View this email in your browser
Winter 2015-2016

People enjoying the Garden Party (Photo by Caroline Phillips)
Photo by Catherine Lindquist
Greetings and welcome to the first edition of OPAL online!  

In this issue:
Calling all Pals!  
PAL Ottawa is a non-profit charitable organization.  Please support PAL by becoming a member, donating, or volunteering.
Become a member

Why Should You Become a Member?

Not only will you be the first to find out about our events and receive support from our Supporting Cast, but you'll also be key to creating a basis for support for a PAL Ottawa residence. We encourage everyone – artists, arts professionals, and art lovers – to show support with a $25 annual fee.

And for our current members, thank you for your continued support!

Our Communications and Community Engagement Committee has been in transition since last summer, when we said farewell to Barbara Laskin, our former Chair.  Today we're pleased to introduce you to our new Chair, Tara McClinchey, who brings a wealth of communications expertise to the position.  In her role as Research and Communications coordinator with NAIMA Canada, Tara has gained extensive knowledge about leading edge communications strategies and tools, and a particular proficiency with digital communications.  Tara also brings to PAL Ottawa her expertise on the topic of seniors and memory – the subject of her Master's research in Psychology – as well as a longstanding love of the arts. Welcome Tara! 

A note on the format: with so many people accessing their news on computers and devices these days, we have decided to move PAL Ottawa's newsletter to an all-digital format.  We welcome your feedback on the new OPAL.

Message from the Board

The 2015 Annual Members Meeting of PAL Ottawa took place on June 1st at the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage. Presided over by board member Victoria Steele, the meeting had close to 40 members and friends in attendance.  

Ken Foulds of Re/Fact Consulting presented his report at the AMM: Preliminary Feasibility Study: Affordable Housing Project Geared to Seniors in the Arts Community with the Ottawa-Gatineau Region. The results? We now have a conceptual design for our housing facility: we envision a building that can accommodate:

  • a performance space 
  • a gallery 
  • health care services
  • additional social space 
  • a rooftop garden
Each floor above the main level will house residents and include a social gathering spot. 

We now foresee a building that will house two groups of residents: the majority (two-thirds) will be elder artists with modest incomes, and the rest will be elder residents of Ottawa-Gatineau who desire the community and creative living environment that PAL’s building will offer.  

The Re/Fact study that brought us to this point followed 15 months of research and extensive consultation. Organizations and groups consulted include PAL chapters across the country, Artscape in Toronto, arts workers in Ottawa, affordable housing experts, architects and housing management / infrastructure professionals. We are grateful for Canadian Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) SEED funding and Community Foundation of Ottawa funding, which together made this extensive study possible. 

The Re/Fact Study also includes a solid business plan as part of this feasibility study. Our first goal: to seek like-spirited organizations interested in working in partnership with us. Stay tuned for more developments! 

We thank the NAC for providing the Fourth Stage as our meeting venue, Ian Clyne and the Musicians’ Association of Ottawa-Gatineau for providing musical entertainment, and the contributions of Diane Schmolka and PAL Ottawa’s Events Committee volunteers.

Fundraising and Events

Actors Paul Burns and Martha Burns reading Shakespeare at the "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" gala (Photo by Caroline Phillips)

While PAL Ottawa board members push our main project forward, our fundraising and outreach efforts continue year-round. Here's a recap of our initiatives since summer 2015: 

  • Special thanks go to Lorna Tener and Brian Toller (pictured with Grete Hale; photo by Catherine Lindquist), hosts of our Summer Solstice Party in 2015 at their magical riverain home.  Guests were entertained by theatrical, musical and dance performances and enjoyed the chance to pose as pagan wood nymphs and raise funds for PAL Ottawa.  
  • August 23rd marked PAL’s third involvement in the annual Pride Parade through downtown Ottawa.  Crowds were massive and excited and the parade was its usual flamboyant and exuberant self.  PAL’s colourful contingent passed out bookmarks and flyers to advertise who we are and what we do for the community at large.  Our very popular Dixieland Jazz Quartet sponsored by the Musicians’ Union led us along the route and our own Dame Edna road shotgun in the decorated van.  
  • On Nov. 29, we had a sizable audience congregate at Ottawa Little Theatre to enjoy A Christmas Story.  The proceeds of the benefit made a most welcome Christmas gift for PAL. An array of door prizes were donated by various establishments, such as Richie's Feed & Seed Inc., Books on Beechwood, and Mrs. Tiggy Winkle's.
  • On January 23, 2016 at Freiman Hall in the Perez Building at University of Ottawa, we were the fortunate beneficiaries of the proceeds from a gala evening of star-studded musical and theatrical performances. The “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” gala launched Shakespeare 400, a festival based at the University of Ottawa that marks the four-hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and the beginning of his remarkable afterlife. Given the extensive list of invitees to this gala, it’s no wonder that the 147-seat auditorium sold out within days. Luckily, those of us who couldn’t attend can read about it in the Ottawa Citizens’ Around Town column and listen to a snippet of Paul Gross being interviewed by Alan Neal.  By all accounts it was a fantastic evening, and $3000 was raised for PAL Ottawa. Much ado about something!

PAL Ottawa board chair Jim Bradford (left) with board member Catherine Lindquist and Lewis Auerbach at the Shakespeare 400 gala (Photo by Caroline Phillips)

Congratulations to the wonderful hosts of our first Garden Party in 2013, Barbara and Glen McInnes, on the recognition for their most generous contribution to the Ottawa Art Gallery in the Ottawa Citizen's Around Town by photojournalist Caroline Phillips.

And bouquets to sisters Grete Hale and Gay Cook, gracious hosts of our Mad Hatter's Tea Party in 2014: as its Chair Emeritus, Grete was one of the recipients of the Mayor's 2016 Ottawa Heritage Day proclamation recognizing the Beechwood Cemetery Foundation.  And Gay was fêted for her 85th birthday/fundraiser to 'raise dough' for a new Gay Cook bakery lab at Algonquin College.

Who will host our upcoming PAL parties in 2016 and 2017?  And where?  Will it be in a garden, on a rooftop or by the waterside, or in some other special location?

Supporting Cast


Supporting Cast held its “Helping with Healthcare” information session on October 19th, 2015 at the Ottawa Public Library, Sunnyside branch. The event featured representatives from Ottawa Public Health, the Champlain Community Care Access Centre and the Victorian Order of Nurses. The presenters explained the services provided by their respective organizations, and shared their understanding of our health care system’s complexity. Supporting Cast Chair Michael Namer noted afterward that “it was an engaging, informative and interactive gathering. The two-way dialogue during the question and answer portion made it clear that the presenters as well as the attendees gained new insights from this dialogue.”


We have always known that our Supporting Cast programme is exemplary in its tireless efforts assisting arts workers with challenges, training volunteers and organizing information sessions.  But now PAL Ottawa's Supporting Cast can truly take a bow: they’ve been spotlighted as the model for other PAL organizations across Canada to emulate!

Upcoming Events

PAL Ottawa's Kitchen Party

Join us for an evening of music, mingling, refreshment and good cheer! Calling all actors, artists, musicians, dancers, techies, writers, arts workers, and arts admirers: you are warmly invited to PAL Ottawa's Kitchen Party. Mingle with your friends and make new ones with Ottawa's arts community.  Jam with friends, sing a song, try out your stand-up routine, or sit back and enjoy the show! 

When: Sunday, March 6, 8-11 p.m.
Where: Glebe St. James United Church Hall, 650 Lyon St. S.
What: DIY entertainment, potluck offering (snacks), cash bar

$5 admission at the door.  For further info, please email Jim McNabb or call 613-742-6215.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Information Seminar: Cash Management in Retirement

PAL Ottawa Supporting Cast is pleased to present an information seminar by the Canadian Bankers Association on Cash Management in Retirement on Thursday, 21 April 2016.
A word like “debt” can be intimidating, and with over 60% of retired Canadians carrying debt, it can become a problem. This seminar will provide information for seniors on how to manage their debt and what to do if it becomes a struggle. That struggle can take the form of needing credit to pay for basic living expenses, not being sure about how much you owe, always seeming to have unmanageable debt, and having your financial problems affect your family life. The good news is that there is help available. Please join us for this informative presentation.
Presenter: Wendy Lefebvre from TD Bank Group
Date: Thursday 21 April 2016
Time: 1:30 to 3:00 pm
Place: Ottawa Public Library, Sunnyside Branch, 1049 Bank Street
Refreshments will be served.  To register, please contact:
Need help getting there?  PAL Ottawa may be able to help.

Save the Date!

PAL Ottawa will be taking part in Ottawa's Pride Parade again this year, which will be on August 21! 

PAL Ottawa at the Ottawa Pride Parade in 2015 (photo by Jim McNabb)

People and Profiles

Appreciation for PALs Past

A volunteer organization such as ours can only be sustained through the generous contributions, efforts and goodwill of a wide number and cross-section of caring individuals – Board, committee and general members, past, present and future.  Two indelible such contributions were made by a couple of forces of nature who both served on our Board from the very beginning, Barbara Laskin and Lynn McGuigan (pictured below).  We celebrated them at the Garden Party in June as they stepped down from the Board, and we continue to feel their presence in a myriad ways.  Several pieces of beautiful print material and many examples of eloquent writing on the website and in past newsletters represent just some of the work stewarded by Barbara while she served as Chair of the Communications and Community Engagement Committee.  She also participated as a valuable member of the Nominations Committee. Lynn brilliantly chaired our Board meetings for years while she served as Vice-Chair and also acted as Chair of the vital Business and Finance Committee.  She continues to contribute volunteer efforts to developing our ‘Board Manual’ and we are grateful that she was such a strong part of building our lasting connection to the Ottawa Little Theatre.  Even though we miss them both at Board meetings, their legacy of work and support for PAL Ottawa lives on.  Bravo and heartfelt thanks to Barbara and Lynn!

Lynn McGuigan and Barbara Laskin at the Garden Party 2015 (photos by Catherine Lindquist)



A Chat with Mitzi Hauser: Supporting Cast Volunteer PAL Ottawa met Mitzi Hauser in her Old Ottawa South home in mid-December 2015. We  marveled over the bizarrely warm, and more importantly, utterly snowless winter so far. Mitzi, an active and youthful 70 years old, agreed that the weather was both odd and useful: “This is the first time I can remember using my bike to do all my Christmas shopping!” Read the story here


A Supporting Cast Success Story: Maria Hawkins, "Blues Lady" In late November 2015, PAL Ottawa met with “Blues Lady” Maria Hawkins in her new residence: a modest one-bedroom terrace level apartment in an Ottawa Co-op.  It was one of Maria’s last free days before she would begin a multi-phase surgical process to treat a grave eye condition: Fuchs endothelial dystrophy. For this reason, Maria distributed surgical masks which we wore for the length of our meeting. With so much riding on this procedure,  we could not run the risk of her getting a cold pre-surgery. Read the story here

Follow us on Facebook
Visit our website
Have feedback?
PAL Ottawa Board of Directors
Jim Bradford Chair
Victoria Steele Vice Chair
Stephen Scott Treasurer
Hali Krawchuk Secretary
Peter Haworth Membership Committee Chair
Jim McNabb Events Committee Chair
Tara McClinchey Communications & Community Engagement Chair
[empty], Fundraising Committee Chair
Michael Namer Supporting Cast Coordinator
Alison Atkins
Chris Cornish
Catherine Lindquist

Our Purpose
PAL Ottawa will provide or help connect senior and disabled arts professionals in Canada's Capital with essentials such as affordable housing, personal care services, and links to the local arts community, so they can live not in fear, hunger, and isolation, but in dignity within a caring community.
Founding Partners of PAL Ottawa

Partner Organizations


Project Funding

Copyright © 2016 PAL Ottawa, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp