Subscribe in a reader

Friday, May 30, 2008

National Day of Action

National Day of Action, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

OTTAWA - 29 May 2008

The Assembly of First Nations has issued the following seven point challenge to the Government of Canada:

1. Reform the System by working with First Nations to set aside the legislation that controls our lives – the Indian Act – and replace it with First Nations involvement in local-decision making power and responsibility;

2. Ensure Results by implementing the recommendations of the Auditor General of Canada on accountability;

3. Establish Fair Funding by ending the discrimination against First Nations children. This means providing fair funding in core programs like education and child and family services;

4. Commit to Equality of Outcomes by closing the gap in the quality of life between First Nations and other Canadians within ten years, as agreed to by the leaders of federal, provincial, territorial and First Nations governments;

5. Focus on the Future by setting as priorities education and revenue sharing from resource development to help First Nations build their economies and take their place in Canada’s economy;

6. Respect First Nations Rights and the Rule of Law by honouring the legal obligations set out in the Treaties, the Constitution, international law and the Supreme Court of Canada;

7. and finally, Recognize the Rights of First Nations Governments in Canada - Support the rights, roles and responsibilities of First Nations as an order of government in Canada.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Max Middle is bringing the legendary Dutch sound poet, Jaap Blonk to Ottawa!

There will be an introductory performance by The Max Middle Sound Project
Save the date for 6 June 2008, 7:30pm
St. Brigid's Centre for the Arts
314 St. Patrick Street (at Cumberland)
produced in association with THE OTTAWA INTERNATIONAL WRITERS FESTIVAL & The Royal Netherlands Embassy

Tickets: $15 / $12 for students & seniors available at Nicholas Hoare Books, 419 Sussex Drive in Ottawa or from: Writers Festival Box Office: (613) 562-1243 Max Middle (613) 859-8423

here are some of his mp3s and a link to his site.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Other Side

The Other Side, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Joe McNally

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous)

A Killdeer, a ringed plover, watches over its 'nest', basically a shallow depression in the gravel. There's another Killdeer mate in the background. I'll let you find the four well-camouflaged eggs.

via my field guide to birds:
"When a nest is approached, the adult feigns injury, hobbling along with wings dragging as if badly wounded. This behaviour usually succeeds in luring a predator away from the eggs or young; the bird then "recovers" and flies off, calling loudly. "kill-deee, kill-deee, dee-dee-dee".

Monday, May 26, 2008

Greely Moose

Greely Moose, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

I spotted a moose in Greely this past weekend. I've seen wolves/coyotes, deer, foxes, and rabbits, but never a moose.

They are as large as you can imagine. The last time I've seen moose up close was in Cape Breton a couple of years ago on the road side. Their hugiosity scared the bejeezus out me since there was a harem of them just feet away from my car window. They stopped traffic for 10 minutes till they crossed the road.

Greely Moose - detail

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Francine's Family Support #12121

Ottawa Race Weekend, 25 May 2008.

More photos of the marathon on

Saturday, May 24, 2008

John Stiles

John Stiles
Author, John Stiles was in town today as the featured guest at the Plan 99 Reading Series, hosted at the Manx Pub on Elgin Street in Ottawa. He will be in Toronto on Sunday reading from his recent novel, Taking the Stairs, (Nightwood Editions, 2008)

From John's Wikipedia bio:

"John Stiles was born and raised in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, Canada. He is the author of the poetry collections, Scouts are Cancelled (Insomniac Press, 2002), and Creamsicle Stick Shivs (Insomniac Press, 2006), as well as a novel, The Insolent Boy (Insomniac Press, 2001). Featured on CBC's 'Q', Much Music, and TVO's 'Imprint', John has also written for The Globe and Mail and The Literary Review of Canada, amongst others. A documentary about John and his poems, Scouts are Cancelled was festival pick in this years Hot Docs festival in Toronto 2007 and won best Canadian documentary award in The Atlantic Film Festival in September 2007. John currently lives with his wife in London, England."

Fighting Prostate Cancer

Fighting Prostate Cancer, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.
Ottawa, Ontario 24 May 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Wires, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Looking above Bridge Street adjacent to Waterfront Park in Manotick, Ontario.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Leaky Library

Leaky Library, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Library and Archives Canada apparently had yet another water leak overnight.

from their website as of today (20 May):

"Update of Library and Archives Canada Services
Notice to Clients
Tuesday, May 20, 2008:
Due to technical problems, our main building at 395 Wellington St. will be closed until further notice."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Assembly Area #1

Assembly Area #1, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Warren Dean Fulton of Pooka Press gave me a couple of contributor copies of his latest chapbook, "Some Assembly Required". In it features the poetry of himself, Jennifer Mulligan, Max Middle, Sean Moreland, Marcus McCann, Alnoor All Dina, MarySue Ferrari, Pearl Pirie, Amanda Earl, Jacki Hopper, Emile Pelletier, and jwcurry, a photo by Charles Earl and a bunch of photos by yours truly.

Note: The above photo does not appear in the book, as the only connection to it and the book is the word 'assembly'...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Baird McNeil

Baird McNeil
Ottawa poet, Baird McNeil


Dragonfly, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Saw this fly on my doorstep yesterday after coming home from the Pico Iyer reading at St. Brigid's. It remained motionless save for a little foot motion every so often. I last looked out after dinner last evening and he was still there. It was gone by this morning though.

Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

more photos here:

Ottawa -- 18 May 2008 (from the OIWF blurb):
One of the most acclaimed and perceptive observers of globalism and Buddhism shares an intimate portrait of the Dalai Lama’s work and ideas as a politician, scientist, and philosopher.

Pico Iyer has been engaged in conversation with the Dalai Lama (a friend of his father’s) for the last three decades—an ongoing exploration of his message and its effectiveness. Now, in this insightful, impassioned book, Iyer captures the paradoxes of the Dalai Lama’s position: though he has brought the ideas of Tibet to world attention, Tibet itself is being remade as a Chinese province; though he was born in one of the remotest, least developed places on earth, he has become a champion of globalism and technology. He is a religious leader who warns against being needlessly distracted by religion; a Tibetan head of state who suggests that exile from Tibet can be an opportunity; an incarnation of a Tibetan god who stresses his everyday humanity.

Moving from Dharamsala, India—the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile—to Lhasa, Tibet, to venues in the West, Pico Iyer, author of The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, illuminates the hidden life, the transforming ideas, and the daily challenges of a global icon.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

10 Steps to a Successful Book Launch

1- be a successful, award winning writer of 10 to 14 books (optional but helps)
2- invite publisher to event who brings along a case of red wine for guests
3- choose an intimate venue, and have them serve free food throughout event
4- be multi-talented: singer, musician (dancer if you're good)
5- share stage with other equally talented individuals
6- invite lots of friends and fans and mingle with everyone there
7- have launch on warm spring Thursday or Friday night
8- read proudly from your book; tell witty yet earnest anecdotes about your life
9- have books to sell and sign, and have change ready
10- repeat steps 1 to 9 when you feel like it

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

The re-designed Victoria Cross.

Victoria Cross

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Monty Reid at Rasputin's

Monty Reid at Rasputin's, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Launch of Monty Reid's new collection of poetry - The Luskville Reductions (Brick Books)

Live music with Monty Reid, Sarah Hill and Mike Rivoche (15 May 2008)

Crossing Lines

Editor and poet, Steven Michael Berzensky reads an excerpt from an Ellen S. Jaffe poem included in his latest anthology of poems, Crossing Lines: Poets Who Came to Canada During the Vietnam War Era. The book was co-edited with Allan Briesmaster and published by Seraphim Editions based in Hamilton, Ontario.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Duck, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Dow's Lake Duck in Ottawa, Ontario


duck, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Dow's Lake Duck in Ottawa, Ontario

Monday, May 12, 2008


tulips, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mmmercury Lounge

Mmmercury Lounge, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


On the Eve of 'Re: Reading the Postmodern'

As a complement to the University of Ottawa's 2008 Canadian Literature Symposium 'Re: Reading the Postmodern', The A B Series #9 features performances by Ottawa-area poets: Chris Turnbull, Sandra Ridley, Shane Rhodes, Monty Reid, Roland Prevost, rob mclennan, Marcus McCann, Nicholas Lea, John Lavery & from St. Catharines special guest, Gregory Betts.

Doors open 7:30pm

Readings at 8pm

8 May 2008

The Mercury Lounge
56 ByWard Market

Admission $7 (free for those on low income)

Ottawa Small Press Book Fair June 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008
in room 203 of the Jack Purcell Community Centre (on Elgin, at 320 Jack Purcell Lane) from noon to 5pm; free to the public!

the best of the small press in Ottawa!

the fair usually contains exhibitors with poetry books, novels, cookbooks, posters, t-shirts, graphic novels, comic books, magazines, scraps of paper, gum-ball machines with poems, 2x4s with text, etc. happens twice a year, started in 1994 by rob mclennan & James Spyker. now run by rob mclennan thru span-o.

contact rob mclennan at to sign up for a table, etc.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Somebody likes Wichita Lineman...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

2008 Asian Heritage Month

The CBC used my photo of Roy Miki on their site to promote 2008 Asian Heritage Month. (Thanks Nikki!)

from their website:
"The month of May is Asian Heritage Month. This month is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to our country. Since its inception in Toronto in 1993, cities across Canada including Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver have been holding annual festivities to recognize Asian Heritage Month.
CBC invites you to take part in events that commemorate Asian Canadian history and to reflect on the vital social, cultural, economic and political legacies of communities that continue to shape Canada."