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Summer 2016

Photo by Hali Krawchuk
Greetings and welcome to Summer edition of OPAL!  

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 Become a Member?

Not only will you be the first to find out about our events and receive assistance from our Supporting Cast Program, but you'll also be key in helping us move forward with our goal of building a PAL Ottawa residence. We encourage everyone – artists, arts professionals, and art lovers – to show support with a $25 annual fee.

Need another reason? How about a special discount on tickets to performances at the GCTC?  Read more about this below.

And for our current members, donors, and volunteers: thank you for your continued support!

PAL Ottawa's AMM: Four years and a solid foundation for the future

The fourth Annual Membership Meeting took place on Monday, May 30 at 6 p.m. in GCTC’s lobby – our warm thanks to the Great Canadian Theatre Company for making this beautiful space available to us.  Outside of the meeting, our eyes and ears were treated to a performance by Grupo Capoeira, a seven-person ensemble, featuring the captivating genre of Brazilian martial art known as capoeira that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music (see photo at the top). We are grateful to MASC ( for providing the entertainment.
Chair Jim Bradford gave highlights of the Annual Report: he outlined the numerous fundraising activities which took place in 2015 and also focused on the considerable work we have done during the past twelve months as an offshoot to last year’s Feasibility Report including strategic planning, devising our key messaging and writing our Case for Support which is very close to completion. The business meeting portion of the evening proceeded swiftly, culminating in the election of the new board.
Special guest Adrian Luces, executive director of PAL Canada, was invited to speak about new developments in PAL branches across the country. Right off the plane from a visit to PAL Vancouver, he was inspired to speak about the power of individual PALs working together to achieve universal goals. In particular, he highlighted the work of PAL Ottawa’s very own Supporting Cast, headed up by long-standing board member Michael Namer, as a benchmark for best practices across Canada.
Lucas also brought with him the Humanitarian Award trophy (pictured left with Jim Bradford; photo courtesy of Catherine Lindquist), won by PAL Canada, awarded by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. (Read more about this exciting win on our blog.) He ended by introducing blues singer Maria Hawkins. The blues singer (and a friend of PAL) came forward to give a sincere and personal account of the incredible support she has received from our Supporting Cast program, then launched into a terrific rendition of “Stand by Me,” with attendees invited to sing along.
Near the end of the meeting, prior to our social gathering, Vice-Chair Victoria Steele gave a moving tribute to Jim Bradford who is stepping down as Chair of the Board this year, but thankfully has agreed to stay on as Founding Chair so that we can continue to lean on him for guidance. Board member Catherine Lindquist then presented Jim with artwork of personal significance to him. The painting is by Jenepher Hooper, a graduate of the National Theatre School who later moved from acting to stage and costume design (pictured right; photo courtesy of Catherine Lindquist).

Coming Soon

PAL to March in Ottawa Capital Pride Parade

PAL Ottawa will again take part in the Ottawa Capital Pride Parade on Sunday, Aug. 21 to show our solidarity with the Capital’s Rainbow Community and its values of inclusivity, respect, responsibility and sustainability. And of course we will strut our stuff and let Ottawa know what we at PAL are about. The parade starts at 1pm, leaving from Gladstone and Bank; it travels along Kent to Laurier and ending at Bank and Somerset.  Please let Jim McNabb know if you'd like join our colourful crew. Or maybe you’d like to provide us with an official Parade Car! If you’re the owner of a fabulous set of wheels—perhaps a swish convertible or something vintage—and would like to show it off and join us, let us know!
This is the biggest, most exuberant parade of the year, and thousands will be watching and cheering us on.  Stay tuned for information or contact today!

PAL Gallery Party
Save the date for our first PAL Ottawa Gallery Party and fundraiser on Thursday, September 29 at Cube Gallery on Wellington West. Thank you Don Monet for welcoming us and we hope to see you there!

A Message from Peter Haworth


I am honoured that my PAL Ottawa colleagues have asked me to take on the mantle of Board Chair. Up to now, my principal role with PAL has been increasing our membership base by reaching out to the region’s arts organizations, to unions and associations, and to those working in the arts sector themselves. I look forward to building on these relationships in my new position.
When I joined PAL’s Board almost two years ago, I was bowled over by the commitment and energy of my dedicated colleagues. So many governance structures were already established, and a network of partners and supportive agencies enlisted. Meanwhile, PAL Ottawa runs the model Supporting Cast for the PALs across Canada, helping those in the arts sector who are in immediate need of support. If my colleagues outside PAL could witness the devotion of this organization to the well-being of arts workers, they would no doubt be greatly moved.
During the course of my acting career in Toronto – spanning more than thirty years – I witnessed how PAL Toronto helped countless artists ease financial hardship. The 205-unit complex in downtown Toronto provides rehearsal space for its resident-performers; it gives residents some relief from the constant pressure of “The Rent! The Rent!”; and, at times, it provides a crucial support network: a circle of friends and neighbours there that helps those who might be losing control of their lives. I have seen the difference PAL Toronto has made to that city’s arts workers.
Which is why I’m very much encouraged by PAL Ottawa’s major accomplishment of the past year: our Preliminary Feasibility Report. This document proposes a detailed blueprint for a prospective home for struggling and aging members in Ottawa’s arts sector – people who need assistance in their vulnerable years after having given so much given to our community.
In light of this report, we at PAL Ottawa are preparing to launch into the next stage of forging partnerships, recruiting a skilled team, and raising the finances to build a home for those in the arts who have been so energetic in bringing light to our lives.

PAL Ottawa Board 2016/2017: Officers, Directors, and Committee Roles

Following the May 30th AMM, several changes were made to the make-up and distribution of roles across PAL Ottawa’s Board of Directors:

  • Peter Haworth assumed the role of Chair
  • Stephen Scott was elected as Treasurer
  • Chris Cornish replaced Peter Haworth in the role of Membership and Artists’ Unions Liaison
  • Catherine Lindquist assumes roles in Housing and Communications
  • Susan Dell, newly elected Director, will serve on the Housing Committee
The following Board Directors will maintain their existing roles for 2016-2017:
  • Victoria Steele continues as Vice-Chair and Nominations Chair
  • Hali Krawchuk continues as Secretary
  • Alison Atkins continues on the Housing Committee
  • Jim McNabb continues as Events Committee Chair
  • Michael Namer continues as Supporting Cast Coordinator 

PAL Ottawa is seeking Directors with expertise in housing development, legal, financial and fundraising. Please contact Victoria Steele with expressions of interest.

Need Another Reason to Become a Member?

A highlight of PAL Ottawa's Annual Members Meeting (AMM) in June was the exciting announcement by Peter Haworth's new partnership between PAL Ottawa and The Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC). PAL Ottawa members will now receive a special ticket discount at the GCTC, which will help make theatre accessible for the many members of the artistic community. The tickets can be purchased for $20 simply by using their membership card in person or over the phone. Tickets are valid for any performance of GCTC's exciting 2016-2017 season.

"We're thrilled to have the tremendous support of GCTC," Peter Haworth said. "And we look forward to making this initiative one that all Ottawa arts groups want to join!" 

Thanks to Jim Bradford

Thank you Jim Bradford, Founding President of PAL Ottawa (2012-16)
Simply put, PAL Ottawa is Jim Bradford’s vision. Jim saw the difference made by the affordable housing communities built by PAL Toronto and PAL Vancouver. And so he called on his Ottawa arts sector colleagues: “My fellow artists in the Capital Region – we need a PAL community to house aging artists in need.”
Always an eloquent spokesperson, Jim outlined our cause to the Ottawa Citizen: “By the nature of their work, many of the artists we admire onstage, in the concert hall, the dance studio, and through their painting and sculpture, accept a life in which saving for retirement or owning their own home is often difficult, if not impossible. Success is fleeting: work opportunities come and go…. Our solution is the creation of a PAL community in Ottawa.”
With Jim’s leadership, our community came together in 2010 and PAL Ottawa was officially born in 2012, for which Ottawa’s arts community is truly grateful.
In addition to being one of the Capital Region’s most prolific actors—demonstrating versatility on stage and screen, working in both English and French—Jim is admirably engaged with his community, whether through his tenure as PAL Ottawa Chair, his role as Vice-Chair of the PAL Canada Foundation, his position on the Board of Salamander Theatre or his work with Bartholomew’s Anglican Church where he serves as a People’s Warden. It is fitting, but hardly surprising that he received the 2013 Lorraine Ansell ACTRA Award of Excellence for his work offstage advancing the well-being of his fellow actors. Jim is also an avid member of Nakkertok Nordic Cross Country Ski Club -  and we’re thinking he might have more time to devote to this a hobby, having handed off the mantle of Chair!
Jim may have decided to step aside as Chair of PAL Ottawa but he will remain active on the Board of Directors and serve as Vice-Chair of the PAL Canada Foundation. Merci, Jim!!

Recent Events

Kitchen Party
We held our second ever Kitchen Party on March 6th and it was a splendid success. We’d like to thank the amazing musicians – including Holly Laroque, Mark Ferguson and Maria Hawkins – who contributed their time and talent. Read about the event on our blog

Supporting Cast Workshop

Held April 21, 2016, 1:30-4:30pm, Ottawa Public Library, Sunnyside Branch.
On April 21, PAL Ottawa’s Supporting Cast held another in its series of workshops and seminars that equip participants with information and resources they can use to help themselves in their later years – across a range of issues related to physical, emotional and financial well-being.
April’s seminar, Cash Management in Retirement, was presented through the auspices of the Canadian Bankers Association. Supporting Cast Coordinator Michael Namer organized this workshop in light of a troubling trend: over 60% of retired Canadians are today carrying debt- cash management has therefore become an issue of vital concern for this demographic.
Wendy Lefebvre from TD Bank Group led the seminar, suggesting strategies for managing debt and the associated struggles that come with this financial strain. The 15 attendees engaged with Lefebvre in a dynamic and animated discussion, which included an extended question and answer session, as well as a chance for participants to exchange personal experiences and reflections. Feedback for the event was positive, and participants have expressed a desire for a follow-up event on the same topic. Stay tuned for our next session!


People and Profiles

Jerry Grey

Local art lovers who know Jerry Grey principally through her public art and her vibrant portraits may be surprised and intrigued by Jerry Grey on the Grid: 1968-1978 (Ottawa Art Gallery, June 24 – September 25, 2016.) The exhibit showcases a 10-year period in which Grey used “grids” – a framework of parallel and perpendicular lines – as the basis for drawings and paintings that explore colour, shape, repetition, and contrast. PAL Ottawa spoke with Grey in early May about the exhibit, as well as her extended career, still in full force, and her connection to PAL Ottawa. Read the full profile. 

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PAL Ottawa Board of Directors
Peter Haworth Chair
Victoria Steele Vice Chair
Stephen Scott Treasurer
Hali Krawchuk Secretary
Chris Cornish Membership and Artist's Union Liaison
Jim McNabb Events Committee Chair
[empty] Communications & Community Engagement Chair
[empty], Fundraising Committee Chair
Michael Namer Supporting Cast Coordinator
Alison Atkins
Catherine Lindquist
Susan Dell

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.

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