Dine at the King’s Table w/ us @ North & Navy

A fundraising dinner, volume 1.

Reconnect with old friends, make new ones, support the arts, but above all, savour authentic northern Italian food from one of the most talked about and appreciated restaurants in the city. Recently nominated for EnRoute Magazine’s top 10 new restaurants to eat in Canada, North & Navy is arguably the most beautiful place to dine in the capital. The King’s Table is located on the second floor in a private dining room with cathedral ceilings and antique light fixtures. There, you will dine as we host you among exquisite floral accents by Blumenstudio, like-minded food lovers, and beautiful place settings.

When you purchase a ticket, you’re doing your part in helping Herd Magazine pay for printing, as well as supporting Ottawa’s local artists and cultural innovators.

What your ticket gets you:

Five courses
+
Glass of bubbly for a toast
Glass of wine
A beer
Prizes
The newest edition of Herd Magazine
An incomparable dining experience

Tickets are $125 each.
Space is super duper limited.

Click here to purchase

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Arboretum’s logo gets way metaphoric

Each year, Rolf Klausener, Creative Director of Arboretum Festival, tweaks the logo just a tad. What began as three trees created by celebrated designer & artist, Ross Proulx, has since set to orbit the deeper metaphorical & symbolic realm of culture, history, and geography. It may seem far-fetched, but once the newly evolved logo’s story is expressed, you’ll be convinced of this logo’s ambition.

“I really got into India inks this year,” Klausener expresses, “I’m not a visual artist, and can’t draw to save my life, but I’ve always loved watching the ink transfer to the page, the quality of each stroke growing in complexity as the ink drains from the brush.” In March, Klausener began to think about this year’s design, but the festival’s new location had yet to be confirmed, which made it difficult for him to truly identify the event’s personality. Soon after, in April, the site, Albert Island, was solidified, and the festival was faced with some difficult questions regarding the location’s significance to the Algonquin people and First Nations. “That essentially halted festival planning, but I continued working on the design, and tinkering with my inks. After a few dozen less than stellar tries, the final design came together rather quickly, as most do.”

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The original logo, Klausener explains, was a metaphor for an Arboretum, which in latin means tree garden, which in turn signifies diversity. Not to mention the primary role that trees (more specifically, lumber) have played in Ottawa and Canada’s historical narrative. “This year, the three trees, morphed by some hand-painted sketches, looked almost like three islands,” Rolf notes. “I pulled out the inks one afternoon and just started smearing out some triangles. It was meditative and totally unconscious.” The islands incorporated in the logo were not a conscious decision, it was when Rolf showed a friend who said that the new design looked more like three islands rather than three trees. The three trees, he says, were always meant to embody the diversity of Ottawa’s arts and culture, but the imagery of the three islands even furthers that symbolism. Albert Island, the festival’s new site, is one third of the Chaudière Island trio, which were first known as the Asinabka (“place of glare rock”). The trio of islands were a gathering place for the Algonquin people as well as other First Nations, but later, they became home to the lumber district that carried Ottawa into the industrial, economical, and political spotlight. “So this year, I feel like the logo embodies a lot; it could represent the three islands of the Asinabka; it could represent the region’s population: First Nations, settlers and new Canadians; and naturally, it embodies our varied artistic expression, whether it be punk, electronic music, or folk, painting, media art, or gastronomy,” Rolf concludes, of the new logo.

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While the site raises many questions that pertain to our region and how we identify with it,  Arboretum released an educational and humble letter to the public on the topic. As a result of their new-found knowledge, the festival is hosting several discussions that will open up a much-needed dialogue between several key members of diverse communities. Expanding programming to be more inclusive is part of the festival’s mission.

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Last year, Arboretum introduced Francophone programming and our neighbouring city of Gatineau/Vieux Hull, which was a no-brainer when looking to be an inclusive and an “accurate representation of our region’s culture.” When asked if this year’s challenges and insight will have an effect on future programming of the festival, Rolf responded very confidently, “Absolutely.” He elaborates, “this year’s steps forward are definitely the scope of our panel discussions with First Nations, our kick off show with the Queer Songbook Orchestra, bringing in the Indonesian community’s Gamelan group, and working to have most of our line-up be female-led or female inclusive.”

In the end, Rolf hopes that “our little city will walk away inspired, and with an expanded perception of what it means to live here.”

Issue 08 now online

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Spring issue is now available online (and of course at our stockists in print)!

Enjoy the colourful and light-hearted content, as well as some encouraging and emotional words. Beautiful images and playful design.

We suggest reading this in a leisurely setting, perhaps a cafe, or on a chair by the window. Enjoy.

Bytown Chef Collective: A sugar shack experience

We’re running a Twitter contest for a pair of tickets to the following event. Contest begins tomorrow (Wed, March 25th) and you have 24 hours to enter. Email your answers to info@herdmag.ca to enter!

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This Sunday chefs from Ottawa’s Byward Market and surrounding areas will host and cook up the most decadent, indulgent, and authentic Canadian sugar shack experience at Proulx Sugar Bush & Berry Farm in Cumberland. The event is steered by seven chefs:  Stephen La Salle, The Albion Rooms; Kyle Mortimer-Proulx, Lowertown Brewery; Paul Dubeau, Clocktower Brew Pubs (and Stella as well, under new ownership); Ian Reed, Courtyard Restaurant; Ian Carswell, National Gallery/KW Catering & Events; Jesse Bell, Dish Catering; David Wallace, Around the Block Butcher Shop. Together, they make the Bytown Chef Collective.

Guests will be picked up by bus at The Albion Rooms on Sunday afternoon. Upon arrival at the farm, wandering and exploring is encouraged and a bon fire with canapés and sugar shack activities. Following the free time guests will enjoy a 3-course meal conjured up collaboratively by the seven chefs, including wine pairings from Prince Edward County.

The event is a charitable one, as proceeds go to support Farmworks Social Enterprise, an Operation Comes Home Initiative.

For tickets and details check here! You won’t want to miss this unique opportunity!

Festibière brings two cities together for the love of Beer

This past weekend, Le Festibière d’hiver hosted some of Quebec’s best microbreweries and local talent for the fourth annual Winter Beerfest. Festibière joined together with the Museum of History and LaChapelle Fiat to bring the best Quebec microbrews around to help aid in warming both cities up from the inside out.

This was the first year they opened their doors to the local brewmasters at Beaus, who have worked diligently over the last eight years to release their beer as widely as possible. Being able to sell in La Belle Province is huge for the Vankleek company and they’re releasing their products into the Quebec market starting this month, with Festibière as their celebratory launch to that effect.

This is a big step for Festibière to include an Ontario brand. They have typically limited their microbrews to those based in Quebec, and with the addition of Beau’s they may be more willing to include other local Ontario microbreweries. In their initial press release, General Manager Michael O’Farrell was quoted as saying “More and more of our neighbours from Ontario are attending the Beerfest. It is therefore natural for us to offer a selection of their beers. We can’t ignore the great variety and quality of the products found right on the other side of the river!”

O’Farrell has a point- it doesn’t make sense to exclude Ontario brands. Ontario and Quebec are different provinces, but the amount that Ontarians and Quebecers frequent each other’s cities makes it even more laughable when festivals segregate their brands. I admire their commitment to celebrating brands that are specifically French, but just four years into Festibière they seem to have come to the conclusion that their focus should be on local microbreweries in a wider geographical sense, and not those brewed on one particular side of the border.

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While they’ve included an Ontario microbrew brand, Festibière didn’t do many favours for their Ontario brethren in terms of travel to the Festival. The Festibière website lists The Museum of History as the location for the event, but OCTranspo does not recognize the address (100 Rue Laurier) as a destination, nor does it list the Museum of History as a landmark. The Museum of Civilization was renamed years ago in 2012, but neither transportation website has caught up to the change. If you Google The Museum of Civilization you will still be routed to The Museum of History, listed as Musée Canadien De L’Histoire in French. So, no one calls it the Musée de la Civilisation since it was renamed in 2012, only OCTranspo and STO when you’re trying to find it via their websites. You will have to know to type in ‘Musée de la Civilisation’ in order to be taken to the Museum of History on both, and Festibière does not make this confusion any easier by showing pre-planned routes or bus route numbers like The Museum of History does.

Festibière did do those in Gatineau a solid by connecting with STO for free service to and from the festival, saving those who would normally drive from having to make the choice between driving home and having more beer. This is very generous of the STO, but a further improvement would be putting the correct museum title to accompany the route information on their website on how to connect by bus when travelling from Ontario.

Festibière had made some additions to their programming as well as beer selection. They had local musicians for entertainment and a new self-serve beer station called the Randall was on hand for those with adventurous taste buds. They included hoppy blends and spiced versions of old favourites. There was even an amazing view of parliament next to a giant bonfire to keep people warm while the beer kicked in and Martin de Board, who is the Executive Chef for Distinction by Sodexo had his team at the event serving delectable gourmet appetizers to pair with the many microbrew selections. Both nights had Beer and Cheese pairing workshops hosted by the Festibiere president Mario D’Eer leading up to the Singer/Songwriter Bonfire event. People gathered around a giant bonfire to be entertained by local Singer/Songwriters as the Billy Love Band played through and were followed by O.S.N.

All in all, Festibière was a success. The festival organizers had taken feedback received from last years attendees to better the festival this year. You can hardly fault a festival that not only listens to its demographic, but improves itself based on their suggestions. Cups were bigger and filled properly, the site itself was better organized and everything to see remained open. I look forward to seeing next years beer selection, and more incredible food and entertainment!