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Sunday, July 31, 2005


This week in Québec City was perfect. The weather was amazingly sunny and warm. We stayed with Julie's relatives in Lévis and spent our days there and in the capital. Highlights included a magnificent sunset looking towards Québec from Lévis and visting the Musée national des Beaux-arts du Québec where we saw the spectacular exhibition, Camille Claudel and Rodin: Fateful Encounter, featuring more than 155 works (including 22 original photographs) and 81 archival documents.

Château Frontenac in the morning from the Québec-Lévis Ferry.

Past meets present on Rue Donnacona.

Pretty young woman who is a cashier at the shop at Musée national des Beaux-arts du Québec.

Typical scene in the evening as couples scout out the menus of the many, many restos in vieux Québec.

Detail of a trompe-d'oeil mural covering a wall of a 5-story building, depicting a continuation of the cobbled street that leads you into scenes from the history of Quebec, populated by life-size historical figures.

Accordion music and dessert at the Café de Paris. Nice finish to an evening.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

What is Canadian Poetry?

While Canada sleeps current Canadian Poetry is being defined over at JPF's place. Have a read. It started with a few simple, harmless questions which then gave rise to many, many comments. I am not sure I understand any of it but it was fun watching from the sidelines. Feel free to add your two cents. Demand to be heard.

H is for Hosta

or bp Nichol...

Monday, July 18, 2005

Saramago and Curran in the News

Just a brief vanity note to say that Quill & Quire magazine ran a couple of my photos on their back page, Endpapers. The mag's August 2005 edition was in our mailbox this afternoon! One event photo was of Nobel Prize winner, José Saramago and Her Excellency Adrienne Clarkson; the second was of a saluting Ottawa author, Thomas Rendell Curran. Both events were held in June at the Library & Archives Canada. I have another photo that was published in Canadian Business Magazine one and half years ago, but this was actually just a photo of Callaghan's first novel. Thanks again to the Ottawa International Writers Festival and Prime Crime Mystery Bookstore for giving me the invites to photograph these events.

Bywords Summer Beat

Yesterday, held its Summer Beat: An Afternoon of Poetry & Rhythm at the downtown Ottawa Chapters location. I was graciously invited to take some photos of the event which will be posted on the Bywords website shortly. In the meantime, here are a few photos of the drummer, Danielle Grégoire, who played in between readings. Danielle also appears on the University of Ottawa's CHUO 89.1 FM radio station.

"Danielle Grégoire recently moved to Ottawa, just last September, and has been enjoying the city immensely since her arrival. She has been a percussionist since age 13 when they wouldn't let her play the flute. 13 years later she has attempted many forms of drumming including: Classical, Latin, Taiko and West African which she shared with us yesterday on her jembe." Thanks to Amanda and Charles for organizing the event. Bywords' next reading will be part of the Ottawa International Writers Festival (Sept 29-Oct 6). They are launching Norma Elliot's chapbook to be published by Bywords. And the next Chapters reading will take place on October 16, 2005.

Below, Carleton University English student, John Cloutier, reads while Amanda and Charles look on. He has been published in New Orphic Magazine, and Green's Magazine. Other readers included Rhonda Douglas, Adam Petrashek, Gary Robinson, Stephen Rowntree, and Asoka Weerasinghe.

One more photo that turned out rather nice of Miss Grégoire.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

we like books

Saw this brief description just now for an Atwood novel up for eBay auction:

You are bidding on a ST EDITION / ST PRINTING of "ALIAS GRACE" by Margaret Atwood..Both book and DJ are in near FINE unread condition.. Books are all we sell-SO you can bid with confidence..We wrap and box our books as if we actually like books..AND we always start the bidding low...
Presumably it is a 1st edition, not a street edition, and I'm glad they actually like what they sell.

Monday Update:
I wrote to seller and told them I had a chuckle at their description. They responded, "Thanks for noticing..I have found out the hard way some of the book sellers are selling books because Beanie babies aren't selling anymore..What can you do???"

Harry Potter Mania in Ottawa

Julie and I went to South Keys Mall to take in the Chapters, a.k.a. Platform 9 3/4 The Hogwarts Express, launch party of the sixth Harry Potter novel. News reports say that 'before Saturday's release of the new Harry Potter book, sales of had already reached around 275 million with the story translated into 62 languages.' The evening was electric with kids in costumes of all the Potter characters. Bookstore staff were also outfitted in make-up and costumes and entertained the children with trivia games, arts and crafts, and the mixing of magical potions to drink.

And at the stroke of midnight, as anticipated, scissors and kids tore ravenously into the black plastic wrap of the pallet of boxed books. The kids were over the moon at their first sighting of the dust wrappers as the books were quickly handed out to eager hands. The line-up snaked for hundreds of meters around and around the store's aisles. Suzanne Venasse of Gloucester, Ontario was the first lucky person in line for tonight's launch and made the first purchase. She arrived with lawn chair in tow at 7:30pm. That's dedication.

Street Sensitive Title

(No. I didn't buy the book. Yet it pleases me that sooo many young people are reading. This is good no matter how you cut it.)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sam Tata Passes

TATA, Sam Bejan
On the evening of July 3rd, 2005 Sam Bejan Tata peacefully moved on in his journey with the love of family and friends all around him. Born in Shanghai on September 30th, 1911 to Naja and Bejan, Sam leaves behind his sister Aloo (Bejan deceased) and brothers Adi (deceased) (Frenny), Phiroze (Buchu), Jangoo (Lydia). His daughter Toni (Tim), grandchildren Geoffrey, Bryan. His extended family Karli, Lisanne, Emily, Josie, Rita, John. Nieces, a nephew (deceased) and many other family members, friends and colleagues. A photographer of amazing ability and stature. A man of quick wit, gentle humour, kindness, strength and shrewdness. Sam touched many lives and in his way created quiet revolutions of thought. We are richer for having known him. Many thanks to everyone who touched Sam's life so gently and with such compassion and care in the last few months. Thank you to Sooke Hospice, the nurses of Home and Community Care and Juan de Fuca Home Support caregivers. A special thank you to Mandy Peters, Lynn Gardner and Margot Swinburnson. A gathering to celebrate Sam's life will be held on Saturday, July 30th between 1.00 p.m. and 3.30 p.m. at the Ganges Restaurant, 6079 Sherbrooke St. West in Montreal to raise a glass and toast a lovely man. In lieu of flowers please donate to the charity of your choice or pass on an act of kindness. "Now cracks a noble heart. Goodnight sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."
Published in the Ottawa Citizen on 7/14/2005.

For some examples of Tata's photographs see my Hugh Hood web page.

Also, longtime Greely resident, Gordon Pyper passed away this week at home. He was 85. I first met his wife Lucy at the (now closed) basement restaurant at Place Bell on Elgin St. in Ottawa. Then I met up with her at their rural residence in Greely where I bought farm fresh eggs and beef and listened to some stories. If you're interested, you may want to refer to my previous blog entries about my egg and lamb experiences here and here.

CBC Arts obit on Sam Tata here.


Big thunder and lightning show last evening... This is a small sample of the evening sky during the storm.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

John MacDonald's Wild Kingdom

Wow...rabbits the other day, now deer. What's next, Bigfoot? Proves the ABCs of blogging: Always Bring Camera.

I saw these deer, there were two actually, as I was heading southbound on the airport parkway near the entrance to the airport exit.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

François Camiré

François and wife, Lucie, paid us a visit this evening. François is an artist residing just outside Quebéc City.

This is my favourite picture Mr. Camiré, however. It was taken in my library as he looked at some photos on my wall.

Monday, July 11, 2005

little rabbit


Saw this little fella scamper by my feet and he posed for about 12 photos. No, I did not eat him. Not enough meat on him for a meal.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Black Eyed Peas Headline Bluesfest in Ottawa

Will.I.Am,, Taboo and Fergie were a little late, but we'll forgive them. Here are some of the Black Eyed Peas signing autographs just before taking stage last evening at Ottawa's Bluesfest.

Nothing says 'Bluesfest' like Italian Sausage...and Black Eyed Peas. Yum.

Half-mast Canadian flag out of respect for London bombings.

Security briskly moved people away from publicly accessible sidewalk on northern end of stage. God forbid we see any free entertainment.

Note: Daniel Lanois name misspelt on the billboard at side entrance. Was this the real reason he momentarily lost his cool during his performance? You decide.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Bywords Summer Beat: An Afternoon of Poetry and Rhythm

Chapters, 47 Rideau Street
Sunday, July 17 at 2:00 pm
Contact: Amanda Earl:
Featuring drummer Danielle K.L. Gregoire of the Capital Slam Collective; poets
Daniel Boland, Rhonda Douglas, Gary
Robinson, Stephen Rowntree, and Asoka Weerasinghe.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


I spent the greater part of last evening at Room 302 Books with the poet, jwcurry, going over some of his partial bp Nichol collection and amassment of artwork and various forms of rubber stamps. Very cool. Overwhelmed by the night's experience and visit, I made my way home around 1:45am with some poetry in tow:
#366, #367 1 cent series (June 2005); bill bissett's howard xperiences (24 April 1990); LET/LITERATURE LANGUAGE (English translation) by Arthur Cravan (May 1987); Curry's Trundling Into a Present (April 2002); Industrial Sabotage #36; John Riddell's Transitions (1980); bp Nichol's Konfessions of an Elizabethan Fan Dancer (1st Canadian ed., 1973); and bp's Grease Ball Comics 2nd Issue featuring Milt the Morph as Lonely Fred.

Here jwcurry shows me an early prototype of his rubber stamp for W.A.S.T.E. compared to the current version. He tells me that this is used for any correspondance which he personally delivers (anywhere, that is, he happens to be at the time). W.A.S.T.E is derived from Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 ("We Await Silent Trystero's Empire"). Note the muted horn cancellation on stamp.

Here is a smattering of examples from one of jwcurry's amazing handcut rubber-stamp trays. Wow!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Flowers from the back yard. Must have been bitten by 2 dozen mosquitoes getting this shot. I have not planted any of these nor seeded them. These are pretty much wild flowers which grow in various places around the yard. We also have our share of weeds, too. Usually I get out the weed eater for the mauvaise herbes but haven't done so thus far. Either too hot or I'm too lazy I guess.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Canada Day Plus One

The long weekend is here at last. Spent the morning processing photos from the night before. Since it was Crafternoon with Lana and Robyn et als., Julie and I eventually headed for the Arts Court to take in some crafty works by some talented and creative individuals. Also took in some the art exhibits while there. Wondering if many people in Ottawa actually take the time to visit this place? It is truly a center of creativity in the heart of Ottawa and anther place to go when you've done the typical art galleries à la National Gallery of Canada or Museum of Civilation, etc.
After this pleasant visit we then headed into the busy Byward Market for a beer (hair o' the dog). Ran into Carmel and her chum, Bettina of Montreal via Saskatoon. Bettina was playing/busking violin for the passing crowds in the market. She loves playing especially for the children who look in awe during her performance. However, the most powerful moment was to come. While I was chatting with Carmel, a man came up to listen the the music. At first I thought the sun was affecting his eyes, but then I realized he was actually crying. He was so moved by Bettina's music, he began to weep. It was a beautiful moment. I whipped out my camera and snapped a few pics. Touching.

"Big Bite" Bettina: Violin, Voice, Composer

Canada Day in Ottawa

Friday was a great day to be a Canadian in Ottawa. The weather was typically Canadian, too. It was an extremly hot morning and afternoon, tempered by two short rain bursts in the late afternoon which then gave way to bright sun the rest of the day. The only negative thing about the event was the lack of adequate bathroom facilities on the hill. Only 15 or so Johnny-on-the-Spots located adjacent the East Block. In the evening there were 50 deep line ups at each tank with a half an hour or so wait. Yeash!

Anyhow, I can't believe I actually took pictures of Kalan Porter, Canadian Idol winner. Astute viewers will like the juxtaposition of the manly truck in the background as I do. Here is Mr. Porter with a weeks worth of stubble. (Sorry the web version of this photo does not resolve such a minute level of detail.) But I am sure there are some folks out there who just love this guy. He performed quite well and the crowed loved his afternoon and evening perfomances. He is worthy of the mantel, idol, in the opinion of the many young girls who flocked to get his autograph. As an update to this post, I racked my brain for the last day wondering where I saw this picture before of Kalan... then it hit me. This picture reminded me of the famous Birth of Venus renaissance painting by Sandro Botticelli. Here is a detail of painting's head for you to compare. Tell me that I am not crazy.

The last rainfall of the day caught most people by surprise as the skies greyed rapidly. Even the patio umbrellas could not afford protection, even to passers by seeking refuge from the downpour. Julie and I ducked into a tiny alcove of a store with about five others who were visiting from Toronto for the weekend.

The Mighty Popo and band were playing at Major's Hill Park in the afternoon. This stage was more public friendly than on Parliament Hill as people were allowed to belly up to the stage.

Major's Hill Park venue was a very popular spot to be with some fantastic acts such as B.C.'s Jeremy Fisher shown below in an acoustic performance. The crowd cheered as he was able to squeeze in an extra song.

One happy glowing boy celebrates Canada Day evening with some Maple leaf head bobbers.

Security in the downtown area (Elgin Street) was pretty tight in the evening. This is what happens when you bring contraband alcohol to an event and get caught. Pity.