By Owen Maxwell

Food Hall firsts

The Sun Life Financial Centre on Queen St. in downtown Ottawa is planning to host foodies again when it opens as the city’s first food hall. Dubbed as Queen St. Fare, the new hall is focused on quality restaurant food and live music. Along with a multitude of food options, the hall concept would start days serving meals like brunch and morph through the day until closing as a cocktail venue. Queen St. Fare will boast over 9,000 sq ft. when it opens on December 7 and it is hoping to capitalize on the gain in traffic from the upcoming LRT additions next year.

The food hall model mixes the range and convenience of a food court, with higher-end food options and experiences based around the space.  In this case, Queen St. Fare could have live music through breakfasts on some days and late night concerts on others. The new venue’s capacity of 390 people, the Food Hall has the potential to fill a gaping hole in Ottawa’s musical needs.

The NAC gets ready for 2019

The National Arts Centre has announced a deluge of new artists for its 2019 season, and promises the best is yet to come. Leading the pack is Bobby Bazini and the eccentric Rufus Wainwright, with names still on the way ahead of 2019.

“Rufus always has something interesting going on and the audience here loves him,” says NAC Executive Producer, Heather Gibson. Though Gibson explains there’s no central theme to this year’s lineup, she insists the focus is on highlighting great Canadian content.

Other programming announced includes Choir! Choir! Choir!, Doc Walker, Steven Page, Ben Caplan, and a Harry Belafonte tribute from Alex Cuba. Local gems include Slack Bridges, Amos The Transparent, Outside I’m A Giant, and Cody Coyote.

“We’re continuing to try and find places for the local community to play, and we want to increase our role locally,” said Gibson. The NAC is also putting on shows in less-used parts of the building like the Canal Lobby and the Glass Thorsteinson Staircase among other shows for toddlers, and Gibson reminds readers that many of these shows are actually free.

Community comes together After The Storm

With the devastating damage wrought by September’s intense tornado, The United Way and CUPE Local 503 are working to help out through music. After The Storm is their answer, a November 10 concert at TD Place to raise funds and help Ottawa heal from the disaster. With Jim Cuddy headlining, the show will be free with donations and runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

“I reached out to my industry colleagues after seeing the extent of what happened,” said Music Canada Live Executive Director, Erin Benjamin. “And they all said yes!”

Along with Cuddy, for five hours of music, are Matt Mays, Sarah Harmer, Jim Bryson and Craig Cardiff among others. Artist Rebecca Noelle noted how in-demand skilled physical labour was, and admitted that it’s just not feasible for everyone.

“Having the opportunity to contribute through other means, like music, is so special,” said Noelle.

Benjamin is also encouraging people to donate directly through as much as they can because “one night isn’t going to solve everyone’s problems.”

Ottawa’s Own shows off local creators

In an effort to show off Ottawa’s creative side, Ottawa Tourism has launched its second series of Ottawa’s Own. The video collection looks at innovators across the city’s culinary and artistics scenes, even including beer brewing to help spotlight the range of disciplines evolving in the city. Through the videos, creators are not only showing their work but how they see Ottawa themselves.

“We want to change the way people think about their capital and show the things that locals know about,” says Ottawa Tourism communications representative, Nives Scott.

After their initial run in February, Ottawa’s Own opened up to the community for nominations. Brianna Kim, chef-owner of Café My House, was heavily nominated for the flair she brings to her cooking. As they focus on a younger audience for this campaign, other highlights include Pure Yoga and Pure Kitchen, and the Dominion City Brewing Company.

“Millennials are looking for authentic experiences and are touched by more locally centered enterprises,” said Scott.

At The Lunch Table for The National Art Gallery

After a storied past and a sort of asylum in Canada, Carl Moll’s “At The Lunch Table” has finally entered the hallowed halls of the National Gallery Of Canada. Moll originally finished the painting in 1901, which shows his own family sitting down for a meal. “At The Lunch Table” is joining the NGC’s European art collection, and is also the first work by Moll in any public institution in Canada.

Moll rose as part of the Vienna Succession, along with friends like Gustav Klimt. The painting’s simple look at a family is meant to show Viennese society as it was changing. Siegmund Isaias Zollschan later acquired the painting, and sent it to his Canadian family when he was fleeing persecution during the Holocaust. While it has spent years in Canada since, this new agreement with the NGC assures all Canadians can appreciate it.