Gerry Gray receives Snow Angel award

(via Shad Qadri)

Stittsville resident Gerry Gray surrounded by city councillors and staff. Photo via Shad Qadri's office.
Stittsville resident Gerry Gray surrounded by city councillors and staff. Photo via Shad Qadri’s office.

 

On Wednesday December 7th I had the pleasure of seeing one of our residents Gerry Gray and nine other individual residents of Ottawa receive certificates in recognition for their volunteer service as Snow Angels during the winter of 2015-16. Continue reading


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High school student’s photo chosen for Goulbourn Museum’s Christmas card

(PHOTO: Jordyn Simpson, with the winning Christmas card design in the background.)

(press release)

For the second year in a row, a photograph taken by Stittsville’s Jordyn Simpson will grace the cover of the Goulbourn Museum’s Christmas card. The Grade 11 student at South Carleton High School captured the winning image while volunteering as an event photographer during the Museum’s Old-Fashioned Christmas & Outdoor Artisan Market on November 20th. Continue reading


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Garage fire on Wintergreen Drive

Via Ottawa Fire: “Ottawa Fire Services received a 911 call reporting fire in an attached garage at a single detached residence at 31 Wintergreen Drive on December 12 at 7:35pm.  Upon arrival fire fighters gained entry to the garage and reported heavy smoke conditions.  The vehicle in the garage was not involved.  A small fire which had self extinguished was determined accidental.  Damage is estimated at $5,000 for contents and $5,000 for building.  No one will be displaced and there were no injuries.” Continue reading


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Show us your holiday art!

Show us your artwork!  Show us some awesome presents with colourful gift wrap ! Show us a picture of one of your winter traditions!  Show us some snowflakes! Show us some reindeer!

Send in a scan or photo of any type of art (painting, drawing, pottery, crafts etc.) before December 31.  You can send us a picture of your awesome artwork to feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca, or post it to our Facebook page.

We’ll share our favourites here and on Facebook.

Let It Snow artwork by Maddie G
Inspiration artwork by Maddie G.

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GALLERY: Winter wonderland along Poole Creek

“I took these pictures on December 6  during my morning walk,” says Michelle Legault. “They were taken on the paths that connect Amberwood with Granite Ridge along Poole Creek.  It was really a winter wonderland after awful weather the day before.”

(We love seeing photos from in and around our community. Please send your best pics to us at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca) Continue reading


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LETTERS: Todd and Sandra Brown make Stittsville a caring community

EDITOR’S NOTE: Last week, Todd and Sandra Brown (pictured above) from Brown’s Independent won a Celebration of People award, recognizing their work to promote accessibility, inclusion and full community participation by citizens with disabilities. They’ve hired individuals with disabilities to work at the grocery store and provided co-op placements to high school students with physical and development disabilities. We’ve received several congratulatory letters from the community. Here’s a sample.

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City looks for feedback on Feedmill Creek rehab plan

Feedmill Creek is sort of a “forgotten waterway” in Stittsville.  That’s probably because up until very recently, it traversed mostly undeveloped private property.

The creek starts at the stormwater ponds in Timbermere Park on the west side of Carp Road, heads west underground and then  through the future Potter’s Key neighbourhood and north of Jackson Trails, before heading north under the Queensway, then  east through the Tanger Outlets mall before emptying into the Carp River.

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Creative hub set to take over Bell House on Stittsville Main

(PHOTO: Story Art owner Mel Richer stands in the front from of the old Bell House at the corner of Stittsville Main Street and Elm Crescent. The main floor will be a boutique and showcase for local art. Photo by Barry Gray.)

Stittsville residents can look forward to having a new spot to be inspired and creative. Set to open on December 6, the owner of Story Art Creative Centre & Boutique wants it to be a gathering place for the local arts community.

“Why not a hub to spark creativity and have a place for arts in the community?” says owner Mel Richer. “We are excited, hopeful and hope the community will rally around us.”

Located in the old Bell House on Stittsville Main Street (most recently home to the Brown Bear Daycare), the beautiful house has found new life.

On the main floor, there is the crystal nook, filled with gorgeous rocks and crystals as well as jewelry. Rocks have a personal meaning for Richer.

“They help inspire my art work – the texture, the colour – they are beautiful,” she says.

Opposite the crystal nook, the room will be filled with curated art as well as vintage and retro antiques. Richer is looking for artists to display their art – and the definition of art is broad.

“Anything in the creative world,” said Richer. “I have a voice and something to share. I really want to help others share their stories.”

The boutique part of Story Art will open before Christmas. In the New Year, classes in the Creative Centre will begin. The second floor of the house will be dedicated to creative classes and will also have a space for children’s birthday parties.

The basement, which will be finished over the next few months, will be a space that available for rentals.

Paintings ready to be hung in the main room at Story Art. Photo by Barry Gray.
Paintings ready to be hung in the main room. Photo by Barry Gray.
The Crystal Nook at Story Art. Photo by Barry Gray.
The crystal nook inside the boutique. Photo by Barry Gray.

***

All of this is the brainchild of Richer. Born and raised in Kanata, Richer said she always knew that she wanted to be both a writer and an artist.

As a teenager, she studied art at De La Salle Secondary School and then photography at another school. After high school she headed to Algonquin College and that lead to a career working in marketing and communications.

So Richer’s dream to work as a writer had come true. The artist part of the dream was still a work in progress.

As life goes, art was on the back burner for Richer. Then, one day, she saw a call for applications for artists at the Ottawa Airport Community Art Program.

Much to her surprise, her application was successful.

“Oh my gosh. What have I done,” Richer says of her reaction. “But let’s go!”

And go she did. After the exhibition she had 25 pieces of work sitting around and Richer was wondering what to do with them.

Her son Oliver had the answer and suggested she hang them in the wall of her office. And she did. Having the art around sparked her creativity.

From there, she had an opportunity to submit some of her work for a fundraiser, so she decided to look at creating some work that was more accessible.

“What could I do that would be smaller or easier?” she says.

Looking into her yard, she took inspiration from the larch cones scattered across the lawn. She cleaned them and incased them in resin to create jewelry. After this successful jewelry creation, she started creating other resin jewelry using materials like dried flowers, mica and buttons.

As Richer’s art grew, so did her passion for sharing it. Soon she was looking for a retail outlet.

***

“This feels like a good space for me” she said. “We are thrilled to be a part of Stittsville Main Street,” she says.

Now, Richer’s dream of being both a writer and artist have come full circle. A good friend and business advisor, Irene Jaroszuk of Savvy Sage Consulting, says “she’s had this vision forever.”


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TIMELAPSE: See Stittsville grow from 1984 to 2016

Google recently released its Google Earth Timelapse, a fascinating compilation of satellite imagery across the world. It allows users to see a 32-year timelapse of any location on earth — including Stittsville.

Stittsville in 1984 was a much smaller community of just a few thousand people, with homes clustered primarily along Stittsville Main Street. Today it’s home to over 31,000 residents, and is expected to grow to 70,000 in the next couple of decades.

Watch as the community grows in every direction.

Continue reading


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Jaimie Klachan receives Celebration of People Award

EDITOR’S NOTE: Brown’s Independent wasn’t the only Stittsville recipient at the Celebration of People awards.  They’re joined by Jaimie Klachan among this year’s winners.

Jaimie Klachan
Jaimie Klachan

Jaimie Klachan moved to Ottawa in 2009 to attend university.  In 2013 she got involved in the Ottawa Power Wheelchair Hockey League (OPWHL) and is currently their Board Secretary and Fundraising Director. As Fundraising Director, Jaimie is not just securing funds she is also bringing the community closer together by advocating for inclusion and educating people about para-sports. At university she was an assistant for the only para swimmer on the Carleton University swim team, and implemented a specialized swimming sponsorship program. In addition, Jaimie was employed for six years as a personal attendant at Carleton University and has continued this work off-campus for the last three years. Continue reading


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Fill The Bus event collects nearly 10,000 items for Stittsville Food Bank

(via Stittsville Food Bank)

“Wow! What an amazing community we have! 9,987 pieces of food raised today alone! A big thank you to Carlos and Family and Harry from OC Transpo! Thank you to Brown’s Your Independent Grocers, the City of Ottawa, OC Transpo, Ottawa Food Bank! And what an wonderful group of volunteers!!! We couldn’t have done it without everyone coming together! Just look at the photos of the bus and mountain of food! Thank you all!” Continue reading


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Carleton hosts lecture on “Wetlands: The Kidneys of our Planet”

(PHOTO: Lookout over the marsh at the head of Poole Creek, along the Trans Canada Trail just west of Stittsville. Photo by Glen Gower.)

(Editor’s note: This isn’t specific to Stittsville, but the topic is certainly relevant to our area.  We’ve written a ton about wetlands over the last two years and this looks like a great lecture on this important subject.)

Carleton University will host Prof. William Mitsch and his presentation Wetlands: The Kidneys of our Planet as the keynote for the 2016 Herzberg Lecture. Continue reading


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Volunteer firefighter pops the question at Parade of Lights

If you were standing in front of Quitters during last Saturday’s Parade of Lights, you might have seen a little bit of holiday magic. Josh Gibeault, a volunteer firefighter from Stittsville’s Station 81, proposed to his longtime girlfriend Megan Faulkner, a nurse at the Granite Ridge Care Community.

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