Monday, October 22, 2012

Megan Landry

Anti-bullying community educator, singer-songwriter

“Stand a little prouder, yell a little louder”. — Lyrics to the song Stronger

Lives and attends school in Ottawa.

Was bullied in grades 8 and 9 at two Ottawa schools by a clique of “mean girls”.

At 14, wrote a song about her painful experience, shot a video herself and posted it on You Tube. Her song “Stronger” is attracting world-wide attention for its anti-bullying message.

She is receiving praise and support for her anti-bullying song from around the planet.

Has performed at several youth benefits and will perform at a Canadian Safe School Network dinner in Toronto in November 2012.

Studied classical piano, jazz and pop, as well as taken voice lessons.

Won a Spirit of the Capital Youth Award for arts and culture for her contribution to youths in Ottawa.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Helen MacMurchy

Pioneer physican, health advocate, public health reformer

Born in 1862, died in 1953.

Began her medical career in private practice.

Had a lasting and meaningful impact on health care in Canada as a public health activist who specialized in women's issues.

Was a leading advocate of public health reforms in Canada in the early years of the 20th century.

Became the first chief of the federal Department of Health's Division of Child Welfare in Ottawa. She occupied this position for 14 years. At the time, this was the highest position then open to a woman in the Canadian public service.

Wrote the first childcare advice literature produced by the Canadian Government. In writing the Little Blue Books, she balanced the need to impart important medical advice to Canadian citizens while speaking to the reader in simple and plain language.

Was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1934, and named one of the 10 leading female physicians in the western world in 1949.

Helped found the Canadian National Committee on Mental Hygiene (later renamed Canadian Mental Health Association).

Was designated a national historic person in 1997, recognized for her contributions through her infant mortality reports, her career at the Department of Health and her series of books offering advice to mothers.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Kira Isabella

Singer-songwriter, musician

Born in Barrie, Ontario; grew up in Orleans (Ottawa) from the age of four. She attended St. Peter Catholic High School.

At 19, already has a decade of experience under her belt performing her brand of up-tempo country music across Canada.

Did her first recital at the age of seven in Ottawa and entered multiple singing competitions, of which she won many over the years.

At 14, she won first place in a country singing contest at an arts festival in Blyth, Ontario (Female Open Category), for which she won the Rising Star Award.

In 2009, she was signed to Sony Music Canada.

Plays guitar, writes poetry and lyrics and has performed hundreds of times to date. Will be releasing her first album “Love Me Like That” on October 4, 2012. The songs for this album were co-written with songwriters in Nashville and Atlanta.

Her first single from the album “Love Me Like That” recently won a 2012 Canadian Radio Music Award in the Country category at Canadian Music Week. See the you tube video of her song by clicking here.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Karen Bailey

Artist, painter

“I paint people at work. Military medical personnel, church tea ladies, waitresses, charity shop volunteers”—Karen Bailey

Ottawa-based artist.

Is a graduate of the Reigate School of Art & Design, England.

Is a “painter of the people”. Many of her works feature behind-the-scenes workers and under-recognized people.

Some of her series have highlighted the working life of servers and hairstylists while “Blanche Dot Doris”, focused on older women who prepare food for church functions.

Some of her past work includes courtroom drawing for Global Television, book illustration for Appletree Press, U.K., heraldic art and calligraphy.

Has received the prestigious Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grants for drawing and painting twice in her 30-year career.

As one of five military appointed artists in the Defence Program, she spent one week at a Kandahar hospital in 2007 to paint portraits of patients and medical military personnel. She entitled this collection of work—“The Triage Collection”.

Her largest canvas to date, Blast Victims, was included in the War & Medicine exhibition at the Canadian War Museum.

Was commissioned to paint the official portrait of past governor general Michaëlle Jean for Rideau Hall (unveiling took place in September 2012). www

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Verna Cotton

Local historian (Navan), author, volunteer

Is the third Tweedsmuir Coordinator for the Navan Branch of the Woman’s Institute, as well as a founding member of the Cumberland and Township Historical Society.

Is the author of pictorial history books entitled “The Navan of Yesteryear”.

Worked as a volunteer, secretary and president of the Navan Women’s Institute, fulfilling executive duties and helping with fundraising and community service projects.

Continues to serve on committees for the Navan Fair and St. Mary’s Anglican Church.

Verna and her husband Syd have both been recognized by the municipal and provincial governments for their contributions to the community of Navan. They received numerous awards, most significant of which was the Ontario Bicentennial Award, presented in 1984.

In recognition of Syd and Verna Cotton’s contributions to the community of Navan, a park on Forest Lea Drive has been renamed the “Syd and Verna Cotton Park” by the City of Ottawa in September 2012.

As long-term residents of the Navan area, Syd (now deceased) and Verna have shown great commitment to improving their community. To read about Syd’s contribution, please visit the following link:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kathleen Edwards

Singer-songwriter, musician

Born in Ottawa in 1978. As the daughter of a diplomat, spent much of her childhood in Korea and Switzerland. Now lives in Toronto.

Her musical style is classified as “alternative country, folk”; her instruments are guitar and violin.

First recorded a six-song EP entitled "Building 55" in 1999, of which she pressed 500 copies and toured across Canada managing her own gigs.

Wrote seven of the ten songs for her debut album “Failer” launched in 2003. Her second album “Back to Me” came out in 2005, while her third album “Asking for Flowers” was released in 2008.

In 2006, she was nominated for Juno Awards for Songwriter of the Year and Adult Alternative Album of the Year for "Back to Me".

In her career, she has opened for Willie Nelson, John Prine, Aimee Mann, My Morning Jacket, John Mayer and Bryan Adams. She was also invited as a guest on the David Letterman Show, and as a performer at Farm Aid.

Her most recent release is “Voyageur” (2012). For her next project, she plans to record songs from the 1990s.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Alanis Morisette

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer, actress

Born in Ottawa in 1974. Attended Holy Family Catholic Elementary School, Immaculata High School and Glebe Collegiate.

Won 16 Juno Awards and 7 Grammy Awards, and was nominated for 2 Golden Globes.

Since the beginning of her career (1991), she has launched 8 albums; her first international album was the rock-influenced Jagged Little Pill, released in 1995. It has sold more than 33 million units globally.

Has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide. She is known for her powerful and emotive mezzo-soprano voice.

Has had roles in television (including Sex in the City, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Weeds), film (including God and Dogma) and on stage (including The Vagina Monologues).