I’ll come right out and say it: I’m a reluctant partier. Maybe it’s the stress of deciding all the little details in advance, or perhaps it’s simply my natural introverted instincts when it comes to crowded spaces, I have never been what one would call “the life of the party.” But I have begun to admire the art of a well-
orchestrated bash. From original personalized decor to entertainment — not to mention food and drink — a great party helps reserved party-goers like me loosen up. And let’s face it: celebrations are integral to the way we experience the passage of time. Whether it’s a birthday party that reminds us our baby is growing up or a memorial service that honours a loved one, these events bring us together to laugh, cry, hug, and recognize what is really important in life. And when I’m raising my glass and meeting the eyes of fellow guests, I’m always glad to be there. So whether you are a seasoned party planner looking for the latest trends or someone who needs to be sweet-talked onto the dance floor, I think you’ll find our “Keep Calm and Party On” guide useful and entertaining.
Also in this issue is Judy Trinh’s story on SWATing. I’ll admit to being a bit behind in the digital age, but when the City of Ottawa’s website was hacked this past fall, I think many of us felt a collective shudder. Sure, the dancing banana didn’t do much harm, but it forced us to ask whether authorities are prepared to deal with hackers. It’s a complicated, creepy story that ultimately points to teen pranksters, but with SWATing on the rise, it seems best to be ahead of the curve on this tech trend.
Meanwhile, Brielle Morgan brings us an insightful article about Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA), an international network that helps high-risk sex offenders transition into regular life after time spent in prison. CoSA has an excellent track record, but its funding crisis is reaching a critical level. Just before this issue went to press, the Ottawa chapter was forced to deny support to a recently released sex offender. They’re begging Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney to reinstate the federal funding from Correctional Service Canada and organizing fundraisers so that they can continue to heal and protect society.
Coming Up: It’s a busy time at Ottawa Magazine as we put together our May real estate issue and our annual Eating & Drinking Guide. That book will be an end of sorts to Shawna Wagman’s position as contributing food editor. In her 10 years in this role, Wagman has written about many things related to dining, from restaurants to eating habits to ways of better understanding our relationship with food. While she might be best known for her Top 10 lists, Wagman has helped develop Ottawa Magazine into the go-to resource for all things edible, and we thank her for the appetite she has brought to the booming foodie scene. You can read more about her memories — and her future — on page 64.
— Dayanti Karunaratne, editor
Reason to Love Ottawa: Because the city breeds actors, athletes, and literary lions
By Di Golding
Found: The Lilias W. Fleck Fountain of LeBreton Flats
By Matt Harrison
Election chatter by Mark Bourrie
Neighbourhood Watch by Matt Harrison
Q&A: Perth peacenik Hans Sinn
By Stephen Dale
Camera: Glenn Nuotio checks out the scene at Snowflake Ball, OAG’s On the Rocks
by Denis Calnan 21
by Matt Harrison 23
SWATers and Hackers
Tracing a tangled web of cyberspace bullying
by Judy Trinh
Support in the Shadows
Circles of Support and Accountability has a proven track record for assisting high-risk sexual offenders with integrating into society and ensuring that they do not reoffend. But its current funding crisis is raising alarm bells for those who study offence rates.
By Brielle Morgan
35 Keep Calm and Party On
Life’s special moments — birthdays, proms, weddings, retirements, and funerals — bring us together. But how we mark these occasions has changed.
Ottawa Magazine’s party guide looks at the history of celebrations, highlights key industry experts, and offers an overview of the modern bash
Plus: What’s a party without food? Five experts in the catering biz prepare perfect edibles
Spring Forward in Valentino Rockstuds
MY LOOK Tommie Amber Pirie
SHOP TALK Anniversary gifting
GREAT SPACE A growing family builds a dazzling house across the street from their former home
QUEST Easter treats
Plus City Bites: Notable restaurant
and food happenings
TASTING NOTES David Lawrason explores Argentina — beyond malbec
HIGH SPIRITS Travis Persaud on craft distilleries
Spotlight on Soca Kitchen & Pub plus six new reviews of local restaurants
Alice’s Adventures at the NAC • Paul Gessell’s picks in See, Hear, Read • Alex Colville and contemporaries
After the storm by Hattie Klotz