Editor’s Letter: Bards and books

By Maureen McEwan

Happy summer, Kitchissippi, and happy Pride!

We have a positive issue on our hands: the energy of the season and the collective ease as many COVID-19 restrictions were lifted seem to permeate much of this month’s newspaper. 

Here’s what’s happening in our community news: 

On June 2, Joel Harden was re-elected MPP for Ottawa Centre. We speak with Harden as he begins work again at the provincial legislature this month and what his plans are for his second term. 

The Hintonburg Community Centre is receiving $625,000 for green infrastructure improvements. The retrofit is the first of its kind in a City of Ottawa building. We hear from Ottawa Centre MP Yasir Naqvi and Mike Fletcher, a project manager of the environmental program for the City of Ottawa, on the recent announcement. 

In exciting literary news, the Ottawa Trans Library opened in late May in Hintonburg. Owner Tara Sypniewski spoke with us about the library’s beginnings and how it has evolved in the new space. 

And Hintonburg is set to have another LGBTQ-led book spot soon: The Spaniel’s Tale plans to open by early September. Owners Cole Davidson and Stephen Crocker dreamed of starting a bookstore together for many years and they share their story with us.

We caught up with Heather Lacey, executive director for ABLE2, about all the summer and fall events the non-profit has planned and the “good recipe” that helps the organization run the way it does. 

Another executive director spoke with us for the August edition: Sarah Davis at Cornerstone Housing for Women. We learned that the non-profit has announced the opening of its fifth supportive housing residence at Eccles Street in Centretown and that the team is looking to expand its Indigenous and Cultural Services Program, a program that launched at its Princeton residence in Westboro.

In arts and entertainment news, the Bard is back: the Torchlight Shakespeare in the Park series has returned. This summer, a Company of Fools theatre company is performing The Tempest at over 40 parks in the National Capital Region, including several in Kitchissippi. Artistic Director Nicholas Leno told us what audiences can expect. 

In Humans of Kitchissippi, we connect with local Ria Heynen who shared her journey with us: from growing up in the Netherlands during World War II to her immigration to North America and, eventually, her time teaching music and raising a family in Ottawa. 

Finally, our Retirement Living section is featured this month! We had the opportunity to check in with the Churchill Seniors Centre and learn about what’s new in the community. 

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print. 

Stay sunny and stay safe, Kitchissippi!

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