Editor’s Letter: KT honoured with eight OCNA Awards

Kitchissippi Times editor Charlie Senack. Photo by Ellen Bond.

By Charlie Senack 

Happy March, Kitchissippi! 

I’m thankful spring is almost here. I know we were blessed with a warm winter, but I’m ready to ditch my trench coats for hoodie season. 

Spring doesn’t officially start until 11:06 p.m. on March 19, but it feels like it came early. As I write this, it’s currently seven degrees outside and the snow is melting. It hasn’t been a good season for our historic Rideau Canal or the Kichi Sibi Winter Trail which had a late start to the year. 

February was a very successful month for the Kitchissippi Times at the annual Ontario Community Newspaper Association (OCNA) awards. 

KT won in eight categories, including for best Ontario community newspaper with a circulation 12,500 and over. I was honoured to be recognized with the Stephen Shaw Reporter of the Year Award. 

The paper also received Best Diversity Coverage with Bradley Turcotte being celebrated for his story on LGBTQ2S+ sports leagues and Gabrielle Huston for their article on Hello Dolly pastries being “neurodivergent and queer all year.” 

KT photographer Ellen Bond received awards for Best Feature Photo, Photographer of the Year and Best Photo Layout, which is a shared entry with graphic designer Céline Paquette

KT also took home awards for Best Arts and Culture Story and Best Creative Grip and Grin Photo. We need to wait until April to find out if we are first, second or third place in each category, but either way, it’s an immense honour to be recognized. 

Building this paper every month is a labour of love and a team effort. Every single person pours their heart and soul into their work. I feel grateful to work with this great group of people every day. 

In this issue of KT, I spoke with new Parkdale Food Centre executive director Beth Ciavaglia about what she hopes to accomplish with the organization.  I also sat down with local city councillors and architects to learn more about what the future holds for Carling Avenue. 

Hannah Wanamaker went to Ten Toes Coffee House and Laundry on Somerset (a favourite hangout spot of ours) to learn about how they are promoting local products. Hannah also met up with Firdaus Kharas who was recently awarded with the Order of Canada. 

In ‘Early Days’, Dave Allston brings us back to when steeplechase races were the rage in Westboro. It’s hard to imagine Richmond Road sprawling with fields and farms! 

Christina Korotkov flipped through the pages of local authors to learn more about a reading festival Wellington West’s Bagelshop is hosting through March. A few blocks over in Westboro, she also stopped by the Clocktower Brew Pub which is collecting jackets for the homeless. 

Finally, Simon Hopkins went to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in McKellar Park where dancers from Ukraine were putting on a spectacular performance. He also met up with a local Nepean High School swimmer who has her eyes set on the Olympics. 

That’s all the news that fits into print this month. Have a story idea? Email me at editor@kitchissippi.com.

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