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features Hey ocean! surfs through a stellar show
Band woos crowd with infectious pop energy
on oct. 10, Vancouver natives the Zolas and Hey ocean! treated U of G to a show at the brass taps. the Zolas generated a lot of response as they opened the show with catchy hooks reminiscent of the ‘90s. the crowd was captured by the memorable guitar riffs and the lyrics that continue to echo in your head. Hey ocean! managed to get the crowd up on their feet as they brought incredible energy to the taps. the obvious crowd favourites, “big blue Wave” and “islands” blasted feel-good melodies, while other songs hinted towards a funk and reggae influence. one of the band’s greatest strengths was their versatility on stage. the unique voice of ashleigh ball opened one song with a rendition of destiny’s Child “bootylicious” only to quickly switch to a cover of the Ronnettes’s, “be My baby”. during the softer songs, the audience’s energy did not fade; one or two couples were even spotted slow-dancing. the band is currently touring Canada to promote their latest album, Is (2012), yet its not their first time across the trans
Can. ball and her band mates david Vertesi and david beckingham have actually lost count of the number of times they have toured the nation, but she claims they still enjoy the ride.
arts & Culture Sports & Health opinion Editorial Crossword Community listings Classifieds
“I think we didn’t want to be afraid of just going for it and making a crazy studio album and adding instruments we didn’t necessarily play” – Ashleigh Ball
“it’s been really cool getting to tour across Canada and seeing this glorious country we live in.” Hey ocean! is strongly influenced by “classic pop” bands they grew up with, such as fleetwood Mac, the beatles, and Michael Jackson. Vertesi
Ashleigh Ball of Hey Ocean! combined pop energy with lyrical depth at the Brass Taps on Oct. 10.
defended the “pop” label of the band. “i think ‘pop’ at some point became a dirty word,” Vertesi said of people’s negative ...se e oc e a n pag e 10
Poutine eating competition tests their limits
169.7◆ october 18t h, 2012
rowers get more than they bargained for
International news briefs
Roughly 15 minutes into the poutine massacre, George Payne, member of the Guelph rowing team and organizer of the night’s challenge, said, in notso-mock horror, “i’ve underestimated the power of the poutine.” around fifteen minutes later, the gravity of that realization became fully apparent to everyone in the room. on oct. 13, Guelph rowers and their friends took over Smoke’s Poutinerie downtown to represent the U of G in the World Poutine Eating Championship: Campus Edition. an offshoot of the World Poutine ALicjA grzAdkOwskA Eating Championship, which was held in toronto on the same day, the exhausted poutine eaters await results at the championships in Toronto. Campus Edition pit university organizations against one another for a for the sake of rowing,” Martin said. and buy the large and think they can heartily with this description. chance to win cash prizes. for this inindeed, male heavyweight varsity eat it, but i don’t think i’ve ever witlast up was tyler Yukich. While augural challenge, the Guelph Rowing rowers are advised to eat roughly 5000 nessed anyone ever actually finish one.” witnessing the others in their strugteam took up the gauntlet, vying for calories per day – a reflection of the With trembling hands Patrick boivin gle, Yukich also had time to do some the $5000 grand prize against 12 other intensity of their practice and work- then began the hard labour of ingesting strategizing. Yukich began by mashuniversities across Canada. out regime. his own unholy concoction. it was ing up the fries and curds to ease the championship, which was but hopes of a swift victory over the around this time that the audience digestion. but about six minutes in sponsored by Smoke’s, took the form poutine menace were quickly checked truly began to comprehend the pain a crucial mistake was made. Thinkof a single relay. Representing Guelph as the mammoth boxes of fries and these men were experiencing. Cheers ing that it would ease digestion even were the four male heavyweight gravy were unveiled. as the contest- were now being punctuated by brief further, tyler poured water over the varsity rowers: Calin deguefe, Pat- ants, adorned with Smoke’s bibs and lulls in which it became apparent that mix. ten minutes later, tyler was still rick boivin, Jackson Wittig, and tyler t-shirts, anxiously assumed their applause was a rather inappropriate eating and the look on his face was Yukich. When the time came for the stance at the bar, the thirty or so spec- response to such agony. but the cheers a heart-wrenching combination of competition to begin, each competitor tators gathered round to watch. When soon renewed. Seven artery-clogging sheer determination and pain. was presented with a large “tradition- the whistle blew, deguefe began the minutes later boivin was done. “i ended up closing my eyes because al” poutine, a 1500+ calorie behemoth, ordeal of inhaling this spectacular mess. “i thought i could handle it but it was it looked so disgusting and when you wherein they wer required to wait for Shouts of, “Just put your face in it!” a lot harder than i imagined,” boivin ate it you felt like you were eating the the competitor to their left to finish and “Cal, Cal, Cal!” no doubt lifted recalled. “at one point i was choking puke that you just puked up and swalevery fry and curd before beginning the spirit, but the physical limitations on the cheese curds a bit, but once i lowed back down,” tyler recalled with their own feast. of the body proved another matter. got through that part it was all good.” a shudder. next up was Jackson Wittig. off to in the build-up to the challenge, Within minutes his face turned red in the end, tyler completed the confidence among athletes and spec- and his eyes began to glaze over. but a fast start – but one that he would challenge, but only just in time for the tators was high. Kat Martin, a fourth deguefe managed to complete the task come to regret in the last four bites contest to take its first victim. Upon year international development stu- in just six unmerciful minutes. – Wittig used a rowing analogy to de- completing this heroic task, tyler redent and roommate of two ladies on aaron Shin, the store franchisee, scribe the pain he experienced in those moved himself from premises and the rowing team, commented on the commented that he doesn’t think he’s six minutes. made way for the nearest garbage “it’s like rowing a ten [kilometre] at can. Surely this was the only possible team’s chances. “They’re pretty good ever seen someone finish a whole large at consuming food to row so i guess poutine. a two [kilometre] pace,” Wittig said. end this outstanding event could ever they must be good at consuming food “There’s a lot of people who come in The audience of rowers sympathized have witnessed.
cuban exit visa requirement changed on. oct. 16, the Cuban government announced that islanders who are leaving the country don’t have to apply for exit visas, which have been significant impediments for people looking to travel overseas. The change comes after many years of officials speaking about removing the exit visa. on Jan. 14, travelers will only have to show their passport and a visa from the country that they are going to. The change is part of President Raul Castro’s plan to update the current migratory policy, which is part of a broader five-year reform initiative. The effects of the reform can already be seen in Cuba through the legalization of home and car sales, and the large increase in private business ownership by Cubans. a notice released in the newspaper Granma in Cuba stated that the government recognizes residents’ right to travel and that the new measure is part of “an irreversible process of normalization of relations between emigrants and their homeland.” (The Globe and Mail) space jumper lands safely on the ground after months of preparations and seven years that the diver himself put into the planning of the jump, felix baumgartner fell 39 kilometers above ground, which he rose to with the help of an ultra-thin helium balloon, to become the world’s first supersonic diver. He also achieved his goal of breaking the sound barrier at over 9,000 meters above California’s Mojave desert. The jump was also significant for naSa, since the fall was meant to be a test-run for the spacesuit that baumgartner was wearing during the fall, which allowed him to survive in the high altitudes. Joe Kittinger, the first person to break the sound barrier during his fall of 31 kilometers in 1960, was on baumgartner’s team, and talked him through the technical details during the ascension. (Toronto Star) bathing corpses brings life back to cold cases dr. alejandro Hérnandez Cárdenas from Cuidad Juárez, Mexico recently discovered a new method of identifying the reason for death in decomposed bodies. His method is based on the submersion of a decomposed body in a “secret solution,” and after three days, any scars, lesions, or birthmarks on the victim’s body at the time of death reappear. The technique also reveals identifying prints on the hands of the victims. in a city with an extremely high murder rate, Cárdenas has been elevated to star status, and hopes that his work will bring justice to the victims of violent deaths. (The New York Times)
empowering girls to realize their dreams
University of Guelph celebrates the first International Day of the Girl
75 million girls in the developing world do not have the opportunity to receive an education or realize their potential. This is why on oct. 11, the University of Guelph celebrated all of the things that make girls unique during the first international day of the Girl. The university organized an event for high school students in grades 10 and 11 that allowed them to discuss gender stereotypes, discrimination, and opportunities for girls and women. The event was held in Peter Clark Hall and featured a number of activities and workshops that included a video and music installation, displays by community partners, theatre skits and a keynote address from artist, activist, and facilitator, Kim Crosby. The workshop topics included life as an aboriginal girl, the impact of social media on perceptions of women and girls, and body image and self-esteem – topics relevant to girls everywhere in today’s society. “[They] hope to celebrate and empower girls to realize their dreams,” said lori Strobbe, organizer of the event. in order to achieve this, the university plans to make this an an- encouraged for this to become reality. nual event, utilizing resources that University of Guelph student can enhance the human rights of girls Kaelan Harwood said that, “it is imand women all over the world. portant for girls to be recognized Crosby discussed with the students for all they go through and the dayexactly what it means to be a girl. but to-day struggles they face. if we do exactly what it means to be a girl var- nothing, no progress can possibly be ies from culture to culture. The Un’s made.” designation of the international day Guelph is not the only city to recogof the Girl reflects the growing aware- nize the international day of the Girl. ness of the special challenges girls face all over the world, from taiwan to around the globe. india, people are shining a light on all Throughout the world, girls face things “girl.” The day of the Girl will higher rates of violence, poverty, and from here on out be a powerful way to discrimination. Recognizing and sup- highlight the needs of girls and serve porting girls and their basic rights is as a means of taking action to enable vital in stopping this trend. Girls can girls to reach their full potential. and will change the world, but their together, girls everywhere can repotential must be nourished and alize their destiny.
Compiled by Alicja Grzadkowska
news 4 w w w.th e on ta r ion . c om freshman wins national ploughing championship
Carrie Davenport becomes the first female to win at the Canadian Championships
Some people are born with the ability to shoot a puck, throw a baseball, or kick a soccer ball; others are born to hop on a John deere 1630 to plough fields and till land. on the weekend of oct. 4 through oct. 6, the annual Canadian Ploughing Championships were held in brandon, Manitoba. Guelph freshman aggie, Carrie davenport, was in attendance representing ontario in the junior division. one might be wondering what the Canadian Ploughing Championships are. i certainly was a part of that naïve bunch, but after some light reading and a crash course on ploughing by davenport i came to realize that it is exactly what it sounds like: you are graded on how well you can plough land. “There’s an open split that’s just a pass down and back. You’re judged on straightness and you get timed,” davenport explained rather succinctly, considering she was tasked with describing something that’s completely alien to some people. davenport got the right to participate in the Canadian Championships after she won ontario’s qualifying tournament. apparently, ontario is a hotbed for ploughing, a tradition that’s losing traction across Canada. “Ploughing is kind of dying amongst the youth, but it’s still really popular in ontario. like huge.” during the ontario event, which is called the international Ploughing Match and Rural Expo and was held from Sept. 18 to 22 in Roseville, ont., davenport beat out 18 other contestants to advance to the championships in brandon. What makes the win at the Canadians even more impressive is davenport goes down as the first female to ever win a junior championship. Congratulations are thus due on more fronts than one. Her accomplishments haven’t gone unnoticed either; davenport has been offered scholarship opportunities from old College in alberta to continue her studies in food and agriculture. “olds College is a huge agricultural college in alberta,” said davenport.
carrie davenport won the ploughing championships in Brandon, Manitoba.
Yet the decision to move to alberta is a big one for the aggie. “i can continue my studies there for one year…the offer they’ve made me stands for five, so i have some decisions to make.” The fourth generation plougher says she’s going to continue the family tradition and expects to attend an event near Chilliwack, british Columbia this coming april. it’s of little surprise that ploughing and agriculture tillage is a deep-rooted Canadian tradition, but despite its next year, the World Ploughing importance to the identity of Cana- Championships are to be held in olds, da, davenport commented that the alta. just after the Calgary Stampede, government does little to support the and davenport plans to be in attenage-old art. dance for that as well. “Canada should start to take this The sport is intriguing. Youtube videvent so much more seriously…it eos prove that undoubtedly, and for costs so much money to go overseas a university in a city where Stetson and participate in these events,” said boots and hats are fairly regular attire davenport. “in countries around the and agricultural studies are so deeply world this is a huge sport, it’s really rooted in its history it’s great to see a competitive. They have sponsorships Guelph student making history abroad. and they get paid to travel and plough.” Congratulations, Carrie.
169.7◆ october 18t h, 2012
u of g in the National spotlight
Global National to broadcast from University of Guelph campus
What does it take to earn national coverage? You have to be a part of something that is at least figuratively out of this world, and your story has to make it past a news desk. two stories with roots in the University of Guelph are about to accomplish that, Global National anchor and Executive Editor dawna friesen told The Ontarion in a recent telephone interview. The Global National team will be broadcasting from Winegard Walk in the foreground of Johnston Hall oct. 22, shining a light on some University of Guelph and Guelph specific stories. The first is a subject that friesen says “fascinates” her: the naSa Curiosity rover on Mars. “Every chance i get we put a little update on the newscast about how it’s doing,” said the anchor. “i just find it phenomenal that it made it up there and that we’re getting these pictures from Mars.” launched nov. 26, 2011, Curiosity is equipped with a Canadian Space agency contributed alpha-particleX-ray spectrometer (aPXS) that was developed by a science team counting U of G associate Professor Ralf Gellert among its members. The aPXS irradiates samples using alpha particles and maps the gamut of X-rays it re-emits for determination of the elemental compositions of collected samples. “it’s playing a role in reading the rocks and soil and analyzing their chemical content, and basically finding out if – you know – if life ever existed on Mars,” said friesen. “The fact that there are Canadians and there are people from the University of Guelph involved in that is fantastic.” The Curiosity rover made headlines and earned a CbC news feature recently when it uncovered a football-sized sample rock baring striking similarities to an “unusual but well-known type of igneous rock found in many volcanic provinces on Earth,” Curiosity co-investigator Edward Stopler told naSa. a second feature on the broadcast will involve the topic of genetically modified alfalfa crops. “apparently [alfalfa] is becoming a bit of a battleground in the war against genetically modified food,” said friesen. “it’s a fear among people who are supportive of organic farming that the push to have [genetically modified] alfalfa in particular is dangerous because it grows very easily and it is grown by and used by a whole bunch of farmers because it is used for hay for feed – dairy and livestock farmers use it.” as with many debates over genetically modified crops, there are heated debates taking place over the ability to contain the patented GM sequence. bees and other pollinators carry microscopic grains field-to-field, effectively fertilizing them with potentially unwanted (and unpaid for) product. “What people like the national
farmers Union and other groups [like] the organic farmers organizations are saying, ‘This puts our whole organic farm at risk’ not only for the farmers themselves who could no longer guarantee that what they grow is organic, but all the spinoffs of that,” said friesen. “[Canada would potentially] lose hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of exports to Japan and to Europe, where there’s complete limits put on anything that’s genetically modified.” While friesen laid out the Mars Curiosity rover and genetically modified alfalfa stories as focuses for the oct. 22 broadcast, the anchor also noted that broadcast journalism is a tricky field when it comes to planning programming. “[We’re] sort of juggling about constantly, re-evaluating what stories are the most important ones to put on our newscast. because it is, after you take out the commercial time, only 22 minutes. That’s not very long,” said friesen. “That is the eternal frustration for me… i wish everyday that we had an hour newscast, not just half an hour.” friesen explained that before she transitioned into broadcasting, she focused mainly on a career in print sHAw MediA journalism. in fact, while friesen won the best anchor Gemini in 2011 and Global National Anchor and executive editor dawna Friesen and her was part of the Emmy-winning team team will be broadcasting from the U of g Oct. 22. that covered the election of barack obama, journalism for television was transition was challenging, calling her learn to do,” said friesen. “and i’m never in her original career plan. original forays into television news still learning.” “i had actually meant to stay in “terrible.” newspapers. That’s what i wanted “it’s a different challenge to encapfor a fully transcribed interview disto do.” sulate the essence of something in such cussing friesen’s career, visit www. The anchor said that making the a short time. So that’s what i had to theontarion.com.
Don’t get left among ashes
Fire Prevention Week spreads awareness about having multiple exits
according to the Guelph fire department, having two ways out of your home is important when planning a fire escape route. from oct. 7 to oct. 13, the department teamed up with the national fire Protection association in order to encourage residents in Guelph to plan ahead by creating a fire escape plan. The theme of this year’s fire Prevention Week was “Have two Ways out,” which focused on making these plans and practicing them before a fire occurs. Kim Hodgson, from the fire Prevention office, says that students should be particularly aware of fire prevention and escape practices. “[Students] are probably not as familiar with their surroundings if they move into a private accommodation, and they just don’t have the same sense of safety [like] when they’re living at home with their parents,” said Hodgson. “before [students] sign a lease, they should make sure that their rental property is up to code. That ensures that there are proper safety measures provided in their accommodations.” Students might be focused on the size of their bedroom or the location of their house when choosing a new place and as a result, planning fire escapes might not be a priority. “too often, students don’t check to make sure that the property is up to code, and that’s when they run into problems with knowing tpo ways out of bedrooms and basements,” said Hodgson. on oct. 13, the fire department held a fire prevention day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Home depot parking lot, located on Woodlawn Rd. activities on the day included a photo opportunity with an antique fire truck, having the chance to speak with firefighters, touring the fire safety trailer and learning how to safely escape from a smoke-filled home, as well as learning how to put out a fire using a fire extinguisher. “We [also] demonstrated to kids and adults some safety precautions like cooking safety [and] ensuring that smoke alarms were working,” said Hodgson. The department received great feedback from the event. “it was probably one of our most successful events,” said Hodgson. besides having two ways out, there are a few other important points to remember when considering fire safety. “Probably one of the leading causes of fires is unattended stoves. People come home late at night and want to snack, so they start cooking food,” said Hodgson. “Then they leave the kitchen and forget about the stove, and eventually it will ignite.” being aware that cooking at night can be hazardous is also important for students to keep in mind when they get home late from classes or evenings out. The Guelph fire department offers more tips and information on fire prevention and safety on their website.
6 w w w.th e on ta r ion . c om university students – the broken generation?
Maclean’s article generates heated response
Recently, Maclean’s magazine published a front-cover article entitled “Campus Crisis: the broken Generation” which claims the current generation of university students are experiencing a plethora of mental health problems, such as depression. The article, which came out Sept. 5, begins by describing the wire netting that was being placed under bridges on the Cornell University campus this summer, in efforts to prevent student suicides after three students killed themselves at those sites in 2010. it goes on to state that there is an epidemic of mental health issues present in universities. President david J. Skorton of Cornell wrote in the Cornell daily Sun following the 2010 suicides, that these deaths are just “the tip of the iceberg, indicative of a much larger spectrum of mental health challenges faced by many on our campus and on campuses everywhere.” Canadian universities are noticing changes in student mental health as well. a 2011 study of the mental health of 1,600 University of alberta students found unsettling results; about 50 per cent reported that in the past year they had felt hopeless or experienced anxiety, and a shocking seven per cent admitted to seriously considering suicide. There has also been a reported increase in students visiting counselors and psychologists at university clinics and centres in Canada. The statistics the article indicate a pressing issue, yet the question remains as to what is causing the increased rates of depression and suicides among university students. The Maclean’s article describes the current “campus crisis” as partly due to the age of students; people in their late teens and early twenties are at the highest risk for mental illness. Confounding this factor is the current cost of tuition and a bleak job market. it states that in July, the unemployment rate for Canadians age 15 to 29 was nearly 12 per cent. Since the article was published by Maclean’s it has provoked a lot of response, such as that from University of Guelph grad Charlotte van Schalkwyk, an industrial sociologist. Van Schalkwyk draws on previous research (andrews and anderson Thompson, 2009) to argue that depression can be thought of as adaptive; that this state of mind promotes ruminating, which can help people solve through their deep personal problems. “no, this generation is not broken,” said Van Schalkwyk. “These highly evolved young beings are not permitted perplexity, to flounder amidst the predicaments we present them, indeed that we ask them to solve for the coming generations.” Van Schalkwyk, who is currently writing a book on depression, emphasizes that many researchers and psychologists believe that people who are showing otherwise “normal” symptoms are being diagnosed as having a serious mental health problem that requires medication. for example, there was great debate this past January when the diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders (d.S.M.), used by the american Psychiatric association, was going to to perform well ensues. Yet she arbe revised for the first time since 1994, gues that social constraints of Western and was to include bereavement, the culture cause an over-diagnosis of natural grief after the loss of a loved disorders and depression. “if you are irritable, is that a disorone. Many critics believed this would der?” said van Schalkwyk. “are we increase false-positives in diagnoses and the over-prescription of anti- living with this idea of this one ideal depressant medication. person, or do we have this infinite vaVan Schalkwyk acknowledges that riety? That is what’s scary, working exams – a period where many stu- against all this variety; it is important dents visit counselors – are an intense for us, as a species.” and demanding time at universities. She also adds that labeling people as Students generally experience ele- “broken and disordered” can produce vated levels of stress as the pressure problems in the person. “That’s the
problem of if you call people broken and disordered…they will perceive themselves as such.” The Maclean’s article states that more than ever students are coming forward as incredibly stressed, unhappy, and with more mental health problems. Yet some researchers are suggesting different perspectives on the issue. “This generation epitomizes evolution at its highest,” said van Schalkwyk. “That this generation is ruminating is a hopeful sign for the future.”
gone in seven seconds Tapped: nestlé’s exposed
What students can do to prevent theft
by october, most students have comfortably settled into life at the University of Guelph, but it is important to remember that campus is a prime crime location. in addition to the many students that already live on campus, every day thousands more come to campus. from the tightly packed crowds of students switching classes, to the silent vacated university residences, those who wish to commit a crime such as theft may find easy pickings. in just the first week of october, there were two reported incidents of theft as well as five reports of property damage. a few years ago in residence, an incident occurred where two men casually entered through an unlocked door and walked away with a student’s Macbook. they were seen, and ended up leaving the Macbook and running. Campus police do all they can, but it is the responsibility of students to proactively take steps to prevent incidents. “thefts on campus are thefts of opportunity. Students need to protect their valuables and not leave them unattended. they need to lock their residence room each and every time they leave it, even for a couple of minutes. in public areas like the UC and the library, they cannot leave their valuables on a desk or in a carrel and go work somewhere else. it takes seven seconds for a theft to occur,” said Robin begin, director of the University of Guelph Campus Community Police, fire Prevention and Parking Services. Some students may be concerned that the Halloween festivities at the end of this month may bring increased theft. “traditionally, there is not a spike at Halloween, but again, residence students should be reminded that there may be guests in your residence that are committing these thefts. Know who your visitors are and lock your room when you leave,” said begin. thefts tend to peak in September and before winter break in december, generally during business hours and when there are more people on campus. Students can help out by reporting these kinds of incidents when they occur, as well as any information that may be related. if you have any information regarding incidents of theft, please contact the Campus Community Police at 824-4120 ext.52245.
Movie finally screened at War Memorial Hall
one of the most controversial environmental events of the summer returned to the spotlight of the public eye this week with the greatly awaited screening of Tapped, a film analyzing the social and environmental impacts of the bottled water industry. The documentary was supposed to be a part of a film series on water conservation organized by City of Guelph Water Services and Wellington Water Watchers this summer. However, a letter from nestlé expressing concerns about Tapped addressed to Water Services inclined their decision to forgo sponsorship of the documentary. This decision by Water Services fueled heated controversy and contemplation of corporations’ roles and capacities in public institutions. Mike nagy, chair of Wellington Water Watchers, said, “We have great concerns of corporate influence in our education sector.” He explained the magnitude of the corporation’s control of public discourse. “nestlé has been doing this for some time. They’ve gone after the Wellington Water Watchers and they’ve gone after our funders. They’ve gone to the provincial government trying to discredit us. They do this regularly; they
go to the school boards and lobby there too.” it is important to note that corporate influence is often not necessarily blatant. Mayor Karen farbridge explains on her blog that although nestlé did not directly ask to cancel the documentary, “i personally feel nestlé was attempting to exert pressure on the City of Guelph […] in their correspondence.” This type of subtle threatening provokes labelling of “corporate bullying.” as explained in the letter from nestlé to Water Services, the chief objection to Tapped was that it, “Constructs a distorted and misleading picture of bottled water as a product.” nagy argues that the documentary provides an alternative side to the bottled water industry story and that this is acceptable because the other side is already well represented. “do you think nestlé or any other corporation is presenting both sides with the continuous commercialization and promotional material in regards to their products?” nagy explained. “they want growth and to protect their market share. They’re not presenting both sides. When we’re presenting films in education, it’s trying to present the other side.” in addition to corporate influence, the privatization of water by companies is a central concern of many environmentalists. Wellington Water
Watchers argues that the water-taking permits and nestlé’s two wells in Wellington are unaffordable in our energy-scarce society. “We’re not trying to discredit the company, we just don’t agree with the water-taking permits in this area,” said nagy. “We believe that regulation needs to be firm and enforcement needs to be transparent. The process for permits to take water is flawed and we challenge that.” Tapped finally screened oct. 15 at War Memorial Hall, accompanied by a talk from Maude barlow, renowned author and Council of Canadians’ national Chairperson. nagy hopes that the event raised public knowledge about the social and environmental impacts of the bottled water industry, but also increased exposure to the politics behind corporate influence and the privatization of water. The Wellington Water Watchers say that the participation of the public in affairs such as these is crucial. “There needs to be a lot more input from the public considered in these permits to take water,” said nagy. as well, he encourages the public to participate in the discussion of corporate power. “in order for our public institutions to remain public institutions,” explained nagy, “[we need to address], what level of corporate involvement is acceptable in our public institutions.”
169.7◆ october 18t h, 2012
council challenged to get moving
Active transportation challenge takes place during in motion week
from oct. 8 to oct. 12, Joanne RossZuj, the mayor of the township of Centre Wellington, challenged the mayors and councillors from Guelph, Mono, orangeville, Wellington north, Mapleton, Minto, Guelph/Eramosa, and Puslinch to participate in an active transportation challenge. in Guelph, Councillor todd denis challenged the Guelph City Council to participate in the challenge with Wellington County Councillors. The goal was to “accumulate the highest average of minutes walked or biked on local trails, streets and roads to destinations,” like the grocery store, place of employment, meetings, and the library. The challenge was part of in motion week, which encouraged people to be active in their communities. The challenge was meant to show the benefits of physical activity and active transportation through lead individuals in communities as well as raise awareness of the challenges and advantages that are experienced by users of trails and roads. “[one of] the purposes was to help them understand what would be challenging using active transportation to go about their daily tasks,” said Michaela devries-aboud, the cochair of in motion in Guelph. “and [to understand] where it’s really easy to use active transportation and where it’s difficult.” devries-aboud says the bike lanes in Guelph are an example of a way that participants could face challenges when trying to bike to locations. “The city of Guelph now has bike lanes going north-south across the city, but going east-west, that’s not the case, so from a safety standpoint, it’s easier to bike north-south,” said devries-aboud. in some municipalities, the distance between locations presented another challenge. “Some are spread over a large area and so it’s a lot more difficult for participants to walk to work because chances are that they’re not working close to where they’re living,” said devries-aboud. “Even in the city of Guelph, that’s probably a bit of a challenge as well, depending on where you live, to use active transportation to get to your place of employment.”
Participants from Guelph and the other townships shared their positive and negative experiences through blogs and tweets. according to the press release, “The winning municipality [provided] their municipal shirts/mugs or other promotion swag to the municipality
with the least minutes of walking or cycling and the losing municipality [has] to wear the winning municipalities shirts or use their mugs at a Council meeting, with media taking photos.” The winners were announced at the end of the day on oct. 17.
martyred by the media
of stopping students from voting. a minute, this thing is not legitimate. The same sources, however, could We don’t have any registration for a not agree whether Sona grabbed the Special ballot on campus. it shouldn’t voting box, tried to grab it, or sim- be happening.’” The party was inply gestured to it. Sona himself says structed to inform the organizers at these accusations were incorrect and the polling station of EC’s statements. alicja grzadKowsKa one-sided. after calling the Conservative Party “basically, the narrative that came headquarters, which agreed with EC’s Though the country is divided be- out of that was totally false,” said Sona. decision, the Guelph party decided to tween several political parties, most according to Sona, Elections Can- send someone to the station. voters can agree that last year’s feder- ada consulted all the parties to notify “i was the only person who was free al election was a turbulent one, filled them that a special ballot booth was at the time, so i went to the poll, and i with scandal and questions that have going to be held on campus from 10 told the polling clerk what Elections a.m. to 2 p.m. Canada and what the party had told yet to be answered. With the ongoing investigations “and we said [that] was fine, we’ve me,” said Sona. “it was kind of hiinto the guilty individual behind the got no problem with that,” said Sona. larious because the whole narrative automated phone calls, reminders What happened afterwards sig- that came out of this was that i burst of the 2011 elections remain in major nificantly affected media reports in in and starting yelling, [when] the media sources. for one person in par- the following days. The Conservatives only screaming and shouting that was ticular, the events that took place in sent a representative to the polling done was by the Elections Canada reapril and subsequent months were station to ensure that the polling went turning officer.” especially crucial, and continue to smoothly. finally, according to Sona, EC in be important as he hopes to return “at two o’clock, they said they ottawa notified the station that they to Canadian politics. were going to extend the voting time, were not registered. after a student Michael Sona was first accused which wasn’t allowed and when our posted on facebook that Sona had of taking violent action against the scrutineer raised the issue about that, grabbed the ballot box, rumours polling booths organized at the Uni- they kicked him out,” said Sona. began to spread about his actions at versity of Guelph last year. Sources The party then called the Elections the polling station. The national camin news articles claimed that Sona Canada (EC) headquarters in ottawa. paign eventually responded to the barged into the UC with the intent “They were the ones that said, ‘Wait accusations, identifying them as false,
Revisiting the U of G polling booth and robocall scandal with Michael Sona
“The reason i got involved in that is though this did little to stop the initial accounts from spreading. that my name already had some conin a press release published by EC troversy attached to it,” said Sona. following the incident, it was reported He says that he wasn’t aware of the that, “[a] well-intentioned returning accusations until Elections Canada officer undertook a special initiative called him in feb. 2012 to address the to create an opportunity for students media rumours. at the University of Guelph to vote by “i wasn’t even on the radar until the special ballot. once Elections Canada media ran with my name,” said Sona. officials were made aware of the local because of the high level of probing initiative in Guelph, the returning of- that Sona experienced from the media, ficer was instructed not to engage in he resigned from his position workany further activities of a similar na- ing for MP Eve adams. ture.” The votes were announced as Elections Canada then released a valid in the same press release. court document claiming that Sona The ensuing attention to the event contacted the national campaign became a media circus. Michael igna- headquarters to ask about organizing tieff and Jack layton, alongside many the fraudulent calls. The investigaof their supporters, criticized Sona tor, a few months after, retracted and the Conservative party. on the this claim, though Sona says that the other hand, Conservatives claimed media coverage for this was signifithat the booth was supposed to be cantly smaller. bi-partisan and witnesses had seen accusations against Sona were members of frank Valeriote’s cam- dropped a few months ago. paign handing out information about “The one thing you do find out in the liberal party. situations like this is who your real Media coverage of the robocalls that friends are,” said Sona. “The people took place two weeks after the polling that stick with you no matter what, booth incident immediately grabbed even when you’re at your lowest point. onto Sona’s name. Those are the people that matter.”
putting a green foot forward
Sustainability and environmental conservation is a worldwide concern for today’s generation. While the University of Guelph is doing their part – by banning the use of bottled water last year – there is always the question of whether or not the university could do more. according to the Sierra Youth Coalition and hundreds of youth, that answer is a resounding yes. Sarah English, the national coordinator of Sustainable Campuses, states that the coalition’s mission is “to inspire and empower young people in Canada to become community leaders and really make Canada a better society.” for the past fourteen years, the coalition has been conducting four-day conferences at various universities to inform and motivate students to be environmentally friendly. The nongovernmental organization held this year’s conference at the University of toronto’s Mississauga campus. in a press release by the Sierra Youth Coalition, this year’s conference theme, “The Healthy Campus,” was defined as, “Exploring how health and the environment interconnect and influence students.” “Healthy is a multifaceted word,” said English. “We wanted to [ensure] that healthy campuses are not only environmentally sound ones that work to minimize the impact of the environment, but also ones in which staff and faculty have a healthy relationship with the university.” from oct. 11 through oct. 14, various workshops were designed in order to promote education. among the presentations conducted by environmental experts and student leaders, seminar themes include process, personal sustainability, green building and infrastructure, the great outdoors, and food and water. numerous guest speakers also attended the conference, including renowned water activist Maude barlow, who was the keynote address. Cat Criger, aboriginal elder, traditional teacher and mentor of the Six nations People, hosted the opening and closing ceremonies. open sessions were held in order for students and participants to come forward with their concerns about their campus. Collectively, solutions were discussed. There are three goals to every conference, according to the Sustainable Campuses website. These include encouraging conference participants to further advance their schools and communities in conversation initiatives, as well as aid returning participants and continue assisting and expanding student-oriented networks around the world. With another conference complete, one cannot help but wonder what young minds working towards a better world for tomorrow will come up with next.
8 w w w.th e on ta r ion . c om from a to Zavitz
An illuminating exhibition
Patrick beh and Kimberley Vanderweyden’s work in Luminous last week shared a utilization of unique lighting situations that was fundamental to their underlying themes. The darkened gallery was lit by the pieces themselves, many of which were coloured with fluorescent substances and black lights. beh’s work juxtaposes the commercialized cultures of both psychedelia and the Zen meditation lifestyle. He looks for remnant objects of these cultures second-hand wherever he can find them. one of his pieces in the show consisted of a collection of feng Shui style water fountains, filled with fluorescent liquid. The fountains bubbled as they normally would but with an added psychedelic aspect to them as they glowed in the black light. in the middle of the gallery was a Zen garden about four feet long. Usually Zen gardens are meant as a therapeutic aid to meditation, but in contrast, this garden was lit with a frenetic strobe light which partially disrupted the garden’s intended for those purposes. on the other side of the gallery, use but also created a kind of mesmerizing delayed effect. beh’s final Vanderweyden was exploring the piece was a large buddha sculpture phenomenon of light with an emmulticoloured with highlighters phasis on materiality and form. in containing fluorescent ink that a corner hung a translucent curtain glowed under black light. emanating ghostly blue light. The both the meditation and psy- source of the light was diffused in chedelic cultures have become such a way that it was impossible to see exactly where it was coming from, and seemed to glow from the entire curtain itself, producing a kind of hypnotizing allure like an insect drawn to light. The piece that confronted you from the back wall of the gallery as you entered was a series of three white heads on a shelf, with parts of the face sliced off and these sliced surfaces painted black. in the darkness of the gallery the heads commodified practices, with med- blended into the white wall slightitation and all its paraphernalia ly, and the black voids pressed out being a culturally accepted way to at you, while also sucking you in. alter ones perception of the world, a final piece by Vanderweyin comparison to the less accept- den explored light and materiality ed world of psychedelia which is through everyday materials. Three associated with the use of halluci- long pieces of plastic wrap hung natory drugs in order to experience from the ceiling, covered with a altered perceptions. in Luminous, fluorescent liquid that dripped onto the idealized goal of reaching a the floor. The crinkling of the plashigher state of consciousness by tic made the liquid concentrate in various means is contrasted by the intriguing and mysterious veincommercialized kitsch objects sold like patterns.
arts & culture
“Black voids pressed out at you, while also sucking you in.”
kimberley vanderweyden’s work – showing as part of Luminous at zavitz gallery – emphasized light, materiality and form.
worldwide photo walk takes to the streets of guelph
Event aims to connect photographers
Shutterbugs could be spotted crawling through the streets of downtown Guelph, early Saturday morning in search of the perfect photo. on oct. 13, Guelph participated in the Worldwide Photo Walk, the largest global social event for photographers, including both pros and casual enthusiasts. all levels of expertise were welcome. The walk was the idea of Scott Kelby, who started it five years ago. last year, there were over 1000 Photo Walks, with over 28,000 participants. Photographers met at Carden Street in front of City Hall at 8:45 am, and the walk ended at 11am. nick Mares, a local photographer and member of the Guelph Photography Guild who led the photo walk, spoke about the event. The event aims to unite people and forge connections based on a common interest in photography, Mares explained. “it’s a way to gather people with the same interests in the city. We didn’t know many of the people who showed up today, [but] probably through them and through more exposure, we’re going to grab more hobbyists and professional photographers,” said Mares.
Photography buffs gathered in front of city Hall to partake in guelph’s first worldwide Photo walk on Oct. 13.
This is the first year that Guelph has select the single best overall photo, as participated in the walk, but Mares well as 10 photos for the finalist Prize, has plans to lead the event next year and a People’s Choice award. as well and draw in some more people. The Guelph group traipsed through “This is the first walk, that explains the downtown area, including Macthe small number who signed up,” he donell, Wyndham, and Quebec said. it is free to join the event; all that Streets, eventually ending up at the is required is that participants sign up albion Hotel where everyone met up ahead of time through the website, to review images taken that day and worldwidephotowalk.com. after the to talk about photography. Mares walk, photographers can choose their showed various photos he had taken best image taken that day and sub- that day. mit it to the website. Scott Kelby will Pictured were familiar downtown Guelph sights, imagined through the photographer’s decisive eye. Some examples included photographs of yarn bombing, colourful produce at the Guelph farmer’s Market, and a billow of smoke artfully illuminated in the autumn sunlight. Mares, however, does not consider himself a professional. “i am a hobbyist. i am a member of the Guelph Photography Guild, which is a more structured organization of photographers here in Guelph. and i just love meeting people with the same interests and going out [photographing],” Mares said. The Guelph Photography Guild meets every Wednesday at dublin St. United Church. Currently, there is an art show in the church displaying some of the photography that members of the Guild have produced. if you’d like to see what kind of art local photographers are creating in Guelph, Mares said, “it’s something worthwhile to see.”
arts & culture
169.7◆ october 18t h, 2012
noise punks rip up ebar
METZ release debut record to packed crowd
as he leans over a candle-lit table to the side of the ebar’s dance floor, MEtZ frontman alex Edkins is calm, collected, and quiet. it’s a persona that stands in stark contrast with the image concertgoers will get when the toronto-based band hits the stage later in the night: Edkins screams a-mile-a-minute into the mic and stabs at his guitar strings with violent-but-precise dexterity when he’s performing, even transferring abuse to the physical attributes of his instrument proper when he twists and bends the neck. Catching MEtZ live is the best way to experience the minimalist trio’s music, especially since the energy they strive for on their recordings is intended to emulate that provided at their concerts. at least that’s what’s happened with the group’s self-titled lP . “We tried to sort of grab some of that energy that we have live and put it on tape,” said Edkins. “That was really it. There wasn’t too much thinking involved. it was more like, ‘This is what we’re doing right now. let’s document it the best we can.’” The band has been together for the last five years and released a series of seven-inches, but this is their first stab at a proper lP . The delay has been due in part to a relocation from ottawa Edkins and drummer Hayden Menzies made to toronto in 2008. it left their original bassist in the capital city and MEtZ without a third member until Chris Slorach joined on bass after meeting Menzies at a barbecue. back in ottawa, the group mainly played smaller basement shows, but recent years have brought the band in front of larger audiences for the likes of death from above 1979 and Mudhoney. “it takes some adjustment to try to get used to doing that ’cause it’s a totally different thing,” said Edkins. “You know, we’re used to… us being on the floor, the crowd being on the floor and them being in your face, and that’s what we’ve come accustomed to. So it’s a little bit different when you’re put up on a stage.” effective one. Regardless of their concert setReleased just a day earlier than the tings, MEtZ’s live shows carry the Guelph performance, the group’s added bonus of a crowd’s energy debut is already gaining critical that the band can build off of and appeal. about a week prior to the reciprocate back to its fans in a con- release, METZ got picked up for an tinual, concert-long cycle. and after exclusive stream on The New Yorkperforming a packed free show at er’s website, while the band was Guelph’s Jimmy Jazz during the interviewed by New Yorker staffer 2012 edition of Kazoo! fest, when and pop critic Sasha frere-Jones. the crowd came out in droves to Speaking lyrically, Edkins says the ebar on oct. 10, it was made ob- the album wasn’t planned this way, vious that the MEtZ formula is an but it seems to be a product of its
environment. “it kind of ended up being a bit of a record that was i think based in living in a big city in the modern world, with it just being pretty crazy, right?” said Edkins. “Everyone can relate to it. it’s just like, constant noise, constant information coming in nonstop with no rest. no piece of mind almost.” With their first lP finally hammered out, the group now has its sights set on extensive touring. at
the time of press they’re about to embark on four days of CMJ music festival shows in new York, which they’ll follow with a week in the UK, only to return to the States for a month-long tour of the U.S. Then they’ll come home for the holidays, only to hop on a plane for six weeks in Europe after Christmas. For a full interview with METZ frontman Alex Edkins, visit www. theontarion.com.
This music is religion
Matthew Barber and Justin Rutledge captivate their congregation with song
The humble spectators faced the altar, their eyes closed as they absorbed lessons of life, spirituality and love from the preachers in front of them. Matthew barber and Justin Rutledge performed at the dublin Street United Church on oct. 13 in a performance that can only be described as awakening. Rutledge’s raw vibrato stirred emotions as his songs filled the gentle acoustics of the church. The pathos of his lyrics is relatable; he delivers his stories with a longing in his voice that is not dissimilar to Keaton Henson. an altar boy for years, Rutledge then turned to music as a means to understanding spirituality. appropriate to the setting of the concert, the majority of Rutledge’s music displayed his faith in God, in songs such as “lay Me down, Sweet Jesus” and “St. Peter.” Stand-up bass, fiddle, pedal steel and harmonica accompanied Theatrical Grocery,” recounts barber after the show. “They decided to bring the book to the stage [and] got me on board to write the songs for it. The band is actually on stage as part of the set. We have performed three times in Montreal and once in toronto. it is a big operation, a really fun show to be a part of.” This dip into country music is a step in a different direction for barber. “i like to experiment a little bit. it’s all in the general realm of folk music, but i like rock and roll, blues…i try to bring it all together.” barber’s music provides insight to the balance that life necessitates. it addresses loving while losing, reflecting on the self while reflecting on the world, and how to criticize while simply enjoying. “i’m trying to tell a little story in each song. Some of them are very personal. Some are more third-person, based on characters. i’m trying to find something that gets people emotionally,” said barber. The subtle vibrato and calm of barber’s voice added a sort of innocence to the words that you trust, sermonizing wisdom from the altar. This demeanor brought a whole new meaning to the maxim “music is my religion.”
Matthew Barber headlines an Oct. 13 show at dublin street church in a performance that can only be described as awakening.
Matthew barber, creating an epiphany of sound that enlivened the gentleness of barber’s voice through euphoric crescendos. inspired by the surroundings, barber addressed the audience. “Music is a very spiritual thing,” said barber. His lyrics supported this remark, stimulating meditation: “we turn a blind eye to the suffering and pain, until a man in a movie reminds us again,” “the Hollywood ending, the reason we came,” and “where does it begin, will it ever end? no one needs to go where the river bends.” The band is currently touring across ontario and Quebec in support of barber’s latest album Songs For The Haunted Hillbilly, which features the songs written for The Haunted Hillbilly, a play based on the book by derek McCormack. “friends of mine in Montreal have a theatre company called SideMart
arts & culture 10 w w w.th e on ta r ion . c om Zombies and women and robots, oh my!
Getting to know webcomics
More and more frequently people have been asking me about we b c o m i c s : “ W h i c h o n e s should i read? Which ones have the best art? What the hell is a webcomic?” and so on. So, as much as i don’t consider myself to be an expert on the topic, i do feel i have enough knowledge of what is out there to write an article about it for anyone that has been looking for a new and exciting hobby, or just something new to read if you’re already savvy on the general exploration of the internet. Webcomics, put simply, are online comics. there is much variation as to what this entails, and you’ll find that some webcomics stretch this definition more than others. in general, a webcomic is a panelled set of images with accompanying text that tells part of a story and can be read for free online. this story is put out by an artist on a set day or number of days. the time period for updates varies substantially from once a day, to once a week, to even once a month for the more complex comics out there. this story can be about anything, from the lives of a whiny group of teenagers as in Questionable Content, to a waitress and her friends trying to survive the zombie apocalypse as in Dead Winter. again, there is something to be said here for the amount of variation that exists across the infinite number of webcomics out there. Some don’t have a story arc, and instead have their strips acting independently of one another from update to update. it is up to you to decide what you are looking for, and based on that, which webcomics you decide to follow if any at all. be prepared for a challenge, however, as most popular webcomics out there are well underway. the most popular that comes to mind with a story arc is Questionable Content, which has an archive consisting of 2291 strips. Cyanide and Happiness, another of the most popular webcomics out there which does not have a story arc, has 2947 strips to date. both of these comics are still going strong and are updated frequently. out there for everyone. if these don’t sound interesting to you, go out and find one that does. the vast internet archive of webcomics out there will not disappoint you. Dead Winter – the first thing you will notice when you visit this webcomic’s page is the fantastic artwork. it is done in black and white with red thrown in on certain objects to show emphasis. the drawing style is reminiscent of animé, but not enough so that it enters that genre of art completely. Dead Winter is a zombie apocalypse story about a girl named lizzie Cooper who works a lousy waitressing job until zombies trash the place. it follows her journey finding friends, resources, and adventures. the writing style of this webcomic is what truly makes it spectacular to read. Poetic at times, dave Shabet’s style of writing gives his gorgeous artwork life. Girls With Slingshots – despite the name, Girls With Slingshots has appeal for both genders, following the lives of Hazel and Jamie as they take on the world. this webcomic utilizes bright colours and large if you start reading a comic, it expressions for emphasis, but is best to start from the begin- still keeps the characters believning regardless of a story arc’s able in form. the running theme presence. this allows one to ap- addressed in this webcomic is preciate the development of the sexuality in all its forms and webcomic’s style and the art- manners of expression. danielle ist’s development over time. of Costello’s approach to writing course, if this does not matter can be very heartfelt and serito you then start wherever you ous at times, but mostly focuses want, but i have always found on making the reader laugh. a it an important step to take to great place to start in the online be able to properly understand webcomic world if you’re lookand enjoy what you are reading. ing for something interesting now that you understand and funny to get you through what a webcomic is, here are my the day. Questionable Content - one top three webcomic recommendations. i leave you to make your of the most popular webcomics own judgments of their qual- out there today, Questionable ity and relevance but be aware Content is the story of Martin that there is really something and his hormone-filled group
“The vast internet archive of webcomics out there will not disappoint you.”
of friends trying to understand each other. Jeph Jacques flawlessly captures the awkward exchanges of the modern young adult in his strip, as well as throwing in the unique addition of self-aware artificial intelligence robots. this seemingly small note makes for some great
story arcs and adds another dimension to an otherwise typical story idea. the writing style is very easy to read and is often lightly humorous, often focusing on the emotional downfalls of its characters. if you’re looking for somewhere to start, this is a safe place to do it.
. . . o cean con t i n ue d reactions to the word. “You know, sometimes when we say ‘pop’ people...immediately think of britney Spears or one direction. but we are like yeah, Simon and Garfunkel were pop, the beatles were pop, like everyone was pop, and it’s an incredible genre.” their West Coast roots have also impacted their music. “We can’t help but be inspired from the beautiful place that we live,” explains ball on their song-writing process.
and there must be something in the Vancouver water. the members of Hey ocean! run in the same circles as Hannah Georgas, Said the Whale, Mother Mother, and dan Mangan back in their hometown. “it’s a small scene… its like a soap opera of Canadian bands,” jokes ball. fans can expect something a lot different from this new album. “i think we didn’t want to be afraid of just going for it and making a crazy studio album and adding instruments we didn’t
necessarily play,” says ball. “like we didn’t have a keys player before that we tour with and now we do. it was really freeing in that way just like doing whatever the fuck we wanted.” the experimental nature of the band shone while they incorporated different instruments such as the kalimba and maracas during their song “fish.” and while the music they created infused the taps atmosphere with popenergy, the lyrics did not lack emotional depth. “i think the last record we made
was more about capturing the fans that get that...they want the sort of vibe and the energy. this stuff that’s different. they want one is more about focusing in the acoustic stuff and the dancey on the songs and who we are,” stuff and the weird, whatever. explained Vertesi. the band de- the next album is going to be scribes the latest album almost as hard-core rap!” joked Vertesi. a coming of age tale, or an “ex- “or like, electro-polka music,” istential exercise.” ball quipped in. Hey ocean! has the advantage the playfulness they have as of a band that is not defined by a band is evident both in person its past work or the expectations and on stage. at one point, ball of its fans. Vertesi explained that exclaimed to the crowd: “this as a band they are on a journey one goes out to the future, bewith their music and it is subject cause that shit is just insane.” to change. let’s hope we see a lot more of “We are really lucky to have Hey ocean! in our futures.
arts & culture
The Beaver Den explores kids’ TV and Canadian culture
Watching The Beaver Den is like eating a warm, heaping plate of poutine. it’s incredibly cheesy, stereotypically Canadian, and thoroughly enjoyable. the musical was written by 22-year-old twins and Guelph natives, Jaclyn and Jennifer Enchin, along with friend taylor abrahamse and made its debut from oct. 10-14 at the lower ossington Theatre in toronto’s west end. The Enchins wrote the book, while abrahamse wrote the music and lyrics. on the set of a gloriously lowbudget Canadian children’s show, pre-2000, The Beaver Den follows the lives of the actors whose job it is to bring smiles to kids every Saturday morning. but this is more than just a nostalgic look back at the tV shows our generation watched in its formative years, like Fred Penner’s Place and Camp Caribou. it’s also a witty take on Canadian culture and our relationship with our larger pop culture-dominating neighbour to the south. “it’s making fun of Canada while also celebrating Canada at the same time,” said one of the Enchin twins. (They are identical, and their voices are impossible to differentiate on my voice recorder. fortunately, they’ve told me they both share the same opinions anyway, so the problem is mainly academic.) “it’s kind of funny because this is an original Canadian musical, but when you see the show, the Canadians feel ashamed because they’re on a bad Canadian kids’ show. They’re like, ‘i wish we could go to america.’ in the end they discover they have all they want, right here in Canada,” said the other. The twins added that this lesson from the show has played out in their own lives. They have realized that there is a viable niche for Canadian musical theatre and have made it their goal to fill it.
169.7◆ october 18t h, 2012
guelph twins’ musical staged in toronto
“It’s making fun of Canada while also celebrating Canada at the same time.” – Jaclyn & Jennifer Enchin
if it sounds corny, that’s because it’s supposed to be. in fact, the show’s strongest point might just be its self-mockery and unashamedly low-budget production. “We don’t have a budget, so putting on a show you have to do all the work that you would normally pay someone to do,” said Jaclyn, or maybe Jennifer.
“We made all the props ourselves, got all the costumes. We got the set built, but we put it together,” added Jennifer, or maybe Jaclyn. in essence, it’s a low-budget production about life on a low-budget production, and it works brilliantly. The Enchins added that if they had a larger budget, the set would probably not have been any different. The result is a successful comic effect. There’s even a song that consists of nothing more than the lyrics, “Sometimes when you put on a workshop production, you don’t have time to rehearse every song,” at what should be a heartfelt and powerful moment in the plot, before resuming dialogue as if the song had actually carried a deeper meaning. There are, of course, the standard
gags about tim Hortons coffee, but there are more subtle jokes, like when the rest of the cast brushes off a particular character with the line, “yeah tom, but you’re from toronto” – a reference to the rest of Canada’s disdain for its largest city. While the premise of the musical might be the children’s entertainment business, children’s entertainment this is not. The show is rife with sexual innuendos and occasional strong language, usually delivered by a smartass beaver puppet named beavy. There are also drug references alluding to rumours that Steve burns, the former host of Blues Clues, suffered addiction issues following his departure from the show. (He actually left to pursue a music career, releasing a record with help from members of The flaming
lips.) The Enchins acknowledge their Guelph roots as a contribution to their success. Encouraged by their involvement in the arts at John f. Ross CVi, where they attended high school, and in the wider community, in grade 11 or 12 they naively proposed to write a musical, said the twins. When their drama teacher told them how much work it would be, they said it lit a fire under them to accomplish that goal. With The Beaver Den, that goal has been achieved. While the twins have no immediate plans for what to do next, they hope to take The Beaver Den on tour at some point. With a small cast, minimal props and set, and a subject matter that is relatable to nearly all Canadians, it would be well-suited to the task.
art and music at anaf
Bands, artists combine forces
artists and musicians came together at the anaf on oct. 12, hosted by agustin lobos and organized with help from Gadarene Swine member aJ McKenna. Katie Johnson, andrew licznar, lobos and Conor beirne were the artists who had their artwork and sketches on display, showing dedication and vision on canvas. Each artist put out anywhere from fiveto-10 pieces of work to showcase at the anaf. Each artist had very different visuals, techniques and styles. The doors opened to the public at 8 p.m. for the pay-what-you-can event. Mira beth opened the stage playing a variety of covers and original pieces with acoustic guitar and a lovely sing voice, which made the way for great night of music and vision. tendris took the stage next, entering with a funky but creative custom, playing action movies that made a big bang playing cover songs by artists such as triumph and Michael Jackson that got the crowd out of their seats and on to the dance floor. Hot Mess’s high-energy sound let it all on the line at anaf. Sunshine Shore hit the stage next playing an acoustic set with great harmonies and finger-picking style, creating a nice relaxing moment to follow all the dancing that happened during Hot Mess’s set. last but not least, The Gadarene Swine hit the stage, bringing an acoustic folk sound to their first couple of songs before changing it over to an experimental but psychedelicand little-touch-of-grunge-inspired music. all in all, over 50 people made their way to the anaf that night, an exciting time for some of the artists showing off their work for only the first or second time. it will hopefully add more to the abilities and experience of these artists for later down the road. Ending on a high note, it was great to see such a mix styles and genres as well as the artwork collaborating under the same roof.
vanessa Tignanelli and gerald van wyk of Hot Mess got the crowd dancing with classic rock covers at the AnAF hall Oct. 12.
made for an entertaining set. tendris’ style gets its roots from the band Primus, with funky bass lines and a progressive rock attitude. tendris was very grateful to lobos, as well as other musicians, for letting them play the show. a round of applause was given to lobos for planning the night. Hot Mess took the stage next and
12 w w w.th e on ta r ion . c om albion gets packed for the pack a.D.
On tour alongside Topanga, Vancouverbased band comes to Guelph
oct. 15 was a Monday, but that didn’t seem to have any bearing on the turnout at the albion Hotel, took to the stage next. focused on simple, catchy bass and synthesizer riffs in lieu of guitar, and backed by steady, rigid drumbeats, the band produced a hybrid robotic garagerock sound. The science fiction feel of the band was only furthered by performances of songs with titles like “Systems away” and “Computer love.” topanga’s set, meanwhile, brought a heavy-hitting power-pop punk sound to the stage, vaguely reminiscent of the ‘90s. Energetic, loud, and – most importantly – tight, the performance brought a quality to the albion show that cannot be captured in their recordings. the torontobased band has been touring with the Pack a.d. and will shortly be moving to Montreal to work on an upcoming album. The opening acts set the bar pretty high, but the headliners did not disappoint. The Pack a.d.’s spirited garage sound has often been called the female version of the black Keys, a phenomenon singer and guitarist becky black attributes to the fact that the band is a duo. “it’s weird because not every four-piece band gets compared to the beatles. Just because there [are only] … guitar and drums, it must be like the black Keys or White Stripes or dfa or whatever,” said black. “i don’t think musically
arts & culture
“You might leave a show and hate our band but you won’t say that every single song sounds the same.” – Becky Black
where the Pack a.d. and topanga played along with local acts dent and dead Souls. dead Souls opened the night with a series of Joy division covers. dent
Oct. 15 saw Becky Black of the Pack Ad put on an energetic performance at the Albion Hotel as part of a cross-canada tour.
we don’t sound at all like any of those bands. it’s also not an insult because they’re all good bands.” indeed, while their show embodies a certain raw edge shared with other famous two-piece acts, the Pack a.d. manages to define its own sound by changing things up song-to-song. one song, drummer Maya Miller might be pounding away on the toms, while others are very cymbal-heavy. likewise, the vocals were at some times growly and rough only to change to smooth melodies for the next song. “We tend to go all over the place with genres. We don’t stick with one thing. at least you might leave a show and hate our band but you won’t say that every single song sounds the same,” said black. black is also a self-proclaimed nerd, citing isaac asimov’s science fiction as an influence in the band’s lyrics. following their set, the riled-up crowd demanded and received an extended encore performance. it was possibly even wilder than the original set. it’s been said that the albion is inhabited by spirits. Who knew it was the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll?
tV Junkie: five must-see series
1. Game of Thrones: a medieval fantasy airing on Hbo featuring seven different families fighting for the iron throne in the mystical land of Westeros. based on the series A Song of Ice and Fire by author George R.R. Martin, it has become the most watched original series on Hbo since The Sopranos. 2. Dexter: a blood spatter pattern analyst working for Miami Metro Police department leads a double life as a serial killer. Though the twist is that he follows a “moral code” where he only kills criminals who have escaped justice. based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff lindsay. 3. Breaking Bad: When informed cOUrTesy that he has terminal cancer, high school chemistry teacher Walter illustration of main character walter white from Breaking Bad. White uses his chemistry knowledge to produce and profit off of 20-somethings in new York City. 5. Sherlock: a british crime high quality crystal meth. The The main character, Hannah, is an drama that portrays a contemseries displays how he copes with aspiring writer who finds out that porary update of the Sherlock morality in the desperate attempt her parents are no longer willing to Holmes detective stories. this to secure his family’s financial financially support her two years modern version finds the fafuture. after college graduation. The show mous detective and his doctor vAnessA TignAneLLi is said to realistically reflect the part partner solving crime in the 21st 4. Girls: a series airing on of the population (young and poor) century. Excellent acting and gord Auld of guelph band Lowlands plucks away at a banjo during Hbo which follows a group of not portrayed in Sex and the City. cinematography. the band’s album release party at the eBar Oct. 11.
arts & culture
169.7◆ october 18t h, 2012
pop machine: killing classics
Marvel Comics assassin to take on famous literary figures
not content with limiting their favourite anti-hero assassin to a bag of characters within its own universe, Marvel has announced that in January 2013, the comic company will be releasing the first of a four-part miniseries called Deadpool Killustrated that will continue where Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe miniseries left off and see the “Merc with a Mouth” hunting down the likes of Moby-dick, Sherlock Holmes, dracula, and the March sisters from Little Women. i’m assuming we’re looking at plots involving deadpool being contracted by the likes of Captain ahab, dean Moriarty, and Van Helsing to kill their respective enemies, but when it gets to the Little Women characters, i have to wonder where the creators are going with this. it’s probable they’ll have the March sisters grow into the little women they become before unleashing the wrath of their paycheque-devout mercenary on the ambitious gingham-lovers (if there is any non-cash maxim the character abides by, deadpool’s said before that he doesn’t kill kids), but will they spare don’t have much more than the cover art for the first installment (it depicts deadpool mounting Moby dick, ready to plug the great white cetacean’s blowhole with a bomb), but beyond that, the miniseries prompts some interesting questions: is this a simple matter of Marvel trying to interpellate a previously unreached demographic? are the creators trying to pump high culture into what’s been regarded historically as a lower art form to give it more clout? at the risk of sounding like a broken record following last week’s column, i argue against the premise of the latter to say that comic books could be studied in the same light as any of the so-called “classics”; it’s all a matter of perspective and approach. academic institutions are starting to agree, too. to give that claim some backing, i could mention that the medium was awarded academic respect on oct. 10 when batman film franchise producer Michael E. Uslan was bestowed with the world’s first doctorate in comic books. besides producing all of the modern live action batman movies to date (from the tim burton-directed Batman in 1989 all the way through Christopher nolan’s 2012 The Dark Knight Rises), Uslan has taught courses on “Comic book folklore”
“are [Deadpool Killustrated] creators trying to pump high culture into what’s been regarded historically as a lower art form to give it more clout?
poor beth? and who will approach the mouth running killer to do the deed? Perhaps fred Vaughn? it’s all up for speculation, since we
and “The Comic book in Society,” among others. What do you think? Are comics “high
art”? Is “high art” a real thing? Find this article online at theontarion.com and weigh in on the comment section.
what the tech?
most information on the internet first place, so we wouldn’t have is too, with the exception of fees made money through ticket sales, nicK revington paid to internet service providers. and a lot of these people are buyWith content and information ing [merchandise].” there has long been a stereo- free across other platforms, conbuilding this popularity also typical notion of the starving, sumers begin to expect it from increases the chances of getstruggling musician, but lately the arts. the key, then, is to ting a lucrative publishing deal that image may seem to ring more open up new revenue streams for an advertisement. as a retrue. across the music industry, for bands, something that iron- sult, babcock emphasized the major labels are downsizing and ically becomes easier when you need for emerging bands to get sales of recorded music are plum- let go of reliance on record sales. their music out to as many people as possible. meting as consumers find their music fixes for free on the inter“once you become known for net through Youtube and other your songwriting, you can get websites. hired specifically to do jingles or Stefan babcock of topanga is whatever. it’s nothing glamorous, living it, and as a result, the band but its what allows you to keep has taken a different approach to making albums,” said babcock. making it in the music business: “there’s only one thing i want to all their recordings are made do with my life, and that is to play available for free download. music every day of my life. and if “i believe in selling music, but i that means i have to write a jinalso believe that if you are a mugle for James Ready, which i have sician trying to make it in the done, that’s fine. that allows me world the way it is today you to go on tour, play shows, and can’t force people to buy music. “We’ve noticed that because make records, and do the things We’ve released everything for we’ve released everything for that i truly love.” Some might call it selling out, free to date, when we have a full free, we’re getting way better turnouts, everywhere. We’re but babcock emphasizes the length, which we’ll have very shortly, i also intend to make on tour across country right difference between alreadyit available for free download, now, which we’ve never done, successful bands doing “a shitty but also available for purchase and we’re playing in cities that car commercial,” and those who through itunes, bandcamp, Cd, we’ve never played to before, and must rely on that revenue to furvinyl, that kind of thing,” said there are a handful of people in ther their art. babcock. the front row who know the lyr“People who do art for art’s babcock’s philosophy is that ics to our songs. ten years ago, sake, i totally respect that,” said nowadays, content is considered [that] never would have been babcock, “but for me, if i had that a free commodity. library mem- the case. these people probably mentality, i wouldn’t be able to berships are free, and access to wouldn’t have shown up in the feed myself.”
Making money in music
“You can’t force people to buy music.” – Stefan Babcock
pHIlopolIs eVent gets guelpH tHInkIng
Philosophy is for everyone
Philosophy. What does it mean? Many people think about complex and inapplicable ways of thinking, or even “ivory tower” academics that are not accessible to the majority of people. Philosophy students at the University of Guelph seek to change this perception. on Saturday, oct. 13 they held an event, Philopolis Guelph, at several venues downtown, including the bookshelf, the Green Room, and Planet bean Café. Speakers from a broad variety of philosophical backgrounds came together to talk about subjects such as environmental ethics, the intersection of science and religion, the limits of thought, and more. one speaker at the event, Julianna van adrichem, operates a green-living consulting organization called Earth friendly living. living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle is close to the heart for many Guelphites. adrichem said, “it’s great to bring philosophy and ethics into this discussion, as people need to know why [we should] live in a more environmentally friendly way.”
“Everyone asks themselves philosophical questions. Philosophers have answers.” – Jeannette Hicks
it is important to acknowledge realities such as pollution, but through exploring human relationships and responsibilities to the environment we put ourselves in a better place to make informed decisions. Many students and members of the Guelph community showed up to listen to adrichem and others. downtown was a great place to hold this event, as there are many open venues that people could casually walk into and listen to the discussions. Jeannette Hicks, one of the main organizers for Philopolis, noted that this is exactly how philosophical discussion should be. “When philosophy began, everyone went to market places and cafés. it was not an elite activity,” said Hicks. Hicks also thinks that it is important to include regular people who may not think of themselves as philosophers. “Everyone asks themselves philosophical questions. Philosophers have answers,” said Hicks. “Even more importantly, philosophers can learn things from regular people.” for those wanting to get more involved, volunteers and speakers will be needed for next year’s event. the Philosophy department at the University of Guelph is also very active, and regularly holds library talks. their website has information regarding their upcoming oct. 29 lecture with dr. Christopher norris. lastly, the undergraduate Philosophy Club on campus is always welcoming new members.
BrOOke sTrUck discUsses MyTHs & dAnisH cArTOOns
Photos and Illustrations by: Vanessa Tignanelli