Tag Archives: ottawa

Ottawa Small Press Book Fair

…is taking place Saturday, June 30, 2012, at the Jack Purcell Community Centre from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

For more information, click here.

Photo credit: Pinterest

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Library of Parliament, Sparks Street Branch

I didn’t make it to Doors Open Ottawa, but I did get my hands on a few pics of the Library of Parliament on Sparks Street. So, since it is a library and in the tradition of posting all about things that you already know, here are a few of those pics:

(Doors Open Ottawa continues today.)

The Board Room

The Book Room

The building used to be the Bank of Nova Scotia and, if you look veeeery closely, you’ll be able to read the words “Safety Deposit” on the wall…the money vaults were kept down the stairs, in the basement.

The End


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Local Book Bits

Big Little Book Sale: June 2, 2012; 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

2821 8th Line Road,

Gently used Adult and Children’s books, sorted by genre and some popular authors. Steps from the Metcalfe Farmer’s Market. The sale is in support of the Live and Learn Resource Centre, part of the registered charity Rural Family Connections.

For more info call 613-821-2899 or info@ruralfamilyconnections.ca


Lunchtime Poetry Reading: June 19, 2012; 12:00 p.m.

 Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library

A lunchtime poetry reading. John Lee and Sydney Lea, an American and Canadian poet, will read some of their work. Readings will be followed by Q&A.

Tween Girls’ Book Club: June 27, 2012; 1:30 p.m.
St-Laurent Branch of the Ottawa Public Library
The Tween Book Club is a fun way to read great new books and hang out with friends at the same time! Ages 10-13. Register by calling 613-748-1531 ext. 221.
Teen Boys Book Club: June 27, 2012; 2:45 p.m.
St-Laurent Branch of the Ottawa Public Library
Want to meet guys your age and discuss books, movies and games while munching on brownies? Then, why not join our book club? Ages 13+ Register by calling 613-748-1531 ext. 221.
Kanata Writer’s Group: August 22, 2012; 7:00 p.m.
Hazeldean Branch of the Ottawa Public Library
The Kanata Writers’ Group encourages the art of literary composition. Only the June 13th meeting will be held in the Lower Level Activity Room at the Glen Cairn Community Centre. Visit thekanatawritersgroup.blogspot.com for more information.

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Octopus Books on Third Avenue, Part 2

Well, I did get to learn more about Octopus Books. I spoke briefly with David Robbins, Communications & Marketing Coordinator at Octopus Books, and this is the result:
What is Octopus Books about?
Since its beginnings as a radical newspaper in 1969, Octopus has worked to create space for alternate views on the issues of the day, support movements for social change and serve its immediate neighbours and customers alike.
The store has long fostered relationships with community movements by hosting events and promoting critical books on politics, international affairs and current events. It is known as a welcoming place for new and emerging writers of all kinds of books, including fiction, poetry and nonfiction.
It has been a hub for new ideas, books and discussions and debates on how to make our world more fair, inclusive and ecologically sustainable. Plus it has the best kids’ books section in town, with books by and about children and their lives around the world and here in Canada.
What kind of a response is the store getting? 
The response to our new, second location has been wonderful, and we’re thrilled to be in a new space where we can host larger events and make new partnerships with organizations and community groups.
What are some of the upcoming book titles or events at Octopus Books?
We have events all the time – almost weekly, these days. The next three book launches are:
Book launch for “Omar Khadr, Oh Canada
Wednesday, May 30, 7:00 PM
Octopus Books Centretown, 251 Bank St, 2nd Floor, Under One Roof
Book launch for “A Healthy Society
Tuesday, June 5, 5:00 PM
Octopus Books Centretown, 251 Bank St, 2nd Floor, Under One Roof
Book launch for “Warrior Nation
Thursday, June 14, 5:30 PM
Octopus Books Centretown, 251 Bank St, 2nd Floor, Under One Roof

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Ottawa, Canada by William P. McElligott

Ottawa, Canada is a gorgeous book that highlights the city’s beauty and all that it has to offer. With a foreword by Roy McGregor, the book is divided into the 4 seasons and is dominated by the extraordinary photography of it’s author, William P. McElligott.

From the National Arts Center to the Ottawa 67’s, from the Embassy of France to the Bluesfest, from Rockcliffe Park and the Glebe Community Centre to the Market and the Sound of Light International Fireworks Competition; it’s all here, Ottawa in all of it’s splendour.

(I’ve been living in Ottawa since I was 10 years old and didn’t realize just how beautiful and exciting this city really is.)

The text is written, in part, by the author and, in part, by his wife, Norma Lu Brown, and the book is completely made in Canada. It has 6 basic lay-outs that tend to work in contrasts, be it morning vs. evening, country vs. city and colours…ah, the spectacular colours…that further strengthen the impact of the book.

Mr. McElligott has worked as a sports photographer  (which really shows in the action shots…the power, the drive) and is, currently, an architectural photographer (which shows everywhere else).

There hasn’t been a book like this in over 20 years and after only just over 1 year, the book has sold 7,000 copies and has become a best seller (at 5,000 copies sold…and that’s without an agent). It has also won awards and has become the official book of the National Capital Commission, Ottawa Tourism and the City of Ottawa.

If you, like me, need a wake up call regarding how lucky you are to live in Ottawa (or you live elsewhere and would like a beautiful introduction to the city), Ottawa, Canada is sold in independent book stores all over town (or on the author’s website). And, if you’d like to meet the author, he will be doing signings in these stores throughout the month of June, starting on June 2 at Books on Beechwood.

P.S. please note that my pics of the photographs from the book don’t do them justice; they’re for illustration purposes only.


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Octopus Books on Third Avenue

Recently, I dropped by Octopus Books…a funky, independent book store, with a socialist bent, located nearly on the corner of Third and Bank. The store has been around since the late 60’s and has opened a second location on Bank Street earlier this year. (Unfortunately, because I have not been careful, I’ve fallen into loitering only the giant bookstores like Chapters (my only saving grace is that I still shun Starbucks, most of the time) and have missed out on small, independent books store such as Octopus. I shall be wiser next time.)

Octopus Books also has an on-line book store; both the online and actual store have many unusual book titles and  book sections…Political Action, Globalization, Race, Unusual Histories…and some standard sort of sections, such as Kid’s Books, Cookbooks and Feminism. But, even the usual sections tend to have unusual titles. (I’ll be reviewing one soon.)

The store also has bumper stickers, cards and small posters (the stickers and posters generally have some kind of political statement written on them).

And they always have something going on, such as a number of upcoming book launches.

Really, I need to learn more about this place.


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Arbitrary Pictures 1: The Tulip Festival

It’s spring-time in Ottawa and everywhere you go, you will see tulips. It’s all part of the Tulip Festival, which is celebrating it’s 60th anniversary this year. Every year, the Netherlands sends tulips to Ottawa as a thank you to the Canadian people for allowing the Dutch Royal Family to stay here during the Second World War. During the royal family’s stay, princess Margriet was born at the Ottawa Civic Hospital, whose maternity ward was temporarily declared to be officially part of international territory so that Margriet would only inherit Dutch citizenship from her mother.

This year, there are 3,000,000 tulips throughout the National Capital Region.

Here is just a handful of  pics:

Tulips with National Art Gallery as backdrop

Statue of Colonel By (supervisor of the construction of the Rideau Canal and founder of Bytown, later to become Ottawa) surrounded by tulips.

Tulips by the War Memorial.

Tulips in front of the Parliament Buildings.

Tulips in front of the gates of the Parliament Buildings.

Just tulips

Artist’s interpretation of tulip

Wherever you went, you’d see people photographing, posing in front of, walking by, cycling by or just stopping to smell the tulips.

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Free Comic Book Day Update

Well, FCBD isn’t over yet, but here are a few pics of the crowds at The Comic Book Shoppe on Banks Street:

And at the Silver Snail:

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Barefoot Books at the Veg Fest

Last Sunday, I was able to go to the Veg Fest. I haven’t been before, but I have never seen such crowds in a while; at one point, they had to stop people from going in and we had to stand in line outside until the inside cleared out a bit.

It was all about cooking demonstrations, guest speakers, silent auctions, vendors and a lot of food and planet-loving people.

I, of course, made a bee-line to the book stand, which wasn’t difficult since it was located right in front of the entrance.

Barefoot Books are books for children and they are gorgeous. (Even the stand was beautiful. Take a look below and don’t judge the stand based on the quality of my pics…it was reeeally hard getting  a decent pic with so many people around, I need to say.)

I had the opportunity to ask Dina Cristino, Barefoot Books Ambassador, a few questions about the books…she said that Barefoot is a small independent company that focuses on bringing together beautiful art work with story telling in a way that teaches children respect for all cultures and love for the planet. The characters are not standardized and come from different ethnic backgrounds and with different abilities and disabilities; the company works with authors and illustrators from around the globe to tell stories that are also varied. The stories speak of high morals and values and carry a deeper meaning rather than focus on pure entertainment. And children appreciate the depth of the stories as well as the beautiful images that speak to their own creativity and imaginations.

And what kind of a response have the books had? “Great response. A lot of people are happy to see something different. This is my third year with Barefoot and the response is greater and greater. I have customers who come back and are very happy.” Both parents and teachers are impressed with the response that they get from children, including autistic children and those with developmental problems.

The company continues to expand it’s product line. In addition to books and CDs with sing alongs and stories, Barefoot continues to come out with puppets and a range of games.

What are some new book titles to look forward to? “Buddhist Tales” and “Robin Hood”.

Does anyone out there have experience with Barefoot Books?


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This Saturday, May 5, is Free Comic Book Day!

This post is for those of you, who carry only a mild affection in your hearts for the comic book. Because, I’m sure that the die-hard fans have been marking the days off on their calendars for weeks. And with good reason. Free Comic Book Day can spell great fun at your local comic book store.

Free Comic Book Day started in 2002 as a promotional event to attract customers into independent comic book stores. Participating comic book stores give away specially printed copies of comic books, cheaper back issues and other promotional items to anyone who comes to the store or create other types of fun such as dress-up as your favourite comic book hero contests.

Here are some of the activities scheduled to take place around the Ottawa region:

Carleton Place: is going all out for the day. It all starts at Read’s Book Shop with free comic books and a goodie bag. Everyone is encouraged to dress up as their favourite super hero and walk around downtown, visiting other participating businesses and meeting their favourite super heroes. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Silver Snail is celebrating with discounts, give-aways, live music and specially designed poster by Phil Noto, who will be doing in-store signings on Saturday.

The Comic Book Shoppe: will be giving away comics from an assortment of 36 different comic book  titles, have storm troopers in attendance and face painting.

Myths, Legends and Heroes: will be giving away comic books and having a sale.

Wizard’s Tower: is all ready to go with their selection of free comic books and 10% off in stock comics.

Sounds like a good time…don’t forget to share your Free Comic Book Day activities in the comments section…if you like.:)

Picture credit

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