Category Archives: Entertainment & Events

LIBRARY: Halloween, model railroad, Yap & Yarn & more

(via Ottawa Public library, Stittsville branch)

There are four special programs coming to the Stittsville branch in October, and November, 2017.

On Sunday, October 22, 2017.  1:30 – 4:43 p.m. is a Children’s Hallowe’en Workshop called “Mansion Mayhem.”  This program is hosted by staff from the Goulbourn Museum for children ages 6-11 years.  There will be edible haunted hourses to decorate; creepy crafts and to make, and ghoulish games to play.  A fee to cover the cost of materials is payable to the Goulbourn Museum.  $25.00 per child.  ($20 for Kits’ Club Members).  Please register at:  register@goulbourn.ca  or call, 613-831-2393. Continue reading


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ALIAS GREG: Stittsville artist featured in CBC/Netflix miniseries

(PHOTO: Greg Banning with some of his sketches, in the dining room at his home in Stittsville. Photo by G. Gower.)

You can see Stittsville artist Greg Banning‘s courtroom sketches in the first few seconds of this trailer for Alias Grace, the tv adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel on CBC and Netflix.

Besides his artwork, Banning will also appear on screen in the series as a courtroom sketch artist. As he explains below, the television gig came as a result of his work as a courtroom artist for the Mike Duffy trial.

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On how his work came to featured in the miniseries…
The book is about Grace Marks. She’s convicted of murder with an accomplice, and what the book and movie is trying to do is decide whether she did it or not.  I did the court sketches that were involved in the trial itself.  Because of my background with the Duffy trial, they heard of me… I got a call out of the blue one day and they asked if I’d like to do some court sketches for the film.

They said they just wanted a copy of the sketches that were originally done for the trial.  But I thought, “that’s probably a very different style than the way I draw”.  They sent me a copy, and I took a look and thought, “I can’t emulate this…”  They said, “just give it a try, see if you can match it, and the director will have a look to see if he can use it”.

So I did the best I could with charcoal and did a copy of it, scanned it into the computer and did a couple of changes in Photoshop and I sent it in. They were really happy with it, and then it evolved to, “can you try to put the actor’s faces in that style in that clothing, so we can use it as a prop?”

Some of Greg Banning's courtroom sketches for the Alias Grace miniseries.
Some of Greg Banning’s courtroom sketches for the Alias Grace miniseries.

 

So I did that, and I thought that was going to be it. But they really wanted me to come in and film me doing the drawing.  Up to the point that I actually left to go to the shoot, I didn’t know how they were going to do this.  I’ve got these finished drawings – but how am I going to make it look like I’m doing the finished drawing?

The day of getting to the set, I went to a window with the original drawing I made and traced onto a piece of paper. So then when they filmed me I could make it look like I was sketching it out. They brought the camera right in on me, and another camera in the back of me. I’m looking at nothing — the actress was long gone, and everybody in the courtroom.  I was literally the last shot of that day in the courthouse.

It was a fantastic experience – right around my birthday – and they paid for most of my trip to glamorous Brampton. That was a year ago.

I haven’t seen my part yet. I’m kind of nervous.  I need glasses to draw and to see — I have progressive lenses.  I mentioned that I needed glasses, and they ended up giving me these little Benjamin Franklin glasses, and David Cronenberg supposedly used them in one of the scenes too. So the set director said, “be very careful, David Cronenberg used these glasses”.  I felt kind of awkward, looking up and looking down as if I was drawing…

I don’t know if I’m going to make the movie or not, but they’ve used my sketches in the opening scenes. It was a fun thing to do, I never thought I would be in a production — I’m usually on the other side, working with directors. Normally I do storyboards, mostly commercial work — car commercials and things like that.

 

Greg Banning's sketch of actress Sarah Gordon created for the Alias Grace miniseries.
Greg Banning’s sketch of actress Sarah Gordon created for the Alias Grace miniseries.

***

On how he became a courtroom sketch artist…
It was not my ambition to set out to be a court artist, and I don’t think you can make a living being a court artist. It was just really lucky. One thing can lead to something else. The Duffy thing led to this, and I’m really grateful.

I lived in Toronto for 20 years, and then I moved here… a local illustrator recommended me to the Citizen, and they called up and asked if I would want to do sketch art at the court. I’d never thought of doing it, but I figured I’d get paid to work on my drawing and it was fascinating. That’s how it started, doing work for the Citizen.

Patrick Brazeau’s trial was happening, and CTV called and asked if I would want to do that for them.  I did a job for CTV, and they were really happy. The Duffy trail was on the heels of Brazeau, and CTV called, and the Citizen called, then Global called and asked if I could do this… I had no idea how big this was going to be, or how long it was going to be, but it almost became a full time job for me. I was there every day for the trial except to see my son’s Christmas pageant show… I find it very interesting to be in the court and having the opportunity to witness all this stuff.

The first job I ever did, I brought in my laptop and Wacom tablet and sat down on the back bench in the gallery and drew the guy on the computer. The judge didn’t even bat an eyelash.  My first one was completely digital.

I thought, if I get into another trial where there’s a lot more people I won’t be able to do this.  I thought I’d bring my sketchbook, and scan it, and colour it in the computer. That’s how the process is now. I’ll do a quick little sketch, make remarks about what they’re wearing, the colour of their shirt, their jacket. I’m in and out pretty quick. I get the idea down, and I do the majority of the drawing in the media room at the courthouse, which is like a closet. I scan the sketch into the computer, and then I colourize it in Corel Painter – an Ottawa-based company – and then all I have to do is email a high-res jpeg to the Citizen or whatever other media outlet I might be doing it for.

On why he became an artist…
I’ve always liked drawing, since I was my son’s age, and I just got better and better, and nothing else was panning out for me. I wasn’t going to be the baseball player I always wanted to be – so I ended up sticking with art…. I wasn’t sure if I could make a living out of it. When I was 19 I went to the High School of Commerce just to see if I liked it, and fell in love with it. I found different avenues of art you can make a living in. I went to Sheridan College, did the illustration program there, and found that I was more suited for advertising.  So I got my start, unfortunately during the recession in the 90s. All the agencies at that time were downsizing and getting rid of their art departments.  I stuck to it, and started getting a job with one agency, next thing you know I got another job. I worked at the last art house in Toronto, TDF, as a junior artist, and when that closed up I went out on my own and I’ve done everything. I’ve worked in advertising, illustrated children’s books, covers, magazines. I did a Maclean’s cover, I’ve worked in video games, I’ve designed coins for the Mint.

It’s wide-ranging. This fits in with my background. I go from the Duffy trail to drawing in a televised movie! I’ve been lucky enough to experience a lot of different facets of the art world and things like this — working on Alias Grace — was exciting. No regrets!


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LINKED: New witches’ haunt added to Saunders Farm this year

John Curry reports in the Stittsville News:

Witches are being added to the haunting brew at Saunders Farm this fall.

“The Coven,” a Salem witch-themed indoor and outdoor haunt, is the largest new haunt added at Saunders Farm at Munster in the past five years.

Open during the daytime as a Witches Village and at night as a full-blown haunt, the Coven features a swamp, a forest and an old witch’s house that features a maze of rooms. And since a coven traditionally refers to a gathering of witches, you can bet just from the name of this haunt that you are going to run into numerous witches as you make your way through the house.

Mark Saunders explains that the Coven marks a return by Saunders Farm to a classic traditional Halloween haunt, this one related to the famous Salem witch trials in colonial Massachusetts in the 1690s when 20 people were actually executed for witchcraft.

The idea of the Coven came from Mark’s conversations with a friend of his in the United Kingdom who developed a witch-themed haunt with a swamp concept. Saunders Farm has been able to add a forest setting to such a haunt idea. The Coven at Saunders Farm has been totally constructed on the site by Saunders Farm’s own carpenters and staff.

Read the full article…


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A. Lorne Cassidy community plans musical fundraiser to support teacher

(PHOTO: A scene from A. Lorne Cassidy’s recent production of the musical Annie.)>

This time, the production will be for Mrs. Cooney.

Students, staff, and families from A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School will be honouring and raising funds for Kathleen ‘Kate’ Kelly-Cooney with a Kids on Broadway evening October 5th.

Over the summer, the Registered Early Childhood Educator at ALC was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive and inoperable brain tumour that has left her gravely ill in hospital and unable to return to school. Continue reading


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10-year-old Rowan Hendrick rocks Richmond, wins vocal competition

(PHOTO: Rowan Hendrick. Photo by Tom Linden.)

A 5th grader from Guardian Angels Catholic School in Stittsville blew away all the teenage competition today and won 1st prize for his incredible vocal performance.

Rowan Hendrick, 10, just started his third year of lessons at U-Rock Music School. He has studied vocals, guitar and has also been a member of the school’s junior band, The Shooting Stars, but his real passion is performing and he wowed all the judges and many of his competitors on Sunday, at Richmond Fair’s Rise2Fame vocal contest.

The song Rowan chose to perform was as ambitious as it gets for any aspiring vocalist, Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On, from the Oscar winning film Titanic. Too young to have actually watched the movie, Rowan confessed that his interest in the song came from the expressive delivery of Canadian superstar, Dion, who he says he truly admires as a vocalist.

We are so very proud of Rowan, not just for winning first place at his very first vocal competition, but for bravely stepping up and sharing his musical gift at such a public venue. Two other U-Rock vocalists, Samantha Clarke and Sarah Culbert both also performed at the Richmond Fair this year. Sarah won 3rd place at this event last year, and also impressively won 1st prize at the Ottawa Capital Fair this summer.

You can enjoy the talents of many of our U-Rock stars at our school’s first open mic event on Sunday, October 29, at 3pm at Hurley’s Grill in Stittsville. There will be many first-timers and many of our prize winning stars performing at this free concert.

(via U-Rock Music School)


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Sens announce additional details for Fan Fest on Sept 17

(press release)

The Ottawa Senators (@Senators) announced additional details for the team’s annual Fan Fest, presented by Canadian Tire, in support of the Ottawa Senators Foundation and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, which will take place this Sunday, Sept. 17 at Canadian Tire Centre (@CdnTireCtr).

Held in conjunction with Scotiabank, CTV and TSN 1200, Senators Fan Fest will feature four unique fan press conferences, two team practices, a Senators’ intra-squad game, autograph sessions, a Locker Room Sale featuring new and used hockey equipment along with interactive games and entertainment throughout the arena. Continue reading


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Goulbourn Jubilee Singers offer free try-out sessions in September

(Photo by Kelly Terkuc)

(article via the Goulbourn Jubilee Singers)

Do you like to sing? Would you like to become a better singer? Would you like to learn to read music? Would you like to do all of this, AND make new friends in the community at the same time? Then the GJS invites you to try out the GJS choir, risk-free during the month of September!

The Goulbourn Jubilee Singers (GJS) is a non-auditioned community choir organization, offering a wide variety of musical and social experiences.  There are ensembles for Adults (SATB), Teens (SATB), and Children (SSA). All three groups rehearse on Wednesday evenings, in Stittsville. Each choir performs on its own in the community, and we also perform together. This inter-generational focus is unique in the community! Continue reading


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Odyssey Theatre spreads its roots with Stittsville project on September 16

Odyssey Theatre is renowned for bringing the magical experience of Theatre Under the Stars to Strathcona Park, but the 32-year-old company is going beyond its borders with two new community projects that will foster Ottawans’ creativity and leave a green legacy. The company believes that art is possibility, a vehicle for contributing to the community, and for everyone. Continue reading


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Rotary Club hosts Canada 150 Community Picnic on September 9

Stittsville’s Rotary Club will host a Canada 150 Community Picnic on September 9 at the W.J. Bell Rotary Peace Park.

The event runs from 1:00pm-5:00pm and includes an official renaming ceremony for the park, 1930s games for kids, musical guests, historical re-enactors from the Goulbourn Historical Society, the Goulbourn Museum photo booth and more.

Bring your own picnic lunch or purchase BBQ items from the 1930s including moon dogs, kettle chips and lemonade.

Admission is free.


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Dancer celebrates Indian arts with Ahorha Fest

Stittsville’s own Anjali Patil is at it again.

The talented Indian Kathak dancer (pictured at top) has organized the 12th annual Ahorha Fest, a celebration of the arts of India in Canada.

This year, for the first time and in honour of Canada 150, the event will be bilingual, making it the first bilingual festival of it’s kind in Canada. Continue reading


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PHOTOS: Cinema under the stars

Saturday night’s Cinema Under the Stars event, hosted by the Stittsville Village Association, brought out over a hundred families to Village Square Park.  The event raised over $500 for the Stittsville Food Bank.  Photos by Barry Gray.

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

Continue reading


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PHOTOS: Shakespeare in the Rain

Bear & Co. performed Romeo and Juliet at Par La Ville Park in Fairwinds on Monday night.  It rained for the first couple of acts but then the skies cleared and it ended up being a charming evening in the neighbourhood.  The production tours Ottawa parks from July 5-30. More info…

Photos by Glen Gower.

Bear & Co. perform Romeo & Juliet in Par La Ville Park. Tybalt (Chris McLeod) duels with Benvolio (J. Taylor Morris). Photo by Glen Gower.
Tybalt (Chris McLeod) duels with Benvolio (J. Taylor Morris).

Continue reading


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Legal seminar for creative professionals on July 20, Sept 28

(Press release)

StoryArt Creative Centre & Boutique is pleased to announce a new seminar series for creative professionals. Ottawa-based entertainment lawyer and Stittsville resident Byron Pascoe from Edwards PC, Creative Law, will lead the series of creative law sessions.

  • Music Law Session: Thursday, July 20th from 11am-12:30pm
  • Film Law  Session: Thursday, Sept 28th from 11am-1230pm

Continue reading


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Cinema Under the Stars at Village Square Park (July 22)

Bring a blanket and join the Stittsville Village Association on Saturday July 22 for CINEMA UNDER THE STARS at Village Square Park featuring the movie SING.

All Stittsville residents welcome. Popcorn and drinks will be available by donation with all funds raised donated to the Stittsville Food Bank. Continue reading


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PHOTOS: Stittsville’s Canada Day fireworks

Thanks to Adam Frank for sending along these pics of the fireworks last night in Stittsville, part of the Stittsville Village Association’s Canada Day event.   (Click on any photo for full size.)

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

Canada Day 2017 fireworks. Photo by Adam Frank. Canada Day 2017 fireworks. Photo by Adam Frank. Canada Day 2017 fireworks. Photo by Adam Frank. Canada Day 2017 fireworks. Photo by Adam Frank. Canada Day 2017 fireworks. Photo by Adam Frank.


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PHOTOS: A belated Canada Day celebration in Stittsville

Fireworks capped off a great day of family fun at the Stittsville Village Association’s annual Canada Day event yesterday.  Hundreds of families turned out for a full day of activities, local music and fun. Photos by Barry Gray.


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Canada 150 celebrations continue on July 8 in Stittsville

(PHOTO: Canada Day fireworks in Stittsville. Photo by B.R. Ravishankar.)

Stittsville’s annual Canada Day event, originally scheduled for July 1, has been moved to Saturday, July 8 due to soggy field conditions and wet weather.

The full event is all set to go from 1:00pm-10:00pm on the grounds of Sacred Heart High School (Abbott Road @ Shea Road, next to the Goulbourn Recreation Centre.) The event is presented by the Stittsville Village Association.

Highlights of the free family-friendly event include:

  • Free birthday cake and glow sticks
  • Family fun zone with games, inflatables & more
  • Big Sky Ranch Animal Sanctuary petting zoo (3pm-6pm)
  • Horse-drawn wagon rides (4pm-7pm)
  • Bricks 4 Kidz (LEGO) (3pm-6pm)
  • HoneyDrop Body Art Facepainting (3pm-7pm)
  • Food court featuring local food trucks
  • Confederation themed photo booth courtesy of the Goulbourn Museum
  • Live local stage entertainment
  • Fireworks at 9:45 pm sharp (presented by Mattamy Homes)

For more information about the event, visit: www.stittsvilleva.com


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