Masthead

Editors

April Yorke, Managing Editor — April prefers quoting TV shows to nearly any other form of communication, thinks roller derby is the only excuse for not going to the movies more often, and finds that buying more shelves is the best way to deal with her book-buying habit. You can reach her at  april[at]culturemagazine[dot]ca. Full disclosure: April Yorke works for the Canada Council for the Arts, which provided (Cult)ure with a grant in 2009 and 2010. She is in no way involved in the grant application or adjudication process.

Lauren Cheal, Editor/Ninja — Lauren knows everything there is to know about television — including which episode of Murder, She Wrote Melora Hardin appeared in (the episode is “Roadkill” from season 10). She is a great fan of procrastination and should actually be doing work as you read this, but is not. Instead, she is reading any number of A.V. Club articles, watching entire seasons of shows in a single sitting and/or taking pictures of her many cats. She can also hold an entire conversation using only quotes from Community. She heard you with her own ear…nocoulars!

Brendan Blom, Editor-at-Large — Brendan wakes up every morning at 11 am, pouring himself a vodka and orange juice to accompany his breakfast of marmite jelly on blackened toast. His days are spent wandering around Ottawa, visiting museums, eating and drinking with friends, arguing violently with the beggars who accost him in the street, and periodically sitting down to write or edit articles. He struggles daily with an intense addiction to cigarettes, and recently made a great breakthrough when he stopped smoking in the shower.

Kevin Johns, Editor-at-Large — Kevin Johns has contributed over 50 articles to (Cult)ure Magazine, and edited hundreds more. He has written a manuscript for a Young Adult adventure novel for which he is currently seeking representation. He lives in Kanata with his wife and cat, and can be reached at kevin@culturemagazine.ca.

Frequent Contributors

Agnes Cadieux — Agnes is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist who enjoys venturing off the beaten track. Her background is in laboratory sciences but often finds her imagination and quirky spirit driving her towards the unique and earthy rhythms of the Ottawa valley. Her hobbies include dancing, camping, archery, horseback riding and multiculturalism.

Taryn Cheal — When Taryn gets on Jeopardy she hopes that the categories are pop music, Harry PotterBattlestar Galactica, Chuck Palahniuk and ‘How Cute Are Cats?’ She is currently contributing a monthly style column to (Cult)ure called Clothes Minded. You can follow the column on Twitter @clothesmindedca.

Mike Cullen — An Ottawa native, Mike is a government worker by day, and a self professed music and comic book junkie the rest of the time. He also regularly contributes to the Local Tourist Ottawa blog.

Wayne Current — Wayne is a writer, communications expert, director, and blogger. Check out manyfacesofwayne.wordpress.com for more of his work.

Emily GoodacreWhen Emily’s not globe-hopping, she can be found haunting movie houses in Ottawa, buoyed by her twin loves of Schadenfreude and fro-yo.

Shawn Roske — Shawn is a poet living in Ottawa. His background is anthropology, yoga, and fatherhood.

Miss Smartypants — You know that friend who will tell you (when asked) that those are Bad Idea jeans, your partner’s a douche, and who that guy was in that movie that time? No? Miss Smartypants will be that friend for you. She got that way by being a combination of bossy, opinionated, and desperate for knowledge. If she can’t figure it out or look it up, she’ll at least point you in the right direction. Or she’ll laugh at you while pointing in the right direction. It’s a tough call. Send her your problems at advice@culturemagazine.ca.

Kelsa Staffa — When not attempting to save the world one gas station at a time, Kelsa amuses herself by conning her way into restricted areas and clapping delightedly at previously-unknown trivia. With a keen interest in everything from octopi to oenology to dating a cowboy, the world is just one gigantic oyster.

Mike Verdone — Mike Verdone is a human being from Calgary, Alberta, currently living in Berlin, Germany. His interests include technology, bands you’ve
never heard of, and subverting the status quo.

Frequent Artists

Nina Charest, Cover Artist and Illustrator – Nina likes to draw and is currently working on a humanities and art history bachelor’s degree. She thinks walruses are pretty neat. Four adjectives that describe her are shy, funny, indecisive and nerdy.

Occasional and Past Contributors

Ayat Ahmed – Hi, Ayat is my name. Writing is my claim to fame. I play sports when I’m free. Listen to music and watch TV. Reading is my life. If I were a man, it would be my wife. I make jokes that are sarcastic. Sorry if they cut to the quick. And now we come to an end. You know me as well as any friend.

Jerome Bastien — By day, Jerome is a patent and trademark lawyer with Macera Jarzyna LLP. By night, he fights for truth, justice, and the Canadian way — thankfully his powers are vastly superior than those of his arch-nemesis Politico Correcto.

Dominic Bercier, Former Cover Artist — Dominic Bercier has run the gamut in illustration and design, working on international brands and titles including those of major comics and animation companies. His 24 page comic book, Like Never Before & Like Never Again, was cited in the Highlights Book from 24 Hour Comics Day 2006. He is currently authoring original graphic novellas, creating new mythologies for the wearied souls of our times.

Jackie Bloom — Jackie barely exists. She vanishes by day into a giant institution, emerging only occasionally. She believes in the power of reflection to tilt both individuals and organizations towards the sun.

Sabrina Bowman — Sabrina is a full time environmentalist, social activist, and political enthusiast and a part-time social butterfly.  She has always regretted that a severe lack of hand-eye coordination and complete inability to perform any kind of athletic feat has led to her consistent avoidance of team sports.  Also, she finds watching sports deadly boring.  She does enjoy long rides on her slightly crooked, banged up old bike.

Keren Brown — Known by some as Frantic Foodie and others as Savvy Savorer, Keren has a love-love relationship with food. Her life revolves around trying new recipes, eating great food and blabbing about it on her blogs.

Kim Burnett – A founding member of (Cult)ure, Kim Burnett is a vigilante with a heart of gold, working to collapse high and low culture into one delicious chili of So You Think You Can Dance, Shakespeare, and beans. She believes in peace, order, and good comic books, and can be reached for comment on important cultural issues via bat signal.

Tiffany Castlebay — Jeune québécoise de cœur ayant adopté la région d’Ottawa pour des fins professionnelles, Tiffany Castlebay est tombée sans le savoir sous le charme de la belle région de la Capitale nationale. Entre une expédition en raquettes dans la parc de la Gatineau, une projection de film indépendant au cinéma Bytowne, une dégustation d’un (ou de plusieurs) grands crus de la LCBO ou une orgie de sushi, Tiffany tente de trouver le temps de lire en entier son édition quotidienne de La Presse, lien sacré qui la rattache à sa province natale, et d’entretenir son cercle social composé d’une joyeuse mosaïque culturelle, multiethnique et multi-langues, qui ne ratte aucune occasion de se rassembler autour d’une bonne bouffe pour réinventer le monde.

Dave Combden — Dave is a historical researcher, a database coordinator and a singer/songwriter. He hopes to someday give up the daily slogging of writing songs and playing gigs to live my dream as a counselor.

Joel Crary — Joel lives in Ottawa and reviews films. His online blog can be found at http://joelcrary.wordpress.com.

Caitlin Cuffari – Caitlin is an aspiring journalist, who is currently studying Journalism, Radio, Television at Wilfrid Laurier University.  She enjoys cooking, playing soccer, and being involved in the local music community. In the future she would love to work for CBC radio.

John Daly, Webmaster – John Daly is currently a PhD student in electrical engineering at the University of Waterloo. His research interests are so esoteric that they are probably not worth mentioning, but they do involve robots. When not researching, John enjoys cooking, camping, reading, spending time with friends, thwarting the plans of evil-doers, and long walks on the beach.

Tobin Dalrymple – Tobin is a television-commercial director and scientist who lives in Ottawa as a part-time researcher for the University. In his spare time, he is working on a way to stop the rapid decline of the world’s honeybees.

Leigh Daniels — Leigh is a mostly unemployed academic. When she isn’t teaching she spends her days reading (anything from Origin of the Speciesto Harry Potter) and entertaining her two cats, which she considers to be a full time job.

Andrew Dep, Freelance Graphic Artist & Animator – An aspiring graphic artist, animator, and web designer, Andrew or ‘Dres’ Dep is carving out his place in the world of art, and has so far had a great deal of success – and he’s still in high school. When he’s not making a website for an unsigned myspace rock band or doing a logo for a professional video clan, you can probably find him practicing le parkour or playing (excessive?) amounts of Counter Strike with his friends. Art has been his life thus far and he plans to keep it that way as long as the freelance world allows.

Kirk DesRosier, Illustrator – Kirk is omnipotent, or maybe impotent, or at least important to himself. He likes to draw, paint, sketch and frequently tries to attract models to his home for “modelling” sessions involving wine, potatoes and soft music. It has not worked to date. You can check out more of his work.

Bryan Q. Denton – Newsman extraordinaire from the mean streets of Canada. Exposer of hypocrisy. Seeker of truth. Champion of the little guy. Haver of naps. Claims to fame? Inciting riots and failed attempts at vigilantism. Follow me as I chart the most pith and substanceful news stories of our time. You are welcome to add me on Facebook if you can handle being in the e-presence of pure glory.

Suranika (Nika) Dias, Illustrator – In a past life, Nika was a revered Egyptian Priestess renowned for expanding the borders of spirituality, as well as inspiring enlightenment through the arts. Now reincarnated with a penchant for ancient relics, theatre, belly dancing, fine foods, travel and languages, her artwork represents a connection with the mysticism of her quondam years.  Known for her enchanting smile, Nika is an optimist who aspires to expand yet more boundaries and believes in the goodness of jalapeño cornbread.

Steve Dominey – When Steve wasn’t getting laid in high school, older members of his small northern community would assure him that girls would be all over him in university. More than ten years later, he’s still waiting. Now living off his successful girlfriend of 8+ years, Steve still dreams of becoming a lothario later in life. In one such dream, the receding hairline he’s sported since age 6 has been replaced by a luxurious, full head of chestnut brown hair.

Alroy Fonseca — Alroy Fonseca enjoys hiking, vegetarian food, and a good debate. He lives in Ottawa and belongs to the anti-suburbia cult. He also thinks Noam Chomsky is pretty cool.

Anna Ford – Anna’s first love is music and she grew up in a home filled with more instruments than furniture.  She enjoys investigating what is not stated.  She brings order to chaos, aspires to be a perpetual student, and bikes to work in all weathers.

Greg Frankson a.k.a. Ritallin, Spoken Word Artist – Ritallin is a spoken word artist, creative services consultant and arts educator who moonlights as a federal public servant. He’s hoping that eventually he can give up his day job to dedicate more time to writing, performing and spreading the spoken word.

Aveleigh Gateman — Aveleigh is a nearly 25 year old teacher, traveler, and artist. She currently lives in South Korea with her cute cat and cuter boyfriend.

Kendall R. Giberson — Kendall calls both Sisson Ridge, NB and Guelph, ON home after spending formative years in both areas but has settled about halfway between them in Ottawa. Currently holding degrees from the University of Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier University and a diploma from NBCC-Woodstock, Kendall has been published in several weekly New Brunswick newspapers, as well as having been a contributor to the student publicationsThe Cord (Laurier) and The Connection (NBCC). Kendall spends most of his time working two jobs while finding time to amass one of the largest collections of minor and junior league hockey cards on the planet.

Heather Gilberds — Heather is hopelessly hopeful, inspired, and aspiring. She is a connoisseur of many of the finer things in life . . . aimless meandering, fair trade dark chocolate and coffee, big words, Chinese supermarkets . . .. The punctuation symbol which best represents Heather is the ellipsis . . . given her obvious penchant for aposiopesis.

Grace Glowicki — Grace recently graduated from McGill University with a degree in English Literature. She lives in Toronto as a starving actor. She also writes for Georgie Magazine

Chris Gould — Chris was born in England but currently lives in Japan, contributing to a number of publications in the Land of the Rising Sun. He has loved writing since childhood and tries valiantly to pen words during his busy Japanese working schedule. Much of his writing stems from a love of other countries’ cultures and traditions and a fascination with the way the world was before he was born.

Brenna Clarke Gray — Brenna is a Ph.D. candidate in English Literature. She is also a tireless crusader for the middle brow. She lives in obscurity with her heterosexual life partner and extremely well-read cats. You can add her on Facebook, but only with the intention of sending copious amounts of fan mail and outrageous praise.

Frederick Hidell — Freddy Hidell was employed by the city of Ottawa; however, a crippling depression forced him into early retirement. He retreated from the city to the Gatineau hills, where he built a cabin on the outskirts of the MacKenzie King estate. Through a steady regimen of self-medicated alcoholism, he was able to nurse himself back to a state resembling moderate mental health. He now works as a freelance journalist in the Ottawa/Hull area, when not hunting rabbits through the woods of Quebec.

Holly Hutchings — Holly is the owner of Hutchings Tea Company. She aspires to open her own bakery/cafe/tea shop one day, as her passions manifest in the kitchen.

Margaret Jackson — Margaret is a freelance writer and sometime pastry chef who knows a lot about a little and a little about a lot. She also has a degree in geology, which means she can giggle with authority at Dante’s Peak, but not much else. She hopes to one day exist as a cross between Tina Fey, Dana Scully, and Christiane Amanpour. You can see her existential crisis from here, can’t you? Read her blog, The Woodshed.

Erin Jennings — Erin is a Maritimer who migrated to Ottawa with the hopes of finding grad school glory. She spends her days problematizing, negotiating tensions and adding quotation marks to words that may not require them. Her out-of-school interests include: the ocean, gourmet salads,America’s Next Top Model and Jägermeister. You can read more about her misadventures at Kiss My Kimchi.

Sarah Johns — Raised in Sudbury, Ontario, writer, actress, editor, Sarah Johns is just an old fashioned northen girl. She lives in Kanata and calls her cat her “baby.”

Bernadette Johnson — Bernadette has a B.A Honours in African Studies and currently lives in Ottawa.

Anne-Lise Karam-Choueiri (Photography) — Anne-Lise was born in Lebanon and has lived most of her life there. She studied cinematography in Lebonon at the Lebanese Academy of Arts. After staying in France for a year, she studied photography at the Louis Lumière École Nationale Supérieure in Paris. Her work now concentrates on photography, and she focuses her work on traditional black and white photos. Check out her impressive body of work.

Reza Kazemi — Reza is a gigantic computer geek and a wannabe musician living in Ottawa. He’s been a part-time DJ for the past 10 years and insists he still loves doing it. He loves spaghetti, hoodie sweaters and Star Trek. As a child, he once had his picture taken with the Big Boss Man.

Adam Kelly — Writing out of Montreal, Adam’s rabid thespianism shows up in much of his work. When not filming, teaching or bashing away at hisclavier, he enjoys galavanting, gadding and peregrination.

Dante Kleinberg – Dante is a man of many hidden talents, and one of these days he may even exhibit one. He shares an apartment with his partner, Heather, and several video game consoles.

Innika La Fontaine — Innika La Fontaine is a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Australian expat.

Joe Lipsett – Joe is unashamedly geeky, owing too many great memories in his life to Buffy, slasher films and cancelled cult shows. He lives in constant fear of procedural television, preferring instead the joys of serial narratives and well developed characters. If this proves impossible, he watches TV on DVD, Masterpiece Theatre or foreign horror films, all while speaking of himself in the third person.

Dahlia Liwsze — Dahlia Liwsze is a writer and published poet whose work has appeared in many publications, including The Ottawa Sun, Il Postino,The Suburban Newspaper, The Concordian, and the Poetry Institute of Canada’s Island Treasures: Anthology of Verse. A few issues dear to Dahlia’s heart are truth, women’s rights, injustice and health, especially mental wellness.

Christopher Massardo — New to the scene but already contributing to multiple publications and working with top models, Christopher Massardo is an up and coming writer and stylist based in Ottawa.

Hannah McGregor — Hannah is a pagan vegan feminist raised by hippie musicians with a passion for gender theory, Nietzsche and Canadian poetry. Don’t tell anyone, but she secretly also loves Gray’s Anatomy, romance novels and overpriced cosmetics. She went to university for the books and all the men in vests, and has decided never to leave. She owns a lot of books, and has recently purchased a vest.

Adam Meaney, Photographer — Adam Meaney is your typical student; he enjoys afternoon naps, trying to beat Super Mario Bros. 3, and listening to music every waking minute of the day. He has always been the photographer of the group, and some of his friends convinced him to make more of his photography hobby. With his camera by his side at all times, he is ready to capture the world around him, 1/1000th of a second at a time. Check outmore of Adam’s work.

Molly Meitin – Molly edits scientific writings of physicians who are better educated than she. To erase from her mind the tragic and disgusting medical marvels of which she learns, she can be found reciting passages from Degrassi Junior High (original 80s), banging on her drums, or making delicious and delightfully unhealthy truffles, which she uses to fatten up her friends.  In her editing and writing she follows the wisdom of Tracy Morgan’s character on 30 Rock: ‘You shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition at.’

Wacheke Michuki (Kenya) – Wacheke is currently volunteering to assist the internally displaced people camping at her church in Kenya. She is a recent graduate and her research interests include women’s and trade issues.

Kris Millett — Kris is plagued by a pesky music performing/composing habit. The condition has left him in a permanent state of arrested development, affecting his maturity level and ability to interact with others. His music has been described by some as ‘surprisingly listenable.’ You can decide for yourself at marglar.com/nothingpersonal/index.html. He is sometimes also known by the name “Mr. Sideburns.”

Darren Moore — Darren Moore, 31, studied English Literature at Trent University in Peterborough and Print Journalism at Loyalist College in Belleville. A freelance writer stationed in Belleville Ontario, he works full time at a bookstore – and wishes it paid more. (But reading for free makes up for the lack in salary).

Roxy Munro — Roxy Munro is a happy feminist who believes that an orgasm in the morning is the true breakfast of champions.

An Nguyen — An is a simple soul with an admiration for heroines of 19th-century romance novels. Her hobbies include scrap booking, knitting, painting, playing the pianoforte, and hanging out with friends. Ferociously passionate and outspoken on issues of politics and the arts, An hopes that(Cult)ure Magazine will allow and encourage everyone to engage and debate these topics with as much devotion as she herself has for them.

Miss O — Miss O prefers to remain anonymous. Her current celebrity crush is the Flight of the Conchords — but only if they come as a package deal. “I’d be the ice cream in that sandwhich,” she has been heard to say.

Dr. P. — When not researching for his next historial tome, marking crappy student essays or helping Frankly M.R. Shankly with his writing, Dr. P. is finally learning to drive.

Elitza Palazov —  . . . a mom . . .

Eric Parisien — Eric Parisien has written for Rolling Stone, Cream Magazine and toured with popular bands nationwide . . . no, wait, that was the movie Almost Famous. In reality, Eric is an average guy providing sales and marketing services to a leading translation company.

Will Parker — Will is not ashamed to admit that he’s made some mistakes in his life. After finishing his law degree and securing work with a prestigious national firm, he not-so-secretly dreams of attending the Cordon Bleu and opening up a specialty foods store. While he may have made a mistake with his career, there is no mistaking his culinary prowess.

D.W. Richards — D.W. Richards is a novelist and freelance writer.

Andrew Roman — An expatriate Montrealer and avid Ottawa critic with a penchant for short skirts and spicy food, he is never satified with the status-quo and is always willing to tell you what’s wrong with you, your life, your city, and even your opinions. Think the glass is half-full? Not for much longer.

Julie St. Cyr — Julie is a third-year law student at the University of Ottawa. The first time she ever thought about Aboriginal issues was when she was 9, at Girl Guide camp, listening to Native legends. If they used to own the whole country, she could never figure out where they had gone, or why they had given up such prime real estate. Later that summer, she found out about the Oka crisis.

Heather Marie Scheerschmidt — Heather is an avid supporter of local theatre and a blogger. By day she is the Circulation Manager for Hill Times Publishing. Check out her blog at http://ophelia23-surfacing.blogspot.com/

Christine Seabrook — Aspires to be a groupie, but a music journalist will have to do for now. She digs music a whole lot and loves the paradox of writing whereby she can communicate with no one, yet everyone at the same time. Her interest is spiked with new music and local talent. She loves 80s rock, but has a secret weakness for the bubblegum pop of David Cassidy and The Partridge Family . . . his pooka shells are just so hot.

Bardia Sinaee — Bardia came to Canada from Iran in 1997 and has been writing since he learned English. He’s enrolled as a Journalism major at Carleton University and enjoys photography, soccer, reading, and looking down on you.

Bonita Slunder — Bonita is a raconteur, bon vivant, and a social justice activist.  She was born in the Maritimes many moons ago. In her former life she authored 3 books, wrote a bunch of screenplays, taught creative writing, and produced a number of films and videos.  She has a BA in Psychology and an MA.  These days Bonita is happily tucked away on the second floor of the Korean Embassy where she works as the senior research analyst.  She lives in Ottawa but still has a deep connection to her Acadian Métis heritage. Bonita is proud to be a dual citizen of both Canada and Italia and spends her summers in a 400 year-old casa in the Julian Alps north of Venice, with her partner/best friend, flyboy Daniel.

Adam J. Smith — Adam is a British ex-pat, living, teaching and writing in China, while exploring the changes taking shape in this nation.

Terrah Smith — Terrah is happiest when given the freedom to parade around like a four year old. She enjoys throwing tantrums, making funny faces, and being silly. Fortunately, she is potty trained and only throws her peas when provoked.

Adrian Steeves, Illustrator – Adrian doesn’t live in the dungeon of his mind, trying to think of things that other people might laugh at. Instead, he’s a renaissance man. As a retired guy, who got rid of his computer when he quit working, he now finds that he needs it more than ever! He also plays jazz on the double bass and scribbles down beautiful cartoon images.

Chrissy Sudjana — Chrissy is waiting until the day when she can move to a private island in the middle of nowhere and have little hat-wearing monkey servants bring her food and drinks all day long.  To pass the time until that happens, she works as a consultant (where she is a monkey paper-pusher) and is earning her Master’s (formally learning how to be a government monkey).

Scott Swailes — Scott is an inspiring writer, who knew EXACTLY what he wanted to do with his life, and took fifteen years to get around to it. With fewer days ahead than there are behind, this is only the beginning . . .

Barry Thoms, Photographer — Born and raised in Ottawa, Barry has from an early age always poured his energy and passion into his interests, including his first love, photography. His photographic subjects over the years have varied from images created on a table top to the grandiose vistas of nature. Light, shadow, colour, negative spaces, textures and patterns, all draw his creative eye. Currently he is concentrating on fashion and model portfolio photography, both in the studio and on location. Check out Barry’s website.

Alexandra Trottier — Alex is in her final year of the undergrad film program at Carleton University. Her interests include fashion, media studies, gender issues . . . and criticizing others. She is also an extremely proud Canadian! WOOO, go Canada!

Mike Verdone — Mike Verdone is a human being from Calgary, Alberta. His interests include technology, obscure bands you’ve never heard of, and subverting the status quo.

Grace Wang — In a perfect world, Grace’s life will be brimming with her passions: cinema, travel, writing, photography, fashion, and little else. In this imperfect world called reality, however, Grace finds herself currently simmering in an adult job (the 9-5 kind . . . get your mind outta the gutter) and a lukewarm existence. She responses by musing excessively at her blog: Etheriel Musings. Be warned, you may get starry-eyed.

Shannon Wood — Shannon is a frequent traveller currently trapped in Canada. As a recent grad, she has discovered however awesome a liberal arts degree is (and there is no argument that it is), the general workforce doesn’t feel that an understanding of the major works of western society is a necessary attribute to answer phones or sell things. She will be attending law school in the fall.

Catriona Wright – Catriona studied English Literature at McGill University. She likes red wine, dark chocolate, and Canadian poetry.