8:40am Return car.
8:45am Walk with frustration back to Terminal. Change return flight from 7:10pm to 10:10am.
9:15am Attempt, in vain, to find wireless hotspot near gate.
9:40am Board plane.
9:45am Read Glib and Stale while waiting to taxi out.
10:05 Plane taxis to de-icing station.
10:10am Wait on tarmac.
10:20am Wait on tarmac.
10:30am Wait on tarmac.
10:45am Receive assurance from captain that the de-icing lineup won't take too much longer.
10:55am Take a second pass through Globe.
11:05am Plane takes off. Much rejoicing.
12:00pm Arrive in Ottawa. Cab to work.
166 Comments

Thanks!

Miss Vicky Mon Feb 13, 2006

Thanks to Andrea, Miss Twiss, Quadgirl, Cynthia and Dion for a pleasant anniversary celebration! It was great to get folks together, especially Miss Twiss and Andrea,who I figured would hit it off...
157 Comments

Winterlude Comfort Food

Miss Vicky Sun Feb 12, 2006

No, I'm not talking about Beavertails. Although they are yummy. Especially those cinnamon ones....

ahem

It's been a gorgeous week. I've really been enjoying the sunshine and the sharp cold. Reminds me of my formative years in Winnipeg. We've had some great walks with Winston, and yesterday took the neices and WestCoastFlake (visiting from Vancouver) to Jacques Cartier park to check out the snow sculptures. It was capital-C Crowded.... the slide lineups were HUGE. But the snow sculptures were nifty, and the kids enjoyed climbing on the piles of snow behind them. They made it through one slide lineup before we headed home.

Recently we invested in a swiss raclette grill. I'd never tried raclette before, but it's a tradition in the Webgeek's family (leftover from his grandfather's hockey-playing days in Switzerland, I guess), and the first time we had it, I was hooked. It's a leisurely, sociable meal filled with all kinds of comforting food - perfect for these crisp winter days and excellent after outdoor activities.

Here's what it looks like:

The various components of the meal include slices of raclette cheese (we like the French raw milk kind), which are melted underneath the grill, and something to pour them on (small red potatoes, boiled, preferably, but I also like to add steamed cauliflower and/or broccoli), as well as stuff to grill on top. We've done various kinds of vegetables (peppers, zucchini, mushrooms), and this weekend added shrimp. Webgeek also likes to get a selection of cured meats (prosciutto, smoked turkey, and so on), which we have discovered can be added to the cheese and placed under the grill to mix with the melting bubbly goodness. Soooo yummy.

(Note to Breakfast Blogger - we enjoy this for brunch!)
214 Comments

YOWBlog/Anniversary reminder!

Miss Vicky Sun Feb 12, 2006

Just a reminder: we'll be gathering tonight to celebrate the 1st anniversary of Miss Vicky's Offhand Remarks. Members of the Faithful Legion and Ottawa-area bloggers are welcome to come down to the Pub Italia on Preston Street, hoist a few and get to know each other. Any time after 7pm!
198 Comments

A tale of two streetscapes

Miss Vicky Thu Feb 9, 2006

As you know, I've attended a number of public consultation group and open meetings for the upcoming reconstruction of Gladstone Ave. It was an interesting, if slightly frustrating, experience. The upshot - by the time the community gets a crack at a project like this, there is very little room for anything but minor changes. We made a valiant effort on a number of fronts: trying to address pedestrian safety and speeding problems at Gladstone and Irving and other intersections, asking about possibilities for public art and landscaping, putting a plug in for what we like to call "two-stroller sidewalk" widths and other items.

We were able to influence a few changes - narrowed the intersection at Irving, for example, which should calm the traffic somewhat. But it became pretty clear that a lot of what we might have wanted to do was just not in the cards, as the scope of the project on the Kitchissippi side did not include any plans for landscaping, and decisions about stop signs or other traffic calming measures don't figure in to this process. And there was no room in the budget for any extras, like, say, different lamposts. The mere mention of the 1% for arts program evoked a certain deer-in-the-headlights response on the part of city staff. So we tinkered as best we could. And we had some minor victories - some landscaping between the O-train and Loretta (a rather bleak stretch of Gladstone). And we identified a serious accessibility problem at one corner, where the proposed changes to the curve radius place a hydro pole right in the middle of the sidewalk.

But I wonder what we could have done if the process were different, and if we had been able to provide input before the consultants were hired and the bulk of the design was completed. Which leads me to my second streetscape: Wellington Street West. The design phase of the reconstruction from Western to Hilda is about to begin. It's a core of this part of the ward - the Mainstreet for folks living in Hintonburg, Mechanicsville, Wellington Village, Champlain Park and Civic Hospital, a weekend destination for shoppers and strollers. This reconstruction is a real opportunity to enhance the street, make it more welcoming for Wellington shufflers, more attractive....maybe a bit more green. It'll help attract businesses to the parts of the street that need revitalization. So we want this to be done right.... right?

Interestingly, there are a couple of other planning processes coinciding with the reconstruction - a possible Community Design Plan (which sets 20-year design and land use planning principles - think zoning, folks - that are supposed to guide development and public works decisions) is in the works, and Hintonburg may be chosen as one of 3 Ottawa Neighbourhood Planning projects. According to the city's Corporate Plan, this "will integrate land use planning, social service delivery and economic development. The City will work with communities to build a better Ottawa by partnering in the design of effective development strategies and in the planning and construction of neighbourhoods that provide housing, retail, recreational, cultural and employment opportunities within walking or cycling distance".

Now these three processes are not necessarily related. But they should be. What I'd like to see is concerted effort to integrate the three, particularly when it comes to public engagement. Rather than being consulted to death while having little opportunity to meaningfully influence outcomes, the community input could be geared toward developing a cohesive vision for the area that could be realized in a number of ways - from streetscape improvements during the road reconstruction, to better use of public space, to clear policy to guide development in what is obviously a prime spot for infill, to ways of attracting and retaining more small business to our mainstreet, to social services and community resources we need to meet the needs of our rapidly-growing community....

This means community groups are going to have to be proactive (goodness knows, the city isn't going to be). And we're going to have to work together. Creative Neighbourhoods, an Ottawa-based non-profit organization, is on the case, talking to folks at the city about how the community can influence the process at this early stage. You'll be hearing more from them (and me) as this story continues.




160 Comments

Upcoming Kitchissippi Events

Miss Vicky Wed Feb 8, 2006

I'm long overdue for an update on interesting and fun events taking place in the ward and around Ottawa. So here goes....

TONIGHT: Ottawa Riverkeeper and MEC present a talk on the Ottawa River Geoheritage and Cultural Significance with Al Donaldson and Katherine Fletcher. As someone who walks along the river pretty much every day, I think this would be fascinating. It starts at 7:15 at Mountain Equipment Co-op on Richmond Road in Westboro.

also TONIGHT: Urban Forum presents "Keeping it Green: Why our Cities Need Nature, and how You can get Involved", 7pm in the Champlain Room at City Hall. Speakers will be two representatives from Evergreen, a national non-profit organization with a mandate to make Canadian cities more liveable by engaging people in creating accessible, dynamic natural areas. According to the notice I recevied, they'll talk about "the need for urban natural spaces, and the trends that are prompting municipalities across Canada to bring nature back to the city. The presentation will introduce tools and strategies that citizens and land-use professionals can use to work together on urban greening initiatives. It will also showcase examples from across Canada that illustrate how partnership-based, community-driven green space projects can transform and animate the urban landscape".

CUBE Gallery launched its latest show last week, Campestral. The show explores the theme of the Canadian landscape; it runs until February 26th. Artist's Talk: Sunday February 12th, 2006 - 2 p.m. Kid's Art Talk: Sunday February 19th, 2006 - 2 p.m..

Sunday, February 12. Egale Canada celebrates Equal Marriage Activists at the First United Church, 397 Kent Street at 7pm

from the notice: "Support equal marriage! Help us honour those who were instrumental in the fight for marriage equality, and support Egale Canada's renewed struggle to protect the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-identified people in Canada."

Of course, we'll be missing that because of our YOWBlog get-together.

Monday, February 13. The Ontario Power Authority holds an open house and public consultation. The OPA was created by the provincial governement to make recommendations on how the province can meet increasing energy demands. More Nukes? Back to Coal? Renewable sources? Find out what they're thinking and let them know how you feel. Right now it's looking like they'll be recommending increased use of nuclear energy.

Open House: 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Public Consultation: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Ottawa Congress Centre, 55 Colonel By Drive.

Environmental groups have launched a campaign on the issue: Go Clean and Green. It contains a detailed critique of the OPA's initial recommendations, among other info.

We'll be blogging more about this, I'm sure.

Monday, February 13th through to Wednesday, February 15th: Forum on Women's Activism in Constitutional and Democractic Reform, West Block on Parliament Hill. I believe registration is now closed, but it might be worth checking out. The program includes a screening of Deepa Mehta's film "Water", Panel discussions on gender equality in Canada as well as a number of other countries, the launch of Equal Voice's online-campaign school, and a special forum for Youth on the 15th.

Also on February 14 and 15, check out a performance of The Vagina Monologues at the Bronson Centre. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC) of Ottawa which is a local non-profit charity that provides survivor-directed support services by women, to women, who have experienced sexual violence.

As usuall, the performers are drawn from the local community - including Senator Lillian Eva (Quan) Dyck, PhD, Senator Nancy Ruth, Canadian Actress Margaret LaMarre, Slam Poet Oni the Haitian Sensation, and South African Commissioner on Gender Equality Gertrude Fester.

The Performance will be held at the Bronson Centre, 211 Bronson Avenue. Doors open at 7:00pm, Show Time at 7:30pm. Admission is $15 and tickets can be purchased at the following locations:

* Venus Envy, 613-789-4646
320 Lisgar Street (Corner of Lisgar St. and Bank St.)
* Mother Tongue Books, 613-730-2346
1067 Bank Street (corner of Bank and Sunnyside)
* Ottawa Women's Credit Union, 613-233-7711
271 Bank Street (corner of Bank and Somerset St. W)
* OR
By contacting www.ottawavday@gmail.com

140 Comments

YOWBlog: We really mean it this time

Miss Vicky Tue Feb 7, 2006

After a couple of false starts, here's the scoop: Ottawa-area bloggers and friends of Miss Vicky are invited to the Prescott Tavern on Sunday, February 12 at 7pm. We'll be celebrating the first anniversary of Miss Vicky's Offhand Remarks, putting faces to blog handles, and generally getting to know each other.

The Prescott is at 379 Preston Street - it's got lots of room, so we shouldn't have trouble finding a bigger table (or bunch of tables). Plus, their meatball sandwiches are pretty damned good, I hear (I always have the pizza - which is always good).

See you there!
20 Comments

On crossing over...

The Webgeek Mon Feb 6, 2006

Just looking through the fallout from the cabinet surprise -- and I can't help wondering one thing. Since Emerson is apparently worse than Stronach for crossing the floor now, how come no one's calling him a whore?
12 Comments

Smart Meters: Stupid Idea

The Webgeek Fri Feb 3, 2006

While waking up this morning to our now Anthony-less CBC Morning show, I heard a news piece about councilor Rick Chiarelli's desire to replace existing parking meters with Smart Parking Meters. These things are meant to self-enforce parking by-laws by taking your money, then automatically mailing you a parking ticket -- with a photo of your licence plate as proof -- once your vehicle has over-stayed its welcome. His rationalization for the change was two fold; first, they cost as much as the new "pay and display" systems popping up around town so they wouldn't cost "any extra" to install, and secondly, the enforcement officers could now work safely behind computer screen, instead of out on the street.

Now, that sounds peachy doesn't it? Until you realize that we will have to pay to replace the "same cost" pay and display units that were just installed in last few years. Of course that extra cost may be offset by the savings garnered from laying off most of those now safe-behind-a-computer parking enforcement officers. It takes less man power to click a mouse than it does to drive around the entire city. Of course, if their union is halfway decent, the severance packages might cut into that savings too.

Lets face it, like photo radar before it, this is little else than a short-sighted cash grab attempt. And, like photo radar, it will undoubtedly prove so noxious to voters as to make it's removal a election promise. A promise we will once more have to pay for. At least photo radar had the dubious claim of attempting to slow down drivers. Instant parking tickets offer no such safety claim.

Besides, the problem with smart technologies like this is, often times they're not all that smart. How effective is an unmanned system that can be undermined by a post-it notes stuck over your licence plate -- or no plate at all, for Quebec drivers. And who's to say that the system will read the plates correctly in the first place? How much extra will we have to pay for maintenance when vandals undoubtedly start covering camera lenses with bubble gum, vaseline or spray paint? How long before some citizen sues over invasion of privacy, when an instantly mailed-out ticket inadvertently gives away thier location to an overly-suspicious spousee or overly-protective parent? How much will that cost us?
12 Comments




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