Sunday, December 18, 2011

Amy Brandon

Jazz guitarist

Born in Charlottetown, grew up in Ottawa; now lives in Nova Scotia.

Graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in music from Carleton University (Ottawa) in 2006.

Is a regular on the Maritimes jazz scene and has appeared at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival.

Her haunting melodies blend jazz, classical and folk influences.

Works as a guitar teacher and performer.

Was recently awarded a Nova Scotia Culture and Heritage grant to study in New York with leading jazz guitarist Sheryl Bailey.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Natalie Maclean

Sommelier, wine writer

Born in Halifax; lives in Ottawa.

Writes a wine column with more than five million followers.

Author of two books: Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines and Red, White and Drunk All Over.

Named the world’s best drinks writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia in 2011.

Member of the National Capital Sommelier Guild and the Wine Writer’s Circle in Ottawa.

Won four James Beard Foundation Journalism Award and multiple other awards.

Her articles have been published in over 60 newspapers and magazines.

Offers a free e-mail newsletter to help people choose wines in restaurants.
STYLE magazine, December 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kellylee Evans

Jazz vocalist

Born in Toronto; lives in Ottawa.

Creates her own original compositions, which seamlessly fuse jazz and her unique style of "soul pop”.

Began her career in 2004 after garnering a 2nd place win at the Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocals Competition.

Has three albums Fight or Flight, The Good Girl, and her latest Nina, which was recorded in France and is a tribute to one of jazz's greatest vocalists and pianists, Nina Simone.

Nominated for a Juno and a Gemini Award in 2007 and won a Juno award in 2010 for Nina.

Has been invited to open for music legends Tony Bennett, Maceo Parker and George Benson along with Chris Botti, Derek Trucks and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

Has studied and recorded with Janis Siegel of Manhattan Transfer and co-wrote and performed on saxophonist Jane Bunnett’s 2009 Juno Award winning release, Embracing Voices.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gabriella Goliger


Born in Italy, grew up in Montreal and has lived in Ottawa for the past 30 years.

Obtained a B.A. from McGill University and an M.A. in English literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Her first book, Song of Ascent, won the 2001 Upper Canada Writer's Craft Award, was co-winner of the 1997 Journey Prize for short fiction, finalist for this prize in 1995 and won the Prism International award in 1993.

Has also been published in a number of journals and anthologies including Best New American Voices 2000 and Contemporary Jewish Writing in Canada.

Her second book, Girl Unwrapped, was published in 2010; it won the City of Ottawa Book Award in the English Non Fiction category in 2011.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Merna Forster

Author, historian (with a particular interest in women's history)
Naturalist, photographer

Born in Alberta; lives in Victoria, B.C.

Wrote the books 100 Canadian Heroines and 100 More Canadian Heroines. You can visit her website at

Earned a B.A. at the University of Alberta and an M.A. in history from Laval University in Quebec City.

Worked with national parks and national historic sites across Canada in the areas of public education programs, outreach and visitor services.

Also worked in the field of Canadian Studies; while based in Ottawa she received the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Commemorative Medal and served as vice-president of the Ottawa Independent Writers.

Was awarded The Lieutenant Governor's Celebration of the Arts Pin by Dr. Lynda Haverstock, Lieutenant Governor, Province of Saskatchewan.

Currently works at the University of Victoria as Executive Director of the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History Project, which received the 2008 Pierre Berton Award.