Photo Gallery: Kitchissippi Times turns 20 with community gathering

Mark Sutcliffe and members of the Kitchissippi times team address the room.
Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, who founded the Kitchissippi Times in 2003, speaks during an anniversary party on Nov. 14, 2023. Photo by Ellen Bond.

By Kitchissippi Times staff

Wellington West’s Thyme & Again was packed on Nov. 14 as over 130 Kitchissippi Times readers, advertisers and supporters came out to celebrate the newspaper’s 20th anniversary. 

It was an opportunity for the community’s players to socialize with one another while looking back at some of the biggest stories which have touched Kitchissippi over the last two decades. 

The three-hour event was so successful, some people had to be turned away after the room reached capacity. Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, who founded the newspaper in October 2003, was in attendance, alongside former business partner Donna Neil. 

In a speech, Sutcliffe said he started the community paper after feeling there was a need to tell the stories of Kitchissippi residents. It was a family affair in the early days, he said, noting everyone pitched in to get the paper to press. 

“It’s been a few years since I’ve been involved in the day-to-day operations of Kitchissippi Times, but once upon a time Donna and I were doing everything to put the paper out,” Sutcliffe said. “My mom used to come over to my house and together we’d work on the invoices for the advertisers. I took a lot of pictures in the early days and wrote some of the stories. Donna made all of the connections with the community. It was a really fun project.”

Four people pose for a photograph holding a plaque.
From left to right: Michael Curran, Mark Sutcliffe, Donna Neil and Charlie Senack. Photo by Ellen Bond.

It’s been a tough time in the local news industry. Only a handful of community newspapers still print in Ottawa. Between 2008 and 2023, 473 Canadian news operations shut operations, according to the federal government. 

Kitchissippi Times editor Charlie Senack said the paper’s growing success during turbulent times is thanks to community support.  

“There is never a shortage of stories going on here, from developments to community events and profiles. We have the opportunity to go into people’s homes and talk about issues that matter to them,” he said. 

Senack also thanked the team behind the scenes who make the magic happen. 

“We have the best creative design city in the city. People are always commenting on how amazing the paper looks when it comes out. That’s thanks to Celine Paquette and Tanya Connolly-Holmes. We also can’t thank Eric Dupuis enough who deals with the business community to sell ads.”

Since the first issue of KT was released, over 330 print editions have been published. The paper has interviewed thousands of newsmakers and residents while assisting hundreds of businesses in the Westboro and Hintonburg areas to reach their marketing and sales objectives. 

For local journalism students, the paper has created print opportunities which are becoming rare as the digital landscape changes how media is viewed. Carleton Journalism student Simon Hopkins said that’s one of the reasons he was drawn to KT. 

“I love the idea of a physical newspaper. I love community news. I think it is fantastic that we still have an independently-owned local newspaper that is on such a high level here in Kitchissippi,” he said.

Also in attendance was Great River Media publisher Michael Curran, Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper, and former KT editors Andrea Tomkins and Maureen McEwan.

Check out the photo gallery below! With files by Ally Lemieux-Fanset

A packed room of people talking.
Over 130 people joined the Kitchissippi Times on Nov. 14 to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Photo by Ellen Bond.
Four people pose for a photo.
From left to right: Lisa Georges, Donna Neil, Mark Sutcliffe, and Michael Curran. Photo by Ellen Bond.
Multiple people stand around a table with a green table cloth and pose for a photo
Party guests support community news during the KT 20th anniversary party on Nov. 14, 2023. Photo by Ellen Bond.
The Great River Media team are all smiles as they pose for a photo.
Members of the Great River Media team. Photo by Andrea Tomkins.
Four people pose for a photo. Two are holding half full glasses of red wine.
KT distribution agents distribution agents Christine and Royal Renaud pose for a photograph with Donna Neil and Michael Curran. Photo by Ellen Bond.
Simon speaks with two older people who are sitting at a table.
Reporter Simon Hopkins speaks with party attendees. Photo by Ellen Bond.
A woman reads a copy of the Kitchissippi Times.
Gabrielle, a longtime KT reader, looks at the November 2023 anniversary issue. Photo by Ellen Bond.
Charlie poses for a photo with his mom and dad. His mom is wearing a bright pink plaid shirt.
Kitchissippi Times editor Charlie Senack poses for a photo with his parents. Photo by Ellen Bond.

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