Thursday, May 31, 2012

Martha Webber

Educator, naturalist, master teacher

“Wherever Europeans settled, they always brought along their favourite plants” – Martha Webber

Born in New England circa 1927, lives in Kanata, Ontario.

Studied botany-ecology and geology; taught biology and earth science in Vermont before moving to Canada.

Leads groups into forests and fields to discover the variety of edible plants growing wild in the Ottawa region, particularly in Kanata.

Has been teaching about “wild edibles” in Ottawa since the 1970s.  Her goal is to teach “positive identification and conservation” of edible plants.

In addition to the wild edibles course, she runs a summer camp to guide children in their exploration of the flora, fauna and geology of natural areas in Ottawa ; also leads family nature walks at the Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre.

Part of Martha Webber’s work is helping to protect the Kanata Forest, which is the biggest remaining old growth forest in Ottawa. It is privately owned and slated for major development.

The Ottawa Field-Naturalists Club gave her the Mary Stuart Education Award in 2007 for her outstanding work in the field of natural history education in Ottawa.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

LaDorna Penteluk

Longest serving foster parent with the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa, parenting mentor

"I do it because these kids need to be taught what unconditional love is. If they grow up without love than they will never know what real love is when they get married and become parents."  —LaDorna Penteluk.

Opened her doors to foster children in the Capital in 1960 and has since cared for over 500 children; through her foster work, she has impacted hundreds of children's lives as well as their families. has adopted three foster children and fostered both regular placements and developmentally challenged children.

At age 80, she is in her 52nd year of fostering children in Ottawa and continues to enjoys providing a safe and nurturing environment that permits children to learn, grow and prosper.

She also volunteers with Foster Parent activities including the Christmas party, clothing depot and “Foster a Snow Angel”. She is well known at the Children’s Aid Society as the "Purple Lady" as every piece of clothing and accessory is purple!

She continues to expand her knowledge of fostering through attending workshops and conferences all over the world so she can contribute to the success and happiness of future foster children.

2005 Lifetime Achievement Award, Ottawa-Carleton Foster Parent Association
2010 Co-recipient of the Citizen of the Year Civic Appreciation Award, City of Ottawa
Ottawa Parenting Magazine, Summer 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Christine Hartig

Honorary Keeper of the Royal Swans

Cared for the city’s Royal Swans in Ottawa for 25 years.

As a project and policy officer with the city of Ottawa’s bylaw and regulatory services branch, Hartig has ensured the health and safety of the swans since 1987. As of May 2012, she is passing on that responsibility to the parks and recreation department. In recognition of her work, she was named Honorary Keeper of the Royal Swans.

For 25 years, she conducted bi-weekly health and facility inspections while the swans were in their wintering quarters, and provided year-round on-call and emergency services.

Historical note :
In 1967, then-governor general Roland Michener joined Ottawa mayor Frank Reid at a ceremony behind City Hall to release six pairs of mute swans into the Rideau River.  

The swans were a gift from the Queen to mark Canada’s centennial. Today, the descendants of those 12 royal white swans continue to swim and forage in the Rideau from May to November. Then they head to their winter home at the city’s Leitrim Nursery, to wait for spring when once again they take to the historic waterway.  

Occasionally you may also  spot a few Australian black swans, descendants of some donated by the Montreal zoo in 1974.  

The swans, which can live for 30 years or more, mate for life but will accept a new mate if one dies. They normally sleep at night, but occasionally take a catnap during the daylight hours.  The swans nest in areas of tall grass or brush, away from predators and curious passersby.  

Ottawa’s royal swans cannot fly because their wings have been pinioned, meaning the primary feathers on one wing has been permanently clipped. This precaution is dictated by the Canadian Wildlife Service so the birds don’t migrate and disturb native North American species.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Amethyst Women's Addiction Centre

Addiction centre for women (bilingual)

The Centre was founded in order to provide community-based treatment services to address the unique issues affecting women coping with substance abuse and/or problem gambling in the Capital.

When the centre opened in Ottawa in 1979, it was the first addiction treatment centre of its kind in Canada.

It offers alternative addiction services to women and is committed to working with diverse and marginalized groups of women. The centre supports women, individually and together, to take control of factors affecting their health and well-being.

The philosophy of the centre is grounded in the feminist belief that women's experiences with alcohol, drugs and gambling cannot be separated from their experiences and status as women.  A central task of Amethyst is to help women take charge of their lives by ending substance use and/or problem gambling and by making changes that enhance their strengths, their freedom and their choices.

The centre is both a health service concerned with prevention as well as direct service, as it works toward changing unjust social structures that place women at risk of addiction.

Katherine Henderson

Psychologist, expert on eating disorders, researcher

Is a registered Clinical Psychologist, the clinical director of the Regional Eating Disorders Program at CHEO, and lead for Outcomes Management and Research.

Completed her PhD in Clinical-Developmental Psychology at York University in 2000, and has been the Clinical Director at CHEO since 2003.

Is leading groups and conducting individual and family therapy, and is also very involved in research and training new professionals in the field of eating disorders.

Is an Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Lauralyn McIntyre

Scientist, intensive care physician, professor

Is part of the research team in Clinical Epidemiology at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

Is also a physician with the Critical Care Team  at The Ottawa Hospital and assistant professor at the Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa.

Her program of research is focused on examining fluid resuscitation practices in the critically ill and specifically, septic shock in Canadian Intensive Care Units.

She will lead the first clinical trial in the world of a stem cell therapy for septic shock. This deadly condition occurs when an infection spreads throughout the body and over-activates the immune system, resulting in severe organ damage and death in 30 to 40 per cent of cases. Under the leadership of Dr. Lauralyn McIntyre, this new “Phase I” trial will test the experimental therapy in up to 15 patients with septic shock at The Ottawa Hospital’s ICU.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Kathie Donovan

Television host, DJ, radio pioneer, reporter

Born in Vancouver, raised in Montreal; has lived in the Ottawa area since the 1970s.

Helped to start Canada’s first campus FM radio station CKCU-FM at Carleton University in 1975.

Helped to launch Ottawa’s first alternative FM radio station, CHEZ 106.

Worked as a disc jockey, then host of a radio magazine program called "In the City”, and as a reporter at Ottawa's CJOH News.

She has been with CTV since 1988 and had been co-producing and co-hosting Regional Contact since 1998.

She is leaving CTV after a successful 24-year career at that station.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ruth Phillips

Professor, author, curator

Earned a doctorate in African Art History from the School of African and Oriental Studies at the University of London.

Began her career at Carleton University in Ottawa in 1979, pioneering the teaching of indigenous North American art history in Canada.

Has curated exhibitions for and consulted to major museums in Canada and the United States.

Served as director of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, where she was also Professor of Anthropology and Art History, 1997-2003.

Returned to Carleton in 2003 as the Canada Research Chair in Modern Culture.

Served as president of CIHA, the international association of art historians, 2004-2008.

Founder of the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures (GRASAC), in 2005.

Is Canada Research Chair in Modern Culture at Carleton University and the author of Seeing Through Translation: Visuality and Cultural Exchange in the Great Lakes, and Museum Pieces: Exhibiting Native Art in Canadian Museums, for which she was recently dominated for the Donner Prize.

Has won many awards and honours including Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2007 and a National Gallery of Canada fellowship in 1997.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Barbara M. Freeman

Historian, professor, author, broadcast journalist

Holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree and a Master of Arts in Canadian Studies from Carleton University; graduated with a Ph.D. in History from Concordia University in Montreal.

Began teaching at Carleton University in Ottawa in 1980 after a career in broadcast journalism.

Is an adjunct research professor and former associate professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University; has a specialty in media history, and gender and diversity in journalism.

Is the author of  Beyond Bylines: Media Workers and Women’s Rights in Canada  (2011), The Satellite Sex: The Media and Women's Issues in English Canada, 1966-1971  (2001) and Kit’s Kingdom: the Journalism of Kathleen Blake Coleman (1989).

Is a founding and executive member of the Media and Communication History Committee and a member of the Canadian Committee on Women’s History.

Louise Rachlis

Freelance writer and communications consultant

Holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University in Ottawa; is a creative fiction writer, receiving first prize and an honorable mention in City of Ottawa 55+ Short Story Contests.

Spent 25 years at the Ottawa Citizen newspaper where she was the advertising features editor.

Is the author of two triathlon and running books, A Matter of Dreams, and 20 Steps.

Was also the editor for more than 10 years of Challenge Life with Cancer magazine for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.

Is vice-president, Communications, for the Canadian Authors Association, National Capital Region and is a weekly volunteer leader at “The Art Studio for People Living with Mental Illness” at the Hintonburg Community Centre in Ottawa.

Is also a board member of the Parkinson Association Ottawa, which is receiving the profits from her new book entitled Feeling Good: Life stories of my friends.

Maison d’amitié

Crisis shelter for francophone women and their children

Sister Solange Beauparlant and Sister Rita Labelle are the founding pioneers of Maison d’amitié; they held their first board meeting in 1975.

The shelter was officially recognized by the government of Canada as a non-profit organization on March 29, 1976 and one year later, in April 1977, Maison d’amitié welcomed a mother and her son; by April 1978, 134 families had seeked shelter.

In 1989, the shelter acquired a new home (change of address), yet 15 beds proved to be insufficient due to an increased demand for services; a second home opened its doors in 2006, thus doubling the number of families being sheltered.

In May 2006, in partnership with other shelters across the province, a health line became available for francophone women in crisis (1-877-FEMAIDE), the first and only crisis line offered in French to the women of Ontario.

Leigh Chapple

Anchor, reporter, professor

Born and lives in Ottawa.

Studied journalism at Algonquin College.

Began her career with CHOV-TV in Pembroke at the age of 19.

Joined CJOH-TV, first as personal assistant to Max Keeping, then as a reporter, eventually as anchor of the 11:30 pm news.

Hosted Regional Contact, CTV Weekend News and is the producer of CTV News @ 11:30.

For the last 15 years, works as a part-time professor at Algonquin College in the TV Broadcasting Program.

Was twice nominated for the Premier's Award, named as one of the capital's top 50 people by Ottawa Magazine, and honoured as the Consumer's Choice Award Women of the Year.

Is retiring from her CTV anchor job in 2012 after 36 years in the business.